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

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Mayo / May 2011




Added: June 19, 2011

Native America

US Declines to Try Half of Native Crimes

Window Rock, Arizona - There was swelling on the little girl's skull and hemorrhages around her brain. There was a tear between her right ear and scalp. The scars on her 36-pound body were consistent with burns from a space heater, a curling iron and hot noodles.

The mother said she had accidentally rolled over onto her daughter in bed, smothering her. The medical examiner concluded that the brown-eyed toddler with the wavy dark hair had been beaten, declaring her death a homicide.

Had 2-year-old Kiara Harvey died elsewhere the case likely would have been handled by the county sheriff or police, and the local district attorney.

But Kiara was a Navajo and she lived on the expansive Navajo Nation. On tribal lands, only federal prosecutions can lead to serious penalties for major crimes involving Native Americans. Those prosecutors, however, end up declining to pursue half of the cases nationally.

"No one speaks for that baby," said Bernadine Martin, the Navajo Nation's chief prosecutor. "It's okay to kill her and go on because prosecutors apparently don't want to put a little more effort into investigations."

In the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation, which also stretches into New Mexico and Utah, Kiara's case was one of 37 that federal prosecutors declined to take during a 9-month period last year, an Associated Press review found.

Among all tribes in Arizona during the same period, there were 122 such cases. The overwhelming majority were alleged sex crimes that included rape and abusive sexual contact, followed by assaults. 19 cases involving deaths were rejected.

The AP's analysis found the reasons to be both complicated and frustratingly similar, and perhaps as exasperating to federal prosecutors as they are to tribal authorities. They cited poor evidence, reluctant witnesses and jurisdictional issues...

The Government Accountability Office's study was published after a change in federal law last summer meant to bolster justice on tribal lands. The report was produced at the behest of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs led by then-Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota.

Former U.S. attorneys testified that reservation cases were often not treated as a priority, Dorgan told the AP in an interview before the bill was passed. "In many cases, it didn't get done. The result is that violent crime continues and those that commit them don't get prosecuted."

DOJ officials don't like being measured by declination rates.

"Unfortunately, federal declination numbers on face value, without full context, are not an appropriate measure of whether justice was served," DOJ spokeswoman Jessica Smith said. The numbers don't capture the reasons cases are rejected and miss those that are prosecuted outside the federal system, she said.

The declination rate for other federal cases, which can include terrorism, environmental violations or corruption, is not directly applicable since they are so different from the types of cases in Indian Country, said David Maurer, who helped author the GAO study.

The Justice Department has reported that the crime rates experienced by Native Americans are two and a half times higher than those experienced by the general population, and that violent crime happens in Indian Country at a rate of 101 per 1,000 persons.

Federal prosecutors in South Dakota and Arizona had the largest number of cases reported from Indian Country. Each comprised some 24 percent of the total national caseload, according to the GAO report.

Arizona has 12 federally recognized tribes, with the Navajo Nation being the largest in number and land area. Federal prosecutors received 2,538 cases and declined 38 percent of them. South Dakota has seven federally recognized Indian tribes, including the well-known Oglala Sioux at Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux at Rosebud. Federal prosecutors there received 2,414 cases, declining 61 percent.

Brendan Johnson, the U.S. attorney for South Dakota, said a lack of manpower makes it more difficult to investigate and prosecute cases. "We need more police officers. We need more investigators," he said.

Johnson said a lack of collaboration between tribes and federal prosecutors is also to blame.

His office has focused on improving ties with tribes by having an assistant U.S. attorney spend most of his week at one reservation and working to have the tribal prosecutor on another reservation designated a special U.S. attorney, he said. That would allow the attorney to come into federal court and help prosecute cases...

Felicia Fonseca and Sudhin Thanawala

The Associated Press

May 31, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina note:

Native women and children in the United States have long been subjected to impunity.  Today it is criminal sexual assault that is the most glaring example of the second class status that indigenous people continue to hold in this country.

The statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that Native women in the U.S. have a 3.5 times higher rate of exposure to sexual assault than other groups of women (Amnesty International states the rate is 2.5 times higher).  During recent years, Native reservations, which are governed by tribal police departments and by U.S. federal law, have been virtually ignored.  Most rape cases that could have been pursued by federal prosecutors were never acted upon. 

As Congress had written the law, and as the President has enforced it through the U.S. Department of Justice, the typically white, non-resident rapists who stalk women on U.S. reservations can only receive a ONE YEAR jail sentence for rape.

It has also been especially troubling to the Native community that 5 of the 8 federal prosecutors who were fired by former U.S. Attorney General Gonzalez had focused their efforts on increasing the prosecution and conviction rates for rapists on Native reservations.

We at sincerely hope that the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2008 repairs these errors in equal protection under the law as it applies to Native women and their undue exposure to gender violence.

- Chuck Goolsby

Afro Creek Catawba

LibertadLatina

July 30, 2008


Added July 26, 2007

Native America

Fired Nevada U.S. attorney had doubled prosecution rate in cases affecting Native Americans

After 11 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Reno, where most of the cases from federal crimes on Nevada's 27 Indian reservations were handled and where he had prosecuted many of them, Daniel Bogden became the U.S. attorney for Nevada and made American Indian issues a priority...

Then in late 2006, the Justice Department abruptly fired eight U.S. attorneys. Bogden was one of five among the eight who had taken a leadership role on DOJ's sub-committee on Native issues...

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

- Indian Country Today

July 20, 2007


Added July 14, 2007

Native America

U.S. Justice Department turns its back on rape with impunity on Native reservations

U.S. Attorney firings targeted effective prosecutors of rape on the reservation

Impact of 2006 Adam Walsh Act on tribes also discussed

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

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

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

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

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

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

''The joke is the perpetrators have severe laws they face in the non-Indian world,'' Majel-Dixon said. ''But with the help of the attorneys general, the president and Congress, we ended up with a one-year imprisonment no matter what you did.''

- Indian Country Today

July 06, 2007


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco: Recuestran 70 mil niños para explotarlos sexualmente

En México 70 mil niños son secuestrados al año con fines de explotación sexual, 32 mil son víctimas de maltrato en sus propios hogares, sobre todo en Estado de México, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Puebla y Yucatán, donde se reciben más quejas y unos 12 mil se han quedado huérfanos a causa de la guerra contra el crimen organizado, señaló Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

Para el Día Internacional contra la Violencia Infantil, llevado a cabo el 4 de junio, Orozco explicó que el robo de niños con fines de explotación, genera 32 mil 500 millones de dólares , de acuerdo con el Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Desarrollo y Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), convirtiendose en el segundo negocio ilícito más redituable.

La Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATW-LAC), señala que México ocupa el quinto lugar en trata de personas en los estados de las fronteras norte y sur, así como del Pacífico.

Seventy thousand children are kidnapped annually in Mexico to be used in prostitution

According to federal deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber Deputies [lower house of Congress], across Mexico, 70,000 children are kidnapped each year for the purpose of subjecting them to sexual exploitation. Of this number, some 32,000 are victims of abuse within their own home, above all in the states of Mexico, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Puebla y Yucatán, which receive the largest numbers of complaints. Another 12,000 children have been orphaned by Mexico's war on the drug cartels.

Speaking on June 4th during the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, Deputy Orozco explained that the kidnapping of children generates 32.5 billion dollars annually, according to the CEIDAS - the Center for Investigation and Studies in Development and Social Assistance...

The Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC) estimates that Mexico occupies fifth place in human trafficking globally. The problem is most heavily concentrated along Mexico's northern and southern borders as well as along the [tourist regions of the] Pacific coast.

Blanca Valadez

Milenio

May 31, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexio, El Salvadaor, The United States

Lydia Cacho: La niña más valiente del mundo

Una niña salvadoreña de ocho años, que denunció haber sido violada por contrabandistas de inmigrantes en México, se ha reunido con su familia en California, dijo el martes un abogado de su abuela.

La abogada Jessica Domínguez, especializada en temas de inmigración, dijo que la niña recibió una visa humanitaria para entrar al país.

En las redes sociales, la pequeña fue llamada "la niña más valiente del mundo", por la columna de Lydia Cacho, periodista de EL UNIVERSAL.

La abuela paterna de la niña, que es ciudadana estadounidense y vive en el sur de California, solicitó la custodia de la menor y tratará de gestionar su residencia, dijo Domínguez.

La abuela preveía ofrecer una conferencia de prensa en las próximas horas del martes.

Domínguez dijo que empezó a gestionar la liberación de la niña, custodiada por las autoridades mexicanas, desde que la menor hace varias semanas dijo que tres hombres la habían violado durante el viaje de El Salvador a Estados Unidos.

Las autoridades mexicanas le otorgaron una visa humanitaria la semana pasada, lo que allanó el camino para su partida luego de tres semanas al cuidado del gobierno.

Domínguez opinó que la niña estaría en peligro si regresara a El Salvador luego de denunciar el crimen del que fue presuntamente víctima.

"Si esta niña regresa a El Salvador, su vida corre peligro porque tuvo el valor de decir, 'fueron él y él y él''', dijo Domínguez.

Defensores de los inmigrantes dicen que el caso es un recordatorio trágico del peligro de pagar a los contrabandistas para ayudar a reunir una familia.

"Los padres deberían pensarlo dos veces -o más de dos veces- antes de hacer venir a un adulto, una mujer sola o un niño ", dijo Jorge Mario Cabrera, vocero de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanitarios de los Inmigrantes de Los Angeles. " Las cosas están tan mal... que uno podría no volver a ver a su hijo".

En principio no estaba claro quién pagó por transportar a la niña a Estados Unidos.

Otros parientes aparentemente lo hicieron porque la familia era objeto de amenazas en El Salvador estaba preocupada por la seguridad de la menor, dijo Cabrera.

El diario El Paso Times informó que los padres de la niña viven en Estados Unidos y pagaron siete mil dólares a un contrabandista.

Lydia Cacho: About the bravest girl in the world

An eight-year-old Salvadoran girl who reported having been raped by smugglers in Mexico has been reunited with family members in California.

Jessica Dominguez, an attorney for the victim's grandmother who specializes in immigration law said that the victim has received a humanitarian visa to enter the United States.

Among social networks, the girl became known as "the bravest girl in the world," a term coined by [anti trafficking activist] Lydia Cacho, in her column in the leading Mexico City daily newspaper El Universal.

The paternal grandmother of the girl, who is a U.S. citizen and lives in Southern California, requested custody of the child, and will try to arrange her [resident alien visa], Dominguez said...

Dominguez said that she began to negotiate for the release of the girl, who has been living under Mexican government supervision since she reported that three men had raped her during her journey from El Salvador to the United States.

Mexican authorities granted the girl a humanitarian visa last week, paving the way for her departure after three weeks the government care.

Domínguez said that the girl would be in danger if returned to El Salvador after reporting the crime against her.

"If this child returns to El Salvador, her life will be in danger because she had the courage to [name her victimizers],'' said Dominguez.

Immigrant advocates say the case is a tragic reminder of the danger of paying smugglers to help reunite a family.

"Parents should think twice - or more than twice, before having an adult, a single woman or a child travel alone [with smugglers]," said Jorge Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Immigrant Rights Humanitarian in Los Angeles. "Things are so bad ... that a parent could end-up never seeing their child again."

Initially it was unclear who paid for transporting the child to the United States.

The family in El Salvador apparently sent the girl to the U.S. because the family faced threats, and they were afraid for the child's safety.

The El Paso Times reported that the girl's parents live in the U.S. and paid $7,000 to a smuggler.

El Universal

May 17, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Study finds 'alarming' human trafficking figures in Mexico's capital

Mexico City - While an estimated 10,000 women are victims of human trafficking in Mexico's capital, there were only 40 investigations of the crime and three convictions in the city last year, according to a report issued this week.

The discrepancy is an "alarming figure" that shows a need to improve laws and policies, according to a study on human trafficking and sexual exploitation from Mexico City's human rights commission, which calls the phenomenon a "new form of slavery."

"The authorities are not investigating, nor are they asking witnesses," said Eva Reyes, investigation coordinator at the Antonio de Montesinos Center for Social and Cultural Studies, one of the partners of the study.

Cultural norms and social stigma prevent people from realizing that many prostitutes lingering in dark alleys of Mexico City are victims, officials said as they presented the report Wednesday.

"They are seen as people who are doing it freely. That is the first obstacle to justice," Reyes said.

Authorities in Mexico City announced Monday that they had rescued 62 victims of a forced-prostitution ring -- including a 13-year-old girl.

Five men and two women who police say ran the ring were arrested after an investigation that started when a minor involved reported the suspects to authorities.

One victim told investigators that she was forced into prostitution in Mexico City after meeting two men in Oaxaca, a city more than 460 kilometers (288 miles) away.

"After chatting with her, the victim told him that she was a domestic worker and the accused offered her a more comfortable life with well-paid work, and in a second encounter he convinced her to come live with him," the statement said.

Such approaches are a common tactic for those involved in human trafficking, who frequently target women and girls in smaller cities outside the capital, Reyes said.

In the southern border state of Chiapas, Central American women are frequently a target, Reyes said.

But regardless of where victims are recruited, she said, they often pass through -- or end up -- in Mexico City, a sprawling metropolis of more than 21 million people.

"In one case, 107 trafficking victims, both Mexican and foreign citizens, were freed from a factory disguised as a drug rehabilitation center in Mexico City; many of them had been kidnapped, and all were subjected to forced labor," according to 2010 report on human trafficking from the U.S. State Department.

The State Department report noted that authorities had conducted raids on brothels suspected in human trafficking and a special prosecutor for trafficking in Mexico City sentenced one offender to 10 years in prison last year, "the first sentence under Mexico's federal anti-trafficking law and Mexico City's local anti-trafficking law."

But more needs to be done, this week's human rights commission report said.

"The high number of women who are victims of human trafficking are not achieving access to judicial resources and because of this, the large majority of these incidents remain in impunity. ... Their rights remain unprotected," it said.

CNN

May 27, 2011  


Added: June 19, 2011

The World

Scholars Grapple With Globalization’s Dark Side - Human Trafficking

Denver, Colorado – With an estimated 27 million people enslaved around the world, academics at a recent international conference on human trafficking explored ways they could help end the shameful practice.

Professors, students, nongovernmental organizations and others gathered at the Conference on Religion, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, held at the University of Denver, to share information about human trafficking in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States.

They brainstormed ways that universities and individuals can help fight human trafficking, including forming anti-slavery societies on campuses, incorporating the topic into a wide range of courses, buying products from companies that don’t use slave labor and making more people aware of the problem.

“This is the imperative for our time, just as civil rights were for the ’60s,” says Dr. James Brewer Stewart, founder of the group Historians Against Slavery.

According to panelists, human trafficking reaps big profits, collectively exceeding those of most corporations, and has been part of the history of many societies. Trafficking has grown alongside free trade, globalization and other economic and social trends, they said. But hard data are difficult to collect, and many people regard the problem as too overwhelming and distant for them to confront. Victims are often abducted, lured with false job offers, sold by relatives or sometimes enter into slavery voluntarily to help their families.

According to several conference speakers, most modern slaves are unaware of their rights, fearful of everyone and humiliated by what happened to them. In many cases, they wind up in foreign countries where they do not speak the language and are cut off from those who can help.

During the United States’ slavery era, the price of a human being was roughly $40,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Today, it is anywhere from $30 to $1,000, according to Patrick Soch, a panelist and graduate student at DU’s Iliff School of Theology.

“People can be purchased for less than a pair of shoes,” he said.

Globally, there are only about 4,000 prosecutions a year for trafficking, and even harsh penalties are not a deterrent for slavers, said Jonathan Todres, an associate law professor at Georgia State University. He suggested improving coordination among anti-trafficking agencies. Millions of children are not registered at birth, making it harder to know if they’ve been trafficked, Todres said.

Prevention is key, and some efforts, such as “john schools” in San Francisco—where prostitutes’ clients meet someone who has been sexually exploited—have shown promise, he said.

As the panelists explained, slave trafficking comes in a staggering array of forms around the world, with slaves engaging in the sex trade, agriculture, construction, domestic work and factory work, among others. While the problem remains difficult to eradicate, there have been some bright spots.

In Africa, Dana Vaughn-Mgunda came up with her own awareness campaign in 2007 while working at a refugee camp in Dowa, Malawi, that had been targeted by traffickers. She had no particular training for it but did what she thought would work. Vaughn-Mgunda, who now serves as program director for gender violence education at DU, said she hung up hundreds of posters from nongovernmental organizations warning about traffickers and encouraging people to explore the problem in drama and song. The next time traffickers came around, the refugees knew what to do, she said.

The Rev. Heidi McGinness, a U.S. representative of Christian Solidarity International, said her group used donations to buy and free slaves on cattle farms in southern Sudan in the 1980s. Individuals could be purchased for $50 worth of a cattle vaccine.

In Colombia, striking sugar cane workers won significant concessions from plantation owners with the help of human rights lawyers and the local community, said Louis Edgar Esparza, a lecturer at DU’s Korbel School of International Studies. The 8,000 workers in Cauca and Valle de Cauca worked virtually every day, all day, under brutal conditions for scanty wages, said Esparza, who spent 10 months in the country. Many local stores were company owned. The workers had been on strike before, but this one, lasting two months in 2008, succeeded because of good preparation and by stressing the human rights angle, Esparza said. Lawyers advised the workers, merchants gave them credit, priests went to them to give Mass and fire stations provided drinking water.

By contrast, Peruvian shepherds who essentially were indentured servants in Wyoming found themselves isolated as a result of their work and their language, Quechua [one of the two ocre languages of the descendents of the Inca Empire], said Alison Krogel, a DU assistant professor of Spanish. She knows the language and did research on the Peruvians’ plight in 2006 and 2007.

Among other control mechanisms, the shepherds, who worked in remote areas, were forbidden by their rancher employers to attend a Peruvian independence day celebration in Wyoming, where they might have been able to meet other countrymen, she said...

Helen Hu

Diverse Education

May 26, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Texas, USA

Attorney General Abbott Supports Signing Of Human Trafficking Prevention

Governor Perry signed Senate Bill 24, which enacts human trafficking prevention task force’s legislative recommendations

Austin - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott joined Gov. Rick Perry at a ceremony where the governor signed human trafficking prevention legislation into law. The new law, which was sponsored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, implements legislative recommendations from the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, which is chaired by Attorney General Abbott.

“With the passage and signing of Senate Bill 24, Gov. Perry, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Rep. Senfronia Thompson have given law enforcement crucial new tools to combat human trafficking in the State of Texas,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Human traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to compel their victims into modern-day slavery. By increasing penalties for traffickers and continuing to foster cooperation among law enforcement, Senate Bill 24 will help ensure Texas remains hostile territory for human traffickers.”

Senate Bill 24 increases penalties for traffickers and provides increased new protections for child victims. The law also provides civil remedies against human traffickers and implements new protections for human trafficking victims. The Senate passed SB 24 unanimously on March 23. It was passed in the House of Representatives on April 7.

The 2011 Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force Report was published by the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the task force and its 47 members. In addition to informing the legislature about the nature and scope of human trafficking in the State of Texas, the task force’s 2011 report contained recommendations for the 82nd Legislature. Pursuant to those recommendations, SB 24 creates legally distinct definitions of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Under the new law, compelling prostitution of a child becomes a first-degree felony.

Under Senate Bill 24, human trafficking offenses would be added to the list of crimes for which a life sentence is automatic when a trafficker is subsequently convicted of trafficking a second time. The enhanced statute will also require sex traffickers to register in the Texas Sex Offender Registry. Senate Bill 24 also offers greater protections for child trafficking victims. The new law authorizes a parent or guardian of a child human trafficking victim to seek a protective order against their child’s trafficker and allows courts to treat child victims in sex trafficking cases the same way they treat sexual assault victims. Judges will also be given discretion to order that convicted human traffickers serve consecutive – rather than cumulative – prison sentences.

The Texas Legislature created the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force during the 81st Legislative Session. Sen. Van de Putte and Rep. Randy Weber sponsored House Bill 4009, which established a statewide task force of law enforcement officials and crime victim services personnel who serve on the frontline of the state’s battle against human trafficking. In August 2010, the Governor’s Office awarded the Office of the Attorney General and the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force a $291,000 grant to fund a financial analyst, a peace officer and a prosecutor to assist with the identification, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases statewide. All three positions have been filled and are currently participating in human trafficking prevention and enforcement operations.

Texas Insider

May 26, 2011 


Added: June 19, 2011

Kentucky, USA

Experts: human trafficking is growing problem in Kentuckiana

Louisville - The human trafficking trade may seem like an international issue far away from home. But a WAVE 3 investigation found vulnerable women and children are being forced into lives of prostitution here in Kentucky.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says every minute someone will be bought, sold, or forced into slavery.

It's even harder to think about it happening right here at home, but it is. Last week we brought you the disturbing details of what the feds are calling a multi-state human trafficking network involving Louisville. Obdulio Morales and Esthela Vasquez are accused of running brothels in metro neighborhoods. Until this story broke, we hadn't heard much about this hidden crime.

"It is shocking to me to know how frequently we're seeing this come up in our communities, how often it really truly is happening," said Marissa Catellanos with the Kentucky Rescue and Restore Coalition.

Castellanos works directly with trafficking victims across the state. During her three years with the coalition, she's seen more than 50 cases in Kentucky.

"We've seen that this is happening in large and small communities in Kentucky. Kentucky isn't exempt from the problem even though it doesn't seem like the obvious place," Castellanos said.

Experts say most of the victims are vulnerable women and children. Their ages and backgrounds are different, but the horror is the same.

"Slavery is exactly what this is," Castellanos told us.

The University of Louisville's Department of Justice Administration recognized this as a growing secret and recently added a whole class just on human trafficking. Dr. Theresa Hayden teaches that class.

She explained about half the Kentucky cases are sex trafficking, the other half are labor. Victims are forced to work in restaurants, farms, homes, and hotels.

"It's happening here in Louisville. It's known as one of the hubs for trafficking because of the interstates crossing over," Dr. Hayden said.

If you know someone you think is being trafficked, help them by calling the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Last year the hotline got more than 100 tips from Kentucky.

Wave3

May 18, 2011


Added: May. 25, 2011

Mexico

An underage girl stands waiting for the next john in the Coahuila red light district of the city of Tijuana, in Baja California state.

From a YouTube video.

Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

Pide diputada Orozco cerrar callejón Coahuila como sucedió con Manzanares en D.F.

Tijuana sigue siendo un paraíso para la trata de personas, y aunque afortunadamente ya empiezan a realizarse operativos, se pide lo mismo que en el Distrito Federal, cerrar el Callejón Coahuila, como ocurrió con el Manzanares, manifestó la diputada federal, Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial Contra la Trata de Personas.

Dijo que desgraciadamente en el DF se acostumbraron a ver por 40 años el Callejón de Manzanares, un lugar que era un escándalo internacional, con escenas del siglo XVIII, con niños y niñas y jóvenes paradas para ser compradas, al mejor postor.

“Aquí se han acostumbrado a ver el callejón de Coahuila y Coahuila, como si fuera normal, veníamos en el avión platicando como hay niñas, hasta vestidas iguales, hasta con peinados y todos siendo menores de edad, claramente en Coahuila y callejón Coahuila, esperar que la autoridad siga haciendo los operativos, felicitar por este bar Mustachón donde encontraron a cuatro menores y solicitar que sigan haciendo operativos, pero sobre todo que se cuide mucho a las víctimas”, dijo la diputada federal.

Indicó que lo más importante son las víctimas, porque si no se cuida desde al principio, a una chica, y se hace lo que acaba de suceder con los policías que hicieron bailar un “streaptease”, no se alcanzará la sensibilidad y el entendimiento para que a nadie se le considere prostituta.

La legisladora también aprovechó para presentar el libro “Del cielo al infierno en un día”, que escribió con Evangelina Hernández y cuyas regalías serán directamente para las víctimas. En el que muestran como se debe recuperar a la víctima hasta reinsertarla a la sociedad.

Deputy Orozco calls for the shutting down of Tijuana's La Coahuila red light district

The city of Tijuana continues to be a paradise for human trafficking, and although it is fortunate that anti-trafficking raids have begun, Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco (National Action Party - PAN / Mexico City) has called for shutting down the Coahuila red light prostitution tolerance zone here.

Deputy Orozco said that disgracefully, in Mexico City the Manzanares Street prostitution zone was tolerated for 40 years. She added that Manzanares Street was an international scandal because of its open displays of underage girls and boys who stood along the street ready to be sold to the highest bidder. It was a scene straight out of the 18th Century, she added.

"People have become accustomed to seeing the Coahuila red light zone as if it were normal. During our flight to come to Tijuana, a group of us discussed how La Coahuila has underage girls on display. They dress the same [in red plaid 'school uniform miniskirts'] and have hairdos, despite the fact that they are minors. We hope that the [local] police continue to conduct raids. We congratulate the authorities for having raided the Mustachón bar, where four minors were found. We implore the local government to continue their raids, and most importantly, that they take good care of the victims," said Deputy Orozco.

Deputy Orozco noted that the victims are the most important priority. Deputy Orozco. "If we don't care for a [rescued] girl from the start, but instead treat her - as happened in a recent case where police officers told a victim to strip tease for them - then we will never arrive at the level of sensitivity and understanding that will be needed so that finally, she will not be looked at as a prostitute."

Deputy Orozco also presented her book “Del cielo al infierno en un día” (From Heaven to Hell in One Day), which she wrote together with Evangelina Hernández. The book discusses how to rescue trafficking victims, the importance of treatment, and the process of re-integrating them into society. The profits from the book will be used to support victims.

Uni Radio Informa

May 24, 2011

LibertadLatina Note:

Two young women in prostitution in the La Coahuila red light district.

