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Noticias de Julio, 2009
Mexico, California, USA
Diego - Seven months into the year and already
139 underage girls have been reported missing in
Some are runaways,
some return home on their own.
Others are lured to
a place difficult even for police to track,
where they are stuck in a life far different
from their dreams.
From there, even one
rescue is a success.
Nearly 2 months
after her 14-year-old daughter disappeared, one
lucky mother got word her daughter was found in
the interior of Mexico.
“My heart is happy,
happy,” said Francisca Guabarrama.
10News waited with
Guabarrama, at the International Border until
the wee hours of the morning.
The transfer was
being coordinated by an international rescue
Finally, word came
to Guabarrama that her daughter was clearing
Her daughter beat
the odds and made it back.
sources told 10News the girl met an older boy on
My-Space, who was believed to be linked to a
National City gang.
“Some of these girls
leave with people we suspect to be gang members
that do have ties to organized crime in Mexico,”
said National City Police Detective, Antonio
The two agreed to
meet at Kimball Park on June 2, 2009.
Like many other
cases, the girl ended up in Mexico, alone and
unable to get home, police said.
None of several
other girls believed to be in Mexico has been
“The farther you go
into the interior of Mexico, the more difficult
that becomes,” said National City Police
Sergeant, Mike Harlan.
What's happening to
them is frightening.
“We have some cases
that are active where's there's prostitution,
human trafficking. They're used for transporting
narcotics and we're not able to get to them,”
happy ending almost didn't happen.
“They went into
hiding,” said former San Diego District Attorney
Investigator, Juan Briones, who is now with the
Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition.
He was sent to
Guadalajara because he has almost 20 years
experience with international missing person's
He went down to
bring Guabarrama back home.
“The victim somehow
feels powerless and that they need help,”
Briones said he
threatened criminal charges against the men
living in the home with the young girl and they
eventually released her.
“It’s difficult to
get to these kids to understand,” Ybarra said,
“that where you and I can go to any pay phone
and dial 9-1-1 and get police service, it does
not work that way over there.”
While one girl has
been given another chance, many others remain in
danger south of the border.
sources say the cooperation between Mexican and
U.S. law enforcement agencies has improved in
recent years, but it still takes time to get a
“If a young girl has
already slipped into the hands of a cartel to be
sold into prostitution and drug running, it's,
at the very least, extremely difficult to ever
reach her,” Briones said.
July 29, 2009
Latina Child Sex Slavery in
San Diego, California
of children and youth are forced into 'child rape
camps' by traffickers.
Juan cries at the grave
site of his son Javier, who took his own
life in the face of his inability to do
anything to help his brother Juan
junior, who had been sentenced to 12
years in prison in Kentucky for rape.
Ventura/ La Opinión
Prisioneros de su ignorancia y costumbres
Part 1 of a series
Más de 20 mil indígenas, cuya mayoría no
habla ni español ni inglés, purgan condenas en cárceles de EEUU, y
se pierden en un sistema que muchos desconocen y que no entienden
El hijo preso sólo tiene 18 años y, fue
sentenciado a 12 años tras las rejas en el Woodford County Detention
Center de Kentucky por cargos de violación sexual. Juan, su padre,
no lo comprende. Su cultura indígena no lo ve así, porque sus leyes
Sentado en el cementerio de este pequeño
pueblo del estado de Guerrero, se pregunta: ¿qué hay de malo en que
su hijo tuviera relaciones sexuales con una niña de 12 años?
Indígena mixteco, uno de los 64 grupos
nativos de México que ocupan los estados de Guerrero y Oaxaca, en su
cultura el matrimonio se pacta en la niñez y los hijos llegan cuando
aún no se han cumplido los 15 años.
Con las tragedias de sus hijos, Juan
aprendió que en los pueblos del norte, su cultura puede ser vista
como delictiva, pero nadie se lo advirtió...
Prisoners of Their
Ignorance [of the Law] and Customs
More than 20,000
indigenous Mexicans are in prisons cross the United States. Many are
lost in a legal system that they know nothing about and do not
Juan's son, age 18, was jailed in the
Woodford County, Kentucky Detention Center on charges of rape. Juan
senior, his father, doesn't understand it. He says, "What is wrong
with the fact that my son had sexual relations with a 12-year-old
Juan senior is a 64-year-old indigenous Mixteca man, a member of one
of the 64 indigenous cultures that live in the states of Guerrero
and Oaxaca. In his culture, parents arrange marriages during the
couple's childhood, and children are born before the couple reaches
With the tragedies
that have befallen his sons, Juan senior learned that in the United
States, his culture can be seen as condoning criminal acts. But
nobody [i.e. the Mexican Government] warned them about that fact...
July 28, 2009
Mixtec girls in
Faced with Ttheir Cruel Existence
Cochoapa, Mexico –
…[Some] 20,000 natives… are behind bars in the U.S. today, a reality
whose consequences are suffered on both sides of the border…
For [Steve Jarrett,
detective at the Police Department of Montgomery, Alabama], scenes
of young drunk immigrants are common in rural Alabama. What he finds
new is the presence of Mexicans who do not speak Spanish.
"I did not have the
slightest idea that there were Mexicans who did not speak Spanish...
It is very frustrating trying to communicate with someone who speaks
neither English nor Spanish. And it is even worse to find people who
do not understand or respect our laws", he adds.
Over 75% of the
cases that involve indigenous Mexicans are reckless crimes. Alcohol,
sex with minors, and domestic violence are among the most serious
charges that take them to jail, explained Dr. Guillermo Alonso
Meneses, researcher and anthropologist at the Colegio de la Frontera
Norte, in Tijuana.
Rosales Ayala's romance with a 14 year-old girl, which is absolutely
normal in the Mixteca culture, restrained him to months of
confinement in North Carolina, where, in addition, the police listed
him as sexual predator of minors...
Almost a year after
his deportation, La Opinión interviewed him in Tlapa, a zone
belonging to the region known as La Montaña, in the state of
Guerrero, whose indigenous population is calculated at
529,780 members who come from as diverse groups as mixtecos, nahuas,
me'phaa, amuzgos, among others. All of them speak a dialect
different from the Spanish…
The surprise of
finding himself behind bars, for something that is considered normal
by the mixteca culture, was as great as the message he got from his
consulate, telling him "not to bother them any more."
"They talked to my
lawyer Smith and told him to let me know not to bother them any
longer ... I just wanted them to take me out of there," he
from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs reveal that the legal
processes against Mexicans in the United States increased from 1,622
in 2005 to 19,782 in 2008; the highest figure in five years.
Other studies from
the Mexican Senate indicate that ten out of 100 Mexicans currently
jailed in the United States are of indigenous origins…
The reality, all
the specialists agree, it is that at least during the next the 10
years the indigenous, and not only the Mexican, will be the face of
migration to the United States, a face that does not deserve to sink
"There is no step
back, we cannot return to be the pre-Hispanic natives, but we must
look for a solution to our present reality. We have gangs, HIV;
...colonization is cornering us. I cannot think about the native who
is going to come out with his feathers and start dancing, no; we
must look for a solution to our current reality, alcoholism, drug
addiction, something that was not seen 20 years ago and a great part
of that reality is the result of migration...", emphasizes Odilia
Romero, from the Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB),
in Los Angeles…
July 30, 2009
Prohibición de ILE Deriva en Muerte, Dice
Informe de AI
entrevistarse con el organismo
En Nicaragua, más del 50 por ciento de
los casos de violación reportados hasta 2008 fueron en menores de 18
años de edad, mil 247 niñas fueron víctimas de violación e incesto,
el 16 por ciento de ellas resultaron embarazadas mientras que el 87
por ciento de las víctimas que resultaron embarazadas por violación
o incesto, tenían entre 10 y 14 años de edad, reportó hoy Amnistía
Results in Deaths, Says Amnesty International
authorities refused to meet with Amnesty about the issue
Amnesty International reported today
that in Nicaragua, underage girls were the victims in more than 50%
of rape cases reported during 2008. Some 1,247 underage girls were
victims of rape or incest, of whom 16% became pregnant. Eighty seven
percent of victims who became pregnant due to rape or incest were
between the ages of 10 and 14...
[See more detail on this issue in
English in the below article.]
Lourdes Godínez Leal
News for Women
July 27, 2009
July 29, 2009
Therapeutic Abortion Ban a "Disgrace" Says
"What happened to me shattered my
dreams, my hopes – I wanted to be someone who worked outside the
home but I spend all day at home looking after the baby…I can’t even
sleep and I feel very unsafe, many of my days are a nightmare, it’s
very hard to carry on and I feel very sad and very tired," said "M",
who was raped at age 17 by a relative.
Even though she was a victim of incest
and rape, "M", who spoke with representatives of Amnesty
International on their visit to Nicaragua last week, was unable to
abort the pregnancy because of the ban on "therapeutic abortion" in
place in this Central American country, one of the poorest in the
hemisphere, since 2008.
The Amnesty report issued on Monday,
"The total abortion ban in Nicaragua: Women's lives and health
endangered, medical professionals criminalized", concludes that the
policy has led to a rise in maternal mortality and has put pregnant
women of all ages at risk.
"Nicaragua’s ban on therapeutic abortion
is a disgrace," Amnesty International’s Executive Deputy Secretary
General Kate Gilmore said at a news briefing held Monday in Mexico
City to present the report.
"It is a human rights scandal that
ridicules medical science and distorts the law into a weapon against
the provision of essential medical care to pregnant girls and
women," the Australian sociologist added.
Amnesty International describes the
total ban on abortion in Nicaragua, even in cases of rape or incest,
a deformed fetus, or when the mother's life is in danger, as "cruel,
inhuman and degrading treatment."
"There’s only one way to describe what
we have seen in Nicaragua: sheer horror. Children are being
compelled to bear children. Pregnant women are being denied
essential - including life-saving - medical care," said Gilmore.
"What alternatives is this government
offering a 10-year-old pregnant as a result of rape? And to a cancer
sufferer who is denied life-saving treatment just because she is
pregnant, while she has other children waiting at home?"
In the first five months of this year,
33 girls and women died from pregnancy and birth-related
complications, compared to 20 in the same period last year,
according to official figures cited by the report.
President Daniel Ortega of the left-wing
Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) backed the law banning
abortion to win conservative votes in the elections that brought him
to power in January 2007.
Lobbied by Roman Catholic Church leaders
and conservative evangelical pastors, on Oct. 26, 2006 the
Nicaraguan parliament approved the draft law to revoke article 165
of the criminal code, which had permitted abortion for medical
reasons since 1893.
Nicaragua thus became one of the few
countries in the world where abortion is illegal under all
circumstances, joining Chile, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic
in Latin America...
Inter press Service (IPS)
July 27, 2009
Derecha Avanza en America
Latina, Bajo el Discurso de los Dderechos Humanos
Para cancelar derechos SyR, advierten feministas
Martha María Blandón, directora de IPAS para
Centroamérica, alertó que bajo el discurso de los
derechos humanos progresistas, los grupos de derecha
están avanzando en la región centroamericana y
latinoamericana, lo que ha significado un retroceso
en la región en materia de derechos humanos,
sexuales y reproductivos.
Blandon is Central
American director of Ipas, a group in
Chapel Hill, N.C., that advocates
against unsafe abortion.
Photo and text: WomensNews
Political Right Advances its
Agenda in Latin America Using the Progressive
Language of Human Rights
Strategy focuses on defeating abortion rights
Martha Maria Blandon, director of Ipas in Central
America, has warned that right-wing groups are
moving into the Latin American and Central American
region, and are promoting their agenda under the
cloak of progressive human rights discourse. Their
goal is to weaken the defense of human rights, and
especially sexual and reproductive rights in the
Interviewed after a press conference where Amnesty
International presented their report
"The total abortion ban in
Nicaragua: Women's lives and health endangered,
medical professionals criminalized", Blandon,
one of the advocates in the case of Rosa, the
pseudonym for a 9-year-old girl who was raped and
became pregnant, said that those who are making the
argument today against a woman’s right to decide are
the same people who are also fighting against a
large number of other human rights guarantees for
These opponents of the right to choose are also
advocating to ban the right to sex education, family
planning, the use of modern contraceptive methods
and same sex marriage, noted Blandon. She added that
these activists masquerade their rhetoric with that
of progressive human rights speech…
years after the case of Rosita
...It was in 2003 when Rosa, age 9, worked with her
immigrant parents in Costa Rica on a coffee
plantation. A 28-year-old man raped her. She became
pregnant as a result of the rape.
Rosa was evaluated by two hospitals in Costa Rica,
where doctors warned of the complications that would
arise from continuing with her then 4 months of
pregnancy. However, despite seeking help from the
Nicaraguan authorities to return Rosa to her country
to perform the therapeutic abortion that Rosa was
entitled to, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health
refused the request. The government required that
Rosa carry the pregnancy to term.
Finally after a long conflict between government,
pro-life, feminist and human rights groups, Rosa was
provided with a therapeutic abortion.
Since then, the group of feminists who fought for
the right of this girl to have an abortion has faced
an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office,
which Blandon says, has served as a tool to
intimidate and persecute the group's members...
Blandon said that some of hers colleagues have
continued to receive anonymous telephone threats.
The callers say, "we hear you
on TV," or “we know where your son is studying,” or
"we know where you live,” or “remember that you are
being persecuted," and that sort of thing.
However, Blandon asserted that everything that has
happened and continues in his country, "which is the
most extreme, maximum violation of human rights
possible," will not hold us back from continuing the
Full English Translation
Lourdes Godínez Leal
News for Women
July 27, 2009
An Ugly Family Affair
Charges of sexual
abuse leveled against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega swirl atop a
Among Nicaragua's leftist elite, it had
long been more than a terrible rumor, but always less than a public
scandal. Throughout much of the 1980s, many loyalists of the
Marxist-oriented Sandinista Party suspected that Daniel Ortega
Saavedra, their dour leader and the country's President from 1979 to
1990 [and also currently], was sexually molesting his adolescent
stepdaughter Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo...
Narvaez claims the abuse started as
early as 1979, when she was 11 and Ortega had just led the overthrow
of dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The molestation continued
"repeatedly," she says, until 1990, after Ortega's defeat in
presidential elections that year...
[Despite Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo
having held a press conference as an adult to denounce her
stepfather, President Daniel Ortega, for having sexually abused her
since the age of 11, the people of Nicaragua, with the backing of
the Catholic Church, voted Ortega back into power in 2007. -
March 23, 1998
Man sought in rape of 11-year-old girl
Police are looking for a man wanted in
connection with the reported rape of an 11-year-old girl at a party
on Saturday in south Oklahoma City.
An arrest warrant was issued in Oklahoma
County today for Melvin Urbina, 33, who is wanted on rape
complaints. Police asked the public for help finding him.
According to a police report, the girl
was attending a banquet celebration for her godfather at the
Imperial Restaurant Banquet Hall, 4701 Shields Blvd. when she was
About 10:30 p.m., someone asked a male
employee of the business to get more chairs, and the employee told
the girl there were more chairs in the basement, the report said.
The girl told police when she went to
the basement with the man, there were no chairs. Police said the
loud music at the party kept anyone from hearing the girl scream.
The girl told police the man raped her
before another person came to the door looking for chairs, causing
him to flee.
Urbina is described as a Hispanic male
with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet, 8 inches tall. His
name, Melvin, is tattooed on his neck.
Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said Urbina
might be wearing his hair in a ponytail. He is considered dangerous.
"He's done this to one girl," Wardlow
said. "He should be considered a threat."
Robert Medly and
July 28, 2009
The United States
Question and Answer Session on
Before being sworn-in... as President Obama’s
Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat
Trafficking in Persons, Luis C. de Baca was one of
the nation’s most decorated federal prosecutors, and
helped to write the principal U.S. law on modern-day
slavery, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
[June 16, 2009], the same day that he and Hillary
Clinton released a State Department report
condemning 69 countries for failing to do enough to
combat trafficking, I spoke with de Baca about his
15-year career, which has included more than a
hundred successful convictions of human traffickers.
E. Benjamin Skinner:
What is modern-day slavery?
Ambassador de Baca:
Modern-day slavery, also called human trafficking,
is the phenomenon of people being held in some form
of service using coercion.
much of this is sex trafficking?
Ambassador de Baca:
International trafficking and trafficking here in
the United States is a big problem whether it’s in
the sex industry or labor. While a lot of attention
has been paid to sex industry over the years, and it
is a terrible there, the problem is in the labor
sector as well. Regardless
of whether the underlying service is in the labor or
sex sectors, we see widespread, routine sexual abuse
of women who are being held in servitude no matter
what it is that they are being forced to do.
That’s something that we have to confront regardless
of the labels of sex or labor trafficking. So we’re
looking to see whether the ideas about trafficking
that are gaining some currency worldwide can
actually be applied to all forms of trafficking
rather than simply one of its many aspects.
of the phenomena highlighted in today’s report is
how the global economic downturn is affecting human
trafficking. Could you elaborate on that?
Ambassador de Baca:
One of the reasons why we’re concerned that the
global economic crisis is making people more
vulnerable to trafficking is that there’s such a
displacement of workers and a shutting down of
opportunities which leaves people much more willing
to expose themselves to risk, as they’ve become
increasingly desperate. We’re also worried that
governments worldwide, and non-governmental
organizations, that so often are able to provide
victim services are not going to have the resources
to be able to find these people, or to help them
once they are free.
You’ve worked on trafficking under three
administrations now, starting in the Justice
Department under Clinton. Do you have any sense of a
difference of approach on this issue between Bush
Ambassador de Baca:
common challenge of the three administrations that
I’ve worked with on this—including the Clinton
Administration in the early years of formulating
U.S. policy, and the last years as we tried to take
the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and
the Palermo Protocol and tried to give it some
life—is the promotion of an underlying assumption
that this is a crime of slavery and that this is a
crime of compelled service. And the appropriate
response to it is through the “Three P’s”:
protection, prosecution and prevention. Hillary
Clinton remarked at the launch of this year’s
trafficking report—and we’ll see more of this
throughout the coming years under President Obama—a
fourth “P”: partnerships. The United States will
look at other countries not solely to rank them but
to look at them as partners to enlist...
E. Benjamin Skinner
Author and Journalist
Posted on Anderson Cooper 360 Blog Archive
June 18, 2009
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day
E. Benjamin Skinner
Judge Orders Trial For Rape,
Strangling Death At Fontana Bakery In 2001
Rancho Cucamonga - A man linked by DNA to a brutal
rape and killing at a Fontana bakery in 2001 must
stand trial for the alleged crimes, a judge ruled
Friday after a full day of testimony at a
The judge's ruling means that Gilbert Bernard
Sanchez, 47, may be eligible for the death penalty
if convicted of murdering 30-year-old Sylvia
Galindo, an employee at the bakery where she was
Galindo was raped and strangled to death the night
of Oct. 18, 2001, after closing time at Maria's
Panaderia in the 15300 block of Merrill Avenue.
According to the prosecution's theory of the case,
Galindo was standing near the back door of the
bakery smoking a cigarette when Sanchez assaulted
Galindo ran from the back door toward the front area
of the business.
There she was attacked and dragged by force to a
storage area of the bakery, where she was raped and
strangled to death with an electrical cord and wire
The brutal incident remained unsolved until 2006,
when the California Department of Justice notified
local authorities that DNA recovered from the crime
scene matched Sanchez's DNA profile in the FBI
Contra Costa Times
July 24, 2009
Article author Lucía
Nieto is an investi-gator with the
Ortega y Gasset Foundation, and is an
expert in public policy analysis
Según cifras de la
Organización Internacional de Migraciones, cada año se producen más
de 600 millones de viajes turísticos internacionales, de estos un
20% buscan sexo fácil -que no seguro-, desconozco si históricamente
este ha sido un motivo principal en las decisiones de viajeros por
el mundo, de cualquier manera en muchos de los destinos más exóticos
tiene su morbo explorar como cada cultura vive y practica aquello de
las sensaciones y los placeres…
About Sex Tourism in Latin America
According to figures from the International Organization for
Migration, each year there are over 600 million international
tourist trips, 20% of which are taken by those who are seeking easy,
if not safe access to sex…
beaches, for example, have long been a destination for those seeking
this goal. These tourists don’t look at a list of local tourist
sights, wondering where to go today. Their happiness is to be found
on that beach alone.
The alarm bells go
off when the vacation ads appeal to inconceivable, "products,"
little innocent children who cannot comprehend what is being asked
of them. Some 3% of sex tourists have confessed to having pedophile
tendencies. This amounts to more than 3 million people who travel
the world looking for sex with children [each year].
Child sex tourism
is a phenomenon that usually afflicts the developing world. Its
focus has shifted from Southeast Asia to Latin America in a process
that has been facilitated by permissive laws and high levels of
corruption. Latin America, sadly, has become a preferred
…In each country
there are different factors that promote child sex tourism. Violence
in Colombia, drug trafficking and [civil war refugee] displacement
encourage the sexual exploitation of children. In Mexico, there is
the phenomenon of "beach, tequila and sex with children.” There is
concern in Mexico that the problem is growing problem and that
measures taken to combat it are ineffective. In Central America, the
problem is growing rapidly and many "sex tourists" in the developed
world openly recommend visiting this region.
According to data
from the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and the
International Labor Organization, nearly two million children
worldwide are involved in child prostitution, and of these, about
50% are from Latin America. This market is worth billions of dollars
annually and, therefore, it is a very difficult crime to combat.
marketplace promotes prostitution, slavery and child abuse. Its
consequences are heartbreaking. If these child victims don’t pay
with their lives, they pay for [for the brutality of adults] through
suffering cruel physical and psychological trauma that is painful
and difficult to reverse.
El Imparcial -
June 30, 2009
Willamette Tree Wholesale Sued By EEOC For Severe Sexual Harassment,
Latina Workers at Oregon Nursery Sexually Harassed, Threatened, and One Woman
Repeatedly Raped, Federal Agency Charges
Seattle - A
Molalla, Oregon nursery violated federal law when it allowed female
employees to be severely sexually harassed and retaliated against
the women and male co-workers after they reported the harassment,
the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a
lawsuit it filed today. This is the agency’s third such case against
Oregon agricultural employers. Last October, the EEOC filed lawsuits
against Scheimer Farms of Nyassa, Ore., and against Wilcox Farms,
Inc., and Wilcox Dairy Farms Group in Aurora, Ore.
The EEOC’s suit
charges that sexual harassment and retaliation occurred at the
Molalla, Ore., facility of Willamette Tree Wholesale, which operates
140 acres of retail nursery farmland, including a garden supply
store and business office. According to the federal agency’s
investigation, one worker, a 38-year-old Latina, was taken to remote
areas of the farm by the company foreman and raped repeatedly over
several months. In addition to threatening her with termination and
loss of needed income, the harasser physically coerced her with
pruning shears, and made threats against her life as well as against
her family. Ultimately, when she refused to be sexually assaulted
yet again, she was fired.
co-worker, age 35, faced daily sexual innuendos and propositions for
sex as well as grabbing and touching. When she and her husband, who
also worked there, reported sexual harassment by a crew leader,
Willamette Tree failed to investigate or respond to their complaint.
The EEOC alleges that the couple and her brother were terminated in
retaliation for having reported and opposed sexual harassment.
harassment is unacceptable, but what happened here is unspeakable,”
said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “This shows how
dangerous a situation can become when employers are hostile to
workers' rights and sexual harassment goes unchecked. There simply
is no excuse for any employer tolerating this sort of worker abuse,
and enough is enough. The EEOC is going to be focusing more and more
on finding new and better ways to reach the most vulnerable of
discrimination victims, like these farm workers, and to halt this
kind of horrific mistreatment." ...
Attorney William R. Tamayo said, “From California, where the fields
were called ‘field de calzon’ (or ‘field of panties’) because so
many supervisors raped women there, to Florida, where female farm
workers call them ‘The Green Motel,’ and throughout the country, we
have found women working in agriculture are often particularly
vulnerable to sexual harassment. We hope this third Oregon lawsuit
will send notice to employers in this industry to stop predatory
sexual behavior and abuses of supervisor power.”
Director Michael Baldonado noted, “Our investigation found that
sexual harassment at Willamette Tree was widespread, tolerated,
expected, and a condition of employment...
The EEOC enforces
federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further
information about the EEOC is available on its web site at
June 18, 2009
July 24, 2009
Border Patrol Agents In Arizona Arrest 3
Illegal Immigrants With Sex-Assault Histories
agents in the Tucson sector have arrested three illegal immigrants
with sex-related charges or convictions for illegally re-entering
the United States.
Agents arrested a
47-year-old Salvadoran man Saturday on the Tohono O'odham Indian
Reservation who served about six months in prison for conviction of
attempted rape and forcible sodomy in New York state before being
deported in 2004.
On Sunday, agents
arrested a 30-year-old Mexican man near Arivaca who was convicted in
1998 of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old in Illinois. An
immigration judge deported the man in 2003.
Also on Sunday, a
23-year-old from Mexico City was arrested south of Ajo who has been
charged twice since November with having sex with a minor.
July 20, 2009
Honduras, Arizona, USA
Carly and Richard Cantrell (center) with
a few of their young Honduran charges
The Thin Blue Line Ministries' Work in
During a recent
tour through Illinois Valley, a couple from Phoenix, Arizona shared
the story of how their ministry to help victims of sexual abuse and
trauma has spurred them to relocate to Central America.
Former Illinois Valley resident Carly Cantrell and her husband,
Richard, for the past two years have been involved with Thin Blue
Line Ministries’ Phoenix House orphanage, which provides a sanctuary
for trafficked children in Tegucigalpa, Honduras...
International Organization for Migration reports that “Honduras is a
country of origin for human trafficking.” The report goes on to
state that many female victims are transported out of the country,
while internal trafficking takes place from rural areas and small
towns to cities. “The majority of these victims are trafficked for
sexual exploitation,” said the IOM.
Endemic poverty and
corruption lead to a cycle of crime and violence in which young
girls’ childhoods evaporate in an arena of exploitation.
“Some are orphaned. Some are sold or stolen. Some chose to go out on
the streets. There are a number of ways that these girls find
themselves in this situation.”
home in Arizona serves as a ministry for young women who have been
victims of sexual abuse or trauma. They bring that experience with
them in their Central American endeavor.
While the Cantrells
have worked at a few different homes in Honduras, the primary
location for their ministry serves some 30 girls at a time, and
perhaps 75 each year. The girls range between 9 and 18 years old.
July 15, 2009
About the crisis of sexual exploitation with
impunity facing women and girls in Honduras
The important victim rescue work of the
Breaking Chains Ministry working in Tijuana, Acapulco, and other
regions of Mexico
A young person in prostitution
in Tijuana's massive tolerance zone, just over Mexico's
border with San Diego, California, where more than 5,000
prostitutes are registered with local government health
Ley Contra Tráfico Humano Demora Repatriación de Menores Mexicanos
Los niños pasan
hasta cuatro meses en los albergues, afirma Ileana Holguín,
directora de Servicios para Inmigrantes y Refugiados de la Diócesis
de El Paso
Los niños mexicanos
que cruzan la frontera de manera ilegal son retenidos hasta cuatro
meses en albergues por la equivocada interpretación de una nueva ley
contra el tráfico de personas con fines de explotación sexual o
US Law Against Human Trafficking Delays
Repatriation Of Mexican Children
who cross the border illegally are held for up-to four months in
shelters due to an incorrect interpretation of a new law against
human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor.
Federal law HR7311,
the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act, which was enacted in March of 2008, puts
particular emphasis on under-age Mexicans who are arrested by the
bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Bureau of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Mexican children were repatriated within 24 and 48 hours of being
arrested by immigration agents. They now spend up to four months in
the shelters where before there were only South American minors were
being held," said lawyer Ileana Holguin, director of Services for
Immigrants Refugees and the Diocese of El Paso...
law requires the authorities to ensure that the child has not been a
victim of human trafficking prior to repatriation. Because CBP
inspectors do not know how to [perform that evaluation], these
undocumented children are being sent to shelters," complained
who added that the majority of Mexican children in shelters are
between three and 14 years of age...
Mexico’s Consul in El Paso, Texas, Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez,
expressed concern over the delay in the repatriation and outlined
the concerns of parents of children who, although having been sent
to shelters that are adequate for their age, are still being
concerned that repatriation is carried out now with such a delay
because these children may be affected psychologically," said the
Rodriguez Hernandez added, "While some agencies distinguish between
the [voluntary] smuggling and the human trafficking of children,
other agencies do not.” ...
Full English Translation
Noticias (Written with information from EFE and CGE)
July 14, 2009
continue to protect migrating children from sex traffickers and
On July 3, 2008, U.S.
immigration attorney Christopher Nugent provided an eye-opening
interview to Mexico's
which we translated into English at that time.
Nugent raised concerns about the fact that many thousands of child sex
trafficking victims from Mexico were attempting to flee across the U.S.
border to escape from slavery, but that U.S. authorities were returning
them to an uncertain future in Mexico before they could be evaluated as
victims of traffickers or other abuses.
Now that the 2008
William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act
has provided a process for assisting these children, we would not want
to see at-risk minors put back on the 'deportation mill,' where they
will likely end up right back in the hands of their pimps in the border
towns of Tijuana, Nogales, Juarez and Matamoros.
If children are being held in U.S. detention for up to 4 months, while
families wait in anguish for them, perhaps the above article makes a
valid point that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials may
not know how to conduct timely processing of the required interviews of
these children about their possible history of having been sex
trafficked or subjected to domestic violence, conditions that may afford
them the right to ongoing protection from the U.S. government.
We agree with Christopher Nugent's basic point, which is that returning
Mexican children to Mexican authorities within a short time frame, as
was done before the Act went into effect, is an unacceptable solution.
We hope that the current push by Mexican consular officials to speed-up
repatriations of children by the U.S. CBP is not an initiative that is
being influenced by other policies of the administration of President
Felipe Calderón. His policies have reversed equal rights for women in a
number of areas. As we have noted elsewhere, President Calderón,
together with his National Action Party (PAN), have fought
tooth-and-nail during the past year against implementing any effective
federal anti-trafficking regulation in Mexico.
Let's keep the current U.S. Government protections for at-risk
unaccompanied minor migrants in place, while improving the process and
the reducing the time that children spend in detention.
End impunity now!
July 19, 2009
En Desventaja, Nños Mexicanos Indocumentados
Mexico's Undocumented Migrant Children are at
a Disadvantage for Refugee Benefits
Thousands of children cross alone into the United States each
year to escape from Mexican child sex trafficking networks
Many of the 80,000 Mexican children who
cross from Mexico into the U.S. alone each year as undocumented
immigrants are fleeing abuse at home, or are escaping from child
prostitution rings. As such, they would possibly qualify for
permission to stay in the United States.
These children would be able to avail
themselves of this opportunity if U.S. Border Patrol officers would
provide them with the appropriate interview form, as federal law
requires. Instead, these minors are typically deported less than 24
hours after their arrests.
...Thousands of Mexican
and Central American children flee northward into the U.S. each year
to escape child prostitution...
[Attorney Christopher]Nugent explained
how in Mexico there exists terrible child trafficking in the area of
Acapulco, Guerrero, and that many now call this region "the new
Bangkok" of child sex tourism.
Nugent also emphasized that Tijuana [on
the U.S. border with San Diego County, California] has also become
an zone controlled by powerful child prostitution networks.
Many children [enslaved
in prostitution] from Tijuana are trying to flee to San Diego
According to Nugent
70 percent of children who migrate and
come to the Office of Refugees in the United States have suffered
some sort of trauma from violence or sexual exploitation...
...Children who have been caught seven times 'jumping the fence'
into the U.S. are considered to be juvenile delinquents by the
Mexican authorities. These children face a "black hole" and are
thrown into juvenile detention, says Nugent.
Full English Translation
July 3, 2008
From our commentary on
Latin American anti-trafficking policy under the administration of
former President George W. Bush
Regarding questions posed by Chuck
Goolsby at an August, 2008 anti-trafficking conference in
Washington, DC, during a presentation by Mark P. Lagon, then
Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office
to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP), and Senior
Advisor to the Secretary of State for the administration of
President George W. Bush
...During the question and answer period
following Dr. Lagon's remarks at this conference, where he spoke
eloquently about the problem of trafficking in Eastern Europe, Asia
and the U.S. (but without mention of [any] Latin American
issues), I stated in my question to Dr. Lagon that a U.S.
immigration lawyer [attorney Christopher Nugent]
had been interviewed by a Spanish language newspaper (Excélsior
-in Mexico), and
that he had stated that thousands of Mexican children and underage
youth were fleeing from the hundreds of brothels on the U.S. border,
many of them run by the Russian mob. I stated that when they escape
into the U.S. and are caught, they were not being afforded the 72
hour waiting period required by law and access to a lawyer, as other
arrested migrants, those not from Mexico, are given. I stated that
in violation of the law, these minors were being deported back into
Mexico after only 24 hours.
As the moderator of the event asked me
to get to my question, I simply stated emphatically, "What are
you going to do about it?"
Dr. Lagon responded by stating that "all
immigrants are God's children," but he did not clearly answer the
question, nor did he openly commit the TIP office to doing anything
about the issue...
