A Haitian gang is reportedly holding one of the Dominican Republic's diplomats hostage.
Carlos Guillen Tatis, the trade attache at the Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince, was reportedly seized by a Haitian gang on Friday while traveling to the city of Jimani. Guillen Tatis's abduction is the latest in the country, where dozens have been kidnapped and ransomed by criminal gangs.
"The '400 Mawozo' gang that kidnapped Carlos Guillen Tatis, agricultural and commercial advisor of the DR in Haiti, asks for 500 thousand dollars for his release, according to our sources," a Dominican official tweeted on Sunday. "The Dominican Government has asked the Haitian Foreign Ministry for an 'immediate investigation' into the kidnapping."
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La banda “400 Mawozo” que secuestró a Carlos Guillén Tatis, consejero agrícola y comercial de RD en Haití, pide 500 mil dólares para su liberación, según nuestras fuentes. El Gobierno Dominicano ha solicitado a la cancillería haitiana la “inmediata investigación” sobre el rapto. pic.twitter.com/1wAPGROBuo— Vargavila Riverón (@vargavila) May 1, 2022
The 400 Mawozo gang made news in October 2021 when it kidnapped a group of 17 missionaries operating in the area and held them in custody for nearly two months. While select members were slowly released, the remainder escaped in December 2021.
400 Mawozo is considered one of the largest criminal gangs in Haiti, according to Haitian security experts. The gang is believed to be behind several other kidnappings in the region, including those involving satanists, film crews, and officials.
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Haiti was the country with the highest rate of kidnappings in 2021. This kidnapping rate could be linked to the political instability caused by the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was killed in his home in July 2021.