Threat Level Raised

Nov 20, 2021

The threat level for Haiti has been raised to 5 (Very High) from 4 (High) to reflect the significantly deteriorating security environment in the country. Kidnapping for ransom operations increased in the capital Port-au-Prince — which has been the hot spot for abductions in Haiti — throughout the past year and kidnapping rates have also risen in other regions. Organized crime groups have become more indiscriminate in targeting their kidnapping victims, and are now prone to abduct locals, including religious leaders, aid workers, medical personnel and school children, as well as foreign nationals. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July and a major earthquake in August further wrested power from state security and emboldened gang leaders who operate with impunity. This was most recently evinced by the kidnapping of a Canadian and 16 U.S. nationals in October. Additionally, gangs have shown they have the ability to disrupt fuel supplies, causing notable shortages across the country as a tactic to put pressure on the government to resign. Haiti’s operating environment is likely to deteriorate further due to increasing political tensions and gang activity.

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