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Últimas Noticias

Latest News

Junio / June 2011




Added: Jul. 7, 2011

Colombia

"At least 50 Afro-Colombian human rights defenders have been assassinated in the last fifteen years, and hundreds of black people slaughtered by multiple actors in order to gain control over their lands, natural resources, and to silence their voices of resistance."

Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia (PCN)

Black Communities' Process in Colombia (PCN)

June 27, 2011

One byproduct of this largely hidden campaign of ethnic cleansing in Colombia, one that targets indigenous as well-as Afro-Colombians, has been the mass exploitation of internal refugees in human slavery, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).

Hero: Ana Fabricia Cordoba

ACSN Outraged by Murder of Afro-Colombian Displaced Leader

Urges Colombian Authorities to Guarantee Security... and Implement Constitutional Court Order 005 on Afro-Colombians

On June 7, 2011, Afro-Colombian leader Ana Fabricia Cordoba from the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Medellin was shot dead. Ms. Cordoba was a leader of communities displaced to Medellin. She arrived in this city in 2001 when she was forced to flee after paramilitary groups killed her son in Urabá. A second son was killed at the hands of [right wing] paramilitaries in 2010. Ms. Cordoba was targeted because she reported death threats that she received to the police, national government and other entities of the State. She also was an activist with the Ruta de Pacifica de Mujeres, a women’s organization that promotes victims’ and land rights.

The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) is deeply saddened by this murder and sends its profound condolences to Ms. Cordoba’s family and the displaced communities in Medellin. While we appreciate that the Colombian government has publicly denounced this crime, we believe that such an action is insufficient. Ms. Cordoba had sought out the protection of the State after receiving multiple threats and she publicly had proclaimed “they are going to kill me and they (referring to authorities) have done nothing.”

As ACSN has recommended for the past three years, the Colombian State must take bold and effective steps to protect the leaders of the displaced from harm and to fully implement the recommendations made to it by Colombia’s Constitutional Court (Order 005 on Afro-Colombian displacement). Given the recent passage of the land and victims law in the Colombian legislature, which does not address the collective land rights of Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples, ACSN believes that the Colombian authorities must act quickly to guarantee protection for displaced leaders and land rights activists.

Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities continue to be hard hit by new displacements. Starting on May 28, the Santa Ana community of the Community Council of the Black Communities in the Mangroves has slowly become displaced. The construction of a temporary military operations site close to the communities’ homes has placed civilians at high risk of attack. In February, this site was attacked by a canoe filled with explosives detonated by the [left wing] FARC.

The United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that in Chocó, over 18,000 persons (16,000 afrodescendants and 2,000 indigenous) are suffering from an armed strike imposed in the area by the FARC guerillas. The armed strike confines the movement of these people and restricts them to a very dangerous region. This comes after the May 22 attack by the 34th Front of the FARC which killed several civilians and generated displacement of others. Also this month, ninety-two members of the Embera indigenous group fled Turbo after one of their leaders was murdered.

ACSN demands that the rights of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities be respected. The Colombian government must fully implement Constitutional Court Orders 004, 005 and 009 and protect the lives of the leaders of movements in defense of displaced people, Afro-Colombians, and indigenous peoples. When leaders are threatened and killed, movements can be silenced. In Colombia, if these movements cannot exercise their constitutional rights more displacement and violence is inevitable and these communities could vanish.

For further information please contact Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) at gsanchez@wola.org or 202-797-2171.

Note: The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) includes the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), TransAfrica Forum (TAF), Global Rights, Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), U.S. Office on Colombia (USOC), International Working Group of PCN, and activists and scholars Joseph Jordan, Roland Roebuck, Eunice Escobar and Arturo Escobar. Peace Brigades International Colombia Project serves as international observer to ACSN.

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network

June 8, 2011

See also:

Added: Jul. 6, 2011

Colombia

Ana Fabricia Córdoba: a death foretold

A Colombian activist predicted her own murder – respect her memory by launching an inquiry into abuse by security services

"They're going to kill me and no one's done anything." When Colombian activist Ana Fabricia Córdoba spoke those words last April during one of the last public meetings she attended, a sense of defiant outrage was evident in her demeanor – an unsurprising reaction for a woman who experienced first-hand years of armed conflict, and yet remained an outspoken advocate for the human rights of internally displaced people in the country.

She was shot dead on a bus by a lone gunman last week.

Córdoba moved to Medellín, Colombia's second city, after her husband and oldest son were killed by paramilitary groups. Once in Medellín, she became an outspoken opposition voice, losing yet another son last year. She always maintained that her son was killed by the police, an accusation made publicly on national television. Foolhardy? Perhaps, but symptomatic of her belief in using her voice in favor of those victims of the conflict who, unlike her, don't have a public platform to speak from.

She must have welcomed the decision by President Juan Manuel Santos to recognize the existence of an "armed conflict" and the development of a "victim's law". Both steps have been rightly lauded as an important first stage towards a better rehabilitation of Colombian society. But it's also important that the years of abuse to which millions of Colombians have been subject are not swept under the carpet.

Accusations against left-leaning guerrillas and rightwing paramilitary groups have been part of the national discourse for decades. However, a third actor in the conflict has recently come to the forefront. Mention of the role that the security forces have played in the systematic abuse of the population has always been viewed as taboo in a society that has lived in fear for so long.

Rumors of sexual abuse and unlawful killings by Colombian security forces have always been present during the conflict. But it's not until now that the state has shown a willingness to put the country's "protectors" under closer scrutiny, perhaps the most welcome development in President Santos's victim's law. A case involving officers who have been suspended and tried for the rape and murder of young girls in Arauca serves to substantiate the state's position that it is genuine in its claim to take a stand and clean out the house from within. However, cases such as this one are few and far between, and it's important for Colombian society to continue to apply pressure on the government.

Last week, during a debate in the Colombian Congress, Angela María Robledo and Iván Cepeda denounced the large-scale abuse perpetuated by the security forces in Colombia, in particular towards women. They claimed that every hour six Colombian women are physically abused as part of the conflict – an alarming statistic in itself, which is compounded by the further claim that among those reported, the security forces are responsible for a staggering 83% of the crimes...

Euclides Montes

The Guardian

June 13, 2011


Added: Jul. 6, 2011

Colombia

No con Nuestro Consentimiento! PCN y Diferentes Sectores de la Sociedad Civil en Estados Unidos y Colombia Rechazan el TLC

En un esfuerzo por sacar adelante el Tratado de Libre Comercio con Colombia, la administración de Obama y lideres del Congreso de Estados Unidos han venido diciendo que la violencia en Colombia no es tan grave como los reportes claman y que la administración de Juan Manuel Santos esta mostrando grandes avances en materia de derechos humanos!

Debería el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y su gente establecer aun mas cercanas relaciones con el gobierno de Colombia a través de un Tratado de Libre Comercio, cuando el gobierno solo se ha comprometido con cambios cosméticos en materia de derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales? El Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN) responde NO! El gobierno Colombiano no ha establecido medidas efectivas que aseguren que el TLC no incrementará la frecuencia e intensidad de los abusos de derechos humanos cometidos contra las Comunidades Afrocolombianas, quienes ocupan tierras que potencialmente alcanzaran mayor valor como resultado del TLC. “El PCN se opondrá al TLC con Estados Unidos hasta que el gobierno de Colombia demuestre verdadero compromiso para atender los pasados y presentes crímenes contra las comunidades Afrocolombianas y defensores de derechos humanos” declaró Charo Mina- Rojas, Coordinadora Nacional de Cabildeo y Relaciones Internacionales del PCN, con base en Washington, DC...

Los Representantes Hank Jonson (Georgia), George Millar (California y Linda Sánchez (California), igualmente hicieron eco de la preocupación de la sociedad civil sobre el TLC. En una rueda de prensa la semana pasada, después de la visita de sindicalistas Afro-Colombianos al Congreso de los Estados Unidos, los Representantes enfatizaron que el Tratado de Libre Comercio con Colombia no debe ser ratificado mientras violencia, intimidación, asesinatos, amenazas de muerte y masacres continúen ocurriendo en Colombia.

“Es escandaloso que Colombia es el país mas peligroso para sindicalistas y uno de los mas peligrosos para defensores de derechos humanos y sin embargo el TLC continua teniendo un fuerte lobby, bajo la excusa de que hay “progreso significativo” en materia de derechos humanos. Al menos 50 lideres Afrodescendientes han sido asesinados en los últimos quince años. Cientos de personas Negras han sido brutalmente asesinadas para ganar control sobre sus territorios y recursos naturales y para acallar sus voces de resistencia. Docenas de organizaciones Afro-Colombianas y Consejos Comunitarios, incluido el PCN, son objetivo militar de paramilitares y guerrillas. Este año, grupos armados asesinaron brutalmente a tres lideresas Afrodescendientes que no recibieron protección del gobierno a pesar de estar amenazadas de muerte”, de acuerdo con Mina-Rojas...

Not With Our Consent! PCN and Different Sectors of Civil Society Reject U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

In order to advance the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, the Obama Administration and congressional leaders are saying that the violence in Colombia is not as bad as recent reports claim and that the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos is making great progress on labor and human rights issues!

Should the United States Government and its people establish even closer links with the Government of Colombia through a Free Trade Agreement, when that government has only committed itself to cosmetic changes toward the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights? The Black Communities’ Process in Colombia (El Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia) –PCN response is NO! The Colombia government has not established effective measures to ensure that the FTA would not increase the frequency and intensity of human rights abuses directed at the Afro-Colombian Communities who are occupying lands that potentially will become even more valuable as a result of the FTA. "The PCN will oppose the FTA with the US until the Colombian Government demonstrates a real commitment to addressing past and current crimes against Afro-Colombian communities and human rights defenders" states Charo Mina-Rojas, PCN's National Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach, based in Washington DC...

U.S. Representatives Hank Johnson (Georgia), George Millers (California) and Linda Sanchez (California) also echoed civil society’s concerns about the FTA. At a press conference last week, after a visit paid by Afro-Colombian Trade Unionists to the Capitol Hill, they underscored that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement should not be approved by the House of Representatives, while violence, intimidation assassinations, death threats and massacres continue happening in Colombia.

"It is scandalous that Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists and one of the top most dangerous countries for human rights defenders an yet, the FTA continued to be heavily lobbied under the guise of ‘significant progress’ on human rights in Colombia. At least 50 Afro-Colombian human rights defenders have been assassinated in the last fifteen years, and hundreds of black people slaughtered by multiple actors in order to gain control over their lands, natural resources, and to silence their voices of resistance. Dozens of Afro-Colombian grassroots organizations and Community Councils, including PCN, have been declared ‘military’ targets by the paramilitaries and guerrillas. In 2011 alone illegal armed groups brutally assassinated three Afro-descendant women leaders who had been refused protection by the government despite their having received death threats," according to Mina-Rojas...

Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia (PCN)

Black Communities' Process in Colombia (PCN)

June 27, 2011

Note: The forced displacement of African descendant and indigenous peoples in Colombia constitutes the largest internal refugee crisis in the world today.

Displaced women and children are routinely subjected to sexual violence and are at-risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking, especially in major tourist beach resorts such as the city of Cartagena de Indias. -LL

See also:

Added: Jul. 7, 2011

Colombia

Recent Violations of Afro-Colombian Human Rights

A dossier from the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN)

The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) wishes to call attention to the recent setbacks regarding Afro-Colombian human rights:

...Disappearance of Afro-Colombian Leader

On March 2, 2011, Ana Julia Renteria, President of the Community Council of the Cajambre River, and her husband, Miguel Santos Renteria, were forced to attend a meeting away from their home by unknown men. There is no information on Ana Julia and Miguel’s whereabouts since their disappearance. Ms. Renteria is a prominent Afro-Colombian community leader and the mother of nine children.

Colombian Soldiers Burn 119 Afro-Colombian Families’ Homes

On February 28, 2011, the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz) reported that soldiers from the 80th Battalion burned and destroyed the homes of 119 Afro-Colombians in the Lower Calima river area. The justification given by the military for burning down these homes, that have belonged to these communities for the past 70 years, is that they are now the property of the economic development project- Industrial Port of Fresh Water S.A. (Puerto Industrial Agua Dulce S.A.). This community has suffered four similar incidents since 2005 leading to the destruction of 47 homes and subsequent displacement of residents.

Murders of Buenaventura’s Afro-Colombian Women

According to the Foundation for Women’s Development of Buenaventura (Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Mujer de Buenaventura, FUNDEMUJER), 65 women were assassinated in the Port of Buenaventura in the past three years. Fifteen of these women were killed in the past fifteen months. These attacks include the rape and murder of 15 year old Matia Mulumba whose hand was cut off prior to her death and Monica Lissete Duque aged 17 who was also raped and her throat cut. Most of the women killed were between the ages of 18-20. However, such cases also involve girls as young as 10-12 years old. The total number of cases is not known since persons are afraid to report them for fear of reprisals. While the motives behind these killings are not clear, it seems that the overall violent climate in Buenaventura, due to the internal armed conflict and drug trade, is a factor that leads to the mutilation, rape and violence of women. Impunity is the norm for almost all of these cases, leaving the possibility for perpetrators to act against new victims...

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

March 16, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the crisis of the sexual exploitation of women and children with impunity in Colombia


TIP 2011

Added: July 02, 2011

Latin America, The Caribbean, the United States

Former Mexico City-now federal  prosecutor Dilcya Garcia receives one of the ten 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery Awards that were presented to activists from across the globe by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the presentation of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report on June 27th, 2011 in Washington, DC

Secretary Clinton:

"...Deputy Prosecutor Dilcya Garcia tried a case in 2009 that resulted in the first trafficking sentence in Mexico. Since then, she has developed indictments against more than 100 alleged traffickers, and forged partner-ships to provide comprehensive victim protection services..."

Secretary Clinton's remarks at the 2011 TIP Ceremony

Video

Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda's Executive Directorate of Gender Affairs Sheila Roseau is presented with her 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery Award by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Director Roseau was the keynote speaker at this year's TIP Report ceremony in Washington.

Maria Otero, US.
Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, who is providing leadership in the fight against human trafficking, presented the introduction at the
2011 TIP Report presentation and award ceremony.

Under Secretary Otero's remarks

Video

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. Department of State’s current and first Latino (Mexican-American) director of its Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, addresses the TIP Report presentation and award ceremony.

Ambassador CdeBaca prosecuted more than 100 human trafficking cases as a federal prosecutor  prior to joining the U.S. Department of State.

Ambassador CdeBaca's remarks

Video

Human trafficking 2011 - U.S. State Department rankings of key Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Colombia ranked in Tier 1, together with the United States and Canada.

The Dominican Republic, Panama and Ecuador ranked in the Tier 2 Watch List.

Cuba and Venezuela were rated as the only nations in the (most negative) Tier 3 category in the Americas.

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Mexico's largely Mayan indigenous state of Chiapas continues to be the epicenter of the crisis of human trafficking in the Americas.

2011 U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report release ceremony highlights Latin American and Caribbean participation in the fight against human trafficking

On June 27th, 2011 the U.S. State Department released its annual assessment of responses by the nations of the world to the plague of modern  human trafficking. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero and U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, presented an impressive ceremony to introduce the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, and to honor 10 veteran anti-trafficking activists - working in NGOs and in government - with awards in recognition of their pioneering work in this field.

The 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery Award that was presented to Mexican federal prosecutor Dilcya Garcia was especially well-deserved, as she may be credited with having achieved the first set of convictions of human traffickers in all of Mexico during eight years of work in her previous post as Mexico City's Prosecutor for Victim Assistance and Community Services. Prosecutor Garcia's hero award sends a strong symbolic message to Latin America, and specifically to the anti women's rights faction in Mexico's political circles, stating that the U.S. will support and recognize those who dare to take a stand against human trafficking.

Until very recently, Mexico City was the only federated entity (there are 31 states and the federal district) to have achieved convictions against accused traffickers. Only recently have federal prosecutors caught-up to Mexico City's record of four or more convictions by achieving their first-ever conviction in a human slavery case.

Prosecutor Garcia's achievement stands against a backdrop of continued political infighting between anti-trafficking activists and their foes in the political establishment. Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) of Congress, has recently spoken open in the Mexican press about the nature of this epic struggle.

We at LibertadLatina applaud Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Undersecretary Maria Otero and U.S. Ambassador Luis cdeBaca for making possible the beginnings  of a change in vision that we have advocated for on the pages of this web site for over 10 years. That change calls upon the anti-trafficking NGO and governmental  'establishment' to create the political, legal and social frameworks and 'spaces' that will allow the millions of voiceless victims of human trafficking and related forms of exploitation in Latin America, the Caribbean and the indigenous Americas a place at the table of decision-making about the crisis of modern human slavery.

Much work remains to be done.

In the days before Dilcya Garcia received her hero award in Washington, DC, she announced to the press that judges in Mexico are resisting efforts to prosecute defendants in slavery cases on charges of human trafficking. These judges are reducing the stronger trafficking charges to corruption of minors and pimping. (See our June, 2011 news archive.)

In parallel with the wonderful presentation of awards to Latin American, Caribbean and other global anti-trafficking heroes, government officials in Mexico's southern-most state of Chiapas, which sits along the Guatemalan border, were apparently pressuring the government of Honduras to remove the Honduran Consul in Chiapas, Patricia Villamil, from her post. Consul Villamil states that she was fired for speaking out against the sex and labor trafficking of poor Hondurans into Chiapas state and the inaction of Mexican officials in response.

We nominate Consul Villamil as a virtual 11th recipient of this year's Hero Award.

The suppression of Consul Villamil's important voice as an advocate for victims is especially troubling given that Chiapas state is the geographic bottleneck through which hundreds of thousands of migrants travel each year during their journeys to the U.S. Many thousands of Central and South American migrants are either raped, robbed, murdered or kidnapped into sexual slavery in Chiapas and neighboring states such as Oaxaca. (See additional articles about Patricia Villamil in our June, 2011 news archive.)

On another major 'front' in this struggle for justice, little recognition is given by the U.S. to the mass sex trafficking of a largely Afro-Latina population of women and underage girls from their impoverished homeland of the Dominican Republic to Argentina and across the world.

Dominican women and girls represent what is probably the largest group of sex trafficking victims in Latin America. They too deserve the full attention of the anti-slavery movement.

Nowhere in the U.S. State Department  ceremonies did we see any representation of indigenous peoples, who are arguably the most vulnerable social group facing the threat of mass sex and labor trafficking in Latin America and especially Mexico (note that an estimated 30% of Mexico's population is indigenous).

Mexico and certain other Latin American nations have relied heavily upon indigenous slave labor, in the form of agricultural and domestic peons, and also in forced prostitution, for the past 500 years. That economic model is a fact of life in Mexico, so we have no illusions that the laudable efforts of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and of internal advocates such as prosecutor Garcia and Congresswoman Orozco, will have major impact in the near-term.

Regardless of that fact, all of us who care about ending human exploitation must continue to speak-up, shine the light of truth on this crisis and make change happen.

We also have to ask: What are any of you doing to rescue the estimated 3,000 underage indigenous girls from southern Mexico who have been kidnapped or cajoled, and have ended up as sex slaves in Japan with no advocates to speak for them? (See related article below.)

After years of demanding action on the pages of our web site, we remind the world that these cases, like many others involving Latina, Afro-Latina, indigenous and Caribbean victims, remain unresolved and in a state of complete impunity.

Putting Latino names on the name plates of those at the table does not necessarily equate to advocacy and action for the Afro-Latina and the Indigenous Latin American victim (while also recognizing Ambassador Luis CdeBaca's long history of prosecutorial support for indigenous migrant farm worker victims of labor slavery in Florida).

We stand in defense of these, and of all victims!

Afro-Latina and Indigenous Latin American advocates such as Guatemalan Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and anti-trafficking activist Rigoberta Menchu must also be invited to sit at the table of decision-making as equal partners in the global anti-trafficking movement.

Last, we must observe that in 2011, as in past years and under past administrations, the U.S. State Department has conflated analysis of national performance indicators in the fight against human trafficking with other goals of our nation's geopolitical brinksmanship. We believe that it is an objective fact that Cuba and Venezuela were selected for placement on the TIP Report's Tier #3 not because they have major problems with human trafficking or their response to that scourge, but due to the fact that their ideological conflicts with the U.S. make them outcasts. We are not pro-socialist dictatorship, nor anti-democratic. We simply want to see the facts reported accurately and without a political 'filter' being put in front of those facts.

Refusing to cooperate with the U.S. TIP reporting system, as Cuba and Venezuela have done, exposes both nations to such subjective analysis.

Despite the urgent need for political reform in Cuba, it is literally the only nation in Latin America that has successfully provided food and education to all members of its population without restriction, and that has reduced racial disparities between social groups - across the board (Cuba's population is 55% African descendant).

You cannot speak politically incorrect thoughts in Cuba, as my Afro-Cuban folkloric musician friends have related to me many times, but nobody will starve or become homeless in Cuba either. That very fact was also related to me by a man who, at the time he made the statement many years ago, was the Mid-Atlantic regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

An academically talented-but-poor Afro-Cuban youth can look forward to obtaining a fully government subsidized medical education in Cuba if they choose that path in life, whereas if you are an Afro-Colombian youth seeking the same opportunities, you will be rejected by every single medical school in Colombia simply for reasons of racial prejudice, and you will have to get your education in Cuba, which has committed to training 7,000 medical students from across Latin America without cost to those students.

I know these facts from long discussions with people who have personal knowledge and experience in these realities. The Afro-Colombian medical practice partner of the son of a white Colombian friend went through exactly this experience.

It is also a fact that Afro-Colombians are not accepted for officer training in the Colombian Navy.

Today a campaign of ethnic cleansing is taking place in the traditional African descendant regions of Colombia. Leftist guerrillas, right wing paramilitary groups, their drug cartel friends and indifferent government officials are working to drive hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children out of the traditional communities that their peoples have lived in for centuries. The end result has been the creation of a refugee community that is actively being victimized by human traffickers.

Modern human slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean is driven by abject poverty, impunity, sexist and racist machismo (that has roots dating back to the Roman era) and a resulting failure of political will to respond to that human exploitation.

As is clearly demonstrable in the case of Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, labor and sexual slavery represents an unbroken chain of exploitation that spans the 500 years of history starting with the Spanish conquest.

Conditions of human exploitation simply don't exist in Cuba in any substantial way. The nation provides for the basic material needs of its people (unlike the great majority of Latin American nations).

I still recall seeing on the nightly television news in the mid 1970's the near riots in the streets of Cuba after Fidel Castro announced that sexism would be formally prohibited in public life. That level of mature modernity did not come close to existing in the rest of Latin America at the time.

While post-Cold War poverty caused by the end of the Soviet subsidy to Cuba has resulted in the re-emergence of prostitution after it had been banned for decades (as also happened in Eastern Europe during the same period and for the same reasons), it cannot be said that the government of Cuba is more tolerant-of, nor less responsive-to the human trafficking crisis than its Latin American neighbors.

Republican former Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons director Ambassador Mark Lagon (Ambassador CdeBaca's predecessor) basically admitted in an interview in 2010 (see below) that the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report is subject to political influence in the determination of its rating system (see below article). He specifically mentioned his efforts to counter the politicization of a past TIP report on Venezuela.

The U.S. Government has sufficient venues elsewhere to address our national political conflict with Cuba and Venezuela without having to exploit the critically important TIP report to achieve those goals. Cuba and Venezuela should arguably be placed higher in ratings on the 2011 TIP report report than traditional Latin American allies of the U.S. such as Mexico and Argentina, where the effectiveness of anti-trafficking efforts are often blocked by ongoing, behind-the-scenes power struggles with both: 1) the social, religious and political power of traditionalist machismo; and 2) the forces of well-financed criminal networks who have influential friends among their nation's government decision makers and law enforcers.

Please, Madam Secretary, de-politicize the TIP reporting process.

Overall, the State Department TIP team has made a great start toward improvement in 2011. Keep up the great work.

We hope to see indigenous advocates at next year's heroes award ceremony! In the meantime, do not forget that indigenous peoples are enslaved in one way or another by the millions across Latin America. Do not forget those who await our effective response to their crisis. Do not make our peoples invisible as if we were 'peons' who are out-of-sight and out-of -mind.

We deserve better. We too deserve a seat at the table. Those at-risk and now-victimized deserve rescue from this hell.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 02, 2011

Updated: July 07, 2011


Added: Jul. 2, 2011

Antigua and Barbuda

Sheila Roseau gives the keynote address at the 2011 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report release and award ceremony

Video

Sheila Roseau receives hero’s award

Executive Director of Gender Affairs Sheila Roseau was yesterday presented with 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery Award by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department in Washington.

The award coincided with the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Roseau, a longtime advocate for women’s rights, was a driving force behind the passage of Antigua & Barbuda’s first law that provides criminal penalties for human traffickers and extensive protections for victims.

