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Abril / April 2011



Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

La primera dama de Mexico, Margarita Zavala habla referente al problema de discriminación en México

Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala speaks at conference discussing widespread prejudice in Mexican society

Photo: Ariel Ojeda - El Universal

Conapred: intolerancia no debe ser deporte nacional

Discriminación es tierra fértil para la violencia, dice titular del organismo

La discriminación es violencia que quiebra, fragmenta, y deteriora el tejido social, así lo advirtió Ricardo Bucio Mujica, presidente del el Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (Conpared), quien hizo un llamado urgente para evitar la práctica de la intolerancia o la estigmatización como un “deporte nacional”.

Al presentar los resultados de la Encuesta Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (Enadis) 2010 en el Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Bucio Mujica aseguró que la discriminación es tierra fértil para la violencia, un cáncer para la democracia y una ancla hacia la pobreza en el país.

Acompañado de la primera dama Margarita Zavala, Bucio dijo que los resultados de la Enadis 2010 obligan a la sociedad mexicana a buscar encuentro con los diferentes y el camino para construir la paz y ver a la diversidad “como riqueza y no como un peligro”.

La encuesta fue hecha en toda la República Mexicana por el Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación y el Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM.

El periodo de aplicación fue del 14 de octubre al 23 de noviembre de 2010, en 13 mil 751 hogares, lo que refleja las percepciones de 52 mil 95 personas...

CONAPRED: intolerance should not be a national sport

Discrimination is fertile ground for fomenting violence, says head of equality agency

Discrimination is violence that breaks, fragments, and deteriorate the social fabric, warned Ricardo Bucio Mujica, chairman of the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED), who made an urgent appeal to prevent the practice of intolerance and stigmatization as a "national sport."

In presenting the results from the National Survey to Prevent Discrimination (ENADIS) 2010 at the Memorial and Tolerance Museum, Bucio Mujica said that discrimination creates fertile ground for violence, adding that it is a cancer on democracy and a foundation of poverty in Mexico.

Accompanied by First Lady Margarita Zavala, Bucio said that the results of the 2010 ENADIS survey forces Mexican society to seek an encounter with those who are different and a way to build peace and see diversity "as an asset and not as a danger."

The survey was conducted by CONAPRED and the Legal Research Institute of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) throughout the Mexican Republic.

The survey was performed between October 14th and November 23rd of 2010 in 13,751 homes. It reflects the perceptions of 52,095 people.

Among the results is evidence that Mexico still has little tolerance, given that half of the population believes that there is no justification for giving work to a person with a physical disability while there is unemployment in the country.

Some 40% of ethnic minorities believe that they don’t have equal chances of obtaining work compared to those who are not indigenous. And half population thinks it is justified to call the police when they see young people gathered on a street corner.

"The results are a call for us to reject this virus [of discrimination], one that leaves an indelible mark on society," explained Bucio Mujica.

Mauricio Merino, president of the Consultative Assembly of CONAPRED participated in the event and said that the Mexican government has not focused enough attention on, nor provided sufficient support for the work of CONAPRED. "This work should not result from a sense of mercy. It should be a basic part of our practice of social survival."

The specialist also said that in Mexico we have turned to "focus on the worst effects of violence while ignoring the root causes of such violence, including discrimination, which is perhaps the primary and most devastating [cause of such violence]."

During her speech, First Lady Margarita Zavala declared that discrimination is a characteristic of a sick society, one that has lost its values in regard to equality. "Discrimination against people makes us less, and impoverishes us as a society and a nation," she said.

Natalia Gómez

El Universal

April 13, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

We applaud First Lady Margarita Zavala of Mexico for taking an active stand to recognize and address the severe problems of discrimination that exist with impunity across Mexican culture.

Women, children, Afro-Mexicans, Indigenous-Mexicans, sexual minorities and the disabled are among the groups that are openly targeted for discriminatory treatment and overt violence without response from federal, state and local governments.

These realities allow human traffickers to exploit the above-mentioned populations without concern that Mexican society or government will react with zeal to confront their acts of obscene injustice.

Until Mexico and the rest of Latin America come to a point where they are willing to confront and reject the prejudices that they have embraced for centuries, those in the majority will continue to kick the innocent, spit upon them in the street, deny them a meal at the local restaurant, deny them jobs, thus throwing them into poverty and, often into human slavery, and they will continue to look the other way when members of vulnerable populations are kidnapped, raped, beaten, forced into prostitution and sold on the open market to sex traffickers around the world.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 24, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Tenancingo Bulletin #8 - Tlaxcalan industrial development forged a culture of trafficking

Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center Intelligence Note

This is the eighth in a series of bulletins at the unclassified level based solely on open source reporting intended to inform federal, state and local law enforcement about the Tlaxcala-based sex trafficking network with ties to the United States.

For some 30 years, Tlaxcala has produced high numbers of traffickers targeting poor, rural, primarily indigenous women and girls. The industrial development of the state helps inform how it became a breeding ground for sex traffickers, but is just one contributing factor. We explore additional aspects of this culture in successive Intelligence Notes...

(PDF file format)

U.S. State Department - Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center

Jan. 11, 2011

LibertadLatina Note

We note that Tlaxcala state has developed into the mega-center of sex trafficking in Mexico. Women and girls from Central America and Mexico are brought to Tlaxcala. They and local victims are beaten, raped, tortured, forced into prostitution in nearby Mexico City, and are then taken to destinations around the world.

Racial discrimination in Mexico means that poor women and girls as a class, and indigenous women and girls as a class (and 30% of all women and girls in Mexico are indigenous) are not afforded even minimal consideration by the elites in government, church and society - much less those who are charged with the responsibility for passing and enforcing laws against modern human slavery. Mexico's wealthy and middle classes have benefited from the labor and sexual exploitation of indigenous women and children for 500 years. Why would they want to stop now?

Although Mexico does 'just enough' to avoid the severe economic sanctions that would come from an honest U.S. assessment of Mexico's failure to act in defense of these innocent victims, the truth on the ground is that nothing serious is being done for the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls - those who are the number 1 target of the sex trafficking mafias.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 24, 2011


Added: Apr. 24, 2011
 

Mexico

México ocupa el quinto lugar mundial en turismo sexual infantil

El turismo sexual de menores deja a ganancias de 24,000 millones de dólares

México ocupa el quinto lugar mundial en turismo sexual infantil, donde a pesar de que no se tiene una cifra exacta, se calcula que hay por lo menos 20,000 menores de edad que son explotados y que esta práctica deja ganancias de 24,000 millones de dólares.

Así lo revela un estudio realizado por especialistas del Instituto de Geografía (IG) de la UNAM, donde se señala que por ser destino turístico primordial en el orbe, México tiene un papel relevante en materia de turismo sexual, mercado que sigue casi la misma ruta que la actividad turística en general; así, en primera instancia, los consumidores son mexicanos, y del total de extranjeros, los estadunidenses representan, en promedio, el 80 por ciento y el resto son canadienses, europeos y sudamericanos. De acuerdo al estudio se constató que el nivel socioeconómico de los sexoservidores es bajo, y en cuanto al perfil educativo, difícilmente rebasan los estudios de secundaria.

Por lo regular, se trata de gente joven, pero no se dedican a esta actividad por largo tiempo; de hecho, rara vez se puede encontrar a alguien que lleve más de un año. El objetivo de muchos es, en primera instancia, lograr solvencia económica que les permita buscar otra actividad.

En la frontera norte, principalmente, una parte importante se dedica a la prostitución para conseguir dinero y comprar drogas e incluso, en algunas ocasiones, para distribuirla, agregó.

Al hablar sobre la investigación Dimensión Territorial del Turismo Sexual Masculino en México, Álvaro López López, investigador del Departamento de Geografía Económica, indicó que este tema es nuevo y coloca al IG a la vanguardia en los estudios de sexualidad y turismo, a la par de instituciones europeas, estadunidenses y australianas, que en la década de los 90 empezaron con este tipo de análisis, aunque ello no significa que esta práctica no haya existido previamente.

Este tipo de turismo -explicó- es el fenómeno resultante de la interacción entre viajantes a distintos destinos y los lugareños, y una de sus intenciones es el consumo de servicios sexuales.

Se puede clasificar en adulto e infantil. En el primer caso, existe por lo general un consenso entre quienes ofertan y consumen; en el segundo, se trata de una práctica ilegal, porque los paseantes buscan tener sexo con menores de edad, señaló.

Para esta investigación, detalló, se analizó el turismo sexual entre hombres que interactúan con individuos del mismo sexo, independientemente de las identidades, porque algunos, en esta práctica, se reconocen como heterosexuales o bisexuales (o utilizan identidades locales), pero por necesidad ofertan sus servicios a otros varones.

El estudio fue elaborado por investigadores, becarios y tesistas que realizaron más de 100 entrevistas a sexoservidores que, en mayor o menor medida, se vinculan con turistas.

Muchos de ellos tienen una situación marginal; el Estado mexicano no les brinda las condiciones mínimas para tener un estándar aceptable de vida y, sin embargo, hay una percepción negativa de este fenómeno por parte de la sociedad.

Sexoservidores obtienen entre 5 y 15 mil pesos de ganancia a la semana Esta actividad les proporciona un ingreso suficiente para cubrir sus necesidades y lograr un buen nivel de consumo; se estima que los sexoservidores perciben un ingreso que va de los cinco mil a los quince mil pesos semanales, subrayó.

También, en el otro extremo están quienes se sienten satisfechos con su trabajo y no consideran que al hacerlo merme su dignidad; "su actitud es más bien reivindicativa", aclaró.

Puede ser gente de la misma localidad, de zonas rurales o municipios cercanos. Desde el punto de vista turístico, las regiones más importantes para esta práctica son los litorales y las costas, las áreas fronterizas y algunas ciudades del interior del país.

Por ello, precisó, la investigación se aplicó en Veracruz, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zipolite, Tijuana, Distrito Federal, Guadalajara y Puebla, entre otros.

El turismo sexual es algo imposible de erradicar

De acuerdo a la ex comisionada del Instituto Nacional de Migración en México, Cecilia Romero ha señalado que el turismo sexual es algo imposible de erradicar, a pesar de los cambios que se están produciendo y de todas las detenciones contra los tratantes de blancas, “esto están dando una mejora repentina a este grave problema, que viene de muy lejos y que debido a la crisis, el problema aumenta, porque la necesidad de ganar dinero es alta y mafias que se dedican a controlar a las mujeres que se prostituyen.

La panista dijo que hay personas que adquiere los servicios, en este caso el extranjero,”estas situaciones son lamentables, porque la mujer está casi obligada por las mafias, bajo amenazas de muerte y ellas no tienen otra salida para ganarse unos pesos, que sin duda no son suficientes para aliviar su situación, pero no tiene otra salida para dar de comer a su familia, que es su gran preocupación, por regla general. Es una triste realidad que no tiene fácil solución y que se da en muchos países”...

Mexico ranks fifth worldwide in child sex tourism

Child sex tourism generates earnings of $24 billion

Mexico ranks in fifth place worldwide in regard to child sex tourism. Although no exact figures exist, it is estimated that at least 20,000 children are exploited, and that this practice makes profits of 24.000 billion. [We note that Mexican officials have recently accepted a more up-to-date figure than the year 2001 estimate of 20,000 child victims. The current estimate is of 70,000 child victims, a number that NGOs estimate is a small percentage of the actual total number of child victims. – LL]

These results were released in a study conducted by specialists from the Institute of Geography (IG) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The report states that due to the fact that Mexico has become one of the primary tourist destinations globally, it plays a major role in the sex tourism market.

Sex tourists are both Mexicans and foreigners. On average, United States citizens make up 80% of foreign sex tourists. The rest are Canadian, European and South American.

According to the study, it was found that the socioeconomic status and the educational attainment of those in prostitution was low.

Those engaging in prostitution were typically young people. Many do not plan to engage in selling sexual services for long. Many leave after a year. Their main goal is to make enough money to allow them to work in something else.

Along Mexico’s northern border, a large percentage of those in prostitution are seeking money to buy, or event o sell drugs.

Commenting on the research investigation The Territorial Dimensions of Male Sexual Tourism in Mexico, Álvaro López López, a researcher at [UNAM’s] Department of Economic Geography, indicated that this topic is new and puts the UNAM’s IG at the forefront of creating studies of sexuality and tourism, on par European, U.S. and Australian institutions, which in the 1990's began this type of analysis.

