Thursday, December 16, 2010

A plea for a fellow AID worker.

I wanted to tell you about a situation occuring in Haiti that involves a fellow AID worker by the name of Paul Waggoner. I have never met Paul but he and have "spoke" over facebook on many occasions and as far as I can tell he's a great guy with a huge heart helping the people of Haiti in amazing ways! The situation saddens me and infuriates me at the same time and I hope it will be resolved very soon.

I strongly believe that the core of people is good, I also know that when people are desperate and grieving they have the potential to do almost anything even going so far as to commit injustices against people who are trying to help them. But that does not excuse the continuation of injustice once the facts are known. I know that situations like this are occuring more and more around the world and AID workers are no longer immune to violence and injustice . But the thing that I know for sure is in most situations like these, it is a small few that give a bad name to the many. The people of Haiti love and appreciate people like Little Paul and Big Paul (as they are known there) and as our hearts are breaking watching him go through this I am certain theirs are too! This wrong needs to be righted and Paul needs to get back to what he does best...helping the people of Haiti!

Please share this story with anyone you know who can put pressure on to get him released. There are phone numbers at the end of the article you can call (I have) and by just passing on his story maybe we can get him some justice and freedom. There are many people working in Haiti and in the US and Canada to help him but every little bit counts. Please read his story and follow whats happening on the MMRC blog.

here is the latest release from MMRC

Paul Waggoner Transferred to Penitentiary
December 17, 2010 By
Nanci K. Murdock Leave a Comment
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (December 16, 2010)–Materials Management Relief Corps (MMRC), a nonprofit corporation that provides humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake, is urging Americans to contact US government officials demanding the release from jail of Paul Waggoner, co-founder of MMRC.
Waggoner is being held at the notoriously dangerous National Penitentiary, accused of kidnapping an infant last February. The child in question died at Haitian Community Hospital in Petionville late February while Waggoner was organizing supplies at the hospital. Waggoner did not administer any medical care to the infant. Despite the fact that a board-certified, US physician has signed an affidavit stating that the child in question was deceased and the father viewed the body, the father has accused Waggoner of kidnapping the child. The doctor’s affidavit also acknowledges that the father declined to take the child’s body as he did not have the resources to bury it, instead allowing the hospital to dispose of the body.
Since Waggoner’s arrest Dec. 12, 2010, it has come to light that he has dealt with legal troubles in the past, including a misdemeanor of assault and battery against a convicted sex offender in 2007. According to Waggoner’s attorney in the former case, Waggoner’s sentence was suspended and he served two years probation.
“We acknowledge that Paul Waggoner has dealt with legal issues in the past. However, we stand firmly committed to his innocence in this case,” MMRC spokesperson Nanci Murdock said. “When looking at the facts of this current situation, there is no bearing for these accusations. We have a signed affidavit from a US doctor proving that the child in question was, in fact, deceased and that Paul showed tremendous care and sympathy toward the child’s grieving father. Since racing to Haiti in the wake of devastation caused by the January 2010 earthquake, Paul has worked selflessly to save thousands of lives.”
Orphaned himself at a young age, and left with the responsibility to raise his younger sister, Waggoner is well known and well respected in Haitian circles for his humanitarian work in local orphanages and hospitals. He also has assisted in the re-building of various structures within Haiti.
MMRC Global, members of the Waggoner family, various non-government organizations within Haiti, and friends from around the globe stand in solidarity behind Waggoner and are working tirelessly towards his release and exoneration from these false accusations.
American businessman Jack Aronson, founder of Michigan-based Garden Fresh Gourmet, a $90-million company specializing in fresh salsa, recently worked alongside Waggoner in Haiti. Aronson staunchly stands by Waggoner and the admirable work he has done in the still-ravaged country. “Since arriving in Haiti, Paul’s work has been phenomenal. I spent time working beside him and personally witnessed his extraordinary care for this country’s children,” Aronson said. “I saw how dedicated and altruistic this man is. He risks life and limb to rescue Haitian orphans.”
To help secure Waggoner’s release, people may contact their government officials; contact information may be found at People may also contact Suzanne Grantham at the State Department (202-647-4956 or Overseas Citizens Services (202-647-5225).

Another article by MSNBC... scary stat that over 80% of people in prison there are still awaiting trial while spending many years in jail.

The Men's Journal Article about the Paul's

As I sleep in my warm bed tonight my thoughts will be of Paul and hoping and maybe even praying that he's safe...and that this nightmare will end soon!


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