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 >>
American charities have contributed more than $709 million to aid quake-stricken Haiti.
Some of the largest gifts from the U.S. came through the American Red Cross ($271 million), Catholic Relief Services ($37.3 million), the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund ($40 million), Doctors Without Borders ($43.5 million), U.S. Fund for UNICEF ($44.7 million), and World Vision ($24.7 million), the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported.
It's been one month since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake turned much of the Caribbean nation into rubble. Amid the chaos and grief, Haitians stopped on Friday to mourn the losses, including the deaths of more than 200,000 people. The nation observed a moment of silence at 4:53 p.m., the time the earthquake struck on Jan. 12. more >>
Haitians are fasting and taking part in prayer vigils to mark one month since a devastating earthquake struck the Caribbean nation on January 12.
As the Haiti government revised the death toll from last month's earthquake to at least 217,000, Friday was declared a day of mourning.
According to the results of a new World Vision survey, 92 percent of survivors in devastated capital Port-au-Prince have lost a loved one. more >>
Some of the American Baptist volunteers faced with charges of child kidnapping may be freed as early as Thursday, sources say.
The Haitian judge overseeing the case is expected to rule mid-afternoon on whether to release the ten Americans who attempted to transport 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic without permission.
Though the judge’s ruling cannot be confirmed, Reuters and CNN sources familiar with the case have said the judge might release two volunteers Thursday and six more next week. The last two members would remain in jail, according to the account. more >>
Thousands of Americans are waiting to hear an update on whether the children they sponsor in Haiti were affected by the massive earthquake.
"I am praying and waiting to hear if my child’s family was affected or not. She lives in St. Marc," Dawn Higley commented on the Compassion International website.
Compassion International, a Christian child advocacy ministry, is currently in the tedious process of locating all of their children and providing each sponsor with a complete picture of how each person has or has not been affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the Caribbean island last month. more >>
The tragedy of the Haitian earthquake has swept the globe drawing the entire civilized world into a giant wave of compassion and support. Before the quake, Haiti was a nation racked with poverty and rife with corruption. Since the quake, poverty has been replaced by destitution and corruption has morphed into anarchy. The world is reaching out but a lack of infrastructure and the complete collapse of the Haitian government have relief agencies frustrated. Even the awesome might of the United States military has not been enough to end the apocalyptic scale suffering of the people.
One of the chilling byproducts of the death and destruction in Haiti are scores of children, many now orphaned, wandering through the rubble trying to survive. Some of the children are being watched over by dazed, desperate parents who fear the relief efforts may not arrive in time to prevent their children from starving to death. Some offer their children to strangers hoping they can provide a means of escape from the unbelieveably horrible conditions.
Into this nightmare of chaos and confusion come ten middle-class Americans who left the comfort and safety of their homes and their families to try and make a difference. Led by Laura Silsby, who has been described by what may be the understatement of the year by her father, John Sander as “a touch naïve”, all ten are being held in a fetid cell by what is left of the Haitian government. All are charged with child abduction and criminal association, charges which carry jail terms of up to 15 years. It is entirely possible that their case won’t be heard for three months and then not in front of a jury but in front of a single judge. more >>