Feb. 16, 17, 2009
Littlest Immigrants Left in Hands of Smugglers
Children Cross the Mexico - U.S. Border Alone Annually]
Cincuenta mil menores cruzan solos la frontera
New York Times
Nov. 03, 2003
Dr. Beatriz Merino, director of Peru's
public ombuds-man's office
La trata de personas se incrementaria
en nuestro país
de la defensoría del pueblo, doctora Mayda Ramos, señaló en horas de
la mañana, que la trata de personas sigue siendo ignorada por muchas
The Level of
Human Trafficking May Increase In Our Nation
Dr. Mayda Ramos,
the director of the
Division for Children and Adolescents
Office of the Defender of the People
[the public ombudsman's office – a constitutionally mandated federal
agency] of Peru has announced that human trafficking is continuing
to be ignored by many government authorities.
Dr. Ramos: "It
is important that complaints of human trafficking incidents be
channeled to the appropriate agencies. Otherwise, we may see an
increase in the size of this ‘evil industry’ in future years."
are no precise figures on the scope of human trafficking in Peru.
Several agencies have conducted research studies, including the
Public Ministry (the Attorney General), the National Police of Peru
and the Ombudsman’s office. Each agency has its own sets of
statistics. Therefore, the Ombudsman’s office has volunteered to
conduct a new study [to establish an accurate baseline of the scope
of the problem].
Dr. Ramos added
that women between the ages of 16 and 25 years-of-age are the group
who are the most vulnerable to human trafficking in Peru.
July 20, 2009
Mexican Sex Traffickers Victimize 10,000 Women
Every Year [in Central and Southern Mexico]
Mexico – Every year, rings engaging in human trafficking entrap or
abduct 10,000 women in the southern and central states of Mexico for
sexual exploitation in the northern part of the country, according
to a study presented on Monday.
investigation, the work of the state University of Nuevo Leon and
funded by the National Science and Technology Council, focuses on
the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women in northern Mexico,
the study coordinator Arum Kumar told EFE.
investigators found, for example, that in Monterrey, capital of
Nuevo Leon [state] and a leading business hub, most sexually
exploited women are brought by gangs from other regions under the
false pretense of getting them jobs.
finding that those who entrap the women take photos to their
villages showing that Monterrey is a first-world city, they show
women pictures of the metropolitan municipality of San Pedro Garza
and tell them that they can work there for a salary of between $50
and $100 a day,” Kumar said.
women get to the city of their destination and find they are being
duped into working in brothels, most of them decide to return home –
at which time they are threatened and submitted to all kinds of
physical, sexual and psychological violence to make them stay.
the biggest city in northern Mexico, is one of the most frequented
destinations [for] sexual tourism thanks to its
proximity to the United States,
the study found.
“It is estimated that out of every 10 women
trafficked from the states of Michoacan, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz
and Chiapas, three are taken to the United States and seven are
exploited within the country,” the expert said.
forced to work as prostitutes in Monterrey come from the central
states of Puebla, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas.
cited recent investigations showing that close to 5,000 women are
trafficked yearly [from Mexico] to the United States and Canada.
At present “Mexico is the leading
destination for sexual tourism in all Latin America, and has become
known as the Bangkok of Latin America,” he said.
added that trafficking in women represents a serious problem of
violence against females that Mexican authorities and society in
general have to face and fight...
the federal government of Mexico has done virtually nothing to
recognize this crisis and stand up to fight the destruction of
generations of women and girls, both Mexican and immigrant, who are
targeted by criminal sex traffickers.
July 21, 2009
Attorney General of the Republic, Eduardo
Medina Mora (left) and the Interior Minister, Fernando
Gomez Mont (right) participate in a ceremony to
inaugurate the nation's federal human trafficking
México acogerá lanzamiento en América de campaña de ONU contra trata
México acogerá en
2010 el lanzamiento en América de la campaña 'Corazón Azul',
promovida por la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el
Delito (ONUDD), que pretende combatir la trata de personas,
informaron hoy fuentes oficiales…
[President Felipe Calderón's Adminis-tration Finally Creates
Mexico's Anti-Trafficking Commission]
Mexico will host the launch of the United Nations campaign
against human trafficking in the Americas
In 2010 Mexico will
host the launch in the Americas of the 'Blue Heart' campaign,
promoted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
which aims to combat trafficking in persons, official sources
initiative] aims to raise awareness of public opinion about this
phenomenon and its impact, to promote civil society's participation
[in finding solutions] and to develop measures to contribute to its
eradication," said Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human
Rights, Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo.
[In related news...]
new inter-agency commission to fight trafficking has been
inaugurated in an event held at the Interior Ministry.
The Commission will
begin its work by documenting accurate figures on human trafficking,
an effort that will occur in the first trimester of 2010,
noted that Mexico has worked in recent years in the 'prevention,
punishment and protection' of human trafficking, a task which
'favors international cooperation.'
[Many anti-trafficking advocates in Congress
would disagree that Mexico's federal government has been actively
combating trafficking at all. Indeed, there have been zero
convictions in Mexico for trafficking related offenses to date.
The new commission,
which will begin its work immediately, will be coordinated by the
Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human
Trafficking, Guadalupe Morfin, who declared that human trafficking
is the 'third-largest global crime,' after drug and weapons
In Mexico "we work in a minefield of social
tolerance and the
complicity of state agents"
Morfín regretted. She pledged to
create public knowledge and awareness about
[her office] has detected cases of duped farm laborers, underground
sweatshops, forced prostitution and labor associated with child
General Eduardo Medina Mora stressed that Mexico already has a law
against trafficking in persons, [passed by Congress on November 27,
2007], and also a Protocol of Care for Victims of Trafficking in
is the first time Mexico has had a tool like this, the result of
interdisciplinary work that facilitates the development of
institutional processes to address this very sensitive issue," he
It "puts the victim
and the protection of their rights at the heart" of the Government's
efforts to exchange information, deal with the victims and bringing
to justice those responsible.
July 16, 2009
Vienna - Today at the Women's World Awards in
Vienna, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs
and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, launched the Blue Heart
Campaign against human trafficking.
March 05, 2009
Finally creating an anti-trafficking
program is a
good first step, Mr. President, but now show us that you are
really sincere about fighting human trafficking in Mexico
applaud President Felipe
Calderón of Mexico for finally creating the long-awaited national
inter-agency commission to manage the
National Program To Prevent and Punish Trafficking In Persons, as
called for in the National Law To Prevent and Punish Trafficking In
Persons, passed by congress in November of 2007. This significant
action is one small step in the right direction. Many others must
now be taken.
During the media
event held by the Interior Department to announce the inauguration
of the Commission, Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human
Rights Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo,
Mexico’s special prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and
Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), Maria Guadalupe Morfín Otero,
spoke profound and wonderful words about their dedication to ending
human trafficking. We sincerely hope that they are speaking the
What was not
discussed at the press conference was the fact that concerned
members of Congress from several political parties have had to
agitate, and even send repeated, stern congressional warnings to
President Calderón to push
him and his federal agencies to finally take action to combat human
trafficking in Mexico.
The July 16, 2009 creation of the
national inter-agency commission came about only as the result of
intensive pressure from anti-trafficking activists within Congress,
within Mexican non-governmental organizations, and from the
international community (including our own editorializing on the
As we have described through articles
reprinted here, and in commentaries written on
Libertad Latina in the
recent past, the more conservative elements of the ruling National
Action Party (PAN) have engaged in a wide range of actions that have
had the cumulative result of reversing women's equal rights in
Mexico. From our observations, we can see no enthusiasm on the part
of the PAN for supporting a serious fight against human trafficking.
It has become obvious, since President
Calderón intentionally delayed publishing the official federal
regulations required to enable the new law for over a year,
resulting in four formal warnings from Congress, that the
Administration has not been interested in combating human
trafficking. The poor quality of the official regulations published
in February 2009, that omitted a role for the leading
anti-trafficking prosecutor's office (FEVIMTRA) in enforcing the new
law (a flaw now rectified), was further evidence of the disinterest
on the part of the
Administration in regard to anti-trafficking enforcement...
activists within Congress, in Mexican civil society and across the
globe will have to maintain a constant vigilance, monitoring the
actions and the progress of the Mexican government in regard to its
willingness to combat trafficking and assist victims.
This one eloquent
press conference, designed to quiet criticism of the Executive
Branch's lack of action in regard to this emergency, is a good
start, but we all want to see President Calderón
back up those words, not with smoke and mirrors, but with an honest
commitment, and aggressive action, finally, to end the barbaric
'mass gender atrocities' that today are tolerated in every corner of
that great nation.
And by the way,
we still want you to rescue and return the estimated 3,000 to 4,000
underage Mayan and other Mexican indigenous girls who have been sold
from Mexico by the Yakuza to become enslaved geisha prostitutes in
We also want to see
an end to the child rape 'mega-center' in the city of Tapachula, in
Chiapas state, on Mexico's southern border, where over half of the
21,000 persons trafficked into prostitution are children and
And we want you to
shut down the ongoing 'rape mill' that also exists on the southern
border of Mexico, where between 450 and 600
Central and South American migrant women and girls of all
ages are kidnapped and raped with impunity each and every day with
no law enforce-ment intervention whatsoever!
Many of those
victims are later sold into sexual slavery.
To date, all of
these gender atrocities have occurred with
govern-ment complicity and/or tolerance.
You say that you are
serious about combating trafficking President
Then let us see real action on these three issues, among the many other
crises that exist.
Then we will have faith in the words that
your agency heads
speak about their commitment to ending human trafficking.
Read the full text of this commentary
End impunity now!
July 19, 2009
Beltrones exige a gobierno combatir trata de personas
Senator Beltrones Demands That Government Combat Trafficking In
Manlio Fabio Beltrones said that he feels that it is urgent that the
federal government create the
National Program To Prevent and Punish Trafficking In Persons,
which action remains on hold, as El Universal reported yesterday.
Beltrones recalled that the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in
Persons was approved by Congress in 2007, as a priority for action
within its legislative agenda support of the fight against organized
crime. The anti-trafficking law was passed on November 27 of that
However, more than a year passed before [President Calderón]
published the [official federal] regulations rules. Those
regulations were finally released in February of 2009.
To date, the Interior Ministry
has not created the National Program to Prevent and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, as called for in Article 12 of the Act.
Senator Beltrones, who is a former governor of Sonora state, noted
that the National Program has not been created by the Interior
Ministry despite the fact that for the past four months (since the
regulations were published in February, 2009), they have had all of
the legal instruments necessary to do so.
June 22, 2009
Lea nuestra sección nueva
sobre la lucha de varios congresistas y defensoras
de los derechos humanos para lograr obligar que el
Presidente Felipe Calderón
publica un reglamiento fuerte respladar a la nueva
ley: Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de
Personas, de 2008, que hasta ahora es sigue
siendo una ley sin fuerzas.
Read our new special section
about the brave work of advocates and congressional
leaders in Mexico to break-through the barriers of
impunity and achieve truly effective federal
regulations that will enforce the original
congres-sional intent of Mexico's 2008
Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons
May 24, 2009
Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against
Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the
[In Mexico] "We have half a
million victims and a flawed trafficking law"
Mexico: 500,000 children have been
kidnapped or lost during the past 5 years. Only 100,000 have
...The lack of interest “on the part
of prose-cutors and public security agencies to address this
problem has increased the impunity of those who dedicate
themselves to this illicit but lucrative business.”
Oct. 16, 2007
prosecutor Maria Guadalupe Morfín Otero, during her
January 2008 swearing in as Mexico special prosecutor
Crimes of Violence Against Women and
Trafficking in Persons
Prioritario combatir y erradicar la trata de personas: PGR
México - El
combate y erradicación de la trata de personas es una causa de vida
por la paz y la justicia mundial, afirmó la fiscal especial para los
Delitos de Violencia contra la Mujeres y Trata de Personas
(Fevimtra), María Guadalupe Morfín Otero...
Eradicating Trafficking In Persons is a Priority: Federal Attorney
General’s Office (PGR)
Mexico - The
combating and eradication of human trafficking is a lifelong cause
for peace, and justice, around the world, affirmed Mexico’s special
prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in
Persons (FEVIMTRA), Maria Guadalupe Morfín Otero.
In a press
release, Morfín Otero, an official of the Attorney General the
Republic (PGR), said that all of the agencies of government that are
involved in the response to these crimes are committed to do so from
an integrated perspective.
representatives of the Ministry of Justice in France to exchange
experiences on the development of preliminary investigations into
human trafficking cases, Morfín Otero said that their work is
informed by the reformed Mexican criminal justice system.
minister-counselor of the French Embassy, Jean Rémi Baptiste
Chauvin, said that combating human trafficking requires a common
international front that is extended and strengthened by the
prevailing laws and human rights [standards].
victim assistance, national coordination and regional and
international cooperation are key pillars for a global fight against
this serious crime" he said.
June 27, 2009
Comunicado dee Prensa: El combate y
erradicación de la trata de personas, causa de vida por la paz y
The combating and eradication of human trafficking is a lifelong
cause for peace, and justice, around the world - In Spanish
By Special Prosecutor Guadalupe Morfín
Released by the Office of President Felipe Calderón
June 27, 2009
Alternative views on
the work of FEVIMTRA...
Women of Atenco, sexual torture and impunity
[Where FEVIMTRA failed to respond to
the sexual and physical assaults against 26 women perpetrated by
federal, state and local police officers in the city of San Salvador
Atenco on May 3rd and 4th of 2006.]
...In Mexico, torture carried out by the state is not
a crime. It is a constant presence that is not punished.
Unfortunately, in this case the government has used a woman to
perpetuate impunity: Guadalupe
Morfín. Morfín is the head of the Special
Prosecutor’s office for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking
in Persons (FEVIMTRA). Morfín has been unwilling to take on the
Atenco case [at the federal level] to ensure the necessary
impartiality. The Atenco prosecutions are taking place in the State
of Mexico, which is an anomaly.
FEVIMTRA has been the entity which has hampered the
search for justice for victims in the Atenco case, and has itself
perpetrated acts of re-victimization. Fevimtra has applied strict
standards to define torture without complying with the Istanbul
Nes for WOmen
May 11, 2009
Physically Assault 26 Women at a Street Protest in May, 2006
Lydia Cacho: tres años
de lucha contra la impunidad
Su caso, en la Corte
Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Lydia Cacho: three years of combating impunity
Her case is now before the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights
[About the failure of
FEVIMTRA to follow-up on the kidnapping, torture and false
imprisonment of award-winning journalist and anti-trafficking
activist Lydia Cacho. The previous special prosecutor, Alicia Pérez
Duarte, resigned when the Supreme Court refused to hear Cacho's
Case. She was replace by Guadalupe Morfín Otero, who 'disappeared'
the federal investigation into Cacho's tormentors.]
...Although Cacho filed a formal
complaint of torture [while in state police detention] before a
FEVIM [now FEVIMTRA] panel chaired by [Special Prosecutor Alicia]
Pérez Duarte, at this point in time, three years later, the case has
[disappeared]... nobody knows what happened to the investigatory
materials that were developed by FEVIM, that could have helped in
the prosecution of the agents from Puebla state who tortured Cacho
[who were being tried in a state court at the time of this article's
Lourdes Godínez Leal
Dec. 18, 2008
Journalist / Activist Lydia Cacho is
Railroaded by the Legal Process for
Exposing Child Sex Trafficking
Networks in Cancun, Mexico
As part of the socially conservative PAN administration of President
Felipe Calderón, FEVIMTRA has not previously demonstrated that it
can address serious violations of women's basic human rights with
Special prosecutor Maria Guadalupe Morfín Otero has received high
advocacy for women's human rights, in the past, FEVIMTRA has
apparently been diminished in its effectiveness by the policies of
We can see no indication that those dynamics have changed, or that
the current creation of the anti-trafficking commission is anything
other than a response to heavy international pressure on the
Calderon Administra-tion to finally get some work done in regard to
this ongoing crisis!
End impunity now!
July 20/21, 2009
Mauricio Farah Gebara, 'Fifth Visitor
General' (left), and ombudsman José Luis Soberanes, both
of the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico, seen
in this photograph from June 16, 2009 announcing their
study showing that 9,758 undocumented immigrants in
Mexico had been kidnapped during a recent six month
Related Story in English
Photo: María Luisa Severiano - La Jornada
Pide desmantelar “la red de complicidades” en dependencias
Alertan contra trata, tráfico y secuestro de personas
Gutiérrez.- La Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH)
alertó sobre una situación vulnerable respecto a los delitos de
trata, tráfico y secuestro de indocumentados, por lo que demandó
la puesta en marcha de estrategias integrales...
Official Raises Warning About Human Trafficking
The city of
Tuxtla Gutierrez, in Chiapas state - A National Human Rights
Commission (CNDH) official has warned that the nation is in a
vulnerable position in regard to crimes of human trafficking and
the kidnapping of undocumented immigrants. In response, the CNDH
demands the development of integrated strategies [to confront
official Mauricio Farah Gebara stressed that federal, state and
local governments as well as non-governmental organizations must
share responsibility for addressing this crisis.
added that this situation puts hundreds of thousands of people
at very high risk [of victimization].
He said that
"what we have to do is to create a uniform law throughout the
country [to target these crimes], because of the 21 states that
have criminalized [human trafficking], the
laws in some of those states open the door to criminals, and in
other states the law closes the door to victims."
interview conducted after he joined the state government of
Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutierrez in an event to inaugurate the State
Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, Farah Gebara said that
it was urgent that decisions be made to help combat this crime
and provide for prevention and victim assistance.
that each state needs "a law that allows us to adequately
address the crime, promote changes in public policies, as well
as to formulate the required legal framework."
noted that human trafficking is not a criminal offense in the
states of Baja California Sur, Durango, Hidalgo, Nayarit, Nuevo
Leon, Queretaro, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and
June 26, 2009
Beltrones exige a gobierno combatir trata de personas
Beltrones Demands That Mexico's Government Combat Trafficking In
“la red de complicidades” en dependencias
del PRI en el Senado, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, reconoció que el
gobierno federal no ha avanzado como debiera en el combate al
tráfico de personas, a pesar de que se ha legislado para combatir
con decisión ese delito.
recientes denuncias contra funcionarios del Instituto Nacional de
Migración (INM), ligados al tráfico de personas, dijo que el
gobierno debe empezar por desmantelar la red de complicidades en las
dependencias federales, y exigió que se vaya al fondo de la acción
judicial, que se llegue hasta donde se tenga que llegar, sin
importar niveles en el organigrama oficial...
Beltrones Demands That Government Combat Trafficking In Persons
The PRI Party’s
Senate leader calls for a dismantling of networks of criminal
complicity involving federal agents
The coordinator of the PRI (the Institutional Revolutionary Party –
one of Mexico’s three main political parties) in the Senate, Manlio
Fabio Beltrones, has declared that the federal government has not
progressed as far as it should in its efforts to combat trafficking
in persons, despite the fact that Congress has passed
Given the recent allegations against officials of the National
Migration Institute (INM) who have been linked to human trafficking,
Beltrones stated that the government must begin to dismantle the
network of complicity in federal agencies [that supports this
criminal activity]. He demanded that criminal investigations dig
into the matter no matter how far up the organizational chain of
command it reaches.
a press release, Beltrones said that he feels that it is urgent that
the federal government stand-up the
National Program To Prevent and Punish Trafficking In Persons,
which remains on hold, as El Universal reported yesterday.
Beltrones recalled that the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in
Persons was approved by Congress in 2007, as a priority for action
within its legislative agenda support of the fight against organized
crime. The anti-trafficking law was passed on November 27 of that
However, more than a year passed before [President Calderón]
published the [official federal] regulations rules. Those
regulations, which were finally released in February of 2009. To
date, the Interior Ministry (Secretaría
de Gobernación) has not created the
National Program to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, as
called for in Article 12 of the Act.
Beltrones, who is a former governor of Sonora state, noted that the
National Program has not been created by the Interior Ministry
despite the fact that for the past four months (since the
regulations were published), they have had all of the legal
instruments necessary to do so.
"This is urgent and imperative, because the focus of this
legislation is not only designed to severely punish the criminals,
but also, most importantly to assist victims and prevent crime.
The postponement of the creation of the National Program is
said the PRI legislator during a meeting with members of the League
of Revolutionary Economists.
June 22, 2009
Ricky Martin to the Rescue
On July 10th at 8:00pm EST, V-me
...[premiered] a powerful new documentary titled Vivir en Libertad:
Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas [To Live in freedom: The Struggle
Against Human Trafficking], featuring Ricky Martin and María
Hinojosa, that addresses the issue of human trafficking.
The 30-minute documentary, a
co-production between the Inter-American Development Bank and the
Ricky Martin Foundation, is narrated by the award-winning journalist
María Hinojosa, whom I’ve met before and really respect. In a
special introduction, Ricky Martin addresses the complexities of
this modern form of slavery. Vivir en Libertad: Lucha Contra la
Trata de Personas covers the multi-layered issues of prevention,
protection and prosecution of human trafficking.
Gotta love Ricky for continuously trying
to make the world a better place.
For local channel information go to
[Man] Breaks into Room, Fondles Teenage
[Police in Pawtucket are saying an undocumented Guatemalan
immigrant, Hermenehildo Lopez, broke into his neighbor's
apartment, entered the 15-year-old daughter's bedroom while she
was asleep, and began fondling her. He was discovered by the
victim's mother, and was arrested. A U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement detainer was placed on Lopez.] - Video
ABC 6 Pawtucket
July 17, 2009
Richmond - A college student says he was
sexually abused by two female employees at a local fast food
restaurant. Now he says the sheriff's department is not taking him
Raymond Smith, 20, says he was attacked,
sexually harassed and burglarized during a 15 minute dinner at a
Fort Bend County McDonalds restaurant...
Smith says his attackers were two
Hispanic teenage girls, who are employees at the fast food
restaurant. One of them is a shift manager. It started as playful
Smith said, "They threw caramel syrup on
After that the situation heated up.
Smith said, "(They said) like, 'I wanna
have sex with you, I wanna do this to you.'"
At one point Smith says the two girls
jumped on him and bit him twice so hard that he went to the
He said, "I was telling them to stop,
telling them I have a girlfriend."
But when he tried to leave, Smith says
the girls jumped in his car, locked the doors and stole some CDs.
"She also undid her pants and as she's
going back in the store, her pants are undone on camera," Smith
[Barbara Jones, the alleged victim's
mother] says it gets worse. When deputies arrived at the scene, she
says they mocked her son.
"I'm going to be embarrassed if they
said that and they won't be working here," promised Chief Deputy
McDonalds issued the statement: "We care
deeply about the well-being of our customers and employees, and
their safety is our top priority. We are working hard to gather the
facts and are fully cooperating with authorities with their
investigation of the alleged incident. It would be inappropriate to
comment further at this time."
July 14, 2009
It is obvious to everyone that the majority of victims of sexual
harassment and sexual assault are female, and that the majority of
perpetrators are male. However, men can certainly be victims of
actions by women perpetrators.
During my years of work in independent victim advocacy, I have seen
several such cases.
In one instance, a Nicaraguan woman who supervised a cleaning
company (that was owned by a local police officer) demanded,
according to her sister's account, sex from her male employees. Any
man who refused, or who did not perform well, was summarily fired
(this is a dynamic of impunity that is common in many Latino
immigrant run workplaces, but these abuses usually affect female
In the second case, a male co-worker and friend from South America
complained to me that his manager, a woman from Mexico, routinely
demanded sex from him. When he refused, his manager downgraded his
periodic performance reports. He told me that he felt bad about
doing this. He had a wife and children. This occurred at a
party-affiliated computer services bureau supporting one of the two
major U.S. political parties.
A white female medical doctor once subjected me to a medical exam
than I can only define as a sexual assault. As in the case of
Raymond Smith described in the above story, it is a reasonable
assumption that any man reporting such an incident of impunity
perpetrated by a woman would only bring laughter from the
investigating authorities. That was my thinking at the time.
Therefore I did not report it. Yet if a male doctor had done the
same thing to a woman patient, he would have gone to jail.
Men also subject other men to exploitation in the workplace. A
friend from Guatemala who is an air conditioning mechanic applied
for a job in his profession at a major hotel in Los Angeles,
California. A long line of applicants waited patiently for their
turn to interview with the hiring manager.
My friend told me that after a while, the manager, a Latino man,
came out of his office, went down the line, and told five men to
line up for the interview at his office (totally disrespecting the
line, a common practice in Latin American cultures). My friend was
one of the five men selected.
The hiring manager told my friend during his interview for the job
that, "I have a job for you, but you have to agree to have sex with
me" (on a regular basis). My friend refused to 'participate.'
'Of course' these types of experiences are faced by women and girls
across the board. It is important to acknowledge, though, that men
and boys can experience these types of abuses also.
End impunity now!
July 17, 2009
-First Lady of Honduras
Honduras' first lady leads fight for Zelaya
Honduras' first lady has emerged as the public face of the movement
to restore President Manuel Zelaya to power, a role she took against
her husband's wishes and despite her continuing fears for her
Xiomara Castro told The Associated
Press on Wednesday that she was so afraid the Honduran military
would shoot her on sight after soldiers whisked Zelaya out of the
country in his pajamas, she fled to the U.S. Embassy.
Though she still
sleeps in hiding, she vowed to take to the streets daily in protest
of the June 28 coup that ousted her husband. The family of a
pro-Zelaya demonstrator slain by soldiers on Sunday urged her to get
involved — over Zelaya's objections.
"He told me that
my presence could cause more problems, more persecution on the
family. But I insisted," Castro said, while trudging up a steep road
with 3,000 Zelaya supporters, who blocked traffic on a route
connecting the capital of Tegucigalpa with a highway to Nicaragua.
"I consider our presence here as like having the president himself
here, like feeling that the president is standing firm." ...
The morning of
the coup, Castro said she and her teenage son Hector sneaked to the
U.S. embassy, then stayed there until the attorney general's office
said no charges would be filed against Zelaya family members...
out of sight for nine days after the coup. But she came out of
hiding at the request of the family of Isis Obed Murillo Mencia, 19,
a protester from Zelaya's home state of Olancho who was shot by
soldiers at the airport Sunday during Zelaya's unsuccessful attempt
"Today we are a
fractured family because (Zelaya is) in one place and my kids are in
another and I'm in another," ... "But all of this has strengthened
The Associated Press
July 8, 2009
Honduran diplomat who insulted Obama quits
Tegucigalpa - Honduras' interim top diplomat, who
insulted U.S. President Barack Obama, has quit his post as foreign
minister and has been offered the post of minister of justice and
government, caretaker president Roberto Micheletti said on Friday.
"Foreign Minister Enrique Ortez has presented his
resignation and given his abilities, I have asked him to take up the
post of minister of government and justice," Micheletti said at an
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; writing by Simon
Gardner; editing by Todd Eastham)
July 10, 2009
[Foreign Minister of the Coup Government in
Honduras Steps Down Over Racist Remarks About U.S. President Barak
A quote by [Foreign Minister Enrique] Ortez Colindres
surfaced yesterday, made during an interview with a Honduran
television station and cited in El Tiempo newspaper:
"He negociado con maricones, prostitutas, con
ñángaras (izquierdistas), negros, blancos. Ese es mi trabajo, yo
estudié eso. No tengo prejuicios raciales, me gusta el negrito del
batey que está presidiendo los Estados Unidos."
"I have negotiated with queers,
prostitutes, leftists, blacks, whites. This is my job, I studied for
it. I am not racially prejudiced. I like the little black man who is
president of the United States."
[At one point Ortez used the term
"negrito del batey," meaning, in
the context of its origins in the Dominican Republic, 'little black
Haitian immigrant sugar plantation worker.']
July 9, 2009
A note to the editor on NowPublic.com responding
to the above quote:
...In this context, if you put together the choice of
words, the dismissive gestures, tone of voice and body language, and
the dismal educational level displayed by this "indignatary's"
speech patterns, you have a baldfaced 1950's-style lowlife Honduran
bigot unmasked before you. A Minister of Foreign Relations who has
obviously been living in a cave for the last 50 years? Symptomatic
of a problem that is not political, but cultural in nature. He
cannot hide his racism, he cannot even measure his tongue and seems
to have never faced a camera before. There goes the credibility for
a "Constitution-defending" government...
Letter to the editor
July 9, 2009
See also - Video:
Racist statements made against U.S.
President Barack Obama by Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Ortez
July 4, 2009
Rape Charges Against [Undocumented Immigrant]
Judge says defendant denied speedy trial; issue likely to go to
Kansas Supreme Court
Newton - The case against a man charged with the rape of a girl who
was younger than 10 was dismissed Monday in Harvey County District
Court because of an appellate court ruling regarding speedy trials.
Margarito Cervantes-Aguilar, of Wichita and allegedly a citizen of
Mexico and in the United States illegally, was charged with two
counts of rape and three counts of aggravated indecent liberties
with a child...
Until recently, courts and prosecutors assumed an immigration hold
constituted a second reason for the defendant to be held. This would
extend the deadline required by law for a speedy trial from 90 days
to 180 days, Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said.
However, a recent ruling by an appeals court in a Lyons County case
Kansas v. Montes-Mata said an immigration hold could not be
considered a second charge against the defendant, which extends the
speedy trial time...
Judge Richard Walker said in his decision the court was in new
waters as the Montes-Mata, which was being appealed to the Kansas
Supreme Court, and a similar case in Ohio, Ohio v. Sanchez, were the
only cases that addressed the issue of immigration holds and speedy
Although the case against Cervantes-Aguilar was dismissed, he still
faces charges and possible deportation because of his immigration
James Gutierrez, an immigration agent who testified at the hearing,
said his investigation indicated Cervantes-Aguilar already had been
deported twice from the United States and served probation for
illegal re-entry to the United States...
If convicted of illegal re-entry into the United States,
Cervantes-Aguilar could face five to 10 years in a federal prison.
Yoder also expressed his desire to appeal Walker’s decision pending
the decision of the Kansas Supreme Court on the Montes-Mata case.
“This is very new, very unsettled law,” Yoder said. “I will pursue
an appeal. I will not let this case go. I will not let this case go
until they make me.”
July 14, 2009
Arrestan a Violador
...Agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza de
la estación oeste de Laredo, arrestaron a un hombre que estaba
pendiente con dos cargos de violación sexual y de indecencias contra
una menor de edad.
Se trata de Margarito Cervantes Aguilar,
un indocumentado originario de México, quien estaba siendo requerido
por las autoridades judiciales del estado de Kansas, por lo que
ahora se encuentra recluido en la cárcel del Condado de Webb, en
espera de ser extraditado hacia aquella entidad norteamericana.
Rapist is Arrested
U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Laredo,
Texas border station have arrested a man who had outstanding
warrants on charges of rape and taking indecent liberties with a
The case involves Margarito Cervantes
Aguilar, an undocumented immigrant originally from Mexico, who was
being sought by authorities in Kansas. He awaiting extradition to
Kansas in the Webb County jail.
Dec. 17, 2008
Sex Crime Lands Man in Custody
Ouachita Parish deputies arrested a man who tried to have sexual
intercourse with a minor.
Marco Guerrero, 33, ...was booked into Ouachita Correctional Center
on charges of indecent behavior with a juvenile, two counts of
simple battery and theft.
According to an arrest affidavit, deputies were called to Shoney's
Inn on Thomas Road in West Monroe early Tuesday about an attempted
[The 15-year-old]... minor told police while she was taking a
shower, the suspect got into the shower with her, telling her he
wanted sex. She told him, "No, " and to get out. She also told them
he did not force or attempt to force himself upon her.
The suspect told police [that]... he was an undocumented
The News Star
July 15, 2009
Schoolgirls in an Amazon community
Salazar / IPS
Going to School Still a Feat for Rural Girls
Wawas, Peru - María
Belén Sabio, a 30-year-old Awajun woman from Peru’s northeastern
Amazonia province, was able to complete a teacher training programme
despite having five children to raise. "Life here in the countryside
is not easy, and I’ve had a hard time getting ahead," she told IPS.
But not all
indigenous women can beat the odds stacked against them. Most only
make it as far as primary school, the statistics show...
A brutal crackdown
on indigenous protests in Bagua in early June drew attention to the
marginalization and exclusion faced by native peoples in Peru's
Amazon jungle region.
According to the
1993 census, indigenous people made up one-third of the Peruvian
population. But more recent estimates put the proportion at 45
percent, with most of the rest of the population of 28.7 million
being of mixed-race (mestizo) heritage, around 15 percent of
European descent, and a small minority of African descent...
for dropping out
"As girls grow
older their mothers choose not to send them to school because they
need them at home to help care for their younger siblings or with
household chores," Fidel Datsa, a teacher at a school in Wawas, told
have primary schools, but in order to attend secondary school girls
usually have to travel long distances, which is a source of worry
fear that if they send their daughters far from their villages, they
might get lost or be attacked by strangers, and that they’d be
putting them in harm’s way...
"We want our girls
to study. As mothers, we do everything we can to help them be better
than us. But that doesn’t always happen with women who live in the
most remote communities, where men have greater control," said Julia
Esamat, a 53-year-old woman from the village of Nazareth, a
three-hour drive from the town of Bagua...
"Here, all the
women work, and little by little we’ve learned to make a place for
ourselves," Esamat told IPS. "Things are changing, even if we still
have to beat 'machista' (sexist) attitudes." ...
According to Karem
Escudero, an expert on indigenous issues, access to schools and
quality education in rural areas will directly affect the
possibility of women gaining a leadership role in the indigenous
"Women who know how
to read and write and are articulate are seen as potential leaders.
