The young man in the picture was 19 years old at the time of the picture. He's since turned 20. He's a Canadian citizen and he's in jail in Haiti. He has not been charged, has been denied due process, and has been in a Haitian jail since July of 2006. His name is Max Charbonneau.
Max came to Haiti to visit his missionary parents in June, 2006. While there he received a call from an old school friend asking for her help. In a strange series of events he ended up being questioned by police and held on suspicion of kidnapping. Eight months later he has not been charged and the judge has presented no evidence to keep him in prison. he has not been able to defend himself in a court of law.
Here's the question of the day. How is it that a Canadian citizen can be sitting in a filthy jail cell for eight months without charges and our government has not been able to get him out - or at least be able to examine evidence? The latest word is that our Federal government is about to announce a $500 million aid package to Haiti!?! I think maybe we demand they first return him safely to Canada.
This would be a good time to get involved and try to put some pressure on our government to get Max out. The two issues to emphasize are these:
- That Max, a Canadian citizen, is being denied justice and due process. He has never been charged and to date has never been able to defend himself in any court of law.
- That if we are going to give Haiti financial assistance then we expect them to treat our citizens justly and fairly. Is it right to give Haiti $500 million when they do not accord our citizens justice and due process?
In addition, get your friends to phone and write the Department of Foreign Affairs and express their desire for the government to advocate for Max. Please have them copy their letters to their own MPs so that we can maximize the pressure on the government.
Here are the addresses and phone numbers that you can use:
Department of Foreign Affairs E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Gordon Peter MacKay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON Canada
Ms. Josée Verner
Minister of International Cooperation
House of Commons
Ottawa, K1A 0A6
Department of Foreign Affairs Phone: (800) 267-8376
Peter MacKay: (613) 995-1851
Josée Verner: (819) 953-6238
Here is a web link that will help you to find your government representative:
To follow this story you cancheck out his parents web-site.