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Analysis of the political actions and policies of Mexico's National Action Party (PAN) in regard to their detrimental impact on women's basic human rights

Últimas Noticias

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Added: Nov. 28, 2009

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - 2009


Mayan Women from TRAMA Textiles, which was born out of the most desperate and devastating times of the Civil War in Guatemala when most of the men -- grandfathers, fathers, brothers, and sons, disappeared [murdered], and the women were forced to find a way to survive and support their households and communities.

Photo: Rai

Víctimas de Violación por Parte de Militares Rompieron el Silencio

Guatemala: donde la justicia para las mujeres no llega

Guatemala - A trece años de la firma de los Acuerdos de Paz en Guatemala, las mujeres sobrevivientes y víctimas de la violencia sexual ejercida por militares y paramilitares entre 1981 y 1983 continúan exigiendo al Estado guatemalteco la reparación del daño, la restitución de sus propiedades y de sus derechos, y esperando una justicia que no llega…

Indigenous Women Victims of Rape During the Civil War Break Their Silence

Guatemala: where justice for women

never arrives

Guatemala - Thirteen years after the signing of the peace accords in Guatemala, the surviving women victims of sexual violence perpetrated by military and paramilitary forces between 1981 and 1983 continue demanding restitution of their property rights and other reparations from the Guatemalan State. They have been waiting for a justice that never arrives.

These women came together in the plaza Justo Rufino Barrios, in the historic center of Guatemala as an activity to commemorate the 25th of November [International Day Against Violence Against Women]. These surviving victims of sexual violation during the armed conflict broke their silence for the first time.

The majority of these women are widows, as their husbands were murdered during the civil war. The women denounced the lack of support and aid on the part of the Guatemalan government who, they said, had made false promises to repair the damage caused to the victims.

According to the report “Guatemala, the Legacy of the Violence”, Amnesty International (AI), during the four decades that the conflict armed in this Central American country lasted, around 200,000 people were victims of homicide or forced disappearance. Some 400 [(actually 440) Mayan] communities were destroyed.

Sexual violence against women and children was in-fact generalized during the entire conflict. At the event, 4 women narrated how they were abused, separated from their husbands and had their land and homes stolen from them during the civil war.

Petrona Cucul is a surviving woman of the conflict. She remembered how the soldiers burned their house and killed their husband. She was left alone in charge of her four children. After burning the house and the harvest and killing all of their farm animals, the soldiers raped her. Till this day Cucul continues to demand justice and aid from the government so that their children can continue their studies.

Germana Lucas was also raped by soldiers. Like Petrona, she had her land, her house, and all of her belongings stolen from here. She has never been repaid for these actions by the State.

Isabela Méndez related how, before the conflict, “there were good crops” of beans and corn. Later everything changed. : Méndez fled to the border and left her home. Who will repay the damage that we suffered, the pain, the sentiments?, she asked.

Illiterate and monolingual, Isabela was forceful and, in her Mayan language, she said: “I do not know how to read nor to write, I do not speak Spanish. But I have learned and recognize that I have rights and that I am citizen of Guatemala. We want to live peacefully and with justice.”

In a ritual ceremony, the indigenous women gave to one ear of corn to the women victims of sexual violence, as a symbol of solidarity and cleansing.

The women stated that, even [now] when there is no war, women continue to be discriminated against, raped, excluded and murdered for the single reason that they are women.

We recall that, during the visit to Guatemala in 2004 of the special representative for women’s rights of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH), was informed about the increase in the number of murders against women; a situation that is at its most serious when indigenous women are the victims. For them, justice simply does not exist.

The AI report on this subject makes reference to a report by the Guatemalan Truth Commission, which recognized that during the armed conflict,  the bodies of women were used [by government forces] to destroy and to intimidate the enemy [that is, the entire Mayan population]. Rape became one of the cruelest and degrading ways to violate a woman’s rights during this period.

The Truth Commission report notes that the majority of victims of rape were young Mayan indigenous women.

According to the document [and other reports], in March of 1982 at least 140 women and children of Negro River were forced to march up a mountain, where they were [raped and then] murdered, some to machete blows and others by strangulation. Shortly after, 79 people, in their majority women and children, were massacred in the neighboring town of the Encounter.

As a result of the massacres and other killings during the armed conflict, widowed women, many with five or more children, were forced off of their lands. They did not know how to read, and they lived with the traumas caused by the sexual assaults.

Without support from their government, these women had to begin to help each other. They began to weave alliances to talk, and to fortify themselves by means of self-help groups.

For that reason, on this commemoration of this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against the women, they decided to speak up, and to continue demanding justice. They conclude by stating, “although they cut even the stem off of us, we bloom again.”

Lourdes Loyal Godínez

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Nov. 27, 2009

See also:

Guatemala:  No Protection, No Justice: Killings of Women in Guatemala

Amnesty International

June 9, 2005

Added: Nov. 28, 2009


The Truth Under the Earth: The Relationship Between Genocide and Femicide in Guatemala

The war in Guatemala has never ceased. While the Peace Accords signed in 1996 demobilized some combatants and weapons - the killing, raping and torturing continues unabated. In 2009 the homicide rate for Guatemala, with a population of 13 million, is about 8,000 per year. Of these 8,000 murders approximately 10 percent are women and girls.

According to figures from Guatemala City based women’s group Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM) between January 2002 and January 2009 there were 197,538 acts of domestic violence, 13,895 rapes and 4,428 women were murdered. What is perhaps even more disturbing is that for this tsunami of violence there is a 97 percent impunity rate. One of the main reasons for near total impunity in the Guatemalan context is that the people responsible for the genocidal civil war against indigenous people in which 200,000 people were murdered and 50,000 disappeared have never, nor are they ever likely to be held accountable.

In August and September of 2009 I visited Guatemala, at least in part, to examine how the civil war has been superseded by an as yet undeclared social war, part of which is an ongoing femicide...

I visited Finca Covabunga, which is just up the road from Chul, a bumpy, dusty, windy three hour trip through the mountains on the back of a pick up, north of Nebaj. On December 9, 1982, 75 men, women and children were massacred by the Guatemalan army...

I talked and recorded survivors of the massacre. Margarheta lost her husband, animals, land and all her possessions on that day. She spent the next ten years living in the mountains running from the army. Digging up the bodies was painful for her as it brought back a flood of painful memories...

The next day Nicolas and I and a couple of other activists visited a community on the outskirts of Nebaj. It is named June 30th which commemorates the date in 2006 in which the community reclaimed land from the army - who had stolen it after eradicating the owners - and started growing food, teaching their kids and various other projects of self-determination...

While at the community I met a young woman of sixteen who had a six month old baby, the father is a soldier and the conception method was rape. Nothing has ever happened in regards to this rape. In June of 2009 a woman who had five young children, was raped, murdered and cut up by soldiers. Nothing will likely ever happen to the person/s who committed this heinous act - impunity for such crimes is total in Guatemala...

Colm McNaughton

Oct. 22, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - 2009


ONU: Lanza en Guatemala una Campaña Latinoamericana Contra la Violencia de Género

La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) lanzó hoy en la capital guatemalteca una campaña latinoamericana que durará hasta 2015 con el objetivo de unificar esfuerzos entre diferentes sectores y fortalecer legislaciones para poner fin a la violencia en contra de las mujeres… 

The United Nations Kicks-off Regional  Campaign Against Latin American Gender Violence in Guatemala

Guatemala City - The United Nations (UN) chose the capitol of Guatemala [Guatemala City] to launch is continent-wide campaign against gender violence. The effort will continue until 2015 with the objective to unify efforts between different sectors of society, and to fortify legislative efforts to end violence against the women in the region.

The campaign “Latin America, Unite to End Violence Against Women," will involve efforts by all of the agencies in the UN system. It is an initiative of its UN Secretary General Ban Kin-moon.

The launch was celebrated in the presence of the president of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, and the core UN officials working across Latin America. The November 25th event coincided with the celebration of the the International Day of Non Violence Towards Woman.

The director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), Alicia Bárcena, stated during the presentation that the various activities to be carried out through this UN campaign will attempt to reduce the levels of violence against the women.

A study by CEPAL of conditions of violence facing women in the region was presented during the event. CEPAL indicates that 40% of women in the region are victims of physical violence, and that the 60 percent suffer from psychological violence.

The report “ Not Even One More! From Words to Facts: How Much Farther Until We Get to This Goal? declares that the many forms of violence facing women in the region include domestic violence, murder, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Latin American women also suffer from sex trafficking, institutional violence, discrimination against immigrants, and race-based gender violence that targets Indigenous and Afro-descendent women [and girls].

The regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Rebeca Grynspan, explained that by means of this campaign, the UN will collaborate, together with the countries of the region, in efforts to fortify legislation in nations of the region regarding the protection of the rights of women.

In addition, the campaign will advance  a “multisectorial plan”, that promotes the prevention and eradication of machista violence, campaigns of sensitization, and development of national capacities for data collection.

With this campaign, it needed Grynspan, “we will revitalize the fight and the commitment of the UN tp put an end to violence against women, an urgent task that must be accomplished to prevent the continuation of the sentence of violence that generations of women have faced, which many women have paid for with their lives."

President Colom of Guatemala emphasized the importance of the United Nations’ choice of Guatemala as the launch-point of this campaign. Colom assured that “this constitutes a commitment” by his government to eradicate the evils that afflict Guatemalans women.

President Colom added that in Guatemala, most women are targeted for violence because they are poor, indigenous, young and women.

In this Central American country, one of most violent of Latin America, and where the greatest amount of violence against women occurs, two women are murdered every day, often by men known to them.

According to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, a UN agency, 94% of murders committed against women between 2001 and 2009 have remained [unsolved and] in impunity.


Nov. 25, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009


La Trata de Mujeres, en Chiapas

La vulnerabilidad de las mujeres, adolescentes, niñas y niños que van hacia los Estados Unidos ha aumentado en gran medida ya que son el blanco perfecto para las variadas formas de explotación que existen en la mayoría de las fronteras del país…

The Human Trafficking of Women in Chiapas State

Mexico is rich in natural environments, climates and amiable people. However, we also have problems in our southern region due to the geographic location of Mexico. Adults and children from Central [and South] America, who migrate north in search of the American Dream [in the United States], must migrate through Mexico. As with all nations in the northern regions of the Americas, Mexico experiences a great influx of people from its neighbors to the south. One alarming fact is that a growing number of very young migrants are attempting to travel north, putting themselves at risk of facing bad experiences in the process.

Women, adolescents, girls and boys who attempt to migrate to the United States are at ever-increasingly risk of being exploited in Mexico. They are a ‘perfect target’ for the various forms of human exploitation that exist along Mexico’s borders.

As a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficking victims, Mexico is vulnerable to the interminable networks of national and international organized crime that are dedicated to human slavery. Lamentably, Mexico has reported large numbers of people who have been enslaved for sexual and labor exploitation. These victims include women, adolescents and children, who are easier to convince, to manipulate and to exploit.

Without a doubt the seriousness of this situation represents enormous challenges for Mexico’s government and its society, because it impacts deals not only its direct victims, but also their families, communities, and society in general.

Opinion of Eduardo González A.

Nov. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

The Dominican Republic, Haiti

Feministas Denuncian la Trata de Mujeres Para la Explotación Sexual

Una agrupación feminista dominicana expresó hoy su preocupación por el tráfico de haitianas a territorio dominicano y de dominicanas hacia Europa y otros países donde son explotadas sexualmente por las redes que se encargan de reclutarlas.

Feminists Denounce the Human Trafficking of Women for Sexual Exploitation

A Dominican feminist group today expressed its concern in regard to the trafficking of Haitians into the Dominican Republic, and the trafficking of Dominican women to Europe and other countries where they are sexually exploited sexually by the networks that recruit them.

While mafia networks that operate in the Dominican-Haitian border recruit and deal to Haitians to prostitute them in the Dominican Republic, many women of this country also are victims of trafficking networks, who send them to Europe for prostitution, noted Raquel Rivera, spokeswoman of the Coordination of Women of the Cibao, located in the northern city of Santiago.

Rivera has presented the idea to the authorities in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic that they collaborate to eradicate the criminal groups that traffic in the women of both nations.

Rivera added that human trafficking, especially involving women who are prostituted, is nothing new in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic and Haiti have not escaped from these dynamics.

According to Rivera, the trafficking of Haitians to the Dominican Republic to exercise prostitution, and of Dominican women trafficked to Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany and other nations of Europe, is a result of the discrimination, violence and lack of opportunities that these women suffer.

Rivera added that all people who attempt to migrate from their home countries in search of better living conditions do so because the authorities in their nations have not given them the opportunity to live in dignity.

In Rivera’s opinion, the trafficking of women is a new indicator of the level of violence that affects females in Latin America and other parts of the world.


Nov. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009


Red de Pederastas en México (Primera Parte)

La red de trata de personas desarticulada el pasado 24 de octubre en la colonia Guerrero no está aislada. Se trata de crimen organizado que opera en Tlaxcala, Guerrero, Chiapas, Morelos y Oaxaca. Durante años hizo del Distrito Federal un mercado para la explotación sexual comercial infantil y lo convirtió en punto de partida hacia los estados fronterizos del norte…

Pedophile Ring is Broken-up in Mexico City (Part One)

The human trafficking network that was dismantled on October 24th, 2009 in the Guerrero neighborhood in Mexico City is not isolated. This is organized crime ring that operates in the states of Tlaxcala, Guerrero, Chiapas, Morelos and Oaxaca. For years they made Mexico City, as well as northern states on the U.S. border a marketplace for the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

"What we have here is a phenomenon where women trafficked for sexual exploitation were [first] assembled in Tlaxaca state. From there, they are taken to other states. They were taken to Puebla, them to Tijuana, and then to the United States," said Federico Pholsen Fuentevilla, of the Friar Julián Garcés Center of Tlaxcala.

The Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office reported that investigations of this network began last July when Maria del Socorro Vázquez Villegas, aka "La Coco", and Michelangelo Lopez Reyes, known as "The Clown", who were arrested.

However, citizen complaints, and neighborhood monitoring of the problem began years ago.

"It has been almost seven years since we began organizing the neighbors in our [community] association to denounce the prostitution that was happening in the streets. First there were women, then men and women, and now there are men, women and children," said David Alejandro Mondragon president of the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association.

Seven youth between the ages of 14 and 16 were rescued. They are from Oaxaca and Morelos states, and from Mexico City. The authorities found evidence linking this group with other pedophile networks in hotels that were raided.

Pornographic materials, video cameras, customer log books and other evidence was collected, said Juana Camila Bautista Rebollar, a prosecutor for Sex Crimes Investigative Center in the Mexico City attorney general’s office.

One victim testified that: "I was sold from one man to anther and to yet another, as if I were a toy.”

At the end of 2008 the Centro Fray Julián Garcés and various civil society organizations in Tlaxcala state denounced the fact that a well-structured network of pedophiles operating in the cities of Tenancingo and Zacatelco was recruiting youth, most of them just over the age of 14, to be trafficked to Mexico City for purposes of prostitution.

"Disgracefully, sex trafficking is inherent in the social behavior in some cities and towns in Tlaxcala state. In Tlaxcala, if you ask children what they want to do when they are grown-up, they say that they would like to have lots of sisters in order to have money" [by pimping them], said Dilcya Samantha Garcia, assistant prosecutor for the Care of Victims of within the Mexico City prosecutor’s office.

Without backing from the government of Tlaxcala, civil organizations and the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City discovered on their own the specific sex trafficking routes into the Mexico City neighborhoods of Colonia Guerrero, Centro Historico, Alameda Central, La Calzada de Tlalpan, La Merced and La Central de Abasto.

Last August, the commission issued a recommendation.

"The [government of the Mexico City borough of] Cuauhtémoc was cynical in its rejection of the commission’s recommendations, even though they have a moral responsibility for what is happening, including their lack of action, as in their failure to inspect the hotels that shelter this activity,” said Buena Vista association president David Alexander Mondragon.

But the Pandora's box that opened by the October 24th extends even further.

"We have grave problems of human trafficking in the state of Chiapas, particularly in the area Zoconúzco and Tapachula, where there is a brutal problem in human trafficking," said Samantha Garcia Dilcya.

The crusade began in the Federal District on October 24th brings us to the question, what took them so long?

