Issued by US Department of State
Jun 01, 2004
This Travel Warning is being issued to inform American citizens that the security situation in Haiti remains unpredictable and potentially dangerous, despite progress on a peaceful political process and the presence of foreign security forces operating under a United Nations mandate. U.S. citizens are advised to defer travel to Haiti until the situation stabilizes. U.S. citizens who remain in Haiti should take precautions to avoid the uncertain security situation in public areas. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued March 11, 2004.
In February 2004, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince and this status remains in effect though many who work in the Embassy have returned to Haiti. Although major commercial air carriers have resumed their operations into and out of Haiti, the Department warns U.S. citizens that travel into and around Haiti can still involve serious risks. The situation regarding the land border with the Dominican Republic is unclear, and the border is sometimes closed. U.S. citizens who remain in Haiti should take precautions to avoid the uncertain security situation in public areas. Americans are advised of the absence of an effective police force in many parts of Haiti and the potential for looting, roadblocks set by armed gangs, and violent crime. The U.S. Embassy has imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to
6:00 a.m. on its remaining staff until further notice. The curfew hours may change. A number of kidnappings for ransom have been reported during recent weeks. In some cases U.S. citizens were victims.
Many international organizations drew down their staffs earlier this year. Some have returned to Haiti, but the international civilian presence throughout Haiti remains limited. American citizens should be aware that the U.S. Embassy has severely limited travel by its staff outside of Port-au-Prince, although sometimes travel has been permitted with extra security in place. Even within Port-au-Prince, travel can be hazardous. The Embassy's ability to provide emergency services to American Citizens anywhere in Haiti and particularly outside of Port-Au-Prince is extremely limited.
The U.S. Embassy has reopened but is working with less than full staffing. The Consular Section is providing routine and emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Haiti. The Embassy was closed several times during recent months due to civil unrest and may need to close again temporarily to assess its security posture. The Embassy has directed that persons associated with the Embassy should remain in their homes during the hours covered by the curfew.
American citizens who travel to or remain in Haiti, despite this Travel Warning, should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and are strongly advised to register at 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Travelers should also consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Haiti and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling
1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States or Canada or 1-317-472-2328 from overseas.