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Indigenous and Latina Women & Children's Human Rights News from the Americas


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

Happy International Women's Day 2012!


 

 
The Americas
Women & Children at Risk
 
Title:  Being Honest About The African American & Latin American Immigrant Relationship
  Bringing Truth to the Table
 
Publisher:  2006 Chuck Goolsby - LibertadLatina.org
Publish Date:  2006-05-25
   
Download: Microsoft Word Version
   

Honest Discussion Regarding an Urgent Social Issue

The intense national debate on immigration raging across the United States has raised questions that everyone should feel concerned about.  One important question is this: How does rapidly-increasing immigration impact U.S. society?

Strangely quiet in the debate until recently have been the voices of the African American community.  As a man of Afro-Native American ethnicity, who has devoted much of the last 25 years to assisting the Latin American immigrant community to defend its basic human rights in the Washington, DC region, I will add my observations about how Latin American immigration affects African Americans, and how African Americans interact with the Latin community.

This commentary addresses racism from both communities, issues of crime, and the need to bring both the growing conflict, and the growing efforts at collaboration between the two communities into the open for an honest discussion. 

When mainstream pundits discuss issues of immigration in TV, radio and print news media, the impact of today’s massive wave of immigration (now 4 million persons per year, with 3 million of those being undocumented) on the African American community is rarely talked about.  As Black leaders begin to emerge, taking a wide range of stands on this issue, I wish to add my 25 years of human rights advocacy experience in the Latin American communities of the Washington, DC region, and my knowledge of racial dynamics across Latin America, to the debate.  The time is right to open an honest discussion about how all who live within the United States and the Americas can work to resolve the migration crisis in a way that does not trample on anyone’s human rights.

Where I’m Coming From

I am, first and foremost, a never-ending friend and member of the African American, Native American and Latino communities in the United States.  I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the 1960s and Montgomery County, Maryland during the 1970s.  While much of the U.S. was still living in racial segregation, my Cambridge neighborhood was a mix of African American, Haitian, Barbadian, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Jewish and Anglo Americans.  We all played together and we all went to school together.  Our community was so ethnically diverse that when children fought and insulted each other (playfully), instead of using traditional insults, we would say ‘your nation!’

At the age of 22, in 1978, I was introduced to the Latin American community of Washington, DC by my interest in learning African traditional drumming.  That introduction has lead me to 28 years of close interaction with the many cultures, and the politics of the Latino immigrant community.  The Latino community’s friendliness and their relative lack of racial prejudice, which I first saw in my early 20s, allowed me to grow and flourish as a person for the first time in my life.

I can honestly say that, after growing up in environments where Black kids sometimes beat me up for being too light-skinned, and Irish kids at my local magnet school (who came from a far-away Irish ghetto) routinely beat me up, the lack of race consciousness in the Latino community was spiritually refreshing.  Latino willingness to celebrate African and Native cultures was eye-opening.

I have lived with families from several Latin countries.  I have been present when an immigration raid took away a Mexican family.  I have interceded to prevent attempted rapes, and to save the life of a Salvadoran housemate whose drunken husband beat her face into a completely dark purple mass of pulp.

Although my first perceptions were that race relations were better among Latin American immigrants, I have, over the past 25 years, seen that that is how things appear on the surface.  I have also seen the extreme sexism (machismo) that drives many Latino men to dominate women and girl children’s lives with acts of physical, psychological and sexual violence.  I have dedicated myself to acting to end these problems through human rights advocacy and personal action.  My web site, www.LibertadLatina.org, presents the Internet’s largest collection of factual analysis and news articles about the rapidly escalating crisis of ‘mass-gender-violence’ that women and girl children face all across Latin America, and within immigrant communities in every U.S. city, town and rural labor camp.

Like my Afro-Native American ancestors from Georgia and South Carolina (where Hernando DeSoto visited in 1540), my roots in multiple cultures allow me to speak, and hopefully negotiate between the parties when there is conflict.  Our cultures need to deal with these social issues with honesty and compassion.

 

An Overview of the Problem

To state the problem clearly, today's rapidly-growing and unending stream of immigration is causing many negative impacts in the U.S. in general, and in the African American community in particular. These effects have included increased competition for jobs and an inability to secure equal access to educational and social services resources that have taken decades for African Americans to negotiate from the larger society. 

Latin American countries are places where, because of corruption, money is not invested to provide for the well-being of each nation’s population.  There is no such thing as welfare, social security retirement, or food stamps anywhere in Latin America.  If you are poor, elderly or infirm, you just may die if you or your family members don’t migrate to a better place to live.  Latin America’s nations have gladly allowed the U.S. to become the welfare office for their poor citizens. 

Although the Latin American immigrant community understandably seeks work opportunities and freedom from poverty, repression and impunity across Latin America, U.S. society cannot displace its African American, White and other citizens (each group has up-to 500 years of roots in the U.S.), because wealthy corporations and uncaring lawmakers find it convenient to allow that injustice to occur.  Citizens can’t be marginalized because migrants will work for less.

An argument is often made by pro-immigration advocates who say that, “Latino immigrants take jobs that nobody else wants.”  That is only partially true.  It would be hard to make the argument that the 50% undocumented labor presence in the construction trades, at depressed wages, is not hurting working citizens.  Many unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled blue collar workers have in-fact lost their jobs.

While the pro-immigrant rights community justifiably demands an end to anti-Latino racism in the U.S., little if anything is ever said within the Latin American immigrant community, or in their public debates in the press, in regard to that community's own racial prejudices against African Americans.  Those sometimes-hostile sentiments affect the way in which the two communities interact, and make many recent immigrants act without remorse to actively seek to replace African Americans and other U.S. workers in the unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labor force.  As recent immigrants without a sure footing in U.S. society, many newcomers are not averse to pushing native-born U.S. citizen competitors out of the way to assure that their particular group is ‘taken care of.’

As a long-time advocate for the human rights of women, children and people of color throughout the Americas, and especially in regard to Latin America, I seek an open and honest debate about these very real, but often hidden issues.  I hope to contribute to resolving these conflicts between two related communities who actually have much more in common than they may think.

 

 Overt Expressions of Anti-African American Racism in the Latin American Immigrant Community

Many Latin American immigrants and institutions express anti-African American racism in a variety of ways in daily life.  These currents of racial prejudice exist all across Latin America against African descendants.  Such attitudes, and negative actions related to those views, have migrated en-mass into the United States. 

Citizens from Latin American countries with very small African descendant communities often have the most arrogant and racist views of African Americans.  These realities show their ugly heads in the mass media, in educational settings, and in the form of blatant acts of open discrimination that are perpetrated against African Americans by certain arrogant Latin American immigrants who have hiring and firing authority in the U.S. workplace.

We can start with an examination of the mainstream Mexican-owned media in the U.S.  Afro-Latino activists have complained for years that almost NO Afro-Latino and certainly NO Indigenous men, women or children are ever represented on the two major TV networks, Univision and NBC subsidiary Telemundo.  Telemundo has changed ...a little... because a U.S. company like NBC has, we hope, institutionalized strong anti-discrimination policies.  A Mexican-based network such as Univision likely has no such self-motivated obligation.  I have been in contact with Afro-Latino activists for many years who have rallied to demand changes in this racial exclusion to little or no avail.

In another stark example, the Mexican / Mexican American lead ‘Aztlan’ movement based in Los Angeles and the Southwest has a vision of literally re-taking control of that region, and kicking out all Anglos and African-Americans, with the aim of re-uniting with Mexico.  They declare: "para la Raza, todo, para los demas, nada" (for our race, everything, for everyone else, nothing).

As an Afro-Native American, I can certainly say that a huge Native American claim exists for the Southwest that pre-dates any Mexican claim.  Any re-taking of the Southwest by Mexico would be... unacceptable for a number of reasons.

Within some parts of Latin American and Latino immigrant culture, there are strong strains of solidarity with the African-American community.  Certainly the Afro-centric cultures of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba reflect that view.  Racism also exists in those nations.  (Thousands of darker-skinned Haitian children, for example, are sold as slaves in the Dominican Republic.)

There is also a grotesque kissing-up to prejudiced currents in U.S. society that says: "let me take the job from that lazy Black man."  African Americans are not lazy, but more than a few Latino immigrants are willing to exploit racism by providing themselves as an alternative to the hiring of African American workers.

(As a computer professional for over 22 years, I see this discrimination in the consulting market too, but it is the Indian immigrant who happily offers to U.S. citizen managers the opportunity to replace Blacks in the workplace.  I have personally been pushed out of eight contract software professional positions by angry, hostile and arrogant immigrant software managers and co-workers from the country of India.  As many women as men have perpetrated these acts of impunity, which are 'normal' behaviors for them.  Some Indian immigrants also target Latino workers (especially women) for abuse in the U.S. workplace.  The elite Brahman disdain-for and mistreatment-of Hindu ‘‘untouchables’ has been transposed to justify mistreatment of both Black and Latino workers in the U.S.) 

 

The Impact of Ever-Increasing Immigration on Current Conflicts Between Our Communities

Whatever acts of racial prejudice are carried out by immigrants from across the world in the United States, the expected massive increases in the rates of immigration into the U.S. (66 to 100 million during the next 20 years, according to current estimates by the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation) will increase the intensity of these social conflicts significantly.

In 1950, Latin America's population was 166 million.  Now in 2006, its population is 530 million.  In 2050, its population is predicted to grow to 800 million.  In the next 45 years, more people will be added to the population of Latin America than the total number of all of the persons alive in the U.S. today - 300 million.

Everyone cannot come to the U.S., yet pro-immigration activists advocate for the freedom to just that.  At what point will Latin America's individuals and political and religious institutions take responsibility for controlling Latin America's rapidly exploding birth rate?  Are persons in the United States responsible for footing the bill for that high birth rate?  Is the African American community, recently emerging from centuries of impoverishment itself, going to be responsible for bearing the burden of that overpopulation without having a say in the matter?

Rapid Latin American immigration has also caused stiff competition for access to labor markets among Latin American nationalities.  A Catholic social service center administrator from Maryland told me in the late 1990s that Colombian friends in New York City had reported that recent Mexican immigrants to New York were offering to work in local garment factories for $.60 cents per hour, motivated by the desire to gain market share by pushing out the Colombians.  Here in Maryland, a major fast food franchise owner, with restaurant assets in the tens of millions, routinely skims 5 to 7 hours of minimum wage labor hours from poor undocumented Latino workers when one of their stores doesn’t meet weekly budget goals.  These illegal practices occur across the low-wage economy.

African Americans employed in service sector and factory employment pay much of the price for these misdeeds through unemployment.  We cannot be competitive at what are literally slave wages offered by otherwise 'respectable' U.S. companies who have no qualms about breaking the law.  The U.S. government rarely enforces any of the laws that would apply in these cases of blatant labor exploitation, even when they know about them.

The U.S. also has some historical responsibility for the massive levels of poverty found in Latin America today.

For example, the United Fruit Company in the early 1900s paid off the dictator of Guatemala to send his troops into the lowland, fertile agricultural areas of the nations and force the then self-sufficient peasants off of their own land.  After that was accomplished, United Fruit owned all the profitable land, and even the nation's railroad.  In 1954 United Fruit and the U.S. CIA conspired to overthrow the democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, because he advocated giving some of United Fruit's land back to the peasants.

That coup-d'etat was followed by decades of dictatorship, and a genocidal civil war that lead to the deaths of over 200,000 innocent Mayan indigenous civilians in the 1980s.  Most women and girls in the conflict were raped by government forces.  Nobody ever went to jail for these crimes against humanity.  The long-term legacy of that criminal impunity shows up today in the form of the murders of 600 women per year (most of them raped and tortured); with very little in the way of police action to stop a violent crime wave that is now called "femicide."

Entire societies were stunted in their economic and social development during 'dirty wars in the 1970s and 80s, as dictators (often with U.S. corporate and government support) used long-standing traditions of corruption, violence and criminal impunity to exploit and impoverish their nation's disenfranchised populations (while they claimed to be fighting against Cold-War communism).

Today’s working citizens did not own United Fruit Company.  Yet the political and economic powers-that-be now favor unlimited immigration, knowing that the most negative impacts will be felt within Black and other working class communities. 

Those who have no problem with authorizing a high rate of immigration into the U.S. also apparently have little-to-no concern about immigration’s human impact.

Some leaders in the Latin American immigrant community are also aware of these social dynamics, and actively market immigrants as "replacements" for African Americans in social and labor niches across U.S. society.  For those community leaders who promote these divisions, the growing public opposition to uncontrolled, continuing migration into the U.S. comes as a surprise, because it goes against their perceptions that playing to the 'race card' was a successful strategy that sold Latin American immigrants as the "non-Black alternative."

Little is said in the immigration debate about the fact that the U.S. has left the Black-White conflict and the national legacy of racial prejudice largely unresolved, despite the existence of anti-discrimination laws on the books. 

Anti-discrimination laws that immigrants benefit-from today were actually designed to resolve issues of race prejudice against African Americans, dating from 500 years ago.  When recent immigrants jump ahead into the line (‘not respecting the line’ is a cultural practice common across Latin America), Black Americans are left scratching their heads in wondering what, if any discrimination a very recent immigrant has ever suffered, and why is that person eligible for receiving a benefit that was designed to correct long-standing issues of racial exclusion perpetrated by the larger society against African American citizens.

When recent immigrants are treated with relative equality in a variety of social and workplace environments where African Americans still face overt hostility, it is not a happy sight to watch.  I see that dynamic happen every day of my life.

It is unethical for immigrants to exploit that social reality for their own ends, knowing that African Americans will, as a result, be even further marginalized. 

 

Acts of Racism Toward People of African Ancestry Committed by Latin Americans and Members of the Latin American Immigrant Community

I have heard many dozens of racist and hateful comments from Latino immigrants in regard to African Americans during the past 25 years.  Some of those attitudes are driven by a desire to kiss-up to perceptions that going-along with racism in U.S. society will ingratiate them with some White Americans. 

The below examples are all anecdotal, but very real, true experiences that myself and people around me have experienced.  Certain nationalities deserve special attention in regard to their cultural biases against people of African descent.

Colombia

Certainly most Latin American societies have a strong, anti-Black racist streak. Colombia’s wealthy elite have particular problems in dealing with race.

One TV show in Colombia was censured by an international human rights organization because it was so overtly and hatefully anti-Black. 

A family friend from Bogotá, who counts three medical doctors among her children, told me during her time living with us, about the dynamics of racism among Bogotá's white elites (known as arribistas or the 'upper-crust').  One of her sons is in medical practice in Colombia with a partner who is Afro-Colombian.  Apparently, NO Afro-Colombian person is allowed to attend any medical school in that nation.  This Afro-Colombian physician had to go to Cuba to get his medical education.

Our friend also told me that NO Afro-Colombian is ever allowed to receive officer training in the Colombian Navy.  Yet the United States Government, using tax dollars from Black, White and other citizens, provides billions of dollars in aid to a society that openly discriminates against Afro-Colombians in all walks of life.

Fifteen years ago, when I worked a part-time job in my local public library, a Colombian woman from Medellin engaged on a regular basis in treating African Americans with hostility.  White library users were treated with total respect.

