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Haiti fails its children, releases 8 Child Scavengers on nothing more than their (worthless) word

See 8 Americans detained in Haiti freed on bail, 2 others to remain as but one of no doubt what will become an avalanche of coverage.

Laura Silsby and  Charisa Coulter remain in custody, they:

will remain in Haiti because the judge wants to determine why they traveled to Haiti on an earlier trip before the January 12 earthquake, attorney Avion Fleurent said.

Although the Americans are released on bail, there was no bond required. They are being released on their word.

It was not immediately clear when they would leave the country.

Assumedly, they can leave as soon as their passports are returned.

This does not mean the charges are dropped, but obviously once the 8 are out of the country, the odds of them being brought to Justice in the Haitian system, what there is of it at the moment, are pretty much laughable.

There is no question the others understood what they were doing.

By the time the Haitian police officer thwarted their earlier export attempt and removed the 40 children from the bus and dispersed them it had been explained to them in no uncertain terms that they could not legally remove the children from the country.

The others were present for the marketing pitch to the parents and guardians of some of the kids in the second(?) trip with the 33 kids. Clearly they understood that far from the “orphans” they continually insisted they were removing, many of these kids had parents or extended family.

They sat on the bus with the kids, listening to some of the kids begging to be allowed to return to their families.

Simply put, they knew, they were ALL involved.

Parsing apart Silsby and Coulter from the rest of them is a pointless exercise. Sislby may be faintly more vile, but not one of these 10, nor the at least 3 other members of the team who were in the Dominican Republic at the time of the attempted border crossing have anything resembling ‘clean hands’ in this regard.

Today, Haiti failed to protect the interests of the (at minimum) 73 children these child scavengers attempted to traffick across international borders, for purposes of international adoptions.

Simultaneously, it sent the message that it is in many ways, simply too overwhelmed to even attempt to ensure there will be consequences to many involved in such acts, opening the doors to other forms of cash for kids trafficking already in the preliminary stages.

The interests of Haiti’s kids, and Justice itself were not served.

Far from any kind of a  ’solution’, today’s actions were a short sighted monumental mistake.

As I said in my previous post, The 73 Haitian kids deserve genuine justice, not a premature release of the scavengers:

For now, all any of us can do is write, and wait, and watch, and hope that these 73 kids receive at least some measure of justice for what was done to them. If these 10 scavengers are released tomorrow or soon thereafter without so much as a in-depth investigation it will speak more to Haiti’s own desperate need to focus on what matters most, the survival of its people, than of guilt or innocence.

If they are prematurely released, that too, will make ripples and have consequences, both in the meta scale to human rights, and on the micro scale of adoption-land. If they do manage to get away with what they tried to pull without consequences landing upon them, these 73 kids may merely be an early wave of what will later tally to an untold many.

Haiti wanted as much of this off it’s plate as possible, put quite simply, they’re busy trying to hold a country together with (metaphorically speaking) some duct tape and a bit of string:

The decision about whether to grant bail to the Americans was apparently delayed earlier this week by quake-induced electricity problems at the courthouse.

Electricity had also been out at the courthouse for a period of the day on Wednesday, and Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said he had been waiting all day Wednesday for a brief from the prosecution before making a decision about bail. He received the brief Wednesday afternoon.

There are still MANY unanswered questions pertaining to this “mission” trip. What pre-existing relationships might exist in the Dominican Republic between these attempted child traffickers, their churches, and other international child traffickers?

Now, due to most of the principals being able to waltz out of the country, the odds of ever getting at the full  truth of what actually happened here are slim to none.

Forty of the kids nearly trafficked by Sislby and her team remain almost unknown, simply kids who were on the missionaries’ bus headed for the Dominican Republic border, when a police officer stopped the bus, emptied the kids back out into the streets and took the team off in search of the required paperwork.

Tonight who gives a shit about them? Or what these people did to them?

They are silent, unknown, and completely lost to the glare of the cameras so busily attempting to get the 8 to talk about their (cough) heroic ordeal (cough) and impending reunions with their American families.

As I’ve said repeatedly, the focus is instead always on the perpetrators, hardly ever on their victims. The victims are, after all kids and whatever bits of family they might have left, kids who speak another language, with dark skin, and their stories are not the stories America wants to see cluttering up it’s cable and satellite channels.

Their stories say something bad about ‘that nice fellow who lives down the block who goes to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night who just has such a heart for the orphans’.

Their stories say that ‘fellow down the block’, or that ‘nice church lady’ can do terrible things to children, all ‘justified’ but sticking the word ‘god’ on it.

Over the next few days, as these child scavengers clog our airwaves, let’s do try to remember who has no voice, no microphone, no camera, and in some cases, no food, no family, and no roof over their heads.

They are the real victims here, not some assholes who sat in a cell without air conditioning for a little over two weeks.

For the children of Haiti, tonight, there is no Justice at all.


Return to the Table of Contents of my Haiti series.

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