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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

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The Crisis Facing Latin American Women and Children

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Urgent Human Rights Issues in Mexico

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Antenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

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


 

 
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News and Events - English
Other News Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006  -  2007 - 2008

Noticias de Septiembre, 2009

September 2009 News



Added: Sep. 29, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago

The two island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, located near the northern coast of Venezuela

Government Moves to Stamp Out Human Trafficking

Government is moving to prevent the emergence of human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago.

According to a release from the Ministry of National Security, Cabinet has approved a proposal from the International Organization for Migration for a nine-month plan to counter any emergence of human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago.

The plan seeks to address the issue of trafficking in persons. It does so from two bases - that of prevention and protection of victims of trafficking; and that of criminalizing and prosecution of those engaged in human trafficking.

The plan calls for the establishment of a multi-agency task force to develop and oversee a medium-to-long term plan of action. The task force, which will consist of various government ministries, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and the IOM, will be responsible for: implementing a referral process to identify and assist victims; establishing a hotline to field calls pertaining to human trafficking and conducting a nationwide information campaign, using IOM-supplied material.

The release said Government would enact legislation to criminalize trafficking in persons and IOM would support this effort.

The release said: "The Ministry of National Security believes that the assistance offered by IOM through the nine-month plan would serve to address the issue of human trafficking in its embryonic stages, to avoid it becoming a widespread criminal activity in Trinidad and Tobago ... while building public awareness of and minimizing the misconceptions about the nature of the crime of human trafficking."

In implementing the plan, the IOM would conduct a series of outreach and/or training sessions for various audiences, including key stakeholders in government, hotline staff operators, media, NGOs and other representatives of civil society...

Trinidad and Tobago Express

Sep. 28, 2009


Added: Sep. 29, 2009

Illinois

Police Seek Man Who Sexually Exploited Kids On Chicago's Northwest Side

Chicago - Police are looking for a man who allegedly masturbated in front of three children in a Northwest Side garage on Friday.

The incident happened in a garage in the 4100 block of North Sacramento, where three children ages 6 to 11 were playing, according to a release from the Special Investigations Unit.

A man entered the garage while speaking English on a cell phone, the release said. He told two of the children to keep playing and told the third child to watch him while he masturbated. He then fled the scene.

The offender is described as a Hispanic male, 35 to 45 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, 170 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion, the release said. He had a full beard and was wearing a black and white striped shirt, black shoes and either reading or sunglasses....

The Chicago Sun-Times.

Sep. 27,2009


Added: Sep. 27, 2009

The World

Pop Star / Activist Ricky Martin is Presenter at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Ricky Martin: "I feel that my heart is, is going to come out of my mouth, and... it goes through my throat. Its not that I'm nervous. I'm just going to say that there are millions of children that are... that  didn't make it. Millions of children who are forced into prostitution, into slavery - and just didn't make it. Today they are using me, they are using my voice, because they were never heard. That's what inspires me to be here..."

"Creo que se me va a salir el corazón por la boca. No son los nervios, sino la emoción por dar voz a los millones de niños que se han visto forzados a prostituirse o que han caído en la esclavitud y a quienes nadie ha escuchado."

Spanish translation - EFE

From a video of Ricky Martin's remarks at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative's meeting - posted on YouTube.com

Pop singer and advocate against global child sexual exploitation Ricky Martin stands with anti-trafficking leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative during its announcement of CGI's new program to end violence against girls.

Alyse Nelson, head of Vital Voices; Jimmy Briggs, Founder of Man-Up; P. Osmond, founder of Karama; and UNIFEM Deputy Executive Director Joanne Sandler are also shown in this picture.

From a video of Ricky Martin's remarks posted on YouTube.com

Ricky Martin Abandera la Lucha Contra el Abuso Infantil en la Iniciativa Clinton

Nueva York, New York - El cantante puertorriqueño Ricky Martin llevó hoy la lucha contra el abuso infantil a la reunión que la Iniciativa Global Clinton celebra en Nueva York, donde reafirmó el compromiso de su fundación para mejorar la vida de los niños.

En el encuentro anual que el ex presidente de Estados Unidos Bill Clinton celebra para impulsar medidas filantrópicas que mejoren las condiciones de los más desfavorecidos en el mundo, Martin reiteró su compromiso con la defensa de los derechos humanos y explicó el trabajo que su fundación realiza en favor de los más pequeños.

EFE

Sep. 24, 2009

See also:

Ricky Martin Fights Human Trafficking at Clinton Summit

New York, New York – When Ricky Martin took the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative on Thursday, he did not sing, or dance, or even flash his trademark grin. Following the same stage directions as dozens of other celebrities who dropped by Clinton's 5th annual global summit, from Brad Pitt to Bono to Jessica Alba, Martin struck a somber note while discussing the fight against human trafficking.

"I feel that my heart is going to come out of my mouth," he said, recounting his sadness for the "millions of children that didn't make it." Martin was followed by testimony from a woman who, along with her two children, was kidnapped and held for four years of forced labor. Then Luis CdeBaca, a former counsel to Rep. John Conyers who now serves as President Obama's chief diplomat for combating human trafficking, explained that between 12 and 27 million people are enslaved around the world today. In its official materials, The Clinton Global Initiative notes that the higher estimates mean there are more people enslaved "than at any other time in human history..."

Ari Melber

The Nation

Sep. 24, 2009


Added: Sep. 27, 2009

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Opening Remarks at Combating Violence Against Girls Event

At an event hosted by the Government of the Netherlands

Secretary Clinton: I want to start by saying something that I believe with all my heart, and, obviously, those of you who are here believe it also, that the issues related to girls and women are not an annex to the important business of the world and the United Nations, they’re not an add-on, they’re not an afterthought; they are truly at the core of what we are attempting to do under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is the guiding message of this organization and what each of us in our own countries is called to do on behalf of equal opportunity and social justice.

So for me, this is a tremendous opportunity to speak about an issue that has basically been relegated to the backwaters of the international agenda until relatively recently: violence against girls and women, and particularly today, violence against girls.

I wish that we could transport ourselves into a setting where we could be in the midst of girls and women who have been suffering from violence, but we don’t have to because it’s all around us. It is in the home, it is in the workplace, it is on the streets of many of the countries represented here, including my friends Maxine and Celso. And it is in the places that make the headlines from time to time, and then in the very bottom paragraphs, there’s a reference to the violence that is a tactic of war and intimidation and oppression to prevent girls from going to school by throwing acid in their faces, by raping girls as a way of intimidating them and keeping them subjugated and demonstrating power.

So this, for me, is one of the most important events that I’ve done at the UN. ...

New York City, NY

Sep. 25, 2009


Added: Sep. 27, 2009

The World

Corporate and Foundation Partners Announce $4 Million Raised at Clinton Global Initiative Toward Vital Voices’ Global Women’s Empowerment Efforts

Washington, D.C.,  – A major commitment to action was made to Vital Voices programs during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting totaling $4 million.

Humanity United, Avon Foundation, Mosaic Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley and Donna McLarty joined together to seed a Vital Voices initiative in 2010 that will bring new solutions to enduring and emerging challenges facing women across the globe. The initiative named “Turning the Tide: Translating the Promise of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women into Action” is timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the landmark UN Fourth World Conference on Women which brought together women leaders from the public and private sectors in Beijing, China in 1995. This commitment seeks to assess progress and bring innovation to women’s empowerment efforts.

“Despite the undeniable progress towards women’s empowerment over the past 15 years, far too much remains unfinished business and threatens to remain so. The international community must leverage this milestone in history to pursue gender equality in new and innovative ways” said Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a global non-profit that traces its roots to the Beijing conference in 1995...

Vital Voices

Sep. 24, 2009

See also:

Vital Voices' programs in Latin America and the Caribbean


Added: Sep. 27, 2009

Florida, USA

Port St. Lucie - It's every parent's worst nightmare, and yesterday afternoon, it happened to Tiffany Serrano.

"I saw him pull up, wave at my daughter, called her "baby girl" and tried to get her in the truck," said Serrano.

Serrano told Newschannel 5 her kids were playing in the drive way, in front of her house, she walked into the garage for a moment, and when she came out, she saw a strange truck parked in front.

She was able to get her 4 year old daughter out of harm's way, and not a minute too soon.

"If I had gone in, I know she would've been gone, because she was going to get in, she was going towards the vehicle," said Serrano...

Serrano says she saw two men inside the truck, and was able to get a good look at the one trying to lure her little girl.

Police describe that man as a Hispanic male possibly in 30's with short hair, heavy eyebrows and big ears.

Serrano says she's talked to her children several times about never getting in a car with strangers, and always tries to keep a close eye on them, but yesterday's incident taught her anything can happen when you turn your back even for a split second.

"I am scared for them, I'm not letting them play outside anymore, I refuse," said Serrano.

If you have any information about the vehicle or the suspect, call Detective Black at (772) 871-5000.

WPTV

Sep. 27, 2009


Added: Sep. 26, 2009

The World

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (left) presents the initiative to address violence against girls at the closing plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative's 2009 annual meeting.

Photo: UNIFEM

New Initiative to Address Sexual Violence Against Girls Launched at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York

Collaboration among leading public and private sector organizations formed to bring international attention to this injustice

New York - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five United Nations organizations (UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM, WHO) and private sector supporters will join together later today via the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in a new approach to address the rights violations and health impacts of sexual violence against girls. According to the World Health Organization, in 2002 approximately 150 million girls experienced some form of sexual violence with physical contact.

“Sexual violence against children is a gross violation of their rights, a moral and ethical outrage and an assault on the world’s conscience,” said Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF. “Sexual abuse can lead to lost childhoods, abandoned education, physical and emotional problems, the spread of HIV, and an often irrevocable loss of dignity and self-esteem.” ...

“While it is generally known that sexual violence against girls is a global problem, very limited data exist on the extent of this problem in the developing world. Obtaining valid data is a key step toward mobilizing policy and other positive interventions,” said Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director of the Division of Violence Prevention in CDC’s Injury Center.

“Sexual violence, including coercion, abuse, exploitation, rape and trafficking, has a devastating impact on children, particularly adolescent and pre-adolescent girls, who are among the most vulnerable members of any society,” said Gary Cohen, Board Director of the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control] Foundation and the US Fund for UNICEF... “This grave injustice ruins lives, undermines human potential and drives the cycle of infectious disease spread, increasing the population of people who require treatment. It also has broader societal impacts, because girls who are protected and educated contribute dispropor-tionately back to their families and communities.”

Research demonstrates that sexual violence against girls is a direct and an indirect driver of the HIV and AIDS epidemic...

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Sept. 25, 2009


Added: Sep. 26, 2009

Mexico

Arturo Chavez Chavez is sworn-in as Attorney General of Mexico

Photo: Mario Guzmán / EPA

Mexico Senate Confirms Arturo Chavez Chavez as Attorney General

Legislators back the nomination by a 75-27 vote despite criticism from human rights activists.

Mexico political deal the stuff of drama

Reporting from Mexico City - Mexico's Senate on Thursday confirmed Arturo Chavez Chavez as the nation's attorney general, despite objections by human rights activists who assailed his record as prosecutor in the northern state of Chihuahua during the 1990s.

Chavez, 49, who was quickly sworn in, becomes Mexico's top law enforcement official at a crucial moment. The government of President Felipe Calderon is at war with drug-trafficking groups that have unleashed waves of violence across the country.

A lawyer from Calderon's conservative National Action Party, or PAN, Chavez picked up opposition support to win confirmation by a hefty margin, 75 to 27. He takes over for Eduardo Medina Mora, who resigned this month amid criticism by political opponents that the government's anti-crime offensive is foundering.

"I come with my head held high and will work the same way: with honesty, transparency and with a commitment to serve my country," Chavez said after his swearing-in.

Rights advocates charged that Chavez had failed as Chihuahua state prosecutor to properly investigate the killings of hundreds of women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Foes lobbied to defeat the nomination, and sign-toting protesters camped outside the Senate as the vote took place...

Ken Ellingwood

The Los Angeles Times

Sep. 25, 2009

See also:

Confirma el Senado a Chávez Chávez para titular de la PGR

Sin escuchar a las madres de las víctimas

México, DF - Con 75 votos a favor, 27 en contra y una abstención, senadores de la República ratificaron hoy a Arturo Chávez Chávez como Procurador General de la República, pese al escrutinio internacional que lo considera “un funcionario negligente y omiso” en la procuración de justicia durante los dos años que estuvo al mando de la Procuraduría de Justicia de Chihuahua, periodo en que se incrementó la impunidad en dicha entidad.

Arturo
Chávez Chávez is confirmed by the Senate as Attorney General

The Senate did not hear testimony from mothers of the victims [of the Ciudad Juarez femicide]

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Sep. 24, 2009


Added: Sep. 26, 2009

Washington, DC

Mendelson, Lagon, Army of Me to Rally Against Human Trafficking in Washington, DC this Saturday, September 25, 2009

...As September comes to an end our Nation's Capital wraps up a successful Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  [Washington] DC has united to bring the face of modern slavery and human trafficking to the forefront.  ...The city is truly going to take the fight against child trafficking to the streets, as citizen politicians, musicians and activists unite for the first ever Walk Against Child Trafficking...

[Speaking] at the walk will be: [Washington, DC Council Member Phil Mendelson], Dr. Mark Lagon, former Ambassador-at-Large and director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the State Department and current Executive Director and CEO of Polaris Project; former U.S. Representative Linda Smith (R-WA) and current president of Shared Hope International; and Dr. Laura Lederer, former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons at the State Department. Prominent non-profit officials will also be well-represented at the walk. Non-profit luminaries will include Sarah Symons, executive director of the Emancipation Network; Andrea Powell, co-founder and executive director of Fair Fund; and Ray Lian, lead organizer of the citizen activist group DC Stop Modern Slavery.  Prominent authors Aaron Cohen, author of Slave Hunter and Ben Skinner, author of A Crime So Monstrous will also speak following the walk...

Cassandra Clifford

The Examiner

Sep. 25, 2009


Added: Sep. 23, 2009

Guatemala

Jesús Tecú Osorio at the site of the Rio Negro (town of Black River) massacre.

Photo: Renata Avila

The Activism of Massacre Survivor Jesús Tecú

Maya Achí activist Jesús Tecú Osorio is a survivor. When he was a child, he witnessed the Río Negro Massacre, one of the most horrific massacres of Guatemala's armed conflict. Many of his friends, his 2-year-old brother, and his young parents were murdered. He spent some time forced to work, along with 17 other child survivors, doing domestic work for the man who killed his brother.

Years later, after he was released into the custody of his older sister, Tecú began to work to exhume the mass grave of those killed in the Massacre. Eventually, this work led to the convictions of 3 of the men who took part in the killings. This work has been crucial in the pursuit of justice and the preservation of the historical memory on local and international levels.

Tecú wrote a book called “Memory of the Río Negro Massacres” that tells his experience as a homeless child who survived the war. Tadeo explains more about the story that Tecú tells:

The military and paramilitary forces rounded up all of the women and children and accused them of collaborating with the guerrillas. Together they proceeded to rape, torture, and murder everyone. Some 177 human beings, including 107 children, were massacred on the 13th of March, 1982, in Rio Negro. The few survivors, mostly young boys, were forced into slavery.

In The Massacres of Río Negro, survivor Jesús Tecú described being enslaved by a leader of the Xococ PAC [civilian auto-defense patrol - a civilian collaborator of the armed forces], a man who ripped his youngest brother out of his arms and swung him by his feet, smashing his brains against rocks in front of his eyes because his wife was “not used to caring for [such] a small child."

Tecú's case is different from many others, because he stayed in his community helping... to fight for their human rights. He is leading a Legal Clinic to help poor and under-educated people to fight for their rights. This struggle by Tecú and other survivors of Guatemala's civil war led to the creation of the New Hope Foundation (FNE). Their mission can be found on their blog...

For his work, Tecú was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award...

Despite the progress made by Tecú and the Achí community, the work continues. Survivors are still pressing the Guatemalan government to convict those responsible for the massacres, as shown by the Colectivo Guatemala Blog. Some of these individuals are being intimidated for their work.

Recently, Tecú has received threatening phone calls...

Global Voices

Sep. 22, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section


Added: Sep. 23, 2009

Mexico

Mothers of some of the murdered women from Ciudad Juárez testify before a Mexican Senate panel.

Photo by Jesús Robles

Mexico: Protests Against Nomination of Arturo Chávez for Attorney General

Human rights activists in Ciudad Juárez are opposing the recent nomination of Arturo Chávez Chávez as the Attorney General of Mexico. He was nominated by Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Protesters claim that Chávez’s track record regarding human rights work leaves much to be desired and point to the time when he was the Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua in the early 1990s.

This was a time when Ciudad Juárez erupted in a violent wave of femicides—mass murder of women. Most of the protesters and activists are the mothers, family members, and friends of the deceased or missing women. They claim that public officials from Chihuahua have been involved in covering up the crimes and have not done much to solve them.

As [the former] chief prosecutor for the state of Chihuahua, Chávez has been denounced by Mexican and international human rights organizations... [including] the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH), members of the European Parliament, and others from the international human rights community...

The death toll continues to climb and many crimes remain unsolved, leaving the community with little recourse but to take matters into their own hands by forming grassroots non-profit groups to shed light on the issue of the border city femicides. Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa A.C. (May Our Daughters Return Home, Civil Association) is at the forefront of the current protests which have taken the streets in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, bordering the city of El Paso in Texas. They also held protests in Chihuahua's state capital and nation’s capital, Mexico City. Protesters who traveled to Mexico City on September 14, 2009 were unsuccessful in their attempts to speak directly with members of the Senate regarding Chavez’s human rights track record...

Chávez met with Senate on September 21, 2009 and admitted failures from some of his agents during his tenure...

However, the PAN political party has already nodded in his favor regarding the nomination. Ganchoblog writes that Chávez is likely to pass since three Senators who would be vital to derailing his nomination as Attorney General will not stand in his way.

Gina Cardenas

Global Voices

Sep. 23, 2009


Added: Sep. 22, 2009

Mexico

Mexico Cartels Kidnap, Kill Migrants Headed to U.S.

Tecate - Mexico's violent drug gangs are increasingly kidnapping illegal migrants for ransom and forcing them to carry narcotics into the United States as they muscle into the lucrative trade of smuggling people across the border.

Traffickers armed with automatic weapons are snatching weary Mexican and Central American migrants on both sides of the border and holding them in cramped houses with little water or food until families pay ransoms of up to $12,000.

The Mexican army and U.S. border officials say that those who cannot pay are killed, stripped and dumped in shallow graves in remote stretches of the desert frontier.

"My sons were tricked, tortured and then killed by the smugglers," said Esmeralda Guerrero outside the morgue in the barren town of Tecate across from California, where she came to identify the bodies of her two sons in their 20s last month.

"They kidnapped them and demanded $4,000 to keep them alive. It took me two days to send the money. They didn't wait," said Guerrero, whose sons trekked up from Mexico City...

Mexican soldiers stormed a suburban house in the factory city of Reynosa across from Texas last month to rescue more than 120 kidnapped Central Americans who were huddled together and watched over by men with guns and baseball bats...

"The kidnapping of migrants is happening in both Mexico and the United States ... and it is on the rise," said Mexico's consul-general in San Diego, Maria de los Remedios Gomez...

Lizbeth Diaz

Reuters

Sep. 22, 2009


Added: Sep. 22, 2009

Texas, USA

Suspected sexual assailant

Commerce Police Ask for Info After Attempted Sexual Assaults at Wal-Mart

On September 11,2009, an unknown Hispanic male grabbed a female from behind and attempted to sexually assault her.

He is described as approximately 5'6", 155 lbs, and at the time of the offense he was wearing blue jeans, light blue and white horizontally striped shirt and a maroon ball cap.

This occurred at Wal-Mart in Commerce.

While reviewing the video, police realized the man attacked another woman who did not report the crime.

If anyone has information on this crime, please contact Commerce Police Department, Detective Steve Scott at 903-886-1139...

Commerce Police Department

Sep. 22, 2009


Added: Sep. 22, 2009

North Dakota, USA

Dru Sjodin

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

Prosecutors: Glad, Not Surprised Rodriguez Death Sentence Appeal Denied

Fargo - The team of prosecutors that made the federal case against Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. said at a news conference Tuesday they were glad but not surprised to learn that the Crookston man’s death sentence appeal in the Dru Sjodin case was rebuffed by a federal court in Minneapolis.

“We are gratified by this outcome,” acting U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim said. “But we know this is just a step on the road to the ultimate resolution of this case.”

The 2-1 decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came down three years to the day that a jury decided Rodriguez should die for the kidnapping and murder of Sjodin, a UND student, on Nov. 22, 2003. It’s the first death penalty case in North Dakota, which has no death penalty law, in a century.

Rodriguez remains on death row in a federal prison in Indiana. His attorneys, Richard Ney, Wichita, Kan., and Robert Hoy, West Fargo, are expected to begin further appeals...

Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Sep. 22, 2009


Added: Sep. 21, 2009

Peru

This map shows the cities of Iquitos and Pucallpa, centers of child prostitution and pornography in Peru's northeastern Amazon region.

Padres Prostituyen a Sus Hijos por Menos de Medio Dólar

Muchas familias pobres prostituyen a sus hijos por un nuevo sol (unos 0,34 dólares) en el interior de Perú, donde también se denunció que niños de hasta tres años son violados en vídeos pornográficos, informó hoy la prensa local...

Parents are Prostituting Their Children for Less Than Half a Dollar in Peru's Impoverished Amazonian Cities

Lima - "Many families in the interior of Peru, such as in the [Amazonian] city of Iquitos, 'rent-out' their children for money. In exchange for one New Sol (about $ 0.34) or a quarter chicken, parents prostitute their children in canoes," complained Maria Teresa Mosquera, director of Action for Children, in a column published in the newspaper Peru.21.

Mosquera, a children’s rights advocate, said that families are handing their children over to the mafia in exchange for better economic conditions or to acquire luxury goods.

The Peruvian Network Against Child Pornography (RPCPI) has reported that its specialists have discovered that several foreign networks take advantage of the availability of prostituted children in the poorest areas of Peru to record pornographic movies, which are then sold on the black market.

"We have information that recordings are being made in the jungle regions of Peru, in cities like Iquitos, Pucallpa and Madre de Dios [Mother of God]," said the executive director of RPCPI, Dimitri Senmache.

Senmache added that children as young as age three are used in pornographic films, that some children are killed, and that others are taken abroad for prostitution or to be used in many types of slave labor.

Trafficking networks also operate in the tourist cities of Cuzco and Puno, where child pornography videos are recorded by foreigners.

Peruvian police sources revealed that some of the videos containing child pornography are sold in retail shopping centers in Lima. They emphasized that it was difficult to combat these illicit materials due to delays in getting arrest warrants and because of the restrictions placed on obtaining wiretaps.

EFE

Sept. 20, 2009


Added: Sep. 21, 2009

The United States

Linda Smith of Shared Hope International

Photo: Roger Werth - The Daily News

Shared Hope: Repairing the Damage of Nation's Sex Trafficking

For more than a decade, Linda Smith’s Shared Hope International organization has rescued thousands of women and children around the world from the sordid world of prostitution...

In 2006, Shared Hope International received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to research the sex trafficking of American children. Investigation was made in 10 targeted locations — Dallas; San Antonio, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City; Buffalo, N.Y.; New Orleans, Independence, Mo.; Las Vegas, Clearwater, Fla.; and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory.

A private grant allowed further investigation in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Smith presented the results, “The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children,” to Congress in July. She also wrote a book, “Renting Lacy,” which was published last month.

Shared Hope’s investigation revealed there are at least 100,000 American children being sexually exploited by pimps and traffickers and the “johns” who pay for them. The average “recruitment” age for the girls is 12 to 13 years of age.

“By the time we got done, between undercover footage and interviews, we pretty well had the nation,” Smith said. “What we found is I can go to Craigslist or a strip club or an adult shop anywhere and find a minor for sex. There’s no town, I don’t care where; if there’s buyers, there’s sellers. Pornography is driving the sex train for younger and younger girls.”

Shared Hope’s national report found that too often, the trafficked children were treated more like criminals than victims...

Cheryll A. Borgaard

The Daily News

Longview, Washington

Sep. 19, 2009


Added: Sep. 21, 2009

Mexico

Photo: W Radio

Chávez No Hizo Nada en Chihuahua: Organización Justicia Para Nuestras Hijas

Patricia Cervante de la organización Justicia para nuestras Hijas, aseguró que “pensé que Calderón era un hombre honesto y justo, pero ahora veo que no”.

Para la Tercera Emisión de Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Patricia señaló que Arturo Chávez Chávez “no hizo nada en Chihuahua, sólo le abrió la puerta a los delincuentes a cometer sus fechorías hasta el día de hoy”.