From a YouTube video.

Tijuana's La Coahuila red light district is an extremely large prostitution zone, with at least 3,000 registered adult prostitutes and several thousand additional unregistered adults and children working in prostitution. During an April, 2007 visit to the area with another anti-trafficking activist, I counted an estimated 1,000 women and girls in prostitution standing on the street in an area that was approximately 10 blocks by 3 blocks in size.

I observed that U.S. men seeking women and youth in prostitution simply take a trolley ride from San Diego, California, or park in a lot on the U.S. side of the border, and then cross into Mexico without having to show identification to the Mexican border agents. They proceed to either walk the 10 blocks to La Coahuila or take one of dozens of cabs that wait to route them to their business partners (the brothel owners).

I met the two women pictured during my 2007 visit to La Coahuila.

On the left is an indigenous young woman from Chiapas state in southern Mexico. She was apparently addicted to drugs.

The young lady on the right, who is an Afro-Mexican woman from Acapulco, told me that she had been jilted by her boyfriend, and was left with two young children to care for. She told me that she could not cross the U.S. border carrying her children, so she decided to ‘work’ in La Coahuila.

Although I explained in detail the dangers of HIV/AIDS and other risks to this young lady, she told me that she was doing the work that she wanted to do, and that she would be back to work each and every day. She insisted that she didn’t have a pimp, which I doubt is the case.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 25, 2011


Added: May. 25, 2011

Mexico

Men stand in line waiting for the runway walk of women and girls in prostitution on San Tomas Street, one of several prostitution tolerance zones in Mexico City.

These zones are known for being places where trafficking victims are taken from the nearby sex trafficking center of Tlaxcala state. In Mexico City, they are 'broken-in' and 'trained' before being trafficked overseas.

A prostituted woman is surrounded by johns during her 'runway walk' on Santo Tomas Street in Mexico City - Photo: The New York Times

Mexico City’s Attorney General, Miguel Ángel Mancera

Mexico frees 62 in forced-prostitution case

Police freed 62 female victims of a forced-prostitution ring in Mexico City, including a 13-year-old girl, prosecutors said.

The women complained they were forced to work as prostitutes in the capital's downtown sector and had to hand over their earnings to a group of pimps, Mexico City chief prosecutor Miguel Mancera said Monday.

Five men and two women were detained in raids on five bars and are being held pending investigation for alleged human trafficking, organized crime, pimping and corruption of a minor.

Prosecutors said they are investigating the suspects, who range in age from 19 to 62, to see whether any came from Tenancingo, a town in central Tlaxcala state where Mexico's forced-prostitution trade is believed to be centered.

Mancera's office said one of the victims told police that a man had befriended her in another state and offered to find her work in Mexico City. Upon arriving in the capital, she and other women were forced to prostitute themselves.

Police found out about the ring in April when the woman wound up in the hospital with a potential miscarriage and decided to tell police.

Mancera said the women were forced to have sex in tiny bedrooms smaller than 6½ feet a side. They would charge between $9 and $26 and paid pimps $4.

The place, known as "La Pasarela," or "The Runway," was in business for decades.

Mancera said he does not know why previous city administrations had not cracked down on the prostitution ring before.

The Associated Press

May 24, 2011

See also:

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

...Mexico is not merely a way station en route to the U.S. for third-country traffickers.... It is also a vast source of even younger and more cheaply acquired girls for sexual servitude in the United States. While European traffickers tend to dupe their victims into boarding one-way flights to Mexico to their own captivity, Mexican traffickers rely on the charm and brute force of ''Los Lenones,'' tightly organized associations of pimps, according to Roberto Caballero, an officer with the P.F.P. [The Federal preventive Police]... At least 15 major  trafficking organizations and 120 associated factions [based mostly in the nearby sex trafficking 'megacenter' of the city of Tenancingo] tracked by the P.F.P. operate as wholesalers: collecting human merchandise and taking orders from safe houses and brothels in the major sex-trafficking hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago...

For the Mexican girls abducted by Los Lenones [Mexico's family based sexual slavery kidnapping mafias], the process of breaking them in often begins on Santo Tomas Street, a filthy narrow street in La Merced, a dangerous and raucous ghetto in Mexico City. Santo Tomas has been a place for low-end prostitution since before Spain's conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. But beginning in the early 90's, it became an important training ground for under-age girls and young women on their way into sexual bondage in the United States. When I first visited Santo Tomas, in late September, I found 150 young women walking a slow-motion parabola among 300 or 400 men. It was a balmy night, and the air was heavy with the smell of barbecue and gasoline. Two dead dogs were splayed over the curb just beyond where the girls struck casual poses in stilettos and spray-on-tight neon vinyl and satin or skimpy leopard-patterned outfits. Some of the girls looked as young as 12. Their faces betrayed no emotion. Many wore pendants of the grim reaper around their necks and made hissing sounds; this, I was told, was part of a ritual to ward off bad energy. The men, who were there to rent or just gaze, didn't speak. From the tables of a shabby cafe midblock, other men -- also Mexicans, but more neatly dressed -- sat scrutinizing the girls as at an auction. These were buyers and renters with an interest in the youngest and best looking. They nodded to the girls they wanted and then followed them past a guard in a Yankees baseball cap through a tin doorway...

Most of the girls on Santo Tomas [Street] would have sex with 20 to 30 men a day; they would do this seven days a week usually for weeks but sometimes for months before they were ''ready'' for the United States. If they refused, they would be beaten and sometimes killed. They would be told that if they tried to escape, one of their family members, who usually had no idea where they were, would be beaten or killed. Working at the brutalizing pace of 20 men per day, a girl could earn her captors as much as $2,000 a week. In the U.S., that same girl could bring in perhaps $30,000 per week...

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added: May. 21, 2011

México

La Primera Dama de México, Margarita Zavala

Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala.

Gobiernos pasados ignoraron la trata de personas: Zavala

Ciudad de México.- La trata de personas fue un tema ignorado por años por el Estado y hoy estamos pagando lo que dejamos de hacer, reconoció Margarita Zavala, presidenta del Sistema Nacional de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).

Al participar en el foro "Sobre Víctimas", realizado en el recinto legislativo de San Lázaro, señaló que la trata de personas es una forma de esclavitud, pero tampoco es un asunto que concierne sólo a legisladores, ya que debe existir coordinación con los Poderes Ejecutivo y Judicial para evitar que se siga propagando.

Margarita Zavala dijo que la trata de personas es una razón más para trabajar por el país, los miembros de la sociedad y particularmente por las mujeres, niñas y niños de México.

El tema de trata, afirmó, no era un reto que se tocara como Estado hace unos años y ahora sí. "Me parece que lo que hemos dejado de hacer lo estamos hoy pagando, pero eso tiene que ser un motivo más para acelerar los trabajos en este tema y, al mismo tiempo, transformar a la sociedad desde su cultura y el modo de ver las cosas".

Apuntó que la trata de personas es un reto del Estado y no es un asunto tan sólo de los legisladores, sino del Ejecutivo, del Judicial y de la sociedad. "Este foro representa acciones y estrategias para reintegrar, prevenir y proteger a todas las víctimas de cualquier violencia, pero en particular de la trata"...

First Lady: Past governments ignored human trafficking

Mexico City, - During a recent legislative forum, Mexico’s First Lady Margarita Zavala, who is president of the National System for Integral Family Development [DIF - the national social services agency], declared that human trafficking was an issue that had been ignored for years by the state. Today, we are paying the price for the our failure to take action in the past, said Zavala.

The First Lady acknowledged that human trafficking is a form of slavery, and noted that it is not only a legislative concern, but one that requires that the Executive and Judicial branches of government coordinate their actions to avoid the spread of this scourge.

Zavala said that the problem of human trafficking is yet another reason for us to work for our country, for members of society and particularly for the women and children in Mexico.

The issue, she added, is a challenge that has not been addressed by the state in the past. "I think what we are paying for what we failed to do previously. This must be a reason to accelerate our work on this issue and at the same time, transform our nation, starting with its culture, including the ways in which we think about this problem."

The First Lady noted that human trafficking is not just a matter for legislators, but for the Executive, the Judiciary and society. Zavala, "This forum represents [our promotion of] actions and strategies for reintegration, prevent and protection for the victims of all forms of violence, and in particular trafficking."

The head of the DIF said that all of these types of violence are a form of slavery. They are "very new in the sense that we are just starting to confront them and consider trafficking to be a challenge for the State. Trafficking is also an expression of people’s capacity to do evil,” said the First Lady.

Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco [National Action party – PAN / Mexico City], stated during her remarks at the opening of the forum that she ''calls upon the nation's state legislatures to ratify [recently passed] constitutional amendments to articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution. Such ratification will permit Congress to issue a General Law on Trafficking in Persons [a specific form of law that allows federal authority to prevail over state laws in regard to trafficking related crimes].

Deputy Orozco acknowledged the Congress of the Republic for its work in passing these amendments. She urged state legislatures that have not ratified the changes do so, given that human trafficking is an issue of utmost priority.

Gabriel Xantomila

El Sol de

May 18, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Mexico

Mayan women in the town of Tenejapa, Chiapas state

Mexico's largely Mayan indigenous state of Chiapas, an epicenter of the crisis of child sex trafficking in the Americas

Encarcelan a director de internado en Chiapas que violó a 2 niñas

Decenas de menores de edad también serían víctimas: OSC

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, - Organizaciones civiles en Chiapas manifestaron su preocupación por la salud de las y los menores de edad del Centro de Integración Social número 30 “Xicoténcatl”, en San Cristóbal de Las Casas, tras la denuncia contra el director de ese internado público, Manuel Gutiérrez Gómez, acusado de la violación sexual de dos niñas.

El pasado 13 de mayo, Gutiérrez Gómez fue detenido y está recluido en el Centro para la Reinserción Social de Sentenciados número 14 “El Amate”.

Las familias de las menores de edad también interpusieron una queja ante la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Chiapas, por lo que la dependencia ya inició una investigación del caso.

Decenas de agrupaciones humanitarias del estado, entre ellas el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba), Red por los Derechos de la Infancia (Redim) y Desarrollo Educativo Sueniños, advirtieron que de acuerdo con testimonios de niños y niñas del Centro desde “hace años” han sufrido abusos sexuales del director, el subdirector, Marcos Ruiz Gómez, y otros profesores del internado.

Los organismos civiles informaron que las 170 niñas y niños del plantel han sido amenazados por autoridades escolares e incluso por miembros del Comité de Padres de Familia, para que “ya no denuncien o de lo contrario, se atengan a las consecuencias”.

Por el momento, las y los niños del Centro están bajo la vigilancia del supervisor Manuel Gómez Sánchez.

Las organizaciones de Derechos Humanos (DH) advirtieron que “lejos de coadyuvar a esclarecer los hechos”, el subdirector Marcos Ruiz Gómez y los demás docentes amenazan a las y los internos con expulsarlos del plantel, interrumpir sus estudios, retener sus certificados y agredirlos a ellos y a sus familiares...

The director of a boarding school for indigenous children is jailed for raping two girls

Dozens of children may also be victims: NGO

The city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas state - Local non governmental organizations have expressed concern over the health of children who live at the "Xicoténcatl" Social Integration Center No. 30 [public boarding school] in the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, following a complaint against school director Manuel Gutierrez Gomez, who is accused in the rape of two girl students.

On May 13th, 2011, Gómez Gutiérrez was arrested and held at the "El Amate" jail.

The families of the victims have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Council of Chiapas (CEDH). The CEDH has initiated an investigation into the case.

Dozens of humanitarian organizations who are active in Chiapas, including the Friar Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (FRAYBA), the Network for the Rights of Childhood (REDIM) and Sueniños Educational Development, have warned that, according to statements taken from girls and boys who reside at the school, they have suffered sexual abuse “for years” at the hands of the school’s director, its assistant director - Marcos Ruiz Gomez, and from teachers.

The non profit groups report that 170 children have been threatened on campus by school officials and even members of the school’s Parents' Committee, demanding that the children “remain silent or face the consequences."

For the moment, the children are being cared for by supervisor Manuel Gómez Sánchez.

The advocacy organizations declared that, "far from cooperating with us to clarify the facts," deputy director Ruiz Gómez and teachers threatened the school’s students with expulsion, disruption of their education, withholding their certificates and subjecting them and their families to assaults.

Social Integration Center No. 30 is home to a number of indigenous children from 15 municipalities in Chiapas state. Many of the students are orphans.

Advocacy organizations have demanded that, based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state laws governing both protection of victims of crime and children’s rights, the school must be investigated and those who are responsible for crimes and acts omission must be held accountable.

The rights groups demanded that measures be taken to safeguard the integrity of all girls and boys at the school. They also demanded the removal of the managers of the school and the separation of [the current] teachers from the students, pending an investigation into what happened, as a measure to restore security and protection of the rights of each and every student at the school.

Patricia Chandomí

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 19, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

The rape with impunity that has occurred at the "Xicoténcatl" Social Integration Center No. 30 [public boarding school] in the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas state, Mexico is an outrage.

A racial caste system continues to exist in Mexico, five centuries after it was imposed by the Spanish conquistadores. The sexual exploitation of indigenous children with impunity has been a constant fact in Mexico and across Latin America during that 500 year period.

As Mexico begins, slowly, to respond to internal and external pressures to drop these feudal-era concepts of collective social oppression, which are expressions of machismo, we call upon the Mexican Government and the state of Chiapas to immediately end the intimidation of these victimized students and their families.

The placing of young indigenous students in government boarding schools has a long history of being synonymous with creating an atmosphere where men from the dominant society feel empowered to rape our children with impunity.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas will not tolerate the false bureaucratic excuses that so-often defer justice for such innocent victims.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 21, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Sections

About the crisis of child sexual exploitation in forced-attendance indigenous boarding schools in Canada and the United States

See also:

About the crisis of indigenous gender exploitation in Canada, including within its (now closed) first nations boarding schools


Added: May. 21, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho anuncia campaña "Yo no estoy en venta" contra trata de menores

Esta campaña, que será lanzada el próximo 25 de mayo en el centro turístico de Cancún, está dirigida a preparar a niños, adolescentes y jóvenes de 10 a 21 años de esa ciudad y de Playa del Carmen y Chetumal, capital de Quintana Roo, para que eviten caer en las redes de prostitución.

La escritora, periodista y activista Lydia Cacho informó hoy que lanzará la campaña "Yo no estoy en venta" en centros turísticos del Caribe mexicano para evitar que menores sean víctimas de las redes de explotación sexual o del turismo sexual infantil.

Cacho recordó en un comunicado que desde hace una década el Centro Integral de Atención a la Mujer (CIAM), que ella dirige, ha desarrollado un exitoso modelo interdisciplinario con numerosas instituciones nacionales e internacionales para proteger y rescatar a niñas, adolescentes y adultas víctimas de la violencia doméstica, sexual y la trata laboral y sexual.

Indicó que este año el CIAM trabajará en la educación y prevención para combatir la trata con fines de explotación sexual y el turismo sexual infantil y adolescente.

Señaló que la trata de personas ha sido reconocido como un crimen trasnacional que viola los derechos humanos, la salud psicológica y la dignidad de las personas.

Indicó que esta campaña se prolongará seis meses y concluirá el 27 de octubre con una marcha en Quintana Roo bajo el lema "Yo no estoy en venta".

Cacho destapó en su libro "Los demonios del Edén" el caso de Jean Succar Kuri, quien tras un largo proceso que comenzó desde 2004, fue condenado 13 años de cárcel por los delitos de pornografía infantil y corrupción de menores.

Lydia Cacho announces the "I am not for sale" campaign against child trafficking

The campaign, which will start on May 25, 2011 in the resort of Cancun, is intended to teach children and youth between the ages of 10 and 21 in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Chetumal, capital of Quintana Roo state, to avoid falling prey to prostitution.

Writer, journalist and activist Lydia Cacho said Wednesday that she will launch the "I am not for sale" campaign in Mexican Caribbean resort cities to prevent children from falling victim to sexual exploitation networks and child sex tourism.

Cacho said through a press release that beginning a decade ago her organization, the Center for Integral Attention to Women (CIAM), had developed a successful interdisciplinary model [in cooperation] with numerous national and international initiatives to protect and rescue children, adolescents and adult victims from domestic and sexual violence, as well as labor and sex trafficking…

Cacho said that her six month campaign will end on October 27th, 2011 with a march in Quintana Roo under the slogan "I'm not for sale."

In her [2005] book, "The Demons of Eden," Cacho exposed Jean Succar Kuri, who after a long process that began in 2004, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of child pornography and corruption of minors.

Google Hosted News

May 20, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

Journalist / activist Lydia Cacho is railroaded by Mexico's legal process for exposing child sexual exploitation networks and their ties to wealthy businessmen and corrupt politicians


Added: May. 21, 2011

Honduras

Niña denuncia públicamente abuso sexual por delegados del INM

Una niña de 16 años de edad, de nacionalidad hondureña, que fue prostituida sexualmente durante más de ocho meses en burdeles del municipio de Frontera Comalapa, denunció públicamente ante el director del Programa de Trata de Personas de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) Emilio Mauz que sufrió abuso sexual y golpes por parte de los delegados del Instituto Nacional de Migración en Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Raúl Damián Vázquez y Carlos Moreno quienes la mantenían amenazada para que no los denunciara.

En el marco del Foro de Análisis de Trata de Personas que organizó el Planetario del Colegio de Bachilleres del gobierno de Chiapas, la menor de edad, identificada con el nombre ficticio de J. Samantha narró el cautiverio sexual que vivió desde que ingresó a territorio mexicano, después de que fue enganchada en San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Aunque la menor de edad, se encuentra bajo la protección del consulado de su país, la niña dijo que los dueños de los prostíbulos pagaban 14 mil pesos mensuales para que trabajaran con mujeres centroamericanas, especialmente, menores de edad. En mi caso, Raúl Damián Vázquez me forzaba a tener relaciones con él. “cuando se descubrió todo, me amenazaron con agredirme, si denunciaba las cosas”...

Honduran migrant girl publicly denounces sexual abuse at the hands of Mexican immigration agents

A 16-year-old girl from Honduras, who was sexually prostituted over eight months in brothels in the southern Mexican border town of Frontera Comalapa, has publicly complained to the director of Trafficking in Persons Program of the National Human Rights Commission of  (CNDH ) Emilio Mauz, that she suffered sexual abuse and beatings at the hands of National Migration Institute [INM – Mexico’s immigration agency] agents Raul Damian Vazquez and Carlos Moreno in the town of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc. The agents are also accused of threatening the girl to prevent her from denouncing them.

During the forum An Analysis of Trafficking in Persons, organized by the platenario [social sciences think tank] of the Colegio de Bachilleres del gobierno de Chiapas [a Chiapas state academic school], a minor girl, identified by the fictitious name of J. Samantha, told of her sexual enslavement in Mexico after having been entrapped in the Honduran city of San Perdro Sula.

The victim is now under the protection of the Honduran consulate. She said the brothel owners paid ‘scouts’ 14,000 [Mexican] pesos a month to seek out Central American women, and minors in particular [to entrap]. In my case, said the victim, Raul Vazquez Damian forced me to have sex with him. "When [the network was discovered], they [the traffickers] threatened to assault me if I reported [my victimization to the authorities]."

The testimony of the girl moved those who attended the event. Attendees included Mauricio Mendoza, the migration affairs advisor for the Chiapas State Human Rights Council (CEDH), Rosario Marroquín, the regional coordinator of the [federal attorney general’s] Special Prosecutor on Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), and the local consuls of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The CEDH was advised by the attendees that a complaint should be opened targeting the culpable INM  employees.

Before concluding her testimony, which lasted a little over 15 minutes, the documentary "The Children of the Troubles" was shown, and the graphic exhibition "The Road of Death" was displayed.

The victim also stated that, within the local immigration station, known by the name “21st Century, she was harassed by several INM employees.

Fernando Mora, the communications director of the INM, confirmed that two INM middle managers have been removed from their positions. The office of the Attorney General of the Republic is investigating the case. "Those accused were department heads…" added Mora.

According to Mora, INM commissioner Salvador Beltran del Rio has ordered all possible assistance to aid in the investigation. "We do not tolerate misconduct. Whoever falls [regardless of rank], falls," said Mora, who added that progress in this case will be made dependent upon the cooperation of the victim.

Emilio Mauz, the human trafficking director at the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) noted unofficially that the victim could be transferred to Mexico City in the coming hours. There, she will receive psychological and medical attention to allow her to overcome the trauma that she suffered in forced prostitution, where she was also made to drink alcohol and use drugs.

About two months ago, the CNDH carried out a behind the scenes operation to transfer a group of underage sex trafficking victims to [a safe location]. That group was also rescued from the town of Frontera Comalapa.

Milenio

May 16, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Argentina

Rescatan a 953 víctimas de trata de personas en Argentina

Un total de 953 víctimas explotadas y esclavizadas por sus captores fue liberado entre enero y abril de este año en Argentina, anunció este domingo el Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos de la Nación.

La cifra supera ampliamente el número alcanzado durante todo 2010, que fue de 569, precisó en un comunicado la Oficina de Rescate y Acompañamiento a Personas Damnificadas de la mencionada cartera.

De acuerdo con el informe oficial, entre agosto de 2008 y abril de 2011 se realizaron 911 procedimientos de rescate que concluyeron con la detención de 767 individuos y posibilitaron liberar a dos mil 130 personas.

En su mayoría (mil 827 casos) las víctimas de tales prácticas fueron mayores de edad, quienes fueron sometidas principalmente a condiciones de esclavitud y explotación laboral y sexual.

Del total de personas rescatadas, precisó la fuente, 978 eran argentinos y mil 152 extranjeros.

Some 953 victims of human trafficking have been rescued during 2011 in Argentina

Argentina’s Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has announced that a total of 953 exploited and enslaved victims have been freed from their captors between January and April of 2011 across the nation.

The figure exceeds the number of victims rescued during all of 2010, which was 569, said a statement by the Office of Rescue and Support for Harmed Persons.

According to the official report, between August of 2008 and April of 2011 some 911 raids were carried out that resulted in the detention of 767 suspects and the freeing of 2,130 victims.

Some 1,827 of these rescued victims were adults, who were subjected to conditions of labor and sexual exploitation and slavery.

Of those rescued, 978 victims were Argentineans, and 1,152 victims were foreigners.

Prensa Latina

May 16, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the crisis of sexual exploitation with impunity facing women and girls in Argentina


Added: May. 21, 2011

Peru

Francisco José Casos Pérez

Liberan a pedófilo que tenía videos sexuales de menores

Pese a contar con las pruebas necesarias para ser condenado a varios años de prisión; Francisco José Casos Pérez (29) fue liberado debido a una terminación anticipada del proceso, el cual es un acuerdo entre el Ministerio Público (MP) y los abogados de defensa.

Liberan a pedófilo que tenía videos sexuales de menores Pese a contar con las pruebas necesarias para ser condenado a varios años de prisión; Francisco José Casos Pérez (29) fue liberado debido a una terminación anticipada del proceso, el cual es un acuerdo entre el Ministerio Público (MP) y los abogados de defensa.

Fue detenido el año pasado luego de un minucioso trabajo de inteligencia en donde fue sorprendido intercambiando más de 300 videos con contenido pornográfico en el interior de una cabina de internet. Los centenares de videos que fueron grabados por el hoy liberado contenían material pedofílico en el cual menores de edad mantenían relaciones sexuales con adultos.

La sorpresa se dio a la luz cuando fuentes extraoficiales del Centro Penitencial El Milagro dieron a conocer que el conocido pedófilo fue puesto en libertad el pasado 8 de abril debido a una sentencia de cárcel suspendida. Casos Pérez fue capturado el 28 de octubre del pasado año 2010 y fue ingresado al mencionado penal luego de tres días de juicio...

Authorities free pedophile who had been caught with 300 child sex videos [recorded in his own home]

Despite having the necessary evidence to be [convicted and] sentenced to several years in prison, Francisco José Casos Pérez, age 29, was released early as the result of an agreement between prosecutors of the Public Ministry and defense attorneys.

Casos Pérez was arrested last year after a thorough intelligence effort was carried out and the suspect was caught exchanging more than 300 videos containing pornographic material inside an Internet access site [Internet Café]. [Police confiscated] hundreds of videos that were recorded by the now freed pedophile in which minors were seen having sex with adults.

The surprise release from custody came to light when unofficial sources at the El Milagro Penitentiary revealed that Casos Pérez had been released on April 8th due to a suspended jail sentence. Casos Pérez was arrested on October 28th of 2010 and was sent to prison after a three day trial.

According to prison sources, Casos Pérez has received a suspended sentence of four years in prison. The sentence was for possession of pornographic materials, not for engaging in pedophilia. As a result, the detainee was given freedom as the result of an agreement between prosecutors and the defense.

The defendant's counsel said that at the time of of his arrest, Casos Pérez was found with pornographic material that was not his property. Casos Pérez claimed that the videos came to his Hotmail account by way of the actions of a hacker.

However, at the time of the raid on his home, more than 300 videos recorded at that location were confiscated. The videos showed children having sex.

Casos Pérez was arrested and detained for six months. The police official in charge of the investigation said that Casos Pérez was a member of an international network dedicated to this illicit activity.

It was also announced that in November of 2010, members of the [child pornography] network met in the [Peruvian] city of Trujillo, and also held several meetings in Mexico.

Pedophile networks seek out their prey on the Internet

It is important to note that, despite the constant complaints of sexual harassment, pedophilia and rape, accessing pornographic sites at Internet shops [Internet café’s] remains an everyday activity.

A week ago the authorities verified that at least forty establishments, one in the district of Trujillo, operated clandestinely inside homes, because they do not have operating licenses.