This type of tourism, he explained, is a phenomenon resulting from the interaction between travelers to various destinations and the locals, where one of the traveler’s intentions is to consume sexual services.

Sex tourism can be classified into cases involving either adults or children. In the first case, consensual activity between adults is usually involved. In the second, it is an illegal practice, because the tourists are seeking to have sex with minors, he said.

For this investigation, added López López, the sexual tourism of men seeking out other men, regardless of the tourist’s sexual preference self identification was studied. Many of these men consider themselves to be bisexual or heterosexual.

The study was prepared by researchers, scholars and graduate students, who performed more than 100 interviews with sex workers who were linked, to a greater or lesser degree, with sex tourism.

Many of the people in prostitution who were studied exist in [financially] marginal situations. The Mexican government does not provide the minimum conditions to allow them to have an acceptable standard of living, yet, there is a negative perception of this phenomenon in society.

Prostitutes earn between 5 and 15,000 Mexican Pesos per week. This activity provides sufficient income to meet their needs.

On the other extreme there are also those who feel satisfied with their work and do not believe that it undermines their dignity. “There attitudes tend to be rather vindictive," said López López.

Those in prostitution may be local residents, or migrants from rural areas or nearby towns. The regions where sex tourism is most active include coastal resort areas, border regions and some cities in the nation’s interior.

Therefore, said López López, research was conducted in the cities of Veracruz, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zipolite, Tijuana, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puebla, among others.

"Sex tourism is impossible to eradicate"

Cecilia Romero, the former commissioner of the National Migration Institute in Mexico, noted that sex tourism is impossible to eradicate, despite the changes that are taking place and all the arrests of traffickers. "They are making sudden improvements in regard to this serious problem, one which comes here from far away. Because of the [current economic] crisis, this problem is increasing, because of the [urgent] need to make money and due to the sex trafficking mafias who control these women.

Romero, of the [ruling] National Action Party (PAN), noted that there are people who buy sexual services – in this case sexual tourists. “These situations are unfortunate, because the woman is almost forced by these mafias [to prostitute herself], under threat of death. They have no other way to earn money. What she makes is certainly not enough to alleviate her situation. However, she has no choice but to feed his family, which is typically their primary concern. It is a sad reality that has no easy solution. This scenario occurs in many countries."

Romero added that eliminating these practices will be complicated, because there will always be people who come to Mexico to find a sexual partner with whom to spend time, to meet their needs. "It will be difficult to stop this kind of tourism. At least great strides and progress is steady is being made, but that is so far insufficient to deal with the problem."

Degrading practices

Organizations that work to defend the rights of the children speak of more than one and a half million children, who are abducted by sexual exploitation networks around the world.

According to experts, there are three primary and interrelated forms of commercial sexual exploitation: prostitution, pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes. Other forms of sexual exploitation of children include child sex tourism and child marriage.

According to statistics from an investigation conducted by the organization End Child Prostitution and Trafficking Pornography (ECPAT), the phenomenon of commercial sexual exploitation involves almost every country on earth. The major centers for this activity include Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, India, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria and many African countries.

Karina Cid

El Punto Crítico

April 18, 2011


Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Los policías municipales prostituían a jovencitas en Tabasco

Agentes de seguridad Pública de Jalpa de Méndez emborrachaban a las muchachas y las obligaban a fichar; ya están presos

Vilahermosa, Tabasco, 28 de marzo.- Dos policías de la Dirección de Seguridad Pública del municipio de Jalpa de Méndez y una persona más, fueron detenidos y son investigados por el delito de prostitución de jovencitas, a quienes emborrachaban y luego bajo amenazas de muerte las obligaban a fichar.

Según el número de averiguación previa AV-JM-II-180/2011, que se inició en la segunda agencia investigadora del Ministerio Público de aquella demarcación, la cual fue interpuesta por dos de las agraviadas y sus padres, refiere que los uniformados primero convencían a las jóvenes para salir, las emborrachaban y luego abusaban de ellas.

Luego de la querella, la policía municipal implementó un rápido operativo donde resultaron detenidos dos personas, quienes pertenecen a la Policía Municipal y una más del sexo femenino, propietaria del domicilio ubicado en la ranchería Galeana primera sección, donde cometían sus fechorías, la cual aparentemente es también una casa de seguridad donde se vendían bebidas embriagantes de manera clandestina.

Las jovenes interpusieron la denuncia por los delitos antes mencionados, narraron que el pasado sábado la pasaron a buscar los policías de nombres Eduardo Contreras Cupil y Felipe Rodríguez Ricárdez, para emborracharlas y luego las pusieron a fichar con los parroquianos, bajo amenazas de muerte.

Denunciaron además que quien contactaba a las muchachas era la hermana de uno de los policías detenidos, Marbella Rodríguez Ricárdez, quien es la propietaria del domicilio donde se encontraron las dos jóvenes encerradas.

City policemen prostituted young girls in Tabasco state

Now-jailed police officers in the town of Jalpa de Mendez made girls drunk and then forced them into prostitution

Vilahermosa, Tabasco - Two police officers from the Public Security Directorate of the town of Jalpa de Mendez and another person were arrested and are being investigated for the crime of prostituting young girls. The victims were made drunk by the accused, and were then forced to prostitute themselves under threat of death.

According to the preliminary investigation that was opened by the Tabasco state Attorney General based on complaints filed by the victims and their parents, the two young women were first invited to go out with the accused officers. They were then made drunk and were abused.

After the victims filed their complaints, the municipal police quickly arrested the accused officers as well as a woman accomplice who owned the house where the girls were detained and where the crimes occurred. The house was also used as a clandestine bar.

Officers Eduardo Contreras Cupil y Felipe Rodríguez Ricárdez, as well as the sister of one of the accused policemen, Marbella Rodríguez Ricárdez, were charged in the case.

Fabiola Xicoténcatl

Excélsior

March 28, 2011


Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Golpe a una red de trata de personas en México: rescatan a 68 migrantes

Habían sido secuestrados por miembros del cártel del Golfo en el estado de Tamaulipas, donde semanas atrás hallaron una fosa con 145 cadáveres. Doce eran centroamericanos.

Ocurrió en la ciudad de Reinosa, fronteriza con la estadounidense McAllen. Los secuestrados se encontraban en una casa vigilada por dos hombres armados, que fueron detenidos.

Según informó la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública federal (SSP), entre los doce centroamericanos hay ocho guatemaltecos, dos hondureños, un salvadoreño y un panameño. Los restantes 52 eran ciudadanos mexicanos.

Las víctimas indicaron que habían sido secuestradas cuando viajaban en autobuses de pasajeros por la Central Camionera de Reynosa. Los captores dijeron ser integrantes del cártel de las drogas del Golfo.

Reynosa es uno de los puntos de llegada de muchas de las personas que viajan desde Ciudad Victoria, capital de Tamaulipas, hacia el norte. En ese trayecto, deben pasar por el municipio de San Fernando, donde a principios de abril apareció una fosa con 145 personas asesinadas, crimen que se atribuye al cártel de Los Zetas.

La violencia se adueñó del estado norteño por el recrudecimiento de la batalla entre ambas bandas criminales (los cárteles del Golfo y Los Zetas), que durante una década fueron aliadas.

El narcotráfico es la principal causa del aumento de la trata de personas en México, uno de los países que más padece de ese flagelo en el mundo.

Sixty eight migrants rescued in blow to trafficking network

The victims had been abducted by members of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas state, where weeks ago found a mass grave holding 145 bodies.

The crimes occurred in the city of Reinosa, across the border from the city of McAllen, Texas. The hostages were found in a house that had been guarded by two armed men. The guards were arrested.

The federal Public Security Secretariat (SSP) reported that 52 of the victims were Mexican. The dozen Central Americans in the group included 8 Guatemalans, 2 Hondurans, 1 Salvadoran and 1 Panamanian.

 The victims said they had been kidnapped while traveling as bus passengers near the bus station in Reynosa. The captors said they were members of Gulf Cartel.

Reynosa is one of major gathering points used by thousands of people who travel north [seeking to cross into the United States] from the city of Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas. The migrants must first pass through the town of San Fernando, the place where a mass burial site containing 145 bodies of victims of murders attributed to the Zetas Cartel were found during April of 2011.

Violence has taken over the northern state by the escalation of the battle between two criminal gangs (Gulf cartel and the Zetas), which for a decade were allies.

Drug trafficking is the main cause of the increase in human trafficking in Mexico, one of the countries most affected by this scourge in the world.

EFE

April 20, 2011


Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Governor Mariano González Zarur speaks at a recent press conference announcing the creation of the Tlaxcala state Council Against Human Trafficking

Instalan Unidad Especializada contra trata de personas

Tlaxcala es históricamente conocido por la presencia de lenones y la explotación comercial de personas.

El Comité Estatal para el Combate de la Trata de Personas en Tlaxcala, instaló la primera Unidad Especializada para investigar este delito, el cual será acompañado de cinco acciones institucionales que contribuyan a erradicarlo.

El gobernador de Tlaxcala, Mariano González Zarur encabezó la instalación de esta Unidad Especializada, en la cual se atenderán con especial atención este tipo de delitos que tanto han lacerado al estado, dijo.

Durante el acto oficial, se reconoció que Tlaxcala es reconocido en a nivel nacional por la comisión de delitos relacionados con la trata de personas, particularmente de mujeres que son sometidas desde menores.

Por ello, añadió González Zarur, se tomarán todas las medidas que sean necesarias para combatir con firmeza este delito.

Por su parte, la procuradora Alicia Fragoso Sánchez refirió que la Unidad Especializada para la Investigación del Delito de Trata de Personas inició funciones legalmente el uno de abril de este año, en cumplimiento al acuerdo 001/2011 que emitió y publicó la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) en el periódico oficial del Gobierno del estado, derivado de los planteamientos formulados en la XXII Asamblea Plenaria de la Conferencia Nacional de Procuración de Justicia, celebrada en agosto 2009 en Mérida, Yucatán, el cual fue asumido por Tlaxcala, pero no se le había dado cabal cumplimiento.

Fragoso Sánchez afirmó que la Unidad Especializada para la Investigación del Delito de Trata de Personas permitirá también trabajar coordinadamente con otros estados de la República y colaborar en investigaciones de tlaxcaltecas que están fuera del país, sujetas permanentemente a violaciones de sus garantías individuales.?

Durante 2010 la PGJE recibió 29 denuncias anónimas de casos en los que se señalaban a personas que se dedican a ese ilícito, pero no aportaron los datos precisos para continuar con las investigaciones. En lo que va de 2011, abundó, la PGJE ha recibido 12 denuncias anónimas y se han integrado tres averiguaciones previas.

Tlaxcala state creates a special unit to address human trafficking

The state is historically known for the presence of sex traffickers and commercial exploitation.

The State Committee for Combating Human Trafficking in Tlaxcala has created its first specialized investigative unit. The state will also take five distinct actions in its efforts to eradicate trafficking.

The governor of Tlaxcala, Mariano González Zarur presided at an event to introduce the unit to the public.

During the official ceremony, Governor González Zarur recognized that Tlaxcala state is [notorious] among Mexican states for human trafficking crimes, and particularly those involving [the sexual exploitation of] women who are exploited from the time they were minors.

Governor González Zarur committed the state to take all necessary measures to fight trafficking crime.

State prosecutor Alicia Fragoso Sanchez stated that the newly formed Special Unit to Investigate Human Trafficking Crime began operations on April 1st of 2011pursuant to an agreement published by the Tlaxcala Attorney General (PGJE) in the state’s official register. The initiative follows the proposals laid out at the XXII National Conference of Law Enforcement Plenary Assembly, held in August of 2009 in Merida, in Yucatan state. The proposals had been approved by Tlaxcala, but had not been fully implemented.

Fragoso Sanchez said that the specialized unit will collaborate with other states and with international investigations into the violations of the rights of citizens of Tlaxcala who are found [to be exploited] overseas.

During 2010 the PGJE received 29 anonymous complaints about human trafficking cases. So far in 2011, the office has received 12 complaints in regard to human trafficking crimes.

Periodico Digital

April 11, 2011


Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Patricia Villamil, the Honduran consul in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas

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 are 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.

