Haitian Gang Allegedly Kidnapped US YouTuber Amid Nationwide Unrest

The chaotic situation in Haiti has garnered global news coverage in recent weeks after notorious G9 Family and Allies gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier led a violent revolution and exerted control over much of the small Caribbean nation.

Although Cherizier has made a few public statements, he has remained overtly hostile toward foreigners attempting to interfere in the ongoing civil unrest.

Haiti’s rampant lawlessness was apparently on display recently when American Addison Pierre Maalouf — known by his YouTube followers as “YourFellowArab” — was reportedly kidnapped by members of a different gang when he attempted to score an interview with Cherizier.

Shortly after arriving in the nation, Maalouf and a colleague from Haiti were allegedly taken hostage by members of the 400 Mawozo gang with a $600,000 ransom demanded for the U.S. citizen’s release.

Another content creator provided updates on the situation, including a video Maalouf posted from his hotel room before the alleged kidnapping. In it, the YouTuber warned of the dangers he and others in the country faced under the current circumstances.

He ominously advised that Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, had become “completely run by gangs,” describing a powder keg of volatility in which it would only take “one stupid gang member holding an AK-47 for one thing to go wrong.”

A subsequent post asserted that “Arab has been kidnapped in Haiti and we’re working on getting him out.”

Some responses to the post speculated that the abduction was staged and Maalouf himself addressed the situation on Saturday in a social media post claiming that he had been kidnapped but was in the process of being released.

The U.S. Department of State confirmed that it had received “reports of the kidnapping of a US citizen in Haiti” but had no additional details to share.

Haiti has been a dangerous destination for its own citizens and foreigners alike for years, as evidenced in a 2023 warning from the State Department that urged Americans to refrain from visiting the nation because “kidnapping is widespread and victims regularly include US citizens.”

Noting that ransom demands are common, the agency added: “Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women.”

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