Uncertainty Lingers Over Kidnapped US Nurse and Daughter in Haiti

by Joshua Brown
Kidnapping in Haiti

The whereabouts of a U.S. nurse and her daughter kidnapped in Haiti the previous week remain unknown, with the U.S. State Department giving no information on possible demands made by the kidnappers.

On Monday, approximately 200 Haitians protested in the capital city, voicing their frustration over an incident that exemplifies the escalating gang violence in large parts of Port-au-Prince.

Alix Dorsainvil, a New Hampshire resident who was employed with El Roi Haiti, a Christian nonprofit organization, and her daughter were abducted last Thursday. Dorsainvil is the spouse of the organization’s founder, Sandro Dorsainvil.

Eyewitnesses informed The Big Big News that Dorsainvil was at the small brick clinic when the assailants stormed in and abducted her. A patient named Lormina Louima, who was awaiting her check-up, said a man brandished a gun and instructed her to calm down.

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“I was terrified when I saw the gun,” Louima recalled. “I told them, ‘I don’t want to see this, let me go.'”

Community members claimed that the unidentified culprits demanded a $1 million ransom, a typical tactic of the gangs terrorizing and murdering Haiti’s poverty-stricken citizens. The local nonprofit Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights reports hundreds of kidnappings in the country this year alone.

The same day Dorsainvil and her daughter were kidnapped, the U.S. State Department warned Americans against traveling to Haiti, and ordered nonemergency personnel to depart due to the prevalent kidnappings often aimed at U.S. citizens.

The escalating violence has sparked outrage among Haitians, who desire nothing more than peace.

The protest consisted mostly of people from the vicinity of El Roi Haiti’s facilities, which include a medical clinic, a school, and more. They echoed the call for peace as they paraded through the scorching streets, carrying cardboard signs with Creole inscriptions painted in red.

One sign read: “She is doing good work in the community, free her.”

Jean Ronald, a local resident, praised the impact El Roi Haiti has had on the community.

In regions where law and order are lacking, these organizations often represent the only institutions, but escalating violence has caused many to close their doors, leaving thousands of vulnerable families without access to basic services like healthcare or education.

Doctors Without Borders announced earlier this month it was suspending services at one of its hospitals after about 20 armed men invaded an operating room and kidnapped a patient.

The area around the clinic where Dorsainvil was working was eerily quiet as protesters marched through. With the clinic’s doors shut and its small brick building vacant, Ronald and others feared that the recent kidnapping might result in the clinic’s permanent closure.

“If they leave, everything (the aid group’s programs) will shut down,” Ronald expressed his fear. “We don’t have the money they are demanding.”

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declined to reveal if any demands had been made by the kidnappers or answer other inquiries on Monday.

“The safety and security of American citizens overseas is our utmost priority. We maintain regular contact with Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and our US government interagency partners. However, due to the ongoing law enforcement investigation, I can’t provide further details,” Miller stated on Monday.

On El Roi Haiti’s website, Alix Dorsainvil is seen in a video describing Haitians as “joyful, lively, and loving” individuals whom she feels blessed to know.

Dorsainvil is a graduate of Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, an institution known for supporting nursing education in Haiti. Dorsainvil’s father, Steven Comeau, was unable to comment when reached in New Hampshire.

In a blog post on Monday, El Roi Haiti mentioned that Alix Dorsainvil fell in love with the Haitian people during a visit after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. The organization is currently working with authorities in both countries to secure her and her daughter’s release.

The post ended with: “Please continue to pray with us for the protection and freedom of Alix and her daughter. As our hearts break for this situation, we also continue to pray for the country and people of Haiti and for freedom from the suffering they endure daily.”

This report includes contributions from AP journalists Megan Janetsky in Mexico City and Pierre Richard Luxama in Port-au-Prince.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Kidnapping in Haiti

Who are the kidnapped individuals in Haiti?

The kidnapped individuals are an American nurse named Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter. Alix was working with a Christian nonprofit organization called El Roi Haiti when the incident occurred.

Who is responsible for the kidnapping?

The identities of the kidnappers are currently unknown, but the act is consistent with the recent surge of gang violence and kidnappings in Haiti.

Have the kidnappers made any demands?

While the U.S. State Department has not confirmed any specific demands, community members have suggested that the abductors demanded a $1 million ransom.

What is the current state of violence in Haiti?

The level of violence, particularly gang violence, has been escalating in Haiti. Hundreds of kidnappings have been reported this year alone, a situation which has led to widespread fear and protests.

What is the response of the local community to the kidnapping?

Approximately 200 Haitians marched in protest in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, voicing their anger and frustration over the kidnapping. The local community around El Roi Haiti’s facilities, including patients and students, have also joined the demonstrations.

How has the kidnapping affected the operation of aid groups in Haiti?

The rising violence and frequent kidnappings are causing many aid groups, like Doctors Without Borders and possibly El Roi Haiti, to suspend their operations. This could leave thousands of vulnerable families without access to basic services such as healthcare and education.

What has been the U.S. State Department’s response to the situation?

The U.S. State Department has not revealed specific details about the case, citing that it is an ongoing law enforcement investigation. They have reiterated that the safety and security of American citizens overseas is their highest priority, and they are in regular contact with Haitian authorities.

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GoodSamaritan78 August 1, 2023 - 6:21 pm

Alix, God will protect you… Keep faith, we’re all praying for you. we need more people like u in the world!

Johny212 August 1, 2023 - 6:23 pm

haiti is in a real mess…wish the international community could intervene more effectively.

SteveP August 1, 2023 - 6:49 pm

Man, this is crazy… can’t believe such things still happening! We gotta do somthin!

Missy_H August 1, 2023 - 7:20 pm

Praying for Alix and her daughter. hoping they will be back safe and sound soon.

HumbleBee August 1, 2023 - 11:37 pm

its a dangerous world we live in…makes u grateful for what you’ve got

Care4All August 2, 2023 - 12:05 am

I wonder what else needs to happen before the world takes notice… it’s just heartbreaking.


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