Being a leader entails having certain social skills and abilities
that are developed through both formal and informal education," she
Being able to
enjoy a basic right like the right to education will allow
indigenous women to be active citizens and defend other rights more
effectively, to the benefit of their family and their community, the
Inter Press Service (IPS)
Jul 15, 2009
WOLA and Others Urge Protection of Mexican
Human Rights Defenders:
Denounce Attempted Murder of Margarita Martín de las Nieves
Today the Washington Office on Latin
America (WOLA), the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), Human
Rights Watch (HRW), and the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) sent
a letter to Ambassador Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, the Mexican
Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights,
expressing concern for the attempted assassination of Margarita
Martín de las Nieves, the widow of Manuel Ponce Rosas, and
indigenous human rights defender who was kidnapped and executed in
the state of Guerrero last February along with another defender,
Raul Lucas Lucia. WOLA, LAWG, DPLF, and HRW issued a letter to the
Attorney General of Guerrero following the murder of Manuel Ponce
Rosas and Raul Lucas Lucia and we are deeply troubled by the recent
attempts against Ponce Rosas' widow. In our current letter, we urge
Assistant Secretary Gomez to ensure the implementation of protective
measures awarded to 107 human rights defenders in Guerrero by the
Inter-American Court on Human Rights. To date, Margarita Martín de
las Nieves remains vulnerable, as the State has yet to provide her
increased protections. We also request that the authorities
investigate the attempt on Margarita's life and ensure that the
perpetrators are brought to justice.
Human rights defenders face increasing
levels of persecution in Guerrero, and WOLA has worked with
counterparts in the state to oppose militarization and the
criminalization of social protest. We are deeply concerned that
human rights defenders in Guerrero work in a system of impunity,
where abusers are unpunished and crimes are rarely investigated.
Washington Office On Latin America
July 1, 2009
Pop star Ricky Martin poses with CAHT
Anti-Slavery Group Losing Allies Amid Tax Allegations
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CAHT), which has
received nearly $2 million in government grants and private
donations the last three years, hasn't filed returns with the
Internal Revenue Service to show how that money is being used.
There are other
signs things are beginning to sour for the group as well.
Last year, the
group lost its contract to provide services to trafficking victims
in Lee County.
World Relief, a
Baltimore charity that distributes grants from the Department of
Justice, didn't renew the group's $200,000 grant.
And the group's
director Anna Rodriguez no longer attends meetings of the Lee County
Human Trafficking Task force, the key coordinating body for
anti-trafficking efforts in Lee County.
In fact, many of
Rodriguez's colleagues have distanced themselves from her and are
loath to speak about her on the record…
resigned last fall after 18 months as associate director of the
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She's one of many
former employees who worried about the way Rodriguez did business.
Rocco knew the
group hadn't filed with the IRS and said she tried to convince
Rodriguez to do so, with no success.
"Passion does not
equate to knowledge of how to run a nonprofit," Rocco said. "Victims
should not be secondary to dollars."
group celebrated its fifth anniversary with a gala last month.
In addition to the
Bonita Springs headquarters, it now has offices in five other
Florida cities: Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Shalimar and Melbourne.
June 28, 2009
Cárcel a mujer por impedir que ex esposo vea a
su hijo de quien abusó
Chihuahua, Chih., 8
julio 09 (CIMAC).- Con tal de que no conviviera con su hijo de seis
años, su exmarido Miguel Ángel Barrera Balderrama, y convencida de
que el señor abusa sexualmente del niño, la señora Guadalupe Galindo
Rodríguez prefirió cumplir las 36 horas de arresto que le ordenó el
Juzgado Segundo de lo Familiar...
A Woman Who Prevented Her Ex-husband, Accused
of Child Sexual Abuse, from Seeing Their 6-Year-Old Son, is Jailed
Chihuahua city in Chihuahua state - Guadalupe Rodriguez Galindo has
chosen the option provided by the Second Family Court here, of
going to jail for 36 hours rather than allow her ex-husband, Miguel
Angel Barrera Balderrama visitation with their six-year-old son.
Rodriguez Galindo believes that her ex-husband sexually abused the
Accompanied by Jasmine Solis, an attorney with the Center for
Human Rights of Women, Guadeloupe presented herself last Friday
evening at 6pm at the Northern Command of the Municipal Public
Security Bureau, where she remained under arrest until six o'clock
In August 2006 Guadeloupe filed a criminal complaint against
her Miguel Angel for child sexual abuse. Sex crimes investigators
took testimony from the child, who stated: "... I visit my dad and
sometimes I go with him, sometimes I like to go with him and
sometimes I don’t, because my dad played my rear and my penis." ...
When the Seventh
Penal Court acquitted Miguel Angel, the Second Court ruled that he
should be allowed to take the child every few days, as the divorce
objected, explaining that Miguel Angel sexually abused their son.
"As much as I explained to the judge the risk to my son, she did not
care. She demanded that my son be given to Miguel Angel, which I
will not do even if they kill me. I prefer to be in prison before
seeing my son abused."
The judge fined
Guadalupe because she refused Miguel Angel’s visitations. She paid
Guadalupe was not
opposed to visitations by Miguel Angel, but she demanded that her
ex-husband visit their son in her presence. Miguel Angel would not
accept these conditions.
from Miguel Angel, the judge has taken steps against Guadalupe that
are increasingly stringent. The latest was her arrest and
incarceration for 36 hours. Guadalupe remains willing to go to jail
before allowing Miguel Angel to visit their son alone.
Full English Translation
Dora Villalobos Mendoza
News for Women
July 8, 2009
Carried Out by Soldiers" - See CIMAC
Noticias' extensive collection of over 300 articles
written since 2006, covering the factual history of the
perpetration of rape with impunity by Mexico's military.
This 'weapon of war' especially targets rural indigenous
women and girls. (In Spanish)
Graphic: CIMAC Noticias
EE.UU. debe retener ayuda militar
cumplimiento de condiciones de derechos humanos en la Iniciativa
proporcionar información sobre impunidad militar
Mérida brinda al Gobierno de Obama una importante oportunidad para
fortalecer la cooperación estadounidense-mexicana en la lucha contra
las drogas y en la defensa de los derechos humanos. Sin embargo,
para aprovechar esta oportunidad, el Gobierno de Obama debe exigir
enérgicamente que se cumpla con los requisitos de derechos humanos
incluidos en el paquete.
Mexico: US Should Withhold Military Aid
in Merida Initiative remain unmet
Mexico should provide information about cases of military impunity
The Merida Initiative provides the Obama administration with an
important opportunity to strengthen US-Mexican drug enforcement and
human rights cooperation. To capitalize on this opportunity,
however, the Obama administration should vigorously enforce the
human rights requirements included in the aid package.
executive director of Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC) - The US
State Department should not certify Mexico's compliance with the
Merida Initiative's human rights
requirements so long as Mexican army abuses continue to be tried in
military rather than civilian courts, Human Rights Watch said in a
letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released today.
The US Congress
mandated that 15 percent of funds to be provided to Mexico under the
Merida Initiative, a multi-year regional aid package to help address
the increasing violence and corruption of heavily armed drug
cartels, should be withheld until the secretary of state reports to
Congress that the Mexican government has met four human rights
conditions. They include the requirement that military abuses be
investigated and prosecuted by civilian rather than military
expresses concern over the rapidly growing number of serious abuses
committed by the Mexican military during counter-narcotics and
public security operations, including
rapes, killings, torture, and arbitrary
detentions, and the failure to bring those responsible to justice.
In the past 10
years, Mexican military courts - which routinely take over the
investigation of military abuses against civilians - have not
convicted a single member of the military accused of committing a
serious human rights violation...
July 13, 2009
Presenta Demandas Ante La Corte Interamericana
Washington, DC -
...El 7 de mayo de 2009 la CIDH presentó una demanda en el Caso No.
12.580, Inés Fernández Ortega, México. El caso se relaciona con la
violación y tortura de la mujer indígena Me’phaa Inés Fernández
Ortega, por parte de agentes del Ejercito mexicano, el 22 de marzo
de 2002 en la Comunidad Barranca Tecuani, Municipio de Ayutla de Los
Libres, Estado de Guerrero; con la utilización del fuero militar
para la investigación y juzgamiento de violaciones a los derechos
humanos; con la falta de debida diligencia en la investigación y la
falta de sanción a los responsables de los hechos; con la falta de
reparación a la víctima y sus familiares; y con las dificultades que
enfrentan los miembros de los pueblos indígenas, en particular las
mujeres, para acceder a la justicia...
IACHR Takes Cases To The Inter-American Court
...On May 7, 2009, the IACHR filed an application in
Case No. 12.580, Inés Fernández Ortega, Mexico.
The case has to do with the rape and torture on March
22, 2002, of Inés Fernández Ortega, a Me’phaa indigenous woman, by
agents of the Mexican Army, in the Community Barranca Tecuani,
Municipio Ayutla de Los Libres, State of Guerrero; the lack of due
diligence in the investigation and the lack of punishment of those
responsible; the lack of adequate reparations to the victim and her
relatives; the use of the military jurisdiction for the
investigation and trial of violations of human rights; and the
difficulties faced by indigenous persons, especially women, in terms
of access to justice...
[This case also involves the use of death threats
against the victim and her family. -
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Organization of American States
June 25, 2009
Detener abusos militares, condición para dar
recursos a México
Presión de Human Rights Watch
sobre Hillary Clinton
México DF - Human Rights Watch (HRW) hizo un llamado
hoy a la secretaria de Estado de Estados Unidos, Hillary Clinton,
para condicionar a México la entrega del 15 por ciento de los fondos
contemplados en la Iniciativa Mérida, si el gobierno no cumple con
los requisitos en materia de respeto a los derechos humanos y
modifica el sistema de justicia militar.
El llamado coincide con lo afirmado en el informe
Impunidad uniformada, presentado por HRW en abril pasado, donde
señaló que los recursos se retuvieron hasta que Clinton no informara
al Congreso estado-unidense que el Gobierno mexicano había cumplido
con cuatro requisitos en materia de derechos humanos...
Lourdes Godínez Leal
News for Women
July 13, 2009
Mayan girl from
Photo: Mimundo.com - from Xaxmoxan
Hamlet, at a gathering to receive and
bury the dead found by forensic examiners, from a mass
grave of Mayan massacre victims from Guatemala's
1970s-80s anti-Mayan Genocide. The Mayan people of
Quiche experienced 263 massacres during the 1970s, 1980s
and 1990s, while the 'powers that be' in the U.S. were
intentionally asleep at the switch of moral, political
and military action to stop this blatant, racially
Mujeres Ixiles piden solidaridad, apoyo y
acompañamiento en la búsqueda de justicia
Quiché- La Red de Mujeres Ixiles de Santa María Nebaj, Quiché, pidió
el apoyo y acompañamiento de las organizaciones de mujeres y
agrupaciones sociales, en el caso que se lleva por las agresiones en
contra de lideresas por parte de trabajadores del alcalde municipal…
Ixil Mayan Women Seek Solidarity, Support And
Accompaniment In Obtaining Justice
The Ixil Women’s Network of the town of Santa Maria Nebaj, in Quiché
province, has asked for solidarity and support from women's
organizations and social groups to counter violent attacks against
their leadership by the employees of the town's mayor.
According to a press release, the Network is concerned that the
perpetrators have political and economic power, which may corrupt
the application of justice. The Network desires outside support to
push for justice in the cases of abuse that are occurring.
The network is seeking legal action to stop a five year long series
of threats, harassment and defamation instigated by the town's mayor
targeting women leaders of the Network.
The last attack was suffered by Juana Baca, who was physically and
verbally attacked on the premises of the municipal government. Local
police present at the incident did not interfere with the attackers,
despite the fact that the victim is pregnant.
The Ixil Women’s Network demands an end to violence against women
here, and also hopes that justice will done in the cases of abuse
that their organization is facing in this community.
Guatemalan human rights news
June 23, 2009
Washington State, USA
Typically, the coffee artisans at the Seattle-based
Storyville Coffee Company have
one thing on their collective mind - helping people to brew the
perfect cup of coffee at home. It's an obsession that borders on
Storyville made the radical decision to give away everything
earned during the month of May - not just profits, but every
penny from every sale - to International Justice Mission (IJM),
a human rights agency that rescues victims of slavery, sexual
exploitation and other forms of oppression. Every purchase was
effectively a donation to IJM.
The results? During
the "Give It All Away in May" campaign, Storyville raised enough
money for IJM - which currently operates in 12 countries in
Asia, Africa and Latin America - to expand its work into
Labor Organization estimates that thousands of minors in Ecuador
are being exploited in prostitution. Ecuadorian children are
also being trafficked to Western Europe, particularly Spain and
Italy, and to other countries in Latin America. In partnership
with a local human rights agency, Paz y Esperanza [Peace and
Hope], IJM will fight for these young victims.
"It's an honor for
us to be a part of this great endeavor, making justice a reality
for those who desperately need advocates," says Storyville
Co-President Chad Turnbull...
Men Accused of Holding Up to 25 [Undocumented] Immigrants Captive in
[Six men were rescued. Some 19 people, include
all women hostages, remain missing.]
Dale - Two
men have been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping after
they held as many as 25 illegal immigrants against their will in a
single-wide trailer in rural Bastrop County, officials say.
team raid on the mobile home... near Dale on Wednesday resulted in
the arrests of Juan Carlos Sanchez-Camacho, 29, and Nabor
Rodriguez-Guillen, 20, according to an arrest affidavit for the men.
They are accused of keeping the illegal immigrants in the trailer
near the Bastrop-Caldwell county line for at least four days,
beating and starving them, and repeatedly sexually assaulting three
County Sheriff Terry Pickering said the men and women were being
held while their kidnappers demanded money from their families in
were rescued during the raid and are now at an undisclosed shelter
in Austin, Pickering said.
authorities arrived, the women and several other victims were loaded
into a van by the kidnappers and taken to another location, he said.
obviously very concerned for these folks' well-being and safety,"
Pickering said. "At this point, we don't even know who they are."
July 10, 2009
Human Trafficking Ring Bust in Bastrop County
gone days without food or water, some sexually assaulted. Tonight
Bastrop County deputies are on the hunt for the remaining hostages
in a human trafficking ring.
Rodriguez-Guillen and Juan Carlos Sanchez-Camacho allegedly used a
trailer home in Dale as a torture chamber. Bastrop County Sheriff
Terry Pickering describes what he found inside: "No
air-conditioning, no furnishings from what I observed. The people
were being held in one room. They were generally unclothed except
for their underwear.”
says a man claiming to be an escaped hostage told them he was one of
25 immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who were smuggled into
the country then held against their will by three captors at
gunpoint. The hostages were allegedly deprived of food and water and
the women were sexually assaulted...
July 10, 2009
Man Accused in Rape, Attempted Murder of Girl,
A 40-year-old man has been charged in the brutal rape and attempted
murder of a five-year-old girl following a holiday picnic at her
family's home, police said.
Montoya... was discovered half-clothed in a child's bedroom early
Sunday by a shocked family who kept him at bay until police arrived.
He was charged with rape of a child, attempted homicide and other
Community Medical Center, Dr. Michael Rogan of the Children's
Advocacy Center, Scranton and emergency room physician Dr. Vincent
Pollino cataloged the girl's injuries: Severe bruising and cuts to
the back, bruising and bleeding around the eyes consistent with
strangulation, adult bite marks on shoulder and thigh, adult hand
marks on her neck and right cheek and rape-related injuries
significant enough to require surgery.
...Montoyo... was born in Colombia, is married, has a job and two
July 5, 2009
Massachusetts, USA, Guatemala
Prosecutor: Weymouth Girl, 10, Raped by
Weymouth - The 10-year-old girl kept telling her babysitter’s
boyfriend to stop as he pulled on the waistband of her pants four
times, the prosecutor said, but the boyfriend, Genesis Orrego
Gonzales, didn’t listen as they sat on a bed in the house Gonzales
shared with the babysitter, the girl told police later.
Gonzales, 29, of Weymouth, was charged on July 8 with rape of
a child with force and indecent assault and battery of a child under
An innocent plea was filed at his arraignment, which took
place on July 9 in Quincy District Court...
The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] agency
is holding Gonzales, who told police that he came to the United
States illegally from his native Guatemala more than 10 years ago...
GateHouse News Service
July 10, 2009
Springfield Man Charged with Rape of Boy
Police have arrested a city man in
connection with an alleged rape of a 12-year-old boy.
Springfield police said Fernando Santos,
42, of 40 Cliftwood St. was arrested at his home at approximately 4
a.m. on Saturday.
Santos was charged with two counts of
indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, two counts of rape
of a child with force and threat to commit a crime, police said...
The Republican Newsroom
July 11, 2009
Why Has Child Molestation Committed by
[Undocumented Immigrants] Become an Epidemic?
Operation Predator sweeps across the country conducted between
2003-2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents nabbed over
10,700 foreign national child molesters. Many of these predators had
been previously convicted of other crimes, and many had already been
deported once. The number predators apprehended in the sweeps
actually only represent the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, a study
conducted by the
Violent Crimes Institute reports
that between 1999 and 2006, there were nearly 1,000,000 sex crimes
committed in the United States by [undocumented] aliens.
...[In a review
of cases published in a 2007 article, during a 30 day period, 27
child molestation cases
allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants were
documented. The article lists the cases, including that of
15-year-old victim Dani Countryman - see below article].
So why does the
crime of child molestation seem to be so prevalent among
[undocumented] aliens from Mexico?…The answer may lie within the
age-old Mexican culture of "machismo," as well as within the actual
laws of that country [which are derived from the code of machismo -
The crime of
rape or child molestation is incredibly under-reported in Mexico,
because there is so much shame placed upon the victim as well as the
difficulty in proving the case. [In] a 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning
Washington Post article, reporter Mary Jordan detailed the case of a
16 year old Mexican girl who had reported being raped by three
policemen in 1997. When Yessica Yadira Diaz Cazares and her mother
went to the police station to report the rape, she was laughed at by
the officers and actually jailed overnight...
officer laughed at her and verbally abused the girl as she
identified him as an attacker. Eventually, Yessica realized that
justice would never be served and simply gave up. Sadly, she not
only gave up her search for justice but her life as well.
Despondent, she committed suicide by taking an overdose of
death, the national human rights commission pursued the case,
resulting in the convictions of two of the accused officers.
The crime of
kidnapping a woman for the purpose of rape and marriage against
[her] will, or "rapto" as it is known in Mexico is actually a minor
crime and is rarely ever prosecuted. A Mexican legislator actually
called the practice "romantic." Of course, this crime if committed
in the United States would elicit felony charges and a penalty of 20
years to life in prison.
While rape is a
serious crime in the United States, many Mexican nationals cannot
understand why they are prosecuted on this side of the border.
Often, a small payment of $10 to $20 to the victim´s family will
settle the matter back in Mexico.
troubling and telling reason behind the growing epidemic of child
molestation at the hands of Mexican [undocumented immigrants] is the
fact the age of sexual consent throughout the majority of Mexico is
12 years of age...
towards having sex with little girls is carried with many Mexican
men as they cross into this country.
An example of
this attitude can be found in Mexican national
Diego Lopez-Mendez, who pled guilty
in 2006 to sexually assaulting a 10 year old West Virginia girl.
Through an interpreter, he told the court: "In the pueblo where I
grew up girls are usually married by 13 years old….I was unaware of
the nature of the offense or that it was a bad crime."
In order to
bring charges of rape in most Mexican states, the law requires that
the girl prove that she is a virgin, and that the charge of
statutory rape be dropped if the rapist wishes to marry his victim.
Of course, when
discussing the issue of [undocumented] immigration, this dirty
little secret is never talked about by our politicians, nor is the
impact that such an attitude towards the abuse of children could
have on this nation by offering amnesty to millions of Mexican
Norfolk Crime Examiner
April 21, 2009
rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of women and girls in
Latin America, especially when they belong to 'minority' groups such
as indigenous and African descendent populations who are not
defended at all in their societies, is a fact that cannot be denied.
The mass-migration from Latin America has brought these problems to
the United States, making them the responsibility of the general
public, politicians, law enforcement and the judicial system to
monitor and resolve.
To openly discuss these facts is not to engage in an act of
prejudice against the Latin American immigrant population. It is in
fact an action taken in defense of immigrant women and girls who
experience severe sexual harassment, rape and sexual slavery in
every corner of the U.S. at the hands of immigrant men from Latin
America and throughout the world. The perpetrators are men who grew
up in cultures where raping 10-year-old girls is literally
considered to be a normal part of adult male behavior.
Such acts do not represent the actions of the majority of migrant
men, but they do accurately reflect the beliefs of a
majority of men who come from Latin America to live in the
A 2006 survey across Latin America by the International Labor
Organization found that 65% of respondents found nothing wrong with,
and stated that they would feel no fear or remorse in
regard to having sex with children. Millions of underage girls are
sexually exploited across Latin America.
Indeed very large numbers of men engage in exploiting the 40 million
street children in Latin America (almost all of whom survive through
'survival sex' and prostitution). They also exploit the many tens of
thousands of children who engage the virtually legal street and
brothel based prostitution that exists and is today expanding in
every Latin American nation.
What has been the most surprising for me during my decades of gender
advocacy work in the Washington, DC region's Latin community has
been to see the intense and misplaced sense of defiance and
entitlement that such men, who grew up under the feudal-era code of
machismo, display when engaging in sexual harassment and attempted
criminal conduct targeting immigrant women and girls. Men who
believe this way feel incensed and outraged whenever any person
interferes with their actions, which constitute behaviors that they
believe are ordained by the 'cult' of machismo.
For example, I know of
men in their 20s and 30s who have
approached Latina migrant mothers to ask them directly if they can
(and if the answer is no, to tell them that they will) date
their underage Latina daughters, whether they are 11, 12, 13, 14,
15, 16 or 17. Such a request, and the act of forcing the issue, is
indeed 'traditional' and legal across Mexico, Central America and
much of the rest of Latin America. These mothers are hard-pressed to
defend their daughters when they must work two and three jobs to
support their families.
The fact that the largely undocumented Latin immigrant migrant
community lives virtually 'underground' means that the social rules
and abuses that exist in Latin America (corruption, impunity,
retaliation, and sexist and racist machismo) are being applied by
predatory immigrant men in the U.S. and other Latin American
Diaspora cultures, with little
fear of any real law enforcement response to those crimes.
Youth gangs further codify this thinking into a formal set of
rituals that include the gang rape of underage girls as an act of
These men, and also U.S. born sexual predators of all races who
collaborate in this impunity, know that 'little Miss Latina' lives
in an underground world where an ancient, sexist, Mediterranean
derived 'code of silence' is enforced, and where her access to
police assistance, as a person at risk for - or as an actual victim
of sexual violence, is limited by the language barrier, fear of
deportation and, at times, by police apathy, indifference, red tape
Although leaders in the immigrant community would like to limit talk
of these types of uncomfortable issues during the current push for
comprehensive immigration reform, the topic of sexual violence and
impunity in immigrant communities must take a center-stage position
during such discussions.
Everyone in the U.S. has a right to know about this criminal
behavior and to participate in decision making in regard to it.
In addition, those at-risk, as well as those in the victim community
would like to see an end to this self serving code of silence once
and for all.
The U.S. public, and law enforcement officers as well, have already
seen the reality of these dynamics of sexual exploitation over time,
in community life and in news article about local arrests, as the
article by Dave Gibson of the Norfolk Crime Examiner shows. The same
arrogant impunity that many sexist immigrant men use to subject
women and girls to very brutal forms of criminal sexual exploitation
must not be tolerated in the form of aggressive efforts to silence
any open discussion of these issues as part of the larger
The sexist attitudes involved in this crisis can be seen almost
daily on TV shows such as the Spanish language NBC Telemundo
network's very popular court show, Caso Cerado (Case Closed),
Judge Ana Maria Polo.
Numerous arbitration cases presented on Dr. Polo's program involve
addressing the actions of men who openly declare on international
television that they have a right to 'take' sex from adult and
underage women in a variety of settings, including in cases that
involve sex trafficking, kidnapping, rape and child sexual abuse.
The accused, who starts out on the show as a party to voluntary
arbitration of what is usually a civil dispute, is often surprised
when a sworn officer appears and handcuffs him, as Judge Polo reacts
to the man's confession of criminal sexual conduct against a woman
or child, which conduct he often expects the judge to ratify
as his birthright (as a judge would often do in Latin America).
Any solution to the immigration issue in the U.S. must include a
clear and open recognition of these forms of impunity, and clear,
enforceable measures for bringing this constantly expanding crisis
of sexual exploitation under control.
At the same time, the U.S. must use its influence to demand that
social and legal tolerance for the 'gender hostile living
environment' that exists across Latin America be rolled-back, and
then eliminated all together. That will be a tall order, but
an urgently need one!
End impunity now!
July 12/13, 2009
Testimony of University of North Carolina Law
Professor Deborah M. Weissman before Congress
...As Alamance county's demographic landscape changed, and with the
increase of Latinos in all facets of community, tensions arose. In
an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, Alamance County
Sheriff Terry Johnson complained that more Latino criminals were
arriving to the area.
In an example where a local official implementing federal law
reveals ignorance and hostility, Johnson made brazenly racist claims
about Mexicans, stating,
"[t]heir values are a lot different - their morals - than what we
have here," Johnson said. "In Mexico, there's nothing wrong with
having sex with a 12-, 13-year-old girl..." He linked the Latino
presence with growing crime rates...
Testimony of Deborah M. Weissman -
Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law - Director of
Clinical Programs School of Law University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill - Before the Committee on the Judiciary - on the “Public
Safety and Civil Rights Implications of State and Local Enforcement
of Federal Immigration Laws”
April 2, 2009
The fact that
Sheriff Terry Johnson of Alamance County, North Carolina made the
observation that he is seeing, through his department's law
enforcement work, cases of adult men from Mexico having sexual
relationships with 12 and 13-year old girls makes his observations
neither racist, nor ignorant, nor hostile to the Latino immigrant
community. What about the well being of the underage girl victims
of these abuses? Knowing what we know today about the crisis of
sexual exploitation facing many tens of thousands of girls in this
age group in Mexico, Sheriff Johnson's comments are consistent with
the observations of women and children's rights advocates all over
What professor Weissman's comments do reflect is an
unfounded yet common assumption that is made by many who live
outside of the Latino world, that presumes that the reality of the
wholesale sexual exploitation of girls in this age group by men in
Mexico and the rest of Latin America cannot possibly be a truth.
That conclusion is reached based not of fact, but based on a mental
leap that says, "it simply cannot be true."
Well, it is in fact true, and human rights advocates
all over Mexico, Central America, South America and within the U.S.
have seen the same pattern of abusive behavior targeting young,
underage Latina girls. The women's human rights advocacy movement in
Latin America has been the largest voice bringing these facts to
It is time, finally, to speak honestly about this
issue, and come to the defense of young girls in this community.
¿Que no? (Or not!?)
Ignorance may be an excuse for inaction, but we are
ignorant of this crisis no more.
End impunity now!
July 12-14, 2009
After conducting a 12 month in-depth study
of [undocumented] immigrants who committed sex crimes and murders
for the time period of January 1999 through April 2006 - it is clear
that the U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who
cross the U.S. borders illegally.
There were 1,500 cases analyzed in depth. ...93 sex offenders and 12
serial sexual offenders [come] across U.S. borders illegally per
day. The 1,500 offenders in this study had a total of 5,999 victims.
Each sex offender averaged 4 victims. This places the estimate for
[U.S.] victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months
examined in this study...
- Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.
Violent Crimes Institute
Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se
prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista
Expert: More than one million minors are
prostituted in Central Mexico
Tlaxcala city, in Tlaxcala state - Around 1.5 million
people in the central region of Mexico are engaged in prostitution, and
some 75% of them are between 12 and 13 years of age, reported Teresa
Ulloa, director of the
Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean...
La Jornada de Oriente
Sep. 26, 2007
In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime;
Rape Victims Face Widespread Cultural Bias in Pursuit of Justice
...Mexico is struggling to modernize its justice system, but when it
comes to punishing sexual violence against women, surprisingly
little has changed in a century. In many parts of Mexico, the
penalty for stealing a cow is harsher than the punishment for rape.
Although the law calls for tough penalties for rape—up to 20 years
in prison—only rarely is there an investigation into even the most
barbaric of sexual violence. Women's groups estimate that perhaps 1
percent of rapes are ever punished...
The Washington Post
June 30, 2002
Trata de blancas en Centroamérica
Sex Trafficking in
…A study by the international
made public ithree weeks ago in Guatemala City, reveals that over
21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552
bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico…
Traffickers sell these child victims to
Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.
More that 50% of these children are from
[indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans
and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to
...In 2006, the
International Labor Organization
conducted a survey of adult attitudes in Mexico, Central America and
South America, where it is quite easy [for men] to engage in sexual
relations with children.
Some 65% of respondents stated that
they don't see any problem, and they don't feel any sort of
conflict or fear in regard to having sex with boy and girl
children, and "they don't feel that there is anything wrong
with doing it."
...Mexico has been converted into a
paradise for pimps and a living hell for thousands of Central
American girl children like
Jackeline Jirón Silva
[who was kidnapped into prostitution at age 11], whose
captors have prostituted her during the past 32 months...
Ana Lilia Pérez
Oct. 22, 2007
Central America: Activists Infiltrate Child Sex
infiltrated child trafficking, prostitution and pornography networks
in Central America and Mexico painted a sordid picture in a new
report on the growing commercial sexual exploitation of children in
the region, presented by Casa Alianza in the Costa Rican capital...
Viviana Retana, [a]… member of the team of investigators, told IPS
that the trafficking of children as sexual merchandise was a
constant phenomenon in Central America and Mexico, as well as other
countries in Latin America. ''The rings of pedophiles and procurers
are very well organized, operate with advanced technology and handle
large amounts of money,'' she explained. The authors reported that
procurers in Mexico buy 12 to 15-year- old girls from Central
America - mainly Salvadorans and Hondurans - for 100 to 200
April 5, 2002
"Sexual abuse and rape, important causes of HIV/AIDS infection among
adolescent girls, has increased and now affects girls at younger
ages worldwide (UNAIDS). In many countries of Latin America and the
Caribbean, for example, the age of sexual abuse and rape
predominates in girls younger than 10 years old. A follow-up study
done by the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network in
five countries demonstrated that this has been happening in
Nicaragua, Peru and Colombia."
Dr. Mabel Bianco, MD
A Washington, DC- Latina
Social Worker and Community Center Director's Letter - 1999
...Over the past two years, I have been
observing a systemic pattern of violence committed against girls and
young women in our community. This violence involves the sexual
abuse/assault against girls as young as 10 years old...
have been incidents of date rape, gang rape, abductions, drugging,
threats with firearms, etc. The incidents are just as you
described in your
[Mr. Goolsby's below
and have been met with
the same level of indifference and dismissal of legal (never mind
moral) responsibility on the part of civil institutions -- the
police department, public schools, etc."
...While some do say
this is culturally accepted behavior, the reality is that many
families -- mothers and fathers alike -- are enraged and wanting to
pursue prosecution of the perpetrators, but they find themselves
without recourse when the police won't respond to them, when they
fear risking their personal safety, and/or when their legal status
(undocumented) prevents them from believing they have rights or
legal protection in this country. Many girls and young women's
families are threatened and harassed by the perpetrators when it
becomes apparent that the family is willing to press charges for
statutory rape/child sexual abuse.
...The use of
intimidation and violence to control girls and their families
results in the following: 1) parents/guardians back off from
pressing charges, 2) relatives do not inform the police or others of
sightings of girls and young women who have been officially reported
as "missing juveniles," and 3) the victims of sexual violence refuse
to participate as "willing witnesses" in the prosecution/trial
My question is how and where do we create the public environment
that allows us to voice our disapproval and to hold the implicated
adults accountable for their negligent care of our children? ...
- From a
letter by a Latina
community center director working with young Latina girls in
Washington, DC's largest Latino neighborhood.
Our letter to The National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child abuse and exploitation in
Gaithersburg, MD, and past official inaction in response.
above social worker's letter responds to this letter).
...In 1997 I reported the ongoing, daily sexual harassment of an 11
year old Latin immigrant girl from El Salvador by an adult man, to
the Gaithersburg City Police Department. The first visits by a
patrol officers on two occasions involved (first visit) a
[Gaithersburg City Police] officer who didn't care at all and took
no action; and (second visit) [by one Gaithersburg, and one
Montgomery County officer] a lack of willingness to follow up on the
case when the harasser was found not to be home (I served as
translator for these two officers)... 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.
The next year, 1998, I again approached the Gaithersburg City Police
Force to report that the same adult man was now sexually involved
with this now 12 year old girl. The officer whom I spoke with at the
city's police station stated to me that "We can't just pick him up,
he might sue the city."
- Chuck Goolsby
Dec. 05, 1999
Alejandro Rivera Gamboa
Gilberto Javier Arellano Gamboa
Two men sentenced for 2007 murder of teen Dani
OREGON CITY -- Two
men involved in the strangulation death of a Texas teen in the
summer of 2007 in a Milwaukie apartment were sentenced Tuesday in
Clackamas County circuit court.
Dani Countryman was
a 15-year-old girl who came to live with her sister Ashley in the
summer of 2007. She was found strangled by her sister the morning
after a party in the Balboa apartments.
Arellano Gamboa was sentenced to 70 months in prison for attempted
first-degree sex abuse and for hindering prosecution, according to
Clackamas County prosecutor Chris Owen.
