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All of our reports and commentaries: 1994 to present

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2006 - Migration, Social Reform and Women's Right to Survive

2005 - Defending 'Maria' from Impunity

2003 Slavery Report


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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

Native Latin America

Native Bolivia

Native Brazil

Native Colombia

Native El Salvador

Native Guatemala -

   Femicide & Genocide

Native Mexico

   Acteal Massacre

Native Peru

United States

Native Canada

African Diaspora

Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

Afro Latin America and the Caribbean

The Crisis Facing Latin American Women and Children

Introduction

Key Facts

HIV-AIDS Issues

About Machismo

Concept of Impunity

More Information

Central America / Mexico Region

Central America

El Salvador

Honduras

México

   Juarez Femicide

Nicaragua

Panama

Caribbean Region

Spanish Speaking

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Puerto Rico

French Speaking

Haiti / Dominica

English Speaking

Jamaica

Trinidad and Tobago

South American Region

Argentina

Brazil 

Columbia

Ecuador

Guyana

Paraguay

Venezuela

Crisis - U.S. Latinas

Crisis: U.S. Latinas

Washington, DC

Workplace Rape

U.S. Rape Cases

Sexual Slavery

Trafficking Overview

The Global Crisis

Latin American

   Sexual Slavery

U.S. Latina Slavery

Latina Child Sex

   Slavery in San Diego

Worst Cases

Urgent Human Rights Issues in Mexico

Oaxaca

Striking Mexican

   Women Teachers

   are Violently

   Attacked by Police

   in Oaxaca

Antenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

   Rape and Assault

   47 Women at

   Street Protest

Lydia Cacho

Journalist / Activist

   Lydia Cacho is

   Railroaded by the

   Legal Process for

   Exposing Child Sex

   Networks In Mexico

Other Issues

School Exploitation

Forced Sterilization

The Jutiapa, Guate-

   mala Child Porn

   Scandal

The Elio Carrion

   Shooting Case

President Bush's

  Immigration

  Proposal

Other Disasters

The Darfur Genocide

Impact of Hurricanes

  Stan and Wilma

Hurricane Katrina

Other Regions

Africa

Asia / Pacific

Middle East

Europe

Reference

Who's Who

Organizations

Books

Media Articles

 

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


 

 
Jan. Feb.  Mar.  Apr.  May  June  July  Aug. Sep.  Oct. Nov. Dec.

News and Events - English

Jan. 1-15 / 16-31 2006

Other Available News Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005

 

Jan. / Enero 2006


Added Jan. 31, 2006

Bolivia

Women's Rights Leader Casimera Rodriguez, Who Survived Severe Exploitation As A Domestic Worker For 20 Years, Is Named As Bolivia’s Justice Minister

Casimera Rodriguez. recently named as Bolivia's first Native woman Justice Minister, receives the Methodist World Council's Peace Award, honoring her struggle, steadfast-ness, leadership and faith - November, 2003.

Photo: The United Methodist church

Cuatro mujeres en el gabinete de Evo Morales

Bolivia’s new president Evo Morales has named 4 women to his Cabinet

Anthropologist Alicia Muñoz has been named minister of the Interior. The first woman ever to occupy that position will take charge of anti-drug efforts, the intelligence services and police functions.

Celinda Sosa, a popular social movement leader, has been named Minister of Production and Micro-Enterprises. 

The Health Ministry will be lead by Nilda Heredia, a veteran leader in the movement of social equality who was exiled under former dictator Hugo Banzer.

A Quechua Woman, Casimira Rodriguez, Will Run the Justice Ministry.

Bolivia's new Justice Minister Casimira Rodriguez is a Native Quechua woman who knows very well the abuses suffered by the domestic workers of Latin America.  Rodriguez worked as a domestic from the age of thirteen.

Born close to the city of Cochabamba, the only daughter in a very poor family, she began working at a very young age, and faced endless abuses from her employers.  Her anger at those abuses motivated her to fight for justice for all domestic workers.  Rodriguez organized a union that pushed for passage of the 2003 Domestic Worker’s Law.

This law regulates labor rights, the schedule of work and medical insurance. Although it was approved by the Congress, to date the law has not been completely effective.

Justice Minister Casimira Rodriguez…

"The law is not sufficient; it is necessary that society under-stands and assimilates it to make justice fact."

Minister Rodriguez is Secretary General of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Domestic Workers, which has member branches in 14 countries. She has also presided twice as General Secretary of the Organization of Bolivian Domestic Workers.

In addition to the four women ministers, the cabinet of Evo Moral has 12 additional ministers, the majority of whom are Indigenous people, farmers, union leaders and social activists.  The Cabinet's composition fulfills promises that President Morales made to the electorate during his presidential campaign.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 30, 2006

See also:

Traditional gender norms cultivated under years of sexism produces a continual hostile environment for indigenous women.

In Bolivia, many indigenous women are forced to work as domestic servants due to the lack of opportunities for those who primarily speak indigenous languages and adhere to traditional norms. The economic conditions of domestic service are often brutal, and this demeaning work is often plagued with physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

At the young age of thirteen, Casimira was subjected to such conditions. Forced to work without pay for two years, Casimira solely relied upon God's strength... She has worked for more than twenty years as a household worker and has endured hardships that many people could not fathom. In one household, she was denied access to basic services such as water and was not allowed to speak.

- The United Methodist Church

Nov. 24, 2003

LibertadLatina

Congratulations, Bolivia!

- Chuck Goolsby

Feb. 01, 2006


Added Jan. 31, 2006

Bolivia

Mexico Praises Bolivian Justice Appointment

The Mexican Associations of Domestic Employ-ees Monday applauded the appointment of  Quechua leader Casimira Rodriguez as the new Bolivian Minister of Justice.

The decision of President Evo Morales was widely praised in Mexico where women described the appointment as a long-expected opportunity to stop the mistreatment, injustice and exclusion suffered by domestic employees.

They expressed their confidence on the new minister's commitment also suffering those injustices and now called to fight them.

...Encouraged by the Bolivian example, Mexican domestic employees assure their masters that the revolution has also started for them.

- Prensa Latina

Jan. 30, 2006

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Workplace Rape


Added Jan. 31, 2006

North Carolina, USA

Sex Rings Prey On Immigrant Women

Human traffickers trap hundreds of female Latinas into Prostitution

The corner bungalow on Weldon Avenue looks like any other house on the quiet street in northeast Charlotte. But for a while in 2004, police say, it cloaked a secret brothel.

At night, men, mostly immigrants, lined up outside to wait their turn with young Latino women held as sex slaves. A typical session lasted 15 minutes, police say, and cost each customer about $30. Some women had sex with dozens of men a night.

Police shut down the brothel in July 2004. But authorities say many more dot the city.

In neighborhoods along North Tryon Street, The Plaza and South Boulevard, criminals have turned small, unassuming homes into illegal houses of prostitution, holding women against their will. Police shut down two last week, but declined to give details because of ongoing investigations.

Hundreds of Latina women are brought in and out of Charlotte every week to work at more than a dozen brothels connected to sex-trafficking rings on the East Coast, according to FBI and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigators.

Most of the women are in the country illegally and are reluctant to report the crimes. Often locked in rooms with few clothes and no telephone, they fear being beaten if they try to escape.

"No one thinks of Charlotte and human trafficking," said Capt. Bruce Bellamy, head of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police vice and narcotics unit. "But it's a far greater issue than people realize."

The sex trafficking rings exist because of the influx of illegal immigrants in the Carolinas, FBI officials said. More than 300,000 immigrants are estimated to live illegally in North Carolina. Most are men who left their wives and families to find work in the U.S. "It's about supply and demand," said FBI agent Kevin Kendrick, who heads a local campaign to help victims of human trafficking.

- The Charlotte Observer

North Carolina

Jan. 29, 2006

See Also:

Charlotte - The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Charlotte estimates thousands of victims are trafficked into North Carolina each year for forced labor and prostitution.

- The Charlotte Observer

Jan. 22, 2006

LibertadLatina's

Analysis of the  impunity and prostitution in Langley Park, MD, where brothels earn many tens of thousands of dollars weekly. Shut down Langley Park's mega-brothels!

Aug. 16, 2005

String of Latino brothels found in Virginia, Maryland suburbs: police say women come from New York

- Washington Post

Sep. 21, 1994


Added Jan. 31, 2006

Peru

Criminal Process Begins Against Former Presidential Candidate for Child Sexual Trafficking

The chief of the 37th Penal Court of Lima, Edwin Terrones, has initiated criminal proceedings against Marco Antonio Arrunátegui, a former presidential candidate and the leader of the Proyecto Pais (Project Nation) political party.  He is accused of having known that two girls with whom he maintained a sexual relationship at his exclusive apartment were minors.

Prosecutors consider the two teenage girls to be victims of commer-cial sexual exploit-ation of children (CSEC), and allege that the girl’s parents were aware of this fact.

Arrunátegui was first arrested in October 2005 on allegations of the pimping of minors.  The Public Prosecutor for Minors released him for lack of evidence.

Prosecutors later opened a case against Lizeth Leiva Rueda, the presumed head of a national child prostitution network, who had allegedly put the two girl victims in contact with Arrunátegui. 

- CPN Radio - Peru

Jan. 30, 2006


Added Jan. 31, 2006

Mexico

More and More, Women Risk All To Enter U.S.

Tucson - Today, as many as 35 percent to 45 percent of those crossing the border illegally are women. Twenty years ago, fewer than 20 percent of the people crossing illegally were women.

The nation's roiling immigration debate weighs little on the minds of the women who cross here. Nor do the dangers of the crossing itself, which they know routinely include sexual harassment or assault. As the borders have become tighter, the coyotes have become more violent and desperate, law enforcement officials and immigration advocates say.

Many women are raped, robbed and abandoned at the first sign of trouble and are given amphetamines to keep them moving faster at night.

Since most women do not come forward to report the crimes - because they do not speak the language and are illegal, ashamed and scared of deportation - few hard numbers exist. But there is ample anecdotal information to bolster the claim.

Maria Jimenez, 29… The coyote, an American, tried to sexually assault her and her sister-in-law, she said. "I told him no," Ms. Jimenez said. "I started to cry." He left her alone, but robbed her of the $300 in her pocket.

She tried again a month later carrying drinks with electrolytes but no money in her pocket. She made it, joining her husband in Tucson, where she got a job at a restaurant and had a baby, Stephanie.

- New York Times

Jan. 10, 2006


Added Jan. 31, 2006

Mexico

Nuevo Laredo Prison Supervisor Is Suspended For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Female Inmates

The Solicitor General for the state of Tamaulipas, Mercedes of the Carmen Guillén Vicente, has announced that Antonio Acuña Cantú, supervisor of the Cereso II prison in Nuevo Laredo, is the focus of a criminal investig-ation for alleged sexual abuse against two female prisoners, known as ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ and 'Araceli.'

The investigation began on January 3, 2006, when the two women prisoners presented a formal complaint to prosecutors.

The prisoners have presented their testimony in the case.  In the next several days,  the prosecutor general’s office will report the results of the case. results.  The State Commission of the Human rights (CEDH) is also participating in the case.

Sandra Elizabeth had been sentenced to two years four months for robbery, and Araceli is serving time for ‘crimes against health.’

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 27, 2006


Added Jan. 30, 2006

El Salvador

Eight Underage Nicaraguan Teens Are Rescued From Forced Prostitution

Desarticulan en El Salvador banda que prostituía niñas.

San Salvador - A gang that ran a web-based prostitution operation has been broken up by the National Civil Police.

The delinquents had kidnapped eight girls, ages 15 and 16 from Nicaragua, and had smuggled their victims over blind spots in the border with El Salvador.  The gang also enslaved Salvadoran victims.

According to the police report, the victims were detained at a residence, were dressed in sexy clothing, and were stripped naked to be shown to 'clients.'  They were forced to engage in sexual acts, and they were photographed.  The photos were shown on the gang's web site, which was used to advertise the brothel's 'services.'

Marco Tulio Lima, director of the frontier division of the National Civil Police....

"We have sufficient evidence to prove the involvement of the suspects in these crimes."

- NTX, Via El Porvenir

Jan. 30, 2006


Added Jan. 30, 2006

Guatemala

Police Discover Child Porn Ring In Eastern Guatemala

Detectan en Guatemala red de pornografía infantil.

Police in eastern Guatemala have shut down a child pornography ring that exploited girls between 11 and 16-years-of-age in the creation of sex videos Authorities obtained seven video tapes that show images of apparently drugged minors engaged in sexual activity with adults.

The victims were students at an institute run by the head of the departmento (state) of Jutiapa, where the sale of the illicit tapes was first detected.

Estuardo Sarceño, an official wth the police of Jutiapa, explained that foreign buyers motivate child porn-ography activities here because of the large amounts of money involved.

Police in Spain recently shut down an international child pornography organization that operated in about 40 countries, including Guatemala.

Gaps in the law have allowed an increase in child prostitution nationwide.  In places such as Guatemala City’s historic district, child pornography is openly sold by street vendors.

Guatemala ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, but had failed in its attempts to modify its legal codes to protect children from sexual exploitation.

- LaPrensaLatina.mx

Jan. 30, 2006


Added Jan. 30, 2006

Ecuador

President Targets Human Trafficking

Alfredo Palacio, president of Ecuador, has declared his commitment to combat the illegal trafficking of people as a top priority of his administration.  The campaign against the illegal traffic of people will be lead by First Lady Maria Beatriz Paret, through the National Institute of the Child and Family (INNFA).

The Government declared through a decree that...

"A high-priority policy of the Government of Alfredo Palacio is to combat the illegal trafficking of migrants, child pornography, and the labor and sexual  exploitation / prostitution of girls, boys, adolescents & women.”

The International labor Organization (ILO) had previously reported that in the year 2003, more than 5.000 children and youth were subjected to forced prostitution in Ecuador.

- Terra Actualidad - EFE

Jan. 30, 2006


Added Jan. 30, 2006

Mexico, United States

Mexican Official Arrested For Smuggling Migrants

The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested a Mexican immigration agent Francisco Javier Gutierrez, who was allegedly trying to help a group of undocumented migrants sneak into the United States, the Mexican government said Sunday.

Gutierrez had been fired on corruption allegations last year but returned to his job after winning a court case in which he claimed he had been unfairly dismissed, according to the National Immigration Institute.

- Associated Press

Jan. 30, 2006

See Also:

Aprehenden a un agente de migración por trafico de personas en EU.

- Criterios.com

Jan. 29, 2006


Added Jan. 30, 2006

Texas, USA

Man Is Arrested For Filming Child Porn

Brownsville - 25-year-old Jesus De Leon was arrested Monday and is behind bars, accused of videotaping himself having sex with a child and an animal.

Police say his girlfriend was looking for a video tape taken at Christmas when she found a tape that showed De Leon forcing a nine-year-old girl to perform oral sex. Police say De Leon recorded the sex act.

Investigators say De Leon admitted to having sexual relations with the little girl on three different occasions.

- KGBT TV4

Harlingen, Texas

Jan. 30, 2006


Added Jan. 29, 2006

Brazil

Raids Across Brazil Free 4,000 Slaves During 2005

More than 4,000 slaves were freed by the Brazilian authorities last year, according to new government figures. But campaigners fear hundreds of thousands more still live and work in near-slavery.

The Brazilian employment ministry said its officials raided 183 farms, the highest number since SWAT-style teams were introduced 10 years ago. In total 4,133 workers were freed during 2005.

"What we know about is the tip of the iceberg," said Father Ricardo Rezende, an anti-slavery campaigner and author of Stepping Out of the Shadow: Slavery for Debt in Contemporary Brazil, the first study of modern-day slavery in Brazil.

Although slavery was officially abolished in Brazil in 1889, Father Rezende said the official estimate of just 25,000 slaves in Brazil [today] could be way off the mark: "The real figure could be 250,000."

- The Guardian - UK

Jan. 16, 2006


Added Jan. 29, 2006

Arkansas, USA

Latina Mother Smothers Her Three Children

Paula Eleazar Mendez, 43,has been accused of smothering her three young children.  She left notes that officials say could help determine what led to the killings, and her priest said Sunday that she had expressed "tremendous remorse."

- Associated Press

Jan. 28-29, 2006


Added Jan. 29, 2006

Florida, USA

Three Guatemalan Men Are Arrested For Pimping Two Asian Sisters, Ages 11 And 12.

Investigators said Alfredo Perez, Miguel Herrera, Manuel Lopez-Tino, all from Guatemala, have been charged in Orange County, Fla., Friday on suspicion they ran a child prostitution ring out of their apartment, offering clients sex with 11 and 12-year-old girls, according to Local 6 News.

The alleged child porn operation was busted after a tip from a neighbor led police to the girls.

Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Irwin...

"I can tell you that mom and dad knew that both of these girls were sexually active with adult men."

"...You are talking an 11-year-old who said she had sex more than 100 times with a couple of different people."

- WKMG TV

Central Florida

Jan. 28, 2006


Added Jan. 29, 2006

Guatemala

Getting Away With Murder: Guate-mala’s Failure to Protect Women

A Mayan woman and girl walk on a public road carrying a machete in Guatemala.

 - Hastings Law School

The below excerpts are from a report by the Hastings College of Law of the University of California. 

This information describes some of the root causes of the worst environ-ment for gender violence (rape and murder) among all of the nations of the  Americas in 2006.

Excerpts:

A 36-Year Legacy of Violence Against Women

During the [36 year Civil War, ending in 1996], agents of the state, including members of the Guatemalan military and the Civil Defense Patrols, used sexual violence as a weapon of war systematically and with complete Immunity.

Sexual assaults were so widespread in the [Mayan] highland combat zones that one local official commented that it would be difficult to find a Mayan girl of eleven to fifteen who had not been raped.

A generation of young men forcibly recruited to the army were indoctrinated in the use of sexual violence as a weapon. While the Peace Accords are long-since signed, the war against women seemingly continues, with the attitudes and practices of violence against women developed during the conflict persisting nearly ten years later.

Guatemalan Law and Crimes of Sexual Violence

Rape occurring within marriage is currently unrecog-nized as a crime.  Therefore, spouses and live-in partners cannot be prosec-uted for such an act.  This serves to reinforce the idea that women have the obligation to sexually satisfy their husbands/ partners. 

An offender is released from criminal respons-ibility or from penalties for a crime of sexual violence [rape] if he marries his victim, as long as she is twelve or older. The stated legislative end of this practice is the restoration of a woman’s honor. Instead, it sentences a girl or woman to a lifetime with her rapist.

* Report - Web Page

* Report - PDF File

- University of California Hastings College of the Law - Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
November 2005

 


Added Jan. 28, 2006

Guatemala

Guatemala Human Rights Commission -USA Analyses Femicide

Closeup of a community mural scene, showing a 1980's military massacre of women and children in the Mayan town of Comalapa, Guatemala.

From a short film by

Ian Ramsey North

The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission-USA has developed a campaign to end the brutal violence against women in Guatemala. The Guatemalan government is doing little to stem the violence, so the international community must make its voice heard...

The rule of law in Guatemala is steadily weakening. The judicial system barely functions; the police force is underpaid and under trained.

Perhaps the very horror and the astounding scope of [femicide] murders explain the silence and inaction of the Guatemalan government and the international community.

Hilda Morales, of Guatemala’s No Violence Against Women Network...

“Everyone knows about the murdered women of Ciudad Juárez, but it’s as if the case of the murdered women of Guatemala were being hushed up.’’

The US embassy [in Guatemala], for one, has not expressed particular concern.

Most women are raped and tortured before being killed, and their mutilated bodies are left in public places, to be found by members of their communities.

While about a third of the murders are related to domestic violence, investig-ations suggest a less personal pattern in the other cases.

Twenty-three police officers have been linked to ten of the murders, fueling the suspicion of many Guatemalan analysts that clandestine security forces linked to the police and to the army are murdering women with such brutality to foment political instability and a climate of terror. This intimid-ation may lead women to retreat from participation in public life, gained with so much effort, and limit themselves again to the private world, abandoning their indispensable role in national development.

The Guatemalan government, by omission, is complicit in the terror. The low priority the govern-ment gives the issue of femicidio is reflected in the scant resources it allocates to investigators and the almost complete absence of prosecution.

- "For Women's Right to Live Campaign"

Guatemalan Human Rights Commission/USA

Washington, DC

2005

LibertadLatina Note:

Over 500 women and young girls were brazenly murdered in Guatemala in 2005.  Almost nobody has been prosecuted.  The rate of female murders is 10 times higher than the rate facing femicide-burdened Juarez City, Mexico.

The Guatemalan Femicide represents a tragic convergence of many social ills.

These 'ills' include:

The ongoing legacy of the mass rape and murder of women during the 1980's-1990's Civil War, when 50,000 women were  murdered and most Mayan girls over age 7 were raped by government forces.

The influence of out of control gangs, or maras, & other criminals who run sexual slavery networks, who rape, kidnap and traffic not just in local women and girls but who also attack many of the thousands of Central and South American women and girls who must cross Guatemala while trying to reach 'economic and gender safety' in the U.S.

The existence of historically traditional apathy toward the plight of the mostly Mayan women and girls victims, who have been violated in Latin American culture for centuries as a 'matter of tradition.'

This slow-motion, largely  anti-Indigen-ous and  misogynist femicidal massacre must be responded to  aggressively by people of moral conscience everywhere.

- LibertadLatina

Chuck Goolsby

January 28, 2006


Added Jan. 28, 2006

Guatemala

Peasants Wounded In Confrontation With Landowners Over The Unsolved Murder Of A Farm Labor Leader.

Protesters at Nueva Linda Farm Shot and Wounded.

Injusticia y Represion en Nueva Linda.

- Guatemalan Human Rights Commission/USA

Washington, DC

Jan. 22, 2006


Added Jan. 28, 2006

Guatemala

Forensic Anthro-pologists Receive Threats For Their Work To Exhume Murder Victims

Fredy Peccerelli, head of the  Guatemalan Forensic Anthro-pology Foundation (FAFG), his brother Gianni Peccerelli, his sister Bianka Peccerelli Monterroso and brother in law Omar Giron de Leon have all received death threats in recent days.  They may be in grave danger.

Fredy Peccerelli and other members of the FAFG have been
subjected to numerous death threats as a result of their work to
exhume mass graves of those killed by the Guate-malan military
and their civilian adjuncts in the early 1980s. In 2002 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ordered that
FAFG stafff receive
police protection. However, such protection has been inadequate, and at times non-existent.

Please send appeals to arrive as
quickly as possible:
- expressing grave concern for the safety of the director and staff of the FAFG.

- Guatemalan Human Rights Commission/USA

(And - Amnesty Int'l)

Jan. 13, 2006


Added Jan. 28, 2006

Chule, United States

U.S. Returns Daughter Of Chilean Ex-Dictator Agosto Pinochet to Argentina.

Washington, DC - The eldest daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has been sent back to Argentina, two days after she arrived in the United States after fleeing tax charges in Chile, a U.S. Homeland Security official said.  Shortly after withdrawing her request for political asylum in the United States, Lucia Pinochet, 60, was sent to Argentina -- the last country she was in before coming to the United States.

