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


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

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News and Events - English
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Jan. 2010 News



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Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Haiti

A girl stands inside an open air market in Port-au-Prince.

Photo: Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

Haitian Women Lose Out In Post-Quake "Survival Of The Strongest"

In one of the camps sheltering the homeless in Haiti's earthquake-stricken capital, a group of male volunteers stands guard over hundreds of teenage girls and young women as they sleep during the night.

The women there are so afraid of being attacked that they have organized the protection themselves, according to ActionAid, which says several women have already reported cases of rape or sexual abuse to their staff in the camp.

Elsewhere in Port-au-Prince, women have left food lines empty-handed after groups of men raided food distribution sites watched by police who were too few and too powerless to stop them...

Aid workers and human rights activists are increasingly worried that in a country where women's rights are routinely trampled upon or ignored, women are again being marginalized. This time, they fear women are losing out on their fair share of desperately-needed aid following the devastating quake that killed up to 200,000 people and left nearly 1 million more homeless in the Caribbean island nation...

Loss of Rights Icons

Experts with experience of responding to natural disasters say women and children are especially vulnerable after such calamities.

But this is particularly true in a country where one-third of women and girls said they had suffered physical or sexual violence, and more than 50 percent of those who had experienced violence were under the age of 18 -- such were the findings of a study carried out by the Inter-American Development Bank in Haiti in 2006.

In one report, a Swiss doctor described how he treated a girl -- who, he said was at most, 12 years old -- for vaginal lacerations after she had been pulled out from under the rubble and raped by her rescuer. The account was a harrowing reminder of how precarious life can be for women and girls in Haiti, Bien-Aime said.

On top of their battle to deal with the aftermath of quake, Haitian women lost three of their best champions in the Jan. 12 disaster.

Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne-Marie Coriolan were women's rights icons who were instrumental in the campaign to criminalize rape, experts say.

The law was eventually changed in 2005.

"What the loss of these women for Haiti means is really the loss of half of the women's movement which was a powerful movement but nevertheless very, very small in numbers, very limited in capacity and resources," Bien-Aime told AlertNet.

"Each of these women who died contributed enormously to the lives of women in terms of changing laws and seeking justice for women who have been violated in some way whether it's domestic violence or rape. They were irreplaceable in the context of Haiti."

Merlet, who held a senior position in the Ministry for the Rights of Women, was one of the first women to document cases of rape during Haiti's 1991-4 military regime and identify its use as a political weapon, Amnesty's Ducos said.

Marcelin founded Kay Fanm, which for many years operated the only shelter in the country for women who had been battered by their husbands and boyfriends. It later opened another shelter for survivors of sexual violence.

Coriolan founded one of Haiti's largest women's advocacy groups, Solidarite Fanm Ayisyèn (SOFA).

Against a backdrop of widespread impunity and poverty, these organizations were important in ensuring that survivors of sexual abuse received immediate access to adequate medical care -- anti-retrovirals, contraceptive pills -- as well as psychological support and legal advice.

The deaths of these leading activists were a blow to Haiti's women's rights movement, but Ducos said many women were part of this movement which despite the challenges continues to evolve and grow.

Katie Nguyen

AlertNet

29 Jan 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Haiti, Latin America

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa answers questions from journalists next to Haitian President Rene Preval, during a news conference in Port-au-Prince January 29, 2010.

Shipment From Puerto Rico Unexpected Blessing For Orphans And The Hungry

Today World Concern is beginning to feed 3,000 additional people and provide emotional support to orphans because of a donor from Puerto Rico. The donor decided to help those suffering in Haiti and coordinate the shipment of two barges full of food, tarps, clothes, toys and other emergency supplies to Haiti.

Though it was not neatly packaged, this aid has provided World Concern yet another opportunity to immediately deliver food to hundreds of hungry families. World Concern is delivering the toys included in the shipment to an orphanage.

"There are a lot of people around the world who want to help," said World Concern President David Eller. "This is a great example of the world's generosity to Haiti."

In the meantime, World Concern waits on massive supplies of aid to be released by larger clearinghouses, hopefully within the next day.

"It has been frustrating knowing that resources have landed in the country and systems have been delayed in getting these supplies released," said Eller...

Seattle-based World Concern has worked in Haiti for more than 30 years and currently provides hope to 125,000 people. Our staff of more than 100 in Haiti work with the poor includes microfinance, agriculture, disaster response and small business development. World Concern works with the poor in 24 countries, with the goal of transforming the lives of those we touch, leading them on a path to self-sustainability.

For more information and to donate, visit www.worldconcern.org or call 1-866-530-5433 (LIFE)

World Concern - USA

Via Reuters' Alertnet.org

Jan. 29, 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Massachusetts, USA

[Texas Supreme Court to Make Decision on the Rights of Prostituted Children]

Sixteen-year-old Angela was said to be a “case study” in the difficulty domestic human trafficking victims represent to law enforcement.

Though first forced into prostitution at age 11, it would be several years before local police would discover her. But instead of being rescued as a child victim, she was placed into the juvenile system in 2008 on a theft charge after a man accused her of stealing his wallet and pants. Only after first prosecuting her as a criminal — due in part, they said, to her uncooperativeness — did law enforcement recognize her as a child victim. Some months later her full story came out.

County officials said last summer that ‘Angela,’ diagnosed with hepatitis and HIV, was finally in a “safe place” getting counseling and medical attention.

Some would like to see child victims jump straight to the help line, and a decision pending with the Texas Supreme Court could move things strongly in that direction, according to Dottie Laster, a New Braunfels-based advocate fighting against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

The case involves a girl identified as B.W., taken from her mother at age 11 and placed with Child Protective Services. After running away from CPS, she was picked up by Houston Police Department officers two years later after they observed her trying to sell herself on the street. She was booked on charges of prostitution. Later, after her age of 13 became known, she was placed in the juvenile system and charged with delinquency for committing prostitution instead of returning her to CPS.

Attorney Ann Johnson argued that the child should have never been put on the “prosecutorial train.” That state law holds that children under the age of 14 cannot consent to sex. Period.

“Despite their discovery that one of the passengers on that train was a 13-year-old, mentally deficient child with undeniable evidence of sexual exploitation no one to this day has pulled the emergency stop cord to say, ‘Wait. We’re supposed to be handling this issue differently’” Johnson said...

“You can protect a child when they’re in danger without charging them with a crime,” Laster said, adding that the outcome in the case could transform how state law enforcement responds to child victims.

“I believe if they rule to protect the victim that it could greatly change the way juveniles are protected in Texas; if they rule to punish the victim, it could set us back years and cause harm to many more juveniles, or minors, children. However you want to say it, I still look at them as children.”

And if Texas judges find their way to the federal mindset, they will discover that “any child in commercial sex is considered a victim of trafficking,” Laster said.

Of course, this is Texas. Worse. This is Houston, Texas, we're talking about.

The city was pegged last year as the national hub in child trafficking. Judging from the position of the DA's office, reform there — despite the training that Laster, now working with MillionKids.org and running her own consulting group, has given many of its law-enforcement officers - may come most grudgingly.

Greg Harman

The San Antonio Current

Jan. 30, 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Massachusetts, USA

Accused Rapist Deported Before Facing Indictment and Trial

Illegal immigrant makes bail; feds send him home to Guatemala

Weymouth - Defense and prosecution were ready for Genesis Orrego’s arraignment on child rape in superior court. Orrego was charged with molesting a 10-year-old neighbor his girlfriend often babysat in Weymouth.

But Orrego, who faced charges of rape of a child with force and indecent assault and battery of a child under 14, wasn’t there. He was in federal custody, and the following week he was deported to his native Guatemala. He had been freed on $10,000 bail on the local charge, turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and they were doing their job – deporting him out of the country.

Norfolk County prosecutors knew Orrego, also identified in court as Genesis Orrego Gonzales, was in the country illegally, and said at his earlier arraignment in district court that ICE had placed a detainer on him. Orrego told police he had been in the U.S. for more than 10 years after walking for four months from Guatemala to Texas.

When he made his $10,000 bail, which prosecutors had requested be $100,000, he was transferred into ICE custody on July 27, according to immigration officials.

The Norfolk County District Attorney’s office expected him at his arraignment in superior court in Dedham on Sept. 24 after being indicted by a grand jury. Spokesman David Traub said the district attorney’s office was in contact with ICE and filed paperwork to make Orrego available for the Sept. 24 arraignment. They found out that wasn’t the case that day.

“It was his ability to meet the $10,000 bail that put him into ICE custody,” Traub said...

Prosecutors can argue at arraignment that an immigrant with ties outside the country is a flight risk.

“In this case and other cases, we argue for high cash bail, but we don’t control what is set,” Traub said.

Allison Manning

The Patriot Ledger

Jan. 19, 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Florida, USA

Previously Deported Sex Offender Indicted for Reentry Into the U.S.

Miami - A 30-year-old Mexican national was indicted Thursday on charges of reentering the U.S. after having been lawfully removed following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

According to the indictment and a previous complaint affidavit filed with the court, Celestino Ramirez-Hernandez was found in the U.S. on Nov. 19, 2009, after having been removed from the United States on March 30, 2002.

Statements made in court during a detention hearing held January 14, 2010, indicated that Ramirez-Hernandez had been convicted in 2001of statutory rape of a child under the age of 16.

He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, but was allowed to serve the sentence on probation.

The defendant was physically removed from the U.S. on March 30, 2002, and was barred permanently from returning to the U.S.

Thereafter, Ramirez-Hernandez reentered the U.S. on an unknown date. Using the alias of Leonel Lopez, he was subsequently convicted in 2006 of grand theft and possession of a stolen/forged driver’s license.

While under court supervision, it was discovered that Leonel Lopez was actually Ramirez-Hernandez, a convicted sex offender. Statements made in court indicated that he failed to register as a sex offender and was convicted of this offense.

While the Ramirez-Hernandez was approaching completion of his four-year sentence in a Miami-Dade detention facility for failure to register as a sex offender, an ICE agent and deportation officer assigned to ICE’s Criminal Alien Program (CAP) interviewed Ramirez-Hernandez.

Through ICE’s Secure Communities partnership, the agents and officers ran his fingerprints through DHS and FBI databases and confirmed the defendant’s sex conviction and prior removal.

Subsequently, ICE officers and agents placed an immigration detainer on the defendant to ensure he would not be released from custody.

On Jan. 11, 2010, ICE officers and agents arrested him on a criminal complaint prior to the filing of the indictment.

If convicted, Ramirez-Hernandez faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

EthiopianReview.com

Jan. 27, 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

The United States

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Crime Blotter

Excerpts:

Jan. 26, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. ...The subject had multiple prior convictions for sex offenses in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 25, 2010 - Tucson Sector – Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 21, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Ukraine near Crookston, Minnesota. Records checks revealed the subject had multiple felony convictions, was a convicted sex offender, and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Jan. 27, 2010


Added: Jan. 31, 2010

Texas, USA

Sketch of suspect

Harris County Sheriff's Office: Man Exposes Himself To Girls

Spring - A man who claimed to be an undercover police officer exposed himself to two girls, KPRC Local 2 reported Friday.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said the man approached two girls, ages 7 and 10, near the intersection of Long Pine Drive and Ridge Crest Drive in Spring on Dec. 20.

The man, who was driving a blue car, pulled up alongside the girls and told them he was an undercover police officer, detectives said.

Investigators said the man got out of the car, asked the girls what they were doing in the neighborhood and asked if they were using drugs.

The man patted the girls down, officials said.

One of the girls asked to see his badge and he exposed himself to them, detectives said. He then got back into his car and left.

The man was described as Hispanic and 20 to 30 years old.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-529-4216 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

KPRC

Jan. 29, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

The United States

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon speaks on human trafficking in Ohio - Jan. 11, 2010

Photo: Tom Dodge - The Columbus Dispatch

Polaris Project Announces Executive Transition

The Board of Directors of Polaris Project announces that Ambassador Mark P. Lagon is leaving the position of Executive Director and CEO on February 1, 2010. "I have had the privilege of helping direct a truly driven and innovative organization," said Ambassador Lagon. "Polaris Project continues to inspire and lead the anti-trafficking movement in our common vision for a world without slavery."

Prior to joining Polaris Project, Ambassador Lagon served as Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State and as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.

"During his time at Polaris Project, Ambassador Lagon has worked tirelessly to champion the eradication of modern-day slavery, to address the demand for commercial sex and forced labor, and to increase corporate accountability around human trafficking." said Derek Ellerman, Board Chairperson and Co-Founder. "Polaris Project commends Ambassador Lagon for his dedication to fighting human trafficking and wishes him every success in his future plans."

The Board of Directors has named Bradley Myles as the incoming Acting Executive Director until the executive search process is completed. Bradley Myles joined Polaris Project in 2004 and currently serves as the Deputy Director and as a member of the Executive Management Team, overseeing the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), national training and technical assistance efforts, and client services programs in Washington, DC and Newark, NJ.

Polaris Project

Jan. 27, 2010

See also:

Katherine Chon

Co-Founder Katherine Chon highlighted by Woman's Day as a Woman Who is Changing the World!

Katherine Chon ws recently featured on the Woman's Day website as one of the "Women who are changing the world". Katherine was one of just 50 women chosen for this prestigious honor.

Polaris Project

Jan. 27, 2010

See also:

Changing the World By Wiping Out Human Trafficking

Katherine Chon, co-founder of Polaris Project, is honored on the Women'sDay magazine list of women who are changing the world

Although slavery is widely considered a thing of the past, its prominence is still shocking—it’s currently the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry worldwide. Devoted to eradicating modern-day slavery and human trafficking, Katherine Chon founded the Polaris Project while a senior at Brown University in 2002. In addition to operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, the project provides shelter and services for survivors, trains law enforcement and other aides, and advocates for better laws to end modern slavery.

Women's Day

Dec. 11, 2010

See also:

Activist Calls For Stand-Alone Ohio Law Against Human Trafficking

The head of a major international group fighting human trafficking says Ohio stands at a "tipping point" in recognizing the problem and tightening laws and enforcement to deal with it.

Mark Lagon, head of the Polaris Project, a former U.S. ambassador and human rights expert under Secretary of State Colin Powell, said at a human trafficking conference today at the Statehouse that federal and Ohio law enforcement officials are making a "high-level commitment" to attack the problem.

Federal officials estimate that up to 17,500 women and girls are trafficked for sex [into] the U.S. each year. Another 300,000, many of them girls as young as 11, are considered vulnerable.

Lagon recommended that Ohio law be changed to make human trafficking a standalone crime, not simply an add-on to other charges as it is now. He said the law should have a broader definition of trafficking that includes forced labor in addition to coerced sexual activity.

In addition, Ohio and other states need to provide more assistance to trafficking victims, particularly juveniles.

"We don't have a place to put these prostituted teens when we find them," Lagon said. Too often, they are viewed as criminal to be locked rather than victims to be helped, he said.

Alan Johnson

The Columbus Dispatch

Jan. 11, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

California, USA

Andy Pimental

Salinas Officer Injured in Arrest

A Salinas Police officer was injured Friday in attempting to take an assault suspect into custody.

According to police, the officer was hurt while taking down Andy Pimental, who was suspected of threatening [to attack] a pregnant woman near the intersection of Williams and Grandhaven; the woman told police she did not know Pimental and that he had forced her to seek safety inside a car.

Police say Pimental took a swing at an officer arriving on the scene; a second officer helped to control the more than 300 lb. Pimental, but Pimental fell on the officer's knee.

The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment; Pimental was arrested for assault and battery charges.

[The linked article includes a video report.]

KCBA

Jan 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Arnoldo Arenas

Waco Authorities Bring Back Alleged Child Abuser From Mexico

Waco - A man has been brought back to McLennan County by the U.S. Marshals Office after he fled to Mexico three years ago amidst a sexual abuse of a child investigation.

Forty-eight-year-old Arnoldo Arenas was returned to Waco Friday afternoon and charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and is now held on one million dollars bond.

Authorities say Arenas fled in 2007 after police began investigating a situation in which he allegedly fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl back in 2000.

It took law enforcement three years to get Arenas back to the U.S. because he is an American citizen, but also a Mexican citizen. This situation was the first of its kind in McLennan County.

"I have been a part of the force for 13 years and I have never been a part of anything like this," said Kim Clark, a detective for Crimes Against Children.

It's not unusual for authorities to extradite a U.S. citizen from another country, but it is rare for someone to be extradited with dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Mexico.

"Because he has citizenship in Mexico, we can't just go to Mexico and bring him back as a U.S. citizen. The Mexican government has to approve the case before they send him back," Detective Clark added.

It's a process that took years of meticulous paper work and thousands of dollars.

KXXV

Jan 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Rudy Gonzales

Man Arrested In School Sex Assault

San Antonio - Extra staff were patrolling the halls of Jefferson High School Friday, after two students were arrested and charged with sexually assaulting another student.

Rudy Gonzalez, 18, is charged with aggravated sexual assault.

The other teen is being charged as a juvenile.

Police said they assaulted a female student in an emergency exit stairwell on Wednesday while classes were in session.

A representative for the San Antonio Independent School District said alarms will be installed on interior doors that will go off if anyone tries using the stairwell.

KSAT

Jan 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Haiti

Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Elizabeth Press from Democracy Now are in Haiti reporting on the devastating earthquake.

Haití: Entre el Olor a Muerte y la Silenciosa Desesperación

Haiti: Between the Odor of Death and Silent Desperation

Puerto Príncipe, Haití 26 ene 10 . – Tè tremblé significa “terremoto” en creole, la lengua criolla de Haití. La traducción literal es: “La tierra tembló”. Tras el terremoto de enormes dimensiones que devastó Haití, el hedor a muerte está en todos lados. En el Hospital General, los cuerpos apilados cerca de la morgue forman una montaña de más de un metro de altura...

Recordando A La Feminista Myriam Merlet

En nuestro recorrido por la ciudad, fuimos a la casa de Myriam Merlet, la jefa de gabinete del Ministerio haitiano de la Mujer y una destacada feminista que ayudó a llamar la atención internacional sobre el uso de la violación como arma política y trabajó con la dramaturga y activista Eve Ensler en el movimiento Día-V para ayudar a poner fin a la violencia contra la mujer.

Hallamos su casa, y de hecho a todas las casas que la rodeaban, destruida. “Acabamos de retirar su cuerpo”, nos dijeron los familiares de Myriam el domingo, cinco días después del terremoto. No se sabe cuándo murió, ni si podría haber sido rescatada. Su hermana Eartha nos llevó a visitar su tumba.

Eve Ensler describe a Myriam Merlet: “Myriam era una luz. Era la fuerza de Haití. Fue una de las más grandes feministas. Era una feminista radical. Bromeábamos a menudo acerca del hecho de que era loco que ella y Marie-Laurence, que es la Ministra de la Mujer, estuvieran de hecho en el poder, que tuviéramos feministas radicales en el poder. Fue una mujer que dejó Haití en la década del 70 y luego regresó para luchar y defender y llevar el cambio social y el progreso y la lucha por las libertades y la igualdad racial y por la libertad e igualdad de género”...

Amy Goodman

Democracy Now/ CIMAC

Jan. 26, 2010

See also:

“Haiti is Shaken to the Core”:

Amy Goodman Reports from Port-au-Prince

“Haiti is devastated as if a bomb, many bombs, exploded throughout Port-au-Prince and beyond, where help has not arrived at all,” reports Amy Goodman on her travels outside of Port-au-Prince to the epicenter of the earthquake. “The smell of death hangs in the air.”

...I have to say, one of our—one of the very sad moments was when we first came in. I had gotten a call from Eve Ensler, our guest who’s in the studio with you, and I—and it’s painful for me to even say this in her hearing because of this tremendous loss. She called me—I think we talked at 2:00 in the morning—before we came in on Sunday, and said, “Please, try to find my friend. Try to find Myriam Merlet,” who was more than a friend to Eve Ensler, but to so many women in this devastated community. And she gave us an area, not even an address, because she didn’t know it. But we went to that area in Paco. It is not a poor area like Cité Soleil, but it is down. It is on a hill. And it is an entire community under rubble. And we made it to her house as the sun was setting.

And there was a group of people who were sitting across the street crying. And we said, “Myriam Merlet, do you know which is her house?” And they pointed, and they said, “We’ve just pulled her body up, and we have brought it down the street.” I looked around and asked if there was family. They said, yes, her sister Eartha, Eartha Merlet, and she was sitting in the middle of the group weeping. And we asked her if she could bring us to the makeshift grave site. It was just down through the rubble. They had dug a deep, deep hole and covered the casket a bit. And Eartha talked about her beloved sister...

Amy Goodman

Democracy Now/ CIMAC

Jan. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Texas, USA

West Texas Could be Corridor for Human Trafficking

You’ve seen it portrayed in movies and on television, but it’s a very real epidemic.

Millions of people each year are forced into modern-day slavery or prostitution.

Now law enforcement officials say the problem maybe closer than we think.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Houston and El Paso are two of the most intense trafficking areas in the country.

ICE officials says offenders bring their victims right here through west Texas.

Texas attorney Greg Abbott called a human trafficking prevention task force meeting last Tuesday to better identify victims.

"Texas comprises the largest portion of that,” Jerry Garnett with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “So there's going to be a large volume coming through the state of Texas." ...

Debt bondage can easily turn "smuggling" into "trafficking"

Debt bondage would be cases were the aliens were smuggled into the U.S. and they're forced into working in order to payoff their smuggling fees.

In most cases the victim never pays off their smuggling fees.

“For females its prostitution or massage parlors,” Garnett said, “Children it's a little bit different but children could also be traffic for the sex trade.”

Garnett says is a way to lure people in who are just looking for a way to live in America

“They try to tell the people, we'll bring you into the United States, well find you a job, we'll do all this for you and rope the people into it.” Garner said.

Jennifer Samp

CBS 7 News

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Alabama, USA

Sketch of suspect

Man Sought for Trying to Lure School Girl

Chicago police today issued a community alert after a man tried to lure girl into a sport utility vehicle last week in the city's Brighton Park neighborhood.

The girl was walking in the vicinity of 2900 West 47th Street on Friday at 6:50 a.m. and en route to the bus stop at 47th Street and Francisco Avenue when the suspect drove up and said "Metete Adentro" ("Get In"), according to the alert. The girl responded "No" before the suspect attempted two more times as the girl waited for her bus to school.

The man is described in the alert as Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, heavily built, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, 240 to 270 pounds, with a light complexion, brown eyes and black wavy hair that has silver/gray specks.

The man was driving a white four-door Toyota SUV, police said.

Anyone with information should call Wentworth Area detectives at 312-747-8380 or Deering District police at 312-747-8227.

Jeff Finkelman

Chicago Breaking News

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Alabama, USA

Jorge Zuniga

Newton Man Charged with Raping 12-year-old

Newton man faces a possible life sentence in prison after Houston County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him on charges he raped a 12-year-old girl more than once over the last two months.

Court records show detectives arrested Jorge Luis Lopez Zuniga, 20, of Pine Acres Drive, late Friday and charged him with two felony counts of first-degree rape and first-degree sex abuse.

According to the Houston County Jail Web site, Zuniga was booked into the facility just before 7 p.m. Friday on the three felony charges. Court records show he’s being held without bond, which was set by Houston County Circuit Court Judge Brad Mendheim.

Court records also show Zuniga was charged with the rape of the Newton girl between Dec. 1, 2009, and Jan. 16, 2010, along with an additional similar offense on Jan. 16, 2010. A detective also charged Zuniga with forcible sex abuse of the same girl on Jan. 16, 2010.

Zuniga faces 10 to 99 years or life in prison for each of the first-degree rape charges, if he’s convicted of each of the class A felony crimes. He also faces one to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of the class C felony crime of first-degree sex abuse.

Matt Elofson

The Dothan Eagle

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Georgia, USA

Teen Escapes Rape Attempt

A would-be rapist fled Sunday night after he ripped off his victim's clothes and discovered he had attacked a man dressed as a woman, Athens-Clarke police said.

The suspect was riding a bicycle when he started stalking a 17-year-old walking along Bray Street near Fourth Street in East Athens about 6:30 p.m., police said.

The teen began to walk faster, but the man caught up to him, grabbed his arm and dragged him into some nearby woods.

The attacker started to take off the teen's clothes, tearing his shirt and yanking off his boots; he realized when he stripped off the teen's pants that the victim was male, too, police said.

The victim fought back, but his attacker kicked him repeatedly, police said.

The man ran when the victim's cell phone rang, but by then witnesses on Bray Street had called 911, police said.

The victim crawled from the woods and was sitting on the ground, crying in the rain, when police arrived.

The teenager only could describe his attacker as a fat Hispanic man who wore a gray hoodie and sweatpants, according to police.

The attacker will be charged with criminal attempted rape and false imprisonment if he's found, police said.

"It doesn't matter that (the victim) wasn't a female," Athens-Clarke Capt. Clarence Holeman said. "The suspect's intent was to commit rape."

Online Athens

Jan. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Haiti

Haitians receive water and food from U.S. Marines

Llega a Haití ayuda de feministas latinoamericanas

Busca beneficiar a sectores más vulnerables; niñez y mujeres

Aid from Latin American Feminists Arrives in Haiti

Activists seek to aid the most vulnerable: children and women

Costa Rica, - El 23 de enero llegaron por aire, mar y tierra a Puerto Príncipe, los primeros donativos del Campamento Internacional Feminista para las mujeres haitianas y fueron entregados por la delegada de las feministas latinoamericanas y del Caribe, Sergia Galván.

La feminista se reunió con las activistas feministas haitianas de diversas organizaciones, entre ellas SOPHA y ENFOFAM.

Entre la ayuda enviada de Santo Domingo a Haití se encuentran dos camiones llenos de comestibles, medicinas, lámparas, baterías, tanques de gas, tiendas de campaña, sacos de dormir, medicamentos y otras necesidades personales de aseo y salud, La ayuda será entregada directamente a las activistas que se están reorganizando en la capital para trabajar con las poblaciones más vulnerabilizadas: las mujeres y la niñez.

“Hemos podido llenar estos dos camiones debido a la solidaridad de tantas organizaciones aquí en República Dominicana y la respuesta solidaria de organizaciones y personas que han mandado ágilmente dinero a nuestra cuenta”, dijo Galván.

Mientras que las feministas Ana Irma Rivera Lassen, Aidita Cruz, Nirvana González y María Suarez (RIF) salieron hoy lunes de Puerto Rico, con algunas de las más de 20 tiendas de campaña recogidas una por una, producto de la solidaridad de personas y empresas en ese país donadas a Radio Internacional Feminista...

María Suárez Toro

RIF/CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 25, 2010

See also:

Updates From Haiti

Since our last update on the Haiti earthquake, we have heard back from one more of our advisors, Nikette Lormeus. A short note that made us so relieved at the Global Fund: “Dear friends, I can tell you that I am still alive. Thank God!”

With a death toll looming at over 200,000, we feel blessed to know that some of our Haitian sisters have survived this disaster, the worst earthquake to have hit the country in 200 years.

The Americas team was jumping with joy when they heard from Nikette by email yesterday morning. But we also know this is not true for a lot of women’s groups. We express our condolences for our sister activists who perished in the earthquake, as shared by the Astraea Fund.

Our sister organizations have been wonderful in highlighting the GFW’s Crisis Fund as a way to support women’s groups that will rebuild Haiti. From WomenThrive, to Ms Foundation’s generous gift of $10,000 to the Crisis Fund, we look forward to working with our Haitian sisters on the ground once direct relief organizations leave the shores.

Under the leadership of our grantee partner in the Dominican Republic, Colectiva Mujer y Salud, and the Feminist Radio Endeavor (FIRE), a “feminist camp” has been established on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The purpose of the camp is to create a physical space from where all these feminist and women’s organizations can coordinate efforts. FIRE is going to broadcast a radio program to share the stories of women, Colectiva Mujer y Salud will coordinate health services and the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the hands of women, and other organizations will coordinate activities from the camp. Our advisors in the region are offering their services and support: Yamilet Mejia from Nicaragua is helping with psychological support for the survivors and Patricia Guerrero from Colombia is helping with her expertise on preventing sexual violence...

Global Fund for Women

Jan. 20, 2010

See also:

Myriam Merlet, líder feminista haitiana / Haitian feminist leader (1953-2010)

Feminist International Solidarity Camp “Myriam Merlet” To Open On Haitian-Dominican Republic Border

Campamento De Solidaridad Feminista Con Haití "Miriam Marlet"

Feminist Radio Endeavor (FIRE)

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Agency, Group Seek Protection for Juárez Activists

A Mexican government agency and Amnesty International have urged authorities to protect other activists in Juárez after the recent murder of a woman activist.

The federal Mexican National Commission on Human Rights asked Chihuahua officials to provide safety for the activists, including Cipriana Jurado, a longtime labor advocate.

Jurado said federal officers detained her in 2008 while she was investigating the death of Saulo Becerra Reyes, who was among a group of men who were picked up by federal authorities on Oct. 21, 2008, on suspicion of ties to drug-trafficking.

Amnesty International said a death certificate states Becerra died from a brain hemorrhage a day following his detention. However, authorities never acknowledged Becerra's detention, and Becerra's body was not found until March 2009.

Mexican authorities freed Jurado after several nongovernmental groups came to her aid.

Amnesty International said Jurado also accompanied the late Josefina Reyes in marches and other protests involving alleged abuses by soldiers and federal agents, who were sent to Chihuahua state to battle the drug cartels.

Josefina Reyes, who was shot to death Jan. 3 in her Valle de Juárez community, was the mother of Miguel Angel Reyes Salazar, one of several suspects federal authorities detained last September with Rodolfo "Rikin" Escajeda, a man U.S. and Mexican investigators said was a dangerous drug dealer.

Mexican authorities presented Escajeda and Reyes Salazar at a press conference in Mexico City, but Reyes' mother claimed she had no contact with her son and therefore could not verify he was still alive. Julio Cesar Reyes, another one of her sons, was killed in 2008 in Valle de Juárez.

Diana Washington Valdez

The El Paso Times

Jan. 12, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Mexico, Texas, USA

UT Law Students, Faculty Helped Get Slain Juárez Woman's Mom Asylum

El Paso - Faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin Law School played key roles in two unprecedented cases involving the notorious Juárez women's murders.

Their low-profile work contributed to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling against the Mexican government, and to a successful claim for U.S. political asylum for the family of one of the slain women.

Denise Gilman, a lawyer and professor, supervised law students at the university's Immigration Clinic. They worked on Benita Monarrez's petition for asylum, representing Monarrez and her family for free.

"Several law students worked on the complicated asylum claim, which began in October 2007 when Benita was detained in Austin," Gilman said. "Asylum claims in this country are still very stringent, and it's hard for people without legal representation to prevail.

"Benita passed the initial credible fear interview, and the U.S. immigration court in San Antonio approved her claim in the spring of 2009."

Monarrez said she received constant threats because she would not drop the investigation into the slaying of her daughter, Laura Berenice Ramos Monarrez. Ramos, 20, was among eight young women whose bodies were discovered in a Juárez cotton field in 2001.

Organizations such as Amnesty International, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and even members of the U.S. Congress had documented threats against the relatives of victims and activists in Juárez who sought justice.

