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Haiti Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. State Department

Feb 05, 2001

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Haiti due to the unstable security situation throughout the country. The Department authorized the departure of family members of U.S. Government personnel on November 17 from Haiti. If they have not done so already, U.S. citizens in Haiti should establish and maintain contact with the Embassy and consider their own personal security situations in determining whether to remain in the country.

The security situation in Haiti continues to be volatile and unpredictable. The Presidential inauguration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, slated for February 7, 2001, has the potential to spark violent demonstrations and individual acts of violence. The Haitian government has failed to contain certain violent and dangerous incidents, including bombings in public areas, politically-motivated killings, indiscriminate gunfire directed at pedestrians in Port-au-Prince, and incidents directed at diplomatic facilities and vehicles.

Crowd behavior is unpredictable, and violence can flare up at any time, so American citizens are warned to avoid political gatherings and demonstrations. Travelers encountering roadblocks, demonstrations, or large crowds should remain calm and depart the area quickly and without confrontation. Assistance from Haitian officials, such as the police, should not be expected during public political events.

In addition to civil and political unrest, violent crime is on the rise throughout the country. The state of law and order is of increasing concern, with reports of armed robberies and break-ins, murders and car hijackings becoming more frequent. The limited response and enforcement capabilities of the Haitian National Police and the judiciary mean there is little relief for victims of crime.

This replaces the Travel Warning dated November 17, 2000, to update events and to add the threat of bombings in public areas. For further information, please see the Department of State's current Consular Information Sheet for Haiti, available at the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Internet web site: http://travel.state.gov.

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