May 21, 2024

American Nurse and Son Kidnapped in Haiti, Aid Group Says

  • American nurse Alix Dorsainvil was kidnapped in Haiti on Thursday, El Roi Haiti said in a statement.
  • The U.S. Department of State evacuated all family members of government officials in Haiti.
  • U.S. citizens are typical targets of kidnappers in Haiti.

A nurse from New Hampshire and her son were kidnapped in Haiti near Port-Au-Prince, according to the humanitarian organization that employed the woman.

El Roi Haiti said in a statement that Alix Dorsainvil and her son were abducted from the organization’s campus while “serving in our community ministry.”

“We continue to work with our partners and trusted relationships to secure their safe return,” the statement says.

The organization called Dorsainvil a “deeply compassionate and loving person” and said she considered Haiti to be her home.

“Alix has worked tirelessly as our school and community nurse to bring relief to those who are suffering as she loves and serves the people of Haiti in the name of Jesus,” the statement says.

El Roi Haiti asked for privacy, and for nobody to attempt to contact Dossainvil’s family at this time. According to ABC News, Dorsainvil has lived in Haiti for several years and is married to El Roi Haiti’s director.

El Roi Haiti did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Sunday, but said it would update its website with news about Dorsainvil.

The organization also asked people to refrain from speculating on social media about Dorsainvil’s disappearance. 

Haiti is currently facing a humanitarian crisis with “staggering levels” of gender-based violence, the head of the U.N. children’s agency said Thursday.

Catherine Russell, the executive director of UNICEF, told the AP that Haiti’s police forces are not able to combat a surge of violent gangs.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory against Haiti on Thursday, advising all American citizens to not travel to the country in the wake of the kidnapping. According to the agency, mob killings against presumed criminals have been increasing since April 2023 and travelers are sometimes followed and from the Port-au-Prince airport and attacked.

The agency evacuated all family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees in Haiti on Thursday.

“Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens,” the agency said. “Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked.”

Remaining U.S. government personnel are forbidden from walking in Port-Au-Prince are not allowed to travel anywhere from 1:00 a.m to 5:00 a.m. or to visit banks and ATMs.

Some U.S. citizens have been injured during kidnappings and kidnappers typically demand ransom payments, with some families paying “thousands of dollars to rescue their family members,” the agency said

A U.S. State Department spokesperson told ABC that the agency is aware of reports that two U.S. citizens were kidnapped in Haiti.

“We are in regular contact with Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and our U.S. government interagency partners,” the spokesperson told the outlet.

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