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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

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Foto: Belinda Hernández

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


 

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

Noticias de Mayo, 2009

May 2009 News



Added: May 31, 2009

Ecuador

Sex trafficking routes from Colombia to Ecuador

Map: El Comercio

El club nocturno El Triángulo, de Ibarra, indagado por posible trata de personas, reabrió sus puertas.

Hace un mes, 50 policías y fiscales allanaron la casa de citas, ubicada en la parroquia El Priorato. Los uniformados encontraron a mujeres encerradas sin agua potable y con muestras de haber sufrido abuso psicológico y sexual. 31 mujeres colombianas, entre adultas y menores de 18 años, fueron rescatadas y auxiliadas....

The Triangle Club in Ibarra is allowed to re-open after being investigated for human trafficking

A month ago, 50 police officers and prosecutors raided the brothel of the Triangle Club in the city of Ibarra. Investigators found women locked inside without access to drinking water. They showed signs of having suffered sexual and psychological abuse. Some 31 Colombian women and underage girls were rescued and provided assistance.

The alleged exploitation scheme is under investigation by  prosecutors, who have identified 5 suspects for possible prosecution. Despite the raid, the Triangle Club has been allowed to reopen.

The police chief of Imbabura province, Richard Rosales, said that he has no order to have the club closed. Our newspaper, El Comercio, has learned that in fact an order to close the club had been issued by the Government Ministry.

Sebastián Silva, head of the local Ibarra office of the federal Human Trafficking Unit, said that "The local police chief did not sanction the club despite their involvement in a flagrant crime." The Governor of Imbabura province insists that "the business has all of the required permits."

The decision by Chief Rosales caused consternation within the Human Trafficking Unit. Its representatives announced they will initiate actions to sensitize local authorities in Imbabura and Carchi, to boost local efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation, and to ensure that these types of businesses are closed down.

El Comercio

May 29, 2009

See also / Vea tambien:

Added: May 31, 2009

Ecuador

Una red de tráfico y  trata de personas operaba en Ibarra  y Shushufindi.

Luego de dos meses de investigaciones, la Unidad de Trata de Personas de la Policía, en colaboración con agentes de Imbabura y de Sucumbíos, desarticularon una banda que reclutaba mujeres colombianas para que trabajen de prostitutas en Ecuador.

Police find human trafficking network operating in Ibarra and Shushufindi

After two months of investigation, Ecuador’s Human Trafficking police unit, working in collaboration with agents from the provinces of Imbabura and Sucumbíos have disrupted a criminal network that recruited Colombian women to work as prostitutes in Ecuador.

The first of several raids was executed at the Triangle Club in the city of Ibarra. Five people were arrested and 17 women sexually exploited women and girls were rescued. The latest operation took place in the town of Shushufindi in nearby Sucumbíos province. A group of police raided the ‘Fine Wood’ brothel. There police found six Colombian women, two of whom were minors.

Police discovered that women who had been deported to Colombia in previous raids had been forced to return to Ecuador days later by the operators of the Triangle Club...

After their rescue, the Colombian victims confirmed to the police that the club managers had locked them up without food for several days and forced them into prostitution against their will and without pay. During the raid, police found several women in small rooms with locks on the doors.

DINAPEN, Ecuador’s national child protection agency reported that they are now interviewing the six underage victims found in Sucumbíos. Prosecutors had already taken statements from the adult women rescued in the raids. The victims have cooperated with the authorities. The women will soon be returned to their home cities in Colombia.

For now, the victims are living under government protection in Ibarra, Quito and Shushufindi.

Full English Translation

El Comercio

May 29, 2009


Added: May 31, 2009

Mexico

Todo un “mazacote” para elegir al nuevo Ombudsman

Former Baja California human rights prosecutor alleges corruption in efforts to replace current ombudsman Francisco Sanchez Corona. (Story to be translated soon)

AFN

May 20, 2009

PAN intentará castigarme por apoyar ILE: Ombudsman de BC   

México DF - El Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) no me ratificará en mi cargo, intentará castigarme y cobrarme su apoyo a las mujeres, pues fui el único Ombudsman, de entre 12 titulares de las comisiones de derechos humanos en igual número de entidades, que interpuso un recurso de inconstitucionalidad por la aprobación del Decreto 175 de Derecho a la Vida, que penaliza el aborto, el uso de anticonceptivos y la fecundación in Vitro, señaló el procurador de los Derechos Humanos (PDH) de Baja California, Francisco Sánchez Corona.

Baja California’s state human rights ombudsman Sanchez: The National Action Party (PAN) is punishing me for my advocacy supporting abortion rights

Mexico City – Baja California Human Rights Ombudsman Francisco Sanchez Corona has announced that the National Action Party (PAN) is going to punish him by not re-authorizing his position as state human rights ombudsman [and prosecutor] because of his advocacy for women. Sanchez Corona added that he was the only human rights ombudsman among those from 12 states where Ordinance 175 has been passed by  legislatures to have opposed the law. The bill provides for the right to life for the unborn and criminalizes abortion, contraceptive use and in vitro fertilization.

During the forum: "The Same Rights for All Women and Men: Gender and Reproductive Rights in the Constitutional Debate in Mexico," which was held at the Institute for Legal Research (IIJ) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Sanchez Corona stated that his state government position will be terminated on May 31, 2009, despite expressions of support for him by civil society organizations (CSOs), academics and local media. Sanchez Corona noted that in addition, his team will be fired, and his agency will receive a sharp cut to its budget.

On January 26, 2009, Sanchez Corona submitted a request to the Supreme Court of the Nation (SCJN), requesting that they declare Ordinance 175 to be unconstitutional. The law prohibits the decriminalization of abortion, and prohibits its use in cases of rape and fetal abnormalities…

The Baja California state Congress is composed of a majority of legislators from the PAN party and its allies, who have a well defined position in relation to my ratification, said Sanchez Corona. Ratification of the renewal of his position requires 17 votes. Although he is only lacking two of those votes, Sanchez Corona said, "I think they are looking to make deals that will insure that my ratification cannot be approved."

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 21, 2009


Added: May 30, 2009

Mexico

Map showing age of sexual consent in the northern regions of the Americas

Map: Wikimedia.org

 The Americas: age

 of sexual consent

Mexico's   ages are some the world's lowest

The Second Assault: Obstructing Access to Legal Abortion After Rape in Mexico

Human Rights Watch

Each year, thousands of girls and women in Mexico get pregnant as a result of rape... And then some discover they are pregnant. Mexico's laws, at least on paper, take the only humane response: they permit legal abortion after rape. For many rape survivors, however, actual access to safe abortion procedures is made virtually impossible by a maze of administrative hurdles as well as – most pointedly – by official negligence and obstruction.

At the core of this issue is a generalized failure of the Mexican justice system to provide a solution for rampant domestic and sexual violence, including incest and marital rape. Many of the girls and women Human Rights Watch interviewed had not even attempted to report the abuse they endured, seeing the impunity for rape in the justice system...

Mexico's legal framework for the treatment of domestic and sexual violence in many states is seriously deficient... In thirteen states, intercourse with a minor through seduction (so-called estupro) is only criminal if the minor was "chaste" or "honest," and in eleven states [child seduction] is not penalized if the perpetrator subsequently marries the underage victim.

Incest is defined as "consensual" sex between parents and children or between siblings. Since incest, by this definition, is a crime against the family, and not against the physical integrity of the child, underage incest victims are penalized at the same level as their parents or older siblings. Pregnant victims of incest and [child seduction] are also, by law, denied the right to a legal abortion.

The criminalization of children's sexual behavior – even where they may be victims of abuse – is the more troubling because of a generally low age of consent in Mexico. In two jurisdictions, children are considered capable of consenting to sexual relationships once they reach puberty with no age specified.

In twenty-one of Mexico's thirty-two jurisdictions, children are considered capable of consenting to sexual intercourse at the age of twelve, in one jurisdiction the age is thirteen, in seven jurisdictions it is fourteen, and only in one it is fifteen.

...Police, public prosecutors, and health officials treat many rape victims dismissively and disrespectfully, regularly accusing girls and women of fabricating the rape. Specialized public prosecutor's offices on sexual violence, where they exist, are often in practice the only place to report sexual violence, further impeding access to justice for rape victims in more remote locations... Generous estimates suggest 10 percent of rape victims file an official complaint. The real proportion is likely even less...

Public officials at times aggressively discourage abortion after rape, including for very young rape victims. A social worker in Jalisco told Human Rights Watch: "We ... had the case of an eleven or twelve-year-old girl who had been raped by her brother.... She came here wanting to have an abortion, but we worked with her psychologically, and in the end she kept her baby. Her little child-sibling..."

Human Rights Watch

Mar. 7, 2006

Punished for Abortion in Mexico

One woman's story of prosecution for abortion in Guanajuato, Mexico. Maria sought treatment for complications from an illegal abortion. But doctors reported her to the authorities in Guanajuato, Mexico... [Audio file]

Human Rights Watch

Feb. 26, 2009

See also:

Paulina Ramírez Receives Reparation for the Legal Abortion Denied in 1999

Seven years ago, the authorities of the State of Baja California denied Paulina Ramírez the right to access a legal abortion as guaranteed by the state’s criminal code. She was only 13 years old and pregnant as the result of rape when she filed the police report and requested an abortion, but she was pressured to continue her pregnancy by various judicial officials, healthcare personnel and members of self-named “pro-life” organizations.

Intervention by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) was decisive in reaching an agreement among the state officials, the federal government and the organizations that represented Paulina: the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), from the U.S., and the Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE, Reproductive Choice Information Group) and the women’s group “Alaide Foppa”, both from Mexico...

The Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network

March 23, 2006

LibertadLatina

Commentary

Mexico: "Right to decide" Photo: Cimac

Women's Rights at the Crossroads in Mexico

I stated in a previous editorial that I am personally opposed to abortion, but that as a man, I believe that only the woman involved has a right to determine what to do in any given situation. The decision is none of a man's business.

There are many topics that fall under the heading of human rights for women in Mexico that intersect. This commentary will address a number of related issues that are having the overall effect of weakening the basic human rights that are available to women and girl children.

We have just published an excerpt from the 2006 Human Rights Watch report, "The Second Assault: Obstructing Access to Legal Abortion After Rape in Mexico." Although it was originally published in 2006, it is highly relevant today, in 2009.

As the conservative National Action Party (PAN), in alliance with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) work to make all forms of abortion illegal across the states of Mexico, and as women who want the right to choose stand up to fight these moves, the issues involved become news that is relevant to our main focus, the defense of fundamental human rights for women and girls across the Americas.

We want to emphasize that the movement against abortion, especially to deny abortion for rape victims, which includes for women victims with mental impairments, and also child victims of rape, is occurring hand-and-hand with a movement to roll-back many other basic human rights for women and girls in Mexican society.

In Mexico and across Latin America, girl children are exposed to very high rates of rape and conditions of incest. These girl children are subjected to an obvious violation of their human rights by family members, non-family assailants, and unsympathetic police and prosecutors.

Within Mexican society, many conservative social forces defend the right of adult men to sexually exploit these children, and the right of men to force these children to carry through to term pregnancies that are the result of rape. This is a fact that the Human Rights Watch report acknowledges. Our own collection of news also documents that this belief system, based upon male supremacy, is enforced in Mexico, and exists in almost all other Latin American nations.

The wave of legislation that seeks to ban abortions and even criminalize women and girls who seek them responds in part to the insistence of men who believe that women's bodies belong to them, not to the woman herself. These basic tenets of machismo justify the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Machismo insists that women and girls should not have an independent right to decide.

State laws across Mexico that allow for the prosecution of children raped in situations of incest, and also the meting out of penalties to the child involved, as if they carry the same responsibility as the adult in the situation (whom would be called a perpetrator of child rape in other parts of the world), is one strong example of the dominant role that the 'cult' of machismo plays in Mexican law. These laws are structured this way to conform to the tenets of 'severe' machismo.

It would be one thing if the PAN and Church movement against abortion involved only that, and contained exceptions for rape. Such a movement could be anticipated to exist in any Catholic-majority nation.

But the reality is that in Mexico, machismo, not morality, guides the present movement to ban abortion and roll-back women's basic human rights. Various PAN politicians have advocated not only eliminating access to abortion under all circumstances including the rape of children, but party operatives have: 1) justified the murders of 400 plus women in Juarez City by stating that the deaths were the victim's fault for having worn mini-shirts and other 'immodest' clothing; 2) refused to investigate the Juarez murders or approve access to Juarez to federal special investigators; 3) have attempted to prohibit government workers in states and cities dominated by the PAN from wearing short skirts; 4) have, in the case of President Felipe Calderón, intentionally delayed publishing the required federal regulations enabling the nation's first anti-trafficking law, passed by Congress in 2008; 5) have, also in the case of President Felipe Calderón, intentionally published weak and ineffective federal regulations that fail to empower the nation's anti-trafficking law; 6) have attempted to pass a bill in the city of Guanajuato that would have prohibited couples from kissing on the street, and 7) in the case of former PAN President Vincente Fox's interior minister, declared that condoms were "weapons of mass destruction."

This environment of impunity provides a fertile ground on which to grow a lucrative sex  trafficking industry based upon channeling generations of poor, vulnerable and often indigenous children into forced and 'voluntary' forms of prostitution in a society where those scenarios are looked upon as being perfectly acceptable 'employ-ment options.'

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), based in Mexico City, has reported that about 90% of the estimated 250,000 women and girls who engage in prostitution in Mexico City started 'in the business' at age 12 or 13. Ulloa has also declared that hundreds of thousands of 12 to 13 year old girls are engaged in prostitution across Mexico. In the city of Tapachula, for example, near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala, more than 50% of the 20,000 prostitutes in the city are underage. Many women and girls in Tapachula were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery.

The local laws enforced by police in Tapachula do not penalize the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Their city laws emphasize keeping child prostitutes away from city schools and residential areas.

In Mexico, where the age of consent is 12 in many states, and where many police and prosecutors are actively hostile to rape and trafficking victims, the Palermo Protocol against human trafficking is not worth the paper that it is written on. Those are the facts on the ground, which the Mexican women rights, human rights and indigenous rights press have documented and proved beyond a doubt to be the facts.

We therefore ask, why does the international community work from an incorrect set of assumptions when they address human trafficking and other critical women's right issues? What justifies the international community sitting on its hands and allowing this situation to develop and spin out of control?

During a 2003  conference on Latin American sex trafficking sponsored by the International Organization for Migration, I raised the issue of the fact that current anti-trafficking efforts, especially in regard to the crisis in Latin America, were not working. After asking what more can by done, Organization of American States (OAS) anti-trafficking specialist Laura Langberg stated that we can only work with nations of the region to make their laws stronger.

That was a good response from an OAS perspective, but more, a Global Plan of Action, for example, must be implemented to get around the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of state impunity.

In extreme circum-stances, the United Nations overcomes the problem of criminal impunity by mounting an international force to combat state actors who engage in crimes against humanity.

A Global Plan of Action does not have to target state actors through the use of military action, but some new, creative process must be employed to show nations like Mexico that they cannot just sell the poor and minority women and girls in their nations 'down the river' into a tortured, shortened life of sexual slavery in the brothels of Mexico City, Tijuana, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam and Madrid, just because they are willing to look the other way in exchange for a 'piece' of this multi-million dollar criminal action.

We strongly encourage the people of the world to wake up and actively combat the mass crime against humanity that the oppression of women and girl children in Mexico represents.

Enough is enough!

For those in the international community who believe, as the U.S. State department recently expressed at a United Nations anti-trafficking forum in New York, that a new Global Plan of Action against human trafficking is not needed, because the existing Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons is being adopted by more of the world's nations and is sufficient to address this 'gender emergency,' they are, unfortunately, wrong.

The institutionalized sexism built into the laws and practices of governments such as that of the nation of Mexico under the administration of National Action Party (PAN) President Felipe Calderón are the reality on the ground that cause international legal instruments to be ineffective against child and adult sex trafficking.

With conservative political and religious backing, Mexico's PAN is working to effectively roll-back decades of hard-won progress in regard to the basic human rights of women and girl children in that nation. As this happens, the world's political leaders smile and do nothing that we can visibly observe to object to this gender crisis in the making.

Advocates for women and children's rights across Mexico are standing up and fighting to defend and advance their basic human rights in the face of this onslaught.

We do our part by studying, analyzing, translating and reporting the news about this crisis as it happens. Over time, this emergency is getting progressively worse, requiring an organized response from humanity to stop its uncontrolled growth.

The fact that large numbers of the victims are poor, indigenous and Afro-Mexican women and girls may lead those in power in Mexico to assume that the world will not care, thus leaving their profitable hustle 'sight unseen...' but that assumption would be a wrong one to make as the world slowly wakes up to this issue.

Now, it is up to the people of the world, their governments, and international human rights and women's advocacy institutions that we all rely upon to act honestly, to step up to the plate and take concerted action to end this mass gender atrocity in Mexico.

This call to action is addressed to the United Nations, the Organization of American states, the administration of U.S. President Barak Obama, to the U.S. Congress, and to Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

This is also a call that we make to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, to the U.S. National Organization for Women, to Equality Now, to their sister organizations, and to the general public of all nations.

Stand up and be counted in this urgent human rights struggle!

We are encouraged by the recent statements by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that human traffickers should soon "expect to see an oncoming train" - in the form of a more organized international response to their obscene crime wave.

We also applaud Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor Arbito Chica and diplomats from a number of nations including Belarus, who have recently spoken out to demand that the United Nations develop a Global Plan of Action to really step-up-the-game to effectively combat modern slavery.

The policy of the United States should, we believe, embrace the efforts of Ecuador, Belarus and other nations to develop a Global Plan of Action to get past the ineffectiveness of the Palermo Protocol.

The brave activists in Mexico, including journalist Lydia Cacho, and women's rights lawyer Teresa Ulloa, face institutional impunity and political indifference. In the case of Lydia Cacho, the price she has had to pay for exposing the corrupt politicians and millionaire business-men who protect and promote commercial child sexual exploitation has included repeated death threats and having been kidnapped, tortured, jailed and tried unjustly by the courts by Puebla state's governor, Mario Marin.

Through all of these events, Mexico's PAN-lead government has remained silent about these human rights abuses, and has worked actively to weaken the nation's first anti-trafficking law, thwarting the will of the nation's Congress in the process.

Activists, women and children at risk, and those who are today victims of exploitation with impunity deserve our help. Let's give that help to them now, because they cannot win this battle alone.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 30, 2009

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, 2007

See also:

In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime
Rape Victims Face Widespread Cultural Bias in Pursuit of Justice

...Mexico is struggling to modernize its justice system, but when it comes to punishing sexual violence against women, surprisingly little has changed in a century. In many parts of Mexico, the penalty for stealing a cow is harsher than the punishment for rape.
Although the law calls for tough penalties for rape—up to 20 years in prison—only rarely is there an investigation into even the most barbaric of sexual violence. Women's groups estimate that perhaps 1 percent of rapes are ever punished...

Mary Jordan

The Washington Post

June 30, 2002

See also:

Bridging the Global Gap - The Work of the International AIDS Women's Caucus

Sexual abuse and rape, important causes of HIV/AIDS infection among adolescent girls, has increased and now affects girls at younger age worldwide (UNAIDS...).

In many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, the age of sexual abuse and rape predominates in girls younger than 10 years old...

Dr. Mabel Bianco

Body Positive

Feb., 2002


Added: May 29, 2009

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Human Rights Alert

Emilio Álvarez Icaza,
Chairman, Commission for Human Rights of Mexico City, Mexico

Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Presidente De La Cdhdf, Demanda Proteger A La Periodista Lydia Cacho

México, DF.- El presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal (CDHDF), Emilio Álvarez Icaza, manifestó que cualquier ataque a los periodistas en México atenta contra la democracia.

Al expresar su preocupación por las amenazas de muerte que ha recibido la autora de “Los Demonios del Edén” el Ombudsman cuestionó los esfuerzos que han realizado autoridades para prevenir y castigar las agresiones a periodistas y añadió que la actuación oficial sólo ha mandado señales de debilidad e impunidad para garantizar el trabajo periodístico.

En alusión a la ceremonia del Premio Nacional de Periodismo, donde se destacó el creciente número de comunicadores asesinados, Álvarez Icaza preguntó: “¿Qué tendrá que pasar para que el próximo premio no empiece recordando a los periodistas que murieron, a los que fueron levantados o los que están desaparecidos?”.

Emilio Alvarez Icaza, President of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City (CDHDF), demands that Mexico's government protect Lydia Cacho

Mexico City - The president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF -  Mexico City), Emilio Álvarez Icaza has declared that any attack on journalists in Mexico threatens democracy.

While expressing concern about the death threats received by journalist Lydia Cacho, the author of the book "The Demons of Eden," Mexico City’s human rights ombudsman also questioned the efforts of authorities to prevent and punish attacks on journalists. Álvarez Icaza added that official actions to date have only sent signals of weakness and impunity in regard to protecting the work of journalists.

During Mexico’s annual National Journalism Award ceremony, which focused upon the growing number of journalists who have been killed in Mexico, Álvarez Icaza asked: "What will it take for the next award ceremony not to have to begin with a recounting of the number of journalists who have been killed, kidnapped and disappeared?”

Odett Sosa Ramón

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 28, 2009

See additional article on this human rights alert below


Added: May 29, 2009

Peru, Indigenous Latin America

First Continental Summit of Indigenous Women - Peru

Cumbre De Mujeres Del Abya Yala Plantea Problemática De La Discriminación

Perú - La Primera Cumbre Continental de Mujeres Indígenas se realiza en este momento a orillas del lago Titicaca, en Puno, Perú, frontera con Bolivia. La discriminación a las mujeres indígenas fue una problemática abordada este jueves, informó la agencia Púlsar.

Este encuentro se enmarca en la Cuarta Cumbre Continental de Pueblos y Nacionalidades Indígenas que también cuenta con el Segundo Encuentro de Niñez y Adolescencia Indígena. Unas dos mil mujeres de todo el continente participan de la Cumbre…

Continental Summit of Indigenous Women Discusses the Problem of Discrimination

Peru - The First Continental Summit of Indigenous Women is taking place at this time on the shores of Lake Titicaca in the city of Puno, Peru, on the Bolivian border. About two thousand women from across the continent are participating in the Summit.

Discrimination against indigenous women was the main topic discussed during Thursday’s session.

This women’s summit is part of the Fourth Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities, which also includes the Second Meeting of Indigenous Children and Adolescents. 

The representative of the National Association of Rural Women Indian Chile, Manué Milla said that our struggle is essential to achieve equality. Milla said that the Mapuche have women leaders in their communities, known as machis, and also in the political organization.

Marta García Aguilar, a radio talk show host from Radio Calenda in Oaxaca, Mexico, stressed the need for women to know their rights in order to defend them.

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 28, 2009

See also:

 

Sito del Cumbre indigena de 2007

Web site of the 2007 Continental Indigenous Summit (In Spanish)

cumbre continental indigena.org

2007

See also:

Indigenous Women Convene Summit in Mexico

A first-of-its-kind meeting will ask indigenous women what obstacles are in their way of good health and educational opportunities--and how they think governments should address their needs.

Mexico City - Silvia de Jesus Maya never had the chance to go to school. Maya, a Mazahua Indian, started working when she was a girl, married when she was 14, and had the first of her four children when she was 16. It was only after living through police repression, stone throwers who mocked her traditional dress and the unsolved murder of her father by thieves in 1996 that she decided to learn how to read and write so that she could defend herself, her family and her people from discrimination. By then, she was 37 years old.

Maya founded el grupo Mansion Mazahua, A.C. (the Mazahua House Group) in Mexico City, where indigenous women study together and advocate for education and housing for their communities. This week, 260 indigenous women like her are in Oaxaca, Mexico, to brainstorm about how to increase the political representation of Latin America's 25 million indigenous women and improve their health, literacy and treatment on the job...

Laurence Pantin

Women's eNews

Dec. 02, 2002


Added: May 27, 2009

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Human Rights Alert

Journalist and women's rights defender Lydia Cacho faces new death threats in Cancun, Mexico

Photo: La Prensa San Diego

Denuncia Lydia Cacho amenazas de muerte e intimidación

La organizatión Article 19 pide al Estado mexicano garantice su seguridad

La periodista Lydia Cacho Ribeiro denunció ante la opinión pública que ha recibido amenazas de muerte en su blog de Internet desde febrero pasado y que durante los últimos días ha sido vigilada por hombres armados apostados frente a su domicilio.

Lydia Cacho es autora de Los demonios del Edén: el poder detrás de la pornografía infantil, libro publicado en 2005, en el que denuncia a una red de pederastia y por el cual fue demandada judicialmente por Jean Succar Kuri, uno de los protagonistas principales del texto. Por ello fue también detenida arbitrariamente, torturada, secuestrada y encarcelada por agentes policíacos, instruidos por Mario Marín, gobernador de Puebla.  

Ella denunció ante la Fiscalía para Delitos contra periodistas, pero fue dejada en la indefensión juridical…

Lydia Cacho denounces death threats and intimidation

The human rights organization ‘Article 19’ asks the Mexican government to guarantee Cacho’s security

Mexico City - Journalist Lydia Cacho has reported to the public that she has received death threats by way of emails that have been sent to her Internet blog since last February (2009). During the past few days she has been protected by [additional] armed guards around her apartment.

Cacho is the author of Demons of Eden: the Power Behind Child Pornography. Her book, published in 2005, denounces a network of pedophiles [and child sex traffickers]. In response, millionaire businessman Jean Succar Kuri, accused by Cacho of being a ringleader of the group, sued Cacho for defamation [a criminal offense in Latin America]. In addition, Cacho was arbitrarily kidnapped, detained, tortured and then imprisoned by Puebla state police officers, who were sent across country to arrest Cacho in Cancun by Puebla Governor Mario Marin.

[Note: A secretly recorded tape recording, since made public, exists in which Governor Marin is congratulated by Succar Kuri’s alleged co-conspirator, millionaire Kamel Nacif Borge, for Marin’s act of kidnapping and torturing Cacho. Nacif Borge refers to Marin as "my precious governor" during the recording, and Governor Marin rejoices at the suffering that he was causing Cacho. Lydia Cacho has had to live with armed guards since these events occurred]...

In response to the latest series of threats, Cacho decided to go public. Cacho noted that during her abduction and torture at the hands of Puebla state police officers [in late 2005], those agents warned her that they would retaliate if she denounced their crimes against her.

Cacho also explained that Succar Kuri had sworn that he would have her murdered, because he holds Cacho responsible for his imprisonment...