Alejandro Rivera Gamboa, is expected to serve life in prison for
aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse. He may have a parole
hearing after 35 years.
held a party on July 27. Dani was scheduled to return to Texas the
following day. The morning of the 28th, Ashley found Dani's body on
the floor of a first-floor apartment, partly covered with a blanket.
She called police and deputies arrived about 8:30 a.m.
Later that day,
police arrested Rivera Gamboa for a probation violation on a drunk
driving charge. Allejandro Gamboa was arrested Aug. 6 at his unit of
the Balboa apartments, a few doors down from where Dani was
Both men initially
were accused of aggravated murder. Attempted rape charges and sex
abuse charges were added later. Both men also told police they
knowingly entered the country illegally. Arellano Gamboa had no
prior record. Local and federal police never pursued deportation for
Rivera Gamboa despite the drunk driving conviction.
Court records showed
Rivera Gamboa admitted to stepping on the girl's throat and holding
her down and that the two tried to sexually assault her. Police said
15-year-old Dani Countryman tired to fight off the cousins...
July 07, 2009
Suspect Stepped on Girl's Neck, Police Say
"As 15-year-old Dani Countryman struggled beneath Gilberto Arellano
Gamboa, pinned to the floor with her pants down, he called on his
cousin to help subdue the girl. Alejandro Rivera Gamboa responded by
stepping on Countryman's throat until she stopped moving.
That's how investigators described Countryman's death in a court
document released Tuesday. Evidence outlined in the document
included statements by the defendants and a bloody shoe that matched
an imprint on Countryman's chest...
Aug. 9, 2007
Ineficaz Justicia Ante El Turismo Sexual De
Niñas Y Niños
México, DF -
Expertos que han estudiado el tema estiman que hay cerca de 20
mil niñas y niños en México que son víctimas de las redes de
explotación sexual, incluyendo trata, pornografía, prostitución y
turismo sexual, señaló Infancia Común y difundió la organización
Alianza por tus Derechos…
Justice System is Ineffective in Combating Child Sex Tourism
Mexico City -
Experts who have studied the problem estimate that there are about
20,000 children in Mexico who are victims of sexual exploitation
networks, including those that engage in pornography, prostitution
and sex tourism, according the the organizations Infancia Común
(Common Infancy) and Alianza por Tus Derechos (Alliance for Your
networks offer tourist packages on the Internet, in local newspapers
and directly through the use of "recruiters" (street hawkers). "In
Mexico there is total impunity. We know of not one conviction for
sex tourism in the country," said Raquel Pastor, founder of Common
Although in 2007
there was a reform of the Federal Penal Code which criminalizes the
sexual exploitation of minors, the inefficiency of the judiciary in
Mexico exacerbates the problem. "Foreigners come here because
they know that there is very little chance of their being
prosecuted. We can count the number of tourists arrested on our
Elena Azaola, expert of the Center
for Research and Social Anthropology.
"There are very
few complaints [from individuals, who must file criminal complaints
to start the investigative process in Mexico]. The agencies that
should investigate, such as the Attorney General (PGJ), have not
received enough training," said Gerardo Sauri, executive director of
Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico.
"There is no budget allocated specifically to address this
situation. We are fighting the sexual exploitation of children in
Mexico without resources."
News for Women
July 9, 2009
Child-Sex Tourism Increases in Juárez
Child-sex tourism continues to grow in
Mexican northern border cities such as Tijuana and Juárez, according
to a U.S. State Department report.
"Foreign child-sex tourists arrive most
often from the United States, Canada and Western Europe," according
to the report, made public this week.
It said people from Mexico also are
trafficked into the United States for commercial sexual
exploitation. Besides the northern border cities, the report said,
Cancun and Acapulco are popular child-sex tourism destinations.
Each year, as many as 20,000 children
are sexually exploited in these urban centers, officials said...
The U.S. government said corruption and
lax enforcement were to blame for few human-trafficking prosecutions
Jacinto Segura, spokesman for the Juárez
city police, said, "We're aware of the report, but our function as
city police is prevention. If police become aware of a situation of
this nature, then they will step in to prevent it. State and federal
authorities can investigate any complaints brought to their
In 2001, the United Nations' UNICEF and
Mexico's National System for Integral Family Development alleged
that sexual exploitation of children was rampant in places such as
Juárez, Tijuana, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Cancun and Tapachula in
Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
June 19, 2009
Ringleader Sentenced in Major Prostitution
Minneapolis - One of two people who ran
a major Minnesota prostitution ring was sentenced Tuesday to more
than two years in federal prison. This is the 23rd defendant
sentenced as the result of an investigation led by U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with assistance from local and state
law enforcement agencies.
U.S. District Court Judge Joan Ericksen
sentenced Oscar Rogelio Hisep-Roman, 33, of Dover, Fla., to 28
months in prison for conspiring to commit an offense against the
United States. Hisep-Roman, along with 24 other defendants, was
indicted in May 2007 following their arrests in Minneapolis and
Austin, Minn., by ICE agents with assistance from state and local
authorities. Hisep-Roman pleaded guilty April 10, 2008.
A second primary defendant, Marisol
Ramirez, 39, of Richfield, Minn., was sentenced June 25 to 30 months
in prison for conspiracy money laundering, illegal re-entry after
deportation. She pleaded guilty April 3, 2008.
"These sentencings send the message that
this is far from a victimless crime," said U.S. Attorney Frank J.
Magill. "This conspiracy of operating brothels is an intolerable
crime. Our office will continue working to show that Minnesota is
not a haven for human trafficking, and that we will use our
resources to prosecute those who engage in this heinous conduct."
"Today's sentencing should serve as a
reminder of the pain, suffering and humiliation that Hisep-Roman and
his criminal organization brought upon the women under their
control," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of the ICE
Office of Investigations in Bloomington, Minn. "While we can't erase
that suffering, we can pledge that ICE and its law enforcement
partners will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute
those who profit from others' misery." ...
Twenty-two other defendants have already
been sentenced for conspiring to commit an offense against the
July 7, 2009
Ayala, a Honduran congressional deputy, visits the wounded in a
hospital after protesters were attacked by soldiers.
Deputy Ayala: "Our constitution says that nobody
should recognize a government that takes power by force. Therefore,
the people have a right to insurrection, which we are exercising in
From a video of street protests, a
tear gas attack at a hospital, and wounded protesters being treated,
posted on YouTube.
CIDH Ordena Proteger A Defensores De Derechos Humanos En Honduras
Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) ordenó a las autoridades
hondureñas, el pasado viernes 3 de julio, adoptar “todas las medidas
necesarias para asegurar la vida e integridad personal de defensores
de derechos humanos, periodistas, familiares del Presidente Zelaya,
y observadores internacionales presentes en Honduras”...
IACHR Order to
Protect Human Rights Defenders In Honduras
San Jose, Costa Rica - On Friday July 3rd, 2009, the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [a legal entity of
the Organization of American States] has ordered the de facto
Honduran government to take "all necessary measures to ensure the
life and physical integrity of human rights defenders, journalists,
relatives of President Zelaya, and interna-tional observers in
IACHR ordered the de facto Honduran authorities must ensure the life
and safety of 63 people whoa re considered to be at risk of losing
their integrity, their freedom or their lives.
The list includes
social leaders, journalists, trade unionists and human rights
advocates who have rallied against the coup in Honduras.
The Center for Justice and International
represents 18 of these women and men.
sought from the authorities are particularly necessary in regard to
persons who have been detained and / or who’s whereabouts are
unknown. "The Commission requested a report on the locations of
missing persons and, in case of arbitrary detention, that provisions
be made for their immediate release."
The Commission also
requested information about the repression of peaceful
demonstrations "as a result of which there would be missing,
wounded, beaten, arrested and tear gassed persons."
Commission established a maximum of 48 hours for information on the
implementation of these measures, the representatives of the de
facto government have not replied to this international order.
measures are a preventive measure to avoid irreparable harm and are
granted by the IACHR in situations that threaten human rights of
people without it being necessary to rule on the merits of the case.
The State is obliged to obey them.
July 7, 2009
Pink Taxi Company was launched in Moscow in August 2006, modeling
the all-women drivers, women passengers-only format found on the
streets of London and Tokyo.
The launch followed a spate of violence against women
taxi passengers in Moscow, and has proved so popular that the
original ‘fleet’ of two cars has now grown to 20.
Photo by Jun7000
Promueven Empresa de Taxis Rosados Para
Guatemala - La
empresa Rosado Express decidió abrir sus servicios de taxis
femeninos a raíz de la inseguridad, robos y violaciones que sufren
muchas guatemaltecas en taxis ilegales, especialmente los fines de
semana y cuando salen por las noches, indicó Luis Rosales...
Pink Taxi Service
for Women Starts
Guatemala - The
company Pink Express has decided to a women’s taxi services female
to respond to the fact that women taxi customers face insecurity,
robbery and rape at the hands of many drivers of illegal taxis,
especially during weekends and at night, says Luis Rosales,
supervisor at the company.
The taxi service
will be provided only to women, children and seniors, and each taxi
will include a first aid kit. Pink Express currently has 5 taxis.
Before starting the
service, a marketing survey was performed in which a thousand women
living in Guatemala City were interviewed in order to
understand their needs for taxi service.
Rosales added that
women’s taxis have been implemented in Mexico, Colombia, England,
and Dubai, where they are pink. Guatemalan law will not permit taxis
to be painted pink.
by noting that each taxi will have a woman driver, which will allow
women passengers to feel confidence and security.
July 08, 2009
Smith, former member of Congress and founder of Shared Hope
Shared Hope International Exposes Child Sex
Trafficking in South Florida
Shared Hope International will
release a groundbreaking report and training video on domestic minor
sex trafficking at the upcoming Child Slavery in Our Community
Leadership and Training Summit. The Assessment of Domestic Minor Sex
Trafficking in Broward and Dade Counties, Florida reveals that child
victims of sex trafficking are being arrested for prostitution in
Broward and Miami-Dade counties. These severely victimized and
traumatized children are being misidentified as juvenile delinquents
and punished for the crime that is being committed against them. In
fact, the report documents more than 500 juveniles were arrested for
prostitution in Miami-Dade County from 1998-2008. A lack of training
for social service providers and first responders is noted as the
primary gap causing the misidentification of child victims of sex
On July 9, 2009 law enforcement
officers, social service providers, and child advocates from Broward
and Miami-Dade counties convene at St. Thomas University School of
Law for the Child Slavery in Our Community Leadership and Training
Summit. Organized by Shared Hope International, the summit will
bring an exclusive focus on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking - the
commercial sexual exploitation of children through prostitution,
pornography, and stripping. Shared Hope International will use this
event to release groundbreaking video with surveillance footage,
survivor interviews, and expert testimony to educate and inform
social service providers on how to identify and respond to American
children who are commercially sexually exploited...
July 07, 2009
Hernán Giraldo compareció ante
Justicia y Paz, un grupo de
manifest-antes llegó a la
Fiscalía de Santa Marta a
Hernán Giraldo turned himself in
during the peace process, a
group of protesters came out to
the prosecutor’s office in Santa
Marta to support him.
20 casos de niñas
abusadas por el extraditado jefe
paramilitar Hernán Giraldo investiga la
En seis de ellos, las menores fueron
madres antes de los 14. A los
investigadores les tomó casi dos años
encontrar la primera persona dispuesta a
declarar sobre las aberraciones de 'el
Investigate 20 Cases
of Underage Girls Who Had Been
Sexually Abused by
Extradited [Right Wing] Paramilitary
Leader Hernán Giraldo
Six of the cases involve youth who
became mothers before the age of 14. It
took investigators almost two years
before they found the first victim who
was willing to testify against ‘the old
A woman who is now 23 told prosecutors
that, when she was 13, “He returned
every eight days. That’s how I got
Information about these crimes first
reached prosecutors as a rumor. Many
parents of the Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta [a high mountain range on
Colombia's Atlantic coast] chose to
become displaced refugees before they
would ever give in to seeing their girl
children become the ‘women’ of Hernán
Giraldo. Today, prosecutors have
documented 19 cases of underage girls
who had children by Giraldo...
say that Giraldo has had more than 100
children since he became the region’s
coca [cocaine] baron in the 1970s...
When the silence was broken,
investigators began to discover parents
who had given their daughters to
Giraldo. These parents hoped that
Giraldo would like their daughters, make
them one of his ‘women,’ and in that
way, the parent’s [financial] future
would be insured. Parents took their
daughters to parties and events where
they literally lined-up in front of
Now, authorities are seeking a girl who
was delivered by her mother into the
hands of Giraldo. She ended up being
prostituted among the troops of
[Giraldo’s] paramilitary army.
Prosecutors also have information about
a teenager who was 'chosen’ by Giraldo
and who was allegedly unfaithful with
one of his troops, known as El Flaco
[the skinny one]. El Flaco was killed.
Nobody has seen the girl since Giraldo
removed her from the house that he had
given to her in Puerto Nuevo.
Giraldo is not the only paramilitary
leader who has these types of stories
associated with him. During the peace
Rodrigo Tovar Pupo – aka 'Jorge
40’ sent a message to fellow
paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso
saying that he would not participate in
the demilitarization as long as Mancuso
was still seeking out pelaítas [young
underage girls]. And ‘El Oso’ [The Bear]
- the paramilitary
leader in the city of Sucre, is accused
of organizing children’s beauty pageants
where he chose his victims.
14 Members of Colombian Paramilitary Group
Extradited to the United States to Face U.S. Drug Charges
...Hernan Giraldo-Serna [is] charged in a superseding
indictment returned on March 2, 2005, with conspiracy to manufacture
and distribute cocaine...
May 13, 2008
Colombian authorities prepare Hernán
Giraldo for extradition to the Untied States in 2008
In 2001, Newsweek
reporter Joe Contreras spent some time in the Caribbean port of
Barranquilla, Colombia’s fourth-largest city. There, he reported on
Hernán Giraldo, the drug-trafficking paramilitary leader who was
perhaps the most powerful figure in the city, the nearby port of
Santa Marta, and in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region to their
In the foothills of
the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas in northeastern Colombia, the Kogi
Indians whisper his name in fear. Along the docks of the Caribbean
port city of Santa Marta, gangsters speak with awe of his 400-man
private army. But everyone knows that when it comes to Hernan
Giraldo Serna, it's usually best not to know too much. The gangsters
quietly recall, for instance, that in 1999 Giraldo ordered the
brutal murders of four construction workers, whose bodies were then
cut to bits with a chain saw. Their offense? They had built a
special basement to store his multimillion-dollar cache of cocaine,
and they knew where it was.
intelligence sources at the time told Contreras that “Giraldo alone
is head of a burgeoning drug syndicate that accounts for $1.2
billion in annual shipments to the United States and Europe. That
puts him among the country's top five cocaine traffickers.”
In 2000, Contreras
reported, Giraldo even took out a contract on the lives of U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents...
Plan Colombia and Beyond
February 9, 2006
join with humanity in expressing our complete outrage at the leaders
of the coup d'etat in Honduras. The leaders of the coup were not
justified in kidnapping the democratically elected president of the
nation and sending him into exile. The United Nations General
Assembly, the Organization of American States and U.S. President
Barak Obama, among many leaders of nations in the Americas, have all
joined in demanding that President
José Manuel Zelaya Rosales be returned to power.
Although the coup was approved by Honduran Supreme
Court and Congress, this only shows that the nation's democratic
institutions are weak. In Colombia, for example, President Álvaro
Uribe, a conservative, is seeking, just as did President Zelaya in
Honduras, to change the constitution to eliminate the current limits
on the number of terms that a president may serve. Yet nobody is
trying to overthrow Uribe for have proposed such an idea. The fact
that President Zelaya had set-up a popular referendum, to allow the
voters to decide the issue, was apparently too much democracy for
the coup plotters, so they pounced on Zelaya and raped democracy in
The independent press, including Feminist Radio
International Endeavor (FIRE), CIMAC Noticias in Mexico City, and
Indymedia Chiapas, have provided excellent coverage of the true
story that is taking place inside Honduras. Some of the key stories
are reprinted here.
The coup leaders have declared a state of siege, have
targeted human rights activists, and have used rifle fire to attack
unarmed protesters who are simply outraged that these cowards have
resorted to taking power by force.
Coups were a common power-grabbing tactic in Latin
America in the late 1900s. The region has since made significant
progress in moving towards democracy. This coup is just one of many
indicators that democracy is not a 'done deal' in all nations of the
The conservative coup plotters will, consistent with
the emergent anti women's rights movement represented elsewhere in
Latin America (with whom they are apparently allied), not bode well
for women's equality.
We applaud the activism that we are seeing from brave
women and men in the face of this military repression. Just as
happened during the popular uprisings against dictators across Latin
America in the 1980s and 1990s, the coup leaders in Honduras are
using the tactics of the 'dirty wars' that lead to the murders and
rapes of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Guatemala, El
Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and other nations of
Video from a number of sources shows the terrorism
with impunity that the coup's military supporters are using on
See especially this YouTube video posted on
Narco News web site that records the rifle fire of soldiers who were
shooting into crowds of protesters, as well as an interview with a
congressional representative as she visits wounded at a local
hospital and expresses her indignation at the coup.
It is an act of cowardice for the current Honduran
coup government to block CCN in Spanish, block the Internet, and
place Honduras in a stage of siege with a suspension of all
individual liberties. Given the repression that just occurred in the
aftermath of presidential elections in Iran, the world community has
very little tolerance for such illegal behavior in Honduras.
Coup leaders, return President Zelaya to his elected
Nobody elected you.
Your corrupt government is not wanted and it will not
End impunity now!
July 3, 2009
"Feminists in Resistance; Coup
leaders get out!
Urge mayor presión a golpistas: feministas hondureñas
designada canciller por golpistas
Ante el Estado de
Emergencia en Honduras, feministas y luchadoras sociales lanzaron un
llamado a la comunidad internacional para que pronuncien una condena
más enérgica contra lo que denominaron gobierno usurpador; “nos
están disparando, golpeando, violentando todos nuestros derechos”,
Honduran Feminists Urge Greater International
Pressure Against Coup Leaders
A female pro-life
leader has been appointed foreign affairs chancellor by the usurpers
In the face of the state of siege that has been declared in
Honduras, feminists and social activists have launched an appeal to
the international community to deliver a strong condemnation against
what they termed a usurper government. They state that: “We are
being shot, beaten, and they are violating all of our rights.”
In a telephone
interview with CIMAC Noticias, Hilda Rivera, coordinator of the
Center for Women's Rights in Honduras, said that support from Latin
America and the global community is urgently needed. Yesterday, the
National Congress of Honduras approved a State of Emergency,
temporarily suspending individual liberties...
"...We are urging
more pressure from the world community, because the situation is
becoming more violent here” says Rivera.
soldiers are shooting and beating us. It is urgent that the
government not be given additional time [to consider ultimatums to
step down]. We have put up with four days of bullets, beatings and
rain. There is a general tiredness in the population. Nonetheless,
the violence is increasing, so we are standing up to fight.”
Rivera stated that
the coup is a serious setback for the entire society, and
particularly for women, who’s rights were already restricted. With
this coup, the problem is magnified...
Until now, "within
the feminist movement we have not anticipated everything that may
happen, but we are clear in our understanding that, with this ‘law
of the strongest,’ we can be detained, they can raid our offices and
homes, and we cannot assemble. It is of grave concern to us that we
have important issues on our agenda that are threatened by the coup,
such as the legalization of emergency contraception." ...
A central concern
for Rivera is the safety of human rights defenders. “The government
has already begun to ‘hunt’ various organization leaders by raiding
their houses and arresting them." The coup plotters know that
women do not falter in our struggle. There is a danger that
repression against feminist leaders may follow.
As an example that
the coup government is not interested in defending the rights of
women, Rivera cites the naming of the founder of
Provida [Pro Life] in Honduras as Foreign Affairs Chancellor.
Flores told Feminist International Radio (RIF) that the people are
afraid and outraged. They cannot come out of their homes. But, says
Flores, feminist resistance has been declared. Women’s rights are
going to continue to progress, and we are going to continue the
Full English Translation
Gladis Torres Ruiz
News for Women
July 2, 2009
Comunicado de grupos y
organizaciones del Movimiento de Mujeres y
Feminista de Honduras
A Las Organizaciones Internacionales, Cooperación
Internacional, Organismos de Derechos Humanos y a lLos Estados del
El día domingo 28
de Junio, el Presidente de la República José Manuel Zelaya Rosales,
fue agredido, secuestrado y enviado a la República de Costa Rica en
el avión presidencial, custodiado por cuerpos militares argumentando
que había violado la Constitución de la República por implementar
una consulta popular mediante una encuesta de opinión, donde se
consultara al pueblo si estaba de acuerdo o no que el 29 de
noviembre se colocara una cuarta urna para proponer una Asamblea
Nacional Constituyente, que tuviese como objetivo elaborar una nueva
Constitución con la plena participación ciudadana de los diferentes
actores sociales del país…
Statement By Feminist And Women¹s
Organizations From Honduras Following the Coup D‘Etat
To International Organizations, International Development Agencies,
Human Rights Institutions And To The States Of The World:
On Sunday, June 28,
2009 the democratically elected President of the Republic of
Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was assaulted, abducted and
sent to the Republic of Costa Rica in the presidential plane guarded
by the military...
The people are
peacefully expressing their rejection of the coup d’etat, demanding
the immediate reinstatement of President Zelaya, and a return to the
Rule of Law...
egregious series of events, we request the support of international
development agencies and the international community to demand the
reinstatement of the Rule of Law, to demand an end to the
prosecution of the members of the cabinet of President Manuel Zelaya
Rosales and leaders of social movements and the media, and an end to
all types of brutal violence and to prevent the imposition of
fascism in our country.
citizens advocate for peace, solidarity and the respect of human
rights. We emphatically denounce the complicity shown in these
events by the Human Rights Commissioner of Honduras, Dr. Ramón
Custodio, before the regional and international human rights
organizations and the international community.
June 29, 2009
De Estudios De La Mujer Honduras (Cem-H) - The Women's Studies
De Derechos De Mujeres (Cdm) - The Center for Women's Rights
De Estudios Y Accion Para El Desarrollo De Honduras (Cesadeh) -
The Center for Development Studies and Action of Honduras
Mujeres Jovenes (Redmuj) - The Young Women's Network
Acciones Para El Desarrollo Poblacional
(Adp) - Action for Population Development
Red De Mujeres Adultas (Redmucr) -
The Adult Women's Network
Colectivo De Mujeres Universitarias
(Cofemun) - The Collective of University Women
Marcha Mundial De Las Mujeres, Comité
Nacional - Honduras Global Women's March - Honduras
Articulaciones Feminista De Redes
Locales - Articulation of Local Feminist Networks
Comisión De Mujer Pobladora
Articulaciones Feminista De Redes Locales - - Rural Women's
Commission - Articulation of Local Feminist Networks
Movimiento De Mujeres Socialistas, Las
Lolas - The Socialist Women's Movement, The Lolas
Convergencia De Mujeres De Honduras
Iniciativa Centroamericana De Seguimiento A Cairo Y Beijing - The
Honduran Convergence of the Central American Initiative to Follow-up
on Cairo and Beijing
Feministas Independientes -
Published by Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE)
June 29, 2009
Resistance" Photo: CIMAC
Vive Honduras una insurrección popular
Berta Cazares, candidata independiente a
México DF - Vivimos en Honduras una
insurrección popular, un levantamiento
con la decidida participación de las
mujeres, en contra de las fuerzas
armadas y el grupo oligárquico que
derrocó al presidente democráticamente
electo Manuel Zelaya, pero el costo es
alto y la situación de la población
civil, incluida la niñez, es crítica, la
vida cotidiana está alterada y la brutal
represión tiene como blanco principal a
is Experiencing a Popular Uprising Against the Usurpers
An interview with Berta Cazares, independent candidate for
Honduras is living through a popular uprising, one that is being
carried out with the wholehearted participation of women against the
armed forces and the oligarchic group which overthrew democratically
elected President Manuel Zelaya. The cost has been high, and the
situation for civilians, including children, is critical. Everyday
life has changed, and the brutal repression is targeting our youth.
Cazares Flores, an independent candidate for president of Honduras
and the national leader of the Popular and Indigenous Organizations
of Honduras, described the situation in Honduras in a phone
interview with CIMAC Noticias, three days after the military high
command, most of Congress and the Supreme Court overthrew the
President and his Cabinet…
Hundreds have been injured in the country, especially young people,
In the 'Progress City' (Ciudad Progreso) area, the repression was
especially brutal, perhaps because that area has historically been a
center for social struggles...
rural and indigenous areas of Honduras the situation is quite
critical, including in [the town of] San Francisco de Ocaña, where,
during the 1980s, the Army used machine guns against the civilian
population. "That's where the resources should go, to see what is
really happening there," Cazares says.
added that the people continue to defy the siege, the curfew and the
ban on travel. There are military checkpoints throughout the
country. Hundreds of people from rural areas, teachers and
indigenous people, are moving toward to the capital...
What should we expect on Thursday, the day announced by Manuel
Zelaya for his return to Honduras?
[The planned return date for President Zelaya has been pushed back
to Saturday since this story was written.
Cazares: We call upon social movements and organizations that defend
international human rights to come to Honduras in delegations, to
support the civilian population...
that [Mayan Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate] Rigoberta Menchú,
along with other personalities such as Mirna Anaya, a judge on the
Supreme Court of El Salvador, and [Argentinean 1980 Nobel Peace
Adolfo Perez Esquivel will arrive
[to support President Zelaya].
Meanwhile, Berta is preparing - with an arrest warrant against her
and the knowledge that "assassination is a terrible thing in
Honduras" - for progress to be made today, Wednesday, when civic
organizations will protest against the coup at an army cordon, just
three blocks from the house that she one day hopes to govern from.
Full English Translation
Guadalupe Gomez Quintana
News for Women
July 1 2009
Informan de batallones hondureños que se
niegan a reprimir al pueblo
Radio Progreso, pese a ser acallada por
los militares golpistas, confirmó en una de sus transmisiones
clandestinas que varios batallones de las Fuerzas Armadas de
Honduras, desde el lunes han roto con los golpistas y el gobierno de
facto, y han anunciado que permanecerán al margen de la represión al
pueblo de su país...
Honduran Army Battalions
Reject Repressing the Population
Honduran station Radio Progreso, despite
being shut-down by the coup leaders, has confirmed in one of its
clandestine transmissions that a number of battalions of the Armed
Forces of Honduras have, since Monday, June 29th, broken with the
organizers of the coup d'etat and the de facto government. They have
announced that they will remain on the sidelines of the
Radio La Primerísima
June 30, 2009
Michelle Bachelet of Chile, during a
June 23, 2009 visit
with U.S. President Barak Obama
Bachelet Remueve a Jefe Policial
La presidenta de
Chile, Michelle Bachelet, removió al jefe de la policia de
investigaciones (civil), Arturo Herrera, tras una serie de denuncias
de corrupción, incluida una que involucró a policías con una red de
Hace una semana, en
el aniversario 76 de la policía de investigaciones, Herrera lamentó
la relevancia dada por medios de difusión al caso de prostitución
infantil que involucró a un grupo de policías activos.
Bachelet Removes Police Chief
president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has removed the chief of the
Investigations Police, Arturo Herrera, after a series of allegations
of corruption, including a case in which police officers were
allegedly involved with a child prostitution network.
resigned the post three months before his scheduled retirement. He
did so after a telephone conversation with the president, held while
she was visiting Mexico.
her return to Chile the president accepted the resignation and
appointed as his replacement Marco Antonio Vasquez, now police chief
in the region of Bío Bío, 500 kilometers south of Santiago…
ago, during the 76th anniversary of the Investigations
Police agency, Herrera lamented the importance that the media had
given to a case of child prostitution involving a group of police
June 29, 2009
Director of Chile's Investigation Police Steps
June 26, 2009
Our January, 2006 news page, which contains
articles about Chile's first woman president, pediatrician Dr.
Michelle Bachelet, who along with her mother was imprisoned and
tortured by former dictator Agosto Pinochet's forces. Bachelet's
father, an air force general, was tortured to death under the
Send us an...
Insiste México en negar justicia a víctimas de
violación en Atenco
Pide a la CIDH
que no admita 11 casos de 26 mujeres violadas
México, DF - El gobierno mexicano pidió a la
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
(CIDH), que no admita el caso de 11 de las 26
mujeres, que fueron víctimas de violación
sexual, durante los operativos del 3 y 4 de mayo
de 2006 en Texcoco y San Salvador Atenco, porque
las instancias nacionales "aún lo están
Además insistió en que las peticionarias han
tenido diversas vías y recursos legales para
acceder a la justicia. Con esta respuesta, el
Estado mexicano no reconoce los hechos ocurridos
hace cuatro años y tampoco acepta su
responsabilidad en ellos, dijo en conferencia de
prensa, Jaqueline Sáenz, abogada del Centro de
Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez
(Centro Prodh), asociación que lleva estros
casos ante el sistema interamericano.
Aunque en febrero de 2009, la Suprema Corte de
Justicia de la Nación (SCJN), reconoció que en
los operativos de 2006, se cometieron graves
violaciones a derechos humanos; y pese a que el
30 de junio de este año, este mismo tribunal
ordenó la liberación de 12 presos políticos que
participaron en esos hechos, el Estado mexicano
sigue negando la justicia para 11 mujeres
Mexico insists upon
denying justice to the victims of rape at Atenco
Mexico City - The government of Mexico has asked
the Inter-American Human Rights Commission
(IAHRC) to reject consideration of the case of
11 women [from among a total of 26 women
victims] who were raped or otherwise sexually
assaulted by police officers during a law
enforcement operation carried out on May 3rd and
4th of 2006 in the adjoining cities of Texcoco
and San Salvador de Atenco, in the state of
Mexico. The federal government of Mexico cites
the fact that it is still investigating the case
[4 years after the events occurred] as the
justification for requesting that the IAHRC deny
the petition by the victims and their attorneys.
In addition, Mexican officials insisted that the
petitioners have had access to a range of legal
avenues within Mexico.
According to Jaqueline Sáenz, a lawyer with the
Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center
(ProDH), which represents the victims, the
government of Mexico has, through its response
to the IAHRC, refused to acknowledge or accept
any responsibility for the events that occurred
four years ago in Atenco.
Mexico takes this position despite the fact that
the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation
(SCJN) has recognized that grave human rights
violations that occurred during the 2006 police
operation, and has acted to free 12 political
prisoners who participated in protest activities
at the event. Nonetheless, Mexico's federal
government continues to deny justice for the 11
women sexual assault victims who were willing to
seek justice in this case.
Following public protests resulting from a local
government ban on allowing flower vendors to
work on city streets, a confrontation erupted
between protesters and a combined force of
federal and state police. The conflict resulted
in 211 protesters being detained. Some 47 of
those arrested were women. Twenty six women were
raped or sexually abused by police officers. Of
that group, 13 filed formal complaints, and 11
victims were willing to proceed with the case
that is now being considered by the IAHRC.
Sáenz stated that, after seeing that the federal
investigation into victim's legal complaints was
not progressing, the 11 victims of sexual
torture, accompanied by lawyers from ProDH and
the International Center for Justice and the
Rule of Law (CEJIL), decided to petition the
IAHRC on April 29, 2008.
The IAHRC forwarded the petition to the
government of Mexico, and allowed for a two
month response period. Mexico did not respond
within the time limit, and requested an
extension. They finally submitted their response
on July 23, 2010.
Mexico's response to the petition, which was
received by the ProDH Center on September 1,
2010, stated that the investigation into the
Atenco case was still open. In addition, the
response completely absolved the five policemen
who were accused of abuse of authority, despite
the fact that the victim's petition before the
IAHRC accuses the five men of torture.
Sáenz noted that, consistent with their response
to the IAHRC, Mexico denies that any human
rights violations occurred at Atenco in their
discussions with international organizations.
Since July of 2009, when the federal Special
Prosecutor's Office for Violent Crimes Against
Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), declined
to investigate the case, referring it instead to
the Attorney General of Mexico State [were
Texcoco and Atenco are located], no follow-up
action has been taken by authorities, because
the preliminary investigation file was quite
large, and it is still being revised.
Mexico's response to the IAHRC petition by the
victims included a list upcoming investigatory
activities that the Mexico State prosecutors
will carry out. The list includes a plan to
solicit interviews with the victims, despite the
fact that the victims have been adequately
interviewed in the past. State prosecutors also
plan to evaluate the case in the context of the
Istanbul Protocol on Torture [to evaluate
whether the case meets the Istanbul standard for
torture], despite the fact that this process ahs
already been completed, and the results indicate
that the case does meet the Istanbul criteria
for defining acts of torture.
On October 1, 2010, Sáenz declared, the ProDH
Center and CEJIL submitted a document to the
IAHRC in which they provide their observations
in regard to Mexico's response to the Atenco
case petition. They state, among other things,
that although they have not exhausted all legal
avenues available within Mexico, it is also true
that Mexico is not conducting a serious and
impartial investigation, and that therefore, the
Atenco petition should be admitted before the
In response to this series of events, Bárbara
Italia Méndez, one of the victims and a
petitioner in the case, observed that the
Mexican government response to the petition was
a slap in the face to the victims. In addition,
she said, the response shows the lack of justice
involved, given that the five accused assailants
were absolved of any wrongdoing.
