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A young Indigenous girl child from Paraguay, South America, freed from sexual slavery by police in Argentina.

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

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Foto: Belinda Hernández

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


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

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Latina Women & Children at Risk

The True Story of the Sexual Exploitation with Impunity of Latina Immigrant Women and Children in Washington, DC and its Maryland and Virginia Suburbs

This Section Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2010

A Focus on Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland

 

A crisis of rape with impunity and sexual slavery severely impacts the lives of Latin American immigrant women and girls in Greater Washington, DC


This section of LibertadLatina.org contains information regarding the exploitation and abuse of Latina immigrant women and children in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and within the greater Washington, DC region.

These factual materials document a human rights crisis that has in the past been hidden from public view by a combination of anti-immigrant apathy and hostility and by a code of silence within the affected Latino communities.  The most dire result of this disturbing pattern of reactions has been that Latin women, children and men victims of criminal abuse and civil law violations have often been ignored, underserved and at-times they have been openly intimidated by government institutions that their taxes pay for, institutions that should defend them!

From the author's experiences in participating in and hearing first, second and third person case histories in this region for 24 years, including over 65 case stories and taking 6 Latina cases before the local U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) processor (now called the Montgomery County Human Rights Office) and one Latina case intervention before criminal court as a lay advocate, it is clear that a problem exists. 

Latina immigrant women and girls continue to be sexually exploited largely because local government agencies do not respond to this crisis, and the perpetrators of criminal abuses and civil sexual harassment law violations see this and know that they can continue with impunity.  Other advocates (see social worker's letter below) have come to the same conclusion.

The children, women and men victims of this illegal exploitation deserve equal protection under the law!  Let us all work together to make that dream a reality soon! 

Chuck Goolsby, September, 2003

- LibertadLatina


Issues Covered in this Section


Click on each topic to jump to it...


  1. The Challenges of Advocacy

  2. Sex Trafficking

  3. Labor Slavery

  4. Workplace Sexual Exploitation

  5. The victimization of Latina Children

  6. The Rape of Adult Latinas

  7. Youth Gang Violence and Sexual Exploitation

  8. Hold Government Accountable

  9. Before LibertadLatina, Chuck Goolsby's Human Rights Newsletter

  10. Discrimination in Healthcare

  11. About the Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women

  12. Federal Immigration Reform and Latina Human Rights


Links:

U.S. Community Exploitation for coverage of community exploitation issues within the U.S.

 

U.S. Workplace Exploitation for coverage of workplace exploitation issues across the United States

 

All of our reports and commentaries: 1994 to present

More about / Mas sobre Chuck Goolsby and LibertadLatina.org

"I stand with other men who have made a decision that enough is enough, and have decided that the brutal men who act with impunity, subjecting women and children to kidnapping, rape, torture, domestic violence, murder and sex trafficking with impunity will not continue to get away with it.  We will stand up and take these guys on and defend the innocent.  Our grandmothers, living and gone, our mothers, our sisters and daughters deserve more than the sexist apathy that currently plagues many male attitudes about these severe forms of gender oppression..."

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 10, 2005

See also:

 A snapshot of the Latin music history of Washington, DC, by Chuck Goolsby

Latest News



Added: Nov. 14, 2010

Maryland, USA

Vice and Intelligence Detectives Develop Initiatives Against Human Trafficking

Press Release

The detectives in the Vice and Intelligence Section of the Special Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police Department want to advise the public of initiatives they have enacted to address the growing concern of human trafficking.

The crime of human trafficking / prostitution may be thought to be a victimless and voluntary crime. That notion is frequently portrayed in films and television shows but those story lines have very little to do with reality. Although it is true that the demand side of the crime is voluntary, the provider side is often not voluntary. The provider may not be a lone entity. The provider can be exploited for money and often coerced through violent means by individuals, and that may go unnoticed by the public and law enforcement. Frequently faceless corporations and persons that utilize the unregulated internet to openly promote illegal activities for a price benefit financially from this crime and fail to take any responsibility for it...

The Montgomery County Police Department is committed to addressing the true benefactors of human trafficking and making them accountable for their illegal activities. The following initiatives have been developed over the past year to address the use of the internet by individuals to promote and financially benefit from human trafficking:

1. The Vice Section has effectively shut down escort websites that blatantly advertise activities that are illegal in Maryland. No other crime is so openly confessed to in any forum as the crime of human trafficking. The Vice Section is using a variety of investigative techniques to make web hosts accountable for their complicity in the advertising of human trafficking. Consequently, Web Hosts are eliminating the internet site from their servers. This tactic has eliminated the internet sites for TGND Talent, Diamond Escorts, and Desirable Companions. Sadly, these sites are now moving to servers outside the USA to continue their illegal activities.

2. The Vice Section has effectively infiltrated the Erotic Review website and identified key members of the group. The Erotic Review is a website where members openly confess to illegal activities. The website’s members rate women’s appearance, sexual performance, etc. while providing information on contact numbers, organized crime outfits, and local police activities.

3. The Vice Section through plea agreements is now operating established and once legitimate escort internet sites where “johns” are currently providing names, places of employment, and contact numbers as if they are communicating with the now defunct service. These contacts are being utilized to arrange “john stings” and identify individuals on the demand side of human trafficking...

The trafficked individuals are the face of the business and consequently the most exposed and accountable to law enforcement and the judiciary. The true profiteers of human trafficking have learned to make large profits while allowing others to take all the risk. These legal investigative tactics are bringing vice investigations into the 21st century and making everyone involved in the organized crime of human trafficking accountable for their actions.

[Read the complete press release for additional details]

Montgomery County Police Department

Nov. 08, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Latina victims of sexual exploitation continue to be underserved in Montgomery County, Maryland

Chuck Goolsby

As a former civilian computer programmer for at Montgomery County Police headquarters during the 1990s, I applaud the innovative techniques that the department is developing to fight human trafficking.

Keep up the great work!

During the 1990s I made a number of efforts to raise awareness within the department about the extensive problem of sexual exploitation faced by Latina immigrant girls and women in the county. Some officials at that time expressed disinterest in the issue, while others supported my efforts. Today, tensions between the regions vast immigrant community and police forces continue to exist, unfortunately. We support full law enforcement in El Barrio. At the same time, we continue to demand that Latin American immigrants, be they legal or not, be provided with equal protection under the law. That goal has not-yet been achieved.

During March of 2010, I attended an anti-trafficking training session for a Parent Teacher Association meeting at a local high school. Gaithersburg City Police Officer Jesse Argueta, a local anti-trafficking task force member and an excellent presenter on human trafficking issues was the keynote speaker.

I spoke up and mentioned the fact that Latina immigrant women and girls, and particularly those who are undocumented in the city of Gaithersburg and across Montgomery and neighboring Prince Georges counties in Maryland faced severe sexual exploitation in communities, at work and in schools. I asked Officer Argueta what efforts were being made to serve this population. He responded that local police agencies planned to focus on U.S. domestic minor victims of trafficking. He went on to say that focusing on those victims will lead us to the immigrant victims. Discussion of the Latin immigrant aspects of human trafficking appeared to make Officer Argueta nervous, a response that I have seen in several public settings when I ask officials 'what is being done for the Latina victims?'

As an advocate for the human rights of Latin American immigrants in Montgomery County for the past 30 years, I have to say that local police forces and their federal partners need to provide equal protection under the law to undocumented immigrant victims.

The problem of human trafficking in the region does not exist only at the level of Internet-based, Craigslist-like operations. It is important to identify those criminal operations and shut them down (I brought the problem of local trafficking on the Eros web site mentioned in the above MCPD press release to anti-trafficking NGO Polaris Project’s attention in 2001). Beyond the Internet, and beyond the Korean and other Asian massage parlors - exists a vast underground network of sexual slavery operations that provide unwilling Latina women and underage girls to the largely male communities of immigrants throughout the cities and farm communities of Maryland and neighboring jurisdictions.

Criminal sex trafficking operations in Maryland and elsewhere hide behind a very effective smokescreen (a barrier of non-communication and distrust), that exists due to: 1) the tense relationship between local police and law enforcement; 2) disinterest on the part of police, at times, in regard to protecting women and girls from exploitation because they are immigrants; the language barrier and Latin American cultural traditions of the ‘code of silence,’ that prevent intelligence from reaching police (an issue that exists equally in Tijuana, Mexico and across the Americas); resistance to addressing the issue from within the leadership of some Latino community organizations – often because the topic detracts from the ‘higher goal’ of achieving immigrant reform; and an unspoken, yet existent reality that especially some male law enforcement officers feel, that the sexual exploitation of immigrant women and underage girls is simply an unimportant issue. I have run into all of these attitudes when advocating for the human rights of victims in Maryland.

I wrote words that are effectively the same as what I state in the above paragraph in my 1994 report – The Sexual Exploitation of Latin American Immigrant Women in Montgomery County, Maryland. Unfortunately, not much has changed during the past 16 years.

