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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

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


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

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News and Events - English
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Noticias de Junio, 2010

June 2010 News



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Added: Jun. 25, 2010

Texas, USA

Texas Supreme Court: Kids in Prostitution Are Victims, Not Criminals

The case of a 13-year-old girl who was prosecuted for prostitution (while her 32-year-old pimp got away) in Texas was decided by the Texas supreme court this week. And they've said categorically that children in the commercial sex industry aren't criminals, they're victims of child sex trafficking. This decision is significant not only for the children of Texas, but for kids around the country as more and more states may begin to see child prostitution for what it is: a crime against children.

On the one hand, declaring that children in prostitution are victims as opposed to criminals sounds like a no-brainer. Every state has an age of sexual consent that prohibits children of a certain age from consenting to sex. Why should the fact that a financial transaction is involved suddenly make children and young teens able to consent to sex? But Texas, like almost all states, never provided an age limit on the crime of prostitution. So it was legally possible for a 13-year-old to be a victim of the crime of statutory rape, but a perpetrator of the crime of prostitution -- both for the same act!

The Texas Supreme Court decision is poised to change that -- not just in Texas, but across the country. The ruling sets an important precedent by stating that children in the commercial sex industry are victims of a crime and should be treated as such. Will other states take this ruling and use it in their own cases, aiming to protect children from sexual exploitation? Will this lead a new movement to decriminalize minors in prostitution while placing the onus for their abuse on their pimps and the men who buy them? Only time will tell.

If this does mark the beginning of a new trend, then one thing is abundantly clear: we need some place to put these girls. One of the major reasons the Texas 13-year-old was prosecuted in the first place was the D.A. argued that jail was safer than the streets, and in juvenile detention she'd have access to social services she couldn't get elsewhere. And the sad thing is in many areas, the only safe place off the streets is juvenile detention. But locking up victims (aside from being wrong) can traumatize them even more. So if we as a country follow Texas's lead and say teens in prostitution are victims, then we need to build them shelters and safe houses, not jails...

Amanda Kloer

Change.org

June 24, 2010


 

Added: Jun. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Loophole closed for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes

They are accused child rapists, drug dealers and thieves. And because of major reforms in the justice system - spurred by a News 8 investigation - those people now face prosecution.

As recently as November, because of a loophole in the law, many would have simply been set free without ever going to trial.

Until it was fixed, the loophole allowed for the deportation of accused criminals - and a breakdown in the justice system.

We introduced you to "Sylvia" back in November. While she is an American citizen, her husband, Jose Salvador Tinajero, is Mexican.

He had just been deported instead of prosecuted for molesting her two children.

"There is no justice," Sylvia said last year, "especially for my girls, my family. There is none."

Today, she is simply overwhelmed at the progress that's been made.

News 8 first broke the story that more than 1,000 illegal immigrants who were charged with serious crimes like murder had been deported before their cases ever went to trial.

Many were bused back to Mexico and simply set free across the border.

In November, we spoke to Sgt. Ernesto Fierro, an investigator for the Dallas County District Attorney's office. At the time, little was being done to fix the problem, and Fierro said he was "furious" about it.

Buena Valentin is a Mexican citizen charged with raping his girlfriend's seven-year-old daughter. After the attack on the girl - and her sister - they immediately ran to church for help.

"She looked really bad. Very bad," said Eleuterio Cabrera of Templo de Dios. "She was crying. The girls were very, very, very bad. It was horrible."

What was the problem?

After an arrest, the district attorney's office was usually not notified until a case had been in the system for several weeks. In that gap of time, the accused paid his bond.

Then - because the suspect was in the U.S. illegally - he was turned over to ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The job of that agency is to deport, regardless of pending charges.

Now, however, because of News 8 reports, those holes in the system are all plugged, and Sgt. Ernesto Fierro has a new, full-time assignment: Keeping people like Buena Valentin in jail.

"I feel great; I feel really good," Fierro said. "I feel like I've really done something here."

And the 90 crime suspects in Fierro's book will remain incarcerated in the Dallas County jail until their cases are settled.

"Many of them would've been on the bus back to their home country," Fierro said, without the changes to the system.

Two big fixes are:

* A mandatory $100,000 bond for anyone who is a flight risk due to possible deportation. In some cases, that's a 20-fold increase.

* Improved communication and cooperation between Dallas County and ICE.

"I appreciate you guys highlighting," said Nuria Prendes, the top ICE agent in Dallas. "If we're not made aware of things, there's no way we can fix them." ...

Federal officials say one in four felony defendants are in the U.S. illegally. News 8 has attempted to find out how many are deported before trial, but no government agency tracks the issue, and privacy rules have impeded our efforts to learn more.

Still, there is strong evidence the loophole does exists nationwide. We found cases in Florida, Massachusetts and New York...

Davis Schechter

WFAA

June 23, 2010

See also:

Texas, USA

Hundreds in Dallas County Deported Before Their Trials

Hundreds of defendants awaiting trial for violent crimes in Dallas County have been deported by federal immigration officials and then set free in their home countries.

The practice goes back to at least 1991 and includes the release of murder, kidnapping and child rape suspects. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they're required to deport illegal immigrants quickly but are now in talks with local agencies who are trying to resolve the problem...

One survey of prosecutors shows that since 1991 in Dallas County, nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants have not stood trial after being accused of felonies. That number also counts cases in which a wanted person fled before being arrested, but does not include all Dallas County cases - just ones that prosecutors judged to be of the highest priority.

Those who post bail and agree to then be sent home are taking advantage of the system to escape justice, said Terri Moore, top assistant to District Attorney Craig Watkins...

Officials from the DA's office, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and ICE met this week to discuss the problem. No quick fixes were found, but they plan to meet again, officials said...

The agency's policies led to the deportation of one defendant, Jose Rico, who returned to Mexico before he could stand trial in the rape of two girls in separate incidents. DNA connected him to both sexual assaults, court records show.

Both girls, ages 12 and 14, were bound with clear duct tape. The attacker told one of the girls: "I have a gun. I will kill you."

Rico, 34, posted his $125,000 bond and was deported in August...

In Dallas County, judges this week took a step toward decreasing the chances that someone in the country illegally will post bond and be deported before trial. Judges began setting the bail at $100,000 per charge if a defendant is in the country illegally.

Under the new system, the bail for Rico, the child rape suspect, probably would have been $200,000...

Jennifer Emily

Dallas News

Nov. 14, 2009

See also:

Dallas Police Identify Suspect in 2 Child Rapes

Dallas police today released the identity of the man believed to be responsible for raping two children in northeast Dallas.

He was identified as Jose Rico, 33, an illegal immigrant, police said.

Rico was being held in the Dallas County jail on charges of aggravated sexual assault and burglary of a habitation.

He is also under an immigration hold...

In both assaults, the victims -- girls between 12 and 14 -- were home alone when a man entered through an unlocked doors. Both girls were bound before they were raped.

[During] the Oct. 16 assault the attacker... entered the home while the girl and an 11-month-old baby were alone.

The man confronted the girl as she was coming out of a bathroom, pushed her back in and turned off the lights. He threatened to hurt the baby if she screamed.

[During] the Jan. 30 attack... a man with a similar description bound and raped a girl while she was home alone.

Dan X. McGraw

The Dallas Morning News

March 26, 2009


Added: Jun. 24, 2010

Connecticut, USA

Kimberly Revolorio and Celetino Aguilar

New Haven Police Ask For Help Finding Missing Teen

Police are asking for the public's help locating a missing 15-year-old girl.

Kimberly Revolorio was last seen on May 29 at 903 Congress Ave.

Police said they believe she left willingly and may be with Celetino Aguilar, 35.

Revolorio is described as a 5-foot-tall, 103-pound Hispanic female with long black hair and a light brown complexion, police said.

Aguilar is a 6-foot-tall, 175-pound Hispanic male with short black hair. He may be clean shaven but is known to have a mustache and goatee, police said.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6316 or the Special Investigations Unit at 203-946-6290.

Julie Stagis

The Hartford Courant

June 24, 2010


Added: Jun. 24, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Pennsylvania halfway house escapee is caught in Newark, charged with sex assault

A man who escaped from a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections halfway house and was captured Wednesday in Newark has been charged with raping a 12-year-old child while he was on the loose.

Daniel Rosario, 33, was captured by the U.S. Marshals Service in Newark.

U.S. Marshal Michael Regan says Rosario failed to return March 25 to a halfway house in Scranton where he had been serving time on burglary charges. Authorities allege that Rosario raped a child in Dickson City earlier this month.

U.S. Marshals caught up with Rosario at an apartment building in Newark. Regan says Rosario fled on foot and scaled a razor-wire fence before being captured...

The Associated Press

June 24, 2010


Added: Jun. 23, 2010

The World, Latin America

Latin America in the global crime big picture

* Latin America exports $38 billion annually in cocaine to the U.S., while exporting $34 billion to Europe

* The region generates $6.6 billion by smuggling 3 million migrants annually into the U.S. and Canada

Note that much of Latin America's drug trade profits are used to finance human trafficking operations.

By comparison, the world's second largest organized criminal enterprise - heroin trafficking from Afghanistan, generates $33 billion in annual sales to Europe and Asia.

In other words, the impunity of human trafficking is not ending any time soon in Latin America. - LL

UN warns of gangs’ global muscle

International crime networks now enjoy such an extensive reach that the gangs behind them must be regarded as a significant economic power, says a United Nations report.

In one of the most comprehensive analyses undertaken of transnational criminal activity, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has calculated that the illicit trade in a range of commodities – including drugs, people, arms, fake goods and stolen natural resources – has an annual value of roughly $130 billion.

The report shows how transnational crime continues to be dominated by the trade in cocaine and heroin, a business whose product is worth about $105 billion a year...

Cocaine trafficking from the Andean region to North America, a business with an annual value of $38 billion at destination, is the biggest sector in the illegal narcotics trade. The export of cocaine from the Andean region to Europe is worth about $34 billion a year.

However, the UNODC believes that the North American cocaine market is shrinking because of lower demand and greater law enforcement. It says this has generated a turf war among trafficking gangs, particularly in Mexico, and prompted them to forge new drug routes...

The second-biggest sector in international organized crime is people-trafficking. The trade in women for sexual exploitation is now worth about $3 billion a year. Much of the trade involves trafficking people from Africa and the Balkans to other parts of Europe, where about 140,000 women are being manipulated by gangs at any one time.

The illegal smuggling of economic migrants is worth about $6.6 billion a year to those who run the trade, according to the report.

The dominant illegal migrant flow is across the southern border of the US, with about 3 million Latin Americans illegally moving to North America each year. Flows from Africa to Europe are far smaller, with about 55,000 migrants smuggled into Europe in 2008...

James Blitz

The Financial Times Limited

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 23, 2010

Mexico

Delitos impunes, a pesar de que la CIDH pidió enviarlos a la vía civil

Suma justicia militar 5 casos de violación a mujeres indígenas

México, D.F. - Desde hace nueve años, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) recomendó al Estado mexicano que fuera la justicia civil quien investigara la violación sexual ejercida por militares en perjuicio de tres mujeres indígenas, no obstante, hoy dicha recomendación no se ha cumplido y a ella se han sumado dos casos similares en la jurisprudencia militar.

El 4 de abril de 2001, fue la primera vez que la CIDH exhortó al gobierno mexicano trasladar a la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) un caso de violación sexual ejercida por soldados, esto con el objetivo de juzgar con mayor efectividad a los miembros de las fuerzas armadas que incurrieran en violaciones contra los derechos humanos.

Dicha recomendación del organismo internacional fue por el caso de Ana, Beatriz y Celia González Pérez (nombres ficticios), de tres indígenas tzeltales, que el 4 de junio de 1994 fueron detenidas en un retén militar, instalado tras el levantamiento del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) en Chiapas.

Cabe recordar que las hermanas González Pérez y su madre, Delia Pérez de González fueron interrogadas y privadas de su libertad durante dos horas. En tanto, las tres hermanas fueron golpeadas y violadas en reiteradas ocasiones por los militares. Después de lo ocurrido, el 30 de junio de 1994, las jóvenes agredidas -de 20, 18 y 16 años de edad- presentaron una denuncia ante el Ministerio Público Federal.

Sin Justicia Expedita

Sin embargo, el 2 de septiembre de 1994, el expediente de dicha denuncia fue trasladado a la Procuraduría General de Justicia Militar, quién dos años después, en febrero de 1996, decidió archivar el expediente con el argumento de: “la falta de comparecencia de las víctimas a declarar nuevamente y a someterse a pericias ginecológicas”.

Cabe mencionar que el 17 de septiembre de ese año, la defensa de las víctimas presentó un amparo para evitar que la justicia militar investigara el caso, pero éste fue negado.

Este hecho permitió que el caso permaneciera en la impunidad, ya que a decir de la defensa de las tres indígenas, era inaceptable la pretensión de que estas mujeres, que fueron torturadas por miembros de la institución castrense, se sintieran seguras declarando (por tercera vez) ante este organismo...

A pesar de estas declaraciones y de que han transcurrido 16 años, la investigación permanece en la justicia militar y en la impunidad.

Rapes of civilian indigenous women remain in impunity despite the demands of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission that Mexico move the cases to civilian courts

The case of the 1994 beatings and rapes of three Tzeltal Mayan indigenous sisters, who were then ages 16, 18 and 20, and are known by their pseudonyms of Ana, Beatriz y Celia González Pérez, remains in impunity 16 years after the fact. Mexican President Felipe Calderón's policies have never allowed civilian jurisdiction in this case, nor in the cases of two other indigenous rape victims, who have also faced impunity (and ongoing intimidation for having sought to bring criminal complaints against soldiers).

Despite the fact that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission has, since 2001, called upon Mexico to allow its civilian criminal justice system to take over cases involving soldiers attacking Mexican civilians, President Calderón has ignored these pleas.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Noticias Women's News Agency

June 14, 2010

See also:

CIMAC Noticias' collection of over 300 news articles on the rape of (mostly indigenous) women with impunity by soldiers in Mexico

(in Spanish)


Added: Jun. 23, 2010

Cuba

Cuba denounces US criticism on human trafficking

Havana - Cuba reacted angrily... to its inclusion on a U.S. list of countries that could be sanctioned for failing to fight human and child trafficking, calling it a "shameful slander" and part of Washington's efforts to justify its trade embargo.

Cuba is one of 13 countries put on notice... that they are not complying with the minimum international standards to eliminate the trade in human beings and sexual slavery, and could face U.S. penalties.

Compiled by President Barack Obama's administration, the list also includes Iran, North Korea, and Myanmar. Another 58 countries were placed on a "watch list" that could lead to sanctions unless their records improve.

Cuba was singled out for allegedly not doing enough to prevent the trafficking of children who work as prostitutes on the island, mostly serving foreign tourists. It also said some Cuban doctors have complained that the government leases out their services to foreign countries as a way of canceling Cuba's debt.

"Cuba categorically rejects these allegations as false and disrespectful," Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's North American affairs office, said in a statement sent to the foreign news media Tuesday.

She said the allegations are all the more offensive because the communist government has concentrated its limited resources on protecting women and the young, providing far more for the most vulnerable members of society than most nations in the region.

While Cubans receive low wages, the island offers free education through college, free health care and heavily subsidized housing and transportation. Crime rates and drug usage are extremely low in a country where the state maintains near total control.

"These shameful slanders profoundly hurt the Cuban people. In Cuba, there is no sexual abuse against minors
[well, that certainly is an exaggeration - LL], but rather an exemplary effort to protect children, young people and women," Vidal Ferreiro said. She said Cuban laws "put us among the countries in the region with the most advanced norms and mechanisms for the prevention of abuse." ...

The latest report notes that Cuban laws against trafficking appear stringent, but that the country has not provided enough evidence to show they are being enforced.

Interestingly, the report does not concentrate on Cubans seeking to emigrate to the United States, a diaspora which has meant vast profits for traffickers, who can charge thousands of dollars for illicit transportation to the U.S., often through Mexico...

Vidal Ferreiro said Cuba's inclusion on the trafficking list is political.

"It can only be explained by the desperate need that the U.S. government has to justify, under whatever pretext, the persistence of its cruel blockade, which has been overwhelmingly rejected by the international community."

Cuba was not the only country in the region to react strongly to the report.

Guyana, which received slightly better marks than Cuba, said the report hurts its friendship with the United States. The Dominican Republic is also included on the list [and richly deserved to be there - LL]. The country's official in charge of monitoring human trafficking, Frank Soto, called the list "a lie with no merit."

Paul haven

The Associated Press

June 15, 2010


Added: Jun. 23, 2010

Colorado, USA

Woman molested at 7-11 in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs police are warning residents about a sexual assault that happened this weekend at the 7-11 store at 3306 E. Fountain Blvd.

A 17-year-old girl was standing with some friends while filling their car at about 4:40 p.m. Saturday when a large green van pulled up behind the car.

The victim said a Hispanic man, age 30-40, made some small talk with her and then molested her.

The man was described as 5-feet-7-inches tall, heavy and wearing black Dickies shorts and a gray or white tanktop shirt.

The van was large and had red "For Sale" signs on the side and the rear windows.

James Amos

KOAA

June 22, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

The World

2010 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

UN: Organized crime spans planet, involves big economies - Summary

New York/Vienna - International mafias with their enormous power in money and weapons have sent and marketed illicit goods across and in all continents, affecting the world's biggest economies, the first UN report on transnational crime said Thursday.

Europe has become one of the destinations, with an estimated 140,000 victims of sexual exploitation generating gross annual income of 3 billion dollars to human traffickers, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in the report The Globalization of Crime.

Major human trafficking routes flow from Africa to Europe and from Latin America to the United States.

"Worldwide there are millions of modern slaves traded at a price not higher in real terms than centuries ago," said UNODC executive director Antonia Maria Costa who presented the report in New York.

"Transnational crime has become a threat to peace and development, even to the sovereignty of nations," Costa said. "Criminals use weapons and violence, but also money and bribes to buy elections, politicians and power." ...

UNODC warned that transnational crime threatens to derail security especially in poor countries that already suffer from conflicts.

"Crime is fuelling corruption, infiltrating business and politics, and hindering development," Costa said.

He pointed to drug cartels that spread violence in Central America, the Caribbean and West Africa, as well as to cooperation between insurgents and criminals in Southeast Asia and Northern and Central Africa.

The UNODC said governments should try fighting criminal markets rather than crime syndicates, by stopping money laundering and informal transfer systems...

Two main routes for smuggling migrants are from Africa to Europe and from Latin American to the US. Up to 3 million migrants are smuggled from Latin America to the US every year, providing more than 6 billion dollars to smugglers.

The heroin market in North America has declined because of lower demand and more effective law enforcement. But it triggered a turf war among gangs, particularly in Mexico, for new drugs trafficking routes.

Afghanistan produces opium and Colombia coca, but the drug profits are made at their destination rich countries. Afghan heroin is sold for an estimated 55 billion dollars around the world, but Afghan farmers, traders and insurgents probably receive only about 2.3 billion dollars...

Earth Times

June 17, 2010

See also:

International criminal markets have become major centres of power, UNODC report shows

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Guyana

Dr. Prem Misir is  Pro-Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

The US human trafficking report is defective

US human trafficking policy is a product of religious leaders, neo-conservatives, and abolitionist feminists. It was Michael Horowitz from the Hudson Institute who set up a coalition of evangelicals to advocate for the legislation that became the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA); the legislation received approval from the US House of Representatives by a 371-1 vote, and by the US Senate by 95-0 vote, and was signed into law by President Clinton on October 28, 2000.

The TVPA’s aims are to prevent human trafficking overseas, protecting the victims of traffickers, and prosecuting traffickers. A singular dimension of TVPA has to do with the US’s demands on overseas countries to enact preventive measures against sex trafficking.

This TVPA as a matter of policy requires the State Department to effect an annual assessment of other countries’ anti-trafficking efforts, and to evaluate each country on the basis of its procedures undertaken to combat trafficking. For this reason, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons with the State Department executes its work through a mandate from Congress to produce annual Trafficking in Persons (TIPS) reports that ranks each country’s progress to end trafficking.

The US keeps awarding itself a Tier 1 status, meaning it is making sufficient efforts to end trafficking; countries that do not do well in US judgment are labeled Tier 2 or Tier 3.Tier 3 countries could receive sanctions from the US.

If you look carefully, you will see that Tier 3 countries are countries that may be more concerned about paying no mind to this US program, rather than their efforts to end trafficking. Some recent Tier 3 countries are Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Indonesia, India, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Lebanon, Sudan, Qatar, Turkey, etc. These are countries not comfortable with US imperialism, where Enloe (2000) argued that the US sets itself up as “a model to be emulated” and [performs] the role of “global policeman.”

Trends in Organized Crime (2006) noted that the US State Department’s justifications for its ranking awards to countries that do not satisfy minimum standards to end human trafficking, are deficient, and the State Department’s report is applied patchily to establish government-wide anti-trafficking programs and projects.

Some of the minimum standards are subjective, and the report fails to delineate how these standards were applied, reducing the report’s integrity. For instance, country narratives for Tier 1 countries do not make clear compliance with the second minimum standard pertaining to approved penalties for sex-trafficking crimes.

The US itself has to address domestically the problem of about 200,000 children at risk for human trafficking each year, and it would serve that country well to effect some house cleaning there, as that problem has begun to fester. And instead of sitting in judgment over other countries’ issues on trafficking, there may be better outcomes if all the affected countries worked in unison to stamp out this evil trade.

Yours faithfully,
Prem Misir

Letter to the editor

Stabroek News

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Cuba, The Americas


We present a continuing dialog on the perennial inclusion of Cuba in the worst rating categories in the annual U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report


Cuba, The Americas

Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Response to the 2007 TIP Report

Rosa Miriam Elizalde

Crime or Punishment in Cuba

Myths about the sex trade

[A Cuban activist's analysis in response to the 2007 U.S. Trafficking in Persons report's allegations of child sex trafficking in Cuba]

"...The... report... avoids to mention that before the 1959 triumph of Revolution, Cuba had a population of about 6 million and was known as the "North American brothel in the Caribbean." Some 100,000 women worked either directly or indirectly on prostitution due to poverty, discrimi-nation or the absence of jobs. The Revolution educated them and offered them employment."

In... the “2007 Trafficking in Persons Report," Cuba and Venezuela head-up the U.S. State Department’s black list. The annual verdict - it has been issued now since 2001 - repeats practically the same arguments already used for seven years. It reiterates that both women and children are "internally trafficked" for sexual exploitation and that the country, [is] an important destination...

In the Cuban case, it is not in the social or the individual levels where this myth “woman = prostitute” reveals itself more clearly, but in the international news media. Cuba has lived the unusual experience of a political manipulation of the drama of prostitution that has become the center of an international campaign presenting Cubans, all of them, as potential saleable objects. “You will feel watched by hundreds of approachable women,” starts an article in Man magazine...

By linking the reemergence of prostitution in Cuba with the measures enacted to strengthen [the] economy they are actually trying to demonstrate the unfeasibility of the Cuban social project. ...It [the existence of prostitution] is offered-up as the highest evidence of the political disintegration of the Cuban system, the return to a type of trade that had disappeared in the initial decades of the Revolution. “This campaign intends to present the increasing number of tourists in the country as a wave of sex-starved males that will find their desires fulfilled in an island plunged into poverty, with women selling their bodies for their daily bread," as a Spanish journalist who took part in a debate on the topic in the magazine Cambio 16 stated.

