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U.S. Nurse and Her Child Abducted in Haiti as Island Nation Fears Gang Rule

By Mara Lafontaine · July 31, 2023

In brief…

  • New Hampshire nurse Alix Dorsainviland her child were abducted in Haiti.
  • The kidnapping occurred on the grounds of a Christian humanitarian organization where Dorsainviland worked.
  • The U.S. Department of State issued a "do not travel" warning on the same day as the abduction.
  • Gangs now control more than half of Haiti's territory, leaving citizens living in fear.
  • Advocates acknowledge the nation needs help but are skeptical of outside interventions from the U.S. and UN given their past failed efforts.
New Hampshirt nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her child were abducted in Haiti last week.  Elroi Haiti

New Hampshire nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her small child were abducted from the grounds of a Christian humanitarian organization near Port au Prince, Haiti, where Dorsainvil worked. Sandro Dorsainvil, director of the organization, El Roi Haiti, is Alix’s husband and father of the abducted child.

A post on the organization’s website reads: “We can confirm that Alix Dorsainvil, our Director’s wife, and their child were kidnapped on the morning of Thursday, July 27th, from our campus near Port au Prince while serving in our community ministry.” 

travel advisory, issued by the U.S. Department of State on the day of the abduction, said, “Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens. Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities… Armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom that include U.S. citizens, are common.”

Gangs now control more than half of Haiti’s territory, as PBS reports, while crowds of Haitian citizens have been camping out at the U.S. embassy fearing for their lives.

Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Garry Pierre-Pierre, founder and publisher of The Haitian Times, said Haitians “want help. And that help cannot be done through diplomacy because they are being abused. They are being raped. They are being killed by these gangs… The police are inept… The gang leaders have better weapons than the police.”

Pierre-Pierre noted that the two interventions in Haiti since 1994, one by the U.S. and another by the U.N., “haven’t gone very well,’ adding, “Right now, a lot of people are skittish and nervous about what to do, because no one wants to have another failed intervention… We just cannot have a repeat of the same old, same old again given that legacy… Are we going to be back ten years later to try to again pacify the situation? No one wants that.”