The ninth of ten American volunteers who were jailed in Haiti on child abduction charges was freed and landed in Miami Monday night.
Charisa Coulter, 24, was released by Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil who ruled that there was no evidence to support charges of kidnapping and criminal association against her.
Now only Laura Silsby, the leader of the American Christian team, remains in the Port-au-Prince jail. The other eight American volunteers were released Feb. 17. more >>
A Haitian judge signed an order for release of one of two American volunteers in jail on child kidnapping charges. But an administrative problem has delayed her release.
Charisa Coulter will be allowed to return to the United States as soon as court administrators can find an official stamp to validate the judge’s order.
“I already signed the release order,” said Judge Bernard Sainvil, according to Reuters. “All that is left now is to seal it but they cannot find the official stamp.” more >>
A Haiti judge is expected to free the last two American volunteers suspected of child kidnapping.
Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said he would make his decision this week concerning Laura Silsby and Charis Coulter.
Last week, Saint-Vil released eight of the ten volunteers and held Silsby and Coulter for further questioning regarding their motive. Silsby is the leader of the team and said they had come to take Haitian orphans to an orphanage they were preparing in the Dominican Republic. more >>
Less than a quarter of the 1.3 million Haitians who need shelter have it. And with the rainy season upon the quake-stricken country, aid groups are urgently asking for help.
"It is raining almost every night, forcing thousands of Haitians to seek out shelter by standing under half-destroyed buildings in order to escape the elements," Tim Rickel, vice president of communication for World Gospel Mission, reported Tuesday.
Rickel received a report from a missionary on the ground in Haiti revealing that more than 1 million people affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation last month are either sleeping in tent cities or out in the open. more >>
A Haitian judge on Wednesday freed eight American volunteers, who attempted to take children out of the country, and said they can leave the country immediately. Two, however, remain in jail.
The Americans were freed on bail but they will not be required to post bond to leave, a lawyer involved in the case told CNN. Authorities will continue to investigate the case after the church volunteers return to the United States.
In late January, a group of ten American Christians were arrested while trying to transport a bus with 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic. The group says it was taking the children to an orphanage in the neighboring country where the children would be cared for and educated. Members said they were motivated by love and concern for the children after a massive earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince. more >>
The Dominican legal adviser to the ten American Baptist volunteers facing charges of child kidnapping in Haiti is himself wanted in El Salvador on charges of human trafficking and in the United States for human smuggling.
Jorge Torres Puello, who was hired by the families of the Americans for legal advice, is accused of operating an international sex trafficking ring using women and girls from the Caribbean and Central America. He allegedly lured girls by promising modeling contracts but instead made them work as prostitutes.
An international arrest warrant was issued Saturday for Puello on sex-trafficking charges. more >>