November 4, 2009

News Eleven

Added: Nov. 28, 2009


Aprueban Ley de Prevención en Trata de Personas [en Tlaxcala]; prevén sanciones a servidores públicos

Tal y como se había previsto, en sesión extraordinaria del Congreso del estado se aprobó por unanimidad de votos en lo general y particular  el decreto por el que se crea la Ley de Prevención de la Trata de Personas para el Estado de Tlaxcala, así como las reformas a los Códigos Penal y de Procedimientos Penales…

Tlaxcala State Congress Approves New Anti-Trafficking Law

Just as had been anticipated, a special session of the Tlaxcala state congress has unanimously approved the Law to Prevent the Trafficking of Persons of the State of Tlaxcala. The law includes reforms to the criminal code and sentencing rules in relation to trafficking crimes.

The law has been designed to criminalize human trafficking in the state, as well as to provide for assistance, protection and reparations for victims. The ultimate goal is the eradication of trafficking in Tlaxcala.

The legislation was approved after a brief period of review by the state legislature’s Commission on Constitutional Compliance, the Interior, Justice and Political Affairs.

The law contemplates the formation of a State Council on Human Trafficking. The Council will be charged with developing strategies and taking actions to prevent trafficking. The Counsil will oversee the provision of care for victims, which will include medical, psychological, legal and material services. The law also creates a fund to support these operations through the fines levied against those convicted of trafficking offenses.

The law anticipates the participation of municipal governments, who will be expected to participate in prevention programs and coordinate their anti-trafficking work with civil organizations. Municipal governments will be expected to be on the front lines of efforts to detect trafficking crime.

The law identifies as a crime any activity by a person that “promotes, solicits, offers, facilitates, obtains, transports, gives shelter to, gives or receives, for themselves or for a third person, acts of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices analogous to slavery, or the extirpation of any human organ, or tissue.”


In cases where the victims granted consent, the perpetrator will not escape responsibility. Their crime will be sanctioned with prison sentences of between seven and fifteen years, and fines amounting to 500 to 1,500 days of minimum wage pay.

In cases where physical or moral violence was used to control their victims, sentences will range from 9 to 18 years in prison, and will include fines of between 1,000 and 2,000 days of minimum wage pay.

Government employees found guilty of trafficking related offenses will face prison terms of 15 to 25 years, and fines of 1,500 to 3,000 days of minimum wage salary. Government employees who are fired from their positions will be ineligible for reemployment for a period equal to the length of their prison sentence.

In cases where the victimizer is a family member, having a blood relationship with the victim to the fourth degree, sentencing will range from 15 to 25 years of prison time, and the fine will be the equivalent of 1,500 to 3,000 days of minimum wage salary.

If the crime has been committed against a person who is under age 18 or over age 60, or against a person with a mental or physical handicap, prison sentences will range from 30 to 40 years, and fines will range from 1,000 to 6,000 days of minimum wage salary.

The Congress of Tlaxcala also reformed Article 93 of the state penal code. The reform defines pimping and human trafficking as serious crimes. Suspects in these cases will not be allowed pre-trail release on bail.

Yvonn Márquez


Nov. 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

Washington State, USA

Pacific Pair Accused of Smuggling, Enslaving... Mexican Immigrants

For at least three years, a couple in the town of Pacific [a Seattle suburb] ran a smuggling operation that brought illegal immigrants from Mexico to be housed in the garage of their home, where the immigrants lived as indentured servants while paying off their smuggling debt, according to court documents.

Maria Bartola Santos-Gonzalez and Juan Gonzalez-Guerra slipped illegal immigrants from Aguascalientes, Mexico, across the border and up into Washington state, for $3,000 to $3,500 each, federal and state documents allege.

Among their victims was an 8-year-old girl, whom the couple brought to the United States in 2007, along with her parents and brother. The girl described to a school counselor and to a Pacific detective how Gonzalez-Guerra, 55, a legal permanent resident, sexually molested her.

Her 7-year-old brother told of how Santos-Gonzalez, 63, a U.S. citizen, would sometimes tie him up, cover his mouth with a handkerchief or tape and beat him with a stick, leaving purple marks.

The family said they were fed twice a day and a chain was kept around the refrigerator so they couldn’t get more food.

Family members told a Pacific detective the couple threatened to “cut out their tongues” if they told anyone about what happened and told the immigrants the police wouldn’t listen to them anyway because they were undocumented...

Lornet Turnbull

Seattle Times

Nov. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

South Dakota, USA

[News Briefs]

[Yankton -] Thumbs down to news that human trafficking may be much closer to our front door than we would like to believe. A Tea couple has been charged with conspiring to sell the services of underage prostitutes. The issue of human trafficking has been receiving a lot of publicity from human rights organizations around the world and for good reason — it is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Millions of children are enslaved and used for sex acts. According to data reported at, the global commercial sex trade exploits one million children annually. At least 100,000 children in America are victims of sex trafficking each year. It’s no secret that this activity is funneled through many small towns across the nation. To have it uncovered so close to Yankton is disturbing, and we hope that if this couple is guilty they are brought to justice.

Yankton Press & Dakotan

Nov. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

The United States

US Officials Begin Push Against Human Trafficking

Boston - Fourteen cities are being targeted in a new campaign aimed at alerting people about human trafficking, federal immigration officials have announced.

The "Hidden in Plain Sight" initiative, sponsored by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, features billboards highlighting "the horrors and the prevalence of human trafficking," which the agency says is equivalent to "modern-day slavery."

The words "Hidden in Plain Sight" are displayed on the advertisements with a toll-free number people can call to report situations where they believe people are being sexually exploited or forced to work against their will.

Cities in the new campaign are Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; New York; St. Paul, Minn.; San Antonio; San Francisco and Tampa, Fla.

Bruce Foucart, an ICE special agent in charge of New England, said officials hope the billboards persuade residents to report suspected cases to ICE or local law enforcement.

"It's difficult to identify victims and it's difficult for them to tell their stories," said Foucart.

About 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked each year around the world and about 17,500 of them end up in the United States, according to ICE. Immigration officials say the victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs but are trafficked into the commercial sex trade, domestic servitude or forced labor.

Foucart said victims who cooperate with law enforcement are offered temporary status and can later apply to stay in the U.S. permanently.

Jozefina Lantz, director of New Americans services at Lutheran Social Services in Worcester, Mass., welcomed the new campaign and said the public is generally unaware that human trafficking is occurring near their homes.

"Often the victims get mistaken for undocumented immigrants," said Lantz. "It's not the same because these people were abducted from their homes and forced into trafficking."

Lantz said her group has recently helped trafficking victims from Africa and South America.

Russell Contreras

The Associated Press

Nov. 10, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

The United States

Sex Trafficking: An American Problem Too

Editor's note: Professor Bridgette Carr directs the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. The Human Trafficking Clinic provides direct representation to victims of human trafficking and works to identify solutions to combat human trafficking.

Ann Arbor, Michigan...

The grim reality of child sex trafficking in the United States is this: Human traffickers are selling sex with children in big cities and small towns throughout America...

Through my work with... clients in the Human Trafficking Clinic we have identified a number of ways to fight sex trafficking.

Raise awareness within your community: One of the biggest barriers to helping victims of sex trafficking is the lack of awareness about the issue. Human traffickers profit when we think human trafficking only happens in foreign countries.

• Human trafficking happens everywhere, and sex trafficking cases involving children have been found in all regions of the country. No community is immune to the horrors of human trafficking.

• Communities must prioritize the fight against human trafficking -- including providing enough resources to law enforcement.

Change the conversation: Children who by law are too young to consent to having sex obviously cannot consent to selling sex, so:

• Victims should not be described as entering into prostitution; they are being exploited and should be described as victims of human trafficking.

• Law enforcement officials often arrest and detain child victims of sex trafficking on either prostitution charges or other charges, such as truancy or curfew violations. Law enforcement must be trained about human trafficking.

• Sellers of sex, especially when they are children, should not be guilty of a criminal violation. Buyers and pimps should be the only individuals at risk of criminal penalties. This would ensure that no victims are arrested or jailed.

Reduce demand: The reality of sex trafficking must not be neutralized or glamorized.

• Individuals who travel abroad to purchase sex from children are demonized in the media and identified as sexual predators, yet individuals who stay in the United States and pay to have sex with children are given the anonymous title "john" -- and frequently aren't even charged with a crime.

• Individuals who pay for sex with children in the United States should be punished.

Commentary by Bridgette Carr

Special to CNN

Nov. 25, 2009

Added: Nov. 28, 2009

Maryland, USA

Charges Dropped in East Baltimore Brothel Case

The sex trafficking and prostitution charges seemed pretty clear cut -- Carlos Silot was accused of running a brothel near Patterson Park, staffed with illegal immigrant women, from a rented row house, where police found a customer roster, photographs, condoms and more. But the case fell apart this week for a predictable reason: The women refused to testify.

How could we have expected otherwise? Women are brought to this country from Mexico, cut off from family, made to endure countless deprivations, and can't possibly expect that testifying against the man they say was responsible would turn out well. What believable assurances could the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office possibly make that it could protect these women? It certainly can't have helped that prosecutors initially charged the women -- the victims in this case -- with prostitution, only dropping the charges due to a lack of evidence.

It's unclear why local, rather than federal, prosecutors took this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office can bring to bear more resources to investigate the alleged crimes and to offer protection for the women who are the true victims. Moreover, federal laws for such crimes are much stricter, thanks to a law signed by President George Bush in 2005. The federal government also has mechanisms to help provide legal status for victims of such crimes -- the women in this case were in the country illegally -- and to help them rebuild their lives.

Maryland law was tightened recently to deal more harshly with child sex trafficking, but not with cases such as this one, in which the women were adults. Sex trafficking involving adults is a misdemeanor under Maryland law; if convicted, Mr. Silot faced at most 10 years in prison on a charge of pandering. That needs to be changed.


The Baltimore Sun

Nov. 10, 2009

A Response by a Baltimore Anti-Trafficking Activist

The news that a credible sex trafficking case "fell apart" due to a lack of testimony from two victims is unsurprising at best. Both foreign national and U.S. citizen victims of sex and labor trafficking face enormous obstacles as they attempt to leave (or simply survive) unimaginable, often terrifying circumstances.

However, rather than cast blame on prosecutors who were undoubtedly trying their best to further a tough-to-win case, it is more productive to understand that in Maryland, over 100 community and NGO advocates, law enforcement officers and legislative experts have come together in the form of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force to assist victims and ensure justice, including successful prosecution. This body, first convened in December, 2007 by Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, and Attorney General Doug Gansler, has grown not only in number but in capacity to serve victims and "get the word out" about the scourge of sex and labor trafficking in Maryland.

Rather than curse the darkness, all of us have to be part of growing light that is the human trafficking movement in Maryland. A recent awareness event in Baltimore -- held in the pouring rain -- brought dozens of individuals and families together, seeking ways to prevent all forms of human trafficking and more effectively address the issue. Let's put aside our differences and focus on the real enemy -- male and female traffickers, from this country and elsewhere, who ruthlessly exploit child, teen and adult victims -- and on real solutions, which always involve working together as one.

Sidney Ford

Nov. 10, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

As a resident of the state of Maryland for the past 40 years, I am impressed to see that the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force is a well-developed collaboration between both state and federal law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental anti-trafficking organizations and individuals. According to the Task Force, they are considered to be a model for such collaborations nationally.

During my decades in Maryland and the adjoining regions of Washington, DC and Virginia, I have witnessed the many faces of exploitation facing women and children in local Latin American communities. Much of that history has been told on During that time, I have been consistent in my efforts to contact and collaborate with local law enforcement, to ensure that Latin American immigrant residents of the region receive equal and fair access to the criminal justice system as victims of crime.

During the past several months I have engaged in dialog and activity with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force. Their response has shown some resistance to the idea of tackling the hard issues that surround the Latin American dynamics of human trafficking and exploitation in Maryland, but I trust that the Task Force will have an open mind to learn about the unique conditions that face our local Latino communities, where anti-immigrant hostility and the traditional code of silence combine with an often-times unfriendly interaction with government to create cover for the criminal activities of traffickers and the sexual exploiters of women and children.

In response to the above Baltimore Sun editorial and the response to it by Task Force activist and veteran direct services provider Sidney Ford, I posted the below commentary on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force web site on Nov. 22, 2009.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

Nov. 27, 2009

The recent dropping of charges against accused Baltimore brothel operator Carlos Silot emphasizes the need for Maryland anti-trafficking advocates to understand clearly the dynamics of sexual slavery in Latin America, and especially Mexico. I have worked on these issues in Montgomery County, Maryland and greater Washington, DC for 25 years. My site: LibertadLatina, recounts some of that history, and explores related problems in Latin America.

Some 17% of Mexico's gross domestic product is generated from prostitution, according to Teresa Ulloa, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking and Women - Latin America and Caribbean (branch). CATW-LAC is a coalition of some 250 NGOs.

The history of long-standing child and youth sex trafficking crisis in San Diego, California highlights the problems that showed-up in the Carlos Silot case. Women and girls are trafficked from communities where the original traffickers know their families. They, and victims from across Latin America face a very real risk of having their families murdered if they speak-up and testify. In addition, corrupt law enforcement agents routinely participate in trafficking in Latin America. Victims who have been brought to the U.S. have no way of knowing whether they should trust our agents and institutions, so they don't.

More information about the "child rape camps" of San Diego County may be found here.

Chuck Goolsby

Nov. 22, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009


International head of the Salvation Army, General Shaw Clifton (2nd left) with Colonel Onal Castor, territorial commander of the Caribbean; and members of the organization's local chapter Lieutenant Lynette Row (2nd right); and Colonel Edmane Castor, following a press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston yesterday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Salvation Army General Arrives in Jamaica

General Shaw Clifton, the international head of the Salvation Army, arrived in the island yesterday for a three-day visit during which he will attend a series of meetings and church services with members of the organization's local chapters to offer encouragement and to discuss ways to tackle gang-violence, human trafficking and other issues affecting Jamaica.

His visit is the first to the island and will be followed by a stop in Haiti tomorrow on his way back to England.

"The purpose of my visit to Jamaica is to find out for myself what the Army is doing here. I have heard about it, I have read about it, but I am here mainly for my own education," Clifton said at a press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday.

"One specific issue, a worldwide issue, is human trafficking and I am very interested to find out how this impacts your beautiful island of Jamaica," he said.

"The Salvation Army is deeply concerned about the level of human trafficking for sexual proposes over the world and we are committed to doing everything in our power to combat it," he added.

The Jamaica Observer

Nov. 25, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Arizona, USA

Border Patrol Agents Arrest Sex Offender

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector arrested a convicted sex offender in Kingman on Wednesday who was in the country illegally.

According to Agent Michael Lowrie, at about 2 p.m., the Arizona Department of Public Safety called the Yuma Sector's Blythe Station and said they had a "possible illegal alien" in their custody.

Agents assigned to the Blythe Station responded to the Kingman jail and took custody of the individual, who was later identified as Jorge De Jesus-Martinez.

Lowrie said agents determined that De Jesus-Martinez was in the country illegally and transported him back to the Blythe Station for further processing.

During processing, Lowrie said a fingerprints checks revealed that De Jesus-Martinez was a convicted sex offender

Back in September of 2008, De Jesus-Martinez was charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual battery. He was convicted on both counts and sentenced to serve two years in prison.

"He served his time in Stockton, California," Lowrie said.

Lowrie said De Jesus-Martinez will be processed for removal proceedings and deported back to Mexico.

James Gilbert

The Yuma Sun

Nov. 06, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

California, USA

Two Men Plead Guilty to Running Prostitution Ring

San Diego - Two men have pleaded guilty to helping to run a prostitution ring for migrant workers in San Diego County.
Eduardo Aguila-Tecuapacho and Carlos Tzompantzi-Serrano, who are both illegal immigrants from Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday of harboring illegal immigrants for prostitution.

Each could face up to 10 years in prison. They are expected to be sentenced in January.

Court documents say Aguila-Tecuapacho rented an apartment in Vista where one of the prostitutes lived. Prosecutors say Tzompantzi-Serrano drove the women to work in outdoor brothels.

A third man who faces charges of bringing the women across the border from Mexico will stand trial next month.

