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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

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Striking Mexican

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Antenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

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


 

 
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News and Events - English
Other News Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006  -  2007 - 2008

Noticias de Febrero, 2009

February 2009 News


 


Added: Feb. 28, 2009

Mexico

Mexican congressional deputy César Camacho

César Camacho, presidente de la Comisión de Justicia de México, indicó que "urge combatir el delito de trata de personas"

Tabasco - México - A pesar de reiterados exhortos del Poder Legislativo, el presidente Felipe Calderón se ha negado a la fecha a expedir el reglamento de la Ley General para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, a fin de que se cuente con instrumento normativo más eficaz en el combate de ese delito, sostuvo el presidente de la Comisión de Justicia, César Camacho. Así lo denunció en el segundo seminario internacional "Mejores prácticas para combatir la trata de personas", donde explicó que con la norma reglamentaria ya debería estar formada la Comisión Intersecretarial y que también amplía el instrumental jurídico para que las dependencias del Ejecutivo, puedan participar como la ley lo ordena.

Camacho puntualizó que el plazo para emitir el reglamento que crea la Comisión Intersecretarial venció hace 11 meses. "Por lo que una vez más, con enorme respeto republicano, pero con la firmeza que el caso demanda, hago desde aquí un llamado a la congruencia y al cumplimiento de una obligación jurídica para que pronto se expida ese reglamento".

César Camacho, president of the Commission on Justice Affairs in Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, declares an "urgent need to combat the crime of trafficking in persons"

Tabasco state - According to congressman Cesar Camacho, [of the PRI- (Institutional Revolutionary Party), and] the chairman of the Commission on Justice Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress],  President Felipe Calderón has, despite repeated calls from the nation's Congress, to date refused to issue the regulations that are needed to put in force the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking.

Camacho presented his views at the second international seminar on "Best Practices in Combating Trafficking in Persons." Camacho added that the publication of the federal regulations associated with the law will allow for the formation of the required Inter-Ministerial Commission [that will coordinate inter-agency efforts]. Publication will also extend the legal tools available to the executive branch, as the law mandates.

Camacho noted that the [President's] deadline for issuing the regulation establishing the Inter-Ministerial expired 11 months ago. "So once again, with great respect to the Republic, but with the  firmness that this case demands, I call, from this place, for [federal] compliance with the legal obligation to issue such regulations soon."

Camacho added that this is an old problem with new name. He said that we should be motivated not only out of general concern, but because this problem [human trafficking] is the third most profitable illegal business [globally] after drug trafficking and arms sales.

He noted that this law must have teeth, stating that the nation needs an additional [legal] instrument to allow [anti-trafficking] efforts to become doubly effective. The President initially showed a great interest in the issue. Unfortunately, [now] "he seems not to sympathize with the facts on the ground."

Although [the law] created a special prosecutor for trafficking, "unfortunately the results have been much less that we had all hoped for."

Roberto Barboza Sosa

El Universal

Feb. 27, 2009


Added: Feb. 27, 2009

Mexico

Mexican Senator María Elena Orantes

Más de 20 mil niños vendidos a pedófilos, acusa senadora

Al señalar que en América Latina más de 20 mil niños de los países pobres son vendidos a pedófilos en Estados Unidos, Canadá y Europa, y que unos 10 mil entre los nueve y 16 años de edad son destinados a prostíbulos, la senadora priísta María Elena Orantes exigió que se impulsen campañas contra el maltrato y abuso sexual de los chavos en escuelas públicas y privadas del nivel preescolar, primaria y secundaria, así como en guarderías y casas de asistencia. 

La legisladora chiapaneca presentó ante el pleno del Senado un punto de acuerdo en el que se exhorta al presidente Felipe Calderón para que a través de la Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), en coordinación con el Sistema DIF nacional y de las entidades federativas, así como con el Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), entre otras dependencias, realicen acciones para detectar, frenar y prevenir abusos a los menores.

Senator: More than 20,000 children are sold to pedophiles from the United States, Canada and Europe

Noting that in Latin America more than 20,000 children from poor countries are sold to pedophiles in the United States, Canada and Europe, and about 10,000 children between 9 and 16 years of age are destined to be sold to brothels, Senator Maria Elena Orantes of PRI [the Institutional Revolutionary party] has demanded that the government engage in educational campaigns against child sexual abuse in public and private preschools, elementary and secondary schools and in kindergartens, and in foster homes.

Mexico City - Senator Maria Elena Orantes (PRI) of Chiapas state has presented to the full Senate a resolution that demands that president Felipe Calderón begin a campaign to detect, deter and prevent abuse of minors through the efforts of the Public Education Secretariat (SEP) in coordination with the national and state DIF social services agencies and the Mexican Institute of Social Security, among other agencies.

Senator Orantes Lopez asked President Calderón to expedite the delivery of the [now long-delayed] regulations [that will put into force] the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons and the National Program to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

The senator emphasized that special attention must be paid to addressing the problem of [Central and South American] migrant women and children.

Senator Orantes Lopez explained that the sexual outrages facing children are becoming worse with every passing day. According to a number of studies, the [average] victim is between 11 and 15 years of age…

Juan Garciaheredia

El Sol de Mexico

Feb. 29, 2009


Added: Feb. 27, 2009

Mexico

El combate a la trata de personas está rezagado

Aunque a finales de 2007 entró en vigor la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, expertos advierten que faltan muchos puntos por cumplirse para combatir el problema. La ONU ha señalado incluso negligencia oficial

Los “enganchadores” ubican a las jovencitas más atractivas en centrales camioneras, estaciones del Metro o a través de internet. Saben aprovecharse de las condiciones de pobreza y exclusión en las que viven muchas de ellas, por lo que comienzan el engaño ofreciéndoles trabajo, una relación sentimental o nuevas oportunidades de vida. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que varias terminen siendo explotadas sexualmente.

Aunque a finales de 2007 entró en vigor la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, expertos advierten que faltan muchos puntos por cumplirse para combatir el problema. La ONU ha señalado incluso negligencia oficial.

La incapacidad institucional para tipificar el delito ha impedido, a niveles federal y local, que miembros de redes criminales sean procesados y condenados.

The fight against trafficking in persons is lagging

Although by the end of 2007 the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons came into force, experts warn that many steps that have not been taken to combat the problem. The United Nations has even called attention to official negligence.

The "recruiters" locate the most attractive girls in buses, at metro stations and through the internet. They know how to take advantage of the conditions of poverty and exclusion that many of these girls live in. So the deception begins by offering the girl work, a love affair or new opportunities in life. It's just a matter of time before they end up being sexually exploited.

Although the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons had been passed in 2007 [it is still awaiting published regulations from an unwilling President Calderon to actually bring it into force], experts warn that many tools are lacking to effectively combat the problem. United Nations officials have even taken note of the involvement of 'official negligence.'

An institutional inability to define the offense of trafficking has prevented federal and local governments from prosecuting and convicting members of these criminal networks.

For example, the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (of the Attorney General’s office) investigates only those cases where organized crime is involved, where the victims were trafficked to another country, or where public servants are involved in a case.

Mexico lacks a comprehensive assessment of the extent, number of victims and social costs of human trafficking…

Evangelina Hernandez

El Universal

Feb. 27 2009


Added: Feb. 27, 2009

Gautemala

A photo taken of underage Mayan girls participating in a community ceremony during Guatemala's civil war. At the time this photo was taken, the girls were surrounded by Army troops, who were also their serial rapists.

From Guatemala - Land of Eternal Spring - Land of Eternal Tyranny, by Jean Marie Simon - 1998

Llaman a romper el silencio de crímenes sexuales cometidos durante la guerra

Integrantes de diversas organiza-ciones, que velan por la vigencia de los derechos de las guatemaltecas, hicieron un llamado a la población para que rompa el silencio que impide que los crímenes sexuales cometidos durante el conflicto armado interno sean llevados a la justicia.

De acuerdo con un comunicado, 10 años han pasado desde que la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH) presentó el Informe “Memoria del Silencio”, que documenta las violaciones a los derechos humanos, entre ellas crímenes sexuales ejecutados por el Ejército y las patrullas de autodefensa civil, masivamente contra mujeres mayas.

La información señala que la violación sexual fue sistemáticamente utilizada como arma de guerra en el marco de la política contrainsurgente del Ejército y como constitutiva del genocidio y el feminicidio, sin embargo, una cultura de silencio ha rodeado ese tipo de casos...

Civil organizations call on the population to break the wall of silence about sex crimes committed during the civil war

Guatemala City - Members of human rights organizations have called upon the people of Guatemala to break the wall of silence that has prevented discussion of bringing those responsible for sex crimes committed during the internal armed conflict to justice.

According to a press release, 10 years have passed since the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) presented its report entitled "Memory of Silence," which documented the human rights violations perpetrated during the war, including mass sexual crimes carried out by Army units and civilian self-defense patrols directed against Mayan women.

The information indicates that rape was systematically used as a weapon of war under the Army's counterinsurgency policy and as an element of genocide and femicide. However today, a culture of silence surrounds these cases.

Despite the gravity of such crimes, the justice system has failed to address the demands of thousands of victims, and to date not one trial has been held related to acts of sexual violence carried out against women during armed conflict…

The Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH), the Women's Earth Viva (AMTV), the National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG), the Human Rights Office of the Archbishop (ODHAG), the Maya Waqib ' Kej National Convergence and the  Association of Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Guatemala (FAMDEGUA), among others, signed the declaration.

Cerigua

Feb 25, 2009

LibertadLatina

About the crisis facing indigenous women and girls in  Guatemala


Added: Feb. 27, 2009

Mexico

Map shows border region between Guatemala and Mexico - Map-of-mexico.co.uk

Preocupa a ombudsman tabasqueño incidentes relacionados con la trata de blancas en las fronteras del país.

80% de migrantes sufren explotación sexual: CEDH

Villahermosa, Tabasco - La impunidad en México hace cada vez más grave el problema de la trata de blancas, aseguró el presidente de la CEDH, Jesús Manuel Argáez de los Santos, luego de advertir que el 80 por ciento de los migrantes que llegan al país son capturados para su explotación sexual.

Al respecto, el titular de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos (CEDH), se dijo alarmado por la creciente cifra de incidentes relacionados con la trata de blancas en las fronteras del país, relacionadas también con violaciones a los derechos humanos sexuales y económicos.

“Tenemos datos generales sobre el número aproximado de migrantes que sufren violaciones a sus derechos, tal parece que el 80 por ciento de los migrantes que vienen de tránsito por el territorio nacional sufren violaciones de sus derechos sexuales, agresiones y otras cuestiones, sigue habiendo una frontera sin control”, expuso el ombudsman tabasqueño.

Tabasco state’s human rights ombudsman raises alarm about rapid increase in human trafficking along Mexico’s southern border

According to the state’s human rights commission, 80% of [Central and South American] migrants suffer sexual exploitation

Villahermosa city, Tabasco state - Impunity in Mexico is adding each day that goes by to the crisis in human trafficking, according to Jesús Manuel Argáez, president of the Tabasco Human Rights Commission. Argáez de los Santos notes that 80% of [female] migrants crossing into Mexico are captured for purposes of sexual exploitation…

Argáez de los Santos: "We have data on the approximate number of migrants who suffer violations of their rights, it seems that 80 percent of migrants who transit through our territory suffer violations of their sexual rights, assault and [robbery].

Argáez de los Santos: "This is not so much about increasing penalties. It is that there is impunity, which does not penalize those who violate the rule of law. In this context, we are talking about the victimization of undocumented migrants - women and children. There are also thefts, assaults and [exploitation] through offering very low-paying salaries.”

 "We must remember that we always demand that Mexicans who emigrate to the United States be treated with dignity. We also have an obligation to offer the same dignity to people who come here from other countries in the world," Argáez de los Santos said.

Argáez de los Santos added that the National Migration Institute has carried out arrests and has reported to the state in regard to some criminal organizations involved, but unfortunately, the problem is still occurring along the southern border and is quite serious.

Por: Víctor Esquivel

www.tabascohoy.com.mx

Feb. 27, 2009


Added: Feb. 27, 2009

Massachusetts

MHS student charged with raping three... girls

Marblehead - An 18-year-old Marblehead High School junior is being held on $75,000 bail at the Essex House of Correction in Middleton after being charged Thursday with three counts of rape of a child with force and two counts of attempting to intimidate a witness.

Joshua Rodriguez, 29 Bennett Road, was arrested in Marblehead Wednesday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty to all charges during his bail hearing at Lynn District Court.

According to police reports, Rodriguez is being charged with raping three Marblehead middle-school-aged girls who separately reported the assaults to police within the last few weeks.

The latest incident was reported by one of the girls during school hours. After telling several friends about what had happened, she was encouraged to tell her school nurse that Rodriguez had raped her a week earlier, on Feb. 4...

By Nikki Gamer

Marblehead Register

Feb 22, 2009


Added: Feb. 26, 2009

Florida, USA

Rape suspects Richard Morales-Marin,24, and Juan Hernandez-Monzavlo,25, have confessed to raping an 11-year-old girl.

[Sex worker] raped in house where child was attacked will not seek charges

A prostitute who reported she was raped in the same vacant house where an 11-year-old Orlando girl was raped last week is declining to press charges.

The woman, who works along South Orange Blossom Trail, told investigators "that no one would ever believe a prostitute was raped," according to an incident report released late Thursday...

Two men, Richard Morales-Marin, 23, of Guerrero, Mexico, and Juan Hernandez-Monzalvo, 24, of Hidalgo, Mexico, are being held without bail on charges of raping the 11-year-old early Feb. 5 in a vacant pink house at 2506 Rose Blvd. Hernandez-Monzalvo previously lived in the house, records show…

The 11-year-old told investigators she was kidnapped on her way to school by two men in a car as she walked along Lancaster Road near South Orange Blossom Trail. She said they returned her to the area after raping her at the Rose Boulevard house…

Morales-Martin has been linked by DNA to the January 2008 rape of a pregnant teenager near the Florida Mall. Orange County detectives are looking at other rapes to see whether Morales-Martin and Hernandez-Monzalvo could be involved, according to sex-crimes Sgt. Richard Mankewich...

Henry Pierson Curtis, Bianca Prieto and Amy L. Edwards

Orlando Sentinel

Feb. 13, 2009


Added: Feb. 25, 2009

United States

Rescata FBI a 48 menores sometidos a explotación sexual

La Oficina Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) informó hoy que rescató a 48 menores de edad que eran explotados sexualmente en diversas ciudades de Estados Unidos, donde detuvo a 571 acusados de tráfico y prostitución de menores.

sdpnoticias.com

Feb. 23, 2009

Forty-Eight Children Recovered in Operation Cross Country III

During the past week, the FBI joined its law enforcement partners in a three-day national enforcement action as part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.

This operation, known as Operation Cross Country III, included enforcement operations in 29 cities across the country and led to the recovery of 48 children being prostituted domestically. Additionally, 571 criminals were arrested on a combination of state and federal charges for the domestic trafficking of children for prostitution and solicitation.

"We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation's children,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. “We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence.”

...To date, the 32 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups have recovered 670 children. The investigations and subsequent convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple 25-years-to-life sentences and the seizure of more than $3 million in assets.

U.S. FBI

Feb. 23, 2009


Added: Feb. 22, 2009

Mexico

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and

Laredo, Texas

Map-of-Mexico.uk

Aflora la explotación sexual infantil en la frontera

Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.- La delincuencia organizada que opera en esta frontera, utiliza a menores de edad para el comercio sexual, principalmente a niñas de entre 12 y 16 años de edad, a las que engañan para introducirlas en este ilícito negocio del que difícilmente pueden escapar, reveló Norma Ortiz, coordinadora del programa Menores en Condiciones Extremadamente Difíciles (Meced), del sistema DIF.

Las víctimas son por lo general, niños y niñas que llegan solos desde el interior del país para intentar cruzar la frontera y reunirse con sus familiares que ya viven en Estados Unidos.

Son reclutados cerca de los puentes internacionales al aceptar regalos y dinero.

Child prostitution flourishes along the Mexico / U.S. border

Nuevo Laredo city, in Tamaulipas state – According to Norma Ortiz, coordinator of the program Minors in Extremely Difficult Conditions of the government’s DIF social services agency, organized crime groups operating in this Mexico/U.S. border city exploit minors, especially girls between 12 and 16 years of age, for the sex trade. The girls are tricked, and once trapped, they find it difficult to escape from their captors.

The typical victim is a youth who arrived alone from the interior of the country, and who is trying to cross the border to join her relatives already living in the United States.

Traffickers intercept these youth near the international border crossings, and entice them with gifts and offers of money...

Last year, the U.S. organization Shared Hope International (SHI) revealed that child prostitution is a market that is driven by men who will pay large sums of money to have sex with children.

SHI estimates that up to 50,000 children and youth are victims of sexual exploitation along Mexico’s border with the U.S.

[Note: much of this prostitution caters to men from the U.S.]

Last year, Ortiz found 4 cases of children who were sexually exploited, and managed to rescue and deliver them to their parents. Due to threats from these crime groups, the families decided to leave the city without filing criminal complaints.

"We worked hard with families and schools to raise awareness of this problem and to provide greater protection for these children, but much remains to be done," said Ortiz.

Gastón Monge

EnLíneaDIRECTA

Feb. 23, 2009

See also:

En Tamaulipas, sigue en aumento niños que viven en la calle

Tamaulipas sees an increasing number of children living on the street

www.HoyTamaulipas.net

Feb. 02, 2009


Added: Feb. 22, 2009

Peru

Protesters, including Congresswoman Hilaria Supa, gather outside of a govern-ment building in Cusco in October 2008 to raise awareness about the victims of former president Alberto Fujimori’s 1990's forced indigenous sterilization program.

[Case of  300,000 forcibly  sterilized indigenous women is re-opened in Peru]  

The investigation into the forced sterilization of 300,000 indigenous Peruvian women is being re-opened, according to the Public Ministry of Peru. This follow-up effort was announced Jan. 7, 2009 and will seek out the program’s adminis-trators. It had been part of the larger case against former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who is facing other criminal counts.

Fujimori is awaiting the final disposition of his case in which he is being charged with kidnapping as well as ordering two massacres that resulted in the deaths of 25 people. If convicted he faces up to 30 years in prison. The original charges against him involved other human rights violations including his knowing supervision of the forced sterilization of indigenous women. The so-called “Voluntary Surgical Contraception” Program was enacted between 1997 and 2000...

“…The forced sterilizations focused on poor, indigenous, Quechua-speaking and Aymara women,” said women’s rights advocate Maria Esther Mogollon. She is a member of MAM Fundacional, the women’s rights organization that helped a group of victims present their case to federal authorities.

“The total number came to be 300,000 women and 22,000 men (who received vasectomies). … the majority of whom did not sign informed consent statements and were also subjected to threats, coercion and other violations.

[A victim:] “They came for me many times, trying to convince me to have the operation. They tried to make my husband sign a paper and they told him it would make me well. But as he was illiterate, he didn’t know what the document said. Then they threatened my husband that if he didn’t take me to the clinic the police would take him to prison.

Out of fear my husband asked me to go.”

Rick Kearns

Indian Country Today

Feb. 20, 2009

See also:

[Peruvian indigenous congresswoman] Hilaria Supa Huamán Visits Allentown, Pennsylvania

English translation of Hilaria Supa Huamán's book: Threads of My Life

...The [Peruvian]government, with the financial assistance of the United States, Japan, the European Union and the World Bank, started a sterilization campaign, on the theory that if there were fewer poor, there would be less poverty. 300,000 [indigenous] women and 20,000 men were sterilized, often without consent, during eye or dental surgery. Many are still in pain and disabled from these forced surgeries.[Congress-woman Hilaria Supa] was wheelchair bound for seven years after the birth of her daughter.

Congresswoman Supa went to the city as a young woman, learned Spanish, worked hard, went to school, and converted her understanding of life as a poor woman to a life of organizing and struggle for women and all people. She has been a force for land reform, for women’s rights and indigenous rights in Peru. She wrote a book, "Threads of My Life - The Story of Hilaria Supa Huaman, A Rural Quechua Woman"

Joe DeRaymond

Lehigh Valley Independent Press

April 29, 2008

LibertadLatina

The crisis facing indigenous women in Peru

LibertadLatina

The crisis of forced sterilization facing indigenous, Afro-descendent and Latina women in the Americas


Added: Feb. 18, 2009

Mexico

En México, “especie de esquizofrenia” frente a los derechos de las mujeres

Persistencia del femicidio en todo el país; impunidad en Atenco, donde mujeres fueron torturadas y violadas por policías; asesinato y hostigamiento judicial contra comunicadoras; impedimento para que las menores de edad o con deficiencia mental, violadas y por ello embarazadas, interrumpan la gestación; muerte de mujeres al dar a luz por falta de servicios médicos; imparable incremento de la trata de personas, así como la constante amenaza de que el Ejército cometa más abusos contra mujeres y que no haya castigo, son sólo ejemplos denunciados por la sociedad civil del incumplimiento del gobierno federal para proteger los derechos humanos de las mujeres.

The following are observations from the journalists at CIMAC Noticias, a women’s human rights press agency in Mexico City

[Today we find in Mexico:] the continuation of femicide across the country; impunity in the [recent negative Supreme Court ruling in the] case of Atenco, where women were tortured and raped by policemen; killings and judicial harassment targeting women journalists; the denial of abortion to underage girls and mentally handicapped women who have been raped [as in a recent case involving 8 indigenous women victims]; the deaths of women during childbirth due to a lack of medical services; an unstoppable increase in human trafficking; as well as the constant threat that Army personnel will continue to abuse  [physically and sexually] more women without punishment…

These are but a few examples of cases where Mexico’s federal government has failed to protect the human rights of women.

CIMAC Noticias

Introduction to a special news section

Feb. 17, 2009

Added: Feb. 15, 2009 Updated Feb. 19, 2009

The Americas

Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin of Suriname, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of the American States

OAS heralds a "new moment of change" in the West

From a recent lecture at the University of the West Indies

...Clearly the world is, as ever, in a state of flux. With regard to the Western Hemisphere, there are three fundamental changes taking place that I wish to address.

Firstly, some 30 years ago in Latin America, there were still dictatorships. Since then Latin America has gone through a democratization process that has brought to the fore different ideological, political, economic and social interests within and among countries and sub-regions. Democracy has also created political space for previously marginalized groups in society, such as women, youth and indigenous people.

Secondly, more recently, since 2006, we have witnessed a significant turnover, through democratic means, in the political leadership of the hemisphere, with more than 20 countries undergoing general elections... During this period, roughly two-thirds of the peoples of the Americas have been involved in some sort of electoral process.

Thirdly, although some progress has been made, the Latin American and Caribbean region, despite reasonable economic growth, continues to have unacceptable high levels of poverty. Latin America itself has the highest levels of income inequality in the world and some 220 million people live on less than US$2 a day. The resulting sense of hopelessness, marginalization and exclusion is a key contributing factor to insecurity in the region.

...What is worrying is that the relative political and economic gains over the last two decades might now be in danger of being dramatically eroded by the global financial crisis and political differences, as well as by more specific challenges arising from threats to food and energy security, the environmental crisis, and the violence associated with organized crime, youth gangs, and the illegal trade in drugs and firearms...

Indeed, many believe that today Latin America and the Caribbean are marked by the highest level of tension and insecurity within and between nations since the end of the Cold War.

More than ever, the origins of these problems are intra-state or domestic. That is, they are related to social, environmental and economic difficulties, such as in Haiti; ethnic divisions, such as those arising from the new-found political power of the indigenous people of Bolivia and conflict with traditional elites; and the search for a new model of “participatory democracy” as opposed to more conventional “representative democracy...”

The expectations of the region with regard to US relations with... Latin America and the Caribbean in general may not be wholly met at the forthcoming [April, 2009] 5th Summit of the Americas. But it is anticipated that the United States will seize the opportunity to make a major statement on improving relations with the rest of the hemisphere..., especially on issues such as development and the fight against poverty, the pending approval of the free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, global warming and the effects of climate change, organized crime, narco-trafficking, the illegal trafficking in arms, deportees and security in general...

Albert R. Ramdin

OAS Assistant Secretary General

Jan. 29, 2009

Note: The 5th Summit of the Americas will take place in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17-19, 2009.


LibertadLatina Commentary:

We at Libertad Latina enthusias-tically agree with Organization of American States' Assistant Secretary General, Albert R. Ramdin's comments in regard to the fact that the election of U.S. President Barak Obama has opened up new opportunities for progress in the relationship between the United States and the other nations of the Americas.

We encourage the Obama Administ-ration to move beyond the political viewpoints that previously dominated federal agency thinking about responses to human slavery. These viewpoints had caused the near-disappearance of Latin America from the radar screen as a recognized and targeted focal point of crisis in regard to criminal sex and labor trafficking.

During the past eight years, the acute severity of the crisis facing at-risk and trafficked women and children in the region had not been matched by a commensurate level of urgent response from the U.S. federal government. Non-governmental anti-trafficking groups and academics had also been slow to respond to this most glaring and well-documented example of impunity and mass gender violence on the world stage...  the tortured case of Latin America.

The modern anti-trafficking move-ment grew out of efforts in the 1990's in advanced western nations to address the plight of sex trafficking victims in Eastern Europe and Russia in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union. Asia became an additional area of focus. Both populations, as well as U.S. born trafficking victims (a more recent priority for the movement) have received well-deserved attention from U.S. agencies and the many non-governmental organizations that are working to combat slavery.

But where has the response been to the crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean?

We have not seen that response, a point that is not lost on the traffickers.

Five years ago an anti-trafficking activist working in Washington, DC insisted during a conversation with me that no human slavery problem existed in Latin America, because that is what his women's studies professors had taught him.

That lack of factual information from academia (and elsewhere), together with the effects of traditional racial divides in U.S. culture appear to have guided official and NGO strategic thinking in regard to their failure to create the needed official and NGO response to the mass victimi-zation of Afro-descendent, indigenous and other poor women and children across Latin America by the region's well-organized sex trafficking cartels.

A number of factors have caused the Japanese Yakuzas (who have sex trafficked in women and girls from Colombia since the 1980s), the Russian mob, and the multi-billion dollar Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (who double as extremely well-funded sex trafficking networks) to expand their criminal operations exponentially across Latin America.

The key factors that have facilitated this explosive growth in slavery involve: the continued unequal status of women and ethnic minorities; the continued acceptance of impunity; official corruption; low pay, poor training and a resulting indiffer-ence on the part of law enforcement personnel; extreme poverty that causes young men to join gangs and mafias that prey on women; the ease with which traffickers can kidnap, rape and enslave tens of thousands of poor women and girls of all ages with impunity with absolutely no government response; and the fact that the United States government has not made combating mass human slavery in the region a priority.

The global anti-trafficking movement and government agencies under the last U.S. administ-ration did not demonstrate the required political open-mindedness and agility that was needed to shift gears and place an urgent emphasis on saving lives in Latin America in response to this emergency.

For example, during August of 2008 I attended a major trafficking conference in Washington, DC, where most of the conservative anti-trafficking thought leaders were present, as well as the U.S. State Department's head of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office, Dr. Mark P. Lagon. During the entire 5 hour session, the only mention made of Latin America was by me during the question and answer periods.

In response to a panel discussion at the conference on anti-trafficking initiatives in the U.S., I mentioned that: 1) an FBI agent had mentioned to me that a $60,000 a week Latino brothel operation existed in Langley Park, Maryland, 10 miles directly north of the U.S. Capitol building, and yet I had never seen any evidence that prosecutions came out of that surveillance; and 2) that anti-trafficking activists have handed cases to the FBI on "a silver platter" only to be ignored by agents and prosecutors (This was told to me by a Ph.D. anti-trafficking special-ist in California, and it has also been the exper-ience of other activists whom I know in California, who advocate for Latina victims of trafficking).

I concluded my comments by noting that in a number of cases, federal prosecutors actually have not taken trafficking cases to court. A number of people in the audience of 200 applauded what I had said.

During the question and answer period following Dr. Lagon's remarks at this conference which spoke eloquently about the problem of trafficking in Eastern Europe, Asia and the U.S. (but without  mention of Latin American issues),  I stated in my question to Dr. Lagon that a U.S. immigration lawyer had been interviewed by a Spanish language  newspaper (in Mexico), and that he had stated that thousands of Mexican children and underage youth were fleeing from the hundreds of brothels on the U.S. border, many of them run by the Russian mob. I stated that when they escape into the U.S. and are caught, they were not being afforded the 72 hour waiting period required by law and access to a lawyer, as other arrested migrants, those not from Mexico, are given. I stated that in violation of the law, these minors were being deported back into Mexico after only 24 hours.

As the moderator of the event asked me to get to the question, I simply stated emphatically What are you going to do about it?

Dr. Lagon responded by stating that "all immigrants are God's children," but he did not clearly answer the question, nor did he openly commit the TIP office to doing anything about the issue. After the event, he did not appear to be too happy that I had raised these questions during his filmed conference appearance (which is my subjective interpretation).

I also attended an anti-trafficking conference of around 400 participants at the U.S. Congress earlier in the George W, Bush Administration, where then Trafficking in Persons office director Ambass-ador John R. Miller was the keynote speaker. Latin America was not discussed by the panelists, nor did those who asked questions bring up the subject. However, I did pass out a flyer regarding the work of LibertadLatina to the attendees.

Whatever the internal politics were surrounding anti-trafficking policy in the last administration, Latin America was not a priority for federal authorities.

The most recent U.S. anti-trafficking legislation passed by Congress, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, does, finally, have 'some' minimal provisions that better protect minor victims of human trafficking.

Today, Latin America and Asia both rank in the number one position globally in regard to the severity of their human trafficking crises. Yet the U.S. response, to a threat that impacts the U.S. internally, has been minimal.

The lack of action taken during the past 8 years to address Latin America's emer-gency of sex and labor trafficking could be compared to the George W. Bush administra-tion's lack of a timely response to Hurricane Katrina.

We know that in the case of the femicide in Mayan indigenous dominated Guatemala, for example, the federal response was one of silence, perhaps because the 1980's civil war, in which 200,000 people including 50,000 women were murdered by government forces, and in which almost all Mayan women and girls were raped with impunity by soldiers, was a war that conservatives in the U.S. supported then, and, in a historical context, they continue to support.

The femicide today in Guatemala, with its rate of ten times the numbers of female murders being committed than in the better-known femicide capitol of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is an outgrowth of the 1980's anti-Mayan genocide. Almost nobody is arrested and prosecuted for kidnapping, raping, torturing and then murdering women in a pattern that exists across that nation.

The silence on the part of the last administration in this area gives the appearance that officials simply preferred not to talk about the topic.