In addition, computers for rent at these businesses do not have the necessary filters to prevent minors from entering pornographic sites where they can interact with pedophiles and rapists.

"Despite the closing of Internet access shops due to their failure to protect children, the owners reopen their businesses in a clandestine manner, endangering the integrity of the minors who come to these locations in search of pornography,” said the authorities.

Diario La Primera

May 20, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Kentucky, USA

Advocate: Human Trafficking A Growing Crime In Kentucky

Victim: 'Most Of These Girls End Up Dead'

Louisville - Human trafficking hit close to home after a multi-state investigation led the FBI and police to two houses in Louisville, and one local group that helps victims of human trafficking said that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scope of the problem.

According to the Kentucky Rescue & Restore Project, the first, and perhaps most staggering fact, is that there are more human slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. Staggering fact No. 2: It's happening in Louisville.

"Most of these girls end up dead," said Theresa Flores. "They either die in it or commit suicide."

Flores is a survivor of human trafficking. She tours the country telling her story.

At 15, she was drugged and raped by a boy who went to her church and school in Detroit.

"A few days later, he came to me and he had an envelope full of pictures, and he said my cousins were there and they were taking pictures and they have a plan," Flores said. "They said, 'You're going to earn these pictures back, or else.'"

Flores said she was blackmailed and forced to sneak out of her home nearly every night for two years.

"I was delivered to middle-class homes, taken down stairs to these men-only areas where there was a bedroom," she said. "I was basically locked away. And I would sit there and wait for man after man after man all night long."

Flores said that she was not a prostitute, rather a victim forced into a multibillion-dollar industry.

Human trafficking is the second-largest international crime, second only to drug trafficking, according to the Kentucky Rescue & Restore Project. But officials said it's the fastest-growing international crime.

Marissa Castellanos works with Catholic Charities in Louisville...

"Castellanos pointed to a case from August 2010. Arelis Bellorosa was arrested in Clark County, Ind., and charged with prostitution.

Bellarosa is originally from the Dominican Republic, but took a Greyhound bus from her home in Atlanta to Clark County to find work.

Her would-be employer, according to police reports, was Yosmaris Lopez.

Police labeled Lopez a female pimp and charged her with promoting prostitution.

"They didn't pursue any human trafficking charges, because they said for whatever reason, (Bellarosa) was willing. And the idea that she came here from another state, with the belief that she was going to get some sort of job that was never given to her, and she was forced into prostitution, she was told she would be prostituting, that doesn't leave any room for choice," Castellanos said. "How does that not fit the definition of trafficking, where there were lies and deceptions to get her to come here where she'd be more vulnerable, and then she doesn't have the freedom to leave?"

The charges against both women are still pending in Clark County.

Lopez was a no-show for a court date six months ago and is nowhere to be found.

There's a warrant out for her arrest.

Castellanos said Bellarosa was likely a victim, not a prostitute.

"It's happening in the obvious places, in our neighborhoods, the strip clubs where girls are being forced to strip and prostitute," said Castellanos.

Castellanos also said it's happening in some ethnic spas.

"They're being made to service anywhere between 10 to 35 men a day. They're made to sleep oftentimes in the same bed they're made to work in all day. That's where they're made to sleep at night. Who would choose that for themselves?" said Castellanos...

WLKY

May 16, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Nicaragua

Assistant prosecutor Karen Beteta

Fiscalía tras pequeña red que prostituye niñas

En el Juzgado Tercero Local de Audiencia de Managua se iniciará hoy un proceso legal contra dos mujeres por el delito de trata de personas y otro en contra de un hombre por violación de dos menores, quienes fueron acusados por el Ministerio Público. Se trata de una pequeña red que recluta niñas con el fin de prostituirlas.

Karen Beteta, fiscal auxiliar de la Unidad Contra el Crimen Organizado del Ministerio Público, presentó ayer la acusación en los juzgados de Nejapa, en donde se celebrará la audiencia preliminar en contra de Reina Ivania Martínez Zamora de 40 años, y a su cónyuge, Darling Ráudez Rivera, de 18, quienes explotaban sexualmente a las pequeñas de 11 y 13 años, respectivamente.

También será procesado el ciudadano José Santos González, de 36 años, quien fue uno de los tantos hombres que tuvo relaciones sexuales con las niñas.

Las mujeres son pareja entre ellas, y el señor vende queso en el mercado Iván Montenegro, en cuyo lugar las acusadas le buscaban pareja a las niñas para que tuvieran sexo en uno de los cuartos que ellas tenían cerca de las inmediaciones de ese centro de compras.

La fiscal comentó que las procesadas conocían de vista a las niñas, porque éstas trabajaban en el Iván Montenegro ayudando a cargar. Agregó que una de las mujeres invitó a las víctimas a comer, a lo que las adolescentes accedieron y la acompañaron...

Charges are brought against a small child sex trafficking network

The Third Local Hearings Court of [the capital city of] Managua today started a criminal case against two women who are accused of the crime of trafficking in persons, and also against a man who is accused in the rape of two children. The case involves a small network that recruited underage girls with the objective of prostituting them.

Karen Beteta, an assistant prosecutor in the Organized Crime Unit of the Attorney General’s office, presented charges against the suspects in the courts of Nejapa, where a preliminary hearing was held in the case against Reina Ivania Martínez Zamora, age 40, and her partner, Darling Ráudez Rivera, 18. The two are accused of of sexually exploiting an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old girl.

Jose Santos Gonzalez, age 36, who was one of the many men who had sex with girls, has also been criminally charged in the case.

The two female suspects are a couple that sells cheese at the Ivan Montenegro market. The used that location to solicit men, who had sex in several rooms that the accused maintained nearby.  

The prosecutor said that the accused knew the girls, who worked as laborers in the market. One of the women invited the victims to eat. The girls then agreed and accompanied her.

Prostituted

Later, the accused asked to girls to stay the night with them. They accepted. However, the next day the accused did not let them leave. The victims were locked inside, and they brought a man who had sex with them.

The girls were prostituted from April 29th until May 12th of 2011, when the two women were arrested.

"The girls received 50 Cordobas each as payment. The defendants negotiated the price with the client. The girls often didn’t know how much was actually being paid for them," explained Beteta.

These girls come from extremely poor families. One of them has five siblings and could not attend school, so she had to work at the market. In the case of the other victim, she only has her ill 80-year-old grandmother to support her. The grandmother was not able to adequately care for the girl.

Prosecutor Beteta said that her office has sufficient evidence to proceed with their prosecution against each of the three defendants.

Beteta, "We seek, first and foremost, protection for the victims. After that, we want the offenders receive the punishment they deserve, especially in regard to these types of crimes, in which people are sold as objects, and are trafficked and profited from."

El Nuevo Diario

May 16, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Mexico

We just got the first positive response from the authorities in a long time

Discussions has been dealing with the DIF [government social service agency] staff to get our paperwork in order to be a registered house, which will alleviate any future problems and allow us to do what we do best. Lead these victims to freedom and bring them to Christ. They told [us] today that the problems are over...

[we were also told] that no one would be hassling us further and that one of the bosses told them to get it done. Pretty amazing how it comes on the day when I had resigned my heart that we were done in Mexico...I prayed and prayed and for the first time felt at peace knowing we did what we could which wasn't much but God knows many lives changed.

Definitely not time to rejoice yet as all this does is get us to the point which we thought we were at a month ago but probably a good idea to give some thanks to the Lord and to these bosses who I believe dug deep into our work over the past years and came away impressed with what the Lord has done.

In the meantime we will continue to prepare for [the] Dominican [Republic] and if Mexico falls apart again we will focus all efforts there. If not we will plant there and keep [the western Mexican state of] Baja [California] as home base.

In Christ

Steven T. Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

May 18, 2011

Note: The Breaking Chains Ministry has worked tirelessly to rescue children and youth who are entrapped in sexual exploitation. Their work to-date has focused on Mexico (and especially in Tijuana and Acapulco). Mostly California-based Baptist missionaries, they have a unique perspective in regard to effective strategies, and they have documented the response of Government of Mexico to this crisis for a long period of time.

Breaking Chains Ministry plans to take their successful model to the Dominican Republic (one of the largest sources of sex trafficked women and children in the Americas), and across Latin America. - LL.


Added: May. 21, 2011

Mexico

Mexico City’s Attorney General, Miguel Ángel Mancera

PGJDF: 60% de víctimas de abuso sexual son menores

El procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera, afirmó que empezarán una campaña de prevención del delito para que los padres incrementen el cuidado en sus hijos en los diferentes ambientes donde se desarrolla.

En seis de cada 10 casos de violación y abuso sexual registrados en el Distrito Federal, la víctima es un menor de edad, mientras que el agresor es un familiar o persona conocida que actúa incluso desde el seno del hogar, dio a conocer la fiscal de Delitos Sexuales de la Procuraduría General de Justicia capitalina, Juana Camila Bautista.

“El perfil de los probables responsables, la vida que llevan que es falta de valores, falta de principios y bueno, muchas veces estos depredadores sexuales aprovechan la oportunidad.

“Recordemos que los delitos sexuales son de realización oculta y se les hace fácil que no habiendo gente o teniendo un paraje solitario o falta de iluminación por las noches o muy de madrugada, aprovechan?el momento y la víctima les parece vulnerable y fácil de atacar”, explicó.

“Sí tenemos una alza y lamentablemente sí tenemos algunos casos de menores de edad que en los años pasados no se habían presentado”, dijo la funcionaria en respuesta al incremento de 17.5 por ciento en el delito de?violación en el último bimestre del año.

“Este tipo de delitos avergüenza a la familia y lo que está ocurriendo es que no denunciaban y, por ser cifra negra, nosotros no teníamos conocimiento de ese tipo de delito”, agregó...

Mexico City prosecutors: Some 60% of victims of sexual abuse are minors

Mexico City’s Attorney General, Miguel Ángel Mancera, has announced that  he will start a crime prevention campaign to encourage parents to better insure the safety of their children in all of the environments that they interact with during their daily lives.

According to Juana Camila Bautista, the City’s prosecutor for sex crimes, some 60% of rape and sexual abuse cases that have been documented in Mexico City involve minor victims. The abuser is a relative or acquaintance who engages in these crimes even within the home.

"The profile of the suspects is someone who has a lack of values or principles. Often these sexual predators take advantage of an opportunity,” said Bautista.

"Remember that sex crimes are hidden. [Perpetrators] take advantage of isolated locations and a lack of illumination at night and in the early morning hours to exploit a moment in which the victim appears to be vulnerable,” added Bautista.

Bautista, commenting on the 17.5% increase in these types of  crimes during the last half of [2010] said, "These crimes are on the increase, and are rising beyond the levels that were recorded in past years.”

"These types of crimes shame the family. [Therefore] families are not reporting them. We have no figures on the numbers of [unreported] cases.

Prevention

Attorney General Mancera, said that he will start a crime prevention campaign to educate parents on how to increase the protection of their children in the different settings that they inhabit.

"The high number of these crimes occur at home. These cases do not involve a rapist on the street. I believe that the key in these cases involves resolution and prosecution," said Mancera.

Encouraging complaints

Children who submit a statement to the prosecutor’s office have a helper, called Bosty. Bosty and is a virtual character who was created by the Attorney General’s office to reassure child victims.

The other new "helpers" in the Attorney General’s office are special prosecutor’s for both crimes against children and adolescents, and for victims of sex crimes.

Prosecutors have created a room where a screen and microphones placed. Bosty shows-up on a screen, and interacts with the child so that the child feels comfortable discussing the crime without fear.

On the opposite side of the room, there will be a booth where prosecutors, psychologists, social workers and guardians observe. They later testify in regard to the child’s statement.

"Declarations obtained through the use of this method are valid, because the Penal Code says that the statements of children should be obtained without concern for formalities. This includes the use of scientific tools that help us to understand what the child wants to communicate," declared Mancera.

El Milenio

May 18, 2011

Note: The government of Mexico City (the Federal District) is a federated entity with powers similar to those of a state. - LL


Added: May. 21, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Sergio Lara

Daycare driver from Quincy charged with child rape

Boston - A Quincy man is being held without bail after being charged with raping a 5-year-old girl he drove to daycare and other offenses against three other children.

Sergio Lara, 53, of 78 Arnold St., Quincy, is also accused of sexually assaulting another girl and has been charged with other crimes involving two young boys. Lara drove the children to and from daycare. He owned a transportation company and drove a minivan on runs in East Boston, Revere and Chelsea.

Lara has been held without bail since March 2 when Revere police arrested him on a charge of raping a girl, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Following a two-month investigation, prosecutors added to the charges against Lara on Monday. He is also charged with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to minors and open and gross lewdness as a result of incidents involving two boys, Conley said.

Conley said Lara picked up the girl he is accused of raping from daycare on the afternoon of March 1. After driving other children home, he allegedly drove the girl to an undisclosed location and sexually assaulted her. Before taking the girl home, Lara allegedly told the girl not to tell anyone what happened and promised to buy her favorite candy the next day, Conley said.

The girl told her mother what happened. The mother took her to a hospital and called Revere police.

The next day, the mother of another 5-year-old girl who also rode with Lara in his minivan learned of the allegations and asked her daughter if anyone had touched her inappropriately, Conley said. “The girl responded that Lara had done so and that she didn't like it. That mother also reported the abuse to police,” Conley said.

During their investigation, police learned of two young brothers who rode in Lara’s minivan. Both told police that he had shown them pictures of naked women on his cell phone and that he had masturbated in front of them, Conley said.

Lara was arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court on the new charges. He is due back in court July 15.

The Patriot Ledger

May 17, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

California, USA

Man suspected of kidnapping Riverside girl may have other victims, police say

A 30-year-old man arrested in the kidnapping and brutal sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl had rented a room from the victim's family months ago and may be responsible for other attacks, Riverside police said Tuesday.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. He is being held on $1-million bail and has been placed on an immigration hold.

"This is a particularly brutal crime," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio G. Diaz. "We'd be very surprised, given what we know about sexual predators, that this was his first time out.... It's altogether possible that this individual left the victim for dead. Her injuries were that severe."

Police said DNA evidence found on the girl matched Guzman. Riverside police had taken Guzman into custody May 9 after spotting his truck, similar to one caught on video surveillance cameras near the crime scene, near a restaurant across from the Galleria at Tyler mall.

The girl was abducted from the family's second-story apartment about 11 p.m. May 7 while she and her two siblings were asleep. The kidnapper crept into the home through an unlocked window. She was found about two hours later in a residential neighborhood three miles from home, dazed and knocking on doors asking for help.

Her mother, a waitress, was at work at the time. The oldest sibling was watching the children, but had fallen asleep, police said.

Det. Roberta Hopewell, who led the investigation, said Guzman had rented a room from the victim's mother for two months and left in January. Investigators are trying to determine where he lived before then — and where he's been living since. They hope it leads to additional evidence and helps them determine whether there are more victims.

Hopewell said the girl, who recently was released from Loma Linda University Medical Center, said she does not remember who abducted her.

"We're very, very happy that we do have somebody in custody," Hopewell said. "Now, hopefully the victim will feel much safer, and the neighborhood will feel much safer."

The Los Angeles Times

May 18, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Oklahoma, USA

Mug shot of Esvin Lopez, 21

Father Helps Subdue Suspect In Bixby Lewd Molestation Arrest

Bixby - A lewd molestation suspect was booked into Tulsa County Jail early Wednesday after police say he walked in on a young girl using the bathroom at a public park.

Esvin Lopez, 21, was arrested on a felony complaint of lewd molestation. According to an arrest report, the child's father detained Lopez until police could make the arrest.

A minor child, whose age is not listed, was using the women's bathroom at Haikey Creek Park in Bixby at about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"The defendant walked in and stood in front of her while she had her pants down using the bathroom," the report states. "Defendant stood there speaking in Spanish for approximately 30 seconds or so. Her father walked in and grabbed the defendant and threw him down on the ground."

The arrest report goes on to say that the father admitted to punching Lopez. Lopez's friends came up and tried to separate the two men until police arrived.

A Spanish-speaking officer was called to the scene to question Lopez, but police say he declined to make any statements.

The arrest report notes that the "male" and "female" signs for the bathrooms are posted in English and Spanish.

Lopez, who police say works at El Tequila, was being held without bond for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

KOTV

May 18, 2011


Added: May. 21, 2011

Arizona, USA

Teen girl escapes alleged abduction attempt near school

Phoenix - A 14-year-old is girl is safe after fighting off a man who tried to grab her while she was walking to school Friday morning.

It happened just before 8 a.m. near 34th Avenue and Willetta.

Ray Ysleba lives in the area and says he sees all the kids walk every morning to school but this morning he saw something different.

“I see this white pick-up truck drive by here and I’ve never seen him around before,” says Ysleba.

Then came the police. “He told me there was a possible kidnapping and asked if I had seen anything. I said I’d seen a white pick-up truck,” says Ysleba.

Police say a Hispanic man, possibly in his 30s, seen driving an older model white Ford pick-up, attacked and tried at abduct a 14-year-old girl on her way to Isaac Middle School.

He grabbed her and tried to force her into the truck,” says Sgt. Tommy Thompson. “She scratched him and fought back. She became a wildcat and this guy decided this is not my victim today.”

The 14-year-old ran two blocks to school where the principal came to her aide.

“She was visibly upset as a normal 14-year-old would be,” says Principal Armando Chavez. “I said take a deep breath. Let's have some water and she was a trooper. We were able to get info to the police very quickly.”

Police say the girl showed signs of a physical struggle but otherwise was okay...

Investigators are asking anyone who may have information concerning this incident or knows the suspect or suspects to call the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

Catherine Holland & Kristine Harrington

AZFamily.com

May 20, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho

Against the misogyny, against the trafficking of women and children in Mexico

For 20 years, Mexican activist Lydia Cacho has been waging war on human trafficking in Mexico. In 1999 she launched CIAM Cancun (the Comprehensive Care Centre for Women), a shelter for battered women and children that has been threatened with closure due to lack of funding.

The organization was created in response to the sexual violence against women and children that is rife in Mexican culture. It's a refuge in a country where trafficking is seldom punished.

The perpetrators include the so-called arbiters of justice: local and state officials, policemen, and the army militia. She acknowledged that CIAM faced resistance from government agents when it opened and this trend has resurfaced.

"Some local donors have refused to help," she said in a letter to supporters that was shared with rabble.ca. "We think that since we have helped a lot of minors who were being trafficked -- and compromised some very delicate business interests -- they are punishing us or at least trying to."

CIAM has had difficulty weathering the economic storm like many not-for-profit agencies. In 2010 a few official donors suspended their support due to the financial downturn.

She has managed to pay the salaries of staff with her journalism work, but it's not a viable, long-term solution. But her biggest concern is that the victims will return to the begging and prostitution networks that enslaved them.

Ms. Cacho, 47, has articulated the afflictions of this oppressed constituency for two decades and has been repeatedly threatened for her outspokenness. In 1999 a man in a bus station bathroom brutally assaulted and raped her, but she did not pursue the case. "I did not want to be news," she said in a 2007 Washington Post article. "I just wanted to keep going."

She said that before the rape she had encouraged sexually abused victims to file police reports. Afterwards she realized that recovery was most important, but it is an ongoing process.

"Along with millions of Mexicans, every day I explore my ability to listen, to understand, to question, to be truthful, to be ethical," she said. "I develop ways to add insight and perspective to the coverage of human tragedy. I also fight -- as many of my colleagues do -- to stay alive."

She inherited her strength of character from her family. Her French grandmother opposed the Nazis during World War II in Europe and eventually migrated to Mexico. Her mother became a women's rights activist. She would tell her daughter that bearing witness made you bear responsibility -- it's a lesson that Cacho took to heart.

In 2005 she exposed child abuse and pornography rings in Cancun in her book Demonios del Eden (Demons of Eden) based on victim testimonies and a hidden-camera video of those responsible.

She implicated prominent politicians and a Puebla [millionaire] businessman, Kamel Nacif Borge, in the protection of Jean Succar Kuri, a [millionaire] Cancun hotel owner, who was alleged to be involved in one of the rings.

In late 2005 Nacif Borge sued her for defamation. State police arrested her in Quintana Roo and extradited her from state to state, reportedly threatening her with rape and murder for hours.

On Feb. 14, 2006, the Mexico City daily La Jornada revealed telephone conversations between Nacif Borge and Mario Marín, the governor of the state of Puebla. They discussed her imminent imprisonment and the possibility of having her beaten to force her silence. With this incriminating evidence, she was acquitted of all defamation charges in early 2007.

In April 2008, the Attorney General's Office issued arrest warrants for five public servants, including a minister and criminal justice officials, for her illegal detention. However, the investigation was closed two months later, because of insufficient evidence. Ms. Cacho alleges that her file was tampered with.

Indeed, Mexican authorities have struggled to address the rampant misogyny within their ranks. Although the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico has extensively documented abusive practices, it has failed to foster reforms. These delays have been costly for the victims and their families.

Despite the strong-arm tactics of her government, Ms. Cacho has chosen to stay and exercise the livelihood that has made her a target of intimidation and brutality.

"I find myself in the uncanny position of a heroine just for exercising -- with dignity -- my right to freedom and justice," she said.

Cara Waterfall

Rabble.ca

May 12, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

Journalist / activist Lydia Cacho is railroaded by Mexico's legal process for exposing child sexual exploitation networks and their ties to wealthy businessmen and corrupt politicians


Added: May. 15, 2011

Ecuador

A police officer stands guard at the closed Risitas CD store after a police  raid discovered the manufacture and sale of child porn

Photo: El Mercurio

Autoridades decomisan miles de discos de pornografía infantil

En un operativo sorpresa efectuado la tarde de ayer, las autoridades encontraron en el local de venta de discos Risitas, localizado en la calle Antonio Vega Muñoz y Hermano Miguel y en un departamento cercano miles de discos con contenido pornográfico infantil, además se halló ocho máquinas para reproducir masivamente las películas. Los propietarios y la persona encargada de copiarlos fueron detenidos.

El comercio fue clausurado definitivamente por el Intendente de Policía y el material fue confiscado y trasladado a la Policía Judicial y será utilizado como prueba en el proceso de indagación.

En un departamento ubicado a pocos metros del local se encontró videos y fotografías con adolescentes de 14 a 18 años. Los propietarios sobre el origen de las tomas e imágenes informaron a los uniformados que las trajeron desde la ciudad de Guayaquil...

Authorities seize thousands of compact discs containing child pornography

During a raid carried out yesterday afternoon [in the city of Cuenca], authorities discovered  thousands of compact discs containing child pornography, as well as eight CD mass reproduction machines in a retail store called Risitas [giggles], and in a nearby apartment. The store's owners and the person responsible for copying CDs were arrested.

The business was closed by the Superintendent of Police, and the CDs were confiscated.

In an apartment within walking distance of the store police found videos and photographs of adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 18. The owners told authorities that they had obtained the child pornography in Guayaquil [Ecuador’s largest city].

Galo Cruz, head of the DINAPEN [Ecuador’s National Specialized Police Directorate for Child and Adolescent Affairs] said that the raid was carried out to prevent the sexual exploitation of adolescents. The authorities hope to use such raids to put an end to the commercial sales of movies of child pornography.

Cruz explained that the owners were caught red handed in the act of reproducing and selling the videos to unscrupulous people.

The head of DINAPEN described the business as being a network that reproduced and distributed the videos to retailers in the [the city of Cuenca] and its surrounding counties.

Maldonado said he did not know of the existence of another location in the city that sold child porn.

Cruz noted that the reproduction of compact discs containing child pornography was an offense under the Penal Code punishable by 8 to 12 years in prison.

El Mercurio

Diario El Mercurio Cuenca - Ecuador

See also:

Added: May. 15, 2011

Ecuador

A police officer views child porn CD cases confiscated in the city of Cuenca

Photo: El Mercurio

Discos pornográficos contienen escenas de niños ecuatorianos

Los discos incautados permanecen con resguardo policial.

La tarde del jueves, miles de discos con contenido pornográfico infantil fueron confiscados de un local ubicado en la esquina de la calle Hermano Miguel y Antonio Vega Muñoz. En el operativo conjunto participaron agentes de la Dinapen, Intendencia y Fiscalía.

Pedro Maldonado, intendente de Policía expuso que tras observar las características de los menores que aparecen en las películas decomisadas se pudo constatar que se tratan de niños ecuatorianos. Agregó que en los videos aparecían menores de edad violadas, pero aclaró que por no entorpecer la indagación no se puede dar a conocer la zona donde se producían el material pornográfico.

Maldonado comentó que en este proceso de comercialización de discos porno están implicados tres personas que serán juzgadas por la autoridad, cuya identidad será dada a conocer luego de que la autoridad dictamine la orden de prisión preventiva...

Confiscated child pornographic discs contain scenes of Ecuadorian children

The city of Cuenca - On Thursday afternoon, thousands of discs containing child pornography were seized from a shop located [in Cuenca]. The raid was a joint operation involving agents from DINAPEN, the local police and the local prosecutor’s office.

Chief of Police Pedro Maldonado stated that after observing the characteristics of the children appearing in the seized films, it was determined that Ecuadorian children were being victimized. He said the videos showed minors being raped. Maldonado declined to discuss  further details of the CDs in order to protect the integrity of the investigation…

Maldonado added that three people had been arrested in the case. Their identities will be made public at a hearing to request their pre-trial detention.

Maldonado said that the raid was a major blow to child pornography distributors, and noted that such raids will continue to be carried out…

Diario El Mercurio Cuenca - Ecuador

May 14, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

Mexico

5 menores víctimas de trata de personas fueron rescatadas en Chiapas

Comitán.- La Fiscalía Especializada en Atención a Delitos Cometidos en Contra de Inmigrantes de la Procuraduría General de Justicia Estatal (PGJE) rescató a cinco menores de edad víctimas de trata de personas.