The attempt at [highlighting this part of the economy continues to grow] thanks to the sex market... There have even been those who have rashly awarded Cuba the credential of “erotic imperialism” when trying to explain the signs of economic recovery in a blockaded country. In this type of analysis, of course, the image of Cuban prostitutes is presented out of context. Since, as a rule, the phenomenon is seen superficially and tendentious information is offered, foreigners imagine that these prostitutes are not essentially different from those who sell themselves in bordellos and streets in their cities and that form part of a highly organized and lucrative business, all this quite far from Cuban reality.

"Whether directly or indirectly, what is being sold as an image is the possibility of subduing the Cuban nation."

As a mathematical formula [that runs in an endless loop], the equation “woman = prostitute = Cuba” has ended up as a new version of the myth maintaining that all women are whores: it is the stigmatized identity of a country and the tropical version of the failure of socialism.

Whether directly or indirectly, what is being sold as an image is the possibility of subduing the Cuban nation. That “all women are approachable” does not only mean that you can buy sexuality and power over another human being – and, by extension, take control of a country for a period of time established beforehand – but that you can avail yourself of their intimacy, [that place] in human beings, no matter where they are from, where the link with shame and taboo runs deep...

Rosa Miriam Elizalde

Translated by  María Teresa Ortega

July 27, 2007

See also:

Added: Jun. 21, 2010

Cuba

Response to the 2010 TIP Report

Reconoce UNICEF ejemplo de Cuba en protección a la infancia

Es el cuento de nunca acabar. Autoridades estadounidenses ya no saben de cuál gajo colgarse en su enfermizo empeño contra Cuba.

La mala nueva es ahora la aparición de la lsla entre los peores países del globo en cuanto al tráfico de personas, según informe elaborado por el Departamento de Estado en relación con el tema…

Paradojas: hace apenas cinco días, en La Habana, Juan José Ortiz, representante del Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) ofreció declaraciones en las cuales resaltó: "En el planeta, millones de menores sufren la falta de escolarización y de vacunación contra enfermedades prevenibles, además de ser víctimas de explotación laboral y sexual en las redes internacionales de prostitución, ninguno es cubano"...

UNICEF recognizes Cuba as a leader in childhood protection

The story never ends. U.S. authorities no longer know from which hook to hang in the ongoing campaign against Cuba.

The newest story to come out is that Cuba appears as one of the worst nations on earth in regard to human trafficking, according the [2010 Trafficking in Persons report of the] U.S. Department of State.

Cuba did not hesitate to respond. Josefina Vidal, director for North America for the Cuban Chancellery responded to the 2010 TIP report by declaring the allegations to be “false and disrespectful.”

Paradoxically, five days ago, Juan Jose Ortiz, a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), made the following statement: “Across the world, millions of minors suffer from a lack of access to education and vaccines to protect against preventable diseases, in addition to being victims of international sexual and labor exploitation networks. None of these children are Cuban."

During recent years Cuba has achieved important, positive progress in regard to protecting children, a fact which has transformed Cuba into the Latin American nation with the highest quality of life for girls and boys.

A age-old saying in Cuba goes: “Tell me what you accuse me of, and I will show you what you, yourself are lacking.” This fits like a ring on a finger in the case of the allegations made against Cuba.

The U.S. leads in statistics regarding all forms of trafficking, immigration. Drug use, murders, mafias, wars, etcetera…

The [allegations of child trafficking made against Cuba] show the blindness of certain authorities in the Obama Administration. They have never visited Cuba, and they have apparently never read UNICEF’s reports in regard to conditions for children here.

Continuing with the statement of conditions in Cuba by UNICEF’s Juan Jose Ortiz, he says: “quantitatively and qualitatively, we can say that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is applied very well in Cuba."

In Ortiz’ opinion, this state of affairs has come about through the collaboration between the Cuban Government and UNICEF, making Cuba a shining example for children rights for the rest of Latin America.

Everything is not perfect. Nothing exists in simple, black and white tones. Shades of grey do exist. As one poet stated it: “none of use live in a perfect society.” But to say that children in Cuba are subjected to the degrading business of human trafficking and child prostitution is a repugnant form of political aggression.

Cuba is not a rich country, but it does not interfere in the “persistent effort to guarantee protections for children,” which is, according to UNICEF, a state of affairs made possible by [the actions of] Cuba’s government.”

Children in Cuba may lack financial resources, but there is no lack of love and good will to support them…

Marcos Alfonso

Radio Guantanamo

June 16, 2010

See also:

Added: Jun. 21/22, 2010

Cuba, The Americas

LibertadLatina Commentary Response to the 2010 TIP Report

Chuck Goolsby

We do not take a position on the political situation in Cuba, beyond acknowledging that Democracy must come, some day, to that island nation. In addition, we are not communists, socialists or any other 'ist' that can be negatively labeled.

A a musician specializing in, among other things, Afro-Cuban folkloric music (Rumba), I have had many Cuban friends, of all ages, races and political leanings. As one of Cuba's best African folklorist's, a man named Hector, told me when he came to Washington, DC after the 1980 Mariel Boatlift exodus of refugees: "The lack of political freedom in Cubas was terrible, but the fact that all of your [physical] needs were met - education, food, housing and healthcare - was a good thing."

In regard to the rights of children and human trafficking, we find that the recent report from Cuba's Radio Guantanamo (the above article), and also UNICEF official Juan Jose Ortiz's recent comments on Cuba's treatment of children ring much closer to the truth than the allegations contained in the 2010 U.S. State Department's assessment, which states that Cuba deserves a "Tier 3" (the lowest) rating for supposedly refusing to address the issue of human trafficking.

Before the Cuban revolution in 1958, Cuba was literally the top sex tourism destination for U.S. citizens in the Americas. After the revolution, prostitution was banned and former prostitutes were given job training, an approach that would have been considered unthinkable in any other Latin American nation at the time, despite the continent-wide epidemic of prostitution that then plagued (and still plagues) the region.

After the victory of Castro's forces in 1958, one of his first acts was to allow Afro-Cubans to attend public beaches (a practice banned under the dictator Batista). We note with horror that Mexican police had been known to clear Acapulco's beaches of Afro-Mexican children and adults - also with the goal of 'pleasing' U.S. tourists, as recently as a decade ago.

In 1975, I recall seeing a mainstream television news story about Fidel Castro declaring that women would be given equal rights in Cuba. At the time, this caused enraged men to flock to Cuba's streets en-mass to protest. Yet equality because official policy. By contrast, women did not even win the right to vote in Mexico until 1953.

In 1991, a very high level official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the director of an HHS region) had a very long conversation with me about the human rights of children in Latin America. What this official said to me was that Cuba was the only nation in Latin America that properly cared for all of its children. He added that hunger, lack of access to medical care, lack of access to education and other maladies that plague all other Latin American nations are non-existent in Cuba. This official's assessment from 1991 is compatible with UNICEF's recent (2010) comments on the positive, pro-children efforts that are clearly visible throughout Cuba.

In addition, African descendents, who are 60% of Cuba's current population, are given access to equal education and, even if poor, can look forward to attending excellent medical schools if they qualify academically and so desire. You will not find that state of affairs anywhere else in the Americas.

The Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, has graduated more than 7,000 doctors from Latin America and nations around the world, often via scholarships. One family friend, who's son's medical practice partner in Colombia is Afro-Colombian, noted that Colombia's racist medical schools refuse to admit even ONE Afro-Colombian student. This perfectly qualified physician therefore received his training in Cuba.

In Cuba, the social drivers that create the conditions necessary to expose children to mass human trafficking simply do not exist.

By contrast, millions of indigenous children in Mexico are forced to work for a living while facing unspeakable racial hatred focused against them by the nation's Spanish descendents. It is well documented that indigenous and African descendant children in Mexico are forced to go to schools with dirt floors and often without bathroom facilities (a public health factor that was widely discussed in the context of the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak). Tens of thousands of poor indigenous girls in the 12 to 14-years-of-age range must work, with no access to schooling, as domestic servants for midlle and upper class Mexican households. Only a few of these children are actually paid, and many of them are routinely raped with impunity by the homeowner and/or his sons.

In addition, some 3,000 to 4,000 indigenous children and youth have been kidnapped with complete impunity by Japanese Yakuza mafias and their accomplices in Mexico, and have been sent to Japan to be enslaved as Geisha prostitutes, while neither Mexico nor Japan have ever lifted even one little finger to help these innocent victims of serial rape until death.

Activists in Mexico admit that the federal government does little to stop human trafficking, and police agents are complicit in a large number of trafficking crimes.

None of these critical human rights issues are visible on Mexico's national agenda, even now that the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking has begun a ground breaking effort to combat human slavery in that nation.

It has been a concern of ours for years that the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report has repeatedly rated Cuba as the worst location in the Americas for human trafficking, while virtually ignoring the pandemic enslavement of women and children in Mexico, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and other major source countries for victims.

Does prostitution and adult sex tourism exist in Cuba? Yes. Is Cuba's problem with human trafficking anywhere near as bad as it is in Mexico? No. Not by a long shot.

Cuba was always targeted for low ratings in the TIP report when President George W. Bush was in office. It was understood then that this was political payback.

If Cuba deserves a Tier 3 rating, then Mexico and Argentina deserve a Tier 4 rating (of course, tier 4 does not actually exist).

If Mexico is a gleaming example of a nation that is doing good work, and better work than Cuba, to stop child sex trafficking, then our nation's  assessment techniques are flawed and inaccurate, and are therefore in BIG trouble.

...Just keeping the discussion honest.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 21/22/23, 2010

See also:

UNICEF's background report on conditions Cuba

See also:

Press response to the 2010 TIP Report

Ambassador CdeBaca on 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

CdeBaca answers questions on modern slavery, sex and labor trafficking

Question [from a reporter]: Thank you.

Ambassador CdeBaca: Yes.

Question: Yes. Back on the case of Cuba, I’m wondering what actually is the justification for the - I mean, I read a little bit, but it sounds - it seems like the U.S. might be open to charges of political ranking. I’m just trying to get why Cuba is on Tier 3.

Ambassador CdeBaca: Well, I think that one of the things that we see for Cuba is that there is no law against this practice. There’s some other laws that could be cobbled together perhaps in order to prosecute a trafficker, but there’s no evidence that that has actually been done. I think one of the things that we also look at there is, again, the age of legal prostitution. Again, children are – can legally be in prostitution at ages 16 and 17.

[We note that the age of sexual consent in Mexico continues to be age 12 in the majority of states, a fact the fuels a massive child sex trafficking industry who's regulation is not even hinted at by Mexico's government. Police do not enforce any laws against 12-year-olds being involved in prostitution in Mexico because these girls and boys are of legal age to consent to sex.

Yet that fact did not place Mexico in a Tier 3 ranking, contradicting Ambassador CdeBaca's rationale for singling out Cuba (where he states that 16 and 17-year-olds, who are of the age of consent in Cuba, engage in prostitution).

Most Latin American nations have ages of consent in the 12 to 15-years-of-age range, and their prostitution 'industries' reflect that fact. - LL]

Ambassador CdeBaca: We also see the lack of human trafficking protections and no training for the police, prosecutors, or social workers on what to do if one sees a human trafficking situation. So in a country where not only do you have a – such a large tourist industry, other countries in the region that draw tourists from the same places as Cuba, have large child sex tourism problems, and are working to address those, we don’t see the same activity in Cuba. So it’s a multifaceted approach as far as why they would end up on Tier 3.

U.S. Department of State

June 14, 2010

[We note that Latin American and  Caribbean nations other than Cuba, where child sex tourism is rampant, have few if any of the extensive protections that are available in Cuba that guarantee children shelter, food and a good education.

The result is that young people in these other nations easily fall victim to sexual exploitation. Cuba maintains a high level of support for children despite the fact that, as the UNICEF web page on Cuba notes, the U.S. trade embargo has had the effect of raising infant mortality rates. - LL]


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Cuba

Havana Has The Air of a Brothel...

...Havana has the air of a brothel at times, particularly if you pass through Monte Street where it meets Cienfuegos. Young women in their flashy - if a little faded - clothes offer their "merchandise," especially after night falls and the spandex doesn't look quite as baggy nor the circles under their eyes quite as dark. These are the ones who can't compete with those who can snag a manager or a tourist to take them to a hotel and offer them, the next morning, a breakfast that comes with milk. These are the ones who don't wear perfume and who finish their work in the cramped quarters of a solar or even on the landing under the stairs. They traffic in groans, exchanging spasms for money.

These men and women - merchants of desire - avoid tripping over the uniformed police who guard the area. Falling into their hands can mean a night in a cell or, for those in the city illegally, deportation to your home province. Everything can be "resolved" if the officer accepts the hint of a probing thigh and agrees to withhold an official warning in exchange for a few minutes of privacy. Some officers return regularly to take their cut, in money or in services, that allows these nocturnal beings to continue taking up their positions on the corner. A woman who refuses the exchange can find herself in a prostitute reeducation camp, while the men might be charged with the crime of pre-criminal dangerousness.

And so the cycle of sex for money comes full circle, in a city where honest work is a museum relic and the needs bring many to position their bodies and swing their hips in hopes of an offer.

Yoani Sanchez - Award-Winning Cuban Blogger

The Huffington Post

April 26, 2010

See also:

Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Cuba

Response to the 2008 TIP Report

Cuba Rejects Its Inclusion on US List of Countries Not Fighting Human Trafficking

Cuba on Sunday rejected U.S. claims that it does not do enough to combat human trafficking, saying that Washington "has a lot to learn" about life on the island.

U.S. authorities "are unfamiliar with and distort" Cuban reality, the Foreign Relations Ministry said in a written response to the U.S. State Department's annual "Trafficking in Persons Report," released Wednesday. The report tracks human trafficking for the sex trade, coerced labor and the recruitment of child soldiers, outlining efforts to fight it, including prosecution, sentencing and programs to help victims.

Listing Cuba among the world's worst offenders, the report said poor women and children on the island are often forced into prostitution by family members. But it also noted that human trafficking cannot be properly measured in Cuba, given the government's refusal to cooperate with independent observers. Cuba said it maintains a "firm" policy against human trafficking and prostitution and noted that its communist system provides for the basic needs of all citizens...

"Cuba does not see any value in the State Department's report," the Foreign Ministry's statement said. "The government of the United States has a lot to do in its own country to combat the rampant phenomenon there of prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labor and the trafficking of people."

"The government of the United States has a lot to learn about Cuba and is not in a position to judge anyone," it said.

The International Herald Tribune

June 13, 2008

See also:

Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Cuba, The World

Sixty-second General Assembly - Thematic Debate on Human Trafficking

The representative of Cuba said that, since industrialized countries were the main destination for human trafficking, and their actions increased the demand for women and child sex workers, a credible United Nations anti-trafficking strategy should advance a more just international economic order that would put a stop to inequalities.

The United Nations General Assembly

June 03, 2008

See also:

Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Venezuela

Response to the 2006 TIP Report

Venezuela's Record in Combating Human Trafficking

Since 2000 the U.S. State Department has issued a yearly report on the status of trafficking in persons (TIP) throughout the world. In June 2006 the Office to Combat and Monitor the Trafficking of Persons, the State Department body responsible for studying TIP and issuing the report, characterized Venezuela as an egregious human trafficker and designated it a Tier 3 nation, subject to economic sanctions. The TIP Report claims that Venezuela “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.”[1] This ruling, for the second year in a row, sits in stark contrast to the facts surrounding Venezuela’s human trafficking record.

Is Venezuela's tier 3 designation politically motivated?

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) many countries with many more human trafficking violations than Venezuela have been assigned Tier 1 or Tier 2 status while others with less serious records receive Tier 3. Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue notes in an opinion piece published in the New York Times that “in the State Department’s 2003 Human Trafficking report Venezuela did not even appear among the five worst offenders in the Western Hemisphere” and that “the Bush administration has not provided compelling and persuasive evidence that warrants singling out one country.”

Mexico serves as a case in point. In the 2006 TIP Report Mexico is described in far worse terms than Venezuela and even noted as “a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and labor.” In contrast to Venezuela’s record, the government of Mexico has repeatedly refused to gather official data on human trafficking within its borders and keeps no law enforcement statistics on trafficking investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions. Even more disturbing, “there are no shelters or related services that specifically aid trafficking victims” in Mexico. Despite these dismal results, Mexico was assigned a Tier 2 designation for the third consecutive year. Washington justifies this designation in the Report by noting a “future commitment” from the Mexican government to undertake efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention. Venezuela on the other hand has pro-actively addressed all of these areas.

In a statement regarding the State Department’s Human Rights Report issued in early 2005 the Deputy Director of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Kimberly Stanton noted “political considerations are evident in some of the findings… The credibility of the reports depends on consistent, objective analysis. This year the U.S. government policy priorities are affecting the evaluation of the data in some cases.”

VenInfo.org

2006

See Also:

The reality is that Mexico fares much worse than Cuba or Venezuela in regard to the treatment of its self-created mega-crisis of child and adult trafficking

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...

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Added 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 businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Added Oct. 28, 2007

Central America and Mexico

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as it shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

...According to Ana Salvadó, executive director for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean for Save the Children:  "the panorama for childhood in Latin America is growing more bleak over time, and child trafficking is growing rapidly in each of these countries..."

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the entire world.  Ana Salvadó: "It is a bottleneck, because many children attempt to migrate from Central [and South] America to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico…

…A study by the international organization ECPAT… made public three weeks ago in Guatemala City, reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico… 

Traffickers sell these child victims to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

More that 50% of these children are from [indigenous] Guatemala.  The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans.  They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

...In 2006, the International Labor Organization conducted a survey of adult attitudes in Mexico, Central America and South America, where it is quite easy [for men] to engage in sexual relations with children.

Some 65% of respondents stated that they don't see any problem, and they don't feel any sort of conflict or fear in regard to having sex with boy and girl children, and "they don't feel that there is anything wrong with doing it."

...Mexico has been converted into a paradise for pimps and a living hell for thousands of Central American girl children like Jackeline Jirón Silva, whose captors have prostituted her during the past 32 months.  It is known that during half of that time, Jackeline has been held in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 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, 200

[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

We truly appreciate the wonderful work of the Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in the U.S.  Department of State, but it is absolutely ridiculous to point the finger at Cuba on the issue of child sex trafficking, when, by comparison, Mexico's 'pampered' government has not even pretended to bring the crisis of mass gender atrocities affecting children in its territory under the control of the rule of law.

The TIP office cannot employ a double standard that uses their annual report to advance geopolitical goals that are not tied directly to the issue of human trafficking.

The whole world is watching!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 22/23, 2010



Added: Jun. 22, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Pedro Ventura Chavez

Cary man charged with sexually abusing child

A [city of] Cary man has been accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl, according an arrest warrant.

Pedro Ventura Chavez, 33, had been abusing the girl for over a year, sources told WRAL News.

Chavez, of 304 Middleton Ave., was charged Sunday with one count of felony taking indecent liberties with a child.

He was being held Sunday in the Wake County jail under a $150,000 bond. His first court appearance was set for Monday afternoon.

Chavez has also been placed under a retainer by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

North Carolina Most Wanted

June 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Delaware, USA

Sketch of suspect

Camera Captures Images of 9-Year-Old’s Rapist

Child rape suspect's Chevy Tahoe caught on surveillance camera

A surveillance camera captured images of what police believe to be the car of the man who abducted and raped a 9-year-old Alban Park, Del. girl June 9.

The 9-year-old girl accepted a ride from a stranger when she was accidentally locked out of her home. The man drove her to the 200-block of Liberty Street in Wilmington and raped her before she could get out of the car, police say.

The young girl was dropped off at her 500-block of Homestead Road address by a family friend. She walked into her building but when she was unable to get inside her door, she walked back outside to look for her sister and parents, police say.

While walking along Alban Drive near the Canby Park Shopping Center, a man described as an Asian or Hispanic male with short black hair, round eyes, “chubby cheeks” and a “chubby build” offered her a ride. After some conversation the child accepted the ride, police say.

The suspect’s SUV is a 1995-2005 Chevrolet Tahoe with a registration containing a “2” in the middle of the tag.

If you have any information on the suspect, please contact the New Castle County Police Department at 395-8110, attention Detective Timothy Argoe. Or text tip at: 847411 (TIP411) and begin your message with NCCPD and then type your message. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Teresa Masterson

NBC Philadelphia

June 21, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

Texas, USA

Body Found in Field - Woman Strangled

Houston - An autopsy has revealed that a woman whose body was found in a southeast Houston field was strangled.

Investigators found the body of Raquel Mundy at approximately 4 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of North St. Charles Street.

Police say Mundy, 24, was seen at 1:30 a.m. Thursday driving her mother and two children to the Greyhound Lines bus station in downtown Houston. Mundy had apparently parked the vehicle in a McDonald's restaurant parking lot where it had been towed from.

After Mundy had obtained her mother's debit card to pay for the tow bill, she tried to contact other relatives to get a ride but was not able to reach anyone, according to a statement released by the Houston Police Department on Monday.

Witnesses told investigators that Mundy was seen entering a gray car with a male. Mundy sent a text message to her mother that said she thought she was in danger and was with a Hispanic male.

Police ask anyone with information about Mundy's death to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-8477 (TIPS).

Alexander Supgul

Fox Houston

June 21, 2010


Added: Jun. 22, 2010

New York, USA

Christian Inga

Undocumented immigrant held in Cortlandt home invasion

Cortlandt - A Peekskill man faces felony charges in the home invasion of an ex-girlfriend's apartment where police say he struggled with a 15-year-old girl who was inside with a 2-year-old at the time.

Christian Inga, who state police said is an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, has been charged with first-degree burglary and second degree attempted kidnapping, felonies. Additional charges are expected as an investigation continues.

The break-in was reported by a neighbor who heard screams around 6:40 p.m. Friday and called 911. Arriving troopers say they found Inga attempting to flee out of a rear window. Police did not disclose the location of the home invasion.

Inga was said to be wearing all black at the time, including a black bandana over his face, a black hat and black gloves.

He was to be remanded to the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla following arraignment. Police filed an Immigration and Customs detainer.

The arrest was made by Trooper Peter A. Zerrle and investigators Sean J. Morgan and Paul M. Schneeloch of the Cortlandt barracks.

Brian J. Howard

Lower Hudson dot com

June 19, 2010


Added: Jun. 21, 2010

Colombia

Explotación sexual infantil, amenaza a los menores del Valle

Ana María* solo tiene 16 años y un bebé de trece meses de edad, vive en una humilde vivienda en el oriente de la ciudad junto a su padre y a su madre. Los progenitores de esta menor la obligan a que ejerza la prostitución en un bar todas las noches.

El papá y la mamá de Ana María la explotan sexualmente con la condición de echarla de la casa sino accede. Lo peor de este caso, el dueño del prostíbulo entrega el dinero directamente a los progenitores de Ana María. Este es sólo un caso de los muchos que atiende la línea infantil 106.

En lo que va corrido del año el Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar, Icbf, ha recibido 223 denuncias de abuso sexual en el Valle del Cauca, en esta categoría entran los casos de explotación sexual comercial infantil, pornografía infantil, turismo sexual infantil y acto sexual abusivo.

"En Cali y el Valle del Cauca la prostitución es un problema social que está tocando todas las esferas en los menores", dice Lucy Mancilla Marulanda, aboga especializada en derechos humanos del Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, DAS...

Child sexual exploitation threatens the lives of minors in the Cauca Valley and the city of Cali

[English translation to follow.]

Diario Occidente

June 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 21, 2010

Louisiana, USA

61-year-old Gretna man sentenced to life in prison for raping boy

A 61-year-old Gretna man received a mandatory life sentence in prison Thursday for his conviction of raping a boy under his care.

