Americans Arrested Trying To Take Hatian Children Out Of The Country

SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
I'm so glad they were caught. This is some scary isht.

Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti

By Joseph Guyler Delva Joseph Guyler Delva Sat Jan 30, 5:22 pm ET
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitian police have arrested 10 U.S. citizens caught trying to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country in a suspected illicit adoption scheme, authorities said on Saturday.


The five men and five women were in custody in the capital, Port-au-Prince after their arrests on Friday night. There are fears that traffickers could try to exploit the chaos and turmoil following Haiti's January 12 earthquake quake to engage in illegal adoptions.
One of the suspects, who says she is leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children's Refuge, denied they had done anything wrong.


The suspects were detained at Malpasse, Haiti's main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.


Authorities said the Americans had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children -- aged 2 months to 12 years -- through any embassy and no papers showing they were made orphans by the quake in the impoverished Caribbean country.


"This is totally illegal," said Yves Cristalin, Haiti's social affairs minister. "No children can leave Haiti without proper authorization and these people did not have that authorization."


U.S. authorities could not be reached for immediate comment on the arrests.


But Laura Sillsby from the Idaho group told Reuters from a jail cell at Haiti's Judicial Police headquarters, "We had permission from the Dominican Republic government to bring the children to an orphanage that we have there."


"We have a Baptist minister here (in Port-au-Prince) whose orphanage totally collapsed and he asked us to take the children to the orphanage in the Dominican Republic," Sillsby added.


"I was going to come back here to do the paperwork," Sillsby said. "They accuse us of children trafficking. This is something I would never do. We were not trying to do something wrong."


In addition to outright trafficking in children, authorities have voiced fears since the quake that legitimate aid groups may have flown earthquake orphans out of the country for adoption before efforts to find their parents had been exhausted.


As a result, the Haitian government halted many types of adoptions earlier this month.


There are no reliable estimates of the number of parentless and lost children at risk in Haiti's quake-shattered capital.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100130/ts_nm/us_quake_haiti_arrests_1
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Comments

  • CGNYCCGNYC Registered Users Posts: 4,938 Curl Connoisseur
    Oh man. That is scary to even think about.
  • curlylauracurlylaura Registered Users Posts: 8,352 Curl Neophyte
    Thank god they were found. Those children could have been trafficked for all sorts of things.
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  • TechKnockoutTechKnockout Registered Users Posts: 415
    How horrid!

    Taking advantage of those poor children! I'm so glad these nut cases were caught! There's just no excuse for it!
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    I'm sure there are lots of crimes going on in Haiti that people are never going to get caught doing. I'm glad they caught these asholes.
  • KindredsTwin1983KindredsTwin1983 Registered Users Posts: 347
    Am I the only one who isn't jumping the trafficking bandwagon?

    While I think what they did was done in STUPIDITY (transfering kids out of the country with no permission or passports?!) I'm not willing to believe they had plans to traffick them just yet.
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  • cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
    Am I the only one who isn't jumping the trafficking bandwagon?

    While I think what they did was done in STUPIDITY (transfering kids out of the country with no permission or passports?!) I'm not willing to believe they had plans to traffick them just yet.

    If they had the best interest for the kids, they would have informed and got permission from authorities before moving them out of the country. That's just common sense. You wouldn't take a neighbor's kid out of state without the parents or guardians consent first. They had no way of knowing if their parents or other relatives had been found. And if not, there needs to be a paper trail so they can be located if one turns up.
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Registered Users Posts: 4,476 Curl Connoisseur
    Am I the only one who isn't jumping the trafficking bandwagon?

    While I think what they did was done in STUPIDITY (transfering kids out of the country with no permission or passports?!) I'm not willing to believe they had plans to traffick them just yet.

