The American nurse who was kidnapped in Haiti last week along with her young daughter was seized by gunmen who stormed the small clinic she was working in and demanded $1 million in ransom, according to witnesses.
“When I saw the gun, I was so scared,” patient Lormina Louima said of the moment Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter were abducted from a brick clinic run by the Christian ministry El Roi Haiti near Port-au-Prince on Thursday.
One of the armed men, Louima continued, told her to relax.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to see this, let me go,’” she recalled.
Some members of the community claimed that the unidentified kidnappers asked for $1 million in ransom, a standard practice of the area’s violent gangs.
As of Tuesday morning, however, the US State Department declined to confirm whether the abductors made demands.
“Obviously, the safety and security of American citizens overseas is our highest priority,” spokesperson Matthew Miller said Monday.
“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.”
The Haitian National Police “is working on it,” Jean-Junior Joseph, a senior adviser to Haiti’s prime minister, told USA Today via WhatsApp.
Dorsainvil, of New Hampshire, is married to El Roi Haiti’s founder and director, Sandro Dorsainvil. The name and age of her daughter were not initially revealed.
On Monday, about 200 Haitians marched on Port-au-Prince to chastise the government for the ongoing violence and call for the release of Dorsainvil and her daughter.
“She is doing good work in the community, free her,” read one protester’s sign.
Resident Jean Ronald said the area has benefited from the care provided by El Roi Haiti, whose services include the stormed medical clinic as well as a school.
The organization is one of the few that has remained in the community as others capitulated to deepening violence, often leaving families in need without access to health care or education.
As of Monday, the clinic where Dorsainvil and her daughter were kidnapped remained shut down.
“If they leave, everything [the aid group’s programs] will shut down,” Ronald explained.
“The money [the kidnappers] are asking for, we don’t have it.”
On the day Dorsainvil and her daughter were taken, the State Department warned Americans not to travel to Haiti due to “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.”
Non-emergency personnel were also urged to leave the country due to looming abduction threats targeting US citizens.
The announcement came a few weeks after Doctors Without Borders suspended services at one of its hospitals after 20 armed men stormed an operating room and kidnapped a patient.
In a blog post on Monday, the organization said the nurse had been on staff since 2020.
The Regis College graduate first visited the country in 2010 following the devastating earthquake that year and subsequently fell in love with the people and culture, the post read.
In a video on the El Roi Haiti website, Dorsainvil describes Haitians as “full of joy, and life and love.”
“Please continue to pray with us for the protection and freedom of Alix and her daughter. As our hearts break for this situation, we also continue to pray for the country and people of Haiti and for freedom from the suffering they endure daily,” the latest El Roi Haiti post urged.
Earlier this year, Jean-Dickens and Abigail Michael Toussaint, of Florida, were kidnapped by a gang from a public bus en route to Leogane.
They were held in one room for weeks, they later told NewsNation, and were guarded by captors with “military-style” weapons.
The kidnappers demanded $200,000 as ransom before the FBI and State Department negotiated their release.
Source: NEW YORK POST