This state is increasingly controlled by the vaunted Zetas criminal organization. The Zetas have sought to monopolize criminal activities such as human trafficking throughout the region. Their penchant for violence is renown. Authorities are still sifting through the bodies in dozens of mass graves northern Mexico following their discovery earlier this month.

In the past few years, authorities have attributed several cases of human trafficking to the Zetas, especially in the country’s south. A June 2008 press briefing from the office of the Mexican Attorney General (Procuraduria General de la Republica - PGR), for instance, describes how 37 undocumented migrants (33 Cubans, 3 Guatemalans and 1 Salvadoran) were "rescued" from an immigration detainment facility in Chiapas by a group of Zetas who then extorted large sums of money from them in order to deliver them to the United States.

More recently, 40 migrants, most of whom were from El Salvador and Guatemala, were abducted by gunmen on December 16, while riding a freight train in southern state of Oaxaca. The incident was linked to the Zetas, who were blamed for conspiring to hold the migrants against their will until they received large ransom payments from each of their respective family members in the United States.

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas

April 21, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

New York City, USA / Tlaxcala State, Mexico

Five hundred women have been trafficked into just one borough of New York City by trafficking mafias based in the sexual slavery center of Tenancingo, Mexico

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz

Quinientas mujeres son explotadas en Nueva York por Bandas de Tenancingo

En México no hay un modelo de apoyo de víctimas y el costo del rescate es muy caro , por lo que las autoridades prefieren "hacerse tontas", aseveró la directora regional de la Coalición contra el tráfico de mujeres y niñas para América Latina y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz

Tan sólo en un distrito de Nueva York, en Estados Unidos, se tienen detectadas a 500 mujeres que son víctimas de explotación por parte de bandas originarias de Tenancingo, reveló la directora regional de la Coalición contra el tráfico de mujeres y niñas para América Latina y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz.

La especialista en violencia de género que fue nominada al Premio Nobel de la Paz en 2005, reveló que se ha logrado rescatar a 5 mujeres y se han presentado las denuncias correspondientes, sin embargo, hasta el momento aun no hay detenidos, pero los procesos legales que involucran a varios tlaxcaltecas siguen su curso.

Tras la presentación del programa de acción del Consejo Estatal contra la Trata de personas en Tlaxcala realizado el lunes, la abogada que ha litigado más de 30 mil asuntos de mujeres que han sido víctimas de la violencia de género, señaló que en México no existe un modelo de desarrollo para un verdadero apoyo para combatir la trata de personas y atender a las víctimas, ya que el proceso es costoso y las autoridades “prefieren hacerse tontas”.

“Lamentablemente es mucho discurso y ojalá realmente lo que se anuncó se vuelva una acción”, expuso la especialista.

Más aún, indicó que las cifras ofrecidas por los gobiernos sobre los casos de trata no corresponden a la realidad.

“Es un delito que tiene un alto grado de impunidad y subregistro, porque las estadísticas que ha hecho el gobierno no son confiables y se estima que hay una cifra negra de 80%”, puntualizó...

Tlaxcala state (border in red) is located just to the east of metropolitan Mexican City.

Tlaxcala is used by sex traffickers as a destination for sex trafficking victims, who are beaten, raped and prostituted in Mexico City before being 'exported' to destinations around the world.

Five hundred women have been trafficked into just one borough of New York City by trafficking mafias based in the sexual slavery center of Tenancingo, Mexico

CATW’s Teresa Ulloa warns that in Mexico, no model exists to help victims. The costs associated with that assistance are deemed to be prohibitive.

Therefore, the authorities prefer to act as if they don't have a clue.

According to Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, in just one borough of New York City, 500 women who are being exploited by sex trafficking networks based in the town of Tenancingo, Mexico have been detected.

Ulloa, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, revealed that five women have been rescued. Those victims have filed complaints in regard to their having been trafficked. To date nobody has been arrested, although several residents of the state of Tlaxcala are under investigation.

During her presentation, Ulloa who [as one of Mexico’s veteran women’s rights lawyer] has litigated more than 30,000 gender-related legal issues, declared that Mexico does not have a development model for conducting an anti-trafficking campaign or for providing any actual support for trafficking victims. The authorities, she added, view the process of providing such support as being expensive. They therefore “prefer to play dumb,” said Ulloa.

Ulloa: “Lamentably, it [the government’s action] is all talk. Hopefully, what has been publicly announced [as the current approach] turns into action.”

In addition, said Ulloa, the statistics that government agencies present in regard to cases of human trafficking do not correspond with reality.

“This is a crime that exists in an environment of high levels of impunity while at the same time being underreported. The statistics that the government presents are not reliable. We believe that 80% of [trafficking crimes] exist in the shadows [and therefore do not show up in official statistics],” declared Ulloa.

Ulloa went on to explain that the average cost of providing integral attention to a victim of trafficking, and that actually allows that person to rebuild their life – is somewhere around 1 million Mexican Pesos [about US $85,000]. Given that fact, the authorities prefer to just turn their heads [and ignore trafficking victims].

“Trafficking crime is too complex, with too many multiple causes and factors involved. The rescue and treatment of victims is also too expensive. Therefore officials prefer to act like they don’t have a clue. From the time when the the [nation’s] anti-trafficking law was put into effect, these officials have refused to take a number of actions that they are required to perform under the law,” exclaimed Ulloa.

Nonetheless, Ulloa maintained that providing adequate attention for victims of sex trafficking allows them to have lives that are better that what they experienced as enslaved persons.

A the same time, Ulloa chastised government authorities for having failed to recognize the hard work that non governmental organizations, who “with their fingernails” have achieved effective, initial responses to trafficking, despite the fact that they have not been backed-up or helped by the government.

Ulloa, “It appears to me that the [government’s] failure to recognize who has broken the ice on this problem is to start from a position that doesn’t give us confidence in them.”

Ulloa concluded by saying that nations such as Spain and Norway have, in fact, been able to develop successful models for rescuing and treating trafficking victims.

Laura O. Muñoz

Agenda Tlaxcala

April 12, 2011

More about the state of Tlaxcala, a wholesale sex trafficking 'megacenter,' that is located just east of Mexico City:

Added: Oct. 20, 2010  

Mexico

This map shows two of the many sex trafficking routes that originate in Tlaxcala state: Tlaxcala to Tijuana (purple); and Tlaxcala to Texas (blue).

Ángel Luna, an indigenous community activist, has rescued 30 young women and girls from sex trafficking during the past decade in Tlaxcala.

Tlaxcala, “universidad” de tratantes de mujeres

Autoridades y organizaciones detectan en el estado un gran número de proxenetas; ellos hablan de su método de explotación...

The central Mexican state of Tlaxcala [a known hub of sex trafficking] has been turned into a "university" for traffickers in Women

Authorities and organizations have detected a great many sex traffickers in the region; The pimps speak openly about their techniques of exploitation

“The violence is extreme, to the extent that women are forced to place a sponge soaked in vinegar in their vaginas after having been forced to have sex with customers 20 to 30 times per day, during 12 to 15 hour shifts without a break."

...The neighborhood of La Meca, located in the city of Tenancingo in Tlaxcala state, has become a type of ‘university’ for those who want to get involved in the sex trafficking business. La Meca has 10,000 residents. According to anthropologist Oscar Montiel Torres, author of an investigation called, “Human Trafficking, Pimps, Initiation and Modus Operandi," half of those who live in the barrio of La Meca are sex traffickers.

Liliana Alcántara

El Universal

Sep. 27, 2010



Added: Apr. 16, 2011

The United States

Elected to the New York City Council in 2009, Julissa Ferreras currently serves as Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee. She is passionately dedicated to improving the status of women in New York City, in particular of immigrant women. Julissa is a vigorous defender of the rights of victims of sexual and domestic violence, and an impassioned fighter for the working people of her district.

Más jóvenes latinas piensan en suicidarse

Una hispana de 14 años habló ante miembros del Concejo Municipal ayer sobre la lucha contra la depresión que casi terminó en un suicidio. Esta niña de El Bronx -que pidió que no se usara su nombre - admitió que se sentía hostigada por sus compañeros de clase, quienes la llamaban “mexicana” en vez de su nombre.

Ella no está sola. En el 2009, en la ciudad de Nueva York, casi el 15% de latinas en escuela secundaria intentó suicidarse una o más veces. Esto es una en cada seis, cantidad que es casi dos veces superior que la registrada en el 2007, según una encuesta del Centro para la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) en el que participaron 9.469 estudiantes en escuelas secundarias de Nueva York. Mientras tanto, 10,2% de niñas afroamericanas atentaron contra sus vidas, y 6,2% de niñas blancas hicieron lo mismo.

A nivel nacional, 11% de las latinas que participaron en la encuesta habían atentado contra sus vidas...

More young Latinas consider suicide

A 14-year Latina girl spoke before members of the New York City Council yesterday about her fight against depression, one that almost ended in suicide. This girl from the Bronx, who asked that her name not be publicized, said that she felt harassed by her classmates, who called her “Mexican” instead of using her name.

She is not alone. During 2009, some 15% of Latina secondary school girls in New York City attempted suicide one or more times.

That number represents one in six Latina school girls, and is almost twice the number of young Latinas in a national study carried out by the  in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) to have carried out similar attempts. The study included 9,469 New York City secondary school students. Of those studied, 10.2% of African American girls and 6.2% of white girls studied had also attempted suicide.

Nationally, 11% of Latinas who participated in the survey attempt on their lives.
The area with the highest number of Latinas suicide attempts was Brooklyn, New York, where more than 21% reported attempts during the past year. In Staten Island, 16% reported having done so, in the Bronx, 15%. In Queens and Manhattan, about 12%.

"This is a serious issue within the Latin community and we need to face it. Otherwise, we will see more family’s lives disrupted one of their members chooses to end their life," said New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who represents a part of Queens, and the chair of the council's Women’s Affairs Committee.
Lily Tom, who is the commissioner for the Bureau of Children, Youth, and Families in the city’s Department of Health, points out that during the period studied, only 20 Latina girls had died from their suicide attempts. In general, the number of actual suicides was highest among males, while the number of hospitalizations for self-inflicted injuries was higher among females.

According to Tom, suicide can not be treated in isolation and often comes with excessive drinking, abusive romantic relationships and depression. To combat this, parents and teachers should be able to recognize these factors. Moreover, "we must work to fight the stigma, silence and shame surrounding the psychological distress and mental illness."

Tom said that the city had conducted a campaign to reach these young Latinas, implementing a web portal for youth and LIFENET, a free 24 hour multilingual hotline. In addition, 257 schools have mental health clinics. When asked how the city would provide resources to address the problem, Tom said: "This will be another difficult year in terms of the city’s budget."

According to experts, it is difficult to deal with the problem due to cuts. Some providers, such as a support program at Bellevue Hospital, have already closed. The experts stressed that the solution is to provide support to the community level, with psychologists and social workers who speak Spanish, rather than in hospitals and in the schools.

Rosa Gil, the president of the organization Comunilife, which created a program called "Life is Beautiful" in the Bronx and in Brooklyn for Latina girls with suicidal tendencies, believes that the most common problem was a "cultural clash" between immigrant mothers and their daughters. "The mother comes from a culture that emphasizes obedience, docility, dependency, and the daughter grows up in a culture that values independence, individualism, competition," said Gil, who recalled that sometimes these girls and their mothers literally do not speak the same language.

When a crisis occurs in this situation, the consequences can be fatal. The most common age for a suicide attempt is 14.

Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, president of the Hispanic Federation, explained the problem as part of a broader crisis within the Latino community.

"The issue is a lack of hope," said Rodriguez, who enumerated the problems that afflict the Latina girls in addition to suicide: gang violence, teenage pregnancy and dropping out of school.

NewsTaco

April 04, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 16, 2011

The United States

Professor Luis H. Zayas

Is culture to blame for high Latina suicide attempt rates?

Latina girls have twice the rate of suicide attempts as their Anglo and African-American peers: 21%. Professor Luis H. Zayas has been studying the phenomenon since he accidentally stumbled upon it in the 1980s.

I spoke with Zayas earlier this summer about his research and his resulting book, set for publication next year, Letting Out Endless Words: The Suicide Attempts of Young Latinas. Zayas founded the Center for Latino Family Research at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is also the director.

