An American nurse and her infant daughter have been kidnapped at gunpoint from a Christian education ministry in the troubled Caribbean nation of Haiti. Alix Dorsainvil worked for the El Roi Haiti ministry which was founded by her Haitian husband and director Sandro in the capital Port-au-Prince.
The ministry described her as a deeply compassionate and loving person who considers Haiti her home and the Haitian people her friends and family. It said she had worked tirelessly as the school and community nurse to bring relief to those who are suffering.
The Christian Post reports the US State Department has urged all Americans to leave Haiti as soon as possible. It cited the increasing dangers of kidnapping, crime and civil unrest. Heavily armed gangs control much of the island and frequently kidnap locals and foreigners for ransom.
Earlier this week, hundreds of Haitians marched through the gang-ravaged zone surrounding Ms. Dorsianvil’s clinic and chanted ‘Freedom” as they vented their anger over the abduction. They waved cardboard signs demanding her release with one reading: “She is doing good work in the community, free her.”
Witnesses told The Associated Press (AP) that the nurse was working in the small brick clinic when a group of armed men burst in and seized her at gunpoint. They said the unidentified men asked for A$1.5 million in ransom.
Locals said the community had significantly benefitted from the care provided by El Roi Haiti. They now fear it won’t reopen. Earlier this month, Doctors Without Borders suspended services in one of its hospitals after 20 armed men burst into an operating room and snatched a patient. Other aid groups have been forced to shut down operations because of the violence, leaving thousands of vulnerable families without access to healthcare or education. “The money they are asking for, we don’t have it. If they leave, everything (the aid group’s programs) will shut down,” one worried Haitian told AP.
A US State Department spokesman refused to say if there had been ransom demands, but stated: “We are in regular contact with the Haitian authorities. We’ll continue to work with them and our US government interagency partners, but because it’s an ongoing law enforcement investigation, there’s not more detail I can offer.”
In a video for the El Roi Haiti website, Alix Dorsainvil described Haitians as “resilient people. They’re full of joy, and life and love. I’m so blessed to know so many amazing Haitians.” Her former school, the Cornerstone Christian Academy in New Hampshire posted on social media: “Pray that God would keep her safe, be with her through this trial, and deliver her from her captors.”