"Si hubiera trabajado como se debe nuestras hijas estuvieran en casa."

“Es machista y misógino”, finalizó Patricia Cervantes, de la organización Justicia para nuestras Hijas.

Chavez did Nothing in Chihuahua: Justice for our Daughters

Patricia Cervantes of the organization "Justice for our Daughters," said, "I thought that [Mexican President Felipe] Calderón was an honest and fair person, but now I see that it is not so."

Cervantes said, [federal attorney general nominee] Arturo Chávez Chávez "did nothing in Chihuahua [state, in which Ciudad Juarez is located]. He only opened the door for criminals to commit their atrocities [femicide], right-up through today.

"If he had done his job, our daughters would be [alive and] back home."

"Chávez is sexist and misogynist," concluded Cervantes.

W Radio

Sep. 21, 2009


Added: Sep. 21, 2009

Mexico

A Wrong Sign in Mexico

The nomination of Arturo Chavez Chavez as Attorney General of Mexico (PGR) is disconcerting. At this moment, Mexico needs a person of impeccable credentials to lead the fight against organized crime and corruption. Yet, the government of Felipe Calderon has chosen to nominate an ultraconservative PAN [National Action Party] political operative who is tainted by the murders of hundreds of young women in Ciudad Juarez. There couldn’t be worse choice for a nominee.

There is a long list of complaints against Chavez stemming from his previous job as Under-Attorney General and as head prosecutor for Chihuahua [state]. The National Commission on Human Rights said he allowed agents to alter evidence, violate procedures, and frame suspects, among other irregularities. These investigations have been in relation to the murders of women and the disappearances of individuals, according to the Commission...

Calderon’s nomination is a slap in the face to those inside and outside of Mexico who — with good reason — are concerned by the abuses against civilians and the impunity of those responsible. The removal of the former attorney general has to do with Calderon’s concerns that Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza had used the Office for political ends. Chavez represents PAN discipline, but nothing else. The price is a civil servant considered incompetent, suspected of negligence, and tainted by the horrific murders of hundreds of women about whom he said, "they were raped and murdered because they were prostitutes," as if this somehow justified the crimes...

La Opinión

Editorial

Sep. 21, 2009


Added: Sep. 21, 2009

Indiana, USA

David Alex Flores

Man charged in Slayings of 2 Sisters, House Fire

An Indiana man faces murder, rape and arson charges in the slayings of two sisters after he attended a party at one sister's house in Griffith, Indiana, authorities said.

David Alex Flores, 35, of Griffith, was charged Wednesday with murdering Jennifer Evans, 28, and her sister, Kristen Evans-Kennedy, 25, and Evans-Kennedy's rape, as well as with setting fire to Evans' home after the slayings sometime late Sept. 10 or early last Friday, according to Lake County, Indiana, prosecutors...

In a statement, Flores told police he was at a small party in Evans' garage on Sep. 10 and fell asleep on the couch after drinking, according to the release.

When Flores awoke sometime late that night or early the morning of last Friday, he went into a bedroom where Evans-Kennedy was sleeping, and raped her when she resisted his attempt to kiss her; afterwards, he stabbed her in the neck and three or four other places with a knife he got from the home's kitchen, prosecutors said.

After stabbing the younger sister, Flores went to Evans' room and choked her into unconsciousness, then put her into a bathtub and brought Evans-Kennedy's body into the bathroom also, leaving it on the floor, where he covered it with bed linens, prosecutors said...

Flores... could face 130 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The Chicago Tribune

Sep. 17, 2009


Added: Sep. 20, 2009

Texas, USA

Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott at a Nov. 17, 2008 press conference [see video] to release the report, “The Texas Response to Human Trafficking” [PDF]

Tighter Laws On Traffickers Get Results

Advocates praise state’s progress against human smugglers

Advocates for human trafficking victims say Texas lawmakers have strengthened state legislation aimed at prosecuting traffickers, leading to the first batch of indictments since Texas first criminalized human trafficking in 2003.

San Antonio prosecutors in August secured multi-count indictments under the state law in cases involving the trafficking of two children, ages 13 and 15, said Sgt. Chris Burchell, a investigator with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Burchell, who also heads up the Texas Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Child Sexual Exploitation Coalition, said prosecutors brought the charges against seven suspects in the two cases...

Law enforcement officials have long described Texas as a major corridor exploited by human traffickers. According to the U.S. State Department, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year, with nearly one in five victims of human trafficking traveling through Texas.

Texas gained the distinction of being the first state in the U.S. to criminalize human trafficking in 2003, but no cases were prosecuted under the original law in part because it lacked “teeth,” said Robert Sanborn, president of the Houston organization Children at Risk, which aims to combat human trafficking...

Houston is considered a hub for traffickers, officials said, in part because of its diverse population, proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and international air and sea ports. Recognition of the growing human-trafficking problem locally has spawned coalitions and task forces that include law enforcement agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

“Houston has become the American hub for human trafficking,” Sanborn said. “Girls from abroad and girls from the United States are brought to Houston, and it's here that they are beaten and raped and drugged into submission before being sent to clandestine bordellos all over the country.” ...

Most traffickers generally are prosecuted under federal statutes, but since local authorities are often the first to encounter the victims in such cases, it made sense to give local law enforcement and prosecutors the power to present cases, said Jennifer Solak, a staff attorney with Children at Risk.

Susan Carroll

Houston Chronicle

Sept. 19, 2009


Added: Sep. 20, 2009

The World

United Nations Report: Human Trafficking Likely to Rise Due to Economic Decline

United Nations - Human trafficking is likely to escalate because the global economic crisis has fueled its major causes - poverty, youth unemployment, gender inequality and the demand for cheap labor, the U.N. investigator on trafficking said Thursday.

In a report to the General Assembly, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo expressed concern that trafficking "continues to thrive" because these root causes are not being sufficiently addressed and "potential victims become more desperate to escape their unfavorable situations."

Ezeilo, a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria who was appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council job in August 2008, also expressed concern that trafficking victims are sometimes deported "without a sufficient period for recovery and reflection."

People who are trafficked should not be detained, charged, prosecuted or summarily deported, she stressed.

"Often, victims of trafficking ... have suffered severe trauma of a physical, sexual or psychological nature and require an enabling environment and the specialized services provided by trained personnel to trust, feel safe to talk about their victimization to, and assist law enforcement officials," Ezeilo said.

She expressed concern that governments are not paying adequate attention to the identification of women, children and men trafficked for sexual exploitation and cheap labor, and to measures to protect and assist them.

Only 24 of 86 countries that responded to a questionnaire she sent in 2008 indicated that those issues were a priority in the fight against human trafficking.

Overall, Ezeilo said, less than 30 percent of trafficking cases - both internally and across borders - are reported to officials...

Ezeilo reported on visits to Belarus, Poland and Japan and said each country needs to do more to identify and help victims...

The Associated Press

Sep. 10, 2009

LibertadLatina

Note

The above story is yet another example of coverage of global trafficking that omits any mention whatsoever of the mass gender atrocities that are occurring in Latin America.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 20, 2009


Added: Sep. 20, 2009

Arizona, USA

Andrew Robles

Missing Man Caught After Sexually Assaulting Young Girl

Scottsdale police are seeking a man wanted in connection with the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl...

Officers said Andrew Robles, 54, is wanted on a charge of sexual conduct with a minor. Police said the girl was staying at his home in the area of Granite Reef and McDonald Drive.

Robles is Hispanic, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He has a mustache and a scar across the bridge of his nose.

Investigators said he has been known to disappear for days and weeks on end and lives a transitory lifestyle.

People who know of his whereabouts are asked to call Scottsdale police at 480-312-5000.

KPHO

Sep. 18, 2009


Added: Sep. 18, 2009

Mexico

Jacinta Francisco Marcial

Photo: CIMAC Noticias

Tras 37 Meses de Prisión, Liberan a Jacinta Francisco

México, DF - Tras la liberación el pasado 16 de septiembre de la indígena otomí Jacinta Francisco Marcial, acusada con otras dos mujeres del secuestro de seis elementos de la Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI) en 2006 --por lo que había sido sentenciada a 21 años de prisión--, Amnistía Internacional (AI) hizo un llamado a revisar completamente su proceso y a que sea resarcida por el daño causado por los tres años que permaneció en la cárcel, así como a revisar el proceso contra las coacusadas Alberta Alcántara y Teresa González...

See Also:
Las Otras Jacintas

"The 'Other' Jacintas"

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Sep. 17, 2009

See Also:

Jacinta Francisco Marcial, in her cell in San José El Alto prison, Querétaro state, Mexico, June 29, 2009

Photo: Ricardo Ramírez Arriola - Amnesty International

Freedom for Indigenous Mexican Woman Wrongly Imprisoned for Three Years

Amnesty International welcomes the release of Mexican prisoner of conscience Jacinta Francisco Marcial, who was held in prison for three years after being falsely accused of kidnapping six federal agents.

The mother of six, an Otomí Indigenous woman from Santiago Mexquititlán in the Mexican state of Querétaro, was sentenced to 21 years' imprisonment in December 2006.

Amnesty International is calling for a full review into her unfounded prosecution and for her to receive full compensation for unfair and wrongful imprisonment.

“The Mexican government has finally recognized that there was never evidence to justify Jacinta’s trial and conviction of 21 years imprisonment on charges of kidnapping,” said Kerrie Howard, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International...

The 46-year-old was released by the judge presiding over the retrial following an appeal won in her favour earlier in 2009. The judge’s decision was inevitable after the Federal Attorney General’s Office announced that it was dropping the case against Jacinta due to lack of evidence.

Jacinta Francisco Marcial was convicted of the kidnapping of six Mexican Federal Investigation Agency (Agencia Federal de Investigación, AFI) agents...

Amnesty International

Sep. 17, 2009

See Also:

Indigenous Mexican Woman Unfairly Accused of Kidnapping Agents

A Mexican market stall holder accused of kidnapping six federal agents has been adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

Mother of six Jacinta Francisco Marcial, 46, an Otomí Indigenous woman from Santiago Mexquititlán, Querétaro state, has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Amnesty International said she has been denied a fair trial and is in prison solely due to her marginal status in society as a poor Indigenous woman with limited access to justice. It has demanded that the Mexican authorities release her immediately and unconditionally...

"Jacinta's case is a scandal," said Rupert Knox, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International. "This is a travesty of justice and a clear example of the second class justice Indigenous People often receive in Mexico.

"Jacinta's story shows how the Mexican criminal justice system is being misused to unfairly prosecute the most vulnerable. She has been targeted because of her ethnicity, gender and social status," said Rupert Knox...

On July 17, 2009, the National Human Rights Commission concluded that there were serious irregularities and fabricated evidence in Jacinta's case. Jacinta remains in prison pending the outcome of a retrial.

Amnesty International

Aug. 18, 2009


Added: Sep. 18, 2009

Brazil

Policía brasileña desbarata red de pedofilia internacional 

La policía brasileña detuvo este martes a siete personas que integraban una red de pedofilia internacional que operaba por internet desde 24 países, informó la prensa local. 

En el marco de la operación Laio, contra la producción y divulgación de imágenes sexuales de niños y adolescentes, la Policía Federal (PF) detuvo a seis hombres en el Estado de Sao Paulo y uno en Minas Gerais...

Police Dismantle International Pedophile Ring

Sao Paulo - As part of an operation targeting the production and dissemination of sexual images of children and adolescents, Brazil's Federal Police (PF) have arrested six men in the State of Sao Paulo and one in Minas Gerais.

"The group distributed pictures, and later began to produce them," said the PF spokesperson Jesse Coelho.

"With court approval, our officers posed posing as pedophiles and connected with the group," added Coelho.

The investigation identified 11 pedophile suspects in Brazil and about 60 in 23 other countries. Coelho said that his agency does not yet know the outcome of the operations in other countries related to this case, which were to be conducted on Tuesday.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Sep. 16, 2009


Added: Sep. 18, 2009

California, USA

Attacker Tries To Take Girl From Mother In San Rafael

A man tried to kidnap a 6-year-old girl who was walking in San Rafael with her mother, police said Thursday.

The incident occurred at 7:30 p.m. Sep. 4, but the woman, shaken and afraid after the attack, did not decide to report it until Thursday, said San Rafael police Sgt. Jim Correa.

The woman told police the man approached while she was walking with her daughter and 4-year-old son on Mission Avenue near Union Street, near San Rafael High School.

The man started to speak with them, but the mother walked away with the children. Then the man ran toward them and tried to take the girl away, Correa said.

As the woman and the attacker struggled over the child, the woman screamed and a bystander rushed to help. The man fled and was last seen running on Mission Avenue...

The man was described as Hispanic, 23 to 25 years old and about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He had a heavy build and a large belly, and wore a white shirt with black lettering...

Anyone with information about the man can call police directly at 485-3000 or place anonymous tips with Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, which is a multilingual call center...

Correa said the attack does not appear to be related to an incident on Aug. 15, when a 12-year-old girl said two men forced her into a car in Gerstle Park and drove away with her. The girl said she was able to get out of the car in the Bret Harte neighborhood and walk home.

Gary Klien

Sep. 17, 2009


Added: Sep. 18, 2009

California, USA

La Habra Teen Grabbed on Way to School

Authorities today sought a man who grabbed a 16-year- old La Habra High School student as she walked to school along some railroad tracks about a half mile from the campus…

The man was described as Hispanic, in his 30s, between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10, with short hair and a stocky build, Knapp said. He was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and black athletic shoes.

The assailant "approached her from behind, grabbing her buttocks and then wrapping his arms around her in a 'bear hug' fashion," Knapp said in a statement.

"The victim screamed loudly several times and the subject released her," Knapp said. "The suspect then fled the location running away from the victim and down the tracks toward Beach Boulevard." …

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call police at (562) 905-9750.

Al Naipo

FOX 11 News

Los Angeles, CA

Sep. 17, 2009


Added: Sep. 17, 2009

Mexico

Mexican Attorney General nominee Arturo Chávez Chávez

Photo: Notimex

Senado Mexicano Debate Propuesta de Nuevo Procurador

El Senado mexicano se enfrascó el lunes en un debate inicial sobre los méritos del hombre propuesto por el Ejecutivo como nuevo procurador general, quien ha recibido severas críticas de activistas y organismos civiles por sus cuestionados antecedentes como fiscal de un estado que padeció el asesinato de cientos de mujeres...

Mexican Senate Debates Attorney General Nominee

On Monday the Mexican Senate began initial discussions of the merits of the man nominated by President Felipe Calderón to be the nation's new attorney general. Arturo Chávez has received severe criticism from activists and non-governmental organizations for his history as the head prosecutor in Chihuahua state, where hundreds women have been murdered...

The Associated Press

Sep. 14, 2009

See also:

With New Attorney General, Mexico Tries to Revamp Drug War

Mexico City - With a new attorney general, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is trying to get even tougher on drug cartels and those who protect them.

But critics say he tapped the wrong man for the job: Arturo Chavez was mired in controversy as attorney general of a border state where corruption ran rampant and hundreds of women were raped and murdered with impunity...

During his 1996-98 term as state attorney general, state police botched investigations into the murders of hundreds of women whose bodies turned up dead in the desert outside Ciudad Juarez so badly that former President Vicente Fox later had to send in federal prosecutors to take over the cases.

Activists accused Chihuahua state officials of torturing suspects, contaminating and falsifying evidence and harassing victims' relatives.

Chavez drew fire for suggesting the victims were partly to blame "for wearing miniskirts." He recommended women take karate classes and carry pepper-spray.

"God help us," said Victoria Caraveo, a women's activist in Ciudad Juarez. "He did nothing when faced with this problem in Juarez. What will he do as attorney general for Mexico?" ...

Julie Watson

Olivia Torres contributing

The Associated Press

Sep. 8, 2009

See also:

Barrio Terrazas: dejó atrás el feminicidio y es embajador en Canadá

Las víctimas ocasionaron su muerte, decía el ex gobernador

México DF, 16 enero 09 (CIMAC).- México ratificó como embajador ante el Gobierno de Canadá al hombre que afirmó que los asesinatos de mujeres en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua --más de 400 hasta hoy-- era una situación “natural”, en virtud de que las víctimas caminaban por sitios oscuros y “se vestían de manera provocativa” con minifaldas: Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, del Partido Acción Nacional

(PAN)...

Barrio Terrazas has Left Femicide Behind and is Now Mexico's Ambassador to Canada

Congress has confirmed Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, of the National Action Party (PAN), as ambassador to Canada. Barrio Terrazas once declared that the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua state - of which there are over 400 to date - were "natural" because the victims were walking in dark places and had dressed provocatively in miniskirts...

[Javier Barrio Barrio Terrazas was the Mayor of Ciudad Juarez in the 1980s, and became Chihuahua state's governor in 1992.]

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 18, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the Femicide Murders and Impunity in Ciudad Juarez and Other Regions of Chihuahua State, Mexico


Added: Sep. 16, 2009

Mexico

Mexican Attorney General nominee Arturo Chávez Chávez

Foto: El Universal

Critics Blast Work History of Calderón's Choice to Lead Drug Battle [as Attorney General]

Mexico City – President Felipe Calderón's choice to lead the battle against drug traffickers is under attack by critics who question the nominee's previous work in the state of Chihuahua.

Arturo Chávez Chávez is set to replace Eduardo Medina Mora, who for nine years has been the face of Mexico's campaign against traffickers.

In announcing the change Monday, Calderón praised Chávez, who faces a tough nomination fight in the Mexican Congress.

...Critics in Chihuahua [state] and Ciudad Juárez, the violent border city across from El Paso, [Texas] took issue with Calderón's assessment. They include Oscar Maynes, a former forensics director for the state, and Esther Chávez, director of Casa Amiga, which has documented the killing and disappearance of women in Juárez.

"If there is one thing we're sure of in Chihuahua, it is Chávez's incompetence," Maynes said. "This is a very delicate time for Mexico - the massacre of Juárez and Mexico is under way - and Calderón names a person with a questionable history. This is a sad, terrible mistake."

Once known as a beacon of democratic change, Juárez is best known today as Mexico's murder capital. More than 1,500 people have been killed this year, including nearly 100 in the first eight days of September. Nationwide, more than 5,000 people have been killed in drug violence.

Between 1992 and 1999, when Chávez worked in different roles with the Chihuahua state attorney general's office, the Juárez drug cartel cemented its presence in the region and the cases of hundreds of slain women came to light...

Alfredo Corchado

The Dallas Morning News

Sep. 9, 2009


Added: Sep. 15, 2009

Asia, Africa, The World

Half the Sky

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

New book abstract:

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope...

Random House

Sep., 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

The World

Report co-author and Chief Executive of the Australian NGO Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin

One Million Children Trafficked for Sexual Exploitation: Report

A new report on child sex slavery says nearly 80 percent of all global trafficking is for sexual exploitation.

The End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT)report released today says an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked for sexual exploitation or cheap labor every year.

The report says the proportion of minors involved in all forms of human trafficking has increased between 2003 and 2007, from 15 per cent to 22 per cent.

Co-author of the report and Chief Executive of Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin says there's also concern the global recession could result in a rise in child sex trafficking.

"There is new anecdotal evidence coming from many countries including Asia and the Pacific where we're seeing more children entering or being sold into prostitution because there are less jobs around - there are less opportunities for education," she said.

"And the global economic crisis has definitely increased this problem. So governments have paid a lot of lip service to this problem, they've signed declarations, they've introduced laws, etc etc, but they're not working."

The study is part of a global campaign involving 45 countries, aimed at raising awareness about the scale of the child sex trade.

Reuters

Sep. 14, 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

The World

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Clinton Urges Crackdown on Human Trafficking

Vienna, Austria - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warns that human trafficking is flourishing in the shadows of the global economic downturn.

Clinton gave a video address to an international conference in Vienna examining the scourge of forced labor, sexual slavery and other forms of exploitation. She says urgent steps are needed to crack down on traffickers.

Clinton says she has seen the suffering firsthand: girls in Thailand who were trafficked as young children and are now dying of AIDS, and mothers in Eastern Europe whose daughters have vanished.

She warns that "new economic pressures are likely to aggravate the problem further."

Clinton's speech Monday kicked off a two-day conference of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Associated Press

Sep. 14, 2009


Added: Sep. 15, 2009

LibertadLatina

Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Give Latin America and Especially its At-Risk Indigenous Peoples a Seat at the Table in the Global Fight Against Gender Oppression

Three recent news stories that have been prominently covered by the press include: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's call to crackdown on human slavery; a new report by Australia's Bernadette McMenamin and End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT), identifying 1.2 million children as being made the victims of global sex trafficking each year; and a new book, Half the Sky, by Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times veteran couple Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, which presents views of the crisis of mass gender oppression in Asia and Africa.

All of these events are important. They will no doubt raise awareness about modern human slavery. That consciousness raising is an important element in helping to build the public pressure that will allow truly effective action to be taken to end modern slavery.

The common theme across all of the above-listed events is an emphasis on addressing the gender rights crisis in Asia, and to a lesser extent in Eastern Europe and Africa. While these regions of the world do have critical women's human rights emergencies to contend with, Latin America is also one of the world's most serious hotspots for modern human slavery and gender exploitation with impunity.

We have previously called out the fact that the modern human trafficking movement in western nations started in the 1990s when the former Soviet Union disbanded, causing widespread sex trafficking to occur in Eastern Europe. In fact, Latin American women and girls had been sex trafficked into the U.S. for decades prior to these events, with no visible reaction from the women's movement in the West. Some aspects of the same problem, that of looking at gender exploitation issues through a lens that ignores Latin America, continue to concern us.

During a recent edition of the U.S.-based, nationally broadcast Diane Rehm Show, from WAMU public radio in Washington, DC, authors Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn discussed their new book, Half the Sky, that focuses on the mass rapes, sex trafficking and other forms of gender oppression facing women in Africa and Asia.

I called-in to the show, and mentioned that currently, Latin America, and specifically Mexico were, in addition to Asia, Africa and Europe, also hot spots for the oppression of women that need public attention. I mentioned that: 1) Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been forced into prostitution in Mexico; 2) that Save the Children has identified southern Mexico as being the largest region in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and 3) that all along the southern border of Mexico, an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls are raped each and every day as they attempt to migrate from South and Central America to the U.S.

In response, Nicholas Kristof stated that he had done a minimal amount of work looking into Latin America, but that in his view, India was that largest hot spot in the world for sex trafficking. He added that women prostitutes are "bred" - and that their children are also forced into prostitution. Kristof mentioned that women trapped in prostitution in India are often caged, and are at times killed by their enslavers.

Sheryl WuDunn went on to acknowledge that Mexico was a growing problem that needed to be addressed. But, she said, something has to be done about India before it grows even further out of control.

We agree that India, the rest of Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe are crisis hot spots for the oppression of women and modern human trafficking. That is not in dispute. That does not mean that Latin America should be ignored as yet another critical issue.

We call upon the mainstream media and the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama to address the fact that the crisis of sex trafficking, labor slavery and other severe forms of the oppression of women  in Latin America constitute a regional emergency, and that many of the region's governments, such as that of Mexico, actually aid and abet criminal sex traffickers through their political stances, and by way of their actions and acts of omission.

Importantly, indigenous and African descendant peoples are made highly vulnerable to these abuses by a long history of continuing racial prejudice across Latin America, and especially in Mexico.

Many statistics can be presented to show that Latin America has a number of child and adult women victims of sexual exploitation that is roughly equivalent to the numbers of victims seen today in Asia. It is well known that the sex trafficking 'industry' 'mines' victims in Latin America as if they were coal in the ground, to be exploited locally or sent across the world to a life of torture and death in sexual slavery.

This ugly reality, one that continues to be partially hidden by the fuedal 'code of silence' that the misogynist 'El Yunque' movement and other ultraconservative, pro-feudal and pro-machismo forces promote in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, must be acknowledged by the movement to end modern slavery. Based on that knowledge, we as civilized societies and governments must stand-up and take action to end the mass gender atrocities that plague this region of the world.

Neither the modern anti-slavery movement nor the government entities that have been created to fight human trafficking in the Americas are set-up to address the problem of dealing with nations that actually support modern human slavery, directly or indirectly.

It is apparent from a number of political stances and actions taken by the administration of President Felipe Calderón that Mexico is in fact such a nation.

Is the global anti-trafficking movement ready to tackle the ultraconservative, misogynist and apparently pro-trafficking El Yunque movement, who hold significant power as a dominant faction of the ruling National Action Party (PAN)?

Does the anti-trafficking movement understand that a Mexico that is governed by the PAN will likely never lift a single finger to actually attempt to end the labor and sexual slavery that Mexico has relied-upon to sustain its economy for hundreds of years?