During the early 2000's, when I participated actively in the listserv of the deservedly well-respected conservative anti-trafficking pioneer Dr. Donna Hughes, I was literally banned by her from the listserv when some of the 400 other members, who were mostly conservative U.S. women activists, started to protest the fact that I was raising the issue of the femicide and 1980's genocide of Mayan peoples in Guatemala. It was a taboo subject for them, femicide or not.

Feminists who also participated in the listserv wrote to me to explain that such censorship of ideas began when the moderator began writing for the conservative publication National Review Online.

Is a continued denial of the current femicide and the parallel crisis of the mass sex trafficking of Mayan women and young girls from Guatemala today really a price that humanity (and Guatemalan women and children) should pay because ideological differences make the issue 'politically incorrect' for U.S. conservatives to even mention?

We think not!

Another act of the administration of George W. Bush that appears to reinforce our concerns about a deliberate effort to deny indigenous victims their equal rights centers on the now infamous firings of 8 honest, hard-working U.S. attorneys by then U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Five of the eight were members of a committee that worked to increase the dismal federal prosecution rates in regard to cases involving indigenous victims of violent crime, especially sexual assault.

Western U.S. states have a long history of patterns of sexual assaults with impunity targeting indige-nous women and girls. The firings gave the appear-ance that the U.S. Department of Justice actually acted to protect the 80% of sexual assailants in these cases who are white men. (This dynamic of impu-nity in western states also aids and abets the sexual exploitation of Latina victims).

We also recognize that progressives have a truly apathetic and  disheartening record on anti-trafficking issues. We commend the conservatives who made trafficking a priority in the U.S., despite having to hold our nose at the fact that they left 'little brown Maria in the brothel' out of the picture, and still in the hands of her brutal enslaver.

Some aspects of the deliberate omission from discussion of exploited Latin American and expatriate immigrant communities of women and children may thus be attributed to the dynamics of certain political ideologies.

That is to say, alliances with like-minded political forces in Latin America likely lead some conservative U.S. leaders to sweep glaring examples of corruption and impunity under the carpet. Certainly there are no visible signs that offending governments were ever confronted seriously, or threatened with the withholding of U.S. financial support during this period.

A lack of serious response to the institutionalized sexism of the conservative administration of President Felipe Calderon of the Christian Democrat National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico is one such clear example of the coddling of   those who allow impunity to reign. President Calderon is so bold that he dares (even after 4 warnings from Congress during the last 9 months) to refuse to publish the regulations needed to put Mexico's first national anti-trafficking law into effect. For shame!!

It is also certainly possible that outright racism and classism was being displayed by U.S. officials and NGOs, targeted at the most vulnerable black, indigenous and other poor populations of Latina victim communities... during the time when this unofficial 'code of silence' about the horrors taking place in Latin America was being enforced as behind-the-scenes U.S. policy.

Indeed, the lack of action by the U.S. could be attributed to all of these above-listed factors.

These acts of omission resulted in creating the near-invisibility of 'people of color from the Americas' within U.S. anti-trafficking policy discourse.

At the same time, it is also under-stood that federal and NGO human trafficking policy and action were then, as they are today, in an experimental stage of development, and therefore they had to be expected to go through 'growing pains.'

Nonetheless, it has been our repeated experience that the formal institutions that fight trafficking have limited their consideration of the plight of black and brown women in Latin America and the Caribbean, while emphasizing European, Asian and U.S. issues.

The current gap in policy content focused on the Latin American and Caribbean crisis also extends globally. We recognize that virtually the entire anti-trafficking movement has compiled wish-lists of well-considered recommendations for the Obama administration, ideas that are designed to address past dificiencies in U.S. anti-trafficking strategy, tactics and infrastructure development both domestically and in the global context.

Latina, Caribbean and black and brown ethnic minority women and children's interests must be represented as the anti-trafficking movement and its U.S. federal agency allies work to re-align national policies in collaboration with the newly-inaugurated  administration of Barak Obama.

Simply appointing members of the traditional Latino political leadership to address these issues is no guarantee of providing resolution to the problem.

U.S. Latino organizations have remained silent for the most part about the issue of human trafficking, except in a few notable cases such as the private efforts of millionaire pop star Ricky Martin.

In almost all cases, there are no indige-nous, nor are there Afro-descendent activists represent-ed, a fact that  leaves the process open to the ugly dynamics of 'intra-Latino racism, sexism and classism' (also known as negative machismo).

The continued exclusion from anti-trafficking leader-ship roles of ethnic minorities from Latin America will only delay the true resolution of this crisis, one which affects their communities severely.

OAS Assistant Secretary General Ramdin's acknow-ledgement that Latin America today has the highest levels of income inequality in the world, with some 220 million people living on less than US$2 a day, should make it fairly self-explanatory to all parties that such acute poverty has combined with criminal impunity, official corruption and an $11 billion dollar global market for sex and labor slaves to put virtually all Latin American and Caribbean women and children at risk of becoming victims of forced prostitution and peonage.

We encourage the Obama Administ-ration and U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to develop a strong and creative strategy to address human trafficking, as a key human rights component of their overall approach to  improving relations with the nations and peoples of the Americas.

Within that strategy, the communities who are the most intensively targeted for enslavement, including all poor Latinas in general, as well as Afro-descendent and indigenous peoples in particular, must have an equal seat at the table in the areas of organized policy discussion, strategic planning and program development. These important activities must take place to make future prevention  and victim rescue and rehabilitation efforts truly effective.

Today, consistent with the powerful history of 'negative-machismo' based gender, race and class prejudice in the region, socially marginalized (and thus easily victim-ized) populations remain not only without a seat at the table of deliberation, but they are almost never even invited into the room - except, literally, to serve the food.

That is not a flippant comment, and it is not an exaggeration. It is just a fact of life that we have lived through personally, and that we, in this generation, will indeed change. That change will only come about with popular support from everyone... from

We the people!

Will you join us in that effort?

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 16/17, 2009

Updated Feb. 19, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina speaks out and advocates for Latina women & girl's human rights at a Washington, DC International Organization for Migration (IOM) conference on sex trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean region attended by non-profits and U.S. State, Justice and Homeland Security officials.

[One federal anti-exploitation lawyer, from the Justice Department (DOJ) Worker Exploit-ation Task Force (WETF), simply refused to speak with me after I raised a large number of issues that the conference participants had omitted from their remarks.

A former co-worker at an anti-trafficking group, who later worked for WETF, left after seeing a lack of commit-ment by some staff to the goals of ending exploitation. The November, 2008 transition report from the Human Action Group to End Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery contains a recommendation the that the WETF be re-activated.]

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2003

Transition Report for the Next Presidential Administration

[This document provides an excellent analysis of policy and organizational change require-ments for federal anti-trafficking effort improvement, but at the same time it ignores the issues of racial, ethnic and class exclusion that haunt current thinking by thought leaders in the movement.] 

The Action Group to End Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery

November, 2008

United States: Migration and Trafficking in Women

Until recently, trafficking of women in the United States was rarely acknowled-ged. It was not until Russian and Ukrainian women began to be trafficked to the United States in the early 1990s that governmental agencies and many NGOs began to recognize the problem.

As many critics, including us, have pointed out, Latin American and Asian women were trafficked into the United States for many years prior to the influx of Russian traffickers and trafficked women. The fact that it took blond and blue-eyed victims to draw governmental and public attention to trafficking in the United States gives, at least, the appearance of racism...

Patricia Hyne

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Children (CATW)

2002

ONU teme que la crisis financiera agrave la servidumbre por deudas

UN fears that the global financial crisis is worsening debt bondage

...The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that at least 1.3 million people are subjected to forced labor in Latin America and the Caribbean, of which 250,000 are also victims of trafficking.

Latin America suffers the second highest rate of forced labor in the world after Asia...

www.bolpress.com

Dec. 10, 2008

Americas: Indigenous People at High Risk 

As the world marks the International Day of the World's
Indigenous People, native peoples continue to be the victims of human rights violations -- including killings and "disappear-ances" -- in many parts of the Americas, Amnesty International said today.

"Intimidation, harassment and violent attacks against indigenous communities are frequent occurrences in countries including Honduras, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela," the organization added, calling on governments throughout the region to ensure the rights of indigenous people are fully respected.

International Secretariat of Amnesty International

August 9, 2001

Twelve-year-old virgin Mexican girls, for example, are sold to brothels in Spain for $25,000, but if a beautiful young Indigenous girl is being sold, that raises the price even more because she is 'exotic.'

- Teresa Ulloa Latin American and Caribbean director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)

- La Crónica de Hoy

México

 Oct. 20, 2005

Abuse In Latin America Growing

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

Reuters, 1997

[U.S. Attorney firings targeted effective prose-cutors of rape on the reservation]

Crime-victim advocates from Indian country have focused attention on the pandemic of rape on Indian lands by whites and other perpetrators. One in three Indian women will be raped, and more than 70 percent of the rapists are not Indian.

At the National Congress of American Indians' mid-year conference in June [2007], Native women who have worked for decades to end sexual violence on Indian lands [discussed] the need for tribal follow-up on the Adam Walsh Act and other subjects.

The meeting was attended by Margaret Chiara, who was one of the eight U.S. Attorneys fired by the Bush administration. Of those eight, she was one of the five who served on the U.S. Attorneys' subcommittee for Native issues.

Chiara said her office had increased prosecutions of... violent crimes and others on the reservations in her western Michigan district by 85 percent by dedicating an attorney and one staff to prosecutions of these cases.

Paul Charlton, the fired U.S. Attorney from Arizona, said one of two reasons Justice told him he was being fired was because he'd called on the FBI to tape confessions.  Charlton later said an FBI policy against taping confessions harms the prosecution rates of Indian child molestations because molesters' confessions are often critical to these cases.

Majel-Dixon and other Native women leaders say that sexual predators target Indian lands because they know that their chances of getting investigated and prosecuted are slim. If these cases are prosecuted, it is most likely by a tribal court which, under federal law, can only impose a one-year sentence even for the most violent rape by a repeat offender. Native leaders say white rapists travel from reservation to reservation offending...

- Indian Country Today

July 06, 2007

...Arlan Melendez, vice president of the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada: ''When you see the Justice Department isn't really interested in Indian country, and then you see them fire U.S. attorneys who are taking an interest in Indian country, you formulate your opinions from that.''

- Indian Country Today

July 20, 2007

The Sex Trafficking of Children in San Diego, California

Tráfico y explotación sexual de menores en San Diego

"...The girls that I saw that time [in the fields] were very young, they were not over 14 years old. they had been sold a lot to 'los gringos' (American men)." "This area is full of red necks, they are far right-wing white American men to whom they sell the virginity of little girls" notes  Patricia [a Latina medical doctor paid with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds to provide condoms to underage sex slaves in these child rape camps, but who was threatened by U.S. HHS if she dared to report the camps to the press or the public].

I was present many times when these gringos called Julio [Salazar] asking to be sent a "cherry girl" (a virgin)...

- El Universal

Mexico City

Jan. 09, 2003

Clinton says U.S. did wrong in Central American wars

President Clinton admitted... to Guatemalans that U.S. support for "widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a mistake.

"For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that the support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression ... was wrong," Clinton said as he began a round-table discussion on Guatemala's search for peace...

As Clinton spoke, several hundred demonstrators outside Guatemala City's National Palace could be heard accusing the United States of complicity in the war, in which 200,000 people died, mainly Mayan civilian peasants.

A Guatemalan truth commission last month told of state-sponsored genocide and massacres in one of the harshest rebukes of the horrors of the conflict between the army and leftist insurgents, which ended in 1996.

The commission also said U.S. military aid and Central Intelligence Agency advisers played a pivotal role in the bloodshed...

CNN

March 10, 1999

Al Menos Dos Millones de Latinoamericanos son Víctimas del Tráfico de Personas, Dijo la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM).

International Organization for Migration (IOM): At least 2 million Latin Americans are victims of trafficking each year. 

1.3 Million mostly indigenous persons are enslaved as agricultural and mining laborers, primarily in Brazil, Peru y Bolivia.

Posted on Alianza Por Tus Derechos

July, 2005

En desventaja, niños mexicanos indocumentados

Mexico's undocumented migrant children are at a disadvant-age for refugee benefits

Thousands of children cross alone into the U.S. each year to escape child sex trafficking networks.

Many of the 80,000 Mexican children who cross from Mexico into the U.S. alone, as undocumented immigrants, are fleeing abuse at home, or are escaping from child prostitution rings. As such, they would possibly qualify for permission to stay in the United States.

These children would be able to avail themselves of this opportunity if U.S. Border Patrol officers would provide them with the appropriate interview form, as federal law requires. Instead, these minors are typically deported in less than 24 hours after their arrests.

[Full English Translation]

Georgina Olson

Excélsior

July 3, 2008

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

...All too often, we who are Hispanic ethicists tend to identify oppressive structures of the dominant Eurocentric culture while overlooking repression conducted within our own community. I suggest that within the marginalized space of the Latino/a community there exists intra-structures of oppression along gender, race and class lines, creating the need for an ethical initiative to move beyond, what Edward Said terms, "the rhetoric of blame."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Seis millones de niños muestran el rostro de la violencia latinoamericana

Sumergida en la violencia la juventud latinoamericana·

Aproximadamente 80.000 pierden la vida por causa de ésta cada año

San José, Puerto Rico - El director regional para América Latina y el Caribe de la Unicef, Nils Kastberg, manifestó en la conferencia sobre Cultura de Paz y Prevención de la Violencia Juvenil realizada en Costa Rica que, según estudios realizados en 17 países latinoamericanos, "el 65 por ciento de los adolescentes se encuentran en situación de violencia".

Six million children and youth live with violence in Latin America

The region’s youth are submerged in violence

Approximately 80,000 young people loose their lives to violence each year

UNICEF’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Nils Kastberg, said at a Costa Rican conference on developing a culture of peace and preventing youth violence… that studies conducted in 17 Latin American countries show that "65 percent of adolescents live in situations of violence."

…Statistics show that about two million children are sexually exploited in the region, and in half the cases, the abusers are living with them, while 75 per cent of all abusers are relatives of the victims…

More than 5.7 million children between five and 14 years are economically active and approximately two million are engaged in domestic service [a job where child sexual abuse is a 'traditional' and expected outcome.]

Latin America and the Caribbean… rank first [in the world] in their rates of homicide impacting young people between the ages of 15 and 17. The rate is 37.7 per 100,000 for young men, and 6.5 young women per 100,000 inhabitants.

Irene González

PrimeraHora.com / ADNmundo.com

Nov. 19, 2007

More than 500,000 cases of human trafficking exist in Mexico - Teresa Ulloa

Mexico City - According to a report by the [Latin American and Caribbean branch of the] Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls (CATW-LAC), more than five million women and girls are victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, said Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, director of the CATW-LAC. She added that… more than 500,000 of these cases take place in Mexico…

[Note: These numbers take into account the seldom discussed reality that annual figures of victims trafficked add to a cumulative total... a population that never goes away, until they die an early death from the diseases and torture that go with sexual enslave-ment.]

Colombia, according to official sources, is considered to be the Latin American country most commonly used as a transit point for women who were abducted for purposes of sexual exploitation in the neighboring countries Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia…

According to specialists at End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) over 21,000 victims from Central America, for the most part children, are forced into prostitution in 1,552 brothels and bars in the border city of Tapachula, in Mexico's [southern] Chiapas state...

These girls are sold for a few dollars by traffickers, as outlined in [an article in] Mexico's Contralínea  magazine, which also documented the fact that these mafia networks operate under the protection of corrupt local and federal authorities...

Something similar happens in Argentina, where... the northwest of the country is full of brothels that exploit young women held against their will. The victims are subjected not only to sexual humiliation to extreme violence, but also to being forced to take toxic substances to make them more “agreeable” with the clients...

CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 11, 2008

An estimated 500,000 girls younger than 16 are in prostitution in the northeast states of Argentina.

 Trafficking Report - The Protection Project, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

2001 Edition

Trafficking in Colombian women to the Asian continent has become “a true
threat for thousands of Colombian women who end up as slaves in Japan and other countries

Trafficking in Colombian women to Japan began in the 1980s, when the Japanese
Mafia began to make incursions in Colombian territory and decided to set up their center of operations in certain regions of the country...

Fanny Polania

Jan. 11, 2008

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

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

During an international seminar in the city of Tlaxcala, Ulloa noted that, due to the conditions of marginalization in which they live, at least 50 million women and children in Latin America are at risk of being recruited for sexual exploitation.

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2007

Impunity Fuels Violence Against Women

"Unfortunately, in Guatemala, killing a woman is like killing a fly; no importance is assigned to it," complained local activist Hilda Morales, who argued that "the perpetrators are encouraged to continue beating, abusing and killing because they know that nothing will happen, that they won't be punished."

Inés Benítez

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

Nov. 24, 2007

LibertadLatina Commentary:

Surely, in the midst's of this chaos, in an environment that is fomenting a continuous and growing wave of mass sexual atrocities against women and children, the modern anti-trafficking movement, with its hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. federal funding, can stand up and address Latin America as a Level One Emergency among its vast list of priorities.

¿Que no?

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 16, 2009


Added: Feb. 13, 2009

Mexico

Magdalena García Durán is a defender of indigenous rights. Like many members of the Other Campaign, she went to Atenco May 4th, 2006 to show her support for the People’s Front for the Defense of the Land (FPDT), the organization under attack for courageously (and successfully) defending their lands against a major airport expropriation and for defending the right of flower vendors to work in [the city of] Texcoco.

Magdalena is one of the 214 people who were cruelly tortured, raped, and arrested without a warrant by... police... that day.

Resolución de SCJN legitima Estado policíaco: FPDT

Otorga impunidad a agresores

Las y los ministros de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) tuvieron en sus manos la oportunidad histórica de hacer justicia a un pueblo donde se violaron de manera grave los derechos humanos y las garantías individuales, durante el operativo policíaco del 3 y 4 de mayo de 2006, pero su resolución sobre el Caso Atenco no responsabiliza al gobernador del Estado de México, Enrique Peña Nieto; a Eduardo Medina Mora, Miguel Ángel Yunes, responsables de dichas acciones.

Así resume el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra la resolución tomada hoy por la Corte, después de 4 días de sesión, donde se discutió un dictamen elaborado por el ministro.

Quien pierde, dice el Frente en un comunicado, es el pueblo de México, porque su resolución sólo otorga impunidad a los represores y viene a legitimar la instauración de un Estado policíaco, “tal como lo vemos en el uso recurrente del Ejército Mexicano y de las fuerza pública en la llamada lucha contra el crimen, así como en la confrontación con el movimiento social, utilizando estrategias de contrainsurgencia para controlar a la población y querer exterminar a las organizaciones como el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra en Atenco”.

FPDT: Most Recent Supreme Court resolution legitimizes 'police state' tactics

The Court's decision grants impunity to the perpetrators

During its recent judicial review of the of the case of Atenco, where on May 3rd and 4th of 2006, serious violations of human rights and individual guarantees occurred [perpetrated by police forces who beat and raped dozens of peaceful female protesters during a demonstration and march], the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) had a historic opportunity to bring justice [to the victims]. Instead, the Court decided to exonerate the governor of the state of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, as well as federal Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora and Miguel Angel Yunes, head of Mexico's internal security apparatus. These officials [in control of the local, state and federal police forces involved] were responsible for the actions of their police agents during the Atenco march.

This is the view that was recently communicated in a press release from the People's Front for the Defense of the Land [FPDT], in response to the Court's decision in the Atenco case after four days of deliberation.  [An FPDT protest march was attacked during the events at Atenco].

The FPDT believes that in this Court decision, the people of Mexico have lost, because the result legitimizes the use of impunity in the establishment of a police state... "as we have seen in the recurrent use of the Mexican Army in the so-called fight against crime, as well as in its efforts to confront social movements by using counter-insurgency strategies to control the population. They want to wipe out organiza-tions like the FPDT in Atenco."

The FPDT believes that the gross violations of human rights that occurred at Atenco were not just individual actions [by rogue policemen], but were part of official policies.

...The FPDT: "This Supreme Court has mocked the victims and Mexican history..."

CIMAC Noticias

Feb. 12, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina

Atenco: Mexican police rape and assault women at street protest

CIMAC Noticias

Cobertura especial - Las Mujeres de Atenco - una collecion de 48 articulos

CIMAC's collection of 48 articles from 2006 on the violations of women's integrity and human rights at Atenco (in Spanish).


Added: Feb. 13, 2009

Washington, DC, USA

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Vows to Strengthen State Dept. Anti-Slavery Efforts

Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton pledged in her confirmation hearing that U.S. anti-slavery efforts would be strengthened in the incoming Obama Administration.

This is welcome news for modern-day abolitionists who believe America’s leadership in the anti-slavery arena could lead other governments - eager to court favor with the new Administration - to more aggressively step up their efforts to go after human traffickers.

Clinton pledged in her testimony to bring onboard a senior State Department official to head up anti-slavery efforts. This official, she said, would be situated nearby her own office - a seemingly minor point but to anti-trafficking leaders, a decision of great significance. Under President Bush, the State Dept. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (created in 2000) operated out of a nondescript office building blocks away from the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters. Although Bush appointees to the post of anti-trafficking “czar” received generally high marks for raising the profile of anti-trafficking programs, most observers felt that U.S. efforts to combat modern forms of slavery were under-funded and well down the list of Administration priorities...

Paul Bernish

FreedomCenter.org

Jan. 14th, 2009


Added: Feb. 13, 2009

The World /

El Mundo

Antonio Maria Costa

United Nations

ONU: Muchas naciones carecen de medios para combatir el tráfico de personas

A pesar de que más países adoptaron leyes contra el este delito, 61 de las 155 naciones monitoreadas no registraron ni una condena sobre el tema

Un gran número de países en todo el mundo carace aún de las herramientas necesarias para identificar, reportar y perseguir el tráfico de personas, denuncia un informe de las Naciones Unidas que será publicado oficialmente este jueves.

A pesar de que más países adoptaron leyes contra el tráfico de personas entre 2003 y 2008, 61 de las 155 naciones monitoreadas no han registrado ni una sola condena en relación, señaló la Oficina contra la Droga y el Delito (ONUDD) de las Naciones Unidas en su "Informe global de la trata de personas".

"O bien están ciegos ante el problema, o están mal equipados para enfrentarlo", dice el director ejecutivo de ONUDD Antonio Maria Costa en el informe...

www.infobae.com

Feb. 02, 2009

UN Says Human Trafficking Appears To Be Worsening

Three-quarters of those exploited as modern-day slaves work in the sex industry.

In a new report, the United Nations says human trafficking for the sex trade or forced labor market appears to be getting worse, not better, because many countries aren't paying attention to it.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) surveyed 155 countries for its report on modern-day slavery, but didn't say how many people it believes are victims of human trafficking. Estimates range from 800,000 new victims each year, according to the U.S. State Department, to 2.5 million, according to the International Labor Organization.

UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa told a news conference at UN headquarters in New York that 40 percent of the countries where the problem exists have not convicted one person of trafficking charges.

A large percentage of the perpetrators of human trafficking are women, UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa says...

"According to the statistics, about 80 percent of these crimes are concentrated on sexual exploitation," Costa said...

Seventy-nine percent of slavery is for sex, according to the UNODC, while about 18 percent is for forced labor, forced marriages, or forced organ donation. And although the victims of sex trafficking are usually women and girls, those in charge of the trafficking are women, too.

RFE/RL

February 13, 2009


Added: Feb. 13, 2009

California, USA

Cuatro guatemaltecos y un mexicano culpables de trata de personas

Cuatro [personas] fueron encontrados culpables en Estados Unidos de tráfico de mujeres centroamericanas para forzarlas a ser prostitutas en Los Angeles, y podrían recibir sentencias de hasta cadena perpetua, informó el jueves el Departamento de Justicia.

Las cinco personas, miembros de la misma familia o vinculadas a ella, fueron encontradas culpables el miércoles de conspiración, tráfico sexual por la fuerza, fraude o coerción e importación de extranjeros con fines de prostitución, indicó el comunicado del departamento.

Los acusados ofrecían a mujeres y niñas pobres e indocumentadas en Centroamérica empleos en Estados Unidos, y una vez en este país usaban amenazas, violencia física y hasta violaciones para obligarlas a ejercer la prostitución. Controlaban a las mujeres bajo amenaza de golpizas y de matar a familiares en sus países de origen, y a algunas las encerraban bajo llave por las noches...

Diario Las Americas

February 02, 2009

5 defendants convicted of sex trafficking for forcing Guatemalan girls and women into prostitution

Los Angeles - Five defendants, all members or associates of an extended family, face potential life prison sentences after being found guilty this afternoon of international sex trafficking for participating in a scheme that lured young Central American women and girls into the Los Angeles area and forced them into prostitution.

The case, which was prosecuted by the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, resulted from a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General.

The defendants, four Guatemalan nationals and one Mexican national, were convicted of conspiracy; sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; and importation of aliens for purposes of prostitution. The jury in the case was unable to reach unanimous verdicts on additional charges...

U.S. ICE

February 11, 2009


Added: Feb. 12, 2009

Mexico

Undated forestry initiative photo of Tlaxcala governor Héctor Israel Ortiz Ortiz with Edward Kadunc, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development under former President George W. Bush, and United States Ambassador to Mexico (under presidents George W. Bush and Barak Obama) Antonio O. Garza, Jr.

U.S. Embassy in Mexico

Tlaxcala: OSC exigen publicación de estudio que revela trata

Las organizaciones impulsoras de la Iniciativa Popular en Tlaxcala contra la trata de personas manifestaron su indignación por las recientes declaraciones del rector de la Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, autoridades de Tenancingo y la Presidenta de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos en torno al delito de Trata de Mujeres para la Prostitución en Tlaxcala, pues niegan que ocurra en la entidad.

Exigen por ello que sea publicado el Estudio sobre Trata de Mujeres en Tlaxcala, entregado en diciembre pasado al Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (Inmujeres) y llevado a cabo bajo la coordinación de la doctora Patricia Olamendi, en el cual se documenta la existencia del problema de trata en la entidad.

Tlaxcala: Anti-trafficking groups demand the public release of study and state and local governments deny the existence of major sex trafficking networks

The group of non profit organizations who created the Popular Initiative against trafficking in Tlaxcala state has expressed their outrage at recent statements by the rector of the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala, government authorities in the city of Tenancingo, and by the president of the Tlaxcala State Human Rights Commission. These officials have all publicly denied that human trafficking exists in the state Tlaxcala [state is a major center for child and adult sex trafficking in Mexico].

The community activists demanded that officials release a study coordinated by Dr. Patricia Olamendi, completed in December of 2008, in which the existence of trafficking in the state was documented.

At the end of 2008 the president of the Federal District [Mexico City] Human Rights Commission (CDHDF), Emilio Álvarez, attended a conference at the Center for Continuing and Distance Education of Tlaxcala, part of the National Polytechnic Institute. During a speech at the event, Álvarez stated that a study by the CDHDF in regard to the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Mexico City found that sex trafficking networks from the city of Tenancingo in Tlaxcala were actively trafficking children into the capitol city.

In response, the Governor of Tlaxcala [Héctor Israel Ortiz Ortiz, a law professor at the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala] dismissed the statements by chairman Álvarez of the CDHDF as being partisan in nature. Recently the rector of the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala has requested that the state human rights commission prove that high levels of sex trafficking exist in the entity.

Local organizations working against sex trafficking point to the fact that the president of the state human rights commission has publicly acknowledged the problem, but she has blamed the victims for the justice system’s failure to act in the matter.

In addition, the mayor of Tenancingo and coordinator of DIF [local branch of the national social services agency] have both told the press that there is no trafficking in their municipality, and that criminal prosecutions of the Carreto Family are the result of slander and injustice.

[LibertadLatina note: The Tlaxcala-based Carreto Family was previously one of the largest sex trafficking networks in Mexico]…

In response to these conflicting accounts of conditions in the state, non governmental organization have demanded that the local authorities publicly release the study by Dr. Olamendi.

They also demand that officials from state and local government cease their attempts to minimize or even deny the existence and severity of the problem of the trafficking in women for sexual exploitation in Tlaxcala, and that these officials stop blaming trafficking victims for the lack of action by the criminal justice system.

CIMAC Noticias

10/02/2009

See Also:

El Blog de Frida

La situación de trata de personas es cada vez mas evidente, uno foco rojo como ya lo habíamos comentado con anterioridad es Tlaxcala, donde la trata de personas y la prostitución infantil esta a la orden del día, la situación es que si realmente alguno de los gobernantes o quienes pretenden llegar a tomar ese poder estuvieran en la disposición de ayudar realmente a su pueblo pondrían ojos en esos temas, pero es demasiado, es ir contra muchos intereses que sabemos les perjudicarían a muchos, ¿incluidos a ellos?....

El Blog de Frida Guerrero

10/15/2007

About the Carreto family

The Flores-Carreto family sex-trafficking ring operated between Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, and Queens, New York, from 1991 to 2004 and involved brothels in the New York metropolitan area. ICE began its investigation in December 2003 after the mother of a trafficking victim reported to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City that her daughter had been kidnapped and was being held against her will in New York.

ICE discovered that male members of the Flores-Carreto family romantically lured young Mexican women to the United States, where they were forced into prostitution through beatings and threats against their children, who were residing with the traffickers' mother in México. Victims who became pregnant were forced to have abortions. In April 2005, Josue Flores-Carreto, Gerardo Flores-Carreto and Daniel Perez Alfonso, a brothel manager, were sentenced to 50, 50, and 25 years imprisonment respectively, for multiple offenses related to forced prostitution.

In January 2007, Mexico extradited Consuelo Carreto Valencia, the mother of the Carreto brothers, to the United States, where she was charged with conspiring on sex trafficking and related offenses. On July 22, 2008, she pled guilty to sex trafficking and is pending sentencing for that crime...

U.S. ICE

11/09/2008

Mexican woman [Consuelo Carreto Valencia] pleads guilty to sex trafficking

- U.S. ICE

July 22, 2008

Sex Slavery Investigation in New York City Nets Human Traffickers

- Jim Kouri, CPP
April 24, 2005

Three Carreto Family Suspects Plead Guilty to All 27 Counts in New York City Trafficking Trial.

- U.S. Department of Homeland Security

April 5, 2005

Dirty Little Secret in Corona

- John Marzulli

New York Daily News

April 4, 2005

Mexican Women Set to Testify Against Alleged [Carreto] Sex Traffickers

- The Associated Press

April 3, 2005

Rescued From The Shadows

- Peter Van Sant

CBS News

Feb. 23, 2005

Mexican officials arrest suspects in New York-linked sex slavery ring

- John Rice

EFE

Feb. 23, 2004

The Girls Next Door

[An extensive article covering the brutal methods used by family-run Mexican Sex Trafficking mafias, including the Carreto Family].

...Once the Mexican traffickers abduct or seduce the women and young girls, it's not other men who first indoctrinate them into sexual slavery but other women….

"Women are the ones who exert violent force and psychological torture..."