As a social worker and developmental psychologist Zayas says he initially thought the phenomenon was limited to Dominicans, then he added Puerto Ricans, then he thought it was a Caribbean phenomenon, but eventually he expanded his research to include Latinas from all backgrounds: Â from Mexicans to Cubans to Venezuelans.

These rates are higher for the girls in the U.S. than in their home countries, pointing to what Zayas says is a mix of factors ranging from culture, assimilation, immigration and family issues. When the young women reach adolescence Zayas has found that the mix can be explosive, especially when poverty, a lack of familial communication and the physical or emotional absence of a father are also thrown in.

There are other factors contributing to high rates of Latina suicide attempts, he explains. These include: immigration, poverty, low access to health care, language barriers, the absence of extended family and the cultural idea of a close-knit family unit.

The actual attempts are often prompted by changes in the structure of families (such as a parental figure entering or leaving), conflict between parents and other abuse; this was especially acute when communication in the family was not strong. Here, Zayas explains, when these young Latinas are unable to adhere to the cultural norms of a tight-knit family, they find suicide as an outlet...

NT: What kinds of treatments are available for these girls and their families?

LZ: I recommend family therapy, get parents and children talking to one another, because I don’t see it as a problem that the girl has, I see it as a systemic problem of the family. More often than not, it’s a situation thing related to a lack or failure of communication, the loss of family rituals, the importance of having nurturing in the sense that somebody is looking out for you and understands your feelings. Parents grow up in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) or Chihuahua (Mexico) and their kids are growing up here, in a different set of circumstances, the point is to get them to understand each others’ points of view. One of the distinguishing features of those who did not attempt (suicide) is that the non-attempters could understand where their parents were coming from.

NT: What do you have working next for your research on Latina suicide attempts?

LZ: How culture plays a part. Each step [so far] was from hunches, to kind of half-baked theories, to where culture might be influencing it, to now where we’re analyzing the data. What we want to do in our next study is study black girls, white girls and Latinas and use the same means to find out [why it is that] they attempted, even though the rates are different. Can we tease out what the cultural elements are?

News Taco

August 29, 2010

See also:

Added: 2002

The United States

Mental health counselor Norma Westurn

Rising numbers of Latina teens trying suicide

Dallas - Two years ago, licensed mental health counselor Norma Westurn put in a full day of counseling clients at a clinic here and, instead of closing shop and going home, routinely faced yet another full client load. The only difference was the after-hours clients were all Latino.

"I was overwhelmed" by so many Spanish-speaking clients, remembers Brazilian-born Westurn, "because I was one of the few in the clinic who could speak Spanish. I knew there was a need but I was surprised there was such a great need."

It was a void that motivated Westurn to found a chain of mental health outlets called Centro de Mi Salud (My Health Center). But it wasn't until Westurn opened her doors for business that she realized there was a far greater necessity for her services than even she imagined.

Latina teens were visiting her clinics in increasing numbers and the majority for the same reason: They had attempted suicide.

Suicide in the teen population is not unknown. Popular data shows that suicide is the third-leading cause of death of young people ages 15 to 24. But attempted suicide among young Latinas was another story. The very idea was considered by many to be an oxymoron; Latino families are known for their close ties and cohesiveness, two deterrents of teen suicide.

But suicide attempts by Latina teens are growing, a fact which is gaining increased recognition by the medical community. According to a July report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Latina teen-agers are significantly more likely than white or black adolescent girls to have attempted suicide.

The finding is not new; an earlier report published in 1999 by the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations (which officially changed its name to the National Alliance for Hispanic Health in 2000) found that one out of every three Latina high school students contemplates suicide. What is new is that while in past years family members might be too ashamed to report their daughter's attempted suicide, they now actively seek help for a behavior they're at a loss to explain--as are the doctors treating them...

Marisa Trevino

Women's eNews

Aug. 27, 2002

See also:

LibertadLatina Note:

Chuck Goolsby

The fact that many Latina girls and youth attempt suicide is tragic, and requires society's urgent attention. Aside from the family pressures that young Latina's face, which are indeed intense, we also need to understand that the gender hostile living environment that society allows to exist in Latin American immigrant communities cannot be allowed to continue to exist uncontested.

Not only does severe sexual harassment and exploitation on the street affect the psychological health of these girls and young women, but that hostile environment allows them to be subjected to rape, job-based quid pro quo sexual demands, and equally horrific conditions within schools.

These criminal acts most often occur in an environment of complete impunity, where the language barrier and a cultural code of silence enforces secrecy. When victims do speak out, both police forces and public schools typically fail to act and come to 'Maria's' aid.

Shame on them!

Only constant agitation by those gender rights activists who can see beyond the 'color lines' will have a positive impact on this aspect of the crisis of the gender oppression facing girls and young women in our communities.

We will not be complicit in sweeping this reality under the rug!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011

See also:

A Washington, DC- Latina Social Worker and Girls Community Center Director's Letter

"...Over the past two years, I have been observing a systemic pattern of violence committed against girls and young women in our community. This violence involves the sexual abuse / assault against girls as young as 10 years old...  

...There have been incidents of date rape, gang rape, abductions, drugging, threats with firearms, etc.  The incidents are just as you described in your [Chuck Goolsby's below NCMEC] letter and have been met with the same level of indifference and dismissal of legal (never mind moral) responsibility on the part of civil institutions -- the police department, public schools, etc." 

...While some do say this is culturally accepted behavior, the reality is that many families -- mothers and fathers alike -- are enraged and wanting to pursue prosecution of the perpetrators, but they find themselves without recourse when the police won't respond to them, when they fear risking their personal safety, and/or when their legal status (undocumented) prevents them from believing they have rights or legal protection in this country. Many girls and young women's families are threatened and harassed by the perpetrators when it becomes apparent that the family is willing to press charges for statutory rape/child sexual abuse. 

...The use of intimidation and violence to control girls and their families results in the following: 1) parents/guardians back off from pressing charges, 2) relatives do not inform the police or others of sightings of girls and young women who have been officially reported as "missing juveniles," and 3) the victims of sexual violence refuse to participate as "willing witnesses" in the prosecution / trial process.

- From a letter by a Latina Social Worker and girl's community center director working with young Latina girls in Washington, DC's largest Latino neighborhood.

Late 1999

See also:

Maryland, USA

Chuck Goolsby's 1999 letter to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child abuse and exploitation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and past official inaction in response. The NCMEC referred this letter to the Gaithersburg city government...

(The above social worker's letter responds to this letter).

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 05, 1999

LibertadLatina Note:

We see no evidence to show that the conditions of severe sexual exploitation that face poor Latina girls and youth in the United State have improved from 1999 to the present. In fact, the higher rates of immigration during that period have resulted in the accelerated migration of sexist attitudes and behaviors into the U.S., especially among men from rural areas.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 18, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Mexico, California

Survivor Maria Suarez will speak at the San Diego human trafficking conference

Upcoming Conference

"Planes, Trains, Trucks, Boats & Automobiles!"

May 11 -13 San Diego, California

Conference Agenda

Thursday

May 12, 2011

Official Inauguration of the Conference - Assistant Chief David Ramirez, San Diego Police Department

Ambassador Mark Lagon - Coordinator MSFS International Relations, Georgetown University, Former Ambassador-at-large Trafficking in Persons State Department

Dr Raul Plasencia, President of the Human Rights Commission  of Mexico; and the Attorney General, Baja California state

Cuauhtémoc Cardona Benavides Secretary General of Baja California state

Angie Salazar, Homeland Security Blue Campaign EEOC Victim remedies

Antonio Valladolid national Institute of Migration

The Media and their efforts to prevent trafficking:

JW August, Managing Editor, Channel 10 News

Kimberly Hunt, Channel 10 News

Rachel Macquire, Documentary Producer

Human Rights Commission  Ambassador Kate del Castillo

Natasha Hering, Domestic Trafficking Survivor, Case featured in America's Most Wanted

William Livermore, Somali Mom Foundation

Ana Rodriguez, Routes of Traffickers from Asia to Latin America

Ana Salvado, Central America Begging Rings and Mapping

Rob and Kendis Paris: Truckers Against Trafficking

Session A:

Government and Law Enforcement - Emerging Technologies and Victimization: The new toolbox for stalkers, Criminals, predators & terrorists

Trainer: LT Joe Rampolla, New Jersey Police Department

Moderator: Rubi Chacon

Presenter: Rohida Kahn, Mexico

Session B:

Training Victim Identification: the where, the how, and protocols

Friday,

May 13, 2011

Elvira Luna, Commission of Human Rights, Mexico

Heriberto Garcia, Estado de Mexico, Baja California District Attorney Of Human Rights

Peru: Dr. Luis Carrera Contti, Superior Magistrate of the Judicial Power

Linda Smith, Shared Hope International

Carol Smolensky ECPACT USA Code of Conduct Campaign

Jason King, Head of the Human Trafficking Taskforce Local Practices

Maria Suarez, Internal Trafficking Survivor

Dr. Laura Lederer, "From Street Gangs to Organized Crime: The Who, How, And What of Human Trafficking"

Conference Contact Information:

The Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

San Diego, California

Tel:  (619) 336-0770 Fax: (619) 336-0791

Email: info@bsccinfo.org

Website: www.bsccoalition.org

The Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

April 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Canada

Logo of the Minwaashin Lodge

Questions of ‘Consent’ in Prostitution

A presentation by Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, Director - The Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean

Event

March 1st, 2011 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Minwaashin Lodge

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz is an inspirational lawyer and activist from Mexico City who has worked for decades against all forms of violence against women nationally and internationally.

The national focus of her work includes the murders of women in Juarez and internationally, a focus on prostitution. Her diverse professional experience has included legal representation of women relating to sexual and reproductive rights, grassroots community organizing for the empowerment of women and representations to the United Nations on the topic of violence against women in prostitution and war.

Teresa is visiting Canada with the support of IDRC and will be in Ottawa one day only on March 1st. This is a unique opportunity to welcome her to our region and share your thoughts on issues facing women locally and nationally in Canada.

Hosted by Minwaashin Lodge/Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre 424, Catherine Street, 2nd Floor, Ottawa, Ontario

Respecting Women is Our Culture

Minwaashin Lodge / Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Mexico

Aprueba Senado reformas contra trata de personas

Con las reformas, los jueces podrán dictar prisión preventiva por este delito, los responsables no podrán salir bajo fianza y se resguardará la identidad de las víctimas

Ciudad de México,-El Senado de la República aprobó por unanimidad tres reformas constitucionales para combatir la trata de personas en México.

Se modifican así los artículos 19, 20 y 73 a fin de facultar a los jueces para que puedan dictar prisión preventiva cuando se inicie un proceso penal por trata de personas.

Quienes cometan este delito no tendrán derecho a salir bajo fianza.

También se resguardará la identidad de las víctimas y se ordena la expedición de una ley especializada en combatir la trata de personas...

Senate approves reforms to combat human trafficking

The reforms will allow judges to order pre-trial detention for suspects, the accused will be denied bail and the courts will be required to protect the identities of the victims.

Mexico City - The Senate of the Republic has unanimously passed three constitutional amendments to combat trafficking in Mexico.

The reforms will modify Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution, and will permit the judges to issue preventive detention when the authorities make the decision to prosecute a suspect.

Suspects charged with trafficking offenses will be denied bail.

The reforms will also protect the identity of trafficking victims. The reforms also expedite the creation of a specialized law to fight human trafficking.

Santiago Creel, PAN senator said that "these crimes are not gender neutral. They victimize mainly on women. Eighty percent of trafficking cases involve the violation of a woman’s rights. Half of trafficking victims are minors. "

The Senate noted that human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights and dignity of persons.

Human trafficking ranks as the third most lucrative criminal activity carried out by organized crime globally.

Senator Rubén Velázquez, pf the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), said that "in Mexico [trafficking] is an illicit business that generates huge profits. Earnings from this form of slavery exceed those from drug trafficking. In 2010 the profits from slavery amounted to $6.6 billion dollars, according to the United Nations."

The Senate referred the package of constitutional reforms to the state legislatures for approval.

The Senate also approved the first draft of a law that will reform the current Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons [passed in 2007].

The new anti-trafficking law calls for up to 27 years in prison and fines for those responsible for promoting human trafficking crime by way of classified ads in newspapers.

