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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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The Crisis Facing Latin American Women and Children

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Crisis: U.S. Latinas

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Trafficking Overview

The Global Crisis

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Urgent Human Rights Issues in Mexico

Oaxaca

Striking Mexican

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Atenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

   Rape and Assault

   47 Women at

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Lydia Cacho

Journalist / Activist

   Lydia Cacho is

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School Exploitation

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The Jutiapa, Guate-

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


 

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Latest News

Marzo / March 2011



Added: Apr. 6, 2011

Mexico

Mayan women in the town of Tenejapa, Chiapas state

Mexico's Chiapas state is the mass migration 'bottleneck' of the Americas. Sex traffickers concentrate their kidnapping and entrapment efforts in this region of Mexico. All Central and South American migrants seeking to travel to the U.S. by land must travel through this high-risk region, where many are kidnapped, raped, murdered and sex trafficked.

Save the Children has identified southern Mexico's region as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the world.

The United Nations affiliated International Organization for Migration's office in Tapachula estimated several years ago that from between 450 and 600 women and girls are raped each day as they cross the Guatemalan border into Chiapas, Mexico.

Trata de personas: "justicia" al estilo chiapaneco

Tuxtla Gutiérrez,Chiapas, - El gobierno de Chiapas presumió el pasado 28 de marzo de estar a la vanguardia en el combate contra la trata de personas, por medio del endurecimiento de las leyes; de la creación de fiscalías especiales, de albergues para inmigrantes… Sin embargo, evadir la acción de la justicia parece sencillo para los presuntos delincuentes. Unos días en la cárcel y después, la libertad, mientras las víctimas continúan esperando justicia.

El pasado 15 de marzo, la Procuraduría General de Justicia del estado pregonó la captura, en Frontera Comalapa, de Mercedes Cisneros Cruz, Mamá Meche, acusada de explotar sexualmente, en dos bares de su propiedad –La Cava y Los Delfines-- a menores de edad centroamericanas. El 26 de marzo quedó en libertad.

La liberación de Mamá Meche fue decretada dos días antes de que se efectuara en la capital del estado el foro internacional Migración y Trata de Personas, en el que participaron expertos en el tema de México, Estados Unidos y Colombia, entre otros países....

Human Trafficking and 'Chiapas Style' Justice

The city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas state - The government of southern Mexico's Chiapas state [located along the border with Guatemala] presumed that it was in the vanguard of the fight against human trafficking as a result of its efforts to toughen their criminal statutes, through the creation of a special prosecutor's office for trafficking, and by way of having created shelters for migrants. This past March 28th, 2011, that assumption was put into doubt. It appears that avoiding justices is fairly easy to accomplish for those who are accused of trafficking crimes.

On March 15th, 2011, the Chiapas Attorney General's office widely announced the capture of accused sex trafficker Mercedes Cisneros Cruz, known also by her alias of Mamá Meche. The owner of two bars, Cisneros Cruz was arrested for sexually exploiting a number of underage Central American teens. On March 26th, 201, Cisneros Cruz was freed from detention.

The release of Cisneros Cruz - aka Mamá Meche - occurred two days before the start of an international human trafficking forum that was held in the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The event was attended by experts from a number of countries, including Mexico, the United States and Colombia.

Judge Cemira Perla Rocío Gutiérrez Beltrán determined that insufficient evidence existed to allow the human trafficking case against Cisneros Cruz to proceed. She was therefore freed from custody. The Chiapas state government said nothing in response, and did not offer any information about what had transpired.

The freeing of Mercedes Cisneros Cruz was the most emblematic event among these types of cases. She was the most important suspect among several who were the targets of police raids in the cities and towns of Comalapa, Comitán, Tapachula and  San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the days leading up to her arrest.

Cisneros Cruz was accused not only of sexually exploiting a number of adolescent girls, but also of [systematically] entrapping underage Central American youth and then [forcing them] into prostitution in Mexican border towns. Six minors accused Cisneros Cruz of having entrapped them into forced prostitution in the bars La Cava and Los Defines (the Dolphins) in the town of Frontera Comalapa. Back in their hometowns in Honduras, the six victims had been offered jobs as domestic workers for homeowners [if they would just come to Mexico with the recruiter].

According to testimony given by the victims, Cisneros Cruz handed out money to men, and sent them to Honduras to seek out underage girls. The men then brought the victims to Chiapas so that they could be sexually exploited.

Members of the non governmental organization Paso a Paso Hacia la Paz [Step by Step Towards Peace], that works for the rights of migrants, lamented the freeing of Cisneros Cruz. Rubén Figueroa, a representative of the organization, warned that, if justice can't be served for underage sex trafficking victims, then we will have to address the issue with international organizations [this typically means taking a case before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and its affiliated court -LL].

According to the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking [FEVIMTRA], located within the the federal office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), in 2010 some 76 preliminary investigations were opened involving human trafficking crimes. Eighteen of those cases proceeded to trial. In 2011, 16 preliminary investigations have been opened to date. Eight of those cases are now in the federal courts. Only four of these cases have resulted in prison sentences for those who were prosecuted.

Isaín Mandujano

Proceso

April 01, 2011


Added: Apr. 5, 2011

Mexico / The United States

Foreign tourists seek children for sex in Acapulco

It's early in the evening and they're already on the streets looking for customers.

They are all very young, some still in their teens. One teenage girl wearing a tight, revealing, deep pink dress walks by while prying eyes follow her every move. At La Noria Street in downtown Acapulco, this is part of daily life. It's supposed to be illegal, but it's not hard to find underage girls offering sex for money here.

This is Acapulco's dark secret and the reason why the Mexican beach resort has gained a sad notoriety with tourists seeking children for sex.

Rosario Santos, who runs a shelter for street boys and girls called New Hope, says that customers are "mostly foreigners" coming to Acapulco on cruises or by plane.

"We have rescued children as young as 10," says the 52-year-old who has made protecting children her mission in life.

One of the children she rescued is Irene Lopez. The 20-year-old says she was only 16 when she got caught in the trap of prostitution after running away from an abusive home. "We would do things with them after making a connection," she says, sometimes in broad daylight too, often under the influence of drugs. To "make a connection" in the parlance of the street here means to pick up a customer for sex.

Lopez says her customers were all tourists, mostly from the United States. She would get 500 pesos, or about $42, per customer, but says that in some instances she was so high on drugs that she doesn't know what she was paid. "My mind was blank," she says.

It is an open secret that the main square in downtown Acapulco was the place to go for pedophiles.

Customers would wait at the square to make "a connection" with children providing sex for money, children's rights activists say. The square is sometimes known as "La Pasarela" which means "The Catwalk" in Spanish.

But some children's right activists like Rosa María Cruz Muller say things have improved dramatically in the last few years.

She and others have pressured officials to increase police presence at The Catwalk, while helping as many children as possible get off the streets.

Those children are taken into shelters, some run by the local government, where they find protection and a home away from drugs and the violence of the streets.

Rafael Romo - CNN Senior Latin American Affairs Editor

CNN

March 29, 2011


Added: Apr. 6, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Convicted sex trafficker Amador Cortes-Meza

The sex slaves next door: New form of trafficking invades US

[Amador-Meza forced 10 victims, including victims as young as 14 to performs acts of prostitution 40 or 50 times per day, totaling around 7,000 acts of prostitution per year.]

Cristina was just 24 years-old, living in a rural farming village in Mexico, when Amador Cortes-Meza told her he was falling in love with her. He promised her marriage and a good job, and then brought her to the United States. But when she arrived in the Atlanta area, he physically abused her and forced her to work as a prostitute.

"That's when I realized he was not telling me the truth," said Cristina (not her real name). "A man who loves a woman would not make them do that. I lived under his humiliation, I lived under the beatings, under the fear, there was nothing I could do."

She is an example of an insidious form of slavery spreading across the United States - prostitution operations that traffic in women and children from Latin America.

In these operations, "closed-network" houses of prostitution cater to customers of a specific race or ethnicity, in this case, Hispanic women and Hispanic customers. One nonprofit anti-trafficking group labels them Latino Residential Brothels, or LRBs.

What separates them from other sex-trafficking operations, experts say, is their sophisticated camouflage and adherence to a simple business plan, used from coast to coast with cold efficiency. The operators set up shop in average neighborhoods and use coded advertisements and word of mouth to attract specific customers.

An underground growth industry

The Latino brothels rely on what amounts to slavery. Women and, in some cases, girls held captive, denied choice, denied freedom of movement, denied dignity, their bodies sold by someone else for sex.

Interviews with law enforcement and advocacy groups and independent research has found that Latino residential brothels have spread to at least 25 states and Washington, D.C. over the past 20 years.

The stories told to law enforcement or support organizations by women and girls who have lived through the brothel experience are often similar. Many times they begin in small rural towns in Latin America, where girls as young as 13 are approached by men or women who promise to set them up with good jobs as waitresses, housecleaners or cooks in the United States. Sometimes victims are courted or married by the men.

Once they agree to seek a better life, they are sent off with "coyotes" and smuggled into the United States. But when they arrive, there is no job, merely a debt they owe their smugglers, usually $2,000 to $3,000. They are told they will have to work as prostitutes to pay it off. The debt can bean elusive target. Many sex ring operators add charges for rent and food to ensure victims remain under their control for many years.

A prostitution playbook

The brothels have developed a series of standard operating practices, experts say. Among them:

•Once the girls and women are in the United States and under the traffickers' control, they are moved from one brothel to another in rapid succession, rarely spending more than one or two weeks in one place. The rotations prevent disoriented victims from establishing roots or escaping, and keep faces fresh for customers.

•Most advertise, sometimes in the classifieds of Spanish-language newspapers, or more frequently by handing out "tarjetas," business cards with codes for brothels, on the street. An officer from the Chicago vice squad told NBC News that his group uncovered boxes of business cards during a recent brothel raid that advertised tacos and burritos for delivery 24-hours a day. Potential customers are screened on the telephone or at the door to make sure they are members of the targeted ethnic group.

•Within the brothel, usually a typical house or apartment, a unique accounting strategy uses tokens such as poker chips and marbles, which are purchased by the "johns" and given as proof of purchase to the women and girls to keep track of how many men have visited them. A token, which costs $30 in the majority of cases, buys 15 minutes of sex in a sparse bedroom. According to the Polaris Project, an organization that operates a national hotline and offers services for victims of all types of human trafficking, one victim reported that she was forced to have sex with 55 men in one day.

Polaris Project released a report in 2009 about Latino residential brothels, an initial attempt to connect the dots of a national trend.

"We're still only beginning to wrap our brains around how big this issue is," said Bradley Myles, Polaris executive director. "Imagine all of the trafficking that goes on across the United States, Polaris has the job of being that single hotline for all of it. We're starting to get calls in from all 50 states, and we're hearing about this (type of) network more and more."

News reports over the past two decades frequently treated the issue as a local or regional problem. The same problem can exist within the law enforcement community, and with many networks operating in what appears to be a hub and spoke system, knocking out one brothel does little to disrupt business.

For law enforcement, a moving target

Local authorities often make strides in their communities, only to see the problem move to the next town or state. Thomas Stack and Leeland Wiley, two police detectives from Montgomery County, Md., largely eliminated the brothels in their jurisdiction several years ago. But they are under no illusions they solved the bigger problem.

"The brothels have moved to other locations, to other jurisdictions in the surrounding Washington metropolitan area," said Stack. "We've seen a significant decrease to the brothels in our area, but that doesn't mean that there are no brothels. You can just go across the county line and find them."

The origins of Latino Residential Brothels in the United States go back to at least the late 1980s when enterprising traffickers set up pop-up brothels in fields adjacent to farmland near the San Luis Rey River in California, catering to migrant workers. Farm owners eventually hired private security contractors to patrol the area, according to a 1989 story from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

As brothel networks spread across the country, the practices became more uniform and the profits grew. In 1998, a network of six brothels across Florida was raided, leading to 16 indictments. Authorities said the ring trafficked girls as young as 13 from Vera Cruz, Mexico, and netted up to $2.5 million in two years.

In a more recent case, on March 24, a federal judge in Atlanta sentenced Amador Cortes-Meza to 40 years in prison for human trafficking. He was convicted of bringing 10 women and girls, some as young as 14, into the United States from rural parts of Mexico. The victims said he and his co-conspirators told them they loved them, and promised jobs and weddings.

'Why did he do that to women?'

When one victim asked to be returned to her family, she testified, he repeatedly dunked her head in a bucket of water until she felt she was drowning. Another had an iron thrown at her, slicing open her head.

"Why did he do that to women?" asked Angelica, (not her real name) one of Cortes-Meza's victims, in an interview with NBC News. "He has a mother who is a woman. We're human beings."

Cases like these expose the scope and severity of the criminal networks nationally.

"They devalue life to such an extent to turn a young girl into nothing more than a money generating profit item," said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Investigations at the Department of Homeland Security, which investigated the case. "They brought back slavery."

One of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement agencies, besides locating and infiltrating the closed network brothels, is getting the cooperation of the victims. Traffickers keep women and girls under close supervision, and often take away their personal identification. If they are in the country illegally, they are told that the police will arrest them for prostitution and then deport them. Often captors threaten violent retribution to their families if they run away. One girl freed from a brothel in South Carolina in 1998, reported that she was caught escaping, locked in a closet for 15 days and then raped.

Since Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000, women in such brothels can be treated as victims rather than criminals. Protections include special "T Visas" allowing victims and their families to stay in the United States, counseling, health care and job placement.

"I'm so happy now," said Angelica, who recently testified in a Federal courtroom in Atlanta against Cortes-Meza. "I have all the liberty and freedom in the world."

But, according to experts, victims are often too afraid of law enforcement to come forward.

To provide a tip, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, 1-888-373-7888.

MSNBC

April 04, 2011

Note: The linked MSNBC article includes a video report.

See also:

Added: Apr. 6, 2011

Georgia, USA / Mexico

Convicted sex trafficker Amador Cortes-Meza sketched at his sentencing

Drawing: WSB TV

Man Gets 40 Years In Prison For Human Trafficking

Atlanta, Georgia - A federal judge in Atlanta sentenced Amador Cortes-Meza to 40 years in prison Thursday for trafficking in human beings in an international sex slavery operation.

United States Attorney Sally Yates said metro Atlanta has become a hub for the international sex slavery traffic. She said Cortes-Meza and his co-conspirators, mostly relatives, lured girls as young as 14 years old from their families in Mexico with promises of true love, marriage and prosperity in America, and as soon as they got here forced them into prostitution with dozens of men each night.

Brock Nicholson, the special agent in charge of Atlanta’s Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the men beat the girls with wooden and metal rods, disfiguring them permanently, and threatened their families in Mexico if the girls tried to get away.

One of the victims told Channel 2, “He told me if I left the place, he would go take it out on my mother.”

Channel 2 spoke with two victims who had testified in the trial. One said Cortes-Meza deserved a longer sentence than 40 years. “To me, she said, he is a monster.”

The prosecutor asked the court to sentence Cortes-Meza to prison for life, but Yates said since Cortes-Meza will be 76 when he leaves prison, “that’s pretty close to a life sentence.”

Yates told Channel 2, “It used to be that you would have situations where some men would go to Bangkok [Thailand] for the sex tours with children. Well, some of them are coming to Atlanta, now.”

WSB TV

March 24, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 6, 2011

The United States

Polaris Project's analysis of the problem of Latino residential brothel system that operates across the U.S.

Residential Brothels

Human trafficking victims in residential brothels are often forced to provide commercial sex to high volumes of men daily. In certain sex trafficking networks, women and girls commonly "serve" as many as four men per hour (every 15 minutes), totaling 48 men in a given 12 hour day. In this network, the victims are almost always women and children from Latin America.

Brothels are typically located in homes, town homes, condos, apartments, and trailers. The majority of residential brothels are “closed networks” for only Latino men as "johns." Rather than advertizing online or through newspapers, they distribute business cards or “tarjetas” and also publicize their existence through word-of-mouth.

After being brought into the U.S. from Nicaragua by two controllers, a young woman was kept in an apartment building and forced to provide commercial sex against her will. The men would come to the street corner outside the apartment and call a phone number. One of the controllers would let the man in and take the money. Once, a young man visited the apartment and she told him her story – which she was unable to leave or call for help. The young man reported the situation anonymously to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.*

*Based on calls received by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality.

When does it become trafficking?

Trafficking occurs when brothel operators and/or boyfriends/recruiters use force, fraud, and/or coercion to maintain control over women in the brothel and to cause them to engage in commercial sex acts. An individual under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex is considered a victim of sex trafficking regardless of the presence of force, fraud or coercion. Common means of control include:

Force – Complete isolation in the residential brothel; regular and frequent transportation to other brothels or other cities by drivers working for the trafficking network; physical or sexual abuse.

Fraud – False promises of a better life; false promises that a job in the United States will be better than their current job; false promises by a trafficker presenting as a boyfriend.

Coercion – Pressure to please the customer; debt manipulation; verbal, psychological and emotional abuse; threats of harm to the victim or victim’s family; threats to shame the victim by revealing the commercial sex to his or her family and others in the community; exploitation of a foreign national unfamiliarity with the language, laws and customs of the U.S.; threats of deportation and arrest; confiscation of passports and visas; restrictions on communication to family; forced abortions; rumors of or witnessed violence at hands of traffickers; coercive pressure from boyfriends or pimps outside the brothel.

*The above list is not comprehensive or cumulative. One element of force, fraud or coercion may be present, or many.

Vulnerabilities

Immigration Status – Frequently, the women within residential brothel networks are undocumented. They may have come to the U.S. on a legitimate visa, a false visa provided to them by the network, or they may have been smuggled across the border. In many cases, their passport or identification documents have been confiscated by the trafficker, further increasing their vulnerability. Without legal status, the women frequently are taught by traffickers to fear and distrust police or government authorities.

Economic Hardship – Residential brothel networks often target women experiencing economic hardship, exploiting women’s need to care financially for family members or children.

Frequent Movement & Disorientation – Typically, women are not aware of or familiar with their surroundings because they are made to live and sleep at the brothel location and are not allowed to leave except when transported to a new brothel location.

Recruitment – Similar to domestic pimp-controlled sex trafficking, women in residential brothels are commonly recruited into the network by traffickers posing as boyfriends who feign romance and affection. Others are recruited in their home countries through false job promises in the U.S. Latina women already living in the U.S. may also be targeted through print advertisements, informal communications, or word of mouth.

Statistics Snapshot

Standard price for 15 minutes of sex at a Residential Brothel: $30

Standard day for a woman or child at a Residential Brothel: 10am – 10pm; 12 hours; 7 days a week

Estimated number of men a woman or child must have sex with daily: 25 – 48 men daily

Polaris Project

April 04, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Guatemala

Ana Pérez Tum efectúa el cambio de la rosa, junto con Pedro Maas Chen —derecha, cuyos familiares fueron desaparecidos.

Ana Pérez Tum performs the ceremony of the changing of the rose of peace, together with Pedro Maas Chen. Both Mayan Guatemalans had family members who were 'disappeared' during the nation's Civil War.

Secretario de la Paz, Señor Eddy Armas

Eddy Armas, Secretary of Peace for the President of the Republic of Guatemala

Desaparición forzada de niños y niñas fue estrategia militar

“La desaparición forzada de niñas y niños durante la guerra constituyó una estrategia aplicada por el Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad del Estado” es la principal conclusión de un informe que recoge 11 casos acerca de la niñez desaparecida en el país.

El referido documento, preparado por la Dirección de los Archivos de la Paz —en conjunto con otras organizaciones—, también narra varios reencuentros de familias que a principios de la década de 1980 fueron separadas.

El informe cita que la Comisión Nacional de Búsqueda de Niñez Desaparecida en Guatemala detecta cuatro objetivos que las fuerzas represivas buscaban a través de la captura y desaparición de menores durante el conflicto armado.

Esos propósitos son terminar con la semilla de los futuros guerrilleros, obtención de información, atraer a los padres hacia los centros militares y capturarlos y tener niños disponibles para adopciones.

Algunas cifras

Eddy Armas, secretario de la Paz, expresó que el informe de la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico, registra alrededor de 300 casos de niños desaparecidos, pero según otras investigaciones el número podría superar los 500.

El director de la Asociación ¿Dónde están las Niñas y los Niños?, Manuel Cedillo, expuso: “Tenemos documentados más de 600 casos, y 128 reencuentros desde el 2001”.

“Queremos saber qué pasó, cómo fue y quiénes son los autores. Todos conocemos los nombres de las víctimas y organizaciones que ayudan, pero debemos conocer los rostros de los responsables”, dijo Norma Cruz, directora de la Fundación Sobrevivientes, sobre el informe.

Como parte del acto, Pedro Marcos y Petrona López, cuyo hijo Gaspar les fue arrebatado en 1982, tuvieron a su cargo el cambio de la rosa de la paz.

The forced disappearances of children was a military strategy

"The forced disappearance of children during the [Guatemala Civil] war was a strategy used by the military and state security forces" is the main conclusion of a report that reviewed 11 cases of missing children in the Guatemalan civil war.

That report, prepared by the Directorate of the Archives of the Peace, in conjunction with other organizations, "also describes several reunions of families in the early 1980's were separated.

The report cites the National Commission to Search for Disappeared Children in Guatemala as having identified four objectives that the repressive forces were seeking to accomplish through the kidnapping and disappearances [including murders] of children during armed conflict.

Those purposes were to kidnap children who might become potential guerrilla fighters, to gather intelligence from the kidnapped children, to make the parents of kidnapped children come looking for them at military bases so that the parents could be detained, and to make the children available for adoption.

Some figures

Eddy Armas, Peace Secretary [for the President of the Republic], said the report, authored by the Commission for Historical Clarification, identifies approximately 300 cases of missing children. Other research estimates say that the total number could exceed 500 victims.

Manuel Cedillo, director of the Where are the Girls and Boys? association, stated: "We have documented over 600 cases, including 128 reunions with family members, since 2001."

"We want to know what happened and how, and we want to know who the authors were. We all know the names of the victims and the organizations that help them, but we should also know the faces of those responsible, "said Norma Cruz, director of the Survivors Foundation, in regard to the report.

As part of the event,  Pedro Marcos and Petrona López, who's son Gaspar was taken from them in 1982, performed the act of the changing the rose of peace.

Geovanni Contreras

Prensa Libre

March 31, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

About the ongoing crisis of mass gender atrocities in Guatemala, and their relationship to the 1980's genocide of Mayan Guatemalans by state security forces during the Guatemalan Civil War.


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Primera sentencia clara de pornografía infantil la de Succar: Lydia Cacho

La periodista Lydia Cacho consideró que la sentencia dictada al empresario Jean Succar Kuri es ridícula para el tipo de delito que se cometió, luego que casi 200 niñas, niños y adolescente habían sido abusados por él.

Fue sentenciado a 12 años de prisión Jean Succar Kuri, acusado por pornografía infantil. El proceso se inició desde 2004. Se espera que se dicten otras condenas contra el libanés naturalizado mexicano.

El proceso que desmanteló la red de pornografía infantil de Succar Kuri comenzó en 2004, cuando una jovencita logró escapar e interpuso la denuncia correspondiente. Lo ocurrido hoy, en el Juzgado de Distrito con sede en Cancún, es histórico en nuestro país, ya que "es la primera sentencia clara por pornografía infantil", dijo la periodista Lydia Cacho, en entrevista con Denise Maerker.

Además del delito de pornografía infantil, aseguró la periodista, se espera que un juzgado del fuero común dicte una sentencia de hasta 25 años contra el libanés naturalizado mexicano, por los delitos de violación equiparada, violación y corrupción de menores; delitos que están plenamente demostrados y evidenciados.

La periodista consideró que la sentencia dictada al empresario Succar Kuri es ridícula para el tipo de delito que se cometió.

"La sentencia que se está dando en este momento, que es sólo de 12 años, es una sentencia que resulta ridícula para el tipo de delito que se cometió que eran casi 200 niñas, niños y adolescentes que habían sido abusados por él y por una red de cómplices".

La Red por los Derechos de la Infancia ha solicitado que Succar Kuri sea trasladado al Penal de la Palma, ya que se le considera un criminal peligroso.

Lydia Cacho aseguró que no han parado las amenazas de muerte en su contra.

Jean Succar Kuri case represents the first prison sentence specifically for crimes involving child pornography: Lydia Cacho

Journalist Lydia Cacho regards the recent sentencing to [millionaire] businessman Jean Succar Kuri to be ridiculous given the magnitude of the crimes he committed, given that he had [sexually] abused nearly 200 children and adolescents.

Succar Kuri was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being charged with manufacturing child pornography. The legal process against Succar Kuri started in 2004. The naturalized Lebanese migrant is likely to be sentenced in the future on other charges.

Succar Kuri’s child pornography network began to unravel in 2004 when an underage girl managed to escape from the ring.

Lydia Cacho stated that what happened today in the District Court of Cancun is a historic event in Mexico, given that it is the first case in which a prison sentence has been handed down in relation to a case of child pornography.

Cacho added that the common law court is expected to issue a sentence of up to 25 years against Succar Kuri for the crimes of rape, statutory rape the and corruption of minors, which Cacho said, are crimes that are fully proven and supported by the evidence.

"The sentence that the court has dictated, that of 12 years in prison, is ridiculous for the type of crime committed, were nearly 200 children and adolescents who had been abused by him and by his network of accomplices," said Cacho.

Mexico’s Network for Children's Rights has requested that Succar Kuri is transferred to the [high security] prison of La Palma, given that he is considered to be a dangerous criminal.

Lydia Cacho said that death threats [that have continues in the years since she first exposed Succar Kuri’s criminal network in 2005] continue.

Denise Maerker

Grupo Fórmula

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Convicted millionaire and child pornographer Jean Succar Kuri

Kuri recibió una sentencia débil: Lydia Cacho

Para la escritora y periodista Lydia Cacho es débil la sentencia de 13 años y 45 días de prisión que recibió el pederasta Jean Succar Kuri, alias “El Jhonny” que le dio un juez por los delitos de pornografía infantil y corrupción de menores.

En entrevista con la periodista Carmen Aristegui, no obstante, la escritora dijo que la decisión fue celebrada por las víctimas quienes “por fin” se sienten reconocidas por el Estado mexicano por su sufrimiento.

La autora de Los Demonios de Edén dijo que de sin embargo de acuerdo a la ley federal y la manera en que se acumularon los delitos se esperaba que Kuri recibiera por lo menos 24 años de cárcel.

“Eso tiene que ver con la exigencia de sentencias máximas para delitos de pornografía infantil, que son considerados de los delitos más graves en el mundo”, dijo.

Cacho dijo que también es importante que el juez diga si de esos 13 años se le descontarán los 6 que lleva preso en México.

En este contexto dijo que el caso seguirá pues el pederasta pudiera alanzar una pena de hasta 60 años.

[Convicted child pornographer] Jean Succar Kuri received a light sentence: Lydia Cacho

Writer and journalist Lydia Cacho believes that the recent court sentencing of Jean Succar Kuri to 13 years and 45 days in prison on criminal charges of child pornography and corruption of minors was weak and insufficient.

In an interview with journalist Carmen Aristegui, the Cacho said the decision was at least welcomed by the victims, who "finally" have a reason to believe that the Mexican government has acknowledged their suffering.

Cacho, who is the author of the [2005] book "The Demons of Eden” said, however, that according to federal law, and given the fact that repeat offenses were involved, Kuri Kuri should have received a sentence of at least 24 years in prison.

"The severity of these sentences has to do with the requirement for maximum sentences in cases of child pornography crimes, which are considered to be the most serious crimes in the world," said Cacho.

Cacho noted that it is important that the judge clarify whether the six years that Succar Kuri has already spent in prison will be subtracted from his sentence.

Cacho added that Succar Kuri may be sentenced to as much as 60 years in prison on other charges.

SDPnoticias

March 31, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Mexican mogul sentenced to 13 yrs in [child] porn case

Cancun – A Mexican court sentenced Lebanese-born millionaire Jean Succar Kuri to 13 years in prison for producing child pornography and corrupting minors.

Succar Kuri, who also faces rape charges, has been behind bars in this Caribbean resort city since his extradition from the United States in July 2006.

Besides jail time, the tourism magnate was ordered to pay 350,000 pesos ($29,000) in damages to each of seven victims, the judiciary said in a statement.

While hailing the verdict as "historic," an attorney for one of the victims complained that Succar Kuri's prison term amounts to less than two years for each minor he abused.

Xavier Olea said he and other lawyers representing victims will demand a minimum sentence of 60 years for Succar Kuri if he is convicted on three counts of rape in a trial that could start in May.

The kiddie-porn case dates from 2003, when a group of minors in Cancun filed a criminal complaint against Succar Kuri.

An investigation by Quintana Roo state police uncovered videos and still photographs of sex acts involving Succar Kuri and girls as young as 4, while state prosecutors later caught the mogul on videotape confessing to one of his victims.

The businessman fled to the United States, but was arrested in Arizona at the request of Mexican authorities.

One of those who did the most to publicize the crimes of Succar Kuri was journalist, author and women's rights activist Lydia Cacho, who suffered death threats and judicial persecution for exposing pedophile rings in Cancun.

Cacho, who heads the Ciam women's center in Cancun, welcomed the conviction of Succar Kuri as the fruit of efforts by society and a few "honest" public servants.

In her book, "Los demonios del Eden" (The Demons of Eden), Cacho mentioned Kamel Nacif, one of Mexico's richest men, as a friend and protector of Succar Kuri.

Cacho was arrested in late 2005 in Cancun on charges of defamation - [then] a criminal offense in Mexico - filed by Nacif. She was taken to Puebla, a city more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away, and was psychologically tortured and threatened with death [and rape -LL].

In early 2006, Mexican newspapers published transcripts of wiretapped conversations between Nacif and the then-governor of the central state of Puebla, Mario Marin, in which the two men discussed a plot to have Cacho jailed and then sexually assaulted behind bars.

On the tapes, Nacif, known as the "denim king" for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, is heard telling Marin that he had arranged for "the crazies and the tortilleras (Mexican slang for lesbians)" to sexually assault Cacho in the women's prison in Puebla city.

The transcripts indicate that Nacif engineered the journalist's arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the summonses for the defamation case.

The reporter's lawyers managed to get her out of jail before any harm could come to her and the defamation case against her was later dismissed.

EFE

March 31, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Mexican businessman convicted of child pornography

A prominent Mexican businessman accused of luring poor girls to his home was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years on child pornography charges in a case that tarnished the reputations of a state governor and another businessman.

Jean Succar Kuri, a legal U.S. resident who was extradited to Mexico in 2006, was convicted of child pornography and abuse of minors, a federal court in the Caribbean resort of Cancun announced. He was ordered to pay 85,837 pesos ($7,180) in fines and make payments of 350,000 pesos to each of the victims.

The court's statement gave no details on the evidence against Succar, who has denied the charges. His lawyer, Fernando Lechuga, said he would appeal.

Prosecutors said Succar lured poor girls to his home so that he and his friends could have sex with them.

Xavier Olea Perez, a lawyer for the victims, said the case involved seven minors who were photographed and videotaped in sexual positions.

"We think this is a historic resolution. As lawyers for the minors, we are very satisfied," he said.

But Lechuga said there were no pornographic videos included in the evidence against Succar. He acknowledged there was a video of Succar at a restaurant with one of the victims.

"I'm a little bit surprised," Lechuga said. "Everyone talks about the videos but there are no videos that demonstrate what people would consider pornography."

Targeted by an investigation in Mexico in 2003, Succar fled to the United States but was arrested during a traffic stop in Arizona in February 2004 and extradited two years later.

While he tried to fight extradition, the case gained notoriety following the arrest of Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, who wrote a book about pedophilia in Cancun that linked Succar to a prominent businessman in the city of Puebla. Audio tapes were released apparently featuring then Puebla Governor Mario Marin and the Puebla businessman plotting to jail Cacho.

Cacho, who was charged with libel and slander, was whisked 900 miles from Cancun by a caravan of Puebla state police, briefly jailed and charged with libel in December 2005.

She was eventually cleared of criminal charges. In 2007, Cacho won the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation.

Some Mexicans had called for Marin's impeachment, but the Puebla state legislature, dominated by the governor's allies, declined to remove him. Marin's Institutional Revolutionary Party lost the Puebla state gubernatorial election last year for the first time in 80 years.

Gabriel Alcocer

The Associated Press

April 01, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina  Special Section

Journalist / Activist Lydia Cacho is Railroaded by the Legal Process in Mexico for Exposing Child Pornography and Sex Traffikcing Networks in Cancun, Mexico


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

The World

Mexican anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho (far left), and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (far right), onstage at Newsweek's 2011 Women of the World Summit

Photo: Newsweek / The Daily Beast

Women in the World Summit 2011: Most Memorable Quotes

I was pleased to be invited to cover the exclusive Women in the World Summit in New York March 10-12 at the Hudson Theater. It is the second annual summit hosted by Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and it brings together women from around the world to discuss issues affecting women both in the U.S. and abroad. The agenda included speakers such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, moderators such as Christiane Amanpour, Juju Chang, Mika Brzezinski, and Lesley Stahl, and panels with guests like Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice, Ashley Judd, Lydia Cacho, Diane von Furstenberg, Sheryl Sandberg, John Donahoe, Amy Chua, and more.

From the presentation of guest speaker Lydia Cacho:

“Women and girls around the world taught me this lesson: If you do not have real opportunities to exercise your rights, how can you choose freely? I know my rights. I have survived rape, incarceration, and an assassination attempt for exercising my freedom to be an echoer of other women’s voices. And here I am, making a free choice that millions of our sisters cannot make. Until we walk the path together, I’ll keep writing.”

Lydia Cacho, Journalist and Author, reading from her book, Slaves of Power: A Journey to the Heart of World Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls

Andrea Newell

March 14, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

The World

Ms. Michelle Bachelet is the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, which was established on 2 July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Photo: Newsweek / The Daily Beast

Michelle Bachelet: Rape Is Everyone's Problem

How can we prevent and punish rape? At the [2011] Women in the World summit, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet said this issue must be treated as society's problem when discussing rape in war-torn areas.

[Video from Youtube.com]

Newsweek / The Daily Beast

March 12, 2011

Note: United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Ms. Michelle Bachelet was Chile's first woman president. Ms. Bachelet was arrested and tortured by police forces during the reign of former Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet. - LL


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Encuentran más de 40 toneladas de pornografía infantil en el DF

Crece la venta indiscriminada de pornografía infantil en plazas comerciales y el ambulantaje en el primer cuadro de la ciudad, donde se estima que se encuentran más de 40 toneladas de videos donde los niños son obligados a sostener relaciones sexuales con adultos, ante lo cual, en la ALDF se presentará una propuesta para que se detenga a los líderes de informales que venden esos productos que afectan a la niñez.

Integrantes de la Comisión de Procuración y Administración de Justicia de la Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal (ALDF), lamentaron que líderes de informales no respeten las leyes y se cobijen bajo la impunidad a cambio de cobrarles mayores cuotas a sus agremiados con tal de dejarlos vender discos "piratas" de pornografía infantil.

Aseguran que los llamados "cuadros" o "delegados" como nombran los dirigentes a quienes tienen la tarea de cobrar las cuotas de "apoyo" a determinadas organizaciones, no son más que grupos de choque que en ocasiones azuzan a los ambulantes para enfrentar los operativos que van dirigidos en contra de la venta de pornografía infantil...

Authorities estimate the presence of 40 tons of child pornography video CDs in Mexico City’s Cuauhtémoc borough

The indiscriminate sale of child pornography by street vendors and in malls in the “First Quarter” historic district of the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City continues to grow. It is now estimated that there are more than 40 tons of video [CDs] for sale showing children being forced to engage in sexual relations with adults. In response, the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF) plan to present a bill that will lead to the arrest of the organizers of these informal sales networks, whose products are negatively affecting children.

Members of the ALDF’s Commission on the Enforcement and Administration lamented that these wholesale merchants do not respect the law and cover themselves with impunity as they charge high fees from their retailers to allow them to sell "pirate" compact discs of child pornography.

These legislators also denounce the fact that the leaders of these so-called ‘aid groups,’ who are known as "cuadros” or "delegates," appoint themselves the job of charging ‘support fees’ [protection money] from street vendors. In reality, they are members of violent organizations that at-times organize street vendors to fight-off police raids aimed at stopping illicit child pornography sales.

Commander Victor Manuel Guajardo Sosa, who is the Borough of Cuauhtemoc’s public safety officer, said that so far this year authorities have seized just over 400 thousand products, most of them compact discs that contain child pornography. The Borough plans to continue these operations in collaboration with the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR).

Guajardo Sosa explained that the points where child pornography discs are openly sold include a number of local malls, and the the neighborhoods of Lázaro Cárdenas, Arcos de Belén, Glorieta de Insurgentes, Puebla and San Pablo. He added that as long as these sales continue "the authorities plan to continue fighting them, because we will protect the rights of children."

For their part, city legislators declared that during the present legislative session they will revise the city’s criminal code [Mexico City is a federated entity with the legislative powers of a state] to increase penalties for those who engage in the marketing of child pornography. The proposal will make an example of those who, in plain sight, display for sale these illicit videos that violate the rights of children.

El Sol de Mexico

March 23, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Indígenas y afrodescendientes, los más discriminados en México

Ciudad de México - En México, ser de tez morena, ser indígena o ser afrodescendiente son motivos para recibir insultos en la calle, ser más vulnerables a sufrir maltratos y ser víctimas de transgresiones a las garantías individuales.

Ser indígena o afrodescendiente en México también significa que hay mayores probabilidades de tener poca o nula educación, no tener acceso a servicios básicos de salud y vivir en familias sin ingresos fijos, según una encuesta del Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (CONAPRED), relizada con el apoyo de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) que se dio a conocer esta semana.

La discriminación en la vida cotidiana

Más de la mitad de los mexicanos encuestados el año pasado por el CONAPRED y la UNAM dijeron que el color de piel es motivo suficiente para que una persona sea insultada en la calle.

"(Eso) nos da elementos para concluir que en nuestro país se rechaza y margina a un sector de la población que, además de ser mayoritario, no tiene las características físicas de grupos de población que, en todo caso, estarían más relacionados con características europeas o norteamericanas", explicó la CONAPRED en el Documento Informativo sobre Discriminación Racial en México, elaborado con motivo de la celebración del Día Internacional de la Discriminación Racial el 21 de marzo.

En esa misma encuesta, el 15% de la población consultada manifestó que "sus derechos no han sido respetados debido a su color de piel".

Para la CONAPRED, esto evidencia que en México hay personas que son discriminadas y se les niegan derechos por motivos relacionados con prejuicios basados en una visión de "superioridad de razas".

Los resultados del más reciente censo poblacional realizado por el Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) señalaron que en México viven 6 millones 695 mil 228 personas de 5 años y más que hablan lengua indígena. Casi un millón de ellos, no hablan español.

En esta mismo conteo, 15.7 millones dijeron ser de origen indígena, mientras que 400 mil hablantes de alguna lengua originaria declararon no sentirse indígenas.

En cuanto a la población afrodescendiente, la CONAPRED estima que México cuenta con 450 mil habitantes con dichas características. La mayoría de ellos están asentados en la Costa Chica de Guerrero y Oaxaca, así como algunos estados al sur como Tabasco y Chiapas...

Indigenous and African descendent peoples face intense racial discrimination in Mexico

Mexico City - In Mexico, being of dark complexion, being Indian or African descent are reasons to be receiving insults in the street, be more vulnerable to abuse and be victims of violations of individual rights.

Aboriginal or African descent in Mexico also means that there are more likely to have little or no education, no access to basic health services and live in families with fixed incomes, according to a survey by the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED), arisen I deem supported by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which was released this week.

Discrimination in everyday life

More than half of Mexicans surveyed last year by the UNAM CONAPRED and said the color is reason enough for a person to be insulted in the street.

"(That) gives evidence to conclude that our country is rejected and marginalized sector of the population, besides being the majority, not the physical characteristics of population groups, if anything, are more related to characteristics Europe and North America, "explained CONAPRED in the information paper on Racial Discrimination in Mexico, prepared on the occasion of International Day of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.

In the same survey, 15% of the persons surveyed said that "their rights have been violated because their skin color."

For CONAPRED, this is evidence that in Mexico there are people who are discriminated against and denied rights for reasons related to prejudice based on a vision of "superior races."

The results of the latest census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported that live in Mexico 6 million 695 thousand 228 persons 5 years and older who spoke an indigenous language. Nearly a million of them do not speak Spanish.

