Haiti: Dept of State Travel Warning

March 11, 2005

The U.S. Department of State has issued the following travel warning for Haiti.

This Travel Warning is being issued to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Haiti due to the volatile security situation, even though the authorized departure for non-emergency personnel and family members of U.S. Embassy personnel has been lifted. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued October 14, 2004.

Americans are reminded of the potential for spontaneous demonstrations and violent confrontations between armed groups. Visitors and residents must remain vigilant due to the absence of an effective police force in much of Haiti; the potential for looting; the presence of intermittent roadblocks set by armed gangs or by the police; and the possibility of random violent crime, including kidnapping, car-jacking, and assault.

Travel can be hazardous within Port-au-Prince. Some areas are off-limits to embassy staff, including downtown Port-au-Prince after dark. The embassy has imposed a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., which could change periodically. Staff members must remain in their homes or in U.S. government facilities during the hours covered by the curfew. The embassy has limited travel by its staff outside of Port-au-Prince and the ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Port-Au-Prince remains extremely limited. U.S. businesses continue to operate in Haiti, but take special precautions to protect their facilities and personnel. The UN stabilization force (MINUSTAH) is fully deployed and is assisting the government of Haiti in providing security. They have challenged violent gangs and have moved into some gang enclaves.

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Haiti despite this Travel Warning must remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and are strongly advised to register either online or come to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information on travel and security in Haiti. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy can be reached at (509) 223-7011, the fax number is (509) 223-9665 and the e-mail address is acspap@state.gov. Travelers should also consult the Department of State’s latest Consular Information Sheet for Haiti and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement.

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