Claudia Flores

Noticieros Televisa

April 07, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Mexico

México, “paraíso” para la explotación sexual infantil

Comunicado íntegro emitido por la agrupación Visión Mundial México:

Algunos calendarios o agendas marcan el 4 de abril como Día contra la Prostitución Infantil, al buscar por quién fue instituido no hay información clara, pero eso es lo de menos. Lo cierto es que el flagelo del comercio sexual contra niños y niñas es real.

Una aclaración pertinente es que los niños y las niñas no se prostituyen sino que son prostituidos, vendidos o comercializados como si fueran objetos, por otras personas. Los niños y niñas que son prostituidos es un problema que se enmarca entre los tipos más graves y detestables de violencia contra los niños, que es la figura de la explotación sexual.

En este momento, una niña es agredida por su padrastro y tirada a la calle donde comienza a pasar sus días sola. En algún lugar una adolescente lucha para construir su autoestima después de sufrir por décadas de abuso físico, psicológico y sexual. En las grandes capitales como el Distrito Federal en México niñas y niños son obligados a vender sus cuerpos. Son niños víctimas de violencia que ha llegado a ser endémica, como resultado directo de la profunda y arraigada pobreza, corrupción e injusticias sociales.

Visión Mundial realizó la investigación “Rostros de Violencia en América Latina y el Caribe” en 2001, la cual muestra que cada año, millones de personas en el mundo, la mayoría mujeres, niños, niñas y adolescentes, son vendidos, coaccionados o sometidos a situaciones de explotación laboral, sexual o de servidumbre.

Por lo cual, la Explotación Sexual Infantil, es un fenómeno calificado como una forma moderna de esclavitud infantil derivada de una globalización sin respeto a la dignidad y derechos humanos de niñas, niños y adolescentes.

En la investigación, Visión Mundial constató que en las mismas calles las autoridades encargadas de respetar y mantener el orden, agreden y abusan de adultos y personas menores de edad sin riesgo de ser castigadas por ello. La falta de voluntad política para trabajar en las causas de la violencia y sus distintas expresiones, agrava cada día más la situación. Estos hallazgos aún son actuales.

La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) calcula que 150 millones de niñas y 73 millones de niños menores de 18 años fueron forzados a tener relaciones sexuales o experimentaron otras formas de violencia sexual durante el 2002. Por su parte la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) calcula que, en el 2004, 1.8 millones de niños, niñas y adolescentes fueron involucrados en prostitución y pornografía.

Se sabe que hoy, en el mundo, hay expandidas redes de prostitución infantil que llegan hasta los lugares más apartados con falsas promesas de mejorar la calidad de vida y enganchan a niños y niñas quieren mejorar sus condiciones de vida. Estas redes de prostitución infantil son una forma organizada de comercio sexual, en muchas ocasiones es tolerada por la sociedad y deja huellas psicológicas en el infante imposibles de borrar. A pesar de ser un problema de graves magnitudes, no hay cifras exactas sobre el tema debido a que esta se practica de manera clandestina.

Situación en México

La explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes se define como “todo tipo de actividad en que una persona usa el cuerpo de una niña, un niño o un adolescente para sacar ventaja o provecho de carácter sexual y/o económico sobre la base de una relación de poder; considerándose como explotador tanto a aquel que intermedia u ofrece la posibilidad de la relación a un tercero como aquel que mantiene la misma con el niño, niña o adolescente, no importando si ésta es frecuente, ocasional o permanente. Se incluye dentro de la categoría de explotación sexual comercial la prostitución; la producción, distribución y consumo de pornografía infantil; el turismo sexual y la venta y tráfico de niños, niñas y adolescentes” .

La explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes en México es un fenómeno lacerante que se ha incrementado en los últimos años y constituye una modalidad particularmente cruel de explotación. Según datos de UNICEF (2000) y el Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo de la Infancia y la Familia (DIF), en territorio mexicano hay alrededor de 20 mil niñas, niños y adolescentes, mexicanos y centroamericanos, explotados sexualmente. Casi un 80% son niñas de entre 10 y 14 años de edad. Como no todos los casos son denunciados y esta práctica se mantiene en secreto, estas cifras pueden ser mayores...

English Translation

According to UN figures, over 70,000 minors are forced into prostitution, 50,000 of them at the nation's borders.

According to UN figures, over 70,000 minors are forced into prostitution, 50,000 of them at the nation's borders.

World Vision says the country is known as "the Latino Bangkok"

Full statement issued by the group World Vision Mexico:

Some calendars or agendas mark April 4th as World Day Against Child Prostitution. The scourge of sexual exploitation targeting children is real.

Boys and girls are not prostitutes, but they are prostituted - sold or traded like commodities by others. Sexual exploitation is one of the most serious and detestable types of violence perpetrated against children.

A girl who is abused by her stepfather may be thrown onto the streets, where she must survive on her own. Somewhere a teenager struggling to build their self-esteem after suffering for decades of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. In big cities like the Federal District in Mexico [Mexico city] children are forced to sell their bodies. Violence against children has become endemic as a direct result of profound and entrenched poverty, corruption and social injustice.

World Vision carried out a research project "Faces of Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean" in 2001, which shows that each year millions of people worldwide, mostly women, children and adolescents, are sold, coerced or subjected to situations of labor exploitation or sexual servitude.

Therefore, the Sexual Exploitation of Children, is a phenomenon described as a modern form of child slavery resulting from globalization. It does not respect human dignity and rights of children and adolescents.

In its research, World Vision found that in the same law enforcement authorities who are charged with maintaining order, actually assault and abuse adults and minors without the risk of being punished for it. The lack of political will to address the causes of violence and its various expressions, aggravates this crisis on a daily basis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 150 million underage girls and 73 million minor boys were forced into sex or experienced other forms of sexual violence during 2002. For its part, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that in 2004, 1.8 million children and adolescents were involved in prostitution and pornography.

We know that today in the world, there are expanded child prostitution networks that reach the most remote areas with false promises to improve the quality of life and engage children who want to improve their living conditions. These networks of child prostitution are a form of the organized sex trade. they are often tolerated by society, and leave their child victims with psychological scars that are impossible to erase. Despite the serious magnitude of the problem, there are no exact figures on the commercial sexual exploitation of children because it is a crime that is perpetrated in secret.

Situation in Mexico

Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is defined as "any activity where a person uses the body of a girl, a child or adolescent to take advantage or benefit of a sexual nature and / or economic on the basis of a power relationship, considered as an operator who both intermediate or offers the possibility of a third party relationship with a child or adolescent, regardless of whether it is a frequent, occasional or permanent occurrence. Included within this definition are: prostitution; the production, distribution and consumption of child pornography; sex tourism and the sale and trafficking of children and adolescents."

Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in Mexico is a phenomenon that has continually increased during recent years. It is a particularly cruel form of  exploitation. According to a year 2000 report by UNICEF and the National System for the Development of Children and Family Development (DIF), in Mexico there were about 20 000 children and adolescents, both Mexican and Central American, being sexually exploited. Almost 80% were girls between 10 and 14 years of age. Since not all cases were reported and this practice was kept secret, these figures may have been higher.

In 2008 during the World Congress III against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, the UN spoke of 70,000 children and teenagers, 50,000 along its borders and 20 thousand in the rest of the Mexican republic.

Remember that Mexico is seen globally as a destination for sex tourism. The problem affects the country's major tourist centers, including Tijuana, Cancun, Acapulco, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tapachula and Ciudad Juárez. Therefore, Mexico is known as "the Bangkok of Latin America." According to research conducted in 2003, these cities are home to thousands of children and adolescents in prostitution, exploited mainly by tourists from the United States.

Despite some advances in legislation [well, that is an overstatement - LL], there are still gaps in current law. For example, the Criminal Code retains the concept of "crimes against public morals and decency" instead of referring to the protection of the free development of the human persona, which would be a concept more in line with a need to protect the dignity of victims.

Legislative progress is required not only to punish crimes but also to aid in prevention. We need to ensure that girls, boys and adolescents are treated as victims and not criminals, and that their voices are heard and taken into account.

World Vision actively combats sex tourism through campaigns of prevention, intervention and aftercare for victims. It strives to abolish the most extreme and dangerous forms of child labor, such as commercial sexual exploitation, labor slavery, any work involving very young children and any work that is hazardous to the physical, emotional or spiritual wellbeing of children.

For its part, society must know what is happening and realize the magnitude of the problem. It is necessary to acknowledge the reality of this issue in order to allow educational activities to support families in an atmosphere of trust and the strengthening of values. Prevention work should be our priority.

Visión Mundial México / World Vision Mexico

April 05, 2011

Translation by Breaking Chains Ministry

Further edits by Chuck Goolsby

The following is a comment in regard to the above article by Reverend Steven Cass, who runs a successful outreach program for underage victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico:

One would think as grave as the problem is the government would be seeking all the help they can get.

Steven T Cass


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Central America

Centroamérica sufre alta corrupción y violencia sexual contra las mujeres

Washington, - Corrupción gubernamental, judicial y policial, asesinatos extrajudiciales y violencia y abusos sexuales contra mujeres y niños son algunas de las más graves violaciones de los derechos humanos que se dan en Centroamérica, según el informe del Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. dado a conocer hoy...

Central America suffers from high rates of corruption and sexual violence against women

Washington, DC - Governmental, judicial and police corruption, extrajudicial killings [murders] and sexual violence and abuse targeting women and children are among the most serious human rights violations that are occurring today in Central America, as reported by the U.S. State Department released today.

Costa Rica

Substantial delays in court proceedings, domestic violence against women and children, child prostitution, human trafficking and child labor were the main human rights problems identified by U.S. authorities in the Costa Rica.

The State Department report also found "that the congestion of prisons continued to rise" last year and that the Costa Rican authorities "continued to identify violence against women and children as a serious and growing social problem."

"Child abuse remained a problem," added Washington, according to official statistics from 2009 that indicated 691 [reported] cases of sexual abuse against children and that "a significant number of children suffered from commercial sexual exploitation."

El Salvador

Extrajudicial executions [murders] perpetrated by security forces, [poor] prison conditions, high levels of impunity in regard to abuses of authority, corruption, violence against women, children and sexual minorities as well as child prostitution are the main problems identified in the State Department human rights report…

The report also said that rape, sexual crimes against women and domestic violence were widespread, with 2,193 reports of rape and the deaths of 551 women having occurred in 2010.

Guatemala

The State Department's report collected reports of a wide variety of human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings by security forces, widespread violence in society, corruption, police involvement in criminal activities, appalling prison conditions and violence against women and children, among other ills.

The report said that there are "cases in which members of the security forces have acted independently of civilian control…"

The Guatemalan National Police said they were investigating 10 murders that were allegedly committed by their police agents.

The National Police has been linked to disappearances, abductions for ransom and the torture of detainees.

"The impunity of the police in regard to criminal activities remained a serious problem," the report said.

Honduras

The State Department denounced "cases in which members of the security forces acted independently Honduras civilian control."

The major problems identified in the report include extrajudicial executions by security forces and former members of the police, corruption within the law enforcement and the judicial systems, appalling prison conditions and violence against women and children, among others.

The report contains allegations of a substantial increase in murders of children and youth in relation to previous years. In 2009, 108 murders were reported in children…

The report also includes the media "continued to face corruption, politicization, vulnerability to manipulation by special interests and a loose professionalism."

Journalists also suffered from murders and attacks in Honduras.

Nicaragua

The State Department said the important human rights abuses in Nicaragua included significant election fraud, extrajudicial killings, police abuses, appalling prison conditions, politicization and corruption of the judiciary and the erosion of freedom of speech and press.

The report says that "the judicial system remained vulnerable to corruption and politicization and did not function independently," and noted that the country still without an "effective system of civil law."

"In the judicial branch, the Supreme Court was demonstrably susceptible to corruption during the year, especially from political parties and drug cartels," said Washington…

The Human Rights report highlighted appalling prison conditions, corruption and political interference in the judicial system, political pressures on the press, violence against women and children and discrimination against people with disabilities as the main human rights problems in Nicaragua.

