Citing the current security situation and infrastructure challenges, the United States State Department has urged American citizens in Haiti to leave the Caribbean country as soon as possible.
“U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible via commercial or private transport,” the department said in a statement Wednesday.
The State Department first issued a ‘do not travel’ notice for Haiti in late July.
At the time, the department pointed to the risk of kidnappings and asked non-emergency embassy personnel to leave the country.
After the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, gang violence in Haiti has mushroomed, forcing over 100,000 people to flee their homes.
Over the weekend, a hail of gunfire from a powerful armed gang killed several religious people who marched into the gang’s territory, apparently believing the gangsters would not shoot.
Marcorel “Marco” Zidor, a pastor of the Evangelical Pool of Bethesda Church, led hundreds of church members on Saturday’s march to the outskirts of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.
Haiti Police Chief Frantz Elbé said the police tried unsuccessfully to stop the march, including dissuading the organisers and setting up a security pyramid to block marchers from their destination.
But he said the marchers broke up into several groups.
According to the United Nations, gangs in Haiti have killed over 2,400 people since January and kidnapped almost one thousand