The Associated Press

Nov. 26, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Maryland, USA

Drawing of suspect

Girl, 14, Says Man Fondled Her, Exposed Self in Howard Store

Howard County police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 30s or early 40s who a 14-year-old girl said kissed her hand, fondled her and exposed himself in an Ellicott City department store.

The girl said the man, who spoke only Spanish, ran off after her grandmother approached.

Police on Wednesday said the incident took place in a Kohl's department store on Montgomery Road, but they did not specify when it happened.

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-313-STOP. Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Don Markus

Baltimore Sun

Nov. 26, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Massachusetts, USA

Francisco Wellington Barros-Gomes

J.C. Penney Clerk Charged with Dressing Room Rape

A sales clerk at a J.C. Penney department store in Sturbridge has been arrested and charged with raping a boy in a dressing room, police said.

Francisco Wellington Barros-Gomes, 26, of Charlton, was charged with indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and rape of a child with force, according to Sturbridge police. He was arraigned today in Dudley District Court and ordered held on $25,000 bail.

Police arrested Barros-Gomes after they responded to a report of an assault at the Sturbridge store around 6 p.m. yesterday.

Barros-Gomes is a Brazilian immigrant who is here legally as a resident-alien, police said.

Edward Mason

The Boston Herald

Nov. 25, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

North Carolina, USA

Officers Save Suicidal Child Sex Suspect

Henderson County - An inmate awaiting trial on charges of raping a child tried to commit suicide, but was saved by officers who took quick action, according the the sheriff.

The man, whose identity is not being released, is charged with first-degree rape of a minor child and first-degree sexual offenses against a child, tried to hang himself at the Henderson County Detention Center at about 3 a.m. last Saturday.

Security cameras showed that from the time the inmate hanged himself until officers intervened was well under a minute. The officers were able to respond to the unit, lift and hold the victims body weight, and untie the bed-sheet noose.

“If not for them, he would have died,” Henderson County Sheriff Rick Davis said...

The inmate is being held on a $301,000 dollar secured bond.

He is also under federal detainment [via] the 287(g) program pending the outcome of any possible conviction and sentencing resulting from his current charges...


Nov. 24, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Alabama, USA

Romero Sentenced to 130 Years

Enterprise man found guilty of five sex-related charges against children was sentenced to 130 years in prison Thursday morning in Coffee County Circuit Court.

Jorge Romero was found guilty in September of two counts of sodomy first degree, two charges of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and one charge of first degree rape in 30 minutes by an eight woman, six man jury after a two-day trial. He had remained in Coffee County Jail without bond, pending Thursday’s sentencing where he has remained since his arrest in August 2008 and after federal immigration officials placed a hold on him as an illegal alien.

Kelley sentenced Romero to 30 years each for two first degree sodomy convictions, 20 years each for two sexual abuses of a child less than 12 convictions and 30 years for the first degree rape conviction. Because the convictions involved children, Kelley told Romero that he is not eligible for parole.

During the trial the girls, now aged 8 and 7, separately testified perched upon three reams of copy paper in order to see the court. Both said they had been touched inappropriately by Romero when they were visiting his home. Using anatomically correct dolls, the girls separately showed the court what Romero had done to them...

The director of Dothan’s Women’s and Children’s Services, who is also a nurse, told the court she had examined both girls and that both showed evidence of sexual trauma...

The Enterprise Ledger

Michelle Mann

Nov. 19, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Florida, USA

Richard Morales-Marin, and Juan Hernandez-Monzavlo

Therapy Dog Helps Young Girl Testify Against Men Who Raped Her

On October 30, illegal aliens Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo, 25, and Richard Morales-Marin, 24, were found guilty by an Orange County, FL jury of kidnapping and sexual battery, along with other charges.

On February 5, 2009, the 11-year-old girl was walking to school when she was grabbed by the two Mexican nationals, who forced her into their car at knifepoint. They drove her to an abandoned house where both men took turns raping her.

Because of the girl’s young age and the severe trauma she has suffered, prosecutors brought a therapy dog into the courtroom to help calm her frayed nerves and allow her to testify against her brutal attackers.

The little girl never looked at her assailants, but locked eyes with the gentle Golden Retriever as he lay close to her, and described the ordeal to the courtroom.

“He grabbed my neck and put a knife to my throat,” she said.

She continued: “He told me to get in the car, I was crying. He told me if I didn’t he’d kill me.”

She said that when the pair was finished with her, they ordered her to put her clothes on and get back into the car. They drove her to another area and fled...

Sickeningly, one of the men, Morales-Marin, testified that he thought the little girl was a prostitute and that she went with them willingly. He claimed that he did not realize she was only a child until after he and his cohort had both raped her, when he noticed her small backpack.

Both men face up to life in prison and will be sentenced in January.

One of the rapists, Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo, had actually been previously deported to Mexico, but easily made his way back to Florida. He has been arrested many times for driving without a license.

Both Hernandez-Monzalvo and Morales-Marin are suspected of committing other sexual assaults in the area. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office say that DNA evidence has linked Morales-Marin to a recent rape near a local mall.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Nov. 17, 2009

See also:

Cops: Orlando-area Rape Suspects Could Have Many More Victims

The Orlando Sentinel

Feb. 13, 2009

See also:

Two Arrested in Rape of 11-year-old

Feb. 11, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

New York State, USA

Illegal Alien Charged with Rape in Endicott

Endicott police arrested and charged an illegal alien Tuesday with several felonies related to the rape of a 21-year old female.

Arnoldo Monroy-Gonzalez, 18... was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sex act and first degree unlawful imprisonment.

Endicott police said Monroy-Gonzalez, of Guatemala, was accused of holding a female against her will for over two hours and forcing her to engage in sex acts at knife point. Police recovered the knife and other evidence during a search of his apartment.

Monroy-Gonzalez was remanded to the Broome County Jail without bail.

Police were assisted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Syracuse.

Press & Sun Bulletin

Nov. 24, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Washington State, USA

Girl Reportedly Slain to Keep Her from Claiming Rape

Investigators say a 14-year-old Sunnyside girl was killed after saying she would report that she had been raped.

The 22-year-old Outlook man suspected of slashing her throat and leaving her to bleed to death next to an irrigation canal was ordered held on $500,000 bail at his first court hearing in the case Wednesday afternoon.

Jesus Fabian Perales was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the October 2008 death of Francisca Hernandez-Ramirez.

The girl's body was discovered in February in the Yakima River near Prosser.

She had been missing since Oct. 20, 2008, and was identified in February through dental records. Her family had reported her as a runaway shortly after she disappeared.

Perales fled the Yakima Valley after Hernandez-Ramirez's death, but authorities said they learned last week that he had returned.

An arrest report by Yakima County sheriff's detectives gave the following account:

Hernandez-Ramirez, the suspect and several others had been drinking and playing cards at a home in Outlook.

One of the men at the party found Hernandez-Ramirez passed out on the bathroom floor. After he helped her up, she said she wanted to go home.

That man and the suspect then drove her toward Sunnyside. Midway through the trip, she started screaming that she had been raped by another male at the party.

The men drove around the area while deciding what to do.

They decided to drop her off in an orchard, hoping that she would forget what happened when she awoke.

The suspect told the other man, who was driving, that he would deposit the girl, then return to the vehicle.

When he came back, the driver asked if she was all right, and Perales said she was "good."

The autopsy found that her throat had been cut, severing both carotid arteries.

The next day, Perales returned and told the driver he needed to sell or destroy the car because it might contain evidence of Hernandez-Ramirez's death.

He also threatened to kill the driver or his family if he went to police...

Mark Morey

The Yakima Herald-Republic

Nov. 25, 2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

Minnesota, USA

Benjamin Delacruz Ajqui

Illegal Alien Sentenced in Minnesota for Raping 14-year-old Girl

A few days ago, after pleading guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Benjamin Delacruz Ajqui was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old girl. The attack took place this past summer, amidst a pastoral setting in central Minnesota.

On the afternoon of July 28, 2009, the teenaged victim was riding her bicycle along the Lake Wobegon Trail, when she encountered Ajqui. The Mexican national, who was also riding a bike, grabbed the girl and shoved her down into a ditch, where he raped her.

Ajqui fled the scene and was later captured in a nearby cornfield.

At the time, Stearns County Sheriff John Tanner told reporters: "The suspect responsible for this, I'm sure waited for this young girl to get into a secluded area where he couldn't see anybody else on the trail system and took advantage of that opportunity.” ...

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Nov. 19,2009

Added: Nov. 27, 2009

California, USA

Police Detectives Shocked at Remorseless Suspects in Gang Rape of San Francisco-area Girl, 15

The shocking gang rape of a 15-year-old San Francisco-area girl was awful enough. But what has shaken even veteran cops is the complete lack of remorse shown by at least some of the suspects arrested in the case.

It’s "disgusting" and "the worst thing I’ve heard of," Richmond Detective Ken Greco, who has been on the force for 29 years, was quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The victim was found semiconscious beneath a picnic table after being brutalized by up to 10 suspects for about two hours.

"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously okay enough with it to behave that way in each other’s presence," police Lt. Mark Gagan told the Chronicle.

"What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others," Gagan said. "People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it."

"This just gets worse and worse the more you dig into it," Gagan told CNN. "It was like a horror movie after looking at the evidence. I can’t believe not one person felt compelled to help her." ...
Manuel Ortega, 19, a former student at the school, was arrested soon after he ran from the scene. He faces charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, and was held on $800,000 bail...

Also arrested Tuesday night were a 16-year-old San Pablo boy and 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond. On Monday, police arrested Manuel Ortega, 19, and a 15-year-old boy, a student at Richmond High who knows the rape victim...

Adam Sommers
The New York Daily News
Oct. 28th 2009

Added: Nov. 22, 2009

Latin America, Mexico

Reverend Steven Cass of the Breaking Chains Ministry sits with teens saved from the streets of Tijuana, Mexico.

Training school for Missionaries With the Heart to Help Children Who are Being Sexually Exploited

We are going to convert the downtown center we have a 5 story building in the center of Acapulco's oldest tourist zone into a training center for missionaries who want to be trained to go out to all of Latin America to work with these high risk children.

We were called to this massive problem and we believe the Lord provided this building for this cause. The program will be bi-cultural as all student groups will be a equal mix of Latin American students co-laboring with North American students. We will be teaching these students how we work the red light zones in a non-threatening manner. The classes will focus on how to gain trust, provide the out and also how to build the appropriate local relationships.

The school will run on a 90 day semester culminating with the graduating class being sent out to a city in Latin America to apply what they will have learned here in Acapulco both academically as well as in real life outreach.

The needs are great in this area as Latin America has actually overtaken Asia as the primary source of child exploitation [globally].

One of the roles of this school will be to reach out to the woman and children of the local community offering them vocational training as well as English classes. Where we excel as a ministry is gaining the trust of those who come in. From these people we get information that is otherwise unattainable. It is this information which leads to many of the children we actually rescue from the streets.

The needs are as follows:

1. We need approximately 50K to restore this facility and to prepare it to be able to house these class groups of 20 students.

2. We need missionaries with street level experience who are willing to join our staff for training. We are looking for 90 day commitments but will also have shorter term opportunities for specialists

3. We need teams who are willing to present this training to churches both in the US and Canada but also to the churches in Latin America.

4. We need materials and vocational programs that are proven to train the 1000's of single mothers starving in this city as well as English as a second language materials.

5. Most importantly we need your prayers that this school will come together in Gods will. It is a grand project and something we don't feel ready for but at the same time feel the Lord calling us to go now.

In Christ

Steven T Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

Nov. 17, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009


Three mothers testified in April, 2009 in Chile against the state of Mexico in regard to their daughters' murders.

(From left to right) Josefina Gonazalez,  United Nations representative Florenti Melendez,  Irma Monreal, and Benita Monarrez.

Photo by Maria Grusauskas - The Santiago Times

Fallo de CoIDH, un Hito en Lucha Contra Feminicidio

Documenta violaciones de México a Convención Belém Do Pará

México, DF.- La sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) –la cual no es pública aún– que posiblemente condenará al Estado mexicano por el feminicidio de tres mujeres (de ocho) encontradas asesinadas en un campo algodonero en Ciudad Juárez, cobra especial relevancia porque para emitirla se analizó la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres (Belem Do Pará)...

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

México DF

Nov. 20, 2009

See also:

State Held Responsible for Three Juárez Killings

Mexico City - The families of three young women murdered in Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua on the border with the United States, had to wait eight years for justice, which they finally obtained through the inter-American system.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States (OAS), found the Mexican state guilty of denial of justice to Claudia González, Esmeralda Herrera and Berenice Ramos, whose bodies were found with five others in November 2001, and to their relatives...

The trial against Mexico opened April 27 [2009] in the Court's branch in Santiago, Chile. The non-governmental National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD), the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM), the Citizen Network for Non-Violence and Human Dignity and the Centre for Women's Integral Development (CEDIMAC) provided legal support for the victims' relatives.

Eight bodies were found in a cotton field across from a "maquiladora," a factory assembling tax-free imported materials for export, on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez. Five of them were still unidentified when the accusation was presented, so the Commission decided to exclude them from the petition...

Known as the "Juárez femicides," at least 300 women were murdered between 1993 and 2003, and most of the perpetrators have gone unpunished, according to human rights watchdog Amnesty International. The disappearances and killings of women are still continuing.

In 2003, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission published a special report on the cases of 263 murdered women and 4,587 who had disappeared since 1993. It accused state and municipal authorities of serious omissions in the investigations...

Emilio Godoy (IPS)

Nov. 20, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

Texas, USA

Neighbors: Park Where Girl Was Assaulted Could Use More Light

More details were released Wednesday about the sexual assault of girl at Dottie Jordan Park in Central East Austin...

A 12-year-old girl told police she was walking home in front of the park around 7 p.m. when a man pulled up next to her in a red extended pickup truck. She says he tried to coax her inside.

"She continued to walk away from the man. She said the man then exited the truck, pulled her into the park and sexually assaulted her," APD Corporal Scott Perry said.

The girl described her attacker as Hispanic, 30 years of age, 5'8" tall and 150 pounds. She told police he wore a red shirt, jeans, brown boots and black gloves.

"It's really sad that an innocent child at 12 sexually assaulted. That's sad especially 'cause there's a lot of children around here," Moten said.

Children don't just come here for the park. This is a route... [that] many use to walk to and from area schools. An elementary school zone ends where the park begins...

Noelle Newton


Oct. 28, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

The United States

Secretary Napolitano and ICE Assistant Secretary Morton announce that the Secure Communities Initiative identified more than 111,000 aliens charged with or convicted of crimes in its first year

Washington, D.C. - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton today announced that ICE's Secure Communities initiative-a partnership with local law enforcement agencies that uses biometrics to identify and remove criminal aliens-identified more than 111,000 aliens in local custody charged with or convicted of crimes during its first year...

The results announced today are the product of enhanced interoperability between DHS' US-VISIT and the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division criminal biometrics program-technology that streamlines information sharing to enhance public safety...

Since its inception in October 2008, Secure Communities has identified more than 11,000 aliens charged or convicted with Level 1 crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnapping-1,900 of which have already been removed from the United States-and more than 100,000 aliens charged with or convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes, including burglary and serious property crimes...


Nov.12, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

The United States

...Arrested for Raping 8-year-old Boy

On Wednesday, police in Brewster, New York arrested a 24-year-old illegal alien for molesting an 8-year-old boy.

The abuse was discovered during an October 30th medical exam by the boy’s pediatrician. The little boy told his doctor that Mendez-Depaz was responsible.

Nelson Mendez-Depaz has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, and is being held in the Putnam County Jail without bail. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has also placed a retainer on the suspect.

The following facts help illustrate the growing epidemic of child molestation being committed by illegal aliens:

- Deborah Schurman-Kauflin Ph.D. of the Violent Crimes Institute reports that the U.S. illegal alien population includes at least 240,000 sex offenders. Based on various studies, it is estimated that they will commit 130,909 sex crimes annually.

- 63 percent of the sex crimes committed by illegal aliens, were done so by previously deported criminals...

Nov. 14, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

The United States

Senators Press Holder on Rape Kits

Holder Pledges His Dept Will Address Backlog

Following a CBS News investigation on untested rape evidence, Senators asked Attorney General Eric Holder today if the Justice Department will do more to ensure that untested evidence in rape cases is processed and analyzed by crime labs.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he was disturbed to have recently learned that despite federal funding “substantial backlogs remain.”