Only continued efforts to allow the interests ‘Little Brown Maria’ (our metaphor for the voiceless victims) to be represented at the ‘table’ of jurisprudence and policy discussion will achieve real change. In the meantime, a growing legion of ‘Little Brown Marias’ is being bought and sold right under our noses – feeding a voracious market as authorities do… too little to rescue her and end this madness.

That is an unacceptable and unsustainable situation.

End impunity now.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Nov. 14, 2010

See also:

More about government and NGO responses to the mass sexual exploitation of Latina girls and women in the greater Washington, DC region

In October of 2009 I attended a presentation at the University of Baltimore Law School on human trafficking. The keynote speaker at the event was Assistant U.S. Attorney Solette Magnelli, a leading pioneer among federal prosecutors in developing effective anti-trafficking strategies and the founder of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force. During her hour long discourse on human trafficking in Maryland, Ms. Magnelli went into detail about anti-trafficking law, and discussed cases of domestic minor victims, European immigrant teens who are contracted to work in restaurants in the resort city of Ocean City, only to be nudged into prostitution, and about cases of African immigrant youth forced to do hair braiding in salons for free. During the presentation, not one word was said about Latina immigrant women and girl victims, who, I believe, make up the vast majority of victims of sexual slavery in the state of Maryland.

I asked Ms. Magnelli about the response to Latina victims. She did not have anything to say on the topic, except to state that police officers are now being trained to be more sensitive to victims, such as the one young teen victim in a case that I mentioned at the event, who was completely ignored by police when their help was sought. I also mentioned the case of a federal agent who called me and asked where to find services for victims they were finding during the investigation into a $60,000 a week Latin prostitution ring in the city of Langley Park, Maryland’s largest Latin American immigrant community. At the going rate of $30 per 15 minute ‘session,’ that one operation represented an average of 2,000 prostitution events per week. That one criminal enterprise likely surpasses every other sex trafficking crime in Maryland, yet I have never seen any press reports of any prosecutions coming out of that case. Although that agent’s phone call too place perhaps 5 years before the 2009 forum, Ms. Magnelli added nothing to my comments about that case.

Although certain members of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force were perturbed that I raised these issues in a public forum (a reaction that certainly shocked me), two of Ms. Magnelli’s fellow assistant U.S. attorney’s in Baltimore, present at the event, walked up to me, smiled, shook my hand and thanked me for directly raising the issue of Latina victims. Several law students did the same.

It is completely disingenuous to discuss human trafficking in any setting without acknowledging the tragedy that Latina women and girls (including indigenous and Afro-Latinas) are facing at the hands of sex traffickers and an uncaring bureaucracy, both in the United States and across Latin America.

In late 2009 Ambassador Luis C. deBaca, the U.S. State Department’s director of its Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, declared that 60% of human trafficking victims in the U.S. were of Latin American origin. It is now impossible to leave Latina women and girls out of the discussion. Their interests deserve a ‘place at the table’ of enforcement priorities and policy initiatives.

On October 23, 2010, the first Stop Human Slavery rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC, was held. It was the largest anti-trafficking rally to date in the nation’s capitol, and was a great success. About 35 organizations set up tables to dialog with the 2,000 or more people who showed up to march and express support. Our LibertadLatina table was the only representation specifically focused on Latina and indigenous victims of human trafficking.

The director of one of the region’s largest sexual slavery victim rescue and rehabilitation operations told me at the event that all of the victims that they are rescuing from the populous Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC had been trafficked by major Latin gangs.

It is time for rhetoric of the region’s anti-trafficking task forces, in which they state that they are focusing on domestic U.S. born and "legal resident" minors, expand to protect undocumented Latina and other immigrant girls and women also. That community represents the largest group of victims, yet their ‘invisibility’ allows local law enforcement and legislators to minimize the services to the most vulnerable among us. 

There just is no excuse for this. The general public must hold elected officials, police and prosecutors accountable for protecting ALL women and children who face exploitation in the Washington, DC region and throughout the U.S. and the Americas.

Therefore, we speak.

End impunity now.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Nov. 14, 2010

See also:

The criminal networks that traffic young Latina women to the Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland and Virginia described in the below Washington Post story continue to exist in identical form in the year 2004.  Enslaved Latin women and girls are moved in and out of Latino neighborhood-based brothels in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Washington, DC, Arlington, Virginia and within the other Latin communities of the region.  Little has changed since 1994 for women and girls exploited in prostitution.

- Chuck Goolsby

2004

See also:

String of Latino Brothels Found in Va., Md. Suburbs: Police Say Women Come from New York

A growing number of brothels catering to Latino men are opening in the Washington suburbs, and police say a New York prostitution ring may be responsible.

The brothels mostly employ Latino women from the New York area, according to investigators. Court records indicate that virtually all charge the same rates -- $ 30 for 15 minutes of sexual intercourse -- and advertise using the same kind of business cards in Spanish. They also have the same operating procedures: Prostitutes punch playing cards or score sheets to tally each day's customers. "Every jurisdiction from Arlington to Montgomery County is seeing the same thing," said Alexandria police detective Harold Duquette, a member of the city's vice squad, which is investigating two of the alleged brothels.

- The Washington Post

Sep. 21, 1994

See also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

About the crisis of sexual exploitation facing Latin American women and children in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland

See also:

The Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland - a Report  

Chuck Goolsby

Feb. 1994

1. A Snapshot of the Challenges Facing Advocacy for Victims of Gender Exploitation Targeting Latina Women and Children in the Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


During 1999 and 2000, previous to starting the LibertadLatina.org project, Chuck Goolsby provided an e-mail based newsletter of important community issues related to the right of Latina women and children to live free from sexual harassment, rape and enslavement. 

Here is text from one example...


Detailed information on Latin Women Worker/Harassment & Other Exploitation Issues

(A copy of this e-mail was sent to the U.S. Justice Department, Civil Rights Division on 12/02/1999.)

Excerpt...

E-Mail Date: 12/02/99 10:04:28

Hello friends of human rights,

I wanted to present some background on the issue of sexual harassment and the particular dynamics involved when the victims are Latin-American Women and Girls.

At the local level, especially in Montgomery County, anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment blocks police, human relations commission and social services staff from doing anything about these abuses.  I have documented over 50 cases since 1986, just from my exposure to Latino workers in corporate and government office buildings as I move around doing computer work.  This problem exists at severe levels in virtually every office building, restaurant and hotel in the Washington, DC area. 

The victim and potential victim community represent a form of 'underclass' who literally may be harassed, coerced, touched and raped, while the perpetrators, be they Latino, White or Black, or foreign born business owners and managers of other ethnicity's... can operate with confidence that the victim community is too scared, and too pressured socially (to keep  quiet) to cause any trouble for these criminal perpetrators.

As you likely know, Latino immigrants are afraid of government in general, afraid of the police, and are afraid of bosses on the job.  They are forced to work harder than "Americans" who know their rights, and they are used to the exploitation.

I hear this from Central American immigrants almost every time I meet someone.  In fact I heard it yesterday in a building I just started working in.

In addition to sexual harassment and assault, illegal retaliatory reprimands and firings occur, wages are withheld (CASA of Maryland, in Takoma Park [Maryland], has a list of over 400 Washington, DC area cases documented where Latino workers have not been paid by employers), workers are sometimes actually physically beaten by managers, and other such outrages occur.  These events are normal in much of Latin America.  And government agencies, employers, human rights activists and community leaders have done virtually NOTHING to prevent or respond to these issues.

Getting victims to come forward is going to require some intervention from advocates like us.  In the past, very few victims have been willing to go through the tedious, long duration hassle that bringing a case involves.  And those who have gone through the process have been virtually spit upon time and again by the legal system.  I know this first hand because I've been there as de-facto legal assistant and interpreter and negotiator many, many times.  The system will not listen to these victims...

- Chuck Goolsby

Dec. 02, 1999


1. A Snapshot of the Challenges Facing Advocacy for Victims of Gender Exploitation Targeting Latina Women and Children in the Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


During 1999 and 2000, previous to starting the LibertadLatina.org project, Chuck Goolsby provided an e-mail based newsletter of important community issues related to the right of Latina women and children to live free from sexual harassment, rape and enslavement. 

Here is text from one example...


Detailed information on Latin Women Worker/Harassment & Other Exploitation Issues

(A copy of this e-mail was sent to the U.S. Justice Department, Civil Rights Division on 12/02/1999.)

Excerpt...

E-Mail Date: 12/02/99 10:04:28

Hello friends of human rights,

I wanted to present some background on the issue of sexual harassment and the particular dynamics involved when the victims are Latin-American Women and Girls.

At the local level, especially in Montgomery County, anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment blocks police, human relations commission and social services staff from doing anything about these abuses.  I have documented over 50 cases since 1986, just from my exposure to Latino workers in corporate and government office buildings as I move around doing computer work.  This problem exists at severe levels in virtually every office building, restaurant and hotel in the Washington, DC area. 

The victim and potential victim community represent a form of 'underclass' who literally may be harassed, coerced, touched and raped, while the perpetrators, be they Latino, White or Black, or foreign born business owners and managers of other ethnicity's... can operate with confidence that the victim community is too scared, and too pressured socially (to keep  quiet) to cause any trouble for these criminal perpetrators.

