Ten U.S. Baptist missionaries were charged with kidnapping Thursday for trying to take 33 children out of Haiti to a hastily arranged refuge just as officials were trying to protect children from predators in the chaos of a great earthquake.
The Haitian lawyer who represents the 10 Americans portrayed nine of his clients as innocents caught up in a scheme they did not understand. But attorney Edwin Coq did not defend the actions of the group leader, Laura Silsby, though he continued to represent her.
“I’m going to do everything I can to get the nine out. They were naive. They had no idea what was going on and they did not know that they needed official papers to cross the border,” Coq said. “But Silsby did.
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Congressman Charles B. Rangel released the following statement regarding yesterday’s earthquake in Haiti:
“As a longtime friend to the country of Haiti, it is with a heavy heart that I send out my prayers to the Haitian people after a disastrous earthquake hit the island Tuesday. The images are startling and sobering − a dramatic reminder of the need to pledge aid to a country that has not even completely recovered from the four storms that ravaged it from August to September 2008.
“Thankfully, the cries of our struggling neighbors have not gone unheard. In less than 24 hours, we have seen Americans from a cross section of society — from elected officials in Washington to everyday residents all over New York City — reach out and offer assistance. Continue reading