Indigenous & Latina Women & Children's Human
Rights News from the Americas
Women & Children at Risk
In Regard to the Minuteman
Project that is Now Patrolling the U.S. Mexican Border...
analysis and commentary on the issues.
From the Minuteman Project...
reading this because you believe that you can actively
participate in one of the most important, socially responsible,
and peaceful movements for justice since the civil rights
movement of the 1960s."
considering joining the Minuteman HQ not because of bias towards
people from another country, but rather because you feel your
government owes the citizens of the United States protection
from people who wish to take advantage of a free society. We
demand that President Bush, members of Congress and the Senate
maintain an orderly queue of entry into our country."
A related group with identical
Perspectives on the Minuteman
Movement and U.S. American Backlash Against Latino Immigration
Confronting a controversial issue.
As an anti-sexual-exploitation advocate for
women and children in the Latino community for over 25 years, as a
person who has written about Mexico to U.S. trafficking, and also as
someone who is avidly following the debate about the Minuteman Project,
here are my perspectives on the controversy surrounding the issue of
citizen border patrols and U.S. American backlash against Latin American
immigration in the context of the dynamics of sexual exploitation.
1. The Minuteman Project is interested, they say, in stopping
"illegal immigration" - which they perceive as being tolerated by the
George W. Bush administration.
3. Although the Minutemen are careful no to publicly ally
themselves with white supremacist groups, they are supported explicitly
by such groups. While they are careful to declare their movement
non-racist, there is no question but that their goals are highly
compatible with those expressed by a number of overtly racist
4. Therefore, their politics are, just under the surface, linked
(at the very least at the level of the beliefs of many of their
supporters) as much to keeping non-whites (dark-skinned, indigenous and
mestizo Mexicans) out of the U.S. as anything else.
5. U.S. blue collar workforce anger about job losses to Latino
immigrants (especially in construction trades) also heavily fuels
popular support for the Minuteman Project.
6. In April of 2005 the Minuteman Project conducted a one month
'patrol' of the Arizona border with Mexico, drawing widespread publicity
to their cause. The Minuteman Project plans to begin border
patrols in southern California in July or August, 2005. This is
causing a rising level of anger among the region's huge Latino
7. On May 26, 2005, a Minuteman
presentation to a women's group in southern California sparked a near
riot by Latino activists. One Minuteman ran over a Latino
protester and was arrested. Five Latino protesters were arrested
for breaking windows, etc. This event was thoroughly covered by
CNN's The Lou Dobbs Show.
8. The Lou Dobbs Show
actively supports the Minuteman Project, thus bolstering their
popularity, legitimacy and overall effectiveness.
An online CNN poll question from the
Lou Dobbs Show web site from
May 30, 2005:
Are you surprised the mainstream
media has basically ignored the anti-Minuteman violence in
California and the rising violence against border patrol agents
on the southern border?
9. The Minuteman Project is not 'authorized' by U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), and President George W.
Bush has declared that the April project to patrol the U.S. border in
Arizona was a bad idea. These sentiments did not impact the plans
of the Minuteman Project, and they proceeded with their 'patrol' of the
Arizona-Mexico border. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
responded by sending 500 new border patrol agents to reinforce the
10. As U.S. citizens and residents, Minuteman Project members can
go where they please and do what they please, within the law.
Therefore, they do not need I.C.E. 'permission' to patrol the U.S. -
Mexico Border. Some members legally carried firearms on patrols.
11. The Minuteman Project exploits an undeniable fact, that the
U.S. Government under President George W. Bush has not effectively
patrolled the Mexican Border. Severe economic conditions in Mexico
have caused entire villages to migrate to the U.S. Over 500,000
low-wage factory jobs in Mexico have recently been lost to Chinese
competition. I have seen a notable increase in the Mexican
population in the Washington, DC region recently.
12. The public declarations of some Mexican American activists,
expressing a desire to create an independent Latino homeland (known as
Aztlan) from the (formerly Mexican) states of California (and
specifically southern California), Arizona and New Mexico; and a further
expression of a desire on the part of some activists to kick all
non-Latinos out of 'Aztlan' has become a powerful catalyst, uniting
diverse groups of non-Latino U.S. Americans. This evolving
coalition seeks to prevent a Latino majority from forming in the U.S.
Southwest. Such a majority is perceived by these groups as making
the creation of 'Aztlan' possible in the not too distant future.
|Charles Truxillo, a professor of
Chicano studies at the University of New Mexico, suggests
"República del Norte" would be a good name for a new, sovereign
Hispanic nation he foresees straddling the current border
between the United States and Mexico.
Southwest shall secede from U.S., prof.
Albuquerque Tribune 01-31-2000
Dealing with undocumented migration (or "illegal immigration" as many
phrase the issue) is going to be a complex process. The rescue of
immigrant women and girls from sexual exploitation with impunity in the
U.S. is an issue that will be heavily impacted by how the politics of
immigration reform and anti-immigrant hostility play out.
Analysis of this issue in the context of
the dynamics of modern sexual exploitation and trafficking...
1. Women have apparently been trafficked into the U.S. from
Mexico for 20 or 30 years.
2. Only the huge wave of
Former Soviet Union/Eastern Europe based trafficking after the fall of
the Soviets sparked the development of today's modern anti-trafficking
movement (I do not recall an anti-trafficking movement growing after
Asian trafficking became a major problem, for example, before the fall
of the Soviet Union). The logical conclusion is that the U.S. and
European feminist movements found motivation to address the issue only
when large numbers of European women started to become sex slavery
recently, trafficking of women in the United States was rarely
acknowledged. It was not until Russian and Ukrainian women began
to be trafficked to the United States in the early 1990s that
governmental agencies and many NGOs [non government
organizations] began to recognize the problem. As many critics,
including us, have pointed out, Latin American and Asian women
were trafficked into the United States for many years prior to
the influx of Russian traffickers and trafficked women. The fact
that it took blond and blue-eyed victims to draw governmental
and public attention to trafficking in the United States gives,
at least, the appearance of racism.
Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women
3. Mexican border cities such as Tijuana, adjacent to San Diego,
California, and (femicide burdened) Ciudad Juarez have been centers for
U.S. American sex tourists for many decades. In the case of
Tijuana, the 1920's U.S. Prohibition against alcohol consumption
kicked-off the wave of U.S. men seeking legal liquor to drink... and
prostitutes, across the border in Mexico.
4. Tijuana and
Juarez are today major centers for adult and child sex tourism.
The English term 'Warez' - derived from Juarez, has apparently been a
code word for child sexual exploitation for decades.
5. Both Tijuana and Juarez in Mexico have enormous U.S. military
facilities very close by, adding to the problem of U.S. sex tourism.
6. The U.S. - Mexico border region constitutes a "zone of
impunity" where Latina and indigenous women have been sexually exploited
without effective defense from sex crimes... for literally hundreds of
years. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics show that U.S.
indigenous women face a rate of rape 3.5 times the rate for other U.S.
women, and that in 82% of rape cases the assailant is a white American
man. These crimes are centered in the U.S. Southwest region.
These facts point directly to a 'gender hostile living environment' of
race-based, anti-indigenous sexual oppression.
In combination with the well-established, centuries-old 'traditions'
of the exploitation of women in machismo driven Mexican culture, these
facts point to the existence of an environment of toleration and
acceptance of the rape and sex trafficking of women of color by
(often politically conservative) U.S. American men and also by Latino
farm laborers and other immigrant men in the U.S. Southwest.
"When I came
here, in one hour I counted that one little girl had been with
35 men, one after the other. She just lifted her skirt.
It is just vaginal masturbation," notes Patricia.
"Generally they do this to the girls who are no longer virgins.
They spend six months being transported back and forth through
the various camps."
"The girls that I saw that time [in the fields] were very young,
they were not over 14 years old. they had been sold a lot to
'los gringos' (American men)." "This area is full of red
necks, they are far right-wing white American men to whom they
sell the virginity of little girls" notes Patricia.
I was present many times when these gringos called Julio
[Salazar] asking to be sent a "cherry girl" (a virgin).
It is here, in one of the five corners of San Diego, where the
Salazar brothers have extended their network.
of a Medical doctor with U.S. Federal Funding.
The Sex Trafficking of Children in San
Diego County, California - El Universal Newspaper - January 9,
10, 11 - 2003.
Among immigrant women, many sexual
assault victims never report it. Immigration might get
...Vega, who works
for Catholic Charities, said the girl was still
a teenager when she was brought across into
Texas by a coyote. She said he kidnapped her,
had sex with her every day for two or three
weeks, then beat her up and threw her out.
She ended up in a hospital and was so badly
beaten the doctors were forced to remove her
Sex slavery, rape await defenseless.
must be noted that if the above observation by a medical doctor working
with child sex trafficking victims in San Diego County, California is
correct, some of the same cultural elements in the U.S. that agitate
against undocumented migration may also be involved in the sexual
exploitation of undocumented immigrant women. By extension, the
82% of indigenous sexual assault cases in the U.S. that are perpetrated
by white U.S. American men also points to the same cultural elements in
U.S. society as targeting women of color for rape in the western U.S.,
while traditional cultural 'codes of silence' are exploited by these
sexual predators to cover their criminal dirty work...
The Rape of indigenous girls in U.S. boarding
While researching Native-American issues at the
undergraduate library of the University of Maryland - College Park, I
found an article regarding this 'code of silence' in the nation's
largest Native-American newspaper, Wessaja, published by the
Native-American Historical Society in San Francisco, Ca. This article
mentioned the work of a well known Lakota (Sioux) psychiatrist, who had
taken a team of Native-women to a boarding school for junior high
school girls from far-away reservations. It was located in a 'White'
town in the upper northwestern U.S. This doctor's team concluded that 80
of the 120 students had been raped by [white] town locals, who took
advantage of the fact that Native-American victims of abuse, especially
women and teen-aged girls, would not speak to law enforcement
authorities regarding their victimization. Within this article the local
Sheriff expressed the hope that some of the girls would come forward.
None had at that time. The team of Native-women had been the key to
bringing this story out.
From Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 report:
The Sexual and Economic Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls
in Montgomery County, MD - Chapter 4.
7. The overt
criminal sexual aggression with impunity that some men learn and
practice as 'normal' behavior in Mexico and Central America has
literally resulted in the mass-rape of women and underage girls within
Latin immigrant communities in the U.S. This dynamic pushes many
abused young women and girls towards being at risk of falling victim to
human trafficking. Traffickers exploit immigrant victims in the
U.S. with little fear of reprisal from law enforcement (as of yet).
8. The same sexual aggression with impunity that is tolerated or
even encouraged by the sexist philosophy of 'negative' machismo within
Latin America has also resulted in a wave of severe sexual harassment
and criminal sexual assault perpetrated by some Latino immigrant men
against non-Latin women and underage girls in the U.S. See:
U.S. Rape Cases.
In one notable case
from late 1999 in Washington, DC, a white U.S. American woman, a
colleague and activist for Latin American human rights issues, related
to the author that in the Mount Pleasant section of the city, large
numbers of middle class white women in the area's unique middle class
enclave had been raped by Latino male perpetrators from the adjoining,
very poor Latino Barrio of Mount Pleasant. This informant, who
lived in the neighborhood, had a personal friend, also a white U.S.
woman in her 20's, who was subjected to an attempted sexual assault.
The police arrested the Latino assailant and later let him go. He
was, as the informant stated, "back out on Mount Pleasant Street
drinking beer on the corner."
response, the informant walked around the white middle class enclave of
Mount Pleasant, and informally talked to other white women in the area.
She found from these interviews that significant numbers of these women
had been raped by local Latino men, and they chose to remain silent
about the issue and not report it to police.
The high incidence of sexual assault
involving Latina victims in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood does not
Among poor Latino barrios in the Washington, DC area, I would
have anticipated that Mount Pleasant had to be one of the most severely
Now that a fellow human rights worker has
identified Mount Pleasant as being an apparent intensifying "hot-spot"
of sexual assault against non-Latina women and girls [also], I seek your
advise and collaboration in combating this dynamic of sexist human
rights violations right in our midst.
While I have just found out about this
issue, I want to send this message out far and wide to begin to put
together a coalition of organizations and persons interested in dealing
with this issue.
Chuck Goolsby's Latina advocacy newsletter - 11/26/1999
(This newsletter was sent to
local Latino human rights, & anti-rape activists.)
"My 14 year old sister lives with my
parents in a wealthy NYC [New York City] suburb where rich
people pay Mexicans to landscape their lawns and do construction
work. She tell me that the Mexicans habitually harass
girls coming home from school. Because of this, all of her
classmates hate Mexicans."
- April 23, 2003
- Part of an ongoing, immigrant-hostile message thread
(multi-person dialog) called "wetbacks attacking school girls"
from a web site called
Conservatism for and from the Common
Minuteman movement is responding in part (together with several other
mostly white supremacist based movements) to the wave of sexual
harassment and assault that many (especially undocumented) Latin
immigrant men perpetrate in the U.S.
10. White supremacist groups and others have organized several
web sites in addition to Original Dissent noted above, that
specifically address the issue of Latino acts of sexual assault and
harassment targeting non-Latin U.S. American women and especially
underage girl children.
aggressive white supremacist web site addressing this issue is:
New nation does not hide its hatred of Latinos and African
old and traditional argument presented in the past by Latin American
immigrant community leaders, that the community should remain silent
(per tradition) about sexual exploitation issues so as not to present
itself as a target for criticism by U.S. Americans has become a moot
point. The crimes committed are obvious to anyone who sees them,
and the federal government's I.C.E. program, which specifically targets
alien sexual violators (legal and undocumented) has begun to
aggressively deport convicted immigrant offenders.
The urgent task for the public, the leadership and the activists within
the Latin American immigrant community in the U.S. now becomes one of
addressing the issue of sexual exploitation head on, and finally ending
the code of silence. We must follow the advice of the
United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF's) executive director, who
stated the problem's Latin American context this way in a 1999 speech:
"Society’s silence is the main
accomplice in allowing widespread impunity. Latin America and
the Caribbean face enormous challenges in the prelude to the
twenty-first century. The region will have to bring out into the
open this increasingly disturbing reality; and it will have to
struggle against the high degree to which society tolerates or
practices inconceivable forms of aggression against the most
vulnerable individuals in society. In commemorating
International Women’s Day, Executive Director of UNICEF Carol
Bellamy said that "it is everywhere, among rich and poor -- at
home, in school, in the workplace and in the community. Yet on
the eve of the 21st century, the vast scale of this outrage is
still not widely acknowledged, nor even truly understood..."
More than 185 million children and adolescents live in Latin
America and the Caribbean.
is believed that the great majority of these may be exposed to
the perils of violence of which sexual harassment, maltreatment
and rape are the most common forms.
Recent studies indicate that no less than six million children
and adolescents are subjected to severe aggression and that
80,000 of them die each year as a result of violence unleashed
in their own homes.
Executive Director - UNICEF
International Women's Day Speech - March, 1999
The stark conditions described by Carol Bellamy in regard to Latin
America now exist across the U.S. in thousands of communities. The
responses and actions of the political and criminal justice institutions
of the U.S. lag far behind this growing trend. The fact that
'child rape camps' have existed in San Diego
County, California for over ten years with very little
effective law enforcement response is one symptom of the fact that
government and especially law enforcement have not yet caught up to
Similarly, only a couple of hundred victims of sex trafficking are
assisted annually in the U.S., while an estimated 17,000 enslaved
persons are brought across international borders each year. None
of those child, youth and adult victims of ongoing violent rape with
impunity (in slave prostitution) are being rescued by anyone.
|Among other outrages, a
federal law enforcement official noted to me [the author] over a
year ago that in one large Latino community in Washington, DC's
Maryland suburbs, a Latino brothel operation was earning $60,000
per week in profits from prostitution. Although the feds
are likely finding support services for the girls who escape
that operation, I have never heard a public news story
describing the bust of that huge mega-brothel operation.
$60,000 per week represents, at perhaps $30.00 per sex act,
around 2,000 acts of prostitution in the affected community.
That community also faces severe rates of high school truancy
and drop outs, and unsupervised children, something that a local
community youth center plans to address this year.
Given the above described conditions in that Maryland community,
does anyone doubt that many, many underage girls are trapped in
that brothel network, serving a large and mostly male Latino
analysis of Latina exploitation issues in
Washington, DC - May 28, 2005
federal law enforcement official mentioned directly above expressed
astonishment to the author that this brothel network could make the kind
of money that he noted was typical only in large illegal drug
distribution operations, we have never seen any public description of
prosecutions associated with this 'Latina rape factory' located
exactly ten miles directly north of the U.S. Capitol building.
12. As an
advocate and as a
member of the Latino community, I strongly advocate for not only
women and children, but also for the interests of our men. But I
cannot condone the attempt by many men to impose 'traditional' Latin
American machismo-based sexual harassment and rape on either Latina
immigrant women and girls, nor on non-Latina women and girls. It
13. CNN's The Lou Dobbs Show's aggressive inspection of
the issue of 'illegal immigration' 5 nights a week is usually couched in
the context of the loss of U.S. jobs, the burden of providing medical
and social services to immigrants, and the high rate of general criminal
activity that undocumented immigrant men seem to be involved in.
However, the widely-known and widely-experienced issue of immigrant men
harassing and assaulting non-Latina U.S. women and girls is a sub-text
to the fervor that the Lou Dobbs Show expresses, and rallies public
support in regard to. Lou Dobbs has debated this point with Latino
leaders on his show. The Latino community must address the issue
openly and work to end the impact of 'negative' machismo.
14. Until the Latin American immigrant community and our allies
are able to effectively change the ugly reality that many immigrant men
come into the U.S. and harass and sexually assault women and underage
girls with impunity, non-Latino U.S. Americans will continue to organize
to restrict illegal border crossings, and to force even more
undocumented Latino workers out of their jobs and out of the U.S.
The Latin American immigrant community must begin to openly and
effectively denounce the negative aspects of machismo, and its terrible,
violent impact on the lives of women and children.
15. Every time a new draconian measure is taken to restrict the
access of undocumented immigrants to work, social benefits and even
drivers licenses, thousands of women (and even many underage girls who
came here alone and support themselves alone) are thrown over the
edge of the cliff. That is, their tenuous lifeline to
survival in the U.S. is put in danger when they can't get or keep a job
(even with false ID papers), when they can't get welfare benefits so
their children can eat (and I helped write the Washington DC
government’s online benefits web software application - undocumented
persons are not eligible), and when they cannot get a drivers license to
get to a job or drive their children to the hospital... we in the U.S.
are forcing those women and youth into prostitution as the only means of
Therefore, we cannot stop modern human slavery in the U.S. while
simultaneously acting to further oppress undocumented women and children
through the use of punitive immigration controls. The two projects
are very much at cross purposes.
Latina women and girls come to the U.S. for better economic prospects.
Most importantly, they come here to escape what is literally a "gender
hostile living environment" in their countries of origin. As an
indigenous woman told me recently... It is now impossible to live in
Peru as a woman or girl."
especially applaud the pioneering women and children's advocacy work of
Dr. Laura Bozzo,
a human rights lawyer, social services agency director and NBC/Telemundo
international talk show star from Peru. Thanks to "Laura's" prime
time show Laura en America (Laura in the Americas) - women and children
across Latin America and within U.S. immigrant communities now feel
empowered and given permission to break the centuries-old traditions of
a cultural code of silence that has hidden this violence. The days
of silence are GONE!
recognize the need to limit immigration and control crime from persons
who migrate here. While those issues are addressed, the pressing need of
indigenous and other Latin American immigrant women and children (and
men) to find effective refuge from the 'gender hostile living
environments' of their homelands needs to be made a key factor in
policy-making related to these issues.
In addition, U.S. society
will have to confront the reality that government institutions and some
non-Latino U.S. citizens and immigrants (be they white, black or Asian)
routinely take advantage of the oppressed state of Latina immigrant and
indigenous women and girls, subjecting them to anti-immigrant hostility,
a lack of equal protection under the law, and in the case of non-Latino
sexual exploiters and predators, rape with impunity by exploiting slaves
trapped in brothels, and by subjecting quiet, submissive 'little Miss
Latina' to severe sexual harassment and rape on the street.
When the issue of sexual
exploitation is examined in detail, neither Latino immigrant men nor
non-Latino men (nor institutions) in the U.S. can claim to be innocent,
as a group, of the charge of condoning or engaging-in the criminal
sexual exploitation of immigrant women and girls in their communities,
schools and workplaces.
All of us need to keep these factors in mind as the U.S. federal
government engages in an ever-more heated debate on immigration reform
while at the same time focusing increasing attention on providing an
effective response to global human sex trafficking.
Founder and Coordinator
May 30-31, 2005
May 23, 2010
Send us an...
Guatemala, The United States
Esperanza Arreaga, age 62,
lost two small daughters and 14 other family members
when they were murdered by Guatemalan soldiers in the massacre of Las Dos Erres.
Arreaga looks at the
remains of massacre victims uncovered by forensic archeologists.
Photo: Larry Kaplow - GlobalPost
Ramiro Cristales, then age 5, witnessed Guatemalan special forces
soldiers murder his family and rape and murder the 10 and
12-year-old girls from his village of Las Dos Erres, in 1982.
video statement by Ramiro Cristales, and a
collage of photos, by GlobalPost.
Ramiro Cristales, after he was abducted by soldiers who murdered his
U.S. rounds up Guatemalans accused of war crimes
Washington - U.S. federal agents are today closing in on four former Guatemalan soldiers accused of taking part in a 1982 massacre, which one law enforcement official called "the most shocking modern-day war crime American authorities have ever investigated."
One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers
in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas.
Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active
Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part
of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration
violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark
human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws,
the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution
there for war crimes.
For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal
Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in
Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook.
The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted
a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.
That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key
witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man
who raised him.
In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known
survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was
frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he
said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that
"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales,
who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.
One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.
Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.
For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.
That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.
In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.
"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.
The massacre in Las Dos Erres, where a total of 251 men, women and children were killed, is widely considered one of the darkest chapters of Guatemala's 36-year civil war that claimed some 200,000 lives, and in which the U.S. military played a shadowy role.
One month after allegedly raping young girls and women during the massacre, one of the men under investigation, Pedro Pimentel Rios, began work as an instructor at the School of the Americas, the Pentagon-run training school for Latin American militaries, then located in Panama...
Because the alleged crimes occurred before the passage of war crimes laws in the United States, prosecutors are not legally permitted to charge the men under any of those laws. This limitation in U.S. law has long frustrated federal prosecutors, who have only... been able to denaturalize and deport even suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States.
U.S. officials began their investigation after the Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided last year that Guatemala's 1996 amnesty agreement does not apply to serious human rights violations, including the massacre at Las Dos Erres. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice who monitor cases involving foreign-born human rights abusers decided to see if any of the accused killers were living in the United States...
Human rights groups have long criticized the involvement of the American government and military in Guatemala. The Las Dos Erres case reveals several connections between the two countries.
The U.S. government knew the Guatemalan army was probably responsible for the massacre at Las Dos Erres, yet the School of the Americas began to welcome new instructors and students from the army only days after the killings...
In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had introduced a ban on cooperating with the Guatemalan military. But President Ronald Reagan lifted the ban and the School of the Americas began admitting Guatemalan soldiers, including Rios, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre...
Just as the massacres were intensifying, Reagan re-established military and political cooperation with the Guatemalan government. Reagan saw
[Guatemalan president Efrain] Rios Montt as a useful ally against leftist guerrillas and maintained friendly relations in the face of evidence that Rios Montt's government was responsible for increasing numbers of civilian massacres. (In July 1982, Amnesty International published a report listing more than 50 massacres of non-combatant civilians by the military.)
On Dec. 4, 1982, when the massacres in the Guatemalan countryside were fully under way, Reagan met with Rios Montt. Reagan publicly described Rios Montt as "a man of great personal integrity…[who] wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice." Reagan said that Rios Montt had received a "bum rap" from human rights groups.
It was an inauspicious day to make such a show of support. On the same day Reagan spoke, the 17 members of the Kaibiles
[special forced] squad arrived at a military base near Las Dos Erres. On Dec. 7, the massacre started. Over the following two days, the men are alleged to have killed 251 residents of Las Dos Erres. "Everything that moved had to be killed," one of the soldiers later wrote in a sworn statement.
Last month archaeologists began exhuming the mass grave and DNA testing is now underway to confirm the identities of those killed.
"I lost everything"
The Kaibiles (counter-insurgency rangers) tortured the men first. They then began throwing children alive into the village well. Women were shot or beaten to death with a sledgehammer and then thrown in. Men were then shot and dumped on top. One of the Kaibiles abducted a 5-year-old boy
[Ramiro Cristales]. Another boy escaped. They may be the only surviving witnesses...
May 06, 2010
Genocide, Femicide and Human
Trafficking in Guatemala
All Grew From the Same Roots
The mass murders (genocide) of the Mayan majority
population during the 1980s took place through the complicity of the U.S.
Government, especially during the administration of President Ronald Reagan.
Some 200,000 innocent civilians were murdered by government military forces.
While the International Court in the Hague, and other international human rights
courts have aggressively prosecuted perpetrators, or at least charged suspects
in cases of genocidal mass murders in Bosnia, Sudan and other regions, the
largest act of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the modern history of the the
Americas, the Guatemalan Civil War, has, until recently, been off limits to
effective prosecution. We thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for
laying the groundwork for renewed prosecutions in important cases such as that
Las Dos Erres massacre. Many other cases have yet
to be investigated.
In all, some 440 Mayan villages, located mostly in Guatemala's
northwest highland region, were completely destroyed by Guatemalan soldiers who
were supported with military training and equipment by the United States,
Argentina and Israel.
The mass murderers in Guatemala thought that they would have a
lifetime of protection in regard to their crimes, because past conservative U.S.
presidential administrations lead them to believe that they had U.S. support. Thanks to the changing
political and legal landscape in the Americas, serious prosecutions of these
criminals may finally take place.
In the mid 1980s myself and many other activists in Washington,
DC and across the Americas worked hard to publish and broadcast news on the
ongoing massacres. We also protested in front of Congress and organized to the
lives of Guatemalans from the murderous hands of these cruel perpetrators.
