Amnesty International is blasting Nigeria's top military leaders, claiming they knew four hours in advance that Boka Haram militants were going to raid the Chibok boarding school. The attack ended with nearly 300 girls kidnapped at gunpoint. There has been no sign of them since, and Boko Haram's leader has said he will sell the girls into slavery. Vladimir Duthiers reports on why finding them gets more difficult by the day.
A U.S. military team is heading to Nigeria to join in the search for hundreds of missing schoolgirls, who were kidnapped at gunpoint for daring to get an education. There are new concerns the girls are being separated into smaller groups to make it more difficult to find them. This comes as Boko Haram, the terror group behind the kidnapping, launched a brutal attack killing more than 300 people in a Nigerian village. Vladamir Duthiers has the latest from Abuja, Nigeria.
At least eight more Nigerian girls have been kidnapped by suspected members of Boko Haram. That's the terror group that abducted more than 200 schoolgirls last month. In a video released Monday, a Boko Haram leader threatened to sell the girls. Today Vladimir Duthiers spoke to the parents of one of the kidnapped girls.
The words are appalling, and they are sparking outrage around the world. A man who says he is a leader of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram is threatening to sell some 200 young Nigerian girls taken at gunpoint from their school. The U.S. State Department says the video appears to be legitimate. There is a worldwide campaign going on right now that’s working to secure their freedom. How did their ordeal begin? What if anything can be done to help them now? Vlad Duthiers reports from Nigeria.
Anderson discussed this tragic situation with Vlad Duthiers and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen.
Five months into his administration, Haiti's president, Michel Martelly, is looking to turn his country around. He also wants to reinstitute the country’s army, which was disbanded in 1995. But with an estimated half a million Haitians still living in makeshift tents, following the January 2010 earthquake, and Haiti’s new government just taking root, some Haitians are questioning Martelly’s priorities.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, AC360’s Vladimir Duthiers sat down with President Martelly to discusses his position on Haiti's military, the challenges of protecting and educating children, and why – despite widespread opposition in his country – he wants the United Nations to remain in Haiti for the time being.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/12/21/haiti.abuse/story.haiti.perlitz.cnn.jpg caption="Douglas Perlitz was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison Tuesday in New Haven, Connecticut." width=300 height=169]
Vladimir Duthiers and Hannah Yi
(CNN) - An American school founder who young Haitian men once hailed as a savior was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing them.
Douglas Perlitz, 40, was sentenced in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, to 19 years and 7 months behind bars for abusing the Haitian men when they were boys under his care, said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston.
"We're very pleased with the sentence," he said. "He was brought to justice and I hope it sends a strong message to people who are doing that or who are even thinking about doing that."
Judge Janet Bond Arterton imposed the sentence, which includes 10 years of supervised release.
Perlitz arrived in the northern Haitian city of Cap-Haitien in 1997. There, he opened a charitable school called the Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT). He got homeless boys off the streets and gave them shelter, food and education.
"When I met Mr. Douglas, he appeared to us like Jesus Christ himself come to rescue us," said Francilien Jean-Charles, who was only 12 when he was plucked by Perlitz and brought to the school.
Over the years, PPT grew into a 10-acre compound with dorms, classrooms and a soccer field.
Perlitz frequently flew back to Fairfield, Connecticut, to raise money. According to court documents, from 2002 to 2008, donors gave more than $2 million to help care for the kids. Perlitz's alma mater, Fairfield University, awarded him an honorary degree in 2002 for helping homeless boys in Haiti.
But Perlitz was hardly the man he appeared to be.
AC360° Production Assistant
A massive earthquake struck the island of Haiti on January 12, 2010. Less than 24 hours later, I landed in Port-Au-Prince with Anderson Cooper, AC360° Executive Producer Charlie Moore, cameraman Neil Hallsworth, and several other CNN colleagues.
As we drove out of the airport towards the center of town, I remember thinking, “It doesn’t look so bad.” Many of the buildings near the airport seemed to be in good condition; we only saw a few collapsed homes. Less than a mile later, reality hit. We pulled over to the side of the road and saw a child’s body lying on the median. Only a thin sheet afforded this tiny soul some dignity.
Over the course of the next month, CNN reported the full horror of what had happened in Haiti. We also reported on the millions, soon to be billons of dollars in aid that came from people and NGO’s all over the world.
Six months later, we landed in Port-Au-Prince to see how these funds were being used to rebuild Haiti. It soon became clear very little had changed. The streets looked exactly the same – as if the earthquake had struck just hours earlier. Even the Presidential Palace lay in the same crumbled condition.
I let my FlipCam roll as the AC360° team began following the money and reconnecting with survivors we had met back in January. Here’s the backstory of our time there.