After steering the drafting of the legislation and lobbying for its passage, Roseau now champions its ongoing implementation.

She and her dedicated team have established a cross-departmental coalition to co-ordinate anti-trafficking efforts within the government, rolled out an information campaign tailored to the local context, and set up a public-private partnership for sheltering victims that specifically addresses the challenges of small-island privacy issues.

Prior to 2010, she assisted trafficking victims, including one foreign child, who is now an adult integrated into Antiguan society, thanks to Roseau’s help. This is one of the only reported long-term assistance programs granted to a foreign trafficking victim by a government in the region.

The Antigua Observer

June 29th, 2011


Find below articles aggregated by Alianza Por Tus Derechos (Alliance for Your Rights), an NGO in Costa Rica, in regard to Latin American reactions to the June 27, 2011 release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the U.S. State Department

[Detailed translations to follow - LL]


Added: July 02, 2011

Guatemala

Guatemalan anti-trafficking NGO director Leonel Dubón Bendfeldt receives Hero award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on June 27th, 2011 in Washington

Guatemalteco recibe reconocimiento por su trabajo en la prevención y atención de víctimas de trata de personas.

En 2011, el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos ha seleccionado al guatemalteco Leonel Dubón Bendfeldt, Director Ejecutivo de la Asociación ?El Refugio de la Niñez?, Organización No Gubernamental de Guatemala; como "Héroe contra el Tráfico Internacional de Personas?

Guatemalan receives recognition for his work in the prevention of human trafficking and assistance to victims

The U.S. State Department has selected Guatemalan Leonel Dubón Bendfeldt, Executive Director of the non-governmental organization The Children's Refuge Association, as one of its Hero's Against International Human Trafficking in Persons for 2011.

Alianza Por Tus Derechos

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Colombia

Paso calificación en trata de personas por Estados Unidos

En la calificación anual que hace el gobierno de Estados Unidos sobre el tema de delitos como la trata de personas, Colombia fue clasificada en el Nivel 1, como uno de los países que mantiene una lucha frontal contra este flagelo a nivel internacional.

Colombia passes U.S. human trafficking review

The U.S. State Department has rated Colombia in the [most positive] Tier 1 classification, identifying the South American nation as one of the countries that is doing its part in the frontal assault against the scourge of human trafficking.

Radio Santa Fe

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Panamá

Reafirma su voluntad de reforzar el combate a la trata de personas

Panamá reafirmó hoy su voluntad de reforzar el combate a la trata de personas y de cooperar internacionalmente en la erradicación de ese flagelo, en respuesta a un informe estadounidense que ubicó al país entre los que hace "esfuerzos significativos" pero aún debe mejorar en la materia.

Panamá reaffirms its commitment to fight human trafficking

It response to the recent release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, Panamá today reaffirmed its commitment to redouble its fight against human trafficking, and to cooperate with international efforts to fight this scourge. The TIP report indicated that Panamá had taken significant steps to step-up its fight against trafficking, but needed to take additional action to improve its response to the problem.

Google Hosted News

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Argentina

EE.UU. pone la mira en la trata de personas en el país

Dentro del panorama del crimen organizado en Argentina, los grupos que se dedican a la trata de personas con objetivos comerciales, mediante el sometimiento a la prostitución o el trabajo esclavo, son un auténtico dolor de cabeza para los organismos oficiales y la justicia.

U.S. puts the spotlight on human trafficking in Argentina

Within the panorama of organized crime groups that operate in Argentina, those that dedicate themselves to the enslavement of people through forced prostitution and labor slavery have become a true headache for government agencies and the criminal justice system.

Diario Popular

June 28, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Cuba

Rechaza informe EEUU sobre tráfico de personas

Cuba acusó de tergiversar la realidad al departamento estadounidense de Estado por colocar a la isla entre los países que no hacen suficientes esfuerzos para combatir la trata de personas, la prostitución y el trabajo forzado.

Cuba rejects U.S. criticisms in regard to human trafficking

The government of Cuba has accused the U.S. State Department of distorting that nation's response to human trafficking [by placing it in the most negative] tier 3 level of countries that provide an insufficient response to human trafficking, prostitution and forced labor.

El Nuevo Herald (Miami Herald in Spanish)

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Venezuela

Cancillería rechaza informe de EEUU sobre tráfico de personas

Estados Unidos incluyó a Venezuela en su lista negra por considerarlo "un país de origen, tránsito y destino de hombres, mujeres y niños que son traficados para ser explotados sexualmente o laboralmente" y por no hacer "esfuerzos significativos para cumplir con los estándares mínimos", lo cual puede provocarle sanciones.

Venezuelan Chancellery rejects U.S. State Department's 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report

The U.S. has included Venezuela in its worst category of nations that are considered to be points for the origin, transport and destination of trafficked men, women and children for the purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, due to its failure to take "significant steps to comply with minimum standards." The [tier 3] rating in the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report may result in economic sanctions.

El Universal - Venezuela

June 29, 2011

 

See also:

Added: Dec. 19, 2008

Mexico

En Japón, de 3 a 4 mil niñas mexicanas víctimas de ESCI

Afirma la experta Teresa Ulloa

Entre 3 y 4 mil niñas indígenas originarias de entidades pobres de México, como Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero y el Estado de México, son víctimas de explotación sexual comercial infantil en Japón...

Teresa Ulloa: Three to four thousand underage indigenous girls from the poor states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and the state of] Mexico have become victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Japan.

Puebla city, in Puebla state - Teresa Ulloa, Latin America and Caribbean Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW) announced her estimates of the numbers of indigenous children sex trafficked to Japan, and explained that traffickers trick their victims using offers of thousands of dollars for their parents in exchange for  [obtaining permission] to take their daughters. The parents are told that their girls are going to the United States to work in fast food restaurant jobs.

Taking advantage of the condition of submission that Mexico's indigenous communities are forced to live in, the traffickers take their victims to Japan where they are prostituted and work as geishas...

Ulloa said that before these victims from Japan are repatriated, the home conditions of these girls must be investigated to assure that they can be reintegrated without facing the risk of being sold or sexually exploited again.

Ulloa noted that in the year 2002 the CATW helped to repatriate two sisters, ages 8 and 10, who had been prostituted in a brothel in New York. They were subjected to exploitation again, 15 days later, because their family "had sold their daughters in exchange for two goats and two cases of beer."

Ulloa added that today these two girls live with a new family in the U.S., and are now learning English.

During her interview with CIMAC Noticias, Ulloa declared: "the subject [of child protection] is not on the national agenda. Much attention is paid to drug trafficking, but the government hasn't even realized that the same drug trafficking networks are used for the [sex] trafficking of children, and that organized crime regards this activity to be one of their most important businesses."

Ulloa stated the above knowing that "a nation that doesn't guarantee the lives, security, dignity and liberty of its children is condemned, sooner or later, to loose its ability to progress or to have social values."

For these reasons, Ulloa insists that the government of Mexico comply with the international agreements that it has signed in regard to these matters, and that it supply the resources needed to protect children, given that the anti-drug efforts are much better funded.

Nadia Altamirano Díaz

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 12, 2008

 

Added: Jul. 2, 2011

The Americas

Genocide, Femicide and Human Trafficking in Guatemala All Grew From the Same Roots of Wartime Impunity

...During the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, I was present at major public speeches given by the two first directors of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State - Ambassador John R. Miller, and Ambassador Mark P. Lagon. Latin America’s human trafficking crisis was never mentioned during those presentations [except for the fact that I raised the issue in the case of an August 2008 speech by Ambassador Mark Lagon], despite what we know today, that Latin American human trafficking generates an estimated $16 billion per year, perhaps half of all world income from human slavery...

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23/25, 2010

See also:

Added: Jul. 2, 2011

Venezuela, Mexico, The United States

Mark Lagon, Former Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons during the  administration of President George W. Bush

[2010] Combating Human Trafficking in the Western Hemisphere: The Need for Increased NGO Involvement

...In an interview with Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Mark Lagon, Former Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons [in the administration of President George W. Bush and former executive director of anti-trafficking NGO Polaris Project] uses the case of Venezuela to refute some criticism of the TIP report: “I advocated for raising Venezuela to a better ranking. The integrity of the report requires acknowledging improvement because all in all, there is no reason to give countries anything but an objective assessment.” In this capacity, Lagon contributed to global anti-trafficking policy and directed the compilation of the TIP report. Venezuela, a nation with which the United States has strained ties, had a Tier 3 rank in 2007, but in 2008, it was moved down a level to Tier 2-Watch class. Lagon views the TIP report as a constructive tool for improving relations between the U.S. and Latin America.

He describes the improvement in US-Mexico relations with regards to human trafficking as a “quiet success,” which in part is due to the State Department’s decision to assign the U.S. a grade for the first time. Furthermore, Lagon contends, “Mexico continually hated any report where it was given a grade, but by including the U.S. in the TIP report we admitted, weaknesses in a way that we had not done before. Consequently, this dialogue has led to a more constructive relationship, fostering cooperation in regards to preventing human trafficking.”

He went on to clarify that “the heart of human trafficking lies in exploitation; it’s not always about migration. Forty percent of trafficking victims in the U.S. come from Latin America. It is every bit as much for labor as for sexual exploitation.” A Congressional Research Report highlights the case of Mexico because it accounted for twenty-three percent of recognized human trafficking victims in the U.S. in 2008 alone...

COHA Research Associate Kelsey Cary

Council on Hemispheric Affairs

July 27, 2010


Added: July 02, 2011

Costa Rica

EE. UU. critica al país por fallas en combate a trata de personas

Menciona falta de condenas judiciales a pesar de las investigaciones. Detalla situaciones concretas de explotación sexual y laboralCalificación.

La trata se refiere a los casos en que las víctimas son sometidas a la esclavitud o trabajos forzados, como ocurre con la explotación sexual y las servidumbres involuntarias en distintas labores.

Costa Rica conforma un grupo de 39 países incluidos en el nivel 2 de la clasificación (de tres posibles), pero en una “lista de vigilancia”. En el 2008, también se situó en esa misma posición.

El documento señala que, aunque se realizaron investigaciones y procesos judiciales en Costa Rica por trata de personas, no hubo condenas durante el período en estudio. En los casos, las víctimas fueron extranjeras y nacionales.

Asimismo, el informe cuestiona que las labores de prevención y divulgación del problema fueron limitadas.

Los análisis se basan “en el alcance de las actividades de los Gobiernos para cumplir las normas mínimas” de la Ley de Protección de Víctimas de la Trata (TVPA, por sus siglas en inglés)...

La Nación

June 27, 2011

See also:

Added: July 02, 2011

Costa Rica

Costa Rica placed on international human trafficking watch list

For the second time in a decade, the U.S. Department of State places Costa Rica on its human trafficking Tier 2 Watch List.

Costa Rica is a source and destination for human sex trafficking and forced labor, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons report (read the report here). The report states women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries have been identified in Costa Rica as victims of sex trafficking and forced servitude. Costa Rica was downgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List this year, joining 39 other countries in danger of potential economic sanctions from the United States.

This is the second time in 10 years that Costa Rica has been included on the Tier 2 Watch List, the last being in 2008.

The State Department report places nations in one of four categories based on efforts to combat human trafficking and the degree of aid provided to victims. The best ranking is Tier 1. Tier 2 includes countries that demonstrate efforts to address the problem. The Tier 2 Watch List includes countries that show signs of digressing to Tier 3, the lowest level.

The report identified the provinces of Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas and San José as centers of child sex tourism in Costa Rica. Sex tourists mainly come to Costa Rica from the United States, Germany, Sweden and Italy, the report stated.

While Costa Rican officials have implemented procedures to identify and help potential trafficking victims, authorities failed to make a single conviction during the reporting period. In 2010, authorities prosecuted a U.S. citizen for alleged sexual exploitation of a child; however, the suspect was not convicted. Overall, the government reported minimal efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor during the reporting period, the report stated.

The State Department branded 23 out of a total of 184 nations as falling into the Tier 3 category, up from 13 in 2010. An estimated 27 million men, women and children live in forced bondage around the world, according to the State Department. In Latin America, Venezuela, for the first time, and Cuba are in Tier 3. Panama, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador join Costa Rica on the Tier 2 Watch List.

“All countries can and must do more,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a June 27 presentation of the report. “More human beings are being exploited today than ever before.”

Clinton presented Leonel Dubon of Guatemala a 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award. He was one of 10 people awarded for devoting their lives to the fight against human trafficking, and the only recipient from Central America. Dubon created an NGO and safe house called El Refugio de la Niñez (Chilren’s Refuge House) for underage female sex trafficking victims.

Will Ferguson

The Tico Times

June 27, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Mexico

Logra PGR su primera sentencia por trata

Por primera vez, la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) obtuvo del Poder Judicial de la Federación sentencias condenatorias de 16 y 18 años de prisión en contra de cuatro traficantes de personas por delincuencia organizada con el fin de cometer trata y por el delito de trata de personas.

El Universal

June 29, 2011

See also:

Mexico

Mexican judge sentences 4 in human trafficking case

A federal judge in Mexico has sentenced four people to a minimum of 16 1/2 years each behind bars for human trafficking, the Mexican attorney general's office said Tuesday, marking a rare conviction in a country struggling to get a grip on the illegal trade.

The investigation began because of a tip from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, authorities said.

Agents rescued four women being forced to work as prostitutes in Miami, Florida, according to a statement from the Mexican attorney general's office. An ICE spokeswoman said U.S. agents identified two of the victims in Miami and that the other two were identified by authorities in Mexico.

Their children were being held in Tenancingo, a municipality in the southern Mexican state of Tlaxcala, and the women's contact with them was conditioned on their sending money to their handlers, the statement said.

On June 7, 2010, Mexican authorities raided the home in Tlaxcala, arresting the four suspects.

Fausto Velazquez Zompantzi, Jaime Velazquez Zompantzi and Severiana Zompantzi Rojas were sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison each for the parts they played in the crime. Jorge Velazquez Zompantzi was sentenced to 18 1/2 years. In addition to trafficking, he was also found guilty of possessing a firearm licensed exclusively to the military.

The women's children were sent to be with their mothers in the United States, according to the attorney general's office.

The statement said the case represents the first time the attorney general's office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime, also known as SIEDO, obtained a conviction and sentence for a human trafficking crime.

Mexico, like many countries, struggles to investigate, prosecute and punish trafficking offenders.

The U.S. State Department released its 2011 report on human trafficking Monday, assessing efforts by 184 governments worldwide to fight sexual exploitation, forced labor and moder-day slavery.

The annual report, considered one of the most comprehensive analyses of worldwide human trafficking, ranks countries in three "tiers." Mexico was put in the middle tier.

Notably, the reported cited the municipality of Tenancingo as a major source for Mexican sex trafficking victims exploited within Mexico and in the United States.

Women, children, indigenous people and undocumented migrants are especially vulnerable, the report read.

While noting some of the recent strides made by the Mexican government in countering trafficking, particularly at the federal level, the study also cited reports that some local law enforcement officials tolerate and are sometimes complicit in the illegal trade.

"Given the magnitude of Mexico's trafficking problem ... the number of human trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences remained low, and government funding for victim services remained inadequate," it read.

The State Department says 27 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide, and approximately 100,000 of those victims are in the United States.

CNN

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Bolivia

La Ley antitrata y tráfico de personas nace en julio

Después de ser socializado entre la sociedad civil, se espera que el proyecto de ley de lucha contra la trata y tráfico de personas sea aprobado durante los primeros días de julio por la Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional.

Legislative effort to pass a national anti-trafficking law will begin in July [2011]

Following efforts to present the idea of a law against human trafficking across civil society sectors in Bolivian society, the nation's pluri-national  legislative assembly [one that recognizes indigenous nationalities as equal partners with the Bolivian state] expects to approve the legislative proposal during the next few days of July.

Radio Santa Fe

June 29, 2011


Added: July 02, 2011

Mexico

Prohíben anuncios de tipo sexual en medios de comunicación

Bajo el argumento de que la explotación de personas se ha convertido en el tercer negocio ilegal con más rentabilidad para la delincuencia organizada, según datos del Centro de Estudio e Investigación en Desarrollo y Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), el pleno del Congreso Local aprobó prohibir la publicación de anuncios en medios de comunicación en donde se ofrezca un servicio sexual.

Law prohibiting advertising for sexual services in communications media passes in Hidalgo state legislature

Using the rationale that human exploitation has become the third largest criminal business for organized  crime..., a plenary session of the Hidalgo state legislature has approved a prohibition against the publication of sexual services announcements in communications media [including radio, television and newspapers].

Noticias Hidalgo

June 29, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Honduras

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

Sale por presiones Cónsul hondureña en Chiapas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officials cite security concerns

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

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

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

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

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

Ariadna García and Martín Morita

Terra.com

June 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, anteriormente la cónsul de Honduras en Chiapas

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

Foto/Photo: Diario del Sur

Trafficking, Forced Prostitution Denounced in Chiapas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas

April 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Honduras

Operativos para combatir la trata de personas deben ser permanentes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

César Solís

Diario del Sur, Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 23, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Migrantes centroamericanas padecen explotación sexual en Chiapas

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

Central American migrants in Chiapas suffer from sexual exploitation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN Mexico

March 23, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Comunicado Denuncia De Red De Trata De Personas En Chiapas

Press Release denounces human trafficking network in Chiapas state

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

A Los Gobiernos de Centroamerica

A Las Organanizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales

A La Comision Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos

A La Organizacion de Las Naciones Unidas

A La Sociedad en General

Al Gobierno de Mexico

Al Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

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

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

Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano / Mesoamerican Migrant Movement

March 15, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, El Salvador

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

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

Foto Diario del Sur.

Alerta Cónsul de El Salvador sobre aumento de migración a Chiapas

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

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

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

Rubén Zúñiga

Diario del Sur/Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

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

Jueces se resisten a castigar trata: PGR

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

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

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

“Con todo el respeto al Poder Judicial, la verdad es que ahí todavía tenemos un problema, yo quiero pensar que es una cuestión de tiempo, de carácter cultural o en ocasiones es falta de conocimiento...”.

García Espinoza de los Monteros será reconocida este lunes en Estados Unidos con el premio “Heroína contra la Esclavitud Moderna”, por su trayectoria y sus logros en el DF en el combate al delito de trata de personas.

Comenta que será galardonada por el desmantelamiento de la red internacional de traficantes de personas que operaba en la casa hogar Casitas del Sur, donde lograron liberar a 11 menores.

García Espinoza de los Monteros dice que este caso es uno de sus mayores logros, aunque no puede ocultar su frustración por lo que sigue ocurriendo en el barrio de La Merced, en la ciudad de México, que históricamente ha sido un polo de tráfico de personas, prostitución de menores y explotación infantil.

La funcionaria apunta que en México en materia de atención a víctimas falta mucho por hacer, pero reconoce el trabajo de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en el tema.

Al preguntarle cómo se ve nuestro país en el ámbito internacional en este delito, la funcionaria acepta que somos una nación que consume, permite el tránsito y expulsa a las víctimas de trata de personas.

Deputy Attorney General: Judges are resisting handing-down punishment for human trafficking crimes

Amparo Garcia Dilcya Samantha Espinoza de los Monteros, who is Mexico's Deputy Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection, has announced that Mexico needs to sensitize judges the need to punish human trafficking as a crime. She notes that in some cases judges have reclassified the charges brought against suspects from human trafficking to corruption of minors and procuring.

Espinoza de los Monteros says that nationally, the judiciary has handed down fewer than 15 convictions for human trafficking, perhaps because of ignorance or because [the crime could not be clearly identified as trafficking].

"With all due respect to the judiciary, the truth is that we have a problem here. I want to think that it's a matter of time, cultural or that sometimes it is a lack of knowledge..."

Espinoza de los Monteros will be recognized in the U.S. on Monday with the award "Hero against Modern Slavery," for her career and his achievements in Mexico City in fighting the crime of trafficking.

He says that will be honored by the dismantling of the international network of smugglers operating in the group home Casitas del Sur, where they managed to release 11 children.

Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros said that this case is one of his greatest achievements, but can not hide his frustration at what continues to happen in the neighborhood of La Merced, Mexico City, which has historically been a center for trafficking , child prostitution and child exploitation.

The official pointed out that in Mexico in providing care to victims needs to be done, but recognizes the work of civil society organizations on the subject.

Asked how he sees our country internationally in this offense, the officer accepts that we are a nation that consumes and drives traffic allowed to victims of trafficking.

El Universal

June 26, 2011

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Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Mexico

Funcionaria deja PGJDF por PGR

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros fue nombrada por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) como la nueva subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo de la dependencia federal.

Fátima Salvador. Ciudad de México.- Cabe destacar que hasta el lunes, la funcionaria se desempeñó como subprocuradora de Atención a Víctimas del Delito y Servicios a la Comunidad dependiente de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, cargo que ocupó desde 2008 por encomienda del procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera.

Entre los casos representativos en los que colaboró durante su estadía en la PGJDF destacan la desarticulación de bandas de lenones y la trata de menores, además contribuyó a realizar reformas en esta materia.

Uno de los últimos trabajos que realizó el despacho a su cargo fue la protección de integrantes de la familia Reyes Salazar, quienes dejaron Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, luego de sufrir amenazas y el asesinato de cinco de sus miembros.

Dilcya Samanta Espinosa de los Monteros encabezó la investigación del caso “Casitas del Sur” por la desaparición de 11 niños en dicho albergue.

La procuraduría capitalina informó que por el momento habrá un encargado de despacho en la Subprocuraduría de Atención a Víctimas del Delito.

Mexico City assistant attorney general moves to federal position

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros has been named to a position in the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) after having previously served since 2008 as Assistant Attorney General for Victims of Crime and Community Services under Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera.

[García Espinoza de los Monteros has focused her efforts in Mexico City on pursuing human traffickers. Mexico City has the highest conviction rate against traffickers of any federated entity in Mexico. - LL]

Among the activities that García Espinoza de los Monteros engaged in at the Mexico City prosecutor's office involved the break-up of sex trafficking rings and assisting in the passage of tougher anti-trafficking laws.

One of her most recent cases involved the disappearance of 11 children from an orphanage called Casitas del Sur [those responsible for the disappearances are believed to have sold these children to sex traffickers]...

Edited by Leyda Martínez

May 3, 2011

About Child Labor and the Risk of Criminal Exploitation in Mexico


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Children labor in Mexico

Trabajan 200 mil niños en campos de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.- Cerca del 14 por ciento de los residentes de Chiapas que tienen entre cinco y 17 años están ocupados económicamente, sobre todo en el sector primario y terciario. Los apuros financieros de sus tutores y la cultura influyen en la situación. Incrementó su participación en actividades peligrosas, ante su mayor necesidad por conseguir sustento, especialmente los migrantes, informó ayer la secretaria del Trabajo del estado, Esther Almazán Torres.

Dijo que el objetivo es tener erradicada parte de la situación en 2015, a más tardar, según los tratados signados por el gobierno federal. Sin embargo, la meta es lejana, porque muchos servidores públicos desconocen el hecho, incluso no saben que existe una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, por lo que ven el tema como algo normal.

México cuenta con 28.2 millones de menores, de los cuales el 10 por ciento está empleado, de los cuales 199 mil 966 viven en la entidad, es decir, uno de cada diez niños chiapanecos forman parte de su campo productivo, según organismos internacionales y el INEGI.

Reconoció que los casos con más violaciones a sus derechos son registrados en las fincas, sobre todo en salud y educación, aunque destacó que el índice bajó en los últimos años.

La funcionaria estatal aseveró que la cultura también contribuye al problema, porque sus responsables enseñan a sus hijos a ganar dinero con alguna actividad familiar, para perpetuar la tradición. Ello no disminuye su vulnerabilidad.

200,000 children are working in the fields of Chiapas state

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state - About 14 percent of the residents of Chiapas who are between 5 and 17 years are work... Both the financial troubles of their parents and culture influence the situation. These children engage in Increasingly dangerous activities to earn money to survive. This is especially true of migrants, Chiapas state  labor secretary Esther Almazán Torres stated yesterday.

Secretary Almazán Torres added that the state's goal is to eradicate child labor by 2015 at the latest, in accordance with the according to treaties signed by the federal government [see: United Nations Millennium Development Goals]. However, the goal is distant because many public servants are unaware of the issue, and don't even know that there is a law against trafficking in persons, so see [child exploitation] as normal.

Mexico has 28.2 million children, of whom 10 percent are employed. Some 199,000 child laborers live in the state, amounting to one in ten children in Chiapas who are working in the field, according to international organizations and Mexico's National Institute for Statistics and Geography.

Secretary Almazán Torres acknowledged that cases with most child rights violations are found in farm labor, especially in regard to health and education, but noted that the the number of complaints has declined recent years.

Culture contributes to the problem because parents teach their children to earn money with some form of family activity, to perpetuate their traditions. Such labor is not exempt from risk for these child laborers.

