Haiti Halts Charter Flights to Nicaragua, Leaving Migrants Stranded

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The Haitian government has abruptly halted all charter flights to Nicaragua, disrupting the travel plans of migrants seeking passage to the United States. The ban, detailed in a government bulletin acquired by The Associated Press, leaves scores of Haitians stranded at the Port-au-Prince airport without clear reasons for the sudden policy shift.

The halt in flights, initially reported by The Miami Herald, has not been explained by the government or civil aviation authorities, who remain unresponsive to inquiries. The immediate consequence was evident as crowds of hopeful travelers, some cradling infants, found themselves confused and stranded outside the airport, surrounded by their belongings.

The suspension comes as Haiti grapples with an intensifying crisis, with gangs believed to control much of the capital. According to Manuel Orozco, director of the migration, remittances, and development program at the Inter-American Dialogue, charter flights to Nicaragua had become a significant migration path, with over 260 flights since early August carrying migrants who make up a significant portion of Haitian arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nicaragua had become a favored destination for migrants due to its no-visa policy for certain nationalities. However, the sudden rise in charter flights to Nicaragua, raised concerns about security risks and the potential involvement of external pressures in the Haitian government’s decision to halt flights.

This development adds tension to the already strained relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with new disputes over resource management and tightened border controls affecting Haitian migrants.

As Haitians confront the closure of yet another migration route, the atmosphere at the airport grows tense. Individuals facing the harsh realities of life in Haiti and seeking safer, more prosperous environments, are left in limbo by the government’s unexpected directive.