Holder responded, “Mr. Chairman, I not only pledge that we should, we have to work on this. For every crime that remains unsolved, there is a rapist who is potentially still out there and ready to strike again. The Justice Department looks forward to working with this committee to come up with a way in which we do away with that backlog.” ...

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) told CBS News that in response to the CBS story on rape kits online sessions with their National Sexual Assault Online Hotline increased by 53%.

"Stories on topics such as this have the potential to trigger difficult memories for those who have been affected by sexual violence, that's why it's critical that viewers are provided with information on how to get help, and what to do if they've been sexually assaulted," says Katherine Hull, spokesperson for RAINN.

Laura Strickler

CBS News

Nov. 18, 2009

See also:

California, USA

Lavinia Masters at age 13

Raped at 13, Victim Fights to Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog

...Lavinia Masters was raped by a stranger in her Texas home when she was 13.

It was a hot July night in 1985, and the Texas sixth-grader had been sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect...

DNA testing had not been available when Masters was assaulted. But in 2005, police said they discovered the DNA in her kit matched DNA samples from a man who was already serving time in prison for unrelated crimes, including sexual assault.

But the suspect could not be prosecuted in Masters' case because the statute of limitations had run out.

...Masters, now 38, decided to let her name be known to shed light on the issue of backlogged rape kits.

Government officials say many police departments and crime labs across the country are inadequately funded and overwhelmed, leaving many rape kits untested. Rape victims' advocates say leaving the kits untested suggests law enforcement agencies aren't prioritizing rape cases.

In Los Angeles, California, 7,495 untested rape kits were in the police department's system in October 2008, the department said. The rape kits may have the critical DNA that could lead to the arrest of offenders, exonerate those wrongly convicted and end the agonizing uncertainty for rape victims...

The Los Angeles Police Department drew criticism last year over its backlog. By September, the LAPD reported the backlog had dropped to 2,937 due to an influx of federal grant money and the efforts of its DNA Task Force. The tested rape kits resulted in 405 suspect hits, according to law enforcement officials...

Stephanie Chen


Oct. 15, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

The United States

Liberan a 52 Niños en Acción Contra Prostitución Infantil en EU

Washington. Al menos 52 niños fueron liberados en una acción contra la prostitución infantil en Estados Unidos, en la cual además fueron detenidas 690 personas, entre ellas 60 presuntos proxenetas, informó hoy el Buró Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) en Washington.

La acción de tres días se realizó en 36 ciudades y fue parte de una iniciativa que desde 2003 combate la prostitución infantil y el tráfico de niños en Estados Unidos.

"La prostitución infantil sigue siendo un problema grave en nuestro país", afirmó el subdirector del FBI Kevin Perkins, que aludió a la alta cifra de niños rescatados. Agregó que desde el comienzo de la iniciativa fueron rescatados unos 900 menores obligados a prostituirse. Además hubo 500 condenas.


Oct. 26, 2009

See also:

52 Children Rescued in Nationwide Sex-trafficking Raids

Federal officials arrest almost 700 people, including 60 suspected pimps, in a three-day crackdown on child prostitution. The youngest victim was 10, authorities say.

Reporting from Washington - Federal officials rescued 52 children and arrested nearly 700 people over the last three days in a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution.

Almost 1,600 agents and officers took part in the raids, which followed investigations in 36 cities, according to the FBI, local law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Included in the arrests were 60 suspected pimps, according to the FBI and local police officials.

Authorities say the youngest victim was 10...

The sweep, dubbed Operation Cross Country, is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, started in 2003 to address child sex trafficking in the U.S.

The initiative has rescued nearly 900 children; led to the conviction of 510 pimps, madams and their associates; and seized $3.1 million in assets, according to the FBI.

"We're having an enormous impact on this business," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Most of the recovered children have been girls, who usually become victims of traffickers around age 12, Allen said.

He estimated that 100,000 children are still involved in sex trafficking in the U.S., adding that the problem is growing partly because of the recession.

Joe Markman

The Los Angeles Times

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Oct. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

California, USA

Miguel Angel Herrera

Rape Suspect Sought in Halloween Acid Attack

Los Angeles - Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man accused of pouring battery acid on his girlfriend's face before raping her on Halloween night.

Police say 30-year-old Miguel Angel Herrera restrained and tortured his girlfriend after the two got into a heated argument at his apartment around 9:00 p.m.

Captain Art Miller says Herrera told the woman he wanted to teach her a lesson.

Miller says he punched the woman, stabbed her with a knife, whipped her with an electrical cord, poured acid on her face and body and tried to make her drink the acid.

Miller says Herrera raped her before allowing her to leave.

The woman drove to her family's house.

She was taken to the Newton Division Police Station then to a local hospital where she was treated and released...

Herrera is described as Hispanic, with black hair, brown eyes and was last seen driving a Nissan, Titan pick-up truck license plate number 8-K-5-5-4-6-9.

It's believed the incident was an isolated attack, however, police are trying to find out if there were any additional victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call Southwest Detectives at (213) 485-2585.

KTLA-TV, Los Angeles

Nov. 11, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

Texas, USA

San Antonio Blogger Has Had Enough "Free South Park Mexican" Sentiment

A little over seven years ago, we wrote about the South Park Mexican trial.

[Rapper South Park Mexican - SPM], born Carlos Coy, had it all: money, his own record label, a nightclub and, most importantly, the ear of a generation. He was the voice of a new type of person: the Southern and Southwestern Mexican-American who acclimated to American life through black culture - specifically hip-hop - instead of white. As Tejano music and culture started to wither and die in the wake of the murder of Selena, SPM stepped into the breach with a new style and swagger.

As the '90s progressed, young Texas Latinos stashed their hand-tooled leather belts, ostrich-skin boots and Charro-style hats and replaced them with, as commentator Rolando Rodriguez recently put it, " 'south side fades,' fitted Astros hats, oversized t-shirts, [and] gold grills in the mouth spittin' Southern slang."

And then Coy's weakness - a predilection for sex with underage girls - came to light. In June of 2002, Coy was convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of the nine-year-old daughter of two family friends and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Many of SPM's friends were outraged, and a measure of their scorn can be found in the comments at the end of our trial coverage.

A sampling:

Ana Sanchez from Phoenix: "How can an innocent man sit behind jails to rot without having a proper trial. I think its a bunch of **** how the prosecutors sent him to 45 years of prison without studying the evidence. The lawyers did not bring up the girls possible intentions of accusing him of rape. All those lying b*** want is the money and publicity!! All I can say is dat SPM can be doing so many things outta prison and instead he is caged like an animal. FREE SPM!!!!!!!!!!!"

And again and again, variations of "FREE SOUTH PARK MEXICAN!!!!!", a cry you can also hear in underground rap videos and see on T-shirts and in videos to this day.

Enough, writes Rolando Rodriguez, a native of Richmond, Texas, now based in San Antonio:

"In their minds and for the fans, all of this is a conspiracy by a bunch of "money hungry ****" who wanted to cash in on his earnings and fame. For the sake of the community I come from and for the inspiration he brought to Hispanics in Houston and elsewhere, I want to believe that, so bad.

"But I can't. I have an eight-year old daughter and the thought of anything like that happening to her doesn't allow me to support the "Free SPM" movement, and that should be reason enough for those who have children of their own and do follow the "Free SPM" movement, not to anymore. I'd rather be wrong about SPM's guilt and face my own community in embarrassment, than be wrong about his innocence and face my own daughter in shame." ...

"Today, we've got to find a new hero," he says. "We need to find someone who's more socially conscious, whose delivery is more positive. Why not use that power for good?"

Houston Press - Houston Music Blog

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009


[Voices from some of the good people working for change on the front lines of the crisis in Mexico... LL]

Rescues In the Works - We Need Prayer Coverage

Breaking Chains Ministry Update

My heart is aching lately as I feel like while we are making major strides all around us the world seems to be falling. I live in a part of the world where lawlessness and murder are daily occurrences...

There are 5 major rescues in process...2 of them are here in Acapulco. One is a group that is stealing children from the street, they use methods which include getting the children addicted then using them to deliver drugs, once they have them working the girls are sent to deliver drugs to a home where they are taken by force and moved to other parts of Mexico and at times to the US or other countries to become sex slaves. We have enough information now that we know how it is happening but still lack the solution so please pray with us that God will come through.

There is one girl who is in my sights now who has been on the streets since she was 13..she is now 17 and sadly has a 3 month old baby. She was put in my path during a recent outreach which was considered a failure by the team that was with me. For me it was a grand victory as we found Beranice even though she refused to speak with us or even let us minister to her baby. Yesterday I dropped off diapers and baby food to her at the spot she lives on the street in the middle of drug addicts. I just left the stuff and walked away as I wanted her to see there was no agenda beyond giving her and her baby help. God led me to this and I believe it was enough that today when I go for them she will receive at least my offer of a safe home. Please pray for her and the baby and that the light will shine bright enough to let her see through the dark to the opportunity the Lord is giving her and her daughter...

The last 2 cases involve dangerous situations so I cannot share details...they involve many children most of whom have yet to reach 16 and yet they are being prostituted. The clients are mostly American men and praise God we have help with the US govt. that will God willing not only get these men but also get these children to safety...

In Christ

Steven T Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

Nov. 17, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009


Arrestan en México a un Estadounidense Acusado de Pornografía Infantil

Guerrero - Agentes federales capturaron en el sureño estado mexicano de Guerrero a un estadounidense acusado del delito de pornografía infantil, en la modalidad de almacenamiento, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR, Fiscalía).
La fuente señaló en un comunicado que se trata de John Terrence McGovern, quien fue detenido ayer cuando llegaba al aeropuerto de Zihuatanejo (Guerrero), procedente de Los Ángeles, California...

Arrested in Mexico to an American man accused of child pornography

Guerrero - The federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) has announced that federal agents in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero have arrested an American accused of the crime of possessing of child pornography.

John Terrence McGovern was arrested yesterday as he arrived at the airport in Zihuatanejo (Guerrero), from Los Angeles, California.

The investigation was headed by the Special Unit for Research into Trafficking in Minors, Undocumented Persons and Human Organs, in cooperation with U.S. authorities.

According to investigators, authorities searched McGovern's house in Michigan (USA), and found information linking emails with the generation and distribution of child pornography originating from Zihuatanejo, Guerrero.

Police also searched McGovern's home in Zihuatanejo and found eight compact disks containing sexually explicit images where those photographed appear to be under age 18.

McGovern is being held in a prison in Acapulco, in Guerrero state.


Nov. 12, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

Maryland, USA

Police: Jogger Sexually Assaulted on Trail

Takoma Park - Police are looking for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while she was jogging.
Montgomery County Police say a woman was dragged into the woods along the Sligo Creek Stream Valley Trail in Takoma Park around 5 p.m. Thursday.

Once inside the woods, the suspect sexually assaulted the woman.

Police say the suspect is a Hispanic man, age 25-35 and about 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 9 inches with short black hair. He was wearing a heavy long sleeve beige shirt and baggy pants.

Police are asking anyone who may have been in the area near the Carroll Avenue Bridge to call them at 240-773-TIPS (8477).


Nov. 20, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

California, USA

Police: Man Tries To Kidnap Girl On Her Way To School

Bakersfield - On Thursday around 7:30 a.m., an 18 year old female Bakersfield High School student reported that as she was walking in the 300 block of California Avenue, she was approached by a man who asked if she needed a ride.

Police said the girl refused the ride and walked away only to be contacted a few blocks later by the same man who grabbed her arm and told her to go with him. The girl pulled away from the suspect who then grabbed her buttocks as she ran away, police said.

The man is described as Hispanic in his mid 20s. He is said to be between 5 feet 8 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build. He has a bald or shaved head and was last seen wearing a gray sweater with lettering on the front and light blue jeans, police said.

Prior to the assault police said the man was seen standing near a lowered maroon 1990's mini truck, possibly a Chevrolet, with aftermarket rims.

Anyone with information related to this offense is encouraged to call the Bakersfield Police Department Investigations Division at 326-3846.

Nov. 20, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

Washington State, USA

Sketch of driver of minivan

Two Men Sought in Attempted Abduction in Redmond

The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

The Redmond Police Department has released these sketches of two men involved in the attempted abduction of a 14-year-old girl on Wednesday afternoon.

The girl was standing on the corner of Avondale Road and Northeast 90th Street when a light blue van with two men pulled up alongside her. The passenger said to the girl, "Come here" several times.

When the man opened his door and attempted to grab her, the teen turned and ran in the opposite direction as the van sped off. The girl worked with authorities this afternoon to create sketches of the passenger and driver.

The passenger is described as a Hispanic male in his early 40s with a heavy build, dark "tanned" skin tone, and black hair. He stands is 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-8 and has a pointed nose with a bump in the bridge of his nose.

The driver is thought to be a Hispanic male in his mid- to late-40s with a thick build, "messy" black hair, double chin, wrinkles, and dark "tanned" skin.

They were driving a light blue mid-to-late 1990s minivan.

Anyone with information on the men or their vehicle is asked to call Redmond
police at 425-556-2584.

The Seattle Times

Nov. 19, 2009

Added: Nov. 21, 2009

California, USA

Police Looking for Suspected Child Harasser

[San Diego] - East County authorities were on alert Thursday for a man who harassed a girl walking to school.

The girl told deputies she was walking near Apple Street and Paraiso Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday when a man pulled over a late-model dark blue minivan next to her and asked if she wanted a ride to school, said San Diego County sheriff’s Deputy W. Bunk.

“I’ve been watching you and your sisters,” the man told the girl, according to Bunk. When she asked him how he knew she had sisters, he responded: “I’ve been watching you and seeing you around here.”

He then asked for the girl’s phone number; she said she didn’t have one, Bunk said.

The man then began to follow the girl as she walked on, asking her again to accept a ride, Bunk said.

The girl “became frightened and ran to the 7-Eleven store located on Jamacha Road and Grand Avenue, where she called her mother and waited until deputies arrived,” Bunk said.

Authorities described the man as Hispanic, around 40, about 6 feet, with a goatee and short unkempt hair. His minivan had dents and scratches.

San Diego News Network

Nov.19, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

Central America

Central America: Gender-based Violence, the Hidden Face of Insecurity

Managua - Gender-based violence and sexual abuse are serious public security problems in Central America, and Nicaragua is no exception, according to reports by United Nations agencies and women’s organizations.

The Central American Human Development Report 2009-2010, released on Oct. 20 by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, says violence against women, adolescents and children is the "hidden" and "most invisible face" of public insecurity in the region.

According to the study, entitled "Opening Spaces for Citizen Security and Human Development", two out of three women murdered in Central America are killed for gender-related reasons, a phenomenon that is known as femicide.

Gender violence, however, remains largely concealed by prevailing social attitudes that condone it and by the victims’ reluctance to report abuse...

The women who pressed charges had suffered the worst abuse, including sexual assault, bodily injuries, mutilations and torture, Granera said. More specifically, 4,129 were cases of domestic violence, 2,253 were cases of sexual assault, and 8,645 were cases of physical and psychological harm, such as threats, blackmail and verbal abuse.

"The rest of the victims kept quiet. This shows that even though it is the leading public security problem (in Nicaragua), it is the least reported crime, and, therefore, the one with the greatest impunity," Granera said.

The UNDP report, which assessed levels of public insecurity in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, reported that Central America has become the region with the highest levels of non-political violence worldwide.

However, the report clarifies that while the countries of Central America's so-called "northern triangle" have homicide rates five to seven times higher than the global average of nine per 100,000 people - 48 per 100,000 in Guatemala, 52 per 100,000 in El Salvador and 58 per 100,000 in Honduras - Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama to the south are significantly safer, with murder rates of 11 per 100,000 population, 13 per 100,000 and 19 per 100,000, respectively.

Women, adolescents and children, ethnic minorities and groups with alternative sexual orientations are the main victims of what the study refers to as the region’s "phenomenon of 'invisible' (or rather 'invisibilized') insecurities," whereby certain groups are "exposed to an exceptional disparity between the risk of violent or predatory crimes they face and the protection they receive." ...