El Heraldo de Chiapas

June 21, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado: Victoria Cruz

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado Las niñas y los niños que trabajan están en riesgo ante el crimen organizado, que los utiliza para transportar droga, para ser explotados sexualmente o para cometer delitos en general, aseveró en Morelia la coordinadora del Programa Internacional para la Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OI), Victoria Cruz López.

En el marco del Foro: “La participación de los congresos locales en la prevención y erradicación del trabajo infantil y la protección del adolescente trabajador”, y ante diputados, autoridades y especialistas, la experta abogada aseguró que esa situación es cada vez más visible, por lo que urgió a buscar acciones para frenar la inclusión de menores de edad en actividades laborales.

Victoria Cruz señaló que es necesario perseguir a quienes utilizan a los menores para actividades ilícitas, por lo que entidades gubernamentales y sociedad civil deben prestar atención a esa problemática, ya que la alternativa para los adolescentes no debe ser la delincuencia organizada.

En presencia del presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política del Congreso del Estado, Wilfrido Lázaro Medina, quien es además coordinador del grupo parlamentario del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), la representante de la OIT consideró urgente desarrollar políticas públicas para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque el hecho de que estén en la escuela y ésta sea una opción de calidad puede ser un punto de partida fundamental.

Acompañada también por la presidenta de la Comisión de Grupos Vulnerables, Equidad y Género, Gabriela Molina Aguilar, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), y por la presidenta de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Guadalupe Calderón Medina, del PRI, Cruz López argumentó que se calcula que en el país hay 3 millones de infantes, de entre los 5 y los 17 años de edad, que se encuentran laborando, la mayoría en trabajos del sector agrícola, la construcción y la minería, trabajos considerados de alta peligrosidad.

Dicha cantidad, agregó la investigadora del tema, equivale al 10.7 por ciento de la población de niñas, niños y adolescentes que existen en México, lo que equivale a hipotecar el futuro del país, sobre todo cuando 900 mil de esos menores de edad, que son los que tienen entre 5 y 13 años, ni siquiera deberían estar en el trabajo.

En ese sentido, aseveró Victoria Cruz, el trabajo infantil constituye una violación severa a los derechos de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque se atenta contra muchos de sus derechos, como el derecho al sano crecimiento, a la educación, a la cultura y al derecho a estar protegidos contra la explotación económica, que tiene que empezar a verse como un incumplimiento a las garantías en el cual todos son responsables y todos deben dar respuesta.

Victoria Cruz: Child workers are at-risk from organized crime:

Victoria Cruz López, the International Labor Organization's international program to end child labor spoke in Morelia state.

Cruz López: Child laborers are at high risk from organized criminals who exploit them to transport drugs, to be sold in prostitution and to commit crimes in general.

In a Forum called "The Participation of State Legislatures in the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Young Workers," which was presented to a group of state legislative deputies, authorities and experts, veteran attorney and International Labor Organization (ILO) representative Victoria Cruz López [organized crime's exploitation of minors] constitutes a situation that is becoming more visible by-the-day. She therefore urged state legislatures to take action to curb the inclusion of children in work activities.

Cruz López added that the prosecution of those who use children for illicit activities is a must. Government agencies and civil society must therefore pay attention to this problem, given that all agree that the [preferred] alternative [to unemployment] for adolescents should not be organized crime.

Cruz López declared that the development of public policies to reduce the vulnerability of girls, children and adolescents must be made an urgent priority. Cruz noted that schools can be used as the perfect forum for communicating with children and youth about this issue.

Cruz López argued that the country is estimated that there are 3 million children, between 5 and 17 years of age, who are now working, the majority work in agriculture, construction and mining work that is considered highly dangerous.

Some 10.7 percent of Mexico's children and underage youth work, added Cruz López. That fact amounts to mortgaging the nation's future, especially in regard to the 900,000 of these children who are those between 5 and 13 years, who should not be working at all.

Child labor constitutes a severe violation of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, because it goes against many of their rights, including the right to healthy growth, education, culture and the right to be protected from economic exploitation, which must begin to be seen as a breach of the guarantees to which everyone must be held accountable.

Among the Morelia state congressional deputies attending the event were: Wilfrido Medina Lazaro, Morelia state's president of the Political Coordination Board of the State Congress and parliamentary coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) delegation; Gabriela Aguilar Molina, president of the Commission on Vulnerable Groups and Gender Equity, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); and Guadalupe Medina Calderon, of the PRI, who is president of the Human Rights Commission.

Quadratin.com

June 17, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

La OIT presenta en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil

La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) presentó hoy en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil apoyada por varios artistas locales, informaron hoy fuentes de la agencia de Naciones Unidas (ONU).

En un acto celebrado en un hotel de la capital mexicana, el director adjunto de la OIT para México y Cuba, Thomas Wissing, dijo que era necesario "actuar con urgencia" para eliminar las formas más peligrosas de este tipo de actividad laboral que afecta a menores.

En un comunicado, la OIT señaló que en el planeta existen 115 millones de niñas, niños y adolescentes en actividades laborales peligrosas, de los cuales el 64 % son varones y el 36 %, mujeres y niñas.

Por actividad, el 59 % de los trabajos peligrosos se concentra en la agricultura, un 30 % en el sector servicios y un 11 % en la industria.

La tendencia es a un ascenso en la cifra de adolescentes varones de entre 15 y 17 años en el mundo, apuntó la organización, al recordar que el próximo 12 de junio se celebrará el Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil.

En México, añadió, hay aproximadamente 3 millones de menores de edad que trabajan dentro de un grueso de población de 112 millones de personas.

En el acto de hoy, la OIT presentó un vídeo y el vocalista de la banda de rock DLD, Paco Familiar, leyó un mensaje a nombre de una decena de artistas que se han sumado en México a la campaña, que lleva por título "¡Atención! Niños, niñas y adolescentes en trabajos peligrosos. ¡Alto al trabajo infantil!".

En su mensaje, Familiar dijo que "existe una confusión entre lo que sí es y lo que no es trabajo infantil", que permite que haya altos niveles de tolerancia social frente a este problema.

La situación en este país es "insostenible", ya que "más del 10 % de su población infantil tiene que trabajar", lo que va en contra de la educación de ese colectivo y representa un problema que hipoteca "nuestro presente y nuestro futuro", afirmó.

EFE

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

ILO Launches Campaign Against Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo, ILO) launched its newest campaign against child labor in Mexico today. Various artists attended the event, many of which were vocal about their stances against child labor as it interferes with important activities, such as education and recreation. ILO member Victoria Cruz reported that 59.2% of minors employed throughout the world work in agriculture, 30% in the services sector and 11% in industry. In Mexico, there are approximately 3 million minors who are employed and about 700,000 of those minors engage in “high risk” labor, which includes mining, agriculture, and construction. Mexico is also one of the only countries to date that has not ratified the ILO’s Convention 182, otherwise known as the “Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention.”

The ILO addressed other negative effects of child labor, such as physical injuries and illness that in some cases cannot be cured. Particularly in Mexico, it is easy for minors to become involved in more dangerous work, such as narco-trafficking, due to high poverty levels in many areas and lack of better opportunities. In response to this problem, the ILO urged that the laws in Mexico should be amended to include harsher punishments for those who employ minors. According to El Universal, the assistant ILO director of Mexico and Cuba, Thomas Wissing, stated that these laws should be changed with the purpose of reducing child labor and to generate more jobs and more rewarding salaries for parents.

The organization also made sure to note that National Day Against Child Labor will be celebrated this Sunday, June 12.

Justice in Mexico

June 6, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Más de 3 millones de niños mexicanos tienen que trabajar

Distrito Federal - En México, más de tres millones de menores de edad laboran y de ellos más de 700 mil lo hacen en empleos de alto riesgo como la minería, la agricultura o la construcción, situación que se agrava por la tolerancia de la sociedad y las autoridades, indicó la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT).

Además, México es el único país que aún no ratifica el Convenio 182 de la OIT, que se refiere a la edad mínima para desempeñar actividades económicas, explicó el organismo en un taller donde se habló de este tema.

Con motivo del Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil, que se celebrará el próximo 12 de junio, funcionarios de la organización y la subsecretaria de Inclusión Laboral de la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) reconocieron que las sanciones económicas para empleadores de menores de edad son mínimas, pues la actual legislación establece un pago de 250 días de salario mínimo...

More than 3 million Mexican children must work

Mexico City - In Mexico, more than 3 million minors work. Around 700,000 children and youth work in high-risk jobs such as mining, agriculture and construction. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the situation has been aggravated by the tolerance of society and the authorities.

During an ILO workshop on child labor. officials noted that Mexico is the only nation that has not signed the ILO's Convention 182 on ending child labor, which defines minimum ages for engaging in work activities.

Mariana Otero

Milenio

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

En trabajos peligrosos, 600 mil niños mexicanos

En México hay mucha confusión y tolerancia respecto al trabajo peligroso en niños y niñas, particularmente en los que tienen entre 15 y 17 años de edad, lo cual trae graves consecuencias para la integridad física, pues deriva en lesiones, enfermedades irreversibles, abandono escolar y bajo rendimiento, señaló la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), que coincidió con la Secretaría del Trabajo en que se debe endurecer la ley para castigar a quien emplee a menores.

En el país, son 600 mil los que realizan labores peligrosas, de un total de 3 millones de menores de 18 años de edad que trabajan, paralelamente a los que son utilizados en tareas vinculadas con el narcotráfico -de los cuales no hay cifras-, quienes por la falta de oportunidades y la situación de pobreza que son explotados en esas actividades ilegales....

Some 600,000 underage Mexican children and youth work in dangerous jobs - International Labor Organization

According to the International Labor Organization, much confusion and tolerance exists in Mexico in regard to dangerous jobs that children and underage youth work-in across Mexico, and especially those who are between 15- and 18-years-of-age. These forms of employment cause grave consequences for a child worker's physical integrity - including exposure to diseases an irreversible illnesses. In addition, child workers perform poorly in school and [often] abandon school altogether.

Across Mexico some 600,000 minors engage in dangerous work. They are part of a total underage workforce of 3 million. In parallel, a phenomenon also exists in which minors work for narco-trafficking organizations. No statistics exist to define the size of this population of child laborers...

El Universal

June 6, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Argentina

Trata de personas, un flagelo que avanza día a día

La trata de personas es una suerte de esclavitud moderna, que no distingue región, edad, ni clase social. Según las informaciones la zona norte de Argentina es el lugar predilecto para aquellos mafiosos que venden la vida de una persona, en lo que para ellos significa una simple transacción monetaria. Quienes se encuentran luchando contra este flagelo advierten que por cada persona que encuentran, desaparecen otras siete, aunque aseguran que no claudicaran en la batalla.

Un dato que asusta es que durante los últimos años Argentina dejó de ser un país de sólo circulación de personas, para dar lugar a la comercialización y la exportación de éstas, ya sea con fines sexuales o de esclavitud. Asimismo aumentó la trata de niños, especialmente para servidumbre por deudas y prostitución forzosa. Desde mediados del 2008 la trata se convirtió en la actividad delictiva más reditual, después del tráfico de armas y drogas. Se trata de redes de delincuentes muy bien organizadas, bajo las cuales más de 4 millones de personas en el mundo resultaron víctimas.

En relación a este tema, Germán Díaz, abogado de la Fundación María de los Ángeles, alertó a la sociedad sobre la necesidad de extremar las medidas de precaución para evitar un posible secuestro. Aunque sin ánimos de generar miedo, simplemente mayos conciencia.

“Nosotros desde acá tratamos de no crear ningún tipo de psicosis en la sociedad, solamente decimos que tomen las medidas del caso. Generalmente las denuncias que recibimos fueron de menores estudiantes, entonces desde acá les decimos que cambien la rutina del trayecto al colegio y que no vaya solas”, destacó Díaz.

Del mismo modo, destacó la importancia sobre le papel que los medios de comunicación cumplen en relación a este tema, sobre en cuestión de las redes sociales: “La información que se da por internet muchas veces entra en detalles, de los cuales estas redes mafiosas se nutren para captar a sus víctimas”.

Según explicó el letrado, el lugar de captación por excelencia es el norte de nuestro país y la frontera con Paraguay y Bolivia, pues las redes mafiosas consideran a esa zona como “económicamente pobres” y propicias para su delictivo accionar. Mientras que “la zona de explotación es la zona del sur de nuestro país”, debido a que en ese sector hay una concentración de gran poder adquisitivo.

Human trafficking, a scourge that grows from day-to-day

Human trafficking is a kind of modern slavery, which does not distinguish between regions, ages or social class. Reportedly the north of Argentina is the favorite location for organized criminals who live by selling the lives of people. Those who are fighting this scourge warn that for every person they rescue, seven others disappear. They say that they are not giving up the fight.

[Full translation to follow]

Tucuman Noticias

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 28, 2011

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton releases the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

Secretary Clinton: "Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. Today, we are releasing a new report that ranks 184 countries, including our own. One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing. This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what’s happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference..."

U.S. Department of State

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Latin America

Pop star and anti-trafficking activist Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin expandirá centros de ayuda a niños a toda Latinoamérica

Río Grande (Puerto Rico), - El cantante puertorriqueño Ricky Martin anunció hoy que expandirá la construcción de instituciones como El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, que se espera esté terminado en Loíza en 2012, a la República Dominicana, México y el resto de Latinoamérica.

Martin y su Fundación celebraron hoy la tercera edición de un torneo de golf para recaudar fondos para la construcción del Centro Integral de Desarrollo que se convertirá en un espacio para combatir en Puerto Rico la trata de personas.

"Esto es solo el comienzo, para continuar por el resto de la isla y en la República Dominicana, México y Latinoamérica", dijo Martin tras concluir el evento celebrado en el Trump International Golf Resort en Río Grande, localidad de la costa este de Puerto Rico.

El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, con un presupuesto de cuatro millones de dólares, comenzará a construirse este año y se espera sea inaugurado en 2012 o a principios del 2013.

El centro constará de diez salones de clases, una biblioteca y un área recreativa.

La institución atenderá desde infantes hasta jóvenes en escuela superior y operará en alianza con la organización filantrópica SER de Puerto Rico, Nuestra Escuela e Iniciativa Comunitaria.

Martin enfatizó que el centro promoverá las artes, la música, la meditación, el yoga, los deportes, las artes marciales, la salud, la educación personalizada, la cultura y los valores éticos.

"Necesitamos y queremos marcar la diferencia en los niños y jóvenes de Loíza. Nosotros estaremos ahí para apoyarlos y darles herramientas que les garanticen un futuro mejor", dijo Martin.

El modelo de construcción estuvo a cargo de la Fundación Ricky Martin (FRM) y el director del Taller Diseño Comunitario de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Elio Martínez Joffre.

Ricky Martin will expand child support centers throughout Latin America

Ricky Martin to Expand Children’s Aid Centers Across All Latin America

The Puerto Rican singer took up the fight against this scourge after his 2002 trip to India, where he saw at first hand the immensity of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in the Asian country.

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced that he will expand construction of institutions like his foundation’s Child Development and Prevention Center, expected to be completed in Loiza, Puerto Rico, in 2012, to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.

Martin and his foundation held Friday the third edition of a golf tournament aimed at collecting funds for the children’s center that will combat the exploitation and trafficking of children in Puerto Rico.

“This is just the start of a project that is going to spread across the rest of the island and on to the Domican Republic, Mexico and Latin America,” Martin said after winding up the event held at the Trump International Golf Resort in Rio Grande, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The Ricky Martin Foundation Child Development and Prevention Center, with a budget of $4 million, will begin construction this year and its inauguration is expected for 2012 or early 2013.

The center will consist of 10 classrooms, a library and a recreation area.

The institution will care for children from infancy to high-school age and will operate, in alliance with the philanthropic organization SER of Puerto Rico, the Our School and Community Initiative.

Martin said that the center will promote the arts, music, meditation, yoga, sports, martial arts, health, personalized education, culture and ethical values.

“We need to and we want to make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza. We will be there to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future,” Martin said.

The center’s design was entrusted by the Ricky Martin Foundation to the director of the Community Design Workshop of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture, Elio Martinez Joffre...

EFE (Spanish version)

June 03, 2011

EFE America (English version)

June 06, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Nepal

Veteran anti-trafficking activist Anuradha Koirala (left), and actress Demi Moore (right) meet with the Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal of Nepal during the filming of CNN's anti-trafficking documentary

Demi Moore estrena documental sobre la trata de personas en Nepal en CNN

Demi Moore se une a CNN Freedom Project (Proyecto Libertad de CNN) para promover la lucha contra la trata humana a través del documental Nepal’s Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary (Los Niños Robados de Nepal: Un documental del Proyecto Libertad de CNN), que se estrena el domingo 26 de junio a las 7:00 p.m. por CNN International y CNN en Español.

Como colaboradora especial de CNN Freedom Project, Moore se dirige a Nepal para unirse a la ganadora del Premio Héroe CNN de 2010, Anuradha Koirala, y a su organización, Maiti Nepal, que desde su fundación en 1993 ha rescatado a más de 12.000 los niños de Nepal robados por tráfico sexual. Moore es una apasionada defensora de las víctimas de tráfico humano y a través de ADN, la organización que ella cofundó con su esposo, cuya labor se enfoca en la necesidad de atacar la demanda de tráfico sexual mediante leyes en contra de los infractores, la educación y la rehabilitación de las jóvenes víctimas atrapadas por estas prácticas abusivas.

“En el burdel yo fui forzada a tener sexo con hombres y si yo me resistía, ellos podían quemar cigarrillos en mi cuerpo, pegarme con un palo o lanzarme agua caliente. Yo fui con mi pequeño hijo, pero fuimos separados y cuando él lloró ellos quemaron su lengua con un cigarrillo”, dijo Radika, una de las niñas rescatadas en su encuentro con Moore en Maiti Nepal.

Cada año, miles de niñas nepalesas son secuestradas obligadas o forzadas a la brutal vida de la prostitución. Los Niños Robados de Nepal sigue a Moore, quien habla con docenas de niñas (algunas de apenas 11 años) que han sido víctimas del tráfico sexual. Las niñas comparten desgarradoras historias de electrocución y otras formas de tortura, y algunas incluso describen que fueron forzadas a alimentarse con hormonas para que sus cuerpos de niñas tengan el parecido del de una mujer adulta...

Elespectador.com

June 23, 2011

See also:

Added: Jun. 28, 2011

Nepal

Nepal's Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN Freedom Project for a compelling documentary.

A passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking herself, Moore travels to Nepal to meet 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution. How were they taken and where were they sent?

Hear the emotional, first-hand experiences of these young survivors. And follow along with Moore as she searches for answers in the fight to end this form of modern-day slavery.

Along the way she hears horror stories from former sex slaves, plays games with their children, and joins one woman making the daunting trip home.

The group also has a hospice for women with HIV-AIDS, a learning center for women hoping to make a new life and a band of border guards trying to stop women being smuggled in the first place.

CNN

June 17, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Latin America, Europe

Seminario internacional lucha contra la trata de personas

La Embajada de Francia en México, ha tenido a bien elegir a nuestro estado como la sede para la realización del Seminario Internacional denominado “Lucha contra la trata de personas”, los días 28, 29 y 30 de junio del presente año, siendo esta una problemática mundial de la cual Oaxaca no está exenta, sino por el contrario, somos una entidad de origen, tránsito y destino de la Trata en sus modalidades laboral y sexual, por ello, el Gobierno del Estado a través de la Procuraduría General de Justicia realiza conjuntamente con la Embajada de Francia dicho evento.

Los participantes del Seminario provienen de Francia, Canadá España, Alemania, Panamá, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belice, República Dominicana, Haití, Chile, Colombia y Ecuador, siendo en total 52 Comisionados, Fiscales especializados, Jefes de Unidades, Agregados de seguridad, Inspectores de policías de los diversos países.

Este seminario tiene como objetivo principal compartir experiencias de investigación y protección a víctimas de la trata de personas, que permitirán a todas y todos los participantes realizar de manera más eficiente nuestra labor, así como establecer redes de coordinación y colaboración, siendo la trata de personas un problema mundial.

Upcoming international seminar on human trafficking to be held in Oaxaca state

The French Embassy in Mexico has selected Oaxaca state as the venue for the International Seminar entitled "Combating trafficking in persons", to be held on June 28th, 29th and 30th of 2011. Human trafficking is a problem that affects Oaxaca. The state is place of origin, transit and destination for labor and sex trafficking victims. The Oaxaca Attorney General is coordinating in holding the event.

Seminar participants from France, Canada, Spain, Germany, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador will be attending. A total of 52 commissioners, specialized prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be present.

This seminar's main objective is to share research and experiences in regard to protecting victims of human trafficking, to allow the participants perform their work more efficiently and establish coordination and collaboration networks.

NSS Oaxaca

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

New York City

Prabhu Dayal

Consul General of India accused of keeping a mother of four as virtual slave in posh Upper East Side digs

Prabhu Dayal, the Consul General of India, is accused of treating a woman like a virtual slave. The Consul General of India and his family kept a mother of four as a virtual slave on the Upper East Side, according to a lawsuit the woman filed Monday.

Santosh Bhardwaj, 45, says she was required to work more than 12 hours a day, every day, for little pay.

She said she had to escape through a back door with a security guard's help earlier this year because her boss kept her passport and wouldn't let her leave.

Prabhu Dayal, 58, who has been the Indian Consul General in New York since 2008, kept Bhardwaj in a storage room in the E. 64th Street Consulate General building and paid her $300 a month to be at his family's beck and call, the lawsuit claims.

"The Dayals did not treat me fairly," said Bhardwaj, who says she was lured from India to New York to be a maid with promises of good working conditions and decent pay.

"I filed the complaint because I want to be paid for all the labor I provided."

The suit names Dayal, his wife and daughter and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Emails and phone calls to the consul general's office were not returned.

Dayal took her Bhardwaj's passport and "subjected her to approximately a year of forced labor and psychological coercion in their household, culminating in an incident of sexual harassment," the lawsuit says.

"The Dayals kept Ms. Bhardwaj isolated and led her to believe they had complete control over her," said her lawyer, Legal Aid attorney Hollis Pfitsch.

"Unfortunately, Ms. Bhardwaj is not alone. Human trafficking through psychological coercion like this, designed to keep immigrant workers laboring virtually for free, is shockingly common."

In January, Bhardwaj repeated implored Dayal for money her husband needed for an operation back in India, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Dayal finally relented, saying he'd give her the money - but only if she'd massage his legs, the lawsuit says.

That turned out to be the last straw.

"In her culture, it was shocking and offensive for a married man to request any type of physical contact from a married woman," according to the lawsuit.

The New York Daily News

June 20, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Seven sex trafficking suspects are shown to the press by the Mexico City prosecutor's office

Arraigan a 7 personas por lenocinio

Giraron orden de aprehensión por el ilícito de lenocinio y delincuencia organizada a Óscar Jesús Rivera Zúñiga, alias "El Güero'' o "Bugs Bunny''.

Ciudad de México.- Con pruebas reunidas y asentadas en el pliego consignatorio, siete personas que presuntamente obligaban a sus víctimas a ejercer el sexoservicio en el lugar conocido como La Pasarela, localizado en el segundo callejón de Manzanares, colonia Centro, quedaron a disposición de un juez penal, como probables responsables de los delitos de trata de personas agravada; lenocinio y delincuencia organizada; y por corrupción de menores, por lo que cinco hombres fueron ingresados al Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, y dos mujeres al Centro Femenil de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

En cumplimiento a la orden de aprehensión librada por el juez 25 de lo Penal, con sede en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, personal del área de Mandamientos Judiciales de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), obtuvo la entrega de los involucrados en los referidos delitos, quienes se encontraban en el Centro de Arraigos de la misma institución judicial...

Seven are arraigned for sex trafficking

They turned a warrant for the crime of pimping and organized crime Oscar Zuniga Jesus Rivera, alias "El Guero''or" Bugs Bunny.'' Photo: El Sol de Mexico

Mexico City - seven people who allegedly forced their victims to exercise their sex work at a place known as The Gateway, located in the Manzanares district of Colonia Centro, have been detained on criminal charges as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of aggravated trafficking, pimping organized crime and the corruption of minors. The five men were admitted to the Detention East facility. The two women were sent to the Women's Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla...

The trial judge held the defendants over for trial after assessing the evidence provided by the Mexico City Attorney General's Office...

Filiberto Cruz

El Sol de México

June 23, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dan formal prisión a tres por el delito de trata de personas

El Juzgado 6 de Distrito de Procesos Penales Federales en la Ciudad de México dictó auto de formal prisión a tres presuntos responsables del delito de trata de personas con fines de explotación laboral y sexual.

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) informó en comunicado que los procesados son Denis Javier Ortiz y Ondina Moreira, ambos de nacionalidad hondureña, y Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán.

El pasado 18 de abril el Fiscal adscrito a la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) consignó ante el juez [el expidiente]...