In this same count, 15.7 million said to be of Indian origin, while some 400 000 indigenous language speakers reported no indigenous feel.

CONAPRED has estimate Mexico has some 450,000 inhabitants of African descent. Most of them are settled in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero and Oaxaca states in in the southern states of Tabasco and Chiapas.

Discrimination against indigenous peoples

A complaint investigation opened by the CONAPRED illustrates the situation of indigenous peoples in Mexico.

On June 11, 2008, a restaurant in the northwestern state of Nayarit denied entry to a group of Huichol indigenous people, arguing that they "were filthy."

Following the publication of a story about this incident in a national newspaper, CONAPRED decided to open an investigation. The restaurant owner denied the facts alleged.

The CONAPRED, with the support of the Human Rights Commission of the State of Nayarit reached an agreement with the restaurant’s owner in which he declared that he is committed to preventing discrimination against the Huichol. The owner and his workers were required to attend a discrimination awareness course.

The case documented by the CONAPRED is just one example of the problems that indigenous Mexicans must face.

For the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Centro PRODH), cases such as that of Jacinta Francisco Marcial, an Otomi indigenous woman accused of kidnapping elements of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) [by detaining their exist from a street vending area after the agents had confiscated merchandise] are examples of how the Mexican judicial system discriminates against the native peoples. Jacinta was released three years after being imprisoned for lack of evidence.

International bodies such as the Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights agree with the perspective of the PRODH Center.

"The conditions of disadvantage and vulnerability that indigenous peoples and communities live with in Mexico become even more obvious and serious when they come into, or are forced to confront the systems of the enforcement-of and the administration-of justice," according to the chapter on indigenous peoples of the National Assessment of Human Rights in Mexico, published by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2003.

Discrimination against African descendants

The black population in Mexico is almost invisible. Only rarely have they been included in the nation’s public policy agenda, according to CONAPRED.

According to a publication on racial discrimination published by CONAPRED, " Unjustifiably, the black population in Mexico remains excluded. There are no real opportunities for them to become a part of the nation’s social fabric, starting with the application of equality – a condition that would actually transform our nation into one that is just and inclusive.”

Non governmental organizations have begun to emerge in Mexico that work to raise awareness about the problems of racial exclusion and prejudice.

In an interview hosted by a radio station sponsored by the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, Israel Reyes of the Africa Civic Association said that their group has begun trying to convince government agencies such as the INEGI to take into account the racial heritage of those who are interviewed for its surveys, with the goal of determining the exact numbers of Afro-Mexicans and their most important [social] problems.

Prejudice towards people of African descent in Mexico is not less than that perpetrated against indigenous Mexicans.

A 2007 study by CONAPRED found that 47.8% of Mexicans surveyed stated that poverty in black communities exists because their people do not work.

Hanako Taniguchi

CNN Mexico

March 24, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Honduras

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, la cónsul de Honduras en Chiapas

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, Honduran consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas.

Foto: Diario del Sur/ Organización Editorial Mexicana

Operativos para combatir la trata de personas deben ser permanentes

Tapachula, Chiapas - Ante la tardanza con la que actúa la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA), de la Procuraduría General de la República para combatir este fenómeno social en la frontera sur de México, la cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula, Patricia Villamil Perdomo, exigió se tomen cartas en el asunto al mismo tiempo de señalar que esta instancia se tarda tres meses en armar sus investigaciones para posterior realizar los operativos pertinentes.

Reconoció que existen redes de trata de personas desde Honduras y Centroamérica hasta México, gente que va a traer a las jóvenes para prostituirlas y explotarlas laboralmente, por lo que instó a las autoridades para que los operativos de combate a este tema que se efectúan de vez en cuando, sean permanentes.

Acusó que por parte de las autoridades federales hay dilación en las investigaciones que se llevan más de tres meses en resolver las denuncias, cuando esto debe ser inmediato, al tiempo de reconocer el trabajo de la Fiscalía Especializada en Delitos Cometidos en Contra de Inmigrantes del Gobierno estatal.

La diplomática dijo que le causaba extrañeza un comunicado emitido en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, en la que señalan que ella no acudió a una reunión de trabajo sobre el tema, porque aseguró que es la única Cónsul que ha abordado con acciones este problema y que ha llevado la voz cantante y ha acudido a la Fiscalía de Atención al Migrante que preparó el operativo que concluyó con el rescate de mujeres centroamericanas explotadas y la detención de dos personas entre ellas la llamada "Mamá Meche" en Frontera Comalapa, quizás el error fue no estar allí porque se desconocía la fecha en que realizarían esas acciones y tuvo que viajar a su país...

Operations to combat trafficking should be made permanent: Honduran consul in Chiapas

The city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, [on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala] – Reacting to the repeated delays that the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) [an office in the Attorney General of the Republic] - demonstrates in reponse to [the ongoing crisis of] gender violence on the southern border of Mexico, the Honduran consul in the city of Tapachula [in Chiapas state], Patricia Perdomo Villamil, has demanded that FEVIMTRA step up and take action on cases in a timely manner. Currently, FEVIMTRA takes three months to set-up their investigations, activity that is carried-out prior to conducting enforcement operations.

Consul Perdomo Villamil declared that there are human trafficking networks that move [victims] from Honduras and Central America to Mexico. Those who are trafficked are girls and young women who will be subjected to prostitution and labor exploitation. She urged the Mexican authorities to conduct their anti-trafficking operations on a permanent basis.

The Consul charged that currently, federal authorities are taking more than three months to investigate allegations, when their response should be immediate. At the same time, Consul Perdomo Villamil recognized that the Chiapas state Special Prosecutor for Crimes Committed Against Immigrants was doing good work.

The diplomat said that a statement issued [by state officials] in Tuxtla Gutierrez [capital of Chiapas state] to be strange, given that it announced that the she had failed to attend a workshop on human trafficking. Consul Perdomo Villamil responded by emphasizing that she is the only Consul to have addressed this problem, and that it was she who had worked with the state Special Prosecutor for Crimes Committed Against Immigrants to prepare an operation that led to the rescue of [a number of] exploited Central American women and the arrest of two suspects. Those arrested included that of "Mother Meche" in the city of Frontera Comalapa. The Consul added that perhaps her error was that she had not known the date that the raids had been planned for, and was in Honduras at the time.

Consul Perdomo Villamil exclaimed that in regard to the issue of human trafficking, she has made public statements warning fellow Central Americas that, from the moment they leave their homes to cross into another country, they are at risk of being subjected to human trafficking and prostitution. "We have made complaints, but the process for the victims is tedious and long. We have waited for up to three months before these operations are carried out. The response should be immediate," she said.

"In Chiapas, when there is human trafficking, you can not fool anyone. The rights of migrants continue to be violated. There are cases of sex trafficking in [the cities and towns of] Comalapa, Huixtla, Motozintla, Tapachula and many of the municipalities the region and across the country” she said.

Regarding the situation at Frontera Comalapa, Consul Perdomo Villamil explained that the mother of a young girl who had left Honduras came looking for her daughter knowing that she was in the city of Frontera Comalapa. The mother knew that her daughter was working for a person who owned two businesses, which drew our attention. We filed complaints and raids took place in response.

"We know of a number of cases because the women who work in these places give us information. We ask that the police raids of bars and taverns be made permanent, because there are business where women and girls are being exploited."

Consul Perdomo Villamil noted that although no exact figures can be estimated in regard to the numbers of victims of sexual and labor trafficking and exploitation [in teh region], such exploitation does exist. People leave their country looking for a better life, but they never imagine that they will become victims of human trafficking, she added.

Migration from Central America and Honduras in particular has grown and will continue to grow, because everyone thinks the United States is a good place to live. As far as human trafficking is concerned, it is important that each one of use speak up and denounce cases to the authorities.

César Solís

Diario del Sur, Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 23, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Migrantes centroamericanas padecen explotación sexual en Chiapas

Adolescentes son obligadas a prostituirse en municipios chiapanecos que hacen frontera con Guatemala

Gabriela, originaria de San Pedro Sula, Honduras, tiene 17 años y un hijo. Llegó a Chiapas hace seis meses y ha sido obligada a prostituirse en almenos cuatro bares locales.

En febrero pasado logró contactar con unos hondureños que llegaron al municipio chiapaneco Frontera Comalapa, ubicado a unos 60 kilómetros de Guatemala, donde se concentran cientos de migrantes centroamericanos que buscan llegar a Estados Unidos. Les pidió ayuda para escapar.

Los hombres no se atrevieron a intervenir directamente, pero a través de una llamada anónima dieron aviso al consulado de su país.

Dos semanas después de la denuncia, personal del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) y de las procuradurías de Chiapas y General de la República (PGR), rescataron a seis hondureñas que eran explotadas sexualmente, todas menores de edad.

“En (el bar) Los Delfines hay otras 2 (mujeres) menores de edad, en La Cava 3, en El Rodeo 5 y en La Botana 3. Las demás que están ahí ya tienen 19 años”, explicó Gabriela ante un oficial del Ministerio Público de la Fiscalía Especial para Delitos de Violencia contra Mujeres y Trata de Personas (Fevintra), a donde fue llevada para tratar de identificar los líderes de la banda de traficantes de personas que la secuestraron.

La historia de cómo llegó Gabriela a Chiapas es semejante a la que narran sus otras dos compañeras: “Llegó una mujer a mi pueblo y dijo que había trabajo en un restaurante en Chiapas, que ahí podía trabajar para juntar lo de mi pasaje para poder llegar hasta Estados Unidos”.

La joven dice que es madre de un niño de dos años, que en su lugar de origen no hay fuentes de trabajo y la única opción que vio para sacarlo de la pobreza fue aceptar la oferta. “Vine porque mi niño estaba enfermo y no tenía que darle. Solo le daba harina de arroz”.

“Nos venimos dos muchachas. Para cruzar los retenes, las personas que nos trajeron sólo les daban a la policía 300 pesos para dejarnos pasar. Cuando llegamos al supuesto restaurante ya no nos dejaron salir. De ahí ya nos llevaban de un lugar a otro”, explica...

Central American migrants in Chiapas suffer from sexual exploitation

Teens are forced into prostitution in the cities and towns of the Mexican border state of Chiapas

Gabriela, a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is 17-years-old and has a son. She arrived in [Mexico’s southern] state of Chiapas six months ago. During that time, she has been forced into prostitution in at least four bars.

Last February Gabriela was able to make contact with several Hondurans who came to the Chiapan town of Frontera Comalapa, located about 60 kilometers from the Guatemalan border, a place where hundreds of Central American migrants seeking to reach the United States may be found. She asked for help to escape.

The men did not dare to intervene directly, but through an anonymous phone call they let the Honduran consulate in Chiapas know about the victim’s plight.

Two weeks after receiving the tip, personnel from the National Migration Institute (INM) and both federal and state prosecutors [organized an operation to] rescue six sexually exploited Hondurans. All of the victims were minors.

"In The Dolphins (bar) there are two underage girls. In La Cava bar there are three. In the Rodeo bar 5, and in the Botana bar, three more,” explained Gabriela during a meeting with an official of the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA).

The story of how Gabriela came to Chiapas is similar to that narrated by two of her travelling companions. She explained that "a woman came to my town and said that she had work for me in a restaurant in Chiapas. She said that there, I could save enough money for a trip to the United States.”

The girl said that she is the mother of a toddler. In her hometown there are no jobs. The only option available for to her to escape poverty was to accept the offer. "I came because my child was sick and I had nothing to give him. I could only feed him rice flour."

"Two of us girls came here together. To cross the checkpoints, the people who brought us here just paid the police 300 pesos to let us pass. When we arrived at the suposed restaurant they didn’t let us out. From there they took us from one place to another," explains Gabriela.

During the International Congress on Gender and Migration held in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas on March 9th, 2011, the Honduran consul  in Chiapas Patricia Perdomo Villamil explained the workings of the international human trafficking networks that operate in Chiapas.

Consul Perdomo Villamil said that men and women participate in human trafficking as 'procurers' of adult women and underage girls. An unknown number of the victims are forced into prostitution in the towns of Comitan, Huixtla, Chicomuselo, Motozitla and Frontera Comalapa. All of these Chiapan towns border Guatemala.

Consul Villamil Perdomo said there is not enough will on the part of the authorities to clear out these trafficking networks, even when they have identified the places where they operate and the centers where victims are taken.

This past Monday the local consuls of the Central American nations were scheduled to meet with state prosecutors and the President of the Court of Justice for the State of Chiapas, to agree on preventive measures to help reduce the trafficking of persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

On March 4th, the state Attorney General, Raciel López Salazar explained that during the past four years state authorities have dismantled 23 human trafficking gangs. Without specifying numbers, the official said that during these actions state and municipal public servants involved in trafficking have been arrested.

The Mexican Index of Vulnerability to Human Trafficking, prepared by Center for Studies and Research in Development and Social Welfare, has identified the fact that Chiapas is among the five Mexican states with the highest numbers of victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

The other states are Michoacán, Oaxaca, Zacatecas and Guanajuato. There are no precise figures on the number of people affected.

Thanks to information from the witnesses, 10 other women, including two minors, were located and freed.

The state prosecutor's office arrested 53 men and women, who may be involved with human trafficking criminal activity in the border towns of Frontera Comalapa, Tapachula, Motozintla and Comitán, on the border of Chiapas and Guatemala, and San Cristobal las Casas [farther inland].

The Consul of Honduras in Chiapas, Yamileth Patricia Villamil, reported that the State Attorney General could be obstructing the administration of justice to the detriment of the child victims of the crime of trafficking, because before the rescue of Gabriela, they had been notified of the abduction and exploitation of the migrants, and did nothing in response.

The State Council on Human Rights has initiated a complaint against the State Attorney General’s office.

CNN Mexico

March 23, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Comunicado Denuncia De Red De Trata De Personas En Chiapas

Mayan indigenous activists in Chiapas state, Mexico, support Honduran consul in Chiapas Patricia Yamileth Villamil's complaint that Mexican officials are taking inadequate steps to curb human trafficking in the region. The signatories to this letter call upon the authorities to step-up their anti-trafficking enforcement activities.

A Los Gobiernos de Centroamerica

A Las Organanizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales

A La Comision Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos

A La Organizacion de Las Naciones Unidas

A La Sociedad en General

Al Gobierno de Mexico

Al Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

El Viernes 11 de marzo de 2011 la cónsul de Honduras, Patricia Yamileth Villamil denunció que grupos de tratantes de personas llegan hasta las comunidades pobres como Puerto Cortés, Comayagua y San Pedro Sula a sacar con engaños a jovencitas hondureñas ofreciéndoles trabajos bien pagados como empleadas del hogar o meseras de restaurantes, pero al llegar a Chiapas son obligadas a prostituirse en bares y centros nocturnos de poblados fronterizos con Guatemala como Frontera Comalapa, Comitán, San Cristóbal, San Gregorio Chamic y Tapachula. Las jovencitas, por temor no denuncian los hechos porque vienen dominadas por sus enganchadores que son también sus acreedores de deudas que van de tres mil a cinco mil pesos por costos de traslado. Señaló que esta situación se vive día a día en los municipios fronterizos y la realidad es que en bares de Chiapas hay muchas hondureñas, tanto menores que van desde los 14 y los 17 años de edad, como jóvenes adultas que están siendo explotadas ya sea víctimas de trata o prostitución.

El 12 del presente, personal de la Fiscalía Especial para Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (Fevintra) rescató a seis menores de edad que eran obligados a prostituirse y consumir bebidas embriagantes en Frontera Comalapa, quienes han rendido su declaración y confirmaron la existencia de otras menores de edad. Algunas de ellas, de apenas 14 y 15 años de edad.

El 13, fue detenida una persona que regenteaba y aparentemente servía de vínculo para mandar a traer a las menores de edad. Se trata de “Mama Meche” mujer acusada de traficar con menores de edad con fines de explotación sexual. “Mama Meche” es la propietaria del centro nocturno/prostíbulo denominado “Los Delfines” en el municipio de Frontera Comalapa. Una de las menores de edad que era prostituida en ese burdel, y que ahora se encuentra como testigo protegida por el gobierno de su país y de las autoridades mexicanas, durante su segunda declaración, explico con lujo de detalles, algunos ilícitos dentro de los que se encuentran el tráfico de armas, drogas y abuso en contra de mujeres centroamericanas por autoridades y funcionarios que se cometen en esos antros en donde se explota a las migrantes principalmente, hondureñas en burdeles como los denominados, Los Delfines, La botana, El Rodeo.

La cónsul Patricia Yamileth Villamil lamentó “la lentitud con que las autoridades actuaron para detener a los responsables de la explotación sexual en contra de jóvenes centroamericanas, y advirtió que exigirá a todas las autoridades competes que asuman su responsabilidad y que ejerzan acción penal contra quienes resulten responsables, porque “Tenemos conocimiento que se encuentran inmiscuidos agentes del ministerio público, policías, elementos de migración y otras autoridades. Vamos a llegar hasta las últimas consecuencias”

Llamado a las Autoridades

Las organizaciones firmantes manifestamos que la gravedad y magnitud de los crímenes que se cometen en México en contra de los Migrantes centroamericanos nos tienen en deuda vergonzosa con nosotros mismos, con los pueblos de Centroamérica y con la comunidad internacional. A las atrocidades mas ventiladas en los medios masivos de comunicación, como los secuestros, las desapariciones, los asesinatos, las extorsiones, el tráfico de órganos, se agrega la magnitud de la trata de personas, que no sólo ocurre en el estado de Chiapas, también se conoce que los estados de Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Baja California y otros, están involucrados en operaciones de trata de personas. Las autoridades mexicanas ya no pueden continuar dando excusas ni intentando tapar el sol con un dedo.

Es Imperativo

Que se tomen medidas para parar estas atrocidades, y que, a pesar de las evidentes complicidades, es imperativo que se detenga y se castigue a los culpables.

Las organizaciones firmantes manifestamos nuestro respaldo a la posición de la Cónsul de Honduras Patricia Yamileth Villamil, en su exigencia a las autoridades de México para que cumplan con su responsabilidad y atiendan este problema que involucra a menores por lo que su nivel de vulnerabilidad es aun más agudo. Esespecialmente urgente que se rescate a las jovencitas aun en cautiverio.

* Las organizaciones firmantes solicitamos al gobierno de Juan Sabines que continúe la investigación de la denuncia de la cónsul de Honduras, Patricia Yamileth Villamil en el sentido de que en Chiapas se prostituyen a mujeres jóvenes de su país con conocimiento de las autoridades sin que se haga nada al respecto.

* Las organizaciones firmantes solicitamos intervención de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, y de los Comités Regionales de Trata de Personas, para que informen a la sociedad mexicana que es lo saber qué están haciendo. Para que nos digan porque han fracasado.

A t e n t a m e n t e

Alejandro Solalinde, José Jacques Medina, Luis Ángel Nieto, Elvira Arellano, Rubén Figueroa, Irineo Mujica, Héctor Pedraza Olguín, Carlota Botey, Rosa Martha Zarate, Guadalupe Calzada Sánchez, Marta Sánchez Soler, Coordinadora MMM

México Distrito Federal

5 de Marzo de 2011

[Translation to follow]

Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano / Mesoamerican Migrant Movement

March 15, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, El Salvador

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, cónsul de la república de El Salvador en Chiapas.

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, El Salvador's consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas.

Foto Diario del Sur.

Alerta Cónsul de El Salvador sobre aumento de migración a Chiapas

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, El Salvador's consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas, warns that due to severe economic conditions in the region, the out-migration of Salvadorans and other Central Americans towards the United States will continue to increase. He also warns that all such migrants risk being victimized by human traffickers.

Tapachula, Chiapas - El consulado de El Salvador en Chiapas, dio a conocer que en Chiapas la regularización de salvadoreños podría incrementar durante 2011, por la dura crisis económica del país centroamericano, aunque se esté buscando mejorías, indicando que en promedio de años atrás a la fecha han regularizado a casi mil ciudadanos en la frontera sur.

En entrevista con el cónsul de El Salvador en Chiapas, Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, precisó que los salvadoreños tienen más de un familiar en los Estados Unidos y el motivo por el cual ellos emigran es para mejorar su condición de vida y sobre todo para ayudar a sus familiares, otros por reunificación y otros que van a trabajar en busca de nuevos horizontes.

El diplomático centroamericano indicó que por ello en El Salvador, el gobierno está generando las condiciones para crear fuentes de empleo; pero insistió que lo que "nunca se podrá hacer es restringir la movilidad de las personas, porque ello sería restringir su derecho a emigrar".

Al hablar de los registros de los salvadoreños que habitan en territorio chiapaneco, el cónsul reconoció que ni las propias autoridades poseen cifras de la población flotante; de ahí que sólo se puede saber de los migrantes detenidos por el Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) y de quienes han llegado a regularizarse.

"Lo que nosotros orientamos a nuestros hermanos es que tengan mucho cuidado cuando tengan que emprender este camino, si lo pueden hacer en forma normal o legal; que lo hagan. Que tengan mucho cuidado en su viaje que ellos emprenden, lo que les surja en su trayecto", explicó.

Recordó que desde que un salvadoreño sale de su país, desde ese momento ya se encuentra vulnerable y puede ser víctima de delincuencia común y organizada, así como recibir maltratos físicos, laborales, hasta sexuales y en esta parte la preocupación es latente ya que dentro de los mil 156 repatriados en enero y febrero del presente año, a la fecha ya se han contabilizado más de 100 niños...

[Translation to follow]

Rubén Zúñiga

Diario del Sur/Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 24, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central [and South] America

AI informará a ONU sobre abuso de migrantes centroamericanos

Amnesty International will submit a report to the Committee on the Rights of Migrant Works of the United Nations that describes the crisis facing Central [and South] American migrants who attempt to pass through Mexico to reach the United States

México.- Una delegación de tres especialistas de Amnistía Internacional (AI) informará el próximo lunes y martes a los miembros del Comité de Derechos de los Trabajadores Migratorios de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), sobre los abusos que sufren las y los migrantes centroamericanos en su paso por México con dirección a Estados Unidos.

El investigador de AI sobre México, Rupert Knox, dijo que el fin de informar a la ONU es para que las autoridades mexicanas sean responsables de la seguridad de la población migrante en su paso por el país, y que hagan más por ellos, ya que cada año centenares de mujeres, niñas, niños y hombres son víctimas de secuestro, violación y asesinato.

[Translation to follow]

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 01, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Latin America

Human Trafficking Grows in Latin America

San Salvador - Human trafficking is growing in Latin America, according to participants at the 2nd Meeting of National Coalitions and Committees against Human Trafficking, in a statement on Friday.

Human trade is one of the oldest and most atrocious forms of slavery, said Norberto Giron, head of the delegation from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

There is evidence that the phenomenon has increased in recent years, Giron explained during the meeting.

Salvadoran Labor Minister Victoria Marina de Aviles supported that assertion, and added that human trade for purposes of forced labor is a crime that cannot be ignored.

Latin America has the second largest number of forced labor cases in the world, said David Morales, general director of the Foreign Ministry's Human Rights Office.

Coordination among countries is increasingly necessary to fight human trafficking, which involves transnational crime networks, Morales affirmed.

The meeting on Thursday and Friday in San Salvador was attended by representatives from Central America, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Inside Costa Rica

March 12, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Ecuador

Golpe internacional contra pornografía infantil incluyó a Quito

Authorities in Ecuador have conducted a major operation, taking into custody members of a child pornography network that operated in the southern zone of the capital city of Quito.

Un presunto pornógrafo infantil fue capturado por la Unidad Antitrata de personas de la Dirección Nacional de Policía Especializada para niños, niñas y adolescentes (DINAPEN) en el sur de la ciudad de Quito. La vivienda donde residía fue allanada por los agentes en busca de evidencias.

La presencia de encapuchados y armados sorprendió ayer a varios vecinos en las calles Teniente Hugo Ortiz y Tomás Guerra, del barrio La Internacional. En una de las casas, según las investigaciones, residía un presunto usuario del portal en Internet denominado “Dreambord’.

“Existen personas que se dedican a bajar o subir información que contiene contenido pornográfico, en la cual participan menores de edad”, indicó un agente del Grupo antitrata de personas de la DINAPEN.

En la investigación participó el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) de los Estados Unidos, luego que realizara varios operativos en ese país a los visitantes de dicho portal, que contaba con aproximadamente 582 miembros.

“En el Ecuador existen dos direcciones, desde donde, presumiblemente, se han subido o se han bajado información”, dijo el agente, que ocultó su identidad.

En el país, la coordinación fue con el Grupo Antitrata de Personas de la DINAPEN, que en el sur de Quito detuvo a un experto en informática y catedrático de dos prestigiosos institutos superiores.

Un segundo allanamiento se produjo en el norte de la Capital, porque desde un centro de cómputo también se habría subido imágenes pornográficas con menores de edad a la red y foro de discusión de “Dreambord’.

“Como cualquier programa el material para verlo era cifrado, tenían claves para ingresar y todo esto fue detectado en Estados Unidos”, sostuvo el agente de la DINAPEN.

El operativo también fue realizado en 24 países, lo cual habría permitido la captura de varios ciudadanos y la recolección de pruebas como videos y archivos de pornografía infantil.

La Policía indicó que “este trabajo viene desde el mes de Febrero, conjuntamente con la Fiscalía, determinando toda la información mandada por los Estados Unidos”.

En Latinoamérica hubo allanamientos y detenciones en Colombia, Brasil, Argentina, Venezuela, México, Panamá, El Salvador y Honduras, informó el portal Ecuador Inmediato.

[Translation to follow]

Cristhian Reyes H.

Radio Sucre

March 31, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

The United States, The World

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. during a meeting last month of the President’s Interagency Task Force on human trafficking. “Human trafficking has become big business,” says Mr. Holder.

Photo: The Associated Press

Human bondage hits U.S. heartland

Illicit trade for labor, sex generates billions in profits

...Human trafficking generates billions of dollars each year in illicit profits, in the United States and globally, through the entrapment and exploitation of millions of people, mostly women and children. The growing illegal trade in human beings for sex or forced labor isn’t limited to either rural outposts or the world’s largest cities.

Young women have been forced into prostitution over the past year through deception, fraud, coercion, threats and physical violence in Denton County, Texas; rural Tennessee; St. Paul, Minnesota; Norcross, Georgia.; Memphis, Tennessee; Fremont, California; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; New York City; Los Angeles, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Woodbridge, Virginia; Gaithersburg and Annapolis, Maryland; and many other cities.

Just last week, a 36-year-old Mexican national was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a federal judge in Georgia on charges that he tricked girls into leaving their families in Mexico, beat them and forced them into more than 20 acts of prostitution a night in Atlanta. The man had promised to get them jobs in restaurants. Five co-defendants previously pleaded guilty in the case.

In Columbus, Ohio, dozens of illegal immigrants from Russia, Estonia, Belarus and Ukraine were forced to work as housekeepers and laundry workers after their passports were seized. In Buford, Georgia, Nigerian women were forced to work as nannies and housekeepers after being threatened and physically abused. In Falls Church, Virginia, 20 Indonesian women were sold as housekeepers after their passports were seized; some were sexually assaulted and their families were threatened.

Tougher laws

Texas state Senator Leticia Van de Putte, San Antonio Democrat, introduced legislation this month to strengthen laws against human trafficking. She said 25 percent of the people trafficked into the United States pass through the state.

“We are trying to get at those who profit from selling our children,” she said, adding that she became interested in the issue in 2004 when two runaways from Oregon - a 16 year-old-boy and his 14 year-old-sister - were forced into prostitution.

“Nobody wants to think there is human slavery in their neighborhood,” she said.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said nearly every country is affected by human trafficking, either as a source for or destination of the many victims. He told a human trafficking conference in Arlington last year that the problem was “an affront to human dignity” and warned that in the United States, “it is, unfortunately, growing.”

“Human trafficking has become big business - generating billions of dollars each year through the entrapment and exploitation of millions,” Mr. Holder said. “The poorest and most vulnerable among us are being robbed of basic rights to dignity, security and opportunity.”

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, compared human trafficking to drug and gun smuggling in that it frequently involves complex organized-crime cartels. In October, during the 10th anniversary celebration of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, he said, the number of prosecuted cases has risen from four in 2001 to more than 50 last year.

“We’re not just bringing more cases, we’re bringing cases of unprecedented scope and impact, taking on international organized criminal networks,” he said. “But this work isn’t about how many cases we’ve charged or how well we work together; it’s about the human lives restored to freedom and dignity.”

Nathan Wilson, creator of the Project Meridian Foundation, which seeks to assist law enforcement in identifying the traffickers and their victims, said the illegal trade in human beings for sexual exploitation or forced labor has reached epidemic proportions.

“Sex trafficking has become so widespread that no country, no race, no religion, no class and no child is immune,” he said, adding that 1.6 million children younger than 18 - native and foreign born - have been caught in the sex trade in the United States. But, he said, the actual number of victims is hard to quantify because of the lengths to which traffickers go to keep their crimes hidden.

Billions in profits

The Washington, D.C.-based Polaris Project, which advocates stronger federal and state laws on human trafficking and provides help to victims, has said traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world and in the United States. It has said human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing criminal industries in the world.

With an estimated annual revenue of $32 billion, law enforcement authorities, government agencies and others have said human trafficking is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world - behind only drug smuggling.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the lead agency for investigating and dismantling human-trafficking organizations, has estimated that 800,000 people are trafficked into commercial-sex trade and forced-labor situations throughout the world every year.

ICE Deputy Assistant Director James C. Spero described human trafficking as “a global problem … driven by profit.” He said the agency opened 650 trafficking investigations during fiscal 2010, up from 560 in 2009 and 430 in 2008, and he is still trying to determine the scope of the trafficking problem.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” he said...

Lucrative way

The complex criminal nature of human trafficking as noted by Mr. Perez also has been reported by the Congressional Research Service, which said last year that in many parts of the world, “trafficking in money, weapons and people is largely conducted by criminal gangs or mafia groups.” The research service called human trafficking a “lucrative way” for organized criminal groups to fund other illicit activities.

“In Latin America, Mexican drug cartels are increasingly involved in the trafficking of people as well as drugs,” the report said. The Congressional Research Service also said the links between organized crime and terrorism may be significant, noting that the language school that provided some visas for the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers also is reported to have provided visas for prostitutes of a human trafficking ring.

A Department of Health and Human Services fact sheet said that after drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the world’s second-largest criminal industry and is the fastest growing...

Major piece

William Carroll, a former district director for the now-defunct U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said human trafficking is a “major piece of operating income for the cartels and other organized criminal organizations.” He said the cartels are attracted to its lucrative nature and because it does not require a distribution system like drugs.

Justice brought 52 human trafficking cases in fiscal 2010, its largest single-year total. It noted in its latest report that human traffickers often prey on those who are poor, frequently unemployed or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets.

“Victims are often lured by traffickers with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhumane conditions,” the department said, noting that Somali gangs forced girls younger than 14 into prostitution in Minnesota, Tennessee and Ohio - passing them around like chattel for sex with other gang members or to paying customers.

Calling the trafficking of children for sex as “intolerable,” U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin, whose office brought the case against the Somali gangs, said the problem is widespread and difficult to prosecute. The victims, he said, “are not likely to complain to the police.”

Chuck Neubauer

The Washington Times

March 27, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Europe

Crece la trata de personas de Puebla hacia Europa: Ulloa Ziáurriz

Victims of sex trafficking who are processed through the trafficking 'wholesaling and distribution center' of the city of Tenancingo are increasingly being trafficked to Europe: Teresa Ulloa of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean

La explotación sexual hacia niñas y adolescentes en Puebla va en aumento, dado que la entidad es centro de operación de redes internacionales de trata de personas que ubican también a Tlaxcala y Veracruz como proveedores de jóvenes para la prostitución hacia un creciente mercado europeo.

A decir de la directora general regional de Coalición Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en Latinoamérica y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, las redes de trata de personas operan bajo el cobijo de las autoridades.

Las redes de trata de personas maniobran principalmente en la comunidad de Tenancingo, en el estado de Tlaxcala. Ulloa Ziáurriz destacó que las redes de explotación sexual ofrecen la virginidad de una joven “en el mercado negro” de EU, España y México hasta en 15 mil pesos.

“Las víctimas de Tenancingo se han localizado en Michoacán, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Tijuana, Baja California y Quintana Roo, además de las plazas de Estados Unidos como Atlanta, Miami, Carolina del Norte y Carolina del Sur”, detalló.

“No podemos seguir permitiendo que las redes de corrupción y trata sigan enquistadas en las estructuras de poder, porque están poniendo en riesgo a las personas”, recalcó.

“Esta red está intentando abrir brechas hacia el mercado de Europa, pues se ha detectado a dos jóvenes en España, por eso necesitamos unirnos y hacer un solo frente con la academia”

El gobierno no va a poder solo con estas complicidades y con el poder político. La voz de la sociedad puede ser más fuerte y enérgica en esta lucha, dijo.

La propuesta

Ante este panorama Coalición Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en Latinoamérica y el Caribe propuso “establecer un proceso de armonización en los códigos penales de los estados para propiciar que la conducta típica, antijurídica y culpable se pueda perseguir en cualquiera de los estados sin que prevea ventajas para el sujeto activo en uno u otro estado”.

Y señaló que se debe exigir a los estados que detecten, asistan y protejan a las víctimas y, prevengan este delito.

Al finalizar, Ulloa Ziáurriz urgió a “crear una legislación que permita el acceso a la justicia pronta y expedita, centrada en la restitución de los derechos de las víctimas cuestión que está muy lejos de la realidad actual”.

[Translation to follow]

Gerardo Rojas González

e-Consulta

March 23, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

La trata de personas es más productiva que la venta de drogas: Ulloa Ziáurriz

La directora regional de coalición Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en Latinoamérica y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, lamentó que el gobierno federal no realice una política de Estado para frenar la trata de personas, ya que se ha convertido en una actividad “mucho más productiva que la venta de drogas”.

En entrevista con La Jornada de Oriente, Ulloa Ziáurriz indicó que “es tan miope el asunto” que las autoridades federales, estatales y legisladores no se han percatado que los cárteles de la droga han diversificado sus actividades a la trata de mujeres, niños y adolescentes, explotación sexual y laboral, en diversas partes del país.

“Es preocupante que no haya una política de estado para enfrentar este fenómeno delictivo; la trata es una actividad mucho más productiva que la venta de droga y menos castigada y perseguida que el narcotráfico y los delitos contra la salud (...) Eso es la mejor muestra que no hay voluntad política para atender y frenar la trata, de realizar políticas para prevenir, asistir y combatir la trata en todas sus dimensiones”, acotó en entrevista...

Human trafficking is more profitable than the sale of [illicit] drugs: Ulloa Ziáurriz

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, the regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean, laments the fact that Mexico’s federal government has not created a national policy to curb human trafficking, which, she says, has become an activity that is "much more profitable than selling [illicit] drugs."

In an interview with the newspaper La Jornada de Oriente, Ziáurriz Ulloa stated that "the [current policy] is so shortsighted." Federal officials, state legislators have not realized that the drug cartels have diversified their activities to include the trafficking of women, children and adolescents for sexual and labor exploitation in various parts of the country.

"It is worrying that there is no state policy to address this criminal phenomenon. Trafficking is a much more productive than the sale of drugs and is less severely punished and prosecuted than drug trafficking… That is the best indicator that there is no political will to address and curb trafficking, and to carry out policies to prevent, assist and combat trafficking in all its dimensions," said Ulloa.

Teresa Ulloa added that in the case of the state of Puebla, the situation the human trafficking situation is "quite serious, and nothing new." Puebla’s proximity to the states of Tlaxcala and Veracruz, which are considered as centers for concentrating and redistributing victims for on sexual exploitation, has affected the social life of the state.

In response, Ulloa called upon asked [newly elected governor] Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas to create improved public policies to discourage the practice of labor and sexual exploitation, crimes that target against women and teenagers. Trafficking, said Ulloa, can "infect" neighboring states "which have been ruled by the same old political forces that have allowed the response to trafficking to drift. This has “allowed the exponential growth of this crime.”

Teresa Ulloa took part yesterday in a seminar that marked the creation of the Mexican chapter of the Latin American Observatory on Trafficking in Persons. The event was held as part of activities celebrating the first anniversary of the birth of the Ignacio Ellacuría Institute of Human Rights at the Iberoamerican University’s campus in Puebla.

Ulloa Ziáurriz criticized the fact that within the federal government there is resistance to reform and protect children, youth and adolescents from labor exploitation. We continue to lack a process to address the hundreds who are exploited in this country.

Finally, Ulloa proposed federalizing the crime of trafficking in persons, in all its dimensions, as there is "a huge gap" in the [way in which human trafficking is criminalized] across the nation. "We have to lay down a state policy that allows the government and society to take action, to allow us to declare that in Mexico slavery is not permitted and that equality exists between men and women,” declared Ulloa.

Arturo Alfaro Galán

La Jornada de Oriente

March 24, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Argentina

Rural Slavery at Time of Record Earnings

Buenos Aires - Crowded into precarious mud-floored dorms or sheet-metal trailers or forced to live in tents of plastic sheeting, with neither piped water nor electricity, after working 14-hour days: these are the harsh conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of rural workers in Argentina despite bumper crops and record earnings for agribusiness.

"They have no alternative but to accept work under these conditions," Reinaldo Ledesma, a leader of the Unión Solidaria de Comunidades del Pueblo Diaguita Cacano - an organization representing the Diaguita Cacano indigenous community - in the northern province of Santiago del Estero, told IPS.

The conditions faced by casual farm workers have remained exploitative while industrial-scale plantations have grown in size and number, harvests have reached nearly 100 million tons, and more than 30 million hectares - 11 percent of the total land area in Argentina - are farmed.

Santiago del Estero, whose capital of the same name is located 1,150 km northwest of Buenos Aires, is one of the main sources of seasonal rural laborers who clear land, weed, manually spray or harvest crops for big agricultural corporations.

Nearly all of the members of the Unión Solidaria de Comunidades del Pueblo Diaguita Cacano depend on temporary farm work to survive, said Ledesma, who described the conditions they work in as "servitude."

The seasonal migration of farm workers is a centuries-old phenomenon in Argentina, one of the world's major agricultural producers. But in recent years it has taken on new characteristics, with global human resources firms operating as intermediaries for agribusiness corporations.

The recruiters offer the workers a contract for a fixed amount. But later they learn that the payment is conditioned on the entire group of workers earning a certain amount of arbitrarily set "points" based on performance and behavior.

"The entire team has to work between 10 and 14 hours a day, Monday to Monday, even when it's raining, and without complaining because if someone protests, points are docked for every member of the group," Ledesma said.

In addition, the contractors discount the cost of transportation, clothing, work tools and food - at higher than market prices - from the worker's pay...

One of the companies whose workers are housed in these conditions is the local unit of Netherlands-based agribusiness company Nidera, one of the world's largest grain dealers. The laborers were found to be packed into trailers, sheds or plastic tents, where they sometimes slept next to pesticide containers.

But the Dutch grain exporter, which is also a leading seed producer and distributor, is not the only company implicated. The Argentine agribusiness firms Southern Seeds Production and Status Ager and global employment agencies like the U.S.-based Manpower and the Switzerland-based Adecco have also been accused of labor exploitation.

"The same companies that push peasants and native people off their land to expand monoculture plantations later employ them as slave labor," Ledesma complained...

CIFRA economist Mariana González stressed to IPS that farm workers employed in modern-day slavery conditions do not work for small companies but for transnational corporations that rake in billions in profits.

"Unregistered employment is common in this sector," she said. "That is partly because of the difficulties of oversight and monitoring due to the huge extensions of land, in isolated areas. But it has also come to be seen as something normal…"

Sociologist Guillermo Neiman at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) told IPS that seasonal work in precarious conditions is a longstanding problem in Argentina...

Marcela Valente

Inter Press Service - IPS

March 16, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Texas, USA

Texas state Senator and anti-trafficking advocate Leticia Van de Putte

Human Trafficking Bill Passes in Senate

The Senate preliminarily approved a bill today by state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Democrat-San Antonio, that would add new definitions and harsher penalties to human trafficking laws.

The bill creates separate crimes for sex trafficking and for forced labor trafficking. It increases the penalty for compelling prostitution of a child to a first-degree felony and adds human trafficking to the list of crimes eligible for an automatic life sentence for multiple convictions.

Van de Putte said the bill included the recommendations of the statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force created in the 2009 legislative session.

