Canaan Armed Group Kills Two U.S. Missionaries and their Haitian Colleague near Bon Repos

Missionaries Davy and Natalie Lloyd and Judes Montis were killed “accidentally” by the very armed group which used to assure their security, due to a terrible misunderstanding.

 

By Kim Ives & Angela Porterfield Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, May 29, 2024

In what appears to have been a deadly misunderstanding, an armed group known by the name of its leader, “Jeff,” killed North American missionaries David Lloyd III (“Davy”), 24, and his wife Natalie Baker Lloyd, 21, along with a Haitian administrator, Judes Montis, on the compound of Missions in Haiti, Inc. in the neighborhood of Lizon, near Bon Repos, on the northern outskirts of Port-au-Prince, on Thu., May 23.

The evangelical Protestant “Missions in Haiti” runs a boarding school – “House of Compassion” – for 36 children, 18 boys and 18 girls, according to the group’s website. The NGO, based in Claremont, Oklahoma, was founded by Lloyd’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd, in 2000.

The young couple was killed in the elder Lloyd’s house on the compound, where they had taken refuge. A grisly video, which went viral on Haitian Whatsapp groups, showed the Lloyd couple’s bodies splayed out in a room, and Davy’s body was apparently mutilated. Montis’ body was reportedly burned.

According to Munib Bastien, the owner of a neighboring orphanage, Munib Foyer des Enfants, a group of thieves from along Route 9 in Cité Soleil – informally known as the “Pier 6 gang,” with no affiliation to the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) armed group alliance which drove former Prime Minister Ariel Henry from power on Feb. 29 – attacked the “Missions in Haiti” compound, stealing vehicles, computers, furniture, and other equipment.

“They took everything, so somebody inside called Jeff for help,” Bastien explained, since Jeff used to provide security to the “Missions in Haiti” compound, he said, given the inefficacy of the Haitian National Police (PNH).

According to Kessy Aniston, an art student at the University of Haiti, who lives nearby, “Jeff used to fight and kill members [of the Pier 6 gang] for their greedy thieving.”

Jeff’s armed group is based not far from Bon Repos in the sprawling, impoverished slums of Canaan and Jerusalem, which sprang up on the flood plains north of Port-au-Prince after Haiti’s Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. It is a part of the Viv Ansanm alliance.

The Pier 6 gang “came in and tied my son up and began looting the place,” explained Davy’s father in an interview with NewsNation. ““The best I can figure is that [they were] just out for stuff… They know that the Kenyans are supposed to come in, and the gangs are supposed to be taken care of [i.e. crushed and disbanded], so they’re in the mind set now that ‘it’s almost over for us, let’s get all we can get and then go into hiding.’… I’m thinking – I can’t say it’s fact – that that might have been their reason. They knew we hadn’t been looted and had been left alone. So they came in to help themselves.”

“They took our trucks and loaded them up and took off. My son was calling me and… telling me what had happened. He had been hit in the head with the butt of [a] gun and was injured. I was trying to see if he needed to go to the hospital. And then he said, ‘Dad, something else is going down. They’re back… I gotta understand what’s going on, so I gotta go.’ And he hung up.”

At this point, the fatal confusion occurred.

Inside the compound, Davy apparently thought that the approaching armed men were the Pier 6 gang returning, when, in fact, they were the reinforcement troops whom Jeff had sent to drive the thieves away.

At that point, Davy (or somebody in the compound) began shooting and killed one of Jeff’s soldiers.

Davy “took his gun and fired on them, and they shot back,” explained Bastien. “So it was confusing.”

Jeff’s troops “thought they had been lured into a trap” by the Pier 6 gang, explained Aniston. Further enraged by their comrade’s death, Jeff’s soldiers “went into full attack mode,” according to the elder Lloyd’s account on the “Missions in Haiti” Facebook page, shooting out the windows of the house in a withering barrage of bullets.

Meanwhile, David Lloyd senior, who had left Haiti just the day before, was trying to negotiate with Jeff to call off the attack. “I was trying to buy [their passage] to leave. I said I’ll get your money in there… tomorrow. Just leave, stand down. We thought that was a process that was working. I was told that the shooting… had been ordered to be stopped… But later I found out that the shooting continued. So they either were not listening to Jeff, or Jeff never made the call for them to stand down.”

“That’s how… [the three missionaries] died accidentally,” Bastien concluded.

The mutilation of Davy and the burning of Montis may have resulted from the anger Jeff’s soldiers harbored after the death in their ranks and the long fire-fight, presumably with Davy and Montis, holed up in the Lloyd’s home.

“We had great respect from [Jeff’s] gang and were told that we didn’t have to worry about stuff,” the elder Lloyd ruefully told NewsNation.

Davy had grown up in Haiti and had been kidnapped in 2005 at the age of five by kidnappers disguised as police officers.

Grist for Intervention

The tragic killing has rocketed Haiti back into the headlines of mainstream media, fueling the calls for foreign military intervention.

“The administration of United States President Joe Biden has called for the rapid deployment of a Kenyan-led security force to Haiti following the killing of three missionaries working with a U.S. group in the violence-hit Caribbean country,” reported Al Jazeera on May 24.

Natalie was the daughter of Republican Missouri State Senator Ben Baker, who tweeted about receiving a call with condolences from Donald Trump.

Congressional Republicans have been blocking release of $300 million which the Biden administration wants to pay for the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission, which Kenyan troops putatively lead.

On May 23, President Biden held a much ballyhooed state dinner for Kenyan President William Ruto at the White House. The ceremony was supposed to be timed with an initial deployment of 200 Kenyan police into Haiti, but instead Ruto announced that the cops would not be sent to Haiti for another three weeks. Apparently, the base which U.S. contractors are building to house them is only 70% complete, and funding is still held up.

Meanwhile, in Washington on May 23, some Haitian expatriates organized a picket line to denounce the U.S.-organized troop deployment.

“Kenya’s government pledged 1,000 officers to lead an international security force last July, but the initiative has been tied up in court challenges and Kenya has asked to be paid up-front,” Reuters reported two month ago.

“Given the long history of U.S. involvement in Haiti with few successful results, the administration owes Congress a lot more details in a more timely manner before it gets more funding,” Republican congressional leaders said in a joint statement in March.

 

Posted June 9, 2024