Cuban Driver Kidnapped In Haiti Freed – Havana

(AFP) – A driver from Cuba’s medical brigade in Haiti, kidnapped by gangsters in Port-au-Prince more than a week ago, has been freed, the government in Havana said Thursday.

The health ministry did not provide any details of how Alejandro Aguilera Milanes was liberated Wednesday, nine days after he was taken captive.

“We thank the Haitian authorities and all the people of goodwill who immediately mobilized to obtain the release of the collaborator as quickly and safely as possible,” it said in a statement.

Milanes is a driver in the 250-strong brigade of doctors, nurses and support staff deployed to provide critical health services in Haiti.

This was not the first kidnapping of a brigade member by members of gangs that control more than half of Haitian territory.

Last year, doctor Daymara Helen Perez was held for 10 days after being kidnapped by gangsters from the bus she was traveling in.

The poorest nation in the Americas, Haiti has been gripped by a worsening political and economic crisis since the July 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moise.

In 2022, the UN recorded 1,359 kidnappings and more than 2,000 murders in the country — a third more than the previous year.

Last week, Doctors Without Borders said it was suspending operations at a hospital in Port-au-Prince after gunmen broke in, pulled out a patient, and shot him dead a few feet away.