“The truth is that most human trafficking victims are children,” Van de Putte said.

Christopher Smith Gonzalez

The Texas Tribune

March 23, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Texas, USA

Texas Senate toughens human trafficking penalties

Austin - Those convicted of human trafficking in Texas will face tougher penalties under legislation passed Wednesday in the state Senate.

The bill, authored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, makes it a felony to force children into prostitution, extends the statute of limitations for trafficking crimes and requires anyone convicted of sex trafficking to register as a sex offender.

The legislation also makes life sentences automatic for repeat offenders and creates separate definitions for sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Children who have been forced into prostitution will be allowed certain provisions similar to sexual assault cases under the Texas law.

Advocates of the tougher penalties say the bill is progress on an issue Texas has long been at the forefront of addressing.

Van de Putte called human trafficking a modern-day form of slavery that mostly affects children who may be runaways or come from other states. Last year, more than 100 Texas children were rescued from traffickers.

"This is a business of greed and profit," Van de Putte said. "This bill provides harsher and appropriate penalties for those who would traffick humans for a profit."

The bill was all but certain to pass with widespread support in the Senate. Prosecutors, religious organizations, Gov. Rick Perry and state Attorney General Greg Abbott also have endorsed the bill.

"Trapped between the law and the lawless, victims of human trafficking suffer under inhumane conditions, forced into activities they'd never imagined with their captors threatening to kill them, or even their families, if they don't comply," Perry said at a Houston press conference on Tuesday. "In Texas, we must do everything possible to ensure more people don't fall into the trap of human trafficking, and to make sure that the people behind these insidious acts pay the price for their crimes."

The bill comes from the recommendations of a statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force created during the 2009 legislative session. The 47-member task force, housed under the Office of the Attorney General, developed procedures to prevent human trafficking crimes and toughen prosecution.

"This bill gives district attorneys the tools they need to prosecute and also makes sure we begin to treat these victims not as criminals, but as victims," Van de Putte said.

A similar bill authored by Representative Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, is working its way through the House.

Sommer Ingram

The Associated Press

March 23, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico

Exige ONG justicia contra "trata" de personas

Puebla, Puebla.- Organizaciones integrantes del Capítulo Mexicano del Observatorio Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas se pronunciaron por la aplicación de la ley, para hacer frente a dicho delito en la República Mexicana.

La directora de la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa, y Eva Reyes, del Centro Antonio de Montesinos, señalaron lo anterior.

Ello durante su participaron en el Seminario de Integración del Capítulo Mexicano del Observatorio Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas, en los trabajos del Primer Aniversario del Instituto de Derechos Humanos Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J.

Durante el evento, urgieron al Estado mexicano a establecer un proceso de armonización en los códigos penales de los estados. Con el fin de propiciar que la conducta típica, antijurídica y culpable se pueda perseguir sin que prevea ventajas para el sujeto activo en una u otra entidad, y exigieron a las autoridades protección a las víctimas de este delito.

Otra de las demandas fue establecer que el consentimiento no sea una causal de exclusión del delito; que los medios comisivos se establezcan como agravantes y que no sea la víctima quien tenga que probarlos. 'Priorizar el castigo a la demanda, ya que ha sido una medida eficaz para reducir la trata de personas en otros países'.

Pidieron atender la recomendación de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos 04/2008, por parte de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, acerca del papel de las instancias en la protección de los culpables y las violaciones a los derechos del niño, en el caso ocurrido en el Instituto San Felipe, de Oaxaca.

Las representantes de las activistas demandaron la presentación inmediata con vida de la estudiante de la facultad de arquitectura de la UNAM, Adriana Morlett, desaparecida desde el 6 de septiembre de 2010.

Así como la búsqueda y localización de la pequeña María José Enciso, sustraída de su hogar en Tecámac, Estado de México, en octubre de 2010.

Las demandas fueron apoyadas por representantes del Centro 'Fray Julián Garcés', Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Local A.C., Centro de Comunicación Popular A.C., Centro de Estudios sociales y culturales Antonio de Montesinos, A.C., entre otras.

Notimex

March 23, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Maryland, USA

Dominican born physician Ligia Peralta, MD

Dr. Ligia Peralta Inducted To Maryland Women's Hall Of Fame

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 5:30pm, Ligia Peralta, MD will be formally inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame at the Maryland Senate President’s Conference Room in Annapolis, MD

What: The annual ceremony is conducted by the Governor’s Maryland Commission for Women to honor Maryland women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the economic, political, cultural and social life of the state and to provide visible models of achievement for tomorrow’s female leaders.

When: The ceremony will start promptly at 5:30 pm EDT on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where: The ceremony will be held in the Maryland Senate President’s Conference Room East I & II, Miller Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Maryland

Contact Person: Crystal Young, MSW, Program Coordinator, Maryland Commission for Women, 311 W. Saratoga St., Suite 272, Baltimore, MD 21201; Office tel. 410-767-3049; Office fax 410-333-3980; email: cyoung2@dhr.state.md.us

Biography:

Ligia Peralta, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.S.A.H.M.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Chief Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, and Director of the Adolescent HIV Program of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Ligia Peralta, who has successfully combined her roles as pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, professor, researcher, and patient and community advocate, is honored for her pioneer and indefatigable work to fight the HIV epidemic among young people in Maryland and abroad. She has addressed the health disparities of HIV-infected and vulnerable adolescents by creating innovative programs to provide them with access to primary care services and research. She has lead the youth HIV movement in Maryland by developing and evaluating community-based HIV prevention, education and testing programs, clinical services, and research initiatives for behaviorally HIV-infected adolescents and at-risk youths. Dr. Peralta developed the “One Stop Shopping” model of service for adolescent and young adults, which includes anonymous, confidential, and free HIV testing and counseling, specialized gynecological examinations such as colposcopy, sexual abuse counseling, substance abuse counseling and treatment, pharmacy, dental care, psychosocial, legal and human trafficking services, and research. This model of comprehensive care at a single site has been successful in engaging and retaining youth in care and has been recognized as a national and international model of care for programs seeking to provide services to adolescents.

Inspiration for her lifelong vocation came early for Dr. Peralta. Her father, Dr. Ruben Peralta, was the Head of Surgery and then Director for many years at the regional hospital in the heart of the Dominican Republic. A passionate believer in universal access to health care and in preventive medicine, he used all public and private resources at his disposal to provide the best possible medical services to all regardless of their capacity to pay. His remarkable spirit of public service included the many weekends when he would take his two young children to the most remote, mountainous areas of his country to provide free screenings and vaccinations. Those early experiences with her father forged her commitment to excellence through education and medicine in the service of others.

CapitalWirePR

March 23, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

The United States

New census milestone: Hispanics to hit 50 million

Washington, DC - In a surprising show of growth, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade, exceeding estimates in most states. Pulled by migration to the Sun Belt, America's population center edged westward on a historic path to leave the Midwest.

The Census Bureau on Thursday will release its first set of national-level findings from the 2010 count on race and migration, detailing a decade in which rapid minority growth, aging whites and increased suburbanization were the predominant story lines. Geographers estimate that the nation's population center will move southwest about 30 miles and be placed in or near the village of Plato in Texas County, Missouri.

Racial and ethnic minorities are expected to make up an unprecedented 90 percent of the total U.S. growth since 2000, due to immigration and higher birth rates for Latinos. Currently the fastest growing group, Hispanics are on track to exceed 50 million, or roughly 1 in 6 Americans; among U.S. children, Hispanics are now roughly 1 in 4.

Based on a Pew Hispanic Center analysis, the 2010 count of Hispanics was on track to be 900,000 higher than expected as their ranks surpassed census estimates in roughly 40 states. Many of their biggest jumps were in the South, including Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina and Louisiana, where immigrants made large inroads over the last decade.

Asians for the first time had a larger numeric gain than African-Americans, who remained the second largest minority group at roughly 37 million. Based on the 2010 census results released by state so far, multiracial Americans were on track to increase by more than 25 percent, to about roughly 8.7 million.

The number of non-Hispanic whites, whose median age is now 41, edged up slightly to 197 million. Declining birth rates meant their share of the total U.S. population dropped over the last decade from 69 percent to roughly 64 percent.

"This really is a transformational decade for the nation," said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who has analyzed most of the 2010 data. "The 2010 census shows vividly how these new minorities are both leading growth in the nation's most dynamic regions and stemming decline in others..."

Hope Yen

The Associated Press

March 24, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Colorado, USA

3 Pancake House Cooks Arrested In Waitress's Sex Assault

Boulder - Boulder police have arrested three cooks at the Original Pancake House after a former waitress accused the men of harassing and sexually assaulting her over nearly two years.

All three men are suspected illegal immigrants, and police said they believe the men were working under false identities. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement has placed a hold on the men who remain in the Boulder County Jail, a sheriff's official told TheDenverChannel.com Monday.

Plainclothes detectives arrested the trio without incident Saturday morning at the Original Pancake House at Canyon Boulevard and 28th Street, police said.

Police said the arrested men are:

•Jose Escobar, 29, who also goes by Jose Escobar-Herrera •Jose Luis Gonzalez, 29 •Rigoberto Gonzalez-Gonzalez, 27, who also goes by Ruperto Gonzalez

All three men have been booked on suspicion of sexual assault and criminal impersonation, police said. During a Monday court hearing, a judge set each man's bond at $25,000.

Police said there is a fourth suspect who continues to be investigated.

The men were arrested 10 days after the woman filed a lawsuit against the Boulder Original Pancake House and its owner, Larry Douglas Fitzpatrick.

She accused Fitzpatrick of encouraging the harassment and assigning her to less desirable work that didn't generate tips when she complained, according to court records.

Starting in June 2007, the waitress said she "was almost immediately subjected to a steady barrage of sexual harassment," the lawsuit said.

The cooks "would trap her in the (walk-in) cooler, turn off the lights, grab her and make attempts to kiss or caress her on her intimate body parts," the lawsuit said. The waitress, who is 5 feet tall and 102 pounds, said the men would grab her breasts and buttocks.

The lawsuit said two of the cooks, Jose Luis Gonzalez and Rigoberto Gonzalez-Gonzalez, are related. The two men's uncle is an assistant manager at the restaurant and he supervised the waitress.

The woman said the assistant manager and owner frequently witnessed the sexual harassment, the lawsuit said. But when the waitress complained, the assistant manager would yell at her or laugh, and Fitzpatrick also laughed or walked away, the lawsuit said.

The waitress said the assistant manager eventually joined the cooks in the "sexual grabbing," which intensified after she complained, the lawsuit said.

Finally, in Sept 2009, Fitzpatrick terminated the waitress, the lawsuit said.

Fitzpatrick would not discuss the criminal allegations against his employees.

"They've been good employees," the owner told 7NEWS Reporter Lance Hernandez Monday.

Fitzpatrick strongly denied the lawsuit claims that he encouraged the harassment and punished the woman for complaining.

"It's clearly untrue," the owner said of the lawsuit allegations. "We will fight them with the utmost vigor."

The waitress filed a complaint with police in 2009. It's unclear why police waited more than a year to make the arrests.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Boulder police Detective Colleen Wilcox at 303-441-4483...

Alan Gathright

The Denver Channel

March 07, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

El Salvador, The United States

Prospects for President Obama's Meeting with President Funes of El Salvador

President Obama visits El Salvador on the last leg of his Latin American trip. The two day visit emphasizes ongoing U.S. ties to this small nation of 7.3 million people in a land the size of Massachusetts. Approximately one third of El Salvador’s population lives in the United States. So close are the traditional ties that 280 Salvadoran troops worked alongside U.S. troops in Iraq until 2008, despite the absence of a national security threat to this Central American nation. The economy is dollarized which provides economic stability, but has raised costs for basic foodstuffs. U.S. government aircraft fly narcotics enforcement reconnaissance missions from a coastal Salvadoran airbase, Comalpa. The U.S. regional training center for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, known by its acronym ILEA, is also based near San Salvador...

Watching from the sidelines are the maras, youth gangs estimated at 60,000. (Mara is the name of a vicious form of ant.) They operate both in the United States and in El Salvador defending territory with knives and contracting with the drug traffickers for discrete pieces of business, such as car stealing, kidnapping, human trafficking and even murder for hire. Governments of both El Salvador and the U.S. are intent on containing, if not eradicating, the maras. Under USAID’s anti-gang strategy, ongoing efforts seek to dissuade young men and women from entering the gangs and reintegrate those who seek to leave. So fierce are the mara that the Zetas—the most notorious drug traffickers—prefer to operate from neighboring countries rather than embroil themselves in El Salvador...

Everyone agrees that the response to the violence must be regional. In 2010, the State Department established the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) to strengthen judicial and law enforcement institutions, enable intelligence sharing and address the underlying causes of the violence. For 2011, State Department requested $83 million for the seven nation participants in CARSI. The problem is how to implement the projects when corruption pervades law enforcement, politicians and the judiciary. El Salvador’s judiciary commands greater respect than its neighbors and citizens respect the role of the army in patrolling highways and key intersections. However, that trust is vulnerable to decisions derived from patronage and corruption...

Diana Villiers Negroponte

The Brookings Institution

March 14, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Georgia, USA

Ex-deputy sentenced to life for raping illegal immigrant

Marietta - A former Cobb County deputy was sentenced to life in prison for raping an illegal immigrant.

Former Cobb deputy Jason Bill faced a minimum sentence of 25 years behind bars when he was sentenced on Monday. Bill will be eligible for parole.

"You abused the authority of the badge that you have. You used it for your own selfish and depraved purposes. You used it to steal away an innocent and vulnerable victim," said Judge Latain Kell, speaking to Bell.

Bill was convicted just 10 days earlier on seven counts including rape, kidnapping and assault. Prosecutors said he forced the 23-year-old woman to have sex at gunpoint.

The victim was working at a restaurant in Marietta when she said Bill accused her of stealing his phone. The woman said Bill threatened to have her deported then took her to his apartment, handcuffed her to the bed and forced her to have sex.

Bill denied the allegations, and defense attorneys said the woman was a prostitute who Bill paid for sex the night before the attack. They claimed the woman made up the entire story to get a visa.

Channel 2's Ross Cavitt reported the discovery of a white powder at the courthouse caused a partial evacuation immediately following the sentencing. Officials said they had no reason to believe the two incidents were related.

Ross Cavitt

WSB-TV

March 21, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

New York, USA

Victim assails Taylor probation sentence

The teenage victim in the case is comforted by her attorney Gloria Allred outside the Rockland County Courthouse. The girl, identified as "C.F.," was in court to watch as Taylor was sentenced.

The Bronx teenager who took $300 from Lawrence Taylor for sex lashed out Tuesday at the probationary sentence given to the retired NFL great, saying he deserved jail time for what he did.

Comments by the girl and her attorney about the case led to an exchange of harsh words with Taylor's lawyer over the veracity of their comments during a news conference outside the Rockland County Courthouse.

Taylor had just been sentenced to six years probation and a $1,400 fine. His name also could appear on the sex registries in New York and Florida, where he lives.

The girl, now 17, showed up unexpectedly in court hoping to make a statement at the ex-New York Giant's sentencing and held a news conference afterward.

Identified as "C.F." in court papers, the girl said she's not a prostitute and that Taylor's sentence was too light for what he did to her on May 6 in the Holiday Inn in Montebello.

She said accused pimp Rasheed Davis of the Bronx beat her up and forced her to enter the hotel room where Taylor was staying. She had run away from home and was living with Davis and another woman at the time. Davis faces federal charges of human trafficking that involved using violence. She had run away from her Bronx family and had been living with Davis and another woman.

The teenager said Taylor should have known she was underage because she wore a ponytail and no makeup, though she told him on Davis' orders that she was 19 years old. She said the former linebacker should have known that something was amiss because of her bruised face.

She was about a week away from the legal age of 17 when she had sex with Taylor, who apparently wanted a young, slim Hispanic girl.

"I think Mr. Taylor should spend time in jail for what he did to me," she said. "I believe Mr. Taylor saw my face and swollen eye. I told him I've never done this before. All he told me was to relax."

She said she was afraid that if she didn't have sex with Taylor, Davis would beat her again. She said this was the first time she had ever had sex for money.

Steve Lieberman

lohud.com

March 22, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

California, USA

Professional clown, Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, arrested for kidnap, rape of girl, 12, in California

Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, 41, was arrested on Friday in Fullerton, California for allegedly raping and kidnapping a 12-year-old girl in 2002. A professional clown accused of kidnapping and raping a 12-year-old girl while wearing his stage make-up and mask was arrested Friday in California.

Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, who goes by "El Tin Larin," was taken into custody after investigators matched his DNA from an unrelated crime last year to evidence from the horrific attack.

The 41-year-old Anaheim resident allegedly grabbed the girl at a fast-food stand just before midnight in January 2002. He then drove to a nearby school parking lot and raped her in his van.

The horror continued as Jimenez then took her to a motel and molested her again before girl managed to escape.

Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said the case had gone cold because the young child, whose name has not been released, was not able to identify her attacker.

"The problem was, the only description we had was 'a clown,'" said Goodrich.

Detectives are asking for the public's help to help identify more of Jimenez's possible victims. For the past nine years, he has performed as a clown at parties -- mostly in Latino communities.

"Who knows how many other possible victims there might be," said Goodrich. "We're hoping that any past victims might recognize him, both with or without his clown make-up, and come forward," he said.

Aliyah Shahid

The New York Daily News

March 26, 2011


Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

New Mexico, USA

Police search for man accused of raping young girl

Santa Fe police have issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of raping a 7-year-old girl.

Mario Cortez-DelCid is wanted on eleven different counts of criminal sexual penetration.

Police say Cortez-DelCid began assaulting the young girl last month while he was renting a room from the girl’s family.

When the girl finally told her parents about the rape, her mother apparently confronted Cortez-DelCid at which time he confessed to the assault before fleeing the home.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Cortez-DelCid had recently told his employers at a Santa Fe Lowe’s Marketplace and Kmart that he would be traveling back home to Guatemala soon and had been asking for money to help him afford to take that trip.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police.

Magdalena Sharpe

KOB.com

March 31, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The Dominican Republic and Central America

"One Voice for Childhood"

Photo: UNICEF

República Dominicana y Centroamérica alzan sus voces contra explotación sexual de menores

República Dominicana y Centroamérica alzaron hoy voces contra la explotación sexual comercial que sufren niños y adolescentes en la región, un delito que tildaron de "grave" y que afecta a decenas de miles de menores.

"Si hay una forma del trabajo infantil que realmente afecta la integridad física y moral de los niños, es precisamente aquella marcada por la explotación sexual", apuntó el ministro de Trabajo dominicano, Max Puig, en la apertura de un congreso subregional sobre explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes.

El funcionario subrayó que "para nadie es un secreto" que la explotación sexual de menores de edad "está vinculada a diferentes crímenes y delitos como la trata y el trafico de personas y el tráfico de drogas", por lo que llamó a ampliar la colaboración para enfrentar la situación.

En iguales términos se pronunció la representante del Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), María Jesús Conde Zabala, quien subrayó que la explotación sexual comercial de menores de edad es "un problema de una magnitud enorme"...

The Dominican Republic and Central American nations speak out against the sexual exploitation of children

The Dominican Republic and Central American nations today raised their collective voices against the commercial sexual exploitation among children and adolescents in the region, a crime that they described as "serious," and one that affects tens of thousands of children.

"If there is a form of child labor that truly affects the physical and moral integrity of children, it is precisely sexual exploitation," said Dominican Labor Minister Dr. Max Puig at the opening of the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) subregional conference on sexual exploitation exploitation of children and adolescents.

Minister Puig stressed that "it is no secret to anybody” that the sexual exploitation of minors “is linked to various crimes such as the enslavement and trafficking of persons and drug smuggling." He called for further collaboration to address the issue.

In similar terms María Jesús Conde Zabala, a representative of the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) declared that the commercial sexual exploitation of children is "a problem of enormous magnitude."

Conde Zabala called for the investment of more resources for crime prevention and the creation of decent jobs for young people involved in these practices. She acknowledged that commercial sexual exploitation of minors represents a source of income for those who are involved in that business.

During her presentation, Conde Zabala went on to say that although there have been great efforts made to coordinate the work of  international agencies, civil society, the private sector and state institutions to deal with this crime, "we must recognize there are challenges that lie ahead."

Children and adolescents, said Conde Zabala, "must be guaranteed their social, economic, cultural, political and civil rights from the moment of birth." We must protect them “against any and all attacks on their identity and their physical, psychological and moral safety.

Meanwhile, the sub-regional representative of the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Noortje Denkess, highlighted the steps taken by the Dominican Republic and Central America to pass legislation in favor of children and adolescents.

Denkess also welcomed the adoption by these countries of the roadmap, an initiative supported by the International Labor Organization (ILO), which aims to eradicate the worst forms of child labor by 2015 and eliminate all forms by 2020.

The subregional conference on sexual exploitation of children and adolescents has the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and UNICEF, and is a follow-up to the Third World Congress against sexual exploitation of children held in Brazil in 2008, which defined an agenda to combat these forms of exploitation.

Officials of the Organization of American States (OAS), the System for Central American Integration (SICA) and the Secretariat for Central American Tourism Integration (SITCA) also participated in the event.

EFE

March 16, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The Dominican Republic

Ministro Puig en la inauguración del Congreso

Dominican Labor Minister Dr. Max Puig inaugurates recent UNICEF subregional congress on child sexual exploitation

Max Puig: La explotación sexual infantil es un crimen contra la niñez

El Ministro de Trabajo, doctor Max Puig, expresó que la explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes es un crimen contra la niñez que esta vinculado a prácticas delictivas como la trata y tráfico de personas, así como también a la falta de oportunidades de empleos dignos, lo que es una situación que deben enfrentar los gobiernos.

Max Puig se pronunció en estos términos al encabezar la inauguración del Congreso Subregional sobre Explotación Sexual Comercial de Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes, organizado por la UNICEF y la OIT-IPEC que se desarrolla en el país. En el evento participan representantes de toda Centroamérica y República Dominicana y se trata sobre los avances y desafíos en la lucha contra este tipo de explotación.

“Es un compromiso moral y político de las autoridades enfrentar con firmeza la explotación sexual comercial contra niños, niñas y adolescentes en países como el nuestro. El gobierno tiene un compromiso firme de combatir este mal, por lo que entendemos que creando empleos dignos, de calidad y mejores condiciones de vida para la gente se contribuye de forma significativa a que nuestras niñas y niños no sean arrastrados a esta situación.” expresó Max Puig.

El Ministro de Trabajo manifestó que en República Dominicana existe un Comité interinstitucional que esta co-presidido por el CONANI [Consejo Nacional Para la Niñez y la Adolescencia] y el Ministerio de Trabajo e integrado por UNICEF y otras 19 instituciones públicas y privadas del país, donde la Asociación Nacional de Hoteles y Restaurantes (ASONAHORES) contribuye de forma significativa.

Dr. Max Puig: Child sexual exploitation is a crime against childhood

The Dominican Republic’s Minister of Labor, Dr. Max Puig, said during his remarks opening the Sub-regional Congress on the Sexual Exploitation of Children, proclaimed that the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a crime against childhood that is linked to illegal practices such as human trafficking and drug smuggling, as well as the lack of opportunities available to youth for decent jobs. Minister Puig added that the region’s governments should confront this lack of employment options for young people.

The Subregional Congress on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents was organized by UNICEF and International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) of the International Labor Organization. The event involved representatives from the Dominican Republic as well as all Central American nations [Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama]. The conference addressed both the progress made and the challenges that remain in the fight against child exploitation.

"The effort to firmly confront the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in our countries requires a moral and political commitment. Our government has a firm commitment to fight this evil. We understand that creating decent jobs and a better quality of life for our people will contribute significantly to saving our children from being dragged into this situation," said Minister Puig.

Minister Puig added that the Dominican Republic has set up an interagency committee which is co-chaired by the National Council for Children (CONANI) and the Ministry of Labor, and includes UNICEF and 19 other public and private sector institutions including the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASONAHORES), who contribute significantly to our efforts.

Minister Puig also said that this problem also has to do with cultural aspects of our society, given that there are those who assimilate these behaviors as normal when it is  clearly improper and constitutes a violation of the physical and moral development of children. "We must create a public awareness that the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a crime that is punishable by law."

Among the topics covered in the three-day conference were: commercial sexual exploitation from the perspective of adolescents and young people; how to move towards a comprehensive cyber strategy – providing security for children and adolescents in the Dominican Republic; the experiences of the tourism sector in the prevention of commercial sexual exploitation; and innovative practices in judicial procedures, and care for victims.

The event brought together nearly 80 representatives from Central America and Dominican Republic. During the opening ceremony, presentations were also made by IPEC sub-regional representative Noortje Denkess, Emanuela Benini, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Italy, Maria Jesús Conde Zabala, UNICEF’s representative for the Dominican Republic and economist Miguel Ceara Hatton of the United Nations Development Fund.

Ministerio de Trabajo / Labor Ministry of the Dominican Republic

March 17, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The Dominican Republic

Sub Regional Congress on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

Progress made and challenges ahead in Central America and the Dominican Republic

The use of children and adolescents by adults for their sexual gratification in exchange for some reward in money or in kind is considered a form of modern day slavery and violence. This type of act is known as the Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) of children and adolescents, which has major effects on the development of underage children.

Underage children who suffer sexual abuse experience serious physical and psychological damage, which harms their self esteem and their capacity for normal interaction with other people, decreasing their chances of leading a fulfilling life, as well as exposing them to the risk of contagious and infectious diseases like HIV and AIDS.

The Dominican Republic’s Inter-Institutional Commission against abuse and Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) have worked towards the eradication of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) of children and adolescents since the 1990s with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Congress in Santo Domingo

In keeping with the commitments taken on by the Dominican Republic, the Sub Regional Congress on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents: progress and challenges in Central America and the Dominican Republic will be held in Santo Domingo on 16th March, as a follow-up to the III World Congress against Child Sexual Exploitation held in Brazil in 2008.

The first World Congress took place in Stockholm in 1996, and the Dominican Republic took part in this event along with government representatives from another 121 countries, as well as the United Nations institutions and non-governmental organizations.

The main aim of this congress is to disseminate innovative practices and lessons learned in the fight against CSE in several countries in Central America and in the Dominican Republic.

Recent study

October 2010 saw the release of the descriptive results of a Study of Abuse of underage children reported at eleven local public prosecutors offices in the Dominican Republic. A total of 1683 cases of abuse were reported at these offices over a period of six months from the initial date of the report.

The largest number was reported at the Santo Domingo Sexual Offences Prosecutors Office, with 35.6 per cent of all notified cases.

The local prosecutors office with the lowest number of cases reported over the six months of the study was the Samaná office, with 35 reports. The study reveals that most victims making reports at the 11 local prosecutors offices were aged between 12 and 17, with more than 100 reported cases.

The prosecutors offices where the study were located in the cities of Samaná, Santo Domingo, the National District, Higüey, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Dajabón and San Cristóbal.

UNICEF

March, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Haiti

Fabienne Jean Val Demar of Haiti’s Child Protection Brigade discusses efforts to stop child smuggling on Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic

From a UNICEF video report

(see link for video)

UNICEF officials work to combat child trafficking on Haiti's border

UNICEF is working with the Haitian government and non-governmental partners to combat child trafficking. As part of this, the United Nations police force (UNPOL) recently began patrolling these unofficial borders.

The scale of the problem becomes evident while accompanying the police on patrol. Hundreds of miles of border are inaccessible by car, and a lack of resources limits UNPOL’s foot patrols.

“It’s a bigger problem than you would think,” says UNPOL policeman Andre Perrin Child. “Trafficking happens every day, and the controls are almost non-existent.”

More than 2,000 Haitian children were trafficked into the Dominican Republic in 2009. With families thrown into disarray and many made poorer by last year’s devastating earthquake, the temptation to send children to Haiti’s wealthier neighbor in search of work has become even stronger.

Patrolling the borders

On patrol near the village of Capotille, UNPOL receives word that two children have been found abandoned by traffickers. A local family is looking after the children, but is too poor to care for them permanently. UNICEF Child Protection Specialist Gallianne Palayret goes with UNPOL to retrieve the children.

Gabrielle Menezes

UNICEF

March 11, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The United States

Regla González, National Vice-President for Women, LULAC

LULAC National Women's Conference to Address Human Trafficking

LULAC National Women's Conference | April 8-9, 2011 | Chicago, Illinois

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is proud to request your presence and sponsorship at our annual National Women’s Conference to be held April 8th and 9th at the beautiful Chicago, IL.

The theme for the 2011 conference is “Agents of Change … Making a World of Difference”. We are doing so in the areas of business, education, and political empowerment. Now is the time to highlight the important accomplishments of women who have progressed in their areas of expertise and have them share their experiences with our participants.

The mission of the LULAC National Women’s Conference has always been to engage women from across this country to raise their consciousness and enhance their ability to become leaders. We are very proud of the success this conference has achieved due to the commitment of the Women’s Commission and the generosity of our corporate partners.

Our surveys reflect that women continue to learn from the experience of being a part of the LULAC network and the conference also increases their knowledge as consumers of products offered by our corporate partners.

Latinas are getting elected to top positions in national, state, and local elections. As we celebrate our 82nd anniversary fighting for civil rights, Latinas have made tremendous strides in holding positions of influence within American society. I am honored to be serving as National Vice President for Women.

Your participation is key as women’s purchasing power increases and your company’s support is important in our quest to continue empowering women through our educational forums.

We are looking forward to your positive consideration of our proposal. Attached you will find our participation levels.

Sincerely,

Regla González

National Vice-President for Women

Saturday, April 9 - 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm Workshop

* Human Trafficking: A Growing Threat in the Latino Community

League of United Latin American Citizens

March, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Guatemala

Mujeres claman fin de la violencia en Guatemala

Instalan altar en memoria de casi 4 mil asesinadas

Como parte de las actividades por el 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer, organizaciones feministas salieron a las calles de la ciudad de Guatemala a exigir respeto a sus cuerpos, a sus derechos y a sus opiniones.

Durante el recorrido, las manifestantes visitaron las instalaciones de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ), la Corte de Constitucionalidad (CC), el Congreso de la República y el Palacio Nacional de la Cultura.

La movilización inició en inmediaciones del Centro Cívico, donde se encuentra la CSJ y la municipalidad capitalina; unas 10 carrozas de vivos colores, música reivindicativa y aproximadamente mil mujeres se desplazaron por las principales calles y avenidas del Centro Histórico acompañadas por jóvenes, niños y niñas. El toque ameno lo aportó el Colectivo Caja Lúdica y la Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas (UNAMG).

Al final del bloque marchaba un grupo de viudas de conductores de autobuses urbanos asesinados en los últimos tres años, quienes demandaron atención psicosocial para ellas y su descendencia; uno de los camiones estuvo en el recorrido y fue tapizado con los nombres de los casi mil pilotos muertos de forma violenta...

Women demand an end to gender violence in Guatemala

Altar is set up in memory of almost 4,000 murdered women

As part of activities organized for March 8th, International Women's Day, women's organizations took to the streets of Guatemala City to demand respect for their bodies, their rights and their opinions.

During the march, the demonstrators visited the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), the Constitutional Court (CC), the Congress and the National Palace of Culture.

The mobilization began near the capital city’s civic center, where the Supreme Court and the mayor’s office are located. The procession included some 10 colorful floats, protest music and about a thousand women moved through the main streets and avenues of the Historic Center accompanied by young children.

Entertainment was provided by the Playful Fund Collective and the National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG).

At the end of the march walked a group of widows of urban bus drivers who had been killed during the past three years. they demanded psychosocial care for themselves and for their children. One float in the march contained the names of almost 1,000 bus drivers who had met a violent death.

Rural, indigenous, factory worker and domestic working women joined with students and children to demand justice in cases of femicide, rape and sexual assault in Guatemala.

Participating organizations distributed their flyers that contained specific demands for improved access to education, health and property, as well as sexual equality and the right to food. Above all, the protesters demanded the right to live free from violence.

Authorities have documented 695 violent deaths of women in 2010. Some 3,000 female victims died between 2003 and 2009. In 99 percent of these cases, the crimes have gone unpunished.

The march concluded at the Plaza of the Constitution. While converged around a flagpole, the participants set up an altar to honor the dignity of those women who had died, and to insist that the lives of those women who remain alive be respected.

CIMAC / Cerigua

March 11, 2011


Added: Mar. 20, 2011

Indigenous Canada

Bernie Williams and Reta Bird were among the elders that led a memorial march and candlelight vigil at a totem pole carved in honor of 600 murdered and missing indigenous women.

Steve Cain attended the march and vigil for his murdered girlfriend, Martha Hernandez. He holds a picture of predator Martin Tremblay.

Rounding Up the Predators

In honor of Women’s History Month and the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8th, ICTMN debuts Navajo writer Valerie Taliman’s new series on the growing human rights crisis in Canada where more than 600 Native women are missing or have been murdered. More than half of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples are women, and for most, the world is a difficult place. Indigenous women bear the brunt of violence, war, poverty, homelessness, poor health, disease and a lack of access to education and employment opportunities.

In the United States and Canada, statistics indicate one in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime. Aboriginal women in Canada are five times more likely to die from violence than their peers of other races.

In the her new series, Taliman examines government policies that remove women and children from their homelands, force them into assimilation, and ultimately strip them of their rights to land, culture, and basic human rights. Links to her first series are here:

Vancouver - One day after memorializing the lost lives of 600 Native women, victims of a notorious sex predator spoke for the first time in front of the British Columbia Provincial Court. Under a light rain, they stood among families and elders, demonstrating at a bail hearing against a man they call a monster.

Tearful and angry, five young First Nations women held signs and photos of Martin Tremblay, 45, who was charged in 2003 with 18 counts of sexual assault of drugging, raping and filming five unconscious Native girls, ages 13 to 15. Tremblay served little more than a year in jail, and soon returned to the Downtown Eastside to prey on more victims, including two teenagers who died last October after partying in his Richmond, B.C. home.

The young women on the steps of the courthouse were five of Tremblay’s new and unknown victims, scared but determined to share their harrowing stories and demand that he not be released from jail. They came forward at the urging of Sister Watch, a joint effort by the Vancouver Police ­and a coalition of women’s groups that is asking victims to report new information about assaults linked to Tremblay and other violent drug dealers.

Among those supporting the young victims were Kwakwaka’wakw Chief Kelvin Bee and his family, who traveled from interior British Columbia seeking justice for his niece, Kayla Lalonde, 16, the young woman who died in Tremblay’s home last fall from a drug overdose. Bee brought his family of young singers, their hand drums, and traditional songs to the courthouse where they sang for several hours, standing in support of the women.

One young man stood out with his silent vigilance, quietly holding a photo of Tremblay. “He killed my girlfriend,” said Stephen Cain, 20, speaking of 17-year-old Martha Jackson Hernandez. “She was partying with her friend, Kayla, at Tremblay’s house and then they both turned up dead. He should be in jail on murder charges.”

Richmond, B.C. Police have not charged Tremblay in the overdose deaths of Lalonde and Hernandez, citing a lack of evidence, but families insist the investigation was bungled and not given high priority. They accuse police of dismissing their repeated complaints against Tremblay and his associates.

Steve Cain and a friend attended the march and vigil for his murdered girlfriend, Martha Hernandez.

“I worked for him running drugs, and I know his pattern,” said Krystal, who declined to give her real name. “He lures young girls by saying he’s your street dad – he even says to call him that. He buys you things, and has parties with free booze and drugs for underage kids. Then he puts that date-rape drug in your drinks and next thing you know, you wake up in his bed with him touching you, and you’re defenseless. He did that to me. I told the cops but they didn’t do anything.”

In the days leading up to the 20th annual Women’s Memorial March, the police conducted several raids on known drug dealers, arresting 11 men, including Tremblay. In one cache, police found an estimated $50,000 in cash, AK-47s, knives, pistols, a crossbow and brass knuckles, dozens of bags of crack, crystal meth, and a large bottle of GHB, the “date rape” drug. At a press conference following the arrests, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said, “We are asking all victims to come forward either to police or a trusted community person. You’re safe while he’s in jail and off the streets, and we need other potential victims to report crimes.” Chu is credited as the first police chief to work with the aboriginal community on the issue, creating two major initiatives, Projects Tyrant and Rescue under the umbrella of Sister Watch in cooperation with women’s groups.

“You know, it’s a terrible thing to live in fear,” said Vancouver Deputy Chief of Investigations Warren Lemcke. “Imagine how frightening it is to know that there are people out there who intend to hurt you in a terrible way or possibly do something even worse. The women of the Downtown Eastside have told us that what they fear most are the predatory drug dealers who conduct their business with violence, torture and terror. We have heard what the women and the community have told us and we have targeted the worst of the worst of these offenders.”

In an unprecedented step, police invited Native women from Sister Watch to join the press conference as part of a public appeal to women of the DTES. “There’s a war going on out there, and our people are the targets,” said Mona Woodward, an organizer with the Aboriginal Front Door Society, whose daughter was one of Tremblay’s victims. “If there’s anyone who has information about him, please come forward. He’s in jail now and can’t hurt you. We need to keep this man in jail.”

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu and women spoke at a press conference announcing Martin Tremblay's arrest. On the day of Tremblay’s hearing, Native families packed the courtroom and lined the hallways awaiting his appearance at a bail hearing on charges of drug trafficking. As he was led into the courtroom wearing a red prisoner’s jumpsuit, he did not look at the victims and families who awaited him. Women at the back of the room called out “murderer … rapist” as he sat silently staring straight ahead, his face devoid of emotion, surrounded by three officers.

One young woman, Alana Gauley, 22, began sobbing when she saw him, and had to be escorted out by family. “Martin Tremblay raped me when I was only 14,” she later said. “He gave me orange juice with the date-rape drug in it, and that’s all I remember. I woke up naked on his bed. He did the same thing to my sister and 10 other girls...”

Valerie Taliman

Indian Country Today Media Network

March 16, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 20, 2011

Indigenous Canada

Anthropology Student Draws Parallels Between Murdered Women in Canada, Mexico

Canada is increasingly being forced to pay attention to the murder and disappearance of hundreds of aboriginal women over the past several years, cases that stand apart because they go unsolved and in many cases are in fact dismissed without more than a cursory glance because of supposed characteristics of the victims.

Now 21-year-old artist Brenda Garcia is drawing attention to the similarities between the crimes and the victims in the two countries, which have little else in common, the Lethbridge Herald of Alberta, Canada, reports.

“If another aboriginal woman goes missing, it’s OK because they’re aboriginal and that (attitude) is quite disturbing,” Garcia said of what she sees as the prevailing attitude of authorities toward these crimes. “My hope is to create awareness because a lot of people don’t know that all this violence against women is happening in Mexico and that it’s also happening in Canada. There are a lot of parallels. It’s the same crime and it’s two different countries.”

Garcia has lived in both countries, born in Mexico City and moving to Canada with her family 10 years ago, the Lethbridge Herald said. She noted that in both countries, it’s the women’s poverty that gets them overlooked.

The fourth-year anthropology student at the University of Lethbridge organized a weeklong series of events at the school last week to draw attention to the situations and their similarities. The highlight was a video-linked presentation by Garcia and a counterpart in Texas, journalist Diana Washington Valdez, who for years covered the Juarez murders for the El Paso Times. Garcia and Valdez were joined by Beverly Jacos, a past president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and women’s studies professor Joanne Fisk of the U of L, the paper said.

As Indian Country Today Media Network reported in December, one striking such resemblance lies between Canada’s Highway of Tears, a Vancouver stretch of road along which dozens of women have been murdered, and Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, where hundreds of women have vanished or killed since the early 1990s, their mutilated corpses strewn in the desert.

ICTMN’s Valerie Taliman has reported on the situation in Canada and continues to cover the murders and events surrounding them, including an annual memorial march held by families and supporters of women whose cases are unresolved.

“Poor women are the ones that authorities don’t pay attention to,” Garcia told the newspaper on March 8. “They’re almost seen or looked at as being worthless. That’s the whole mentality: they don’t matter, so if they go missing, it’s OK because they’re poor and they’re really not contributing to society.”

Indian Country Today Media Network

March 15, 2011


Added: Mar. 20, 2011

Navajo nation

Sisters in Circle Take on Women’s Issues on the Navajo Reservation

Women in Shiprock, New Mexico are rallying together to confront domestic violence, sexual assault and women’s health concerns on the Navajo reservation, reported The Daily Times. Referred to as the “Sisters in Circle,” the group spearheaded by the program coordinator of the Healing Circle Drop-In Center, Shirley Montoya, has gained momentum since its recent conference in November that attracted nearly 300 mothers, grandmothers and daughters.

