US Nurse and Her Daughter Abducted in Haiti Released Unharmed and in Good Health, Confirms Aid Organization
A U.S. nurse and her daughter, who were abducted in Haiti in late July, have been safely released and are in good health, as confirmed by an aid organization on Thursday. The safe return brings temporary relief amidst growing concerns over rampant kidnappings in the region.
Safety Amidst Uncertainty
An outpouring of concern flooded in following the kidnapping of Alix Dorsainvil and her young daughter. Known for their brutal tactics, Haitian gangs often maltreat, and in some cases, sexually assault their captives, holding them hostage for extended periods and demanding recurrent ransoms. Such grim fates prompted fears for the well-being of the kidnapped pair. However, a statement by the Christian group El Roi Haiti, founded by Dorsainvil’s husband, assured the public of the duo’s safety, praising Dorsainvil’s resilience and unwavering faith.
The Role of Faith and Assistance
The organization expressed profound gratitude towards the U.S. authorities for their relentless efforts behind closed doors. Moreover, the invaluable contribution of a faith-based global security ministry was emphasized, which deployed consultants pivotal to the successful release of the kidnapped victims on August 8th. “God demonstrated His loving kindness through both private and public sector partners and resources who helped us navigate this crisis,” the organization proclaimed.
Details regarding the possible payment of a ransom remain undisclosed by both the group and U.S. officials.
Pierre Esperance, the National Human Rights Defense Network’s executive director in Haiti, revealed in a telephonic interview that ransoms can vary significantly. Gangs have been known to demand figures ranging from $1 million to as low as $10,000, and in some cases, they ask for multiple ransoms before releasing their captive. “The gangs are terrorists,” he remarked, mirroring the sentiments of numerous Haitians.
Grim Statistics and Pleas for Help
Between May and mid-July, a minimum of 40 kidnappings were recorded, capturing victims that include prominent journalists, security personnel, and political figures. Disturbingly, more than 530 kidnappings have occurred since the start of the year, as reported by a local nonprofit.
The U.S. State Department issued a stern warning to U.S. citizens on July 27, the day of Dorsainvil’s abduction, urging them to evacuate Haiti promptly. The caution stemmed from escalating security concerns, prompting the recall of non-emergency U.S. government staff. Currently, a “do not travel” advisory is in effect for the country.
Haiti’s crime rates have surged alarmingly, with over 1,600 reported incidents of killings, injuries, or kidnappings in the first three months of the year – a near 30% hike from the concluding trimester of 2022.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has repeatedly voiced his plea, first initiated in October, for the mobilization of an international armed contingent to counter the gangs that are believed to dominate as much as 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Kenya has expressed readiness to spearhead a multinational police initiative, and the U.S. intends to present a U.N. Security Council resolution to endorse this action.
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