As you likely know, Latino immigrants are afraid of government in general, afraid of the police, and are afraid of bosses on the job.  They are forced to work harder than "Americans" who know their rights, and they are used to the exploitation.

I hear this from Central American immigrants almost every time I meet someone.  In fact I heard it yesterday in a building I just started working in.

In addition to sexual harassment and assault, illegal retaliatory reprimands and firings occur, wages are withheld (CASA of Maryland, in Takoma Park [Maryland], has a list of over 400 Washington, DC area cases documented where Latino workers have not been paid by employers), workers are sometimes actually physically beaten by managers, and other such outrages occur.  These events are normal in much of Latin America.  And government agencies, employers, human rights activists and community leaders have done virtually NOTHING to prevent or respond to these issues.

Getting victims to come forward is going to require some intervention from advocates like us.  In the past, very few victims have been willing to go through the tedious, long duration hassle that bringing a case involves.  And those who have gone through the process have been virtually spit upon time and again by the legal system.  I know this first hand because I've been there as de-facto legal assistant and interpreter and negotiator many, many times.  The system will not listen to these victims...

- Chuck Goolsby

Dec. 02, 1999


2. The Sex Trafficking of Latina Women and Girls in the Greater Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


An Overview

Latina prostitution slavery exists in almost every neighborhood in greater Washington. 

It is well-known that many of the women and girls involved are forced to work against their will, and that the traffickers transport in new groups of them to each apartment-based brothel every two weeks from New York City, New Jersey, Atlanta, and other major prostitution markets.

Another source of women in prostitution involves local Latina women and girls who are subjected to severe sexual harassment and rape by gang members and other men.  Some of these victims are pressured into participating in prostitution, and others actively choose what local Central American Latinas call: "La vide facil" (the easy life).


Additional Analysis

LibertadLatina's Analysis of the  Impunity and Prostitution in Langley Park, MD, Where Brothels Earn Many Tens of Thousands of Dollars Weekly. Shut Down Langley Park's Mega-Brothels!

Prostitution dynamics in the Langley Park Latin American immigrant community

Excerpt #1...

In working class barrios around Washington, DC such as Langley Park, prostitution operations are commonplace.  It is 'traditional' for many men to ‘use’ adult and underage prostitutes in Latin America, and especially in Mexico and Central America where most Langley Park immigrants came from.  As an example, one Salvadoran friend, now an evangelical lay pastor, told me that his father took him to a brothel to be with three prostitutes, when he was 12 years old.

The fact that these communities are also gender imbalanced, with many more men than women being present, creates a large-scale demand for prostitution.

The exploding criminal industry of sex trafficking provides the 'supply' - women and underage girls, that the market demands.  In this case, criminal sex trafficking networks from Mexico, Los Angeles and New York City have for years saturated the Washington, DC region with adult and underage prostitutes working against their will.  A 1994 Washington Post story describes how such networks rotate prostitutes in and out of the Washington, DC region from New York City.  That pattern continues to exist 11 years later in 2005.

In 2003 I had a conversation with a local Latino personality who frequented Latin American immigrant brothels in both Washington, DC and in the suburban city of Gaithersburg, Maryland.  He described the fact that young women from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Central America were sent to Gaithersburg from New York City.  The trafficking networks involved ‘rotated’ these women out every two weeks.  The source noted that these women had told him that they were being ‘exploited’ [forced into prostitution].

During a Spring, 2005 trip to New York City to speak to the group Latinas United for Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Latina student who formerly worked as a cabbie related to me how cab customers all over New York constantly asked to be taken to the Latin American immigrant brothels that she noted are “everywhere” in New York.  The student stated that all of the cabbies know about these brothels, and she knew that the women ‘working’ in them were working against their will.  This New York source of women in prostitution slavery supplies at least part of the demand for prostitutes in the greater Washington, DC region.

In addition to forced prostitution, thousands of women and girls in the Latin American immigrant communities of the greater Washington, DC region engage in prostitution of their ‘own free will’ (arguably).  It is perhaps more accurate to state that women and teenage girls are forced to engage in prostitution because:

·         They have grown up in sexist cultures where intimacy was forced upon them as children, youth or young adults

      (An estimated 80% of child prostitutes in many Latin American nations were sexually abused at home before fleeing into a life of street prostitution.)

·         A 'machismo' based environment instilled in them the concept that their intimacy is a commodity, that is meant to be sold;

·         They live in immigrant communities where they are constantly barraged with unwanted, severe sexual harassment, and are propositioned on a daily basis; something that some women and underage girls 'give in to.'

·         The expansion of extremely violent Latin American immigrant gangs into Langley Park and other communities in the region are creating environments where women and underage girls are being subjected: to rape with impunity; severe sexual harassment; pressure to join gangs, leading to a gang-rape initiation; forced prostitution and coercive pressure on women and girls to work in prostitution.

·         Immigrant women and girls who complain to the police, and want to press charges for various levels of sexual assault and other forms of physical aggression are often turned away by the indifference, anti-immigrant hostility or bureaucratic rules of the law enforcement community.

·         Strictly enforced rules bar undocumented women and teens (and especially mothers) from receiving public assistance, forcing them into prostitution as their only means of survival

      This factor is a critical point to understand during times of recession in the United States.  Thousands of Latina women literally face a life without income due to a poor economy and increased immigration enforcement!  How can they and their children survive?

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 16, 2005


LibertadLatina Commentary

Undocumented Women and Girls Who Are Caught Between Increasing Immigration Law Enforcement And Recession Face Sexual Exploitation

Prostitution, quid-pro-quo work arrangements and non-reporting of rape result from a bad economy and tougher federal, state and local immigration enforcement.

...Ms. undocumented Latina finds herself with no relief from comprehensive immigration reform, no green card, no work permit, no job (especially in this recession), little understanding of the details of federal, state and local laws, no protection from crime, protection that should be provided by police forces that today may arrest and deport her, no way to feed herself and her children, and no access to the social services that could help to alleviate those desperate circumstances.

In that situation, Ms. Latina will not report rape to police.  She will not say "no!" to a potential or current employer who says (in violation of the law) that sex is the price she must pay for employment, and she may not say "no!" to a pimp or sex trafficker who offers her 'la vida facil' (the easy life) as a prostitute. 

If she goes home to Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mexico or the Dominican Republic, she will face exactly the same conditions of life, except for the fact that she will not be able to support her  family...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Mar 29, 2008


Shut Down Langley Park's Mega-Brothels!

Prostitution dynamics in the Langley Park Latin American immigrant community

Excerpt #2...

Mega-Brothels in Langley Park, Maryland

In 2004 a U.S. federal law enforcement official informed me that, much to his surprise, a Latin American immigrant brothel operation existed in Langley Park that was raking in $60,000 per week.  The agent stated that such sums of money are usually earned only through large-scale illegal drug operations.

At perhaps $30.00 per act of prostitution, the above figure breaks down to an estimated 2,000 acts of prostitution per week.  That is the volume that just one of perhaps several Latin American immigrant prostitution operations is earning.

The agent had called seeking resources for women victims of these brothel operations who wanted to leave prostitution.  I referred the caller to Washington, DC's principal non-profit working in direct intervention for the rescued victims of trafficking.

Given that Latino prostitution operations are typically run by gangs, it would not be surprising to find additional prostitution networks operating in Langley Park on a large scale.

Do they transport Puerto Rican, Dominican and Salvadoran women en-mass to and from New York City, as brothel operations in nearby Gaithersburg, Maryland do?  Do they transport Mexican and Central American women en-mass to Langley Park from Los Angeles, California, by way of gang connections there?

These are questions that only U.S. law enforcement authorities are capable of answering for the public. 

Regardless of the origins of the women and girls trapped in prostitution in Langley Park, federal, state and local law enforcement have an obligation under both criminal and moral law, to act to shut down these criminal enterprises and rescue this large community of victims from prostitution.

A year after being told of this giant Latina 'rape-factory' in Langley Park by a federal agent, I have yet to see a news report or a prosecutor's announcement stating that this major criminal enterprise has been shut down, the victims have been rescued and the perpetrators have been given a date to see a judge.

Federal government officials in the current administration often talk about the need to rescue and restore trafficking victims.  Well, here, just 10 miles directly north of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, is a good place to start...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 16, 2005


Additional Sex Trafficking News and Analysis from the Washington, DC Region


Added April 26, 2008

Ricky Martin:

Llama y Vive

Washington, DC - Ricky Martin lanza una campaña de prevención de la trata de personas y proteger a sus víctimas hispanas en esta capital estadounidense.

- The Associated Press

April 24, 2008

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ricky Martin Foundation [and others] have partnered to launch Call and Live in Washington DC, a campaign that promotes an anti-trafficking hotline.

- Inter-American Development Bank

April 24, 2008

Llama y Vive / Call and Live Hotline:

1-888 NO-TRATA

llamayvive.org/


Added April 30, 2008

Washington, DC  USA

Ricky Martin at the

April 29th Inter-

American Develop-

ment Bank (IADB)

event kicking-off the

"CALL AND LIVE"

campaign in

Washington, DC

El cantante Ricky Martin ha decidido extender su lucha contra el tráfico de personas a Estados Unidos, donde se calcula que hay unas 20 mil personas [nuevas cada año] que son retenidas o han sido desplazadas contra su voluntad.