“The ball started rolling,” Montoya told the Times. “Our focus is to develop leadership, to revive skills, to dig deep inside women and empower them.”

In addition to holding conferences semiannually, the group meets regularly, functioning as a women’s support group, and teaching women creative arts, Montoya said. Local artists like acclaimed Gloria Emerson, a visual artist and poet, support the program. “These are women who are deeply involved in serious social issues,” Emerson said about the group of “sisters,” including those who have made a profession out of social services and those seeking an outlet and comradery. “I am impressed with the quality and positivism.”

Emerson is advocating for more support for the program, and hopes it will become incorporated as a nonprofit.

The group’s next step is to form small support circles across the Navajo reservation. Currently, two groups of women meet regularly in Shiprock and welcome new members. One group gathers from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Healing Circle Drop-In Center. The second group meets from 9 a.m. to noon the first Wednesday of every month at the Navajo Nation Family Violence Prevention Office, located behind the Wells Fargo bank in Shiprock, reported the Times.

For more information, call Shirley Montoya at (505) 215-0814, and read more at “Circles of support: Local women band together” in the Times.

Indian Country Today Media Network

March 14, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Mexico

Puebla, un paraíso para los padrotes: Dip. Rosi Orozco

México. D.F. “En el estado de Puebla horroriza el grado de explotación sexual que existe en contra menores de edad, víctimas de la trata de personas”, alertó la diputada federal, Rosi Orozco, quien reconoció el esfuerzo que está mostrando el nuevo gobierno estatal para combatir este delito, pero exigió que se investigue a ex funcionarios, incluido al ex gobernador, Mario Marín Torres.

La también presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, externó a e-consulta su esperanza de que las nuevas autoridades tanto de Puebla como de Tlaxcala realicen, en la práctica, acciones permanentes que permitan no sólo erradicar la trata de personas, sino también encarcelar a los padrotes que han sido plenamente identificados por sus víctimas, como el caso de Gerardo Altamirano Campos, quien operaba en estas dos entidades del país.

Luego de reconocer como un gran avance el hecho de que los gobiernos de Puebla y Tlaxcala se coordinaran para instalar unidades de investigación que combatan la trata de personas, la diputada Rosi Orozco indicó que “eso habla muy bien de los gobernadores Rafael Moreno Valle y Mariano González Zarur”, e hizo votos porque en la práctica los procuradores de justicia de ambas entidades también lleguen a acuerdos y sobre todo logren resultados positivos.

Resultados entre los que debe estar la detención y encarcelamiento de Gerardo Altamirano Campos, “un tipo originario de Tlaxcala, que en la ciudad de México enamoró a una chiquita de 13 años y con engaños se la llevó al estado de Puebla en donde la estuvo prostituyendo en el Hotel La Rosa; donde ella vivió cosas terribles, como el hecho de ser violada por policías uniformados de Puebla”...

Puebla state is a paradise for pimps: Deputy Rosie Orozco

Mexico City - "In the state of Puebla, we are appalled by the degree to which the sexual exploitation of children is allowed to exist," warned congressional deputy Rosi Orozco [National Action Party], who acknowledged the efforts that are being made by the new state government to combat this crime. However, she also demanded that an investigation be carried out to review the actions that were taken by officials of the last state administration, including those of former governor Mario Marin Torres.

Deputy Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Trafficking in Persons in the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), expressed her hope that the newly elected authorities of both Puebla and Tlaxcala states [two of the major ‘wholesale’ centers for mass criminal sexual slavery operations in Mexico] would take practical, permanent actions that would not only eradicate human trafficking, but also jail the pimps who have been positively identified by their victims, such as Gerardo Altamirano Campos, who operated in both states.

Deputy Orozco stated that the recent agreement by the governments of Puebla and Tlaxcala to coordinate their efforts to combat trafficking was a major breakthrough. "That speaks well of governors Rafael Mariano Moreno Valley González Zarur" she said, adding that she also hopes that the attorney generals of both states develop collaborations that achieve positive results.

The results that Deputy Orozco would like to see include the arrest and imprisonment of Gerardo Altamirano Campos, a man "originally from Tlaxcala, who wen to in Mexico City and fell in love with a little girl of 13 years-of-age. This girl was taken to the state of Puebla using deceitful lies, and was forced into prostitution in the Hotel La Rosa, where she experienced terrible things, like being [gang] raped by uniformed Puebla city police officers."

Deputy Orozco noted that the newly inaugurated governors of Puebla and Tlaxcala are both engaging in encouraging actions to fight human trafficking – in comparison to their predecessors. She called upon Puebla governor Rafael Moreno Valle and Attorney General Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget to set up an interagency task force to combat human trafficking, similar to one that has been established in Puebla.

Deputy Orozco also noted that the Puebla state lacks a set of regulations that will allow it to enforce the Law Against Human Trafficking through law enforcement operations that target traffickers. She expects Puebla to combat human trafficking, “but with police officers who are actually trained and committed to fight this problem, and not the [corrupt] officers who buy sex from little girls who are trapped in sexual exploitation.

Although Deputy Orozco acknowledged that the two cases of human trafficking that resulted in prison sentences were a major achievement, she added that we need prosecutors who are trained to address trafficking, to avoid the revictimization of women who dare to denounce their traffickers.

Deputy Orozco declared that it is horrible to see how Puebla state has been converted into a true paradise for pimps. Of the 62 women victims of sex trafficking investigated in the congressional Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, over half of the victims case from Puebla, where pimps take underage girls to be sexually exploited. I am horrified that so much [commercial] sexual exploitation [of children] exists in Puebla, she declared.

Deputy Orozco exclaimed that sex traffickers had operated in Puebla with impunity under the protection of former governor [Mario Marín]. She warned that it would be necessary to investigate members of the prior administration, beginning with former Governor Marín, in regard to their possible links to the sex trafficking networks.

“We ask that these officials be investigated, and that their actions not remain in impunity, because this is not just any crime. It is worse than kidnapping, because it hurts girls, boys and adolescents,” said Deputy Orozco.

Deputy Orozco further warned that the crime of human trafficking in the region involves strong links between the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala. These links go beyond the borders of Mexico, and extent to the United States and even Europe, where [sex trafficking] victims have been found [who have been  taken through the notorious Puebla / Tlaxcala / Mexico City based process of kidnapping, breaking-in and ‘training’].

Deputy Orozco concluded that much work remains to be done in the fight against human trafficking. One important step in that process would be the detention of Gerardo Altamirano Campos, who is known to have victimized one 13-year-old girl, and who could be involved in many similar cases.

Alfredo Plascencia

e-Consulta

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Mexico

Ley contra la trata de personas no se aplica

Aunque existe una legislación para atender esta problemática, actualmente es letra muerta, pues no existen ni siquiera denuncias.

Muchas veces no se denuncia porque se desconoce la existencia de este delito, coinciden especialistas. Foto: Archivo Monterrey.- Aunque Nuevo León cuenta, desde mediados de 2010, con una legislación para prevenir, controlar y sancionar la trata de personas, hasta la fecha no ha sido aplicada y, a decir de los expertos, el estado “aún no termina por voltear a ver el problema”.

Se denomina trata a la utilización y aprovechamiento de personas. Implica actos de rapto, traslación y acogida de personas, mediante el uso de amenazas, engaño, fuerza u otras formas de coacción, con la finalidad de explotación. También suele referirse a ella como trata de blancas.

A nivel federal, la Cámara de Diputados discute la creación de una ley federal contra este delito. Nuevo León cuenta con una desde hace siete meses, pero no la aplica.

La directora jurídica de la CEDH (organismo que promovió la ley local), Sylvia Puente, informó que hasta el momento no se ha iniciado el proceso de aplicación de dicha legislación, por lo que aceptó que Nuevo León no termina por arrancar el combate a esta problemática.

“Yo creo que todavía no (reconoce el problema) suficientemente, una muestra de que sí, Nuevo León está interesado y están viendo esta realidad, es el estudio hecho por la UANL; segundo, la iniciativa presentada; tercero, la aprobación del Congreso a esa iniciativa transformándola en ley”.

Según datos proporcionados por la presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, Rosi Orozco, Nuevo León es el segundo estado con mayores índices de esta problemática, sin embargo no existen denuncias, y mucho menos sanciones.

“En Monterrey no hay localmente ninguna sentencia, no ha sido sentenciado nadie por el tema de trata, y es una de las ciudades que tiene mayor índice por trata de personas”.

Altos índices

• Según la presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, Nuevo León es el segundo estado con mayores índices de esta problemática, sin embargo, no existen denuncias, y mucho menos sanciones.

• Para ella, esto evidencia una falta de análisis de la situación que se vive en la entidad en torno a la trata de personas. Para ella, esto evidencia una falta de análisis de la situación que se vive en la entidad en torno a la trata de personas y también deja al descubierto una falla en la aplicación de la legislación vigente.

“A Monterrey le urge un diagnóstico del problema, aunque podemos percibir cualquier persona que viene a Monterrey que los lugares donde existe trata aún visible y descarada, con anuncios verdaderamente pornográficos han crecido de una manera tremenda”...

Nuevo Leon's state law against human trafficking is not enforced.

Although legislation has been passed by the state legislature to address the issue, in reality the law is a dead letter. [Few if any] complaints are filed by the public.

[Translation to follow]

Milenio

Feb. 27, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Uruguay

Seminario internacional sobre prevención y asistencia a víctimas de explotación sexual

Del 13 al 15 de abril se realizará, en Paraná, el seminario internacional “Estrategias de prevención y asistencia a víctimas de explotación sexual y laboral entre sociedad civil y Estado”. El encuentro buscará establecer las particularidades que presenta la región ante este problema y realizar acuerdos de trabajo de intervención en la sociedad y asistencia a las víctimas, según informaron a AIM.

En un comunicado de prensa de la Red Alerta remitido a AIM, se explicó que el seminario estará “orientado a operadores sociales de organismos públicos y organizaciones de la sociedad civil vinculadas con la intervención a víctimas de explotación sexual y laboral de la región centro de nuestro país y del Uruguay”.

La propuesta surgió, ya que desde Red de Alerta observan la necesidad de “establecer pautas comunes en los procedimientos para actuar en esta materia, e impulsar y asegurar la participación coordinada de los órganos judiciales, de las Fuerzas de Seguridad, Policiales y demás organismos de control, como también la necesidad de exteriorizar el compromiso de asistencia a las víctimas para que puedan denunciar sin temor a represalias y con las garantías suficientes para no volver a ser cooptadas por las organizaciones criminales”.

Además, consideran imprescindible “articular esfuerzos con otras organizaciones, tanto para el desarrollo de acciones concretas, especialmente a nivel local, como para el desarrollo político del tratamiento del problema”.

International seminar on prevention and assistance to victims of sexual exploitation

From 13 to 15 April, the international seminar "Strategies for prevention and assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and labor between civil society and state" will be held in the city of Paraná. The meeting will seek to establish the unique regional characteristics of the problem and develop effective methods of intervention and assistance for victims.

The seminar is "aimed at social workers and public and civil society organizations who are engaged in intervention for victims of sexual and labor exploitation in the central region of our nation of Uruguay."

AIM Digital

March 19, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The United States

Congressional Briefing on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

At least 100,000 children are trafficked for sex in the United States each year, according to recent estimates. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, you can learn more about this problem at a congressional briefing being held today, Wednesday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m.

[Attendees showed] support for the reintroduction of the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act, the bill that nearly passed in the last session to bring greater protections to children exploited through sex trafficking in the United States by establishing a grant program to support increased law enforcement investigations and prosecutions while ensuring the victims are provided with shelter and services.

Briefing agenda:

• Mira Sorvino: welcome and introduction

• Senators Ron Wyden and John Cornyn: comments on the re-introduction of the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act

• Libby Spears, filmmaker - Director of the documentary film "Playground": brief commentary and viewing of the trailer for "Playground"

At 4:00 p.m, there will be a screening of Playground, followed by a Q/A with Libby Spears and Mira Sorvino.

Panel of speakers:

• Dr. Sharon Cooper, Forensic Pediatrician, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

• Sgt. Doug Justus, Portland Police Bureau (ret.), former head of the Portland Police Department vice unit

• Natasha, a Victims' Rights Advocate and sex trafficking survivor

• Ernie Allen, President and CEO, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Polaris Project

March 16, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 19, 2011

The United States

Sex Trafficking in a Latino Residential Brothel

Polaris Project serves, among many of its activities, as the federal contractor operating the U.S. National Human Trafficking Resource Center

An officer responded to a report that commercial sex was occurring at a residential building. The officer had attended a training conducted by a local anti-trafficking organization, and recognized many potential trafficking indicators. Multiple people at the house were arrested, some of whom the officer suspected were controllers and one who the officer believed was a sex trafficking victim. Due to language issues, the officer was not able to speak with the woman, who was originally from Panama. The officer contacted the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline to report the situation and seek resources for the potential victim. The NHTRC connected with a local Spanish-speaking service provider who served as a victim advocate. The NHTRC also reported the situation to a specialized human trafficking task force, that was able to connect with the officer to address the investigative side of the case and provide technical assistance.

El Centro Nacional de Recursos Sobre Trata de Personas 

Llama la línea gratuita y confidencial: 1-888-3737-888

* Denunciar casos de trata;

* Conectarse con servicios en su localidad;

* Pedir información o recursos en español sobre la trata de personas y la esclavitud moderna.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

* The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

* The NHTRC is a program of Polaris Project, a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking.

* We are not a government entity, law enforcement or an immigration authority.

* Call us at: 1-888-3737-888

* To report a tip; To connect with anti-trafficking services in your area; or To request training and technical assistance, general information or specific anti-trafficking resources.

Polaris Project

March 16, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Mexico

Protest for women jailed in Baja California state

Manifestación frente a representación de BC Protestan por libertad de mujer presa por abortar

Cobertura Especial Mujeres y Crisis

México, DF,- Organizaciones de mujeres procedentes de Baja California, activistas, feministas del país, así como integrantes del Pacto Nacional por la Vida, la Libertad y los Derechos de las Mujeres y del Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME), exigieron la inmediata liberación de una joven presa en el penal de Mexicali y sentenciada a 23 años por abortar.

Esta tarde aproximadamente 70 mujeres se dieron cita a las afueras de la representación del estado de Baja California en el Distrito Federal, para exigir la libertad de la joven de 21 años, así como de 23 mujeres más que se encuentran presas por motivos similares en la entidad.

Las activistas afirmaron que con estas detenciones se violenta el Estado laico y el derecho a decidir de las mujeres a ejercer una maternidad libre y voluntaria.

Precisaron que el caso de la joven recluida por más de dos años en el Cereso de Mexicali no es el único. Actualmente en ese mismo penal se encuentran presas cinco mujeres más en espera de sentencia y otras tres sentenciadas por el delito de homicidio en grado de parentesco.

De igual forma, en el Cereso de Tijuana hay tres mujeres presas en espera de sentencia y ocho más que ya fueron sentenciadas; mientras que en el reclusorio de Ensenada tres mujeres ya fueron sentenciadas y una se encuentra en espera del veredicto.

Una comisión encabezada por Marixtel Calderón Vargas, integrante de la Red Iberoamericana Pro Derechos Humanos, fue recibida por Ricardo Emiliano Salazar Torres, representante del gobierno de BC en el Distrito Federal y por Gabriela Zendejas Jauregui, directora de Enlace Federal.

La activista informó que se les notificó a los funcionarios que el caso de la joven de 21 años no es el único en la entidad, que hay 23 casos más. Los empleados del gobierno de BC se comprometieron a revisar el asunto...

Women Demonstrate in from of Baja California state’s offices in Mexico City to demand freedom for women imprisoned for abortion

Women and Crisis Special Coverage

Mexico City - Women's organizations from Baja California state, as well as activists and feminists from across the nation, such as the members of the National Pact for Life, Liberty and the Rights of Women, and the Mexican Electricians Union (SME), joined together recently to demand the immediate release of a young woman who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for having aborted.

Approximately 70 women joined together in front of Baja California representative’s  offices in Mexico City to demand the release of the 21-year-old women, as well as the freedom of 23 other women [who are awaiting sentences of from 20 to 30 years for having obtained an abortion].

The activists claimed that these arrests are violate the rights given by the secular state, and also the freedom of choice for women to exercise voluntary motherhood.

They said that if the 21-year-old woman, who has been imprisoned for more than two years in the Mexicali prison, is not an isolated case.

[We note that the 21-year-old woman who was senteneced to 23 years in prison did not obtain an abortion, but suffered a spontaneous abortion – making her prosecution by the state of Baja California a truly medieval act. -LL]

Currently, are five other women prisoners awaiting trial and three others convicted of the crime of murder in degree are being held in the same prison.

Similarly, three female prisoners who are awaiting trial and eight more have already been sentenced are being held in Tijuana’s prison, while in the city of Ensenada an additional and three women are being detained who have been convicted, but are awaiting sentencing.

A commission headed by Marixtel Calderón Vargas, a member of the Iberoamerican Network for Human Rights, was received by Emiliano Salazar Ricardo Torres, the government representative Baja California in the Federal District [Mexico City], and Gabriela Zendejas Jauregui, federal Liaison director for the state.

The activist said that the state officials agreed to look into the matter.

Calderón Vargas reported that the activists will continue to hold meetings with senior officials with the goal of having the Superior Court of the State of Baja California review the case of the 21-year-old student resulting in her release.

Later, the protesters marched to the Miguel Alemán Viaduct Avenue to show their signs of protest.

According to information from IPAS Mexico, Baja California is one of several states that increased ther maternal mortality statistics between 2008 and 2009. One of the causes identified involved cases of abortion.

In Baja California, abortion is permitted under the Criminal Code in cases of rape, in which case the law provides a period of 90 days for abortion, if the rape was reported to the police. Other legal reasons include “accidental” abortion or if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

March 18, 2011


Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Texas, USA

Alleged gang rape of girl, 11, ignites firestorm in Texas community

The alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl has torn apart a Texas community, with some focusing on the girl and her parents as much as, if not more than, the 18 people accused of sexually assaulting her.

"It is segregating our community," Brenda Myers, the head of the Community and Children's Impact Center in Cleveland, Texas, told HLN's Vinnie Politan on Monday. "There's a lot of anger, a lot of vicious remarks toward the little girl."

This month, police said 13 adults and five juveniles have been arrested related to their investigation of an alleged rape late last year in Cleveland, a community about 50 miles northeast of Houston.

Darrell Broussard, Cleveland's assistant police chief, said that the 18 individuals charged thus far are between 14 and 27 years old.

On Thursday, Quannel X, a community activist, traveled from Houston to help stage a town hall meeting called to address rising concerns -- especially in Cleveland's African-American community -- about the case.

Among other issues, he said that the girl didn't do enough to stop the alleged assailants.

"It was not the young girl that yelled rape. Stop right there -- something is wrong, brothers and sisters," Quannel X said.

And, speaking over yells of support from the crowd, he also questioned the role of the girl's parents.

"Where was the mother? Where was the father?" he said.

Soon after that event, community activist Linda Morales defended the girl.

"This was an 11-year-old child. And no matter what she did, did not do, how she dressed, how she talked, how she acted does not matter," Morales said. "This was a brutal and savage rape."

Myers said that she knows the girl, her siblings and her parents, and the entire family was active in her organization.

"These kids are good kids," she said. "These (the girl and her siblings) were in basketball, honors society, ROTC programs. So I feel the parents were doing something right in their lives."

In addition to her distress for the girl, Myers added she also was "devastated ... that our community and people in our community are saying (this) about an 11-year-old child. It breaks my heart, it really does."

Responding to a question of whether more arrests might be forthcoming, Broussard told CNN that investigators have been alerted to "other possible persons of interest."

Those tried as adults could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted on charges of sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony in Texas, the Cleveland Police Department said in a statement.

CNN

March 14, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 19, 2011

Texas, USA

11-year-old girl can't be 'willing' in sexBy Jane Velez-Mitchell

By Jane Velez-Mitchell

[We note that the victim in this case was an 11-year-old Latina girl]

What's more shocking than the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl? The fact that some people are actually blaming the little girl.

The nation gasped when police recently arrested 18 men and boys, ranging in age from 14 to 27, in the alleged gang rape of an unnamed 11-year old child last November. There was a second gasp when police revealed they only found out about it after graphic cell phone videos of the assaults were circulated.

The horrific event occurred in a small Texas town about 50 miles outside of Houston. Reports are that the town has become deeply divided with some blaming the girl and her parents. Some residents told reporters that the girl hung out with older boys at the playground, liked to dress older than her age and wore makeup. And the relevance of those claims to the crime of her being raped would be... what exactly? Perhaps she looked a little older? Say... 13?

Is someone actually suggesting there could be any justification for any human being getting gang raped, much less an underage girl? Sadly, pathetically, yes. That seems to be exactly what some people are suggesting.

First, an attorney for some of the suspects described the girl as someone who had a "desire to be a willing participant." That was followed by the arrival in town of a Houston-based community activist named Quanell X who stood before a group of local parents and exclaimed, "It was not the young girl that yelled rape! Stop right there. Something is wrong brothers and sisters... Where was her mother? Where was her father? Where was her family?"

Perhaps more disturbing than his words were the murmurs of approval from the crowd. How about asking, "Where were the parents of the 14-year-old boy who is now accused of raping the 11-year-old girl?"

The truth is, in attempting to support the accused boys and men, those who would censure the child and her family are not exactly helping the suspects. If the defense attorneys take this tack at trial it could boomerang badly, enraging the jury.

Here's why I see this ugly dialogue emerging. Normally, if you want to win support for a suspect you say the authorities have got the wrong person. In this case, police maintain they have video evidence of rapes in progress. So, the fall-back position seems to be that somehow the girl asked for it. Bad fall back position.

Even if this girl was screaming from the rooftops that she wanted sex, everybody should know that an 11-year-old girl is too young to consent to having sex. There is no such thing as consensual sex with an 11-year-old girl. [We note that the age of sexual consent in 19 of Mexico's 31 states is 12. Similar standards apply across Latin America, leading to an inevitable, and unresolved clash of cultural norms. - LL].

I have compassion for the families of the suspects who have also seen their lives shattered. Several of the suspects are underage boys. If they were involved as charged, I suspect these younger boys, especially the 14-year-old, could be seen as victims themselves, likely lured into allegedly committing an act they barely understood under tremendous peer pressure from older males who were in the throes of a sick version of group think. Locking minors away for decades doesn't solve anything.

If these crimes did occur as prosecutors say they did, then we -- as a society -- must figure out what messages young males are getting in today's culture that would lead them to think that having any sex, much less group sex, with an 11-year-old girl is OK and should even be videotaped and shown to friends.

Are boys and men being taught that women are to be respected and protected and that a female's body is sacred, a child's body especially so? Well, you won't find that message on any recently produced music videos. We live in a hyper-sexualized culture where the prevailing message is: Sex is like fast food, gorge on it thoughtlessly and damn the consequences.

It's really up to parents to counteract the over-sexualized imagery in today's world. If parents don't instruct their kids on the narrow boundaries of respectful behavior toward the opposite sex, their kids won't learn it anywhere else. So, perhaps the question of the day in that small Texas town should be, "Where were all the suspects' parents?"

Jane Velez-Mitchell

Special to CNN

March 19, 2011


Added: Mar. 20, 2011

Texas, USA

Jose Antonio Martinez

Man Arrested After Girl Reports Molestation To School Officials

A Waco man was arrested, jailed and charged Friday with continuous sexual abuse of a young child stemming from molestation of a girl over a period of several years.

Jose Antonio Martinez, 42, was in the McLennan County Jail Friday morning, held in lieu of $250,000 bond. Click here to find out more!

He’s under an immigration hold, which means he won’t be released, authorities said Friday.

The investigation that led to the arrest started after a young girl reported the abuse to school officials, telling them she had been molested over a period of several years.

The school officials in turn notified police.

Detectives interviewed Martinez and later arrested him.

Officers say the incidents happened at a north Waco residence.

Police officers took the victim to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center for evaluation.

The police department's crime victim's services unit was also called in to assist the girl.

Paul J. Gately

KWTX

March 18, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho and Marisol Valles

Photos: Cuartoscuro Archivo

Marisol Valles y Lydia Cacho, mujeres mexicanas que impactan al mundo

Marisol Valles García, la joven que asumió la jefatura de policía en una violenta comunidad del estado mexicano de Chihuahua, y Lydia Cacho, una periodista que ha documentado la trata de personas en México, fueron incluidas por la revista Newsweek en su primera lista de las 150 mujeres que han sacudido al mundo, informó Notimex.

La lista, publicada a propósito del Día Internacional de la Mujer, reconoce a quienes desde diferentes rincones del mundo continúan haciendo aportes que impactan la vida diaria de miles o millones de personas.

“Con ardiente energía, las mujeres construyen escuelas, inician negocios, combaten corrupción, aprovechando nuevas tecnologías y echando abajo viejos prejuicios”, explica el prólogo de la lista.

Marisol Valles and Lydia Cacho, Mexican women who impact the world

Valles Marisol Garcia, the young woman who became the chief of police in a small, violent town in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, and Lydia Cacho, a journalist who has documented human trafficking in Mexico were listed by Newsweek magazine in its first list of 150 women who have shaken the world, Notimex reported.

The list, published for International Women's Day, honors women from different corners of the world who make contributions that impact the daily lives of thousands or millions of people.

"With fiery energy, these women build schools, start businesses and fight corruption while drawing upon new technologies and breaking down old prejudices," says the preface to the list.

Marisol Valles was recently suspended from office for failing to report to work... when her approved leave of absence expired on March 2nd. Valles had requested time off for personal reasons. U.S. immigration authorities later confirmed that she is in the U.S.

In regard to her work, the publication stated that anywhere in the world where "a young woman gains control over her own destiny, that person raises the value of human rights [for those around her]."

In regard to Lydia Cacho, whose research showed the complicity of Mexican businessmen and officials in crimes of human trafficking and child prostitution, Newsweek said that Cacho "thunders against the degradation of women and the scourge of drug gangs" from her newspaper column.

Although France has offered Cacho asylum to protect her from the threats she receives [in Mexico] in response to her work, recalled the publication, she has refused to give up. "I do not see why I should leave my country, because I'm good at my job," said Cacho.

Among the other Latin American women on this year’s list are former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet and former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

In addition, the list of Newsweek includes the political leader of Burma and Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi, actress Angelina Jolie for her contributions as Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, and U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama.

Also on the list were built not so well known figures such as Rebecca Lolosoli, who led a movement for the emancipation of tribal women from her native Kenya.

CNN Mexico

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Photo: Stephanie Sinclair / VII for Newsweek

Women in the World: Lydia Cacho, Mexico

A longtime social activist, Lydia Cacho founded a shelter for sexually exploited women and children in Cancun. In 2005, she wrote Los Demonios del Eden, in which she accused a hotel owner of child pornography and prostitution, and incriminated other Mexican politicians and businessmen for protecting the pedophile. Those denounced in her book targeted Cacho with violence; one sued and had her illegally arrested. She was freed when the United Nations Human Rights Council offered her political asylum. Cacho is currently a columnist at El Universal, Mexico’s main national newspaper. Lydia Cacho Ribiero, the Mexican journalist, describes a recent phone call. "[The caller] told me they would cut my head off," she says. Even for the 47-year-old Cacho, who has survived assassination attempts and a sexual assault, the threat was surreal. Cacho has thundered on behalf of women's rights in books and in newspaper columns for El Universal, but Mexico's drug war has given her writing a new urgency. She hopes to produce a portrait of women in the narcosphere, from the wives and girlfriends of the cartel bosses to those of the lowliest assassin.

The Daily Beast

March, 2011

See also:

150 Women Who Shake the World

The Daily Beast

March, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Peru

Press conference on anti-trafficking efforts in Madre de Dios, Peru

Minería informal en Madre de Dios genera prostitución infantil

Así lo reveló el ministro del Interior, Miguel Hidalgo

La minería informal trae sus secuelas, y no es sólo la contaminación ambiental. Este tipo de actividad, trabajada en su clandestinidad y muy recurrente en la región de Madre de Dios, genera la explotación sexual de menores de edad y el tráfico ilegal de combustible, ssí lo reveló el ministro del Interior, Miguel Hidalgo.

“Hemos comprobado que la minería informal, que genera recursos, a la vez viene contribuyendo en la generación de delitos y faltas graves, como trata de personas, explotación sexual de menores, violencia, entre otros”, explicó Hidalgo Medina.

A su vez, resaltó que gracias a un trabajo de inteligencia de la Policía Nacional se ha logrado rescatar a 69 niñas de las garras de las prostitución infantil y devolverlas a sus padres.

Por otro lado, exhortó a los minero informarles a optar por la formalidad por el bien de la comunidad de Madre de Dios.

“La minería informal produce mil millones de dólares al año. ¿Cuánto de ese dinero se queda en Madre de Dios? ¿Cuántos impuestos se dejan de pagar?”, se preguntó el titular del Interior, antes de añadir que la solución es la formalización.

Informal Mining in Peru’s Madre de Dios region causes child prostitution, says Interior Minister Miguel Hidalgo

According to Interior Minister, Miguel Hidalgo Medina, informal mining has its bad effects, and not just in regard pollution. Such mining, which is done in secrecy and is widespread in the Madre de Dios [Mother of God] region, creates an environment where the sexual exploitation of minors and illegal fuel sales abound.

"We have found that informal mining, generating incomes, while at the same time contributing to serious crimes such as human trafficking, the sexual exploitation of children and violence, among others," said Hidalgo Medina.

Hidalgo Medina added that thanks to intelligence work of the National Police, authorities have managed to rescue 69 girls from the clutches of child prostitution and return them to their parents…

Generaccion

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

La mujer campesina, victima de un sistema economico, politico y antisocial

Aunque los informes oficiales señalan mayor preocupación de nuestros gobernantes por atender la problematica de la mujer campesina, en realidad, es el sector de la población con menores oportunidades de desarrollo personal, educativo, cultural, profesional, laboral. La mujer campesina vive los mayores indices de inseguridad, desigualdad, inequidad, marginación y exclusión social.

Las estadisticas que refleja el INEGI, permiten comprobar que vivimos una sociedad de grandes contrastes sociales, donde el sistema democratico republicano y el modelo de economía abierta que vivimos en México, no son benevolos y mucho menos justos con el sector mayoritario de la población nacional....

Nuestro sistema político reproduce y fomenta entre los ciudadanos prácticas de abuso, corrupción y agandalle, como principios de una supuesta cultura de éxito personal. Una cultura mediocre y falsa que corrompe y degrada nuestra sociedad, destruyendo valores individuales, familiares y comunitarios, que promueve falsas expectativas que comfrontan a nuestra sociedad, donde las mujeres son víctimas directas de la perversión de éste sistema, ya que representan la base estructural de la sociedad donde se encuentra mejor cimentados los valores del ser humano, el amor, la solidaridad, la equidad,la igualdad, la lealtad y la honestidad...

Rural [including many indigenous] women are the victims of a political and economic system that is… antisocial

Although official reports indicate that the nation’s leaders are expressing significant levels of concern about the plight of rural [and largely indigenous] women, this sector of the population has the fewest opportunities for personal, educational, cultural, labor and professional development. Rural women also live with high levels of insecurity, inequality, marginalization and social exclusion.

These statistics, created by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), allow us to demonstrate that we live in a society of huge social contrasts, where the democratic political system of the republic, and our open economic model are not, in fact benevolent, much less than fair to the majority of the nation’s population.

Women

According to the 2010 national census, 13 million of Mexico’s 57.5 million women and girls live in the Mexican countryside. Of these, 5.5 million are indigenous women who speak a Native language One in three who are old enough to read and write are illiterate, because they have not gone to school. Only one in ten of them have a secondary education, so that their awareness of their own human rights is extremely limited. These women and girls are subjected to discrimination, exploitation and exclusion.

In Mexico there are 900 000 ejido [communally held farm] members, commune members and small land owners. Most are women over 50 years-of-age who have inherited their land as widows. They do not actually farm these plots. That is a task that their children or other men from the family perform. In other cases they rent the land when they do not have access to labor to work the fields. As a result, they must live on meager earnings, and are often forced to sell the only thing they own, their land.

As a result of this process, landless indigenous people in Mexico have become a mobile class of modern slaves – men, women and children who only have the freedom to choose which landowner to rent themselves to during the agricultural cycle. They receive miserable salaries in these farm fields, where there are no dreams of prosperity for the laborer, only dreams of surviving to get to the start of the next agricultural cycle.  

Women not only work alongside their husbands to supplement the family income, they also care for their children, wash clothes and prepare food for their families. They live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, where they cannot accumulate any family savings, because they own nothing but their labor.

The sufferings of indigenous women farm workers are double those of other women. They are even more poorly paid, and are sometimes not paid at all [the purest form of modern labor slavery]. They only thing that they are allowed to manage is their family’s condition of misery. The one family asset that they do have consists of the moral values ​​of unity, solidarity and family love given to us by our ancestors.

While it is true that today we see a greater participation by Mexican women in the economic, cultural, financial, commercial, athletic and political life of Mexico, it is also true that we have to endure harsh social disparities that keeps us well below the expected standards of equality between men and women, as a result of exclusionary policies that limit opportunities not only for men, but especially for women and girls to study and work in conditions of gender equality.

Our political system encourages people to engage in abusive practices, corruption and self serving criminal behavior as principles of a culture of alleged personal success. The result is a mediocre and false culture that corrupts and degrades our society, destroying individual, family and community values, and which promotes false expectations in our society. Women are direct victims of the perversion of this system, given that they represent the structural basis for the positive human values of love, solidarity, equality, fairness and honesty in society.

This land, water, culture and biodiversity are ours!

The Executive Committee of COCYP (The Union of Popular and Rural People’s Organizations)

Central de Organizaciones Campesinas y Populares

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Indigenous women in Mexico

Photo: COCYP

El narco seduce a las indígenas mexicanas

"Cada vez aumenta más el número de mujeres del sector rural que engrosan las filas del narcotráfico, porque el maíz no es negocio, lo que dispara los niveles de inseguridad, violencia intrafamiliar, corrupción y muerte en el campo", denunció José Jacobo Femat, líder de la Central de Organizaciones Campesinas y Populares (COCYP).

En su acto por el Día Internacional de la Mujer, la COCYP afirmó que en México "hay poco que celebrar en el caso del campo y menos en las zonas indígenas, en donde sobreviven 5,5 millones de mujeres en condiciones de miseria y abandono, así como analfabetismo y severos grados de desnutrición junto a sus hijos". Según sus registros, sólo una de cada diez tiene educación media, y son objeto de discriminación, explotación y exclusión.

El dirigente campesino reveló que las jornaleras ganan hasta un 50% menos que los hombres y "están más expuestas a enfermedades como cáncer y enfisemas, ante la total ausencia de seguridad social en sus comunidades".

"Trece millones de mujeres son víctimas de un sistema económico y político de discriminación, explotación y exclusión, pues ellas sólo cuentan con un ingreso semanal de 400 pesos (33 dólares) a cambio de realizar labores en el medio rural de hasta 12 horas al día", declaró Femat...

The drug cartels seduce Indigenous Mexican women

"Growing numbers of rural Mexican women are swelling the ranks of the drug cartels, because raising corn is no longer a viable source of income. The result are sharp increases in the levels of insecurity, domestic violence, corruption and death in the countryside," complained José Jacobo Femat, the head of COCYP (The Union of Popular and Rural People’s Organizations).

During his International Women's Day declaration, Femat said that in Mexico there is little to celebrate in the nation’s rural regions, and even less in its indigenous areas, where 5.5 million women survive in conditions of misery, neglect, illiteracy and severe degrees of malnutrition for themselves and their children. According to COCYP, only one in ten rural women has a basic education, and as a group, they are subjected to discrimination, exploitation and exclusion.

The peasant leader revealed that laborers earn up to 50% less than men and are "more vulnerable to diseases like cancer and emphysema, and face a total absence of social security in their communities."

"Thirteen million women are victims of economic and political system of discrimination, exploitation and exclusion, as they only have a weekly income of 400 pesos (33 dollars) in return for work in rural areas up to 12 hours a day "said Femat.

Children and the Drug Cartels

In mid-February, 2011, the Tabasco state Human Rights Commission (CEDH) denounced the fact that organized crime "rents indigenous children in the [southern border] state of Chiapas. The children are then taken to Tabasco’s state capital city of Villahermosa and other urban centers in southeast Mexico.”

Jesus Manuel Argáez de los Santos, president of the CEDH said that Tabasco state holds second place nationally its rate of human trafficking activity, while Mexico holds third place globally as a center of modern human slavery globally, following only Russia and Thailand.

"Human trafficking is the third most lucrative business for organized crime worldwide, only surpassed by drugs and arms trafficking, because it produces annual earnings of approximately 9.5 billion dollars. According to figures from the United Nations, during the past 25 years at least 27 million people worldwide have been victims of labor sexual or [other] commercial forms of exploitation" explained Argáez de los Santos.

Infobae.com

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Peru

Peruvian women celebrate International Women's Day, 2011

Hoy se celebran 100 años del Día Internacional de la Mujer

Desde los seis años tuvo que aprender, a la buena o a la mala, lo que era sembrar yucas y sachapapas, por cero remuneración. Ese fue su destino y el de todas las mujeres de la comunidad Bora, en la región Loreto, a la cual pertenece.

Sin ellas, la economía de su ya empobrecida familia podría escasear aún más y los más pequeños de casa se quedarían sin un bocado que llevarse a la boca. Resulta que el trabajo de mujeres bora como Gladys es indispensable en el ciclo de producción de alimentos, tanto o mucho más que el de los hombres de su comunidad.

Ponen el hombro

Eso es algo que confirma María Sangama Fachín, de la localidad loretana de Nauta, pues ella y sus coterráneas desde que nacen tienen que ir al campo a poner el hombro, a pesar de que muchos hombres –aún hoy– no las consideren sus iguales y las miren hacia abajo.

“Las mujeres somos discriminadas. Hay mucho machismo. Por eso traté de gestionar un Centro de Emergencia Mujer (CEM), porque la violencia familiar era demasiada, lo mismo que la trata de personas”, sostuvo con un atisbo de pena. Sabe bien que Nauta es un mendigo sentado sobre un banco de oro, o mejor dicho sobre un pozo de petróleo. Sin embargo, a pesar de esa riqueza y de los esfuerzos, siguen en la cima del ranking de la extrema pobreza.

Es difícil ser mujer

Solo así ellas podrían defenderse del puño del hombre. Como dice la artesana Norma Vitamar Mejía Campos, natural de Cajamarca, en la zona rural es muy difícil ser mujer por culpa del excesivo machismo. “El hombre toma todas las decisiones. Incluso la cantidad de hijos. Dependiendo del lugar, es ‘obligación’ de la mujer tener mínimo doce hijos”.

Protegerse con algún método anticonceptivo, ni pensarlo. Sus esposos serían capaces de matarlas. Pero ¿cómo alimentan a tantos? Pues ahí entra a tallar nuevamente la mujer. La que no está inmersa en las labores del campo se dedica a la artesanía para obtener “algo” más para la mesa de su hogar.

Con todo esto, ¿hay algo que celebrar? Pues creen que se debe celebrar el valor y la fortaleza de la mujer peruana. Pero sobre todo se debe reflexionar sobre la inexistencia de una equidad que les permita desarrollarse en todos los campos sin miedos.

Una labor notable pero invisible

Cuando en 1911 se celebró por primera vez el Día de la Mujer, solamente en dos países las mujeres tenían derecho a voto.

En Junín, el 35% de mujeres se dedica a labores agrícolas. Según el grado de instrucción, el 12 por ciento de trabajadoras agrícolas no tiene instrucción académica, el 27 por ciento concluyó su primaria, el 23 por ciento logró concluir sus estudios secundarios y solo el 1.5 por ciento cuenta con educación técnica concluida.

Estas mujeres son miembros de la Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas, Artesanas, Indígenas, Nativas y Asalariadas del Perú (Femucarinap). En sus regiones de origen son lideresas y ejemplo de trabajo, tenacidad y tesón.

Consuelo Alonzo C.