Today in 2010, Guatemala has highest rate of femicide murders in
all of the Americas. Several thousand women have been murdered during the past
several years. These crimes, Guatemala's inability to investigate the rape /
torture killings of so many women and girls, and that nation's serious problems
with the sex trafficking of women and girls are all a direct outgrowth of the
impunity that the world community ALLOWED to exist in Guatemala during the
1970s, 80s and 90s.
During the early 2000's, I joined the anti human trafficking
listserv of Dr. Donna Hughes, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson
Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Hughes was one of the original pioneers of the modern U.S. movement against
human trafficking. Her listserv, which as made up of many notable names in the
anti-slavery movement across the globe that many would recognize, totaled about
400 members. Simultaneous to her work with this listserv, Dr. Hughes was also
writing for the conservative National Review Online.
The majority of U.S. listserv participants were conservatives. I
educated that community of professionals and activists about the dynamics of the
Latin American crisis in human trafficking at a time when few were aware of the
issues. As part of that work, I discussed the mass murder of innocent Mayan
indigenous peoples (among others) during the Guatemalan Civil War. I also
discussed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu, who fled into the
jungle to avoid becoming a victim of government massacre. Conservative members
of the listserv became so infuriated with my simple and truthful educational
postings, that several of them quit the listserv. Dr. Hughes told me by phone,
almost apologetically, that she had to ban me from the listserv to prevent her
conservative following from leaving. In an earlier conversation she had
rationalized the human rights abuses in Guatemala by stating that some victims
supported communist insurgency. What Mayans actually supported was building a
future for themselves that was free from the 500 years of peonage (slavery) that
Spanish descendants had subjected them to.
U.S. Conservatives had long supported the efforts of former President
Ronald Reagan to back often brutal right wing dictators in Latin America. Any
mention of the mass murders of Guatemalan innocents, including women and girls,
was considered to be an abomination. In the late 1995, for example,
former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich denounced
then-Democratic Representative Robert G. Torricelli, who was also of
the House Intelligence Committee, for having publicly exposed information, and
who had called for hearing in regard to the human rights atrocities in
Guatemala. In the same time period, Speaker Gingrich demanded that the Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS) not air a documentary on the massacres of Mayan
peoples in Guatemala, and only relented after 'alternative views' were added to
the program. Alternative views?
This truthful account of one part of the history of the Guatemalan Genocide
sheds light on other aspects of the modern U.S. response to the human trafficking
crisis in Latin America.
The U.S. based anti-trafficking movement is a unique social space where
conservatives, liberals and others (and I am 'other') may join in common
purpose. Unfortunately, politics has often been played with the issue of Latin American human
trafficking. Conservatives such as Donna Hughes and her followers shunned any
discussion of the important gender related human rights issues that are closely
associated with the modern human slavery issue in Latin America. The U.S. State
Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office rarely, if ever mentioned Latin
America's trafficking issues during the administration of President George W.
Bush. U.S. neglect of the problem during the administration of President George
W. Bush allowed billion dollar cartels and other criminal elements free reign to
grow their $16 billion per year Latin American human slavery businesses (IOM
figure) without U.S. opposition.
On the other end of the political spectrum, some liberals, including, perhaps,
influential members of the administration
of President Barack Obama, also politicize human trafficking from a leftist
perspective. It does not add to Obama administration strategy to have any highly
visible discussion of human trafficking and the mass rape and enslavement of
women and girls in Mexico and Central America, when such visibility would raise
doubt in Congress, and among the public, as to the value of funding the war on
drug traffickers, when Mexico's soldiers are the culprits in many rapes and
murders of indigenous women, which is closely related to their internal
deployment across Mexico. Those who favor legalization of prostitution also have
a strong influence in the Obama Administration, leading to a diminished focus on
sex trafficking, as opposed to labor trafficking.
By justifying the genocide of Mayan indigenous peoples during the
Guatemalan Civil War (a view that is consistent with excusing the mass murder of
U.S. indigenous peoples), U.S. conservatives, together with their allies in
Guatemala, set-up the circumstances that lead not only to the anti-Mayan
genocide, but also to the largest crisis of ongoing murders of women in the
Americas, the current Guatemalan femicide. A similar conservative-lead
environment of social and governmental tolerance for mass gender atrocities
existing in neighboring Mexico. We assert that the lack of willingness of the
U.S. government and NGOs to fully engage the issue of human trafficking in Latin
America (where half of the world's estimated $32 billion of human trafficking
apparently takes place) during the George W. Bush administration and beyond, has
its roots in conservative unwillingness to acknowledge their past complicity in
support for ruthless dictators such as Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt.
To be clear, U.S. conservatives cannot declare their opposition
to modern day human trafficking and slavery on the one hand, and on the other,
declare that the genocide in Guatemala, or Mexico's current repression of
women's rights (and until recently, inaction on human trafficking) by a
conservative federal government, are justifiable expressions of conservatism.
You just can't have it both ways.
The left, which has often indifferent to the issue of human
trafficking, bears a similar responsibility for condoning inaction... because
human trafficking, is, for some, a round peg that will not fit into the square
holes of their personal ideologies.
Shame on those who politicize human trafficking, be they from the
right or the left!
The victims, and those at-risk, await our effective and hurried
efforts to protect and rescue them.
Public servants, put the politics aside, and get to work! There is no time to waste.
End impunity now!
May 23, 2010
An indigenous woman walks by a street poster of Guatamala's most brutal president, Efrain Rios Montt.
In the words
of a poem by Pablo Neruda:
'For the one who gave the order of agony, I ask for punishment.'
Guatemala: Massacre investigation breakthrough
Recently declassified documents from US archives have shed further light on the extent of US complicity in Guatemalan human rights crimes, one of Latin America’s most brutal examples of population control.
The hard-working farmers of Dos Erres, in Peten department, had never asked for much — just a few acres of recently-cleared land from which to scratch a
meager living in a country racked by violence.
When armed guerrillas cut across their land six months prior to December 7, 1982, community leaders had done everything possible to placate the national army, even inviting the soldiers in for inspections.
They had nothing to hide, they said. But a psychopathic military killing machine had already condemned them to death on the grounds that they were the soil in which the seed of resistance grows.
Acting on orders issued by the US-backed regional command, a death squad of army Kaibiles (counterinsurgency rangers) entered the peaceful hamlet early that morning, smashing in doors, killing livestock, starting fires and rounding up groups of men, women and children.
Hours of rape and torture ensued, followed by execution in small groups. After being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, the victims were hurled into a village well or left in nearby fields.
By nightfall, more than 250 were dead - almost the entire population. There were two child survivors
- one who escaped and one, Ramiro Cristales, who was spared by his parents’ murderer only to be subsequently raised as a domestic slave (reputedly an army custom). Cristales, now aged in his 30s, has recently come forward at considerable risk to his own life as an eyewitness to the horror at Dos Erres.
His testimony to the Guatemalan truth commission has been corroborated by previously classified material obtained by the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the US Freedom of Information Act...
David T. Rowlands
Green Left (Australia)
May 22, 2010
Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos
Washington, D.C. - Following this week's arrest of a former
Guatemalan special forces soldier, the National Security Archive is posting a
set of declassified documents on one of Guatemala's most shocking and unresolved
human rights crimes, the Dos Erres massacre.
On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida,
based on a criminal complaint charging Jordan with lying to U.S. authorities
about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres
massacre. The complaint alleges that Jordan, a naturalized American citizen, was
part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the
massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the
northwest Petén region. Jordan allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his
own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.
The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military's "scorched
earth campaign" and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles
were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture
and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated
through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres
on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and
children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the
afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children.
Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a
well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American
officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just
"disappear," and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an
organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the
The National Security Archive
George Washington University
May 7, 2010
An indigenous woman in Guatemala holds a sign saying,
WANTED: Jose Efrain Rios Montt (the unseen part says, "for genocide") -
during the 2008, 28th anniversary of the
Spanish Embassy Massacre in Guatemala
General José Efraín Ríos Montt is best
known for heading a military dictatorship from 1982–1983 that was
responsible for some of the worst atrocities against civilians in the
36-year Guatemalan civil conflict.
My observations about the only human trafficker I have
...To further tie together these linked issues, I know victims of
that genocide, and I have met a perpetrator, through one of his family members.
This family member talked to me at length about this perpetrator’s activities in
Guatemala. I will refer to him here as ‘Juan.’
Juan’s grandfather owned a large ranch in Guatemala, and when he
was feeling especially angry, he would go to the Mayan village at the far-end of
his ranch and "shoot a few Indians" (a direct quote). During the time of the
1970s-1980s Guatemalan Civil War, Juan was a member of the Guatemalan
president's security detail, the Presidential Guard. This security unit had a
secondary task, aside from protection, of receiving a daily hit list from the
president’s palace, finding these persons and murdering them for being suspected
The bodies of the victims were typically left laying in the
street as a message to the population. Juan stated to his family: "Me daba mucha
lastima tener que malograr a las mujeres" - that is: "it really saddened me to
have to tear-up the women [on the hit list]." In other words, he supposedly felt
sad for having willfully kidnapped, tortured, gang-raped and finally murdered
his mostly Mayan women and girl victims over a number of years...
During the mid 1990s, before I even knew what sex trafficking
was, Juan’s family member explained to me that Juan was engaged in smuggling
people into the United States under peculiar circumstances, and had ties to
Colombian mafias. Today, I understand that what was being explained to me was
the fact that Juan, a former mass rapist and murderer of women, had 'graduated'
to sex trafficking women into the U.S. while living a comfortable and otherwise
'normal' life in Washington, DC.
It was also explained to me that Juan would travel to Guatemala City, place an
add in a local paper seeking young girls to work as escorts, and that 13 and
14-year-old girls gleefully responded. Juan then 'trained' these girls as
prostitutes, and sent them out as escorts for wealthy businessmen.
In Washington, DC, Juan, when working in the role of office building cleaning
crew manager, imposed quid-pro-quo sexual demands upon the Latina women who
applied to work at his office building.
The world's past denial of the Guatemalan Genocide plays into the world's
current lack of attention to ongoing femicide, mass kidnappings of babies for
illegal adoptions and prostitution, and the mass trafficking of Guatemalan women
into the brothels of southern Mexico...
Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry
June 18, 2008
Mayan women and supporters gather to
protest a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango,
Guatemala - 1978
Photo: El Gráfico
In the early 1980's I lived in a house in Washington, DC where a couple who had
fled Guatemala were invited to stay. The husband was an agronomist from Spain.
His wife was a white U.S. citizen from the Midwest. They told me how they were
saved from a death squad execution in Guatemala. A Guatemalan woman told the
couple that her boyfriend, a high-ranking Guatemalan military officer, has told
her one night while he was drunk that the couple had been put on the
to-be-murdered list that was printed nightly in the presidential palace (using a
computer system set up by the Israeli military). Having been warned by their
friend, the couple and their young child immediately fled Guatemala. What was
their crime? The husband taught rural Mayan communities how to grow food better
and improve their nutrition. For the Guatemalan military, anything that
benefited the Mayan population was subversive, and deserved a murderous
response. Any arguments that the Mayan majority was subversive fly out the
window when one understands that the goal of the genocide was ethnic cleansing,
pure and simple.
May 23, 2010
Israel and Guatemala
The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala roughly parallels that of its
ties with El Salvador except the Guatemalan military was so unswervingly bloody
that Congress never permitted the ... Reagan Administration to undo the military
aid cutoff implemented during the Carter years.
Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel has
delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign of
terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors perpetrated
by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: to ensure that the
profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its agents worked actively to
maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala.
Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 45,000 dead,
and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile - mostly indigenous Mayan
Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight million people - and
thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the Guatemalan military. Three
successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against
the Mayan population, described by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide
against the Indians," had the benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as
well as hardware...
...It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. and
Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala.
May 26, 2009
More about Former Guatemalan president Efrain Ríos Montt
In 1978, [Efrain Ríos Montt] left the Roman Catholic Church and became a
minister in the California-based evangelical/pentecostal Church of the Word;
since then Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have been personal friends [both
Falwell and Robertson defended Ríos Montt's human rights abuses]. Ríos Montt's
brother Mario is a Catholic bishop, and in 1998 succeeded the assassinated
Bishop Juan Gerardi as head of the human rights commission uncovering the truth
of the disappearances associated with the military and his brother.
About Efrain Ris Montt
Bill Clinton during his presidency
Clinton says U.S. did
wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999
Clinton admitted Wednesday to Guatemalans that U.S. support for
"widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a
"For the United States, it is important
that I state clearly that the support for military forces or
intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread
repression ... was wrong," Clinton said as he began a round-table
discussion on Guatemala's search for peace.
"The United States must not repeat that
mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace
and reconciliation process in Guatemala," he said on the third day
of a Central American tour.
March 10, 1999
Read our special section of the crisis of sexual
exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.
These workers from the
Adulam shelter were arrested for forcing children and elderly
clients into labor slavery, while also subjecting some of the
victims to rape.
Photo: Mexico City Prosecutor's Office
Desmantelan redes de trata de personas en México
Una red de explotación laboral camuflada en un hogar social, que abusaba de menores de edad, y otra de prostitución que simulaba ser un salón "spa" fueron desarticuladas por la policía, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de Justicia de la capital mexicana.
El 13 de mayo la Fiscalía capitalina comenzó un operativo que se saldó este lunes con cinco detenciones y con la liberación de 37 personas, entre ellas 27 menores, a las que supuestamente se explotaba laboral y sexualmente en la casa de asistencia a indigentes "Adulam", ubicada en el oeste de la ciudad.
Asimismo, el pasado martes fueron capturados Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, presuntos responsables de la red de prostitución que se ocultaba en una casa de masajes antiestrés en el sur de la capital, donde se engañó y obligó a vender su cuerpo a varias jóvenes mediante amenazas y extorsiones.
En marzo, cuatro de los huéspedes de "Adulam" denunciaron que eran obligados a comerciar con distintos productos en la calle, sin obtener remuneración, y a entregar entre 700 y 800 pesos diarios (entre cincuenta y sesenta dólares) ya que, si no lo hacían, se les negaba el alimento.
Una menor de dieciséis años denunció también que Emilio Moctezuma, director de "Adulam" y uno de los detenidos, la violó mientras una de las asistentes de éste la sujetaba.
Todas las víctimas eran amenazadas constantemente con ser trasladadas a otras casas fuera del Distrito Federal y a un lugar llamado Isla Veracruz, donde la hermana de esta última chica fue enviada para ejercer la prostitución.
Además, una mujer declaró que desconoce el paradero de su hija desde que le fue arrebatada recién nacida y enviada a un hogar de asistencia en el vecino estado de México, y otra -también menor de edad-, aseguró que le practicaron un aborto sin su consentimiento.
Human trafficking networks are dismantled in Mexico City
The Mexico City Prosecutor's Office has announced that establishments dedicated
to human exploitation have been taken down. One location, which operated as a
shelter for children and the elderly. The other passed itself off as a massage
parlor, but was actually a house of prostitution.
On May 13, 2010 the city prosecutor's office commenced an operation that
concluded with 5 arrests and the liberation from slavery of 27 children and 10
adults, who were subjected to labor and sexual exploitation in the Casa Adulam
shelter, located on the west side of Mexico City.
At the same time, the authorities arrested
Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, who are alleged to have run
a prostitution network out of a massage parlor. A number of youth were entrapped
and forced to sell their bodies in prostitution while facing threats and
In March of 2010, four residents of Casa Adulam denounced to police that they
were forced to sell between 700 and 800 pesos of various products on the streets
of Mexico City. On days when the victims failed to meet their quota, they were
A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam
Emilio Moctezuma, and a male resident of the shelter, while one of the women
shelter workers held her down.
All of the victims were constantly threatened with being taken to other shelters
outside of Mexico City.
One of these locations was called Veracruz Island. The sister of the
above-mentioned rape victim had earlier been taken to that location and forced
to engage in prostitution. Another victim, a woman, told police that her newborn
child was kidnapped from her by shelter employees and taken to another shelter
in the neighboring state of Mexico. An underage girl victim reported that she
was forced to have an abortion without her consent.
May 21, 2010
Perspective on this case from the Breaking Chains Ministry
The article [above] highlights a very important action that is just the beginning of what is going to be massive fruit from the last trip I took...
There were 5 arrests and at least 10 more coming from this operation including the scum who rob these children from their homes and families.
They used physical... as well as mental abuse and threats to force these children to serve as
prostitutes. The big one is still coming but this is VERY GOOD....the government of
Mexico is working to stop this evil and that is God!!! This is just the beginning...there are 6 operations live right now so please
continue to pray for Jesus justice...
May 21, 2010
Rescatan a 37... esclavizados de casa de asistencia
Sin embargo, los inculpados refirieron que por su labor habían sido recibidos por el presidente Felipe Calderón y en la Embajada de Estados Unidos.
De acuerdo con la dependencia policiaca, los detenidos explotaban a niños y adultos, a quienes obligaban a vender diversos productos en la calle sin recibir ningún pago.
Incluso, se informó que la cuota diaria que les exigían era de 800 pesos. En el operativo, se liberaron a 37 niños y... personas de la tercera edad.
Las víctimas dijeron a la policía que fueron violadas, otras que las obligaban a entregar a sus hijos recién nacidos, e incluso una dijo que fue presionaba para que abortara.
RECHAZO. Durante su presentación ante los medios de comunicación, los inculpados denunciaron una presunta fabricación de culpables por parte del Ministerio Público.
Y se dijeron dispuestos a someterse a cualquier tipo de investigación y análisis, “pero de autoridades que sean imparciales”.
Agregaron que el Albergue Casa Adulam goza de una trayectoria reconocida por varias organizaciones sociales, incluso por las propias autoridades federales.
Es de mencionar que los cinco detenidos cumplirán un arraigo de 30 días.
Thirty seven are rescued from shelter
This story repeats the story of the arrests in the Casa Adulam case. It adds
that Casa Adulam was previously praised for its work by the Calderon
administration, and they had been received at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
May 21, 2010
Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and
investigated since 2007. - LL
Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino,
(right) appointed in 2009 as Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking
for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City
on April 14, 2010
A... Moment With Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino... talks at length about her activism.
Mirror: Could you talk about your work as a human rights activist?
Sorvino: I was Amnesty International's campaign spokesperson to “Stop Violence Against Women” for over two years and on the subject of trafficking, I am Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ((UNODC).
Mirrror: What’s been your experience?
Sorvino: I just came back from Mexico for the kick-off the U.N.’s worldwide campaign to combat trafficking. The goal is to raise awareness and to get countries to commit to fighting this trafficking within their borders.**
Mirror: Can you talk about that trip?
Sorvino: It was a fascinating trip and I did a lot of public speaking. It’s a country where not much is known about trafficking
[?-LL], so I felt like I was able to be informative. The most important thing for me, by far, was going to go to a shelter for recently liberated girls, and I mean girls. I’ve met trafficking victims before, but they were all past 30. These were teenagers and children. I met a little girl who was eight years old who had been sold into a brothel when she was four. She was walking around with a big smile on her face showing everyone her arithmetic homework. When I saw her I thought ‘Oh God, please tell me she’s the daughter of someone here.’ She was a victim, just like all the other girls, but we should call them survivors. I felt like I wanted to adopt her, but I can’t adopt everyone who is needy. I just wanted to save her and protect her for the rest of her life so she would never undergo anything like what had happened to her. There is only one shelter in Mexico for girls like this and I got to meet thirty lucky survivors, but
there are hundreds of thousands of girls exactly like them all over Mexico...
Mirror: How many cases are prosecuted in the U.S.?
Sorvino: We have only a 1 percent solve rate and have about same number of trafficking cases as murder cases. Can you imagine if we only solved 1 percent of the murder cases? So it means that we have intensify our efforts and raise public awareness, train the police, get the judiciary to be very well informed, and encourage everyone to become a watcher. It’s very subterranean and hard to find, but it’s always concerned citizens who call in with tips that break cases...
Mirror: Why are men attracted to these little girls?
Sorvino: The sexual drive in men is so strong that unless they are educated correctly throughout their formative years, once they are focused on a certain kind of sex object that they find stimulating, that’s going to continue to be stimulating for them. Every culture has always put a prize on virginity and youthful beauty so a child who hasn’t been “spoiled” by other people will always be more ideal to the “John” who wants to have something special. But, men need to be educated to the terrible sorrow that behavior is creating because many times the buyer of commercial sex is not really thinking about the individual, but just view it as a service. I think if you did sensitivity training for males worldwide, you might be able to discourage them from buying sex.
Mirror: We applaud you for doing this important work.
Sorvino: Thank you so much...
The Santa Monica Mirror
Edition 50 - May 20-26, 2010
Escala violencia hacia las mujeres en campamentos de Haití
Preparan abogadas estrategia legal para abordar problemática
Una delegación de abogadas y activistas de Estados Unidos constató en Haití, la alarmante violencia que persiste contra las mujeres en esa nación, y la escalada de otras formas de agresión en los asentamientos provisionales.
Ante la afirmación de algunas fuentes oficiales que responsabilizan a las víctimas de la escalda, “es importante contrarrestar este mito de que es por la promiscuidad, son crímenes violentos por extraños en la noche y ameritan la atención de la policía y otros grupos que ayudan a organizar los campamentos” dijo la coordinación de la delegación y abogado del Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Blaine Bookey.
Los testimonios de mujeres niñas dan cuenta de que son crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y asaltantes que las golpean y las amenaza si denuncian las violaciones. Las mujeres entrevistadas también sostienen que cuando reportan, la policía no las toma en serio.
“Es inaceptable que estas violaciones no sean castigadas, ahora estamos trabajando casos legales contra los violadores y para que las mujeres tengan la justicia que se merecen” dijo Mario Joseph, abogado del Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) que recibió la delegación en su oficina de Puerto Príncipe...
María Suárez Toro
RIF / CIMAC Women's News Agency
May 21, 2010
U.S. Delegation Finds Inadequate Response, and “Victim-Blaming” Approach to Rapes in Haitian Displacement Camps
Lawyers collect rape survivor accounts and plan legal strategy
Port-au-Prince - In over a week of on-site interviews and exploration, a delegation of U.S. lawyers, health professionals, and community activists found continued alarming rates of rape and other gender-based violence (GBV) in the displaced persons camps throughout Port-au-Prince since the Haitian earthquake in January. Expressed sentiments on the part of some Haitian government officials that victims are somehow to blame for the rapes is outrageous to human rights attorneys and community members, who find that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis. Medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults.
"It is critical that we dispel the myth that these rapes are a result of promiscuity," said Blaine Bookey, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and coordinator of the delegation. "These are violent crimes being perpetrated by strangers in the dark of night and they merit the attention of the police and other groups helping organize the camps."
The vast majority of the women and girls reported being raped by groups of armed, unknown assailants who often beat them in the course of the attack, and threatened them with further violence if they reported the rape. Perpetrators often attack at night, when women are asleep beside their children; or when they go to the latrines, men wait for them in the dark stalls. "It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished," said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which hosted the delegation at its office in Port-au-Prince. "We are now building strong legal cases to hold rapists accountable and bring these women the justice they deserve."
Women who report rapes to the police describe being turned away, not taken seriously, or told to notify the police if they see the rapists again. "Pa tap vini" or "They never would have come," described one woman as to why she did not report her rape. These experiences foster the perception that reporting to the police is futile, especially if the survivor cannot identify her assailants. "If we are going to overcome a culture of complete impunity for rapists, we must create environments in which survivors are able to report these crimes and be taken seriously" said Lisa Davis, an attorney with MADRE. "Haiti's political and economic crises both before and as a result of the earthquake still do not relieve the authorities of the responsibility to protect women from sexual assault," said Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law...
The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)
May 17, 2010
Note: The above-described conditions of impunity facing women and
girls in Haiti are also the daily 'normal' experiences of many women and girls
across all nations in Latin America.
Oregon, USA / Mexico
The Salvation Army's
Christine MacMillan speaks at the recent Oregon anti-trafficking rally
Battling human trafficking
Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Committee for the Salvation Army, speaks last Friday at a rally put on by the student group, Slavery Still Exists. MacMillan spoke about the causes and effects of human trafficking.
Slavery Still Exists, an ASUO (Associated
Students of the University
of Oregon) student group, kicked off its human trafficking and advocacy awareness campaign with a rally Friday.
Kristin Rudolph, co-president of the club, said the rally’s purpose was to make students aware of a growing, worldwide injustice.
Community members gathered in the EMU amphitheater at noon to listen to the featured speaker, Christine MacMillan,
talk about her personal experiences with human trafficking as the director of
the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. The International
Social Justice Commission has worked to fight global human rights violations,
such as human trafficking, since its inception in 2007...
Rally attendees expressed surprise at learning the prevalence and proximity of human trafficking locally.
“I really didn’t know that this was such a big issue where I live,” University sophomore Apolinar Montero-Sanchez said. “I’m glad that people are getting aware of this stuff, because it’s a big problem.”
MacMillan shared several stories of human trafficking during the rally. For example, she explained that while sex trafficking is well-known, there are other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking human organs. While visiting Mexico City, MacMillan discovered how unmarked ambulances pick up homeless children, strap the children onto gurneys, bring them to the hospital and drug them with anesthetics in order to traffic their organs. After removing organs, such as kidneys, the traffickers leave most of the children for dead.
Because the majority of the world is not informed about the topic, it continues to go on unbeknownst to many, according to MacMillan. She described human trafficking as “a very hidden problem in our world.”
She urged rally attendees to gain more knowledge about human trafficking and join the fight to end this problem...
Oregon Daily Emerald
May 17, 2010
Police Add Patrols After Man Grabs Girl
Annapolis police are adding patrols near school bus stops and around Bates Middle School after a pair of suspicious incidents involving a man approaching children.
ABC7's Brad Bell spotted some anxious parents waiting while their children got off school buses Friday afternoon.
"It has been the talk in this neighborhood the last couple days," said Joe Hall, a parent. "There's a lot of concerned parents."
So far there have been two reported incidents. On Wednesday, May 5, a man in a car approached a 13-year-old girl and, in Spanish, made suggestive remarks. The man then tried to lure her into his car, police said.