El artista, que desarrolla esta labor a través de la Ricky Martin Foundation (RMF) , presentó hoy en Washington la campaña "Llama y Vive"...

La campaña consta de anuncios de radio, televisión y prensa escrita, en los que el cantante promociona una línea telefónica de información y asistencia contra el tráfico de personas en la capital estado-unidense...

"Si estás lejos de casa y te están explotando sexual o laboralmente, eres víctima de trata" rezan los tres comerciales dirigidos a la población latina...

"No están solos" dijo Martin dirigiéndose a los latinos de Washington. "Vamos a llamar a sus puertas si es necesario, para preguntarles si necesitan nuestra ayuda"...

- EFE / El Universal

April 29, 2008

Ricky Martin campaigns against human trafficking [in Washington, DC]

Latin heartthrob Ricky Martin is using his star power to launch "Llama y Vive" or "Call and Live", a campaign to prevent human trafficking from Latin America and also provide services for victims.

"Call and Live" has already been implemented in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Nicaragua. Now, it's expanding to five more Latin American countries.

Martin has partnered with the Inter-American Develop-ment Bank and Ayuda [a local Latino legal services agency] to launch "Call and Live".

Ricky Martin on human trafficking says: "My dream right now is all about seeing abolition, abolition of a new era, abolition of what we call a modern day form of slavery which is human trafficking and I'm not going to give up."

The campaign works to prevent human trafficking from Latin America and provide protection services to Latino victims in Washington, D.C. including offering a confidential victims' hotline...

- TimesNow.tv - with material from Reuters

India

April 30, 2008

LibertadLatina commentary:

The Llama y Vive / Call and Live kick-off event in Washington, DC on April 29, 2008 was an historic occasion and was well-attended.  Human trafficking, in its many forms, has long-existed in the Washington, DC region.  Ten and twenty years ago when I began seeking help from Latino agencies and the local press for exploited Latinas, few people and organizations in a position to help answered the call.

The LibertadLatina project and this web site came into existence as a result of those efforts, dating back to 1986, to bring assistance to the victim community.

I salute Ricky Martin, his foundation, the Ayuda legal services agency, the Washing-ton DC Office of Latino Affairs, other collaborating agencies and local Latino media outlets for working to address the issues of human trafficking and exploitation head on.

¡Mil gracias!

A thousand thanks!

The victim community awaits our serious and substantial efforts to help them!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 30, 2008


Added March 14, 2008

Virginia, USA

Immigration-Linked Prostitution Cases Pose Challenge

[Woodbridge - South of Washington, DC -] The business cards handed to men at a North Woodbridge grocery store didn't say much. Just a first name, a cell phone number and the phrase Casa de Carne, or House of Meat.

But their simplicity made clear the illicit purpose: sex.

Authorities say the cards solicit customers for highly organized prostitution rings that cater to Hispanic immigrants and chauffeur women from out of state. Although prostitution crosses ethnic and racial lines, these immigration-related cases raise complex questions about the interplay of local and federal law and are likely to pose special challenges for Prince William County police in the push against illegal immigration that began this week...

"A lot of girls we've interviewed don't even know what city they are in or what state they're in," said 1st Sgt. Daniel Hess, commander of a street crime unit that has handled several of the prostitution cases...

"These detectives who have this training now understand the nuances of immigration law and how we can protect victims of human smuggling," Deane said. "The goal of these cases really should be the people who are running these operations, the people who are making the money."

In the prostitution cases uncovered locally, law enforcement officials say women get about $30 for 15 minutes and are allowed to keep half of that.

"They are called las treinteras," after treinta, the Spanish word for 30, said Dilcia Molina, a human rights advocate. "In the world of sex work, they are usually the cheapest and the poorest. They are the ones who are usually on the periphery."

- Theresa Vargas

The Washington Post

March 06, 2008


U.S. Department of Justice Announces Human Trafficking Task Force in the District of Columbia and Grants for Law Enforcement to Fight Human Trafficking and Assist Victims

Excerpt...

The D.C. Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, part of a broader push by the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, concentrates the resources of the Criminal and Civil Rights Divisions of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department on the problem of human trafficking in the District of Columbia. 

The Task Force will work closely with community organizations and support groups committed to helping the victims of this crime.  The Task Force effort is in conjunction with Operation Innocence Lost, a program sponsored by the FBI Crimes Against Children Division, the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Criminal Division and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Innocence Lost, announced in early 2003, is a nationwide initiative to focus on child victims of interstate sex trafficking in the United States.

- The Washington Post

Nov. 23, 2004


About the important work of the Polaris Project

See: www.PolarisProject.org

Derek Ellerman, Co-Executive Director of Polaris Project in Washington, DC Presents Testimony to Congress on Anti-Trafficking Work and Polaris Project's Identification of Numerous Latin and Asian Network Run Brothels Within Blocks of the White House in Washington, DC.  (Link to a U.S. Congress web site is now broken)

U.S. House of Representatives

July 8, 2004

 

From Derek Ellerman's ground- breaking interview with National Public Radio News

Excerpt...

Mr. Derek Ellerman (Co-Executive Director, Polaris Project): This is what we call our war room. This is the main room where our task force is based.

NPR's Libbie Lewis: Derek Ellerman is co-director of Polaris.

Mr. Ellerman: What we have on the walls are maps of the greater DC area, and we have pins that mark the locations of what we consider high-risk brothel locations, where trafficking either does take place or where we believe it may take place...

Mr. Ellerman: If you look just in the area around the White House, we have probably 20 different locations in this radius stretching up to about Dupont Circle and over just about to the Capitol. Most of the customers of those brothels are people who work in the area. They're professionals.

NPR's Libbie Lewis: They work in government?

Mr. Ellerman: Lots of government officials. All the time we see men walking into the brothels, sometimes even wearing their government tags. They'll walk straight out of their offices, around the corner and in wearing their government tags. We see people with diplomatic plates all the time go in. And then people just from around will come into the downtown area.

NPR's Libbie Lewis: In the 18 months it has been in existence, Polaris says it's helped identify victims in some state criminal cases, but no federal trafficking cases yet. The DC police work with Polaris on a local task force on human trafficking.

- National Public Radio

All Things Considered

June 13, 2004

LibertadLatina commentary

Around 1982, when I was working as the conga drummer for one of Washington, DC’s oldest Salsa bands, La Orquesta de Tulio Arias, I ran into one of these brothel operations in the Connecticut Ave and ‘K’ Street area, the center of DC’s legal and association industries.

Our band had been called to perform during a weekday happy hour, at a small restaurant owned by a Colombian man. 

I arrived at the gig and observed at least 20 women, all white Americans, all scantily clad or naked.  The place was filled with businessmen with drinks in their hands.  They seemed quite happy.

I concluded that the women were prostitutes.  I immediately picked up my drums, walked out, and went home.  My fellow band members stayed to perform.  They later told me that the police had raided the place that night.

Apparently, what was happening in the early 1980's continues today, on a larger scale.  Now it is Latina and Asian women who predominate as the prostitutes.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 3, 2008


Note: The criminal networks that traffic young Latina women to the Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland and Virginia described in the below Washington Post story continue to exist in identical form in the year 2004.  Enslaved Latin women and girls are moved in and out of Latino neighborhood-based brothels in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Washington, DC, Arlington, Virginia and within the other Latin communities of the region.  Little has changed since 1994 for women and girls exploited in prostitution.

- Chuck Goolsby

2004

String of Latino Brothels Found in Va., Md. Suburbs: Police Say Women Come from New York

A growing number of brothels catering to Latino men are opening in the Washington suburbs, and police say a New York prostitution ring may be responsible.

The brothels mostly employ Latino women from the New York area, according to investigators. Court records indicate that virtually all charge the same rates -- $ 30 for 15 minutes of sexual intercourse -- and advertise using the same kind of business cards in Spanish. They also have the same operating procedures: Prostitutes punch playing cards or score sheets to tally each day's customers. "Every jurisdiction from Arlington to Montgomery County is seeing the same thing," said Alexandria police detective Harold Duquette, a member of the city's vice squad, which is investigating two of the alleged brothels.

- Washington Post - 09-21-1994


Slavery Happens Here

Back on June 11 Colbert I. King used his op-ed column to discuss violence against women, but he highlighted only the tip of a jagged iceberg.

Violence against women in Washington takes many ugly forms, including slavery and forced labor.

- Michelle Clark

Opionion/Editorial

The Washington Post

October 13, 2002


-- Michele Clark is [a former] co-director of the Protection Project at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).



3. The Labor Slavery of Latina Immigrant Women and Girls in the Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


LibertadLatina.org founder Chuck Goolsby conducted the rescue of two Colombian women domestic workers in Montgomery County, Maryland.  These women were subjected to virtual slavery and the terrorized labor conditions described here below in this accurate Washington Post article.  Both women successfully started new lives in the Washington, DC area and legalized their immigration status. 