La Republica

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Unas 30 mujeres fueron secuestradas y prostituidas en Puebla, revela legisladora

De las 62 mujeres que se atendieron en la Comisión Especial de la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas en la Cámara de Diputados el año pasado, más de la mitad estuvieron secuestradas en Puebla, reveló la presidente de dicha comisión, Rosi Orozco, en una entrevista que concedió a La Jornada de Oriente, después de su participación en el panel “La trata de personas, atención a víctimas”, organizado por el Sistema DIF estatal en el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer.

La legisladora acusó que durante la administración del ex gobernador Mario Marín Torres las mujeres que fueron víctimas de trata de personas vivieron en estado de indefensión, ya que los policías en lugar de protegerlas eran quienes las violaban.

En este sentido, refirió que la Comisión Especial de la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas en la Cámara de Diputados tiene documentado un caso de una niña 13 años, quien fue secuestrada y violada por un grupo de policías estatales en el Hotel La Rosa, ubicado en el Centro Histórico de la capital poblana.

La legisladora señaló que los dueños del hotel sacaban a todos sus clientes para que el grupo de policías pudieran hacer sus orgías con la menor.

Indicó que la persona que introdujo a la menor en las redes de trata de personas y prostitución se llama Gerardo Campos, quien hasta ahora sigue libre porque en la administración de Mario Marín Torres, el procurador del estado no hizo nada para capturarlo...

Deputy Rosie Orozco: Thirty women were abducted and forced into prostitution in Puebla

According to Deputy Rosi Orozco (National Action Party – PAN), of the 62 women who were interviewed by the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress] in 2010, over half of them had been kidnapped in the state of Puebla. Deputy Orozco, president of the congressional commission, spoke in the city of Puebla (capital of the state of Puebla) after her participation in the panel Human trafficking – Assistance for the Victims, an International Women’s Day event that was organized by the Puebla state social services agency – DIF (Integral Family Development).

Deputy Orozco charged that during the administration of former governor Mario Marín Torres, women who were victims of trafficking in persons lived in an undefended state, given that it was the police themselves who [habitually] raped these victims.

Speaking directly about this problem, Deputy Orozco went on to say that her congressional anti-trafficking commission has documented a case of a girl 13 who was abducted and raped by a group of Puebla State Police officers in the Hotel La Rosa, located historic center of the city of Puebla.

Deputy Orozco noted that the hotel’s owners evicted all of its customers so that the group of police officers could carry on orgies with the child.

The man who sex trafficked the underage victim was Gerardo Campos, who so far remains free because under the administration of former Governor Mario Marín Torres, the state attorney general did nothing to arrest him, said Deputy Orozco.

"We have gone from one official to another. We hope that the new Puebla Attorney General or that of neighboring Tlaxcala state find Campos, because it been tragic to see this girl being moved from one institution to another [since her rescue]. The victim had filed a formal criminal complaint with the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) – an office of the of the Attorney General Office of the Republic (PGR - equivalent to the U.S. Department of Justice). No action was taken against Campos by the former state administration.

We hope that the new Puebla Attorney General will finally do something, because this girl spent three years being tortured, burned with an iron, beaten with chains, kicked, grabbed and forced to have abortions. Campos cannot remain free," declared Deputy Orozco.

Deputy Orozco warned that the city of Angelópolis "is full of places where human trafficking crimes are committed." She therefore, urged the new state Legislature to make ratify the state’s Law for the Prevention of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons and Victim Protection and Assistance, adopted during the last Legislature.

Deputy Orozco added that the state government should establish an a multi-sectoral collaboration to address human trafficking and create training and awareness program addressing care for victims of trafficking - with prosecutors, judges, magistrates and police.

During the panel, Deputy Orozco said that 70,000 underage girls are victims of trafficking in Mexico.

Rubí Blancas, representative of the Regional Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, warned that newspaper classified ads are a danger. She said that each day that these types of ads are published brings with it another woman who will be victimized by the trafficking networks.

América Farías Ocampo

La Jornada de Oriente

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 17, 2011

Mexico

Liberan a 9 centroamericanas victimas de trata

Las autoridades mexicanas liberaron hoy a un grupo de nueve mujeres centroamericanas, siete de ellas menores de edad, víctimas de trata de personas, informaron fuentes oficiales.

En operativos realizados por cuerpos policiales locales y federales, con apoyo del Ejército, las mujeres originarias de Honduras y El Salvador fueron rescatadas cuando eran retenidas en bares y prostíbulos en dos localidades del estado sureño de Chiapas, frontera con Guatemala. La Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado indicó que allanó y clausuró al menos siete bares donde más de 20 personas fueron arrestadas bajo cargos de trata de personas.

Tres de las mujeres fueron rescatadas de una taberna en la ciudad de San Cristóbal de las Casas, y otras seis en el municipio de Frontera Comalapa. Las mujeres eran contratadas como meseras en cantinas, pero luego se las obligaba a prostituirse.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especial para Delitos de Violencia contra Mujeres y Trata de Personas investigan una banda dedicada a la trata que presumen opera en la frontera sur de México, con ramificaciones en Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras y otras naciones de Centro y Suramérica.

Police operation frees 2 Central American women and 7 underage girls from sexual slavery

Mexican authorities today freed a group of two women and seven underage girls, all from Central America, who were victims of human trafficking.

During a joint operation organized by federal and local police forces assisted by the Mexican Army, the victims were rescued from bars and brothels where they were enslaved in two towns in Chiapas state, along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. The Chiapas state Attorney General's office indicated that seven bars were raided and closed, and 20 persons were arrested on charges of human trafficking during the operation.

Three of the victims were rescued from a tavern in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Thee other six victims were found in the town of Frontera Comalapa. The women and girls had all been offered jobs as waitresses and were then forced into prostitution.

Agents of the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking are investigating a human trafficking network that operates along Mexico's southern border, and has tentacles in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and other nations across Central and South America.

ANSA (Italy)

March 16, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Denuncian red de explotación sexual en Jojutla

En materia de igualdad entre hombres y mujeres falta mucho por hacer: Instituto de la Mujer.

El Instituto de la Mujer para el Estado de Morelos dio a conocer que se ha identificado una red de delincuencia organizada, dedicada a la trata de personas, que copta mujeres y las explota como sexoservidoras en el municipio de Jojutla.

La directora del organismo Erika Cortés Martínez expresó que lamentablemente este tipo de delitos graves afectan a niños y niñas, así como a mujeres. En el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer, la funcionaria señaló que falta mucho por hacer y entre los retos se encuentra la resolución de casos de homicidios de mujeres.

Destacó que también ha habido en la última década avances en materia legislativa, como es la cuota de participación política con un mínimo del 40% de representación de género, la legislación en relación a la atención a las víctimas de violencia, la Ley de Derecho de la Mujer a una Vida Libre de Violencia. Reconoció que aun hay pendientes, y de hecho refirió que hay 18 propuestas de modificación al marco legal, que ha entregado el instituto y que se encuentran en la Consejería Jurídica.

También comentó que hay resultados en la cobertura en salud para mujeres indígenas, cursos y apoyos para el empleo, entre otros. El 87% de las mujeres saben que es violencia, que hacer y a donde acudir, “y eso ya es un gran avance”.

El año pasado se registraron 45 denuncias formales ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia (PGJ), y cada vez aumenta la cultura de la denuncia, pues en el primer año sólo hubo 16 casos...

The Morelos state Institute for Women has announced the identification of a criminal network that is dedicated to entrapping women and then exploiting them in the town of Jojutla.

Institute for Women director Erika Cortés Martínez stated that lamentably, human trafficking crimes also affect boys and girls. Speaking on International Women's Day, Cortés Martínez declared that there is still much work to do on gender violence issues. Among the problems, she added, is our ability to resolve cases of murders of women...

Tlaulli Rocio Preciado Bahena

La Unión de Morelos

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Argentina

Un delito con víctimas cada vez más jóvenes

En las últimas horas liberaron a una menor paraguaya obligada a prostituirse en pleno centro platense. Cómo operan las redes.

La vida que dejó atrás a principios de febrero, su vida, debió quedar en algún sitio impreciso detrás de esa ventanita miserable que se convirtió en su única conexión con la calle durante casi un mes. De este lado de la ventana todo fue una pesadilla difícil de explicar para sus cortos 17 años. En esa pesadilla hubo hombres bien trajeados, desconocidos que cada tanto entraban al cuarto sin pedir permiso pero sintiéndose con derecho a todo: los clientes. También integraron ese sueño amargo la encargada que dos veces al día le alcanzaba un plato de comida siempre insuficiente. Y su prima, la que allá en el Paraguay le prometió un trabajo de moza y terminó poniéndola en manos de la organización que la convirtió en una esclava sexual en pleno centro de La Plata.

La pesadilla, destinada a dejar una huella indeleble en su vida, comenzó el 6 de febrero, cuando la joven paraguaya liberada por la Justicia en las últimas horas de una casa donde la obligaban a prostituirse, conoció todos los rostros de la indiferencia y la crueldad. Pero uno de los que más le dolió, según contaría más tarde a la Justicia, fue el de los clientes. Esos extraños, más de 70, que la escucharon contar su historia de engaño y esclavitud y en ningún caso se conmovieron lo suficiente como para hacer una denuncia ante la Justicia. La denuncia llegaría de otra parte, de un vecino que vio algo sospechoso y decidió llamar al 911.

El caso que por estas horas conmueve a la ciudad dista de ser un hecho aislado. Es la cara más visible y más reciente de un fenómeno que crece y afecta a cada vez a más mujeres y cada vez más jóvenes: la trata de personas. Sólo en La Plata fueron liberadas en los últimos meses una decena de menores y más de 20 mayores de edad convertidas en esclavas sexuales por redes de prostitución. En todo el país son alrededor de 500.000 las víctimas de distintas formas de trata, según estimaciones manejadas por la Justicia. El 70% cayó en manos de redes de prostitución.

Cada Vez Mas Chicas

Clic para ampliarSólo en la ONG Casa del Encuentro se investigan en la actualidad 700 desapariciones de mujeres vinculadas a la trata. El 50% corresponde a menores de edad y sólo el 10% de esas investigaciones arroja como resultado el rescate. Entre los casos que investiga la entidad se cuentan varios que tuvieron resonancia nacional, como los de Marita Verón y Fernanda Aguirre (ver gráfico)...

Quilmes Presente

March 12, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

En Tlaxcala se empieza a hacer realidad la lucha contra la trata: Dip. Rosi Orozco

Como candidato, Mariano González Zarur prometió erradicar de Tlaxcala la trata de personas, como gobernador está empezando a cumplir con esa promesa, reconoció la diputada federal del PAN, Rosi Orozco, quien aplaudió las acciones que en ese sentido ha comenzado a realizando el nuevo gobierno de la entidad, pues recordó que la gran mayoría de las bandas dedicadas a la trata con fines de explotación sexual, están integradas por tlaxcaltecas.

México. D.F. Como candidato, Mariano González Zarur prometió erradicar de Tlaxcala la trata de personas, como gobernador está empezando a cumplir con esa promesa, reconoció la diputada federal del PAN, Rosi Orozco, quien aplaudió las acciones que en ese sentido ha comenzado a realizando el nuevo gobierno de la entidad, pues recordó que la gran mayoría de las bandas dedicadas a la trata con fines de explotación sexual, están integradas por tlaxcaltecas.

En entrevista con e-consulta, la también presienta de la Comisión Especial contra la Trata de Personas, calificó de extraordinario que los gobiernos de Puebla y Tlaxcala estén comenzando a realizar acciones conjuntas para combatir ese delito, pues advirtió que en mayoría de los casos de explotación sexual de menores, estas dos entidades están involucradas.

“La frase que he usado desde el principio es: Unidos hacemos la diferencia. Y me parece extraordinario que ahora Puebla y Tlaxcala estén unidos en esta lucha contra la trata, sobre todo tomando en cuenta que son entidades gobernadas por partidos políticos diferentes; que se unan en un tema que tanto lastima a la sociedad, habla muy bien de los dos gobernadores”, reconoció.

La legisladora confió en que también los procuradores de justicia de ambas entidades, Alicia Fragaso Sánchez, de Tlaxcala, y Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget, de Puebla, estén a la altura de las expectativas en la lucha contra este delito, sobre todo porque “de acuerdo a lo que han narrado las víctima, muchos de los padrotes son de Tlaxcala, que enamoran a las jovencitas para luego, con engaños, llevarlas a otras entidades del país e incluso a Estados Unidos y Europa para obligarlas a prostituirse”, advirtió.

Y aunque la diputada Rosi Orozco aplaudió el hecho de que en Tlaxcala ya este funcionando una mesa interinstitucional para atender este problema, también destacó la importancia de que ese trabajo se vea reflejado en sentencias contra los responsables de la explotación sexual, sobre todo de menores de edad, pues recordó que hasta el momento no existe una sola sentencia por esa causa en la entidad tlaxcalteca...

Alfredo Plascencia Sánchez

e-Puebla.com

March 09, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Dan primeros pasos para abatir trata de personas en Puebla y Tlaxcala

Puebla,- Los gobiernos de Tlaxcala y Puebla firmaron un convenio de colaboración para abatir los índices de trata de personas, sobre todo mujeres de menores de edad que se registran en esa zona.

El gobernador de Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle anunció que en esta misma semana comenzará a funcionar un esquema de colaboración con un intercambio de información y coordinación policiaca que además de prevenir acciones del crimen organizado atenderán de manera directa el problema de trata de personas.

Al conmemorar el día internacional de la mujer con la realización de un panel sobre trata de personas y atención a las víctimas el gobernador señaló que la trata de personas en la zona limítrofe de Puebla y Tlaxcala representa un problema serio que no se ha atendido y que hoy afecta a mujeres y niñas que son engañadas y vendidas en algunos casos.

Sostuvo que con este convenio entre ambos estados habrá intercambio de información de incidencia delictiva y grupos criminales para coordinar operativos encaminados a combatir a las organizaciones delictivas dedicadas a la trata de personas.

Moreno Valle anunció que a partir de hoy estarán a disposición de las mujeres poblanas diversas unidades médicas fijas y móviles que prestarán atención a las mujeres para dar nueve mil mastografías en los primeros 100 días de su gobierno y 40 mil en todo el año...

Notimex

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

The Dominican Republic

Ciudadanos Dominicanos retornados desde Grecia.

Santo Domingo.-El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores coordina con autoridades de Grecia el traslado al país de 83 dominicanos que ingresaron de manera ilegal en territorio griego a través de la frontera con Turquía.

Los nacionales, la mayoría de ellos mujeres, se encuentran detenidos en centros penitenciarios ubicados en las ciudades de Ferres, Tyxeron, Metaxades, Soufly y Orestiada.

Genoveva Bernard de Roidis, cónsul general de la República Dominicana en Grecia, informó que el regreso de los dominicanos podría producirse en la primera semana del mes de marzo y que será costeado por el gobierno de Grecia, precisa una nota de Cancillería enviada a este diario.

Explicó que las autoridades griegas encomendaron los trámites del traslado al señor Antonis Bourdos, con quien se reunió recientemente, siguiendo instrucciones del Canciller Carlos Morales Troncoso a fin de definir todo lo relativo al viaje que se haría por la vía aérea.

De acuerdo con informaciones suministradas por el Ministerio de Interior y Policía de Grecia, los dominicanos entraron de manera clandestina a territorio griego por tierra o a bordo de embarcaciones que salían de Turquía, adonde los nacionales de República Dominicana pueden viajar sin visado.

Casi todos llegaron con identificación falsa, por lo que el Consulado de República Dominicana, conjuntamente con autoridades policiales y migratorias de Grecia, lleva a cabo un proceso de depuración que ya ha revelado las verdaderas identidades de 73 de las 83 personas detenidas.

Bernard de Roidis informó que todos los dominicanos se encuentran en buen estado salud y que se mantiene en contacto permanente con ellos a través de la vía telefónica o mediante visitas presenciales.

Greece to deport 83 Dominican citizens

Santo Domingo - The Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs has coordinated an operation with authorities in Greece to receive 83 deported Dominican citizens who illegally entered Greek territory through its border with Turkey.

Those deported, who are mostly women, are being held in prisons located in cities of Ferres, Tyxeron, Metaxades, Soufly and Oresteia.

Genevieve Bernard Roidis, Consul General for the Dominican Republic in Greece, said the return of the Dominicans could occur in the first week of March. The deportation flights will be funded by the government of Greece.

According to information provided by the Greek Police and the Ministry of the Interior, the Dominicans went clandestinely to Greek territory by land or aboard ships that came from Turkey. Dominican citizens may travel to Turkey without a visa.

Nearly all of those arrested in the case carried false identification. The Dominican Consulate in Greece, together with Greek police and immigration authorities carried out an investigation that has revealed the true identities of 73 of the 83 detainees…

El Día

Feb. 18, 2011

Notes from one of our contributors:

Sería importante informarse sobre este caso que se sucede en República Dominicana con los ciudadanos dominicanos retornados desde Grecia. Los datos publicados en la prensa parecerían ser contradictorios. Sorprenden las publicaciones recientes, donde se informa "Los deportados son considerados como muy peligrosos", sin embargo lo que se ha visto en otros mesios de prensa y en vivo en las noticias parecería ser diferente, cidadanos que informan fueron maltratados y que pagaron mucho dinero por un viaje y un traslado al parecer era España y se tornó en un viaje a Turquía y Grecia.

Sorprende que no hay mucho interés en parte de la prensa y/o las autoridades buscar o tocar el tema de los ORGANIZADORES de estos viajes o de investigar profundamente.

No son los primeros casos con mujeres dominicanas en Grecia, Tuquía y Chipre. Lamentablemente estos casos y sus investigaciones quedan en el silencio.

Notes from one of Our contributors:

It would be important to follow the fate of the Dominicans whoa re being returned from Greece. The relevant press reports appear to be contradictory.

We are surprised by recently published reports that declare that the deportees are regarded as “very dangerous.”

What we see in other print and television news reports is quite different. Those reports show that the detainees were abused, and that they had paid a lot of money to be transported to Spain. Somehow, the voyage turned into a trip to Turkey, and then Greece.

It is also surprisingly that there is not much interest on the part of the press or the authorities to locate, or even to touch on the issue of investigating who the organizers behind these migrant smuggling schemes are.

These are not the first cases of Dominican women having been transported to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Regrettably, these cases have not been investigated.

A contributor

See also:

Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Greece / The Dominican Republic

143 policías griegos traen hoy 73 dominicanos deportados Los deportados son considerados como muy peligrosos

Aeropuerto Las Américas.-Las autoridades de Grecia repatriarán la noche de este jueves a 73 dominicanos calificados de peligrosos quienes vendrán en dos aviones escoltados por 143 efectivos policiales griegos.

Los aviones con los deportados procedentes de Grecia arribarán por la terminal AILA a las 7:15 de la noche de mañana jueves para lo cual se prepara un operativo en la rampa del aeropuerto donde se actuarán todos los organismos de seguridad del Estado.

Sin embargo, aunque el gobierno griego notificó a las autoridades dominicanas la deportación del grupo, integrado por hombres y mujeres, se desconocen los motivos por los cuales guardaban prisión y del porque el uso de tantos agentes para traerlos.

Se informó que los criollos vendrán en un avión privado matrícula I-AIGG, tipo B767-304, que según los informes, el gobierno de Grecia alquiló a la aerolínea Air Italia. Esa aeronave tiene capacidad de cupos para más de 240 pasajeros.

143 Greek police today brought 73 Dominicans deported deportees are regarded as very dangerous

The Américas Airport – On Thursday night Greek authorities will repatriate 73 deported Dominican citizens who Greece has classified as dangerous. The group will be escorted by a contingent of 143 Greek police…

Although the Greek government notified the Dominican authorities of the repatriation flight, Dominican officials are unaware of the reasons why these deportees were imprisoned, and why so many police agents are being used to escort them

"We do not know why these Dominicans are being deported, but even more so, wee don’t know the reasons why a [large] police force must accompany them, said officials at the Airport of the Americas.

U.S. authorities also planned a repatriation flight of 97 Dominicans who had served time [in the U.S.] for committing various crimes.

Diario Libre

March 10, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Mujeres: agresiones y rezagos inaceptables

Cuando un país no es capaz de reducir sus cifras de violencia doméstica y social, éstas adquieren carácter de violencia institucionalizada

A cien años de la primera celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer, la realidad en México es que la inmensa mayoría de ellas sigue padeciendo los efectos de una cultura machista que minimiza a la mujer, que le regatea el acceso a la educación y al trabajo, que le ofrece menor retribución en trabajos iguales, que la convierte en mercancía sexual y en permanente sujeto de agresiones.

De los poco más de 112 millones de habitantes de México contabilizados por el Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010, más de 57 millones son mujeres.

Por ellas, en esta fecha hay que reflexionar sobre lo que falta por hacer en materia de género en nuestro país.

Según el Censo, la participación de las mujeres en la economía nacional es de 33 por ciento, proporción que se reduce en las poblaciones más pequeñas: a 28.8 en las comunidades de menos de 15 mil habitantes, y a 17 en las de menos de 2 mil 500.

La violencia contra las mujeres es una constante en una sociedad cuya cultura sigue siendo discriminatoria y que otorga al hombre poder y privilegios de género. Cotidiana, y casi siempre silenciosa o acallada, la violencia intrafamiliar y social escapa a la estadística, pero hay esfuerzos que han logrado dimensionarla:

De acuerdo con la Encuesta Nacional de Usuarios de los Servicios de Salud, 90 por ciento de las mujeres encuestadas dijo padecer agresión psicológica; física, 44; sexual, 32; y 21 por ciento los tres tipos de violencia.

En 2006 el Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) reveló que en 2005 se registraron 2 mil 159 fallecimientos de mujeres por violencia intrafamiliar. En ese año, el número de muertes causadas por el crimen organizado fue de mil 776. Las entidades con mayor violencia intrafamiliar son Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Puebla, Tlaxcala y Distrito Federal.

Por su parte, el Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres reporta que cada 35 minutos recibe una llamada de denuncia por violencia doméstica...

Milenio

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Trata de personas, la forma moderna de esclavitud

Puebla, Puebla.- En el marco de la celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer que se realizó en el Complejo Cultural Universitario, con el foro “Trata de personas y atención a víctimas”, y en compañía de su esposa, Martha Erika Alonso de Moreno Valle, Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, gobernador de Puebla, resaltó el papel que las mujeres desempeñan en la transformación de Puebla.

Subrayó que en breve, con base a la carta compromiso que suscribió con el Gobierno de Tlaxcala, se pondrá en marcha un programa conjunto para combatir –entre otros ilícitos- la trata de personas.

En materia de salud, el Gobernador Moreno Valle anunció una serie de acciones a favor de la mujer, como mastografías, vacunación contra el papiloma, pruebas de papanicolau y afiliación al Seguro Popular que se replicarán en los 217 municipios de la entidad.

En su oportunidad Martha Erika Alonso de Moreno Valle subrayó la importancia de avanzar en la conformación de una sociedad igualitaria, con oportunidades para todos, en la que se brinde protección a los desprotegidos.

En la conmemoración del Día Internacional de la Mujer, el Gobernador Moreno Valle y su esposa estuvieron acompañados por la Directora del Instituto Poblano de la Mujer, Blanca Jiménez Castillo; el Director General del IMSS Daniel Karam Toumeh; el Presidente de la Gran Comisión del Congreso, Guillermo Aréchiga Santamaría; el Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia, David López Muñoz y el Rector de la BUAP, Enrique Agüera Ibáñez.

Poblanerias

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

The World

Five ways to reduce women's vulnerability to HIV

Poverty means women often lack the power to opt for safe sex

Nairobi, Kenya - As the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, women and girls across the globe continue to be disproportionately affected by the AIDS pandemic - HIV is the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age worldwide.

IRIN/PlusNews presents five important ways to reduce women's vulnerability to HIV:

1) Education: According to UNAIDS, illiterate women are four times more likely to believe there is no way to prevent HIV infection, while in Africa and Latin America, girls with higher levels of education tend to delay first sexual experience and are more likely to insist their partner use a condom.

Educating girls has the added advantage of delaying their marriage and increasing their earning ability, both of which reduce their vulnerability to HIV. Educated women are also more likely to access health services for themselves and their children, and to oppose negative cultural practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

2) Access to reproductive health services: In many developing countries, women have very limited access to vital reproductive health services. A combination of biological and social factors means women are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which, if left untreated, increase their vulnerability to HIV.

Women living in humanitarian crises are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence and require services such as free, easily available condoms and safe blood for transfusions.

Improving access to reproductive health services enables women to make informed choices in determining family size and preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission.

3) Ending gender violence: One in three women has been beaten, experienced sexual violence or otherwise abused in their lifetime, according to the UN; one in five will be a victim of rape or attempted rape. More often than not, the perpetrators are known to the women.

Practices such as early marriage, FGM/C and human trafficking all increase women's vulnerability to HIV, but more accepted forms of violence, such as marital rape, also play a large part in increasing women's HIV risk...

According to UNAIDS, investment in HIV programming policies and addressing gender inequality and gender-based violence will help to achieve universal targets of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

4) Economic empowerment: In his book, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Richard Robbins states that women do two-thirds of the world's work but receive 10 percent of the world's income and own just own 1 percent of the means of production.

Poverty prevents poor women from controlling when sexual intercourse takes place and if a condom is used, and often forces women into risky transactional sex to feed themselves and their families.

According to a 2010 US Government study, empowerment activities such as micro-finance give women access to and control over vital economic resources, ultimately enhancing their ability not only to mitigate the impact of HIV, but also to be less vulnerable to HIV.

5) Involving men: More often than not, men control the dynamics of how, when and where sex happens. Encouraging more men to use condoms consistently has the knock-on effect of protecting their sexual partners from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Men are less likely than women to seek health services; in the case of men involved with multiple women, this means STIs remain untreated for long periods while their female partners are also at risk of infection.

Teaching boys and young men to respect women, to be more involved in family activities and to avoid negative behavior such as gender violence and alcohol abuse helps groom a generation of men who are less likely to take risks that endanger themselves and their families.

PlusNews

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Honduras

Exigen en Honduras un alto a los crímenes contra las mujeres

Centenares de mujeres marcharon hoy por las calles de Honduras en protesta contra las constantes muertes de féminas y exigieron al gobierno crear una política de seguridad que asegure su integridad.

Las protestas se realizaron en diversas ciudades en el marco de las celebraciones del Día Internacional de la Mujer.

Las manifestantes, aglutinadas en organizaciones feministas, realizan movilizaciones desde ayer lunes, luego que muriera la abogada Daysi Elisa Escoto, atacada a tiros el pasado domingo.

La ex diputada del partido de izquierda Unificación Democrática, Doris Gutiérrez, dijo que "nosotras queremos lanzar un aldabonazo, una voz de protesta frente al gobierno central, al Ministerio Público, al Ministerio de Seguridad, a la Corte Suprema de Justicia que ya no siga la injusticia contra nosotras las mujeres".

La fiscal de la Mujer, Grisel Amaya, reveló que al menos 60 mujeres han fallecido de forma violenta en lo que va de 2011.

El 25 de noviembre anterior, las mujeres se lanzaron a las calles al conmemorarse el "Día Internacional de la no Violencia Contra la Mujer".

Según cifras del Movimiento de Mujeres Visitación Padilla, se han registrado unas 380 muertes de mujeres en los últimos años.

El 80 por ciento de los casos violentos permanece impune, lo que les hace estar en permanente reclamo, indicó la dirigente de ese grupo, Gladis Lanza.

Un informe del Centro de Derechos de Mujeres en Honduras señala que de 2003 a 2007, el número de asesinatos de mujeres se incrementó en 160 por ciento.

Las más vulnerables son mujeres de 16 a 30 años, según el informe entregado a la prensa.

De 2003 a 2010, la cifra de femicidios alcanza 1.464 víctimas.

El pasado 22 de febrero, el gobierno creó una unidad especial integrada por 150 agentes para velar por la seguridad de grupos vulnerables, incluyendo las mujeres.

Xinhua

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Mexico

Arzobispo rechaza 'zona de tolerancia' en Oaxaca

En el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer, el prelado afirmó que no respetar la dignidad de la mujer nos daña a todos

El arzobispo de la diócesis de Antequera, Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, rechazó la instalación de una "zona de tolerancia" para las mujeres que se dedican al sexoservicio.

Invitó ir al fondo y no quedarse en "cositas". Hay un grave rezago en impulsar la dignidad de la mujer, pues urge "hacer algo desde las leyes, urge que en verdad se tomen en cuenta los delitos".

En el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer, que se celebrará este 8 de marzo, abundó que no respetar la dignidad de la mujer nos daña a todos; "todos somos testigos por la lucha por la igualdad entre el varón y la mujer".

Ha crecido el número de mujeres profesionales, en diversas áreas, lo cual es justo, pero falta mucho que recorrer, señaló.

El prelado indicó que existen actividades negativas que son frutos de graves errores sociales en el campo de la educación, de la política en torno a la mujer.

En algunas comunidades las costumbres se han convertido en un abuso, al negarle a la mujer el derecho al voto, a poseer alguna tierra, a tener derechos.

"Las mujeres en algunas ocasiones soportan abuso sexual para conservar el empleo", pero además las mujeres jóvenes están asechadas por la drogadicción, trata de personas, prostitución y ahora hasta por el crimen organizado, sostuvo.

Pidió a todos actuar con responsabilidad social, pues las oaxaqueñas siguen siendo un sector desprotegido en diversos campos, esto en un llamado al Poder Ejecutivo, Legislativo y Judicial de reconocer los derechos de este sector.

Pidió revisar el sistema de justicia cuyas debilidades han dañado más a este sector, "crear espacios dignos, de crear fuentes de trabajo, de andar con parches".

No se trata de un malestar social, se trata de un sistema profundo que ha dañado la justicia y la dignidad humana.

Por esto, el arzobispo rechazó la creación de una zona de tolerancia para quienes se dedican al servicio de la prostitución.

Asimismo, rechazó tiener información de que haya apoyos del Banco del Vaticano ya que no cuentan con el aviso de la "nunciatura" que testifique este hecho.

Lupita Thomas

El Universal

March 06, 2011

[Translation to follow]


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Argentina

Pocas voces en la marcha por el Día de la Mujer

Una marcha céntrica y una radio abierta en el Centro Cívico fueron los eventos de la celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer en Bariloche, organizados por la Comisión Pro Encuentro Nacional de Mujeres. Una veintena de mujeres participaron de la convocatoria.

Las mujeres marcharon entonando consignas contra la violencia de género, igualdad laboral y la legalización del aborto, entre otras, y destacaron que entre el 8 y el 10 de octubre próximo se realizará en Bariloche el 28 Encuentro Nacional de Mujeres.

La marcha -de la que participó apenas unas 20 mujeres- comenzó poco después de las 17 en la esquina de Onelli y Moreno, y a lo largo de 20 cuadras atravesó el centro de la ciudad hasta llegar al Centro Cívico.

En la radio abierta las organizadoras señalaron que la ciudad fue elegida para la reunión anual en el último encuentro de Paraná, en función de las luchas de las mujeres en Río Negro contra la impunidad, la pedofilia, trata de personas, precarización laboral y el derecho a la tierra, entre otras reivindicaciones.

Por otra parte, el sindicato Gastronómico realizó esta tarde un agasajo en el hotel Panamericano, donde además de un brindis ofrecieron premios y menciones a mujeres destacadas de la ciudad.

Agencia de Noticias de Bariloche

March 08, 2011

[Translation to follow]


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Argentina

Marcha contra la violencia de género atraviesa el microcentro

Jóvenes mujeres y varones en contra de la violencia de género convocada por organizaciones sociales cruzaron las calles de la ciudad con silbatos, batucada y banderas al viento.

Salieron de la Plaza Cabral y llegaron hasta la Plaza Vera con reclamos puntuales sobre la condición social del debate de género en todas sus leyendas.

Se trata de jóvenes militantes que decidieron recordar a las mujeres en su día, hoy, Día Internacional de la Mujer Trabajadora, con una manifestación como las que éstas hacían para reclamar por sus derechos.

El Día Internacional de la mujeres se evoca en homenaje quienes dejaron su vida en la lucha por la profundización de la igualdad, desde quienes lo hicieron en Chicago, hacia atrás ante casos como las líderes mujeres contra el colonialismo.

El día internacional de la mujer además evoca -en la voz de estos jóvenes militantes- una expresión de rebeldía ante valores machistas propios formas tradicionales de "ordenar la sociedad".

El cumplimiento de deberes de ley como el ofrecimiento extensivo y gratuito del servicio de aborto no punibles, la inclusión de la figura "feminicidio" para castigar los peores crímenes contra las mujeres, fueron algunas de las reivindicaciones reclamadas en la marcha.

"El año pasado hubo 13 mujeres quemadas, y ya son 7 en lo que va del 2011, pero no dan plata para implementar la Ley 26.485 -Ley de Protección Integral para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres", dicen.

Los manifestantes dicen que la miseria favorece engaños a mujeres vulnerables a caer en redes organizadas de trata de personas y prostitución.

"Crece la oferta para que engrosemos el comercio de la prostitución y con engaños y secuestros miles de jóvenes mujeres pasen a aumentar este negocio millonario", dicen.

Los manifestantes llaman a exigir que se apruebe la Ley de Emergencia en Violencia Sexual, a que se despenalice el aborto, a que Romina Tejerina quede libre y se "encarcele a su violador"

"¡Ni una mujer más víctima de las redes de prostitución!", coreaban.

Momarandu

March 08, 2011

[Translation to follow]


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Utah, USA

Hinckley Institute partners to shed light on human trafficking

The International Studies and Latin American Studies programs will co-sponsor an event Thursday at the Hinckley Institute of Politics on human trafficking in Utah.

Anyone can be a victim of trafficking, said event speaker Barbara Szweda, legal director at the Utah Health and Human Rights Project and U faculty member.

"It's not limited (to specific people)," Szweda said. "U.S. citizens can also be victims. Oftentimes immigrants are targeted because they aren't familiar with the language or the legal system."

Trafficking problems in Utah often involve labor in addition to sexually exploitative situations. Trafficking also consists of using abusive and unethical practices, including abuse and force, the UHHR website said.

Labor tends to be a large issue in Utah because it is a rural area, Szweda said.

"We have poultry factories and meatpacking factories that can often harbor unethical working conditions," she said.

Utah made headlines in 2007 as part of what the Justice Department called the biggest human trafficking case in U.S. history, The Salt Lake Tribune reported in November.

A group called Global Horizons recruited 400 Thai immigrants to work on farms across the country, including in Milford and Delta. The victims' passports had been taken from them, and they lived in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions before they contacted authorities, the paper said.

Students should be cognizant of what human trafficking is, Szweda said. "Someone with no documents or someone who has had their documents taken away from them can be triggers" to alert the authorities and UHHR.

Event speakers include Szwed; Mara Rabin, medical director at UHHR; and former U.S. attorney for Utah Brett Tolman, with Undergraduate Studies Director and professor of political science Claudio Holzner as moderator.

Doug Jennings

Daily Utah Chronicle

Feb. 16, 2011


Added: Mar. 13, 2011

Arizona, USA

11 found in suspected Phoenix drophouse

Authorities are investigating a suspected human smuggling operation that left one person beaten at a home in Phoenix Wednesday.

Officers suspect there were three human smugglers and seven suspected illegal immigrants at the drop house, which is near 53rd Avenue and Camelback Road, said Bart Graves, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said.

One of the suspected illegal immigrants was apparently beaten for money, Graves said. He had facial injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The people had not been in the home long.

Investigators from the state's multi-agency ...immigration enforcement task force, known as IIMPACT, received information over the weekend that led the officers to the home.

The investigation began after an out-of-state relative called authorities for help, saying a family member was being held for ransom for several thousand dollars and being threatened with serious physical injury if the ransom was not paid. IIMPACT investigators found this victim, along with six other kidnapping victims at the 2400 block of West Adams Street.

Three men suspected of being human smugglers were taken into custody. That investigation led authorities to the house on 53rd Avenue on Wednesday.

Phoenix police's SWAT team served search warrant when officers arrived at the home to find 11 people inside.

Officers have not found anything else inside the home. The investigation is ongoing.

Shala Marks

The Arizona Republic

March 9, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Mexico

Women march with crosses symbolizing the struggle against femicide (gender murder) in Mexico City during International Women's Day 2011

Photo: CIMAC

A masked woman carries a sign saying: International (Working) Women's Day

Photo: CIMAC

Marchan contra feminicidio y asesinatos de defensoras de derechos humanos

En el Día Internacional de la Mujer

México, D.F,- En el Día Internacional de la Mujer cientos de mujeres marcharon este día del Ángel de la Independencia al Hemiciclo a Juárez, para exigir el cese a la violencia contra las mujeres, alto al feminicidio, a la impunidad que prevalece en estos casos y solidarizarse con las familias de las defensoras de Derechos Humanos (DH) asesinadas en los últimos años en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

Organizaciones de la sociedad civil, colectivos de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), feministas, y activistas independientes integrados “En el Movimiento Contra el Feminicidio”, exigieron justicia y se solidarizaron con la familia Reyes Salazar.

Al grito de “Alto a la impunidad, ni una asesinada más” “asesinos y farsantes en la guerra contra el narco, las que mueren son mujeres”, una a una vestidas de morado fueron avanzando por Paseo de la Reforma...

Women march against femicide and to protest the murders of female human rights defenders in Mexico

An International Women’s Day event

On International Women's Day 2011 hundreds of women marched through Mexico City from the Angel of Independence to the memorial to former president Benito Juárez to demand an end to violence against women, an end to femicide, an end to the impunity that prevails in these cases and to express their solidarity with the families of women human rights defenders who have been killed in recent years in the city of Ciudad Juárez, in Chihuahua state.

Non governmental organizations, groups of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), as well as other feminists and independent activists who have joined to form "the Movement Against Femicide," demanded justice and solidarity with the Reyes Salazar family.

Shouting "Stop impunity, not one more murdered woman," “murderers,” and “pretenders in the war on drugs - those who die are women," the marchers, dressed in purple marched along the Paseo de la Reforma...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Mexico

Encarcela Baja California a 14 mujeres por abortar

México, DF,- En Baja California, 14 mujeres están encarceladas y esperan sentencia –de hasta 50 años de prisión, sin derecho a fianza– por interrumpir su embarazo, denunció Marixtel Calderón Vargas, integrante de la Red Iberoamericana Pro Derechos Humanos.

En entrevista telefónica, la activista precisó que entre 2000 y 2010 fueron encarceladas 14 bajacalifornianas acusadas por el delito de homicidio agravado por razón de parentesco, tipo penal con el que se pretende sancionar a las mujeres que decidieron abortar con una pena de cárcel de entre 20 y 50 años de prisión, sin derecho a fianza.

Calderón Vargas adelantó que la Red solicitará al gobernador del estado, José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, que revise los casos y evite que se vulnere el derecho de las mujeres a ejercer una maternidad libre y voluntaria. Por ello demandó la libertad inmediata para las 14 presas en el estado de Baja California.

La integrante de la Red aclaró que además de esos 14 casos está el de una joven de 19 años que en 2008 sufrió un aborto espontáneo y está en prisión también por el supuesto delito de homicidio agravado en razón de parentesco...

Baja California state has incarcerated 14 women for having abortions

In Baja California State, 14 women are imprisoned without bail - awaiting their sentencing to up to 50 years in prison for having interrupted their pregnancies, reports Marixtel Calderón Vargas, a member of the Iberoamerican Network for Human Rights.

Calderón Vargas said that between 2000 and 2010, 14 women were jailed in Baja California indicted on charges of homicide aggravated by reason of kinship, an addition to the state’s penal code which seeks to punish women who decide to abort a pregnancy. A conviction carries with it prison sentences of between 20 and 50 years in prison without parole.

Vargas Calderón announced that the Network will ask the state governor, Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan to review the cases and avoid violating the rights of these women to exercise free and voluntary motherhood. She therefore demanded the immediate release of the 14 women now being held by the state.

There is also the case of a then 19-year-old woman who in 2008 suffered a spontaneous abortion is also in prison for the crime of aggravated homicide by reason of kinship.

On 20 January, that woman (who has spent nearly three years in prison) was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Her defense counsel appealed the ruling. The case is now before the Superior Court of Justice pending state Judge Perla Ibarra’s resolution.

Calderon, "we expect the state Supreme Court to rule in accordance with the law, while taking into account the international legal instruments that protect the human rights of women. We therefore hope that the now 21-year-old woman (in the spontaneous abortion case) to be freed, and we expect the judge to review the other 14 cases that are now pending.