- New York Times

Jan. 25, 2004

LibertadLatina Note:

The actions of state and city officials in Tlaxcala state, of denying the existence of human trafficking (and most importantly the trafficking of children into forced prostitution) is reprehensible.

We look forward to the creative diplomatic efforts of U.S. President Barak Obama, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in bringing about real, practical protections for women and children facing rape, kidnapping and sexual slavery with impunity.

The world's one surviving super-power cannot sit-by and let this continue to happen in silence.

Those who deny this crisis in such an epicenter of child trafficking as is Tlaxcala are behaving with the same rationale that Holocaust deniers use. Only in the case of Mexico it is called femicide, and it deserves to be called genocide against indigenous peoples with impunity.

Those at risk await our effective efforts to protect them from impunity today!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 12, 2009


Added: Feb. 05, 2009

Dominican Republic

Global destinations for Dominican women

Listin Diario

Nuevos destinos, según la Organización para las Migraciones

Según la Organización Internacional de las Migraciones (OIM), se estima que aproximadamente 192 millones de personas viven fuera de su país de origen, lo que indica que una de cada 35 personas en el mundo es migrante.

De acuerdo con la OIM, República Dominicana se ha convertido en un lugar de origen, tránsito y destino para migrantes. Aproximadamente un millón y medio de dominicanos viven en el exterior. Estados Unidos, Puerto Rico, España, Francia, Italia, Alemania y Holanda siguen siendo los destinos favoritos y los mayores receptores de legales criollos que emigran, en su mayoría, en procura de mejores condiciones económicas.

En los últimos años, sin embargo, se ha registrado un aumento considerable de dominicanos que viajan legalmente a otros destinos considerados “no tradicionales” en cuanto al número de residentes, entre ellos las islas del Caribe (Curazao, San Martin, Antigua, Saint Thomas, Martinica, Guadalupe), Costa Rica, Haití, Suiza, Argentina, Austria, Grecia, Israel y Brasil. Lamentablemente, estos destinos “no tradicionales” llegan cargados de una característica que no siempre le garantiza al migrante su sueño laboral. Y las mujeres son las más afectadas.

Los datos de la OIM indican que República Dominicana ocupa el cuarto lugar entre los diez países con mayor número de mujeres en el exterior, sólo superado por Tailandia, Filipinas y Brasil, y según las últimas investigaciones del Centro de Orientación e investigación Integral (COIN, 2008), “por lo menos una tercera parte de las migrantes dominicanas en Europa, el Caribe y algunos países de Latinoamérica ha sido víctimas de trata para fines de trabajo doméstico, matrimonios serviles o explotación sexual”.

Dominican women seek to migrate and succeed

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated 192 million people live outside their country of origin, indicating that one in every 35 people in the world is a migrant.

Santo Domingo - According to IOM, the Dominican Republic has become a point of origin, transit and destination for migrants. Approximately 1.5 million Dominicans live abroad. United States, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands remain the favorite destinations and the largest recipients of legal Dominican migrants, who are for the most part migrating in search of better economic conditions...

IOM data indicates that the Dominican Republic ranks fourth among the ten countries with the highest numbers of women living abroad, surpassed only by Thailand, the Philippines and Brazil. According to recent research from the Center for Integral Orientation and Investigation (COIN, 2008), "at least a third of Dominican migrants in Europe, the Caribbean and some Latin American countries have been trafficked for purposes of domestic labor, servile marriage or sexual exploitation."

This is not prostitution[but sexual exploitation]

Gina Gallardo, an educator and researcher at the IOM, finds it appropriate to qualify the issue of prostitution when talking about women who leave to work abroad.

Gallardo: "These women do not leave expecting to work as prostitutes. Often they leave with a job offer from a supermarket or a salon, for example. Ninety nine percent of these women do not leave the country as a victim of trafficking. Trafficking is the end result of this deception, and we should speak of sexual exploitation instead of [intentional] prostitution...

...Although it may seen hard to believe, many young people from remote [rural] provinces are easily deceived.

Gallardo: "The country is full of people wanting to improve their economic situation. They cannot verify [whether a potential employer is really planning to exploit them, or not]. Some women know that they will be migrating for purposes of prostitution, but they don’t know that they will be exploited [forced to work for free].”

Full English Translation

www.ListinDiario.com.do

Feb. 06, 2009

See also:

30,000 Dominican women were tricked and forced into prostitution abroad

30 mil Dominicanas viajaron engañadas

Marcos Gambibia, a Swiss Investigator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released a study that describes details of sex trafficking from the Latin American country with the highest number of women working in prostitution overseas...

The IOM study indicates that 29% of the 100,000 Dominican women who engage in prostitution in Europe were actually offered legitimate jobs, were then sent to Europe, and when they arrived they were forced into prostitution...

Diario Libre

Dominican Republic

Sep. 14, 2005

NGO- At least 50,000 Dominican women work as prostitutes abroad

EFE News Service
November 1, 2002


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Mexico

Congressional Deputy / Diputada Guillermina López Balbuena is a member of the Indigenous Affairs, Gender and Equality and Migratory Affairs committees, and the Special Committee on Discrimination [against new populations of victims - addressing gay rights, etcetera.]

E-mail

Cecilia Landerreche Gómez Morin, head of Mexico's National System for Integral Family Develop-ment (DIF) - Titular del DIF

Bio in English

En México 20 mil niños y adolescentes son víctimas de explotación sexual

La diputada     Guillermina López Balbuena presentó una iniciativa de ley en la cámara baja para hacer frente a la trata de personas y los delitos de explotación sexual en México

20 mil adolescentes y niños son víctimas de explotación sexual comercial en México, según datos del Sistema Nacional de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia presentados hoy por la Cámara de los Diputados.

En un comunicado, el organismo informó hoy de que la diputada Guillermina López Balbuena presentó una iniciativa de ley en la cámara baja para hacer frente a la trata de personas y los delitos de explotación sexual con menores y jóvenes.

La iniciativa pretende reformar dos leyes relacionadas con la trata de personas y los derechos de los niños, e introducir cambios al Código Penal Federal para hacer frente a esos delitos…
Datos de la Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México citados en el boletín indican que en este país existen 3.5 millones de niños trabajadores, de los cuales 170 mil viven y trabajan en las calles.

La misma organización sostiene que, entre ellos, hay unos 16 mil que viven en zonas indígenas que son explotados sexual y comercialmente.

Otro estudio de la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe indica que un total de 250 mil mujeres y niñas ejercen la prostitución en la capital mexicana, el 82 por ciento de las cuales son analfabetas…

In Mexico, 20 thousand children and adolescents are victims of sexual exploitation

Congressional Deputy Guillermina López Balbuena has introduced a bill in the lower house to deal with human trafficking and crimes of sexual exploitation in Mexico

An estimated 20,000 children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Mexico, according to data from the National System for Integral Family Development [the DIF federal social services agency] presented today by the Chamber of Deputies [equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives].

In a press release, the DIF reported today that Deputy Guillermina López Balbuena [representing part of Puebla state in the PRI Party] has introduced a bill in the lower house to deal with human trafficking and sexual exploitation offenses involving minors and youth.

The initiative seeks to amend two existing laws related to trafficking and child rights, and changes the Federal Penal Code to deal with such crimes…

The Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico stated that  there are 3.5 million child workers in the nation, of whom 170,000 are living and working in the streets.

The DIF analysis also shows that there are approximately 16,000 children living in indigenous areas who are subject to  sexual and labor exploitation.

Another study, by the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW), indicates that a total of 250,000 women and girls survive through prostitution in Mexico City. Some 82% of them are illiterate.

Congressional members stated that many of these people arrive in the capital city through "deception, fraud, sale, coercion, force and abduction (kidnapping)." The majority of them are from the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Chiapas and Oaxaca [all heavily indigenous areas]

EFE / El Universal

Feb. 07, 2009

See also / Vea tambien:

Sufren explotación sexual 20 mil niños y adolescentes en el DF

From a related article on the same press conference:

Eighty nine percent of prostituted women and girls in Mexico City started at the ages of 12 or 13. Some 88% of them are from outside of Mexico City.

El Porvenir

Feb. 07, 2009

This 7-year-old indigenous girl from Mexico is today being sold in prostitution by her own mother

Notes from an anti-trafficking activist and minister working in Mexico.

"I was finally able to confront a mom who is allowing/ encouraging her 7 year old daughter to give oral sex for 100 pesos or $10...I would love to bring justice to the mom and I promised her if I ever saw it again I would. I don't know that was enough to end it but it was enough to send them both home on a bus today."

Sep. 8, 2008

LibertadLatina Commentary:

Mexican society has condoned the criminal sexual exploitation of indigenous women and children for five centuries. The rape and even the murder of an indigenous woman or child carries with it little or no legal penalty in Mexico, or, for that matter, across much of Latin America. For that reason, rapists, kidnappers and organized sex traffickers find easy targets among the women and girls of this population.

Today, billion dollar drug cartels, Japanese yakuzas and youth gangs kidnap, rape and sell into sexual slavery thousands of indigenous women, girls and boys.

The victim community extends beyond the indigenous population, but rest assured that in the few cases where the laws against exploitation are enforced, those acts do not benefit indigenous victims.

We applaud federal Deputy Guillermina López Balbuena for introducing legislation to fix deficiencies in the current anti-trafficking law, a groundbreaking federal act that President Felipe Calderón has refused, (despite four warnings from Congress since the summer of 2008) to implement, by his withholding of the publishing of the required regulations.

We also salute Cecilia Landerreche Gómez Morin, director of the federal DIF social services agency, for highlighting the plight of indigenous children, in a Mexican society that today ignores and exploits them in unspeakable ways.

¡Basta ya con la corupcion y la impunidad!

Enough with corruption... end impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 07-08, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

California, USA

Teen's arranged marriage is allowed in native Mexico

A Monterey County father who allegedly tried to collect a dowry of beer, cash and meat for his 14-year-old daughter's wedding was following the custom of the Triqui people, police say.

The police in Greenfield, a Monterey County farm town, had heard the rumors before: Migrant workers from rural Mexico were marrying off daughters as young as 12 and receiving sizable dowries...

Marcelino de Jesus MartinezMarcelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, is in Monterey County Jail, charged with crimes related to an alleged attempt to set up a marriage for his 14-year-old daughter. According to police, he complained to them when the 18-year-old would-be groom failed to come up with the $16,000, 100 cases of beer, meat and other items he promised as a dowry.

The case has generated headlines worldwide -- "Man Sells Daughter for Beer!" -- and raised the blood pressure of activists on all sides of the immigration debate.

In Greenfield, Police Chief Joe Grebmeier has been swamped, explaining to reporters from Australia to Croatia that his initial description of the incident as "human trafficking" was ill-advised.

"There was no force, fear or coercion," he said. "What we're dealing with now is a difference in cultures. All of this would have been perfectly legal where they came from."

The people involved are Mexican immigrants from rural Oaxaca. They are members of a tight-knit indigenous group called the Triqui, several thousand of whom live in Greenfield, depending on the season.

But culture clash or not, Grebmeier said, he was compelled to enforce the law. He said he had appeared at community meetings to warn recent immigrants against pursuing underage marriages. And when his department looked into reports about the 14-year-old girl, finding a matchmaker and "documents used in the negotiation," he acted.

"I'm tasked with protecting my community, and 14-year-old girls need a lot of protection," he said.

Whether 14-year-olds can legally marry in Oaxaca -- or whether young girls would have a real choice -- is an open question.

UCLA sociologist Gaspar Rivera, a native of Oaxaca, said he believed the legal age of consent is 16, but he has heard of girls as young as 12 being wed. He doubted that underage unions in isolated communities would be prosecuted.

"There would be no legal ramifications as long as all parties are in consent," said Rivera, project director for UCLA's Center for Labor Research and Education. "The villages have a high degree of autonomy, with little or no intervention from state and federal authorities.

...However, Andres Garcia, a fieldworker who lives in Greenfield, said he knew of several arranged Triqui marriages involving 16- and 17-year-olds in the last five years. The food and drink included in dowries is generally for the wedding celebration, and cash is intended to support any children if the bridegroom leaves...

Johnson said her office was weighing statutory rape charges against the daughter's boyfriend, Margarito de Jesus Galindo of Gonzales, Calif.

The girl had moved in with him before her father allegedly complained to authorities about the dowry, police said. The age of consent in California is 18.

In the end, no marriage was performed, lawyers on both sides say.

Steve Chawkins

Ruben Vives Contributing

Los Angeles Times

Jan. 15, 2009

See also / Vea tambien:

LibertadLatina Note

Arranged marriages of underage girls, beginning at age 11, are commonplace in southern Mexico's indigenous regions, including the adjoining states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas. These areas of the nation are also centers for mass-migration from South and Central America, and are focal points for Mexico's vast international child sex trafficking 'industry' that relies upon kidnapping and deceit to obtain the 'raw materials' for its lucrative product line of young women and underage girls.

Sex trafficking gangs routinely 'marry' very young girls and then sell them to brothels and international human slavery operations for 'export' to the United States, Japan and Europe.

Migrant men from these regions, working as farm laborers across California, are also major exploiters of underage sex trafficking victims [some as young as age 7] who are kidnapped and brought into San Diego County and other rural areas to 'serve' this population (while having their own human lives degraded and shortened). 

LibertadLatina

Feb. 09, 2009

From: The Sex Trafficking of Children in San Diego County, California

Reyna began revealing her story. She was from Puebla, Mexico. She had barely finished second grade. Her mother died when she was seven years old. Reyna was then supported by her grandmother, who also died. After that, her father was left in charge of her. One day, when she was 11, her own father gave her as a gift to a local police chief who raped her without end.

After having been so neglected, and with a baby now in her arms, Reyna met Arturo Lopez, from the town of Atlixco in the state of Puebla. Arturo, after pretending to fall in love with her, convinced Reyna to work as a servant in the United States, for which Arturo recommended that she leave her baby with some of his relatives. Reyna had no other options, so she accepted the offer.

Reyna was taken to Tijuana, and while she waited to be crossed over the border, she was forced, with threats that her baby would be killed, to prostitute herself in the red zone known as "la Coahuila." She was finally transported across the U.S. border by a coyote, Alonso Sapien, also known as "El Chivero."

In San Diego, Reyna came to live in a neighborhood in Vista where she found other girls like her. A week later she found herself in the sexual exploitation camps for farm workers.

"The real horror is in the sheer number of men that, at the age of 15, Reyna was forced to serve as a prostitute. In one hour she had to serve 20 men, and they made her work from 8 AM until 2 in the afternoon."

In English  

En Español

El Universal

Jan. 12, 2003


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Ecuador

Ejecutarán Plan cantonal contra trata 2009-02-03

Se firmó un convenio de cooperación internacional entre la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) y el Consejo Cantonal de la Niñez y Adolescencia.

Este acuerdo tiene la finalidad de que se haga efectivo y ejecute el Plan cantonal contra la explotación sexual, comercial y trata de niños, niñas y adolescentes que se aprobó en Cuenca, informó Catalina Mendoza, secretaria ejecutiva del Consejo de la Niñez.

El convenio tiene cuatro ejes de acción, el primero es realizar una investigación sobre los factores que impulsan la demanda de trata de personas.

Este delito está configurado por una serie de situaciones como la explotación sexual comercial, explotación laboral, utilización para mendicidad, extracción de órganos para venta ilegal, y utilización de seres humanos para la explotación y servidumbre, indica.

Todas estas situaciones configuran lo que el Código Penal determina como delito de trata de personas.

Ecuador and IOM develop county-based anti-trafficking effort

An agreement to fight human trafficking has been signed between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ecuador's Counties Council for Childhood and Adolescence.

According to Catalina Mendoza, Ecuador's Executive Secretary of the Child, the agreement aims to work at the county level against the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and adolescents. The pact was signed in the city of Cuenca.

The agreement has four main areas of action. The initial step will involve a research investigation into the factors that are driving the demand for trafficking.

Catalina Mendoza stated that the criminal code defines human trafficking as including situations that involve commercial sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, using a person for begging, organ extraction and the illegal sale and use of human beings for exploitation and servitude.

www.elmercurio.com.ec

Feb. 04, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Costa Rica

Attorney Rodrigo Johanning Quesada

En Fuga Abogado Costarricense Condenado A 10 Años De Prision

Delitos: Tráfico de personas menores de edad, Delitos de Carácter Internacional y Tenencia Ilegítima de menores para adopción.

Rodrigo Johanning Quesada, abogado costarricense, que fue condenado en el año 2006 y cuya sentencia quedó en firme el 1 de abril del 2008 ha sido declarado en fuga por las autoridades costarricenses.

Johanning fue sentenciado junto a Carlos Hernán Robles por los delitos de Tráfico de personas menores de edad, Delitos de Carácter Internacional y Tenencia Ilegítima de menores para adopción, delitos por los que debería de descontar 10 años de prisión, sin embargo esto no ha sucedido porque el sujeto está libre.

En el mes de Setiembre del año 2003 se realizo un allanamiento en una casa-cuna en San José donde las autoridades encontraron 9 niños, de origen guatemalteco, quienes iban a ser dados en adopción de manera irregular.

Man sentenced to 10 years in prison has become a fugitive

Rodrigo Johanning Quesada, a Costa Rican lawyer who was convicted in 2006 and whose sentence was pronounced on April 1, 2008 has been declared a fugitive by Costa Rican authorities.

Johanning was sentenced along with Carlos Hernan Robles for the crimes of trafficking of minors, international crimes and illegal possession of children for adoption, for which crimes he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In September 2003 police conducted a raid on a 'crib house' [a house where kidnapped... especially Mayan children are literally "fatted-up" before being sold to foreigners in adoption] in San Jose where authorities found 9 children of Guatemalan origin, who were to be given up for adoption erratically.

Alianza Por Tus Derechos (Alliance for Your Rights)

Costa Rica

Feb. 04, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Mexico

Mexico's state of Tamaulipas

Map-of-Mexico.uk

En Tamaulipas, sigue en aumento niños que viven en la calle

Aunque aún no se ha dado a conocer el resultado del estudio de las 100 ciudades, el número de menores en circunstancias especialmente difíciles en tres años aquí en Tamaulipas ha tenido un aumento de seis mil 800 niños.

Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas - Tita Eugenia Pérez Montemayor, coordinadora del programa Meced del sistema DIF Tamaulipas, dio a conocer que dicho aumento ha pasado de diez mil 700 menores, en 2005, a más de 17 mil 500 del año pasado.

Señaló que la atención va en aumento y paralelamente el DIF Tamaulipas, ha tratado cada año de abarcar a más menores, “porque a lo mejor los menores estaban desde 2005, pero se está tratando en ampliar la cobertura y cada vez proponer estrategias más a doc. (Sic) a lo que ellos necesitan”.

Pérez-Montemayor apuntó que quizá en la frontera y en el sur hay mayor incidencia de menores en calle que en el centro del estado.

Tamaulipas sees an increasing number of children living on the street

Although the results of a recent survey have not been formally released, the number of children living in especially difficult circumstances in three years here in Tamaulipas has grown by 6,800.

Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas - Tita Eugenia Perez Montemayor, coordinator for the MECED program of the Tamaulipas DIF [government social services] system, has announced an increase in the numbers of children who are facing severe poverty, from 10,700 children in 2005 to over 17,500 last year.

Perez Montemayor noted that levels of services are increasing and parallel with the increase. DIF Tamaulipas has attempted to cover more children each year...

Perez-Montemayor said that it is likely that there is a greater incidence of street children at the [U.S.] border and in the south, than in the center of the state.

www.HoyTamaulipas.net

Feb. 02, 2009

LibertadLatina Note:

The Mexican Gulf Coast state of Tamaulipas includes the city of Matamoras, at the U.S. border crossing of Brownsville, Texas. Matamoros is a known center for child sex trafficking, were U.S. male sex tourists cross the border to exploit poor children.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 06, 2009

See Also:

Solapada por policías, florece en Matamoros la prostitución infantil

Los menores se hacen pasar por vendedores o limpiaparabrisas; la tarifa, de $50 a 30 dólares

"A cambio de unos pesos" permiten a niños trabajar la calle; extranjeros, principales clientes

Matamoros, Tams., 1º de septiembre. Niños de la calle que se hacen pasar por limpiavidrios, vendedores de flores o mendigos se prostituyen en los cruceros de esta ciudad, donde ofrecen sus servicios sexuales, sobre todo a ciudadanos estadunidenses.

Shielded by the police, child prostitution flourishes in Matamoros

Minors at U.S. border crossings pretend to work as car window washers, and charge $30 to $50 for sex. [U.S.] foreigners are their main customers.

Boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 sell sex near Mexico's international border with Texas to large numbers of older men from the U.S. Local police collect bribes from the children, while courts allow arrested 'johns' to pay a fine when they are caught.

Some of these children engage in prostitution to support their families, others do it to support drug habits.

Julia Antonieta Le Duc

La Jornada

Sep. 02, 2005

Crece Sin Control la Prostitución Infantil en Matamoros.

Child Prostitution Grows Out of Control in Matamoros

In parts of the city where one would not imagine it being, in dark alleys and along downtown streets, be it morning or afternoon, child prostitution is increasing. This is occurring while government agencies do nothing to recognize the seriousness of the problem, and nobody punishes those responsible for the increased sexual exploitation of girls and boys in this border region.

Julia Antonieta Le Duc

La Jornada

April 03, 2005


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Colombia

Capturada por trata de personas

Estaba condenada a 13 años de prisión

En la carrera 21 con calle 26 de Armenia agentes del grupo de capturas del Cuerpo Técnico de Investigación, CTI, de la fiscalía, capturaron a Rosa Elvira Ardila Álvarez, de 32 años de edad, quien se encontraba solicitada por la justicia mediante orden de captura vigente...

“Ardila Álvarez se encontraba solicitada por el Juzgado Segundo de Ejecución de Penas y Medidas de Aseguramiento de Armenia para que cumpliera una condenada a 13 años de prisión que le habían impuesto por el delito de trata de personas”, aseguraron fuentes de la fuerza pública.

Convicted human trafficker is arrested

Agents of the Technical Investigation Corps have arrested Rosa Elvira Ardila Alvarez, age 32, on an outstanding warrant.

Ardila Alvarez had been sought by the Second Court of Execution of Sentences in Armenia, so that she could begin serving a 13 year prison sentence for human trafficking.

Cronicadelquindio.com

Feb. 04, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Puerto Rico

Sentenciado a 30 años de prisión por pornografía infantil

El puertorriqueño Mariano Claudio, de 50 años, fue sentenciado a 30 años de prisión por posesión y producción de pornografía infantil, informó hoy el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE) de EE.UU. en San Juan.

Claudio había sido arrestado por agentes del ICE en noviembre de 2006 después de que se encontraran en su residencia de Bayamón, ciudad aledaña a San Juan, numerosos discos duros de computadora que contenían "imágenes explícitas de pornografía infantil".

Puerto Rican man sentenced to 30 years in prison for possession and production of child porn

San Juan - A 50-year-old predator was sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison for possession and production of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Mariano Claudio, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was arrested by ICE special agents in November 2006 after a search of his residence resulted in the seizure of several computer hard disks and other electronic storage media devices containing explicit images of child pornography.

According to the indictment, Claudio persuaded, induced and enticed a 14-year-old female minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, specifically, lascivious exhibition of the genital and pubic areas for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.  He pleaded guilty to the possession and production of child pornography charges in February 2007.

U.S. ICE

Feb. 02, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Argentina

Seguirá la investigación de la trata de personas

El megaoperativo contra la prostitución realizado el fin de semana en Rincón de los Sauces sería el puntapié inicial de una investigación judicial más profunda sobre la trata de personas en la provincia, un fenómeno que hasta el gobierno admite que existe.

El equipo de fiscales encabezados por Sandra González Taboada sigue en Rincón, donde desembarcó el sábado pasado con el apoyo de al menos 300 policías de toda la provincia para allanar los centros de diversión nocturna de la localidad.

Una decena de cabarets, pubs y confiterías fueron allanados entre las 22 del sábado y la tarde del domingo. Los procedimientos incluyeron varias viviendas de personas involucradas con la prostitución.

Investigations will continue in human trafficking case

A large-scale police operation against prostitution conducted this past weekend in Rincon de los Sauces was the kick-off of a deeper investigation on human trafficking in the province, a phenomenon that even the government admits exists.

A team of prosecutors headed by Sandra Gonzalez Taboada remains in Rincon, where they arrived last Saturday with the support of at least 300 police officers from across the province to raid the nightlife district.

Ten cabarets, pubs and tearooms were among the 22 locations raided on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Raids were also conducted at the homes of suspects.

www.RioNegro.com.ar

Feb. 04, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Costa Rica

Menor condenado por difusión de pornografía

Mostró video porno a dos niños

Un adolescente fue condenado por difusión de pornografía, según el fallo del Juzgado Penal Juvenil de San José.

El menor no irá a prisión, pero deberá someterse a un programa de rehabilitación que ofrece Adaptación Social, del Ministerio de Justicia, para menores infractores.

La información fue confirmada ayer por la periodista María Isabel Hernández, de la oficina de prensa del Poder Judicial. No se reveló la identidad del condenado por tratarse de un menor.

El delito atribuido al adolescente fue cometido en perjuicio de dos niños de siete y nueve años.

Underage teen is convicted of distributing child pornography

Teen showed a pornographic video to two young children

Maria Isabel Hernandez, the press officer of the Judiciary in the capitol city, has announced that the Juvenile Court in San Jose has convicted a teenager for disseminating child pornography.

The minor will not go to jail but must undergo a rehabilitation program that offered by the social rehabilitation program for juvenile offenders, offered by the Ministry of Justice 

The crime involved two children, ages seven and nine.

www.Nacion.com

Costa Rica

Feb. 04, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

New York, USA

Cops on hunt for suspect in brutal rape in East Harlem laundromat

Cops are hunting for a brutal rapist who stalked an East Harlem laundermat employee into her workplace and attacked her, police sources said.

The 38-year-old victim was working alone in the laundermat and did not notice when a man followed her inside the empty store at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, police said...

The video shows that the victim was screaming and struggling until a customer walked into the Second Ave. laundermat with a bag of clothes, scaring off the rapist. The attacker then ran from the store...

East Harlem residents were shaken up to learn of the attack.

"It makes me nervous to hear something like that," said Denise Rivera, 44. "I hope they catch the person ... it scares me to think they have a rapist running around over here."

"Nothing like that ever happens around here," said Mercedes Torres, 80. "I'm scared, very scared to hear that."

Images of the suspect - a Latino man in his 30s wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, gray hat and white, hooded sweatshirt - were captured on the video and released to the public.

Alison Gendar and Jonathan Lemire

New York Daily News

Feb. 4, 2009


Added: Feb. 06, 2009

Mexico

Barrendero acusado de pornografía infantil

La colonia Ampliación San Francisco destaca por su pobreza. El hombre tenía material en video y fotografías al lado de las menores, a las cuales también captaba drogándose. Imprimía las fotos en un laboratorio del bulevar López Mateos

Un barrendero de 62 años de edad, vecino de la colonia Ampliación San Francisco, fue detenido por agentes de la Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado acusado de pornografía infantil.

De acuerdo con indagatorias, a cada una de sus víctimas, todas ellas menores de 13 a 15 años de edad vecinas de la misma colonia, presuntamente les pagaba desde 100 pesos por tener relaciones sexuales con él, las fotografiaba en el acto y las drogaba.

“Estamos hablando de al menos diez víctimas menores de edad, él declaró que lo hacía desde hace varios años, y que como él les pagaba no creía que fuera un delito”, dijo el Subprocurador Carlos Zamarripa.

Street sweeper charged with child pornography

The neighborhood of San Francisco colony is notable for its poverty. The man had photographs and video of him with underage girls.

A 62-year-old street sweeper has been arrested by State's Attorney's agents and is being charged with crimes involving child pornography.

According to investigations, each of the victims, all of them girls between 13 to 15, was allegedly paid at least 100 pesos to have sex with the defendant. He photographed them in the act, as well as in the act of taking drugs.

"We are talking about at least ten victims who are minors. The accused stated that he had engaged in this type activity for several years, and thought that because he paid the girls, his acts were not criminal," said Deputy prosecutor Carlos Zamarripa.

Alejandro Sandoval

http://www.milenio.com

Feb. 04, 2009

 

 
     

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias

 

    


Updated: June 13, 2010


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¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010


LibertadLatina

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



Últimas Noticias

Latest News



Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Honduras

Venden niñas por edades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

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

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

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

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

WNEP-TV

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

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

Oralia Ortega

KTSM

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 5

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

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

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

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

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

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

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

WNDU

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the thrash

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

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

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

A custodian later found the baby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

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

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

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

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

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kye Parsons

WBOC

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWBT

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

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

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

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

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

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

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 8

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

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

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

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

Gothamist

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coloradan.com

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Mexico

A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

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

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

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

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

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

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

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

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

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

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

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

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing problem

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Zapor

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

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 3

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

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

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

The sexual assault was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by staff at Good Shepherd Hospital.

Deputies learned the victim had been assaulted earlier in the day in Irrigon and around 1 a.m. Wednesday tracked Vera down at his home.

Vera, an Irrigon High senior, was jailed on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Mexico

Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

Ciudad de México.- El país ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de páginas web de pornografía infantil, y tiende a incrementarse más de 5% la distribución de videos de imágenes de abuso a recién nacidos, afirmó la diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

La legisladora dijo que las denuncias telefónicas por delitos de pornografía infantil aumentaron 200% entre el 2008 y el 2009, y que otro problema radica en el uso de internet para la comercialización y funcionamiento de redes de trata de niños y niñas y de explotación sexual comercial...

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

Mexico City - Mexico occupies first place [globally] in access of child pornography by way of the Internet. The problem includes a [recent] 5% increase in the distribution of obscene photos of recently born babies, according to Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Orozco stated that phoned-in complaints about child pornography increased 200% between 2008 and 2009. She noted that another Internet-based aspect of the problem involves the fact that child sex trafficking networks in Mexico are using the Web to commercialize and operate their illicit businesses.

She warned that currently, no [anti-pornography] filters exist for cell phone users who browse the Web, which is concerning, given that 75.6 million cell phone users exist in Mexico, 29% of those have Internet access, and 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use those services.

In response to this problem, Deputy Orozco has presented a non-binding resolution calling upon the nation's state legislatures to reform their penal codes to include crimes that involve public and private telecommunications [networks].

Deputy Orozco also stated that the top criminal activities that take place on the Internet involve, in order of importance: 1) fraud; 2) threats; and 3) child pornography.

The Deputy concluded by noting that 11 million computers have Internet access in Mexico. Some 55% of them are installed in homes, which represents 3.5 computers for every 10 households. Thirty nine percent of the nation's 23 million computer-based Internet users are between the ages of 12 and 18.

