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Haiti: Some In Diaspora Skip Travel To Haiti Amid Kidnapping, COVID-19 Fears

In late October, Junior Aristide was thinking about taking a 30-member film crew to Haiti to shoot his first feature film. But then news broke of high schooler Evelyne Sincère’s kidnapping-murder in early November.

Later that month, guitarist Philippe Augustin and prominent physician Dr. Hans Thelemaque were kidnapped as well, among others. The kidnapping spree continued into December with the snatching of musician Dickens Princivil, the National Palace security head’s wife, Maritza Herard, and street vendor Magdala “Dadou” Louis taken hostage. Many more made the news and countless others did not. 

Aristide, 27, decided to shelf the film trip to Haiti this year based on the news. By foregoing the visit, Aristide joins a sea of Haitian-Americans who chose not to travel to Haiti during the ongoing period of insecurity and the novel coronavirus pandemic, many choosing not to risk the trip even for the holidays.

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