Significant international pressure must be put on the PAN to require it to change its course. Pro-women's rights activists in Mexico must also be supported in ways that send a message to the PAN and to El Yunque (who's Falangist fanaticism literally views all social activists, including women's rights advocates as the children of Satan),

that their violations of international norms governing the human rights of women will not be tolerated.

The victims, and those who are at risk in Latin America cannot await the procrastination of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the United States Government in regard to these issues.

Women, girls and other victims of modern slavery and other forms of gender and race-based criminal exploitation in Latin America deserve our immediate attention.

There is just no excuse for allowing these horrors to continue uncontested.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 15, 2009

Updated Sep. 17, 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

Illinois, USA

Sketch of attempted child abduction suspect

Police seek offender in attempted abduction on Far North Side

Police have issued a community alert following the attempted abduction of a 10-year-old girl last week in the East Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side...

The girl was crossing the alley when a man driving a white pickup passed by and told the girl to get into his truck for a ride home. The girl reported the incident to a citizen standing nearby and the offender fled in an unknown direction.

The offender is described as a Hispanic man 35-45 with a mustache and a dark complexion. He was wearing a baseball cap and spoke only Spanish to the victim. The vehicle is described as a white pickup with a black strip, the alert said. It has a wood board surrounding the cab of the truck, which may be used for scrap or junk collecting...

Anyone with information should call Bemont Area detectives at (312) 744-8200.

Sun Times News Group

Sep. 14, 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

Mexico

Border Mothers Angry Over Mexican Nominee for Attorney General

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico - A group of women whose daughters were murdered in a violent Mexican border city are protesting President Felipe Calderon's choice for new attorney general.

Protesters say the nominee, Arturo Chavez, did little to solve dozens of rapes and murders of women in Ciudad Juarez when he was Chihuahua state attorney general from 1996 to 1998.

About 25 women picketed Wednesday outside the federal attorney general's office in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas.

Ester Luna, whose 15-year-old daughter was killed in 1997, said Chavez "didn't care about those killings, (so) what makes him fit for this post?"

Chavez was nominated... to replace Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora.

The Associated Press

Sep. 09, 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

...[The] PAN [National Action Party], like the Republican Party north of the border, has come to rely heavily on a religious right “base” to turn out the vote. As happened in the United States, this has ended up costing the party in general elections, but unlike the Republicans, PAN is showing signs of being willing to jettison the narrow interests of that base in return for a chance to maintain more than a regional dominance. Eduardo Medina-Moro Icaza — a stalwart in the piety wing of the party, and said to have close ties to the shadowy Catholic fascist group, El Yunque, is out as Procurador General (Attorney General)...

The Mex Files

Sep. 09, 2009


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

Mexico, The United States

[More background on the 'El Yunque' movement in Mexico]

‘Purge Anti-Semites from Mexican Government Before Giving U.S. Military Aid’ Friends of Brad Will Tells Congress

Denouncing the appointments of members of El Yunque, an ultra-right anti-semitic movement, to the highest levels of the Mexican government, Friends of Brad Will has told key [U.S.] Democratic Party leaders to reject the Bush military aid package called the Merida Initiative. Friends of Brad Will is a non-government organization advocating for accountability for the murder of U.S. journalist Brad Will, who was killed by Mexican government paramilitaries in October, 2006.

Members of the group have spoken with the powerful Democrat Chairs of the Congressional Subcommittees on Foreign Operations and on Western Hemispheric Affairs, warning that President Bush’s proposed Merida Initiative would arm a Mexican Administration that has recently appointed members of El Yunque, who advocate discrimination against women, homosexuals, and Jews, to top posts. Friends of Brad Will noted the initiative would risk the democratic advances made by Mexico since the ending of one-party rule...

An investigative piece by journalist and feminist activist Irene Ortiz published in the January/February 2008 issue of NACLA [North American Congress on Latin America] Report on the Americas, ‘Putting Down Roots: The Latin American Right Today‘ details the history of the secretive organization dedicated to ‘eternal combat (with) the forces of Judaism, Masonry and Communism’.

Excerpt:

Building the City of God: Mexico's Ultra-Right Yunque [PDF]

…The Yunque has positioned itself not only against critical, independent movements of the left (movements for indigenous rights and autonomy, reproductive rights, feminism in general, rights for sexual minorities, independent unionism, independent neighborhood movements) but also against most of the long-standing institutions of the secular state (religious pluralism; public education and the teachers who carry it out; and organizing/activity by students, labor, campesinos and urban residents…).

The Yunque sees itself not as a conservative group trying to preserve some version of the status quo (nor even some Mexican status quo ante) but as a radical organization out to overturn “the system.” It is very much on the cutting edge of the radical right: a movement to overthrow a godless, secular state, and to replace it with a theocratic (Catholic) state. That explains its current anger at Calderon’s pragmatic, opportunistic [political] shift...

Irene Ortiz

NACLA Reports

Jan. / Feb. 2008

Alvaro Delgado, who published a book on El Yunque in 2003, used the group’s written internal communi-cations and the testimonies of members and deserters, to expose its determination to “create the City of God in accordance with the Gospels”...

Friends of Brad Will

April 17, 2008


Added: Sep. 14, 2009

Mexico

Álvaro Delgado, reporter for Mexico's Progreso Magazine and author of El Yunque - La Ultraderecha en el Poder - "The Anvil – The Extreme Right in Power

The Raging Storm Over Mexico's New Attorney General

If Arturo Chavez Chavez is confirmed as Mexico's new Attorney General, the lawyer from the state of Chihuahua will be in a pivotal role to influence, steer and direct the binational, anti-drug Merida Initiative between the United States and Mexico, as well as an expanded version with Canada and other nations, in the drug war.

As Mexico's chief law enforcement officer, Chavez will also be in charge of federal prosecutions for human trafficking, women's murders, product piracy, and environmental crimes, among others.

But President Felipe Calderon's nomination of Chavez, to replace Eduardo Medina-Mora, has stirred up a storm of controversy.

Women's and human rights organizations, and members of opposition political parties, reject Chavez. They accuse the controversial lawyer of covering up the mass murders of women and the disappearances of many men in Ciudad Juarez, as well as helping to fabricate a scapegoat, the late Egyptian national Abdel Latif Sharif Sharif, in the border femicides.

"This is a bad piece of news," said Paula Flores, mother of 1998 Ciudad Juarez femicide victim Sagrario Gonzalez. "It could be more of a political favor, because Chavez is a member of the PAN (National Action Party) and President Calderon is a member of the PAN."

Mexican press accounts allege Chavez concealed from the public a series of 1996-97 armed robberies in Chihuahua that could be linked to the PAN and a clandestine ultra-conservative organization, El Yunque, which promotes a [misogynist] Catholic theocracy as the solution to Mexico's crisis...

In his different capacities, Chavez was among the first state law enforcement officials to oversee the investigations of numerous sex-related slayings in Ciudad Juarez, as well as the kidnappings of men (and some women) said to have fallen out with the dominant drug cartel. Both the women's and men's murder investigations were characterized by indifference, irregularities, lost files and evidence, threats against victims' family members, and no credible prosecutions, in spite of credible leads.

In 1998, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) issued its Recommendation #44/98 that held Chavez and other Chihuahua state officials responsible for bungling the femicide investigations. Later probes by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, the United Nations, and others reached similar conclusions.

In another matter, Chavez's office was also found responsible by the official Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission for violating the human rights of indigenous members of the Monterde Ejido who were brutally attacked by the Chihuahua state police while conducting an anti-logging protest in 1997...

Frontera NorteSur

Sep. 14, 2009

See also:

Cecilia Romero, a long-time PAN Party official and the head of Mexico's national immigration service, reflects PAN policy in her declaration that the sex tourism and pedophile networks that exist across Mexico are "inevitable" and cannot be stopped.
"El turismo sexual es inevitable" - Cecilia Romero del Instituto Nacional de Migración de México

Photo: El Universal

LibertadLatina

Commentary

The federal government of Mexico as well as a number of state governments have been very active in recent years in reversing the basic human rights of women and people of non-European ancestry. We have covered the mass gender atrocities that continually affect poor women of all ethnicities, with a focus on the horrendous abuses that indigenous women face. The ruling National Action Party (PAN) has been the unashamed author of these acts, and their forces continue to attack equality for women as if it were a national security threat.

PAN officials have publicly declared that women victims of mass murder in Ciudad Juarez caused their own deaths because they wore "immodest" clothing and walked in bad parts of town. PAN city officials have attempted to ban the wearing of short skirts, low-cut blouses and kissing in public.

PAN activists have criminalized all forms of abortion in 14 states, and have also made the use of some forms of contraception illegal. With the most recent congressional elections, the PAN and their allies in the Institutional Revolutionary Party stand ready to pass national legislation banning abortion under all circumstances, a feat that has already been accomplished in Nicaragua.

At the same time, the PAN's leader, President Felipe Calderón, intentionally delayed publishing the regulations for the nation's first human trafficking law for over a year, and then made sure that the final version of the regulations were watered down and did not allow inter-agency coordination of anti-slavery efforts.

The PAN has no objections to current state laws that consider incest to be a voluntary act between the parties, which subjects victimized children to criminal prosecution and exposes them to the same types of sentencing that an adult victimizer faces. Under this system, even the limited right of rape victims to abortion that still exists in some states cannot apply to the case of a child impregnated by a family member, because such acts of incest are not legally considered to be rape.

President Felipe Calderón also resists having members of the armed services come under civilian criminal justice jurisdiction when they are accused (as they often are) of having raped and even murdered Mexican civilian women in rural areas where they patrol. This form of impunity especially impacts the lives of countless indigenous women, who, when they see that the judicial system does not react by providing them with justice, suffer these sexual crimes in silence, afraid to raise their voices to the corrupt public servants who refuse to serve them because they are women, and because they are indigenous. It has been that way in Mexico for 500 years.

In the Mexico City suburb of San Salvador de Atenco in May of 2006, 30 police officers raped and sodomized 26 women who they had arrested at a protest. Only after worldwide condem-nation over a period of three years did prosecutors in FEVIMTRA, the PAN controlled special prosecutor's office to combat violent crimes against women and human trafficking -  choose to call the officers responsible into court to answer for their crimes.

Lydia Cacho, an award-winning author, journalist and champion of children and women's human rights, was kidnapped, threatened with rape, tortured and unjustly jailed in retaliation for exposing wealthy, politically connected child sex traffickers in the resort city of Cancun. When the Puebla state police agents responsible for these crimes were taken to state court, FEVIMTRA announced that they had 'lost' the files related to Cacho's case. FEVIMTRA also refused to conduct a federal prosecution, the normal practice in cases of suspected state-level corruption.

In May of 2009 a PAN city councilman in Mexico City demanded that Father Rafael López Muñiz, who had been arrested as a ringleader in a major child pornography ring, be released from pre-trial detention. Many PAN party activists also held rallies to advocate for Father López Muñiz' release.

Some 450 to 600 Central and South American women are systematically raped as they migrate across Mexico's southern border each day, as police forces not only do nothing to protect them or arrest any of the 'trolling serial rapists,' but at-times they actively participate in these crimes. The southern border region of Mexico has been identified by Save the Children as the largest region condoning the commercial sexual exploitation of children the entire world. Yet in response to these horrors, PAN activist and head of the National Institute for Migration (INM) Cecilia Romero has declared that criminal pedophile networks, sex trafficking and the abuses of migrants are simply inevitable evils of mankind that cannot be stopped in Mexico.

Finally, the federal General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence has not been effectively implemented at the state level, a development that also apparently had can be attributed to the PAN's lack of enthusiasm for the measure.

We do not know if the PAN is infiltrated by the ultra-conservative Catholic El Yunque secret society, as Álvaro Delgado, reporter for Mexico's Progreso Magazine and others have alleged. What we do know is that the PAN has repeatedly shown itself to engage in activities that reverse women's basic rights, with a special focus on maintaining the state of virtual slavery in which poor indigenous women continue to live across Mexico.

The PAN has established itself as a leader in the movement to promote the continued existence and empowerment of the concept of machismo, that views women as being literally inferior to men, and indigenous women as being less than full human beings. Its policies are having a negative impact in Mexico, which can be seen by all.

It is the responsibility of the civilized world, and that means civil society (the general public and its diverse non-profit organizations), religious institutions (and especially the main-stream Catholic Church), governments around the globe, and intergovernmental organizations to stand up and confront the PAN on its policies.

There is no justification for allowing the PAN government of Mexico to continue to permit mass gender atrocities to be the accepted mainstream of social and government behavior in a modern state.

If the PAN continues to behave like the Taliban, and wants to be known as a modern Falangist TaliPAN, then the civilized world must stand up and sanction Mexico for its promotion of mass gender atrocities and repression of equal rights for women.

We propose a global human rights protest and boycott movement to put an economic and political dent in the PAN's assumption that they can violate the human rights of the innocent with impunity.

We also propose that the U.S. government run by the Obama Administration take a second look at U.S. foreign aid and military funding. Most U.S. citizens can agree that U.S. tax dollars should not fund state-sponsored mass gender atrocities against women!!!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 14, 2009

See also:

About El Yunque

The National Organization of the Anvil, or simply El Yunque (The Anvil), is the name of a secret society of Mexican regional character... whose purpose, according to the reporter Alvaro Delgado, "is to defend the Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan, whether through violence or murder "and establish" the kingdom of God in the land that is subject to the Mexican Government, to the mandates of the Catholic Church, through the infiltration of all its members at the highest levels of political power.

Wealthy businessmen and politicians (mostly from the National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil...

According to its critics, the secret organization of El Yunque was supposedly paramilitary in nature, performing its actions (including political assassination) mostly through a set of front organizations, and, according to the magazine "Contralinea", this included the student organization MURO at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in the 1960s. Over time, the organization supposedly evolved and began working towards the establishment of what critics call "a fascist" government in Mexico achieving its goals through more conventional political means.

Wikipedia.com

See also:

Critics Say Secret Society Has Infiltrated Mexican Government

Despite denials, critics say hard-liners have infiltrated ruling party

Mexico City - It sounds like a Hollywood thriller.

A secret organization born in the Cold War and determined to overthrow an authoritarian government outlives the regime and instead begins to undermine a democratically elected administration in hopes of installing a modern theocracy.

Luis Paredes Moctezuma, the former mayor of Puebla in central Mexico, said that very scenario exists in the administration of President Felipe Calderón and the National Action Party, or PAN. He asserted that the party has been slowly infiltrated by the radical group over decades.

Mr. Paredes, a PAN member, said he spent three decades in the secret group El Yunque, or The Anvil, and participated in an ongoing conspiracy "to restore the rule of God" through an ultraconservative Roman Catholic government.

"El Yunque is more dangerous than the narcos," Mr. Paredes said, referring to the government's struggle to recover large swaths of Mexico from drug cartels. Hundreds of Yunque members are now in the bureaucracy, and they control four state governments, he said.

Mr. Paredes said El Yunque established cells in the U.S. 15 years ago, as university-educated professionals migrated and put down roots. "They're in Dallas, in Boston, in Washington, D.C., in Los Angeles, in Miami," he said...

Laurence Iliff

The Dallas Morning News

July 9, 2007

See also:

El Yunque, la ultraderecha en el poder

The Anvil - The Extreme Right in Power

Habla el reportero Álvaro Delgado sobre El Yunque, una organización secreta de extrema derecha que opera en México y tiene raíces católicas...

Noticieros Televisa

June 21, 2004


Added: Sep. 13, 2009

Peru

Operativo contra la trata en Sechura rescata a 8 menores de edad

Piura, 11/09/2009 (CNR).- En una intervención policial realizada el 1 de septiembre en la provincia piurana de Sechura a 15 cantinas se identificó a ocho menores de edad que eran víctimas de la trata y la prostitución infantil...

Anti-Trafficking Operation Rescues 8 Underage Youth in Sechura

Piura - During a raid on 15 bars carried out on September 1st in the [northeastern Peruvian] city of Sechura, police identified eight underage youth who were the victims of trafficking and child prostitution.

The operation, led by General Walter Rivera, found girls between 13 and 16 who were working as waitresses and were forced to exercise prostitution. Prosecutors ordered these victims to be sent to a shelter. Their relatives where informed.

The victims apparently were trafficked from the eastern Peruvian Amazon province of Bagua. They were recruited with offers of work as waitresses and nannies with a salary of between 200 and 400 nuevos soles [US$63 to $126].

The head of the Municipal Defender of Children and Adolescents (DEMUNA) in Sechura, Nelly Chapa, is doing legal work to arrange for the girls’ safekeeping. Police made no arrests during the operation, although they have summoned the owners of the bars, My Betty, My Jungle, My Cinthia, Blue Sea and Las Delicias.

Leoncio Rumiche

Radio Cutivalú (Piura)

Sep. 11, 2009


Added: Sep. 13, 2009

Texas, USA

Wanted: Ezequiel Moreno

Kidnap, Sex Assault Suspect [Mistakenly] Released From Dallas County Jail Despite High Bail

A man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2008 and then plotting her kidnapping last week was released from jail despite a judge's order that he be held on more than $1 million bail.

Authorities were searching Monday for Ezequiel Moreno, 45, to rearrest him after he posted $100,000 bail early Saturday on charges that he planned a failed plot to take the girl and her mother from Dallas to the Mexican border.

Dallas County Jail officials apparently were not informed of state District Judge Andy Chatham's order two days earlier that bail on the two sexual assault charges be raised to more than $1 million in an effort by police and prosecutors to keep Moreno behind bars...

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Moreno's arrest.

He is Hispanic, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.

Anyone with information can call police at 214-767-6700 or 214-671-3584.

Moreno's girlfriend, Rosemary Garza Inocencio, 39, and her cousin, Michael Garcia, 40, are accused of carrying out the kidnapping plot last week. Police say they handcuffed and kidnapped the 16-year-old girl and her mother from a Far North Dallas shopping center by pretending to be federal immigration officers...

As police and U.S. marshals searched for Moreno on Monday night, Dallas police officers were watching over the home of the teenage girl whom he is accused of having a sexual relationship with when she was 15.

The teen said she does not plan to go back to school until Moreno is caught.

"I feel like I'm a prisoner in my own house," said the girl, who is not being named because The Dallas Morning News typically does not identify victims of sexual assault.

"I feel real unsafe, and I just want him to pay for what he did," she said.

Scott Goldstein Jennifer Emily

The Dallas Morning News

Sep. 1, 2009


Added: Sep. 12, 2009

Mexico

Women textile workers in Mexico

Trabajadoras en México Recurren a la Prostitución Ocasional por Crisis

Aguascalientes, México - Obreras y empleadas mexicanas recurren a la prostitución ocasional como actividad paralela ante la crisis económica, en el estado de Aguascalientes (centro), donde líderes sindicales y ONG empiezan a alzar la voz...

Women Workers Resort to Occasional Prostitution to Survive the Economic Crisis

Aguascalientes, Mexico - Mexican women workers are occasionally resorting to prostitution as a part time source of income during the economic crisis in the state of Aguascalientes. In response, union leaders and non-governmental organizations are beginning to speak-out on the issue...

Women workers in Aguascalientes state hold jobs in important industrial activities such as automotive, electronics, auto parts and textile manufacturing, among others. A large number of women in the city are involved in manufacturing blue jeans. They earn an average of 600 pesos a week (about US$44).

"The truth is that if I do it (engage in prostitution), it is not every week, but one or two times a month, because I have two children and my husband left me six years ago, and by doing this I earn about 300 pesos (20 dollars) more," said Jazmin, a young worker at a textile company...

"This is an issue that instead of highlighting us should focus on our employers and government officials and make them feel ashamed. While they eat high on the hog, we women have to do things like this [prostitution] just to be able to eat [at all],” added a poultry worker...

The new phenomenon is less perceptible in [local] red light districts, because "we do it with co-workers or with men we contact through them," said one of the workers...

Full English Translation

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Sep. 11, 2009


Added: Sep. 12, 2009

Peru

Cárcel para promotores de turismo sexual

En primera votación, el Congreso de la República aprobó la Ley General del Turismo, que contempla una pena carcelaria no menor de cuatro años ni mayor de ocho para quienes publiciten o promuevan la explotación sexual comercial de menores de edad en el ámbito turístico...

New Law Includes Prison for Promoters of Child Sex Tourism

On the first vote, Peru’s Congress approved the General Law of Tourism, which provides for a prison sentence of not less than four years nor more than eight for those who advertise or promote the commercial sexual exploitation of minors in relation to tourism.

This penalty would apply, according to any person who utilizes brochures, print, audio visual, electronic, magnetic or Internet medium in order to offer commercial sexual relations with minors.

The penalty for exploiting teens who are between 14 and 18 years of age will be a prison sentence of not less than four years nor more than eight. If the victim is less than 14-years-of-age, the sentence is six and eight years. If the offender is a parent, guardian, public authority or teacher of the victim, the penalty is a term of between eight and 10 years.

The law also requires tourism service providers to disseminate and publicize rules designed to prevent and punish the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and the use of drugs.

Moreover, the Act provides for the need to approve and update the so-called Strategic Plan for Tourism…

www.losandes.com.pe/

Sep. 11, 2009


Added: Sep. 12, 2009

Virginia, USA

Police: Man Attacking Women Near Fair Oaks Becoming More Violent

Fairfax County police worry a man attacking women walking alone in the dark just north of Fair Oaks Mall is becoming more violent.

The attacker has gone from assaulting with just his hands to wielding a knife, and investigators say the quick escalation is a dangerous sign of what might come...

"Our concern is that these type of attacks tend to escalate," said Fairfax County police spokesman Bud Walker. "We can already see he's escalated from the first to second attack, so we want everyone in that area to be aware and on the lookout."

On Sunday night, the attacker, who is described as a Hispanic man with curly black hair, approached a 56-year-old woman... authorities said. After the victim fended him off, the attacker fled toward West Ox Road.

On Wednesday night, he went after a much younger target, grabbing an 18-year-old woman from behind and threatening her with a knife before the victim broke free. The attacker ran off, heading toward Monument Drive...

"We want to get him off the street before there's a third attack," Walker said. "Who knows what he will do on a third attack."

Anyone with information on these cases should call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS(8477) or Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131.

Freeman Klopott

The Examiner

Sep. 11, 2009


Added: Sep. 12, 2009

Guatemala

Guatemalan Army Stole Children For Adoption, Report Says

The Guatemalan army stole at least 333 children and sold them for adoption in other countries during the Central American nation's 36-year civil war, a government report has concluded...

Many of those children ended up in the United States, as well as Sweden, Italy and France, said the report's author and lead investigator, Marco Tulio Alvarez.

In some cases, the report said, parents were killed so the children could be taken and given to government-operated agencies to be adopted abroad. In other instances, the children were abducted without physical harm to the parents.

"This was a great abuse by the state," Alvarez told CNN on Friday.

Alvarez acknowledges that many more children possibly were taken. Investigators zeroed in on the 1977-89 period because peak adoptions occurred during that time frame, particularly in 1986. They will investigate through 1995 and hope to have another report ready by early next year, he said.

A presidential ministry has determined that about 45,000 people disappeared during the nation's civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. About 5,000 of those were children, the ministry said. Another 200,000 people died in the conflict between the leftist guerrillas and right-wing governments...

Guatemala has the world's highest per capita rate of adoption and is one of the leading providers of adoptive children for the United States. Nearly one in 100 babies born in Guatemala end up with adoptive parents in the United States, according to the U.S. consulate in Guatemala...

CNN

Sep. 12, 2009


Added: Sep. 11, 2009

Guatemala

Closeup of a community mural scene, showing a 1980's military massacre of women and children in the Mayan town of Comalapa, Guatemala.

From a short film by

Ian Ramsey North

Guatemalan Soldiers Sold Children in War - Government

Guatemala City - At least 333 children and probably thousands more were taken by Guatemalan security forces and sold abroad during the country's 36-year civil war, a government report said on Thursday.

Soldiers and police killed children's parents, lied about how they had been found and handed them to state-run homes for sale to adoptive parents in the United States and Europe, said the report, which was based on government archives.

The archives in the Guatemalan presidency's social welfare department show hundreds of children whose parents were killed by the army or who were forcefully taken from their families and were put up for adoption with false papers.

"Some of the people involved in organizing these adoptions made the process into a very lucrative business for themselves, and with that in mind they gave priority to international adoptions," Marco Tulio Alvarez, the report's author and the director of the archives, told a news conference.

By the end of the war in 1996, Guatemala was the second largest source of children adopted internationally after China, but numbers have dropped after the government tightened regulations in 2007...

Around 250,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayan Indians, died in the war between successive right-wing governments and leftist insurgents, which ended with the signing of UN-backed peace accords in 1996.

Human rights groups hope that dozens of people could be prosecuted based on the new report. There may be thousands more cases but little paperwork survives as proof...