She and other family members were indicted Monday on charges of tax fraud, including failing to declare bank accounts overseas, and using false passports.

- CNN

Jan. 28, 2006


Added Jan. 27, 2006

Guatemala, El Salvador

Central American Nations Fight Youth Gang Violence.

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger

Suman 350 muertos por violencia en Guatemala.

Guatemala

Guatemala's wave of violence will be hard to control, stated the nation's president, Oscar Berger in a recent speech.  According to President Berger, 350 people have been killed during January, 2006 alone.

During a recent press conference President Berger said that youth gangs (maras) are responsible for the violence.

President Berger...

"There is a declared war.  The maras are better organized [than state security].  The rivalry between gangs is causing this cruel massacre of our Guatemalan brothers.  It is very difficult to control."

According to reports by rescue squads and the National Civil Police, during the weekend of January 21-22, 2006, 21 people were murdered, most of them members of the "Mara 18" gang.

In response to the violence, President Berger is planning to create 15,000 new jobs for youth.  Government officials will also meet with leaders of the rival gangs to try to negotiate an end to the violence.

President Berger...

"Our society should respond by offering help to these youth, who's maladjust-ment causes such inhuman acts."

El Salvador

Conservative Salvadoran president Elías Antonio Saca recently held a press conference to announce the arrests of 9 of the 15 suspects in the January 22, 2006 murders of 7 people at a soccer match.

Gang members had ordered 6 soccer players and fans to lie on the ground, and had shot them at point blank range.  The seventh victim was a gang member, who was apparently stabbed to death by angry onlookers in reaction to the massacre.

President Saca...

"I want to say to the Salvadoran People that my fight is against this type of crime.  I have never thought to let our guard down nor declare a 'vacation' in regard to the maras.  We must continue to apply the 'Super Hard Fist' to them."

In August, 2004 the National Civil Police developed a tough policy of crack-downs and long jail sentences to fight gang violence, known as the "Super Hard Fist."

- La Opinion Digital

Los Angeles, CA

Jan. 24, 2006


Added Jan. 27, 2006

Dominican Republic

Trafficking In Persons Is A Common Practice

Tráfico de personas es una práctica común en la República Dominicana.

Santo Domingo – Human trafficking is a common practice in the Dominican Republic, on par with corruption and drug trafficking and the open sexual exploitation of children, all driven by the huge profits to be made, and despite the legal penalties.

Some 400 sex trafficking networks have transported 500,000 Dominican women into sexual slavery in Europe [especially Holland], South America, and the Caribbean.  Male prostitutes have recently become a new commodity in high demand by these networks.

- DiarioDigitalRD.com

Jan. 21, 2006

LibertadLatina Note:

Driven by severe poverty, the Dominican Republic has more women in prostitution overseas that any other Latin American nation.  An estimated one third of these women were trafficked with false offers of legitimate jobs. 

A number of other women travel with the consent of their husbands, who are aware that their wives will be working in prostitution.

Colombia is in second place for international sex trafficking among Latin American nations, with an estimated 35,000 women transported out of the country into prostitution annually.

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 27, 2006


Added Jan. 27, 2006

Kentucky, USA

Two Men Are Sentenced For Running Brothel

Louisville - Mario Alberto Duque-Salinas, 23, of Venezuela, and Pedro Estrada-Cortez, 20, of Mexico have been sentenced to prison for operating a house of prostitution and employing undocumented immigrant prostit-utes to work there.

Thomas B. Russell, U.S. District Court Judge, sentenced Duque-Salinas to 15 months imprison-ment. Estrada-Cortes was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment.  Both men will be deported from the U.S. after serving their prison terms.

- U.S. ICE

Jan. 26, 2006


Added Jan. 27, 2006

Italy

Famed Italian Priest Is Held For Rape

Italian police have arrested Father Francesco Bisceglia, one of the country's best-known priests on charges of raping a nun at his religious centre in southern Italy.

A 40-year-old nun alleges that she was repeatedly raped by the priest and others at his sanctuary in Calabria, on the toe of the Italian peninsula.

The priest, known as Padre Fidele, has built his reputation on his work in Africa and with people on the margins of Italian society: prisoners, prostitutes and immigrants.

- BBC News

Jan. 25, 2006


Added Jan. 26, 2006

Chile

Chilean Indigenous Woman Leader's Rights Are Violated

Indigenous Mapuche leader Juana Calfunao

Violan derechos humanos de lideresa indígena chilena.

Rosa Juana Calfunao, (Juana) the ‘Lonko’ (trad-itional chief) of the Indigenous Mapuche community of Juan Paillalef, was arrested on January 4, 2006 and was tried and convicted the next day for the crime of 'public disorder.'  She sits in jail awaiting sentencing.

When Juana's mother was very young,  she was also jailed for defending her community from ongoing injustices.

History

Although their community holds legal land title to 120 hectares, wealthy non-Native large-landowners have continuously stolen that land from them. 

The community originally received legal title to its traditional lands in 1913 under the leadership of Chief Juan Paillalef. 

Jose Luis Paillalef later held the post of Chief following in his father’s foot-steps.  During the period when land-owners were most active in stealing their land, Jose Luis’s wife was raped, and then mysteriously disappeared.  Jose Luis was jailed at Valdivia prison, and died from abuses that he was sub-jected to there.

In 1950, Juana's mother assumed the role of Chief.  She was arrested by General Agosto Pinochet’s military, after the 1973 Coup-de-E’tat, and was held in the same prison, Temuco, where her daughter sits today. 

Juana's mother was tortured for 2 years.  Her children were left motherless, and they were politically persecuted In 1983, Juana assumed the position of Chief.

For generations, Juana, her family and her community have been subjected to maltreatment and arrests.  On May 12, 2000 Juana was arrested, along with her husband and 18-year-old son.  They were all brutally beaten, causing Juana to miscarry.

Juana’s most recent arrests, in 2001, on December 21, 2005 and on January 4, 2006 all involved her efforts, as Chief, to recover stolen Mapuche land. 

Juana and other members of her community were brutally beaten on December 21st, and again on December 23, 2005, on which date police shot Juana's horse while she was riding it (see photo on the Mapuche web site.)

For leading these protests, Juana has now been put in preventive detention by magistrate Maria Elena Level Moral for being a “danger to society” and “the leader of a gang.” 

Juana declared a hunger strike on January 10, 2006...

 “Until the authorities admit to all of the [human rights] violations that they have committed against our community."

Juana will be sentenced on February 13, 2006.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 25, 2006

See also:

Mapuche Nation web site in English.

Jan. 26, 2006

Latest News - Chief Juana Calfunao has been freed from jail, but must appear in court for sentencing on February 13, 2006.

Juana Calfunao en Libertad.  Sin embargo, deberá comparecer el 13 de febrero de 2006 ante el Tribunal de Garantía
Temuco
.

From Amnesty-USA's 2005 report on Chile:

Chile - 2005: Throughout the year Mapuche community leader Juana Calfunao Paillalef and her family suffered repeated intimidation, including death threats and an apparent arson attack on Juana Calfunao’s home, in the context of their community’s dispute with local land-owners.

From Human Rights Watch:

Mapuche absueltos de cargos de terrorismo.

During 2004, twelve members of Chile’s largest indigenous community, the Mapuche were tried on terrorism charges for crimes committed in the context of land conflicts with private owners and forestry companies... 

The police reportedly mistreat and insult inhabitants of Mapuche communities, including women, children, and the elderly, when police make arrests or conduct searches. Complaints of such abuse are investigated by military tribunals that have a near-perfect record of ruling in favor of police.

LibertadLatina Note: Those charged in this case, under harsh anti-terrorism laws from the era of dictator Agosto Pinochet, were acquitted.


Added Jan. 26, 2006

Latin America

Trafficking Ring Exploiting Brazilian Women Is Broken Up In Spain

Detenidos 42 miembros de red de explotación sexual en Canarias.

Madrid - Police have announced the arrests of 42 people in the Canary Islands, members of a sex trafficking gang that illegally smuggled Brazilian women and forced them into prostitution, drug running and arms smuggling.

Those arrested include the traffickers: twelve Spaniards, seven Colombians, two Brazilians, an Indian and an Argentinean; and nineteen mostly Brazilian women victims, who have been charged with illegal entry into Spain.

The people in charge of the organization are accused of crimes against the rights of foreign citizens and against the rights of workers, relative to prostitution.

The investigation began in July, 2005, and scrutinized known brothels on Grand Canary island.

- Reuters

Jan. 26, 2006


Added Jan. 26, 2006

Latin America

Evo and Michelle: Indigenous and Women Gain Power?

Evo y Michelle: ¿Indigenas y mujeres al poder?

The recent elections of Michelle Bachalet as president of Chile and Evo Morales as president of Bolivia mark a turning point for both Latin American women and Indigenous peoples in Latin America. 

Both women and Indigenous peoples were excluded for centuries from the right vote, a privilege originally reserved only for white land-owners.  Both groups were also excluded from the ability to be elected to high office.

Access to education has been the key to empowering today's generation of leaders with the skills to articulate visions for their societies, making it possible, for the first time, for women and indigenous candidates to win election to high office.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 24, 2006


Added Jan. 26, 2006

Mexico

Police Arrest Suspected Serial Killer Of Elderly Women

Juana Barraza Zamperio

Cae mataviejitas tras consumar otro de sus crímenes; es mujer.

- La Jornada

Mexico City

Jan. 26, 2006

Mexico City - Police have arrested Juana Barraza, 48, who matches the profile of a believed serial murderer known as "the Old Lady Killer" - except the suspect is a woman, not a transvestite as authorities previous-ly believed.

Mexico City Attorney General Bernardo Batiz said Thursday that Juana Barraza, 48, has been linked to the deaths of at least 10 elderly women in Mexico City, raising hopes that the capital's notorious "Little Old Lady Killer" was finally in custody.

Authorities say they have enough evidence to believe that Barraza is the "Mataviejitas" who has been terrorizing elderly residents here for two years.
Barraza's finger-prints matched those left at the scenes of a total of 10 killings and one attempted murder.

- Associated Press

Jan. 26, 2006


Added Jan. 26, 2006

Mexico

Government Changes Mind, Cancels Map Distribution for Migrants

Mexico will suspend its plan to distribute maps to migrants wanting to cross the U.S. border illegally, but an official said Thursday the decision was not made because of American pressure.

Miguel Angel Paredes, spokes-man for the federal Human Rights Commission, said the decision was made because human rights officials in border states expressed concern that the maps would show anti-immigrant groups where migrants likely would gather.

- Associated Press

Jan. 26, 2006


Added Jan. 25, 2006

Texas, USA

Bar Owner Convicted Of Forcing Central American Women Into Slavery

Houston - United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg and Assistant Attorney General Wan Kim, Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, today announced the conviction of Maximino Mondra-gon, 57, also known as “El Chimino” for his involvement in the trafficking of Central American females for compelled service at Houston area bars and restaurants through force, fraud and coercion.

Mondragon pleaded guilty to both counts alleged in the indictment. He now stands convicted of conspiracy to hold persons in conditions of peonage - involun-tary servitude in payment of a debt - and recruiting, holding and providing persons for labor and services.

- U.S. Attorneys Office

Southern District of Texas

Jan. 23, 2006


Added Jan. 25, 2006

Mexico

Mexican Commission To Give Migrants Maps

The National Human Rights Commission, a government-funded agency with independent powers,  said Tuesday it will distribute at least 70,000 maps showing highways, rescue beacons and water tanks in the Arizona desert to curb the death toll among illegal border crossers.

The commission denied the maps -- similar to a comic-style guide booklet Mexico distributed last year -- would encourage illegal immigration.

Officials said the maps would help guide those in trouble find rescue beacons and areas with cell phone reception. The maps will also show the distance a person can walk in the desert in a single day.

- Associated Press

Jan. 24, 2006


Added Jan. 25, 2006

North Carolina, USA

The FBI Is Launching A New Effort To Raise Awareness Of Human Trafficking.

Charlotte - The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Charlotte estimates thousands of victims are trafficked into North Carolina each year for forced labor and prostitution.

In the Southeast, where nearly a quarter of the trafficking occurs, about 61 percent of victims are from Latin America. About 35 percent of the victims are forced to work on farms and 29 percent in prostitution.

The push is funded by $15 million in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauth-orization Act, signed by President Bush on Jan. 10. The law also provides assistance and immigration benefits to trafficking victims, including issuing special visas, so victims can remain in the country legally without the fear of being sent back home.

- Charlotte Observer

Jan. 22, 2006


Added Jan. 25, 2006

Honduras

AIDS In Honduras: Subtle Killer, Brazen Threat

The human immunodeficiency virus has in recent years emerged as the primary cause of death among childbearing-age women in Honduras and, after violence, the second leading cause of hospitalization among adults.

In Honduras, which has a population of about 7 million, the prevalence of the disease is estimated at 1.8 percent, one of the highest in the hemisphere. The figure is based on the number of cases reported to government officials, which Honduran epidemiologists say is far less than the real figure.

Although Central America's HIV epidemic is not nearly as widespread as sub-Saharan Africa's, its ripple effects pose a growing threat to the stability and livelihood of a region increasingly tied to the United States because of record migration and a newly signed free-trade agreement.

- Dallas Morning News

Jan. 05, 2006


Added Jan. 24, 2006

Mexico

Deputy Angélica de la Peña

Photo: La Cronica

99% Of Domestic Workers In Mexico Are Adolescents And Girls - 40,000 Are Under Age 14.

El 99 por ciento de las trabajadoras domésticas del país son adolescentes y niñas; 40 mil tienen menos de 14 años.

Mexico City - Deputy Angélica de la Peña of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), president of the Special Commission on Childhood, Adolescents and Families in the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), indicated in a press conference that 99% Of all domestic workers In Mexico are adoles-cents and girls who do not study in school, and who are vulnerable to sexual abuse in their work-places.

Deputy de la Peña stated that 40,000 of these workers are under 14-years-of-age, children who depend upon their employers for shelter and food.  They have no set list of work tasks, and no work schedule.

 Domestic work is considered to be the least respected, the most poorly paid and the least regulated form of work.

Although the Mexican Constitution states that children must be provided with food, healthcare, education and recreation for their integral develop-ment, and  prohibits youth under age 14 from working, the reality is that Mexican society is violating that sacred concept.

Mexico is also a signatory to the International Labor Organization's Convention 182, prohibiting the worst forms of child labor.

Faced with these realities, Deputy de la Peña is proposing that the Mexican Congress modify Article 175 of Mexico's employ-ment Law, to comp-letely eliminate child domestic work.  In addition, the Deputy would like to add an Article 21 to the Law for Child and Adolescent  Protection, to specifically defend children from forms of work that subject them to sexual, physical or psycho-logical harm.

- La Cronica de Hoy

Jan. 22, 2006

See Also:

Sitio / Web Site  - Diputado Angélica de la Peña

Maltreated Mexican Indigenous women and girl domestics are organizing.

Feb. 08, 2004

Mexico - Maids, mostly Indigenous, target of racism and abuse.

Mar. 31, 2003

LibertadLatina

Workplace Rape


Added Jan. 24, 2006

Argentina

Police Rescue 30 Dominican Women Trafficked Into Prostitution In  Patagonia

Descubren red de prostitución que llevaba dominicanas a la Argentina.

Buenos Aires - Thirty women, the majority from the Dominican Republic, have been rescued by Argentine police after being forced for several months to prostitute them-selves in nightclubs in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina.  Several underage Argentine girls were also rescued.

A police investigation had begun 1 year ago, resulting from complaints by relatives of the missing women.  After several months, police discovered a sexual slavery network.

The police arrested two nightclub owners during the operation, in the cities of Comodoro Rivadavia and Caleta Olivia, located in the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz, respectively.

Those arrested are accused of  operat-ing  prostitution ring, deprivation of freedom and corruption of minors.

The women were attracted by news-paper  announce-ments that offered good wages for domestic work in southern Argentina. When when they arrived, traffickers stole their pass-ports, restricted their freedom of move-ment and forced them into prostitution.

- Clave Digital

Dominican Republic

Jan. 15, 2006

See Also:

Indagan situación dominicanas en Argentina.

The Dominican Government has instructed its embassy in Argentina to investigate the conditions facing Dominican women migrants who have been enslaved in Argentina.

- El Nacional

Dominican Republic

Jan. 24, 2006

Rescatan 30 dominicanas y argentinas que era explotadas sexualmente.

- Clave Digital

Dominican Republic

Jan. 24, 2006

Inminente citación a los empleados y funcionarios municipales.

Pimps, government officials, police officers & municipal inspectors are being investigated in regard to the enslavement of 30 Dominican women.

LibertadLatina

Crisis-Argentina


Added Jan. 24, 2006

Ecuador

Fourteen-Year-Old Girl Goes On Local Television To Denounce Her Rapist - The Town Mayor; Her Mother

Is Threatened.

Alcalde de cantón manabita acusado de violación.

Tosagua County - province of Manabí - The mother of a 14-year-old rape victim has come forward to denounce the local mayor for rape and witness intimidation.

The victim stated emphatically during a statement broad-cast on 'TC Tele-vision' that…

"The mayor of Tosagua, Jose Francisco González, raped me."

"He told me that me he was going to help me with my  homework.  After awhile he began to touch me. I wanted to get out of there, but he locked the door."

The mother of the victim has filed a criminal complaint against the mayor. 

In response, victim's mother [alleges] that the mayor’s lawyer Marcel Alcívar, threatened her...

 “Your freedom depends on this document, this is the unique thing that saves to you, your signature [retracting the complaint], because at this moment I can put you in jail."

The victim's mother is therefore holding the mayor’s lawyer personally responsible for anything that may happen to her or her extended family.

- CRE Ecuador

Jan. 19, 2006


Added Jan. 24, 2006

Texas, USA Mexico

U.S. ICE Removes More Than 2,000 Migrants From Texas During Dec., 2005

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that their San Antonio office deported 2,445 non-criminal migrants during December 2005 under the new Secure Border Initiative (SBI).

SBI is a two-month-old program announced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during his recent visit to Texas. One SBI aspect allows ICE to quickly remove “other than Mexican” (OTM) undocumented immigrants to their home countries under an “expedited removal” process.

Those immigrants deported in December had been lawfully ordered to leave the United States by a federal immigration judge; they were removed to the following countries: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Pakistan.

- U.S. ICE

Jan. 19, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Mexico

U.S. Border Agent Is Arrested For Sexual Assault of Migrant Women and Girl.

Pablo Rosario, 31, an El Paso Border Patrol agent, has been indicted on charges of civil rights violations and making false statements in connection with allegedly sexually molesting a mother and her 15-year-old daughter who were detained while crossing over the U.S.-Mexican border in  March 2004.

In addition, In October 2004, Rosario allegedly touched the breasts and buttocks of a detained Honduran woman.

Rosario released all of the sexual assault victims without processing them, according to the indictment.

When asked about the incident by federal agents, Rosario lied about detaining, abusing and releasing the migrants, the indictment alleges.

Manuel E. Mora, the FBI special agent in charge in El Paso...

"We commend the Border Patrol for their prompt action in bringing such a serious matter to our attention."

- El Paso Times

Jan. 21, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Mexico

Feminist Group Is Harassed By Police In The City Of Veracruz For Offering To Shelter Zapatista Leaders On National Tour.

The La Jornada newspaper in Mexico City has a report from the Coordinator of Civil Society in the Orizaba region of Veracruz state, of aggression by the authorities against the Cihuatlahtolli Feminist Collective, which advocates for sex workers and AIDS prevention, and works against anti-woman violence.

On Jan. 5, 2006, the Collective set up an information table in Orizaba's Castillo Park, with sound equipment and condoms to distribute for free.

They were surround-ed by 15 municipal police, who photo-graphed and threatened them before cutting off the electricity to their sound system.

The Cihuatlahtolli Feminist Collective...

"This is the climate that municipal authorities are seeking to impose ahead of the eventual visit of Delegate Zero[Marcos, leader of the Indigenous Zapatista  Movement]."

The Collective has offered to open its Casa de la Mujer (Women's House), which serves as a shelter for battered women, to Marcos and his fellow Zapatistas when their national "Other Campaign" tour (an alternative to the current presidential campaign) arrives.

- WW4Report.com

Jan. 19, 2006

See also:

Zapatista "Other Campaign" starts series of town-hall like meetings across Mexico.

- NYC Indymedia

Jan. 04, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Bolivia

Evo Morales - From Tiwanaku to the Presidential Palace

President Evo Morales at the Presidential Palace on Inauguration Day.

Photo: Indymedia Bolivia

Evo Morales - De Tiwanaku al Palacio de Gobierno.

The tears of President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, upon receipt of the symbols of presidential power, reflect exactly what this event signifies for an Indigenous man who has been a labor leader and a politician, and who comes from the heart of the Bolivian people.  Equally, the minute of silent by President Morales, to honor fallen heroes known and anonymous, carries with it the historical memory of the peoples who make up this land.

- Indymedia Bolivia

Jan. 22, 2006

Excerpt from Evo Morales' Inaugural Speech...

”The 500 years of Indian resistance have not been in vain. From 500 years of resist-ance we pass to another 500 years in power.

We have been condemned, humiliated ... and never recognized as human beings.

We are here and we say that we have achieved power to end the injustice, the inequality and oppression that we have lived under.”

 - Bolivian President Evo Morales - inauguration

Translation -

 BBC News

Jan. 22, 2006

President Evo Morales Addresses the Public on Inauguration Day at the Plaza of Heroes.

Photo: Indymedia Bolivia

- Indymedia Bolivia

Jan. 22, 2006

See also:

Bolivia's Morales pledges to work with U.S.

- Reuters

Jan. 22, 2006

Bolivian President Evo Morales said he would rule "with all and for all" and would not seek revenge for the past. And while he accused foreigners of looting Bolivia's national resources since the Spanish conquest, Morales repeated his pledge to respect property rights.

- CNN

Jan. 22, 2006

Will Washington Engage Morales?

- Inter-Press Service

Jan. 19, 2006

LibertadLatina Commentary:

For 500 years, the sexual & economic exploitation of Native women and children across the nations of the Americas has been based first and foremost on a racist colonial concept. 

That colonial view involves the idea that Indigenous people are literally inferior to European races.  Even today in the 21st Century, modern nations believe that it is quite alright to continue the  16th Century 'traditions' of the rape and plunder of human bodies and land that Spanish, English, Portuguese, Dutch and French conquerors used to take control of the Americas after 1492.

The recent election of Evo Morales Ayma as President of Bolivia represents the result of 500 years of efforts to 'return to normal' for Native Peoples.

Those who want to see an end to the sexual & economic exploitation of all women and children in the Americas cannot ignore or deny the fact that Indigenous peoples must be allowed to govern themselves, and attain, finally, real protections against crime and discrimination that they do not today enjoy, even in Bolivia and Guatemala, where they are the majority population.

