BY STAFF REPORT
The U.S. State Department has urged Americans visiting Haiti to be cautious, saying there has been an increase in incidents of murder, robbery and kidnappings in the Caribbean country.
The advisory seems to be more strongly worded this time than the one issued in the month of June last year, the Associated Press reports.
“U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, predominantly in the Port-au-Prince area. No one is safe from kidnapping, regardless of occupation, nationality, race, gender, or age,” says a statement posted on the department’s website.
The incidents of cholera have been reduced considerably but medical facilities in the country are too poorly equipped or understaffed to deal with the crisis, the statement noted.
In recent months, travelers arriving in Port-au-Prince on flights from the United States were attacked and robbed shortly after departing the airport. At least two US citizens were shot and killed in robbery and kidnapping incidents in 2012.
The department said local authorities have little resources and are unable to carry out rescue missions in areas outside of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Haiti each year. Therefore, the Department has asked travelers to choose right organizations that have solid infrastructure, evacuation, and medical support options in place.
Haitian authorities, according to US government, have limited capacity to deter or investigate violent acts, or prosecute perpetrators.