State Dept. Issues Level 4 Do Not Travel Advisory for Haiti

The U.S. State Dept. today issued a Level 4, Do Not Travel advisory for Haiti, warning American citizens to stay away from the Caribbean country due to crime, civil unrest and kidnapping.

In its advisory, the State Dept. said violent crime, such as armed robbery and carjacking, is common. Kidnapping is widespread. Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities. Victims have included U.S. citizens.

Demonstrations, tire burning and roadblocks are frequent, unpredictable and can turn violent. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.

Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. The U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport. Robbers and carjackers have attacked private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women driving alone.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Haiti. U.S. government personnel are discouraged from walking in most neighborhoods.

The State Dept. has more information on its website.

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