De acuerdo con un comunicado, las menores eran obligadas a prostituirse en diversos bares de la zona de tolerancia de los municipios de Frontera Comalapa y Villa Las Rosas.

Las jóvenes denunciaron haber sido contratadas como meseras; sin embargo, los encargados del negocio las forzaron a consumir bebidas alcohólicas y mantener relaciones sexuales con los clientes del lugar.

En un primer operativo, personal de la Fiscalía de Migrantes recató a una menor de 16 años de origen mexicano, quien desde hacía unas semanas laboraba en el bar “El Escorpión”, en el municipio de Villa las Rosas.

En el sitio fueron detenidos Antonio Cordero Cancino y Astrid Álvarez Álvarez, y luego puestos a disposición del Fiscal del Ministerio Público investigador con sede en la ciudad de Comitán...

Five minor victims of sex trafficking have been rescued in Chiapas state

The city of Comitán in Chiapas state - The Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Against Immigrants in the State Attorney General’s office (PGJE) has coordinated the rescue of five minor victims of human trafficking.

According to a press release, the children were forced into prostitution in various bars in the red light (prostitution tolerance) zones of the municipalities of Frontera Comalapa and Villa Las Rosas.

The girls reported having been hired to be waitresses, but the owners of the bars where they worked forced them to drink alcohol and have sex with customers.

In its first operation, staff of the Prosecutor for Crimes Against Migrants rescued a child under 16 years of Mexican origin, who had worked until several weeks ago in "The Scorpion" bar in the municipality of Villa las Rosas.

Both Cordero Antonio Cancino and Astrid Álvarez Álvarez were arrested.

In another raid, carried out in the border town of Sierra de Chiapas, two Honduran minors were rescued after having been  forced to work at La Pista bar in the town of Frontera Comalapa.

Bartender Julio Cesar Jimenez Mendez, who is accused of contacting the children and using threats to force them to work, was arrested.

At "La Soga" bar in the same town, police detained owner Lucila Gaspar Jeronimo, who was accused by two Guatemalan girls of having entrapped them.

According to a press release, Chiapas state anti-trafficking operations have resulted in the dismantling of 30 human trafficking rings and the rescue of dozens of victims.

Notimex

May 09, 2011 


Added: May. 15, 2011

Nicaragua

Agresiones hacia mujeres son generalizadas en Nicaragua

Las violaciones y los abusos sexuales en Nicaragua, la mayoría de niñas menores de 17 años, volvieron a ser en el 2010 “generalizados”, según denunció ayer Amnistía Internacional (AI), pero sin ofrecer cifras concretas.

En su informe anual sobre derechos humanos en el mundo, la organización no gubernamental expresó que los esfuerzos oficiales para mitigar la violencia sexual contra mujeres y niñas fueron ineficaces.

AI recordó que la ONU pidió en el 2010 a Nicaragua que adoptase medidas urgentes para erradicar ese tipo de violencia, pero el Gobierno “no puso en marcha ningún plan integrado de acción” al respecto, añadió el informe.

Además, la organización criticó que siguiera en vigor el pasado año la prohibición de todas las formas de aborto, pese a que cinco comités de la ONU, según AI, pidieron despenalizarlo y que se ponga “fin a esta grave violación de los derechos humanos de mujeres y niñas ” .

La ley no permitía ninguna excepción “ y se negó el derecho a un aborto sin riesgo y legal a las mujeres y niñas embarazadas como consecuencia de una violación o cuya salud corría peligro si continuaba el embarazo ” , insistió Amnistía.

Añadió que, pese a la “urgencia” de la situación y a haberse comprometido a hacerlo antes de mayo de 2009, la Corte Suprema de Justicia nicaraguense no resolvió un recurso sobre la constitucionalidad de la ley que prohibía todo aborto, incluida la modalidad terapéutica.

Sexual assaults against women are endemic in Nicaragua

According to a recently released report by Amnesty International (AI), rape and sexual abuse - mostly involving girl victims under the age of 17 - continued to be "widespread" in Nicaragua during the year 2010. AI did not provide specific figures.

In its annual report on human rights in the world, AI said that government efforts to mitigate sexual violence against women and girls were ineffective.

AI recalled that in 2010 the United Nations asked Nicaragua to take urgent measures to eradicate such violence, but the government "did not put in place any integrated plan of action,” the report said.

AI also criticized the fact that a ban all forms of abortion continued in force, despite the fact that five UN committees called for decriminalization, and asked for "an end to this gross violation of human rights women and girls."

The law does not allow any exception "and refused the right to a safe and legal abortion to women and girls who become pregnant as a result of rape, or whose health was put in danger if the pregnancy continued," said Amnesty…

La Nación

May 13, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Note:

On March 2, 1998, Nicaragua's current president, Daniel Ortega, was accused of repeated acts of child sexual assault by his stepdaughter, Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo. She held a press conference and released a 48 page report (we will provide a proper translation of this text at some point) detailing Ortega's sexual abuse of her. That abuse started at age 11, and continued into her 20's, says Narvaez Murillo.

Despite Narvaez Murillo's complaint, the Nicaraguan public re-elected Ortega to a second (but not sequential) term as president in 2006. Ortega's second election was also supported by Church prelates in exchange for his agreement to pass a complete ban on abortion. We do not take a position on abortion, but note that even a 9-year-old rape victim is expected by the authorities to carry a pregnancy to term in modern-day Nicaragua.

These realities are contributing factors to the ongoing crisis of sexual assault facing Nicaragua's women and girls.

We note that both the political left and the right have skeletons of sexual exploitation and misogyny in their closets. Daniel Ortega is the most visible of these on the left. In the case of Nicaragua, child sexual abuse was not viewed by the balance of the voters as being a determining factor in their choice for president. That reality is reflected in the politics of violence against women across the Latin America and Caribbean region.

That must change.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 15, 2011

See also:

An Ugly Family Affair

Charges of sexual abuse leveled against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega swirl atop a power struggle

Tim Padgett

Time Magazine

March 23, 1998

See also:

Case 12,230: Zoilamérica Narváez vs. the Nicaraguan State

On March 4, 2002, Nicaragua’s new government accepted an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights commendation to reach a "friendly agreement" with Zoilamérica Narváez. It was tacit admission that the state had indeed violated her rights by denying her access to justice. That the commission admitted her suit, heard her testimony and proposed such a settlement was in turn tacit acceptance of the truth of her accusations. Zoilamérica made the following declaration just before going to Washington to testify before the commission...

...My case demonstrated how the Nicaraguan political class and most of society has learned to coexist with a sexual offender. This degree of not only political but also social impunity has set a seriously negative precedent. Unfortunately we have grown used to expecting very little from our leaders, which is why I don’t believe that those who voted for Daniel Ortega in the past elections necessarily don’t believe me or reject my arguments. I believe they were pushed to the point of believing that sexual abuse is less important than corruption and felt it was not such a serious problem for a sexual offender to end up as President of the Republic...

Zoilamérica Narváez

See also:

El testimonio de Zoilamérica Narváez

(The testimony of Zoilamérica Narváez)

Zoilamérica Narváez

See also:

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

Wikipedia page on Daniel Ortega

In 1998, Daniel Ortega's adopted stepdaughter Zoilamérica Narváez released a 48-page report describing her allegations that Ortega had systematically sexually abused her from 1979, when she was 11, until 1990. Ortega and his wife Murillo denied the allegations. The case could not proceed in Nicaraguan courts because Ortega had immunity to prosecution as a member of parliament, and the five-year statute of limitations for sexual abuse and rape charges was judged to have been exceeded. Narváez took a complaint to the Inter American Human Rights Commission, which was ruled admissible on 15 October 2001. On 4 March 2002 the Nicaraguan government accepted the Commission's recommendation of a friendly settlement. As of 2006 Ortega continues to deny the allegations, but Narváez has not withdrawn them.

Wikipedia.org

See also:

Nicaraguan Vote for Ortega Would Send Wrong Message on Child Abuse

Geneva - UN Watch today expressed concern that an individual credibly accused of incest and child abuse is a candidate in this Sunday's ballot for Nicaragua's next president. The Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization said that the election of former president Daniel Ortega - whose own colleagues substantiated accusations that he sexually abused his stepdaughter when she was a child - could send a negative message and prejudice international efforts to protect children. UN Watch is part of a coalition of non-governmental organizations that has been outspoken at the UN Human Rights Council against the sexual exploitation of children.

In 1998, at the age of thirty, Zoilamérica Narvaez publicly revealed her story of sustained sexual molestation, abuse and rape by her stepfather, starting when she was only eleven. "Veteran Sandinistas... said they knew about Ortega's abuse of her all along," reported the New York Times (August 23, 1998), while Alejandro Bendana, Ortega's former envoy to the UN who married Narvaez in 1990, publicly confessed his shame in failing to confront the continued abuse by his boss. Time Magazine (March 23, 1998)...

UNWatch

Nov. 02, 2006

See also:

Derecha Avanza en America Latina, Bajo el Discurso de los Dderechos Humanos

Political Right Advances its Agenda in Latin America Using the Progressive Language of Human Rights

...It was in 2003 when Rosa, age 9, worked with her immigrant parents in Costa Rica on a coffee plantation. A 28-year-old man raped her. She became pregnant as a result of the rape.

Rosa was evaluated by two hospitals in Costa Rica, where doctors warned of the complications that would arise from continuing with her then 4 months of pregnancy. However, despite seeking help from the Nicaraguan authorities to return Rosa to her country to perform the therapeutic abortion that Rosa was entitled to, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health refused the request. The government required that Rosa carry the pregnancy to term.

Finally after a long conflict between government, pro-life, feminist and human rights groups, Rosa was provided with a therapeutic abortion.

Since then, the group of feminists who fought for the right of this girl to have an abortion has faced  an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office...

...Some [advocates] have continued to receive anonymous telephone threats. The callers say, "we hear you on TV," or “we know where your son is studying,” or "we know where you live,” or “remember that you are being persecuted," and that sort of thing...

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

July 27, 2009

See also:

Added: July 29, 2009

Nicaragua

Prohibición de ILE Deriva en Muerte, Dice Informe de AI

Abortion Prohibition Results in Deaths, Says Amnesty International

Government authorities refused to meet with Amnesty about the issue

Amnesty International reported today that in Nicaragua, underage girls were the victims in more than 50% of rape cases reported during 2008. Some 1,247 underage girls were victims of rape or incest, of whom 16% became pregnant. Eighty seven percent of victims who became pregnant due to rape or incest were between the ages of 10 and 14...

[See more detail on this issue in English in the below article.]

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

July 27, 2009

See also:

Beyond Machismo: A Cuban Case Study

[On the sexist dynamics of both left and right politics in Cuba]

...Carlos Franqui, director of Radio Rebelde and one of Castro's twelve disciples who came down from the mountain in 1959 to serve as editor of the newspaper Revolución, describes how machismo affects politics. He wrote:

[The politics of gang warfare in the mid-1940's is] disguised as revolutionary politics. Actually, it was a collective exercise in machismo, which is its own ideology. Machismo creates its own way of life, one in which everything negative is feminine. As our Mexican friends Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes point out, the feminine is screwed beforehand... [Machismo's] negative hero is the [right wing] dictator (one of Batista's motto was "Batista is the Man"), and its positive hero is the [left wing] rebel...

Dr. Miguel De La Torre

Formerly of Hope College


Added: May. 15, 2011

Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio - USA / Mexico

Brothers Smuggled Prostitutes Into Indiana, Feds Say

Indianapolis Men Headed Racketeering Ring, Officials Claim

Indianapolis - Three brothers smuggled prostitutes into the U.S. from Mexico and Central America in an Indianapolis-based operation that went on for several years, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana said Wednesday.

Federal investigators busted the ring at the La Joya Apartments on the city's west side, where they said a couple of tenants used the complex as a front for an illegal business, 6News' Rafael Sanchez reported.

Prosecutors said an apartment in the 4500 block of Candletree Circle was among the apartments used in the multi-state prostitution ring. Neighbors said they had no clue what was going on right outside their doors.

"I had no idea. It's just shocking (that it's) so close to home. I have a little girl," said neighbor Kelly Pease.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said 13 [other] people were involved as managers of prostitution houses in several states, including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, shuffling the prostitutes between cities frequently.

Investigators said brothers Jose Louis Hernandez-Castilla, Norberto Hernandez-Castilla and Gregorio Hernandez-Castilla ran the prostitution ring and stayed under the radar by advertising their services in Spanish on business cards.

"The organization operated primarily in the Hispanic community and advertised its services by distributing business cards bearing advertisements and telephone numbers for auto repair or western wear clothing," Hogsett said in a news release.

The federal government claims the business cards were well-known in the Hispanic community as being contact numbers for arranging appointments with prostitutes. Typically, the cost for services ranged from $40 to $50, Hogsett said.

The prostitution houses were managed by Hector Elizalde-Hernandez, Javier Aguilera-Sanchez, Fredy Arnulfo Valle-Soto, Jorge Armando Rodriguez-Sanchez, Jose Mejia, Santos Nunez, and Elvin Herrara, officials said.

Authorities said the suspects were charged with racketeering.

None of the women working in the ring were underage, but one of the women was 8 months pregnant, investigators said. Investigators are still trying to figure out if the women involved were being forced to pay off an immigration debt or if they worked willingly.

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Indianapolis police, Marion County Sheriff's Department and other agencies were involved in the investigation.

Each suspect could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Indy Channel

May 05, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

Texas, USA

Sting leads to human trafficking arrest

8 additional suspects sought in case

Austin police arrested a two men Wednesday they said oversaw a human trafficking operation. Eight others are still being sought.

According to the arrest affidavit, a woman tipped off police saying she received a call from her niece who said she was being held against her will and needed $2,900 to be released.

Officers performed an undercover operation where they arrested two men, Alejandro-Cano Lara, 27, and Jose Alejandro Monsivais, 22. Police said the men arrived with the caller’s niece at 9318 N. Interstate 35.

Police believe Lara and Monsivais were holding the women against their will at 8800 N. I-35. Police said they were able to contact two other victims who confirmed they were part of a group brought to Austin from Laredo.

The two victims said while in Mexico two men who did not have money to pay Lara and Monsivais were beaten with two by fours. The pair told them if they didn’t have money the same fate would befall them.

The victims said that once they arrived in Austin, Lara and Monsivais told the group if they didn’t pay the money they were going to be taken back to Mexico and turned over to the Zetas, a Mexican cartel, to be killed. Lara and Monsivais then said their families would be harmed and killed as well, the affidavit said.

Police issued a search warrant at 1102-A Ash Cove which led police to information on eight other suspects believed to be involved in the human trafficking operation including: Guilleromo Herrera Rodriguez, Israel Gaitin Quirino, Emmanuel G. Guirino, Edgar Corzo Aguilar, Ricardo Coronado and Joel Perez Morales.

KXAN

May 12, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

Tennessee, USA / Mexico

Sheriff says human trafficking network supplied Mexican women for brothels in Morristown, Johnson City, Knoxville and Nashville

The Morristown Citizen Tribune is reporting that a Latino-run brothel on Springvale Road was the head of an investigative trail that led to an alleged sophisticated human-trafficking network that victimized young women from Mexico, Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin announced Friday.

Jarnagin says the Mexican women were shuttled on a frequent basis between brothels in Morristown, Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville and Louisville, Ky. to prevent them from establishing ties to the community or formulating escape plans.

Frequently, Jarnagin says, Mexican human-trafficking victims remain with perpetrators because of threats to themselves or their families in Mexico.

The sheriff declined to specifically comment about whether the menacing conditions existed at the Springvale Road bordello allegedly operated with the assistance of Rubio Trinidad Narciso, Rosa Garcia Menendez and Raymundo Sanchez Torres.

Times Nws

May 09, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

Kentucky, USA / Mexico

Obdulio C. Morales and Esthela Silfa Vasquez

Alleged brothels busted in Louisville neighborhoods

A federal grand jury has indicted nine people, including two in Louisville, on charges of operating a prostitution and brothel network.

The U.S. attorney's office says the network involves women who are illegal immigrants from Mexico. Once here, investigators say they were forced to become sex slaves.

The 15 page indictment says the network operated in Louisville and several Tennessee cities. Investigators say the nine defendants worked together moving the women from one city to another every week for more than four years. Undercover detectives busted the first brothel last week near Knoxville.

Obdulio C. Morales and Esthela Silfa Vasquez, both of Louisville, are two of the defendants named in the indictment.

Neighbors in Newburg and Jeffersontown told WAVE 3 they are shocked and disgusted.

U.S. Attorney William Killian said the suspects could spend up to 20 years in prison.

"Human trafficking is an ever-increasing problem. These charges show the vigilance and ability of the local, state and federal agencies to detect this conduct," Killian said in a statement.

Jon Chrisos

WAVE News

May 10, 2011


Added: May. 15, 2011

The United States / Mexico

En los últimos dos años, México ha repatriado a 39 mil niños de EU

Durante la puesta en marcha del fideicomiso para el programa “Fortalecimiento de niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes y repatriados no acompañados”, la presidente del DIF Nacional, Margarita Zavala, reveló que en los dos últimos años repatriaron de los Estados Unidos a más de 39 mil niños mexicanos, de entre 8 y 10 años de edad, que iban solos en su cruce al vecino país.

Lo anterior fue declarado durante la inauguración de la nueva biblioteca del bachillerato “Emiliano Zapata”, en la comunidad rural de San Mateo Ozolco, en el municipio de San Andrés Calpan, al pie del volcán Popocatépetl.

Se trató de la primera acción de dicho fideicomiso, producto de la alianza entre la organización internacional Save the children México, el DIF Nacional y el banco HSBC.

La esposa del presidente Felipe Calderón también colocó la primera piedra para la construcción de un aula, un salón de usos múltiples y una cancha deportiva en el mismo bachillerato. El proyecto tendrá una inversión de 2 millones de pesos, pero aún se desconoce cuándo comenzará a realizarse.

De lejos, los campesinos de Ozocol observaron aislados la movilización de autos y el despliegue de decenas de militares, vestidos de civiles, que forman parte de la guardia presidencial de Margarita Zavala, pues al acto sólo fueron invitados las autoridades locales y los alumnos de la preparatoria.

Zavala, quien permaneció alrededor de una hora en la comunidad, estuvo acompañada en todo momento por Martha Erika Alonso, presidente del Sistema Estatal DIF en Puebla; Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, director ejecutivo de Relaciones Institucionales y Comunicación Corporativa de HSBC México, y Araceli Borja, de Save the children México, entre otras personalidades.

En su discurso, dijo que al gobierno federal le preocupa la migración de los menores, “porque estamos convencidos de que los jóvenes son lo mejor que tiene este país, para salir adelante”.

De ahí, la presidente del DIF Nacional destacó la importancia de trabajar en la creación del programa “Fortalecimiento de niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes y repatriados no acompañados”, con el acondicionamiento de secundarias y preparatorias, el otorgamiento de becas y otras oportunidades para frenar que los jóvenes mexicanos dejen el estudio a sus familias y comunidades, por ir detrás del “sueño americano”...

The U.S. has repatriated 39,000 unaccompanied migrant children to Mexico during the past two years

During an event held to introduce the partnership The Strengthening of Migrant and Returnee Boys, Girls and Adolescents, Mexico’s First Lady Margarita Zavala, who is president of the national social services agency DIF (Integral Family Development), declared that during the past two years, the United States has repatriated more than 39,000 Mexican children between the ages of 8 and 10, who had crossed the international border unaccompanied into the U.S.

The First Lady discussed the issue during the opening of the new "Emiliano Zapata" school library in the rural community of San Mateo Ozolco, in the municipality of San Andres Calpan, at the foot of the volcano Popocatepetl.

It was the first action of the partnership, which involves a collaboration between Save the Children Mexico, the National DIF and the bank HSBC…

The First Lady, who spent about an hour in the community, was accompanied by Martha Erika Alonso, president of the Puebla state DIF, Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations of HSBC Mexico and Araceli Borja of Save the Children Mexico, among others.

During her speech, the First Lady said that the federal government is concerned about the migration of minors, "because we are convinced that young people are the best hope for the development of our nation."

The First Lady also stressed the importance of working to create this program to assist unaccompanied child and youth migrants and returnees, who will be provided with support from middle and high schools, scholarships and other opportunities to encourage them to not abandon their studies to chase the “American Dream.”

"We want to keep our children out of harm’s way. We both want and need them here,” said the First Lady.

In Ozolco, Margarita Zavala also pledged to work on community health, transportation and supporting young people who wish to study in the Puebla state capital city of Puebla.

At the end of her talk, the First Lady mentioned that shelters and assistance will be set-up at locations on both the nation’s northern border with the U.S. and its southern border with Guatemala. Children and youth will be accompanied back to their communities of origin.

HSBC’s Enrique de la Madrid Cordero said that children are the most fragile sector of the phenomenon of migration, as they are at risk of becoming victims of organized crime, [including] their use as decoys to distract the U.S. Border Patrol. They are also kidnapped, raped and otherwise abused.

The program proposes to address the issue through working with the DIF to support a dignified repatriation process, using shelters and centers, and by supporting the communities that children and youth migrate from, to ensure that fewer children and adolescents find themselves forced to migrate. Youth who have reached the age of majority will also be helped.

De la Madrid Cordero admitted that the United States remains a magnet for many, because Americans receive four times more [in income] per capita than we do.

We want to make migration a choice, not a forced departure, and to achieve that we need to improve conditions and opportunities for all, he concluded.

Yadira Llaven

La Jornada de Oriente - Puebla

May 13, 2011

See also:

Added: May. 15, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Law to protect children immigrating through Mexico alone, “not doing enough” say advocates

The Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 was designed to help vulnerable Mexican children sent across the U.S.-Mexico border alone, but advocates on both sides of the border say the law is not being implemented well.

The two-year-old law calls for Mexican children who cross the border by themselves to be returned to their country only after officers make sure they are not human trafficking victims, cannot claim asylum, or once the child volunteers to return home rather than be detained in a shelter.

Before the law, many were worried that the children were being returned to Mexico without being properly questioned about the circumstances of their travel, which many refer to as a “revolving door.”

Central American children and those from other countries are usually sent to shelters since their countries do not border the U.S.

David Nachman, an attorney with DLA Piper told the Associated Press, “These children are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. They have traveled long distances for purposes of trafficking, many of them will be trafficked en route …” Adding, that “the revolving door that had so long existed at the border for these vulnerable children is still spinning today.”

In the last two years, about 30,000 to 32,000 Mexican children were caught crossing the border.

The report from which these numbers were taken is from a report from Appleseed and Mexican Appleseed, groups that are made up of more than 16 groups in the U.S. and Mexico.

Advocates point out that the form used when questioning the children does not clearly explain that the children will be detained at a shelter for children, and not at a jail or immigration detention facility.

The report criticizes Mexican officials who they claim are too quick to begin the return process for the children, and who they also say don’t take the time to question the children about possible abuse and/or their reason for traveling alone.

“Pause and think about what it takes for a 15-, a 16-, a 17-year-old kid to decide to leave home and travel over 1,000 miles through unknown territory and to cross a hostile border,” Nachman said. “You know that kid isn’t doing it lightly and in some cases at least is running away from very difficult circumstances within the home and within the community.”

Appleseed wrote the following:

Among Appleseed’s primary recommendations is for DHS to give the responsibility for screening unaccompanied minors to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which already handles asylum applications for all unaccompanied children and has experience in handling child welfare matters.

Steven Schulman, Akin Gump’s Pro Bono Partner who helped lead the pro bono team working on the project, spoke about what the completion of “Children at the Border” means to him. “I’m very pleased that we can share our findings in this report,” he said. “But the hard work is ahead of us. We must succeed in advocating for the reforms so that these vulnerable children get the protections from abuse and being targeted by drug dealers, coyotes and operators of prostitution rings that Congress intended when it passed the TVPRA.”

Hispanically Speaking News

April 29, 2011

See also:

Added July 5, 2008

Mexico 

En desventaja, niños mexicanos indocumentados

Mexico's Undocumented Migrant Children are at a Disadvantage for Refugee Benefits

Thousands of Children Cross Alone into the U.S. Each Year to Escape Child Sex Trafficking Networks

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

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

This is the reality facing children at risk, as described by attorney Christopher Nugent. For many years, Nugent, of the law firm Holland and Knight, has represented Mexican and Central American children and adults with immigration problems. His work has been pro bono.

The Border Patrol treats unaccompanied Central American children differently from Mexican children arrested as undocumented migrants. They are held for 72 hours before a decision is made to deport them. They are taken to a juvenile detention center where they are given access to lawyers. Nugent estimates that approximately 20,000 Central American children each year cross into the United States...

"There are many Mexican children who qualify to receive asylum… most minors are between 13 and 17 years, but are also 10-year-olds who migrate alone" said Nugent, who regretted the fact that these Mexican children are not given the option to talk with lawyers or with the Mexican consulate.

...Thousands of Mexican and Central American children flee northward into the U.S. each year to escape child prostitution...

Nugent explained how in Mexico there exists terrible child trafficking in the area of Acapulco, Guerrero, and that many now call this region "the new Bangkok" of child sex tourism. Nugent also emphasized that Tijuana [on the U.S. border with San Diego County] has also become an zone controlled by powerful child prostitution networks. Many children [in prostitution] from Tijuana are trying to flee to San Diego.

According to Nugent 70 percent of children who migrate and come to the Office of Refugees in the United States have suffered some sort of trauma from violence or sexual exploitation...