My next door neighbor, his wife and his adult son are all Colombian immigrants.  They are very big about flying the U.S. flag on holidays.  The son, who is about 30 now, never said one word to me, despite my repeated polite attempts to engage him in conversation.  Three days after 9-11-2001, he was walking from his car to his entrance and called me the “N” word under his breath.  The next day I told him that if I ever heard that from him again, he would find out who I am.

Another Latino immigrant who lives across the street from me (nationality unknown) responded to my effort to say hello to him with a cold, racist stare.

By comparison, other Latino neighbors are completely friendly.

Chile

A former almost-brother-in-law, the son of an Afro-Haitian diplomat who was very dark-skinned (and who went on to run all Haitian government computer services after getting his advanced education in Washington, DC), told me that his time living in Chile, during his father's tour of duty at their embassy, was the worst time of his life.  The anti-Black racism of Chileans was overt and aggressive.  Other Chileans have told me openly of the racism that they traditionally grew up with in Chile.

When a Black jury in a federal criminal case in Washington, DC awarded damages to families of the victims of a Chilean government ordered car bomb that killed former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier on the city's Embassy Row (Massachusetts Avenue), the president (dictator) of Chile, General Agosto Pinochet, openly made remarks that he would comply with a decision by a bunch of Blacks in Washington.  (The U.S. government later seized a Chilean commercial airliner as payment for this judgment.)

Costa Rica

A Black coworker who grew up in Costa Rica told me that the racism there was pure hell.  When he married a mestiza (mixed Native and Spanish) woman from Honduras, his wife’s family did not accept him, because he was Black.

Cuban-Americans

On Latin American popular TV talk shows such as Univision Network’s The Cristina Show, seen by more viewers than The Oprah Show, I have personally observed Miami’s majority white Cuban community make racist jokes without shame.  Since seeing this spectacle on TV during the late 1990s, I have never again watched another segment of Cristina Saralegui's otherwise great show.

One of my aunts, who is a New York professional woman of dark complexion, traveled to Miami several years ago.  She reported to me that she and other African-Americans, waiting in line to buy items at a retail store, were not attended to by the store's White Cuban clerks.  The same clerks did wait on White Latino customers.  My aunt turned to the local African American persons in line and said "How can you stand to live like this!"  My own theory is that the racist culture of the 1950s and 1960s U.S. South, into which the Cubans fleeing Fidel Castro came, was compatible with Cuban concepts of machismo and racial superiority.  

As a musician who has performed professionally over 600 times with 27 Latin American performing groups in the Washington, DC region, I can recall that the first group I played with, (La Orquesta de) Tulio Arias, a white Cuban immigrant band leader and one of my many mentors, would, unknown to me at the time, sometimes not call me to perform because they were performing (during the 1980s) at whites-only, racially segregated Elks Club events in nearby Virginia.

It must also be recalled that one of Fidel Castro's first acts after taking control of Cuba in 1958 was to repeal the previous, Batista-era ban on allowing Black Cubans (who are 60% of the population) to use the nation's public beaches!

See the writings of Dr. Carlos Moore, and Dr. Miguel de la Torre (Black and White Cuban scholars, respectively), for additional information on the racial dynamics of Cuba and how racism and sexism mix in the ‘code’ of machismo.

The Dominican Republic

A former girlfriend from the Dominican Republic, a largely Black country, told me about how only people of color with “good (non-curly) hair” were allowed to be admitted to her local Catholic school 30 years ago.

Ecuador

During 2001 I worked in the Boston, Massachusetts area, where I am from.  Large numbers of Latin American residents live in the area.  Many, including Ecuadorian friends of mine, have great friendships with African Americans.

During a lunchtime visit to a Burger King in the city of Framingham, Massachusetts, I was waiting in line to order.  An Ecuadorian man in his 30s was talking to two women co-workers, one of whom was his manager.  He began to look at me, and, assuming that I did not speak Spanish, he said, “I can see it now, I would just like to piss all over him (he said this in a derogatory, not a sexual context).  His manager tried to warn him that he should shut up, mostly because she could sense that I was in fact bilingual.  I spoke to this arrogant creep with a lot more respect that he had shown to me with his racist banter.

A documentary about life in the Pacific Coast region of Ecuador, which has a large population of African peoples who still live a traditional African lifestyle, included several interviews with villagers.  One villager interviewed indicated that White Ecuadorians only gave up using leather whips on Black people in 1960.

Mexico

President Fox uttered a racist statement during 2005, saying that “Mexican immigrants take jobs that not even Blacks want.”  That declaration was highly offensive to the African American community. 

President Fox added fuel to the fire by praising the Mexican federal postal service’s efforts to print a series of stamps of a 1940’s racist stereotype of Africans called “Memin Pinguin.”  Although the issue received a lot of mainstream U.S. press coverage, almost no coverage was given to statements by leaders of Mexico’s southwest coastal (Acapulco) region Afro-Mexican community, who declared that, contrary to President Fox's public assertions, anti-Black racism was alive and well in Mexico.  The community’s view was that, indeed, Memim Pinguin was a racially offensive stereotype for Afro-Mexicans.

President Fox exploited the issue of the printing of this racially objectionable postal stamp to needle the U.S. for reacting so strongly to his “not even Blacks” statement.  Now, he gripes about U.S. prejudice against Mexican immigrants (a valid complaint, but quite hypocritical).

See: http://chadfbrown.blogspot.com/2005/07/memin-pinguin.html

During the 1990s mainstream press articles circulated a story that police in Acapulco actively chased Afro-Mexicans away from local tourism beaches.

During 2005, I took my family to buy Mexican breads and pastries in Baltimore’s Latino community.  As we sat in my car sampling what we had just bought, Mexican guys stood on the street, starting at me, grabbing their crotches in a typical gang stance, and generally letting me know that I, as a Black man, was “in their turf, and I should therefore leave.”

Northern South America

Having been married to a Latina immigrant woman from northern South America for 22 years, I have also seen these racist attitudes among my own in-laws.  Other Latina friends married or in relationships with African Americans have faced the same issues of racial hostility from their in-laws. 

There is a widespread concept in Latino communities, especially from South and Central America, of “mejorando la raza” (improving one’s race).  This ignorant and racist concept dictates that Latin Americans should always find someone lighter in skin tone than themselves (if they are not White already)… to marry.  That means that if you are of African or Indigenous ancestry, and if you have been brought up to believe in this garbage, you actively try to marry someone lighter skinned, and more European-looking than yourself.  My Mother-in-Law used to be fond of making comments such as, “my granddaughter has gotten worse” – meaning that her skin had gotten darker during the Summer. 

New Jersey

My family and I have traveled frequently in the past to Bergen, New Jersey, a huge Latino community just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, New York.  We can find dozens of restaurants from my wife’s home country, and the food is good.  As I walked around Bergen, I got the ‘vibe’ from some Latinos, and also from a white American policemen, that, I, as an African American, should not be in that neighborhood and I should therefore leave.  During one trip, a group of Latino youth in their teens actually insulted me and told me not to come back.

Florida

During a trip to Orlando, Florida in 2000, I experienced a number of hostile acts from Latinos.  One young man, eating near us in a family style restaurant, suggested to his mother and other relatives (speaking in Spanish), that I should perform fellatio on him.  My wife had to detain me from ‘verbally’ responding!

California

During a recent working trip to Oakland, California, I stood at a bus stop where a group of 15 Latino guys were standing around drinking strong coffee, talking about Christianity and waiting to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  One of them yelled out to me, “Get out of here!”

Maryland

During Christmastime in 2004 I went with friends to a Salvadoran restaurant.  The cooks could see that I was present.  I was the only non-Latino in the restaurant, and the only person of African descent.  The cooks, showing some visible discomfort delayed serving my order for half an hour beyond what anyone else in the restaurant experienced.  (In 1996 I went through a similar experience of ‘illegal denial of food service’ at a predominantly White Denny’s restaurant.)

Racism against people of African, and (even worse) against persons of indigenous ancestry is pandemic across Latin America.  It is unacceptable that these attitudes, and the many acts of impunity and gender, social and labor discrimination that are associated with them, continue to be allowed to flourish in U.S. society without an open and emphatic demand that those practices change and end.  This impunity often hides behind a language barrier, making the acts of discrimination and crime almost invisible to the public, the press and the courts.

Immigration is acceptable.  Converting the U.S. into a mirror image of the racially hostile and sexist environment that exists in most of Latin America is... unacceptable.  The fact that most Latin Americans deny that racial prejudice is a problem raises concerns from experts in the field such as Dr. Carlos Moore, an Afro-Cuban scholar.  Increased immigration from Latin America is a potential source of increased racial conflict largely because of their denial of the issue.  I agree.  Racism is a Trojan Horse that will migrate to the U.S. en-mass over time.

 

Violence between the African American and Latin American communities

In some communities in the United States, African Americans have received new immigrants with hostility and violence.  Here are a few examples that I have seen:

  • A former girlfriend, who’s Honduran family bought a row house in a lower working class community in Washington, DC, had every member of their household (about 8 adults) robbed and/or beaten by local thugs. 
  • As a former worker in the local Latin American Youth Center, also in Washington, DC, I used to see, 27 years ago, African American middle school boys openly throw empty glass bottles across a street at Latina high school girls after the local schools let out.  This occurred frequently. 
  • I was once playing Afro-Cuban drumming (rumba) on the Latino community’s main drag (Colombia Road) in DC, and saw an older Black teen walk by a Central American immigrant at about 8 PM on a busy street, and punch him in the face for no reason, knocking him out cold.
  • In another incident, my own Latina step-daughter was chased around for several hours at 2 AM in a well-off suburban community by a car-load of young Black men bent on doing no-good (obviously intent on rape). 
  • A young Salvadoran woman I worked with witnessed the kidnapping from a bus stop (at night) of another young Latina, by three Black men.  The victim was later found raped and murdered.  The Salvadoran woman and her husband, both witnesses to the kidnapping, refused to testify for fear of their lives.
  • A Salvadoran man I know was shot four times by a young African-American man, although his wounds were slight from the .22 caliber handgun.  Before that incident I used to hear his father talk about carrying around a handgun while he lived in that Washington, DC neighborhood.  I no longer consider him to be a racist for carrying a gun in Columbia Heights.
  • A Latino community center director serving pre-teen and teenage girls of all races, but mostly Latinas, wrote me a letter in 1999 explaining how Latino gangs were raping local girls, from the age of 9 up, in Washington, DC’s poor Latino neighborhoods, with impunity.  Latino gang members would then intimidate family members with violence if they reported the rapes to police.  This advocate for girls was especially incensed that the Metropolitan Police Department and the public school system (majority African American institutions) showed a complete lack of interest in helping these victims.  This activist later helped to form a local task force to assist girls of all races with preventing and responding to this impunity.
  • In the city of Langley Park, the largest Latino community in Maryland, a Peruvian friend once witnessed a minor auto accident in a parking lot, between a Latino driver and an African American driver.  According to my friend, the African American driver was at fault.  Upon calling a police officer to the scene, the officer heard only the African American driver’s account of the problem, because the Latino driver did not speak English.  The Latino driver was arrested by the police officer.
  • The same Peruvian friend went to a gas station in Langley Park, MD at night, and paid for his gas through the cashier’s window with a $50 dollar bill.  Instead of giving my friend his $40.00 in change, the African, or African American attendant passed a ten dollar bill back through the window, and dared my friend to do anything about it.
  • Also in Langley Park, a Salvadoran woman, who I had done workplace discrimination advocacy work for, told me an interesting story.  She said that on her street, she witnessed a Latino man being stopped by two Black police officers for having expired 30 day tags on his car.  The Latino driver explained to the officers that the permanent license tags had not been mailed to him yet.  A number of Latino drug dealers were standing on the street nearby, and began to throw rocks at the two police officers, who hid behind their car doors to avoid being hit.  According to the witness, the officers, being extremely angry at that point, decided to take revenge by arresting the driver they had stopped.  This driver filed a civil suit, but neither the witness I talked to, nor any other Latino witness on that street was willing to come forward, because of fear of deportation.
  • In Washington, DC, a Salvadoran friend who is a lay pastor at his Evangelical church (a former co-worker) told me about how both he and his brother were held up at gunpoint by young African American men. 
  • The same lay pastor told me that he witnessed a traffic accident in Washington, DC, where an African American man was at fault and a Latino driver’s car was hit.  The policeman who arrived on the scene was not bilingual, and proceeded to cite the Latino driver for a traffic violation.
  • The same lay pastor told me that a member of his church who is Latino had his apartment trashed and property destroyed because police had the wrong address for a drug raid.  An officer told him not to report the event, or the police “could” plant drugs in his apartment.  He kept his mouth shut.
  • My wife’s car was rear-ended by an immigrant woman from India (who later wiggled out of any liability for the accident by lying).  Upon calling a young African-American woman agent at Nationwide Insurance several times, the agent treated my wife (who is Latina) with disrespect.  The agent returned no phone calls to my wife until a White American male relative left a message for the agent.  THEN the agent called back.

Obviously, Latin American immigrants who go through these types of experiences do not have a positive view of African Americans.  Many Latino immigrants have also suffered similar treatment from White Americans.  Latino on Latino crime is also a very large problem.

  • During the early 1980s, when my wife and I were dating, a White American man got out of a car and attempted to grab her and force her into his car.  This act of attempted kidnapping and rape followed a pattern that had been seen elsewhere in the region.  Because she was undocumented at the time, we did not report this event to police. 
  • When my stepson came to Maryland from South America in the mid 1980’s, a carload of White teenagers stopped near a bus stop where he and my wife were waiting for a bus.  They were aggressively verbally harassed.

Sexual predators and other violent criminals from all races actively target Latin American immigrants because their undocumented status will ‘keep them quiet.’

Crime in the Latin American immigrant community is also severe.  Gang violence and sexist impunity have created hundreds of thousands of cases or rape, child rape and sexual demands targeting poor Latina and other women in the modern U.S. workplace.  Latino immigrant communities also drive much of the demand for women and children kidnapped in Latin America and forced to be prostitutes in every city, town and migrant labor camp in the U.S.  A cultural code of silence within the Latin American community that prevents reporting crime, and a fear of deportation aid and abet the actions of the huge criminal element that today subjects Latin Americans and Latin American immigrants in the U.S. to terror.

My web site, www.LibertadLatina.org, is devoted to documenting these harsh but very real issues.  The cases are too numerous to describe here.  Suffice it to say that I have more than 1,200 factual documents describing the incredibly high rate of sexual harassment, rape, forced prostitution and kidnapping into sex trafficking that Latin American and Indigenous women face from many thousands of men who act with total impunity.  Corruption and intimidation cover up these crimes.

It is my sense that the anti-African American racism that many immigrants, especially elite immigrants, bring with them into the U.S. is separate from the racism that comes from the very small percentage of Latin American immigrants who are victims of African American crime.  The fact that racial exclusion still exists on the major Spanish language networks is one clear sign that the elites in the Latino community have a powerful and negative influence in regard to issues of race in the U.S.

