Indigenous & Latina Women & Children's Human
Rights News from the Americas
May June July Aug. Sep.
Oct. Nov. Dec.
and Events - English
|Other News Archives:
Noticias de Mayo, 2009
May 2009 News
trafficking routes from Colombia to
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
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
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
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
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
May 29, 2009
See also / Vea tambien:
Una red de tráfico y trata de personas operaba en Ibarra y
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
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
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
May 29, 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
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,
and in vitro fertilization.
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
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
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
News for Women
May 21, 2009
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
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
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
...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
Human Rights Watch
Mar. 7, 2006
Punished for Abortion
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
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”
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
Mexico: "Right to
decide" Photo: Cimac
Women's Rights at the Crossroads in
I stated in a previous editorial that
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This environment of impunity provides a
fertile ground on which to grow a
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
We do our part by studying, analyzing,
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
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
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
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
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
We also applaud
of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General)
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
The brave activists in Mexico, including
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!
May 30, 2009
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
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...
The Washington Post
June 30, 2002
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
Human Rights Alert
Chairman, Commission for Human
Rights of Mexico City, Mexico
Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Presidente De La
Cdhdf, Demanda Proteger A La Periodista
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
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
Emilio Alvarez Icaza, President of the Human
Rights Commission of Mexico City (CDHDF),
demands that Mexico's government protect
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.
added that official actions to date have
only sent signals of weakness and impunity
in regard to protecting the work of
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
News for Women
May 28, 2009
See additional article on
this human rights alert below
Peru, Indigenous Latin America
Continental Summit of Indigenous Women - Peru
Cumbre De Mujeres Del Abya Yala Plantea
Problemática De La Discriminación
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
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
Continental Summit of Indigenous Women
Discusses the Problem of Discrimination
- 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
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
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
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.
News for Women
May 28, 2009
Sito del Cumbre
indigena de 2007
Web site of the 2007
Continental Indigenous Summit (In
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...
Dec. 02, 2002
Human Rights Alert
Journalist and women's rights
defender Lydia Cacho faces new
death threats in Cancun, Mexico
La Prensa San Diego
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
Lydia Cacho denounces
death threats and intimidation
The human rights organization ‘Article 19’
asks the Mexican government to guarantee
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Guadalupe Gómez Quintana
News for Women
May 27, 2009
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
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
She identifies Jean Succar Kuri, a
multimillionaire hotel owner, as the head of
a group who sexually abused young girls in
“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.”
La Prensa San
May 11, 2007
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
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.
Contract blogger for the
Los Angeles Times
Nov. 24, 2008
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
Networks In Mexico
Organizations Break from Amnesty
International's 2008 Pro-Merida Initiative
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...
The Narco News Bulletin
May 7, 2009
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
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
"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
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
Inter Press Servicew (IPS)
May 22, 2009
movement to limit abortion rights in
Mexico and other Latin American nations
such as the Dominican Republic is quite
strong at the present time.
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.
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
Mexico, we see two related areas of
activity associated with the move to
restrict abortion that concern us.
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.
'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
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.
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
May 26, 2009
Interrupción Legal del
Embarazo en México
CIMAC Noticias' collection of 100+ articles
on the abortion debate in Mexico (In
Analysis of PAN
political actions and policies that have a
detrimental impact on women's basic human
rights, from our January, 2009 news archive.
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
Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons
May 24, 2009
Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against
Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the
[In Mexico] "We have half a
million victims and a flawed trafficking law"
Mexico: 500,000 children have been
kidnapped or lost during the past 5 years. Only 100,000 have
...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.”
Oct. 16, 2007
David Solís - xonline.com
Exigen el PAN liberar
a sacerdote vinculado a red de pornografía
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
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
National Action Party
in Mexico City’s local
legislature demands freedom for priest
accused of [leading] a child pornography
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
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
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
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
May 25, 2009
Major Blow to Child
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
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
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
Against Child Pornography, said
in an October international conference on
the issue in Mexico...
president of the city’s Human Rights
Commission, Emilio Álvarez, put the number
[of child prostitutes in Mexico City] at
Inter Press Service
April 23, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Señala autoridad que cura sólo veía
fotos de menores
La Procuraduría General de Justicia de Veracruz descarta red
de pornografía infantil en la entidad
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
Attorney General of the state of Veracruz (on the Caribbean
coast) denies that a child pornography network exists in the
state capitol of Xalapa.
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.
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)."
state Attorney General for Justice, Marco Antonio Aguilar
Yunes said that there is no associated child prostitution
network or anything resembling one. "
official reported that the Attorney General’s Office of the
Federal District (PGJDF-Mexico City) has requested the
assistance of their counterpart Veracruz…
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…
April 24, 2009
ante impunidad de pedófilos en México
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....