On December 26, 2008, [a coalition of state] legislators from President Felipe Calderón’s National Action Party, the New Alliance and the Social Encounter party amended Article 7 of the state Constitution to protect life from the moment of conception. They also repealed the provisions that permitted the legal termination of pregnancy (ILE) in the state Penal Code.

However, the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure state have not been reformed to conform with this amendment to the state Constitution. The penal code continues to permit abortion in cases of rape, danger of life of the mother, malformation of the fetus for and artificial insemination without permission .

Calderon added that the state constitutional reform has given a ‘legal footing’ for those authorities who are "misogynist" to incarcerate women "who decide that what may occur within their bodies, and exercise the right to equality, nondiscrimination, their sexual and reproductive rights as well as their right to engage in free and voluntary motherhood…"

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

March 11, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Mexico

President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa congratulated the nation’s women on International Women’s Day

El machismo persiste en la sociedad mexicana, dice Felipe Calderón

El Presidente advierte que el siglo XXI será el de la igualdad

Ciudad De México.- El Presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa felicitó a las mujeres en su Día Internacional, aunque también reconoció que en México persisten el machismo y prejuicios en contra de ellas.

“Partimos de una verdad innegable, aún vivimos en México una sociedad machista, persisten prejuicios y actitudes que frenan el desarrollo de las mujeres”, mencionó el Mandatario en su discurso.

Acompañado por la presidenta del Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (Inmujeres), Rocío García Gaytán, Calderón admitió que tanto en México como en otros países “siguen existiendo prácticas de ofensa y de acoso”.

Sin embargo, afirmó que las mujeres “se han ganado un lugar cada vez más destacado en la vida política social y cultural del país”. Y exhortó a que el siglo XXI tiene que ser el siglo de las mujeres, de la equidad.

Por ello, aseguró que el Día Internacional de la Mujer “es un día para conmemorarlas y a la vez para comprometerse nuevamente con ellas. Es un llamado de atención sobre las condiciones que siguen afectando a las mujeres”.

De esta manera, el presidente conmemora la fecha especial con el acto “Por las mujeres, todos los días, todos los derechos. 10 años de impulsar la política de igualdad entre mujeres y hombres”.

President Felipe Calderón on International Women’s Day: Sexism (machismo) persists in Mexican society 

Mexico City - President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa congratulated the nation’s women on International Women’s Day, but also acknowledged persistent sexism and prejudice against them continues to exist in Mexico.

"We start with an undeniable truth, that we still live in a Mexico which is a machista [macho-ist] society, where prejudices and attitudes that impede women's development continue to exist," said the President in his speech.

Accompanied by the president of the National Women's Institute (Inmujeres), Rocio Garcia Gaytan, Calderon admitted that in Mexico, as in other nations, offensive and harassing practices [on the part of men] continue.” 

However, the President said that women "have won an increasingly prominent place in the political social and cultural development" of the nation. He declared that the 21st Century must be the century of equality for women…

El Informador

March 09, 2011

See also:

Video of President Calderón's International Women's Day Speech


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Mexico

A plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress]  celebrates International Women's Day 2011

Conmemoran diputados Día Internacional de la MujerW Radio | Marzo 8 de 2011

México.- El Pleno de la Cámara de Diputados brindó un minuto de aplausos para festejar el Día Internacional de la Mujer; además de un minuto de silencio en memoria de aquellas que por alzar la voz fueron asesinadas.

En la sesión de hoy, el presidente de la Mesa Directiva, Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, solicitó a todos los integrantes de la asamblea ponerse de pie y brindar un minuto de aplausos a las mujeres mexicanas, a solicitud del diputado Juan José Cuevas García.

Legisladoras de las diferentes fracciones parlamentarias se pronunciaron por impulsar leyes que combatan el alto índice de feminicidios, así como mejorar las condiciones culturales, sociales y políticas para alcanzar una equidad en favor de las mujeres mexicanas.

Congressional deputies commemorate International Women’s Day

Mexico City - A Plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress] gave one minute of applause to celebrate International Women's Day, and a minute's silence in memory of those women who have spoken out [for female human rights] and were murdered as a result.

At today's congressional sessiong, the chairman [Speaker], Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, asked all members of the assembly to stand and give a minute's applause to Mexican women, at the request of Deputy Juan Jose Cuevas García.

Deputies from the various political factions declared themselves to be in favor of promoting legislation to combat the high rate of femicide in Mexico, as well as desiring to enhance cultural, social and policy efforts to achieve equity for Mexican women.

In announcing the position of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during the session, Deputy Alma Carolina Viggiano Austria said it was worrying that 99 percent of crimes committed in Mexico go unpunished. She urged lawmakers to discuss legal forms.

Congresswoman María Elena Pérez de Tejada Romero of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) declared that a lack public policies exist that would ensure greater security for women. She noted that only four [of the nation’s 31] states have a Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons. She also urged the authorities for promoting a legal framework that generates more and better opportunities for women.

Deputy Leticia Quezada Contreras (Party of the Democratic Revolution) requested a moment of silence in memory of women who have fought to ensure human rights and have lost their lives in this fight. The lawmaker urged her counterparts to work to pass initiatives to establish [a federal crime of] femicide, given that in the past six years we have seen more than 6,000 homicides against women occur.

Her regional colleague, Deputy Dolores de los Angeles Nazares Jerónimo noted that it is essential that the Legislature take joint action to ensure a life free of violence for women, and to combat impunity in the three levels of government, in order that women may achieve improved development and continued contributions to the growth of the country.

Deputy Norma Leticia Orozco Torres (The Green Ecological Party - PVEM) said that today is a day of celebration, when differing political forces join to renew our strength to fight against the scourges facing women, and especially Mexican women. Our society is reluctant to grant full rights and opportunities for women. Human rights violations [also continue to be  problem].

Deputy Teresa Guadalupe Reyes of the Worker’s Party (PT) demanded justice for the victims of femicide and the release of women imprisoned for abortion. In this celebration of International Women's Day, we redouble our efforts to achieve recognition of women’s full human rights, equality before the law and social equity, she said.

Deputy Ana Campos Fields (Convergence Party) indicated that Mexican women are an example of courage and effort, which is why we must work on policies to help this sector to maintain growth and live in a society of equality in all areas of country's public life.

Mónica Romero

W Radio

March 08, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Argentina

Día Internacional de la Mujer: fuerte reclamo para que cese la violencia de género

Madres de Plaza de Mayo realizó un homenaje a la presidenta Cristina Fernández frente a Casa de Gobierno

Argentina fue ubicada por el Foro Económico Mundial en el puesto 29 entre 134 Estados, por encima de Brasil, Chile y Uruguay, en la distribución de los recursos y las oportunidades entre hombres y mujeres.

Organizaciones sociales y sindicales reclamaron hoy terminar con la violencia de género y la trata de personas en un acto realizado en el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer, mientras el Foro Económico Mundial ubicó a la Argentina en el puesto 29 entre 134 países por la distribución de oportunidades.

Madres de Plaza de Mayo, en tanto, realizó un homenaje a la presidenta Cristina Fernández frente a Casa de Gobierno, donde instaló en el enrejado una gigantografía con la imagen de la jefa de Estado junto a Eva Perón, con la leyenda "El amor y la pasión nos llevarán al triunfo".

En el acto realizado en Avenida de Mayo y 9 de Julio, convocado por la Central de Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA) con marchas en diferentes puntos del país, organizaciones sociales reclamaron terminar con la "violencia de género, combatir la trata de personas y aprobar la legalización del aborto seguro y gratuito".

La secretaria de Igualdad de Género y Oportunidades de la CTA, Alejandra Angriman, consideró "prioritario reflexionar sobre la preocupante situación de violencia que enfrentan las mujeres, tanto en el ámbito del hogar como en su lugar de trabajo, como en las situaciones de trata de personas por explotación sexual o laboral".

Las entidades instalaron una radio abierta en la que pidieron el cumplimiento de la Ley 26.485, de Protección Integral para prevenir, sancionar y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres...

Argentine women demand an end to gender violence on International Women's Day

La Prensa

March 08, 2011

[Translation to follow]


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

The Americas

The Sixth Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas, held from 6 to 8 March, 2011

Concluye VI Encuentro Continental de Mujeres Indígenas

Rezago en comunidades impide avance de mujeres indígenas

Cuernavaca, Morelos,- Mujeres de diversas etnias del Continente americano denunciaron que los Estados aún cuentan con políticas públicas limitadas y poco incluyentes, por lo cual, dijeron, deben asumir compromisos reales para saldar la deuda histórica, social, económica, política, cultural y ambiental que tienen con los pueblos indígenas.

Como parte de las conclusiones del VI Encuentro Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas, que del 5 al 8 de marzo, en Hueyapan, Morelos, reunió a indígenas de diversas partes de México y América, las participantes exigieron el reconocimiento y cumplimiento de sus derechos colectivos e individuales.

En el documento presentado en el cierre del encuentro demandaron que las agendas nacionales e internacionales incluyan educación intercultural, políticas de salud, justicia y desarrollo con identidad, así como el reconocimiento y respeto de todos los pueblos indígenas del continente, a Naciones Unidas le pidieron crear una década dedicada a las mujeres indígenas.

Esta declaratoria se presentará en el Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas de la ONU, que celebrará su próximo periodo de sesiones del 16 al 27 de mayo de 2011 en la ciudad de Nueva York, Estados Unidos. Las participantes señalaron que el documento también es un pronunciamiento a favor las mujeres que construyen sociedades interculturales, plurales, justas y equitativas...

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

March 09, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 10, 2011

The Americas

Rechazan indígenas Estado excluyente

Mujeres indígenas impulsan acciones para una mayor articulación e incidencia

Hueyapan, Morelos. Un contundente rechazo al Estado excluyente, monocultural, patriarcal y racista, que las mantiene en la subordinación, es una de las posturas en el VI Encuentro Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas, celebrado del 6 al 8 de marzo.

Reunidas en esta comunidad Náhuatl, apuntaron que otra de las metas, de este encuentro, es la consolidación de una agenda para incidir desde lo local hasta lo global, que contemple la articulación y el liderazgo que representa la inclusión de género.

Martha Sánchez, amuzga de Guerrero, Fabiola Jurado, Náhuatl de Morelos, Tarcila Rivera, Quechua de Perú, afirman, su determinación a hacer respetar sus derechos y exponen su indignación por la creciente militarización de los territorios indígenas, pidiendo la salida de las fuerzas castrenses de esas zonas.

También exigen castigo a los militares, señalados de abusar contra mujeres indígenas, como son los casos de violación en la montaña de Guerrero, y la denuncia de los soldados implicados en la muerte de la anciana náhuatl de 73 años, Ernestina Ascencio Rosario, de la sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz.

Mujeres asistentes al VI Encuentro Continental, que sesiona en Hueyapan, recordaban que Ernestina Ascencio Rosario, violada por militares en febrero de 2007, fue “traumática y no patológica” y que sí se encontraron evidencias de agresión sexual, según se desprende del informe del perito médico forense, adscrito a la delegación de Orizaba, de la Procuraduría General de Justicia de Veracruz (PGJV) Juan Pablo Mendizábal Pérez.

Pero también está el caso en Guerrero, donde la justicia mexicana exhibió sus aberraciones en el caso de la violación y las torturas cometidas en 2002 por soldados contra las indígenas Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo.

Este tema fue abordado por expertos internacionales y de manera más profunda por Margarita Gutiérrez, HÑaHñú de Hidalgo, responsable de la Comisión de Instrumentos Internacionales del Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las América, en su participación: “Una mirada al feminicidio desde la mujeres indígenas”.

AIPIN, entrevistó a éstas experimentadas dirigentes, algunas de ellas con más de 30 años en la defensa, promoción y empoderamiento de sus derechos y defensa de sus comunidades, hasta su inclusión en el sistema internacional, como lo es la misma Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)...

Genaro Bautista

Indigenous People's Issues

March 07, 2011

See also:

Added: Mar. 10, 2011

The Americas

Mexico: Indigenous Women Reject Exclusionary State - Push For Greater Joint Action And Advocacy

Morelos state, Mexico - The Sixth Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas, held from 6 to 8 March, 2011 included a resounding rejection of the excusionary state practices [that marginalize indigenous peoples in general and especially women]. The gathered participants soundly rejected monocultural, patriarchal and racist attitudes [in the dominant culture] that keep them in in a state of subordination.

Gathered in the Nahuatl indigenous community of Hueyapan in Morelos state, Mexico, those gathered noted that another goal of the meeting was to consolidate their influence on local to global agendas, so that gender issues are allowed a place at the table.

Martha Sanchez (Guerrero Amuzgo), Fabiola Jurado (Morelos Nahuatl) and Tarcila Rivera (Quechua from Peru) declared their determination to enforce their rights and express their outrage at the increasing militarization of indigenous territories. They demand the departure of military forces from indigenous territories [especially in in Mexico and Peru].

They also demand punishment for the military of abuse against Indigenous women, as occured in the cases of rape that took place in the mountains of Guerrero state, Mexico, and in the case of soldiers involved in the [rape and] death of the a Nahuatl woman, 73-year-old Ernestina Ascencio Rosario in the Zongolica Mountains region of  Veracruz state, Mexico...

The conclusions of the VI Continental Encounter of the Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas will be taken in May at the annual meeting of the United Nations Permanent Forum, same as this year, will have the relief of its members...

At the meeting in Hueyapan, the 300 delegates marked International Women's Day. In this framework, recognize that the road is long, and the tasks in front of them are immense .

However, the group reaffirmed its commitment as an essential part of the community, to be the transmitters of oral tradition and language of their peoples.

This authority empowers them in their demand to countries in recognition of its right of indigenous peoples to the use of natural resources, found in the entire habitat.

Indigenous women, reject violence against their gender and demand equal treatment in all areas of life.

Hueyapan Tetela Township, located next to a Volcano, is located two hours of Cuautla, Morelos.

The VI Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, will conclude with a march tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8, in the city of Cuernavaca, capital of Morelos.

Genaro Bautista

AIPIN

March 07, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

Mexico

Politicians and activists gather in Puebla state to celebrate International Women' Day and to demand attention for the victims of human trafficking

Deputy Rosi Orozco, President of the Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies of the national Congress, appears at far right.

Día Internacional de la Mujer en Puebla

En marco de conmemoración del Día Internacional de la Mujer Rafael Moreno Valle asegura: "la trata de personas es una forma moderna de esclavitud. Debemos avanzar hacia una sociedad igualitaria.

Puebla,Puebla.-El gobernador Rafael Moreno Valle condenó la trata de personas por representar una forma moderna de esclavitud.

En el marco de la celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer que se realizó en el Complejo Cultural Universitario, con el foro “Trata de personas y atención a víctimas” y en compañía de lap`residenta del DIF estatal, Martha Erika Alonso de Moreno Valle, el mandatario estatal resaltó el papel que las mujeres desempeñan en la transformación de Puebla.

Subrayó que en breve, con base a la carta compromiso que suscribió con el Gobierno de Tlaxcala, se pondrá en marcha un programa conjunto para combatir –entre otros ilícitos- la trata de personas.

En materia de salud, el Gobernador Moreno Valle anunció una serie de acciones a favor de la mujer, como mastografías, vacunación contra el papiloma, pruebas de papanicolau y afiliación al Seguro Popular que se replicarán en los 217 municipios de la entidad.

En su oportunidad Martha Erika Alonso de Moreno Valle subrayó la importancia de avanzar en la conformación de una sociedad igualitaria, con oportunidades para todos, en la que se brinde protección a los desprotegidos.

En la conmemoración del Día Internacional de la Mujer, el gobernador Moreno Valle y su esposa estuvieron acompañados por la Directora del Instituto Poblano de la Mujer, Blanca Jiménez Castillo; del Director General del IMSS Daniel Karam Toumeh; del Presidente de la Gran Comisión del Congreso, Guillermo Aréchiga Santamaría; del Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia, David López Muñoz y del Rector de la BUAP, Enrique Agüera Ibáñez.

Activists celebrate International Women's Day in Puebla state, and reject human trafficking

[Translation to follow]

El imparcial de la Sierra Norte

March 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 10, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Man arrested for indecent liberties

A Holly Springs man accused of violating a child back in 2008 is behind bars.

Police say Hipolito Ubieta-Anaya was running from police for about three years.

He is charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor, stemming from an arrest warrant originally issued in September of 2008.

Ubieta-Anaya is also suspected of being in the United States illegally, and has had a hold placed on him by U.S. Customs and Immigration.

WTVD-TV

March 05, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

Mayan women in the town of Tenejapa, Chiapas state

Desarticula Chiapas 23 bandas de trata de personas

Asegura procurador del estado que tras la creación de la Fiscalía para el Migrante, en 2008, se lograron reducir 90% los delitos en contra de los indocumentados

Ciudad de México.-El procurador de Chiapas, Raciel López Salazar, informó que en la entidad han sido desarticuladas 23 bandas relacionadas con el delito de trata de personas, algunas de las cuales contaban con protección de diversos servidores públicos quienes también han sido detenidos.

En rueda de prensa, dijo que dada la porosidad de la frontera, se mantiene esfuerzos coordinados con autoridades de la Marina y la Defensa, "para blindar la frontera", lo cual repercutirá en una mayor protección no sólo de la población sino de los migrantes.

Informó que un juez de Tapachula sentenció hace unas semanas a 13 años de prisión a un individuo que obligaba a una menor de edad a sostener hasta 25 relaciones sexuales en un solo día para que pagara su cuota de recuperación.

"En Chiapas se dictó la primera sentencia federal y ya tenemos sentencia estatal con trata, hemos desarticulado 23 bandas; detenido servidores públicos municipales y estatales que estaban coludidos con este tipo de bandas", anotó...

Authorities take down 23 human trafficking rings in Chiapas State

Chiapas Attorney General declares that since the creation of its special prosecutor's office for crimes against migrants in 2008, attacks against undocumented immigrants have been reduced by 90%

Mexico city - Chiapas state's Attorney General, Raciel López Salazar, has announced that 23 human trafficking rings have been disbanded by authorities in this southern border state. Many of those illicit organizations had previously relied upon the collaboration of corrupt public servants to maintain themselves in operation. A number of government employees have been arrested for these acts of corruption.

During a press conference on the subject, López Salazar stated that, due to the lacks of controls on Mexico's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize], state authorities coordinate their work with the Army and Navy, to 'shield' the border, an effort that protects not only Mexico, but undocumented migrants as well.

The Chiapas Attorney General also reported that a state judge recently sentenced a human trafficker to 13 years in prison as punishment for having forced an underage girl to engage in as many as 25 acts of forced prostitution per day [in a debt bondage arrangement], to pay off the cost of smuggling her to Mexico.

"In Chiapas we saw the first [and so-far only] federal conviction for human trafficking. Now we have a state conviction, we have dismantled 23 human trafficking networks, and we have arrested state and municipal public servants who colluded with these traffickers," noted López Salazar.

López Salazar recalled that Chiapas was one of the first states in the nation to pass a law against human trafficking, and to set-up an inter-agency commission to coordinate the work of dispersed agencies against this plague.

The Chiapas Attorney General went on to point out that seven formal international crossing points, and countless illicit crossing points exist in Chiapas.

López Salazar added that, since the creation of the state's Special Prosecutor for Migrants in 2008, authorities have achieved a 90% reduction in crimes committed against undocumented immigrants.

"Criminals assaulted, raped, robbed and even murdered migrants [with impunity]. Under our initiative, those crimes have been reduced by 90%.

Marcos Fastlicht, president of the National Association of Civic Participation Councils, and Yassir Vázquez, mayor of the Tuxtla Gutiérrez [capital city of Chiapas state] also participated in the press conference.

EFE

March 03, 2011

Notes:

* Chiapas is the 'bottleneck' through which 500,000 or more Central and South American migrants pass each year in their attempts to travel to the United States.

* The NGO Save the Children has identified Mexico's southern border as the largest region supporting commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the entire world.

* The International Organization for Migration has identified the fact an estimated 450 to 600 women and girl migrants are raped each day in the southern border region of Mexico. This violence is centered in Chiapas state.

We do not know if Chiapas state has actually lowered the level of anti-immigrant violence on its southern border. We hope that this information is factual. The below article paints the other side of this picture.


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

Sólo de abril a septiembre de 2010, 11 mil 333 migrantes fueron plagiados principalmente en Veracruz, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, SLP y Chiapas

Sólo de abril a septiembre de 2010, 11 mil 333 migrantes fueron plagiados principalmente en Veracruz, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, SLP y Chiapas

Ciudad de México.-El presidente de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), Raúl Plascencia, presentó el 'Informe especial sobre secuestro de migrantes en México', que documenta el plagio de más de 11 mil personas de abril a septiembre de 2010.

En rueda de prensa el ombudsman nacional indicó que la cifra total de víctimas suma 11 mil 333 en 214 casos de secuestros masivos de migrantes ocurridos principalmente en Veracruz, seguido por Tabasco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí y Chiapas.

Agregó que según las evidencias recabadas 67.4 por ciento de los plagios en ese sector se produjeron en la región sureste del país, 29.2 por ciento en la norte y 2.2 en la centro...

During the period of April through September of 2010, national human rights authorities documented 11,333 kidnappings of [undocumented] migrants in the southern states of  Veracruz, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí and Chiapas

Mexico City - Raúl Plascencia, president of National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has released a special report that documents the severity of the crime of migrant kidnapping in Mexico. The report indicates that between April and September of 2010, 11,333 migrants were kidnapped in 214 cases of mass kidnappings. The crimes occurred principally in Veracruz state, followed by Tabasco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí and Chiapas.

Statistics analyzed by the CNDH show that 67.4% of migrant kidnappings occur in southeast region of Mexico. Another 2.2% of such crimes occurs in central Mexico, and 29.2% of cases occur in the northern regions of the country...

Noticiero Televisa

Feb. 22, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

People's justice Mexican-style

In a nation seething with impunity, indigenous community police forces are cutting crime and delivering 'education'.

Headless bodies pile up outside shopping centers, busloads of tourists disappear only to be later dug out of mass graves and politicians are brutally beaten into comas. Welcome to Guerrero, one of the most brutal states in Mexico, even before drug violence slashed its way through its resort city of Acapulco. Poppy fields, drug trafficking and police and army brutality are emblematic of this turbulent region.

In the green hills of the very same state, the region of San Luis Acatlan is basking in the heat of a long, warm afternoon. Old men talk quietly outside a village store. Inside a child snoozes in a hammock as his grandmother sells soft drinks to young girls passing by. Housewives gather to gossip around steaming pots of boiling corn on the cob and a turkey scratches around the village square. It seems a far cry from the violence erupting in many other parts of Guerrero.

The key to the calm lies within the village hall. Inside many men sit or stand with their rifles hanging from their shoulders or resting on their knees. Their only uniform is a green t-shirt emblazoned with the words "Community Police". Practically the whole village has also turned out for the meeting. It is the monthly "General Assembly" of the CRAC, the indigenous community police force that provides law and order in the mountain villages of Guerrero.

A violent past

Fifteen years ago, things were very different. Catalina Hernandez Martinez is sitting with her friends, enjoying the afternoon heat outside her house. She remembers the violence of the mid-1990s in these hills.

"Before they robbed your cow, your goat, they assaulted you. The state police would arrest someone and then he would give them a bit of money and would be allowed to escape. If the family had money, the police didn’t listen to you."

Brutal bouts of violence, kidnappings, rape and assault had engulfed the region by 1995. Villagers say that, far from providing protection, local government police more often acted with criminals, releasing those that the villagers had helped to detain.

These poor indigenous villages are easy prey for bandits. Isolated and ignored by the state government, they were left to fend for themselves against an ongoing crime wave.

Finally the villagers decided that enough was enough. They voted for the formation of a new police force, formed from the community that worked for the community...

A nation of impunity

It is a trend in marked contrast to a country seething with impunity. According to recent figures, a crime in Mexico has only a one to two per cent chance of leading to a conviction or jail time. In Ciudad Juarez, amongst the most violent cities on earth, The Associated Press reports that of 2,600 people killed in 2009, prosecutors filed 93 homicide cases and got 19 convictions.

Despite proposed wider ranging reforms to the judicial and police system in Mexico, corruption remains rampant amidst a police force further overwhelmed by the drug war.

Jesus Huerta is one of the founders of the community police. He now despairs of government solutions.

"In Mexico there’s no justice. If there was justice there wouldn’t be any poverty. If there was justice we farmers wouldn’t have to take in our own hands what the state is incapable of resolving..."

Al Jazeera

Feb. 20, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

Author, journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho speaks about women's empowerment at a recent conference in Guadalajara, jalisco

Urge mayor empoderamiento de las mujeres contra la violencia: Lydia Cacho

Guadalajara, Jalisco.- Para que las mujeres puedan hacer visibles sus derechos, deben empoderarse y cambiar desde su entorno, y así contribuir en el cambio de la perspectiva de género actual, así lo hizo saber la periodista Lydia Cacho.

La también escritora asegura que, para empezar a educar sobre cómo proteger a la sociedad femenina de la violencia, se debe cambiar el enfoque y no apostar sólo a la criminalización, sobre todo porque no hay estado de derecho.

“Todos los actores sociales juegan un papel importante, me parece que en este momento, respecto a la violencia contra los niños, niñas y mujeres, hay una rebelión muy importante en todo el país, hay hombres que se están aliando pero no son suficientes”, dijo.

El llamado empoderamiento de las mujeres no se refiere a obtener poder público ni político, la apuesta es hacia una mayor y mejor información por parte de las mujeres, así como reforzar cuestiones personales y emocionales que permitan enfrentarles ciertas situaciones.

La periodista estuvo en Guadalajara para participar en el Foro de la Mujer, en el marco del Congreso de Avances en Medicina Hospitales Civiles de Guadalajara, y resaltó los beneficios de la generación actual de las mujeres al contar con redes sociales, con mayor información sobre la problemática que las aqueja, lo que pueden utilizar como herramienta para poder coadyuvar en la lucha contra la violencia.

Aunque las mujeres son víctimas en algunos casos, en otros son victimarias, dijo refiriéndose a las que participan en el crimen organizado.

El ser mujer, dijo, no es sinónimo de ser “buenas”. El papel que juegan las mujeres en la delincuencia debe ser estudiado a fondo, pues tiene que ver también con las víctimas de trata de personas.

Lydia Cacho urges stronger empowerment of women in the figth against gender violence

The city of Guadalajara in Jalisco state - During a women's forum at the Congress on Advances in Civil Medicine, held at the Hospital of Guadalajara, Lydia Cacho [a well known journalist, author, women's center director and human trafficking activist] declared that in order for women to make their rights visible, the will need to be empowered to change their environment, and should carry out those changes from a gender perspective.

Cacho added that, before we as women begin to educate about how to protect women in society from violence, we will need to change our focus, and not rely upon criminal sanctions because, she said, the rule of law does not exist in Mexico.

"All actors in society play an important role. It appears to me that at this time, in regard to the issue of violence against boys, girls and women, we are seeing a very important [social] rebellion across Mexico. There are men who are allied with us, but there are not enough of them," said Cacho.

Cacho noted during her presentation that today's generation of women can rely upon [Internet-based] social networks that provide better information. These tools can be used to assist our struggle against violence.

Although women are victims in some cases, in others they are the victimizers, said Cacho, referring to those who are involved in organized crime.

Being a woman, declared Cacho, is not synonymous with being "good." The role that women play in crime must be studied thoroughly. It is a factor, for example, in the crime of human trafficking.

Ardia Mendoza

Informador

Feb. 25, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

El gobernador de Puebla durante la ceremonia del Día de la Bandera

Puebla's new governor, Rafael Moreno Valle, appears at a Flag Day ceremony

Photo: Rafael García Otero

Nunca volverá a haber una Lydia Cacho en Puebla: RMV

El gobernador de Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle, consideró que las modificaciones a los códigos Civil y Penal –para imponer sanciones económicas a los delitos de difamación y calumnia– permitirán a los periodistas “expresarse con toda libertad sin el riesgo de ir a la cárcel”, por lo que celebró las modificaciones realizadas recientemente por el Congreso del estado.

Incluso, refirió que durante su mandato no se volverá a repetir el caso de Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, quien fue acusada y aprehendida en 2005 por el presunto delito de difamación contra el industrial textilero Kamel Nacif, luego de que ella evidenciara una red de empresarios pederastas.

Tras la ceremonia del Día de la Bandera de México, Moreno Valle afirmó que cualquier periodista “podrá expresarse sin el temor real y de antes, de ir a la cárcel”; sin embargo, omitió opinar sobre la amplitud del monto impuesto como sanción máxima en caso de cometer daño moral.

“No volverá a haber una Lydia Cacho jamás, cualquier periodista podrá expresarse”, señaló Moreno Valle al finalizar un acto en el Centro Escolar Niños Héroes de Chapultepec durante una breve entrevista, mientras los encargados de la seguridad del mandatario abrían paso para que el gobernador subiera a la camioneta que lo llevaría al salón Protocolos en el Centro Histórico para encabezar otro acto de gobierno...

Puebla state's new governor, "We will never again have another case like that of Lydia Cacho

Puebla state's [recently inaugurated] governor, Rafael Moreno Valle is celebrating recent changes that have been made to the state's civil and criminal codes - that decriminalize defamation and calumny, and apply civil penalties instead. The modifications enacted by the state legislature will permit journalists to "express their ideas in complete freedom, without facing the risk of going to jail.," said Governor Moreno Valle.

Governor Moreno Valle announced that during his governorship, the state will never allow another case like that of Lydia Cacho to occur. In 2005 Cacho [a well known journalist, author, women's center director and human trafficking activist] was accused and arrested for the [then] crime of defamation. Cacho's arrest occurred after the publication of her 2005 book, The Demons in Eden, that described the workings of a child sex trafficking network, run by wealthy businessmen with official collusion, that operated in the resort city of Cancun. Textile magnate Kamel Nacif, who was named in Cacho's book, filed charges of defamation against Cacho in Puebla state.

During Puebla's national Flag Day ceremony, Governor Moreno Valle declared that any journalist may now express their ideas without fear of criminal sanction and the threat of going to jail. Nonetheless, the governor refused to comment about the size of the monetary penalties for defamation that are allowed under the new law.

"We will never have another case of a Lydia Cacho. Every journalist may express themselves," proclaimed the governor.

Governor Moreno declaration is his first as the newly elected governor of Puebla...

Arturo Alfaro Galán

La Jornada de Oriente

Feb. 25, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

The World, The United States

Maria Hinajosa of PBS interviews Kevin Bales about human trafficking on the Feb. 19, 2011 edition of One on One.

Photo: PBS

PBS reporter Maria Hinajosa interviews Kevin Bales, executive director of Free the Slaves (Video Link)

From PBS: Kevin Bales is one of the world's leading experts on modern-day slavery. He has determined that approximately 27 million people are enslaved worldwide. Although most of these slaves are in Africa and Asia, there are over 40,000 slaves living among us here in the United States.

Bales is the author of The Slave Next Door and Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, which has been translated into 10 languages. He is also the co-founder of the abolitionist group Free the Slaves, a nonprofit organization incorporated in 2000 with the primary objective of ending slavery worldwide. In this One-on-One conversation, Bales discusses the realities of contemporary enslavement, the motivation behind his work, and how our generation can bring slavery to an end.

Here are some key notes from the interview:

* 600 or 700 million people live in places where the rule of law does not exist. Those people are vulnerable to slavery.

* In the northwest African nation of Mauritania, 15 to 25 percent of the population is enslaved.

* India is by far the largest holder of of slaves. The count may be above 15 million persons.

* Despite a brilliant anti-slavery law, some state and local governments and their police department live in denial.

* China, Thailand, Pakistan and nations in western Africa have the largest number of slaves worldwide.

* At a minimum, 40,000 enslaved persons live in the United States.

* The U.S. could be the first slave-free county in the world, if we just decide to make it happen.

* Just under half of all slaves in the U.S. are young women enslaved in prostitution.

* Enslaved women forced into prostitution in the U.S. include victims from Latin American and every nation in the world.

* Domestic servants, also young women, are the next largest category of slavery victims in the U.S., after sex slaves.

* Farm labor is the third largest group of enslaved people in the U.S.

* Women, regardless of the form of slavery, face sexual assault as part of their servitude.

Note: The full interview is available online at PBS One on One.

Public Braodcasting System

Feb. 19, 2011

 

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

Maria Hinajosa's wonderful PBS interview of Kevin Bales set another milestone in the quest to effectively publicize the facts about the crime of human trafficking.

However, we note that Latin America was only mentioned once or twice, and the crisis in the region was declared by Kevin Bales to be secondary to the apparently larger issues of human trafficking in Central / Eastern Europe, East and Southeast Asia, and India.

Like other luminaries in the global anti-trafficking movement's leading edge, which is English speaking, Kavin Bales' failure to focus on Latin America as a major source of human trafficking victimization is uncalled for.

In 2009 I called a public radio talk show and made this point to New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning writers Nicholas Kristoff and his wife Sheryl Wudunn, authors of the book Half the Sky. I have heard speeches by the past three directors of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor Trafficking in Persons - where not a word was said about Latin America.

This code of silence must end.

According to veteran anti trafficking activist Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, a recent study by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences shows that some 25% of the gross domestic product of Latin America and the Caribbean is derived from human trafficking activities. That figure is up from an earlier estimate by Ulloa that 17% of Latin American GDP was earned from human trafficking activities.

In addition to these figures, the International Organization for Migration's office for southern region (southern cone) of South America has published estimated that some $16 billion is created from human trafficking activities on an annual basis.

LibertadLatina exists to raise awareness of the facts involved in the human trafficking catastrophe that is growing daily in Latin America. Neither the press nor those who 'run the show' in the anti-trafficking movement can justify leaving 'little Maria in the brothel' - our metaphor for the silenced victims - out of the conversation.

End impunity now!

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the March, 2001 founding of LibertadLatina.org!

Chuck Goolsby

March 07, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Colombia

9 años y 6 meses de prisión a médicos por trata de personas

El juez 22 de Bogotá, con funciones de conocimiento, condenará al médico Eiber José Ochoa Márquez y a la sicóloga Elsy Marina de Guadalupe Pérez a 9 años y 6 meses de prisión por los delitos de trata de personas agravado y concierto para delinquir.

Por los mismos delitos será sentenciada la enfermera Arelis Delgado Aguirre a 7 años y 5 meses de cárcel luego que el juez avalara el preacuerdo entre la Fiscalía y la defensa. La lectura de fallo se llevará a cabo el próximo 8 de abril

Durante el proceso, la Fiscalía demostró que desde el 26 de febrero de 2010 en un consultorio de Bogotá los hoy condenados engañaban a mujeres embarazadas, preferencialmente con más de siete meses de gestación, con su estado de salud para extraer a los bebés y ofrecerles desde uno a cinco millones de pesos.

Como parte de la condena, tanto el médico como la sicóloga pagarán 533 salarios mínimos mensuales legales vigentes, mientras que la enfermera cancelará 400.

Los condenados fueron llevados a la cárcel del Buen Pastor y a la Modelo donde permanecen desde el 12 de julio de 2010, cuando el CTI allanó el consultorio donde delinquían.

Two doctors and a nurse are sentenced to prison for human trafficking crimes

Dr. Eiber José Ochoa Márquez and psychologist Elsy Marina de Guadalupe Pérez have both been sentenced to 9.5 years in prison on charges of human trafficking. The case involved criminal acts where vulnerable, pregnant women, preferably at 7 months of gestation, were targeted, Their babies were induced to be born, and the mothers were offered between 1 and 5 million Colombian Pesos as payment for their child. Nurse Arelis Delgado Aguirre was sentenced to 7 years and 5 months of prison in  case.

COLPRENSA

March 04, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Argentina

240 mujeres ya han sido reinsertadas social y laboralmente en la provincia

La subsecretaria de Igualdad de Oportunidades del Ministerio de Derechos Humanos, Norma Sawicz afirmó que, tras ser recuperadas, 240 mujeres víctimas de Trata de personas ya han sido reinsertadas social y laboralmente en la provincia.

Norma Sawicz, subsecretaria de Igualdad de Oportunidades

En ese sentido además indicó, en diálogo con Radio Libertad, que en la provincia se esta próximo a inaugurar dos casas de refugio para estas mujeres en las localidades de Oberá y Eldorado con capacidad para 8 personas.

Dijo que “la idea de abrir estas casas es poder, desde ese lugar, contenerlas, atenderlas tanto en lo que son sus necesidades físicas, una vivienda, asistencia médica, pero sobre todo contención de los trabajadores sociales, y la contención psicológica que es la más importante” manifestó.

Contó que en estos momentos tienen dos chicas en Posadas una es de Puerto Esperanza que esta embrazada de 8 meses,.

Asimismo manifestó que en Misiones bajó la cantidad de chicas que van desde la provincia hacía otros lugares, como así las personas que vienen a reclutar chicas, “por eso trabajamos mucho en el interior de la provincia con el tema de la prevención y sensibilización” dijo.

Por otra parte agregó que “nosotros trabajamos tratando de insertarlas nuevamente en su familia, en un trabajo, en la vida misma”.

Sobre los casos de trata de personas que están siendo tratados en la Justicia precisó que al momento hay 70 casos que están en espera, en los juzgados federales uno en Posadas y otro en Eldorado, “en donde nosotros vamos a colaborar en lo que sea”, marcó.

Además agregó “hasta el momento se han albergado en estos dos años, 240 mujeres que ya han sido devueltas a sus familiares, y en algunos casos a sus países ya que hemos albergado a chicas de Paraguay y Republica Dominicana que estaban siendo victima de trata en Córdoba”.

Some 240 women victims of human trafficking have been re-adapted to society and given jobs in Missiones province (a major center of sex trafficking in Argentina).

[Translation to follow]

Missiones Online

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Argentina

Donan equipamiento informático para capacitar a víctimas de la trata

La subsecretaria, Norma Sawicz expreso: "con dichas herramientas se podrá trabajar en diferentes programas que son abordados para la reinserción social de estas personas que les permitirán rehacer sus vidas después de la situación que les tocó atravesar". Por otra parte, también se destinará parte de lo recibido a las fundaciones “Con Misiones y su Gente” e “Identidad Misionera”, las cuales brindarán capacitación a jóvenes en situación de vulnerabilidad de la chacra 190 de Posadas.

Más de 50 equipos informáticos y muebles de oficina fueron donados para la conformación de las aulas que servirán para brindar capacitación en diferentes oficios a las víctimas que fueron rescatadas de las redes de trata. Además, parte de lo recibido será destinado también a que dos entidades sin fines de lucro puedan enseñar a jóvenes en situación de vulnerabilidad.

La donación fue efectuada al departamento de Trata de Personas que depende de la dirección de Participación y Liderazgo de la subsecretaría de Igualdad de Oportunidades. Ello fue posible gracias a la solidaridad del Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas de la Nación, a cargo de Amado Boudou; desde donde se accedió tras las gestiones realizadas por el gerente del Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA), Benigno Vélez.

Se trata de más de 50 equipos informáticos, con sus respectivos muebles de oficina, que serán destinados a la capacitación de las víctimas del delito de trata de personas según lo establece uno de los ejes fijados por dicha dependencia provincial que consiste en la capacitación y asistencia.

La Subsecretaria Prof. Norma Sawicz expreso: "con dichas herramientas se podrá trabajar en diferentes programas que son abordados para la reinserción social de estas personas que les permitirán rehacer sus vidas después de la situación que les tocó atravesar".

Por otra parte, también se destinará parte de lo recibido a las fundaciones “Con Misiones y su Gente” e “Identidad Misionera”, las cuales brindarán capacitación a jóvenes en situación de vulnerabilidad de la chacra 190 de Posadas.

Government authorities in Missiones province (a region of Argentina that is severely affected by sex trafficking) have donated 50 computers and office furniture to aid rescued trafficking victims in job training.

[Translation to follow]

Missiones Online

March 03, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Puerto Rico

Pop singer and human trafficking activist Ricky Martin

Fundación Ricky Martin abrirá un centro para combatir trata humana en Puerto Rico

La Fundación Ricky Martin (FRM) tiene previsto abrir en agosto de 2012 su primer centro de liderazgo para combatir la trata humana en Puerto Rico, el segundo crimen más lucrativo en el mundo, informó hoy su directora ejecutiva, Bibiana Ferraiouli.

Ferraiouli sostuvo en una rueda de prensa que el centro, que se construye en el pueblo de Loíza, al este de San Juan, se convertirá en un "espacio mágico" para la lucha contra la trata de personas.