 

The Impact of Expanded Immigration on Race Relations in the United States

If Latino immigration from countries with a history of strong anti-Black racist sentiments expands to 66 or 100 million people during the next 20 years, as analysts have predicted under the new U.S. Senate Immigration Bill, African-American people will increasingly be subjected to the harsh and aggressive forms of racism and lawless impunity that are commonplace in Latin America. 

The bar for women's rights, which are extensively trampled today in Latin America (millions of women and children are forced to work in prostitution, and many are enslaved), will also be lowered in the United States.  That process has already happened as sex traffickers bring many thousands of enslaved women and underage girls into the U.S. to 'service' the large male immigrant population.  Many of those men have no sense of remorse whatsoever about paying for 20 minutes of sex with a 14 year-old girl who was kidnapped from Mexico or Central America, and is beaten and raped every single day of her now-shortened life.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the UNICEF during the 1990s and early 2000s, presented a speech on the crisis of impunity facing all of Latin America.  Presented on International Women's Day in 1999, the Executive Director's statement included the following description of the rampant level of impunity that exists in sexual exploitation in the region.  That level of exploitation can be said to be a marker for impunity in racist action as well.

On International Women’s Day, designated by the United Nations as UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, UNICEF, in support of the United Nations’ campaign for the eradication of violence against women, calls on society in Latin American and Caribbean to eradicate violence against women and children. Violence is a problem that still remains largely hidden from the public eye; and most countries in the region have only scarce systematic information on the scope of it.

Society’s silence is the main accomplice in allowing widespread impunity. Latin America and the Caribbean face enormous challenges in the prelude to the twenty-first century. The region will have to bring out into the open this increasingly disturbing reality; and it will have to struggle against the high degree to which society tolerates or practices inconceivable forms of aggression against the most vulnerable individuals in society. In commemorating International Women’s Day, Executive Director of UNICEF Carol Bellamy said that "it is everywhere, among rich and poor -- at home, in school, in the workplace and in the community. Yet on the eve of the 21st century, the vast scale of this outrage is still not widely acknowledged, nor even truly understood".

Recent studies indicate that no less than six million children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean are subjected to severe aggression, and that 80,000 of these die each year as a result of violence unleashed in their own families. Sexual harassment, maltreatment, child labor, violence in the home and sexual exploitation occur with such frequency that they can be considered a daily phenomenon.

- Carol Bellamy

Former Executive Director, UNICEF

On March 8, 1999 (International Women's Day

Bogotá, Colombia

The conditions of social injustice that Carol Bellamy accurately described in 1999 have not improved, they have gotten much worse.  These realities are one of the strongest motives for women to leave Latin America seeking not only income, but safety in the U.S.  I consider the United States to have a special moral responsibility to remain available as a refuge for women and children who are facing what is literally a 'gender-hostile environment’ across all of Latin America.

Before massive-immigration is approved and allowed to happen legally, U.S. society will have to discover mechanisms to control and stop the effects (in the U.S.) of the rampant 'racism and sexism with impunity' that today dominates in every region of Latin America, creating what is literally a human catastrophe. 

U.S. citizens, Black, White, Latino and Asian, have no obligation to lower the bar on human rights, and allow an expansion of the blatant and open prejudices that racially exclusive Latino media, and some Latino cultural practices are allowing to take hold in every corner of the U.S. today.  All citizens deserve a place at the table when decisions are made about what level of increased impunity we will accept as a result of importing these often hidden social problems.

Everyone in the Latin American immigrant community in the U.S. knows that these human rights abuses exist in their communities.  I have knocked on the doors of Latino leaders for over a decade seeking to have them engage in the fight against the exploitation of women and children, with little positive response.

These issues are rarely, if ever raised during public and legislative debate about immigration.  While pro-immigration organizations may not want to see such an open discussion, citizens have a right to decide what to do about these concerns.

 

Opening Up the Debate on Immigration to All People in the United States

The extensive debates taking place today have included little consideration of the powerful impact that massive immigration has in the African-American community.

This commentary encourages all parties to open up that honest dialog.  African Americans certainly deserve a place at the table in national media and legislative debate about these issues.

The issue is being further explored by a growing number of African American organizations.  A majority of African Americans, including the author, strongly support the Latin American immigrant community and have strong ties to it.  However, we must address the real impact of immigration on the Black community.  We will not hide our heads in the sand as our community members loose jobs and dignity.  We will also not condone impunity in U.S. society.

The loss of jobs, and the social conflict in schools and other social settings caused by massive immigrant into Los Angeles and other major population centers has had a very real and negative impact on the African-American community that all parties must acknowledge. 

It is not morally right that some immigrants offer to replace Black people because some in the dominant culture are willing to collaborate in exploiting existing racial divides between White and Black.  African Americans and other ethnicities are NOT replaceable components in U.S. society, to be switched out of the nation's proverbial 'car body' as if we were 30 million burnt-out car batteries.

Many economists and corporate executives appear eager to flood the U.S. with foreign workers while our own economy is unstable.  Let’s first allow the best and the brightest foreign economists and executives to replace them at their jobs.

If Latin America, and the U.S. Latin American immigrant community truly have no problem with race, and if they really believe in the principle of free migration, let’s propose allowing Sudanese, Somali and Congolese migrants to travel to Latin America and replace all of the Latin American migrants who have come to the U.S., leaving their home towns almost abandoned.  Hard working Africans living in poverty certainly could benefit from that opportunity.  If pro U.S. immigration advocates object to that idea, I would like to know their reasoning.

The bottom line is that Latin America’s poor and middle classes are suffering through a tragic human rights and economic crisis.  They need our help.  So do people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  So do millions of U.S. citizens suffering from unemployment, underemployment, job displacement by aggressive H1-B and L-1 migrant workers from India, outsourcing, and the mass-closings of U.S. factories.

Past U.S. immigration policy has encouraged an assumption among Latin Americans that the U.S. border would always be open.  That, together with the Latin American concept that there is a ‘right’ to immigrate, and a ‘right’ to experience the American Dream have caused generations of Latin Americans, and immigrants in the U.S., to ‘bet the farm’ that the U.S. will always be there to be their escape route from conditions of severe poverty and corrupt impunity.  The word ‘America’ in the Latin American context means the entire western hemisphere.  So to Latin Americans, “the American Dream” implies a right to migrate to where that dream is… the United States.  Today’s immigration debate challenges, for the first time, those assumptions and that sense of entitlement.

There is also a sense of arrogance among some (but not all) persons in Latin America in regard to U.S. immigration.  In addition to a sense of entitlement, they believe that U.S. citizens don’t deserve to keep the U.S. to themselves.  In 1995, while conversing with a group of housewives in South America, the hostess stated: “Those dumb Americans, we’re just going to walk right over them.”

I personally know an entire family of South American immigrants who paid bribes to U.S. embassy staff in one country to come to the U.S.  In another case, a coyote (people smuggler) paid-off a U.S. customs inspector in Texas to allow two people to pass through the border station into the U.S. without visas.  In another case, the person simply engaged in a fake marriage to become ‘legal.’  All of these persons today openly express disdain for African Americans, and in some cases, Americans in general.  Their attitudes can only be called racist arrogance.

My compassion and love for the Latin American and immigrant communities and people runs very deep.  I cannot, however, condone racist and sexist impunity by what is hopefully a minority of immigrants who openly apply those ideas in the U.S.

A significant subset of the immigrant population includes a criminal element that is used to operating in Latin America without fear of prosecution.  Official corruption allows such persons to commit violent acts uncontested.  When such persons arrive in the U.S. as immigrants, they continue to commit crime, and typically express disdain for U.S. laws. 

One marker of this trend is the fact that Operation Predator, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations to catch and deport child sex offenders, has arrested more than 7,500 persons as of April 2006.  More than 85% of arrests are of foreign national sex offenders.  Approximately 40% of these are lawful permanent resident immigrants.  An additional 40% are undocumented persons. Those deported represent predators from more than 100 nations, not only Latin America.  Those arrested often are surprised, because they know that they can commit such crimes in almost any Latin American nation without worry.

A number of undocumented migrants have committed murders in the U.S. and then run back over the border to Mexico and Central America (where police will not touch them). U.S. law enforcement officers have been among the victims.  This fact causes deep-seated anger among law-abiding U.S. citizens of all races.

The solution to the current immigration crisis must lie in ending impunity, and reforming corrupt governments and economic systems.  Mass migration into the United States is not the answer.  Those undocumented migrants who are here now do deserve our help.  That position is supported by most U.S. citizens, Black, White and others.  Among that group are many immigrants who originally came to the U.S. as war refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua.

The Spring, 2006 U.S. House immigration reform proposal, that would have made felons out of the existing undocumented immigrant population was racially offensive.  Naturally, Latin American immigrants took to the streets to protest it.

While I agree that current undocumented migrants should have the right to become legal workers, citizenship deserves further debate.  The pro-immigration movement is asking the population of the U.S. to agree to have its internal politics forever changed by immigrants from Latin America who effectively forced their way into the country.  Granting citizenship will generate never-ending conflict from citizens who understand that point and are offended by that fact.

Undocumented immigration has already skewed U.S. politics by allotting more congressional seats to states with large immigrant populations, actively taking representation away from states with lower rates of immigration.  (The U.S. Constitution requires congressional apportionment based on total population.  This causes the undocumented population to be counted in the division of the nation’s 435 elected House members between the states.  Should people in Michigan feel good about loosing votes to California because of this process?)

Current estimates that the recent U.S. Senate immigration reform bill will allow 60 to 100 million new migrants to come to the U.S. during the next 20 years.

Any immigration reform package that allows such marked increases in the rate of immigration (bringing with it an unending flow of family reunification migrants), without the consent of the U.S. population, will also generate conflict.  That wave of new immigrants will necessarily displace even more of this nation’s citizens in employment, housing, schooling and national political voice. 

The wishes of the nation’s citizens must be the primary voice heard by law-makers in this debate.  Congress exists to work for them.

If the politicians and corporate leaders in the U.S. made a deal to allow today’s uncontrolled immigration in exchange for allowing the NAFTA and CAFTA trade agreements to raid Latin American economies (thus creating waves of new poor – 40 million in Mexico’s case)… let those profiteers foot the bill for that damage.

It is up to each and every one of us to take this dialog in a direction that acknowledges the needs of the immigrant community AND U.S. citizens.  Your contribution to the dialog and decision-making also needs to be heard!

...In the interests of building an honest conversation that includes African American's and women's human rights issues at the heart of the 2006 U.S. immigration debate...

 

- Chuck Goolsby

Founder and Coordinator

www.LibertadLatina.org

The web's largest source of

factual information on women

and children's human rights in

Latin America and its Diaspora.

Since March, 2001

Chuck@LibertadLatina.org

 


See also:


Added May 25, 2006

Colombia - Brazil 

Doctor Maricel Mena López, an Afro-

Colombian theologian now living in Brazil

 

Dr. Maricel Mena Lopez, a 37-year-old Colombian woman, was the youngest in a family of eight brothers and sisters.  She traveled to brazil to study education and religious science.  Today she is a professor of Old Testament Studies at the Upper Theology School in Sao Leopoldo (Saint Leopold,Brazil).

Maricel and one of her sisters were the only family members who were able to study, thanks to the efforts of her mother, a White Colombian woman who had five children in her first marriage.  A seamstress, Maricel’s mother ended up raising eight children by herself, living in a house with two rooms… a living room and a kitchen.

Maricel learned about discrimination firsthand at a young age.  Her mother’s family never accepted her mother’s Black children.

Dr. Maricel Mena Lopez…

“White feminism is elitist.  It thrives in an elite, white academic world, because it was the middle class who had access to education.  They focused on their own concerns as if they were universal, valid for all women, including Black and Indigenous women.”

“In Latin America feminism has many diverse characteristics.  Many feminists in the region do not come from the middle class.  The feminist movement is racially diverse here.  It was important to struggle hard to achieve that result, so that the voices of Black and Indigenous (Native Latin American) women would be heard.  And that is what we want to achieve.  White feminists continue to never see Black women as being protagonists.  Only themselves.”

"Indigenous feminism does also exist.  It is not yet well developed because Indigenous women have had less access to education."

 “I would say that [Black feminism in Latin America] addresses three concerns: sexism, classism and racism.  Black women are exposed to a triple discrimination in society.  Middle class white women only suffer sexism.  Poor women suffer classism and sexism.  Black women face, in addition, another element, which is racism." 

"In Colombian society racism is stronger than it is in Brazil.  Black neighborhoods live in a form of "Apartheid."  A Black person can only gain employment with difficulty."

From: I Am Black and Beautiful  (In Spanish).

An Interview with Dr. Maricel Mena Lopez

Agencia Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Comunicación (ALC)

The Latin American and Caribbean Communication Agency

A project of the Latin American Lutheran Churches United in Communication

August 27, 2004

 


Added May 25, 2006

Latin America - United States

The Subtle Racism of Latin America

Carlos Moore sees a disguised racism permeating Latin American society, invented by Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula.

UCLA International Institute's report on a lecture given by Dr. Moore at the Institute on June 2, 2003.

 

Afro-Cuban scholar Dr. Carlos Moore

 While many believe that Arab and Latin American societies have a better track record in regard to race than the United States, Dr. Carlos Moore, resident scholar at Brazil's Universidade do Estado da Bahia, contends that this impression is wrong. Moore, a black man raised in pre-Castro Cuba, believes that while these societies may look color blind on the surface, race actually dominates every aspect of social and political life.

Moore expressed some concern about the implications for race relations in the United States posed by the increasing immigration from Mexico and Latin America.

While he clearly regarded the often overt racism of the North as perhaps even more objectionable than the Arab-Spanish form in the South, he saw a particular problem in the general Latin American denial of race as an issue. This has made it socially disreputable to raise demands for reform in Latin America around race issues.

Moore concluded by expressing the hope that these new Latin American immigrants will not import their Arab-Latin American model of race relations, as with it comes a false color blindness. To Moore, the U.S. model of dealing with race, while far from ideal, enables groups to make demands on society, and to be able to work for change.

Moore is best known for his book Castro, the Blacks, and Africa (CAAS, 1989), and African Presence in the Americas, co-edited with Shawna Moore and Tanya R. Sanders (Africa World Press, 1996).

- Anson Musselman

UCLA International Institute

June 2, 2003


Added May 25, 2006

United States

Abuse In Latin America Growing

Child sex abuse and prostitution are rising in Latin America and children are most threatened in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba, United nations officials said Wednesday... "Poverty and race ... are decisive. It is mainly poor, black women who suffer the worst abuse'.' 

Reuters, 1997.

 

Added May 25, 2006

United States

Rising Black-Latino Clash On Jobs

 "In this era of mass immigration, no group has benefited less or been harmed more than the African-American population," says Vernon Briggs, a Cornell University professor who researches immigration policy and the American labor force.

…Today, the black community is split over how to address immigration. The NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights generally support the immigrant marches. They're against exposing all illegal immigrants to felony charges as outlined in a bill passed by the US House in December. A California Field Poll in April found that 82 percent of blacks instead support a US Senate measure, which would give undocumented workers currently in the US for more than five years the opportunity of citizenship.

But a vocal subset of blacks has a different view. Choose Black America, a coalition of business, academic, and community leaders, formed this week to advocate for stronger border security and not allow illegal immigrants to become citizens.