Carlos Hernandez was convicted June 4 of the aggravated rape of a boy who said he was 5 or 6 years old when the crimes occurred.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court said he found that Hernandez was a risk to society. Hernandez's attorney Marquita Naquin objected to the sentence and said the conviction will be appealed.

Assistant District Attorneys Amanda Calogero and Jennifer Rosenbach prosecuted the case.

The boy was 11 years old in January 2008 when he told his mother that Hernandez had abused him. The claim came to light after Hernandez was arrested amid allegations that he sexually abused girls, when the boy's mother began asking whether Hernandez had abused anyone else.

Hernandez is awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated incest involving a 7-year-old girl and sexual battery, for allegedly touching two 7-year-old girls in December 2007, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

The Times-Picayune

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Canada

An undated picture from a Canadian religious boarding school for indigenous children

Canadian and U.S. Indigenous children by the tens of thousands were forcibly taken from their parents and were then sent to either government-run or religious boarding schools, where they were forbidden from speaking their languages, and were raped and sometimes sold to local pedophiles.

Some girls who became pregnant from the rapes perpetrated by their teachers in Canadian schools were murdered and buried in secret graveyards.

We continue to scream BLOODY MURDER! - LL

Residential school survivors speak at historic hearings

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada said it's counting on people to share their stories of living in residential schools.

Hundreds of aboriginals gathered in Winnipeg Wednesday to share their stories of abuse suffered during years of living in Canada's disgraced residential school system.

The hearing was the first in a series of seven national events being run by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which aims to document the physical and sexual abuse and other horrors endured by children at residential schools across Canada.

"You will not be questioned. You will not be asked to prove anything. You do not have to share anything that you do not wish to share," commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair told those in attendance.

The Winnipeg hearing runs until Friday.

About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were taken from their homes and forced to attend the government- and church-sponsored residential schools over a period of more than 100 years, beginning in the 19th century.

The last school, in Regina, closed in 1996. There are about 85,000 former residential school students still alive across Canada.

Most children were forbidden from speaking their native languages and many were physically and sexually abused.

Manitoba's deputy premier, Eric Robinson, has said he never got to know his mother and was sexually abused in the residential system.

Survivor Robert Joseph, B.C. hereditary chief of the Kwagiulth nation on Vancouver Island, told CTV Winnipeg he hopes the event starts the healing process.

"Us survivors are going to benefit by being able to tell our stories and release the anger and the resentment," he said.

Joseph told the crowd it took him nearly all of his 70 years to share the "dark, ugly, painful, degrading, dehumanizing secrets" of his residential school experience.

Joseph said the sexual abuse he endured, as well as the loss of his culture, left him angry, ashamed and an alcoholic.

"I didn't know how to raise my family. I was just so angry ... I don't want to pass my anger on any more," he said.

Survivor Gerald McIvor said he appreciates the opportunity to speak out about what happened to him, telling CTV Winnipeg that "disclosure here is great to heal the victims. (But) what about rehabilitating the perpetrators? Nobody is addressing that." ...

The Winnipeg event is the first of seven national commission events to be held over the next four years.

The official program started Wednesday with the lighting of a sacred fire and a pipe ceremony.

CTV.ca

June 16 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina

About the sexual exploitation with impunity of indigenous children and women in Canada


Added: June 20, 2010

Canada

Canada still has much to do when it comes to human trafficking

We need a national strategy to investigate traffickers and to find and help victims

It's an indication of how grim things are elsewhere that Canada -- by meeting only the minimum standards for legislation and enforcement -- is once again ranked among the best countries in the world in the U.S. state department's 2009 human trafficking report.

Once again, Canada was singled out as a source, destination and transit country for people being trafficked into prostitution and forced labor, in the report released earlier this week.

Aboriginal women and girls are the most frequent targets here, while it's mostly Asians and Eastern Europeans who either end up in Canada or passing through en route to other countries.

The majority of victims are women, who wind up in massage parlors and brothels. Forced labor is acknowledged as a problem here, with the highest incidence reported in Alberta and Ontario, in agriculture, sweat shops and processing plants, and as domestic servants.

It's a mug's game trying to put numbers on the extent of the illegal trade. The only Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimate, made a few years ago, is that there are 600 to 800 people trafficked into Canada each year. Victims' and immigrants' services agencies say that figure is far too low...

The U.S. report notes that Canada is "also a significant source country for child sex tourists, who travel abroad to engage in sex acts with children." As of late February, there were 32 cases before Canadian courts involving 40 alleged traffickers and 46 victims. Not one of those is in British Columbia even though the U.S. report has, in the past years, fingered Vancouver as a port of major concern.

It's also in spite of the British Columbia government's claim to be "leading the way nationally in responding to human trafficking situations."

Canada does have adequate anti-trafficking laws. What it lacks is a national strategy for investigating traffickers and identifying victims, even though Parliament unanimously approved one three years ago.

Victim support services are a provincial patchwork, which also makes it difficult to both identify victims and to help them once they are found...

Daphne Bramham

The Vancouver Sun

June 19, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Mexico

Impunity!

Father Alejandro Solalinde, director of the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference - is thrown into the back of a pickup truck and taken away by corrupt police forces in Oaxaca state.

Amnesty International: "Father Alejandro Solalinde has been repeatedly arrested, threatened and intimidated by local authorities and criminal gangs [for his work assisting migrants]..."

How is the Blue Heart Campaign going to end the madness of corrupt police action against migrants, others at risk of human exploitation and those who help them, President Calderón? - LL

Gangs, corrupt officials make illegal migrants' trip through Mexico dangerous

Ixtepec, Mexico - As the Mexican government condemns a new immigration law in Arizona as cruel and xenophobic, illegal migrants passing through Mexico are routinely robbed, raped and kidnapped by criminal gangs that often work alongside corrupt police, according to human rights advocates.

Immigration experts and Catholic priests who shelter the travelers say that Mexico's strict laws to protect the rights of illegal migrants are often ignored and that undocumented migrants from Central America face a brutal passage through the country. They are stoned by angry villagers, who fear that the Central Americans will bring crime or disease, and are fleeced by hustlers. Mexican police and authorities often demand bribes.

Mexico detained and deported more than 64,000 illegal migrants last year, according to the National Migration Institute. A few years ago, Mexico detained 200,000 undocumented migrants. The lower numbers are the result of tougher enforcement on the U.S. border, the global economic slowdown and, say some experts, the robbery and assaults migrants face in Mexico.

The National Commission on Human Rights, a government agency, estimates that 20,000 migrants are kidnapped each year in Mexico.

While held for ransom, increasingly at the hands of Mexico's powerful drug cartels, many migrants are tortured - threatened with execution, beaten with bats and submerged in buckets of water or excrement.

"They put a plastic bag over your head and you can't breathe. They tell you if you don't give them the phone numbers" of family members the kidnappers can call to demand payment for a migrant's release, "they say the next time we'll just let you die," said Jose Alirio Luna Moreno, a broad-shouldered young man from El Salvador, interviewed at a shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Luna said he was held for three days this month in Veracruz by the Zeta drug trafficking organization, which demanded $1,000 to set him free. He said he was abducted by men in police uniforms and taken to a safe house with 26 others.

'Epidemic' in kidnappings

Of the 64,000 migrants detained and expelled by Mexico last year, the Mexican government granted only 20 humanitarian visas, which would have allowed them to stay in Mexico while they testified and pressed charges against their assailants.

"We have a government in Mexico that emphatically criticizes the new immigration law - which is perfectly valid, to criticize a law with widespread consequences - but at the same time doesn't have the desire to address the same problem within its own borders," said Alberto Herrera, executive director of Amnesty International in Mexico.

"The violations in human rights that migrants from Central America face in Mexico are far worse than Mexicans receive in the United States," said Jorge Bustamante of the University of Notre Dame and the College of the Border in Tijuana, who has reported on immigration in Mexico for the United Nations.

U.N. officials describe the kidnapping of illegal migrants in Mexico as "epidemic" in scope...

Amnesty International says that as many as six in 10 women experience sexual violence during the journey...

At a meeting Wednesday, Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont, the U.S. ambassador and the governors of the southern Mexican states pledged to work harder to protect migrants.

Like 'merchandise'

The small city of Ixtepec in the humid hills of Oaxaca is a crossroads for illegal migrants moving north on trains. At the edge of town, along the tracks at a shelter for migrants run by the Catholic church, 100 migrants slept on cardboard in the shade, waiting for an afternoon meal, before they move on.

Sergio Alejandro Barillas Perez, a Guatemalan at the shelter, said he was kidnapped in the gulf state of Veracruz this month and held for three days by men who said they worked for the Zetas.

He said his kidnappers demanded $10,000 for him and his girlfriend. "They told me if you don't give us the phone numbers, we'll kill your girlfriend," said Barillas, whose face was still bruised. "We were all in a house, a normal house. When they beat us, they would put a rag in our mouths and they turned on the music, loud, like they're having a party."

He said the kidnappers knocked out his girlfriend's teeth and dragged her away. He and others escaped. He said he does not know what happened to his girlfriend.

"These migrants aren't people -- they are merchandise to the mafias, who traffic drugs, weapons, sex and migrants," said Alejandro Solalinde, the Catholic priest who runs the Brothers of the Road shelter in Ixtepec. "They suck everything out of them."

The priest said that federal authorities do not protect the migrants and that local officials also look the other way, or take their cut from the robbers and traffickers.

Solalinde has battled local authorities who want to shut down his shelter, which feeds as many as 66,000 passing migrants in a year. More than 100 were at the shelter last week.

The priest said many Mexicans are distrustful of the outsiders. In 2008, townspeople became enraged when a Nicaraguan man who was living in Ixtepec was accused of raping a young girl. As police and the mayor were outside the gates at the shelter, Solalinde said, 100 angry protesters got inside.

"They had stones and sticks and gasoline," the priest said. "They wanted to burn us down."

William Booth

The Washington Post

June 18, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Mexico

Urge ley contra trata de personas, dice Rosi Orozco

Ciudad de México.- El tráfico de personas en México, que registra entre 16 y 20 mil niñas y niños, cifra actualizada hasta el 2005, no podrá combatirse mientras no se apruebe la Ley General contra la Trata de Personas, que se encuentra en comisiones de la Cámara de Diputados y que obliga a los tres órdenes de gobierno a combatir el delito, aseguró la panista Rosi Orozco.

La presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados dijo que sólo cuatro estados de la república: Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Distrito Federal y Tabasco tienen leyes en la materia.

Congressional anti-trafficking leader Rosi Oroszco urges the passage of new federal bill held-up in committee

Mexico City - Human trafficking in Mexico, which includes 16,000 to 20,000 girls and boys, according to statistics developed in 2005, cannot be effectively fought until Congress approves the new General Law Against Trafficking in Persons, according to congressional deputy Rosi Orozco.

Orozco, who is president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, added that only four of Mexico's [31] federated entities, Tlaxcala, Chiapas and Tabasco states, as well as the Federal District [Mexico City], currently have anti-trafficking laws.

Gabriel Xantomila

El Sol de México

June 16, 2010

Note: Press reports from Mexico have commonly stated that 21 of Mexico's 32 federated entities have passed anti-trafficking legislation. The context of Deputy Orozco's figure of four states having anti-trafficking laws represents a discrepancy that will require some investigation to resolve.


Added: June 20, 2010

The Dominican Republic

Migración califica de injusto informe sobre trata de personas

En cuanto al punto del informe que se refiere a la parte fronteriza, el director de Migración, señaló que todos los países del mundo tienen un nivel de trata de personas

Santo Domingo - El director de Migración, Sigfrido Pared Pérez, también se pronunció en contra del informe del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos que degrada a República Dominicana a la categoría tres en el combate a la trata de personas.

Pared Pérez calificó el informe de injusto y explicó que uno de los puntos a mejorar que señala el documento, el de la explotación de dominicanas en el exterior, no es responsabilidad de República Dominicana, sino del país de destino.

"Esas dominicanas que son explotadas en el exterior algunas son engañadas, eso tiene que ver con las autoridades del país de destino, no de origen", indicó.

En cuanto al punto del informe que se refiere a la parte fronteriza, el director de Migración, señaló que todos los países del mundo tienen un nivel de trata de personas.

"Ahora bien, decir que República Dominicana no está haciendo esfuerzos para tratar de desarticular eso es una cosa que escapa al juicio valedero", agregó.

Al ser entrevistado a su salida del programa Diario Libre AM, el funcionario destacó que en el país hay una ley (Ley 173-03) sobre Trata de Personas y en adición a esa ley un decreto (575-07) que creó una comisión para la aplicación de esa ley.

"Hay dos factores importantes a tomar en cuenta para un informe, y ese informe de este año fue peor que el de 2003, 2004 y 2005", indicó.

The government of the the Dominican Republic calls the U.S. State Department's 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report unjust

[English translation to follow.]

Paolah Soto

Diario Libre

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Mexico, Latin America

Informe anual en Washington del Departamento de Estado: Más de 12 millones de personas, víctimas de trata en el mundo

México, tránsito y destino para prostitución y trabajo forzado, afirma

Washington, DC - Unos 12 millones 300 mil personas fueron víctimas de la trata de personas en el mundo entre 2009 y 2010, según un informe anual sobre la materia, publicado hoy por el Departamento de Estado estadunidense, que mantuvo a Cuba en su lista negra de países donde se trafican personas y colocó bajo "observación" a Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala y Panamá.

Éste es el décimo año consecutivo que el Departamento de Estado publica el informe, el cual por primera vez incluyó a Estados Unidos, del que dijo tiene políticas "a la altura de nuestros ideales".

Washington utiliza tres categorías para evaluar la acción de 177 países en esta materia. La primera comprende a aquellos que cumplen totalmente con el Acta de Protección de las Víctimas de Tráfico Humano e incluye a Estados Unidos, varios países europeos y Colombia, la única nación latinoamericana en este grupo.

En el segundo nivel se ubican los estados que no cumplen con los estándares mínimos del acta, pero hacen "esfuerzos significativos" para alcanzarlos. Aquí se encuentran México y la mayoría de los países de la región, incluido Argentina en este año, que se reincorporó después de haber permanecido un tiempo en una llamada "lista de observación".

La tercera categoría abarca a los que no tomaron medidas adecuadas para detener el tráfico humano ni adoptaron "medidas significativas" para cambiar la tendencia. En este peldaño la República Dominicana se puso al lado de Cuba, de cuyo gobierno el reporte indica que por primera vez compartió información.

Con referencia a México, el reporte señaló que este país es fuente, tránsito y destino de hombres, mujeres y niños sujetos a la trata, especialmente en lo relacionado con la prostitución y el trabajo forzado. Los extranjeros más afectados son de Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

Annual U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report states that 12 million people are victims of human trafficking across the world

[English translation to follow.]

Afp, Dpa y Notimex

June 15, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Argentina

Avanza proyecto legislativo sobre trata de personas

Buenos Aires - Legisladores del oficialismo y la oposición de Argentina se comprometieron hoy a impulsar una nueva legislación contra la trata de personas, a la que definieron como "una forma de esclavitud".

Oscar Aguad, presidente del bloque opositor UCR, resaltó que "la trata de personas es una forma de esclavitud, igual que la droga. Y si hay droga y si hay trata es porque hay complicidad de la Policía fundamentalmente". Los legisladores coincidieron, durante una conferencia de prensa, que "tenemos que darle a la Justicia y a los jueces las herramientas para que puedan combatir estos delitos".

Legislative initiative against human trafficking advances

Buenos Aires - Legislators from Argentina's ruling and opposition parties today committed themselves to push for new legislation to control human trafficking, which they defined as a form of modern-day slavery.

Oscar Aguad, president of the UCR opposition block, emphasized that human trafficking is a form of slavery, equal to drug addition. Congressman Aguad: "If drugs and human trafficking exist, that condition is made possible because of police complicity." During a press conference on the subject, the legislators agreed that "we must give prosecutors and judges the tools that they need to allow them to combat these crimes."

Legislator María Luisa Storani, one of the authors of the bill, noted that: "This is a plague that will require the collaboration of legislators and civil society to fight, given that the majority of victims are women, children and the poor."

ANSA

June 18, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Mexico

Refrenda gobierno federal compromiso para prevenir trata de personas

El gobierno federal refrenda su irrestricto compromiso de consolidar políticas públicas transversales para prevenir y sancionar la trata de personas, así como dar atención integral a las víctimas de este delito, afirmó el titular de la Segob, Fernando Gómez Mont.

En un comunicado, la Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob) informó que lo anterior se patentó al realizarse la segunda sesión ordinaria de la Comisión Intersecretarial para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, presidida por el funcionario federal.

Puntualizó que en cumplimiento de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, en la sesión se presentaron informes de los trabajos de la Subcomisión Consultiva, órgano encargado de la elaboración del Programa Nacional para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas.

Además se dieron a conocer las actividades del lanzamiento, el pasado 14 de abril, de la Campaña Corazón Azul y todas las demás acciones encaminadas a informar a la población sobre el delito de trata de personas, como foros académicos, diálogos con la comunidad, la próxima carrera deportiva y conciertos...

Informó que como representantes de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil con actividades preponderantes en la prevención o asistencia a las víctimas de trata, se seleccionó a la Fundación Camino a Casa, A.C. También a la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y El Caribe, A.C., y a la Alianza por la Seguridad en Internet, A.C. ,,,

The government of Mexico re-dedicates itself to the fight against human trafficking

[English translation to follow.]

Notimex

May 24, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

New York, USA

Albany Moves to Let Sex Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records

New York - Sex trafficking victims may soon be able to have prostitution convictions against them vacated, thanks to new legislation approved in Albany.

Young women are often lured to the New York area with promises of jobs and then find themselves coerced into prostitution. Many of these young women get arrested and charged with a crime even though they were forced to do the work against their will.

Sienna Baskin, a staff attorney for the Sex Workers Program at the Urban Justice Center, says treating trafficking victims like criminals simply pushes them back into the hands of their abusers.

"They end up with a conviction on their record and they go right back into the hands of their trafficker, so we have clients who were arrested up to ten times before escaping their trafficking situation, usually on their own," Baskin says.

Baskin adds that those convictions can make it harder for women to get jobs or legal residency. The landmark legislation--New York's law is the first in the country--will allow trafficking survivors to start their lives over with a clean slate. As it stands, women who've been abused for years are then forced to disclose their criminal convictions to potential employers.

"Even after [the victims] escape from trafficking, that criminal record blocks them from decent jobs and a chance to rebuild their lives," says Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, the author of the bill. "This bill will give them a desperately needed second chance they deserve.”

The New York State Senate passed the bill on Tuesday and the Assembly passed the same bill in May. The governor still has to sign the bill into law, but advocates believe he will. The governor's office says he will review the bill when it is delivered to him by the legislature.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a State Department report earlier this week that acknowledged for the first time the modern "slave trade" is going on in this country.

WNYC

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

California, USA

Phillip Michael Dominguez and Racquel Martinez

San Jose Pair Arrested In Child Sex Assault

A man and woman were arrested Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in San Jose on Tuesday, police said.

The child was playing on the front lawn of her home in the 600 block of Balfour Drive on Tuesday afternoon when a man grabbed her and took her to a house nearby, where he sexually assaulted her, according to police.

Dominguez later let the child go and fled before officers arrived.

Investigators identified San Jose resident Phillip Michael Dominguez, 34, as the suspect and issued a warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody on Wednesday morning.

Dominguez's girlfriend, 29-year-old San Jose resident Racquel Martinez, was also arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting in the kidnapping and sexual assault. Both were booked into Santa Clara County jail.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detectives Martin or Ichige, or Sgt. Robb of the Police Department's child exploitation detail, at (408) 277-4102. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP.

CBS 5

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

California, USA

2 Accused Of Sex Assault At Menlo Park Restaurant

Two employees of the British Bankers Club in Menlo Park were arrested Tuesday for allegedly groping two women at the restaurant, police said Wednesday.

The suspects, 26-year-old Moises Rojas and 29-year-old Juan Gustavo Robles-Alejo, allegedly groped the women while they were inebriated and unable to stop the advances, according to police.

The alleged incident was caught on surveillance video, and Rojas and Robles-Alejo were taken into custody Tuesday and booked into San Mateo County jail, police said.

Anyone who may have experienced similar incidents or who has information on this incident is asked to call Detective Ed Soares at (650) 799-9459.

CBS

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Florida, USA

Attempted rapist captured on surveillance camera

Orlando - Police say a man who attempted to rape a woman at the Fountains of Millenia apartments may be a resident, or a regular visitor. Detectives released surveillance video of the attack which happened at one o'clock in the afternoon on June 13.

In the video, the surveillance camera captured the attacker walking away from the pool restroom and across the pool deck. After the suspect changes, he reappears in the surveillance video where he's seen lounging in the pool. Ten minutes later, the victim, a 34-year-old female enters the side of the screen and walks towards the restroom. The suspect takes notice, and thirty seconds later, he gets out to go show the victim how to get into the restroom through an open vent. Police say she went into the bathroom stall.

But when the victim came out, she saw the attacker right in front of her. A struggle began, and she told police he was trying to sexually attack her, so she fought back.

Fortunately, she scared off her would-be rapist, and the last shot of him is as he's running with his stuff towards the pool exit.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s, thin to muscular build, with short hair and possibly a thin beard. He has tattoos on this chest, shoulder, and calf. he also had a beach towel designed like the flag of the Dominican republic.

WOFL FOX 35

June 19 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Oregon, USA

North Coast's Most Wanted: Elias Ramirez

North Coast law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for a man on the "Most Wanted" list.

Elias Arriaga Ramirez is wanted for the rape of an 11-year-old girl that occurred in Astoria in 2009. Arriaga Ramirez is a 25-year-old Hispanic man who is about 5-foot, 8-inches tall and weighs about 145 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

There is an outstanding felony warrant for Arriaga Ramirez with a bail of $250,000.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Elias Arriaga Ramirez, contact Detective Andrew Randall of the Astoria Police Department at (503) 325-4411, ext. 24 or dial 9-1-1.

The North Coast's "Most Wanted" is brought to readers by The Daily Astorian with cooperation from all the region's law enforcement agencies.

The Daily Astorian

June 17, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Arizona, USA

Victim, suspect turn themselves in to Avondale police

Avondale - Avondale police are looking for a woman possible kidnapped by her abusive husband.

According to a witness, the victim, Italia Figueroa, and the witness were driving to court to obtain an order of protection for Italia when they were forced to stop in the roadway.

The witness said the suspect, Leonardo Rodriguez, drove his car and blocked them from continuing and then took Figueroa against her will.

Figueroa was forced by Rodriguez into his 2002 silver Honda Civic that was last seen driving northbound on Fairway Drive towards Van Buren Street.

The 2002 silver Honda Civic four door has Arizona license plate HPG-060.

Figueroa has told the witness she had been the victim of domestic violence as recent as two days ago, sustaining numerous bruises on her arms after Rodriguez assaulted her.

Update: Just before 9 p.m. Friday evening [June 18, 2010] Rodriguez showed up at the Avondale Police Department.

Figueroa, his wife, was with him when they showed up to the police station. She was unharmed.

They were cooperating with police interviews.

No word of if any charges will be filed.

Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

June 18, 2010


Added: June 20, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter

Excerpt

June 15, 2010 - Buffalo Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico at the Greyhound bus station in Rochester, New York. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for child molestation and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 15, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in the state of California, and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 15, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Sierra Vista, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecent liberties with a child and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 13, 2010 - Laredo Sector - Border Patrol agents seized a tractor-trailer and arrested a USC and 47 illegal aliens at the traffic checkpoint near Laredo, Texas. The USC subject presented himself for inspection, and a Border Patrol canine alerted to the trailer. A search by agents revealed the 47 illegal aliens inside the locked trailer. Record checks revealed that the USC was a registered sex offender and had an extensive criminal history.