No more mass-rape, no more massacres, no more plots to overthrow demo-cratic governments, no more blocking of the World Court and other legal avenues to seek justice for those who were raped & murdered!

We have been through enough of that selfish denial of basic human rights, justice & democracy.

We celebrate the election of Evo Morales as a critical turning-point on the path to freedom for all peoples in the Americas who face and resist racist and sexist impunity.

End impunity now!

- LibertadLatina

Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 23, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Native Latin America

Indigenous Leaders Celebrate Morales Victory

Mexico City - The election of indigenous leader Evo Morales as president of Bolivia is being hailed by native leaders from throughout the region as a "sign of hope" for all impoverished and discriminated indigenous peoples in Latin America.

Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberto Menchú said that Morales has brought "a refreshing wind" for all aboriginal peoples.

For his part, the president of the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Luis Macas, said that Morales' victory is a historical landmark unlike anything seen "since the time of Spanish colonialism."

- Inter-Press Service

Jan. 19, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Wisconsin, USA

Green Bay - Juan Nieto, 25, convicted in the abduction, rape and burning of a Green Bay woman in August 2003 has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.  He was the second man sentenced to prison for the attack.  Gregorio Morales, 29, sentenced last month to a 50-year prison term.

Authorities said they abducted a woman from a nightclub parking lot, took her to a rural area, raped her, doused her with lighter fluid and set her on fire before leaving her for dead.

She survived and managed to get to a nearby house for help.

- CBS 5 Green Bay

Jan. 21, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

California, USA

Oakland - A teenage girl who was attacked and brutally raped in Berkeley's Aquatic Park in May, 2005 testified in court Friday that she felt helpless and scared for her life during the sexual assault.

The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Israel Bustamonte, age 25, who is facing 23 felony counts associated with the rape and beatings of four women in Berkeley and Oakland between September 2004 and May 2005.

Bustamonte is charged with rape, sodomy, forcible oral copulation, kidnapping, robbery and dissuading a witness.  He faces life in prison if he is convicted on all charges.

- The Oakland Tribune

Jan. 21, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

Ohio, USA

Oxford - Mario Gomez, age 21, is accused of raping the 15-year-old girl while threatening her with a knife, according to police.  Gomez was charged with one count of rape and is being held at the Butler County jail.

- ChannelCincinnati.com

Jan. 22, 2006


Added Jan. 23, 2006

California, USA

Aaron Suarez, 34, of Modesto has been arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, rape of a drugged victim, unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 16 and committing lewd acts with a minor, among other lesser charges.

- The Modesto Bee

Jan. 22, 2006


Added Jan. 22, 2006

Bolivia

President-Elect Evo Morales Receives Indigenous Mantle of Ruling Authority in Ancient Inca City of Tiwanaku.

Forty thousand members of Bolivia's Indigenous community attended a ceremony for president-elect Evo Morales at the ancient Inca city of Tiwanaku.

Photo - IndyMedia Bolivia

Recibe Evo Morales "bendición" de dioses andinos.

Evo Morales receives the blessings of the Andean Gods.

- Quechua Network

Jan. 21, 2006

El presidente electo Evo Morales Ayma, recibió de los Maykus el bastón de mando, en el lugar sagrado del pueblo boliviano “El Tiwanaku”.

- IndyMedia Bolivia

Jan. 21, 2006

Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales, dressed in a bright red tunic worn only by important pre-Incan priests, promised Saturday to do away with vestiges of this country's colonial past in a spiritual ceremony at an ancient temple on the eve of his inauguration.

- CNN

Jan. 21, 2006


Added Jan. 21, 2006

Chile

Appeals Court Panel Votes 13 -5 to Strip Former Dictator Pinochet of Immunity From Prosecution

Former dictator Augusto Pinochet has been stripped of immunity from prosecution on charges involving 59 cases of torture and kidnapping at a secret detention center where hundreds of dissidents were held - including President-elect Michelle Bachelet and her mother.

The president of the Santiago Court of Appeals, Juan Escobar, said the justices voted 13-5 to lift Pinochet's immunity.

Bachelet and her mother, Angela Jeria, were arrested 15 months after the 1973 coup led by Pinochet and taken to Villa Grimaldi, where both were tortured.

Villa Grimaldi was one of the most notorious detention centers used by Pinochet's feared security services.

Friday's ruling came at the request of Judge Alejandro Solis, who said he decided to seek Pinochet's trial after a report by an independent commission report on torture and illegal imprisonment at Villa Grimaldi.

- Associated Press

Jan. 20, 2006


Added Jan. 21, 2006

New Mexico, USA

Cell Phones Donated to Assist Domestic Violence Victims

Chris Archuleta of the Construction Industries Division presented 50 emergency cell phones to Morning Star House Director Gwen Packard on Dec. 21 so that victims of domestic violence will have access to 911.

Photo: Charmaine J. John

Santa Fe - The state Construction Industries Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Depart-ment donated a total of 85 used cell phones to two American Indian domestic violence prevention shelters in Albuquerque and Shiprock for 911 emergency calls.

Mary Ellen Herrera, a Morning Star House Inc. board member...

“As a former victim of domestic violence, these donated phones mean so much to me and other survivors.” “When I was being abused I didn't have access to a phone or even money to call for help.”

Gwen Packard, director of Morning Star House for the past nine years…

''New Mexico ranks third in the nation for domestic violence-related homicides."

''In Albuquerque, there is a population of 51,000 Native Americans that we serve. Morning Star responds to over 500 new survivors of domestic violence each year. These phones will keep many of our clients safe from physical abuse and give them a better chance of protecting themselves and their children.''

- Indian Country

Jan. 18, 2006


Added Jan. 21, 2006

Mexico

High Rates of Family and Street Violence Plague Mexico City

Alta violencia intrafamiliar en 43 colonias del DF.

The Secretariat of Social Development of the government of the City of Mexico has released a study that evaluated 66 of the most violent neighborhoods of the Mexican capitol.  The study was performed by 16 survey teams. 

Juvenile delinquency and domestic violence exist at very high levels in these 'colonias.'  The survey team identified a sub-set of 43 neighborhoods facing very severe problems of family disintegration and “serious deterior-ation of the quality of life for inhabitants. 

Women and children are the groups most severely impacted by violence in these areas.  The 43 worst zones of violence are located within the city sectors of: Iztapa-lapa, Gustavo A. Log, Cuauhtémoc, Alvaro Obregón, Coyoacán and Venustiano Carranza.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 19, 2006


Added Jan. 20, 2006

Guatemala, United States

A Haverford College Student produces a Short Online Film on the Aftermath of the Guatemalan Genocide

Closeup of a mural scene of a military massacre of women and children from the Mayan town of Comalapa.

Film: Ian Ramsey North

Producer: dfelsen

Film description:

 "Haverford College student Ian Ramsey North visited Guatemala to look at how the country and people are coming to grips with Guatemala's brutal past when hundreds of thousands of people were massacred during the civil war."

- Ian Ramsey North

Jan. 12, 2006

Mayan War Widows Activist Carmen Cumez

LibertadLatina

Film Summary

A short film by Haverford College student Ian Ramsey North has provided insight into how Indigenous Mayan Guatemalans are coping with the legacy of genocide in their nation.

Ramsey North interviewed Carmen Cumez, founder of the National Coordination of Guatemalan Widows (Conavigua) - who's efforts have lead to a promise by the national government to make payments of $4 million per year to victims of state violence during the civil war.  Ms. Cumez described how her husband Felipe's last words to her in 1981 were, "Good-bye forever.  Take care of the children."  Felipe was then lead away by soldiers to by murdered. 

Ms. Cumez hopes to one day locate her husband's body, "to give him a Christian burial."

Approximately 200,000 mostly Mayan victims were murdered, mostly during between 1978 and 1983.  Approximately 50,000 of those victims were women.

The work of the Forensic Anthro-pology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG), whch works closely with Conavigua was also filmed.  An FAFG team was followed as they excavated the body of a victim who's hands were still tied behind their back.  The body was found on an abandoned military base.
Excavations around the country are continuing.

A FAFG volunteer explained forensic evidence regarding a woman victim, who was forced to her knees and was then shot in the head. Evidence of her torture was also apparent.  FAFG has found 4,000 bodies, and has identified 60% of them through teeth and clothing being recognized by family members.  The group does not access to forensic DNA technology.

Many military and political officials continue to deny the facts of the genocide in Guatemala.

Ian Ramsey North's short film accurately portrays the trauma that continues to haunt the survivors of genocide in post-war Guatemala.

- LibertadLatina

Film Summary by

Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 21, 2006

See also:

"Over the past four decades state sponsored terror left 200,000 people dead, ...200,000 orphans, and 40,000 widows. According to the Truth Commis-sion, the army was responsible for 626 massacres."

- Global Visionaries

The [Guatemalan] Maya are insisting on a proper accounting of what many consider an attempted genocide by the army and its paramilitary allies. They are also claiming a place at the political table and reasserting the validity of Mayan culture and languages.

- Business Week

Jan. 15, 2001


Added Jan. 20, 2006

Mexico

Three Member Court Panel, Including Two Women Justices, Rescind Woman's Divorce, Insist that She Return to Her Abusive Husband

Niegan amparo a mujer que padeció maltrato.

Mexico City - In an act that condemns an abused woman to undergo even more domestic violence, a family court has refused an appeal of the denial of a divorce order for Diana Pardo, that protects her from having to return to her abusive home. 

A judge recently denied an appeal by Ms. pardo, submitted on January 5, 2006, requesting the over-turning of a late 2005 decision to rescind her divorce decree from a man who had severely abused her for 13 years.

On September 27, 2005, in a judicial panel in the Superior Court of Justice, three  magistrates: Carmen Aída Bremauntz, María Magdalena Díaz Román, and Óscar Gregorio annulled the decision of a previous judge which granted Ms. Pardo a divorce. 

According to Rocío Corral, director of the Margarita Magón Center for Assistance for Women (CAM), the court nullified the complaint of domin-ation, physical aggression, and verbal, emotional and sexual abuse  because psycho-logical proof is not sufficient, and because the couple had conceived a daughter, who is now six years old. 

From the courts point of view, the fact that the couple had a child 6 years ago casts doubt on the validity of a spousal abuse allegation in the present time.

The divorce order is now invalidated, as are the original court’s orders for alimony, child support & visitation.  Ms. Pardo may re-apply for divorce in the case until 2007.

Rocío Corral of CAM:

"The most worrisome aspect of this case is that the legal system has denied Diana access to justice and a life free from violence, as is provided for in the 1995 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention,
Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women
."

Rocío Corral stated that CAM plans to take the case to the Ibero-American Court of Justice.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 18, 2006

See also:

The 1995 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention,
Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women.

- Organization of American States

LibertadLatina Note:

We note that female justices participated in this ruling, which is a grave setback for women facing domestic violence in Mexico. 

Female Supreme court justices also ruled 11 years ago that marital rape was valid n Mexico.  That ruling was finally overturned by a different set of justices on the same Supreme Court in late 2005.

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 21, 2006

11 años avaló Suprema Corte violación conyugal

(For 11 years the Supreme Court of Mexico permitted marital rape.)

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Nov. 16, 2005


Added Jan. 20, 2006

Mexico

Governor Permits 13 Year Old Girl to Marry, Freeing Boy-friend From Jail

Otorgan dispensa a indígena menor de edad para casarse, en Veracruz.

Jalapa, Veracruz state – A 13-year-old Indigenous girl has received dispen-sation from Veracruz state governor Fidel Herrera Beltrán to marry her 17-year-old boyfriend, who sits in jail after being denounced to police by the girl’s mother for statutory rape.

According to local Native traditions, the girl, who is referred to by the initials ENC, was already of a marriageable age.  State law places the age of majority at 18 for marriage, but dispensation may be sought from the governor.  Governor Herrera Beltrán gave his permission, and announced that he plans to be a witness at the wedding.

In May, 2005, ENC decided to leave home and move in with her boyfriend, identified by the initials PNC.  PNC was accused of statutory rape by the girl’s mother, was arrested, and has been in jail since October 31, 2005.

Rufino Gómez, of the state Human Rights Commission, assigned to the Veracruz Office of Indigenous Affairs:

“In the isolated [Zongolica] mountain region the customs are very practical.  What seems unacceptable or strange to city people should be accepted, as they are the traditions of an Indigenous culture.”

According to these traditions, in the Zongolica mountain communities it is quite common for [indigenous] girls of age 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 to marry.  The governor must first give his dispen-sation to allow the nuptials, as occurred in this case.

- La Jornada

Mexico City

Jan. 20, 2006


Added Jan. 20, 2006

United States

Opposites Attract For Immigration Lobbying Effort

Often on opposite sides of political battles, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two major labor groups announced Thursday their alliance for a bill to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

The groups' combined lobbying effort is designed to influence the Senate when it takes up the immigration issue in coming weeks and put pressure on President Bush to reaffirm his backing for a temporary guest worker visa program.

Bush's guest worker plan, which does not offer permanent residency, was blocked last month by House conser-vatives, who instead passed a bill to crack down on illegal immigration by, among other things, classifying the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants as felons.

The 9 million-member AFL-CIO has said past guest worker programs led to exploitation of "vulnerable workers" and is not part of the group.

Many conservative House members have said they will negotiate with the Senate on temporary worker visas only after the administ-ration has shown progress on border security.

- Houston Chronicle

Jan. 20, 2006


Added Jan. 19, 2006

United States, Okinawa, Pacific Region

Pacific U.S. Marines Take a Strong Stand Against Human Trafficking

USMC Pacific

Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan - In a series of official messages begin-ning last year, the under secretary of defense and service chiefs directed that all members of the uniformed service complete aware-ness training in trafficking in humans.

In a recent message, Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina, the deputy com-mander of Marine Corps Bases Japan, directed that com-manders and managers ensure their Marines, sailors, civilian Marines and contractors be trained no later than Jan. 30, 2006.

The Marine Corps takes a "zero tolerance" approach to trafficking in humans. Trafficking in humans is a worldwide problem and is not specific to Marines on Okinawa.

Southeast Asia is one part of the world where Trafficking in Persons is a large contributor to the $13 billion-per-year slave trade, which makes Marine Forces Pacific particularly important, explained Col. William Gillespie, Marine Corps Bases Japan inspector.

- USMC Pacific

Public Affairs

Jan. 19 2006

Thank you, Marines!

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 19 2006


Added Jan. 18, 2006

Texas, USA

Sex Trafficker Pleads Guilty

Salvador Fernando Molina Garcia told investigators that his wife became a prostitute against his wishes after they illegally crossed the border and came to Houston.

But the woman he identified as his wife said he lured her to his apartment in Mexico, raped her and forced her into prostitution here.

Molina Garcia pleaded guilty Tuesday to a sex-trafficking conspiracy charge in the court of U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore.

The 37-year-old man is one of six Mexican nationals indicted on charges accusing them of smuggling young women and girls across the border and forcing them to work as prostitutes in Houston bars. The organization used violence, threats and deception to recruit victims and hold them in prostitution, prosecutors said.

- Houston Chronicle

Jan. 18 2006


Added Jan. 18, 2006

New York, USA

Nixmary Brown

Photo: NY1

Abuse Victim Nixmary Brown Will Be Buried Today

As mourners prepare to say farewell Monday to the little girl whose killing shocked the city, Nixzmary Brown's mother speaks publicly for the first time.

In a jailhouse interview recorded in several published reports this morning, Nixzaliz Santiago describes her 7-year-old daughter's dying moments and her pleas for help.

Santiago says Nizmary's stepfather threw the little girl into a freezing cold shower because he believed she had stolen his yogurt and jammed his computer printer. Santiago says she begged Cesar Rodriguez to stop, but he wouldn't.

It was in that bath-room that police believe the little girl was dealt the final blow that would eventually kill her.

- NY1 News

Jan. 18 2006

New York City - The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) announced sweeping changes within the agency and disciplinary action for staff members involved in the child abuse case of Nixzmary Brown...

Two supervisors and one caseworker will be suspended without pay effective immediately pending an investigation into the Brown case.

- NY1 News

Jan. 18 2006


Added Jan. 18, 2006

Washington, DC

Court Action and Press Conference

Student Attorneys from the Inter-national Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law (WCL) will file a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Mabel Gonzalez, a Paraguayan domestic worker who is owed more than $13,000 in unpaid wages, plus damages, by her diplomatic employers. 

Jan. 18, 10:30 a.m.

U.S. District Court
333 Constitution
Ave., Washington, DC.

- Rachael Farber,
- Juliette Niehuss
Student attorneys

Jan. 16 2006


Added Jan. 18, 2006

The Philippines

Carmen - The United States on Tuesday refused a Philippine request to hand over four Marines charged with rape, provoking anti-American protests in the capital and the Muslim south, where U.S. troops began annual counter-terrorism training of Filipino soldiers.

In a letter to the Philippine govern-ment, the U.S. Embassy invoked the bilateral Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows large-scale U.S. training in the country, and vowed to keep the Marines in its custody during an upcoming trial.

- Associated Press

Jan. 17 2006

 


Added Jan. 18, 2006

Mexico

Mexico City  - Mexico demanded on Tuesday that Washington investigate the fatal shooting of another undocumented migrant by U.S. security agents, adding fuel to a smoldering dispute over illegal immigration.

Mexican Ismael Segura, 23, was fatally shot in the chest by security agents in Texas on the weekend after he resisted arrest and tried to flee in his  car, the second killing of a Mexican migrant by U.S. security forces in recent days, the Mexican government said.

Segura was badly injured and died later in hospital.

Mexico was already reeling at the death of another illegal migrant, 18-year-old Guillermo Martinez, who was shot by U.S. border guards on New Year's Eve as he snuck across the border near San Diego, prompting President Vicente Fox to demand "total justice".

- Reuters

Jan. 17 2005


Added Jan. 18, 2006

Peru, Latin America

Saturnino Apaza, accused in the lynching of an allegedly corrupt mayor in the Bolivian Aymara community of Ayo Ayo - June, 2004.

Saturnino Apaza, el único acusado por el crimen del linchamiento de un alcalde en Ayo Ayo, Bolivia en Junio de 2004.

Lynching in Latin America

The January 16, 2006 edition of the Spanish language NBC/Telemundo Network show Sin Fronteras (Without Borders), re-ran a graphic news segment about lynching in Peru.

Filmed footage showed several people in the process of being lynched.  A middle aged woman was tied to a pole, doused with gas and set of fire for stealing $900 dollars.  The fire was put out before the she was severely burned.  The program showed footage of several other men who had been tied to lamp posts and doused in gasoline.

Also shown was another man who was beaten severely in the face after being accused of entering a bathroom and assaulting a seven year old girl.  He admitted to the crime on tape.  Local residents had dug a shallow grave, made him lie in it, covered him with straw and were about to burn him when a police officer showed up a took him to jail.

Another police officer stated on the program that "here in the Andes [region], people have never had effective police protection.  So they take the law into their own hands.

Lima residents who were interviewed expressed anger that the police only show up to rescue the criminals who are victims of  lynching.  Peru has only 1 police officer per 1,000 people.

Numerous Spanish language TV news programs in the U.S. have, over the years shown cases of lynching, especially in retaliation for child rape.  Lynching often occurs in the isolated rural and indigenous regions of Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 18 2005

See also:

About child mass-murderer Pedro Alonzo Lopez...

Pedro traveled widely throughout Peru.  It was during this time that he later claimed to have begun stalking and killing at least 100 young girls from various Indian tribes throughout the region.  While it is impossible to verify these claims, it is known that he was captured by a group of Ayacuchos, in northern Peru, while attempting to kidnap a 9-year-old girl. 

The Indians stripped and tortured Pedro for hours before deciding to bury him alive.  Nonetheless, luck was apparently on his side, because an American missionary intervened and convinced his captors that murder was ungodly and that they should turn Pedro over to the proper authorities.  They reluctantly agreed and remanded their prisoner over to the Peruvian authorities. 

Not wanting to waste time investigating petty Indian complaints, the Peruvian Government deported Pedro back to Ecuador.

Following his return to Ecuador, Pedro began traveling extensively around the region, including frequent stops in Colombia. 

Authorities soon began to notice an increase in missing persons cases involving young girls, however they quickly concluded that they were due to the growing South American sex slave rings...

Pedro confessed to investigators that he had murdered at least 110 girls in Ecuador, 100 in Colombia, and “many more than 100” in Peru.  “I like the girls in Ecuador,” he told them.  “They are more gentle and trusting, more innocent.  They are not as suspicious of strangers as Colombian girls.”

- Court TV

By David Lohr

LibertadLatina Note:

The 300+ victims of  Pedro Alonzo Lopez were between 8- and 12-years-old.

The above Court TV article text points out that indigenous girls are subject to rape, murder and sex trafficking with impunity, with little to no police response, across rural Latin America.  Criminal child sex traffickers specifically target this population, the poorest of the poor, for mass-kidnapping and exploitation in sexual slavery. 

Victims are trafficked locally, across Latin America and are also 'exported' to Asia, Europe and the United States.

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 18 2005

See also:

Undercover reporter in Spain poses as buyer, is offered six 13-year-old 'virgin' Mayan girls kidnapped from Chiapas, Mexico, Mexican Trafficker's price: $25,000 each.

(Article In Spanish)

Chiapas State investigates sale of young Mayan girls in Europe. (Spanish)


Added Jan. 17, 2006

Guatemala, Mexico

Tecun Uman, Guatemala - This dusty frontier town caters to smugglers and illegal migrants. It's a stone's throw from Mexico, across the brown waters of the Suchiate river. In a way, it is also the southernmost border of the United States.

Father Ademar Barilli, a Catholic priest who runs the Casa del Migrante, a hostel for migrants...

"Make no mistake, this river is not an obstacle, none whatever."

"The obstacle is across the river. The Mexican government has turned all of Mexico into a frontier. They are working on behalf of the U.S.. They are hunting migrants."

"Police and other authorities see them as humans without rights." 

"Everybody preys on them."

David Gonzalez, an 18-year-old Salvadoran jailed and then deported from Mexico...

"They (the Mexicans) are treating us badly."

"Many fear them more than they fear the gringos (Americans)."

By the time migrants reach the [U.S.]border, many have already been raped, robbed, beaten and forced to pay bribes by corrupt policemen and marauding criminal gangs.

- Reuters

Jan. 17 2005


Added Jan. 17, 2006

Mexico

Foto: CIMAC

Mujeres migrantes: víctimas del tren
de la muerte.

Women Migrants, victims of the 'train of death.'

On April 15, 2005, Maritza Barrios, a 20-year-old Guatemalan migrant rode a freight train while crossing Mexico on her way to the U.S.

Private security guards that Maritza and her brothers encountered on the train tried to extort money from them. 

Then Maritza was told by a guard, “I want to rape you.”  When she resisted his assault, the guard threatened her with death, and then threw her, and her brothers off the train.  Martiza's right leg went under the train.  It later had to be amputated.

Martiza presented a complaint to the Coahuila state prosecutor’s office (PGJE).  Only in November, 2005 did the state police give Maritza the photo archive of the private security guards who work in Coahuila.