On Tuesday, May 18, a man matching the description from the first encounter made lewd comments and then actually grabbed a 13-year-old girl by her arm in a neighborhood a couple miles from where the first incident took place. The girl was able to break away, but police fear he may strike again
"The reason we're on patrol in the school bus areas and the walkways is to make sure something like that doesn't happen," said Ray Weaver, an Annapolis police spokesman.
Parents and neighbors appreciate the increased police presence and say they, too, are now on the look-out.
"Well, of course it concerns me to know there is a predator out there that's trying to victimize children," said Nancy Fields, an Annapolis resident.
"Me personally, since I have kids, I don't think he should be on the street," Hall said.
Police described the man as Hispanic. One victim said the man was 30-35 years old, average height, with black thinning hair. The other victim described him as six feet, one-inch tall, with a slim build. He wore a black baseball cap with the letters "NY" on the front, a blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt with white stripes and blue jeans.
The suspect's vehicle was described as a small, dark blue Honda and as a blue sedan with dark-tinted windows.
May 21, 2010
William Velasquez Castillo
Illegal immigrant arrested on child molestation charge
Pascagoula - An illegal immigrant sought for nearly a month and a half was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'm hiding from the cops" when he was arrested Wednesday on child molestation charges, and tried to wear the shirt inside out Thursday when he went before a Jackson County judge.
A guard removed William Velasquez Castillo from the courtroom, and the 27-year-old returned with his shirt on the proper way.
The guard said that Castillo must have switched his shirt around at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center before he was brought to the courthouse.
Castillo was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.
Investigators had been searching for Castillo since April 3, when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said.
A warrant was issued for Castillo on April 23, and detectives believe he fled the area shortly after learning he was wanted, Byrd said.
Castillo was discovered by authorities at the Dorsett Hotel on Main Street in Lucedale.
Castillo told County Judge Larry Wilson that he was unemployed and had a previous felony shoplifting conviction.
"I served 1 year and 1 day," Castillo said. "It was from Harrison County."
Wilson said bail for Castillo at $50,000 and placed a hold on him for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.
"ICE has their own investigation," Byrd said.
May 21, 2010
Jose Juan Martinez
Gilbert man accused of molesting girl for 4 years
Gilbert police officers arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl for four years.
Police were called to a home near Neely Street and Elliot Road Monday evening. The victim's mother told officers that her daughter said Jose Juan Martinez had molested her.
The girl told investigators that Martinez had molested her over the past four years and the most recent time was Friday.
Martinez was booked into jail on suspicion of 39 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and one count of molestation of a child.
May 19, 2010
Midland Police Searching for Suspect Who Tried to Kidnap Teenage Girl
Midland Police need your help tracking a down a man they say tried to kidnap a teenaged girl in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.
It happened between 5:00 and 5:30 near the Family Dollar in the Kingsway Shopping Center on West Illinois.
Police tell NewsWest 9, the girl was walking home when a Hispanic man pulled up next to her, blocked her, then tried to talk her in to getting in his car.
The teen was able to get away.
Police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20's to late 30's, about 5'9," and heavy set weighing between 250 - 300 pounds.
He has moles or acne on his face and was wearing a white T-shirt.
He was driving a dented two door silver car.
If you have any information, call Midland police or midland crime stoppers at 694-TIPS.
May 21, 2010
New York, USA
Thug bashes Chinese woman with pipe, assaults her in Queens: cops
A 23-year-old woman is on life-support in a Queens hospital after a weekend attack by a pipe-wielding rapist two months after she arrived in New York from China, cops said.
Officials are working desperately to get a visa for the woman's mother, who lives outside Beijing, so she can come to Queens to face the awful task of deciding her daughter's fate.
The young woman was returning from grocery shopping in downtown Flushing around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a drunken Queens man smashed her in the head with a pipe and dragged her into an alley, authorities said.
Once inside the alley along 41st Road, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe, according to court papers.
Two months ago, the young woman, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, traveled from her native China on a student visa. She moved in with a distant uncle in Flushing.
"She was working in a nail salon, saving up money. She was going to start attending school," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). "She had good grades in China. That's why her parents wanted her to come and expand her horizons."
Now, the woman who once dreamed of a better future is in the intensive care unit at New York Hospital Queens. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to her vaginal area.
Meng said she and Rep. Gary Ackerman (R-Bayside) are working to expedite a visa for the woman's mother. Cops collared Cruz a few blocks from the crime scene after a witness, who saw him drag the woman into the alley and then emerge alone - called 911. Police later recovered the pipe about a block from the alley.
Cruz, who did not have a criminal record, emigrated from Mexico two years ago and found work at a Manhattan fish market.
He was arraigned late Tuesday on a slew of charges, including a top count of attempted murder. Prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges if the woman is removed from life-support.
Cruz's family said he claims he blacked out drunk and doesn't remember the incident.
"He woke up and found himself cuffed to the hospital bed," said his stunned sister, Patricia Salazar, 26. "He never acted violently....We just don't know why he would do this. We can't explain it."
The New York Daily News
May 20, 2010
Illegal alien charged with murder
Barstow - A 31-year-old illegal alien who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old woman has now been charged with murder.
Melissa Curley of Arizona died of strangulation with asphyxiation, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Wednesday.
Police arrested Cesar Rascon in Yermo Saturday afternoon and charged him with rape and kidnapping for the purposes of rape. Now Barstow police are charging him with murder.
Curley’s body was found at the Sunset Inn motel at 860 West Main Street after police received a 911 call at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Detectives learned that Curley was staying at the motel, but wasn’t registered for the room her body was found in. The room was registered to Rascon.
Police found Rascon working at a Yermo gas station at 4:57 p.m. Saturday and arrested him.
V V Daily Press
May 20, 2010
Rape suspect deported 4 times
Edmonds - The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.
An officer responding to a woman's cry for help Sunday night found 46-year-old Jose Madrigal on top of the woman and arrested him.
According to court documents, the woman told police that Madrigal had followed her and offered her $35 for sex, but she said no. She said Madrigal then forced her into the bushes on the north side of the store and raped her.
Documents say Madrigal told police "Sometimes we have control in our brains, but we make mistakes."
The 28-year-old Edmonds woman was treated at a hospital.
Snohomish County prosecutors have charged Madrigal in district court with second degree rape. He is also is being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The Associated Press
May 19, 2010
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010
May 19, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Willcox, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as other sex offenses in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
May 16, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender who had been previously removed from the United States.
May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for driving under the influence and willful cruelty to a child by means of sexual penetration with a foreign object in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 14, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Columbus, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject… was a registered sex offender in the state of Arizona. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault in the state of Illinois and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child/sexual contact in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Wyoming and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for child molestation in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.
U.S. Border Patrol
May 19, 2010
Perez gets jail time
Judge cites official abuses
Former North Wasco County schools liaison Carlos Perez was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail and five years probation for making sexual advances to a 41-year-old Hispanic woman who had sought his help in receiving basic community services and Spanish-English translation aid.
Although he cut the jail time in half from the 90 days requested by Wasco County Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly said he was compelled to order some incarceration because Perez, a public official with many community and family connections, took advantage of and preyed on a low-income woman who speaks no English and who is an illegal alien.
“The offensive part of this has less to do with your laying hands on this woman than on your abuse of power,” Kelly told Perez before about 35 people at the Wasco County Courthouse in The Dalles. “You have status and respect in the community – you have power, and she has none.”
Kelly also ordered Perez to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with the victim or to come within 500 feet of her home. Perez, who was a family liaison and coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Educational Service District, is also barred from visiting any North Wasco County schools and from participating in any migrant services programs.
In addition, Perez will have to pay up to $3,000 into a state victims’ restitution fund to cover counseling sessions for the woman. He is also being let go from his job as a translator for Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Kelly said.
Perez maintained at Thursday’s proceeding that he was innocent, that the sentence was unfair and alleged it was the result of racial bias...
Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said he thought the sentence was “appropriate,” and that there was “no evidence at all that this was based on his race,” Nisley said.
“The point is that a jury believed a Hispanic woman over a Hispanic man,” Nisley said. “It isn’t about Mr. Perez’s race.”
The Dalles Chroncicle
May 21, 2010
North Carolina, USA
surveillance photo of suspect
Suspect sought in string of sex assaults at stores
Charlotte - Police are still looking for a man they believe is behind several sexual assaults inside stores.
They have stepped up patrols at shopping centers in Southeast and Union County after they say at least five fondling incidents in three stores might be connected.
They say that they believe one man is responsible for the sexual assaults: two that happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday, one at a Harris Teeter grocery store on Saturday of last week and two more at another Harris Teeter, this time in Union County, sometime in between.
WBTV talked to Dan Biber, a forensic psychologist who gave us insight as to what drives a person to sexual violence.
"Let's call it adrenaline," he said. "He gets a rush. Part of the rush is not just the sexual rush of groping women, but also the rush of doing it in public when there's a high risk of detection that he successfully avoids."
That is frightening to shoppers like Tracy Brown who said, "that's even more frightening to know that someone is getting a rush from assaulting people because ultimately, that's what you're doing."
Another reason? Biber told us the man could be rationalizing his actions by downplaying the severity of the assaults.
"He might in his own mind, think this is no big deal," he said. "He might just think, well, rape would be bad but this doesn't count."
According to CMPD officers, the girl was in the grocery store at 11516 Providence Road at approximately 12:15 p.m. when a man came up and forcefully fondled her from behind.
Police say two more women reported being groped at a Harris Teeter in Union County. They say, before Union Co. deputies arrived, two employees escorted the suspect off the property because the victims didn't want to press charges.
The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon when two women told police they were forcibly fondled at a Wal-Mart store on Highway 51.
The incident happened around 2:24 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 3209 Pineville-Matthews Road. Investigators say the two victims, who are 55 and 47 years old, actually tried to restrain the man--but he was able to get away.
On Thursday morning, police released in-store photos of the suspect from two incidents at the Harris Teeters. The photos were taken on May 15 between 12:15 and 12:20 pm at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road.
Police are looking for a Hispanic man who is about 25 years old, and is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.
Although the incidents happened inside the stores, police say the man drives a white van with ladders on it...
May 19, 2010
New Jersey, USA
Authorities say evidence backs charges against Newark pastor in Linden sex assault case
Newark - At the Newark church where his congregants dress all in white, he was known as a husband, father and respected pastor for more than 20 years.
But, authorities said, Moises Cotto, the 55-year-old pastor, had been meeting for the past two years with a female congregant at a motel in Linden where the pair had sex — and forced two teenage girls to videotape them in the act.
Cotto was arrested at his apartment in East Orange on Monday night, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
His parishioner, Brenda Pabon, 37, of Middlesex County, has been charged with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a minor.
But Wednesday, the assistant pastor of the Newark church, Yahweh Templo El Candelero, said he is convinced Cotto is innocent. He called Pabon a "problematic parishioner," saying she had recently threatened the pastor and vowed to leave his congregation along with her husband.
"I do think that an injustice is being done, based on my friendship with the minister," said Assistant Pastor A. Diaz. "There’s no truth to the allegations. He’s been an upstanding pastor for more than 20 years."
The church carefully screens pastors, Diaz said, and holds them to "high standards."
Prosecutors say they have significant physical evidence that corroborates the victims’ allegations...
May 20, 2010
de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas
Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas
que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron
embarazadas producto de violación,
frecuentemente por incesto.
Estos datos brindados por la Organización
Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados
en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión
Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente
a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las
causas y los efectos de esta realidad.
La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP),
coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que
si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal,
no será posible realizar un real cambio de los
problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en
el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal
idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos
para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el
tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la
lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las
sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú
y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un
violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse
con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la
comisión estudia la legislación comparada de
otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la
nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia
Ninety percent of young
adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape
[We note that the
definition of 'rape' used in this Peruvian news
article refers to forcible rape, and not
statutory rape as that crime is defined in the
United States. -
Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant
between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant
due to rape, often in situations of incest.
These statistics, provided by the Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed
in the Congress of the Republic by the Special
Commission to Revise the Law of Protection
Against Family Violence. Their goal is to
understand the causes and effects of this
Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido
Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who
is the coordinator of the commission, said that
without [congressional] funding, it would be
impossible to bring about real changes in the
problem of family violence that exists in the
country. She added that the lack of qualified
personnel, specialized judges and resources for
training teachers to develop relevant content
for students all hinder the fight against
In regard to punishing rapists, the commission
is examining the laws of others nations.
Commission members note that under the penal
codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to
mention Mexico and other Latin American
nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age
12] can go free if he proposes to marry his
victim and she consents.
For Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela Ramos
Movement, these statistics demonstrate that work
should begin immediately on this issue,
especially in school and family settings, so
that victims know what to do if they are raped.
According to PAHO's study, 33% of women between
16 and 49 have been victims of sexual
harassment, and at least 45% have been
threatened, insulted or have had their personal
Diario la Primera
May 19, 2010
Young adolescent mothers
learn to love and care for their children at the
Chuka Chuka center.
In Peru it is not
uncommon for women to raise 5 or more children.,
each with a different biological father. What is
also common is for the mother’s latest companion
to rape the eldest daughters, often resulting in
One expects a
reaction from the mother, but not the sort of
reaction that is so evident here in Peru. As a
result of the rape the mother feels shamed and
jealous and abandons her own daughter who is
often without the comfort of additional family
members for support and understanding.
pregnant, adolescent rape victims
(‘adolescents’), often only thirteen or fourteen
years old face a dull future. They are without
money; support; homes and job prospects. Most
worrying of all, they are carrying an unborn
baby, who will enter a world where education
will not be available to them and their options
for a self-sustainable life non-existent.
It is not uncommon
for such desperate girls to drift into the sex
trade and drugs; further blighting their lives
and potential to contribute to society
Our mission: To
save as many of these girls and their unborn
children as we can, to prepare them for and
steer them into a richer more productive life
than they could have known without this project.
Adolescent prostitution in
Video news report from Peru showing underage
prostitution in the capital city of Lima. Young
sex workers are shown sniffing glue, caring for
their toddlers in the prostitution zone late at
night, and negotiating with johns for the going
price of 20 Soles (US$7.00).
Posted on YouTube
Slain Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson
Businessman sentenced for harboring illegal alien cop-killer
A Houston, Texas landscaping business owner was sentenced to three months in prison and three months home confinement for harboring the illegal alien who molested a child and ultimately killed a Houston police officer in 2006, according to a report obtained yesterday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Houston Police Department.
Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, and now a convicted felon, was also sentenced to a five-year probationary term with special conditions by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore. Camp pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, admitting that he knowingly harbored Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez (Quintero), an illegal alien, by employing him and leasing a residence to him.
According to court documents, Camp employed Quintero in his landscape business. When Quintero was arrested and charged by the State of Texas with indecency with a child in 1998, Camp bonded Quintero out of jail and continued to employ him. Quintero was sentenced to a term of deferred adjudication for the state offense.
Quintero was deported in 1999, but illegally reentered the United States in Arizona, then flew to Houston. When Quintero returned to Houston, he resumed his employment with Camp. Camp also rented Quintero a home and listed Quintero's wife, a U.S. citizen, in government records as an employee instead of Quintero.
On Sept. 22, 2006, Quintero was arrested while driving a Camp company vehicle by Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson. While sitting in the back seat of Officer Johnson's patrol car, Quintero retrieved a pistol hidden on his person, and shot and killed Officer Johnson. Quintero was convicted of capital murder in the 248th District Court of Harris County, Texas, and has been sentenced to life in prison.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police
May 12, 2010
Issues that may not
(but should) be discussed during
Mexican President Felipe Calderón's May
19-20, 2010 visit
to Washington, DC
The May 19-20, 2010 visit of Mexico's
President Felipe Calderón
to the White House is being closely watched
in regard to how the U.S. will react to
speech before Congress. We know that the war
against drug cartels and immigration are top
on the agenda.
The issue of mass gender atrocities facilitated by state corruption,
complacency and criminal impunity are also critical issues in U.S. /
Mexican relations. While these topics are rarely discussed in the
mainstream English-language press, holding Mexico's federal
government accountable for defending the lives, integrity and
dignity of women and girls is just as important as addressing the
drug war and immigration. In fact, we believe that the U.S. press
needs to step up to the plate and ask both President Calderón
and President Obama about their commitment to saving women and girls
from mass kidnapping, mass rape and wholesale enslavement, which are
crimes that impact tens of thousands of women and children each year
in the Aztec Nation.
took a major positive step on April 14, 2010 by launching the
world's first nationally sponsored instance of the United Nations
Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Yet a day later,
Calderón's diplomats derided, in front of
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the rape complaint of
Fernández Ortega, who had been
gang raped by soldiers in 2002, with no effective response from the
Mexican civilian and military criminal justice systems.
We repeat here below our list of some of the most critical gender
rights issues that are not being addressed by the Calderón
During the past several years
has dedicated its efforts to bringing world
attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and
enslavement of women, children and men that
occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico.
According to the Southern
Cone (southern South American) office of the
United Nations-affiliated International
Organization for Migration (IOM), an
estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in
annual profits created by the human slavery
industry globally are generated in Latin
America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal
marketplace for worldwide slavery victims
has never been responded to by the
engagement of 50% of the global
anti-trafficking movement's energy,
resources or focus.
That lack of attention,
together with the willingness of past U.S.
administrations to effectively ignore Latin
America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a
drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow
exponentially in the region while the world
effectively looked the other way in apathy.
Mexico is home base for the
largest problems in Latin American human
We have decided to focus on
the crisis in Mexico because solving that
one single national emergency will have the
most positive impact on the entire regional
In the United States, 60% of
U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American.
Most of them have been trafficked across the
Mexican border into the U.S.
of Mexico (and especially its poor and
vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer
immensely from modern slavery. In addition,
Central American migrants are kidnapped,
raped and trafficked by the many thousands
as they cross Mexico. Some are also
Southern Mexico's narrow
border with Guatemala and Belize is the one
'bottleneck' where literally millions of
South and Central American migrants who seek
to travel to the United States must cross
into Mexico. Human traffickers and also
rapist thugs and robbers await these
innocent migrants like trolls under a
bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600
women and girls among these migrants every
single day of the year with complete
impunity on the Mexican side of its southern
border, with no discernable response from
Mexican officials and authorities. In fact,
police and military forces have harassed
migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of
these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a
6 month period, according to a study by
Mexico's National Human Rights Commission).
A number of those victims are sold into
slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels
in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.
The NGO Save the Children has
described the southern border of Mexico as
being the largest region in the entire world
for the commercial sexual exploitation of
children. The city of Tapachula, for
example, has 20,000 persons engaging in
prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels.
Half of that number are children and
underage youth at any given time. Local
police don't interfere with this 'business,'
they focus on keeping child prostitutes away
from schools and upscale residential
Across Mexico, women, and
especially those from Mexico's traditionally
discriminated against Indigenous peoples,
who are 30% of the population, are also
raped with impunity. The perpetrators are
not only criminal thugs, but also military
soldiers engaged in the drug war. President
Calderón has steadfastly denied that any
problem exists with military rapes of
civilians, and he has refused to allow
accused soldiers to be tried in civilian
On April 15, 2010, one day
after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign,
President Calderón sent his federal lawyers
to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
to fight against
an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by
soldiers in her home in 2002. The government
lawyers denied that any rape took place, and
blamed the victim for the lack of justice
(an assertion that women's rights activists
in Mexico are repulsed by).
Fernández Ortega, her family
and her lawyers have faced intimidation and
death threats. Her brother, a witness in her
case, was murdered shortly after she began
her now 8 year effort to find justice in her
For Inés Fernández Ortega and
many other women victims of criminal
impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court
of Human Rights has become the venue of last
resort after having faced institutional
injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and
uncaring government response to their
During the 500 year period
since the Spanish conquest of Mexico,
Indigenous women have been easy target for
rapists and human traffickers. We who are
Indigenous know this history inside out, no
matter what corner of the Americas we hail
What is an abomination in today's
world is the fact that in Mexico and across
much of Latin America, Indigenous women and
girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized
with the implied consent of national
governments. By extension, none of these
women can count on the protection of their
national governments and local police forces
in the face of such gender atrocities.
In Mexico, an estimated 3,000
to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage
youth have been kidnapped and then sold to
the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then
transport the victims to Japan, where they
are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes.
Despite the existence of this story during
the past several years, there are no visible
signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever
lifted a finger to rescue the victims.
similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a
pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous
girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old.
The sale price was $25,000 each, because
Indigenous girl children were considered to
be "exotic" merchandise.
All of these issues are emergencies that
demand your immediate attention, President
Calderón. We call upon U.S. President
Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise
these important issues with Mexico.
The victims, and those at risk, await our
serious and effective efforts to defend and
rescue them now!
End impunity now!
May 20, 2010
Cops: Man Fondled Little Girl While She Slept
Police say the
suspect confessed to fondling five other girls
Santa Ana .-- Police have arrested a 47-year-old
man on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old
girl in her bedroom in Santa Ana.
Jacobo Reyes was arrested Monday and is being
held without bail, according to Cpl. Anthony
Santa Ana investigators linked him to the crime
with DNA evidence, Bertagna said.
Investigators asked Reyes to come in for
questioning about the Feb. 11 attack in the 300
block of South Newhope Street.
They arrested him after he confessed to fondling
up to five other girls and women ages 11 to 22
as they slept, Bertagna said.
In the Feb. 11 attack, police say Reyes climbed
into the girl's bedroom, gaining entry by
removing a screen in an unlocked window.
The girl could not describe her attacker because
it was too dark, but he left behind genetic
material that matched Reyes' DNA, Bertagna said.
Reyes was booked on suspicion of felony assault
to commit rape and burglary.
Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not
yet charged him.
May 19, 2010
Previously deported illegal alien admits to being serial molester
On Tuesday, police in Santa Ana arrested Roberto Jacobo Reyes, after DNA evidence linked him to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in February. According to police, Reyes entered the girl’s bedroom through an unlocked window.
Under questioning for that crime, Reyes has reportedly admitted to having assaulted at least four other victims, ages 11-22, in the same manner.
Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the LA Times: “His M.O. was to break into unsecured windows or unsecured doors.“
Reyes is currently being held in the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary, while the Orange County district attorney prepares more charges.
In 2007, Reyes was deported back to Mexico after serving three years in prison for burglary. While in prison, his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault.
In 1998, Reyes was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine.
Past arrests also include charges for peeping and possession of stolen property.
Though an illegal alien with a criminal record, Reyes was working for a landscaping business in Santa Ana at the time of his latest arrest.
May 19, 2010
New York, USA
Detective Oscar Sandino
Detective Oscar Sandino charged with demanding
sex from women he arrested
A New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics
detective was charged Tuesday with preying on
women he arrested - on police property.
The alleged attacks by Detective Oscar Sandino
date to 2006 and could land the 13-year veteran
behind bars for three years if he's convicted on
His lawyer dismissed the accusations as "old
news" and questioned the credibility of the
women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit.
But federal prosecutors Pamela Chen and Licha
Nyiendo said the evidence that Sandino is more
perp than protector is "substantial and
"The persistent and repetitive nature of the
defendant's misconduct demonstrates that he is a
sexual predator," they wrote in court papers.
They say that in August 2006, when he was
assigned to the Queens North Narcotics Bureau,
he coerced a woman into having sex with him in
exchange for help with her cousin's criminal
In February 2008, while arresting a woman and
her boyfriend on drug charges, he took the woman
into a bedroom and forced her to undress, the
When he brought the woman to the 110th Precinct
stationhouse for booking, Sandino warned she
would lose her children unless she had sex with
him, prosecutors say.
Sandino allegedly took the woman into the
bathroom, ordered her to pull down her pants and
"Wow, you have an earring down there," Sandino
said to the woman, according to a lawsuit she
The victim reported Sandino to the Internal
Affairs Bureau, and investigators gathered text
messages, phone records and secretly taped
conversations to corroborate the allegations.
In a third attack in September, Sandino
allegedly took a handcuffed woman arrested for
disorderly conduct into a room at Brooklyn
Central Booking and made her bare her breasts.
Sandino, 37, was charged with civil rights
violations and released on a $250,000 bond to be
co-signed by his estranged wife, who lives in
Defense lawyer Peter Brill claimed the Queens
district attorney had passed on prosecuting
Sandino because the second victim was not
New York Daily
May 18, 2010
New Mexico, USA
Children, Youth and Families Department will report immigrant status of criminals
The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department will start reporting violent juvenile criminals who are foreign nationals to immigration authorities.
Governor Bill Richardson ordered the change after Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque fitness club earlier in May.
Gonzales has been in trouble for sex crimes twice in the past, before he turned 18. In both those cases, CYFD never told authorities Gonzales was in the country illegally.
May 18, 2010
New Mexico, USA
Man accused of molesting girl at gym faces judge
The man accused of molesting a young girl at a Midtown Albuquerque fitness club was in court on Thursday.
Twenty-year-old Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, appeared before a judge on sex assault charges.
Police say Gonzalez pinned a six-year-old girl against a wall at the Midtown Sports and Wellness near Carlisle and Menaul and began touching her sexually.
Police say Gonzalez told them he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he has a problem.
May 06, 2010
Man accused of molesting 14-year-old girl is illegal alien
Bethlehem police said a 23-year-old man who allegedly had sex with a then 14-year-old girl is from Guatemala and illegally in the country.
Ivan Antonio Alvarez-Lopez, who last lived in New Jersey, met the girl, who is now pregnant with his child, according to police, through a mutual friend in September. The two talked on the phone until allegedly meeting in December at the Comfort Suites in South Side Bethlehem.
Police allege the two met there four times and had unprotected sex. Alvarez-Lopez knew the girl was 14, police said, and she knew he was from Guatemala.
Alvarez-Lopez was charged with sex crimes and referred to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Lehigh Valley Live
May 13, 2010
Border Patrol Agents Capture Three Sex Offenders in One Day
Calexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector apprehended three illegal aliens Wednesday who are convicted sex offenders.
One of the men was apprehended in the morning by agents from the El Centro station. Record checks revealed the man had previously been convicted of assault to commit rape and sex with a minor.