June 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Coolidge, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for rape of a child in the state of Washington, and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 11, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious battery upon a minor in the state of Florida and had previously been removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

June 16, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Kansas, USA

How should the media cover the human-trafficking story?

Last year, The Star did a big series on human trafficking that got a lot of positive attention. One of the reporters who worked on that project, Mike McGraw, was on a panel yesterday at the United Nations... The big takeaway: The media needs to do a better job on the issue. (I was shocked by this critique, as I'd assumed the mainstream media was without flaw. How wrong I was.)

But I do think they made good points about coverage of human trafficking. When it does get covered, the stories tend to focus on the sex angle. That might have something to do with the fact that a lot of human-trafficking victims are forced into the sex trade. Not all of them are, though, as demonstrated by Mark, Mike and Laura Bauer's reporting. Case in point:

Sebastian Pereria told a friend last year about his life in America. How he wanted to see his wife and children in India, but his boss kept his identification papers and wouldn’t let him go.

Other waiters who worked with him at a Topeka restaurant told of how they were forced to work 13-hour days, six days a week. They talked of how the boss underpaid them and pocketed their tips. In the end, Pereria, 46, got his wish. He finally arrived home last year. In a coffin.

I have my own theory about why human trafficking hasn't caught fire as a cause among the U.S. public. I think a lot of Americans view human-trafficking victims not as someone who's being hurt, but as people who chose to illegally immigrate to the United States. That dries up the sympathy among a lot of Americans - even to the point where they overlook the terrible conditions that human-trafficking victims live in.

The Kansas City Star

June 17, 2010

See also:

Added: Jun. 18, 2010

The Americas

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Great job, Kansas City Star

Responding to the Kansas City Star's opinion piece: How should the media cover the human-trafficking story?

The Kansas City Star did a great job in its award-winning series on human trafficking published in December of 2009.

I have been an anti-trafficking activist since the late 1990s, focusing on the Latin American, and Latin U.S. immigrant aspects of the issue. I developed a web site: Libertad Latina, which today contains 1,300 factual news articles, papers, abstracts and essays about the emergency of human trafficking.

I applaud the Star for having focused on the Latin American aspects of the issue.

I agree with this article's author in viewing at-least part of the public apathy in regard to human trafficking issues as being associated with anti-immigrant bias.

At the same time, many parties 'conflate' voluntary migrant smuggling with forced human trafficking. Federal authorities at-times report progress in the fight against cross-border (Mexican - U.S.) human trafficking, when they are really including arrests related to human smuggling operations.

As the Star series pointed out, many migrants who are smuggled voluntarily are later kidnapped, raped, tortured and sometimes murdered by 'coyotes' (smugglers), who decide to extort victim's families for an exaggerated smuggling fee. [These cases often start as voluntary smuggling, and end-up as human trafficking.]

According to veteran Mexican women's rights lawyer Teresa Ulloa, who is now the head of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-LAC), 17% of the gross national product across Latin American nations in derived from prostitution. Ulloa identifies 500,000 victims of human trafficking as existing in Mexico (compared to perhaps 200,000 cumulative victims in the U.S.). Child sex tourism from U.S. perpetrators are among the outrageous crimes that are rampant in Mexico's border regions and resort towns. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 indigenous girl children have been kidnapped by the Japanese Yakuza mafias, and have been sold in Japan as 'geisha' prostitutes. Neither Mexico nor Japan have lifted a finger to save those children.

Although labor trafficking exists, sexist and racist machismo in Mexico and Latin America's other nations create special conditions where criminal men who act with impunity can literally get away with kidnapping, rape, murder and [sexual]slavery with impunity. The U.S. public has very, very little visibility into these realities. U.S. federal anti-trafficking efforts, and the work of most NGOs have not provided the Latin American crisis, and especially its severely impacted indigenous people's component, a place at the table of decision making and public discourse on this emergency.

My efforts with LibertadLatina have focused on filling the gap in mainstream news coverage in regard to human trafficking's Latin American crisis. For the past 9+ years I have documented as much of the crisis as possible, so that the general public, legislators, law enforcement and criminal justice folks and advocates have access to the truth. Much of that truth, in regard to Latin America's crisis exists as Spanish language reporting by passionate and dedicated reporters and activists. Many of them, especially in Mexico, risk being jailed or killed by corrupt officials and mafias for speaking these truths. I translate as many critical stories as possible, and believe that the effort has had a positive impact on the crisis. In recent months, Mexico has been forced by global public outrage to finally begin to take action to address its huge human trafficking crisis.

So yes, the mainstream press needs to address human trafficking in more detail. The Kansas City Star has made a good start at setting an example for others in professional journalism.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 18, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Mexico

2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report - Mexico

Excerpt

Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Government and NGO statistics suggest that the magnitude of forced labor surpasses that of forced prostitution in Mexico. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women, children, indigenous persons, and undocumented migrants. Mexican women, girls, and boys are subjected to sexual servitude within the United States and Mexico, lured by false job offers from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas…

The vast majority of foreign victims in forced labor and sexual servitude in Mexico are from Central America, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; many transit Mexico en route to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada and Western Europe…

The Government of Mexico does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mexican authorities increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and achieved the first convictions under the 2007 anti-trafficking law, in addition to opening a government-funded shelter dedicated to sex trafficking victims. The Secretariat of Government assumed more active leadership of the interagency trafficking commission and the Mexican Congress created its own trafficking commission. Given the magnitude of the trafficking problem, however, the number of human trafficking investigations and convictions remained low. While Mexican officials recognize human trafficking as a serious problem, NGOs and government representatives report that some local officials tolerate and are sometimes complicit in trafficking, impeding implementation of anti-trafficking statues…

NGOs, members of the government, and other observers continued to report that corruption among public officials, especially local law enforcement and judicial and immigration officials, was a significant concern. Some officials reportedly accepted or extorted bribes or sexual services, falsified identity documents, discouraged trafficking victims from reporting their crimes, or tolerated child prostitution and other human trafficking activity in commercial sex sites…

NGOs noted that many public officials in Mexico, including state and local officials, did not adequately distinguish between alien smuggling and human trafficking offenses and that many judges and police officers are not familiar with anti-trafficking laws. In order to address this problem, both government and outside sources provided some law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and social workers with anti-trafficking training.

…According to NGOs, victim services were lacking in some parts of the country and remained inadequate in light of the significant number of trafficking victims… Foreign victims who declined to assist law enforcement personnel… were repatriated to their home countries and were not eligible for victim aid or services in Mexico. Although authorities encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, many victims in Mexico were afraid to identify themselves or push for legal remedies due to their fears of retribution from trafficking offenders. Furthermore, victims had little incentive to participate due to a culture of impunity, reflected by official complicity, the limited number of trafficking prosecutions and convictions, and the fact that no trafficking victim has been awarded compensation for damages. The law establishes legal protections for trafficking victims, though in practice, according to NGOs, witnesses were not offered sufficient protection…

U.S. Department of State

June 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Arizona, USA

Who's coming to Arizona from Mexico?

Phoenix - Arizona's border with Mexico is the busiest crossing for illegal immigrants, and a number of them are criminals, according to the Border Patrol.

Last year, the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol caught 240,000 people trying to sneak into the United States illegally.

"Right about now, we're apprehending between 400 and 600 people a day," said Colleen Agle with the Border Patrol. She said this is the slow time of year; the number of illegal crossers peaks at around 1,000 a day in cooler weather.

Several criminals are among the illegal immigrants, Agle said.

"Rapists, child molesters, a lot of violent gang members."

She said it's tough to determine just what percentage of illegal immigrants have criminal backgrounds, but agents encounter them on a daily basis.

In the past few days, agents at Douglas have arrested an illegal immigrant who had been convicted of rape and another who had been convicted of having sex with a child under 3 years old. A child molester was arrested at a Nogales border crossing and an illegal who had been convicted of manslaughter was arrested in Casa Grande.

"We definitely see these types of individuals on a weekly basis," said Agle, "and I'd say pretty close to every day, we're apprehending somebody (criminal) -- whether it's a child molester or some sort of sex offender or violent gang member. Those are definitely people who are trying to get into the United States."

Pamela Hughes

KTAR

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Texas, USA

Lawsuit alleges boy was raped in bathroom connected to CBP office

Brownsville — The office of the city attorney is reviewing The Brownsville Herald’s request to release an incident report regarding an alleged sexual assault of a child at the Brownwsville and Matamoros International Bridge.

The report contains information on the investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a 7-year-old boy in a bathroom connected to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the port of entry.

The boy and his mother — both residents of Matamoros — had accompanied his grandmother to the facility, where she was interviewed in connection with a criminal investigation regarding then Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy.

The Herald on Thursday requested the report from the Brownsville Police Department after the child’s mother filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, several federal agencies and BPD.

The mother claims federal and local law enforcement agencies mishandled evidence and released a suspect without charging him in connection with the assault, the lawsuit states. The mother is accusing authorities of covering up the crime.

The mother seeks unspecified actual and exemplary damages, the lawsuit states.

City Attorney Mark E. Sossi said Tuesday that he would have a resolution soon to The Herald’s request for public information. The Police Department appears to be the lead agency conducting the inquiry.

CBP spokesman Eddie Perez said Tuesday, “We are not at liberty to discuss any case that is in pending litigation.”

The woman filed the lawsuit May 28 in U.S. District Court...

According to the lawsuit, the boy, his mother, two sisters and grandmother were present at a CBP office because the FBI was to interview the grandmother in connection with a criminal investigation regarding then Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy. Handy, who represented Hidalgo County Precinct 1, subsequently pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and then resigned from her elected office.

“The FBI knew that (the grandmother) would necessarily have to bring her family and agreed to safeguard all of them while in the United States for government purposes,” the lawsuit states. “The sole purpose of their visit was to be interviewed at the CBP Office regarding an ongoing FBI investigation.”

On the family’s arrival at the CBP office, the FBI began to interview the boy’s grandmother while the remaining family members waited nearby, the lawsuit states. The boy then went to use the restroom.

The mother alleges that when she went to look for her son, there was a man inside wearing glasses and a striped shirt who raced past her out of the restroom and out the CBP office.

The child was found unconscious on the floor in the restroom, the lawsuit states.

Emma Perez-Treviño

The Brownsville Herald

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Tennessee, USA

Valentino Vasquez Miranda

Illegal immigrant admits raping, killing Alabama woman; will reveal accomplice

The illegal immigrant who confessed to raping and killing an Alabama homecoming queen in a West Knoxville hotel room made a vow Thursday to expose his accomplice.

"That is a promise I make to the family (to) give them some peace," Valentino Vasquez Miranda said via an interpreter in Knox County Criminal Court.

Miranda admitted at a hearing Thursday that he used a master key to get inside a sleeping Jennifer Lee Hampton's hotel room at the Days Inn on Lovell Road and then raped and strangled her in September 2008.

As part of a plea deal approved by Judge Bob McGee, Miranda was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after a mandatory 51-year prison term.

Hampton, 21, was in Knoxville to help train workers at a new Mama Blue's restaurant set to open here. Miranda and girlfriend Rosa Hernandez were living and working at the Days Inn as housekeepers.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Allen told McGee that the attack on Hampton was a violent one, with guests in an adjoining room reporting a crash against her wall severe enough to shake items in their room. Hampton fought for her life, he said, evidenced by bits of Miranda's flesh under her fingernails.

"The cause of death was strangulation," he said...

At a hearing earlier this year, Allen signaled that his office might seek the death penalty in the case. But the Mexican consulate, acting on behalf of Miranda and his family, later questioned whether Miranda was 17 at the time of the slaying rather than the age of 20 as suggested by fake Social Security documents. Birth certificates are not issued in Mexico, so there is no way to verify a Mexican citizen's age. Under Tennessee and federal law, juveniles cannot be put to death.

To avoid a battle over the issue, Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols declined to authorize what's known as a "death notice" to be filed against Miranda.

Spared death and a lifetime behind bars, Miranda still tarried several hours Thursday before inking his plea deal.

Hampton's mother, Cynthia Senn, said she was told Miranda did not want to face her daughter's loved ones. He relented shortly before a 1:30 p.m. deadline.

Attorney Eddie Daniel already won a civil settlement on behalf of the Hampton family from the Days Inn. The terms have been kept under wraps.

Jamie Satterfield

The Knoxville News Sentinel

June 18, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Louis Alberto Berrios-Rodriguez

Police ID second suspect in Berks carjacking, rape

State police have identified a second suspect in the 2008 carjacking, beating and rape of a 22-year-old woman in Berks County.

State police at Reading issued an arrest warrant Wednesday night for Louis Alberto Berrios-Rodriguez, 22, formerly of Reading. He has not been captured, and is believed to be living in Puerto Rico.

Police in Puerto Rico and Reading are actively looking for him and anyone with information is asked to call state police at 610-378-4011, or Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. Callers are eligible for a reward of up to $10,000.

On Wednesday, state police said Raymond Cosme-Gomez, 21, formerly of Reading, was captured in Puerto Rico for the brutal Alsace Township rape on Oct. 18, 2008. He is awaiting extradition.

Police said an intensive investigation, which included the use of DNA evidence, led them to Cosme-Gomez.

Police said Cosme-Gomez and Berrios-Rodriguez were two of the three men who were in an Alsace bar with the victim. The three men followed the woman out of the bar and carjacked her in a parking lot across from the bar, police said.

The men robbed the victim of her money and drove her to a remote area about a quarter-mile away, where she was assaulted and raped, police said.

The attackers left the victim there, taking her car and her cell phone.

About an hour later, police found her car burning in Reading.

The Morning Call

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 18, 2010

Arizona, USA

Report: Man in Sparkletts uniform sexually assaults woman

Phoenix- A Phoenix woman claims she was sexually assaulted in her home this week by a man dressed in a Sparkletts water uniform.

Luis Samudio with the Phoenix Police Department said the woman told authorities she heard a knock on her door in the area of 51st Avenue and Cactus Road around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The woman reportedly looked through the peep hole and saw a man wearing what appeared to be a Sparkletts uniform.

Samudio said the woman told authorities she opened the door and the suspect forced entry into the home.

The man allegedly sexually assaulted her and struck her several times in the head with a black semi-automatic pistol.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 190 pounds, and was wearing a Sparkletts water polo, a matching baseball cap, leather gloves, and tan shorts. Police also said he had a ‘chinstrap’ goatee.

Samudio said this appears to be an isolated incident. Police say the crime in under investigation.

Katrina Schaefer

Scripps Media, Inc.

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 17, 2010

The World, The United States

2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. State Department

June 15, 2010


Added: Jun. 17, 2010

Cuba

Cuba Rejects U.S. Allegations About Underage Prostitution

Havana - The Cuban government rejected Tuesday as “false and disrespectful” the U.S. State Department report on human trafficking and denied any trafficking of minors, as stated in the document.

The 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report, presented Monday in Washington, listed Cuba among countries that fail to meet minimum international standards in battling human trafficking, and said that sexual exploitation of minors is common on the communist-ruled island.

“This shameful slander deeply offends the Cuban people. Sexual trafficking of minors does not exist in Cuba, but rather there is an exemplary record of protecting children, young people and women,” according to Josefina Vidal, head of the North America desk in the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

In a statement sent to the media, Vidal said that Cuba does not figure, “either as a country of origin, or of transit, or as a final destination for this scourge.”

She said that the legislation and measures adopted against that crime place Cuba among the countries of the region with the “most progressive” regulations and mechanisms to prevent and combat human trafficking.

The State Department report, she said, “can only be explained by the desperate need the U.S. government has to justify, under any pretext whatsoever, the persistence of its cruel policy of (economic) embargo, rejected overwhelmingly by the international community.”

EFE

June 17,2010


Added: Jun. 17, 2010

New York, USA

Victor Orozco

Rapist sentenced to 25 years

[Albany] Only the quiet sound of shackles could be heard as Victor Orozco, 24, made his way into the courtroom. His fate resting in the hands of Judge Jonathan Nichols.

"The nature and extent of your crime against the victim and her family is probably one of the worst crimes in terms of victim impact that i've had to preside over," said Judge Nichols.

Orozco pled guilty to the rape of a Stockport woman back in January. Even more shocking -- the victim's two young children were forced to watch.

"He duct taped them, told her to make them stop screaming or he would kill her in front of her kids," said Columbia County District Attorney Beth Cozzolino.

The victim, who we couldn't show on camera, spoke to the judge through tears, saying "He destroyed my life and my children's lives."

"They will be forever traumatize by this. They can't go to the bathroom. They're afraid to fall asleep at night. They're afraid to go home," said Cozzolino.

Orozco waived his right to a hearing, and thus a trial. His attorney asked that to be taken into consideration during sentencing.

But the judge's concern was for the victim, handing down 25 years in prison.

"I'm really pleased the judge gave him the maximum sentence," Cozzolino says. "There really is no other sentence you could give an animal like this."

"He didn't know why he did it. He's sorry he did it. He wishes he could take it back," says defense attorney Michael Howard. "But that's obviously after the fact."

Now, Columbia County District attorney Beth Cozzolino says the victim is going to focus on moving forward.

"She's back to work," Cozzolino says. "Her kids are back to school and I'm hoping that they recover from this."

Cait McVey

WXXA

June 15, 2010


Added: Jun. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Angel C. Solano-Martinez

Drug ring suspect in prison on several felony sex charges

A 30-year-old Hazleton man is in Luzerne County prison on multiple felony sex charges involving a 15-year-old girl.

Hazleton detectives escorted Angel C. Solano-Martinez, West Hemlock Street, into District Judge Joseph Zola's office Wednesday night to be arraigned on five felony charges including deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, dissemination of explicit sexual material and criminal contact with a minor. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors.

According to the police criminal complaint, the female juvenile's family called Luzerne County Children and Youth after they recognized Solano-Martinez in a photograph on the front page of the June 10 edition of the Standard-Speaker. The photo appeared with a story about drug arrests made by federal agents in Hazleton.

Solano-Martinez was one of more than a dozen alleged drug dealers from Hazleton arrested in the raid. All of the alleged dealers were named in a one-count indictment that said they conspired to sell more than 5 kilograms, or 11 pounds, of cocaine, and 50 grams of crack. They each pleaded not guilty.

Solano-Martinez was free on federal bail Wednesday when city detectives escorted him to district court on the sex crime charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Solano-Martinez met the 15-year-old girl at the Pine Street Playground in November 2009.

From the playground, Solano-Martinez invited the girl to a local motel where he gave her ecstasy pills and marijuana, court papers said. From November to his arrest last week on federal drug charges, Solano-Martinez had a sexual relationship with the girl that included watching pornographic movies at his house and having unprotected sexual intercourse, sometimes multiple times a day, police said.

The girl told police that Solano-Martinez was aware that she was only 15.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl told police that Solano-Martinez also supplied her with crack cocaine, smoked it with her, and often had her deliver drugs to customers when he was "too tired or too busy to deliver himself."

Police said Solano-Martinez "walked into Hazleton City Hall to deliver a message to" the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on Wednesday. The man was questioned by police on the sexual allegations and taken into custody.

Dressed in blue jeans and a gray sweatshirt with shackles on his ankles and wrist cuffs attached to a leather restraint around his waist, Solano-Martinez wore a surgical-type mask over his mouth and nose as he sat quietly before Zola at district court. He answered the judge's questions with single-word answers spoken in a quiet tone of voice.

Zola set bail at $100,000 straight cash, which Solano-Martinez was unable to post. He was remanded to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail. Zola scheduled a preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Mia Light

Standard Speaker

June 17, 2010


Added: Jun. 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Raymond Cosme-Gomez

Police make arrest in Berks County rape case

ALSACE Township - A man accused of helping to carjack and rape a Berks County woman has been captured in Puerto Rico where he awaits extradition, the state police at the Reading barracks announced Wednesday.

Authorities in the U.S. territory took Raymond Cosme-Gomez, 21, last known address in Reading, Pa., into custody Tuesday, the state police said.

Cosme-Gomez is accussed of participating in the carjacking and rape of a 22-year-old woman at 12:40 a.m. Oct. 18, 2008, on Pricetown Road in Alsace.

According to police, the accused and two other Hispanic men came up to the woman who was in her car and would not allow her to get out of her vehicle in the 2800 block. The men "grabbed her by her hair and demanded that she give them all of her money," police said. The men took $40 from the victim's back pocket and the woman's cell phone, police said.

Keeping the woman in the car, the three men drove it to a secluded area on the same road about two miles from where they first came upon the woman, police said. The men proceeded to beat the woman and rape her, police said.

The assailants left the woman at the rape scene and took off with her car and cell phone, police said.

The stolen vehicle was later found burning in the 900 block of North Sixth Street in Reading about 2 a.m. the same day, police said.

The ensuing investigation, including an examination of DNA, lead police to Cosme-Gomez, who fled the country to Puerto Rico in 2009, police said. With the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Puerto Rican officials, a search warrant was issued and Cosme-Gomez was found and investigated before being arrested June 15, 2010, for his alleged part in the crime, police said.

Cosme-Gomez is awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania where he will be tried, police said. Police said expect to have a second suspect under arrest soon.

The Mercury

June 16, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

The United States, The World

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the presentation of the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report

U.S. State Department: Remarks on the Release of the 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

Hillary Rodham Clinton - Secretary of State

Maria Otero - Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs

Luis CdeBaca - Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

Laura Germino - The Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Maria Otero - Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, speaking at the 2010 TIP Report presentation

Under Secretary Otero: …The announcement of the 2010 TIP Report is not only the result of many months of hard work, from offices - from our embassies and analysts and the Human Rights Trafficking Person - and the Human Trafficking Person, but also the community of NGOs - many of whom who are here - and activists who have dedicated their lives' work to combat this terrible scourge. Today, we come together to recognize over one decade of work…

The TIP report is a fair and transparent diagnosis of the impact of human trafficking, and it offers an assessment of how we can partner to end this human rights abuse, because human trafficking cuts across policies and sectors. We are challenged to gather our resources and increase our capacity to fight this crime together…

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton …I want to thank Under Secretary Maria Otero for her leadership on this and so many other pressing global challenges. I want to thank our own hero, Ambassador Lou CdeBaca, and all the men and women here at the State Department. They are working literally around the clock to shine the brightest of all spotlights on the scourge of modern slavery. Lou and his team work very closely with Melanne Verveer, our first ever ambassador-at-large for Global Women's Issues. Because human trafficking not only exploits and victimizes women and girls; it also fuels the epidemic of gender-based violence around the world. So thank you, one and all…

Human trafficking crosses cultures and continents. I've met survivors of trafficking and their families, along with brave men and women in both the public and the private sector who have stood up against this terrible crime. All of us have a responsibility to bring this practice to an end. Survivors must be supported and their families aided and comforted, but we cannot turn our responsibility for doing that over to nongovernmental organizations or the faith community. Traffickers must be brought to justice. And we can't just blame international organized crime and rely on law enforcement to pursue them. It is everyone's responsibility. Businesses that knowingly profit or exhibit reckless disregard about their supply chains, governments that turn a blind eye or do not devote serious resources to addressing the problem, all of us have to speak out and act forcefully…

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, speaking at the 2010 TIP Report presentation

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca: …Ten years ago, the law caught up with what so many people in this room knew - what you knew, what you cared about long before this was a hot issue. The injustice, though, was still as great. So we honor your leadership from within government and civil society. On shoestring budgets and with incomparable resolve, you had the courage to identify weaknesses and victims, to build shelters and best practices, and to trust and support survivors. We hope to use the same courage, the same strength, and the same tenacity as we celebrate 10 years of progress, but also 10 years of learning…

Laura Germino is going to give a few remarks on behalf of the heroes [recognized here] today, but in the introduction of Laura, we talk about a multi-sectoral approach, tapping NGOs, law enforcement, labor inspectors and the survivors, themselves. And the pioneer of that approach here in the United States is Laura Germino. In the early 1990s, Laura began to not just give a voice to escaped slaves, but traveled to Washington on her own dime to hold the federal government accountable to - investigate and prosecute these cases. And when I say federal government, I mean me -and I think Leon Rodriguez…

Secretary Clinton presents Laura Germino, of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, with one of several 2010 "Heroes" awards.