EFE

April 08, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

The Dominican Republic

Crece prostitución y explotación infantil en Boca Chica

Los menores de origen haitiano y dominicano son explotados ante las miradas indiferentes de las autoridades competentes

Decenas de menores de edad de ambos sexo son explotados en este municipio con trabajo pesado y prostitución, en su gran mayoría niños y niñas de nacionalidad haitiana traído al país en los últimos ocho meses.

A pesar de que en el Municipio de Boca Chica existe una fiscalía adjunta del departamento de Niños Niñas y Adolescentes, un gran número de menores de edad se pueden observar en la zona turística de esta localidad en horas de la madrugadas y muchos de manos de turistas que sostienen relaciones sexuales con ellos.

Los menores de origen haitiano y dominicano son conducidos por mayores que pertenecen a red de explotadores de menores que los envían a la famosa Calle Duarte de Boca Chica ante las miradas indiferentes de las autoridades competentes.

Vendedores de huevos, maní, dulce, limpia botas, peinadoras, entre otros oficios son simulados por los menores de edad que ejercen en horas nocturnas en la famosa calle peatonal que da acceso a la playa de Boca Chica.

En este lugar se observan todos tipos de aberraciones sexuales que se realizan en componendas con algunos actores de las autoridades del Ministerio de Turismo yla Policia Turistica ( Politur) que cobran peajes para permitir la explotación sexual de menores en este lugar...

Child prostitution and labor exploitation are on the increase in Boca Chica

Haitian and Dominican Children are exploited under the indifferent gaze of the authorities

Dozens children are exploited in the Dominican town of Boca Chica. The victims are used in both heavy manual labor and prostitution. The victims are mostly Haitian boys and girls who have been brought into the Dominican Republic during the past eight months.

Although a town has a prosecutor who is affiliated with its Department of Children and Adolescents, a large number of children can be observed in Boca Chica’s tourist zone in the wee hours of the morning. Many of them can be seen hand-in-hand with tourists who ae there to have sex with them.

These Haitian and Dominican children are controlled by adults who belong to a network of child exploiters who send them to the town’s infamous Calle Duarte [Duarte Street], the town’s main access point to its beach, under the indifferent gaze of local authorities.

The children’s nighttime activities are covered by having them appear to be working as shoe shiners, hairdressers and sellers of eggs, peanuts and sweets.

Every type of sexual aberration is visible in this strip, which is made possible by to collaboration of a number of employees of the Ministry of Tourism and officers of the Tourism Police (POLITUR), who charge bribes to allow the prostitution on minors to continue.

Diario Libre spoke with several child street vendors, who were mostly boys. They explained how their traffickers prostituted them as they simulated working as street vendors and shoe shiners…

Each night, the last five buses that arrive at Boca Chica from the capitol city of Santo Domingo arrive full of underage boys and girls, who have come to work during the night and return to the capital in the morning.

Tomás Ventura

Diario Libre

April 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Mexico

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz

Reconoce Ulloa Ziáurriz prioridad a los derechos de la niñez y adolescencia

Oaxaca, - “Las niñas y los niños son importantes, no por lo que van a llegar a ser, los ciudadanos de mañana, si no porque son seres humanos titulares de derechos desde que nacen, hoy aquí y ahora”.

Así inició la Maestra Teresa Columba Ulloa Ziáurriz, directora de la Coalición regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, quien ofreció una conferencia magistral este viernes en la capital oaxaqueña, y en la que estuvo acompañada por la Presidenta para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia DIF Oaxaca, Mané Sánchez Cámara de Cué.

Durante su discurso la abogada enfatizo, que es imposible hablar de desarrollo social o humano si un estado, municipio, o país no es capaz de garantizar los derechos humanos de todas las niñas y los niños.

En su mensaje la señora Mané Sánchez Cámara de Cué, agradeció a la Maestra Teresa Ulloa, sus conocimientos en un tema tan delicado para el país entero particularmente en Oaxaca.

Detalló que es responsabilidad gubernamental, difundir y practicar los derechos humanos de las niñas y los niños; por lo que para DIF Oaxaca, es primordial que la niñez oaxaqueña conozca que existe una ley que los protege y que hay instancias encargadas para velar por su protección y seguridad. “No se sientan solas y solos”...

Ulloa Ziáurriz calls attention to the rights of children and adolescents a high priority

During a recent lecture in Oaxaca [state in southern Mexico] – gender rights activist Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz stated that "Girls and boys are important, not because of who they will become, citizens of tomorrow, but because they are human beings from the time of birth."

Ulloa Ziáurriz, who is the director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean, spoke Friday in the state capital city of Oaxaca. She was accompanied by Mané Sánchez Cámara, director of the state social services agency DIF (Integragral Family Development).

During her presentation, Ulloa emphasized that it is impossible to talk about social or human development if a state, municipality or nation is not able to guarantee the human rights of all girls and boys.

In her message Director Sánchez Cámara thanked Ulloa in regard to her knowledge of this very sensitive issue, one that affects both Oaxaca state and Mexico as a whole.

Sánchez Cámara went on to explain that it is government’s responsibility to promote and practice the human rights of girls and boys. Therefore, she added, it is important that Oaxacan children know that a law exists that protects them and that state agencies exist to watch out for their safety. “They do not have to feel alone.”

Director Sánchez Cámara, explained that the newly elected state government will be working on strengthening the rights of children and girls, as well for every person in the state of Oaxaca [which has a large indigenous population]. Every inhabitant of Oaxaca has the right to be treated with dignity, with respect and consideration, she added.

Ziáurriz Ulloa declared that the recent state elections in Oaxaca were historic, because for the first time a truly democratic government, one that has a very broad vision of human rights, and that plans to show that fact by deeds, not by words alone.

Ulloa therefore expressed confidence in Director Sánchez Cámara, who is responsible for Oaxaca’s state social services policies. "I know that one of the largest commitments that Mané has is [to support] the children of Oaxaca, and we are going to help to achieve that end in every way we can."

A priority for the DIF of  Oaxaca is to bring in experts on delicate issues such as the violation of the rights of our children, said Laura Vargas Mayoral, DIF Oaxaca’s prosecutor for children’s, women’s and family cases…

Ciudadania Express

April 08, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Mexico

Sentencian a canadiense por pornografía infantil

México, DF.- Arthur Leland Sayler de nacionalidad canadiense, fue sentenciado a 8 años tres meses de prisión y mil 100 días de multa sin derecho a beneficios, bajo el delito de pornografía infantil, por el Juez Cuarto de Distrito en Baja California; informó la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA).

La investigación se inició luego de que la Policía Cibernética de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) denunció ante la FEVIMTRA la existencia de un sitio web en el que se exhibían y comercializaban fotografías y videos pornográficos de bebés, niñas y adolescentes, en su mayoría mujeres.

Por ello, se llevo a cabo un cateo en el domicilio del sentenciado, quien resultó ser el administrador del sitio web denunciado. Durante la ejecución del mandamiento judicial a Arthur Leland Sayler le fueron asegurados diversos catálogos de pornografía infantil, documentación relativa a diversas formas de pago, estados de cuenta, tarjetas de crédito, el inmueble cateado, una camioneta y otros objetos.

Canadian Sentenced for Child Pornography

Mexico City - According to the office of the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), a judge in the Fourth District Court in Baja California state has sentenced Arthur Leland Sayler, a Canadian national, 8 years, three months of prison and a fine of 1,100 days [of the minimum wage in Mexico] on charges of child pornography.

The investigation began after Cyber ​​police unit of the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) reported to FEVIMTRA the existence of a website which exhibited and traded pornographic photographs and videos of mostly female infants and adolescents.

The SSP raided the home of Sayler, who owned the web site being investigated, who is the manager of the website reported. Police took possession of the suspect’s house and van, and retrieved several catalogs of child pornography, information about various methods of payment, account statements and credit cards.

Salvador Maceda

Azteca Noticias

April 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Peru

Investigan a 20 mafias de trata de menores

En su mayoría, las víctimas son mujeres de entre 12 y 18 años, según la fiscalía El Ministerio Público investiga actualmente a unas 20 organizaciones delictivas que se dedican a la trata de menores en nuestro país, indicó ayer Jorge Chávez Cotrina, fiscal superior coordinador de las fiscalías especializadas contra el crimen organizado.

En el programa “Los fiscales”, de TV Perú, Chávez explicó que la fiscalía busca reunir pruebas con la finalidad de que los integrantes de esas mafias sean sentenciados, conforme a ley, con penas no menores de 25 años de cárcel. El fiscal explicó que el Ministerio Público combate la trata de personas en coordinación con la Policía Nacional y otras organizaciones que, desde el 2004, suman esfuerzos en el grupo multisectorial liderado por el Ministerio del Interior. Chávez indicó que la trata de personas es perpetrada por organizaciones complejas que operan en los ámbitos nacional e internacional. Manifestó que en el Perú las víctimas del delito de trata son, en su mayoría, mujeres (55% de los casos), de edades entre los 12 y los 18 años.

Con Engaños

Añadió que las mafias captan a sus víctimas con promesas de trabajo, becas de estudio y supuestos castings para modelos, entre otros engaños, para luego someterlas a la explotación sexual o trabajos forzados, mendicidad e incluso tráfico de órganos. “La mayor incidencia de trata está orientada hacia la explotación sexual. Según información de la Policía Nacional, de 365 casos, 271 fueron de ese tipo, 61 de explotación laboral, 8 de mendicidad y 7 de venta de niños”, señaló Chávez Cotrina.

La fiscalía registró 118 denuncias por trata en el país en lo que va del año. El 2010 fueron 315, dijo Miluska Romero, fiscal provincial penal de Lima.

Peruvian authorities investigate 20 child sex trafficking gangs

Most of the victims are girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 18

According to Cotrina Jorge Chavez, the chief prosecutor for organized crime, the Public Prosecutor’s office is currently investigating 20 criminal organizations that are suspected of engaging in child sex trafficking activities.

Appearing on the television program The Prosecutors, Chávez explained that prosecutors are working to gather sufficient evidence to insure that the members of these gangs will be sentenced, in accordance with the law, to prison terms of no less than 25 years. Chávez added that coordinated action - lead by the Public Prosecutor’s office, and including the Peruvian National Police (PNP) and non governmental organizations - has targeted human trafficking crimes since 2004.

Chávez said that human trafficking is perpetrated by complex organizations that operat both at a national and an international level. Most victims in Peru, noted Chávez,

are females between the ages of 12 and 18, who comprise 55% of all cases.

Entrapped with false promises

Chief prosecutor Chávez went on to explain that these mafias entrap their victims by offering them false promises of employment, including castings for modeling jobs, and offers of scholarships, among other deceptions. The traffickers then subject the victims to sexual exploitation or forced labor, begging rings and even illegal human organ trafficking. "The majority of trafficking cases involve sexual exploitation,” said Chávez. According to information from the PNP, of 365 trafficking cases processed, 271 involved sexual exploitation, 61 involved labor exploitation, 8  involved forced begging, and 7 were cases of the sale of children," said Chávez.

According to Lima provincial prosecutor Miluska Romero, 118 human trafficking complaints have been documented to date during 2011. Some 315 cases were recorded in 2010.

El Comercio - Peru

March 28, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011 

Texas, USA

More Horrific Details Emerge in Cleveland, Texas Gang Rape

There are new startling, heartbreaking details emerging in the infamous gang rape case out of Cleveland, Texas. It was previously reported that the assault of an 11-year-old Latina happened over the course of three days during the Thanksgiving holiday. But this week, after an interview with the girl’s father Juan, the New York Times is reporting that the attacks happened continuously over the course of three months. In total, 19 black men and boys between the ages of 14 and 27 have been arrested in connection with the rapes. From the Times:

The police say the girl was raped on at least six occasions, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 3. Nineteen boys and men, ages 14 to 27, have been charged in connection with the rapes, the most recent arrest last Wednesday.

Court documents and dozens of interviews over several weeks with the girl’s family, her friends and neighbors, as well as those who know the defendants, provide a more complete picture of what occurred as well as a deeper portrait of the victim. What begins to emerge is the nightmarish ordeal of a young girl over two and a half months involving an eclectic group of young men, some with criminal records, who shared a powerful neighborhood bond.

You can read more of the sordid details as they’re recounted by the Times. The Cleveland police department and local district attorney have released little information, so the case continues to mount widespread suspicion from the local community.

