American nurse abducted in Haiti forgives captors in first remarks since release

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


An American Christian nurse who, along with her young daughter, endured nearly two weeks of captivity in Haiti has spoken publicly for the first time since their Aug. 8 release.

Alix Dorsainvil extended forgiveness to her captors in an Aug. 17 video, saying that she “holds no grudges” against them. The video was posted on the El Roi Haiti website, the Christian education ministry where Dorsainvil was working at the time of her July kidnapping. 

Speaking in Haiti’s native language of Creole, Dorsainvil addressed her captors.

“I want you to know that I hold no grudges against you in my heart,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I agree with what you are doing. Especially what you are doing against your own Haitian brothers and sisters.”

Dorsainvil is the wife of El Roi Haiti founder Sandro Dorsainvil and has worked as a nurse at the school since 2020. She was caring for patients in the school clinic on July 27 when armed men stormed the building and took her and her child hostage, according to The Associated Press

In the video, Dorsainvil referenced conversations she had with her kidnappers during her captivity, asserting that “they were not the manipulative words of someone desperate to escape, but simply the truth. Especially when I told you my clinic doors are always open to you or anyone in need, when you’re sick, or wounded, without any problem.”

She also said that she understood that the men were searching for “happiness, satisfaction, money, power and status” to fill a void in their lives and assured them that “those things will never truly satisfy you.” She said that it is only “the love of Jesus Christ” that fills this void.

“Jesus is always willing to forgive you, no matter what you have done. All you need to do is accept that love.”

The U.S. State Department worked with Haitian counterparts to secure the release of Dorsainvil and her daughter. It is unclear if a ransom was paid. 


Dorsainvil referred to the men she forgave as “gangsters” in the video. FISM has reported extensively gangs dominating the streets of Haiti since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

As of June 2023, gangs controlled 80% Haitian capital of Port Au Prince. They regularly terrorize Haiti’s citizens and foreign nationals with killings, rapes, and kidnappings. Since January, Haiti has seen more than 500 documented abductions, with captors demanding hefty ransoms to fund their operations. Americans are prized by gangs for their perceived wealth.

In April, an American couple was released by Haitian kidnappers after nearly a month in captivity. Jean-Dickens and Abigail Toussaint were taken from a bus while traveling from Port-au-Prince. 

The family paid the $6,000 demanded by the kidnappers who then raised the ransom price to $200,000 per person. It is unknown how much was eventually paid.

In 2021, 17 American Christian Aid Ministries missionaries, including five children, were held hostage for more than two months in Haiti prior to their release. The missionaries were traveling to an orphanage when they were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang at a checkpoint.

The gang’s leader publicly demanded $1 million per person for each captive’s safe release.  Like the other two kidnappings, it is not known whether all or a portion of the ransom was paid.

According to Florida-based Caribbean National Weekly, many Haitians long for international forces to intervene to bring stability to the impoverished Caribbean nation, which is also facing a cholera outbreak and extreme hunger.

Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 5 million Haitians are in need of humanitarian assistance. The group said that the situation in Haiti has become so dire that “some form of urgent international response is needed to restore basic security and the rule of law and to ensure that all Haitians have access to basic necessities.”  

UN Chief Antonio Guterres faced pressure to echo that call, which he did on Aug. 15 by urging the deployment of police special forces and military support to combat gangs and restore order, per The Associated Press.