The other two men were apprehended in the afternoon, along with four other illegal aliens, near the downtown Calexico port of entry. Record checks revealed that one of the men had a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and that the other man had been convicted of sexual assault of a child.
All three men will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.
Tribune Weekly Chronicle
May 05, 2010
man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks,
One man may be behind two recent Arlington
attacks, police say Arlington police are looking
for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman
behind a restaurant on May 14.
A woman was walking behind a restaurant in the
2000 block of Wilson Boulevard around 10:50 pm
when a man grabbed her from behind, police said
in a Tuesday press release. He held her arm and
sexually assaulted her with his other hand,
according to police, then fled on foot after the
woman fought back.
The suspect was described as a "white Hispanic
male" who was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall with a
medium build, police said. He was wearing a
white chef's style jacket and dark pants.
The attack was similar to another one that took
place on May 8 in the 1800 block of N. Scott
St., police said.
Police ask anyone with information about these
attacks to call Detective Robert Icolari at
(703) 228-4240 or e-mail him. They can also call
the county's tip line at (703) 228-4242 or
Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS
May 19, 2010
Mexico / The United States
Mexican President Felipe Calderón will
address the Congress of the United States on Thursday,
May 20, 2010
Mexico's Calderon Needs to Listen, Not Just Lecture U.S.
Nine years have passed since a Mexican President last addressed the U.S. Congress. That was Vicente Fox, just days before 9/11, after which Al Qaeda's horrors all but erased Mexico from Washington's foreign policy radar. But, surprise, our southern neighbor's problems refused to go away. While we were fighting off an Iraqi insurgency, Mexico's drug war morphed into a ghastly narco-insurgency that threatens to spill over the Rio Grande. While we were dropping the ball on immigration reform, Mexico kept pouring undocumented workers into the U.S...
What's still missing is a real sense that Calderon takes seriously enough the only real long-term solution to Mexico's drug war: police reform. "Calderon has taken some positive steps to improve federal police," says Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, director of the U.S.-Mexico Studies Center at the University of California-San Diego. "But Mexico still doesn't have real investigative police forces." And in Mexico, where most cops moonlight for the cartels, the narcos seem more spooked by the prospect of more professional police than by the presence of more soldiers. Last month I interviewed the police director of Calderon's home state of Michoacan, who had just announced stricter recruitment criteria for cops. A week later her SUV was attacked by narco-hitmen with assault rifles and grenades. Miraculously, she survived, but her two bodyguards - who had watched the door during our interview - were killed.
Calderon also needs to prioritize another longer-lasting weapon: anti-poverty programs that give younger and poorer Mexicans economic opportunities beyond joining drug gangs. Mexicans in hard hit areas like Juarez are giving him an earful in that regard these days, and so should the U.S. - not just because it might blunt narco-recruiting, but because more social development efforts south of the border also mean fewer indocumentados crossing north of it. Immigration is as much foreign policy as it is domestic policy, and the U.S. has got to push both itself and Mexico's political class to do more to stanch the flow of illegals at the source, inside Mexico, instead of only at the border...
Given how feckless U.S. immigration reform efforts usually turn out to be, it seems all the more urgent that both sides do more to promote ways to keep Mexican workers in Mexico, like expanding microcredit programs. Those have proven a boon for small entrepreneurs in impoverished rural states like Oaxaca that are a major source of illegal migrants - and they'd be even more effective, Obama should remind Calderon, if Mexico didn't allow microlenders to charge interest rates that top an outrageous 70%, twice the world microfinance average...
That lack of meaningful competition, as well as an overreliance on the U.S market, is one reason the recession has hit Mexico's economy (which shrank about 7% last year) perhaps harder than any other in Latin America. And that doesn't bode well for the wars against drug traffickers and migrant smugglers. The most salient point Calderon will make to Congress is that the U.S. and Mexico are in this together. That means Washington needs to drop its insensitive disregard for problems south of the border - and Mexico City needs to drop its hypersensitive obsession with tossing blame for those headaches north of the border. If they do, they'll have something genuinely worthy to toast at the White House.
May. 18, 2010
Man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old in his home
A 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at his home. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl slept over at Eugenio Alejandro's house on the 200 block of E. Huebinger in Marion for a slumber party, when she woke up to him "penetrating her" with his hands.
"Oh sick!," exclaimed neighbor Gordon Dambow. "She's an innocent child, what could they do? A grown man, my goodness, picking on the innocent."
"A couple of nights in a row, there were a bunch of kids over," explained Cody Bodeau, who lives just across the street from Alejandro. "Every other night there were a bunch of kids and we were wondering why they were all there, and he'd be outside talking to them and hanging out with them."
Alejandro worked closely with children as a volunteer of the Marion Softball Pony League as an assistant coach. The League didn't want to talk to News 4 WOAI since they say they did not organize the slumber party, but say the allegations are a "complete shock".
"No one should ever harm a child," says resident Kathleen Beierly.
Marion is a town of a little more than a thousand residents, where many people know each other by name.
"It's bad because we're good people, and we love our children," added Beierly.
News 4 WOAI also did a background check of Eugenio Alejandro. Three years ago, he was arrested for domestic violence, and has also served time for a DUI, a DWI, and theft dating back almost 20 years.
He bonded out Tuesday, and still faces one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first degree felony.
WOAI - San Antonio
April 15, 2010
Suspect sought in sex assault on 11-year-old
Indianapolis - An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a man assaulted her in a west side apartment building. It happened in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive.
"My daughter will not be out," said one resident after hearing the news.
There's fear among parents living at Heather Ridge Apartments on the city's west side.
"There's no safe place anywhere, anymore," said Adam Bennett, a visitor.
Parents say this place seems even less safe after police say a man sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building Thursday around 6:30 pm.
"Pretty scary situation, especially an 11-year-old, and this individual has a hand gun and basically points it to her head and sexually assaults her," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, IMPD.
It happened inside a common area of the building where anyone could have come through.
"I heard about it on the radio and I immediately called my daughter and told her to be careful at the bus stop, to stand with the other girls. To not stand alone," said a worried mother.
Police say they're concerned, and that this is the type of crime where the suspect could strike again.
"He's probably done this before," said Lt. Duhamell. "We need to get this guy off the street right away."
Police say the man spoke in Spanish during the attack. Police describe their suspect as Hispanic, between the ages of 20 and 30, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds...
Police say a sketch of the suspect may be available in the next few days.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.
May 13, 20100
Woman Escapes Attempted Kidnapping
Orlando police are searching for the man who tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman while she was walking on a trail near the Mall at Millenia.
The woman told police she was walking along the trail near 4850 Millenia Blvd. around 8 p.m. Sunday when a Hispanic man grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward some bushes.
The victim was able to escape and suffered only minor scratches, police said...
Meanwhile, police are still searching for a man who raped a woman in front of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando early Friday morning.
May 17, 2010
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 6 - 12, 2010
May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sheffield, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child in the state of Tennessee, indecent liberties with a child in the state of North Carolina, and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.
U.S. Border Patrol
May 12, 2010
Suspects: Jose Luna Valenzuela (left),
Oscar Grijalva and Sergio Castaneda
Police rescue Phoenix woman kidnapped during home invasion
A 22-year-old Phoenix woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion has been freed from her captors.
Police said the suspects were armed with handguns and demanded drugs and money when they forced their way into a home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road on May 5. When they didn't get what they wanted, they took Karley Saucedo and an SUV and left.
Following a week of negotiations and surveillance, Phoenix police officers and detectives were able to free Saucedo from a home near Baseline Road and 47th Avenue.
Saucedo, who has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old, is back with her family. She reportedly was not injured.
Six people have been arrested on charges including kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and vehicle theft. They have been identified as Oscar Grijalva, 18; Sergio Castaneda, 17; Jose Luna-Valenzuela, 22; Hilda Gutierrez, 29; Carlos Aguilar, 28; and a 17-year-old boy, who was booked into Juvenile Corrections.
"This was a sophisticated group of naturalized citizens and illegal aliens who chose to prey on vulnerable victims for monetary gain," Phoenix police Detective James Holmes said.
May 14, 2010
Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard
University - Feb, 5, 2010
Matthew W. Hutchins
Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience
Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, speaking at Harvard Law School on February 5th, said that the steady flow of illegal immigrants into his city has created a crisis situation that is extremely dangerous for local law enforcement and a devastating drain on the city's budget. Although by statistical measures Phoenix is one of the safest cities in the United States, it has experienced a wave of kidnapping and violent crimes that have challenged its law enforcement capacity.
The problem, said Mayor Gordon, is the violent behavior of the "coyotes" involved in human trafficking operations across the nearby Mexican border and who regularly kidnap, torture, rape and kill those who do not comply with their extortion, sometimes forcing captives to dig their own graves while awaiting either freedom or death.
According to Gordon, over 20,000 people, including women and children, have been rescued by Phoenix police over the last three years from "drop houses" where dozens or even hundreds are held captive or even tortured, sometimes in the midst of ordinary suburban neighborhoods…
Gordon said that the fight against the coyotes' organized crime has forced the city to hire over 600 additional police officers, many to replace the 100 full-time officers assigned to federal task forces investigating violent criminals and 50 officers embedded undercover in federal operations. The cost to Phoenix of employing these 150 officers, over $15 million dollars a year, is not reimbursed by the federal government and threatens to force reductions in city services like libraries and after school programs…
Gordon expressed urgent concern about the state of immigration law in the United States. He believes that immediate action is necessary to reform immigration policy and assist burdened local police. "I couldn't and wouldn't stay silent any longer, not only because of the economic costs, but also because of the cost in human suffering."
Matthew W. Hutchins
The Harvard Law Record
Feb. 12, 2010
Neighbors offer clues in sexual assault of girl, 11
Indianapolis Metro Police are searching for a predator who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint . It happened around 6:30 Thursday night at a west side apartment complex.
The little girl was treated at Riley Hospital for Children and released. Her father told 24-Hour News 8 she was able to give police a detailed description of the attack.
The little girl lives at the Heather Ridge Apartments located in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive. The complex is filled with families with young children...
Police believe the attacker, driving a late-model, red, extended-cab Nissan pickup, asked the girl for directions. Police believe he then followed her inside the building's common area and attacked her.
Police have provided a picture of a truck like the one suspect was driving.
Neighbor Michelle Wells said she had seen the truck before, as had her sister.
A male resident named Nate nodded, saying he'd seen it too...
"They usually will do drive-bys and look around. And then when they see the opportunity, they'll act on it," said IMPD spokesman, Lt. Jeff Duhamell.
Police believe the suspect is a 20 to 30 year old Hispanic man who is 5'6" to 5'9" and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a white stripe, blue jeans, and work boots. He spoke to the little girl only in Spanish.
Police urge residents or anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.
May 14, 2010
Accused sexual assault suspect arrested in Temple park
Temple - A man wanted by authorities for an alleged sexual assault was arrested early Friday morning after he was located violating a park curfew.
Rufino Hernandez-Ramirez, 23, of Temple, was stopped by officers around 1 a.m. at Miller Park, located at 1919 North 1st Street, for reportedly violating the park curfew.
The suspect reportedly provided a false name, however, after the officer properly identified Hernandez-Ramirez, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.
The alleged assault occurred in June 2008 in Temple.
Hernandez-Ramirez was arrested and transported to the Bell County Jail.
He is charged with Failure to Identify Fugitive Intent Give False Information and Motion to Revoke Probation, along with his initial charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.
May 14, 2010
Kidnapping, Attempted Assault Reported In Woodland
The Woodland Police Department is searching for a suspect who allegedly kidnapped and attempted to rape a woman in Yolo County.
Authorities said the alleged victim said she was walking on West Street near Buckeye Street on Saturday morning when a man drove up in a newer-model black SUV and asked her for directions. As she spoke with him, he pulled out a gun and ordered the woman into the car, authorities said.
The victim said he drove her into a wooded area near Interstate 5 and County Road 98 and ordered her to remove her clothes. When she resisted, the man attempted to drag her from the car, authorities said, but the victim was able to break free and run to Interstate 5, where she flagged down a car and asked for help.
The victim was not seriously injured in the incident.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s. He is 5'4" to 5'6", weighs about 160 to 180 pounds, with short black hair and a thin mustache. He also reportedly had two silver caps on his front teeth.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800.
May 15, 2010
Men harass girls going to school in York City
York City Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who have been harassing girls on their way to school.
Lt. Tim Utley, who supervises the detective bureau, said there have been three such incidents reported in the past several weeks. The girls were on their way to William Penn Senior High School and were in the area of the 500 block of South Duke Street when they were harassed, he said.
The two men are in a newer-model gray sedan, Utley said; they are Hispanic, in their 30s and, in the latest incident, were wearing black T-shirts and black hats.
Anyone with information on their identities is urged to call city police at 846-1234, or the department’s anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204.
May 14, 2010
The United States / The World
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Conference on Human Trafficking
Arlington, Virginia -
...For today’s Justice Department, our work to pursue human trafficking investigations and prosecutions and to support those who serve and assist victims is not simply a top priority. It’s also a source of great pride. Much of this work is being led by our Civil Rights Division and its specialized Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. Three years ago, this unit was established to consolidate expertise and to improve coordination between the many critical partners needed to bring traffickers to justice and to protect and empower victims.
In a short time, this unit has achieved remarkable success in increasing both the number and impact of human trafficking prosecutions. It has dismantled organized human trafficking networks operating in multiple jurisdictions and across international borders. And it has achieved justice for many, including undocumented migrants who’ve seen their hopes of a better life destroyed; documented guest workers who’ve been deceived, threatened and frightened into captivity; women and children who’ve been forced into prostitution; and young Americans who’ve been exploited in their own county by traffickers preying on their vulnerabilities. These are extraordinary accomplishments.
But our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit isn’t working alone. It is supported and strengthened by our Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, our Office of International Affairs, our Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, our Office of Justice Programs and its Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the FBI. In addition, the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country are providing critical leadership in bringing human traffickers to justice. Later in this conference, you’ll be hearing from some of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were on the front lines of major human trafficking prosecutions...
Today, some of our most critical partnerships have been established beyond our nation’s borders. We’re working closely with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims’ families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines. A leading example of this is our recent work with Mexico. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated closely with our Mexican counterparts on a bilateral enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling the trafficking networks that operate across our Southwest border. Although this initiative is in its early stages, it has already produced promising results for both countries – including measurable increases in the number of defendants apprehended, cases prosecuted and victims rescued.
The benefits of such international partnerships are clear. By working with our foreign allies, we’ve succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana – some just 10 years old – from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey.
But despite these achievements, there is much more work to be done. Meeting the civil rights challenges of the 21st century will require us to identify new enforcement strategies, to forge new partnerships, and to provide more support for victim service providers. But we should all be encouraged that the global movement to end human trafficking has received unprecedented attention and resources, as well as unprecedented political support...
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
2010 National Conference on Human Trafficking
May 3, 2010
The United States
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking - Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor
The TVPA Decade: Progress and Promise
...Thank you for the invitation to speak at this national conference on human trafficking - an issue I care deeply about.
I also want to thank Attorney General Eric Holder for his leadership on this issue.
Ten years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we are even more committed to the conference's goal of disseminating best practices for prosecuting human trafficking and assisting victims.
The Department of Labor's commitment to fighting human trafficking comes from its long history of working to protect and assist vulnerable workers, some of whom may have been trafficked into forced labor.
As one of my priorities, the Department of Labor is engaged both domestically and internationally to better serve and protect vulnerable workers.
Labor trafficking puts women, children, and men in the most extreme forms of workplace exploitation.
It leads to situations where people are denied not only their wages, but their human rights.
Our efforts to ensure that workers are afforded all of their rights under the law include initiatives that help to combat human trafficking in all of its forms…
Trafficking victims are the most vulnerable workers in this country.
As a state senator in California, I learned first-hand how 72 Thai workers in my own district, worked for seven years in virtual slavery in a sweatshop with boarded up windows and fences covered with razor wire making garments until they were freed by law enforcement - and several hundred Latinos were not paid minimum wage or over-time.
As a member of Congress, I was involved in passing House Resolution condemning the murders of victims of human trafficking and labor abuse in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.
These women worked in slave-like conditions and then brutally killed through no fault of their own.
These are the individuals whom we all have a duty to help and protect.
This focus on protecting the most vulnerable workers in today's economy is why I have bolstered the enforcement staff in all of my agencies.
I have already added 250 investigators in the Wage and Hour Division alone.
And I'm not done yet!...
Violence in the workplace or trafficking for the sake of monetary gain is unconscionable.
No nation does or should get ahead at the peril of its workers.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking
May 3, 2010
Giving Latin America its
rightful place at the table in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has come a long way from 1995, when I first
toured the DOL Women's Bureau, passed out my 1994 report (see below) and
discussed the rampant workplace sexual exploitation of Latin American immigrant
women with staff. No Spanish language staff was available for their recently
opened hotline at that time.
Approximately 5 years ago, a DOL analyst told me that she used
as a source for her research into Latina workplace exploitation issues.
Around 7 years ago, I gave then Represen-tative
Hilda Solis a
business card at a Congressional luncheon on
human trafficking, where I also gave around 200 congressional staffers copies of
At the May 3, 2010 session of the annual federal government Human
Trafficking Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Labor Secretary
Hilda Solis made some of the first official public pronouncements
by U.S. Government officials
a Latin American component to the global human trafficking crisis exists.
Although prosecutions, and work by State Department Trafficking in Persons
director Ambassador Luis CdeBaca prior to his assuming his current post have
touched upon the issue of Latin American victims, the U.S. Federal Government
has yet to state a clear response to the fact that, as Ambassador CdeBaca noted
in a December 2009 interview, some 60% of U.S. human trafficking victims come to
the U.S. from Latin America. Most of those enslaved persons were trafficked over
the U.S./ Mexican border.
In addition, the United Nations affiliated International organization for
Migration (IOM) in the Southern Cone region of South America estimates that
Latin American human trafficking alone generates $16 billion dollars in annual
revenues, amounting to an estimated 50% of global trafficking profits.
However we look at the situation, Latin America's
modern day slavery cannot be minimized,
nor can it be ignored.
persistently requested that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama
speak out publicly on this issue, especially to demand that Mexico apply the
rule of law to the current nationwide environment of lawless impunity that allows mass gender
atrocities to occur on an ongoing basis. That is a violent crime wave that has
impacts throughout the
The pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca in December of 2009, and the May 3,
statements by Secretary Solis and Attorney General Holder represent a start
towards achieving full federal accountability for U.S. responses to the human trafficking crisis that
today damages Latin American women, children and men both in Latin America and across
the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Keep up the good work!
We will proceed to view progress on this issue from the perspective of "trust,
The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to
rescue and protect them today!
End impunity now!
May 12/13, 2010
Chuck Goolsby’s Case File # 1: The Sexual Exploitation of
Latina Women and Girls at Computer Data Systems, Inc.
* Your tax dollars at work supporting a
sexist federal contractor.
* Sexual harassment, quid-pro-quo sexual demands and sexual assault with
impunity in the low-wage American workplace.
...The below case relation is completely factual. The events may seem startling
for the average reader, but this case account tells a story that is happening
every night in America in many office cleaning jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant and
fast-food jobs, retail stores and other low-wage work places.
During… 1995, I presented detailed information about this… case and several
equally serious episodes of the severe sexual harassment of Latina workers to… the…
U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau's "Low Wage Worker's Conference" in
Washington, DC, where the author passed out his 1994 report to Women's Bureau
officials and conference participants...
While the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau never responded to the author
in regard to his 1994 report, the director of Women's Bureau who followed the
1994 incumbent, Ms. Ida Castro, did make public statements to the press in the
late 1990's referring to DOL's recognition of the issue of the exploitation of
immigrant women in low wage jobs.
Chuck Goolsby’s 1994 report: The Sexual and Economic
Exploitation of Latin American Immigrant Women in Montgomery County, Maryland
Added: May 13, 2010
USA / The World
A girl sits in a windowless garage where
she was kept for two years. Purchased at the age of 10,
she worked as much as 20 hours per day as domestic help.
Photo: U.S. State Department
Working To End Human Trafficking
"Modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe."
"Human trafficking has become big business – generating billions of dollars each year through the entrapment and exploitation of millions," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on May 3rd, at the National Conference on Human Trafficking. "Almost every country in the world is affected, either as a source or destination for victims."
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world, and is second in financial scope only to the sale of illegal drugs. It occurs in every state in the U.S. and every country in the world. It is a global problem, and as such, it demands a global solution.
That is why the U.S. is "partnering with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims' families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines," said Attorney General Holder.
"By working with our foreign allies, we've succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey," said Attorney General Holder.
" We . . . . know that modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe," said Ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "It is a fluid phenomenon, responding to market demands, vulnerabilities in laws, weak penalties, natural disasters, and economic instability.
"No country, including the United States, has attained a sophisticated or truly comprehensive response to this massive, ever-increasing, ever-changing crime. . . . Every country is still learning what trafficking is and what works in response to it . . . . The vast majority of people enslaved today around the world have yet to see any progress.
"We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress," said Ambassador CdeBaca. "Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward."
Voice of America
May 13, 2010
Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights defenders (right), with Bety Cariño
- February 2010.
Llama ONU a gobierno mexicano a garantizar labor de las y los defensores de DH
“Deteriorada su situación”, condena asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca
La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU), a través de cuatro de sus Relatorías,
expresó su preocupación por la deteriorada situación de las y los defensores de
derechos humanos en México y condenó firmemente los recientes asesinatos de la
defensora Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo y del observador internacional Jyri
En un comunicado de prensa, difundido por la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las
Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, el organismo internacional advirtió
que las y los defensores de derechos humanos “enfrentan graves amenazas contra
sus vidas a consecuencia de su trabajo”.
El grupo de expertos y experta de la ONU hizo un llamado al gobierno mexicano
para “tomar las medidas que sean necesarias para proteger el derecho a la vida y
la seguridad de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en el país contra
todo tipo de violencia y acción arbitraria que se produzca como consecuencia del
ejercicio legítimo de sus actividades.”
Exigen Investigación Pronto e Imparcial
Margaret Sekaggya, Relatora Especial sobre la situación de los Defensores de los
Derechos Humanos, manifestó su “profunda preocupación” por el deterioro de la
situación de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en México, en especial
las mujeres y las personas defensoras que trabajan en temas relacionados con las
Además condenó los hechos ocurridos el 27 de abril en la zona triqui de San Juan
Copala, en Oaxaca, cuando una misión de observación de los derechos humanos
sufrió una emboscada por parte de paramilitares, lugar donde fue asesinada,
Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, defensora y directora del Centro de Apoyo
Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS) y donde también murió Jyri Antero
CIMAC Women's News Agency
May 12, 2010
Human rights defenders continue to pay with their lives in Mexico, warn UN experts
Geneva - A group of United Nations independent experts* warned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Mexico, strongly condemning the recent killing of human rights defender Ms. Beatriz Alberta (Bety) Cariño Trujillo and the international observer Mr. Tyri Antero Jaakkola in Oaxaca, south east Mexico.
“Defenders continue to face significant threats to their lives in Mexico as a result of their work,” said Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in the country, including women and human rights defenders working on issues related to indigenous communities.”
On 27 April 2010, Bety Cariño and Tyri Antero Jaakkola were part of a mission to monitor human rights in Oaxaca when they were ambushed by paramilitaries and killed. Several other human rights defenders and journalists suffered injuries. Four other members of the mission, including two journalists of the magazine Contralínea, spent two days in a forest following the attack, before being rescued by the police on 30 April.
“The situation in Mexico is extremely complex and no-one could doubt the gravity of the challenges confronting the Government in its fight against the drug cartels” added Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “But there is no justification for failing to take strong steps when human rights defenders, journalists and others are killed. Human rights must not be permitted to be a casualty in the fight against drugs and crime.” ...
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
May 12, 2010
Puebla state legislators work on drafting
human trafficking law
Detallan legisladores apartados de la Ley de Trata de Personas
Los representantes populares afinaron detalles y pactaron reunirse el próximo 18 de mayo para aportar mayores elementos en el sentido de los criterios de sanciones penales para la construcción de la Ley de Trata de Personas.
Dicha reunión contó con la asistencia de Diputados y personal de la Dirección Jurídica del órgano colegiado, quienes acordaron mantener 14 verbos en la iniciativa, como son: inducir, procurar, promover, reclutar, captar, conseguir, transportar, trasladar, recibir, entregar, entre los que destaca solicitar, facilitar, ofrecer y mantener...
Develop Details of New Human Trafficking Bill
[Puebla state -]
Members of Congress have met to work out details of a new
legislative proposal to address the problem of human trafficking.
The working group has agreed to reconvene on May 18th to
further elaborate the criteria for criminal penalties.
which was attended by members of the Congressional Chamber of
Deputies including specialists in criminal law. The group agreed to
maintain language that address 14 terms are pertinent to the bill:
induce, procure, promote, recruit, capture, obtain, transport,
traffic, receive, deliver, solicit, facilitate, offer and maintain.
The forms used
to commit human trafficking crimes were also discussed, and will be
expressed as sections of the law related to: deprivation of the
freedom, physical violence, moral violence, deceit, abuse authority,
taking advantage of a situation of vulnerability, concession, and
receipt of payments or benefits.
May 12, 2010
ICE: Salvadoran kids held in Phoenix
Phoenix - Federal authorities say they have rescued three Salvadoran children who were being held hostage by suspected human smugglers in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Authorities believe the children's parents live in Washington, D.C., and paid $13,000 to have the children smuggled into the country.
They say the children - who range in age from 11 to 15 - arrived in Phoenix in late April and the smugglers refused to release them unless the parents paid an additional $6,500. Once that extra fee was paid, the smugglers then demanded another $7,000 and the parents called authorities.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say the children were left at a business in west Phoenix and appeared to be in good health when they were rescued Tuesday. They say an investigation into the smuggling scheme is continuing.
The Associated Press
May 11th, 2010
Costa Rica / Nicaragua
Couple Charged With Slavery Of Their Nicaraguan Domestic Employee
She was sixteen when she came to Costa Rica from her native Nicaragua with the promise of work. Yesterday, at the age of 22, the girl, now a woman, was rescued from being a domestic slave for the last six years.
