Situation Update

On 16 October, assailants in Port-au-Prince, Haiti kidnapped 17 members of an Ohio-based Anabaptist Christian aid group, including five children. The victims include 16 Americans and one Canadian. Local police suspect the involvement of the 400 Mawozo gang, who also kidnapped five priests and two nuns earlier this year.
Violence, unrest, and disorder have surged in Haiti since former President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in early July. Street gangs are believed to control over half the territory of Port-au-Prince and gun battles in the streets have become a regular occurrence. The threat of kidnapping in Haiti remains high.

Analysis 

This weekend’s abduction highlights the ongoing threat of kidnapping while traveling abroad. As international travel slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels, criminal actors and terrorist groups will capitalize on the opportunity to generate revenue and earn international attention. Kidnap for ransom events are more likely to occur within security vacuums. These are geographic and political spaces where governments cannot maintain law and order and armed groups fill the void. Although kidnappers mostly target locals, groups of foreigners operating conspicuously – aid workers, NGOs, business groups, etc. – are viewed as high-value targets for ransom.

While it is possible to proactively mitigate the risk of kidnapping and extortion through preparation, vigilance, and best practices, these events are impossible to fully prevent. When a kidnap and ransom incident occurs, swift, organized, and expert response is required to ensure the safety of the traveler.

Kidnap & Ransom Services

With Global Guardian’s Kidnap and Ransom Services, clients have access to pre-event, real-time and post-event crisis response services. We offer specialized knowledge and a wide range of integrated services to help clients manage:

  • Kidnapping and Express Kidnapping
  • Hijacking
  • Wrongful Detention 
  • Disappearance Investigation
  • Hostage Taking
  • Extortion
  • Child Abduction

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