The recent threats, acts of intimidation and surveillance targeting Cacho coincide with the administrative processing that the state attorney general’s office in Puebla has initiated against two Puebla state Judicial Police officers who, at the end of 2005, transported Cacho from her home in Cancun to Puebla under conditions that violated her human rights [these incidents included threats that the agents would rape Cacho].

Intimidation and Surveillance

From February 3rd, 2009 through the present, Lydia Cacho has received death threats through her blog, including some that claim that she "will soon be butchered."

[On five occasions during May of 2009, suspicious men have parked in front of Cacho's apartment and in front of her women's center in Cancun. On two of these occasions, witnesses have seen a gun tucked into the belt of one or more of these suspects].

Lydia Cacho contacted the Quintana Roo state police, but their response was that the license plate number did not match the car that had been seen. Police are still trying to figure out who owns the cars whose license plates had been noted by witnesses to these incidents.

Local authorities do not consider threats-by, or the presence-of an armed civilian as being a criminal matter, so no complaint could be filed.

A Call to the Mexican State

In response to these incidents, Dr. Agnès Callamard, executive director of ARTICLE 19, an organization that works around the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, said that "the incidents that Lydia Cacho has reported are especially worrisome because the Mexican State had shown itself to be incapable of protecting Lydia Cacho after the series of abuses to which she had been subjected (by Puebla state police), and because of the general climate of danger facing journalists in Mexico.”

Therefore, Dr. Callamard calls upon the Mexican State, in accordance with its international human rights obligations, to take all necessary measures to ensure the physical safety of Lydia Cacho.

Full English Translation

Guadalupe Gómez Quintana

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 27, 2009

See also:

Mexican Journalist Risks Life to Expose Child Sex Rings

San Francisco — The pristine, sandy beaches of Cancun draw more than just visitors looking for a little fun and sun. Those with a penchant for little girls as young as four, have found their way to this region.

Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho is exposing the players in these Cancun-based sex rings, and risking her life for it.

The underage sex rings she has exposed include Mexico’s rich and powerful. Mexico is a country that doesn’t take kindly to exposure of corruption and greed.

Currently the country is in the crosshairs of a violent drug war and some 17 journalists have been killed in the past five years for attempting to expose the corruption. Cacho, herself, is a target…

In her groundbreaking book on child prostitution, “Los demonios del Edén” (The Demons of Eden: The Power that Protects Child Pornography), published in spring of 2005, she documented the ties between child porn rings, Mexican politicians and prominent businessmen.

She identifies Jean Succar Kuri, a multimillionaire hotel owner, as the head of a group who sexually abused young girls in Cancun…

 “By the time I started writing the book, we knew there were 200 kids in this ring. Most of them poor, without any protection from the Mexican state, because if you are poor, there is no way you can get attention from justice or the police…”

[After her arrest...]Cacho: “That’s when Amnesty International got involved. For any one of you who wrote one of these urgent action letters, thank you very much, it saved my life. I’m living proof of what Amnesty International can do when you sit in your house and write a letter or when you email it.”

R.M. Arrieta

El Tecolote

La Prensa San Diego

May 11, 2007

See also:

45 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000; rights body appeals for end to impunity

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH is its Spanish acronym) appealed to authorities over the weekend to investigate thoroughly the recent killings of a number of journalists here, and to put an end to the impunity for those who kill members of the profession.

Since 2000, 45 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to the latest missive on the issue from the human rights panel. Those who cover organized crime are especially at risk.

Deborah Bonnello

Contract blogger for the Los Angeles Times

Nov. 24, 2008

Read our bilingual collection of articles on the Lydia Cacho case dating back to 2005...

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico


Added: May 27, 2009

Mexico

Human Rights Organizations Break from Amnesty International's 2008 Pro-Merida Initiative Letter

Yesterday, 72 Mexican civil society organizations and a Brigadier General of the Mexican Army sent the following letter to US Congress demanding that all military aid to Mexico be immediately halted. The letter comes as the US House of Representative is considering more than doubling 2009 funding for the war on drugs in Mexico.

Human rights organizations from Mexico City and 21 of Mexico’s 31 states signed the letter.

The signatories express their serious concern that Mexican President Felipe Calderon seeks to further militarize Mexican society. They write, “President Felipe Calderón has introduced a package of proposed legislative reforms to our Congress which contemplate declaring states of emergency that would justify the takeover and control of the Mexican Army over civilian institutions…”

The signatories tell Congress, “The number of complaints for human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces registered by the National Human Rights Commission has increased six-fold during the last two years, reaching 1,230 in 2008.” They note that human rights crimes committed by soldiers [including numerous rapes of rural, and especially indigenous women] are almost never punished...

Kristin Bricker

The Narco News Bulletin

May 7, 2009


Added: May 27, 2009

Mexico

Avalanche of Anti-Abortion Laws

Mexico City - In the last 13 months, 12 of Mexico's 32 states have approved amendments to their state constitutions defining a fertilized human egg as a person with a right to legal protection, and seven other state parliaments are taking steps in the same direction…

Behind the wave of reforms of state constitutions, according to critics, is a pact between the hierarchy of the Mexican Catholic Church and the leadership of the most traditional political parties to curb social movements advocating the legalization of abortion.

"I have no direct evidence, but we have repeatedly heard allegations" that such a pact exists, María Mejía, head of Catholics for the Right to Decide (CDD), told IPS.

According to María Luisa Sánchez, director of the Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE), what is happening is a kind of "revenge" on the part of conservative groups. "These reforms are absurd and put women at risk," she told IPS…

In this country of over 107 million people, an estimated 880,000 abortions are carried out annually…

No woman is happy to make the decision to have an abortion and no woman seeks an abortion for pleasure, which is "something conservatives just don't understand," and that is why they close the doors to women and their rights, and even worse, threaten them with imprisonment, Mejía said…

In the state of Veracruz, for example, abortion carries a prison sentence of six months to four years; in Jalisco it is four months to one year, in Guanajuato from six months to three years, and in Baja California Sur from two months to two years.

Studies indicate that clandestine abortions are the fourth or fifth cause of death among Mexican women, and that obtaining permission for an abortion is complicated and, in many cases, impossible…

Diego Cevallos

Inter Press Servicew (IPS)

May 22, 2009

LibertadLatina

Commentary

The movement to limit abortion rights in Mexico and other Latin American nations such as the Dominican Republic is quite strong at the present time.

I personally am opposed to abortion, but as a man, I believe that only the woman involved has a right to determine what to do in any given situation. The decision is none of a man's business.

The recently expressed policy by U.S. President Barak Obama, that abortion should be rare, and that alternatives, such as adoption, should be made more widely available, strike a chord with us.

In Mexico, we see two related areas of activity associated with the move to restrict abortion that concern us.

First, although the law allows for abortion in cases of rape, especially where mentally impaired women and underage girls are involved, is a legal exception on paper but not in fact. Women and girls in these conditions are routinely denied abortion in Mexico.

The 'cult of machismo' in Mexico and across Latin America has a strong belief that "Women are like shotguns. They should be kept loaded (pregnant), and indoors." This widely held belief limits women in their right to plan their own destinies. The use of contraception, for example, is frowned upon in many parts of Mexican culture.

Second, we are concerned that the Christian Democrat affiliated National Action Party (PAN), the main political advocate for restricting abortion, is also a strong advocate in Mexico for restricting the basic human rights of women in a number of areas. This is where this conservative anti-women's rights tidal wave intersects with our areas of concern.

The above observations reflect the reporting in the Spanish-language women's advocacy press, and especially the work of the CIMAC Noticias women's news agency in Mexico City, and analysis by Kristin Bricker, a U.S. journalist working in Mexico.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 26, 2009

See also:

Interrupción Legal del Embarazo en México

CIMAC Noticias' collection of 100+ articles on the abortion debate in Mexico (In Spanish).

LibertadLatina

Analysis of PAN political actions and policies that have a detrimental impact on women's basic human rights, from our January, 2009 news archive.


¡Héroes!

Lea nuestra sección nueva sobre la lucha de varios congresistas y defensoras de los derechos humanos para lograr obligar que el Presi-dente Felipe Calderón publica un reglamiento fuerte respladar a la nueva ley: Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, de 2008, que hasta ahora es sigue siendo una ley sin fuerzas.

Read our new special section about the brave work of advocates and congressional leaders in Mexico to break-through the barriers of impunity and achieve truly effective federal regulations that will enforce the original congressional intent of Mexico's 2008 Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons

LibertadLatina

May 24, 2009

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATWLAC):

[In Mexico] "We have half a million victims and a flawed trafficking law"

Teresa Ulloa:

Mexico: 500,000 children have been kidnapped or lost during the past 5 years. Only 100,000 have been found.

...The lack of interest “on the part of prosecutors and public security to address this problem has increased the impunity of those who dedicate themselves to this illicit but lucrative business.”

La Jornada

Oct. 16, 2007


Added: May 25, 2009

Mexico

Father Rafael Muñiz Foto: David Solís - xonline.com

Exigen el PAN liberar a sacerdote vinculado a red de pornografía infantil

Desde la tribuna del Congreso local, el diputado panista Antonio Remes Ojeda exigió a la Procuraduría de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF) poner fin al arraigo decretado contra el cura Rafael Muñiz López, a quien se le vincula con una red de pornografía infantil. 

En la sesión plenaria, el panista hizo hoy un pronuncia-miento en favor de la "liberación" del sacerdote, pues según el legislador la PGJDF pretende prolongar el arraigo, impuesto el 17 de abril pasado, generando con ello incertidumbre en torno de su situación legal...

National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico City’s local legislature demands freedom for priest accused of [leading] a child pornography network

From the podium of the Mexico City’s local Congress (legislature), the PAN (National Action Party) deputy Antonio Remes Ojeda has demanded that the Attorney General of the Federal District (PGJDF-Mexico City) cancel the pre-charge detention of Father Rafael López Muñiz, a Catholic priest who has been linked to a child pornography network.  

In the plenary session, Deputy Remes Ojeda declared himself to be in favor of the "liberation" of the priest from jail, given that, according to Deputy Remes Ojeda, prosecutors plan to extent the pre-charge detention imposed on April 17 last, thereby creating uncertainty about the priest’s legal status...

Father Rafael Muñiz and his brother Francisco Javier were arrested in the parish of St. Peter the Apostle in the city of Jalapa on April 17, 2009, and were taken to Mexico City, where they remain under arrest along with seven others accused of involvement in the crime of child pornography.

Prosecutors accuse the priest of being part of an international child pornography network. A computer seized from the parish contained images of sexual acts between adults and victims ranging from infants through age ten...

Although Ojeda Remes admits that the offense that Father Rafael Muñiz is charged with is extremely serious and reprehensible, the PAN Deputy insists that the authorities expedite the investigation, which, he says, "there is not any substantial evidence to support the charge."

Full English Translation

 www.proceso.com.mx

May 25, 2009

Related story:

Added: May 25, 2009

Mexico

Major Blow to Child Porn Ring

Seven Mexicans who allegedly created and ran a child porn ring that sent on-line images to Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Chile, Spain, the United States and Venezuela were arrested in Mexico.

The ringleaders of the dismantled network included a Catholic priest and a foreign ministry IT [information technology] employee, the police announced after the arrests Wednesday. The group distributed some 100,000 on-line pictures and videos of children ranging from infants to age 10.

'It was an excellent blow, perhaps one of the most important so far in Latin America. But this is just the tip of the iceberg,' Teresa Ulloa, director of the Mexico City-based Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean

(CATWLAC), told IPS...

Ulloa said she hopes the police cooperate with authorities abroad to track down the users and members of the ring in other countries, in order to arrest more criminals, which 'without a doubt there are,' she added.

'This case should have international repercussions; this is an extremely serious crime,' said the activist, whose regional coalition brings together 250 NGOs from 25 countries...

In Latin America there are at least 100 online forums that swap child porn, one-third of which are in Mexico, Dimitri Senmache Artola, president of the Peruvian Network Against Child Pornography, said in an October international conference on the issue in Mexico...

...The president of the city’s Human Rights Commission, Emilio Álvarez, put the number [of child prostitutes in Mexico City] at 7,000.

Diego Cevallos

Inter Press Service

April 23, 2009

Related story:

Added: May 25, 2009

Mexico

Parishioners Support Mexican Priest Accused in Child Porn Case

Veracruz [state], Mexico - Scores of people demonstrated Friday in Xalapa, capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, to demand the release of a Catholic priest jailed for his alleged participation in a child-pornography ring operating via the Internet.

The demonstrators - who numbered some 200, according to organizers - came out in support of the Rev. Rafael Muñiz Lopez, pastor of St. Peter Apostle Church, who was arrested Wednesday by Mexico City authorities along with six other accused pedophiles...

The investigation that led to the priest’s arrest began last month when Mexico City prosecutors discovered an e-mail containing images of sex acts involving minors.

On a Web page linked with the e-mail investigators noted “scenes of explicit sex between adults and girls and boys from 0 to 10 years old,” the DA’s office said.

Police tracked the Web site to Luis Alejandro Vergara, 32, at whose Mexico City home they found a large amount of child pornography.

Vergara, who confessed to rape and sexual abuse, was an employee of Mexico’s foreign ministry, which said it would fully cooperate with the investigation.

Information on Vergara’s computer led police to six other individuals in five different Mexican states, including the Rev. Muñiz and his brother.

The Catholic hierarchy in Veracruz on Thursday urged people not to rush to judgment about Muñiz but instead to wait until the investigations have been concluded.

EFE

04/25/2009

Related story:

Added: May 25, 2009

Mexico

Señala autoridad que cura sólo veía fotos de menores

La Procuraduría General de Justicia de Veracruz descarta red de pornografía infantil en la entidad

Xalapa - La Arquidiócesis de Xalapa informó ayer que apoya jurídicamente a Rafael Muñiz López, sacerdote de la iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol, acusado de participar en una red de pederastas a través de internet; de la misma manera, algunos feligreses califican como “injusta” la detención e iniciaron jornadas de oración en favor del párroco...

Prosecutors indicate that Father López Muñiz spent all of his time viewing child porn

The Attorney General of the state of Veracruz (on the Caribbean coast) denies that a child pornography network exists in the state capitol of Xalapa.

The Archdiocese of Xalapa reported yesterday that it will provide legal support to Rafael López Muñiz, a priest from the Church of St. Peter the Apostle, who is accused of participating in a network of pedophiles through the Internet. Some parishioners have also described Father López Muñiz’ detention as “unjust” and have started prayer vigils for the priest.

At the same time, the Attorney General of Veracruz denied the existence of a network of pedophiles operating in the state and said that the López Muñiz brothers were "fans of these types of pictures (child pornography)."

The state Attorney General for Justice, Marco Antonio Aguilar Yunes said that there is no associated child prostitution network or anything resembling one. "

The official reported that the Attorney General’s Office of the Federal District (PGJDF-Mexico City) has requested the assistance of their counterpart Veracruz…

The spokesman for the Archdiocese, Quintín López Cessa advised the press that father López Muñiz has been given a lawyer and he will be accompanied throughout the legal process. López Cessa also warned that, if the priest is found  guilty, he must respond for the offense and the Catholic Church could separate him from his ministry…

Veronica Danell

Excelsior

April 24, 2009

See also:

Lydia Cacho

Asombro internacional ante impunidad de pedófilos en México

The international community expresses astonishment in the face of pedophile impunity in Mexico

...My journey began in London, where a researcher on child pornography told me that Mexico was the only country that refused to cooperate with his team’s efforts to pursue abusers discovered [usually on the Internet] by their investigations. The impunity of the Office of the Attorney General continues to amaze the British....

Lydia Cacho

March 02, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

The  case of Rafael Muñiz López and others arrested by prosecutors for being ring-leaders of an international child pornography ring may turn out to be a landmark.

The press articles on this issue show that many institutions within Mexico are willing to defend child pornographers to whom they have close political or religious ties. Public outrage about this fact is also being expressed.

The Attorney General's office in Xalapa, location of Father Muñiz López' parish, denies, for example, that child pornography networks exist in the state of Veracruz. Yet we have reported a number of stories on the fact that the state of Veracruz is a major center for child prostitution networks, and has been for many years.

We also note with concern that the PAN (National Action Party), a conservative Christian Democrat party closely tied to the most conservative elements of the Church, has consistently engaged in staking political positions that given the appearance of being misogynist.

The most glaring  example has been President Calderón's 11 month refusal to publish federal regulations to support the 2008 anti-trafficking law, the first of its kind in Mexico.

The weak regulations that the President finally did publish were further evidence that the PAN political machine is opposed to advancing the human rights of women and children in Mexico, and instead is in favor of maintaining the status quo of discrimination based upon defending the 'cult' of negative machismo.

If the major case of the arrest of Father Rafael Muñiz López and his six alleged co-conspirators is meant by the Mexican govern-ment to send a signal that they will now, finally, enforce the law, then we wish them good luck in resisting the many political forces that desire to make this case go away.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 26, 2009

See also:

Mexico

Photo: CIMAC

Niñas sin ventanas III - Una historia de explotación sexual y drogas

Girls Without Windows III - A History Of Sexual Exploitation And Drugs

The lack of public policies in support of prostituted girls is evident in Mexico, and the lack of opportunities to find a better destiny are visible only in rare cases...

Nine years ago, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Ophelia Calcetas-Santos, expressed her concerns about the increasing rates of [poverty, a childhood lived in the streets, juvenile crime, teen motherhood, child prostitution and sex trafficking] and the lack of legislation to protect to children. 

Calcetas-Santos raised the alarm about tourist centers such as Cancun, about Mexico City, and also in regard to the cities of Veracruz, Xalapa (both in Veracruz state}, Juarez City, and Tijuana...

Rich men, Poor Men

If there is something for sale, it is because there is a demand for it.  From North to South, the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico continues.  Male U.S. sex tourists seek out girls as young as 9-years-old, who typically come from impoverished rural areas.

Mexican child exploitation specialist Teresa Ulloa…

"The main problem in Mexico is internal trafficking that focuses on sending girls to the northern [Mexican-U.S.] border region, where consumers [of child prostitu-tion] are U.S. men.  In the Pacific Ocean resort areas, U.S. and European men are the problem.  In southern Mexico, Mexican men are the primary exploiters..."

- Miriam Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

April 17, 2006


Added: May 24, 2009

California, USA

Carlos Garcia Morales

Carlos Garcia Morales arrested for kidnapping of toddler

Oxnard Police have made an arrest in the case of the 20 month old [Latina] girl who was abducted from her parents home early this morning.

The person arrested is Carlos Garcia Morales, 23 years old of Oxnard.

Mr. Morales will be charged with 209 PC (kidnapping to commit rape), 288.7 PC (Sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 or under) and 459 PC (burglary)...

Ventura County Crime Stoppers

May 15, 2009


Added: May 24, 2009

Latin America

Susana Chiarotti Foto: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

Women Suffer 'Hidden Genocide' in Latin America

Asuncion, Paraguay - Counting cases of machista or sexist violence… shows that "what is happening [in the Latin American region] is practically a genocide, and a hidden one at that," says Susana Chiarotti, coordinator of the Committee of Experts on Violence (CEVI) which is following up on implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará… adopted in the Brazilian city of Belém do Pará in 1994 by the 34 members of the Organization of American States (OAS). [The convention] defines all forms of gender-based violence as human rights abuses, and stipulates binding measures to   eradicate it.

Chiarotti, an Argentine lawyer and long-time activist in the regional women’s rights movement, is also the coordinator of the non-governmental Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM), which is active in 17 countries...

IPS: There are better and stiffer laws now in the region, but the figures on gender-based crimes are still alarming. What is needed for this situation to be overcome?

Chiarotti: Femicide (a term for misogynist or gender-motivated murders of women) has to be fought from several different angles, involving the security forces, the media and sociological studies. It doesn't necessarily need a specific category of its own in the criminal code…

IPS: How do women, the victims of the sexist culture that is so embedded in the region, cope with the problem?

Chiarotti: Women are increasingly tougher and less tolerant of sexism and machismo. We are less inclined to collude with it and have greater solidarity with each other, although of course there are exceptions.

We can also model new roles for our daughters and granddaughters, provide models of women who are strong leaders. Thirty years ago there were hardly any women in the media, or female presidents or lawmakers… 

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

May 19, 2009


Added: May 23, 2009

Mexico

Mexican Congression-al Deputy Maricela Contreras - PRD Party

Piden en el Congreso revisar Reglamento de Ley contra Trata

No tiene estándares mínimos ni atribuciones de dependencias

México DF - Es urgente que se someta a revisión el Reglamento de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, pues existe indiferencia y falta de voluntad del Gobierno para detener esta onda delictiva, tal como lo ha solicitado la Comisión Permanente del Congreso de la Unión, señaló la legisladora Maricela Contreras, presidenta de la Comisión de Equidad y Género de la Cámara de Diputados.

La legisladora perredista informó que en la sesión de la Comisión Permanente del pasado 20 de mayo, se aprobó por unanimidad un exhorto para pedirle al Ejecutivo Federal la revisión de dicho ordenamiento, con el fin de incorporar las disposiciones necesarias que pongan en práctica lo establecido en la Ley de referencia y los tratados internacionales en materia de trata de personas, pues el Reglamento “se queda corto en comparación con lo previsto en la Ley”, señala el dictamen sometido a votación de las y los senadores y diputados...

The Joint Committee of the Mexican Senate and Lower House has voted unanimously to ask President Calderón to revise his federal regulations governing the nation’s first anti-trafficking law.

The current regulations have no minimum standards, nor do they integrate the work of key federal agencies

Mexico City - Mexico City congressional deputy Maricela Contreras, president of the Commission on Equality and Gender of the Chamber of Deputies, has declared that a re-writing of the published Federal Regulations that enable the 2008 Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons is urgently needed, given that there is an indifference and unwillingness on the part of the federal government to stop this crime wave, [human trafficking] in defiance of the will of Congress...

Contreras, who had called for the declaration, stated that "the published rules were delivered late [after a 9 month delay following the law’s passage, and after four warning to President Calderón from Congress - LL], they are 'plain,' and they contain omissions. The rules don’t provide any tools to combat or prevent trafficking, much less any provisions for the care of the victims, who are mostly girls and women. For these reasons, President Calderón should have the rules revised, because in their current state, they aren’t worth anything."

Contreras, who chairs the Commission on Gender Equality [in the chamber of Deputies - Lower House], noted that the regulations “prioritize only public security, and do not focus on human rights, social [personal] safety or social welfare. These regulations strengthen law enforcement institutions, without emphasizing crime prevention and the care of victims..."

Contreras: What really stands out as conspicuous because of its absence is a clear definition of the role of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), who’s office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA) was created specifically to address this problem. Their roles become blurred in the provisions of the current Regulations..."

Finally, Julián Contreras expressed her hope that "the Federal Government does not continue ignoring the need to combat human trafficking. She also hopes that the [Calderón] Executive Branch will be sensitive enough to agree to this request from Congress to quickly and urgently revise the regulations governing the Trafficking Act, to allow Mexico to stop this crime wave that today generates criminals profits of $US 16 billon dollars per year.

Full English Translation

CIMAC Noticias

May 22, 2009


Added: May 23, 2009

The World

Traffickers in human beings should see an oncoming train, strong laws, broad alliances, concerted action, zero tolerance, says Secretary-General

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the General Assembly thematic debate on human trafficking, today, 13 May, in New York:

(Excerpt)

...Trafficking in weapons, drugs and blood diamonds has long been on the United Nations agenda.  Now, we must add people to that list.

...Examples could be drawn from any of a number of countries from Asia, across the Americas, to Europe.  Millions are bought and sold like chattel, most of them women and children.

That is why, more than a year ago, I launched a campaign called “Unite to end violence against women”.  Human trafficking is, indeed, one of the worst forms of violence against women and girls.

We have made some progress, but we must do more ... clearly and simply we must do more.

Partners are coming together.  Member States are starting to shoulder a greater share of responsibility.  The Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, known as UN.GIFT, has done invaluable work.  Many United Nations organizations, the non-governmental organization community and celebrities are actively raising awareness.  And I have just appointed a new Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais.

But these efforts need greater coherence.  We have to take a tougher line against this crime.  Some liken human trafficking to modern-day slavery, and call for a new abolitionist movement.  In days of old, there was an underground railroad.  Today, we want traffickers to see an oncoming train.  Strong laws.  Broad alliances.  Concerted action.  Zero tolerance...

  • First, we need to criminalize human trafficking.  All countries must ratify the United Nations anti-trafficking Protocol.

  • Second, we must prevent victimization by teaching people about their rights and protecting them.

  • Third, we need to reduce demand.

  • Fourth, there must be an end to impunity...

  • Fifth and lastly, we must protect the victims.

...To succeed, we have to mainstream our fight against human trafficking into broader programs.  From poverty reduction to reducing gender discrimination.

Many of you here today have called for a Global Plan of Action.  I welcome your determination, and I say this:  we will achieve nothing without uniting and speaking out.  We will achieve nothing by offering fine rhetoric not matched by deeds.

Moral outrage is all-too-easy.  Real action takes real commitment...

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations

May 13, 2009


Added: May 23, 2009

The World

More information about the United Nations General Assembly's Interactive Thematic Debate: Taking collective action to end human trafficking

At the request of the Republic of Belarus supported by Bahrain, Egypt, Nicaragua, the Philippines, UAE and Qatar on 13 May 2009 the General Assembly held the Interactive Thematic Debate "Taking collective action to end human trafficking," on a global plan of action against trafficking in persons...

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the United Nations

May, 2009


Added: May 23, 2009

The World

Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on the "Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking"

13 May 2009, United Nations Headquarters

Statements

Statements by member states

Statements by observers and agencies

United Nations

General Assembly

May, 2009


Added: May 22, 2009

Mexico

Juzgarán al Estado mexicano por caso Inés, violada por militares

No respondió a recomendaciones de la COIDH

México DF - El Estado Mexicano será juzgado ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) por el caso de Inés, indígena tlapaneca (me´phaa), violada sexualmente por elementos del Ejército Mexicano en marzo de 2002, en Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero, población ubicada en la zona de La Montaña, en el sur del país...

The Mexican State will be tried in international court for the rape of an indigenous woman by soldiers

Mexico never responded to the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Mexico City - The Mexican state will be tried before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Inés, an indigenous Tlapaneca (me'phaa) woman who was raped by members of the Mexican Army in March of 2002 in Ayutla de los Libres, in a mountainous region of the state of Guerrero.

Having exhausted all of the legal avenues within Mexico with no hope of finding justice, Inés was forced to turn to the international courts. Inés brought her case before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Her case will now be heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Both institutions are part of the Inter-American System for Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS)...