In April, a band of protesters marched in front of the office of Rep. Maxine Waters (news, bio, voting record) (D) of California because she, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, supports citizenship for illegal immigrants. Blacks also have "singed the phone lines at black radio talk shows with anti-immigrant tirades" and "bombarded black newspapers with letters blasting illegal immigrants," says Hutchinson.

"It's definitely one of the hottest topics on talk radio I've ever seen," says Greg Johnson, marketing director of KJLH, a leading black radio station in Los Angeles. The majority of callers favor more conservative enforcement solutions to immigration, but the station is getting callers on all sides, he says.

- Daniel B. Wood
Christian Science Monitor

May 25, 2006

 

Added May 25, 2006

United States

Mexico Welcomed Fugitive Slaves And African American Job-Seekers: New Perspectives On The Immigration Debate

 There are of course, many angles from which to view the escalating immigration debate. Mexican immigrants, who constitute the largest share of the undocumented, have a unique history with the African population inside the United States. As the Black community weighs-in on this very contentious issue, it becomes necessary for us (both black and brown) to review the history that we share.

Ron Wilkins is a former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and is presently a professor in the Department of Africana Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

- Professor Ron Wilkins

April 23, 2006


Added May 25, 2006

United States

Black Americans Oppose Illegal Alien Amnesty; Urge Passage of Enforcement Only Bill in the Senate

Amnesty Will Hurt All Americans and Blacks the Most, Contends New Coalition Choose Black America

 Washington, - As the U.S. Senate, with the backing of President Bush, rushes to complete work on a bill that grants amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens and opens the doors to millions more "guest workers," a new coalition of African American leaders is calling the proposal a "disaster for all Americans that will hit black citizens the hardest."

- PRNewswire

April 22, 2006


Added May 25, 2006

Cuba, Latin America, United States

About Machismo

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compartments, 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. The understanding of machismo requires a full consideration of sexism, heterosexism, racism, ethnocentrism and classism. All forms of oppression are identical in their attempt to domesticate the Other. The sexist, who sees women playing a lesser productive role than men, transfers upon the non-elite male Other effeminate characteristics, placing him in a feminine space for "easy mounting."

- Dr. Miguel de la Torre

A White Cuban-American

Baptist Theologian and Ethicist

June 2, 2003

More About Machismo 


June 2, 2003

The Americas

 The crisis facing women & children of African Ancestry in the Americas: the Caribbean; Latin America; the United States and Canada

LibertadLatina.org


 

Mexico

 The Mexican government's sale of the racially offensive cartoon character Memin Pinguin as a commemorative stamp is an outrageous sign that top Mexican officials still refuse to deal with the country's racism. But it's just that a sign. Racism goes much deeper in the country. Even while Mexican writers and politicians rail in articles against American racism, many Mexicans are quick to boast of differences in skin color among their own family members.

 

Many Mexicans refer to dark skinned persons, both Mexican, and non-Mexican, as negritos or little Black people. This is not seen as racially offensive, but rather as a term of affection even endearment. A popular afternoon telenovela (soap opera) has a comedian in Blackface chasing madly after light complexioned actresses in skimpy outfits. Ads have featured Blacks in Afros, Black face, and distorted features. The most popular screen stars in film and on TV, and the models featured on magazines and billboards, are white or fair skinned with sandy or blond hair. That's the standard of beauty, culture, and sophistication that's held up as the penultimate standard to emulate, and that standard is unabashedly commercialized, and peddled as top commodities in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Mexican President Vicente Fox and most of Mexico's past presidents, top officials, business leaders, educators, and government leaders, for instance, are light skinned or Castellan Spanish. They routinely boast that they can trace their bloodlines to Spain (Fox's mother is from Spain).

- Earl Ofari Hutchinson

IMDiversity.com

2006

 


California, USA

Ethnic Media Try To Defuse Ethnic Tensions In L.A.

 LOS ANGELES - Aug 26, 2005 - Black and Latino media are training the spotlight on the state of relations between blacks and Latinos in this increasingly Hispanic city, in an effort to defuse sensationalism in the coverage of thorny problems between the two communities.

It has been a bumpy ride for race relations in recent months. Last April, fights broke out between more than 100 black and Latino students at Jefferson High School in South Central Los Angeles, the latest in a series of brawls that took place in schools in the area, including the Crenshaw, Manual Arts and Jordan high schools.

In July, African American victims of a spate of freeway shootings identified their assailants as Latinos, prompting rumors that Latino gang members were targeting blacks at random. "Whether or not that's true -- and I don't think it is -- it speaks to relations between blacks and Latinos in the inner city," says Andre Herndon, editor of The Wave Newspapers.

- Elena Shore and Donal Brown

Pacific News Service

August 26, 2005

 


California, USA

Store Shooting Brings More Calls for Black-Brown Unity

 South Los Angeles - In an effort to quell more brown-on-black violence - most recently a 16-year-old girl wounded allegedly by a Latino gang member - some area activists have called for an immediate cease-fire and neighborhood unity.

The 16-year-old [African American] girl was shot in the leg by an occupant in a passing car [of Latino youth] last Friday as she was getting out of a vehicle to console the mother of [African Americans] Courtney Whaley, 17, who with William Armistead, 23, was killed by a Latino storeowner at the Super Discount Store, 6728 S. San Pedro St. on Sept. 25.

“To my understanding, [the girl is] doing well,” said activist Najee Ali.

The store owner, Rovidio “Ruben” Espana, has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Whaley and Armistead.

Ali added that even though Espana allegedly shot the two unarmed victims, the shooting was not racially motivated.

“No matter what happened [on Sept. 25], it was not a black against Latino issue,” Ali said. “It’s a right-and-wrong thing, first and foremost.” He also called on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to become more involved in the black/Latino issue. “Certainly, blacks and Latinos have to get along.”

-         Gene Johnson, Jr.,

 Wave Newspapers

 


United States, Mexico

Mexican President Fox Blew it with NAACP Snub

 A plainly chagrined NAACP chairman Julian Bond lashed out at Mexican President Vicente Fox for flatly turning down the NAACP's invite to address its annual convention that opened this week. Fox begged off with the standard politician's duck and dodge excuse of a scheduling conflict.

Fox didn't bother. His no show at the convention could be chalked up in part to ethnic callousness, and perhaps in bigger part to a belief that now that Hispanics have become a growing economic and political force in the United States, there is no need to engage in dialogue with Black organizations. If that's the case, Fox is wrong, dead wrong. His blunder in dragging Blacks into the debate on illegal immigration, his passionate defense of a Mexican racist commemorative stamp, his arrogant knock at Black activists for protesting the stamp, and the tense and in some cases violent clashes between Blacks and Latinos in some American cities, are urgent reasons to engage in that dialogue.

- Earl Ofari Hutchinson

IMDiversity.com

2006


United States

Racial Tirade Gets Man Two Days In Jail

 A Washington state man stormed from a Yamhill County courtroom Thursday, furious at getting a two-day jail term for threatening to kill a black state trooper, calling him a "nigger" and telling him, "Well, you're black; you should be used to it."

Manuel Thomas Diaz, 52, of Vancouver, was sentenced to two days of jail time, two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $100 fine after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree intimidation.

Trooper Phil Richardson stopped Diaz in September 2004 on suspicion of drunk driving. "I'm no closer to being drunk than you are to being white," Diaz told Richardson.

After flunking a set of field sobriety tests, Diaz was hauled to jail for a blood alcohol test. And he continued his racial tirade there, records show.

"No wonder whites hate blacks," he said. "I should go north to Portland and kill me two of you."

Facing Judge Cal Tichenor in court, Diaz took an apologetic tack.

"I did get upset," he told Tichenor. "I don't want to make no excuses for myself.

"My mother had just died. I had to take care of my dad. I had this lady to take care of (pointing to his ex-wife, dependent on a wheelchair from a bout with cancer).

Tichenor then asked Diaz, "Did you serve any time in jail on this?" And Diaz said he had not.

Deputy District Attorney Will Lathrop recommended 20 days, but Tichenor settled for two.

"Two days in jail?" Diaz said, incredulous.

"Shhh. Shhh," court-appointed attorney Charles Lisle whispered to his client.

"I think it's sad you're sending me to jail," Diaz told Tichenor, who ignored him.

Diaz continued to mutter about the jail time component, but failed to raise the judge's ire. Then he stormed from the courtroom, leaving his ex-wife behind to maneuver her wheelchair through the heavy double-doors on her own.

Out in the safety of the hall, Diaz vented his feelings about Judge Tichenor more emphatically.

"What a jerk," he said. "It's a bunch of crap. Two days in jail!"

-         Katie Willson
The News-Register - Oregon

-         May 27, 2006


 

United States

Sexual Predators Arrested: More Than 7,500 As Of April 2006

 Operation Predator is a comprehensive initiative designed to protect young people from alien smugglers, human traffickers, child pornographers and other predatory criminals.

This operation brings to bear the broadest range of law enforcement authorities in the federal government to target those who exploit young people. Children are one of the most important and vulnerable assets to America's homeland. ICE will do everything in its power to protect them.

Operation Predator draws on the full spectrum of intelligence, investigative, cyber and detention and removal functions of ICE to target those who exploit children. In a way unachievable before the creation of Homeland Security, ICE is coordinating once-fragmented resources into a united campaign again child predators.

Under Operation Predator, ICE is taking several new steps to identify, investigate and remove child predators from America’s streets.

Removal:

  • ICE is targeting for removal fugitive criminal aliens with sex offense histories.
  • ICE is identifying alien sex offender inmates before release from prison.
  • ICE is partnering with foreign governments.

Results:

  • More than 85% of arrests are of foreign national sex offenders.
  • Approximately 40% of these are lawful permanent residents.
  • Approximately 40% of these are illegal aliens.
  • Nationwide, approximately 42% of those foreign nationals arrested have been deported to date.
  • Represent predators from more than 100 nations.

 

- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

April, 2006

 

 
 
     

   

LibertadLatina

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Updated: March 14, 2011


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LibertadLatina
Key new special sections
About the crisis of forced prostitution of minor girls and young women in the largest center for organized sex trafficking in Mexico: Tlaxcala state.

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Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Former Argentine spy Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola has been accused by his adult daughter, Lorena Martins, of running a sex trafficking ring based in Cancun, Mexico.

El “caso Martins”, al Congreso de la Unión

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unión, solicitó la expulsión de Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola del país, debido a que significa un riesgo para la sociedad mexicana su presencia por lucrar con seres humanos.

La titular de la comisión, Rosi Orozco, afirmó que es urgente concretar la expulsión del país del ciudadano argentino Raúl Luis Martins al señalar que esta persona junto con un socio "está lucrando con seres humanos", por lo que es necesario que las autoridades mexicanas investiguen a fondo su presunta participación como líder de una red de trata de personas en Cancún y la Riviera Maya...

La legisladora federal explicó que "es urgente que las autoridades tomen cartas en el asunto, pues no entiendo cómo pueden no darse cuenta que el mismo abogado que defendió a Succar Kuri es quien ha estado defendiendo a este señor", puntualizó. Indicó que el asunto debe ser investigado de manera exhaustiva ya que se tiene una procuradora comprometida contra la trata de personas, a quien no le tiembla la mano para castigar a personas que explotan a niñas, niños y jóvenes. De acuerdo con medios de comunicación argentinos Martins Coggiola es líder de una red de trata de personas en centros nocturnos en su país y en Cancún, donde jóvenes sudamericanas son enganchadas con promesas de trabajo y posteriormente las obligan a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Congress considers the case of Raúl Martins

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the lower house of Congress has called for the expulsion of Argentine citizen Raul Luis Martins Coggiola, because his presence represents a risk to Mexican society due to his [ilicit] efforts to profit from human exploitation.

The head of the commission, Deputy Rosi Orozco, said it is urgent to realize the deportation of an Argentine Raul Luis Martins, stating that both he and a partner "are profiting from human beings," so it is necessary that the Mexican authorities thoroughly investigate his alleged role as the leader of a trafficking network based in [the beach resort cities of] Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Deputy Orozco explained that "it is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter...I do not understand how they have failed to realize that the lawyer who defended [infamous convicted millionaire child pornographer Jean] Succar Kuri is the same one who has been defending this man." She added that the matter should be investigated comprehensively, given that we now have a prosecutor who is dedicated to human trafficking cases and whose hand does not tremble when it comes to the task of punishing those who exploit children and youth. According to Argentine media reports, Martins Coggiola leads a human trafficking network based in nightclubs both in Argentina and in Cancun, Mexico, where young South American women are entrapped with false promises of jemployment, and are then forced into prostitution.

Read the full article

Por Esto

Feb. 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Lorena Martins, daughter of Raul Martins

Argentine ex-spy accused of sex trafficking

The daughter of former Argentine intelligence officer Raul Martins will arrive in Mexico this week with evidence that her father is running a sex trafficking ring in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, an activist told EFE Monday.

Lorena Martins will deliver the evidence to Mexican lawmaker Rosi Orozco, who chairs a special committee investigating human trafficking, Gustavo Vera, head of the NGO La Alameda, said.

Lorena has already filed a criminal complaint in Argentina accusing her father of luring Argentine women and girls to Cancun and then forcing them into prostitution.

Read the full article

IANS/EFE

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Prostitution Network Buenos Aries – Cancun case will go to the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City

Lorena Martins daughter of Raul Martins, an Argentine former spy accused of managing a prostitution network in Cancun that has reached even the mayor of Buenos Aires of receiving money for his campaign from this illegal activity in Mexico, will flight to Mexico City to denounce her father before the Chamber of Deputies, reported the Excelsior.

Lorena Martins will present emails, cell phones and other materials as proofs of a prostitution network between Buenos Aires and Cancun that ties her father Raul Martins with several businessmen, politicians and high ranking official in Mexico.

Read the full article

The Yucatan Times

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Tratan de expulsarlo por la trata

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Diputados de México pidió que Raúl Martins fuera deportado. Sus abogados apelaron. Lorena, su hija, entregó a la jueza Servini de Cubría el diario de una ex de su padre en el que relata la trata de dos niñas.

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados de México pidió ayer la expulsión de Raúl Martins. El pedido es un reflejo de la denuncia de su hija, Lorena, quien relató la forma en que la organización de su padre llevó chicas argentinas, brasileñas y de otras nacionalidades a ejercer la prostitución en Cancún. Ya en 2010, la multipremiada periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho, en su libro Esclavas del Poder, tituló el capítulo sobre Martins con el nombre de “El Intocable”. En Buenos Aires, Lorena se presentó ante la jueza María Romilda Servini de Cubría, que finalmente es quien investigará el caso, y le entregó pruebas manuscritas de un diario de una ex pareja de su padre en la que se relata cómo le trajeron dos chicas de 15 años. Otras evidencias fueron remitidas a la jueza por el procurador Esteban Righi.

Lorena Martins estuvo cinco días en México. Presentó las denuncias ante la Comisión de Lucha contra la Trata y también ante la Procuración General de la República. La joven fue recibida por la primera dama de México, Margarita Zavala, en la sede del gobierno azteca, de manera que el interés por el caso –adelantado en exclusiva por Página/12 en diciembre– llegó hasta el más alto nivel del país del Norte.

