Parents: All Haitian 'orphans' had relatives
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Not one of the 33 children a U.S. Baptist group tried to remove from Haiti is an orphan, The Associated Press has learned.
During a visit Saturday to a rubble-riddled slum where 13 of the children lived, residents told the AP that each one of the youngsters was given away by a parent or close relative.
Their testimony echoes that of residents in the mountain town of Callabas, outside the capital of Port-au-Prince. Parents there told the AP on Feb. 3 that desperation and blind faith led them to hand over 20 children to the religious Americans who promised them a better life.
That contradicts statements from the missionaries' jailed leader, Laura Silsby, who has said all of the children were orphans or came from distant relatives.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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