Among the experiences of the principal victim were: working from 6 AM until Midnight every single day; cutting the grass of a huge yard (and shoveling the huge driveway in Winter alone, by hand) while simultaneously caring for three children, washing, cleaning and cooking for a family of five; putting up with the all-day screams and verbal insults of the wife in the diplomatic family; not being permitted to ever leave the house alone; not being permitted to go anywhere on her weekend time off unless she was accompanied...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Around 2000


'Modern-Day Slavery' Prompts Rescue Efforts

...For nearly two years, she had worked 80-hour weeks cooking, cleaning and baby-sitting for an Ecuadoran official of the Organization of American States. For that, her attorneys said, she was paid little more than $2 an hour. She had worked for the same family in Ecuador, but since arriving, she said, her employer had taken her passport, she had no money and she was afraid that if she left, she would lose her visa and police would come for her.

Stories like hers are increasing among the thousands of women who are recruited every year from impoverished countries as live-in domestic help, according to law enforcement officials and advocacy groups. Now, a growing number of organizations are reaching out to mistreated domestic workers, helping them leave their employers and providing emergency housing and legal advice...

 - Lena H. Sun

The Washington Post

2004-05-03


4. Workplace Sexual Exploitation and Physical Abuse Targeting Latina  Women and Youth in the Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


Working To Make a Difference for Working Latina Women and Girls

The work of LibertadLatina.org grew out of 2 decades of effort focused on providing Latina and Latina Indigenous women and girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb just north of Washington, DC)... with advocacy against rape and retaliatory firings (for not giving in to rape) that were and are the daily reality in the low-wage workplace.  The abuses commonly encountered include those described outrages in the Laurel, MD EEOC case (see below), and included  actual cases of rape and coerced sexual exploitation.  Latina and Indigenous women and girls in the U.S. face an epidemic of rape in their workplaces and communities. 

The legal system does not now effectively protect these women and children from criminal sexual assault.

LibertadLatina.org's work within the Washington, DC region has documented the fact that the dynamics of historic patterns of anti-female exploitation with impunity that target Latina and Indigenous women and girls are merging with other, existing forms of local criminal sexual predation in the U.S.,  subjecting immigrant women and children to open sexual assault with impunity in low-wage workplaces and on the streets of their communities.

The below employment abuse cases document the  sexual assault, coercion and severe sexual harassment events that the I have witnessed first-hand, second-hand and through third-hand stories from dozens of immigrant women and girls since the 1980's. 

Convincing abused victims to come forward and pursue long-term legal actions (cases typically take two years to resolve) is difficult.  Case duration combines with justified  immigrant women's fear of the judicial system's possible prejudices and fear of the known terror tactics of their supervisors to often convince victims to either keep quiet and submit to rape in the workplace, or to face retaliatory reprimands, demotions, shift changes and firings for not submitting to the sexual demands of their supervisors and managers.  These events occur every day in the U.S.

Latina immigrant women and girl workers are typically unaware of the laws against sexual harassment and sexual coercion on the books. 

When I  distributed the translated version of the Montgomery County Women's Commission's Sexual Harassment brochure to Latina women workers in the mid 1990's, for example, it was read with astonished surprise that such laws existed in the United States.  When I  noted to the Montgomery County Women's Commission during a May, 1994 presentation to them on these issues that... more brochures needed to be printed, and that I could effectively distribute them (I did Latin event promotions at the time), several commission members shook their heads in disbelief and my request was denied.  That simple action still, nine years later in 2003, needs to be taken in Montgomery County, MD and across the U.S.

The effective communication by advocates to Latina victims of their rights and abilities to pursue criminal, civil and EEOC legal cases will be a critical part of the education process needed to break the code of silence surrounding these acts of blatant impunity in the U.S. workplace.

Our first report on these issues - from 1994

In response to repeated failures to get the legal and press establishment of Montgomery County and the greater Washington, DC area to respond positively to the urgent needs of Latina victims of workplace and community sexual assault, I wrote the below report and have distributed it to many local police, press and advocacy organizations during the past 9 years. - Chuck Goolsby

Montgomery County, MD -- 1994 

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

Excerpt...

...All of my work in Latin-American immigrant victim-advocacy has resulted from victims having approached me seeking help. Repeatedly, the official reaction of cleaning contract companies working within Montgomery County to my polite raising of these issues has been to do the following: 1) silence any discussion of these issues by the use of gross intimidation against the victims and myself, 2) fire or force the victims out, and 3) back-up the actions of the perpetrators, protecting them from legal trouble.

Latin-American immigrant women have thus gotten the message loud and clear on many occasions that they have become a cheap, disposable resource in the American work-place, underpaid, overworked, and often forced into sexual submission while government and commerce knowingly turn their backs.

At this time I have found it necessary to write this report. Since 1988 I have formally presented this information to many persons-in-authority. Time after time, these well-educated, well-paid officials of public and commercial organizations have said "SO WHAT!" This report is a substitute for the muffled CRY OF RAPE from victims who are tired of having become the sexual 'cannon-fodder' of America...

- Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

February, 1994


Added 02/19/ 2005

Latina Immigrant Women Domestic Workers in Montgomery County, Maryland Plea to Montgomery County Council for an End to Workplace Exploitation.


Added May 17, 2004

Latin American Immigrant Women Cleaning Workers Face Sexual Harassment, Sexual Coercion and Retaliatory Firing in Arlington, Virginia Federal Office Building (U.S. National Science Foundation).

- LibertadLatina.org


Gaithersburg, Maryland

Latina_Assaulted by Manager At Major Gaithersburg Restaurant 08-31-2004


Rockville, Maryland - September, 2002

Latina Female Workers, including several pregnant women and one elderly woman, faced repeated violent acts of physical intimidation and illegal firings at the Derwood area Wendy's Restaurant in Rockville, Maryland


Laurel, Maryland -- June, 2002

The below case from Laurel, Maryland, a city on the Route !-95 corridor in Prince Georges County, just East of Montgomery County, has defined in a formal legal setting exactly the types of sexual coercion and severe sexual harassment that the I have fought against in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland since the 1980s.  Even pregnant Latina women and girls are routinely pressured for sexual favors by their managers and supervisors in the low-wage workplace.

Workplace Rape: Rockville, Maryland - Case # 3:

"One of the complainants, having been fired after putting up with daily unwanted fondling, was, at the time, pregnant. She was told to come back after the pregnancy (when she could be exploited sexually)."


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a $1 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against Grace Culinary Systems, Inc. and Townsend Culinary, Inc. alleging egregious sexual harassment of 22 Hispanic women at a food processing plant in Laurel, Maryland. The suit charged the companies with routinely subjecting the female workers, all recent immigrants from Central America who spoke limited English, to unwanted groping and explicit requests for sexual favors by male managers and co-workers over several years. 

...The sexual harassment was widespread with managers routinely subjecting women to groping and crude and explicit requests for sexual favors over a period of years. The harassers were managers and male co-workers...

One woman was locked in a freezer by her supervisor after she turned down his sexual request. Two other women who were pregnant at the time were pressured for sex and subsequently demoted and fired following their refusal to comply with the advances.

 Other women at the plant were given menial or difficult work assignments for rejecting requests for sexual favors by plant managers. 

- U.S. Equal Employment Oportunities Commission

, Laurel Maryland Case

 


Washington, DC -- 1997-1998 

Julia Chávez, a Bolivian domestic worker employed by an Organiz-ation of American States (OAS) official from July 1997 through October 1998, alleged in a civil complaint that her employer and his wife required her to work when she was sick and, despite her repeated requests for medical treatment, refused to take her to see a doctor, telling her that doctors were expensive and the family could not afford to pay her medical bills.

Chávez also alleged in her complaint that after she told her employer and his wife that she was sexually abused and raped by an acquaintance of the family in August 1998, they denied her medical treatment and a forensic exam, though Chávez allegedly "exhibited . . . signs of physical and emotional trauma" and "repeatedly explained to them that she was very sick and preferred to die." Responding to her complaint, Chávez' employer and his wife denied these allegations and asserted "no knowledge" of Chávez' claim that she was raped.

 Human Rights Watch


True Cases from the Frontlines of Impunity

The below three workplace sexual and physical abuse cases are all 100% factual.  The case narratives speak for the victims, and they document the voiceless cries of tens if not hundreds of thousands of working women and girls across the United States who face rape and coercion with impunity largely because anti-immigrant hostility and apathy  from government agencies allows it to happen,

That must change!  Only public awareness and public expressions of outrage to elected officials, police administrators and local prosecutors will lead to improvement.  Nothing else seems to motivate change.

Deliberate Inaction was the official government and corporate response in all of these cases...

Workplace Rape with Impunity

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

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

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

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

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Workplace Rape with Impunity

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About One Central Plaza

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 housing Maryland state government & other offices.

A medical doctor who rented office space there 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 has keys to access the offices they clean).

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.

