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9896: Uniformed men storm home, kidnap children in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Armed men identifying
themselves as police officers kidnapped two children of the owner of a
chain of lottery outlets on Friday from a home in Port-au-Prince, Radio
Metropole reported.
     Kipler Dimanche, 9, and Anderson Dimanche, 7, were spirited away from
the family home in the Haitian capital in the early morning hours. A call
was later received demanding $1 million for the children's safe return.
     Their father, Jean Astrelle Dimanche, owns a chain of lottery outlets.
He was himself kidnapped in April, only to be released for an undisclosed
     Kidnapping for ransom and other motives has become a growing problem
in Haiti in recent years and was one factor that led Haitian President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide to impose his controversial "zero tolerance" policy
on violent crimes.
     Critics say the policy encourages police brutality and is used as a
cover for official harassment of Aristide's political opponents.
     The crime is reminiscent of the kidnapping of Amos Jeannot in
September 2000.
     Jeanott, an employee of the Fonkoze financial institution, which bills
itself as "Haiti's bank for the organized poor," was kidnapped when 11
uniformed men stormed the organization's Port-au-Prince headquarters,
making off with $10,000.
     After a series of calls demanding the bank cease operating, Jeannot's
battered body was found in a downtown hospital.