Bautista noted that the report presents at least six atrocious forms of "invisible crimes" that plague children in Central America: murder, forced participation in criminal activities, police brutality, domestic abuse, sexual abuse and assault, and forced labor and prostitution...

In Nicaragua, one out of three women married or living with a man has been subjected to physical violence, including sexual abuse, at some point in her life. Half the victims report that they first suffered abuse before the age of 15.

"According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in 2008 alone there were 1,400 pregnant girls under the age of 15. Most of these pregnancies were the result of rape," Millón said, citing a study published in Managua in June by the multilateral agency.

...Violence against women - like violence against children or ethnic minorities - "is almost totally excluded from the official debate on public insecurity in the region," said Millón...

José Adán Silva

Inter Press Service

Nov. 16, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

California, USA

Sketch of suspect

Attempted Kidnapper Wanted In Encino

Police are looking for a man who tried to kidnap a teenage girl as she walked in Encino.

Police Tuesday were searching for a man who allegedly tried to kidnap a 13-year-old girl as she was walking in Encino.

The teen told investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department that a man jumped out of his parked vehicle and grabbed her at around 2:20 p.m. Nov. 11, near Magnolia Boulevard and Zelzah Avenue.

As he dragged the girl toward his car, she screamed and managed to free herself from his grasp and run away, according to authorities. The suspect immediately ran back to his car and drove off, authorities said.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his 30s or 40s. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He had a shaved head and wore a white oversized T-shirt and dark baggy shorts.

He was driving a white four-door SUV with a broken right tail light, possibly a 1995-2005 GMC Yukon, with a license number that began with "4Y."

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call LAPD Detective Larry Concepcion at (818) 374-7725, or the toll-free number (877) LAPD 24-7.


Nov. 17, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

Texas, USA

Rowlett Police Warn of Possible Child Enticement Threat

We recently got word from the RPD about a report of a possible child enticement -- an adult trying to get a child into his vehicle -- a few weeks aqo in the 9500 block of Waterview Parkway. A 10-year-old girl told police an unknown Hispanic man approached her and told her several times to get in his truck. He finally gave up and drove away southbound on Liberty Grove Road toward Merritt.

The man is 30-40 years of age with a mustache or small beard, wearing a dark blue long-sleeve shirt "with buttons." His truck is an older-model red two-door, possible a Toyota, with an open bed, a dent in the right rear passenger side, and chrome or silver rails on the bottom of the truck.

Anyone with information about this is asked to call the RPD's Investigations Division at 972-412-6220.

Richard Abshire

The Dallas Morning News

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

Nevada, USA

Sketch of suspect

Police Seek Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping

Las Vegas police are searching for a man in connection with an attempted abduction of a 13-year-old girl who was walking to school Friday.

Lt. John Bradshaw said today that the attempt happened in the morning as the girl was walking to Mack Middle School.

She was walking near Vegas Valley Drive and Mountain Vista Street when a Hispanic man driving a black SUV made disparaging remarks to her and tried to lure her into his vehicle, Bradshaw said.

The girl told school authorities about the incident. She did not know the man.

Anyone who knows the man in the sketch or who has knowledge of the incident is urged to call Las Vegas police’s Sexual Assault Section at 828-3421 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

California, USA

Woman Pushing Stroller Attacked in San Rafael

San Rafael police are investigating an assault on a woman pushing a baby stroller in the Canal area.
The attack occurred Monday on a private walking path parallel to Playa del Rey, said San Rafael police Sgt. Jim Correa. The woman told police a man approached her from behind, covered her mouth and tried to pull her backwards, but she was able to pull away.

The man then grabbed the woman's breasts and buttocks before running away toward Bellam Boulevard, Correa said. The infant in the stroller was not harmed.

The suspect was described as Hispanic, 20 to 25 years old, thin and about 6 feet tall with short black hair. He was wearing a black sweater and black pants and was carrying a cell phone...

Anyone with information can call the San Rafael Police Department at 485-3000, or place anonymous tips with Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, a multilingual line.

Gary Klien

Marin Independent Journal

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

Texas, USA

Elementary on Alert After Reported Attack

The principal of a southeast Houston elementary school warned parents about a possible attempted abduction of a student on his way to class Tuesday.

Cornelius Elementary Principal Karen Jackson said a mustached Hispanic male wearing a black jogging suit and blue shoes grabbed a fourth-grade boy off a bike and tried to drag him up a driveway Tuesday morning. The boy escaped, ran to campus on the 7400 block of Westover and reported the attack, and the suspect remains at large.

Jackson said the school will remind students to run away in similar situations, and said Houston Independent School District police will be patrolling the area more heavily.

Houston Chronicle

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

California, USA

Yuba City Police Warn of Suspicious Activity Near Bus Stop

Yuba City police today issued a warning about a man who apparently tried to pick up two children who had just been let off a school bus.

The incident occurred about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday at Whyler Road and Oji Way, said police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey.

The bus driver saw a man pull up in a white van or sport utility vehicle and talk to the children, who "looked shocked," she said.

When the bus driver investigated, the children — a boy and girl ages 10 and 12 — told her they did not know the man and that he had asked them if they wanted a ride, Pavey said.

The man was described as a Spanish-speaking Hispanic male adult. No further description of the man or his vehicle was immediately available.

Police commended the driver for being alert and getting involved.


Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

New Jersey, USA

Newark Police Report Child Abduction Attempt

Newark police are warning residents that a man tried to lure an 11-year-old boy into his van Tuesday afternoon.

The boy said the man drove up to him in the area of Parkshore and Edgewater drives at about 4:20 p.m. and asked him if he needed a ride, police said.

When the boy declined, the man got out of the van, opened the passenger door and asked him to get in, police said. The boy ran away.

Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the man or the vehicle.

The van is described as being green with tinted windows and may have the letters "NVE" on the license plate.

The driver is Hispanic, about 5 feet 11 inches tall and is described as having a "big stomach," police said. He was wearing a black sweatshirt, blue denim pants with holes in the knees and a blue wristband on his left wrist.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Newark Police Department at (510) 578-4237.

Bay City News

Nov. 04, 2009

Added: Nov. 19, 2009

Kansas, USA

DNA points to Rape Suspect

DNA evidence pointed the finger Tuesday at a law school graduate as the man who impregnated an underage girl he is charged with sexually assaulting.

Ralf Moises Mondonedo, 41, of Bedford, Texas, is charged with one count of rape or, in the alternative, one count of aggravated incest with a relative 16 to 17; six counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child 14 to 15; two counts of criminal sodomy with a child 14 to 15; one count of attempted criminal sodomy with a child 14 to 15; and one count of battery, according to court records. All but the battery are felonies...

Karol Elias, co-laboratory director at the Paternity Testing Corp. in Columbia, Mo., told jurors the probability that Mondonedo was the father of the victim's child was 99.99 percent...

Mondonedo and the girl last had sex around Thanksgiving Day in 2008, a time when she felt like vomiting all of the time, the victim said. The defendant told her that if they had sex, it would get rid of the baby, the girl testified.

The attacks were reported to Topeka police on Jan. 5, 2009, after the girl told her mother, and an over-the-counter test confirmed she was pregnant, the girl and her mother testified.

Mondonedo, who graduated from the Washburn University School of Law in December 2003, had worked for the Kansas Attorney General's Office for almost four years, starting in April 2004. He worked in the consumer protection division, but not as a lawyer or investigator, an office spokeswoman said soon after he was charged.

Steve Fry

The Topeka Capital-Journal

Nov. 18, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009

North Carolina, USA

Caught on tape.

A hotel surveillance camera shows Shaniya Davis being carried into a room by a man believed to be Mario Andrette McNeill.

Fayetteville mother's arrest sheds light on human trafficking problem

Fayetteville - North Carolina is a prime destination for human trafficking due to its many highways and interstates, according Senator Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange.

"It’s out there. It’s out there (and it's) scary,” she said.

Kinnaird has sponsored anti-trafficking legislation before the General Assembly. She said the weekend arrest of a Fayetteville mother on human trafficking and felony child abuse charges shows that the trafficking trade is more prevalent than most people realize.

“I think people just have a view of what our American life is, and it doesn't encompass really evil criminal acts like this,” she said.

According to Fayetteville police, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, offered daughter Shaniya for prostitution. The 5-year-old's body was found Monday afternoon southeast of Sanford, ending a weeklong search, police said.

Kinnaird said if Shaniya was involved in a sex trafficking plot, she is among other victims in the state.

“Many of them are Asian women and children. Many of them are Hispanic women and children. But as we saw to our horror (possibly with Shaniya), they are now homegrown, and may have been all along,” she said.

Paralegal Rachel Braver, with the statewide Task Force (RIPPLE) to address Human Trafficking, said the state's large immigrant population also plays a part in attracting human traffickers. She said it is difficult to know just how many victims are out there...

State lawmakers approved a bill in 2007 making human trafficking a felony offense and offering state assistance to victims...


Nov. 16, 2009

See also:
Tragic end to Shaniya Davis search: Body of missing 5-year-old found

Sanford, North Carolina - A missing 5-year-old whose mother was accused of offering her for sex was found dead off a heavily wooded road in a rural area Monday, ending a weeklong search, police said.

Searchers found Shaniya Davis' body early Monday afternoon about 100 feet off a wooded road southeast of Sanford, in central North Carolina, Fayetteville Police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said. She declined to comment on a cause of death or the condition of Shaniya's body.

"We've got a lot of people out at the scene right now that are torn up," Chance said. "Detectives have been running off adrenaline to find this little girl and to bring her home alive. You have a lot of people in shock right now."

Two people have been charged in her disappearance, one of them her mother, Antoinette Davis, 25. Police charged Davis with human trafficking and felony child abuse, saying Shaniya was offered for prostitution. A first court appearance for Davis was scheduled Monday afternoon, and police said she did not yet have an attorney.
Authorities also charged Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, with kidnapping after they said surveillance footage from a Sanford hotel showed him carrying Shaniya there. Authorities said McNeill admitted taking the girl, though his attorney said he will plead not guilty...

The Associated Press

Nov. 16, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Photo: ADNMundo

Preocupación por el Crecimiento del “Turismo Sexual” Infantil

La Cámara de Diputados de México asegura que hay 20 mil menores explotados.

Un informe de la Cámara de Diputados aseguró que en México 20 mil menores de edad son explotados sexualmente. Además, informó que las bandas de tratantes de personas crecieron y que operan en 21 estados del país…

Legislators Express Concern About the Growth in Child Sex Tourism in Mexico

A report published by the federal Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress] declares that 20,000 minors are being sexually exploited in Mexico. The report also notes that human trafficking gangs are on the increase, and are operating in 21 of Mexico’s [31] states.

According to a U.S. State Department report on human trafficking in 2009, Mexico had almost 20,000 children and adolescent victims of sexual exploitation, especially in tourist and business areas.

The Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), assigned to the Attorney General's Office (PGR), reported that in 2008 it has started only 24 preliminary investigations into trafficking cases.

Only two of these cases were prosecuted. Among the victims are Mexican women, as well as foreign women from El Salvador, Korea, Argentina, China, Honduras, Peru and Guatemala.

New Alliance Party member Deputy Cora Alonso Pinedo, during the introduction of her proposed amendments to Article 6 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, said that the original law had omitted the prosecution of offenses where there was consent by the victim.

The lawmaker explained that the current law states that if the victim consented,  no crime was committed, an approach that conflicts with the provisions of international instruments to which Mexico is has subscribed.

Alonso Pinedo said that positive change would be achieved if a greater level of legal certainty was established in these cases...

No significant judgments or penalties against traffickers have been reported during the past year, despite the fact that 24 federal preliminary investigations had been initiated.

Mexico, Country of Origin

According to the United Nations Fund for Children [UNICEF], child sex tourism has been detected in 21 of Mexico’s states.

"The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women said that Mexico is ranked fifth worldwide for these victims, and that at least 250,000 children and teenagers are in the sex trade.

Deputy Pinedo Cora Alonso stressed that child sex tourism continues to grow in [the cities of] Acapulco, Cancun, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

Oct. 26, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009

Texas, USA

Hundreds in Dallas County Deported Before Their Trials

Hundreds of defendants awaiting trial for violent crimes in Dallas County have been deported by federal immigration officials and then set free in their home countries.

The practice goes back to at least 1991 and includes the release of murder, kidnapping and child rape suspects. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they're required to deport illegal immigrants quickly but are now in talks with local agencies who are trying to resolve the problem...

One survey of prosecutors shows that since 1991 in Dallas County, nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants have not stood trial after being accused of felonies. That number also counts cases in which a wanted person fled before being arrested, but does not include all Dallas County cases – just ones that prosecutors judged to be of the highest priority.

Those who post bail and agree to then be sent home are taking advantage of the system to escape justice, said Terri Moore, top assistant to District Attorney Craig Watkins...

Officials from the DA's office, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and ICE met this week to discuss the problem. No quick fixes were found, but they plan to meet again, officials said...

The agency's policies led to the deportation of one defendant, Jose Rico, who returned to Mexico before he could stand trial in the rape of two girls in separate incidents. DNA connected him to both sexual assaults, court records show.

Both girls, ages 12 and 14, were bound with clear duct tape. The attacker told one of the girls: "I have a gun. I will kill you."

Rico, 34, posted his $125,000 bond and was deported in August...

In Dallas County, judges this week took a step toward decreasing the chances that someone in the country illegally will post bond and be deported before trial. Judges began setting the bail at $100,000 per charge if a defendant is in the country illegally.

Under the new system, the bail for Rico, the child rape suspect, probably would have been $200,000...

Jennifer Emily

Dallas News

Nov. 14, 2009

See also:

Dallas Police Identify Suspect in 2 Child Rapes

Dallas police today released the identity of the man believed to be responsible for raping two children in northeast Dallas.

He was identified as Jose Rico, 33, an illegal immigrant, police said.

Rico was being held in the Dallas County jail on charges of aggravated sexual assault and burglary of a habitation.

He is also under an immigration hold...

In both assaults, the victims -- girls between 12 and 14 -- were home alone when a man entered through an unlocked doors. Both girls were bound before they were raped.

[During] the Oct. 16 assault the attacker... entered the home while the girl and an 11-month-old baby were alone.

The man confronted the girl as she was coming out of a bathroom, pushed her back in and turned off the lights. He threatened to hurt the baby if she screamed.

[During] the Jan. 30 attack... a man with a similar description bound and raped a girl while she was home alone.

Dan X. McGraw

The Dallas Morning News

March 26, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Guatemala: Where Sexual Exploitation of Minors Is Not a Crime

Guatemala City - Sexual exploitation of minors is not classified as a crime in Guatemala, where activists say child sex tourism is on the rise, and the toughest penalty for "corruption of minors" and "aggravated procuring" is a 400 dollar fine.

"I had problems at home, and a girlfriend took me to work with her in a bar." That is how Alba, at the age of 14, began to be sexually exploited in a brothel on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital. Her mother was demanding that she bring money home, and she saw it as a way to earn an income.

For Alba's family, which is poor, the 160 dollars a month that she brought home was an important source of income.

Alba was the only underage girl in the bar where she worked, which attracted a relatively upscale clientele. She was also the most popular, to the point that she was the target of envy on the part of her fellow sex workers.

But hers is not an isolated case. Although no precise figures are available, in 2002 it was estimated that 2,000 minors were sexually exploited in Guatemala City alone, according to a report by Casa Alianza (the Latin American branch of the New York-based Covenant House, a child advocacy organisation) and ECPAT (an international NGO working to end child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children).

Of those 2,000 minors, 1,200 were from El Salvador, 500 from Honduras and 300 from Guatemala itself. María Eugenia Villarreal, ECPAT director for Latin America, says Central America is a hub for trafficking in minors, child pornography and sex tourism...

Villarreal told IPS that "the problem continues to grow." She put the number of victims as high as 15,000 nationwide, the majority of them girls between the ages of 15 and 17, who are mainly exploited in brothels in the capital and in border and port areas.

The Guatemalan Congress is studying a draft law that would classify sexual exploitation as a crime, which would be punishable by six to 12-year prison sentences. Guatemala is the only country in Central America that has not yet updated its laws in this area, and according to experts, the political parties are in no hurry to do so.

"I do not see any hope that Guatemala's penal code will be reformed in the short term, because that would touch the interests of people with political and economic clout," said Héctor Dionisio, coordinator of Casa Alianza's legal programme in Guatemala.