On October 12, 2007, the IACHR held a public hearing in Washington, DC, where Ines, together with Valentina, another me`phaa indigenous who had been raped by soldiers in 2002 presented their cases.

After this hearing, the IACHR found, evidence of the Mexican State’s responsibility for the violations of the rights of these women, according to the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center.

A year later, on February 9, Ines' elder brother, Lorenzo, a member of the Indigenous People's Organization Me`phaa (OPIM) and key to the allegations of the rape, was kidnapped and later found dead with obvious signs of torture.

Full English Translation

Sandra Torres Pastrana
CIMAC Noticias

May 21, 2009

See Also:

CIMAC Noticias' collection of nearly 300 articles about cases of sexual assault with impunity perpetrated by military personnel across Mexico - mostly targeting indigenous women.

(in Spanish)


Added: May 22, 2009

Peru

Mandaba pornografía infantil a Europa 

La policía capturó a Luis Miguel Pari Chávez (25), a quien sindicó como uno de los mayores distribuidores, vía Internet, de pornografía infantil a Europa. 

Detectives de la División de Delitos de Alta Tecnología (Divindat) lo arrestaron ayer en el interior de una cabina de Internet, cerca de su casa, en Villa María del Triunfo.

Los agentes lo encontraron cuando, desde una de sus direcciones electrónicas, distribuía imágenes y videos de pornografía infantil. En su casa de la avenida Manco Cahuide Mz. 4-Z, lote 2, los policía encontraron abundante material pornográfico de menores en varios CD y DVD.

Major child pornography distributor arrested

Police have arrested Luis Miguel Pari Chávez, age 25, who has been accused of being one of the largest Internet distributors of child pornography to Europe.

Detectives from the Division of High Technology Crimes (Divindat) arrested Pari Chávez yesterday in a public Internet access business near his home in Villa Maria del Triunfo.

Agents found Pari Chávez while he was in the act of distributing pictures and videos of child pornography. Investigators found a large quantity of child pornography CDs and DVDs at the suspect’s home.

Interpol had reported to detectives from Peru’s Divindat that the suspect was emailing child pornography to Spain.

The police discovered that Luis Pari managed international forums for the exchange of child pornography over the Internet. He was also in contact with pedophiles, who were also detained by special police units.

E. Cirilo

www.trome.com/

May 20 , 2009



Added: May 22, 2009

Ireland

Revelan abusos sexuales endémicosen orfelinatos católicos de Irlanda 

Millares de niños sufrieron sistemáticamente abusos sexuales en orfelinatos, escuelas y reformatorios irlandeses dirigidos por la Iglesia católica, reveló una exhaustiva investigación publicada el miércoles en Dublín. 

Los abusos sexuales en instituciones de niños dirigidos por la iglesia católica irlandesa fueron "endémicos" entre 1930 y 1990, indicó el informe publicado el miércoles, al término de una investigación que duró casi 10 años.

La Iglesia Católica intentó repetidamente impedir la publicación del informe elaborado por una comisión independiente irlandesa que escuchó los testimonios de más de mil personas, que tienen ahora entre 50 y 70 años.

Endemic sexual abuse in Irish Catholic orphanages Ireland is Revealed

Thousands of children were systematically sexually abused in Irish orphanages, reformatories and schools run by the Catholic Church, according to a comprehensive research study published on Wednesday in Dublin.

Sexual abuse of children in institutions run by the Irish Catholic Church were "endemic" between 1930 and 1990, said the report published on Wednesday, following an investigation that lasted nearly 10 years.

The Catholic Church tried repeatedly to prevent the publication of the report, prepared by an independent Irish commission that heard the testimonies of over a thousand people, who are now between 50 and 70 years of age.

Al Dia.com

May 20, 2009


Added: May 21, 2009

Ireland

Thousands raped in Ireland's Christian Brothers schools

Abuse report: Victim of priest says ‘too little, too late’

Horrific child abuse report is published

A fiercely debated, nine-year investigation into Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades — and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.

High Court Justice Sean Ryan today unveiled the 2,600-page final report of Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, which is based on testimony from thousands of former students and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions.

More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families — a category that often included unmarried mothers — were sent to Ireland's austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last church-run facilities shut in the 1990s.

The report found that molestation and rape were "endemic" in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

The Belfast Telegraph

Belfast, Ireland

May 20, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

As a member of the indigenous community in North America, I am motivated by the recently released High Court report on mass rapes being proven to have been endemic in Ireland's Catholic-run boarding schools... to say: Now will you (people of the world) believe us?!

The indigenous children of the United States and Canada faced systemic rape and other physical tortures in the system of boarding schools that were designed, so the story went, to separate Native children from the "heathen ways of their ancestors." Obviously, that statement got the situation exactly backwards.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 21, 2009

See also:

The cover of the book: Sacred Lives
Canadian Aboriginal Children and Youth Speak Out About Sexual Exploitation

(PDF File) By Save the Children Canada

LibertadLatina

The crisis of sexual exploitation with impunity facing indigenous women and children in Canada

Excerpt...

Soul Wound: The legacy of Native American Schools

A 2001 report by the Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada documents the responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the federal government in the deaths of more than 50,000 Native children in the Canadian residential school system.
The report says church officials killed children by beating, poisoning, electric shock, starvation, prolonged exposure to sub-zero cold while naked, and medical experimentation, including the removal of organs and radiation exposure. In 1928 Alberta passed legislation allowing school officials to forcibly sterilize Native girls; British Columbia followed suit in 1933. There is no accurate toll of forced sterilizations because hospital staff destroyed records in 1995 after police launched an investigation. But according to the testimony of a nurse in Alberta, doctors sterilized entire groups of Native children when they reached puberty.

The report also says that Canadian clergy, police, and business and government officials “rented out” children from residential schools to pedophile rings.

...The consequences of sexual abuse can be devastating. "Of the first 29 men who publicly disclosed sexual abuse in Canadian residential schools, 22 committed suicide," says Gerry Oleman, a counselor to residential school survivors in British Columbia...

....Arnold Sylvester, who like Dennis Charlie attended Kuper Island school between 1939 and 1945, corroborates this account.

...Randy Fred (Tsehaht First Nation), a 47-year-old survivor, told the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, "We were kids when we were raped and victimized. All the plaintiffs I've talked with have attempted suicide. I attempted suicide twice, when I was 19 and again when I was 20. We all suffered from alcohol abuse, drug abuse. Looking at the lists of students [abused in the school], at least half the guys are dead."

See also:

“The priests dug up the secret gravesite in a real hurry around 1972, when the school closed. No-one was allowed to watch them dig up those remains. I think it’s because that was a specially secret graveyard where the bodies of the pregnant girls were buried. Some of the girls who got pregnant from the priests were actually killed because they threatened to talk. They were sometimes shipped out and sometimes just disappeared. We weren’t allowed to talk about this.”

Testimony of Arnold Sylvester to Kevin Annett, Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada,

Duncan, British Colombia, August 13, 1998

From: Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust

See also:

Conditions in Native boarding schools the United States...

...Rampant sexual abuse at reservation schools continued until the end of the 1980s, in part because of pre-1990 loopholes in state and federal law mandating the reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse. In 1987 the FBI found evidence that John Boone, a teacher at the BIA [Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs]-run Hopi day school in Arizona, had sexually abused as many as 142 boys from 1979 until his arrest in 1987. The principal failed to investigate a single abuse allegation...

Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools.

...Virtually imprisoned in the schools, children experienced a devastating litany of abuses, from forced assimilation and grueling labor to widespread sexual and physical abuse. Scholars and activists have only begun to analyze what Joseph Gone (a Gros Ventre), a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, calls "the cumulative effects of these historical experiences across gender and generation upon tribal communities today..."

Andrea Smith (Cherokee) is interim coordinator for the Boarding School Healing Project and a Bunche Fellow coordinating AIUSA's [Amnesty International USA] research project on Sexual Violence and American Indian women.

Andrea Smith, for

Amnesty Now

Summer 2003

See also:

LibertadLatina

The Crisis of Sexual Exploit-ation with Impunity facing indigenous and Latin American children in school across the Americas


Added: May 18, 2009

The World

Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor Arbito Chica

Few Governments Serious About Human Trafficking, U.N. Finds

United Nations - The U.N. General Assembly discussed ways of taking stronger collective action to end human trafficking on Wednesday, with delegates debating the need for… a "global plan of action" to end this form of modern slavery.

"National and regional efforts are not enough to cope with this global problem," said Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights Néstor Arbito Chica. "That’s why we call on the U.N. to take action."

The starting point for the debate was whether the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, passed in Palermo, Italy, in 2000, is enough to stop this global problem.

"The protocol is not a sufficient tool for stopping human trafficking, and more than one-third of U.N. member states are not a party to it," said Valentin Rybakov, assistant to the president of Belarus. "The Palermo Protocol is, if you will, an aspirin which helps us to bring the fever down, but aspirin cannot cure us."

The need for a new global plan of action was echoed by the majority of speakers and delegates. The United States, however, felt otherwise: "We believe that the U.N. is already effectively leading the fight against global trafficking."

The U.S. representative’s concerns were that launching a global plan of action would strain the limited resources of the U.N. and, likewise, that the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) "financial and personnel resources would be severely stretched if it were to undertake such a plan of action."

"Efforts undertaken at regional and national levels are clearly not enough," Rybakov countered. "Adopting a global plan of action is not an end in itself to us, but this plan is a logical step."

The U.N. has passed compre-hensive plans of action before - for instance on terrorism, as pointed out by Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC…

Sexual exploitation accounts for 79 percent of human trafficking, it says, while forced labor makes up 18 percent…

"In 2006, the last year for which we have statistics, 22,000 victims were rescued, and we know the problem goes into the millions," Costa said…

Matthew Berger

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

May 14, 2009


Added: May 18, 2009

The United States, the World

Remarks by Carla Menares-Bury, U.S. Dept. of State, on the Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the U.N., General Assembly “Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking" - May 13, 2009

United States Mission to the United Nations Press Release #   097#(09)

...The United States reviewed the Secretary General’s Background Paper and we were pleased to see the number of responses by member states and other stakeholders offering thoughtful ideas for effective implementation of all legal instruments and strengthening international coordination efforts...

...The Background Paper included several comments on the need for this global framework but, in our opinion, it over-stated the depth of support... Indeed, there was concern that this action plan would create a parallel process and divert attention away from priority implementation of the Trafficking Protocol and other existing mechanisms, and that it was premature or “too much, too soon.”

The United States shares these concerns. We believe that the UN is already effectively leading the global fight against trafficking by advancing implementation of the Trafficking Protocol through the Conference of Parties to the Transnational Organized Crime Convention. Moreover, we are concerned that launching labor-intensive negotiations for an Action Plan would absorb the limited resources available to the UN and Member States, especially for smaller governments.

The distinguished representative from Belarus [Valentin Rybakov] mentioned in his remarks that the Global Plan of Action would bring in new partners from civil society and the private sector. It is unfortunate, however, that representatives from civil society and the private sector were not able to participate in today’s interactive dialogue...

...We encourage UNODC to continue strengthening its coordination efforts with key inter-governmental organizations, particularly with the ILO, which has done impressive normative work on forced labor and stands to make additional progress in addressing labor trafficking, particularly that among transnational and contractual migrant workers. We look forward to reading their just-released global report titled “The Cost of Coercion.”

The Obama Administration looks forward to working with the UN and Member States in determining the best approach to accelerate international efforts to end the suffering of victims and put the traffickers where they belong… behind bars... 

Office of Press and

Public Diplomacy

United States Mission

to the United Nations

New York, N.Y.

See also:

Audio recording of the complete statement by Carla Menares-Bury of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the U.S. Department of State, at the Thematic Dialogue of the U.N., General Assembly “Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking," - May 13, 2009.

United Nations Radio

May 13, 2009

The Cost of Coercion - International Labor Organization 2009 Report

GENEVA (ILO News) – In a new study on the patterns of forced labor worldwide, the International Labor Office (ILO) says the “opportunity cost” of coercion to the workers affected reaches over $US 20 billion dollars per year.

The report, entitled The Cost of Coercion (Note 1), also details the growing number of unethical, fraudulent and criminal practices that can lead people into situations of forced labor, and calls for increased efforts to eradicate the practices.

The report also charts the significant progress on the international and national levels in reducing and preventing forced labor (Note 2), but warns of the possible impact of the global economic and jobs crisis.

“Forced labor is the antithesis of decent work”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “It causes untold human suffering and steals from its victims. Modern forced labor can be eradicated, providing there is a sustained commitment by the international community, working together with government, employers, workers and civil society.”

Moreover, the report estimates that the “oppor-tunity cost” of coercion to the workers affected by these abusive practices, in terms of lost earnings, now reaches over $US 20 billion dollars. This presents a powerful economic argument, as well as a moral imperative, as to why governments must now accord higher priority to these concerns.

Forced Labor: Facts and Figures - The Cost of Coercion, Regional Perspectives: Americas

Latin America accounts for the second largest number of forced laborers in the world after Asia, according to ILO estimates. Those most at risk are migrant workers in sweatshops, agriculture and domestic service. The main form of forced labor is through debt bondage, involving informal and unlicensed intermediaries who pay advances to entice workers and then reap profits through inflated charges. Forced labor in Latin America is closely linked to patterns of inequality and discrimination, especially against indigenous peoples.

International Labor Organization

May 13, 2009

US State Department anti-trafficking specialist Carla Menares Bury

Carla Menares Bury, la chilena del staff de Hillary Clinton

Desde hace 20 años trabaja en la oficina que maneja la política exterior de la nación más poderosa del mundo...

Carla Menares Bury, a Chilean woman on Hillary Clinton’s staff

For 20 years Menares Bury has worked in the office that handles the foreign policy of the most powerful nation in the world.

Carla Menares Bury was born Carla Menares Neira. But as the daughter of two globe-trotting, parents, it wasn’t likely that she could expect to grow up in Chile. In fact, she was born 42 years ago in The Bahamas…

Menares Bury recalls that when "Mrs. Clinton" came to the U.S. State Department, the officials were all waiting outside in the entrance of the building. "They were all very excited," she recalls. "But I knew from the time when Secretary Clinton was First Lady that she was already very interested in the issue of trafficking and violence against women and children. Mrs. Clinton has already had a meeting with the director our office to catch up with the work we are doing. We have received much attention and we are very happy and excited…"

Menares Bury said that one of the most profound changes that are likely to be with the arrival of Hillary Clinton is the effort she made to improve the problems of women in the world. "There has always been an office of women affairs in the State Department, but is now going to elevate the rank. Even be physically very close to Mrs. Clinton. It will mean more efforts and activities. There is much to be done on this topic : there are countries where they have no right to inherit property, or even to work. I think that Mrs. Clinton devoted considerable attention to this. "

- Regarding the issue of human trafficking, what is the position of President Obama?

I know that he is very interested because trafficking is a modern form of slavery, and during the campaign he said it was a very big problem and that we must do more to... bring more prosecutions against traffickers . A lot of trafficking occurs in the United States. It is a destination country, but in a way it is also a country of origin. Children and young people who flee their homes can become victims of trafficking when traffickers take them from one state to another. But our office is focused outward [internationally]. We are trying to raise awareness among govern-ments of other countries, the public and the press…

Ximena B. Urrejola

El Mercurio

Santiago de Chile

March 10, 2009

Sixty-third General Assembly - Thematic Dialogue on Human Trafficking

It Is No Longer Possible to Turn a Blind Eye to Human Trafficking as the World Wakes Up

Secretary-General Calls for Strong Laws, Broad Alliances, Concerted Action, Zero Tolerance; Member States Weigh Need for Global Action Plan

Now that the world was aware of the vast extent of human trafficking, coordinated global action was needed to end the scourge, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly, said in the opening address of a special meeting on the issue today.

“The world is waking up to the scope of the problem of human trafficking. We see it in movies, novels and talk shows,” Mr. d’Escoto noted in a statement delivered by Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt, Vice-President of the Assembly at the start of the day-long event entitled the Interactive Thematic Dialogue on Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking.

Prior to a series of panels on improving coordination to end the trafficking of hundreds of thousands of persons yearly, mainly women and children, for sexual slavery and forced labor, Mr. Abdelaziz was joined by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Néstor Arbito Chica, Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Ecuador...

The United Nations General Assembly

May 13, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

President Obama, Step-up the Fight Against Human Slavery!

About the United Nations General Assembly's Interactive Thematic Dialogue “Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking" - a forum held on May 13, 2009

We at Libertad Latina are encouraged to see active dialog taking place at the United Nations focused on addressing the clear lack of effectiveness of current strategies and tactics that are in-place to combat modern human slavery.

We are, however, greatly concerned that U.S. State Department policy, as expressed  through Carla Menares Bury's recent statement to the United Nations General Assembly's Interactive Thematic Dialogue: “Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking," declares a position that: "We believe that the UN is already effectively leading the global fight against trafficking by advancing implementation of the Trafficking Protocol through the Conference of Parties to the Transnational Organized Crime Convention."

The majority of representatives of nations participating in the U.N. forum advocated in favor of creating a new Global Initiative. These diplomats under-stand that, in reality, the United Nations is not doing an effective job in combating human slavery.

This fact is also clear to us. The United States' position on the topic is therefore puzzling.

In addition, the fact that labor trafficking was the focus of Menares Bury's statement before the UN appears on its surface to ignore the primacy of sex trafficking as the most critical component of human slavery.

We are therefore concerned, based on this policy statement and also press reports from earlier in 2009, that the Obama Administration appears to be placing a stronger emphasis on labor trafficking, which statistics indicate comprises only 20% of global trafficking cases.

Arguably, large numbers of labor trafficking cases are not visible, and the percentages of victims may be much higher than those cases that can be document-ed today.

Regardless of what the exact figures may be, we encourage the Obama Administration to maintain an intensive focus on the estimated 79% of human trafficking cases that involve the sex trafficking of women and children. We also encourage the Administration to bring new focus to crisis areas such as Latin America, which have been largely ignored by past U.S. efforts to fight modern human slavery.

We know that veteran anti-trafficking prosecutor Lou de Baca, who is Hillary Clinton's nominee to head the Trafficking in Persons office at State, is an expert in the dynamics of both sex and labor trafficking. It is understood that labor trafficking will be added to the agenda, whereas in the last administration, sex trafficking was virtually the only focus, due, reports say, to the importance of the sex trafficking issue to former President George W. Bush's fundamentalist Christian base of support.

The fact that Christian Conserv-atives place a major focus on sex trafficking as the priority issue in fighting human slavery does not make their perspective wrong. We agree with them, and believe that  defeating sex trafficking must be the number one priority for the anti-slavery movement.

Being against sex slavery should not be a left or right political issue.

The tone of the policy positions that the Obama Administration is beginning to express at the United Nations appear to indicate that the pro-legalization faction of the anti-trafficking movement has significant political influence among the progressives who dominate in the Obama Administration (see below).

During a Spring, 2009 conference held at the American University Law School organized by leading pro-legalization activist and A.U. law professor Ann Jordan, activists working in India, Cambodia and Brazil set-forth their proposals. Two activists from Mumbai, India one of whom was a medical doctor, explained how organized prostitutes were putting their children in boarding school with their income from prostitution.

In response to my question about the impact on child prostitution of legalization, they emphasized that they would never condone the prostitution of children. In response to my second question, about the fact that  90,000 (correction 12,000 - LL) Nepalese under-age girls were being trafficked annually into Mumbai for forced prostitution, the presenters from India said that the numbers of  Nepalese girls being sex trafficked had been greatly reduced.

Really?

We think that a much more accurate picture of conditions in India comes from a recent Indian federal government report that states that 1.2 million children are prostitutes in India, and that 100 million people participate in the sex trafficking trade in some way. Yet the pro-legalization movement paints a picture of happy, all-adult women who voluntarily engage in this activity.

Latin America has a similar profile to India's in regard to the existence of a continent-wide environment that promotes the mass sexual exploitation of millions of women and children under conditions that involve the use of coercion, brute force and the threat and reality of death.

Attorney Teresa Ulloa, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) has recently estimated that prostitution makes up 17% of the gross domestic product across Latin America. She, like many other leaders in the anti-trafficking movement, opposes the legalization of prostitution.

While we have remained out of the pro and anti legalization debate in the past, and although I was actually impressed by the arguments presented by the pro-legalization advocates at Ann Jordan's American University Law School conference this Spring, I have to agree with the majority of activists in the anti-trafficking movement, including thought leaders with whom I have collaborated with for years, that legalization is not the way to go.

There are indeed millions of women in Latin America who engage in prostitution of their 'own free will.' They should not be arrested. We can agree with that much of the pro-legalization argument.

But given what we know about the reality of sex trafficking in the Americas, we have to state categorically that legalization detracts from support for a necessary 'hot war' that must be fought against involuntary sexual slavery. The arguments made to support legalization are also largely a fantasy, and especially fall apart when the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is looked-at closely.

At the end of Ann Jordan's Spring pro-legalization conference, the organizers announced their intentions to engage in talks with the Obama Administration in regard to relaxing anti-legalization policies put into practice during the presidency of George W. Bush.

If U.S. policy under the Obama Administration plans to diminish the critical importance of fighting sex trafficking because of the influence of the pro-legalization faction of the anti-trafficking move-ment, then we must state that such motivations are misguided.

If the strong organized labor influence in the Obama Adminis-tration is pushing for an increased emphasis on ending labor trafficking to the detriment of funding the fight against sex trafficking, we also call that approach into question.

Whether these or other influences are at play, we call upon the Obama Administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to clearly explain to the public U.S. policy in this area, and the basis for that policy. In other words, we ask for the transparency in governance that President Obama has promised to his constituents.

We cannot believe that the Obama Administration actually wants to stake a claim that the United Nations is effectively handling human trafficking, and that the 'real' emphasis should focus on non-prostitution forms of labor slavery.

Both sex and labor slavery must be addressed with equal vigor. Sexual slavery, though, is the crisis that impacts the largest number of victims. Therefore, it requires the majority of our attention.

The nations on the frontline of the fight against trafficking, such as Ecuador and Belarus, are clamoring for new energy and new strategies and tactics, because they know that the current approaches simply do not work.

Sex traffickers across Latin America laugh all the way to the bank because they know that the region's governments - be they signatories to the U.N.'s Palermo Protocol or not, are either disinterested or incapable of fighting the mass sex trafficking of the young women and underage girls in their midst's. It is hard to get the region fired-up for such an effort when sex trafficking has been a local institution for hundreds of years, and when the sex trade generates 17% of Latin America's gross domestic product.

Our ongoing news coverage and commentaries during the past eight years have documented the fact that existing international instruments are not yet effective in controlling modern human trafficking.

It is important to note that Latin America was effectively ignored as a crisis area for human slavery by officials in the last administration. That inaction lead, in-part, to human traffickers 'running with the ball' in a completely lax and lawless environ-ment, where criminal money greased the hands of authority and where girls were-and-are routinely kidnapped off of the street in broad daylight to supply the exploding demand for commercially exploited rape victims.

We therefore look with great interest at the statement of Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights Néstor Arbito Chica, who said at the recent U.N. forum that: "National and regional efforts are not enough to cope with this global problem. That’s why we call on the U.N. to take action."

We also agree with Valentin Rybakov, an assistant to the President of Belarus, who declared at teh conference that: "Efforts under-taken at regional and national levels are clearly not enough. Adopting a global plan of action is not an end in itself to us, but this plan is a logical step."

Arbito Chica and Rybakov, who represent nations on the front lines of the struggle against sex and labor trafficking, are expressing a valid urgency in regard to the growing intensity of this crisis. We also sense that urgency in very real terms. This makes us even more concerned about the U.S. State Department's position, that asserts that the proposal for a United Nations "Global Plan of Action" was, as Menary Bury echoed at the May 13th U.N. forum: “too much, too soon.”

How can any initiative against human slavery be "too much too soon?" That sounds like a statement from opponents to abolishing U.S. African slavery from the 1860s.

Too much, too soon?

If the Obama Administration has valid reasons to oppose a "Global Plan of Action" - a proposal that was supported by the majority of nations participating in the UN General Assembly's forum on the topic, then we ask that the reasoning behind such a position be publicly explained.

We want to know, at a time when the global economic recession, massive bureaucratic corruption and criminal impunity fueled by billions of dollars in illegal profits are allowing sex trafficking to grow exponentially across the Americas and the World, why the Obama Administration would oppose an earnest proposal from the international community to 'step-up the game' and actually develop effective strategies and tactics to combat this threat.

As our Latina, indigenous and Afro-descendent women and children are systematically kidnapped and cajoled into a tortured, life-shortening existence in sexual slavery by the hundreds of thousands across Latin America, we know that there is no time to waste.

We want action today!

We know that the Obama Adminis-tration must balance priorities, but after seeing Latin America's crisis of 'condoned human trafficking' go off the Richter Scale in intensity during the past decade, when the issue was virtually ignored, we know that there is no time to loose to change the course of history.

Tens of thousands of women and children are 'exported' from Latin America's poverty into the brothels of New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Madrid and Amsterdam each and every year.

Indigenous girls from Latin America are kidnapped and sold across the industrialized world as disposable sex slaves who's deaths from torture and disease are apparently meaningless to the global community, because they are 'Little Brown Maria in the brothel.' Their status as indigenous people makes them irrelevant and invisible to those who deliberate policy and action against trafficking, because 'things have been that way for centuries.'

The racism of Latin America in regard to indigenous peoples is so pernicious that the open kidnapping and selling indigenous children means nothing at all to national political and anti-crime agendas.

Surely, President Obama, your administration does not condone maintaining the status quo of that reality. Does it?

Please, do not give the world another eight years of the same turning away from this uncomfortable subject (institu-tionalized sex slavery in feudal Latin America - especially of indigenous women and girls), so that elite Latin American diplomatic dinner guests from nations that are complicit in this crime against humanity are not made to feel uncomfortable.

Indigenous and other poor girls and women have been enslaved in domestic servitude and sexual slavery across Latin America for 500 years. That crime wave continues unabated today.

Enough is enough!

The many prolific authors within the women's and indigenous rights movements in Latin America have 'let the cat out of the bag' about human trafficking in the region.

Our job at Libertad Latina is, in part, to translate that wealth of truthful knowledge from Spanish into English, so that both the public and policy makers in the English speaking world have accurate information reported 'from the field' to work from.

Nobody should look at the blatant impunity involved in sex trafficking in Mexico and the rest of Latin America and turn their head away.

When will the global community react, given that regional govern-ments pay scant attention to effectively fighting this scourge?

