February 2nd, 2010
08:13 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Tracking Haiti's Children

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we have the latest developments from Haiti where 10 Americans are accused of kidnapping and trafficking 33 Haitian children.

The American missionaries appeared at a preliminary hearing today. They say they were just trying to help the children leave the country.  The Americans were arrested when trying to bus the children into the Dominican Republic over the weekend.

Karl Penhaul reports from Port-au-Prince on the legal battle for the Americans, and see what's next for the 33 children.

Anderson will take you to a section of Brooklyn, New York, far from Haiti, but where there's extreme pain.  It's the second-largest Haitian community in the U.S., after Miami. See what they're doing to help those back home.

We'll also focus on Haiti during our big 360° interview with Pastor Joel Osteen. Anderson will ask him how God would allow the tragedy to happen.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Carolina Andrade

    Anderson, I didn't realize you were back yet. Has it really been three weeks since the earthquake happened?

    February 3, 2010 at 7:40 am |
  2. john Laforme

    Anderson you have done a great job in Haiti by informing the world of their plight. I believe the missionaries had no bad intentions for the children I understand the Haiti government was near non existent could be that the missionaries couldn't find anyone to explain their intentions to other than a person they believed to be a police officer and if you can't believe a police officer who can you believe, These good people only wanted to help children .
    Another thing I noticed was that Haitian people are a proud people and stand together I can't help but wonder if people of countries like ours stood as one like the Haitians how strong we would be ,even in the face of disaster

    February 3, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  3. Lori williams

    I cant believe those 10 Americans had the nerve to say God sent them the word of God says let everything be done decent & in order you can't go & just snatch up a bunch of kids w/o even knowing if Theyre even orphans or not & w/o proper procedure that is not God

    February 3, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  4. Katie

    If these people REALLY wanted to help the kids, perhaps they should have used their money to help the parents care for their children INSTEAD of conning them in to giving them up ......Where exactly were the kids going to end up?? An orphanage, or illegally adopted out to families connected with this church group? I don't care what their religious affiliations are, the arrogance of these people is staggering! The fact that they thought that stealing kids from their parents to populate their as yet unbuilt, unfunded orphanage proves that they are not simply imperious religious nuts, but imperious religious nuts that are unfit to be caring for children.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  5. wendy

    thankyou and your great team for your outstanding reporting ,as always. I have never been to New York , so I hope Its true that you folks are kind and friendly. I know we are in the midwest where Igrew up.
    My heart and head goes ou to all the people in Haiti I hope that all the natoins that can help wiil be in it for the longrun.
    PS I still belive andhope that most people are good,

    February 3, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  6. Rafael

    Throw the book at these "missionaries". Maybe they'll learn to stop objectifying people. Regardless of intentions they tried to kidnap kids across international borders (2/3 had parents). Letting them go breaks the rules of international law. If someone from another country came to the US and tried to take poor kids to another country secretly and illegally without trying to follow laws, we'd pursue them with military force and prosecute them to the fullest. Why should these criminals be exempt?

    Their attitude smacks of a holdover of the old colonialist attitude. So do well meaning people from the First World always know best. Do well intentioned 'white' actions and attitudes trump all else? Do the 'missionaries' believe they know always better than 'Third World victims'. Apparently the idea is, help the poor non-white kids by taking them from their families and raising them "the right way" without any connection to their prior culture or language.

    The missionaries arrived with no documentation, no plan for care, no orphanage, and no ability to even directly communicate in Haiti. How disrespectful can they be. Working in Haiti and learning the culture and the language is noble. Running to Haiti and then trying to sneak children across the border to raise them in their own religion is opportunistic, self-serving, and downright wrong. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    February 3, 2010 at 1:26 am |
  7. Michelle

    I am just frustrated that Larry King have thoses people family like they are bunch of innocent. They are bunch of people in Haiti who are helping not them. Will they be able to come to louisanna after the hurricane in decided to take a group of children and move them to canada. No they will do it. They should respect the people of Haiti eventhough they are going through alot. I am just frustrated by the news. they make those people seems like innocent who knows to get a Dominican police in their side they can traffic thoses kids. We Haitian we are watching. I will have forgive them if they let the children in nice place in hailti. They were not doing for charity how can you call them missionary. The Us Governement does not have anything to do it. The children are Haitian and they broke the laws intentionally

    February 3, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  8. Michelle

    Everybody how down play the real intention thoses peoples. How you called them missionaries if they do not have a non profit organization. They are taking the children with no legal paper. Will let people try to get their children. If they really want to help they would have stay in Haiti like everybody else in help. They taking advantage of parents in their lowest moment. They are child trafiker. How can you move the children from country to the next. They should go to jail. If they let that go any child predator will try to steal children. All the children should be returned. They do not deserved to be part of the children. Very good for the haitian police. thanks

    February 3, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  9. James

    Dear Mr. Cooper:

    Your show tonight on the Idaho Baptists being held in jail in Haiti was, as usual, a very good one.