La acción penal se ejerció contra los inculpados por el delito señalado en agravio de dos jóvenes hondureñas a las que explotaban en un table dance denominado “La Tentación”, ubicado en el Estado de México.

De la averiguación previa se desprende que Denis Javier Ortiz y su pareja sentimental Ondina Moreira trasladaron desde Honduras a las dos mujeres, a quienes obligaban a trabajar en el lugar referido y las despojaban de sus ingresos.

Por su parte, Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán las trasladaba y les “arreglaba” su supuesta legal estancia en México, por lo cual les cobraba cantidades que constantemente se incrementaban.

Los dos hombres enfrentarán su proceso penal en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, mientras que Ondina Moreira lo hará en el Centro de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

A formal arrest three on charges of trafficking

The 6th District Court Federal Criminal Proceedings in Mexico City has arrested three suspects for the crime of trafficking in persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) said in a statement that the defendants are Denis Moreira Javier Ortiz and Ondina, both Honduran nationals, and Sergio Alejandro Rodriguez Salmorán.

On April 18 the prosecutor assigned the case to the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA)...

Action was taken against said defendants for crimes committed against two young Honduran women which exploited in a table dance club called "The Temptation", located in the State of Mexico.

The preliminary investigation shows that when Denis Javier Ortiz and his girlfriend moved to Mexico from Honduras, the two women, who were forced to work in the place referred to and stripped of their income...

The two men face their criminal trial Detention in the East, while Ondine will Moreira at the Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla.

La Crónica

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Texas, USA

4 sentenced in immigrant kidnapping ring near Peñitas

McAllen - Four men learned their prison sentences Monday after federal authorities busted a human trafficking operation near Peñitas last year.

The prison sentences came Monday after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a man who shot himself in the leg while attempting to kidnap a group of illegal immigrants in May 2010.

One of the smuggled immigrants told ICE agents their coyote, or smuggler, had loaded him and a dozen others into a truck May 10, 2010. But before they could leave, several armed men assaulted the driver and unloaded the migrants from the vehicle.

The gunmen took the immigrants to a stash house near Peñitas, where a man known as "Comandante" told the victims they each would have to pay $2,000 if they wanted to be smuggled farther north.

When “Comandante” left the property, Mario Leon Villa was left in charge, the immigrant told investigators. When Leon and two other guards were distracted, six immigrants climbed out a window and ran to a nearby store.

Leon found the immigrants at the store, pulled out a gun and told them not to run. The immigrants ran anyway, jumped a fence and Leon accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Several other kidnappers located and rounded up the escaped immigrants and transferred them to a stash house in Edinburg. Agents and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies later found the remaining victims at that stash house.

The case resembled that of kidnapped immigrants in Mexico, who are abducted and held for ransom before they are able to cross the Rio Grande.

But because many incidents are charged as immigrant smuggling or assault — as in this case — it’s difficult to track exactly how often they occur on U.S. soil, local authorities have said.

Sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane were:

Leon, 21, a Mexican national who received a 14-year prison sentence for his role as a stash house guard in the immigrant kidnapping scheme. Leon had faced 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Fredy Bermudez Benito, 28, a Mexican national who made threatening phone calls to the immigrants’ families, demanding the additional $2,000 payments. He faced 27 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and unlawfully possessing a firearm. Crane sentenced Bermudez to 20 years in federal prison.

Edinburg resident Juan Alberto Jimenez, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Edinburg resident Jose Rocha Pinon, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to nine years in prison on 19 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Still awaiting sentencing is Mexican national Hugo Oscar Rodriguez Montoya, 27, of Tamaulipas, who was indicted on 16 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and transporting illegal aliens within the United States. He faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Already sentenced in the case was Jose Israel Leon Villa, who was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in December 2010.

Jared Taylor

The Monitor

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

California, USA

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Riverside: Man accused of abducting, raping girl faces more charges

An illegal immigrant accused of kidnapping his ex-roommate’s 9-year-old daughter from her Riverside home, then sexually assaulting her and trying to kill her, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felonies — including new allegations that he assaulted two other children.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping for rape, two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily injury on a child under 14 years old during a felony.

The charges stem from a May 7 abduction in Riverside. Since Guzman’s arrest on May 16, police have been investigating whether he might be responsible for similar crimes in the area.

According to Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Carney, detectives located two girls allegedly attacked by the defendant in the fall of 2008.

None of the victims’ identities have been released. One girl, who was 12 at the time, alleged Guzman held her at gunpoint and molested her, Carney said. The other girl, who was 11, told detectives the defendant choked her and sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

He said DNA and fingerprint evidence connected Guzman to both crimes, as well as the most recent one.

The Mexican national has been additionally charged with two counts of burglary and one count each of aggravated sexual assault on a child and forced lewd acts on a child under 14.

Guzman appeared today before Superior Court Judge Robert Law, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for June 27. The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to Riverside police, in the most recent case, Guzman was familiar with the victim after having rented a room from her mother in January and February.

The 9-year-old, whose identity was not released, was asleep with her older brother and younger sister in a second-story apartment in the area of Pike Street and Herman Drive when she was forcibly taken the night of May 7, investigators said.

According to Detective Roberta Hopewell, the child’s mother — a single parent — was working as a server at Leonardo’s Mexican restaurant on Arlington Avenue and had left the boy in charge of watching his sisters.

Guzman allegedly accessed the apartment through an unlocked window in the two-bedroom unit. The other youngsters were not harmed during the kidnapping, which occurred around 11 p.m.

Around two hours later, people living on Giles Court — about 2 ½ miles from where the abduction occurred — were awakened when the child began knocking on doors, asking for help, according to investigators.

The disoriented girl told officers she had been carried out of her residence by a man and was later pushed out of a car. Hopewell said videotape from security cameras at the scene showed a dark-colored pickup truck in the area around the time of the abduction. Guzman owned a black Ford F-150 pickup.

Hopewell said the suspect was a person of interest from the beginning because of his contact with the victim, her siblings and their mother. The girl was seriously injured in the attack and is now recovering at home.

City News Service

June 02, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

South Dakota, USA

Ruben Garcia

[Man] raped stepdaughter in front of 7-year-old in South Dakota

On Monday, through an interpreter, Ruben Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to the first-degree rape of his 9-year-old stepdaughter on February 9, 2011.

Garcia admitted committing the rape to Sioux Falls police when he was captured.

According to police, Garcia raped the girl while a seven-year-old watched the ordeal. The girls reported the attacks to their mother who immediately call the police. Garcia fled, but was soon captured in Omaha.

While the maximum sentence for rape in South Dakota is life in prison, the plea agreement will ensure a somewhat shorter sentence.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said: “There's a mandatory minimum of 15 years and under the plea agreement he's facing up to 40 years actually.”

Garcia has been held in the Minnehaha County Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer since his arrest since his arrest on February 10. He will be sentenced on August 15.

The Examiner

June 08, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Pennsylvania, USA

[Man] Faces Child-Luring Charges

Williamsport police have charged a Hispanic male with luring a 12-year-old girl into his truck while it was parked across from the YMCA yesterday. Officer Marlin Smith II was dispatched to the parking lot across from the building in the 300 block of Elmira Street shortly after 10 p.m. on June 23, where he spoke with Lucinda Campbell and her 12-year-old daughter.

Campbell had observed her daughter in a truck with a Hispanic man in his twenties, Smith said. Campbell’s daughter had seen the man before and knew where he lived, and had waved to him. The man, Adrian Arriaga Castro, of Houston Texas, pulled up to the daughter in his truck and opened the passenger’s side door and gestured for her to get in. The girl entered the vehicle and stated that Castro began to talk to her and called her “pretty,” then began to rub her arm. She exited the truck as her mother arrived and Castro ran in the direction of 345 West Third Street.

Smith arrived at the apartment building to investigate; a Hispanic male approached officers outside of the building. The daughter pointed at Castro and police confirmed his identity via his Mexican identification cards; Castro was taken into custody and faces one misdemeanor charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle and one summary charge of harassment.

Additionally, it was discovered that Castro is a Mexican national and has no papers to prove that he is in this country legally, Smith said.

“Because of this police investigation, 16 illegal immigrants were detained by I.C.E. officers from the Department of Homeland Security,” Williamsport Bureau of Police Captain Raymond O. Kontz III said.

“All of these illegals were rooming at 345 West Third Street and 309 Elmira St and working for GPX Surveyor, a gas company originating from Houston Texas,” Kontz said. Castro was taken to the Lycoming County Prison.

NorthCentralPA.com

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Suspect... faces rape charge

A 24-year-old man, who police say is an illegal immigrant already deported once, was arrested and charged Thursday with the statutory rape of a minor under age 6.

Mario Alberto Tellez Ordaz faces three counts of statutory rape or sexual offense against a minor under 6 years. He is being held in the Henderson County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

In a news release issued Friday, Sheriff Rick Davis said Ordaz has previously been deported and will now face federal prosecution as well, due to the nature of the charges.

“This arrest highlights the illegal immigration problem,” Davis said. Ordaz is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Blue Ridge Now

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Idaho, USA

Vicente Manturano-Soto

Sex-crime case ends in prison sentence

Man gets 6.5 years for sexual battery of a minor

A 31-year-old Peruvian native was sentenced Monday to six and a half years in prison for sexual involvement in 2010 with a 16-year-old Ketchum girl.

Vicente Manturano-Soto will be required to spend two and half years in prison before parole eligibility. He was given credit for more than seven months already spent behind bars following his arrest in November. Once released, he will likely be deported.

He was also fined $2,000 and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Originally charged with four counts of rape, Manturano-Soto pleaded guilty in March to a single count of sexual battery of a minor child. The plea was in accord with an agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

A Blaine County grand jury indictment against Manturano-Soto in November alleged that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl from May through June of 2010.

In court Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback described Manturano-Soto as a "close friend" of the victim's family and said he often drove the girl to school or to counseling for a previous episode of sexual abuse.

"He was aware that she was vulnerable because of her age as well as her previous abuse," Fredback said.

He said Manturano-Soto took advantage of the girl's vulnerability to engage in a sexual relationship with her.

"The victim relayed that this happened about 10 times," Fredback said.

He further noted that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a charge against Manturano-Soto alleging that he is an illegal immigrant.

"It appears that while he initially came into this country legally, that expired in 2001 and he continued to stay in this country," Fredback said.

Defense attorney Douglas Nelson noted that his client only pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a child.

"We are here because Vicente admitted basically to making out with this girl, and he's denied anything other than that," Nelson said.

He said Manturano-Soto has recognized what he did was wrong and completed a 10-week course while in jail on moral recognition therapy. Further, Nelson said his client has been a "model prisoner" and has served as a jail trusty.

Speaking through a court interpreter, Manturano-Soto apologized for his actions.

"The truth is I feel very bad about this," he said. "What I did was wrong. I know that God loves all his children and I ask you for forgiveness."

Fifth District Judge Robert J. Elgee said he would have given Manturano-Soto more prison time if not for steps the defendant has taken to improve his life.

"I recognize that you have expressed remorse and you have tried to improve yourself while in jail," Elgee said. "But what you did was a bad act, even if you only did what you've admitted to.

"I happen to believe you did more than you've admitted to. She was half your age. The law is designed to protect young girls who are not adults from older men like you. I know that what you did was not forcible, but the sentence is because of her age."

Terry Smith

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

June 22, 2011

 

 

Added: Jun. 22, 2011

Colombia

Youth from the city of Cartegena's impoverished Boquilla neighborhood participate in performing Colombian folkloric music in as part of cultural activities organized by the Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation to guide local children and youth away from the tourist resort's child sex traffickers.

A Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation information table promotes the "We are the Wall" campaign, working to bring the hotel industry and other tourist businesses into a campaign to stop child sex tourism in the beach resort city of Cartagena

Prostitutas protegen a niños de redes de proxenetas

Trabajadoras sexuales de Cartagena le declararon la guerra a la prostitución infantil en este turístico balneario del Caribe colombiano y junto a la policía y ONGs buscan estrategias para evitar que los menores caigan en las redes de proxenetas.

Las prostitutas lideran un proyecto para que taxistas, vendedores ambulantes y meseros cooperen frente a mafias que ofrecen a unos 2.000 niños de los barrios marginales.

“Fui prostituta antes que mujer. Comencé a los 10 años y sufrí experiencias que no creerían. Sé que no puedo borrar el pasado, pero sí puedo evitar que otros niños pasen por lo que yo viví y por eso los invito a ayudar”, dijo Damaris a un grupo de taxistas reunidos en un salón público de La Boquilla, un deprimido sector de la ciudad.

La mujer, que aún ejerce en un prostíbulo del centro de la ciudad, forma parte de la campaña ‘La muralla soy yo’ que busca involucrar a quienes viven del turismo en la lucha contra la explotación de niños y adolescentes.

“Desafortunadamente aquí al turista que llega con plata se le permite casi todo. Mi invitación es a ponerle límite. Que cuando pregunten por niños para (tener) sexo, no les pasen información. Piensen que son niños y que ellos, como sus hijos, valen más que cualquier propina”, pidió.

Pero el negocio de la prostitución ha cambiado y con las nuevas tecnologías “ahora es menos frecuente ver el corrillo (grupo) de muchachitos esperando en una esquina la llegada del cliente”, señaló Luis Céspedes, uno de los taxistas que participó en el taller.

“Antes los turistas preguntaban por niñas, pero ahora los contactos se hacen por internet. El turista dice ‘Lléveme a tal hotel’ ahí tiene su cuento con el muchachito o la pelada (niña) le paga y ya. No entiendo cómo vamos a poder ayudar”, cuestionó.

El comandante de Policía local, general Ricardo Restrepo, admitió que este negocio ilegal “se ha sofisticado” y que detrás del abuso sexual a menores en Cartagena se mueven poderosas mafias...

Adults in prostitution unite to protect children from sex traffickers

Sex workers in the coastal tourist resort city of Cartagena have declared war on child prostitution. Working in collaboration with police and non governmental organizations, they are developing strategies to prevent children from falling into the hands of prostitution networks.

Adult sex workers are leading a project to convince taxi drivers, street vendors and waiters not to cooperate with the sexual exploitation networks that today sell some 2,000 children from the city's slums in prostitution.

A woman named Damaris, speaking to a gathering of local taxi drivers in a poor section of Cartagena called La Boquilla said, "I was a prostitute before I became a woman. I started at the age of 10, and I went through experiences that you would not believe. I know that I can't erase the past, but I can prevent other children go through what I lived through, and I invite you to help."

The woman, who still works in a brothel in the city center, is part of the campaign "I am the wall,' that seeks to involve those who work in the tourism industry in the fight against the exploitation of children and adolescents.

Damaris, "Unfortunately the tourist who comes here with money is allowed to do almost anything they want. I invite you to help us place limits on them. When these tourists ask for children to have sex [a question asked of taxi drivers across Latin America], don't give them information. Remember that they are children and that they, like your children, are worth more than any tip."

The business of prostitution has changed with the emergence of new technologies [the Internet]. "It is now less common to see a circle of boys on a corner waiting for the arrival of a customer," said Luis Cespedes, one of the drivers who participated in the workshop.

"Before the tourists asked for girls, but now the contacts are carried out online. These days, the tourist says, 'Take me to this hotel.' They engage with a boy or girl, pay them, and that's it. I do not understand how we can help," exclaimed Cespedes.

The local police commander, General Ricardo Restrepo admitted that this illegal business "is sophisticated." He acknowledged that powerful mafias control child prostitution in Cartagena.

"Last year we conducted operations with U.S. authorities with very good results. Now we're doing the same with an organization in Spain. These countries know that they have citizens who come to Cartagena to engage in these types of crimes. These nations have therefore taken on their responsibilities [to react]," said the official said.

Mayerlin Vergara, of the non governmental organization Renacer, noted that "ten years ago, we found the child victims of sexual exploitation in the clubs or on the streets. They now engage in prostitution in communities and in educational institutions. They no longer have a reason to come to the city center."

Attorney Freddys del Toro, of the Swiss NGO Tierra de Hombres, which advocates for victims of child sexual exploitation, noted that child sex tourism is promoted "through so-called travel agencies that operate online and that don't have local offices, making it difficult to combat their activities."

The Cartagena prosecutor's office has registered 400 complaints of child sexual abuse. Prosecutions of child sexual exploiters have resulted in 19 convictions to-date.

"We just had a historic decision in Colombia. For the first time, a foreigner was convicted. Italian Paolo Pravisani, age 72, was [sentenced] in the death of a young boy, Yesid Torres, whom Pravisani was sexually abusing," said del Toro.

In 2010 Colombian authorities arrested Briton Anthony Paul Brailsford, who has lived in Cartagena since 2001. Police found photos of naked girls in his possession. Meanwhile, in March, the Spanish film producer Pablo Lapiedra was arrested on accusations that he was filming pornographic movies with children.

Colombian law provides for penalties of up to eight years in prison for those who lead, organize or promote tourist activities that include the sexual use of children and provides that property used for that purpose may be confiscated.

Figures from the government's Colombian Family Welfare Institute estimates that about 35,000 children are forced into prostitution in the country. Some 2,000 of those children live in Cartagena.

El Nuevo Heraldo

June 17, 2011

See Also:

Added Sep. 14 2005

Colombia

Así se mueve la cadena del turismo sexual con menores de edad en Cartagena.

About child sex tourism in Cartagena

Cartagena - in Colombia's largest spa and beach resort city, popular with foreign tourists, 1,200 underage children and youth engage in prostitution. 

At the city's international airport, 15 year old girls line up waiting for the arrival of one of the many weekly flights that bring in male tourists, especially from Spain and Italy. 

Many of these girls have been contacted from Europe by phone, and a week of 'companionship' has been set up. Other girls make deals with newly arrived airline passengers.  In other cases, taxi drivers and bar owners receive a fee for connecting tourists with young prostitutes.

The victims are typically young Afro-Colombian girls and boys. 

According to Vittorio Chimienti, director of a child advocacy project in Cartagena started by the Italian government following growing concern about its citizen's flagrant sex tourism:

"Law enforcement does almost nothing to control the child sex trade, and word of impunity travels rapidly around the world." 

See Also:

Added July 18 2005

Cartagena, donde se ofrecen niñas de entre ocho y 17 años en la prostitución.

Colombian authorities urged to change the laws and fight child prostitution in the spa resort city of Cartagena, where increasing numbers of girls between 8 and 17 are prostituted to sex tourists.

See Also:

Added: Nov. 07, 2004

The sexual exploitation of 1,600 minors taints Colombia's Caribbean tourist haven [of Cartagena]

...Cartagena's history as a Spanish bastion against English invasion, its cobblestone streets, quaint plazas, colonial churches, art museums and seafood restaurants attract many visitors. Yet behind the thick, ancient walls lurks a darker attraction: the sexual exploitation of minors by foreigners .

The city has become a magnet for men, many of them Europeans, seeking sex with young girls and sometimes boys, many of them from families displaced from their rural homes by fighting among leftist rebels, government forces and right-wing paramilitary groups.

On the main hotel strip, foreigners openly haggle with underage girls selling their bodies or duck past pink neon lights into what purports to be a discotheque. Inside, bored-looking teenage girls at tables perk up only when a man walks by. He can take his pick, pay as little as $15 and take her to a room across the road.

"Unfortunately, Cartagena has the image of being a place where people can have whatever kind of sexual relations they want," says Fabian Cardenas, the local coordinator for Renacer, a private group that helps victims of sexual exploitation.

"There are many foreigners who come here with the sheer objective of having sex. And what the tourist wants, the tourist gets."

An estimated 1,500 girls and boys work in Cartagena's sex industry . Over the last three years, Renacer has learned of girls as young as 7 and boys as young as 9 being sexually exploited, Cardenas says.

Cartagena isn't alone. Many Latin American cities, in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, are now being frequented by "sex tourists" looking for minors, as a result of shift in the business from Asia following police crackdowns.

Poverty and domestic sexual abuse push many children into the sex industry...

The Associated Press

April 07, 2004



International Court reiterates sentence ordering Mexico to cede jurisdiction in civilian rape cases perpetrated by soldiers to federal civilian prosecutors

Soldiers continue campaign of intimidation against  indigenous rape victims and their supporters


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Valentina Rosendo Cantú at May 28, 2010 Inter-American Court of Human Rights session

Inés Fernández Ortega & Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Rechaza CoIDH solicitud de interpretación sobre sentencias de Inés y Valentina

Alto Tribunal reitera al Estado mexicano su competencia para juzgar delitos

La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) rechazó la solicitud de interpretación que le pidió el Estado mexicano por las sentencias de los casos de Inés Fernández Ortega y Valentina Rosendo Cantú, violadas por militares en 2002, pues reiteró la existencia de violación y tortura sexual y volvió a pedir que los casos se saquen del fuero militar y se trasladen a la justicia civil.

En comunicado de prensa, la Organización del Pueblo Indígena Tlapaneco/Me’phaa (OPIM), el Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan” y el Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (Cejil) celebraron esta decisión pues consideraron que lo que hizo el Estado mexicano fue “un claro intento de seguir defendiendo los intereses del Ejército y volver a poner en tela de duda el testimonio” de las víctimas.

En diciembre pasado, el Estado mexicano solicitó a la CoIDH que aclarara las sentencias que ese tribunal emitió en su contra en octubre de 2010, porque consideraba que “generaba confusión”, ya que a su parecer, no competía a la Corte señalar a qué corporación pertenecían los responsables de la agresión en contra de las indígenas, registrada en Guerrero, en 2002.

Las organizaciones que representan a Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo, consideran que las solicitudes de interpretación interpuestas por el Estado mexicano tuvieron como fin objetar la decisión de la CoIDH, a pesar de que sus resoluciones son “definitivas e inapelables”.

En su respuesta al Estado mexicano, la Corte Interamericana explica que sus fallos son claros, ya que no excedió su competencia y el cuestionamiento del Estado se relacionó a hechos probados. Con base en estas, y otras consideraciones, “decidió desestimar las solicitudes” presentadas por las autoridades del país.

A decir de las organizaciones, la confirmación de las sentencias constituye un “contundente y enérgico” llamado a que la remisión de las investigaciones a las instancias civiles federales no tarde más, debido a que el cambio de competencia, constituye un paso indispensable en la búsqueda de justicia a favor de las víctimas. En este escenario, las organizaciones solicitaron que los dos expedientes sean remitidos a la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) de manera inmediata, ya que el Estado mexicano mantiene las investigaciones en el fuero militar, “en abierto desacato de las sentencias de la Corte Interamericana tras más de 8 meses de haber sido notificadas”...

Inter-American Court of Human Rights rejects Mexican government request to re-interpret the Court's decision in the [rape cases of indigenous victims] Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Court reiterates its jurisdiction in the case

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has rejected a request from the Mexican Government for a reinterpretation of the Court's sentences in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, two [Tlapaneca indigenous] women who were raped by soldiers in 2002. The IACHR reiterated the existence of rape and sexual torture and again asked that Mexico remove the cases military jurisdiction and send them to civilian courts.

In a press release, the Tlapaneco / Me 'phaa Indigenous Organization (OPIM), the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) stated that they welcomed this decision because they believe that the Mexican government petition was "clearly an attempt to continue defending the interests of the Army and to again question the testimony" of the victims.

Last December, the Mexican government asked the IACHR to clarify its October 2010 judgment in favor of Ortega and Rosendo Cantú,  because it believed that the decision "created confusion..."

The organizations that represent Fernández and Rosendo Cantú in the case consider the request for an interpretation that was filed by the Mexican government to be designed to challenge the [original] decision of the IACHR, despite the fact that the Court's decisions are "final and not subject to appeal."

In response to the Mexican State, the Court explained that its rulings were clear, and that it did not exceed its jurisdiction... Based on these and other considerations, the Court "decided to reject the requests" submitted by Mexico.

The confirmation of the Court's original sentences constitutes a "forceful and aggressive" call to Mexico's Government not to further delay the search for justice for the victims. The two non governmental organizations involved in the case have requested that the case files now being held by the military justice system be immediately handed over to the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR). The NGOs note that the two cases remain under military jurisdiction "in open contempt of the judgments of the IACHR, more than 8 months after being notified of the Court's decision."

Another Assault Against the OPIM

The non governmental organization Decade Against Impunity Solidarity Network used a press release to denounce an attack that took place on June 6, 2011 on the premises of the OPIM. Human rights defenders including Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, were beaten, and they were once again threatened by soldiers of the Mexican Army.

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel is one of the human rights defenders who accompanied Valentina and Ines during legal proceeding in the case. She and other activists provided translation from their indigenous language, as Fernández and Rosendo Cantú do not speak Spanish. [This act of support for the two rape victims] caused these defenders and their families to be constantly threatened in response. They were forced to leave their community.

According to information provided by the Decade Against Impunity Solidarity Network, on June 6th, when a group of advocates and human rights defenders gathered in the premises of the OPIM to commemorate the massacre of El Charco, which occurred 13 years ago in the town of Ayutla de los Libres in Guerrero state, members of the organization were interrogated and beaten by soldiers.
The press reports that around 11:30 am, an army truck with about 50 men dressed in green camouflaged uniforms, who had their faces covered with balaclavas (ski masks), came to the office of the OPIM in the town of Ayutla de los Libres.