Sarah Grainger

Reuters

Sep. 11, 2009


Added: Sep. 11, 2009

Guatemala

Photo: Prensa Libre

Condenan a 150 Años de Prisión a Ex Comisionado Militar

El primer juicio por desaparición forzada en el país concluyó ayer con la condena de 150 años de prisión contra el ex comisionado militar Felipe Cusanero Coj, hallado culpable de la desaparición forzada de seis personas...

Aura Elena Farfán, de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, expresó: “En el país hay 45 mil personas desaparecidas, y esta condena es un precedente para continuar la lucha en busca de nuestros seres queridos”.

En el juicio estuvieron presentes los embajadores de Holanda y de Chile, quienes expresaron su beneplácito por la sentencia.

Former Paramilitary Officer is Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison

The first trial involving a case of forced disappearance in Guatemala [during the 1980's-1090s civil war] has concluded with a 150 year prison sentence for former military commissioner Felipe Cusanero Coj, who was found guilty of causing the forced disappearances of 6 people...

Aura Elena Farfán, from the group Families of the Detained and Disappeared, stated, "In our nation there are 45,000 disappeared persons. This sentence sets a precedence for continuing our struggle to find our loved ones.

The Ambassadors of Chile and Holland to Guatemala were present at the trial, and expressed their approval of the conviction and sentence...

Prensa Libre

Aug. 31, 2009

See also:

Added: Sep. 11, 2009

Guatemala

Guatemala Sees Landmark Sentence

A Guatemalan court has sentenced an ex-paramilitary officer to 150 years in prison for the forced disappearance of civilians in the civil war.

Felipe Cusanero, found guilty over the disappearance in the 1980s of six indigenous Maya farmers, is the first person to be jailed for such crimes.

Human rights groups have hailed the verdict as a breakthrough in the fight against impunity in Guatemala.

Some 250,000 people were killed in the 36-year conflict, which ended in 1996.

The court in Chimaltenango, about 40km (25 miles) west of Guatemala City, was packed as the judges read their verdict and sentence - 25 years for each victim.

Cusanero was found guilty in connection with the disappearances of six people in the Chimaltenango region between 1982 and 1984.

At the time, which was the height of the long-running civil war between government forces and left-wing guerrillas, he was a military commissioner, a civilian working with the army.

"We weren't looking for vengeance but for the truth and justice," Hilarion Lopez, whose 24-year-old son was taken by soldiers in 1984 and never seen again, told Reuters news agency.

Rights groups believe Cusanero was involved in the disappearances of more people but only six families came forward to testify against him.

A UN-backed truth commission found that between 1960 and 1996 some 200,000 people were killed and more than 45,000 [were] disappeared.

Most of those who died were civilians.

BBC

Sep. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section


Added: Sep. 10, 2009

New York State

Police arrest sex slavery suspect at the La Hija del Mariachi Bar in Farmingville, on Long Island in New York state in August of 2009

Photo: James Carbone / Newsday

Three Plead Not Guilty to Running Sex Slavery Ring

The brother-and-sister owners of two Suffolk County bars who authorities say ran a sexual slavery ring pleaded not guilty Wednesday in federal court to charges in a 13-count grand jury indictment.

Attorneys representing Antonio Rivera and Jasmin Rivera, along with a third defendant, John Whaley, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; conspiracy to commit forced labor; forced labor; conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants; and illegal immigrant harboring.

Federal and county agents raided Sonidos de la Frontera in Lake Ronkonkoma and La Hija del Mariachi in Farmingville last month.

Federal prosecutors have described Antonio Rivera, 34, of Patchogue, Jasmin Rivera, 31, of Medford, and John Whaley, 29, of Bellport, as ringleaders.

According to the indictment, the three "compelled the Latin American women, through deception, coercion and threats of harm, to engage in commercial sex acts and sexual contact with patrons at Sonidos, Mariachi and elsewhere, and to turn over a portion of the proceeds they received from engaging in commercial sex acts and sexual contact with patrons to the defendants."

The indictment says the defendants recruited women who entered the United States illegally from Latin America to work as waitresses at the bars.

According to the allegations, one of the operators repeatedly raped some of the women, referred to in the indictment as Jane Does. The women were kept in line through beatings, and threats of deportation and death, according to court papers...

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Newsday

Sep. 9, 2009

See also:

Sex-slave bars reportedly overwhelmingly profitable

Robert E. Kessler

Newsday

Aug. 12, 2009

See also:

Women In Sex-Slave Case Could Be Eligible For Visas

The 23 immigrant women who federal authorities say were forced into prostitution at two Suffolk bars could be eligible for visas if they are deemed to be victims and cooperate with law enforcement.

Mostly undocumented immigrants from Central America, the women are being held at an undisclosed hotel as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continue investigating. If authorities decide they're not victims, they will face deportation...

The T Visas ("T" for trafficking) were established in 2000 and allow immigrants and their family members to eventually apply for legal permanent residency. Victims can also be eligible for U Visas, which are available to undocumented immigrants who are victims of a broader range of crimes.

However, advocates say applying for the visas is a lengthy and unwieldy process and few are granted. There is a national 5,000-person annual cap for the granting of T Visas and fewer than half of that have been granted since 2001, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics...

While some of the women were recruited through ads for jobs as waitresses, a common tactic, others entered the country illegally on their own and sought jobs at the establishments, less common in trafficking cases...

Sumathi Reddy

Newsday

Aug. 10, 2009

See also:

Human trafficking victims are lead from a bar in Long Island

Antonio Rivera

Long Island Horror: Sex traffickers enslave teenaged women

Jim Kouri, CPP, is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police

Law Enforcement Examiner

August 13, 2009

See also:

Feds Bust Long Island Bar Owners, Sex Offender In Sex Trafficking Ring

...In 1998, Antonio Rivera, 34, was convicted of rape in the second and third degrees, respectively.

[Story includes video news report]

WPIX.com

August 10, 2009


Added: Sep. 09, 2009

Mexico

Outgoing Congressional Deputy Elsa Conde of the Partido Alternativa Socialdemócrata

(Alternative Social Democratic Party)

Tres Años de Retroceso Para las Mujeres  

Ciudad de México.- Hay evidencias documentadas de que en los últimos tres años las mujeres hemos vivido un profundo retroceso en derechos, posición pública, empleo y capacidad organizativa.

Hace unos días, al cierre de la LX Legislatura, Elsa Conde, del Partido Socialdemócrata (PSD), integrante del pequeño grupo de legisladoras feministas, reveló que las diputadas progresistas tuvieron que enfrentar en resistencia un cúmulo de acciones, algunas fallidas, contra los avances de las mujeres...

Three Years of Reversals for Women

[Feminist Caucus in Congress regroups after electoral losses]

Mexico City - There is documented evidence that during the past three years women have experienced a profound decline in rights, social position, jobs and organizational capacity in Mexico.

A few days ago, at the closure of the 60th Legislature, Elsa Conde, of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), who is a member of a small caucus of feminist legislators, announced that progressive deputies have had to resist a host of initiatives, some of which failed, that have aimed at impeding progress for women.

The group was able to temper a long tirade against emergency contraception. There was a flaw in the electoral reform initiative that reduced rather than increased seats for women in Congress. The national PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) joined with the PAN (National Action Party) to declare, via amendments to the constitutions of 14 states, that the fetus is a judicially protected human being - and thus previously legal exemptions that allow for abortion [such as in cases of rape] have been eliminated.

For the first time in nearly one hundred years women are being persecuted and imprisoned for having an abortion...

Meanwhile, during these past three years we have seen an increase in violence against women, yet not one state has taken into account the fact that two federal laws have been passed [in recent years], one establishing equality between women and men, and the other designed to ensure that women have a right to a life without violence...

A subdued meeting was held by the feminist caucus, where outgoing deputies declared their resistance. The four women left in the new caucus busily discussed what had happened with their proposals for women. The group had to acknowledge that there were reversals, and that a resolution completely banning abortion at the national level, and restrictions in the use of birth control, loom on the horizon in the new Congress. Many of the new deputies from the PRI, as well as activists such as the PRI governor of Yucatan state, Ivonne Ortega Pacheco, have expressed delight with the reversals experienced by the progressive women’s agenda.

The federal laws that provide for gender equality, and the General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence, simply can not be applied, not only because there are backward-looking ‘fiefdoms’ among the states, but also because within some states, such as Guerrero, acts of violence against women and the kidnapping of women are not considered serious crimes. In other locations including Guanajuato, state government has simply refused to set-up the ‘gender alert’ system [required by federal law to respond to gender violence emergencies under the right to life without violence law]. Gender alerts exist on paper but are not actually supported by these states...

Full English Translation

Sara Lovera

Proceso

Sep. 04, 2009

See also:

Diputadas Enfrentarán Embates de la Derecha Contra Mujeres

Deputies  Face Attacks From the Right Against Women's Rights

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Sep. 07, 2009

See also:

Added: Sep. 09, 2009

Mexico

La Nueva Legislatura Deberá Superar Retrocesos en Derechos de Mujeres

México DF - Diputadas de la LX legislatura señalaron que en los tres años que duró su trabajo se enfrentaron a un Congreso dominado por acuerdos copulares y por un machismo soterrado, dedicando gran parte de su tiempo a detener iniciativas que violentaban los derechos de las mujeres y que lejos de representar una avance a su favor implicaban un retroceso…

The New Legislature Must Overcome Setbacks In Women's Rights

Mexico City – Women representatives from the 60th Legislature have noted that during the last three years of work they have faced a Congress dominated by “copulated” agreements and an underground machismo. They have devoted  much of their time to stopping initiatives that violate the rights of women and that represent a major setback [to the women’s rights

agenda].

During a presentation titled, The 60th Legislature - Legislative Balance and the Commitment to Equality, Congress-woman Elsa Conde of the Social Democratic Alternative Party (PSD) declared that progress was made on some fronts, but that much work has been left undone for the 61st Legislature to address.

Deputy Conde said that the 60th Legislature involved a climate of polarization and constant conflict between the main political forces…

"We were in constant dispute during the entire initial period of sessions in regard to [control] of the Special Commission on Femicide and the Center for the Advancement of Women. Despite our efforts, these committees ended-up being chaired by the party in power" [the National Action

Party]...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Aug. 26, 2009

See also:

Ending Gender Violence in Mexico

…The March 2007 General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence seeks to end violence against women, while addressing what advocates consider its root cause: gender-inequity…

The General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence has been celebrated by many women's groups and lawmakers who say that its innovative features, which include the regulation and coordination of domestic violence shelters nationwide, mandatory gender reeducation for those who commit gender-based crimes, and a Gender Violence Alert System, modeled after natural-disaster alert mechanisms, will improve services for gender violence survivors and treat the root causes of the problem.

But, even some of the law's supporters worry about its implemen-tation, because it is designated as a general law, which means no federal or state resources have been allocated, and some critics, most notably the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, argue that the law could further divide the genders...

Press Institute For Women In The Developing World Newswire

Dec. 02, 2008


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Mexico, United States

The green line on the above map shows the child sex trafficking route from Navojoa to Imuris, in Sonora state, Mexico. The red route shows how U.S. pedophile men travel on U.S. Route 19 to the Mexican border, before continuing the short distance from Nogales to the child brothel located in Imuris.


Added: Sep. 08, 2009

Mexico

"Interesa" a PGR posible caso de prostitución infantil

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) está “interesada” en la posible existencia de una red de prostitución infantil que fue descubierta a través de una investigación que realizó Diario del Yaqui, al recibir una denuncia del caso por parte de los afectados, por lo que en breve se dijo se iniciará un proceso de indagación del hecho…

Federal Attorney General’s Office Expresses “Interest” in Possible Child Prostitution Case in Sonora

The Attorney General's of the Republic (PGR) is "interested" in the possible existence of a child prostitution ring that was discovered through an investigation conducted by the Diario del Yaqui newspaper in Sonora state. The PGR has received a complaint in regard to the case from the victims, and it has declared that it will soon begin its fact-finding process.

A spokesman for the PGR’s office in southern Sonora pointed out that although the Sonora State Attorney General has denied the existence of a sex trafficking network..., the PGR will conduct a separate investigation, as there is a [formal criminal] complaint, and given that agents of the Imuris Preventive Police and the Sonora State Investigative Police, as well as American citizens and also truck drivers are implicated…  

Oscar Felix

Diario del Yaqui

Aug. 17, 2009


Added: Sep. 08, 2009

Mexico

Sonora state Attorney General's offices

Niega PGJE que en Sonora exista red para prostituir infantes

Mientras que la Procuraduría General de Justicia en el Estado negó de la existencia de una red de prostitución infantil que opera en todo Sonora y que tiene su punto final en Imuris, la misma corporación se encuentra tras la localización de Yajaira Berenice Rentería Bonilla, de 23 años de edad, a quien se busca para ser interrogada con relación al rapto de dos menores...

State Attorney General’s Office Denies That a Child Prostitution Network Exists in Sonora

While the Attorney General of Sonora state (PGJE) denied the existence of a child prostitution ring operating throughout Sonora that has its endpoint the town of Imuris, they were at the same time searching for Yajaira Berenice Renteria Bonilla, 23, who is wanted for questioning in relation to the abduction of two children. [Renteria Bonilla was at-first arrested during a police raid on the child brothel in Imuris, and was then mysteriously released by authorities.]

PGJE spokesman José Larrinaga Talamantes said that Rosalía Rentería Silva, age 23, a resident of Loma de Guamuchil, filed a criminal complaint regarding the disappearance of her daughters, thereby initiating a preliminary investigation of child kidnapping, but not of child prostitution...

Larrinaga Talamantes denied any complicity and protection [of a sex trafficking network] by state police officers and agents of the [Imuris] preventive municipal police. He also denied that child abuse had occurred, and cited as proof the medical and psychological examinations conducted by the PGJE of kidnapping victims Stephanie Yucupicio Renteria, age 11, and Fatima Silva Renteria, age 8. The report, he says, states that neither sexual nor psychological abuse occurred...

Nonetheless, Diario del Yaqui has been informed by unofficial sources that the federal Office of the Attorney General (PGR), will launch an investigation into the child prostitution network in Sonora. This network was discovered through an investigation carried out by Diario del Yaqui. The case has alarmed citizens of Sonora, especially in regard to the fact that the customer’s of the brothel were truckers and men from the United States...

Full English Translation

Diario del Yaqui

Aug. 16, 2009

  Child sex trafficking suspect Yajaira Berenice Renteria Bonilla

Descubren En Sonora Red De Prostitución Infantil; Opera Desde Navojoa Hasta Imuris  

“Levantan” menores desde Navojoa a Imuris, donde todo hace indicar que la jefa de la organización delictiva cuenta con la complicidad y protección de agentes de las policías Estatal Investigadora y Preventiva Municipal, quienes como premio son los primeros en abusar sexualmente de las víctimas...

Child Prostitution Ring That Kidnapped Over 20 Indigenous Children is Discovered in Sonora Operating Between Navojoa and Imuris

Sonora state - Children are being kidnapped from the town of Navojoa and are then taken to the town of Imuris [near the Arizona U.S. border], where it appears that the woman ringleader of a child sex trafficking ring can count on the connivance and protection of state police and municipal preventive police officers in Imuris, who become the ‘first in line’ to sexually abuse the victims.

The child sex ring, which operates throughout the state, was discovered during an ongoing investigation into the disappearance of two girls, ages 8 and 11, originally from the Yaqui indigenous community of Loma de Guamuchil.

According to an investigation carried out by the Diario del Yaqui newspaper, after these police officers quench their base instincts with the children, the victims are prostituted in Imuris to the highest bidder. The customers include truckers, who are charged 3,000 Mexican pesos [$220], and U.S. men, who are charged $1,500.

[Yajaira Berenice Renteria Bonilla, the kidnapping suspect] had previously taken over 20 girls to [the home of a Madame named Doña Tere in Imuris].

[The suspect's 15-year-old brother told police] that the house where the girls were being kept was also visited by officers of the municipal police and the PEI (State Investigative Police) stationed in [the town of] Imuris, and that they apparently sexually abuse the victims before anyone else was allowed to, as a reward for the protection they give to Doña Tere.

Upon learning of these facts, the PEI commander in the town of Esperanza, Julian Rafael Hernández Gómez, spoke to the PEI commander in Imuris, who immediately conducted a raid to rescue more than 10 girls, including Estefanía Yucupicio Rentería and Fátima Rentería Silva. Five people were arrested on charges related to child prostitution.

Some hours after the rescue, authorities contacted the police station in Imuris to confirm whether Estefanía Yucupicio Rentería, age 11, and Fátima Rentería Silva were actually rescued in the raid.

In circumstances that are suspicious, the Imuris police reported that the two missing girls had been released into the hands of suspect Yajaira Berenice Rentería, who was released from custody...

Full English Translation

Oscar Felix

Diario del Yaqui

Aug. 15, 2009

See also:

See also:

LibertadLatina

Commentary

The recently discovered child sex trafficking case in Mexico's Sonora state, involving the kidnapping of over 20 children from unsuspecting families, highlights several major problems that plague the effort to end modern human slavery in the 'Aztec Nation,' as TV network news services like to call Mexico.

Because indigenous peoples continue to be treated largely as less than second class citizens and peons, they are not typically taken seriously when facing the crisis of having had a child kidnapped from them.

Indigenous children have been kidnapped from across Mexico with impunity. Some three to four thousand of them are currently enslaved as 'geishas' - forced prostitutes, in Japan. Many others have been taken to Spain and other western European countries, where they are sold to brothel owners for up to $25,000 each because they are viewed as 'exotic' merchandise.

The fact that one of the kidnappers in this case is an indigenous woman, Yajaira Berenice Renteria Bonilla, ads a different twist to the typical modus operandi of Mexican sex trafficking gangs, who typically involve non-indigenous Mexicans, Japanese Yakuza and Russian Mob members in the dirty work of enslaving underage indigenous Mexican girls.

The fact that Sonora state prosecutors responded with denials after the investigation by the Diario del Yaqui newspaper, that lead to the discovery of this child sex trafficking network, is disconcerting. However, that is also a common response to crimes of impunity across Mexico. We are encouraged that the Attorney General of the Republic has expressed interest in the case, despite their past lack of follow-through on cases of severe violations of women's rights.

Another aspect of this case that is common across thousands of other similar crimes is the fact that criminals target underage girls, especially those who are indigenous, from rural, interior regions of Mexico for kidnapping into prostitution along Mexico's northern and southern borders.

The involvement of state and local police officers, who are alleged to have been the first to rape each of these kidnapped children, is also part of a pattern that has been seen across Mexico. In some cases, police officers are themselves the pimps.

In one example of that type of behavior that has been seen within the U.S., a Latina U.S. Health and Human Services Administration contractor and medical doctor who provided condoms to victims of the San Diego, California child rape camps, alleged in a widely publicized 2003 article in the Mexico City daily newspaper El Universal that U.S. immigration agents entered some of the 25 suburban house-based child brothels set-up by the infamous Salazar Brothers trafficking gang in northern San Diego County, and exchanged protection of the criminal gang for access to rape the enslaved children in these brothels. At least one victim in the San Diego case was 7-years-old.

It has been reported by anti-trafficking activists for over a decade that thousands of men from the U.S. cross the Mexican Border each day to have sex with children who are forced into prostitution. Despite modernized U.S. laws that criminalize child sex tourism perpetrated by U.S. citizens, we have seen no evidence whatsoever that federal law enforcement have targeted pedophiles who victimize the thousands of children and underage youth who are literally chained to beds in brothels in Tijuana, Nogales, Imuris, Ciudad Juarez, Matamoros, Tapachula, Acapulco and Cancun.

We request that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama step up to the plate and take aggressive action to curb the mass sexual victimization of Mexican children by U.S. sex tourists along the U.S. / Mexican border.

We also request that the U.S. Government, the United Nations, international human rights agencies and the anti-trafficking movement take a serious look at the dynamics of anti-indigenous exploitation, including the mass kidnappings of underage indigenous girls to be sold wholesale into sexual slavery across Mexico, in the United States, and in Europe and Japan.

To date, this most severely affected victim community has not been given a visible seat at the table in the movement to stop modern human sex and labor slavery.

There just is no excuse for this situation!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 08, 2009


Added: Sep. 08, 2009

Utah, USA

Jorge Gutierrez-Ortiz

Man Arrested in Alleged Bathroom Sex Assault on 7-Year-Old Boy

West Valley City police have arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a young boy in a Burger King bathroom.

The 7-year-old boy was assaulted on Aug. 15 by a man allegedly waiting in the bathroom at the restaurant, located at 5600 West and 3500 South. He was with his mother and sibling when he left to use the restroom, then came back out and told his mother about the attack, police said.

Officers searched nearby businesses for clear surveillance video of the man, and released it Thursday. Dozens of tips came in, and police arrested 44-year-old Jorge D. Gutierrez of West Valley City later the same day, said Lt. Bill Merritt. He was booked on suspicion of child kidnapping and sodomy on a child.A search of court records did not show a criminal history for Gutierrez.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Sep. 04, 2009


Added: Sep. 08, 2009

Pennsylvania, USA

Man Accused of Raping Boy, 17

Emigdio Asencio, 48, is in Bucks County Prison after the incident at Bucks Landing Apartments.

"That's him," the boy said, crying. "That's him."

The 17-year-old was in tears as he identified the 48-year-old man he was accusing of raping him at the Bucks Landing Apartments in Warminster, according to court records.

Police arrested Emigdio Asencio, who lives at the apartment complex…

Asencio was sent to Bucks County Prison on 10 percent of $1 million bail. He remained incarcerated Thursday, according to a prison official. Immigration authorities have placed a detainer on Asencio, meaning there are suspicions he is in the United States illegally…

Asencio made "sexual overtures" toward the teen and then exposed himself to the boy, court papers said.

The man made the boy touch him sexually, then became more aggressive, pinning the teen's arms behind his back and forcing him toward another building, said records.

The two ended up inside an apartment where Asencio held the boy down on a bed and raped him, according to an affidavit of probable cause…

A nurse at Abington Memorial Hospital examined the alleged victim. She determined he had injuries consistent with being raped…

Christopher Ruvo

Bucks County Courier Times

Aug. 28, 2009


Added: Sep. 08, 2009

Nevada, USA

Pastor Arrested on Lewdness Charges

A local pastor was arrested last week in Las Vegas on multiple counts of lewdness with a minor and open and gross lewdness charges, Las Vegas police said.

Ladislao "Constantino " Morales, 56, was arrested Tuesday. He was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two charges of lewdness with a minor under 14 and four counts of open and gross lewdness.

Morales is a pastor of the local "Centro Evangelistico Alfa y Omega" church. It is unknown who the victim was or whether they attended the church.

He is being held on $24,000 bond.

Maggie Lillis

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Aug. 31, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Oregon, USA

Wilcox Farms Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Suit for $260,000, Other Relief

Federal Agency Says Latina Employee Forced to Quit to Escape Abusive Supervisor

Portland - Wilcox Farms, which operates dairy and egg production facilities in Oregon and Washington, will pay $260,000 and provide remedial relief to settle a federal sexual harassment and retaliation suit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that a male supervisor repeatedly grabbed, sought to forcibly undress and propositioned Wilcox Farms employee Diana Dominguez at its Aurora, Ore., facility. According to the federal agency’s investigation, the harassment continued over many months despite Dominguez’s complaints to management, to the point where she began to fear for her physical safety. The EEOC found that Wilcox retaliated against Dominguez for reporting the harassment by isolating her from co-workers, forcing her to continue to work with the harasser and pressuring her to resign. Dominguez ultimately was forced to quit out of fear for her safety...

Under the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, Wilcox Farms denied any wrongdoing but will pay Dominguez $260,000. The company also agreed to adopt and to distribute to all employees a sexual harassment policy written in both English and Spanish; make its complaint procedures more convenient for employees to report harassment and retaliation; conduct sexual harassment training in English and Spanish for all managers, supervisors and employees; and to provide various reports to the EEOC over a three-year period.

Dominguez said, “This job was important to me, but I had to leave it to feel safe. I am thankful to the EEOC, Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services for protecting my right to be safe at work. And I am glad that the company will make changes so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to other workers.” ...

U.S. EEOC

Aug. 20, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

California, USA

Hometown Buffet, Inc. Agrees to Settle Sexual Harassment Suit With EEOC

EEOC Says Women Subjected to Groping and Sexual Advances by Male Managers

San Diego - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a class litigation settlement against Hometown Buffet, Inc., on behalf of teens and Latinas who were subjected to a sexually hostile workplace, including verbal and physical abuse, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Specifically, the EEOC alleged that Hometown Buffet failed to prevent and tolerated a pattern of ongoing sexual harassment in which male managers, supervisors, and co-workers subjected female employees to a sexually hostile workplace, including groping, hugging, kissing, sexual advances, and stalking employees outside the workplace. One female victim was allegedly raped by a male co-worker. The EEOC further alleged that due to the female employees’ young age and/or lack of English proficiency, a breakdown in the company’s complaint process failed to adequately remedy the sexual harassment.

In addition to a monetary settlement of $710,000, the two-year consent decree resolving the matter will also ensure the implementation of measures to prevent and remedy sexual harassment at the company’s El Cajon location...

U.S. EEOC

Aug. 03, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Florida USA

Mother, Son Accused of Human Trafficking

Manatee County - A mother and son are facing charges after investigators said they were involved with a human trafficking organization.

According to reports, Lazara Moreira-Penin, 53, and her son, Erisbel Artiles, 31, helped smuggle a 30-year-old Guatemalan man into Bradenton, and then held him captive when his family couldn't pay a "transportation fee."

A family member of the victim, who lives in Bradenton, contacted law enforcement. Officers from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation started investigating the case.

On Saturday, officers found the victim. He is expected to be OK.

Moreira-Penin and Artiles, both residents of Miami, were arrested. They are facing charges of extortion and financial benefit from forced labor service.

Moreira-Penin was being held at Manatee County Jail. She has since posted bond of $12,500. Artiles was incarcerated in Miami.

Central Florida News 13 / Bay News 9

Sep. 06, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Texas, USA

Texas Enacts Law to Aid Human-Trafficking Victims

Texas has become the first state in the nation to provide assistance to domestic human-trafficking victims with a landmark law that Governor Rick Perry signed into law in August.

The law establishes a statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force in the attorney general's office, creates a human-trafficking training component for law-enforcement officers, starts a program to connect services to trafficking victims and begins a grant program for groups that provide assistance to domestic trafficking victims.

Among faith groups that helped shepherd the bipartisan bill through the Lone Star State's legislature was the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. Human-trafficking victims account for 74 percent of the sex-trade market, according to statistics provided by the commission.

"Most people think human trafficking happens elsewhere in places like Thailand and Cambodia, but the reality is that it is happening in our own backyard," said Republican state representative Randy Weber of Pearland, who authored the legislation, which was also sponsored by Democratic senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio.

"In fact, the vast majority of the victims identified within Texas are actually our own citizens," said Weber.

Republican governor Perry, in signing the bill August 24, said, "The task force created by this bill will focus state efforts on ending this criminal activity that primarily targets women and children."

ABP

Christian Century

Sep. 22, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Oklahoma, USA

Melvin Urbina

Suspect in Oklahoma City Rape is a Registered Sex Offender

Officials say a man wanted in connection with the rape of an 11-year-old girl at a wedding anniversary celebration in Oklahoma City is a high-risk registered sex offender and illegal immigrant.

Oklahoma City police say 33-year-old Melvin Urbina is a suspect in the July 25th, 2009 rape at the Imperial Restaurant Banquet Hall.

According to court records, Urbina was convicted of sexual assault in Tarrant County, Texas, in 1999, and was required to register as a lifetime sex offender.

Finding no evidence that Urbina had registered as a sex offender in Oklahoma, officials charged him in federal court Aug. 19 with failing to register.

Police say Urbina has relatives in Mexico and Honduras and suspect he has fled Oklahoma.

The Associated Press

Sept. 2, 2009

See also:

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...

Robert Medly and Johnny Johnson

www.NewsOK.com

July 28, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Utah, USA

13-Year-Old Female Comes Forward with Allegation of Rape

Logan police say a 13-year-old female adolescent came forward last week to report she was the victim of a sex crime.

Jose Rios Jimenez, 24 of Logan, is behind bars at the Cache County Sheriff’s Complex after being charged with first-degree felony rape of a child.

Logan Police Capt. Jeff Curtis said Jimenez and the girl were alone in an apartment when the situation between the two escalated. The alleged victim in the case was visiting a girlfriend and planned to stay the night, police say.

“Because of the age of the young lady, she is unable to consent,” said Curtis.

The alleged victim told police the incident took place Aug. 26. She and her parents reported it to police just days later. Investigators issued an arrest warrant for Jimenez and located him Thursday... ...He was arrested.

Jail staff said Friday that bail for Jimenez is set at $20,000.

Utah court records show Jimenez was arrested in 2007 on burglary charges and earlier this year for multiple counts of theft and vehicle burglary.

A Utah legal statute defines the rape of a child as sexual intercourse with a child who is younger than 14. The offense is “punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 25 years and which may be for life,” the code reads.

Matthew K. Jensen

Sep. 05, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

South Dakota, USA

Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Rape, Drugs

A Sioux Falls man who authorities say took a 15-year-old girl to a party house for a weekend of drugs and sex last February has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The defense attorney for 25-year-old Benjamin Dejesus Cruz says Cruz believed the girl to be 18 years old. Circuit Judge Peter Lieberman told Cruz that his drug use and the drawn-out nature of his relationship with the girl went against the notion that the crimes were a simple mistake.

Cruz was arrested for methamphetamine possession after his release on bond for the rape charge.

The Associated Press

Sep. 04, 2009


Added: Sep. 07, 2009

Massachusetts, USA

Rape Victim, 66, Identifies Assailant in Allston, Police Say

It was recycling day in Allston last Thursday and the 66-year-old woman got up early to collect cans she planned to return for cash.

At around 5:30, a slight, clean-shaven man she had seen in the neighborhood before rode up to her on his scooter and told her of a place nearby where she could find more cans, prosecutors said yesterday. Instead, he lured her to an alley near Gardner Street and Harvard Avenue, where he suddenly turned on her, beating her about the head and face, and then raping her, according to law enforcement officials.

Yesterday morning, one week later and almost at the same time the assault took place, the victim led police to her alleged attacker. The suspect was walking just a few blocks from where police said she was raped.

The woman identified Jose Sariano Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Allston man, as her attacker and police ran after him. Gonzalez tried to get away, police said, but the officers arrested him after wrestling with him.

A Brighton District Court judge ordered that he be held on $250,000 cash bail. He pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, assault and battery on a person over 60, and resisting arrest, said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Little was known yesterday about Gonzalez, who is from El Salvador and lives close to where the alleged assault took place...

Gonzalez was ordered to surrender his passport, Wark said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ordered Gonzalez detained so they can determine whether he should be deported. It was unclear yesterday whether Gonzalez was in the country legally.

Even if he posts bail, Gonzalez would still be held by federal officials, Wark said...

Gonzalez was also charged with receiving stolen property after police found him with a stolen credit card belonging to another woman, Wark said. That charge does not appear to be related to the case, he said.

Maria Cramer

The Boston Globe

Sep. 4, 2009


Added: Sep. 04, 2009

Mexico

Protest signs proclaim "Freedom for Political Prisoners" at May, 2009 commemoration of Atenco

El Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y organizaciones sociales realizaron una manifestacion conmemorando el tercer aniversario de la represión en San Salvador Atenco.

The Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land and social organizations of Mexico held a demonstration in commemoration of the third anniversary of the police repression in San Salvador Atenco.

Three years after the violence, a number of protesters remain in state prison in cases related to the Atenco protests.

Photo: Prometeo Lucero / LatinPhoto

Protest wall: "47 women... In Mexico there is torture!"

Van por Policías Torturadores

Después de tres años, la PGR concluye que 30 funcionarios son responsables de los hechos de San Salvador Atenco

La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) concluyó que existen elementos de prueba para acusar y detener a 30 servidores públicos del gobierno del Estado de México involucrados en los hechos violentos de San Salvador Atenco, del 3 y 4 de mayo de 2006...

Federal Prosecutors Will Charge 30 Rogue Police Officers / Torturers of 47 Women Protesters in Atenco Case

Three years after the fact, Mexico’s federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) has concluded that 30 public servants of the government of the state of Mexico were involved in the violent events in the city of San Salvador Atenco on May 3rd and 4th of 2006.

In the near future the PGR will ask a federal judge to issue arrest warrants for those who are presumed to be responsible for the acts of torture and sexual crimes that were perpetrated against a number of women who were in the state of Mexico during a security crackdown.

High-level sources in the PGR have stated that the case is being managed by the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA). After three years of investigation, FEVIMTRA is basing its charges on eye witness testimony, the work of experts and other sources of evidence.

The PGR investigation found that federal law enforcement agents [who participated in the police action] were not involved in the violations of individual rights and against the physical integrity of victims that occurred...

Sources within the PGR said that it has been determined that acts of torture with sexist connotations… serious acts of violation of women's rights, did take place.

The case has been documented and examined by experts. Foreign victims from Chile, Germany and Spain will be allowed to join in the complaint.

One Spanish victim provided testimony to investigators that ultimately proved essential to support the charges against the 30 accused state government employees.

During the research process investigators focused on the 47 women who were injured by the security forces, mainly on May 4th, 2006. Some of them had since changed there place of residence for fear of reprisals...

The Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) had ordered, in regard to this matter, the formation of a commission to investigate the case of Atenco, to see which authorities had violated individual rights during the operations in question, and to restore public order in that area of the country.

The Court indicated that the crime of torture is classified as serious, and therefore the suspects would not be permitted to remain free on bail.

Full English Translation

Excélsior

Lemic Madrid

Sep. 02, 2009

LibertadLatina

Commentary

According to unnamed internal PGR sources, the Attorney General of Republic (PGR) and the office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) within the PGR will, finally, take action and prosecute those believed to be responsible for the sexual assaults of 26 of the 47 women arrested at the May 3rd and 4th, 2006 protest march in San Salvador de Atenco. That is good news, on its face.

The above story, appearing on Sep. 2, 2009 in Mexico's Excélsior newspaper, leaves the reader with the impression that the upcoming prosecutions of 30 state police agents in the case is the result of three years of continuous diligent investigation by the PGR and FEVIMTRA.

We note with interest that this announcement was published three days after the August 31st resignation of Guadalupe Morfin Otero as the special prosecutor in charge of FEVIMTRA.

In reality, numerous women's rights groups have repeatedly criticized FEVIMTRA for having dropped the ball by not having investigated the case of Atenco. Other cases, such as that against Puebla state police agents for the torture of anti-child sex trafficking activist and journalist Lydia Cacho, were also ignored, and the extensive investigatory work on Cacho's case performed by FEVIM, the predecessor office to FEVIMTRA, just happened to 'disappear' once Morfin Otero took charge from special prosecutor Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte in January of 2008.

The following account communicates well the sense of frustration that the women victims of rape at Atenco and their advocates felt during the long period when Morfin Otero's FEVIMTRA refused to engage them and seek justice on their behalf.

Note: Eleven of the original 26 victims of sexual violence filed criminal complaints seeking justice against their aggressors.

Petition of 11 Women from Atenco, Victims of Torture

...On April 29

[2008], female ex-prisoners of Atenco protested outside the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes Related to Violence Against Women [FEVIMTRA] to announce their petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the sexual torture they suffered while detained. The IACHR is considered an option of last resort, when citizens are unable to obtain justice through their own countries' legal systems.

The women and their supporters protested outside the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes Related to Violence Against Women to make clear that they were forced to seek justice in an international body because of the Special Prosecutor's failure to act on their cases. Sufficient evidence exists to indict the police who tortured them, but the state has failed to do so.

The women report having tried "many, many times" to schedule a meeting with the Special Prosecutor. Mariana de las Selvas has been out of prison for three months. In that time, she's tried on three separate occasions to meet with the Special Prosecutor, but the office always ignored her requests. It wasn't until the women filed their petition with the IACHR and held a protest and press conference outside the Special Prosecutor's office to denounce its inaction did the Special Prosecutor insist on meeting with the ex-prisoners.

The women agreed to the meeting, and entered with a single question for the Special Prosecutor: What has the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes Related to Violence Against Women done in the past two years to punish the police responsible for torture in Atenco?

Representatives from the Special Prosecutor's office spoke for thirty minutes in response to the question, effectively saying that they had done nothing. Selvas reports that they gave "every excuse under the sun" for why they hadn't met with the ex-prisoners or prosecuted the police for torture, sexual abuse, and rape...

Kristin Bricker

May 6, 2008

We can only surmise that the administration of National Action Party (PAN) President Felipe Calderón is receiving substantial pressure internationally and within Mexico to repair this most glaring blot on the moral reputation of the nation. Whatever the cause of the PGR's major policy shift on this case, President Calderón's adminis-tration must be closely monitored to assure that justice is actually done for the victims of the violence at Atenco.

Based on past experience, we have little reason to trust that those responsible for rapes and other serious crimes against women will actually face impartial judicial proceedings in relation to their cases, resulting in the punishment that those who are guilty deserve.

The whole world is watching!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 04, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police Rape and Physically Assault 26 of the 47 Women Arrested During Street Protests in San Salvador Atenco in May of 2006


Added: Sep. 04, 2009

California, USA

Human Trafficking Bill Passes Assembly

Sacramento – The State Assembly yesterday unanimously approved legislation that would allow courts to seize any property, such as house or automobile, used in the commission of human trafficking. In addition to the courts seizing property, SB 557 would add civil penalties of up to $25,000.

"SB 557 will bring much-needed resources to help fight human trafficking, while also ensuring victims receive the services they need to recover from this horrific crime," said the bill´s author, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). "Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year and enslaved for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, and unfortunately many of the cases occur here in California. Our state has led the way in combating human trafficking and exploitation, but we should not stop our efforts until all women, men, and children are free and safe from such an appalling offense." ...

The US Department of Justice recently announced that in the first 21 months of operation, the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) recorded information on more than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking.

According to the Justice Department, nearly 90 percent of victims in human trafficking cases were female and almost all (99%) victims in sex trafficking cases were female.

Hispanic victims comprised the largest share (37 percent) of alleged sex trafficking victims and more than half (56 percent) of alleged labor trafficking victims. Asians made up 10 percent of alleged sex trafficking victims, compared to 31 percent of labor trafficking victims. Approximately two-thirds of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents were age 17 or younger (27 percent) or age 18 to 24 (38 percent). Sex trafficking victims tended to be younger (71 percent were under age 25) and labor trafficking victims tended to be older (almost 70 percent were age 25 or older).

Nearly eight in 10 human trafficking suspects were male. US citizens accounted for 66 percent of suspects in alleged incidents.

SB 557 will receive a procedural concurrence vote in the Senate before heading to the Governor's desk.

California Chronicle

Sep. 02, 2009


Added: Sep. 04, 2009

Oregon, USA

Store security camera image of suspect

Police seek help identifying Clackamas sex abuse suspect

Clackamas - Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who sexually abused a 6-year-old girl shopping in a Clackamas-area store Tuesday.

The girl suffered no physical injuries in the incident.

Detective Jim Strovink, sheriff's spokesman, said a woman was shopping at the Nordstrom Rack store on Southeast Sunnyside Road shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, accompanied by her son and daughter. The woman noticed a man who seemed to be near her children when they visited different areas of the store, but didn't say anything.

When they reached the shoe aisle, around 7:50 p.m., a man followed. He then began masturbating and rubbing against the girl.

Strovink said store surveillance cameras showed that the man had contact with the girl about a half-dozen times. Each time, he faced away from the girl's mother and carried a piece of clothing to conceal his abdomen.

After leaving the store, the girl told her mother what had happened, saying the man kept winking at her during contact. The woman then reported the incident to the store's security staff.

The man is described as 40- to 50-years-old, about 5-foot-6, 200 pounds, with short black hair. He was last seen wearing a blue-and-white striped short-sleeved shirt, a dark blue baseball cap with the letter "B" in front and a pair of shoes with an alligator logo -- possibly Izod brand...

Rick Bella

The Oregonian

Sep. 03, 2009


Added: Sep. 04, 2009

Georgia, USA

Jose Hernandez-Ruiz

Teen's Text Message Helps Halt Attack

Gwinnett County - A Gwinnett County man was in jail Thursday without bond, accused of attacking a teenage girl. Authorities said the attack could have been much worse had the girl not sent a text message to one of her friends asking for help.

Jose Hernandez-Ruiz was charged with sexual battery, kidnapping. The victim in the case is 16-years-old.

Investigators said during the attack, the victim was able to send a text message to a friend asking for help. The victim said her friends responded and were able to put a stop to the attack.

Hernandez-Ruiz was arrested and taken to the Gwinnett County jail. Hernandez-Ruiz was also held for federal immigration purposes.

Edited by Leigha Baugham

Fox News Atlanta

Sep. 03, 2009


Added: Sep. 04, 2009

Connecticut, USA

Police artist's rendering of abduction suspect

Police: Man Tried To Pull Girl Into Car

14-Year-Old Was Walking To Bus Stop, Police Say

Stamford, Conn. -- A man attempted to abduct a 14-year-old girl who was walking to her bus stop Thursday morning, police said.

Stamford police said the girl was walking to her bus stop on Atlantic Street near Woodland Avenue at about 6:30 a.m.

The girl told police that a small blue car pulled up to the curb and the driver leaned across the passenger seat and asked for directions to Interstate 95. When the girl approached the car, police said the man opened the passenger door and grabbed her by the shirt and back pack and tried to pull her into the car.

Police said the girl slid out of the backpack and ran into a nearby deli.

The man is described as being Hispanic, possibly from Columbia based on his accent. He appears to be in his mid 20s with a slim build and short, spikey hair. Police said he was wearing a white shirt and black shorts. The shorts were splattered with paint and painting equipment was in the car.

WFSB News

Sep. 03 / 04, 2009


Added: Sep. 03, 2009

Mexico

Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons - Maria Guadalupe Morfin

Photo: ElLaMira.net

Guadalupe Morfín Otero… ¡¿Quiere Pasarse De La PGR A La CNDH?!

La titular de la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), María Guadalupe Morfín, renunció a su cargo, debido a que buscará presidir la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos…

Maria Guadalupe Morfin… Now She Wants to Transfer from Her Role as Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons, to become head of the National Human Rights Commission

Maria Guadalupe Morfin, Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), in the Attorney General's Office (PGR), has resigned her position in that office to seek to become the head of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

To some analysts, there is clear intent by the current administration, headed by the National Action Party (PAN) President Felipe Calderón, to place a chairperson in the human rights commission who is loyal to his administration and to his party. According to this logic, the president can then provide cover for his administration from the one agency that gives [a highly visible] voice to complaints about the federal government’s human rights abuses.

That is to say, the change in leadership will lead to fewer political embarrass-ments [for Calderón].

Note that Morfin assumed the leadership of FEVIMTRA on January 31, 2008, following the resignation of special prosecutor Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte, who was investigated by the attorney general’s office, and who in her official capacity appeared to advocate for activist/journalist Lydia Cacho, who was arrested in 2005, an advocacy that [Pérez Duarte] was barred from…

Armando Sanchez

www.ElLaMira.net

Sep. 01, 2009

LibertadLatina note:

The above Sep. 1, 2009 news article from En la Mira (In Focus) alleges that former special prosecutor Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte left her post in late 2007 due to an investigation by the Attorney General's office into her support for anti-child trafficking activist and journalist Lydia Cacho. This is the first allegation of this type that we have seen in regard to Pérez Duarte.

It is clear to us, from a review of the timeline of events and from Pérez Duarte's statements at the time, that she resigned from FEVIM (the predecessor to FEVIMTRA) in reaction to the brazen ruling by Mexico's Supreme Court that declared that Lydia Cacho's basic rights were not violated when Puebla state governor Mario Marin, in conspiracy with millionaire and alleged child sex trafficker Kamel Nacif, had Lydia Cacho arrested, tortured and threatened with rape in retaliation for Cacho's use of Kamel's name in her exposé, Demons of Eden.

This new allegation appears to be an attempt to diminish the powerful charges that Pérez Duarte has leveled against the Attorney General's office, that [consistent with the misogynist policies of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) administration] they actively suppressed FEVIM from prosecuting several high-profile cases of the use of official impunity to violate women's basic human rights.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 03, 2009


Two critiques of FEVIMTRA under the leadership of PAN party activist Guadalupe Morfin

Mujeres de Atenco, Tortura Sexual e Impunidad

México DF - El Estado mexicano violó sus garantías individuales. Fueron agredidas con golpes en todo el cuerpo, despojadas de su ropa, violentadas sexualmente, mordidas, pellizcadas… les cubrieron el rostro, les introdujeron dedos y objetos anal y vaginalmente, las violaron, las humillaron, las insultaron, las amenazaron de muerte y finalmente se les negó la asistencia ginecológica para que no pudieran demostrar la tortura sexual…

Women of Atenco, sexual torture and Impunity

Mexico City - The Mexican government violated their individual rights. They were beaten and stripped of their clothing. They were sexually violated, bitten and pinched. Their faces were covered while police officers inserted their fingers and foreign objects into them anally and vaginally. They were raped, humiliated, insulted and subjected to death threats. At the end of it all, they were refused gynecological assistance, to make it impossible to prove that these sexual tortures took place...

Can the democratic Mexican state ever find itself guilty? Never. There are no legal instruments, nor protocols, and much less a political will to do justice for women victims of the sexual torture that occurred in Atenco.

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 Morfin. Morfin is the head of the Special Prosecutor’s office for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA). Morfin has been unwilling to take on the Atenco case 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 Protocol.

The women of Atenco, in the meantime, continue to resist. They offer us an invaluable lesson on integrity and social commitment.

CIMAC Noticias

May 11, 2009

and...

Mexico

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

Excerpt:

First Anniversary of the Resignation of Alicia Elena Perez Duarte

December, 2008 marks the one year anniversary of the resignation in protest of Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte, the federal Attorney General's Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women (FEVIM). Pérez Duarte left her post after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation voted against recognizing the persecution of Lydia Cacho as having constituted an act that violated her 'fundamental guarantees' [of freedom].

Although Cacho filed a formal complaint of torture [while in state police detention] before a FEVIM panel chaired by Pérez Duarte, at this point in time, three years later [after FEVIM was transformed into FEVIMTRA under the leadership of special prosecutor Guadalupe Morfin], 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 police agents from Puebla state who tortured Cacho...

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 18, 2008


Added: Sep. 03, 2009

Mexico

Detectan en México 47 bandas de trata de personas

Operan sobre todo en el DF, Guerrero y otros 15 estados

México, DF - En México existen 47 grupos de delincuencia organizada dedicados a la explotación sexual y laboral de personas, según el Informe  de la Iniciativa para el Estado de Derecho de la Asociación de la Barra de Estados Unidos, que incluyen datos hasta marzo del 2009...

Forty Seven Human Trafficking Networks Identified in Mexico

They operate mainly in Mexico City, Guerrero and 15 other states

Mexico City - In Mexico there are 47 organized criminal groups engaged in sexual and labor exploitation of people, according to the Report of the Initiative for the rule of law of the American Bar Association (ABA), which include data through March of 2009.

According to the report of the "Tool for the Study of the Conditions of Human Trafficking in Mexico 2009", these groups operate mostly in the Federal District and 17 other entities of the Republic, including the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero , Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas and Jalisco. The United States and countries in Central America are also bases of operation for this networks.

Reflecting statistics developed by international and national bodies working on human trafficking issues, the report states that in Mexico the number of victims of this crime could reach 500,000 people.

The report notes just in the state of Guerrero, the Attorney-General for Special Investigations into Organized Crime (SIEDO) has detected 14 organized crime gangs that engage in child prostitution and trafficking.

"Public officials estimate that there are 47 Mexican organized crime groups involved in human trafficking in the country," says the report.

Maria Guadalupe Morfin Otero, who until August 31st, 2009 was the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA), refused to comment [on the report], because she considered that the subject was outside of the scope of the responsibilities of FEVIMTRA… 

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

Sept. 2, 2009


Added: Sep. 01, 2009

California, USA

Allison Jacobs, left, and Lisa Campbell of the University of California Berkeley Police Department

Photo: CNN

Officers Who Cracked Missing Girl Case: Something Wasn't Right

Call it mother's intuition. Call it a police officer's intuition. But Allison Jacobs knew something was wrong.

The University of California, Berkeley, police officer was sitting in on a meeting with a man named Phillip Garrido, who wanted to hold an event on campus, and Lisa Campbell, special events manager for the university police. Garrido brought along two young girls, introducing them as his daughters.

Jacobs' and Campbell's intuition, authorities said, led to the arrest of Garrido, a registered sex offender who along with his wife, Nancy, now faces 29 felony charges in connection with the 1991 kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, who was then 11. Both have pleaded not guilty...

"He was clearly animated, he was very passionate, he was full of life about the things he wanted to talk about," Campbell said. "The girls sort of were recessed in the background. And they were young. It was one o'clock in the afternoon. They weren't in school. They were pretty much unresponsive emotionally, extremely pale ... there was just something about the girls that wasn't right."

She thought the encounter was strange enough to run a background check on Garrido, which revealed that he was on parole after a rape conviction and was a registered sex offender...

Jacobs called Garrido's parole officer to tell him about the meeting. "And he stopped me dead in my tracks," she said. "And he said, 'He doesn't have daughters.' And that's when my heart kind of sunk down into my stomach...

"The parole agent called me on my way home from work," Jacobs said Friday. "And he was all excited ... and he said that ... he was involved with a kidnapping case and ... because I called it in, it helped solve this FBI case that was 18 years old."

"We're never going to forget this day," she said. "And I'm glad that Jaycee is safe and working on her road to recovery..."

CNN

Aug. 31, 2009

See also:

Phillip Garrido Has A Troubled History, His Father Says

The father of Phillip Garrido, suspected of kidnapping an 11-year-old South Lake Tahoe girl 18 years ago, said today his son had a long history of drug use and mental problems.

"They are treating him like he knew what he was doing, but he didn’t know what he was doing," Manuel Garrido, 88, said in a telephone interview from his home in Brentwood in Northern California. "The man is out of it. He is a sick man. He should be treated that way. He should be punished but he should be treated like a crazy person." ...

Los Angeles Times

Aug. 28, 2009

 
     

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News / Noticias

 

    


Updated: June 13, 2010


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LibertadLatina

Analysis of the political actions and policies of Mexico's National Action Party (PAN) in regard to their detrimental impact on women's basic human rights



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Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Honduras

Venden niñas por edades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

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

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

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

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

WNEP-TV

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

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

Oralia Ortega

KTSM

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 5

June 11, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

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

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

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

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

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

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

WNDU

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the thrash

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

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

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

A custodian later found the baby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

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

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

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

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

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kye Parsons

WBOC

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWBT

June 10, 2010


Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

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

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

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

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

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

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

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

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

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

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

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

CBS 8

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

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

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

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

Gothamist

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coloradan.com

June 07, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Mexico

A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

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

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

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

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

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

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

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

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

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

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

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

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing problem

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Zapor

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

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

Salvadoran immigrant sentenced to prison for pursuing 13-year-old Virginia girl

On May 26, Loudoun County Judge James Chamblin sentenced Hugo Antonio Callejas, 43, to seven years in prison for soliciting a 13-year-old Leesburg girl for sex. Callejas originally approached the girl at a lemonade stand she set up on Memorial Day 2009, trying to raise money for the Relay for Life charity.

Callejas, who was found guilty in January, was working in the girl’s neighborhood and visited the lemonade stand three times in one day. During his last visit, he gave the girl his phone number and told her she was beautiful.

The girl’s friend, told her parents, who called the police.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s investigator, Shannon Cumberledge, then called Callejas, pretending to be the 13-year-old girl.

She and Callejas had 11 conversations over a two-day period. Some of the recorded calls were played during his trial.

Callejas could be heard saying: “You’re beautiful, and I love you.”

During other phone calls, he talked about kissing and touching the teenager, and how he would like to see her without any underwear.

Callejas said: “If you want to touch a lot, I’ll touch a lot. If you want to touch a little bit, I’ll touch you a little bit.”

The investigator agreed to meet Callejas at a community swimming pool. When he showed up, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies too him into custody.

Initially, Callejas denied the allegations, telling detectives that he only gave the teenager his number so that he could buy more cookies and lemonade from her. However, once confronted with the taped phone conversations, Callejas admitted to his actions.

Callejas came to this country from El Salvador, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. He is married with three children.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

Frederica, Deleware - Delaware State Police have charged a North Carolina man with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Gino Alfonso Laflora, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is facing several charges in connection to the alleged incident on May 16.

According to investigators, Laflora was visiting family in Kent County, Delaware when the assault occurred. The victim told police that the assault occurred near an open lot between Willow Drive and Maple Drive in Frederica.

The victim said she knew the suspect from a friend in the neighborhood. She said she was alone with Laflora in his car when the assault happened.

Laflora surrendered to authorities on June 3. He has been charged with Rape and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Laflora is being held on $52,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.

CBS 3

June 05, 2010


Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

An Eastern Oregon high school senior who planned to attend his own graduation today, instead is in jail, facing felony sexual assault charges.

The Bellingham Herald reports that 19-year-old Hernan Hernandez Vera was charged with first-degree sodomy, rape and sexual abuse.

The sexual assault was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by staff at Good Shepherd Hospital.

Deputies learned the victim had been assaulted earlier in the day in Irrigon and around 1 a.m. Wednesday tracked Vera down at his home.

Vera, an Irrigon High senior, was jailed on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Mexico

Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

Ciudad de México.- El país ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de páginas web de pornografía infantil, y tiende a incrementarse más de 5% la distribución de videos de imágenes de abuso a recién nacidos, afirmó la diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

La legisladora dijo que las denuncias telefónicas por delitos de pornografía infantil aumentaron 200% entre el 2008 y el 2009, y que otro problema radica en el uso de internet para la comercialización y funcionamiento de redes de trata de niños y niñas y de explotación sexual comercial...

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

Mexico City - Mexico occupies first place [globally] in access of child pornography by way of the Internet. The problem includes a [recent] 5% increase in the distribution of obscene photos of recently born babies, according to Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Orozco stated that phoned-in complaints about child pornography increased 200% between 2008 and 2009. She noted that another Internet-based aspect of the problem involves the fact that child sex trafficking networks in Mexico are using the Web to commercialize and operate their illicit businesses.

She warned that currently, no [anti-pornography] filters exist for cell phone users who browse the Web, which is concerning, given that 75.6 million cell phone users exist in Mexico, 29% of those have Internet access, and 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use those services.

In response to this problem, Deputy Orozco has presented a non-binding resolution calling upon the nation's state legislatures to reform their penal codes to include crimes that involve public and private telecommunications [networks].

Deputy Orozco also stated that the top criminal activities that take place on the Internet involve, in order of importance: 1) fraud; 2) threats; and 3) child pornography.

The Deputy concluded by noting that 11 million computers have Internet access in Mexico. Some 55% of them are installed in homes, which represents 3.5 computers for every 10 households. Thirty nine percent of the nation's 23 million computer-based Internet users are between the ages of 12 and 18.

El Manana

May 14, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Robles-Roman launch new public education campaign to end human trafficking

“Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking” Campaign Encourages New Yorkers To “See It. Know It. Report It.”

Press Release (excerpt)

New York City - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt today launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations. The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion. The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, in partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking...

“Human Trafficking is happening here, but we don’t know it because we don’t see it,” said Alice Ericsson, Executive Creative Director of Grey New York. “If we want New Yorkers to see the problem, we have to put it in plain view. And, in plain language. The silhouettes will tell the stories of human trafficking that can happen right here in our own town.” ...

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also help to disseminate information and materials to vulnerable communities in the city, and bring broader awareness about human trafficking and where to go for help. Outreach to community and faith- based organizations serving immigrants as well as ethnic media will reinforce these efforts...

If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911. If you would like more information about human trafficking or would like to learn about how you can help, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/ humantrafficking...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, [2010] Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son. He's in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010


Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

Bastrop - A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer was indicted by a Bastrop County grand jury on Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child.

During a TABC undercover investigation of alcohol sales in May 2009, 41-year-old Joe Chavez allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl hired to assist in the sting.

Investigators say that the incident took place in Chavez's state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting. He also reportedly texted explicit photos of himself to the teen a day before the operation.

He was arrested on Friday by investigators with the Office of the Attorney General.

Prior to being stationed in Bastrop, Chavez was a TABC officer in Waco from June 2004 to August 2005.

Chavez is charged with two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

June 01, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, of the New Alliance Party, speaks with reporters as she calls for the nation's current federal anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the federal level (it currently is limited to being enforced by states in most circumstances.

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

Entre 16 mil y 20 mil niños y niñas son víctimas de explotación sexual cada año en México, lo que convierte al país en la segunda nación que más víctimas de trata provee a Estados Unidos, superado únicamente por Tailandia, afirmó la diputada, Cora Pinedo Alonso, del Partido Nueva Alianza.

La también secretaria de la Mesa Directiva de la Cámara baja precisó que el municipio de Tapachula, Chiapas, es el lugar donde se realiza la mayor venta de mujeres, niñas y niños con fines de trata.

Muchos de esos menores son "redistribuidos" a los estados de Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa y el Distrito Federal, señaló con base a estudios de la organización internacional End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

Mexico is the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States

Between 16 and 20 thousand boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico each year. As a result, Mexico has become the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States, according to congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso of the New Alliance Party.

Pinedo Alonso, who is the secretary of the governing council in the Chamber of Deputies, also stated that Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state, is the largest center for the sale of women, girls and boys for purposes of human trafficking in the nation.

Many of child victims are "redistributed" to the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as to Mexico City. Pinedo Alonso based her statements on a research study conducted [in 2007] by the organization End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

In response to this situation, Pinedo Alonso has presented a non-binding resolution that has been submitted to the Second Permanent Commission of Congress (37 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies who conduct congressional business when Congress is not in session) for consideration. The resolution calls for the creation of stricter measures than now exist to investigate trafficking crimes and to punish those responsible.

The resolution calls upon the director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) to assign staff to supervise and evaluate anti-trafficking activities on Mexico's southern border, and specifically in the city of Tapachula, with reports on conditions there to be sent to Congress.

According the the ECPAT study, Central American adolescents, the majority of whom are minors, "are prostituted in 1, 552 bars and brothels in Chiapas, and also in other cities and towns along the nation's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize.]"

Pinedo Alonso added that in 50% of these cases, the victims are Guatemalans. [Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans are also victims]. The victims are usually between the ages of 8 and 14. "They are sold by traffickers [to brothels] for $200 dollars each," Pinedo Alonso denounced.

Joining in the call for action, Chiapas state governor Juan Sabines has asked for working groups to be created that coordinate the work of non-governmental organizations, state agencies, the Chiapas state Human Rights Commission and the state's office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking. The goal of the working groups would be to evaluate the effectiveness of policies implemented to fight human trafficking.

Governor Sabines also called for an analysis to be conducted to track actions taken in regard to cases of human trafficking that involve both Mexican and Central American girls, boys and adolescents, and to document the number of prosecutions pursued.

Governor Sabines: "We wish to express our indignation and complete repudiation of these criminal practices. We energetically condemn those public servants who, through acts of omission or commission, have been complicit in collaborating with human trafficking networks. We call upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to join forces [to combat these crimes]."

Cronica

May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

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

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

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

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It is the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

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

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

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

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

About the numbers used to discuss minors involved in sex trafficking in Mexico

We reiterate our belief that the official Mexican Government estimates in regard to the numbers of underage sexual exploitation victims is unbelievably low. The above article about child sex trafficking in the southern border city of Tapachula states that an estimated 10,000 underage victims are prostituted in that city alone.

As we noted in our March 1, 2010 essay - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way:

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for CSEC, with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely used.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

Víctimas del tráfico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas en América Latina

De esa cifra, más de 500 mil casos ocurren en México, señalan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

Saltillo, Coahuila state - Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, the director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American / Caribbean regional office, announced this past Monday that more than five million women and girls are currently victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During a forum on successful treatment approaches for trafficking victims held by the Women's Institute of Coahuila, Ulloa Ziaurriz stated that 500,000 of these cases exist in Mexico, where women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography and the illegal harvesting of human organs.

Ulloa Ziaurriz said that human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, a fact that has given rise to the existence of a very large number of trafficking networks who operate with the complicity of both [corrupt] government officials and business owners.

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010

Mexico

Presenta diputada Cora Pinedo Alonso iniciativa de ley para tipificar trata de personas como delito federal

MEXICO, D.F., - Palacio Legislativo 23 de Febrero de 2010./Notilegis.- La vicecoordinadora de Nueva Alianza, Cora Pinedo Alonso, propuso tipificar la trata de personas como un delito federal y modificar la denominación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, para elevarla a rango federal, ya que actualmente sólo puede ser aplicada por las autoridades federales bajo cuatro supuestos...

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso presents an initiate to require the national anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the fedeal level.

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, who is the vice-coordinator of the New Alliance Party in the Chamber of Deputies, has called for the nation's current anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, to be changed, to allow its enforcement at the federal level. Currently [states enforce the law]. Federal authorities may only enforce its provisions under four circumstances. First, if the human trafficking crime was committed outside of Mexico, federal action may be taken. Second, when the trafficking crime is perpetrated within Mexico, but is intended to have an impact outside of Mexico, federal agents may also act. Third, federal action may be taken when the criminal act falls within Article 50, Section I, Subsection 'b) a j)' of the Organic Law of the Power of Judicial Power of the Federation. Fourth, when the criminal act is a violation of the Federal Law Against Organized Criminal Delinquency.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso stated that currently, [the federal law differs significantly from the anti-trafficking laws enacted in the majority of states. Therefore, the federal law should be changed to allow for the uniform application of anti-trafficking law across the nation, and especially in regard to the application of criminal penalties.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso referred to the United Nations human trafficking study Human Trafficking: A Global Panorama. The study identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit nations and 137 destination nations in regard to victims of human trafficking. Mexico is ranked very high among the countries of origin listed in the report. Mexico is rate in 28th place among nations where traffickers entrap victims, and is in 5th among nations in Latin America.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative proposes to reform Article 73 of the Constitution, and will update Article 3 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. It has been referred to the Chamber's Commission on Constitutional Law for review.

Notilegis

Feb. 23, 2010

Note: Mexico's federal system does not impose federal legal jurisdiction on the federated entities (Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City) for federal criminal laws that are passed as 'general laws.' The Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking is a general law. - LL

Note: Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative has been superseded by a more recent proposal, submitted by the ruling National Action Party, to update the now ineffective Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. Earlier in 2010, Mexico's Interior Secretary, Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL


Added: June 1, 2010

Brazil

Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

Autoridades brasileñas informaron que organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de personas se instalaron en la región amazónica por donde decenas de haitianos ingresan al país tras el terremoto ocurrido en el país caribeño en enero.

"Coyotes braileños" (traficantes de inmigrantes) cobran 600 dólares por introducir a cada haitiano en el estado de Acre, indicaron fuentes de la Policía Federal.

"El destino preferido en Brasil es Assis Brasil (localidad fronteriza con Perú) desde donde continúan camino hacia otras regiones del país" dijo el comisario Flaveio Avelar, jefe de la delegación de Migraciones de la Policía Federal en Acre.

El número de inmigrantes haitianos llegados a Brasil se incrementó tras el terremoto que devastó a ese país en enero pasado y dejó más de 200 mil víctimas fatales.

La legislación brasileña establece que los inmigrantes sin papeles sean deportados a su país de origen, pero las autoridades decidieron hacer una excepción con los haitianos.

"Se trata de una cuestión humanitaria, ellos dejaron su país debido al terremoto y podrán permanecer en Brasil como refugiados" explicó el comisario Avelar, consultado por el diario Correio Braziliense.

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities have announced that human smuggling networks have established themselves in the Brazilian Amazon. These groups have smuggled dozens of Haitians into Brazil through the Assis Brazil area on the Peruvian border. Brazilian coyotes have charged Haitians $600 to bring Haitians to the Brazilian state of Acre, from which they travel to other regions of Brazil. The smuggling of Haitians has increased significantly since the January, 2010 earthquake.

Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as refugees,

"It is a humanitarian issue. They left Haiti due to the earthquake, and they may remain in Brazil as refugees," explained the federal immigration police's commissioner in the state of Acre, Flaveio Avelar.

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010


Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

Mexican officials arrest German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested a German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges.

Mexico's Public Safety Department says Dieter Erhard Fritzchen Stieleke was arrested while waiting to board a flight to Germany out of the resort city of Cancun.

The department says Stieleke was handed over to Interpol for extradition to Brazil. A statement released Wednesday gives no details on the human trafficking charges against Stieleke. He was arrested Sunday.

The German Embassy did not return phone calls seeking comment. The Brazilian Embassy declined to comment.

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina:

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

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

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

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

Atentamente,

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

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Valentina,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

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

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

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

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Tlapaneca Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra Tlapaneca Violada por Militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

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

Activists Demand an End to the Harassment of Indigenous Woman Who Was Raped by Soldiers

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010

Mexico

This is your war on drugs

...On 16th February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú was washing her clothes in a stream near her home in Caxitepec, Mexico, when six soldiers approached. Seemingly too busy for pleasantries, the men started barking questions at her: Who was she? Where was she from? Had she seen the people they were looking for? Did she recognize the names on the list they thrust in front of her?

Her answers weren’t good enough, so one soldier pulled a gun and threatened to shoot. Another punched her so hard that she passed out. When she came to, two men tore off her underwear and raped her, one after the other. She was sixteen years old.

It took several months for Valentina to find a doctor willing to treat her; her nearest hospital turned her away because they didn’t want any trouble from the military. The next nearest, which she walked for eight hours to reach, examined her but offered no medicine. Only after legal action was threatened did she finally receive the gynecological care she needed.

At the time of writing, no criminal prosecution has ever been brought against these men and no one has been formally disciplined by a military which has perpetually dragged its feet over investigations. Some 7 years later, she still hasn’t found justice.

This case is just one of many allegations of human rights abuses leveled at the Mexican military in pursuit of an expensive, bloody and failed war on drugs. As well as rape, the allegations include enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention and unlawful killing. And it’s all being bankrolled by the United States of America...

This is your war on drugs

August 13, 2009


Added: May. 30, 2010

Georgia, USA

Samuel Sanchez

Man Charged in Cherokee County Sex Assault

Cherokee County deputies say a Woodstock man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a mobile home and crawling into bed with a woman he didn’t know as she slept with her 1-year-old son.

Deputies say 22-year-old Samuel Sanchez broke into a mobile home off of Dupree Road in Woodstock on Friday morning. They say 19-year-old Bridget Gonzalez was asleep in her bed with her son when the suspect came into the room and got in bed with them. Then, he attempted to sexually assault her, investigators say.

Gonzalez told FOX 5 she thought the man was her boyfriend, but soon realized it was a stranger instead. She says she and her son don’t know Sanchez.

After Gonzalez realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend, she screamed and he ran out of the house. But, much to her surprise, she says he came back.

Sanchez was later picked up while walking along Dupree Road. They say when they spotted him, he began running, but deputies were able to catch up to him.

According to deputies, Sanchez told them he wanted to see someone he knows who lives at the home, so he just went inside.

Sanchez is charged with sexual battery, criminal attempt to rape, and burglary. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Fox 5 Atlanta

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Mexico

Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Niega Estado mexicano violación de Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Argumenta ante la CoIDH falta de “pruebas fehacientes”

San José, Costa Rica - Durante la audiencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) sobre el caso de Valentina Rosendo Cantú, el Estado mexicano insistió categóricamente que “no existen pruebas fehacientes de la presunta violación sexual”, por lo cual pidió a este tribunal internacional tome en cuenta este elemento a la hora de emitir su sentencia.

Si bien es cierto que la integración de la investigación de los hechos ocurridos el 16 de febrero de 2002 no se hizo de manera eficaz y eficiente, no se puede responsabilizar al Estado mexicano por tortura y tampoco por violar el derecho a la salud y al debido proceso de Valentina, así lo dijo Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)...

Después de esta audiencia, tanto la defensa de Valentina como el Estado mexicano deberán entregar sus alegatos finales por escrito, de acuerdo con la CoIDH el próximo 28 de junio y advirtió que no habrá prórroga.

Mexico’s government denies the fact of the rape of Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Mexican state argues that no compelling proof of the rape exists

San Jose, Costa Rica – During a hearing held by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in regard to the case of indigenous rape victim Valentina Rosendo Cantú, the Mexican State declared categorically that no compelling proof exists to show that the rape occurred. Mexico asked that the Court take this into consideration when deliberating their decision.

Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director of Democracy and Human Rights in the Secretary of External Relations (SRE), argued part of Mexico’s case before the Court. He declared that Mexico cannot be held responsible if the investigation into the events of February 16, 2002 was not efficient and effective, and that the State also cannot be held responsible for the torture and violation of the right to health and a lack of access to the proper [judicial] process.

Full English Translation to follow.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC

May 27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 29, 2010

Mexico

Raped with impunity - Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

...Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú are still waiting for justice. The two women, who belong to the Tlapaneca Indigenous community, were raped by members of the Mexican army in February and March 2002 respectively in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Inés Fernández Ortega, who speaks little Spanish, was reportedly raped on 22 March 2002. Soldiers entered her home to interrogate her about some meat they claimed had been stolen. When she did not answer their questions, they raped her. Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was approached on 16 February 2002 by soldiers near her home, who questioned her about the activities of some "hooded men" (a reference to armed opposition groups). When she replied that she did not know any, she was threatened and two of the soldiers raped her.

The Mexican authorities claim that both women have failed to co-operate with the military investigation. However, the fact that both cases remain under military jurisdiction places the women at serious risk of reprisals. The women are required to go into the barracks to ratify their complaints before the military prosecutor. There, they may face a real risk of intimidation.

The women have shown great courage in speaking out, demanding that their cases be transferred to the civilian authorities. Amnesty International supports their demands as the military justice system lacks the impartiality and independence to properly investigate such cases. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now investigating the Mexican government’s failure to ensure effective access to justice for both women.

Amnesty International

March 8, 2007


Added: May. 28, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Abel Moreno

Photo from: Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010

He Did the Right Thing; Now He Faces Deportation

Charlotte - Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble.

Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest.

Several things then happened. Five other women came forward to allege that the officer, identified as Marcus Jackson, now 26, had tried to molest them, too. Moreno was released after investigators debunked the resisting arrest charge. So was his girlfriend.

Jackson was fired and faces 11 counts of sexual battery, extortion and interfering with emergency communication. Police Chief Rodney Monroe admitted that Jackson should never have been hired in the first place because of previous charges related to a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend. The local 911 system is under review because Moreno’s call wasn’t acted upon.

And Abel Moreno now has a six-month deadline to show why he shouldn’t be deported, even though police acknowledge that his 911 call was crucial to their uncovering a dirty cop, and even though they agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested...

A judge granted Moreno a six-month deferment on his deportation because he is a witness in the criminal investigation. But that reprieve runs out in November.

Moreno’s attorney, Rob Heroy, said he was confident Moreno would eventually be granted a so-called U visa, which allows illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses in criminal investigations to stay in the country for up to four years. But only 10,000 such visas are available in any year, and while that process works its way through the system, Moreno remains in limbo.

“Now I’m unemployed,” Moreno said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “I don’t have any money, not even for rent, not even for my phone — anything. ... The truth is I’m scared.” ...

MSNBC

May 26, 2010

See also:

Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares

Guanabee.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

New York, USA

Rape Victim's Mother Arrives In U.S. To Claim Body

The mother of the Chinese immigrant who died after being brutally beaten and raped in a Queens alley arrived yesterday. The Daily News reports, "Sobbing inconsolably as she stepped off a plane at Newark Airport, the mother was too distraught to speak of her daughter, Yu Yao, 23, who was raped and fatally beaten in Queens by a pipe-wielding madman. Escorted through the airport terminal by relatives, the heartbroken mother collapsed into a chair and laid her head in a cousin's lap."

Yao, who had arrived in NYC two months ago on a student visa, was taken off life support on Friday, after being struck with a metal pipe and then sexually assaulted in Flushing on Sunday May 16. According to the Queens DA's office, she suffered a "fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to the vagina." While one witness's call to the police enabled the arrest of suspect Carlos Salazar Cruz, Assemblywoman Grace Meng said other people witnessed the attack but did not do anything.

NY1 reports that community activists held an anti-violence vigil at the attack site on 41st Road, urging residents to report violent acts. Community Prevention Alternatives' Martha Florez-Vazquez said, "I feel that it's important to send out a message to the community that it takes a village and that it's up to our neighbors to prevent crime.” One resident added, "I'm very concerned... no one should be beaten to death the way this young lady was."

Jen Chung

Gothamist

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Arizona, USA

Kyleigh Ann Sousa

Woman dragged by car during robbery dies

Tempe - A young woman who was run over and dragged by a car during a robbery in Tempe early Wednesday morning has died.

The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the area of Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue near the Arizona State University campus.

The victim has been identified as Kyleigh Ann Sousa, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. She died of her injuries Wednesday night.

According to police, a man approached Sousa outside of a hotel and grabbed her purse. He then tried to drive away.

Sousa held on to her purse. She was dragged by the suspect's car.

The suspect is described as a heavyset Hispanic man. The car he was driving is a newer model Chrysler 300.

Police and Sousa's parents are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect.

Anybody who has information about the incident should call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Catherine Holland

Fox 11

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Omar Shariff Cash

Cash guilty of murder and rape

Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal injection.

After hearing two weeks of testimony that one prosecutor likened to the musings of a horror writer, a Bucks County jury in Doylestown Thursday found Omar Shariff Cash guilty on all counts, including first- and second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft and other crimes...

The 43-year-old woman [victim] told the jury that Cash laughed as he forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, then turned up the volume on the car radio and swayed to hip-hop music after leaving her boyfriend, Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez, dead alongside a Bensalem exit ramp.

In the front row of the courtroom, the rape victim wept softly as the verdict was read. A native of Brazil who doesn't speak English, she listened to the verdict with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

Rosas-Gutierrez's family also had interpreters to help them understand the verdict. They passed around a box of tissues and cried as each "guilty" was announced...

Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case against Cash...

The prosecution said Cash was on the run from Philadelphia police when he carjacked the victims as they left Jalapeno Joes, a northeast Philadelphia nightclub round 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2008.

Cash forced Rosas-Gutierrez to drive into Bucks, and trained a gun on his head while he raped the woman in the back seat.

Cash told Rosas-Gutierrez to pull over on the Street Road exit ramp from northbound Route 1, the woman told the jury. While she screamed his name from one of the passenger seats, Rosas-Gutierrez was marched up a steep embankment by the killer and shot in the back of the head.

The woman testified that Cash raped her again at an abandoned office complex immediately after the slaying, and then brought her to the Comfort Inn in Lawrenceville, N.J., where the sexual assaults continued.

Unable to communicate with hotel staff, the woman finally made a break for it when Cash brought her back down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. Footage of her dashing through the lobby and vaulting a four-foot check-in counter was shown to the jury...

Furber called Rosas-Gutierrez and the woman "the perfect victims." He said that once Cash looked through their belongings and learned they were both illegal immigrants, he believed that they wouldn't be missed...

Laurie Mason Schroeder

Bucks County Courier Times

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Georgia, USA

Police: Lilburn Middle student hit with bleach-filled balloon

A 14-year-old Lilburn Middle School student was struck by a bleach-filled water balloon Wednesday afternoon, police said, sending him to the hospital with burns to both eyes and putting a traumatic damper on what have should been a joyous start to summer vacation.

Just after leaving his last day of school, the student was walking down the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley said.

A water balloon filled with bleach was thrown from a moving vehicle, Hedley said, striking him in the face at around 4:40 p.m.

“From time to time, especially on the last day of school, you see pranks, and maybe a water balloon is just having fun,” Hedley said. “But to see one that is filled with bleach is beyond comprehension ... A kid leaving school for the last day for what could have been a perfect summer, this is just crazy to me.”

The child was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center and was treated for severe trauma to his face and burns to both eyes. He has since been released and is “resting comfortably” at his mother’s Norcross home, Hedley said.

“He was in bad shape, but aware of his surroundings (during a visit Wednesday night),” Hedley said.

Witnesses have reported that the suspects were three Hispanic males driving a gray minivan with a black stripe down the lower portion of the vehicle...

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the van or the identity of the suspects is asked to call 770-921-2211.

Tyler Estep

The Gwinnett Daily Post

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Danny Mariel Suarez

Man accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old

WACO - A man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he sexually assaulted a child.

Officers reportedly began an investigation after they were notified in April that a 12-year-old girl had told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted.

After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple occasions.

Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at $250,000.

Louis Ojeda Jr.

KXXV

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police suspect 2 men tried to pull girl into car

The Hollister Police Department is searching for two men suspected of trying to force a 17-year-old Hollister girl into a car Wednesday night near the 1500 block of San Juan Road.

Just after 7 p.m., the teenager was walking to a relative's house near the Plaza 156 gas station before police allege that two men inside a black Volkswagen Bug pulled alongside the girl and grabbed her arm, trying to force her inside the car.

The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to police.

The girl wrestled of their grasp and took off running to her relative's house, police spokesman Sgt. David Westrick said. The car did not follow her.

"Once she was able to break free of the suspects, she ran and never looked back," Westrick said.

The girl didn't know in what direction the car took off after she had left, Westrick said.

The suspects are described as two Hispanic men in their 40s. The passenger wore a black hooded jacket and sunglasses. The girl had no other identifying information about the driver.

The Volkswagen Bug is described as an older model with a loud engine and rusted black paint.

The police department is still searching for more information, Westrick said.

"We are trying to get this handled as soon as possible," Westrick said. "We have as many detectives working on it as we can."

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Hollister Police Department at 630-4330. People who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTIP at (800) 58-CRIME.

Connor Ramey

Freelance News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA / Jamaica

Herbert Morrison

Illegal Immigrant a Suspect in Continuous Molestation of Santa Maria Girl Police say the child was victimized over nine years

In April, the Santa Maria Police Department began investigating the sexual-assault case involving a minor female. [Herbert] Morrison was arrested in May, but charges were not filed at that time because of insufficient evidence.

However, evidence gathered in recent weeks led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Morrison, who was being held in a federal detention facility in Los Angeles pending deportation for being in the country illegally after a previous deportation.

He was picked up at the detention facility, transferred back to Santa Maria and booked into jail.

He faces charges of continuous sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault, rape by force or duress, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

Bail was set at $500,000.

Police have not released how the suspect knew the victim.

Michelle Nelson

Noozhawk

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Undocumented immigrant can't bail out of jail, officials say

An undocumented immigrant and previously deported felon from Jamaica whose anticipated deportation has been put on hold because he is facing new criminal charges in Santa Barbara County, is not able to bail out of jail.

Herbert Morrison, 49, who had been living in Santa Maria, was picked up Tuesday from a federal detention facility in Los Angeles where he was being held pending deportation for being in the country illegally. He was arrested on suspicion of various charges including continual sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery and rape by force or duress, according to Santa Maria police.

Morrison was booked into county jail with bail set at $500,000.

However, Lt. Dan Ast said that Morrison is not able to bail out of jail because of an immigration hold, and he will eventually once again face deportation.

"If we allowed him to be deported without filing the charges, he could potentially re-enter the country at some later time after arriving back in Jamaica and continue to victimize people in this country," Ast said. "Or, he could stay in Jamaica and potentially victimize others there without ever facing justice."

The Lompoc Record

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child

Houston - An accused child predator was behind bars Tuesday, charged with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Al D. Checo lured the child into his green Dodge pickup while she was walking home from school in the 9300 block of Pagewood Ln. on Friday. He then drove her to his apartment nearby, forced her to watch pornographic images and tried to sexually assault her, but stopped short of the act.

"It could have been the first time for him to do something like this and he was testing the waters, could have been were something might have spooked him. We don't really don't know exactly yet," said Officer John Colburn with HPD's Juvenile Sex Crime Division.

Checo, 32, held the child at his apartment for several hours before dropping her off near where she was abducted, police said.

According to officials, Checo warned the child not to tell anyone what happened, but she went home and told her mother and was able to identify her abductor.

Checo is charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held Tuesday without bond.

KIAH

May 25, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

SFPD searching for girl, 12, reported missing

San Francisco police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a 12-year-old girl reported missing.

Police said Mireya Zapata was last seen Thursday morning when she went to school. At about 2:50 p.m., she sent a text message to her mother, saying she was at a bus stop and on her way home.

However, Zapata, who goes to school in the Sunset District and lives downtown, never showed up at her home, police said. The girl exchanged text messages with her mother over the next several hours, but did not text a secret code letting the mother know she was OK upon request, according to police.

At about 7 p.m., Zapata's mother received a text message reading, "Don't look for me no more," and when her mother asked why, the response read, "Just don't," police said.

Police spokesman Officer Boaz Mariles said Zapata does not have a history of running away and she is considered to be at risk. Police are actively searching for the girl and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police at (415) 553-1071.

"It's a continuous search, meaning there are officers assigned strictly to this,'' Mariles said.

Zapata is described as a light-skinned Hispanic girl, 5 feet 3 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black and white Nike shoes and had a white backpack.

BCN

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect faces string of sex assault charges

4 alleged victims range in age from 11 to 49

Luis Alberto Gonzales was armed with a BB gun when he targeted numerous Hispanic women and girls for sexual assaults on Indianapolis' Westside, prosecutors say.

But he didn't even bother to cover his face -- and that lack of a disguise enabled police to arrest Gonzales last weekend. One victim from months ago spotted him sleeping in his red truck in an apartment court off West 30th Street near Moller Road, according to court documents filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in media reports...

So far, he faces charges in connection with four victims ranging in age from 11 to 49. He is in the Marion County Jail with a combined bond set at $700,000.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said his office was still readying charges representing two more victims, including one younger than 18; police were investigating allegations by three others.

That could make for nine victims, with convictions bringing up to hundreds of years in prison.

"Mr. Gonzales has essentially been preying on Hispanic adults and children since at least January 2010," Brizzi said. "He was going back to the same area. It seems he was unafraid about being arrested or caught."

The lead charges on the four cases that have been filed are Class A felony child molesting of an 11-year-old girl; Class A felony rape of a 40-year-old woman; Class A felony criminal deviate conduct against a 49-year-old woman; and Class D felony sexual battery against a 23-year-old woman...

Jon Murray

IndyStar.com

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Nevada, USA

Joel Eliazar Ortega

Illegal immigrant sentenced in Reno rape of paralyzed woman

A life in prison term was imposed Wednesday upon a married father of one who dragged a paralyzed woman out of her wheelchair, raped her, and then left her lying nude in an alley.

The woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been in a shopping center Oct. 30 in the 3300 block of North McCarran Boulevard when Joel Eliazar Ortega, 30, led her behind a business and attacked her. Soon after, Reno police officers responding to a call that Ortega was battering his wife in their nearby apartment, recognized Ortega as fitting the description of the suspect. He was arrested after the victim identified him.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn described the crime as among the most ghastly sexual assaults he’s ever seen.

“She was dragged from her wheelchair, her clothes taken off, sexually assaulted and then left lying in an alley,” said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan. “I have listened to you carefully, and you said ‘things happen’ and you get in trouble based on your behavior and doctors say you can’t take care of your daughter.

“You are a danger,” Flanagan said. “...you are lucky there is only one life sentence I can impose in this case.”

In rendering a sentence of life against Ortega, Flannagan said he would be eligible for parole after serving at least 10 years in prison. Ortega is also an illegal immigrant who also must face immigration charges.

“You will be deported at the earliest opportunity and will never return to this country again, except lawfully,” Flanagan said.

Ortega had apologized for the crime and said “I need help.”

His public defender, John Malone, said Ortega has been receiving treatment at the state’s mental hospital for several years. He blamed the rape on Ortega not taking his psychiatric medicines and drinking alcohol.

Ortega pleaded guilty to the rape, and was also convicted of domestic violence, related to when police responded to his apartment after the assault.

The victim was not present in court, although her father was and said he was too emotional to speak about the incident.

Jaclyn O'Malley

RGJ.com

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 29, 2010

Virginia, USA

Arturo F. Lopez

Henrico judge sends rape charge to grand jury

A woman testified at a preliminary hearing in a Henrico County court today that her foster son sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her and her husband.

Arturo F. Lopez, 18, had been living with a foster family in the Interstate 64-Staples Mill Road area since sometime late last year, according to Henrico police. He was charged with rape in the April 9 incident and appeared at a preliminary hearing in General District Court this morning.

At the hearing, the judge certified the rape charge to a grand jury, which will hear the case on July 12. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Lopez came to the Richmond area sometime last year. His attorney said he was a homeless immigrant from Mexico and has no family in the U.S. Lopez was placed in the home by the Richmond Department of Social Services, because Spanish is spoken in the home.

Bill Mckelway

The Richmond Times Dispatch

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Pennsylvania

Officer Jose Manuel Santiago

Photo

Pennsylvania Cop Charged With Sex Offenses

A southeastern Pennsylvania police officer is charged with hundreds of sex-offense counts including rape, incest, statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Chester County prosecutors say 54-year-old Kennett Square police Officer Jose Manuel Santiago was arrested Thursday at his home in Newark, Del.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan says Santiago had sexual encounters with three juveniles under the age of 14 between 1991 and 2000.

Borough officials say Santiago joined the department in 1998. He had been on disability leave since December 2008 and is now suspended without pay.

Santiago is in New Castle County prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. His phone number is unlisted and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

MyFoxPhilly

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Alleged rapists' victims afraid to tell

Indianapolis - Prosecutors expect to file more charges against a man suspected of molesting and raping as many as nine women and girls on the northwest side. Police say 27-year old Luis Gonzales was a serial rapist - preying solely on Hispanic victims for at least five months.

Police say investigating this case was challenging. They didn't begin to put the pieces together until an 11-year-old girl reported being assaulted in May. But the first known attack occurred five months before that.

It was a January evening at about 10:00 at the La Joya apartments on the northwest side of Indianapolis. A 23-year-old woman walked into her building carrying bags and her baby. She says an attacker waited - pretending to be talking on his cell phone. After she went in the building, she says he grabbed and groped her in the stairwell.

An affidavit states she was holding her baby tightly during the attack, and the infant began to cry. At that point her attacker ran away.

But no police report was filed. Detectives believe for the next five months, Luis Gonzales terrorized, molested, and raped as many as nine Hispanic women and girls in west side apartment complexes. The youngest known victim is 11-years old.

Asked why the public wasn't made aware of a serial rapist, IMPD officer Lt. Jeff Duhamell responded, "The lack of reporting from some of our victims, and probably the language barrier and maybe some of them were afraid to come forward because they may be in our country illegally."

Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi believes there are likely more victims out there, and at a press conference on Thursday, he had a clear message to victims.

"There is absolutely no threat of immigration and customs enforcement, ICE, of us reporting that documentation status as a result of reporting a crime," Brizzi said.

Luis Gonzales has ties to Indianapolis. The probable cause affidavit states he graduated from Lawrence North High School and has lived in the city for six years. He's being held on a $100,000 bond, and has declined our request for an interview.

WISH TV

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Teen Assaulted In Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande, CA -- Police arrested a parolee who allegedly assaulted a teen yesterday afternoon. This happened at about 4:30 in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School. Authorities received several reports by phone that a girl was thrown to the ground near the hospital. Many later calls told officers that within minutes several witnesses chased the suspect, 23-year-old Fernando Frias, and cornered him in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle.

Meanwhile, according to the Tribune, officers found the 17-year-old victim, near the Fair Oaks bridge with injuries to her head and face. They arrested Frias who is currently on parole. Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.

King Harris

KVEC

May 27. 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Oregon, USA

Ismael Recinos-Velasquez

Reward Offered for Sex Assault Suspect

Crime Stoppers and the Washington County Sheriff's office are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wante for sexual assault. Investigators say Ismael Recinos-Velasquez, who may also go by Jose Perez-Perez, or the name 'Carlos', sexually abused his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter and another 12-year old girl.

A warrant was issued for Recinos-Velasquez's arrest on May 13th. He's wanted on charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, along with numerous other charges.

Recinos-Velasquez is 5' 3" tall and 140 pounds. If you see him, call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-4357, go online to crimestoppers oforegon.com, or text message to 823HELP.

Chris Brown

KXL

May 27, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police seek man accused of the assault and attempted kidnap of his ex-girlfriend

Pasadena - Police are searching for a 53-year-old man who allegedly beat and tried to kidnap his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:07 p.m. a 45-year-old female Hispanic, of Temple City, was waiting at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Lake Avenue when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and began striking her, Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ said.

The victim suffered minor bruising to her face and arms and also complained of back pain, he said.

After a struggle, the man dragged her through a nearby parking lot and attempted to force her into his 2000 Honda Odyssey, but he fled on foot after several passersby came to her assistance, Russ said.

The man is described as a 5-foot-6-inch male Hispanic weighing 186 pounds.

The Pasadena Star News

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Wanted for Inappropriate Conduct

Midland Police are trying to track down a man who has a problem keeping his hands to himself.

A suspect is wanted for inappropriate conduct.

The man in question is Hispanic, who apparently goes around touching women in stores.

He reportedly rubs or bumps into them, making it seem like an accident.

If this has happened to you in an offensive manner or if you have any information, call Midland Police or CrimeStoppers at 649-TIPS.

NewsWest 9

May 28, 2010


Added: May. 28, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 20 - May 26

Excerpt

May 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape, the sale of marijuana, domestic violence, and possession of a controlled substance. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape with threat in the state of California, assault with intent to cause serious injury/sexual abuse in the state of New York, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 22, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for fondling, and lewd and lascivious acts against a child in the state of Florida. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 21, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts with a child / false imprisonment with violence in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 20, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for aggravated child molestation and felony sodomy in the state of Georgia. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 27, 2010

Illinoid, USA

Jennifer Hurtado

11-Year-Old Girl Missing With 22-Year-Old Paramour

An 11-year-old girl is missing from her Brighton Park neighborhood home, and police say she may have disappeared with a much-older man she calls her boyfriend.

Jennifer Hurtado is missing... She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with the word "Shields" in purple lettering.

She was also wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old "paramour" Jose "Carlos" Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4 feet 8 inches tall, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact the Chicago Police Wentworth Area Special Victims Unit, at (312) 747-8385.

CBS

May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 26, 2010

Illinois, USA / Mexico

Police seek girl, 11, who vanished from Southwest Side with man

A missing persons alert has been issued for an 11-year-old girl who has gone missing from the Southwest Side and may be heading to Mexico or North Carolina with her 22-year-old boyfriend, police said.

Jennifer Hurtado, 11, is missing... according to release from police News Affairs. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with purple lettering that said, “Shields” that was worn over a black t-shirt.

She was wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old boyfriend Jose “Carlos” Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4-foot-8, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact Wentworth Area detectives are (312) 747-8385.

The Chicago Sun TImes

May 26, 2010 0


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

40th Washington Conference on the Americas

Remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Council of the Americas was pleased to hold its 40th Washington Conference on the Americas. For 40 years, the Washington Conference on the Americas has been honored to host presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state, U.S. cabinet officials, ministers from the region, and congressional leaders...

As the opening speaker at the 40th Annual Washington Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the primacy of hemispheric issues on the Obama administration’s agenda. She... stressed three priority areas for cooperation between the United States and Latin America: trade and energy partnerships, public security, and inequality and immigration...

[An] area of concern stressed by the secretary was public security... She referred to the “barbarism” of organized crime syndicates, comment[ed] on Washington’s support for Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative, but also urged for “smarter, more effective strategies.”

...Clinton referred to the twin issues of inequity and immigration. “We don’t have the poorest people in the world in Latin America, with the exception of Haiti, but we have the most inequity,” said the secretary. “Therefore we need to have a partnership between the public and private sector to address this.” In particular, she spoke of the need to increase tax revenues in the region. “We can take a lot of joy in the positive GDP growth, but income disparity continues to grow,” she said, noting it is “a source of social and political instability” that feeds criminal activity. “We have to do a better job.” ...

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

One of [U.S. Labor Secretary] Secretary Solis’ main concerns is the 12.5 percent unemployment rate among the Latino population. Latinos-who Solis termed the “new entrepreneurs”-are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and will account for over 25 percent of the population by 2050. This population, however, accounted for only 5 percent of the 3.6 million STEM (science, technology, education, and math) jobs in 2008. Solis and the Department of Labor are focusing on creating more of these jobs for Latinos as STEM fields are the future of innovation and competitiveness.

Latino workforce development also extends to training workers in the renewable energy sector and to breaking down the barriers between employers and employees.

The Department of Labor has launched a multilingual help line as a resource for workers that have been unfairly treated on the job and is focusing on bringing to light “good business practices” that help to prevent on-the-job injuries. Just recently Secretary Solis and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhán signed a declaration reaffirming their joint commitment to work collaboratively on informing Mexican workers about their labor rights. She hopes to extend this type of agreement to El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries...

Prepared by Jason Marczak and Carin Zissis

Americas Society

May 12, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza

OAS Secretary General Takes Office for Second Term

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today... [took] office for his second term at a special session of the Permanent Council...

Reelected by acclamation for the period 2010-2015 in an election held March 24, Insulza described in a speech this morning delivered in the Hall of the Americas the main goals for his new term, reiterating the convictions that will guide his leadership...

Among the successes of his first term, the top OAS official mentioned the effective role of the Organization in nearly a dozen political crises in the continent, as well as the observation of more than fifty electoral processes, asserting that “nobody can in good faith affirm that the OAS in these years has failed in having, in all of these events, a conciliatory and unifying attitude.” In this context, Insulza renewed his commitment to what he called “the three basic pillars of OAS activity: democracy and human rights, integral development and multidimensional security, and the aspects most relevant to the people of the continent.”

With respect to the new five-year period that now begins, Secretary General Insulza reiterated his wish to have “a genuinely multilateral OAS, built by all of us jointly on the basis of common principles,” and he traced five lines of work for his new mandate: to develop a broad, modern and inclusive multilateralism; to increase support for democratic governance by promoting areas such as respect for the rule of law and institutions; to improve the balance between the tasks of democracy building and those of promoting integral development; to continue prioritizing subjects relative to public security, drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, arms trafficking and human trafficking; to give greater momentum to the subject of gender at the OAS...

Organization of American States

May 24, 201


Added: May. 26, 2010

Paraguay

The triple frontier region, where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a major child and adult sex trafficking marketplace with many  thousands of victims.

Todos los casos deben ser remitidos a Asuncion para su investigacion

Impunidad hace florecer el trafico de personas en las Tres Fronteras

El tráfico de personas en la zona de las Tres Fronteras sigue siendo un negocio floreciente debido a la impunidad reinante. En el sistema judicial del Alto Paraná no existen datos de que algún caso haya sido elevado a juicio, buscando castigar a los culpables de este delito. El Ministerio Público se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los hechos denunciados sobre la trata de personas. Ever Ovelar, fiscal adjunto.

Varios son los esquemas que operan en la zona para el tráfico de personas. Casi siempre integran el sistema las agencias de viaje que camuflan el envío de jóvenes a otros países como excursionistas. En el décimo departamento no existe una unidad fiscal especializada en el tema, pese a que los casos aumentan considerablemente. Los antecedentes algunas veces son remitidos a la unidad especializada en el tema a cargo de la fiscal Teresa Martínez, de Asunción. La fiscal estuvo en esta zona y dijo que al menos tres agencias de turismo locales están en la mira por vincularse supuestamente al tráfico de personas.

No quiso dar el nombre de las firmas para no entorpecer las investigaciones que casi no han avanzado en los últimos 30 días. En Ciudad del Este y Presidente Franco son donde más abundan personas que reclutan a jóvenes especialmente para llevarlos a otros países, de preferencia europeos siendo las mujeres las preferidas. Varias de ellas son obligadas a prostituirse y son mantenidas en régimen de esclavitud, mientras otros deben trabajar en viviendas en régimen inhumano.

El silencio de las víctimas y sus familiares contribuyen a que los traficantes sigan operando normalmente en esta región fronteriza. Pero la inacción de los organismos públicos contribuyen más para que se de esta situación. El Minis-terio Público de Ciudad del Este se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los casos de trata de personas, pues al menos son 20 carpetas fiscales las que nunca fueron investigadas. No existen antecedentes en el Poder Judicial de la zona de que algún caso haya sido llevado a juicio oral y público...

All human trafficking cases should be referred to federal agencies in the capital city of Asuncion

Impunity allows human trafficking to flourish in the triple frontier (Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) region.

(English Translation to follow)

Diario Vanguardia

May 26, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

US Fights Human Slavery in Major Cities

People from Latin America, Asia trafficked to the US for sex, labor

In almost every major city in the United States, advocates say victims of human slavery are exploited everyday.

"Human trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States," says Bradley Myles of the Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking.

According to Myles, some of the victims are forced to work in the homes of the wealthy and at restaurants. Many others, especially women, are forced into prostitution.

"We know from our very own eyes that it's happening. We're not kind of hearing it third hand. We've been inside those places. We work with those women."

The Polaris Project operates a human trafficking hotline. Calls come in from around the country.

"So we're getting calls from Texas. We're getting calls from California. We're getting calls from New York, Florida and DC is one of those top five cities where we're getting calls," says Myles.

Deborah Sigmund, founder of the advocacy group, Innocents at Risk, says most of the victims of human trafficking come from economically depressed countries and are lured to the U.S. with promises of a better life.

"They want to think that they can come to America and have a great job so it's very easy to fool them," she says.

According to the experts, some of the victims are forced to sell sex from brothels disguised as massage parlors.

Tim Whittman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is an expert on human trafficking in the U.S.

"The number one foreign country is Mexico," says Tim Whittman, an expert on human trafficking with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Approximately 20 percent of our cases involve victims from Mexico."

The nation's capital is not immune to the problem. In Washington, the Polaris Project sees sex trafficking victims who are U.S. citizens, and women from South Korea, China and Latin America.

A study by The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center finds nearly 83 percent of suspected human trafficking incidents involve sex trafficking. Advocates say other types of human slavery include people being forced to work as domestic servants and in agriculture. The FBI says the smugglers often threaten their victims and make it difficult for them to pay off their debts...