March 02, 2009
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
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
publish federal regulations to support
the 2008 anti-trafficking law, the first of its kind in
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
May 26, 2009
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
Calcetas-Santos raised the alarm about
tourist centers such as Cancun, about Mexico
City, and also in regard to the cities of
Xalapa (both in
Veracruz state}, Juarez City, and
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
"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
- Miriam Ruiz
News for Women
April 17, 2006
Carlos Garcia Morales arrested for kidnapping
Oxnard Police have made an arrest in the
case of the 20 month old [Latina] girl who
was abducted from her parents home early
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
May 15, 2009
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
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
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
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…
May 19, 2009
Mexican Congression-al Deputy Maricela
Contreras - PRD Party
No tiene estándares mínimos ni atribuciones
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 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
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
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.
May 22, 2009
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:
weapons, drugs and blood diamonds has long been on the United
Nations agenda. Now, we must add people to that list.
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
Partners are coming
together. Member States are starting to shoulder a greater share of
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
First, we need to criminalize human
trafficking. All countries must ratify
the United Nations anti-trafficking
Second, we must prevent victimization by
teaching people about their rights and
Third, we need to reduce demand.
Fourth, there must be an end to
Fifth and lastly, we must protect the
...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
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...
Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the
13 May 2009,
United Nations Headquarters
the United Nations
Ban Ki Moon,
Secretary General of the
Statements by observers and
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
responded to the recommendations of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
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
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.
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.
Sandra Torres Pastrana
May 21, 2009
CIMAC Noticias' collection of
nearly 300 articles about cases of sexual assault with impunity
perpetrated by military personnel across Mexico - mostly
targeting indigenous women.
Mandaba pornografía infantil a
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.
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.
May 20 , 2009
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
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.
May 20, 2009
Thousands raped in
Ireland's Christian Brothers schools
Victim of priest says ‘too little, too
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
The Belfast Telegraph
May 20, 2009
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
May 21, 2009
The crisis of
sexual exploitation with impunity facing
indigenous women and children in Canada
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
....Arnold Sylvester, who like Dennis
Charlie attended Kuper Island school
between 1939 and 1945, corroborates this
...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."
“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
Testimony of Arnold Sylvester to Kevin
Annett, Truth Commission into Genocide
Duncan, British Colombia, August 13,
From: Hidden from History: The
Native boarding schools the United
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
(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
Andrea Smith, for
Crisis of Sexual Exploit-ation with
Impunity facing indigenous and Latin
American children in school across the
of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor
Few Governments Serious About Human
Trafficking, U.N. Finds
- 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
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
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
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…
Inter-Press Service (IPS)
May 14, 2009
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
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
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
...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
United States Mission
to the United Nations
New York, N.Y.
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
(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.
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.
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
“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
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
Forced Labor: Facts and Figures - The Cost of
Coercion, Regional Perspectives: Americas
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
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
has worked in the office that handles the foreign policy of the most
powerful nation in the world.
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
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
Santiago de Chile
March 10, 2009
General Assembly - Thematic Dialogue on
It Is No Longer Possible to Turn a Blind
Eye to Human Trafficking as the World
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
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
May 13, 2009
President Obama, Step-up the Fight
Against Human Slavery!
United Nations General Assembly's
Interactive Thematic Dialogue
Action to End Human Trafficking" - a
forum held on May 13, 2009
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
Menares Bury's recent statement to the
United Nations General Assembly's Interactive Thematic
Dialogue: “Taking Collective Action to End Human
Trafficking," declares a
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
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
addition, the fact that
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
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
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
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
former President George W. Bush's
fundamentalist Christian base of
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
Being against sex
slavery should not be a left or right
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
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
LL) Nepalese under-age girls
were being trafficked annually into Mumbai for forced prostitution,
said that the
numbers of Nepalese girls being
sex trafficked had been greatly reduced.
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
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
conditions that involve the use of
coercion, brute force and the threat and
reality of death.
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
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
At the end of Ann
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
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
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
Office to Monitor
and Combat Trafficking in Persons
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
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
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
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
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
girls were-and-are routinely kidnapped off
street in broad daylight to supply the exploding demand for
commercially exploited rape victims.
with great interest at the statement of
Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights Néstor Arbito Chica, who
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
We also agree with
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
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
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
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.
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
Obama, your administration does not
condone maintaining the status quo of that reality.
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
other poor girls and women have been
enslaved in domestic servitude and
sexual slavery across Latin America for
500 years. That crime wave continues
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
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
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
Again, time is of the
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...
