Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes. This is very dangerous country. We get weekly warmings about shootings. The roads are very dangerous. Local staff are robbed and live in very dangerous situations, or have to go through bad areas to get to work. Americans live on compounds very close to the Embassy and are reasonably safe, though bullets have been found on the compound. There is also the threat of robberies leaving the airport, so all staff have expediters and motorpool from the airport. This is a 25% danger pay post, with no children under 18 years, so I recommend anyone coming here really think about their personal risk tolerance and how potential insecurity along with a lot of work will affect them. - Aug 2019

Crime is very high. Political unrest can occur at any time. And the situation on any given day can be subject to quick and radical change. - Jun 2019

Violent crime is on the rise in Haiti; I have heard that unfortunately it has touched some of our local staff. - Aug 2018

Yes, there are restrictions on activities and movement for a reason. Pay attention at your in-brief and follow the rules, situational awareness is important. That said, day to day I generally feel pretty safe. Driving seems to be the biggest risk. - Apr 2017

Cite Soleil is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world. Along with other parts of Haiti such as Carfour, the American Embassy staff are not allowed to travel to without an armed escort. - Dec 2016

This is a critical crime post. Typically, mission employees are safe as long as they use common sense. Your iPhone can make you a target for robbery and you could have your purse snatched. Heed travel warnings and avoid routes where there are demonstrations and you are fine. Haitians are pretty nonviolent. They have real problems and we are probably the least of their concerns. We don't have any business in the slums and they are red zones for us anyway. Some people would have you believe that you are unsafe walking anywhere on foot here. I am more afraid of the South side of Chicago these days than walking two blocks from my car to a restaurant in Petionville. - Sep 2014

Yes. We get danger pay here. Embassy staff have a curfew from 1 - 5am, and our travel is restricted, with "yellow zones" and "red zones" where an armored vehicle and/or armed guards must be used, and we must give notice if/when we plan to leave the area or transit through one of these neighborhoods. But concerns are valid. I know many officers who have been robbed (mostly folks on one of their first assignments, but not always). E.g. at one recent concert at the concert venue near the Embassy, three separate persons were robbed, iPhones mostly. At another event, one person's wallet, phone, and gold necklace were stolen. Another officer's purse was taken while she was talking with someone in a safe area of Petionville - moto drove by and took it. I know of several car break-ins too, but in one case a suitcase was in the back of the vehicle and though it had tinted windows, a window was broken and the suitcase was stolen. We are directed not to leave anything in a parked car, so this was not really a surprise. Someone else also drove with window down (against recommendations) and someone with gun tried to steal their phone. There are recent reports of gangs of people trying to stop travellers in S Haiti near Petit Goave and search vehicles, steal items. This may end up restricting our ability to travel there if more incidents are reported. Americans are occasionally kidnapped, but do not seem to be specifically targeted. Read the State Department's travel warnings, which are updated periodically and seem to be accurate. - Sep 2013

This is a critical threat post. You're not allowed to walk outside on the sidewalk, not allowed to wander through local markets to shop, not allowed to drive into certain parts of town (unless in an armored vehicle w/an armed guard and follow car). There is a curfew in effect. If you're the type to feel trapped, this is not the post for you. Oh, but the danger pay is only 5%, so don't be fooled by the low allowance. Management says, "Oh it's safe, go enjoy yourself." But then other people at the embassy say, "NO! It's dangerous, don't do this, don't do that." Then the riots happen and you're locked down. Or high profile local Americans go and get themselves kidnapped. Two days later, you're driving around town with an all okay signal from the powers that be, but what's really changed? Nothing. It's a racket, and you begin to doubt yourself, your own judgment, and then you become cynical and paranoid. - Sep 2011

Crime is fairly rampant owing to the abject poverty in which much of the country lives. Kidnappings have increased significantly, with several resulting in murders. A curfew is observed by U.S. Embassy employees. This is definitely not a place where you want to be out until all hours of the morning. - Jan 2011

I hear a lot of people inside Port au Prince, Haiti that have told me they don't think the UN are helping the people. I spoke with a lot of journalist who were covering various stories on the humanity to politics and they each agree that UN are not helping but stopping the people in Cite Soleil from any outside resource's. - Jan 2010

Well, most expats are under pretty strict guidance, and for fair reasons. But security is improving now, for the better part of the year. - May 2009

If you're very careful you'll be ok but there are many: Off limits areas, curfews, armored vehicles to and from work. Guards at every house. Kidnappings remain common and include U.S. citizens. An American School teacher was kidnapped from her car one early evening some weeks ago by four armed men and taken away and raped. She didn't manage to escape, and she was let go the following morning. A similar incident happened to an American School teacher about two years prior but most people didn't know as security incidents and statistics aren't reported to Embassy employees. - Feb 2009

Yes, but not as bad as what people think. - Dec 2008

Yes, there are areas you can't go to and curfew times as a result to kidnapping concerns. All homes have guards but, since the guards often sleep on the job, you must definitely take an active role in your home security - always lock down and alarm up. - Feb 2008

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