Multiple Volunteers Evacuated From Haiti Amid Unrest

Multiple Volunteers Evacuated From Haiti Amid Unrest

( – US officials facilitated a daring rescue operation earlier this week to evacuate author Mitch Albom, his wife Janine, and eight other volunteers from an undisclosed location in Haiti’s capital. Representatives Cory Mills and Lisa McClain reportedly arranged for a private helicopter to extract the group, who had been working at Have Faith Mission in Port-au-Prince, on March 12.

The pilot transported all 10 individuals to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Information about their whereabouts beyond that point isn’t yet available. However, Albom shared a post stating that he was back on “American soil” on X, formerly known as Twitter, that same day.

Details about how the high-stakes rescue mission unfolded paint a stark picture of the dangers associated with living or visiting Haiti right now. Albom initially arrived in Port-Au-Prince earlier this month on a routine visit to the Have Faith Haiti mission. He has been in charge of the facility since shortly after the island nation suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010.

He and his team were fully aware of the ongoing political and social unrest in Haiti but were determined to serve the orphanage anyway. They couldn’t predict that the already volatile climate would deteriorate further after two massive prison breaks occurred on March 5.

The release of so many inmates kicked off a weeks-long crime wave that left civilians caught in the crossfire. Rival gangs, who already control up to 80% of Haiti’s capital, staged kidnappings, attacked a local airport, and fought brutal battles on the street.

Jimmy Cherizier, the leader of the infamous “G9 Family and Allies,” warned the international community not to interfere in the matter at a press conference on Tuesday. He also called on Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign.

The PM complied with that demand only hours later. But the US Embassy had already issued a travel ban two days prior, leaving Albom and his team forced to shelter in place.

“We raced into this helicopter in the dead of night,” Albom told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade the next day, explaining that you have to take off after dark because “gangs will shoot at helicopters.”

In a later statement, Albom expressed gratitude for the rescue and said they were lucky to escape. However, he also said he remains concerned about the 60 children and 40 staff his team left behind.

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