PORT-AU-PRINCE (REUTERS) - A Haitian man asserting that he represents a gang that kidnapped a group of American and Canadian missionaries said in a video posted on YouTube on Thursday (Oct 21) that he is willing to kill "these Americans" if he does not get what he needs.
The speaker in the video, dressed in a purple suit, is identifiable as the man known in Haiti by the alias Lamo Sanjou, the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the veracity of the video or when it was made.
It shows the man speaking in the street and surrounded by other, unidentified men.
The missionaries were not present.
"If I don't find what I need, these Americans, I'd rather kill them all, and I'll unload a big gun in the head of each of them," said the man.
A Haitian police spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The 400 Mawozo began as small-time local thieves and rose to become one of Haiti's most feared gangs that controls a rural area east of the capital Port-au-Prince, according to security experts.
Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told Reuters this week that the kidnappers were seeking US$17 million (S$23 million) for the release of the missionaries, who were abducted on a trip organised by Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.
Their seizure has focused global attention on Haiti's dire kidnapping problem, which has worsened amid economic and political crises in the Caribbean nation.
Local media outlet Le Nouvelliste on Thursday reported that Haitian Police Chief Leon Charles has resigned, citing comments by Prime Minister Ariel Henry.