Ayer, la diputada Rosy Orozco, titular de la Comisión de Trata, pidió la expulsión de Martins de México, porque “está lucrando con seres humanos. Es urgente que las autoridades se den cuenta de que quien defiende a este señor es el mismo que defendió a Succar Kury”, un famoso pederasta, poderoso dueño de una cadena hotelera, que hasta decía en un video que mantenía relaciones sexuales con niñas, incluso de cinco años. El caso también fue investigado por Lydia Cacho en el libro Los demonios del Edén.

Lea el artículo completo

Congressional members call for the expulsion of Raúl Martins from Mexico

The Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Lower House of Congress has requested that Raúl Martins be deported. Martins' lawyers have appealed. Martins' daughter Lorena has turned over evidence to a Judge Servini de Cubría

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the of the lower house of Congresss yesterday asked the expulsion of Raul Martins. The demand is a reaction to a complaint made by Martins' daughter Lorena, who recounted how her father's [ilicit human trafficking] organization has brought women from Argentina, Brazil and other nations to engage in prostitution in the city of Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, the award-winning Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, in her book Servants of Power, mentions Martins in a chapter called "The Untouchable." In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorena appeared before Judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who investigated the case, and provided evidence in the form of a handwritten diary written by a former girlfriend of her father, in which she relates how Raul Martins had [sex] trafficked two 15-year-old girls. Other evidence was submitted to the judge by the prosecutor Esteban Righi.

Lorraine Martins [recently] spent five days in Mexico. She presented her complaints before the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking [of the lower house of Congress], as well as before the federal Attorney General's Office. She was also received by the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala in the seat of the Aztec [Mexican] government, showing that the case, which was releaved by Page12 reporters in December of 2011, had reached the highest level of attention. .

Yesterday, Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the congressional anti-trafficking commission, called for the expulsion of Martins from Mexico, because, she said, "he is profiting from human exploitation. It is urgent that the authorities realize that the lawyer who is defending Martins also represented [convicted child sex trafficker] Jean Succar Kuri," an infamous pedophile and powerful hotel chain owner, who had once been recorded with hidden video admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with girls as young as age five. The case was [first exposed by anti-trafficking activist and journalist] Lydia Cacho in her book The Demons of Eden.

Read the full article

Raúl Kollmann

Page 12

Feb. 09, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina / Paraguay / Dominican Republic

Prostitution ring brought people from Argentina to Mexico

Buenos Aires.- A prostitution ring operated by former Argentine spy Raul Martins, reported yesterday in Mexico by his own daughter, started by advertising vacancies in local newspapers and culminated in the sexual exploitation of women in Cancun, Mexico.

Gustavo Vera, representative of La Alameda, a prestigious organization dedicated to denouncing people trafficking for labor and sexual slavery in the South American country, told Notimex details of the operation.

In fact, La Alameda published the photo of Martins with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, who is alleged to have received funding of the alleged pimp in his election campaign.

Read the full article

Cecilia Gonzalez

Notimex

Feb. 02, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mayoría de víctimas de trata de personas en NY son hispanos

Nueva York - Más de la mitad de los afectados por la trata de personas y que viven en el estado de Nueva York son inmigrantes latinoamericanos obligados a realizar trabajos forzados o a prostituirse, según datos de la mayor agencia de servicios a víctimas de Estados Unidos.

Un 58% de los clientes de Safe Horizon, la agencia más importante de servicios de víctimas en el país, proviene de Latinoamérica, dijo la organización a The Associated Press. Aproximadamente un 24% de esas víctimas son mexicanos.

Las victimas de trata no tienen oportunidad de denunciar su situación por temor a ser deportados.

Lea el artículo completo

The majority of human trafficking victims in New York are Hispanic

New York - According to data gathered by the largest [non profit] victim service agency in the United States, more than half of New York ressidents who are victimized by human trafficking are Latino immigrants who are forced into prostitution or labor exploitation.

Some 58% of the clients of Safe Horizon were Latin Americans, the organization told The Associated Press. Approximately 24% of those victims were Mexican.

[Many immigrant] victims of trafficking have have not had an opportunity to speak out de to their fear of being deported.

Read the full article

The Associated Press

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

Sex slave's story: Woman duped into leaving Mexico, forced to New York City's trafficking underworld

Sofia tells the Daily News how a "boyfriend" tricked her into leaving Mexico illegally -- and forced her into the life of a sex slave.

Her boyfriend told her they were leaving Mexico to live with his relatives in Queens, get restaurant jobs and build a happy life in America.

Instead, she was forced into a life of sex slavery — made to work as a “delivery girl” prostitute riding from john to john in a livery cab.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexican Member of Congress and leading anti-trafficking advocate Deputy Rosi Orozco

Cada semana llegan a Tijuana decenas de niñas y mujeres de para ser forzadas a prostituirse: Rosi Orozco

Diputada Rosi Orozco: "cada semana llegan a Tijuana, Baja California, autobuses y aviones con decenas de niñas y mujeres de entre 3 a 65 años de edad para ser forzadas a prostituirse, refirió."

Distrito Federal.-La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN), impulsa un punto de acuerdo para la colocación de un muro en las instalaciones del Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, en el que se exhiban fotografías de niñas, niños y mujeres desaparecidos por posible trata de personas. Además, que el Canal del Congreso difunda, de manera permanente, cápsulas con las imágenes de las posibles víctimas, así como los datos de las instancias competentes para formular denuncias, como señal de solidaridad y efectivo auxilio, precisó la legisladora.

Señaló que la trata de personas con fines sexuales es el tercer negocio ilícito más lucrativo a nivel mundial, después del tráfico de drogas y armas; genera al año diez mil millones de dólares.

La gran mayoría de las víctimas provienen de contextos en los que difícilmente pueden conocer plenamente sus derechos, subrayó.

Lea el artículo completo

Each week, dozens of girl children and women are trafficked into sexual slavery in [the Mexico/U.S.] border city of Tijuana

Deputy Rosi Orozco: "According to a study conducted by the College of the Northern Frontier (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each week dozens of girls and women between the ages of 3 and 65 are brought by bus and by air to the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California so that they can be exploited sexually."

Mexico Ciy - National Actional Party deputy Rosi Orozco, who is President of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons in the lower house of Congress, has introduced a resolution for the placement of a mural on the premises of the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro, where the photographs of children and women who have disappeared and may be vicims of human trafficking will be displayed. In addition, Deputy Orozco proposes that the Congress Channel permanently broadcast segments that show the images of possible victims, as well as instuctions for filing human trafficking complaints, as a practical act of solidarity and assistance.

Orozco noted that human trafficking for sexual purposes is the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking, generating a year ten billion dollars.

The vast majority of victims come from contexts [situations] where it is difficult for them to fully know their rights, she said.

Read the full article

El Observador Diario

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Human Trafficking Continues To Rise Along San Diego-Tijuana Border

San Diego - Nearly every official who attended the second annual bi-national forum to address human trafficking in Chula Vista agreed: Human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise.

Government figures show about 18,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. But officials also acknowledge there are many more victims hidden in communities who are sold for prostitution, labor or other services. Often times the illegal practice goes unreported.

The goal of Thursday's forum was to improve collaboration between agencies on both sides of the border to help crackdown on human trafficking and child prostitution.

Read the full article

Marissa Cabrera

Fronteras Desk

Jan. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

ICE agent cites 'disturbing and subhuman' methods used to trick young women into sex slavery

"It’s very difficult for us to break through to the average American, the average New Yorker and let them know that people in 2011 and 2012 are actually held against their will," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, Jr., of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

G-men and cops are busting twice as many human traffickers, but advocates say a sickening number of immigrants are being forced into prostitution in the city.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement racked up 172 arrests for trafficking in the metropolitan area, up from 75 the previous year.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Presentan marcas de abuso sexual, bebes recuperados en Jalisco

En entrevista con Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Tomás Coronado Olmos, procurador de Justicia de Jalisco, ratificó que bebés adoptados ilegalmente en dicha entidad presentan huellas de abuso sexual. “De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

“De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

Derivado de las investigaciones que realiza la PGR, dijo, hay nueve detenidos pero aun no se precisa si extranjeros de origen irlandés están relacionados con las agresiones sufridas por los menores.

“Los tenemos plenamente identificados y el embajador de Irlanda en México ha estado muy al pendiente. Una vez que concluya el proceso se determinará su situación jurídica”.

Lea el artículo completo

Children put up for adoption in the cityof Jalisco show signs of sexual abuse

Jalisco state Attorney General Tomás Coronado Olmos has confirmed that the babies show signs of abuse.

"Six of 11 recovered todlers show signs of sexual abuse"

According to the federal Attorney General's Office, their investigations into this case have resulted in nine arrests. The authorities have not yet determined whether prospective adoptive parents from Ireland have any connection to the abuses.

"The [couples seeking adoption] have been identified. Ireland's ambassador in Mexico has been very attentive. After completion of the process the legal status of the prospective parents will be determined."

Read the full article

wradio.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco at recent anti-trafficking forum

México, segundo lugar en pornografía infantil a nivel mundial

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

México está ubicado en el segundo lugar en producción de pornografía infantil a nivel mundial, afirmó la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada panista Rosi Orozco al inaugurar el Foro Líderes de Opinión Contra la Trata de Personas.

En presencia de la presidenta del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, la legisladora subrayó que el delito de trata de personas ocupa el segundo lugar a nivel mundial, como el negocio ilícito más redituable para el crimen organizado, con 42 mil millones de dólares, y después está el de la venta de armas.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico holds second place globally in [the production of] child pornography

Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco. First Lady Margarita Zavala declares that confronting trafficking head-on is fundamental.

Some 45% of trafficking victims are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco.

According to National Action Party Depurty Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Lower House of Congress, Mexico holds a second-place position in the global production of child pornography. Deputy Orozco made these remarks as she opened the forum Opinion Leaders Against Human Trafficking. The event was attended by Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, who is also the president of the National System for Integral Family Development (the nation's social services agency).

Depurty Orozco explained that the global human trafficking business brings in ilicit earning of $42 billion per year, making it the most profitable criminal enterprise after illegal arms trafficking.

Read the full article

Grupo Fórmula

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

México, Segundo en Pornografia Infantil en el Mundo

Trata de personas y pornografía infantil, delitos graves… Al señalar que México es de los cinco países del orbe con el mayor problema en materia de trata de personas y segundo en pornografía infantil, la diputada panista Rosi Orozco previno que el delito de la trata, ya superó las ganancias que obtiene la delincuencia organizada por el tráfico de armas a nivel mundial, con más de 42 mil millones de dólares.

Al inaugurar el foro “Líderes de Opinión contra la Trata de Personas”, sostuvo que por todo ello, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas escogió a nuestro país para iniciar la campaña del Corazón Azul, donde se pretende sensibilizar a la población y a las autoridades para erradicar el delito.

En nuestro país, el negocio de la trata de personas sigue en ascenso; mientras que a la fecha, sólo 19 entidades del país tienen una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, y únicamente el Distrito Federal, Puebla y Chiapas han aplicado sentencias condenatorias.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico: The second largest producer of child pornography globally

Human trafficking and child pornography, felonies ... Noting that Mexico is among the five countries in the world with the biggest problem in terms of trafficking in child pornography and second, the National Action Party's Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is a member of the Lower House of Congress, has warned that the crime of trafficking has surpassed the profits earned through ilicit arms trafficking, and now amount to $42 billion dollars per year [in criminal profits].

During her presentation opening the forum Opinion Leaders Against Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Orozco added that the Organization of the United Nations chose Mexico to start its [global] Blue Heart campaign, which aims to sensitize the population and authorities with the goal of eradicating modern human slavery.

In our country, the business of trafficking in persons continues to rise, while to date only 19 states [out of 32 federated entities] in the country have a law against trafficking in persons, and only the Federal District [Mexico City], and the states of Puebla and Chiapas have have handed down sentences in criminal cases associated with these crimes.

Read the full article

Jaime Arizmendi

Quadratín

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico No. 2 Producer Of Child Porn, Lawmakers Say

Mexico is the world's No. 2 producer of child pornography and is classified as a source, transit and destination country for people traffickers involved in sexual exploitation, lawmakers said.

Child pornography is the No. 2 illegal business, trailing only drug trafficking, and generates $42 billion annually, Special Committee to Fight People Trafficking chairwoman Rosi Orozco said.

Indians account for about 45 percent of the victims, Orozco, a member of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said at the start of a forum in Mexico City on people trafficking.

Read the full article

EFE

Jan. 26, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Estados más pobres, vulnerables a trata de personas: PAN

La diputada Rosi Orozco, apuntó que en el tema de la trata de personas, ahora se ha hecho mucha conciencia, luego que tiempo atrás se veía una marcada ignorancia de lo que sucedía. Asimismo, dijo ya hay acciones encaminadas a terminar con la pornografía infantil, "con los ciberdelitos que agreden tan fuertemente a los niños, niñas y jóvenes".

Rosi Orozco, diputada del PAN quien ha buscado combatir desde tiempo atrás la trata de personas, destacó el encuentro que se llevó a cabo el día de ayer en donde una chica por primera vez dio su testimonio sin cubrirse el rostro.

Explicó que la joven, quien en el libro "Del cielo al infierno", narró su historia de cómo la habían enganchado a través de enamoramiento, con el que se sentía en el cielo al estar con un príncipe, para después bajar a lo peor de un infierno de vida, de golpes para obligarla a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico's poorest states are vulnerable to human trafficking: National Action Party

During a recent event focused on the topic of human trafficking in Mexico, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party stated that significant public awareness of the issue has now been acheived, after a period in which ignorance about the facts had prevailed. She added legislation is being considered by Congress that will put an end to child pornography and "cybercrimes that seriously assault children and youth." First Lady Margarita Zavala and the media also attended.

Deputy Orozco, who has had long sought to combat human trafficking, said the meeting that was held yesterday included for the first time testimony by a victim who appeared without hiding her face.

Deputy Orozco explained that the youth, who's story is told in Orozco's book "From Heaven to Hell", related the story of how she was entrapped by a trafficker who pretended to fall in love with her. She felt that she was in heaven with her prince. Later, she fell into the worst depths of hell-on-earth when the same man beat her to force her into prostitution.

Read the full article

Paola Rojas

Grupo Fòrmula

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Avances, no descartan riesgos de frenar ley

No se descartan riesgos en San Lázaro que frenen la aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas y los Delitos Relacionados, toda vez que al momento sólo 104 legisladores de todos los partidos la han avalado, todavía falta trecho por andar, y aunque “está bastante acordada”, todos los esfuerzos se hacen para que avance, a fin de combatir el lacerante comercio y explotación sexual de seres humanos: niñas, niños y mujeres.

La diputada del PAN Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas aclaró: “no he politizado ninguna situación, realmente va más allá de los partidos, estamos hablando de nuestros mexicanos, de nuestros niñas y niños y protegerlos a ellos no tiene colores”, ya que es una esclavitud en pleno siglo XXI, advirtió en entrevista durante la sesión en San Lázaro.