The network reported that the soldiers immediately began to question the activists who were outside of the OPIM office waiting for the arrival of their fellow human rights defenders - the members of the Decade Against Impunity Solidarity Network, with whom they planned to march. Inés Fernández Ortega and Sierra Prisciliano Fortunato, who are members of the OPIM, participated.

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel was hit when she tried to stop assaults against her fellow activists. Eugenio Manuel asked the soldiers whether or not they had a search warrant. One soldier, Roberto Pérez Díaz, "who smelled of alcohol," - "said that the soldiers could do whatever they wanted to..."

The Decade Against Impunity Solidarity Network has therefore called upon Amnesty International to issue an urgent action calling upon the Mexican State to guarantee the physical and psychological safety of OPIM members.

CIMAC Women's News Service

June 11, 2011

See also:

Added: Jun. 19, 2011

Mexico

Pide Cejil a gobernador de Guerrero medidas de seguridad para Tlachinollan

México, DF, - El Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (Cejil) exhortó al gobernador de Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, a implementar medidas de protección que garanticen la seguridad y la integridad de las y los defensores que laboran en el Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan”.

Este llamado surgió, luego de que Tlachinollan –organización que junto con Cejil litigó dos casos de tortura sexual cometida por militares en contra de las indígenas tlapanecas Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo– anunció que mañana reabrirá sus oficinas ubicadas en Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, las cuales permanecieron cerradas por un periodo de dos años, debido a las constantes amenazas y hostigamiento...

NGO CEJIL asks governor of Guerrero state to insure the security of the Tlachinollan Center

Mexico City - The International Center for Justice and the Rule of Law (CEJIL) has written to the governor of Guerrero state, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, insisting that the state government institute measures to guarantee the security and integrity of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center.

The Tlachinollan Center together with CEJIL provided a legal team that pursued the cases of sexual torture (rape) committed against two Tlapaneca indigenous women, Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo by soldiers in 2002. The call for state action to protect the Tlachinollan Center comes after the center's recent announcement that they will reopen their organization's offices in the town of Ayutla de Los Libres in Guerrero state. The center's offices have been shut down in that town during the past two years due to [a campaign of] constant threats and harassment that was directed against the center's staff...

CIMAC Women's News Service

June 15, 2011

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Inés Fernández Ortega & Valentina Rosendo Cantú were both age 17 when they were gang raped by groups of soldiers in separate incidents in 2002 during the ongoing domestic military occupation of their indigenous region of Guerrero state.

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina:

El día de hoy, cuando se lleva a cabo la audiencia en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, el equipo de la CMDPDH queremos enviarte un mensaje con nuestro profundo respeto y apoyo.

Sabemos que has asumido, junto con las organizaciones que te acompañan en esta lucha, la tarea de denunciar las violaciones a los derechos humanos cometidas por el Ejército Mexicano, en particular la violencia sexual como una forma de tortura. Por tu voz hablan decenas de mujeres que han sufrido la violencia del Estado, pero no han tenido acceso a denunciar. Al mismo tiempo, también nos sentimos representadas las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajamos por el respeto de los Derechos Humanos y por una sociedad libre y democrática.

Asimismo, estamos conscientes de que esta denuncia y todo el proceso de defensa en su conjunto, ha significado una enorme carga para ti y que en este camino has enfrentado amenazas, contra ti y tus seres queridos, que buscan hacerte desistir. Sin embargo, te has mantenido firme en la búsqueda de justicia, reivindicando tu dignidad de mujer indígena, y la de cientos de comunidades que han sido afectadas en su tejido social por la militarización.

Por todo esto, recibe hoy nuestro abrazo solidario y nuestro compromiso de seguir, inspirados en tu ejemplo, en esta lucha.

Atentamente,

El equipo de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos A.C.

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina,

On this day, the day when your case will be presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, we of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights wish to send you this message expressing our profound respect and solidarity.

We know that you have taken on, together with the organizations who are assisting you in this struggle, the task of denouncing violations of human rights that have been committed by the Mexican Army, and in particular the use of sexual violence as a form of torture. Your voice speaks for dozens of women who have suffered violence perpetrated by the State, but who do not have access to a forum to denounce these crimes. At the same time, we who work for human rights organizations, who seek to achieve a fee and democratic society, feel well represented by you.

We are aware that your case, and all of the efforts in your defense, have amounted to being a huge burden for you. We know that you have faced threats against yourself and your family, that are designed to force you drop your case. Nonetheless, you have remained steadfast in your search for justice, vindicating your dignity as an indigenous woman, as well as that of hundreds of communities whose social fabric has been affected by [domestic] militarization.

For all of these reasons, today we ask you to accept our hug of solidarity and our commitment to continue, inspired by your example, in this struggle.

Sincerely,

The staff of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

See also:

Tlapaneca Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel denounces death threats against herself, her family and Indigenous rape victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú - who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

Eugenio Manuel was beaten by soldiers in June of 2011 in the town of Ayutla de Los Libres

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen cese de agresiones contra Tlapaneca violada por militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

Defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos exigieron hoy al Estado mexicano que cesen las agresiones y amenazas contra Inés Fernández Ortega, indígena tlapaneca violada sexualmente por militares en 2002, y quien ante la falta de justicia, se presentará en una audiencia pública en la sede de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) en Lima, Perú, el próximo 15 de abril...

Activists demand an end to the harassment of indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

Human rights activists have today demanded that the Mexican Government cease and desist from its campaign of aggression and threats directed against Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapaneca Indigenous women who was the victim of rape perpetrated by Mexican servicemen in 2002. Due to the inability to receive due process within Mexico, Fernández Ortega's case will be presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on April 15th, 2010.

During a press conference held by Amnesty International and the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain, activists announced their new campaign "Break Down the Walls of Impunity!" The project aims to develop a network of solidarity and add voices to the outcries for justice in the cases of both Fernández Ortega and also Valentina Rosendo Cantú, another Tlapaneca woman who was also raped by soldiers in 2002.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working in the Tlachinollan region stated that both Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú began their efforts to find justice 8 years ago. Not only did they suffer rejection, discrimination and stigmatization in their own communities after they were raped, but the government conducted an ineffective investigation.

Because of the government's reaction to their plight, the victims hope that the IACHR finds the Mexican state guilty in the case of Fernández Ortega. Rosendo Cantú's case will be presented before the IACHR on May 27th and 28th of 2010.

Rosales Sierra declared that the military leaves women [victims] completely defenseless. They put women's security and lives at risk when they attempt to seek justice...

On October 30, 2008, the Commission issued their findings [in the case of Fernández Ortega]. The Mexican state was informed on November 7, 2008 that the Commission regarded the State as being responsible for the violations of the integrity of the victim. Due to a refusal by Mexico to implement the Commission's [legally binding] recommendations, the case was forwarded to the IACHR.

During the press conference, Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel stated that, after May 7th, 2009, when the IACHR accepted the case de Fernández Ortega, she (Eugenio Manuel) and her family became the victims of threats. The threats doubled in December of 2009, when the IACHR notified the Mexican state of the specific date of its hearing of the case.

Because of this history of threats, a well-founded fear exists that victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, or their legal representatives could face some type of violence. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel emphasized that they will continue their struggle for human rights. She hopes that the IACHR hearing will demonstrate that lack of responsible action by the Mexican state to protect human rights.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010


Added: June 19, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Republican state representative: Raped illegal immigrants should be afraid to go to police

Informal immigration is a problem. At its base is leads to a culture of crime acceptance. I am not talking about the misdemeanor level crime of coming to this country without the proper paper work, but the whole criminal universe that grows up around people who are nervous about interaction with the law. They can be cheated of wages, they can be housed unfairly and, of course, there is the issue of human trafficking that grows from smuggling people across the boarder.

Now GOP Massachusetts State Rep. Ryan Fattman is saying this is a feature not a bug. He said, and you will really not believe this, from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette :

Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.

“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said. “If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things,” he said referring to obtaining legal immigration status.

That’s right, if you are an informal immigrant to this country, folks like Rep. Fattman (no there will be none of the 2 million name jokes that can be made here, they are just too easy) believe that you should live in fear and be helpless if you are victimized by anyone else, even in the case of serious crimes like rape and assault.

The United States as a whole wants cheap manual labor, primarily for labor intensive corps (things that can’t picked by machine because of the delicate nature of the produce) but also in areas like building trades and any hard, smelly and relatively dangerous job.

As long as we are not willing to pay what it would take for Americans to do these jobs, we are going to have immigration pressure. People from countries where the daily wage is less than the pittance they will early hourly here are always going to come to do the work. You would to if you were in their shoes.

The depths of Rep. Fattman’s lack of compassion were revealed when Mass. Gov. Patrick Duval refused to join a Federal Program that would turn a rape victim who was undocumented over to the Feds for deportation. This is the so-called Secure Communities program. This program was supposed to deport only those informal immigrants that have committed crimes, but predictably it had deported 3 times as many people who have committed no crime but being in the United States without formal permission.

What Rep. Fattman is basically saying is that if you are a scum bag that wants to rape or beat someone, you should pick on an informal immigrant. If you do that, he is not worried about the fact that you are committing felonies nearly as much as he is that the victim is has committed a misdemeanor. Let’s be clear, being here without permission is punishable at about the same level as drunk driving with a fine and or imprisonment...

Bill Egnor

Fire Dog Lake

June 10, 2011

See also:

Added: June 19, 2011

Massachusetts

Immigrant checks urged

Boston - A half-dozen Central Massachusetts Republicans today began organizing opposition to Governor Deval L. Patrick’s decision not to join the federal Secure Communities program that deports illegal immigrants accused of crimes. One local Republican representative argued all immigrants without proper papers should be deported.

State Representative Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, accused the governor of siding with criminals instead of taxpayers and police officials who support the new program. Mr. Fattman, who is helping circulate a letter opposing the governor’s decision, said he hopes it will convince the governor to reverse his decision.

Mr. Fattman dismissed concerns of some law enforcement officials — cited by the governor — who said using local police to enforce immigration laws could discourage reporting of crime by victims who are illegal immigrants.

Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.

“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said. “If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things,” he said referring to obtaining legal immigration status.

In a letter notifying federal officials that the governor has decided not to sign agreements to join the federal program, state Public Safety Secretary Mary E. Heffernan said the governor is “dubious of the commonwealth taking on the federal role of immigration enforcement.”

The governor said Monday the federal program could cause more problems than it solves...

John J. Monahan

News Telegram

June 8, 2011

LibertadLatina Note:

Latina and many other immigrant women and girl victims of rape typically face a formidable wall of disinterest and suspicion when they dare to approach the authorities and seek justice in their cases. As an advocate for victims, I have seen this reality close-up for decades. The outrageous and utterly ignorant statements of Massachusetts state representative Ryan Fattman, in declaring that undocumented immigrant women should be afraid of approaching police if they are beaten and raped, are ludicrous.

As a Massachusetts native, I can attest to the fact that the state has had and continues to have many serious problems with racial and ethnic prejudice. Although the ethnic melting pot of heavily Catholic Boston is somewhat welcoming of Latin American immigrants, the old school holdouts like Mr. Fattman need to challenged by We the People for holding intolerant views that are not acceptable under any circumstances.

Shame on you, Representative Fattman!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 22, 2011



Added: June 19, 2011

Native America

US Declines to Try Half of Native Crimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Felicia Fonseca and Sudhin Thanawala

The Associated Press

May 31, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina note:

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

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

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

Afro Creek Catawba

LibertadLatina

July 30, 2008

Note: An estimated 80% of sexual assaults against Native American women are perpetrated by white U.S. men. - LL


Added July 26, 2007

Native America

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

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

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

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

- Indian Country Today

July 20, 2007


Added July 14, 2007

Native America

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

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

Impact of 2006 Adam Walsh Act on tribes also discussed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Indian Country Today

July 06, 2007


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco: Secuestran 70 mil niños para explotarlos sexualmente

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blanca Valadez

Milenio

May 31, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico, El Salvador, The United States

Anti trafficking activist and journalist Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho: La niña más valiente del mundo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lydia Cacho: About the bravest girl in the world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

El Universal

May 17, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

En Tlaxcala la prostitución va en aumento, dice organizaciones

La prostitución callejera en Tlaxcala registra incremento como consecuencia de los operativos contra la trata de personas en el Distrito Federal (DF), advirtieron organizaciones civiles.

La directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, manifestó que los golpes que se han dado en el DF a tratantes y lenones, ocasionaron que estos prefieran explotar a las mujeres en el territorio tlaxcalteca.

Es decir, dejaron de trasladarlas a La Merced y otras partes tradicionales donde se ejerce la prostitución.

Derivado de ello, expuso que el Gobierno local, que encabeza el priista Mariano González Zarur, debe analizar realmente sus estrategias para combatir ese delito y la manera de cómo aplica la ley en la materia.

"Porqué no está funcionando con la ley, dónde está todo ese sistema de protección a las víctimas, queremos ver cuántos tratantes y explotadores van a meter a la cárcel aquí en Tlaxcala", apuntó.

Y es que subrayó que en el DF se han rescatado unas 600 mujeres, algunas de ellas menores de edad; y hay más de 70 detenidos.

"Pero lo que hemos detectado es que como los están golpeando tanto en el DF, que era un lugar tradicional donde las iniciaban en la prostitución; está aumentando la prostitución callejera en varios puntos de Tlaxcala", expresó.

La activista, aludió que las redes de tratantes y lenones continúan con los mismos métodos de reclutamiento de mujeres, las enamoran, la trasladan a Tlaxcala, las inician en la prostitución para después llevarlas "a mercados más productivos", pero no necesariamente en el DF.

En este sentido, indicó que las organizaciones civiles, entre ellas el Centro Fray Julián Garcés, así como el Colectivo Mujer y Utopía, iniciaron una investigación para determinar las zonas exactas donde la "prostitución callejera" va en aumento.

Aunque ya se ha señalado un corredor del sexoservicio sobre la carretera Tlaxcala-Puebla, que inicia en San Pablo del Monte, Tenancingo, Chiautempan, Apetatitlán y concluye en Apizaco.

Sobre esta ruta hay mujeres en la calle, travestis, bares y giros negros que ofrecen prostitución a diversas horas del día.

Sin embargo, en dos operativos que ha hecho la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE), sólo ha localizado una motocicleta y clausurado un bar por operar en condiciones insalubres.

El respecto, Ulloa Ziáurriz aseveró que "voluntad" es lo único que hay por parte de las procuradurías locales para combatir la explotación sexual forzada de las mujeres, ya que aún no hay suficiente conciencia.

No obstante, consideró con la "voluntad política" de las autoridades, las organizaciones civiles exigirán resultados.

"Ahora vamos a contar, a ver si es cierto que se traduce en casos concretos, en rescates, en desarticulación de bandas y en meterlos a la cárcel", asentó.

NGOs: Prostitution is increasing in Tlaxcala state

Street prostitution in Tlaxcala is on the increase as a reaction to operations against trafficking in persons carried out in [nearby] Mexico City, warn non governmental organizations.

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, the regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that police raids against sex trafficking and pimps in Mexico City have resulted in causing the exploiters to prostitute their [victims] in the state of Tlaxcala.

That is to say, the traffickers have stopped taking trafficking victims to La Merced and other prostitution tolerance zones in Mexico City to exploit them.

As a result of this development, said Ulloa, Tlaxcala governor Mariano González Zarur (PRI-Institutional Revolutionary Party) should review the state's strategies to apply the law and combat trafficking crime.

Ulloa, "Why is the law not working, here [in Tlaxcala] where a system for protecting victims has been set up. We want to see how many traffickers and exploiters will be put in jail here in Tlaxcala."

Ulloa added that 600 trafficking victims, some of whom are underage girls, have been rescued in Mexico City. More that 70 suspects have been detained.

"We discovered that, because the authorities are hitting traffickers in Mexico City, which has been a traditional place of entry into prostitution [training ground], street prostitution is increasing in various parts of Tlaxcala," exclaimed Ulloa.

Ulloa declared that the networks of sex traffickers are are continuing to use the same methods of recruiting women: they [pretend to] fall in love with the victims, move them to Tlaxcala, they introduce them prostitution and then they take them to "more productive markets," but not necessarily to Mexico City.

Non governmental organizations, including the Centro Friar Julián Garcés, and the Women and Utopia Collective have launched an investigation to determine the exact areas where this "soliciting" is increasing.

A prostitution zone has been identified along the Tlaxcala to Puebla highway... where a number of sexual services are offered.

Only one bar has been closed, and a motorcyclist arrested as a result of two raids by state authorities in this zone.

However, in two operations that has made the Attorney General of the State (PGJE), located only a motorcycle and closed a bar to operate in unsanitary conditions.

Ulloa said that "willingness" on the part of local prosecutors is the only tool available to combat the forced sexual exploitation of women in the state, because there is insufficient public awareness [and interest to take any action against these types of crimes].

However, Ulloa believes that a "political will" among [state] authorities and non governmental organizations will demand results.

"Now we'll have to see if what we believe comes to pass, that concrete results come about in specific cases, that victims are rescued, and that gangs are dismantled and their members are put them in jail," concluded Ulloa.

Reforma

June 01, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN

May 27, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Bolivia, Argentina

Trata de personas: denuncian tráfico de chicos en la frontera con Bolivia

Un serio problema se generó en la frontera con Bolivia, donde se denunciaron casos de trata de personas en los que las principales víctimas son chicos menores.

El problema se da generalmente entre las ciudades de La Quiaca y Villazón (Bolivia) , donde tuvo que intervenir el Consulado argentino desde octubre de 2007.

En ese sentido, en ese lapso se recuperaron 622 chicos, de los cuales el 54 por ciento eran mujeres y el restante 46 varones. En 2007 rescataron a 37 niños y en 2010 fueron 167.

Asimismo, 238 de esos chicos no superaban los 5 años, una edad que está por encima del promedio empelado para el tráfico, con el objetivo de venderlos a familias que buscan adoptar hijos.

En tanto, otros 284 tenían entre 10 y 17 años, pero la mayoría de ellos eran menores de 13 años, mientras que los restantes 100 poseen entre 6 y 9 años.

En ese límite denunciaron que la frontera "no tiene control y hay infinidad de pasos naturales no controlados y el cruce es libre".

En tanto, a 1.200 metros al este del puente internacional en Ojo de Agua, el único inconveniente para cruzar la frontera es tener que vadear el río La Quiaca, que en la mayor parte del año se cruza de un salto.

A unos 2.400 metros al oeste del puente, la calle quiaqueña Jujuy desemboca en el barrio boliviano La Florida sin ningún cartel que indique que ya se encuentra en el país vecino, publicó hoy diario Clarín.

En general se trata de chicos que son hijos de trabajadores golondrina que nacieron en la Argentina y niños de comunidades de Potosí.

De los chicos recuperados hasta el momento, el 18 por ciento eran argentinos y el 82 por ciento eran bolivianos.

Authorities denounce child trafficking from Bolivia to Argentina

A serious problem has been created along the Bolivian / Argentinean border, where cases of child trafficking have been detected.

The Bolivian cities of La Quiaca and Villazón are the focal points of the problem.

Since 2007, when the Argentine consul began to intervene in the problem, 622 children have been rescued. Some 54% of these are girls.

Thirty seven children were rescued in 2007. In 2010, the number was 167.

Of the 662 minors who were recovered, 238 were age 5 or less. Children in the age group are sold to [Argentine] families for purposes of adoption.

Another 284 children were between the ages of 10 and 17, with the majority being age 10 to 13.

The remaining victims, those between the ages of 6 and 9, totaled 100.

Officials denounced the fact that no controls exist along the border. There are an infinite number of natural passes, and people can cross the border freely...

In most cases, those involved in these cases are the children of seasonal migrant farm workers.

Of the children rescued to-date, 82% were Bolivians. The remaining 18% were Argentineans.

Infobae

June 17, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

No hay detenidos ni sospechosos por allanamiento a CIMAC

PGJDF perdió evidencias clave para dar con los responsables

A tres semanas del segundo allanamiento a las oficinas de Comunicación e Información de la Mujer AC (CIMAC), la averiguación sigue abierta, los hechos aún no se esclarecen y tampoco hay responsables detenidos.

En una reunión reciente con autoridades de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), se informó a CIMAC que no hay ninguna conclusión del caso, que la investigación continúa abierta y que en los últimos tres años el único local asaltado en la zona donde se ubican nuestras oficinas ha sido el de esta organización.

Funcionarios de la PGJDF descartaron que los autores del allanamiento sean integrantes de alguna banda delincuencial que opere en la zona.

El pasado lunes 23 de mayo, después de una ausencia de tres días del personal de CIMAC, las primeras personas en llegar a las oficinas de la organización se percataron de que las instalaciones habían sido allanadas por segunda ocasión, por lo que se denunció el hecho ante las autoridades.

A partir de la denuncia presentada ante la PGJDF con el registro FCH/CUH-6/T2/00948/1105, CIMAC ha insistido en que el asalto no quede impune, tal y como ocurrió con el primer allanamiento del 28 de julio de 2008...

No arrests or suspects in vandalism of CIMAC offices in Mexico City

Mexico City prosecutor's office loses key evidence needed to find those responsible

Three weeks after a second vandalism attack took place againt the offices of Communication and Information for Women (CIMAC), the investigation remains open. The facts in the case remain unclear. No suspects have been identified or detained.

At a recent meeting with officials from the Mexico City Attorney General's office (PGJDF), investigators reported to CIMAC that they have not come to any conclusion of the case. During the past three years, CIMAC's offices have been the only location subjected to vandalism.

PGJDF officials believe that the perpetrators of the raid are members of some criminal gang operating in the area.

On Monday May 23, after CIMAC offices had been closed for three days, the first people to reach the offices of the organization realized that the premises had been attacked for the second time. The employees reported the incident to the authorities.

In a complaint filed by CIMAC, the organization insisted that the assault not go unpunished, as happened after the first raid against CIMAC, which took place on July 28, 2008...

During its recent meeting with PGJDF staff members..., CIMAC reiterated its demand to the authorities to investigate and arrest those responsible for the raid, and to reopen the first investigation from 2008, which was given shelved...

CIMAC Women's News Service

June 11, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

The World

Scholars Grapple With Globalization’s Dark Side - Human Trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helen Hu

Diverse Education

May 26, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Texas, USA

Attorney General Abbott Supports Signing Of Human Trafficking Prevention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas Insider

May 26, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

The United States, The World

Why are diplomats free to abuse in America?

Watching Dominique Strauss-Kahn plummet from managing director of the International Monetary Fund to criminal defendant, one could be forgiven for believing that diplomats do not get away with crimes committed in the United States. But one would be wrong.

Strauss-Kahn had functional immunity as head of the IMF, so only acts that fell within his official duties were covered. But if Strauss-Kahn had been a diplomat, even a low-ranking attaché, this story might have been quite different.

Envoys posted to the United States, like their American counterparts posted abroad, enjoy full diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. But in almost all cases, this immunity translates into impunity when those diplomats commit crimes. Nowhere is that impunity more apparent than in abuse of foreign nationals brought to the United States to work as servants in diplomatic households.

Diplomats serving in the United States can bring domestic servants into the country on visas available only to diplomatic personnel. And while the diplomats sign contracts with the workers promising compliance with all U.S. labor laws, gross violations are not uncommon.

The Freedom Network, a coalition of anti-trafficking organizations, reports that dozens of domestic workers employed by diplomats in the United States have made allegations of rape, sexual assault, forced labor, involuntary servitude, labor law violations and human trafficking against their employers. The Government Accountability Office cited 42 abuse cases in a 2008 report while acknowledging that the cases were probably underreported. The ACLU filed a petition in 2007 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of six domestic workers who alleged their diplomat employers abused them in the United States.

None of these cases can be found on a criminal docket. In each instance, the diplomat has walked.

Take the case of Badar Al-Awadi, formerly the third secretary at the Kuwaiti Mission to the United Nations. He and his wife brought an Indian domestic worker to the United States in 1996 to care for their children and serve as a housekeeper. In a civil complaint filed in federal court in New York, the domestic worker alleged that she ran away after enduring four years of forced labor, rape and mistreatment by her employers. The plaintiff first filed in 2002, and the court dismissed her case without prejudice in 2005 because of diplomatic immunity. She re-filed in 2006, and the case is still pending.

Al-Awadi did not face prosecution in the United States; nor was he punished by his employer. Rather, the Kuwaiti government hired a prominent law firm to defend him in the civil case — in court filings, he has denied the allegations — and then promoted him. He is currently Kuwait’s ambassador to Cuba.