Since 1993, more than 600 girls and women have been murdered in Juárez, including 145 so far this year. The number of women slain in Juárez is disproportionate compared to other cities in Mexico with similar populations.

Diana Washington Valdez

The El Paso Times

Dec. 22, 2009


Added: Jan. 25, 2010

Mexico

Amnesty International:

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, founder and president of the Organization of the Me’ phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) in Guerrero state in southern Mexico, has been the victim of numerous death threats and acts of intimidation since 1998.

The campaign of intimidation against her got so serious in recent years, Obtilia and her family were forced to flee their community out of fear. For example, in January 2009, a man who had been following her on several occasions shouted at her: "Do you think you’re so brave? Are you a real woman? Let’s hope you also go to prison… If you don’t go to prison, we'll kill you."

None of the threats or acts of intimidation against Obtilia has been investigated.

Amnesty: "Activists suffer imprisonment on fabricated charges to stop them from doing their work."

Photo: Javier Verdin / La Jornada

Indigenous women protest for the freedom of 5 prisoners of conscience from the Native community of Ayutla

Amnesty: "Defending human rights in Mexico is life-threatening."

Photo: Javier Verdin/ La Jornada

Recent Reports and Articles by Amnesty International on the Crisis of Impunity in Mexico

Human Rights Activists in Mexico Under Attack

Activists suffer imprisonment on fabricated charges to stop them from doing their work

The Mexican authorities are failing in their duty to protect human rights activists from killings and life-threatening harassment and attacks, Amnesty International warned on Thursday in a new report.

The report Standing up for justice and dignity: Human Rights defenders in Mexico describes more than 15 cases of defenders who have suffered killings, attacks, harassment, threats and imprisonment on fabricated charges between 2007 and 2009 to prevent them from doing their work.

"Defending human rights in Mexico is life-threatening and the government is not doing enough to tackle the problem," said Nancy Tapias-Torrado, researcher on human rights defenders at Amnesty International. "When one human rights defender is attacked, threatened or killed, it sends a dangerous message to many others and denies hope to all those on whose behalf the defender is working".

Amnesty International said it believes there are dozens of such cases, very few of which are effectively investigated and even fewer brought to justice. In none of the cases included in the report has a full investigation been carried out and in only two of them suspects are in detention.

Human rights defenders take action to protect and promote human rights. States have a responsibility to protect these people and ensure they can carry out their work.

Activists working to protect the rights of communities living in poverty, those who defend the rights of Indigenous peoples or work to protect the environment are at particular risk of attack. Their work is seen as interfering with powerful political or economic interests. Too often they are treated as trouble-makers not as human rights defenders working for a better society where respect for human rights can be a reality...

"The Mexican government must urgently develop an effective and comprehensive programme of protection for human rights defenders," said Nancy Tapias-Torrado.

Amensty International

21 Jan. 21, 2010

See also:

Task Force Convenes to Take on Human Trafficking

Attorney General Greg Abbott summoned the first meeting of the newly formed Human Trafficking Prevention Task force Thursday.

The task force was created by the 81st Texas Legislature. It was pioneered by [state] Senator Leticia Van de Putte and [state] Representative Randy Weber.

The goal of the task force is to ensure law enforcement officials have state-wide communication and cooperation.

"By working proactively to improve collaboration, task force members are better positioned to crack down on traffickers and provide desperately needed services to human trafficking victims," Abbott said.

The U.S. State Department estimates between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the U.S. from all over the world. Those statistics revealed that one in five of victims who were trafficked domestically are believed to have been in Texas.

"We can go to the very heart of the problem by expanding beyond a mere prostitution prosecution and go after an entire ring of people who are trafficking individuals, 80 percent of whom are women [and] 50 percent of whom are children, and forcing them into sex slavery or other kinds of servitude," Abbott said.

The U.S. Department of Justice labeled El Paso and Houston as the “most intense trafficking jurisdictions in the country.”

A human trafficking report from 2008 offered 21 recommendations to help reduce human trafficking and improve services to victims.

News 8 Austin Staff

Jan. 22, 2010

See also:

View the 93-page human trafficking report "Texas Response to Human Trafficking." (PDF File)

Office of the Attorney General of Texas

Nov., 2008

See also:

Texas, USA

Attorney General's Report Details Human Trafficking in Texas

Austin - Texas has become a major hub for human trafficking, state officials said Monday while proposing a more aggressive response to what a senior lawmaker described as "modern-day slavery."

Nearly 20 percent of human-trafficking victims found nationwide have been in Texas, according to a report released by Attorney General Greg Abbott. The 57-page report, mandated by the Legislature in 2007, also identifies Interstate 10 as a major route through Texas for human-trafficking rings.

Abbott released the report at a news conference with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who introduced legislation to combat the problem.

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

Nov. 18, 2008

See also:

Texas, USA

Senator Van de Putte Files the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act

San Antonio - Today, November 10, Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) filed Senate Bill 89, the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act.

According to the U.S. Department of State, human trafficking occurs in urban and rural settings alike, with more than 25% of all U.S. trafficking victims trafficked through Texas. After working with the Office of the Attorney General, law enforcement personnel, and various non-government organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking, Senator Van de Putte has authored SB 89.

Highlights of the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act are the creation of a state-wide human trafficking prevention taskforce, training for peace officers, as well as increased protections for underage victims of trafficking.

"Although we have made great strides in the last session of the legislature, there is much more to be done. Everyday thousands of defenseless children and vulnerable adults are trafficked through Texas and forced into labor or sex."

"We cannot afford to allow these atrocities to continue the vile practice of modern day slavery, stated Senator Van de Putte."

Office of Senator Leticia Van de Putte

Nov. 10, 2008


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Haiti

Veteran Mexican women's rights lawyer and CATW-LAC director Teresa Ulloa requests donations to assist the personal situation and work of CATW-LAC's representative for Haiti and other French-speaking nations in the Americas, Geylande MesGadieu

Estimadas Compañeras y Compañeros, Amigas y Amigos,

Geylande MesGadieu, nuestra Directora Nacional de la CATW-LAC en Haiti y Coordinadora de la Zona Francofona, está viva. Sin embargo está pasando por una situación muy desesperada, ya que perdió su casa, su vehículo, su ropa y su oficina. Se quedó sin nada, inclusive el día de hoy que pude hablar por teléfono con ella, me comentó que no tienen agua, ni alimentos.

Como en todas los casos de guerra o desastre, las mujeres, jóvenes, niñas y niños que se quedaron sólos, se vuelven muy vulnerables frente a los tratantes y explotadores. Ella tiene necesidad de resolver sus necesidades básicas para poder empezar a organizar y estructurar la ayuda y protección de las poblaciones más vulnerables.

Hemos abierto una cuenta exclusiva para recibir sus donativos para ella y para su trabajo. Ojalá nos puedan apoyar.

Recibimos aportaciones desde US$10.00 Dlls.

Chères Camarades,

Guylande Mesadieu, notre Directrice Nationale de la CATW-LAC en Haïti et Coordinatrice de la zone Francophone, est vivante, toutefois elle est entrain de passer par une situation très désespérée, puisqu’elle a perdue sa maison, son véhicule, ses habits et son bureau. Elle est restée sans rien, même le jour d’aujourd’hui j’ai pu parler avec elle par téléphone, elle m’a commentée qu’elle n’a pas d’eau, ni aliments.

Comme dans tous les cas de guerre u désastre, les femmes, jeunes, filles et garçons qui ont restés seuls, deviennent très vulnérables face aux traitants et exploiteurs. Elle a besoin de résoudre ses besoins basiques pour pouvoir commencer à organiser et structurer l’aide et protection des populations plus vulnérables.

Nous avons ouvert un compte exclusif pour recevoir ses donations pour elle et pour son travail.

J’espère que vous pourrez nous aider.

Nous recevons contributions depuis US$10.00 Dlls.

Dear Friends,

Geylande MesGadieu, our CATW-LAC National Director in Haiti, who is also our French coordinator for the French speaking Caribbean, is alive. However, she is going through a very desperate situation. She lost her home, her car, her clothes and her office. She has nothing at all. She lost everything. Even today, when I spoke with her on the telephone, she told me that they do not have water or food.

As in almost all cases of war and disaster, women, youth, and children who find themselves alone become more vulnerable to being co-opted by traffickers and exploiters. Geylande needs to solve her basic needs so that she can begin to  organize to help protect the most vulnerable persons in Haiti.

We have opened a bank account exclusively to receive donations for Geylande and her work. We would appreciate your help.

We are receiving donations starting at US$10.00 dollars.

Titular de la Cuenta / Titulaire de compte / Name of the Owner of the Account:

Coalición Regional Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe

Bank: BBVA Bancomer

No. de Cta. / No. De compte / Account Number: 0170826413

Moneda / Monnaie / Currency: US Dollars

Clabe Interbancario / Inter Banque Clé / Interbank Code: 012180001708264136

Succursale / Succursale / Branch: 5038 DF Obregón-Centenario.

ABA NUMBER (US Dollars Only): BCMRMXMMPYM

Intermediary Bank Name: J. P. Morgan Chase Bank

Location: New York, N.Y., USA

Bank Routing/Fed. Routing/ABA:

021-000-021

SWIFT BIC: CHASUS33

If possible, please send a scanned or electronic copy of the transaction to: finanzas@catwlac.org

Por su solidaridad y apoyo de siempre, Muchas gracias.

Par sa solidarité et appui de toujours, Merci beaucoup.

For your solidarity and support, Thank you very much.

Sororalmente / Amicalement / In Sisterhood,

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziaurriz,

Directora Regional de la Coaliación contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, A.C.

Regional Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean

(CATW-LAC)

email: tulloaz@hotmail.com


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti, Mexico

[News Briefs]

More than 50 Mexicans are reported missing from Haiti’s January 12 earthquake; a Mexican woman’s body was recovered.

Last week, a Mexican rescue team freed a Haitian woman trapped in the home of Port-au-Prince’s Catholic archbishop, who was killed in the quake.

The San Diego Tribune

Jan. 24, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Human Trafficking, Money Laundering

The ringleader remains hospitalized, but other defendants in a case that involved human trafficking and money laundering were sentenced by a federal judge in Austin last week.

Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, 34, the primary defendant, won’t appear in court until after she is released from the hospital, but Mike Lemoine, public information officer with the IRS criminal investigations division, said she is expected to receive a 20-year sentence.

There were a total of 19 defendants in the case and three are still fugitives.

Charges ranged from conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens, hostage taking and forced labor to money laundering and weapons offenses. Defendants sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel were: Luz Maria Garcia-Garza, 21 months; Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega, 71 months; Alejandro Guzman-Ortega, 37 months; Argeo Salgado-Ortega, 150 months; Saul Romero-Salgado, 144 months and Fulgencio Loredo-Rubio, 63 months.

The raid resulted from concerned calls to law enforcement by the families of some of the people being held. SMPD Chief Howard Williams said the smugglers had contacted the family members, threatening to kill their loved ones if they didn’t pay up.

Trevino-Alvarez, Garcia-Garza, Alejandro Guzman-Ortega and Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega were arrested July 16, 2008, when law officers from eight jurisdictions swarmed a San Marcos mobile home at the Regency Mobile Home Park off Post Road.

Officers rescued 26 people from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua who were in this country illegally. Police said the trailer had no air conditioning, and described it as sweltering...

Eight women, including one pregnant, and 18 men were rescued. Nine of them had to be treated at Central Texas Medical Center for dehydration and open wounds...

The operation charged $2,000 to $4,000 to bring the people into the country, keeping them briefly in Reynosa [Mexico] and then having them walk for two nights “through the brush” before they were picked up and brought to San Marcos.

Once at the mobile home, they were “required to remove their shoes and outer garments,” and told to make cell phone calls to friends and family for an additional $2,000.

Other defendants, and their depositions, were: Juanita Leija-Trevino, five years probation; Sandra Leija, 24 months imprisonment; Marisavette Esteves-Leija, five years probation; Wendy Nadine Adame, five years probation; Letecia Ann Miranda, five years probation; Leslie Denise Vargas, three years probation; Randy Rene Contreras, three years probation; and Concepcion Loredo-Leija, five years probation.

Still at large are Luis Loredo-Rubio, Mariam Salgado-Ortega and Mario Alberto Salgado...

Anita Miller

San Marcos Daily Record

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Mexicans In U.S. Fear Violent Mexico

Redwood City, California - Poverty and joblessness aren’t the only factors keeping Mexican immigrants in the United States from returning to their home country. Now they have another reason -- panic over the high levels of violence, a result of the so-called “war on drugs” launched by President Felipe Calderón.

Of the more than 16,205 murders committed in Mexico during the Calderón administration, the majority has occurred in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Baja California, Durango, Michoacán and Guerrero. The most violent year in the last decade was 2009, with 7,724 murders, in addition to a spike in kidnappings (mostly committed by drug traffickers), reaching 111 per month...

…As noted in an editorial in the Mexican daily La Jornada last week, civilians—including women and children—are often caught in the line of fire…

Journalists, too, are afraid to return home. "In recent years, journalists have been forced to leave their country to save their lives,” Sanjuana Martinez writes on her blog. “Some have decided to seek asylum in the United States and Canada on grounds of persecution."

"What's happening [in Mexico] is very serious," says Mexican journalist Francisco Barradas. Barradas, who lives in San Francisco, says he is shocked and saddened, especially by the murders and disappearances of journalists. In the last decade, 65 journalists were killed in Mexico, making it the most dangerous country for journalists in all of Latin America. None of the journalists’ cases has been solved.

"Dozens of attacks and 14 murders have taken place in the last year [2009]. When journalists denounce the complicity of authorities, police, or political leaders in organized crime, sparks fly. And the warnings may come in the form of threats by phone or email; being followed; verbal or physical attacks; robberies; attacks on their homes or cars, or other crimes," says Martinez.

On Dec. 8, 2009 Amnesty International (AI) held worldwide protests against the human rights violations and abuses by the Mexican Army. In a report, the human rights organization warns that in the last two years, violations of individual rights, such as forced disappear-ances and torture, have reached “scandalous levels.

"Although we live far away, as long as the violence continues to grow in Mexico, as long as we hear about shootings and murders every day, and many of these victims are innocent people who had nothing to do with drug trafficking, we won’t stop feeling sad and living under stress here in the United States," says Carvajal.

Manuel Ortiz

New American Media

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti

Sin confirmar, número de menores de edad desaparecidos en Haití

Reitera Unicef alerta por posible activación de redes de trata

México DF, - El Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), asegura que “no puede confirmar cuántos menores de edad están desaparecidos” en Haití, y reiteró su preocupación por la posible activación de las redes de trata, vinculadas al mercado ilegal de adopción, que operan en República Dominicana.

En un comunicado, Unicef alertó sobre el riesgo de la actual situación en Haití, luego de las declaraciones del consejero regional de Unicef en Ginebra, Jean Luc Legrand, que hablan de un supuesto secuestro de 15 menores de edad en hospitales de Puerto Príncipe.

Luc Legrand explicó que el problema de las redes, ya existía en Haití. “Esas redes se activan apenas ocurre una catástrofe y aprovechan para secuestrar a niñas y niños para sacarlos del país”, declaró el consejero...

Narce Santibañez Alejandre

CIMAC

Jan. 22, 2010

See also (English equivalent):

UNICEF Warns of Missing Children in Haiti

In a disturbing development, a number of children have gone missing from Haitian hospitals, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

"UNICEF is aware of reports of children removed from the country without due process or proper documents," UNICEF spokesperson Christopher de Bono told reporters. "The Haitian government has been informed of these reports and is investigating. It has also increased its presence and vigilance at exit points to prevent children being taken illegally."

Incidents of child trafficking are often reported after emergencies, said de Bono, who added that Illegal adoption, smuggling and abduction can take place as well.

Adviser of childhood protection of UNICEF, Jean Claude Legrand, said in Geneva that since Jan. 12, 15 children have disappeared from the hospitals of Port au Prince, Haiti's capital.

However, de Bono said any specific numbers about children illegally removed from Haiti are only speculative.

"We don't believe speculation about numbers helps alleviate or improve the situation of children," he said. "We are simply not in a position to confirm numbers."

Twenty-nine organizations, including UNICEF, have taken a number of steps to clamp down on child abductions. Hospitals have been visited to ensure that hospital staff are aware of the need to check the credentials of anyone who removes a child.

Also, when unaccompanied children are found they are sent to a center created to deal with such cases. Messages are being broadcast on local radio stations advising Haitians about the protection of children and the reunification of families, added de Bono.

"UNICEF remains very concerned about the situation of children in Haiti, and particularly of children who have become separated from their parents or caregivers," he said. "What Haitian children need right now is urgent assistance where they are -- in Haiti."

Xinhua

Jan. 23, 2010

See also:

Children Missing From Haiti Hospitals: UNICEF

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

New York, USA

Crime victim Jessica Ybe

Horror Show in Brooklyn...

A Brooklyn man went on a rampage, murdering his girlfriend and her two young daughters in a stabbing frenzy that left blood dripping into the apartment below, cops and neighbors said yesterday.

When police arrived at the East Flatbush home, they found a horror show - the corpse of a 22-year-old woman wrapped in plastic bags and the bodies of two girls, ages 2 and 5, rolled in a carpet.

Jermaine Ruiz, 24, was preparing to hide the bodies in a Dumpster when cops arrived.

He confessed to killing all three, cops said, and charges were pending...

The crime was uncovered after Ruiz called his father in the Bronx and told him what he had done, cops said.

The father alerted police, and two detectives went to the Rogers Ave. apartment building.

When the suspect opened the door, cops saw the body of his girlfriend, Jessica Ybe, partially covered with plastic bags. Inside, cops spotted the rolled-up carpet with plastic bags covering both ends.

When they opened it up, the two little girls were inside. Ybe and Ruiz had 7-month-old twins together who were with Ruiz's mom in the Bronx during the killings, cops and family said.

The twins were safe with Ruiz's mom last night. So much blood was spilled in the stabbings that the woman living directly below Ruiz reported some blood dripped into her kitchen through the ceiling.

"She was completely hysterical," a neighbor said of the downstairs tenant.

Cops believe the bloodbath happened late Wednesday after a fight erupted between Ruiz and Ybe.

"It was physical, beginning on the street, continuing into the apartment," Browne said. A neighbor who saw the fight said Ruiz "looked crazy."

The New York Daily News

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Arizona, USA / Mexico

Excerpts from the U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter

Jan. 19, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for felony rape/victim drugged - and was a registered sex offender in the State of California.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. During processing... ...He had a prior conviction for felony child kidnapping and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for a sexual offense on a child in the State of Wisconsin and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 16, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for intercourse without consent of a female in the State of New York, and that he had been previously required to depart from the United States by an immigration judge.

Jan. 13, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 12, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the State of Illinois, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 10, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Centro, California. ...The subject had a prior conviction for assault to commit mayhem/rape in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the State of California, and had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 08, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 07, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sonoita, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault in the State of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lukeville, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape by force or fear, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for sexual intercourse with a minor in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape in the State of South Dakota, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 05, 2010: Agents arrested a USC and seized 210 pounds of marijuana near Tucson, Arizona. Agents encountered the subject as one of a group of backpackers attempting to circumvent the checkpoint. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a conviction for a sex offense against a child. He was also the subject of an active arrest warrant issued in the State of Arizona for a parole violation.

Jan. 04, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had prior convictions for rape by force or fear, and marijuana possession in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 03, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

Jan. 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Margarito Andres

Accused Child Rapist On The Run

Margarito Andres is wanted for two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12

In November 2009, a 13-year-old girl came to Boynton Beach, Fla., police with a shocking story of sexual abuse.

Cops say the child bravely confessed that she'd been repeatedly raped for more than two years by an older man, and that the man had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

She went on to tell police that she'd also seen him abuse her 11-year-old sister.

Cops say the girl identified the man as Margarito Andres, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

Andres fled as soon as he heard he was wanted for questioning, no one has seen or heard from him since.

If you've seen Margarito Andres or know anything about his whereabouts, call our Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

America's Most Wanted

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Illinois, USA

Alejandro Flores

Priest Who Tried to Kill Himself Could be Deported

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

Flores, 37, was charged Wednesday after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores was charged after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below...

The Chicago Sun Times

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Juan Cahuich-Santiago

[Man] Charged with Raping his Girlfriend’s Grandmother

Last week, sheriff’s deputies in Marion County, FL, arrested Juan Cahuich-Santiago, 25, and charged him with sexual battery on a special condition victim. The illegal alien was living in the home with the elderly woman, and the alleged rape occurred while his girlfriend was out shopping.

When the family returned from the grocery store, they found the 76-year-old woman lying in an odd position, and her clothing disheveled. The victim, who cannot speak, was unable to stand and covered in bruises.

According to the arrest report, the woman had a bump on her forehead, bruises on her legs, and her pony tail had been pulled out.

A used condom was found in the trash.

Her injuries were so severe, that the grandmother required surgery after the attack.

Initially, Santiago-Cahuich denied raping the woman. However, under questioning, he admitted to the attack.

He told detectives that he had been watching an x-rated movie, before forcing himself on her. After finishing with her, the Mexican national placed her back in the recliner and fell asleep.

The arrest affidavit also indicates that Santiago-Cahuich knew that the woman has dementia and was incapable of refusing his advances.

Santiago-Cahuich is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $75,000 bond.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Pennsylvania / Iowa, USA

Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte

Man Wanted in Northeastern Pennsylvania Rape Caught in Iowa

A man wanted in a violent rape in northeastern Pennsylvania has been captured in Iowa.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 27-year-old Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte in Cedar Rapids on Thursday.

U.S. Marshal Michael Regan says Perez-Duarte is accused of raping a Meshoppen woman on Dec. 27.

The victim was beaten, raped, thrown down a set of stairs and pulled back up the stairs by her hair. She suffered a broken leg, bloody mouth and black eye in the attack.

Perez-Duarte, a native of Guatemala, awaits extradition to Pennsylvania to face charges.

The Associated Press

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Mississippi, USA

Mexican Predator Arrested by ICE

Horn Lake - A Mexican national convicted of fondling a minor was arrested Jan. 20 at the Desoto County Sheriff's Office by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Juan Vera-Serna, 34, was identified by DRO officers on May 7, 2009, during screening at the Horn Lake Police Department following his arrest for simple assault, simple assault with intent and felony child fondling. During an interview, he provided an alias name to officers; however, fingerprint checks revealed his true identity and the fact that he had been previously removed from the United States in 1994.

Since Vera-Serna had previously been removed from the United States, his case was presented to the U. S. Attorney's Office in Northern Mississippi for criminal prosecution as an illegal reentry.

"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal in New Orleans. "Criminals in Mississippi should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.

U.S. ICE

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 21, 2010

Haiti

A girl sits beside her injured mother in a tent in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Picture taken on January 18, 2010, nearly a week after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean nation.

Photo: Reuters / United nations / Logan Abassi

Haitian girls face increased vulnerability after quake

Girls have long been vulnerable to violence and neglect in Haiti, a nation with high rates of rape and HIV/AIDS and a tradition of sending poor rural girls to cities to work as domestic servants.

But last week's devastating earthquake has dramatically increased their risks, human rights and child protection experts say.

Sources of protection - families, police, churches, schools - have in many cases disappeared as a result of the disaster, and a general lack of security and order leaves the girls increasingly exposed.

"During a humanitarian crisis like this, vulnerability increases just because everything has been uprooted," said Gerard Ducoc, a Haiti researcher with Amnesty International.

"Communities, people who care for children, relatives and friends are no longer there. The social network is no longer there. The authorities are absent. The local public institutions are not operational. You don't have any defense mechanism except your instinct for survival," Ducoc said.

Aid workers in Haiti say that, contrary to reports of widespread violence and looting, many survivors have responded to the disaster by doing their utmost to protect and assist neighbors, including many orphaned and vulnerable children.

"The overall response in Port-au-Prince has been one of tremendous dignity and solidarity among people," said Yifat Susskind, a spokeswoman for MADRE, an international women's human rights group based in New York, which with partner organizations has sent teams of Creole-speaking medical workers to Haiti.

"Harrowing Situation"

But girls face some unique problems in the aftermath of such a natural disaster, aid workers said.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti had an estimated 300,000 abandoned or orphaned children, and a serious problem with child trafficking, Ducoc said. More than 100,000 girls aged 6 to 17 were working as domestic servants, in situations that often left them vulnerable to violence or neglect, according to UNICEF...

In the aftermath of the disaster, such children and tens of thousands of new orphans may be at risk of traffickers or unscrupulous adoption agencies "dipping into a vulnerable pool", said Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF's child protection division.

UNICEF is working to quickly set up a registration system for unaccompanied children and a hotline to report children alone, as well as safe shelters. The aim of such efforts, which worked effectively in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and Pakistan's earthquake, Bissell said, is to try to reunite as many children with surviving family members as possible.

 Laurie Goering

Reuters AlertNet

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

General Russel Honoré

General Honoré, we agree with your views 100%!

Thank you for speaking-up!

LibertadLatina

General Honoré: Evacuate Most Vulnerable Haitians

Says our culture is afraid of poor people in large groups so we focus on security

Honoré says supplies can't meet demand; U.N. should start an evacuation plan for Haiti

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was highly praised for his leadership of recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, so he's well-versed in what works and what doesn't in disaster management.

The general told CNN last week that the U.S. military should have responded sooner to the earthquake in Haiti because "time is of the essence" in helping quake survivors.

CNN's Nicole Dow talked to Gen. Honoré Wednesday about his assessment of the situation in Haiti since he made those remarks...

CNN: You led the Joint Task Force for Hurricane Katrina. Can you draw some parallels between Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti?

Honoré: In my book, "Survival," there's a chapter that talks about dealing with the poor. I think sometimes we talk security, because as a culture, we are afraid of poor people in large groups. In Haiti, right after the earthquake, there were doctors who left. One said, "We don't have any security so we left."

That, in and of itself, is indicative of my Katrina experience. People start talking security.

And the slower we go, the more there's the possibility of that happening. We have to work on establishing the community government officials in Haiti so they can start communicating with their people.

We have to get food and water there to local government officials to distribute it. The local government officials should be authorized to hire young men. The local economy will crank up if we pay people in Haiti to do the cleanup and to run the distribution centers...

CNN: What are the top five points to keep in mind in the aftermath of natural disaster?

Honoré: 1) Improve communications. 2) Get food and water in. 3) Take care of the health and needs of people. 4) Evacuate people, particularly those who are pregnant, disabled, injured, babies, those who cannot take care of themselves. 5) Establish who's in charge. The president of Haiti [Rene Preval] is in charge.

It's different when the president and his government are victims. They are going to need help. Someone needs to be the face of the operation to help the president keep people alive.

You must have communication to establish a way of giving information to the people in their communities.

You have to be your own first responder in a disaster like Haiti, and the Haitian people did that. These situations have a tendency to get worse before getting better unless you start evacuating vulnerable people.

Also, you have to take a risk [about security] during the search-and-rescue phase. In that phase of the operation, search-and-rescue takes priority over security.

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti, Spain

ESPAÑA: La seguridad y salud de los niños haitianos tras sismo preocupan a las ONG

La ONG Save the Children expresó hoy su preocupación por la seguridad y la salud de los niños de Haití, donde ha comenzado a establecer espacios seguros para los más pequeños en los refugios y campamentos instalados tras el seísmo.

www.adn.es

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

Save the Children Responds to Strong New Aftershock in Haiti, Establishes Safe Spaces for Children

Save the Children

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

HAITI: Los niños haitianos, abandonados a su suerte

Ya hay constancia de algunos abusos contra los menores errantes

 www.elmundo.es/

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

UNICEF fears child trafficking, opposes foreign Haiti adoption

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

worldbulletin.net

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

UNICEF: La adopción de niños debe ser la última opción posible.

"Nuestra política es tratar a toda costa de encontrar familiares del niño, y lograr la reunificación familiar. La adopción la vemos como la última opción, cuando todas las demás hayan fracasado", dijo la portavoz de Unicef, Veronique Taveau.

www.abc.es/

Jan. 19, 2010

See also (English version):

Foreign adoption of Haitian children "last resort" - United Nations

Geneva - Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

If parents are dead or unaccounted for, efforts should be made to reunite a child with his or her extended family, including grandparents, she said. A child should "remain to the extent possible in its country of birth".

"The last resort is inter-country adoption," Taveau said.

Before the quake, 48 percent of Haiti's population was under 18 years old, according to the agency.

UNICEF also said it had reports of violence against Haitian children since the quake, but gave no details.

"In this type of emergency, children are unfortunately the most vulnerable, especially those who have been abandoned," UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau told a news briefing. "We fear cases of child trafficking could occur."

Reuters

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

Myriam Merlet was one of three leading activists in the Haitian women's movement who died, a victim of the earthquake.

Women's Movement Mourns Death of 3 Haitian Leaders

...Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of the country's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, are confirmed dead -- victims of last week's 7.0 earthquake...

"Words are missing for me. I lost a large chunk of my personal, political and social life," Carolle Charles wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. The Haitian-born sociology professor at Baruch College in New York is chair of Dwa Fanm (meaning "Women's Rights" in Creole), a Brooklyn-based advocacy group. These women "were my friends, my colleagues and my associates. I cannot envision going to Haiti without seeing them."

Myriam Merlet was until recently the chief of staff of Haiti's Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women, established in 1995, and still served as a top adviser...

She was a founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their names. Among her efforts, she set out to get streets named after Haitian women who came before her...

Magalie Marcelin, a lawyer and actress who appeared in films and on stage, established Kay Fanm, a women's rights organization that deals with domestic violence, offers services and shelter to women and makes microcredits, or loans, available to women working in markets...

With Merlet, Anne Marie Coriolan, 53, served as a top adviser to the women's rights ministry.

Coriolan... was the founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), which Charles described as an advocacy and services organization. ..

Coriolan was a political organizer who helped bring rape -- "an instrument of terror and war," Charles said -- to the forefront of Haitian courts.

Before 2005, rapes in Haiti were treated as nothing more than "crimes of passion," Charles explained. That changed because of the collective efforts of these women activists -- and others they inspired.

With the three leaders gone, there is concern about the future of Haiti's women and girls. Even with all that's been achieved, the struggle for equality and against violence remains enormous...

Before the disaster struck last week, a survey of Haitian women and girls showed an estimated 72 percent had been raped, according to study done by Kay Fanm. And at least 40 percent of the women surveyed were victims of domestic violence, [Taina] Bien-Aimé, [the executive director of Equality Now], said...

"From where we stand," Bien-Aimé wrote in an e-mail, "the most critical and urgent issue is what, if any, contingencies the relief/humanitarian agencies are putting in place not only to ensure that women have easy access to food, water and medical care, but to guarantee their protection."

Concerned women in the New York area plan to gather Wednesday to strategize their next steps...

Jessica Ravitz

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Clausuran hotel del DF tras rescate de menores en explotación sexual

Elementos de la Policía Judicial clausuraron las instalaciones del Hotel Palacio, ubicadas en la colonia Algarín, después de un cateo realizado la pasada semana, en el cual fueron rescatadas varias menores en condiciones de explotación sexual.

Police close Mexico City hotel after rescuing sexually exploited children

Elements of the Judicial Police have closed the facilities of the Hotel Palace, located in Mexico City's Algarín neighborhood, after a raid last week in which a number of children were rescued from prostitution.