Although Martiza easily identified the main aggressor, Pedro Montelongo, her case is still in the preliminary investigation stage. 

In December, 2005, Jose Luis Soberanes, president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH),  recom-mended to the government of Coahuila and the commissioner of migration that train guards not be allowed to assume police powers.  That recommendation has been ignored. 

Although her assailant is known, almost a year after the assault Maritza has not received any justice from the state of Coahuila.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 16, 2005

LibertadLatina Note:

A personal friend from Honduras, who crossed Mexico on a freight train, saw a young woman fall from such a train, resulting in her leg being severed.  The train's engineer deliberately accel-erated to knock people off of it.

Many people have died on these trains, and these attacks are very similar to those shown in the 1973 movie 'Emperor of the North.'

- Chuck Goolsby

Jan. 17, 2006

Wikipedia's article on 'Emperor of the North.'


Added Jan. 17, 2006

Chile

Chile's President-Elect Michele Bachelet

Photo: CIMAC

Bachelet, primera presidenta de Chile

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 16, 2005

The Chilean President-elect, Michelle Bachelet, has pledged to name a cabinet with an equal number of men and women.

Ms Bachelet, who was jailed and tortured by Chile's former military junta, promised to build a more equitable and tolerant society.

She said: "Because I was the victim of hatred, I have dedicated my life to reverse that hatred and turn it into understanding, tolerance and - why not say it - into love."

Her rival, conserv-ative businessman Sebastian Pinera, congratulated her saying she represents "the struggle of millions of women to reach the position they deserve".

The centre-left leader became Chile's first woman president winning 53.5% of the poll, coming ahead in all but one of the country's 13 regions.

- BBC News

Jan. 17, 2005

Added Jan. 15, 2006

Chile's President-Elect Michele Bachelet

Photo: BBC News

Centre-left candidate Michelle Bachelet has become Chile's first woman president, taking 53.5% of the poll with almost all the votes counted.

Chilean president-elect Michele Bachelet...

"Who would have said, 10, 15 years ago, that a woman would be elected president?"

- BBC News

Jan. 15, 2005

Winning Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet

Bachelet: ex torturada y exiliada a la presidencia chilena.

Michelle Bachelet, the president elect of Chile, is a pedia-trician, and is also a separated, socialist, agnostic and woman who is also one of many victims of the former dictatorship of general Augusto Pinochet.

When she was 22 years old and a young medical student, her father, Air Force General Alberto Bachelet was arrested and tortured by his own comrades, and then condemned to prison for being a member of the government of [socialist] president Salvador Allende. 

Alberto Bachelet died, "as a result of the torture suffered in prison," said Michelle Bachelet.

In January of 1975 Michelle Bachelet and her mother, Angela Jeria, were detained and tortured during two weeks in the prisoner of war camp of Villa Grimaldi, according to the president-elect’s biography.

Both went into exile in Australia and East Germany, returning to Chile in 1979.

Michelle Bachelet does not get tired of repeating that she does not hold resentment towards the military.  Upon returning from exile she attended one of the nation's top military academies, and graduated near the top of her class.  She was named Chile’s Minister of Defense from 2002 to 2004.

Ricardo Lagos, outgoing president of Chile, stated that  the hardships that Michele Bachelet went through taught him to govern without giving thought to revenge [for past human rights abuses under the conservative dictatorship of general Agosto Pinochet].

- Translated abstract

- Associated Press

Jan. 15, 2005

Líderes extranjeros saludan Bachelet por su triunfo. (Foreign leaders congratulate President-elect Michele Bachelet on her victory).

- Associated Press

Jan. 15, 2005

Michelle Bachelet, a socialist promising to maintain the country's free-market policies was battling a multimillionaire businessman vowing to fight poverty as Chile picked a president.  Bachelet is favored as Chile votes for president

- CNN

Jan. 15, 2005

About the dictatorship of Chilean general Agosto Pinochet.

Excerpt: "Thousands of leftists, unionists, and various other troublemakers were rounded up and held in concentration camps for up to three years. Many were interrogated, tortured, and killed. Whereas the [democratically elected] Allende government had for all practical purposes given up applying electrical voltage to genitalia, Pinochet brought the country back to its core ideals."

LibertadLatina Commentary:

I am not a socialist, but the truth needs to be told, especially to younger generation, about how the power of the United States was abused during the early 1970's to support a dictator who not only suppressed free democratic electoral expression, but who openly orchestrated the mass torture, rape and murder of his opponents by the thousands.

Augusto Pinochet was a Chilean general who in 1973 staged a coup d'etat against a democrat-ically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, with the help of the U.S. CIA (which help the CIA admits).

During the late 1970's I met a number of women exiles from Chile in Washington, DC, who had been detained in the concentration camps for political prisoners that Pinochet set up to retaliate against several thousand leftist supporters of President Allende. 

Gang rape by guards and interrogators was commonplace in these torture camps. People were also murdered. 

The main-stream U.S. press, such as the CBS 60 Minutes program, discussed these facts, and even openly showed pictures of the naked 'bruised-purple' behinds of the rape victims, which I clearly recall viewing one Sunday evening.

During the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's, the U.S government supported right-wing government forces involved in counter-insurgency wars in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the anti-Mayan genocide / femicide in Guatemala.  The Cold War attitudes of the times found the U.S. actively funding and training these corrupt governments in the use of mass torture and mass murder to control popular political change.   Mass rape was a byproduct of those evil activities.

Today, as the very important role of U.S. conservatives grows in the anti-trafficking movement, they will have to "Come to Jesus" about their continuing defense and justification of the mass atrocities that, in the name of the Cold War, caused the rapes and murders of hundreds of thousands of women and girls  across Latin America during the past 35 years, including the rape of almost every Mayan girl over age 7 in Guatemala by soldiers and civil guards during the 1980's and 1990's.

At the time these atrocities were occurring, many U.S. conservatives defended the use of these 'techniques' (or denied they existed), and also derided human rights activists who raised the issue in the U.S. Congress and in other forums.

A U.S. Cold War view that 'the end justifies the means' gave rapists, torturers and murderers impunity and legal cover from the U.S. across Latin America at the time.

The victims have never had the aid of the World Court or other international forums that could allow justice to be served, because the U.S. supported these measures at the time and vetoed any such efforts.

These acts fall under the same category of evil as the genocide against Native Americans in the U.S. during the 1800's, which were widely viewed as 'justifiable under the circumstances' - a very arrogant and colonial view of criminal impunity.

In 1999, former U.S. President Bill Clinton apologized for U.S.  involvement in aiding Guatemala's acts of  repression.  

President George W. Bush should do the same, and he should include Chile in that apology.

The current wave of mass gender violence and the shift to the left in many Latin American countries both have their roots in this bloody history.

Thirty three years after General Agosto Pinochet brought mass torture, rape and murder to Chile, the Chilean people have responded with the election of one of his victims to the nation's presidency. 

Good for them!

- Chuck Goolsby

January 16-18, 2006

See also:

Informe de la Comision Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliacion.

A short translation from the report by the Chilean Committee on Truth and Reconciliation...

Written and Translated by Dr. Róbinson Rojas...

Both men and women were given electric shocks in the genitals. This happened on a metal bed to which the naked victim was bound with his/her arms and legs spread apart. This torture was called "roasting."

 Women detainees were raped.

Women detainees were forced to have sexual inter-course with dogs.

Hot iron objects were inserted into the vaginas of women.

Iron objects were inserted into the victim's anus.


"The military torture teams, graduates of the [U.S. Army's] School of the  Americas [then located] in the [U.S. Panama] Canal Zone, have revealed a degree of human bestiality with Chilean
women that puts them way ahead of their American trainers."

The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas.

"The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect"

This is a quote from Dan Mitrione, a U.S. agent who trained Latin police forces in torture in the early 1970's.  Mitrione was a family friend of my best friend in high school.  In 1973, I took my friend to see the movie "State of Siege" - which showed in detail Mitrione's torture activities - activities that were unknown to Mitrione's circle of family and friends prior to his own kidnapping and murder in Uruguay).

- Chuck Goolsby.

Wikipedia's article on Dan Mitrione.

Native El Salvador

Native Guatemala - Femicide & Genocide


Added Jan. 15, 2006

Mexico - Texas, USA

Eagle Pass - A pilot program that jails all illegal immigrants crossing into this Texas border town from Mexico has led to a dramatic fall in numbers attempting the journey, the U.S. Office of Border Patrol said on Friday.

A program known as Operation Streamline II, instituted on December 12, is aimed mostly at non-Mexican illegal immigrants who were arrested and released because Border Patrol agents did not have sufficient space to jail them.  The blanket crackdown is also being applied to undocumented Mexicans who were previously subject to criminal background checks and released back over the Rio Grande without charges.

"The message is one of zero tolerance to [undocumented] immigrants, whether they are Mexican or (non-Mexican) nationals," said Hilario Leal, the U.S. Border Patrol's spokesman for the sector that includes Eagle Pass.

Since the pilot program began around Eagle Pass, 140 miles west of San Antonio, the number of undocumented immigrants picked up by Border Patrol agents has dwindled to 10 a day, down from highs of around 150 a day in mid-2005, officials said.

- Reuters

Jan. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 14, 2006

Guatemala

Mayan woman grieves during the exhumation of victims of the 1970's - 1980's genocide and femicide in Quiche province, Guatemala - Amnesty International

Viudas de Guatemala piden dignificar a víctimas de guerra.

The National Coordination of Guatemalan Widows (Conavigua), who's members survived the Guatemalan Civil War, will initiate its 2006 activities with the exhumation of a clandestine cemetery in the Mayan town of Joyabaj, where they expect to find the remains of 15 people.  Conavigua is asking the residents of Joyabaj to attend the exhumations in solidarity with the families of those who murdered at this site.

Conavigua asks that the national and international communities join with them to pressure the Guatemalan govern-ment to address the need for justice of the victims of the mass murders that took place during the 36 year civil war.

Conavigua and demands that law enforcement act to protect the lives of its members and the families of all victims of war related mass-murder, especially women, many of who have received death threats and mistreatment from forces that oppose their work.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 12, 2005

LibertadLatina Note:

These burial sites were created by Guatemalan Army soldiers and death squads to hide the victims of mass torture, rape and murder in the 1960's to 1980's 'civil' war.  Government soldiers, police and 'death squads' murdered 200,000 mostly Mayan victims, including 50,000 women, during the civil war.

See also:

Native Guatemala -

   Femicide & Genocide

"During the last forty years, the [Guatemalan] military has been levying a campaign of terrorism and genocide against... Mayas, in order to distribute native peoples' land among plantation owners."


Added Jan. 14, 2006

Chile

Leading Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet

Chile: Bachelet aventaja con cinco puntos a Piñera.

Michelle Bachalet, a former defense minister who is now a socialist candidate for president, is leading her ultra- conservative rival Sebastián Piñera, by five percentage points in the polls.

Current surveys show that Bachelet would receive 45% of the vote to 40% for Piñera.  Voters will go to the polls on January 15, 2006.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 12, 2005

Socialist Michelle Bachelet is likely to be elected Chile's first woman president, beating out her rightist rival by at least 5 percentage points, a new poll said on Thursday.

If she wins, Bachelet will... be the fourth consecutive president from a center-left coalition formed by opponents of the [conservative] Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, which ended in 1990.

- CNN

Jan. 12, 2005

 


Added Jan. 13, 2006

Scotland

John Ragwar, with wife Karen and sons David, 2, and Matthew, 3, faces leaving his family behind. Picture: Sean Bell - Scotsman

John Ragwar, a Kenyan immigrant to Scotland, is to be deported by the British government eight years after marrying Scottish citizen Karen Ragwar.

Unlike immigration rules in the United States that permit an undocumented immigrant to become a legal immigrant after marriage to a citizen, Britain requires migrants to apply for entry into Britain for the specific purpose of marriage, before being allowed to marry.

Human rights activists and members of parliament are pressuring the British government in regard to this basic human rights issue, which threatens to divide the couple and their two young children.

- The Scotsman

Jan. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 13, 2006

United States

U.S. President George W. Bush

Renueva Bush ley contra trafico de personas

- NotiMex

Jan. 10, 2005

President George W. Bush signs H.R. 972, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

President Bush...

"In today's world, too often human traffickers abuse the trust of children and expose them to the worst of life at a young age. It takes a perverse form of evil to exploit and hurt those vulnerable members of society."

"Human traffickers operate with greed and without conscience, treating their victims as nothing more than goods and commodities for sale to the highest bidder. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been trafficked against their will, across international boundaries, and many have been forced into sexual servitude."

"Thousands of teenagers and young girls are trafficked into the United States every year. They're held hostage. They're forced to submit to unspeakable evil. America has a particular duty to fight this horror because human trafficking is an affront to the defining promise of our country."

-

U.S. President

George W. Bush

Jan. 10, 2005


Added Jan. 13, 2006

Argentina

Madre a los 13 años tras violación.

Esperanza - A 12 year old girl was raped by a man who threatened her with death if she told anyone about the crime.  At the age of 13 the girl, who did not know that she was pregnant, was taken to a doctor with stomach pains.  Hours later the girl gave birth to a premature baby. 

This girl was raped by the owner of a store where her family frequently shopped, during a  family trip to that store.  After the family reported the rape to police, the assailant was saved from being lynched by the family.   The rapist has now been arrested and is will go on trial during January, 2006.

- EFE

Jan. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 13, 2006

Mexico

Contra la pornografía infantil. Detenidos 25 estadounidenses pederastas en los últimos 5 años.

Esperanza García, director of the Cyber Crimes and Crimes Against Children unit of the Federal Preventive Police, has announced that during the past 5 years, Mexican authorities have arrested 67 pedo-philes and have rescued 105 children from sexual exploitation. 

Those arrested include 25 U.S. citizens and 3 Canadians, who distributed child pornography via the Internet to promote sex tourism.  The U.S. and Canadian suspects were arrested in the cities of Acapulco, Guerrero and Jalisco.

- EFE

Jan. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 13, 2006

New York, USA

Revelan detalles sobre muerte de niña Latina.

- El Diario - New York

Jan. 13, 2005

Matan a niña Latina en Brooklyn.

- El Diario - New York

Jan. 12, 2005

Seven-year-old Nixzmary Brown was beaten to death in a Brooklyn apartment this week where she had been tethered to a chair with twine. It was the fourth homicide in recent months involving a family monitored by the city's Admin-istration for Children's Services, renewing concerns about the agency's ability to protect abused children.

The girl's stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, accused of binding, beating and molesting her, was arraigned Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, sex abuse and child endanger-ment. Her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, was arraigned on second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment charges.

- Associated Press

Via New York Newsday

Jan. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 13, 2006

United States

Washington, DC - With the January 10, 2005 signing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauth-orization Act (TVPRA - H.R. 972) by President Bush, ICE reaffirmed its law enforcement commitment to identify victims of human trafficking and bring the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice.

Since the creation of ICE in March 2003, investigations into human trafficking and the related crime of human smuggling, have resulted in more than 5,400 arrests, 2,800 criminal indictments, and 2,300 criminal convictions.

- U.S. ICE

Jan. 11, 2005


Added Jan. 12, 2006

Mexico

Villahermosa, Guadalajara y Cuernavaca: peligro para mujeres.

A study titled "Insecurity in Urban Mexico, a Comparat-ive Analysis of 13 Metropolitan Areas" - has been released by the Citizens Instit-ute for Insecurity Studies. 

The study finds that three major Mexican cities: Villahermosa, Guadalajara and Cuernavaca have the most severe rates of violent crime against women.  In these three cities, 60% of assaults on the street, in the workplace and on public transport target women.  In the city of Guadalajara, sexual assaults are 8.3 % of all crime, a figure that is 2.3 times higher that the national average.

Ciudad Juarez, site of a femicide that has taken over 300 female lives in the past 13 years (actually 400 lives, according to Amnesty Inter-national), also has the highest rate of attacks against women in the workplace.  Juarez is the location of many foreign-owned low-wage factories (maquiladoras).  Some 57% of women have faced workplace violence, according to the March, 2005 National Survey on Insecurity.  This figure that more is 40 times higher than the national average.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 12, 2005


Added Jan. 10, 2006

Mexico

Comandanta Ramona

Mayan Zapatista activists wear masks to prevent being targeted for assassination.

Muere la Comandanta Ramona.

Comandanta Ramona, a Tzotzil Mayan woman leader who constructed new concepts of gender equality for Indigenous women in Chiapas state, has died of cancer. Ramona was one of two women, along with comandanta Esther, who repres-ented women's interests in the Clandestine Indigenous Revol-utionary Committee (CCRI) of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

Comandanta Ramona fought in defense of the rights of Native women and for all craftswomen by advocating for the right of women to education & special schools for women, by promoting the value of the work of women artisans, and by advocating for increased respect for the equal rights of  women.

In the early 1990's Ramona developed the principles of the 1994 Revolutionary Law of Women in consultation with Mayan communities across Chiapas. 

Comandanta Ramona was born in Chiapas in 1959. Ten years ago she began her struggle with the pain of cancer in both kidneys.  She had been treated in the Congressional Unit of the National Medical Center in Mexico City.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 06, 2005

See also:

De bordadora a Comandanta.

(From embroiderer to commander.)

Altera muerte de Ramona tiempos de la otra campaña.

The Law of Women.

Ley revolucionaria de mujeres.

About Zapatista women / feminism.

The legendary Zapatista leader Comandanta Ramona has died.

Do not leave us alone! A 1994 Interview with Comandante Ramona.

About the 1997 Acteal Massacre.

LibertadLatina Commentary:

The work of Comandanta Ramona defined a new path of gender equality for all women and girls facing misogynist and racist anti-Indigenous attitudes in Mexican society.

Before the Zapatista Uprising in 1994, the Mayan peoples of Chiapas, Mexico were expected to work hard from birth through death as peons (actual semi- slaves), for cruel landowners, on plantation land stolen from their own ancestors..., in exchange for nothing more than a shack to sleep in and enough corn to survive.

The 1994 Zapatista Uprising changed those arrogant 'traditions' forever.

The Law of Women addresses equality both within Mayan societies and in the larger Mexican society.  It especially focused on ending the Mayan dowry system, where girls of 13 or 14 are effectively sold to adult men, and are denied the right to choose a partner.

Although the Zapatista movement began as an armed uprising in 1994, it has evolved into a national movement for social and political reform that addresses sexism, economic injustice and corruption throughout Mexico.

Thank you Coman-danta Ramona for stepping up to the plate to help your people find freedom!

We are proud of you, and the example that you set for all of our daughters and sons!

- Chuck Goolsby

January 10, 2006


Added Jan. 10, 2006

Utah, USA

A woman who stopped at a Cottonwood Heights gas station around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday was raped on a restroom floor as she held her 1-year-old son in her arms and her 3-year-old daughter looked on.

The 21-year-old woman stopped  after her daughter said she needed a restroom, said Salt Lake County sheriff's spokesman Paul Jaroscak.

The woman checked to make sure the restroom door was open, then returned to her car, got her two children and went back in, Jaroscak said. There, a man was waiting for her.

- Salt Lake Tribune

January 07, 2006


Added Jan. 10, 2006

United States

Son víctimas de tráfico de seres humanos entre 14,500 y 17,500 personas al año en Estados Unidos. Se dividen, por lo general, entre dos categorías - las personas abusadas sexualmente y las personas explotadas económicamente. La mayoría son mujeres y niños.

Los inmigrantes indocumentados víctimas de formas “severas” de tráfico de seres humanos podrán calificar para estadía legal temporal.

Between 14,500 and 17,500 persons are brought into the U.S. each year as either economic or sexual slaves.  The majority are women and children.  Victims may qualify for the "T" visa, designed specifically to assist victims of severe forms of slavery.

- Hispanic Link

January 07, 2006


Added Jan. 10, 2006

Mexico

Ya suman cuatro las mujeres asesinadas en Tamaulipas.

During the first week of of 2006, four women were murdered in the eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.  The latest victim was 37-year-old Delfina Araiza López, who was gunned down by unknown assailants in her apartment as her husband, who was walking home, heard the shots.  The assailants fled and have not been found. 

Araiza López joins  Juana Aracely García, from the city of Matamoros, another as-yet unidentified woman, and two year old Edith Alejandra Ochoa Requena as the first female victims of femicide violence in Tamaul-ipas in 2006.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 09, 2005


Added Jan. 7, 2006

The World

Niños: pequeños invisibles por el abandono.

Terra.com

Colombia

Dec. 13, 2005

Hundreds of millions of children are suffering from severe exploitation and discrimination and have become virtually invisible to the world, UNICEF declared in a major report that explores the causes of exclusion and the abuses children experience.

The agency said that millions of children disappear from view when trafficked or forced to work in domestic servitude. Other children, such as street children, live in plain sight but are excluded from fundamental services and protections.

Not only do these children endure abuse, most are shut out from school, healthcare and other vital services they need to grow and thrive.

The State of the World's Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible is a sweeping assessment of the world's most vulnerable children, whose rights to a safe and healthy childhood are exceptionally difficult to protect. These children are growing up beyond the reach of development campaigns and are often invisible in everything from public debate and legislation, to statistics and news stories.

- UNICEF

Dec. 14, 2005


Added Jan. 7, 2006

United States

Neoconservative Anti-trafficking activist and Hudson Institute analyst Michael Horowitz provides an interesting account of the building of a unique coalition between religious conservatives and progressives to achieve passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 (HR 972), sponsored by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ).

This bill applies, for the first time, strong anti-trafficking laws to combat sexual exploitation within the United States.

- An Article by Michael Horowitz

Jan. 06, 2005


Added Jan. 6, 2006

Mexico

Photo: CIMAC

Permanente violación a derechos de migrantes en México.

Violations of the human rights of foreign migrants entering Mexico is a constant condition at Mexico’s migrant detention centers, according to the non-governmental organization Sin Fronteras (Without Borders).  The release of their report coincides with that of a special report by Mexico’s National Commis-sion for Human Rights (CNDH) on the same topic.

Karina Arias of Without Borders:

“Giving CNDH access to  migrant detention facilities is critical, they should be reporting on what is happening at these locations.”

Data received by Without Borders during visits to 119 migrant detention facilities located in 19 states indicates the existence of conditions in which basic rights are not guaranteed, contravening national and international norms: dignified treatment, and the assurance of the legal and health rights of detained migrants.

Although the government of Mexico refers to these facilities as 'protection centers' (no penal process is involved), they are in fact detention centers.  Migrants held at these facilities are deprived of liberty, they have no access to communication with the outside world, the facilities are overpopulated, and there is a lack of both a notification of the migrant’s consular office and a lack of medical services.

The female population of these facilities has risen dramatically.  In Iztapalapa in Mexico City, one of the nation’s largest centers, and one of the few federal migrant detention facilities with separate areas for men, women and adolescents, Without Borders has interceded in a growing number of cases of pregnant women.  These women are not provided with any access to pre-natal medical care.  When they give birth, they are taken to a local hospital, stay a few days, and are then brought back to the detention facility without having been given the right to legally register the birth certificate of their child, who has been born a Mexican citizen.