Writing in Foreign Policy In Focus
March 19, 2009
About the sex trafficking of underage girls
from Nepal into India and Bangladesh
the victims of Atenco
May 3-4, 2006
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
Read our special section on
The crisis of impunity in the mass
sexual assault of women social
protesters by police officers in 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
Women of Atenco,
sexual torture and impunity
Mexico City - The
Mexican government violated their individual rights. They were beaten
stripped of their clothing. They were sexually
faces were covered while police officers inserted their fingers
and foreign objects
anally and vaginally. They
were raped, humiliated, insulted
and subjected to death threats.
At the end of it all, they were
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
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
Of the 20 accused policemen, none has
been sent to prison. Only officer
Doroteo Blas Marcelo, a rapist, was
convicted for "libidinous acts."
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
[Note: All of the 20 accused police
officers remain on duty -
News for Women
May 12, 2009
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
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
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…
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
May 4, 2009
Comunicado de WOLA
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.
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:
WOLA press release
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.
Impunity in San
...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
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
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
John Gibler about his new book, Mexico
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...
Gibler's book is drawn from two years of
on-the-ground reporting in Mexico.
Added: Feb. 13, 2009
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...
Sep. 16, 2007
Added June 01,
Catalonian Legal Scholar: Sexist Bias Exists in Mexico’s Laws
Sesgo machista en leyes mexicanas: especialista
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
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
News for Women
May 31, 2006
The lawless Triple Frontier region of
America Latina: Trata de blancas, un
flagelo que asciende
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
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
Latin America: Sex trafficking, a growing scourge
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...
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
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...
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...”
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
May 13, 2009
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,
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
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
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,
Mairead Maguire and
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
the intensity of the problem of violence against women in this
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.
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 -
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..."
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,"
Full English Translation
Gladis Torres Ruiz
News for Women
About the crisis of sexual exploitation and
impunity facing the women and children of Guatemala
Rechazan Mujeres Nobeles gobiernos construidos
con violencia y miedo
Guatemala Encuentro por la paz, justicia y equidad
- 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.
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)…
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,
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
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
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
for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment
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,
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
News for Women
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."
May 11, 2009
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
May 6, 2009
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.
will include: an
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
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
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).
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
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
participate in a series of initiatives that will take place May
10-15 in this Mesoamerican country.
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
of women and to defend their ability to exercise their rights to participate
in making the decisions that affect their lives…
International Radio Endeavour - Fire
May 4, 2009
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.
April 16, 2009
Sin medidas de higiene, docentes no reanudarán clases: CNTE
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
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
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
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
News for Women
May 6, 2009
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
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
News for Women
May 04, 2009
Update: Juárez, Mexico femicides trial in Chile
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]
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
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%.
serial killers were more likely to strike in the West and the Southern United
Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.
Violent Crimes Institute
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
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
End impunity now!
May 10, 2009
Lawsuit blames Mexican government for Juarez
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
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
May 05, 2009
Feminicidio: genocidio contra mujeres en Latinoamérica
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…
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
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
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
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
For these authors,
"the murder of women is the most extreme form of sexist terrorism" and they
therefore defined the term.
Mexican anthropologist Marcela Lagarde referred to the phenom-enon as feminicide
to define the concept of "genocide against women."
"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
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.
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...
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…
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.
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
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...
May 4, 2009
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
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!
May 06, 2009
More about femicide
Guatemalan Army raped and murdered 50,000 women during the 1980s
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
Pedro Lopez - Serial killer
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
 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.
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.]
May 05, 2009
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."
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.
April 29, 2009
May 04, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
And this is
International Children’s Day in the Triqui Nation?
Full English Translation
Soledad Jarquin Edgar
News for Women
April 30, 2009
May 04, 2009
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
Muy probable, que la industria restaurantera y otros sectores
reinicien labores este miércoles
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
Swine Flu epidemic has spread to 23
states in Mexico, reports health secretary Córdova Villalobos
At "some point" a quarantine will be imposed on cities where cases
It is very likely that the restaurant industry and other sectors
will resume work on Wednesday
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
'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,
special sanitary cordon
could be implemented" around them...
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.
the morning, Córdova Villalobos admitted that poverty affects the transmission
of the virus, because... "there is serious overcrowding in their homes..."
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
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
May 4, 2009
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,
inmensa mayoría carece de piso de cemento, electricidad, drenaje o
Institutional racial prejudice
denies education to children across rural
Indigenous and African-descendent children
are not provided with adequate educational
infrastructure because of their race - World Vision
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
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
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.
March 25, 2009
June 13, 2010
Send us an...
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
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
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
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
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
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.
The Daily Record
June 07, 2010
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.
June 10, 2010
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.
June 09, 2010
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.
