U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Haiti despite this warning are reminded that there also is persistent danger of violent crime, especially kidnappings. Most kidnappings are criminal in nature, and the kidnappers make no distinctions of nationality, race, gender, or age. The incidence of kidnapping in Haiti has diminished from its peak in 2006 when 60 Americans were reported kidnapped. As of July 2009, one American had been reported kidnapped this year. In 2008, 27 Americans were reported kidnapped. Most of the Americans were abducted in Haiti's two largest cities, Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien. Some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused. While the capacity and capabilities of the Haitian National Police have improved since 2006, the presence of UN stabilization force (MINUSTAH) peacekeeping troops and UN-formed police units remain critical to maintaining an adequate level of security throughout the country. The lack of civil protections in Haiti, as well as the limited capability of local law enforcement to resolve crime, further compounds the security threat to American citizens.Normally, Americans would be long-term peeved at any country who kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered our fellow citizens. Yet, only hours after Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake, both Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with information on how to donate money to the Haitians who are suffering.
Over the next few days, Americans-- as they always do-- will send millions of dollars to people in need.
We are a good country, filled with generous people. If somebody tells you otherwise then they probably work for MSNBC.