Laura Germino: …Twenty years ago - we're turning the clock back - there was no State Department TIP Report. There was no Justice Department Anti-Trafficking Unit. There was no Trafficking Victims Protection Act, no freedom network of NGOs. Farm workers like Julia Gabriel and thousands of others had not yet escaped to freedom. Farm bosses like Ron Evans or Sebastian Gomez and a dozen others had not been brought to justice. There was no admission yet by this great nation that the unbroken threat of slavery that has so tragically woven through our history, taking on different patterns, but always weaving the horrendous depravation of liberty - that it was a constant.

But here's the good part: There was nowhere to go but up. What we found is the mills of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. I have to say at times those mills ground really slowly. But change can and does come. Twenty years later, we see those changes, and you don't have to take my word for it. You can ask Ambassador CdeBaca.

Fifteen years ago, Ambassador CdeBaca was a young prosecutor… sitting in our office in Immokalee… puzzling about how to bring a violent, armed boss who was holding more than 400 farm workers, to justice. Our work together on that case eventually put that employer, Miguel Flores, behind bars for 15 years hard time. And as Ambassador CdeBaca was saying - (applause) - that prosecution helped lay the groundwork for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act…

U.S. Department of State

June 14, 2010

Note: The U.S. Department of State web page covering this presentation includes a video of the event.

See also:

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers

See also:

Laura Germino is the first U.S. citizen to be recognized as a “Trafficking in Persons Hero.”

News-Press.com

June 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

Colombia

Colombia only Latin American country combating human trafficking sufficiently: United States

Colombia is the only country in Latin America that according to the U.S. government's Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 meets the minimal international standards to fight human trafficking. However, the country remains a major source for the forced prostitution of women and girls abroad.

According to the report, Colombian male and female human trafficking victims are forced to work in sweat shops in Latin America, while Colombian women are forced to prostitute themselves in "Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Asia, and North America, including the United States."

"During the reporting period, the government increased law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders, enhanced prevention efforts, and continued to offer victim services through an interagency trafficking operations center and through partnerships with NGOs and international organizations. The significant number of Colombians trafficked abroad, however, reflects the need for increased prevention efforts and victim services," the State Department report went on.

The reports qualifies Colombia as one of the top "Tier 1" countries that comply with regulations.

Despite its praise, Washington advises Colombia to "dedicate more resources for victim services provided directly by the government; increase efforts to encourage victims to assist with the prosecution of their traffickers; enhance efforts to assist and repatriate the large number of Colombians trafficked overseas; institute formal measures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and continue to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, particularly among young women seeking jobs abroad."

The U.S. warns Latin American countries like Cuba and the Dominican Republic they may face sanctions if they don't improve efforts to fight human trafficking.

Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala are on a "watch list" and are expected to do more against the trafficking of humans.

According to Washington, the U.S. itself faces a "serious" human trafficking problem.

Adriaan Alsema

Colombia Reports

June 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

The United States

U.S. sex 'slaves' in thousands today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says

Washington - There are thousands of modern-day "slaves" in America - girls and boys forced into the sex trade, and men and women held in debt bondage, Secretary of State Clinton said Monday.

"There are Americans, unfortunately, who are held in sexual slavery," Clinton said in releasing the State Department's annual "Trafficking in Persons" report that for the first time included the U.S. on the list of suspect nations.

The trafficking horror outlined by Clinton has for years been the focus of law enforcement in New York City, where police have waged an uphill battle against pimps and predators using massage parlors and strip joints as fronts to prey on young Americans and illegal immigrants.

Last month, Mayor Bloomberg launched a public education campaign on human trafficking with ads on bus shelters in all five boroughs to "raise awareness of the impact of this horrible crime."

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes last week created a sex trafficking unit, and last December Queens District Attorney Richard Brown notched the first conviction under New York State's anti-trafficking law.

In the State Department report on 177 nations, the U.S. was singled out as "source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, debt bondage and forced prostitution."

Thailand, Mexico, the Philippines, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and India were listed among the main source countries for forced labor.

Richard Sisk

The New York Daily News

June 15, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

The World

Fighting slavery for 10 years

The U.S. State Department released the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report today. It approximates that there are 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.

On a press phone call, Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador at large for Trafficking in Persons, called the word trafficking "rather unfortunate," when the reality is that it really means slavery. Translating trafficking rather than slavery into Spanish also causes problems when trying to raise awareness in Latin America.

The common image of trafficking is women forced into prostitution in Third World countries, though trafficking for labor is more common. The good news is that many developing countries have improved by enforcing laws and assisting victims, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, now a tier 1 state (the best) after years of being a tier 3 state (the worst).

The bad news is that even tier 1 states, like the United States, have a trafficking problem. Trafficking comes as close to home as the dinner plate in the United States. "The victim population in the U.S. has been majority Latino," CdeBaca said, mostly because of farm workers (this year it skewed to Thai farm workers in Hawaii because of a few large raids there).

He described the shift from African American to trafficked Latino farm labor in the Southeast as just a different type of slavery. The old plantation model has easily transitioned into industrial agriculture's factory farms--and these certainly aren't only in the Southeast...

Megan Sweas

U.S. Catholic

June 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

Arizona, USA

Israel Correa

Justice of the Peace candidate charged with child prostitution

Israel Correa, a candidate for Justice of the Peace in downtown Phoenix, is the subject of an 18-count indictment alleging sexual conduct with a minor, child prostitution and solicitation of child prostitution.

Correa's most recent indictment came less than a week after a Maricopa County Attorney filed a direct complaint alleging six counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

The allegations have not yet derailed Correa's attempt to become a Justice of the Peace in the downtown district.

Correa filed the required paperwork by a late-May deadline and his most recent legal problems won't affect his candidacy unless he's found guilty.

The 18-count indictment handed up on May 28 include allegations that Correa engaged in sexual conduct with four underage boys, including one who is under age 15. The indictment also attaches allegations of child prostitution to Correa's involvement with the boys, along with an allegation that Correa wrote bad check to one of the victims.

According to court paperwork attached to a separate criminal complaint filed on May 24, a 14-year-old victim told a neighbor he was sexually abused by a man he worked for named Jose. Phoenix police interviewed a 17-year-old victim a short time later and described similar incidents of sexual contact taking place in the 2400 block of North 24th Street, the same location given by the first victim.

Based on those allegations, Phoenix police arrested Correa on May 20 on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor. Correa denied the allegations, according to court documents.

Correa's past troubles with the law includes a 2008 incident when he staged an abduction at his home. Correa accused former Justice of the Peace Carlos Mendoza — now one of Correa's rivals for the post — of coordinating a break-in at Correa's home that left Correa and his girlfriend duct taped.

Phoenix police pulled Mendoza out of his home at 1 a.m. before realizing Correa's abduction was a hoax. Correa was found guilty of filing a false report with law enforcement.

Correa was also arrested in 2008 after he refused to show his driver's license to a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy. Correa said sheriff's deputies targeted him because he is Hispanic. The Sheriff's Office said Correa's headlights didn't work and that he refused to cooperate when the deputy asked for identification.

In June 2009, Correa was arrested after police said he held two men at gunpoint in a Jack in the Box parking lot and flashed a badge claiming to be a police officer.

JJ Hensley

The Arizona Republic

June 3, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

California, USA

Teen Girl Molested in Barrio Logan Alley

Barrio Logan (in the city of San Diego) - A 14-year-old girl was groped in a Barrio Logan alley Friday night.

The assault happened at 7:23 p.m. in the north alley of 2100 National Avenue.

A Hispanic man approached the girl, made a comment in Spanish, then touched her private area over her clothes. He smiled and fled westbound through the alley on foot.

The suspect appeared to be in his early 30's, 5'5" and heavyset. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

San Diego 6

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

Maryland, USA

Sexual Assault in Aspen Hill Area of Rockville

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Homicide/Sex Section are investigating a sexual assault that occurred early this morning near the intersection of Aspen Hill and Veirs Mill Roads in Rockville.

At approximately 12:32 a.m., officers from Montgomery County Police, Maryland National Capitol Park Police (Montgomery County Division), and Rockville City Police responded to Aspen Hill Road and Veirs Mill Road for the report of a sexual assault that had just occurred. The preliminary investigation revealed that the 26-year-old female victim was walking along Veirs Mill Road when she was accosted by two male subjects. The two males forced the victim into a wooded area along Veirs Mill Road and sexually assaulted her. After the assault, the victim was released and she called police.

One suspect is described as being 5’ 5” to 5’ 6” tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. He has short dark hair. The other suspect is described as being 5’ 5” to 5’ 6” tall. He has short spiky hair. Both subjects are described as being in their mid-twenties and of Hispanic descent.

Anyone who may have information about this sexual assault is asked to call the Major Crimes Division – Homicide/Sex Section at 240-773-5070. Those who wish to remain anonymous and qualify for a reward may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

The Washington Post

June 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 15, 2010

California, USA

Jesus Hernandez (left) and Martin Gonzalez Lopez

Police search for third suspect in rape case

Police have yet to arrest a third suspect involved in the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl inside a former cannery building in east Gilroy last month.

Jesus Hernandez, 41, a local transient, and Martin Gonzalez Lopez, 43, of the 100 block of Third Street, were arrested May 6 on charges of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 after allegedly having sex with the girl in an abandoned warehouse. Hernandez also was arrested on a charge of sexual penetration of a child under age 14 with a foreign object. The pair have a plea hearing scheduled at the South County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Friday.

A third suspect allegedly had sex with the girl in exchange for $80 - $20 of which she gave to Hernandez and Lopez for beer and cigarettes they had already purchased, according to a police report. That suspect, allegedly a close friend of Lopez, is described as a 23-year-old Hispanic male who is 5 feet, 2 inches and about 142 pounds. However, police have not made any other arrests in the case, Sgt. Jim Gillio said Monday.

The 13-year-old victim told police that she initially planned to go to Christmas Hill Park at 7 p.m. May 4, but she could not find anyone to give her a ride there, according to court documents. As a result, she went to the Caltrain depot on Monterey Street and asked a man on a bicycle if he had cigarettes, the report said. The man said his "partner" had cigarettes, and he led the girl to the abandoned warehouse at 199 E. Ninth St., according to court documents.

The girl told police that about five people were at the encampment, and she told them she was 18 years old, according to police. She asked if they had marijuana and methamphetamine, and they said they did, according to police reports. The girl told police that a man, who she later identified as Lopez, provided her with both drugs.

In an initial interview, the girl said that she did not have any sex with any of the men, stating that they only had touched her chest and given her hickeys, according to court documents. However, her story changed during a subsequent interview after Lopez had told police that he had sex with the girl, according to court documents.

During a second interview, she initially told police that she woke up in the warehouse at Alexander and Ninth streets to find her shirt off and some of her clothes on backwards, according to court documents. Police still believed she was holding back information and gave her a pen and paper to write what happened, according to a police report. She then wrote that she had sex with Lopez, Hernandez and the third suspect, adding that she initially lied because she did not want to get into trouble, according to police reports...

Jonathan Partridge

The Gilroy Distach

June 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Honduras

Venden niñas por edades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the sexual exploitation of en and girls in Honduras


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 5, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

[Latino] Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, speaking at Harvard Law School on February 5th, said that the steady flow of illegal immigrants into his city has created a crisis situation that is extremely dangerous for local law enforcement and a devastating drain on the city's budget. Although by statistical measures Phoenix is one of the safest cities in the United States, it has experienced a wave of kidnapping and violent crimes that have challenged its law enforcement capacity.

The problem, said Mayor Gordon, is the violent behavior of the "coyotes" involved in human trafficking operations across the nearby Mexican border and who regularly kidnap, torture, rape and kill those who do not comply with their extortion, sometimes forcing captives to dig their own graves while awaiting either freedom or death.

According to Gordon, over 20,000 people, including women and children, have been rescued by Phoenix police over the last three years from "drop houses" where dozens or even hundreds are held captive or even tortured, sometimes in the midst of ordinary suburban neighborhoods…

Gordon said that the fight against the coyotes' organized crime has forced the city to hire over 600 additional police officers, many to replace the 100 full-time officers assigned to federal task forces investigating violent criminals and 50 officers embedded undercover in federal operations. The cost to Phoenix of employing these 150 officers, over $15 million dollars a year, is not reimbursed by the federal government and threatens to force reductions in city services like libraries and after school programs…

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

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

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

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

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

WNEP-TV

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

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

Oralia Ortega

KTSM

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 5

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

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

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

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

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

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

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

WNDU

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the trash

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

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

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

A custodian later found the baby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

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

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

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

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

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kye Parsons

WBOC

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWBT

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

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

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

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

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

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

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 8

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

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

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

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

Gothamist

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coloradan.com

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Mexico

A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

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

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

"El Instituto estima que en México hay 3.6 millones de niños trabajadores entre cinco y 17 años trabajando en malas condiciones, sin la posibilidad de asistir a la escuela y buscar un mejor futuro", dijo.

Aseguró que la trata de personas es un delito con un impacto social complejo, cuya principal característica es convertir a las personas en mercancías que se intercambian en mercados clandestinos nacionales e internacionales, que laboran al amparo de la impunidad que les brindan las autoridades.

Orozco dijo que se deben combatir las raíces que propician el fenómeno de la trata de personas, pues la mayoría de niños, mujeres, adolescentes víctimas de ese delito provienen de contextos de pobreza, derivada de la falta de oportunidades educativas y laborales.

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

The majority of girls, boys and adolescents who labor in abusive situations, with no hope of being able to attend school, live in poverty that is also caused by a lack of educational opportunities.

National Actional Party (PAN) Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, has announced the results of a statistical analysis on conditions facing working children, conducted by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEG).

Deputy Orozco: The INEG estimates that in Mexico, 3.6 million minors between the ages of 5 and 17 work in [deplorable] labor conditions, and are unable to attend school or seek a better future for themselves.

Orozco added that human trafficking is a crime that has a complicated impact on society. Its principal characteristic is that it converts people into merchandise, who are then bought and sold in national and international clandestine marketplaces with the assistance of the impunity that is offered by corrupt authorities.

The deputy added that human trafficking should be fought from the roots up. They majority of children, adolescents and women who are victims of these crimes come from backgrounds of poverty, which itself derives from a lack of educational and labor opportunities.

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

Austin - In the 2008 film thriller Taken, two American girls on a pleasure trip to France are kidnapped from their apartment and thrown into a brutal world of modern-day slavery and forced prostitution.

On Thursday, Texas lawmakers heard grim real-life episodes of human trafficking as law enforcement officials described a burgeoning criminal enterprise that has spread across Texas and other states.

Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed told of one case in which a homeless teenage girl was abducted from a parking lot and spirited away to a strip club in Corpus Christi.

Capt. Rick Cruz of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a participant of a task force operation in Houston, said officers rescued nearly 100 girls from "basically forced slavery" in the break-up of a trafficking ring in Houston in 2005.

Victims are often told that their families will be killed or injured if they try to contact someone on the outside, Cruz said.

Dallas police Lt. Thon Overstreet opened testimony at a legislative hearing by revealing a coordinated law enforcement strike at three locations in the Metroplex on Thursday to arrest suspects in a human trafficking network in North Texas. Overstreet declined to divulge certain details or locations because the operation had not been completed...

"It's a horrible problem," said Rep. Paula Pierson, D-Arlington, a member of the state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, citing estimates that more than a half-million young people -- boys as well as girls -- have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Pierson said human trafficking often surges around "big events," such as the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 6.

Overstreet, interviewed after the hearing, said members of a North Texas task force on human smuggling are mapping strategy to combat it as the Super Bowl approaches. The game is expected to draw legions of visitors to North Texas...

Growing problem

During the joint hearing of the Criminal Jurisprudence and the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committees, lawmakers heard testimony that human trafficking rings have grown in sophistication and technological skill, often using the Internet to lure victims or conduct business. There are also strong indications that Mexican drug cartels are increasingly moving into human trafficking to expand their illicit profits.

"It's grown dramatically, and I don't think we've even scratched the surface on a lot of these organizations," Overstreet said.

Asked by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, to rank where law enforcement stands against human trafficking organizations on a scale of one to 10, Overstreet responded, "two or three, right now."

Overstreet clutched a rolled-up chart that he said detailed the operations of [a] human smuggling ring targeted by [a recent] raid.

The criminal network has ties in Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico, operates in more than 20 U.S. cities, and boasts $12 million in physical assets and more than $6 million cash, he said...

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

Author Isabel Allende to visit New Orleans, hoping to draw attention to modern-day problem of human trafficking

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is no stranger to the rough currents of history. A cousin of Chilean President Salvador Allende, she was forced to flee her native country in the mid-1970s after a military coup overthrew his government. She lived for many years in Venezuela but now is a U.S. citizen, making her home in California with her second husband and extended family.

The author of 18 books -- fiction, memoirs and novels for young adults -- Allende's literary focus is primarily on families and interpersonal relationships, with an emphasis on the lives of women. While fluent in English, she writes in Spanish; her works are then translated into English. Her wildly successful first novel, "The House of the Spirits, " a complex, multigenerational saga set in Latin America, remains for many readers her most important work.

Her new novel, "Island Beneath the Sea, " coming 28 years and 16 books later, echoes in many ways her earliest. The story follows the complicated, often troubled intertwining of several families as they move from Saint Domingue (now Haiti) to New Orleans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The rich history of her settings exerted a natural attraction for Allende...

Allende writes, "The legacy of slavery is like an open wound. In the United States we are only beginning to deal with it. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 but it took 100 years for the Civil Rights movement to empower the blacks. To this day, they suffer from discrimination, racism and inequality.

"Unfortunately, in Haiti there are around 300,000 slave children, given away by their families because they can't feed them. It's a system that supposedly ensures that the children will be fed and sheltered, but in reality they are exploited as house servants and brutally abused; they don't receive education of any kind, no one cares for them."

The Isabel Allende Foundation, created in 1996 to honor the memory of her daughter Paula, who died in her late 20s, is focused on "social and economic justice" as well as "empowerment and protection" for women and girls.

The author connects the story of Zarite's journey from enslavement to freedom to contemporary concerns. She writes, "I hope that Zarité's story draws attention to the plight of modern slaves. Today there are 27 million slaves counted. Who knows how many more have not been counted? Some are victims of slave trafficking, but most are enslaved by debt bondage, kidnapping in war zones (child soldiers, for example), exploited under inhuman conditions in mines, fishing industry, sweatshops, agriculture, etc. Slavery is illegal and no country admits that it happens within its borders, yet there is slavery everywhere, even in the U.S. (Google 'Free the Slaves'). Before, slaves were an investment, and therefore valuable. Today slaves are so cheap that they are disposable, they have no voice; they are invisible.

"My foundation supports several grass-roots programs that empower women and girls in the U.S. and other countries. We do some work with clinics in Haiti. We also support programs that rescue women and girls from slavery in sex traffic and in bonded servitude." ...

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

Washington, DC - Bishops of the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean called on their governments to address the economic root causes of migration and seek policies that will help create jobs for people in their homelands.

During a regional consultation on migration held at the headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops June 2-4, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and bishops from Canada, Haiti and Latin America spoke with reporters about some of the issues being discussed at the meeting.

Addressing economic root causes of migration "in our mind, is the lasting and humane solution to the challenge of illegal immigration," said Bishop Wester, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in a statement he read at the June 3 news conference.

"Second, we believe that all governments, not only the U.S., should look at their immigration laws and reform them in a manner which respects basic human rights," Bishop Wester continued. The nations of the hemisphere also must "redouble their efforts against the scourge of human trafficking," he said.

He noted that in a globalized world, where capital, communications and goods are readily exchanged, the movement of labor has not been regularized, and the impact of globalization on human beings has not been acknowledged or addressed...

Guatemalan Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri said, for example, that the poor of his country have not benefited from the Central American Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, which it ratified three years ago.

"The level of poverty in Guatemala is increasing," he said...

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Bishop Ramazzini said Guatemala is reeling from the twin effects in less than a week of a volcanic eruption near the capital, Guatemala City, that coated streets and farms with inches of ash and the inundation of much of the country with up to 3 feet of rain by Tropical Storm Agatha. The two have destroyed many farmers' entire production for the season, he said. That jeopardizes their income as well as the source of affordable food for Guatemalans, he said.

At the news conference, Bishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana, Mexico, chairman of the Mexican bishops' migration commission, said his country is becoming a collection of semi-abandoned small towns as working-age teens and men have gone to the United States to be able to provide for women, children and elderly people left behind...

Participants included more than two dozen bishops from the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico and Central America and other representatives of national bishops' conferences, including the migration program director for the Cuban bishops.

Patricia Zapor

Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

A pesar de que estaba acostumbrado a ver y tocar mujeres desnudas, el irresistible cuerpo de una joven menor de edad lo llevó a la tentación. Un médico forense del Poder Judicial de Cartago, de apellidos Durán Ramírez, fue detenido por sus propios compañeros de trabajo porque al parecer abusó sexualmente de una menor de edad, quien fue víctima de una violación.

La muchacha llegó a los Tribunales de Cartago para una valoración médica, por lo cual fue atendida por el funcionario, quien además del examen de rutina llevó sus manos más lejos y aparentemente le tocó las partes íntimas.

El incidente se produjo en setiembre de 2009, pero la afectada no interpuso la denuncia hasta la semana pasada...

A child sexual abuse victim is victimized again by a forensic examiner

Despite the fact that a forensic medical examiner (last names Durán Ramírez) was accustomed to examining unclothed women, he proceeded to sexually abuse an underage sexual assault victim who he was assigned to examine.

The victim came to the judicial center of the city of Cartago for a medical examination, which was conducted by Durán Ramírez. After the exam, the doctor touched the victim's intimate areas.

The incident happened in September of 2009, but the victim did not file a complaint until last week.

Surprised by the case, the forensic medical examiner's office immediately opened an investigation.

In the hallways of the local judicial center, the accusations were not taken seriously, given that the 38-year-old was well liked, and was considered to be very professional by his colleagues.

After his arrest, the local prosecutor interrogated Durán Ramírez, and recommend pre-trial detention. He was charged with the crime of sexually abusing a minor.

Despite the prosecutor's recommendation in the case, the Cartago Criminal Court ordered bail and a restraining order that does not allow Durán Ramírez to approach the victim, or the Cartago Legal Medical Office, for a period of three months...

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

Salvadoran immigrant sentenced to prison for pursuing 13-year-old Virginia girl

On May 26, Loudoun County Judge James Chamblin sentenced Hugo Antonio Callejas, 43, to seven years in prison for soliciting a 13-year-old Leesburg girl for sex. Callejas originally approached the girl at a lemonade stand she set up on Memorial Day 2009, trying to raise money for the Relay for Life charity.

Callejas, who was found guilty in January, was working in the girl’s neighborhood and visited the lemonade stand three times in one day. During his last visit, he gave the girl his phone number and told her she was beautiful.

The girl’s friend, told her parents, who called the police.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s investigator, Shannon Cumberledge, then called Callejas, pretending to be the 13-year-old girl.