Italia Méndez added that she will continue
participating in the case, although she knows
that the road will be a long one, thanks to the
fact that "the responsible authorities continue
to lie," and especially the governor of Mexico
State, who had ordered the police crackdown on
protesters, and who, after the assaults took
place, declared that he would repeat his actions
if he had to do it again.
For the victims of sexual torture, the most
recent ray of hope has been the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights decision in favor of
indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and
Inés Fernández Ortega, who were raped by Mexican
Army soldiers [in 2002]. That decision, she
said, puts the issue of sexual violence against
women back on the table.
Oct. 07, 2010
May 16, 2009
Mujeres de Atenco, tortura
sexual e impunidad
México DF - El Estado mexicano violó sus
garantías individuales. Fueron agredidas con
golpes en todo el cuerpo, despojadas de su ropa,
violentadas sexualmente, mordidas, pellizcadas…
les cubrieron el rostro, les introdujeron dedos
y objetos anal y vaginalmente, las violaron, las
humillaron, las insultaron, las amenazaron de
muerte y finalmente se les negó la asistencia
ginecológica para que no pudieran demostrar la
Women of Atenco - sexual
torture and impunity
...Of the 20 accused policemen, none has been
sent to prison. Only officer Doroteo Blas
Marcelo, a rapist, was convicted for "libidinous
Ana Maria Rodriguez
Velasco, was forced to perform oral sex. She was
able to recognize her torturer because when he
finished, he yanked her by the hair, looked in
her face, and said: “Now swallow it, bitch!”
Judge Tomás Santana Malvaez sentenced officer Blas Marcelo to pay a fine
of only 1,877 Mexican pesos (US $142 dollars).
The judge pardoned Blas Marcelo from paying
reparations to the victim...
Full English Translation
News for Women
May 12, 2009
Rape and Assault
Women at Street Protest in the city of San
Ulloa, director of the Coalition
Against Trafficking in Women and
Girls for Latin America and the
a la cabeza en lucha contra trata de personas:
El Distrito Federal va a la cabeza en la lucha
contra la trata de personas en el país, pues ha
dado pasos importantes como los últimos rescates
de mujeres y niñas de hoteles donde eran
explotadas sexualmente, reconoció Teresa Ulloa.
La directora regional de la Coalición Contra el
Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas para América Latina y
el Caribe (CATWLAC, por sus siglas en inglés)
afirmó en entrevista que la ciudad de México
también cuenta con un plan que integra políticas
públicas en la materia.
La activista, nominada al Premio de Derechos
Humanos de las Naciones Unidas 2005 y al Premio
de Derechos Humanos del gobierno de Suiza,
indicó que en los últimos tres años la capital
del país ha mostrado un esfuerzo y se ha
preocupado más por atacar la trata de
Mexico City's government
leads the way in Mexico's fight against human
According to Teresa Ulloa, director of the
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls
for Latin America and the Caribbean, the local
government of Mexico City has taken the
initiative to become the nation's leader in
taking action to combat modern human slavery. In
recent months, city police and prosecutors have
raided a number of hotels that were fronts for
sex trafficking rings that exploited women and
During an interview Ulloa said that Mexico City
has also developed an integrated plan of action
to address the problem of trafficking. She added
that during the past three years, the city's
leaders have shown that they are willing to
aggressively confront traffickers. City
prosecutors have committed to bringing
trafficking cases to court. However, [the
attitudes of] judges continue to be a major
obstacle to their success.
Ulloa added that Mexico City is a major transit
and distribution center for trafficked women and
girls. Sex tourism exists, but is completely
clandestine. Sexual services are sold in
'packages' on the Internet.
The trafficking law that was passed by the
Legislative Assembly of the Federal District
[Mexico City] has flaws, and is not consistent
with international protocols against human
trafficking, especially in the area of criminal
prosecution, said Ulloa. It is seen as being of
limited effectiveness because of these flaws.
Ulloa declared that both Mexico City and Mexico
as a whole have yet to come to understand that
human trafficking involves a multi-faceted set
of crimes that express themselves in diverse
Ulloa noted that human trafficking networks in
Mexico are moving fast to adapt to change, and
are always one step ahead of society's attempts
to implement policies and actions to combat
The Mexico City government has made tremendous
efforts to fight trafficking, said Ulloa, but
they have been hampered in their efforts at
prosecution by inadequate laws. Nonetheless,
city prosecutors has won four convictions
against trafficking defendants, while the
federal government has achieved only one
conviction at the national level.
Mexico City's trafficking law "is not very good,
it requires modification, but in general it has
allowed authorities to rescue women and girls,
and it is being enforced by officials who are
motivated to combat trafficking" said Ulloa.
Ulloa stated that, at the federal level, a need
exists to establish effective, integrated
strategies in regard to prevention, victim
assistance and the prosecution of traffickers.
She warned that Mexico is just one step away
from becoming a child sex trafficking center at
the level of Thailand.
Ulloa concluded by observing that sex
trafficking in Mexico has now displaced
narcotrafficking in profitability for criminal
organizations, and is fighting for first place
with illicit arms trafficking. At the same time,
she emphasized, poverty and impunity have become
the best allies of traffickers in women and
Oct. 03, 2010
City Attorney General Miguel Ángel
Detalla PGJDF acciones para combatir la trata de
El procurador general de justicia capitalino,
Miguel Ángel Mancera, detalló frente a sus
homólogos de la zona Centro del país las
acciones emprendidas en la Ciudad de México
contra el delito de trata de personas.
Durante la Segunda Sesión 2010 de la Conferencia
de Procuradores Generales de Justicia de la Zona
Centro, Mancera Espinosa señaló que el Gobierno
del Distrito Federal ha impulsado una serie de
acciones de prevención y persecución para
erradicar este delito.
En una sesión de trabajo de esta reunión
celebrada el pasado viernes en la ciudad de
Puebla, el abogado de la ciudad reconoció que
pese a los esfuerzos para erradicar ese acto
ilícito, el crimen organizado usa otros medios
delincuenciales para eludir la acción de la
Para contrarrestar las artimañas de los
delincuentes, el gobierno capitalino tiene como
prioridad establecer políticas públicas en la
materia que permitan desactivar y desalentar las
conductas delictivas de los individuos...
Mexico City prosecutors
details actions to fight human trafficking
During a recent presentation before fellow local
prosecutors at the Second Conference of Attorney
Generals of the Central Zone of Mexico, Mexico
City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera
presented his city's actions to fight human
Mancera detailed to his colleagues how Mexico
City has initiated a series of efforts to
address prevention and prosecution of
trafficking crimes. He admitted that going after
trafficking networks was difficult work, given
that organized crime changes its modus operandi
to evade detention and prosecution.
To counteract the evasive actions of
traffickers, Mexico City considers its number
one priority to be the implementation of public
policies that will allow prosecutors to
disable and discourage the criminal behavior of
noted that, among the actions taken by Mexico
City was the implementation in October of 2008
of the Law to Prevent and Eradicate Human
Trafficking, Sexual Abuse and the Commercial
Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Mancera added that the city created a
specialized agency to address human trafficking
crimes, and developed both a telephone hotline
and a web page to assist in crime prevention and
the reporting of cases by the public.
Currently, the Mexico City Attorney General's
Office is in the process of formalizing a
relationship with the Special Prosecutors Office
for Crimes of Violence Against Women and
Children, which is a division of the federal
Attorney General of the Republic...
The conference was attended by the attorney
generals of Hidalgo, Morelos, Tlaxcala, Puebla
states, as well as by officials from Baja
California, Sur, Baja California, Guerrero and
Oct. 03, 2010
Human trafficking alleged in Durham
Durham - A grand jury has indicted Ivan
Cervantes Damian on charges he held a
15-year-old girl captive for more than 18 months
and forced her to have sex.
Damian, 30, faces charges of first-degree
statutory sex offense, human trafficking and
forcing a child into sexual servitude.
Authorities accuse Damian of having sex with the
teenage girl between December 2008 and August
2009. They also accuse him of holding the victim
in servitude from December 2008 to July 2010.
"He alienated her from society," said Durham
Police Cpl. Marty Walkowe.
Walkowe said the relationship began as a
voluntary one while the couple was still living
in Mexico. When they immigrated a couple of
years ago, Walkowe said, Damian violated North
Carolina's human trafficking law by bringing a
minor from another nation into the state.
"Even though his girlfriend left voluntarily,
because she was a minor, it's human
trafficking," Walkowe said. "It sounds like a
big organized thing, but it was actually just
her voluntarily coming from Mexico with him to
Walkowe said the victim reported Damian to
police after their relationship soured and she
wanted to leave.
Damian is being held at the Durham County
Detention Center on $250,000 bail. The federal
Immigration and Customs
Oct. 06, 2010
Alert Driver Saves Kidnapped Girl
Fresno - An 8-year-old girl who was abducted by
a stranger while playing outside a Fresno home
escaped from her captor Tuesday morning after a
driver recognized the suspect's vehicle and cut
it off, police said.
The child was found in Fresno about 11 hours
after she disappeared around 8:30 p.m. Monday,
triggering a statewide Amber Alert. Police
arrested Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, who they said
was a member of the Bulldogs street gang.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver
recognized the red pickup truck from media
reports that showed surveillance video of the
When the driver saw a girl's head in the window,
he cut the truck off and forced it to stop, Dyer
said. The suspect pushed the girl out of the
car, and she ran to safety, he said.
The girl was taken to a hospital in good
condition, but Dyer later confirmed she had been
sexually assaulted. The police chief described
her as "frightened, traumatized." ...
"I was at the same time happy and grateful that
my daughter had been brought home," the girl's
mother told a news conference. "During the
night, the hours seemed very long."
Police said quick action by Fresno resident
Victor Perez helped the girl escape...
Oct. 05, 2010
Another Wall Blocks Route to U.S.
Guatemala City - Travelling without documents to
the United States from Latin America can turn
into an odyssey, in which migrants have to elude
common criminals and drug traffickers along the
way, not to mention the laws on migration. But
now another obstacle is emerging: a wall between
Guatemala and Mexico.
According to the head of customs for Mexico's
tax administration, Raúl Díaz, in order to stop
boats carrying contraband, the southern Mexican
state of Chiapas is building a wall along the
border river Suchiate, similar to the one the
United States is building along its southern
border with Mexico.
"It could also prevent the free passage of
illegal immigrants," admitted the Mexican
Smugglers use the Suchiate River to move
products across an international border without
paying duty taxes, but at the same time,
thousands of Central and South Americans cross
the river in their attempts to reach the United
States in search of opportunity -- and without
the required documents.
Some 500,000 migrants cross Mexican territory
without permission each year, according to
Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights
The intention to build a border wall has
triggered a wave of opposition from civil
society and government organizations, with
charges that it is a "senseless" measure that
will not succeed in preventing undocumented
migrants from crossing the border on their way
The cruelty to which undocumented migrants are
often subjected was laid bare Aug. 23, when 72
people coming from Guatemala, as well as El
Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil, were
brutally murdered in San Fernando, a town in the
eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. They were
presumably killed by the Los Zetas drug cartel,
which is also involved in kidnapping and
In addition, a total of 9,758 kidnappings of
migrants were reported in Mexico from September
2008 to February 2009, according to the CNDH.
Putting up a wall on the Guatemala-Mexico border
"is going to make the migrants' situation worse,
because to meet their needs they are always
going to find blind points where there are no
migration or security controls, which implies
greater risks," said Maldonado...
Sep. 15 , 2010
Police search for man in California girl's
Authorities early Tuesday were searching for a
man they said snatched an 8-year-old girl from a
central California neighborhood and took off
with her in his pickup.
Police said the mother was close by and got into
a car and frantically tried to chase down the
truck but was not able to catch up with the
[The girl] was last seen wearing bluejeans and a
purple sweater with "Winnie the Pooh" on the
front, Fresno police said.
Police said the suspect, described as a
6-foot-tall, thin man with slicked-back hair,
drove to the Fresno neighborhood in an older
reddish-brown Ford truck. The man drove up to
six children about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
The man spoke in Spanish and told the children
that he would take them to the Dollar Store and
buy them toys if they got into his car, CNN
affiliate KFSN-TV in Fresno reported.
The man then pulled the victim into his car and
sped away, authorities said.
Police told the TV station they had received
reports earlier of a man with a similar
description and vehicle exposing himself to
young girls blocks away from where the abduction
Fresno police said 100 officers were searching
for the girl and the suspect, KFSN reported.
Oct. 05, 2010
Inés Fernández and
Comunicado: Las sentencias de la CoIDH
permitirán a Inés y Valentina acceder a la
justicia negada en México.
Inter-American Court of Human RIghts Decision
Allows Inés and Valentina Access to Justice in
• Valentina Rosendo Cantú narró lo que el fallo
del Tribunal significa para ella, su familia y
• Cejil y Tlachinollan explicaron los alcances y
el impacto de estas sentencias; Emilio Álvarez
Icaza abundó en la relevancia que tienen para el
• Valentina y sus representantes reiteran su
exigencia de seguridad para Inés y Valentina
México, D.F., a 4 de octubre de 2010.- Valentina
Rosendo Cantú y sus representantes -las
organizaciones civiles CEJIL y Tlachinollan-
detallaron en conferencia de prensa los
contenidos y alcances de las sentencias de los
casos de las indígenas me´phaa Inés Fernández
Ortega y Valentina Rosendo Cantú que fueron
notificadas por la Corte Interamericana de
Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) el pasado viernes 1 de
octubre. Esta mañana, en la conferencia, estuvo
presente también el ex ombudsman capitalino,
Emilio Álvarez Icaza y el abogado Mario Patrón.
Valentina Rosendo Cantú explicó su sentir en
este momento en que después de más de ocho años
de búsqueda de justicia, vividos en condiciones
de adversidad y de riesgo, finalmente la CoIDH
le ha dado la razón, estableciendo como un hecho
incontrovertible que fue violada sexualmente y
torturada por soldados mexicanos. “Por fin se
reconoció que siempre dijimos la verdad”, dijo
la mujer Me’phaa. Rosendo Cantú también externó
algunas de sus más sentidas preocupaciones,
compartidas tanto por ella como por Inés
Fernández Ortega, y señaló: “Ya que por fin se
demostró que siempre dijimos la verdad porque no
sabemos mentir, para nosotras y nuestras
familias lo más importante ahorita es que nos
dejen vivir en paz, con tranquilidad”...
Valentina Rosendo Cantú and her representatives
- the organizations CEJIL and the Tlachinollan
Human Rights Center, explained during a press
conference the details of the October 1, 2010
decision by the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Rosendo Cantu and
Inés Fernández Ortega. Emilio Álvarez Icaza,
former director of the Human Rights Commission
for Mexico City, and lawyer Mario Patrón were
present at the event.
Valentina Rosendo Cantú said that, after 8 years
of seeking justice in her case [in which Mexican
soldiers raped her], years that involved
adversity and risks [due to repeated death
threats and acts of retaliation against the
victims and their families], the IACHR has
finally vindicated us.
Justice for Inés
Oct. 04, 2010
director of the Tlachinollan Center
(left) joins Alejandra Nuño,
Central American director for CEJIL;
Valentina Rosendo Cantú, and Emilio
Álvarez Icaza, former president of
theMexico City Human Rights
Commission - at press conference.
The banner says: "Break Through the
Walls of Impunity."
Human Rights Court: Mexico responsible for rapes
Mexico City - The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights condemned Mexico on Monday for failing to
protect the rights of two indigenous women who
were raped by soldiers in 2002.
In two separate rulings, the Costa Rica-based
court said Mexico failed to guarantee the rights
to personal integrity, dignity and legal
protection of Valentina Rosendo and Ines
Fernandez, both of southern Guerrero state.
Mexico must publicly acknowledge its
responsibility and called for a civilian
investigation into the crimes, rather than the
military one, which resulted in no charges,
according to the ruling. The government also
must compensate both women and publish the court
rulings in Spanish and the women's indigenous
The government said will follow the rulings, the
Interior Department said in a statement.
"The government of Mexico reiterates its full
commitment to the promotion and protection of
human rights, in particular to combat violence
against women and girls," the statement said.
It was the fourth condemnation of Mexico from
the court, which previously issued rulings
against the government for the unsolved killings
of women in the border city of Cuidad Juarez in
the 1990s and for the country's "dirty war" in
Rosendo called on the government to publicly
recognize that it wrongly accused her of lying
about being assaulted.
"If the government has a little bit of dignity,
it should accept they were mistaken so I can go
on with my life," she said tearfully at a news
conference. "They didn't want to hear me in my
Rosendo, then 17, was washing clothes in a river
in February of 2002 when eight soldiers came up
and asked her about the whereabouts of a masked
suspect. When she said she didn't know anything,
she was beaten and raped.
A month later, in another indigenous community
in Guerrero, at least 11 soldiers approached
Fernandez in her house and asked for her
husband. She didn't respond because she didn't
speak Spanish, and the soldiers raped her.
No one was punished in either case.
Oct. 04, 2010
Cantú at the Inter-American Court
session where she presented of her
case on May 28, 2010
Mexico Ordered to Pay Damages to Women Raped by
San Jose - The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights ordered the Mexican government to pay
damages to two indigenous women raped by
soldiers in 2002.
The Costa Rica-based court, a body of the
Organization of American States, on Monday
published on its Web page rulings against Mexico
for the rapes of the Indian women Me’phaa
Valentina Rosendo Cantu and Ines Fernandez
Ortega, as well as for the lack of investigation
by the authorities in both cases.
The court’s rulings are binding on OAS members.
Mexico was found to have violated the rights and
personal integrity, dignity and autonomy of the
two indigenous women, who lived in the
municipality of Ayutla de Los Libres, in the
southern state of Guerrero.
In both cases, the Court ordered Mexico to
guarantee that the investigations would be
conducted “with the knowledge of the civil
jurisdiction” and “under no circumstances under
military jurisdiction,” and that those found to
be responsible would be punished.
In the case of Rosendo Cantu, the Court set at a
total of $100,500 the indemnity to which she
would be entitled for material damages,
immaterial damages and trial costs, while the
figure established was $128,000 in the case of
The Court also ordered Mexico “to modernize its
legislation” so that human rights violations
will not fall under military jurisdiction and so
that “people affected by the intervention of
military jurisdiction may have effective
recourse to challenge it.”
The state also must take public action to
acknowledge its international responsibility,
authorize study scholarships for the victims and
their children, and ensure that services to care
for female victims of sexual violence “are
provided by the designated institutions,” among
Oct. 04, 2010
Mexico Ordered To Pay Damages To Two Indigenous
Women Raped By Soldiers
In two separate rulings, the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights condemned the Mexican
government and ordered it to pay damages to two
indigenous women who were raped in 2002 by
The court said that Mexico failed to guarantee
the rights to personal integrity, dignity and
legal protection of Ines Fernandez and Valentina
Rosendo, both from the southern Mexican state of
Mexico, which has to publicly acknowledge its
responsibility, must also compensate both women
and publish the court rulings in Spanish and the
women’s indigenous language, Me’phaa. The
Mexican government promised to fulfill the
demands of the court ruling.
“The government of Mexico reiterates its full
commitment to the promotion and protection of
human rights, in particular to combat violence
against women and girls,” according to a
statement released by Mexico’s Interior
Department, the Associated Press reports...
Oct. 05, 2010
Mexico / The
human rights activist Abel Barrera
Hernandez, the founder and director
of the Tlachinollan Human Rights
Mexican Activist Wins Prestigious Robert F.
Kennedy Human Rights Award
Washington, DC / Mexico City - An anthropologist
and human rights defender who has worked for
years with the indigenous people in one of
Mexico's poorest and most marginalized regions
has been awarded one of the world's most
important human rights prizes.
Abel Barrera Hernandez, the founder and director
of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre of the
Montana in the state of Guerrero, will receive
this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award
in recognition of his efforts to end abuses
committed by the military and police against the
local population, the RFK Center for Justice and
Human Rights announced here Thursday.
"Our friends at the Tlachinollah Centre
represent true courage in their struggle to
expose and confront ongoing human rights
abuses," said Claudio Grossman, the dean of the
Washington College of Law at American University
and a member of the five-person jury that
decided on this year's winner.
"By standing with the most vulnerable
communities, Abel Barrera Hernandez and his
colleagues are at great personal risk, and we
are proud to recognize their work with this
prestigious award," added Grossman, who also
served as a member of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 1993 to
The prize, which will be presented here in
November, was praised by a number of rights
activists who noted that the RFK Center has a
well-established reputation for maintaining
material and political support for its awardees
for many years after the honor is received.
"I think that this prize comes at an especially
important moment because of the tremendous
increase in human rights violations in the
context of the drug war," said Laura Carlsen,
the Mexico-based director of the Americas
Program of the Center for International Policy.
"Last year, human rights groups reported a
six-fold rise in complaints against the army,
and the indigenous populations are suffering the
most. They require the most vigilance from civil
society," she added.
"The centre works in a very difficult and
dangerous situation at the heart of one of the
most marginalized communities in the country,"
said Maureen Meyer, a Mexico specialist at the
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which
gave the centre its annual human rights award
In 2002, the centre brought the case of Inés
Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, two indigenous
women allegedly raped by soldiers in Guerrero in
2002, to the IACHR, which referred it to the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is
set to hand down a sentence.
In 2005, it defended the right to education for
people of two towns that had been abandoned by
their overworked teaching staff for an entire
year. After filing complaints with the
Department of Education, lobbying state
representatives, and gaining the attention of
national and international media, the Centre
succeeded in obtaining 14 state-appointed
teachers and four additional classrooms.
In the same year, it launched a successful
campaign to formally criminalize forced
disappearances in Guerrero while carrying out
numerous investigations that exposed military
abuses, including torture, disappearance, rape
of indigenous women, arbitrary detentions and
interrogations, intimidation, and dispossession
It has also taken up the cases of two human
rights defenders from the Organization of the
Future of the Mixtec People who had been
arrested and later found dead with signs of
torture in February 2009. Those cases resulted
in a new round of threats to centre staff which,
in turn, spurred the IACHR to issue new
The IACHR has issued more than 100 orders to
protect human rights defenders in Guerrero.
The award "represents a shield, from an
organization with great prestige, for a region
that is terribly vulnerable and unprotected, and
where human rights are a dead letter," Barrera
told IPS. "It brings visibility to what the
authorities wish would remain invisible. They
don't want to see the tragedy, the poverty, the
"May justice flourish in the mountain, where it
has been suffocated by impunity, by corruption,
by endemic violence, and by the age-old neglect
of the local peoples," he said...
Barrera: "We see the war on drugs in our state
as a war against the poor; there is cruelty
against the indigenous peoples that have been
driven to plant poppies in ravines as a last
measure to ensure their survival," he said.
Jim Lobe and
Sep. 23, 2010
Mexico / The
Abel Barrera Hernandez
speaks about his role in founding the
Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre of the Montana
in the state of Guerrero.
with English subtitles)
Sep. 23, 2010
Mexico / The
Mexico has failed to prosecute violations,
The US government significantly strengthened its
partnership with Mexico in combating organized
crime in 2007 when it announced the Merida
Initiative, a multi-year US security assistance
package for Mexico. To date, the US government
has allocated roughly $1.5 billion in Merida
funding to Mexico. From the outset, the US
Congress recognized the importance of ensuring
that the Mexican government respect human rights
in its public security efforts, mandating by law
that 15 percent of select Merida funds be
withheld until the State Department issued a
report to the US Congress which showed that
Mexico had demonstrated it was meeting four
human rights requirements.
On September 2, 2010, the State Department
issued its second report to Congress concluding
that Mexico is meeting the Merida Initiative's
human rights requirements, and it stated its
intention to obligate roughly $36 million in
security assistance that had been withheld from
the 2009 supplemental and the 2010 omnibus
However, research conducted by our respective
organizations, Mexico's National Human Rights
Commission, and even the State Department's own
reports, demonstrates conclusively that Mexico
has failed to meet the four human rights
requirements set out by law. As a result,
Congress should not release these select Merida
funds. Releasing these funds would send the
message that the United States condones the
grave human rights violations committed in
Mexico, including torture, rape, killings, and
We recognize that Mexico is facing a severe
public security crisis, and that the United
States can play a constructive role in
strengthening Mexico's ability to confront
organized crime in an effective manner. However,
human rights violations committed by Mexican
security forces are not only deplorable in their
own right, but also significantly undermine the
effectiveness of Mexico's public security
Sep. 14, 2010
Added: Dec. 4, 2010
to Speak up on Military Abuse in Mexico
Vivanco, Director - Americas Division - HRW
May 17, 2010
North Alabama man convicted in sex trafficking
of an underage girl
A 31-year-old Florence man was convicted today
of sex trafficking involving an underage girl.
Manuel Enrique Zelaya-Rodriguez was also
convicted in the trial in Huntsville of coercing
a minor to engage in prostitution, harboring an
illegal alien, and failing to file a report with
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about
an illegal alien in his employment.
Zelaya--Rodriguez will be sentenced by U.S.
District Judge C. Lynwood Smith in a Jan. 19
hearing in Huntsville. He could face a sentence
of up to life in prison.
The case against Zelaya-Rodriguez began Sept. 8,
2009 when he was driving a car that was stopped
by Florence police at a trailer park, according
to court documents. An officer was responding to
complaints about prostitution when he stopped
Inside the car was a 15-year-old girl who told
police that Zelaya-Rodriguez was prostituting
her, according to court documents. Condoms and
business cards were found inside the car.
The unidentified girl was born in Veracruz,
Mexico, in September 1993, according to a trial
memorandum from prosecutors. The girl became
pregnant when she was 13 years old and later
crossed the border into the U.S. "so that she
could work and send money back to her mother to
care for the victim's baby," according to the
The girl started work in Atlanta as a
prostitute, but fled there after pimps became
violent with her, according to the court
document. The girl got the name of
Zelaya-Rodriguez from another prostitute,
according to the court document filed before the
"The victim had been with the defendant for
approximately two weeks, and during that time
the victim had engaged in commercial sex acts
with approximately forty and fifty men,"
according to the trial memorandum.
"We have shut down this particular trafficker
and, hopefully, given pause to others who would
commit the same morally reprehensible crime,"
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said in a press
statement after the jury returned its verdict
"Human trafficking for purposes of sexual
exploitation and forced labor is a growing
problem in North Alabama and across the country
and is a grave concern of the Department of
Justice," she said. "We want a zero-tolerance
policy on this crime."
Florence police, the FBI, and ICE investigated
"The FBI is committed to working with ICE and
our other law enforcement partners to combat
human trafficking, which is modern day slavery,
and bring to justice those who would deny
individuals of their fundamental right to
freedom," Patrick Maley, special agent in charge
of the FBI's Birmingham office, said in the
Sep. 22, 2010
Added: Dec. 4, 2010
arrested in sex case involving Encinitas teen
Girl had made
up story she was gang-raped; authorities say she
had sex with 20-year-old she met on Internet
Encinitas - Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a
20-year-old Vista man who they say had sex with
a 15-year-old Encinitas girl, authorities said
The teen initially told authorities she was
raped by three men rather than admit to her
mother she had gone off with a man she met on
Jose Adrian Cano was arrested Tuesday night and
booked on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with
a minor, lewd acts with a 15-year-old, and
contacting a minor online with intent to commit
a sex crime.
Investigators say they have evidence of three
more under-age victims and want any others to
come forward to report contact with Cano.
He is being held in the Vista jail without bail
because federal immigration authorities have put
a hold on him. Lauren Mack, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, said Cano is
listed in the agency’s records as Cano-Cid and
is suspected of being in the United States
Mack said Cano was arrested earlier this year by
a police agency in San Diego County and federal
officials returned him to Mexico without a
The San Diego
Sep. 29, 2010
Tries to Kidnap Teen Girl Walking to School
San Jacinto - Police in Riverside County are
searching for a man who tried to kidnap a
15-year-old girl as she was walking to school.
The attempted kidnapping happened just after 6
a.m. Thursday on Lyon Avenue, south of Merlot
Place, in San Jacinto.
Police say the suspect approached the girl from
behind and grabbed her arm, but she was able to
fight him off.
A passing driver saw the struggle and called
911, and the suspect ran from the area.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man,
about 19- or 20-years-old, and 5'9" tall. He has
a thin build, short "spiked" brown hair and
brown eyes. The man was last seen wearing blue
jeans and a white t-shirt.
Anyone with information about the suspect is
asked to call San Jacinto Police at
Oct. 1, 2010
director of Mexico's National
Institute for Migration Cecilia
Cecilia Romero sale de Migración
fue notificada que sería removida, por lo que
elaboró una carta de despedida para sus
colaboradores; en el último mes su posición en
el cargo se vio debilitada por la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas
El gobierno federal confirmó que Cecilia Romero
dejó a partir de hoy el cargo como comisionada
del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) luego
de la matanza de 72 migrantes de distintas
nacionalidades en el estado de Tamaulipas.
De acuerdo con fuentes gubernamentales, Romero
fue notificada este lunes que sería removida de
esa posición, por lo que la funcionaria elaboró
una carta de despedida que circuló de manera
interna en el INM por el sistema de intranet.
En el texto, Romero agradeció el "trabajo,
saludo, apoyo y sonrisa" de sus colaboradores,
con quienes se reunió por la mañana para revisar
temas pendientes de la agenda migratoria y los
exhortó a seguir adelante porque dicha labor no
es una moda y parte de una época, sino de una
institución, las cuales perduran por encima de
En agosto pasado un inmigrante de origen
ecuatoriano acudió a una caseta naval para
denunciar la ejecución de personas en un rancho
ubicado en el estado de Tamaulipas, hecho que
permitió conocer la noticia de 72 víctimas que
habrían caído abatidas presuntamente a manos de
Funcionarios federales definirán en las próximas
horas la vía institucional para dar a conocer el
cambio de Romero, el cual puede formalizarse en
Los Pinos o la Secretaría de Gobernación
Sep. 14, 2010
Migration-Mexico: Crisis Sparked by Massacre
Spurs Demands for In-depth Changes
Organizations working for the rights of
undocumented immigrants are using the crisis
triggered by the massacre of 72 migrants a few
weeks ago near the U.S. border to press for
in-depth changes in Mexico.
'The migration authorities do not have a human
rights perspective, and their position is
inconsistent with the reality of migration in
this country,' Diana Martínez, assistant
coordinator of advocacy at Sin Fronteras, a
non-governmental organization (NGO) that
promotes the rights of migrants and provides
them with legal advice, told IPS.
The killing of the undocumented migrants from
several Latin American countries, whose bound,
blindfolded bodies were found Aug. 24 on a
remote ranch in San Fernando, in the
northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas,
unleashed the worst ever migration-related
crisis in this country.
The mass murder, which was survived by at least
one man from Ecuador, one from Honduras and one
from El Salvador, brought down National
Migration Institute (INM) Commissioner Cecilia
Romero, who resigned Tuesday Sept. 14.
Romero, a former senator for the governing
National Action Party (PAN), had ridden out
earlier rumors that she would leave the top job
at the INM, which she held since December 2006.
But the heat and pressure generated by the
shocking event made her position untenable...
An estimated 500,000 Latin Americans a year
cross Mexico heading for the United States,
according to experts and NGOs. Along the way
they face arbitrary arrest, extortion, robbery,
rape and kidnapping, especially at the hands of
Los Zetas, a criminal organization that
dominates the kidnapping of undocumented
'The Mexican state must design a truly
comprehensive state policy on migration that is
not limited to managing migratory flows, but is
centrally focused on the human rights of
migrants,' said Martínez of Sin Fronteras...
Migrant protection organizations have urged the
Mexican state to issue an official invitation to
Felipe González, rapporteur on the rights of
migrant workers and their families for the
Washington-based Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR), part of the Organisation
of American States (OAS) human rights system.
In his March 2009 report, the United Nations
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of
migrants, Jorge Bustamante, recommended
legislative reforms to combat the impunity
surrounding human rights abuses in this
Sep. 16, 2010
Mexican immigration official quits after
Mexico - Mexico's top immigration official
resigned Monday in the wake of a massacre of 72
migrants that exposed how brutally drug cartels
have come to control human smuggling routes in
Cecilia Romero stepped down as head of the
National Institute of Migration, a post she had
held since the beginning of President Felipe
Calderon's term in December 2006, the Interior
Department said in a statement.
The statement gave no reason for her
resignation, only praising Romero's efforts to
modernize the Mexico's immigration system and
improve the treatment of migrants. It did not
name her replacement.
A government official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to speak
publicly about the issue, said the government
was looking for someone with more experience in
security to head the institute.
The official said the massacre three weeks ago
highlighted how intertwined drug trafficking and
illegal immigration have become in Mexico.
"She's revamped the institute and made it a more
human and respectful place," the official said.
"Given that organized crime has gotten into the
business, we need a different type of head with
a different type of background."
The bodies of the 72 Central and South American
migrants were found Aug. 24 at a ranch about 100
miles (80 kilometers) south of Brownsville,
Drug cartels have long controlled migration
corridors in Mexico, demanding that migrants pay
for passage through their territory. Now,
Mexican authorities say drug cartels are
increasingly trying to recruit vulnerable
migrants to smuggle drugs.
Romero, a former congresswoman who steadily rose
up in Calderon's National Action Party, revamped
migrant holding centers across the country and
ensured that immigration agents were trained in
human rights, the Interior Department said in
...The government has come under intense
criticism for continuing abuses against
migrants, who are constantly kidnapped and
assaulted as they pass through Mexico — often
with the collusion of corrupt police or
Hours before Romero's resignation was announced,
Mexico's Congress summoned her to a hearing to
explain what the government was doing to protect
Opposition legislators warned Mexico was losing
its moral right to demand better treatment for
immigrants in the United States.
