Warden Message No. 149
Haiti Kidnapping Update
U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince issued the following Warden Message on June 30, 2011:
The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is issuing this Warden Message to remind U.S. citizens that kidnappings continue to pose a threat in Haiti. Seven U.S. citizens have been reported kidnapped in Haiti thus far in 2011 – an increase over the same period in 2010. Kidnappers generally make no distinctions of nationality, race, gender, or age. Some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A KIDNAPPING
The kidnapping of a U.S. citizen should be reported IMMEDIATELY to both the Haitian National Police’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit (HNP/AKU) and to the U.S. Embassy. The HNP/AKU is located at the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) and can be reached at: 250-3630. The Embassy’s American Citizens Services unit can be reached at (509) 2229-8000 during normal working hours. After hours, on weekends and holidays, Embassy’s Duty Officer can be reached at (509) 2229-8000.
The HNP/AKU with the assistance of international law enforcement authorities has proved very effective in investigating and resolving cases of kidnappings of U.S. citizens. It is strongly advised that the victim’s family designate a trusted family member or friend to act as a “Third Party Intermediary” or TPI to communicate with the kidnappers. The HNP/AKU is expert in advising the TPI in how to deal with the kidnappers. Families are strongly advised to take advantage of HNP/AKU’s assistance. Families should have several phone lines available and should not/not make any offers to the kidnappers until directed to do so by law enforcement authorities.
AVOID BEING AN EASY KIDNAPPING TARGET
Recent kidnappings have included home invasions. U.S. citizens are advised to review security precautions for their homes and businesses. Most kidnappings appear to be well planned and based on extensive knowledge about the victim’s habits and routines. U.S. citizens should avoid providing information about their travel plans, daily routines, financial transactions, and other personal details to anyone without a specific need to know. As always, they should try to vary their daily routines and be aware of their surroundings.
Criminal perpetrators often operate in groups of two to four individuals, and may be gratuitously violent. Criminals have seriously injured or killed victims who resisted their attempts to commit crime.
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and requests that they pass this Warden Message to any U.S. citizens in Haiti who may not have received it. U.S. citizens are advised to register with the U.S. Embassy. This can be done on line at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.
Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Embassy’s website the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ websitewww.travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad," found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html, which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
Remember also that there are two additional forums to augment the Embassy’s consular web pages and provide convenient new ways for U.S. citizens to stay informed about conditions in Haiti and about the services provided by the Embassy’s American Citizen Service’s (ACS) unit. The ACS Facebook page – called American Citizen Services – U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti - can be found by searching for the ACS e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org on www.facebook.com. The ACS Twitter feed is available at www.twitter.com under the name ACSPAP. These two additional outreach methods will enable U.S. citizens to interact more directly with the ACS unit and receive up-to-the-minute information about ACS services and information about Haiti.
For emergencies involving American citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located at Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Tabarre 41, Tabarre, Haiti; telephone (509) 2-229-8000; after hours emergency telephone (509) 2-229-8000; ACS Unit fax (509) 2-229-8027; and e-mail at email@example.com.
American Citizen Services Unit (ACS)
U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince
Blvd 15 Octobre, Tabarre 41