International News

U.S. Nurse and Her Child Freed by Abductors in Haiti

Alix Dorsainvil has been returned and is now safe after being kidnapped with her daughter on July 27 in Haiti. She is shown here in this photo with her husband Sandro Dorsainvil from the website of the nonprofit for which she works as a nurse — El Roi Haiti. (Photo: El Roi Haiti)

by The Tablet Staff

Kidnappers in Haiti released an American nurse and her daughter nearly two weeks after they were abducted at gunpoint in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Alix Dorsainvil from New Hampshire was working as the community nurse for El Roi Haiti, a humanitarian Christian ministry, when she and her child were abducted from their campus on July 27. She is the wife of the group’s founder, Sandro Dorsainvil. They were released on Aug. 8, according to a statement by El Roi Haiti on Aug. 10.

“Sandro’s and Alix’s impact in the community was reflected in the people’s response to Alix’s kidnapping as thousands of Haitians united their voices and risked their lives to march for the release of Alix and her child. To the many people and communities in Haiti that expressed support for Alix and her daughter during this time, we want to say thank you for the courage you’ve shown in the midst of your own challenges,” the statement said. 

The U.S. State Department further confirmed Dorsainvil’s safe return to the New York Times

It is mostly women and children who are forcefully taken by armed groups, according to UNICEF. In the first six months of this year, there have been nearly 300 confirmed kidnappings in Haiti, which is nearly the total number of total cases registered in 2022. Kidnappings for ransom are perpetrated by rival gangs in Haiti, with political corruption feeding into the country’s lawlessness. 

Though it is mainly Haitian citizens who are involved in these kidnappings, at least 51 foreigners have been abducted from January to July of this year, according to a report by the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights.

“The growing trend in kidnappings and abductions is extremely worrisome, threatening both the people of Haiti and those who have come to help,”  Garry Conille, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in a statement.

As of publication, Dorsainvil and her child have not made a statement regarding their well-being since their release.

“We could not be more thankful for the safety of our dear sister, friend, and staff member,” the Aug. 10 statement from El Roi Haiti said. “Alix is a remarkably resilient woman whose walk with God guides her deep love for her family and her passionate commitment to the Haitian people.