CaribbeanNewsDigital.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonan sus estudios por la crisis económica

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonaron en 2009 sus estudios de primaria y secundaria por la crisis económica que ha afectado con fuerza a México y, en especial, a las clases sociales más bajas, según los datos divulgados por el Instituto Nacional de Educación para Adultos (INEA).

Some 700,000 children and adolescents have abandoned school as a result of the economic crisis in Mexico

During 2009 an estimated 700,000 children and adolescents abandoned their primary and secondary school studies due to the economic crisis that has severely impacted Mexico and, in especially people in the lower social classes, according to data released by the National institute for Adult Education

(INEA).

EuropaPress.es

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Paraguay

Principal fin de trata de personas es la explotación sexual

La Dirección de Trata de Personas de la Secretaría de la Mujer de la Presidencia de la República, que integra la Mesa Interinstitucional de Prevención y Combate a la Trata de Personas, coordinada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y conformada por alrededor de cuarenta instituciones del sector público y privado, emitió un informe donde desnuda la situación de las mujeres víctimas de trata. Según la Lic. Luz Gamelia Ibarra, Directora de dicha área, el 95% de las víctimas fueron explotadas sexualmente, y el 6% laboralmente.

The main objective of human trafficking is sexual exploitation

The Human Trafficking Directorate of the Secretary of Women of the President of the Republic, who are the organizers of the  Inter-institutional Roundtable for the Prevention of and Combat Against Human Trafficking has released a report showing that 95% of human trafficking victims were sexually exploited. Some 6% of victims engaged in other forms of forced labor.

Source: The Secretary of Women of the Republic

jakueke.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Officials from WMCA International receive the 2009 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for their work in restoring victims of human trafficking.

Among other rescue efforts, WMCA International aided 99 female sex trafficking victims rescued from the Maximino Mondragon prostitution ring in Houston.

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar, the FBI's most wanted human trafficking fugitive, is wanted for trafficking large numbers of women and underage girls into prostitution in Houston.

2004-2005 photo

FBI Searching for Human Trafficking Suspect

Houston - The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a human trafficking suspect known as 'El Gallo.'

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar is the alleged leader of a group that smuggled young men and young women into Houston and Mexico. He has been identified as "the most wanted human trafficking fugitive" in a statement from the FBI in Houston.

Five other people have already pleaded guilty and served jail sentences for taking part in the trafficking operation.

In a news conference on Tuesday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers announced the reward increase from $5,000 to $15,000 for Salazar's capture and also presented an award to Constance Rossiter, YMCA International Trafficked Person's Assistance Program Director, to honor the organization's efforts in helping victims of human smuggling.

President Barack Obama has proclaimed that January 2010 be recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Houston is one of the five most dangerous U.S. cities for human trafficking and smuggling. A national hotline has been established to report human trafficking. Thirty percent of the calls to that hotline have come from the Houston area.

Most of the thousands of people smuggled and trafficked in the U.S. every year are women and children, especially young girls.

"It all comes down to greed. These are money making organizations who want to make money off the backs of these trafficking victims who are treated, not as human beings, but as commodities," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Gallagher.

The Houston-based Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance has rescued almost 200 victims since it was formed in 2004. Most victims of trafficking are severely abused, forced into prostitution and held against their will. Smuggling and trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business.

[The linked article includes a video report.]

Damali Keith

Fox New Houston

Jan. 12, 2010

See also:

Maximino Mondragon

Sex-trafficking Ringleader Gets 13 Years in Prison

Salvadoran smuggled Central American women into servitude at cantinas

The mastermind of a human trafficking ring that smuggled women from Central America to work in Houston cantinas as virtual sex slaves was sentenced Monday to 13 years in federal prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for recruiting and trafficking dozens of women and girls to Houston for commercial gain and for holding them “in a condition of indentured servitude.”

Along with others convicted in the case, he has also been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to victims, some of whom have obtained visas to stay in the United States and still live in the area.

The case involving Maximino Mondragon, 57, remains one of the largest human trafficking rings ever uncovered in the United States...

Mondragon “ruthlessly exploited these women’s hopes for a better life through coercion, false promises and threats of harm. The victims were forced into modern day slavery,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., said... “The Justice Department will devote its efforts to prosecuting those who commit such abhorrent and exploitative crimes.”

More than 120 women were liberated on the night of Nov. 13, 2005, when Mondragon and his fellow defendants were arrested in a massive nighttime raid of five of their bars and restaurants in seedy strip malls in northwest Houston...

Mondragon is the last of eight ring members to be convicted and sentenced.

According to records, Mondragon ran cantinas in Houston for more than a decade, along with Walter Corea. Both are natives of El Salvador. Five members of their families and a female abortionist were previously convicted and sentenced as accomplices...

Lise Olsen

The Houston Chronicle

April 27, 2009


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Tennessee, USA - Mexico

Suspect in Rape of 91-year-old Monroe County Woman Nabbed in Mexico

A Mexican fugitive wanted for the rape of 91-year-old Monroe County woman was arrested by Mexican federal authorities Tuesday, after some 22 months on the run, Tellico Plains Police Chief Bill Isbell announced today.

Francisco Barbosa-Sanchez, 37, was captured at a relative’s home in San Louis, Mexico and now is in custody in Mexico City, awaiting extradition, Isbell said.

Barbosa-Sanchez faces charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated burglary in the March 5, 2008, attack. He had been in the United States illegally, staying with his brother in Tellico Plains while doing construction work, authorities said. The brother lived in the same trailer park as the victim.

Police say the woman awoke that night to find a man holding a pillow over her face and beating her.

“He left her for dead,” Isbell said. “This was a brutal rape.”

Barbosa-Sanchez was linked to the crime by DNA evidence, police said. Authorities later found a car the suspect borrowed from a girlfriend parked at a Houston bus station and determined that he had bought a bus ticket back to Mexico.

The police chief credited Mexican authorities, the U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and others for the collaborative effort to locate the fugitive.

Despite local and international warrants issued against Barbosa-Sanchez, it still could take up to six months to extradite him back to Monroe County, Isbell said.

The victim, however, is still living and has since relocated to Ohio to live with her grandson.

“He says she’s doing great, physically and mentally,” Isbell said. “So if need be, she’s capable of testifying.”

Hayes Hickman

KnoxNews.com

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Haiti

(Before the earthquake)

This woman was enslaved as a child in Haiti.

After her husband disappeared during political unrest she couldn't take care of her 6 children and sent them to 'live with others' [as restavec slaves].

After working with Fondasyon Limyè Lavi (the Light of Life Foundation) for a short time, she brought her children home.

Photo: Free the Slaves

Human Traffickers Find Easy Prey Amid the Rubble of Haiti

In Haiti’s unstable post-quake atmosphere, at least one industry is poised to flourish. For those who buy and sell children for sex and cheap labor, Haiti is ripe with opportunity.

When the earthquake struck the impoverished island country last Tuesday afternoon, human traffickers suddenly gained access to a new population of displaced children. With parents dead, government offices demolished, and international aid organizations struggling to meet life-or-death demands, these kidnappers are in a unique position to snatch children with very little interference.

In today’s world, the twin causes of human slavery—poverty and vulnerability—increase exponentially after natural disasters. When the tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004, trafficking gangs moved quickly, seizing children and selling them as prostitutes in nearby Malaysia and Jakarta. In 2008, after floods devastated the Indian state of Bihar, groups of children were lured out of relief camps and sold to brothels across the nation.

I’ve seen many such stories up close. For the past three years, I’ve worked in India for International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency with twelve offices around the world. Rescuing victims of slavery and sexual exploitation are our specialties, and natural disasters unfailingly bring us new business...

In Haiti, as in India, human trafficking is a problem at the best of times. Even without the pandemonium unleashed by a 7.0 earthquake, an estimated quarter-million Haitian children are trafficked within the country each year. These slaves, known as restavecs, are typically sold or given away to new families by their own impoverished parents. Physical and sexual abuse is common for restavecs. Many owners use the girls as in-house prostitutes, sending them to live on the street if they become pregnant...

...An entirely new chunk of Haiti’s population has become homeless overnight. Even with aid pouring in from around the world, essential resources like food and medicine are enormously scarce on the streets of Haiti. But for predators looking for boys and girls to sell for labor and sex, Haiti is the right place to be.

Until earlier this month, Nicolette Grams worked with International Justice Mission in Chennai, India, as head of the communications department. She lives in India.

Nicolette Grams

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Montana, USA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some Focus on the Modern Slave Trade During Martin Luther King Day

Many around the country remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, just days after what would have been his 83rd birthday.

Many honored the strides King made for the Civil Rights Movement.

But some want to use this holiday to spread the word about today's abolitionist movements.

Almost 47 years have passed since Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous "I have a dream" speech. The United states and the world have made major strides since that time, but human trafficking still has millions enslaved today.

Chair of the Flathead Valley Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration, Reverend Darryl Kistler says, "27 million is almost a number that is beyond anything we can think about. That would be taking every person in Montana and multiplying us by 27 and that's how many people are involved or enslaved by human trafficking." ...

Rev. Kistler says, "There are still people around the world and even here in the United States that live under such adverse conditions." ...

Kistler says, "Doctor King teaches us that even those circum-stances that may not be our circumstances... That we really are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper... We need to care for them and help them whenever we can."

Students from the Flathead Valley Abolitionist Movement will talk about human trafficking Monday night at a Martin Luther King Community Celebration... at Flathead High School...

Julie Rogers

KECI

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

One American Indian Woman's Long Fight to Escape Prostitution

After losing her house and kids in 1996, Denise Ellis resorted to prostitution to support her crack habit. For 12 years, Ellis worked the streets, mostly around Bloomington Avenue in Minneapolis' Phillips neighborhood, without a reliable place to live.

"I didn't have any place to go. I wanted to get high, and I couldn't think of a quicker way to do it," she said. Throughout her homeless years, Ellis had stayed with relatives and friends until losing their trust. By early 2009, she was running out of places to stay at night.

As an American Indian, Ellis is more vulnerable to prostitution than most women, according to a first-of-its-kind report addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of American Indian women and girls in Minnesota.

Until the study's recent release, the plight of Ellis and other American Indian women trapped in prostitution has been largely hidden from public view in Minnesota.

"Shattered Hearts," a study released in September by the Minneapolis-based American Indian Women's Resource Center (AIWRC), found that in 2007, American Indians made up 2.2 percent of Hennepin County residents but 25 percent of the women there on probation for prostitution-related offenses...

Since its release, the report has prompted interest about the exploitation issue from legislators and the state Attorney General's Office, she says.

The report outlines recommendations from the center, the victims and the community, but many barriers prevent the law from fully addressing the problem. Ellis' story highlights some of the challenges in making substantial progress on such exploitation.

Joey Peters

MinnPost.com

Jan. 18, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

Trafficking Of Native Women is Widespread

Three decades ago, the relatives of an eleven-year-old Native girl in Minnesota forced her to have sex with a man in exchange for alcohol. The story was not front-page news. It was not the subject of a feature-length film with a happy ending. No one intervened. But when she turned eighteen, the police started paying attention. She was arrested and convicted over twenty times for prostitution.  Her parents’ addiction became her own, and she entered treatment dozens of times.

At an early age, the girl became one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Native American children and women forced into prostitution in Minnesota, falling under the radar of social services, the community, and the media...

In September, the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center became the first organization in the state to release a report about the widespread trafficking of Native women. The agency hopes its effort will draw attention and funding to Native victims of sexual exploitation…

The 126-page report, called Shattered Hearts, written by research scientist Alexandra Pierce, focuses on women who live outside of reservations. The report compiles statistics, identifies flaws in the legal system, draws parallels to the historic exploitation of Native people, and makes dozens of suggestions about how to address the problem. Pierce incorporated the Resource Center’s own studies, interviews with social service workers, and available government data…

Past treatment of Indian women

Some of the reasons for the staggering numbers are clear. Native Americans have the state’s highest rates of homelessness, poverty, and alcoholism – what many call the legacy of hundreds of years of colonialism. But the report also argues that generational trauma plays a role. White settlers repeatedly raped, tortured, and murdered Native women over hundreds of years, treating their bodies as disposable and worthless.

In one account from the 1860s, a white rancher describes a government attack on the Cheyenne: “I heard one man say that he had cut out a woman’s private parts and had them for exhibition on a stick…I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over the saddle-bows and wore them over their hats while riding in the ranks.”

Other more recent practices, including the involuntary sterilization of Native women and the Indian Adoption Project (which removed Native children from their homes), added to the collective trauma, the report says.

“There’s been so much violence and destruction of families because of colonization,” said Nicole Matthews, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition.

In Minnesota, advocates say that Native women have been prostituted onto ships in the Duluth harbor for generations, although local law enforcement say that they have not noticed any trafficking since harbor security was ramped up after 9/11.

…Every day Native women are being prostituted in Minnesota. The story of the woman who was sold into prostitution at age eleven demonstrates the challenges of intervention.

The woman did not connect with social services until her mid-‘40s. By that time, she was entrenched in a cycle of violence. Civil Society has provided her with emergency help several times over the past few years, but she faces limited options.

Right now, she is once again in treatment for alcoholism, and Miller, of Civil Society, said she still hopes the woman can create a healthy life for herself. But, she added, “Her story, and the other victims we see, are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Madeleine Baran

Dec. 06, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Port-au-Prince residents wait for a distribution of high protein biscuits by the World Food Program

Photo:Evelyn Hockstein / CARE - 2010

Haiti

Haitians Receive Little Help Despite Promises

Port-Au-Prince, - U.S. troops will help keep order on Haiti's increasingly lawless streets, the country's president said on Sunday as desperate earthquake survivors waited for food, water and medicine.

World leaders have pledged massive assistance to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake killed as many as 200,000 people, but five days into the crisis aid distribution was still random, chaotic and minimal.

Hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians are waiting for help, many of them in makeshift camps...

Andrew Cawthorne and Catherine Bremer

Reuters

Jan. 17, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

CARE: Tens of Thousands of Pregnant Women at Risk in Haiti

Humanitarian Group's Response Targets Vulnerable Women and Children

Port-Au-Prince - CARE warned Saturday that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children are at greatest risk in the wake of an earthquake that has devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and left nearly three million people in need of assistance. There are an estimated 37,000 pregnant women among the affected population in urgent need of safe drinking water, food and medical care. Half of Haiti's population is younger than 18 years old.

Hospitals and medical centers have been destroyed, and remaining centers are overwhelmed treating people injured from the quake. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth. Haiti already has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the region: 670 deaths per 100,000 live births.

"There are a lot of pregnant women in the streets, and mothers breastfeeding new babies," said Sophie Perez, country director for CARE in Haiti. "There are also women giving birth in the street, directly in the street. The situation is very critical. Women try to reach the nearest hospital, but as most of the hospitals are full, it's very difficult for them to receive the appropriate care. Mothers and their babies could die from complications without medical care." ...

CARE

Jan. 16, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Urgen Brindar Ayuda a Mujeres Haitianas

Llaman feministas a vigilar que no se violenten sus DH

El Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA), por sus siglas en inglés, y la Red Petateras, lanzaron un llamado de ayuda para las haitianas: niñas, mujeres y miles de embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y muerte, ya que desastres naturales como el que devastó a la capital de su país las afectan en mayor medida.

El organismo de Naciones Unidas precisó que Haití -el país más pobre del hemisferio occidental-, ya tenía antes de esta tragedia la más alta tasa de mortalidad materna en la región: 670 muertes por cada 100 mil nacidos vivos, cifra que podría incrementarse como consecuencia directa del fuerte terremoto de 7.0 grados en la escala de Richter.

En un comunicado de prensa, el UNFPA informó que el terremoto que azotó el país el martes pasado ha causado enormes dificultades, lesiones y pérdidas de vidas entre la población en general, sin embargo también pone a miles de mujeres embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y de muerte relacionadas con el embarazo y el parto.

“Las mujeres embarazadas en los alrededores de la capital del país, Puerto Príncipe, se encuentran sin acceso a los servicios de salud más básicos. La atención obstétrica de emergencia es una de las necesidades más urgentes”...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Appeal Launched for Emergency Assistance to Thousands of Pregnant Women at High Risk in Haiti

United Nations - Estimates that there could be as many as 37,000 pregnant women among the 3 million people affected by Haiti’s earthquake have led to an urgent appeal to meet their emergency maternal health needs.

The earthquake has devastated Haiti’s health system and many of the hospitals and clinics in Port–Au-Prince have been damaged. The remaining can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months...

Thee United Nations Population Fund

Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Falleció en el terremoto la activista feminista Myriam Merlet, actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres

Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and Head of the Haitian Ministry of Women, was killed in the recent earthquake

About the work of Myriam Merlet:

Rape Looms Large Over Haiti Slums

...Myriam Merlet, who heads the government's Ministry of Women, blames the high rate of rape in Haiti's slums on the political turmoil that has stained the country since the Duvalier family dictatorship was ousted in the mid-1980s.

Myriam Merlet:

"Rape has been used as a political weapon in this country since 1986. The soldiers in the army used rape to frighten people. The Chimeres (mainly pro-Aristide gangs) used rape to control the population," she says.

"Now the street gangs in the slums use rape as a powerful weapon of war."

She also says that there is a "state absence" in the slums and the gangs have "full power to terrorize the population as they wish".

...Weak justice

Two years ago, the United Nations in Haiti acknowledged widespread rape in the vast slums in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Almost half of the young women in conflict-zone slums have been raped
The UN said that almost half of the girls and young women, living in conflict-zone slums, like Cite Soleil and Martissant, had been raped.

But Amnesty says that not enough has been done to stamp out widespread rape which is on the rise again.

Rape was only made a criminal offense in Haiti in 2005. Before then judges would negotiate a sum of money to be paid to the victim's family...

BBC News

Nov. 27, 2008

See also:

Haiti

Haiti: solidarité avec nos soeurs et frères

Nous vous écrivons aujourd’hui ayant le coeur serré, deux jours après le catastrophique tremblement de terre à Haïti. Nous sommes très touchées par les images et les nouvelles que nous avions reçues au cours de ces dernières 48 heures, et nous sommes très inquiètes pour nos soeurs de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes dans le pays.

Nous essayons de contacter les copines de la CN et des groupes participants de la MMF à Haïti, mais n'avons pas pu parler avec aucune d’entre elles pour le moment. Malheureusement nos copines Magalie Marcellin de Kayfanm et Myriam Merlet, activiste féministe et actuelle responsable du Ministère des femmes, sont décédées dans le tremblement de terre. Nos pensées et toute notre solidarité vont à leurs familles et ami(e)s...

Haiti: solidaridad con nuestras hermanas y hermanos

Es con mucho pesar que escribimos a ustedes hoy, dos días después del terremoto catastrófico en Haití. Estamos muy consternadas y aun más tristes con las imágenes y noticias que hemos recibido en las ultimas 48 horas, además, estamos muy preocupadas por nuestras compañeras de la Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres (MMM) en este país.

Hemos estado intentando contactarnos con las compañeras de las CNs y de los grupos participantes de la MMM en Haití, pero hasta el momento presente, no logramos hablar con ninguna de ellas. Nos llegó la trágica noticia de que fallecieron en el terremoto nuestras compañeras Magalie Marcellin del Kayfanm y Myriam Merlet, militante feminista y actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres. Que sus familiares y amigos reciban nuestros pensamientos y solidaridad...

Haiti: solidarity with our sisters and brothers

It is with very heavy hearts that we write to you today, two days after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. We are incredibly shocked and saddened by the images and news that we have been receiving over the last 48 hours, and we are very worried for our World March of Women (WMW) sisters in the country.

We have been trying to get in contact with sisters from the NCB and from the WMW participating groups in Haiti, but have so far not been able to speak to any of them. The tragic news we have had is that our sisters Magalie Marcellin from Kayfanm and Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and actual Head of the Ministry of Women, were killed in the earthquake. Our thoughts and solidarity go out to their families and friends.

World March of Women

Jan. 14, 2010

See also:

About the work of Magalie Marcelin:

United Nations Confronts Another Sex Scandal

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Girls as young as 13 were having sex with U.N. peacekeepers for as little as $1.

Five young Haitian women who followed soldiers back to Sri Lanka were forced into brothels or polygamous households. They have been rescued and brought home to warn others of the dangers of foreign liaisons…

In the latest sex scandal to tarnish the world organization, at least 114 Sri Lankan troops have been expelled from the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti on suspicion of sexual exploitation of Haitian women and girls.

This poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere has endured occupation repeatedly over the centuries, each time suffering instances of statutory rape and economically coerced sexual relations.

Magalie Marcelin of the Women's Home organization, which is working to educate young Haitian women about their rights and the social risks around them, attributes the [U.N. security force] scandal to a long history of Haitians regarding women's bodies as commodities.

"That a soldier can do this to a girl he's supposed to be protecting comes from the same mentality that allows a professor to do it to his student or a father to his daughter," Marcelin said. "In this society, women's bodies are regarded as meat."

By Carol J. Williams

Los Angeles Times

Dec. 15, 2007

See also:

Lamentan fallecimiento de dos mujeres feministas, Myriam Merlet y Magalie Marcellin, en Haití

Feminist activists Myriam Merlet and Magalie Marcellin are mourned in Haiti

Gladys Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

The Double Weakness of Girls: Discrimination And Sexual Violence In Haiti

Encyclopedia Britannica


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

Ningún respeto a Derechos Humanos de Personas indígenas en México

Agrava militarización, situación de mujeres indígenas

México, DF, - México carece de políticas públicas que atiendan los problemas milenarios de los pueblos indígenas, y por el contrario, en medio de la militarización, las  mujeres indígenas son violadas y asesinadas, denunció Martha Sánchez Néstor, coordinadora general de la Asamblea Nacional Indígena Plural de Guerrero.

Por ello, “no se puede hablar de que en México se respetan los derechos humanos de las personas indígenas”, sostuvo Sánchez Néstor durante la presentación del Primer Informe sobre la Situación de los Pueblos Indígenas en el Mundo que presentó la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)...

Mexico Has No Respect Whatsoever for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

[Nationwide Drug war's] internal militarization puts indigenous women in danger

Mexico City - Mexico lacks public policies that are capable of effectively addressing the problems of indigenous peoples. To the contrary, during the current internal militarization, indigenous women are being raped and murdered, says Martha Sanchez Néstor, general coordinator of the National Plural Indigenous Assembly of Guerrero.

For that reason, “it is not possible to speak of a Mexico in which the human rights of indigenous people are respected,” added Sanchez Néstor, during the presentation of the First Report on the Situation of the Indigenous Peoples of the World, presented at the United Nations.

As CIMAC Noticias has reported during the past several years, a number of abuses against indigenous peoples have been reported in Guerrero state. The emblematic cases were those of Ines Fernandez and Valentin Rosendo, both of whom were raped by soldiers in 2002. Today both victims await decisions on their cases from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

We also remember the arbitrary detentions and rapes of two Tzeltal Mayan women, Ana, Beatriz and Celia González Pérez, in Chiapas state. In this case the IACHR published recommendations to the Mexican state to redress the damages done. There has not yet been any resolution to the case within Mexico.

Yesterday in press conference, Sanchez Néstor denounced th fact that the voices of the community radios have been criminalized, and that forced disappearances and imprisonments of defenders of the human rights have intensified.

We can also point to the 2007 cases of two young indigenous women journalists from the Triqui ethnicity, Felícitas Martínez, age 21 and Teresa Bautista, age 24. Together, hosted a Triqui-language radio show [highlighting women’s rights issues], called “Breaking the Silence.” They were murdered, and their case continues in impunity.

It is in that context in which Sanchez Néstor, called upon national, state and local governments in Mexico to respect the indigenous past, and to take into account the indigenous peoples who are alive today [30% of Mexico's population], peoples who’s timeless petitions for an end to the violence and discrimination against them, and for an end to the criminalization of those among them who organize to demand their rights, have never been responded to...

In regard to the alarming conditions that indigenous peoples face in Mexico, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the former [and first] United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, commented that there are faults in existing legislation, and that the budget to address these issues is not sufficient...

Full English Translation

Paulina Rivas Ayala

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

 Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

DNA Tool to Trace Missing Kids

...The Programme for Kids Identification with DNA Systems (DNA-PROKIDS), organized in 2004 by the Forensic Medicine Department at the University of Granada, Spain, aims to fight human trafficking by means of genetic identification of victims and their families, especially children...

DNA-PROKIDS has so far helped to identify 212 children, many of whom have been returned to their families...

Between 100,000 and 500,000 children have disappeared in Mexico over the past five years, according to estimates by non-governmental organizations...

”This year the situation has got worse, and more children have been stolen,” Elena Solís, head of the non-governmental Mexican Association for Stolen and Disappeared Children, which works to publicize cases and recover missing children, told IPS...

Although there are no reliable figures, an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people a year apparently fall prey to trafficking rings in Mexico…

…In Mexico, this criminal industry recruits people for domestic service, prostitution, seasonal agricultural work or extraction of organs.

Mexico’s criminal code does not specifically define stealing children as a crime, which makes fighting it difficult. However, kidnapping is a legally defined crime...

Non-governmental organizations have proposed setting up an early warning system that can be activated as soon as a missing child is reported…

Under Mexican law, the authorities only begin a search after a person has been missing for 72 hours. ”By then, the child could be in Thailand,” an example of a country notorious for child prostitution, Arellano complained.

”For years we have been asking for a law against child theft. Let’s hope the new Congress will listen to us,” said Solís…

”The problem with a DNA system is who handles the data. If the police and the Attorney General’s Office are infiltrated by organized crime, it represents a huge risk for them to be in charge, because there is no certainty that they will operate with transparency and respect for privacy,” said Arellano, referring to the notorious corruption in Mexico, made more intractable by the influence of drug mafias...

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Nov. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Florida, USA

Richard Morales-Marin snickers, and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo cries, in separate court sessions, as each was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for the brutal rape of a 12-year-old girl who was near her school bus stop before she was kidnapped

Two Sentenced in 2009 Child Rape

Orlando - Two men have been sentenced to consecutive life sentences for the kidnapping and rape a 12 year old girl. On February 5, 2009 the young victim was standing at her bus stop when Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin kidnapped her at knife point and raped her.

During their trial, both men tried to blame each other for the crime but in the end a jury found them both guilty. While in court for sentencing Hernandez-Monzalvo was extremely emotional as an interpreter read his letter to the judge, where he pleaded for mercy and asked to be with his family.

Morales-Marin was forced to face court alone. He had no supporters and even smirked while being sentenced. The brutal rape of the 12 year old girl early last year was no laughing matter for Circuit Judge Walter Komanski.

Judge Komanski: "I am making a recommendation to the Department of Corrections that at the conclusion of the service of your portion of the sentence, at such point that you die, that the recommendation is for the Department of Corrections that they transport your body to the immigration and naturalization service for deportation back to your own country," said Judge Komanski. "That neither of you are worthy to be buried in this country."

Hernandez-Monzalvo and Morales-Marin have 30 days to appeal their sentences.

WOFL Fox 35 Orlando

Jan. 08, 2010

See also:

Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin

Third Woman Makes Rape Allegations Against Suspects in Attack of 11-year-old

A third woman has come forward to report that she was a victim of the two men arrested for raping an 11-year-old girl.

Richard Morales-Marin and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo are behind bars for abducting the girl on her way to school last Thursday, raping her in an empty house on Rose Avenue, then returning her to her Lynx bus stop at OBT and Lancaster.

DNA evidence has linked Marin to at least one other rape, that of a 19-year-old girl near the Florida Mall last January. Now, another woman has contacted deputies, admitting she's a prostitute but saying she was raped in that same empty house by the same two men.

Deputy Carlos Padilla says [the adult victim] saw her attackers on the news, and was motivated by concern for the little girl to call deputies. "She just wanted deputies to know that these guys have been around, but she doesn't want to get involved and file a report." ...

There's an ongoing concern that Marin and Monzalvo, who are both in this country illegally, have more victims. Authorities are hoping that anyone with information will come forward.

Nikki Pierce

WDBO

Feb. 13, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

4 Immigrants Charged with Running Brothels in South Philadelphia

Philadelphia - Four illegal immigrants are accused of running brothels out of a pair of South Philadelphia houses.

Three of the men were arrested Monday, the same day a federal indictment against them was unsealed.

Investigators say 27-year-old Jose Claudio Corona Cotonieto and 31-year-old Raymond Gonzalez Salazar would schedule Hispanic women to travel from New York, New Jersey and Delaware to work in the brothel for about a week at a time.

Twenty-two-year-old Nicolas Gonzalez Salazar is also charged. A fourth suspect is still being sought.

Investigators say the men had run the brothels since August, netting them about $9,000 per week.

The Associated Press

Jan. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

California, USA

Monterey Gourmet Foods Sued for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

EEOC Says Male and Female Food Packers Fired After Reporting Harassment at Salinas Plant

Salinas, Calif. -- Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., a major producer of refrigerated gourmet food products, violated federal law when it allowed a supervisor to sexually harass four Latino workers at its Salinas plant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit. The EEOC also alleged that the company unlawfully retaliated against each worker by terminating them after they reported the harassment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, three women and one man who worked as packers in the lasagna, tamale and ravioli production units for several years faced sexual harassment from the same male supervisor. Starting in August 2006, their new crew leader’s conduct included sexual comments, gestures simulating sex with female workers, texting pornography, exposing himself, and grabbing the private body parts of workers. Although the employees reported the harassment to management and the human resources department, the company failed to take corrective action. In May 2008, all four workers were discharged or laid off just weeks after two of them filed discrimination charges with the EEOC.

The male worker, in his 80s, was mortified by the painful sexual groping. He said, “I needed to keep my job. Especially because of my age, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find other work.” One of the women added, “It got to the point where you just did not want to go in to work each day. I felt degraded and humiliated by my supervisor's endless sexual talk, the pornography, the gestures and touching. It was an abuse of power. That's why we decided to find help from the EEOC and California Rural Legal Assistance — to make it stop, if not for us, then for other workers.” ...

U.S. EEOC Press Release

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

The United States

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon speaks on human trafficking in Ohio - Jan. 11, 2010

Photo: Tom Dodge - The Columbus Dispatch

Polaris Project Announces Executive Transition

The Board of Directors of Polaris Project announces that Ambassador Mark P. Lagon is leaving the position of Executive Director and CEO on February 1, 2010. "I have had the privilege of helping direct a truly driven and innovative organization," said Ambassador Lagon. "Polaris Project continues to inspire and lead the anti-trafficking movement in our common vision for a world without slavery."

Prior to joining Polaris Project, Ambassador Lagon served as Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State and as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.

"During his time at Polaris Project, Ambassador Lagon has worked tirelessly to champion the eradication of modern-day slavery, to address the demand for commercial sex and forced labor, and to increase corporate accountability around human trafficking." said Derek Ellerman, Board Chairperson and Co-Founder. "Polaris Project commends Ambassador Lagon for his dedication to fighting human trafficking and wishes him every success in his future plans."

The Board of Directors has named Bradley Myles as the incoming Acting Executive Director until the executive search process is completed. Bradley Myles joined Polaris Project in 2004 and currently serves as the Deputy Director and as a member of the Executive Management Team, overseeing the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), national training and technical assistance efforts, and client services programs in Washington, DC and Newark, NJ.