The woman was identified by her last names Centeno Barrera, was brought to Costa Rica from her hometown of Matagalpa by a Nicaraguan couple living in Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica.
The couple, identified as Portobanco Torres (wife) and Medina Kraudy (husband) would keep their domestic employee/slave locked up in the house when they went out, work, shopping, etc.
The young woman didn't have any way of communication with the outside world until she was able to contact
neighbors through the window of the house where she was kept in slavery.
The [Judicial Investigations Agency] (OIJ) took the call from neighbors seriously and began an investigation that resulted in a raid of the home on Monday.
Jorge Rojas, director of the OIJ, said the couple have been charged with "trata de personas" ([human] slavery).
"We raided the home and the young woman told us she had been held captive for the last six years", Rojas told the press.
Apparently, the young woman told authorities that she was never received pay for her services.
The couple have denied the accusations against them, saying it is all a lie made up by the young woman.
"The neighbors made a spectacle of the situation, we brought her here by land from Nicaragua to give her a better future. We paid half her salary to her, the other half sent to her mother in Nicaragua, here she has no family or documents, she is alone", said the employer.
"Several times we took her to the Parque de Diversiones [amusement park] so that she could play with my daughter, she never left the house alone because she didn't want to, the doors were always open to her. Many times when I came home from work I would find her sleeping, leaving her keys on the door, she was never locked up", the woman said.
The couple, after the arrest, were released on bail having to sign in at the local courthouse every two weeks and had to surrender their passport and not have any contact with the victim or her family.
This case is typical of many situations where Nicaraguans come to Costa Rica in search for work and find themselves in slave like conditions, though not to such extremes.
Many young Nicaraguan girls, some under age, make their way to Costa Rica with the consent and blessings of their families back home, in the hopes of better their (the family's) economic condition, as salaries and job opportunities in Costa Rica are much better than up north...
In past year Costa Rica has passed legislation giving domestic employees - both foreign and national - rights that include a decent workplace, work hours and pay.
Inside Costa Rica
May 11, 2010
Jose Moreno and Luis Nava,Gonzalo Cortes, Esdras Garcia
(Left top to right bottom)
Four Mexican nationals charged with rape, murder of Louisiana woman
On Sunday, less than 24 hours after the lifeless body of Angela Laudun, 33, was discovered in a remote area, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Deputies arrested and charged four Mexican nationals with her rape and murder.
According to the sheriff’s office, around 2:00 a.m., Saturday, the woman voluntarily left a Galliano bar with the men, at which time they drove her to a nearby house. Apparently, Laudin became concerned for her safety and tried to leave, but the men held her down and took turns raping her.
At some point, during the ordeal, she was strangled to death.
The men, then allegedly placed the woman’s body in their SUV, eventually dumping her in a heavily wooded area. A few hours later, the body was discovered by a man doing some work on his property.
Gonzalo Portillo Cortes, 20; Esdras Sanchez Garcia, 21; Louis Nava, 28; and Jose Castille Mareno, 23, have all been charged with aggravated rape and first-degree murder.
All four suspects work for Quality Shipyard in Houma, La., and while their employer claims that the men presented valid documents prior to their employment, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on them.
The alleged assailants are Mexican nationals and their interrogations had to be conducted in Spanish. They are currently being held in the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.
May 11, 2010
Maryland and Florida, USA
Jose Alexander Menjivar
DNA helps uncover suspected serial rapist
Evidence from 2003 city cold case led to four others
He almost disregarded the DNA evidence.
The elderly victim of the 2003 home invasion and sexual assault in Annapolis died three years ago.
Without her testimony at trial, David Cordle, chief investigator for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, knew prosecutors could never secure a conviction.
But still, Cordle recalled, he knew the suspect's name; he had an un-served warrant in a file and a full DNA profile ready to be submitted to the FBI's Combined DNA Data Index System.
Maybe - just maybe, he thought - the evidence would help solve another rape case.
"I was this close to not entering the evidence," Cordle said last week, holding his right thumb and forefinger together. "I am sure glad I did."
Because he did, cold case investigators are now asking for the public's help in locating a suspected illegal immigrant they believe was behind five sexual assaults between February 2002 and December 2005 in Maryland and Florida.
With the evidence from the 2003 assault of an 81-year-old woman inside her Annapolis home, Cordle explained, police were able to crack another case in Annapolis as well as one in West Palm Beach, Fla., and another two in Orlando, Fla.
Jose Alexander "Alex" Menjivar, 37, formerly of 1033 Martha Court in Annapolis and 1649 Fairhill Drive in Edgewater, is charged by name in two of the assaults and wanted for questioning in the others, police said. Detectives with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida also have a warrant for a "John Doe" with Menjivar's DNA.
William Johns, a civilian investigator with city police and the other half of the city's cold case squad, explained DNA linked Menjivar to four of the attacks - including both of those reported in Annapolis. A fifth rape in Orlando was committed in such a similar fashion that detectives believe the same man must be behind it as well.
"It's just simply amazing we got so many matches," Johns said last week after outlining some of the details behind the five rapes and illustrating Menjivar's alleged progression down the East Coast. He noted that without the DNA evidence police would never have been able to connect the crimes.
"You wonder how many more cases are sitting on shelves waiting to be solved," Johns said.
"It shows you in cold cases you can't assume or presume anything," Cordle said.
The five cases
According to cold case investigators, police believe Menjivar is behind five violent sexual assaults. The attacks occurred on:
Feb. 16, 2002: A 22-year-old woman was assaulted inside her home on Copley Court in Annapolis...
March 23, 2003: An 81-year-old woman was assaulted inside her home on Tiburon Court in Annapolis...
Nov. 27, 2004: A 29-year-old female cab driver was assaulted in Orlando...
Jan. 30, 2005: A female cab driver was assaulted in Orlando...
Dec. 16, 2005: A 30-year-old woman was assaulted outside a West Palm Beach nightclub...
Detective Nichole Addazio with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said they have known the same man was behind their assault and at least one of the ones in Orange County since 2005, but they were surprised to hear their attacker had assaulted two more women in Annapolis. She said she had mixed emotions when she got the notification.
"I was horrified to learn there was another case, but I was elated to know we had a suspect," she said...
Menjivar is Hispanic, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. While in Maryland, he worked as a landscaper. Anyone with information about Menjivar, these attacks or any other attacks that may be related should contact Cordle or Johns at the Anne Arundel State's Attorney's Office at 410-222-1740.
May 09, 2010
Denver Police Search For Child Enticement Suspect
Denver police would like the help locating a suspect in a possible child enticement that happened on Tuesday.
Sonny Jackson with Denver police said a 14-year old girl was walking in the 1400 block of Ivy Street when she noticed a vehicle that she described as a dirty white van without windows. It had what appeared to be decorative ladders on the back.
"The driver called out to the victim, possibly trying to get her into the vehicle. She continued to walk and the suspect parked the van and continued attempting to contact her," Jackson said in a prepared statement.
The driver of the van was described as a clean-shaven Hispanic male about 5-foot-7 with a thin build wearing a white t-shirt and burgundy and black pants with black boots.
Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000. Remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).
May 11, 2010
Reno Police Search for Attempted Abduction Suspect
Police need your help finding a man they say tried to abduct a teen girl near a Reno school Tuesday morning.
Police say around 8:20am, a 15-year-old girl was walking between buildings at the Coral Academy of Science on East Ninth Street when she was approached by a man. They spoke briefly before he grabbed her arm. Officers say the suspect then tried to pull her away but she screamed and eventually ran away.
The man ran west from the area.
The school was placed on lockdown for about two hours.
The suspect is described as Hispanic, about 21 years old, 5'10" with a thin build, shaved head and clean shaven face. He was wearing a black ‘hoodie' sweatshirt, brown Dickie pants and white shoes.
Police say the man has been seen in the general area before so he may live in the area.
The girl was not hurt.
If you have any information, you're asked to call Secret Witness at 322-4900. Your call will remain anonymous.
Channel 2 News
May 11, 2010
Added: May 11, 2010
Letter from the family of Bety Cariño, murdered by paramilitaries in Oaxaca
To our friends and brothers and sisters
To those who share the pain and anguish
To the public opinion, saddened and full of rage
The the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the world
To those whose solidarity envelops us with their deepest condolences
To all of you who, with you warmth, solidarity, presence, denouncements, you tell us and dictate the path that we have to and need to follow. To those whose hearts have suffered the pain of having a loved one taken from you, we want to tell you that the words don't exist to be able to express to you the rage that we feel, the impotence, the anguish, and the desperation of not being able to be with the person who was the compañera, the mother of two children, the leader, the friend, the sister, THE LOVE OF OUR LIFE when hate, brutality, and anger took her life because of the struggle that we undertook for fourteen years. To all of you and in the name of my children, thank you.
Once again, just like in 2006, [Oaxacan Governor] Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's terrorist, murderous, repressive State seeks to demonstrate its strength, impose its policies, and demonstrate its hatred of that which doesn't agree with it, that which can't be subordinated, that which doesn't give in, and that which is incorruptible, because it is born from below and full of life, because it is built with the brotherhood of those of us who have decided to work towards the construction of a different world, a more human world, where the Earth and the dreams we sow flower every day. Bety, or Beto as her father called her, or, as she was really called, Alberta Cariño Trujillo, has not died! Her word grows and gives voice to those who did not have one, and in being a sister to the women of Copala, of the Mixteca, and of the world, in being a woman, your determination as a sister in this autonomist struggle resists against the hatred, anger, and distain of the UBISORT paramilitaries who are lead by Rufino Juarez and Antonio Cruz...
Because you are the flower, and your seed is the fruit of the dignified path we must follow. We won't forget you. Omar, Ita, and I say to you, "Until the victory."
Prison for Ulises Ruiz, Evencio Martinez, Rufino Juarez, Anastasio Juarez,
Antonio Cruz, and the authorities in La Sabana!
Death to Ulises' bad, repressive and murderous government!
We must break the siege in San Juan Copala!
Bety will never be silenced, not in death, nor with machine guns!
Land, Freedom, or Death!
With all our love,
Omarcito, Itandewi, and Omar Esparza
The Family of Bety Cariño
May 03, 2010
North Carolina, USA
Reyna Isabel-Reyes Caballero
makes his first court appearance
Man Suspected of Human Trafficking Appears in Court
Greensboro - Detectives are investigating whether a human trafficking arrest is a small part of a larger prostitution and trafficking ring.
Guilford County sheriff's deputies and Immigration and Customers Enforcement officers were shot at Friday while searching a home at 700 N. English St. where they believe a human trafficking victim was being held. Deputies charged
Reyna Isabel-Reyes Caballero, 37, with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Caballero, from Honduras, had his first court appearance Monday and said he fired because he though the people at the door were thieves.
"I was afraid," he said through an interpreter. "I thought they were thieves, burglars at the door. I have a family in Honduras with five children."
Caballero said he wants to be deported to Honduras, but he must first face the assault charge and possibly some human trafficking charges at the state level.
Betty Cauthen, who lives three houses down from the home raided on Friday night, said she thought the house was empty.
"That's just it. We never saw anything. Nobody come in, nobody come out. No groceries in. No mail being checked. No company," she said.
While searching the residence and conducting multiple interviews, deputies found a juvenile in the house they say was a victim of human trafficking. Deputies say she was removed from the home and is working with ICE through the investigation.
May 10, 2010
Added: May 10, 2010
On April 27, 2010,
Mixtec Indigenous human rights leader
Bety Cariño and
a Finnish international observer,
Jyri Antero Jaakkola,
were murdered in Oaxaca state by paramilitary soldiers affiliated with the
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), one of Mexico's three top
Members of the European Parliament, the Finnish Embassy, and the
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner have demanded a full
Photo: Bety Cariño tragically killed in violent paramilitary attack in Oaxaca
Frontline - Protection of Human Rights Defenders
April 29, 2010
Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo
México, DF - Trabajar por la paz y el respeto a los derechos humanos, ha colocado en riesgo a las defensoras y defensores de estos derechos, un caso extremo ocurrió el pasado 27 de abril cuando una caravana por la paz fue emboscada en el estado de Oaxaca, México y dos de sus integrantes fueron asesinados: Tyti Antero Jaakkola , observador internacional originario de Finlandia y Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, integrante de Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (Cactus).
Beatriz Alberta fue una luchadora social que hizo de la defensa de la autonomía de los pueblos indígenas su motor en la vida, alentó a las comunidades mixtecas a luchar por su patrimonio cultural, por su identidad, sin sumisión y con dignidad.
Ese fue su andar por la sierra mixteca, al convocar a las mujeres triquis a tomar su papel protagónico en la historia de su pueblo, a mirar de frente y defender sus recursos naturales del saqueo de las grandes trasnacionales...
CIMAC Women's News Agency
May 10, 2010
Mexico's State Of Impunity
When international human rights observers rounded a curve on a remote road in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, they found the way blocked by boulders. They decided going forward would be dangerous. But they didn’t know that going back would be deadly.
As the vans began to turn around, masked gunmen came down from the hills and opened fire on the vehicles. Some of the people scattered into the brush. Others got lucky and were freed by the assailants. Two were murdered, shot in the head — Bety Cariño of the Mexican rights group CACTUS (Center for Community Support Working Together) and Finnish human rights observer Jyri Jaakola.
The activists were traveling to the village of San Juan Copala in the Triqui indigenous region of Oaxaca. Local paramilitaries from a group called UBISORT, which is reportedly founded by Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), had surrounded and cut off the village. The caravan of journalists, state activists, and international human rights observers wanted to investigate the worsening situation in the village. They knew the risks but decided to undertake the mission because the lives of villagers were at stake, and they saw a dangerous precedent in standing by as
an illegal armed group took an entire village hostage.
Killings are a common occurrence in the Triqui region for those who defend indigenous rights and resources. Scores of people have been assassinated, including two women from San Juan Copala's community radio station in 2008.
The leaders advised the state government of its intentions, but the state government provided no guarantees. Gabriela Jimenez, a member of the caravan who escaped, stated that
the paramilitary captors bragged of having the governor's backing...
Human Rights and U.S. Indifference
The April 27 ambush shocked even a nation accustomed to violence in the news. Drug war tolls of 30 or more victims a day are standard fare in Mexico. But the calculated assault on a human rights mission crossed some invisible line. Members of the European Parliament, the Finnish Embassy, and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner have demanded a full investigation. Demonstrating the arrogance characteristic of his rule, Governor Ruiz announced he would carry out an investigation — of the migration papers of the foreigners on the caravan.
Human rights violations in Mexico have been on the rise in the last few years, with a sixfold increase in complaints against the armed forces since it launched the drug war. Civilian deaths have increased in the context of drug war militarization. The nation faces a crisis of confidence in the government’s ability — or willingness — to provide even the most basic human security.
The U.S. State Department has ignored this crisis to justify its support for the failed drug war of President Felipe Calderón. Security aid to Mexico under the Merida Initiative required that a human rights report be presented to Congress showing progress in ending impunity for crimes committed by the armed forces, an end to torture, and progress in the Brad Will murder. The State Department delayed presenting the report until last year. When it finally submitted the report, it showed no progress.
Security aid to police and armed forces that violate human rights consistently empowers a system of violations. Human rights training by U.S. forces will make no difference whatsoever in that equation. The problem is obviously not a lack of training, but a lack of political will. As long as the same political forces that commit violations receive support and aid, they are encouraged to continue practices that damage society and destroy lives...
May 08, 2010
Oaxaca Caravan Attack: The Militarization And Para-militarization Of Mexico
On April 27, gunmen opened fire on an international aid caravan that was bringing food, clothing, medicine, and teachers to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. The attack left two dead: Oaxacan indigenous leader and media organizer Alberta "Bety" Cariño and a Finnish observer, Jyri Antero Jaakkola. Gunfire injured three other Oaxacans during the attack.
The attack was the latest in a series of assassinations in a region where shootouts are a frequent occurrence. While the attack on the caravan attracted international media attention, the other murders (at least 23 since 2007) were lost in the wave of violence that has gripped Mexico. Ever since President Felipe Calderon deployed 40,000 soldiers to fight the US-funded war on drugs, all violent murders in Mexico are automatically chalked up to the drug war in the media and in the government's official numbers. Drug war violence provides a too-convenient cover for the political violence that also pervades Mexico.
The violence in the Triqui region is the direct result of government machinations aimed at dividing the indigenous people who live there. “The political organizations are dividing us,” says San Juan Copala spokesman Jorge Albino. “When we form organizations, the political parties come and they offer to make one of us a leader, or they offer us a position. And some of us wind up identifying with a political party and we kill each other as a result.”
The government has good reason to want to weaken the Triquis through division: the Triquis have historically put up some of the fiercest resistance to the colonial (and later neo-colonial) project in Mexico. For this reason, their territory is particularly rich in natural resources. John Gibler writes in his book Mexico Unconquered: "As a result of their armed defense, the Triqui region today is a green oasis in the midst of the eroded Mixteca region where centuries of clear-cutting and goat herding have decimated the land."
The Oaxacan government has denied all responsibility for the attack. Instead, it is attempting to blame the caravan organizers. "Whoever organized this caravan will have to answer for it, whoever invited these people ... without taking precautions, because I think these people did not know what the situation and problems in the area were," Oaxaca state Interior Secretary Evencio Martinez told the AP. "They (the caravan members) will have to answer, too, for having accepted the invitation."
However, sociologist Victor Raul Martinez Vasquez argues, "I believe that it was a deliberate act on the part of the government, with the idea to teach them a lesson and to dissuade those foreigners who want to help this town that is under siege, where they've closed the road to the community, they've cut the electricity. [The town] is running out of food."
My Word Is My Weapon
May 6, 2010
Keegan Smith: My friend Bety Cariño was killed by Mexican Paramilitaries in Oaxaca
A good friend of mine Bety Cariño... who I lived and worked with in Mexico was killed in southern Mexico by paramilitaries. The paramilitaries acted with the support of the State and National government to eliminate opposition to their plans and their way of thinking. Bety was one of the most charismatic and caring people I have come across in my 27 years. She has 2 young children and hundreds of friends who have been touched by her passion and courage. She was the leader of the
organization CATCUS which supported local indigenous communities and in securing projects for small business and agriculture initiatives. Together with the
organization she informed about women and children's rights to basic services. She also informed about the dangers of transgenic crops and pesticides and the damage caused by massive mining and damming projects which are proposed for Oaxaca.
Bety participated in various movements and forums in Mexico and Central America and traveled to Europe to increase awareness about the situation in Mexico and particularly the situation Oaxaca. Bety went to every length to make people feel welcome and had amazing power in her spirit to overcome personal loss and illness for the sake of her beliefs. This infectious passion will outlive her many lifetimes over.
This is one of many horrible crimes committed everyday in order to maintain the flow of capital, and the power it holds, in the hands of the few. While I am no longer inclined say eye for an eye and I don't want
vengeance for the pain this act has caused. The world needs very profound changes. This is not a call to arms but to reflect and change our minds. Our physical world is a reflection of our thoughts...
My Word Is My Weapon
April 28, 2010
See also - Video:
Discurso de Bety Cariño
en la conferencia de la organización Frontline - dedicados a defender a los y
las Defensores de los derechos humanos
Bety Cariño during the 2010 annual conference
of the organization
Frontline - Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Dublin, Ireland.
Frontline - Dublin Conference 2010
Dec. 03, 2009
See also - Video:
Discurso de Bety Cariño. Kolectivo Azul. Embajada de
Speech by Bety Cariño during a protest against multinational
mining company exploitation of Indigenous lands in Oaxaca state. Held at the
Canadian Embassy in Mexico City - 2009.
Dec. 03, 2009
See also - Video:
Declaración de una de los sobrevivientesdel ataque a la
carvana San Juan Copala.
News conference by Gabriela, a survivor of the ambush and murder
of Bety Cariño and
April 28, 2010
Children Kidnapped for Sex Trafficking
Rio Grande Valley - Four young children could have ended up as sex trafficking victims. Instead they're now back with their families in Mexico.
They were kidnapped. Suspected smugglers tried to bring them to the Valley.
The children were all under six.
San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez says... human traffickers want children under 10.
"These children have been raped repeatedly more than 30 times a day. The more use they get out of a child, the more profit," he tells us. "They are using these children. The younger the better for the human trafficker."
Gonzalez trains officers around the country to recognize signs of sex trafficking.
Two women from San Juan and Edinburg tried to bring four children across the bridge illegally.
A customs officer suspected the women were going to sell the kids. The children ranged in age from less than a year to six years old. The women told officers the kids belonged to them.
They even had fake U.S. birth certificates.
An alert customs officer didn't believe their story.
“Officers are being trained to recognize force, fraud and coercion," the San Juan police chief says.
Gonzalez says if the suspected smugglers [had gotten] away with their crime, the children would
[have lived] through unimaginable horror.
"They’re utilizing them in bars and nightclubs, [and] even for individuals who are requesting them, to abuse them," he tells us.
Or traffickers might sell the children to pornographers.
"Traffickers seek young children, because they can abuse them for a longer period of time," Gonzalez explains. "This kind of crime is a money maker."
He adds, "Human trafficking [has become] more profitable [than drug smuggling, human smuggling
and arms] trafficking."
Human trafficking is hard to detect and harder to prosecute.
Gonzalez says children trafficked into this country are often taken to brothels. He says there are probably brothels around the Valley
[that] investigators haven't found yet.
...Officers will usually find human trafficking when they respond to a [noise violation or
a runaway case].
May 8, 2010
Added: May.10, 2010
Karley Rivera Saucedo
Woman kidnapped during home invasion earlier this week still missing
Phoenix - Police are asking for the public's to help find a woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion earlier this week.
According to Detective James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department, Karley Rivera Saucedo was taken after four suspects broke into her home at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5.
Saucedo, 22, has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old.
Holmes said the suspects, Hispanic males who range in from 17 to 30, forced their way into the home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road, which Saucedo shares with her 17-year-old sister and a baby.
The suspects were armed with handguns, police said, and demanded drugs and money. When they didn't get what they wanted, the four men took Saucedo and left.
They also stole a gray 2007 Chevy HHR. That vehicle was later recovered, but there's been no sign of Saucedo or the four suspects.
The descriptions of the suspects are limited.
The first is a 17-year-old Hispanic male who is 5 feet 6 inches tall. He has black spiked hair.
The second is an 18- or 19-year old Hispanic male. He's also 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs about 140 pounds and has short black hair.
The third is an Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and has acne scars.
The fourth is an Hispanic male who is 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds. He has light skin, a skinny face and a chubby body.
Anyone with information about Saucedo or what happened the morning of May 5 is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-261-6151 or Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.
May 7, 2010
Texas Girl Who Was Focus Of Amber Alert May Be In Mexico
Austin - Karen Anastacio, 13, for whom Austin police issued an Amber Alert last week, is probably in Mexico with the 25-year-old man who abducted her from her middle school, authorities say.
The Amber Alert was canceled over the weekend.
Anastacio was last seen at around 8 a.m. Thursday getting into either a brown 1997 GMC Jimmy SUV with Texas license 84TFL4 at Bedichek Middle School in Austin.
She had told a teacher's aide she didn't feel well and would likely be going home.
Police think Angel Rojas Ambrocio was driving the brown and silver SUV.
They said they believe he previously committed a violent felony against the girl.
Anastacio is 5-foot-2, weights about 115 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
When she was last seen she was wearing a black shirt, black pants and carrying a pink backpack.
Ambrocio is 5-foot-3, weighs 135 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
Police are asking anyone with information about the missing girl to call 911.
May 10, 2010
Runaway suspect charged with sex crime
Amber Alert suspect fled with 13-year-old
Austin - The 25-year-old man accused of abducting a 13-year-old Austin girl Thursday morning is now charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.
Officials issued the Amber Alert Thursday morning after police said Karen Anastacio was last seen at 8:07 a.m. Thursday with suspect Angel Rojas, 25. Police said they fear he may be headed to the border to leave the country, and court documents indicate information pointed to Cuernavaca, Mexico.
The two were in a relationship police said was illegal, and authorities filed charges Friday against Rojas - a family acquaintance. In those documents, police said they developed information Rojas was going to be taking the victim to Mexico.
"We have reason to believe that she is in immediate danger," said Austin Police Department Cmdr. Julie O'Brien Thursday. "We're asking for the public's help in locating Karen."
Austin police said a teacher's aide saw Karen getting into a brown 1997 GMC Jimmy SUV across the street from Bedichek Middle School in South Austin with Rojas at the wheel. License plate number: 84TFL4
School Principal Dan Diehl said the incident happened just before the start of the school day across the street from the campus near the intersection of Bill Hughes Road and Thelma Drive.
Karen was walking to school with a group of other students when she said she felt ill, Diehl said. He said shortly after, the suspect arrived at that location, where Karen got in his car.
Karen is a 5-foot-2-inch tall Hispanic female and weighs approximately 115 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants, carrying a pink backpack.
Angel Rojas is described as a Hispanic male, weighing approximately 135 pounds. He is 5 feet 3 inches tall and has black hair and brown eyes. Rojas may also use the following names: Juan Alberto Espinoza-Ambrocio and/or Eduardo Lopez.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the victim or suspect is urged to call 911 immediately.
Police said Thursday Karen's family was taking action in filing a criminal charge against Rojas for allegedly committing a violent felony offense against Karen, something officials said may be the motivator for Rojas to flee not only the area but also the country.
Police said they are working with various law enforcement agencies throughout the state and with border agents as well, but they are also asking for all eyes to be on the lookout.
May 07, 2010
The Dominican Republic
Desmantelan en Dominicana red de pornografía infantil
Un estadounidense y tres dominicanas que tenían organizado una red de pornografía infantil fueron detenido por las autoridades que confiscaron equipos de filmación y una pequeña cantidad de droga.
Las pesquisas permitieron conocer que el estadounidense Williams Bonaparte tenía contratadas a las tres mujeres para que reclutaran adolescentes y a cambio de sumas de dinero filmarlas en actos sexuales, dice la información circuladas por la policía.
El grupo operaba desde hacía meses en la provincia de Puerto Plata (Norte) y las filmaciones se centraban en menores y adolescentes del sexo femenino, según los detalles del parte.