Without Borders has also detected cases of human trafficking, including the case of two migrants from China who were forced to work free hours at a factory and had their freedom of move-ment restricted.  They escaped from bondage, and although they had legal immigration papers, they have been detained.  Their enslavers remain free and the factory remains open.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 04, 2005


Added Jan. 6, 2006

Native Brazil

Mato Grosso do Sul (Southern Jungle) state - in the Amazon - On Dec. 16, 2005, a Guarani-Kaiowá community was violently evicted from their ancestral land in a large-scale operation carried out by the Federal Police with unofficial support from local landowners. The eviction came after a number of legal interventions including a Supreme Court (STF) ruling that effectively suspended the Guarani-Kaiowá’s constitutional right to their land.

The Guarani-Kaiowá are now encamped along the MS-384 highway, with insufficient food, sanitation and shelter.

“The ruling had catastrophic consequences on the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous community,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s campaigner on Brazil.

“A woman who was seven months pregnant miscarried after suffering a fall during the eviction; and a one-year-old baby succumbed to dehydration.”

On 24 December 2005, nine days after the eviction, thirty-nine-year-old Dorvalino Rocha was shot in the chest at the entrance to the Fronteira Farm in the municipality of Antônio João in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. According to reports, he was killed by a private security guard hired by local landowners.

Dorvalino Rocha is the 38th indigenous activist killed in 2005 – the worst year for over a decade, according to the Brazilian NGO the Indigenous Missionary Council. Twenty-eight of these killings took place in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul alone.

- Amnesty International

Jan. 06, 2005

See also:

Native Guatemala -

   Femicide & Genocide

"During the last forty years, the [Guatemalan] military has been levying a campaign of terrorism and genocide against... Mayas, in order to distribute native peoples' land among plantation owners."

LibertadLatina Commentary

"Trail of Tears" - Native eviction by President Andrew Jackson, from the southern United States - 1830's.  This act of land-stealing lead to the deaths of half of those evicted from Georgia and Alabama and then exiled to Oklahoma.

Illegal evictions of indigenous people, accompanied by mass rape, murder and other abuses, are human rights violations that have been perpetrated by European settler societies across the Americas since the year 1492. 

It is both shocking and unsurprising that nation states in Latin America continue this practice.  Brazil and other countries steal from their poorest, the Native peoples, to enrich themselves, simply because Native people's basic human rights are non-existent.

As a person who's Creek ancestors were forcibly evicted on the Trail of Tears, and who's Catawba ancestors were given Smallpox infected blankets to speed their 'eviction by genocide,' I am not at all impressed that the 'civilized world' continues to allow Brazil's  government, working in the interest of greedy landowners, to forcibly steal land, and the ability to survive, from Native Brazilians in 2006.

Disenfranchising Native people leads directly to severe poverty, and to a high risk of falling into prostitution and sexual slavery as the only means of survival for many formerly self-sufficient peoples.

The sex trafficking of Native women and girls across the nations of the  Americas has been driven by this insane and racist process for over 500 years.

Shame on the perpetrators!

End impunity

now!

- ChuckGoolsby

Jan. 06, 2005


Added Jan. 6, 2006

Ohio, USA

Antonio Gonzalez, Jr., 48, who is HIV positive, was sentenced to 48 years in prison today for repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl in his home.  The victim was assaulted at the defendant’s home  where he and his wife were hosting a graduation party.

Gonzalez, who had been drinking and smoking crack-cocaine, took the victim into a bedroom, barricaded the door, and sexually assaulted her.

The defendant’s wife found her husband in the room with the victim. He fled through a window and was later attacked by some of the party-goers who had been alerted by the wife.

- Toledo Blade

Jan. 03, 2005


Added Jan. 5, 2006

El Salvador

Trafficking increases

Salvadoran migrants hop a freight train.

Aumenta tráfico de personas en El Salvador  - Las víctimas son maltratadas.

A recent report released by José Ayala, director of the anti-trafficking unit of  the National Civil Police (PNC) of El Salvador indicates that the rate of sex trafficking of women and girls continues to increase in the Central American nation.  A large number of victims are taken to other countries.  Large numbers of foreign women are also brought into El Salvador as forced prostitutes.

Benjamin Smith, representative of the International Labor Organization (ILO) indicated at the PNC press conference that the United States is the top destination for women trafficked from El Salvador. 

Participants from the International Organ-ization for Migration (IOM), and Casa Alianza (the largest street children’s advocacy group in Central America and Mexico) noted that the victims are typically physically mistreated and are forced to take illegal drugs by their captors.

Extreme poverty and a lack of jobs in El Salvador makes women and children vulnerable to sex trafficking.  Fifty eight percent of the population lives in poverty, which provokes an annual exodus of 720,000 persons.  Seventy percent of families remaining in the country rely on money sent from family members abroad.

Traffickers exploit would-be economic migrants, and offer to transport them to fictitious jobs in foreign countries. During the journey, the cheated victims are enslaved and are then forced into prostitution.

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Jan. 04, 2005

See also:

Native El Salvador

LibertadLatina note:

El Salvador has long been recognized as the second poorest country in the Americas, after Haiti.


Added Jan. 4, 2006

Peru

Pro-Indigenous Retired Colonel Sees Meteoric Rise in the Polls

Lima - Retired army colonel Ollanta Humala has experienced an unexpected surge in the polls for Peru's April 2006 presidential elections. He now has a 22 percent rating, putting him just three points behind the current front-runner, right-wing candidate Lourdes Flores Nano, with 25 percent.

Ollanta - which means "the all-observing warrior" in Quechua - was born into a well-off middle-class family in Lima.  He puts a strong emphasis on his Andean indige-nous roots, and is especially popular among the rural poor.

- Inter-Press Service

Dec. 13, 2005


Added Jan. 2, 2006

Native United States

Photo: Sacred Circle National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women

Washington, DC - Congress has passed stronger legislation protecting Native women in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The House of Representatives and the Senate voted with overwhelming support Dec. 17, 2005 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act while adding for the first time a tribal title that increases the resources available to tribal governments to combat the abuse of Native women.

For tribes, the tribal title is a historic piece of legislation. In the bill, Congress acknowledged that the federal government's trust responsibility creates an obligation to assist tribal governments in protecting Indian women. It further reaffirms tribal sovereignty in allowing tribes to strengthen their own legal remedies against offenders. The bill now goes to President Bush for a signature.

- IndianCountry.com

Dec. 30, 2005

See also:

VAWA Tribal Provisions

American Indian and Alaska Native women are battered, raped and stalked at far greater rates than any other group of women in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 of 3 Native women will be raped; that 6 of 10 will be physically assaulted; that approximately 9 in 10 rapes or assaults against American Indians are committed by non-Indian assailants and that Native women are stalked at a rate at least twice that of any other population...

The U.S. Department of Justice has general jurisdiction over felony crimes by or against Indians, including homicide, rape and aggravated assault, but perpetrators of such crimes against Indian women are rarely, if at all, prosecuted given the broad caseload faced by U.S. Attorneys.

- Sacred Circle

National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center 


Added Jan. 2, 2006

Mexico

Photo: CIMAC

Tamaulipas - La primera mujer víctima del 2006: una niña de 2 años.

Tamaulipas - In what is an obviously bad start for Mexico in regard to gender violence, police have arrested Uvaldo Requena Soto, age 32 on child rape and murder charges. 

Police state that  Requena Soto attacked and then asphyxiated his niece of 2 years and nine months of age, Edith Alejandra Ochoa Requena, while he was apparently high on alcohol and drugs.

- CIMAC Noticias

Jan. / Enero 2, 2005


Added Jan. 2, 2006

Mexico

Despite a concerted effort to crack down on pedophiles in both Mexico and the United States, child prostitution continues unabated in Mexican tourist resorts such as Acapulco and Cancun as well as border cities such as Ciudad Juarez. Many of those who pay for sex with the boys and girls are American, Canadian and European tourists.

A weak justice system, police corruption and a lack of facilities to help homeless children have hindered attempts in Mexico to curb the problem.

Investigators say some of the worst abuses occur in the famous seaside resort of Acapulco. In strip clubs, cantinas, hotels and private houses around the beautiful bay, about 1,000 children are victims of the illicit trade, according to UNICEF.

- Houston Chronicle

Dec. 31, 2005


Added Jan. 2, 2006

Mexico, Texas, USA

Zero tolerance for illegal entry in Del Rio sector leads to a hearing and a trip home

Del Rio, Texas -Since Dec. 12, 2005, alternating areas of the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector, which covers nearly 60,000 square miles, including a 60-mile stretch of the Rio Grande, have been subject to the "zero tolerance" approach, supervisory patrol agent Hilario Leal said.

"It's little segments at a time, and it will expand," he said.

Billed as a homeland security initiative, U.S. Customs and Border Protection calls the effort "Operation Streamline II." When Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar announced the initiative in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 16, he said it was "intended to dramatically reduce illegal activity and deter future activity."

The biggest impact will be felt among non-Mexicans who will have squandered significant resources to reach the border, only to be sent home with a criminal record of the federal crime of illegal entry, Sutton said.

- Houston Chronicle

Jan. 02, 2005


Added Jan. 1, 2006

Mexico

JUAREZ Femicide

Remember Them!

Ciudad Juarez (Juarez City) - Mario Loya Aguirre and Jorge Armando Sifuentes Martinez – both detained on Dec. 25th, 2005 – and Eleazar Pena Navarro  have been arrested for the Christmas Eve, 2005 rape and homicide of a 17-year-old girl.

According to statements from 2 of the suspects, the three men were drinking with Claudia Flores Javier in her home in the early hours of Dec. 24 when one of them proposed having sex with her. She refused and the three then raped her, said Claudia Elena Banuelos, spokes-woman for the state Attorney General's office.  One of the men responded to Flores' resistance by hitting her several times on the head with a blunt object.

- SignOnSanDiego.com

Dec. 29, 2005

See also:

Femicide in Juarez


Added Jan. 1, 2006

Bolivia

The president-elect of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has said he will cut his salary by half when he takes office next month.

Mr. Morales said his cabinet would follow suit and that members of Bolivia's parliament would be expected to cut their allowances.

He also reaffirmed his commitment to change Bolivia's economic system.

At the moment, Mr Morales, an Aymara Indian born into poverty, rents a single room in a shared house.

Announcing the salary cut, he said that in a country as poor as Bolivia, the president and his cabinet should share the burden.

The money saved will go on social programs, particularly in the field of education.

- BBC News - UK

Dec. 28, 2005


Added Jan. 1, 2006

Mexico

Chihuahua - El 80 por ciento de los cultivos, de cuya siembra depende la economía de 120 mil familias en las zonas más pobres, quedó colapsado por falta de humedad, informó Reyes Ramón Cadena, secretario de Desarrollo Rural del gobierno estatal.  A consecuencia de esa situación, en la zona serrana donde viven los grupos indígenas del estado, podría enfrentarse una crisis alimentaria en los primeros meses de 2006.

Chihuahua - Some 80 percent of the grain crop for 120,000 mostly indigenous families in the mountainous regions of Chihuahua state has collapsed due to drought, according to Reyes Ramón Cadena, state secretary for rural development.  Secretary Cadena predicted that a hunger crisis will develop in the region during the first months of 2006.

César Duarte, the congressional deputy for the area has asked for a federal declaration of emergency, stating that current aid efforts related to a cold wave in the region will not be enough to prevent hunger caused by massive crop failures.

- La Jornada

Mexico City

Dec. 30, 2005


Added Jan. 1, 2006

Texas, USA

San Antonio - Angel Ruiz Bernal, 35,  convicted sex offender, was arrested in San Antonio after he illegally sneaked back into the United States from Mexico.

Ruiz Bernal was arrested eight years ago and served a five-year sentence for rape.  After being released from prison, Bernal was deported to Mexico.

Ruiz Bernal will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforce-ment when his sentence on the state charges is completed.

Nina Pruneda, of Immigration and Customs Enforce-ment (ICE):

"We also understand that he [Ruiz Bernal] has an extensive criminal history ranging from sexual offense on a child to aggravated assault, so this is not a person we want out in the community."

- KSAT

Dec. 30, 2005


Added Jan. 1, 2006

Illinois, USA

Chicago - Luis Mendez, 35 has been charged with the rape of a 17-year-old student who was abducted from a street near her house in March 2004 while walking to school.

Mendez allegedly attacked the victim from behind, knocking her to the ground and threatening her with a gun, although none was recovered, police said.

- Chicago Sun Times

Dec. 31, 2005

 



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Updated: June 13, 2010


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



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Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Honduras

Venden niñas por edades

En San Pedro Sula hay unas 10 mil menores que son víctimas de abuso sexual y comercial

Apenas tiene 16 años y “Elena” ya ha tenido relaciones sexuales con diferentes hombres. La menor era prostituida por su padrastro, ahora lo hace por su cuenta.

Desde pequeña empezó a sufrir los maltratos del hombre que apenas esperó a que el cuerpo de ella comenzara a notarse el desarrollo para poder lucrarse.

La niña recuerda que tenía cerca de 12 años cuando su padrastro le dijo que llegarían unos amigos de visita y que tenía que ayudarle a su madre a atenderlos...

Un día, cuando estaba cerca de cumplir los 13 y mientras sus seis hermanos jugaban en la calle, su padrastro la dejó en casa con un amigo. “Sólo me dijo que no tuviera miedo y que fuera cariñosa, ahora sé que pagaron por estar conmigo y en vez de que gane dinero él, mejor me lo agarro yo”, expresó la menor, que ahora se prostituye en las calles de la ciudad.

Ella logró huir de su casa, pero no del camino al que la orilló su padrastro...

El caso de “Elena” es más común de lo que parece. Sólo en San Pedro Sula hay cerca de 10 mil menores que son víctimas de abuso sexual y comercial, según información en poder de la Fiscalía de la Niñez. Las cifras recogen datos hasta 2008, por lo que las autoridades temen que el número hasta la fecha sea mucho más alarmante. El 98% de las estadísticas corresponde a niñas...

In the northern coastal city of San Pedro Sula, 10,000 minors are subjected to sexual abuse and commercial exploitation

Elena has just turned 16, but she has ‘been’ with many men. She was first prostituted by her stepfather. Now she does it to make money for herself.

From an early age Elena suffered abuse from her stepfather, who just waited long enough for her to show signs of maturing before he started profiting from selling her body.

Elena recalls that she was almost 12 when her stepfather told her that some of his friends would be coming over to visit, and that she had to help her mother to attend to his visitors.

At that time, Elena didn’t know that type of ‘attending’ she would have to do for her stepfather’s friends. She imagined that she would have to cook for them. Girls her age were expected to help out with the housework.

One day, when she was close to her 13th birthday, while her six brothers played in the street, her stepfather left her in the house with one of his friends. Elena: “He told me not to be afraid, and asked me to be affectionate with him. Now I know that this man paid my stepfather to be with me. Instead of making money for him, now I make it myself.”

Elena was able to escape from her home, but could not escape the path in life that her stepfather has set her upon.

Cases like Elena’s occur more frequently than one would think. Just in the city of San Pedro Sula, there are 10,000 minors who are victims of sexual abuse, including the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), according to data collected by the special prosecutor for crimes against children. Their statistics only cover a period through 2008, leaving the authorities believing that today’s figures are likely much higher. Some 98% of cases involve girls.

Special prosecutor for crimes against children coordinator Thelma Martínez indicates that the figures are worrying, given that an increasing number of these cases involve pimping and human trafficking.

Martínez declared that these girls and adolescents are manipulated and recruited by adults who profit from them through prostitution. The victims are selected for the marketplace based on the color of their skin, their age and their height.

The obstacle that prosecutors face in going after pimps is that minors are not willing to testify against them.

Martínez: “Many girls are fearful. Others, unfortunately, have gotten used to earning money this way, and prefer to say nothing.”

Due to the increase in these types of cases, a special office was created to attend to the complaints involving sexual abuse, kidnapping, pimping, human trafficking and rape, which is the most commonly reported crime.

According to the special prosecutor’s office, in the month of May, 2010 alone, 30 child sexual abuse cases were processed.

Although child sexual abuse cases involve a criminal penalty of from 5 to 10 years of prison time, the damage caused to the victim is irreversible.

“The worst part of these cases is that the [perpetrator] is in the same family nucleus. They are fathers, stepfathers, cousins or others” added Martínez.

In addition to attending to the cases of children who are victims of crime, the special prosecutor’s office also deals with at-risk minors and juvenile criminal perpetrators. When they receive a complaint, they sent the child to one of several centers run by the Honduran Institute for Children and Families – IHNFA, while the case is being resolved...

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

A Long Island mom is racing against time to find her teenage daughter -- who is being held captive by immigrant-smugglers threatening to kill her unless a ransom is paid.

"Mom, save me! Please help! They are going to kill me," 14-year-old Eloisa Lopez, who left Honduras more than a month ago, told her mom by phone on Tuesday.

The terrified girl somehow managed to take a cellphone from her captors and call her mom. But she had no clear idea where she was being held, sending her family scrambling for help.

The devastated mom had saved up her earnings as a housekeeper and paid "coyotes" $5,000 to bring the girl to the country nearly a month ago, Eloisa's sister told the Post.

But 10 days later, a smuggler brazenly demanded $7,000 more from the family in exchange for Eloisa's life.

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

"I think I'm in Houston, but I don't know where I am!" Eloisa cried over the phone, fearful that her captors would discover she was calling for help.

"Don't worry, we will save you no matter where you are," Dania told her daughter, before phoning cops.

A law enforcement source told The Post yesterday that "authorities are investigating a claim that may have implications of human trafficking."

Federal authorities have since taken over the case, and Department of Homeland Security agents yesterday went to the Lopez family's home in Woodbury.

"She was due back this week," Ingrid Lopez, 18, said of her sister. "This is horrible. My sister is in danger of losing her life. These coyotes don't care. They will kill you and leave you in the desert."

Ingrid would know. She was smuggled from Honduras to Long Island three years ago on a similarly dangerous journey.

The 18-year-old, now a student, often went without food and water and walked for three days straight.

She now fears her younger sister has met a far worse fate.

"She is so small and slight. She would not be able to defend herself against them," Ingrid said.

Eloisa's mom has been working long and hard to bring all five of her children into the country.

Two, including Ingrid, have been safely brought to Long Island. The youngest two live in Honduras with their grandmother.

"We never imagined this would happen. We just wanted to be reunited as a family," Ingrid Lopez said. "We feel helpless but we have faith in God everything will work out."

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

An illegal immigrant from Guatemala faces up to 15 years in state prison on his guilty plea Monday to sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in Parsippany over a six-month period.

Through a Spanish interpreter, Jorge Mario Hernandez, 26, admitted to state Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown to one count of aggravated sexual assault on the child between May 1 and Oct. 23, 2009.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor LaJuan Tucker has recommended that Hernandez be sentenced to 15 years in state prison, with 85 percent or 12 years and nine months to be served before parole consideration. Defense lawyer Neill Hamilton said he would argue for 10 years.

Hernandez, who told the judge he was educated until the 6th grade in his native Guatemala, said he understood he was likely to be deported upon release from prison. Sentencing tentatively was set for July 9.

Hernandez was arrested in October after an unidentified witness contacted police to say that he or she saw Hernandez assaulting the boy. Upon being confronted, the witness told police, Hernandez dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness. He said in court Monday only that he assaulted the child on more than one occasion; police had accused him of molesting the boy more than 30 times.

Before he is sentenced, Hernandez must be evaluated at the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel to determine if he is a compulsive and repetitive sex offender who should be incarcerated there. According to the law, if he receives a sentence of more than seven years and is considered compulsive and repetitive, he still must serve a portion of his punishment in state prison before being transferred to Avenel.

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

A man from Scranton is accused of sexually assaulting a young boy over the course of a few months.

Jesus Marrero, 44, was arrested Wednesday. Police said he made a seven-year-old boy watch while he had sex with his girlfriend, then forced the boy to have sexual relations with him.

The boy was in Marrero's care at the time.

Police learned what happened when the boy told a school official.

WNEP-TV

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

El Paso County Sheriff's Officers arrest a former Fabens ISD teacher. Jose Arturo Lopez was arrested for an alleged incident that took place in December of 2008 involving a 15-year-old girl. At the time, Lopez was working at O'Donnell Elementary school as fifth-grade teacher. Lopez is charged with indecency with a child.

Oralia Ortega

KTSM

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

Relative Caught In Girl's Sex Assault At San Francisco Elementary School

San Francisco - A 68-year-old man suspected of sexually assaulting his 8-year-old step-granddaughter at her San Francisco elementary school last week was arrested Thursday at a homeless shelter after reportedly being harbored by his children and altering his appearance, police said Friday.

San Francisco police arrested Pedro Hernandez, who allegedly assaulted the girl at Sanchez Elementary School in the Mission District around noon June 3, at a shelter at St. Bruno's Catholic Church in San Bruno Thursday night, police said.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned Monday morning in San Francisco Superior Court on seven felony counts, according to district attorney's office spokeswoman Erica Derryck.

The charges include continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years of age or younger, and oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years of age or younger. The last two charges are punishable by life in prison.

Three of Hernandez's adult children were also arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged attack on the girl. Prosecutors filed charges against two of the children, but decided not to charge the third.

Marisol Lopez and Jesus Hernandez were arraigned in court Friday morning in on charges of being an accessory to the crime after the fact, according to Derryck. Both pleaded not guilty and were ordered held on $100,000 bail.

Police spokesman Officer Samson Chan said the children are believed to have helped their father get a motel room in Daly City after the alleged assault.

In addition, Hernandez shaved his moustache and cut his hair short in recent days, Chan said.

"He was actively trying to conceal himself," Chan said.

An investigation by the Police Department's Fugitive Recovery Team led police to the homeless shelter.

Following the alleged assault, police issued a $2 million warrant for his arrest and initiated a statewide and international search.

Police do not believe Hernandez was a member of the San Bruno church or that anyone at the shelter knew he was a fugitive, Chan said.

Hernandez has known the girl's family for several years and has lived with them on and off, according to police.

He had married the girl's grandmother but they are now separated, Chan said.

According to police, Hernandez arrived at the school to bring lunch to the girl and a female school district employee saw him "being overly affectionate toward the victim" and became suspicious.

The same employee then caught Hernandez allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in a secluded stairwell area inside the school and Hernandez ran away, police said. The woman called police.

Hernandez allegedly assaulted the girl in the stairwell multiple times and the acts were recorded on a video surveillance camera, police said.

CBS 5

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

A Chicago man convicted of child molesting in Elkhart County will be featured on the "America's Most Wanted" web page.

Roberto Vasquez, 54, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to 247 years behind bars for molesting a young girl from the time she was six until she was 12.

According to the America's Most Wanted website, Vasquez posed as a religious adviser in Elkhart to get into people's homes. He molested one girl from 1999 until 2006, when he was arrested.