The unidentified girl has reportedly moved to another town and been placed in a foster home for her own protection. Meanwhile, her family has been ordered to attend group counseling in order to regain custody. Her father Juan (who’s last name is being withheld for obvious reasons), who’s unable to work, says that he’s despondent at the prospect of losing his daughter permanently. “You can see she’s not happy,” he told the Times. “She will never recover from this.”

Gender columnist Akiba Solomon has been following the case, including the community’s horrific response and ways that black men are fighting against rape to help counter centuries’ old stereotypes. It’s must-see coverage in a case that’s growing more maddening by the day.

Jamilah King

Colorlines

March 29 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Texas, USA

The Gang Rape of a Latina 6th Grader, and a Horrific Community Response

Akiba Solomon

Colorlines

March 14, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Mexico

Tipificarán como delito anuncios que promuevan trata

Ciudad de México.- La Comisión de Justicia del Senado aprobó la minuta de la Cámara de Diputados, por la que se tipifica como delito la promoción en medios de comunicación la publicación de anuncios que promuevan la trata de personas y que contempla penas que van de 9 a 18 años de prisión.

El senador del PRI, Pedro Joaquín Codwell, presidente de la Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales, explicó que lo que se esta prohibiendo es la promoción de un ilícito en los medios de comunicación. No se esta prohibiendo de ninguna manera el ejercicio libre de una persona que ofrece servicios, eso no, aseguro.

También dijo que se discutió, lo referente a la localización de quienes usan los celulares para delitos, secuestros, extorsión y hubo un diálogo entre la señora Wallace y los concesionarios sobre ese tema y se analizó también una iniciativa de ley que retiraba la reserva de México de la convención de Desapariciones Forzadas.

Se analizo que el trámite no era vía una iniciativa de ley y acordamos promover un punto de acuerdo solicitándole al Ejecutivo que retire las reservas en materia de esa convención.

Senate Judiciary Committee approves law criminalizing classified ads that promote human trafficking

 Mexico City - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the minutes of a bill that had previously been passed by the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress], which criminalizes the promotion in mass media of ads that encourage human trafficking. The measure provides criminal penalties ranging from 9 to 18 years in prison.

Senator Pedro Joaquin Codwell (Institutional Revolutionary Party), who is the chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Issues, said that the new law prohibits the promotion of illicit ads in media. The law does not infringe upon the rights of any person who is selling services, emphasized Senator Codwell.

He also said that there was a discussion regarding the legislative solutions for tracking the locations of those who use cell phones to commit trafficking crimes, and in regard to the [related] crimes of kidnapping and extortion.

The senators analyzed and agreed to pass a non binding Sense of the Senate resolution that requests that the President of the Republic withdraw Mexico’s abstention from signing the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons.

Patricia Torres

Organización Editorial Mexicana

April 07, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Central America

Violence against women in Central America is on the Increase

Femicide and trafficking in women are two phenomena that are on the rise in Central America , according to studies created by the AECI (La Agencia Española Cooperación internacional / The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development) and the COMMCA (Consejo de Ministras de la Mujer de Centroamerica / The Central America Council of Women's Affairs Ministers).

The results of the research, which was conducted starting in the year 2000 in all of central America's nations as well as the Dominican Republic, was presented on April 9th in Madrid, Spain by representatives of both agencies.

The two studies warn of an increase in cases of femicide (murders of women with gender component) and human trafficking in the region. A third study explored conditions facing paid domestic workers in the region.

"Between 2003 and 2009, the number of murders in the region nearly doubled...,'' said Ana Carcedo, the executive director of the Feminist Information and Action Center.

The author of the study on violence against women underscored the high rates of such cases that have been documented in Guatemala, where between 2000 and 2010, some 5,027 homicides of women occured.

"We are speaking-up about these deaths because the numbers of victims is steadily increasing, particularly, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic,''  said Carcedo.

This story included information from EFE

TodaNoticia.com

Sep. 03, 2010


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 different 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 discussion grew into an intelligent discussion of 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 point of view. Panelists expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also express a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez expressed the view that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility in regard to attention to victims as do foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as much.

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 the New York area.

During the question and answer period of the discussion, 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 epicenter of 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, when 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: Apr. 16, 2011

Massachusetts, USA, The United States

Sergeant Kelly O'Connell of the Boston Police Department

Present-Day Slavery: Human Trafficking

"Gangs used to sell drugs," says Sgt. Kelly O'Connell of the Boston Police Department, as she explains the human trafficking crisis to the New York Times. "Now many of them [gangs] have shifted to selling girls because it's just as lucrative, but far less risky." With an estimated 27 million people afflicted by human trafficking (according to dosomething.com), it is the third-largest organized crime globally. Human trafficking is the exploitation of any person as an exchange for services, those services most often being sex. This occurs all around the world regardless of a person's race, gender, or age. People are used as commodities, and become dehumanized as a result.

Slavery began thousands of years ago, and still exists today—just not the way we know it. Modern-day slavery is known as human trafficking. Although it is mostly women who are targeted, men can be as well. Sometimes women are coerced into sexual acts, but they can also be used for domestic purposes. Many of the victims believe that they are coming into a certain country for a better life, or at least promised it, but are then forced into servitude. It is important to realize that although a lot of human trafficking occurs in foreign, poor countries, it is present in everywhere, including in the United States. According to Foreign Policy Digest, "There are 192 member nations of the United Nations and of those, 161 countries are affected by human trafficking."

Most people are able to able to go to work without fear of being beaten. However, for a victim of human trafficking, you are likely to be beaten for not doing what you are forced to do. It is important to recognize the use of force, because not many people can empathize with victims of humans trafficking. This is because they cannot even imagine what it would be like to become completely dehumanized. After all, who would really want to imagine themselves in this state? However, this is what millions of people are living with.

Not many people are aware of the existence of human trafficking, or at least its severity. Even if they do, people are likely to pursue other issues in their society. Because of this, human trafficking thrives. By passing legislation and raising awareness of human trafficking, there is a chance that changes towards its former and future victims can be made. Awareness can be made by not only teaching people about human trafficking, but law enforcement should also create better protocols to deal with instances of human trafficking. As for victims of human trafficking, there is an issue to be addressed regarding younger survivors. Many younger survivors of human trafficking end up in foster homes that don't provide enough services to rehabilitate them. This in turn makes it easier for them to end up on the street. By improving services given to survivors of human trafficking, it makes it less likely that they will end up right where they started.

In order to abolish human trafficking, there needs to be a global collective effort. In a world where money is often hard to come by, it is not hard to believe that it would be hard to achieve an end to modern-day slavery. The United States itself may seem prosperous, especially in comparison to, other nations, but this is not the reality. Our country has a deficit of more than eleven trillion dollars. Knowing this, it is not hard to believe that states are unable to get adequate funding. The funding that does go to our states seems to be for the bare minimum. So when it comes to fixing such a large issue as human trafficking, one can understand how state legislation may be hesitant in funding a global initiative for human trafficking.

Due to economic insecurity in our country, it makes it harder to combat the issue of human trafficking. However, by educating people about the issue, it is a step in the right direction. A lot of people are not familiar with human trafficking, unlike more publicized issues such as hunger. However, human trafficking is an issue that should be exposed to those who are not aware of it. This is because no matter where you live, human trafficking is likely to be occurring. Just because you are not experiencing the devastating effects of it does not mean that you should write the issue off.

One might argue that enough is done for the cause of human trafficking. For instance, people are hired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. just to combat this crime. In addition to this, there are numerous organizations that are seeking legislation to prevent the exploitation of individuals, such the Polaris Project and The International Labor Organization. However, it seems as though there should still be more done. This is because over time, human trafficking will get much worse. For instance, sex is glorified with the media, and it seems as though with each passing year, television and movies are becoming more sexually explicit. With a sex obsession in our media being ever-present, human trafficking will without a doubt get worse. After exposing the public to such sexually explicit material, some people will start to want even more than what they can merely visualize—they will become focused on having it; these are the people who purchase others for their own gratification. As a nation, we have become so desensitized to sex and violence in the media that sometimes we do not realize the implications it can have on others.

If you were growing up before the 1970s and saw a poster of sliced off body parts, you would probably become hysterical. Today, most people can walk past a poster from the movie Saw and it will not faze them as to what they are looking at. Being as desensitized to sex and violence today, we may eventually become desensitized to the use of slaves. After all, slavery was once normal before. Using a person as a "sex slave" just gives the old form of slavery a new twist. Due to this present state of slavery, many organizations have thankfully dedicated their time and effort to pursue changes that will help combat human trafficking.

Melissa Carella, Editor-in-Chief

Salem State Log

April 08, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011

The Global Internet

Lydia Cacho

Photo: La Jornada

La periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho denuncia actividad de pederastas en la red social.

Lydia Cacho utiliza el podio de Amnistía Internacional para hacer fuertes denuncias.

San Francisco, California.- Qué ironía. En Facebook aparecen las fotografías de hombres sin rostro. Con la cara oculta. Desnudos. Sin ropa. ¿Por qué aparecen así en un medio tan grande y público?

Están así porque son violadores de niñas y niños menores de 13 años. Y les satisface presumirlo a toda la red.

Pero, ¿cómo llegaron las fotografías de estas agresiones sexuales contra pequeños de distintas regiones del planeta, hasta Facebook?, ¿quiénes son los usuarios que suben estas imágenes? Nadie sabe. Los dueños de la más grande red social en internet no denuncian a los creadores de estas cuentas, por lo que no hay seguimiento policiaco.

La investigación la realiza Lydia Cacho, periodista mexicana que desde hace más de 10 años ha denunciado a sacerdotes católicos pederastas, a funcionarios públicos involucrados en el tráfico de gente, a empresarios adinerados que obtienen placer violando cuerpos tiernos, a mafias que operan con vínculos locales e internacionales.

Por este trabajo en defensa de los derechos humanos de niñas, niños, mujeres y hasta hombres, Amnistía Internacional invitó a Lydia Cacho a San Francisco, donde celebraron los 50 años de este organismo y donde también llegó para recibir un reconocimiento y para charlar sobre el periodismo hecho en México.

En el hotel Fairmont, donde anduvo la periodista, logramos entrevistarla sobre estos temas que muchas veces, a pesar de que están ahí bajo la luz pública, pocas veces se abordan, hablan y discuten, como si fueran un secreto prohibido.

–El Mensajero: Hemos visto que en sitios como Twitter, has denunciado a pederastas que operan en Facebook, ¿cómo surgió esta línea de investigación?

–Lydia Cacho: Hace años cuando comencé las investigaciones sobre pornografía infantil, cuando conocí a las primeras víctimas del caso Succar (Jean Succar Kuri, empresario que confesó acciones pederastas en México) que escribí en Demonios del Edén hace más de seis años, me llamaba mucho la atención las niñas que explicaban cómo él subía en su computadora y mandaba por correo electrónico todas estas fotografías y videos que les hacía a las niñas, porque además se los presumía a las pequeñas, niñas de 7 hasta 13 años, y entonces cuando la policía federal por fin descubre la computadora de Kuri y logra sacar la información, saca unas fotografías brutales de esas pequeñititas, siendo violadas por varios hombres cuyas cabezas no se miraban, pero todo el cuerpo desnudo sí. "Con toda esta información, la pregunta que siempre nos hacíamos con el agente federal —honesto— con el que estuvimos trabajando en este caso, era ¿quién tiene estas fotografías, donde terminaron? Así como con Succar Kuri se pudo demostrar que producía la pornografía, teníamos que encontrar —y aquí están las niñas, todos los otros hombres que están circulando miles de fotografías— cómo tienen acceso a esos niños y niñas. Nos falta esa información y hay que encontrarla, son humanos no son fotografías", describe Cacho...

Ricardo Ibarra

El Mensajero

April 02, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 16, 2011

The Global Internet

Anti-Child-Pornography Crusader Takes On Facebook

Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho has taken on some of the most powerful figures in Mexico, from businessmen to politicians, who have colluded with child pornography rings. Now the women’s rights crusader is going after a Bay Area-based company that she says is allowing sexual predators to operate with impunity: Facebook.

On a recent visit to San Francisco to commemorate Amnesty International's 50th anniversary, Cacho told El Mensajero that many images of child pornography show up on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Facebook assumes no legal responsibility for child pornography, according to Cacho. When it finds a page containing images of child pornography, she said, it closes the account. The problem is that once the account is closed, it wipes away all traces of the user and any evidence that police could have used to prosecute him or her. In addition, she says, the user often opens a new Facebook page with the same content within a day.