Confió que en este último periodo ordinario de la LXI Legislatura salga la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas, “es una ley que no tiene por qué no salir, la gente que está en las comisiones está de acuerdo en que tengamos una Ley General, lo difícil fue sacar la reforma al artículo 73 y eso, pues ya se logró” apunta la legisladora albiceleste.

Lea el artículo completo

Human trafficking legislation advances in Congress, members decline to reveal hidden threats to passage

Congressional lawmakers have declined to reveal the sources of hidden influences that are putting efforts to pass the proposed Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes at risk. Currently, only 104 federal lawmakers from across Mexico's political parties have endorsed the proposal. Although significant work needs to be accomplished to achieve passage of the bill, basic agreement has been reached [on the need for an enforceable federal anti-trafficking law]. All possible efforts are being made to advance the bill, which will allow [a more effective federal effort to fight the damaging effects of the labor and sexual exploitation of girls, boys and women].

During an interview held in San Lazaro (the seat of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the lower house of Congress said: "I have not politicized this effort. It [is a campaign that] really goes beyond the [interests of individual political] parties. What we are talking about here are our Mexican people, our children. They don't have colors [political affiliations]." She added that this [crisis] is a 21st Century form of slavery.

Deputy Orozco added that she hopes that, during the latter period of the 61st [LXI] Legislature's regular session, the Law to Prevent, Punish and Erradicate Human Trafficking will be passed." She noted that there is no reason why the bill should not pass, given that the members of the relevant congressional commissions [committees] are in agreement that we should have a general law against trafficking [a general law is the only form of federal law that may actually be enforced by federal authorities in the states]. The hardest part was achieving the reform of Article 73, said Orozco [During 2011, President Felipe Calderón achieved the passage of amendments to Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution to remove certain obstacles to the prosecution of human trafficking cases].

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Luz María Alonso Sánchez

El Punto Critico

Feb. 03, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Ritmoson combate con música trata de personas

Crean campaña para generar conciencia del delito y cerrarán con un concierto

El tercer delito más lucrativo en México y otros países es la trata de personas, por ello, crear conciencia entre los jóvenes y niños para no ser víctimas de él es la pretensión del canal Ritmoson Latino.

Con la campaña Música libre, la señal internacional puso a andar su tercera iniciativa social, esta vez para combatir un “grave problema”.

Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez y Kinky, entre otros artistas, hacen el llamado que a partir de este mes y hasta julio próximo se transmitirá por televisión restringida y redes sociales oficiales.

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Ritmoson TV channel to run anti-trafficking campaign

The third most lucrative crime in Mexico and other countries is human trafficking. Therefore, the Latino Ritmoson channel, which is a part of the Televisa network, has created a trafficking prevention campaign to raise awareness among children and youth.

The international channel's Free Music campaign is its third social initiative, directed, this time, at addressing a "grave problem."

Performing artists] Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez. Kinky, among other artists will promote the campaign between now and July of 2012. It will be broadcast on television and by way of social media networks.

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Josue Fabián Arellano M.

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Bill Aims to Make It Easier to Prosecute Child Sex Traffickers

As child sex trafficking expands as a source of money for San Diego gangs, there’s an effort to make it easier for prosecutors to go after pimps.

The way California law is written now, prosecutors have to prove force or coercion when a sex trafficking victim is younger than 18. Because so many victims are lured by pimps through emotional bribery or promises of work, it’s been difficult for prosecutors to prove trafficking.

Susan Munsey is with the nonprofit group Generate Hope which helps trafficking victims get back on their feet. She said Assembly Bill 90, which changes the standard of proof from forced to encouraged or persuaded, is badly needed.

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Amita Sharma

Fronteras Desk

Aug..12, 2011


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Lideraba "La Niurka" red de prostitución de menores

Tijuana.- Una orden de aprehensión por el presunto delito de trata de personas le fue cumplimentada a María Guadalupe Román Valenzuela, alias "La Niurka", señalada como quien lideraba una red de prostitución con mujeres menores de edad desde el año 2005.

Fueron agentes de la Policía Estatal Preventiva quienes finalmente le concretaron el mandato judicial que pesaba en su contra desde el año 2007 por el delito de lenocinio, cuya figura delictiva fue cambiada con motivo de la entrada en vigor de la Ley Contra la Trata de Personas en el estado.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Estatal informó que la detención de la fémina, también conocida como "La Tía", se llevó a cabo la tarde del domingo al ubicarla tras semanas de investigación en el fraccionamiento La Bodega, en la ciudad de Mexicali.

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Police arrest child sex trafficker known as "La Niurka"

The city of Tijuana - An arrest warrant for the alleged crime of human trafficking ihas been carried out against Maria Guadalupe Roman Valenzuela, also known as "The Niurka." Authorities indicate that since 2005, Roman Valenzuela has lead a prostitution ring that exploits underage girls.

The [Baja California] State Preventive Police (SSPE) arrested Roman Valenzuela, who had been wanted since 2007 on charges of pimping. The charges were later modified after the enactment of the state's Law Against Human Trafficking.

The State Secretariat of Public Security reported that the arrest of the suspect, who also went by the name of "Auntie," took place Sunday afternoon following a weeks-long investigation in the La Bodega neighborhood in the city of Mexicali.

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Manuel Cordero

El Sol de Tijuana

Jan. 17, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking advocate Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho wins Olof Palme Prize 2011

Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist and writer, and Roberto Saviano, Italian author, were awarded with Olof Palme Prize 2011. They both spoke about justice and human rights issues in their native countries with a great deal of courage, and currently they are living under threats and persecution.

In 2009, Lydia Cacho received a lot of attention at the Göteborg Book Fair, where she presented the translated version of her book "I will not let myself be intimidated". She wrote it based on her life experience in Mexico – her motherland, where she is known for her accusations of corruption among Mexican politicians and businessmen.

In 2005, by having written "Demons of Eden", she exposed paedophile Succar Kuri's network in Cancun and named several accomplices among high-ranking politicians and businessmen. Since that moment the author has lived under constant death threats. Besides being an author and having written seven books in total, since 2000, Lydia Cacho has been sheltering vulnerable women and children in Cancún, where they get an opportunity to retreat.

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Göteborg Book Fair

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores en la minería informal

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

"Una de las metas de la campaña es recuperar con apoyo de la policía y fiscalía a unos mil niños, niñas y adolescentes explotadas sexual y laboralmente en campamentos de la minería informal en Madre de Dios", dijo a la AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, representante de Save The Children en Perú.

En los campamentos las menores son explotadas en cantinas convertidas en prostíbulos conocidos como 'prostibares', así como en, entre otras actividades, en la extracción de oro y la servidumbre, señaló Carpio.

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NGO launches [million dollar] campaign against child trafficking in Peru's remote informal mining camps

THe NGO Save the Children and the Earopean Union are launching a compaign this week to intensity efforts to eradicate the sexual and labor exploitation of children and youth in the informal mining camps of Madre de Dios, one of Peru's poorest regions.

The NGO Save The Children and the European Union this weekend launched an intensive campaign to eradicate sexual and labor exploitation of children and adolescents in the informal mining region of Madre de Dios (Mother of God), one of the poorest regions of Peru.

"One of the goals of the campaign is to organize police and prosecutorial support to rescue approximately 1,000 children and teens who are exploited for sex and labor in informal mining camps of the Madre de Dios," he told AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, who Save the Children's representative in Peru.

In the mining camps, children are exploited in bars that have been converted into brothels and are known as 'prostibars.' Minors are also exploited to work in gold mining and [other forms of] servitude, Carpio said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Indigenous Mexico

Indigenous women are marginalized in Mexican society. Comprising 15-to30 percent of the population, they and their underage daughters make up an estimated 45% of all human trafficking victims in the Aztec nation (Mexico).

Voces del pueblo indígena

México-. La situación de asimetría y desigualdad ha hecho que históricamente los pueblos indígenas en México sean marginados y excluidos de los procesos de toma de decisiones en el país.

En la actualidad, con una población que se acerca a los 16 millones de habitantes, de ellos más de mitad mujeres, de acuerdo con estimados de la Movimiento Indígena Nacional (MIN), estos grupos se localizan, fundamentalmente en los estados de Yucatán (59 por ciento) y Oaxaca (48 por ciento).

También en Quintana Roo (39), Chiapas (28), Campeche (27), Hidalgo (24), Puebla (19), Guerrero (17), San Luis Potosí (15) y Veracruz (15).

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Voices of indigenous peoples

Conditions of inequality have historically resulted in the indigenous peoples being marginalized and excluded from the decision making process in Mexico.

Today, with their population is approaching 16 million people. Over half of them are women, according to estimates from the National Indigenous Movement (MIN). These groups are located mainly in the states of Yucatan (where they are 59% of the state's total population) and Oaxaca (where they are 48%).

The indigenous population is also significant in several other states: Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), Campeche (27%), Hidalgo (24%), Puebla (19%), Guerrero (17%), San Luis Potosi (15%) and Veracruz (15%).

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Deisy Francis Mexidor

Prensa Latina


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Agents save 13 from sex slavery in Mexican bar

The city of San cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas state - Investigators say they have rescued a group of 13 women and girls, mostly from Central America, who were forced to have sex with clients at a bar in southern Mexico.

Chiapas state prosecutor Miguel Hernandez says at least half of the 13 women were minors, and 10 were from Central America.

Hernandez and other agents raided the bar in the town of Teopisca Saturday and arrested the manager, 42-year-old Mauri Diaz, on human trafficking, prostitution and corruption of minors charges.

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The Associated Press

Feb. 4, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico unravels child trafficking ring

Zapopan - The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.

"All the families have valid declarations to adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland," they said in a statement, which was read over the phone to The Associated Press by their lawyer in Mexico, Carlos Montoya.

Prosecutors in Mexico contend the traffickers tricked destitute young Mexican women trying to earn more for their children and childless Irish couples desperate to become parents.

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News24

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Central America

Rescatan a centroamericanos víctimas del tráfico de personas

Some 73 undocumented Central Americans have been located and rescued by army units after being held in 'safe houses' that were presumably owned by human traffickers.

El Ejército mexicano encontró a 73 inmigrantes indocumentados en presuntas casas de traficantes de personas en el nororiental estado de Tamaulipas, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa.

La acción se realizó el martes en la ciudad de Reynosa "de manera coordinada, simultánea y sorpresiva" y permitió la detención de cuatro personas. Entre los indocumentados, cuyas nacionalidades no se dieron a conocer, había 18 menores de edad, informó DPA.

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Central American human trafficking victims are rescued

Se trata de 73 indocumentados localizados por el ejército en casas que presuntamente pertenecen a traficantes de seres humanos.

The Mexican army has found 73 illegal immigrants in alleged human trafficking safe houses located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Secretary of Defense announced Thursday.

The action took place on Tuesday in the city of Reynosa "in a coordinated suprise raid" that led to the arrest of four people. Among the undocumented, whose nationalities were not released, there were 18 children.

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El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

The World

UNODC: The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC report focuses on the close interrelation between corruption and human trafficking, critiquing existing international legal instruments that deal only indirectly with this problem, and providing recommendations on how to strengthen these tools.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime outlines the impetus for its report:

Trafficking in persons and corruption are closely linked criminal activities, whose interrelation is frequently referred to in international fora. Yet, the correlation between the two phenomena, and the actual impact of corruption on trafficking in persons, are generally neglected in the development and implementation of anti-human trafficking policies and measures. This lack of attention may substantially undermine initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and prevent the customization of responses as needed. Only after recognizing the existence and the effects of corruption in the context of human trafficking, can the challenges posed by it be met.

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Insight Crime

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Oklahoma Human Trafficking Operation May Have Ties To Mexican Cartels

Oklahoma City - We're learning more about a human trafficking operation busted last week in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It appears to have ties to a Mexican human trafficking ring, which are said to be some of the most violent and brutal.

A search warrant obtained by News 9 reveals a victim of human trafficking, who was rescued in Tulsa, said she was also held against her will in Oklahoma City.

She told investigators she was held at the apartments off S.W. 59th Street and Harvey during the first part of January, and that she and others were forced to have sex with multiple strange men.

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Adrianna Iwasinski

Oklahoma News 6

Feb. 06, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Pretenden regular pornografía en Baja California

Baja california es uno de los estados que ofrece más turismo sexual en México, es por esto que el Partido Encuentro Social presentará este mes una iniciativa ante el Congreso del Estado para que las compañías proveedoras de internet regulen el consumo de la pornografía.

La iniciativa pretende regular el uso de internet en el aparto de Gobierno y el sector educativo, además el que vende internet debe cuidar el acceso de los menores el uso de la pornografía reveló el presidente Estatal del PES, Javier Peña García.

“Es una iniciativa ciudadana, pero estamos invitando a las diferentes fracciones de los partidos a que se adhieran en esto para que salga en común acuerdo con todos los partidos de Baja California”, adelantó.

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Legislators work to regulate online pornography in Baja California state

Baja California is one states that offers the most sex tourism in Mexico, which is why the Social Encounter Party will, later this month, present a proposal to the State Congress that will require Internet service provider companies to regulated the consumption of pornography.

The initiative seeks to regulate Internet use in government agencies and in the education sector. The measure will also insist that companies that provide Internet services take measures to limit that access of minors to pornography. which also sells Internet access to take care of children using pornography revealed the leader of the state branch of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Javier García Peña.

"It's a citizens' initiative, but we are inviting the different political parties in Baja California to agree to this so that we may present a common front on the issue," he stated.

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Uni Rdio Informa

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Many Indigenous Communities Turn to Vigilantism to Fight Crime

If a man kills another man in the harsh high plains of Jesús de Machaca or the lush lowlands of Beni, the people who catch him might not call the police. Instead they might call a meeting.

Far from courthouses and police stations that may not know their languages, and despite having no jails to lock up criminals, remote villagers in Bolivia have quietly kept justice in their own hands for centuries, handling everything from malicious gossip to murder. They have demanded fines, doled out whippings, even banished people from the pueblo. These community courts have sometimes been criticized for trampling on human rights, especially when it comes to the rights of women, but indigenous leaders say they work better for them than the regular system.

To press a case in the ordinary courts, “you must hire a lawyer and spend money on paperwork,” says Justina Vélez, who represents Pando, the northernmost province of Bolivia, in an organization of female peasants named for the indigenous hero Bartolina Sisa. “All the courthouses are located in the main cities.… The indigenous authorities are right here where we live.”

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Emily Alpert

Indian Country Today

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico Official Admits Some Areas Out of Government Control

At a military ceremony yesterday, Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galva described the national security situation in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country public security has been completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.” He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions.

Galvan also endorsed the military’s role in combating insecurity, asserting that although they have a responsibility to acknowledge that “there have been mistakes,” the armed forces have an “unrestricted” respect for human rights.

InSight Crime Analysis

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Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight Crime

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Operan 47 redes de trata de personas en México

Diputados piden a los tres órdenes de gobierno crear políticas adecuadas en la materia

La Cámara de Diputados pidió a los tres órdenes de gobiernos que combatan de manera integral el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en México operan al menos 47 redes que se dedican a este ilícito, de acuerdo con datos de la Red Nacional de Refugios.

Según cifras de la red, al año hay 800 mil adultos y 20 mil menores víctimas de este delito cuyas ganancias oscilan entre los 372 mil millones de pesos.