She and Callejas had 11 conversations over a two-day period. Some of the recorded calls were played during his trial.

Callejas could be heard saying: “You’re beautiful, and I love you.”

During other phone calls, he talked about kissing and touching the teenager, and how he would like to see her without any underwear.

Callejas said: “If you want to touch a lot, I’ll touch a lot. If you want to touch a little bit, I’ll touch you a little bit.”

The investigator agreed to meet Callejas at a community swimming pool. When he showed up, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies too him into custody.

Initially, Callejas denied the allegations, telling detectives that he only gave the teenager his number so that he could buy more cookies and lemonade from her. However, once confronted with the taped phone conversations, Callejas admitted to his actions.

Callejas came to this country from El Salvador, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. He is married with three children.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

Frederica, Deleware - Delaware State Police have charged a North Carolina man with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Gino Alfonso Laflora, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is facing several charges in connection to the alleged incident on May 16.

According to investigators, Laflora was visiting family in Kent County, Delaware when the assault occurred. The victim told police that the assault occurred near an open lot between Willow Drive and Maple Drive in Frederica.

The victim said she knew the suspect from a friend in the neighborhood. She said she was alone with Laflora in his car when the assault happened.

Laflora surrendered to authorities on June 3. He has been charged with Rape and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Laflora is being held on $52,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.

CBS 3

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

An Eastern Oregon high school senior who planned to attend his own graduation today, instead is in jail, facing felony sexual assault charges.

The Bellingham Herald reports that 19-year-old Hernan Hernandez Vera was charged with first-degree sodomy, rape and sexual abuse.

The sexual assault was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by staff at Good Shepherd Hospital.

Deputies learned the victim had been assaulted earlier in the day in Irrigon and around 1 a.m. Wednesday tracked Vera down at his home.

Vera, an Irrigon High senior, was jailed on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Mexico

Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

Ciudad de México.- El país ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de páginas web de pornografía infantil, y tiende a incrementarse más de 5% la distribución de videos de imágenes de abuso a recién nacidos, afirmó la diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

La legisladora dijo que las denuncias telefónicas por delitos de pornografía infantil aumentaron 200% entre el 2008 y el 2009, y que otro problema radica en el uso de internet para la comercialización y funcionamiento de redes de trata de niños y niñas y de explotación sexual comercial...

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

Mexico City - Mexico occupies first place [globally] in access of child pornography by way of the Internet. The problem includes a [recent] 5% increase in the distribution of obscene photos of recently born babies, according to Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Orozco stated that phoned-in complaints about child pornography increased 200% between 2008 and 2009. She noted that another Internet-based aspect of the problem involves the fact that child sex trafficking networks in Mexico are using the Web to commercialize and operate their illicit businesses.

She warned that currently, no [anti-pornography] filters exist for cell phone users who browse the Web, which is concerning, given that 75.6 million cell phone users exist in Mexico, 29% of those have Internet access, and 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use those services.

In response to this problem, Deputy Orozco has presented a non-binding resolution calling upon the nation's state legislatures to reform their penal codes to include crimes that involve public and private telecommunications [networks].

Deputy Orozco also stated that the top criminal activities that take place on the Internet involve, in order of importance: 1) fraud; 2) threats; and 3) child pornography.

The Deputy concluded by noting that 11 million computers have Internet access in Mexico. Some 55% of them are installed in homes, which represents 3.5 computers for every 10 households. Thirty nine percent of the nation's 23 million computer-based Internet users are between the ages of 12 and 18.

El Manana

May 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Robles-Roman launch new public education campaign to end human trafficking

“Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking” Campaign Encourages New Yorkers To “See It. Know It. Report It.”

Press Release (excerpt)

New York City - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt today launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations. The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion. The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, in partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking...

“Human Trafficking is happening here, but we don’t know it because we don’t see it,” said Alice Ericsson, Executive Creative Director of Grey New York. “If we want New Yorkers to see the problem, we have to put it in plain view. And, in plain language. The silhouettes will tell the stories of human trafficking that can happen right here in our own town.” ...

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also help to disseminate information and materials to vulnerable communities in the city, and bring broader awareness about human trafficking and where to go for help. Outreach to community and faith- based organizations serving immigrants as well as ethnic media will reinforce these efforts...

If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911. If you would like more information about human trafficking or would like to learn about how you can help, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/ humantrafficking...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, [2010] Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son. He's in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

Bastrop - A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer was indicted by a Bastrop County grand jury on Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child.

During a TABC undercover investigation of alcohol sales in May 2009, 41-year-old Joe Chavez allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl hired to assist in the sting.

Investigators say that the incident took place in Chavez's state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting. He also reportedly texted explicit photos of himself to the teen a day before the operation.

He was arrested on Friday by investigators with the Office of the Attorney General.

Prior to being stationed in Bastrop, Chavez was a TABC officer in Waco from June 2004 to August 2005.

Chavez is charged with two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

June 01, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, of the New Alliance Party, speaks with reporters as she calls for the nation's current federal anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the federal level (it currently is limited to being enforced by states in most circumstances in February of 2010.

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

Entre 16 mil y 20 mil niños y niñas son víctimas de explotación sexual cada año en México, lo que convierte al país en la segunda nación que más víctimas de trata provee a Estados Unidos, superado únicamente por Tailandia, afirmó la diputada, Cora Pinedo Alonso, del Partido Nueva Alianza.

La también secretaria de la Mesa Directiva de la Cámara baja precisó que el municipio de Tapachula, Chiapas, es el lugar donde se realiza la mayor venta de mujeres, niñas y niños con fines de trata.

Muchos de esos menores son "redistribuidos" a los estados de Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa y el Distrito Federal, señaló con base a estudios de la organización internacional End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

Mexico is the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States

Between 16 and 20 thousand boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico each year. As a result, Mexico has become the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States, according to congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso of the New Alliance Party.

Pinedo Alonso, who is the secretary of the governing council in the Chamber of Deputies, also stated that Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state, is the largest center for the sale of women, girls and boys for purposes of human trafficking in the nation.

Many of child victims are "redistributed" to the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as to Mexico City. Pinedo Alonso based her statements on a research study conducted [in 2007] by the organization End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

In response to this situation, Pinedo Alonso has presented a non-binding resolution that has been submitted to the Second Permanent Commission of Congress (37 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies who conduct congressional business when Congress is not in session) for consideration. The resolution calls for the creation of stricter measures than now exist to investigate trafficking crimes and to punish those responsible.

The resolution calls upon the director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) to assign staff to supervise and evaluate anti-trafficking activities on Mexico's southern border, and specifically in the city of Tapachula, with reports on conditions there to be sent to Congress.

According the the ECPAT study, Central American adolescents, the majority of whom are minors, "are prostituted in 1, 552 bars and brothels in Chiapas, and also in other cities and towns along the nation's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize.]"

Pinedo Alonso added that in 50% of these cases, the victims are Guatemalans. [Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans are also victims]. The victims are usually between the ages of 8 and 14. "They are sold by traffickers [to brothels] for $200 dollars each," Pinedo Alonso denounced.

Joining in the call for action, Chiapas state governor Juan Sabines has asked for working groups to be created that coordinate the work of non-governmental organizations, state agencies, the Chiapas state Human Rights Commission and the state's office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking. The goal of the working groups would be to evaluate the effectiveness of policies implemented to fight human trafficking.

Governor Sabines also called for an analysis to be conducted to track actions taken in regard to cases of human trafficking that involve both Mexican and Central American girls, boys and adolescents, and to document the number of prosecutions pursued.

Governor Sabines: "We wish to express our indignation and complete repudiation of these criminal practices. We energetically condemn those public servants who, through acts of omission or commission, have been complicit in collaborating with human trafficking networks. We call upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to join forces [to combat these crimes]."

Cronica

May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It is the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

Traffickers sell these children to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

More that 50% of these child victims are from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

About the numbers used to discuss minors involved in sex trafficking in Mexico

We reiterate our belief that the official Mexican Government estimates in regard to the numbers of underage sexual exploitation victims is unbelievably low. The above article about child sex trafficking in the southern border city of Tapachula states that an estimated 10,000 underage victims are prostituted in that city alone.

As we noted in our March 1, 2010 essay - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way:

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for CSEC, with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely used.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010

Mexico

Presenta diputada Cora Pinedo Alonso iniciativa de ley para tipificar trata de personas como delito federal

MEXICO, D.F., - Palacio Legislativo 23 de Febrero de 2010./Notilegis.- La vicecoordinadora de Nueva Alianza, Cora Pinedo Alonso, propuso tipificar la trata de personas como un delito federal y modificar la denominación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, para elevarla a rango federal, ya que actualmente sólo puede ser aplicada por las autoridades federales bajo cuatro supuestos...

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso presents an initiate to require the national anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the fedeal level.

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, who is the vice-coordinator of the New Alliance Party in the Chamber of Deputies, has called for the nation's current anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, to be changed, to allow its enforcement at the federal level. Currently [states enforce the law]. Federal authorities may only enforce its provisions under four circumstances. First, if the human trafficking crime was committed outside of Mexico, federal action may be taken. Second, when the trafficking crime is perpetrated within Mexico, but is intended to have an impact outside of Mexico, federal agents may also act. Third, federal action may be taken when the criminal act falls within Article 50, Section I, Subsection 'b) a j)' of the Organic Law of the Power of Judicial Power of the Federation. Fourth, when the criminal act is a violation of the Federal Law Against Organized Criminal Delinquency.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso stated that currently, [the federal law differs significantly from the anti-trafficking laws enacted in the majority of states. Therefore, the federal law should be changed to allow for the uniform application of anti-trafficking law across the nation, and especially in regard to the application of criminal penalties.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso referred to the United Nations human trafficking study Human Trafficking: A Global Panorama. The study identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit nations and 137 destination nations in regard to victims of human trafficking. Mexico is ranked very high among the countries of origin listed in the report. Mexico is rate in 28th place among nations where traffickers entrap victims, and is in 5th among nations in Latin America.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative proposes to reform Article 73 of the Constitution, and will update Article 3 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. It has been referred to the Chamber's Commission on Constitutional Law for review.

Notilegis

Feb. 23, 2010

Note: Mexico's federal system does not impose federal legal jurisdiction on the federated entities (Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City) for federal criminal laws that are passed as 'general laws.' The Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking is a general law. - LL

Note: Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative has been superseded by a more recent proposal, submitted by the ruling National Action Party, to update the now ineffective Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. Earlier in 2010, Mexico's Interior Secretary, Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL


Added: June 1, 2010

Brazil

Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

Autoridades brasileñas informaron que organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de personas se instalaron en la región amazónica por donde decenas de haitianos ingresan al país tras el terremoto ocurrido en el país caribeño en enero.

"Coyotes braileños" (traficantes de inmigrantes) cobran 600 dólares por introducir a cada haitiano en el estado de Acre, indicaron fuentes de la Policía Federal.

"El destino preferido en Brasil es Assis Brasil (localidad fronteriza con Perú) desde donde continúan camino hacia otras regiones del país" dijo el comisario Flaveio Avelar, jefe de la delegación de Migraciones de la Policía Federal en Acre.

El número de inmigrantes haitianos llegados a Brasil se incrementó tras el terremoto que devastó a ese país en enero pasado y dejó más de 200 mil víctimas fatales.

La legislación brasileña establece que los inmigrantes sin papeles sean deportados a su país de origen, pero las autoridades decidieron hacer una excepción con los haitianos.

"Se trata de una cuestión humanitaria, ellos dejaron su país debido al terremoto y podrán permanecer en Brasil como refugiados" explicó el comisario Avelar, consultado por el diario Correio Braziliense.

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities have announced that human smuggling networks have established themselves in the Brazilian Amazon. These groups have smuggled dozens of Haitians into Brazil through the Assis Brazil area on the Peruvian border. Brazilian coyotes have charged Haitians $600 to bring Haitians to the Brazilian state of Acre, from which they travel to other regions of Brazil. The smuggling of Haitians has increased significantly since the January, 2010 earthquake.

Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as refugees,

"It is a humanitarian issue. They left Haiti due to the earthquake, and they may remain in Brazil as refugees," explained the federal immigration police's commissioner in the state of Acre, Flaveio Avelar.

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

Mexican officials arrest German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested a German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges.

Mexico's Public Safety Department says Dieter Erhard Fritzchen Stieleke was arrested while waiting to board a flight to Germany out of the resort city of Cancun.

The department says Stieleke was handed over to Interpol for extradition to Brazil. A statement released Wednesday gives no details on the human trafficking charges against Stieleke. He was arrested Sunday.

The German Embassy did not return phone calls seeking comment. The Brazilian Embassy declined to comment.

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010

   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias



Updated: March 14, 2011


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LibertadLatina
Key new special sections
About the crisis of forced prostitution of minor girls and young women in the largest center for organized sex trafficking in Mexico: Tlaxcala state.

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Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Former Argentine spy Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola has been accused by his adult daughter, Lorena Martins, of running a sex trafficking ring based in Cancun, Mexico.

El “caso Martins”, al Congreso de la Unión

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unión, solicitó la expulsión de Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola del país, debido a que significa un riesgo para la sociedad mexicana su presencia por lucrar con seres humanos.

La titular de la comisión, Rosi Orozco, afirmó que es urgente concretar la expulsión del país del ciudadano argentino Raúl Luis Martins al señalar que esta persona junto con un socio "está lucrando con seres humanos", por lo que es necesario que las autoridades mexicanas investiguen a fondo su presunta participación como líder de una red de trata de personas en Cancún y la Riviera Maya...

La legisladora federal explicó que "es urgente que las autoridades tomen cartas en el asunto, pues no entiendo cómo pueden no darse cuenta que el mismo abogado que defendió a Succar Kuri es quien ha estado defendiendo a este señor", puntualizó. Indicó que el asunto debe ser investigado de manera exhaustiva ya que se tiene una procuradora comprometida contra la trata de personas, a quien no le tiembla la mano para castigar a personas que explotan a niñas, niños y jóvenes. De acuerdo con medios de comunicación argentinos Martins Coggiola es líder de una red de trata de personas en centros nocturnos en su país y en Cancún, donde jóvenes sudamericanas son enganchadas con promesas de trabajo y posteriormente las obligan a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Congress considers the case of Raúl Martins

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the lower house of Congress has called for the expulsion of Argentine citizen Raul Luis Martins Coggiola, because his presence represents a risk to Mexican society due to his [ilicit] efforts to profit from human exploitation.

The head of the commission, Deputy Rosi Orozco, said it is urgent to realize the deportation of an Argentine Raul Luis Martins, stating that both he and a partner "are profiting from human beings," so it is necessary that the Mexican authorities thoroughly investigate his alleged role as the leader of a trafficking network based in [the beach resort cities of] Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Deputy Orozco explained that "it is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter...I do not understand how they have failed to realize that the lawyer who defended [infamous convicted millionaire child pornographer Jean] Succar Kuri is the same one who has been defending this man." She added that the matter should be investigated comprehensively, given that we now have a prosecutor who is dedicated to human trafficking cases and whose hand does not tremble when it comes to the task of punishing those who exploit children and youth. According to Argentine media reports, Martins Coggiola leads a human trafficking network based in nightclubs both in Argentina and in Cancun, Mexico, where young South American women are entrapped with false promises of jemployment, and are then forced into prostitution.

Read the full article

Por Esto

Feb. 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Lorena Martins, daughter of Raul Martins

Argentine ex-spy accused of sex trafficking

The daughter of former Argentine intelligence officer Raul Martins will arrive in Mexico this week with evidence that her father is running a sex trafficking ring in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, an activist told EFE Monday.

Lorena Martins will deliver the evidence to Mexican lawmaker Rosi Orozco, who chairs a special committee investigating human trafficking, Gustavo Vera, head of the NGO La Alameda, said.

Lorena has already filed a criminal complaint in Argentina accusing her father of luring Argentine women and girls to Cancun and then forcing them into prostitution.

Read the full article

IANS/EFE

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Prostitution Network Buenos Aries – Cancun case will go to the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City

Lorena Martins daughter of Raul Martins, an Argentine former spy accused of managing a prostitution network in Cancun that has reached even the mayor of Buenos Aires of receiving money for his campaign from this illegal activity in Mexico, will flight to Mexico City to denounce her father before the Chamber of Deputies, reported the Excelsior.

Lorena Martins will present emails, cell phones and other materials as proofs of a prostitution network between Buenos Aires and Cancun that ties her father Raul Martins with several businessmen, politicians and high ranking official in Mexico.

Read the full article

The Yucatan Times

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Tratan de expulsarlo por la trata

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Diputados de México pidió que Raúl Martins fuera deportado. Sus abogados apelaron. Lorena, su hija, entregó a la jueza Servini de Cubría el diario de una ex de su padre en el que relata la trata de dos niñas.

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados de México pidió ayer la expulsión de Raúl Martins. El pedido es un reflejo de la denuncia de su hija, Lorena, quien relató la forma en que la organización de su padre llevó chicas argentinas, brasileñas y de otras nacionalidades a ejercer la prostitución en Cancún. Ya en 2010, la multipremiada periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho, en su libro Esclavas del Poder, tituló el capítulo sobre Martins con el nombre de “El Intocable”. En Buenos Aires, Lorena se presentó ante la jueza María Romilda Servini de Cubría, que finalmente es quien investigará el caso, y le entregó pruebas manuscritas de un diario de una ex pareja de su padre en la que se relata cómo le trajeron dos chicas de 15 años. Otras evidencias fueron remitidas a la jueza por el procurador Esteban Righi.

Lorena Martins estuvo cinco días en México. Presentó las denuncias ante la Comisión de Lucha contra la Trata y también ante la Procuración General de la República. La joven fue recibida por la primera dama de México, Margarita Zavala, en la sede del gobierno azteca, de manera que el interés por el caso –adelantado en exclusiva por Página/12 en diciembre– llegó hasta el más alto nivel del país del Norte.

Ayer, la diputada Rosy Orozco, titular de la Comisión de Trata, pidió la expulsión de Martins de México, porque “está lucrando con seres humanos. Es urgente que las autoridades se den cuenta de que quien defiende a este señor es el mismo que defendió a Succar Kury”, un famoso pederasta, poderoso dueño de una cadena hotelera, que hasta decía en un video que mantenía relaciones sexuales con niñas, incluso de cinco años. El caso también fue investigado por Lydia Cacho en el libro Los demonios del Edén.

Lea el artículo completo

Congressional members call for the expulsion of Raúl Martins from Mexico

The Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Lower House of Congress has requested that Raúl Martins be deported. Martins' lawyers have appealed. Martins' daughter Lorena has turned over evidence to a Judge Servini de Cubría

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the of the lower house of Congresss yesterday asked the expulsion of Raul Martins. The demand is a reaction to a complaint made by Martins' daughter Lorena, who recounted how her father's [ilicit human trafficking] organization has brought women from Argentina, Brazil and other nations to engage in prostitution in the city of Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, the award-winning Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, in her book Servants of Power, mentions Martins in a chapter called "The Untouchable." In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorena appeared before Judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who investigated the case, and provided evidence in the form of a handwritten diary written by a former girlfriend of her father, in which she relates how Raul Martins had [sex] trafficked two 15-year-old girls. Other evidence was submitted to the judge by the prosecutor Esteban Righi.

Lorraine Martins [recently] spent five days in Mexico. She presented her complaints before the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking [of the lower house of Congress], as well as before the federal Attorney General's Office. She was also received by the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala in the seat of the Aztec [Mexican] government, showing that the case, which was releaved by Page12 reporters in December of 2011, had reached the highest level of attention. .

Yesterday, Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the congressional anti-trafficking commission, called for the expulsion of Martins from Mexico, because, she said, "he is profiting from human exploitation. It is urgent that the authorities realize that the lawyer who is defending Martins also represented [convicted child sex trafficker] Jean Succar Kuri," an infamous pedophile and powerful hotel chain owner, who had once been recorded with hidden video admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with girls as young as age five. The case was [first exposed by anti-trafficking activist and journalist] Lydia Cacho in her book The Demons of Eden.

Read the full article

Raúl Kollmann

Page 12

Feb. 09, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina / Paraguay / Dominican Republic

Prostitution ring brought people from Argentina to Mexico

Buenos Aires.- A prostitution ring operated by former Argentine spy Raul Martins, reported yesterday in Mexico by his own daughter, started by advertising vacancies in local newspapers and culminated in the sexual exploitation of women in Cancun, Mexico.

Gustavo Vera, representative of La Alameda, a prestigious organization dedicated to denouncing people trafficking for labor and sexual slavery in the South American country, told Notimex details of the operation.

In fact, La Alameda published the photo of Martins with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, who is alleged to have received funding of the alleged pimp in his election campaign.

Read the full article

Cecilia Gonzalez

Notimex

Feb. 02, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mayoría de víctimas de trata de personas en NY son hispanos

Nueva York - Más de la mitad de los afectados por la trata de personas y que viven en el estado de Nueva York son inmigrantes latinoamericanos obligados a realizar trabajos forzados o a prostituirse, según datos de la mayor agencia de servicios a víctimas de Estados Unidos.

Un 58% de los clientes de Safe Horizon, la agencia más importante de servicios de víctimas en el país, proviene de Latinoamérica, dijo la organización a The Associated Press. Aproximadamente un 24% de esas víctimas son mexicanos.

Las victimas de trata no tienen oportunidad de denunciar su situación por temor a ser deportados.

Lea el artículo completo

The majority of human trafficking victims in New York are Hispanic

New York - According to data gathered by the largest [non profit] victim service agency in the United States, more than half of New York ressidents who are victimized by human trafficking are Latino immigrants who are forced into prostitution or labor exploitation.

Some 58% of the clients of Safe Horizon were Latin Americans, the organization told The Associated Press. Approximately 24% of those victims were Mexican.

[Many immigrant] victims of trafficking have have not had an opportunity to speak out de to their fear of being deported.

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The Associated Press

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

Sex slave's story: Woman duped into leaving Mexico, forced to New York City's trafficking underworld

Sofia tells the Daily News how a "boyfriend" tricked her into leaving Mexico illegally -- and forced her into the life of a sex slave.

Her boyfriend told her they were leaving Mexico to live with his relatives in Queens, get restaurant jobs and build a happy life in America.

Instead, she was forced into a life of sex slavery — made to work as a “delivery girl” prostitute riding from john to john in a livery cab.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexican Member of Congress and leading anti-trafficking advocate Deputy Rosi Orozco

Cada semana llegan a Tijuana decenas de niñas y mujeres de para ser forzadas a prostituirse: Rosi Orozco

Diputada Rosi Orozco: "cada semana llegan a Tijuana, Baja California, autobuses y aviones con decenas de niñas y mujeres de entre 3 a 65 años de edad para ser forzadas a prostituirse, refirió."

Distrito Federal.-La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN), impulsa un punto de acuerdo para la colocación de un muro en las instalaciones del Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, en el que se exhiban fotografías de niñas, niños y mujeres desaparecidos por posible trata de personas. Además, que el Canal del Congreso difunda, de manera permanente, cápsulas con las imágenes de las posibles víctimas, así como los datos de las instancias competentes para formular denuncias, como señal de solidaridad y efectivo auxilio, precisó la legisladora.

Señaló que la trata de personas con fines sexuales es el tercer negocio ilícito más lucrativo a nivel mundial, después del tráfico de drogas y armas; genera al año diez mil millones de dólares.

La gran mayoría de las víctimas provienen de contextos en los que difícilmente pueden conocer plenamente sus derechos, subrayó.

Lea el artículo completo

Each week, dozens of girl children and women are trafficked into sexual slavery in [the Mexico/U.S.] border city of Tijuana

Deputy Rosi Orozco: "According to a study conducted by the College of the Northern Frontier (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each week dozens of girls and women between the ages of 3 and 65 are brought by bus and by air to the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California so that they can be exploited sexually."

