Haiti Probes Adviser to US Missionaries

Jorge Puello suspected of sex trafficking; Americans stay in jail
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2010 6:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 12, 2010 6:48 AM CST
Haiti Probes Adviser to US Missionaries
Jorge Puello, left, a Dominican Republic attorney who was hired by the relatives of the 10 Americans detained on kidnapping charges in Haiti, arrives to the court building in Port-au-Prince, Monday.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

Police in El Salvador suspect the man advising the 10 American missionaries being detained in Haiti may also be the leader of a sex trafficking ring. When the Haitian judge presiding over the Americans’ case got wind of the investigation yesterday, he said he’d launch his own inquiry into the man as well. The adviser, Jorge Puello, denied the allegations, telling the New York Times that his name was common in the region.

“There’s a Colombian drug dealer who was arrested with 25 IDs, and one of them had my name,” the Dominican legal adviser said, adding, “I don’t have anything to do with El Salvador.” But the Times found several of Puello's other claims to be suspect, including statements about his law firm, and that he had been representing the missionaries for free. Meanwhile, the Americans learned that they’d be spending at least another weekend in jail. The prosecutor hasn’t responded to the judge’s recommendation for a provisional release, and won’t today because it’s a national day of mourning marking the one-month anniversary of the earthquake. (Read more Americans detained Haiti stories.)

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