Las rutas incluyen los estados de Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero y Quintana Roo, así como países centroamericanos como Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

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Some 47 human trafficking networks are operating in Mexico

Congressional deputies ask the three branches of government to develop adequate policies to address human trafficking

Mexico's Lower House of Congress has asked the three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) to integrate their efforts to fight human trafficking, given that at least 47 trafficking networks exist in the nation, according to data released by the National Network of Refuges.

According to the Network, some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are entrapped by modern human slavery each year, resulting in criminal earnings of some 372 million Mexican pesos ($28 million US dollars).

Trafficking routes exist in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as in Central American countries including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

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Israel Navarro and José Luis Martínez

Milenio

Feb. 05, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

Costa Rica lags in sex-trafficking fight

“Mariel” became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 17. She managed to escape, but still suffers anxiety and fear. Rahab Foundation is helping her recover.

“Mariel” fears that she will be kidnapped again.

At 17, she was lured into human trafficking by an acquaintance with the promise of work. Her captor used false documents to take her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

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Dominique Farrell

The Tico TImes

Jan. 27, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

La pornografía infantil existe en Costa Rica

Adultos sedientos de sentir y tocar la piel de un cuerpo junto al suyo, deseosos de pagar sumas de dinero por alquilar un rato de confort, quizás hasta hacer una película o tomar unas fotos, pero no de cualquier cuerpo ni de cualquier persona, sino de un niño o una niña costarricense.

La explotación sexual comercial -también llamada prostitución infantil- es un flagelo social que existe en Costa Rica y se concentra mayoritariamente en las zonas fronterizas y las costas, según cuentan organizaciones no gubernamentales que han dado seguimiento a los casos esta ha desembocado en una riada de producción de pornografía infantil en la que se utilizan niños y niñas costarricenses.

Según Rocío Rodríguez directora de Alianza por tus Derechos, en la actualidad las zonas más plagadas de casos –tanto de explotación sexual comercial como de pornografía- son Puntarenas, Guanacaste y Limón.

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Child pornography exists in Costa Rica

Hungry adults feel and touch the skin of a body against thiers, eager to pay money to rent a bit of comfort, perhaps even make a movie or take some pictures, but not of any body or any person, but a boy or a girl in Costa Rica.

Commercial sexual exploitation, which is also known as child prostitution, is a social scourge that exists in Costa Rica. It is concentrated along the nation's borders and coasts, accourding to non governmental organizations who support victims. This reality has led to a flood in the production of child pornography that exploits Costa Rican children.

According to Rocio Rodriguez director of the NGO Alliance for your Rights (Alianza por tus Derechos), the cities of Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón are the regions that are the most plagued by both commercial sexual exploitation and pornography.

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Daniela Araya

Costa Rica Hoy

Feb. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Arrestan a pastor por violar niñas

De la secta Sendero de Luz.. Abusó de ellas durante años con la complacencia de sus padres

Delicias, Chihuahua.- Años de un sufrimiento en silencio fueron vividos por dos niñas desde que tenían 11 años de edad, pues un pastor de la denominada Iglesia Sendero de Luz les decía que "para ser siervas de Dios tenían que hacerle todo lo que les indicara", y eso incluía tener relaciones sexuales con él, acciones de las cuales aparentemente su padres estaban enterados.

Las familias de ambas sabían lo que pasaba con el religioso, pero su fanatismo les impedía actuar en su contra, según las jóvenes de ahora 22 años de edad, quienes comentaron que los abusos comenzaron desde el año 2001 y continuaron durante 9 años, hasta que se mudaron a la capital de estado.

Tras la denuncia impuesta por parte de las afectadas, agentes investigadores detuvieron mediante una orden de aprehensión a José Manuel Herrera Lerma, de 59 años, líder del grupo religioso previamente señalado.

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Pastor is arrested on charges of child rape

Path of Light sect leader abused two girls over a number of years with the knowledge of the victim's parents

The city of Delicias in Chihuahua state - Two girls suffered years of sexual abuse in silence, from the time they were age 11, at the hands of their church pastor. The reverend of the Path of Light church told the girls that, "to be servants of God they had to do everything that he told them to do," and that included having sex with him. The parents were apparently aware of the pastor's behavior with their daughters.

The families of both girls knew what was happening with the pastor, but their religious fervor prevented them from acting against him. The victims, who are now both age 22, have stated that the abuse began in 2001 and continued for 9 years, until [the family] moved to the state capital.

In response to the complaint filed by the victims, investigative agents served an arrest warrant on José Manuel Herrera Lerma, age 59.

Read the full article

Marisol Marín

oem.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Children in Mexican adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse

Ten children were seized by authorities in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after they uncovered the apparent child trafficking scam last weekend.

Eleven Irish couples hoping to adopt children in the country have been caught up in the investigation.

“There are four children who show signs of having been abused (sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of abuse),” the Jalisco state attorney general Tomas Coronado told reporters today.

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TheJournal.ie

Jan. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ecuador

148 millones invirtió el Gobierno en implementación de tres mil centros infantiles

Como parte de este proceso, 242 profesionales entre sicopedagogas, parvularias, tecnólogas en educación y especialistas en desarrollo infantil se incorporaron al trabajo en la provincia costera del Guayas, luego de un periodo de selección y capacitación.

Alrededor de 500 mil niños en Ecuador, entre 0 y 5 años, son atendidos por el Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), en los Centros del Buen Vivir y el programa “Creciendo con nuestros hijos”.

La ministra de Inclusión Económica y Social, Ximena Ponce, indicó que el desarrollo infantil es uno de los seis proyectos de inversión prioritarios del gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa.

La meta es implementar un profesional por cada Centro para garantizar una conducción técnica en sus tres componentes: salud, educación y protección, especialmente en niños de 0 a 3 años.

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Government invests $148 million to implement 3,000 children's centers across the country

As part of the initiative, 242 professionals have joined the effort in the key coastal province of Guayas

About 500,000 children, from newborns to age 5 are served by Ecuador's Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), through its Good Living Centers and by way of its program "Growing with our children."

Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Ximena Ponce indicated that child development is one of six priority investment projects for the government of President Rafael Correa.

The goal is to provide one professional worker for each center to ensure technical leadership in its three focus areas: health, education and protection. The initiative is especially geared toward assisting children from 0 to 3 years of age.

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eldiario.com.ec

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Guatemala

Former Guatemala dictator to give testimony in genocide trial

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will be made to testify at his genocide trial, according to a statement by judicial officials on Saturday. Rios Montt was in control of Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as a result of a coup and is being charged with crimes against humanity and genocide during his rule. He was protected from prosecution until this month because he was serving in congress. Rios Montt said he would cooperate with the court [EFE report, in Spanish]. The case involves at least 1,771 deaths and 1,400 human rights violations during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] with much of the violations occurring during Rios Montt's rule.

The Guatemalan civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, mostly among Guatemala's large indigenous Mayan population. According to a UN report [text, in Spanish] released in 1999, the military was responsible for 95 percent of those deaths. In response to these violations, the Guatemalan government founded the National Compensation Program (PNR) in 2003 to deal with claims by civilians affected by the civil war. The PNR, after setting up its administrative structure, has begun to use its $40 million budget to work through a backlog of more than 98,000 civilian complaints. Four former soldiers and two former police officers [JURIST reports] have already been convicted in relation to these crime. Spain attempted to extradite Rios Montt [JURIST report] in 2008, but failed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Read the full article

Matthew Pomy

Jurist

Jan. 22, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Dictan prisión contra tres hombres por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez penal dictó auto de formal prisión por el delito de trata de personas en contra de tres hombres que operaban un bar clandestino en San Cristóbal de las Casas, donde fueron rescatadas cuatro menores víctimas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó que los presuntos responsables Abraham “N”, propietario del negocio, el encargado Rosendo “N” y el vigilante Diego “N”, son procesados en el centro penitenciario ” El Amate”.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especializada en Asuntos Relevantes ejecutaron un operativo en el bar ” La Sirena”, donde rescataron a cuatro menores, sometidas a trata de personas y corrupción de menores.

En el sitio fueron sorprendidos también dos menores de edad que ingerían alcohol, lo que constituye una violación a las leyes de salud.

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Three men are sentenced to prison in [the southern border state of] Chiapas

I jusdge has sentenced three men to prison on human trafficking charges who operated a clandestine bar in the cisty of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Four minors had been rescued from the bar.

The Office of the Chiapas State Attorney General (PGJE) has announced that three suspects, Abraham "N," a bar owner, bar manager Rosendo "N" and a guard, Diego "N," have been detained and sent to the "El Amate" prison.

Agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Relevant Issues executed an operation at the bar "La Sirena" (the Siren), where they rescued four children who had been subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and the corruption of minors.

The authorities also encountered two other youth who were drinking alcohol in violation of health laws.

Read the full article

Provincia.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Piden cadena perpetua para acusado de violar a 15 menores en 2009

La directora del Programa Nacional contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual, Ana María Mendieta, exhortó hoy al Poder Judicial a aplicar la pena máxima de cadena perpetua a Óscar Visalot, acusado de abusar sexualmente de 15 menores de edad en 2009.

Este pedido contra Visalot, quien fue capturado en octubre de 2010, surge ante la posible excarcelación del acusado por exceso de carcelería, precisó la funcionaria de ese programa perteneciente al Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (Mimp).

“Exhortamos al Poder Judicial, a la Primera Sala de Reos en Cárcel de Lima y a las autoridades penitenciarias a que el procesado sea trasladado a Lima y se le dicte una sentencia ejemplar de cadena perpetua”, sostuvo Mendieta.

Lea el artículo completo

Officials ask for a life sentence for a man accused in 2009 of the rape of 15 minors

The director of the National Programme Against Family and Sexual Violence (PNCVFS), Ana Maria Mendieta, today urged the judiciary to apply the maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the case of Oscar Visalot, accused of sexually abusing 15 minors in 2009.

The request to have Visalot, who was captured in October 2010, sentenced promptly arose from the fact that the defendant is being considered for release from prison due to a determination that the has spent an excessive amount of time in detention, said Mendieta, an official of the PNCVFS, which is a program under the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP).

"We urge the Judiciary, the First Board of Inprisoned Inmates in Lima and the prison authorities to transport the prisoner to Lima and [that the Court] hand down a sentence of life imprisonment," said Mendieta.

Read the full article

Andina.com.pe

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ohio, USA

Man guilty of raping girl in 2005

Hamilton - The adoptive parents of a young girl raped and kidnapped by Butler County’s former “most wanted” fugitive say their daughter can finally start “healing from the nightmare she suffered at the hands of this monster.”

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three hours Wednesday before deciding “Mario” Lopez-Cruz was guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape for his attack on a 9-year-old Hamilton girl on Fathers Day 2005.

Lopez-Cruz faces life in prison without parole until he spends 10 years in prison on the rape charges and up to 10 years on kidnapping. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth will sentence him March 15.

Read the full article

Denise G. Callahan

The Oxford Press

Feb. 01, 2012



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

During the over ten years that the LibertadLatina project has existed, our ongoing analysis of the crisis of sexual abuse in the Americas has lead us to the conclusion that our top priority should be to work to achieve an end to the rampant sex trafficking and exploitation that perennially exists in Mexico. Although many crisis hot spots call out for attention across Latin America and the Caribbean, working to see reform come to Mexico appeared to be a critical first step to achieving major change everywhere else in the region.

We believe that this analysis continues to be correct. We also recognize the fact that the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia are other emergency zones of crisis. We plan to expand our coverage of these and other issues as resources permit.

Mexico is uniquely situated among the nations of the Americas, and therefore requires special attention from the global effort to end modern human slavery.

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

  • Includes a long contiguous border with the U.S., thus making it a transit point for both 500,000 voluntary (but vulnerable) migrants each year as well as for victims of human slavery

  • Has multi-billion dollar drug cartels that profit from Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and that are today investing heavily in human slavery as a secondary source of profits

  • Has a 30% indigenous population, as well as an Afro-Mexican minority, both of whom are marginalized, exploited and are 'soft targets' who are now actively being cajoled, and kidnapped by trafficking mafias into lives of slavery and death

  • Has conditions of impunity that make all impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking

  • Has a child sex tourism 'industry' that attracts many thousands of U.S., European and Latin American men who exploit vulnerable, impoverished children and youth with virtual impunity

  • Is the source of the largest contingent of foreign victims of human slavery who have been trafficked into the U.S.

  • Has a large and highly educated middle class which includes thousands of women who are active in the movement to enhance human rights in general and women's rights in particular

  • Has a growing anti-trafficking movement and a substantial women's rights focused journalist network

  • Has a politically influential faction of socially conservative men who believe in the sexist tenants of machismo and who favor maintaining the status quo that allows the open exploitation of poor Mexicans and Latin American migrants to continue, thus requiring assistance from the global movement against human exploitation to help local activists balance the scales of justice and equality

For a number years LibertadLatina's commentaries have called upon Mexico's government and the U.S. State Department to apply the pressure that is required to begin to change conditions for the better. It appears that the global community's efforts in this regard are beginning to have impact, yet a lifetime of work remains to be done to end what we have characterized as a slow-moving mass gender atrocity.

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

  • The March 31, 2011 resignation of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez (who had earlier failed to address the crisis of femicide murders facing women in Ciudad Juarez as Chihuahua state attorney general)

  • The replacement of Chávez Chávez with Marisela Morales Ibáñez as the nation’s first female attorney general (Morales Ibáñez was recently honored by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

  • Morales Ibáñez’ reform-motivated purge of 174 officials and employees of the attorney general’s office, including the recent resigna-tions of 21 federal prosecutors

  • Morales Ibáñez’ recent raid in Cuidad Juárez, that resulted in the arrests of 1,030 suspected human traffickers and the freeing of 20 underage girls

  • The recent appointment of Dilcya Garcia , a former Mexico City prosecutor who achieved Mexico's first trafficking convictions to the federal attorney general's office (Garcia was recently honored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her anti-trafficking work)

  • The July, 2010 replacement of Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont with José Francisco Blake Mora. (Secretary Gómez Mont openly opposed the creation of strong federal anti-trafficking legislation.)

  • Success by President Calderón and the Congress of the Republic in achieving the first steps to bringing about a constitutional amendment to facilitate human trafficking prosecutions

  • Recent public statements by President Calderon imploring the public to help in the fight against human trafficking

  • Some progress in advancing legislation in Congress to reform the failed 2007 federal anti trafficking law, a reform effort that has been lead by Deputy Rosi Orozco

  • The active collaboration of both the U.S. Government and the United Nations Office eon Drugs and Crime in supporting government efforts against trafficking

Taken together, the above actions amount to a truly watershed moment in Mexico’s efforts to address modern human slavery. We applaud those who are working for reform, while also recognizing that reform has its enemies within Congress, government institutions, law enforcement and society.

Mexico’s key anti-trafficking leaders, including journalist and author Lydia Cacho, Teresa Ulloa (director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean - CATW-LAC), and Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have all raised the alarm in recent months to indicate that corrupt businessmen, politicians and law enforcement authorities continue to pressure Mexican society to maintain a status quo that permits the existence of rampant criminal impunity in relation to the exploitation of women, children and men. The fact that anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho continues to face credible deaths threats on a regular basis and must live with armed guards for 24 hours a day is one sobering indicator of this harsh reality.

