Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haiti kidnapping update

Constantino Diaz-Duran reports in The Man Who Conned the Missionaries The Daily Beast 02/15/10 that Jorge Puello, the sleaziest known player so far in the Haiti kidnapping case, has disappeared. Since he's wanted in at least two countries for human-trafficking type charges, that was an understandable move on his part. If none of the Americans involved were linked up with him before they went to Haiti, this is a classic illustration of "when you're in a hole, stop digging." Getting busted on child kidnapping charges and then picking a character like this as your legal adviser is a pretty brain-dead move. At best.

Eight of the 10 arrested wannabe missionaries in Haiti have been released. They got lucky. Their leader Laura Silsby and one other woman who had visited Haiti with her last December are still being held. The Miami Herald has details: 8/church workers freed from Haitian jail land in Miami by Patricia Mazzei, Gerardo Reyes and James Burnett III 02/18/10. They cite the position of the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land, a leading Christian Rightist:

The handling of the case has angered prominent American Baptists in the United States, including Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, who wrote to President Barack Obama to ask him to press for the missionaries' release. Land wrote in an e-mail Wednesday that he was "relieved" that eight of the missionaries were let go.

"They should have been released many days ago," he said.
This case was clearly not about religious freedom. It was about protecting Haitian children against child traffickers, even if that may not have been the intention of Silsby and her cowboy "missionary" group.


También, la esposa de Jorge Torres Puello lo culpo a él en el caso de prostitutión en El Salvador. Esposa de Torres Puello lo involucra en caso de prostitución infantil El Nuevo Herald 02/18/10. (The wife of Jorge Torres Puello accuses him of being guilty in the prostitution case in El Salvador; she's also quoted in the Miami Herald piece.)

Time in UNICEF Seeks to Keep Kids Out of Haiti Orphanages
By Tim Padgett and Jessica Desvarieux 02/18/10 provides more information about the problem of orphanages and child trafficking in Haiti. And also points out how the Idaho missionaries are ridiculously posturing as Christian martyrs:

The 10 U.S. missionaries who were arrested in Haiti last month for allegedly abducting children no doubt consider themselves Christian martyrs. When a TIME reporter visited the Idaho Baptists recently in their squalid, rusted jail cells in Port-au-Prince and asked about their predicament, their unsurprising, biblical response was, "The Philistines won, the Philistines won."
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