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US and Haiti hold talks on arrested "missionaries"

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US and Haiti hold talks on arrested "missionaries"


The US and Haitian governments are holding talks on the fate of 10 Americans accused of trying to smuggle children out of the quake-hit country.

Thirty-three children were found in a bus at the border with the Dominican Republic. Supporters of the Americans say the parents of children who were not orphaned had given their approval.

Reverend Jean Sainvil, a Haitian-born pastor living in the US, said: “There was no signature from the parents, but there were verbal agreements. Verbal agreements. As proof, we have phone numbers for each and every parent who came up and said we are a parent, we have their phone numbers. Some of the parents, I believe, even wrote their phone numbers and stuck them in the kids’ pocket. If anything, they can call.”

A decision is expected today on possible charges.
Critics say it was wrong for the Americans to believe they could just take children out of the country without going through official channels, even if the parents were in agreement.
The case is diplomatically sensitive as the US is leading the massive relief operation in Haiti.

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