June 11, 2010
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.
June 02, 2010
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.
June 12, 2010
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
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
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.
June 10, 2010
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
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."
June 08, 2010
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.
The Chicago Tribune / WGN
June 09, 2010
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.
June 10, 2010
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.
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
The United States
Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in
- 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
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.
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.
ordered Corrections Corporation of America to take corrective
actions. Among them is forbidding male guards from being alone
with female detainees.
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." ...
Inter Press Service (IPS)
June 07, 2010
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.
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
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
The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force
June 07, 2010
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.
The Washington Examiner
June 06, 2010
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.
June 07, 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.
June 07, 2010
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."
June 07, 2010
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
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
Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu
June 02, 2010
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...
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...
June 03, 2010
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."
The New Orleans Times-Picayune
May 13, 2010
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.
Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 04, 2010
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
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
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
June 02, 2010
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.
June 05, 2010
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.
June 05, 2010
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
June 04, 2010
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
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
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.
May 14, 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
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
May 20, 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,
 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.
June 01, 2010
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.
June 01, 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
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
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]."
May 31, 2010
Central America and Mexico
María de Jesús Silva,
blancas en Centroamérica
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
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
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
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
Oct. 22, 2007
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:
about the figures quoted to
describe the number of child
sexual exploitation victims in
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
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
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.
being prostituted just
Víctimas del tráfico
de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas
en América Latina
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
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
Mexico is a country of
origin, transit and also destination for
trafficked persons. Of 500,000 victims in
Mexico, 87% are subjected to commercial
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
- Notimex /
La Jornada Online
Dec. 12, 2007
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
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
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.
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. -
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
Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant
opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL
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
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
Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the
government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as
"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.
May 31, 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
A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life
Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú
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.
El equipo de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos A.C.
An open letter to
Valentina Rosendo Cantú
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.
staff of the
Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)
CIMAC Women's News Agency
May 28, 2010
Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel denounces
death threats against herself, her family and Indigenous rape
Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina
Rosendo Cantú - who were raped by soldiers in 2002.
Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica
Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega
Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra
Tlapaneca Violada por Militares
Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
May 27, 2010
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.
March 8, 2007
North Carolina, USA
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
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
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.” ...
May 26, 2010
Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting
Police Groped His Girlfriend
May 26, 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."
May 25, 2010
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
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).
May 27, 2010
Omar Shariff Cash
Cash guilty of murder and rape
Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal
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
Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case
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
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
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.
The Gwinnett Daily Post
May 27, 2010
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
After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in
connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple
Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at
Louis Ojeda Jr.
May 26, 2010
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
The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to
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,
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
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.
May 28, 2010
California, USA / Jamaica
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
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.
May 26, 2010
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
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
The Lompoc Record
May 27, 2010
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
"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.
May 25, 2010
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 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.
May 27, 2010
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
Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in
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...
May 28, 2010
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
“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.
May 26, 2010
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.
The Richmond Times Dispatch
May 27, 2010
Officer Jose Manuel Santiago
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.
May 28, 2010
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
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
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
May 28, 2010
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
May 27. 2010
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.
May 27, 2010
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
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
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.
May 28, 2010
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 20 - May 26
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
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.
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
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
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
May 12, 2010
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
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
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
The triple frontier region, where
Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a major child
and adult sex trafficking marketplace with many
thousands of victims.
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
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)
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...
Voice of America News
May 24, 2010
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.
May 24, 2010
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
"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...
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...
May 06, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
May 23/24/27, 2010
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
Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos
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
The National Security Archive
George Washington University
May 7, 2010
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
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.
My observations about the only human trafficker I have
...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
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...
Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry
June 18, 2008
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.
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.
May 23, 2010
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.
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].
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
Bill Clinton during his presidency
Clinton says U.S. did
wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999
Clinton admitted Wednesday to Guatemalans that U.S. support for
"widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a
"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.
March 10, 1999
Read our special section of the crisis of sexual
exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.
Raids and Rescue
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...
Dec. 18, 2008
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
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
A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam
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.
May 21, 2010
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...
May 21, 2010
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.
May 21, 2010
Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and
investigated since 2007. - LL
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...
The Santa Monica Mirror
Edition 50 - May 20-26, 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
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.
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...
Oregon Daily Emerald
May 17, 2010
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.
May 21, 2010
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.
May 21, 2010
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.
May 19, 2010
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.
May 21, 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."
The New York Daily News
May 20, 2010
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
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
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010
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
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...
KING 5 News
May 21, 2010
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.”
The Dalles Chroncicle
May 21, 2010
North Carolina, USA
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...
May 19, 2010
New Jersey, USA
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...
May 20, 2010
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
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. -
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
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
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