    But you failed to inquire just why the Haitian Government is taking it so seriously. The official line of “concern for the children” and to “prevent trafficking” are laughable. Since when has the Haitian Government ever shown any concern whatsoever for the welfare of its children or its citizens? Let’s follow the money.

    Haiti, and every other country with a surplus of adoptable children [e.g. Romania, Bulgaria, Russia], makes consent to adoption difficult, bureaucratic and drawn-out. This means the adoptive parents or foreign orphanage has to hire a local lawyer at considerable expense to navigate the official paperwork nightmare. The local lawyer splits his fee under the table with the bureaucrats and the judge.

    Haiti is not defending children in jailing the Idaho Baptists, it is protecting a corrupt and lucrative industry.

    I am neither Baptist nor anti-Haitian. I have contributed to Haiti relief in gratitude for the help I received when flooded out by Hurricane Katrina. But I have handled some local adoptions, including that of my Grandson Douglass. On behalf of my daughter & son-in-law, I have investigated their adopting children out of Romania, Bulgaria, and Russia.

    I have never looked into a Haitian adoption, but my legal experience of 42 years as a trial lawyer screams at me that their scheme is obvious. Might be worth your investigation.

    Thanking you for your attention to this matter, and with kindest regards, I am

    Cordially yours,

    James Robert Murrell, III

    Louisiana State Bar No. 9859

    February 3, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  10. Bert

    Haiti has no political structure. The govt. is now operating in a vacuum. Could this happen any where else? Of course but now the camera is focused on Haiti and the UN.

    February 3, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  11. Lynne

    Anderson, your comment :why not take the child if the mother didn't want him/her ?–misses the point. The mother was willing to give up her child to give her child a better life. It's NOT about not wanting the child.
    I have seen this kind of sacrifice many times in my work among Haitians here in Immokalee Florida. Haitians here are willing to work like slaves and live in deplorable conditions in order that their children receive a good education and NOT have to suffer the indignities heaped upon their parents. Let us help keep these families remain intact in Haiti.Let's help Haitians rebuild Haiti. But this time with access to Food, shelter, jobs and education.

    February 3, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  12. Jeanette Bell

    I do not believe the missionaries. Anyone with common sense knows you cannot take children out of a country without going through the proper channels. Who do they think they are fooling ? Religious or not, they must think everyone is stupid. PLEASE, GIVE US A BREAK. Anderson Cooper, GREAT JOB, appreciate all of your work and unbiased reporting.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  13. Guerly

    I want to thank Anderson Cooper and the CNN crew for their honest and compassionate news report about the disaster in Haiti. For honestly portraying the struggles, faith and strenght of haitian. For a long time the impression was that haitian were voodo practicing people. But the light has shine in the mist of such tragedy that we are people of strong faith in God. Thank you Anderson for helping to keep the focus on Haiti, and for putting your self at risk to help other while reporting.
    May God Bless you.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  14. Kellie

    Anderson, thank you for the insightful and germane reporting you have down out of Haiti. My sister is in Haiti as we speak working with the Pediatric Intensive care unit at University Hospital. She is translating or the docs with the Utah Hospital Task Force. When I spoke with her this morning, she asked me to please, please implore you to continue the report on the Haitian children and crisis that exists! Children are dying from tetnus and other infections. She held 3 week old twins today whose mother is in a coma from renal and kidney failure from dehydration as a result of childbirth. Who will these babies end up with when no other family exists! She'd like you to investigate where the $135 million is that the Red Cross raised. People in this hospital are getting 1 meal and 2 drinks of water a day and they are treating pain with Tylenol! Please Anderson continue to "keep 'em honest" and find out who is really helping these children, the are dying needlessly! Thank you.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  15. marie

    Since when the haitian government care about his own people or specially the children in Haiti. The only problem now is the whole world is looking, and the haitian government is not in control of the aid. My heart goes out to those 10 american missionnary and their family. Many chidren in haiti were able to go to school because their parent place them in an orphanage. Those are sponsor by christian american.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  16. Roseland Milhome

    I don't think those people are trying to trafficking the kids because their parents gave them the kids. And I think the Haitians gave them wrong information.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  17. Guerly E Laroche

    My heart goes out to these missionaries. I belive that they were trully trying to help the kids. In such a heart breaking situation It is really hard to sit around and not trying to help. I hope that the haitian governement will do a real honest investigation and find the truth. As for the missionaries keep the faith God will se you thru.


