Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Location:  Haiti

Events:  Given the recent armed clashes between gangs and the police and the high threat of violent crime and kidnapping throughout Port-au-Prince, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to make plans to depart Haitias soon as possiblevia commercial means. The most recent violent clashes have particularly affected the neighborhoods of Vivy Michel, Tabarre, TorcelTapage and Trutier.  The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti.  Please see information on What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis. 

Haiti has the highest (Level 4) Travel Advisory (“Do Not Travel”) for kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest.  The travel advisory for Haiti, available at, notes that kidnapping is widespread and victims regularly include U.S. citizens.Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.   

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens who travel to Haiti despite this warning to register their trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  STEP is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate so that we can provide important security and other information to the U.S. citizen community in Haiti. 

Actions to take:

  • Use extreme caution in traveling around the country;
  • Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people;
  • If you encounter a roadblock, turn around and get to a safe area;  
  • Make and practice contingency plans for sheltering in place and/or accessing airports; and
  • Review the guidance on travel to High Risk Areas.