The use of slavery for labor and sexual purposes has a solid 500 years of existence in Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Indigenous peoples have been the core group of victims of human exploitation from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. This is true in Mexico as well as in other nations with large indigenous populations such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. African descendants are also victims of exploitation - especially in Colombia, and like indigenous peoples, they continue to lack recognition as equal citizens.

These populations are therefore highly vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation due to the fact that the larger societies within which they live feel no moral obligation to defend their rights. Criminal human traffickers and other exploiters take advantage of these vulnerabilities to kidnap, rape, sex traffic and labor traffic the poorest of the poor with little or no response from national governments.

A society like Mexico - where even middle class housewives are accustomed to treating their unpaid, early-teen indigenous girl house servants to labor exploitation and verbal and physical violence – and where the men of the house may be sexually abusing that child – is going to take a long time to adapt to an externally imposed world view that says that the forms of exploitation that their conquistador ancestors brought to the region are no longer valid. That change is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be easy.

Mexico’s current efforts to reform are to be applauded. The global anti-trafficking activist community and its supporters in government must, however remain vigilant and demand that Mexico continue down the path toward ending its ancient traditions of tolerated human exploitation. For that transformation to happen effectively, indigenous and African descendant Mexicans must be provided a place at the table of deliberations.

Although extending equality to these marginalized groups is a radical concept within the context of Mexican society, we insist that both Mexico, the United States State Department (a major driver of these reforms in Mexico) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC - another major driver in the current reforms) provide the social and political spaces that will be required to allow the groups who face the most exposure to exploitation to actually have representation in both official and NGO deliberations about their fate at the hands of the billion dollar cartels and mafias who today see them as raw material and 'easy pickings' to drive their highly lucrative global slavery profit centers.

Without taking this basic step, we cannot raise Mexico’s rating on our anti-trafficking report card.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

Note: Our August 4/5, 2011 edition contains a number of stories that accurately describe the nature of the vulnerabilities that indigenous children and women face from modern day sex traffickers, pedophiles and rapists.

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

An editorial by anti trafficking activist Lydia puts the spotlight on abusive domestic work as a form of human slavery targeting, for the most part, indigenous women and girls

Mexico

Esclavas en México

México, DF, - Cristina y Dora tenían 11 años cuando Domingo fue por ellas a la Mixteca en Oaxaca. Don José Ernesto, un militar de la Capital, le encargó un par de muchachitas para el trabajo del hogar. La madre pensó que si sus niñas trabajaban con “gente decente” tendrían la posibilidad de una vida libre, de estudiar y alimentarse, tres opciones que ella jamás podría darles por su pobreza extrema.

Cristina y Dora vivieron en el sótano, oscuro y húmedo, con un baño improvisado en una mansión construida durante el Porfiriato, cuyos jardines y ventanales hablan de lujos y riqueza. Las niñas aprendieron a cocinar como al patrón le gustaba. A lo largo de 40 años no tuvieron acceso a la escuela ni al seguro social, una de las hermanas prohijó un bebé producto de la violación del hijo del patrón. Les permitían salir unas horas algunos sábados, porque el domingo había comidas familiares. Sólo tres veces en cuatro décadas les dieron vacaciones, siendo adultas, para visitar a su madre enferma...

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City – Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the state of Oaxaca. José Ernesto, a military man living in Mexico City, had sent Domingo to find a pair of girls to do domestic work for him. The girls’ mother thought that if they had an opportunity to work with “decent people,” they would have a chance to live a free life, to study and to eat well. Those were three things that they she could never give them in her condition of extreme poverty.

Cristina and Dora lived in the dark and humid basement of a mansion built during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876 to 1910). Their space had an improvised bathroom. Outside of the home, the mansion’s elaborate gardens and elegant windows presented an image of wealth and luxury. The girls learned to cook for the tastes of their employer.

It is now forty years later. Cristina and Dora never had access to an education, nor do they have the right to social security payments when they retire. One of the sisters had a child, who was the result of her being raped by one of their employer’s sons.

They are allowed out of the house for a few hours on Saturdays. On Sundays they had to prepare family meals for their patron (boss).

Today, some 800,000 domestic workers are registered in Mexico. Ninety three percent of them don’t have access to health services. Seventy Nine percent of them have not and will not receive benefits. Their average salary is 1,112 pesos($87.94) per month. More than 8% of these workers receive no pay at all, because their employers think that giving them a place to sleep and eat is payment enough.

Sixty percent of domestic workers in Mexico are indigenous women and girls. They began this line of work, on average, at the age of 13. These statistics do not include those women and children who lived locked-up in conditions of extreme domestic slavery.

Mexico’s domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation, racism and being otherwise poorly treated…

Recently, the European Parliament concluded that undocumented migrant women face an increased risk of domestic labor slavery. In Mexico, the majority of domestic slaves are Mexicans. Another 15% of these victims are [undocumented] migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Their undocumented status allows employers to prohibit their leaving the home, prohibit their access to education or deny their right to have a life of their own. The same dynamics happen to Latina women in the United States and Canada.

For centuries [middle and upper class white Mexican women] became accustomed to looking at domestic labor slavery as something that ‘helps’ indigenous women and girls. We used the hypocritical excuse that we were lifting them out of poverty by exploiting them. [They reality is that] millions of these women and girls are subjected to work conditions that deny them access to education, healthcare, and the enjoyment of a normal social life.

We (Mexico’s privileged) men and women share the responsibility for perpetuating this form of slavery. We use contemptuous language to refer to domestic workers. Like other forms of human trafficking, domestic labor slavery is a product of our culture.

Domestic work is an indispensable form of labor that allows millions of women to work. We should improve work conditions, formally recognize it in our laws, and assure that in our homes, we are not engaging in exploitation cloaked in the idea that we are rescuing [our domestic workers] from poverty.

To wash, iron, cook and care for children is as dignified as any other form of work. The best way for us to change the world is to start in own homes.

“Plan B” is a column written by Lydia Cacho that appears Mondays and Thursdays in CIMAC, El Universal and other newspapers in Mexico.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Justice Department and all of the agencies and officers involved in Operation Delego, which shut down a grotesque  international child pornography network that glorified and rewarded the torture and rape of young children. We also wish you good hunting in taking down all child pornography rings, wherever they may exist.

We call attention to a recent story (posted on Aug. 4, 2011) on the rape with impunity of indigenous school children, from very young ages, in the nation's now-closed Indian boarding school system. The fact that the legislature of the state of South Dakota passed legislation that denies victims the right to sue the priests and nuns who raped them is just as disgusting as any of the horror stories that are associated with the pedophile rapist / torturers who have been identified in Operation Delego.

Yet neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the Canadian government, where yet more horrible sexual abuses, and even murders of indigenous children took place, have ever sought to prosecute the large number of rapists involved in these cases.

In addition, federal prosecutors drop a large number of rape cases on Indian reservations despite the fact that indigenous women face a rate of rape in the U.S. that is 3.5 times higher that the rate faced by other groups of women. White males are the perpetrators of the rape in 80% of these cases.

When former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired eight U.S. attorneys in December of 2006, it turned out that 5 of those targeted had worked together to increase the very low prosecution rates for criminal cases on Native reservations. Their firings did a disservice to victims of rape and other serious crimes in Indian Country.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas demand an end to the rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of our peoples, be they from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru or Canada.

We expect the United Stated Government to set the tone and lead the way in that change in social values.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, its legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely quoted today.

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

While "Little Brown Maria in the Brothel" - our metaphor for the voiceless victims, suffers yet another day chained to a bed in Tijuana, Acapulco, Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Tapachula and Cancun, the entire law enforcement infrastructure of Mexico sits by and does virtually nothing to stop this mass gender atrocity from happening.

That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for a Mexico that is a member of the world community, and that is a signatory to international protocols that fight human trafficking and that defend women and children's human rights.

We once again call upon U.S. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama to stand-up and speak out with the moral authority of the United States in support of the forces of change in Mexico.

Political leaders and non governmental organizations around the world also have a responsibility to speak-up, and to let the government of President Felipe Calderón know that the fact that his ruling party (finally) supported presenting a forum on trafficking, and the holding of a few press conferences, is not enough of a policy turn-around to be convincing.

The PAN must take strong action to aggressively combat the explosive growth in human slavery in Mexico in accordance with international standards. Those at risk, and those who are today victims, await your effective response to their emergency, President Calderón.

Enacting a 'general' federal law that is enforceable in all of Mexico's states would be a good fist step to show the world that sincere and honest voices against modern day slavery do exist in Congress, and are willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

As for Secretary Mont, we suggest, kind sir, that you consider the age-old entrepreneurial adage, and either "lead, follow, or get out of the way" of progress.

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

Víctimas del tráfico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas en América Latina

De esa cifra, más de 500 mil casos ocurren en México, señalan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

Saltillo, Coahuila state - Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, the director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American / Caribbean regional office, announced this past Monday that more than five million women and girls are currently victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During a forum on successful treatment approaches for trafficking victims held by the Women's Institute of Coahuila, Ulloa Ziaurriz stated that 500,000 of these cases exist in Mexico, where women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography and the illegal harvesting of human organs.

Ulloa Ziaurriz said that human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, a fact that has given rise to the existence of a very large number of trafficking networks who operate with the complicity of both [corrupt] government officials and business owners.

Mexico is a country of origin, transit and also destination for trafficked persons. Of 500,000 victims in Mexico, 87% are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.

Ulloa Ziaurriz pointed out that locally in Coahuila state, the nation's human trafficking problem shows up in the form of child prostitution in cities such as Ciudad Acuña as well as other population centers along Mexico's border with the United States.

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista

Expert: More than one million minors are sexually exploited in Central Mexico

Tlaxcala city, in Tlaxcala state - Around 1.5 million people in the central region of Mexico are engaged in prostitution, and some 75% of them are between 12 and 13 years of age, reported Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean...

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

[Note: The figure of 75% of 1.5 million indicates that 1.1 million girls between the ages of 12 and 13 at any given time engage in prostitution in central Mexico alone. - LL]


LibertadLatina

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


A child in prostitution in Cancun, Mexico  stands next to a police car with an adult john.

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

Thousands of foreign sex tourists arrive in Cancun daily from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the intention of having sex with children, according to a short documentary film by a local NGO (see below link). Police and prosecutors refuse to criminalize this activity.

This grotesque business model, that of engaging in child sex tourism, exists along Mexico's entire northern border with the U.S., along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala [and Belize], and in tourist resorts including Acapulco, Cancun and Veracruz. Thousands of U.S. men cross Mexico's border or fly to tourist resorts each day to have sex with minors.

Unfortunately, Mexico's well heeled criminal sex traffickers have exported the business model of selling children for sex to every major city as well as to many migrant farm labor camps across the U.S.

Human trafficking in the U.S. will never be controlled, despite the passage of more advanced laws and the existence of ongoing improvements to the law enforcement model, until the 500-year-old 'tradition' of sexual slavery in Mexico is brought to an end.

The most influential political factions within the federal and state governments of Mexico show little interest in ending the mass torture and rape of this innocent child population.

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

Our one page flyer about Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva (Microsoft Word 2003)


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

Award-winning anti-child sex trafficking activist, journalist, author and women's center director Lydia Cacho

Muertes por violencia en México podrían ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

Especialistas indagan si asesinatos vinculados con el crimen son una estrategia del Estado, dijo.

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en México en los últimos años, 15 mil en los últimos tres años, podrían formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declaró este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

Deaths from violence in Mexico could be the results of social cleansing: Lydia Cacho

Specialists are investigating whether murders are state strategy, Cacho says.

Madrid. Deaths from violence in Mexico in recent years, including 15,000 during the past three years, could form part of a plan of "social cleansing by the Mexican State," declared Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho in Madrid, Spain on Monday.

"Experts are beginning to investigate at this time in Mexico whether these 15,000 murders are linked to intentional social cleansing by the Mexican State," Cacho said in a press conference in which she denounced human rights violations and persecution of the press in her country.

Since President Felipe Calderón [became president] three years ago, we have been witnessing a growing authoritarianism in Mexico "justified by the war " (on drugs), in which " militari-zation, and harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is increasing danger-ously," stated Cacho.

Cacho was kidnapped [by rogue state police agents] and tortured in Mexico after divulging information about a pedophile ring in which businessmen and politicians were involved.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will determine in an upcoming decision whether Mexican authorities violated the rights of the journalist in that case.

The foundation that bears Cacho's name, created in Madrid a year ago, is organizing a concert to raise funds to help pay for her defense before the IACHR...

Cacho is the author of [the child sex trafficking exposé] The Demons of Eden. In recent years she has received several awards for her work on behalf of human rights carried out through investigative journalism, including the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

Madrid - A muckraking Mexican journalist known for exposes of pedophile rings and child prostitution said on Monday that President Felipe Calderón’s bloody campaign against Mexico’s drug cartels is “not a battle for justice and social peace.”

Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats and judicial persecution for her writings, told a press conference in Madrid that Mexico’s justice system is “impregnated with corruption and impunity.”

Accompanied by the head of the Lydia Cacho Foundation, Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna; and Madrid Press Association President Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja, the author said the nearly three years since Calderón took office have seen increased “authoritarianism” and harassment of journalists and human rights advocates.

The period has also witnessed “15,000 documented killings,” Cacho said, exceeding the carnage in Colombia at the height of that country’s drug wars.

“Specialists are beginning to investigate if those 15,000 killings are linked with intentional social cleansing on the part of the Mexican state,” she said.

Calderón, she noted, “insists on saying that many of those deaths are collateral effects and that the rest are criminals who kill one another.”

“It is a war among the powerful and not a battle for justice and social peace,” she said of the military-led effort against drug cartels, which has drawn widespread criticism for human rights abuses.

Cacho also lamented “self-censorship” in the highly concentrated Mexican media, saying that many outlets color their reporting to avoid trouble with the government and other powerful interests.

A long-time newspaper columnist and crusader for women’s rights, Lydia Cacho became famous thanks to the furor over her 2005 book “Los demonios del Eden” (The Demons of Eden), which exposed wealthy pedophiles and their associates in the Mexican establishment.

In the book, she identified textile magnate Kamel Nacif as a friend and protector of accused pedophile Jean Succar Kuri, who has since been sent back to Mexico from the United States to face charges.

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calderón completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calderón’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calderón’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The Mérida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

The National Organization of the Anvil, or simply El Yunque (The Anvil), is the name of a secret society... whose purpose, according to the reporter Alvaro Delgado, "is to defend the [ultra-conservative elements of the] Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan, whether through violence or murder "and establish" the kingdom of God in the land that is subject to the Mexican Government, to the mandates of the Catholic Church, through the infiltration of all its members at the highest levels of political power.

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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 funcionarios electos y otros encargados 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!


LibertadLatina

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

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special 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

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state 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

LibertadLatina



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.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina

LibertadLatina

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

LibertadLatina

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


Mexico

A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's Santo Tomás Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitution 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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, 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

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

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 ...is... 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


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

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

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, 2010, 2011 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.