We ask the Obama Administration and US Secretary of State Clinton to support aggressive new measures to address the growing threat of human traffickers in Latin America. Time is of the essence for the many thousands of lives that are at stake.

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to protect and rescue them today!

Again, time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 19/20, 2009

For more information on the interesting and thought-provoking pro-legalization perspectives of Professor Ann Jordan, see:

Sex Trafficking: The Abolitionist Fallacy

Economic hardship, discrimination, and violence have driven millions of women to work in the sex sector around the world, and their numbers will increase as a result of the current global economic crisis. Unless the underlying factors pushing women to opt for selling sex to support themselves and their families are remedied, many women will continue to have few other options.

Yet the Bush administration, supported by the evangelical right-wing and some radical feminists, spent eight years promoting laws to criminalize prostitution and clients as the means to abolish prostitution and stop human trafficking into the sex sector. The ideology-driven approach is notable for the absence of any concrete evidence that it works. Proponents of such an approach have also failed to demonstrate that it avoids harming women or provides other livelihoods for those it aspires to help. It reduces all adults in the sex sector (even highly paid "call girls" and those working legally) to victim status and considers all prostitution to be

a form of trafficking...

Ann Jordan

Writing in Foreign Policy In Focus

March 19, 2009

See also:

About the sex trafficking of underage girls from Nepal into India and Bangladesh

CaptiveDaughters.org


Added: May 16/17, 2009

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Solidarity with the victims of Atenco

May 3-4, 2006

Third Anniversary

Our coverage of the aftermath of the police riot in San Salvador de Atenco, Mexico, in which 26 women protesters were raped and sexually assaulted by federal, state and local police forces with complete impunity

End Impunity Now!

LibertadLatina

Read our special section on Atenco

The crisis of impunity in the mass sexual assault of women social protesters by police officers in Atenco, Mexico

LibertadLatina


Added: May 16, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

Mujeres de Atenco, tortura sexual e impunidad

México DF - El Estado mexicano violó sus garantías individuales. Fueron agredidas con golpes en todo el cuerpo, despojadas de su ropa, violentadas sexualmente, mordidas, pellizcadas… les cubrieron el rostro, les introdujeron dedos y objetos anal y vaginalmente, las violaron, las humillaron, las insultaron, las amenazaron de muerte y finalmente se les negó la asistencia ginecológica para que no pudieran demostrar la tortura sexual…

Ese fue el calvario por el que pasaron 47 mujeres detenidas en Atenco hace tres años; de las cuales, solo 11 han decidido continuar con las denuncias contra los policías de los tres niveles que ejecutaron la tortura sexual buscando aniquilarlas como mujeres y como colectivo...

Women of Atenco, sexual torture and impunity

Mexico City - The Mexican government violated their individual rights. They were beaten and stripped of their clothing. They were sexually violated, bitten and pinched. Their faces were covered while police officers inserted their fingers and foreign objects into them anally and vaginally. They were raped, humiliated, insulted and subjected to death threats. At the end of it all, they were refused gynecological assistance, to make it impossible to prove that these sexual tortures took place.

That was the ordeal that 47 women arrested in Atenco three years ago faced. Of that number, only 11 victims have decided to pursue complaints against the federal, state and local policemen who carried out these tortures, which were carried out with the aim of annihilating them as women and as a collective [of activists].

The sexual tortures that took place in the city of Atenco, in Mexico state, can be tied to one man, state governor and current presidential aspirant Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Peña Nieto was the one who ordered the repression against [a group of protesting] farmers and florists, an act that violated all the laws that guarantee respect for human rights, and in violation of international treaties that the government of Mexico has hypocrit-ically signed but ignored.

Peña Nieto’s hands were not shaking at the time he ordered this violence, but what happened at Atenco was a state crime. Unfortunately, that crime won’t be punished during his lifetime.

Proud of his crime, the governor, known as "The Seagull," dares to declare that the events that occurred at Atenco "rather than being an error, were the right thing to do," because, he says, he was able to restore order. Peña Nieto adds “if that situation were to re-occur, I would do the same thing again.”

Knowing that he has a ‘blank check,’ backed by the ‘Great Court’ that continues on a course of providing him with institutional impunity, Peña Nieto has now surprised everyone by launching a national campaign to "dignify" notable women...

Of the 20 accused policemen, none has been sent to prison. Only officer Doroteo Blas Marcelo, a rapist, was convicted for "libidinous acts."

His victim, Ana Maria Rodriguez Velasco, was forced to perform oral sex. She was able to recognize her torturer because when he finished, he yanked her by the hair, looked in her face, and said: “Now swallow it, bitch!”

Judge Tomás Santana Malvaez sentenced officer Blas Marcelo to pay a fine of only 1,877 Mexican pesos (US $142 dollars). The judge pardoned Blas Marcelo from paying reparations to the victim...

[Note: All of the 20 accused police officers remain on duty - LL]

Full English Translation

Sanjuana Martínez

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 12, 2009


Added: May 17, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

Atenco: Three Years Of Impunity And Injustice

Centro PRODH Press Release

* The Mexican justice system is [too] inefficient to process the authorities responsible for committing grave human rights violations in Atenco.

*Faced with the State´s apathy on this case, international solidarity on the part of organizations and activists is more important than ever.

During the incidents in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco on May 3 and 4, 2006, the repressive operations of various police agencies (federal, state and municipal) involved a number of grave human rights violations. At least 26 of the 47 detained women denounced having been being victims of physical, verbal and sexual violence on the part of police agents…

The Attorney General's Office (PGR for its initials in Spanish), through its Special Prosecutor's Office for Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA for its initials in Spanish), reported to have initiated an inquiry against those responsible for the crimes against some of the women in Atenco. However to this date, three years after having initiated the investigation..., FEVIMTRA has still not filed charges against any of the agents and authorities responsible for these acts of torture.

...On February 12, 2009, the National Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN for its initials in Spanish) resolved that there were, in fact, grave human rights violations in Atenco. As such, the veracity of the survivors´ accusations is clear, just as is the bad faith by which both the federal and the state of Mexico’s authorities have tried to undermine these accusations. Nonetheless, regrettably, the SCJN avoided making a public statement outlining the responsibility of high-ranking authorities, politicians and police units that were involved…

Note: The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Center Prodh) was founded in 1988 by the Society of Jesus in Mexico.Our purpose is to defend, promote, and improve respect for human rights in Mexico, with a focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable social groups in the country, such as women, indigenous communities, migrants, workers, and victims of social repression...

Centro PRODH

Mexico City

May 4, 2009


Added: May 16, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

Comunicado de WOLA

WOLA junto con más de 20 otras organizaciones internacionales de derechos humanos se adhirió a un desplegado publicado el 11 de mayo en el periódico mexicano El Universal que hace un llamado al Presidente Calderón a poner fin a la impunidad ante violaciones de los derechos humanos, incluyendo violencia sexual, perpetradas por agentes policiales en contra de 26 mujeres en el transcurso de manifestaciones en San Salvador Atenco y Texcoco, Estado de México, en mayo del 2006.

Para más información sobre la campaña para lograr justicia para las mujeres que han sido victimas en de Atenco -auspiciada por Amnistía Internacional-México y el Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, favor de ver: alzatuvoz.org

WOLA press release

The Washington Office on Latina America (WOLA) joined over 20 international human rights organizations in adhering to [an NGO] statement published in the Mexican newspaper El Universal on May 11 calling for Mexican President Calderon to put an end to impunity for human rights abuses, including sexual assault, committed by police against 26 women during May 2006 protests in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco in the state of Mexico.

WOLA

May 11, 2009


Added: May 16, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

Impunity in San Salvador Atenco

...On May 3 2006, officials [in the cities of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco] attempted to evict local roadside flower vendors on the authority of the municipal government, backed by the Mexico state government. The People’s Front for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) supported the flower vendors in their attempt to resist the eviction, resulting in a violent confrontation between the security forces and the social movement.

The confrontation lasted two days and resulted in many major human right violations including the death of two young people, Javier Cortés Santiago and Alexis Benhumea, sexual abuse, unwarranted raids on homes, assaults, violations of due process rights and the illegal expulsion of foreigners. Dozens of people were injured and some 211 individuals were arrested by the end of the two-day standoff. Many of those detained reported having been physically mistreated in custody, including sexual aggression and in five cases, rape.

As of the third anniversary twelve members of the movement and supporters remain in prison...

Americas MexicoBlog

May 9, 2009


Added: May 16, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

Interview with John Gibler about his new book, Mexico Unconquered

...The work of documenting human rights abuses can be extremely powerful, especially in the cases of Atenco and Oaxaca in 2006. Local Mexican human rights organizations on the ground risked their own safety to quickly document the nature and the scale of the abuses against people there. Most of the big name international human rights NGOs were nowhere to be seen. Several of them tried to jump into advocacy around these cases once most of the damage had been done and once the conflicts had been beaten down through police repression...

John Gibler's book is drawn from two years of on-the-ground reporting in Mexico.

Kristin Bricker

Narco News

Feb. 08, 2009


Added: Feb. 13, 2009

Mexico

Atenco

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

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

Indymedia

Sep. 16, 2007


Added June 01, 2006

Mexico

Atenco

Catalonian Legal Scholar: Sexist Bias Exists in Mexico’s Laws

Sesgo machista en leyes mexicanas: especialista catalana

Integrante de la misión española de observación en Atenco

Encarnacion Bodelón González, a Catalonian specialist in legal philosophy with a focus on gender law, has declared that the denial of the validity of the testimony of 23 women sexually assaulted by police officers in the town of Atenco is a form of machismo (formalized sexism) that affects the application of laws in Mexico.

During her visit to the town of Atenco with the Commission this past Tuesday, Bodelón González verified the many testimonies of sexual aggressions, as well as the degree of psychological trauma faced by the victims…

In Bodelón González’s opinion, what happened in Atenco “is one more example of how our patriarchal culture has made women invisible” and reinforces the idea that women’s autonomy, dignity and veracity can be denied before the law.

Bodelón González: These sexual assaults were carried out by the same [federal] law enforcement who has [ordered other acts of repression in Mexico].  These sexual attacks are evidence of a strategy of terror not only toward the community of Atenco, but toward a particular demographic profile of free thinking, autonomous women.  This attack was meant to send a message to the women of Mexico…” 

-Lourdes Godínez Leal

CimacNoticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 31, 2006


Added: May 15, 2009

Latin America, Argentina, Uruguay

The lawless Triple Frontier region of South America

America Latina: Trata de blancas, un flagelo que asciende 

Según informes periodísticos y de organismos internacionales el tráfico de mujeres produce ganancias industriales, a costas de la violación de la libertad física y psicológica y del avasallamiento hacia el respeto humano…

En una publicación de Gustavo Barco para el diario argentino, La Nación, el periodista informó que al menos en 2006 el ingreso que obtuvieron los proxenetas fue de 32.000 millones de dólares. En Argentina, las víctimas por lo general son originarias de provincias del norte y noroeste. Estas sin explicaciones y con documentación falsa luego son radicadas forzosamente en cascos urbanos del centro y sur del país…

Latin America: Sex trafficking, a growing scourge

...Prostitution is one of the most ancient occupations in human history. People can debate whether or not its exercise is moral or immoral, whether or not it affects third parties, or whether it is ‘ideologically correct.’ The reality is that within Latin America this scourge is expanding across the continent...

...In 2006, the global profits earned by pimps [and traffickers] was [estimated at] $US 32 billion.

In Argentina, the victims usually come from provinces in the north and northwest. The victims, women without a history and carrying false documentation, are forcibly trafficked [to brothels] in central and southern Argentina...

It is no coincidence that the Argentine province with the highest number of trafficking cases exists in the Triple Frontier, the border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. The zone is infamous for its trafficking in illegal goods and services...

The newspaper La Jornada has published a statement by Teresa Ulloa, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATWLAC), who argues that "it is estimated that the sex trade in Latin America, representing 17 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the region."

BBC World Mexico has reported that human "traffickers earn US$5,000 [per victim] between the point of origin and the destination.

Laura Langberg, a specialist on human trafficking at the Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States states "These figures [amounts of money involved] are very large, and meet a demand for sex tourism, prostitution, pornography and exploitation. There is labor exploitation in factories, domestic servitude and exploitation. Such cases are difficult to detect...”

...Langberg has announced that [the Organization of American States has] "conducted pilot research studies in nine countries throughout Latin America, including Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic and Brazil. We intend to begin a second phase of investigation in three other countries, including Mexico and Bolivia."

Full English Translation

Servicio Sudamericano de Noticias

www.ssnnonline.com

May 13, 2009

LibertadLatina

About the crisis of sexual exploitation facing women and children in Argentina

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

From: 2001 Trafficking Report - The Protection Project, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

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

 


Added: May 13, 2009

Guatemala

Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum (right) and other indigenous women leaders speak at the Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equality conference in Antigua, Guatemala

Crece feminicidio y represión contra activistas en Guatemala

Advierten Mujeres Premio Nobel

Antigua, Guatemala - Rechazan Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams , Mairead Maguire y Shirin Evadí, todas premio Nobel de la Paz, así como activistas españolas y mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos, todas las formas de violencia de las que son víctimas las guatemaltecas de manera cotidiana y se declararon alarmadas por el creciente feminicidio en el país.

Es tal el problema de violencia contra las mujeres, que Naciones Unidas adelanta que la Campaña Internacional para Erradicar la Violencia Contra las Mujeres y las Niñas este año arrancará en el país centro-americano.

Women Nobel Peace Prize winners warn that femicide and repression against activists is escalating in Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala - Nobel Peace Prize winners Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Shirin Ebadi, together with women’s human rights defenders from and around the world today expressed their alarm at the growing rates of femicide and all of the other forms of violence that today confront women in Guatemala.

Such is the intensity of the problem of violence against women in this country that the United Nations plans to kick off their [Latin American regional] International Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls here later this year.

The conference, entitled Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equality, is being presented by the Nobel Women's Initiative (NWI), and is being held in the Guatemalan city of Antigua. During the panel Women in Guatemala: the Current Struggle, the panelists agreed that the rate of murders of women in Guatemala has been increasing recently.

The panelists explained that, given the impunity that exists in Guatemala [with its lack of law enforcement interest in controlling femicide], murderers do not just kill their victims, but they use cruelty [rape and torture], and leave the victim’s dismembered remains scattered in different locations.

“What is happening in Guatemala far exceeds what is happening in Juárez, Mexico,” said Walda Barrios, a Guatemalan feminist and member of the Board of the National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG), a women’s organization working on women’s rights and education issues...

[Note: the rate of femicide murder in Guatemala has been measured as being ten times greater than the number of such gender related murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico - LL]

Magdalena Cholotío, a defender of the rights of indigenous women in Guatemala, is a member of Synergy No'jy and the Petateras Network. Cholotío believes that Guatemala's unstoppable wave of violence, and the serious levels of cruelty that characterize it affect Guatemalan society as a whole and women in particular. It is necessary, she said, to undertake a campaign to sue the government for urgent action on this matter.

Cholotío called upon the attending women Nobel Laureates and other participants to join in supporting democratic initiatives aimed at arresting and prosecuting organized criminals, as well as proposals that lay the foundation for creating social relationships that are more just and equitable.

Cholotío: "We urge you to express their rejection of all forms of violence, and to reject the militarism and fascist measures that impose control over the population and repress social movements that seek to build a different Guatemala..."

The Campaign Against Violence

Upon hearing this, a visibly moved Gladys Acosta, Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) for Latin America and the Caribbean, told the women present, "The UN does not forget that it has a debt with Guatemalan women, which is why the International Campaign To Eliminate Violence Against Women And Girls will start this year in this country...”

"It is an outrage that although women report their cases [they are ignored]. This speaks of a justice system that is very bad. The [United Nations] is very concerned about this situation," said Acosta...

Full English Translation

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 11, 2009

LibertadLatina

About the crisis of sexual exploitation and impunity facing the women and children of Guatemala


Added: May 13, 2009

Guatemala

Rechazan Mujeres Nobeles gobiernos construidos con violencia y miedo

Iniciaron en Guatemala Encuentro por la paz, justicia y equidad

Antigua, Guatemala - Con un recordatorio a las mujeres que, en pos de un mundo mejor y más equitativo han sido secuestradas, torturadas y ultrajadas alrededor del mundo y a las que no se cansan de difundir sus propuestas para vivir sin violencia, cuatro mujeres Premio Nobel iniciaron ayer un Encuentro en esta ciudad en el que participan cerca de 100 mujeres lideresas, defensoras de los derechos humanos de las mujeres en el mundo, para discutir los retos de la población femenina en procesos de democracia.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams , Mairead Maguire y Shirin Evadí, mujeres laureadas con el premio Nobel de la Paz,  acompañadas por el vicepresidente de Guatemala Rafael Espada, iniciaron la conferencia “Mujeres Redefiniendo la Democracia para la Paz, la Justicia y la Equidad”, auspiciada por la Iniciativa de Mujeres Premio Nobel (NWI’s por sus siglas en inglés)…

Nobel Women reject governments built from violence and fear

Guatemalan conference for peace, justice and gender equity begins

Antigua, Guatemala – On May 10, 2009, four female Nobel Prize winners gathered in this city with nearly 100 women who are leaders in the struggle to defend the human rights of women around the world, to discuss the challenges facing women in the democratic process. The Nobel laureates started the event by honoring the many women who, while seeking a better and more equitable world, have been abducted, tortured and ravaged in every corner of the globe. They also honored those who today never tire of spreading their proposals for building a world without violence.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Shirin Ebadi, all Nobel Peace Prize laureates, together with Guatemala’s Vice President Rafael Espada opened the conference "Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equity," an event sponsored by the Nobel Women's Initiative (NWI).

The NWI was established in 2006 by Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Wangari Maathai, representing North and South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, respectively.

During this strategic meeting these Nobel laureates, along with about 100 participants, will examine the challenges of democracy and democratization in regard to the topics of organizing women in situations of conflict and militarization, and future perspectives in the struggle of women, among others.

Among the participants are advocates for the rights of women, researchers, communicators, women politicians and women members of national and international institutions from Palestine, Israel, Canada, Uganda, Ecuador, Congo, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Colombia , Mexico, Australia, Kenya, the United States, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Norway, Bolivia and Costa Rica.

Those planning to attend include: Teresa Ulloa, regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America  and the Caribbean; (CATW); Alda Facio, of the Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders; Anne Marie Gotees, of the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM); and Mónica Alemán, of the International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI).

Lighting the path

The host of the meeting, Rigoberta Menchu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1997, said it was her pleasure to have this group of women in her country. She added that "we did not come here to give advice, but so that our initiatives may continue to light the path, to find our way towards the greatest utopia for women: freedom."

She thanked all women who work for a better world because, she said, they are women committed to social justice. Menchu regretted that many other women, from Spain and other countries in East, failed to attend because of by "bureaucratic problems." She thanked the reporters in attendance, saying that "through them our words can reach many other women."

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 11, 2009


Added: May 11, 2009

India

Official: More than 1 million child prostitutes in India

New Delhi, India - Around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution in India, the country's federal police said Monday.

Ashwani Kumar, who heads the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told a seminar on human trafficking, that India occupied a "unique position" as what he called a source, transit nation and destination of this trade.

India's home secretary Madhukar Gupta remarked that at least 100 million people were involved in human trafficking in India.

"The number of trafficked persons is difficult to determine due to the secrecy and clandestine nature of the crime.

"However, studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimate that there are about three million prostitutes in the country, of which an estimated 40 percent are children," a CBI statement said.

Prostitution in pilgrim towns, exploitation through sex tourism and pedophilia are some of some of the "alarming trends" that have emerged in recent years in India, it noted.

Authorities believe 90 percent of human trafficking in India is "intra-country."

CNN

May 11, 2009


Added: May 11, 2009

Guatemala

Mayan indigenous women march on April 16, 2009 to push for the passage of the The General Law of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala - which seeks to end the systematc, institu-tional discrimination against indigenous peoples in this Mayan majority nation - Indymedia

The General Law of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala [PDF]

Indymedia Guatemala

April, 2009


Added: May 11, 2009

Guatemala

Conferencia de Prensa del I Encuentro Nacional de Mujeres Mayas y Xincas

Miércoles 6 de Mayo 2009 Desde las 10:00 de la mañana se realizo en la sede de CONAVIGUA la conferencia de prensa para la presentación del I Encuentro Nacional de Mujeres Mayas y Xincas.

Se presento la declaración del primer congreso nacional de mujeres mayas y xinkas, de cara a la I cumbre de Mujeres Indígenas, de esta conferencia de prensa presentamos de la voz de tres mujeres indígenas quienes participaron en el mismo encuentro, con la información y conocimiento sobre los avances de las mujeres indígenas en Abya Yala.
•Barbara Saqueq, maya kakchiquel, del consejo de la mujer maya kakchiquel, Madre Tierra. Waqib´Kej.
•Deysi Coton Asociación IDEI de la convergencia Waqib´Kej.
•Claudia Herrera del Pueblo Huarpe en Argentina.

Audio of press conferences with Mayan and Xinca indigenous women leaders from Guatemala

Indymedia Guatemala

May 6, 2009


Added: May 11, 2009

Guatemala

International solidarity call with women in guatemala on escalating violence against women

Feminist International Radio Endeavour (FIRE) is organizing a series of activities in Guatemala during the week of May 10-15, 2009 in support of ending violence against women.

Activities will include: an Internet teleconfer-ence; coverage of events for peace and against violence against women in Guatemala; participation in panels and special forums about violence against women; and the organization of a Virtual Observatory on the Internet

Rampant human rights abuses confront  women in Guatemala

At the present time Guatemala shares with Colombia and Mexico one of the most alarming set of conditions [in the world] in regard to the systematic and extensive violations of the human rights of women. These violations include femicide (the murder of women for being women) and other forms of gender violence. 

As an example of the gravity of these conditions, in 2001, more than 2,500 cases of murdered women were reported to the police in Guatemala, yet as of 2006, just 14 of these cases had led to the conviction of the perpetrator. 

The statistics regarding violence against women show that in 2006, there were 825 reports of women who were raped [among thousands of unreported cases] and more than 10,000 women who suffered physical aggression, according to the Red de No Violence Contra la Mujer (the Network to End Violence Against Women)

The most recent case of blatant abuse of the rights of women took place in March of 2009 with the abduction and torture of university professor and human rights champion Gladys Monterroso.   

The global women’s community has organized a series of parallel actions to place the horrendous situation of women in Guatemala on the global agenda and to contribute to ensuring that women and their social organizations, as well as human rights agencies working on this issue... are not left alone in presenting their demands to end impunity.  The global community also wants to provide solidarity for the right of women to live a dignified life and an to participate in an inclusive democracy. 

FIRE will participate in a series of initiatives that will take place May 10-15 in this Mesoamerican country.

International conference by Nobel Women's initiative

From May 10-12, 2009 in Antigua, FIRE will organize live transmissions and special coverage of the international conference, “Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equality,” which is being organized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for Peace.  More than 100 women will participate in the event, including politicians, activists, advocacy groups, journalists, other communicators, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, among others.  They will share their vision, actions and challenges in regard to organizing support efforts to increase the representation of women and to defend their ability to exercise their rights to participate in making the decisions that affect their lives… 

Feminist International Radio Endeavour - Fire

May 4, 2009


Added: May 11, 2009

Guatemala

Recently, the indigenous and peasant organizations CONIC, DEMA, MOLOJ and CALDH, in meetings with the Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala conducted a march and presented in a public ceremony a proposed legislative bill:  The General Law of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala. Presented to the national legislature for discussion and approval, the law is aimed at changing the structural discrimination, racism and exploitation of indigenous peoples and communities, and aims to protect natural resources, indigenous autonomy and sovereignty, and respect for indigenous land and territory.

The indigenous and peasant organizations convened March 31, 2009 in a huge mobilization from the four corners of the country. The march was called the National March Against the High Cost of Living, Against Evictions and Violence, and Against Mining and Water Laws that Threaten Our Lives; For Mother Earth, for supporting the production of basic grains, for distribution of fertilizers and in support of the The General Law of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala.

Indymedia Guatemala

April 16, 2009


Added: May 08, 2009

Mexico

Sin medidas de higiene, docentes no reanudarán clases: CNTE

Escuelas sin agua y escaso recurso federal para limpieza

México DF - Si no cuentan con las medidas necesarias de higiene en las escuelas de preescolar, primaria y educación especial, alrededor de 58 mil docentes de la Sección 9 de la Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), 85 por ciento de ellos mujeres, no regresarán a clases el próximo 11 de mayo, pues la llamada influenza humana sigue “latente” y los recursos asignados por el Gobierno federal son insuficientes para abastecerse durante los 40 días que restan al ciclo escolar. 

Así lo informó en conferencia de prensa Francisco  Bravo Herrera, secretario general del Comité Ejecutivo Seccional de la Sección 9, quien informó que la discusión sobre las condiciones de sus centros de trabajo, entre las y los trabajadores de esta sección ubicada en el Distrito Federal (DF) y los comités regionales, se da desde ayer y hasta hoy. Hoy entregan su decisión a Alonso Lujambio, titular de la Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP)...

If the federal government doesn't provide basic hygienic conditions in schools, educators may refuse to resume classes: teacher's union

Schools don't have access to water, and federal sanitation funds are insufficient

The almost 58,000 teachers of Section 9 of the the National Coordinator of Education Workers union ( CNTE) have declared that they will not return to work when Mexico’s schools re-open on May 11th, unless the federal government takes action to insure hygienic conditions at the schools. The CNTE membership, 85% of whom are women, states that the H1N1 influenza continues to be a latent danger. They note that the federal government has provided insufficient supplies of hygienic materials to carry schools through the remaining 40 days of the school year.

This was announced at a press conference by Francisco Bravo Herrera, secretary general of the Section 9 Executive Committee. Bravo Herrera reported on his discussions about workplace conditions with union members from Mexico City and regional chapters. The union’s final decision on returning to work will be delivered today to Alonso Lujambio, head of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP).  

Bravo Herrera noted that 4,100 public schools in Mexico City may become strong centers spread of the H1N1 influenza virus. These particular schools do not have even minimal resources to prevent disease – drinking water, “much less soap and water.” Some 150,000 teachers and workers, 70% of whom are women, work in these 4,100 schools.

In Mexico City, 60% of preschool, primary, secondary and special education schools, where one and a half million students study, do not have access to potable water.

In addition to the conditions in Mexico City, 26,077 schools across the Mexico also lack water [and even septic] facilities. These schools are concentrated in the impoverished [read: intentionally impoverished Indigenous], regions of the southeast of the nation...