Mexico Ciy - National Actional Party deputy Rosi Orozco, who is President of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons in the lower house of Congress, has introduced a resolution for the placement of a mural on the premises of the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro, where the photographs of children and women who have disappeared and may be vicims of human trafficking will be displayed. In addition, Deputy Orozco proposes that the Congress Channel permanently broadcast segments that show the images of possible victims, as well as instuctions for filing human trafficking complaints, as a practical act of solidarity and assistance.

Orozco noted that human trafficking for sexual purposes is the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking, generating a year ten billion dollars.

The vast majority of victims come from contexts [situations] where it is difficult for them to fully know their rights, she said.

Read the full article

El Observador Diario

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Human Trafficking Continues To Rise Along San Diego-Tijuana Border

San Diego - Nearly every official who attended the second annual bi-national forum to address human trafficking in Chula Vista agreed: Human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise.

Government figures show about 18,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. But officials also acknowledge there are many more victims hidden in communities who are sold for prostitution, labor or other services. Often times the illegal practice goes unreported.

The goal of Thursday's forum was to improve collaboration between agencies on both sides of the border to help crackdown on human trafficking and child prostitution.

Read the full article

Marissa Cabrera

Fronteras Desk

Jan. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

ICE agent cites 'disturbing and subhuman' methods used to trick young women into sex slavery

"It’s very difficult for us to break through to the average American, the average New Yorker and let them know that people in 2011 and 2012 are actually held against their will," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, Jr., of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

G-men and cops are busting twice as many human traffickers, but advocates say a sickening number of immigrants are being forced into prostitution in the city.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement racked up 172 arrests for trafficking in the metropolitan area, up from 75 the previous year.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Presentan marcas de abuso sexual, bebes recuperados en Jalisco

En entrevista con Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Tomás Coronado Olmos, procurador de Justicia de Jalisco, ratificó que bebés adoptados ilegalmente en dicha entidad presentan huellas de abuso sexual. “De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

“De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

Derivado de las investigaciones que realiza la PGR, dijo, hay nueve detenidos pero aun no se precisa si extranjeros de origen irlandés están relacionados con las agresiones sufridas por los menores.

“Los tenemos plenamente identificados y el embajador de Irlanda en México ha estado muy al pendiente. Una vez que concluya el proceso se determinará su situación jurídica”.

Lea el artículo completo

Children put up for adoption in the cityof Jalisco show signs of sexual abuse

Jalisco state Attorney General Tomás Coronado Olmos has confirmed that the babies show signs of abuse.

"Six of 11 recovered todlers show signs of sexual abuse"

According to the federal Attorney General's Office, their investigations into this case have resulted in nine arrests. The authorities have not yet determined whether prospective adoptive parents from Ireland have any connection to the abuses.

"The [couples seeking adoption] have been identified. Ireland's ambassador in Mexico has been very attentive. After completion of the process the legal status of the prospective parents will be determined."

Read the full article

wradio.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco at recent anti-trafficking forum

México, segundo lugar en pornografía infantil a nivel mundial

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

México está ubicado en el segundo lugar en producción de pornografía infantil a nivel mundial, afirmó la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada panista Rosi Orozco al inaugurar el Foro Líderes de Opinión Contra la Trata de Personas.

En presencia de la presidenta del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, la legisladora subrayó que el delito de trata de personas ocupa el segundo lugar a nivel mundial, como el negocio ilícito más redituable para el crimen organizado, con 42 mil millones de dólares, y después está el de la venta de armas.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico holds second place globally in [the production of] child pornography

Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco. First Lady Margarita Zavala declares that confronting trafficking head-on is fundamental.

Some 45% of trafficking victims are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco.

According to National Action Party Depurty Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Lower House of Congress, Mexico holds a second-place position in the global production of child pornography. Deputy Orozco made these remarks as she opened the forum Opinion Leaders Against Human Trafficking. The event was attended by Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, who is also the president of the National System for Integral Family Development (the nation's social services agency).

Depurty Orozco explained that the global human trafficking business brings in ilicit earning of $42 billion per year, making it the most profitable criminal enterprise after illegal arms trafficking.

Read the full article

Grupo Fórmula

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

México, Segundo en Pornografia Infantil en el Mundo

Trata de personas y pornografía infantil, delitos graves… Al señalar que México es de los cinco países del orbe con el mayor problema en materia de trata de personas y segundo en pornografía infantil, la diputada panista Rosi Orozco previno que el delito de la trata, ya superó las ganancias que obtiene la delincuencia organizada por el tráfico de armas a nivel mundial, con más de 42 mil millones de dólares.

Al inaugurar el foro “Líderes de Opinión contra la Trata de Personas”, sostuvo que por todo ello, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas escogió a nuestro país para iniciar la campaña del Corazón Azul, donde se pretende sensibilizar a la población y a las autoridades para erradicar el delito.

En nuestro país, el negocio de la trata de personas sigue en ascenso; mientras que a la fecha, sólo 19 entidades del país tienen una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, y únicamente el Distrito Federal, Puebla y Chiapas han aplicado sentencias condenatorias.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico: The second largest producer of child pornography globally

Human trafficking and child pornography, felonies ... Noting that Mexico is among the five countries in the world with the biggest problem in terms of trafficking in child pornography and second, the National Action Party's Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is a member of the Lower House of Congress, has warned that the crime of trafficking has surpassed the profits earned through ilicit arms trafficking, and now amount to $42 billion dollars per year [in criminal profits].

During her presentation opening the forum Opinion Leaders Against Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Orozco added that the Organization of the United Nations chose Mexico to start its [global] Blue Heart campaign, which aims to sensitize the population and authorities with the goal of eradicating modern human slavery.

In our country, the business of trafficking in persons continues to rise, while to date only 19 states [out of 32 federated entities] in the country have a law against trafficking in persons, and only the Federal District [Mexico City], and the states of Puebla and Chiapas have have handed down sentences in criminal cases associated with these crimes.

Read the full article

Jaime Arizmendi

Quadratín

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico No. 2 Producer Of Child Porn, Lawmakers Say

Mexico is the world's No. 2 producer of child pornography and is classified as a source, transit and destination country for people traffickers involved in sexual exploitation, lawmakers said.

Child pornography is the No. 2 illegal business, trailing only drug trafficking, and generates $42 billion annually, Special Committee to Fight People Trafficking chairwoman Rosi Orozco said.

Indians account for about 45 percent of the victims, Orozco, a member of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said at the start of a forum in Mexico City on people trafficking.

Read the full article

EFE

Jan. 26, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Estados más pobres, vulnerables a trata de personas: PAN

La diputada Rosi Orozco, apuntó que en el tema de la trata de personas, ahora se ha hecho mucha conciencia, luego que tiempo atrás se veía una marcada ignorancia de lo que sucedía. Asimismo, dijo ya hay acciones encaminadas a terminar con la pornografía infantil, "con los ciberdelitos que agreden tan fuertemente a los niños, niñas y jóvenes".

Rosi Orozco, diputada del PAN quien ha buscado combatir desde tiempo atrás la trata de personas, destacó el encuentro que se llevó a cabo el día de ayer en donde una chica por primera vez dio su testimonio sin cubrirse el rostro.

Explicó que la joven, quien en el libro "Del cielo al infierno", narró su historia de cómo la habían enganchado a través de enamoramiento, con el que se sentía en el cielo al estar con un príncipe, para después bajar a lo peor de un infierno de vida, de golpes para obligarla a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico's poorest states are vulnerable to human trafficking: National Action Party

During a recent event focused on the topic of human trafficking in Mexico, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party stated that significant public awareness of the issue has now been acheived, after a period in which ignorance about the facts had prevailed. She added legislation is being considered by Congress that will put an end to child pornography and "cybercrimes that seriously assault children and youth." First Lady Margarita Zavala and the media also attended.

Deputy Orozco, who has had long sought to combat human trafficking, said the meeting that was held yesterday included for the first time testimony by a victim who appeared without hiding her face.

Deputy Orozco explained that the youth, who's story is told in Orozco's book "From Heaven to Hell", related the story of how she was entrapped by a trafficker who pretended to fall in love with her. She felt that she was in heaven with her prince. Later, she fell into the worst depths of hell-on-earth when the same man beat her to force her into prostitution.

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Paola Rojas

Grupo Fòrmula

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Avances, no descartan riesgos de frenar ley

No se descartan riesgos en San Lázaro que frenen la aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas y los Delitos Relacionados, toda vez que al momento sólo 104 legisladores de todos los partidos la han avalado, todavía falta trecho por andar, y aunque “está bastante acordada”, todos los esfuerzos se hacen para que avance, a fin de combatir el lacerante comercio y explotación sexual de seres humanos: niñas, niños y mujeres.

La diputada del PAN Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas aclaró: “no he politizado ninguna situación, realmente va más allá de los partidos, estamos hablando de nuestros mexicanos, de nuestros niñas y niños y protegerlos a ellos no tiene colores”, ya que es una esclavitud en pleno siglo XXI, advirtió en entrevista durante la sesión en San Lázaro.

Confió que en este último periodo ordinario de la LXI Legislatura salga la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas, “es una ley que no tiene por qué no salir, la gente que está en las comisiones está de acuerdo en que tengamos una Ley General, lo difícil fue sacar la reforma al artículo 73 y eso, pues ya se logró” apunta la legisladora albiceleste.

Lea el artículo completo

Human trafficking legislation advances in Congress, members decline to reveal hidden threats to passage

Congressional lawmakers have declined to reveal the sources of hidden influences that are putting efforts to pass the proposed Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes at risk. Currently, only 104 federal lawmakers from across Mexico's political parties have endorsed the proposal. Although significant work needs to be accomplished to achieve passage of the bill, basic agreement has been reached [on the need for an enforceable federal anti-trafficking law]. All possible efforts are being made to advance the bill, which will allow [a more effective federal effort to fight the damaging effects of the labor and sexual exploitation of girls, boys and women].

During an interview held in San Lazaro (the seat of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the lower house of Congress said: "I have not politicized this effort. It [is a campaign that] really goes beyond the [interests of individual political] parties. What we are talking about here are our Mexican people, our children. They don't have colors [political affiliations]." She added that this [crisis] is a 21st Century form of slavery.

Deputy Orozco added that she hopes that, during the latter period of the 61st [LXI] Legislature's regular session, the Law to Prevent, Punish and Erradicate Human Trafficking will be passed." She noted that there is no reason why the bill should not pass, given that the members of the relevant congressional commissions [committees] are in agreement that we should have a general law against trafficking [a general law is the only form of federal law that may actually be enforced by federal authorities in the states]. The hardest part was achieving the reform of Article 73, said Orozco [During 2011, President Felipe Calderón achieved the passage of amendments to Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution to remove certain obstacles to the prosecution of human trafficking cases].

Read the full article

Luz María Alonso Sánchez

El Punto Critico

Feb. 03, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Ritmoson combate con música trata de personas

Crean campaña para generar conciencia del delito y cerrarán con un concierto

El tercer delito más lucrativo en México y otros países es la trata de personas, por ello, crear conciencia entre los jóvenes y niños para no ser víctimas de él es la pretensión del canal Ritmoson Latino.

Con la campaña Música libre, la señal internacional puso a andar su tercera iniciativa social, esta vez para combatir un “grave problema”.

Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez y Kinky, entre otros artistas, hacen el llamado que a partir de este mes y hasta julio próximo se transmitirá por televisión restringida y redes sociales oficiales.

Lea el artículo completo

Ritmoson TV channel to run anti-trafficking campaign

The third most lucrative crime in Mexico and other countries is human trafficking. Therefore, the Latino Ritmoson channel, which is a part of the Televisa network, has created a trafficking prevention campaign to raise awareness among children and youth.

The international channel's Free Music campaign is its third social initiative, directed, this time, at addressing a "grave problem."

Performing artists] Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez. Kinky, among other artists will promote the campaign between now and July of 2012. It will be broadcast on television and by way of social media networks.

Read the full article

Josue Fabián Arellano M.

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Bill Aims to Make It Easier to Prosecute Child Sex Traffickers

As child sex trafficking expands as a source of money for San Diego gangs, there’s an effort to make it easier for prosecutors to go after pimps.

The way California law is written now, prosecutors have to prove force or coercion when a sex trafficking victim is younger than 18. Because so many victims are lured by pimps through emotional bribery or promises of work, it’s been difficult for prosecutors to prove trafficking.

Susan Munsey is with the nonprofit group Generate Hope which helps trafficking victims get back on their feet. She said Assembly Bill 90, which changes the standard of proof from forced to encouraged or persuaded, is badly needed.

Read the full article

Amita Sharma

Fronteras Desk

Aug..12, 2011


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Lideraba "La Niurka" red de prostitución de menores

Tijuana.- Una orden de aprehensión por el presunto delito de trata de personas le fue cumplimentada a María Guadalupe Román Valenzuela, alias "La Niurka", señalada como quien lideraba una red de prostitución con mujeres menores de edad desde el año 2005.

Fueron agentes de la Policía Estatal Preventiva quienes finalmente le concretaron el mandato judicial que pesaba en su contra desde el año 2007 por el delito de lenocinio, cuya figura delictiva fue cambiada con motivo de la entrada en vigor de la Ley Contra la Trata de Personas en el estado.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Estatal informó que la detención de la fémina, también conocida como "La Tía", se llevó a cabo la tarde del domingo al ubicarla tras semanas de investigación en el fraccionamiento La Bodega, en la ciudad de Mexicali.

Lea el artículo completo

Police arrest child sex trafficker known as "La Niurka"

The city of Tijuana - An arrest warrant for the alleged crime of human trafficking ihas been carried out against Maria Guadalupe Roman Valenzuela, also known as "The Niurka." Authorities indicate that since 2005, Roman Valenzuela has lead a prostitution ring that exploits underage girls.

The [Baja California] State Preventive Police (SSPE) arrested Roman Valenzuela, who had been wanted since 2007 on charges of pimping. The charges were later modified after the enactment of the state's Law Against Human Trafficking.

The State Secretariat of Public Security reported that the arrest of the suspect, who also went by the name of "Auntie," took place Sunday afternoon following a weeks-long investigation in the La Bodega neighborhood in the city of Mexicali.

Read the full article

Manuel Cordero

El Sol de Tijuana

Jan. 17, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking advocate Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho wins Olof Palme Prize 2011

Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist and writer, and Roberto Saviano, Italian author, were awarded with Olof Palme Prize 2011. They both spoke about justice and human rights issues in their native countries with a great deal of courage, and currently they are living under threats and persecution.

In 2009, Lydia Cacho received a lot of attention at the Göteborg Book Fair, where she presented the translated version of her book "I will not let myself be intimidated". She wrote it based on her life experience in Mexico – her motherland, where she is known for her accusations of corruption among Mexican politicians and businessmen.

In 2005, by having written "Demons of Eden", she exposed paedophile Succar Kuri's network in Cancun and named several accomplices among high-ranking politicians and businessmen. Since that moment the author has lived under constant death threats. Besides being an author and having written seven books in total, since 2000, Lydia Cacho has been sheltering vulnerable women and children in Cancún, where they get an opportunity to retreat.

Read the full article

Göteborg Book Fair

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores en la minería informal

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

"Una de las metas de la campaña es recuperar con apoyo de la policía y fiscalía a unos mil niños, niñas y adolescentes explotadas sexual y laboralmente en campamentos de la minería informal en Madre de Dios", dijo a la AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, representante de Save The Children en Perú.

En los campamentos las menores son explotadas en cantinas convertidas en prostíbulos conocidos como 'prostibares', así como en, entre otras actividades, en la extracción de oro y la servidumbre, señaló Carpio.

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NGO launches [million dollar] campaign against child trafficking in Peru's remote informal mining camps

THe NGO Save the Children and the Earopean Union are launching a compaign this week to intensity efforts to eradicate the sexual and labor exploitation of children and youth in the informal mining camps of Madre de Dios, one of Peru's poorest regions.

The NGO Save The Children and the European Union this weekend launched an intensive campaign to eradicate sexual and labor exploitation of children and adolescents in the informal mining region of Madre de Dios (Mother of God), one of the poorest regions of Peru.

"One of the goals of the campaign is to organize police and prosecutorial support to rescue approximately 1,000 children and teens who are exploited for sex and labor in informal mining camps of the Madre de Dios," he told AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, who Save the Children's representative in Peru.

In the mining camps, children are exploited in bars that have been converted into brothels and are known as 'prostibars.' Minors are also exploited to work in gold mining and [other forms of] servitude, Carpio said.

Read the full article

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Indigenous Mexico

Indigenous women are marginalized in Mexican society. Comprising 15-to30 percent of the population, they and their underage daughters make up an estimated 45% of all human trafficking victims in the Aztec nation (Mexico).

Voces del pueblo indígena

México-. La situación de asimetría y desigualdad ha hecho que históricamente los pueblos indígenas en México sean marginados y excluidos de los procesos de toma de decisiones en el país.

En la actualidad, con una población que se acerca a los 16 millones de habitantes, de ellos más de mitad mujeres, de acuerdo con estimados de la Movimiento Indígena Nacional (MIN), estos grupos se localizan, fundamentalmente en los estados de Yucatán (59 por ciento) y Oaxaca (48 por ciento).

También en Quintana Roo (39), Chiapas (28), Campeche (27), Hidalgo (24), Puebla (19), Guerrero (17), San Luis Potosí (15) y Veracruz (15).

Lea el artículo completo

Voices of indigenous peoples

Conditions of inequality have historically resulted in the indigenous peoples being marginalized and excluded from the decision making process in Mexico.

Today, with their population is approaching 16 million people. Over half of them are women, according to estimates from the National Indigenous Movement (MIN). These groups are located mainly in the states of Yucatan (where they are 59% of the state's total population) and Oaxaca (where they are 48%).

The indigenous population is also significant in several other states: Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), Campeche (27%), Hidalgo (24%), Puebla (19%), Guerrero (17%), San Luis Potosi (15%) and Veracruz (15%).

Read the full article

Deisy Francis Mexidor

Prensa Latina


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Agents save 13 from sex slavery in Mexican bar

The city of San cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas state - Investigators say they have rescued a group of 13 women and girls, mostly from Central America, who were forced to have sex with clients at a bar in southern Mexico.

Chiapas state prosecutor Miguel Hernandez says at least half of the 13 women were minors, and 10 were from Central America.

Hernandez and other agents raided the bar in the town of Teopisca Saturday and arrested the manager, 42-year-old Mauri Diaz, on human trafficking, prostitution and corruption of minors charges.

Read the full article

The Associated Press

Feb. 4, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico unravels child trafficking ring

Zapopan - The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.

"All the families have valid declarations to adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland," they said in a statement, which was read over the phone to The Associated Press by their lawyer in Mexico, Carlos Montoya.

Prosecutors in Mexico contend the traffickers tricked destitute young Mexican women trying to earn more for their children and childless Irish couples desperate to become parents.

Read the full article

News24

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Central America

Rescatan a centroamericanos víctimas del tráfico de personas

Some 73 undocumented Central Americans have been located and rescued by army units after being held in 'safe houses' that were presumably owned by human traffickers.

El Ejército mexicano encontró a 73 inmigrantes indocumentados en presuntas casas de traficantes de personas en el nororiental estado de Tamaulipas, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa.

La acción se realizó el martes en la ciudad de Reynosa "de manera coordinada, simultánea y sorpresiva" y permitió la detención de cuatro personas. Entre los indocumentados, cuyas nacionalidades no se dieron a conocer, había 18 menores de edad, informó DPA.

Lea el artículo completo

Central American human trafficking victims are rescued

Se trata de 73 indocumentados localizados por el ejército en casas que presuntamente pertenecen a traficantes de seres humanos.

The Mexican army has found 73 illegal immigrants in alleged human trafficking safe houses located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Secretary of Defense announced Thursday.

The action took place on Tuesday in the city of Reynosa "in a coordinated suprise raid" that led to the arrest of four people. Among the undocumented, whose nationalities were not released, there were 18 children.

Read the full article

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

The World

UNODC: The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC report focuses on the close interrelation between corruption and human trafficking, critiquing existing international legal instruments that deal only indirectly with this problem, and providing recommendations on how to strengthen these tools.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime outlines the impetus for its report:

Trafficking in persons and corruption are closely linked criminal activities, whose interrelation is frequently referred to in international fora. Yet, the correlation between the two phenomena, and the actual impact of corruption on trafficking in persons, are generally neglected in the development and implementation of anti-human trafficking policies and measures. This lack of attention may substantially undermine initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and prevent the customization of responses as needed. Only after recognizing the existence and the effects of corruption in the context of human trafficking, can the challenges posed by it be met.

Read the full article

Insight Crime

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Oklahoma Human Trafficking Operation May Have Ties To Mexican Cartels

Oklahoma City - We're learning more about a human trafficking operation busted last week in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It appears to have ties to a Mexican human trafficking ring, which are said to be some of the most violent and brutal.

A search warrant obtained by News 9 reveals a victim of human trafficking, who was rescued in Tulsa, said she was also held against her will in Oklahoma City.

She told investigators she was held at the apartments off S.W. 59th Street and Harvey during the first part of January, and that she and others were forced to have sex with multiple strange men.

Read the full article

Adrianna Iwasinski

Oklahoma News 6

Feb. 06, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Pretenden regular pornografía en Baja California

Baja california es uno de los estados que ofrece más turismo sexual en México, es por esto que el Partido Encuentro Social presentará este mes una iniciativa ante el Congreso del Estado para que las compañías proveedoras de internet regulen el consumo de la pornografía.

La iniciativa pretende regular el uso de internet en el aparto de Gobierno y el sector educativo, además el que vende internet debe cuidar el acceso de los menores el uso de la pornografía reveló el presidente Estatal del PES, Javier Peña García.

“Es una iniciativa ciudadana, pero estamos invitando a las diferentes fracciones de los partidos a que se adhieran en esto para que salga en común acuerdo con todos los partidos de Baja California”, adelantó.

Lea el artículo completo

Legislators work to regulate online pornography in Baja California state

Baja California is one states that offers the most sex tourism in Mexico, which is why the Social Encounter Party will, later this month, present a proposal to the State Congress that will require Internet service provider companies to regulated the consumption of pornography.

The initiative seeks to regulate Internet use in government agencies and in the education sector. The measure will also insist that companies that provide Internet services take measures to limit that access of minors to pornography. which also sells Internet access to take care of children using pornography revealed the leader of the state branch of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Javier García Peña.

"It's a citizens' initiative, but we are inviting the different political parties in Baja California to agree to this so that we may present a common front on the issue," he stated.

Read the full article

Uni Rdio Informa

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Many Indigenous Communities Turn to Vigilantism to Fight Crime

If a man kills another man in the harsh high plains of Jesús de Machaca or the lush lowlands of Beni, the people who catch him might not call the police. Instead they might call a meeting.

Far from courthouses and police stations that may not know their languages, and despite having no jails to lock up criminals, remote villagers in Bolivia have quietly kept justice in their own hands for centuries, handling everything from malicious gossip to murder. They have demanded fines, doled out whippings, even banished people from the pueblo. These community courts have sometimes been criticized for trampling on human rights, especially when it comes to the rights of women, but indigenous leaders say they work better for them than the regular system.

To press a case in the ordinary courts, “you must hire a lawyer and spend money on paperwork,” says Justina Vélez, who represents Pando, the northernmost province of Bolivia, in an organization of female peasants named for the indigenous hero Bartolina Sisa. “All the courthouses are located in the main cities.… The indigenous authorities are right here where we live.”