On the day of his sentencing in 2009, Vasquez went into hiding and authorities have been looking for him ever since.

The Elkhart Police Department actually contacted “America’s Most Wanted”, hoping to get more publicity in the case on a national level.

“Just because of the severity of this crime; 9 different child molests charges of one child and it had been going on for six years, and the fact that he uses the “I'm a religious adviser” to get into him people’s homes. I mean, this family allowed him to live in their homes,” said Elkhart Police Lt. Ed Windbigler.

WNDU

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the thrash

On Thursday, in a Harris County courtroom, Genny Granados, 31, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder, after leaving her infant son in a Houston emergency room bathroom trash can.

According to prosecutors, sometime around midnight Feb. 9, 2008, Granados, who denied being pregnant, gave birth to a baby boy in an emergency room bathroom at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

She cut the umbilical cord herself, dumped the infant into the trash, and left.

A custodian later found the baby.

Doctors revived the infant, and placed him on life support. The baby was found to be brain-dead and died 11 days later.

At her arraignment, prosecutor Kelli Johnson said of Granados: “She has such little respect for human life that she tells no one, to my knowledge, that she was pregnant. She goes to the hospital, has a pair of scissors in her hand, and cuts her own umbilical cord and looks at her baby and throws it in the trash.”

Granados’ defense attorneys blamed hospital staff for the child’s death, saying they should have known that Granados gave birth in the restroom.

Granados is a legal U.S. resident who came to this country from El Salvador, and has two other children.

This sad case is reminiscent of another in which an illegal alien abandoned her baby in a dumpster in California.

In December 2009, the staff at Anaheim Medical Center became suspicious of the story given them by Juana Perez Valencia, 19, who though showing all of the signs, claimed she had not just given birth. Orange County deputies arrived and questioned her, eventually finding the corpse of her newborn daughter in the dumpster behind Sombrero’s restaurant, where Valencia worked as a waitress.

Apparently, Valencia gave birth to the girl in the restaurant’s bathroom, and allegedly placed the baby into a plastic bag, before tossing her into the dumpster.

An autopsy concluded that the baby had in fact, been born alive and healthy.

Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh told the Orange County Register that the Mexican national had concealed her pregnancy, and was fully aware that she could have simply handed the baby over to authorities with no questions asked, but instead chose to let her die in a trash bin.

The Orange County District Attorney‘s Office issued the following statement: “The baby girl was born alive. Baby Doe weighed 6.3 pounds and was 17 inches long. The defendant is accused of murdering the baby, putting Baby Doe in a plastic bag, and throwing her body in a dumpster behind the restaurant.”

Valencia was charged with murder and currently sits in the Orange County Jail awaiting trial. If convicted, she faces a sentence of 25 years to life.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

A 31-year-old Grove City woman reported to Grove City Police that at 1:17 a.m. May 26 that she was the victim of rape while she was at a bar in the 3000 block of Southwest Boulevard. She told police that she believed someone slipped a date rape drug in her drink.

She woke up next to the trash receptacles behind the bar, bleeding copiously and complaining of internal pain. She told police that two to three men, one of whom had a scar above his right eye, raped her.

She told police she believed the men were Hispanic and mentioned a gang initiation. She also complained of confusion. The bartender reported seeing the woman in the company of a number of individuals during the course of the night.

One witness said she saw the victim vomiting and bleeding in the bathroom, but none of the bar patrons reported any awareness of a rape.

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter - May 27 - June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 in the state of Kentucky and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject is a convicted sex offender and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ocotillo, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Cowlic, Arizona. During processing, the subject admitted to being a Latin Kings gang member. Records checks revealed he had a prior conviction for statutory rape in the state of Georgia.

June 5, 2010 - Del Rio Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child with sexual contact in the state of Texas, and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 4, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from El Salvador near Naco, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) gang member and had a prior conviction for possession/purchase of cocaine and spousal abuse. He had also previously been removed from the United States.

June 3, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for molestation of a child in the state of California and he had previously been removed from the United States.

June 2, 2010 - Del Rio Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico in Weatherford, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance and an active arrest warrant for aggravated sexual assault on a child issued in the state of Texas. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Yuma, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an extensive criminal history, to include convictions for aggravated driving under the influence, assault and disorderly conduct. The subject was also a registered sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for rape in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts and sexual penetration with foreign object of a minor in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 27, 2010 - Laredo Sector - Agents assisted other Federal and local law enforcement officers in the arrest of an illegal alien from Mexico for kidnapping at a bus station near Laredo, Texas. The subject was en route to Mexico after kidnapping an 11-year-old female in the state of Illinois. The child was returned unharmed to proper authorities.

May 27, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for rape in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

Hockessin - New Castle County police are investigating a late night abduction and rape of a 9-year-old girl who accepted a ride from a stranger after she was inadvertently locked out of her home.

The investigation revealed that around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, a family friend drove the victim to her home on the 500 block of Homestead Road in Alban Park home. After the friend drove away, the victim initially entered her building but was unable to get into her home as the door was locked. Police learned she then walked back outside to search for her sister and her parents.

While walking along Alban Drive, near the rear of the Canby Park Shopping Center, the victim was approached by an unknown man who was driving a four-door vehicle. The man offered the victim a ride and after some conversation, she accepted. The two drove out of the community and then to an undisclosed location in the city of Wilmington where the car was parked.

Police say the male suspect then sexually assaulted the victim before she was able get out of the car and run. A good Samaritan found the young girl walking in the area and took her to a nearby convenience store. The victim was able to reach a family member by phone who responded to the store, picked her up and then drove her home. She then disclosed the assault to her mother, who in turned called 911.

The suspect is described as an Asian or Hispanic male with short black hair. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the New Castle County Police Department at (302) 395-8110 (attention Detective Brian Faulkner) or visit www.nccpd.com. Citizens may also provide a text tip at: 847411 (TIP411); begin your message with NCCPD and then type your message. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Police say investigators do not have any evidence at this point to believe this case is related to the two recent abduction and rape crimes that are being investigated by the Delaware State Police.

Kye Parsons

WBOC

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

San Diego - A 14-year-old girls escaped from a kidnapping attempt Thursday morning in City Heights.

The girl told San Diego Police she was walking to school when a man walked out of an apartment complex at 4029 44th Street near University Avenue at about 7:15 a.m. He reportedly tried to grab her and started chasing her.

A passing school bus driver saw the girl appeared to be in trouble and called police.

Police describe the suspect as a Latino male, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall with a medium build, shaved head, wearing dark blue shorts and long white socks.

While the driver called police, the man fled. He was described as Hispanic, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall with a medium build and shaved head.

He had on dark blue Dickies shorts and long white socks.

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

Summit Police arrested Jose Gerardo Mazariedo, a 23 year old city resident, and charged him with two counts of third degree providing obscene materials to a minor and one count of second degree Child Luring on Monday, according to Detective Steve Zagorski.

This arrest, Zagorski emphasized, is not related to the May attempted luring on Linden Place.

On Saturday, the mother of a 14-year-old female reported to police that her daughter and three of her classmates had been followed home from school, every day for the past week, by an unidentified Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s who was operating a newer model Honda, color blue, Zagorski said.

At school dismissal time on June 7, the police set up surveillance around the victim's school and in the area of her walking route home. At around 3 p.m. police observed a 2010 Honda, which was being operated by Mazariedo, driving in the area under surveillance, Zagorski said.

The police stopped the vehicle and identified Mazariedo as the suspect from the June 7 complaint. Mazariedo was arrested after police uncovered additional evidence linking him to an additional victim, a 13-year-old female.

Mazariedo was committed to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth where he is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Chief Robert C. Lucid commended the actions and skills of the two detectives assigned to the case, Sgt. Thomas Rich and Det. John Padilla, for "quickly securing the necessary information for these criminal charges before this individual could perpetrate a sexual assault. Without their diligence we may have had a very different story to tell."

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

Waukegan police are asking for the public's help in locating a man suspected in the sexual assault last week of a woman near a bike path in the far northern suburb, officials said today. Police said a 38-year-old woman was attacked at about 5 p.m. on June 4, on the Robert McClorey Bike Path just north of Montesano Avenue.

The woman was riding her bicycle on the path when she a man on another bicycle knocked her off of her bicycle and forced her in to a wooded area, officials said. The man assaulted her at knife point, police said.

After the attack the man left the area on his bicycle, traveling southbound on the path from Montesano Avenue.

The man is described as Hispanic, about 26-years-old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build and short black hair. The bicycle he was riding is described as a dark colored BMX style bicycle with foot pegs on the front wheel.

Police officials said they have a possible suspect identified and are "actively looking for him." Officials are asking anyone with any information about the incident to call detectives at (847)599-2608.

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

Henrico - Scary moments for a [city of] Short Pump woman who says she was attacked while on a morning jog near Lauderdale Drive and Park Terrace Drive. Tonight, police say they're treating this as an assault, and, exposure case, because when the woman tried to fight back, it turns out the man wasn't entirely covered up.

It's a crime that is as stunning, as it is unusual...in the upscale, private, and peaceful Wellesley neighborhood.

Police say a woman was on a mid-morning jog, when she saw a man walking toward her. She said, "Good morning". But police say the man, all of a sudden, shoved her backward. Police say the woman responded with a push of her own...only to notice the man's genitals were exposed.

"Kind of, just, you know...shocked. You don't really hear that kind of thing going on in our neighborhood," said Wellesley resident Sharon Sachdeva.

After the initial tussle, police say the man tried to run away, so the woman and a passerby chased him. Police say the man then got into a pickup truck, and drove out of sight.

Those who grew up in the area say it makes them think twice about their personal safety, which they usually don't have to do...

Henrico Police are looking for a person who fits this description: Hispanic male. Approximately 6' tall and 230 pounds, wearing white painter-style pants and a dingy white t-shirt. Police say he was driving a pickup truck. If you have information that can help, call Henrico Police at 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

WWBT

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

Police are searching for a man who attempted to sexually assault and rob a woman in a rented unit of a San Jose storage facility this afternoon.

The woman managed to fight off her assailant in the attack at about 4:30 p.m. at Public Storage in the 900 block of Felipe Avenue, police spokesman Dirk Parsons said.

He said the victim had entered her storage unit when an unknown man came up behind her, hit her with his elbow and attempted to lift her skirt.

The woman fought him off, but the suspect then threatened to steal her car. Parsons said the victim was holding keys to her Mercedes and that the suspect tried to grab them.

The victim, however, resisted and the suspect ran out the door of the storage unit, shutting it behind him, according to Parsons. The woman managed to quickly escape the unit, but the suspect then grabbed her.

Parsons said the victim again resisted and the suspect ran to his vehicle and drove off.

The victim was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 30s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 170 pounds. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, and a blue shirt and pants. A security camera at the business showed him driving away in a small Honda or similar vehicle, Parsons said.

Parson said the suspect could face charges of assault with attempt to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery. Advertisement

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call police at (408) 277-4102. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP.

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

New York - In the wake of allegations that a male guard at a central Texas detention facility sexually assaulted female detainees on their way to being deported, immigrant advocacy groups say stronger oversight and accountability is urgently needed to prevent further abuse of female detainees.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said last week that the guard has been fired. It added that Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison company that manages the Hutto facility, has been placed on probation pending the investigation's outcome. The consequences of probation were not immediately clear.

ICE said that several women who were held at Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas, were groped while being patted down and at least one was propositioned for sex.

"We understand that this employee was able to commit these alleged crimes because ICE-mandated transport policies and procedures were not followed," David Sanders, DHS's contracting officer, said in a letter to Corrections Corporation of America obtained by The Associated Press.

ICE has ordered Corrections Corporation of America to take corrective actions. Among them is forbidding male guards from being alone with female detainees.

"Hutto is not an isolated incident," Jacki Esposito of Detention Watch Network, a coalition of organizations that monitors ICE treatment of detainees, told IPS. "Allegations of sexual assault have plagued other facilities where immigrants are being held by the federal government." ...

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Jose Jhonson Hernandez-Ramos, age 34, a Honduran national living in Baltimore, today to 87 months in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for interstate travel to have sex with a minor. Judge Bennett also ordered that Hernandez-Ramos be removed from the United States by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after he has completed his sentence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.

According to Hernandez-Ramos’ plea agreement, Hernandez-Ramos met the victim in California, when she was 14 years old, and they began to have a sexual relationship in May 2008. After the victim turned 15 years old, Jose Jhonson Hernandez- Ramos brought her from California to Baltimore in December 2008, where they continued a sexual relationship until August 4, 2009.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit projectsafechildhood.gov

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Baltimore Child Abuse Center Executive Director Adam Rosenberg and his staff, for their assistance in this investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Illegal immigrant pleads to sex abuse of 6-year-old boy

Man faces between 15 and 30 years in prison, deportation for crimes

An illegal immigrant caught on video sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to exploiting a child to make child pornography.

The arrest of 25-five-year-old Maynor Quintanilla-Leon occurred after someone found a videotape in a Hyattsville trash bin that showed Quintanilla-Leon sexually abusing a male child, according to charging documents.

Quintanilla-Leon faces between 15 and 30 years in prison, and will be deported after he serves his time, prosecutors said.

"Mr. Quintanilla-Leon's despicable acts committed on a 6-year-old boy cry out for a long period of incarceration," Prince George's Police Chief Roberto Hylton said.

On July 8, 2009, authorities were tipped off about the attack after someone turned over a video tape that had been found with a VCR in a trash bin.

The tape lasts 47 minutes and depicts acts of sadistic violence, charging documents said. During the video, the child refers to his assailant as "Maynor."

Three days later, a witness spotted the man on the videotape in Hyattsville and contacted police. Police identified the man as Quintanilla-Leon, but because they did not have a victim they did not immediately arrest him, police said.

Detectives were able to find the boy in the video by going back to the previous addresses where Quintanilla-Leon had lived. Quintanilla-Leon had rented a home near where the boy lived. The child told police that Quintanilla-Leon abused him 20 times.

Quintanilla-Leon had fled to Texas, but U.S. Marshals captured him in Houston on July 29.

In Greenbelt's district court on Friday, Quintanilla-Leon admitted to sexually assaulting the boy twice. He did not admit to videotaping the assault, but admitted to throwing away the videotape in the trash near his brother's house.

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

Manhunt for man who attacked 14-year-old in Kensington

San Diego - Police are looking for a man who tried to rape a 14-year-old girl in Kensington.

The girl says she was walking along on 41st Street near Monroe Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the man threw her to the ground and tore off her undergarments.

A nearby neighbor apparently heard the girl's screams and attempted to apprehend the suspect, but he got away.

The suspect is described as a Latino male in his 30s with a goatee and tattoo on his right forearm. He was last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt and shorts.

CBS 8

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

Police released surveillance video that shows three men believed to be suspects in the sexual assault of a woman in Central Park early Sunday morning. The victim, 23, was near the crosstown bus stop at East 86th Street and Fifth Avenue around 3 a.m. when, according to the Daily News, "The men offered to walk her through the park." Police Commissioner Kelly said, "She was taken into Central Park, where she was attacked."

The News also reports, "Two of the men pushed her to the ground, while the third exposed himself. She was sexually assaulted, hit on the head and robbed, the source said." The men allegedly told her they were smoking marijuana with PCP. The woman was able to run out of the park, half naked, onto Fifth Avenue where a cab driver saw her, gave her a shirt and called 911.

Upon learning about the attack, one 24-year-old told the News, "I always walk this way at night, but no way I'm doing that now." And WABC 7 has descriptions of the suspects: "Suspect #1: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a dark colored Yankee baseball cap, dark colored patterned shirt and khaki shorts; Suspect #2: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a red Yankee cap, red shirt and black shorts; Suspect #3: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a light blue baseball cap, light blue shirt and khaki pants." People with information are urged to call Crime Stoppers (800-577-TIPS), log onto the Crimes Stoppers website or texting 274637 (CRIMES) with TIP577.

Gothamist

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

Luis Garcia-Gonzales, 24, of Greeley, was taken into custody at 10:47 p.m. Saturday after a Greeley police officer noticed the vehicle he was driving matched the description of a vehicle Fort Collins police believed was tied to Thursday's attempted kidnapping incident.

Garcia-Gonzales was originally arrested for driving under restraint, but after an interview with a Fort Collins police detective, he was arrested on suspicion of felony attempted second-degree kidnapping and felony menacing.

Police began searching for a suspect after a 21-year-old woman reported that she was riding her bike northbound about 6:30 a.m. Thursday on Shields Street near Hill Pond Road when she noticed a man near an older white station wagon trying to get her attention.

According to police, the man was described as being Hispanic, in his mid-20s with a shaved head or very short hair, about 5-foot-7 and about 200 or 250 pounds.

The woman said the unknown man obstructed her path as she rode along the sidewalk and she stopped thinking he needed assistance.

"It was then that she saw the man had a knife in his hand. She attempted to flee, fell to the ground and two passing motorists stopped to assist," police said in a press release last week. "The suspect fled northbound on Shields Street in his vehicle. The victim was not injured."

Coloradan.com

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Mexico

A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

La mayoría de niños, mujeres, adolescentes que laboran en malas condiciones y sin la posibilidad de asistir a la escuela provienen de contextos de pobreza, derivada de la falta de oportunidades educativas

La presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas, la panista Rosi Orozco (PAN), informó que con base en datos del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, en México hay 3.6 millones de niños trabajadores entre cinco y 17 años en condiciones de explotación.

"El Instituto estima que en México hay 3.6 millones de niños trabajadores entre cinco y 17 años trabajando en malas condiciones, sin la posibilidad de asistir a la escuela y buscar un mejor futuro", dijo.

Aseguró que la trata de personas es un delito con un impacto social complejo, cuya principal característica es convertir a las personas en mercancías que se intercambian en mercados clandestinos nacionales e internacionales, que laboran al amparo de la impunidad que les brindan las autoridades.

Orozco dijo que se deben combatir las raíces que propician el fenómeno de la trata de personas, pues la mayoría de niños, mujeres, adolescentes víctimas de ese delito provienen de contextos de pobreza, derivada de la falta de oportunidades educativas y laborales.

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

The majority of girls, boys and adolescents who labor in abusive situations, with no hope of being able to attend school, live in poverty that is also caused by a lack of educational opportunities.

National Actional Party (PAN) Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, has announced the results of a statistical analysis on conditions facing working children, conducted by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEG).

Deputy Orozco: The INEG estimates that in Mexico, 3.6 million minors between the ages of 5 and 17 work in [deplorable] labor conditions, and are unable to attend school or seek a better future for themselves.

Orozco added that human trafficking is a crime that has a complicated impact on society. Its principal characteristic is that it converts people into merchandise, who are then bought and sold in national and international clandestine marketplaces with the assistance of the impunity that is offered by corrupt authorities.

The deputy added that human trafficking should be fought from the roots up. They majority of children, adolescents and women who are victims of these crimes come from backgrounds of poverty, which itself derives from a lack of educational and labor opportunities.

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

Austin - In the 2008 film thriller Taken, two American girls on a pleasure trip to France are kidnapped from their apartment and thrown into a brutal world of modern-day slavery and forced prostitution.

On Thursday, Texas lawmakers heard grim real-life episodes of human trafficking as law enforcement officials described a burgeoning criminal enterprise that has spread across Texas and other states.

Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed told of one case in which a homeless teenage girl was abducted from a parking lot and spirited away to a strip club in Corpus Christi.

Capt. Rick Cruz of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a participant of a task force operation in Houston, said officers rescued nearly 100 girls from "basically forced slavery" in the break-up of a trafficking ring in Houston in 2005.

Victims are often told that their families will be killed or injured if they try to contact someone on the outside, Cruz said.

Dallas police Lt. Thon Overstreet opened testimony at a legislative hearing by revealing a coordinated law enforcement strike at three locations in the Metroplex on Thursday to arrest suspects in a human trafficking network in North Texas. Overstreet declined to divulge certain details or locations because the operation had not been completed...

"It's a horrible problem," said Rep. Paula Pierson, D-Arlington, a member of the state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, citing estimates that more than a half-million young people -- boys as well as girls -- have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Pierson said human trafficking often surges around "big events," such as the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 6.

Overstreet, interviewed after the hearing, said members of a North Texas task force on human smuggling are mapping strategy to combat it as the Super Bowl approaches. The game is expected to draw legions of visitors to North Texas...

Growing problem

During the joint hearing of the Criminal Jurisprudence and the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committees, lawmakers heard testimony that human trafficking rings have grown in sophistication and technological skill, often using the Internet to lure victims or conduct business. There are also strong indications that Mexican drug cartels are increasingly moving into human trafficking to expand their illicit profits.

"It's grown dramatically, and I don't think we've even scratched the surface on a lot of these organizations," Overstreet said.

Asked by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, to rank where law enforcement stands against human trafficking organizations on a scale of one to 10, Overstreet responded, "two or three, right now."

Overstreet clutched a rolled-up chart that he said detailed the operations of [a] human smuggling ring targeted by [a recent] raid.

The criminal network has ties in Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico, operates in more than 20 U.S. cities, and boasts $12 million in physical assets and more than $6 million cash, he said...

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

Author Isabel Allende to visit New Orleans, hoping to draw attention to modern-day problem of human trafficking

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is no stranger to the rough currents of history. A cousin of Chilean President Salvador Allende, she was forced to flee her native country in the mid-1970s after a military coup overthrew his government. She lived for many years in Venezuela but now is a U.S. citizen, making her home in California with her second husband and extended family.

The author of 18 books -- fiction, memoirs and novels for young adults -- Allende's literary focus is primarily on families and interpersonal relationships, with an emphasis on the lives of women. While fluent in English, she writes in Spanish; her works are then translated into English. Her wildly successful first novel, "The House of the Spirits, " a complex, multigenerational saga set in Latin America, remains for many readers her most important work.

Her new novel, "Island Beneath the Sea, " coming 28 years and 16 books later, echoes in many ways her earliest. The story follows the complicated, often troubled intertwining of several families as they move from Saint Domingue (now Haiti) to New Orleans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The rich history of her settings exerted a natural attraction for Allende...

Allende writes, "The legacy of slavery is like an open wound. In the United States we are only beginning to deal with it. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 but it took 100 years for the Civil Rights movement to empower the blacks. To this day, they suffer from discrimination, racism and inequality.

"Unfortunately, in Haiti there are around 300,000 slave children, given away by their families because they can't feed them. It's a system that supposedly ensures that the children will be fed and sheltered, but in reality they are exploited as house servants and brutally abused; they don't receive education of any kind, no one cares for them."

The Isabel Allende Foundation, created in 1996 to honor the memory of her daughter Paula, who died in her late 20s, is focused on "social and economic justice" as well as "empowerment and protection" for women and girls.

