Quito, Oct 19 (EFE).- United States State Secretary Antony Blinken said Tuesday that the kidnapping of 16 American missionaries and a Canadian in Haiti reflects the security situation in the country is “unsustainable” and deals with “a much larger problem”.
In a joint press appearance with Ecuadorian counterpart Mauricio Montalvo, at the presidential headquarters in Quito, Blinken said his government is focused on solving the matter and has sent a team to Haiti.
He said “more operational security is required, given the situation and the kidnapping of 16 Americans and a Canadian,” and that a specialized team in kidnappings from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains contact with Haitian police and the church to which the missionaries belong.
“We will do everything possible to resolve this situation,” he said, speaking about the country’s situation in which he said gangs “dominate part of Port-au-Prince,” the capital, and “the police cannot even act.”
Blinken said that in an environment where the state is dominated by the actions of criminal groups, the future of the Haitian people is jeopardized and there is a narrow margin of action.
He called for coordinated cooperation of various stakeholders, both political and civil society, and the support of the United States to promote the institutional construction of the state.
“Security is vitally important and we have worked closely with the Haitian Police to help them in their capacities and establish programs that can deal with gangs effectively. But it is a long-term problem,” he said.