Cacho is calling on Facebook's leaders to send information to the police before they close these accounts, so that investigators can get the IP address and track down the identity of sexual predators. “They have a lot of power, and they should also use it help children,” Cacho told El Mensajero.

Frederic Wolens, a spokesman for Facebook, told New America Media in an email that the company does preserve data involved in crimes, "especially those involving child pornography, so that we can aid law enforcement with their investigations."

"We will furnish information based on ECPA (Electronic Communications Privacy Act) and will act according to the scope of the subpoena issued, in some cases this may include IP information," he wrote.

(In a disturbing twist, Cacho tweeted on March 28 that Facebook had taken down her own Facebook page after she denounced those who post child pornography on Facebook. In response to that claim, Wolens wrote: "We will not comment on specific profiles for privacy reasons, however, we will disable any account found violation our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.")

Cacho may be taking on the most powerful social media site in the world, but she isn’t alone. Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are on her side.

These lawmakers are working on a bill that would require Internet service providers to keep computer records and identification information of users for two years, so that federal law enforcement agencies can use the information in their child-pornography investigations.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is expected to introduce a draft of the bill this month.

Elena Shore

New America Media

April 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Texas, USA

Benito Vargas

Human trafficking cases on the rise in the Valley

San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez still remembers when he got the phone call.

"The call came in that a young female would sit outside on the curb late at night," Gonzalez said.

He said, now, every time he passes by that blue home on 10th Street he pictures the teen sitting alone on the curb. It is an image he said he will never forget.

"We're all parents,” Gonzalez said. “She is someone's daughter. She is someone’s life and does have people who care about her and are concerned about her."

Gonzalez said the 16-year-old victim was lucky because she was able to escape and get help—but not after going through a horrific ordeal.

"She was being violently abused and sexually abused by the suspect and his sister,” Gonzalez said. “She was physically abused by the sister and his mom as well."

The suspect is Benito Vargas. Gonzalez said Vargas took off to Mexico, but was later arrested and extradited back to the U.S.

"He was caught in Mexico,” Gonzalez said. “He is in federal custody right now and we're waiting to bring him back to San Juan---we’re going to arraign him on human trafficking charges."

A charge, Gonzalez said did not exist ten years ago.

Jenny Clark is the organizer for STC’s Human Trafficking Conference. She said for years people did not know the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.

She said now that laws have been established more cases are being reported.

"I think there is an increase, but I think it's also because we're starting to recognize what human trafficking is,” Clark said. “Years ago when I would do this conference people would ask what human trafficking is--now they know and I think we're going to see more cases identified."

Gonzalez said despite the progress made in prosecuting human trafficking cases---they still have ways to go.

Katie Lopez

ValleyCentral.com

April 07, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Texas, USA

Austin Police Department investigating human trafficking case

The Austin Police Department is investigating a human trafficking case. They have charged 38-year-old Felix Logo Medina with one count of aggravated kidnapping.

According to his arrest affidavit, Medina kidnapped a man from Nuevo Laredo then demanded his family pay ransom or he would be killed by Zeta drug cartel members.

The family paid $800, but then Medina came back demanding another $3,400. Police set up a sting and made the arrest. That is when they discovered seven other people being held in the same apartment. Those cases remain under investigation.

KVUE

April 08, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

New York State, USA

Katherine Sanchez

Carlos A. Cardenas

Bail set at $1 million in rape, slaying of teen

Katherine Sanchez, who vanished in January, was killed by Carlos Cardenas, authorities say.

Albion - Bail was set at $1 million Wednesday for an illegal immigrant charged with raping and killing his 15-year-old sister-in-law Jan. 15 in the bathroom of his home on East State Street.

Orleans County Judge James P. Punch set the high bail for Carlos A. Cardenas, 21, "considering the profound seriousness of these charges and the questionable citizenship status of the defendant."

Through an interpreter, Cardenas, a Mexican national, pleaded not guilty to a grand jury indictment charging him with two counts of second-degree murder — intentional killing and causing a death in the course of committing another felony — along with first- and third-degree rape.

Punch ordered District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone and public defender Sanford L. Church to return to court May 9 to report on plea negotiations, if any.

The body of Katherine Sanchez was found in a Ridgeway apple orchard Feb. 18. Cardenas told police that he accidentally strangled the girl after they had sex and she threatened to tell Cardenas' wife.

Thomas J. Prohaska

Buffalo News

April 06, 2011


Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 

Texas, USA

Cameron County man jailed for getting underage girl pregnant

A Cameron County man is out on bond after being accused of being in an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl who is now pregnant with his child.

Cameron County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested 25-year-old Sigifredo Galvan on a sexual assault of a child charge on Tuesday.

Court records released on Friday show he had been involved with a romantic relationship with a 15-year-old girl against her mother’s approval.

The now-16-year-old girl told her parents back in January that she was pregnant with Galvan’s child. Doctors later confirmed the teens claims.

Court records show that Galvan told the girl’s mother he was willing to sign a document that he would take care of the girl and their baby.

The mother refused saying she had been trying to keep her and Galvan apart for the past year.

Galvan appeared before Cameron County Magistrate Judge Patricia Edelstein on Wednesday morning where he was issued a $40,000 dollar bond.

Jail records show that Galvan posted bond on Thursday.

Galvan does not appear to have a prior criminal record.

Sergio Chapa

ValleyCentral.com

April 01, 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. 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. 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. 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 

Mexico

Convicted millionaire and child pornographer Jean Succar Kuri

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

 
   

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

See also:

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.

While "Little Brown Maria in the Brothel" - our metaphor for the voiceless victims, suffers yet another day chained to a bed in Tijuana, Acapulco, Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Tapachula and Cancun, the entire law enforcement infrastructure of Mexico sits by and does virtually nothing to stop this mass gender atrocity from happening.

That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for a Mexico that is a member of the world community, and that is a signatory to international protocols that fight human trafficking and that defend women and children's human rights.

We once again call upon U.S. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama to stand-up and speak out with the moral authority of the United States in support of the forces of change in Mexico.

Political leaders and non governmental organizations around the world also have a responsibility to speak-up, and to let the government of President Felipe Calderón know that the fact that his ruling party (finally) supported presenting a forum on trafficking, and the holding of a few press conferences, is not enough of a policy turn-around to be convincing.

The PAN must take strong action to aggressively combat the explosive growth in human slavery in Mexico in accordance with international standards. Those at risk, and those who are today victims, await your effective response to their emergency, President Calderón.

Enacting a 'general' federal law that is enforceable in all of Mexico's states would be a good fist step to show the world that sincere and honest voices against modern day slavery do exist in Congress, and are willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

As for Secretary Mont, we suggest, kind sir, that you consider the age-old entrepreneurial adage, and either "lead, follow, or get out of the way" of progress.

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

[Note: The figure of 75% of 1.5 million indicates that 1.1 million girls between the ages of 12 and 13 at any given time engage in prostitution in central Mexico alone. - LL]


LibertadLatina

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


A child in prostitution in Cancun, Mexico  stands next to a police car with an adult john.

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

Thousands of foreign sex tourists arrive in Cancun daily from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the intention of having sex with children, according to a short documentary film by a local NGO (see below link). Police and prosecutors refuse to criminalize this activity.

This grotesque business model, that of engaging in child sex tourism, exists along Mexico's entire northern border with the U.S., along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala [and Belize], and in tourist resorts including Acapulco, Cancun and Veracruz. Thousands of U.S. men cross Mexico's border or fly to tourist resorts each day to have sex with minors.

Unfortunately, Mexico's well heeled criminal sex traffickers have exported the business model of selling children for sex to every major city as well as to many migrant farm labor camps across the U.S.

Human trafficking in the U.S. will never be controlled, despite the passage of more advanced laws and the existence of ongoing improvements to the law enforcement model, until the 500-year-old 'tradition' of sexual slavery in Mexico is brought to an end.

The most influential political factions within the federal and state governments of Mexico show little interest in ending the mass torture and rape of this innocent child population.

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

Our one page flyer about Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva (Microsoft Word 2003)


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

Award-winning anti-child sex trafficking activist, journalist, author and women's center director Lydia Cacho

Muertes por violencia en México podrían ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

Especialistas indagan si asesinatos vinculados con el crimen son una estrategia del Estado, dijo.

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en México en los últimos años, 15 mil en los últimos tres años, podrían formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declaró este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

Deaths from violence in Mexico could be the results of social cleansing: Lydia Cacho

Specialists are investigating whether murders are state strategy, Cacho says.

Madrid. Deaths from violence in Mexico in recent years, including 15,000 during the past three years, could form part of a plan of "social cleansing by the Mexican State," declared Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho in Madrid, Spain on Monday.

"Experts are beginning to investigate at this time in Mexico whether these 15,000 murders are linked to intentional social cleansing by the Mexican State," Cacho said in a press conference in which she denounced human rights violations and persecution of the press in her country.

Since President Felipe Calderón [became president] three years ago, we have been witnessing a growing authoritarianism in Mexico "justified by the war " (on drugs), in which " militari-zation, and harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is increasing danger-ously," stated Cacho.

Cacho was kidnapped [by rogue state police agents] and tortured in Mexico after divulging information about a pedophile ring in which businessmen and politicians were involved.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will determine in an upcoming decision whether Mexican authorities violated the rights of the journalist in that case.

The foundation that bears Cacho's name, created in Madrid a year ago, is organizing a concert to raise funds to help pay for her defense before the IACHR...

Cacho is the author of [the child sex trafficking exposé] The Demons of Eden. In recent years she has received several awards for her work on behalf of human rights carried out through investigative journalism, including the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

Madrid - A muckraking Mexican journalist known for exposes of pedophile rings and child prostitution said on Monday that President Felipe Calderón’s bloody campaign against Mexico’s drug cartels is “not a battle for justice and social peace.”

Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats and judicial persecution for her writings, told a press conference in Madrid that Mexico’s justice system is “impregnated with corruption and impunity.”

Accompanied by the head of the Lydia Cacho Foundation, Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna; and Madrid Press Association President Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja, the author said the nearly three years since Calderón took office have seen increased “authoritarianism” and harassment of journalists and human rights advocates.

The period has also witnessed “15,000 documented killings,” Cacho said, exceeding the carnage in Colombia at the height of that country’s drug wars.

“Specialists are beginning to investigate if those 15,000 killings are linked with intentional social cleansing on the part of the Mexican state,” she said.

Calderón, she noted, “insists on saying that many of those deaths are collateral effects and that the rest are criminals who kill one another.”

“It is a war among the powerful and not a battle for justice and social peace,” she said of the military-led effort against drug cartels, which has drawn widespread criticism for human rights abuses.

Cacho also lamented “self-censorship” in the highly concentrated Mexican media, saying that many outlets color their reporting to avoid trouble with the government and other powerful interests.

A long-time newspaper columnist and crusader for women’s rights, Lydia Cacho became famous thanks to the furor over her 2005 book “Los demonios del Eden” (The Demons of Eden), which exposed wealthy pedophiles and their associates in the Mexican establishment.

In the book, she identified textile magnate Kamel Nacif as a friend and protector of accused pedophile Jean Succar Kuri, who has since been sent back to Mexico from the United States to face charges.

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calderón completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calderón’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calderón’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The Mérida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

The National Organization of the Anvil, or simply El Yunque (The Anvil), is the name of a secret society... whose purpose, according to the reporter Alvaro Delgado, "is to defend the [ultra-conservative elements of the] Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan, whether through violence or murder "and establish" the kingdom of God in the land that is subject to the Mexican Government, to the mandates of the Catholic Church, through the infiltration of all its members at the highest levels of political power.

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

Nuestra declaración de 2005 Día Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en día, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as niñas de todas las Américas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al público en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presión popular sobre los funcionarios electos y otros encargados de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de género -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las niñas de las Américas.

¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


LibertadLatina

Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula

Mexico

The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Doméstica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de la Prostitución ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevención de la migración temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's Santo Tomás Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitution and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

The New York Times' ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia Pérez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

Read our new section on the prostitution of infants by trafficking gangs across Latin America

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008


About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking ...is... big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.