Las actividades fueron interrumpidas por una redada policial en el apartamento en el que residía el extranjero, en el cual se ocuparon cámaras de filmación y fotográficas, un reproductor de casetes, equipos de iluminación, decenas de discos compactos con material pornográfico y una pequeña cantidad de marihuana.
El año pasado la policía dominicana desmanteló una organización similar que se especializaba en filmaciones pornográficas a adolescentes y jóvenes haitianas, anexa a una red de prostitución que operaba desde un apartamento en una céntrica calle de esta capital.
Authorities break-up child pornography ring
A U.S. citizen and three Dominicans have been arrested in the Dominican Republic
for having organized a child pornography ring. The suspects were caught with
film equipment, still cameras, film reproducing equipment, and drugs.
According to police, American citizen Williams Bonaparte had contracted with
three women to recruit adolescent girls, who were offered money to be filmed
performing sexual acts.
Previously, police has dismantled a similar child pornography ring that had
targeted Haitian girls.
May 07, 2010
Washington, DC - USA
Luis CdeBaca -
Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
U.S. State Department
Trafficking Victims Protection Act: Progress and Promise
...In the mid-1990s, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton became interested and focused on this issue through her work with women and children. At the time, the most visible form of trafficking was women and girls from the former Soviet Union. There were duped by false advertisements for work in Western Europe only to find themselves trapped in brothels and strip clubs. The image of the blonde, beautiful, and vulnerable victim, reminiscent of anachronistic approaches to this problem back in the 1800s, garnered worldwide attention, but also demonstrated the weaknesses of that old legal regime. In the meantime, cases in the United States still involved men, women, and children--United States citizens and foreigners alike--in both sex and labor trafficking.
It became clear that a holistic approach was needed, one that focused more on the exploitation than merely on the movement of people for immoral purposes. Then-First Lady Clinton, along with Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, were instrumental in bringing this issue to the attention of policymakers in Washington. Out of it was borne the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).
The TVPA emboldened states to pursue and enact legislation to combat trafficking at the state level. In fact, the successes of the TVPA and effectiveness of state law is clearly shown in a recent case, Ramos v. Texas where the legal pitfalls exemplified in the Shackney case were bridged. In fact, the Ramos case recognized that the threat of deportation is indeed coercion and a factor in determining a victim of trafficking in persons, even if the victim walked out through the front door rather than escaping through the window or in the middle of the night. The Ramos case is a prime example of what we can achieve through solid legislation and implementation of federal and state-level laws...
The TVPA helps us... with important new tools that stands for the proposition that ignorance is not an excuse. The strip club owner who looks the other way as so-called talent agents enslave women: that’s not a bystander; that’s an accomplice. The landlord who turns a blind eye and collects rent from "massage parlors" where foreign women are held for forced prostitution: that’s not rent; that’s complicity. So too for the grower who is comfortable with farm labor contractors using force and threats to harvest the crops as long as they get picked on time. To those who have turned a willfully blind eye to the exploitation in front of them, the updated law puts down a marker: whether you partake or profit, you're accountable. Period...
The promise we seek to fulfill will be bolstered by what has now been coined as the fourth "p" – partnerships. We must strive toward better coordination with our interagency partners within our "whole of government" approach, but also partners from unlikely or untapped resources...
Through partnership, we must secure the safe place of refuge the President referred to; we must "lead by example" as we are known and expected to do; and we must allow every victim to realize his or her God-given potential. The United States has made historic progress on this issue, still in its modern infancy. We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress. Bursts of activity, and successes, in the early 1900s, the 1930s, and the early 1980s were allowed to fall dormant. We must not allow that to happen again. We can, and we must, get it right this time. Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward. Thank you again for having me here this morning and for all you do to fulfill the promise of freedom in America.
Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
May 3, 2010
Group of People Rescued from Mexican Stash House
Matmoros, Tamaulipas state, Mexico - A tip to police in Matamoros led to the rescue of 17 people from two different stash houses this week.
Human traffickers took the people hostage. Officials say the traffickers extort money out of families. Border security analysts tell us it's big money.
"The human trafficking business is extremely lucrative. People can fetch up to $10,000 a person to transfer them to across the border," says one analyst.
Experts say due to the proximity to the border, there are probably a high number of stash houses here in the Valley.
Mexican military arrested Juan Ponce Ramirez in the raid on the Matamoros stash houses.
Soldiers also found just over 10 pounds of marijuana and a rifle in the raid.
May 06, 2010
Note: Matamoros is located on Mexico's border with the
U.S., opposite the city of Brownsville, Texas. -LL
North Carolina, USA
Reyna Isabel Reyes Caballero fired on officers.
Officers fired upon during human trafficking investigation
Greensboro — Five people were taken into custody Friday night after officers raided a home during a human trafficking investigation.
One suspect is accused of firing at a Guilford County Sheriff deputy during the incident. Reyna Isabel Reyes Caballero, 37, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Caballero is being held at the Guilford County Jail. His bail was set at $250,000.
Caballero and four other people were also taken into custody at the scene and are being detained by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
The other people being held are Jose Martinez-Cruz, 26, of Reidsville; Herculano Lopez-Garcia, 24, of Greensboro; Costanzio Aguileras Palmas, 25, of Reidsville; and Vinicio Arrazate Calderon, 31, of Greensboro.
Caballero has not been charged with human trafficking. The incident, which involves alleged prostitution, is still being investigated, according to law enforcement officials.
Officers conducting an undercover operation believed a female human trafficking victim was being held at a home at 700 N. English Street in Greensboro, according to the sheriff’s department.
Shortly before 11 p.m. Friday night, sheriff department vice officers, agents from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and Greensboro Police entered the home. Caballero allegedly fired at a deputy with a semi-automatic handgun, according to law enforcement officials.
A deputy fired back. No one was injured in the shooting.
Officers discovered a woman they say is a human trafficking victim in the home.
“She is not being charged. We have moved her to a safe place,” Powers said.
For her safety, law enforcement officials would not give any information about the woman.
His arrest records say Caballero was “running a brothel,” although he has not been charged with crimes other than the assualt charge.
Caballero, who is a native of Honduras and was living in the English Street home, the victim and four other people were at the home at the time of the search.
Two of the men were believed to be customers, Powers said.
Caballero and the other four men are all being held in the Guilford County Jail because they are undocumented U.S. residents. ICE officials are handling that portion of the investigation.
“We’ve lodged detainers against them because they are in the country illegally,” said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for ICE...
May 8, 2010
4 arrested in Lafourche Parish murder
Thibodaux - Four men have been arrested in the death of a woman, whose partially-clothed body was found in the woods in Galliano.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said Sunday that 20-year-old Gonzalo Portillo Cortes, 21-year-old Esdras Sanchez Garcia, 23-year-old Jose Castillo Moreno and 28-year-old Luis Nava were booked with killing Angela Laudun less than 24 hours after her body was found. Each was booked with aggravated rape and first-degree murder.
A sheriff's spokeswoman says it's the parish's first homicide case this year.
May 9, 2010
New Mexico, USA
Accused child rapist on ICE hold
Police said Juan Gonzalez raped 6-year-old girl
Albuquerque - An illegal immigrant accused of raping a 6-year-old girl at Midtown Sports and Wellness Club Tuesday night is on an immigration hold.
Juan Gonzalez, 20, allegedly assaulted the child while she was alone in a play room at the club. The girl’s mother was working out at the gym at the time.
Gonzalez is accused of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Judge Benjamin Chavez raised his bond at $200,000 cash only.
Despite being under the federal hold by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Gonzalez will not be sent back to his home country of Mexico until he goes through New Mexico’s judicial system.
Police said Gonzalez was a member of Midtown because his mother is an employee.
As for the health club’s child care center, it is solely responsible for managing it. The Children, Youth and Families Division regulates traditional day cares.
“Drop-in programs for children specifically that are for children whose parents stay on the same premises are exempt from the regulations,” Dan Haggard with CYFD said Thursday.
The playroom where the victim was attacked is unsupervised, and there is a sign that says so. Workers at the club said the playroom is for kids who are 7 and older. The reported victim in this case is 6.
There is also a child care center at Midtown for younger kids where there is always supervision and they are never left alone. Parents have to pay $3 an hour to drop their child off there while they work out.
“I believe regardless of the setting for parents to be as involved and as knowledgeable as possible about the program where they're leaving their children,” Haggard said.
In a statement, Sports and Wellness said its staff acted immediately after being told about the incident. It also said it has stringent hiring practices and complies with all federal and state laws.
May 06, 2010
Former Menlo Park Preschool Chief Charged For Pestering Girl
Menlo Park - The former supervisor of a San Francisco Bay area preschool is facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly pestering a 13-year-old girl with unwanted gifts and letters.
Fifty-five-year-old Jose Adalberto Lopez was charged with one count of annoying or harassing a child under the age of 18 on Friday.
Prosecutors say the former supervisor at Belle Haven Child Development Center in Menlo Park gave the girl intimate clothing on her 13th birthday, a bracelet as a Valentine's Day gift and wrote her letters describing how pretty she was.
The girl was the daughter of another preschool employee.
Lopez resigned from his job shortly after his arrest on April 13.
He faces up to a year in county jail if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 18.
The Associated Press
May -08, 2010
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: April 29 - May 5
May 5, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Blythe, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 4, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ocotillo, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 4, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 3, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault/sexual battery in the state of Indiana, and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 3, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near San Luis, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault of a minor in the state of Washington, and had been previously removed from the United States.
May 2, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a national of Mexico in Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for molesting a child under the age of 14 in the state of California, and was a registered sex offender.
May 2, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a national of Mexico in Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child in the state of California, and was a registered sex offender.
April 30, 2010 - Marfa Sector - An off-duty Border Patrol agent observed a 2005 Toyota Camry with a single male occupant watching children for an extended period of time at several locations near Midland, Texas. The agent notified local law enforcement officers, who responded and made contact with the subject. Officers found two loaded handguns, a stun gun, duct tape, a pipe, flex-cuffs, gloves, ropes, and maps of city parks in Midland in the vehicle. The subject, a USC, was arrested by local law enforcement officers and charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon.
April 29, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for rape of a child in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.
April 29, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for assault to commit rape and sex with a minor. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
April 29, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lordsburg, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and burglary in the state of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.
U.S. Border Patrol
May 5, 2010
Angel Rojas Ambrocio
Amber Alert Issued for 13 Year Old Texas Girl
The State of Texas issued the Amber Alert Thursday afternoon (May 5, 2010) after the girl was apparently abducted from her school in Austin earlier in the day. Police believe the suspect may try to take the girl to Mexico. According to Police felony charges are pending against the suspect resulting from a violent act he committed against the girl.
Karen Anastacio, an Hispanic female, 13 years old, 5' 2", 115 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants and carrying a pink backpack
The suspect is Angel Rojas Ambrocio, an Hispanic male, 25 years old, 5' 3", 135 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
The suspect vehicle is a brown Ford Expedition or Explorer..
Anyone with information is asked to call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-0911 or dial 911.
May 06, 2010
In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime
Rape Victims Face
Widespread Cultural Bias in Pursuit of Justice
...A "machismo culture," instilled
through what is learned in the home, school and church, has
allowed many men to "believe they are superior and dominant, and
that women are an object." ...That mind-set has contributed to
making many men-including policemen,
prosecutors, judges and others in positions of authority-believe
that sexual violence against women is no big deal.
...A review of criminal laws in all
31 Mexican states showed that many states require that if a
12-year-old girl wants to accuse an adult man of statutory rape,
she must first prove she is "chaste and pure." Nineteen of the
states require that statutory rape charges be dropped if the
rapist agrees to marry his victim...
In the southern state of Oaxaca last
summer, the one-year-old, government-funded Oaxacan Women's
Institute persuaded the legislature to pass heavy criminal
penalties against a practice known as "rapto."
Laws in most
Mexican states define rapto as a case where a man kidnaps a
woman not for ransom, but with the intent of marrying her or to
satisfy his "erotic sexual desire."
The new law championed by the women's group established
penalties of at least 10 years in prison.
But in March, the state legislature
reversed itself and again made the practice a minor infraction.
A key legislator -a man- argued for the reduction, calling the
practice harmless and "romantic."
Human rights groups disagree. They
say it is not charming for a man to spot a woman he fancies
sitting in a park, pick her up and carry her away to have sex
with her. Yet to this day, that is still how some women meet
their husbands. The attorney general's office said there have
been 137 criminal complaints of rapto in the state of Puebla
since January 2000...
The Washington Post
June 30, 2002
Fast Food Chef Arrested in Series of Attacks on Women
Other possible victims are urged to come forward
Los Angeles - Police have arrested a 23 year old fast food chef suspected in a
string of attacks on young women in the western
San Fernando Valley dating back over a year.
Jose Perez was arrested April 28 in connection with five crimes over the past 13
months, including two attacks last week, police said.
Police say Perez targeted petite teenage girls who appeared to be defenseless,
sneaking up during daylight hours and trying to assault them or drag them into
According to police:
The first crime in which Perez is suspected occurred March 19, 2009.
A 15-year-old girl reported being abducted from
behind a Sherman Oaks school where she was a student.
The girl was dragged into the bushes, but she fought back as the man groped her,
and he eventually fled.
On May 8, 2009, a 15-year-old girl reported being
grabbed from behind outside her apartment building. Both fell to the ground, and
the suspect fled in a silver four-door Volkswagen.
On Nov. 11, 2009, a 13-year-old girl reported being
grabbed by a man who got out of a white GMC Yukon. But she also fought off the
man, and he fled in the SUV.
Perez is suspected in at least two other similar crimes in April.
On April 26, a 13-year-old girl was in front of a
Van Nuys school when a man drove up in a gray Volkswagen Jetta, got out and
started asking her questions. He then fondled the girl, who pushed him away. The
girl jotted down the license number as he drove away.
Two days later, an 18-year-old woman was walking
home when she noticed a white SUV rolling alongside her. The driver pulled over,
got out, grabbed her from behind and hustled her into the vehicle.
But the young woman's uncle, who happened to be nearby, heard the commotion and
ran off the man, while the woman got out of the vehicle, which was last seen
headed north on Lindley Avenue.
The license plate on the SUV in that case also pointed to Perez.
Detectives believe other possible victims may not have reported similar
encounters and urged them to come forward.
Anyone with more information was asked to call Lt. Edward Pape or Detective John
Doerbecker at (818) 374-7730.
May 4, 2010
Cesar Ysidro Fernandez
Coach Accused of Having Sex with Student
Los Angeles - A basketball and volleyball coach for the Los Angeles Unified
School District has been arrested on suspicion of carrying on a sexual
relationship with a female student.
Cesar Ysidro Fernandez, 39, was arrested at his home, locked up in lieu of
$100,000 bail after being charged Friday with four counts of unlawful sex with a
minor, police said.
The investigation began in January when investigators learned that the sexual
relationship appeared to have started during the school summer break of 2009.
The student was 17 years old at the time of the relationship and is now 18,
according to police.
Fernandez, a teacher at 32nd Street USC Math, Science and
Technology High School, reportedly purchased expensive gifts for
the teen and allegedly brought her to hotel rooms and an
apartment to have sex.
According to police, Fernandez will not be put back in a Los Angeles Unified
School District classroom if he bails out before the case is resolved.
Fernandez also taught summer school at Carson High School.
He has been a teacher since 1993, and has been at the 32nd Street school since
1996. It's believed he has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the
May 6, 2010
Sentencian a 9 años a un hombre por trata de personas en Chiapas
Un juez federal sentenció a nueve años de prisión a un hombre que sometía a trabajos forzados a un grupo de mujeres centroamericanas en Tapachula.
El Juzgado Tercero de Distrito condenó a Calixto Celestino Plata, por los delitos de trata de personas y violencia contra las mujeres.
El sentenciado obligaba a nueve jóvenes guatemaltecas, de 14 y 16 años de edad, a realizar jornadas de trabajo de más de 10 horas diarias.
Calixto Celestino fue asegurado durante un cateo por policías federales, en una vivienda de la colonia centro de Tapachula, a principios del año pasado...
Man is sentenced to 9 years in prison for human trafficking in Chiapas state
Federal judge sentences the convict for forcing Central American women into
labore slavery in the city of Tapachula
The federal Third District Court has sentenced
Calixto Celestino Plata to prison fore engaging in human trafficking and
violence against women.
Celestino Plata forced nine Guatemalan girls between the ages of 14 and 16 to
work for more than ten hours per day in conditions of forced labor...
May 05, 2010
Street scene from Mexico City's 'La
Merced' red light district - from
67% de las prostitutas, explotadas desde niñas
En la zona, 20 por ciento de las trabajadoras tiene entre 12 y 18 años. Provienen de Oaxaca, Chiapas y Tlaxcala; además son analfabetas, detallan.
México.- Un estudio efectuado por el Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), la UNICEF y el Centro de Investigación y Estudios Superiores reporta que “67 por ciento de las mujeres que trabajan en La Merced, se dedican a la prostitución desde niñas.
Indica que 95 por ciento de las personas, hombres y mujeres, que son explotados sexualmente, tienen antecedentes de haber sido agredidas física, sexual y mentalmente.
67% of women working in Mexico City's La Merced prostitution
district started in 'the business' as children
In La Merced, 20% of sex workers are between the ages of 12 and
18, They came from the [heavily Indigenous] states of Oaxaca,
Chiapas, and also Tlaxcala. Most are illiterate.
Mexico – A study conducted by the Nation System fore Integral
Family Development (DIF – Mexico’s main social services agency),
UNICEF and the Center for Investigation and Studies – reports
that 67% of women sex workers in Mexico City’s La Merced
prostitution tolerance zone started working when they were
The study reports that 95% of female and male sex workers in the
zone experienced past sexual, physical or psychological abuse.
In Mexico, more than 20,000 children and adolescents are victims
of commercial sexual exploitation. [We assert that the number
run much higher – LL.] In Mexico City and specifically at La
Merced, child sex trafficking mafias control the prostitution of
Indigenous and other rural children and youth who were either
kidnapped or who were sold by their own parents.
The estimates vary in regard to the number of minors who are
prostituted in La Merced. Some statistics indicate that 20% of
sex workers are between 12 and 18 years-of age.
These are usually cases in which a girl has run away from an
abusive home, or their parents were tricked into believing that
their child was being taken to work in a legitimate job in
Mexico City that would provide her with food and shelter.
The girl children who are prostituted in the bars, clandestine
flop houses, street markets and alleyways [of La Merced] are most often found
to have originated in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas
The Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against
Trafficking in Women (CATW-LAC) reports that in La Merced, 56%
of sexually exploited women had faced aggression within their
families. Some 66% of them were abused by their spouses.
Ninety percent of the minors prostituted in La Merced have not
completed primary school. Eighty eight percent of these minors
become mothers to an average of three children each.
According to the report: “During the past
several decades the age of initiation into prostitution has
dropped from 15 to 11.
The daughters of prostituted women in La Merced
are obliged, without exception, to live a life of prostitution. Their
mothers typically sell their virginity for an average price of
10,000 Mexican pesos (US$760).”
Prostituted minors typically sell sex for 50 pesos ($3.85).
Child prostitution is visible to everyone [in Mexico City]. It
is irresponsible and undignified to fail to recognize it and
work to change the situation for the better.
May 05, 2010
[Man] sentenced to five years for molesting two local girls
...Leonel Torres-Lopez, 24, was sentenced by York-Poquoson Circuit Court, substitute Judge Thomas Nance to five years in prison on two counts of aggravated sexual battery. His victims were two York County girls, ages 7 and 9.
Judge Nance actually sentenced Torres-Lopez to 20 years in prison on each count, only to suspend 15 years of each sentence. The sentences will run concurrently.
In 2007, Torres-Lopez molested the two girls, while they were sleeping. At the time of the assault, the children were being watched by a babysitter.
The girl’s parents were in court and stated that both young victims are now afraid to sleep, and have “persistent nightmares.”
To no avail, Torres-Lopez’ attorney Nora Misenti asked that he client only be sentenced to time served. For the last year, the Mexican national has been in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.
York-Poquoson Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Barbara Cooke told the courtroom that Torres-Lopez had a "history of freely moving across the border."
May 05, 2010
Tlaxcala state, located just east of
Mexico City, is a major source and 'distribution'
area for kidnapped sex trafficking victims. The
victims who are 'assembled' in Tlaxcala are first
taken to Mexico to be broken-in to a life of forced
prostitution. Many are then taken to brothels in
Mexico's border regions, the United States, Europe
Prostitución Infantil en México
México.- Él, es líder de una red de trata de personas. Es miembro de una industria familiar dedicada a la explotación sexual que tejió sus lazos incluso en los Estados Unidos. Una cadena que apunta, invariablemente a Tlaxcala.
Tenía varias niñas en la merced y una de ellas en el 2005 se atrevió a denunciarlo por lenocinio. Él se entera, hace una reunión y delante de todas las demás la mata a golpes. Él dice que para ejemplo de todas las demás y que cuidado y otra se atreva a denunciarlo.
La fiscal de Delitos Sexuales de la Procuraduría de Justicia del Distrito Federal, Juana Camila Bautista Rebollar, narra así, los detalles de una investigación contra Alejo Guzmán, que sigue abierta...
Child prostitution in Mexico
He is a leader of a human trafficking network. He forms part of
a family-based criminal industry dedicated to sexual
exploitation. Their network extends its tentacles as far as the
United States. The network, like so many others, is based in
Tlaxcala state in central Mexico.
The child trafficking gang had a number of girls in the La
Merced area in 2005, when one of them dared to denounce the
network to police. The leader of the group found out, and calls
a meeting. In front of the other girls, he beats the girl who
went to the police to death. He said that he was giving the
other girls a lesson as to what they would face if they did the
Juana Camila Bautista Rebollar, the prosecutor for sex crimes
for Mexico City, narrated these details to the press in regard
to her ongoing investigation of Alejo Guzmán.
Bautista Rebollar: “He killed this girl by beating her. He
later doused her with gasoline and burned her body under the
Congress of the Union bridge.”
Unfortunately, their was no way to discover who she was, to
notify next of kin, given that her body was burned to cinders.
Two other girl victims testified about the homicide. The
network’s victims were all young girls who had been entrapped by
the traffickers in
rural communities in Puebla, Morelos, Tlaxcala and
Bautista Rebollar: “We could only find one of the victims
[murdered by Alejo Guzmán]. The other has not been found. . These
are cases that we continue to investigate. Lamentably, there are
many [similarly] frightening cases.” ...
Flores, age 36, who is originally from the city of Tenancingo, in
Tlaxcala, was arrested in March of 2009 in Puebla state.
Investigators say that he has been involved in the
trafficking network for 10 years. He has been charged with
aggravated promotion of prostitution (pimping) and homicide.
April 27, 2010
Migrantes michoacanos, víctimas de prostitución infantil, extorsión y trata
Una proporción importante de los migrantes, sufren violaciones a sus derechos ya sea en el tránsito por el estado u otras entidades
Morelia, Michoacán.- La prostitución infantil, la trata de personas y la extorsión son los principales delitos de que son víctimas los migrantes michoacanos, declaró Arnulfo Sandoval Cervantes, director regional (Michoacán, Colima y Guanajuato) del Centro de Atención a Víctimas de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR).
Sin embargo, hace falta una cultura de la denuncia puesto que la mayor parte de los casos no son del conocimiento de las autoridades, de ahí que en el año 2009 sólo se dio atención a seis casos de connacionales, uno donde el agraviado de doce años de edad fue víctima de prostitución infantil, dos mujeres menores de 30 años de trata y tres más fueron extorsionados.
Migrants from Michoacán state are the
victims of child prostitution and extortion
A large number of state residents are subjected to human rights
violations as they cross Mexico in route to the U.S.
Morelia, Michoacán state - Child prostitution, other forms of
human trafficking and extortion are the most common crimes
faced by migrants who leave
Michoacán, declared Arnulfo Sandoval
Cervantes, regional director of the federal Attorney General’s
office for the tri-state Michoacán, Colima y Guanajuato area. A
lack of willingness to report these crimes on the part of
society contributes to their continuing impunity...
Ivonne Monreal Vázquez
Cambio de Michoacan
April 22, 2010
Convicted Mexican Sex Offender Arrested At Indio Bus Stop - Border Patrol
Indio - A convicted sex offender from Mexico, with reputed ties to a Northern California gang, was found at an Indio bus station and
was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol, agents said today.
The 37-year-old man, whose name was not released, was arrested Tuesday at the Greyhound Bus station on Oasis Street in Indio during a check by Border Patrol agents, said spokesman Victor Brabble.
Border Patrol agents determined that the man was a citizen of Mexico with no U.S. immigration documents.
He was taken to the Indio Border Patrol Station, Brabble said, where a records check revealed that the man was an aggravated felon convicted of carjacking with a firearm and unlawful sex with a minor.
The man also had tattoos identifying him as a member of the Border Brothers, a Northern California street and prison gang that began in Mexico in the 1980s.
The alleged gangster was being held pending prosecution for entering the United States after deportation, Brabble said.
April 28, 2010
Added: May 5, 2010
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter - April 22-28, 2010
April 28, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a Border Brothers gang member, and had prior convictions for carjacking with a firearm and unlawful sexual contact with a minor in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
April 28, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near San Miguel, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter and indecency with a child in the state of Texas. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
April 27, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a USC who illegally entered the United States near El Paso, Texas, avoiding the port of entry. During the investigation to determine the subject's citizenship, records checks revealed he was a registered sex offender with two active arrest warrants for burglary and theft issued in the state of California.
April 26, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for criminal sexual penetration of a minor and kidnapping in the state of New Mexico, and had been previously removed from the United States.
April 26, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sunland Park, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.
April 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for homicide in the state of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.
April 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for theft and a sexual offense against a child in the state of Washington. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
April 24, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for attempted sexual assault on a child in the state of Colorado and had previously been removed from the United States.
April 24, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The subject had an active arrest warrant for criminal sexual contact with a child under 13 issued in the state of New Mexico.
April 24, 2010 - Miami Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for forcible rape of a child with the use of a weapon issued in the state of Massachusetts. The subject had also previously been removed from the United States.
April 24, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nolia, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for two counts of rape issued in the state of Oregon. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.