Francisco Bravo and Section 9’s education workers emphasized that the threatened work stoppage was not about a refusal to work, nor a refusal to complete the school year’s work plan. “What we demand is that the [federal government] go about the task of re-opening schools in the best possible way, while at the same time  respecting our labor rights."

Full English Translation

Guadalupe Cruz Jaimes

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

May 6, 2009


Added: May 06, 2009

Mexico, Chile

Three mothers testified in Chile against the state of Mexico for their daughters' murders.

(From left to right) Josefina Gonazalez,  U.N representative Florenti Melendez,  Irma Monreal, and Benita Monarrez.

Photo by Maria Grusauskas - The Santiago Times

Estado mexicano espera sentencia por feminicidio en Juárez

CoIDH juzga tres asesinatos de Campo Algodonero

México DF - El gobierno es internacionalmente responsable por la desaparición y muerte de Esmeralda Herrera Monreal, Claudia Ivette González y Laura Berenice Ramos Monárrez, cuyos cuerpos, torturados y abusados sexualmente, fueron tirados en el predio Campo Algodonero, en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

El gobierno no las protegió, no previno sus asesinatos, aunque conocía el patrón de violencia de género en la región, que ha dejado cientos de mujeres y niñas asesinadas, y las autoridades de Ciudad Juárez no respondieron a las denuncias.

Esa es la acusación que hicieron ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) Irma Monreal, Josefina González y Benita Monárrez, madres de las víctimas, quienes esperaron ocho años para que sus testimonios fueran escuchados por autoridades judiciales sin sorna ni escepticismo...

Nancy Betán Santana,  Guadalupe Gómez Quintana

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

May 04, 2009

Update: Juárez, Mexico femicides trial in Chile

Mexico Has Until June To Comply With Court Orders

On April 29 the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Santiago ruled that the State of México is responsible for the hundreds of femicides that have taken place in Juárez, Mexico over the past 15 years. The court will next review the statements and documents provided by the state of México between June 1 and November 2009 and will make its final verdict in November.

The Santiago Times

May 4, 2009

Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by [undocumented] Immigrants in the United States

[About the impact of Latin America's crisis of femicide on the murders of women and girls within the United States by immigrant men who grew-up embracing femicide]

Introduction:

After conducting a 12 month in-depth study of [undocumented] immigrants who committed sex crimes and murders for the time period of January 1999 through April 2006 , it is clear that the U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who cross the U.S. borders illegally.

There were 1500 cases analyzed in depth. They included: serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides, and child molestation committed by [undocumented] immigrants...

...There are approxi-mately 240,000 [undocumented] immigrant sex offenders in the United States.

This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day. The 1,500 offenders in this study had a total of 5,999 victims. Each sex offender averaged 4 victims. This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study...

The murders were the worst of the sex crimes and were especially vicious. The most common method was for an offender to break into a residence and ambush his victims. Not only were victims raped, but some (6%) were mutilated. The crime scenes were very bloody, expressing intense, angry perpetrator personalities. Specifically, most victims were blitzed, rendered incapable of fighting back, and then raped and murdered. The most common method of killing was bludgeoning, followed by stabbing. Caucasians were more likely to become victims of sexual homicide committed by [undocumented] immigrants. Hispanics were second, and African Americans were third. Victims of sexual homicides averaged age 42. However, victims ranged in age from 16-81.

Serial killers account-ed for .005% of the sex crimes. The serial killers averaged 9 victims per offender. Victim choice centered on victims the offenders did not know. Each serial killer targeted men and women, but females were higher, making up 73%.

[Undocumented] immigrant serial killers were more likely to strike in the West and the Southern United States...

Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.

Criminal Profiler

Violent Crimes Institute

2006

LibertadLatina note:

Professional criminal profiler Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin's research into sex crimes involving undocumented immigrant men from Latin America is considered to be controversial by some immigrant advocates.

It is a fact that virtually everyone in the Latino  immigrant community in the United States knows that sexual predators victimize the community, and that men who think this way learned their attitudes and the 'skills' in committing sex crimes and murders in Latin America.

Many women immigrants came to the U.S. to escape a sexist environment where femicide and rape are not prosecuted and are condoned by the society's legal, social and sometimes even religious institutions. That 'support' empowers sexist men who believe in the cult of machismo (also known as negative machismo, to distinguish it from the responsibility-to-family aspects of the code of machismo).

The vast majority of immigrant men are hard-working, law abiding guys. Yet the tolerance for sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence and even murder of women and girls is far higher within the community of Latino immigrant men than it is in the rest of U.S. society.

Although it is an uncomfortable reality to confront, the only way that we as a society will make progress in freeing women and children from sexual oppression in the Americas is to face these issues openly. That requires that we take a close look at the fact that a problem exists.

We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend that these crimes never took place. We also cannot distort the facts to show that the rate of sex crimes in U.S. Latino communities is low (a false argument used in the current immigration debate). The fact is that women and girl victims are intimidated into remaining silent, and in many communities, law enforcement and criminal justice systems prefer not to hear the pleas of these victims.

I have seen these realities close-up for over 25 years here in the Washington, DC region.

Silence is also violence!!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 10, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina

Human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area

 


Added: May 06, 2009

Mexico

Lawsuit blames Mexican government for Juarez femicides

A collection of legal and human rights organizations are suing the Mexican government before an international court for failing to adequately investigate the torture and killings of women in Ciudad Juarez. It is thought that more than 500 women have been killed in Juarez since 1993.

The lawsuit before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights blames the federal government for failing to prevent the kidnapping, torture, and killing of eight women, specifically, whose bodies were found in November, 2001. All displayed clear signs of torture.

The groups bringing the lawsuit include the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and the Committee of Latin America for the Defense of the Rights of Women, among others.

Ariel Dulitzky, a University of Texas professor and legal advisor to the groups bringing the lawsuit, said the complaint alleges the locals and state police didn’t maintain crime scenes properly and didn’t identify the bodies until six and seven years later…

“Today, seven years later, there is nobody being prosecuted for these killings,” Dulitzky said.

He expects the case to be decided by September or November of this year. 

The San Antonio Current

May 5, 2009


Added: May 05, 2009

Latin America

Feminicidio: genocidio contra mujeres en Latinoamérica 

Logró visualizarse por denuncias de familiares y OSC

México DF - Por decenas de miles se cuentan los asesinatos de mujeres en el último decenio en Latinoamérica. Estos afectan a mujeres de todas las edades, etnias y estratos sociales, pero parten de una matriz común: las relaciones desiguales de género, informa Isabel Soto en el Especial de Prensa Latina, Mujeres del Tercer Milenio.

Tal estado de hecho genera una situación de mayor vulnerabilidad y de limitación para ellas en el disfrute del derecho a la vida, a la integridad personal y al debido proceso frente a esos crímenes, concuerdan los seguidores del tema…

Femicide: Genocide against the women of Latin America

A pattern or murder only made visible by the persistent work of victim's families and feminist and human rights advocacy organizations

Mexico City - Tens of thousands of women have been murdered during the past decade in Latin America. The victims were women of all ages, ethnicities and social strata. According to Isabel Soto, writing in her special news report Women in the Third Millennium, their fate sprang from one common womb: gender inequality.

This state of affairs creates a situation in which women face greater vulnerabilities, and women’s rights to enjoy a right to life, personal integrity and due process against such crimes are limited, say those who track the issue.

The form of violence against women that we call femicide (femicidio or feminicidio in Spanish) to distinguish its unique characte-istics, became established in certain regions of Latin America [during the past two decades].

The crisis only became visible to the public through advocacy work carried out by families of the victims and feminist and human rights organizations.

Genocide against women

Researchers attribute the term femicide to Jane Caputo and Diana E. H. Russell, who coined the term in a 1990 article in Ms Magazine called “Femicide: Speaking the Unspeakable."

For these authors, "the murder of women is the most extreme form of sexist terrorism" and they therefore defined the term.

Subsequently, Mexican anthropologist Marcela Lagarde referred to the phenom-enon as feminicide to define the concept of "genocide against women."

Femicide occurs "when historical conditions generate social practices that enable attacks against the integrity, health, freedom and lives of women.” These practices have in common the idea that women are to be used, abused and disposed-of" declares Lagarde, who is a former federal congressional deputy and the former president of a commission that studied the issue of femicide.

Lagarde says that these actions coincide in “their infinite cruelty and are, in fact, hate crimes against women."

Violence against women is expressed not only in these thousands of deaths, but in regard to the physical, sexual and psychological suffering and damages involved, that impact both the public and private sectors.

The apathy of the authorities influences the fact that no formal system exists to collect data and statistics in regard to these crimes. That data would provide  accurate information about the true magnitude of the problem, which would help drive appropriate responses.

In almost all Latin American countries, official figures on the numbers of women being murdered are lower that the statistics collected by non-governmental organizations. This shows a tendency of governments to minimize the problem.

Information systems also do not disaggre-gate data by sex, age or ethnicity, nor do they allow the relation-ship between victim and victimizer to be analyzed. This complicates the conduct of comparative studies within nations and across Latin America...

Feminist activists have documented cases of female murders in each nation of the region, which has allowed some tracking of the problem to occur. However, many cases must still be discovered and recorded…

The internationally visible disclosures of the ongoing rapes and murders targeting women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, from 1993 to the present, has been considered by many to have been the prelude to a series allegations of femicide across Latin America.

But despite repeated complaints by advocacy organiza-tions, authorities have failed to fulfill their obligations to prevent, respond-to, investi-gate, prosecute, punish and redress these crimes, feminist groups believe.

In a document submitted to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) in March 2006, dozens of representatives of these advocacy groups demanded an IAHRC hearing to examine the rise in femicide cases and the failure of the nations of Latin America to react.

"Violence against women is a common-place reality in our region, which often leads to violent deaths that include signs of torture, mutilation, cruelty and / or sexual violence for reasons associated with gender," reported the authors of the text.

Since the 1990s, Guatemala has registered more than 3,000 femicides; El Salvador, nearly 2,000; Honduras, 1,018, Costa Rica, about 310; Chile, more than 300; and Argentina, more than 1,500.

These murders [were carried out by] husbands, lovers or boyfriends and former boyfriends...

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

May 4, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

Femicide murders in Latin America are perpetrated not just by significant others. Large numbers of murders are carried out by serial killers and sex traffickers. Murdered trafficking victims rarely show-up in the 'official' statistics on femicide murder.

The case of serial killer Pedro Lopez (see below) is horrendous. Having confessed to murdering over 300 girls, ages 9 to 12, across Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, Ecuadorian authorities had him serve only 14 years in prison. He was released in 1994, according to a documentary on the Lopez case.

Lopez was then extradited to  Colombia, where he served only 4 years committed to a psychiatric hospital. He was then released.

One can only imagine that he likely contin-ued his murder spree after having received such lenient treatment from the criminal justice systems of the Andean region.

Pedro Lopez' 14 year prison sentence in Ecuador is emble-matic of the fact that institutionalized sexist machismo in Latin America places little value on women's lives - a fact that continues to enable femicide.

Femicide exists in many forms in the region. During the 1980s the Guatemalan Army and conscripted civil patrols murdered an estimated 50,000 women (having raped both them and most living Indigenous women and girls of all ages in that Mayan majority nation).

The current femicide in Guatemala - Latin America's most severe and persistent case of the 'mental disease' of femicide, where victims are routinely tortured, raped and dismembered, grew directly out of the impunity established during the 1980s civil war period.

The number of men who have gone to prison for acts of femicide (both today and during the civil war) in Guatemala are few indeed.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 06, 2009

More about femicide

See also:

LibertadLatina

The Guatemalan Army raped and murdered 50,000 women during the 1980s civil war

About Pedro Lopez, arguably South America's most dangerous serial murderer of girls

Pedro lopez - a serial rapist and killer of hundreds of young girls

Pedro Lopez: The "Monster Of The Andes"

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

In the course of his confessions, Pedro blamed his crimes on his hard life and lonely adolescence. "I lost my innocence at age eight," he explained, "so I decided to do the same to as many young girls as I could."

When asked how he was able to pull off his self-professed crimes, Pedro informed [police] that he often times trolled village markets for selected targets with "a certain look of innocence." He always searched for his victims in full daylight, because he did not want darkness to hide their throes of death from him. When asked what he meant by this, Pedro explained that he would first rape his victim, and then strangle them as he stared into their eyes. He claimed to feel deep pleasure and sexual excitement watching their life fade before him...

www.TruTV.com

Pedro Lopez - Serial killer

...The authorities had previously believed the disappearance of so many girls was due to white slavery or prostitution.

[Note: Police did nothing to investigate these cases because they were assumed to have been human trafficking kidnapp-ings. Note that this statement about the mass disappearances of underage girls in western South America covers the time period prior to 1980, long before the modern anti-trafficking movement was born in the 1990s. Mass child sex trafficking is not at all a new phenomenon in Latin America].

López became one of the most prolific serial killers in Ecuador and in the world. He became notorious internationally as a serial killer. López... confessed to over 300 murders. The police only believed him when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave of many of his victims.

According to the BBC: "He was arrested in 1980 but was freed by the government in Ecuador at the end of last year [1998] and deported to Colombia. In an interview from his prison cell, López described himself as "the man of the century" and said he was being released for "good behavior."

A documentary... reports that he was released by [an] Ecuadorian prison on 31 August 1994, and re-arrested an hour later as an [undocumented] immigrant, and handed over to Colombian authorities who charged him with a twenty year old murder. He was found to be insane and held in a psychiatric wing of a Bogotá hospital. In 1998 he was declared sane, and released on $50 bail. The same documentary says that Interpol released an advisory for his re-arrest by Colombian authorities over a fresh murder in 2002.

www.Wikipedia.com

Some of the serial Killer's victims  - from the Biography Channel's documentary on Pedro Lopez

See a segment of the Biography Channel's TV documentary - in English - featuring interviews with parents of the victims expressing rage at Lopez' 16 year sentence for murdering 100+ Ecuadorian girls (he served only 14 years - having been released early 'for good behavior'

"Narrator: Lopez seemed proud of having raped and murdered so many young girls."

Part 1

Part 5

Pedro Alonzo Lopez

[Pedro] Lopez claimed to have raped and killed at least 100 girls from various [Ecuadorian] Indian tribes throughout the region. In 1980, while in police custody, Lopez revealed that he had performed similar grisly acts with more than 100 others throughout Peru and Colombia. Police were skeptical at first, but Lopez escorted agents to his burial sites, where they uncovered 81 bodies.

The Biography Channel

Note: The Biography Channel's web site entry on Lopez states that he was sentenced to life in prison, which is incorrect.]


Added: May 05, 2009

California, USA

Committee Passes Bill to Seize Property of Human Traffickers

Sacramento – The Senate Public Safety Committee today unanimously approved legislation to assist victims of human trafficking and support law enforcement by allowing courts to seize any property, such as house or automobile, of a person convicted of human trafficking and used in the commission of the crime. Senate Bill 557, authored Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), also adds a civil penalty of up to $25,000. 

"SB 557 will bring much-needed resources to help fight human trafficking, while also ensuring victims receive the services they need to recover from this horrific crime," said Yee. "Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year and enslaved for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, and unfortunately many of the cases occur here in California. Our state has led the way in combating human trafficking and exploitation, but we should not stop our efforts until all women, men, and children are free and safe from such an appalling offense."

...Hispanic victims comprised the largest share (37 percent) of alleged sex trafficking victims and more than half (56 percent) of alleged labor trafficking victims. Asians made up 10 percent of alleged sex trafficking victims, compared to 31 percent of labor trafficking victims. Approximately two-thirds of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents were age 17 or younger (27 percent) or age 18 to 24 (38 percent). Sex trafficking victims tended to be younger (71 percent were under age 25) and labor trafficking victims tended to be older (almost 70 percent were age 25 or older)...

If you are a victim of trafficking or an organization needing assistance, please contact the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

California Chronicle

April 29, 2009


Added: May 04, 2009

Mexico

Triqui women and child at a market

Violencia, abuso, abandono ¿día de la infancia en la zona Triqui? 

25 niñas y niños en orfandad por el conflicto político

Oaxaca, Oax. - En la zona Triqui del estado de Oaxaca, al sur del país, al menos en Rastrojo, hay 25 niñas y niñas huérfanos producto del conflicto político “interétnico”, y otra cantidad similar abandonados por sus padres y madres que tuvieron que huir para no ser asesinados.

La vida de estas niñas y niños es invisible, ha sido silenciosa. No hay institución pública que se vuelva a mirarlos. Las niñas mayores asumen la maternidad de sus hermanos y hermanas menores. Las niñas sufren violencia sexual. Las niñas como los niños han visto pasar las balas a través de las paredes de sus casas y a veces también las balas las alcanzan...

Violence, abuse and neglect: Can Mexico’s Indigenous Triqui people celebrate International Children’s Day under these conditions?

The city of Oaxaca, in Oaxaca state - In the Triqui region of southern Oaxaca state, in the town of Rastrojo, live 25 boys and girls who have been orphaned because their parents were killed, and an equal number of children who were abandoned because their parents had to flee for their lives or face being murdered. These children are the product of an inter-ethnic political conflict.

The lives of these children are invisible. Their existence has been silenced.

 ...The girls suffer sexual violence. These girls and boys have seen bullets come through the walls of their houses, and at times those bullets have hit them.

"This situation is considered normal by the authorities – [after all…] they are Triquis” says attorney Adriana Ortiz with irony. Ortiz is a member of a Triqui family that has been touched by this inter-ethnic violence...

"Valentina" is 22-years-old. She rarely speaks. She prefers to remain silent. Her gaze is evasive. She barely looks at the other people around her, and doesn’t look at people who ask her questions. Her answers to questions are almost inaudible, and they take a lot of effort for her to say. Valentina ignores some questions, as if she didn’t hear them.

Five years ago, when Valentina left her high school for the day, a young man assaulted and raped her. When she arrived at his house, her mother noticed something strange about Valentina, but didn’t ask her anything. She didn’t tell her mother about what had happened. Her rapist, a man she knew because her village is small, threatened to kill her as well-as her mother and father if she said anything. Terrified, she kept this painful secret.

A few months later, Valentina’s father realized that she was pregnant. Without asking her anything, he beat and insulted her, and then ran her out of the house...

Sonia was 11-years-old when a bullet pierced her neck and the left side of her face. She was taken to Oaxaca from her community with little hope for survival...

Sonia was once a studious and cheerful girl. Now she walks and speaks with difficulty. She constantly loses her balance but is progressing...

Adriana Ortiz is one of the few Triqui women who has been able to get a college education. She studied law in the city of Oaxaca. She had left the town of Rastrojo several years ago due to the conflict...

Adriana Ortiz tells us that another girl who is at-risk is Daniela Ortiz Ramirez, age 14. Daniela disappeared together with her older sister Virginia, a bilingual school teacher, as they traveled from one community to another in the Triqui nation. This coming May 5, 2009, Daniela and Virginia will have been missing for 22 months says Adriana, who is their cousin.

And this is International Children’s Day in the Triqui Nation?

Full English Translation

Soledad Jarquin Edgar

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

April 30, 2009


Added: May 04, 2009

Mexico

La pobreza eleva riesgo de que se transmita la influenza: Ssa

En “algún momento” se impondría cerco especial a ciudades, pues concentran los casos

Ya se extendió la epidemia a 23 estados de la República, informa Córdova Villalobos

Muy probable, que la industria restaurantera y otros sectores reinicien labores este miércoles

El titular de la Secretaría de Salud (Ssa), José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, admitió que la pobreza en que vive gran parte de la población es factor que aumenta el riesgo de que se transmita la influenza A/H1N1, y precisó que la epidemia, que ya se extendió a 23 estados del país, se ha concentrado “en las ciudades”. Por ello, no descartó que en “algún momento” pudiera instrumentarse un “cerco especial” en torno a éstas...

Poverty increases the risk of influenza being transmitted: Mexican Secretary of Health

The Swine Flu epidemic has spread to 23 (of the 33) states in Mexico, reports health secretary Córdova Villalobos

At "some point" a quarantine will be imposed on cities where cases are concentrated

It is very likely that the restaurant industry and other sectors will resume work on Wednesday

The head of the Secretariat of Health (SSA), José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, acknowledged today that the conditions of poverty in which much of the population lives is a factor that increases the risk for contracting the A/H1N1 'Swine Flu' virus. Córdova Villalobos stated that the epidemic has already spread to 23 states, and has been concentrated in cities.

Therefore, at "some time, a special sanitary cordon could be implemented" around them...

...Córdova Villalobos announced that all 67,251 schools in the nation, many of which lack even the most minimal sanitary conditions, will receive soap or alcohol gel.

...In the morning, Córdova Villalobos admitted that poverty affects the transmission of the virus, because... "there is serious overcrowding in their homes..."

When questioned about the lack of sanitary conditions in the 26,077 schools nationwide that don't have access to water, Córdova Villalobos replied: "we must take precautions. If there is no soap and water, at least they must have alcohol gel."

...Córdova Villalobos added that the epidemic peaked between April 23rd and 28th, and the numbers of cases are now declining. He added that 50% of those affected were under age 20, and half of those victims were under age 10. The increase in confirmed deaths to 22 has resulted from clearing backlogged tests, not from new cases.

Karina Avilés

La Jornada

May 4, 2009

See also:

Mexico

Indigenous girls in Mexico

Discriminación institucional en la educación rural en México

Niñez carece de infraestructura adecuada

Los estados de Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas y Michoacán, entidades con población indígena, ocupan los últimos lugares en infraestructura, mobiliario y equipo básico en las escuelas primarias, lo que evidencia una fuerte discriminación hacia los pueblos indígenas y afrodescendientes, la misma que empieza desde el entorno social.

El desdén, dice un comunicado de la organización Visión Mundial México, se observa en la infraestructura a escuelas primarias indígenas y rurales, pues la inmensa mayoría carece de piso de cemento, electricidad, drenaje o fosa séptica...

Institutional racial prejudice denies education to children across rural Mexico

Indigenous and African-descendent children are not provided with adequate educational infrastructure because of their race - World Vision Mexico

Mexico City - The states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Michoacan, which have the highest populations of Indigenous people in the nation, rank lowest in the availability of school infrastructure such as the furniture and basic equipment needed to support primary education. This pattern shows a strong bias towards Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants, a prejudice that starts in the social environment.

This demonstrates a distain for these children, said a press release from World Vision Mexico, which can be observed in the infrastructure of rural Indigenous schools. The vast majority of them lack concrete floors, electricity, sewage or septic tanks...

In sum, says World Vision, the Mexican education system reproduces the inequality, exclusion and authoritarianism that exists in the social and political environment, especially in poor regions inhabited by Indigenous peoples...

Being Indigenous in Mexico means that you have no access to school, or that the school you do have is of poor quality. In addition, in many cases, Indigenous students face discrimination from teachers and other students. They also receive an education that is not tied to their Indigenous culture and community.

Full English Translation

CIMAC Noticias

March 25, 2009

 

 
     

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Updated: June 13, 2010


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Honduras

Venden niñas por edades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

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

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

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

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

WNEP-TV

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

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

Oralia Ortega

KTSM

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 5

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

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

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

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

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

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

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

WNDU

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the thrash

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

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

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

A custodian later found the baby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

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

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

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

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

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kye Parsons

WBOC

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWBT

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

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

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

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

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

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

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 8

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

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

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

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

Gothamist

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coloradan.com

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Mexico

A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

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

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

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

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

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

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

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

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

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

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

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

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing problem

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Zapor

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

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 3

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

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

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

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

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

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

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Mexico

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

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

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

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

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

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

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

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

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

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

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

El Manana

May 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

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

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

Press Release (excerpt)

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

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

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

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

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

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

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

June 01, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

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

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cronica

May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

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

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

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

Mexico - The Hot Spot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notilegis

Feb. 23, 2010

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

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


Added: June 1, 2010

Brazil

Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

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

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

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

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

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

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

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

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

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

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

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

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

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina:

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

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

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

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

Atentamente,

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

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

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

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

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

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Tlapaneca Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra Tlapaneca Violada por Militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

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

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

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

This is your war on drugs

...On 16th February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú was washing her clothes in a stream near her home in Caxitepec, Mexico, when six soldiers approached. Seemingly too busy for pleasantries, the men started barking questions at her: Who was she? Where was she from? Had she seen the people they were looking for? Did she recognize the names on the list they thrust in front of her?

Her answers weren’t good enough, so one soldier pulled a gun and threatened to shoot. Another punched her so hard that she passed out. When she came to, two men tore off her underwear and raped her, one after the other. She was sixteen years old.

It took several months for Valentina to find a doctor willing to treat her; her nearest hospital turned her away because they didn’t want any trouble from the military. The next nearest, which she walked for eight hours to reach, examined her but offered no medicine. Only after legal action was threatened did she finally receive the gynecological care she needed.

At the time of writing, no criminal prosecution has ever been brought against these men and no one has been formally disciplined by a military which has perpetually dragged its feet over investigations. Some 7 years later, she still hasn’t found justice.

This case is just one of many allegations of human rights abuses leveled at the Mexican military in pursuit of an expensive, bloody and failed war on drugs. As well as rape, the allegations include enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention and unlawful killing. And it’s all being bankrolled by the United States of America...

This is your war on drugs

August 13, 2009


Added: May. 30, 2010

Georgia, USA

Samuel Sanchez

Man Charged in Cherokee County Sex Assault

Cherokee County deputies say a Woodstock man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a mobile home and crawling into bed with a woman he didn’t know as she slept with her 1-year-old son.

Deputies say 22-year-old Samuel Sanchez broke into a mobile home off of Dupree Road in Woodstock on Friday morning. They say 19-year-old Bridget Gonzalez was asleep in her bed with her son when the suspect came into the room and got in bed with them. Then, he attempted to sexually assault her, investigators say.

Gonzalez told FOX 5 she thought the man was her boyfriend, but soon realized it was a stranger instead. She says she and her son don’t know Sanchez.

After Gonzalez realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend, she screamed and he ran out of the house. But, much to her surprise, she says he came back.

Sanchez was later picked up while walking along Dupree Road. They say when they spotted him, he began running, but deputies were able to catch up to him.

According to deputies, Sanchez told them he wanted to see someone he knows who lives at the home, so he just went inside.