A (now former) Latina Washington Post reporter refused to do a story.  After requesting first a copy and then the original of a tape recoding of one of the complainants defending herself from a 20 minute attempted sexual assault by one of these assailants, the reporter intentionally 'lost' these tapes, which were investigatory materials in the Human Relations Commission case.

During one phone conversations with this reporter, she stated to me: "After all, you are accusing these guys of felonies" - as if there was something wrong with me exposing this criminal sexual assault of Latina  women and underage youth.  It was obvious that her loyalties were with the rapists.

This reporter also told me that "The Washington Post does not send reporters into dangerous situations."  I said then, as I say now: If it is dangerous, then, is it not news!!

I met with a total of four Washington Post reporters about this case.  No story was ever written.

I mentioned this case a senior female detective and sex crime investigators at the Montgomery County Police Department, where I worked part-time as a civilian computer programmer. 

Nothing was ever done.

When I called the cleaning company, they refused to answer questions, and later apparently moved and shut their phone off.

The dam finally broke when a brave Mexican cleaning woman rebelled against these three rapists, yelled and screamed at them on the job, and got enough people in positions of power to be aware of these crimes to get the head manager fired.  The two assistant managers, also perpe-trators, kept their jobs.

 

  

Using the Pen to Fight Back Against Impunity

In response to repeated failures to get the legal and press establishment of Montgomery County and the greater Washington, DC area to respond positively to the urgent needs of Latina victims of workplace and community sexual assault, I wrote the below report and distributed it to many local police, press and advocacy organizations during the past 9 years.  

The organizations that have received  this report in-person from me have included:

  • Montgomery County Police Department

  • The U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau staff and attendees at their 1995 Low Wage Workers Conference

  • he Montgomery County Commission for Women (1994). 

  • The report was sent by mail to the U.S. Department of Justice, Worker Exploitation Task Force in 1999.

LibertadLatina.org is the evolution of that 1994 report over time.  The issues remain the same, and the severity of this crisis is now worse than it was in 1994.  Public pressure is still needed to change the environment of sexual exploitation with impunity facing U.S. immigrant women and girls every day.

- Chuck Goolsby

September, 2003

 

Montgomery County, MD -- 1994 

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

Excerpt...

...All of my work in Latin-American immigrant victim-advocacy has resulted from victims having approached me seeking help. Repeatedly, the official reaction of cleaning contract companies working within Montgomery County to my polite raising of these issues has been to do the following: 1) silence any discussion of these issues by the use of gross intimidation against the victims and myself, 2) fire or force the victims out, and 3) back-up the actions of the perpetrators, protecting them from legal trouble.

Latin-American immigrant women have thus gotten the message loud and clear on many occasions that they have become a cheap, disposable resource in the American work-place, underpaid, overworked, and often forced into sexual submission while government and commerce knowingly turn their backs.

At this time I have found it necessary to write this report. Since 1988 I have formally presented this information to many persons-in-authority. Time after time, these well-educated, well-paid officials of public and commercial organizations have said "SO WHAT!" This report is a substitute for the muffled CRY OF RAPE from victims who are tired of having become the sexual 'cannon-fodder' of America...

- Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

February, 1994

 

 

Presentation to the Commission for Women

A Letter from the Montgomery County, MD Women's Commission responds positively to Charles Goolsby, Jr.'s May 27, 1994 presentation before the Commission that detailed many of of the workplace abuse cases listed on the LibertadLatina.org web site and specifically on this page).  My 1994 report on conditions facing Latina immigrant women was well received. 

Despite over a decade of effort, both the abuse with impunity faced by working Latina women and girls and the apathy and inaction of police and judicial authorities continue to be an ongoing horror in this county.

 

 


5. About the Sexual Victimization of Latina Immigrant Children and Youth with Impunity in the Washington, DC. Region

Return to Index


Underage Latina girls face rape, coercion and severe sexual harassment with impunity in the greater Washington, DC area


See Also:

A Police Officer's View of Violence in Langley Park. A Latina Teen: "I Can't Go Out... Because there are Young People Who Like to Bother a Young Girl. Protection; We Need that."


Added Dec. 03, 2007

Virginia, USA

Centreville - Mynor Andres Gonzalez Estrada, 23... was accused of sexually assaulting four children at the Centreville Regional Library.

In one incident, July 31, a 10-year-old Centreville girl told police she was looking at books when a man squeezed her buttocks.

Police said the child walked away to another book aisle and saw the same man exposing himself. She told her mother who called the police. After investigation, police charged Estrada with this incident and two others.

- Bonnie Hobbs

The Connection Newspaper

Nov. 27, 2007


Montgomery County: Rapist Stalks Young Teen Girls After School

- The Washington Post

Nov. 24, 2004


Peruvian Dentist Dr David Fuster Rapes a 15-Year-Old Patient

- May 21, 2003


Officials, Activists Deplore Remark by Montgomery [County] Judge: 'Takes Two to Tango' Called Ill-Advised

Maryland lawmakers and children's advocates joined yesterday in criticizing a Montgomery County judge who said an 11-year-old girl was partly to blame for a 23-year-old man sexually molesting her because the girl invited him into her bedroom and "it takes two to tango."

Durke Thompson, a Circuit Court judge for six years... ordered Vladimir Chacon-Bonilla, of Alexandria, [Virginia] to serve 18 months in the county jail for a second-degree sex offense. The judge suspended the rest of a five-year state prison sentence and ordered Chacon-Bonilla to serve three years of probation and get alcohol abuse treatment.

- The Washington Post

January 6, 2000

Female Legislators Seek Probe of Md. Judge

- The Washington Post

February 3, 2000

Md. Judge Ready to 'Fight Back'

- The Washington Post

March 27, 2002


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

EXCERPT

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

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

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

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

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


Gaithersburg, Maryland

Our letter to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child abuse and exploitation in Gaithersburg, MD, and past official inaction in response. (The above social worker's letter responds to this letter). The NCMEC did refer this letter to the Gaithersburg city government.

EXCERPT

In 1997 I reported the ongoing, daily sexual harassment of an 11 year old Latin immigrant girl from El Salvador by an adult man, to the Gaithersburg City Police Department. The first visits by a patrol officers on two occasions involved (first visit) a [Gaithersburg City Police] officer who didn't care at all and took no action; and (second visit) [by one Gaithersburg, and one Montgomery County officer] a lack of willingness to follow up on the case when the harasser was found not to be home (I served as translator for these two officers). During the second incident, the officers had me translate for a ROOMMATE of the harasser, and never came back to talk to the harasser at all. 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.

The next year, 1998, I again approached the Gaithersburg City Police Force to report that the same adult man was now sexually involved with this now 12 year old girl. The officer whom I spoke with at the city's police station stated to me that "We can't just pick him up, he might sue the city."  

I demanded to know from this officer whether there were laws against pedophilia and statutory rape in Maryland or were there not? I had to assert myself in the face of this apathy and disinterest, to the apparent approval of the female clerk working at the city's police station, where this conversation took place.   

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 05, 1999


Greater Washington, DC -- 2002

Report on the recently formed Child Sexual Abuse Task Force in Washington, DC.  The report addresses the rampant sexual abuse of children by adults in Washington, DC, the daily sexual exploitation of 12 year old Latina girls by adult men, cultural issues and parental fear of the law. (This Task Force responds in part to the important efforts of the Latina social worker who authored the above letter about girl rape with impunity in DC.)

From: WAMU-FM, 88.5 FM - American University Radio (a National Public Radio station) - Show: Metro Connection 


6. Rape with Impunity Targeting Latina Adult Women in the Washington, DC Region

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Added April 12, 2008

Maryland, USA

A Montgomery County man, sentenced to two life sentences for rape Thursday, posed as a police officer and preyed on the fears of illegal immigrants, revealing what State’s Attorney John McCarthy called a growing trend among criminals.

John Robert Lay, 51, whose criminal history stretches back more than 30 years, is already serving time in a Virginia prison for sexually assaulting an [undocumented] Hispanic woman in Fairfax County in 2001. He was convicted of that crime in 2006.

In both cases, prosecutors said, Lay played on the fear of deportation held by many illegal immigrants by flashing a fake police badge at his victims and demanding identification.

When the women said they had none, he put them in his car, brought them to secluded areas and forced them to perform sexual acts...

“This is a pattern we’re seeing too often in our community. … On a regular basis criminals are targeting Hispanics, believing they can act with impunity,” McCarthy said, encouraging witnesses and crime victims, regardless of immigration status, to step forward...

“Preying on vulnerable victims; targeting Latino women is an aggravating factor, and so is impersonating police,” [Judge David] Boynton said. “You’re a lifelong criminal with offenses in every walk of life and in every location you’ve been in … this is to protect the community from you.”

- Freeman Klopott

The DC Examiner

April 11, 2008


Added March 14, 2008

Maryland, USA

Police are searching for a suspect who raped a woman Monday morning near a stairwell in an apartment building.

The 44-year-old woman was taking a walk around 11:30 p.m. Sunday when she was approached by the male suspect who had a knife. The suspect led the woman to a lower stairwell landing in an apartment building... and forcibly raped her...