April 23, 2010- Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for statutory rape in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.
April 22, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for molestation of a minor in the state of Florida, and had previously been removed from the United States.
April 22, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for a sex offense against a child in the state of Indiana, and had previously been removed from the United States.
Office of Field Operations - U.S. Border Patrol
April 28, 2010
Huntsville police investigating rape of 14-year-old
Huntsville - A rape investigation is underway in Huntsville...
The victim is an underage girl.
The disturbing attack was unsettling for many women in the neighborhood, who said they're going to be extra cautious from now on...
...Police said early Sunday morning, a 14-year-old girl reported being raped by a Hispanic male while she was asleep in her bed.
Investigators said the man ran off after the victim woke up and began screaming.
Police are not sure how the man got into the house...
News of the rape put other neighbors on edge.
"I wouldn't expect it around here, that, that kind of blows my mind," said Shannon Stadler, who moved to the area just a few months ago...
Police said the suspect got away in a red Ford Mustang.
If you have any information that might help investigators, give Huntsville Police a call at (256) 722-7100.
May 03, 2010
New York, USA
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn at Cornell
Nicholas Kristof Talks of Oppression of Women Worldwide
Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof told a story yesterday afternoon to a packed audience in Statler Hall about two 15-year-old Cambodian girls trapped in the despairing shackles of prostitution. He had spoken to both of them for an article he was working on as a reporter and was struck by the fact that after his article ran, they would return to their lives of physical and emotional abuse.
“I had a great front page story and these girls were going to stay behind and die of AIDS,” he said.
So he made a call to the legal counsel at The New York Times and asked if the newspaper had a policy on purchasing human beings. “It turns out they didn’t!” he said to warm laughter from the audience. He bought the girls’ freedom for a total of $350.
“When you get a receipt for buying a human being, it’s a disgrace on our century,” he said.
Kristof, who was joined on stage by his wife, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Cornell Board of Trustees member Sheryl WuDunn ’81, continually walked a narrow line between journalist and activist.
While telling the stories of young women who have endured widespread abuse in third-world nations, they made a heart-tugging plea to end the violence. Their claim that their work to save young girls was “unusual” for journalists was one of many similar statements that defined the unique nature of their jobs.
Kristof and WuDunn’s appearance, part of the the 20th anniversary celebration of the President’s Council for Cornell Women, focused on what they called the century’s most pressing problem — the worldwide oppression of women. This is also the subject of Half the Sky, their bestselling book released last year...
Ben Eisen and Emily Cohn
The Cornell Daily Sun
April 30, 2010
The Latin American Gender Crisis Also Deserves Mainstream Coverage
Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are doing important work spreading the word about human trafficking and the oppression of women and girls around the world.
During the fall of 2009, I spoke with both of the authors during a public radio discussion of their book
on third world gender oppression, Half the Sky, on WAMU, public radio at the American University in Washington, DC.
I mentioned to Kristof, WuDunn and talk show host Frank Sesno that Asia and
Africa were not the only hot spots for gender oppression in the developing world. I said that Latin America also has a major gender rights emergency that rivals that found in India. I mentioned that southern Mexico has been identified by Save the Children as the largest region in the world for the crime of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC - child sex trafficking). I added that the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in southern Mexico has reported that an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls migrants, mostly from Central America, are systematically raped each and every day on the Mexican side of the narrow border with Guatemala and Belize, while Mexico's government intentionally refuses to police that zone of complete criminal impunity.
Kristof and WuDunn responded that they had not studied Latin America when
writing the book Half the Sky, and said that they considered India to be the largest and most critical gender rights emergency globally, and that therefore it should be tackled first.
In following their interviews on the subject, I see that Kristof and WuDunn continue to discuss India
as the global priority. They rarely mention Latin America in their discussions
about the subject of third world gender oppression.
Each and every journalist and author has the freedom to choose any subject matter to focus on. A person can only do so much in the fight against global gender oppression. We call out the inconsistencies in Kristof and WuDunn's presentation of the issue of gender oppression because, as both are Pulitzer Prize winning journalists
and best selling authors, their views are used as a reference point for those
interested in gender oppression issues globally.
Kristof and WuDunn's views also represent the status quo among anti-trafficking organizations in that they, like most workers and volunteers in the anti-trafficking movement, are
of European and Asian descent, and they therefore tend to focus on gender rights and human trafficking issues that involve Europe and Asia (and to some extend the U.S. and Africa).
Libertad-Latina, has for the past 9 years addressed the task of speaking out with documented facts to make the case that Latin America is home to one of the most severely critical gender oppression crises on planet earth.
We assert that the crisis of gender oppression and especially human trafficking
is just as severe in Latin America as it is in Asia. The fact that the Japanese Yakuza
mafias have been kidnapping and exporting women and girl children (and
especially Indigenous girl children) to Japan and other Asian nations from
Colombia (since the 1980s) and also from Mexico and other nations in the region, is
one clear indicator of the importance of Latin American victims as an
economically valuable cohort of slaves used to populate the world's brothels.
The International Organization for Migration has stated that Latin America generates $16 billion per year from sex trafficking. That number is around 50% of the best estimates of the illicit revenues derived from human trafficking globally.
Given that Latin America represents roughly 50% of the global human trafficking
marketplace, it deserves the focused attention of the world's women and
children's human rights defenders.
Veteran Mexican women' rights lawyer Teresa Ulloa, director of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-LAC) has
reported that 17% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Latin America is generated from prostitution, most of which involves sex trafficking.
Ulloa also reports that Mexico alone has 500,000 victims of human trafficking.
In recent months, U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP), has acknowled-ged that an estimated 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are
from Latin America. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border with the U.S. Yet most public pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca and his two predecessors failed to mention Latin America, even in passing.
We encourage everyone who works to end human trafficking: individuals, activists, non governmental organizations, government agencies and inter-governmental bodies to take a stand against gender oppression in Latin America. We also ask that the journalists and authors who cover gender oppression and human trafficking speak-up and join the tireless efforts of activists in the region and their supporters, who work day and night to end the mass gender atrocities that today plague Mexico and most of the other nations of Latin America.
End impunity now!
May 03, 2010
Ismael Rivera (right) appears in court
Springfield man arrested for vicious assault on 10-year-old girl
Sringfield - A 10-year-old girl is recovering after allegedly being viciously attacked inside of a Chestnut Street apartment building around midnight Wednesday, according to police, who have announced a suspect is in custody.
Ismael Rivera, 26, of 10 Chestnut St., is facing charges of assault and battery on a child with injury, unarmed robbery, kidnapping of a child, intimidating a witness and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the assault on the girl after allegedly punching her in the mouth, burning her with a cigarette and attempting to drag her toward the building's garage before she was able to escape and run for help, according to Springfield Police Department Sgt. John Delaney.
The girl had been sent from her home on the 12th floor of 10 Chestnut St., to the 8th floor to an apartment belonging to the her mother's friend to get some cereal and milk, according to Delaney. As the girl was walking down the stairwell, Rivera allegedly grabbed her by the arm, spun her toward him and then punched her in the mouth. According to Delaney, Rivera then allegedly ripped the girl's cell phone from her hand as she pulled it out in an attempt to call for help and then grabbed her by the throat and threatened to break her neck if she didn't stay quiet before burning her neck with his cigarette.
Rivera then allegedly attempted to bring the girl to down the stairs to the building's garage, according to Delaney, when she was able to free herself and run to a security guard in the lobby for him to call 911.
Police were able to obtain a description of the attacker from the girl and went through the building to speak with residents, according to Delaney, and were able to identify Rivera as a suspect. Rivera was later found allegedly attempting to get back into the building while hiding his face with a hooded sweatshirt, according to Delaney, who added Rivera had the young girl's blood on his clothing.
Rivera had been arraigned in Springfield District Court Wednesday and ordered held without right to bail. Police had requested he be held on $1 million bail as he had allegedly threatened to flee to Puerto Rico, according to Delaney.
April 28, 2010
Rupert Knox, de
Amnistía Internacional, recomendó al gobierno mexicano hacer
reformas legislativas para garantizar el acceso a la justicia para
Rupert Knox of Amnesty International has recommended to the Mexican
government that it pass legislative reforms to guarantee
access to tMexico's justice system.
AI: México viola DH como Arizona
El gobierno federal admitió la vulnerabilidad de los migrantes en su paso por el
país; actuará en pro de los indocumentados
La organización Amnistía Internacional (AI) demandó al gobierno de México ser
congruente en sus reacciones en temas migratorios y atender el problema de
abusos cometidos en contra de ciudadanos centroamericanos en territorio nacional,
como lo hace en la defensa de sus connacionales en Arizona.
Añadió que nada exime a las autoridades mexicanas para llevar ante la justicia a
los responsables de violaciones cometidas en la frontera sur, ya sean
funcionarios públicos o particulares...
Amnesty International: Mexico
Violates Migrants Human Rights "Same as Arizona"
Mexico’s Federal Government
admits the vulnerability of undocumented migrants; declares that it will work in
favor of immigrant rights
During a press conference and
report release: “Invisible Victims, Migrants in Movement Across Mexico,”
Amnesty International (AI) demanded that the government of Mexico be
consistent in its response to migration issues and abuses – and that it treat
abuses committed against Central American migrants on Mexican soil in the same
fashion as it treats its own complaints about abuses of Mexican citizens in
Knox noted that nothing exempts Mexican authorities from
bringing cases of migrant abuse long its southern border, be they committed by
public officials or others, before the justice system.
In response, the federal
government admitted the vulnerability of migrants during their trek across
Mexico, where they encounter dangers such as human trafficking and extortion.
At the conclusion of the press
conference, AI Mexico president Alberto Herrera stated that abuses occur that
are not being correctly addressed by the Mexican authorities.
Herrera: “These are the two
sides of the same coin. They are systematic practices of the Mexican state. On
the one hand, the government is making [pro human rights ] energetic statements
for international consumption [Blue heart campaign, etc.]. On the other hand, a
critical lack of attention to these domestic problems.
Herrera added that Mexico
should investigate both abuses committed by public officials, and those
perpetrated by individuals, including crimes that may be linked to organized
The AI report indicated that
90% of migrants crossing Mexico are Central Americans, especially from El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. 20% of that number of migrants are women
and girl children.
One in 12 of these migrants is
under age 18. Although the majority of those are teenagers, some have not yet
reached age 10.
The AI report also mentions
that in 2009, 64,061 foreign migrants were detained by Mexico’s National
Migration Institute. Some 60,383 of them were originally from Guatemala,
Honduras and Nicaragua.
Miguel Á. Sosa and
April 29, 2010
Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes
Mexico City - Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants.
The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants.
The Interior Department acknowledged in a statement that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants.
Rupert Knox, Amnesty's Mexico researcher, said in the report that the failure by authorities to tackle abuses against migrants has made their trip through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.
"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," Knox said.
Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.
Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.
One of the main issues, Amnesty says, is that migrants fear they will be deported if they complain to Mexican authorities about abuses.
At present, Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law says, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues."
The Interior Department said the government has taken some steps to combat abuses and Mexico's legislature is working to repeal Article 67 "so that no one can deny or restrict foreigners' access to justice and human rights, whatever their migratory status."
The Amnesty report said one female migrant told researchers that Mexican federal police had forced her group off a train and stolen their belongings. Forced to walk, she said, she was subsequently attacked by a gang and raped.
The Interior Department said it shares Amnesty's concern, and called the report "a valuable contribution."
Mexico has long been offended by mistreatment of its own migrants in the United States...
The Associated Press
April 29, 2010
The United States
Hundreds Of Immigrants With Criminal Records Arrested
Arrests Made In Florida, Puerto Rico
Miami, Florida - Hundreds were arrested this week as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement searched for immigrants with criminal records living in the U.S.
ICE officials announced Friday that a total of 596 foreign nationals with criminal records were arrested during a three-day operation in the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.
Of the 596 arrests, officials said 258 were in Florida and Puerto Rico. Five were arrested in Monroe County, 48 in Miami-Dade and 24 in Broward.
ICE officials said investigators targeted immigrants who pose a threat to national security, are members of gangs or who have a history of sex crimes against children, although the immigrants were not necessarily fugitives. Some of those arrested who have serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records could face federal prosecution.
Arrestees who have deportation orders outstanding or who have reentered the U.S. illegally will be deported, officials said.
April 30, 2010
The United States
596 criminal aliens arrested in targeted ICE operation throughout the southeastern U.S.
Operation Cross Check yields the largest-ever number of arrests
WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its law enforcement partners arrested 596 foreign nationals with criminal records during a three-day enforcement surge throughout the southeastern United States, making it the biggest operation targeting at-large criminal aliens ever carried out by ICE in the region...
April 30, 2010
Reporter Mariana Sanchez
interviews 'Chabelita,' an
Indigenous Guatemalan child sex
Mexico sex trafficking soars
Mexico has become the top provider of sex
slaves to the Americas, according to the
In an effort to tackle the problem, the
Mexican government has now signed onto the
United Nation's Blue Heart campaign, but so
far it has had little success in prosecuting
and convicting human traffickers.
One reason, according to some analysts, is
confusion over which government agencies
have jurisdiction over human trafficking
In addition the Mexican government has yet
to conduct any comprehensive surveys
detailing the true extent of the problem.
...Mariana Sanchez reports.
Chabelita is a playful child. She can't
remember how old show was when she saw her
father kill her mother in a remote
indigenous village in Guatemala. That was
only the beginning of her tragic ordeal.
Chabelita: "My uncle kidnapped me when I was
six. He took me to Cancun. Some men would
call him up. They would pay him to harm me.
I tried to escape, but they locked me up in
my uncle's room, and in there, they harmed
me too. It was a lot of men."
Mexican authorities believe that Chabelita
was sexually abused for two years before she
managed to escape.
Chabelita: "They took me to a place where
there were a lot or stones. I took one, and
hit the man who was touching me. I kicked
him and ran. I walked for many days without
Only then did police rescue her and bring
her to this [federal government] safe house…
According to the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Mexico has become the number one provider of
sexual slaves to Latin America.
Anti-trafficking leader and
protestant minister Deputy Rosi
Orozco talks with Mariana
(Chair of the Chamber of Deputies'
Commission to Fight Human Trafficking) Rosi
Orozco: "In Mexico, impunity is rampant.
Organized groups and opportunists lie to
their victims, telling them they'll live a
life of riches, and then exploit them,
making between $150 and $250 every day. They
exploit human beings for economic benefits,
turning human beings into slaves." …
Deputy Rosi Orozco talks with
rescued underage former sex
slaves at a federal safe house
These girls who were once used as sex slaves
are on the front line of the fight against
human trafficking. While they are hiding in
a federal safe house under federal
protection, most have cases pending against
But for these victims of modern slavery, the
worst fear for now is to come to terms with
the sexual abuse they suffered.
[The above link
presents the video version of this report.]
Cassandre St. Vil
Haitian student had 'no chance to scream'
when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath
Cassandre St. Vil, 19, was raped by four men
who broke into her tent after the Haiti
earthquake. Months later, sexual violence
remains a major concern in tent encampments.
The four armed men came looking for
Cassandre St. Vil in the dead of night.
The 19-year-old was asleep in the street
under a canopy of sheets that had been her
makeshift home in the two nights after the
Jan. 12 earthquake.
"I couldn't fight back," said St. Vil, now
living in a camp in Port-au-Prince. "They
came in - we didn't have a door - and they
asked my mother and grandmother to leave.
"My mother said, 'Don't do that to my
daughter,' but they were armed and held a
gun to my mother's neck. They threatened to
kill her if she called for help.
"It took place in front of my mother and
grandmother," she continued in a whisper.
"Four people raped me.
"I didn't have the chance to scream. They
covered my mouth," she said, leaning in
close. "While one had sex with me, the three
others stood with my mother and
St. Vil is a bright, articulate young woman
who was attending a university in
Port-au-Prince. The quake shattered dreams
of completing her studies, finding a good
job, getting married.
She has joined the growing ranks of women
who have been sexually abused after the
quake, which collapsed the Port-au-Prince
jail and unleashed criminals into the
"They took my virginity," she lamented. "I
always dreamed of getting married a virgin -
it was very important to me."
After the rape, she and her family moved to
the sprawling Champs de Mars camp near the
Presidential Palace. There, she sought help
from a local women's group, KOFAVIV, which
gives support to rape victims.
A founder, Eramithe Delva, says the group
has helped 180 women raped since January. In
the three months before the quake, there
were just 25 cases...
A few shelters away from St. Vil is another
victim, Helia Lajeunesse, 49, gang raped
with her daughter during sexual depravity
that accompanied the 2004 coup.
Her daughter became pregnant. The child was
a girl, now 5 years old. She, too, was raped
- in late January in the provinces where her
mother fled after the quake.
"[The girl] was going to buy a cup of rice,"
LaJeunesse said. "A young man took the rice
from her hands and she ran after him.
"He took her into the cemetery and a woman
passing by saw him lying on top of her ...
She shouted at him and he ran off.
"Now she doesn't eat, she has no appetite,"
Lajeunesse said, wiping tears as the girl
stared ahead vacantly. "Each night you hear
the cries of the rapes, almost every night."
Mario Joseph, a Haitian lawyer who is
working to prosecute rapists, is hoping to
set up a rape hotline and distribute
whistles to women to call for help.
He says most of the attacks go unpunished,
so perpetrators have little to fear.
"Judges are scared because prisoners are in
the streets," he said. "We need to build
files against people and when we have the
chance, bring them to court. But the
priority now is to get the camps more
The New York
The 2010 Lozano Long Conference – Republics
of Fear: Understanding Endemic Violence in
Latin America Today
Violence has become the signal threat to
stability in Latin America in the new
millennium. Kidnappings and murders generate
lurid headlines from Mexico to Honduras to
Argentina. Communities tired of
statelessness and voicelessness set
suspected criminals on fire in Guatemalan
public squares. Hundreds of women die
violent deaths in Ciudad Juárez and
Guatemala City while the state remains
either impotent or indifferent. Police raids
into Rio’s favelas kill dozens of people
while drug trafficking gangs stockpile more
numerous and more powerful weapons. Prison
gangs paralyze the megalopolis of São Paulo
for days in retaliation for official
measures taken against their imprisoned
Meanwhile, structural violence continues to
condemn huge portions of the region’s
population to poverty, disease,
marginalization, and penury. If cold war
ideologies set Latin America aflame in the
1960s and 1970s, a far more complex set of
factors stokes the ordinary and
extraordinary violence that burns in the
In its Third Annual Lozano Long Conference,
LLILAS hosted the academics who are
exploring the causes and consequences of
this conflagration. Researchers have only
begun to respond to these new challenges to
democracy, development, and human
well-being. The time is ripe for a
conference that brings together cutting edge
research from different disciplines,
perspectives, methods, and viewpoints, all
united around a concern for the peoples of
the region and the circumstances they face.
The conference hosted panels on topics such
as gender violence; intimate violence;
organized violence; the trafficking of
humans, weapons, and drugs; political,
state, and para-state violence; structural
violence, including poverty, forced
migration, racism, and discrimination; and
the responses to violence, including
representations of violence in the media,
literature, films, and public discourse. The
institute hopes in this way to foster and
stimulate a new wave of theoretically
informed, interdisciplinary, and culturally
aware research into this crucial new
challenge for Latin America.
Sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long
Institute of Latin American Studies, the
Rapoport Center for Human Rights and
Justice, and the Center for Women's and
Long Institute of Latin American Studies
University of Texas at Austin
Mexican Police Implicated in Killings,
Mexico City - Scores of police officers -
including the entire department of one town
- have been detained in Mexican probes of
killings and kidnappings.
Mayor Alfredo Osorio of the Gulf coast town
Tierra Blanca said Monday that about
90 city policemen were
being held for questioning about the
kidnapping of undocumented Central American
The officers - the town's entire local force
- were detained by state police and soldiers
and taken to the capital of the Gulf coast
state of Veracruz for questioning. No formal
charges had been filed.
The police allegedly kidnapped the migrants
to shake them down for money. Central
Americans frequently are robbed or abused by
police or by drug gangs as they cross Mexico
to seek work in the United States.
In the central State of Mexico, prosecutors
announced the arrest of two policemen and
two former officers on charges they
participated in 11 killings related to
The officers, ex-officers and a fifth man
posing as a police office, had been assigned
to two towns on the outskirts of Mexico
City. They were detained over the weekend.
Mexico State Attorney General Alberto Baz
Baz said the men allegedly preyed on
businessmen and professionals, snatching
them off the streets to steal debit cards
and other possessions, and then often
killing them. Another ex-officer is being
sought in the case. Some of the crimes were
allegedly committed while the officers were
The suspects face possible prison sentences
of up to 70 years. They had no attorney of
Mar 16, 2010
Mexican Troops Rescue 20 Migrants from
Veracruz, Mexico – Mexican troops rescued 20
Central Americans who had been kidnapped by
a gang of migrant smugglers that was holding
them captive at a house in the Gulf coast
state of Veracruz.
The commander of Mexico’s 26th Military
Zone, Miguel Gustavo Gonzalez, told a press
conference that five suspected smugglers
were arrested who were holding the
undocumented migrants as hostages and were
demanding $1,200 from their families to free
them and allow them to continue on their way
to the U.S. border.
The officer said that the operation took
place in the municipality of Tierra Blanca,
where members of the gang were arrested and
forced to hand over 40,000 pesos ($3,200) in
cash, two guns and four vehicles.
Gonzalez said the raid followed an anonymous
He said that the 11 women and nine men from
Honduras and Nicaragua were found being held
captive in the community of Palma Sola.
Meanwhile, the undocumented migrants who
were rescued received food and medical
attention from the immigration authorities,
who will settle their legal status.
We note with interest that this raid
occurred immediately after the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission
hearing of March 22, 2010 on the mass
kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, and
especially in Veracruz.
Denuncian el "infierno" de unos 18.000
migrantes secuestrados al pasar por México
Washington, DC.- México se ha convertido en
la trampa de miles de migrantes de
Centroamérica y Sudamérica que son
secuestrados cada año cuando atraviesan ese
país, según denunciaron hoy activistas en la
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
En una audiencia del 138 período de sesiones
de la CIDH, organizaciones religiosas y
humanitarias acusaron al Estado de México de
abandonar a los 18.000 emigrantes
secuestrados, que convirtieron 2009 en el
"año maldito" del fenómeno...
Activists Denounce the
“Hell” Faced by 18,000 Migrants per Year Who
Are Kidnapped in Mexico
Washington, DC - According to activists who
testified on March 22, 2010 at the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission
(IAHRC) - Mexico has become a dangerous trap
for thousands of migrants from South and
Central America who are kidnapped each year
when they attempt to cross Mexico.
The religious and human rights activists
testified during an IAHRC hearing, held
during its 138th period of sessions. In
their testimony, they accused the Mexican
state of abandoning the 18,000 migrants who
were kidnapped during 2009, which they
declared to be a terrible year for the
The director of the migrant shelter Brothers
on the Road to Hope, Father Alejandro
Solandide, denounced the lack of political
will in Mexico to put a stop to the problem,
as well as the complicity and cover-up that
state agents engage in – in relation to
Father Solandide: “It is very hard to see a
line that separates the authors of these
kidnappings - be they organized criminals or
Migrants begin their trek in their home
countries, where these criminal networks
[first] coordinate their activities, said
Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the National
Institute for Migration [Mexico’s
When migrants reach Mexico, they are
trapped, and are taken to safe houses, where
the coyotes demand their family’s phone
number [to allow them to extort the family],
and they are beaten with sticks and suffer
“These safe houses are hell. The victims
suffer tortures. If they resist [the
extortion], they are made examples of and
are mutilated or murdered, declared Reverend
Pedro Pantajo Arreola, of the Bethlehem
The wave of
kidnappings began in 2006, says Father
Solandide, but the problem became even
larger in 2009, when it became like a
“silent, low-motion massacre” – “due to
moral decay,” the increase in organized
criminal violence, and judicial impunity.
During the last three years, the ‘industry’
of mass kidnapping has been perfected,
especially in the state of Veracruz. In a
six month period of time, these kidnappings
generate $50 million dollars in revenue.
Aside from the Mexican government’s failure
to investigate these crimes, and the
“immense defenseless-ness” of the victims,
Father Solandide denounced the “insufficient
actions taken and mechanisms put into place”
by the government in the face of this
reality. Scant resources exist to house,
assist and restore the victims.
The representatives of the organizations who
testified directly assist victims, a
situation that has also placed them in
“Our migrant shelters
are being threatened and attacked by both
the Mexican authorities and by members of
organized crime, to such an extent that we
have found in necessary to seek the legal
protection of this Commission,” said
Monsignor Raúl Vera,
Saltillo, who is also the president
of the Council of the Friar Juan de Larios
[Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the federal
National Institute for Migration, and
Alejandro Negrín, human rights
representative at the Mexican Chancellery,
testified in opposition to the petition.]
Felipe González, the President of Mexico's
National Human Rights Commission of Mexico
(CNDH) stated that he was in agreement with
the petitioners, and invited the IAHRC to
visit Mexico to determine the magnitude of
the problem in person.
Inter-American Human Rights Commission
Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro
Juárez (PRODH); Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes
en México; Centro Diocesano de Derechos
Humanos Fray Juan de Larios; Dimensión de la
Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana; Casa de
Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino [Migrant
Refuge]; Albergue de Nuestra Señora de
Guadalupe A.C. [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue
Guadalupano de Tierra Blanca [Migrant
Refuge]; Servicio Jesuita de Jóvenes
Voluntarios; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray
Matías de Córdova; Frontera Con Justicia
A.C.y Humanidad Sin Fronteras
Inter-American Human Rights
Organization of American States
March 22, 2010
20,000 Migrants a Year
Kidnapped in Mexico En Route to U.S.
