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 >>
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 >>
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, have asked President Obama to “do everything within the authority of your office” to free the American missionary team charged with abduction in Haiti.
In a letter dated Feb. 5, the leaders said it is “the consuming passion” of Southern Baptists to share the good news with the world and to “love every person He has created.” This characteristic is especially apparent during times of disaster when Southern Baptists work alongside other humanitarian groups to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people.
Though the leaders admit they do not know all the facts in the case of the detained missionaries, they say it is their understanding that the volunteers were trying to transport 33 Haitian children across the border for humanitarian purposes. more >>
The ten American Baptists who tried to take 33 Haitian children across the border to the Dominican Republic were charged Thursday with abduction and criminal association.
Haitian Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ferge Joseph announced the charges and said that the case was being sent to an investigative judge. The charges carry prison terms of up to 15 years. After the announcement, the U.S. missionaries were led back to their prison cells.
Last Friday, the ten-member team, made up mostly of members from an Idaho Baptist church, was arrested while trying to take a bus full of Haitian children across the border. The leader of the Baptist team, Laura Silsby, 40, said the group was bringing the children to a 45-room hotel in the Dominican Republic, where they would stay until a permanent orphanage could be constructed. more >>
A Baptist church in Idaho whose members were detained in Haiti for attempting to move children to the Dominican Republic said Sunday that its team was “falsely arrested” and it is working to “clear up the misunderstanding.”
A ten-member team from several Baptist churches in the United States was arrested by Haitian officials Saturday after trying to take 33 children across the border to the Dominican Republic. The church members say they are bringing the children to an orphanage where they will be given medical and emotional care.
But authorities are concerned about child trafficking, a serious problem in quake-devastated Port-au-Prince where thousands of children are without parents or guardians. more >>
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle landed in “hell” this week where he witnessed a teenage boy shot in the head and a girl sold to an older man. He was in the collapsed city of Port-au-Prince where rubble from former buildings and streets piled with corpses give the impression of an aftermath of a war zone.
Driscoll, along with Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago-area, landed in the capital of Haiti on Monday to assess the situation and needs of Haitian churches and to deliver 1,000 pounds of relief supplies.
On his first day on the ground, Driscoll said he heard a gunshot behind him and when he turn to look he saw a teenage boy immediately killed by a shot to the head. The teenage boy was just a few feet away from a seminary property and next to a makeshift clinic where thousands of people slept outside, Driscoll reported on his Facebook page. more >>