Italian kidnapping victim released in Haiti after ransom is paid
- From: "Jules" <joolio11@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 22:48:09 -0400
By Myrna Domit
5:52 p.m. August 11, 2006
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - An Italian woman kidnapped in Haiti said Friday that
she was held for nearly four days in a dark corridor - blindfolded with her
hands and feet tied - until her family secured her release by paying a
ransom. She was also briefly kidnapped last year.
Gigliolla Martino, 67, said the kidnappers broke into her house Monday and
savagely beat her 82-year-old husband and seized her.
She said she only learned Friday after her release that he had died from his
The armed men who ransacked the couple's villa in Petionville, an upscale
suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince, took Martino to a building where she
was fed only cookies and a bottle of fruit juice, she said.
She said she spoke to her family by telephone twice and pleaded for help.
Her family negotiated the ransom payment, which she would not disclose.
Late Thursday night, the kidnappers released Martino, leaving her shoeless
in a supermarket, she said in the interview at her sister's Petionville
Martino runs a cleaning business in Haiti, where she has lived for three
decades with her husband, Guido Vitiello, and two children. She was briefly
abducted last year also and released unharmed.
Haiti experienced relative calm after President Rene Preval's February
election. Since May, however, dozens of foreigners and Haitians have been
kidnapped, and gang fighting has forced hundreds to flee their homes in the
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