The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning Wednesday urging U.S. citizens to take precaution when traveling to Haiti because of “weak emergency response infrastructure” and potential robberies at the airport and banks.
“Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Haiti each year, but the poor state of Haiti’s emergency response network should be carefully considered when planning travel,” the State Department said. Visitors are encouraged to purchase evacuation insurance.
The State Department also urged travelers to remain “aware of the possibility of robbery, especially in the Port-au-Prince area and in particular soon after leaving the airport.” From May 2014 to October 2014 there were 64 reported cases “of U.S. citizens being robbed shortly after departing the airport.”
In all the cases, the victims were U.S. citizens of Haitian descent visiting family and friends.
Local authorities have also observed a spike in robbery crews surveilling banks to rob customers.