Polaris Project

Jan. 27, 2010

See also:

Katherine Chon

Co-Founder Katherine Chon highlighted by Woman's Day as a Woman Who is Changing the World!

Katherine Chon ws recently featured on the Woman's Day website as one of the "Women who are changing the world". Katherine was one of just 50 women chosen for this prestigious honor.

Polaris Project

Jan. 27, 2010

See also:

Changing the World By Wiping Out Human Trafficking

Katherine Chon, co-founder of Polaris Project, is honored on the Women'sDay magazine list of women who are changing the world

Although slavery is widely considered a thing of the past, its prominence is still shocking—it’s currently the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry worldwide. Devoted to eradicating modern-day slavery and human trafficking, Katherine Chon founded the Polaris Project while a senior at Brown University in 2002. In addition to operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, the project provides shelter and services for survivors, trains law enforcement and other aides, and advocates for better laws to end modern slavery.

Women's Day

Dec. 11, 2010

See also:

Activist Calls For Stand-Alone Ohio Law Against Human Trafficking

The head of a major international group fighting human trafficking says Ohio stands at a "tipping point" in recognizing the problem and tightening laws and enforcement to deal with it.

Mark Lagon, head of the Polaris Project, a former U.S. ambassador and human rights expert under Secretary of State Colin Powell, said at a human trafficking conference today at the Statehouse that federal and Ohio law enforcement officials are making a "high-level commitment" to attack the problem.

Federal officials estimate that up to 17,500 women and girls are trafficked for sex [into] the U.S. each year. Another 300,000, many of them girls as young as 11, are considered vulnerable.

Lagon recommended that Ohio law be changed to make human trafficking a standalone crime, not simply an add-on to other charges as it is now. He said the law should have a broader definition of trafficking that includes forced labor in addition to coerced sexual activity.

In addition, Ohio and other states need to provide more assistance to trafficking victims, particularly juveniles.

"We don't have a place to put these prostituted teens when we find them," Lagon said. Too often, they are viewed as criminal to be locked rather than victims to be helped, he said.

Alan Johnson

The Columbus Dispatch

Jan. 11, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

California, USA

Andy Pimental

Salinas Officer Injured in Arrest

A Salinas Police officer was injured Friday in attempting to take an assault suspect into custody.

According to police, the officer was hurt while taking down Andy Pimental, who was suspected of threatening [to attack] a pregnant woman near the intersection of Williams and Grandhaven; the woman told police she did not know Pimental and that he had forced her to seek safety inside a car.

Police say Pimental took a swing at an officer arriving on the scene; a second officer helped to control the more than 300 lb. Pimental, but Pimental fell on the officer's knee.

The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment; Pimental was arrested for assault and battery charges.

[The linked article includes a video report.]

KCBA

Jan 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Arnoldo Arenas

Waco Authorities Bring Back Alleged Child Abuser From Mexico

Waco - A man has been brought back to McLennan County by the U.S. Marshals Office after he fled to Mexico three years ago amidst a sexual abuse of a child investigation.

Forty-eight-year-old Arnoldo Arenas was returned to Waco Friday afternoon and charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and is now held on one million dollars bond.

Authorities say Arenas fled in 2007 after police began investigating a situation in which he allegedly fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl back in 2000.

It took law enforcement three years to get Arenas back to the U.S. because he is an American citizen, but also a Mexican citizen. This situation was the first of its kind in McLennan County.

"I have been a part of the force for 13 years and I have never been a part of anything like this," said Kim Clark, a detective for Crimes Against Children.

It's not unusual for authorities to extradite a U.S. citizen from another country, but it is rare for someone to be extradited with dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Mexico.

"Because he has citizenship in Mexico, we can't just go to Mexico and bring him back as a U.S. citizen. The Mexican government has to approve the case before they send him back," Detective Clark added.

It's a process that took years of meticulous paper work and thousands of dollars.

KXXV

Jan 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Rudy Gonzales

Man Arrested In School Sex Assault

San Antonio - Extra staff were patrolling the halls of Jefferson High School Friday, after two students were arrested and charged with sexually assaulting another student.

Rudy Gonzalez, 18, is charged with aggravated sexual assault.

The other teen is being charged as a juvenile.

Police said they assaulted a female student in an emergency exit stairwell on Wednesday while classes were in session.

A representative for the San Antonio Independent School District said alarms will be installed on interior doors that will go off if anyone tries using the stairwell.

KSAT

Jan 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Haiti

Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Elizabeth Press from Democracy Now are in Haiti reporting on the devastating earthquake.

Haití: Entre el Olor a Muerte y la Silenciosa Desesperación

Haiti: Between the Odor of Death and Silent Desperation

Puerto Príncipe, Haití 26 ene 10 . – Tè tremblé significa “terremoto” en creole, la lengua criolla de Haití. La traducción literal es: “La tierra tembló”. Tras el terremoto de enormes dimensiones que devastó Haití, el hedor a muerte está en todos lados. En el Hospital General, los cuerpos apilados cerca de la morgue forman una montaña de más de un metro de altura...

Recordando A La Feminista Myriam Merlet

En nuestro recorrido por la ciudad, fuimos a la casa de Myriam Merlet, la jefa de gabinete del Ministerio haitiano de la Mujer y una destacada feminista que ayudó a llamar la atención internacional sobre el uso de la violación como arma política y trabajó con la dramaturga y activista Eve Ensler en el movimiento Día-V para ayudar a poner fin a la violencia contra la mujer.

Hallamos su casa, y de hecho a todas las casas que la rodeaban, destruida. “Acabamos de retirar su cuerpo”, nos dijeron los familiares de Myriam el domingo, cinco días después del terremoto. No se sabe cuándo murió, ni si podría haber sido rescatada. Su hermana Eartha nos llevó a visitar su tumba.

Eve Ensler describe a Myriam Merlet: “Myriam era una luz. Era la fuerza de Haití. Fue una de las más grandes feministas. Era una feminista radical. Bromeábamos a menudo acerca del hecho de que era loco que ella y Marie-Laurence, que es la Ministra de la Mujer, estuvieran de hecho en el poder, que tuviéramos feministas radicales en el poder. Fue una mujer que dejó Haití en la década del 70 y luego regresó para luchar y defender y llevar el cambio social y el progreso y la lucha por las libertades y la igualdad racial y por la libertad e igualdad de género”...

Amy Goodman

Democracy Now/ CIMAC

Jan. 26, 2010

See also:

“Haiti is Shaken to the Core”:

Amy Goodman Reports from Port-au-Prince

“Haiti is devastated as if a bomb, many bombs, exploded throughout Port-au-Prince and beyond, where help has not arrived at all,” reports Amy Goodman on her travels outside of Port-au-Prince to the epicenter of the earthquake. “The smell of death hangs in the air.”

...I have to say, one of our—one of the very sad moments was when we first came in. I had gotten a call from Eve Ensler, our guest who’s in the studio with you, and I—and it’s painful for me to even say this in her hearing because of this tremendous loss. She called me—I think we talked at 2:00 in the morning—before we came in on Sunday, and said, “Please, try to find my friend. Try to find Myriam Merlet,” who was more than a friend to Eve Ensler, but to so many women in this devastated community. And she gave us an area, not even an address, because she didn’t know it. But we went to that area in Paco. It is not a poor area like Cité Soleil, but it is down. It is on a hill. And it is an entire community under rubble. And we made it to her house as the sun was setting.

And there was a group of people who were sitting across the street crying. And we said, “Myriam Merlet, do you know which is her house?” And they pointed, and they said, “We’ve just pulled her body up, and we have brought it down the street.” I looked around and asked if there was family. They said, yes, her sister Eartha, Eartha Merlet, and she was sitting in the middle of the group weeping. And we asked her if she could bring us to the makeshift grave site. It was just down through the rubble. They had dug a deep, deep hole and covered the casket a bit. And Eartha talked about her beloved sister...

Amy Goodman

Democracy Now/ CIMAC

Jan. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Texas, USA

West Texas Could be Corridor for Human Trafficking

You’ve seen it portrayed in movies and on television, but it’s a very real epidemic.

Millions of people each year are forced into modern-day slavery or prostitution.

Now law enforcement officials say the problem maybe closer than we think.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Houston and El Paso are two of the most intense trafficking areas in the country.

ICE officials says offenders bring their victims right here through west Texas.

Texas attorney Greg Abbott called a human trafficking prevention task force meeting last Tuesday to better identify victims.

"Texas comprises the largest portion of that,” Jerry Garnett with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “So there's going to be a large volume coming through the state of Texas." ...

Debt bondage can easily turn "smuggling" into "trafficking"

Debt bondage would be cases were the aliens were smuggled into the U.S. and they're forced into working in order to payoff their smuggling fees.

In most cases the victim never pays off their smuggling fees.

“For females its prostitution or massage parlors,” Garnett said, “Children it's a little bit different but children could also be traffic for the sex trade.”

Garnett says is a way to lure people in who are just looking for a way to live in America

“They try to tell the people, we'll bring you into the United States, well find you a job, we'll do all this for you and rope the people into it.” Garner said.

Jennifer Samp

CBS 7 News

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Alabama, USA

Sketch of suspect

Man Sought for Trying to Lure School Girl

Chicago police today issued a community alert after a man tried to lure girl into a sport utility vehicle last week in the city's Brighton Park neighborhood.

The girl was walking in the vicinity of 2900 West 47th Street on Friday at 6:50 a.m. and en route to the bus stop at 47th Street and Francisco Avenue when the suspect drove up and said "Metete Adentro" ("Get In"), according to the alert. The girl responded "No" before the suspect attempted two more times as the girl waited for her bus to school.

The man is described in the alert as Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, heavily built, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, 240 to 270 pounds, with a light complexion, brown eyes and black wavy hair that has silver/gray specks.

The man was driving a white four-door Toyota SUV, police said.

Anyone with information should call Wentworth Area detectives at 312-747-8380 or Deering District police at 312-747-8227.

Jeff Finkelman

Chicago Breaking News

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Alabama, USA

Jorge Zuniga

Newton Man Charged with Raping 12-year-old

Newton man faces a possible life sentence in prison after Houston County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him on charges he raped a 12-year-old girl more than once over the last two months.

Court records show detectives arrested Jorge Luis Lopez Zuniga, 20, of Pine Acres Drive, late Friday and charged him with two felony counts of first-degree rape and first-degree sex abuse.

According to the Houston County Jail Web site, Zuniga was booked into the facility just before 7 p.m. Friday on the three felony charges. Court records show he’s being held without bond, which was set by Houston County Circuit Court Judge Brad Mendheim.

Court records also show Zuniga was charged with the rape of the Newton girl between Dec. 1, 2009, and Jan. 16, 2010, along with an additional similar offense on Jan. 16, 2010. A detective also charged Zuniga with forcible sex abuse of the same girl on Jan. 16, 2010.

Zuniga faces 10 to 99 years or life in prison for each of the first-degree rape charges, if he’s convicted of each of the class A felony crimes. He also faces one to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of the class C felony crime of first-degree sex abuse.

Matt Elofson

The Dothan Eagle

Jan. 25, 2010


Added: Jan. 27, 2010

Georgia, USA

Teen Escapes Rape Attempt

A would-be rapist fled Sunday night after he ripped off his victim's clothes and discovered he had attacked a man dressed as a woman, Athens-Clarke police said.

The suspect was riding a bicycle when he started stalking a 17-year-old walking along Bray Street near Fourth Street in East Athens about 6:30 p.m., police said.

The teen began to walk faster, but the man caught up to him, grabbed his arm and dragged him into some nearby woods.

The attacker started to take off the teen's clothes, tearing his shirt and yanking off his boots; he realized when he stripped off the teen's pants that the victim was male, too, police said.

The victim fought back, but his attacker kicked him repeatedly, police said.

The man ran when the victim's cell phone rang, but by then witnesses on Bray Street had called 911, police said.

The victim crawled from the woods and was sitting on the ground, crying in the rain, when police arrived.

The teenager only could describe his attacker as a fat Hispanic man who wore a gray hoodie and sweatpants, according to police.

The attacker will be charged with criminal attempted rape and false imprisonment if he's found, police said.

"It doesn't matter that (the victim) wasn't a female," Athens-Clarke Capt. Clarence Holeman said. "The suspect's intent was to commit rape."

Online Athens

Jan. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Haiti

Haitians receive water and food from U.S. Marines

Llega a Haití ayuda de feministas latinoamericanas

Busca beneficiar a sectores más vulnerables; niñez y mujeres

Aid from Latin American Feminists Arrives in Haiti

Activists seek to aid the most vulnerable: children and women

Costa Rica, - El 23 de enero llegaron por aire, mar y tierra a Puerto Príncipe, los primeros donativos del Campamento Internacional Feminista para las mujeres haitianas y fueron entregados por la delegada de las feministas latinoamericanas y del Caribe, Sergia Galván.

La feminista se reunió con las activistas feministas haitianas de diversas organizaciones, entre ellas SOPHA y ENFOFAM.

Entre la ayuda enviada de Santo Domingo a Haití se encuentran dos camiones llenos de comestibles, medicinas, lámparas, baterías, tanques de gas, tiendas de campaña, sacos de dormir, medicamentos y otras necesidades personales de aseo y salud, La ayuda será entregada directamente a las activistas que se están reorganizando en la capital para trabajar con las poblaciones más vulnerabilizadas: las mujeres y la niñez.

“Hemos podido llenar estos dos camiones debido a la solidaridad de tantas organizaciones aquí en República Dominicana y la respuesta solidaria de organizaciones y personas que han mandado ágilmente dinero a nuestra cuenta”, dijo Galván.

Mientras que las feministas Ana Irma Rivera Lassen, Aidita Cruz, Nirvana González y María Suarez (RIF) salieron hoy lunes de Puerto Rico, con algunas de las más de 20 tiendas de campaña recogidas una por una, producto de la solidaridad de personas y empresas en ese país donadas a Radio Internacional Feminista...

María Suárez Toro

RIF/CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 25, 2010

See also:

Updates From Haiti

Since our last update on the Haiti earthquake, we have heard back from one more of our advisors, Nikette Lormeus. A short note that made us so relieved at the Global Fund: “Dear friends, I can tell you that I am still alive. Thank God!”

With a death toll looming at over 200,000, we feel blessed to know that some of our Haitian sisters have survived this disaster, the worst earthquake to have hit the country in 200 years.

The Americas team was jumping with joy when they heard from Nikette by email yesterday morning. But we also know this is not true for a lot of women’s groups. We express our condolences for our sister activists who perished in the earthquake, as shared by the Astraea Fund.

Our sister organizations have been wonderful in highlighting the GFW’s Crisis Fund as a way to support women’s groups that will rebuild Haiti. From WomenThrive, to Ms Foundation’s generous gift of $10,000 to the Crisis Fund, we look forward to working with our Haitian sisters on the ground once direct relief organizations leave the shores.

Under the leadership of our grantee partner in the Dominican Republic, Colectiva Mujer y Salud, and the Feminist Radio Endeavor (FIRE), a “feminist camp” has been established on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The purpose of the camp is to create a physical space from where all these feminist and women’s organizations can coordinate efforts. FIRE is going to broadcast a radio program to share the stories of women, Colectiva Mujer y Salud will coordinate health services and the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the hands of women, and other organizations will coordinate activities from the camp. Our advisors in the region are offering their services and support: Yamilet Mejia from Nicaragua is helping with psychological support for the survivors and Patricia Guerrero from Colombia is helping with her expertise on preventing sexual violence...

Global Fund for Women

Jan. 20, 2010

See also:

Myriam Merlet, líder feminista haitiana / Haitian feminist leader (1953-2010)

Feminist International Solidarity Camp “Myriam Merlet” To Open On Haitian-Dominican Republic Border

Campamento De Solidaridad Feminista Con Haití "Miriam Marlet"

Feminist Radio Endeavor (FIRE)

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Agency, Group Seek Protection for Juárez Activists

A Mexican government agency and Amnesty International have urged authorities to protect other activists in Juárez after the recent murder of a woman activist.

The federal Mexican National Commission on Human Rights asked Chihuahua officials to provide safety for the activists, including Cipriana Jurado, a longtime labor advocate.

Jurado said federal officers detained her in 2008 while she was investigating the death of Saulo Becerra Reyes, who was among a group of men who were picked up by federal authorities on Oct. 21, 2008, on suspicion of ties to drug-trafficking.

Amnesty International said a death certificate states Becerra died from a brain hemorrhage a day following his detention. However, authorities never acknowledged Becerra's detention, and Becerra's body was not found until March 2009.

Mexican authorities freed Jurado after several nongovernmental groups came to her aid.

Amnesty International said Jurado also accompanied the late Josefina Reyes in marches and other protests involving alleged abuses by soldiers and federal agents, who were sent to Chihuahua state to battle the drug cartels.

Josefina Reyes, who was shot to death Jan. 3 in her Valle de Juárez community, was the mother of Miguel Angel Reyes Salazar, one of several suspects federal authorities detained last September with Rodolfo "Rikin" Escajeda, a man U.S. and Mexican investigators said was a dangerous drug dealer.

Mexican authorities presented Escajeda and Reyes Salazar at a press conference in Mexico City, but Reyes' mother claimed she had no contact with her son and therefore could not verify he was still alive. Julio Cesar Reyes, another one of her sons, was killed in 2008 in Valle de Juárez.

Diana Washington Valdez

The El Paso Times

Jan. 12, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 26, 2010

Mexico, Texas, USA

UT Law Students, Faculty Helped Get Slain Juárez Woman's Mom Asylum

El Paso - Faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin Law School played key roles in two unprecedented cases involving the notorious Juárez women's murders.

Their low-profile work contributed to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling against the Mexican government, and to a successful claim for U.S. political asylum for the family of one of the slain women.

Denise Gilman, a lawyer and professor, supervised law students at the university's Immigration Clinic. They worked on Benita Monarrez's petition for asylum, representing Monarrez and her family for free.

"Several law students worked on the complicated asylum claim, which began in October 2007 when Benita was detained in Austin," Gilman said. "Asylum claims in this country are still very stringent, and it's hard for people without legal representation to prevail.

"Benita passed the initial credible fear interview, and the U.S. immigration court in San Antonio approved her claim in the spring of 2009."

Monarrez said she received constant threats because she would not drop the investigation into the slaying of her daughter, Laura Berenice Ramos Monarrez. Ramos, 20, was among eight young women whose bodies were discovered in a Juárez cotton field in 2001.

Organizations such as Amnesty International, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and even members of the U.S. Congress had documented threats against the relatives of victims and activists in Juárez who sought justice.

Since 1993, more than 600 girls and women have been murdered in Juárez, including 145 so far this year. The number of women slain in Juárez is disproportionate compared to other cities in Mexico with similar populations.

Diana Washington Valdez

The El Paso Times

Dec. 22, 2009


Added: Jan. 25, 2010

Mexico

Amnesty International:

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, founder and president of the Organization of the Me’ phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) in Guerrero state in southern Mexico, has been the victim of numerous death threats and acts of intimidation since 1998.

The campaign of intimidation against her got so serious in recent years, Obtilia and her family were forced to flee their community out of fear. For example, in January 2009, a man who had been following her on several occasions shouted at her: "Do you think you’re so brave? Are you a real woman? Let’s hope you also go to prison… If you don’t go to prison, we'll kill you."

None of the threats or acts of intimidation against Obtilia has been investigated.

Amnesty: "Activists suffer imprisonment on fabricated charges to stop them from doing their work."

Photo: Javier Verdin / La Jornada

Indigenous women protest for the freedom of 5 prisoners of conscience from the Native community of Ayutla

Amnesty: "Defending human rights in Mexico is life-threatening."

Photo: Javier Verdin/ La Jornada

Recent Reports and Articles by Amnesty International on the Crisis of Impunity in Mexico

Human Rights Activists in Mexico Under Attack

Activists suffer imprisonment on fabricated charges to stop them from doing their work

The Mexican authorities are failing in their duty to protect human rights activists from killings and life-threatening harassment and attacks, Amnesty International warned on Thursday in a new report.

The report Standing up for justice and dignity: Human Rights defenders in Mexico describes more than 15 cases of defenders who have suffered killings, attacks, harassment, threats and imprisonment on fabricated charges between 2007 and 2009 to prevent them from doing their work.

"Defending human rights in Mexico is life-threatening and the government is not doing enough to tackle the problem," said Nancy Tapias-Torrado, researcher on human rights defenders at Amnesty International. "When one human rights defender is attacked, threatened or killed, it sends a dangerous message to many others and denies hope to all those on whose behalf the defender is working".

Amnesty International said it believes there are dozens of such cases, very few of which are effectively investigated and even fewer brought to justice. In none of the cases included in the report has a full investigation been carried out and in only two of them suspects are in detention.

Human rights defenders take action to protect and promote human rights. States have a responsibility to protect these people and ensure they can carry out their work.

Activists working to protect the rights of communities living in poverty, those who defend the rights of Indigenous peoples or work to protect the environment are at particular risk of attack. Their work is seen as interfering with powerful political or economic interests. Too often they are treated as trouble-makers not as human rights defenders working for a better society where respect for human rights can be a reality...

"The Mexican government must urgently develop an effective and comprehensive programme of protection for human rights defenders," said Nancy Tapias-Torrado.

Amensty International

21 Jan. 21, 2010

See also:

Task Force Convenes to Take on Human Trafficking

Attorney General Greg Abbott summoned the first meeting of the newly formed Human Trafficking Prevention Task force Thursday.

The task force was created by the 81st Texas Legislature. It was pioneered by [state] Senator Leticia Van de Putte and [state] Representative Randy Weber.

The goal of the task force is to ensure law enforcement officials have state-wide communication and cooperation.

"By working proactively to improve collaboration, task force members are better positioned to crack down on traffickers and provide desperately needed services to human trafficking victims," Abbott said.

The U.S. State Department estimates between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the U.S. from all over the world. Those statistics revealed that one in five of victims who were trafficked domestically are believed to have been in Texas.

"We can go to the very heart of the problem by expanding beyond a mere prostitution prosecution and go after an entire ring of people who are trafficking individuals, 80 percent of whom are women [and] 50 percent of whom are children, and forcing them into sex slavery or other kinds of servitude," Abbott said.

The U.S. Department of Justice labeled El Paso and Houston as the “most intense trafficking jurisdictions in the country.”

A human trafficking report from 2008 offered 21 recommendations to help reduce human trafficking and improve services to victims.

News 8 Austin Staff

Jan. 22, 2010

See also:

View the 93-page human trafficking report "Texas Response to Human Trafficking." (PDF File)

Office of the Attorney General of Texas

Nov., 2008

See also:

Texas, USA

Attorney General's Report Details Human Trafficking in Texas

Austin - Texas has become a major hub for human trafficking, state officials said Monday while proposing a more aggressive response to what a senior lawmaker described as "modern-day slavery."

Nearly 20 percent of human-trafficking victims found nationwide have been in Texas, according to a report released by Attorney General Greg Abbott. The 57-page report, mandated by the Legislature in 2007, also identifies Interstate 10 as a major route through Texas for human-trafficking rings.

Abbott released the report at a news conference with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who introduced legislation to combat the problem.

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

Nov. 18, 2008

See also:

Texas, USA

Senator Van de Putte Files the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act

San Antonio - Today, November 10, Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) filed Senate Bill 89, the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act.

According to the U.S. Department of State, human trafficking occurs in urban and rural settings alike, with more than 25% of all U.S. trafficking victims trafficked through Texas. After working with the Office of the Attorney General, law enforcement personnel, and various non-government organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking, Senator Van de Putte has authored SB 89.

Highlights of the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act are the creation of a state-wide human trafficking prevention taskforce, training for peace officers, as well as increased protections for underage victims of trafficking.

"Although we have made great strides in the last session of the legislature, there is much more to be done. Everyday thousands of defenseless children and vulnerable adults are trafficked through Texas and forced into labor or sex."

"We cannot afford to allow these atrocities to continue the vile practice of modern day slavery, stated Senator Van de Putte."

Office of Senator Leticia Van de Putte

Nov. 10, 2008


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Haiti

Veteran Mexican women's rights lawyer and CATW-LAC director Teresa Ulloa requests donations to assist the personal situation and work of CATW-LAC's representative for Haiti and other French-speaking nations in the Americas, Geylande MesGadieu

Estimadas Compañeras y Compañeros, Amigas y Amigos,

Geylande MesGadieu, nuestra Directora Nacional de la CATW-LAC en Haiti y Coordinadora de la Zona Francofona, está viva. Sin embargo está pasando por una situación muy desesperada, ya que perdió su casa, su vehículo, su ropa y su oficina. Se quedó sin nada, inclusive el día de hoy que pude hablar por teléfono con ella, me comentó que no tienen agua, ni alimentos.

Como en todas los casos de guerra o desastre, las mujeres, jóvenes, niñas y niños que se quedaron sólos, se vuelven muy vulnerables frente a los tratantes y explotadores. Ella tiene necesidad de resolver sus necesidades básicas para poder empezar a organizar y estructurar la ayuda y protección de las poblaciones más vulnerables.

Hemos abierto una cuenta exclusiva para recibir sus donativos para ella y para su trabajo. Ojalá nos puedan apoyar.

Recibimos aportaciones desde US$10.00 Dlls.

Chères Camarades,

Guylande Mesadieu, notre Directrice Nationale de la CATW-LAC en Haïti et Coordinatrice de la zone Francophone, est vivante, toutefois elle est entrain de passer par une situation très désespérée, puisqu’elle a perdue sa maison, son véhicule, ses habits et son bureau. Elle est restée sans rien, même le jour d’aujourd’hui j’ai pu parler avec elle par téléphone, elle m’a commentée qu’elle n’a pas d’eau, ni aliments.

Comme dans tous les cas de guerre u désastre, les femmes, jeunes, filles et garçons qui ont restés seuls, deviennent très vulnérables face aux traitants et exploiteurs. Elle a besoin de résoudre ses besoins basiques pour pouvoir commencer à organiser et structurer l’aide et protection des populations plus vulnérables.

Nous avons ouvert un compte exclusif pour recevoir ses donations pour elle et pour son travail.

J’espère que vous pourrez nous aider.

Nous recevons contributions depuis US$10.00 Dlls.

Dear Friends,

Geylande MesGadieu, our CATW-LAC National Director in Haiti, who is also our French coordinator for the French speaking Caribbean, is alive. However, she is going through a very desperate situation. She lost her home, her car, her clothes and her office. She has nothing at all. She lost everything. Even today, when I spoke with her on the telephone, she told me that they do not have water or food.

As in almost all cases of war and disaster, women, youth, and children who find themselves alone become more vulnerable to being co-opted by traffickers and exploiters. Geylande needs to solve her basic needs so that she can begin to  organize to help protect the most vulnerable persons in Haiti.

We have opened a bank account exclusively to receive donations for Geylande and her work. We would appreciate your help.

We are receiving donations starting at US$10.00 dollars.

Titular de la Cuenta / Titulaire de compte / Name of the Owner of the Account:

Coalición Regional Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe

Bank: BBVA Bancomer

No. de Cta. / No. De compte / Account Number: 0170826413

Moneda / Monnaie / Currency: US Dollars

Clabe Interbancario / Inter Banque Clé / Interbank Code: 012180001708264136

Succursale / Succursale / Branch: 5038 DF Obregón-Centenario.

ABA NUMBER (US Dollars Only): BCMRMXMMPYM

Intermediary Bank Name: J. P. Morgan Chase Bank

Location: New York, N.Y., USA

Bank Routing/Fed. Routing/ABA:

021-000-021

SWIFT BIC: CHASUS33

If possible, please send a scanned or electronic copy of the transaction to: finanzas@catwlac.org

Por su solidaridad y apoyo de siempre, Muchas gracias.

Par sa solidarité et appui de toujours, Merci beaucoup.

For your solidarity and support, Thank you very much.

Sororalmente / Amicalement / In Sisterhood,

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziaurriz,

Directora Regional de la Coaliación contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, A.C.

Regional Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean

(CATW-LAC)

email: tulloaz@hotmail.com


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti, Mexico

[News Briefs]

More than 50 Mexicans are reported missing from Haiti’s January 12 earthquake; a Mexican woman’s body was recovered.

Last week, a Mexican rescue team freed a Haitian woman trapped in the home of Port-au-Prince’s Catholic archbishop, who was killed in the quake.

The San Diego Tribune

Jan. 24, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Human Trafficking, Money Laundering

The ringleader remains hospitalized, but other defendants in a case that involved human trafficking and money laundering were sentenced by a federal judge in Austin last week.

Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, 34, the primary defendant, won’t appear in court until after she is released from the hospital, but Mike Lemoine, public information officer with the IRS criminal investigations division, said she is expected to receive a 20-year sentence.

There were a total of 19 defendants in the case and three are still fugitives.

Charges ranged from conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens, hostage taking and forced labor to money laundering and weapons offenses. Defendants sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel were: Luz Maria Garcia-Garza, 21 months; Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega, 71 months; Alejandro Guzman-Ortega, 37 months; Argeo Salgado-Ortega, 150 months; Saul Romero-Salgado, 144 months and Fulgencio Loredo-Rubio, 63 months.

The raid resulted from concerned calls to law enforcement by the families of some of the people being held. SMPD Chief Howard Williams said the smugglers had contacted the family members, threatening to kill their loved ones if they didn’t pay up.

Trevino-Alvarez, Garcia-Garza, Alejandro Guzman-Ortega and Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega were arrested July 16, 2008, when law officers from eight jurisdictions swarmed a San Marcos mobile home at the Regency Mobile Home Park off Post Road.

Officers rescued 26 people from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua who were in this country illegally. Police said the trailer had no air conditioning, and described it as sweltering...

Eight women, including one pregnant, and 18 men were rescued. Nine of them had to be treated at Central Texas Medical Center for dehydration and open wounds...

The operation charged $2,000 to $4,000 to bring the people into the country, keeping them briefly in Reynosa [Mexico] and then having them walk for two nights “through the brush” before they were picked up and brought to San Marcos.

Once at the mobile home, they were “required to remove their shoes and outer garments,” and told to make cell phone calls to friends and family for an additional $2,000.

Other defendants, and their depositions, were: Juanita Leija-Trevino, five years probation; Sandra Leija, 24 months imprisonment; Marisavette Esteves-Leija, five years probation; Wendy Nadine Adame, five years probation; Letecia Ann Miranda, five years probation; Leslie Denise Vargas, three years probation; Randy Rene Contreras, three years probation; and Concepcion Loredo-Leija, five years probation.

Still at large are Luis Loredo-Rubio, Mariam Salgado-Ortega and Mario Alberto Salgado...

Anita Miller

San Marcos Daily Record

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Mexicans In U.S. Fear Violent Mexico

Redwood City, California - Poverty and joblessness aren’t the only factors keeping Mexican immigrants in the United States from returning to their home country. Now they have another reason -- panic over the high levels of violence, a result of the so-called “war on drugs” launched by President Felipe Calderón.

Of the more than 16,205 murders committed in Mexico during the Calderón administration, the majority has occurred in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Baja California, Durango, Michoacán and Guerrero. The most violent year in the last decade was 2009, with 7,724 murders, in addition to a spike in kidnappings (mostly committed by drug traffickers), reaching 111 per month...