Some 20,000 of
the 140,000 illegal migrants en route to the
United States via the Mexico border to find
work and a better life are kidnapped each
year and subjected to rape, torture and
murder, crimes that usually go unpunished
due to the corruption of the authorities,
fear of reprisals and distrust of
authorities, according to Mexico’s
independent National Human Rights
Mexico City –
More than 1,600 migrants, above all Central
Americans en route to the United States to
find work, are kidnapped monthly and
subjected to humiliations that usually go
unpunished due to the corruption of the
authorities, Mexico’s independent National
Human Rights Commission reported.
of migrants has become a continuous practice
of worrying dimensions, generally unpunished
and with characteristics of extreme
cruelty,” commission chairman Jose Luis
Soberanes said Monday at the presentation of
September 2008 and February 2009, the
commission registered a total of 198 cases
of mass kidnappings of migrants involving
June 16, 2009
Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of
Presentation: Kidnappings of Migrants in
Monday March 22nd - 5:30-6:30pm -
Every year tens of thousands of migrants
travel through Mexico en route to the United
States. Often on their arduous journey these
migrants are exposed to brutal violence,
extortion, and kidnappings.
Join us for a forum with this exceptional
group of speakers all of whom are highly
recognized as leading moral authorities on
migrant rights. These speakers will discuss
the kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, the
ways in which Mexican laws and policies make
them more vulnerable and may prevent their
access to justice, how authorities directly
collaborate in this practice and the hearing
on this issue that has been presented before
the Inter-American Commission on Human
Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo,
is also President of the Counsel of the Fray
Juan Juan de Larios Diocese Center and a
member of various organizations that work to
protect migrants' human rights.
director of the shelter "Hermanos en el
Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for
Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and
the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the
Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the
Mexican Episcopal Conference. The shelter
offers food, shelter and legal advice to the
thousands of migrants that pass through the
city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca en route to the
Father Pedro Pantoja Arreola founded
Emaús House, Passage of Migrants in Ciudad
Acuña and created the project Borders and
Dignity. After more than five years he
returned to Saltillo, where he oversees the
shelter "Belén [Bethlehem] Migrant Inn" and
the Borders with Justice project, both
founded in 2001 to respond to the grave
human rights violations of migrants.
Our panelists will also be joined by
representatives from the Miguel Agustin Pro
Juarez Human Rights Center, the Fray Matias
de Cordova Human Rights Center and Frontera
con Justicia [Justice for the Border] and
Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without
Kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico
March 22, 2010
5:30-6:30pm - plus reception
Washington Office on Latin
America - WOLA
1666 Connecticut Ave NW - Suite
Please RSVP to Ashley Morse
(Space is limited, RSVPs will
be accepted on a first-come
intimidation of human rights defender,
Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra
harassment of Father Alejandro Solalinde
Guerra's efforts to assist migrants in
Sign-on to a letter
of support to President Calderón
...Human rights defender Father Solalinde
has recently been subjected to harassment
and intimidation as a direct result of his
activities in defense of human rights.
Father Solalinde is the director of the
Albergue del Migrante Hermanos en el Camino
de la Esperanza (Shelter for Migrant
Brothers on the Road of Hope) and
co-ordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care
Centre for Migrants. The Shelter provides
food, shelter and legal assistance to
thousands of migrants who travel through the
city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, on their way to the
United States of America. Over the last two
years, the Shelter has reported several
cases of corruption by state and federal
government officials as well as the practice
of abduction of migrants...
FrontLine - Protection of
Human Rights Defenders
Feb. 02, 2010
Added: Mar. 21, 2010
Mexico, Central America
mothers gather to pray and
leave offerings and crosses
for their family members who
were abused, kidnapped and
murdered in the 'mugging and
rape gauntlet' at Mexico's
southern border region known
'La Arrocera' - the Rice
Kidnapping - A Growing Risk for Central
The increase in kidnappings of Central
American migrants crossing Mexico on their
way to the United States will be brought up
at the Inter-American Commission on Human
current session next Monday.
”We are experiencing a humanitarian disaster
that the authorities want to cover up at all
costs,” Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who
heads the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for
Migrants in Ciudad Ixtepec, in the southern
state of Oaxaca, told IPS.
Solalinde, who has been defending the rights
of undocumented Central American migrants
since 2005, is flying to Washington to
describe the situation on the ground to the
IACHR, which is holding its 138th period of
sessions Mar. 15-26, along with
representatives of other civil society
Although the priest has been the target of
death threats from people traffickers and
kidnappers, he was denied police protection.
In January 2007, Solalinde, who also set up
a shelter to provide food and medical
attention to migrants next to the railway
lines that they ride on their long trek
north, helped a group of Central Americans
escape their captors in Oaxaca.
He has also spoken up against police
brutality, and even filed legal action
against local police officers and
authorities. But the lawsuit is merely
Thousands of Central Americans, mainly from
the impoverished countries of Honduras,
Guatemala and El Salvador, are detained and
deported every year by the police in Mexico
as they attempt to reach the United States.
However, they don't only face a risk of
being seized and deported by the police, but
are also vulnerable to harassment, sexual
abuse, extortion, robbery and kidnapping by
immigration agents and police, while they
are assaulted, raped, held up, kidnapped and
sometimes killed by gang-members and
From September 2008 to February 2009, 9,758
migrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according
to a special report by the governmental
National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).
”The kidnapping of migrants in Mexico is on
the rise,” Maureen Meyer, the Washington
Office on Latin America (WOLA) Associate for
Mexico and Central America, told IPS.
However, ”this number (9,758) is by no means
the full extent of the phenomenon, as given
the vulnerability of migrants in Mexico,
many cases go unreported.”
WOLA is backing the Mexican activists who
will appear before the IACHR in the U.S.
capital, where they will ask the Commission
to recommend that the government provide
protection to migrants, fight kidnappings
and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mexican immigration authorities have
arrested 4,164 Central Americans so far this
year, according to official figures.
The IACHR session will also be attended by
Raúl Vera, Catholic bishop of Saltillo, a
city north of the capital; Pedro Pantoja, a
priest who runs the Belen migrants shelter
and the Borders with Justice project in
Saltillo; and representatives of Mexican
non-governmental organisations that provide
protection to undocumented Central American
In the southern state of Veracruz, 13
municipal police have been prohibited from
leaving the country, because they are under
suspicion of kidnapping and extorting
Central American migrants.
The kidnappings are planned in Oaxaca and
carried out in Veracruz, with the collusion
of public employees and municipal and state
agents, according to Solalinde...
Because of the numerous reports of abuses,
the government of El Salvador opened a
consulate in Oaxaca in January to provide
attention to Salvadoran citizens.
But not even the diplomatic mission has
escaped harassment: less than a month after
it opened, armed men who claimed to be
federal police but did not identify
themselves forced their way into the
consulate without authorization, supposedly
as part of an investigation.
Salvadoran ambassador to Mexico Hugo
Carrillo has asked President Felipe Calderón
to take effective action against the police
involved in the incident.
”It would appear that kidnapping has become
another source of income for organized
criminal groups operating in Mexico and
along the U.S.-Mexico border (which are)
already involved in drug trafficking,
pirated goods, extortion, etc.,” said Meyer.
She added that some reports indicate that
along the border ”and even in the U.S.
itself, groups involved in human smuggling
are now earning more money from holding some
of their 'clients' for ransom, than from the
fees they already charge to make the
She also said the kidnappings in Mexico are
often carried out ”with the support and
collusion of officials from all levels of
Most of the migrants do not file an official
complaint, out of fear of being deported, or
because the legal formalities are too
Human rights activists, international NGOs,
the United Nations and Central American
governments have repeatedly implored Mexico
to bring the rule of law to its southern
border region, where an estimated 450 to 600
women and girl children are systematically
raped each day (according to the United
Nations affiliated International
Organization for Migration), often with the
cooperation or involvement of local police
and immigration agents. President Calderon's
government has repeatedly ignored these
pleas, even when they have been made by
The fact that Save the Children has
the southern border of
Mexico as being the largest region for the
commercial sexual exploitation of children
(CSEC) in the entire world is
closely linked to the fact that migrant
children and youth are kidnapped, raped and
sold into sexual slavery en mass by
traffickers who know that the Mexican
government will do absolutely nothing to
stop their organized crime wave.
Like other human trafficking related issues,
these mass gender atrocities are of
no consequence for 'socially conservative'
politicians who uphold the validity of
feudal-era sexist machismo in modern Mexico.
We thank God for the existence of the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights. While
the U.S. Administration and the United
Nations sit on their hands in the face of
these mass human rights violations, the
Court acts as the forum of last resort as a
response by civilization to national
governments who's lack of action in these
circumstances amounts to rogue and
Where is this issue on the agenda of the
federal National Commission to Punish and
Prevent Human Trafficking, or on the agenda
of the newly formed Special Commission to
Fight Human Trafficking headed by Deputy
Rosi Orozco in the Chamber of Deputies? We
don't see any action on this issue from
Indeed, where is this issue on the agenda of
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and
her director of the State Department
Trafficking in Persons office,
Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca?
They, and also U.S. President Obama, must
stand-up and speak out against this brazen
form of impunity, and not remain silent in
the face of such organized, mass violent
crimes against women.
March 21/22, 2010
Mexico, Central America
Madres salvadoreñas depositan ofrendas en
El 80 porciento de los abusos cometidos
contra los inmigrantes se cometen en esta
zona de Huixtla, Chiapas
Huixtla, Chiapas - Los parientes de
indocumentados fallecidos y desaparecidos
visitaron "La Arrocera" , un pequeño tramo
de escasos cuatro kilómetros que los
indocumentados utilizan para evadir la
caseta migratoria El hueyate, en Huixtla...
leave offerings for their murdered children
80 percent of abuses against migrants occur
in this area near the city of Huixtla,
Huixtla, Chiapas - relatives of deceased and
missing undocumented migrants visited "La
Arrocera," a four kilometer long rural trail
that north-bound Central and South American
migrants use to bypass the Hueyate
immigration station in the city of Huixtla,
Under strict security arrangements and with
the support of Mexico's National Commission
on Human Rights (CNDH), members of the
Committee of Families of Deceased and
Missing Migrants toured the area of "the
Rice Cooker" near Huixtla, a municipality in
the state of Chiapas, where dozens of men
and women have been assaulted, raped and
"The Rice Cooker" is a [rural] migrant trail
where 80 percent of the assaults and
homicides in the region are committed,
according to testimony gathered by the
Catholic Church and human rights
Even police will not enter
this zone unless they have several officers
armed with high-powered weapons.
Father Luis Angel
Nieto prayed for eternal rest for all of
those migrants who lost their lives here in
their attempt to reach "the American Dream."
For the second time during the trip,
Father Luis Nieto
demanded that the Mexican authorities combat
these crimes, that for several years have
sewn pain and fear.
"We cannot keep quiet,
we cannot be complicit in this," he said.
After prayer, the Salvadorans planted dozens
of crosses in memory of those who lost their
lives here and who were never identified.
During the emotional ceremony, the mothers
and fathers could not contain their tears.
The sadness and pain invaded their faces.
Most knew the true meaning of "the Rice
Juan de Dios Garcia Davish
Feb. 11, 2009
Mexico, Central America
Crosses for those
murdered at the 'Rice Cooker'
El 80% de migrantes
son violadas en el tramo la Arrocera
Arriaga. Chiapas.-A primera vista, el campo
verde de arbustos medianos y matas de mango
de esta zona despoblada en el estado de
Chiapas luce apacible y amigable. Nada más
distante: las ráfagas de viento rompen con
violencia el silencio, tal como el grito de
mujeres inmigrantes que son violadas cada
año al cruzar por esta región ubicada a unos
120 kilómetros de la frontera con Guatemala.
"Alrededor del 80% de las centromaricanas
que cruzan La Arrocera son violadas", señala
el padre Herman Vázquez, fundador del
alberque Hogar de la Misericordia y párroco
de Arriaga, cercana a la zona "roja", por
donde cada año caminan unos 230 mil
centroamericanos en el inicio del viaje por
territorio mexicano hacia EE.UU...
80% of Migrant Women
are Raped in the Zone Called the Rice Cooker
The city of Arraiga, in Chiapas state – At
first glance, the green landscape in this
sparsely populated region of Chiapas state
looks peaceful and inviting. The gusts of
wind violently break the silence, much as do
the screams of the women migrants who are
raped each year as they cross this gauntlet,
located 120 from the Guatemalan border.
“About 80% of the central American women who
cross “the Rice Cooker – la Arrocera” – are
raped, says Father Herman Vázquez, founder
of the House of Mercy shelter and parish
priest in Arraiga. Arraiga is located close
to the “red zone” where 230,000 Central
American migrants walk during their journeys
to the Mexican border with the U.S.
Between the scrub and rocks of this rural
area, bands of delinquents stalk their
victims. These assailants have been
identified as being residents of nearby
towns who have dedicated themselves to
raping and robbing migrants.
For migrants, passing through this 4 square
kilometer bottleneck on the migrant’s trail
is almost inevitable, as migrants seek to
bypass the immigration station on the main
Feb. 26, 2009
Added: Mar. 22, 2010
Thousands of Migrants Kidnapped in Southern
A report published by Mexico’s Human Rights
Commission shows that close to 10,000
migrants were kidnapped for ransom in
Mexican territory between September 2008 and
February 2009. That’s an average of 50
kidnappings a day for 6 months. The
commission based its statistics on
information provided by migrant shelters,
migrant testimonies, press accounts, and
legal records, while noting that the actual
dimensions of the kidnapping problem are
likely much larger.
More than half of the nearly 10,000
kidnappings documented by the National Human
Rights Commission occurred in the southern
states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
Friar Blas Alvarado, who runs a migrant
shelter in the southern border town of
Tenosique, Tabasco, said the commission’s
statistics are just the tip of the iceberg
because his shelter has had “hundreds more
cases that we haven’t documented or reported
because, at this point, we don’t know where
to take them”. He says he doesn’t trust the
National Human Rights Commission to do
anything beyond crunch numbers and that he
doesn’t trust any other government agency
because “they know very well – and have
known for a long time – where these crimes
are taking place, and they don’t do
Ties to organized
Migrant kidnappings in Tabasco and Veracruz
are mostly attributed to the “Zetas”
organized crime group. Friar Blas Alvarado
says officials take no action against
kidnappers either out of fear or because
they are in collusion with the criminals. “
June 22, 2009
Central America and Mexico
María de Jesús Silva,
blancas en Centroamérica
non-governmental organizations, the child
kidnapping and sex trafficking case of
11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom
Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows
clearly how the third most profitable
criminal enterprise in the world operates.
...Jackeline has been forced to work in
brothels all over Central America. Her
pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas
state [near Mexico's southern border with
María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother,
who searched all over Central America and
southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw
things that I never imagined existed... The
brothels are full of children, sold by
traffickers and abandoned by their parents.
I saw them prostitute themselves and wished
that any one of them would have been my
daughter. I settled for caressing the hair
of these girls, and I imagined that in the
'next' brothel, I was going to find my
daughter. Everything that I have suffered
through is nothing compared to what my girl
is going through."
Mexico - The Hot Spot
Save the Children has
identified the border region between
Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest
hot spot for the commercial sexual
exploitation of children globally.
Ana Salvadó: "It the neck in the bottle,
because many children attempt to migrate
from Central America [and South America] to
the United States, and they never get past
[southern] Mexico, where they are sold by
pimps and sometimes are returned to Central
A study by the international organization
ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child
Pornography and Trafficking of Children for
Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000
Central Americans, with the majority being
children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and
brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the
Traffickers sell these children to
Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.
Prostitution in cities like Tapachula
operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has
documented the fact that traffickers work
with corrupt federal and local officials in
exchange for bribes or as direct
participants in the criminal networks...
According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child
Prostitution, Child Pornography and
Trafficking of Children for Sexual
Purposes," from Tapachula, where these
children are sold, the victims are
transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca,
Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit,
Sinaloa and Mexico City.
More that 50% of these child victims are
from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are
Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They
range in age from eight to
Oct. 22, 2007
Added: Mar. 20, 2010
Other Side of the Street
Part of a photo essay on
street children in Mexico
Laura ran away from home
when she was 12, after her
stepfather raped her. She
became infected with HIV at
age 14 after being raped on
the street by an HIV
Positive man. He is known to
have sexually assaulted 3
other homeless girls, and is
now serving a prison
sentence for rape. Laura is
regularly sexually exploited
for money. She has 2
children who live with her
– Mexico City
I don't know where to even start...we are in
the middle of stuff here that is so sick -
not sure how to even describe it. All I know
is the Lord has been preparing me over the
last weeks for what we have now....
We lost the 6 year old [see "Acapulco
Update" - March 15, 2010] because certain
un-named people told the mother that if she
was with us I would go after the guys once I
had the whole story...I can't deny that I
would but the way it blew up from inside is
something that will be addressed.
So that was one thing....the next is equally
disturbing and involves 2 sisters - one 15,
the other 10...the 15 year old was brutally
raped and beaten to death and God only knows
where they left her body...many times real
news gets ignored for the "good" of the
people. Her sister 10 was and is also being
victimized by rape and has had her teeth all
punched out....in the midst of this she is
now pregnant and seemingly has vanished from
the face of the earth...the same guys who
did these acts raped and murdered 2 boys 7
and 10 years old and left the 7 year old
body in front of the marina area...no
investigation and certainly no prosecution
at least that anyone will admit to. So what
Well I don't have the answer other than
pray....today we are going to an abandoned
house where the homeless drug addicts of
Acapulco regularly violate both boys and
girls who find themselves on the streets. We
are going there only to pray in the hopes
that maybe...just maybe our prayers can be
enough for Angels to free even one child who
would be victimized here.
My flesh really wanted / wants to shut down
our work in Acapulco, not because the work
is hard or not needed, but because we keep
getting hit with stuff that is not our
call...we still have a house full of elderly
sick people and NO ONE is able or at least
willing to help with them...so instead of
doing what we are called to and what is
clearly needed...going out and getting these
children off the streets and out of
danger...we are spending the limited
resources we have running a nursing home. I
am doing all I know how to ....in order to
fix it but it is seemingly impossible.
So brothers and sisters...I ask for focused
prayers at this time.....we need the the
government or at least a ministry with the
call to elderly to help so we can go get
these kids before they end up washed up on
the beach like so many others...we are not
going to shut down here...we are going to
increase our efforts against all odds.
Prayer...lots of prayer!
Steven T. Cass
Trabajo Infantil Indígena y Descolonización
17 millones de
niños indígenas trabajan en América Latina
en labores agrícolas y en el área urbana se
desempeñan en actividades domésticas, en
construcción y como vendedores ambulantes,
según datos de la OIT y UNICEF.
Child Labor and Decolonization
Indigenous Children work in Latin America in
agriculture, domestic work and as street
vendors, according to data from the
International Labor Organization and UNICEF
El tema es abordado en el Encuentro
Latinoamericano: “Pueblos indígenas y
gobierno: hacia una protección efectiva de
los derechos de los niños, niñas y
adolescentes indígenas en situación de
trabajo infantil por abolir. De la
declaración a la acción” que se desarrolla
en Cartagena de Indias, con la participación
de 200 representantes de entidades
gubernamentales y comunidades indígenas.
UNICEF ha presentado, junto con la Agencia
Española de Cooperación Internacional para
el Desarrollo (AECID) y la Fundación para la
Educación en Contextos de Multilingüismo y
Pluriculturalidad (FUNPROEIB Andes), el
Atlas sociolingüístico de pueblos indígenas
en América Latina, un análisis lingüístico y
sociocultural para Latinoamérica. "No
teníamos ningún informe sobre el estado de
la situación de los pueblos indígenas, ni en
el ámbito cultural, educativo, lingüístico,
económico, demográfico ni social", señala el
jefe de la Unidad de Políticas
Intraculturales, Interculturales y
Plurilingüismo del ministerio de Educación
de Bolivia y aymara del altiplano boliviano,
Walter Gutiérrez. Según él, sin una "mirada
amplia" sobre América Latina, resulta
"imposible planificar políticas integrales
que protejan los intereses indígenas". Por
esta razón, califica el Atlas como "un
avance" y una "herramienta útil" para
planificadores y gobernantes...
translation to follow]
activist's letter speaks the truth from
the front lines of the battle to save
children from impunity
Breaking Chains Update...lots of
action....almost more than we can handle.
action but it is taking its toll……
In the last 2 weeks we have successfully
rescued 2 new daughters both of whom have
extraordinary testimonies…I will share
Monica’s in a bit. We also through the US
Dept. Of Homeland Security successfully shut
down a child porn site that had more than
500 videos involving hardcore acts with
children many of whom have yet to reach 5
years of age.
I don’t think you can understand until you
have seen this stuff the depth of evil that
exists in mankind and while the acts are one
thing what is causing me what may be more
pain than I can handle is the faces of these
children during the acts. I keep seeing them
over and over in my mind. I find myself now
at times in the middle of the day and night
just stopping and crying. I can handle a lot
as most of my work keeps me in the midst of
hell but the enemy may have found the way to
take me out of this battle.
On top of that we have identified 3
different middle schools in Baja California
where girls yet to reach 16 years of age and
many of whom are only 12 are willingly
selling themselves not out of force but for
money to buy things like cell phones, chips
and soda, and the latest fashions. Many of
the clients are Americans who either live
here or come down specificially seeking
Through an ongoing operation in the red
zones of Tijuana we have also identified 42
minors who are being prostituted blatantly
with seemingly no repercussion from law
enforcement…yeah they do go in and arrest
them from time to time but the next day they
are back on the streets. It is a helpless
feeling to see all this and only be able to
act on a miniscule fraction.
We have been waiting for help from Mexico
City for a long time now and are pretty much
resigning ourselves that it is not coming.
It is not like they don’t have other things
to do…this country is in the midst of a full
blown war that makes Iraq look like a
playground. There are armed groups attacking
each other daily and many of the attacks are
happening in the middle of civilians and
even in the middle of town squares. The
numbers are staggering and it seems like the
daily reports of multiple homicides at the
hands of AK 47’s and AR 15’s are just
another story. The US has shut down the
consulate in Monterrey where the Zetas and
Gulf Cartel have engaged in a full blown
In the middle of all this I often find
myself asking God…where are you?????? I know
He is here as my faith has not been
completely stolen but those little 3 and 5
year old faces from the videos sure bring
legitimacy to the question...
Now would be a good time to pray brothers
and sisters…it is a season of almost
unbearable pain. We need you now more than
ever…we need your prayers, we need your
financial support and we need more people to
get off their butts and start doing
something. There is a war going on …a war
which is reaching a level of evil most of
you cannot fathom or at least that you
choose not to. I don’t have that luxury I
have been called to fight for these kids and
the images of those tiny faces is a double
edged sword…it makes me want to quit and at
the same time won’t let me.
Feb. 28, 2010
We support your important
efforts to save children!
Keep up the great work,
hard as it may be. Those who are defenseless
depend upon your tireless efforts to stand
tall in the face of impunity.
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
Feb. 26, 2010
Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!
Mexican Interior Secretary
Mont's presentation at the
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
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
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 extreme
poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk
children and youth into the hands of
During Secretary Mont's talk he expresses
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 who 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 -
about the figures quoted to
describe the number of child
sexual exploitation victims in
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
Given Mexico's vastly greater
level of poverty, legalization
of adult prostitution, and given
that southern Mexico alone is
known to be the largest zone in
the world for CSEC, with 10,000
city of Tapachula (according to
International Organization for
Migration 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 used.
being prostituted just
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,
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
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
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
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
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
The regulations failed to target
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
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 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 support the
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
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
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,
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
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!
Víctimas del tráfico
de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas
en América Latina
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
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
Mexico is a country of
origin, transit and also destination for
trafficked persons. Of 500,000 victims in
Mexico, 87% are subjected to commercial
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
- Notimex /
La Jornada Online
Dec. 12, 2007
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
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, 200
[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. -
Dec. 03, 2009
Award-winning anti-child sex
journalist, author and women's
center director Lydia Cacho
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
Deaths from violence in Mexico could be
the results of social cleansing: Lydia
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
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
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
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
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
Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats
and judicial persecution for her
writings, told a press conference in
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
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
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
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
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
Nov. 24, 2009
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
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
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
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
Americas Program, Center for
International Policy (CIP)
Nov. 23, 2009
Added: Dec. 03, 2009
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
Dec. 1, 2009
LibertadLatina News Archive - October
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
The Associated Press
According to press reports from Mexico,
secret society is the dominant faction
within the ruling National Action party
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
Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.
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
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?
Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to
build empire in Mexico while
rolling-back women and indigenous
people's basic human rights?
Dec. 4, 2009
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]
Action Party) have been named
as alleged founders and members of The
¡Feliz Día Internacional de la
Happy International Women's Day!
declaración de 2005 Día
Internacional de la Mujer
es pertinente hoy en día, y define
emergencia hemesferica que
enfrentan las mujeres y en
particular as niñas de todas las
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
¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la
violencia de genero!
statement for International Women's
Day is relevant
today, and accurately defines the
hemispheric emergency facing women
and especially girl children in the
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
March 8, 2008
Read our special
section on the crisis in the city of
The city of Tapachula, near
Mexico's border with Guatemala,
is one of the largest and most lawless child sex
trafficking markets in all of Latin America.
Our new news section
tracks events related to this hell-on-earth, where
over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and
other sex workers are underage, and where especially
migrant women and girls from Central and South
America, who seek to migrate to the United States,
have their freedom taken from them, to become a
money-making commodity for gangs of violent
A 2007 study by the international organization
[End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]...
revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly
children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels
- Chuck Goolsby
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
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
Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)
Alianza Por Tus
Derechos, Costa Rica:
Our borders: say
no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children
news feed is a major source of Spanish language news
articles translated and posted on
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
LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla
Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women
trafficked to Argentina
your comments and questions about competition entries.
- Chuck Goolsby
Added June 15, 2008
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
A woman is paraded
before Johns on Mexico City's San Tomas Street,
where kidnap victims are forced into prostitu-tion
and are 'trained'
(C) NY Times
The Girls Next
The New York Times'
ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking
from Mexico into the United States
[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
American Trafficking News Summary
Hurricane Wilma - 2005
Earthquakes and hurricanes...
The impact of natural disasters
on women and children's human rights in the Americas
Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and
Children in the Americas
of American 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
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."
theologian and ethicist
Dr. Miguel de la Torre
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)
Who will protect them from impunity?
We work for all of the children and women who await our
society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal
utter brutality and impunity!
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.
materials are presented for non-profit
educational 'fair use' purposes only.