Doria Giusti, a United Nations children's fund (UNICEF) representative in Guatemala, told IPS that "children are not given high priority in Congress, and the sexual exploitation of minors is a taboo issue. Besides, most of the lawmakers are men, so a sexist viewpoint prevails." ...

Alberto Mendoza

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Oct. 13, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009

Florida, USA

Juan Gomez Dominga

Man Arrested for Human Trafficking

Bonita Springs - A Bonita Springs man was arrested on human trafficking charges Wednesday.

Juan Gomez Dominga is accused of forcing a young girl to have sex for money.

Deputies say the girl went into labor with her second child Wednesday and doctors at Health Park Hospital became suspicious when she gave inconsistent stories about her living situation.

Investigators learned that she had been illegally smuggled into the United States three years ago and was taken to work at a nursery in Homestead, Florida. According to her statements, she was forced to have sex with managers there to pay back the smuggling cost.

Domingo knew the victim and her family and heard about her situation. Deputies say he offered her marriage as a way out.

Deputies say once she moved to Bonita Springs to be with Domingo, he would drop her off with different women who would in turn deliver her to various brothels in Bonita.

Domingo's brother tells WINK news the victim is only 16 years old.

Domingo's bail has been set at 1 million dollars. He is charged with human trafficking and forced labor.

Max Turnier


Nov. 14, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Women protest the forced closing of the last two feminist radio programs in Honduras by the de facto government regime led by Roberto Micheletti. The tape on their mouths and bodies read: "Censured. We have no freedom."

Photo: Feminist's International Radio Endeavor (FIRE)

See also:

Daysi Flores (right), host of "Time to Speak" on the air.

Women's radio programs closed in latest assault
on civil liberties

Oct. 17, 2009

Report on Women's Human Rights Violations Shows Systematic Attack on Women Under Honduran Coup

On Nov. 2 representatives from Honduran women's organizations presented a grim panorama of violations of women's human rights by the de facto regime led by Roberto Micheletti before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

Their testimonies provided documented proof that the coup regime and its security forces have been responsible for rapes, beatings, murders and harassment of Honduran women in the resistance movement, and the dictatorial elimination of gains in gender equity. These crimes against women have been committed in the context of impunity for the perpetrators...

Honduras has a strong and organized feminist movement. This movement came together, fortified by the integration of hundreds of independent women, in the coalition Feminists in Resistance following the coup. It has seen its members beaten, its hard-fought gains rolled back, its institutions taken over and its projects for gender equity in public policy shattered over the past four months, under an illegitimate and ultraconservative regime. Despite the personal risk and the continuous setbacks, it remains strong and united and committed to restoring the rule of law necessary for peaceful advances in women's rights...

• The most prevalent forms of police and military violence against women involve insults and beatings aimed at women’s vaginas, breasts, hips and buttocks.

• Of the 240 cases registered, 23 women were victims of groping and beatings targeted to the breasts and crotch area as well as sexual insults and threats of sexual violence.

• Of these 23 cases, 7 involve rapes that occurred in the cities of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choloma, El Progreso and Danli. These were all gang rapes carried out by police and used explicitly to “punish” women for their involvement in demonstrations. It is suspected that all were pre-meditated as the police involved used condoms. These rapes all occurred while the women victims were apprehended after peaceful demonstrations or during curfews. Of these 7 cases, only 1 woman has presented a formal case to the authorities (the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights). The other victims have presented their testimonies to women’s human rights organizations but have refused to register their cases with the Honduran government Office of Human Rights or Office of Women’s Rights.

• While it is certain these are not the only cases, all the women who are victims give three reasons why they do not register their complaints with the authorities: 1) they fear that the inevitable police investigation will involve the men who perpetrated the crime; 2) since the coup, women do not trust the judicial system to provide an effective response; and 3) where cases have been reported, the police have refused to register the complaint, as in the case of a 17-year-old raped in the company of another woman on September 22nd...

Americas Mexico Blog

Nov. 5, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Gabriel García Márquez

A Film Adaptation Runs Into Trouble

A rights group filed a criminal complaint last week against adapting Gabriel García Márquez's "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" into a movie.

In the 2004 book, a 90-year-old falls in love with "an adolescent virgin."

Mexico City - When the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez penned his most recent novel, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," the wily old master knew he was being provocative.

The book begins with this line by an unnamed narrator: "The year I turned 90, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin."

But there is art and there is life. And so just as an international cast and crew were about to begin filming a movie adaptation of the 2004 novella, the plug was pulled as the filmmakers and García Márquez were denounced as aiding and abetting perverts.

A human rights organization called the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean [CATW-LAC] filed a criminal complaint with the Mexican attorney general last week, asserting that the filmmakers would be "responsible for acts that could be constituted as the crime of condoning child prostitution."

That is a serious assertion in Mexico, which faces challenges to control sex trafficking and child prostitution.

"We don't want them to put García Márquez in jail," coalition director Teresa Ulloa told the Associated Press. "What we want is for them not to film the movie." ...

"The question of the week is why García Márquez agreed to take to the screen 'Memories of My Melancholy Whores' at a time when the world is fighting against the growing commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. The novel has a limited audience, while the film would end up on television and find a mass audience," wrote Lydia Cacho in the newspaper El Universal.

Cacho is not just a columnist but an internationally recognized crusader against the sexual abuse of women and children. She investigated a ring of pedophiles operating out of the coastal city of Cancun and then wrote a book about it, "The Demons of Eden: the Power Behind Child Pornography."

In the García Márquez novel, the protagonist is a randy old goat, a newspaper columnist as bitter as ancient almonds, without family or friends, who paid money for each of the 514 women he has slept with in his misspent existence. Before the young virgin Delgadina is presented to him, the brothel owner drugs the nervous girl with salts of bromide and the herb valerian, which puts her into a deep sleep. The narrator does not touch her that night but lies beside her, falling in love for the first time in his life...

Cacho is not having any of it. "In his novel the Gabo says the old man falls for Delgadina. This argument we heard from hundreds of pedophiles seeking virgin girls between 13 and 14 years for rape and all those who paid for the kidnapping, buying and selling of children," she said.

Guadalupe Loaeza, a public intellectual whose barbed wit is often aimed at the rich and powerful, came to the aid of García Márquez in the pages of the newspaper Reforma: "As I remember, while reading your book it never entered my mind that this was a defense of pedophilia," any more than Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" was...

William Booth

The Washington Post

Oct. 17, 2009

See also:

Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize Winner in Literature for 1982

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Military Abuses Brought to Inter-American Commission

Mexico City - A case of rights abuses allegedly committed by the Mexican armed forces is coming up for a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), where it joins a long list of accusations against the army in this Latin American country.

As part of the IACHR's 137th Period of Sessions, which began in Washington Monday, a hearing will be held Thursday on "Public Security and Human Rights in Tijuana, Mexico" at which activists and victims' relatives will report human rights violations allegedly committed by Mexican soldiers.

"We want to denounce what is happening as a result of the public security model, which is generalized throughout the country but has had specific consequences in certain areas, like Tijuana," in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California, activist Humberto Guerrero with the non-governmental Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), one of the plaintiffs in the case, told IPS.

The complaint, one of five cases against Mexico being heard Thursday, will air the case of a group of municipal police in Baja California who were detained and tortured by members of the military...

As an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR has a mandate under the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. Its principal function is "promoting the observance and the defense of human rights." ...

The Mexican state faces several lawsuits at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Among them is the case of community leader Rosendo Radilla, kidnapped and disappeared in 1974 by soldiers in the southwestern state of Guerrero; the rape of two indigenous women by troops in the same state in 2002; and the 2001 murders of three women in Ciudad Juárez on the border with the United States, notorious as the scene of hundreds of femicides (gender related murders) in recent decades.

The hearings coincide with Attorney General Arturo Chávez's visit to the United States this week to report on the progress of the Mérida Initiative, an anti-drug plan approved by the administration of former U.S. president George W. Bush (2001-2009) which provides 1.4 billion dollars in aid for Mexico and Central America.

This year Mexico will receive 420 million dollars under the Mérida Initiative.

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Nov 4, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


University of Pennsylvania Law School Held a Symposium on Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking

The Penn Law Review symposium provided a forum for scholars and practitioners on combating human trafficking on Nov. 13th and 14th, 2009.

Feminist and anti-trafficking activist Gloria Steinem kicked off the symposium with opening remarks and participated in the Labor Trafficking panel discussion.

Added: Nov. 15, 2009

New Jersey

Authorities Close 3 Brothels in Cumberland County

Bridgeton - County, federal and local law enforcement collaborated in a month-long investigation this summer that ended with the shutdown of two alleged brothels in Bridgeton and one in Vineland.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella on Friday said his worst fear is the operations involved human trafficking; that is, women forced against their will to be prostitutes.

Hispanic men were the clients. A total of seven females from New York were recruited for the brothels, which were set up in houses. The women were not indicted because prostitution is only a disorderly conduct offense...

One prostitute was an underage girl believed to be 16; she was not charged due to her age...

The alleged operator of one brothel... in Bridgeton, is registered sex crime offender Juan Marrero of Middlesex County, authorities said.

Casella said the underage girl worked at Marrero's brothel, which resulted in a second-degree charge of promoting prostitution against him and three others. The offense of second-degree promoting prostitution can carry a five-year prison term.

The other brothels were [also]... in Bridgeton. Daniel Lopez-Araiza and his girlfriend, Selene Guevara, operated them, Casella said...

Cirilo L. Sanchez, a Mexican national, had pleaded guilty earlier to a fourth-degree charge of promoting prostitution. He was given 90 days in the county jail and will be deported.

Sanchez... is listed as a customer of Marrero...

A four-count indictment was filed against Lopez-Araiza, Guevera and two other men. It lists three charges of promoting prostitution, ranging from third- to fourth-degree offenses, and resisting arrest.

A five-count indictment names Marrero and 16 other men. It lists four counts of promoting prostitution, ranging from second- to fourth-degree offense, including the use of a girl under age 18.

Joseph P. Smith

The Daily Journal

Nov. 7, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Hartford Police Hunt Suspect in Reported Sex Assault on Minor

Hartford - Police said they are searching for a 60-year-old East Hartford man who is suspected of sexually assaulting a minor.

Detectives of the Hartford Police Department's Juvenile Investigative Division have obtained an arrest warrant charging Jorge Ortiz, also known as Jorge Astudillo, with sexual assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a minor...

Ortiz, a Colombian national, is described as a Hispanic male with black hair, medium complexion and brown eyes. He is 5-foot-6 and weighs 180 pounds.

Authorities believe he may be attempting to flee the country. Ortiz is also the subject of a pending deportation proceeding by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jorge Ortiz is asked to contact Detective Edward P. Foster at 860-757-4342 or call Hartford Crime Stoppers at 860-722-TIPS (8477).

The Hartford Courant

Nov. 5, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


David Sanchez

Family Friend Arrested For Raping Girl

Palm Bay - An illegal immigrant in Palm Bay faces multiple counts of sexual battery after officers say he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl. David Sanchez, 28, investigators say, used a family friendship to rape the child.

Sanchez is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who has already been deported once for doing the same thing to another child in Alabama. Investigators say he returned to the U.S. in mid-2008 where he began having an unlawful sexual relationship with a then,

On Sunday detectives arrested Sanchez after the girl’s father found him having sex with his daughter in her bedroom.

“Prior to entering the home, the suspect removed the hurricane shutters from the girl’s bedroom window and she let him in through the back door,” said Detective Greg Guillette. “When dad was at the bedroom door, the suspect jumped out the window and fled.”

After the confrontation the girl told her father she’d been having a sexual relationship with Sanchez since the middle of last year when she had just turned 12 years old.

“This child was taken advantage of in the worst possible way,” Guillette said. “She was coaxed into thinking it was okay and the suspect continued to sexually abuse her until he was finally caught.”

Sanchez faces 15 counts of first-degree sexual battery on a child. He is being held in the Brevard County Detention Center without bond.

Oct. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Man Arraigned for Groping Women on Orange Line

Somerville - An Everett man has been identified as the person who groped at least four women on Boston subway cars in the past six months, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.

Hugo Hernandez, 22, was arraigned this morning in the Boston Municipal Court on four counts of indecent assault and battery. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Devlin recommended that he be held on $25,000 cash bail; Judge Michael Coyne, noting that Hernandez is the subject of an immigration detainer, set bail at $2,000 on each count, for a total of $8,000. Coyne further ordered Hernandez to stay away from all MBTA stations and conveyances if he posts bail and to check in weekly with the Department of Probation.

 “Young or old, male or female, everyone has the right to ride the subway without being grabbed or groped,” Conley said. “If you see that behavior or if you’re subjected to it, then don’t hesitate to contact Transit Police at 617-222-1212. Time and again, victim reports have taken suspects off the streets and out of the subway.”

The charges against Hernandez arise out of an extensive, seven-month investigation by members of the MBTA Transit Police that began when two separate adult women reported that a man had groped them on an Orange Line train on April 28.

Both women were assaulted while traveling northbound on the Orange Line during the late afternoon. One of them used her cell phone camera to photograph the assailant; she later provided that photo to responding Transit Police officers.

Two other women reported similar incidents, one on the evening of Sept. 10 while traveling southbound on the Red Line and the other on the evening of Oct. 19 while traveling northbound on the Orange Line. All four provided similar descriptions of the assailant.

Wicked Local Somerville

Nov. 06, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Jose Orlando Romero-Feliciano

Staunton Man Pleads Guilty to Molesting 8-year-old Girl

STAUNTON — A Staunton man who was on the lam for several months after being accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl in February pleaded guilty Tuesday in circuit court to a charge of forcible sodomy...

Staunton assistant prosecutor Anne Reed said Romero-Feliciano was baby-sitting the child, ill at the time, when he decided to play a game Reed said he learned in his native Puerto Rico. He blindfolded the girl and had her taste fruit and whipped cream in an attempt to identify the foods. But while the girl was still blindfolded, Reed said Romero-Feliciano orally sodomized the girl.

Reed said Romero-Feliciano told police the molestation wasn't planned. "It just hit him at that moment," she said.

Seminal fluid found on the girl's clothing matched Romero-Feliciano's DNA.

Romero-Feliciano fled Staunton after getting a ride from a friend to Washington Dulles International Airport, where he caught a flight to Seattle. Later, Reed said he took a bus to Louisiana, where he was living under an assumed name. The U.S. Marshals Service eventually apprehended Romero-Feliciano in West Monroe, La.. He was extradited to Virginia in July.

Reed said based on Virginia's recommended sentencing guidelines, Romero-Feliciano, who has a previous 2006 Staunton conviction for possession of a controlled substance and then violated probation in that case, faces anywhere from six to 20 1/2 years in prison. Reed said she will ask for a "substantial" prison sentence...

Brad Zinn

Nov. 4, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Affidavit: Teen Says He Killed Boy Found in Dryer

Mendota - Authorities say in court documents that a California teenager charged with murder confessed to killing a 4-year-old boy because the child was going to reveal the teen molested him.

Fresno County prosecutors have charged 14-year-old Raul Castro as an adult. His arraignment hearing was postponed Wednesday.

The affidavit was filed by sheriff's Detective Sergio Toscano to get an arrest warrant.

It says Castro lured Alex Mercado into a bathroom and molested him. When Alex threatened to tell his mother, Castro said he held him under water in a bathtub until he died then hid the body in a clothes dryer, the affidavit states.

Castro is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on charges including murder and sodomy...

The Associated Press

Nov. 04, 2009

Added: Nov. 15, 2009


Mauricio Alberto Morales

Suspected Serial Rapist Charged with Raping 10-year-old

Nashville - A suspected serial rapist in jail on charges he raped two adult women in Nashville in separate cases in 2008 and earlier this year has been indicted for raping and fondling a 10-year-old girl.

A grand jury in Davidson County on Friday indicted Mauricio Alberto Morales on three counts of child rape, one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count of aggravated burglary after DNA evidence linked him to the girl's bedroom.

Morales, a 32-year-old El Salvadoran national, is believed to have entered the girl's room through a window in the overnight hours in late April.

The 10-year-old reported she was sexually assaulted more than once.

Morales is charged with raping a 49-year-old woman at her home on Madeline Drive in January and in June 2008, raping a 32-year-old woman and assaulting her four-year-old son at their home on Antioch Pike.

