Kidnapping and the Haitian society

The ongoing social-economic challenges facing Haiti has led to search of alternative sources of income by citizens. High level of unemployment has found many people indulging themselves in illegitimate ways of raising a living.

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Due to these challenges the crime rate in Haiti is high. The most rampant crime in the recent past has been kidnapping and the threat is more likely to increase due to inability of the security forces to curb the situation. The Haitian National Police have experienced significant strain in bringing kidnappers to custody. Since the 2006 kidnapping peak period security has been reinforced by the presence of UN-formed police and the UN stabilization forces (MINUSTAH).

Kidnappers in Haiti do it to earn income. They rely on ransom money to earn a living. One of the most vulnerable areas is Cite Soleil slums and one of the kidnappers tells the story, "The situation is hard now. After president Aristede left, I lost my income from him. Now I kidnap and I have killed a lot of people." This is a story of one out of so many kidnappers who negotiate upto $ 4000 before releasing a captive. They worked as hired thugs of dictator Arisitde and since he left they have turned to this new way of life

However, the crime has reduced since its peak in 2006. In that year 60 Americans were kidnapped. In 2010 12 U.S citizens were kidnapped and the number has been reducing. Those kidnapped have reported having been beaten and/or raped.

Kidnapping in Haiti is financially motivated and is currently the most critical security threat in the country. Kidnappers mostly target children.

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Read more: security, kidnapping, Security Crime Law and Order

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