The security conditions in Haiti have greatly improved this year; the country got some very favorable ratings by the United Nations Office of Crimes and Drugs, and by the Vanderbilt University annual world crimes surveys a couple months ago; both studies concluded that the crime rates of Haiti were one of the lowest in not only the Caribbean, but the Americas; in fact, the crime rates of Haiti were equaled to those of the city of Long, Beach California. Haiti’s crime rates were found to be lower than those of Jamaica, Cuba, and even the Dominican Republic which the country shares the Island of Hispaniola with. The Haitian Government which has made tourism and outside investments one of its top priorities was very welcoming of such good news. Those findings, according to the Haitian government are proofs that Haiti is moving forward and that the government is working to improve the security conditions of the country, and the effectiveness of the Haitian Police force. No matter what you political affiliation is, or your view of Haiti, we can all admit that this is very good progresses that must be acknowledge and encouraged. One of the most challenging security problems for Haiti has been the kidnapping phenomena plaguing major cities in the country for nearly a decade. No matter how positive the reports were, it don’t take much to understand that regardless of how many hotels are built, how beautiful Haiti’s beaches and mountains are, people will always be reluctant to visit if there are numerous cases of kidnapping taking places. The Haitian diaspora’s top concern for not visiting Haiti, have always been kidnapping; Haitians abroad despite their acceptance of Haiti’s lack of infrastructures and poverty, unlike many other potential visitors; do not want to take the risk of being kidnapped.  But, Haiti has reached yet another milestone towards improving its security and tarnished image abroad; This August of 2013, for the first time since 2004, not a single case of kidnapping were reported in the country in a one month period. As many as 20 cases of kidnapping were reported during the pic of insecurity; those numbers went down to less than 10 a year after this government took office, and just a few months earlier only 3 cases were reported. This fantastic news was quickly shared by Haiti’s Prime Minister Mr, Laurent Lamothe via Twitter.
I am sure the tourism industry which has been making some significant progress will react very positively to this news, and potentials investors too, will take some notes. While this news is very encouraging, we can and should not lose focus on the bigger pictures; there are still many challenges that must be met when it comes to the rules of law.  The recent heightened violence against LGBT citizens in the country which so far has caused the murder of two citizens is still a major concern because the perpetrators of crimes against those perceived as gay, Haitians and foreigners; are still not being pursued by authorities, even though both the President and the Prime Minister strongly condemned all acts of violence against LGBT individuals and made it clear that those responsible would be arrested, but we have yet to see any actions on that. It is one thing to be against gay marriage, or lifestyle, but when attack against gays is rampant, and the violators are not dealt with according to the laws, tourist will be very skeptical about visiting the country, because you might not even be gay, but still be a target  for violence, if others view you as such. Haiti will continue to make significant progress when the laws are followed and enforced.