Morales was located at his sister's home in Texas on July 3 and taken into custody for both incidents.

Police said in 1998, Morales was convicted of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault in Houston.

He was behind bars for six years before being deported from the United States in 2004.


Nov. 02, 2009

Added: Nov. 03, 2009

The World, Latin America, Venezuela

Kidnapping and Human Trafficking – the Seamy Side of Globalization

Globalization has created new opportunities for the transfer of people and products across borders, and broadened the scope of many businesses around the world. But it’s not all good news of course: one of the seamier sides of growing international commerce is the abduction and trafficking of human beings.

The problem is getting worse. Just over a year since the collapse of the global market, countries around the world have reported a significant increase in cases of the exploitation of people for monetary gain. While cases of kidnapping and ransom continue to be common in African and Latin American countries, such as Nigeria and Venezuela, the majority of organized human trafficking cases are actually in Europe.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced that the number of human trafficking cases has increased dramatically since 2006. In Europe alone, its report estimated there are 270,000 victims of human trafficking, but authorities fear it is only a fraction of unreported cases. The majority of these victims are women who have been forced into prostitution.

Yet the most shocking statistic released by the UN is an estimate that only around one-in-100,000 traffickers are actually convicted for human exploitation. “Perhaps police are not finding the traffickers and victims because they are not looking for them,” said the UNODC executive director Antonio Maria Costa. “Lives should not be for sale or for rent on a continent that prohibits slavery and forced labour, and prides itself on upholding human dignity.”

Even though most human trafficking cases are in Europe, human abduction and kidnapping have also become a significant problem in Latin America. Recently, Venezuela became the continent’s latest hot spot for kidnappings, with abduction rates higher than both Colombia and Mexico. The country’s most recent surge of kidnappings have been in Barinas, in west central Venezuela, where the abduction rate is 7.2 people per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the country’s interior ministry, the national average is much lower - roughly two kidnappings per 100,000 inhabitants...

Leah Germain

International News Services

Oct. 28, 2009

Added: Nov. 03, 2009



Chuck Goolsby

We say again...

Give Latin America and Especially its At-Risk Indigenous Peoples a Seat at the Table in the Global Fight Against Gender Oppression

The above article from International News Services, Kidnapping and Human Trafficking – the Seamy Side of Globalization, states that "most human trafficking cases are in Europe."

From our perspective, the idea that more human trafficking victims exist in Europe than in Latin America and Asia does not ring true. Among the experts trying to focus the spotlight of urgent action on the crisis in Latin America is Teresa Ulloa, executive director of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). Ulloa estimates that in Mexico alone, 500,000 victims of trafficking exist, far beyond the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimate that 270,000 victims exist in Europe. Ulloa also notes that Mexico generates an estimated 17% of its gross domestic product (DGP) from prostitution.

Repeatedly, the mainstream press, experts in human trafficking and entities such as human trafficking task forces around the United States fail to take notice of the fact that Latin America is an unending source of sex trafficking victims, given that regional efforts to combat the problem are weak, unfunded and largely unsupported by national governments, civil institutions and the public.

Until the anti-trafficking movement wakes-up and discovers that modern Latin American sexual slavery and related forms of community-based sexual exploitation are absolutely pervasive in the cities and farm fields in every corner of the United States, victims will continue to suffer, anti-trafficking funds will continue to be misdirected, and multi-billion dollar trafficking mafias will continue to laugh in the face of civilized society.

That is not an acceptable scenario for the present or the future.

Although the anti-trafficking movement in western nations is made-up of a dedicated cadre of mostly white and Asian activists, Latin American, Indigenous American, African and other populations, those who are those who are most especially targeted for kidnapping, rape and sexual and labor enslavement in the Americas, deserve an equal place at the table in the anti-trafficking movement.

Their interests must be represented. That representation is not being effectively accomplished today.

Now why is that?

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Nov. 03, 2009

See also:









Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former federal special prosecutor for violent crimes against women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

Added: Nov. 02, 2009


Guatemaltecas Son Madres Desde los Diez Años

Incesto, violación y falta de educación sexual, las causas

Las niñas guatemal-tecas suelen tener hijos más temprano de lo que mudan dientes. Desde los diez años de edad ellas ya conocen una sala de parto y saben lo que significa recuperarse del dolor de una cesárea...

Guatemalan Girls Become Mothers From the Age of Ten

Incest, Rape and a Lack of Sex Education are the Causes

Guatemalan girls have children sooner than they loose all of their baby teeth. From the age of ten they know what a delivery room is, and they know what it means to recover from the pain of a cesarean section.

Human rights advocates see this social phenomenon as a problem that occurs behind closed doors, and involves abuse by the father, an uncle or a grandfather within the home. Prosecutors and the Public Ministry are convinced that the statistics are an indication of a high incidence of rape in this nation.

Experts on sex education perceive the problem as resulting from poor knowledge about sex and its consequences, which leads to a state of social disorder.

In this Central American country of 14 million inhabitants, with a population of five million children, girls menstruate between the ages of 10 and 13. According to the Maternal and Child Health Survey of 2006, 26 of 100 girls have their first sexual experience between the ages of 13 and 15.

These teens typically have their first relationship with a friend, a boyfriend or a partner. But in many cases their first experience is a result of rape. Two out of every ten girls have been raped before finishing elementary school. Frightened, rejected and discriminated against by their families, these girls accelerate their sexual maturation by [an average of] 5 years. By the time they reach age 20, according to the National Statistics Institute, they often have two or three children.

A study conducted in 2006 by the Guttmacher Institute, entitled "Early Childbearing: A Continuing Challenge," in Guatemala there are 114 births per thousand women, while in the rest of the region, the figure is 80 births per thousand women...

However, pregnancies in girls are not only related to a lack of sex education. According to Ana Gladys Ollas of the Prosecutors Office for Human Rights for Women, pregnancies are also the result of incest and emotional blackmail exerted by gang members and gangs of teenagers who sometimes rape girls collectively.

The official noted that the neighborhoods where poor pregnant girls live are also places where gangs abound. And the situation is repeated in prisons. Girls are brought to prisons to be raped as a result of acts of extortion committed against their families.

In this country, the poorest are also the most vulnerable citizens. With just a [pennies] to survive, a [typical] household with five children must also submit to the extortion of gangs that require them to pay fees of $50 to $ 1,000...

Spanking, scolding, beating, burning, being locked in a room and [extreme] prohibitions are the forms of violent punishment that girls suffer on a daily basis. Some 22 of every 100 Guatemalan girls have been beaten by their parents before age 15. These forms of violence drive young girls to seek affection from teens and men who end-up deceiving them.

Leonel Dubon, who heads the Foundation for the Girl, explains that families get rid of the babies of young girls through the use of clandestine abortions. According to Zenaida Escobedo, in charge of gender affairs in the judiciary, in Guatemala around 65,000 illegal abortions are performed each year.

Often, after giving birth, these girls sell their babies for up to $600 to clandestine human trafficking operations...

Mayan women are the poorest, and often have up to 10 sons and daughters, as within indigenous culture, condom use among men and contraceptive use by women is often frowned upon.

Full English Translation


Oct. 30, 2009

LibertadLatina Note:

The above story states that the rate of childbirth in Guatemala is 114 births per thousand women. In the surrounding region the birth rate is 80 births per 1,000 women.

Here are comparable rates for young women between the ages of 15 and 19 in the United States:

  • All races and origins, 42

  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 17

  • White (including Hispanic), 38

  • American Indian/Alaska Native, 55

  • Black (including Hispanic), 65

  • Hispanic, 83

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - 2006

LibertadLatina Note:

The targeting of ten-year-old girls by teen and adult Latino gang members for rape with impunity described in the above story occurs not only in Guatemala, by across the Americas.

See also:

A Washington, DC- Latina Social Worker and Community Center Director's Letter - 1999


"Over the past two years, I have been observing a systemic pattern of violence committed against girls and young women in our community. This violence involves the sexual abuse/assault against girls as young as 10 years old...  

...There have been incidents of date rape, gang rape, abductions, drugging, threats with firearms, etc.  The incidents are just as you described in your [Mr. Goolsby's letter on the subject to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children] letter and have been met with the same level of indifference and dismissal of legal (never mind moral) responsibility on the part of civil institutions -- the police department, public schools, etc." 

...While some do say this is culturally accepted behavior, the reality is that many families -- mothers and fathers alike -- are enraged and wanting to pursue prosecution of the perpetrators, but they find themselves without recourse when the police won't respond to them, when they fear risking their personal safety, and/or when their legal status (undocumented) prevents them from believing they have rights or legal protection in this country. Many girls and young women's families are threatened and harassed by the perpetrators when it becomes apparent that the family is willing to press charges for statutory rape/child sexual abuse. 

...The use of intimidation and violence to control girls and their families results in the following: 1) parents/guardians back off from pressing charges, 2) relatives do not inform the police or others of sightings of girls and young women who have been officially reported as "missing juveniles," and 3) the victims of sexual violence refuse to participate as "willing witnesses" in the prosecution/trial process.

When this sexual violence occurs within the context of a seemingly permissive public environment -- indifferent civil institutions, forced silence and complicity of families, gang culture, a society that explicitly promotes the sexualization and exploitation of children through media -- its criminal and immoral nature goes unquestioned. My question is how and where do we create the public environment that allows us to voice our disapproval and to hold the implicated adults accountable for their negligent care of our children?

...We're also looking at the rate of incidence among black and Asian girls and young women to document that this is not merely a culturally accepted behavior, but rather a complex and systemic form of violence carried out against poor girls and young women of color.

- From a letter by a Latina Social Worker and girl's community center director working with young Latina girls in Washington, DC's largest Latino neighborhood.

LibertadLatina Note:

Although this serious, truthful, accurate and  poignant letter was written in 1999, from my observations, the same conditions exist today in 2009. Nothing has changed for the better, while the code of silence in the barrio and the extending tentacles of criminal networks have made the violence worse, resulting in a permissive environment in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Nov. 03, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Texas, USA, Mexico, Honduras

The sex trafficking routes used by the brutal enslavers described in the several cases related in this story.

Map: LibertadLatina

Special Investigation: Inside the Slave Trade

Mission, Texas - One woman was sold on an auction block. Another became an involuntary servant in the land of the free.

"Human slavery, we have it. It is in our neighborhood but a lot of people don't want to see it," says Jaime Ortiz, a coordinator for the South Texas Civil Rights Project.

"Slavery is still here in our neighborhood in the Rio Grande Valley."

During Channel 5 News' investigation into the slave trade, we met a woman in Reynosa who had escaped her life as a sex slave the night before we spoke to her. We'll call her "Carlita."

The Honduran native says her captivity began the moment she arrived by boat in Veracruz, Mexico. Her smuggler sold her to a madam and the nightmare began.

"Carlita" tells us she ended up in a nearby brothel. Forty-five days later, she was lined up again for auction in Reynosa. She was allegedly one of half a dozen women up for sale.

…A man bought her there for $1,000.

"Carlita" says she was held captive in a home for three months…

Her captors would allegedly rape her and other slaves repeatedly. "Carlita" tells us screaming and yelling only made it worse. She learned to be quiet and turn the pain inward.

Eventually, she asked a trusted friend for help and escaped.

"Carlita" tells us her buyer wanted a child. But his long-term plans were to add "Carlita" into "the pipeline." It's the dangerous underground sex slave trade in American cities.

It starts in Houston.

FBI Agent Maritza Conde-Vazquez says Latin women like "Carlita" become cantineras.

They're forced to work in dirty saloons found among a cluster of cantinas. The businesses cater to Central Americans and are often owned by people from those countries…

From Houston, slaves are taken to Atlanta and moved up the East Coast. From Washington, D.C., the pipeline continues to New York. Some women are eventually trafficked west to San Francisco...

Conde-Vazquez says the only reason traffickers force women into prostitution is to make money.

"It's a very profitable business, when you come to think about it," explains the FBI agent. "It's a human being. And it's basically a person who can provide you endless services as long as that person is alive and in fair condition. It's going to provide you services for the life of that person."

The FBI tells us victims rarely come forward and traffickers are difficult to catch...

As for "Carlita," she was headed home to Honduras. There's no word where she is tonight.

Alex Trevino

Oct. 29, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Mexico, Latin America, The United States

Expertos: En Auge, la Trata de Personas en México

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas - México se ha convertido en uno de los países que tienen un alto índice de trata de personas, ilícito sólo superado por el tráfico de drogas, advirtieron expertos de Centro y Sudamérica que participan en el primer Congreso internacional sobre migración, trata de personas y derechos humanos, que se inició hoy en esta entidad...

Experts: Human Trafficking is Booming in Mexico

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state -Mexico has become one of the nations that have a high incidence of trafficking in people, [with profits] second only to illegal drug trafficking, warned Central and South American experts participating in the first International Congress on migration, human trafficking and human rights , which began today in this city.

Ana Maria Martinez, coordinator of the Violence and Trafficking Convention of Save the Children in Nicaragua; Edith Zavala, coordinator of the technical secretariat of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration of Honduras, and Rodolfo Casillas Ramirez, a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences Mexico (FLACSO), all indicated that in Chiapas state, human trafficking is on the increase, and declared that this criminal activity is tied to the smuggling of migrants seeking to reach the United States.

Edith Zavala stated that the problem has its origins [principally] in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and that the principal destinations are the United States and Argentina.

4 Million Victims

Zavala explained that the International Labor Organization estimates that there are some 2.5 million victims of trafficking, of which 77 percent are women and 48 percent under 18, but non-governmental civil organizations indicate that people subjected to this form of slavery amount to more than 4 million people. The revenue generated is estimated at about 42 billion, 500 million dollars…

Rodolfo Casillas, a researcher at FLACSO, said the sexual and labor exploitation is present within the international and domestic migration flows because current migration policies have undesirable effects that lead to the existence, development and operation of networks of smugglers and human traffickers.

We have moved from simple smugglers to criminal networks that make this a lucrative business, and organized crime has discovered this source of profits, he concluded.

Angeles Mariscal

La Jornada

Oct. 21, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

United States, Mexico

Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson

Mexican Official Calls U.S. Detention Unfair

Rights watchdog for Chihuahua is released by Customs and Border Protection

Human-rights official: Mexican soldiers part of drug violence

El Paso, texas - Chihuahua human-rights investigator Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson feels betrayed and disappointed.

One day after being released by U.S. immigration authorities, Hickerson said Thursday that he felt betrayed by the Mexican government for not coming to his aid after he was taken into custody against his will last week.

And he said he was disappointed in a system in the United States that allows immigration officials to take someone into custody for his or her own safety without legal recourse.

"I was in prison five days without a legal cause to process me -- why? Because the only thing I did was to say I was afraid to be in Juárez," Hickerson said at a news conference.

On Oct. 15, de la Rosa was crossing at the Paso del Norte Bridge into El Paso when officers recognized him as a human-rights activist and questioned him, said his lawyer, Carlos Spector.

Spector said border agents asked de la Rosa whether he was afraid to be in Mexico because of his work. de la Rosa told the agents that he was afraid but that he did not want asylum.

de la Rosa said that at the moment of his detention, he expressed fear to go back to Juárez because one of his bodyguards was recently killed and he needed time to find out why. He added that the slaying was not connected in any way to him. de la Rosa receives protection from Mexican authorities.

Early in October, de la Rosa said he could document 170 cases in which Mexican soldiers extorted, kidnapped, tortured, beat or killed innocent people while deployed in the state to limit the violence that has taken hold in Chihuahua.

"I want to know who ordered my detention for being afraid. They didn't protect me; they detained me. Why did the Mexican Consulate not intervene?" asked de la Rosa, a former director of the Cereso prison in Juárez.

"The Mexican Consulate was notified of my detention immediately," he said.

"I feel betrayed by the Mexican consul; he didn't even show up to visit me once. This is not fair, not only because of who I am, but for the rest of the Mexicans," de la Rosa said.

But Mexican Consul Roberto Rodríguez said that at the beginning of de la Rosa's detention, he took immediate action by sending a letter to Ana Hinojosa, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection, asking her to inform the consulate about de la Rosa's legal status. The letter was sent on Oct. 16, one day after de la Rosa's detention...

