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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former head of Haiti’s electoral council kidnapped

Traveling on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, even in an armored vehicle, can be a nerve-wracking adventure as unprecedented kidnappings and gang violence hold the country hostage. (Jacqueline Charles/Miami Herald/TNS)  (Jacqueline Charles/Miami Herald/TNS)
By Jacqueline Charles Miami Herald

The former head of Haiti’s provisional electoral council, Pierre-Louis Opont, is the latest victim of the country’s kidnapping scourge, his abduction occurring less than 10 days after his wife, a prominent journalist, was also abducted.

Opont, who headed the nine-member Provisional Electoral Council that oversaw the controversial 2015 election involving Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, that was later annulled for alleged fraud and vote irregularities, was kidnapped late Tuesday as he returned home.

He was approaching his front gate in the suburb of Tabarre, where the U.S. embassy is located, when armed individuals grabbed him, a source close to the family confirmed to the Miami Herald.

Opont is the husband of prominent Haitian journalist Marie Lucie Bonhomme, who hosts a news program on Port-au-Prince-based Radio Vision 2000.

Last week, as Haitian leaders met in Jamaica to find a political agreement to move toward elections, Bonhomme was abducted from her home by armed gang members. She was released several hours later.

Her abductors were members of the “Kraze Baryè” gang, which is led by Vitelhomme Innocent.

Innocent is wanted by the FBI, which has issued a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He controls Tabarre and his gang is believed to be behind Opont’s kidnapping,