El Manana

May 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Robles-Roman launch new public education campaign to end human trafficking

“Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking” Campaign Encourages New Yorkers To “See It. Know It. Report It.”

Press Release (excerpt)

New York City - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt today launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations. The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion. The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, in partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking...

“Human Trafficking is happening here, but we don’t know it because we don’t see it,” said Alice Ericsson, Executive Creative Director of Grey New York. “If we want New Yorkers to see the problem, we have to put it in plain view. And, in plain language. The silhouettes will tell the stories of human trafficking that can happen right here in our own town.” ...

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also help to disseminate information and materials to vulnerable communities in the city, and bring broader awareness about human trafficking and where to go for help. Outreach to community and faith- based organizations serving immigrants as well as ethnic media will reinforce these efforts...

If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911. If you would like more information about human trafficking or would like to learn about how you can help, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/ humantrafficking...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, [2010] Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son. He's in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

Bastrop - A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer was indicted by a Bastrop County grand jury on Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child.

During a TABC undercover investigation of alcohol sales in May 2009, 41-year-old Joe Chavez allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl hired to assist in the sting.

Investigators say that the incident took place in Chavez's state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting. He also reportedly texted explicit photos of himself to the teen a day before the operation.

He was arrested on Friday by investigators with the Office of the Attorney General.

Prior to being stationed in Bastrop, Chavez was a TABC officer in Waco from June 2004 to August 2005.

Chavez is charged with two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

June 01, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, of the New Alliance Party, speaks with reporters as she calls for the nation's current federal anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the federal level (it currently is limited to being enforced by states in most circumstances.

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

Entre 16 mil y 20 mil niños y niñas son víctimas de explotación sexual cada año en México, lo que convierte al país en la segunda nación que más víctimas de trata provee a Estados Unidos, superado únicamente por Tailandia, afirmó la diputada, Cora Pinedo Alonso, del Partido Nueva Alianza.

La también secretaria de la Mesa Directiva de la Cámara baja precisó que el municipio de Tapachula, Chiapas, es el lugar donde se realiza la mayor venta de mujeres, niñas y niños con fines de trata.

Muchos de esos menores son "redistribuidos" a los estados de Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa y el Distrito Federal, señaló con base a estudios de la organización internacional End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

Mexico is the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States

Between 16 and 20 thousand boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico each year. As a result, Mexico has become the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States, according to congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso of the New Alliance Party.

Pinedo Alonso, who is the secretary of the governing council in the Chamber of Deputies, also stated that Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state, is the largest center for the sale of women, girls and boys for purposes of human trafficking in the nation.

Many of child victims are "redistributed" to the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as to Mexico City. Pinedo Alonso based her statements on a research study conducted [in 2007] by the organization End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

In response to this situation, Pinedo Alonso has presented a non-binding resolution that has been submitted to the Second Permanent Commission of Congress (37 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies who conduct congressional business when Congress is not in session) for consideration. The resolution calls for the creation of stricter measures than now exist to investigate trafficking crimes and to punish those responsible.

The resolution calls upon the director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) to assign staff to supervise and evaluate anti-trafficking activities on Mexico's southern border, and specifically in the city of Tapachula, with reports on conditions there to be sent to Congress.

According the the ECPAT study, Central American adolescents, the majority of whom are minors, "are prostituted in 1, 552 bars and brothels in Chiapas, and also in other cities and towns along the nation's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize.]"

Pinedo Alonso added that in 50% of these cases, the victims are Guatemalans. [Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans are also victims]. The victims are usually between the ages of 8 and 14. "They are sold by traffickers [to brothels] for $200 dollars each," Pinedo Alonso denounced.

Joining in the call for action, Chiapas state governor Juan Sabines has asked for working groups to be created that coordinate the work of non-governmental organizations, state agencies, the Chiapas state Human Rights Commission and the state's office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking. The goal of the working groups would be to evaluate the effectiveness of policies implemented to fight human trafficking.

Governor Sabines also called for an analysis to be conducted to track actions taken in regard to cases of human trafficking that involve both Mexican and Central American girls, boys and adolescents, and to document the number of prosecutions pursued.

Governor Sabines: "We wish to express our indignation and complete repudiation of these criminal practices. We energetically condemn those public servants who, through acts of omission or commission, have been complicit in collaborating with human trafficking networks. We call upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to join forces [to combat these crimes]."

Cronica

May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It is the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

Traffickers sell these children to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

More that 50% of these child victims are from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

About the numbers used to discuss minors involved in sex trafficking in Mexico

We reiterate our belief that the official Mexican Government estimates in regard to the numbers of underage sexual exploitation victims is unbelievably low. The above article about child sex trafficking in the southern border city of Tapachula states that an estimated 10,000 underage victims are prostituted in that city alone.

As we noted in our March 1, 2010 essay - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way:

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

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010

Mexico

Presenta diputada Cora Pinedo Alonso iniciativa de ley para tipificar trata de personas como delito federal

MEXICO, D.F., - Palacio Legislativo 23 de Febrero de 2010./Notilegis.- La vicecoordinadora de Nueva Alianza, Cora Pinedo Alonso, propuso tipificar la trata de personas como un delito federal y modificar la denominación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, para elevarla a rango federal, ya que actualmente sólo puede ser aplicada por las autoridades federales bajo cuatro supuestos...

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso presents an initiate to require the national anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the fedeal level.

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, who is the vice-coordinator of the New Alliance Party in the Chamber of Deputies, has called for the nation's current anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, to be changed, to allow its enforcement at the federal level. Currently [states enforce the law]. Federal authorities may only enforce its provisions under four circumstances. First, if the human trafficking crime was committed outside of Mexico, federal action may be taken. Second, when the trafficking crime is perpetrated within Mexico, but is intended to have an impact outside of Mexico, federal agents may also act. Third, federal action may be taken when the criminal act falls within Article 50, Section I, Subsection 'b) a j)' of the Organic Law of the Power of Judicial Power of the Federation. Fourth, when the criminal act is a violation of the Federal Law Against Organized Criminal Delinquency.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso stated that currently, [the federal law differs significantly from the anti-trafficking laws enacted in the majority of states. Therefore, the federal law should be changed to allow for the uniform application of anti-trafficking law across the nation, and especially in regard to the application of criminal penalties.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso referred to the United Nations human trafficking study Human Trafficking: A Global Panorama. The study identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit nations and 137 destination nations in regard to victims of human trafficking. Mexico is ranked very high among the countries of origin listed in the report. Mexico is rate in 28th place among nations where traffickers entrap victims, and is in 5th among nations in Latin America.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative proposes to reform Article 73 of the Constitution, and will update Article 3 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. It has been referred to the Chamber's Commission on Constitutional Law for review.

Notilegis

Feb. 23, 2010

Note: Mexico's federal system does not impose federal legal jurisdiction on the federated entities (Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City) for federal criminal laws that are passed as 'general laws.' The Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking is a general law. - LL

Note: Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative has been superseded by a more recent proposal, submitted by the ruling National Action Party, to update the now ineffective Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. Earlier in 2010, Mexico's Interior Secretary, Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL


Added: June 1, 2010

Brazil

Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

Autoridades brasileñas informaron que organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de personas se instalaron en la región amazónica por donde decenas de haitianos ingresan al país tras el terremoto ocurrido en el país caribeño en enero.

"Coyotes braileños" (traficantes de inmigrantes) cobran 600 dólares por introducir a cada haitiano en el estado de Acre, indicaron fuentes de la Policía Federal.

"El destino preferido en Brasil es Assis Brasil (localidad fronteriza con Perú) desde donde continúan camino hacia otras regiones del país" dijo el comisario Flaveio Avelar, jefe de la delegación de Migraciones de la Policía Federal en Acre.

El número de inmigrantes haitianos llegados a Brasil se incrementó tras el terremoto que devastó a ese país en enero pasado y dejó más de 200 mil víctimas fatales.

La legislación brasileña establece que los inmigrantes sin papeles sean deportados a su país de origen, pero las autoridades decidieron hacer una excepción con los haitianos.

"Se trata de una cuestión humanitaria, ellos dejaron su país debido al terremoto y podrán permanecer en Brasil como refugiados" explicó el comisario Avelar, consultado por el diario Correio Braziliense.

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities have announced that human smuggling networks have established themselves in the Brazilian Amazon. These groups have smuggled dozens of Haitians into Brazil through the Assis Brazil area on the Peruvian border. Brazilian coyotes have charged Haitians $600 to bring Haitians to the Brazilian state of Acre, from which they travel to other regions of Brazil. The smuggling of Haitians has increased significantly since the January, 2010 earthquake.

Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as refugees,

"It is a humanitarian issue. They left Haiti due to the earthquake, and they may remain in Brazil as refugees," explained the federal immigration police's commissioner in the state of Acre, Flaveio Avelar.

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

Mexican officials arrest German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested a German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges.

Mexico's Public Safety Department says Dieter Erhard Fritzchen Stieleke was arrested while waiting to board a flight to Germany out of the resort city of Cancun.

The department says Stieleke was handed over to Interpol for extradition to Brazil. A statement released Wednesday gives no details on the human trafficking charges against Stieleke. He was arrested Sunday.

The German Embassy did not return phone calls seeking comment. The Brazilian Embassy declined to comment.

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina:

El día de hoy, cuando se lleva a cabo la audiencia en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, el equipo de la CMDPDH queremos enviarte un mensaje con nuestro profundo respeto y apoyo.

Sabemos que has asumido, junto con las organizaciones que te acompañan en esta lucha, la tarea de denunciar las violaciones a los derechos humanos cometidas por el Ejército Mexicano, en particular la violencia sexual como una forma de tortura. Por tu voz hablan decenas de mujeres que han sufrido la violencia del Estado, pero no han tenido acceso a denunciar. Al mismo tiempo, también nos sentimos representadas las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajamos por el respeto de los Derechos Humanos y por una sociedad libre y democrática.

Asimismo, estamos conscientes de que esta denuncia y todo el proceso de defensa en su conjunto, ha significado una enorme carga para ti y que en este camino has enfrentado amenazas, contra ti y tus seres queridos, que buscan hacerte desistir. Sin embargo, te has mantenido firme en la búsqueda de justicia, reivindicando tu dignidad de mujer indígena, y la de cientos de comunidades que han sido afectadas en su tejido social por la militarización.

Por todo esto, recibe hoy nuestro abrazo solidario y nuestro compromiso de seguir, inspirados en tu ejemplo, en esta lucha.

Atentamente,

El equipo de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos A.C.

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina,

On this day, the day when your case will be presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, we of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights wish to send you this message expressing our profound respect and solidarity.

We know that you have taken on, together with the organizations who are assisting you in this struggle, the task of denouncing the violations of human rights that have been committed by the Mexican Army, and in particular the use of sexual violence as a form of torture. Your voice speaks for dozens of women who have suffered violence perpetrated by the State, but do not have access to a forum to denounce these crimes. At the same time, we who work for human rights organizations, who seek to achieve a fee and democratic society, feel well represented by you.

We are aware that your case, and all of the efforts in your defense, have amounted to being a huge burden for you. We know that you have faced threats against yourself and your family, that are designed to force you drop your case. Nonetheless, you have remained steadfast in your search for justice, vindicating your dignity as an indigenous woman, as well as that of hundreds of communities whose social fabric has been affected by [domestic] militarization.

For all of these reasons, today we ask you to accept our hug of solidarity and our commitment to continue, inspired by your example, in this struggle.

Sincerely,

The staff of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

Tlapaneca Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel denounces death threats against herself, her family and Indigenous rape victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú - who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Tlapaneca Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra Tlapaneca Violada por Militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

Defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos exigieron hoy al Estado mexicano que cesen las agresiones y amenazas contra Inés Fernández Ortega, indígena tlapaneca violada sexualmente por militares en 2002, y quien ante la falta de justicia, se presentará en una audiencia pública en la sede de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) en Lima, Perú, el próximo 15 de abril...

Activists Demand an End to the Harassment of Indigenous Woman Who Was Raped by Soldiers

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

Human rights activists have today demanded that the Mexican Government cease and desist from its campaign of aggression and threats directed against Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapaneca Indigenous women who was the victim of rape perpetrated by Mexican servicemen in 2002. Due to the inability to receive due process within Mexico, Fernández Ortega's case will be presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on April 15th, 2010.

During a press conference held by Amnesty International and the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, activists announced their new campaign "Break Down the Walls of Impunity!" The project aims to develop a network of solidarity and add voices to the outcries for justice in the cases of both Fernández Ortega and also Valentina Rosendo Cantú, another Tlapaneca woman who was also raped by soldiers in 2002.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working in the Tlachinollan region stated that both Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú began their efforts to find justice 8 years ago. Not only did they suffer rejection, discrimination and stigmatization in their own communities after they were raped, but the government conducted an ineffective investigation.

Because of the government's reaction to their plight, the victims hope that the IACHR finds the Mexican state guilty in the case of Fernández Ortega. Rosendo Cantú's case will be presented before the IACHR on May 27th and 28th of 2010.

Rosales Sierra declared that the military leaves women [victims] completely defenseless. They put women's security and lives at risk when they attempt to seek justice...

On October 30, 2008, the Commission issued their findings [in the case of Fernández Ortega]. The Mexican state was informed on November 7, 2008 that the Commission regarded the State as being responsible for the violations of the integrity of the victim. Due to a refusal by Mexico to implement the Commission's [legally binding] recommendations, the case was forwarded to the IACHR.

During the press conference, Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel stated that, after May 7th, 2009, when the IACHR accepted the case de Fernández Ortega, she (Eugenio Manuel) and her family became the victims of threats. The threats doubled in December of 2009, when the IACHR notified the Mexican state of the specific date of its hearing of the case.

Because of this history of threats, a well-founded fear exists that victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, or their legal representatives could face some type of violence. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel emphasized that they will continue their struggle for human rights. She hopes that the IACHR hearing will demonstrate that lack of responsible action by the Mexican state to protect human rights.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

This is your war on drugs

...On 16th February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú was washing her clothes in a stream near her home in Caxitepec, Mexico, when six soldiers approached. Seemingly too busy for pleasantries, the men started barking questions at her: Who was she? Where was she from? Had she seen the people they were looking for? Did she recognize the names on the list they thrust in front of her?

Her answers weren’t good enough, so one soldier pulled a gun and threatened to shoot. Another punched her so hard that she passed out. When she came to, two men tore off her underwear and raped her, one after the other. She was sixteen years old.

It took several months for Valentina to find a doctor willing to treat her; her nearest hospital turned her away because they didn’t want any trouble from the military. The next nearest, which she walked for eight hours to reach, examined her but offered no medicine. Only after legal action was threatened did she finally receive the gynecological care she needed.

At the time of writing, no criminal prosecution has ever been brought against these men and no one has been formally disciplined by a military which has perpetually dragged its feet over investigations. Some 7 years later, she still hasn’t found justice.

This case is just one of many allegations of human rights abuses leveled at the Mexican military in pursuit of an expensive, bloody and failed war on drugs. As well as rape, the allegations include enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention and unlawful killing. And it’s all being bankrolled by the United States of America...

This is your war on drugs

August 13, 2009


Added: May. 30, 2010

Georgia, USA

Samuel Sanchez

Man Charged in Cherokee County Sex Assault

Cherokee County deputies say a Woodstock man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a mobile home and crawling into bed with a woman he didn’t know as she slept with her 1-year-old son.

Deputies say 22-year-old Samuel Sanchez broke into a mobile home off of Dupree Road in Woodstock on Friday morning. They say 19-year-old Bridget Gonzalez was asleep in her bed with her son when the suspect came into the room and got in bed with them. Then, he attempted to sexually assault her, investigators say.

Gonzalez told FOX 5 she thought the man was her boyfriend, but soon realized it was a stranger instead. She says she and her son don’t know Sanchez.

After Gonzalez realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend, she screamed and he ran out of the house. But, much to her surprise, she says he came back.

Sanchez was later picked up while walking along Dupree Road. They say when they spotted him, he began running, but deputies were able to catch up to him.

According to deputies, Sanchez told them he wanted to see someone he knows who lives at the home, so he just went inside.

Sanchez is charged with sexual battery, criminal attempt to rape, and burglary. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Fox 5 Atlanta

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Mexico

Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Niega Estado mexicano violación de Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Argumenta ante la CoIDH falta de “pruebas fehacientes”

San José, Costa Rica - Durante la audiencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) sobre el caso de Valentina Rosendo Cantú, el Estado mexicano insistió categóricamente que “no existen pruebas fehacientes de la presunta violación sexual”, por lo cual pidió a este tribunal internacional tome en cuenta este elemento a la hora de emitir su sentencia.

Si bien es cierto que la integración de la investigación de los hechos ocurridos el 16 de febrero de 2002 no se hizo de manera eficaz y eficiente, no se puede responsabilizar al Estado mexicano por tortura y tampoco por violar el derecho a la salud y al debido proceso de Valentina, así lo dijo Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)...

Después de esta audiencia, tanto la defensa de Valentina como el Estado mexicano deberán entregar sus alegatos finales por escrito, de acuerdo con la CoIDH el próximo 28 de junio y advirtió que no habrá prórroga.

Mexico’s government denies the fact of the rape of Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Mexican state argues that no compelling proof of the rape exists

San Jose, Costa Rica – During a hearing held by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in regard to the case of indigenous rape victim Valentina Rosendo Cantú, the Mexican State declared categorically that no compelling proof exists to show that the rape occurred. Mexico asked that the Court take this into consideration when deliberating their decision.

Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director of Democracy and Human Rights in the Secretary of External Relations (SRE), argued part of Mexico’s case before the Court. He declared that Mexico cannot be held responsible if the investigation into the events of February 16, 2002 was not efficient and effective, and that the State also cannot be held responsible for the torture and violation of the right to health and a lack of access to the proper [judicial] process.

Full English Translation to follow.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC

May 27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 29, 2010

Mexico

Raped with impunity - Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

...Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú are still waiting for justice. The two women, who belong to the Tlapaneca Indigenous community, were raped by members of the Mexican army in February and March 2002 respectively in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Inés Fernández Ortega, who speaks little Spanish, was reportedly raped on 22 March 2002. Soldiers entered her home to interrogate her about some meat they claimed had been stolen. When she did not answer their questions, they raped her. Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was approached on 16 February 2002 by soldiers near her home, who questioned her about the activities of some "hooded men" (a reference to armed opposition groups). When she replied that she did not know any, she was threatened and two of the soldiers raped her.

The Mexican authorities claim that both women have failed to co-operate with the military investigation. However, the fact that both cases remain under military jurisdiction places the women at serious risk of reprisals. The women are required to go into the barracks to ratify their complaints before the military prosecutor. There, they may face a real risk of intimidation.

The women have shown great courage in speaking out, demanding that their cases be transferred to the civilian authorities. Amnesty International supports their demands as the military justice system lacks the impartiality and independence to properly investigate such cases. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now investigating the Mexican government’s failure to ensure effective access to justice for both women.

Amnesty International

March 8, 2007


Added: May. 28, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Abel Moreno

Photo from: Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010

He Did the Right Thing; Now He Faces Deportation

Charlotte - Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble.

Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest.

Several things then happened. Five other women came forward to allege that the officer, identified as Marcus Jackson, now 26, had tried to molest them, too. Moreno was released after investigators debunked the resisting arrest charge. So was his girlfriend.

Jackson was fired and faces 11 counts of sexual battery, extortion and interfering with emergency communication. Police Chief Rodney Monroe admitted that Jackson should never have been hired in the first place because of previous charges related to a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend. The local 911 system is under review because Moreno’s call wasn’t acted upon.

And Abel Moreno now has a six-month deadline to show why he shouldn’t be deported, even though police acknowledge that his 911 call was crucial to their uncovering a dirty cop, and even though they agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested...

A judge granted Moreno a six-month deferment on his deportation because he is a witness in the criminal investigation. But that reprieve runs out in November.

Moreno’s attorney, Rob Heroy, said he was confident Moreno would eventually be granted a so-called U visa, which allows illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses in criminal investigations to stay in the country for up to four years. But only 10,000 such visas are available in any year, and while that process works its way through the system, Moreno remains in limbo.

“Now I’m unemployed,” Moreno said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “I don’t have any money, not even for rent, not even for my phone — anything. ... The truth is I’m scared.” ...

MSNBC

May 26, 2010

See also:

Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

New York, USA

Rape Victim's Mother Arrives In U.S. To Claim Body

The mother of the Chinese immigrant who died after being brutally beaten and raped in a Queens alley arrived yesterday. The Daily News reports, "Sobbing inconsolably as she stepped off a plane at Newark Airport, the mother was too distraught to speak of her daughter, Yu Yao, 23, who was raped and fatally beaten in Queens by a pipe-wielding madman. Escorted through the airport terminal by relatives, the heartbroken mother collapsed into a chair and laid her head in a cousin's lap."

Yao, who had arrived in NYC two months ago on a student visa, was taken off life support on Friday, after being struck with a metal pipe and then sexually assaulted in Flushing on Sunday May 16. According to the Queens DA's office, she suffered a "fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to the vagina." While one witness's call to the police enabled the arrest of suspect Carlos Salazar Cruz, Assemblywoman Grace Meng said other people witnessed the attack but did not do anything.

NY1 reports that community activists held an anti-violence vigil at the attack site on 41st Road, urging residents to report violent acts. Community Prevention Alternatives' Martha Florez-Vazquez said, "I feel that it's important to send out a message to the community that it takes a village and that it's up to our neighbors to prevent crime.” One resident added, "I'm very concerned... no one should be beaten to death the way this young lady was."

Jen Chung

Gothamist

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Arizona, USA

Kyleigh Ann Sousa

Woman dragged by car during robbery dies

Tempe - A young woman who was run over and dragged by a car during a robbery in Tempe early Wednesday morning has died.

The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the area of Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue near the Arizona State University campus.

The victim has been identified as Kyleigh Ann Sousa, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. She died of her injuries Wednesday night.

According to police, a man approached Sousa outside of a hotel and grabbed her purse. He then tried to drive away.

Sousa held on to her purse. She was dragged by the suspect's car.

The suspect is described as a heavyset Hispanic man. The car he was driving is a newer model Chrysler 300.

Police and Sousa's parents are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect.

Anybody who has information about the incident should call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Catherine Holland

Fox 11

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Omar Shariff Cash

Cash guilty of murder and rape

Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal injection.

After hearing two weeks of testimony that one prosecutor likened to the musings of a horror writer, a Bucks County jury in Doylestown Thursday found Omar Shariff Cash guilty on all counts, including first- and second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft and other crimes...

The 43-year-old woman [victim] told the jury that Cash laughed as he forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, then turned up the volume on the car radio and swayed to hip-hop music after leaving her boyfriend, Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez, dead alongside a Bensalem exit ramp.

In the front row of the courtroom, the rape victim wept softly as the verdict was read. A native of Brazil who doesn't speak English, she listened to the verdict with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

Rosas-Gutierrez's family also had interpreters to help them understand the verdict. They passed around a box of tissues and cried as each "guilty" was announced...

Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case against Cash...

The prosecution said Cash was on the run from Philadelphia police when he carjacked the victims as they left Jalapeno Joes, a northeast Philadelphia nightclub round 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2008.

Cash forced Rosas-Gutierrez to drive into Bucks, and trained a gun on his head while he raped the woman in the back seat.

Cash told Rosas-Gutierrez to pull over on the Street Road exit ramp from northbound Route 1, the woman told the jury. While she screamed his name from one of the passenger seats, Rosas-Gutierrez was marched up a steep embankment by the killer and shot in the back of the head.

The woman testified that Cash raped her again at an abandoned office complex immediately after the slaying, and then brought her to the Comfort Inn in Lawrenceville, N.J., where the sexual assaults continued.

Unable to communicate with hotel staff, the woman finally made a break for it when Cash brought her back down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. Footage of her dashing through the lobby and vaulting a four-foot check-in counter was shown to the jury...

Furber called Rosas-Gutierrez and the woman "the perfect victims." He said that once Cash looked through their belongings and learned they were both illegal immigrants, he believed that they wouldn't be missed...

Laurie Mason Schroeder

Bucks County Courier Times

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Georgia, USA

Police: Lilburn Middle student hit with bleach-filled balloon

A 14-year-old Lilburn Middle School student was struck by a bleach-filled water balloon Wednesday afternoon, police said, sending him to the hospital with burns to both eyes and putting a traumatic damper on what have should been a joyous start to summer vacation.

Just after leaving his last day of school, the student was walking down the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley said.

A water balloon filled with bleach was thrown from a moving vehicle, Hedley said, striking him in the face at around 4:40 p.m.

“From time to time, especially on the last day of school, you see pranks, and maybe a water balloon is just having fun,” Hedley said. “But to see one that is filled with bleach is beyond comprehension ... A kid leaving school for the last day for what could have been a perfect summer, this is just crazy to me.”

The child was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center and was treated for severe trauma to his face and burns to both eyes. He has since been released and is “resting comfortably” at his mother’s Norcross home, Hedley said.

“He was in bad shape, but aware of his surroundings (during a visit Wednesday night),” Hedley said.

Witnesses have reported that the suspects were three Hispanic males driving a gray minivan with a black stripe down the lower portion of the vehicle...

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the van or the identity of the suspects is asked to call 770-921-2211.

Tyler Estep

The Gwinnett Daily Post

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Danny Mariel Suarez

Man accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old

WACO - A man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he sexually assaulted a child.

Officers reportedly began an investigation after they were notified in April that a 12-year-old girl had told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted.

After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple occasions.

Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at $250,000.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police suspect 2 men tried to pull girl into car

The Hollister Police Department is searching for two men suspected of trying to force a 17-year-old Hollister girl into a car Wednesday night near the 1500 block of San Juan Road.

Just after 7 p.m., the teenager was walking to a relative's house near the Plaza 156 gas station before police allege that two men inside a black Volkswagen Bug pulled alongside the girl and grabbed her arm, trying to force her inside the car.

The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to police.

The girl wrestled of their grasp and took off running to her relative's house, police spokesman Sgt. David Westrick said. The car did not follow her.

"Once she was able to break free of the suspects, she ran and never looked back," Westrick said.

The girl didn't know in what direction the car took off after she had left, Westrick said.

The suspects are described as two Hispanic men in their 40s. The passenger wore a black hooded jacket and sunglasses. The girl had no other identifying information about the driver.

The Volkswagen Bug is described as an older model with a loud engine and rusted black paint.

The police department is still searching for more information, Westrick said.

"We are trying to get this handled as soon as possible," Westrick said. "We have as many detectives working on it as we can."

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Hollister Police Department at 630-4330. People who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTIP at (800) 58-CRIME.

Connor Ramey

Freelance News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA / Jamaica

Herbert Morrison

Illegal Immigrant a Suspect in Continuous Molestation of Santa Maria Girl Police say the child was victimized over nine years

In April, the Santa Maria Police Department began investigating the sexual-assault case involving a minor female. [Herbert] Morrison was arrested in May, but charges were not filed at that time because of insufficient evidence.

However, evidence gathered in recent weeks led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Morrison, who was being held in a federal detention facility in Los Angeles pending deportation for being in the country illegally after a previous deportation.

He was picked up at the detention facility, transferred back to Santa Maria and booked into jail.

He faces charges of continuous sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault, rape by force or duress, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

Bail was set at $500,000.

Police have not released how the suspect knew the victim.

Michelle Nelson

Noozhawk

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Undocumented immigrant can't bail out of jail, officials say

An undocumented immigrant and previously deported felon from Jamaica whose anticipated deportation has been put on hold because he is facing new criminal charges in Santa Barbara County, is not able to bail out of jail.

Herbert Morrison, 49, who had been living in Santa Maria, was picked up Tuesday from a federal detention facility in Los Angeles where he was being held pending deportation for being in the country illegally. He was arrested on suspicion of various charges including continual sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery and rape by force or duress, according to Santa Maria police.

Morrison was booked into county jail with bail set at $500,000.

However, Lt. Dan Ast said that Morrison is not able to bail out of jail because of an immigration hold, and he will eventually once again face deportation.

"If we allowed him to be deported without filing the charges, he could potentially re-enter the country at some later time after arriving back in Jamaica and continue to victimize people in this country," Ast said. "Or, he could stay in Jamaica and potentially victimize others there without ever facing justice."

The Lompoc Record

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child

Houston - An accused child predator was behind bars Tuesday, charged with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Al D. Checo lured the child into his green Dodge pickup while she was walking home from school in the 9300 block of Pagewood Ln. on Friday. He then drove her to his apartment nearby, forced her to watch pornographic images and tried to sexually assault her, but stopped short of the act.

"It could have been the first time for him to do something like this and he was testing the waters, could have been were something might have spooked him. We don't really don't know exactly yet," said Officer John Colburn with HPD's Juvenile Sex Crime Division.

Checo, 32, held the child at his apartment for several hours before dropping her off near where she was abducted, police said.

According to officials, Checo warned the child not to tell anyone what happened, but she went home and told her mother and was able to identify her abductor.

Checo is charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held Tuesday without bond.

KIAH

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

SFPD searching for girl, 12, reported missing

San Francisco police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a 12-year-old girl reported missing.

Police said Mireya Zapata was last seen Thursday morning when she went to school. At about 2:50 p.m., she sent a text message to her mother, saying she was at a bus stop and on her way home.

However, Zapata, who goes to school in the Sunset District and lives downtown, never showed up at her home, police said. The girl exchanged text messages with her mother over the next several hours, but did not text a secret code letting the mother know she was OK upon request, according to police.

At about 7 p.m., Zapata's mother received a text message reading, "Don't look for me no more," and when her mother asked why, the response read, "Just don't," police said.

Police spokesman Officer Boaz Mariles said Zapata does not have a history of running away and she is considered to be at risk. Police are actively searching for the girl and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police at (415) 553-1071.

"It's a continuous search, meaning there are officers assigned strictly to this,'' Mariles said.

Zapata is described as a light-skinned Hispanic girl, 5 feet 3 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black and white Nike shoes and had a white backpack.

BCN

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect faces string of sex assault charges

4 alleged victims range in age from 11 to 49

Luis Alberto Gonzales was armed with a BB gun when he targeted numerous Hispanic women and girls for sexual assaults on Indianapolis' Westside, prosecutors say.

But he didn't even bother to cover his face -- and that lack of a disguise enabled police to arrest Gonzales last weekend. One victim from months ago spotted him sleeping in his red truck in an apartment court off West 30th Street near Moller Road, according to court documents filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in media reports...

So far, he faces charges in connection with four victims ranging in age from 11 to 49. He is in the Marion County Jail with a combined bond set at $700,000.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said his office was still readying charges representing two more victims, including one younger than 18; police were investigating allegations by three others.

That could make for nine victims, with convictions bringing up to hundreds of years in prison.

"Mr. Gonzales has essentially been preying on Hispanic adults and children since at least January 2010," Brizzi said. "He was going back to the same area. It seems he was unafraid about being arrested or caught."