Or consider the case of Alan S. Mzengi, the former minister plenipotentiary for consular and social affairs at the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington. In a lawsuit filed in federal court, a young woman alleged that Mzengi trafficked her into the United States for forced labor. Upon arrival, her complaint stated, she was stripped of her passport, forbidden to leave the house and subjected to 16-hour days as a nanny/housekeeper without any payment. The Justice Department did not pursue the case, but even if it had, Mzengi’s immunity protected him from prosecution.

I serve as pro bono counsel to the victim in the Mzengi case. She obtained a $1?million default civil judgment against Mzengi and his wife, after both defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit. A federal judge, after hearing the victim testify, called the Mzengis’ conduct “heinous” and found that the victim was “a prisoner” in the defendants’ home. Mzengi — who tried to reopen the judgment and denied the allegations — simply left the United States. According to Time Magazine, Mzengi now serves as an adviser to the president of Tanzania.

While the U.S. government can request that the diplomat’s home government waive immunity, such requests almost never occur. On the rare occasions they do, the other state declines.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the issue of diplomatic trafficking in a Cabinet-level meeting Feb. 1. She declared, “Whether they’re diplomats or national emissaries of whatever kind, we all must be accountable for the treatment of the people that we employ.” As a start, the State Department should suspend certain governments from the privilege of bringing domestic workers into the United States.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires the secretary of state to suspend countries from the special visa program if there is credible evidence of abuse of domestic workers, and where the mission is found to have tolerated abuse. Tolerance is left undefined in the statute, but multiple allegations in one mission speak volumes. Kuwait faces three federal civil lawsuits alleging trafficking, forced labor, physical abuse and exploitation of domestic workers by diplomats. Two of those cases involve allegations of rape.

The judgment against Mzengi, the Tanzanian diplomat, remains unpaid. Earlier this year, the Tanzanians made a settlement offer designed more to mollify the State Department than to compensate the victim.

In short, tolerance of abuse remains the norm, and Tanzania and Kuwait fall squarely under the 2008 law. Both should be suspended without delay. Like the victim alleging sexual assault in the Strauss-Kahn case, women abused and exploited by diplomats serving in the United States deserve justice. While a wrist slap to their embassies through visa suspension is hardly an end to impunity, it is a good place to start.

Martina E. Vandenberg, an attorney in Washington, represents human trafficking victims pro bono in federal lawsuits brought under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

The Washington Post

June 3, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Kentucky, USA

Experts: human trafficking is growing problem in Kentuckiana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wave3

May 18, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho señala que la PGR iría en contra de Mario Marín

¿Qué quiso decir Lydia Cacho?

Ayer en su cuenta de Twitter la periodista Lydia Cacho escribió:

"Me cuenta una fuente seria que ayer consolidaron expediente penal de Marin #goberprecioso. Ver para creer".

¿Qué significa eso?, ¿qué ahora sí la PGR va a proceder contra el ex gobernador por el llamado Lydiagate?, ¿qué es parte de la estrategia de rumores que han salido desde el ámbito federal contra ex mandatarios priistas?

Se intentó contactar a la periodista, pero no quiso responder qué significaba esa aseveración. Tal vez ella misma ayer por la noche tenía claridad de lo ocurrido.

Lydia Cacho tweets that federal prosecutors will pursue a case against former Puebla state governor Mari Marín.

On June 12th Cacho tweeted the following message:

"A reliable source told me yesterday that federal prosecutor's have consolidated a case against Governor Marín. Seeing is believing."

What does this mean? That the federal Attorney General's office is going to proceed in its case against the former governor in what is called Lydiagate? Is this part of a strategy of federal rumors against former PRI (Revolutionary Institutional Party) leaders?

We attempted to contact Cacho, but she did not want to respond. She may have received clarifications [about this rumor] overnight.

Fermín Alejandro García

e-Consulta

June 13, 2011

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico


Added: May. 25, 2011

Mexico

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

From a YouTube video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uni Radio Informa

May 24, 2011

LibertadLatina Note:

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

From a YouTube video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 25, 2011


Added: May. 25, 2011

Mexico

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

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

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

Mexico City’s Attorney General, Miguel Ángel Mancera

Mexico frees 62 in forced-prostitution case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press

May 24, 2011

See also:

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004



Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

En Tlaxcala la prostitución va en aumento, dice organizaciones

La prostitución callejera en Tlaxcala registra incremento como consecuencia de los operativos contra la trata de personas en el Distrito Federal (DF), advirtieron organizaciones civiles.

La directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, manifestó que los golpes que se han dado en el DF a tratantes y lenones, ocasionaron que estos prefieran explotar a las mujeres en el territorio tlaxcalteca.

Es decir, dejaron de trasladarlas a La Merced y otras partes tradicionales donde se ejerce la prostitución.

Derivado de ello, expuso que el Gobierno local, que encabeza el priista Mariano González Zarur, debe analizar realmente sus estrategias para combatir ese delito y la manera de cómo aplica la ley en la materia.

"Porqué no está funcionando con la ley, dónde está todo ese sistema de protección a las víctimas, queremos ver cuántos tratantes y explotadores van a meter a la cárcel aquí en Tlaxcala", apuntó.

Y es que subrayó que en el DF se han rescatado unas 600 mujeres, algunas de ellas menores de edad; y hay más de 70 detenidos.

"Pero lo que hemos detectado es que como los están golpeando tanto en el DF, que era un lugar tradicional donde las iniciaban en la prostitución; está aumentando la prostitución callejera en varios puntos de Tlaxcala", expresó.

La activista, aludió que las redes de tratantes y lenones continúan con los mismos métodos de reclutamiento de mujeres, las enamoran, la trasladan a Tlaxcala, las inician en la prostitución para después llevarlas "a mercados más productivos", pero no necesariamente en el DF.

En este sentido, indicó que las organizaciones civiles, entre ellas el Centro Fray Julián Garcés, así como el Colectivo Mujer y Utopía, iniciaron una investigación para determinar las zonas exactas donde la "prostitución callejera" va en aumento.

Aunque ya se ha señalado un corredor del sexoservicio sobre la carretera Tlaxcala-Puebla, que inicia en San Pablo del Monte, Tenancingo, Chiautempan, Apetatitlán y concluye en Apizaco.

Sobre esta ruta hay mujeres en la calle, travestis, bares y giros negros que ofrecen prostitución a diversas horas del día.

Sin embargo, en dos operativos que ha hecho la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE), sólo ha localizado una motocicleta y clausurado un bar por operar en condiciones insalubres.

El respecto, Ulloa Ziáurriz aseveró que "voluntad" es lo único que hay por parte de las procuradurías locales para combatir la explotación sexual forzada de las mujeres, ya que aún no hay suficiente conciencia.

No obstante, consideró con la "voluntad política" de las autoridades, las organizaciones civiles exigirán resultados.

"Ahora vamos a contar, a ver si es cierto que se traduce en casos concretos, en rescates, en desarticulación de bandas y en meterlos a la cárcel", asentó.

NGOs: Prostitution is increasing in Tlaxcala state

Street prostitution in Tlaxcala is on the increase as a reaction to operations against trafficking in persons carried out in [nearby] Mexico City, warn non governmental organizations.

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, the regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that police raids against sex trafficking and pimps in Mexico City have resulted in causing the exploiters to prostitute their [victims] in the state of Tlaxcala.

That is to say, the traffickers have stopped taking trafficking victims to La Merced and other prostitution tolerance zones in Mexico City to exploit them.

As a result of this development, said Ulloa, Tlaxcala governor Mariano González Zarur (PRI-Institutional Revolutionary Party) should review the state's strategies to apply the law and combat trafficking crime.

Ulloa, "Why is the law not working, here [in Tlaxcala] where a system for protecting victims has been set up. We want to see how many traffickers and exploiters will be put in jail here in Tlaxcala."

Ulloa added that 600 trafficking victims, some of whom are underage girls, have been rescued in Mexico City. More that 70 suspects have been detained.

"We discovered that, because the authorities are hitting traffickers in Mexico City, which has been a traditional place of entry into prostitution [training ground], street prostitution is increasing in various parts of Tlaxcala," exclaimed Ulloa.

Ulloa declared that the networks of sex traffickers are are continuing to use the same methods of recruiting women: they [pretend to] fall in love with the victims, move them to Tlaxcala, they introduce them prostitution and then they take them to "more productive markets," but not necessarily to Mexico City.

Non governmental organizations, including the Centro Friar Julián Garcés, and the Women and Utopia Collective have launched an investigation to determine the exact areas where this "soliciting" is increasing.

A prostitution zone has been identified along the Tlaxcala to Puebla highway... where a number of sexual services are offered.

Only one bar has been closed, and a motorcyclist arrested as a result of two raids by state authorities in this zone.

However, in two operations that has made the Attorney General of the State (PGJE), located only a motorcycle and closed a bar to operate in unsanitary conditions.

Ulloa said that "willingness" on the part of local prosecutors is the only tool available to combat the forced sexual exploitation of women in the state, because there is insufficient public awareness [and interest to take any action against these types of crimes].

However, Ulloa believes that a "political will" among [state] authorities and non governmental organizations will demand results.

"Now we'll have to see if what we believe comes to pass, that concrete results come about in specific cases, that victims are rescued, and that gangs are dismantled and their members are put them in jail," concluded Ulloa.

Reforma

June 01, 2011 


Added: June 19, 2011

Bolivia, Argentina

Trata de personas: denuncian tráfico de chicos en la frontera con Bolivia

Un serio problema se generó en la frontera con Bolivia, donde se denunciaron casos de trata de personas en los que las principales víctimas son chicos menores.

El problema se da generalmente entre las ciudades de La Quiaca y Villazón (Bolivia) , donde tuvo que intervenir el Consulado argentino desde octubre de 2007.

En ese sentido, en ese lapso se recuperaron 622 chicos, de los cuales el 54 por ciento eran mujeres y el restante 46 varones. En 2007 rescataron a 37 niños y en 2010 fueron 167.

Asimismo, 238 de esos chicos no superaban los 5 años, una edad que está por encima del promedio empelado para el tráfico, con el objetivo de venderlos a familias que buscan adoptar hijos.

En tanto, otros 284 tenían entre 10 y 17 años, pero la mayoría de ellos eran menores de 13 años, mientras que los restantes 100 poseen entre 6 y 9 años.

En ese límite denunciaron que la frontera "no tiene control y hay infinidad de pasos naturales no controlados y el cruce es libre".

En tanto, a 1.200 metros al este del puente internacional en Ojo de Agua, el único inconveniente para cruzar la frontera es tener que vadear el río La Quiaca, que en la mayor parte del año se cruza de un salto.

A unos 2.400 metros al oeste del puente, la calle quiaqueña Jujuy desemboca en el barrio boliviano La Florida sin ningún cartel que indique que ya se encuentra en el país vecino, publicó hoy diario Clarín.

En general se trata de chicos que son hijos de trabajadores golondrina que nacieron en la Argentina y niños de comunidades de Potosí.

De los chicos recuperados hasta el momento, el 18 por ciento eran argentinos y el 82 por ciento eran bolivianos.

Authorities denounce child trafficking from Bolivia to Argentina

A serious problem has been created along the Bolivian / Argentinean border, where cases of child trafficking have been detected.

The Bolivian cities of La Quiaca and Villazón are the focal points of the problem.

Since 2007, when the Argentine consul began to intervene in the problem, 622 children have been rescued. Some 54% of these are girls.

Thirty seven children were rescued in 2007. In 2010, the number was 167.

Of the 662 minors who were recovered, 238 were age 5 or less. Children in the age group are sold to [Argentine] families for purposes of adoption.

Another 284 children were between the ages of 10 and 17, with the majority being age 10 to 13.

The remaining victims, those between the ages of 6 and 9, totaled 100.

Officials denounced the fact that no controls exist along the border. There are an infinite number of natural passes, and people can cross the border freely...

In most cases, those involved in these cases are the children of seasonal migrant farm workers.

Of the children rescued to-date, 82% were Bolivians. The remaining 18% were Argentineans.

Infobae

June 17, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

No hay detenidos ni sospechosos por allanamiento a CIMAC

PGJDF perdió evidencias clave para dar con los responsables

A tres semanas del segundo allanamiento a las oficinas de Comunicación e Información de la Mujer AC (CIMAC), la averiguación sigue abierta, los hechos aún no se esclarecen y tampoco hay responsables detenidos.

En una reunión reciente con autoridades de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), se informó a CIMAC que no hay ninguna conclusión del caso, que la investigación continúa abierta y que en los últimos tres años el único local asaltado en la zona donde se ubican nuestras oficinas ha sido el de esta organización.

Funcionarios de la PGJDF descartaron que los autores del allanamiento sean integrantes de alguna banda delincuencial que opere en la zona.

El pasado lunes 23 de mayo, después de una ausencia de tres días del personal de CIMAC, las primeras personas en llegar a las oficinas de la organización se percataron de que las instalaciones habían sido allanadas por segunda ocasión, por lo que se denunció el hecho ante las autoridades.

A partir de la denuncia presentada ante la PGJDF con el registro FCH/CUH-6/T2/00948/1105, CIMAC ha insistido en que el asalto no quede impune, tal y como ocurrió con el primer allanamiento del 28 de julio de 2008...

No arrests or suspects in vandalism of CIMAC offices in Mexico City

Mexico City prosecutor's office loses key evidence needed to find those responsible

Three weeks after a second vandalism attack took place againt the offices of Communication and Information for Women (CIMAC), the investigation remains open. The facts in the case remain unclear. No suspects have been identified or detained.

At a recent meeting with officials from the Mexico City Attorney General's office (PGJDF), investigators reported to CIMAC that they have not come to any conclusion of the case. During the past three years, CIMAC's offices have been the only location subjected to vandalism.

PGJDF officials beleive that the perpetrators of the raid are members of some criminal gang operating in the area.

On Monday May 23, after CIMAC offices had been closed for three days, the first people to reach the offices of the organization realized that the premises had been attacked for the second time. The employees reported the incident to the authorities.

In a complaint filed by CIMAC, the organization insisted that the assault not go unpunished, as happened after the first raid against CIMAC, which took place on July 28, 2008...

During its recent meeting with PGJDF staff members..., CIMAC reiterated its demand to the authorities to investigate and arrest those responsible for the raid, and to reopen the first investigation from 2008, which was given shelved...

CIMAC Women's News Service

June 11, 2011  


Added: June 19, 2011

The United States, The World

Why are diplomats free to abuse in America?

Watching Dominique Strauss-Kahn plummet from managing director of the International Monetary Fund to criminal defendant, one could be forgiven for believing that diplomats do not get away with crimes committed in the United States. But one would be wrong.

Strauss-Kahn had functional immunity as head of the IMF, so only acts that fell within his official duties were covered. But if Strauss-Kahn had been a diplomat, even a low-ranking attaché, this story might have been quite different.

Envoys posted to the United States, like their American counterparts posted abroad, enjoy full diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. But in almost all cases, this immunity translates into impunity when those diplomats commit crimes. Nowhere is that impunity more apparent than in abuse of foreign nationals brought to the United States to work as servants in diplomatic households.

Diplomats serving in the United States can bring domestic servants into the country on visas available only to diplomatic personnel. And while the diplomats sign contracts with the workers promising compliance with all U.S. labor laws, gross violations are not uncommon.

The Freedom Network, a coalition of anti-trafficking organizations, reports that dozens of domestic workers employed by diplomats in the United States have made allegations of rape, sexual assault, forced labor, involuntary servitude, labor law violations and human trafficking against their employers. The Government Accountability Office cited 42 abuse cases in a 2008 report while acknowledging that the cases were probably underreported. The ACLU filed a petition in 2007 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of six domestic workers who alleged their diplomat employers abused them in the United States.

None of these cases can be found on a criminal docket. In each instance, the diplomat has walked.

Take the case of Badar Al-Awadi, formerly the third secretary at the Kuwaiti Mission to the United Nations. He and his wife brought an Indian domestic worker to the United States in 1996 to care for their children and serve as a housekeeper. In a civil complaint filed in federal court in New York, the domestic worker alleged that she ran away after enduring four years of forced labor, rape and mistreatment by her employers. The plaintiff first filed in 2002, and the court dismissed her case without prejudice in 2005 because of diplomatic immunity. She refiled in 2006, and the case is still pending.

Al-Awadi did not face prosecution in the United States; nor was he punished by his employer. Rather, the Kuwaiti government hired a prominent law firm to defend him in the civil case — in court filings, he has denied the allegations — and then promoted him. He is currently Kuwait’s ambassador to Cuba.

Or consider the case of Alan S. Mzengi, the former minister plenipotentiary for consular and social affairs at the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington. In a lawsuit filed in federal court, a young woman alleged that Mzengi trafficked her into the United States for forced labor. Upon arrival, her complaint stated, she was stripped of her passport, forbidden to leave the house and subjected to 16-hour days as a nanny/housekeeper without any payment. The Justice Department did not pursue the case, but even if it had, Mzengi’s immunity protected him from prosecution.

I serve as pro bono counsel to the victim in the Mzengi case. She obtained a $1?million default civil judgment against Mzengi and his wife, after both defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit. A federal judge, after hearing the victim testify, called the Mzengis’ conduct “heinous” and found that the victim was “a prisoner” in the defendants’ home. Mzengi — who tried to reopen the judgment and denied the allegations — simply left the United States. According to Time Magazine, Mzengi now serves as an adviser to the president of Tanzania.

While the U.S. government can request that the diplomat’s home government waive immunity, such requests almost never occur. On the rare occasions they do, the other state declines.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the issue of diplomatic trafficking in a Cabinet-level meeting Feb. 1. She declared, “Whether they’re diplomats or national emissaries of whatever kind, we all must be accountable for the treatment of the people that we employ.” As a start, the State Department should suspend certain governments from the privilege of bringing domestic workers into the United States.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires the secretary of state to suspend countries from the special visa program if there is credible evidence of abuse of domestic workers, and where the mission is found to have tolerated abuse. Tolerance is left undefined in the statute, but multiple allegations in one mission speak volumes. Kuwait faces three federal civil lawsuits alleging trafficking, forced labor, physical abuse and exploitation of domestic workers by diplomats. Two of those cases involve allegations of rape.

The judgment against Mzengi, the Tanzanian diplomat, remains unpaid. Earlier this year, the Tanzanians made a settlement offer designed more to mollify the State Department than to compensate the victim.

In short, tolerance of abuse remains the norm, and Tanzania and Kuwait fall squarely under the 2008 law. Both should be suspended without delay. Like the victim alleging sexual assault in the Strauss-Kahn case, women abused and exploited by diplomats serving in the United States deserve justice. While a wrist slap to their embassies through visa suspension is hardly an end to impunity, it is a good place to start.

Martina E. Vandenberg, an attorney in Washington, represents human trafficking victims pro bono in federal lawsuits brought under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

The Washington Post

June 3, 2011


Added: June 19, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho señala que la PGR iría en contra de Mario Marín

¿Qué quiso decir Lydia Cacho?

Ayer en su cuenta de Twitter la periodista Lydia Cacho escribió:

"Me cuenta una fuente seria que ayer consolidaron expediente penal de Marin #goberprecioso. Ver para creer".

¿Qué significa eso?, ¿qué ahora sí la PGR va a proceder contra el ex gobernador por el llamado Lydiagate?, ¿qué es parte de la estrategia de rumores que han salido desde el ámbito federal contra ex mandatarios priistas?

Se intentó contactar a la periodista, pero no quiso responder qué significaba esa aseveración. Tal vez ella misma ayer por la noche tenía claridad de lo ocurrido.

Lydia Cacho tweets that federal prosecutors will pursue a case against former Puebla state governor Mari Marín.

On June 12th Cacho tweeted the following message:

"A reliable source told me yesterday that federal prosecutor's have consolidated a case against Governor Marín. Seeing is believing."

What does this mean? That the federal Attorney General's office is going to proceed in its case against the former governor in what is called Lydiagate? Is this part of a strategy of federal rumors against former PRI (Revolutionary Institutional Party) leaders?

We attempted to contact Cacho, but she did not want to respond. She may have received clarifications [about this rumor] overnight.

Fermín Alejandro García

e-Consulta

June 13, 2011

 
   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias


Updated: June 28, 2011


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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Honduras

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

Sale por presiones Cónsul hondureña en Chiapas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officials cite security concerns

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

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

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

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

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

Ariadna García and Martín Morita

Terra.com

June 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 24, 2011

Mexico

Patricia Yamileth Villamil, anteriormente la cónsul de Honduras en Chiapas

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

Foto/Photo: Diario del Sur

Trafficking, Forced Prostitution Denounced in Chiapas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas

April 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Honduras

Operativos para combatir la trata de personas deben ser permanentes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

César Solís

Diario del Sur, Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 23, 2011

See Also:

Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Migrantes centroamericanas padecen explotación sexual en Chiapas

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

Central American migrants in Chiapas suffer from sexual exploitation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN Mexico

March 23, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, Central America

Comunicado Denuncia De Red De Trata De Personas En Chiapas

Press Release denounces human trafficking network in Chiapas state

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

A Los Gobiernos de Centroamerica

A Las Organanizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales

A La Comision Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos

A La Organizacion de Las Naciones Unidas

A La Sociedad en General

Al Gobierno de Mexico

Al Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

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

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

Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano / Mesoamerican Migrant Movement

March 15, 2011

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Added: Apr. 04, 2011 

Mexico, El Salvador

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

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

Foto Diario del Sur.

Alerta Cónsul de El Salvador sobre aumento de migración a Chiapas

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

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

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

Rubén Zúñiga

Diario del Sur/Organización Editorial Mexicana

March 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

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

Jueces se resisten a castigar trata: PGR

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

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

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

“Con todo el respeto al Poder Judicial, la verdad es que ahí todavía tenemos un problema, yo quiero pensar que es una cuestión de tiempo, de carácter cultural o en ocasiones es falta de conocimiento...”.

García Espinoza de los Monteros será reconocida este lunes en Estados Unidos con el premio “Heroína contra la Esclavitud Moderna”, por su trayectoria y sus logros en el DF en el combate al delito de trata de personas.

Comenta que será galardonada por el desmantelamiento de la red internacional de traficantes de personas que operaba en la casa hogar Casitas del Sur, donde lograron liberar a 11 menores.

García Espinoza de los Monteros dice que este caso es uno de sus mayores logros, aunque no puede ocultar su frustración por lo que sigue ocurriendo en el barrio de La Merced, en la ciudad de México, que históricamente ha sido un polo de tráfico de personas, prostitución de menores y explotación infantil.

La funcionaria apunta que en México en materia de atención a víctimas falta mucho por hacer, pero reconoce el trabajo de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en el tema.

Al preguntarle cómo se ve nuestro país en el ámbito internacional en este delito, la funcionaria acepta que somos una nación que consume, permite el tránsito y expulsa a las víctimas de trata de personas.

Deputy Attorney General: Judges are resisting handing-down punishment for human trafficking crimes

Amparo Garcia Dilcya Samantha Espinoza de los Monteros, who is Mexico's Deputy Attorney General for Regional Control, Criminal Procedure and Protection, has announced that Mexico needs to sensitize judges the need to punish human trafficking as a crime. She notes that in some cases judges have reclassified the charges brought against suspects from human trafficking to corruption of minors and procuring.

Espinoza de los Monteros says that nationally, the judiciary has handed down fewer than 15 convictions for human trafficking, perhaps because of ignorance or because [the crime could not be clearly identified as trafficking].

"With all due respect to the judiciary, the truth is that we have a problem here. I want to think that it's a matter of time, cultural or that sometimes it is a lack of knowledge..."

Espinoza de los Monteros will be recognized in the U.S. on Monday with the award "Hero against Modern Slavery," for her career and his achievements in Mexico City in fighting the crime of trafficking.

He says that will be honored by the dismantling of the international network of smugglers operating in the group home Casitas del Sur, where they managed to release 11 children.

Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros said that this case is one of his greatest achievements, but can not hide his frustration at what continues to happen in the neighborhood of La Merced, Mexico City, which has historically been a center for trafficking , child prostitution and child exploitation.

The official pointed out that in Mexico in providing care to victims needs to be done, but recognizes the work of civil society organizations on the subject.

Asked how he sees our country internationally in this offense, the officer accepts that we are a nation that consumes and drives traffic allowed to victims of trafficking.

El Universal

June 26, 2011

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Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Mexico

Funcionaria deja PGJDF por PGR

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros fue nombrada por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) como la nueva subprocuradora de Control Regional, Procedimientos Penales y Amparo de la dependencia federal.

Fátima Salvador. Ciudad de México.- Cabe destacar que hasta el lunes, la funcionaria se desempeñó como subprocuradora de Atención a Víctimas del Delito y Servicios a la Comunidad dependiente de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, cargo que ocupó desde 2008 por encomienda del procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera.

Entre los casos representativos en los que colaboró durante su estadía en la PGJDF destacan la desarticulación de bandas de lenones y la trata de menores, además contribuyó a realizar reformas en esta materia.