Sanchez is charged with sexual battery, criminal attempt to rape, and burglary. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Fox 5 Atlanta

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Mexico

Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Niega Estado mexicano violación de Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Argumenta ante la CoIDH falta de “pruebas fehacientes”

San José, Costa Rica - Durante la audiencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) sobre el caso de Valentina Rosendo Cantú, el Estado mexicano insistió categóricamente que “no existen pruebas fehacientes de la presunta violación sexual”, por lo cual pidió a este tribunal internacional tome en cuenta este elemento a la hora de emitir su sentencia.

Si bien es cierto que la integración de la investigación de los hechos ocurridos el 16 de febrero de 2002 no se hizo de manera eficaz y eficiente, no se puede responsabilizar al Estado mexicano por tortura y tampoco por violar el derecho a la salud y al debido proceso de Valentina, así lo dijo Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)...

Después de esta audiencia, tanto la defensa de Valentina como el Estado mexicano deberán entregar sus alegatos finales por escrito, de acuerdo con la CoIDH el próximo 28 de junio y advirtió que no habrá prórroga.

Mexico’s government denies the fact of the rape of Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Mexican state argues that no compelling proof of the rape exists

San Jose, Costa Rica – During a hearing held by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in regard to the case of indigenous rape victim Valentina Rosendo Cantú, the Mexican State declared categorically that no compelling proof exists to show that the rape occurred. Mexico asked that the Court take this into consideration when deliberating their decision.

Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director of Democracy and Human Rights in the Secretary of External Relations (SRE), argued part of Mexico’s case before the Court. He declared that Mexico cannot be held responsible if the investigation into the events of February 16, 2002 was not efficient and effective, and that the State also cannot be held responsible for the torture and violation of the right to health and a lack of access to the proper [judicial] process.

Full English Translation to follow.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC

May 27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 29, 2010

Mexico

Raped with impunity - Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

...Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú are still waiting for justice. The two women, who belong to the Tlapaneca Indigenous community, were raped by members of the Mexican army in February and March 2002 respectively in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Inés Fernández Ortega, who speaks little Spanish, was reportedly raped on 22 March 2002. Soldiers entered her home to interrogate her about some meat they claimed had been stolen. When she did not answer their questions, they raped her. Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was approached on 16 February 2002 by soldiers near her home, who questioned her about the activities of some "hooded men" (a reference to armed opposition groups). When she replied that she did not know any, she was threatened and two of the soldiers raped her.

The Mexican authorities claim that both women have failed to co-operate with the military investigation. However, the fact that both cases remain under military jurisdiction places the women at serious risk of reprisals. The women are required to go into the barracks to ratify their complaints before the military prosecutor. There, they may face a real risk of intimidation.

The women have shown great courage in speaking out, demanding that their cases be transferred to the civilian authorities. Amnesty International supports their demands as the military justice system lacks the impartiality and independence to properly investigate such cases. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now investigating the Mexican government’s failure to ensure effective access to justice for both women.

Amnesty International

March 8, 2007


Added: May. 28, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Abel Moreno

Photo from: Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010

He Did the Right Thing; Now He Faces Deportation

Charlotte - Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble.

Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest.

Several things then happened. Five other women came forward to allege that the officer, identified as Marcus Jackson, now 26, had tried to molest them, too. Moreno was released after investigators debunked the resisting arrest charge. So was his girlfriend.

Jackson was fired and faces 11 counts of sexual battery, extortion and interfering with emergency communication. Police Chief Rodney Monroe admitted that Jackson should never have been hired in the first place because of previous charges related to a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend. The local 911 system is under review because Moreno’s call wasn’t acted upon.

And Abel Moreno now has a six-month deadline to show why he shouldn’t be deported, even though police acknowledge that his 911 call was crucial to their uncovering a dirty cop, and even though they agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested...

A judge granted Moreno a six-month deferment on his deportation because he is a witness in the criminal investigation. But that reprieve runs out in November.

Moreno’s attorney, Rob Heroy, said he was confident Moreno would eventually be granted a so-called U visa, which allows illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses in criminal investigations to stay in the country for up to four years. But only 10,000 such visas are available in any year, and while that process works its way through the system, Moreno remains in limbo.

“Now I’m unemployed,” Moreno said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “I don’t have any money, not even for rent, not even for my phone — anything. ... The truth is I’m scared.” ...

MSNBC

May 26, 2010

See also:

Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

New York, USA

Rape Victim's Mother Arrives In U.S. To Claim Body

The mother of the Chinese immigrant who died after being brutally beaten and raped in a Queens alley arrived yesterday. The Daily News reports, "Sobbing inconsolably as she stepped off a plane at Newark Airport, the mother was too distraught to speak of her daughter, Yu Yao, 23, who was raped and fatally beaten in Queens by a pipe-wielding madman. Escorted through the airport terminal by relatives, the heartbroken mother collapsed into a chair and laid her head in a cousin's lap."

Yao, who had arrived in NYC two months ago on a student visa, was taken off life support on Friday, after being struck with a metal pipe and then sexually assaulted in Flushing on Sunday May 16. According to the Queens DA's office, she suffered a "fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to the vagina." While one witness's call to the police enabled the arrest of suspect Carlos Salazar Cruz, Assemblywoman Grace Meng said other people witnessed the attack but did not do anything.

NY1 reports that community activists held an anti-violence vigil at the attack site on 41st Road, urging residents to report violent acts. Community Prevention Alternatives' Martha Florez-Vazquez said, "I feel that it's important to send out a message to the community that it takes a village and that it's up to our neighbors to prevent crime.” One resident added, "I'm very concerned... no one should be beaten to death the way this young lady was."

Jen Chung

Gothamist

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Arizona, USA

Kyleigh Ann Sousa

Woman dragged by car during robbery dies

Tempe - A young woman who was run over and dragged by a car during a robbery in Tempe early Wednesday morning has died.

The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the area of Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue near the Arizona State University campus.

The victim has been identified as Kyleigh Ann Sousa, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. She died of her injuries Wednesday night.

According to police, a man approached Sousa outside of a hotel and grabbed her purse. He then tried to drive away.

Sousa held on to her purse. She was dragged by the suspect's car.

The suspect is described as a heavyset Hispanic man. The car he was driving is a newer model Chrysler 300.

Police and Sousa's parents are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect.

Anybody who has information about the incident should call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Catherine Holland

Fox 11

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Omar Shariff Cash

Cash guilty of murder and rape

Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal injection.

After hearing two weeks of testimony that one prosecutor likened to the musings of a horror writer, a Bucks County jury in Doylestown Thursday found Omar Shariff Cash guilty on all counts, including first- and second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft and other crimes...

The 43-year-old woman [victim] told the jury that Cash laughed as he forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, then turned up the volume on the car radio and swayed to hip-hop music after leaving her boyfriend, Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez, dead alongside a Bensalem exit ramp.

In the front row of the courtroom, the rape victim wept softly as the verdict was read. A native of Brazil who doesn't speak English, she listened to the verdict with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

Rosas-Gutierrez's family also had interpreters to help them understand the verdict. They passed around a box of tissues and cried as each "guilty" was announced...

Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case against Cash...

The prosecution said Cash was on the run from Philadelphia police when he carjacked the victims as they left Jalapeno Joes, a northeast Philadelphia nightclub round 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2008.

Cash forced Rosas-Gutierrez to drive into Bucks, and trained a gun on his head while he raped the woman in the back seat.

Cash told Rosas-Gutierrez to pull over on the Street Road exit ramp from northbound Route 1, the woman told the jury. While she screamed his name from one of the passenger seats, Rosas-Gutierrez was marched up a steep embankment by the killer and shot in the back of the head.

The woman testified that Cash raped her again at an abandoned office complex immediately after the slaying, and then brought her to the Comfort Inn in Lawrenceville, N.J., where the sexual assaults continued.

Unable to communicate with hotel staff, the woman finally made a break for it when Cash brought her back down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. Footage of her dashing through the lobby and vaulting a four-foot check-in counter was shown to the jury...

Furber called Rosas-Gutierrez and the woman "the perfect victims." He said that once Cash looked through their belongings and learned they were both illegal immigrants, he believed that they wouldn't be missed...

Laurie Mason Schroeder

Bucks County Courier Times

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Georgia, USA

Police: Lilburn Middle student hit with bleach-filled balloon

A 14-year-old Lilburn Middle School student was struck by a bleach-filled water balloon Wednesday afternoon, police said, sending him to the hospital with burns to both eyes and putting a traumatic damper on what have should been a joyous start to summer vacation.

Just after leaving his last day of school, the student was walking down the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley said.

A water balloon filled with bleach was thrown from a moving vehicle, Hedley said, striking him in the face at around 4:40 p.m.

“From time to time, especially on the last day of school, you see pranks, and maybe a water balloon is just having fun,” Hedley said. “But to see one that is filled with bleach is beyond comprehension ... A kid leaving school for the last day for what could have been a perfect summer, this is just crazy to me.”

The child was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center and was treated for severe trauma to his face and burns to both eyes. He has since been released and is “resting comfortably” at his mother’s Norcross home, Hedley said.

“He was in bad shape, but aware of his surroundings (during a visit Wednesday night),” Hedley said.

Witnesses have reported that the suspects were three Hispanic males driving a gray minivan with a black stripe down the lower portion of the vehicle...

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the van or the identity of the suspects is asked to call 770-921-2211.

Tyler Estep

The Gwinnett Daily Post

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Danny Mariel Suarez

Man accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old

WACO - A man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he sexually assaulted a child.

Officers reportedly began an investigation after they were notified in April that a 12-year-old girl had told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted.

After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple occasions.

Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at $250,000.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police suspect 2 men tried to pull girl into car

The Hollister Police Department is searching for two men suspected of trying to force a 17-year-old Hollister girl into a car Wednesday night near the 1500 block of San Juan Road.

Just after 7 p.m., the teenager was walking to a relative's house near the Plaza 156 gas station before police allege that two men inside a black Volkswagen Bug pulled alongside the girl and grabbed her arm, trying to force her inside the car.

The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to police.

The girl wrestled of their grasp and took off running to her relative's house, police spokesman Sgt. David Westrick said. The car did not follow her.

"Once she was able to break free of the suspects, she ran and never looked back," Westrick said.

The girl didn't know in what direction the car took off after she had left, Westrick said.

The suspects are described as two Hispanic men in their 40s. The passenger wore a black hooded jacket and sunglasses. The girl had no other identifying information about the driver.

The Volkswagen Bug is described as an older model with a loud engine and rusted black paint.

The police department is still searching for more information, Westrick said.

"We are trying to get this handled as soon as possible," Westrick said. "We have as many detectives working on it as we can."

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Hollister Police Department at 630-4330. People who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTIP at (800) 58-CRIME.

Connor Ramey

Freelance News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA / Jamaica

Herbert Morrison

Illegal Immigrant a Suspect in Continuous Molestation of Santa Maria Girl Police say the child was victimized over nine years

In April, the Santa Maria Police Department began investigating the sexual-assault case involving a minor female. [Herbert] Morrison was arrested in May, but charges were not filed at that time because of insufficient evidence.

However, evidence gathered in recent weeks led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Morrison, who was being held in a federal detention facility in Los Angeles pending deportation for being in the country illegally after a previous deportation.

He was picked up at the detention facility, transferred back to Santa Maria and booked into jail.

He faces charges of continuous sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault, rape by force or duress, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

Bail was set at $500,000.

Police have not released how the suspect knew the victim.

Michelle Nelson

Noozhawk

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Undocumented immigrant can't bail out of jail, officials say

An undocumented immigrant and previously deported felon from Jamaica whose anticipated deportation has been put on hold because he is facing new criminal charges in Santa Barbara County, is not able to bail out of jail.

Herbert Morrison, 49, who had been living in Santa Maria, was picked up Tuesday from a federal detention facility in Los Angeles where he was being held pending deportation for being in the country illegally. He was arrested on suspicion of various charges including continual sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery and rape by force or duress, according to Santa Maria police.

Morrison was booked into county jail with bail set at $500,000.

However, Lt. Dan Ast said that Morrison is not able to bail out of jail because of an immigration hold, and he will eventually once again face deportation.

"If we allowed him to be deported without filing the charges, he could potentially re-enter the country at some later time after arriving back in Jamaica and continue to victimize people in this country," Ast said. "Or, he could stay in Jamaica and potentially victimize others there without ever facing justice."

The Lompoc Record

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child

Houston - An accused child predator was behind bars Tuesday, charged with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Al D. Checo lured the child into his green Dodge pickup while she was walking home from school in the 9300 block of Pagewood Ln. on Friday. He then drove her to his apartment nearby, forced her to watch pornographic images and tried to sexually assault her, but stopped short of the act.

"It could have been the first time for him to do something like this and he was testing the waters, could have been were something might have spooked him. We don't really don't know exactly yet," said Officer John Colburn with HPD's Juvenile Sex Crime Division.

Checo, 32, held the child at his apartment for several hours before dropping her off near where she was abducted, police said.

According to officials, Checo warned the child not to tell anyone what happened, but she went home and told her mother and was able to identify her abductor.

Checo is charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held Tuesday without bond.

KIAH

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

SFPD searching for girl, 12, reported missing

San Francisco police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a 12-year-old girl reported missing.

Police said Mireya Zapata was last seen Thursday morning when she went to school. At about 2:50 p.m., she sent a text message to her mother, saying she was at a bus stop and on her way home.

However, Zapata, who goes to school in the Sunset District and lives downtown, never showed up at her home, police said. The girl exchanged text messages with her mother over the next several hours, but did not text a secret code letting the mother know she was OK upon request, according to police.

At about 7 p.m., Zapata's mother received a text message reading, "Don't look for me no more," and when her mother asked why, the response read, "Just don't," police said.

Police spokesman Officer Boaz Mariles said Zapata does not have a history of running away and she is considered to be at risk. Police are actively searching for the girl and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police at (415) 553-1071.

"It's a continuous search, meaning there are officers assigned strictly to this,'' Mariles said.

Zapata is described as a light-skinned Hispanic girl, 5 feet 3 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black and white Nike shoes and had a white backpack.

BCN

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect faces string of sex assault charges

4 alleged victims range in age from 11 to 49

Luis Alberto Gonzales was armed with a BB gun when he targeted numerous Hispanic women and girls for sexual assaults on Indianapolis' Westside, prosecutors say.

But he didn't even bother to cover his face -- and that lack of a disguise enabled police to arrest Gonzales last weekend. One victim from months ago spotted him sleeping in his red truck in an apartment court off West 30th Street near Moller Road, according to court documents filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in media reports...

So far, he faces charges in connection with four victims ranging in age from 11 to 49. He is in the Marion County Jail with a combined bond set at $700,000.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said his office was still readying charges representing two more victims, including one younger than 18; police were investigating allegations by three others.

That could make for nine victims, with convictions bringing up to hundreds of years in prison.

"Mr. Gonzales has essentially been preying on Hispanic adults and children since at least January 2010," Brizzi said. "He was going back to the same area. It seems he was unafraid about being arrested or caught."

The lead charges on the four cases that have been filed are Class A felony child molesting of an 11-year-old girl; Class A felony rape of a 40-year-old woman; Class A felony criminal deviate conduct against a 49-year-old woman; and Class D felony sexual battery against a 23-year-old woman...

Jon Murray

IndyStar.com

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Nevada, USA

Joel Eliazar Ortega

Illegal immigrant sentenced in Reno rape of paralyzed woman

A life in prison term was imposed Wednesday upon a married father of one who dragged a paralyzed woman out of her wheelchair, raped her, and then left her lying nude in an alley.

The woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been in a shopping center Oct. 30 in the 3300 block of North McCarran Boulevard when Joel Eliazar Ortega, 30, led her behind a business and attacked her. Soon after, Reno police officers responding to a call that Ortega was battering his wife in their nearby apartment, recognized Ortega as fitting the description of the suspect. He was arrested after the victim identified him.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn described the crime as among the most ghastly sexual assaults he’s ever seen.

“She was dragged from her wheelchair, her clothes taken off, sexually assaulted and then left lying in an alley,” said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan. “I have listened to you carefully, and you said ‘things happen’ and you get in trouble based on your behavior and doctors say you can’t take care of your daughter.

“You are a danger,” Flanagan said. “...you are lucky there is only one life sentence I can impose in this case.”

In rendering a sentence of life against Ortega, Flannagan said he would be eligible for parole after serving at least 10 years in prison. Ortega is also an illegal immigrant who also must face immigration charges.

“You will be deported at the earliest opportunity and will never return to this country again, except lawfully,” Flanagan said.

Ortega had apologized for the crime and said “I need help.”

His public defender, John Malone, said Ortega has been receiving treatment at the state’s mental hospital for several years. He blamed the rape on Ortega not taking his psychiatric medicines and drinking alcohol.

Ortega pleaded guilty to the rape, and was also convicted of domestic violence, related to when police responded to his apartment after the assault.

The victim was not present in court, although her father was and said he was too emotional to speak about the incident.

Jaclyn O'Malley

RGJ.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Virginia, USA

Arturo F. Lopez

Henrico judge sends rape charge to grand jury

A woman testified at a preliminary hearing in a Henrico County court today that her foster son sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her and her husband.

Arturo F. Lopez, 18, had been living with a foster family in the Interstate 64-Staples Mill Road area since sometime late last year, according to Henrico police. He was charged with rape in the April 9 incident and appeared at a preliminary hearing in General District Court this morning.

At the hearing, the judge certified the rape charge to a grand jury, which will hear the case on July 12. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Lopez came to the Richmond area sometime last year. His attorney said he was a homeless immigrant from Mexico and has no family in the U.S. Lopez was placed in the home by the Richmond Department of Social Services, because Spanish is spoken in the home.

Bill Mckelway

The Richmond Times Dispatch

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Pennsylvania

Officer Jose Manuel Santiago

Photo

Pennsylvania Cop Charged With Sex Offenses

A southeastern Pennsylvania police officer is charged with hundreds of sex-offense counts including rape, incest, statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Chester County prosecutors say 54-year-old Kennett Square police Officer Jose Manuel Santiago was arrested Thursday at his home in Newark, Del.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan says Santiago had sexual encounters with three juveniles under the age of 14 between 1991 and 2000.

Borough officials say Santiago joined the department in 1998. He had been on disability leave since December 2008 and is now suspended without pay.

Santiago is in New Castle County prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. His phone number is unlisted and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

MyFoxPhilly

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Alleged rapists' victims afraid to tell

Indianapolis - Prosecutors expect to file more charges against a man suspected of molesting and raping as many as nine women and girls on the northwest side. Police say 27-year old Luis Gonzales was a serial rapist - preying solely on Hispanic victims for at least five months.

Police say investigating this case was challenging. They didn't begin to put the pieces together until an 11-year-old girl reported being assaulted in May. But the first known attack occurred five months before that.

It was a January evening at about 10:00 at the La Joya apartments on the northwest side of Indianapolis. A 23-year-old woman walked into her building carrying bags and her baby. She says an attacker waited - pretending to be talking on his cell phone. After she went in the building, she says he grabbed and groped her in the stairwell.

An affidavit states she was holding her baby tightly during the attack, and the infant began to cry. At that point her attacker ran away.

But no police report was filed. Detectives believe for the next five months, Luis Gonzales terrorized, molested, and raped as many as nine Hispanic women and girls in west side apartment complexes. The youngest known victim is 11-years old.

Asked why the public wasn't made aware of a serial rapist, IMPD officer Lt. Jeff Duhamell responded, "The lack of reporting from some of our victims, and probably the language barrier and maybe some of them were afraid to come forward because they may be in our country illegally."

Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi believes there are likely more victims out there, and at a press conference on Thursday, he had a clear message to victims.

"There is absolutely no threat of immigration and customs enforcement, ICE, of us reporting that documentation status as a result of reporting a crime," Brizzi said.

Luis Gonzales has ties to Indianapolis. The probable cause affidavit states he graduated from Lawrence North High School and has lived in the city for six years. He's being held on a $100,000 bond, and has declined our request for an interview.

WISH TV

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Teen Assaulted In Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande, CA -- Police arrested a parolee who allegedly assaulted a teen yesterday afternoon. This happened at about 4:30 in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School. Authorities received several reports by phone that a girl was thrown to the ground near the hospital. Many later calls told officers that within minutes several witnesses chased the suspect, 23-year-old Fernando Frias, and cornered him in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle.

Meanwhile, according to the Tribune, officers found the 17-year-old victim, near the Fair Oaks bridge with injuries to her head and face. They arrested Frias who is currently on parole. Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.

King Harris

KVEC

May 27. 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Oregon, USA

Ismael Recinos-Velasquez

Reward Offered for Sex Assault Suspect

Crime Stoppers and the Washington County Sheriff's office are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wante for sexual assault. Investigators say Ismael Recinos-Velasquez, who may also go by Jose Perez-Perez, or the name 'Carlos', sexually abused his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter and another 12-year old girl.

A warrant was issued for Recinos-Velasquez's arrest on May 13th. He's wanted on charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, along with numerous other charges.

Recinos-Velasquez is 5' 3" tall and 140 pounds. If you see him, call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-4357, go online to crimestoppers oforegon.com, or text message to 823HELP.

Chris Brown

KXL

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police seek man accused of the assault and attempted kidnap of his ex-girlfriend

Pasadena - Police are searching for a 53-year-old man who allegedly beat and tried to kidnap his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:07 p.m. a 45-year-old female Hispanic, of Temple City, was waiting at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Lake Avenue when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and began striking her, Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ said.

The victim suffered minor bruising to her face and arms and also complained of back pain, he said.

After a struggle, the man dragged her through a nearby parking lot and attempted to force her into his 2000 Honda Odyssey, but he fled on foot after several passersby came to her assistance, Russ said.

The man is described as a 5-foot-6-inch male Hispanic weighing 186 pounds.

The Pasadena Star News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Wanted for Inappropriate Conduct

Midland Police are trying to track down a man who has a problem keeping his hands to himself.

A suspect is wanted for inappropriate conduct.

The man in question is Hispanic, who apparently goes around touching women in stores.

He reportedly rubs or bumps into them, making it seem like an accident.

If this has happened to you in an offensive manner or if you have any information, call Midland Police or CrimeStoppers at 649-TIPS.

NewsWest 9

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 20 - May 26

Excerpt

May 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape, the sale of marijuana, domestic violence, and possession of a controlled substance. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape with threat in the state of California, assault with intent to cause serious injury/sexual abuse in the state of New York, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 22, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for fondling, and lewd and lascivious acts against a child in the state of Florida. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 21, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts with a child / false imprisonment with violence in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 20, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for aggravated child molestation and felony sodomy in the state of Georgia. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 27, 2010

Illinoid, USA

Jennifer Hurtado

11-Year-Old Girl Missing With 22-Year-Old Paramour

An 11-year-old girl is missing from her Brighton Park neighborhood home, and police say she may have disappeared with a much-older man she calls her boyfriend.

Jennifer Hurtado is missing... She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with the word "Shields" in purple lettering.

She was also wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old "paramour" Jose "Carlos" Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4 feet 8 inches tall, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact the Chicago Police Wentworth Area Special Victims Unit, at (312) 747-8385.

CBS

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 26, 2010

Illinois, USA / Mexico

Police seek girl, 11, who vanished from Southwest Side with man

A missing persons alert has been issued for an 11-year-old girl who has gone missing from the Southwest Side and may be heading to Mexico or North Carolina with her 22-year-old boyfriend, police said.

Jennifer Hurtado, 11, is missing... according to release from police News Affairs. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with purple lettering that said, “Shields” that was worn over a black t-shirt.

She was wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old boyfriend Jose “Carlos” Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4-foot-8, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact Wentworth Area detectives are (312) 747-8385.

The Chicago Sun TImes

May 26, 2010 0


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

40th Washington Conference on the Americas

Remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Council of the Americas was pleased to hold its 40th Washington Conference on the Americas. For 40 years, the Washington Conference on the Americas has been honored to host presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state, U.S. cabinet officials, ministers from the region, and congressional leaders...

As the opening speaker at the 40th Annual Washington Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the primacy of hemispheric issues on the Obama administration’s agenda. She... stressed three priority areas for cooperation between the United States and Latin America: trade and energy partnerships, public security, and inequality and immigration...

[An] area of concern stressed by the secretary was public security... She referred to the “barbarism” of organized crime syndicates, comment[ed] on Washington’s support for Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative, but also urged for “smarter, more effective strategies.”

...Clinton referred to the twin issues of inequity and immigration. “We don’t have the poorest people in the world in Latin America, with the exception of Haiti, but we have the most inequity,” said the secretary. “Therefore we need to have a partnership between the public and private sector to address this.” In particular, she spoke of the need to increase tax revenues in the region. “We can take a lot of joy in the positive GDP growth, but income disparity continues to grow,” she said, noting it is “a source of social and political instability” that feeds criminal activity. “We have to do a better job.” ...

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

One of [U.S. Labor Secretary] Secretary Solis’ main concerns is the 12.5 percent unemployment rate among the Latino population. Latinos-who Solis termed the “new entrepreneurs”-are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and will account for over 25 percent of the population by 2050. This population, however, accounted for only 5 percent of the 3.6 million STEM (science, technology, education, and math) jobs in 2008. Solis and the Department of Labor are focusing on creating more of these jobs for Latinos as STEM fields are the future of innovation and competitiveness.

Latino workforce development also extends to training workers in the renewable energy sector and to breaking down the barriers between employers and employees.

The Department of Labor has launched a multilingual help line as a resource for workers that have been unfairly treated on the job and is focusing on bringing to light “good business practices” that help to prevent on-the-job injuries. Just recently Secretary Solis and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhán signed a declaration reaffirming their joint commitment to work collaboratively on informing Mexican workers about their labor rights. She hopes to extend this type of agreement to El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries...

Prepared by Jason Marczak and Carin Zissis

Americas Society

May 12, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza

OAS Secretary General Takes Office for Second Term

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today... [took] office for his second term at a special session of the Permanent Council...

Reelected by acclamation for the period 2010-2015 in an election held March 24, Insulza described in a speech this morning delivered in the Hall of the Americas the main goals for his new term, reiterating the convictions that will guide his leadership...

Among the successes of his first term, the top OAS official mentioned the effective role of the Organization in nearly a dozen political crises in the continent, as well as the observation of more than fifty electoral processes, asserting that “nobody can in good faith affirm that the OAS in these years has failed in having, in all of these events, a conciliatory and unifying attitude.” In this context, Insulza renewed his commitment to what he called “the three basic pillars of OAS activity: democracy and human rights, integral development and multidimensional security, and the aspects most relevant to the people of the continent.”

