Haiti: Americans accused of child trafficking could be tried in US
Prime Minister Max Bellerive said Monday that Haiti is open to having the American Baptist group tried in US courts for child trafficking. Haiti's judicial system has been left in tatters by the Jan. 12 earthquake.
2011 Reflections: Suddenly, a new era in the Middle East
2011 Reflections: the end of a landmark year for Latin America
2011 Reflections: Africa rises, taking charge of its affairs
How the 'Year of the Protester' played out in Europe
In Prague, a tale of communism past
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
As the members of New Life's "Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission" awaited their fate, however, many logistical questions began to emerge, such as: How can they be tried in Haiti when the Jan. 12 earthquake left the country's judicial system in tatters? And why should this matter distract the Haitian government from the enormous task of providing safety, food, and sanitation for the more than 1 million people left homeless by the quake?
But Mr. Bellerive - who on Monday called the group "kidnappers" – said some legal system needs to determine whether the Americans were acting in good faith.
“It is clear now that they were trying to cross the border without papers. It is clear now that some of the children have live parents,” he told the Associated Press.
“And it is clear now that they knew what they were doing was wrong.”
The group's leader, Laura Silsby, earlier conceded that they had not obtained the proper Haitian documents, but said that they “just trying to do the right thing.”
--- For all stories and blogs on Haiti, visit the Monitor's Haiti page.