United States missionaries killed by Haiti gangs


Saturday, 25 May 2024 (12:11 IST)
A Haitian gang killed three missionaries, including a married couple from the United States, in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.

Missions in Haiti, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit founded in 2000, said Davy and Natalie Lloyd and the local director of the mission group, Jude Montis, were killed by armed men on Thursday evening.

Missouri State Senator's children among the dead

Natalie's father is Missouri State Senator Ben Baker , and Davy is the son of David and Alicia Lloyd, who started the organization Missions in Haiti in 2000.

"My heart is broken in a thousand pieces. I've never felt this kind of pain," Baker said in a Facebook post. He later posted that their bodies had been retrieved, and they are working to repatriate them to the US.

Missions in Haiti said the couple was leaving a church when they were ambushed by three trucks full of gang members. They took David to a house and assaulted and robbed him.

As people were helping untie Davy Lloyd, another group gunmen showed up and "went into full attack mode."

The couple and Montis fled to a house connected to the mission. "They tried to take cover in there, but the gang shot up the house."The missionary group later confirmed that all three were dead.

Security situation in Haiti

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was "just another example of the violence that spares no one in Haiti."

Haiti has seen months of unrest and violence under an unstable political situation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the country is close to becoming a failed state.

Haiti finally reopened its international airport in the capital, Port-au-Prince, after months of closure due to gang violence. But gangs are still in control of many parts of the country.

The gangs' biggest demand was the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has since stepped down from his position. Haiti has not had a sitting president since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in 2021 and has no sitting parliament.

A transitional council has been appointed to hold elections, the country's first since 2016. Meanwhile, food scarcity, a collapse of the healthcare system and violence has forced thousands to flee their homes.

Responding to the deaths, the White House called for the swift deployment of a Kenyan-led multinational force in Haiti to tackle rampant gang violence.

"The security situation in Haiti cannot wait," said a National Security Council spokesperson, stressing that President Joe Biden had pledged to support the "expedited deployment" of the force in talks with Kenya's president on Thursday.(AP, AFP, Reuters)

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