Local mission worker survives riots in Haiti


HADLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One local woman was right in the middle of dangerous rioting in Haiti over the past week.

Haitians are taking to the streets after the United States extradited a man who was just elected there on years-old drug charges.

Kate Bartow has been documenting her days in hiding in the Haitian city of Jeremie on a blog while her family in the Capital Region prays for her safety.

“There were people that told me I was going to get killed. And there were people that told me they would protect me.”

Lisa Bartow and her family help with relief services in places like Haiti.

“The Haitians themselves were protecting her.”

Her daughter Kate went to the city of Jeremie to help after Hurricane Matthew hit.

That’s when the U.S. extradited Guy Philippe, who had just been elected senator, on drug charges a decade-old.

“Haitians took to the streets and were angry at the United States.”

Kate was in the middle of all of it.

“Every other American in the town left.”

NEWS10 ABC’S Ayla Ferrone had a chance to talk to Kate on the phone. She said she hid for nearly five days as riots went on in the streets.

“The Haitians were saying that if the Americans took their Haitian then they were going to take Americans.”

That’s when she decided to contact the leaders of the riots. They agreed to meet her at night.

“I ended up going through this dark alley and a dark hallway and I entered a room and there was all the main leaders of these huge riots sitting in a circle.”

She asked to join them.

“So they said absolutely. They were excited and she stood with them and nicknamed her Soldad, which means soldier.”

Kate says this was dangerous for her to do, but she knew it was the right thing.

“For Grand’anse Province to already have lost so much through Hurricane Matthew, now lost their leader as well.”

Lisa couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.

“If things had gone differently and she hadn’t been alive today. I’d still be proud.”

Guy Philippe is currently in Miami and was set to appear in court there on Friday. It’s still unclear if that has happened.

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