    I agree. I want to believe they were trying to help the kids.
    Yes, it was stupid to not get all the clearances they should get. Unfortunately, the Haitian government doesn't care about these orphans, and they never have. The Haitian government is paralyzed now, there's no way anyone will be getting the proper paperwork to help orphans who don't have anywhere to live, food to eat, etc. Haiti limited adoption of orphans before to the detriment of the children; it's not going to change because of a national disaster that destroyed most of the country.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Registered Users Posts: 7,223 Curl Novice
    I really do wonder (hope) if it was all just a misguided effort to help. One of the women said she hadn't been following the news while she's been in Haiti (totally understandable) and the group said they were given the children by the head of an orphanage and told the kids were cleared to go to stay at a waterfront hotel that is being converted into an emergency orphanage. I guess I can see how people could have good intentions but cause an international misunderstanding.
    Some members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, wept on Sunday as Pastor Clint Henry reported the team had been detained and asked for prayers.

    "They have been arrested. They've been charged with child trafficking," he told the congregation. "You need to understand that obviously those are serious charges, but they're in a nation where this has been a practice, a wicked and evil practice."
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    While it could have been a big misunderstanding, this is exactly the reason why no children should leave Haiti right now. It would be too easy to traffic children at the same time.
  • curlyarcacurlyarca Registered Users Posts: 8,449 Curl Connoisseur
    Am I the only one who isn't jumping the trafficking bandwagon?

    While I think what they did was done in STUPIDITY (transfering kids out of the country with no permission or passports?!) I'm not willing to believe they had plans to traffick them just yet.

    I agree. I want to believe they were trying to help the kids.
    Yes, it was stupid to not get all the clearances they should get. Unfortunately, the Haitian government doesn't care about these orphans, and they never have. The Haitian government is paralyzed now, there's no way anyone will be getting the proper paperwork to help orphans who don't have anywhere to live, food to eat, etc. Haiti limited adoption of orphans before to the detriment of the children; it's not going to change because of a national disaster that destroyed most of the country.

    Disagree. If they were being so magnanimous they should have gotten everything straight first. Glad they were caught.

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  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Registered Users Posts: 4,476 Curl Connoisseur
    curlyarca wrote: »
    Am I the only one who isn't jumping the trafficking bandwagon?

    While I think what they did was done in STUPIDITY (transfering kids out of the country with no permission or passports?!) I'm not willing to believe they had plans to traffick them just yet.

    I agree. I want to believe they were trying to help the kids.
    Yes, it was stupid to not get all the clearances they should get. Unfortunately, the Haitian government doesn't care about these orphans, and they never have. The Haitian government is paralyzed now, there's no way anyone will be getting the proper paperwork to help orphans who don't have anywhere to live, food to eat, etc. Haiti limited adoption of orphans before to the detriment of the children; it's not going to change because of a national disaster that destroyed most of the country.

    Disagree. If they were being so magnanimous they should have gotten everything straight first. Glad they were caught.

    With what do you disagree? I said it was stupid to not get the clearances.
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  • curlyarcacurlyarca Registered Users Posts: 8,449 Curl Connoisseur
    That those people had the best interests of those children in mind. Their way of going about it (whatever they were doing) was definitely effed up.

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  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Registered Users Posts: 4,940 Curl Neophyte
    As critical as I can be about the Baptist church (I was raised as one, so there you go), I think the people associated with it likely had the best intentions. I don't think a church group would've been trafficking kids. I think they were naive and stupid but had the best intentions.
    I could be wrong, and if so, glad they got caught. I hope it gets all straightened out, whatever happened.
    I agree with mrspoppers...due to the easiness that kids can be trafficked, it's even more important than ever to get clearance first.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    A story in our local paper said that some of these kids weren't even orphans. They claimed their parents were still alive and could give their addresses and phone numbers.
  • NayaNaya Registered Users Posts: 922
    Regardless of if they were going to traffic the children or not... it was disgustingly inappropriate to simply take children who had living parents (and even if they didn't have living parents) and try to remove them from their country.

    If people came from Haiti to "help" when Hurricane Katrina hit and tried to remove children not just from the disaster area but from America for the "greater good"... come on.. can you imagine?

    They were idiots and should be punished according to Haitian laws.
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