Aileen B. Flores

The El Paso Times

Oct. 23, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

California, USA

Manuel Ortega. Ortega, 19, is charged with rape, robbery and assault causing great bodily injury in the attack.

Richmond High School Gang Rape: Four Men Charged in Viscious Attack on 15-year-old California Girl

Richmond - Four teens could appear in court as early as Thursday after being charged in the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside her high school homecoming dance in Northern California.

The four - ages 15, 16, 17 and 19 - were charged Wednesday with rape and enhancements that they acted in concert, which could make them eligible for life in prison.

"These are people who played a significant role in the incident," Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan said. "I'm confident that more arrests will be made."

Besides rape, the 19-year-old, Manuel Ortega of Richmond, was charged with robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. It was unknown if he had an attorney.

The other three face one count each of felony rape with a foreign object. They were charged as adults because of the severity of the crime, Gagan said. The 16-year-old also faces robbery charges.

All four remained in custody Wednesday. A fifth suspect arrested Tuesday, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond, also remained jailed but had not been charged.

The alleged gang rape and beating Saturday night at Richmond High School have rattled the city of about 120,000 in the San Francisco Bay area.

Police believe as many as 10 people ranging in age from 15 to mid-20s attacked the girl for more than two hours in a dimly lit area. As many as two dozen people witnessed the rape without notifying police...

New York Daily News

Oct. 29, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Nevada, USA

Police Arrest Mother of Girl, 15, in Relationship with Soccer Coach

Daughter told police her mother approved of relationship, but mother denies it

Henderson Police have arrested the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was in an ongoing sexual relationship with a soccer coach.

The private soccer club coach, 40-year-old Gabriel G. Lopez of Las Vegas, was booked Wednesday on 11 counts of statutory sexual seduction, Henderson Police said.

A Henderson police officer spotted a black Chevy Tahoe parked in a dark area of the Arroyo Grande Sports Complex parking lot about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said. The officer found a man and a girl inside the vehicle and the girl said she had had sexual relations with Lopez since June.

Police said that the alleged sexual relationship is believed to be consensual, the girl had not reached the age of consent, which is 16 years under state law.

After Lopez and the girl gave police separate interviews to the police, the girl told police that her mother approved of the relationship. "Love only comes around once," she quoted her mother as saying.

The girl also told police that her mother also said, "You can't deny love. You never know who it will be," according to a police report.

The girl told police that her mother suggested Lopez provide a second cell phone to the girl, so her father would not find out about the relationship, the report said.

According to the mother's interview with police, she denied approving of her daughter's relationship with Lopez, and told her to end the affair.

The mother is facing a felony charge of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Mary Manning

The Nevada Sun

Oct 23, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Texas, USA

Francisco Manuel Rodriguez

Lubbock Man Sentenced for Rape of 11-Year-Old Girl

A Lubbock man will spend up to 35 years in prison for the rape of his young neighbor.

137th District Judge Cecil Puryear sentenced Francisco Manuel Rodriguez, 36, for the July 2008 rape of an 11-year-old girl.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty Monday. He had faced up to life in prison.

His victim described the attack Tuesday morning in front of families from both sides of the case.

Rodriguez walked into the girl’s house while she was home alone and began rubbing her legs, the girl said.

It progressed to forced sex from there.

“I asked him what he was doing but he never answered me,” the girl said. “I told him to stop, but he didn’t.”

She reported the assault shortly after. Police found Rodriguez drinking beer on his couch not long after her call.

Logan G. Carver

Avalanche Journal

Oct. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Connecticut, USA

Norwalk Man Guilty of Sexually Abusing 11-Year-Old Girl

Stamford - A Norwalk man was found guilty by a Stamford Superior Court jury of sexually molesting his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter and faces 60 years in prison when sentenced in January.

After the guilty verdict came in at noon Tuesday, Judge Richard Comerford increased Ricardo Roman's bond to $250,000, and he was taken into custody. Since his arrest on two counts of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child in January 2008, Roman had been freed on $20,000 bond.

The jury found Roman, 40, formerly of 3 Trinity Place, Norwalk, guilty on all three counts.

The verdict, after five hours of deliberation Monday and Tuesday, followed three days of testimony last week where the victim, now 18, and Roman's daughter, 19, testified against him. The victim's name is being withheld by The Advocate. Last week, Roman took the stand and denied the allegations and professed his innocence.

Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney James Bernardi, the prosecutor, said jurors made the right decision. "I think the jury carefully considered the evidence and came to the right conclusion. The victim in the case lives in South Carolina, and the victim's advocate said she was extremely gratified and emotionally overcome by the verdict," he said...

During the trial, the victim told the jury that when she was 11 and 12, Roman forced her to perform oral sex on him at the Trinity Place apartment on more than one occasion.

The woman said that even though the sexual abuse occurred much earlier, she decided to come forward with her allegations against Roman in 2007 after she gave birth to a boy -- not Roman's -- and wanted to give him a "better life."

John Nickerson
Stamford Advocate
Oct. 27, 2009

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

Texas, USA

12-year-old Sexually Assaulted in Northeast Austin

Police are investigating the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in NE Austin on Tuesday evening.

Police responded to the call of a sexual assault around 8:30p.m. at the Dottie Jordan Recreation Center, located at 2803 Loyola Lane, that’s near Manor Road and Northeast Drive.

Authorities tell KEYE TV a Hispanic male enticed the girl into a vehicle where he sexually assaulted her.

Police aren’t releasing any other details but say they are investigating the incident...

John Bumgardner

Oct 27, 2009 Austin

Added: Nov. 02, 2009

California, USA

Maximum Sentence Handed Down in Three Molestations

Oroville - A Gridley farmworker captured in Mexico was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum term of 12 years in prison for molesting three minor girls.

Rodolfo Dolorez Campos had been facing a potential life sentence on multiple charges of continuous sexual abuse of minors, before pleading no contest this summer to three of the molestation counts.

Prior to sentence being imposed Tuesday, statements were read to Butte County Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly from the defendant's wife and the three victims.

The spouse said Campos frequently beat her when he drank, but that she did not immediately go to the police because he was the sole breadwinner in the family.

It was after he fled to Mexico that she said she learned of the molestations involving the three victims, ages 13 and 14.

In her written statement, Campos' wife told the judge that before her husband was arrested last year and extradited back to face trial, he had been involved in smuggling illegal aliens across the border.

A victim witness advocate read prepared statements from two of the molestation victims and a third victim addressed the court herself Tuesday.

All three said they reviled Campos for the humiliating and emotionally scarring crimes against them and hoped he could receive more time behind bars than 12 years.

The judge noted that was the maximum sentence that could be imposed on the counts to which the defendant had pleaded no contest.

The plea bargain had been offered in part to avoid the victims having to relive the ordeal on the witness stand, the judge noted.
Kelly agreed with deputy district attorney Lynda Hunt the crimes were "particularly cruel and callous," the teenage victims were vulnerable and Campos had taken advantage of a position of trust...

Terry Vau Dell

Oct. 21, 2009

Added: Oct. 29, 2009

California, USA

Victim is carried to waiting helicopter ambulance

15-year-Old Girl Beaten and Gang-raped Outside of High School

Richmond, - Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.

Two suspects were in custody Monday, but police said as many as five other men attacked the girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.

"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other's presence," Lt. Mark Gagan said. "What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it."

The victim remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Manuel Ortega, 19, was arrested at the scene and was being held on $800,000 bail for investigation of rape and robbery. He is not a student at the school.

Richmond police Sgt. David Harris said he did not know if Ortega had retained an attorney.

A 15-year-old student also was booked late Monday on one count of sexual assault...

The Associated Press

Oct. 27, 2009

See also:

Friend of Gang Rape Victim Blasts School Officials Over Safety

...Police investigating the rape have arrested five people -- two adults and three minors, who will be charged as adults, said Lt. Mark Gagan, the Richmond police spokesman.

As many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lighted back alley at the school, police have said. Another 10 people watched, without calling 911.

The victim was released from hospital Wednesday.

[Article includes link to video report]

Moni Basu
Oct. 29, 2009

Added: Oct. 28, 2009


Indigenous women in Colombia

Photo: Intermón Oxfam

Sexual Violence as Weapon of War

Women's bodies are not spoils of war, say the women of Colombia.

Bogota, - Sexual violence is used as a weapon of war in Colombia by all parties in the country’s longstanding armed conflict, and its main victims are women and girls, states a report recently released by Intermón Oxfam, backing up claims made repeatedly by national and international human rights groups.

At the launch of the report, released simultaneously in Bogota and Madrid, Paula San Pedro of Intermón Oxfam – the Spanish branch of the relief and development organization Oxfam International - stressed that all of the armed groups in Colombia, including government security forces, far-right paramilitary forces and leftist guerrilla rebels, use sexual violence as a weapon of war, "to the extent that it has become an integral part of the conflict."

...Over four million people have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing conflict since 1995, according to figures from a number of non-governmental organizations, including the Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES). This figure represents roughly 10 percent of the country’s total population of 42 million.

The majority of the displaced are peasant farmers and black or indigenous Colombians forced off their land, often after witnessing the killing of family members or rape of women from their communities…

Machista culture trumps modern laws

The persistent struggle waged by women eventually had an impact in the judicial and legislative arenas, leading to reforms of existing laws and the adoption of new ones. Their achievements include the recognition of women as victims of sexual violence and of their right to compensation.

Nevertheless, "these legislative advances do not appear to have had any effect in actual practice," Quintero told IPS.

This is because the modernization of the country’s laws has done nothing to change the underlying culture or to curb acts of aggression against women "in a particularly machista and patriarchal society," said San Pedro, the coordinator of the Intermón Oxfam report, at its launch in Madrid.

The report estimates that "between 60 and 70 percent of Colombian women have suffered some form of sexual, physical, emotional or political violence" - statistics that show that violence against women is a phenomenon that goes beyond the problem of the armed conflict.

Moreover, it is a phenomenon that has actually worsened instead of diminishing in recent years. Sources consulted by IPS concurred that the "democratic security policy" implemented by the right-wing government of President Álvaro Uribe has resulted in a rise in violence against women...

...The report to be released by Sisma-Mujer in November maintains that the perpetrators of this violence go unpunished in an astounding 97 percent of cases...

"There is not a single region in the country where women can feel safe," said San Pedro, before going on to stress that "Afro-Colombian and indigenous women are the most vulnerable to sexual violence, given the triple discrimination they suffer because of their gender, ethnicity and poverty."

Helda Martínez

Inter press Service (IPS)

Oct. 21, 2009

Added: Oct. 25, 2009


Photo: Evelyn Hockstein

Rozievel, 15 and pregnant, is a child prostitute. She gets into a customer's car on a main street in downtown Managua, Nicaragua. "I do this to help my mother, she is a diabetic. My father left us when I was nine and we have no other alternatives. My mother knows what I do. I used to sell goods at the market but I didn't make enough money. I sold cigarettes and water in bags. I had a friend who also worked in the market and she suggested I come with her."

"I was raped when I was 13 by two guys. It was seven in the evening and I was on my way home from the market when they raped me. These two men used to live in the neighborhood where we used to live. We had problems with these men. (After the rape) I stayed home for a month without going out. We needed money, so we borrowed some, but we were in so much debt I decided to go to the streets."

"Two months after I started working she (mother) asked me how I got money, and I told her. My mom is 60 and a diabetic, and she can't work. She agreed there was no other alternative. I finished third grade. I dropped out when we didn't have any money. ..I go out every night and I make 100 -150 Cordoba's [$US 4.84 to $7.26]...

Evelyn Hockstein

The above photo and story are part of a photo collection on child and youth prostitution by Evelyn Hockstein.

Added: Oct. 24, 2009

Guatemala, Mexico

Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva, who was kidnapped at age 11 at a beach in Nicaragua, is one of many thousands of children who have been prostituted in the city of Tapachula, Mexico.

The NGO Save the Children has identified southern Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the entire world. The lawless city of Tapachula is the epicenter of that  crisis of impunity.

Buscan rescatar a niños guatemaltecos explotados en Tapachula

El Gobierno mexicano pondrá en marcha un programa de sensibilización denominado “Los Hijos del Águila y el Quetzal”, que tiene como objetivo rescatar a niños en riesgo de calle, en su mayoría indígenas guatemaltecos, que son víctimas de explotación laboral y de prostitución en Tapachula, Chiapas…

Authorities Seek to Rescue Guatemalan Children Exploited in Tapachula, Mexico

The Mexican government will launch an awareness program called "The Children of the Eagle and the Quetzal, which aims to rescue street children at risk. Most of these children are indigenous Guatemalans who become the victims of labor exploitation and prostitution in Tapachula, Chiapas.

Moises Sanchez Lopez, head of Human Rights for the city government of Tapachula, explained that the first phase of the project is to raise awareness with messages through the media, including that adults not give money to street children, because that money is destined for the pockets of the criminal networks that exploit them.

Sanchez added that the second phase is to rescue the street children. They have sought support from the consulates of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the National Human Rights Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the National Migration Institute, the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Against Migrants, and the Catholic Church affiliated NGO Defenders of the Human Rights of Migrants and Entrepreneurs.

Sanchez said the program seeks to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual and labor exploitation.

In Tapachula, dozens of children, mostly indigenous Guatemalans, are forced to work in begging, selling candy and cigarettes, shining shoes, cleaning windshields and as clowns.

These children, who average 13 years-of-age, work as many as 12 hours a day for negligible wages, and in some cases, without pay. They are forced to live in overcrowded conditions and are only given one meal a day.

According to the complaint by Guatemala’s diplomats, the majority of children living in villages on Mexico’s border are sold by their parents to be exploited in Mexico. Children with disabilities are sold for higher prices, and are taken to the cities of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Tapachula and Huixtla.

The the program "The Sons of the Eagle and the Quetzal," has been developed by the state government of Chiapas, through its Secretary for Southern Border Development, Secretaria de Desarrollo de la Frontera Sur, working together with the DIF [Integral Family Development] social services agency.

Prensa Libre

Oct. 22, 2009

See also:


Special Section

The city of Tapachula, near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

According to one study of conditions in Tapachula, city police efforts focus not on stopping rampant child prostitution, but on making sure that child prostitutes don't congregate around city schools and residential neighborhoods.

Tapachula is also the center of the crisis of rape with impunity that takes place along Mexico's border with Guatemala. The International Organization for Migration's office in Tapachula has estimated that 450 to 600 Central and South American migrant women per day are raped along the Mexican side of the border, with no Mexican law enforcement response to that mass gender atrocity whatsoever.

The largely Mayan state of Chiapas, where Tapachula is located, is the only non-federal government entity in the Americas to have developed a working relationship with the United Nations to obtain assistance in its efforts to begin to combat exploitation in the region, due to the urgency of their crisis of impunity.

- Chuck Goolsby


Oct. 24, 2009

All Aug., 2009 News

All July, 2009 News



Sobre el Brote de Gripe Porcina

About the Swine Influenza Outbreak

March 8 / Marzo 8


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!


Nuestra declaración de 2005 Día Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en día, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as niñas de todas las Américas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al público en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presión popular sobre los funcion-arios electos y otros encarga-dos de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de género -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las niñas de las Américas.

¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby


March 8, 2008

Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute


Read our new section on the prostitution of infants by trafficking gangs across Latin America

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008

About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala

Ricky Martin

Llama y Vive

Ricky Martin lanza campaña contra trata de personas en Washington, D.C. Llama y Vive promoverá línea telefónica de asistencia confidencial y gratuita

Ricky Martin  launches Call and Live in Washington DC, a campaign that promotes an anti-trafficking hotline.

April 24, 2008

Llama y Vive

Call and Live Hotline:

1-888 NO-TRATA


Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our new section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 18, 2008

Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula


The city of Tapachula, near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby


See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Doméstica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence

Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de la Prostitución ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevención de la migración temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru. contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina


Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby


June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's San Tomas Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitu-tion and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

The New York Times' ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States

[About Montser-rat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004

Added March 23, 2008










Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia Pérez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."

Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.

Latin American Trafficking News Summary

Coverage of the Elvira Arellano Deportation Case

Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States

United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006

Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.

Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006

More About / Mas Sobre Chuck Goolsby &


"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!


Jan., 2009


Dec., 2008


Nov.  2008 


Oct.   2008


Sep.  2008


Aug.  2008


July   2008


June 2008


May   2008



We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.