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Haiti detains Americans taking kids

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can't believe this!



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/cb_haiti_americans_detained

Quote:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Ten U.S. Baptists arrested trying to take 33 children out of earthquake-shattered Haiti say they were just trying to do the right thing, applying Christian principles to save Haitian children.
Quote:
"One (8-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, 'I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.' And she thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that," Willeit said.
post #2 of 21
Very disturbing.
post #3 of 21
Oh my
post #4 of 21
post #5 of 21
Quote:
One of their lawyers said they were being treated poorly: "There is no air conditioning, no electricity. It is very disturbing," Attorney Jorge Puello told the AP by phone from the Dominican Republic, where the Baptists hoped to shelter the children in a rented beach hotel.
Yeah, I can see how THIS would be the disturbing part. Many Hatians don't have shelter, and the electric grid has been comprimised. Why would the Americans expect more?

While I believe these missionaries were well-intentioned, their behavior was deplorable. I can't figure out what they hoped to accomplish.
post #6 of 21
This is really disturbing.
post #7 of 21

Update

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35221007...iti_earthquake

So, this update says that parents admitted to giving the children to the Americans because they were told their children would have a better life.

I understand the parents hoping to help their children, but I cannot believe that the missionaries LIED about where the children came from. It just seems like such a violation of these children and their parents.
post #8 of 21
You know I'm so annoyed with the news coverage of this story. I keep hearing things like, "they were acting outside the law in Haiti". Just call it like it is, they broke the law. Quit sugar coating it just because they are Americans. And I'm tired of the whole, they were just trying to help children excuse.
post #9 of 21
how awful.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Yeah, I can see how THIS would be the disturbing part. Many Hatians don't have shelter, and the electric grid has been comprimised. Why would the Americans expect more?

While I believe these missionaries were well-intentioned, their behavior was deplorable. I can't figure out what they hoped to accomplish.
well said!

very sad...
post #11 of 21
So it's all over the news that the Haitian judge recommende that the Americans should be released.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/wo...s/12haiti.html

I have been hearing over the last week that based on interviews only the woman head of the group knew of the plan to remove children from the country. But I don't know. They were caught trying to cross the border with the Domincan Republic and I just don't understand how people of normal intelligence think it's ok and legal to take children out of their home country without any documentation. It's basic common sense to me. They were at a border crossing for heavens sake.

I don't think the charges should be dropped. Unless they have proved mental deficiencies they had to know what they were doing was illegal. I also heard on the news that 2 Gov officials 1 from Haiti and 1 from Dominican Republic told the group they could not take children out of the country.
post #12 of 21


This story upset me so. I think it's possible, even probable, that most of the missionaries arrested did *not* know things were out of order. In the initial reports the woman leading the group claimed that she thought all the papers were in order to go, and that officials in the DR told her taking the children across the boarder would be fine, which I thought was bunk in the first place. But the group itself was comprised of volunteers who took time out of their lives thinking they were going to help children and trusting that the leader was telling them the truth about what they were doing and whether it was legal. When I went to another country, I was completely dependant on the missionary I lived with as I didn't know the language, the culture, or the legal system.

However, they did break Haiti's laws and I think it would be perfectly reasonable for the Haitian court system to mete out whatever legal consequences are appropriate for that. If anything it should prompt churches and individuals to vet people very carefully before they hand over money or members to their work. I'm afraid this is a case of mostly well-meaning people getting a hard lesson on the importance of wisdom and caution before just jumping into something that looks good.
post #13 of 21
Did anyone else see the report of the "lawyer" organizing their defense being wanted for Child Trafficking and child prostitution?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle7026909.ece

It makes me wonder if the head woman here was using the missionaries in order to find child prostitutes. It would really be hard to be a missionarie and find out your head person was using you for something like this I hope it's not the case.
post #14 of 21
Sounds like he's someone who came to them, and after their arrest, rather than an advisor they sought out prior to their trip, after their aquisition of the children, or after their arrest. It would make more sense to me, frankly, that he was hoping to set some kind of legal precedent that would help his outstanding legal situation than that he'd hoped to take these children.

My opinion is that these missionaries were woefully ignorant and misguided, but they don't sound like child traffickers.
post #15 of 21
The hair on the back of my neck stands up. I don't think these people were out for the good of these children at all. nope.
post #16 of 21
I'd hate to think there is a connection to the child trafficking that goes on in developed countries and this group, but something tells me these well-meaning baptist missionaries were duped: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2...r_N.htm?csp=34

It's unbelievable how easy it is to get children across a border in a developing country, especially mid-crisis. And it doesn't surprise me in the least that the parents were lied to and missionaries used as a cover to sneak these children out. If you really want to help children, help them find their parents and help their PARENTS to take care of them, rather than abscond with them into the night and set up adoptions.

The Missionaries may not to be the ones to blame, but their hands are not clean. You don't take children away from their parents while their parents are desparate and vulnerable. Disgusting.

And BTW, I live in a hot country and I don't have air conditioning, and if there is an earthquake or a bad storm, which there is every few months, it usually takes a day or two to get electricity back...it's not that disturbing. Lots of people live without those luxuries and have very happy healthy lives. Sheesh!
post #17 of 21
Quote:
If you really want to help children, help them find their parents and help their PARENTS to take care of them, rather than abscond with them into the night and set up adoptions.
I totally agree with this.

Quote:
The Missionaries may not to be the ones to blame, but their hands are not clean. You don't take children away from their parents while their parents are desparate and vulnerable. Disgusting.
t

The thing is, which complicates this, that in many countries it is common practice for parents to give up their children to orphanages believing they'll be better fed, and educated, than if they were at home. So offering up space in an orphanage to kids with living parents wouldn't be unusual or wierd.

That said, I think the leaders of this group were evil and the volunteer missionaries and their church were very, very foolish.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I totally agree with this.

t

The thing is, which complicates this, that in many countries it is common practice for parents to give up their children to orphanages believing they'll be better fed, and educated, than if they were at home. So offering up space in an orphanage to kids with living parents wouldn't be unusual or wierd. (
That's true, but generally it takes a truly dsperate human being to give up their child, and I think there are so many people who will prey on that in truly evil ways...it's hard to find the benevolence in willingly breaking up families rather than finding ways to help them stay together safely. That is why I really love the SOS villages model of orphan care. They try to keep families together, provide shelter and education and support the families so they aren't forced to choose between providing for their children by abandoning them, or depriving them by staying with them. It's a really excellent group, IMO. The school I work for now has its roots as an SOS village school.
post #19 of 21

Update

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35441854...ti_earthquake/

Quote:
A Haitian judge said some of the 10 U.S. missionaries arrested on charges of child kidnapping would be released Wednesday, nearly three weeks after they were caught trying to take a group of children out of the quake-stricken country.
post #20 of 21
These stories are so hard. I just want to know what really happened, who actually meant what, and the facts, and we will likely never know what was intended, and the actual happenings.
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