With respect to the new five-year period that now begins, Secretary General Insulza reiterated his wish to have “a genuinely multilateral OAS, built by all of us jointly on the basis of common principles,” and he traced five lines of work for his new mandate: to develop a broad, modern and inclusive multilateralism; to increase support for democratic governance by promoting areas such as respect for the rule of law and institutions; to improve the balance between the tasks of democracy building and those of promoting integral development; to continue prioritizing subjects relative to public security, drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, arms trafficking and human trafficking; to give greater momentum to the subject of gender at the OAS...

Organization of American States

May 24, 201


Added: May. 26, 2010

Paraguay

The triple frontier region, where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a major child and adult sex trafficking marketplace with many  thousands of victims.

Todos los casos deben ser remitidos a Asuncion para su investigacion

Impunidad hace florecer el trafico de personas en las Tres Fronteras

El tráfico de personas en la zona de las Tres Fronteras sigue siendo un negocio floreciente debido a la impunidad reinante. En el sistema judicial del Alto Paraná no existen datos de que algún caso haya sido elevado a juicio, buscando castigar a los culpables de este delito. El Ministerio Público se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los hechos denunciados sobre la trata de personas. Ever Ovelar, fiscal adjunto.

Varios son los esquemas que operan en la zona para el tráfico de personas. Casi siempre integran el sistema las agencias de viaje que camuflan el envío de jóvenes a otros países como excursionistas. En el décimo departamento no existe una unidad fiscal especializada en el tema, pese a que los casos aumentan considerablemente. Los antecedentes algunas veces son remitidos a la unidad especializada en el tema a cargo de la fiscal Teresa Martínez, de Asunción. La fiscal estuvo en esta zona y dijo que al menos tres agencias de turismo locales están en la mira por vincularse supuestamente al tráfico de personas.

No quiso dar el nombre de las firmas para no entorpecer las investigaciones que casi no han avanzado en los últimos 30 días. En Ciudad del Este y Presidente Franco son donde más abundan personas que reclutan a jóvenes especialmente para llevarlos a otros países, de preferencia europeos siendo las mujeres las preferidas. Varias de ellas son obligadas a prostituirse y son mantenidas en régimen de esclavitud, mientras otros deben trabajar en viviendas en régimen inhumano.

El silencio de las víctimas y sus familiares contribuyen a que los traficantes sigan operando normalmente en esta región fronteriza. Pero la inacción de los organismos públicos contribuyen más para que se de esta situación. El Minis-terio Público de Ciudad del Este se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los casos de trata de personas, pues al menos son 20 carpetas fiscales las que nunca fueron investigadas. No existen antecedentes en el Poder Judicial de la zona de que algún caso haya sido llevado a juicio oral y público...

All human trafficking cases should be referred to federal agencies in the capital city of Asuncion

Impunity allows human trafficking to flourish in the triple frontier (Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) region.

(English Translation to follow)

Diario Vanguardia

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

US Fights Human Slavery in Major Cities

People from Latin America, Asia trafficked to the US for sex, labor

In almost every major city in the United States, advocates say victims of human slavery are exploited everyday.

"Human trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States," says Bradley Myles of the Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking.

According to Myles, some of the victims are forced to work in the homes of the wealthy and at restaurants. Many others, especially women, are forced into prostitution.

"We know from our very own eyes that it's happening. We're not kind of hearing it third hand. We've been inside those places. We work with those women."

The Polaris Project operates a human trafficking hotline. Calls come in from around the country.

"So we're getting calls from Texas. We're getting calls from California. We're getting calls from New York, Florida and DC is one of those top five cities where we're getting calls," says Myles.

Deborah Sigmund, founder of the advocacy group, Innocents at Risk, says most of the victims of human trafficking come from economically depressed countries and are lured to the U.S. with promises of a better life.

"They want to think that they can come to America and have a great job so it's very easy to fool them," she says.

According to the experts, some of the victims are forced to sell sex from brothels disguised as massage parlors.

Tim Whittman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is an expert on human trafficking in the U.S.

"The number one foreign country is Mexico," says Tim Whittman, an expert on human trafficking with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Approximately 20 percent of our cases involve victims from Mexico."

The nation's capital is not immune to the problem. In Washington, the Polaris Project sees sex trafficking victims who are U.S. citizens, and women from South Korea, China and Latin America.

A study by The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center finds nearly 83 percent of suspected human trafficking incidents involve sex trafficking. Advocates say other types of human slavery include people being forced to work as domestic servants and in agriculture. The FBI says the smugglers often threaten their victims and make it difficult for them to pay off their debts...

Elizabeth Lee

Voice of America News

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Sexual assault suspect may be linked to 7 attacks

Indianapolis - Police have arrested a suspect in the sexual assault of a young girl.

Luis Gonzales, 27, was taken into custody Saturday evening after an IMPD officer found him sleeping in a pick-up truck on Hillsboro Drive. A woman told police she recognized Gonzales from an incident a month or two ago when he attempted to fondle her. The woman told her father, who called police.

Police say Gonzales sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at her west side apartment complex on May 13. Investigators identified the suspect in that assault as a Hispanic male, who left the scene in a red Nissan pick-up truck, like the one Gonzales was in when police apprehended him Saturday.

Metro police detectives say Gonzales is a prime suspect in at least two confirmed assault cases. He was found in possession of a BB gun described in the other attacks, as well as other possible evidence belonging to his victims. He is being held on felony charges of child molesting and criminal confinement.

Monday, police described Gonzales as a dangerous predator, saying he may be linked to as many as seven attacks on girls.

"He is almost like an addict. He has to have sex all the time," said IMPD Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

One of the other attacks happened to a 13-year-old girl in the Covered Bridge Apartments on Georgetown Road. The victim remained reluctant to even report the attack until IMPD Officer Candi Perry, a Spanish translator for the department, intervened. That's when the 11-year-old girl in the May 13 attack came forward, too.

"Right now, we definitely have him on admitting two child molestation cases," said Lt. Duhamell.

Sex crime detectives suspect Gonzales in a May 7 sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman. The attack happened at the West Lake Apartments near Rockville Road.

WTHR

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Georgia, USA

Man gets 35 years for sexually assaulting child

A DeKalb man will spend the next 35 years in prison after being convicted of raping and infecting a child with a sexually transmitted disease.

Omar Luna-Fraide, 22, of Doraville, was convicted Wednesday on one count of rape; two counts of child molestation; two counts of aggravated child molestation; and one count of false imprisonment, said Orzy Theus, spokesman for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Fraide was accused of assaulting the child on multiple days in 2009, Theus said. He also infected the child with a sexually transmitted disease, Theus said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala, The United States

Esperanza Arreaga, age 62, lost two small daughters and 14 other family members when they were murdered by Guatemalan soldiers in the massacre of Las Dos Erres.

In this picture, Arreaga looks at the remains of massacre victims uncovered by forensic archeologists.

Photo: Larry Kaplow - GlobalPost

Ramiro Cristales, then age 5, witnessed Guatemalan special forces soldiers murder his family and rape and murder the 10 and 12-year-old girls from his village of Las Dos Erres, in 1982.

From a video statement by Ramiro Cristales, and a collage of photos, by GlobalPost.

Ramiro Cristales, after he was abducted at age 5 by the Guatemalan soldiers who murdered his family

U.S. rounds up Guatemalans accused of war crimes

Washington - U.S. federal agents are today closing in on four former Guatemalan soldiers accused of taking part in a 1982 massacre, which one law enforcement official called "the most shocking modern-day war crime American authorities have ever investigated."

One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location. One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.

The massacre in Las Dos Erres, where a total of 251 men, women and children were killed, is widely considered one of the darkest chapters of Guatemala's 36-year civil war that claimed some 200,000 lives, and in which the U.S. military played a shadowy role.

One month after allegedly raping young girls and women during the massacre, one of the men under investigation, Pedro Pimentel Rios, began work as an instructor at the School of the Americas, the Pentagon-run training school for Latin American militaries, then located in Panama...

Because the alleged crimes occurred before the passage of war crimes laws in the United States, prosecutors are not legally permitted to charge the men under any of those laws. This limitation in U.S. law has long frustrated federal prosecutors, who have only... been able to denaturalize and deport even suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States.

U.S. officials began their investigation after the Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided last year that Guatemala's 1996 amnesty agreement does not apply to serious human rights violations, including the massacre at Las Dos Erres. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice who monitor cases involving foreign-born human rights abusers decided to see if any of the accused killers were living in the United States...

U.S. involvement

Human rights groups have long criticized the involvement of the American government and military in Guatemala. The Las Dos Erres case reveals several connections between the two countries.

The U.S. government knew the Guatemalan army was probably responsible for the massacre at Las Dos Erres, yet the School of the Americas began to welcome new instructors and students from the army only days after the killings...

In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had introduced a ban on cooperating with the Guatemalan military. But President Ronald Reagan lifted the ban and the School of the Americas began admitting Guatemalan soldiers, including Rios, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre...

Just as the massacres were intensifying, Reagan re-established military and political cooperation with the Guatemalan government. Reagan saw [Guatemalan president Efrain] Rios Montt as a useful ally against leftist guerrillas and maintained friendly relations in the face of evidence that Rios Montt's government was responsible for increasing numbers of civilian massacres. (In July 1982, Amnesty International published a report listing more than 50 massacres of non-combatant civilians by the military.)

On Dec. 4, 1982, when the massacres in the Guatemalan countryside were fully under way, Reagan met with Rios Montt. Reagan publicly described Rios Montt as "a man of great personal integrity…[who] wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice." Reagan said that Rios Montt had received a "bum rap" from human rights groups.

It was an inauspicious day to make such a show of support. On the same day Reagan spoke, the 17 members of the Kaibiles [counter-insurgency rangers] squad arrived at a military base near Las Dos Erres. On Dec. 7, the massacre started. Over the following two days, the men are alleged to have killed 251 residents of Las Dos Erres. "Everything that moved had to be killed," one of the soldiers later wrote in a sworn statement.

Last month archaeologists began exhuming the mass grave and DNA testing is now underway to confirm the identities of those killed.

"I lost everything"

The Kaibiles tortured the men first. They then began throwing children alive into the village well. Women were shot or beaten to death with a sledgehammer and then thrown in. Men were then shot and dumped on top. One of the Kaibiles abducted a 5-year-old boy [Ramiro Cristales]. Another boy escaped. They may be the only surviving witnesses...

Matt McAllester

Minnpost.com

May 06, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Genocide, Femicide and Human Trafficking in Guatemala All Grew From the Same Roots of Wartime Impunity

The genocide suffered by the indigenous Mayan majority population of Guatemala during the 1980s took place with the complicity of the U.S. Government, especially during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Some 200,000 innocent civilians, including 50,000 women, were murdered by government military forces during the civil conflict. The nation's Supreme Court has officially declared that 200,000 orphans resulted from the war.

While the International Court in the Hague and other international judicial bodies have aggressively prosecuted, or at least charged suspects in the genocidal mass murders in Bosnia, Sudan and other equally notorious circumstances, the largest act of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the modern history of the Americas, which was carried out by pro-U.S. government forces during the Guatemalan Civil War, has until recently been off limits to effective prosecution.

We thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for laying the legal groundwork for permitting renewed judicial action in regard to important cases such as that of the Las Dos Erres Massacre. Many other massacres and individual murders have yet to be investigated.

In all, some 440 Mayan villages, located mostly in Guatemala's northwestern highlands region, were completely destroyed by Guatemalan soldiers during a brutal scorched earth campaign of ethnic cleansing that hid behind a cloak of supposedly justifiable cold war counter insurgency.

Guatemala's military was supported in this endeavor with military strategy, training and equipment supplied by the United States, Argentina and Israel.

The perpetrators of mass murder in Guatemala thought that they would have a lifetime of protection in regard to their crimes, because past conservative U.S. presidential administrations lead them to believe that was the case. Thanks to the changing political and legal landscape in the Americas, serious prosecutions of these criminals may, finally, occur.

In the early and mid 1980s I and many other activists in Washington, DC and across the Americas worked hard to publish and broadcast news about the ongoing massacres of innocents in Guatemala. We also protested in front of Congress and organized to do everything we could to save the lives of Guatemalans from the murderous hands of these cruel perpetrators.

Today in 2010, Guatemala's postwar culture has the highest rate of 'femicide' murders in all of the Americas. Thousands of women have been murdered during the past several years with almost total impunity. The rate of femicide murders, (which are crimes that typically include acts of rape, torture, mutilation and dismemberment -echoing the behavior of military forces during the civil war), is ten times higher than the rate of gender-based murders in Mexico's infamous Ciudad Juarez..

These femicides, and Guatemala's inability to investigate the rape/ torture killings of so many women and girls, as well as that nation's serious problems with mass sex trafficking currently, are all direct outgrowths of the impunity that the world community ALLOWED to exist in Guatemala during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Effectively, these crimes were never prosecuted because past conservative U.S. administrations were  both passively and actively complicit, and the world community of nations simply stood silently by and watched these horrific events unfold with impunity.

A nexus with the anti-trafficking movement

During the early 2000's, I joined the anti human trafficking listserv (email-based private forum) of Dr. Donna Hughes, who was then, and is today, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hughes is one of the original pioneers of the modern U.S. movement against human trafficking, and she deserves all of the honors that she has received over the years for those important efforts.

Dr. Hughes' listserv, which was made up of many notable names in the anti-slavery movement across the globe, including names that many followers of the movement today would recognize, totaled about 400 members. Simultaneous to her work with this listserv, Dr. Hughes was also writing for the conservative National Review Online.

The majority of U.S. listserv participants were conservative women. I educated that online community of professionals and activists about the dynamics of the Latin American crisis in human trafficking at a time when few were aware of the issues.

As part of that work, I discussed the mass rapes and murders of innocent Mayan indigenous women and girls (among others) during the Guatemalan Civil War (almost all Mayan women and girls of any age, among other victims, were targeted for rape by soldiers and civilian paramilitary guards during the war). I also discussed Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu, who fled into the jungle to avoid becoming another victim of a government massacre. Several of Dr. Menchu's relatives died at the hands of soldiers.

Conservative members of the listserv became so infuriated with my simple and truthful educational postings that several of them quit the listserv. Dr. Hughes told me by phone, almost apologetically, that she had to ban me from participating to prevent her conservative followers from leaving.

In an earlier email conversation, Dr. Hughes had rationalized the human rights abuses in Guatemala by stating that some victims supported communist insurgency.

What Mayans actually supported was building a future for themselves that was free from the 500 years of peonage (slavery) that Spanish descendants had subjected them to.

During this online debate, an anti-trafficking activist from the Salvation Army wrote-in to emphasize that the group was not denying the events that took place in Guatemala (although only she expressed that view, not the other listserv members).

U.S. Conservatives had long supported the efforts of former President Ronald Reagan and others to back often brutal right wing dictators in Latin America. Any mention of the mass murders of Guatemalan innocents, including women and children, was considered to be an unacceptable topic of public conversation.

In late 1995, for example, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich denounced then-Democratic Representative Robert G. Torricelli, who, like Speaker Gingrich, was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, for having publicly exposed information about the atrocities in Guatemala, followed by a demand for congressional hearings.

Speaker Gingrich also demanded that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) not air a documentary on the massacres of Mayan peoples in the Guatemalan Civil War. He only relented and allowed the program to be broadcast after his demand for adding 'alternative views' to the program's content were agreed to by PBS.

How do you provide an alternative view about multiple acts of racially motivated mass murder being perpetrated against innocent children, women and men with impunity?

This truthful account of one part of the history of the Guatemalan Genocide also sheds light on aspects of the modern U.S. response to the human trafficking crisis in Latin America.

The U.S. based anti-trafficking movement is a unique social space where conservatives, liberals and others (and I am 'other') may join in common purpose to save human lives. Unfortunately, politics has often been played with the issue of Latin American human trafficking.

In the early 2000s, conservatives such as Dr. Donna Hughes and her followers shunned any discussion of the important gender related human rights issues (specifically, the Guatemalan Genocide) that were closely associated with the modern human slavery issue in Latin America.

During the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, I was present at two separate major public speeches given by the first and second directors of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State - Ambassador John R. Miller, and Ambassador Mark P. Lagon. Latin America’s human trafficking crisis was never mentioned during those presentations, despite what we know today, that Latin American human trafficking generates an estimated $16 billion per year, perhaps half of all world income from human slavery.

When, on May 27, 1994, I gave a presentation on Latina women and exploitation to the Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women, I mentioned the mass rapes and murders of women in the Guatemalan conflict, several conservative women commission members shook their heads and declared that the genocide never happened. In response, a Cherokee indigenous woman commission member, and a Panamanian woman physician who was also a member both acknowledged the fact of the Guatemalan genocide, and also recognized the other issues that I had raised for their consideration (the workplace sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women).

An intentional failure to  acknowledge the problem of Latin American human trafficking during the administration of President George W. Bush (as a byproduct of conservative politics) effectively allowed the region's billion dollar cartels and other criminal elements free reign to grow their now $16 billion per year human slavery 'industry' (IOM figure) without any visible U.S. opposition.

On the other end of the political spectrum, some liberals, including, perhaps, influential members of the administration of President Barack Obama, also politicize human trafficking, from a leftist perspective.

It does not add to Obama administration Latin America strategy to have a highly visible public discussion of human trafficking and the mass rape and enslavement of women and girls in Mexico, when such visibility would raise doubt in Congress, and among the public, as to the value of continued funding of the war on drug traffickers, given that Mexican soldiers deployed in the conflict have been the culprits in many rapes and murders of indigenous women with total impunity.

Open discussion of the severe levels of human trafficking and the brutal sexual exploitation of women perpetrated by some Latino men in Latin America, and in U.S. community settings, is also an uncomfortable topic for progressives as they market Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the people and Congress of the United States.

That concern does not justify remaining silent about the growing humanitarian emergency of mass gender atrocities that is taking place in Mexico, throughout the rest of Latin America and, increasingly, in U.S. Latino immigrant population centers.

Progressives who favor the legalization of prostitution also apparently have strong influence in the Obama Administration, which perhaps leads to a diminished focus on sex trafficking while labor trafficking takes center stage in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts.

By justifying the genocide of Mayan indigenous peoples during the Guatemalan Civil War (a mentality that is consistent with excusing the mass murder of U.S. indigenous peoples in the past), U.S. conservatives, together with their allies in Guatemala, succeeded in setting-up the circumstances that lead not only to the anti-Mayan genocide, but also set off the 'firestorm' of the largest ongoing crisis of mass murders of women in the Americas, today's Guatemalan femicide.

A similar conservative-lead environment of social and govern-mental tolerance for mass gender atrocities also exists in neighboring Mexico.

We assert that the lack of willingness of the U.S. government and of some U.S. NGOs to fully engage the issue of human trafficking in Latin America (where half of the world's estimated $32 billion of human trafficking apparently takes place) during the George W. Bush administration and beyond had its roots in conservative unwillingness to acknowledge the serious human consequences of their past support for murderous dictators such as Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt.

To be clear, U.S. conservatives cannot declare their opposition to modern day human trafficking and slavery on the one hand, and on the other, declare that the genocide in Guatemala, or Mexico's current repression of women's rights (and until recently, intentional inaction on human trafficking) all orchestrated by the ruling conservative National Action party (PAN), are justifiable expressions of modern conservatism.

You cannot have it both ways.

The left, which has often been indifferent to the issue of human trafficking, bears a similar responsibility for condoning inaction... because human trafficking is, for some of them, a round peg that will not fit into the square holes of their political ideologies.

Shame on those who politicize human trafficking, be they from the right or the left!

The victims, and those who are at-risk, await our effective and hurried efforts to protect and rescue them.

Public servants, put the politics aside, and get to work! There is no time to waste.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23/24/27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala

An indigenous woman walks by a street poster of Guatamala's most brutal president, Efrain Rios Montt.

In the words of a poem by Pablo Neruda: 'For the one who gave the order of agony, I ask for punishment.'

Guatemala: Massacre investigation breakthrough

Recently declassified documents from US archives have shed further light on the extent of US complicity in Guatemalan human rights crimes, one of Latin America’s most brutal examples of population control.

The hard-working farmers of Dos Erres, in Peten department, had never asked for much — just a few acres of recently-cleared land from which to scratch a meager living in a country racked by violence.

When armed guerrillas cut across their land six months prior to December 7, 1982, community leaders had done everything possible to placate the national army, even inviting the soldiers in for inspections.

They had nothing to hide, they said. But a psychopathic military killing machine had already condemned them to death on the grounds that they were the soil in which the seed of resistance grows.

Acting on orders issued by the US-backed regional command, a death squad of army Kaibiles (counterinsurgency rangers) entered the peaceful hamlet early that morning, smashing in doors, killing livestock, starting fires and rounding up groups of men, women and children.

Hours of rape and torture ensued, followed by execution in small groups. After being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, the victims were hurled into a village well or left in nearby fields.

By nightfall, more than 250 were dead - almost the entire population. There were two child survivors - one who escaped and one, Ramiro Cristales, who was spared by his parents’ murderer only to be subsequently raised as a domestic slave (reputedly an army custom). Cristales, now aged in his 30s, has recently come forward at considerable risk to his own life as an eyewitness to the horror at Dos Erres.

His testimony to the Guatemalan truth commission has been corroborated by previously classified material obtained by the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the US Freedom of Information Act...

David T. Rowlands

Green Left (Australia)

May 22, 2010

See also:

Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos Erres Massacre

Washington, D.C. - Following this week's arrest of a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, the National Security Archive is posting a set of declassified documents on one of Guatemala's most shocking and unresolved human rights crimes, the Dos Erres massacre.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordan had lied to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleges that Jordan, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordan allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military's "scorched earth campaign" and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children.

Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just "disappear," and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre...

The National Security Archive

George Washington University

May 7, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

An indigenous woman in Guatemala holds a sign saying, WANTED: Jose Efrain Rios Montt (the unseen part says, "for genocide") - during the 2008, 28th anniversary of the Spanish Embassy Massacre in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

General José Efraín Ríos Montt is best known for heading a military dictatorship from 1982–1983 that was responsible for some of the worst atrocities against civilians in the 36-year Guatemalan civil conflict.

Photo: MiMundo

My observations about the only human trafficker I have ever met.

...To further tie together these linked issues, I know victims of that genocide, and I have met a perpetrator, through one of his family members. This family member talked to me at length about this perpetrator’s activities in Guatemala. I will refer to him here as ‘Juan.’

Juan’s grandfather owned a large ranch in Guatemala, and when he was feeling especially angry, he would go to the Mayan village at the far-end of his ranch and "shoot a few Indians" (a direct quote). During the time of the 1970s-1980s Guatemalan Civil War, Juan was a member of the Guatemalan president's security detail, the Presidential Guard. This security unit had a secondary task, aside from protection, of receiving a daily hit list from the president’s palace, finding these persons and murdering them for being suspected ‘subversives.’

The bodies of the victims were typically left laying in the street as a message to the population. Juan stated to his family: "Me daba mucha lastima tener que malograr a las mujeres" - that is: "it really saddened me to have to tear-up the women [on the hit list]." In other words, he supposedly felt sad for having willfully kidnapped, tortured, gang-raped and finally murdered his mostly Mayan women and girl victims over a number of years...

During the mid 1990s, before I even knew what sex trafficking was, Juan’s family member explained to me that Juan was engaged in smuggling people into the United States under peculiar circum-stances, and that he had ties to Colombian mafias. Today, I understand that what was being explained to me was the fact that Juan, a former mass rapist and murderer of women, had 'graduated' to sex trafficking women into the U.S. while living a comfortable and otherwise 'normal' life in Washington, DC.

It was also explained to me that Juan would travel to Guatemala City, place an add in a local paper seeking young girls to work as escorts, and that 13 and 14-year-old girls would gleefully respond. Juan then 'trained' these girls as prostitutes, and sent them out as escorts for wealthy businessmen.

In Washington, DC, Juan, when working in the role of office building cleaning crew manager, imposed quid-pro-quo sexual demands upon the Latina women who applied to work at his office building.

The world's past denial of the Guatemalan Genocide plays into the world's current lack of attention to the ongoing femicide, mass kidnappings of babies for illegal adoptions and prostitution, and to the mass trafficking of Guatemalan women into the brothels of southern Mexico...

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry

June 18, 2008

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Mayan women and supporters gather to protest a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala - 1978

Photo: El Gráfico

In the early 1980's I lived in a house in Washington, DC where a couple who had fled Guatemala were invited to stay. The husband was an agronomist from Spain. His wife was a white U.S. citizen from the Midwest. They told me how they were saved from a death squad execution in Guatemala.

A Guatemalan woman friend had told the couple that her boyfriend, a high-ranking Guatemalan military officer, had told her one night while he was drunk that the couple had been put on the to-be-murdered list that was printed nightly in the presidential palace (using a computer system set up by the Israeli military). Having been warned by their friend, the couple and their young child immediately fled Guatemala.

What was their crime?

The husband taught people in rural Mayan communities how to grow food better and improve their nutrition. For the Guatemalan military, anything that benefited the Mayan population was subversive, and deserved a murderous response. Any arguments that the Mayan majority was subversive fly out the window when one understands that the goal of the genocide was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23, 2010

See also:

Israel and Guatemala

The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala roughly parallels that of its ties with El Salvador except the Guatemalan military was so unswervingly bloody that Congress never permitted the ... Reagan Administration to undo the military aid cutoff implemented during the Carter years.

Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel has delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign of terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors perpetrated by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: to ensure that the profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its agents worked actively to maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala.

Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 45,000 dead, and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile - mostly indigenous Mayan Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight million people - and thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the Guatemalan military. Three successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide against the Indians," had the benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as well as hardware...

...It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. and Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala.

Third World Traveler

See also:

May 26, 2009

More about Former Guatemalan president Efrain Ríos Montt

In 1978, [Efrain Ríos Montt] left the Roman Catholic Church and became a minister in the California-based Evangelical / Pentecostal Church of the Word; since then Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have been personal friends [both reverends Falwell and Robertson had publicly defended Ríos Montt's human rights abuses].

Ríos Montt's brother Mario is a Catholic bishop, and in 1998 succeeded the assassinated Bishop Juan Gerardi as head of the human rights commission uncovering the truth of the disappearances associated with the military and his brother.

About Efrain Ris Montt

Wikipedia

See also:

Bill Clinton during his presidency

Clinton says U.S. did wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999

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

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

"The United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala," he said on the third day of a Central American tour.

CNN

March 10, 1999

See also:

LibertadLatina

Read our special section of the crisis of sexual exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.

See also:

LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

These workers from the Adulam shelter were arrested for forcing children and elderly clients into labor slavery, while also subjecting some of the victims to rape.