…As noted in an editorial in the Mexican daily La Jornada last week, civilians—including women and children—are often caught in the line of fire…

Journalists, too, are afraid to return home. "In recent years, journalists have been forced to leave their country to save their lives,” Sanjuana Martinez writes on her blog. “Some have decided to seek asylum in the United States and Canada on grounds of persecution."

"What's happening [in Mexico] is very serious," says Mexican journalist Francisco Barradas. Barradas, who lives in San Francisco, says he is shocked and saddened, especially by the murders and disappearances of journalists. In the last decade, 65 journalists were killed in Mexico, making it the most dangerous country for journalists in all of Latin America. None of the journalists’ cases has been solved.

"Dozens of attacks and 14 murders have taken place in the last year [2009]. When journalists denounce the complicity of authorities, police, or political leaders in organized crime, sparks fly. And the warnings may come in the form of threats by phone or email; being followed; verbal or physical attacks; robberies; attacks on their homes or cars, or other crimes," says Martinez.

On Dec. 8, 2009 Amnesty International (AI) held worldwide protests against the human rights violations and abuses by the Mexican Army. In a report, the human rights organization warns that in the last two years, violations of individual rights, such as forced disappear-ances and torture, have reached “scandalous levels.

"Although we live far away, as long as the violence continues to grow in Mexico, as long as we hear about shootings and murders every day, and many of these victims are innocent people who had nothing to do with drug trafficking, we won’t stop feeling sad and living under stress here in the United States," says Carvajal.

Manuel Ortiz

New American Media

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti

Sin confirmar, número de menores de edad desaparecidos en Haití

Reitera Unicef alerta por posible activación de redes de trata

México DF, - El Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), asegura que “no puede confirmar cuántos menores de edad están desaparecidos” en Haití, y reiteró su preocupación por la posible activación de las redes de trata, vinculadas al mercado ilegal de adopción, que operan en República Dominicana.

En un comunicado, Unicef alertó sobre el riesgo de la actual situación en Haití, luego de las declaraciones del consejero regional de Unicef en Ginebra, Jean Luc Legrand, que hablan de un supuesto secuestro de 15 menores de edad en hospitales de Puerto Príncipe.

Luc Legrand explicó que el problema de las redes, ya existía en Haití. “Esas redes se activan apenas ocurre una catástrofe y aprovechan para secuestrar a niñas y niños para sacarlos del país”, declaró el consejero...

Narce Santibañez Alejandre

CIMAC

Jan. 22, 2010

See also (English equivalent):

UNICEF Warns of Missing Children in Haiti

In a disturbing development, a number of children have gone missing from Haitian hospitals, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

"UNICEF is aware of reports of children removed from the country without due process or proper documents," UNICEF spokesperson Christopher de Bono told reporters. "The Haitian government has been informed of these reports and is investigating. It has also increased its presence and vigilance at exit points to prevent children being taken illegally."

Incidents of child trafficking are often reported after emergencies, said de Bono, who added that Illegal adoption, smuggling and abduction can take place as well.

Adviser of childhood protection of UNICEF, Jean Claude Legrand, said in Geneva that since Jan. 12, 15 children have disappeared from the hospitals of Port au Prince, Haiti's capital.

However, de Bono said any specific numbers about children illegally removed from Haiti are only speculative.

"We don't believe speculation about numbers helps alleviate or improve the situation of children," he said. "We are simply not in a position to confirm numbers."

Twenty-nine organizations, including UNICEF, have taken a number of steps to clamp down on child abductions. Hospitals have been visited to ensure that hospital staff are aware of the need to check the credentials of anyone who removes a child.

Also, when unaccompanied children are found they are sent to a center created to deal with such cases. Messages are being broadcast on local radio stations advising Haitians about the protection of children and the reunification of families, added de Bono.

"UNICEF remains very concerned about the situation of children in Haiti, and particularly of children who have become separated from their parents or caregivers," he said. "What Haitian children need right now is urgent assistance where they are -- in Haiti."

Xinhua

Jan. 23, 2010

See also:

Children Missing From Haiti Hospitals: UNICEF

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

New York, USA

Crime victim Jessica Ybe

Horror Show in Brooklyn...

A Brooklyn man went on a rampage, murdering his girlfriend and her two young daughters in a stabbing frenzy that left blood dripping into the apartment below, cops and neighbors said yesterday.

When police arrived at the East Flatbush home, they found a horror show - the corpse of a 22-year-old woman wrapped in plastic bags and the bodies of two girls, ages 2 and 5, rolled in a carpet.

Jermaine Ruiz, 24, was preparing to hide the bodies in a Dumpster when cops arrived.

He confessed to killing all three, cops said, and charges were pending...

The crime was uncovered after Ruiz called his father in the Bronx and told him what he had done, cops said.

The father alerted police, and two detectives went to the Rogers Ave. apartment building.

When the suspect opened the door, cops saw the body of his girlfriend, Jessica Ybe, partially covered with plastic bags. Inside, cops spotted the rolled-up carpet with plastic bags covering both ends.

When they opened it up, the two little girls were inside. Ybe and Ruiz had 7-month-old twins together who were with Ruiz's mom in the Bronx during the killings, cops and family said.

The twins were safe with Ruiz's mom last night. So much blood was spilled in the stabbings that the woman living directly below Ruiz reported some blood dripped into her kitchen through the ceiling.

"She was completely hysterical," a neighbor said of the downstairs tenant.

Cops believe the bloodbath happened late Wednesday after a fight erupted between Ruiz and Ybe.

"It was physical, beginning on the street, continuing into the apartment," Browne said. A neighbor who saw the fight said Ruiz "looked crazy."

The New York Daily News

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Arizona, USA / Mexico

Excerpts from the U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter

Jan. 19, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for felony rape/victim drugged - and was a registered sex offender in the State of California.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. During processing... ...He had a prior conviction for felony child kidnapping and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for a sexual offense on a child in the State of Wisconsin and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 16, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for intercourse without consent of a female in the State of New York, and that he had been previously required to depart from the United States by an immigration judge.

Jan. 13, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 12, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the State of Illinois, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 10, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Centro, California. ...The subject had a prior conviction for assault to commit mayhem/rape in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the State of California, and had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 08, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 07, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sonoita, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault in the State of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lukeville, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape by force or fear, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for sexual intercourse with a minor in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape in the State of South Dakota, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 05, 2010: Agents arrested a USC and seized 210 pounds of marijuana near Tucson, Arizona. Agents encountered the subject as one of a group of backpackers attempting to circumvent the checkpoint. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a conviction for a sex offense against a child. He was also the subject of an active arrest warrant issued in the State of Arizona for a parole violation.

Jan. 04, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had prior convictions for rape by force or fear, and marijuana possession in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 03, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

Jan. 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Margarito Andres

Accused Child Rapist On The Run

Margarito Andres is wanted for two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12

In November 2009, a 13-year-old girl came to Boynton Beach, Fla., police with a shocking story of sexual abuse.

Cops say the child bravely confessed that she'd been repeatedly raped for more than two years by an older man, and that the man had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

She went on to tell police that she'd also seen him abuse her 11-year-old sister.

Cops say the girl identified the man as Margarito Andres, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

Andres fled as soon as he heard he was wanted for questioning, no one has seen or heard from him since.

If you've seen Margarito Andres or know anything about his whereabouts, call our Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

America's Most Wanted

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Illinois, USA

Alejandro Flores

Priest Who Tried to Kill Himself Could be Deported

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

Flores, 37, was charged Wednesday after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores was charged after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below...

The Chicago Sun Times

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Juan Cahuich-Santiago

[Man] Charged with Raping his Girlfriend’s Grandmother

Last week, sheriff’s deputies in Marion County, FL, arrested Juan Cahuich-Santiago, 25, and charged him with sexual battery on a special condition victim. The illegal alien was living in the home with the elderly woman, and the alleged rape occurred while his girlfriend was out shopping.

When the family returned from the grocery store, they found the 76-year-old woman lying in an odd position, and her clothing disheveled. The victim, who cannot speak, was unable to stand and covered in bruises.

According to the arrest report, the woman had a bump on her forehead, bruises on her legs, and her pony tail had been pulled out.

A used condom was found in the trash.

Her injuries were so severe, that the grandmother required surgery after the attack.

Initially, Santiago-Cahuich denied raping the woman. However, under questioning, he admitted to the attack.

He told detectives that he had been watching an x-rated movie, before forcing himself on her. After finishing with her, the Mexican national placed her back in the recliner and fell asleep.

The arrest affidavit also indicates that Santiago-Cahuich knew that the woman has dementia and was incapable of refusing his advances.

Santiago-Cahuich is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $75,000 bond.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Pennsylvania / Iowa, USA

Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte

Man Wanted in Northeastern Pennsylvania Rape Caught in Iowa

A man wanted in a violent rape in northeastern Pennsylvania has been captured in Iowa.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 27-year-old Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte in Cedar Rapids on Thursday.

U.S. Marshal Michael Regan says Perez-Duarte is accused of raping a Meshoppen woman on Dec. 27.

The victim was beaten, raped, thrown down a set of stairs and pulled back up the stairs by her hair. She suffered a broken leg, bloody mouth and black eye in the attack.

Perez-Duarte, a native of Guatemala, awaits extradition to Pennsylvania to face charges.

The Associated Press

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Mississippi, USA

Mexican Predator Arrested by ICE

Horn Lake - A Mexican national convicted of fondling a minor was arrested Jan. 20 at the Desoto County Sheriff's Office by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Juan Vera-Serna, 34, was identified by DRO officers on May 7, 2009, during screening at the Horn Lake Police Department following his arrest for simple assault, simple assault with intent and felony child fondling. During an interview, he provided an alias name to officers; however, fingerprint checks revealed his true identity and the fact that he had been previously removed from the United States in 1994.

Since Vera-Serna had previously been removed from the United States, his case was presented to the U. S. Attorney's Office in Northern Mississippi for criminal prosecution as an illegal reentry.

"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal in New Orleans. "Criminals in Mississippi should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.

U.S. ICE

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 21, 2010

Haiti

A girl sits beside her injured mother in a tent in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Picture taken on January 18, 2010, nearly a week after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean nation.

Photo: Reuters / United nations / Logan Abassi

Haitian girls face increased vulnerability after quake

Girls have long been vulnerable to violence and neglect in Haiti, a nation with high rates of rape and HIV/AIDS and a tradition of sending poor rural girls to cities to work as domestic servants.

But last week's devastating earthquake has dramatically increased their risks, human rights and child protection experts say.

Sources of protection - families, police, churches, schools - have in many cases disappeared as a result of the disaster, and a general lack of security and order leaves the girls increasingly exposed.

"During a humanitarian crisis like this, vulnerability increases just because everything has been uprooted," said Gerard Ducoc, a Haiti researcher with Amnesty International.

"Communities, people who care for children, relatives and friends are no longer there. The social network is no longer there. The authorities are absent. The local public institutions are not operational. You don't have any defense mechanism except your instinct for survival," Ducoc said.

Aid workers in Haiti say that, contrary to reports of widespread violence and looting, many survivors have responded to the disaster by doing their utmost to protect and assist neighbors, including many orphaned and vulnerable children.

"The overall response in Port-au-Prince has been one of tremendous dignity and solidarity among people," said Yifat Susskind, a spokeswoman for MADRE, an international women's human rights group based in New York, which with partner organizations has sent teams of Creole-speaking medical workers to Haiti.

"Harrowing Situation"

But girls face some unique problems in the aftermath of such a natural disaster, aid workers said.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti had an estimated 300,000 abandoned or orphaned children, and a serious problem with child trafficking, Ducoc said. More than 100,000 girls aged 6 to 17 were working as domestic servants, in situations that often left them vulnerable to violence or neglect, according to UNICEF...

In the aftermath of the disaster, such children and tens of thousands of new orphans may be at risk of traffickers or unscrupulous adoption agencies "dipping into a vulnerable pool", said Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF's child protection division.

UNICEF is working to quickly set up a registration system for unaccompanied children and a hotline to report children alone, as well as safe shelters. The aim of such efforts, which worked effectively in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and Pakistan's earthquake, Bissell said, is to try to reunite as many children with surviving family members as possible.

 Laurie Goering

Reuters AlertNet

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

General Russel Honoré

General Honoré, we agree with your views 100%!

Thank you for speaking-up!

LibertadLatina

General Honoré: Evacuate Most Vulnerable Haitians

Says our culture is afraid of poor people in large groups so we focus on security

Honoré says supplies can't meet demand; U.N. should start an evacuation plan for Haiti

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was highly praised for his leadership of recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, so he's well-versed in what works and what doesn't in disaster management.

The general told CNN last week that the U.S. military should have responded sooner to the earthquake in Haiti because "time is of the essence" in helping quake survivors.

CNN's Nicole Dow talked to Gen. Honoré Wednesday about his assessment of the situation in Haiti since he made those remarks...

CNN: You led the Joint Task Force for Hurricane Katrina. Can you draw some parallels between Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti?

Honoré: In my book, "Survival," there's a chapter that talks about dealing with the poor. I think sometimes we talk security, because as a culture, we are afraid of poor people in large groups. In Haiti, right after the earthquake, there were doctors who left. One said, "We don't have any security so we left."

That, in and of itself, is indicative of my Katrina experience. People start talking security.

And the slower we go, the more there's the possibility of that happening. We have to work on establishing the community government officials in Haiti so they can start communicating with their people.

We have to get food and water there to local government officials to distribute it. The local government officials should be authorized to hire young men. The local economy will crank up if we pay people in Haiti to do the cleanup and to run the distribution centers...

CNN: What are the top five points to keep in mind in the aftermath of natural disaster?

Honoré: 1) Improve communications. 2) Get food and water in. 3) Take care of the health and needs of people. 4) Evacuate people, particularly those who are pregnant, disabled, injured, babies, those who cannot take care of themselves. 5) Establish who's in charge. The president of Haiti [Rene Preval] is in charge.

It's different when the president and his government are victims. They are going to need help. Someone needs to be the face of the operation to help the president keep people alive.

You must have communication to establish a way of giving information to the people in their communities.

You have to be your own first responder in a disaster like Haiti, and the Haitian people did that. These situations have a tendency to get worse before getting better unless you start evacuating vulnerable people.

Also, you have to take a risk [about security] during the search-and-rescue phase. In that phase of the operation, search-and-rescue takes priority over security.

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti, Spain

ESPAÑA: La seguridad y salud de los niños haitianos tras sismo preocupan a las ONG

La ONG Save the Children expresó hoy su preocupación por la seguridad y la salud de los niños de Haití, donde ha comenzado a establecer espacios seguros para los más pequeños en los refugios y campamentos instalados tras el seísmo.

www.adn.es

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

Save the Children Responds to Strong New Aftershock in Haiti, Establishes Safe Spaces for Children

Save the Children

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

HAITI: Los niños haitianos, abandonados a su suerte

Ya hay constancia de algunos abusos contra los menores errantes

 www.elmundo.es/

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

UNICEF fears child trafficking, opposes foreign Haiti adoption

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

worldbulletin.net

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

UNICEF: La adopción de niños debe ser la última opción posible.

"Nuestra política es tratar a toda costa de encontrar familiares del niño, y lograr la reunificación familiar. La adopción la vemos como la última opción, cuando todas las demás hayan fracasado", dijo la portavoz de Unicef, Veronique Taveau.

www.abc.es/

Jan. 19, 2010

See also (English version):

Foreign adoption of Haitian children "last resort" - United Nations

Geneva - Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

If parents are dead or unaccounted for, efforts should be made to reunite a child with his or her extended family, including grandparents, she said. A child should "remain to the extent possible in its country of birth".

"The last resort is inter-country adoption," Taveau said.

Before the quake, 48 percent of Haiti's population was under 18 years old, according to the agency.

UNICEF also said it had reports of violence against Haitian children since the quake, but gave no details.

"In this type of emergency, children are unfortunately the most vulnerable, especially those who have been abandoned," UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau told a news briefing. "We fear cases of child trafficking could occur."

Reuters

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

Myriam Merlet was one of three leading activists in the Haitian women's movement who died, a victim of the earthquake.

Women's Movement Mourns Death of 3 Haitian Leaders

...Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of the country's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, are confirmed dead -- victims of last week's 7.0 earthquake...

"Words are missing for me. I lost a large chunk of my personal, political and social life," Carolle Charles wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. The Haitian-born sociology professor at Baruch College in New York is chair of Dwa Fanm (meaning "Women's Rights" in Creole), a Brooklyn-based advocacy group. These women "were my friends, my colleagues and my associates. I cannot envision going to Haiti without seeing them."

Myriam Merlet was until recently the chief of staff of Haiti's Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women, established in 1995, and still served as a top adviser...

She was a founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their names. Among her efforts, she set out to get streets named after Haitian women who came before her...

Magalie Marcelin, a lawyer and actress who appeared in films and on stage, established Kay Fanm, a women's rights organization that deals with domestic violence, offers services and shelter to women and makes microcredits, or loans, available to women working in markets...

With Merlet, Anne Marie Coriolan, 53, served as a top adviser to the women's rights ministry.

Coriolan... was the founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), which Charles described as an advocacy and services organization. ..

Coriolan was a political organizer who helped bring rape -- "an instrument of terror and war," Charles said -- to the forefront of Haitian courts.

Before 2005, rapes in Haiti were treated as nothing more than "crimes of passion," Charles explained. That changed because of the collective efforts of these women activists -- and others they inspired.

With the three leaders gone, there is concern about the future of Haiti's women and girls. Even with all that's been achieved, the struggle for equality and against violence remains enormous...

Before the disaster struck last week, a survey of Haitian women and girls showed an estimated 72 percent had been raped, according to study done by Kay Fanm. And at least 40 percent of the women surveyed were victims of domestic violence, [Taina] Bien-Aimé, [the executive director of Equality Now], said...

"From where we stand," Bien-Aimé wrote in an e-mail, "the most critical and urgent issue is what, if any, contingencies the relief/humanitarian agencies are putting in place not only to ensure that women have easy access to food, water and medical care, but to guarantee their protection."

Concerned women in the New York area plan to gather Wednesday to strategize their next steps...

Jessica Ravitz

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Clausuran hotel del DF tras rescate de menores en explotación sexual

Elementos de la Policía Judicial clausuraron las instalaciones del Hotel Palacio, ubicadas en la colonia Algarín, después de un cateo realizado la pasada semana, en el cual fueron rescatadas varias menores en condiciones de explotación sexual.

Police close Mexico City hotel after rescuing sexually exploited children

Elements of the Judicial Police have closed the facilities of the Hotel Palace, located in Mexico City's Algarín neighborhood, after a raid last week in which a number of children were rescued from prostitution.

CaribbeanNewsDigital.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonan sus estudios por la crisis económica

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonaron en 2009 sus estudios de primaria y secundaria por la crisis económica que ha afectado con fuerza a México y, en especial, a las clases sociales más bajas, según los datos divulgados por el Instituto Nacional de Educación para Adultos (INEA).

Some 700,000 children and adolescents have abandoned school as a result of the economic crisis in Mexico

During 2009 an estimated 700,000 children and adolescents abandoned their primary and secondary school studies due to the economic crisis that has severely impacted Mexico and, in especially people in the lower social classes, according to data released by the National institute for Adult Education

(INEA).

EuropaPress.es

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Paraguay

Principal fin de trata de personas es la explotación sexual

La Dirección de Trata de Personas de la Secretaría de la Mujer de la Presidencia de la República, que integra la Mesa Interinstitucional de Prevención y Combate a la Trata de Personas, coordinada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y conformada por alrededor de cuarenta instituciones del sector público y privado, emitió un informe donde desnuda la situación de las mujeres víctimas de trata. Según la Lic. Luz Gamelia Ibarra, Directora de dicha área, el 95% de las víctimas fueron explotadas sexualmente, y el 6% laboralmente.

The main objective of human trafficking is sexual exploitation

The Human Trafficking Directorate of the Secretary of Women of the President of the Republic, who are the organizers of the  Inter-institutional Roundtable for the Prevention of and Combat Against Human Trafficking has released a report showing that 95% of human trafficking victims were sexually exploited. Some 6% of victims engaged in other forms of forced labor.

Source: The Secretary of Women of the Republic

jakueke.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Officials from WMCA International receive the 2009 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for their work in restoring victims of human trafficking.

Among other rescue efforts, WMCA International aided 99 female sex trafficking victims rescued from the Maximino Mondragon prostitution ring in Houston.

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar, the FBI's most wanted human trafficking fugitive, is wanted for trafficking large numbers of women and underage girls into prostitution in Houston.

2004-2005 photo

FBI Searching for Human Trafficking Suspect

Houston - The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a human trafficking suspect known as 'El Gallo.'

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar is the alleged leader of a group that smuggled young men and young women into Houston and Mexico. He has been identified as "the most wanted human trafficking fugitive" in a statement from the FBI in Houston.

Five other people have already pleaded guilty and served jail sentences for taking part in the trafficking operation.

In a news conference on Tuesday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers announced the reward increase from $5,000 to $15,000 for Salazar's capture and also presented an award to Constance Rossiter, YMCA International Trafficked Person's Assistance Program Director, to honor the organization's efforts in helping victims of human smuggling.

President Barack Obama has proclaimed that January 2010 be recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Houston is one of the five most dangerous U.S. cities for human trafficking and smuggling. A national hotline has been established to report human trafficking. Thirty percent of the calls to that hotline have come from the Houston area.

Most of the thousands of people smuggled and trafficked in the U.S. every year are women and children, especially young girls.

"It all comes down to greed. These are money making organizations who want to make money off the backs of these trafficking victims who are treated, not as human beings, but as commodities," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Gallagher.

The Houston-based Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance has rescued almost 200 victims since it was formed in 2004. Most victims of trafficking are severely abused, forced into prostitution and held against their will. Smuggling and trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business.

[The linked article includes a video report.]

Damali Keith

Fox New Houston

Jan. 12, 2010

See also:

Maximino Mondragon

Sex-trafficking Ringleader Gets 13 Years in Prison

Salvadoran smuggled Central American women into servitude at cantinas

The mastermind of a human trafficking ring that smuggled women from Central America to work in Houston cantinas as virtual sex slaves was sentenced Monday to 13 years in federal prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for recruiting and trafficking dozens of women and girls to Houston for commercial gain and for holding them “in a condition of indentured servitude.”

Along with others convicted in the case, he has also been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to victims, some of whom have obtained visas to stay in the United States and still live in the area.

The case involving Maximino Mondragon, 57, remains one of the largest human trafficking rings ever uncovered in the United States...

Mondragon “ruthlessly exploited these women’s hopes for a better life through coercion, false promises and threats of harm. The victims were forced into modern day slavery,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., said... “The Justice Department will devote its efforts to prosecuting those who commit such abhorrent and exploitative crimes.”

More than 120 women were liberated on the night of Nov. 13, 2005, when Mondragon and his fellow defendants were arrested in a massive nighttime raid of five of their bars and restaurants in seedy strip malls in northwest Houston...

Mondragon is the last of eight ring members to be convicted and sentenced.

According to records, Mondragon ran cantinas in Houston for more than a decade, along with Walter Corea. Both are natives of El Salvador. Five members of their families and a female abortionist were previously convicted and sentenced as accomplices...

Lise Olsen

The Houston Chronicle

April 27, 2009


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Tennessee, USA - Mexico

Suspect in Rape of 91-year-old Monroe County Woman Nabbed in Mexico

A Mexican fugitive wanted for the rape of 91-year-old Monroe County woman was arrested by Mexican federal authorities Tuesday, after some 22 months on the run, Tellico Plains Police Chief Bill Isbell announced today.

Francisco Barbosa-Sanchez, 37, was captured at a relative’s home in San Louis, Mexico and now is in custody in Mexico City, awaiting extradition, Isbell said.

Barbosa-Sanchez faces charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated burglary in the March 5, 2008, attack. He had been in the United States illegally, staying with his brother in Tellico Plains while doing construction work, authorities said. The brother lived in the same trailer park as the victim.

Police say the woman awoke that night to find a man holding a pillow over her face and beating her.

“He left her for dead,” Isbell said. “This was a brutal rape.”

Barbosa-Sanchez was linked to the crime by DNA evidence, police said. Authorities later found a car the suspect borrowed from a girlfriend parked at a Houston bus station and determined that he had bought a bus ticket back to Mexico.

The police chief credited Mexican authorities, the U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and others for the collaborative effort to locate the fugitive.

Despite local and international warrants issued against Barbosa-Sanchez, it still could take up to six months to extradite him back to Monroe County, Isbell said.

The victim, however, is still living and has since relocated to Ohio to live with her grandson.

“He says she’s doing great, physically and mentally,” Isbell said. “So if need be, she’s capable of testifying.”

Hayes Hickman

KnoxNews.com

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Haiti

(Before the earthquake)

This woman was enslaved as a child in Haiti.

After her husband disappeared during political unrest she couldn't take care of her 6 children and sent them to 'live with others' [as restavec slaves].

After working with Fondasyon Limyè Lavi (the Light of Life Foundation) for a short time, she brought her children home.

Photo: Free the Slaves

Human Traffickers Find Easy Prey Amid the Rubble of Haiti

In Haiti’s unstable post-quake atmosphere, at least one industry is poised to flourish. For those who buy and sell children for sex and cheap labor, Haiti is ripe with opportunity.

When the earthquake struck the impoverished island country last Tuesday afternoon, human traffickers suddenly gained access to a new population of displaced children. With parents dead, government offices demolished, and international aid organizations struggling to meet life-or-death demands, these kidnappers are in a unique position to snatch children with very little interference.

In today’s world, the twin causes of human slavery—poverty and vulnerability—increase exponentially after natural disasters. When the tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004, trafficking gangs moved quickly, seizing children and selling them as prostitutes in nearby Malaysia and Jakarta. In 2008, after floods devastated the Indian state of Bihar, groups of children were lured out of relief camps and sold to brothels across the nation.

I’ve seen many such stories up close. For the past three years, I’ve worked in India for International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency with twelve offices around the world. Rescuing victims of slavery and sexual exploitation are our specialties, and natural disasters unfailingly bring us new business...

In Haiti, as in India, human trafficking is a problem at the best of times. Even without the pandemonium unleashed by a 7.0 earthquake, an estimated quarter-million Haitian children are trafficked within the country each year. These slaves, known as restavecs, are typically sold or given away to new families by their own impoverished parents. Physical and sexual abuse is common for restavecs. Many owners use the girls as in-house prostitutes, sending them to live on the street if they become pregnant...

...An entirely new chunk of Haiti’s population has become homeless overnight. Even with aid pouring in from around the world, essential resources like food and medicine are enormously scarce on the streets of Haiti. But for predators looking for boys and girls to sell for labor and sex, Haiti is the right place to be.

Until earlier this month, Nicolette Grams worked with International Justice Mission in Chennai, India, as head of the communications department. She lives in India.

Nicolette Grams

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Montana, USA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some Focus on the Modern Slave Trade During Martin Luther King Day

Many around the country remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, just days after what would have been his 83rd birthday.

Many honored the strides King made for the Civil Rights Movement.

But some want to use this holiday to spread the word about today's abolitionist movements.

Almost 47 years have passed since Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous "I have a dream" speech. The United states and the world have made major strides since that time, but human trafficking still has millions enslaved today.

Chair of the Flathead Valley Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration, Reverend Darryl Kistler says, "27 million is almost a number that is beyond anything we can think about. That would be taking every person in Montana and multiplying us by 27 and that's how many people are involved or enslaved by human trafficking." ...

Rev. Kistler says, "There are still people around the world and even here in the United States that live under such adverse conditions." ...

Kistler says, "Doctor King teaches us that even those circum-stances that may not be our circumstances... That we really are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper... We need to care for them and help them whenever we can."

Students from the Flathead Valley Abolitionist Movement will talk about human trafficking Monday night at a Martin Luther King Community Celebration... at Flathead High School...

Julie Rogers

KECI

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

One American Indian Woman's Long Fight to Escape Prostitution

After losing her house and kids in 1996, Denise Ellis resorted to prostitution to support her crack habit. For 12 years, Ellis worked the streets, mostly around Bloomington Avenue in Minneapolis' Phillips neighborhood, without a reliable place to live.

"I didn't have any place to go. I wanted to get high, and I couldn't think of a quicker way to do it," she said. Throughout her homeless years, Ellis had stayed with relatives and friends until losing their trust. By early 2009, she was running out of places to stay at night.

As an American Indian, Ellis is more vulnerable to prostitution than most women, according to a first-of-its-kind report addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of American Indian women and girls in Minnesota.

Until the study's recent release, the plight of Ellis and other American Indian women trapped in prostitution has been largely hidden from public view in Minnesota.

"Shattered Hearts," a study released in September by the Minneapolis-based American Indian Women's Resource Center (AIWRC), found that in 2007, American Indians made up 2.2 percent of Hennepin County residents but 25 percent of the women there on probation for prostitution-related offenses...

Since its release, the report has prompted interest about the exploitation issue from legislators and the state Attorney General's Office, she says.

The report outlines recommendations from the center, the victims and the community, but many barriers prevent the law from fully addressing the problem. Ellis' story highlights some of the challenges in making substantial progress on such exploitation.

Joey Peters

MinnPost.com

Jan. 18, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

Trafficking Of Native Women is Widespread

Three decades ago, the relatives of an eleven-year-old Native girl in Minnesota forced her to have sex with a man in exchange for alcohol. The story was not front-page news. It was not the subject of a feature-length film with a happy ending. No one intervened. But when she turned eighteen, the police started paying attention. She was arrested and convicted over twenty times for prostitution.  Her parents’ addiction became her own, and she entered treatment dozens of times.

At an early age, the girl became one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Native American children and women forced into prostitution in Minnesota, falling under the radar of social services, the community, and the media...

In September, the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center became the first organization in the state to release a report about the widespread trafficking of Native women. The agency hopes its effort will draw attention and funding to Native victims of sexual exploitation…

The 126-page report, called Shattered Hearts, written by research scientist Alexandra Pierce, focuses on women who live outside of reservations. The report compiles statistics, identifies flaws in the legal system, draws parallels to the historic exploitation of Native people, and makes dozens of suggestions about how to address the problem. Pierce incorporated the Resource Center’s own studies, interviews with social service workers, and available government data…

Past treatment of Indian women

Some of the reasons for the staggering numbers are clear. Native Americans have the state’s highest rates of homelessness, poverty, and alcoholism – what many call the legacy of hundreds of years of colonialism. But the report also argues that generational trauma plays a role. White settlers repeatedly raped, tortured, and murdered Native women over hundreds of years, treating their bodies as disposable and worthless.

In one account from the 1860s, a white rancher describes a government attack on the Cheyenne: “I heard one man say that he had cut out a woman’s private parts and had them for exhibition on a stick…I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over the saddle-bows and wore them over their hats while riding in the ranks.”

Other more recent practices, including the involuntary sterilization of Native women and the Indian Adoption Project (which removed Native children from their homes), added to the collective trauma, the report says.

“There’s been so much violence and destruction of families because of colonization,” said Nicole Matthews, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition.

In Minnesota, advocates say that Native women have been prostituted onto ships in the Duluth harbor for generations, although local law enforcement say that they have not noticed any trafficking since harbor security was ramped up after 9/11.

…Every day Native women are being prostituted in Minnesota. The story of the woman who was sold into prostitution at age eleven demonstrates the challenges of intervention.

The woman did not connect with social services until her mid-‘40s. By that time, she was entrenched in a cycle of violence. Civil Society has provided her with emergency help several times over the past few years, but she faces limited options.

Right now, she is once again in treatment for alcoholism, and Miller, of Civil Society, said she still hopes the woman can create a healthy life for herself. But, she added, “Her story, and the other victims we see, are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Madeleine Baran

Dec. 06, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Port-au-Prince residents wait for a distribution of high protein biscuits by the World Food Program

Photo:Evelyn Hockstein / CARE - 2010

Haiti

Haitians Receive Little Help Despite Promises

Port-Au-Prince, - U.S. troops will help keep order on Haiti's increasingly lawless streets, the country's president said on Sunday as desperate earthquake survivors waited for food, water and medicine.

World leaders have pledged massive assistance to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake killed as many as 200,000 people, but five days into the crisis aid distribution was still random, chaotic and minimal.

Hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians are waiting for help, many of them in makeshift camps...

Andrew Cawthorne and Catherine Bremer

Reuters

Jan. 17, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

CARE: Tens of Thousands of Pregnant Women at Risk in Haiti

Humanitarian Group's Response Targets Vulnerable Women and Children

Port-Au-Prince - CARE warned Saturday that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children are at greatest risk in the wake of an earthquake that has devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and left nearly three million people in need of assistance. There are an estimated 37,000 pregnant women among the affected population in urgent need of safe drinking water, food and medical care. Half of Haiti's population is younger than 18 years old.

Hospitals and medical centers have been destroyed, and remaining centers are overwhelmed treating people injured from the quake. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth. Haiti already has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the region: 670 deaths per 100,000 live births.

"There are a lot of pregnant women in the streets, and mothers breastfeeding new babies," said Sophie Perez, country director for CARE in Haiti. "There are also women giving birth in the street, directly in the street. The situation is very critical. Women try to reach the nearest hospital, but as most of the hospitals are full, it's very difficult for them to receive the appropriate care. Mothers and their babies could die from complications without medical care." ...

CARE

Jan. 16, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Urgen Brindar Ayuda a Mujeres Haitianas

Llaman feministas a vigilar que no se violenten sus DH

El Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA), por sus siglas en inglés, y la Red Petateras, lanzaron un llamado de ayuda para las haitianas: niñas, mujeres y miles de embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y muerte, ya que desastres naturales como el que devastó a la capital de su país las afectan en mayor medida.

El organismo de Naciones Unidas precisó que Haití -el país más pobre del hemisferio occidental-, ya tenía antes de esta tragedia la más alta tasa de mortalidad materna en la región: 670 muertes por cada 100 mil nacidos vivos, cifra que podría incrementarse como consecuencia directa del fuerte terremoto de 7.0 grados en la escala de Richter.

En un comunicado de prensa, el UNFPA informó que el terremoto que azotó el país el martes pasado ha causado enormes dificultades, lesiones y pérdidas de vidas entre la población en general, sin embargo también pone a miles de mujeres embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y de muerte relacionadas con el embarazo y el parto.

“Las mujeres embarazadas en los alrededores de la capital del país, Puerto Príncipe, se encuentran sin acceso a los servicios de salud más básicos. La atención obstétrica de emergencia es una de las necesidades más urgentes”...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Appeal Launched for Emergency Assistance to Thousands of Pregnant Women at High Risk in Haiti

United Nations - Estimates that there could be as many as 37,000 pregnant women among the 3 million people affected by Haiti’s earthquake have led to an urgent appeal to meet their emergency maternal health needs.

The earthquake has devastated Haiti’s health system and many of the hospitals and clinics in Port–Au-Prince have been damaged. The remaining can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months...

Thee United Nations Population Fund

Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Falleció en el terremoto la activista feminista Myriam Merlet, actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres

Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and Head of the Haitian Ministry of Women, was killed in the recent earthquake

About the work of Myriam Merlet:

Rape Looms Large Over Haiti Slums

...Myriam Merlet, who heads the government's Ministry of Women, blames the high rate of rape in Haiti's slums on the political turmoil that has stained the country since the Duvalier family dictatorship was ousted in the mid-1980s.

Myriam Merlet:

"Rape has been used as a political weapon in this country since 1986. The soldiers in the army used rape to frighten people. The Chimeres (mainly pro-Aristide gangs) used rape to control the population," she says.

"Now the street gangs in the slums use rape as a powerful weapon of war."

She also says that there is a "state absence" in the slums and the gangs have "full power to terrorize the population as they wish".

...Weak justice

Two years ago, the United Nations in Haiti acknowledged widespread rape in the vast slums in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Almost half of the young women in conflict-zone slums have been raped
The UN said that almost half of the girls and young women, living in conflict-zone slums, like Cite Soleil and Martissant, had been raped.

But Amnesty says that not enough has been done to stamp out widespread rape which is on the rise again.

Rape was only made a criminal offense in Haiti in 2005. Before then judges would negotiate a sum of money to be paid to the victim's family...

BBC News

Nov. 27, 2008

See also:

Haiti

Haiti: solidarité avec nos soeurs et frères

Nous vous écrivons aujourd’hui ayant le coeur serré, deux jours après le catastrophique tremblement de terre à Haïti. Nous sommes très touchées par les images et les nouvelles que nous avions reçues au cours de ces dernières 48 heures, et nous sommes très inquiètes pour nos soeurs de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes dans le pays.

Nous essayons de contacter les copines de la CN et des groupes participants de la MMF à Haïti, mais n'avons pas pu parler avec aucune d’entre elles pour le moment. Malheureusement nos copines Magalie Marcellin de Kayfanm et Myriam Merlet, activiste féministe et actuelle responsable du Ministère des femmes, sont décédées dans le tremblement de terre. Nos pensées et toute notre solidarité vont à leurs familles et ami(e)s...

Haiti: solidaridad con nuestras hermanas y hermanos

Es con mucho pesar que escribimos a ustedes hoy, dos días después del terremoto catastrófico en Haití. Estamos muy consternadas y aun más tristes con las imágenes y noticias que hemos recibido en las ultimas 48 horas, además, estamos muy preocupadas por nuestras compañeras de la Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres (MMM) en este país.

Hemos estado intentando contactarnos con las compañeras de las CNs y de los grupos participantes de la MMM en Haití, pero hasta el momento presente, no logramos hablar con ninguna de ellas. Nos llegó la trágica noticia de que fallecieron en el terremoto nuestras compañeras Magalie Marcellin del Kayfanm y Myriam Merlet, militante feminista y actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres. Que sus familiares y amigos reciban nuestros pensamientos y solidaridad...

Haiti: solidarity with our sisters and brothers

It is with very heavy hearts that we write to you today, two days after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. We are incredibly shocked and saddened by the images and news that we have been receiving over the last 48 hours, and we are very worried for our World March of Women (WMW) sisters in the country.

We have been trying to get in contact with sisters from the NCB and from the WMW participating groups in Haiti, but have so far not been able to speak to any of them. The tragic news we have had is that our sisters Magalie Marcellin from Kayfanm and Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and actual Head of the Ministry of Women, were killed in the earthquake. Our thoughts and solidarity go out to their families and friends.

World March of Women

Jan. 14, 2010

See also:

About the work of Magalie Marcelin:

United Nations Confronts Another Sex Scandal

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Girls as young as 13 were having sex with U.N. peacekeepers for as little as $1.

Five young Haitian women who followed soldiers back to Sri Lanka were forced into brothels or polygamous households. They have been rescued and brought home to warn others of the dangers of foreign liaisons…

In the latest sex scandal to tarnish the world organization, at least 114 Sri Lankan troops have been expelled from the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti on suspicion of sexual exploitation of Haitian women and girls.

This poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere has endured occupation repeatedly over the centuries, each time suffering instances of statutory rape and economically coerced sexual relations.

Magalie Marcelin of the Women's Home organization, which is working to educate young Haitian women about their rights and the social risks around them, attributes the [U.N. security force] scandal to a long history of Haitians regarding women's bodies as commodities.

"That a soldier can do this to a girl he's supposed to be protecting comes from the same mentality that allows a professor to do it to his student or a father to his daughter," Marcelin said. "In this society, women's bodies are regarded as meat."

By Carol J. Williams

Los Angeles Times

Dec. 15, 2007

See also:

Lamentan fallecimiento de dos mujeres feministas, Myriam Merlet y Magalie Marcellin, en Haití

Feminist activists Myriam Merlet and Magalie Marcellin are mourned in Haiti

Gladys Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

The Double Weakness of Girls: Discrimination And Sexual Violence In Haiti

Encyclopedia Britannica


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

Ningún respeto a Derechos Humanos de Personas indígenas en México

Agrava militarización, situación de mujeres indígenas

México, DF, - México carece de políticas públicas que atiendan los problemas milenarios de los pueblos indígenas, y por el contrario, en medio de la militarización, las  mujeres indígenas son violadas y asesinadas, denunció Martha Sánchez Néstor, coordinadora general de la Asamblea Nacional Indígena Plural de Guerrero.

Por ello, “no se puede hablar de que en México se respetan los derechos humanos de las personas indígenas”, sostuvo Sánchez Néstor durante la presentación del Primer Informe sobre la Situación de los Pueblos Indígenas en el Mundo que presentó la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)...

Mexico Has No Respect Whatsoever for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

[Nationwide Drug war's] internal militarization puts indigenous women in danger

Mexico City - Mexico lacks public policies that are capable of effectively addressing the problems of indigenous peoples. To the contrary, during the current internal militarization, indigenous women are being raped and murdered, says Martha Sanchez Néstor, general coordinator of the National Plural Indigenous Assembly of Guerrero.

For that reason, “it is not possible to speak of a Mexico in which the human rights of indigenous people are respected,” added Sanchez Néstor, during the presentation of the First Report on the Situation of the Indigenous Peoples of the World, presented at the United Nations.

As CIMAC Noticias has reported during the past several years, a number of abuses against indigenous peoples have been reported in Guerrero state. The emblematic cases were those of Ines Fernandez and Valentin Rosendo, both of whom were raped by soldiers in 2002. Today both victims await decisions on their cases from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

We also remember the arbitrary detentions and rapes of two Tzeltal Mayan women, Ana, Beatriz and Celia González Pérez, in Chiapas state. In this case the IACHR published recommendations to the Mexican state to redress the damages done. There has not yet been any resolution to the case within Mexico.

Yesterday in press conference, Sanchez Néstor denounced th fact that the voices of the community radios have been criminalized, and that forced disappearances and imprisonments of defenders of the human rights have intensified.

We can also point to the 2007 cases of two young indigenous women journalists from the Triqui ethnicity, Felícitas Martínez, age 21 and Teresa Bautista, age 24. Together, hosted a Triqui-language radio show [highlighting women’s rights issues], called “Breaking the Silence.” They were murdered, and their case continues in impunity.

It is in that context in which Sanchez Néstor, called upon national, state and local governments in Mexico to respect the indigenous past, and to take into account the indigenous peoples who are alive today [30% of Mexico's population], peoples who’s timeless petitions for an end to the violence and discrimination against them, and for an end to the criminalization of those among them who organize to demand their rights, have never been responded to...

In regard to the alarming conditions that indigenous peoples face in Mexico, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the former [and first] United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, commented that there are faults in existing legislation, and that the budget to address these issues is not sufficient...

Full English Translation

Paulina Rivas Ayala

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

 Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

DNA Tool to Trace Missing Kids

...The Programme for Kids Identification with DNA Systems (DNA-PROKIDS), organized in 2004 by the Forensic Medicine Department at the University of Granada, Spain, aims to fight human trafficking by means of genetic identification of victims and their families, especially children...

DNA-PROKIDS has so far helped to identify 212 children, many of whom have been returned to their families...

Between 100,000 and 500,000 children have disappeared in Mexico over the past five years, according to estimates by non-governmental organizations...

”This year the situation has got worse, and more children have been stolen,” Elena Solís, head of the non-governmental Mexican Association for Stolen and Disappeared Children, which works to publicize cases and recover missing children, told IPS...

Although there are no reliable figures, an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people a year apparently fall prey to trafficking rings in Mexico…

…In Mexico, this criminal industry recruits people for domestic service, prostitution, seasonal agricultural work or extraction of organs.

Mexico’s criminal code does not specifically define stealing children as a crime, which makes fighting it difficult. However, kidnapping is a legally defined crime...

Non-governmental organizations have proposed setting up an early warning system that can be activated as soon as a missing child is reported…

Under Mexican law, the authorities only begin a search after a person has been missing for 72 hours. ”By then, the child could be in Thailand,” an example of a country notorious for child prostitution, Arellano complained.

”For years we have been asking for a law against child theft. Let’s hope the new Congress will listen to us,” said Solís…

”The problem with a DNA system is who handles the data. If the police and the Attorney General’s Office are infiltrated by organized crime, it represents a huge risk for them to be in charge, because there is no certainty that they will operate with transparency and respect for privacy,” said Arellano, referring to the notorious corruption in Mexico, made more intractable by the influence of drug mafias...

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Nov. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Florida, USA

Richard Morales-Marin snickers, and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo cries, in separate court sessions, as each was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for the brutal rape of a 12-year-old girl who was near her school bus stop before she was kidnapped

Two Sentenced in 2009 Child Rape

Orlando - Two men have been sentenced to consecutive life sentences for the kidnapping and rape a 12 year old girl. On February 5, 2009 the young victim was standing at her bus stop when Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin kidnapped her at knife point and raped her.

During their trial, both men tried to blame each other for the crime but in the end a jury found them both guilty. While in court for sentencing Hernandez-Monzalvo was extremely emotional as an interpreter read his letter to the judge, where he pleaded for mercy and asked to be with his family.

Morales-Marin was forced to face court alone. He had no supporters and even smirked while being sentenced. The brutal rape of the 12 year old girl early last year was no laughing matter for Circuit Judge Walter Komanski.

Judge Komanski: "I am making a recommendation to the Department of Corrections that at the conclusion of the service of your portion of the sentence, at such point that you die, that the recommendation is for the Department of Corrections that they transport your body to the immigration and naturalization service for deportation back to your own country," said Judge Komanski. "That neither of you are worthy to be buried in this country."

Hernandez-Monzalvo and Morales-Marin have 30 days to appeal their sentences.

WOFL Fox 35 Orlando

Jan. 08, 2010

See also:

Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin

Third Woman Makes Rape Allegations Against Suspects in Attack of 11-year-old

A third woman has come forward to report that she was a victim of the two men arrested for raping an 11-year-old girl.

Richard Morales-Marin and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo are behind bars for abducting the girl on her way to school last Thursday, raping her in an empty house on Rose Avenue, then returning her to her Lynx bus stop at OBT and Lancaster.

DNA evidence has linked Marin to at least one other rape, that of a 19-year-old girl near the Florida Mall last January. Now, another woman has contacted deputies, admitting she's a prostitute but saying she was raped in that same empty house by the same two men.

Deputy Carlos Padilla says [the adult victim] saw her attackers on the news, and was motivated by concern for the little girl to call deputies. "She just wanted deputies to know that these guys have been around, but she doesn't want to get involved and file a report." ...

There's an ongoing concern that Marin and Monzalvo, who are both in this country illegally, have more victims. Authorities are hoping that anyone with information will come forward.

Nikki Pierce

WDBO

Feb. 13, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

4 Immigrants Charged with Running Brothels in South Philadelphia

Philadelphia - Four illegal immigrants are accused of running brothels out of a pair of South Philadelphia houses.

Three of the men were arrested Monday, the same day a federal indictment against them was unsealed.

Investigators say 27-year-old Jose Claudio Corona Cotonieto and 31-year-old Raymond Gonzalez Salazar would schedule Hispanic women to travel from New York, New Jersey and Delaware to work in the brothel for about a week at a time.

Twenty-two-year-old Nicolas Gonzalez Salazar is also charged. A fourth suspect is still being sought.

Investigators say the men had run the brothels since August, netting them about $9,000 per week.

The Associated Press

Jan. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

California, USA

Monterey Gourmet Foods Sued for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

EEOC Says Male and Female Food Packers Fired After Reporting Harassment at Salinas Plant

Salinas, Calif. -- Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., a major producer of refrigerated gourmet food products, violated federal law when it allowed a supervisor to sexually harass four Latino workers at its Salinas plant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit. The EEOC also alleged that the company unlawfully retaliated against each worker by terminating them after they reported the harassment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, three women and one man who worked as packers in the lasagna, tamale and ravioli production units for several years faced sexual harassment from the same male supervisor. Starting in August 2006, their new crew leader’s conduct included sexual comments, gestures simulating sex with female workers, texting pornography, exposing himself, and grabbing the private body parts of workers. Although the employees reported the harassment to management and the human resources department, the company failed to take corrective action. In May 2008, all four workers were discharged or laid off just weeks after two of them filed discrimination charges with the EEOC.

The male worker, in his 80s, was mortified by the painful sexual groping. He said, “I needed to keep my job. Especially because of my age, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find other work.” One of the women added, “It got to the point where you just did not want to go in to work each day. I felt degraded and humiliated by my supervisor's endless sexual talk, the pornography, the gestures and touching. It was an abuse of power. That's why we decided to find help from the EEOC and California Rural Legal Assistance — to make it stop, if not for us, then for other workers.” ...

U.S. EEOC Press Release

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Haiti

Veteran Mexican women's rights lawyer and CATW-LAC director Teresa Ulloa requests donations to assist to life and work of CATW-LAC's representative for Haiti and the Frnch-speaking Caribbean, Geylande MesGadieu

Estimadas Compañeras y Compañeros, Amigas y Amigos,

Geylande MesGadieu, nuestra Directora Nacional de la CATW-LAC en Haiti y Coordinadora de la Zona Francofona, está viva. Sin embargo está pasando por una situación muy desesperada, ya que perdió su casa, su vehículo, su ropa y su oficina. Se quedó sin nada, inclusive el día de hoy que pude hablar por teléfono con ella, me comentó que no tienen agua, ni alimentos.

Como en todas los casos de guerra o desastre, las mujeres, jóvenes, niñas y niños que se quedaron sólos, se vuelven muy vulnerables frente a los tratantes y explotadores. Ella tiene necesidad de resolver sus necesidades básicas para poder empezar a organizar y estructurar la ayuda y protección de las poblaciones más vulnerables.

Hemos abierto una cuenta exclusiva para recibir sus donativos para ella y para su trabajo. Ojalá nos puedan apoyar.

Recibimos aportaciones desde US$10.00 Dlls.

Chères Camarades,

Comme nous vous avons fait savoir, Guylande Mesadieu, notre Directrice Nationale de la CATW-LAC en Haïti et Coordinatrice de la zone Francophone, est vivante, toutefois elle est entrain de passer par une situation très désespérée, puisqu’elle a perdue sa maison, son véhicule, ses habits et son bureau. Elle est restée sans rien, même le jour d’aujourd’hui j’ai pu parler avec elle par téléphone, elle m’a commentée qu’elle n’a pas d’eau, ni aliments.

Comme dans tous les cas de guerre u désastre, les femmes, jeunes, filles et garçons qui ont restés seuls, deviennent très vulnérables face aux traitants et exploiteurs. Elle a besoin de résoudre ses besoins basiques pour pouvoir commencer à organiser et structurer l’aide et protection des populations plus vulnérables.

Nous avons ouvert un compte exclusif pour recevoir ses donations pour elle et pour son travail.

J’espère que vous pourrez nous aider.

Nous recevons contributions depuis US$10.00 Dlls.

Dear Friends,

As you are probably aware, our CATW-LAC National Director in Haiti, and Francophone Coordinator is alive, but she is going through a very desesperate situation, she lost her home, her car, her clothes and her office. She is with nothing at all. She lost every thing, even today, when I spoke with her through the telephone, she told me that they do not have water and food.

As in almost all the cases of war or disasters, women, youth, and children that became alone, are more vulnerables to be coopted by traffickers and exploiters. She needs to solve her basic needs to start organizing an answer to help and protect the most vulnerable persons.

We have open a bank account exclusively to receive donations for her and her work. We would appreciate your help.

We are receiving donations starting at US$10.00 Dollars.

Titular de la Cuenta / Titulaire de compte / Name of the Owner of the Account:

Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe

Bank: BBVA Bancomer

Account Number: 0170826413

Moneda: US Dólares / Monnaie: US Dollars / Currency: US Dollars

Interbank Clabe: 012180001708264136
Branch: 5038 DF Obregón-Centenario.

Inter Banque Clé: 012180001708264136
Succursale: 5038 DF Obregon-Centenario

ABA NUMBER (US Dollars Only): BCMRMXMMPYM

Intermediary Bank Name: J. P. Morgan Chase Bank
Location New York, N.Y., USA
Bank Routing/Fed. Routing/ABA:
021-000-021
SWIFT BIC: CHASUS33

Please send a scanned or electronic copy of the transaction to: finanzas@catwlac.org

Por su solidaridad y apoyo de siempre, Muchas gracias.

Par sa solidarité et appui de toujours, Merci beaucoup.

For your solidarity and support, Thank you very much.

Sororalmente / Amicalement / In Sisterhood,

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziaurriz, Directora, Regional de la Coaliación contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, A.C. (CATW-LAC)

Tereca C. Ulloa, Regional Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC)

email: tulloaz@hotmail.com


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti, Mexico

[News Briefs]

More than 50 Mexicans are reported missing from Haiti’s January 12 earthquake; a Mexican woman’s body was recovered.

Last week, a Mexican rescue team freed a Haitian woman trapped in the home of Port-au-Prince’s Catholic archbishop, who was killed in the quake.

The San Diego Tribune

Jan. 24, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Human Trafficking, Money Laundering

The ringleader remains hospitalized, but other defendants in a case that involved human trafficking and money laundering were sentenced by a federal judge in Austin last week.

Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, 34, the primary defendant, won’t appear in court until after she is released from the hospital, but Mike Lemoine, public information officer with the IRS criminal investigations division, said she is expected to receive a 20-year sentence.

There were a total of 19 defendants in the case and three are still fugitives.

Charges ranged from conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens, hostage taking and forced labor to money laundering and weapons offenses. Defendants sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel were: Luz Maria Garcia-Garza, 21 months; Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega, 71 months; Alejandro Guzman-Ortega, 37 months; Argeo Salgado-Ortega, 150 months; Saul Romero-Salgado, 144 months and Fulgencio Loredo-Rubio, 63 months.

The raid resulted from concerned calls to law enforcement by the families of some of the people being held. SMPD Chief Howard Williams said the smugglers had contacted the family members, threatening to kill their loved ones if they didn’t pay up.

Trevino-Alvarez, Garcia-Garza, Alejandro Guzman-Ortega and Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega were arrested July 16, 2008, when law officers from eight jurisdictions swarmed a San Marcos mobile home at the Regency Mobile Home Park off Post Road.

Officers rescued 26 people from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua who were in this country illegally. Police said the trailer had no air conditioning, and described it as sweltering...

Eight women, including one pregnant, and 18 men were rescued. Nine of them had to be treated at Central Texas Medical Center for dehydration and open wounds...

The operation charged $2,000 to $4,000 to bring the people into the country, keeping them briefly in Reynosa [Mexico] and then having them walk for two nights “through the brush” before they were picked up and brought to San Marcos.

Once at the mobile home, they were “required to remove their shoes and outer garments,” and told to make cell phone calls to friends and family for an additional $2,000.

Other defendants, and their depositions, were: Juanita Leija-Trevino, five years probation; Sandra Leija, 24 months imprisonment; Marisavette Esteves-Leija, five years probation; Wendy Nadine Adame, five years probation; Letecia Ann Miranda, five years probation; Leslie Denise Vargas, three years probation; Randy Rene Contreras, three years probation; and Concepcion Loredo-Leija, five years probation.

Still at large are Luis Loredo-Rubio, Mariam Salgado-Ortega and Mario Alberto Salgado...

Anita Miller

San Marcos Daily Record

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 24, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Mexicans In U.S. Fear Violent Mexico

Redwood City, California - Poverty and joblessness aren’t the only factors keeping Mexican immigrants in the United States from returning to their home country. Now they have another reason -- panic over the high levels of violence, a result of the so-called “war on drugs” launched by President Felipe Calderón.

Of the more than 16,205 murders committed in Mexico during the Calderón administration, the majority has occurred in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Baja California, Durango, Michoacán and Guerrero. The most violent year in the last decade was 2009, with 7,724 murders, in addition to a spike in kidnappings (mostly committed by drug traffickers), reaching 111 per month...

…As noted in an editorial in the Mexican daily La Jornada last week, civilians—including women and children—are often caught in the line of fire…

Journalists, too, are afraid to return home. "In recent years, journalists have been forced to leave their country to save their lives,” Sanjuana Martinez writes on her blog. “Some have decided to seek asylum in the United States and Canada on grounds of persecution."

"What's happening [in Mexico] is very serious," says Mexican journalist Francisco Barradas. Barradas, who lives in San Francisco, says he is shocked and saddened, especially by the murders and disappearances of journalists. In the last decade, 65 journalists were killed in Mexico, making it the most dangerous country for journalists in all of Latin America. None of the journalists’ cases has been solved.

"Dozens of attacks and 14 murders have taken place in the last year [2009]. When journalists denounce the complicity of authorities, police, or political leaders in organized crime, sparks fly. And the warnings may come in the form of threats by phone or email; being followed; verbal or physical attacks; robberies; attacks on their homes or cars, or other crimes," says Martinez.

On Dec. 8, 2009 Amnesty International (AI) held worldwide protests against the human rights violations and abuses by the Mexican Army. In a report, the human rights organization warns that in the last two years, violations of individual rights, such as forced disappear-ances and torture, have reached “scandalous levels.

"Although we live far away, as long as the violence continues to grow in Mexico, as long as we hear about shootings and murders every day, and many of these victims are innocent people who had nothing to do with drug trafficking, we won’t stop feeling sad and living under stress here in the United States," says Carvajal.

Manuel Ortiz

New American Media

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti

Sin confirmar, número de menores de edad desaparecidos en Haití

Reitera Unicef alerta por posible activación de redes de trata

México DF, - El Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), asegura que “no puede confirmar cuántos menores de edad están desaparecidos” en Haití, y reiteró su preocupación por la posible activación de las redes de trata, vinculadas al mercado ilegal de adopción, que operan en República Dominicana.

En un comunicado, Unicef alertó sobre el riesgo de la actual situación en Haití, luego de las declaraciones del consejero regional de Unicef en Ginebra, Jean Luc Legrand, que hablan de un supuesto secuestro de 15 menores de edad en hospitales de Puerto Príncipe.

Luc Legrand explicó que el problema de las redes, ya existía en Haití. “Esas redes se activan apenas ocurre una catástrofe y aprovechan para secuestrar a niñas y niños para sacarlos del país”, declaró el consejero...

Narce Santibañez Alejandre

CIMAC

Jan. 22, 2010

See also (English equivalent):

UNICEF Warns of Missing Children in Haiti

In a disturbing development, a number of children have gone missing from Haitian hospitals, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

"UNICEF is aware of reports of children removed from the country without due process or proper documents," UNICEF spokesperson Christopher de Bono told reporters. "The Haitian government has been informed of these reports and is investigating. It has also increased its presence and vigilance at exit points to prevent children being taken illegally."

Incidents of child trafficking are often reported after emergencies, said de Bono, who added that Illegal adoption, smuggling and abduction can take place as well.

Adviser of childhood protection of UNICEF, Jean Claude Legrand, said in Geneva that since Jan. 12, 15 children have disappeared from the hospitals of Port au Prince, Haiti's capital.

However, de Bono said any specific numbers about children illegally removed from Haiti are only speculative.

"We don't believe speculation about numbers helps alleviate or improve the situation of children," he said. "We are simply not in a position to confirm numbers."

Twenty-nine organizations, including UNICEF, have taken a number of steps to clamp down on child abductions. Hospitals have been visited to ensure that hospital staff are aware of the need to check the credentials of anyone who removes a child.

Also, when unaccompanied children are found they are sent to a center created to deal with such cases. Messages are being broadcast on local radio stations advising Haitians about the protection of children and the reunification of families, added de Bono.

"UNICEF remains very concerned about the situation of children in Haiti, and particularly of children who have become separated from their parents or caregivers," he said. "What Haitian children need right now is urgent assistance where they are -- in Haiti."

Xinhua

Jan. 23, 2010

See also:

Children Missing From Haiti Hospitals: UNICEF

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

New York, USA

Crime victim Jessica Ybe

Horror Show in Brooklyn...

A Brooklyn man went on a rampage, murdering his girlfriend and her two young daughters in a stabbing frenzy that left blood dripping into the apartment below, cops and neighbors said yesterday.

When police arrived at the East Flatbush home, they found a horror show - the corpse of a 22-year-old woman wrapped in plastic bags and the bodies of two girls, ages 2 and 5, rolled in a carpet.

Jermaine Ruiz, 24, was preparing to hide the bodies in a Dumpster when cops arrived.

He confessed to killing all three, cops said, and charges were pending...

The crime was uncovered after Ruiz called his father in the Bronx and told him what he had done, cops said.

The father alerted police, and two detectives went to the Rogers Ave. apartment building.

When the suspect opened the door, cops saw the body of his girlfriend, Jessica Ybe, partially covered with plastic bags. Inside, cops spotted the rolled-up carpet with plastic bags covering both ends.

When they opened it up, the two little girls were inside. Ybe and Ruiz had 7-month-old twins together who were with Ruiz's mom in the Bronx during the killings, cops and family said.

The twins were safe with Ruiz's mom last night. So much blood was spilled in the stabbings that the woman living directly below Ruiz reported some blood dripped into her kitchen through the ceiling.

"She was completely hysterical," a neighbor said of the downstairs tenant.

Cops believe the bloodbath happened late Wednesday after a fight erupted between Ruiz and Ybe.

"It was physical, beginning on the street, continuing into the apartment," Browne said. A neighbor who saw the fight said Ruiz "looked crazy."

The New York Daily News

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Arizona, USA / Mexico

Excerpts from the U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter

Jan. 19, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for felony rape/victim drugged - and was a registered sex offender in the State of California.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. During processing... ...He had a prior conviction for felony child kidnapping and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for a sexual offense on a child in the State of Wisconsin and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 16, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for intercourse without consent of a female in the State of New York, and that he had been previously required to depart from the United States by an immigration judge.

Jan. 13, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 12, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the State of Illinois, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 10, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Centro, California. ...The subject had a prior conviction for assault to commit mayhem/rape in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the State of California, and had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 08, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 07, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sonoita, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault in the State of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lukeville, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape by force or fear, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for sexual intercourse with a minor in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape in the State of South Dakota, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 05, 2010: Agents arrested a USC and seized 210 pounds of marijuana near Tucson, Arizona. Agents encountered the subject as one of a group of backpackers attempting to circumvent the checkpoint. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a conviction for a sex offense against a child. He was also the subject of an active arrest warrant issued in the State of Arizona for a parole violation.

Jan. 04, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had prior convictions for rape by force or fear, and marijuana possession in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 03, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

Jan. 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Margarito Andres

Accused Child Rapist On The Run

Margarito Andres is wanted for two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12

In November 2009, a 13-year-old girl came to Boynton Beach, Fla., police with a shocking story of sexual abuse.