The author connects the story of Zarite's journey from enslavement to freedom to contemporary concerns. She writes, "I hope that Zarité's story draws attention to the plight of modern slaves. Today there are 27 million slaves counted. Who knows how many more have not been counted? Some are victims of slave trafficking, but most are enslaved by debt bondage, kidnapping in war zones (child soldiers, for example), exploited under inhuman conditions in mines, fishing industry, sweatshops, agriculture, etc. Slavery is illegal and no country admits that it happens within its borders, yet there is slavery everywhere, even in the U.S. (Google 'Free the Slaves'). Before, slaves were an investment, and therefore valuable. Today slaves are so cheap that they are disposable, they have no voice; they are invisible.

"My foundation supports several grass-roots programs that empower women and girls in the U.S. and other countries. We do some work with clinics in Haiti. We also support programs that rescue women and girls from slavery in sex traffic and in bonded servitude." ...

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

Washington, DC - Bishops of the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean called on their governments to address the economic root causes of migration and seek policies that will help create jobs for people in their homelands.

During a regional consultation on migration held at the headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops June 2-4, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and bishops from Canada, Haiti and Latin America spoke with reporters about some of the issues being discussed at the meeting.

Addressing economic root causes of migration "in our mind, is the lasting and humane solution to the challenge of illegal immigration," said Bishop Wester, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in a statement he read at the June 3 news conference.

"Second, we believe that all governments, not only the U.S., should look at their immigration laws and reform them in a manner which respects basic human rights," Bishop Wester continued. The nations of the hemisphere also must "redouble their efforts against the scourge of human trafficking," he said.

He noted that in a globalized world, where capital, communications and goods are readily exchanged, the movement of labor has not been regularized, and the impact of globalization on human beings has not been acknowledged or addressed...

Guatemalan Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri said, for example, that the poor of his country have not benefited from the Central American Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, which it ratified three years ago.

"The level of poverty in Guatemala is increasing," he said...

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Bishop Ramazzini said Guatemala is reeling from the twin effects in less than a week of a volcanic eruption near the capital, Guatemala City, that coated streets and farms with inches of ash and the inundation of much of the country with up to 3 feet of rain by Tropical Storm Agatha. The two have destroyed many farmers' entire production for the season, he said. That jeopardizes their income as well as the source of affordable food for Guatemalans, he said.

At the news conference, Bishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana, Mexico, chairman of the Mexican bishops' migration commission, said his country is becoming a collection of semi-abandoned small towns as working-age teens and men have gone to the United States to be able to provide for women, children and elderly people left behind...

Participants included more than two dozen bishops from the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico and Central America and other representatives of national bishops' conferences, including the migration program director for the Cuban bishops.

Patricia Zapor

Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

A pesar de que estaba acostumbrado a ver y tocar mujeres desnudas, el irresistible cuerpo de una joven menor de edad lo llevó a la tentación. Un médico forense del Poder Judicial de Cartago, de apellidos Durán Ramírez, fue detenido por sus propios compañeros de trabajo porque al parecer abusó sexualmente de una menor de edad, quien fue víctima de una violación.

La muchacha llegó a los Tribunales de Cartago para una valoración médica, por lo cual fue atendida por el funcionario, quien además del examen de rutina llevó sus manos más lejos y aparentemente le tocó las partes íntimas.

El incidente se produjo en setiembre de 2009, pero la afectada no interpuso la denuncia hasta la semana pasada...

A child sexual abuse victim is victimized again by a forensic examiner

Despite the fact that a forensic medical examiner (last names Durán Ramírez) was accustomed to examining unclothed women, he proceeded to sexually abuse an underage sexual assault victim who he was assigned to examine.

The victim came to the judicial center of the city of Cartago for a medical examination, which was conducted by Durán Ramírez. After the exam, the doctor touched the victim's intimate areas.

The incident happened in September of 2009, but the victim did not file a complaint until last week.

Surprised by the case, the forensic medical examiner's office immediately opened an investigation.

In the hallways of the local judicial center, the accusations were not taken seriously, given that the 38-year-old was well liked, and was considered to be very professional by his colleagues.

After his arrest, the local prosecutor interrogated Durán Ramírez, and recommend pre-trial detention. He was charged with the crime of sexually abusing a minor.

Despite the prosecutor's recommendation in the case, the Cartago Criminal Court ordered bail and a restraining order that does not allow Durán Ramírez to approach the victim, or the Cartago Legal Medical Office, for a period of three months...

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

Salvadoran immigrant sentenced to prison for pursuing 13-year-old Virginia girl

On May 26, Loudoun County Judge James Chamblin sentenced Hugo Antonio Callejas, 43, to seven years in prison for soliciting a 13-year-old Leesburg girl for sex. Callejas originally approached the girl at a lemonade stand she set up on Memorial Day 2009, trying to raise money for the Relay for Life charity.

Callejas, who was found guilty in January, was working in the girl’s neighborhood and visited the lemonade stand three times in one day. During his last visit, he gave the girl his phone number and told her she was beautiful.

The girl’s friend, told her parents, who called the police.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s investigator, Shannon Cumberledge, then called Callejas, pretending to be the 13-year-old girl.

She and Callejas had 11 conversations over a two-day period. Some of the recorded calls were played during his trial.

Callejas could be heard saying: “You’re beautiful, and I love you.”

During other phone calls, he talked about kissing and touching the teenager, and how he would like to see her without any underwear.

Callejas said: “If you want to touch a lot, I’ll touch a lot. If you want to touch a little bit, I’ll touch you a little bit.”

The investigator agreed to meet Callejas at a community swimming pool. When he showed up, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies too him into custody.

Initially, Callejas denied the allegations, telling detectives that he only gave the teenager his number so that he could buy more cookies and lemonade from her. However, once confronted with the taped phone conversations, Callejas admitted to his actions.

Callejas came to this country from El Salvador, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. He is married with three children.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

Frederica, Deleware - Delaware State Police have charged a North Carolina man with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Gino Alfonso Laflora, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is facing several charges in connection to the alleged incident on May 16.

According to investigators, Laflora was visiting family in Kent County, Delaware when the assault occurred. The victim told police that the assault occurred near an open lot between Willow Drive and Maple Drive in Frederica.

The victim said she knew the suspect from a friend in the neighborhood. She said she was alone with Laflora in his car when the assault happened.

Laflora surrendered to authorities on June 3. He has been charged with Rape and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Laflora is being held on $52,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.

CBS 3

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

An Eastern Oregon high school senior who planned to attend his own graduation today, instead is in jail, facing felony sexual assault charges.

The Bellingham Herald reports that 19-year-old Hernan Hernandez Vera was charged with first-degree sodomy, rape and sexual abuse.

The sexual assault was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by staff at Good Shepherd Hospital.

Deputies learned the victim had been assaulted earlier in the day in Irrigon and around 1 a.m. Wednesday tracked Vera down at his home.

Vera, an Irrigon High senior, was jailed on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Mexico

Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

Ciudad de México.- El país ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de páginas web de pornografía infantil, y tiende a incrementarse más de 5% la distribución de videos de imágenes de abuso a recién nacidos, afirmó la diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

La legisladora dijo que las denuncias telefónicas por delitos de pornografía infantil aumentaron 200% entre el 2008 y el 2009, y que otro problema radica en el uso de internet para la comercialización y funcionamiento de redes de trata de niños y niñas y de explotación sexual comercial...

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

Mexico City - Mexico occupies first place [globally] in access of child pornography by way of the Internet. The problem includes a [recent] 5% increase in the distribution of obscene photos of recently born babies, according to Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Orozco stated that phoned-in complaints about child pornography increased 200% between 2008 and 2009. She noted that another Internet-based aspect of the problem involves the fact that child sex trafficking networks in Mexico are using the Web to commercialize and operate their illicit businesses.

She warned that currently, no [anti-pornography] filters exist for cell phone users who browse the Web, which is concerning, given that 75.6 million cell phone users exist in Mexico, 29% of those have Internet access, and 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use those services.

In response to this problem, Deputy Orozco has presented a non-binding resolution calling upon the nation's state legislatures to reform their penal codes to include crimes that involve public and private telecommunications [networks].

Deputy Orozco also stated that the top criminal activities that take place on the Internet involve, in order of importance: 1) fraud; 2) threats; and 3) child pornography.

The Deputy concluded by noting that 11 million computers have Internet access in Mexico. Some 55% of them are installed in homes, which represents 3.5 computers for every 10 households. Thirty nine percent of the nation's 23 million computer-based Internet users are between the ages of 12 and 18.

El Manana

May 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Robles-Roman launch new public education campaign to end human trafficking

“Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking” Campaign Encourages New Yorkers To “See It. Know It. Report It.”

Press Release (excerpt)

New York City - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt today launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations. The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion. The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, in partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking...

“Human Trafficking is happening here, but we don’t know it because we don’t see it,” said Alice Ericsson, Executive Creative Director of Grey New York. “If we want New Yorkers to see the problem, we have to put it in plain view. And, in plain language. The silhouettes will tell the stories of human trafficking that can happen right here in our own town.” ...

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also help to disseminate information and materials to vulnerable communities in the city, and bring broader awareness about human trafficking and where to go for help. Outreach to community and faith- based organizations serving immigrants as well as ethnic media will reinforce these efforts...

If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911. If you would like more information about human trafficking or would like to learn about how you can help, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/ humantrafficking...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, [2010] Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son. He's in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

Bastrop - A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer was indicted by a Bastrop County grand jury on Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child.

During a TABC undercover investigation of alcohol sales in May 2009, 41-year-old Joe Chavez allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl hired to assist in the sting.

Investigators say that the incident took place in Chavez's state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting. He also reportedly texted explicit photos of himself to the teen a day before the operation.

He was arrested on Friday by investigators with the Office of the Attorney General.

Prior to being stationed in Bastrop, Chavez was a TABC officer in Waco from June 2004 to August 2005.

Chavez is charged with two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

June 01, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, of the New Alliance Party, speaks with reporters as she calls for the nation's current federal anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the federal level (it currently is limited to being enforced by states in most circumstances.

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

Entre 16 mil y 20 mil niños y niñas son víctimas de explotación sexual cada año en México, lo que convierte al país en la segunda nación que más víctimas de trata provee a Estados Unidos, superado únicamente por Tailandia, afirmó la diputada, Cora Pinedo Alonso, del Partido Nueva Alianza.

La también secretaria de la Mesa Directiva de la Cámara baja precisó que el municipio de Tapachula, Chiapas, es el lugar donde se realiza la mayor venta de mujeres, niñas y niños con fines de trata.

Muchos de esos menores son "redistribuidos" a los estados de Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa y el Distrito Federal, señaló con base a estudios de la organización internacional End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

Mexico is the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States

Between 16 and 20 thousand boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico each year. As a result, Mexico has become the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States, according to congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso of the New Alliance Party.

Pinedo Alonso, who is the secretary of the governing council in the Chamber of Deputies, also stated that Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state, is the largest center for the sale of women, girls and boys for purposes of human trafficking in the nation.

Many of child victims are "redistributed" to the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as to Mexico City. Pinedo Alonso based her statements on a research study conducted [in 2007] by the organization End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

In response to this situation, Pinedo Alonso has presented a non-binding resolution that has been submitted to the Second Permanent Commission of Congress (37 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies who conduct congressional business when Congress is not in session) for consideration. The resolution calls for the creation of stricter measures than now exist to investigate trafficking crimes and to punish those responsible.

The resolution calls upon the director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) to assign staff to supervise and evaluate anti-trafficking activities on Mexico's southern border, and specifically in the city of Tapachula, with reports on conditions there to be sent to Congress.

According the the ECPAT study, Central American adolescents, the majority of whom are minors, "are prostituted in 1, 552 bars and brothels in Chiapas, and also in other cities and towns along the nation's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize.]"

Pinedo Alonso added that in 50% of these cases, the victims are Guatemalans. [Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans are also victims]. The victims are usually between the ages of 8 and 14. "They are sold by traffickers [to brothels] for $200 dollars each," Pinedo Alonso denounced.

Joining in the call for action, Chiapas state governor Juan Sabines has asked for working groups to be created that coordinate the work of non-governmental organizations, state agencies, the Chiapas state Human Rights Commission and the state's office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking. The goal of the working groups would be to evaluate the effectiveness of policies implemented to fight human trafficking.

Governor Sabines also called for an analysis to be conducted to track actions taken in regard to cases of human trafficking that involve both Mexican and Central American girls, boys and adolescents, and to document the number of prosecutions pursued.

Governor Sabines: "We wish to express our indignation and complete repudiation of these criminal practices. We energetically condemn those public servants who, through acts of omission or commission, have been complicit in collaborating with human trafficking networks. We call upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to join forces [to combat these crimes]."

Cronica

May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For 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 Guatemala].

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 is 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 America."

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 Guatemala border).

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 fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

About the numbers used to discuss minors involved in sex trafficking in Mexico

We reiterate our belief that the official Mexican Government estimates in regard to the numbers of underage sexual exploitation victims is unbelievably low. The above article about child sex trafficking in the southern border city of Tapachula states that an estimated 10,000 underage victims are prostituted in that city alone.

As we noted in our March 1, 2010 essay - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way:

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

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

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

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, 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 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely used.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010

Mexico

Presenta diputada Cora Pinedo Alonso iniciativa de ley para tipificar trata de personas como delito federal

MEXICO, D.F., - Palacio Legislativo 23 de Febrero de 2010./Notilegis.- La vicecoordinadora de Nueva Alianza, Cora Pinedo Alonso, propuso tipificar la trata de personas como un delito federal y modificar la denominación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, para elevarla a rango federal, ya que actualmente sólo puede ser aplicada por las autoridades federales bajo cuatro supuestos...

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso presents an initiate to require the national anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the fedeal level.

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, who is the vice-coordinator of the New Alliance Party in the Chamber of Deputies, has called for the nation's current anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, to be changed, to allow its enforcement at the federal level. Currently [states enforce the law]. Federal authorities may only enforce its provisions under four circumstances. First, if the human trafficking crime was committed outside of Mexico, federal action may be taken. Second, when the trafficking crime is perpetrated within Mexico, but is intended to have an impact outside of Mexico, federal agents may also act. Third, federal action may be taken when the criminal act falls within Article 50, Section I, Subsection 'b) a j)' of the Organic Law of the Power of Judicial Power of the Federation. Fourth, when the criminal act is a violation of the Federal Law Against Organized Criminal Delinquency.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso stated that currently, [the federal law differs significantly from the anti-trafficking laws enacted in the majority of states. Therefore, the federal law should be changed to allow for the uniform application of anti-trafficking law across the nation, and especially in regard to the application of criminal penalties.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso referred to the United Nations human trafficking study Human Trafficking: A Global Panorama. The study identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit nations and 137 destination nations in regard to victims of human trafficking. Mexico is ranked very high among the countries of origin listed in the report. Mexico is rate in 28th place among nations where traffickers entrap victims, and is in 5th among nations in Latin America.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative proposes to reform Article 73 of the Constitution, and will update Article 3 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. It has been referred to the Chamber's Commission on Constitutional Law for review.

Notilegis

Feb. 23, 2010

Note: Mexico's federal system does not impose federal legal jurisdiction on the federated entities (Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City) for federal criminal laws that are passed as 'general laws.' The Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking is a general law. - LL

Note: Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative has been superseded by a more recent proposal, submitted by the ruling National Action Party, to update the now ineffective Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. Earlier in 2010, Mexico's Interior Secretary, Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL


Added: June 1, 2010

Brazil

Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

Autoridades brasileñas informaron que organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de personas se instalaron en la región amazónica por donde decenas de haitianos ingresan al país tras el terremoto ocurrido en el país caribeño en enero.

"Coyotes braileños" (traficantes de inmigrantes) cobran 600 dólares por introducir a cada haitiano en el estado de Acre, indicaron fuentes de la Policía Federal.

"El destino preferido en Brasil es Assis Brasil (localidad fronteriza con Perú) desde donde continúan camino hacia otras regiones del país" dijo el comisario Flaveio Avelar, jefe de la delegación de Migraciones de la Policía Federal en Acre.

El número de inmigrantes haitianos llegados a Brasil se incrementó tras el terremoto que devastó a ese país en enero pasado y dejó más de 200 mil víctimas fatales.

La legislación brasileña establece que los inmigrantes sin papeles sean deportados a su país de origen, pero las autoridades decidieron hacer una excepción con los haitianos.

"Se trata de una cuestión humanitaria, ellos dejaron su país debido al terremoto y podrán permanecer en Brasil como refugiados" explicó el comisario Avelar, consultado por el diario Correio Braziliense.

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities have announced that human smuggling networks have established themselves in the Brazilian Amazon. These groups have smuggled dozens of Haitians into Brazil through the Assis Brazil area on the Peruvian border. Brazilian coyotes have charged Haitians $600 to bring Haitians to the Brazilian state of Acre, from which they travel to other regions of Brazil. The smuggling of Haitians has increased significantly since the January, 2010 earthquake.

Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as refugees,

"It is a humanitarian issue. They left Haiti due to the earthquake, and they may remain in Brazil as refugees," explained the federal immigration police's commissioner in the state of Acre, Flaveio Avelar.

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

Mexican officials arrest German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested a German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges.

Mexico's Public Safety Department says Dieter Erhard Fritzchen Stieleke was arrested while waiting to board a flight to Germany out of the resort city of Cancun.

The department says Stieleke was handed over to Interpol for extradition to Brazil. A statement released Wednesday gives no details on the human trafficking charges against Stieleke. He was arrested Sunday.

The German Embassy did not return phone calls seeking comment. The Brazilian Embassy declined to comment.

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina:

El día de hoy, cuando se lleva a cabo la audiencia en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, el equipo de la CMDPDH queremos enviarte un mensaje con nuestro profundo respeto y apoyo.

Sabemos que has asumido, junto con las organizaciones que te acompañan en esta lucha, la tarea de denunciar las violaciones a los derechos humanos cometidas por el Ejército Mexicano, en particular la violencia sexual como una forma de tortura. Por tu voz hablan decenas de mujeres que han sufrido la violencia del Estado, pero no han tenido acceso a denunciar. Al mismo tiempo, también nos sentimos representadas las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajamos por el respeto de los Derechos Humanos y por una sociedad libre y democrática.

Asimismo, estamos conscientes de que esta denuncia y todo el proceso de defensa en su conjunto, ha significado una enorme carga para ti y que en este camino has enfrentado amenazas, contra ti y tus seres queridos, que buscan hacerte desistir. Sin embargo, te has mantenido firme en la búsqueda de justicia, reivindicando tu dignidad de mujer indígena, y la de cientos de comunidades que han sido afectadas en su tejido social por la militarización.

Por todo esto, recibe hoy nuestro abrazo solidario y nuestro compromiso de seguir, inspirados en tu ejemplo, en esta lucha.

Atentamente,

El equipo de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos A.C.

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina,

On this day, the day when your case will be presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, we of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights wish to send you this message expressing our profound respect and solidarity.

We know that you have taken on, together with the organizations who are assisting you in this struggle, the task of denouncing the violations of human rights that have been committed by the Mexican Army, and in particular the use of sexual violence as a form of torture. Your voice speaks for dozens of women who have suffered violence perpetrated by the State, but do not have access to a forum to denounce these crimes. At the same time, we who work for human rights organizations, who seek to achieve a fee and democratic society, feel well represented by you.

We are aware that your case, and all of the efforts in your defense, have amounted to being a huge burden for you. We know that you have faced threats against yourself and your family, that are designed to force you drop your case. Nonetheless, you have remained steadfast in your search for justice, vindicating your dignity as an indigenous woman, as well as that of hundreds of communities whose social fabric has been affected by [domestic] militarization.

For all of these reasons, today we ask you to accept our hug of solidarity and our commitment to continue, inspired by your example, in this struggle.

Sincerely,

The staff of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

Tlapaneca Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel denounces death threats against herself, her family and Indigenous rape victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú - who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Tlapaneca Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra Tlapaneca Violada por Militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

Defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos exigieron hoy al Estado mexicano que cesen las agresiones y amenazas contra Inés Fernández Ortega, indígena tlapaneca violada sexualmente por militares en 2002, y quien ante la falta de justicia, se presentará en una audiencia pública en la sede de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) en Lima, Perú, el próximo 15 de abril...

Activists Demand an End to the Harassment of Indigenous Woman Who Was Raped by Soldiers

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

Human rights activists have today demanded that the Mexican Government cease and desist from its campaign of aggression and threats directed against Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapaneca Indigenous women who was the victim of rape perpetrated by Mexican servicemen in 2002. Due to the inability to receive due process within Mexico, Fernández Ortega's case will be presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on April 15th, 2010.

During a press conference held by Amnesty International and the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, activists announced their new campaign "Break Down the Walls of Impunity!" The project aims to develop a network of solidarity and add voices to the outcries for justice in the cases of both Fernández Ortega and also Valentina Rosendo Cantú, another Tlapaneca woman who was also raped by soldiers in 2002.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working in the Tlachinollan region stated that both Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú began their efforts to find justice 8 years ago. Not only did they suffer rejection, discrimination and stigmatization in their own communities after they were raped, but the government conducted an ineffective investigation.

Because of the government's reaction to their plight, the victims hope that the IACHR finds the Mexican state guilty in the case of Fernández Ortega. Rosendo Cantú's case will be presented before the IACHR on May 27th and 28th of 2010.

Rosales Sierra declared that the military leaves women [victims] completely defenseless. They put women's security and lives at risk when they attempt to seek justice...

On October 30, 2008, the Commission issued their findings [in the case of Fernández Ortega]. The Mexican state was informed on November 7, 2008 that the Commission regarded the State as being responsible for the violations of the integrity of the victim. Due to a refusal by Mexico to implement the Commission's [legally binding] recommendations, the case was forwarded to the IACHR.

During the press conference, Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel stated that, after May 7th, 2009, when the IACHR accepted the case de Fernández Ortega, she (Eugenio Manuel) and her family became the victims of threats. The threats doubled in December of 2009, when the IACHR notified the Mexican state of the specific date of its hearing of the case.

Because of this history of threats, a well-founded fear exists that victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, or their legal representatives could face some type of violence. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel emphasized that they will continue their struggle for human rights. She hopes that the IACHR hearing will demonstrate that lack of responsible action by the Mexican state to protect human rights.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

This is your war on drugs

...On 16th February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú was washing her clothes in a stream near her home in Caxitepec, Mexico, when six soldiers approached. Seemingly too busy for pleasantries, the men started barking questions at her: Who was she? Where was she from? Had she seen the people they were looking for? Did she recognize the names on the list they thrust in front of her?

Her answers weren’t good enough, so one soldier pulled a gun and threatened to shoot. Another punched her so hard that she passed out. When she came to, two men tore off her underwear and raped her, one after the other. She was sixteen years old.

It took several months for Valentina to find a doctor willing to treat her; her nearest hospital turned her away because they didn’t want any trouble from the military. The next nearest, which she walked for eight hours to reach, examined her but offered no medicine. Only after legal action was threatened did she finally receive the gynecological care she needed.

At the time of writing, no criminal prosecution has ever been brought against these men and no one has been formally disciplined by a military which has perpetually dragged its feet over investigations. Some 7 years later, she still hasn’t found justice.