    February 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  18. Eve

    Concerning the children who were about to leave Haiti with the American missionaries, I think they have good intentions but they did not follow the right procedure. I hope this matter can be resolved promptly.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  19. Cecil

    It's so easy for those of us who are at home and enjoying all of our pleasures of life to be critical of ten church members who are in the middle of a world disaster trying to help others. Are you sure what decision you would have made in the same situation? Let's get back to the main goal of trying to feed and care for thousands of desperate people.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  20. michael

    I think those Americans were up to no good. They knew that they needed paper work and official permission to take those kids out of Haiti. They are not stupid but they think we are. Idaho? They are not very big on diversity out there so why do they want to take those children out there? It seems very shady to me. I think those Children were headed for trouble. Thank God for intervention.

    michael ks

    February 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  21. Barbara

    First, these 10 Americans are not missionaries. They are members of a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church who decided on their own to go to Haiti.

    If they really wanted to help children in Haiti, the denomination their church is part of has professional missionaries employed by the International Mission Board who have worked in Haiti for many years. They could have contacted them to find out how to help or offered their services to other registered agencies helping in the crisis.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  22. Daniel k. Pulkrabek

    It's a shame that the Christian group is being persecuted for their good intentions, and that the gov if you can call it that has time for this. Are these people career criminals? No, this is Spiritual warfare.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  23. Summer

    Welcome back AC. It's been a rough road.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  24. John DOE

    Here is the point.. those Americans knew what they were doing so please don't play stupid. They need to be prosecuted in Haiti and should serve there time in a Haitian prison. There Passports should be permanently revoked when they get out of the Haitian prison.

    If you go to another Country you must follow there laws. If you break the law in another country you should serve the time in there prisons.

    I am a Christian, my heart goes out for the children; but you must never break the law to try and help.

    Just because they are Americans the US government should not get involved to get them out. If they are found guilty then they must serve the punishment that Haiti serves them.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  25. Mark

    Another band of criminals acting the name of jesus. What a crock! Why do amercians fall for this nonsense, I was a member of an American Baptist church and i find them to be forthright for the most part.

    However, just below the surface you can see a very fundementalist focused group of churches.

    Simply put, I cannot believe the published "story" becasue that's not how it works! It seems to me there is another agenda here.

    My comment to you is don't trust everyone who claims to be "only interested in saving" you or those kids.

    Baloney, their motives are to exploit the kids by parading them around raising money for their many missions. That is not always bad. This case stinks to high heaven.

    Go home and send money to a legit cause, on the ground in Haiti.

    Hogwash, tell every person who is working for jesus to save you. Tell them to put down the bible, this is not covered in that science fiction publication.

    At best this is a fund raiser, at worst a really bad group who wish to use these kids to thier advantage and profit.


    February 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Annie Kate

    With as much chaos in Haiti as there is now I'm surprised that there is just one group operating under the radar and outside the rules with the orphans. I don't think this church group meant any harm but not all groups are like that. I hope that the children can be protected so none of them get routed to a bad place.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  27. georgia Kruusi

    Question...if this Happened in the USA...massive destruction of some sort and other countries came and started hauling out OUR children.....when not everyone is accounted for ??? Who found the paperwork that says Yes go ahead take my child?????

    February 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  28. Germane, NYC

    Zeal without wisdom.
    These missionaries were reckless and showed disregard for Haiti's national laws. Their behavior is not reflective of sound christian doctrine.

    February 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Glenda

    Thanks for all the live broadcast from Haiti, my heart goes out to the people and especially the children. With all the talk of why orphans can't leave Haiti without their passports, why do we think we can take 33 children (even if for their own good and their parents desire it) out of the country? The intent was honorable but the action was just not thought through.

    Glenda, NC

    February 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  30. meg

    Whether this church group had good intentions-they certainly were ill prepared. Good intentions pave the road to hell. I read they had been considering building an adoption for 2 yr. When you're planning to build a house you need permits-these people didn't seem to have an inkling about anything.Ridiculous.

    February 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  31. emmanuel

    Anderson thank you for great job you and your crew doing in haiti if the haitian goverment dont want to free those 10 american stop all distribitions food and water they will free those american very fast

    February 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
  32. loveline A

    Cooper and the whole CNN crew are doing marvelous work in haiti. I pray that God will continue to protect and guide you through this journey. Thank you a million,it means so much to all of us.

    February 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  33. Cindy

    Tonight's show seems interesting. can't wait to see Joel Osteen. He is a great pastor and human being!

    I still can't get over that the ten missionaries thought that they could go in and do as they pleased without getting in trouble. That's just crazy to me.

    Also looking forward to seeing how the people of Little Haiti are dealing with this Haiti tragedy.

    OK..and I can't wait for Cooper to be back in that chair! No one does 360 better!


    February 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm |