Above: Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe (Photo: OPM Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Responding to a pair of new travel warnings from the United States and Canada on Haiti last week, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said the country was among the safest in the region.
Haiti’s violent death rate was 6.9 out of every 100,000 Haitians, among the lowest rates in the Americas, according to 2012 data from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
“The kidnapping and murder of U.S. citizens is extremely rare in our country,” Lamothe said. “We work diligently and closely with the United States, Canada and the international community to fight the proliferation of criminal activities.”
Lamothe also said that Haiti was “definitively more secure today than two years ago.”
Data from the Haitian National Police found that murders of American citizens, which was cited as a reason for the new warning by the State Department, have dropped by two thirds, to two from six, the lowest rate since 2006.
Kidnappings of US citizens, also cited by the US in its warning, have reportedly dropped to nine in 2012 from 11.
The US had reported that two US citizens had been shot and killed in robbery attempts last year in Haiti.
The warnings drew “vehement protest” from Haiti’s government, which has been making tourism a major part of its policy push over the last year as it seeks to reshape the country’s economy.