Photo: Mexico City Prosecutor's Office

Desmantelan redes de trata de personas en México

Una red de explotación laboral camuflada en un hogar social, que abusaba de menores de edad, y otra de prostitución que simulaba ser un salón "spa" fueron desarticuladas por la policía, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de Justicia de la capital mexicana.

El 13 de mayo la Fiscalía capitalina comenzó un operativo que se saldó este lunes con cinco detenciones y con la liberación de 37 personas, entre ellas 27 menores, a las que supuestamente se explotaba laboral y sexualmente en la casa de asistencia a indigentes "Adulam", ubicada en el oeste de la ciudad.

Asimismo, el pasado martes fueron capturados Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, presuntos responsables de la red de prostitución que se ocultaba en una casa de masajes antiestrés en el sur de la capital, donde se engañó y obligó a vender su cuerpo a varias jóvenes mediante amenazas y extorsiones.

En marzo, cuatro de los huéspedes de "Adulam" denunciaron que eran obligados a comerciar con distintos productos en la calle, sin obtener remuneración, y a entregar entre 700 y 800 pesos diarios (entre cincuenta y sesenta dólares) ya que, si no lo hacían, se les negaba el alimento.

Una menor de dieciséis años denunció también que Emilio Moctezuma, director de "Adulam" y uno de los detenidos, la violó mientras una de las asistentes de éste la sujetaba.

Todas las víctimas eran amenazadas constantemente con ser trasladadas a otras casas fuera del Distrito Federal y a un lugar llamado Isla Veracruz, donde la hermana de esta última chica fue enviada para ejercer la prostitución.

Además, una mujer declaró que desconoce el paradero de su hija desde que le fue arrebatada recién nacida y enviada a un hogar de asistencia en el vecino estado de México, y otra -también menor de edad-, aseguró que le practicaron un aborto sin su consentimiento.

Human trafficking networks are dismantled in Mexico City

The Mexico City Prosecutor's Office has announced that establishments dedicated to human exploitation have been taken down. One location, which operated as a shelter for children and the elderly. The other passed itself off as a massage parlor, but was actually a house of prostitution.

On May 13, 2010 the city prosecutor's office commenced an operation that concluded with 5 arrests and the liberation from slavery of 27 children and 10 adults, who were subjected to labor and sexual exploitation in the Casa Adulam shelter, located on the west side of Mexico City.

At the same time, the authorities arrested Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, who are alleged to have run a prostitution network out of a massage parlor. A number of youth were entrapped and forced to sell their bodies in prostitution while facing threats and extortion.

In March of 2010, four residents of Casa Adulam denounced to police that they were forced to sell between 700 and 800 pesos of various products on the streets of Mexico City. On days when the victims failed to meet their quota, they were not fed.

A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam shelter's director, Emilio Moctezuma, and a male resident of the shelter, while one of the women shelter workers held her down.

All of the victims were constantly threatened with being taken to other shelters outside of Mexico City.

One of these locations was called Veracruz Island. The sister of the above-mentioned rape victim had earlier been taken to that location and forced to engage in prostitution. Another victim, a woman, told police that her newborn child was kidnapped from her by shelter employees and taken to another shelter in the neighboring state of Mexico. An underage girl victim reported that she was forced to have an abortion without her consent.

EFE

May 21, 2010

See also:

Perspective on this case from the Breaking Chains Ministry

The article [above] highlights a very important action that is just the beginning of what is going to be massive fruit from the last trip I took... There were 5 arrests and at least 10 more coming from this operation including the scum who rob these children from their homes and families. They used physical... as well as mental abuse and threats to force these children to serve as prostitutes. The big one is still coming but this is VERY GOOD....the government of Mexico is working to stop this evil and that is God!!! This is just the beginning...there are 6 operations live right now so please continue to pray for Jesus justice...

Reverend Stephen Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Rescatan a 37... esclavizados de casa de asistencia

Sin embargo, los inculpados refirieron que por su labor habían sido recibidos por el presidente Felipe Calderón y en la Embajada de Estados Unidos.

De acuerdo con la dependencia policiaca, los detenidos explotaban a niños y adultos, a quienes obligaban a vender diversos productos en la calle sin recibir ningún pago.

Incluso, se informó que la cuota diaria que les exigían era de 800 pesos. En el operativo, se liberaron a 37 niños y... personas de la tercera edad.

Las víctimas dijeron a la policía que fueron violadas, otras que las obligaban a entregar a sus hijos recién nacidos, e incluso una dijo que fue presionaba para que abortara.

RECHAZO. Durante su presentación ante los medios de comunicación, los inculpados denunciaron una presunta fabricación de culpables por parte del Ministerio Público.

Y se dijeron dispuestos a someterse a cualquier tipo de investigación y análisis, “pero de autoridades que sean imparciales”.

Agregaron que el Albergue Casa Adulam goza de una trayectoria reconocida por varias organizaciones sociales, incluso por las propias autoridades federales.

Es de mencionar que los cinco detenidos cumplirán un arraigo de 30 días.

Thirty seven are rescued from shelter

This story repeats the story of the arrests in the Casa Adulam case. It adds that Casa Adulam was previously praised for its work by the Calderon administration, and they had been received at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Cronica

May 21, 2010

Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and investigated since 2007. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino, (right) appointed in 2009 as  Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City on April 14, 2010

A... Moment With Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino... talks at length about her activism.

Mirror: Could you talk about your work as a human rights activist?

Sorvino: I was Amnesty International's campaign spokesperson to “Stop Violence Against Women” for over two years and on the subject of trafficking, I am Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ((UNODC).

Mirrror: What’s been your experience?

Sorvino: I just came back from Mexico for the kick-off the U.N.’s worldwide campaign to combat trafficking. The goal is to raise awareness and to get countries to commit to fighting this trafficking within their borders.**

Mirror: Can you talk about that trip?

Sorvino: It was a fascinating trip and I did a lot of public speaking. It’s a country where not much is known about trafficking [?-LL], so I felt like I was able to be informative. The most important thing for me, by far, was going to go to a shelter for recently liberated girls, and I mean girls. I’ve met trafficking victims before, but they were all past 30. These were teenagers and children. I met a little girl who was eight years old who had been sold into a brothel when she was four. She was walking around with a big smile on her face showing everyone her arithmetic homework. When I saw her I thought ‘Oh God, please tell me she’s the daughter of someone here.’ She was a victim, just like all the other girls, but we should call them survivors. I felt like I wanted to adopt her, but I can’t adopt everyone who is needy. I just wanted to save her and protect her for the rest of her life so she would never undergo anything like what had happened to her. There is only one shelter in Mexico for girls like this and I got to meet thirty lucky survivors, but there are hundreds of thousands of girls exactly like them all over Mexico...

Mirror: How many cases are prosecuted in the U.S.?

Sorvino: We have only a 1 percent solve rate and have about same number of trafficking cases as murder cases. Can you imagine if we only solved 1 percent of the murder cases? So it means that we have intensify our efforts and raise public awareness, train the police, get the judiciary to be very well informed, and encourage everyone to become a watcher. It’s very subterranean and hard to find, but it’s always concerned citizens who call in with tips that break cases...

Mirror: Why are men attracted to these little girls?

Sorvino: The sexual drive in men is so strong that unless they are educated correctly throughout their formative years, once they are focused on a certain kind of sex object that they find stimulating, that’s going to continue to be stimulating for them. Every culture has always put a prize on virginity and youthful beauty so a child who hasn’t been “spoiled” by other people will always be more ideal to the “John” who wants to have something special. But, men need to be educated to the terrible sorrow that behavior is creating because many times the buyer of commercial sex is not really thinking about the individual, but just view it as a service. I think if you did sensitivity training for males worldwide, you might be able to discourage them from buying sex.

Mirror: We applaud you for doing this important work.

Sorvino: Thank you so much...

Beverly Cohn

The Santa Monica Mirror

Edition 50 - May 20-26, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

Cassandre St. Vil

See also:

Haitian student had 'no chance to scream' when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath

Christina Boyle

The New York Daily News

April 18,2010

Escala violencia hacia las mujeres en campamentos de Haití

Preparan abogadas estrategia legal para abordar problemática

Una delegación de abogadas y activistas de Estados Unidos constató en Haití, la alarmante violencia que persiste contra las mujeres en esa nación, y la escalada de otras formas de agresión en los asentamientos provisionales.

Ante la afirmación de algunas fuentes oficiales que responsabilizan a las víctimas de la escalda, “es importante contrarrestar este mito de que es por la promiscuidad, son crímenes violentos por extraños en la noche y ameritan la atención de la policía y otros grupos que ayudan a organizar los campamentos” dijo la coordinación de la delegación y abogado del Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Blaine Bookey.

Los testimonios de mujeres niñas dan cuenta de que son crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y asaltantes que las golpean y las amenaza si denuncian las violaciones. Las mujeres entrevistadas también sostienen que cuando reportan, la policía no las toma en serio.

“Es inaceptable que estas violaciones no sean castigadas, ahora estamos trabajando casos legales contra los violadores y para que las mujeres tengan la justicia que se merecen” dijo Mario Joseph, abogado del Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) que recibió la delegación en su oficina de Puerto Príncipe...

María Suárez Toro

RIF / CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

U.S. Delegation Finds Inadequate Response, and “Victim-Blaming” Approach to Rapes in Haitian Displacement Camps

Lawyers collect rape survivor accounts and plan legal strategy

Port-au-Prince - In over a week of on-site interviews and exploration, a delegation of U.S. lawyers, health professionals, and community activists found continued alarming rates of rape and other gender-based violence (GBV) in the displaced persons camps throughout Port-au-Prince since the Haitian earthquake in January. Expressed sentiments on the part of some Haitian government officials that victims are somehow to blame for the rapes is outrageous to human rights attorneys and community members, who find that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis. Medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults.

"It is critical that we dispel the myth that these rapes are a result of promiscuity," said Blaine Bookey, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and coordinator of the delegation. "These are violent crimes being perpetrated by strangers in the dark of night and they merit the attention of the police and other groups helping organize the camps."

The vast majority of the women and girls reported being raped by groups of armed, unknown assailants who often beat them in the course of the attack, and threatened them with further violence if they reported the rape. Perpetrators often attack at night, when women are asleep beside their children; or when they go to the latrines, men wait for them in the dark stalls. "It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished," said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which hosted the delegation at its office in Port-au-Prince. "We are now building strong legal cases to hold rapists accountable and bring these women the justice they deserve."

Women who report rapes to the police describe being turned away, not taken seriously, or told to notify the police if they see the rapists again. "Pa tap vini" or "They never would have come," described one woman as to why she did not report her rape. These experiences foster the perception that reporting to the police is futile, especially if the survivor cannot identify her assailants. "If we are going to overcome a culture of complete impunity for rapists, we must create environments in which survivors are able to report these crimes and be taken seriously" said Lisa Davis, an attorney with MADRE. "Haiti's political and economic crises both before and as a result of the earthquake still do not relieve the authorities of the responsibility to protect women from sexual assault," said Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law...

The Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH)

May 17, 2010

Note: The above-described conditions of impunity facing women and girls in Haiti are also the daily 'normal' experiences of many women and girls across all nations in Latin America. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA / Mexico

The Salvation Army's Christine MacMillan speaks at the recent Oregon anti-trafficking rally

Battling human trafficking

Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Committee for the Salvation Army, speaks last Friday at a rally put on by the student group, Slavery Still Exists. MacMillan spoke about the causes and effects of human trafficking.

Slavery Still Exists, an ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) student group, kicked off its human trafficking and advocacy awareness campaign with a rally Friday.

Kristin Rudolph, co-president of the club, said the rally’s purpose was to make students aware of a growing, worldwide injustice.

Community members gathered in the EMU amphitheater at noon to listen to the featured speaker, Christine MacMillan, talk about her personal experiences with human trafficking as the director of the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. The International Social Justice Commission has worked to fight global human rights violations, such as human trafficking, since its inception in 2007...

Rally attendees expressed surprise at learning the prevalence and proximity of human trafficking locally.

“I really didn’t know that this was such a big issue where I live,” University sophomore Apolinar Montero-Sanchez said. “I’m glad that people are getting aware of this stuff, because it’s a big problem.”

MacMillan shared several stories of human trafficking during the rally. For example, she explained that while sex trafficking is well-known, there are other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking human organs. While visiting Mexico City, MacMillan discovered how unmarked ambulances pick up homeless children, strap the children onto gurneys, bring them to the hospital and drug them with anesthetics in order to traffic their organs. After removing organs, such as kidneys, the traffickers leave most of the children for dead.

Because the majority of the world is not informed about the topic, it continues to go on unbeknownst to many, according to MacMillan. She described human trafficking as “a very hidden problem in our world.”

She urged rally attendees to gain more knowledge about human trafficking and join the fight to end this problem...

Malaea Relampagos

Oregon Daily Emerald

May 17, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Maryland, USA

Police Add Patrols After Man Grabs Girl

Annapolis police are adding patrols near school bus stops and around Bates Middle School after a pair of suspicious incidents involving a man approaching children.

ABC7's Brad Bell spotted some anxious parents waiting while their children got off school buses Friday afternoon.

"It has been the talk in this neighborhood the last couple days," said Joe Hall, a parent. "There's a lot of concerned parents."

So far there have been two reported incidents. On Wednesday, May 5, a man in a car approached a 13-year-old girl and, in Spanish, made suggestive remarks. The man then tried to lure her into his car, police said.

On Tuesday, May 18, a man matching the description from the first encounter made lewd comments and then actually grabbed a 13-year-old girl by her arm in a neighborhood a couple miles from where the first incident took place. The girl was able to break away, but police fear he may strike again

"The reason we're on patrol in the school bus areas and the walkways is to make sure something like that doesn't happen," said Ray Weaver, an Annapolis police spokesman.

Parents and neighbors appreciate the increased police presence and say they, too, are now on the look-out.

"Well, of course it concerns me to know there is a predator out there that's trying to victimize children," said Nancy Fields, an Annapolis resident.

"Me personally, since I have kids, I don't think he should be on the street," Hall said.

Police described the man as Hispanic. One victim said the man was 30-35 years old, average height, with black thinning hair. The other victim described him as six feet, one-inch tall, with a slim build. He wore a black baseball cap with the letters "NY" on the front, a blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt with white stripes and blue jeans.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a small, dark blue Honda and as a blue sedan with dark-tinted windows.

WJLA

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mississippi, USA

William Velasquez Castillo

Illegal immigrant arrested on child molestation charge

Pascagoula - An illegal immigrant sought for nearly a month and a half was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'm hiding from the cops" when he was arrested Wednesday on child molestation charges, and tried to wear the shirt inside out Thursday when he went before a Jackson County judge.

A guard removed William Velasquez Castillo from the courtroom, and the 27-year-old returned with his shirt on the proper way.

The guard said that Castillo must have switched his shirt around at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center before he was brought to the courthouse.

Castillo was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Investigators had been searching for Castillo since April 3, when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said.

A warrant was issued for Castillo on April 23, and detectives believe he fled the area shortly after learning he was wanted, Byrd said.

Castillo was discovered by authorities at the Dorsett Hotel on Main Street in Lucedale.

Castillo told County Judge Larry Wilson that he was unemployed and had a previous felony shoplifting conviction.

"I served 1 year and 1 day," Castillo said. "It was from Harrison County."

Wilson said bail for Castillo at $50,000 and placed a hold on him for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

"ICE has their own investigation," Byrd said.

Cherie Ward

GulfFive.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Arizona, USA

Jose Juan Martinez

Gilbert man accused of molesting girl for 4 years

Gilbert police officers arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl for four years.

Police were called to a home near Neely Street and Elliot Road Monday evening. The victim's mother told officers that her daughter said Jose Juan Martinez had molested her.

The girl told investigators that Martinez had molested her over the past four years and the most recent time was Friday.

Martinez was booked into jail on suspicion of 39 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Who Tried to Kidnap Teenage Girl

Midland Police need your help tracking a down a man they say tried to kidnap a teenaged girl in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

It happened between 5:00 and 5:30 near the Family Dollar in the Kingsway Shopping Center on West Illinois.

Police tell NewsWest 9, the girl was walking home when a Hispanic man pulled up next to her, blocked her, then tried to talk her in to getting in his car.

The teen was able to get away.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20's to late 30's, about 5'9," and heavy set weighing between 250 - 300 pounds.

He has moles or acne on his face and was wearing a white T-shirt.

He was driving a dented two door silver car.

If you have any information, call Midland police or midland crime stoppers at 694-TIPS.

NewsWest9.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New York, USA

Thug bashes Chinese woman with pipe, assaults her in Queens: cops

A 23-year-old woman is on life-support in a Queens hospital after a weekend attack by a pipe-wielding rapist two months after she arrived in New York from China, cops said.

Officials are working desperately to get a visa for the woman's mother, who lives outside Beijing, so she can come to Queens to face the awful task of deciding her daughter's fate.

The young woman was returning from grocery shopping in downtown Flushing around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a drunken Queens man smashed her in the head with a pipe and dragged her into an alley, authorities said.

Once inside the alley along 41st Road, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe, according to court papers.

Two months ago, the young woman, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, traveled from her native China on a student visa. She moved in with a distant uncle in Flushing.

"She was working in a nail salon, saving up money. She was going to start attending school," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). "She had good grades in China. That's why her parents wanted her to come and expand her horizons."

Now, the woman who once dreamed of a better future is in the intensive care unit at New York Hospital Queens. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to her vaginal area.

Meng said she and Rep. Gary Ackerman (R-Bayside) are working to expedite a visa for the woman's mother. Cops collared Cruz a few blocks from the crime scene after a witness, who saw him drag the woman into the alley and then emerge alone - called 911. Police later recovered the pipe about a block from the alley.

Cruz, who did not have a criminal record, emigrated from Mexico two years ago and found work at a Manhattan fish market.

He was arraigned late Tuesday on a slew of charges, including a top count of attempted murder. Prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges if the woman is removed from life-support.

Cruz's family said he claims he blacked out drunk and doesn't remember the incident.

"He woke up and found himself cuffed to the hospital bed," said his stunned sister, Patricia Salazar, 26. "He never acted violently....We just don't know why he would do this. We can't explain it."

John Lauinger

The New York Daily News

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

California, USA

Illegal alien charged with murder

Barstow - A 31-year-old illegal alien who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old woman has now been charged with murder.

Melissa Curley of Arizona died of strangulation with asphyxiation, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Wednesday.

Police arrested Cesar Rascon in Yermo Saturday afternoon and charged him with rape and kidnapping for the purposes of rape. Now Barstow police are charging him with murder.

Curley’s body was found at the Sunset Inn motel at 860 West Main Street after police received a 911 call at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Detectives learned that Curley was staying at the motel, but wasn’t registered for the room her body was found in. The room was registered to Rascon.

Police found Rascon working at a Yermo gas station at 4:57 p.m. Saturday and arrested him.

V V Daily Press

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Idaho, USA

Rape suspect deported 4 times

Edmonds - The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.

An officer responding to a woman's cry for help Sunday night found 46-year-old Jose Madrigal on top of the woman and arrested him.

According to court documents, the woman told police that Madrigal had followed her and offered her $35 for sex, but she said no. She said Madrigal then forced her into the bushes on the north side of the store and raped her.

Documents say Madrigal told police "Sometimes we have control in our brains, but we make mistakes."

The 28-year-old Edmonds woman was treated at a hospital.

Snohomish County prosecutors have charged Madrigal in district court with second degree rape. He is also is being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Associated Press

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010

Excerpt

May 19, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Willcox, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as other sex offenses in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender who had been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for driving under the influence and willful cruelty to a child by means of sexual penetration with a foreign object in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Columbus, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject… was a registered sex offender in the state of Arizona. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault in the state of Illinois and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child/sexual contact in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Wyoming and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for child molestation in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Washington State, USA

Investigators: Edmonds rape suspect deported nine times

Edmonds - KING 5 Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That's much more than previously reported.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement won't comment on the case of Jose Lopez Madrigal. But KING 5 got the information through confidential sources and documents.

Larry Klein was the man who heard the alleged victim's cries for help. Police say the suspect pulled the woman off the street to a dumpster and raped her.

"I could see the back of his head. I could see his pants were down. I could see her lying on the ground. I could hear her crying, but I couldn't really see her face," said Klein.

Klein called police, who quickly arrested the suspect. But learning his identity took much longer because of some 30 aliases. It was only through fingerprints that they identified him as Madrigal, a Mexican citizen.

Madrigal's arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That's the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California...

People who live near the scene of Sunday's alleged rape wonder how it could keep happening.

"Makes you wonder, what are we doing wrong? How is he getting back in here?" said Kirby Aumick.

"It’s troubling. I mean, if this man should not have been in this country, he should have been behind bars then, really, this is a senseless tragedy," said Klein.

According to our sources, Madrigal's last contact before Sunday was around 2003. So, it's not clear how much of that time Madrigal was in this country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has refused to comment on the case which started making national headlines when it was learned that Madrigal had been deported several times prior to the Edmonds case...

Chris Ingalls

KING 5 News

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA

Perez gets jail time

Judge cites official abuses

Former North Wasco County schools liaison Carlos Perez was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail and five years probation for making sexual advances to a 41-year-old Hispanic woman who had sought his help in receiving basic community services and Spanish-English translation aid.

Although he cut the jail time in half from the 90 days requested by Wasco County Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly said he was compelled to order some incarceration because Perez, a public official with many community and family connections, took advantage of and preyed on a low-income woman who speaks no English and who is an illegal alien.

“The offensive part of this has less to do with your laying hands on this woman than on your abuse of power,” Kelly told Perez before about 35 people at the Wasco County Courthouse in The Dalles. “You have status and respect in the community – you have power, and she has none.”

Kelly also ordered Perez to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with the victim or to come within 500 feet of her home. Perez, who was a family liaison and coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Educational Service District, is also barred from visiting any North Wasco County schools and from participating in any migrant services programs.

In addition, Perez will have to pay up to $3,000 into a state victims’ restitution fund to cover counseling sessions for the woman. He is also being let go from his job as a translator for Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Kelly said.

Perez maintained at Thursday’s proceeding that he was innocent, that the sentence was unfair and alleged it was the result of racial bias...

Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said he thought the sentence was “appropriate,” and that there was “no evidence at all that this was based on his race,” Nisley said.

“The point is that a jury believed a Hispanic woman over a Hispanic man,” Nisley said. “It isn’t about Mr. Perez’s race.” ...

Keri Brenner

The Dalles Chroncicle

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Store surveillance photo of suspect

Suspect sought in string of sex assaults at stores

Charlotte - Police are still looking for a man they believe is behind several sexual assaults inside stores.

They have stepped up patrols at shopping centers in Southeast and Union County after they say at least five fondling incidents in three stores might be connected.

They say that they believe one man is responsible for the sexual assaults: two that happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday, one at a Harris Teeter grocery store on Saturday of last week and two more at another Harris Teeter, this time in Union County, sometime in between.

WBTV talked to Dan Biber, a forensic psychologist who gave us insight as to what drives a person to sexual violence.

"Let's call it adrenaline," he said. "He gets a rush. Part of the rush is not just the sexual rush of groping women, but also the rush of doing it in public when there's a high risk of detection that he successfully avoids."

That is frightening to shoppers like Tracy Brown who said, "that's even more frightening to know that someone is getting a rush from assaulting people because ultimately, that's what you're doing."

Another reason? Biber told us the man could be rationalizing his actions by downplaying the severity of the assaults.

"He might in his own mind, think this is no big deal," he said. "He might just think, well, rape would be bad but this doesn't count."

According to CMPD officers, the girl was in the grocery store at 11516 Providence Road at approximately 12:15 p.m. when a man came up and forcefully fondled her from behind.

Police say two more women reported being groped at a Harris Teeter in Union County. They say, before Union Co. deputies arrived, two employees escorted the suspect off the property because the victims didn't want to press charges.

The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon when two women told police they were forcibly fondled at a Wal-Mart store on Highway 51.

The incident happened around 2:24 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 3209 Pineville-Matthews Road. Investigators say the two victims, who are 55 and 47 years old, actually tried to restrain the man--but he was able to get away.

On Thursday morning, police released in-store photos of the suspect from two incidents at the Harris Teeters. The photos were taken on May 15 between 12:15 and 12:20 pm at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man who is about 25 years old, and is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Although the incidents happened inside the stores, police say the man drives a white van with ladders on it...

WBTV

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Reverend Moises Cotto

Authorities say evidence backs charges against Newark pastor in Linden sex assault case

Newark - At the Newark church where his congregants dress all in white, he was known as a husband, father and respected pastor for more than 20 years.

But, authorities said, Moises Cotto, the 55-year-old pastor, had been meeting for the past two years with a female congregant at a motel in Linden where the pair had sex — and forced two teenage girls to videotape them in the act.

Cotto was arrested at his apartment in East Orange on Monday night, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.

His parishioner, Brenda Pabon, 37, of Middlesex County, has been charged with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a minor.

But Wednesday, the assistant pastor of the Newark church, Yahweh Templo El Candelero, said he is convinced Cotto is innocent. He called Pabon a "problematic parishioner," saying she had recently threatened the pastor and vowed to leave his congregation along with her husband.

"I do think that an injustice is being done, based on my friendship with the minister," said Assistant Pastor A. Diaz. "There’s no truth to the allegations. He’s been an upstanding pastor for more than 20 years."

The church carefully screens pastors, Diaz said, and holds them to "high standards."

Prosecutors say they have significant physical evidence that corroborates the victims’ allegations...

Julie O'Connor

The Star-Ledger

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Peru

90% de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas

Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron embarazadas producto de violación, frecuentemente por incesto.

Estos datos brindados por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las causas y los efectos de esta realidad.

La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP), coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal, no será posible realizar un real cambio de los problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la comisión estudia la legislación comparada de otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia familiar...

Ninety percent of young adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape

[We note that the definition of 'rape' used in this Peruvian news article refers to forcible rape, and not statutory rape as that crime is defined in the United States. - LL]

Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant due to rape, often in situations of incest.
These statistics, provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed in the Congress of the Republic by the Special Commission to Revise the Law of Protection Against Family Violence. Their goal is to understand the causes and effects of this reality.

Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who is the coordinator of the commission, said that without [congressional] funding, it would be impossible to bring about real changes in the problem of family violence that exists in the country. She added that the lack of qualified personnel, specialized judges and resources for training teachers to develop relevant content for students all hinder the fight against domestic violence.

In regard to punishing rapists, the commission is examining the laws of others nations. Commission members note that under the penal codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to mention Mexico and other Latin American nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age 12] can go free if he proposes to marry his victim and she consents.

For Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela