Priest in Haiti: "They have assaulted the poorest community"

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02/10/2022
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Haiti is still struggling to get back on its feet. The economic situation is critical and looting and kidnappings are a daily occurrence. Religious communities have become the perfect target. 

One kidnapping was of the priest Lex Florival, who was assaulted by a group of 8 armed men as he was returning home. They also ransacked a Salesian community in Gonaives, leaving it completely destroyed. Everything was taken, including the priests' clothes. 

FR. VICTOR AUGUSTE
Director, Rinaldi Foundation (Haiti)
At the beginning of September, a Salesian priest was kidnapped and spent 18 days in the hands of bandits. While we were dealing with this problem and trying to free him, a Salesian community in Gonaives was looted. Gonaives is one of the poorest Salesian houses, but now...I don't know how to say it, how to describe it. It is a very difficult situation that these brothers were living in, but now it is much more difficult in this community.

One nice thing in all of this is that when Father Lex was released, there were also other gangs in the area of his community. These gangs were very happy when they saw him and told him: “We called the other gang to free you, but they didn't want to.”

The Salesians in Haiti have been helping children survive for years. They try to integrate the young people into the labor market and offer them stability.

FR. VÍCTOR AUGUSTE
Director, Rinaldi Foundation (Haiti)
Attacking religious institutions, attacking the Catholic Church, I think it would be the worst catastrophe for Haiti because much of what is done in this country is done by the Catholic Church.

In fact, each year since 1936, the Salesians of the Rinaldi Foundation have been helping more than 22,000 young people in disadvantaged situations in Haiti. 

CA

TR: AT

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