An American nurse and her young child were kidnapped in Haiti on Thursday morning, the faith-based organisation her husband runs said, amid the Caribbean nation’s worsening crisis of horrific gang violence.
New Hampshire nurse Alix Dorsainvil and the child, who was not named, were abducted from a Christian campus near Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, while conducting community ministry services, according to El Roi Haiti.
“We are aware of reports of the kidnapping of two US citizens in Haiti,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are in regular contact with Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and our US government interagency partners.”
According to El Roi Haiti’s website, Ms Dorsainvil worked as a nurse in New Hampshire before making the permanent move to Haiti to serve as the organisation’s community nurse.
The organisation runs a K-12 school for Haitian kids as well as other services.
Ms Dorsainvil is married to El Roi Haiti’s founder and director Sandro Dorsainvil, whom she shares a child with.
“Alix is a deeply compassionate and loving person who considers Haiti her home and the Haitian people her friends and family,” the organisation said in a statement to its website.
The organisation said Ms Dorsainvil and her child were kidnapped on the morning of July 27 while “serving in our community ministry”.
The reported kidnappings came on the same day the US ordered non-emergency government personnel and family members to leave Haiti as soon as possible, citing “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure”.
The State Department warned that abductions have increasingly become widespread throughout the Caribbean country, with victims regularly including Americans.
“Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked,” a travel advisory stated.
Haiti has struggled to contain violence and chaos as heavily armed gangs drive a humanitarian crisis that has displaced tens of thousands amid frequent kidnappings for ransom, gang rapes, tortures and murders.
The United Nations warns that insecurity in the Haitian capital, where Ms Dorsainvil was kidnapped, has reached levels similar to countries at war.
Earlier this year, harrowing, graphic footage emerged from the country showing corpses lying on concrete being attacked as the country descends into “lawless” anarchy.
In a move to assert control over the people of Haiti, the gangs have resorted to extreme violence against the public and those they view as their chief threat — the police.
They use kidnapping as both a top-earner and to perpetuate an ever-escalating situation of terror for Haitian citizens.
The gangs have reportedly begun sending letters containing a threatening bullet, or even breaking into people’s homes to demand exorbitant funds — and when families or individuals can’t pay up, they resort to torture, burnings and murder, often in front of family members.
The violence and targeted killings of authorities has resulted in a near complete loss of the police force in Port-au-Prince.
— with Post wires, AFP and Fox News
This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission