Catholic Priest Murdered in Haiti

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A motorcycle gang attacked Father André Sylvestre, 70, who was assaulted and shot dead by the criminals, who took nothing.

Newsroom (10/09/2021 18:42, Gaudium Press)

Last Monday, September 6, Father André Sylvestre, 70, was assaulted and shot to death in Cap-Haitien, northern Haiti. This terrible crime was committed by a motorcycle gang, who took absolutely nothing from the priest. Although he was rescued and taken to the hospital, Father Sylvestre succumbed to his injuries and died.

Kidnappings of priests and religious

This same gang of criminals, who call themselves the ‘400 Mazowo’, kidnapped ten Catholics, among whom were priests and nuns, on April 11. A few weeks later the victims were released after the Catholic Church demanded action from the government and closed down Catholic schools and institutions in protest. Only hospitals and clinics remained open at the time.

After the release of the victims of this kidnapping, Archbishop Max Leroy Mésidor of Port-au-Prince said that “our contentment will be greater when we see that we live in a country where there are no kidnappings. Our contentment will be greater when we live in a country where everyone can move where they want, when they want.

Growth of violence in Haiti

In recent years, Haiti has experienced an outbreak of violence. In April, the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince warned that such violence has reached unprecedented levels in the country. The number of kidnappings for ransom has greatly increased in that period. “Public authorities who are doing nothing to resolve this crisis are not immune to suspicion,” the local Church warned.

Numerous crises have affected Haiti recently, in addition to the lack of health infrastructure to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has also suffered several natural disasters. The most recent was an earthquake that occurred last month and killed more than 2,200 people. In 2010 another earthquake killed 200,000 people and left 1 million homeless. In July of this year the president of the country, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated. (EPC)

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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