The massacre "is the tip of the iceberg that
revealed the neglect of Mexican authorities, who
are incapable of meeting its responsibilities in
human rights," said Sen. Ricardo Monreal Avila
of the Workers' Party.
Sep. 14, 2010
Romero leaves the INM
Mexico City – For reasons unknown, Cecilia
Romero, commissioner of the National Migration
Institute (INM), announced on Tuesday that she
is leaving her job.
“Today is my last day as commissioner of the
INM. I thank each and every one of you for your
work, effort and participation during the
transformation of the INM,” Romero said to INM
members during her farewell message. She did not
say whether she quit or was fired and did not
give any reasons for leaving her position.
Her departure is taking place three weeks after
the Navy found the bodies of 72 illegal
immigrants in the state of Tamaulipas in
northeastern Mexico. Romero recently said it was
“natural” that there were several rumors of her
leaving after the tragedy in Tamaulipas. “I
think it is only natural that there are rumors
like this when there is a crisis as big as this
one, of national security and of organized
crime,” she said...
Sep. 15, 2010
Added: Oct. 1, 2010
Evalúa Segob trabajo de Romero en Migración
Department to investigate the work of National
Institute for Migration director Cecilia Romero
La lupa está
sobre migración despues de la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas
El secretario de Gobernación, José Francisco
Blake Mora, reveló que al interior de su
dependencia están evaluando el trabajo de la
titular de migración, Cecilia Romero.
Ante las versiones de que habría renunciado el
encargado de la política interior del país, dijo
que sólo están revisando como en todas las
acciones del gobierno su actuación y en su
momento vendrán definiciones
Entrevistado al participar en el IV Informe de
Gobierno de Felipe Calderón, Blake Mora, dijo
que se enfocará en la evaluación al trabajo de
Cecilia Romero después de la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas, hace unos días.
¿Se queda la titular de migración en su cargo?,
se le preguntó
- Estamos revisando, estamos evaluando como en
todas las acciones del gobierno que tienen que
ser evaluadas, ya en su oportunidad tomaremos
¿Para cuándo las conclusiones?
-Voy a trabajar y cuando las tenga seguramente
se las informo.
Sep. 02, 2010
June 28, 2009
head of Mexico's national
immigration service, says that
sex tourism and pedophile
networks are "inevitable."
turismo sexual es inevitable"
- Cecilia Romero del Instituto
Nacional de Migración de México
the Human Rights Crisis at Mexico's Southern
Border is Unacceptable
Our current series of articles covering the
human rights emergency facing women and girl
migrants at Mexico's southern border
responds directly to the recent comments of
Cecilia Romero, head of Mexico's national
immigration service (the National Institute
for Migration - INM).
Director Romero stated in a press interview
with El Universal, a major Mexico City daily
paper, that human trafficking is
"inevitable", and that, "the existence of
the smuggling of migrants, human
trafficking, pedophile networks, and the
kidnappings and the violence that affect
thousands of migrants are only "evils of
mankind" that Mexico cannot eradicate.
We strongly disagree with
Director Romero and others in the leadership
of Mexico's National Action Party, who
habitually dismiss critical women's rights
issues, including the femicide murders in
Ciudad Juarez, as being the inevitable, and
'normal' results of male human behavior.
Nothing could be further from
The citizens of Mexico,
Mexico's Congress and the international
community need to hold the government of
President Felipe Calderón accountable for
the fact that he is allowing a steady stream
of unending mass gender atrocities to
occur on Mexico's southern border with
Guatemala and Belize.
In that hell-on-earth, an
estimated 450 to 600 migrant women and girls
are sexually assaulted each day, according
to the International Organization for
Migration. Police response is almost
non-existent. At times police officers are
complicit in this criminal violence.
Mexico's southern border is
also the largest zone on earth for the
commercial sexual exploitation of children
(CSEC), according to Save the Children.
As Father Luis Nieto
states in an article about Salvadoran
mothers who must come to Mexico's border to
grieve for their raped and murdered
daughters, "We cannot
keep quiet, we cannot be complicit in this."
We strongly agree with that
sentiment. Silence is also violence.
The federal government of
Mexico is not ignorant in regard to this
ongoing human catastrophe. The United
Nations, the International Organization for
Migration, Save the Children, elements of
the Catholic Church, the National Human
Rights Commission (CNDH) and many members of
Congress have, for the past several years,
demanded action to end these atrocities.
Although INM director Cecilia
Romero promised in February of 2007 that she
eliminate this terrible situation,"
no visible action has been taken to do
so as of June of 2009, 16 months after she
made that promise.
With the current economic
slowdown and the expansion of global
criminal sex trafficking operations, the
rapes, kidnappings and brutal sexual
enslavement of innocent migrants on that
border is increasing with no end in sight.
As the United States Congress
prepares to send over $400 million dollars
in largely military aid to Mexico as part of
the Merida Initiative to combat the drug
cartels, we insist that human rights
conditions be placed on those and other U.S.
foreign aid funds that are headed to Mexico.
Mexico must close down the
mass rape, kidnapping, murder and
child sex trafficking gauntlet that exists
with total impunity on its southern border.
We also want to see the
estimated 4,000 mostly Mayan indigenous
children who were kidnapped by the Yakuza
mafias from this region and sold to brothels
in Tokyo, and also the uncounted thousands
of other indigenous child victims who have
been sold to brothels in New York and Madrid
rescued, repatriated and then truly cared
Do you need money, President
Calderón, to get these things done? Or is a
misogynist, 'socially conservative' ideology
that is resurgent in Mexico, and that has as
its strongest voice the PAN political party,
the real problem here?
barbarie no será perdonado por Dios!
barbarity will not be pardoned by God!
If Mexico does not have
control over this part of its own territory,
or if, as actually appears to be the
case, the PAN's socially conservative agenda
won't allow it to defend innocent and
vulnerable women and children in crisis,
consistent with their apathetic reaction to
the femicide murders in Ciudad Juarez, then
perhaps an international force organized by
the Organization of American States, or by
the United Nations needs to step up to the
plate, offer to help Mexico, and take
control of the situation.
This crisis in Mexico is the
best example in the Americas of why a new
Global Plan of Action, as proposed by
Ecuadorian Minister of
Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General)
Néstor Arbito Chica
and diplomats gathered at the
United Nations on May 13, 2009, is needed to
get around this impasse.
Somehow, the fact that the
government of Mexico is a signatory to the
and the fact that Mexico passed its 2009
U.S. Department of State Trafficking in
Persons Report evaluation with a relatively
positive Level 2 Rating (as we also
acknowledge State's strong critique of
corruption in Mexico), misses the point.
New and out-of-the box
strategies are needed to oblige Mexico to
fulfill its international obligations to
end this ongoing mass gender atrocity
once and for all.
It is not an impossible task.
The status quo today is...
End impunity now!
June 28, 2009
Updated Oct. 2, 2010
The city of Tapachula,
located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border
is one of the largest and most lawless child sex
trafficking markets in all of Latin America.
Our news section on Tapachula 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
[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
trata de personas no se persigue en el país.
Apenas seis entidades
soslayan la trata de personas
...La trata de personas no se persigue en el
país. Apenas seis entidades —Chiapas, Distrito
Federal, Nuevo León, Tabasco y Tlaxcala, además
de Hidalgo que ayer la aprobó—, tienen
legislación sobre la materia. El resto a
excepción de Campeche y Tamaulipas tipificaron
el delito en sus códigos penales. Sin embargo,
sólo 12 estados cuentan con una legislación
armonizada con el Protocolo de Palermo.
Organismos civiles ubican a Puebla y Tlaxcala
dentro de los cinco principales “corredores” de
traslado de personas que son explotadas sexual y
laboralmente. Se estima que de 60 municipios que
integran el estado de Tlaxcala en al menos 26 se
han establecido redes de tratantes.
overlooks modern slavery
trafficking is not being fought in Mexico
Tenancingo [a major city in Tlaxcala state] -
The streets here are different from those in any
other region of rural Tlaxcala state. The city's
population does not live by farming, nor do they
live in humble dwellings. From the time you
enter the city, the air is tense. The
ostentatious two-to-four floor houses become
Luxury Mustangs, Corvettes and Dodge trucks with
tinted windows line the cobblestone streets.
Chatting with people is almost impossible for
outsiders. Locals immediately know who is a
stranger. They seem to alert everyone about the
presence of outsiders. The
based sex trafficking mafias] are there. At Noon
they stop to eat pork quesadillas. It's their
About 30 miles south of Tlaxcala, in the city of
Puebla, two men descend from a fancy Mustang
blaring reggaeton music. Their imposing presence
makes it hard to look at them face-to-face. Each
of them is wearing three gold chains and
sportswear made by international companies.
The municipal police look at them with the
familiarity that is just part of the daily
rhythm of life. The same is true of the mothers
of children returning to school. The locals are
watched and subdued. Within minutes, a group of
students questions the reason for my visit. They
say that it would be better for me to leave
their neighborhood in the company of the Mexican
Army troops stationed nearby.
On Wednesday night, federal forces besieged a
residential street in the City, presumably in
search of a sexual exploitation network. The
outcome of their effort is unknown. There were
no arrests. Seven soldiers without identifying
clothing remain on guard outside the house. They
call upon the reporters present to leave. They
claim that "no operation ever took place," and
say that in Tenancingo, "everything is normal,"
although the place is known internationally as a
center for sex trafficking.
Human trafficking is not being pursued in this
country. Only the Federal District [Mexico City]
and six states, Chiapas, Nuevo León,
Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Hidalgo have passed
legislation to govern human trafficking. The
remaining states, with the exception of Campeche
and Tamaulipas, have specified the crime in
their penal codes. However, only 12 states have
harmonized their state legislation with the
Non-governmental organizations located in Puebla
and Tlaxcala call the region one of the top five
"corridors" in Mexico for trafficking in persons
who are exploited for sex and labor. It is
estimated that human trafficking networks
operate in at least 26 of the 60 municipalities
in the state of Tlaxcala....
Tlaxcala ranks sixth nationally in human
trafficking as a result of its environment of
violence, a lax criminal justice system and poor
security. Puebla state holds 5th place...
Sep. 24, 2010
Mexico's Chiapas state, together
with the IOM, launch a major media
campaign against human trafficking
Emprenden Gobierno de Chiapas y OIM campaña
contra la trata de personas
Con el objetivo de proteger a los grupos más
vulnerables, el gobierno de Chiapas, a través de
la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la Frontera
Sur y Enlace para la Cooperación Internacional,
une esfuerzos a la Organización Internacional
para las Migraciones para combatir la trata de
personas mediante una amplia campaña mediática.
Siendo Chiapas un estado de tránsito de
migrantes, es prioritario que ellos sepan que
hacerlo indocumentadamente no es sinónimo de
indefensión, sino por el contrario, en Chiapas
se comprende el sentido de su viaje en búsqueda
de una mejora calidad de vida y la
vulnerabilidad con la que lo efectúan. Es por
eso que el gobierno de Chiapas, encabezado por
Juan Sabines Guerrero, trabaja en transformar la
frontera sur de México en una frontera amiga y
de oportunidades y que no escatima esfuerzos en
llevarlo a cabo.
Bajo el slogan “No permitas que destruyan tu
vida”, se lanza el día de hoy una ambiciosa
campaña en medios masivos como la televisión y
radio, así como espectaculares, pantallas de
proyección, material impreso e internet, con lo
que se pretende concientizar a la ciudadanía de
que la trata de personas es evitable y se
combate con la denuncia; además de que tengan la
seguridad de que recibirán todo el apoyo,
asistencia y protección en caso de ser víctimas
de este flagelo. Es importante destacar que la
parte medular de la campaña se concentra en la
posibilidad de hacer una denuncia anónima y sin
costo al 018007152000...
The state government of
Chiapas and the International Organization for
Migration launch media campaign against human
Seeking to protect the most vulnerable groups in
society, the government of the southern Mexican
state of Chiapas, through its Secretary for the
Development of the Southern Frontier and its
Network for International Cooperation, has
joined forces with the [United Nations
affiliated] International Organization for
Migration to present a new and large scale media
campaign to educate the public about the dangers
of human trafficking.
Given that Chiapas state is a [major] transit
point for migrants [it is the bottleneck point
for almost all Central and South American
migration to the U.S.], the campaign's priority
to let migrants know that their state of being
undocumented does not mean that they are
defenseless. To the contrary, the campaign
stated, Chiapas understands the motives that
cause people to migrate in search of a better
life, as well as the vulnerabilities that go
along with migration. For these reasons, the
government of Chiapas state, headed by governor
Juan Sabines Guerrero, is dedicating significant
resources to achieve the goal of transforming
the southern border of Mexico into a friendly
frontier of opportunities.
Using the slogan "Don't Allow Them to Destroy
Your Life," the ambitious media campaign is
being launched today through public service
advertising on television, radio, and through
materials presented at major public events and
on the Internet. The campaign will raise public
awareness about human trafficking, and will
drive home the point that becoming a victim of
trafficking is avoidable. The campaign
emphasizes that victims will receive every form
of assistance and protection. An anonymous
hotline, at telephone number 018007152000, has
also been opened...
Sep. 27, 2010
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
“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
“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.
Sep. 28, 2010
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.
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
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
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!
Police warn of man exposing himself near
Portland - A man was spotted exposing himself
near a Southeast Portland school Monday morning
and now police are warning people to beware of
the lurking sex offender.
“A subject was observed openly masturbating in
his vehicle parked near Southeast 26th Avenue
and Grant Street in view of the public. Four
female students from Hosford Middle School
walked past his vehicle on their way to school
and he soon started his car, followed them for
about a block and pulled over next to them as if
to make contact with them while still
masturbating,” said Lt. Kelli Sheffer with the
Portland Police Bureau.
Then, just a few minutes later, Sheffer said the
suspect contacted a different female student in
the same area, telling her he liked her shirt.
At one point, the man got out of the car and
walked after a student, police said.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in
his 20's to late 30's, about 5'2 and 150 pounds,
with very short dark hair, wearing a
light-colored shirt and dark pants or jeans.
Police said his head was almost shaved and he
had a mustache and a goatee.
His vehicle was described as an older model,
white 4-door smaller car, possibly a Pontiac,
with a dent on one of the front fenders,
possibly black wheels and black bumpers, with
black scratches on the rear passenger side
Anyone with information about the suspect was
urged to call 9-1-1.
Sep. 28, 2010
Arrested for Peeping in School Bathroom
Covina - Police have arrested a suspect accused
of peeping at a student in a bathroom stall at
Las Palmas Middle School in Covina.
The suspect, who told police his name was
Cristian Estrada Diaz, was arrested Tuesday
morning. His fingerprints, however, identified
him as Juan Hernandez, 31, according to Covina
Sgt. Dave Foster. Detectives are trying to
determine his true identity.
Foster says the man is a Covina resident. He
does not speak English and had no identification
on him, according to Foster.
The man was arrested on suspicion of making
contact with a minor with intent to commit a
The suspect is accused of entering the girls'
bathroom on Friday and crawling on his knees
under a bathroom stall to spy on a girl. He ran
when another student walked in and noticed him.
He fled on a blue bike...
Detectives are trying to figure out if the man
is responsible for other similar cases in the
Anyone with information is asked to call the
Covina Police Department at (626) 384-5808.
Sep. 28, 2010
We present full
bilingual coverage of the
American Congress on Human Trafficking
Buscaremos romper el cerco de los “guardianes
El delito de trata de personas es tan complejo,
que el discutir próximamente sobre el acceso a
la justicia y restitución de derechos para las
víctimas, permitirá a quienes estamos luchando
contra éste, homogeneizar criterios y exigir con
mejores herramientas a las autoridades
judiciales de Latinoamericana, que cumplan con
La directora Regional de la Coalición contra la
Trata y Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América
Latina y el Caribe, Asociación Civil (CATW-LAC),
Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz,
dijo a Cimacnoticias que la complejidad del
delito de trata, ha impedido su tipificación, y
por ende demostrarlo, para lograr sentenciar a
Al cierre del II Congreso Latinoamericano contra
la Trata y Tráfico de Personas: Migración,
Género y Derechos Humanos que se realizó en esta
ciudad, dijo que una vez que ya se conoce la
agenda del próximo Congreso a efectuarse en Perú
en 2012; el intercambio de ideas entre la
academia, organizaciones de la sociedad civil e
incluso con autoridades, generará ideas más
claras sobre cómo resolver la problemática.
Reconoció que en América Latina se ha avanzado
en la elaboración de leyes, pero no se ha
logrado que sean efectivas, que haya sentencias,
“ y yo coincido con lo que dicen las españolas
que los jueces son los guardianes más celosos
del patriarcado y eso es lo que tenemos que
We Seek to Break the Ring
of the Guardians of Patriarchy
The crime of human trafficking is hugely
complex. Therefore, during the next Congress on
Human Trafficking in Latin America, to be held
in Lima, Peru in 2012, the event will focus its
attentions on developing strategies to resolve
one of the largest problems that we face,
gaining access to equal justice and restitution
for victims. The 2012 Congress will allow those
who are fighting against modern human slavery to
collaborate to create a common legal framework
to address human trafficking and to demand
improved legal tools from Latin America's
judicial institutions. The Congress will also
insist that the region's governments must comply
with the laws governing these crimes.
Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz,
director of the Coalition Against Trafficking of
Women and Girls for Latin America and the
[and a veteran women's rights lawyer in Mexico],
told the CIMAC News that the complexity of this
crime has impeded its classification [in the
criminal code] and use in sentencing traffickers
At the close of the Second Congress on Human
Trafficking, Migration, Gender and Human Rights,
held from Sep. 21 to 24, 2010 in Puebla, Mexico,
Ulloa declared that once the agenda for the 2012
Congress is determined, the mechanisms will be
in place that will allow for an exchange of
ideas between academics, civil society and
government officials, to generate clear
strategies in regard to what needs to be done to
effectively address this problem.
Ulloa recognized that laws have advanced across
Latin America. However those laws are not
enforced, resulting in a lack of the actual
sentencing of convicted traffickers. Ulloa, "I
agree with the what people say in Spain, that
judges are the most jealous guardians of
patriarchy. That [ring of power - old boy's
club] is what we have to break through..."
Sep. 27, 2010
Academic Secretary of the Second
Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking, in a photo from an
earlier anti-trafficking press
Condena unánime contra migración forzada y
aumento de trata en AL
Pronunciamiento del II Congreso Latinoamericano
Puebla, Puebla - Con una condena a las
autoridades de Puebla, México y Latinoamérica,
que han reprimido a aquellas personas que se
atreven a denunciar y combatir el delito de
trata, y a la masacre de los migrantes
centroamericanos ejecutados hace unas semanas en
San Fernando, Tamaulipas, concluyó aquí el II
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico
de Personas: Migración, Género y Derechos
Raquel Pastor, Secretaria Académica del Segundo
Congreso y representante del Centro de Estudios
Sociales y Culturales Antonio Montesinos AC de
México, al dar lectura al pronunciamiento
precisó que las y los integrantes al evento
condenan “los hechos que violentan los derechos
humanos, la migración forzada, el aumento de
casos de trata en la región”.
Demandamos, dijo, las investigaciones
correspondientes exhaustivas para que los
crímenes de Tamaulipas, no queden en la
impunidad y sean restituidos los derechos de las
familias de las víctimas.
De igual manera dijo, “condenamos también los
actos represivos y de persecución en contra de
aquellas personas que se atreven a denunciar,
como los que llevan a cabo algunos gobernantes
en Puebla, México y Latinoamérica para acallar y
encubrir la vulneración de los derechos de las
niñas víctimas de explotación sexual...
Second Latin American
Congress on Human Trafficking concludes with a
unanimous condemnation of forced migration and
slavery in Latin America
Puebla city in Puebla state – The Second Latin American Congress on
Human Trafficking ended four days of events
today by condemning government authorities in
Puebla State [Mexico], in Mexico itself as well
as among governments across Latin America for
repressing those persons who have dared to speak
up about, combat and report cases of human
trafficking. In addition, the Congress also
deplored the recent massacre of 72 Central and
South American migrants in the Mexican state of
Dr. Raquel Pastor, the Academic Secretary of the
Second Congress and a representative of the
Antonio Montesinos Center for Social and
Cultural Studies of Mexico, declared that the
participants in the Congress “denounce ongoing
events that violently deny human rights,
including forced migration and the increase in
human trafficking cases in the region.”
We demand, she said, exhaustive investigations
into the massacre in Tamaulipas, so that this
crime does not remain unchallenged, and so that
the rights of the victim’s families are
Equally, Dr. Pastor stated,
“we also condemn the acts
of repression and persecution that have been
taken against those persons who have dared to
report trafficking cases, such as those that
have been perpetrated by government officials
across Latin America, including in Puebla state,
the Lydia Cacho case], in their
efforts to cover-up and silence the sexual
exploitation of girl [and women] victims.
Dr. Pastor underlined the fact that the
participants in the Congress are speaking-up to
pressure the nations of Latin America to reform
and modernize their criminal justice systems, so
that the definition-of and persecution-of
trafficking crimes become focused on protecting
the dignity of girls, boys, adolescents and
Dr. Pastor asked that academic investigations be
undertaken with the participation of civil
society and government entities to allow for the
development of a body of knowledge about
trafficking, as well as to support the
development of public policies and protocols
that will result in actions and criminal
investigations that focus on those who suffer as
victims of these crimes.
Dr. Pastor stated - 'We demand these nations
address the proposals and the body of experience
that non-governmental organizations bring to the
table, and that they adopt the best practices
that NGOs have developed in the fields of
preventing trafficking, and attending to the
needs of victims. We especially call-upon Chile
and Paraguay to pass laws against human
trafficking, given that they are the only
nations in Latin America not to have done so.'
The Congress also expressed its support for
organizations in Puebla and Tlaxcala states, who
have developed the Agenda for the Protection of
Women and Girls Against Human Trafficking, and
who are demanding punishment for elected and
other officials at all levels of government who
have benefited from human trafficking
The creation of a Latin American 'Observatory'
[think tank] for Human Trafficking was
announced, with the goal of creating a center
that will allow for the analysis of
anti-trafficking efforts being carried out
across the nations of the region.
The Congress will also create a web site, a
system of statistical indicators, and will
create spaces to allow for dialog and reflection
among participants before and after each
The Third Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking will take place in Lima, Peru in
2012. The themes will be: “Access to Justice and
the Restitution of Rights.”
Oscar Castro Soto, director of the Ignacio
Ellacuria Human Rights Institute at the
Ibero-American University in Puebla, stated that
some 600 persons attended the Second Congress.
Two hundred fifty presentations were make by
subject matter experts, and 7 sessions by
keynote speakers were presented.
Sep. 24, 201-
Haitian Women at Increased Risk of Trafficking
Puebla, Mexico - The January earthquake that
devastated Haiti put women and girls in the
poorest country in the hemisphere at an
increased risk of falling prey to people
trafficking, activists and experts warn.
"The phenomenon has become much more visible
since the earthquake, with the increase in the
forced displacement of persons," said Bridget
Wooding, a researcher who specializes in
immigration at the Latin American Faculty of
Social Sciences (FLACSO) in the Dominican
Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola
"There is huge vulnerability to a rise in human
trafficking and smuggling," she told IPS.
The Dominican Republic and the United States are
the main destinations for Haitian migrants. The
figures vary, but there are between 500,000 and
800,000 Haitians and people of Haitian descent
in the U.S. and between one and two million in
the Dominican Republic.
Women in Haiti "are exposed to forced
prostitution, rape, abandonment and
pornography," Mesadieu Guylande, a Haitian
expert with the Coalition Against Trafficking in
Women-Latin America and the Caribbean
(CATW-LAC), told IPS.
The situation in Haiti was one of the issues
discussed by representatives of NGOs, experts
and academics from throughout the region at the
Second Latin American Conference on Human
Smuggling and Trafficking, which ran Tuesday
through Friday in Puebla, 130 km south of Mexico
The 7.0-magnitude quake that hit the Haitian
capital on Jan. 12 and left a death toll of at
least 220,000 forced tens of thousands of people
to live in camps...
"We have evidence of a growth in trafficking and
smuggling of persons, which is reflected in the
increase in the number of children panhandling
in the streets of Santo Domingo, for example,"
said Wooding, co-author of the 2004 book "Needed
but Not Wanted", on Haitian immigration in the
The author was in Port-au-Prince when the quake
Even before the disaster, some 500,000 children
were not attending school in Haiti, a country of
around 9.5 million people, Guylande said.
Since 2007, there have been no convictions in
the Dominican Republic under Law 137-03 against
trafficking and smuggling, passed in 2003,
according to the U.S. State Department
Trafficking in Persons Report 2009.
As a result, the State Department reported that
the government of the Dominican Republic "does
not fully comply with the minimum standards for
the elimination of trafficking" and put the
country on its Tier 2 Watch List.
In Haiti, things are no different. Although the
government ratified the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
especially Women and Children, supplementing the
United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime, in force since Sept. 29, 2003,
it has failed to implement its provisions in
"The penal system is fragile and the judiciary
is neither independent nor trustworthy, a
situation that works in favor of traffickers,"
Sep. 24, 2010
Puebla, entre los estados que más producen
pornografía infantil, informa una ONG
México ocupa el primer lugar de América Latina
en la producción y distribución de pornografía
infantil, principalmente hacia Estados Unidos,
España y países de Oriente Medio, señaló ayer
Mayra Rojas Rosas, representante de la
Organización Infancia Común, durante el Segundo
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico
de Personas que se realiza en la Universidad
Los estados con más casos de trata infantil,
puntualizó, son: Baja California, Sonora,
Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Guerrero, Quintana Roo,
Veracruz, Distrito Federal, Tlaxcala y Puebla.
“La gente cree que sólo son fotos o que sólo es
un video, pero eso daña y los daña para siempre
porque a veces son relaciones reales y otras
simuladas, pero esos niños están siendo
trastocados en su integridad y están siendo
sometidos a una serie de experiencias que no
tiene que sufrir un niño o un adolescente”,
Puebla – among the states with the highest rate
of producing child pornography – NGO
Mayra Rojas Rosas, director of the
non-governmental organization Common Infancy,
declared at the Second Latin American Congress
on Human Trafficking that Mexico occupies first
place among Latin American nations in the
production and distribution of child
pornography. She noted that most of these
illicit materials are destined to be sold in the
United States, Spain and in Middle Eastern
Rojas Rosas added that the states with the
highest levels of the
child pornography are Baja California, Sonora,
Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Quintana Roo,
Veracruz, the Federal District [Mexico City],
Tlaxala and Puebla. “People think that it is
only a video, but participating in child
pornography damages the lives of the victims
forever. Some of the scenes are simulated, and
some are real, but the integrity of these
children is being disrupted. They are being
subjected to a series of experiences that no
child or adolescent should have to suffer
During a press conference on the subject, Rojas
Rosas lamented the fact that human trafficking
is being transformed into a business that is
larger and more easily sold than narcotics. In
response, she said, the only way to fight this
crime is through cooperation and a demand that
the problem be made ‘visible.’
“We are not talking about a problem of
persecution here. We are talking about the need
to engage in construction. We must change
legislation and generate spaces to provide for
an integral attention to the victims of
trafficking, so that they are given a chance to
develop a different type of life. The state must
assume part of the responsibility, because at
times, due to presumed acts of complicity and
omission, we have had problems,” said Rojas
In a separate press conference, Helen Le Goff, a
representative of the International Organization
for Migration (IOM) in Mexico, called upon
authorities to investigate and castigate
trafficking cases based upon their own sources
of information, without waiting for a formal
complaint to be filed by a victim (victim
complaint initiation is generally required by
Mexican law before a police investigation may be
During her presentation at the Congress, Le Goff
mentioned that studies conducted by Mexico’s
National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) estimate
that each year, 20,000 persons are victims of
human trafficking, principally in tourist cities
and in frontier regions. Most victims are
illegal immigrants, who have migrated from some
13 nations, including Guatemala, Honduras and El
Le Goff, “In addition to the 60% of victims who
experience labor trafficking, an additional 40%
were victims of sex trafficking.”
Le Goff concluded by stating that the the IOM is
launching a campaign called “No más trata de
personas” [No more Human Trafficking] in the
cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tapachula. The
project is being developed in collaboration with
the the CNDH. The project’s goal is to educate
the public about the risks of irregular
migration and human trafficking.
La Jornada de
Sep. 24, 2010
Giovanni, a nine-year-old girl who
lives in the violent Mexico City
neighborhood of Penitenciaria
Photo:Daniela Pastrana / IPS
Gender Violence Hits Behind the News
Mexico City - Amalia is an indigenous Maya girl
from a rural community in southern Quintana Roo,
on Mexico's Caribbean coast. She is 11 years
old, and in August became the youngest mother in
the country when she gave birth to a baby girl,
51 cm long and just under three kg.
Amalia was raped when she was 10, allegedly by
her stepfather. She did not have the option of
terminating the pregnancy because by the time it
emerged that she was pregnant it was too late
for a legal abortion.
Her case highlights the government's failures in
dealing with violence against girls, a
phenomenon that is overlooked due to the many
other types of violence plaguing Mexico, such as
the epidemic of drug-related murders, and the
human rights violations attributed to the
military and police.
Amalia "represents an accumulation of social
exclusions: she is female, a child, indigenous
and poor," Juan Martín Pérez, executive director
of the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico,
which brings together more than 50 pro-child
organizations, told TerraViva.
"It took more than 20 years for me to admit what
had happened. It's something that you never
forgive; you just learn to live with it," a
35-year-old professional from Mexico City told
TerraViva. She was sexually abused by an uncle
when she was Amalia's age.
In this Latin American country of 108 million
people, there are 18.4 million boys and 17.9
million girls under 18. Violence against
children occurs in one-third of households,
despite the many institutions across the country
entrusted with protecting their well-being.
A UNICEF (United Nations
Children's Fund) study ranked Mexico second for
mistreatment of children, after Portugal,
among the 33 member countries of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD). The mortality rate
attributed to this phenomenon is 30 deaths for
every million minors.
According to UNICEF, a large portion of this
physical, sexual and psychological violence and
neglect remains hidden, and is sometimes
And while this crime is underreported, there is
even less information about the differences in
mistreatment based on gender. "There is a
statistical invisibility that prevents us from
getting a clear picture of the problem," said
Several recent studies provide isolated data for
an incomplete puzzle. For example, the latest
National Survey on Health and Nutrition reports
six pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 12 to
15, and 101 per 1,000 for ages 16 to 17.
In Quintana Roo, the state's secretary of
health, Juan Carlos Azueta, said that in 2009
5,500 adolescent pregnancies were reported, 16
percent of which were the result of rape -- a
proportion in line with the national average.
"I love my daughter, but I've never known how to
deal with her. She exasperates me, and I'm often
unfair to her," admitted Gloria, a mother of
three girls, whose eldest was born after she was
raped at the age of 15 by a married man.
"There is something in her that reminds me of
how I got pregnant, and nobody taught me how to
be a mother or how to deal with this memory
inside," said the abusive mother, who lives in
Atizapán, on the outskirts of Mexico City.
"La infancia cuenta" (Childhood Counts / 2009),
a web-based monitoring tool and publication by
the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico
dedicated to girls, states "there are specific
groups of females who are marginalized from the
educational system," such as adolescent mothers
or disabled or indigenous girls and adolescents.
According to Mexico's National Institute on
Statistics and Geography, 180,500 adolescent
mothers, ages 12 to 18, have not completed their
basic education. Girls have higher school
attendance rates than boys until age 16, when
the balance starts to tip, in part due to early
"At 15, I ran away from home with the man who is
now the father of my children, but things went
even worse for me," Citatli, now 45 and a
grandmother, told TerraViva. She lives in a
low-income neighborhood in the eastern part of
the Mexico City metropolitan area.
She had two children by the time she was 17,
"and the younger one was born prematurely after
I was beaten," she said. "I have always been
surrounded by violence. From my mother, my
brothers, my first husband, and now from my
children." Her only hope is that her five
grandchildren "don't turn out like that."
In Mexico, violent acts against girls,
adolescents and women are based on a social
construction that assumes males are superior,
several sources consulted by TerraViva agreed.
"We've made some limited progress, with a
federal law (against gender violence) and local
laws in all states, but we haven't seen
fundamental changes," said Axela Romero,
director of Integral Health for Women. "A
culture in which masculine is put above feminine
Giovanni, a nine-year-old girl who lives in the
violent Mexico City neighborhood of
Penitenciaria, knows all about that. She has
what is traditionally a boy's name because when
her mother was about to give birth to her
firstborn son, she lost the pregnancy due to "a
fright" when the father got involved in a fight.
So the name went to the little girl, when she
"I hate violence, and I hate it even more when
the men drink," Giovanni told TerraViva.
Years of gruesome unsolved murders of women --
known as "femicides" -- put Ciudad Juárez, on
Mexico's northern border, on the global map. At
least 800 women have been tortured and murdered
in the last 16 years, according to incomplete
Meanwhile, in some Mexican states, the laws are
tougher on women who undergo abortions than on
the rapists who impregnated them.
According to government surveys, more than 60
percent of male adolescents believe it is solely
the responsibility of the woman to take
precautions against pregnancy, and at least
one-fifth of students have witnessed incidents
at their schools, off in a corner, where one or
more boys inappropriately touched a girl without
But those incidents, like other forms of
aggression against girls, are likewise abandoned
in a corner.