[Expanded Translation]

Georgina Olson

Excélsior

July 3, 2008

 


Added: May. 12, 2011

Mexico

Congresswoman Rosi Orozco

One woman's fight to end human trafficking in Mexico

Congresswoman Rosi Orozco: 'I'll never stop. We have a mission to complete.'

Rosi Orozco is in tears, and it’s not for the first time today. It’s unusual to see a politician in such a raw emotional state, but Orozco’s known for the passion she brings to the fight against human trafficking in Mexico. “I can’t sleep knowing so many children are suffering so much. I can’t believe the suffering of these people, like slaves,” she says, her voice cracking.

She collects herself. “I’m sorry. The First Lady is always telling me, ‘Don’t cry in Congress,’ but I can’t help it,” she says, throwing up her hands. That she can be emotional doesn’t mean she can’t also be tough and determined.

I spend several days with Orozco at the Mexican Congress, the legislative branch of the government, in Mexico City. She strides around the building, always on a mission. Colleagues talk of getting emails from her late at night and early in the morning – they don’t know when she sleeps. “We’ve looked for the switch to turn Rosi off,” one assistant says, “but we couldn’t find it.”

The criminals who profit from human trafficking – many of them the same gangs behind Mexico’s drug trade, which has seen an estimated 37,000 people killed since 2006 – have a strong, committed opponent. This marks Orozco out as a target. She has an armed guard at all times and travels in an armored car. “I know this is dangerous,” she tells me. “I know my family is in danger. My family is protected, in a way. My daughter doesn’t live in Mexico. That’s the highest cost I’ve paid. We are all at risk, all the ones fighting against organized crime.”

The lawyers are smart, bad, devious. They ask: "Did you never see police?" Sometimes the police were clients

Does she worry about the risk? “No. Because when you know that your life has a purpose, you want to live that purpose with all your heart. I think somebody has to do it. I knew about the problem and I couldn’t sleep. I mean, if you have this in your heart, you cannot close your eyes and sleep if you don’t do anything.”

Orozco, who is 50, was born in Jardines Del Pedrigal in the south of Mexico City. “My parents were generous people,” she recalls. “In my house, I saw my father and mother would do anything for other people. That helped me see that all human beings are very important.”

Her eyes were opened to Mexico’s trafficking problem in 2005 by a film she saw in Washington DC at a Concerned Women For America event. “I didn’t know about it until that movie. I cried the whole week.” She worked with various non-governmental organizations and charities, including Camino A Casa, a safe house for trafficking victims in Mexico City, before entering politics in 2009. She’s now a congresswoman with Felipe Calderon’s ruling government, the centre-right PAN (National Action Party), and president of the special commission against trafficking. Her husband, Alejandro Orozco Rubio, is also a politician. They have three children. Last year, they adopted Betty, a former trafficking victim. Orozco cries again as she proudly discusses the changes in Betty’s life. “She’s already working in a good job at a hotel. She’s won a big prize being the best person in her job.”

The fight against trafficking, Orozco tells me, is her sole reason for being in politics. “I didn’t come here because of politics. I came here for this problem.”

Mexico is one of the world’s hot spots for trafficking. Boys are trafficked but 85% of victims are girls. They are exploited for labour or sex. Former prostitutes I meet reported having sex with 20-40 men a day, charging 160-180 pesos (£8-10) for sex, though they rarely got to see any of the money; most, if not all, goes to their pimps.

The girls come from every part of the country, some kidnapped, some sold by parents – which is illegal but still practised in some parts of Mexico – as forced wives or servants, many lured away from home by false promises of jobs or seduced by pimps posing as boyfriends and future husbands who then force the girls into prostitution. The victims come from outside Mexico too – it is a transit country with emigrants from Central and South America travelling to the United States, Canada or Europe. Child sex tourism is also growing in Mexico, especially in tourist areas such as Cancun, Acapulco and Tijuana.

The trade is closely tied with the country’s infamous drug cartels or narcos, which the Calderon government is fighting, though human traffic makes far fewer headlines than the “war on drugs”. Huge international organised crime networks are at work too, with human trafficking one of the most profitable means of illegal income around the world. Mexico also has serious problems with corruption, including police, judges and politicians. Campaigners say the country has inadequate laws to tackle human trafficking.

Poverty in Mexico helps sustain the trade. As with drugs, the money that can be made selling and exploiting women has a powerful draw in a poor country. While a gram of cocaine can only be sold once, a girl can be sold again and again. One girl might make her pimp 200,000 or 300,000 pesos (£10,000-16,000) a month. Like the narcos, this money can make being a trafficker or a pimp an attractive career choice.

“It’s cultural,” one local man tells me. “If you ask small kids, ‘What do you want to be when you’re older?’ they say, ‘I want to be a pimp.’ Why? Because they have girls, guns, money, fancy cars and can get a house like a castle.”

There’s also a social problem with how prostitutes are perceived in Mexico. Some men claim the girls enjoy it, and prostitutes are used as a social convenience. “There are a lot of boys who, when they’re 14 or 15 years old, their father takes them to a prostitute or bordello to learn sex,” Orozco explains. “Culturally we have to start changing the minds of a lot of men who are really like animals.”

Victims I talk to also say many older clients want to sleep with young girls. It’s clear that with the horrifically young ages of the girls – mostly children, not adults –the problem in Mexico is not just of prostitution or trafficking but a prevalence of unacknowledged pedophilia. The main thing Orozco is fighting for is a new national law on human trafficking which will bring all Mexican states under the same rules for combating, preventing and punishing traffickers. It will give more powers to police and judges to target and convict pimps, traffickers and men who use prostitutes; few criminals are punished under the current laws. The women and girls would also receive anonymity and protection, and Orozco hopes there will be funding for rehabilitation projects for the victims.

The legislation is written and has passed through congress once, but seems to have stalled. Orozco and the PAN are in power until next year, so passing the law soon is a priority. She’s hopeful it will pass this year but there are powerful people fighting it.

“There is a big war to pass this law,” she says. “There are people everywhere who are linked to human trafficking and sometimes they are political people. But there are many more people who want to finish this problem. A lot of Mexicans are sick and tired of this, a lot of politicians. We will fight this fight with all our hearts, all our minds and all our strength.”

Araceli Vazquez, from the opposing PRD party, is working with Orozco to push the bill through. She’s critical of the president, though, saying Calderon hasn’t made trafficking a priority. “He has moved too slowly,” says Vazquez. “From 2007, he didn’t really do much; four years have passed and they took too long to address the problem. In Colombia, they changed the law on trafficking relatively fast. This is what we need.” The proof of Calderon’s commitment will be the passing of the new law during his presidency...

[Full article]

Herald Scotland

May 09, 2011


Added: May. 12, 2011

California, USA, Mexico

Conference to focus on human trafficking

...Law enforcement, international officials among featured speakers

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked internationally for the purposes of sexual slavery and indentured labor, according to the federal government. That statistic does not include thousands of others who are trafficked within a country's borders.

Recent cases involving dozens of girls and women in North County underscore the problem of international and domestic human trafficking, said Marisa Ugarte, director of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition in San Diego, which is sponsoring the conference. "This is a border region where organized crime is clearly involved in the trafficking of people, not just for prostitution, but for labor," Ugarte said.

Last month, authorities broke up a gang-run prostitution ring based in Oceanside involving about 30 girls, some as young as 13 years old. The victims were all American citizens but many of them were taken to different states by their pimps to work as prostitutes, authorities said. Police arrested 29 people in connection with the operation.

According to an indictment, the girls were recruited by members of the Oceanside Crips gang, advertised on the Internet and prostituted in about a dozen North County hotels and motels. Pimps reportedly used beatings, intimidation, false promises and drugs to manipulate the victims.

Last year, a Mexican man convicted of smuggling two women from Mexico to Vista to work as prostitutes in North County migrant camps was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison.

The conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, will feature speakers, including law enforcement and government officials from the U.S. and Latin America. The list of presenters includes sheriff's Sgt. Jason King, who heads the county's Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force; and Maria Suarez, a human trafficking victim. The focus of the conference is transportation and the methods used by traffickers to move their human cargo internationally, Ugarte said. Some smugglers are using fake businesses as fronts to acquire worker visas to bring people into the country, Ugarte said. "We are calling on authorities to look into this problem," she said.

The conference is primarily aimed at law enforcement agencies and nonprofit groups that provide aid to victims of human trafficking, she said. However, anyone interested in the problem is welcome to attend. Registration for the conference is $150 per person, organizers said. Groups of three or more can receive a 20 percent discount. The conference starts at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel, 1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego. For more information, call 619-336-0770 or visit www.bsccoalition.org. Call staff writer Edward Sifuentes at 760-740-3511.

Edward Sifuentes

North County Times (San Diego)

May 08, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico

Primera Dama Margarita Zavala, la titular del DIF, estuvo en San Luis Potosí.

Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala, who is head of the nation's DIF social service agency, announced the Secure Summer initiative in the city of San Luis Potosí .

Foto/Photo: Notimex

Crean plan para evitar la migración infantil

Incluye aspectos educativos, culturales y deportivos, detalla Margarita Zavala.

San Luis Potosí - La presidenta del DIF nacional, Margarita Zavala, anunció ayer la puesta en marcha del proyecto Verano seguro, con el cual se buscará evitar que niños y niñas migren hacia Estados Unidos.

En su visita al municipio de Rioverde, la esposa del presidente Felipe Calderón acudió al museo interactivo Colibrí, donde se llevó a cabo un taller y en el contexto de éste se dio a conocer el proyecto para evitar la migración infantil.

Zavala mencionó que este programa se aplicará en 14 entidades del país y su principal propósito es detener el fenómeno de la migración entre niños y adolecentes, quienes van solos en busca de sus padres, una problemática que se acentúa en época de vacaciones.

Se detalló que el programa Verano seguro está integrado por diferentes estrategias que van dirigidas a niños y adolecentes, que incluyen los ámbitos culturales, deportivos y educativos, para de esta manera evitar la migración de este sector de la población.

Después de este evento, la presidenta del DIF nacional estuvo presente en la unidad multidisciplinaria de la Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí y participó en el foro “Mitos y realidades de las drogas, de joven a joven”.

En este acto, frente a jóvenes de diferentes instituciones de Rioverde, dijo que las drogas son uno de los mayores problemas a los que se enfrenta no sólo México, sino todo el mundo.

Mexico initiates campaign to prevent child migration

The effort will Include educational, cultural and sports activities: First Lady Margarita Zavala

[The city of] San Luis Potosi - The president of Mexico’s national social services agency DIF [Integral Family Development], First lady Margarita Zavala, yesterday announced the launch of Project Safe Summer, which seeks to prevent Mexican children from migrating to the United States.

During her visit to the municipality of Rio Verde, the wife of President Felipe Calderón visited the Colibrí [Hummingbird] interactive museum, which held a workshop during which the project to prevent child migration was unveiled. 

The program will be implemented in 14 states. Its main purpose is to stop the phenomenon of migration among children and adolescents who travel alone in search of their parents. The problem is accentuated during the holiday season.

The Safe Summer program consists of different strategies aimed at children and teenagers, including cultural, sports and educational activities.

After the event, First Lady Zavala attended a multidisciplinary session at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi and participated in the forum "Myths and realities of drugs, youth to youth."

Notimex

May 05, 2011

See also:

Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Aumenta el número de niñas migrantes

En 2009 más de la mitad de la población infantil en México se encontraba en situación de pobreza patrimonial (62.2 por ciento), y uno de cada cuatro niñas y niños (28 por ciento) no tenía los ingresos suficientes para cubrir sus requerimientos alimenticios, según reportes de la oficina en México del Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia.

En ese año, de acuerdo con el INEGI, 30.9 millones de niñas y niños entre 0 y 14 años residían en el país, lo que significa que más de 19 millones de menores de edad vivían en pobreza patrimonial, es decir, sin un ingreso per cápita suficiente para satisfacer necesidades de vivienda, vestido, calzado y transporte.

En el caso de las niñas indígenas, estos problemas se agudizan, toda vez que persiste la triple discriminación por ser menor de edad, pertenecer a una etnia y ser pobre. Esta situación las deja en “mayor vulnerabilidad que a los niños”, advierte el organismo de la ONU.

En su investigación “Pobreza infantil en América Latina y el Caribe 2010”, la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe señala que de los 15.8 millones de niñas y niños que sobreviven en pobreza en la región, México concentra el 18 por ciento, es decir 2.8 millones de menores de edad en condiciones precarias.

“La mala nutrición, el rezago y el abandono escolar, la falta de expectativas y la discriminación que sufren por ser pobres, no sólo afectan sus derechos en el presente sino que los dejarán en los estratos más bajos de la escala social, haciendo que en la adultez reproduzcan la precariedad”, agrega la Cepal.

Huir de la pesadilla… y llegar a otra

Es por eso que el número de niñas y adolescentes que deciden migrar a EU va en aumento, afirma la organización civil Sin Fronteras. La agrupación especialista en el tema de migración explica que la pobreza en la que viven millones de familias en nuestro país es el detonante para que viajen a EU...

The number of girl migrants increases

According to a 2009 report by UNICEF, some 62.2 percent of Mexico’s children lived in conditions of family poverty at that time. Another 28 percent lived in families that did not have enough income to cover their food needs.

Also in 2009, the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported that 30.9 million children age 14 and under lived in Mexico. Therefore, 19 million of these minors live in poverty, that is, they live without sufficient income to meet their needs for housing, clothing, footwear, transportation and othe rneeds.

In the case of indigenous girls [30% of the population is indigenous], these problems are exacerbated, given that they face a triple discrimination for being a minor, belong to an ethnic group and being poor. This situation leaves them "more vulnerable than children," warns UNICEF.

In their research, "Child Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean 2010, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean notes that the 15.8 million children who survive in conditions of poverty in the region, Mexico accounts for 18 percent, or 2.8 million children who live in precarious conditions.

"Poor nutrition, backwardness, dropout rates, lack of expectations and the discrimination that accompanies their condition of poverty not only the rights of these children in the present, but leaves them in the lowest rungs on the social and economic ladder, leading to a precarious adulthood,” states a report by the The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA). 

Fleeing from one nightmare... only to land in another

Due to the above reasons, the number of children and adolescents who are migrating to the U.S. is increasing, says the non governmental organization Without Borders. The migrant rights group explained that the poverty which millions of Mexicans experience is the trigger that causes their migration to the United States.

The Network for Children's Rights in Mexico (REDIM) notes that poverty affects children's development and limits their access to health services, education and [access to law enforcement] protection. It also affects their healthy development and positions them in an unequal position compared to other populations.

REDIM added that these conditions cause children to seek out alternatives to their life conditions. This exposes them to experiences of violence and exploitation. One of those is migration.

Without Borders has reported that the majority of migrant children between 12 and 18 migrate together with their families. That fact does not protect them from becoming victims of abuse by the authorities, or from falling prey to human and drug traffickers or sexual exploiters.

They add that migrant children are malnourished, have no right to play, healthcare, housing and education, and are very vulnerable to child trafficking and labor exploitation.

The National Migration Institute (INM) reports that from January to September 2009 some 4,668 minors were repatriated from the United States to Mexico. Of that total, about 2,000 returned unaccompanied.

So far during 2011 about 13,000 undocumented Mexicans have been deported to Mexico at the Nuevo Laredo border crossing. Some 3,000 of these deportees were children. Nin hundred of these children were female, according to the International Organization for Migration (OIM) delegation in that city.

The Threat of Sexual Exploitation

Human rights organizations indicate that girls are the most affected by poverty because they are the first to be forced to leave school and enter the workforce at home or elsewhere.

The United Nations Population Fund concludes in its report -State of World Population 2006 - that in the past 50 years the number of women migrants has increased faster than numbers of male migrants. During 2005, almost half  of the [world’s] 191 million migrants were women.

According to the International Labor Organization, women now constitute more than half of global migration and amount to 70 to 80 percent of migration in some countries.

Teresa Ulloa, regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATWLAC), notes that it is difficult for girls to decide to migrate alone, and they therefore usually do so together with family members. Nonetheless, warned Ulloa, their gender makes them more vulnerable [to risks during their migration].

Girl migrants can fall into the hands of traffickers, exploiters and can be used as "mules" to transport drugs, explained Ulloa.

Ulloa added that many girls migrate against their will.  She cited the cases of victims who were brought to Mexico City under false pretenses by traffickers who offered them high-paying jobs, or those who were "seduced" by these child sexual exploitation networks.

Among the many risks facing migrant children are accidents (suffocation, dehydration, injury), becoming entrapped by criminal networks, being subjected to sexual or labor exploitation, institutional abuse suffered at the time of repatriation, or death during their migration and at U.S. border crossing points.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 30, 2011

See also:

Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Mexican minors crossing U.S. border at risk: study

Phoenix, Arizona - Thousands of unaccompanied children caught crossing illegally into the United States from Mexico are at risk of abuse despite a law passed in 2008 seeking to protect them, according to a study.

The report, "Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors," was released this week by Appleseed and Mexico Appleseed, which network 16 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico seeking to ensure universal access to the law.

The study looked at the implementation of a U.S. federal law to protect children from human trafficking and exploitation.

It said an estimated 15,000 unaccompanied minors cross the U.S. border each year from Mexico, many looking for work or trying to reunite with family members stateside, while others seek to escape violence, abuse, or neglect.

Under the law, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is required to interview each minor who crosses the border without a parent or guardian to ensure that they are not at risk from trafficking or exploitation, and can make an independent decision to return home, the study said.

But despite these safeguards, the study said children were routinely repatriated through a "revolving door" without adequate scrutiny into their circumstances by Customs and Border Protection officers, who anyway lacked special training in child welfare.

"This screening requires the agency to interview children to determine whether they have been trafficked, fear persecution, and can make an independent decision to return to Mexico," it said.

"CBP, however, is a law enforcement agency charged with detecting and apprehending undocumented aliens at the border; it has no child welfare expertise. CBP officers are ill-equipped to conduct the kind of child-centric interviewing required" by the law, it added.

In a statement, CBP said the Department of Homeland Security was "committed to upholding the law by ensuring a stringent screening process for unaccompanied alien children to help identify and protect victims of human trafficking."

"We work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure the integrity of this process and provide for the care and custody of these minors," it added.

The study was also critical of Mexico, which it said does not have uniform laws or policies governing the rights of migrating minors or the responsibilities of the agencies that assume their custody them after following repatriation.

The report drew on the pro bono contributions of a team of 32 lawyers and legal assistants, In 2009 and 2010, members of the team conducted site visits at 14 different locations in the United States and Mexico.

Tim Gaynor

Reuters

April 28, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz

Placer sexual no justifica explotación y trata de personas

El derecho al placer sexual es uno de los más importantes que tenemos los seres humanos, sin embargo, en el nombre de ese derecho no se puede justificar ningún tipo de explotación o trata de personas: Teresa Ulloa

El derecho al placer sexual es uno de los más importantes que tenemos los seres humanos, sin embargo, en el nombre de ese derecho no se puede justificar ningún tipo de explotación o trata de personas, señaló Teresa Ulloa, directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATW-LAC, por sus siglas en inglés).

Calificada por la experta como una de las expresiones más rancias del patriarcado, la explotación sexual de mujeres, niñas y niños no debe entenderse como un fenómeno justificable por garantizar el derecho a la libertad sexual de unos cuantos, pues “toda libertad está delimitada por la libertad de los demás, y obligar a otros a ejercer el trabajo sexual no se puede disculpar por ningún motivo”.

En el marco de actividades de la X Semana Cultural de la Diversidad Sexual que se lleva a cabo en esta ciudad, Teresa Ulloa subrayó que la “cosificación comercial del ser humano”, incluso cuando la persona lo hace sin estar secuestrada o sin ser explotada, es un problema que debe ser resuelto y abolido, no por cuestiones moralistas, sino porque siempre y de alguna manera, se entra en este negocio en contra de la voluntad.

“La abolición del trabajo sexual no implica perseguir a quien lo ejerce, sino darle los servicios que sean necesarios para que lo deje; sin embargo, lo que si se debe hacer es perseguir a quien explote, a quien trate con personas”.

Machismo, violencia familiar, abuso de poder, violación a derechos humanos y feminización de la pobreza; son algunos de los “comportamientos patriarcales” que dificultan la desaparición de la explotación sexual, una responsabilidad que de acuerdo con Ulloa, también recae en quienes consumen no sólo sexoservicio, sino también pornografía infantil o turismo sexual, además de la poca voluntad política para intervenir en esta situación.

Para la titular regional del CATW-LAC, la trata de personas con fines sexuales está relacionada con la falta de oportunidades, la pobreza y el desempleo, razón que explica porqué es un fenómeno muy recurrente en América Latina. Actualmente, Brasil y México se ubican en el primer y segundo lugar, respectivamente, en el mundo.

La ponencia de Teresa Ulloa tuvo lugar como parte de la mesa de trabajo “Explotación sexual comercial de niñas, niños y adolescentes, de la X Semana Cultural de la Diversidad Sexual que se realiza en el Ex Convento de San Francisco de esta ciudad.

Sexual pleasure does not justify exploitation and trafficking

The right to sexual pleasure is one of the most important that human beings have. However, it does not justify exploitation and trafficking in the name of that right, declared Teresa Ulloa, regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC).

Described by Ulloa as one of the most ancient expressions of patriarchy, the sexual exploitation of women and children should not be understood as a phenomenon that is justifiable in the context of ensuring the right to sexual freedom for a few. “Complete freedom is constrained by the [rights and] freedom of others. Forcing others to engage in sex work cannot be exused for any reason.”

Speaking at a round table discussion called The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, during the Tenth [annual] Cultural Week on Sexual Diversity, Ulloa emphasized that “the commercial commodification of human beings, even when the person finds themselves in this condition without having been kidnapped or exploited, is a problem that must be resolved and extinguished, not for moral reasons, but because one way or another, those who enter into this line of work do so against their own free will.

"The abolition of sex work does not involve chasing those who engage in it. It involves providing that person with the services that are necessary to allow them to leave that life. However, those who exploit the sex worker, and those who engage in trafficking, should be pursued."

Machismo, family violence, the abuse of power, the violation of human rights and the feminization of poverty are some of the "patriarchal behaviors" that hinder the disappearance of sexual exploitation, a responsibility which, according to Ulloa, also falls on those who consume no only sex work, but also child pornography and sex tourism. An additional factor is the lack of political will to intervene in this situation.

For Ulloa, trafficking in persons for sexual purposes is related to a lack of opportunities, poverty and unemployment. These are the reasons why [sex trafficking] is so common in Latin America. Currently, Brazil and Mexico are located in the first and second place, respectively, in [world statistics on sex trafficking].

Notiese.org

May 05, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico, Guatemala

70 Guatemalans missing in Mexico

Guatemala City - At least 70 Guatemalan migrants have been reported missing in Mexico, the Foreign Ministry said.

"We have received about 70 reports about people who supposedly disappeared in Mexican territory," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Furlan told reporters.

The majority of the cases involve people whose relatives last heard from them while they were passing through Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico where mass graves containing dozens of unidentified bodies have been found in the past few weeks, Furlan said.

The Guatemalan government sent Mexico information last week about 34 missing migrants feared among those killed and buried in the mass graves.

Only one Guatemalan migrant has been identified among those whose remains were found in the mass graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

The man's remains will be repatriated once Mexican investigators finish gathering evidence in the case, officials said.

Guatemalan officials have asked relatives of the missing migrants to provide DNA samples and requested fingerprints from Mexico in an effort to try to identify citizens whose remains might have been recovered from the mass graves.

Mexican investigators found 40 mass graves containing the remains of 183 people in Tamaulipas in the past few weeks.

The victims are believed to have been kidnapped and murdered by Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel.

Los Zetas has been blamed for several massacres in northern Mexico, including the killings last August of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside the city of San Fernando.

The cartel has been battling rivals in several states for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Los Zetas, in addition to trafficking drugs, is also involved in kidnappings, armed robberies and extortion rackets.

The flow of migrants has increased markedly in northeastern Mexico, especially Tamaulipas, since U.S. officials increased security along the border in the northwestern part of the country.

Last month, the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, Mexico's equivalent of an ombudsman's office, identified 71 cities in 16 of the country's 32 states that are considered dangerous for Mexican and foreign migrants headed to the United States.

"Kidnappings, abuse, extortion, robberies and sexual attacks on migrants have been documented" in the 71 cities, the CNDH said in a statement.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans and 400,000 Mexicans undertake the dangerous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

About 20,000 Central Americans were kidnapped by organized crime groups, which extorted money from them or forced them to join their gangs, the CNDH said in a report released last year

EFE

May 05, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico

Mexico City head of government Marcelo Ebrard (above - of the Institutional Revolutionary Party - PRI) and President Felipe Calderón are accused by the Mexican Sex Work Network of targeting those who choose sex work while failing to target child sex traffickers who commit their crimes in plain sight.

We note at the same time that Mexico City has one of the most active efforts in motion among Mexico's federated entities - to address human trafficking.

- LL

Policías nos extorsionan con la nueva ley de trata: prostitutas

Les piden cuotas permanentes que van desde 200 hasta 400 pesos diarios.

La ONG Brigada Callejera de Apoyo a la Mujer “Elisa Martínez” denunció que a partir de la reforma a la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, las trabajadores sexuales han sido extorsionadas por clientes, policías e incluso por el crimen organizado que exige una cuota para evitar que sean denunciadas.

Jaime Montejo, miembro de dicha ONG y vocero de la Red Mexicana de Trabajo Sexual, comentó que dicha reforma, que prohíbe cualquier publicidad, por cualquier medio de comunicación, asimismo anuncios, que “encuadren en alguna de las conductas del delito de trata”, provoca que una tarjeta de presentación con teléfono signifique pagar cuotas permanentes de entre 200 y 400 pesos.