The lead charges on the four cases that have been filed are Class A felony child molesting of an 11-year-old girl; Class A felony rape of a 40-year-old woman; Class A felony criminal deviate conduct against a 49-year-old woman; and Class D felony sexual battery against a 23-year-old woman...

Jon Murray

IndyStar.com

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Nevada, USA

Joel Eliazar Ortega

Illegal immigrant sentenced in Reno rape of paralyzed woman

A life in prison term was imposed Wednesday upon a married father of one who dragged a paralyzed woman out of her wheelchair, raped her, and then left her lying nude in an alley.

The woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been in a shopping center Oct. 30 in the 3300 block of North McCarran Boulevard when Joel Eliazar Ortega, 30, led her behind a business and attacked her. Soon after, Reno police officers responding to a call that Ortega was battering his wife in their nearby apartment, recognized Ortega as fitting the description of the suspect. He was arrested after the victim identified him.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn described the crime as among the most ghastly sexual assaults he’s ever seen.

“She was dragged from her wheelchair, her clothes taken off, sexually assaulted and then left lying in an alley,” said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan. “I have listened to you carefully, and you said ‘things happen’ and you get in trouble based on your behavior and doctors say you can’t take care of your daughter.

“You are a danger,” Flanagan said. “...you are lucky there is only one life sentence I can impose in this case.”

In rendering a sentence of life against Ortega, Flannagan said he would be eligible for parole after serving at least 10 years in prison. Ortega is also an illegal immigrant who also must face immigration charges.

“You will be deported at the earliest opportunity and will never return to this country again, except lawfully,” Flanagan said.

Ortega had apologized for the crime and said “I need help.”

His public defender, John Malone, said Ortega has been receiving treatment at the state’s mental hospital for several years. He blamed the rape on Ortega not taking his psychiatric medicines and drinking alcohol.

Ortega pleaded guilty to the rape, and was also convicted of domestic violence, related to when police responded to his apartment after the assault.

The victim was not present in court, although her father was and said he was too emotional to speak about the incident.

Jaclyn O'Malley

RGJ.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Virginia, USA

Arturo F. Lopez

Henrico judge sends rape charge to grand jury

A woman testified at a preliminary hearing in a Henrico County court today that her foster son sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her and her husband.

Arturo F. Lopez, 18, had been living with a foster family in the Interstate 64-Staples Mill Road area since sometime late last year, according to Henrico police. He was charged with rape in the April 9 incident and appeared at a preliminary hearing in General District Court this morning.

At the hearing, the judge certified the rape charge to a grand jury, which will hear the case on July 12. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Lopez came to the Richmond area sometime last year. His attorney said he was a homeless immigrant from Mexico and has no family in the U.S. Lopez was placed in the home by the Richmond Department of Social Services, because Spanish is spoken in the home.

Bill Mckelway

The Richmond Times Dispatch

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Pennsylvania

Officer Jose Manuel Santiago

Photo

Pennsylvania Cop Charged With Sex Offenses

A southeastern Pennsylvania police officer is charged with hundreds of sex-offense counts including rape, incest, statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Chester County prosecutors say 54-year-old Kennett Square police Officer Jose Manuel Santiago was arrested Thursday at his home in Newark, Del.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan says Santiago had sexual encounters with three juveniles under the age of 14 between 1991 and 2000.

Borough officials say Santiago joined the department in 1998. He had been on disability leave since December 2008 and is now suspended without pay.

Santiago is in New Castle County prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. His phone number is unlisted and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

MyFoxPhilly

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Alleged rapists' victims afraid to tell

Indianapolis - Prosecutors expect to file more charges against a man suspected of molesting and raping as many as nine women and girls on the northwest side. Police say 27-year old Luis Gonzales was a serial rapist - preying solely on Hispanic victims for at least five months.

Police say investigating this case was challenging. They didn't begin to put the pieces together until an 11-year-old girl reported being assaulted in May. But the first known attack occurred five months before that.

It was a January evening at about 10:00 at the La Joya apartments on the northwest side of Indianapolis. A 23-year-old woman walked into her building carrying bags and her baby. She says an attacker waited - pretending to be talking on his cell phone. After she went in the building, she says he grabbed and groped her in the stairwell.

An affidavit states she was holding her baby tightly during the attack, and the infant began to cry. At that point her attacker ran away.

But no police report was filed. Detectives believe for the next five months, Luis Gonzales terrorized, molested, and raped as many as nine Hispanic women and girls in west side apartment complexes. The youngest known victim is 11-years old.

Asked why the public wasn't made aware of a serial rapist, IMPD officer Lt. Jeff Duhamell responded, "The lack of reporting from some of our victims, and probably the language barrier and maybe some of them were afraid to come forward because they may be in our country illegally."

Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi believes there are likely more victims out there, and at a press conference on Thursday, he had a clear message to victims.

"There is absolutely no threat of immigration and customs enforcement, ICE, of us reporting that documentation status as a result of reporting a crime," Brizzi said.

Luis Gonzales has ties to Indianapolis. The probable cause affidavit states he graduated from Lawrence North High School and has lived in the city for six years. He's being held on a $100,000 bond, and has declined our request for an interview.

WISH TV

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Teen Assaulted In Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande, CA -- Police arrested a parolee who allegedly assaulted a teen yesterday afternoon. This happened at about 4:30 in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School. Authorities received several reports by phone that a girl was thrown to the ground near the hospital. Many later calls told officers that within minutes several witnesses chased the suspect, 23-year-old Fernando Frias, and cornered him in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle.

Meanwhile, according to the Tribune, officers found the 17-year-old victim, near the Fair Oaks bridge with injuries to her head and face. They arrested Frias who is currently on parole. Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.

King Harris

KVEC

May 27. 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Oregon, USA

Ismael Recinos-Velasquez

Reward Offered for Sex Assault Suspect

Crime Stoppers and the Washington County Sheriff's office are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wante for sexual assault. Investigators say Ismael Recinos-Velasquez, who may also go by Jose Perez-Perez, or the name 'Carlos', sexually abused his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter and another 12-year old girl.

A warrant was issued for Recinos-Velasquez's arrest on May 13th. He's wanted on charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, along with numerous other charges.

Recinos-Velasquez is 5' 3" tall and 140 pounds. If you see him, call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-4357, go online to crimestoppers oforegon.com, or text message to 823HELP.

Chris Brown

KXL

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police seek man accused of the assault and attempted kidnap of his ex-girlfriend

Pasadena - Police are searching for a 53-year-old man who allegedly beat and tried to kidnap his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:07 p.m. a 45-year-old female Hispanic, of Temple City, was waiting at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Lake Avenue when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and began striking her, Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ said.

The victim suffered minor bruising to her face and arms and also complained of back pain, he said.

After a struggle, the man dragged her through a nearby parking lot and attempted to force her into his 2000 Honda Odyssey, but he fled on foot after several passersby came to her assistance, Russ said.

The man is described as a 5-foot-6-inch male Hispanic weighing 186 pounds.

The Pasadena Star News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Wanted for Inappropriate Conduct

Midland Police are trying to track down a man who has a problem keeping his hands to himself.

A suspect is wanted for inappropriate conduct.

The man in question is Hispanic, who apparently goes around touching women in stores.

He reportedly rubs or bumps into them, making it seem like an accident.

If this has happened to you in an offensive manner or if you have any information, call Midland Police or CrimeStoppers at 649-TIPS.

NewsWest 9

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 20 - May 26

Excerpt

May 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape, the sale of marijuana, domestic violence, and possession of a controlled substance. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape with threat in the state of California, assault with intent to cause serious injury/sexual abuse in the state of New York, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 22, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for fondling, and lewd and lascivious acts against a child in the state of Florida. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 21, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts with a child / false imprisonment with violence in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 20, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for aggravated child molestation and felony sodomy in the state of Georgia. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 27, 2010

Illinoid, USA

Jennifer Hurtado

11-Year-Old Girl Missing With 22-Year-Old Paramour

An 11-year-old girl is missing from her Brighton Park neighborhood home, and police say she may have disappeared with a much-older man she calls her boyfriend.

Jennifer Hurtado is missing... She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with the word "Shields" in purple lettering.

She was also wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old "paramour" Jose "Carlos" Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4 feet 8 inches tall, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact the Chicago Police Wentworth Area Special Victims Unit, at (312) 747-8385.

CBS

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 26, 2010

Illinois, USA / Mexico

Police seek girl, 11, who vanished from Southwest Side with man

A missing persons alert has been issued for an 11-year-old girl who has gone missing from the Southwest Side and may be heading to Mexico or North Carolina with her 22-year-old boyfriend, police said.

Jennifer Hurtado, 11, is missing... according to release from police News Affairs. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with purple lettering that said, “Shields” that was worn over a black t-shirt.

She was wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old boyfriend Jose “Carlos” Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4-foot-8, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact Wentworth Area detectives are (312) 747-8385.

The Chicago Sun TImes

May 26, 2010 0


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

40th Washington Conference on the Americas

Remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Council of the Americas was pleased to hold its 40th Washington Conference on the Americas. For 40 years, the Washington Conference on the Americas has been honored to host presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state, U.S. cabinet officials, ministers from the region, and congressional leaders...

As the opening speaker at the 40th Annual Washington Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the primacy of hemispheric issues on the Obama administration’s agenda. She... stressed three priority areas for cooperation between the United States and Latin America: trade and energy partnerships, public security, and inequality and immigration...

[An] area of concern stressed by the secretary was public security... She referred to the “barbarism” of organized crime syndicates, comment[ed] on Washington’s support for Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative, but also urged for “smarter, more effective strategies.”

...Clinton referred to the twin issues of inequity and immigration. “We don’t have the poorest people in the world in Latin America, with the exception of Haiti, but we have the most inequity,” said the secretary. “Therefore we need to have a partnership between the public and private sector to address this.” In particular, she spoke of the need to increase tax revenues in the region. “We can take a lot of joy in the positive GDP growth, but income disparity continues to grow,” she said, noting it is “a source of social and political instability” that feeds criminal activity. “We have to do a better job.” ...

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

One of [U.S. Labor Secretary] Secretary Solis’ main concerns is the 12.5 percent unemployment rate among the Latino population. Latinos-who Solis termed the “new entrepreneurs”-are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and will account for over 25 percent of the population by 2050. This population, however, accounted for only 5 percent of the 3.6 million STEM (science, technology, education, and math) jobs in 2008. Solis and the Department of Labor are focusing on creating more of these jobs for Latinos as STEM fields are the future of innovation and competitiveness.

Latino workforce development also extends to training workers in the renewable energy sector and to breaking down the barriers between employers and employees.

The Department of Labor has launched a multilingual help line as a resource for workers that have been unfairly treated on the job and is focusing on bringing to light “good business practices” that help to prevent on-the-job injuries. Just recently Secretary Solis and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhán signed a declaration reaffirming their joint commitment to work collaboratively on informing Mexican workers about their labor rights. She hopes to extend this type of agreement to El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries...

Prepared by Jason Marczak and Carin Zissis

Americas Society

May 12, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza

OAS Secretary General Takes Office for Second Term

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today... [took] office for his second term at a special session of the Permanent Council...

Reelected by acclamation for the period 2010-2015 in an election held March 24, Insulza described in a speech this morning delivered in the Hall of the Americas the main goals for his new term, reiterating the convictions that will guide his leadership...

Among the successes of his first term, the top OAS official mentioned the effective role of the Organization in nearly a dozen political crises in the continent, as well as the observation of more than fifty electoral processes, asserting that “nobody can in good faith affirm that the OAS in these years has failed in having, in all of these events, a conciliatory and unifying attitude.” In this context, Insulza renewed his commitment to what he called “the three basic pillars of OAS activity: democracy and human rights, integral development and multidimensional security, and the aspects most relevant to the people of the continent.”

With respect to the new five-year period that now begins, Secretary General Insulza reiterated his wish to have “a genuinely multilateral OAS, built by all of us jointly on the basis of common principles,” and he traced five lines of work for his new mandate: to develop a broad, modern and inclusive multilateralism; to increase support for democratic governance by promoting areas such as respect for the rule of law and institutions; to improve the balance between the tasks of democracy building and those of promoting integral development; to continue prioritizing subjects relative to public security, drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, arms trafficking and human trafficking; to give greater momentum to the subject of gender at the OAS...

Organization of American States

May 24, 201


Added: May. 26, 2010

Paraguay

The triple frontier region, where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a major child and adult sex trafficking marketplace with many  thousands of victims.

Todos los casos deben ser remitidos a Asuncion para su investigacion

Impunidad hace florecer el trafico de personas en las Tres Fronteras

El tráfico de personas en la zona de las Tres Fronteras sigue siendo un negocio floreciente debido a la impunidad reinante. En el sistema judicial del Alto Paraná no existen datos de que algún caso haya sido elevado a juicio, buscando castigar a los culpables de este delito. El Ministerio Público se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los hechos denunciados sobre la trata de personas. Ever Ovelar, fiscal adjunto.

Varios son los esquemas que operan en la zona para el tráfico de personas. Casi siempre integran el sistema las agencias de viaje que camuflan el envío de jóvenes a otros países como excursionistas. En el décimo departamento no existe una unidad fiscal especializada en el tema, pese a que los casos aumentan considerablemente. Los antecedentes algunas veces son remitidos a la unidad especializada en el tema a cargo de la fiscal Teresa Martínez, de Asunción. La fiscal estuvo en esta zona y dijo que al menos tres agencias de turismo locales están en la mira por vincularse supuestamente al tráfico de personas.

No quiso dar el nombre de las firmas para no entorpecer las investigaciones que casi no han avanzado en los últimos 30 días. En Ciudad del Este y Presidente Franco son donde más abundan personas que reclutan a jóvenes especialmente para llevarlos a otros países, de preferencia europeos siendo las mujeres las preferidas. Varias de ellas son obligadas a prostituirse y son mantenidas en régimen de esclavitud, mientras otros deben trabajar en viviendas en régimen inhumano.

El silencio de las víctimas y sus familiares contribuyen a que los traficantes sigan operando normalmente en esta región fronteriza. Pero la inacción de los organismos públicos contribuyen más para que se de esta situación. El Minis-terio Público de Ciudad del Este se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los casos de trata de personas, pues al menos son 20 carpetas fiscales las que nunca fueron investigadas. No existen antecedentes en el Poder Judicial de la zona de que algún caso haya sido llevado a juicio oral y público...

All human trafficking cases should be referred to federal agencies in the capital city of Asuncion

Impunity allows human trafficking to flourish in the triple frontier (Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) region.

(English Translation to follow)

Diario Vanguardia

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

US Fights Human Slavery in Major Cities

People from Latin America, Asia trafficked to the US for sex, labor

In almost every major city in the United States, advocates say victims of human slavery are exploited everyday.

"Human trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States," says Bradley Myles of the Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking.

According to Myles, some of the victims are forced to work in the homes of the wealthy and at restaurants. Many others, especially women, are forced into prostitution.

"We know from our very own eyes that it's happening. We're not kind of hearing it third hand. We've been inside those places. We work with those women."

The Polaris Project operates a human trafficking hotline. Calls come in from around the country.

"So we're getting calls from Texas. We're getting calls from California. We're getting calls from New York, Florida and DC is one of those top five cities where we're getting calls," says Myles.

Deborah Sigmund, founder of the advocacy group, Innocents at Risk, says most of the victims of human trafficking come from economically depressed countries and are lured to the U.S. with promises of a better life.

"They want to think that they can come to America and have a great job so it's very easy to fool them," she says.

According to the experts, some of the victims are forced to sell sex from brothels disguised as massage parlors.

Tim Whittman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is an expert on human trafficking in the U.S.

"The number one foreign country is Mexico," says Tim Whittman, an expert on human trafficking with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Approximately 20 percent of our cases involve victims from Mexico."

The nation's capital is not immune to the problem. In Washington, the Polaris Project sees sex trafficking victims who are U.S. citizens, and women from South Korea, China and Latin America.

A study by The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center finds nearly 83 percent of suspected human trafficking incidents involve sex trafficking. Advocates say other types of human slavery include people being forced to work as domestic servants and in agriculture. The FBI says the smugglers often threaten their victims and make it difficult for them to pay off their debts...

Elizabeth Lee

Voice of America News

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Sexual assault suspect may be linked to 7 attacks

Indianapolis - Police have arrested a suspect in the sexual assault of a young girl.

Luis Gonzales, 27, was taken into custody Saturday evening after an IMPD officer found him sleeping in a pick-up truck on Hillsboro Drive. A woman told police she recognized Gonzales from an incident a month or two ago when he attempted to fondle her. The woman told her father, who called police.

Police say Gonzales sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at her west side apartment complex on May 13. Investigators identified the suspect in that assault as a Hispanic male, who left the scene in a red Nissan pick-up truck, like the one Gonzales was in when police apprehended him Saturday.

Metro police detectives say Gonzales is a prime suspect in at least two confirmed assault cases. He was found in possession of a BB gun described in the other attacks, as well as other possible evidence belonging to his victims. He is being held on felony charges of child molesting and criminal confinement.

Monday, police described Gonzales as a dangerous predator, saying he may be linked to as many as seven attacks on girls.

"He is almost like an addict. He has to have sex all the time," said IMPD Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

One of the other attacks happened to a 13-year-old girl in the Covered Bridge Apartments on Georgetown Road. The victim remained reluctant to even report the attack until IMPD Officer Candi Perry, a Spanish translator for the department, intervened. That's when the 11-year-old girl in the May 13 attack came forward, too.

"Right now, we definitely have him on admitting two child molestation cases," said Lt. Duhamell.

Sex crime detectives suspect Gonzales in a May 7 sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman. The attack happened at the West Lake Apartments near Rockville Road.

WTHR

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Georgia, USA

Man gets 35 years for sexually assaulting child

A DeKalb man will spend the next 35 years in prison after being convicted of raping and infecting a child with a sexually transmitted disease.

Omar Luna-Fraide, 22, of Doraville, was convicted Wednesday on one count of rape; two counts of child molestation; two counts of aggravated child molestation; and one count of false imprisonment, said Orzy Theus, spokesman for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Fraide was accused of assaulting the child on multiple days in 2009, Theus said. He also infected the child with a sexually transmitted disease, Theus said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala, The United States

Esperanza Arreaga, age 62, lost two small daughters and 14 other family members when they were murdered by Guatemalan soldiers in the massacre of Las Dos Erres.

In this picture, Arreaga looks at the remains of massacre victims uncovered by forensic archeologists.

Photo: Larry Kaplow - GlobalPost

Ramiro Cristales, then age 5, witnessed Guatemalan special forces soldiers murder his family and rape and murder the 10 and 12-year-old girls from his village of Las Dos Erres, in 1982.

From a video statement by Ramiro Cristales, and a collage of photos, by GlobalPost.

Ramiro Cristales, after he was abducted at age 5 by the Guatemalan soldiers who murdered his family

U.S. rounds up Guatemalans accused of war crimes

Washington - U.S. federal agents are today closing in on four former Guatemalan soldiers accused of taking part in a 1982 massacre, which one law enforcement official called "the most shocking modern-day war crime American authorities have ever investigated."

One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location. One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.

The massacre in Las Dos Erres, where a total of 251 men, women and children were killed, is widely considered one of the darkest chapters of Guatemala's 36-year civil war that claimed some 200,000 lives, and in which the U.S. military played a shadowy role.

One month after allegedly raping young girls and women during the massacre, one of the men under investigation, Pedro Pimentel Rios, began work as an instructor at the School of the Americas, the Pentagon-run training school for Latin American militaries, then located in Panama...

Because the alleged crimes occurred before the passage of war crimes laws in the United States, prosecutors are not legally permitted to charge the men under any of those laws. This limitation in U.S. law has long frustrated federal prosecutors, who have only... been able to denaturalize and deport even suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States.

U.S. officials began their investigation after the Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided last year that Guatemala's 1996 amnesty agreement does not apply to serious human rights violations, including the massacre at Las Dos Erres. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice who monitor cases involving foreign-born human rights abusers decided to see if any of the accused killers were living in the United States...

U.S. involvement

Human rights groups have long criticized the involvement of the American government and military in Guatemala. The Las Dos Erres case reveals several connections between the two countries.

The U.S. government knew the Guatemalan army was probably responsible for the massacre at Las Dos Erres, yet the School of the Americas began to welcome new instructors and students from the army only days after the killings...

In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had introduced a ban on cooperating with the Guatemalan military. But President Ronald Reagan lifted the ban and the School of the Americas began admitting Guatemalan soldiers, including Rios, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre...

Just as the massacres were intensifying, Reagan re-established military and political cooperation with the Guatemalan government. Reagan saw [Guatemalan president Efrain] Rios Montt as a useful ally against leftist guerrillas and maintained friendly relations in the face of evidence that Rios Montt's government was responsible for increasing numbers of civilian massacres. (In July 1982, Amnesty International published a report listing more than 50 massacres of non-combatant civilians by the military.)

On Dec. 4, 1982, when the massacres in the Guatemalan countryside were fully under way, Reagan met with Rios Montt. Reagan publicly described Rios Montt as "a man of great personal integrity…[who] wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice." Reagan said that Rios Montt had received a "bum rap" from human rights groups.

It was an inauspicious day to make such a show of support. On the same day Reagan spoke, the 17 members of the Kaibiles [counter-insurgency rangers] squad arrived at a military base near Las Dos Erres. On Dec. 7, the massacre started. Over the following two days, the men are alleged to have killed 251 residents of Las Dos Erres. "Everything that moved had to be killed," one of the soldiers later wrote in a sworn statement.

Last month archaeologists began exhuming the mass grave and DNA testing is now underway to confirm the identities of those killed.

"I lost everything"

The Kaibiles tortured the men first. They then began throwing children alive into the village well. Women were shot or beaten to death with a sledgehammer and then thrown in. Men were then shot and dumped on top. One of the Kaibiles abducted a 5-year-old boy [Ramiro Cristales]. Another boy escaped. They may be the only surviving witnesses...

Matt McAllester

Minnpost.com

May 06, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Genocide, Femicide and Human Trafficking in Guatemala All Grew From the Same Roots of Wartime Impunity

The genocide suffered by the indigenous Mayan majority population of Guatemala during the 1980s took place with the complicity of the U.S. Government, especially during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Some 200,000 innocent civilians, including 50,000 women, were murdered by government military forces during the civil conflict. The nation's Supreme Court has officially declared that 200,000 orphans resulted from the war.

While the International Court in the Hague and other international judicial bodies have aggressively prosecuted, or at least charged suspects in the genocidal mass murders in Bosnia, Sudan and other equally notorious circumstances, the largest act of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the modern history of the Americas, which was carried out by pro-U.S. government forces during the Guatemalan Civil War, has until recently been off limits to effective prosecution.

We thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for laying the legal groundwork for permitting renewed judicial action in regard to important cases such as that of the Las Dos Erres Massacre. Many other massacres and individual murders have yet to be investigated.

In all, some 440 Mayan villages, located mostly in Guatemala's northwestern highlands region, were completely destroyed by Guatemalan soldiers during a brutal scorched earth campaign of ethnic cleansing that hid behind a cloak of supposedly justifiable cold war counter insurgency.

Guatemala's military was supported in this endeavor with military strategy, training and equipment supplied by the United States, Argentina and Israel.

The perpetrators of mass murder in Guatemala thought that they would have a lifetime of protection in regard to their crimes, because past conservative U.S. presidential administrations lead them to believe that was the case. Thanks to the changing political and legal landscape in the Americas, serious prosecutions of these criminals may, finally, occur.

In the early and mid 1980s I and many other activists in Washington, DC and across the Americas worked hard to publish and broadcast news about the ongoing massacres of innocents in Guatemala. We also protested in front of Congress and organized to do everything we could to save the lives of Guatemalans from the murderous hands of these cruel perpetrators.

Today in 2010, Guatemala's postwar culture has the highest rate of 'femicide' murders in all of the Americas. Thousands of women have been murdered during the past several years with almost total impunity. The rate of femicide murders, (which are crimes that typically include acts of rape, torture, mutilation and dismemberment -echoing the behavior of military forces during the civil war), is ten times higher than the rate of gender-based murders in Mexico's infamous Ciudad Juarez..

These femicides, and Guatemala's inability to investigate the rape/ torture killings of so many women and girls, as well as that nation's serious problems with mass sex trafficking currently, are all direct outgrowths of the impunity that the world community ALLOWED to exist in Guatemala during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Effectively, these crimes were never prosecuted because past conservative U.S. administrations were  both passively and actively complicit, and the world community of nations simply stood silently by and watched these horrific events unfold with impunity.

A nexus with the anti-trafficking movement

During the early 2000's, I joined the anti human trafficking listserv (email-based private forum) of Dr. Donna Hughes, who was then, and is today, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hughes is one of the original pioneers of the modern U.S. movement against human trafficking, and she deserves all of the honors that she has received over the years for those important efforts.

Dr. Hughes' listserv, which was made up of many notable names in the anti-slavery movement across the globe, including names that many followers of the movement today would recognize, totaled about 400 members. Simultaneous to her work with this listserv, Dr. Hughes was also writing for the conservative National Review Online.

The majority of U.S. listserv participants were conservative women. I educated that online community of professionals and activists about the dynamics of the Latin American crisis in human trafficking at a time when few were aware of the issues.

As part of that work, I discussed the mass rapes and murders of innocent Mayan indigenous women and girls (among others) during the Guatemalan Civil War (almost all Mayan women and girls of any age, among other victims, were targeted for rape by soldiers and civilian paramilitary guards during the war). I also discussed Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu, who fled into the jungle to avoid becoming another victim of a government massacre. Several of Dr. Menchu's relatives died at the hands of soldiers.

Conservative members of the listserv became so infuriated with my simple and truthful educational postings that several of them quit the listserv. Dr. Hughes told me by phone, almost apologetically, that she had to ban me from participating to prevent her conservative followers from leaving.

In an earlier email conversation, Dr. Hughes had rationalized the human rights abuses in Guatemala by stating that some victims supported communist insurgency.

What Mayans actually supported was building a future for themselves that was free from the 500 years of peonage (slavery) that Spanish descendants had subjected them to.

During this online debate, an anti-trafficking activist from the Salvation Army wrote-in to emphasize that the group was not denying the events that took place in Guatemala (although only she expressed that view, not the other listserv members).

U.S. Conservatives had long supported the efforts of former President Ronald Reagan and others to back often brutal right wing dictators in Latin America. Any mention of the mass murders of Guatemalan innocents, including women and children, was considered to be an unacceptable topic of public conversation.

In late 1995, for example, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich denounced then-Democratic Representative Robert G. Torricelli, who, like Speaker Gingrich, was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, for having publicly exposed information about the atrocities in Guatemala, followed by a demand for congressional hearings.

Speaker Gingrich also demanded that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) not air a documentary on the massacres of Mayan peoples in the Guatemalan Civil War. He only relented and allowed the program to be broadcast after his demand for adding 'alternative views' to the program's content were agreed to by PBS.

How do you provide an alternative view about multiple acts of racially motivated mass murder being perpetrated against innocent children, women and men with impunity?

This truthful account of one part of the history of the Guatemalan Genocide also sheds light on aspects of the modern U.S. response to the human trafficking crisis in Latin America.

The U.S. based anti-trafficking movement is a unique social space where conservatives, liberals and others (and I am 'other') may join in common purpose to save human lives. Unfortunately, politics has often been played with the issue of Latin American human trafficking.

In the early 2000s, conservatives such as Dr. Donna Hughes and her followers shunned any discussion of the important gender related human rights issues (specifically, the Guatemalan Genocide) that were closely associated with the modern human slavery issue in Latin America.

During the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, I was present at two separate major public speeches given by the first and second directors of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State - Ambassador John R. Miller, and Ambassador Mark P. Lagon. Latin America’s human trafficking crisis was never mentioned during those presentations, despite what we know today, that Latin American human trafficking generates an estimated $16 billion per year, perhaps half of all world income from human slavery.

When, on May 27, 1994, I gave a presentation on Latina women and exploitation to the Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women, I mentioned the mass rapes and murders of women in the Guatemalan conflict, several conservative women commission members shook their heads and declared that the genocide never happened. In response, a Cherokee indigenous woman commission member, and a Panamanian woman physician who was also a member both acknowledged the fact of the Guatemalan genocide, and also recognized the other issues that I had raised for their consideration (the workplace sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women).

An intentional failure to  acknowledge the problem of Latin American human trafficking during the administration of President George W. Bush (as a byproduct of conservative politics) effectively allowed the region's billion dollar cartels and other criminal elements free reign to grow their now $16 billion per year human slavery 'industry' (IOM figure) without any visible U.S. opposition.

On the other end of the political spectrum, some liberals, including, perhaps, influential members of the administration of President Barack Obama, also politicize human trafficking, from a leftist perspective.

It does not add to Obama administration Latin America strategy to have a highly visible public discussion of human trafficking and the mass rape and enslavement of women and girls in Mexico, when such visibility would raise doubt in Congress, and among the public, as to the value of continued funding of the war on drug traffickers, given that Mexican soldiers deployed in the conflict have been the culprits in many rapes and murders of indigenous women with total impunity.

Open discussion of the severe levels of human trafficking and the brutal sexual exploitation of women perpetrated by some Latino men in Latin America, and in U.S. community settings, is also an uncomfortable topic for progressives as they market Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the people and Congress of the United States.

That concern does not justify remaining silent about the growing humanitarian emergency of mass gender atrocities that is taking place in Mexico, throughout the rest of Latin America and, increasingly, in U.S. Latino immigrant population centers.

Progressives who favor the legalization of prostitution also apparently have strong influence in the Obama Administration, which perhaps leads to a diminished focus on sex trafficking while labor trafficking takes center stage in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts.

By justifying the genocide of Mayan indigenous peoples during the Guatemalan Civil War (a mentality that is consistent with excusing the mass murder of U.S. indigenous peoples in the past), U.S. conservatives, together with their allies in Guatemala, succeeded in setting-up the circumstances that lead not only to the anti-Mayan genocide, but also set off the 'firestorm' of the largest ongoing crisis of mass murders of women in the Americas, today's Guatemalan femicide.

A similar conservative-lead environment of social and govern-mental tolerance for mass gender atrocities also exists in neighboring Mexico.

We assert that the lack of willingness of the U.S. government and of some U.S. NGOs to fully engage the issue of human trafficking in Latin America (where half of the world's estimated $32 billion of human trafficking apparently takes place) during the George W. Bush administration and beyond had its roots in conservative unwillingness to acknowledge the serious human consequences of their past support for murderous dictators such as Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt.

To be clear, U.S. conservatives cannot declare their opposition to modern day human trafficking and slavery on the one hand, and on the other, declare that the genocide in Guatemala, or Mexico's current repression of women's rights (and until recently, intentional inaction on human trafficking) all orchestrated by the ruling conservative National Action party (PAN), are justifiable expressions of modern conservatism.

