Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Haiti: Fake Lawyer to Imprisoned Americans Actually a Wanted Sex Trafficker

Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

Jorge Puello falsely portrayed himself as a lawyer in Haiti and is now at large.


HAITI - As the 10 Americans imprisoned in Haiti for trying to remove children from the country awaited a decision on their fate Monday, the legal woes of the man who falsely portrayed himself as the group's lawyer mounted.

The one-time legal adviser, who calls himself Jorge Puello, now acknowledges that he faces sex trafficking charges in El Salvador under the name Jorge Anibal Torres Puello. He remained at large on Monday, as Dominican, Salvadoran and American law enforcement officials worked with Interpol to interview his relatives and search border and immigration records to find him.

Mr. Puello is wanted by the police in at least four countries in connection with charges including sex trafficking of girls and women, and making counterfeit documents and violating parole.

The Salvadoran police unveiled a sex trafficking ring last May in which they said Mr. Puello was helping to bring women and girls from Central America and the Caribbean into El Salvador and luring them into prostitution through offers of modeling and office jobs. Nude and semi-nude photographs were taken of women and girls and put on Internet sites, the police said.

The case against Mr. Puello broke open when three under-age Nicaraguan girls escaped from a house where they said they had been held captive for up to ten days by Mr. Puello's wife, Ana Josefa Galvarina Ramirez Orellana, and another man, according to Jorge Callejas, head of the Salvadoran border police...

READ THE FULL STORY AT NYTimes.com

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