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Haiti kidnapping: 400 Mawozo gang behind abduction of 17 US and Canadian missionaries, security source says

As they were traveling from the orphanage towards Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, gang members stopped the vehicle at gunpoint.

The 400 Mawozo gang has been growing in strength for the past three years, numbering up to 150 members, and has essentially taken control of Croix des Bouquets, the source in Haiti’s security forces told CNN on Sunday,

Kidnapping for ransom is a hallmark activity of the gang. They have abducted dozens of people this year alone, including foreign nationals, the source said.

Once notorious for car theft, the 400 Mawozo has pioneered “collective” kidnappings of large groups of victims from buses and cars, according to the Center for Analysis and Research for Human Rights (CARDH), a Port-au-Prince-based nonprofit.

Much of the rise in kidnappings in Haiti is due to the 400 Mawozo, according to CARDH. Gang members engage in near daily confrontations with…

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