Six religious sisters and another person who were kidnapped in Haiti have been released. Source: Crux.
The nuns, members of the Congregation of Saint Anne, were on a minibus in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 19 when armed men intercepted the vehicle and took the group, including the niece of one of the nuns and the bus driver, to an undisclosed location, triggering global concern for the nuns’ fate.
On January 21, Pope Francis mentioned the case during the Angelus prayer, appealing for their liberation.
As days went by and the nuns remained in the hands of the criminals, the Church in Haiti increased its pressure on the Caribbean country’s authorities.
On January 22, Archbishop Max Leroy Mésidor of Port-au-Prince and Fr Morachel Bonhomme, a Salesian priest who heads the Conference of Religious of Haiti, released a statement in which they complained about the authorities’ “silence, which amounts to an attitude of contempt for the suffering of the people”.
According to Fr Gilbert Peltrop, Secretary General of the Conference of Religious of Haiti, the criminals contacted the leaders of the Sisters of Saint Anne – a congregation founded in Québec in 1850 – shortly after they took control of the group of nuns and “asked for a large sum of money for their release.”
“The negotiations started slowly and with a lot of pressure. The last two days were decisive. We felt the desire of the kidnappers to release the victims as quickly as possible,” he said.
On January 24, the criminals and the negotiators finally agreed on the amount to be paid and the sisters were released. Fr Peltrop affirmed that the young niece of one of the nuns had already been released on Monday evening without the payment of a ransom.
Despite liberation of nuns, experts say violence in Haiti is far from over (By Eduardo Campos Lima, Crux)