Read the full article

Emily Alpert

Indian Country Today

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico Official Admits Some Areas Out of Government Control

At a military ceremony yesterday, Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galva described the national security situation in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country public security has been completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.” He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions.

Galvan also endorsed the military’s role in combating insecurity, asserting that although they have a responsibility to acknowledge that “there have been mistakes,” the armed forces have an “unrestricted” respect for human rights.

InSight Crime Analysis

Read the full article

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight Crime

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Operan 47 redes de trata de personas en México

Diputados piden a los tres órdenes de gobierno crear políticas adecuadas en la materia

La Cámara de Diputados pidió a los tres órdenes de gobiernos que combatan de manera integral el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en México operan al menos 47 redes que se dedican a este ilícito, de acuerdo con datos de la Red Nacional de Refugios.

Según cifras de la red, al año hay 800 mil adultos y 20 mil menores víctimas de este delito cuyas ganancias oscilan entre los 372 mil millones de pesos.

Las rutas incluyen los estados de Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero y Quintana Roo, así como países centroamericanos como Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

Lea el artículo completo

Some 47 human trafficking networks are operating in Mexico

Congressional deputies ask the three branches of government to develop adequate policies to address human trafficking

Mexico's Lower House of Congress has asked the three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) to integrate their efforts to fight human trafficking, given that at least 47 trafficking networks exist in the nation, according to data released by the National Network of Refuges.

According to the Network, some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are entrapped by modern human slavery each year, resulting in criminal earnings of some 372 million Mexican pesos ($28 million US dollars).

Trafficking routes exist in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as in Central American countries including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Read the full article

Israel Navarro and José Luis Martínez

Milenio

Feb. 05, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

Costa Rica lags in sex-trafficking fight

“Mariel” became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 17. She managed to escape, but still suffers anxiety and fear. Rahab Foundation is helping her recover.

“Mariel” fears that she will be kidnapped again.

At 17, she was lured into human trafficking by an acquaintance with the promise of work. Her captor used false documents to take her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Read the full article

Dominique Farrell

The Tico TImes

Jan. 27, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

La pornografía infantil existe en Costa Rica

Adultos sedientos de sentir y tocar la piel de un cuerpo junto al suyo, deseosos de pagar sumas de dinero por alquilar un rato de confort, quizás hasta hacer una película o tomar unas fotos, pero no de cualquier cuerpo ni de cualquier persona, sino de un niño o una niña costarricense.

La explotación sexual comercial -también llamada prostitución infantil- es un flagelo social que existe en Costa Rica y se concentra mayoritariamente en las zonas fronterizas y las costas, según cuentan organizaciones no gubernamentales que han dado seguimiento a los casos esta ha desembocado en una riada de producción de pornografía infantil en la que se utilizan niños y niñas costarricenses.

Según Rocío Rodríguez directora de Alianza por tus Derechos, en la actualidad las zonas más plagadas de casos –tanto de explotación sexual comercial como de pornografía- son Puntarenas, Guanacaste y Limón.

Lea el artículo completo

Child pornography exists in Costa Rica

Hungry adults feel and touch the skin of a body against thiers, eager to pay money to rent a bit of comfort, perhaps even make a movie or take some pictures, but not of any body or any person, but a boy or a girl in Costa Rica.

Commercial sexual exploitation, which is also known as child prostitution, is a social scourge that exists in Costa Rica. It is concentrated along the nation's borders and coasts, accourding to non governmental organizations who support victims. This reality has led to a flood in the production of child pornography that exploits Costa Rican children.

According to Rocio Rodriguez director of the NGO Alliance for your Rights (Alianza por tus Derechos), the cities of Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón are the regions that are the most plagued by both commercial sexual exploitation and pornography.

Read the full article

Daniela Araya

Costa Rica Hoy

Feb. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Arrestan a pastor por violar niñas

De la secta Sendero de Luz.. Abusó de ellas durante años con la complacencia de sus padres

Delicias, Chihuahua.- Años de un sufrimiento en silencio fueron vividos por dos niñas desde que tenían 11 años de edad, pues un pastor de la denominada Iglesia Sendero de Luz les decía que "para ser siervas de Dios tenían que hacerle todo lo que les indicara", y eso incluía tener relaciones sexuales con él, acciones de las cuales aparentemente su padres estaban enterados.

Las familias de ambas sabían lo que pasaba con el religioso, pero su fanatismo les impedía actuar en su contra, según las jóvenes de ahora 22 años de edad, quienes comentaron que los abusos comenzaron desde el año 2001 y continuaron durante 9 años, hasta que se mudaron a la capital de estado.

Tras la denuncia impuesta por parte de las afectadas, agentes investigadores detuvieron mediante una orden de aprehensión a José Manuel Herrera Lerma, de 59 años, líder del grupo religioso previamente señalado.

Lea el artículo completo

Pastor is arrested on charges of child rape

Path of Light sect leader abused two girls over a number of years with the knowledge of the victim's parents

The city of Delicias in Chihuahua state - Two girls suffered years of sexual abuse in silence, from the time they were age 11, at the hands of their church pastor. The reverend of the Path of Light church told the girls that, "to be servants of God they had to do everything that he told them to do," and that included having sex with him. The parents were apparently aware of the pastor's behavior with their daughters.

The families of both girls knew what was happening with the pastor, but their religious fervor prevented them from acting against him. The victims, who are now both age 22, have stated that the abuse began in 2001 and continued for 9 years, until [the family] moved to the state capital.

In response to the complaint filed by the victims, investigative agents served an arrest warrant on José Manuel Herrera Lerma, age 59.

Read the full article

Marisol Marín

oem.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Children in Mexican adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse

Ten children were seized by authorities in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after they uncovered the apparent child trafficking scam last weekend.

Eleven Irish couples hoping to adopt children in the country have been caught up in the investigation.

“There are four children who show signs of having been abused (sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of abuse),” the Jalisco state attorney general Tomas Coronado told reporters today.

Read the full article

TheJournal.ie

Jan. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ecuador

148 millones invirtió el Gobierno en implementación de tres mil centros infantiles

Como parte de este proceso, 242 profesionales entre sicopedagogas, parvularias, tecnólogas en educación y especialistas en desarrollo infantil se incorporaron al trabajo en la provincia costera del Guayas, luego de un periodo de selección y capacitación.

Alrededor de 500 mil niños en Ecuador, entre 0 y 5 años, son atendidos por el Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), en los Centros del Buen Vivir y el programa “Creciendo con nuestros hijos”.

La ministra de Inclusión Económica y Social, Ximena Ponce, indicó que el desarrollo infantil es uno de los seis proyectos de inversión prioritarios del gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa.

La meta es implementar un profesional por cada Centro para garantizar una conducción técnica en sus tres componentes: salud, educación y protección, especialmente en niños de 0 a 3 años.

Lea el artículo completo

Government invests $148 million to implement 3,000 children's centers across the country

As part of the initiative, 242 professionals have joined the effort in the key coastal province of Guayas

About 500,000 children, from newborns to age 5 are served by Ecuador's Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), through its Good Living Centers and by way of its program "Growing with our children."

Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Ximena Ponce indicated that child development is one of six priority investment projects for the government of President Rafael Correa.

The goal is to provide one professional worker for each center to ensure technical leadership in its three focus areas: health, education and protection. The initiative is especially geared toward assisting children from 0 to 3 years of age.

Read the full article

eldiario.com.ec

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Guatemala

Former Guatemala dictator to give testimony in genocide trial

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will be made to testify at his genocide trial, according to a statement by judicial officials on Saturday. Rios Montt was in control of Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as a result of a coup and is being charged with crimes against humanity and genocide during his rule. He was protected from prosecution until this month because he was serving in congress. Rios Montt said he would cooperate with the court [EFE report, in Spanish]. The case involves at least 1,771 deaths and 1,400 human rights violations during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] with much of the violations occurring during Rios Montt's rule.

The Guatemalan civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, mostly among Guatemala's large indigenous Mayan population. According to a UN report [text, in Spanish] released in 1999, the military was responsible for 95 percent of those deaths. In response to these violations, the Guatemalan government founded the National Compensation Program (PNR) in 2003 to deal with claims by civilians affected by the civil war. The PNR, after setting up its administrative structure, has begun to use its $40 million budget to work through a backlog of more than 98,000 civilian complaints. Four former soldiers and two former police officers [JURIST reports] have already been convicted in relation to these crime. Spain attempted to extradite Rios Montt [JURIST report] in 2008, but failed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Read the full article

Matthew Pomy

Jurist

Jan. 22, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Dictan prisión contra tres hombres por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez penal dictó auto de formal prisión por el delito de trata de personas en contra de tres hombres que operaban un bar clandestino en San Cristóbal de las Casas, donde fueron rescatadas cuatro menores víctimas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó que los presuntos responsables Abraham “N”, propietario del negocio, el encargado Rosendo “N” y el vigilante Diego “N”, son procesados en el centro penitenciario ” El Amate”.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especializada en Asuntos Relevantes ejecutaron un operativo en el bar ” La Sirena”, donde rescataron a cuatro menores, sometidas a trata de personas y corrupción de menores.

En el sitio fueron sorprendidos también dos menores de edad que ingerían alcohol, lo que constituye una violación a las leyes de salud.

Lea el artículo completo

Three men are sentenced to prison in [the southern border state of] Chiapas

I jusdge has sentenced three men to prison on human trafficking charges who operated a clandestine bar in the cisty of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Four minors had been rescued from the bar.

The Office of the Chiapas State Attorney General (PGJE) has announced that three suspects, Abraham "N," a bar owner, bar manager Rosendo "N" and a guard, Diego "N," have been detained and sent to the "El Amate" prison.

Agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Relevant Issues executed an operation at the bar "La Sirena" (the Siren), where they rescued four children who had been subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and the corruption of minors.

The authorities also encountered two other youth who were drinking alcohol in violation of health laws.

Read the full article

Provincia.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Piden cadena perpetua para acusado de violar a 15 menores en 2009

La directora del Programa Nacional contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual, Ana María Mendieta, exhortó hoy al Poder Judicial a aplicar la pena máxima de cadena perpetua a Óscar Visalot, acusado de abusar sexualmente de 15 menores de edad en 2009.

Este pedido contra Visalot, quien fue capturado en octubre de 2010, surge ante la posible excarcelación del acusado por exceso de carcelería, precisó la funcionaria de ese programa perteneciente al Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (Mimp).

“Exhortamos al Poder Judicial, a la Primera Sala de Reos en Cárcel de Lima y a las autoridades penitenciarias a que el procesado sea trasladado a Lima y se le dicte una sentencia ejemplar de cadena perpetua”, sostuvo Mendieta.

Lea el artículo completo

Officials ask for a life sentence for a man accused in 2009 of the rape of 15 minors

The director of the National Programme Against Family and Sexual Violence (PNCVFS), Ana Maria Mendieta, today urged the judiciary to apply the maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the case of Oscar Visalot, accused of sexually abusing 15 minors in 2009.

The request to have Visalot, who was captured in October 2010, sentenced promptly arose from the fact that the defendant is being considered for release from prison due to a determination that the has spent an excessive amount of time in detention, said Mendieta, an official of the PNCVFS, which is a program under the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP).

"We urge the Judiciary, the First Board of Inprisoned Inmates in Lima and the prison authorities to transport the prisoner to Lima and [that the Court] hand down a sentence of life imprisonment," said Mendieta.

Read the full article

Andina.com.pe

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ohio, USA

Man guilty of raping girl in 2005

Hamilton - The adoptive parents of a young girl raped and kidnapped by Butler County’s former “most wanted” fugitive say their daughter can finally start “healing from the nightmare she suffered at the hands of this monster.”

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three hours Wednesday before deciding “Mario” Lopez-Cruz was guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape for his attack on a 9-year-old Hamilton girl on Fathers Day 2005.

Lopez-Cruz faces life in prison without parole until he spends 10 years in prison on the rape charges and up to 10 years on kidnapping. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth will sentence him March 15.

Read the full article

Denise G. Callahan

The Oxford Press

Feb. 01, 2012



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

During the over ten years that the LibertadLatina project has existed, our ongoing analysis of the crisis of sexual abuse in the Americas has lead us to the conclusion that our top priority should be to work to achieve an end to the rampant sex trafficking and exploitation that perennially exists in Mexico. Although many crisis hot spots call out for attention across Latin America and the Caribbean, working to see reform come to Mexico appeared to be a critical first step to achieving major change everywhere else in the region.

We believe that this analysis continues to be correct. We also recognize the fact that the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia are other emergency zones of crisis. We plan to expand our coverage of these and other issues as resources permit.

Mexico is uniquely situated among the nations of the Americas, and therefore requires special attention from the global effort to end modern human slavery.

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

  • Includes a long contiguous border with the U.S., thus making it a transit point for both 500,000 voluntary (but vulnerable) migrants each year as well as for victims of human slavery

  • Has multi-billion dollar drug cartels that profit from Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and that are today investing heavily in human slavery as a secondary source of profits

  • Has a 30% indigenous population, as well as an Afro-Mexican minority, both of whom are marginalized, exploited and are 'soft targets' who are now actively being cajoled, and kidnapped by trafficking mafias into lives of slavery and death

  • Has conditions of impunity that make all impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking

  • Has a child sex tourism 'industry' that attracts many thousands of U.S., European and Latin American men who exploit vulnerable, impoverished children and youth with virtual impunity

  • Is the source of the largest contingent of foreign victims of human slavery who have been trafficked into the U.S.

  • Has a large and highly educated middle class which includes thousands of women who are active in the movement to enhance human rights in general and women's rights in particular

  • Has a growing anti-trafficking movement and a substantial women's rights focused journalist network

  • Has a politically influential faction of socially conservative men who believe in the sexist tenants of machismo and who favor maintaining the status quo that allows the open exploitation of poor Mexicans and Latin American migrants to continue, thus requiring assistance from the global movement against human exploitation to help local activists balance the scales of justice and equality

For a number years LibertadLatina's commentaries have called upon Mexico's government and the U.S. State Department to apply the pressure that is required to begin to change conditions for the better. It appears that the global community's efforts in this regard are beginning to have impact, yet a lifetime of work remains to be done to end what we have characterized as a slow-moving mass gender atrocity.

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

  • The March 31, 2011 resignation of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez (who had earlier failed to address the crisis of femicide murders facing women in Ciudad Juarez as Chihuahua state attorney general)

  • The replacement of Chávez Chávez with Marisela Morales Ibáñez as the nation’s first female attorney general (Morales Ibáñez was recently honored by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

  • Morales Ibáñez’ reform-motivated purge of 174 officials and employees of the attorney general’s office, including the recent resigna-tions of 21 federal prosecutors

  • Morales Ibáñez’ recent raid in Cuidad Juárez, that resulted in the arrests of 1,030 suspected human traffickers and the freeing of 20 underage girls

  • The recent appointment of Dilcya Garcia , a former Mexico City prosecutor who achieved Mexico's first trafficking convictions to the federal attorney general's office (Garcia was recently honored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her anti-trafficking work)

  • The July, 2010 replacement of Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont with José Francisco Blake Mora. (Secretary Gómez Mont openly opposed the creation of strong federal anti-trafficking legislation.)

  • Success by President Calderón and the Congress of the Republic in achieving the first steps to bringing about a constitutional amendment to facilitate human trafficking prosecutions

  • Recent public statements by President Calderon imploring the public to help in the fight against human trafficking

  • Some progress in advancing legislation in Congress to reform the failed 2007 federal anti trafficking law, a reform effort that has been lead by Deputy Rosi Orozco

  • The active collaboration of both the U.S. Government and the United Nations Office eon Drugs and Crime in supporting government efforts against trafficking

Taken together, the above actions amount to a truly watershed moment in Mexico’s efforts to address modern human slavery. We applaud those who are working for reform, while also recognizing that reform has its enemies within Congress, government institutions, law enforcement and society.

Mexico’s key anti-trafficking leaders, including journalist and author Lydia Cacho, Teresa Ulloa (director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean - CATW-LAC), and Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have all raised the alarm in recent months to indicate that corrupt businessmen, politicians and law enforcement authorities continue to pressure Mexican society to maintain a status quo that permits the existence of rampant criminal impunity in relation to the exploitation of women, children and men. The fact that anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho continues to face credible deaths threats on a regular basis and must live with armed guards for 24 hours a day is one sobering indicator of this harsh reality.

The use of slavery for labor and sexual purposes has a solid 500 years of existence in Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Indigenous peoples have been the core group of victims of human exploitation from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. This is true in Mexico as well as in other nations with large indigenous populations such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. African descendants are also victims of exploitation - especially in Colombia, and like indigenous peoples, they continue to lack recognition as equal citizens.

These populations are therefore highly vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation due to the fact that the larger societies within which they live feel no moral obligation to defend their rights. Criminal human traffickers and other exploiters take advantage of these vulnerabilities to kidnap, rape, sex traffic and labor traffic the poorest of the poor with little or no response from national governments.

A society like Mexico - where even middle class housewives are accustomed to treating their unpaid, early-teen indigenous girl house servants to labor exploitation and verbal and physical violence – and where the men of the house may be sexually abusing that child – is going to take a long time to adapt to an externally imposed world view that says that the forms of exploitation that their conquistador ancestors brought to the region are no longer valid. That change is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be easy.

Mexico’s current efforts to reform are to be applauded. The global anti-trafficking activist community and its supporters in government must, however remain vigilant and demand that Mexico continue down the path toward ending its ancient traditions of tolerated human exploitation. For that transformation to happen effectively, indigenous and African descendant Mexicans must be provided a place at the table of deliberations.

Although extending equality to these marginalized groups is a radical concept within the context of Mexican society, we insist that both Mexico, the United States State Department (a major driver of these reforms in Mexico) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC - another major driver in the current reforms) provide the social and political spaces that will be required to allow the groups who face the most exposure to exploitation to actually have representation in both official and NGO deliberations about their fate at the hands of the billion dollar cartels and mafias who today see them as raw material and 'easy pickings' to drive their highly lucrative global slavery profit centers.

Without taking this basic step, we cannot raise Mexico’s rating on our anti-trafficking report card.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

Note: Our August 4/5, 2011 edition contains a number of stories that accurately describe the nature of the vulnerabilities that indigenous children and women face from modern day sex traffickers, pedophiles and rapists.

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

An editorial by anti trafficking activist Lydia puts the spotlight on abusive domestic work as a form of human slavery targeting, for the most part, indigenous women and girls

Mexico

Esclavas en México

México, DF, - Cristina y Dora tenían 11 años cuando Domingo fue por ellas a la Mixteca en Oaxaca. Don José Ernesto, un militar de la Capital, le encargó un par de muchachitas para el trabajo del hogar. La madre pensó que si sus niñas trabajaban con “gente decente” tendrían la posibilidad de una vida libre, de estudiar y alimentarse, tres opciones que ella jamás podría darles por su pobreza extrema.

Cristina y Dora vivieron en el sótano, oscuro y húmedo, con un baño improvisado en una mansión construida durante el Porfiriato, cuyos jardines y ventanales hablan de lujos y riqueza. Las niñas aprendieron a cocinar como al patrón le gustaba. A lo largo de 40 años no tuvieron acceso a la escuela ni al seguro social, una de las hermanas prohijó un bebé producto de la violación del hijo del patrón. Les permitían salir unas horas algunos sábados, porque el domingo había comidas familiares. Sólo tres veces en cuatro décadas les dieron vacaciones, siendo adultas, para visitar a su madre enferma...

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City – Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the state of Oaxaca. José Ernesto, a military man living in Mexico City, had sent Domingo to find a pair of girls to do domestic work for him. The girls’ mother thought that if they had an opportunity to work with “decent people,” they would have a chance to live a free life, to study and to eat well. Those were three things that they she could never give them in her condition of extreme poverty.

Cristina and Dora lived in the dark and humid basement of a mansion built during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876 to 1910). Their space had an improvised bathroom. Outside of the home, the mansion’s elaborate gardens and elegant windows presented an image of wealth and luxury. The girls learned to cook for the tastes of their employer.

It is now forty years later. Cristina and Dora never had access to an education, nor do they have the right to social security payments when they retire. One of the sisters had a child, who was the result of her being raped by one of their employer’s sons.

They are allowed out of the house for a few hours on Saturdays. On Sundays they had to prepare family meals for their patron (boss).

Today, some 800,000 domestic workers are registered in Mexico. Ninety three percent of them don’t have access to health services. Seventy Nine percent of them have not and will not receive benefits. Their average salary is 1,112 pesos($87.94) per month. More than 8% of these workers receive no pay at all, because their employers think that giving them a place to sleep and eat is payment enough.

Sixty percent of domestic workers in Mexico are indigenous women and girls. They began this line of work, on average, at the age of 13. These statistics do not include those women and children who lived locked-up in conditions of extreme domestic slavery.

Mexico’s domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation, racism and being otherwise poorly treated…

Recently, the European Parliament concluded that undocumented migrant women face an increased risk of domestic labor slavery. In Mexico, the majority of domestic slaves are Mexicans. Another 15% of these victims are [undocumented] migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Their undocumented status allows employers to prohibit their leaving the home, prohibit their access to education or deny their right to have a life of their own. The same dynamics happen to Latina women in the United States and Canada.

For centuries [middle and upper class white Mexican women] became accustomed to looking at domestic labor slavery as something that ‘helps’ indigenous women and girls. We used the hypocritical excuse that we were lifting them out of poverty by exploiting them. [They reality is that] millions of these women and girls are subjected to work conditions that deny them access to education, healthcare, and the enjoyment of a normal social life.

We (Mexico’s privileged) men and women share the responsibility for perpetuating this form of slavery. We use contemptuous language to refer to domestic workers. Like other forms of human trafficking, domestic labor slavery is a product of our culture.

Domestic work is an indispensable form of labor that allows millions of women to work. We should improve work conditions, formally recognize it in our laws, and assure that in our homes, we are not engaging in exploitation cloaked in the idea that we are rescuing [our domestic workers] from poverty.

To wash, iron, cook and care for children is as dignified as any other form of work. The best way for us to change the world is to start in own homes.

“Plan B” is a column written by Lydia Cacho that appears Mondays and Thursdays in CIMAC, El Universal and other newspapers in Mexico.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Justice Department and all of the agencies and officers involved in Operation Delego, which shut down a grotesque  international child pornography network that glorified and rewarded the torture and rape of young children. We also wish you good hunting in taking down all child pornography rings, wherever they may exist.

We call attention to a recent story (posted on Aug. 4, 2011) on the rape with impunity of indigenous school children, from very young ages, in the nation's now-closed Indian boarding school system. The fact that the legislature of the state of South Dakota passed legislation that denies victims the right to sue the priests and nuns who raped them is just as disgusting as any of the horror stories that are associated with the pedophile rapist / torturers who have been identified in Operation Delego.

Yet neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the Canadian government, where yet more horrible sexual abuses, and even murders of indigenous children took place, have ever sought to prosecute the large number of rapists involved in these cases.

In addition, federal prosecutors drop a large number of rape cases on Indian reservations despite the fact that indigenous women face a rate of rape in the U.S. that is 3.5 times higher that the rate faced by other groups of women. White males are the perpetrators of the rape in 80% of these cases.

When former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired eight U.S. attorneys in December of 2006, it turned out that 5 of those targeted had worked together to increase the very low prosecution rates for criminal cases on Native reservations. Their firings did a disservice to victims of rape and other serious crimes in Indian Country.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas demand an end to the rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of our peoples, be they from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru or Canada.

We expect the United Stated Government to set the tone and lead the way in that change in social values.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


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

See also:

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