You cannot have it both ways.

The left, which has often been indifferent to the issue of human trafficking, bears a similar responsibility for condoning inaction... because human trafficking is, for some of them, a round peg that will not fit into the square holes of their political ideologies.

Shame on those who politicize human trafficking, be they from the right or the left!

The victims, and those who are at-risk, await our effective and hurried efforts to protect and rescue them.

Public servants, put the politics aside, and get to work! There is no time to waste.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23/24/27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala

An indigenous woman walks by a street poster of Guatamala's most brutal president, Efrain Rios Montt.

In the words of a poem by Pablo Neruda: 'For the one who gave the order of agony, I ask for punishment.'

Guatemala: Massacre investigation breakthrough

Recently declassified documents from US archives have shed further light on the extent of US complicity in Guatemalan human rights crimes, one of Latin America’s most brutal examples of population control.

The hard-working farmers of Dos Erres, in Peten department, had never asked for much — just a few acres of recently-cleared land from which to scratch a meager living in a country racked by violence.

When armed guerrillas cut across their land six months prior to December 7, 1982, community leaders had done everything possible to placate the national army, even inviting the soldiers in for inspections.

They had nothing to hide, they said. But a psychopathic military killing machine had already condemned them to death on the grounds that they were the soil in which the seed of resistance grows.

Acting on orders issued by the US-backed regional command, a death squad of army Kaibiles (counterinsurgency rangers) entered the peaceful hamlet early that morning, smashing in doors, killing livestock, starting fires and rounding up groups of men, women and children.

Hours of rape and torture ensued, followed by execution in small groups. After being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, the victims were hurled into a village well or left in nearby fields.

By nightfall, more than 250 were dead - almost the entire population. There were two child survivors - one who escaped and one, Ramiro Cristales, who was spared by his parents’ murderer only to be subsequently raised as a domestic slave (reputedly an army custom). Cristales, now aged in his 30s, has recently come forward at considerable risk to his own life as an eyewitness to the horror at Dos Erres.

His testimony to the Guatemalan truth commission has been corroborated by previously classified material obtained by the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the US Freedom of Information Act...

David T. Rowlands

Green Left (Australia)

May 22, 2010

See also:

Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos Erres Massacre

Washington, D.C. - Following this week's arrest of a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, the National Security Archive is posting a set of declassified documents on one of Guatemala's most shocking and unresolved human rights crimes, the Dos Erres massacre.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordan had lied to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleges that Jordan, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordan allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military's "scorched earth campaign" and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children.

Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just "disappear," and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre...

The National Security Archive

George Washington University

May 7, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

An indigenous woman in Guatemala holds a sign saying, WANTED: Jose Efrain Rios Montt (the unseen part says, "for genocide") - during the 2008, 28th anniversary of the Spanish Embassy Massacre in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

General José Efraín Ríos Montt is best known for heading a military dictatorship from 1982–1983 that was responsible for some of the worst atrocities against civilians in the 36-year Guatemalan civil conflict.

Photo: MiMundo

My observations about the only human trafficker I have ever met.

...To further tie together these linked issues, I know victims of that genocide, and I have met a perpetrator, through one of his family members. This family member talked to me at length about this perpetrator’s activities in Guatemala. I will refer to him here as ‘Juan.’

Juan’s grandfather owned a large ranch in Guatemala, and when he was feeling especially angry, he would go to the Mayan village at the far-end of his ranch and "shoot a few Indians" (a direct quote). During the time of the 1970s-1980s Guatemalan Civil War, Juan was a member of the Guatemalan president's security detail, the Presidential Guard. This security unit had a secondary task, aside from protection, of receiving a daily hit list from the president’s palace, finding these persons and murdering them for being suspected ‘subversives.’

The bodies of the victims were typically left laying in the street as a message to the population. Juan stated to his family: "Me daba mucha lastima tener que malograr a las mujeres" - that is: "it really saddened me to have to tear-up the women [on the hit list]." In other words, he supposedly felt sad for having willfully kidnapped, tortured, gang-raped and finally murdered his mostly Mayan women and girl victims over a number of years...

During the mid 1990s, before I even knew what sex trafficking was, Juan’s family member explained to me that Juan was engaged in smuggling people into the United States under peculiar circum-stances, and that he had ties to Colombian mafias. Today, I understand that what was being explained to me was the fact that Juan, a former mass rapist and murderer of women, had 'graduated' to sex trafficking women into the U.S. while living a comfortable and otherwise 'normal' life in Washington, DC.

It was also explained to me that Juan would travel to Guatemala City, place an add in a local paper seeking young girls to work as escorts, and that 13 and 14-year-old girls would gleefully respond. Juan then 'trained' these girls as prostitutes, and sent them out as escorts for wealthy businessmen.

In Washington, DC, Juan, when working in the role of office building cleaning crew manager, imposed quid-pro-quo sexual demands upon the Latina women who applied to work at his office building.

The world's past denial of the Guatemalan Genocide plays into the world's current lack of attention to the ongoing femicide, mass kidnappings of babies for illegal adoptions and prostitution, and to the mass trafficking of Guatemalan women into the brothels of southern Mexico...

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry

June 18, 2008

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Mayan women and supporters gather to protest a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala - 1978

Photo: El Gráfico

In the early 1980's I lived in a house in Washington, DC where a couple who had fled Guatemala were invited to stay. The husband was an agronomist from Spain. His wife was a white U.S. citizen from the Midwest. They told me how they were saved from a death squad execution in Guatemala.

A Guatemalan woman friend had told the couple that her boyfriend, a high-ranking Guatemalan military officer, had told her one night while he was drunk that the couple had been put on the to-be-murdered list that was printed nightly in the presidential palace (using a computer system set up by the Israeli military). Having been warned by their friend, the couple and their young child immediately fled Guatemala.

What was their crime?

The husband taught people in rural Mayan communities how to grow food better and improve their nutrition. For the Guatemalan military, anything that benefited the Mayan population was subversive, and deserved a murderous response. Any arguments that the Mayan majority was subversive fly out the window when one understands that the goal of the genocide was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23, 2010

See also:

Israel and Guatemala

The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala roughly parallels that of its ties with El Salvador except the Guatemalan military was so unswervingly bloody that Congress never permitted the ... Reagan Administration to undo the military aid cutoff implemented during the Carter years.

Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel has delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign of terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors perpetrated by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: to ensure that the profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its agents worked actively to maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala.

Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 45,000 dead, and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile - mostly indigenous Mayan Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight million people - and thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the Guatemalan military. Three successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide against the Indians," had the benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as well as hardware...

...It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. and Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala.

Third World Traveler

See also:

May 26, 2009

More about Former Guatemalan president Efrain Ríos Montt

In 1978, [Efrain Ríos Montt] left the Roman Catholic Church and became a minister in the California-based Evangelical / Pentecostal Church of the Word; since then Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have been personal friends [both reverends Falwell and Robertson had publicly defended Ríos Montt's human rights abuses].

Ríos Montt's brother Mario is a Catholic bishop, and in 1998 succeeded the assassinated Bishop Juan Gerardi as head of the human rights commission uncovering the truth of the disappearances associated with the military and his brother.

About Efrain Ris Montt

Wikipedia

See also:

Bill Clinton during his presidency

Clinton says U.S. did wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999

...President Clinton admitted Wednesday to Guatemalans that U.S. support for "widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a mistake.

"For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that the support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression ... was wrong," Clinton said as he began a round-table discussion on Guatemala's search for peace.

"The United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala," he said on the third day of a Central American tour.

CNN

March 10, 1999

See also:

LibertadLatina

Read our special section of the crisis of sexual exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.

See also:

LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action, on the other hand...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

These workers from the Adulam shelter were arrested for forcing children and elderly clients into labor slavery, while also subjecting some of the victims to rape.

Photo: Mexico City Prosecutor's Office

Desmantelan redes de trata de personas en México

Una red de explotación laboral camuflada en un hogar social, que abusaba de menores de edad, y otra de prostitución que simulaba ser un salón "spa" fueron desarticuladas por la policía, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de Justicia de la capital mexicana.

El 13 de mayo la Fiscalía capitalina comenzó un operativo que se saldó este lunes con cinco detenciones y con la liberación de 37 personas, entre ellas 27 menores, a las que supuestamente se explotaba laboral y sexualmente en la casa de asistencia a indigentes "Adulam", ubicada en el oeste de la ciudad.

Asimismo, el pasado martes fueron capturados Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, presuntos responsables de la red de prostitución que se ocultaba en una casa de masajes antiestrés en el sur de la capital, donde se engañó y obligó a vender su cuerpo a varias jóvenes mediante amenazas y extorsiones.

En marzo, cuatro de los huéspedes de "Adulam" denunciaron que eran obligados a comerciar con distintos productos en la calle, sin obtener remuneración, y a entregar entre 700 y 800 pesos diarios (entre cincuenta y sesenta dólares) ya que, si no lo hacían, se les negaba el alimento.

Una menor de dieciséis años denunció también que Emilio Moctezuma, director de "Adulam" y uno de los detenidos, la violó mientras una de las asistentes de éste la sujetaba.

Todas las víctimas eran amenazadas constantemente con ser trasladadas a otras casas fuera del Distrito Federal y a un lugar llamado Isla Veracruz, donde la hermana de esta última chica fue enviada para ejercer la prostitución.

Además, una mujer declaró que desconoce el paradero de su hija desde que le fue arrebatada recién nacida y enviada a un hogar de asistencia en el vecino estado de México, y otra -también menor de edad-, aseguró que le practicaron un aborto sin su consentimiento.

Human trafficking networks are dismantled in Mexico City

The Mexico City Prosecutor's Office has announced that establishments dedicated to human exploitation have been taken down. One location, which operated as a shelter for children and the elderly. The other passed itself off as a massage parlor, but was actually a house of prostitution.

On May 13, 2010 the city prosecutor's office commenced an operation that concluded with 5 arrests and the liberation from slavery of 27 children and 10 adults, who were subjected to labor and sexual exploitation in the Casa Adulam shelter, located on the west side of Mexico City.

At the same time, the authorities arrested Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, who are alleged to have run a prostitution network out of a massage parlor. A number of youth were entrapped and forced to sell their bodies in prostitution while facing threats and extortion.

In March of 2010, four residents of Casa Adulam denounced to police that they were forced to sell between 700 and 800 pesos of various products on the streets of Mexico City. On days when the victims failed to meet their quota, they were not fed.

A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam shelter's director, Emilio Moctezuma, and a male resident of the shelter, while one of the women shelter workers held her down.

All of the victims were constantly threatened with being taken to other shelters outside of Mexico City.

One of these locations was called Veracruz Island. The sister of the above-mentioned rape victim had earlier been taken to that location and forced to engage in prostitution. Another victim, a woman, told police that her newborn child was kidnapped from her by shelter employees and taken to another shelter in the neighboring state of Mexico. An underage girl victim reported that she was forced to have an abortion without her consent.

EFE

May 21, 2010

See also:

Perspective on this case from the Breaking Chains Ministry

The article [above] highlights a very important action that is just the beginning of what is going to be massive fruit from the last trip I took... There were 5 arrests and at least 10 more coming from this operation including the scum who rob these children from their homes and families. They used physical... as well as mental abuse and threats to force these children to serve as prostitutes. The big one is still coming but this is VERY GOOD....the government of Mexico is working to stop this evil and that is God!!! This is just the beginning...there are 6 operations live right now so please continue to pray for Jesus justice...

Reverend Stephen Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Rescatan a 37... esclavizados de casa de asistencia

Sin embargo, los inculpados refirieron que por su labor habían sido recibidos por el presidente Felipe Calderón y en la Embajada de Estados Unidos.

De acuerdo con la dependencia policiaca, los detenidos explotaban a niños y adultos, a quienes obligaban a vender diversos productos en la calle sin recibir ningún pago.

Incluso, se informó que la cuota diaria que les exigían era de 800 pesos. En el operativo, se liberaron a 37 niños y... personas de la tercera edad.

Las víctimas dijeron a la policía que fueron violadas, otras que las obligaban a entregar a sus hijos recién nacidos, e incluso una dijo que fue presionaba para que abortara.

RECHAZO. Durante su presentación ante los medios de comunicación, los inculpados denunciaron una presunta fabricación de culpables por parte del Ministerio Público.

Y se dijeron dispuestos a someterse a cualquier tipo de investigación y análisis, “pero de autoridades que sean imparciales”.

Agregaron que el Albergue Casa Adulam goza de una trayectoria reconocida por varias organizaciones sociales, incluso por las propias autoridades federales.

Es de mencionar que los cinco detenidos cumplirán un arraigo de 30 días.

Thirty seven are rescued from shelter

This story repeats the story of the arrests in the Casa Adulam case. It adds that Casa Adulam was previously praised for its work by the Calderon administration, and they had been received at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Cronica

May 21, 2010

Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and investigated since 2007. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino, (right) appointed in 2009 as  Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City on April 14, 2010

A... Moment With Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino... talks at length about her activism.

Mirror: Could you talk about your work as a human rights activist?

Sorvino: I was Amnesty International's campaign spokesperson to “Stop Violence Against Women” for over two years and on the subject of trafficking, I am Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ((UNODC).

Mirrror: What’s been your experience?

Sorvino: I just came back from Mexico for the kick-off the U.N.’s worldwide campaign to combat trafficking. The goal is to raise awareness and to get countries to commit to fighting this trafficking within their borders.**

Mirror: Can you talk about that trip?

Sorvino: It was a fascinating trip and I did a lot of public speaking. It’s a country where not much is known about trafficking [?-LL], so I felt like I was able to be informative. The most important thing for me, by far, was going to go to a shelter for recently liberated girls, and I mean girls. I’ve met trafficking victims before, but they were all past 30. These were teenagers and children. I met a little girl who was eight years old who had been sold into a brothel when she was four. She was walking around with a big smile on her face showing everyone her arithmetic homework. When I saw her I thought ‘Oh God, please tell me she’s the daughter of someone here.’ She was a victim, just like all the other girls, but we should call them survivors. I felt like I wanted to adopt her, but I can’t adopt everyone who is needy. I just wanted to save her and protect her for the rest of her life so she would never undergo anything like what had happened to her. There is only one shelter in Mexico for girls like this and I got to meet thirty lucky survivors, but there are hundreds of thousands of girls exactly like them all over Mexico...

Mirror: How many cases are prosecuted in the U.S.?

Sorvino: We have only a 1 percent solve rate and have about same number of trafficking cases as murder cases. Can you imagine if we only solved 1 percent of the murder cases? So it means that we have intensify our efforts and raise public awareness, train the police, get the judiciary to be very well informed, and encourage everyone to become a watcher. It’s very subterranean and hard to find, but it’s always concerned citizens who call in with tips that break cases...

Mirror: Why are men attracted to these little girls?

Sorvino: The sexual drive in men is so strong that unless they are educated correctly throughout their formative years, once they are focused on a certain kind of sex object that they find stimulating, that’s going to continue to be stimulating for them. Every culture has always put a prize on virginity and youthful beauty so a child who hasn’t been “spoiled” by other people will always be more ideal to the “John” who wants to have something special. But, men need to be educated to the terrible sorrow that behavior is creating because many times the buyer of commercial sex is not really thinking about the individual, but just view it as a service. I think if you did sensitivity training for males worldwide, you might be able to discourage them from buying sex.

Mirror: We applaud you for doing this important work.

Sorvino: Thank you so much...

Beverly Cohn

The Santa Monica Mirror

Edition 50 - May 20-26, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

Cassandre St. Vil

See also:

Haitian student had 'no chance to scream' when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath

Christina Boyle

The New York Daily News

April 18,2010

Escala violencia hacia las mujeres en campamentos de Haití

Preparan abogadas estrategia legal para abordar problemática

Una delegación de abogadas y activistas de Estados Unidos constató en Haití, la alarmante violencia que persiste contra las mujeres en esa nación, y la escalada de otras formas de agresión en los asentamientos provisionales.

Ante la afirmación de algunas fuentes oficiales que responsabilizan a las víctimas de la escalda, “es importante contrarrestar este mito de que es por la promiscuidad, son crímenes violentos por extraños en la noche y ameritan la atención de la policía y otros grupos que ayudan a organizar los campamentos” dijo la coordinación de la delegación y abogado del Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Blaine Bookey.

Los testimonios de mujeres niñas dan cuenta de que son crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y asaltantes que las golpean y las amenaza si denuncian las violaciones. Las mujeres entrevistadas también sostienen que cuando reportan, la policía no las toma en serio.

“Es inaceptable que estas violaciones no sean castigadas, ahora estamos trabajando casos legales contra los violadores y para que las mujeres tengan la justicia que se merecen” dijo Mario Joseph, abogado del Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) que recibió la delegación en su oficina de Puerto Príncipe...

María Suárez Toro

RIF / CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

U.S. Delegation Finds Inadequate Response, and “Victim-Blaming” Approach to Rapes in Haitian Displacement Camps

Lawyers collect rape survivor accounts and plan legal strategy

Port-au-Prince - In over a week of on-site interviews and exploration, a delegation of U.S. lawyers, health professionals, and community activists found continued alarming rates of rape and other gender-based violence (GBV) in the displaced persons camps throughout Port-au-Prince since the Haitian earthquake in January. Expressed sentiments on the part of some Haitian government officials that victims are somehow to blame for the rapes is outrageous to human rights attorneys and community members, who find that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis. Medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults.

"It is critical that we dispel the myth that these rapes are a result of promiscuity," said Blaine Bookey, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and coordinator of the delegation. "These are violent crimes being perpetrated by strangers in the dark of night and they merit the attention of the police and other groups helping organize the camps."

The vast majority of the women and girls reported being raped by groups of armed, unknown assailants who often beat them in the course of the attack, and threatened them with further violence if they reported the rape. Perpetrators often attack at night, when women are asleep beside their children; or when they go to the latrines, men wait for them in the dark stalls. "It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished," said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which hosted the delegation at its office in Port-au-Prince. "We are now building strong legal cases to hold rapists accountable and bring these women the justice they deserve."

Women who report rapes to the police describe being turned away, not taken seriously, or told to notify the police if they see the rapists again. "Pa tap vini" or "They never would have come," described one woman as to why she did not report her rape. These experiences foster the perception that reporting to the police is futile, especially if the survivor cannot identify her assailants. "If we are going to overcome a culture of complete impunity for rapists, we must create environments in which survivors are able to report these crimes and be taken seriously" said Lisa Davis, an attorney with MADRE. "Haiti's political and economic crises both before and as a result of the earthquake still do not relieve the authorities of the responsibility to protect women from sexual assault," said Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law...

The Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH)

May 17, 2010

Note: The above-described conditions of impunity facing women and girls in Haiti are also the daily 'normal' experiences of many women and girls across all nations in Latin America. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA / Mexico

The Salvation Army's Christine MacMillan speaks at the recent Oregon anti-trafficking rally

Battling human trafficking

Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Committee for the Salvation Army, speaks last Friday at a rally put on by the student group, Slavery Still Exists. MacMillan spoke about the causes and effects of human trafficking.

Slavery Still Exists, an ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) student group, kicked off its human trafficking and advocacy awareness campaign with a rally Friday.

Kristin Rudolph, co-president of the club, said the rally’s purpose was to make students aware of a growing, worldwide injustice.

Community members gathered in the EMU amphitheater at noon to listen to the featured speaker, Christine MacMillan, talk about her personal experiences with human trafficking as the director of the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. The International Social Justice Commission has worked to fight global human rights violations, such as human trafficking, since its inception in 2007...

Rally attendees expressed surprise at learning the prevalence and proximity of human trafficking locally.

“I really didn’t know that this was such a big issue where I live,” University sophomore Apolinar Montero-Sanchez said. “I’m glad that people are getting aware of this stuff, because it’s a big problem.”

MacMillan shared several stories of human trafficking during the rally. For example, she explained that while sex trafficking is well-known, there are other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking human organs. While visiting Mexico City, MacMillan discovered how unmarked ambulances pick up homeless children, strap the children onto gurneys, bring them to the hospital and drug them with anesthetics in order to traffic their organs. After removing organs, such as kidneys, the traffickers leave most of the children for dead.

Because the majority of the world is not informed about the topic, it continues to go on unbeknownst to many, according to MacMillan. She described human trafficking as “a very hidden problem in our world.”

She urged rally attendees to gain more knowledge about human trafficking and join the fight to end this problem...

Malaea Relampagos

Oregon Daily Emerald

May 17, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Maryland, USA

Police Add Patrols After Man Grabs Girl

Annapolis police are adding patrols near school bus stops and around Bates Middle School after a pair of suspicious incidents involving a man approaching children.

ABC7's Brad Bell spotted some anxious parents waiting while their children got off school buses Friday afternoon.

"It has been the talk in this neighborhood the last couple days," said Joe Hall, a parent. "There's a lot of concerned parents."

So far there have been two reported incidents. On Wednesday, May 5, a man in a car approached a 13-year-old girl and, in Spanish, made suggestive remarks. The man then tried to lure her into his car, police said.

On Tuesday, May 18, a man matching the description from the first encounter made lewd comments and then actually grabbed a 13-year-old girl by her arm in a neighborhood a couple miles from where the first incident took place. The girl was able to break away, but police fear he may strike again

"The reason we're on patrol in the school bus areas and the walkways is to make sure something like that doesn't happen," said Ray Weaver, an Annapolis police spokesman.

Parents and neighbors appreciate the increased police presence and say they, too, are now on the look-out.

"Well, of course it concerns me to know there is a predator out there that's trying to victimize children," said Nancy Fields, an Annapolis resident.

"Me personally, since I have kids, I don't think he should be on the street," Hall said.

Police described the man as Hispanic. One victim said the man was 30-35 years old, average height, with black thinning hair. The other victim described him as six feet, one-inch tall, with a slim build. He wore a black baseball cap with the letters "NY" on the front, a blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt with white stripes and blue jeans.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a small, dark blue Honda and as a blue sedan with dark-tinted windows.

WJLA

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mississippi, USA

William Velasquez Castillo

Illegal immigrant arrested on child molestation charge

Pascagoula - An illegal immigrant sought for nearly a month and a half was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'm hiding from the cops" when he was arrested Wednesday on child molestation charges, and tried to wear the shirt inside out Thursday when he went before a Jackson County judge.

A guard removed William Velasquez Castillo from the courtroom, and the 27-year-old returned with his shirt on the proper way.

The guard said that Castillo must have switched his shirt around at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center before he was brought to the courthouse.

Castillo was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Investigators had been searching for Castillo since April 3, when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said.

A warrant was issued for Castillo on April 23, and detectives believe he fled the area shortly after learning he was wanted, Byrd said.

Castillo was discovered by authorities at the Dorsett Hotel on Main Street in Lucedale.

Castillo told County Judge Larry Wilson that he was unemployed and had a previous felony shoplifting conviction.

"I served 1 year and 1 day," Castillo said. "It was from Harrison County."

Wilson said bail for Castillo at $50,000 and placed a hold on him for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

"ICE has their own investigation," Byrd said.

Cherie Ward

GulfFive.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Arizona, USA

Jose Juan Martinez

Gilbert man accused of molesting girl for 4 years

Gilbert police officers arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl for four years.

Police were called to a home near Neely Street and Elliot Road Monday evening. The victim's mother told officers that her daughter said Jose Juan Martinez had molested her.

The girl told investigators that Martinez had molested her over the past four years and the most recent time was Friday.

Martinez was booked into jail on suspicion of 39 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Who Tried to Kidnap Teenage Girl

Midland Police need your help tracking a down a man they say tried to kidnap a teenaged girl in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

It happened between 5:00 and 5:30 near the Family Dollar in the Kingsway Shopping Center on West Illinois.

Police tell NewsWest 9, the girl was walking home when a Hispanic man pulled up next to her, blocked her, then tried to talk her in to getting in his car.

The teen was able to get away.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20's to late 30's, about 5'9," and heavy set weighing between 250 - 300 pounds.

He has moles or acne on his face and was wearing a white T-shirt.

He was driving a dented two door silver car.

If you have any information, call Midland police or midland crime stoppers at 694-TIPS.

NewsWest9.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New York, USA

Thug bashes Chinese woman with pipe, assaults her in Queens: cops

A 23-year-old woman is on life-support in a Queens hospital after a weekend attack by a pipe-wielding rapist two months after she arrived in New York from China, cops said.

Officials are working desperately to get a visa for the woman's mother, who lives outside Beijing, so she can come to Queens to face the awful task of deciding her daughter's fate.

The young woman was returning from grocery shopping in downtown Flushing around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a drunken Queens man smashed her in the head with a pipe and dragged her into an alley, authorities said.

Once inside the alley along 41st Road, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe, according to court papers.

Two months ago, the young woman, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, traveled from her native China on a student visa. She moved in with a distant uncle in Flushing.

"She was working in a nail salon, saving up money. She was going to start attending school," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). "She had good grades in China. That's why her parents wanted her to come and expand her horizons."

Now, the woman who once dreamed of a better future is in the intensive care unit at New York Hospital Queens. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to her vaginal area.

Meng said she and Rep. Gary Ackerman (R-Bayside) are working to expedite a visa for the woman's mother. Cops collared Cruz a few blocks from the crime scene after a witness, who saw him drag the woman into the alley and then emerge alone - called 911. Police later recovered the pipe about a block from the alley.

Cruz, who did not have a criminal record, emigrated from Mexico two years ago and found work at a Manhattan fish market.

He was arraigned late Tuesday on a slew of charges, including a top count of attempted murder. Prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges if the woman is removed from life-support.

Cruz's family said he claims he blacked out drunk and doesn't remember the incident.

"He woke up and found himself cuffed to the hospital bed," said his stunned sister, Patricia Salazar, 26. "He never acted violently....We just don't know why he would do this. We can't explain it."

John Lauinger

The New York Daily News

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

California, USA

Illegal alien charged with murder

Barstow - A 31-year-old illegal alien who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old woman has now been charged with murder.

Melissa Curley of Arizona died of strangulation with asphyxiation, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Wednesday.

Police arrested Cesar Rascon in Yermo Saturday afternoon and charged him with rape and kidnapping for the purposes of rape. Now Barstow police are charging him with murder.

Curley’s body was found at the Sunset Inn motel at 860 West Main Street after police received a 911 call at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Detectives learned that Curley was staying at the motel, but wasn’t registered for the room her body was found in. The room was registered to Rascon.

Police found Rascon working at a Yermo gas station at 4:57 p.m. Saturday and arrested him.

V V Daily Press

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Idaho, USA

Rape suspect deported 4 times

Edmonds - The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.

An officer responding to a woman's cry for help Sunday night found 46-year-old Jose Madrigal on top of the woman and arrested him.

According to court documents, the woman told police that Madrigal had followed her and offered her $35 for sex, but she said no. She said Madrigal then forced her into the bushes on the north side of the store and raped her.

Documents say Madrigal told police "Sometimes we have control in our brains, but we make mistakes."

The 28-year-old Edmonds woman was treated at a hospital.

Snohomish County prosecutors have charged Madrigal in district court with second degree rape. He is also is being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Associated Press

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010

Excerpt

May 19, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Willcox, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as other sex offenses in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender who had been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for driving under the influence and willful cruelty to a child by means of sexual penetration with a foreign object in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Columbus, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject… was a registered sex offender in the state of Arizona. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault in the state of Illinois and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child/sexual contact in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Wyoming and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for child molestation in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Washington State, USA

Investigators: Edmonds rape suspect deported nine times

Edmonds - KING 5 Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That's much more than previously reported.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement won't comment on the case of Jose Lopez Madrigal. But KING 5 got the information through confidential sources and documents.

Larry Klein was the man who heard the alleged victim's cries for help. Police say the suspect pulled the woman off the street to a dumpster and raped her.

"I could see the back of his head. I could see his pants were down. I could see her lying on the ground. I could hear her crying, but I couldn't really see her face," said Klein.

Klein called police, who quickly arrested the suspect. But learning his identity took much longer because of some 30 aliases. It was only through fingerprints that they identified him as Madrigal, a Mexican citizen.

Madrigal's arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That's the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California...

People who live near the scene of Sunday's alleged rape wonder how it could keep happening.

"Makes you wonder, what are we doing wrong? How is he getting back in here?" said Kirby Aumick.

"It’s troubling. I mean, if this man should not have been in this country, he should have been behind bars then, really, this is a senseless tragedy," said Klein.

According to our sources, Madrigal's last contact before Sunday was around 2003. So, it's not clear how much of that time Madrigal was in this country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has refused to comment on the case which started making national headlines when it was learned that Madrigal had been deported several times prior to the Edmonds case...

Chris Ingalls

KING 5 News

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA

Perez gets jail time

Judge cites official abuses

Former North Wasco County schools liaison Carlos Perez was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail and five years probation for making sexual advances to a 41-year-old Hispanic woman who had sought his help in receiving basic community services and Spanish-English translation aid.

Although he cut the jail time in half from the 90 days requested by Wasco County Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly said he was compelled to order some incarceration because Perez, a public official with many community and family connections, took advantage of and preyed on a low-income woman who speaks no English and who is an illegal alien.

“The offensive part of this has less to do with your laying hands on this woman than on your abuse of power,” Kelly told Perez before about 35 people at the Wasco County Courthouse in The Dalles. “You have status and respect in the community – you have power, and she has none.”

Kelly also ordered Perez to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with the victim or to come within 500 feet of her home. Perez, who was a family liaison and coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Educational Service District, is also barred from visiting any North Wasco County schools and from participating in any migrant services programs.

In addition, Perez will have to pay up to $3,000 into a state victims’ restitution fund to cover counseling sessions for the woman. He is also being let go from his job as a translator for Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Kelly said.

Perez maintained at Thursday’s proceeding that he was innocent, that the sentence was unfair and alleged it was the result of racial bias...

Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said he thought the sentence was “appropriate,” and that there was “no evidence at all that this was based on his race,” Nisley said.

“The point is that a jury believed a Hispanic woman over a Hispanic man,” Nisley said. “It isn’t about Mr. Perez’s race.” ...

Keri Brenner

The Dalles Chroncicle

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Store surveillance photo of suspect

Suspect sought in string of sex assaults at stores

Charlotte - Police are still looking for a man they believe is behind several sexual assaults inside stores.

They have stepped up patrols at shopping centers in Southeast and Union County after they say at least five fondling incidents in three stores might be connected.

They say that they believe one man is responsible for the sexual assaults: two that happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday, one at a Harris Teeter grocery store on Saturday of last week and two more at another Harris Teeter, this time in Union County, sometime in between.

WBTV talked to Dan Biber, a forensic psychologist who gave us insight as to what drives a person to sexual violence.

"Let's call it adrenaline," he said. "He gets a rush. Part of the rush is not just the sexual rush of groping women, but also the rush of doing it in public when there's a high risk of detection that he successfully avoids."