*This story was
originally published by IPS TerraViva with the
support of UNIFEM and the Dutch MDG3 Fund.
Service (IPS) / TerraViva
Sep. 21, 2010
Bicentennial Nothing to Celebrate, Say
Mexico City - "I don't understand why we should
celebrate [Independence]. There will be no
freedom in Mexico until repression against
indigenous peoples is eliminated," says Sadhana,
whose name means "moon" in the indigenous
Over the course of the year, the Mexican
government has organized a series of lavish
celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of
the start of the war of independence against the
Spanish Empire, Sep. 16, 1810. The main events,
held Sep. 15, included a military parade with
soldiers from several other countries and a
But to many of Mexico's indigenous peoples, the
festivities are an alien concept.
According to indigenous organizations, at least
a third of Mexico's 108 million people are of
native descent. But the government's National
Council on Population says the majority of
Mexicans are mestizo (of mixed European and
indigenous ancestry), while 14 million belong to
one of the country's 62 native groups.
"There is no birth certificate or other official
document that says we are indigenous. The
official calculations are based on the census
that asks just one question about this: if you
speak an indigenous language. That is the only
element they use to define who is indigenous,"
said Julio Atenco Vidal, of the Regional
Coordinator of Sierra de Zongolica Indigenous
Organisations, in the southeastern state of
"Furthermore, there are many who say they are
not indigenous, because it is associated with
backwardness," he told IPS.
Registered by her Mazahua parents with the name
"Daleth Ignacio Esquivel," Sadhana, 14,
participates in a dance group of Mexica origin.
They promote the recovery of their ancestral
language among youths in San Miguel, a town in
the central state of Mexico.
In the latest census of population and housing,
conducted in May and June, the question about
personal ethnic identification was added...
Of all the segments of the population,
indigenous women have the worst living
conditions, according to the National Commission
for the Development of Indigenous Peoples. These
women suffer serious health problems resulting
from nutritional deficiencies and high birth
From childhood, indigenous girls are obligated
to help their mothers. They tend to marry
between ages 13 and 16. And their "normal"
workday can last 18 hours daily.
Meanwhile, illiteracy among indigenous children
is five times greater than among mestizo
An extreme case of indigenous exclusion is found
in San Juan Copala, in the southern state of
Oaxaca, home of the Triqui community, which
declared itself "autonomous" in 2007. The Triqui
people have been under siege since January by
illegal armed groups that block the entry of
food and medicine, and teachers. Governmental
authorities have yet to intervene.
The ongoing harassment has led to at least a
dozen deaths since 2007 and earned a
denunciation from the United Nations Office of
the High Commissioner of Human Rights. In April,
the armed groups ambushed an international
humanitarian convoy that was attempting to bring
supplies to the Triqui village.
"We are celebrating the
construction of a type of stratified and racist
state, which is what has been created in Mexico,
often based on liberal ideas," said Rodolfo
Stavenhagen, a researcher at the Colegio de
México and former UN special rapporteur on the
situation of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of indigenous peoples.
"Now is a good time to reform the concept of
'nation'. We must take steps in building an
indigenous citizenry and indigenous spaces that
have never before appeared in Mexico's
institutional fabric," Stavenhagen told IPS.
Along similar lines, 177 organizations from 15
states are working to breathe new life into the
indigenous movement. It has been largely
stagnant since 2001, when the government quashed
the efforts towards autonomy by the indigenous
Zapatista National Liberation Army, which took
up arms in January 1994 in the southern state of
Now, in a new national and international
context, the organizations are pursuing a model
of a "plurinational" and "pluricultural" state,
one that includes Mexico's array of indigenous
ethnicities "without adulteration or
"We don't have anything to celebrate," reads a
declaration from the National Indigenous
Movement, which met in the capital on Sep. 15
while the rest of the country commemorated 200
years of the Mexican republic.
The movement questioned "the irrational festive
nature of the great national celebration," on
which the government spent 200 million dollars,
"while our peoples are fighting hunger and
Sep. 24, 2010
- Co-organizer and Participant in the Second
Latin-American Congress on Migrant Smuggling and
The [United Nations affiliated] International
Organization for Migration (IOM) is
participating in the second Latin American
Congress on Migrant Smuggling and Human
Trafficking, taking place this week in Puebla,
The four-day event co-organized by IOM which
ends today, brings together hundreds of
government officials, experts from international
organizations, researchers, civil society and
students, as well as the general public, to
discuss issues of common concern related to
migrant smuggling and human trafficking in
More than 250 international experts are
presenting their counter-trafficking work and
shared experiences, with the more than 350
participants from every country in the
The main objective of the Congress is to promote
active discussion amongst key actors combating
human trafficking in Latin America, in order to
encourage the development of public policies and
legislation against trafficking in the region.
IOM Mexico, as a member of the Latin-American
Committee of the Congress, has been coordinating
as well as organizing the event. IOM experts
from Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have
participated in different panels, presenting IOM
activities in the region as well as discussing
the link between migration and human trafficking
and the need for protection of the human rights
of all migrants.
In Latin America, human trafficking for sexual
and labor exploitation has reached alarming
proportions in recent years. Since 2000, when
the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons was approved, many Latin
American countries have updated or drafted anti
human trafficking laws and have put in place
public policies aimed at combating the crime and
providing vital protection to the victims.
Organized criminal networks earn billions of
dollars each year from the traffic and
exploitation of persons who suffer severe
violations of their human rights. Common abuses
experienced by trafficking victims include rape,
torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement, and
threats against their family or other persons
close to them, as well as other forms of
physical, sexual and psychological violence.
According to Mexico’s National Human Rights
Commission (CNDH by its Spanish acronym), with
whom IOM Mexico has recently signed a
cooperation agreement, each year more than
20,000 persons fall victim to human trafficking
in Mexico, mainly in border areas and in tourist
"Data on human trafficking in Mexico is rare and
there are only estimations on this serious
problem," said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of
Mission in Mexico.
"What we know is that Chiapas and Chihuahua,
where IOM has sub-offices, are two of the main
states of origin and destination of trafficking
in Mexico. One of the worst forms of trafficking
detected recently in Mexico is linked with the
kidnapping of people for recruitment in the
organized criminal groups," Weiss added...
Hélène Le Goff
Organization for Migration (IOM) México
Sep. 24, 2010
Chase leads deputies to possible human
San Antonio - A chase led Bexar County deputies
to a home they say may be part of human
Deputies chased a stolen truck to a home in the
11,000 block of Jarrett Road in Far Southwest
Bexar County around 11:00 a.m. Friday. The
deputies found 17 illegal immigrants living
inside the home in horrible conditions.
Investigators believe the illegal immigrants
were smuggled here and stayed cramped up inside
the small home, sleeping wherever they could
"The living conditions are pretty bad," said
Sgt. R. Fletcher of the Bexar County Sheriff's
Department. "And we're talking about 15 to 17
people in a 3 bedroom home..."
Sep. 24, 2010
Woman faces first such Manitoba charge; Victim
forced into prostitution, police say
Manitoba's first-ever human trafficking charge
has been laid after an older woman befriended a
21-year-old woman from northern Manitoba, then
allegedly forced her into the sex trade.
The 38-year-old is accused of taking the
victim's identification and clothing, punching
her in a fight and stopping her twice as she
attempted to run away, Winnipeg police said
The pair lived in a home in the 300 block of
Aikens Street. The older woman forced the girl
to turn over the cash she made to pay for food
and a roof over her head, investigators believe.
The Winnipeg Police Service vice unit began
probing the case after officers were initially
called to the home on a complaint of a fight
The woman was arrested Wednesday.
"The best way to describe it is we have an
individual whose human rights have been violated
to an extreme," said WPS spokesman Const. Jason
Michalyshen, noting investigators believe the
abuse started earlier this month.
"It's certainly not something we come across on
a regular basis."
The Criminal Code added a specific section
against human trafficking in 2005.
The Criminal Code describes a trafficker in
human beings as "a person (who) exploits another
person if they cause the victim to provide
labour or service for fear of their safety or
the safety of someone known to them."
...A source said the victim is from a remote
First Nations [indigenous] community and lived
in two city shelters before moving in with the
Theresa Peebles is charged with forcible
confinement, assault and three counts of
trafficking. All charges date from Sept. 5 to
Sept. 20 this year...
"These types of charges are difficult to lay.
There's a lot of criteria that need to be
established, and because it is fairly new
legislation, fairly new law, members of the
policing community are still learning and being
educated about it," Michalyshen said.
The Winnipeg Free
Sep. 24, 2010
Added: Sep. 24, 2010
Mexico, Latin America
y de los Ríos
of Mexico's Network for Women’s Life and
Liberty, speaks at the Second Latin
American Congress on Human Trafficking
con derechos y ciudadanía, debe exigir la sociedad
Lagarde en Congreso sobre Trata y Tráfico
El delito de trata de
personas no sólo debe ser visto como un hecho del
crimen organizado, sino como resultado de una
complejidad social apabullante, que abarca a la
sociedad y al Estado, y que éste último no se ha
reformado para hacer frente a sus obligaciones
legales, afirmó aquí la feminista Marcela Lagarde y
de los Ríos.
Ante los comités de
organización y académico del II Congreso
Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas:
Migración, Género y Derechos Humanos, se pronunció
por recurrir a los aportes teóricos de la
investigación de la perspectiva de género, para
definir y diferenciar los límites precisos sobre los
riesgos de ser objeto de trata, que corren las
mujeres y las niñas, por edad, clase social,
etnicidad, condiciones de migración, de legalidad e
with our rights of citizenship, must make demands
Feminist activist Marcela Lagarde addresses the
Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking
In her presentation
before the Second Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking, feminist activist Marcela Lagarde y de
los Ríos stated that human trafficking should not be
seen only as an act perpetrated by organized crime,
but also as a overwhelmingly powerful social complex
that envelops our society and the state. In
response, she said, government has not reformed
itself to accept its legal obligations in this area.
During her presentation:
Human Rights Synergies for Women in Response to
Human Trafficking, Lagarde, who is the president of
the Network for Women’s Life and Liberty (in
Mexico), went on to discuss the fact that
investigating human trafficking from a gender
perspective requires that we understand the risks
that women and girls face upon becoming victims of
trafficking, because of their gender, social class,
ethnicity and their legal or illegal condition of
Lagarde explained that
when, for example, the topic of immigrants is
discussed, the term “inmigrantes”
(immigrants), not “las
migrantes” (women immigrants) is used.
declared, this imposes a brutal form of
discrimination when the topic of human
trafficking is discussed. When the term “personas”
(persons) is used in the context of our patriarchal
discourse, the term means, specifically, men.
Thus, the term
‘trafficking in persons’ is never translated to mean
that the human slavery of women and girls exists.
Female victims are almost never mentioned in the
context of human trafficking [in Mexico]. This
omission contributes to their invisibility.
Lagarde went on to say
that, if we approach the problem of human
trafficking without using a gender-based
perspective, we cannot arrive at a point where we
understand that this problem “is closely associated
with the [intentional] domination and dehumanization
These factors cause
society to focus its solutions to trafficking on
targeting organized crime, while at the same time
failing to work toward equality between men and
women and a respect for the sexual and reproductive
rights of girls and adolescents, said Lagarde...
The CIMAC Women's
Sep. 22, 2010
Mexico, Latin America
Ibero-American University rector David
Fernández Dávalos, shown at another
university event - spoke at the opening
ceremonies of the Second Latin American
Congress on Human Trafficking
Erradicar la trata no “le importa a nadie”:
Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas
Cada año, cerca de 100
mil mujeres provenientes de países de América Latina
y el Caribe, son llevadas con engaños y falsas
promesas de empleo, a diversas naciones del mundo,
sin que se conozcan las cifras nacionales oficiales,
estudios, las estadísticas, ni los informes
cuantitativos que permitan evidenciar el fenómeno de
la trata de personas.
Al inaugurar aquí el
Segundo Encuentro Latinoamericano sobre Trata y
Tráfico de Personas: Migración, Género y Derechos
Humanos, el rector de la Universidad Iberoamericana,
Puebla, David Fernández Dávalos, lamentó que este
problema no le importe a nadie, “ni a la academia,
ni a los gobernantes, ni a gran parte de la sociedad
En el mundo, dijo, más
de 4 millones de personas son víctimas del delito de
trata y de esa cifra, el 80 por ciento es sufrida
por mujeres, niños y niñas en sus diversas formas de
continuó, a la trata con fines de explotación sexual
y laboral, la adopción ilegal, el comercio de
órganos y el tráfico de droga, se suma la venta de
niñas y adolescentes en comunidades indígenas de
México, los abusos en el servicio doméstico, los
matrimonios serviles y la violencia familiar, son
validadas por sistemas patriarcales, machistas y
conservadores, que limitan la problemática y la
Ibero-American University rector David Fernández
Dávalos: "Nobody cares about eradicating human
Each year, close to
100,000 Latin American and Caribbean women are
taken, through the use of offers of work and other
false promises, to nations around the world. We do
not know the real numbers of victims. Neither
official national estimates nor quantitative studies
can really tell us the true scope of human
During the opening
ceremonies of the Second Latin American Congress on
Human Trafficking, which is being held on the campus
of the Ibero-American University in the city of
Puebla, in Puebla state, university rector David
Fernández Dávalos lamented that nobody cares about
human trafficking, "neither academia, nor those in
government, nor the great majority of civil
Fernández Dávalos noted
that globally, some 4 million persons are victims of
human trafficking. Of these, 80% are women and
children who suffer through diverse forms of sexual
Fernández Dávalos, in addition to the traditional
categories of sex and labor trafficking, illegal
adoptions, organ trafficking and drug trafficking,
we must also add the sale of children and youth in
the indigenous communities of Mexico [they are 30%
of the national population], abuses found in
domestic service, servile marriages and family
violence. These problems are all validated by [our]
conservative and machista [machismo-based]
patriarchal systems, which work to diminish
action to respond to the problem.
presented figures compiled by the Civil Guard of
Spain which indicate that 70% of the female victims
of human trafficking in that nation come originally
from Latin America, while in Japan, an estimated
1,700 Latin America women are held as sex slaves.
declared that public strategies must be created to
address human trafficking in each region of Latin
America. Today efforts at prevention, protection and
prosecution are inadequate.
Oscar Arturo Castro, who
is the director of the Ignacio Ellacuria Human
Rights Center at the university as well as member of
the organizing committee of the Congress, argued
that the dynamics of migration must be studied as
part of the problem of human slavery. Castro,
"because organized crime is taking advantage of
crime] exploits migration driven by greed, and
disregards human dignity, a reality that we can
observe in the example of the recent massacre of 72
Central American migrants in Tamaulipas, as well as
in the cases of the thousands of Central [and South]
American migrants who are kidnapped by drug
trafficking gangs across the entire territory of
The opening ceremonies
of the Congress were also attended by José Manuel
Grima, president of the Congress and Teresa Ulloa
Ziaurríz, director of the Coalition Against the
Trafficking Women and Girls - Latin American and
Caribbean branch. Some 300 presenters are expected
during the 4 days of planned conference sessions.
The CIMAC Women's
Sep. 21, 2010
Latina ineficaz en combate a trata de personas
Puebla city in Puebla state, Mexico - El combate a
la trata de personas ha sido ineficaz y ha derivado
en la creación de mercados intrarregionales, según
especialistas y activistas de América Latina
reunidos desde este martes en esta ciudad mexicana.
"El combate ha terminado en respuestas más formales
que reales, como los cambios legales. No hay interés
de los estados, no es una prioridad", criticó a IPS
Ana Hidalgo, de la oficina en Costa Rica de la
Organización Internacional para las Migraciones
(OIM), la institución intergubernamental que
promueve una migración ordenada y justa.
Hidalgo forma parte de los 450 académicos y
activistas que participan en Puebla, a 129
kilómetros al sur de Ciudad de México, en el Segundo
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de
Personas, inaugurado este martes y que concluirá
este viernes 24.
"Se atiende a una víctima y se inicia un proceso
penal, pero no hay sentencia porque hay impunidad.
El consumidor, léase el prostituyente o el violador,
no está captado en la fórmula", señaló la abogada
Ana Chávez, del Servicio Paz y Justicia de
En México cada año unas 20.000 personas serían
víctimas de la trata, según el no gubernamental
Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Desarrollo y
Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), uno de cuyos ejes es el
estudio de ese fenómeno.
En América Latina esa cifra es de 250.000 personas,
con una ganancia de 1.350 millones de dólares para
las bandas, según estadísticas de la mexicana
Secretaría (ministerio) de Seguridad Pública. Pero
los datos sobre el fenómeno son variables, si bien
las Naciones Unidas subraya que el delito se ha
exacerbado en el comienzo del siglo...
Inter Press Service
(IPS) / TerraViva
Sep. 21, 2010
English Language Version:
America: Five Million Women Have Fallen Prey to
The fight against human
trafficking in Latin America is ineffective and has
led to the emergence of intra-regional markets for
the trade, according to experts and activists
meeting this week in this Mexican city.
'Responses to the trade
in human beings have been more formal than real, as
have the changes in legislation. Governments are not
interested: it is not their priority,' Ana Hidalgo,
from the Costa Rican office of the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), told IPS.
Hidalgo is one of the
450 academics and activists taking part in the
Second Latin American Conference on Smuggling and
Trafficking of Human Beings, under the theme
'Migrations, Gender and Human Rights', Sept. 21-24
in Puebla, 129 kilometers south of Mexico City.
Ana Chávez, a lawyer
with Argentina's Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ)
said, 'Victims are listened to, and criminal
prosecutions are initiated, but no one is sentenced
because of impunity. The consumers, that is, the
pimps, clients or rapists, do not come into the
In Mexico some 20,000
people a year fall victim to the modern-day slave
trade, according to the Centre for Studies and
Research on Social Development and Assistance
(CEIDAS), which monitors the issue.
The total number of
victims in Latin America amounts to 250,000 a year,
yielding a profit of 1.35 billion dollars for the
traffickers, according to statistics from the
Mexican Ministry of Public Security. But the data
vary widely. Whatever the case, the United Nations
warns that human trafficking has steadily grown over
the past decade.
Organizations like the
Coalition Against Trafficking of Women and Girls in
Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC) estimate
that over five million girls and women have been
trapped by these criminal networks in the region,
and another 10 million are in danger of falling into
Latin America is a
source and destination region for human trafficking,
a crime that especially affects the Dominican
Republic, Brazil and Colombia.
The conference host,
David Fernández Dávalos, president of the
Ibero-American University of Puebla (UIA-Puebla),
said in his inaugural speech that human trafficking
is a modern and particularly malignant version of
slavery, only under better cover and disguises.
On Aug. 31, U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged member states to
implement a Global Plan of Action to Combat
Trafficking in Persons, because it is 'among the
worst human rights violations,' constituting
'slavery in the modern age,' and preying mostly on
'women and children.'
The congress coincides
with the International Day Against the Sexual
Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children
on Thursday, instituted in 1999 by the World
Conference of the Coalition Against Trafficking in
and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Mexico
concur that criminal mafias in this country have
been proved to combine trafficking in persons with
drug trafficking, along both the northern and
southern land borders (with the United States and
with Guatemala, respectively)...
In Mexico, a federal Law
to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons has
been on the books since 2007, but the government has
yet to create a national program to implement it,
although this is stipulated in the law itself.
The Puebla Congress,
which follows the first such conference held in
Buenos Aires in 2008, is meeting one month after the
massacre of 72 undocumented migrants in the
northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which exemplified
the connection between drug trafficking and
trafficking in persons, and drew International
attention to the dangers faced by migrants in
Miguel Ortega, a member
of the Democratic Alliance of Civil Society
Organizations, a Mexican umbrella group representing
50 NGOs, told IPS: 'In first place, the problem is
invisible, and until the state makes appropriate
changes to the laws, there will be no progress. We
want to see prompt and decisive action.'
IOM's Hidalgo said, 'our
investigations and research have found that
Nicaraguan women are trafficked into Guatemala and
Costa Rica, and Honduran women are trafficked into
Guatemala and Mexico.'
Women from Colombia and
Peru have been forced into prostitution in the
southern Ecuadorean province of El Oro, according to
a two-year investigation by Martha Ruiz, a
consultant responsible for updating and redrafting
Ecuador's National Plan against Human Trafficking.
SERPAJ's Chávez said,
'We have not been able to get governments to take
responsibility for investigating these crimes. The
states themselves are a factor in generating these
Out of the 32 Mexican
states, eight make no reference to human trafficking
in their state laws. Mario Fuentes, head of CEIDAS,
wrote this week in the newspaper Excélsior that the
country is laboring under 'severe backwardness and
challenges in this field, because it lacks a
national program to deal with the problem, as well
as a system of statistics.'
Inter Press Service
Sep. 22, 2010
Democratic U.S. Senator
Patrick Leahy of Vermont has insisted
upon linking U.S. aid to human rights
improvements in Mexico
groups against giving US anti-drug aid to Mexico
groups Tuesday urged US lawmakers not to authorize
36 million dollars in anti-drug trafficking aid to
Mexico because of human rights violations by its
Mexico City - Human
rights groups Tuesday urged US lawmakers not to
authorize 36 million dollars in anti-drug
trafficking aid to Mexico because of human rights
violations by its security forces.
"Releasing these funds
would send the message that the United States
condones the grave human rights violations committed
in Mexico, including torture, rape, killings, and
enforced disappearances," they said in a letter to
Seven human rights
groups signed the petition including Amnesty
International, Human Rights Watch, the Washington
Office on Latin America and Mexico's Association for
the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights.
An annual US State
Department report on September 2 gave the Senate its
assessment of the state of human rights in Mexico,
required before the disbursement of additional aid
in the Plan Merida drug interdiction program, under
which Mexico got 36 million dollars last year.
Mexico is facing
spiraling drug-related violence that has cost the
lives of more than 28,000 murders since 2006,
despite a major police-military crackdown on crime
by President Felipe Calderon.
The rights groups
recognized that Mexico was facing "a severe public
"However, human rights
violations committed by Mexican security forces are
not only deplorable in their own right, but also
significantly undermine the effectiveness of
Mexico's public security efforts."
Sep. 15, 2010
The CIMAC women’s news
agency’s collection of more than 370 factual
articles on cases of the rape of civilian women in
Mexico by military service members.
author and anti-trafficking activist
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro
Photo: CIMAC Women's
News Agency - Mexico
Internacional al Escritor Valiente para Lydia Cacho
y denuncia de red de pederastia en México
La periodista Lydia Cacho Ribeiro recibirá el
próximo 20 de octubre el Premio Internacional al
Escritor Valiente, que otorga la Asociación de
Escritores PEN Internacional, distinción que se
confiere a quienes escriben y sufren persecución por
En un comunicado, la Asociación sin fines de lucro
informó que otorgará a Cacho el reconocimiento por
su investigación y denuncia de una red de
pederastia, y sus presuntos vínculos con autoridades
y empresarios en México...
Lydia Cacho receives
award for valiant
This coming 20th of October, 2010,
journalist and author Lydia Cacho Ribeiro will
receive International Writer of Courage Prize from
the PEN international writer’s association. The
prize is awarded to writers who face persecution for
a press release, the non-profit association declared
that Cacho had been chosen in recognition of her
investigation and denunciation of a child sex
trafficking network that is presumed to have had
ties with Mexican business leaders and authorities.
PEN press release mentioned that, after the release
of her 2005 book about the case, the “Demons of
Eden, The Powers Behind Pornography,” Cacho was
arrested, accused of defamation and became the
subject of death threats.
Cacho is a member of the editorial board of the
CIMAC women’s news agency, for which she serves as
its correspondent in the city of Cancun. She is also
a co-founder of the Journalists Network of Mexico,
Central America and the Caribbean. Since the year
2000, Cacho has been a special consultant on human
rights and women’s health issues for the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
her most recent book, “Slaves of Power, A Journey to
the Heart of the Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls
Across the World,” Cacho reveals that between 20,00
and half a million victims of trafficking exist [in
Mexico]. The great majority exist to make profits
for the prostitution mafias.
Cacho spent 5 years researching the operations of
large and small international sex trafficking
organizations. She conducted interviews with a large
number of victims as well as actual members of the
trafficking mafias. See the CIMAC article on Cacho’s
work at this
Cacho’s efforts have been recognized in awards from:
Human Rights Watch; Mexico’s National Journalism
Prize; the Amnesty Award of 2007, the Oxfam Award of
2007; the 2009 Hermila Galindo prize for her
distinguished work in defense and promotion of human
rights for women.
April of 2010, Cacho was selected as the World Hero
for Press Freedom by the International Press
Institute. Cacho was also one of 60 journalists
honored during the World Congress, celebrated in
During September, 2010, Cacho received the Manuel
Leguineche International Journalism Prize, which was
awarded to her by the Spanish Federation of
Journalism Associations (FAPE). That prize was
dedicated by FAPE to the many journalists who have
been murdered in Mexico.
By the Editors
CIMAC Women's News
Sep. 17, 2010
journalist Lydia Cacho receives PEN prize
London - A Mexican journalist who was arrested and
threatened after exposing a pedophile ring is to
receive a major writing prize.
Writers' charity PEN says Lydia Cacho is the
recipient of its International Writer of Courage
Prize, which goes to writers persecuted for their
Cacho was arrested, charged with libel and received
death threats after publishing a book about a child
sex abuse ring involving business figures in Cancun
The awards will be presented in London on Oct. 20.
The Associated Press
Sep. 16, 2010
Journalist / Activist
Lydia Cacho is
Railroaded by the Legal
Process in Mexico for Having
Networks In Mexico
The World, Chile
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
(right) with former Chilean president
Michelle Bachelet, on 14 September 2010
Bachelet: ONU Mujeres Será un Enorme Desafío
La ex presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet
describió su nombramiento al frente de ONU Mujeres
como un enorme desafío que acoge con beneplácito.
En una entrevista exclusiva con la Radio de la ONU,
Bachelet indicó que su designación representa un
reconocimiento a los logros de su gobierno y a los
avances de su país en políticas destinadas al
adelanto de la mujer.
Consideró que su experiencia como mandataria y su
relación con otros jefes de Estado contribuirán a
avanzar en el objetivo de la igualdad de los
“Mi experiencia también en todo lo vinculado al
trabajo de igualdad de las mujeres, igualdad de
derechos, a luchar contra la violencia, a luchar
contra la discriminación, esta ha sido la historia
de mi vida. No sólo con respecto a las mujeres, sino
de los hombres, mujeres, niños, ancianos. Toda esta
experiencia la quiero entregar en esta tarea que es
la dirección de esta nueva estructura de Naciones
La nueva Entidad para la Igualdad entre los Géneros,
“ONU Mujeres”, fue creada por la Asamblea General el
pasado 2 de julio, y fusiona cuatro organismos de la
ONU que se ocupaban del tema. Comenzará a operar en
enero de 2011.
Radio ONU - UN Radio
Sep. 15, 2010
Chilean president to head new high-profile UN
Ban Ki-moon (right) with Michelle Bachelet
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named former
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United
Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to
oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at
promoting women’s rights and full participation in
The new body – which will receive a large boost in
funding and become operational in January – merges
four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development
Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the
Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the
Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN
International Research and Training Institute for
the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).
“UN Women will promote the interests of women and
girls across the globe,” Mr. Ban told reporters in
announcing the appointment. “Ms. Bachelet brings to
this critical position a history of dynamic global
leadership, highly honed political skills and
uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among
UN agencies and many partners in both the public and
“I’m confident that under her strong leadership we
can improve the lives of millions of women and girls
throughout the world.”
Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who
prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and
since leaving office has been working with UNIFEM to
advocate for the needs of Haitian women following
January’s devastating earthquake, was chosen over
two other candidates.
The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at
least $500 million, double the current combined
resources of the four agencies it comprises.
“As you know the creation of UN Women is the
culmination of almost four years’ effort and today’s
announcement has been made possible thanks to the
hard work of the Member States and the many partners
who share our commitment to this agenda, and this
has been a top and very personal priority of mine,”
Mr. Ban said.
He stressed that at next week’s UN Summit on the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) women and
children will be “at the very core of our final
push” to realize the ambitious targets for slashing
extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and infant
mortality, rampant diseases, and lack of access to
education and health services, all by the deadline
The United Nations
Sep. 14, 2010
Named Head of UN Agency for Women
Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet became
the head of UN Women, a new agency that merges four
UN agencies devoted to women’s and gender issues. In
his announcement of the position, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “Ms. Bachelet
brings to this critical position a history of
dynamic global leadership.”
Americas Quarterly -
Sep. 16, 2010
Closes Open-Door Policy
Authorities announced that Ecuador will begin
requiring entry visas for visitors from nine Asian
and African countries, ending the country’s policy
of universal free entry. The government says it
added the exceptions to its visa laws in an effort
to stop the use of Ecuador as a base for human
trafficking, reports IPS News.
Americas Quarterly -
Sep. 16, 2010
Governments seek coordination to fight sex
Child trafficking is one of the fastest growing
crimes in the world - an underground business, often
conducted on the internet, and driven by enormous
profits. According to UNICEF, an estimated 2.5
million children, the majority of them girls, are
sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar
commercial sex industry.
While the problem is usually associated with
countries with unstable economic and political
systems, today it is the biggest in Europe, the
United States, Russia and Africa.
[We disagree with the
conclusion that . Mexico alone has many more victims
of child sex trafficking than the United States. The
Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and
Argentina each have more child victims than the U.S.
has at any given time. It is unacceptable that the
Latin American sex trafficking problem remains
'invisible' to large segments of journalists,
researchers and decision makers. Human smuggling and
trafficking in Mexico amounts to a $15 to $20
billion per year criminal industry. The UN's
International Organization for Migration has noted
that sex trafficking across Latin America totals an
estimated $16 billion in annual revenues. That
amount in half of the commonly used global number
for all human trafficking profits - $32 billion. -
"Last year we identified 56 cases of young people
who have experienced sexual exploitation just in the
Washington D.C. area," Andrea Powell, executive
director of FAIR Fund stated. Powell co-founded the
organization eight years ago to stop the trafficking
of youth worldwide. It has assisted thousands of
teen-aged girls and boys so far in the United
States, Bosnia, Serbia, Russia and Uganda.
"Asia" is one of her group's success stories: Lured
into prostitution, she often worked 15-hour days in
the sex trade…"It was just gross. I separated
myself, my mind; I was in another place when it
happened," she recalls, "It was like it was not me."
...FAIR Fund helped her turn her life around.
"To put it in a nutshell, they have helped me
transform to who I am now," Asia says, "I am not the
same person. "But for every "Asia" there are many
more who are not so fortunate.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith is one of the strongest
advocates for rights of victims of human
"At least a 100,000 American girls, mostly runaways,
average age of 13, are on the streets. And within 48
hours, if they are not brought back home or to some
shelter, through the use of drugs, crack cocaine, or
some other harmful drugs, the pimps are able to turn
those girls into forced prostitutes," Smith said.
"They abuse them, they rape them. They get STDs,
including HIV and AIDS."
Many children are brought to the U.S. from other
countries, mostly Latin America, Southeast Asia,
south and eastern Europe. Roma children are often
brought from Bosnia or Serbia to steal or clean
houses. Children from East Africa are brought to
work as domestic servants or farm labor, while
children from India are forced to work in the
garment business. Their families often do not have
any idea what has become of them. In many countries,
including the US, even police officers who come to
brothels or strip clubs buy sex from the victims
instead of helping them...
Amra Alirejsovic writes for
Voice of America.
Sep. 13, 2010
Chicago man gets 30 years for molesting girls
After the West Chicago woman returned home from her
daughters' school event, the two girls told her a
secret they shared about her live-in boyfriend.
"I had no idea what I was about to hear," the mother
wrote in a victim-impact statement. "Both my
daughters then said that he had sexually molested
them. I am so angry because this man has taken
something so sacred. They are going to have to live
with the pain and memories of his actions for the
rest of their lives."
Francisco Moyotl was sentenced Thursday to 30 years
in prison after he pleaded guilty to committing
predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and
aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The 42-year-old West Chicago man must serve 85
percent of the prison term before being eligible for
parole. He also likely will face deportation because
he is not a U.S. citizen...
The Daily Herald
Sep. 16, 2010
New York, USA
32-year-old sex offender arrested for rape of
75-year-old woman in Bronx
A hulking sex offender raped a 75-year-old Bronx
woman who employed his mother as a caretaker, police
Marcos Cuevas sneaked into a private senior citizens
residence on Sunday and had wormed his way into the
apartment of another woman - a neighbor of the
victim - when she happened to come by for a visit,
"I'm looking for my mother," the brawny pervert told
"She's not here," the elderly victim replied. "She's
off on weekends."
So Cuevas, 32, tied the wrists of the victim and her
76-year-old pal behind their backs - and then raped
the younger woman, police said.
The tattooed terror, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs
295 pounds, also robbed the 76-year-old of $10
before fleeing the Bronx building, cops said.
When detectives arrived, the rape victim had no
problem identifying her attacker because his mom,
Iris, works as a home care attendant for her
95-year-old mother, police said.
A Level 3, or high risk, sex offender, Cuevas was
caught later on E. 141st St. in Manhattan.
Cuevas was charged with rape, robbery, sex abuse and
unlawful imprisonment. His alleged victim was in
stable condition at Lincoln Hospital.