Uno de los últimos trabajos que realizó el despacho a su cargo fue la protección de integrantes de la familia Reyes Salazar, quienes dejaron Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, luego de sufrir amenazas y el asesinato de cinco de sus miembros.

Dilcya Samanta Espinosa de los Monteros encabezó la investigación del caso “Casitas del Sur” por la desaparición de 11 niños en dicho albergue.

La procuraduría capitalina informó que por el momento habrá un encargado de despacho en la Subprocuraduría de Atención a Víctimas del Delito.

Mexico City assistant attorney general moves to federal position

Dilcya Samantha García Espinoza de los Monteros has been named to a position in the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) after having previously served since 2008 as Assistant Attorney General for Victims of Crime and Community Services under Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera.

[García Espinoza de los Monteros has focused her efforts in Mexico City on pursuing human traffickers. Mexico City has the highest conviction rate against traffickers of any federated entity in Mexico. - LL]

Among the activities that García Espinoza de los Monteros engaged in at the Mexico City prosecutor's office involved the break-up of sex trafficking rings and assisting in the passage of tougher anti-trafficking laws.

One of her most recent cases involved the disappearance of 11 children from an orphanage called Casitas del Sur [those responsible for the disappearances are believed to have sold these children to sex traffickers]...

Edited by Leyda Martínez

May 3, 2011

About Child Labor and the Risk of Criminal Exploitation in Mexico


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Children labor in Mexico

Trabajan 200 mil niños en campos de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.- Cerca del 14 por ciento de los residentes de Chiapas que tienen entre cinco y 17 años están ocupados económicamente, sobre todo en el sector primario y terciario. Los apuros financieros de sus tutores y la cultura influyen en la situación. Incrementó su participación en actividades peligrosas, ante su mayor necesidad por conseguir sustento, especialmente los migrantes, informó ayer la secretaria del Trabajo del estado, Esther Almazán Torres.

Dijo que el objetivo es tener erradicada parte de la situación en 2015, a más tardar, según los tratados signados por el gobierno federal. Sin embargo, la meta es lejana, porque muchos servidores públicos desconocen el hecho, incluso no saben que existe una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, por lo que ven el tema como algo normal.

México cuenta con 28.2 millones de menores, de los cuales el 10 por ciento está empleado, de los cuales 199 mil 966 viven en la entidad, es decir, uno de cada diez niños chiapanecos forman parte de su campo productivo, según organismos internacionales y el INEGI.

Reconoció que los casos con más violaciones a sus derechos son registrados en las fincas, sobre todo en salud y educación, aunque destacó que el índice bajó en los últimos años.

La funcionaria estatal aseveró que la cultura también contribuye al problema, porque sus responsables enseñan a sus hijos a ganar dinero con alguna actividad familiar, para perpetuar la tradición. Ello no disminuye su vulnerabilidad.

200,000 children are working in the fields of Chiapas state

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state - About 14 percent of the residents of Chiapas who are between 5 and 17 years are work... Both the financial troubles of their parents and culture influence the situation. These children engage in Increasingly dangerous activities to earn money to survive. This is especially true of migrants, Chiapas state  labor secretary Esther Almazán Torres stated yesterday.

Secretary Almazán Torres added that the state's goal is to eradicate child labor by 2015 at the latest, in accordance with the according to treaties signed by the federal government [see: United Nations Millennium Development Goals]. However, the goal is distant because many public servants are unaware of the issue, and don't even know that there is a law against trafficking in persons, so see [child exploitation] as normal.

Mexico has 28.2 million children, of whom 10 percent are employed. Some 199,000 child laborers live in the state, amounting to one in ten children in Chiapas who are working in the field, according to international organizations and Mexico's National Institute for Statistics and Geography.

Secretary Almazán Torres acknowledged that cases with most child rights violations are found in farm labor, especially in regard to health and education, but noted that the the number of complaints has declined recent years.

Culture contributes to the problem because parents teach their children to earn money with some form of family activity, to perpetuate their traditions. Such labor is not exempt from risk for these child laborers.

El Heraldo de Chiapas

June 21, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado: Victoria Cruz

Niños trabajadores, en riesgo ante el crimen organizado Las niñas y los niños que trabajan están en riesgo ante el crimen organizado, que los utiliza para transportar droga, para ser explotados sexualmente o para cometer delitos en general, aseveró en Morelia la coordinadora del Programa Internacional para la Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OI), Victoria Cruz López.

En el marco del Foro: “La participación de los congresos locales en la prevención y erradicación del trabajo infantil y la protección del adolescente trabajador”, y ante diputados, autoridades y especialistas, la experta abogada aseguró que esa situación es cada vez más visible, por lo que urgió a buscar acciones para frenar la inclusión de menores de edad en actividades laborales.

Victoria Cruz señaló que es necesario perseguir a quienes utilizan a los menores para actividades ilícitas, por lo que entidades gubernamentales y sociedad civil deben prestar atención a esa problemática, ya que la alternativa para los adolescentes no debe ser la delincuencia organizada.

En presencia del presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política del Congreso del Estado, Wilfrido Lázaro Medina, quien es además coordinador del grupo parlamentario del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), la representante de la OIT consideró urgente desarrollar políticas públicas para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque el hecho de que estén en la escuela y ésta sea una opción de calidad puede ser un punto de partida fundamental.

Acompañada también por la presidenta de la Comisión de Grupos Vulnerables, Equidad y Género, Gabriela Molina Aguilar, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), y por la presidenta de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Guadalupe Calderón Medina, del PRI, Cruz López argumentó que se calcula que en el país hay 3 millones de infantes, de entre los 5 y los 17 años de edad, que se encuentran laborando, la mayoría en trabajos del sector agrícola, la construcción y la minería, trabajos considerados de alta peligrosidad.

Dicha cantidad, agregó la investigadora del tema, equivale al 10.7 por ciento de la población de niñas, niños y adolescentes que existen en México, lo que equivale a hipotecar el futuro del país, sobre todo cuando 900 mil de esos menores de edad, que son los que tienen entre 5 y 13 años, ni siquiera deberían estar en el trabajo.

En ese sentido, aseveró Victoria Cruz, el trabajo infantil constituye una violación severa a los derechos de las niñas, los niños y los adolescentes, porque se atenta contra muchos de sus derechos, como el derecho al sano crecimiento, a la educación, a la cultura y al derecho a estar protegidos contra la explotación económica, que tiene que empezar a verse como un incumplimiento a las garantías en el cual todos son responsables y todos deben dar respuesta.

Victoria Cruz: Child workers are at-risk from organized crime:

Victoria Cruz López, the International Labor Organization's international program to end child labor spoke in Morelia state.

Cruz López: Child laborers are at high risk from organized criminals who exploit them to transport drugs, to be sold in prostitution and to commit crimes in general.

In a Forum called "The Participation of State Legislatures in the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Young Workers," which was presented to a group of state legislative deputies, authorities and experts, veteran attorney and International Labor Organization (ILO) representative Victoria Cruz López [organized crime's exploitation of minors] constitutes a situation that is becoming more visible by-the-day. She therefore urged state legislatures to take action to curb the inclusion of children in work activities.

Cruz López added that the prosecution of those who use children for illicit activities is a must. Government agencies and civil society must therefore pay attention to this problem, given that all agree that the [preferred] alternative [to unemployment] for adolescents should not be organized crime.

Cruz López declared that the development of public policies to reduce the vulnerability of girls, children and adolescents must be made an urgent priority. Cruz noted that schools can be used as the perfect forum for communicating with children and youth about this issue.

Cruz López argued that the country is estimated that there are 3 million children, between 5 and 17 years of age, who are now working, the majority work in agriculture, construction and mining work that is considered highly dangerous.

Some 10.7 percent of Mexico's children and underage youth work, added Cruz López. That fact amounts to mortgaging the nation's future, especially in regard to the 900,000 of these children who are those between 5 and 13 years, who should not be working at all.

Child labor constitutes a severe violation of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, because it goes against many of their rights, including the right to healthy growth, education, culture and the right to be protected from economic exploitation, which must begin to be seen as a breach of the guarantees to which everyone must be held accountable.

Among the Morelia state congressional deputies attending the event were: Wilfrido Medina Lazaro, Morelia state's president of the Political Coordination Board of the State Congress and parliamentary coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) delegation; Gabriela Aguilar Molina, president of the Commission on Vulnerable Groups and Gender Equity, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); and Guadalupe Medina Calderon, of the PRI, who is president of the Human Rights Commission.

Quadratin.com

June 17, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

La OIT presenta en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil

La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) presentó hoy en México su campaña internacional contra el trabajo infantil apoyada por varios artistas locales, informaron hoy fuentes de la agencia de Naciones Unidas (ONU).

En un acto celebrado en un hotel de la capital mexicana, el director adjunto de la OIT para México y Cuba, Thomas Wissing, dijo que era necesario "actuar con urgencia" para eliminar las formas más peligrosas de este tipo de actividad laboral que afecta a menores.

En un comunicado, la OIT señaló que en el planeta existen 115 millones de niñas, niños y adolescentes en actividades laborales peligrosas, de los cuales el 64 % son varones y el 36 %, mujeres y niñas.

Por actividad, el 59 % de los trabajos peligrosos se concentra en la agricultura, un 30 % en el sector servicios y un 11 % en la industria.

La tendencia es a un ascenso en la cifra de adolescentes varones de entre 15 y 17 años en el mundo, apuntó la organización, al recordar que el próximo 12 de junio se celebrará el Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil.

En México, añadió, hay aproximadamente 3 millones de menores de edad que trabajan dentro de un grueso de población de 112 millones de personas.

En el acto de hoy, la OIT presentó un vídeo y el vocalista de la banda de rock DLD, Paco Familiar, leyó un mensaje a nombre de una decena de artistas que se han sumado en México a la campaña, que lleva por título "¡Atención! Niños, niñas y adolescentes en trabajos peligrosos. ¡Alto al trabajo infantil!".

En su mensaje, Familiar dijo que "existe una confusión entre lo que sí es y lo que no es trabajo infantil", que permite que haya altos niveles de tolerancia social frente a este problema.

La situación en este país es "insostenible", ya que "más del 10 % de su población infantil tiene que trabajar", lo que va en contra de la educación de ese colectivo y representa un problema que hipoteca "nuestro presente y nuestro futuro", afirmó.

EFE

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

ILO Launches Campaign Against Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo, ILO) launched its newest campaign against child labor in Mexico today. Various artists attended the event, many of which were vocal about their stances against child labor as it interferes with important activities, such as education and recreation. ILO member Victoria Cruz reported that 59.2% of minors employed throughout the world work in agriculture, 30% in the services sector and 11% in industry. In Mexico, there are approximately 3 million minors who are employed and about 700,000 of those minors engage in “high risk” labor, which includes mining, agriculture, and construction. Mexico is also one of the only countries to date that has not ratified the ILO’s Convention 182, otherwise known as the “Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention.”

The ILO addressed other negative effects of child labor, such as physical injuries and illness that in some cases cannot be cured. Particularly in Mexico, it is easy for minors to become involved in more dangerous work, such as narco-trafficking, due to high poverty levels in many areas and lack of better opportunities. In response to this problem, the ILO urged that the laws in Mexico should be amended to include harsher punishments for those who employ minors. According to El Universal, the assistant ILO director of Mexico and Cuba, Thomas Wissing, stated that these laws should be changed with the purpose of reducing child labor and to generate more jobs and more rewarding salaries for parents.

The organization also made sure to note that National Day Against Child Labor will be celebrated this Sunday, June 12.

Justice in Mexico

June 6, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Más de 3 millones de niños mexicanos tienen que trabajar

Distrito Federal - En México, más de tres millones de menores de edad laboran y de ellos más de 700 mil lo hacen en empleos de alto riesgo como la minería, la agricultura o la construcción, situación que se agrava por la tolerancia de la sociedad y las autoridades, indicó la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT).

Además, México es el único país que aún no ratifica el Convenio 182 de la OIT, que se refiere a la edad mínima para desempeñar actividades económicas, explicó el organismo en un taller donde se habló de este tema.

Con motivo del Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil, que se celebrará el próximo 12 de junio, funcionarios de la organización y la subsecretaria de Inclusión Laboral de la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) reconocieron que las sanciones económicas para empleadores de menores de edad son mínimas, pues la actual legislación establece un pago de 250 días de salario mínimo...

More than 3 million Mexican children must work

Mexico City - In Mexico, more than 3 million minors work. Around 700,000 children and youth work in high-risk jobs such as mining, agriculture and construction. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the situation has been aggravated by the tolerance of society and the authorities.

During an ILO workshop on child labor. officials noted that Mexico is the only nation that has not signed the ILO's Convention 182 on ending child labor, which defines minimum ages for engaging in work activities.

Mariana Otero

Milenio

June 06, 2011

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Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

En trabajos peligrosos, 600 mil niños mexicanos

En México hay mucha confusión y tolerancia respecto al trabajo peligroso en niños y niñas, particularmente en los que tienen entre 15 y 17 años de edad, lo cual trae graves consecuencias para la integridad física, pues deriva en lesiones, enfermedades irreversibles, abandono escolar y bajo rendimiento, señaló la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), que coincidió con la Secretaría del Trabajo en que se debe endurecer la ley para castigar a quien emplee a menores.

En el país, son 600 mil los que realizan labores peligrosas, de un total de 3 millones de menores de 18 años de edad que trabajan, paralelamente a los que son utilizados en tareas vinculadas con el narcotráfico -de los cuales no hay cifras-, quienes por la falta de oportunidades y la situación de pobreza que son explotados en esas actividades ilegales....

Some 600,000 underage Mexican children and youth work in dangerous jobs - International Labor Organization

According to the International Labor Organization, much confusion and tolerance exists in Mexico in regard to dangerous jobs that children and underage youth work-in across Mexico, and especially those who are between 15- and 18-years-of-age. These forms of employment cause grave consequences for a child worker's physical integrity - including exposure to diseases an irreversible illnesses. In addition, child workers perform poorly in school and [often] abandon school altogether.

Across Mexico some 600,000 minors engage in dangerous work. They are part of a total underage workforce of 3 million. In parallel, a phenomenon also exists in which minors work for narco-trafficking organizations. No statistics exist to define the size of this population of child laborers...

El Universal

June 6, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Argentina

Trata de personas, un flagelo que avanza día a día

La trata de personas es una suerte de esclavitud moderna, que no distingue región, edad, ni clase social. Según las informaciones la zona norte de Argentina es el lugar predilecto para aquellos mafiosos que venden la vida de una persona, en lo que para ellos significa una simple transacción monetaria. Quienes se encuentran luchando contra este flagelo advierten que por cada persona que encuentran, desaparecen otras siete, aunque aseguran que no claudicaran en la batalla.

Un dato que asusta es que durante los últimos años Argentina dejó de ser un país de sólo circulación de personas, para dar lugar a la comercialización y la exportación de éstas, ya sea con fines sexuales o de esclavitud. Asimismo aumentó la trata de niños, especialmente para servidumbre por deudas y prostitución forzosa. Desde mediados del 2008 la trata se convirtió en la actividad delictiva más reditual, después del tráfico de armas y drogas. Se trata de redes de delincuentes muy bien organizadas, bajo las cuales más de 4 millones de personas en el mundo resultaron víctimas.

En relación a este tema, Germán Díaz, abogado de la Fundación María de los Ángeles, alertó a la sociedad sobre la necesidad de extremar las medidas de precaución para evitar un posible secuestro. Aunque sin ánimos de generar miedo, simplemente mayos conciencia.

“Nosotros desde acá tratamos de no crear ningún tipo de psicosis en la sociedad, solamente decimos que tomen las medidas del caso. Generalmente las denuncias que recibimos fueron de menores estudiantes, entonces desde acá les decimos que cambien la rutina del trayecto al colegio y que no vaya solas”, destacó Díaz.

Del mismo modo, destacó la importancia sobre le papel que los medios de comunicación cumplen en relación a este tema, sobre en cuestión de las redes sociales: “La información que se da por internet muchas veces entra en detalles, de los cuales estas redes mafiosas se nutren para captar a sus víctimas”.

Según explicó el letrado, el lugar de captación por excelencia es el norte de nuestro país y la frontera con Paraguay y Bolivia, pues las redes mafiosas consideran a esa zona como “económicamente pobres” y propicias para su delictivo accionar. Mientras que “la zona de explotación es la zona del sur de nuestro país”, debido a que en ese sector hay una concentración de gran poder adquisitivo.

Human trafficking, a scourge that grows from day-to-day

Human trafficking is a kind of modern slavery, which does not distinguish between regions, ages or social class. Reportedly the north of Argentina is the favorite location for organized criminals who live by selling the lives of people. Those who are fighting this scourge warn that for every person they rescue, seven others disappear. They say that they are not giving up the fight.

[Full translation to follow]

Tucuman Noticias

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 28, 2011

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton releases the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

Secretary Clinton: "Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. Today, we are releasing a new report that ranks 184 countries, including our own. One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing. This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what’s happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference..."

U.S. Department of State

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Latin America

Pop star and anti-trafficking activist Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin expandirá centros de ayuda a niños a toda Latinoamérica

Río Grande (Puerto Rico), - El cantante puertorriqueño Ricky Martin anunció hoy que expandirá la construcción de instituciones como El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, que se espera esté terminado en Loíza en 2012, a la República Dominicana, México y el resto de Latinoamérica.

Martin y su Fundación celebraron hoy la tercera edición de un torneo de golf para recaudar fondos para la construcción del Centro Integral de Desarrollo que se convertirá en un espacio para combatir en Puerto Rico la trata de personas.

"Esto es solo el comienzo, para continuar por el resto de la isla y en la República Dominicana, México y Latinoamérica", dijo Martin tras concluir el evento celebrado en el Trump International Golf Resort en Río Grande, localidad de la costa este de Puerto Rico.

El Centro Integral de Desarrollo de la Niñez, con un presupuesto de cuatro millones de dólares, comenzará a construirse este año y se espera sea inaugurado en 2012 o a principios del 2013.

El centro constará de diez salones de clases, una biblioteca y un área recreativa.

La institución atenderá desde infantes hasta jóvenes en escuela superior y operará en alianza con la organización filantrópica SER de Puerto Rico, Nuestra Escuela e Iniciativa Comunitaria.

Martin enfatizó que el centro promoverá las artes, la música, la meditación, el yoga, los deportes, las artes marciales, la salud, la educación personalizada, la cultura y los valores éticos.

"Necesitamos y queremos marcar la diferencia en los niños y jóvenes de Loíza. Nosotros estaremos ahí para apoyarlos y darles herramientas que les garanticen un futuro mejor", dijo Martin.

El modelo de construcción estuvo a cargo de la Fundación Ricky Martin (FRM) y el director del Taller Diseño Comunitario de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Elio Martínez Joffre.

Ricky Martin will expand child support centers throughout Latin America

Ricky Martin to Expand Children’s Aid Centers Across All Latin America

The Puerto Rican singer took up the fight against this scourge after his 2002 trip to India, where he saw at first hand the immensity of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in the Asian country.

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced that he will expand construction of institutions like his foundation’s Child Development and Prevention Center, expected to be completed in Loiza, Puerto Rico, in 2012, to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.

Martin and his foundation held Friday the third edition of a golf tournament aimed at collecting funds for the children’s center that will combat the exploitation and trafficking of children in Puerto Rico.

“This is just the start of a project that is going to spread across the rest of the island and on to the Domican Republic, Mexico and Latin America,” Martin said after winding up the event held at the Trump International Golf Resort in Rio Grande, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The Ricky Martin Foundation Child Development and Prevention Center, with a budget of $4 million, will begin construction this year and its inauguration is expected for 2012 or early 2013.

The center will consist of 10 classrooms, a library and a recreation area.

The institution will care for children from infancy to high-school age and will operate, in alliance with the philanthropic organization SER of Puerto Rico, the Our School and Community Initiative.

Martin said that the center will promote the arts, music, meditation, yoga, sports, martial arts, health, personalized education, culture and ethical values.

“We need to and we want to make a difference for the children and young people of Loiza. We will be there to give them support and the tools they need to guarantee them a better future,” Martin said.

The center’s design was entrusted by the Ricky Martin Foundation to the director of the Community Design Workshop of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture, Elio Martinez Joffre...

EFE (Spanish version)

June 03, 2011

EFE America (English version)

June 06, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Nepal

Veteran anti-trafficking activist Anuradha Koirala (left), and actress Demi Moore (right) meet with the Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal of Nepal during the filming of CNN's anti-trafficking documentary

Demi Moore estrena documental sobre la trata de personas en Nepal en CNN

Demi Moore se une a CNN Freedom Project (Proyecto Libertad de CNN) para promover la lucha contra la trata humana a través del documental Nepal’s Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary (Los Niños Robados de Nepal: Un documental del Proyecto Libertad de CNN), que se estrena el domingo 26 de junio a las 7:00 p.m. por CNN International y CNN en Español.

Como colaboradora especial de CNN Freedom Project, Moore se dirige a Nepal para unirse a la ganadora del Premio Héroe CNN de 2010, Anuradha Koirala, y a su organización, Maiti Nepal, que desde su fundación en 1993 ha rescatado a más de 12.000 los niños de Nepal robados por tráfico sexual. Moore es una apasionada defensora de las víctimas de tráfico humano y a través de ADN, la organización que ella cofundó con su esposo, cuya labor se enfoca en la necesidad de atacar la demanda de tráfico sexual mediante leyes en contra de los infractores, la educación y la rehabilitación de las jóvenes víctimas atrapadas por estas prácticas abusivas.

“En el burdel yo fui forzada a tener sexo con hombres y si yo me resistía, ellos podían quemar cigarrillos en mi cuerpo, pegarme con un palo o lanzarme agua caliente. Yo fui con mi pequeño hijo, pero fuimos separados y cuando él lloró ellos quemaron su lengua con un cigarrillo”, dijo Radika, una de las niñas rescatadas en su encuentro con Moore en Maiti Nepal.

Cada año, miles de niñas nepalesas son secuestradas obligadas o forzadas a la brutal vida de la prostitución. Los Niños Robados de Nepal sigue a Moore, quien habla con docenas de niñas (algunas de apenas 11 años) que han sido víctimas del tráfico sexual. Las niñas comparten desgarradoras historias de electrocución y otras formas de tortura, y algunas incluso describen que fueron forzadas a alimentarse con hormonas para que sus cuerpos de niñas tengan el parecido del de una mujer adulta...

Elespectador.com

June 23, 2011

See also:

Added: Jun. 28, 2011

Nepal

Nepal's Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN Freedom Project for a compelling documentary.

A passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking herself, Moore travels to Nepal to meet 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution. How were they taken and where were they sent?

Hear the emotional, first-hand experiences of these young survivors. And follow along with Moore as she searches for answers in the fight to end this form of modern-day slavery.

Along the way she hears horror stories from former sex slaves, plays games with their children, and joins one woman making the daunting trip home.

The group also has a hospice for women with HIV-AIDS, a learning center for women hoping to make a new life and a band of border guards trying to stop women being smuggled in the first place.

CNN

June 17, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico, Latin America, Europe

Seminario internacional lucha contra la trata de personas

La Embajada de Francia en México, ha tenido a bien elegir a nuestro estado como la sede para la realización del Seminario Internacional denominado “Lucha contra la trata de personas”, los días 28, 29 y 30 de junio del presente año, siendo esta una problemática mundial de la cual Oaxaca no está exenta, sino por el contrario, somos una entidad de origen, tránsito y destino de la Trata en sus modalidades laboral y sexual, por ello, el Gobierno del Estado a través de la Procuraduría General de Justicia realiza conjuntamente con la Embajada de Francia dicho evento.

Los participantes del Seminario provienen de Francia, Canadá España, Alemania, Panamá, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belice, República Dominicana, Haití, Chile, Colombia y Ecuador, siendo en total 52 Comisionados, Fiscales especializados, Jefes de Unidades, Agregados de seguridad, Inspectores de policías de los diversos países.

Este seminario tiene como objetivo principal compartir experiencias de investigación y protección a víctimas de la trata de personas, que permitirán a todas y todos los participantes realizar de manera más eficiente nuestra labor, así como establecer redes de coordinación y colaboración, siendo la trata de personas un problema mundial.

Upcoming international seminar on human trafficking to be held in Oaxaca state

The French Embassy in Mexico has selected Oaxaca state as the venue for the International Seminar entitled "Combating trafficking in persons", to be held on June 28th, 29th and 30th of 2011. Human trafficking is a problem that affects Oaxaca. The state is place of origin, transit and destination for labor and sex trafficking victims. The Oaxaca Attorney General is coordinating in holding the event.

Seminar participants from France, Canada, Spain, Germany, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador will be attending. A total of 52 commissioners, specialized prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be present.

This seminar's main objective is to share research and experiences in regard to protecting victims of human trafficking, to allow the participants perform their work more efficiently and establish coordination and collaboration networks.