That is frightening to shoppers like Tracy Brown who said, "that's even more frightening to know that someone is getting a rush from assaulting people because ultimately, that's what you're doing."

Another reason? Biber told us the man could be rationalizing his actions by downplaying the severity of the assaults.

"He might in his own mind, think this is no big deal," he said. "He might just think, well, rape would be bad but this doesn't count."

According to CMPD officers, the girl was in the grocery store at 11516 Providence Road at approximately 12:15 p.m. when a man came up and forcefully fondled her from behind.

Police say two more women reported being groped at a Harris Teeter in Union County. They say, before Union Co. deputies arrived, two employees escorted the suspect off the property because the victims didn't want to press charges.

The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon when two women told police they were forcibly fondled at a Wal-Mart store on Highway 51.

The incident happened around 2:24 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 3209 Pineville-Matthews Road. Investigators say the two victims, who are 55 and 47 years old, actually tried to restrain the man--but he was able to get away.

On Thursday morning, police released in-store photos of the suspect from two incidents at the Harris Teeters. The photos were taken on May 15 between 12:15 and 12:20 pm at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man who is about 25 years old, and is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Although the incidents happened inside the stores, police say the man drives a white van with ladders on it...

WBTV

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Reverend Moises Cotto

Authorities say evidence backs charges against Newark pastor in Linden sex assault case

Newark - At the Newark church where his congregants dress all in white, he was known as a husband, father and respected pastor for more than 20 years.

But, authorities said, Moises Cotto, the 55-year-old pastor, had been meeting for the past two years with a female congregant at a motel in Linden where the pair had sex — and forced two teenage girls to videotape them in the act.

Cotto was arrested at his apartment in East Orange on Monday night, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.

His parishioner, Brenda Pabon, 37, of Middlesex County, has been charged with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a minor.

But Wednesday, the assistant pastor of the Newark church, Yahweh Templo El Candelero, said he is convinced Cotto is innocent. He called Pabon a "problematic parishioner," saying she had recently threatened the pastor and vowed to leave his congregation along with her husband.

"I do think that an injustice is being done, based on my friendship with the minister," said Assistant Pastor A. Diaz. "There’s no truth to the allegations. He’s been an upstanding pastor for more than 20 years."

The church carefully screens pastors, Diaz said, and holds them to "high standards."

Prosecutors say they have significant physical evidence that corroborates the victims’ allegations...

Julie O'Connor

The Star-Ledger

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Peru

90% de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas

Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron embarazadas producto de violación, frecuentemente por incesto.

Estos datos brindados por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las causas y los efectos de esta realidad.

La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP), coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal, no será posible realizar un real cambio de los problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la comisión estudia la legislación comparada de otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia familiar...

Ninety percent of young adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape

[We note that the definition of 'rape' used in this Peruvian news article refers to forcible rape, and not statutory rape as that crime is defined in the United States. - LL]

Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant due to rape, often in situations of incest.
These statistics, provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed in the Congress of the Republic by the Special Commission to Revise the Law of Protection Against Family Violence. Their goal is to understand the causes and effects of this reality.

Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who is the coordinator of the commission, said that without [congressional] funding, it would be impossible to bring about real changes in the problem of family violence that exists in the country. She added that the lack of qualified personnel, specialized judges and resources for training teachers to develop relevant content for students all hinder the fight against domestic violence.

In regard to punishing rapists, the commission is examining the laws of others nations. Commission members note that under the penal codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to mention Mexico and other Latin American nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age 12] can go free if he proposes to marry his victim and she consents.

For Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela Ramos Movement, these statistics demonstrate that work should begin immediately on this issue, especially in school and family settings, so that victims know what to do if they are raped.
According to PAHO's study, 33% of women between 16 and 49 have been victims of sexual harassment, and at least 45% have been threatened, insulted or have had their personal property destroyed.

Diario la Primera Peru

May 19, 2010

See also:

Young adolescent mothers learn to love and care for their children at the Chuka Chuka center.

In Peru it is not uncommon for women to raise 5 or more children., each with a different biological father. What is also common is for the mother’s latest companion to rape the eldest daughters, often resulting in pregnancy.

One expects a reaction from the mother, but not the sort of reaction that is so evident here in Peru. As a result of the rape the mother feels shamed and jealous and abandons her own daughter who is often without the comfort of additional family members for support and understanding.

These abandoned, pregnant, adolescent rape victims (‘adolescents’), often only thirteen or fourteen years old face a dull future. They are without money; support; homes and job prospects. Most worrying of all, they are carrying an unborn baby, who will enter a world where education will not be available to them and their options for a self-sustainable life non-existent.

It is not uncommon for such desperate girls to drift into the sex trade and drugs; further blighting their lives and potential to contribute to society

Our mission: To save as many of these girls and their unborn children as we can, to prepare them for and steer them into a richer more productive life than they could have known without this project.

Chuka Chuka

See also:

Adolescent prostitution in Lima, Peru

Video news report from Peru showing underage prostitution in the capital city of Lima. Young sex workers are shown sniffing glue, caring for their toddlers in the prostitution zone late at night, and negotiating with johns for the going price of 20 Soles (US$7.00).

(In Spanish)

ATV

Posted on YouTube


Added: May. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Slain Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson

Businessman sentenced for harboring illegal alien cop-killer

A Houston, Texas landscaping business owner was sentenced to three months in prison and three months home confinement for harboring the illegal alien who molested a child and ultimately killed a Houston police officer in 2006, according to a report obtained yesterday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Houston Police Department.

Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, and now a convicted felon, was also sentenced to a five-year probationary term with special conditions by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore. Camp pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, admitting that he knowingly harbored Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez (Quintero), an illegal alien, by employing him and leasing a residence to him.

According to court documents, Camp employed Quintero in his landscape business. When Quintero was arrested and charged by the State of Texas with indecency with a child in 1998, Camp bonded Quintero out of jail and continued to employ him. Quintero was sentenced to a term of deferred adjudication for the state offense.

Quintero was deported in 1999, but illegally reentered the United States in Arizona, then flew to Houston. When Quintero returned to Houston, he resumed his employment with Camp. Camp also rented Quintero a home and listed Quintero's wife, a U.S. citizen, in government records as an employee instead of Quintero.

On Sept. 22, 2006, Quintero was arrested while driving a Camp company vehicle by Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson. While sitting in the back seat of Officer Johnson's patrol car, Quintero retrieved a pistol hidden on his person, and shot and killed Officer Johnson. Quintero was convicted of capital murder in the 248th District Court of Harris County, Texas, and has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police

The Examiner

May 12, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Issues that may not (but should) be discussed  during Mexican President Felipe Calderón's May 19-20, 2010 visit to Washington, DC

The May 19-20, 2010 visit of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to the White House is being closely watched in regard to how the U.S. will react to Calderón's speech before Congress. We know that the war against drug cartels and immigration are top on the agenda.

The issue of mass gender atrocities facilitated by state corruption, complacency and criminal impunity are also critical issues in U.S. / Mexican relations. While these topics are rarely discussed in the mainstream English-language press, holding Mexico's federal government accountable for defending the lives, integrity and dignity of women and girls is just as important as addressing the drug war and immigration. In fact, we believe that the U.S. press needs to step up to the plate and ask both President Calderón and President Obama about their commitment to saving women and girls from mass kidnapping, mass rape and wholesale enslavement, which are crimes that impact tens of thousands of women and children each year in the Aztec Nation.

President Calderón took a major positive step on April 14, 2010 by launching the world's first nationally sponsored instance of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Yet a day later, Calderón's diplomats derided, in front of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the rape complaint of indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega, who had been gang raped by soldiers in 2002, with no effective response from the Mexican civilian and military criminal justice systems.

We repeat here below our list of some of the most critical gender rights issues that are not being addressed by the Calderón administration.

**

During the past several years LibertadLatina has dedicated its efforts to bringing world attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and enslavement of women, children and men that occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico.

According to the Southern Cone (southern South American) office of the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in annual profits created by the human slavery industry globally are generated in Latin America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal marketplace for worldwide slavery victims has never been responded to by the  engagement of 50% of the global anti-trafficking movement's energy, resources or focus.

That lack of attention, together with the willingness of past U.S. administrations to effectively ignore Latin America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow exponentially in the region while the world effectively looked the other way in apathy.

Mexico is home base for the largest problems in Latin American human trafficking.

We have decided to focus on the crisis in Mexico because solving that one single national emergency will have the most positive impact on the entire regional crisis.

In the United States, 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border into the U.S.

The population of Mexico (and especially its poor and vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer immensely from modern slavery. In addition, Central American migrants are kidnapped, raped and trafficked by the many thousands as they cross Mexico. Some are also murdered.

Southern Mexico's narrow border with Guatemala and Belize is the one 'bottleneck' where literally millions of South and Central American migrants who seek to travel to the United States must cross into Mexico. Human traffickers and also rapist thugs and robbers await these innocent migrants like trolls under a bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls among these migrants every single day of the year with complete impunity on the Mexican side of its southern border, with no discernable response from Mexican officials and authorities. In fact, police and military forces have harassed migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a 6 month period, according to a study by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission). A number of those victims are sold into slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

The NGO Save the Children has described the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region in the entire world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The city of Tapachula, for example, has 20,000 persons engaging in prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels. Half of that number are children and underage youth at any given time. Local police don't interfere with this 'business,' they focus on keeping child prostitutes away from schools and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Across Mexico, women, and especially those from Mexico's traditionally discriminated against Indigenous peoples, who are 30% of the population, are also raped with impunity. The perpetrators are not only criminal thugs, but also military soldiers engaged in the drug war. President Calderón has steadfastly denied that any problem exists with military rapes of civilians, and he has refused to allow accused soldiers to be tried in civilian courts.

On April 15, 2010, one day after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign, President Calderón sent his federal lawyers to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to fight against Inés Fernández Ortega, an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by soldiers in her home in 2002. The government lawyers denied that any rape took place, and blamed the victim for the lack of justice (an assertion that women's rights activists in Mexico are repulsed by).

Fernández Ortega, her family and her lawyers have faced intimidation and death threats. Her brother, a witness in her case, was murdered shortly after she began her now 8 year effort to find justice in her case.

For Inés Fernández Ortega and many other women victims of criminal impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has become the venue of last resort after having faced institutional injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and uncaring government response to their plight.

During the 500 year period since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Indigenous women have been easy target for rapists and human traffickers. We who are Indigenous know this history inside out, no matter what corner of the Americas we hail from.

What is an abomination in today's world is the fact that in Mexico and across much of Latin America, Indigenous women and girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized with the implied consent of national governments. By extension, none of these women can count on the protection of their national governments and local police forces in the face of such gender atrocities.

In Mexico, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage youth have been kidnapped and then sold to the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then transport the victims to Japan, where they are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes. Despite the existence of this story during the past several years, there are no visible signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever lifted a finger to rescue the victims.

In a similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous  girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old. The sale price was $25,000 each, because Indigenous girl children were considered to be "exotic" merchandise.

All of these issues are emergencies that demand your immediate attention, President Calderón. We call upon U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise these important issues with Mexico.

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to defend and rescue them now!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Jacobo Reyes

Cops: Man Fondled Little Girl While She Slept

Police say the suspect confessed to fondling five other girls and women.

Santa Ana .-- Police have arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom in Santa Ana.

Jacobo Reyes was arrested Monday and is being held without bail, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertanga.

Santa Ana investigators linked him to the crime with DNA evidence, Bertagna said.

Investigators asked Reyes to come in for questioning about the Feb. 11 attack in the 300 block of South Newhope Street.

They arrested him after he confessed to fondling up to five other girls and women ages 11 to 22 as they slept, Bertagna said.

In the Feb. 11 attack, police say Reyes climbed into the girl's bedroom, gaining entry by removing a screen in an unlocked window.

The girl could not describe her attacker because it was too dark, but he left behind genetic material that matched Reyes' DNA, Bertagna said.

Reyes was booked on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not yet charged him.

KTLA News

May 19, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Previously deported illegal alien admits to being serial molester

On Tuesday, police in Santa Ana arrested Roberto Jacobo Reyes, after DNA evidence linked him to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in February. According to police, Reyes entered the girl’s bedroom through an unlocked window.

Under questioning for that crime, Reyes has reportedly admitted to having assaulted at least four other victims, ages 11-22, in the same manner.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the LA Times: “His M.O. was to break into unsecured windows or unsecured doors.“

Reyes is currently being held in the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary, while the Orange County district attorney prepares more charges.

In 2007, Reyes was deported back to Mexico after serving three years in prison for burglary. While in prison, his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault.

In 1998, Reyes was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine.

Past arrests also include charges for peeping and possession of stolen property.

Though an illegal alien with a criminal record, Reyes was working for a landscaping business in Santa Ana at the time of his latest arrest.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New York, USA

Detective Oscar Sandino

NYPD Detective Oscar Sandino charged with demanding sex from women he arrested

A New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective was charged Tuesday with preying on women he arrested - on police property.

The alleged attacks by Detective Oscar Sandino date to 2006 and could land the 13-year veteran behind bars for three years if he's convicted on federal charges.

His lawyer dismissed the accusations as "old news" and questioned the credibility of the women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit.

But federal prosecutors Pamela Chen and Licha Nyiendo said the evidence that Sandino is more perp than protector is "substantial and irrefutable."

"The persistent and repetitive nature of the defendant's misconduct demonstrates that he is a sexual predator," they wrote in court papers.

They say that in August 2006, when he was assigned to the Queens North Narcotics Bureau, he coerced a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her cousin's criminal case.

In February 2008, while arresting a woman and her boyfriend on drug charges, he took the woman into a bedroom and forced her to undress, the feds charge.

When he brought the woman to the 110th Precinct stationhouse for booking, Sandino warned she would lose her children unless she had sex with him, prosecutors say.

Sandino allegedly took the woman into the bathroom, ordered her to pull down her pants and molested her.

"Wow, you have an earring down there," Sandino said to the woman, according to a lawsuit she filed.

The victim reported Sandino to the Internal Affairs Bureau, and investigators gathered text messages, phone records and secretly taped conversations to corroborate the allegations.

In a third attack in September, Sandino allegedly took a handcuffed woman arrested for disorderly conduct into a room at Brooklyn Central Booking and made her bare her breasts.

Sandino, 37, was charged with civil rights violations and released on a $250,000 bond to be co-signed by his estranged wife, who lives in Arizona.

Defense lawyer Peter Brill claimed the Queens district attorney had passed on prosecuting Sandino because the second victim was not credible.

John Marzulli

New York Daily News

May 18, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Juan Gonzalez

Children, Youth and Families Department will report immigrant status of criminals

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department will start reporting violent juvenile criminals who are foreign nationals to immigration authorities.

Governor Bill Richardson ordered the change after Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque fitness club earlier in May.

Gonzales has been in trouble for sex crimes twice in the past, before he turned 18. In both those cases, CYFD never told authorities Gonzales was in the country illegally.

Taryn Bianchin

KOB.com

May 18, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Man accused of molesting girl at gym faces judge

The man accused of molesting a young girl at a Midtown Albuquerque fitness club was in court on Thursday.

Twenty-year-old Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, appeared before a judge on sex assault charges.

Police say Gonzalez pinned a six-year-old girl against a wall at the Midtown Sports and Wellness near Carlisle and Menaul and began touching her sexually.

Police say Gonzalez told them he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he has a problem.

Charlie Pabst

KOB.com

May 06, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Man accused of molesting 14-year-old girl is illegal alien

Bethlehem police said a 23-year-old man who allegedly had sex with a then 14-year-old girl is from Guatemala and illegally in the country. Ivan Antonio Alvarez-Lopez, who last lived in New Jersey, met the girl, who is now pregnant with his child, according to police, through a mutual friend in September. The two talked on the phone until allegedly meeting in December at the Comfort Suites in South Side Bethlehem.

Police allege the two met there four times and had unprotected sex. Alvarez-Lopez knew the girl was 14, police said, and she knew he was from Guatemala.

Alvarez-Lopez was charged with sex crimes and referred to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

JD Malone

Lehigh Valley Live

May 13, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Border Patrol Agents Capture Three Sex Offenders in One Day

Calexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector apprehended three illegal aliens Wednesday who are convicted sex offenders.

One of the men was apprehended in the morning by agents from the El Centro station. Record checks revealed the man had previously been convicted of assault to commit rape and sex with a minor.

The other two men were apprehended in the afternoon, along with four other illegal aliens, near the downtown Calexico port of entry. Record checks revealed that one of the men had a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and that the other man had been convicted of sexual assault of a child.

All three men will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.

Tribune Weekly Chronicle

May 05, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Virginia, USA

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say Arlington police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman behind a restaurant on May 14.

A woman was walking behind a restaurant in the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard around 10:50 pm when a man grabbed her from behind, police said in a Tuesday press release. He held her arm and sexually assaulted her with his other hand, according to police, then fled on foot after the woman fought back.

The suspect was described as a "white Hispanic male" who was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall with a medium build, police said. He was wearing a white chef's style jacket and dark pants.

The attack was similar to another one that took place on May 8 in the 1800 block of N. Scott St., police said.

Police ask anyone with information about these attacks to call Detective Robert Icolari at (703) 228-4240 or e-mail him. They can also call the county's tip line at (703) 228-4242 or Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

David P. Marino-Nachison

The Washington Post

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican President Felipe Calderón will address the Congress of the United States on Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mexico's Calderon Needs to Listen, Not Just Lecture U.S.

Nine years have passed since a Mexican President last addressed the U.S. Congress. That was Vicente Fox, just days before 9/11, after which Al Qaeda's horrors all but erased Mexico from Washington's foreign policy radar. But, surprise, our southern neighbor's problems refused to go away. While we were fighting off an Iraqi insurgency, Mexico's drug war morphed into a ghastly narco-insurgency that threatens to spill over the Rio Grande. While we were dropping the ball on immigration reform, Mexico kept pouring undocumented workers into the U.S...

What's still missing is a real sense that Calderon takes seriously enough the only real long-term solution to Mexico's drug war: police reform. "Calderon has taken some positive steps to improve federal police," says Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, director of the U.S.-Mexico Studies Center at the University of California-San Diego. "But Mexico still doesn't have real investigative police forces." And in Mexico, where most cops moonlight for the cartels, the narcos seem more spooked by the prospect of more professional police than by the presence of more soldiers. Last month I interviewed the police director of Calderon's home state of Michoacan, who had just announced stricter recruitment criteria for cops. A week later her SUV was attacked by narco-hitmen with assault rifles and grenades. Miraculously, she survived, but her two bodyguards - who had watched the door during our interview - were killed.

Calderon also needs to prioritize another longer-lasting weapon: anti-poverty programs that give younger and poorer Mexicans economic opportunities beyond joining drug gangs. Mexicans in hard hit areas like Juarez are giving him an earful in that regard these days, and so should the U.S. - not just because it might blunt narco-recruiting, but because more social development efforts south of the border also mean fewer indocumentados crossing north of it. Immigration is as much foreign policy as it is domestic policy, and the U.S. has got to push both itself and Mexico's political class to do more to stanch the flow of illegals at the source, inside Mexico, instead of only at the border...

Given how feckless U.S. immigration reform efforts usually turn out to be, it seems all the more urgent that both sides do more to promote ways to keep Mexican workers in Mexico, like expanding microcredit programs. Those have proven a boon for small entrepreneurs in impoverished rural states like Oaxaca that are a major source of illegal migrants - and they'd be even more effective, Obama should remind Calderon, if Mexico didn't allow microlenders to charge interest rates that top an outrageous 70%, twice the world microfinance average...

That lack of meaningful competition, as well as an overreliance on the U.S market, is one reason the recession has hit Mexico's economy (which shrank about 7% last year) perhaps harder than any other in Latin America. And that doesn't bode well for the wars against drug traffickers and migrant smugglers. The most salient point Calderon will make to Congress is that the U.S. and Mexico are in this together. That means Washington needs to drop its insensitive disregard for problems south of the border - and Mexico City needs to drop its hypersensitive obsession with tossing blame for those headaches north of the border. If they do, they'll have something genuinely worthy to toast at the White House.

Tim Padgett

Time Magazine

May. 18, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Texas, USA

Eugenio Alejandro

Man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old in his home

A 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at his home. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl slept over at Eugenio Alejandro's house on the 200 block of E. Huebinger in Marion for a slumber party, when she woke up to him "penetrating her" with his hands.

"Oh sick!," exclaimed neighbor Gordon Dambow. "She's an innocent child, what could they do? A grown man, my goodness, picking on the innocent."

"A couple of nights in a row, there were a bunch of kids over," explained Cody Bodeau, who lives just across the street from Alejandro. "Every other night there were a bunch of kids and we were wondering why they were all there, and he'd be outside talking to them and hanging out with them."

Alejandro worked closely with children as a volunteer of the Marion Softball Pony League as an assistant coach. The League didn't want to talk to News 4 WOAI since they say they did not organize the slumber party, but say the allegations are a "complete shock".

"No one should ever harm a child," says resident Kathleen Beierly.

Marion is a town of a little more than a thousand residents, where many people know each other by name.

"It's bad because we're good people, and we love our children," added Beierly.

News 4 WOAI also did a background check of Eugenio Alejandro. Three years ago, he was arrested for domestic violence, and has also served time for a DUI, a DWI, and theft dating back almost 20 years.

He bonded out Tuesday, and still faces one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first degree felony.

Janet Kwak

WOAI - San Antonio

April 15, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect sought in sex assault on 11-year-old

Indianapolis - An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a man assaulted her in a west side apartment building. It happened in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive.

"My daughter will not be out," said one resident after hearing the news.

There's fear among parents living at Heather Ridge Apartments on the city's west side.

"There's no safe place anywhere, anymore," said Adam Bennett, a visitor.

Parents say this place seems even less safe after police say a man sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building Thursday around 6:30 pm.

"Pretty scary situation, especially an 11-year-old, and this individual has a hand gun and basically points it to her head and sexually assaults her," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, IMPD.

It happened inside a common area of the building where anyone could have come through.

"I heard about it on the radio and I immediately called my daughter and told her to be careful at the bus stop, to stand with the other girls. To not stand alone," said a worried mother.

Police say they're concerned, and that this is the type of crime where the suspect could strike again.

"He's probably done this before," said Lt. Duhamell. "We need to get this guy off the street right away."

Police say the man spoke in Spanish during the attack. Police describe their suspect as Hispanic, between the ages of 20 and 30, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds...

Police say a sketch of the suspect may be available in the next few days.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

WTHR

May 13, 20100


Added: May. 19, 2010

Florida, USA

Woman Escapes Attempted Kidnapping

Orlando police are searching for the man who tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman while she was walking on a trail near the Mall at Millenia.

The woman told police she was walking along the trail near 4850 Millenia Blvd. around 8 p.m. Sunday when a Hispanic man grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward some bushes.

The victim was able to escape and suffered only minor scratches, police said...

Meanwhile, police are still searching for a man who raped a woman in front of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando early Friday morning.

WKMG

May 17, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 6 - 12, 2010

Excerpt

May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sheffield, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child in the state of Tennessee, indecent liberties with a child in the state of North Carolina, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 12, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Arizona, USA

Karley Saucedo

Suspects: Jose Luna Valenzuela (left), Oscar Grijalva and Sergio Castaneda

Police rescue Phoenix woman kidnapped during home invasion

A 22-year-old Phoenix woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion has been freed from her captors.

Police said the suspects were armed with handguns and demanded drugs and money when they forced their way into a home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road on May 5. When they didn't get what they wanted, they took Karley Saucedo and an SUV and left.

Following a week of negotiations and surveillance, Phoenix police officers and detectives were able to free Saucedo from a home near Baseline Road and 47th Avenue.

Saucedo, who has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old, is back with her family. She reportedly was not injured.

Six people have been arrested on charges including kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and vehicle theft. They have been identified as Oscar Grijalva, 18; Sergio Castaneda, 17; Jose Luna-Valenzuela, 22; Hilda Gutierrez, 29; Carlos Aguilar, 28; and a 17-year-old boy, who was booked into Juvenile Corrections.

"This was a sophisticated group of naturalized citizens and illegal aliens who chose to prey on vulnerable victims for monetary gain," Phoenix police Detective James Holmes said.

Jennifer Thomas

Fox 11

May 14, 2010

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 5, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

[Latino] Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, speaking at Harvard Law School on February 5th, said that the steady flow of illegal immigrants into his city has created a crisis situation that is extremely dangerous for local law enforcement and a devastating drain on the city's budget. Although by statistical measures Phoenix is one of the safest cities in the United States, it has experienced a wave of kidnapping and violent crimes that have challenged its law enforcement capacity.

The problem, said Mayor Gordon, is the violent behavior of the "coyotes" involved in human trafficking operations across the nearby Mexican border and who regularly kidnap, torture, rape and kill those who do not comply with their extortion, sometimes forcing captives to dig their own graves while awaiting either freedom or death.

According to Gordon, over 20,000 people, including women and children, have been rescued by Phoenix police over the last three years from "drop houses" where dozens or even hundreds are held captive or even tortured, sometimes in the midst of ordinary suburban neighborhoods…

Gordon said that the fight against the coyotes' organized crime has forced the city to hire over 600 additional police officers, many to replace the 100 full-time officers assigned to federal task forces investigating violent criminals and 50 officers embedded undercover in federal operations. The cost to Phoenix of employing these 150 officers, over $15 million dollars a year, is not reimbursed by the federal government and threatens to force reductions in city services like libraries and after school programs…

Gordon expressed urgent concern about the state of immigration law in the United States. He believes that immediate action is necessary to reform immigration policy and assist burdened local police. "I couldn't and wouldn't stay silent any longer, not only because of the economic costs, but also because of the cost in human suffering."

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Indiana, USA

Neighbors offer clues in sexual assault of girl, 11

Indianapolis Metro Police are searching for a predator who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint . It happened around 6:30 Thursday night at a west side apartment complex.

The little girl was treated at Riley Hospital for Children and released. Her father told 24-Hour News 8 she was able to give police a detailed description of the attack.

The little girl lives at the Heather Ridge Apartments located in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive. The complex is filled with families with young children...

Police believe the attacker, driving a late-model, red, extended-cab Nissan pickup, asked the girl for directions. Police believe he then followed her inside the building's common area and attacked her.

Police have provided a picture of a truck like the one suspect was driving.

Neighbor Michelle Wells said she had seen the truck before, as had her sister.

A male resident named Nate nodded, saying he'd seen it too...

"They usually will do drive-bys and look around. And then when they see the opportunity, they'll act on it," said IMPD spokesman, Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

Police believe the suspect is a 20 to 30 year old Hispanic man who is 5'6" to 5'9" and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a white stripe, blue jeans, and work boots. He spoke to the little girl only in Spanish.

Police urge residents or anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

Deanna Dewberry

WISH

May 14, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Texas, USA

Accused sexual assault suspect arrested in Temple park

Temple - A man wanted by authorities for an alleged sexual assault was arrested early Friday morning after he was located violating a park curfew.

Rufino Hernandez-Ramirez, 23, of Temple, was stopped by officers around 1 a.m. at Miller Park, located at 1919 North 1st Street, for reportedly violating the park curfew.

The suspect reportedly provided a false name, however, after the officer properly identified Hernandez-Ramirez, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

The alleged assault occurred in June 2008 in Temple.

Hernandez-Ramirez was arrested and transported to the Bell County Jail.

He is charged with Failure to Identify Fugitive Intent Give False Information and Motion to Revoke Probation, along with his initial charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

KXXV

May 14, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

California, USA

Kidnapping, Attempted Assault Reported In Woodland

The Woodland Police Department is searching for a suspect who allegedly kidnapped and attempted to rape a woman in Yolo County.

Authorities said the alleged victim said she was walking on West Street near Buckeye Street on Saturday morning when a man drove up in a newer-model black SUV and asked her for directions. As she spoke with him, he pulled out a gun and ordered the woman into the car, authorities said.

The victim said he drove her into a wooded area near Interstate 5 and County Road 98 and ordered her to remove her clothes. When she resisted, the man attempted to drag her from the car, authorities said, but the victim was able to break free and run to Interstate 5, where she flagged down a car and asked for help.

The victim was not seriously injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s. He is 5'4" to 5'6", weighs about 160 to 180 pounds, with short black hair and a thin mustache. He also reportedly had two silver caps on his front teeth.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800.

CBS 13

May 15, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Men harass girls going to school in York City

York City Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who have been harassing girls on their way to school.

Lt. Tim Utley, who supervises the detective bureau, said there have been three such incidents reported in the past several weeks. The girls were on their way to William Penn Senior High School and were in the area of the 500 block of South Duke Street when they were harassed, he said.

The two men are in a newer-model gray sedan, Utley said; they are Hispanic, in their 30s and, in the latest incident, were wearing black T-shirts and black hats.

Anyone with information on their identities is urged to call city police at 846-1234, or the department’s anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204.

Elizabeth Evans

York Dispatch

May 14, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

The United States / The World

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Conference on Human Trafficking

Arlington, Virginia - ...For today’s Justice Department, our work to pursue human trafficking investigations and prosecutions and to support those who serve and assist victims is not simply a top priority. It’s also a source of great pride. Much of this work is being led by our Civil Rights Division and its specialized Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. Three years ago, this unit was established to consolidate expertise and to improve coordination between the many critical partners needed to bring traffickers to justice and to protect and empower victims.

In a short time, this unit has achieved remarkable success in increasing both the number and impact of human trafficking prosecutions. It has dismantled organized human trafficking networks operating in multiple jurisdictions and across international borders. And it has achieved justice for many, including undocumented migrants who’ve seen their hopes of a better life destroyed; documented guest workers who’ve been deceived, threatened and frightened into captivity; women and children who’ve been forced into prostitution; and young Americans who’ve been exploited in their own county by traffickers preying on their vulnerabilities. These are extraordinary accomplishments.

But our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit isn’t working alone. It is supported and strengthened by our Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, our Office of International Affairs, our Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, our Office of Justice Programs and its Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the FBI. In addition, the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country are providing critical leadership in bringing human traffickers to justice. Later in this conference, you’ll be hearing from some of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were on the front lines of major human trafficking prosecutions...

Today, some of our most critical partnerships have been established beyond our nation’s borders. We’re working closely with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims’ families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines. A leading example of this is our recent work with Mexico. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated closely with our Mexican counterparts on a bilateral enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling the trafficking networks that operate across our Southwest border. Although this initiative is in its early stages, it has already produced promising results for both countries – including measurable increases in the number of defendants apprehended, cases prosecuted and victims rescued.

The benefits of such international partnerships are clear. By working with our foreign allies, we’ve succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana – some just 10 years old – from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey.