De acuerdo con Montejo, “muchas trabajadoras sexuales solían dar a sus clientes tarjetas, enviar mensajes o distribuir una especie de anuncios para mantenerse en contacto”, pero con la reforma, algunos optaron por coludirse con policías corruptos para extorsionarlas...

Sex workers declare that policemen extort them due to the provisions of the newly reformed anti-trafficking law

Officers demand ongoing bribes ranging from 200 to 400 Mexican pesos per day.

The non governmental organization the Elisa Martínez Street Brigade for Women’s Assistance has reported that in the period following [a recent] reform of the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, sex workers have been extorted by customers, police and even organized crime, who demand regular bribes in exchange for not denouncing their activities.

Jaime Montejo, a member of the NGO and a spokesman for the Mexican Sex Work Network, said that the amendment, which prohibits any advertisement, by any means of communication, including [newspaper] ads that "fall within any of the acts of the crime of trafficking" has forced sex workers to pay extorted fees of between 200 and 400 pesos [per day to criminal groups] because their use of business cards may fall within the practices controlled by the reformed law.

According to Montejo, "many sex workers tended to give business cards to their customers, or use other forms of advertising to keep in touch.” But with the trafficking law reform, some have chosen to collude with corrupt police to extort these workers.

"We believe that this law has a humanitarian purpose, but in practice even sharing a cell phone number is a crime. The law is causing more corrupt acts on the part of police officers and government officials. Organized crime groups are manipulating this situation to force independent sex workers to work for pimps, said Montejo.

In addition, sex workers feel unprotected because just one false accusation without evidence is needed to cause a judge to issue an arrest warrant and later have the sex worker [convicted and] sentenced.

Montejo recalled when the Mexico City prosecutor’s office (PGJDF) carried out a "supposed rescue operation" to aid 28 prostitutes in early 2010. Seven of these victims said that they were the victim of sex trafficking networks or pimps. During the same raid, human rights activist Bulmara Vilchis was arrested. Vilchis died in unexplained circumstances this past weekend in the Santa Marta Acatitla penitentiary.

The Mexican Sex Work Network, which consists of 15,000 prostituted persons from seven states, believes that it is "hypocritical" that the federal and Mexico City governments engage in an "alleged fight against trafficking in persons" and then focus on persecuting men and women who engage in sex work voluntarily, rather than breaking-up the networks of criminals who kidnap and prostitute children in hotels and clubs that are known to everyone.

The strategy launched by [President] Felipe Calderon and Marcelo Ebrard "criminalizes an ancient craft, rather than promoting programs and creating jobs. In Mexico City’s Cuauhtémoc borough, for example, has allocated 200,000 Mexican Pesos so that 30 [trafficking victims] can learn hairdressing and the making of confections, so that they can work in something different. The reality is that they do not provide opportunities for high paying employment."

In addition, the federal government also has set out to eradicate prostitution "when they have not even established how they will eliminate the conditions that cause many women to engage in sex work, such as the lack of access to education, and unemployment."

In 2008 it was estimated that there were little more than a thousand likely minors sexually exploited along Mexico City’s streets. Now they are marketed behind walls...

This should be fought. The authorities should not pretend that each and every one of us who engage in sex work are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. When prostitution is found prisons now trying to "rescue" the sex workers, even though there are no programs to help them. Nor are there programs to help any of the involved adults.

Blanca Valadez

Milenio

May 05, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 16, 2011

Mexico

Tipificarán como delito anuncios que promuevan trata

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Torres

Organización Editorial Mexicana

April 07, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico

Consignan a 30 por trata de personas

Instalan el Comité Regional Contra Trata de Personas Puebla y Tlaxcala, con la presencia del titular de la CNDH, Raúl Plasencia

El presidente nacional de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), Raúl Plasencia Villanueva; el gobernador de Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas; y la secretaria de Gobierno de Tlaxcala,

Anabel Avalos; instalaron el Comité Regional Contra Trata de Personas Puebla y Tlaxcala.

A cuatro meses del gobierno de Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas se ha combatido el delito a trata de personas y han sido detenidas a 30 personas que ya fueron consignadas, informó durante la instalación del comité.

Durante las Décimas Jornadas Nacionales de Víctimas del Delito y Derechos Humanos, el Ejecutivo poblano indicó que la prioridad en su administración es acabar con la problemática que afecta principalmente a niños e indígenas.

Para minorar el problema indicó que tanto en el estado como en Tlaxcala se estarán realizando operativos en conjunto para que de esta manera se ataque la problemática que afecta a ambos estados.

Señaló que a cuatro meses de su gobierno se han realizado cuatro operativos, mediante los cuales se han identificado que el municipio de Tepeaca es más vulnerable en el tema de trata de personas.

Moreno Valle recordó que al inicio de su gestión mandó una iniciativa al Congreso local para darle autonomía a la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, por lo que exhortó a las personas a denunciar cualquier acto de corrupción y abatir el problema...

Thirty suspects are arrested and held for trial on human trafficking charges in Puebla state

The president of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Raul Plasencia Villanueva, the governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, and Secretary of Government of Tlaxcala, Anabel Avalos have installed a Regional Committee Against Trafficking for Puebla and Tlaxcala states.

During the committee’s inaugural event it was announced that four months after the administration of Puebla state governor Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas came into power, state authorities have arrested and held for trial 30 suspected human traffickers.

During the tenth National Conference of Victims of Crime and Human Rights, the Governor Valle Rosas indicated that the priority in his administration will be to eliminate human trafficking, a crime that primarily victimizes children and indigenous people.

To reduce the problem the governor indicated that states of Puebla and Tlaxcala will perform joint operations to attack trafficking, which is a major problem in both entities.

The governor noted that during the first four months of his administration, his law enforcement forces have conducted four operations. As a result, the city of Tepeaca has been identified as being the area most vulnerable to trafficking in the state.

Moreno Valley noted that at the beginning of his administration he had sent the state congress an initiative to give local authority to the National Human Rights Commission [to operate in Puebla]. He urged people to report any act of corruption to help reduce trafficking crime.

Region has the highest levels of human trafficking

Raul Plasencia Villanueva, the president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), declared that the Puebla, Oaxaca and Tlaxcala are states where we have identified the presence of human trafficking. He therefore urged that the governments of these states coordinate their actions to combat the problem.

Plasencia Villanueva also recognized that organized crime is linked to trafficking…

He explained that last year the [United Nations initiated] Blue Heart Campaign had been launched in Mexico, to encourage the public to file complaints and come forward when they are victimized by trafficking crime.

He said that in Puebla, Oaxaca and Tlaxcala are rural areas that require support from the CNDH. They are places where unfortunately trafficking crime has a permenant presence.

He stated that through the committee can prevent the slaughter - "it can’t be possible that in twenty-first century human slavery [continues to be] practiced."

He stressed that only a very low number of reported cases exist, adding that society must collaborate on the issue of human trafficking.

Plasencia Villanueva recognized that the state of Puebla is advancing legislation on trafficking. Still, these concepts must be put into practice to have an actual affect on the problem of trafficking.

Periodico Sintesis

May 05, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Mexico, Central America, The United States

Police Bust Mexican Human Trafficking

U.S. authorities have broken up a ring that trafficked women from Latin America and forced them to work in brothels, reports El Nuevo Heraldo. Nineteen people were arrested in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

Many of the victims were smuggled into the country from Mexico and Central America, according to investigators. They were made to work in various locations across the country, in brothels that catered only to Hispanic customers.

The group was allegedly run by Mexican citizen Jose Louis Hernandez-Castilla.

FBI agent Michael Langeman told press that the women were trafficked to the U.S., then told they had to work in order to pay off debts they had supposedly incurred to the gang. This is a common practice by criminal groups who trick people by offering them passage to the U.S. and then force them to work without pay.

Hannah Stone

Insight Crime

May 05, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Colombia

En un barco funcionaba una red de tráfico de niñas y adolescentes

En un barco de pasajeros anclado en el muelle de Buenaventura la Policía capturó a dos mujeres y a un hombre que al parecer integraban una red de trata de personas.

De acuerdo con las investigaciones, los capturados se dedicaban presuntamente a la comercialización y explotación sexual de niñas y adolescentes; las cuales eran reclutadas en los municipios del centro del Valle (Cerrito, Rozo, Obando) y con pretensiones de ser trasladadas a ejercer la prostitución en el municipio de Olaya Herrera (Satinga), costa pacífica de Nariño.

En el operativo los policías hallaron a dos niñas menores de 16 y 17 años de edad, a quienes los traficantes pensaban trasladar de manera engañosa a otro sector para prostituirlas.

Las tres personas fueron dejadas a disposición de la Fiscalía.

Members of sex trafficking network exploiting girls and adolescents is arrested on passenger ship

Police have captured two women and a man who allegedly made-up a human trafficking network. The group was found using a passenger ship that was anchored in the port of Buenaventura.

According to the investigation, the detainees were allegedly in the commercial sexual exploitation engaged of children and adolescents. The victims were recruited from the towns of Cerritos, Rozo, Obando, located in the center of Valle del Cauca department [province]. Their intent was to transport their victims to the municipality of Olaya Herrera (Satinga) on the Pacific coast of Nariño Department.

During the operation police found two 16 and 17-year-old girls, who the traffickers had intended to transport under false pretenses and then exploit in prostitution.

The three suspects were turned over to prosecutors.

El Pais

May 04, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Tennessee, USA / Mexico

Victor Quroz-Salate

Previously deported... alien charged with child molestation

On Wednesday, police in Gallatin, Tennessee arrested Victor Quroz-Salate after he allegedly climbed into a bed with a 9-year-old girl and fondled her. The girl was spending the night at a friend’s house.

Gallatin police Sgt. Bill Stormant told WSMV-TV4: “The little girl, the 9-year-old girl was actually awoken when he got in the bed with her and made physical contact with her."

According to police, Quroz-Salate was deported back to Mexico in 2009, but made his way back to Tennessee about a year ago.

The Mexican national was deported after being charged with domestic assault, criminal impersonation and driving without a license in Nashville.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 07, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

Chile

Detienen a hombre por abuso sexual y exhibición de material pornográfico en el Biobío

A disposición de la justicia quedó este miércoles un hombre de 20 años de edad, quien fue detenido por el delito de abuso sexual reiterado y exhibición de material pornográfico, hechos cometidos en contra de una menor de 8 años, en la comuna de San Pedro de la Paz, Región del Biobío.

Producto de una denuncia de la madre de la víctima, la Brigada de Delitos Sexuales y Menores (Brisexme) de la PDI de Concepción detuvo al individuo. En la investigación se logró establecer que el imputado cometía los vejámenes en su domicilio del sector Boca Sur, de la mencionada comuna, y cuando era visitado por la niña.

La mañana de este miércoles el sujeto fue trasladado hasta el Juzgado de Garantía de San Pedro de la Paz para ser sometido a la audiencia de control de la detención, por parte de la fiscal Jocelyn Briceño.

Noticias 123

May 04, 2011


Added: May. 8, 2011

New York, USA

Juan Cáceres

The Cinco de Mayo Charade

Its organizer sits in jail for raping his daughter. And the parade of his sympathizers marches on.

A little more than 20 years ago, Juan Cáceres immigrated to the United States. Like so many of his countrymen, he wanted a better life, and he certainly seemed to get it.

Cáceres and his son, Ivan, who has grown up to take over his foundation. Cáceres started off small, selling tomatoes and limes on the streets of New York, driving a cab, and eventually branching into business ventures. He also became an activist for immigrant rights, founding the Spanish Harlem nonprofit Centro de la Comunidad Mexicana (CECOMEX), helping immigrants find affordable housing, and lobbying the Mexican consulate for better service.

Talk to people on the streets of El Barrio, and they’ll tell you that Cáceres, who just turned 44, is an outstanding family man and a beloved community leader. The go-to guy for an immigrant’s every need, he could hook you up with a job, and if you got into legal trouble, he’d get you a lawyer. He did so much work on behalf of the community that the governor of Puebla once named him the state’s representative in New York. The city’s Mexican population has doubled in the past decade, according to some estimates, and fully half of the 500,000 Mexican immigrants in the city are from the east-central state of Puebla. (Cáceres himself is from the southeastern state of Tabasco.)

Not all of CECOMEX’s work is serious and somber. It also organizes El Barrio’s annual Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day parades, which have drawn such big crowds in recent years that police have had to shut down nearby subway stations. It’s a very important task for a very important man in the Mexican immigrant community.

But Cáceres won’t be attending this week’s lively street party and parade. That’s because he’s locked up on Rikers Island. In March, a jury convicted him of second-degree rape—of his own daughter, from the time she was 11 until she was 14. He was also convicted of endangering the child’s welfare and of criminal contempt. He was found not guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child. He was sentenced to nine years in prison—the maximum.

News of Cáceres’s conviction quickly circulated among local Spanish speakers, with reports surfacing in Spanish-language newspapers and wire services. New York’s mainstream, English-language papers did not appear to take any notice of his downfall—despite the made-for-tabloid tale of a father convicted of raping his own daughter—though he has long been a major player in the city’s rapidly growing Mexican community.

Cáceres’s conviction, however, isn’t just an example of a community leader fallen from grace. His absence has created a power vacuum in El Barrio’s expat enclave and has shown just how ugly sexual politics can be in the neighborhood, centered on 116th Street in East Harlem.

Cáceres’s supporters—he still has many, despite the conviction—have decided to run CECOMEX without him, and they now dedicate much of its time, energy, and other resources to insisting that he is innocent.

But the group’s top brass and allies aren’t just campaigning on behalf of Cáceres. They have also gone out of their way to vilify his daughter, the underage victim. The courts withhold underage rape victims’ names and whereabouts, but many people in El Barrio have made the girl’s identity public, and they brandish her name as a weapon against her.

There’s even a photo of her on the main page of CECOMEX’s website, where visitors have left comments calling her a liar. At rallies in support of Cáceres, attendees have even been said to carry posters displaying photos of her face. Some at the press conferences have yelled her name while chanting, “You have to tell the truth!”

Meanwhile, top Mexican organizations in the city have either come out even now in open support of Cáceres or act as if the conviction never happened in the first place. Spanish-language media outlets have continued to give him and his supporters ample opportunity to state his case against his daughter. Nobody has rallied behind her.

The victim’s identity “isn’t a secret,” Sandra Pérez, entrusted by Cáceres to help run CECOMEX, tells the Voice, just as she has told the Spanish-language press. “There are images of the child in videos and photos. A lot of people know her because she was always involved in public events. Being the daughter of a public figure, your identity is always well known. And not just her identity, but the family’s identity.”

Pérez says that CECOMEX doesn’t advocate making the girl’s name and face public, but that it has not acted to stop it.

“They’re people’s opinions, and we can’t control how they express themselves,” she says.

Cáceres insists he has nothing to do with the propaganda campaign against his daughter. “Of course I want to protect my children’s privacy,” he tells the Voice during an interview at Rikers. “But everyone knows me and my family. I’m a public figure, and we were always together. I don’t think that it’s right that they’re doing that, but I can’t control other people.”

Or himself, as a jury has ruled. Cáceres started to show his daughter porn and molest her in 2007, when she was 11, according to court records. When she turned 12, records say, he started to have oral sex and vaginal and anal intercourse with her.

Victoria Bekiempis

The Village Voice

Apr 27 2011

 
   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias


Updated: June 28, 2011


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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Honduras

HERO: Patricia Villamil - Consul for Honduras in Chiapas state, on Mexico's southern border, has been removed from her post in retaliation for her criticism of Mexican officials' failure to respond to the mass sex trafficking of Central American women and girls.

Sale por presiones Cónsul hondureña en Chiapas

Villamil asumió como Cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula en noviembre de 2010 y en marzo de 2011 lanzó una denuncia contra autoridades mexicanas.

Ciudad de México.- El Gobierno de Honduras removió del cargo de Cónsul de ese país en Tapachula, Chiapas, a Patricia Villamil, quien se destacó en los últimos meses por sus denuncias de abusos contra migrantes en tránsito por México y de trata de personas tolerada por las autoridades.

De acuerdo con Villamil, su remoción respondió a presiones de funcionarios de la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la Frontera Sur del Gobierno de Chiapas, a quienes molestó que denunciara la explotación laboral y sexual de que son objeto mujeres migrantes en la entidad.

Relató que el jueves pasado, cerca de las 20:00 horas, recibió un oficio firmado por el Embajador José Mariano Castillo Mercado en el que se le informó del término de su misión a partir del día siguiente.

"Me despidieron de mi cargo y todo por las denuncias que hice y porque funcionarios de (la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la) Frontera Sur (de Chiapas) fueron a la Embajada a manifestar su disgusto por mi trabajo, por la labor que he hecho en contra de la trata de personas", indicó en entrevista.

Villamil asumió el cargo de Cónsul de Honduras en Tapachula en noviembre de 2010 y en marzo de 2011 decidió lanzar una denuncia pública ante la falta de atención por parte de las autoridades mexicanas.

"En Chiapas hay clara evidencia de la explotación laboral y sexual de mujeres hondureñas. Hay testimonios desgarradores de niñas esclavizadas en prostíbulos de Frontera Comalapa, así como de abusos por parte de policías ministeriales y agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM). Por ello exigimos la intervención del Gobierno", señaló durante un foro en en la Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas.

Ayer sostuvo que las autoridades chiapanecas se quejaron de ella por no seguir los protocolos al hacer sus denuncias.

"Creo que lo que les molestó es que nosotros diéramos a conocer todo lo que está pasando en Ciudad Hidalgo, en todo Chiapas, porque ellos siempre dan la impresión de tener la casa limpia y viene una persona nueva a sacar las cosas, eso no les gustó, no les pareció", insistió.

Durante su gestión en el Consulado, destacó, fue posible rescatar a 10 mujeres hondureñas, 8 de ellas menores de edad, que eran explotadas laboral y sexualmente en antros de la entidad...

Chiapas state officials pressure Honduras to remove  Consul (and anti-trafficking activist) Patricia Villamil

Patricia Villamil took over as Honduran consul in Tapachula in November 2010 and in March 2011 launched a complaint against Mexican authorities.

Mexico City - The Government of Honduras has removed Patricia Villamil, her nation's consul in [Mexico's southern border region city of] Tapachula in Chiapas state, from office. Consul Villamil raised attention in recent months as a result of her allegations of abuses against migrants in transit through Mexico, and the tolerance that Mexican authorities have shown in response to [the region's widespread problem of] human trafficking.

According to Villamil, her removal came as a result of pressure exerted by officials of the Secretariat for the Development of the Southern Border of the Government of Chiapas state, who were angered by Consul Villamil's complaints about the labor and sexual exploitation that migrant women are subjected-to in Chiapas.

Consul Villamil said that last Thursday at about 8:00 pm she received a letter signed by Honduran  Ambassador to Mexico José Mariano Castillo Mercado in which she was informed that her assignment was to end effective as of the following day.

"I was fired from my job because of the allegations that I have made, and because officials (of the Secretary for Development) for the southern frontier (Chiapas state) went to the [Honduran] embassy to express their displeasure with my work, the work that I've done against human trafficking, said "Consul Villamil during an interview.

Villamil took office in Tapachula as Honduran Consul in November of 2010. During March of 2011 she decided to issue a public complaint about the lack of attention that was being paid by Mexican authorities [to the exploitation of migrant women].

"In Chiapas there is clear evidence of the labor and sexual exploitation of Honduran women. There are harrowing accounts of girls enslaved in brothels in the town of Frontera Comalapa, as well as abuses by the judicial police and agents of the National Migration Institute (INM - Mexico's immigration agency). I therefore demand government intervention," Villamil said during a forum at the Autonomous University of Chiapas.

Yesterday Villamil noted that state authorities in Chiapas complained about her because she did not follow the proper protocols in making her complaints.

"I think what bothers them is the fact that I exposed everything that is happening in [the city of] Ciudad Hidalgo, and all across Chiapas state. They always want to give the impression that they are running a clean house. Here comes a new person [and starts to make the truth public]. They didn't like that," said Villamil.

During her tenure at the Honduran consulate in Tapachula, Consul Villamil made possible the rescue of 10 Honduran women and girls, including 8 children who were being subjected to sexual and labor exploitation in Chiapas.

"They are now in shelters, and are just awaiting completion of the proper forms before they are repatriated to Honduras," Villamil explained.

After receiving several threats, Villamil filed a complaint with the Mexico's federal Attorney General's Office (PGR).

Mexico's general director for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Norma Pensado, asked Consul Villamil to avoid talking publicly about the threats.

Honduran Vice Chancellor Alden Rivera stated that the complaint was not submitted through the correct channels.

Villamil will be returning to her country in the coming days, and then plans to file a lawsuit against Vice Chancellor Rivera for libel.

Officials cite security concerns

According to Honduran Consul General for Mexico Carolina Pineda, the removal of Patricia Villamil from her post came about as a response to security concerns and did not result from pressures by state authorities in Chiapas.

Consul General Pineda added that Villamil was removed because of repeated threats against her.

"She will probably be transferred to another location, above all to protect her. I guess at the Foreign Ministry (in Honduras) will make the decision," said Consul General Pineda in an interview.

She reemphasized that Honduran diplomatic representatives had not been pressured by authorities in Chiapas.

"To the contrary, the government (of Chiapas) has cooperated on migrant issues, and in regard to the issue that Consul Villamil specializes in, human trafficking," said Consul General Pineda.

Ariadna García and Martín Morita

Terra.com

June 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, anteriormente la cónsul de Honduras en Chiapas

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

Foto/Photo: Diario del Sur

Trafficking, Forced Prostitution Denounced in Chiapas

While focus continues on the dangers to migrants traveling north in Mexico, a new phenomenon appeared in the south: forced prostitution of young migrant women. The culprits, however, may be part of the same Zetas organization that is perpetrating the atrocities in the north.

The outcry about the problem came from Patricia Villamil, the Honduran consul in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, who told Agence France Presse that women are trafficked from Honduras to be forced into sexual slavery in that state.

"They bring women lured from Honduras, preferably those younger than eighteen,” the consul said. “The majority are brought from San Pedro Sula [in northwest Honduras], but many are also from [the central departments of] Comayagua and Olancho.”

The consul says the victims come in groups of five or six and are distributed among several dozen bars in Chiapas. One victim told AFP that she was promised a job in a restaurant in Mexico. When she arrived, she was forced to prostitute herself without any pay.

Although her office has become flooded with cases of Honduran migrants who have been forced to work without pay against their will, Villamil says Mexican authorities have been slow to react.

"I'm not going to shut up until they do their job," she said.

Mexican authorities disagree with Villamil's assessment. Enrique Mendez, the official prosecutor in charge of crimes against immigrants in Chiapas, says individual cases of extortion and forced prostitution are not widespread in the area.

"Yes, there is people trafficking, but not in an alarming manner," Mendez told the AFP.

He added that many of the women come on their own and are not coerced.

The phenomenon of young Central American women being trafficked for sex is not new. As InSight reported, traffickers are luring women from increasingly more urban and middle-class backgrounds. In some of these cases, the traffickers operate phony dance schools and talent agencies in order to disguise their illegitimate activities.

In the case of Chiapas, however, the victims appear to be more lower class and could be part of the pockets of migrants making their way north through that large border state...

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas

April 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Honduras

Operativos para combatir la trata de personas deben ser permanentes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

César Solís

Diario del Sur, Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 23, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Migrantes centroamericanas padecen explotación sexual en Chiapas

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

Central American migrants in Chiapas suffer from sexual exploitation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN Mexico

March 23, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Comunicado Denuncia De Red De Trata De Personas En Chiapas

Press Release denounces human trafficking network in Chiapas state

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

A Los Gobiernos de Centroamerica

A Las Organanizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales

A La Comision Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos

A La Organizacion de Las Naciones Unidas

A La Sociedad en General

Al Gobierno de Mexico

Al Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

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

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

Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano / Mesoamerican Migrant Movement

March 15, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, El Salvador

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

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

Foto Diario del Sur.

Alerta Cónsul de El Salvador sobre aumento de migración a Chiapas

Salvadoran Consul warns about the dangers of migration through Mexico's Chiapas state

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

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

Rubén Zúñiga

Diario del Sur/Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza was recently named as Mexico's Assistant Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection after a successful stint as Mexico City's highly effective prosecutor for sex trafficking cases.

Jueces se resisten a castigar trata: PGR

En México hace falta sensibilizar a los jueces para que castiguen conforme está tipificado el delito de trata de personas.

La subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo, Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros, reconoce que en México hace falta sensibilizar a los jueces para que castiguen conforme está tipificado el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en algunos casos lo han reclasificado como corrupción de menores o lenocinio.

La funcionaria de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) dice que a nivel nacional el Poder Judicial ha dictado menos de 15 sentencias por trata de personas, quizá por desconocimiento o porque no sabe identificar la falta.

“Con todo el respeto al Poder Judicial, la verdad es que ahí todavía tenemos un problema, yo quiero pensar que es una cuestión de tiempo, de carácter cultural o en ocasiones es falta de conocimiento...”.

García Espinoza de los Monteros será reconocida este lunes en Estados Unidos con el premio “Heroína contra la Esclavitud Moderna”, por su trayectoria y sus logros en el DF en el combate al delito de trata de personas.

Comenta que será galardonada por el desmantelamiento de la red internacional de traficantes de personas que operaba en la casa hogar Casitas del Sur, donde lograron liberar a 11 menores.

García Espinoza de los Monteros dice que este caso es uno de sus mayores logros, aunque no puede ocultar su frustración por lo que sigue ocurriendo en el barrio de La Merced, en la ciudad de México, que históricamente ha sido un polo de tráfico de personas, prostitución de menores y explotación infantil.