NSS Oaxaca

June 25, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

New York City

Prabhu Dayal

Consul General of India accused of keeping a mother of four as virtual slave in posh Upper East Side digs

Prabhu Dayal, the Consul General of India, is accused of treating a woman like a virtual slave. The Consul General of India and his family kept a mother of four as a virtual slave on the Upper East Side, according to a lawsuit the woman filed Monday.

Santosh Bhardwaj, 45, says she was required to work more than 12 hours a day, every day, for little pay.

She said she had to escape through a back door with a security guard's help earlier this year because her boss kept her passport and wouldn't let her leave.

Prabhu Dayal, 58, who has been the Indian Consul General in New York since 2008, kept Bhardwaj in a storage room in the E. 64th Street Consulate General building and paid her $300 a month to be at his family's beck and call, the lawsuit claims.

"The Dayals did not treat me fairly," said Bhardwaj, who says she was lured from India to New York to be a maid with promises of good working conditions and decent pay.

"I filed the complaint because I want to be paid for all the labor I provided."

The suit names Dayal, his wife and daughter and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Emails and phone calls to the consul general's office were not returned.

Dayal took her Bhardwaj's passport and "subjected her to approximately a year of forced labor and psychological coercion in their household, culminating in an incident of sexual harassment," the lawsuit says.

"The Dayals kept Ms. Bhardwaj isolated and led her to believe they had complete control over her," said her lawyer, Legal Aid attorney Hollis Pfitsch.

"Unfortunately, Ms. Bhardwaj is not alone. Human trafficking through psychological coercion like this, designed to keep immigrant workers laboring virtually for free, is shockingly common."

In January, Bhardwaj repeated implored Dayal for money her husband needed for an operation back in India, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Dayal finally relented, saying he'd give her the money - but only if she'd massage his legs, the lawsuit says.

That turned out to be the last straw.

"In her culture, it was shocking and offensive for a married man to request any type of physical contact from a married woman," according to the lawsuit.

The New York Daily News

June 20, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Seven sex trafficking suspects are shown to the press by the Mexico City prosecutor's office

Arraigan a 7 personas por lenocinio

Giraron orden de aprehensión por el ilícito de lenocinio y delincuencia organizada a Óscar Jesús Rivera Zúñiga, alias "El Güero'' o "Bugs Bunny''.

Ciudad de México.- Con pruebas reunidas y asentadas en el pliego consignatorio, siete personas que presuntamente obligaban a sus víctimas a ejercer el sexoservicio en el lugar conocido como La Pasarela, localizado en el segundo callejón de Manzanares, colonia Centro, quedaron a disposición de un juez penal, como probables responsables de los delitos de trata de personas agravada; lenocinio y delincuencia organizada; y por corrupción de menores, por lo que cinco hombres fueron ingresados al Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, y dos mujeres al Centro Femenil de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

En cumplimiento a la orden de aprehensión librada por el juez 25 de lo Penal, con sede en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, personal del área de Mandamientos Judiciales de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), obtuvo la entrega de los involucrados en los referidos delitos, quienes se encontraban en el Centro de Arraigos de la misma institución judicial...

Seven are arraigned for sex trafficking

They turned a warrant for the crime of pimping and organized crime Oscar Zuniga Jesus Rivera, alias "El Guero''or" Bugs Bunny.'' Photo: El Sol de Mexico

Mexico City - seven people who allegedly forced their victims to exercise their sex work at a place known as The Gateway, located in the Manzanares district of Colonia Centro, have been detained on criminal charges as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of aggravated trafficking, pimping organized crime and the corruption of minors. The five men were admitted to the Detention East facility. The two women were sent to the Women's Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla...

The trial judge held the defendants over for trial after assessing the evidence provided by the Mexico City Attorney General's Office...

Filiberto Cruz

El Sol de México

June 23, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Mexico

Dan formal prisión a tres por el delito de trata de personas

El Juzgado 6 de Distrito de Procesos Penales Federales en la Ciudad de México dictó auto de formal prisión a tres presuntos responsables del delito de trata de personas con fines de explotación laboral y sexual.

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) informó en comunicado que los procesados son Denis Javier Ortiz y Ondina Moreira, ambos de nacionalidad hondureña, y Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán.

El pasado 18 de abril el Fiscal adscrito a la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) consignó ante el juez [el expidiente]...

La acción penal se ejerció contra los inculpados por el delito señalado en agravio de dos jóvenes hondureñas a las que explotaban en un table dance denominado “La Tentación”, ubicado en el Estado de México.

De la averiguación previa se desprende que Denis Javier Ortiz y su pareja sentimental Ondina Moreira trasladaron desde Honduras a las dos mujeres, a quienes obligaban a trabajar en el lugar referido y las despojaban de sus ingresos.

Por su parte, Sergio Alejandro Rodríguez Salmorán las trasladaba y les “arreglaba” su supuesta legal estancia en México, por lo cual les cobraba cantidades que constantemente se incrementaban.

Los dos hombres enfrentarán su proceso penal en el Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente, mientras que Ondina Moreira lo hará en el Centro de Readaptación Social de Santa Martha Acatitla.

A formal arrest three on charges of trafficking

The 6th District Court Federal Criminal Proceedings in Mexico City has arrested three suspects for the crime of trafficking in persons for sexual and labor exploitation.

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) said in a statement that the defendants are Denis Moreira Javier Ortiz and Ondina, both Honduran nationals, and Sergio Alejandro Rodriguez Salmorán.

On April 18 the prosecutor assigned the case to the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA)...

Action was taken against said defendants for crimes committed against two young Honduran women which exploited in a table dance club called "The Temptation", located in the State of Mexico.

The preliminary investigation shows that when Denis Javier Ortiz and his girlfriend moved to Mexico from Honduras, the two women, who were forced to work in the place referred to and stripped of their income...

The two men face their criminal trial Detention in the East, while Ondine will Moreira at the Center for Social Rehabilitation Santa Martha Acatitla.

La Crónica

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 27, 2011

Texas, USA

4 sentenced in immigrant kidnapping ring near Peñitas

McAllen - Four men learned their prison sentences Monday after federal authorities busted a human trafficking operation near Peñitas last year.

The prison sentences came Monday after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a man who shot himself in the leg while attempting to kidnap a group of illegal immigrants in May 2010.

One of the smuggled immigrants told ICE agents their coyote, or smuggler, had loaded him and a dozen others into a truck May 10, 2010. But before they could leave, several armed men assaulted the driver and unloaded the migrants from the vehicle.

The gunmen took the immigrants to a stash house near Peñitas, where a man known as "Comandante" told the victims they each would have to pay $2,000 if they wanted to be smuggled farther north.

When “Comandante” left the property, Mario Leon Villa was left in charge, the immigrant told investigators. When Leon and two other guards were distracted, six immigrants climbed out a window and ran to a nearby store.

Leon found the immigrants at the store, pulled out a gun and told them not to run. The immigrants ran anyway, jumped a fence and Leon accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Several other kidnappers located and rounded up the escaped immigrants and transferred them to a stash house in Edinburg. Agents and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies later found the remaining victims at that stash house.

The case resembled that of kidnapped immigrants in Mexico, who are abducted and held for ransom before they are able to cross the Rio Grande.

But because many incidents are charged as immigrant smuggling or assault — as in this case — it’s difficult to track exactly how often they occur on U.S. soil, local authorities have said.

Sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane were:

Leon, 21, a Mexican national who received a 14-year prison sentence for his role as a stash house guard in the immigrant kidnapping scheme. Leon had faced 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Fredy Bermudez Benito, 28, a Mexican national who made threatening phone calls to the immigrants’ families, demanding the additional $2,000 payments. He faced 27 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and unlawfully possessing a firearm. Crane sentenced Bermudez to 20 years in federal prison.

Edinburg resident Juan Alberto Jimenez, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on 13 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Edinburg resident Jose Rocha Pinon, 25, a stash house guard who was sentenced to nine years in prison on 19 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens and hostage taking.

Still awaiting sentencing is Mexican national Hugo Oscar Rodriguez Montoya, 27, of Tamaulipas, who was indicted on 16 counts of conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, hostage taking and transporting illegal aliens within the United States. He faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Already sentenced in the case was Jose Israel Leon Villa, who was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in December 2010.

Jared Taylor

The Monitor

June 27, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

California, USA

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Riverside: Man accused of abducting, raping girl faces more charges

An illegal immigrant accused of kidnapping his ex-roommate’s 9-year-old daughter from her Riverside home, then sexually assaulting her and trying to kill her, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felonies — including new allegations that he assaulted two other children.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, of Riverside was arrested May 16 in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 9-year-old Riverside girl.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping for rape, two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily injury on a child under 14 years old during a felony.

The charges stem from a May 7 abduction in Riverside. Since Guzman’s arrest on May 16, police have been investigating whether he might be responsible for similar crimes in the area.

According to Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Carney, detectives located two girls allegedly attacked by the defendant in the fall of 2008.

None of the victims’ identities have been released. One girl, who was 12 at the time, alleged Guzman held her at gunpoint and molested her, Carney said. The other girl, who was 11, told detectives the defendant choked her and sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

He said DNA and fingerprint evidence connected Guzman to both crimes, as well as the most recent one.

The Mexican national has been additionally charged with two counts of burglary and one count each of aggravated sexual assault on a child and forced lewd acts on a child under 14.

Guzman appeared today before Superior Court Judge Robert Law, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for June 27. The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to Riverside police, in the most recent case, Guzman was familiar with the victim after having rented a room from her mother in January and February.

The 9-year-old, whose identity was not released, was asleep with her older brother and younger sister in a second-story apartment in the area of Pike Street and Herman Drive when she was forcibly taken the night of May 7, investigators said.

According to Detective Roberta Hopewell, the child’s mother — a single parent — was working as a server at Leonardo’s Mexican restaurant on Arlington Avenue and had left the boy in charge of watching his sisters.

Guzman allegedly accessed the apartment through an unlocked window in the two-bedroom unit. The other youngsters were not harmed during the kidnapping, which occurred around 11 p.m.

Around two hours later, people living on Giles Court — about 2 ½ miles from where the abduction occurred — were awakened when the child began knocking on doors, asking for help, according to investigators.

The disoriented girl told officers she had been carried out of her residence by a man and was later pushed out of a car. Hopewell said videotape from security cameras at the scene showed a dark-colored pickup truck in the area around the time of the abduction. Guzman owned a black Ford F-150 pickup.

Hopewell said the suspect was a person of interest from the beginning because of his contact with the victim, her siblings and their mother. The girl was seriously injured in the attack and is now recovering at home.

City News Service

June 02, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

South Dakota, USA

Ruben Garcia

[Man] raped stepdaughter in front of 7-year-old in South Dakota

On Monday, through an interpreter, Ruben Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to the first-degree rape of his 9-year-old stepdaughter on February 9, 2011.

Garcia admitted committing the rape to Sioux Falls police when he was captured.

According to police, Garcia raped the girl while a seven-year-old watched the ordeal. The girls reported the attacks to their mother who immediately call the police. Garcia fled, but was soon captured in Omaha.

While the maximum sentence for rape in South Dakota is life in prison, the plea agreement will ensure a somewhat shorter sentence.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said: “There's a mandatory minimum of 15 years and under the plea agreement he's facing up to 40 years actually.”

Garcia has been held in the Minnehaha County Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer since his arrest since his arrest on February 10. He will be sentenced on August 15.

The Examiner

June 08, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Pennsylvania, USA

[Man] Faces Child-Luring Charges

Williamsport police have charged a Hispanic male with luring a 12-year-old girl into his truck while it was parked across from the YMCA yesterday. Officer Marlin Smith II was dispatched to the parking lot across from the building in the 300 block of Elmira Street shortly after 10 p.m. on June 23, where he spoke with Lucinda Campbell and her 12-year-old daughter.

Campbell had observed her daughter in a truck with a Hispanic man in his twenties, Smith said. Campbell’s daughter had seen the man before and knew where he lived, and had waved to him. The man, Adrian Arriaga Castro, of Houston Texas, pulled up to the daughter in his truck and opened the passenger’s side door and gestured for her to get in. The girl entered the vehicle and stated that Castro began to talk to her and called her “pretty,” then began to rub her arm. She exited the truck as her mother arrived and Castro ran in the direction of 345 West Third Street.

Smith arrived at the apartment building to investigate; a Hispanic male approached officers outside of the building. The daughter pointed at Castro and police confirmed his identity via his Mexican identification cards; Castro was taken into custody and faces one misdemeanor charge of luring a child into a motor vehicle and one summary charge of harassment.

Additionally, it was discovered that Castro is a Mexican national and has no papers to prove that he is in this country legally, Smith said.

“Because of this police investigation, 16 illegal immigrants were detained by I.C.E. officers from the Department of Homeland Security,” Williamsport Bureau of Police Captain Raymond O. Kontz III said.

“All of these illegals were rooming at 345 West Third Street and 309 Elmira St and working for GPX Surveyor, a gas company originating from Houston Texas,” Kontz said. Castro was taken to the Lycoming County Prison.

NorthCentralPA.com

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Suspect... faces rape charge

A 24-year-old man, who police say is an illegal immigrant already deported once, was arrested and charged Thursday with the statutory rape of a minor under age 6.

Mario Alberto Tellez Ordaz faces three counts of statutory rape or sexual offense against a minor under 6 years. He is being held in the Henderson County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

In a news release issued Friday, Sheriff Rick Davis said Ordaz has previously been deported and will now face federal prosecution as well, due to the nature of the charges.

“This arrest highlights the illegal immigration problem,” Davis said. Ordaz is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Blue Ridge Now

June 24, 2011


Added: Jun. 26, 2011

Idaho, USA

Vicente Manturano-Soto

Sex-crime case ends in prison sentence

Man gets 6.5 years for sexual battery of a minor

A 31-year-old Peruvian native was sentenced Monday to six and a half years in prison for sexual involvement in 2010 with a 16-year-old Ketchum girl.

Vicente Manturano-Soto will be required to spend two and half years in prison before parole eligibility. He was given credit for more than seven months already spent behind bars following his arrest in November. Once released, he will likely be deported.

He was also fined $2,000 and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Originally charged with four counts of rape, Manturano-Soto pleaded guilty in March to a single count of sexual battery of a minor child. The plea was in accord with an agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

A Blaine County grand jury indictment against Manturano-Soto in November alleged that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl from May through June of 2010.

In court Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback described Manturano-Soto as a "close friend" of the victim's family and said he often drove the girl to school or to counseling for a previous episode of sexual abuse.

"He was aware that she was vulnerable because of her age as well as her previous abuse," Fredback said.

He said Manturano-Soto took advantage of the girl's vulnerability to engage in a sexual relationship with her.

"The victim relayed that this happened about 10 times," Fredback said.

He further noted that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a charge against Manturano-Soto alleging that he is an illegal immigrant.

"It appears that while he initially came into this country legally, that expired in 2001 and he continued to stay in this country," Fredback said.

Defense attorney Douglas Nelson noted that his client only pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a child.

"We are here because Vicente admitted basically to making out with this girl, and he's denied anything other than that," Nelson said.

He said Manturano-Soto has recognized what he did was wrong and completed a 10-week course while in jail on moral recognition therapy. Further, Nelson said his client has been a "model prisoner" and has served as a jail trusty.

Speaking through a court interpreter, Manturano-Soto apologized for his actions.

"The truth is I feel very bad about this," he said. "What I did was wrong. I know that God loves all his children and I ask you for forgiveness."

Fifth District Judge Robert J. Elgee said he would have given Manturano-Soto more prison time if not for steps the defendant has taken to improve his life.

"I recognize that you have expressed remorse and you have tried to improve yourself while in jail," Elgee said. "But what you did was a bad act, even if you only did what you've admitted to.

"I happen to believe you did more than you've admitted to. She was half your age. The law is designed to protect young girls who are not adults from older men like you. I know that what you did was not forcible, but the sentence is because of her age."

Terry Smith

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

June 22, 2011

 


Added: Jun. 22, 2011

Colombia

Youth from the city of Cartegena's impoverished Boquilla neighborhood participate in performing Colombian folkloric music in as part of cultural activities organized by the Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation to guide local children and youth away from the tourist resort's child sex traffickers.

A Renacer (Rebirth) Foundation information table promotes the "We are the Wall" campaign, working to bring the hotel industry and other tourist businesses into a campaign to stop child sex tourism in the beach resort city of Cartagena

Prostitutas protegen a niños de redes de proxenetas

Trabajadoras sexuales de Cartagena le declararon la guerra a la prostitución infantil en este turístico balneario del Caribe colombiano y junto a la policía y ONGs buscan estrategias para evitar que los menores caigan en las redes de proxenetas.

Las prostitutas lideran un proyecto para que taxistas, vendedores ambulantes y meseros cooperen frente a mafias que ofrecen a unos 2.000 niños de los barrios marginales.

“Fui prostituta antes que mujer. Comencé a los 10 años y sufrí experiencias que no creerían. Sé que no puedo borrar el pasado, pero sí puedo evitar que otros niños pasen por lo que yo viví y por eso los invito a ayudar”, dijo Damaris a un grupo de taxistas reunidos en un salón público de La Boquilla, un deprimido sector de la ciudad.

La mujer, que aún ejerce en un prostíbulo del centro de la ciudad, forma parte de la campaña ‘La muralla soy yo’ que busca involucrar a quienes viven del turismo en la lucha contra la explotación de niños y adolescentes.

“Desafortunadamente aquí al turista que llega con plata se le permite casi todo. Mi invitación es a ponerle límite. Que cuando pregunten por niños para (tener) sexo, no les pasen información. Piensen que son niños y que ellos, como sus hijos, valen más que cualquier propina”, pidió.

Pero el negocio de la prostitución ha cambiado y con las nuevas tecnologías “ahora es menos frecuente ver el corrillo (grupo) de muchachitos esperando en una esquina la llegada del cliente”, señaló Luis Céspedes, uno de los taxistas que participó en el taller.

“Antes los turistas preguntaban por niñas, pero ahora los contactos se hacen por internet. El turista dice ‘Lléveme a tal hotel’ ahí tiene su cuento con el muchachito o la pelada (niña) le paga y ya. No entiendo cómo vamos a poder ayudar”, cuestionó.

El comandante de Policía local, general Ricardo Restrepo, admitió que este negocio ilegal “se ha sofisticado” y que detrás del abuso sexual a menores en Cartagena se mueven poderosas mafias...

Prostitutes unite to protect children from sex traffickers

Sex workers in the coastal tourist resort city of Cartagena have declared war on child prostitution. Working in collaboration with police and non governmental organizations, they are developing strategies to prevent children from falling into the hands of prostitution networks.

Adult sex workers are leading a project to convince taxi drivers, street vendors and waiters not to cooperate with the sexual exploitation networks that today sell some 2,000 children from the city's slums in prostitution.

A woman named Damaris, speaking to a gathering of local taxi drivers in a poor section of Cartagena called La Boquilla said, "I was a prostitute before I became a woman. I started at the age of 10, and I went through experiences that you would not believe. I know that I can't erase the past, but I can prevent other children go through what I lived through, and I invite you to help."

The woman, who still works in a brothel in the city center, is part of the campaign "I am the wall,' that seeks to involve those who work in the tourism industry in the fight against the exploitation of children and adolescents.

Damaris, "Unfortunately the tourist who comes here with money is allowed to do almost anything they want. I invite you to help us place limits on them. When these tourists ask for children to have sex [a question asked of taxi drivers across Latin America], don't give them information. Remember that they are children and that they, like your children, are worth more than any tip."

The business of prostitution has changed with the emergence of new technologies [the Internet]. "It is now less common to see a circle of boys on a corner waiting for the arrival of a customer," said Luis Cespedes, one of the drivers who participated in the workshop.

"Before the tourists asked for girls, but now the contacts are carried out online. These days, the tourist says, 'Take me to this hotel.' They engage with a boy or girl, pay them, and that's it. I do not understand how we can help," exclaimed Cespedes.

The local police commander, General Ricardo Restrepo admitted that this illegal business "is sophisticated." He acknowledged that powerful mafias control child prostitution in Cartagena.

"Last year we conducted operations with U.S. authorities with very good results. Now we're doing the same with an organization in Spain. These countries know that they have citizens who come to Cartagena to engage in these types of crimes. These nations have therefore taken on their responsibilities [to react]," said the official said.

Mayerlin Vergara, of the non governmental organization Renacer, noted that "ten years ago, we found the child victims of sexual exploitation in the clubs or on the streets. They now engage in prostitution in communities and in educational institutions. They no longer have a reason to come to the city center."

Attorney Freddys del Toro, of the Swiss NGO Tierra de Hombres, which advocates for victims of child sexual exploitation, noted that child sex tourism is promoted "through so-called travel agencies that operate online and that don't have local offices, making it difficult to combat their activities."

The Cartagena prosecutor's office has registered 400 complaints of child sexual abuse. Prosecutions of child sexual exploiters have resulted in 19 convictions to-date.

"We just had a historic decision in Colombia. For the first time, a foreigner was convicted. Italian Paolo Pravisani, age 72, was [sentenced] in the death of a young boy, Yesid Torres, whom Pravisani was sexually abusing," said del Toro.

In 2010 Colombian authorities arrested Briton Anthony Paul Brailsford, who has lived in Cartagena since 2001. Police found photos of naked girls in his possession. Meanwhile, in March, the Spanish film producer Pablo Lapiedra was arrested on accusations that he was filming pornographic movies with children.

Colombian law provides for penalties of up to eight years in prison for those who lead, organize or promote tourist activities that include the sexual use of children and provides that property used for that purpose may be confiscated.

Figures from the government's Colombian Family Welfare Institute estimates that about 35,000 children are forced into prostitution in the country. Some 2,000 of those children live in Cartagena.

El Nuevo Heraldo

June 17, 2011

See Also:

Added Sep. 14 2005

Colombia

Así se mueve la cadena del turismo sexual con menores de edad en Cartagena.

About child sex tourism in Cartagena

Cartagena - in Colombia's largest spa and beach resort city, popular with foreign tourists, 1,200 underage children and youth engage in prostitution. 

At the city's international airport, 15 year old girls line up waiting for the arrival of one of the many weekly flights that bring in male tourists, especially from Spain and Italy. 

Many of these girls have been contacted from Europe by phone, and a week of 'companionship' has been set up. Other girls make deals with newly arrived airline passengers.  In other cases, taxi drivers and bar owners receive a fee for connecting tourists with young prostitutes.

The victims are typically young Afro-Colombian girls and boys. 

According to Vittorio Chimienti, director of a child advocacy project in Cartagena started by the Italian government following growing concern about its citizen's flagrant sex tourism:

"Law enforcement does almost nothing to control the child sex trade, and word of impunity travels rapidly around the world." 

See Also:

Added July 18 2005

Cartagena, donde se ofrecen niñas de entre ocho y 17 años en la prostitución.

Colombian authorities urged to change the laws and fight child prostitution in the spa resort city of Cartagena, where increasing numbers of girls between 8 and 17 are prostituted to sex tourists.

See Also:

Added: Nov. 07, 2004

The sexual exploitation of 1,600 minors taints Colombia's Caribbean tourist haven [of Cartagena]

...Cartagena's history as a Spanish bastion against English invasion, its cobblestone streets, quaint plazas, colonial churches, art museums and seafood restaurants attract many visitors. Yet behind the thick, ancient walls lurks a darker attraction: the sexual exploitation of minors by foreigners .

The city has become a magnet for men, many of them Europeans, seeking sex with young girls and sometimes boys, many of them from families displaced from their rural homes by fighting among leftist rebels, government forces and right-wing paramilitary groups.

On the main hotel strip, foreigners openly haggle with underage girls selling their bodies or duck past pink neon lights into what purports to be a discotheque. Inside, bored-looking teenage girls at tables perk up only when a man walks by. He can take his pick, pay as little as $15 and take her to a room across the road.

"Unfortunately, Cartagena has the image of being a place where people can have whatever kind of sexual relations they want," says Fabian Cardenas, the local coordinator for Renacer, a private group that helps victims of sexual exploitation.

"There are many foreigners who come here with the sheer objective of having sex. And what the tourist wants, the tourist gets."

An estimated 1,500 girls and boys work in Cartagena's sex industry . Over the last three years, Renacer has learned of girls as young as 7 and boys as young as 9 being sexually exploited, Cardenas says.

Cartagena isn't alone. Many Latin American cities, in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, are now being frequented by "sex tourists" looking for minors, as a result of shift in the business from Asia following police crackdowns.

Poverty and domestic sexual abuse push many children into the sex industry...

The Associated Press

April 07, 2004



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary:

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, its legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely quoted today.

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

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


LibertadLatina

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


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

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

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


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

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

Americas Program Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

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

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

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

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

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

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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

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

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


LibertadLatina

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

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

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

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

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

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

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

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

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

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

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

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

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

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

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

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

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

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

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

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

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

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

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

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

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

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

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

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


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

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

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


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

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

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

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

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

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

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

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

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006