Portman Encouraged by Release of Three Missionary Hostages Held in Haiti, Bringing Total to Five
Portman Continues to Press the Biden Administration to Secure Release of the Remaining 12 Hostages
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement following news reports that three additional hostages from Christian Aid Ministries, a Millersburg, Ohio, based missionary organization, were released – bringing the total to five. The missionaries were detained 52 days ago by an armed gang while conducting missionary work near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Portman continues to press the administration to secure the release of the remaining 12 hostages.
“Today’s release of three more hostages from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries is another step forward, but we cannot rest until everyone being held is released. While these efforts continue, I’ve highlighted that kidnapping in Haiti is an all-too common occurrence. I will continue to press the administration to develop a whole-of-government approach to address this problem, and I remain hopeful that all hostages are released safely.”
NOTE: In October, Senator Portman’s amendment to the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act was unanimously accepted. The amendment calls for “an assessment of U.S. interagency efforts to counter kidnapping and armed violence in Haiti.” Portman spoke with numerous officials at the Justice Department and State Department on this issue, and will continue to push them to do more to secure the release of all the hostages. Last week, Senator Portman spoke with Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Assistant Secretary Nichols assured Senator Portman that he was personally involved in the recovery efforts, stating that he is in contact with our embassy in Port-au-Prince every day.