Cops say the child bravely confessed that she'd been repeatedly raped for more than two years by an older man, and that the man had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

She went on to tell police that she'd also seen him abuse her 11-year-old sister.

Cops say the girl identified the man as Margarito Andres, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

Andres fled as soon as he heard he was wanted for questioning, no one has seen or heard from him since.

If you've seen Margarito Andres or know anything about his whereabouts, call our Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

America's Most Wanted

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Illinois, USA

Alejandro Flores

Priest Who Tried to Kill Himself Could be Deported

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

Flores, 37, was charged Wednesday after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores was charged after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below...

The Chicago Sun Times

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Juan Cahuich-Santiago

[Man] Charged with Raping his Girlfriend’s Grandmother

Last week, sheriff’s deputies in Marion County, FL, arrested Juan Cahuich-Santiago, 25, and charged him with sexual battery on a special condition victim. The illegal alien was living in the home with the elderly woman, and the alleged rape occurred while his girlfriend was out shopping.

When the family returned from the grocery store, they found the 76-year-old woman lying in an odd position, and her clothing disheveled. The victim, who cannot speak, was unable to stand and covered in bruises.

According to the arrest report, the woman had a bump on her forehead, bruises on her legs, and her pony tail had been pulled out.

A used condom was found in the trash.

Her injuries were so severe, that the grandmother required surgery after the attack.

Initially, Santiago-Cahuich denied raping the woman. However, under questioning, he admitted to the attack.

He told detectives that he had been watching an x-rated movie, before forcing himself on her. After finishing with her, the Mexican national placed her back in the recliner and fell asleep.

The arrest affidavit also indicates that Santiago-Cahuich knew that the woman has dementia and was incapable of refusing his advances.

Santiago-Cahuich is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $75,000 bond.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Pennsylvania / Iowa, USA

Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte

Man Wanted in Northeastern Pennsylvania Rape Caught in Iowa

A man wanted in a violent rape in northeastern Pennsylvania has been captured in Iowa.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 27-year-old Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte in Cedar Rapids on Thursday.

U.S. Marshal Michael Regan says Perez-Duarte is accused of raping a Meshoppen woman on Dec. 27.

The victim was beaten, raped, thrown down a set of stairs and pulled back up the stairs by her hair. She suffered a broken leg, bloody mouth and black eye in the attack.

Perez-Duarte, a native of Guatemala, awaits extradition to Pennsylvania to face charges.

The Associated Press

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Mississippi, USA

Mexican Predator Arrested by ICE

Horn Lake - A Mexican national convicted of fondling a minor was arrested Jan. 20 at the Desoto County Sheriff's Office by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Juan Vera-Serna, 34, was identified by DRO officers on May 7, 2009, during screening at the Horn Lake Police Department following his arrest for simple assault, simple assault with intent and felony child fondling. During an interview, he provided an alias name to officers; however, fingerprint checks revealed his true identity and the fact that he had been previously removed from the United States in 1994.

Since Vera-Serna had previously been removed from the United States, his case was presented to the U. S. Attorney's Office in Northern Mississippi for criminal prosecution as an illegal reentry.

"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal in New Orleans. "Criminals in Mississippi should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.

U.S. ICE

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 21, 2010

Haiti

A girl sits beside her injured mother in a tent in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Picture taken on January 18, 2010, nearly a week after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean nation.

Photo: Reuters / United nations / Logan Abassi

Haitian girls face increased vulnerability after quake

Girls have long been vulnerable to violence and neglect in Haiti, a nation with high rates of rape and HIV/AIDS and a tradition of sending poor rural girls to cities to work as domestic servants.

But last week's devastating earthquake has dramatically increased their risks, human rights and child protection experts say.

Sources of protection - families, police, churches, schools - have in many cases disappeared as a result of the disaster, and a general lack of security and order leaves the girls increasingly exposed.

"During a humanitarian crisis like this, vulnerability increases just because everything has been uprooted," said Gerard Ducoc, a Haiti researcher with Amnesty International.

"Communities, people who care for children, relatives and friends are no longer there. The social network is no longer there. The authorities are absent. The local public institutions are not operational. You don't have any defense mechanism except your instinct for survival," Ducoc said.

Aid workers in Haiti say that, contrary to reports of widespread violence and looting, many survivors have responded to the disaster by doing their utmost to protect and assist neighbors, including many orphaned and vulnerable children.

"The overall response in Port-au-Prince has been one of tremendous dignity and solidarity among people," said Yifat Susskind, a spokeswoman for MADRE, an international women's human rights group based in New York, which with partner organizations has sent teams of Creole-speaking medical workers to Haiti.

"Harrowing Situation"

But girls face some unique problems in the aftermath of such a natural disaster, aid workers said.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti had an estimated 300,000 abandoned or orphaned children, and a serious problem with child trafficking, Ducoc said. More than 100,000 girls aged 6 to 17 were working as domestic servants, in situations that often left them vulnerable to violence or neglect, according to UNICEF...

In the aftermath of the disaster, such children and tens of thousands of new orphans may be at risk of traffickers or unscrupulous adoption agencies "dipping into a vulnerable pool", said Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF's child protection division.

UNICEF is working to quickly set up a registration system for unaccompanied children and a hotline to report children alone, as well as safe shelters. The aim of such efforts, which worked effectively in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and Pakistan's earthquake, Bissell said, is to try to reunite as many children with surviving family members as possible.

 Laurie Goering

Reuters AlertNet

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

General Russel Honoré

General Honoré, we agree with your views 100%!

Thank you for speaking-up!

LibertadLatina

General Honoré: Evacuate Most Vulnerable Haitians

Says our culture is afraid of poor people in large groups so we focus on security

Honoré says supplies can't meet demand; U.N. should start an evacuation plan for Haiti

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was highly praised for his leadership of recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, so he's well-versed in what works and what doesn't in disaster management.

The general told CNN last week that the U.S. military should have responded sooner to the earthquake in Haiti because "time is of the essence" in helping quake survivors.

CNN's Nicole Dow talked to Gen. Honoré Wednesday about his assessment of the situation in Haiti since he made those remarks...

CNN: You led the Joint Task Force for Hurricane Katrina. Can you draw some parallels between Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti?

Honoré: In my book, "Survival," there's a chapter that talks about dealing with the poor. I think sometimes we talk security, because as a culture, we are afraid of poor people in large groups. In Haiti, right after the earthquake, there were doctors who left. One said, "We don't have any security so we left."

That, in and of itself, is indicative of my Katrina experience. People start talking security.

And the slower we go, the more there's the possibility of that happening. We have to work on establishing the community government officials in Haiti so they can start communicating with their people.

We have to get food and water there to local government officials to distribute it. The local government officials should be authorized to hire young men. The local economy will crank up if we pay people in Haiti to do the cleanup and to run the distribution centers...

CNN: What are the top five points to keep in mind in the aftermath of natural disaster?

Honoré: 1) Improve communications. 2) Get food and water in. 3) Take care of the health and needs of people. 4) Evacuate people, particularly those who are pregnant, disabled, injured, babies, those who cannot take care of themselves. 5) Establish who's in charge. The president of Haiti [Rene Preval] is in charge.

It's different when the president and his government are victims. They are going to need help. Someone needs to be the face of the operation to help the president keep people alive.

You must have communication to establish a way of giving information to the people in their communities.

You have to be your own first responder in a disaster like Haiti, and the Haitian people did that. These situations have a tendency to get worse before getting better unless you start evacuating vulnerable people.

Also, you have to take a risk [about security] during the search-and-rescue phase. In that phase of the operation, search-and-rescue takes priority over security.

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti, Spain

ESPAÑA: La seguridad y salud de los niños haitianos tras sismo preocupan a las ONG

La ONG Save the Children expresó hoy su preocupación por la seguridad y la salud de los niños de Haití, donde ha comenzado a establecer espacios seguros para los más pequeños en los refugios y campamentos instalados tras el seísmo.

www.adn.es

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

Save the Children Responds to Strong New Aftershock in Haiti, Establishes Safe Spaces for Children

Save the Children

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

HAITI: Los niños haitianos, abandonados a su suerte

Ya hay constancia de algunos abusos contra los menores errantes

 www.elmundo.es/

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

UNICEF fears child trafficking, opposes foreign Haiti adoption

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

worldbulletin.net

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

UNICEF: La adopción de niños debe ser la última opción posible.

"Nuestra política es tratar a toda costa de encontrar familiares del niño, y lograr la reunificación familiar. La adopción la vemos como la última opción, cuando todas las demás hayan fracasado", dijo la portavoz de Unicef, Veronique Taveau.

www.abc.es/

Jan. 19, 2010

See also (English version):

Foreign adoption of Haitian children "last resort" - United Nations

Geneva - Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

If parents are dead or unaccounted for, efforts should be made to reunite a child with his or her extended family, including grandparents, she said. A child should "remain to the extent possible in its country of birth".

"The last resort is inter-country adoption," Taveau said.

Before the quake, 48 percent of Haiti's population was under 18 years old, according to the agency.

UNICEF also said it had reports of violence against Haitian children since the quake, but gave no details.

"In this type of emergency, children are unfortunately the most vulnerable, especially those who have been abandoned," UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau told a news briefing. "We fear cases of child trafficking could occur."

Reuters

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

Myriam Merlet was one of three leading activists in the Haitian women's movement who died, a victim of the earthquake.

Women's Movement Mourns Death of 3 Haitian Leaders

...Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of the country's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, are confirmed dead -- victims of last week's 7.0 earthquake...

"Words are missing for me. I lost a large chunk of my personal, political and social life," Carolle Charles wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. The Haitian-born sociology professor at Baruch College in New York is chair of Dwa Fanm (meaning "Women's Rights" in Creole), a Brooklyn-based advocacy group. These women "were my friends, my colleagues and my associates. I cannot envision going to Haiti without seeing them."

Myriam Merlet was until recently the chief of staff of Haiti's Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women, established in 1995, and still served as a top adviser...

She was a founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their names. Among her efforts, she set out to get streets named after Haitian women who came before her...

Magalie Marcelin, a lawyer and actress who appeared in films and on stage, established Kay Fanm, a women's rights organization that deals with domestic violence, offers services and shelter to women and makes microcredits, or loans, available to women working in markets...

With Merlet, Anne Marie Coriolan, 53, served as a top adviser to the women's rights ministry.

Coriolan... was the founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), which Charles described as an advocacy and services organization. ..

Coriolan was a political organizer who helped bring rape -- "an instrument of terror and war," Charles said -- to the forefront of Haitian courts.

Before 2005, rapes in Haiti were treated as nothing more than "crimes of passion," Charles explained. That changed because of the collective efforts of these women activists -- and others they inspired.

With the three leaders gone, there is concern about the future of Haiti's women and girls. Even with all that's been achieved, the struggle for equality and against violence remains enormous...

Before the disaster struck last week, a survey of Haitian women and girls showed an estimated 72 percent had been raped, according to study done by Kay Fanm. And at least 40 percent of the women surveyed were victims of domestic violence, [Taina] Bien-Aimé, [the executive director of Equality Now], said...

"From where we stand," Bien-Aimé wrote in an e-mail, "the most critical and urgent issue is what, if any, contingencies the relief/humanitarian agencies are putting in place not only to ensure that women have easy access to food, water and medical care, but to guarantee their protection."

Concerned women in the New York area plan to gather Wednesday to strategize their next steps...

Jessica Ravitz

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Clausuran hotel del DF tras rescate de menores en explotación sexual

Elementos de la Policía Judicial clausuraron las instalaciones del Hotel Palacio, ubicadas en la colonia Algarín, después de un cateo realizado la pasada semana, en el cual fueron rescatadas varias menores en condiciones de explotación sexual.

Police close Mexico City hotel after rescuing sexually exploited children

Elements of the Judicial Police have closed the facilities of the Hotel Palace, located in Mexico City's Algarín neighborhood, after a raid last week in which a number of children were rescued from prostitution.

CaribbeanNewsDigital.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonan sus estudios por la crisis económica

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonaron en 2009 sus estudios de primaria y secundaria por la crisis económica que ha afectado con fuerza a México y, en especial, a las clases sociales más bajas, según los datos divulgados por el Instituto Nacional de Educación para Adultos (INEA).

Some 700,000 children and adolescents have abandoned school as a result of the economic crisis in Mexico

During 2009 an estimated 700,000 children and adolescents abandoned their primary and secondary school studies due to the economic crisis that has severely impacted Mexico and, in especially people in the lower social classes, according to data released by the National institute for Adult Education

(INEA).

EuropaPress.es

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Paraguay

Principal fin de trata de personas es la explotación sexual

La Dirección de Trata de Personas de la Secretaría de la Mujer de la Presidencia de la República, que integra la Mesa Interinstitucional de Prevención y Combate a la Trata de Personas, coordinada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y conformada por alrededor de cuarenta instituciones del sector público y privado, emitió un informe donde desnuda la situación de las mujeres víctimas de trata. Según la Lic. Luz Gamelia Ibarra, Directora de dicha área, el 95% de las víctimas fueron explotadas sexualmente, y el 6% laboralmente.

The main objective of human trafficking is sexual exploitation

The Human Trafficking Directorate of the Secretary of Women of the President of the Republic, who are the organizers of the  Inter-institutional Roundtable for the Prevention of and Combat Against Human Trafficking has released a report showing that 95% of human trafficking victims were sexually exploited. Some 6% of victims engaged in other forms of forced labor.

Source: The Secretary of Women of the Republic

jakueke.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Officials from WMCA International receive the 2009 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for their work in restoring victims of human trafficking.

Among other rescue efforts, WMCA International aided 99 female sex trafficking victims rescued from the Maximino Mondragon prostitution ring in Houston.

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar, the FBI's most wanted human trafficking fugitive, is wanted for trafficking large numbers of women and underage girls into prostitution in Houston.

2004-2005 photo

FBI Searching for Human Trafficking Suspect

Houston - The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a human trafficking suspect known as 'El Gallo.'

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar is the alleged leader of a group that smuggled young men and young women into Houston and Mexico. He has been identified as "the most wanted human trafficking fugitive" in a statement from the FBI in Houston.

Five other people have already pleaded guilty and served jail sentences for taking part in the trafficking operation.

In a news conference on Tuesday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers announced the reward increase from $5,000 to $15,000 for Salazar's capture and also presented an award to Constance Rossiter, YMCA International Trafficked Person's Assistance Program Director, to honor the organization's efforts in helping victims of human smuggling.

President Barack Obama has proclaimed that January 2010 be recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Houston is one of the five most dangerous U.S. cities for human trafficking and smuggling. A national hotline has been established to report human trafficking. Thirty percent of the calls to that hotline have come from the Houston area.

Most of the thousands of people smuggled and trafficked in the U.S. every year are women and children, especially young girls.

"It all comes down to greed. These are money making organizations who want to make money off the backs of these trafficking victims who are treated, not as human beings, but as commodities," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Gallagher.

The Houston-based Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance has rescued almost 200 victims since it was formed in 2004. Most victims of trafficking are severely abused, forced into prostitution and held against their will. Smuggling and trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business.

[The linked article includes a video report.]

Damali Keith

Fox New Houston

Jan. 12, 2010

See also:

Maximino Mondragon

Sex-trafficking Ringleader Gets 13 Years in Prison

Salvadoran smuggled Central American women into servitude at cantinas

The mastermind of a human trafficking ring that smuggled women from Central America to work in Houston cantinas as virtual sex slaves was sentenced Monday to 13 years in federal prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for recruiting and trafficking dozens of women and girls to Houston for commercial gain and for holding them “in a condition of indentured servitude.”

Along with others convicted in the case, he has also been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to victims, some of whom have obtained visas to stay in the United States and still live in the area.

The case involving Maximino Mondragon, 57, remains one of the largest human trafficking rings ever uncovered in the United States...

Mondragon “ruthlessly exploited these women’s hopes for a better life through coercion, false promises and threats of harm. The victims were forced into modern day slavery,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., said... “The Justice Department will devote its efforts to prosecuting those who commit such abhorrent and exploitative crimes.”

More than 120 women were liberated on the night of Nov. 13, 2005, when Mondragon and his fellow defendants were arrested in a massive nighttime raid of five of their bars and restaurants in seedy strip malls in northwest Houston...

Mondragon is the last of eight ring members to be convicted and sentenced.

According to records, Mondragon ran cantinas in Houston for more than a decade, along with Walter Corea. Both are natives of El Salvador. Five members of their families and a female abortionist were previously convicted and sentenced as accomplices...

Lise Olsen

The Houston Chronicle

April 27, 2009


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Tennessee, USA - Mexico

Suspect in Rape of 91-year-old Monroe County Woman Nabbed in Mexico

A Mexican fugitive wanted for the rape of 91-year-old Monroe County woman was arrested by Mexican federal authorities Tuesday, after some 22 months on the run, Tellico Plains Police Chief Bill Isbell announced today.

Francisco Barbosa-Sanchez, 37, was captured at a relative’s home in San Louis, Mexico and now is in custody in Mexico City, awaiting extradition, Isbell said.

Barbosa-Sanchez faces charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated burglary in the March 5, 2008, attack. He had been in the United States illegally, staying with his brother in Tellico Plains while doing construction work, authorities said. The brother lived in the same trailer park as the victim.

Police say the woman awoke that night to find a man holding a pillow over her face and beating her.

“He left her for dead,” Isbell said. “This was a brutal rape.”

Barbosa-Sanchez was linked to the crime by DNA evidence, police said. Authorities later found a car the suspect borrowed from a girlfriend parked at a Houston bus station and determined that he had bought a bus ticket back to Mexico.

The police chief credited Mexican authorities, the U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and others for the collaborative effort to locate the fugitive.

Despite local and international warrants issued against Barbosa-Sanchez, it still could take up to six months to extradite him back to Monroe County, Isbell said.

The victim, however, is still living and has since relocated to Ohio to live with her grandson.

“He says she’s doing great, physically and mentally,” Isbell said. “So if need be, she’s capable of testifying.”

Hayes Hickman

KnoxNews.com

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Haiti

(Before the earthquake)

This woman was enslaved as a child in Haiti.

After her husband disappeared during political unrest she couldn't take care of her 6 children and sent them to 'live with others' [as restavec slaves].

After working with Fondasyon Limyè Lavi (the Light of Life Foundation) for a short time, she brought her children home.

Photo: Free the Slaves

Human Traffickers Find Easy Prey Amid the Rubble of Haiti

In Haiti’s unstable post-quake atmosphere, at least one industry is poised to flourish. For those who buy and sell children for sex and cheap labor, Haiti is ripe with opportunity.

When the earthquake struck the impoverished island country last Tuesday afternoon, human traffickers suddenly gained access to a new population of displaced children. With parents dead, government offices demolished, and international aid organizations struggling to meet life-or-death demands, these kidnappers are in a unique position to snatch children with very little interference.

In today’s world, the twin causes of human slavery—poverty and vulnerability—increase exponentially after natural disasters. When the tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004, trafficking gangs moved quickly, seizing children and selling them as prostitutes in nearby Malaysia and Jakarta. In 2008, after floods devastated the Indian state of Bihar, groups of children were lured out of relief camps and sold to brothels across the nation.

I’ve seen many such stories up close. For the past three years, I’ve worked in India for International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency with twelve offices around the world. Rescuing victims of slavery and sexual exploitation are our specialties, and natural disasters unfailingly bring us new business...

In Haiti, as in India, human trafficking is a problem at the best of times. Even without the pandemonium unleashed by a 7.0 earthquake, an estimated quarter-million Haitian children are trafficked within the country each year. These slaves, known as restavecs, are typically sold or given away to new families by their own impoverished parents. Physical and sexual abuse is common for restavecs. Many owners use the girls as in-house prostitutes, sending them to live on the street if they become pregnant...

...An entirely new chunk of Haiti’s population has become homeless overnight. Even with aid pouring in from around the world, essential resources like food and medicine are enormously scarce on the streets of Haiti. But for predators looking for boys and girls to sell for labor and sex, Haiti is the right place to be.

Until earlier this month, Nicolette Grams worked with International Justice Mission in Chennai, India, as head of the communications department. She lives in India.

Nicolette Grams

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Montana, USA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some Focus on the Modern Slave Trade During Martin Luther King Day

Many around the country remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, just days after what would have been his 83rd birthday.

Many honored the strides King made for the Civil Rights Movement.

But some want to use this holiday to spread the word about today's abolitionist movements.

Almost 47 years have passed since Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous "I have a dream" speech. The United states and the world have made major strides since that time, but human trafficking still has millions enslaved today.

Chair of the Flathead Valley Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration, Reverend Darryl Kistler says, "27 million is almost a number that is beyond anything we can think about. That would be taking every person in Montana and multiplying us by 27 and that's how many people are involved or enslaved by human trafficking." ...

Rev. Kistler says, "There are still people around the world and even here in the United States that live under such adverse conditions." ...

Kistler says, "Doctor King teaches us that even those circum-stances that may not be our circumstances... That we really are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper... We need to care for them and help them whenever we can."

Students from the Flathead Valley Abolitionist Movement will talk about human trafficking Monday night at a Martin Luther King Community Celebration... at Flathead High School...

Julie Rogers

KECI

Jan. 18, 2010


Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

One American Indian Woman's Long Fight to Escape Prostitution

After losing her house and kids in 1996, Denise Ellis resorted to prostitution to support her crack habit. For 12 years, Ellis worked the streets, mostly around Bloomington Avenue in Minneapolis' Phillips neighborhood, without a reliable place to live.

"I didn't have any place to go. I wanted to get high, and I couldn't think of a quicker way to do it," she said. Throughout her homeless years, Ellis had stayed with relatives and friends until losing their trust. By early 2009, she was running out of places to stay at night.

As an American Indian, Ellis is more vulnerable to prostitution than most women, according to a first-of-its-kind report addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of American Indian women and girls in Minnesota.

Until the study's recent release, the plight of Ellis and other American Indian women trapped in prostitution has been largely hidden from public view in Minnesota.

"Shattered Hearts," a study released in September by the Minneapolis-based American Indian Women's Resource Center (AIWRC), found that in 2007, American Indians made up 2.2 percent of Hennepin County residents but 25 percent of the women there on probation for prostitution-related offenses...

Since its release, the report has prompted interest about the exploitation issue from legislators and the state Attorney General's Office, she says.

The report outlines recommendations from the center, the victims and the community, but many barriers prevent the law from fully addressing the problem. Ellis' story highlights some of the challenges in making substantial progress on such exploitation.

Joey Peters

MinnPost.com

Jan. 18, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 19, 2010

Minnesota, USA

Trafficking Of Native Women is Widespread

Three decades ago, the relatives of an eleven-year-old Native girl in Minnesota forced her to have sex with a man in exchange for alcohol. The story was not front-page news. It was not the subject of a feature-length film with a happy ending. No one intervened. But when she turned eighteen, the police started paying attention. She was arrested and convicted over twenty times for prostitution.  Her parents’ addiction became her own, and she entered treatment dozens of times.

At an early age, the girl became one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Native American children and women forced into prostitution in Minnesota, falling under the radar of social services, the community, and the media...

In September, the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center became the first organization in the state to release a report about the widespread trafficking of Native women. The agency hopes its effort will draw attention and funding to Native victims of sexual exploitation…

The 126-page report, called Shattered Hearts, written by research scientist Alexandra Pierce, focuses on women who live outside of reservations. The report compiles statistics, identifies flaws in the legal system, draws parallels to the historic exploitation of Native people, and makes dozens of suggestions about how to address the problem. Pierce incorporated the Resource Center’s own studies, interviews with social service workers, and available government data…

Past treatment of Indian women

Some of the reasons for the staggering numbers are clear. Native Americans have the state’s highest rates of homelessness, poverty, and alcoholism – what many call the legacy of hundreds of years of colonialism. But the report also argues that generational trauma plays a role. White settlers repeatedly raped, tortured, and murdered Native women over hundreds of years, treating their bodies as disposable and worthless.

In one account from the 1860s, a white rancher describes a government attack on the Cheyenne: “I heard one man say that he had cut out a woman’s private parts and had them for exhibition on a stick…I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over the saddle-bows and wore them over their hats while riding in the ranks.”

Other more recent practices, including the involuntary sterilization of Native women and the Indian Adoption Project (which removed Native children from their homes), added to the collective trauma, the report says.

“There’s been so much violence and destruction of families because of colonization,” said Nicole Matthews, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition.

In Minnesota, advocates say that Native women have been prostituted onto ships in the Duluth harbor for generations, although local law enforcement say that they have not noticed any trafficking since harbor security was ramped up after 9/11.

…Every day Native women are being prostituted in Minnesota. The story of the woman who was sold into prostitution at age eleven demonstrates the challenges of intervention.

The woman did not connect with social services until her mid-‘40s. By that time, she was entrenched in a cycle of violence. Civil Society has provided her with emergency help several times over the past few years, but she faces limited options.

Right now, she is once again in treatment for alcoholism, and Miller, of Civil Society, said she still hopes the woman can create a healthy life for herself. But, she added, “Her story, and the other victims we see, are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Madeleine Baran

Dec. 06, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Port-au-Prince residents wait for a distribution of high protein biscuits by the World Food Program

Photo:Evelyn Hockstein / CARE - 2010

Haiti

Haitians Receive Little Help Despite Promises

Port-Au-Prince, - U.S. troops will help keep order on Haiti's increasingly lawless streets, the country's president said on Sunday as desperate earthquake survivors waited for food, water and medicine.

World leaders have pledged massive assistance to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake killed as many as 200,000 people, but five days into the crisis aid distribution was still random, chaotic and minimal.

Hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians are waiting for help, many of them in makeshift camps...

Andrew Cawthorne and Catherine Bremer

Reuters

Jan. 17, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

CARE: Tens of Thousands of Pregnant Women at Risk in Haiti

Humanitarian Group's Response Targets Vulnerable Women and Children

Port-Au-Prince - CARE warned Saturday that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children are at greatest risk in the wake of an earthquake that has devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and left nearly three million people in need of assistance. There are an estimated 37,000 pregnant women among the affected population in urgent need of safe drinking water, food and medical care. Half of Haiti's population is younger than 18 years old.

Hospitals and medical centers have been destroyed, and remaining centers are overwhelmed treating people injured from the quake. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth. Haiti already has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the region: 670 deaths per 100,000 live births.

"There are a lot of pregnant women in the streets, and mothers breastfeeding new babies," said Sophie Perez, country director for CARE in Haiti. "There are also women giving birth in the street, directly in the street. The situation is very critical. Women try to reach the nearest hospital, but as most of the hospitals are full, it's very difficult for them to receive the appropriate care. Mothers and their babies could die from complications without medical care." ...

CARE

Jan. 16, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Urgen Brindar Ayuda a Mujeres Haitianas

Llaman feministas a vigilar que no se violenten sus DH

El Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA), por sus siglas en inglés, y la Red Petateras, lanzaron un llamado de ayuda para las haitianas: niñas, mujeres y miles de embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y muerte, ya que desastres naturales como el que devastó a la capital de su país las afectan en mayor medida.

El organismo de Naciones Unidas precisó que Haití -el país más pobre del hemisferio occidental-, ya tenía antes de esta tragedia la más alta tasa de mortalidad materna en la región: 670 muertes por cada 100 mil nacidos vivos, cifra que podría incrementarse como consecuencia directa del fuerte terremoto de 7.0 grados en la escala de Richter.

En un comunicado de prensa, el UNFPA informó que el terremoto que azotó el país el martes pasado ha causado enormes dificultades, lesiones y pérdidas de vidas entre la población en general, sin embargo también pone a miles de mujeres embarazadas en riesgo de complicaciones y de muerte relacionadas con el embarazo y el parto.

“Las mujeres embarazadas en los alrededores de la capital del país, Puerto Príncipe, se encuentran sin acceso a los servicios de salud más básicos. La atención obstétrica de emergencia es una de las necesidades más urgentes”...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Appeal Launched for Emergency Assistance to Thousands of Pregnant Women at High Risk in Haiti

United Nations - Estimates that there could be as many as 37,000 pregnant women among the 3 million people affected by Haiti’s earthquake have led to an urgent appeal to meet their emergency maternal health needs.

The earthquake has devastated Haiti’s health system and many of the hospitals and clinics in Port–Au-Prince have been damaged. The remaining can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months...

Thee United Nations Population Fund

Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Haiti

Falleció en el terremoto la activista feminista Myriam Merlet, actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres

Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and Head of the Haitian Ministry of Women, was killed in the recent earthquake

About the work of Myriam Merlet:

Rape Looms Large Over Haiti Slums

...Myriam Merlet, who heads the government's Ministry of Women, blames the high rate of rape in Haiti's slums on the political turmoil that has stained the country since the Duvalier family dictatorship was ousted in the mid-1980s.

Myriam Merlet:

"Rape has been used as a political weapon in this country since 1986. The soldiers in the army used rape to frighten people. The Chimeres (mainly pro-Aristide gangs) used rape to control the population," she says.

"Now the street gangs in the slums use rape as a powerful weapon of war."

She also says that there is a "state absence" in the slums and the gangs have "full power to terrorize the population as they wish".

...Weak justice

Two years ago, the United Nations in Haiti acknowledged widespread rape in the vast slums in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Almost half of the young women in conflict-zone slums have been raped
The UN said that almost half of the girls and young women, living in conflict-zone slums, like Cite Soleil and Martissant, had been raped.

But Amnesty says that not enough has been done to stamp out widespread rape which is on the rise again.

Rape was only made a criminal offense in Haiti in 2005. Before then judges would negotiate a sum of money to be paid to the victim's family...

BBC News

Nov. 27, 2008

See also:

Haiti

Haiti: solidarité avec nos soeurs et frères

Nous vous écrivons aujourd’hui ayant le coeur serré, deux jours après le catastrophique tremblement de terre à Haïti. Nous sommes très touchées par les images et les nouvelles que nous avions reçues au cours de ces dernières 48 heures, et nous sommes très inquiètes pour nos soeurs de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes dans le pays.

Nous essayons de contacter les copines de la CN et des groupes participants de la MMF à Haïti, mais n'avons pas pu parler avec aucune d’entre elles pour le moment. Malheureusement nos copines Magalie Marcellin de Kayfanm et Myriam Merlet, activiste féministe et actuelle responsable du Ministère des femmes, sont décédées dans le tremblement de terre. Nos pensées et toute notre solidarité vont à leurs familles et ami(e)s...

Haiti: solidaridad con nuestras hermanas y hermanos

Es con mucho pesar que escribimos a ustedes hoy, dos días después del terremoto catastrófico en Haití. Estamos muy consternadas y aun más tristes con las imágenes y noticias que hemos recibido en las ultimas 48 horas, además, estamos muy preocupadas por nuestras compañeras de la Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres (MMM) en este país.

Hemos estado intentando contactarnos con las compañeras de las CNs y de los grupos participantes de la MMM en Haití, pero hasta el momento presente, no logramos hablar con ninguna de ellas. Nos llegó la trágica noticia de que fallecieron en el terremoto nuestras compañeras Magalie Marcellin del Kayfanm y Myriam Merlet, militante feminista y actual encargada del Ministerio para las Mujeres. Que sus familiares y amigos reciban nuestros pensamientos y solidaridad...