This case is just one of many allegations of human rights abuses leveled at the Mexican military in pursuit of an expensive, bloody and failed war on drugs. As well as rape, the allegations include enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention and unlawful killing. And it’s all being bankrolled by the United States of America...

This is your war on drugs

August 13, 2009


Added: May. 30, 2010

Georgia, USA

Samuel Sanchez

Man Charged in Cherokee County Sex Assault

Cherokee County deputies say a Woodstock man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a mobile home and crawling into bed with a woman he didn’t know as she slept with her 1-year-old son.

Deputies say 22-year-old Samuel Sanchez broke into a mobile home off of Dupree Road in Woodstock on Friday morning. They say 19-year-old Bridget Gonzalez was asleep in her bed with her son when the suspect came into the room and got in bed with them. Then, he attempted to sexually assault her, investigators say.

Gonzalez told FOX 5 she thought the man was her boyfriend, but soon realized it was a stranger instead. She says she and her son don’t know Sanchez.

After Gonzalez realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend, she screamed and he ran out of the house. But, much to her surprise, she says he came back.

Sanchez was later picked up while walking along Dupree Road. They say when they spotted him, he began running, but deputies were able to catch up to him.

According to deputies, Sanchez told them he wanted to see someone he knows who lives at the home, so he just went inside.

Sanchez is charged with sexual battery, criminal attempt to rape, and burglary. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Fox 5 Atlanta

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Mexico

Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Niega Estado mexicano violación de Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Argumenta ante la CoIDH falta de “pruebas fehacientes”

San José, Costa Rica - Durante la audiencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) sobre el caso de Valentina Rosendo Cantú, el Estado mexicano insistió categóricamente que “no existen pruebas fehacientes de la presunta violación sexual”, por lo cual pidió a este tribunal internacional tome en cuenta este elemento a la hora de emitir su sentencia.

Si bien es cierto que la integración de la investigación de los hechos ocurridos el 16 de febrero de 2002 no se hizo de manera eficaz y eficiente, no se puede responsabilizar al Estado mexicano por tortura y tampoco por violar el derecho a la salud y al debido proceso de Valentina, así lo dijo Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)...

Después de esta audiencia, tanto la defensa de Valentina como el Estado mexicano deberán entregar sus alegatos finales por escrito, de acuerdo con la CoIDH el próximo 28 de junio y advirtió que no habrá prórroga.

Mexico’s government denies the fact of the rape of Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Mexican state argues that no compelling proof of the rape exists

San Jose, Costa Rica – During a hearing held by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in regard to the case of indigenous rape victim Valentina Rosendo Cantú, the Mexican State declared categorically that no compelling proof exists to show that the rape occurred. Mexico asked that the Court take this into consideration when deliberating their decision.

Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director of Democracy and Human Rights in the Secretary of External Relations (SRE), argued part of Mexico’s case before the Court. He declared that Mexico cannot be held responsible if the investigation into the events of February 16, 2002 was not efficient and effective, and that the State also cannot be held responsible for the torture and violation of the right to health and a lack of access to the proper [judicial] process.

Full English Translation to follow.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC

May 27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 29, 2010

Mexico

Raped with impunity - Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

...Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú are still waiting for justice. The two women, who belong to the Tlapaneca Indigenous community, were raped by members of the Mexican army in February and March 2002 respectively in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Inés Fernández Ortega, who speaks little Spanish, was reportedly raped on 22 March 2002. Soldiers entered her home to interrogate her about some meat they claimed had been stolen. When she did not answer their questions, they raped her. Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was approached on 16 February 2002 by soldiers near her home, who questioned her about the activities of some "hooded men" (a reference to armed opposition groups). When she replied that she did not know any, she was threatened and two of the soldiers raped her.

The Mexican authorities claim that both women have failed to co-operate with the military investigation. However, the fact that both cases remain under military jurisdiction places the women at serious risk of reprisals. The women are required to go into the barracks to ratify their complaints before the military prosecutor. There, they may face a real risk of intimidation.

The women have shown great courage in speaking out, demanding that their cases be transferred to the civilian authorities. Amnesty International supports their demands as the military justice system lacks the impartiality and independence to properly investigate such cases. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now investigating the Mexican government’s failure to ensure effective access to justice for both women.

Amnesty International

March 8, 2007


Added: May. 28, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Abel Moreno

Photo from: Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010

He Did the Right Thing; Now He Faces Deportation

Charlotte - Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble.

Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest.

Several things then happened. Five other women came forward to allege that the officer, identified as Marcus Jackson, now 26, had tried to molest them, too. Moreno was released after investigators debunked the resisting arrest charge. So was his girlfriend.

Jackson was fired and faces 11 counts of sexual battery, extortion and interfering with emergency communication. Police Chief Rodney Monroe admitted that Jackson should never have been hired in the first place because of previous charges related to a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend. The local 911 system is under review because Moreno’s call wasn’t acted upon.

And Abel Moreno now has a six-month deadline to show why he shouldn’t be deported, even though police acknowledge that his 911 call was crucial to their uncovering a dirty cop, and even though they agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested...

A judge granted Moreno a six-month deferment on his deportation because he is a witness in the criminal investigation. But that reprieve runs out in November.

Moreno’s attorney, Rob Heroy, said he was confident Moreno would eventually be granted a so-called U visa, which allows illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses in criminal investigations to stay in the country for up to four years. But only 10,000 such visas are available in any year, and while that process works its way through the system, Moreno remains in limbo.

“Now I’m unemployed,” Moreno said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “I don’t have any money, not even for rent, not even for my phone — anything. ... The truth is I’m scared.” ...

MSNBC

May 26, 2010

See also:

Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

New York, USA

Rape Victim's Mother Arrives In U.S. To Claim Body

The mother of the Chinese immigrant who died after being brutally beaten and raped in a Queens alley arrived yesterday. The Daily News reports, "Sobbing inconsolably as she stepped off a plane at Newark Airport, the mother was too distraught to speak of her daughter, Yu Yao, 23, who was raped and fatally beaten in Queens by a pipe-wielding madman. Escorted through the airport terminal by relatives, the heartbroken mother collapsed into a chair and laid her head in a cousin's lap."

Yao, who had arrived in NYC two months ago on a student visa, was taken off life support on Friday, after being struck with a metal pipe and then sexually assaulted in Flushing on Sunday May 16. According to the Queens DA's office, she suffered a "fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to the vagina." While one witness's call to the police enabled the arrest of suspect Carlos Salazar Cruz, Assemblywoman Grace Meng said other people witnessed the attack but did not do anything.

NY1 reports that community activists held an anti-violence vigil at the attack site on 41st Road, urging residents to report violent acts. Community Prevention Alternatives' Martha Florez-Vazquez said, "I feel that it's important to send out a message to the community that it takes a village and that it's up to our neighbors to prevent crime.” One resident added, "I'm very concerned... no one should be beaten to death the way this young lady was."

Jen Chung

Gothamist

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Arizona, USA

Kyleigh Ann Sousa

Woman dragged by car during robbery dies

Tempe - A young woman who was run over and dragged by a car during a robbery in Tempe early Wednesday morning has died.

The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the area of Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue near the Arizona State University campus.

The victim has been identified as Kyleigh Ann Sousa, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. She died of her injuries Wednesday night.

According to police, a man approached Sousa outside of a hotel and grabbed her purse. He then tried to drive away.

Sousa held on to her purse. She was dragged by the suspect's car.

The suspect is described as a heavyset Hispanic man. The car he was driving is a newer model Chrysler 300.

Police and Sousa's parents are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect.

Anybody who has information about the incident should call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Catherine Holland

Fox 11

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Omar Shariff Cash

Cash guilty of murder and rape

Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal injection.

After hearing two weeks of testimony that one prosecutor likened to the musings of a horror writer, a Bucks County jury in Doylestown Thursday found Omar Shariff Cash guilty on all counts, including first- and second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft and other crimes...

The 43-year-old woman [victim] told the jury that Cash laughed as he forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, then turned up the volume on the car radio and swayed to hip-hop music after leaving her boyfriend, Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez, dead alongside a Bensalem exit ramp.

In the front row of the courtroom, the rape victim wept softly as the verdict was read. A native of Brazil who doesn't speak English, she listened to the verdict with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

Rosas-Gutierrez's family also had interpreters to help them understand the verdict. They passed around a box of tissues and cried as each "guilty" was announced...

Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case against Cash...

The prosecution said Cash was on the run from Philadelphia police when he carjacked the victims as they left Jalapeno Joes, a northeast Philadelphia nightclub round 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2008.

Cash forced Rosas-Gutierrez to drive into Bucks, and trained a gun on his head while he raped the woman in the back seat.

Cash told Rosas-Gutierrez to pull over on the Street Road exit ramp from northbound Route 1, the woman told the jury. While she screamed his name from one of the passenger seats, Rosas-Gutierrez was marched up a steep embankment by the killer and shot in the back of the head.

The woman testified that Cash raped her again at an abandoned office complex immediately after the slaying, and then brought her to the Comfort Inn in Lawrenceville, N.J., where the sexual assaults continued.

Unable to communicate with hotel staff, the woman finally made a break for it when Cash brought her back down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. Footage of her dashing through the lobby and vaulting a four-foot check-in counter was shown to the jury...

Furber called Rosas-Gutierrez and the woman "the perfect victims." He said that once Cash looked through their belongings and learned they were both illegal immigrants, he believed that they wouldn't be missed...

Laurie Mason Schroeder

Bucks County Courier Times

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Georgia, USA

Police: Lilburn Middle student hit with bleach-filled balloon

A 14-year-old Lilburn Middle School student was struck by a bleach-filled water balloon Wednesday afternoon, police said, sending him to the hospital with burns to both eyes and putting a traumatic damper on what have should been a joyous start to summer vacation.

Just after leaving his last day of school, the student was walking down the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley said.

A water balloon filled with bleach was thrown from a moving vehicle, Hedley said, striking him in the face at around 4:40 p.m.

“From time to time, especially on the last day of school, you see pranks, and maybe a water balloon is just having fun,” Hedley said. “But to see one that is filled with bleach is beyond comprehension ... A kid leaving school for the last day for what could have been a perfect summer, this is just crazy to me.”

The child was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center and was treated for severe trauma to his face and burns to both eyes. He has since been released and is “resting comfortably” at his mother’s Norcross home, Hedley said.

“He was in bad shape, but aware of his surroundings (during a visit Wednesday night),” Hedley said.

Witnesses have reported that the suspects were three Hispanic males driving a gray minivan with a black stripe down the lower portion of the vehicle...

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the van or the identity of the suspects is asked to call 770-921-2211.

Tyler Estep

The Gwinnett Daily Post

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Danny Mariel Suarez

Man accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old

WACO - A man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he sexually assaulted a child.

Officers reportedly began an investigation after they were notified in April that a 12-year-old girl had told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted.

After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple occasions.

Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at $250,000.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police suspect 2 men tried to pull girl into car

The Hollister Police Department is searching for two men suspected of trying to force a 17-year-old Hollister girl into a car Wednesday night near the 1500 block of San Juan Road.

Just after 7 p.m., the teenager was walking to a relative's house near the Plaza 156 gas station before police allege that two men inside a black Volkswagen Bug pulled alongside the girl and grabbed her arm, trying to force her inside the car.

The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to police.

The girl wrestled of their grasp and took off running to her relative's house, police spokesman Sgt. David Westrick said. The car did not follow her.

"Once she was able to break free of the suspects, she ran and never looked back," Westrick said.

The girl didn't know in what direction the car took off after she had left, Westrick said.

The suspects are described as two Hispanic men in their 40s. The passenger wore a black hooded jacket and sunglasses. The girl had no other identifying information about the driver.

The Volkswagen Bug is described as an older model with a loud engine and rusted black paint.

The police department is still searching for more information, Westrick said.

"We are trying to get this handled as soon as possible," Westrick said. "We have as many detectives working on it as we can."

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Hollister Police Department at 630-4330. People who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTIP at (800) 58-CRIME.

Connor Ramey

Freelance News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA / Jamaica

Herbert Morrison

Illegal Immigrant a Suspect in Continuous Molestation of Santa Maria Girl Police say the child was victimized over nine years

In April, the Santa Maria Police Department began investigating the sexual-assault case involving a minor female. [Herbert] Morrison was arrested in May, but charges were not filed at that time because of insufficient evidence.

However, evidence gathered in recent weeks led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Morrison, who was being held in a federal detention facility in Los Angeles pending deportation for being in the country illegally after a previous deportation.

He was picked up at the detention facility, transferred back to Santa Maria and booked into jail.

He faces charges of continuous sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault, rape by force or duress, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

Bail was set at $500,000.

Police have not released how the suspect knew the victim.

Michelle Nelson

Noozhawk

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Undocumented immigrant can't bail out of jail, officials say

An undocumented immigrant and previously deported felon from Jamaica whose anticipated deportation has been put on hold because he is facing new criminal charges in Santa Barbara County, is not able to bail out of jail.

Herbert Morrison, 49, who had been living in Santa Maria, was picked up Tuesday from a federal detention facility in Los Angeles where he was being held pending deportation for being in the country illegally. He was arrested on suspicion of various charges including continual sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery and rape by force or duress, according to Santa Maria police.

Morrison was booked into county jail with bail set at $500,000.

However, Lt. Dan Ast said that Morrison is not able to bail out of jail because of an immigration hold, and he will eventually once again face deportation.

"If we allowed him to be deported without filing the charges, he could potentially re-enter the country at some later time after arriving back in Jamaica and continue to victimize people in this country," Ast said. "Or, he could stay in Jamaica and potentially victimize others there without ever facing justice."

The Lompoc Record

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child

Houston - An accused child predator was behind bars Tuesday, charged with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Al D. Checo lured the child into his green Dodge pickup while she was walking home from school in the 9300 block of Pagewood Ln. on Friday. He then drove her to his apartment nearby, forced her to watch pornographic images and tried to sexually assault her, but stopped short of the act.

"It could have been the first time for him to do something like this and he was testing the waters, could have been were something might have spooked him. We don't really don't know exactly yet," said Officer John Colburn with HPD's Juvenile Sex Crime Division.

Checo, 32, held the child at his apartment for several hours before dropping her off near where she was abducted, police said.

According to officials, Checo warned the child not to tell anyone what happened, but she went home and told her mother and was able to identify her abductor.

Checo is charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held Tuesday without bond.

KIAH

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

SFPD searching for girl, 12, reported missing

San Francisco police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a 12-year-old girl reported missing.

Police said Mireya Zapata was last seen Thursday morning when she went to school. At about 2:50 p.m., she sent a text message to her mother, saying she was at a bus stop and on her way home.

However, Zapata, who goes to school in the Sunset District and lives downtown, never showed up at her home, police said. The girl exchanged text messages with her mother over the next several hours, but did not text a secret code letting the mother know she was OK upon request, according to police.

At about 7 p.m., Zapata's mother received a text message reading, "Don't look for me no more," and when her mother asked why, the response read, "Just don't," police said.

Police spokesman Officer Boaz Mariles said Zapata does not have a history of running away and she is considered to be at risk. Police are actively searching for the girl and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police at (415) 553-1071.

"It's a continuous search, meaning there are officers assigned strictly to this,'' Mariles said.

Zapata is described as a light-skinned Hispanic girl, 5 feet 3 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black and white Nike shoes and had a white backpack.

BCN

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect faces string of sex assault charges

4 alleged victims range in age from 11 to 49

Luis Alberto Gonzales was armed with a BB gun when he targeted numerous Hispanic women and girls for sexual assaults on Indianapolis' Westside, prosecutors say.

But he didn't even bother to cover his face -- and that lack of a disguise enabled police to arrest Gonzales last weekend. One victim from months ago spotted him sleeping in his red truck in an apartment court off West 30th Street near Moller Road, according to court documents filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in media reports...

So far, he faces charges in connection with four victims ranging in age from 11 to 49. He is in the Marion County Jail with a combined bond set at $700,000.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said his office was still readying charges representing two more victims, including one younger than 18; police were investigating allegations by three others.

That could make for nine victims, with convictions bringing up to hundreds of years in prison.

"Mr. Gonzales has essentially been preying on Hispanic adults and children since at least January 2010," Brizzi said. "He was going back to the same area. It seems he was unafraid about being arrested or caught."

The lead charges on the four cases that have been filed are Class A felony child molesting of an 11-year-old girl; Class A felony rape of a 40-year-old woman; Class A felony criminal deviate conduct against a 49-year-old woman; and Class D felony sexual battery against a 23-year-old woman...

Jon Murray

IndyStar.com

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Nevada, USA

Joel Eliazar Ortega

Illegal immigrant sentenced in Reno rape of paralyzed woman

A life in prison term was imposed Wednesday upon a married father of one who dragged a paralyzed woman out of her wheelchair, raped her, and then left her lying nude in an alley.

The woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been in a shopping center Oct. 30 in the 3300 block of North McCarran Boulevard when Joel Eliazar Ortega, 30, led her behind a business and attacked her. Soon after, Reno police officers responding to a call that Ortega was battering his wife in their nearby apartment, recognized Ortega as fitting the description of the suspect. He was arrested after the victim identified him.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn described the crime as among the most ghastly sexual assaults he’s ever seen.

“She was dragged from her wheelchair, her clothes taken off, sexually assaulted and then left lying in an alley,” said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan. “I have listened to you carefully, and you said ‘things happen’ and you get in trouble based on your behavior and doctors say you can’t take care of your daughter.

“You are a danger,” Flanagan said. “...you are lucky there is only one life sentence I can impose in this case.”

In rendering a sentence of life against Ortega, Flannagan said he would be eligible for parole after serving at least 10 years in prison. Ortega is also an illegal immigrant who also must face immigration charges.

“You will be deported at the earliest opportunity and will never return to this country again, except lawfully,” Flanagan said.

Ortega had apologized for the crime and said “I need help.”

His public defender, John Malone, said Ortega has been receiving treatment at the state’s mental hospital for several years. He blamed the rape on Ortega not taking his psychiatric medicines and drinking alcohol.

Ortega pleaded guilty to the rape, and was also convicted of domestic violence, related to when police responded to his apartment after the assault.

The victim was not present in court, although her father was and said he was too emotional to speak about the incident.

Jaclyn O'Malley

RGJ.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Virginia, USA

Arturo F. Lopez

Henrico judge sends rape charge to grand jury

A woman testified at a preliminary hearing in a Henrico County court today that her foster son sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her and her husband.

Arturo F. Lopez, 18, had been living with a foster family in the Interstate 64-Staples Mill Road area since sometime late last year, according to Henrico police. He was charged with rape in the April 9 incident and appeared at a preliminary hearing in General District Court this morning.

At the hearing, the judge certified the rape charge to a grand jury, which will hear the case on July 12. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Lopez came to the Richmond area sometime last year. His attorney said he was a homeless immigrant from Mexico and has no family in the U.S. Lopez was placed in the home by the Richmond Department of Social Services, because Spanish is spoken in the home.

Bill Mckelway

The Richmond Times Dispatch

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Pennsylvania

Officer Jose Manuel Santiago

Photo

Pennsylvania Cop Charged With Sex Offenses

A southeastern Pennsylvania police officer is charged with hundreds of sex-offense counts including rape, incest, statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Chester County prosecutors say 54-year-old Kennett Square police Officer Jose Manuel Santiago was arrested Thursday at his home in Newark, Del.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan says Santiago had sexual encounters with three juveniles under the age of 14 between 1991 and 2000.

Borough officials say Santiago joined the department in 1998. He had been on disability leave since December 2008 and is now suspended without pay.

Santiago is in New Castle County prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. His phone number is unlisted and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

MyFoxPhilly

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Alleged rapists' victims afraid to tell

Indianapolis - Prosecutors expect to file more charges against a man suspected of molesting and raping as many as nine women and girls on the northwest side. Police say 27-year old Luis Gonzales was a serial rapist - preying solely on Hispanic victims for at least five months.

Police say investigating this case was challenging. They didn't begin to put the pieces together until an 11-year-old girl reported being assaulted in May. But the first known attack occurred five months before that.

It was a January evening at about 10:00 at the La Joya apartments on the northwest side of Indianapolis. A 23-year-old woman walked into her building carrying bags and her baby. She says an attacker waited - pretending to be talking on his cell phone. After she went in the building, she says he grabbed and groped her in the stairwell.

An affidavit states she was holding her baby tightly during the attack, and the infant began to cry. At that point her attacker ran away.

But no police report was filed. Detectives believe for the next five months, Luis Gonzales terrorized, molested, and raped as many as nine Hispanic women and girls in west side apartment complexes. The youngest known victim is 11-years old.

Asked why the public wasn't made aware of a serial rapist, IMPD officer Lt. Jeff Duhamell responded, "The lack of reporting from some of our victims, and probably the language barrier and maybe some of them were afraid to come forward because they may be in our country illegally."

Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi believes there are likely more victims out there, and at a press conference on Thursday, he had a clear message to victims.

"There is absolutely no threat of immigration and customs enforcement, ICE, of us reporting that documentation status as a result of reporting a crime," Brizzi said.

Luis Gonzales has ties to Indianapolis. The probable cause affidavit states he graduated from Lawrence North High School and has lived in the city for six years. He's being held on a $100,000 bond, and has declined our request for an interview.

WISH TV

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Teen Assaulted In Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande, CA -- Police arrested a parolee who allegedly assaulted a teen yesterday afternoon. This happened at about 4:30 in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School. Authorities received several reports by phone that a girl was thrown to the ground near the hospital. Many later calls told officers that within minutes several witnesses chased the suspect, 23-year-old Fernando Frias, and cornered him in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle.

Meanwhile, according to the Tribune, officers found the 17-year-old victim, near the Fair Oaks bridge with injuries to her head and face. They arrested Frias who is currently on parole. Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.

King Harris

KVEC

May 27. 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Oregon, USA

Ismael Recinos-Velasquez

Reward Offered for Sex Assault Suspect

Crime Stoppers and the Washington County Sheriff's office are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wante for sexual assault. Investigators say Ismael Recinos-Velasquez, who may also go by Jose Perez-Perez, or the name 'Carlos', sexually abused his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter and another 12-year old girl.

A warrant was issued for Recinos-Velasquez's arrest on May 13th. He's wanted on charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, along with numerous other charges.

Recinos-Velasquez is 5' 3" tall and 140 pounds. If you see him, call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-4357, go online to crimestoppers oforegon.com, or text message to 823HELP.

Chris Brown

KXL

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police seek man accused of the assault and attempted kidnap of his ex-girlfriend

Pasadena - Police are searching for a 53-year-old man who allegedly beat and tried to kidnap his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:07 p.m. a 45-year-old female Hispanic, of Temple City, was waiting at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Lake Avenue when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and began striking her, Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ said.

The victim suffered minor bruising to her face and arms and also complained of back pain, he said.

After a struggle, the man dragged her through a nearby parking lot and attempted to force her into his 2000 Honda Odyssey, but he fled on foot after several passersby came to her assistance, Russ said.

The man is described as a 5-foot-6-inch male Hispanic weighing 186 pounds.