Ivonne Suarez, who said she is Cuevas' wife,
defended her "Gentle Giant" and insisted the rape
accusation was dreamed up by a "crazy woman."
"He would never do this after spending that time in
jail," said Suarez, 40. "The woman is senile. She
made up this story. My husband wouldn't lay a hand
...Cuevas spent nearly a decade behind bars for
raping two Manhattan women - one of them at
knifepoint in Harlem - in 1996.
Sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison, Cuevas was
twice denied parole by boards that deemed him a
danger to society. He won a conditional release in
November 2005, but a year later he was back in jail
after violating his parole in August 2006.
He wasn't released again until November 2009,
according to records.
Kevin Deutsch and Corky Siemaszko
The New York Daily
Bernardino County Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing
Castillo maintains his innocence.
Ontario - A Catholic priest in San Bernardino County
is accused of sexually abusing two boys within the
last two years.
Rev. Alex Castillo was removed from duty as an
active priest in June.
He served at four churches within the Diocese of San
Bernardino, including Our Lady of Guadelupe in
The parents of two adolescent boys, who are
brothers, claim Castillo sexually abused their sons.
Castillo maintains his innocence.
The accusations were revealed in a letter read in
church over the weekend.
Parishioners say the man they call "Reverend Alex"
is strict and spiritual.
"It's a good person. It's a good father. He's been
here for quite a few years," parishioner Benjamin
Rosas told KTLA.
Church members say they were told Castillo was sick
when he left back in June.
The diocese will only say he's in a place where he
no longer has any contact with parishioners. They
won't say where.
Police will not comment on the allegations.
The San Bernardino Diocese is asking any potential
victims to come forward.
Sep. 14, 2010
girl says she was raped
Dayton - Police are looking for a man, possibly
Hispanic in connection with the sexual assault of a
Officers say the girl was walking home from school
near Bolton Avenue when a man started following her.
He then jumped out , grabbed the girl, threw her
over his shoulders, and took her into a vacant house
where she was assaulted.
Police say the man is between the ages of 18 and 20
and weighs about 140 pounds. He has a teardrop
tattoo under one of his eyes, and he is dressed in
If you have any information about this crime, please
Charlie Van Sant
Sep. 17, 2010
wrong solution in Mexico
administration is right to consider boosting
funding, but increased militarization to combat drug
cartels is misguided. The U.S. would be wiser to
address rampant corruption.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a
dangerous mistake Wednesday when she spoke of
Mexico's drug cartels as "insurgents" and suggested
reviving President Clinton's Plan Colombia to
address the issue. That program set up U.S. military
bases in Colombia and funneled billions of dollars
in military aid to fight the country's
drug-trafficking left-wing insurgency. The last
thing the United States needs today is a new
quagmire south of the Rio Grande.
Mexico is different from Colombia. Colombia was up
against a rebel organization bent on taking over the
government. In contrast, Mexican drug traffickers
are businessmen who we can assume are principally
concerned with increasing their profits. In the end,
they prefer to use "silver," or bribes, over "lead,"
or bullets. Although they are quick to kill or
decapitate members of rival gangs, they much prefer
a pliant police officer, soldier or mayor to a dead
one. This is why government officials make up such a
small percentage of the dead — only about 3,000 out
of 28,000, according to official statistics...
Plan Colombia was highly problematic. More than $4
billion of military aid and the construction of U.S.
military bases did reduce the violence.
Nevertheless, Colombian cocaine still flows freely
into the U.S. market and is one of the most
important sources of income for the Mexican cartels.
U.S. military support in Colombia also led to
skyrocketing human rights abuses and numerous
"disappeared" citizens, at a considerable cost to
the country's social fabric. Nongovernmental
organization and media reports have found that much
of the aid was channeled to [ultra-conservative]
paramilitary groups and that the U.S. presence
emboldened the Colombian military to act with
[One] strategic move would be to aggressively fund
and support independent investigative journalism and
alternative media outlets, which have played a major
role in holding government accountable. Journalism
has become a high-risk profession in Mexico. Both
cartels and the government have done their best to
suppress the truth about corruption.
Unfortunately, neither strong anti-corruption
agencies nor support for journalists have formed a
part of the new focus on social programs, which
months ago the Obama administration suggested as a
possible focus for future funding to Mexico. Under
the influence of the Calderon government, most of
the talk has been about much "softer" initiatives,
such as drug education, urban renewal, scholarships
and community development programs. All of this is
fine, but none of it will attack the roots of the
present failure to rein in the drug cartels in
It is time to turn the corner in U.S. policy toward
Mexico. Instead of sending more money [for] attack
helicopters, military bases or social development
programs, the U.S. could make a significant
contribution to peace in North America by helping to
aggressively combat corruption and supporting
freedom of expression.
John M. Ackerman is a
professor at the Institute for Legal Research at the
National Autonomous University of Mexico,
editor-in-chief of the Mexican Law Review and a
columnist for La Jornada newspaper and Proceso
John M. Ackerman
Sep. 10, 2010
New Mexico, USA
Mexico receives $1.6 million from Justice Department
The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the state
of New Mexico $1.64 million in grants for public
[The grants included ...$215,000] to create a
special agent position assigned to the [state
attorney general's office's] Border Violence
Division to investigate human trafficking cases.
The grants were announced by Democratic U.S. Sen.
The Associated Press
Sep. 11, 2010
Mexico, The United
Los Angeles Times
metro columnist Hector Tobar
is a former
Mexico City bureau chief for the
Photo: L.A. Times
the outrage over immigrant slayings in Mexico?
...For those of us who remember the tragedy of Latin
America's recent past, seeing the images of last
month's massacre of 72 immigrants in northern Mexico
is like reentering an old and very familiar
Not long ago, dictators ruled most of Latin America.
They had large groups of people kidnapped, tortured
and executed in secret. Their crimes against
humanity hit nearly every corner of the region, from
cosmopolitan Buenos Aires to provincial Guatemala
But this new act of mass murder was not the work of
a military junta run by generals. It didn't take
place in a tiny banana republic without a judicial
system worthy of the name.
It happened in the proud, multiparty democracy
called Mexico, a country with ample social freedoms,
including a vibrant free press. And it wasn't an
isolated occurrence. A report last year by Mexico's
human rights ombudsman said at least 400 mass
kidnappings are reported in Mexico every year, many
involving the rape and murder of hostages.
Modern death squads are operating freely in northern
Mexico, extorting those who wish to come here, where
relatives and jobs await. The kidnappings and
murders of immigrants carried out by these groups
are a stain on Mexican democracy, and many
commentators there recognize this.
"The abuse against migrants is an everyday
embarrassment we don't want to talk about because it
would rob us of all our moral authority before our
neighbors to the north," columnist Alfonso Zarate
wrote in response to the massacre in the newspaper
"Mexico demands respect for the human rights of
'illegal' workers in the U.S.," Zarate continued, "
… but is now itself under the microscope of the
international community, which is rightly
scandalized and indignant."
...As with the many killings of police officers and
officials in Mexico, the San Fernando massacre was
an act of psychological warfare. Such extreme
violence is meant to spread fear and thus make it
easier for the killers to impose their will on the
If we stay silent about their crime, if we treat it
as just another episode in Mexico's unwinnable drug
wars, then we'll allows the killers to win.
And yet, here in the United States, the expressions
of outrage from the immigrant rights movement have
been muted. You could say they are a mere whisper
compared with the very loud campaign against
Arizona's SB 1070, a law whose most controversial
provisions will probably never go into effect.
We should see the killings as a blunt reminder of
the reasons why people so desperately want to come
here. And we should speak of San Fernando with the
same horror as we do
El Mozote and the
Naval Mechanics School of Buenos Aires — sites of
the most heinous crimes committed by the militaries
of El Salvador and Argentina in the 1970s and '80s.
It's not just the killers who deserve our moral
outrage, it's the failed judicial systems that allow
them to thrive without fear of punishment.
In Latin America, the massacre has already provoked
much reflection and protest. The government of
Honduras, home to the largest number of its victims,
announced it would take new steps to try to
discourage illegal immigration to the U.S.
In Mexico, the northern city of Saltillo witnessed a
rare event just days after the Aug. 23 massacre: a
march by 200 undocumented immigrants, carrying the
flags of El Salvador, Guatemala and other Central
"Our countries deny us the opportunity for economic
development," the demonstrators said in a written
statement, after marching through the city with
covered faces. "But Mexico denies us the opportunity
To stop SB 1070, we've seen Angelenos drive across
the desert to Phoenix to march, to denounce both the
governor of Arizona and the mad sheriff of Maricopa
County, Joe Arpaio.
But I've yet to hear of any rallies at the Mexican
consulate or anywhere else here in Los Angeles,
demanding that the Mexican government prosecute
those guilty of so many migrant killings and
Most of the country's leading immigrant rights
groups haven't even bothered to issue a news
That doesn't surprise me. Generally speaking, the
U.S. immigrant rights movement doesn't have much to
say about the social and political conditions that
lead so many to leave their native countries and
place themselves at the mercy of an increasingly
violent smuggling industry.
This is wrong. We can't turn a blind eye to the
deeper, seemingly intractable injustices that are
the obvious root cause of the problem.
Simply put: It's wrong that people have to undertake
the journey to the U.S. in the first place. People
shouldn't have to leave the land of their ancestors,
their extended families, their barrios and their
They leave because the promise of democracy in
Mexico and Central America remains unfulfilled.
The Tamaulipas murders are really just the most
sickening expression of a vast system of inequality
and corruption that still defines life for millions
U.S. immigration reform, unfortunately, won't do
anything to strengthen the rule of law in those
countries that supply the greatest number of
migrants. It won't stop the power of the criminal
groups that infiltrate government and intimidate
officials, not just in certain regions of Mexico but
in much of Central America.
There's a movement for democracy and government
accountability in those places. But it's often under
...Many more of us need to stand with those who work
to keep the promise of democracy and justice alive
in northern Mexico, Guatemala and other places.
It matters not just to them but to us.
And now, as in the age of the dictators, it's a
matter of life and death.
The Los Angeles Times
Sep. 9, 2010
Clarifying the Issues in an Age of Impunity
September 9th, 2010 article by Los Angeles Times
columnist Hector Tobar:
Where's the outrage over
immigrant slayings in Mexico?,
speaks volumes of truth in regard to the world's
lack of response to the human rights crises that
terrorize the daily lives of the people of Mexico
and the rest of Latin America. While much attention
is paid to the injustices that immigrants, including
the undocumented, face in the United States, few
U.S. human rights organizations, including those
that exist within the Latino community, dare to
address the root causes of the oppression that
drives millions to flee to the U.S. in response.
We go beyond Mr. Tobar's analysis to state that the
same problem, that of an imbalanced attention to
human rights tragedies, also exists in regard to the
mass gender atrocities that are today a constant in
Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. Our project,
exists to counter that lack of awareness and action
by focusing the world's attention on the problems of
criminal impunity and state corruption and
complacency. These dynamics have created conditions
in Mexico that have resulted in conditions where
rule of law is weak, and where both criminal
networks and corrupt law enforcement and military
forces compete to see how many Central and South
American migrants they can kidnap, rob, rape and, in
many cases, sell into slavery.
It is clear to us that the criminal impunity that
dominates in Mexico has spread its influence across
the United States. The fact that Latin American
victims of human slavery account for approximately
60% of the U.S. total of enslaved persons is one
indicator of that reality. The related fact that
Mexico's human smuggling networks now earn between
$15 and 20 billion annually by smuggling immigrants
to the U.S. under often inhuman conditions,
according to a recent CNN report, is another red
flag that should start the alarm bells ringing in
Mexico's governmental and social institutions are
not capable of addressing criminal impunity, and
especially its human trafficking component, without
being pushed hard to do so. U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton's recent statement indicating that
Mexico's drug cartels are mounting an
'insurgency-like' campaign against Mexican
governmental rule, should give pause to anyone who
thinks that bringing human slavery under control in
that nation will happen anytime soon.
Both the global human rights community and the U.S.
federal government must shift focus and begin to
address this crisis as the emergency that it truly
is. There is no hope for ending human trafficking in
Latin America, nor in the United States, while
criminal impunity and state inaction continue to
reign in Mexico.
End impunity now!
Sep. 10/14, 2009
Also mentioned in Hector Tobar's September 9,
2010 Los Angeles Times article was the El Mozote
Rescue From Atlacatl Battalion
Atlacatl Battallion massacred hundreds of unarmed
villagers in the town of El Mozote
About the El
Mozote Massacre in El Salvador, perpetrated on
December 10, 1981
case of anti-indigenous repression through state
sanctioned rape and mass-murder
...The women were
disposed of next. "First they picked out the young
girls and took them away to the hills," where they
were raped before being killed, Amaya reported.
"Then they picked out the old women and took them to
Israel Marquez's house on the square.
We heard the shots there."
The children died last.
"An order arrived from a Lieutenant Caceres to
Lieutenant Ortega to go ahead and kill the children
too," Amaya observed. "A soldier said 'Lieutenant,
somebody here says he won't kill children.' 'Who's
the sonofabitch who said that?' the lieutenant
answered. 'I am going to kill him.' I could hear
them shouting from where I was crouching in the
A boy named Chepe, age
7, was the only child to survive the siege. He later
described the terrors he witnessed:
"They slit some of the
kids' throats, and many they hanged from the tree
... The soldiers kept telling us, 'You are
guerrillas and this is justice. This is justice.'
Finally, there were only three of us left. I watched
them hang my brother. He was two years old. I could
see that I was going to be killed soon, and I
thought it would be better to die running, so I ran.
I slipped through the soldiers and dove into the
bushes. They fired into the bushes, but none of
their bullets hit me."
suspected illegal immigrants found captive in
The group, which
included juveniles, was being held in a
10-by-12-foot room that was locked from the outside
and had boarded-up windows.
Federal agents found 37 suspected illegal
immigrants, smuggled into the United States from six
countries, crammed into a small house in Riverside
where some had been held captive for weeks,
authorities said Wednesday.
Immigration agents raided the "drop house" after a
relative of one of the captives called the Los
Angeles Police Department. The caller told police
the smugglers had threatened to kill his relative
because the family failed to come up with enough
money to pay for his release, according to Virginia
Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement in Los Angeles.
Agents found the immigrants — including two toddlers
and a baby — in a small bedroom, measuring about 10
by 12 feet. The room was locked from the outside and
the windows were boarded up. The home is in one of
the city's older neighborhoods along Martin Luther
King Boulevard, about a mile east of the 91 Freeway.
"As far as we know, they were all in pretty good
physical condition, though some reported that they
had not eaten for days," said Claude Arnold, special
agent in charge for ICE in Los Angeles.
Six suspected smugglers have been detained and are
being questioned, but no arrests have been made,
"We're still in the process of interviewing
everyone," Arnold said. "In these circumstances, it
does take some time to sort this out."
Agents took an additional seven immigrants linked to
the same smuggling scheme into custody earlier in
the day as they were being taken to other
destinations in the Los Angeles area.
The 44 smuggled immigrants are from Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador and the
Dominican Republic. The group included 34 men, four
women and six juveniles.
Those smuggled into the country illegally will
eventually go though deportation proceedings.
However, any immigrants who were assaulted by a
smuggler or were victims of another crime will be
treated as victims and could be eligible for a
victims' visa, he said.
Two weeks ago, federal immigration agents found a
drop house in Baldwin Park with 35 smuggled illegal
immigrants from Central and South America.
The Los Angeles Times
Sep. 9, 2010
Breaks Up a Trafficking Ring for Male Prostitution
Madrid - The Spanish police said Tuesday that it had
dismantled for the first time a human trafficking
network bringing men rather than women into the
country to work as prostitutes.
The police said 14 people, almost all of them
Brazilian, were arrested over recent weeks as part
of an inquiry into the network’s activities begun in
The sex workers were recruited in Brazil, with their
travel costs to Spain initially covered by the
trafficking network’ organizers in return for a
pledge to work subsequently for them, according to a
police statement. Most of the recruits, however,
expected to work as models or nightclub dancers,
although some allegedly knew that they were coming
to Spain to offer sex.
The police estimated that between 60 and 80 men were
brought to Spain by the network, most of them in
their 20s and originating from Brazil’s northern
state of Maranhão. They reached Spain by passing
through third countries.
The bulk of the arrests occurred on the island of
Majorca, including that of the Brazilian accused of
being the ringleader, whose identity was not
disclosed by the police. The prostitutes ended up
owing the network as much as €4,000 each and were
sometimes threatened with death if they refused to
pay the debt, according to the Spanish police.
Although it is the first time that police officers
have broken up a professional male prostitution
trafficking network, five people were arrested in
2006 in Spain’s western region of Extremadura for
their involvement in an illegal Brazilian
prostitution business. More recently, the police
have dismantled several gangs exploiting female sex
workers, generally from Eastern Europe or Africa. In
July, 105 people were arrested for their involvement
in a dozen prostitution centers around Madrid in one
of the largest clampdowns to date.
A police spokeswoman who asked not to be identified
said that Brazilian officials had been involved.
Some of the prostitutes were also placed in custody
for working illegally in Spain.
The New York Times
Aug. 31, 2010
in Puebla opens the Ignacio Ellacuría
Human Rights Institute in March of 2010
vs trata de personas en México son insuficientes:
Cada minuto y medio se comete un delito de trata de
personas en el mundo, y en México, aún sabiendo los
lugares y rutas donde operan las redes, las acciones
que se realizan para evitarlo son insuficientes,
Oscar Castro Soto, director del Instituto de
Derechos Humanos “Ignacio Ellacurría” de la
Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), indicó que cada
año 400,000 personas son víctimas de dicho delito en
En la presentación de la agenda del “II Congreso
latinoamericano de trata y tráfico de personas”, el
director explicó que 80% de las victimas son niños y
mujeres utilizados para explotación sexual y
trabajos domésticos, ya sea de forma conciente o en
contra de su voluntad.
Las rutas identificadas son: Paraguay, Bolivia,
Chile y Argentina; Brasil y España; Panamá,
Nicaragua y Costa Rica; y El Salvador, Honduras,
Guatemala, México y Estados Unidos, expresaron
académicos de la UIA.
Las redes de trata y de pornografía infantil en
México que están vinculadas al narcotráfico, se
encuentran en regiones de Tapachula, Cancún,
Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla,
Ciudad Juárez y La Merced, en el Distrito Federal,
Las instituciones federales y estatales de México,
con excepción del Instituto de Mujeres del Distrito
Federal, no se sumaron a la convocatoria del evento
internacional a realizarse del 20 al 24 de
septiembre en la UIA de Puebla en la que
participaran funcionarios de varios países, lo que
ocasionó la sorpresa de varios especialistas.
Raquel Pastor, integrante del Comité Académico del
Congreso, señaló en un comunicado, el apoyo del foro
para ayudar a quienes trabajan en la persecución del
delito de trata, ya que en México no existen
instituciones especializadas que atiendan a las
víctimas de dicho delito.
Mexico's actions against human
trafficking are insufficient: Ibero-American
According to Oscar Castro Soto, director of the
Ignacio Ellacurría Institute for Human Rights at
Mexico's Ibero-American University (UIA) in Puebla
state, every minute and a half a human trafficking
crime is committed somewhere in the world. In
Mexico, despite the fact that trafficking locations
and routes are known, [state] actions to prevent
such crimes are inadequate. According to Castro
Soto, 400,000 persons become victims of trafficking
each year globally.
Castro Soto presented his observations in the
just-released agenda for the upcoming Second Latin
American Congress on Human Trafficking, which will
be held at the UIA campus in Puebla between
September 20th and 24th, 2010. He explained that 80%
of the victims of human trafficking are children and
women, who either consciously or against their will
are utilized for sexual exploitation or domestic
Known [Latin American] trafficking routes exist in
Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Panama,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras,
Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Spain,
stated Castro Soto
[Soto-Castro's statement omits important human
trafficking routes that involve the Dominican
Republic and Colombia, the two largest sources of
sex trafficking victims in Latin America -
Castro Soto's statement noted that within Mexico,
human trafficking and child pornography networks are
tied to narco-trafficking organizations. These
criminal groups may be found in Tapachula, Cancún,
Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla,
Ciudad Juárez and the La Merced sector of Mexico
With the exception of the National Women's
Institute, Mexican federal agencies chose not to
participate in the conference. This decision brought
expressions of surprise from some of the specialists
involved with the event. Government officials of
several other nations plan to attend.
Raquel Pastor, who is a member of the academic
committee of the Congress, stated in a press release
that the goal of the Congress was to assist those in
government who seek to prosecute human trafficking
crimes, given the fact the Mexico currently does not
have institutions set-up to assist victims.
El Semanario - Mexico
Sep. 07, 2010
From the CATW-LAC flyer
for their third annual awards ceremony
La Coalición Regional Contra
El Tráfico De Mujeres Y Niñas En América Latina Y El
Caribe presentará su "Tercer Premio
Latino-americano por La Vida y la Seguridad de las
Mujeres y Niñas en America Latina y el Caribe
During the upcoming Secnd
Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking, which
will be held at the UIA campus in Puebla, Mexico,
between September 20th through 24th, 2010, the
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin
American and Caribbean branch (CATW-LAC), will
present its Third Award for the Defense of Life and
Security for Women and Girls in Latin America.
UIA Puebla se inaugurará el Instituto de Derechos
Humanos Ignacio Ellacuría |22 de Marzo de 2010|
The UIA in Puebla opens the Ignacio
Ellacuría Human Rights Institute on March 22nd,
March 22, 2010
Other important news stories from
2009 and 2010
New York, USA
Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and
other presenters at UN / Brandeis
in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing
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
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
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
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
Ten years after starting
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!
July 21, 2010
Video of Mexican
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
[Ten minutes - In
Feb. 26, 2010
Lead, Follow or Get Out
of the Way!
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
The video of Secretary
Mont's discourse shows
that he is passionate
about the idea of
raising awareness about
human trafficking. He
[trafficking] visible is
the first step towards
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
violence and also the
extreme poverty are the
dynamics that push
at-risk children and
youth into the hands of
During Secretary Mont's
talk he expressed his
strongly held belief
that federalizing the
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
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 -
A note about
that, if the
- CSEC, at
CSEC for its
is known to
in the world
in the city
in Mexico is
be so widely
Regardless of what the
actual figures are, they
include a very large
number of victims.
While officials such as
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
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
That is not too
much to ask from a
Mexico that calls itself
a member of civilized
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
exploitation of children
on Planet Earth.
Colombian and Mexican
drug cartels, Japanese
Yakuza mafias and the
Russian Mob are all
(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
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
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
Interior Secretary Mont
has presided over the
two year delay in
provisions of the
the Law to Prevent, and
Trafficking, passed by
Congress in 2007.
required to enable
the law were left
unpublished by the
for 11 months after
the law was passed.
When the regulation
were published, they
were weak, and left
out a role for the
agency, the Special
Against Women and
Human Trafficking in
failed to target
Commission to Fight
called for in the
law, was only
stood-up in late
2009, two years
after the law's
passage, and only
agitation by members
act to create the
National Program to
called for in the
2007 law, has yet to
be created by the
In early February of
2010, Senator Irma
stated that the 2007
and its long-sought
regulations were a
'dead letter' due to
the power of
impunity that has
of the delaying tactics
that were used to thwart
the will and intent of
Congress in passing the
law originated in the
National Action Party
(PAN) administration of
Calderón. All aspects of
the 2007 law that called
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
must come to the aid of
the many political and
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
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
suffers yet another day
chained to a bed in
Juárez, Mexico City,
Tlaxcala, Tapachula and
Cancun, the entire law
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
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
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
Political leaders and
organizations around the
world also have a
speak-up, and to let the
government of President
Felipe Calderón know
that the fact that his
supported presenting a
forum on trafficking,
and the holding of a few
press conferences, is
not enough of a policy
turn-around to be
The PAN must take strong
action to aggressively
combat the explosive
growth in human slavery
in Mexico in accordance
standards. Those at
risk, and those who are
today victims, await
your effective response
to their emergency,
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
As for Secretary Mont,
we suggest, kind sir,
that you consider the
adage, and either "lead,
follow, or get out of
the way" of progress.
No more delays!
There is no time to
End impunity now!
- Chuck Goolsby
March 1, 2010
Víctimas del tráfico de
personas, 5 millones de
mujeres y niñas en
De esa cifra, más de 500
mil casos ocurren en
Five million victims of
Human Trafficking Exist
in Latin America
Coahuila state - Teresa
Ulloa Ziaurriz, the
director of the
Trafficking in Women's
Latin American /
office, announced this
past Monday that more
than five million women
and girls are currently
victims of human
trafficking in Latin
America and the
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
pornography and the
illegal harvesting of
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
officials and business
a country of origin,
transit and also
trafficked persons. Of
500,000 victims in
Mexico, 87% are
subjected to commercial
Ziaurriz pointed out
that locally in Coahuila
state, the nation's
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
- Notimex / La
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
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
Against Trafficking in
Women and Girls in Latin
America and the
La Jornada de Oriente
Sep. 26, 200
[Note: The figure of 75%
of 1.5 million indicates
that 1.1 million girls
between the ages of 12
and 13 at any given time
engage in prostitution
in central Mexico alone.
Added: Dec. 03, 2009
violencia en México
podrían ser plan de
vinculados con el
crimen son una
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
este lunes en Madrid
Deaths from violence
in Mexico could be
the results of
whether murders are
Madrid. Deaths from
violence in Mexico
in recent years,
during the past
three years, could
form part of a plan
of "social cleansing
by the Mexican
Lydia Cacho in
Madrid, Spain on
are beginning to
investigate at this
time in Mexico
15,000 murders are
cleansing by the
Cacho said in a
press conference in
which she denounced
persecution of the
press in her
three years ago, we
have been witnessing
Mexico "justified by
the war " (on
drugs), in which "
Cacho was kidnapped
[by rogue state
police agents] and
tortured in Mexico
information about a
pedophile ring in
and politicians were
Court of Human
Rights (IACHR) will
determine in an
the rights of the
journalist in that
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
Cacho is the author
of [the child sex
The Demons of
Eden. In recent
years she has
awards for her work
on behalf of human
rights carried out
Cano World Press
Agence France Presse
Nov. 23, 2009
Part of Problem, Not
Madrid - A
journalist known for
exposes of pedophile
rings and child
prostitution said on
cartels is “not a
battle for justice
and social peace.”
Lydia Cacho, who has
faced death threats
persecution for her
writings, told a
press conference in
Accompanied by the
head of the Lydia
Alicia Luna; and
the author said the
nearly three years
since Calderón took
office have seen
and harassment of
The period has also
said, exceeding the
carnage in Colombia
at the height of
that country’s drug
investigate if those
15,000 killings are
cleansing on the
part of the Mexican
state,” she said.
Calderón, she noted,
“insists on saying
that many of those
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
cartels, which has
criticism for human
Cacho also lamented
media, saying that
many outlets color
their reporting to
avoid trouble with
the government and
and crusader for
Lydia Cacho became
famous thanks to the
furor over her 2005
book “Los demonios
del Eden” (The
Demons of Eden),
and their associates
in the Mexican
In the book, she
magnate Kamel Nacif
as a friend and
protector of accused
Succar Kuri, who has
since been sent back
to Mexico from the
United States to
business is based in
the central state of
Cacho of defamation
- a criminal offense
- in Mexico and
arranged to have her
ignoring a summons
to appear in court
for the case.
In February 2006,
which Nacif was
with Puebla Governor
Mario Marin and
officials to have
Cacho taken into
custody and then
Nacif, known as the
“denim king” for his
dominance of the
author’s arrest by
personnel not to
send her the
released on bail and
the case against her
Nov. 24, 2009
Railroaded by the
Legal Process for
Exposing Child Sex
Networks In Mexico
Perils of Plan
Mexico: Going Beyond
Mexico is the United
neighbor and yet
most U.S. citizens
about what is
happening within the
Mexico and Mexicans
are often demonized
in the U.S. press.
The single biggest
reason for this is
the way that the
been recast in terms
of security over the
past few years...
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
against the armed
Even these stark
figures do not
seriousness of what
is happening in
Many abuses are not
reported at all for
the simple reason
that there is no
justice will be
done. The Mexican
Armed Forces are not
subject to civilian
justice systems, but
to their own
These very rarely
scores of reported
torture cases, for
example, not a
single case has been
prosecuted by the
army in recent
The situation with
the police and
system is not much
is rampant due to
the immense economic
power of the drug
cartels. Local and
state police, the
and the justice
system are so highly
controlled by the
cartels that in most
cases it is
impossible to tell
the good guys from
the bad guys.
of Mexico has also
led to what rights
groups call "the
leaders have been
framed under drug
by the military with
the pretext of the
drug war. In
one of the first
to replace local
police forces and
occupy whole towns,
among the first
people picked up
leaders - not on
drug charges but on
warrants for leading
operations in the
Sierra Madre cited a
sharp increase in
they link to the
and the NAFTA-SPP
[North American Free
Trade Act - Security
at opening up
natural resources to
All this - the human
the opposition -
would be grave cause
for concern under
any conditions. What
that in addition to
costs to Mexican
society, the war on
drugs doesn't work
to achieve its own
Nov. 23, 2009
Added: Dec. 03, 2009
The Numbers Don't
Add Up in Mexico's
Drug Seizures are
Human Rights Abuses
Just a week before
completes half of
his six-year term,
[leading Mexico City
Jornada reports that
murders outside of
the law] have
occurred during his
6,500 of those
occurred in 2009,
according to La
Jornada’s sources in
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
government agents -
army - in Calderón’s
war on drugs. As
Mexican human rights
noted, human rights
by members of the
armed forces have
over the past two
statistic is based
received by the
No Mas Abusos (No
More Abuses), a
joint project of the
Miguel Agustín Pro
Juárez Human Rights
Center, the Fundar
Center for Analysis
and other government
Dec. 1, 2009
Archive - October
El Paso - …Mexican
official Gustavo de
la Rosa Hickerson
[has] reported 170
instances of Mexican
and killing innocent
people in Chihuahua
The Associated Press
According to press
reports from Mexico,
secret society is
the dominant faction
within the ruling
El Yunque holds the
belief that all
including those who
improving the lives
of women, indigenous
people and the poor,
the children of
Satan. They take
with those beliefs.
During the 1960s, El
Although today they
profess to adhere to
process to affect
change, it is not a
stretch, given their
violent history, to
conclude that Lydia
that the federal
government of Mexico
may be engaging in
killings" (which is
just a fancy way to
sanctioned murder of
may be valid. Cacho
is a credible first
hand witness to the
acts of impunity
at-times to control
free and independent
thinking in Mexico.
We have documented
of human rights for
women in Mexico for
Mexico is one of the
very hottest spots
for the gender
rights crisis in the
The systematic use
personnel of rape
with total impunity,
indigenous women and
girls, is one
example of the
The case of the
carried out by
dozens of policemen
against women social
protesters in the
Mexico in 2006 is
another stark case.
through which the
U.S. Government is
drug war to the tune
of $450 million over
several years, is
financing not only
that war, but it is
of the El Yunque
El Yunque, which has
been identified as
being an anti-
Mexico, does not
deserve even one
dollar of U.S.
Defeat the drug
Provide funding for
El Yunque's quest to
build empire in
people's basic human
Dec. 4, 2009
About El Yunque
Organization of the
Anvil, or simply
El Yunque (The
the name of a secret
to the reporter
Alvaro Delgado, "is
to defend the
elements of the]
and fight the forces
of Satan, whether
through violence or
kingdom of God in
the land that is
subject to the
to the mandates of
the Catholic Church,
infiltration of all
its members at the
highest levels of
(mostly from the
have been named as
alleged founders and
members of The
About El Yunque
hoy en día, y
define bien la
mujeres y en
niñas de todas
Pedimos a todas
las personas de
para inform al
de esta crisis,
y que aumentamos
electos y otros
deben cambiar el
statu quo y
fin, a las
de violencia de
que afectan cada
vez mas a las
mujeres y las
niñas de las
¡Basta ya con la
impunidad y la
children in the
We ask that all
hard to continue
crisis, and that
we all ramp-up
makers, who must
status quo and
finally, to the
women and girls
End Impunity and
March 8, 2008
Read our special section
on the crisis in the
The city of Tapachula,
located in Chiapas state
near Mexico's border
is one of the largest
and most lawless child
sex trafficking markets
in all of Latin America.
new news section tracks
events related to this
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
gangs of violent
A 2007 study by the
[End Child Prostitution
revealed that over
prostituted in 1,552
bars and brothels in
Added June 15, 2008
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.
over 200 entries from 45 nations
Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda
Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de
la Prostitución ('Get It
Together Young Man: Masculinity,
Sexual Initiation and
Consumption of Prostitution).
Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer
Equality and the Afro-Colombian
Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa
Our borders: say no to
traffick-ing of persons,
news feed is a major source of
Spanish language news articles
translated and posted on
Prevención de la migración
temprana y fortalecimiento de
los lazos familiares en apoyo a
las Trabajadoras del Hogar en
(Preventing early migration and
serving women in Quechua and
Spanish in largely Indigenous
Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on
her work assisting Dominican
women trafficked to Argentina
Contribute your comments and
questions about competition
June 15, 2008
Entrepreneur for Society
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
A woman is paraded
before Johns on Mexico
City's San Tomas Street,
where kidnap victims are
prostitu-tion and are
(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
[About Montserrat, a former
child trafficking victim:]
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...''
New York Times Magazine
January 25, 2004