La funcionaria apunta que en México en materia de atención a víctimas falta mucho por hacer, pero reconoce el trabajo de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en el tema.

Al preguntarle cómo se ve nuestro país en el ámbito internacional en este delito, la funcionaria acepta que somos una nación que consume, permite el tránsito y expulsa a las víctimas de trata de personas.

Deputy Attorney General: Judges are resisting handing-down punishment for human trafficking crimes

Amparo Garcia Dilcya Samantha Espinoza de los Monteros, who is Mexico's Deputy Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection, has announced that Mexico needs to sensitize judges the need to punish human trafficking as a crime. She notes that in some cases judges have reclassified the charges brought against suspects from human trafficking to corruption of minors and procuring.

Espinoza de los Monteros says that nationally, the judiciary has handed down fewer than 15 convictions for human trafficking, perhaps because of ignorance or because [the crime could not be clearly identified as trafficking].

"With all due respect to the judiciary, the truth is that we have a problem here. I want to think that it's a matter of time, cultural or that sometimes it is a lack of knowledge..."

Espinoza de los Monteros will be recognized in the U.S. on Monday with the award "Hero against Modern Slavery," for her career and his achievements in Mexico City in fighting the crime of trafficking.

He says that will be honored by the dismantling of the international network of smugglers operating in the group home Casitas del Sur, where they managed to release 11 children.

Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros said that this case is one of his greatest achievements, but can not hide his frustration at what continues to happen in the neighborhood of La Merced, Mexico City, which has historically been a center for trafficking , child prostitution and child exploitation.

The official pointed out that in Mexico in providing care to victims needs to be done, but recognizes the work of civil society organizations on the subject.

Asked how he sees our country internationally in this offense, the officer accepts that we are a nation that consumes and drives traffic allowed to victims of trafficking.

El Universal

June 26, 2011

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Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Mexico

Funcionaria deja PGJDF por PGR

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros fue nombrada por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) como la nueva subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo de la dependencia federal.

Fátima Salvador. Ciudad de México.- Cabe destacar que hasta el lunes, la funcionaria se desempeñó como subprocuradora de Atención a Víctimas del Delito y Servicios a la Comunidad dependiente de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, cargo que ocupó desde 2008 por encomienda del procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera.

Entre los casos representativos en los que colaboró durante su estadía en la PGJDF destacan la desarticulación de bandas de lenones y la trata de menores, además contribuyó a realizar reformas en esta materia.

Uno de los últimos trabajos que realizó el despacho a su cargo fue la protección de integrantes de la familia Reyes Salazar, quienes dejaron Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, luego de sufrir amenazas y el asesinato de cinco de sus miembros.

Dilcya Samanta Espinosa de los Monteros encabezó la investigación del caso “Casitas del Sur” por la desaparición de 11 niños en dicho albergue.

La procuraduría capitalina informó que por el momento habrá un encargado de despacho en la Subprocuraduría de Atención a Víctimas del Delito.

Mexico City assistant attorney general moves to federal position

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros has been named to a position in the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) after having previously served since 2008 as Assistant Attorney General for Victims of Crime and Community Services under Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera.

[García Espinoza de los Monteros has focused her efforts in Mexico City on pursuing human traffickers. Mexico City has the highest conviction rate against traffickers of any federated entity in Mexico. - LL]

Among the activities that García Espinoza de los Monteros engaged in at the Mexico City prosecutor's office involved the break-up of sex trafficking rings and assisting in the passage of tougher anti-trafficking laws.

One of her most recent cases involved the disappearance of 11 children from an orphanage called Casitas del Sur [those responsible for the disappearances are believed to have sold these children to sex traffickers]...

Edited by Leyda Martínez

May 3, 2011

About Child Labor and the Risk of Criminal Exploitation in Mexico


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Children labor in Mexico

Trabajan 200 mil niños en campos de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.- Cerca del 14 por ciento de los residentes de Chiapas que tienen entre cinco y 17 años están ocupados económicamente, sobre todo en el sector primario y terciario. Los apuros financieros de sus tutores y la cultura influyen en la situación. Incrementó su participación en actividades peligrosas, ante su mayor necesidad por conseguir sustento, especialmente los migrantes, informó ayer la secretaria del Trabajo del estado, Esther Almazán Torres.

Dijo que el objetivo es tener erradicada parte de la situación en 2015, a más tardar, según los tratados signados por el gobierno federal. Sin embargo, la meta es lejana, porque muchos servidores públicos desconocen el hecho, incluso no saben que existe una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, por lo que ven el tema como algo normal.

México cuenta con 28.2 millones de menores, de los cuales el 10 por ciento está empleado, de los cuales 199 mil 966 viven en la entidad, es decir, uno de cada diez niños chiapanecos forman parte de su campo productivo, según organismos internacionales y el INEGI.

Reconoció que los casos con más violaciones a sus derechos son registrados en las fincas, sobre todo en salud y educación, aunque destacó que el índice bajó en los últimos años.

La funcionaria estatal aseveró que la cultura también contribuye al problema, porque sus responsables enseñan a sus hijos a ganar dinero con alguna actividad familiar, para perpetuar la tradición. Ello no disminuye su vulnerabilidad.

200,000 children are working in the fields of Chiapas state

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state - About 14 percent of the residents of Chiapas who are between 5 and 17 years are work... Both the financial troubles of their parents and culture influence the situation. These children engage in Increasingly dangerous activities to earn money to survive. This is especially true of migrants, Chiapas state  labor secretary Esther Almazán Torres stated yesterday.

Secretary Almazán Torres added that the state's goal is to eradicate child labor by 2015 at the latest, in accordance with the according to treaties signed by the federal government [see: United Nations Millennium Development Goals]. However, the goal is distant because many public servants are unaware of the issue, and don't even know that there is a law against trafficking in persons, so see [child exploitation] as normal.

Mexico has 28.2 million children, of whom 10 percent are employed. Some 199,000 child laborers live in the state, amounting to one in ten children in Chiapas who are working in the field, according to international organizations and Mexico's National Institute for Statistics and Geography.

Secretary Almazán Torres acknowledged that cases with most child rights violations are found in farm labor, especially in regard to health and education, but noted that the the number of complaints has declined recent years.

Culture contributes to the problem because parents teach their children to earn money with some form of family activity, to perpetuate their traditions. Such labor is not exempt from risk for these child laborers.

El Heraldo de Chiapas

June 21, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado: Victoria Cruz

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado Las niñas y los niños que trabajan están en riesgo ante el crimen organizado, que los utiliza para transportar droga, para ser explotados sexualmente o para cometer delitos en general, aseveró en Morelia la coordinadora del Programa Internacional para la Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OI), Victoria Cruz López.

En el marco del Foro: “La participación de los congresos locales en la prevención y erradicación del trabajo infantil y la protección del adolescente trabajador”, y ante diputados, autoridades y especialistas, la experta abogada aseguró que esa situación es cada vez más visible, por lo que urgió a buscar acciones para frenar la inclusión de menores de edad en actividades laborales.

Victoria Cruz señaló que es necesario perseguir a quienes utilizan a los menores para actividades ilícitas, por lo que entidades gubernamentales y sociedad civil deben prestar atención a esa problemática, ya que la alternativa para los adolescentes no debe ser la delincuencia organizada.

En presencia del presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política del Congreso del Estado, Wilfrido Lázaro Medina, quien es además coordinador del grupo parlamentario del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), la representante de la OIT consideró urgente desarrollar políticas públicas para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque el hecho de que estén en la escuela y ésta sea una opción de calidad puede ser un punto de partida fundamental.

Acompañada también por la presidenta de la Comisión de Grupos Vulnerables, Equidad y Género, Gabriela Molina Aguilar, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), y por la presidenta de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Guadalupe Calderón Medina, del PRI, Cruz López argumentó que se calcula que en el país hay 3 millones de infantes, de entre los 5 y los 17 años de edad, que se encuentran laborando, la mayoría en trabajos del sector agrícola, la construcción y la minería, trabajos considerados de alta peligrosidad.

Dicha cantidad, agregó la investigadora del tema, equivale al 10.7 por ciento de la población de niñas, niños y adolescentes que existen en México, lo que equivale a hipotecar el futuro del país, sobre todo cuando 900 mil de esos menores de edad, que son los que tienen entre 5 y 13 años, ni siquiera deberían estar en el trabajo.

En ese sentido, aseveró Victoria Cruz, el trabajo infantil constituye una violación severa a los derechos de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque se atenta contra muchos de sus derechos, como el derecho al sano crecimiento, a la educación, a la cultura y al derecho a estar protegidos contra la explotación económica, que tiene que empezar a verse como un incumplimiento a las garantías en el cual todos son responsables y todos deben dar respuesta.

Victoria Cruz: Child workers are at-risk from organized crime:

Victoria Cruz López, the International Labor Organization's international program to end child labor spoke in Morelia state.

Cruz López: Child laborers are at high risk from organized criminals who exploit them to transport drugs, to be sold in prostitution and to commit crimes in general.

In a Forum called "The Participation of State Legislatures in the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Young Workers," which was presented to a group of state legislative deputies, authorities and experts, veteran attorney and International Labor Organization (ILO) representative Victoria Cruz López [organized crime's exploitation of minors] constitutes a situation that is becoming more visible by-the-day. She therefore urged state legislatures to take action to curb the inclusion of children in work activities.

Cruz López added that the prosecution of those who use children for illicit activities is a must. Government agencies and civil society must therefore pay attention to this problem, given that all agree that the [preferred] alternative [to unemployment] for adolescents should not be organized crime.

Cruz López declared that the development of public policies to reduce the vulnerability of girls, children and adolescents must be made an urgent priority. Cruz noted that schools can be used as the perfect forum for communicating with children and youth about this issue.

Cruz López argued that the country is estimated that there are 3 million children, between 5 and 17 years of age, who are now working, the majority work in agriculture, construction and mining work that is considered highly dangerous.

Some 10.7 percent of Mexico's children and underage youth work, added Cruz López. That fact amounts to mortgaging the nation's future, especially in regard to the 900,000 of these children who are those between 5 and 13 years, who should not be working at all.

Child labor constitutes a severe violation of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, because it goes against many of their rights, including the right to healthy growth, education, culture and the right to be protected from economic exploitation, which must begin to be seen as a breach of the guarantees to which everyone must be held accountable.

Among the Morelia state congressional deputies attending the event were: Wilfrido Medina Lazaro, Morelia state's president of the Political Coordination Board of the State Congress and parliamentary coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) delegation; Gabriela Aguilar Molina, president of the Commission on Vulnerable Groups and Gender Equity, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); and Guadalupe Medina Calderon, of the PRI, who is president of the Human Rights Commission.

Quadratin.com

June 17, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

La OIT presenta en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil

La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) presentó hoy en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil apoyada por varios artistas locales, informaron hoy fuentes de la agencia de Naciones Unidas (ONU).

En un acto celebrado en un hotel de la capital mexicana, el director adjunto de la OIT para México y Cuba, Thomas Wissing, dijo que era necesario "actuar con urgencia" para eliminar las formas más peligrosas de este tipo de actividad laboral que afecta a menores.

En un comunicado, la OIT señaló que en el planeta existen 115 millones de niñas, niños y adolescentes en actividades laborales peligrosas, de los cuales el 64 % son varones y el 36 %, mujeres y niñas.

Por actividad, el 59 % de los trabajos peligrosos se concentra en la agricultura, un 30 % en el sector servicios y un 11 % en la industria.

La tendencia es a un ascenso en la cifra de adolescentes varones de entre 15 y 17 años en el mundo, apuntó la organización, al recordar que el próximo 12 de junio se celebrará el Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil.

En México, añadió, hay aproximadamente 3 millones de menores de edad que trabajan dentro de un grueso de población de 112 millones de personas.

En el acto de hoy, la OIT presentó un vídeo y el vocalista de la banda de rock DLD, Paco Familiar, leyó un mensaje a nombre de una decena de artistas que se han sumado en México a la campaña, que lleva por título "¡Atención! Niños, niñas y adolescentes en trabajos peligrosos. ¡Alto al trabajo infantil!".

En su mensaje, Familiar dijo que "existe una confusión entre lo que sí es y lo que no es trabajo infantil", que permite que haya altos niveles de tolerancia social frente a este problema.

La situación en este país es "insostenible", ya que "más del 10 % de su población infantil tiene que trabajar", lo que va en contra de la educación de ese colectivo y representa un problema que hipoteca "nuestro presente y nuestro futuro", afirmó.

EFE

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

ILO Launches Campaign Against Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo, ILO) launched its newest campaign against child labor in Mexico today. Various artists attended the event, many of which were vocal about their stances against child labor as it interferes with important activities, such as education and recreation. ILO member Victoria Cruz reported that 59.2% of minors employed throughout the world work in agriculture, 30% in the services sector and 11% in industry. In Mexico, there are approximately 3 million minors who are employed and about 700,000 of those minors engage in “high risk” labor, which includes mining, agriculture, and construction. Mexico is also one of the only countries to date that has not ratified the ILO’s Convention 182, otherwise known as the “Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention.”

The ILO addressed other negative effects of child labor, such as physical injuries and illness that in some cases cannot be cured. Particularly in Mexico, it is easy for minors to become involved in more dangerous work, such as narco-trafficking, due to high poverty levels in many areas and lack of better opportunities. In response to this problem, the ILO urged that the laws in Mexico should be amended to include harsher punishments for those who employ minors. According to El Universal, the assistant ILO director of Mexico and Cuba, Thomas Wissing, stated that these laws should be changed with the purpose of reducing child labor and to generate more jobs and more rewarding salaries for parents.

The organization also made sure to note that National Day Against Child Labor will be celebrated this Sunday, June 12.

Justice in Mexico

June 6, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Más de 3 millones de niños mexicanos tienen que trabajar

Distrito Federal - En México, más de tres millones de menores de edad laboran y de ellos más de 700 mil lo hacen en empleos de alto riesgo como la minería, la agricultura o la construcción, situación que se agrava por la tolerancia de la sociedad y las autoridades, indicó la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT).

Además, México es el único país que aún no ratifica el Convenio 182 de la OIT, que se refiere a la edad mínima para desempeñar actividades económicas, explicó el organismo en un taller donde se habló de este tema.

Con motivo del Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil, que se celebrará el próximo 12 de junio, funcionarios de la organización y la subsecretaria de Inclusión Laboral de la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) reconocieron que las sanciones económicas para empleadores de menores de edad son mínimas, pues la actual legislación establece un pago de 250 días de salario mínimo...

More than 3 million Mexican children must work

Mexico City - In Mexico, more than 3 million minors work. Around 700,000 children and youth work in high-risk jobs such as mining, agriculture and construction. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the situation has been aggravated by the tolerance of society and the authorities.

During an ILO workshop on child labor. officials noted that Mexico is the only nation that has not signed the ILO's Convention 182 on ending child labor, which defines minimum ages for engaging in work activities.

Mariana Otero

Milenio

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

En trabajos peligrosos, 600 mil niños mexicanos

En México hay mucha confusión y tolerancia respecto al trabajo peligroso en niños y niñas, particularmente en los que tienen entre 15 y 17 años de edad, lo cual trae graves consecuencias para la integridad física, pues deriva en lesiones, enfermedades irreversibles, abandono escolar y bajo rendimiento, señaló la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), que coincidió con la Secretaría del Trabajo en que se debe endurecer la ley para castigar a quien emplee a menores.

En el país, son 600 mil los que realizan labores peligrosas, de un total de 3 millones de menores de 18 años de edad que trabajan, paralelamente a los que son utilizados en tareas vinculadas con el narcotráfico -de los cuales no hay cifras-, quienes por la falta de oportunidades y la situación de pobreza que son explotados en esas actividades ilegales....

Some 600,000 underage Mexican children and youth work in dangerous jobs - International Labor Organization

According to the International Labor Organization, much confusion and tolerance exists in Mexico in regard to dangerous jobs that children and underage youth work-in across Mexico, and especially those who are between 15- and 18-years-of-age. These forms of employment cause grave consequences for a child worker's physical integrity - including exposure to diseases an irreversible illnesses. In addition, child workers perform poorly in school and [often] abandon school altogether.

Across Mexico some 600,000 minors engage in dangerous work. They are part of a total underage workforce of 3 million. In parallel, a phenomenon also exists in which minors work for narco-trafficking organizations. No statistics exist to define the size of this population of child laborers...

El Universal

June 6, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Argentina

Trata de personas, un flagelo que avanza día a día

La trata de personas es una suerte de esclavitud moderna, que no distingue región, edad, ni clase social. Según las informaciones la zona norte de Argentina es el lugar predilecto para aquellos mafiosos que venden la vida de una persona, en lo que para ellos significa una simple transacción monetaria. Quienes se encuentran luchando contra este flagelo advierten que por cada persona que encuentran, desaparecen otras siete, aunque aseguran que no claudicaran en la batalla.

Un dato que asusta es que durante los últimos años Argentina dejó de ser un país de sólo circulación de personas, para dar lugar a la comercialización y la exportación de éstas, ya sea con fines sexuales o de esclavitud. Asimismo aumentó la trata de niños, especialmente para servidumbre por deudas y prostitución forzosa. Desde mediados del 2008 la trata se convirtió en la actividad delictiva más reditual, después del tráfico de armas y drogas. Se trata de redes de delincuentes muy bien organizadas, bajo las cuales más de 4 millones de personas en el mundo resultaron víctimas.

En relación a este tema, Germán Díaz, abogado de la Fundación María de los Ángeles, alertó a la sociedad sobre la necesidad de extremar las medidas de precaución para evitar un posible secuestro. Aunque sin ánimos de generar miedo, simplemente mayos conciencia.

“Nosotros desde acá tratamos de no crear ningún tipo de psicosis en la sociedad, solamente decimos que tomen las medidas del caso. Generalmente las denuncias que recibimos fueron de menores estudiantes, entonces desde acá les decimos que cambien la rutina del trayecto al colegio y que no vaya solas”, destacó Díaz.

Del mismo modo, destacó la importancia sobre le papel que los medios de comunicación cumplen en relación a este tema, sobre en cuestión de las redes sociales: “La información que se da por internet muchas veces entra en detalles, de los cuales estas redes mafiosas se nutren para captar a sus víctimas”.

Según explicó el letrado, el lugar de captación por excelencia es el norte de nuestro país y la frontera con Paraguay y Bolivia, pues las redes mafiosas consideran a esa zona como “económicamente pobres” y propicias para su delictivo accionar. Mientras que “la zona de explotación es la zona del sur de nuestro país”, debido a que en ese sector hay una concentración de gran poder adquisitivo.

Human trafficking, a scourge that grows from day-to-day

Human trafficking is a kind of modern slavery, which does not distinguish between regions, ages or social class. Reportedly the north of Argentina is the favorite location for organized criminals who live by selling the lives of people. Those who are fighting this scourge warn that for every person they rescue, seven others disappear. They say that they are not giving up the fight.

[Full translation to follow]

Tucuman Noticias

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 28, 2011

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton releases the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

Secretary Clinton: "Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. Today, we are releasing a new report that ranks 184 countries, including our own. One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing. This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what’s happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference..."

U.S. Department of State

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Latin America

Pop star and anti-trafficking activist Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin expandirá centros de ayuda a niños a toda Latinoamérica

Río Grande (Puerto Rico), - El cantante puertorriqueño Ricky Martin anunció hoy que expandirá la construcción de instituciones como El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, que se espera esté terminado en Loíza en 2012, a la República Dominicana, México y el resto de Latinoamérica.

Martin y su Fundación celebraron hoy la tercera edición de un torneo de golf para recaudar fondos para la construcción del Centro Integral de Desarrollo que se convertirá en un espacio para combatir en Puerto Rico la trata de personas.

"Esto es solo el comienzo, para continuar por el resto de la isla y en la República Dominicana, México y Latinoamérica", dijo Martin tras concluir el evento celebrado en el Trump International Golf Resort en Río Grande, localidad de la costa este de Puerto Rico.

El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, con un presupuesto de cuatro millones de dólares, comenzará a construirse este año y se espera sea inaugurado en 2012 o a principios del 2013.

El centro constará de diez salones de clases, una biblioteca y un área recreativa.

La institución atenderá desde infantes hasta jóvenes en escuela superior y operará en alianza con la organización filantrópica SER de Puerto Rico, Nuestra Escuela e Iniciativa Comunitaria.

Martin enfatizó que el centro promoverá las artes, la música, la meditación, el yoga, los deportes, las artes marciales, la salud, la educación personalizada, la cultura y los valores éticos.

"Necesitamos y queremos marcar la diferencia en los niños y jóvenes de Loíza. Nosotros estaremos ahí para apoyarlos y darles herramientas que les garanticen un futuro mejor", dijo Martin.

El modelo de construcción estuvo a cargo de la Fundación Ricky Martin (FRM) y el director del Taller Diseño Comunitario de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Elio Martínez Joffre.

Ricky Martin will expand child support centers throughout Latin America

Ricky Martin to Expand Children’s Aid Centers Across All Latin America

The Puerto Rican singer took up the fight against this scourge after his 2002 trip to India, where he saw at first hand the immensity of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in the Asian country.

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced that he will expand construction of institutions like his foundation’s Child Development and Prevention Center, expected to be completed in Loiza, Puerto Rico, in 2012, to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.

Martin and his foundation held Friday the third edition of a golf tournament aimed at collecting funds for the children’s center that will combat the exploitation and trafficking of children in Puerto Rico.

“This is just the start of a project that is going to spread across the rest of the island and on to the Domican Republic, Mexico and Latin America,” Martin said after winding up the event held at the Trump International Golf Resort in Rio Grande, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The Ricky Martin Foundation Child Development and Prevention Center, with a budget of $4 million, will begin construction this year and its inauguration is expected for 2012 or early 2013.

The center will consist of 10 classrooms, a library and a recreation area.

The institution will care for children from infancy to high-school age and will operate, in alliance with the philanthropic organization SER of Puerto Rico, the Our School and Community Initiative.

Martin said that the center will promote the arts, music, meditation, yoga, sports, martial arts, health, personalized education, culture and ethical values.

“We need to and we want to make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza. We will be there to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future,” Martin said.

The center’s design was entrusted by the Ricky Martin Foundation to the director of the Community Design Workshop of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture, Elio Martinez Joffre...

EFE (Spanish version)

June 03, 2011

EFE America (English version)

June 06, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Nepal

Veteran anti-trafficking activist Anuradha Koirala (left), and actress Demi Moore (right) meet with the Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal of Nepal during the filming of CNN's anti-trafficking documentary

Demi Moore estrena documental sobre la trata de personas en Nepal en CNN

Demi Moore se une a CNN Freedom Project (Proyecto Libertad de CNN) para promover la lucha contra la trata humana a través del documental Nepal’s Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary (Los Niños Robados de Nepal: Un documental del Proyecto Libertad de CNN), que se estrena el domingo 26 de junio a las 7:00 p.m. por CNN International y CNN en Español.

Como colaboradora especial de CNN Freedom Project, Moore se dirige a Nepal para unirse a la ganadora del Premio Héroe CNN de 2010, Anuradha Koirala, y a su organización, Maiti Nepal, que desde su fundación en 1993 ha rescatado a más de 12.000 los niños de Nepal robados por tráfico sexual. Moore es una apasionada defensora de las víctimas de tráfico humano y a través de ADN, la organización que ella cofundó con su esposo, cuya labor se enfoca en la necesidad de atacar la demanda de tráfico sexual mediante leyes en contra de los infractores, la educación y la rehabilitación de las jóvenes víctimas atrapadas por estas prácticas abusivas.

“En el burdel yo fui forzada a tener sexo con hombres y si yo me resistía, ellos podían quemar cigarrillos en mi cuerpo, pegarme con un palo o lanzarme agua caliente. Yo fui con mi pequeño hijo, pero fuimos separados y cuando él lloró ellos quemaron su lengua con un cigarrillo”, dijo Radika, una de las niñas rescatadas en su encuentro con Moore en Maiti Nepal.

Cada año, miles de niñas nepalesas son secuestradas obligadas o forzadas a la brutal vida de la prostitución. Los Niños Robados de Nepal sigue a Moore, quien habla con docenas de niñas (algunas de apenas 11 años) que han sido víctimas del tráfico sexual. Las niñas comparten desgarradoras historias de electrocución y otras formas de tortura, y algunas incluso describen que fueron forzadas a alimentarse con hormonas para que sus cuerpos de niñas tengan el parecido del de una mujer adulta...

Elespectador.com

June 23, 2011

See also:

Added: Jun. 28, 2011

Nepal

Nepal's Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN Freedom Project for a compelling documentary.

A passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking herself, Moore travels to Nepal to meet 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution. How were they taken and where were they sent?

Hear the emotional, first-hand experiences of these young survivors. And follow along with Moore as she searches for answers in the fight to end this form of modern-day slavery.

Along the way she hears horror stories from former sex slaves, plays games with their children, and joins one woman making the daunting trip home.

The group also has a hospice for women with HIV-AIDS, a learning center for women hoping to make a new life and a band of border guards trying to stop women being smuggled in the first place.

CNN

June 17, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Latin America, Europe

Seminario internacional lucha contra la trata de personas

La Embajada de Francia en México, ha tenido a bien elegir a nuestro estado como la sede para la realización del Seminario Internacional denominado “Lucha contra la trata de personas”, los días 28, 29 y 30 de junio del presente año, siendo esta una problemática mundial de la cual Oaxaca no está exenta, sino por el contrario, somos una entidad de origen, tránsito y destino de la Trata en sus modalidades laboral y sexual, por ello, el Gobierno del Estado a través de la Procuraduría General de Justicia realiza conjuntamente con la Embajada de Francia dicho evento.

