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 U.S. Chides Missionaries for taking Haiti kids

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PostSubject: U.S. Chides Missionaries for taking Haiti kids   Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:56 pm

U.S. chides missionaries for taking Haiti kids
Baptists' fate revealed today
By Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters February 4, 2010

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive believes an alleged kidnapping case is distracting people from the plight of more than a million Haitians suffering in the streets.

The U.S. and Haitian governments are holding talks on the fate of 10
American missionaries accused of illegally trying to take children out
of the quake-hit Caribbean country, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said on Wednesday.Haitian authorities said they would
decide today whether to pursue a case against the missionaries, who
were arrested on Friday trying to cross into the Dominican Republic
with a busload of 33 children they said were orphaned by the quake.In
Washington, Clinton said for the first time the two governments were
discussing the case, diplomatically sensitive because the U.S. is
heading a massive relief operation after the earthquake wrecked the
capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed up to 200,000 people.The
State Department, which has been at pains to avoid any impression it
might be interfering in the matter, said Tuesday it had not been
involved in any broad discussions about the missionaries' case or any
possible prosecution.The accused missionaries vehemently deny
they were engaged in child trafficking. They said they were just trying
to help some of the thousands of orphans left destitute and abandoned
by the quake."It was unfortunate, whatever the motivation, that this group of Americans took matters into their own hands," Clinton said.

Haitian officials said the detained Americans, most of whom belong to an
Idahobased Baptist church, had no documents proving the children were
orphans and no official permission to take them out of the country,
which meant the group faced possible kidnapping charges.The
missionaries were questioned by a judge Tuesday and Wednesday, the
prosecutor in the case, Mazarre Fortil, said. "Tomorrow, my decision
will be known. Tomorrow, everybody will know what we decide," Fortil
said.Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said on Wednesday the case was stealing attention from the plight of Haitians.

For the Baptists' fate go to calgaryherald.comę Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
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