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 39 or 40 years old, 5’11” to 6’0” tall, weighing approximately 220 pounds. He was wearing his black hair pulled back in a pony tail...

- WLJA TV

March 12, 2008


Arlington, Virginia

Pleas in Sex-Crimes Case

A widely known Latino activist will spend a year in jail for the sexual battery of four women under a plea agreement worked out last week in Arlington County Circuit Court.

Marcos A. Capriles, 37, entered an Alford plea on five sex-related misdemeanor charges in exchange for prosecutors' dropping rape, sodomy and other sexual assault charges against him. Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick handed him a one-year prison term for each charge, to be served concurrently. Capriles, a Bolivian living in Arlington, will be deported after he serves his sentence.

Capriles, a former Spanish-language reporter and newspaper owner, was arrested in April for the alleged rape of a 32-year-old Latino woman from Falls Church who agreed to pose for photographs after seeking his help in preparing tax returns...

- The Washington Post

March 12, 2008


Added Aug. 16 2005

Langley Park - The State's Largest Latin Community is Besieged by Violent Crime and Severe Sexual Harassment.  Four Throats Slashed and One Hand Nearly Severed in 5 Day Period.

Women say they won't walk to the store alone, and some won't leave their homes at night. They won't wear short skirts, they say, because the men will ask them, "How much?"


June 23, 2004

Rapes in Montgomery County, Maryland jumped nearly 40 percent in the first three months of this year, but the county police department withheld this  information from the public of all but one rape.

(Plus - LibertadLatina Commentary on Rape with impunity in Montgomery County, Maryland)


Gaithersburg, Maryland - August, September 2003

Direct advocacy assists Latina woman victim of attempted street sexual assault in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  One of three assailants was convicted.

- LibertadLatina


7. Youth Gang Violence and Latina Sexual Exploitation in the Washington, DC Region

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Added Aug. 17 2005

Atemorizan Maras a Washington. (Gangs Frighten Washington, DC)


Added Aug. 16 2005

Langley Park - The State's Largest Latin Community is Besieged by Violent Crime and Severe Sexual Harassment.  Four Throats Slashed and One Hand Nearly Severed in 5 Day Period.

Women say they won't walk to the store alone, and some won't leave their homes at night. They won't wear short skirts, they say, because the men will ask them, "How much?"

See Also:

A Police Officer's View of Violence in Langley Park. A Latina Teen: "I Can't Go Out... Because there are Young People Who Like to Bother a Young Girl. Protection; We Need that."


DC's Largest Latin Youth Center Plans to Open Branch in Langley Park.


Wheaton (Near Langley Park) - Police Arrest 12 MS-13 Members for Two Stabbing Attacks at a School and Mall.


Veteran Latino Officer Luis Hurtado and Others Tried to Warn of Gang Dangers for Years. Hurtado: "It's Gone on Deaf Ears."


(Nearby In...) Frederick - A 15 Year Old Girl Raped by 3 Men is Abandoned Unconscious at a Dump.


See Also:

Washington Post Stories on Area Gangs.

Montgomery County, Maryland Executive Doug Duncan Visits El Salvador, Birthplace of 65,000 Montgomery Co. Residents, to Address the Gang Problem.

 


8. Holding Federal, State and Local Governments Accountable for the Safety of  Latin American Women and Children in the Washington, DC Region

Return to Index


Extensive work needs to be done to educate local officials, and to monitor  police and judicial actions to assure that Latinas receive equal protection under the law.

Immigrant women and girls do not usually  receive such equal protections now.


The crisis described here below is what is really happening to Latina women and girls in greater Washington, DC, the capitol of the United States.  How do we, as concerned communities, individuals, immigrant and victims advocacy organizations and government agencies effectively address these blatant violations of the law?

Our work in Montgomery County, Maryland and the work of the Latina social worker in Washington, DC, quoted below, identify the fact that Latina adult and girl victims of sexual assault and abuse are usually underserved by local law enforcement.  The below 1999 statement by the U.S. Justice Department on underserved victims of crime also recognizes this fact.

Extensive education of first responders and judicial officers is needed to raise awareness of the "facts on the ground" regarding the impunity with which Latina immigrant girls and women face sexual assault, coercion and harassment from perpetrators who know that the criminal justice system will often ignore the pleas of "Ms. Latina" for equal enforcement of her legal rights to the simple ownership and sanctity of her own human body.  

We encourage the public to raise these issues with your local elected officials, police departments and prosecutors. 

When I began direct, lay victim advocacy before the local criminal justice system in 1988, no victim services existed for Latina victims of criminal abuse.  In that first case (Workplace Rape: Rockville, Maryland - Case 2), the following happened:
  • The court commissioner who received the criminal complaint from the victim (that I had translated)...  laughed out loud in front of the victim when he read the complaint.  He said "gee, this guy [the perpetrator] must have had a bad day."

  • An investigator for the Maryland State's Attorney's office for Montgomery County repeatedly called me and virtually begged me to convince the Nicaraguan victim of a physical beating by her cleaning company supervisor at a local federal office building to... not press charges against the assailant.  

  • No victim services were offered whatsoever.

  • The victim felt intimidated by the perpetrator and unsupported by the Maryland State's Attorney's Office' actions in trying to get her to back out of insisting upon the prosecution of her physical assailant.

  • As a result of these actions by the Maryland State's Attorney's Office, the victim backed down and did not appear at the trial.

  • In a Montgomery County, Maryland Human Relations Commission hearing (they are the local  processor of U.S. EEOC cases), during which I represented the interests of the victim for 9 hours, the victim and her co-worker eyewitness could not convince the commissioners that a violation of worker discrimination law had taken place.

The above case occurred in 1988.  The below case intervention occurred in late 2003.  Not much has changed for the better in terms of police responses, although the Maryland State's Attorney's Office did process the case professionally, while continuing to omit any victim services whatsoever for the Latinas involved in these two cases.

Why?

In my most recent intervention, on August 4, 2003, (Direct advocacy assists Latina woman victim of attempted street sexual assault), the following happened:
  • Police at the scene of an attempted sexual assault were not at-first interested in making any arrests of the three perpetrators of an attempted sexual assault.  

  • When the victim heard this from one of the responding officers, she began crying.  

  • I later presented my LibertadLatina business card to several officers.  At that point, and after bringing the shift sergeant to the scene to translate for the victim (being fluent in Spanish I translated initially), charges were filed, but only against one of the three assailants.

  • The one charged perpetrator was convicted in September, 2003 and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.    

  • The judge asked with curiosity during the trial why only one suspect was arrested? 

  • No victim services were ever offered to the victim whatsoever.

 

These two cases typify the experiences of immigrant women in similar cases that I have been involved with in Montgomery County, Maryland.  These responses from police and prosecutors are also the daily experience of most Latin American immigrants in the Washington, DC region.  The stories told here are just a small fraction of the events that I have seen & heard about over the years.

My hat is off to the responding officers for their swift response in this case and their final decision to arrest at least the one most aggressive perpetrator, who was convicted of second degree assault.  These officers have a dangerous job to do.  

The responsibility for changing how local police officers respond to Latina adult and child victims of sexual assault and related crimes lies directly with local government and police department executives.  They have a moral and a legal responsibility to address these issues.  Officers on the street cannot act without the local police department leadership (in any jurisdiction) approving the needed changes in provision of policing services to women, children and also men in the Latin immigrant community.

The motivation for doing that should go without saying.  

The judicial system, local school systems, social services and other agencies who interact with Latina immigrant victims all have the same responsibility to treat these women and girls with equality and fairness.

Certainly, expressions of concern from the public (we the people) are critical to making real change happen.  It is up to the general public to insist that local governments and criminal justice systems across the U.S. address these issues.

Help us make that change happen!

Many Latina immigrant women in the Washington, DC region face attempted kidnappings, rapes and worse at the hands of sexual predators of all ethnicities who know that petite Ms.  Latina typically feels powerless to respond by seeking legal redress against criminal impunity.  I still remember a 20 year old Salvadoran woman telling of how she and her husband witnessed the kidnapping from a bus stop of a Latina immigrant woman in Prince Georges County, Maryland, by three non-Latino men.  

This kidnapped Latina woman was later raped and murdered by her captors.  These witnesses refused to testify for fear of retribution and the suspects were not convicted, according to the Salvadoran female witness.

Let's all work to change this tragic and barbaric  reality in the daily lives of immigrant and all other women and children now!

- Chuck Goolsby

September, 2003

 

Former Civilian 

Office Systems 

 Programmer for the 

Montgomery County 

Police Department 

from 1992 to 1995.

 


What does the U.S. Department of Justice Say?

The below statement directly addresses several important components of the above-defined problem in victim services: 

...COMPASSION AND SINCERITY

..."There is no substitute for compassion as the foundation, and sincerity as its expression, for carrying out victim services equally and fairly. Although it is not possible to feel the same compassion for all victims, providers have the responsibility to provide the same compassionate service to every victim. Compassionate and sincere advocacy knows no borders.