Los participantes del Seminario provienen de Francia, Canadá España, Alemania, Panamá, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belice, República Dominicana, Haití, Chile, Colombia y Ecuador, siendo en total 52 Comisionados, Fiscales especializados, Jefes de Unidades, Agregados de seguridad, Inspectores de policías de los diversos países.

Este seminario tiene como objetivo principal compartir experiencias de investigación y protección a víctimas de la trata de personas, que permitirán a todas y todos los participantes realizar de manera más eficiente nuestra labor, así como establecer redes de coordinación y colaboración, siendo la trata de personas un problema mundial.

Upcoming international seminar on human trafficking to be held in Oaxaca state

The French Embassy in Mexico has selected Oaxaca state as the venue for the International Seminar entitled "Combating trafficking in persons", to be held on June 28th, 29th and 30th of 2011. Human trafficking is a problem that affects Oaxaca. The state is place of origin, transit and destination for labor and sex trafficking victims. The Oaxaca Attorney General is coordinating in holding the event.

Seminar participants from France, Canada, Spain, Germany, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador will be attending. A total of 52 commissioners, specialized prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be present.

This seminar's main objective is to share research and experiences in regard to protecting victims of human trafficking, to allow the participants perform their work more efficiently and establish coordination and collaboration networks.

NSS Oaxaca

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

New York City

Prabhu Dayal

Consul General of India accused of keeping a mother of four as virtual slave in posh Upper East Side digs

Prabhu Dayal, the Consul General of India, is accused of treating a woman like a virtual slave. The Consul General of India and his family kept a mother of four as a virtual slave on the Upper East Side, according to a lawsuit the woman filed Monday.

Santosh Bhardwaj, 45, says she was required to work more than 12 hours a day, every day, for little pay.

She said she had to escape through a back door with a security guard's help earlier this year because her boss kept her passport and wouldn't let her leave.

Prabhu Dayal, 58, who has been the Indian Consul General in New York since 2008, kept Bhardwaj in a storage room in the E. 64th Street Consulate General building and paid her $300 a month to be at his family's beck and call, the lawsuit claims.

"The Dayals did not treat me fairly," said Bhardwaj, who says she was lured from India to New York to be a maid with promises of good working conditions and decent pay.

"I filed the complaint because I want to be paid for all the labor I provided."

The suit names Dayal, his wife and daughter and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Emails and phone calls to the consul general's office were not returned.

Dayal took her Bhardwaj's passport and "subjected her to approximately a year of forced labor and psychological coercion in their household, culminating in an incident of sexual harassment," the lawsuit says.

"The Dayals kept Ms. Bhardwaj isolated and led her to believe they had complete control over her," said her lawyer, Legal Aid attorney Hollis Pfitsch.

"Unfortunately, Ms. Bhardwaj is not alone. Human trafficking through psychological coercion like this, designed to keep immigrant workers laboring virtually for free, is shockingly common."

In January, Bhardwaj repeated implored Dayal for money her husband needed for an operation back in India, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Dayal finally relented, saying he'd give her the money - but only if she'd massage his legs, the lawsuit says.

That turned out to be the last straw.

"In her culture, it was shocking and offensive for a married man to request any type of physical contact from a married woman," according to the lawsuit.

The New York Daily News

June 20, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Seven sex trafficking suspects are shown to the press by the Mexico City prosecutor's office

Arraigan a 7 personas por lenocinio

Giraron orden de aprehensión por el ilícito de lenocinio y delincuencia organizada a Óscar Jesús Rivera Zúñiga, alias "El Güero'' o "Bugs Bunny''.

Ciudad de México.- Con pruebas reunidas y asentadas en el pliego consignatorio, siete personas que presuntamente obligaban a sus víctimas a ejercer el sexoservicio en el lugar conocido como La Pasarela, localizado en el segundo callejón de Manzanares, colonia Centro, quedaron a disposición de un juez penal, como probables responsables de los delitos de trata de personas agravada; lenocinio y delincuencia organizada; y por corrupción de menores, por lo que cinco hombres fueron ingresados al Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, y dos mujeres al Centro Femenil de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

En cumplimiento a la orden de aprehensión librada por el juez 25 de lo Penal, con sede en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, personal del área de Mandamientos Judiciales de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), obtuvo la entrega de los involucrados en los referidos delitos, quienes se encontraban en el Centro de Arraigos de la misma institución judicial...

Seven are arraigned for sex trafficking

They turned a warrant for the crime of pimping and organized crime Oscar Zuniga Jesus Rivera, alias "El Guero''or" Bugs Bunny.'' Photo: El Sol de Mexico

Mexico City - seven people who allegedly forced their victims to exercise their sex work at a place known as The Gateway, located in the Manzanares district of Colonia Centro, have been detained on criminal charges as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of aggravated trafficking, pimping organized crime and the corruption of minors. The five men were admitted to the Detention East facility. The two women were sent to the Women's Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla...

The trial judge held the defendants over for trial after assessing the evidence provided by the Mexico City Attorney General's Office...

Filiberto Cruz

El Sol de México

June 23, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dan formal prisión a tres por el delito de trata de personas

El Juzgado 6 de Distrito de Procesos Penales Federales en la Ciudad de México dictó auto de formal prisión a tres presuntos responsables del delito de trata de personas con fines de explotación laboral y sexual.

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) informó en comunicado que los procesados son Denis Javier Ortiz y Ondina Moreira, ambos de nacionalidad hondureña, y Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán.

El pasado 18 de abril el Fiscal adscrito a la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) consignó ante el juez [el expidiente]...

La acción penal se ejerció contra los inculpados por el delito señalado en agravio de dos jóvenes hondureñas a las que explotaban en un table dance denominado “La Tentación”, ubicado en el Estado de México.

De la averiguación previa se desprende que Denis Javier Ortiz y su pareja sentimental Ondina Moreira trasladaron desde Honduras a las dos mujeres, a quienes obligaban a trabajar en el lugar referido y las despojaban de sus ingresos.

Por su parte, Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán las trasladaba y les “arreglaba” su supuesta legal estancia en México, por lo cual les cobraba cantidades que constantemente se incrementaban.

Los dos hombres enfrentarán su proceso penal en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, mientras que Ondina Moreira lo hará en el Centro de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

A formal arrest three on charges of trafficking

The 6th District Court Federal Criminal Proceedings in Mexico City has arrested three suspects for the crime of trafficking in persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) said in a statement that the defendants are Denis Moreira Javier Ortiz and Ondina, both Honduran nationals, and Sergio Alejandro Rodriguez Salmorán.

On April 18 the prosecutor assigned the case to the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA)...

Action was taken against said defendants for crimes committed against two young Honduran women which exploited in a table dance club called "The Temptation", located in the State of Mexico.

The preliminary investigation shows that when Denis Javier Ortiz and his girlfriend moved to Mexico from Honduras, the two women, who were forced to work in the place referred to and stripped of their income...

The two men face their criminal trial Detention in the East, while Ondine will Moreira at the Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla.

La Crónica

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Texas, USA

4 sentenced in immigrant kidnapping ring near Peñitas

McAllen - Four men learned their prison sentences Monday after federal authorities busted a human trafficking operation near Peñitas last year.

The prison sentences came Monday after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a man who shot himself in the leg while attempting to kidnap a group of illegal immigrants in May 2010.

One of the smuggled immigrants told ICE agents their coyote, or smuggler, had loaded him and a dozen others into a truck May 10, 2010. But before they could leave, several armed men assaulted the driver and unloaded the migrants from the vehicle.

The gunmen took the immigrants to a stash house near Peñitas, where a man known as "Comandante" told the victims they each would have to pay $2,000 if they wanted to be smuggled farther north.

When “Comandante” left the property, Mario Leon Villa was left in charge, the immigrant told investigators. When Leon and two other guards were distracted, six immigrants climbed out a window and ran to a nearby store.

Leon found the immigrants at the store, pulled out a gun and told them not to run. The immigrants ran anyway, jumped a fence and Leon accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Several other kidnappers located and rounded up the escaped immigrants and transferred them to a stash house in Edinburg. Agents and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies later found the remaining victims at that stash house.

The case resembled that of kidnapped immigrants in Mexico, who are abducted and held for ransom before they are able to cross the Rio Grande.

But because many incidents are charged as immigrant smuggling or assault — as in this case — it’s difficult to track exactly how often they occur on U.S. soil, local authorities have said.

Sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane were:

Leon, 21, a Mexican national who received a 14-year prison sentence for his role as a stash house guard in the immigrant kidnapping scheme. Leon had faced 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Fredy Bermudez Benito, 28, a Mexican national who made threatening phone calls to the immigrants’ families, demanding the additional $2,000 payments. He faced 27 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and unlawfully possessing a firearm. Crane sentenced Bermudez to 20 years in federal prison.

Edinburg resident Juan Alberto Jimenez, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Edinburg resident Jose Rocha Pinon, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to nine years in prison on 19 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Still awaiting sentencing is Mexican national Hugo Oscar Rodriguez Montoya, 27, of Tamaulipas, who was indicted on 16 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and transporting illegal aliens within the United States. He faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Already sentenced in the case was Jose Israel Leon Villa, who was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in December 2010.

Jared Taylor

The Monitor

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

California, USA

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Riverside: Man accused of abducting, raping girl faces more charges

An illegal immigrant accused of kidnapping his ex-roommate’s 9-year-old daughter from her Riverside home, then sexually assaulting her and trying to kill her, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felonies — including new allegations that he assaulted two other children.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping for rape, two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily injury on a child under 14 years old during a felony.

The charges stem from a May 7 abduction in Riverside. Since Guzman’s arrest on May 16, police have been investigating whether he might be responsible for similar crimes in the area.

According to Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Carney, detectives located two girls allegedly attacked by the defendant in the fall of 2008.

None of the victims’ identities have been released. One girl, who was 12 at the time, alleged Guzman held her at gunpoint and molested her, Carney said. The other girl, who was 11, told detectives the defendant choked her and sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

He said DNA and fingerprint evidence connected Guzman to both crimes, as well as the most recent one.

The Mexican national has been additionally charged with two counts of burglary and one count each of aggravated sexual assault on a child and forced lewd acts on a child under 14.

Guzman appeared today before Superior Court Judge Robert Law, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for June 27. The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to Riverside police, in the most recent case, Guzman was familiar with the victim after having rented a room from her mother in January and February.

The 9-year-old, whose identity was not released, was asleep with her older brother and younger sister in a second-story apartment in the area of Pike Street and Herman Drive when she was forcibly taken the night of May 7, investigators said.

According to Detective Roberta Hopewell, the child’s mother — a single parent — was working as a server at Leonardo’s Mexican restaurant on Arlington Avenue and had left the boy in charge of watching his sisters.

Guzman allegedly accessed the apartment through an unlocked window in the two-bedroom unit. The other youngsters were not harmed during the kidnapping, which occurred around 11 p.m.

Around two hours later, people living on Giles Court — about 2 ½ miles from where the abduction occurred — were awakened when the child began knocking on doors, asking for help, according to investigators.

The disoriented girl told officers she had been carried out of her residence by a man and was later pushed out of a car. Hopewell said videotape from security cameras at the scene showed a dark-colored pickup truck in the area around the time of the abduction. Guzman owned a black Ford F-150 pickup.

Hopewell said the suspect was a person of interest from the beginning because of his contact with the victim, her siblings and their mother. The girl was seriously injured in the attack and is now recovering at home.

City News Service

June 02, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

South Dakota, USA

Ruben Garcia

[Man] raped stepdaughter in front of 7-year-old in South Dakota

On Monday, through an interpreter, Ruben Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to the first-degree rape of his 9-year-old stepdaughter on February 9, 2011.

Garcia admitted committing the rape to Sioux Falls police when he was captured.

According to police, Garcia raped the girl while a seven-year-old watched the ordeal. The girls reported the attacks to their mother who immediately call the police. Garcia fled, but was soon captured in Omaha.

While the maximum sentence for rape in South Dakota is life in prison, the plea agreement will ensure a somewhat shorter sentence.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said: “There's a mandatory minimum of 15 years and under the plea agreement he's facing up to 40 years actually.”

Garcia has been held in the Minnehaha County Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer since his arrest since his arrest on February 10. He will be sentenced on August 15.

The Examiner

June 08, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Pennsylvania, USA

[Man] Faces Child-Luring Charges

Williamsport police have charged a Hispanic male with luring a 12-year-old girl into his truck while it was parked across from the YMCA yesterday. Officer Marlin Smith II was dispatched to the parking lot across from the building in the 300 block of Elmira Street shortly after 10 p.m. on June 23, where he spoke with Lucinda Campbell and her 12-year-old daughter.

Campbell had observed her daughter in a truck with a Hispanic man in his twenties, Smith said. Campbell’s daughter had seen the man before and knew where he lived, and had waved to him. The man, Adrian Arriaga Castro, of Houston Texas, pulled up to the daughter in his truck and opened the passenger’s side door and gestured for her to get in. The girl entered the vehicle and stated that Castro began to talk to her and called her “pretty,” then began to rub her arm. She exited the truck as her mother arrived and Castro ran in the direction of 345 West Third Street.

Smith arrived at the apartment building to investigate; a Hispanic male approached officers outside of the building. The daughter pointed at Castro and police confirmed his identity via his Mexican identification cards; Castro was taken into custody and faces one misdemeanor charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle and one summary charge of harassment.

Additionally, it was discovered that Castro is a Mexican national and has no papers to prove that he is in this country legally, Smith said.

“Because of this police investigation, 16 illegal immigrants were detained by I.C.E. officers from the Department of Homeland Security,” Williamsport Bureau of Police Captain Raymond O. Kontz III said.

“All of these illegals were rooming at 345 West Third Street and 309 Elmira St and working for GPX Surveyor, a gas company originating from Houston Texas,” Kontz said. Castro was taken to the Lycoming County Prison.

NorthCentralPA.com

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Suspect... faces rape charge

A 24-year-old man, who police say is an illegal immigrant already deported once, was arrested and charged Thursday with the statutory rape of a minor under age 6.

Mario Alberto Tellez Ordaz faces three counts of statutory rape or sexual offense against a minor under 6 years. He is being held in the Henderson County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

In a news release issued Friday, Sheriff Rick Davis said Ordaz has previously been deported and will now face federal prosecution as well, due to the nature of the charges.

“This arrest highlights the illegal immigration problem,” Davis said. Ordaz is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Blue Ridge Now

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Idaho, USA

Vicente Manturano-Soto

Sex-crime case ends in prison sentence

Man gets 6.5 years for sexual battery of a minor

A 31-year-old Peruvian native was sentenced Monday to six and a half years in prison for sexual involvement in 2010 with a 16-year-old Ketchum girl.

Vicente Manturano-Soto will be required to spend two and half years in prison before parole eligibility. He was given credit for more than seven months already spent behind bars following his arrest in November. Once released, he will likely be deported.

He was also fined $2,000 and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Originally charged with four counts of rape, Manturano-Soto pleaded guilty in March to a single count of sexual battery of a minor child. The plea was in accord with an agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

A Blaine County grand jury indictment against Manturano-Soto in November alleged that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl from May through June of 2010.

In court Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback described Manturano-Soto as a "close friend" of the victim's family and said he often drove the girl to school or to counseling for a previous episode of sexual abuse.

"He was aware that she was vulnerable because of her age as well as her previous abuse," Fredback said.

He said Manturano-Soto took advantage of the girl's vulnerability to engage in a sexual relationship with her.

"The victim relayed that this happened about 10 times," Fredback said.

He further noted that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a charge against Manturano-Soto alleging that he is an illegal immigrant.

"It appears that while he initially came into this country legally, that expired in 2001 and he continued to stay in this country," Fredback said.

Defense attorney Douglas Nelson noted that his client only pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a child.

"We are here because Vicente admitted basically to making out with this girl, and he's denied anything other than that," Nelson said.

He said Manturano-Soto has recognized what he did was wrong and completed a 10-week course while in jail on moral recognition therapy. Further, Nelson said his client has been a "model prisoner" and has served as a jail trusty.

Speaking through a court interpreter, Manturano-Soto apologized for his actions.

"The truth is I feel very bad about this," he said. "What I did was wrong. I know that God loves all his children and I ask you for forgiveness."

Fifth District Judge Robert J. Elgee said he would have given Manturano-Soto more prison time if not for steps the defendant has taken to improve his life.

"I recognize that you have expressed remorse and you have tried to improve yourself while in jail," Elgee said. "But what you did was a bad act, even if you only did what you've admitted to.

"I happen to believe you did more than you've admitted to. She was half your age. The law is designed to protect young girls who are not adults from older men like you. I know that what you did was not forcible, but the sentence is because of her age."

Terry Smith

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

June 22, 2011

 


Added: Jun. 22, 2011

Colombia

Youth from the city of Cartegena's impoverished Boquilla neighborhood participate in performing Colombian folkloric music in as part of cultural activities organized by the Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation to guide local children and youth away from the tourist resort's child sex traffickers.

A Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation information table promotes the "We are the Wall" campaign, working to bring the hotel industry and other tourist businesses into a campaign to stop child sex tourism in the beach resort city of Cartagena

Prostitutas protegen a niños de redes de proxenetas

Trabajadoras sexuales de Cartagena le declararon la guerra a la prostitución infantil en este turístico balneario del Caribe colombiano y junto a la policía y ONGs buscan estrategias para evitar que los menores caigan en las redes de proxenetas.

Las prostitutas lideran un proyecto para que taxistas, vendedores ambulantes y meseros cooperen frente a mafias que ofrecen a unos 2.000 niños de los barrios marginales.

“Fui prostituta antes que mujer. Comencé a los 10 años y sufrí experiencias que no creerían. Sé que no puedo borrar el pasado, pero sí puedo evitar que otros niños pasen por lo que yo viví y por eso los invito a ayudar”, dijo Damaris a un grupo de taxistas reunidos en un salón público de La Boquilla, un deprimido sector de la ciudad.

La mujer, que aún ejerce en un prostíbulo del centro de la ciudad, forma parte de la campaña ‘La muralla soy yo’ que busca involucrar a quienes viven del turismo en la lucha contra la explotación de niños y adolescentes.

“Desafortunadamente aquí al turista que llega con plata se le permite casi todo. Mi invitación es a ponerle límite. Que cuando pregunten por niños para (tener) sexo, no les pasen información. Piensen que son niños y que ellos, como sus hijos, valen más que cualquier propina”, pidió.

Pero el negocio de la prostitución ha cambiado y con las nuevas tecnologías “ahora es menos frecuente ver el corrillo (grupo) de muchachitos esperando en una esquina la llegada del cliente”, señaló Luis Céspedes, uno de los taxistas que participó en el taller.

“Antes los turistas preguntaban por niñas, pero ahora los contactos se hacen por internet. El turista dice ‘Lléveme a tal hotel’ ahí tiene su cuento con el muchachito o la pelada (niña) le paga y ya. No entiendo cómo vamos a poder ayudar”, cuestionó.

El comandante de Policía local, general Ricardo Restrepo, admitió que este negocio ilegal “se ha sofisticado” y que detrás del abuso sexual a menores en Cartagena se mueven poderosas mafias...

Prostitutes unite to protect children from sex traffickers

Sex workers in the coastal tourist resort city of Cartagena have declared war on child prostitution. Working in collaboration with police and non governmental organizations, they are developing strategies to prevent children from falling into the hands of prostitution networks.

Adult sex workers are leading a project to convince taxi drivers, street vendors and waiters not to cooperate with the sexual exploitation networks that today sell some 2,000 children from the city's slums in prostitution.

A woman named Damaris, speaking to a gathering of local taxi drivers in a poor section of Cartagena called La Boquilla said, "I was a prostitute before I became a woman. I started at the age of 10, and I went through experiences that you would not believe. I know that I can't erase the past, but I can prevent other children go through what I lived through, and I invite you to help."

The woman, who still works in a brothel in the city center, is part of the campaign "I am the wall,' that seeks to involve those who work in the tourism industry in the fight against the exploitation of children and adolescents.

Damaris, "Unfortunately the tourist who comes here with money is allowed to do almost anything they want. I invite you to help us place limits on them. When these tourists ask for children to have sex [a question asked of taxi drivers across Latin America], don't give them information. Remember that they are children and that they, like your children, are worth more than any tip."

The business of prostitution has changed with the emergence of new technologies [the Internet]. "It is now less common to see a circle of boys on a corner waiting for the arrival of a customer," said Luis Cespedes, one of the drivers who participated in the workshop.

"Before the tourists asked for girls, but now the contacts are carried out online. These days, the tourist says, 'Take me to this hotel.' They engage with a boy or girl, pay them, and that's it. I do not understand how we can help," exclaimed Cespedes.

The local police commander, General Ricardo Restrepo admitted that this illegal business "is sophisticated." He acknowledged that powerful mafias control child prostitution in Cartagena.

"Last year we conducted operations with U.S. authorities with very good results. Now we're doing the same with an organization in Spain. These countries know that they have citizens who come to Cartagena to engage in these types of crimes. These nations have therefore taken on their responsibilities [to react]," said the official said.

Mayerlin Vergara, of the non governmental organization Renacer, noted that "ten years ago, we found the child victims of sexual exploitation in the clubs or on the streets. They now engage in prostitution in communities and in educational institutions. They no longer have a reason to come to the city center."

Attorney Freddys del Toro, of the Swiss NGO Tierra de Hombres, which advocates for victims of child sexual exploitation, noted that child sex tourism is promoted "through so-called travel agencies that operate online and that don't have local offices, making it difficult to combat their activities."

The Cartagena prosecutor's office has registered 400 complaints of child sexual abuse. Prosecutions of child sexual exploiters have resulted in 19 convictions to-date.

"We just had a historic decision in Colombia. For the first time, a foreigner was convicted. Italian Paolo Pravisani, age 72, was [sentenced] in the death of a young boy, Yesid Torres, whom Pravisani was sexually abusing," said del Toro.

In 2010 Colombian authorities arrested Briton Anthony Paul Brailsford, who has lived in Cartagena since 2001. Police found photos of naked girls in his possession. Meanwhile, in March, the Spanish film producer Pablo Lapiedra was arrested on accusations that he was filming pornographic movies with children.

Colombian law provides for penalties of up to eight years in prison for those who lead, organize or promote tourist activities that include the sexual use of children and provides that property used for that purpose may be confiscated.

Figures from the government's Colombian Family Welfare Institute estimates that about 35,000 children are forced into prostitution in the country. Some 2,000 of those children live in Cartagena.

El Nuevo Heraldo

June 17, 2011

See Also:

Added Sep. 14 2005

Colombia

Así se mueve la cadena del turismo sexual con menores de edad en Cartagena.

About child sex tourism in Cartagena

Cartagena - in Colombia's largest spa and beach resort city, popular with foreign tourists, 1,200 underage children and youth engage in prostitution. 

At the city's international airport, 15 year old girls line up waiting for the arrival of one of the many weekly flights that bring in male tourists, especially from Spain and Italy. 

Many of these girls have been contacted from Europe by phone, and a week of 'companionship' has been set up. Other girls make deals with newly arrived airline passengers.  In other cases, taxi drivers and bar owners receive a fee for connecting tourists with young prostitutes.

The victims are typically young Afro-Colombian girls and boys. 

According to Vittorio Chimienti, director of a child advocacy project in Cartagena started by the Italian government following growing concern about its citizen's flagrant sex tourism:

"Law enforcement does almost nothing to control the child sex trade, and word of impunity travels rapidly around the world." 

See Also:

Added July 18 2005

Cartagena, donde se ofrecen niñas de entre ocho y 17 años en la prostitución.

Colombian authorities urged to change the laws and fight child prostitution in the spa resort city of Cartagena, where increasing numbers of girls between 8 and 17 are prostituted to sex tourists.

See Also:

Added: Nov. 07, 2004

The sexual exploitation of 1,600 minors taints Colombia's Caribbean tourist haven [of Cartagena]

...Cartagena's history as a Spanish bastion against English invasion, its cobblestone streets, quaint plazas, colonial churches, art museums and seafood restaurants attract many visitors. Yet behind the thick, ancient walls lurks a darker attraction: the sexual exploitation of minors by foreigners .

The city has become a magnet for men, many of them Europeans, seeking sex with young girls and sometimes boys, many of them from families displaced from their rural homes by fighting among leftist rebels, government forces and right-wing paramilitary groups.

On the main hotel strip, foreigners openly haggle with underage girls selling their bodies or duck past pink neon lights into what purports to be a discotheque. Inside, bored-looking teenage girls at tables perk up only when a man walks by. He can take his pick, pay as little as $15 and take her to a room across the road.

"Unfortunately, Cartagena has the image of being a place where people can have whatever kind of sexual relations they want," says Fabian Cardenas, the local coordinator for Renacer, a private group that helps victims of sexual exploitation.

"There are many foreigners who come here with the sheer objective of having sex. And what the tourist wants, the tourist gets."

An estimated 1,500 girls and boys work in Cartagena's sex industry . Over the last three years, Renacer has learned of girls as young as 7 and boys as young as 9 being sexually exploited, Cardenas says.

Cartagena isn't alone. Many Latin American cities, in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, are now being frequented by "sex tourists" looking for minors, as a result of shift in the business from Asia following police crackdowns.

Poverty and domestic sexual abuse push many children into the sex industry...

The Associated Press

April 07, 2004



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary:

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

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

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

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

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

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

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


LibertadLatina

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


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

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

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


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

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

Americas Program Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

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

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

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

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

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

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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

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

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


LibertadLatina

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

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

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

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

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

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

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

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

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

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

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

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

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

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

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

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

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

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

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

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

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

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

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

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

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

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

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

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


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

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

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


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

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

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

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

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

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

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

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

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


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

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

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

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

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

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.