American, Daughter Kidnapped in Haiti

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 30, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
American, Daughter Kidnapped in Haiti
Journalists and relatives march for the release of the former president of the Permanent Electoral Council Pierre Louis Opon, who was kidnapped three weeks before, in the Petion-ville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 16.   (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

A woman from New Hampshire who works for a nonprofit organization in Haiti and her young daughter have been reported to be kidnapped as the US State Department issued a "do not travel advisory." US officials ordered nonemergency personnel to leave Haiti amid growing security concerns, the AP reports. Alix Dorsainvil, a nurse for El Roi Haiti, and her daughter were kidnapped on Thursday, the organization said in a statement Saturday. El Roi, which runs a school and ministry in Port au Prince, said the two were taken from campus. Dorsainvil is the wife of the program's director, Sandro Dorsainvil.

"Alix is a deeply compassionate and loving person who considers Haiti her home and the Haitian people her friends and family," Jason Brown, El Roi president and co-founder, said in the statement. "Alix has worked tirelessly as our school and community nurse to bring relief to those who are suffering as she loves and serves the people of Haiti in the name of Jesus." A State Department spokesperson said in a statement Saturday the agency is in contact with Haitian authorities on the matter "and will continue to work with them and our US government interagency partners."

In its advisory, the department said that "kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include US citizens." It said that kidnappings often involve ransom negotiations and that US citizen victims have been physically harmed, per the AP. Earlier this month, the National Human Rights Defense Network issued a report warning about an upsurge in killings and kidnappings, and the UN Security Council met to discuss Haiti's worsening situation. WMUR-TV reported that Dorsainvil is from Middleton, New Hampshire, and went to Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, which has a program to support nursing education in Haiti. "It doesn't surprise me that Alex chose to get involved in this type of service work," Regis College President Toni Hays told the station. "She was amazing."

(More Haiti stories.)

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