Haiti: solidarity with our sisters and brothers

It is with very heavy hearts that we write to you today, two days after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. We are incredibly shocked and saddened by the images and news that we have been receiving over the last 48 hours, and we are very worried for our World March of Women (WMW) sisters in the country.

We have been trying to get in contact with sisters from the NCB and from the WMW participating groups in Haiti, but have so far not been able to speak to any of them. The tragic news we have had is that our sisters Magalie Marcellin from Kayfanm and Myriam Merlet, a feminist activist and actual Head of the Ministry of Women, were killed in the earthquake. Our thoughts and solidarity go out to their families and friends.

World March of Women

Jan. 14, 2010

See also:

About the work of Magalie Marcelin:

United Nations Confronts Another Sex Scandal

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Girls as young as 13 were having sex with U.N. peacekeepers for as little as $1.

Five young Haitian women who followed soldiers back to Sri Lanka were forced into brothels or polygamous households. They have been rescued and brought home to warn others of the dangers of foreign liaisons…

In the latest sex scandal to tarnish the world organization, at least 114 Sri Lankan troops have been expelled from the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti on suspicion of sexual exploitation of Haitian women and girls.

This poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere has endured occupation repeatedly over the centuries, each time suffering instances of statutory rape and economically coerced sexual relations.

Magalie Marcelin of the Women's Home organization, which is working to educate young Haitian women about their rights and the social risks around them, attributes the [U.N. security force] scandal to a long history of Haitians regarding women's bodies as commodities.

"That a soldier can do this to a girl he's supposed to be protecting comes from the same mentality that allows a professor to do it to his student or a father to his daughter," Marcelin said. "In this society, women's bodies are regarded as meat."

By Carol J. Williams

Los Angeles Times

Dec. 15, 2007

See also:

Lamentan fallecimiento de dos mujeres feministas, Myriam Merlet y Magalie Marcellin, en Haití

Feminist activists Myriam Merlet and Magalie Marcellin are mourned in Haiti

Gladys Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Jan. 15, 2010

See also:

The Double Weakness of Girls: Discrimination And Sexual Violence In Haiti

Encyclopedia Britannica


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

Ningún respeto a Derechos Humanos de Personas indígenas en México

Agrava militarización, situación de mujeres indígenas

México, DF, - México carece de políticas públicas que atiendan los problemas milenarios de los pueblos indígenas, y por el contrario, en medio de la militarización, las  mujeres indígenas son violadas y asesinadas, denunció Martha Sánchez Néstor, coordinadora general de la Asamblea Nacional Indígena Plural de Guerrero.

Por ello, “no se puede hablar de que en México se respetan los derechos humanos de las personas indígenas”, sostuvo Sánchez Néstor durante la presentación del Primer Informe sobre la Situación de los Pueblos Indígenas en el Mundo que presentó la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)...

Mexico Has No Respect Whatsoever for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

[Nationwide Drug war's] internal militarization puts indigenous women in danger

Mexico City - Mexico lacks public policies that are capable of effectively addressing the problems of indigenous peoples. To the contrary, during the current internal militarization, indigenous women are being raped and murdered, says Martha Sanchez Néstor, general coordinator of the National Plural Indigenous Assembly of Guerrero.

For that reason, “it is not possible to speak of a Mexico in which the human rights of indigenous people are respected,” added Sanchez Néstor, during the presentation of the First Report on the Situation of the Indigenous Peoples of the World, presented at the United Nations.

As CIMAC Noticias has reported during the past several years, a number of abuses against indigenous peoples have been reported in Guerrero state. The emblematic cases were those of Ines Fernandez and Valentin Rosendo, both of whom were raped by soldiers in 2002. Today both victims await decisions on their cases from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

We also remember the arbitrary detentions and rapes of two Tzeltal Mayan women, Ana, Beatriz and Celia González Pérez, in Chiapas state. In this case the IACHR published recommendations to the Mexican state to redress the damages done. There has not yet been any resolution to the case within Mexico.

Yesterday in press conference, Sanchez Néstor denounced th fact that the voices of the community radios have been criminalized, and that forced disappearances and imprisonments of defenders of the human rights have intensified.

We can also point to the 2007 cases of two young indigenous women journalists from the Triqui ethnicity, Felícitas Martínez, age 21 and Teresa Bautista, age 24. Together, hosted a Triqui-language radio show [highlighting women’s rights issues], called “Breaking the Silence.” They were murdered, and their case continues in impunity.

It is in that context in which Sanchez Néstor, called upon national, state and local governments in Mexico to respect the indigenous past, and to take into account the indigenous peoples who are alive today [30% of Mexico's population], peoples who’s timeless petitions for an end to the violence and discrimination against them, and for an end to the criminalization of those among them who organize to demand their rights, have never been responded to...

In regard to the alarming conditions that indigenous peoples face in Mexico, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the former [and first] United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, commented that there are faults in existing legislation, and that the budget to address these issues is not sufficient...

Full English Translation

Paulina Rivas Ayala

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

 Jan. 15, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Mexico

DNA Tool to Trace Missing Kids

...The Programme for Kids Identification with DNA Systems (DNA-PROKIDS), organized in 2004 by the Forensic Medicine Department at the University of Granada, Spain, aims to fight human trafficking by means of genetic identification of victims and their families, especially children...

DNA-PROKIDS has so far helped to identify 212 children, many of whom have been returned to their families...

Between 100,000 and 500,000 children have disappeared in Mexico over the past five years, according to estimates by non-governmental organizations...

”This year the situation has got worse, and more children have been stolen,” Elena Solís, head of the non-governmental Mexican Association for Stolen and Disappeared Children, which works to publicize cases and recover missing children, told IPS...

Although there are no reliable figures, an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people a year apparently fall prey to trafficking rings in Mexico…

…In Mexico, this criminal industry recruits people for domestic service, prostitution, seasonal agricultural work or extraction of organs.

Mexico’s criminal code does not specifically define stealing children as a crime, which makes fighting it difficult. However, kidnapping is a legally defined crime...

Non-governmental organizations have proposed setting up an early warning system that can be activated as soon as a missing child is reported…

Under Mexican law, the authorities only begin a search after a person has been missing for 72 hours. ”By then, the child could be in Thailand,” an example of a country notorious for child prostitution, Arellano complained.

”For years we have been asking for a law against child theft. Let’s hope the new Congress will listen to us,” said Solís…

”The problem with a DNA system is who handles the data. If the police and the Attorney General’s Office are infiltrated by organized crime, it represents a huge risk for them to be in charge, because there is no certainty that they will operate with transparency and respect for privacy,” said Arellano, referring to the notorious corruption in Mexico, made more intractable by the influence of drug mafias...

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Nov. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Florida, USA

Richard Morales-Marin snickers, and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo cries, in separate court sessions, as each was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for the brutal rape of a 12-year-old girl who was near her school bus stop before she was kidnapped

Two Sentenced in 2009 Child Rape

Orlando - Two men have been sentenced to consecutive life sentences for the kidnapping and rape a 12 year old girl. On February 5, 2009 the young victim was standing at her bus stop when Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin kidnapped her at knife point and raped her.

During their trial, both men tried to blame each other for the crime but in the end a jury found them both guilty. While in court for sentencing Hernandez-Monzalvo was extremely emotional as an interpreter read his letter to the judge, where he pleaded for mercy and asked to be with his family.

Morales-Marin was forced to face court alone. He had no supporters and even smirked while being sentenced. The brutal rape of the 12 year old girl early last year was no laughing matter for Circuit Judge Walter Komanski.

Judge Komanski: "I am making a recommendation to the Department of Corrections that at the conclusion of the service of your portion of the sentence, at such point that you die, that the recommendation is for the Department of Corrections that they transport your body to the immigration and naturalization service for deportation back to your own country," said Judge Komanski. "That neither of you are worthy to be buried in this country."

Hernandez-Monzalvo and Morales-Marin have 30 days to appeal their sentences.

WOFL Fox 35 Orlando

Jan. 08, 2010

See also:

Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo and Richard Morales-Marin

Third Woman Makes Rape Allegations Against Suspects in Attack of 11-year-old

A third woman has come forward to report that she was a victim of the two men arrested for raping an 11-year-old girl.

Richard Morales-Marin and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo are behind bars for abducting the girl on her way to school last Thursday, raping her in an empty house on Rose Avenue, then returning her to her Lynx bus stop at OBT and Lancaster.

DNA evidence has linked Marin to at least one other rape, that of a 19-year-old girl near the Florida Mall last January. Now, another woman has contacted deputies, admitting she's a prostitute but saying she was raped in that same empty house by the same two men.

Deputy Carlos Padilla says [the adult victim] saw her attackers on the news, and was motivated by concern for the little girl to call deputies. "She just wanted deputies to know that these guys have been around, but she doesn't want to get involved and file a report." ...

There's an ongoing concern that Marin and Monzalvo, who are both in this country illegally, have more victims. Authorities are hoping that anyone with information will come forward.

Nikki Pierce

WDBO

Feb. 13, 2009


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

4 Immigrants Charged with Running Brothels in South Philadelphia

Philadelphia - Four illegal immigrants are accused of running brothels out of a pair of South Philadelphia houses.

Three of the men were arrested Monday, the same day a federal indictment against them was unsealed.

Investigators say 27-year-old Jose Claudio Corona Cotonieto and 31-year-old Raymond Gonzalez Salazar would schedule Hispanic women to travel from New York, New Jersey and Delaware to work in the brothel for about a week at a time.

Twenty-two-year-old Nicolas Gonzalez Salazar is also charged. A fourth suspect is still being sought.

Investigators say the men had run the brothels since August, netting them about $9,000 per week.

The Associated Press

Jan. 12, 2010


Added: Jan. 17, 2010

California, USA

Monterey Gourmet Foods Sued for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

EEOC Says Male and Female Food Packers Fired After Reporting Harassment at Salinas Plant

Salinas, Calif. -- Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., a major producer of refrigerated gourmet food products, violated federal law when it allowed a supervisor to sexually harass four Latino workers at its Salinas plant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit. The EEOC also alleged that the company unlawfully retaliated against each worker by terminating them after they reported the harassment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, three women and one man who worked as packers in the lasagna, tamale and ravioli production units for several years faced sexual harassment from the same male supervisor. Starting in August 2006, their new crew leader’s conduct included sexual comments, gestures simulating sex with female workers, texting pornography, exposing himself, and grabbing the private body parts of workers. Although the employees reported the harassment to management and the human resources department, the company failed to take corrective action. In May 2008, all four workers were discharged or laid off just weeks after two of them filed discrimination charges with the EEOC.

The male worker, in his 80s, was mortified by the painful sexual groping. He said, “I needed to keep my job. Especially because of my age, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find other work.” One of the women added, “It got to the point where you just did not want to go in to work each day. I felt degraded and humiliated by my supervisor's endless sexual talk, the pornography, the gestures and touching. It was an abuse of power. That's why we decided to find help from the EEOC and California Rural Legal Assistance — to make it stop, if not for us, then for other workers.” ...

U.S. EEOC Press Release

Jan. 13, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Haiti

Sin confirmar, número de menores de edad desaparecidos en Haití

Reitera Unicef alerta por posible activación de redes de trata

México DF, - El Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), asegura que “no puede confirmar cuántos menores de edad están desaparecidos” en Haití, y reiteró su preocupación por la posible activación de las redes de trata, vinculadas al mercado ilegal de adopción, que operan en República Dominicana.

En un comunicado, Unicef alertó sobre el riesgo de la actual situación en Haití, luego de las declaraciones del consejero regional de Unicef en Ginebra, Jean Luc Legrand, que hablan de un supuesto secuestro de 15 menores de edad en hospitales de Puerto Príncipe.

Luc Legrand explicó que el problema de las redes, ya existía en Haití. “Esas redes se activan apenas ocurre una catástrofe y aprovechan para secuestrar a niñas y niños para sacarlos del país”, declaró el consejero...

Narce Santibañez Alejandre

CIMAC

Jan. 22, 2010

See also (English equivalent):

UNICEF Warns of Missing Children in Haiti

In a disturbing development, a number of children have gone missing from Haitian hospitals, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

"UNICEF is aware of reports of children removed from the country without due process or proper documents," UNICEF spokesperson Christopher de Bono told reporters. "The Haitian government has been informed of these reports and is investigating. It has also increased its presence and vigilance at exit points to prevent children being taken illegally."

Incidents of child trafficking are often reported after emergencies, said de Bono, who added that Illegal adoption, smuggling and abduction can take place as well.

Adviser of childhood protection of UNICEF, Jean Claude Legrand, said in Geneva that since Jan. 12, 15 children have disappeared from the hospitals of Port au Prince, Haiti's capital.

However, de Bono said any specific numbers about children illegally removed from Haiti are only speculative.

"We don't believe speculation about numbers helps alleviate or improve the situation of children," he said. "We are simply not in a position to confirm numbers."

Twenty-nine organizations, including UNICEF, have taken a number of steps to clamp down on child abductions. Hospitals have been visited to ensure that hospital staff are aware of the need to check the credentials of anyone who removes a child.

Also, when unaccompanied children are found they are sent to a center created to deal with such cases. Messages are being broadcast on local radio stations advising Haitians about the protection of children and the reunification of families, added de Bono.

"UNICEF remains very concerned about the situation of children in Haiti, and particularly of children who have become separated from their parents or caregivers," he said. "What Haitian children need right now is urgent assistance where they are -- in Haiti."

Xinhua

Jan. 23, 2010

See also:

Children Missing From Haiti Hospitals: UNICEF

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

New York, USA

Crime victim Jessica Ybe

Horror Show in Brooklyn...

A Brooklyn man went on a rampage, murdering his girlfriend and her two young daughters in a stabbing frenzy that left blood dripping into the apartment below, cops and neighbors said yesterday.

When police arrived at the East Flatbush home, they found a horror show - the corpse of a 22-year-old woman wrapped in plastic bags and the bodies of two girls, ages 2 and 5, rolled in a carpet.

Jermaine Ruiz, 24, was preparing to hide the bodies in a Dumpster when cops arrived.

He confessed to killing all three, cops said, and charges were pending...

The crime was uncovered after Ruiz called his father in the Bronx and told him what he had done, cops said.

The father alerted police, and two detectives went to the Rogers Ave. apartment building.

When the suspect opened the door, cops saw the body of his girlfriend, Jessica Ybe, partially covered with plastic bags. Inside, cops spotted the rolled-up carpet with plastic bags covering both ends.

When they opened it up, the two little girls were inside. Ybe and Ruiz had 7-month-old twins together who were with Ruiz's mom in the Bronx during the killings, cops and family said.

The twins were safe with Ruiz's mom last night. So much blood was spilled in the stabbings that the woman living directly below Ruiz reported some blood dripped into her kitchen through the ceiling.

"She was completely hysterical," a neighbor said of the downstairs tenant.

Cops believe the bloodbath happened late Wednesday after a fight erupted between Ruiz and Ybe.

"It was physical, beginning on the street, continuing into the apartment," Browne said. A neighbor who saw the fight said Ruiz "looked crazy."

The New York Daily News

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Arizona, USA / Mexico

Excerpts from the U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter

Jan. 19, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for felony rape/victim drugged - and was a registered sex offender in the State of California.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. During processing... ...He had a prior conviction for felony child kidnapping and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for a sexual offense on a child in the State of Wisconsin and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 17, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 16, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for intercourse without consent of a female in the State of New York, and that he had been previously required to depart from the United States by an immigration judge.

Jan. 13, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 12, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the State of Illinois, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 10, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a minor in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Centro, California. ...The subject had a prior conviction for assault to commit mayhem/rape in the State of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the State of California, and had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 09, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the State of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 08, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 07, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sonoita, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault in the State of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lukeville, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape by force or fear, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had an active arrest warrant for sexual intercourse with a minor in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 06, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape in the State of South Dakota, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 05, 2010: Agents arrested a USC and seized 210 pounds of marijuana near Tucson, Arizona. Agents encountered the subject as one of a group of backpackers attempting to circumvent the checkpoint. ...The subject had an extensive criminal history, to include a conviction for a sex offense against a child. He was also the subject of an active arrest warrant issued in the State of Arizona for a parole violation.

Jan. 04, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. ...The subject had prior convictions for rape by force or fear, and marijuana possession in the State of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Jan. 03, 2010: Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

Jan. 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Margarito Andres

Accused Child Rapist On The Run

Margarito Andres is wanted for two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12

In November 2009, a 13-year-old girl came to Boynton Beach, Fla., police with a shocking story of sexual abuse.

Cops say the child bravely confessed that she'd been repeatedly raped for more than two years by an older man, and that the man had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

She went on to tell police that she'd also seen him abuse her 11-year-old sister.

Cops say the girl identified the man as Margarito Andres, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

Andres fled as soon as he heard he was wanted for questioning, no one has seen or heard from him since.

If you've seen Margarito Andres or know anything about his whereabouts, call our Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

America's Most Wanted

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Illinois, USA

Alejandro Flores

Priest Who Tried to Kill Himself Could be Deported

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

Flores, 37, was charged Wednesday after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores was charged after he was released from a Joliet hospital where he was recovering from injuries he suffered during an apparent suicide attempt earlier this month. Authorities said he jumped from a choir loft at a now-closed Joliet church, falling 20 feet onto the pews below...

The Chicago Sun Times

Jan. 23, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Florida, USA

Juan Cahuich-Santiago

[Man] Charged with Raping his Girlfriend’s Grandmother

Last week, sheriff’s deputies in Marion County, FL, arrested Juan Cahuich-Santiago, 25, and charged him with sexual battery on a special condition victim. The illegal alien was living in the home with the elderly woman, and the alleged rape occurred while his girlfriend was out shopping.

When the family returned from the grocery store, they found the 76-year-old woman lying in an odd position, and her clothing disheveled. The victim, who cannot speak, was unable to stand and covered in bruises.

According to the arrest report, the woman had a bump on her forehead, bruises on her legs, and her pony tail had been pulled out.

A used condom was found in the trash.

Her injuries were so severe, that the grandmother required surgery after the attack.

Initially, Santiago-Cahuich denied raping the woman. However, under questioning, he admitted to the attack.

He told detectives that he had been watching an x-rated movie, before forcing himself on her. After finishing with her, the Mexican national placed her back in the recliner and fell asleep.

The arrest affidavit also indicates that Santiago-Cahuich knew that the woman has dementia and was incapable of refusing his advances.

Santiago-Cahuich is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $75,000 bond.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Pennsylvania / Iowa, USA

Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte

Man Wanted in Northeastern Pennsylvania Rape Caught in Iowa

A man wanted in a violent rape in northeastern Pennsylvania has been captured in Iowa.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 27-year-old Nery Adolfo Perez-Duarte in Cedar Rapids on Thursday.

U.S. Marshal Michael Regan says Perez-Duarte is accused of raping a Meshoppen woman on Dec. 27.

The victim was beaten, raped, thrown down a set of stairs and pulled back up the stairs by her hair. She suffered a broken leg, bloody mouth and black eye in the attack.

Perez-Duarte, a native of Guatemala, awaits extradition to Pennsylvania to face charges.

The Associated Press

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 23, 2010

Mississippi, USA

Mexican Predator Arrested by ICE

Horn Lake - A Mexican national convicted of fondling a minor was arrested Jan. 20 at the Desoto County Sheriff's Office by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Juan Vera-Serna, 34, was identified by DRO officers on May 7, 2009, during screening at the Horn Lake Police Department following his arrest for simple assault, simple assault with intent and felony child fondling. During an interview, he provided an alias name to officers; however, fingerprint checks revealed his true identity and the fact that he had been previously removed from the United States in 1994.

Since Vera-Serna had previously been removed from the United States, his case was presented to the U. S. Attorney's Office in Northern Mississippi for criminal prosecution as an illegal reentry.

"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal in New Orleans. "Criminals in Mississippi should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.

U.S. ICE

Jan. 22, 2010


Added: Jan. 21, 2010

Haiti

A girl sits beside her injured mother in a tent in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Picture taken on January 18, 2010, nearly a week after a massive earthquake hit the Caribbean nation.

Photo: Reuters / United nations / Logan Abassi

Haitian girls face increased vulnerability after quake

Girls have long been vulnerable to violence and neglect in Haiti, a nation with high rates of rape and HIV/AIDS and a tradition of sending poor rural girls to cities to work as domestic servants.

But last week's devastating earthquake has dramatically increased their risks, human rights and child protection experts say.

Sources of protection - families, police, churches, schools - have in many cases disappeared as a result of the disaster, and a general lack of security and order leaves the girls increasingly exposed.

"During a humanitarian crisis like this, vulnerability increases just because everything has been uprooted," said Gerard Ducoc, a Haiti researcher with Amnesty International.

"Communities, people who care for children, relatives and friends are no longer there. The social network is no longer there. The authorities are absent. The local public institutions are not operational. You don't have any defense mechanism except your instinct for survival," Ducoc said.

Aid workers in Haiti say that, contrary to reports of widespread violence and looting, many survivors have responded to the disaster by doing their utmost to protect and assist neighbors, including many orphaned and vulnerable children.

"The overall response in Port-au-Prince has been one of tremendous dignity and solidarity among people," said Yifat Susskind, a spokeswoman for MADRE, an international women's human rights group based in New York, which with partner organizations has sent teams of Creole-speaking medical workers to Haiti.

"Harrowing Situation"

But girls face some unique problems in the aftermath of such a natural disaster, aid workers said.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti had an estimated 300,000 abandoned or orphaned children, and a serious problem with child trafficking, Ducoc said. More than 100,000 girls aged 6 to 17 were working as domestic servants, in situations that often left them vulnerable to violence or neglect, according to UNICEF...

In the aftermath of the disaster, such children and tens of thousands of new orphans may be at risk of traffickers or unscrupulous adoption agencies "dipping into a vulnerable pool", said Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF's child protection division.

UNICEF is working to quickly set up a registration system for unaccompanied children and a hotline to report children alone, as well as safe shelters. The aim of such efforts, which worked effectively in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and Pakistan's earthquake, Bissell said, is to try to reunite as many children with surviving family members as possible.

 Laurie Goering

Reuters AlertNet

Jan. 21, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

General Russel Honoré

General Honoré, we agree with your views 100%!

Thank you for speaking-up!

LibertadLatina

General Honoré: Evacuate Most Vulnerable Haitians

Says our culture is afraid of poor people in large groups so we focus on security

Honoré says supplies can't meet demand; U.N. should start an evacuation plan for Haiti

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was highly praised for his leadership of recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, so he's well-versed in what works and what doesn't in disaster management.

The general told CNN last week that the U.S. military should have responded sooner to the earthquake in Haiti because "time is of the essence" in helping quake survivors.

CNN's Nicole Dow talked to Gen. Honoré Wednesday about his assessment of the situation in Haiti since he made those remarks...

CNN: You led the Joint Task Force for Hurricane Katrina. Can you draw some parallels between Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti?

Honoré: In my book, "Survival," there's a chapter that talks about dealing with the poor. I think sometimes we talk security, because as a culture, we are afraid of poor people in large groups. In Haiti, right after the earthquake, there were doctors who left. One said, "We don't have any security so we left."

That, in and of itself, is indicative of my Katrina experience. People start talking security.

And the slower we go, the more there's the possibility of that happening. We have to work on establishing the community government officials in Haiti so they can start communicating with their people.

We have to get food and water there to local government officials to distribute it. The local government officials should be authorized to hire young men. The local economy will crank up if we pay people in Haiti to do the cleanup and to run the distribution centers...

CNN: What are the top five points to keep in mind in the aftermath of natural disaster?

Honoré: 1) Improve communications. 2) Get food and water in. 3) Take care of the health and needs of people. 4) Evacuate people, particularly those who are pregnant, disabled, injured, babies, those who cannot take care of themselves. 5) Establish who's in charge. The president of Haiti [Rene Preval] is in charge.

It's different when the president and his government are victims. They are going to need help. Someone needs to be the face of the operation to help the president keep people alive.

You must have communication to establish a way of giving information to the people in their communities.

You have to be your own first responder in a disaster like Haiti, and the Haitian people did that. These situations have a tendency to get worse before getting better unless you start evacuating vulnerable people.

Also, you have to take a risk [about security] during the search-and-rescue phase. In that phase of the operation, search-and-rescue takes priority over security.

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti, Spain

ESPAÑA: La seguridad y salud de los niños haitianos tras sismo preocupan a las ONG

La ONG Save the Children expresó hoy su preocupación por la seguridad y la salud de los niños de Haití, donde ha comenzado a establecer espacios seguros para los más pequeños en los refugios y campamentos instalados tras el seísmo.

www.adn.es

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

Save the Children Responds to Strong New Aftershock in Haiti, Establishes Safe Spaces for Children

Save the Children

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

HAITI: Los niños haitianos, abandonados a su suerte

Ya hay constancia de algunos abusos contra los menores errantes

 www.elmundo.es/

Jan. 20, 2010

See also (English version):

Haiti

UNICEF fears child trafficking, opposes foreign Haiti adoption

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

worldbulletin.net

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

UNICEF: La adopción de niños debe ser la última opción posible.

"Nuestra política es tratar a toda costa de encontrar familiares del niño, y lograr la reunificación familiar. La adopción la vemos como la última opción, cuando todas las demás hayan fracasado", dijo la portavoz de Unicef, Veronique Taveau.

www.abc.es/

Jan. 19, 2010

See also (English version):

Foreign adoption of Haitian children "last resort" - United Nations

Geneva - Orphans and children abandoned in Haiti after the devastating earthquake should be adopted abroad only as a last resort, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

UNICEF is trying to identify and register unaccompanied children wandering the chaotic streets of the capital Port-au-Prince whose parents have been killed or are missing since the quake a week ago.

The United States has outlined special procedures for some Haitian orphans. UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said the agency feared child trafficking could also occur.

"UNICEF's position has always been that whatever the humanitarian situation, family reunification must be favoured," Taveau told a news briefing.

If parents are dead or unaccounted for, efforts should be made to reunite a child with his or her extended family, including grandparents, she said. A child should "remain to the extent possible in its country of birth".

"The last resort is inter-country adoption," Taveau said.

Before the quake, 48 percent of Haiti's population was under 18 years old, according to the agency.

UNICEF also said it had reports of violence against Haitian children since the quake, but gave no details.

"In this type of emergency, children are unfortunately the most vulnerable, especially those who have been abandoned," UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau told a news briefing. "We fear cases of child trafficking could occur."

Reuters

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti

Myriam Merlet was one of three leading activists in the Haitian women's movement who died, a victim of the earthquake.

Women's Movement Mourns Death of 3 Haitian Leaders

...Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of the country's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, are confirmed dead -- victims of last week's 7.0 earthquake...

"Words are missing for me. I lost a large chunk of my personal, political and social life," Carolle Charles wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. The Haitian-born sociology professor at Baruch College in New York is chair of Dwa Fanm (meaning "Women's Rights" in Creole), a Brooklyn-based advocacy group. These women "were my friends, my colleagues and my associates. I cannot envision going to Haiti without seeing them."

Myriam Merlet was until recently the chief of staff of Haiti's Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women, established in 1995, and still served as a top adviser...

She was a founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their names. Among her efforts, she set out to get streets named after Haitian women who came before her...

Magalie Marcelin, a lawyer and actress who appeared in films and on stage, established Kay Fanm, a women's rights organization that deals with domestic violence, offers services and shelter to women and makes microcredits, or loans, available to women working in markets...

With Merlet, Anne Marie Coriolan, 53, served as a top adviser to the women's rights ministry.

Coriolan... was the founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), which Charles described as an advocacy and services organization. ..

Coriolan was a political organizer who helped bring rape -- "an instrument of terror and war," Charles said -- to the forefront of Haitian courts.

Before 2005, rapes in Haiti were treated as nothing more than "crimes of passion," Charles explained. That changed because of the collective efforts of these women activists -- and others they inspired.

With the three leaders gone, there is concern about the future of Haiti's women and girls. Even with all that's been achieved, the struggle for equality and against violence remains enormous...

Before the disaster struck last week, a survey of Haitian women and girls showed an estimated 72 percent had been raped, according to study done by Kay Fanm. And at least 40 percent of the women surveyed were victims of domestic violence, [Taina] Bien-Aimé, [the executive director of Equality Now], said...

"From where we stand," Bien-Aimé wrote in an e-mail, "the most critical and urgent issue is what, if any, contingencies the relief/humanitarian agencies are putting in place not only to ensure that women have easy access to food, water and medical care, but to guarantee their protection."

Concerned women in the New York area plan to gather Wednesday to strategize their next steps...

Jessica Ravitz

CNN

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Clausuran hotel del DF tras rescate de menores en explotación sexual

Elementos de la Policía Judicial clausuraron las instalaciones del Hotel Palacio, ubicadas en la colonia Algarín, después de un cateo realizado la pasada semana, en el cual fueron rescatadas varias menores en condiciones de explotación sexual.

Police close Mexico City hotel after rescuing sexually exploited children

Elements of the Judicial Police have closed the facilities of the Hotel Palace, located in Mexico City's Algarín neighborhood, after a raid last week in which a number of children were rescued from prostitution.

CaribbeanNewsDigital.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Mexico

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonan sus estudios por la crisis económica

Unos 700.000 niños y adolescentes abandonaron en 2009 sus estudios de primaria y secundaria por la crisis económica que ha afectado con fuerza a México y, en especial, a las clases sociales más bajas, según los datos divulgados por el Instituto Nacional de Educación para Adultos (INEA).

Some 700,000 children and adolescents have abandoned school as a result of the economic crisis in Mexico

During 2009 an estimated 700,000 children and adolescents abandoned their primary and secondary school studies due to the economic crisis that has severely impacted Mexico and, in especially people in the lower social classes, according to data released by the National institute for Adult Education

(INEA).

EuropaPress.es

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Paraguay

Principal fin de trata de personas es la explotación sexual

La Dirección de Trata de Personas de la Secretaría de la Mujer de la Presidencia de la República, que integra la Mesa Interinstitucional de Prevención y Combate a la Trata de Personas, coordinada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y conformada por alrededor de cuarenta instituciones del sector público y privado, emitió un informe donde desnuda la situación de las mujeres víctimas de trata. Según la Lic. Luz Gamelia Ibarra, Directora de dicha área, el 95% de las víctimas fueron explotadas sexualmente, y el 6% laboralmente.

The main objective of human trafficking is sexual exploitation

The Human Trafficking Directorate of the Secretary of Women of the President of the Republic, who are the organizers of the  Inter-institutional Roundtable for the Prevention of and Combat Against Human Trafficking has released a report showing that 95% of human trafficking victims were sexually exploited. Some 6% of victims engaged in other forms of forced labor.

Source: The Secretary of Women of the Republic

jakueke.com

Jan. 20, 2010


Added: Jan. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Officials from WMCA International receive the 2009 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for their work in restoring victims of human trafficking.

Among other rescue efforts, WMCA International aided 99 female sex trafficking victims rescued from the Maximino Mondragon prostitution ring in Houston.

Gerardo 'El Gallo' Salazar, the FBI's most wanted human trafficking fugitive, is wanted for trafficking large numbers of women and underage girls into prostitution in Houston.

2004-2005 photo

FBI Searching for Human Trafficking Suspect