Ricky Martin comenzó a combatir la trata humana tras un viaje en 2002 a la India donde observó la dimensión del problema en menores que se prostituían en las calles.

Desde ese entonces, el reconocido artista, su fundación, el sociólogo César Rey, la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), el centro John Hopkins de Baltimore (Maryland), y diez investigadores se unieron para investigar la trata humana en la isla caribeña.

Del estudio, titulado "La trata de personas en Puerto Rico: un reto a la invisibilidad" y que presentó Martin en febrero de 2010 en la UPR, se compilaron casos reales de sobrevivientes.

Según el estudio, por ejemplo, más de 800.000 personas son víctimas de tráfico humano anualmente en la frontera de Estados Unidos, y el 50 por ciento de ellas, son menores...

Pop singer and human trafficking activist Ricky Martin's foundation, in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, will open Puerto Rico's first anti-trafficking center in the community of Loíza, located east of the capital city of San Juan.

The Ricky Martin's foundation joined forces with the University of Puerto Rico and the Protection Project, and the JHU School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC] to produce the first-ever study of human trafficking Puerto Pico, "Trafficking in Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge."

...According to the study, some 800,000 persons become victims of human trafficking each year on the [southern] border of the United States [with Mexico]. Fifty percent of those victims are minors....

[Additional translation to follow]

Noticias Terra.com

Feb. 28, 2011

See also:

“La Trata de Personas en Puerto Rico: Un Reto a la Invisibilidad”

"Trafficking in Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge"

Cesar A. Ray Hernandez, PhD

Luisa Hernandez Angueira, PhD

Published by The Ricky Martin Foundation in cooperation with The Protection Project

Feb. 2010

See also:

Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Puerto Rico, la República Dominicana

Donativos para frenar la trata de humanos

Doral Bank lanzó ayer dos nuevos productos de depósitos a través de los cuales hará donativos en metálico a la Fundación Ricky Martin, en un intento por contribuir a frenar el segundo crimen más lucrativo del mundo: el tráfico de seres humanos.

La iniciativa, bajo el nombre de “Esperanza” (Hope, en inglés), busca que por cada nueva cuenta de cheques y ahorro, o cuenta de ahorro infantil que se abra en esa institución, se done $1.00 a la organización creada hace unos nueve años por el afamado artista puertorriqueño.

Según Lucienne Gigante, vicepresidenta de Comunicaciones para Doral, las nuevas cuentas de depósito, representan la segunda etapa del programa de colaboración que comenzó hace un año.

El año pasado, Doral donó unos $700,000 a la organización a través de diversas iniciativas como una campaña de publicidad; la financiación del primer estudio acerca de la trata de humanos en Puerto Rico, la realización de una serie de talleres educativos, tanto a estudiantes como a la Judicatura y la Legislatura.

Según Bibiana Ferraiuoli, directora ejecutiva de la Fundación, unas 2,000 personas participaron de las actividades de educación y concienciación.

“El ancla es la educación”, dijo Ferraiuoli al indicar que en Puerto Rico, la trata de humanos tiene dimensión local e internacional.

“No estamos exentos del segundo crimen más lucrativo del mundo”, agregó la ejecutiva al tiempo que recordó que el negocio de la trata supone unos $32,000 millones.

Datos recopilados por la organización, indican que unos 27 millones de personas en el mundo son víctimas de alguna forma de trata, sea por explotación sexual, pornografía o trabajos forzados, esclavitud o extracción de órganos. De éstos, 1.2 millones son niños.

Los donativos permitirán a la Fundación continuar el trabajo investigativo en torno a la trata de personas en Puerto Rico y expandirlo a República Dominicana. También permitirán la creación de un centro de ayuda para las víctimas de este delito.

Donations aid the fight against human trafficking

The Doral Bank in Puerto Rico recently launched a series of consumer options that include a $1.00 donation to the Ricky Martin Foundation when an account is opened. During 2010, Doral Bank donated $700,000 to the foundation, which financed the first-ever study of human trafficking in Puerto Rico, a public awareness campaign, and workshops and awareness activities about trafficking that were attended by 2,000 people.

Current donations will allow the foundation to continue its research on human trafficking in Puerto Rico, as well as allow it to expand its activities to the Dominican Republic [the largest source of internationally transported victims of sexual slavery in all of Latin America]. These funds will also finance a new human trafficking center to be built in Puerto Rico.

El Nuevo Dia

March 01, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Peru

Señalan que la trata de personas se incrementó en la capital

Tras hacer una donación de de equipos tecnológicos de última generación a la Policía Nacional (PNP) para intensificar la investigación contra la trata de personas, la ONG CHS Alternativo informó que el mencionado delito se incrementó en la capital.

Ricardo Valdés, director de la mencionada organización, alertó que la trata de personas se ha incrementado en la capital, principalmente en puntos de referencia como las avenidas Rufino Torrico, Colmena y Grau, en el Cercado de Lima.

“Son puntos ya conocidos. También están algunos lugares de Lima Norte y en la zona de Huachipa, hacia Chosica, tanto en explotación sexual como laboral”, comentó el representante de la CHS Alternativo, organización que integra el Grupo de Trabajo Multisectorial Permanente contra la Trata de Personas.

Donación de equipos

Valdés explicó que la donación consta de dos computadoras portátiles, servidores para registros de casos, cuatro kits de seguridad con filmadoras, además de cámaras botón y de llavero.

“Entregamos estos equipos como parte del convenio que tenemos con el ministerio del Interior. De esta manera venimos apoyando el equipamiento de 22 direcciones territoriales hasta el momento”, señaló a Andina.

Human trafficking is increasing in Lima, Peru's capital city

CHS Alternativo, a major Peruvian non governmental organization dedicated to providing an interdisciplinary approach to fighting human trafficking has donated state of the art technology systems to the Peruvian National Police (PNP), to allow the agency to intensify its investigations of human trafficking cases.

Ricardo Valdés, director of CHS Alternativo, warned that cases of both sex and labor trafficking are increasing in Lima, the nation's capital, especially on the avenues of Rufino Torrico, Colmena and Grau...

Equipment Donations

Valdés said that CHS Alternativo had donated to the PNP laptop computers, case management software and four kits that include film cameras.

"We have donated these types of equipment to 22 police agencies to date, as part of an agreement made between CHS Alternativo and the Ministry of the Interior.

La Republica

March 04, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico

Tijuana- La actriz, Kate del Castillo, embajadora de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, durante el arranque nacional de "Jornadas de capacitación contra la trata de personas", en el Centro Cultural Tijuana.

Foto: NOTIMEX / Eduardo Jaramillo

Necesario Mas Combate a la Trata De Personas

Tijuana- El presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, afirmó aquí que la trata de personas es operada por grupos del crimen organizado que hacen que este delito se vuelva invisible.

Al presidir junto con autoridades del estado y municipio las Jornadas de Capacitación Contra la Trata de Personas que la CNDH puso en marcha, el ombudsman enfatizó la necesidad de prevenir que más víctimas de este delito caigan en las redes delincuenciales.

Dijo que los delincuentes vinculados a la trata de personas se encuentran relacionados con la explotación laboral y con el tráfico de indocumentados y que la ausencia de legislación impide tratar adecuadamente este crimen. Señaló que aunque la CNDH no posee cifras, datos de la Unicef en el país señalan que son explotados entre 16 mil niñas y niños, y las fronteras y los lugares de playa son los sitios donde se registra más este delito por la existencia del turismo.

Aseveró que la CNDH acude a todos los sectores sociales, pero sobre todo con los servidores públicos y los padres de familia para que identifiquen las características de la trata de personas y cómo prevenirla. Explicó que algunos de los factores de la trata humana se encuentra presente en diferentes renglones, pero sobre todo en materia sexual y laboral y el sector más vulnerable lo constituyen los niños, las niñas y las mujeres.

Abundó que los casos aumentan debido a las diferencias económicas, generalmente la extrema pobreza, la exclusión, la discriminación y el desempleo, y que se trata de un delito clandestino sobre el que no existen cifras oficiales...

[Translation to follow]

Eduardo Jaramillo

NOTIMEX

March 03, 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

The World, Mexico

Jineth Bedoya takes notes in December 2000 under the watch of a bodyguard in Bogotá in an armored car after she was kidnapped, beaten, and raped in April that year. Photo: AP/Ariana Cubillos

Documenting sexual violence against journalists

The news of the sexual assault against CPJ board member and CBS correspondent Lara Logan hit us hard on Tuesday. At CPJ, we work daily to advocate on behalf of journalists under attack in all kinds of horrific situations around the world. Because of Lara's untiring work with our Journalist Assistance program, she's well known to everyone on our staff.

Since the news broke, we have been asked why there is little on our website about sexual assaults, and what kind of data we have about women journalists and rape. The simple answers are these: We have little on our site because sexual assault is not commonly reported to us--the data, therefore, is not available. What I can tell you is that we receive calls in which journalists report on risky conditions in particular cities or countries, sometimes telling us of their personal molestation or rape, and usually ask that we not share their private pain...

Here are some of the cases of sexual violence against journalists CPJ has documented:

Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya was raped, kidnapped, and beaten in May 2000 after reporting on far-right paramilitaries while on assignment for the Bogotá daily El Espectador: "Floating in and out of consciousness, Bedoya was taken to a house across the street from the prison," wrote CPJ's Frank Smyth that same year. "The kidnappers bound her hands and feet, taped her mouth, and blindfolded her eyes. Then they drove her to Villavicencio, where she was savagely beaten and raped. During the assault, the men told her in graphic detail about all the other journalists who they planned to kill."

CPJ protested the Bedoya attack in a letter that month to then-President Andrés Pastrana Arango and followed up with a letter in September expressing concern about the lack of progress in the investigation. By year's end, however, no one had been detained and the prosecutor in charge of the investigation had not even contacted Bedoya, according to the journalist. CPJ met with Bedoya last year, and she told us that although it is believed that undercover agents were behind the attack, Colombian authorities have still done nothing.

In 2006, we reported on a plot to kidnap and rape Mexican journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro. Cacho was arrested on December 17, 2005, and released on bail the next day in connection with a case against her for defamation and slander, which CPJ found was brought in retaliation for her reporting on a child pornography and prostitution ring. Tapes of telephone conversations between several people, two of whom were the governor of the state of Puebla, Mario Marín, and a local businessman, were delivered to the Mexico City offices of the daily La Jornada. Media reports said the recordings were made before and during Cacho's detention. In the tapes, obscene language was used to describe plans to put Cacho behind bars and assault her. In one conversation before Cacho's arrest, a man who was identified by the Mexican press as Hanna Nakad Bayeh, a Puebla-based clothing manufacturer, asked businessman José Camel Nacif Borge to pay someone to rape her in jail. According to the transcriptions published in La Jornada, Nacif replied, "she has already been taken care of..."

Lauren Wolfe / CPJ Senior Editor

Committee to Protect Journalists

Feb., 2011


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

The World

Siddharth Kara, a Fellow at the Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery, Harvard Kennedy School

Forum on Entreprenuership and Human Trafficking event: “Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Trafficking: What Every Business Leader Needs to Know”

While human trafficking has received considerable media attention in the past few years, it is often portrayed from the perspective of activists, policy makers or humanitarian organizations. This panel will focus on how to tackle the complicated issue of human trafficking from a supply-chain management perspective, informing global business leaders about the darker side of globalization and generating solutions to these problems. The panelists will examine the economics of the human trafficking industry and highlight effective strategies that businesses are using to combat it.

Panelists:

* Sandra J. Sucher (Moderator), Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

* Dawn Conway, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, LexisNexis Group

* Josh Green, Chief Executive Officer, Panjiva

* Shelley Simmons, Director of Brand Communications and Values, The Body Shop

* Siddharth Kara, Fellow, Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery, Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Business School

March 06, 2011

Note: Siddharth Kara is an Affiliate of the Human Rights and Social Movements Program, and a Fellow with the Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery. He is also the author of the award-winning book, "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery," the first of three books he is writing on the subjects of human trafficking and contemporary slavery. “Sex Trafficking” was named co-winner of the prestigious 2010 Frederick Douglass Award at Yale University for the best non-fiction book on slavery. The Award is generally regarded as the top prize in the field of slavery scholarship, and Kara's is the first book on modern slavery to receive the award.

See also:

Siddarth Kara filmed during a 1.5 hour presentation at Harvard University on his interesting approach to ending human trafficking

(Video on Youtube.com)

Harvard Kennedy School

2009


Added: Mar. 7, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

ATF agent says "Fast and Furious" program let guns "walk" into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case

Washington, DC - Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

"Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns "walk." In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Sharyl Attkisson's original "Gunrunner" report

Center for Public Integrity report

Dodson's bosses say that never happened. Now, he's risking his job to go public.

"I'm boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we've been doing it every day since I've been here," he said. "Here I am. Tell me I didn't do the things that I did. Tell me you didn't order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn't happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn't happen."

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

ATF named the case "Fast and Furious..."

Sharyl Attkisson

CBS News

March 3, 2011

 
   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias


Updated: June 28, 2011


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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Honduras

HERO: Patricia Villamil - Consul for Honduras in Chiapas state, on Mexico's southern border, has been removed from her post in retaliation for her criticism of Mexican officials' failure to respond to the mass sex trafficking of Central American women and girls.

Sale por presiones Cónsul hondureña en Chiapas

Villamil asumió como Cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula en noviembre de 2010 y en marzo de 2011 lanzó una denuncia contra autoridades mexicanas.

Ciudad de México.- El Gobierno de Honduras removió del cargo de Cónsul de ese país en Tapachula, Chiapas, a Patricia Villamil, quien se destacó en los últimos meses por sus denuncias de abusos contra migrantes en tránsito por México y de trata de personas tolerada por las autoridades.

De acuerdo con Villamil, su remoción respondió a presiones de funcionarios de la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la Frontera Sur del Gobierno de Chiapas, a quienes molestó que denunciara la explotación laboral y sexual de que son objeto mujeres migrantes en la entidad.

Relató que el jueves pasado, cerca de las 20:00 horas, recibió un oficio firmado por el Embajador José Mariano Castillo Mercado en el que se le informó del término de su misión a partir del día siguiente.

"Me despidieron de mi cargo y todo por las denuncias que hice y porque funcionarios de (la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la) Frontera Sur (de Chiapas) fueron a la Embajada a manifestar su disgusto por mi trabajo, por la labor que he hecho en contra de la trata de personas", indicó en entrevista.

Villamil asumió el cargo de Cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula en noviembre de 2010 y en marzo de 2011 decidió lanzar una denuncia pública ante la falta de atención por parte de las autoridades mexicanas.

"En Chiapas hay clara evidencia de la explotación laboral y sexual de mujeres hondureñas. Hay testimonios desgarradores de niñas esclavizadas en prostíbulos de Frontera Comalapa, así como de abusos por parte de policías ministeriales y agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM). Por ello exigimos la intervención del Gobierno", señaló durante un foro en en la Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas.

Ayer sostuvo que las autoridades chiapanecas se quejaron de ella por no seguir los protocolos al hacer sus denuncias.

"Creo que lo que les molestó es que nosotros diéramos a conocer todo lo que está pasando en Ciudad Hidalgo, en todo Chiapas, porque ellos siempre dan la impresión de tener la casa limpia y viene una persona nueva a sacar las cosas, eso no les gustó, no les pareció", insistió.

Durante su gestión en el Consulado, destacó, fue posible rescatar a 10 mujeres hondureñas, 8 de ellas menores de edad, que eran explotadas laboral y sexualmente en antros de la entidad...

Chiapas state officials pressure Honduras to remove  Consul (and anti-trafficking activist) Patricia Villamil

Patricia Villamil took over as Honduran consul in Tapachula in November 2010 and in March 2011 launched a complaint against Mexican authorities.

Mexico City - The Government of Honduras has removed Patricia Villamil, her nation's consul in [Mexico's southern border region city of] Tapachula in Chiapas state, from office. Consul Villamil raised attention in recent months as a result of her allegations of abuses against migrants in transit through Mexico, and the tolerance that Mexican authorities have shown in response to [the region's widespread problem of] human trafficking.

According to Villamil, her removal came as a result of pressure exerted by officials of the Secretariat for the Development of the Southern Border of the Government of Chiapas state, who were angered by Consul Villamil's complaints about the labor and sexual exploitation that migrant women are subjected-to in Chiapas.

Consul Villamil said that last Thursday at about 8:00 pm she received a letter signed by Honduran  Ambassador to Mexico José Mariano Castillo Mercado in which she was informed that her assignment was to end effective as of the following day.

"I was fired from my job because of the allegations that I have made, and because officials (of the Secretary for Development) for the southern frontier (Chiapas state) went to the [Honduran] embassy to express their displeasure with my work, the work that I've done against human trafficking, said "Consul Villamil during an interview.

Villamil took office in Tapachula as Honduran Consul in November of 2010. During March of 2011 she decided to issue a public complaint about the lack of attention that was being paid by Mexican authorities [to the exploitation of migrant women].

"In Chiapas there is clear evidence of the labor and sexual exploitation of Honduran women. There are harrowing accounts of girls enslaved in brothels in the town of Frontera Comalapa, as well as abuses by the judicial police and agents of the National Migration Institute (INM - Mexico's immigration agency). I therefore demand government intervention," Villamil said during a forum at the Autonomous University of Chiapas.

Yesterday Villamil noted that state authorities in Chiapas complained about her because she did not follow the proper protocols in making her complaints.

"I think what bothers them is the fact that I exposed everything that is happening in [the city of] Ciudad Hidalgo, and all across Chiapas state. They always want to give the impression that they are running a clean house. Here comes a new person [and starts to make the truth public]. They didn't like that," said Villamil.

During her tenure at the Honduran consulate in Tapachula, Consul Villamil made possible the rescue of 10 Honduran women and girls, including 8 children who were being subjected to sexual and labor exploitation in Chiapas.

"They are now in shelters, and are just awaiting completion of the proper forms before they are repatriated to Honduras," Villamil explained.

After receiving several threats, Villamil filed a complaint with the Mexico's federal Attorney General's Office (PGR).

Mexico's general director for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Norma Pensado, asked Consul Villamil to avoid talking publicly about the threats.

Honduran Vice Chancellor Alden Rivera stated that the complaint was not submitted through the correct channels.

Villamil will be returning to her country in the coming days, and then plans to file a lawsuit against Vice Chancellor Rivera for libel.

Officials cite security concerns

According to Honduran Consul General for Mexico Carolina Pineda, the removal of Patricia Villamil from her post came about as a response to security concerns and did not result from pressures by state authorities in Chiapas.

Consul General Pineda added that Villamil was removed because of repeated threats against her.

"She will probably be transferred to another location, above all to protect her. I guess at the Foreign Ministry (in Honduras) will make the decision," said Consul General Pineda in an interview.

She reemphasized that Honduran diplomatic representatives had not been pressured by authorities in Chiapas.

"To the contrary, the government (of Chiapas) has cooperated on migrant issues, and in regard to the issue that Consul Villamil specializes in, human trafficking," said Consul General Pineda.

Ariadna García and Martín Morita

Terra.com

June 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, anteriormente la cónsul de Honduras en Chiapas

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, former Honduran consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas.

Foto/Photo: Diario del Sur

Trafficking, Forced Prostitution Denounced in Chiapas

While focus continues on the dangers to migrants traveling north in Mexico, a new phenomenon appeared in the south: forced prostitution of young migrant women. The culprits, however, may be part of the same Zetas organization that is perpetrating the atrocities in the north.

The outcry about the problem came from Patricia Villamil, the Honduran consul in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, who told Agence France Presse that women are trafficked from Honduras to be forced into sexual slavery in that state.

"They bring women lured from Honduras, preferably those younger than eighteen,” the consul said. “The majority are brought from San Pedro Sula [in northwest Honduras], but many are also from [the central departments of] Comayagua and Olancho.”

The consul says the victims come in groups of five or six and are distributed among several dozen bars in Chiapas. One victim told AFP that she was promised a job in a restaurant in Mexico. When she arrived, she was forced to prostitute herself without any pay.

Although her office has become flooded with cases of Honduran migrants who have been forced to work without pay against their will, Villamil says Mexican authorities have been slow to react.

"I'm not going to shut up until they do their job," she said.

Mexican authorities disagree with Villamil's assessment. Enrique Mendez, the official prosecutor in charge of crimes against immigrants in Chiapas, says individual cases of extortion and forced prostitution are not widespread in the area.

"Yes, there is people trafficking, but not in an alarming manner," Mendez told the AFP.

He added that many of the women come on their own and are not coerced.

The phenomenon of young Central American women being trafficked for sex is not new. As InSight reported, traffickers are luring women from increasingly more urban and middle-class backgrounds. In some of these cases, the traffickers operate phony dance schools and talent agencies in order to disguise their illegitimate activities.

In the case of Chiapas, however, the victims appear to be more lower class and could be part of the pockets of migrants making their way north through that large border state...

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas

April 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Honduras

Operativos para combatir la trata de personas deben ser permanentes

Tapachula, Chiapas - Ante la tardanza con la que actúa la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA), de la Procuraduría General de la República para combatir este fenómeno social en la frontera sur de México, la cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula, Patricia Villamil Perdomo, exigió se tomen cartas en el asunto al mismo tiempo de señalar que esta instancia se tarda tres meses en armar sus investigaciones para posterior realizar los operativos pertinentes.

Reconoció que existen redes de trata de personas desde Honduras y Centroamérica hasta México, gente que va a traer a las jóvenes para prostituirlas y explotarlas laboralmente, por lo que instó a las autoridades para que los operativos de combate a este tema que se efectúan de vez en cuando, sean permanentes...

Operations to combat trafficking should be made permanent: Honduran consul in Chiapas

The city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, [on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala] – Reacting to the repeated delays that the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) [an office in the Attorney General of the Republic] - demonstrates in reponse to [the ongoing crisis of] gender violence on the southern border of Mexico, the Honduran consul in the city of Tapachula [in Chiapas state], Patricia Perdomo Villamil, has demanded that FEVIMTRA step up and take action on cases in a timely manner. Currently, FEVIMTRA takes three months to set-up their investigations, activity that is carried-out prior to conducting enforcement operations.

Consul Perdomo Villamil declared that there are human trafficking networks that move [victims] from Honduras and Central America to Mexico. Those who are trafficked are girls and young women who will be subjected to prostitution and labor exploitation. She urged the Mexican authorities to conduct their anti-trafficking operations on a permanent basis.

The Consul charged that currently, federal authorities are taking more than three months to investigate allegations, when their response should be immediate. At the same time, Consul Perdomo Villamil recognized that the Chiapas state Special Prosecutor for Crimes Committed Against Immigrants was doing good work.

The diplomat said that a statement issued [by state officials] in Tuxtla Gutierrez [capital of Chiapas state] to be strange, given that it announced that the she had failed to attend a workshop on human trafficking. Consul Perdomo Villamil responded by emphasizing that she is the only Consul to have addressed this problem, and that it was she who had worked with the state Special Prosecutor for Crimes Committed Against Immigrants to prepare an operation that led to the rescue of [a number of] exploited Central American women and the arrest of two suspects. Those arrested included that of "Mother Meche" in the city of Frontera Comalapa. The Consul added that perhaps her error was that she had not known the date that the raids had been planned for, and was in Honduras at the time.

Consul Perdomo Villamil exclaimed that in regard to the issue of human trafficking, she has made public statements warning fellow Central Americas that, from the moment they leave their homes to cross into another country, they are at risk of being subjected to human trafficking and prostitution. "We have made complaints, but the process for the victims is tedious and long. We have waited for up to three months before these operations are carried out. The response should be immediate," she said.

"In Chiapas, when there is human trafficking, you can not fool anyone. The rights of migrants continue to be violated. There are cases of sex trafficking in [the cities and towns of] Comalapa, Huixtla, Motozintla, Tapachula and many of the municipalities the region and across the country” she said...

César Solís

Diario del Sur, Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 23, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Migrantes centroamericanas padecen explotación sexual en Chiapas

Adolescentes son obligadas a prostituirse en municipios chiapanecos que hacen frontera con Guatemala

Central American migrants in Chiapas suffer from sexual exploitation

Teens are forced into prostitution in the cities and towns of the Mexican border state of Chiapas

...During the International Congress on Gender and Migration held in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas on March 9th, 2011, the Honduran consul in Chiapas Patricia Perdomo Villamil explained the workings of the international human trafficking networks that operate in Chiapas.

Consul Perdomo Villamil said that men and women participate in human trafficking as 'procurers' of adult women and underage girls. An unknown number of the victims are forced into prostitution in the towns of Comitan, Huixtla, Chicomuselo, Motozitla and Frontera Comalapa. All of these Chiapan towns border Guatemala.

Consul Villamil Perdomo said there is not enough will on the part of the authorities to clear out these trafficking networks, even when they have identified the places where they operate and the centers where victims are taken.

This past Monday the local consuls of the Central American nations were scheduled to meet with state prosecutors and the President of the Court of Justice for the State of Chiapas, to agree on preventive measures to help reduce the trafficking of persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

On March 4th, the state Attorney General, Raciel López Salazar explained that during the past four years state authorities have dismantled 23 human trafficking gangs. Without specifying numbers, the official said that during these actions state and municipal public servants involved in trafficking have been arrested.

The Mexican Index of Vulnerability to Human Trafficking, prepared by Center for Studies and Research in Development and Social Welfare, has identified the fact that Chiapas is among the five Mexican states with the highest numbers of victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

The other states are Michoacán, Oaxaca, Zacatecas and Guanajuato. There are no precise figures on the number of people affected...

CNN Mexico

March 23, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Comunicado Denuncia De Red De Trata De Personas En Chiapas

Press Release denounces human trafficking network in Chiapas state

Mayan indigenous activists in Chiapas state, Mexico, support Honduran consul in Chiapas Patricia Yamileth Villamil's complaint that Mexican officials are taking inadequate steps to curb human trafficking in the region. The signatories to this letter call upon the authorities to step-up their anti-trafficking enforcement activities.

A Los Gobiernos de Centroamerica

A Las Organanizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales

A La Comision Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos

A La Organizacion de Las Naciones Unidas

A La Sociedad en General

Al Gobierno de Mexico

Al Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

El Viernes 11 de marzo de 2011 la cónsul de Honduras, Patricia Yamileth Villamil denunció que grupos de tratantes de personas llegan hasta las comunidades pobres como Puerto Cortés, Comayagua y San Pedro Sula a sacar con engaños a jovencitas hondureñas ofreciéndoles trabajos bien pagados como empleadas del hogar o meseras de restaurantes, pero al llegar a Chiapas son obligadas a prostituirse en bares y centros nocturnos de poblados fronterizos con Guatemala como Frontera Comalapa, Comitán, San Cristóbal, San Gregorio Chamic y Tapachula. Las jovencitas, por temor no denuncian los hechos porque vienen dominadas por sus enganchadores que son también sus acreedores de deudas que van de tres mil a cinco mil pesos por costos de traslado. Señaló que esta situación se vive día a día en los municipios fronterizos y la realidad es que en bares de Chiapas hay muchas hondureñas, tanto menores que van desde los 14 y los 17 años de edad, como jóvenes adultas que están siendo explotadas ya sea víctimas de trata o prostitución...

La cónsul Patricia Yamileth Villamil lamentó “la lentitud con que las autoridades actuaron para detener a los responsables de la explotación sexual en contra de jóvenes centroamericanas, y advirtió que exigirá a todas las autoridades competes que asuman su responsabilidad y que ejerzan acción penal contra quienes resulten responsables, porque “Tenemos conocimiento que se encuentran inmiscuidos agentes del ministerio público, policías, elementos de migración y otras autoridades. Vamos a llegar hasta las últimas consecuencias...”

Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano / Mesoamerican Migrant Movement

March 15, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, El Salvador

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, cónsul de la república de El Salvador en Chiapas.

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, El Salvador's consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas.

Foto Diario del Sur.

Alerta Cónsul de El Salvador sobre aumento de migración a Chiapas

Salvadoran Consul warns about the dangers of migration through Mexico's Chiapas state

Nelson Miguel Cuéllar, El Salvador's consul in Mexico's southern border state of Chiapas, warns that due to severe economic conditions in the region, the out-migration of Salvadorans and other Central Americans towards the United States will continue to increase. He also warns that all such migrants risk being victimized by human traffickers...

Tapachula, Chiapas - El consulado de El Salvador en Chiapas, dio a conocer que en Chiapas la regularización de salvadoreños podría incrementar durante 2011, por la dura crisis económica del país centroamericano, aunque se esté buscando mejorías, indicando que en promedio de años atrás a la fecha han regularizado a casi mil ciudadanos en la frontera sur...

Rubén Zúñiga

Diario del Sur/Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza was recently named as Mexico's Assistant Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection after a successful stint as Mexico City's highly effective prosecutor for sex trafficking cases.

Jueces se resisten a castigar trata: PGR

En México hace falta sensibilizar a los jueces para que castiguen conforme está tipificado el delito de trata de personas.

La subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo, Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros, reconoce que en México hace falta sensibilizar a los jueces para que castiguen conforme está tipificado el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en algunos casos lo han reclasificado como corrupción de menores o lenocinio.

La funcionaria de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) dice que a nivel nacional el Poder Judicial ha dictado menos de 15 sentencias por trata de personas, quizá por desconocimiento o porque no sabe identificar la falta.

“Con todo el respeto al Poder Judicial, la verdad es que ahí todavía tenemos un problema, yo quiero pensar que es una cuestión de tiempo, de carácter cultural o en ocasiones es falta de conocimiento...”.

García Espinoza de los Monteros será reconocida este lunes en Estados Unidos con el premio “Heroína contra la Esclavitud Moderna”, por su trayectoria y sus logros en el DF en el combate al delito de trata de personas.

Comenta que será galardonada por el desmantelamiento de la red internacional de traficantes de personas que operaba en la casa hogar Casitas del Sur, donde lograron liberar a 11 menores.

García Espinoza de los Monteros dice que este caso es uno de sus mayores logros, aunque no puede ocultar su frustración por lo que sigue ocurriendo en el barrio de La Merced, en la ciudad de México, que históricamente ha sido un polo de tráfico de personas, prostitución de menores y explotación infantil.

La funcionaria apunta que en México en materia de atención a víctimas falta mucho por hacer, pero reconoce el trabajo de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en el tema.

Al preguntarle cómo se ve nuestro país en el ámbito internacional en este delito, la funcionaria acepta que somos una nación que consume, permite el tránsito y expulsa a las víctimas de trata de personas.

Deputy Attorney General: Judges are resisting handing-down punishment for human trafficking crimes

Amparo Garcia Dilcya Samantha Espinoza de los Monteros, who is Mexico's Deputy Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection, has announced that Mexico needs to sensitize judges the need to punish human trafficking as a crime. She notes that in some cases judges have reclassified the charges brought against suspects from human trafficking to corruption of minors and procuring.

Espinoza de los Monteros says that nationally, the judiciary has handed down fewer than 15 convictions for human trafficking, perhaps because of ignorance or because [the crime could not be clearly identified as trafficking].

"With all due respect to the judiciary, the truth is that we have a problem here. I want to think that it's a matter of time, cultural or that sometimes it is a lack of knowledge..."

Espinoza de los Monteros will be recognized in the U.S. on Monday with the award "Hero against Modern Slavery," for her career and his achievements in Mexico City in fighting the crime of trafficking.

He says that will be honored by the dismantling of the international network of smugglers operating in the group home Casitas del Sur, where they managed to release 11 children.

Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros said that this case is one of his greatest achievements, but can not hide his frustration at what continues to happen in the neighborhood of La Merced, Mexico City, which has historically been a center for trafficking , child prostitution and child exploitation.

The official pointed out that in Mexico in providing care to victims needs to be done, but recognizes the work of civil society organizations on the subject.

Asked how he sees our country internationally in this offense, the officer accepts that we are a nation that consumes and drives traffic allowed to victims of trafficking.

El Universal

June 26, 2011

See also:

Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Mexico

Funcionaria deja PGJDF por PGR

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros fue nombrada por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) como la nueva subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo de la dependencia federal.

Fátima Salvador. Ciudad de México.- Cabe destacar que hasta el lunes, la funcionaria se desempeñó como subprocuradora de Atención a Víctimas del Delito y Servicios a la Comunidad dependiente de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, cargo que ocupó desde 2008 por encomienda del procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera.

Entre los casos representativos en los que colaboró durante su estadía en la PGJDF destacan la desarticulación de bandas de lenones y la trata de menores, además contribuyó a realizar reformas en esta materia.

Uno de los últimos trabajos que realizó el despacho a su cargo fue la protección de integrantes de la familia Reyes Salazar, quienes dejaron Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, luego de sufrir amenazas y el asesinato de cinco de sus miembros.

Dilcya Samanta Espinosa de los Monteros encabezó la investigación del caso “Casitas del Sur” por la desaparición de 11 niños en dicho albergue.

La procuraduría capitalina informó que por el momento habrá un encargado de despacho en la Subprocuraduría de Atención a Víctimas del Delito.

Mexico City assistant attorney general moves to federal position

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros has been named to a position in the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) after having previously served since 2008 as Assistant Attorney General for Victims of Crime and Community Services under Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera.

[García Espinoza de los Monteros has focused her efforts in Mexico City on pursuing human traffickers. Mexico City has the highest conviction rate against traffickers of any federated entity in Mexico. - LL]

Among the activities that García Espinoza de los Monteros engaged in at the Mexico City prosecutor's office involved the break-up of sex trafficking rings and assisting in the passage of tougher anti-trafficking laws.

One of her most recent cases involved the disappearance of 11 children from an orphanage called Casitas del Sur [those responsible for the disappearances are believed to have sold these children to sex traffickers]...

Edited by Leyda Martínez

May 3, 2011

About Child Labor and the Risk of Criminal Exploitation in Mexico


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Children labor in Mexico

Trabajan 200 mil niños en campos de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.- Cerca del 14 por ciento de los residentes de Chiapas que tienen entre cinco y 17 años están ocupados económicamente, sobre todo en el sector primario y terciario. Los apuros financieros de sus tutores y la cultura influyen en la situación. Incrementó su participación en actividades peligrosas, ante su mayor necesidad por conseguir sustento, especialmente los migrantes, informó ayer la secretaria del Trabajo del estado, Esther Almazán Torres.

Dijo que el objetivo es tener erradicada parte de la situación en 2015, a más tardar, según los tratados signados por el gobierno federal. Sin embargo, la meta es lejana, porque muchos servidores públicos desconocen el hecho, incluso no saben que existe una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, por lo que ven el tema como algo normal.

México cuenta con 28.2 millones de menores, de los cuales el 10 por ciento está empleado, de los cuales 199 mil 966 viven en la entidad, es decir, uno de cada diez niños chiapanecos forman parte de su campo productivo, según organismos internacionales y el INEGI.

Reconoció que los casos con más violaciones a sus derechos son registrados en las fincas, sobre todo en salud y educación, aunque destacó que el índice bajó en los últimos años.

La funcionaria estatal aseveró que la cultura también contribuye al problema, porque sus responsables enseñan a sus hijos a ganar dinero con alguna actividad familiar, para perpetuar la tradición. Ello no disminuye su vulnerabilidad.

200,000 children are working in the fields of Chiapas state

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state - About 14 percent of the residents of Chiapas who are between 5 and 17 years are work... Both the financial troubles of their parents and culture influence the situation. These children engage in Increasingly dangerous activities to earn money to survive. This is especially true of migrants, Chiapas state  labor secretary Esther Almazán Torres stated yesterday.

Secretary Almazán Torres added that the state's goal is to eradicate child labor by 2015 at the latest, in accordance with the according to treaties signed by the federal government [see: United Nations Millennium Development Goals]. However, the goal is distant because many public servants are unaware of the issue, and don't even know that there is a law against trafficking in persons, so see [child exploitation] as normal.

Mexico has 28.2 million children, of whom 10 percent are employed. Some 199,000 child laborers live in the state, amounting to one in ten children in Chiapas who are working in the field, according to international organizations and Mexico's National Institute for Statistics and Geography.

Secretary Almazán Torres acknowledged that cases with most child rights violations are found in farm labor, especially in regard to health and education, but noted that the the number of complaints has declined recent years.

Culture contributes to the problem because parents teach their children to earn money with some form of family activity, to perpetuate their traditions. Such labor is not exempt from risk for these child laborers.

El Heraldo de Chiapas

June 21, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado: Victoria Cruz

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado Las niñas y los niños que trabajan están en riesgo ante el crimen organizado, que los utiliza para transportar droga, para ser explotados sexualmente o para cometer delitos en general, aseveró en Morelia la coordinadora del Programa Internacional para la Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OI), Victoria Cruz López.

En el marco del Foro: “La participación de los congresos locales en la prevención y erradicación del trabajo infantil y la protección del adolescente trabajador”, y ante diputados, autoridades y especialistas, la experta abogada aseguró que esa situación es cada vez más visible, por lo que urgió a buscar acciones para frenar la inclusión de menores de edad en actividades laborales.

Victoria Cruz señaló que es necesario perseguir a quienes utilizan a los menores para actividades ilícitas, por lo que entidades gubernamentales y sociedad civil deben prestar atención a esa problemática, ya que la alternativa para los adolescentes no debe ser la delincuencia organizada.

En presencia del presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política del Congreso del Estado, Wilfrido Lázaro Medina, quien es además coordinador del grupo parlamentario del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), la representante de la OIT consideró urgente desarrollar políticas públicas para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque el hecho de que estén en la escuela y ésta sea una opción de calidad puede ser un punto de partida fundamental.

Acompañada también por la presidenta de la Comisión de Grupos Vulnerables, Equidad y Género, Gabriela Molina Aguilar, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), y por la presidenta de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Guadalupe Calderón Medina, del PRI, Cruz López argumentó que se calcula que en el país hay 3 millones de infantes, de entre los 5 y los 17 años de edad, que se encuentran laborando, la mayoría en trabajos del sector agrícola, la construcción y la minería, trabajos considerados de alta peligrosidad.

Dicha cantidad, agregó la investigadora del tema, equivale al 10.7 por ciento de la población de niñas, niños y adolescentes que existen en México, lo que equivale a hipotecar el futuro del país, sobre todo cuando 900 mil de esos menores de edad, que son los que tienen entre 5 y 13 años, ni siquiera deberían estar en el trabajo.

En ese sentido, aseveró Victoria Cruz, el trabajo infantil constituye una violación severa a los derechos de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque se atenta contra muchos de sus derechos, como el derecho al sano crecimiento, a la educación, a la cultura y al derecho a estar protegidos contra la explotación económica, que tiene que empezar a verse como un incumplimiento a las garantías en el cual todos son responsables y todos deben dar respuesta.

Victoria Cruz: Child workers are at-risk from organized crime:

Victoria Cruz López, the International Labor Organization's international program to end child labor spoke in Morelia state.

Cruz López: Child laborers are at high risk from organized criminals who exploit them to transport drugs, to be sold in prostitution and to commit crimes in general.

In a Forum called "The Participation of State Legislatures in the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Young Workers," which was presented to a group of state legislative deputies, authorities and experts, veteran attorney and International Labor Organization (ILO) representative Victoria Cruz López [organized crime's exploitation of minors] constitutes a situation that is becoming more visible by-the-day. She therefore urged state legislatures to take action to curb the inclusion of children in work activities.

Cruz López added that the prosecution of those who use children for illicit activities is a must. Government agencies and civil society must therefore pay attention to this problem, given that all agree that the [preferred] alternative [to unemployment] for adolescents should not be organized crime.

Cruz López declared that the development of public policies to reduce the vulnerability of girls, children and adolescents must be made an urgent priority. Cruz noted that schools can be used as the perfect forum for communicating with children and youth about this issue.

Cruz López argued that the country is estimated that there are 3 million children, between 5 and 17 years of age, who are now working, the majority work in agriculture, construction and mining work that is considered highly dangerous.

Some 10.7 percent of Mexico's children and underage youth work, added Cruz López. That fact amounts to mortgaging the nation's future, especially in regard to the 900,000 of these children who are those between 5 and 13 years, who should not be working at all.

Child labor constitutes a severe violation of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, because it goes against many of their rights, including the right to healthy growth, education, culture and the right to be protected from economic exploitation, which must begin to be seen as a breach of the guarantees to which everyone must be held accountable.

Among the Morelia state congressional deputies attending the event were: Wilfrido Medina Lazaro, Morelia state's president of the Political Coordination Board of the State Congress and parliamentary coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) delegation; Gabriela Aguilar Molina, president of the Commission on Vulnerable Groups and Gender Equity, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); and Guadalupe Medina Calderon, of the PRI, who is president of the Human Rights Commission.