But despite these achievements, there is much more work to be done. Meeting the civil rights challenges of the 21st century will require us to identify new enforcement strategies, to forge new partnerships, and to provide more support for victim service providers. But we should all be encouraged that the global movement to end human trafficking has received unprecedented attention and resources, as well as unprecedented political support...

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Department of Justice

2010 National Conference on Human Trafficking 

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

The United States

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking - Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

The TVPA Decade: Progress and Promise

...Thank you for the invitation to speak at this national conference on human trafficking - an issue I care deeply about.

I also want to thank Attorney General Eric Holder for his leadership on this issue.

Ten years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we are even more committed to the conference's goal of disseminating best practices for prosecuting human trafficking and assisting victims.

The Department of Labor's commitment to fighting human trafficking comes from its long history of working to protect and assist vulnerable workers, some of whom may have been trafficked into forced labor.

As one of my priorities, the Department of Labor is engaged both domestically and internationally to better serve and protect vulnerable workers.

Labor trafficking puts women, children, and men in the most extreme forms of workplace exploitation.

It leads to situations where people are denied not only their wages, but their human rights.

Our efforts to ensure that workers are afforded all of their rights under the law include initiatives that help to combat human trafficking in all of its forms…

Trafficking victims are the most vulnerable workers in this country.

As a state senator in California, I learned first-hand how 72 Thai workers in my own district, worked for seven years in virtual slavery in a sweatshop with boarded up windows and fences covered with razor wire making garments until they were freed by law enforcement - and several hundred Latinos were not paid minimum wage or over-time.

As a member of Congress, I was involved in passing House Resolution condemning the murders of victims of human trafficking and labor abuse in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

These women worked in slave-like conditions and then brutally killed through no fault of their own.

These are the individuals whom we all have a duty to help and protect. This focus on protecting the most vulnerable workers in today's economy is why I have bolstered the enforcement staff in all of my agencies.

I have already added 250 investigators in the Wage and Hour Division alone.

And I'm not done yet!...

Violence in the workplace or trafficking for the sake of monetary gain is unconscionable.

No nation does or should get ahead at the peril of its workers.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Giving Latin America its rightful place at the table in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has come a long way from 1995, when I first toured the DOL Women's Bureau, passed out my 1994 report (see below) and discussed the rampant workplace sexual exploitation of Latin American immigrant women with staff. No Spanish language staff was available for their recently opened hotline at that time.

Approximately 5 years ago, a DOL analyst told me that she used LibertadLatina as a source for her research into Latina workplace exploitation issues.

Around 7 years ago, I gave then Represen-tative Hilda Solis a LibertadLatina business card at a Congressional luncheon on human trafficking, where I also gave around 200 congressional staffers copies of the LibertadLatina newsletter.

At the May 3, 2010 session of the annual federal government  Human Trafficking Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made some of the first official public pronouncements by U.S. Government officials acknowledging that a Latin American component to the global human trafficking crisis exists.

Although prosecutions, and work by State Department Trafficking in Persons director Ambassador Luis CdeBaca prior to his assuming his current post have touched upon the issue of Latin American victims, the U.S. Federal Government has yet to state a clear response to the fact that, as Ambassador CdeBaca noted in a December 2009 interview, some 60% of U.S. human trafficking victims come to the U.S. from Latin America. Most of those enslaved persons were trafficked over the U.S./ Mexican border.

In addition, the United Nations affiliated  International organization for Migration (IOM) in the Southern Cone region of South America estimates that Latin American human trafficking alone generates $16 billion dollars in annual revenues, amounting to an estimated 50% of global trafficking profits.

However we look at the situation, Latin America's crisis of modern day slavery cannot be minimized, nor can it be ignored.

We at LibertadLatina have persistently requested that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama speak out publicly on this issue, especially to demand that Mexico apply the rule of law to the current nationwide environment of lawless impunity that allows mass gender atrocities to occur on an ongoing basis. That is a violent crime wave that has impacts throughout the United States.

The pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca in December of 2009, and the May 3, 2010 statements by Secretary Solis and Attorney General Holder represent a start towards achieving full federal accountability for U.S. responses to the human trafficking crisis that today damages Latin American women, children and men both in Latin America and across the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Keep up the good work!

We will proceed to view progress on this issue from the perspective of "trust, but verify."

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to rescue and protect them today!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 12/13, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s Case File # 1: The Sexual Exploitation of Latina Women and Girls at Computer Data Systems, Inc.

1992-1994.

* Your tax dollars at work supporting a sexist federal contractor.

* Sexual harassment, quid-pro-quo sexual demands and sexual assault with impunity in the low-wage American workplace.

...The below case relation is completely factual.  The events may seem startling for the average reader, but this case account tells a story that is happening every night in America in many office cleaning jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant and fast-food jobs, retail stores and other low-wage work places.

During… 1995, I presented detailed information about this… case and several equally serious episodes of the severe sexual harassment of Latina workers to… the… U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau's "Low Wage Worker's Conference" in Washington, DC, where the author passed out his 1994 report to Women's Bureau officials and conference participants...

While the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau never responded to the author in regard to his 1994 report, the director of Women's Bureau who followed the 1994 incumbent, Ms. Ida Castro, did make public statements to the press in the late 1990's referring to DOL's recognition of the issue of the exploitation of immigrant women in low wage jobs.

Chuck Goolsby

1995

See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s 1994 report: The Sexual and Economic Exploitation of Latin American Immigrant Women in Montgomery County, Maryland

Chuck Goolsby

March, 1994

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

USA / The World

A girl sits in a windowless garage where she was kept for two years. Purchased at the age of 10, she worked as much as 20 hours per day as domestic help.

Photo: U.S. State Department

Working To End Human Trafficking

"Modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe." "Human trafficking has become big business – generating billions of dollars each year through the entrapment and exploitation of millions," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on May 3rd, at the National Conference on Human Trafficking. "Almost every country in the world is affected, either as a source or destination for victims."

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world, and is second in financial scope only to the sale of illegal drugs. It occurs in every state in the U.S. and every country in the world. It is a global problem, and as such, it demands a global solution.

That is why the U.S. is "partnering with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims' families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines," said Attorney General Holder.

"By working with our foreign allies, we've succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey," said Attorney General Holder.

" We . . . . know that modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe," said Ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "It is a fluid phenomenon, responding to market demands, vulnerabilities in laws, weak penalties, natural disasters, and economic instability.

"No country, including the United States, has attained a sophisticated or truly comprehensive response to this massive, ever-increasing, ever-changing crime. . . . Every country is still learning what trafficking is and what works in response to it . . . . The vast majority of people enslaved today around the world have yet to see any progress.

"We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress," said Ambassador CdeBaca. "Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward."

Voice of America

May 13, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

Mexico

Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (right), with Bety Cariño - February 2010.

Llama ONU a gobierno mexicano a garantizar labor de las y los defensores de DH

“Deteriorada su situación”, condena asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca

La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU), a través de cuatro de sus Relatorías, expresó su preocupación por la deteriorada situación de las y los defensores de derechos humanos en México y condenó firmemente los recientes asesinatos de la defensora Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo y del observador internacional Jyri Antero Jaakkola.

En un comunicado de prensa, difundido por la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, el organismo internacional advirtió que las y los defensores de derechos humanos “enfrentan graves amenazas contra sus vidas a consecuencia de su trabajo”.

El grupo de expertos y experta de la ONU hizo un llamado al gobierno mexicano para “tomar las medidas que sean necesarias para proteger el derecho a la vida y la seguridad de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en el país contra todo tipo de violencia y acción arbitraria que se produzca como consecuencia del ejercicio legítimo de sus actividades.”

Exigen Investigación Pronto e Imparcial

Margaret Sekaggya, Relatora Especial sobre la situación de los Defensores de los Derechos Humanos, manifestó su “profunda preocupación” por el deterioro de la situación de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en México, en especial las mujeres y las personas defensoras que trabajan en temas relacionados con las comunidades indígenas.

Además condenó los hechos ocurridos el 27 de abril en la zona triqui de San Juan Copala, en Oaxaca, cuando una misión de observación de los derechos humanos sufrió una emboscada por parte de paramilitares, lugar donde fue asesinada, Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, defensora y directora del Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS) y donde también murió Jyri Antero Jaakkola...

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 12, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

Mexico

Human rights defenders continue to pay with their lives in Mexico, warn UN experts

Geneva - A group of United Nations independent experts* warned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Mexico, strongly condemning the recent killing of human rights defender Ms. Beatriz Alberta (Bety) Cariño Trujillo and the international observer Mr. Tyri Antero Jaakkola in Oaxaca, south east Mexico.

“Defenders continue to face significant threats to their lives in Mexico as a result of their work,” said Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in the country, including women and human rights defenders working on issues related to indigenous communities.”

On 27 April 2010, Bety Cariño and Tyri Antero Jaakkola were part of a mission to monitor human rights in Oaxaca when they were ambushed by paramilitaries and killed. Several other human rights defenders and journalists suffered injuries. Four other members of the mission, including two journalists of the magazine Contralínea, spent two days in a forest following the attack, before being rescued by the police on 30 April.

“The situation in Mexico is extremely complex and no-one could doubt the gravity of the challenges confronting the Government in its fight against the drug cartels” added Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “But there is no justification for failing to take strong steps when human rights defenders, journalists and others are killed. Human rights must not be permitted to be a casualty in the fight against drugs and crime.” ...

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

May 12, 2010

 


All May, 2010 News



Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Latin America

Conference Poster

The 2010 Lozano Long Conference – Republics of Fear: Understanding Endemic Violence in Latin America Today

Violence has become the signal threat to stability in Latin America in the new millennium. Kidnappings and murders generate lurid headlines from Mexico to Honduras to Argentina. Communities tired of statelessness and voicelessness set suspected criminals on fire in Guatemalan public squares. Hundreds of women die violent deaths in Ciudad Juárez and Guatemala City while the state remains either impotent or indifferent. Police raids into Rio’s favelas kill dozens of people while drug trafficking gangs stockpile more numerous and more powerful weapons. Prison gangs paralyze the megalopolis of São Paulo for days in retaliation for official measures taken against their imprisoned leaders.

Meanwhile, structural violence continues to condemn huge portions of the region’s population to poverty, disease, marginalization, and penury. If cold war ideologies set Latin America aflame in the 1960s and 1970s, a far more complex set of factors stokes the ordinary and extraordinary violence that burns in the region today.

In its Third Annual Lozano Long Conference, LLILAS hosted the academics who are exploring the causes and consequences of this conflagration. Researchers have only begun to respond to these new challenges to democracy, development, and human well-being. The time is ripe for a conference that brings together cutting edge research from different disciplines, perspectives, methods, and viewpoints, all united around a concern for the peoples of the region and the circumstances they face.

The conference hosted panels on topics such as gender violence; intimate violence; organized violence; the trafficking of humans, weapons, and drugs; political, state, and para-state violence; structural violence, including poverty, forced migration, racism, and discrimination; and the responses to violence, including representations of violence in the media, literature, films, and public discourse. The institute hopes in this way to foster and stimulate a new wave of theoretically informed, interdisciplinary, and culturally aware research into this crucial new challenge for Latin America.

Sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.

 

Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

The University of Texas at Austin

March 4–5, 2010


Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Police Implicated in Killings, Kidnappings

Mexico City - Scores of police officers - including the entire department of one town - have been detained in Mexican probes of killings and kidnappings.

Mayor Alfredo Osorio of the Gulf coast town Tierra Blanca said Monday that about

90 city policemen were being held for questioning about the kidnapping of undocumented Central American migrants.

The officers - the town's entire local force - were detained by state police and soldiers and taken to the capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz for questioning. No formal charges had been filed.

The police allegedly kidnapped the migrants to shake them down for money. Central Americans frequently are robbed or abused by police or by drug gangs as they cross Mexico to seek work in the United States.

In the central State of Mexico, prosecutors announced the arrest of two policemen and two former officers on charges they participated in 11 killings related to robberies.

The officers, ex-officers and a fifth man posing as a police office, had been assigned to two towns on the outskirts of Mexico City. They were detained over the weekend.

Mexico State Attorney General Alberto Baz Baz said the men allegedly preyed on businessmen and professionals, snatching them off the streets to steal debit cards and other possessions, and then often killing them. Another ex-officer is being sought in the case. Some of the crimes were allegedly committed while the officers were on duty.

The suspects face possible prison sentences of up to 70 years. They had no attorney of record.

 

The Associated Press

Mar 16, 2010


Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Troops Rescue 20 Migrants from Traffickers

Veracruz, Mexico – Mexican troops rescued 20 Central Americans who had been kidnapped by a gang of migrant smugglers that was holding them captive at a house in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The commander of Mexico’s 26th Military Zone, Miguel Gustavo Gonzalez, told a press conference that five suspected smugglers were arrested who were holding the undocumented migrants as hostages and were demanding $1,200 from their families to free them and allow them to continue on their way to the U.S. border.

The officer said that the operation took place in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, where members of the gang were arrested and forced to hand over 40,000 pesos ($3,200) in cash, two guns and four vehicles.

Gonzalez said the raid followed an anonymous tip.

He said that the 11 women and nine men from Honduras and Nicaragua were found being held captive in the community of Palma Sola.

Meanwhile, the undocumented migrants who were rescued received food and medical attention from the immigration authorities, who will settle their legal status.

 

EFE

March 19, 2010

We note with interest that this raid occurred immediately after the Inter-American Human Rights Commission hearing of March 22, 2010 on the mass kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, and especially in Veracruz.

 - LibertadLatina


Added: Mar. 23, 2010

Mexico

Felipe González, IACHR Vice-Chair  and Rapporteur, and
Professor Dinah Shelton
, IACHR Rapporteur and
Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washing-ton University Law School - Listen to the March 22, 2010 presentation on the kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

Photo:  European Press Photo Agency

Denuncian el "infierno" de unos 18.000 migrantes secuestrados al pasar por México

Washington, DC.- México se ha convertido en la trampa de miles de migrantes de Centroamérica y Sudamérica que son secuestrados cada año cuando atraviesan ese país, según denunciaron hoy activistas en la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

En una audiencia del 138 período de sesiones de la CIDH, organizaciones religiosas y humanitarias acusaron al Estado de México de abandonar a los 18.000 emigrantes secuestrados, que convirtieron 2009 en el "año maldito" del fenómeno...

Activists Denounce the “Hell” Faced by 18,000 Migrants per Year Who Are Kidnapped in Mexico

Washington, DC  - According to activists who testified on March 22, 2010 at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) - Mexico has become a dangerous trap for thousands of migrants from South and Central America who are kidnapped each year when they attempt to cross Mexico.

The religious and human rights activists testified during an IAHRC hearing, held during its 138th period of sessions. In their testimony, they accused the Mexican state of abandoning the 18,000 migrants who were kidnapped during 2009, which they declared to be a terrible year for the phenomenon.

The director of the migrant shelter Brothers on the Road to Hope, Father Alejandro Solandide, denounced the lack of political will in Mexico to put a stop to the problem, as well as the complicity and cover-up that state agents engage in – in relation to these crimes.

Father Solandide: “It is very hard to see a line that separates the authors of these kidnappings - be they organized criminals or public officials.”

Migrants begin their trek in their home countries, where these criminal networks [first] coordinate their activities, said Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the National Institute for Migration [Mexico’s immigration agency].

When migrants reach Mexico, they are trapped, and are taken to safe houses, where the coyotes demand their family’s phone number [to allow them to extort the family], and they are beaten with sticks and suffer other tortures.

“These safe houses are hell. The victims suffer tortures. If they resist [the extortion], they are made examples of and are mutilated or murdered, declared Reverend Pedro Pantajo Arreola, of the Bethlehem Migrant’s Shelter.

The wave of kidnappings began in 2006, says Father Solandide, but the problem became even larger in 2009, when it became like a “silent, low-motion massacre” – “due to moral decay,” the increase in organized criminal violence, and judicial impunity.

During the last three years, the ‘industry’ of mass kidnapping has been perfected, especially in the state of Veracruz. In a six month period of time, these kidnappings generate $50 million dollars in revenue.

Aside from the Mexican government’s failure to investigate these crimes, and the “immense defenseless-ness” of the victims, Father Solandide denounced the “insufficient actions taken and mechanisms put into place” by the government in the face of this reality. Scant resources exist to house, assist and restore the victims.

The representatives of the organizations who testified directly assist victims, a situation that has also placed them in harm’s way.

“Our migrant shelters are being threatened and attacked by both the Mexican authorities and by members of organized crime, to such an extent that we have found in necessary to seek the legal protection of this Commission,” said Monsignor Raúl Vera, Archbishop of Saltillo, who is also the president of the Council of the Friar Juan de Larios Center.

[Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the federal National Institute for Migration, and Alejandro Negrín, human rights representative at the Mexican Chancellery, testified in opposition to the petition.]

Felipe González, the President of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) stated that he was in agreement with the petitioners, and invited the IAHRC to visit Mexico to determine the magnitude of the problem in person.

 

EFE

March 22, 2010

See also:

Inter-American Human Rights Commission Hearing

Petitioner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro Juárez (PRODH); Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes en México; Centro Diocesano de Derechos Humanos Fray Juan de Larios; Dimensión de la Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana; Casa de Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe A.C. [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue Guadalupano de Tierra Blanca [Migrant Refuge]; Servicio Jesuita de Jóvenes Voluntarios; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova; Frontera Con Justicia A.C.y Humanidad Sin Fronteras

Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Organization of American States

March 22, 2010

See also:

20,000 Migrants a Year Kidnapped in Mexico En Route to U.S.

Some 20,000 of the 140,000 illegal migrants en route to the United States via the Mexico border to find work and a better life are kidnapped each year and subjected to rape, torture and murder, crimes that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, fear of reprisals and distrust of authorities, according to Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission.

Mexico City – More than 1,600 migrants, above all Central Americans en route to the United States to find work, are kidnapped monthly and subjected to humiliations that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission reported.

“The kidnapping of migrants has become a continuous practice of worrying dimensions, generally unpunished and with characteristics of extreme cruelty,” commission chairman Jose Luis Soberanes said Monday at the presentation of the report.

Between September 2008 and February 2009, the commission registered a total of 198 cases of mass kidnappings of migrants involving 9,758 people...

EFE

June 16, 2009


Added: Mar. 22, 2010

Washington, DC USA

Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo - Photo

Presentation: Kidnappings of Migrants in Mexico

Event: Monday March 22nd - 5:30-6:30pm - Washington, DC

Every year tens of thousands of migrants travel through Mexico en route to the United States. Often on their arduous journey these migrants are exposed to brutal violence, extortion, and kidnappings.

Join us for a forum with this exceptional group of speakers all of whom are highly recognized as leading moral authorities on migrant rights. These speakers will discuss the kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, the ways in which Mexican laws and policies make them more vulnerable and may prevent their access to justice, how authorities directly collaborate in this practice and the hearing on this issue that has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Featuring

Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo, is also President of the Counsel of the Fray Juan Juan de Larios Diocese Center and a member of various organizations that work to protect migrants' human rights.

Father Alejandro Solalinde, director of the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. The shelter offers food, shelter and legal advice to the thousands of migrants that pass through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca en route to the United States.

Father Pedro Pantoja Arreola founded Emaús House, Passage of Migrants in Ciudad Acuña and created the project Borders and Dignity. After more than five years he returned to Saltillo, where he oversees the shelter "Belén [Bethlehem] Migrant Inn" and the Borders with Justice project, both founded in 2001 to respond to the grave human rights violations of migrants.

Our panelists will also be joined by representatives from the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center and Frontera con Justicia [Justice for the Border] and Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without Borders].

Event:

Kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

March 22, 2010

5:30-6:30pm - plus reception

Washington Office on Latin America - WOLA

1666 Connecticut Ave NW - Suite 400

Washington, DC

Please RSVP to Ashley Morse at amorse@wola.org

(Space is limited, RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come basis)

 

WOLA

March 22, 2010

See also:

Mexico

Harassment and intimidation of human rights defender, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra

About the harassment of Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra's efforts to assist migrants in crisis

Sign-on to a letter of support to President Calderón of Mexico

...Human rights defender Father Solalinde has recently been subjected to harassment and intimidation as a direct result of his activities in defense of human rights. Father Solalinde is the director of the Albergue del Migrante Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza (Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope) and co-ordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants. The Shelter provides food, shelter and legal assistance to thousands of migrants who travel through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, on their way to the United States of America. Over the last two years, the Shelter has reported several cases of corruption by state and federal government officials as well as the practice of abduction of migrants...

FrontLine - Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Feb. 02, 2010

See also:

Added: Mar. 21, 2010

Mexico, Central America

Salvadoran mothers gather to pray and leave offerings and crosses for their family members who were abused, kidnapped and murdered in the 'mugging and rape gauntlet' at Mexico's southern border region known as 'La Arrocera' - the Rice Cooker.

Kidnapping - A Growing Risk for Central American Migrants

The increase in kidnappings of Central American migrants crossing Mexico on their way to the United States will be brought up at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) current session next Monday.

”We are experiencing a humanitarian disaster that the authorities want to cover up at all costs,” Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who heads the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants in Ciudad Ixtepec, in the southern state of Oaxaca, told IPS.

Solalinde, who has been defending the rights of undocumented Central American migrants since 2005, is flying to Washington to describe the situation on the ground to the IACHR, which is holding its 138th period of sessions Mar. 15-26, along with representatives of other civil society groups.

Although the priest has been the target of death threats from people traffickers and kidnappers, he was denied police protection.

In January 2007, Solalinde, who also set up a shelter to provide food and medical attention to migrants next to the railway lines that they ride on their long trek north, helped a group of Central Americans escape their captors in Oaxaca.

He has also spoken up against police brutality, and even filed legal action against local police officers and authorities. But the lawsuit is merely gathering dust.

Thousands of Central Americans, mainly from the impoverished countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, are detained and deported every year by the police in Mexico as they attempt to reach the United States.

However, they don't only face a risk of being seized and deported by the police, but are also vulnerable to harassment, sexual abuse, extortion, robbery and kidnapping by immigration agents and police, while they are assaulted, raped, held up, kidnapped and sometimes killed by gang-members and thieves.

From September 2008 to February 2009, 9,758 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according to a special report by the governmental National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

”The kidnapping of migrants in Mexico is on the rise,” Maureen Meyer, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Associate for Mexico and Central America, told IPS.

However, ”this number (9,758) is by no means the full extent of the phenomenon, as given the vulnerability of migrants in Mexico, many cases go unreported.”

WOLA is backing the Mexican activists who will appear before the IACHR in the U.S. capital, where they will ask the Commission to recommend that the government provide protection to migrants, fight kidnappings and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mexican immigration authorities have arrested 4,164 Central Americans so far this year, according to official figures.

The IACHR session will also be attended by Raúl Vera, Catholic bishop of Saltillo, a city north of the capital; Pedro Pantoja, a priest who runs the Belen migrants shelter and the Borders with Justice project in Saltillo; and representatives of Mexican non-governmental organisations that provide protection to undocumented Central American migrants.

In the southern state of Veracruz, 13 municipal police have been prohibited from leaving the country, because they are under suspicion of kidnapping and extorting Central American migrants.

The kidnappings are planned in Oaxaca and carried out in Veracruz, with the collusion of public employees and municipal and state agents, according to Solalinde...

Because of the numerous reports of abuses, the government of El Salvador opened a consulate in Oaxaca in January to provide attention to Salvadoran citizens.

But not even the diplomatic mission has escaped harassment: less than a month after it opened, armed men who claimed to be federal police but did not identify themselves forced their way into the consulate without authorization, supposedly as part of an investigation.

Salvadoran ambassador to Mexico Hugo Carrillo has asked President Felipe Calderón to take effective action against the police involved in the incident.

”It would appear that kidnapping has become another source of income for organized criminal groups operating in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border (which are) already involved in drug trafficking, pirated goods, extortion, etc.,” said Meyer.

She added that some reports indicate that along the border ”and even in the U.S. itself, groups involved in human smuggling are now earning more money from holding some of their 'clients' for ransom, than from the fees they already charge to make the crossing.”

She also said the kidnappings in Mexico are often carried out ”with the support and collusion of officials from all levels of the government.”

Most of the migrants do not file an official complaint, out of fear of being deported, or because the legal formalities are too complex...

 

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

March 19, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Human rights activists, international NGOs, the United Nations and Central American governments have repeatedly implored Mexico to bring the rule of law to its southern border region, where an estimated 450 to 600 women and girl children are systematically raped each day (according to the United Nations affiliated International Organization for Migration), often with the cooperation or involvement of local police and immigration agents. President Calderon's government has repeatedly ignored these pleas, even when they have been made by Mexico's Congress.

The fact that Save the Children has identified the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the entire world is closely linked to the fact that migrant children and youth are kidnapped, raped and sold into sexual slavery en mass by traffickers who know that the Mexican government will do absolutely nothing to stop their organized crime wave.

Like other human trafficking related issues, these mass gender atrocities are of no consequence for 'socially conservative' politicians who uphold the validity of feudal-era sexist machismo in modern Mexico.

We thank God for the existence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. While the U.S. Administration and the United Nations sit on their hands in the face of these mass human rights violations, the Court acts as the forum of last resort as a response by civilization to national governments who's lack of action in these circumstances amounts to rogue and abominable behavior.

Where is this issue on the agenda of the federal National Commission to Punish and Prevent Human Trafficking, or on the agenda of the newly formed Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking headed by Deputy Rosi Orozco in the Chamber of Deputies? We don't see any action on this issue from them.

Indeed, where is this issue on the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her director of the State Department Trafficking in Persons office, Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca?

They, and also U.S. President Obama, must stand-up and speak out against this brazen form of impunity, and not remain silent in the face of such organized, mass violent crimes against women.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 21/22, 2010

See also:

Mexico, Central America

Madres salvadoreñas depositan ofrendas en "La Arrocera"

El 80 porciento de los abusos cometidos contra los inmigrantes se cometen en esta zona de Huixtla, Chiapas

Huixtla, Chiapas - Los parientes de indocumentados fallecidos y desaparecidos visitaron "La Arrocera" , un pequeño tramo de escasos cuatro kilómetros que los indocumentados utilizan para evadir la caseta migratoria El hueyate, en Huixtla...

Salvadoran mothers leave offerings for their murdered children at the "Rice Cooker"

80 percent of abuses against migrants occur in this area near the city of Huixtla, Chiapas

Huixtla, Chiapas - relatives of deceased and missing undocumented migrants visited "La Arrocera," a four kilometer long rural trail that north-bound Central and South American migrants use to bypass the Hueyate immigration station in the city of Huixtla, Chiapas.

Under strict security arrangements and with the support of Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), members of the Committee of Families of Deceased and Missing Migrants toured the area of "the Rice Cooker" near Huixtla, a municipality in the state of Chiapas, where dozens of men and women have been assaulted, raped and murdered.

"The Rice Cooker" is a [rural] migrant trail where 80 percent of the assaults and homicides in the region are committed, according to testimony gathered by the Catholic Church and human rights organizations.

Even police will not enter this zone unless they have several officers armed with high-powered weapons.

Father Luis Angel Nieto prayed for eternal rest for all of those migrants who lost their lives here in their attempt to reach "the American Dream."

For the second time during the trip, Father Luis Nieto demanded that the Mexican authorities combat these crimes, that for several years have sewn pain and fear.

"We cannot keep quiet, we cannot be complicit in this," he said.

After prayer, the Salvadorans planted dozens of crosses in memory of those who lost their lives here and who were never identified.

During the emotional ceremony, the mothers and fathers could not contain their tears. The sadness and pain invaded their faces. Most knew the true meaning of "the Rice Cooker".

Juan de Dios Garcia Davish

Feb. 11, 2009

See also:

Mexico, Central America

Crosses for those murdered at the 'Rice Cooker'

El 80% de migrantes son violadas en el tramo la Arrocera

Arriaga. Chiapas.-A primera vista, el campo verde de arbustos medianos y matas de mango de esta zona despoblada en el estado de Chiapas luce apacible y amigable. Nada más distante: las ráfagas de viento rompen con violencia el silencio, tal como el grito de mujeres inmigrantes que son violadas cada año al cruzar por esta región ubicada a unos 120 kilómetros de la frontera con Guatemala.

"Alrededor del 80% de las centromaricanas que cruzan La Arrocera son violadas", señala el padre Herman Vázquez, fundador del alberque Hogar de la Misericordia y párroco de Arriaga, cercana a la zona "roja", por donde cada año caminan unos 230 mil centroamericanos en el inicio del viaje por territorio mexicano hacia EE.UU...

80% of Migrant Women are Raped in the Zone Called the Rice Cooker

The city of Arraiga, in Chiapas state – At first glance, the green landscape in this sparsely populated region of Chiapas state looks peaceful and inviting. The gusts of wind violently break the silence, much as do the screams of the women migrants who are raped each year as they cross this gauntlet, located 120 from the Guatemalan border.

“About 80% of the central American women who cross “the Rice Cooker – la Arrocera” – are raped, says Father Herman Vázquez, founder of the House of Mercy shelter and parish priest in Arraiga. Arraiga is located close to the “red zone” where 230,000 Central American migrants walk during their journeys to the Mexican border with the U.S.

Between the scrub and rocks of this rural area, bands of delinquents stalk their victims. These assailants have been identified as being residents of nearby towns who have dedicated themselves to raping and robbing migrants.

For migrants, passing through this 4 square kilometer bottleneck on the migrant’s trail is almost inevitable, as migrants seek to bypass the immigration station on the main highway nearby…

Gardenia Mendoza

Chiapas Fronterizo

Feb. 26, 2009

See also:

Added: Mar. 22, 2010

Mexico

Thousands of Migrants Kidnapped in Southern Mexico

A report published by Mexico’s Human Rights Commission shows that close to 10,000 migrants were kidnapped for ransom in Mexican territory between September 2008 and February 2009. That’s an average of 50 kidnappings a day for 6 months. The commission based its statistics on information provided by migrant shelters, migrant testimonies, press accounts, and legal records, while noting that the actual dimensions of the kidnapping problem are likely much larger.

More than half of the nearly 10,000 kidnappings documented by the National Human Rights Commission occurred in the southern states of Veracruz and Tabasco.

Friar Blas Alvarado, who runs a migrant shelter in the southern border town of Tenosique, Tabasco, said the commission’s statistics are just the tip of the iceberg because his shelter has had “hundreds more cases that we haven’t documented or reported because, at this point, we don’t know where to take them”. He says he doesn’t trust the National Human Rights Commission to do anything beyond crunch numbers and that he doesn’t trust any other government agency because “they know very well – and have known for a long time – where these crimes are taking place, and they don’t do anything”.

Ties to organized crime

Migrant kidnappings in Tabasco and Veracruz are mostly attributed to the “Zetas” organized crime group. Friar Blas Alvarado says officials take no action against kidnappers either out of fear or because they are in collusion with the criminals. “ ...

 

South Notes

June 22, 2009

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."