The plight of undocumented residents or illegal aliens, for example, involves complex issues of personal prejudices and international politics.  Sentiments among Americans regarding the clandestine migration of those who seek a better life here, mostly from Mexico and Central America, range from compassion for the safety and dignity of those fleeing poverty and war to border vigilante hunts and savage beatings. Once in the United States, undocumented aliens become easy prey for employment exploitation, consumer fraud, housing discrimination, and criminal victimization because assistance from government authorities is attached to the fear of deportation.

There is an epidemic of sexual assaults, for example committed upon undocumented Latinas.  Their immigration status, however, does not mean that they should receive less protection under America's criminal laws or less right to victim services"...

From: The United States Department of Justice - 1999

The 1999 National Victim Assistance Academy 

Chapter 7 - Responding to Underserved Crime Victims - Respecting Diversity

 

9. Latina Advocacy E-Mail Newsletter - 1999-2000

Return to Index

Before LibertadLatina.org: Chuck Goolsby's Email Dialog on the Human Rights Issues Facing Latinas in the Washington, DC Region


Using e-mail to begin a local community dialog about the sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women & girls  in greater Washington, DC


 
Previous to the LibertadLatina project I  provided an e-mail based newsletter of important community issues related to the right of Latina women and children to live free from sexual harassment, rape and enslavement. 

The below list contains some of the more important of these e-mail conversations to people of consciousness in the greater Washington, DC region and elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

10. Intentional Discrimination Against Latinas in Healthcare Services Provision

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Rockville, Maryland

From Charles Goolsby's E-mail Advocacy Newsletters


09/29/1999 - Discrimination against Latin Women in Health Care  

An Ecuadorian indigenous woman, who was about  40 years old, was told by two Latino doctors in Montgomery County that the lumps in her breasts were not cancer, she should not worry about it, and that the lumps were just concentrations of calcium.

This friend was told the same thing in Ecuador by another doctor.  After being, finally, correctly diagnosed as indeed having Breast Cancer, Matilde died about a year and a half ago.  Nobody ever had to answer for the injustice that this friend faced.

Another friend, from Guatemala, told me of how a sister-in-law went to our local hospital, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital...  She was also an Indigenous woman. She was having sever abdominal pains.  She was examined and was told to go home and take aspirin.

After being taken by ambulance to another local hospital,  Holy Cross Hospital, this woman was told that she had a tubal pregnancy, and was properly treated.  

(A male relative of this Guatemalan indigenous woman also went to Shady Grove Hospital with stomach pains, and was misdiagnosed and sent home.  I turned out after returning to the hospital later with severe pain that he had appendicitis)

An Ecuadorian woman took her baby to Shady Grove Hospital and the doctor prescribed the wrong diaper rash  cream, which another pediatrician recognized as being something that would actually inflame the baby's diaper rash condition.


11. Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women's Analysis of the Crisis Facing Latina Immigrant Women in Montgomery County.

Return to Index


The Montgomery County Commission for Women must play a strong advocacy role in ending immigrant women and girl's exposure to impunity and, most importantly, in ending the local criminal justice system's apathy & hostility toward Latinas.


 

In May of 1994 I made a 45 minute presentation to the Montgomery County Women's Commission covering the issues of immigrant women and girl's exploitation in Montgomery County communities and workplaces that are detailed on LibertadLatina.org.  The author's 1994 Report (35 pages) was distributed to the 15 or so assembled  commissioners and was well received.  In 2001 I  again contacted the Commission and encouraged them to act to resolve these issues.

The Montgomery County government web site currently highlights a seminar series that the Montgomery County Women's Commission has created to increase their visibility in response to the crisis facing immigrants in this county.  The below statement is from the commission's new, 2003 seminar series for immigrant women.

LibertadLatina commends the Montgomery County Women's Commission for taking this important step.  Much more work needs to be done, because a climate of official apathy and hostility continues to affect how immigrant women are served when faced with impunity.  

During recessions, acts of impunity become blatant as jobless women and girls are subjected to sexual quid-pro-quo work arrangements with bosses, and other stressors aggravate community based sexual exploitation.

- Chuck Goolsby, September, 2003

 

 

Montgomery County Women's Commission

401 N. Washington Street, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

 

For information and to contribute your comments, please call 240-777-8330.

 

"U.S. Census 2000 indicates that Montgomery County has by far the largest population, and percent, of foreign born residents of any jurisdiction in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Planning reports that Montgomery County's foreign born population approaches 233,000 residents (26.7% of the county's total population).

...It is often the immigrant woman who faces the most serious challenges. All too often, she is employed in low wage jobs, with no benefits, little knowledge of the laws protecting her rights as an employee, and no access to that information or to agencies that could help. 

...She may be afraid to seek help from the police, health, or social services agencies, should that become necessary, and if she does seek help, language may present still another barrier. Women in these situations are far more vulnerable to abuse, harassment, discrimination and worse.

...The Commission for Women will host a series of four seminars, offering the experience, insights and recommendations of experts on these issues."

2003 MCCW Latina Issues Seminar Series Flyer

 

 
A Letter from the Montgomery County, MD Women's  Commission responds positively to Charles Goolsby, Jr.'s May 27, 1994 presentation before the Commission that detailed many of of the cases listed on this page as well  as cases detailed on our Workplace Exploitation Page.
 
 
To achieve real change, your voice (no matter where you live) needs to be heard by government officials.

Make your voice heard.  Contact:


The Montgomery County Executive and the County Council have recently signed a resolution rejecting Maryland Governor Ehrlich's recent public remarks that were construed as hostile to Latin American immigrant's and their supposed lack of English language skills.  Maybe they are in a mood to reform anti-immigrant abuses here.

- Chuck Goolsby

Excerpt...

Past political hostility towards, and support for Latino immigrants in Maryland by politicians...

On a Baltimore talk radio show, [Maryland Governor Robert] Ehrlich voiced his opinion that immigrants should learn English and adopt American culture. “I reject the idea of multicultural-ism. Once you get into this multiculturalism crap, this bunk, you run into a problem...."

According to a Takoma Park Gazette article on May 12, Ehrlich refused to answer calls for him to apologize for his comments and continued to defend his position. Meanwhile, on May 11, the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted for a resolution that expressed concern about Ehrlich’s “ill-chosen remarks" and suggested that he apologize.

Silver Chips

May 13, 2004


County Executive Isiah Leggett

Elected 2006... and a good guy!

graphic of clean energy rewards

Executive Office Building
101 Monroe Street
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 240-777-2500
Fax: 240-777-2517

Montgomery County Council - 2008

Phil Andrews

(District 3 | Democrat)

Roger Berliner

(District 1 | Democrat)

Marc Elrich

(At Large | Democrat)

Valerie Ervin  

(District 5 | Democrat)

Nancy Floreen

(At Large | Democrat)

Mike Knapp

(District 2 | Democrat)

George Leventhal

(At Large | Democrat)

Marilyn J. Praisner

(District 4 | Democrat)

Duchy Trachtenberg

(At Large | Democrat) 


 
The Montgomery County Commission for Women
 
Montgomery County Commission for Women 401 North Washington Street, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850-1703
PHONE: 240-777-8300 | TTY: 301-279-1034 | FAX: 301-279-1318
Email:
cfw@montgomerycountymd.gov
 

The Montgomery County Police Department HQ

Montgomery County Police Headquarters
2350 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850

Chief's Office

240-773-5000


Gaithersburg City Mayor and City Counsil Contact Information

City Hall at 301-258-6310

31 South Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877


Gaithersburg City Police Department

Police Station
14 Fulks Corner Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

301-258-6400

301-258-6410

police@gaithersburgmd.gov

 

12. Federal Immigration Reform and Latina Human Rights

Return to Index

January 7, 2003 

President Bush Proposes Immigration Reform

While the true fairness of his plan has yet to be seen... Thank you President Bush for giving global coverage and mainstream respect to the plight of Latin@s and other  immigrants who face the severe crime & workplace exploitation issues that we struggle daily to document, organize against and overcome.

We encourage law enforcement and the judiciary across the U.S. to follow the President's leadership and provide real and equal assistance to victims, ending the  crisis in immigrant victimization with impunity and tepid local government response to that ongoing emergency.

That tepid local government response to the sexual, community and workplace exploitation of immigrant women, children and men is thoroughly described on this page and in our U.S. Latin immigrant crisis and Workplace Latin Immigrant Crisis sections.

We strongly encourage local governments in the Washington, DC region and across the United States to actively remove the restrictions to access to the law enforcement, judicial and civil legal institutions that immigrant workers desperately need access to (as president Bush noted clearly in his January 7, 2004 address).

Local Washington, DC regional communities such as Mount Pleasant in DC, Gaithersburg, Maryland and others have faced racially motivated terror and institutional hostility long enough.  That hostility is described here below.

- LibertadLatina.org

(See our additional commentary and links to press articles in regard to this issue.)

 

Return to Index

 
 

   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias



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.

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

The crisis in the Dominican Republic

The crisis in Paraguay - including coverage of the important work of anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez and the unjust retaliatory impeachment that she is now facing



Latest News
Últimas Noticias


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%).

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.”

Read the full article

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

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.