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Haiti | Kidnappings on the rise due to worsening security and fuel crisis

On October 12, a Transport et Construction SA company employee was reportedly kidnapped by unidentified armed suspects in Pernier, Port-au-Prince. The kidnapping is believed to have been carried out by the same group involved in a police operation a day earlier, when the police killed 4 of their members in the same area.

 

Kidnappings are very common in Haiti but they have been on the rise due to the worsening security situation and the current fuel crisis across the country. Until now, armed gangs used to collect a passing-through de-facto tax to allow drivers to pass, but new incidents where the criminals kidnap the drivers or steal the entire cargo are turning more frequent.

 

On October 6, 2 fuel tanker trucks were hijacked on a road near the Varreux maritime terminal after they entered into Haiti from Dominican Republic from the Jimaní border post. 3 truck drivers were kidnapped near Fond Parisién, Ganthier. 2 drivers were later released following an intervention by the Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince, while a third one managed to escape a few hours later.

 

At the moment, there are no indicators that suggest an improvement in the security situation in the crime-torn country. In June, the Department of State elevated travel security risk to level 4 (do not travel) for Haiti. The US Embassy warned about civil unrest, kidnapping, COVID-19 spread, poor public health system, criminality, weak security institutions, and violence. The authority also recommended all nationals leave the country.

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