Quadratin.com

June 17, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

La OIT presenta en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil

La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) presentó hoy en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil apoyada por varios artistas locales, informaron hoy fuentes de la agencia de Naciones Unidas (ONU).

En un acto celebrado en un hotel de la capital mexicana, el director adjunto de la OIT para México y Cuba, Thomas Wissing, dijo que era necesario "actuar con urgencia" para eliminar las formas más peligrosas de este tipo de actividad laboral que afecta a menores.

En un comunicado, la OIT señaló que en el planeta existen 115 millones de niñas, niños y adolescentes en actividades laborales peligrosas, de los cuales el 64 % son varones y el 36 %, mujeres y niñas.

Por actividad, el 59 % de los trabajos peligrosos se concentra en la agricultura, un 30 % en el sector servicios y un 11 % en la industria.

La tendencia es a un ascenso en la cifra de adolescentes varones de entre 15 y 17 años en el mundo, apuntó la organización, al recordar que el próximo 12 de junio se celebrará el Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil.

En México, añadió, hay aproximadamente 3 millones de menores de edad que trabajan dentro de un grueso de población de 112 millones de personas.

En el acto de hoy, la OIT presentó un vídeo y el vocalista de la banda de rock DLD, Paco Familiar, leyó un mensaje a nombre de una decena de artistas que se han sumado en México a la campaña, que lleva por título "¡Atención! Niños, niñas y adolescentes en trabajos peligrosos. ¡Alto al trabajo infantil!".

En su mensaje, Familiar dijo que "existe una confusión entre lo que sí es y lo que no es trabajo infantil", que permite que haya altos niveles de tolerancia social frente a este problema.

La situación en este país es "insostenible", ya que "más del 10 % de su población infantil tiene que trabajar", lo que va en contra de la educación de ese colectivo y representa un problema que hipoteca "nuestro presente y nuestro futuro", afirmó.

EFE

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

ILO Launches Campaign Against Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo, ILO) launched its newest campaign against child labor in Mexico today. Various artists attended the event, many of which were vocal about their stances against child labor as it interferes with important activities, such as education and recreation. ILO member Victoria Cruz reported that 59.2% of minors employed throughout the world work in agriculture, 30% in the services sector and 11% in industry. In Mexico, there are approximately 3 million minors who are employed and about 700,000 of those minors engage in “high risk” labor, which includes mining, agriculture, and construction. Mexico is also one of the only countries to date that has not ratified the ILO’s Convention 182, otherwise known as the “Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention.”

The ILO addressed other negative effects of child labor, such as physical injuries and illness that in some cases cannot be cured. Particularly in Mexico, it is easy for minors to become involved in more dangerous work, such as narco-trafficking, due to high poverty levels in many areas and lack of better opportunities. In response to this problem, the ILO urged that the laws in Mexico should be amended to include harsher punishments for those who employ minors. According to El Universal, the assistant ILO director of Mexico and Cuba, Thomas Wissing, stated that these laws should be changed with the purpose of reducing child labor and to generate more jobs and more rewarding salaries for parents.

The organization also made sure to note that National Day Against Child Labor will be celebrated this Sunday, June 12.

Justice in Mexico

June 6, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Más de 3 millones de niños mexicanos tienen que trabajar

Distrito Federal - En México, más de tres millones de menores de edad laboran y de ellos más de 700 mil lo hacen en empleos de alto riesgo como la minería, la agricultura o la construcción, situación que se agrava por la tolerancia de la sociedad y las autoridades, indicó la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT).

Además, México es el único país que aún no ratifica el Convenio 182 de la OIT, que se refiere a la edad mínima para desempeñar actividades económicas, explicó el organismo en un taller donde se habló de este tema.

Con motivo del Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil, que se celebrará el próximo 12 de junio, funcionarios de la organización y la subsecretaria de Inclusión Laboral de la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) reconocieron que las sanciones económicas para empleadores de menores de edad son mínimas, pues la actual legislación establece un pago de 250 días de salario mínimo...

More than 3 million Mexican children must work

Mexico City - In Mexico, more than 3 million minors work. Around 700,000 children and youth work in high-risk jobs such as mining, agriculture and construction. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the situation has been aggravated by the tolerance of society and the authorities.

During an ILO workshop on child labor. officials noted that Mexico is the only nation that has not signed the ILO's Convention 182 on ending child labor, which defines minimum ages for engaging in work activities.

Mariana Otero

Milenio

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

En trabajos peligrosos, 600 mil niños mexicanos

En México hay mucha confusión y tolerancia respecto al trabajo peligroso en niños y niñas, particularmente en los que tienen entre 15 y 17 años de edad, lo cual trae graves consecuencias para la integridad física, pues deriva en lesiones, enfermedades irreversibles, abandono escolar y bajo rendimiento, señaló la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), que coincidió con la Secretaría del Trabajo en que se debe endurecer la ley para castigar a quien emplee a menores.

En el país, son 600 mil los que realizan labores peligrosas, de un total de 3 millones de menores de 18 años de edad que trabajan, paralelamente a los que son utilizados en tareas vinculadas con el narcotráfico -de los cuales no hay cifras-, quienes por la falta de oportunidades y la situación de pobreza que son explotados en esas actividades ilegales....

Some 600,000 underage Mexican children and youth work in dangerous jobs - International Labor Organization

According to the International Labor Organization, much confusion and tolerance exists in Mexico in regard to dangerous jobs that children and underage youth work-in across Mexico, and especially those who are between 15- and 18-years-of-age. These forms of employment cause grave consequences for a child worker's physical integrity - including exposure to diseases an irreversible illnesses. In addition, child workers perform poorly in school and [often] abandon school altogether.

Across Mexico some 600,000 minors engage in dangerous work. They are part of a total underage workforce of 3 million. In parallel, a phenomenon also exists in which minors work for narco-trafficking organizations. No statistics exist to define the size of this population of child laborers...

El Universal

June 6, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Argentina

Trata de personas, un flagelo que avanza día a día

La trata de personas es una suerte de esclavitud moderna, que no distingue región, edad, ni clase social. Según las informaciones la zona norte de Argentina es el lugar predilecto para aquellos mafiosos que venden la vida de una persona, en lo que para ellos significa una simple transacción monetaria. Quienes se encuentran luchando contra este flagelo advierten que por cada persona que encuentran, desaparecen otras siete, aunque aseguran que no claudicaran en la batalla.

Un dato que asusta es que durante los últimos años Argentina dejó de ser un país de sólo circulación de personas, para dar lugar a la comercialización y la exportación de éstas, ya sea con fines sexuales o de esclavitud. Asimismo aumentó la trata de niños, especialmente para servidumbre por deudas y prostitución forzosa. Desde mediados del 2008 la trata se convirtió en la actividad delictiva más reditual, después del tráfico de armas y drogas. Se trata de redes de delincuentes muy bien organizadas, bajo las cuales más de 4 millones de personas en el mundo resultaron víctimas.

En relación a este tema, Germán Díaz, abogado de la Fundación María de los Ángeles, alertó a la sociedad sobre la necesidad de extremar las medidas de precaución para evitar un posible secuestro. Aunque sin ánimos de generar miedo, simplemente mayos conciencia.

“Nosotros desde acá tratamos de no crear ningún tipo de psicosis en la sociedad, solamente decimos que tomen las medidas del caso. Generalmente las denuncias que recibimos fueron de menores estudiantes, entonces desde acá les decimos que cambien la rutina del trayecto al colegio y que no vaya solas”, destacó Díaz.

Del mismo modo, destacó la importancia sobre le papel que los medios de comunicación cumplen en relación a este tema, sobre en cuestión de las redes sociales: “La información que se da por internet muchas veces entra en detalles, de los cuales estas redes mafiosas se nutren para captar a sus víctimas”.

Según explicó el letrado, el lugar de captación por excelencia es el norte de nuestro país y la frontera con Paraguay y Bolivia, pues las redes mafiosas consideran a esa zona como “económicamente pobres” y propicias para su delictivo accionar. Mientras que “la zona de explotación es la zona del sur de nuestro país”, debido a que en ese sector hay una concentración de gran poder adquisitivo.

Human trafficking, a scourge that grows from day-to-day

Human trafficking is a kind of modern slavery, which does not distinguish between regions, ages or social class. Reportedly the north of Argentina is the favorite location for organized criminals who live by selling the lives of people. Those who are fighting this scourge warn that for every person they rescue, seven others disappear. They say that they are not giving up the fight.

[Full translation to follow]

Tucuman Noticias

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 28, 2011

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton releases the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

Secretary Clinton: "Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. Today, we are releasing a new report that ranks 184 countries, including our own. One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing. This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what’s happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference..."

U.S. Department of State

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Latin America

Pop star and anti-trafficking activist Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin expandirá centros de ayuda a niños a toda Latinoamérica

Río Grande (Puerto Rico), - El cantante puertorriqueño Ricky Martin anunció hoy que expandirá la construcción de instituciones como El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, que se espera esté terminado en Loíza en 2012, a la República Dominicana, México y el resto de Latinoamérica.

Martin y su Fundación celebraron hoy la tercera edición de un torneo de golf para recaudar fondos para la construcción del Centro Integral de Desarrollo que se convertirá en un espacio para combatir en Puerto Rico la trata de personas.

"Esto es solo el comienzo, para continuar por el resto de la isla y en la República Dominicana, México y Latinoamérica", dijo Martin tras concluir el evento celebrado en el Trump International Golf Resort en Río Grande, localidad de la costa este de Puerto Rico.

El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, con un presupuesto de cuatro millones de dólares, comenzará a construirse este año y se espera sea inaugurado en 2012 o a principios del 2013.

El centro constará de diez salones de clases, una biblioteca y un área recreativa.

La institución atenderá desde infantes hasta jóvenes en escuela superior y operará en alianza con la organización filantrópica SER de Puerto Rico, Nuestra Escuela e Iniciativa Comunitaria.

Martin enfatizó que el centro promoverá las artes, la música, la meditación, el yoga, los deportes, las artes marciales, la salud, la educación personalizada, la cultura y los valores éticos.

"Necesitamos y queremos marcar la diferencia en los niños y jóvenes de Loíza. Nosotros estaremos ahí para apoyarlos y darles herramientas que les garanticen un futuro mejor", dijo Martin.

El modelo de construcción estuvo a cargo de la Fundación Ricky Martin (FRM) y el director del Taller Diseño Comunitario de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Elio Martínez Joffre.

Ricky Martin will expand child support centers throughout Latin America

Ricky Martin to Expand Children’s Aid Centers Across All Latin America

The Puerto Rican singer took up the fight against this scourge after his 2002 trip to India, where he saw at first hand the immensity of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in the Asian country.

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced that he will expand construction of institutions like his foundation’s Child Development and Prevention Center, expected to be completed in Loiza, Puerto Rico, in 2012, to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.

Martin and his foundation held Friday the third edition of a golf tournament aimed at collecting funds for the children’s center that will combat the exploitation and trafficking of children in Puerto Rico.

“This is just the start of a project that is going to spread across the rest of the island and on to the Domican Republic, Mexico and Latin America,” Martin said after winding up the event held at the Trump International Golf Resort in Rio Grande, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The Ricky Martin Foundation Child Development and Prevention Center, with a budget of $4 million, will begin construction this year and its inauguration is expected for 2012 or early 2013.

The center will consist of 10 classrooms, a library and a recreation area.

The institution will care for children from infancy to high-school age and will operate, in alliance with the philanthropic organization SER of Puerto Rico, the Our School and Community Initiative.

Martin said that the center will promote the arts, music, meditation, yoga, sports, martial arts, health, personalized education, culture and ethical values.

“We need to and we want to make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza. We will be there to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future,” Martin said.

The center’s design was entrusted by the Ricky Martin Foundation to the director of the Community Design Workshop of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture, Elio Martinez Joffre...

EFE (Spanish version)

June 03, 2011

EFE America (English version)

June 06, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Nepal

Veteran anti-trafficking activist Anuradha Koirala (left), and actress Demi Moore (right) meet with the Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal of Nepal during the filming of CNN's anti-trafficking documentary

Demi Moore estrena documental sobre la trata de personas en Nepal en CNN

Demi Moore se une a CNN Freedom Project (Proyecto Libertad de CNN) para promover la lucha contra la trata humana a través del documental Nepal’s Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary (Los Niños Robados de Nepal: Un documental del Proyecto Libertad de CNN), que se estrena el domingo 26 de junio a las 7:00 p.m. por CNN International y CNN en Español.

Como colaboradora especial de CNN Freedom Project, Moore se dirige a Nepal para unirse a la ganadora del Premio Héroe CNN de 2010, Anuradha Koirala, y a su organización, Maiti Nepal, que desde su fundación en 1993 ha rescatado a más de 12.000 los niños de Nepal robados por tráfico sexual. Moore es una apasionada defensora de las víctimas de tráfico humano y a través de ADN, la organización que ella cofundó con su esposo, cuya labor se enfoca en la necesidad de atacar la demanda de tráfico sexual mediante leyes en contra de los infractores, la educación y la rehabilitación de las jóvenes víctimas atrapadas por estas prácticas abusivas.

“En el burdel yo fui forzada a tener sexo con hombres y si yo me resistía, ellos podían quemar cigarrillos en mi cuerpo, pegarme con un palo o lanzarme agua caliente. Yo fui con mi pequeño hijo, pero fuimos separados y cuando él lloró ellos quemaron su lengua con un cigarrillo”, dijo Radika, una de las niñas rescatadas en su encuentro con Moore en Maiti Nepal.

Cada año, miles de niñas nepalesas son secuestradas obligadas o forzadas a la brutal vida de la prostitución. Los Niños Robados de Nepal sigue a Moore, quien habla con docenas de niñas (algunas de apenas 11 años) que han sido víctimas del tráfico sexual. Las niñas comparten desgarradoras historias de electrocución y otras formas de tortura, y algunas incluso describen que fueron forzadas a alimentarse con hormonas para que sus cuerpos de niñas tengan el parecido del de una mujer adulta...

Elespectador.com

June 23, 2011

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Added: Jun. 28, 2011

Nepal

Nepal's Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN Freedom Project for a compelling documentary.

A passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking herself, Moore travels to Nepal to meet 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution. How were they taken and where were they sent?

Hear the emotional, first-hand experiences of these young survivors. And follow along with Moore as she searches for answers in the fight to end this form of modern-day slavery.

Along the way she hears horror stories from former sex slaves, plays games with their children, and joins one woman making the daunting trip home.

The group also has a hospice for women with HIV-AIDS, a learning center for women hoping to make a new life and a band of border guards trying to stop women being smuggled in the first place.

CNN

June 17, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Latin America, Europe

Seminario internacional lucha contra la trata de personas

La Embajada de Francia en México, ha tenido a bien elegir a nuestro estado como la sede para la realización del Seminario Internacional denominado “Lucha contra la trata de personas”, los días 28, 29 y 30 de junio del presente año, siendo esta una problemática mundial de la cual Oaxaca no está exenta, sino por el contrario, somos una entidad de origen, tránsito y destino de la Trata en sus modalidades laboral y sexual, por ello, el Gobierno del Estado a través de la Procuraduría General de Justicia realiza conjuntamente con la Embajada de Francia dicho evento.

Los participantes del Seminario provienen de Francia, Canadá España, Alemania, Panamá, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belice, República Dominicana, Haití, Chile, Colombia y Ecuador, siendo en total 52 Comisionados, Fiscales especializados, Jefes de Unidades, Agregados de seguridad, Inspectores de policías de los diversos países.

Este seminario tiene como objetivo principal compartir experiencias de investigación y protección a víctimas de la trata de personas, que permitirán a todas y todos los participantes realizar de manera más eficiente nuestra labor, así como establecer redes de coordinación y colaboración, siendo la trata de personas un problema mundial.

Upcoming international seminar on human trafficking to be held in Oaxaca state

The French Embassy in Mexico has selected Oaxaca state as the venue for the International Seminar entitled "Combating trafficking in persons", to be held on June 28th, 29th and 30th of 2011. Human trafficking is a problem that affects Oaxaca. The state is place of origin, transit and destination for labor and sex trafficking victims. The Oaxaca Attorney General is coordinating in holding the event.

Seminar participants from France, Canada, Spain, Germany, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador will be attending. A total of 52 commissioners, specialized prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be present.

This seminar's main objective is to share research and experiences in regard to protecting victims of human trafficking, to allow the participants perform their work more efficiently and establish coordination and collaboration networks.

NSS Oaxaca

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

New York City

Prabhu Dayal

Consul General of India accused of keeping a mother of four as virtual slave in posh Upper East Side digs

Prabhu Dayal, the Consul General of India, is accused of treating a woman like a virtual slave. The Consul General of India and his family kept a mother of four as a virtual slave on the Upper East Side, according to a lawsuit the woman filed Monday.

Santosh Bhardwaj, 45, says she was required to work more than 12 hours a day, every day, for little pay.

She said she had to escape through a back door with a security guard's help earlier this year because her boss kept her passport and wouldn't let her leave.

Prabhu Dayal, 58, who has been the Indian Consul General in New York since 2008, kept Bhardwaj in a storage room in the E. 64th Street Consulate General building and paid her $300 a month to be at his family's beck and call, the lawsuit claims.

"The Dayals did not treat me fairly," said Bhardwaj, who says she was lured from India to New York to be a maid with promises of good working conditions and decent pay.

"I filed the complaint because I want to be paid for all the labor I provided."

The suit names Dayal, his wife and daughter and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Emails and phone calls to the consul general's office were not returned.

Dayal took her Bhardwaj's passport and "subjected her to approximately a year of forced labor and psychological coercion in their household, culminating in an incident of sexual harassment," the lawsuit says.

"The Dayals kept Ms. Bhardwaj isolated and led her to believe they had complete control over her," said her lawyer, Legal Aid attorney Hollis Pfitsch.

"Unfortunately, Ms. Bhardwaj is not alone. Human trafficking through psychological coercion like this, designed to keep immigrant workers laboring virtually for free, is shockingly common."

In January, Bhardwaj repeated implored Dayal for money her husband needed for an operation back in India, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Dayal finally relented, saying he'd give her the money - but only if she'd massage his legs, the lawsuit says.

That turned out to be the last straw.

"In her culture, it was shocking and offensive for a married man to request any type of physical contact from a married woman," according to the lawsuit.

The New York Daily News

June 20, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Seven sex trafficking suspects are shown to the press by the Mexico City prosecutor's office

Arraigan a 7 personas por lenocinio

Giraron orden de aprehensión por el ilícito de lenocinio y delincuencia organizada a Óscar Jesús Rivera Zúñiga, alias "El Güero'' o "Bugs Bunny''.

Ciudad de México.- Con pruebas reunidas y asentadas en el pliego consignatorio, siete personas que presuntamente obligaban a sus víctimas a ejercer el sexoservicio en el lugar conocido como La Pasarela, localizado en el segundo callejón de Manzanares, colonia Centro, quedaron a disposición de un juez penal, como probables responsables de los delitos de trata de personas agravada; lenocinio y delincuencia organizada; y por corrupción de menores, por lo que cinco hombres fueron ingresados al Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, y dos mujeres al Centro Femenil de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

En cumplimiento a la orden de aprehensión librada por el juez 25 de lo Penal, con sede en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, personal del área de Mandamientos Judiciales de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), obtuvo la entrega de los involucrados en los referidos delitos, quienes se encontraban en el Centro de Arraigos de la misma institución judicial...

Seven are arraigned for sex trafficking

They turned a warrant for the crime of pimping and organized crime Oscar Zuniga Jesus Rivera, alias "El Guero''or" Bugs Bunny.'' Photo: El Sol de Mexico

Mexico City - seven people who allegedly forced their victims to exercise their sex work at a place known as The Gateway, located in the Manzanares district of Colonia Centro, have been detained on criminal charges as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of aggravated trafficking, pimping organized crime and the corruption of minors. The five men were admitted to the Detention East facility. The two women were sent to the Women's Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla...

The trial judge held the defendants over for trial after assessing the evidence provided by the Mexico City Attorney General's Office...

Filiberto Cruz

El Sol de México

June 23, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dan formal prisión a tres por el delito de trata de personas

El Juzgado 6 de Distrito de Procesos Penales Federales en la Ciudad de México dictó auto de formal prisión a tres presuntos responsables del delito de trata de personas con fines de explotación laboral y sexual.

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) informó en comunicado que los procesados son Denis Javier Ortiz y Ondina Moreira, ambos de nacionalidad hondureña, y Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán.

El pasado 18 de abril el Fiscal adscrito a la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) consignó ante el juez [el expidiente]...

La acción penal se ejerció contra los inculpados por el delito señalado en agravio de dos jóvenes hondureñas a las que explotaban en un table dance denominado “La Tentación”, ubicado en el Estado de México.

De la averiguación previa se desprende que Denis Javier Ortiz y su pareja sentimental Ondina Moreira trasladaron desde Honduras a las dos mujeres, a quienes obligaban a trabajar en el lugar referido y las despojaban de sus ingresos.

Por su parte, Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán las trasladaba y les “arreglaba” su supuesta legal estancia en México, por lo cual les cobraba cantidades que constantemente se incrementaban.

Los dos hombres enfrentarán su proceso penal en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, mientras que Ondina Moreira lo hará en el Centro de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

A formal arrest three on charges of trafficking

The 6th District Court Federal Criminal Proceedings in Mexico City has arrested three suspects for the crime of trafficking in persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) said in a statement that the defendants are Denis Moreira Javier Ortiz and Ondina, both Honduran nationals, and Sergio Alejandro Rodriguez Salmorán.

On April 18 the prosecutor assigned the case to the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA)...

Action was taken against said defendants for crimes committed against two young Honduran women which exploited in a table dance club called "The Temptation", located in the State of Mexico.

The preliminary investigation shows that when Denis Javier Ortiz and his girlfriend moved to Mexico from Honduras, the two women, who were forced to work in the place referred to and stripped of their income...

The two men face their criminal trial Detention in the East, while Ondine will Moreira at the Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla.

La Crónica

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Texas, USA

4 sentenced in immigrant kidnapping ring near Peñitas

McAllen - Four men learned their prison sentences Monday after federal authorities busted a human trafficking operation near Peñitas last year.

The prison sentences came Monday after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a man who shot himself in the leg while attempting to kidnap a group of illegal immigrants in May 2010.

One of the smuggled immigrants told ICE agents their coyote, or smuggler, had loaded him and a dozen others into a truck May 10, 2010. But before they could leave, several armed men assaulted the driver and unloaded the migrants from the vehicle.

The gunmen took the immigrants to a stash house near Peñitas, where a man known as "Comandante" told the victims they each would have to pay $2,000 if they wanted to be smuggled farther north.

When “Comandante” left the property, Mario Leon Villa was left in charge, the immigrant told investigators. When Leon and two other guards were distracted, six immigrants climbed out a window and ran to a nearby store.

Leon found the immigrants at the store, pulled out a gun and told them not to run. The immigrants ran anyway, jumped a fence and Leon accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Several other kidnappers located and rounded up the escaped immigrants and transferred them to a stash house in Edinburg. Agents and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies later found the remaining victims at that stash house.

The case resembled that of kidnapped immigrants in Mexico, who are abducted and held for ransom before they are able to cross the Rio Grande.

But because many incidents are charged as immigrant smuggling or assault — as in this case — it’s difficult to track exactly how often they occur on U.S. soil, local authorities have said.

Sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane were:

Leon, 21, a Mexican national who received a 14-year prison sentence for his role as a stash house guard in the immigrant kidnapping scheme. Leon had faced 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Fredy Bermudez Benito, 28, a Mexican national who made threatening phone calls to the immigrants’ families, demanding the additional $2,000 payments. He faced 27 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and unlawfully possessing a firearm. Crane sentenced Bermudez to 20 years in federal prison.

Edinburg resident Juan Alberto Jimenez, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Edinburg resident Jose Rocha Pinon, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to nine years in prison on 19 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Still awaiting sentencing is Mexican national Hugo Oscar Rodriguez Montoya, 27, of Tamaulipas, who was indicted on 16 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and transporting illegal aliens within the United States. He faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Already sentenced in the case was Jose Israel Leon Villa, who was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in December 2010.

Jared Taylor

The Monitor

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

California, USA

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Riverside: Man accused of abducting, raping girl faces more charges

An illegal immigrant accused of kidnapping his ex-roommate’s 9-year-old daughter from her Riverside home, then sexually assaulting her and trying to kill her, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felonies — including new allegations that he assaulted two other children.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping for rape, two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily injury on a child under 14 years old during a felony.

The charges stem from a May 7 abduction in Riverside. Since Guzman’s arrest on May 16, police have been investigating whether he might be responsible for similar crimes in the area.

According to Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Carney, detectives located two girls allegedly attacked by the defendant in the fall of 2008.

None of the victims’ identities have been released. One girl, who was 12 at the time, alleged Guzman held her at gunpoint and molested her, Carney said. The other girl, who was 11, told detectives the defendant choked her and sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

He said DNA and fingerprint evidence connected Guzman to both crimes, as well as the most recent one.

The Mexican national has been additionally charged with two counts of burglary and one count each of aggravated sexual assault on a child and forced lewd acts on a child under 14.

Guzman appeared today before Superior Court Judge Robert Law, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for June 27. The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to Riverside police, in the most recent case, Guzman was familiar with the victim after having rented a room from her mother in January and February.

The 9-year-old, whose identity was not released, was asleep with her older brother and younger sister in a second-story apartment in the area of Pike Street and Herman Drive when she was forcibly taken the night of May 7, investigators said.

According to Detective Roberta Hopewell, the child’s mother — a single parent — was working as a server at Leonardo’s Mexican restaurant on Arlington Avenue and had left the boy in charge of watching his sisters.

Guzman allegedly accessed the apartment through an unlocked window in the two-bedroom unit. The other youngsters were not harmed during the kidnapping, which occurred around 11 p.m.

Around two hours later, people living on Giles Court — about 2 ½ miles from where the abduction occurred — were awakened when the child began knocking on doors, asking for help, according to investigators.

The disoriented girl told officers she had been carried out of her residence by a man and was later pushed out of a car. Hopewell said videotape from security cameras at the scene showed a dark-colored pickup truck in the area around the time of the abduction. Guzman owned a black Ford F-150 pickup.

Hopewell said the suspect was a person of interest from the beginning because of his contact with the victim, her siblings and their mother. The girl was seriously injured in the attack and is now recovering at home.

City News Service

June 02, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

South Dakota, USA

Ruben Garcia

[Man] raped stepdaughter in front of 7-year-old in South Dakota

On Monday, through an interpreter, Ruben Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to the first-degree rape of his 9-year-old stepdaughter on February 9, 2011.

Garcia admitted committing the rape to Sioux Falls police when he was captured.

According to police, Garcia raped the girl while a seven-year-old watched the ordeal. The girls reported the attacks to their mother who immediately call the police. Garcia fled, but was soon captured in Omaha.

While the maximum sentence for rape in South Dakota is life in prison, the plea agreement will ensure a somewhat shorter sentence.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said: “There's a mandatory minimum of 15 years and under the plea agreement he's facing up to 40 years actually.”

Garcia has been held in the Minnehaha County Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer since his arrest since his arrest on February 10. He will be sentenced on August 15.

The Examiner

June 08, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Pennsylvania, USA

[Man] Faces Child-Luring Charges

Williamsport police have charged a Hispanic male with luring a 12-year-old girl into his truck while it was parked across from the YMCA yesterday. Officer Marlin Smith II was dispatched to the parking lot across from the building in the 300 block of Elmira Street shortly after 10 p.m. on June 23, where he spoke with Lucinda Campbell and her 12-year-old daughter.

Campbell had observed her daughter in a truck with a Hispanic man in his twenties, Smith said. Campbell’s daughter had seen the man before and knew where he lived, and had waved to him. The man, Adrian Arriaga Castro, of Houston Texas, pulled up to the daughter in his truck and opened the passenger’s side door and gestured for her to get in. The girl entered the vehicle and stated that Castro began to talk to her and called her “pretty,” then began to rub her arm. She exited the truck as her mother arrived and Castro ran in the direction of 345 West Third Street.

Smith arrived at the apartment building to investigate; a Hispanic male approached officers outside of the building. The daughter pointed at Castro and police confirmed his identity via his Mexican identification cards; Castro was taken into custody and faces one misdemeanor charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle and one summary charge of harassment.

Additionally, it was discovered that Castro is a Mexican national and has no papers to prove that he is in this country legally, Smith said.

“Because of this police investigation, 16 illegal immigrants were detained by I.C.E. officers from the Department of Homeland Security,” Williamsport Bureau of Police Captain Raymond O. Kontz III said.

“All of these illegals were rooming at 345 West Third Street and 309 Elmira St and working for GPX Surveyor, a gas company originating from Houston Texas,” Kontz said. Castro was taken to the Lycoming County Prison.

NorthCentralPA.com

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Suspect... faces rape charge

A 24-year-old man, who police say is an illegal immigrant already deported once, was arrested and charged Thursday with the statutory rape of a minor under age 6.

Mario Alberto Tellez Ordaz faces three counts of statutory rape or sexual offense against a minor under 6 years. He is being held in the Henderson County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

In a news release issued Friday, Sheriff Rick Davis said Ordaz has previously been deported and will now face federal prosecution as well, due to the nature of the charges.

“This arrest highlights the illegal immigration problem,” Davis said. Ordaz is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Blue Ridge Now

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Idaho, USA

Vicente Manturano-Soto

Sex-crime case ends in prison sentence

Man gets 6.5 years for sexual battery of a minor

A 31-year-old Peruvian native was sentenced Monday to six and a half years in prison for sexual involvement in 2010 with a 16-year-old Ketchum girl.

Vicente Manturano-Soto will be required to spend two and half years in prison before parole eligibility. He was given credit for more than seven months already spent behind bars following his arrest in November. Once released, he will likely be deported.

He was also fined $2,000 and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Originally charged with four counts of rape, Manturano-Soto pleaded guilty in March to a single count of sexual battery of a minor child. The plea was in accord with an agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

A Blaine County grand jury indictment against Manturano-Soto in November alleged that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl from May through June of 2010.

In court Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback described Manturano-Soto as a "close friend" of the victim's family and said he often drove the girl to school or to counseling for a previous episode of sexual abuse.

"He was aware that she was vulnerable because of her age as well as her previous abuse," Fredback said.

He said Manturano-Soto took advantage of the girl's vulnerability to engage in a sexual relationship with her.

"The victim relayed that this happened about 10 times," Fredback said.

He further noted that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a charge against Manturano-Soto alleging that he is an illegal immigrant.

"It appears that while he initially came into this country legally, that expired in 2001 and he continued to stay in this country," Fredback said.

Defense attorney Douglas Nelson noted that his client only pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a child.

"We are here because Vicente admitted basically to making out with this girl, and he's denied anything other than that," Nelson said.

He said Manturano-Soto has recognized what he did was wrong and completed a 10-week course while in jail on moral recognition therapy. Further, Nelson said his client has been a "model prisoner" and has served as a jail trusty.

Speaking through a court interpreter, Manturano-Soto apologized for his actions.

"The truth is I feel very bad about this," he said. "What I did was wrong. I know that God loves all his children and I ask you for forgiveness."

Fifth District Judge Robert J. Elgee said he would have given Manturano-Soto more prison time if not for steps the defendant has taken to improve his life.

"I recognize that you have expressed remorse and you have tried to improve yourself while in jail," Elgee said. "But what you did was a bad act, even if you only did what you've admitted to.

"I happen to believe you did more than you've admitted to. She was half your age. The law is designed to protect young girls who are not adults from older men like you. I know that what you did was not forcible, but the sentence is because of her age."

Terry Smith

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

June 22, 2011

 


Added: Jun. 22, 2011

Colombia

Youth from the city of Cartegena's impoverished Boquilla neighborhood participate in performing Colombian folkloric music in as part of cultural activities organized by the Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation to guide local children and youth away from the tourist resort's child sex traffickers.

A Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation information table promotes the "We are the Wall" campaign, working to bring the hotel industry and other tourist businesses into a campaign to stop child sex tourism in the beach resort city of Cartagena

Prostitutas protegen a niños de redes de proxenetas

Trabajadoras sexuales de Cartagena le declararon la guerra a la prostitución infantil en este turístico balneario del Caribe colombiano y junto a la policía y ONGs buscan estrategias para evitar que los menores caigan en las redes de proxenetas.

Las prostitutas lideran un proyecto para que taxistas, vendedores ambulantes y meseros cooperen frente a mafias que ofrecen a unos 2.000 niños de los barrios marginales.

“Fui prostituta antes que mujer. Comencé a los 10 años y sufrí experiencias que no creerían. Sé que no puedo borrar el pasado, pero sí puedo evitar que otros niños pasen por lo que yo viví y por eso los invito a ayudar”, dijo Damaris a un grupo de taxistas reunidos en un salón público de La Boquilla, un deprimido sector de la ciudad.

La mujer, que aún ejerce en un prostíbulo del centro de la ciudad, forma parte de la campaña ‘La muralla soy yo’ que busca involucrar a quienes viven del turismo en la lucha contra la explotación de niños y adolescentes.

“Desafortunadamente aquí al turista que llega con plata se le permite casi todo. Mi invitación es a ponerle límite. Que cuando pregunten por niños para (tener) sexo, no les pasen información. Piensen que son niños y que ellos, como sus hijos, valen más que cualquier propina”, pidió.

Pero el negocio de la prostitución ha cambiado y con las nuevas tecnologías “ahora es menos frecuente ver el corrillo (grupo) de muchachitos esperando en una esquina la llegada del cliente”, señaló Luis Céspedes, uno de los taxistas que participó en el taller.

“Antes los turistas preguntaban por niñas, pero ahora los contactos se hacen por internet. El turista dice ‘Lléveme a tal hotel’ ahí tiene su cuento con el muchachito o la pelada (niña) le paga y ya. No entiendo cómo vamos a poder ayudar”, cuestionó.

El comandante de Policía local, general Ricardo Restrepo, admitió que este negocio ilegal “se ha sofisticado” y que detrás del abuso sexual a menores en Cartagena se mueven poderosas mafias...

Prostitutes unite to protect children from sex traffickers

Sex workers in the coastal tourist resort city of Cartagena have declared war on child prostitution. Working in collaboration with police and non governmental organizations, they are developing strategies to prevent children from falling into the hands of prostitution networks.

Adult sex workers are leading a project to convince taxi drivers, street vendors and waiters not to cooperate with the sexual exploitation networks that today sell some 2,000 children from the city's slums in prostitution.

A woman named Damaris, speaking to a gathering of local taxi drivers in a poor section of Cartagena called La Boquilla said, "I was a prostitute before I became a woman. I started at the age of 10, and I went through experiences that you would not believe. I know that I can't erase the past, but I can prevent other children go through what I lived through, and I invite you to help."

The woman, who still works in a brothel in the city center, is part of the campaign "I am the wall,' that seeks to involve those who work in the tourism industry in the fight against the exploitation of children and adolescents.

Damaris, "Unfortunately the tourist who comes here with money is allowed to do almost anything they want. I invite you to help us place limits on them. When these tourists ask for children to have sex [a question asked of taxi drivers across Latin America], don't give them information. Remember that they are children and that they, like your children, are worth more than any tip."

The business of prostitution has changed with the emergence of new technologies [the Internet]. "It is now less common to see a circle of boys on a corner waiting for the arrival of a customer," said Luis Cespedes, one of the drivers who participated in the workshop.

"Before the tourists asked for girls, but now the contacts are carried out online. These days, the tourist says, 'Take me to this hotel.' They engage with a boy or girl, pay them, and that's it. I do not understand how we can help," exclaimed Cespedes.

The local police commander, General Ricardo Restrepo admitted that this illegal business "is sophisticated." He acknowledged that powerful mafias control child prostitution in Cartagena.

"Last year we conducted operations with U.S. authorities with very good results. Now we're doing the same with an organization in Spain. These countries know that they have citizens who come to Cartagena to engage in these types of crimes. These nations have therefore taken on their responsibilities [to react]," said the official said.

Mayerlin Vergara, of the non governmental organization Renacer, noted that "ten years ago, we found the child victims of sexual exploitation in the clubs or on the streets. They now engage in prostitution in communities and in educational institutions. They no longer have a reason to come to the city center."

Attorney Freddys del Toro, of the Swiss NGO Tierra de Hombres, which advocates for victims of child sexual exploitation, noted that child sex tourism is promoted "through so-called travel agencies that operate online and that don't have local offices, making it difficult to combat their activities."

The Cartagena prosecutor's office has registered 400 complaints of child sexual abuse. Prosecutions of child sexual exploiters have resulted in 19 convictions to-date.

"We just had a historic decision in Colombia. For the first time, a foreigner was convicted. Italian Paolo Pravisani, age 72, was [sentenced] in the death of a young boy, Yesid Torres, whom Pravisani was sexually abusing," said del Toro.

In 2010 Colombian authorities arrested Briton Anthony Paul Brailsford, who has lived in Cartagena since 2001. Police found photos of naked girls in his possession. Meanwhile, in March, the Spanish film producer Pablo Lapiedra was arrested on accusations that he was filming pornographic movies with children.

Colombian law provides for penalties of up to eight years in prison for those who lead, organize or promote tourist activities that include the sexual use of children and provides that property used for that purpose may be confiscated.

Figures from the government's Colombian Family Welfare Institute estimates that about 35,000 children are forced into prostitution in the country. Some 2,000 of those children live in Cartagena.

El Nuevo Heraldo

June 17, 2011

See Also:

Added Sep. 14 2005

Colombia

Así se mueve la cadena del turismo sexual con menores de edad en Cartagena.

About child sex tourism in Cartagena

Cartagena - in Colombia's largest spa and beach resort city, popular with foreign tourists, 1,200 underage children and youth engage in prostitution. 

At the city's international airport, 15 year old girls line up waiting for the arrival of one of the many weekly flights that bring in male tourists, especially from Spain and Italy. 

Many of these girls have been contacted from Europe by phone, and a week of 'companionship' has been set up. Other girls make deals with newly arrived airline passengers.  In other cases, taxi drivers and bar owners receive a fee for connecting tourists with young prostitutes.

The victims are typically young Afro-Colombian girls and boys. 

According to Vittorio Chimienti, director of a child advocacy project in Cartagena started by the Italian government following growing concern about its citizen's flagrant sex tourism:

"Law enforcement does almost nothing to control the child sex trade, and word of impunity travels rapidly around the world." 

See Also:

Added July 18 2005

Cartagena, donde se ofrecen niñas de entre ocho y 17 años en la prostitución.

Colombian authorities urged to change the laws and fight child prostitution in the spa resort city of Cartagena, where increasing numbers of girls between 8 and 17 are prostituted to sex tourists.

See Also:

Added: Nov. 07, 2004

The sexual exploitation of 1,600 minors taints Colombia's Caribbean tourist haven [of Cartagena]

...Cartagena's history as a Spanish bastion against English invasion, its cobblestone streets, quaint plazas, colonial churches, art museums and seafood restaurants attract many visitors. Yet behind the thick, ancient walls lurks a darker attraction: the sexual exploitation of minors by foreigners .

The city has become a magnet for men, many of them Europeans, seeking sex with young girls and sometimes boys, many of them from families displaced from their rural homes by fighting among leftist rebels, government forces and right-wing paramilitary groups.

On the main hotel strip, foreigners openly haggle with underage girls selling their bodies or duck past pink neon lights into what purports to be a discotheque. Inside, bored-looking teenage girls at tables perk up only when a man walks by. He can take his pick, pay as little as $15 and take her to a room across the road.

"Unfortunately, Cartagena has the image of being a place where people can have whatever kind of sexual relations they want," says Fabian Cardenas, the local coordinator for Renacer, a private group that helps victims of sexual exploitation.

"There are many foreigners who come here with the sheer objective of having sex. And what the tourist wants, the tourist gets."

An estimated 1,500 girls and boys work in Cartagena's sex industry . Over the last three years, Renacer has learned of girls as young as 7 and boys as young as 9 being sexually exploited, Cardenas says.

Cartagena isn't alone. Many Latin American cities, in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, are now being frequented by "sex tourists" looking for minors, as a result of shift in the business from Asia following police crackdowns.

Poverty and domestic sexual abuse push many children into the sex industry...

The Associated Press

April 07, 2004



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary:

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

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

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

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

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

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

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

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

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

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.