This Caribbean Nation Is Now Under an Urgent 'Do Not Travel' Warning
The State Department is strongly urging against travel here right now.
If you're planning to travel to Haiti in the near future, the US Department of State is strongly encouraging not to do so at the moment.
The agency has just issued a Level 4 travel advisory for the country, which officially labels it as a "do not travel" zone. The reasons behind this are many, including the threat of kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor healthcare infrastructure.
The situation is serious enough that on July 27, US authorities ordered that all family members of US government employees and non-emergency US government employees left the country and headed back to the US. Additionally, all US citizens that are currently in Haiti are strongly encouraged to depart as soon as possible by any commercial or privately available transportation means, and they should do that when it's considered safe.
Following recent events, the first major concern is that of kidnapping. Yesterday, an American nurse and her child were kidnapped while serving their community ministry in Haiti, and US authorities are currently working with local authorities as well as government interagency partners on the issue, CNN reports.
"Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include US citizens," reads the federal advisory. "Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked. Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and US citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Victim's families have paid thousands of dollars to rescue their family members."
Authorities are also warning citizens about the presence of violent crime in the country. "Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport," reads the advisory. "Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women."
For more information, you can read the complete advisory right here.