Elizabeth Lee

Voice of America News

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Sexual assault suspect may be linked to 7 attacks

Indianapolis - Police have arrested a suspect in the sexual assault of a young girl.

Luis Gonzales, 27, was taken into custody Saturday evening after an IMPD officer found him sleeping in a pick-up truck on Hillsboro Drive. A woman told police she recognized Gonzales from an incident a month or two ago when he attempted to fondle her. The woman told her father, who called police.

Police say Gonzales sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at her west side apartment complex on May 13. Investigators identified the suspect in that assault as a Hispanic male, who left the scene in a red Nissan pick-up truck, like the one Gonzales was in when police apprehended him Saturday.

Metro police detectives say Gonzales is a prime suspect in at least two confirmed assault cases. He was found in possession of a BB gun described in the other attacks, as well as other possible evidence belonging to his victims. He is being held on felony charges of child molesting and criminal confinement.

Monday, police described Gonzales as a dangerous predator, saying he may be linked to as many as seven attacks on girls.

"He is almost like an addict. He has to have sex all the time," said IMPD Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

One of the other attacks happened to a 13-year-old girl in the Covered Bridge Apartments on Georgetown Road. The victim remained reluctant to even report the attack until IMPD Officer Candi Perry, a Spanish translator for the department, intervened. That's when the 11-year-old girl in the May 13 attack came forward, too.

"Right now, we definitely have him on admitting two child molestation cases," said Lt. Duhamell.

Sex crime detectives suspect Gonzales in a May 7 sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman. The attack happened at the West Lake Apartments near Rockville Road.

WTHR

May 24, 2010


Added: May. 26, 2010

Georgia, USA

Man gets 35 years for sexually assaulting child

A DeKalb man will spend the next 35 years in prison after being convicted of raping and infecting a child with a sexually transmitted disease.

Omar Luna-Fraide, 22, of Doraville, was convicted Wednesday on one count of rape; two counts of child molestation; two counts of aggravated child molestation; and one count of false imprisonment, said Orzy Theus, spokesman for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Fraide was accused of assaulting the child on multiple days in 2009, Theus said. He also infected the child with a sexually transmitted disease, Theus said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala, The United States

Esperanza Arreaga, age 62, lost two small daughters and 14 other family members when they were murdered by Guatemalan soldiers in the massacre of Las Dos Erres.

In this picture, Arreaga looks at the remains of massacre victims uncovered by forensic archeologists.

Photo: Larry Kaplow - GlobalPost

Ramiro Cristales, then age 5, witnessed Guatemalan special forces soldiers murder his family and rape and murder the 10 and 12-year-old girls from his village of Las Dos Erres, in 1982.

From a video statement by Ramiro Cristales, and a collage of photos, by GlobalPost.

Ramiro Cristales, after he was abducted at age 5 by the Guatemalan soldiers who murdered his family

U.S. rounds up Guatemalans accused of war crimes

Washington - U.S. federal agents are today closing in on four former Guatemalan soldiers accused of taking part in a 1982 massacre, which one law enforcement official called "the most shocking modern-day war crime American authorities have ever investigated."

One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location. One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.

The massacre in Las Dos Erres, where a total of 251 men, women and children were killed, is widely considered one of the darkest chapters of Guatemala's 36-year civil war that claimed some 200,000 lives, and in which the U.S. military played a shadowy role.

One month after allegedly raping young girls and women during the massacre, one of the men under investigation, Pedro Pimentel Rios, began work as an instructor at the School of the Americas, the Pentagon-run training school for Latin American militaries, then located in Panama...

Because the alleged crimes occurred before the passage of war crimes laws in the United States, prosecutors are not legally permitted to charge the men under any of those laws. This limitation in U.S. law has long frustrated federal prosecutors, who have only... been able to denaturalize and deport even suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States.

U.S. officials began their investigation after the Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided last year that Guatemala's 1996 amnesty agreement does not apply to serious human rights violations, including the massacre at Las Dos Erres. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice who monitor cases involving foreign-born human rights abusers decided to see if any of the accused killers were living in the United States...

U.S. involvement

Human rights groups have long criticized the involvement of the American government and military in Guatemala. The Las Dos Erres case reveals several connections between the two countries.

The U.S. government knew the Guatemalan army was probably responsible for the massacre at Las Dos Erres, yet the School of the Americas began to welcome new instructors and students from the army only days after the killings...

In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had introduced a ban on cooperating with the Guatemalan military. But President Ronald Reagan lifted the ban and the School of the Americas began admitting Guatemalan soldiers, including Rios, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre...

Just as the massacres were intensifying, Reagan re-established military and political cooperation with the Guatemalan government. Reagan saw [Guatemalan president Efrain] Rios Montt as a useful ally against leftist guerrillas and maintained friendly relations in the face of evidence that Rios Montt's government was responsible for increasing numbers of civilian massacres. (In July 1982, Amnesty International published a report listing more than 50 massacres of non-combatant civilians by the military.)

On Dec. 4, 1982, when the massacres in the Guatemalan countryside were fully under way, Reagan met with Rios Montt. Reagan publicly described Rios Montt as "a man of great personal integrity…[who] wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice." Reagan said that Rios Montt had received a "bum rap" from human rights groups.

It was an inauspicious day to make such a show of support. On the same day Reagan spoke, the 17 members of the Kaibiles [counter-insurgency rangers] squad arrived at a military base near Las Dos Erres. On Dec. 7, the massacre started. Over the following two days, the men are alleged to have killed 251 residents of Las Dos Erres. "Everything that moved had to be killed," one of the soldiers later wrote in a sworn statement.

Last month archaeologists began exhuming the mass grave and DNA testing is now underway to confirm the identities of those killed.

"I lost everything"

The Kaibiles tortured the men first. They then began throwing children alive into the village well. Women were shot or beaten to death with a sledgehammer and then thrown in. Men were then shot and dumped on top. One of the Kaibiles abducted a 5-year-old boy [Ramiro Cristales]. Another boy escaped. They may be the only surviving witnesses...

Matt McAllester

Minnpost.com

May 06, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

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

The genocide suffered by the indigenous Mayan majority population of Guatemala during the 1980s took place with the complicity of the U.S. Government, especially during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Some 200,000 innocent civilians, including 50,000 women, were murdered by government military forces during the civil conflict. The nation's Supreme Court has officially declared that 200,000 orphans resulted from the war.

While the International Court in the Hague and other international judicial bodies have aggressively prosecuted, or at least charged suspects in the genocidal mass murders in Bosnia, Sudan and other equally notorious circumstances, the largest act of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the modern history of the Americas, which was carried out by pro-U.S. government forces during the Guatemalan Civil War, has until recently been off limits to effective prosecution.

We thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for laying the legal groundwork for permitting renewed judicial action in regard to important cases such as that of the Las Dos Erres Massacre. Many other massacres and individual murders have yet to be investigated.

In all, some 440 Mayan villages, located mostly in Guatemala's northwestern highlands region, were completely destroyed by Guatemalan soldiers during a brutal scorched earth campaign of ethnic cleansing that hid behind a cloak of supposedly justifiable cold war counter insurgency.

Guatemala's military was supported in this endeavor with military strategy, training and equipment supplied by the United States, Argentina and Israel.

The perpetrators of mass murder in Guatemala thought that they would have a lifetime of protection in regard to their crimes, because past conservative U.S. presidential administrations lead them to believe that was the case. Thanks to the changing political and legal landscape in the Americas, serious prosecutions of these criminals may, finally, occur.

In the early and mid 1980s I and many other activists in Washington, DC and across the Americas worked hard to publish and broadcast news about the ongoing massacres of innocents in Guatemala. We also protested in front of Congress and organized to do everything we could to save the lives of Guatemalans from the murderous hands of these cruel perpetrators.

Today in 2010, Guatemala's postwar culture has the highest rate of 'femicide' murders in all of the Americas. Thousands of women have been murdered during the past several years with almost total impunity. The rate of femicide murders, (which are crimes that typically include acts of rape, torture, mutilation and dismemberment -echoing the behavior of military forces during the civil war), is ten times higher than the rate of gender-based murders in Mexico's infamous Ciudad Juarez..

These femicides, and Guatemala's inability to investigate the rape/ torture killings of so many women and girls, as well as that nation's serious problems with mass sex trafficking currently, are all direct outgrowths of the impunity that the world community ALLOWED to exist in Guatemala during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Effectively, these crimes were never prosecuted because past conservative U.S. administrations were  both passively and actively complicit, and the world community of nations simply stood silently by and watched these horrific events unfold with impunity.

A nexus with the anti-trafficking movement

During the early 2000's, I joined the anti human trafficking listserv (email-based private forum) of Dr. Donna Hughes, who was then, and is today, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hughes is one of the original pioneers of the modern U.S. movement against human trafficking, and she deserves all of the honors that she has received over the years for those important efforts.

Dr. Hughes' listserv, which was made up of many notable names in the anti-slavery movement across the globe, including names that many followers of the movement today would recognize, totaled about 400 members. Simultaneous to her work with this listserv, Dr. Hughes was also writing for the conservative National Review Online.

The majority of U.S. listserv participants were conservative women. I educated that online community of professionals and activists about the dynamics of the Latin American crisis in human trafficking at a time when few were aware of the issues.

As part of that work, I discussed the mass rapes and murders of innocent Mayan indigenous women and girls (among others) during the Guatemalan Civil War (almost all Mayan women and girls of any age, among other victims, were targeted for rape by soldiers and civilian paramilitary guards during the war). I also discussed Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu, who fled into the jungle to avoid becoming another victim of a government massacre. Several of Dr. Menchu's relatives died at the hands of soldiers.

Conservative members of the listserv became so infuriated with my simple and truthful educational postings that several of them quit the listserv. Dr. Hughes told me by phone, almost apologetically, that she had to ban me from participating to prevent her conservative followers from leaving.

In an earlier email conversation, Dr. Hughes had rationalized the human rights abuses in Guatemala by stating that some victims supported communist insurgency.

What Mayans actually supported was building a future for themselves that was free from the 500 years of peonage (slavery) that Spanish descendants had subjected them to.

During this online debate, an anti-trafficking activist from the Salvation Army wrote-in to emphasize that the group was not denying the events that took place in Guatemala (although only she expressed that view, not the other listserv members).

U.S. Conservatives had long supported the efforts of former President Ronald Reagan and others to back often brutal right wing dictators in Latin America. Any mention of the mass murders of Guatemalan innocents, including women and children, was considered to be an unacceptable topic of public conversation.

In late 1995, for example, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich denounced then-Democratic Representative Robert G. Torricelli, who, like Speaker Gingrich, was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, for having publicly exposed information about the atrocities in Guatemala, followed by a demand for congressional hearings.

Speaker Gingrich also demanded that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) not air a documentary on the massacres of Mayan peoples in the Guatemalan Civil War. He only relented and allowed the program to be broadcast after his demand for adding 'alternative views' to the program's content were agreed to by PBS.

How do you provide an alternative view about multiple acts of racially motivated mass murder being perpetrated against innocent children, women and men with impunity?

This truthful account of one part of the history of the Guatemalan Genocide also sheds light on aspects of the modern U.S. response to the human trafficking crisis in Latin America.

The U.S. based anti-trafficking movement is a unique social space where conservatives, liberals and others (and I am 'other') may join in common purpose to save human lives. Unfortunately, politics has often been played with the issue of Latin American human trafficking.

In the early 2000s, conservatives such as Dr. Donna Hughes and her followers shunned any discussion of the important gender related human rights issues (specifically, the Guatemalan Genocide) that were closely associated with the modern human slavery issue in Latin America.

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

When, on May 27, 1994, I gave a presentation on Latina women and exploitation to the Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women, I mentioned the mass rapes and murders of women in the Guatemalan conflict, several conservative women commission members shook their heads and declared that the genocide never happened. In response, a Cherokee indigenous woman commission member, and a Panamanian woman physician who was also a member both acknowledged the fact of the Guatemalan genocide, and also recognized the other issues that I had raised for their consideration (the workplace sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women).

An intentional failure to  acknowledge the problem of Latin American human trafficking during the administration of President George W. Bush (as a byproduct of conservative politics) effectively allowed the region's billion dollar cartels and other criminal elements free reign to grow their now $16 billion per year human slavery 'industry' (IOM figure) without any visible U.S. opposition.

On the other end of the political spectrum, some liberals, including, perhaps, influential members of the administration of President Barack Obama, also politicize human trafficking, from a leftist perspective.

It does not add to Obama administration Latin America strategy to have a highly visible public discussion of human trafficking and the mass rape and enslavement of women and girls in Mexico, when such visibility would raise doubt in Congress, and among the public, as to the value of continued funding of the war on drug traffickers, given that Mexican soldiers deployed in the conflict have been the culprits in many rapes and murders of indigenous women with total impunity.

Open discussion of the severe levels of human trafficking and the brutal sexual exploitation of women perpetrated by some Latino men in Latin America, and in U.S. community settings, is also an uncomfortable topic for progressives as they market Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the people and Congress of the United States.

That concern does not justify remaining silent about the growing humanitarian emergency of mass gender atrocities that is taking place in Mexico, throughout the rest of Latin America and, increasingly, in U.S. Latino immigrant population centers.

Progressives who favor the legalization of prostitution also apparently have strong influence in the Obama Administration, which perhaps leads to a diminished focus on sex trafficking while labor trafficking takes center stage in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts.

By justifying the genocide of Mayan indigenous peoples during the Guatemalan Civil War (a mentality that is consistent with excusing the mass murder of U.S. indigenous peoples in the past), U.S. conservatives, together with their allies in Guatemala, succeeded in setting-up the circumstances that lead not only to the anti-Mayan genocide, but also set off the 'firestorm' of the largest ongoing crisis of mass murders of women in the Americas, today's Guatemalan femicide.

A similar conservative-lead environment of social and govern-mental tolerance for mass gender atrocities also exists in neighboring Mexico.

We assert that the lack of willingness of the U.S. government and of some U.S. NGOs to fully engage the issue of human trafficking in Latin America (where half of the world's estimated $32 billion of human trafficking apparently takes place) during the George W. Bush administration and beyond had its roots in conservative unwillingness to acknowledge the serious human consequences of their past support for murderous dictators such as Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt.

To be clear, U.S. conservatives cannot declare their opposition to modern day human trafficking and slavery on the one hand, and on the other, declare that the genocide in Guatemala, or Mexico's current repression of women's rights (and until recently, intentional inaction on human trafficking) all orchestrated by the ruling conservative National Action party (PAN), are justifiable expressions of modern conservatism.

You cannot have it both ways.

The left, which has often been indifferent to the issue of human trafficking, bears a similar responsibility for condoning inaction... because human trafficking is, for some of them, a round peg that will not fit into the square holes of their political ideologies.

Shame on those who politicize human trafficking, be they from the right or the left!

The victims, and those who are at-risk, await our effective and hurried efforts to protect and rescue them.

Public servants, put the politics aside, and get to work! There is no time to waste.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23/24/27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala

An indigenous woman walks by a street poster of Guatamala's most brutal president, Efrain Rios Montt.

In the words of a poem by Pablo Neruda: 'For the one who gave the order of agony, I ask for punishment.'

Guatemala: Massacre investigation breakthrough

Recently declassified documents from US archives have shed further light on the extent of US complicity in Guatemalan human rights crimes, one of Latin America’s most brutal examples of population control.

The hard-working farmers of Dos Erres, in Peten department, had never asked for much — just a few acres of recently-cleared land from which to scratch a meager living in a country racked by violence.

When armed guerrillas cut across their land six months prior to December 7, 1982, community leaders had done everything possible to placate the national army, even inviting the soldiers in for inspections.

They had nothing to hide, they said. But a psychopathic military killing machine had already condemned them to death on the grounds that they were the soil in which the seed of resistance grows.

Acting on orders issued by the US-backed regional command, a death squad of army Kaibiles (counterinsurgency rangers) entered the peaceful hamlet early that morning, smashing in doors, killing livestock, starting fires and rounding up groups of men, women and children.

Hours of rape and torture ensued, followed by execution in small groups. After being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, the victims were hurled into a village well or left in nearby fields.

By nightfall, more than 250 were dead - almost the entire population. There were two child survivors - one who escaped and one, Ramiro Cristales, who was spared by his parents’ murderer only to be subsequently raised as a domestic slave (reputedly an army custom). Cristales, now aged in his 30s, has recently come forward at considerable risk to his own life as an eyewitness to the horror at Dos Erres.

His testimony to the Guatemalan truth commission has been corroborated by previously classified material obtained by the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the US Freedom of Information Act...

David T. Rowlands

Green Left (Australia)

May 22, 2010

See also:

Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos Erres Massacre

Washington, D.C. - Following this week's arrest of a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, the National Security Archive is posting a set of declassified documents on one of Guatemala's most shocking and unresolved human rights crimes, the Dos Erres massacre.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordan had lied to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleges that Jordan, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordan allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military's "scorched earth campaign" and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children.

Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just "disappear," and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre...

The National Security Archive

George Washington University

May 7, 2010

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LibertadLatina Note

An indigenous woman in Guatemala holds a sign saying, WANTED: Jose Efrain Rios Montt (the unseen part says, "for genocide") - during the 2008, 28th anniversary of the Spanish Embassy Massacre in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

General José Efraín Ríos Montt is best known for heading a military dictatorship from 1982–1983 that was responsible for some of the worst atrocities against civilians in the 36-year Guatemalan civil conflict.

Photo: MiMundo

My observations about the only human trafficker I have ever met.

...To further tie together these linked issues, I know victims of that genocide, and I have met a perpetrator, through one of his family members. This family member talked to me at length about this perpetrator’s activities in Guatemala. I will refer to him here as ‘Juan.’

Juan’s grandfather owned a large ranch in Guatemala, and when he was feeling especially angry, he would go to the Mayan village at the far-end of his ranch and "shoot a few Indians" (a direct quote). During the time of the 1970s-1980s Guatemalan Civil War, Juan was a member of the Guatemalan president's security detail, the Presidential Guard. This security unit had a secondary task, aside from protection, of receiving a daily hit list from the president’s palace, finding these persons and murdering them for being suspected ‘subversives.’

The bodies of the victims were typically left laying in the street as a message to the population. Juan stated to his family: "Me daba mucha lastima tener que malograr a las mujeres" - that is: "it really saddened me to have to tear-up the women [on the hit list]." In other words, he supposedly felt sad for having willfully kidnapped, tortured, gang-raped and finally murdered his mostly Mayan women and girl victims over a number of years...

During the mid 1990s, before I even knew what sex trafficking was, Juan’s family member explained to me that Juan was engaged in smuggling people into the United States under peculiar circum-stances, and that he had ties to Colombian mafias. Today, I understand that what was being explained to me was the fact that Juan, a former mass rapist and murderer of women, had 'graduated' to sex trafficking women into the U.S. while living a comfortable and otherwise 'normal' life in Washington, DC.

It was also explained to me that Juan would travel to Guatemala City, place an add in a local paper seeking young girls to work as escorts, and that 13 and 14-year-old girls would gleefully respond. Juan then 'trained' these girls as prostitutes, and sent them out as escorts for wealthy businessmen.

In Washington, DC, Juan, when working in the role of office building cleaning crew manager, imposed quid-pro-quo sexual demands upon the Latina women who applied to work at his office building.

The world's past denial of the Guatemalan Genocide plays into the world's current lack of attention to the ongoing femicide, mass kidnappings of babies for illegal adoptions and prostitution, and to the mass trafficking of Guatemalan women into the brothels of southern Mexico...

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry

June 18, 2008

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LibertadLatina Note

Mayan women and supporters gather to protest a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala - 1978

Photo: El Gráfico

In the early 1980's I lived in a house in Washington, DC where a couple who had fled Guatemala were invited to stay. The husband was an agronomist from Spain. His wife was a white U.S. citizen from the Midwest. They told me how they were saved from a death squad execution in Guatemala.

A Guatemalan woman friend had told the couple that her boyfriend, a high-ranking Guatemalan military officer, had told her one night while he was drunk that the couple had been put on the to-be-murdered list that was printed nightly in the presidential palace (using a computer system set up by the Israeli military). Having been warned by their friend, the couple and their young child immediately fled Guatemala.

What was their crime?

The husband taught people in rural Mayan communities how to grow food better and improve their nutrition. For the Guatemalan military, anything that benefited the Mayan population was subversive, and deserved a murderous response. Any arguments that the Mayan majority was subversive fly out the window when one understands that the goal of the genocide was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 23, 2010

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Israel and Guatemala

The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala roughly parallels that of its ties with El Salvador except the Guatemalan military was so unswervingly bloody that Congress never permitted the ... Reagan Administration to undo the military aid cutoff implemented during the Carter years.

Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel has delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign of terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors perpetrated by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: to ensure that the profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its agents worked actively to maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala.

Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 45,000 dead, and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile - mostly indigenous Mayan Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight million people - and thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the Guatemalan military. Three successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide against the Indians," had the benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as well as hardware...

...It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. and Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala.

Third World Traveler

See also:

May 26, 2009

More about Former Guatemalan president Efrain Ríos Montt

In 1978, [Efrain Ríos Montt] left the Roman Catholic Church and became a minister in the California-based Evangelical / Pentecostal Church of the Word; since then Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have been personal friends [both reverends Falwell and Robertson had publicly defended Ríos Montt's human rights abuses].

Ríos Montt's brother Mario is a Catholic bishop, and in 1998 succeeded the assassinated Bishop Juan Gerardi as head of the human rights commission uncovering the truth of the disappearances associated with the military and his brother.

About Efrain Ris Montt

Wikipedia

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Bill Clinton during his presidency

Clinton says U.S. did wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999

...President Clinton admitted Wednesday to Guatemalans that U.S. support for "widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a mistake.

"For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that the support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression ... was wrong," Clinton said as he began a round-table discussion on Guatemala's search for peace.

"The United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala," he said on the third day of a Central American tour.

CNN

March 10, 1999

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LibertadLatina

Read our special section of the crisis of sexual exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.

See also:

LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action, on the other hand...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

These workers from the Adulam shelter were arrested for forcing children and elderly clients into labor slavery, while also subjecting some of the victims to rape.

Photo: Mexico City Prosecutor's Office

Desmantelan redes de trata de personas en México

Una red de explotación laboral camuflada en un hogar social, que abusaba de menores de edad, y otra de prostitución que simulaba ser un salón "spa" fueron desarticuladas por la policía, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de Justicia de la capital mexicana.

El 13 de mayo la Fiscalía capitalina comenzó un operativo que se saldó este lunes con cinco detenciones y con la liberación de 37 personas, entre ellas 27 menores, a las que supuestamente se explotaba laboral y sexualmente en la casa de asistencia a indigentes "Adulam", ubicada en el oeste de la ciudad.

Asimismo, el pasado martes fueron capturados Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, presuntos responsables de la red de prostitución que se ocultaba en una casa de masajes antiestrés en el sur de la capital, donde se engañó y obligó a vender su cuerpo a varias jóvenes mediante amenazas y extorsiones.

En marzo, cuatro de los huéspedes de "Adulam" denunciaron que eran obligados a comerciar con distintos productos en la calle, sin obtener remuneración, y a entregar entre 700 y 800 pesos diarios (entre cincuenta y sesenta dólares) ya que, si no lo hacían, se les negaba el alimento.

Una menor de dieciséis años denunció también que Emilio Moctezuma, director de "Adulam" y uno de los detenidos, la violó mientras una de las asistentes de éste la sujetaba.

Todas las víctimas eran amenazadas constantemente con ser trasladadas a otras casas fuera del Distrito Federal y a un lugar llamado Isla Veracruz, donde la hermana de esta última chica fue enviada para ejercer la prostitución.

Además, una mujer declaró que desconoce el paradero de su hija desde que le fue arrebatada recién nacida y enviada a un hogar de asistencia en el vecino estado de México, y otra -también menor de edad-, aseguró que le practicaron un aborto sin su consentimiento.

Human trafficking networks are dismantled in Mexico City

The Mexico City Prosecutor's Office has announced that establishments dedicated to human exploitation have been taken down. One location, which operated as a shelter for children and the elderly. The other passed itself off as a massage parlor, but was actually a house of prostitution.

On May 13, 2010 the city prosecutor's office commenced an operation that concluded with 5 arrests and the liberation from slavery of 27 children and 10 adults, who were subjected to labor and sexual exploitation in the Casa Adulam shelter, located on the west side of Mexico City.

At the same time, the authorities arrested Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, who are alleged to have run a prostitution network out of a massage parlor. A number of youth were entrapped and forced to sell their bodies in prostitution while facing threats and extortion.

In March of 2010, four residents of Casa Adulam denounced to police that they were forced to sell between 700 and 800 pesos of various products on the streets of Mexico City. On days when the victims failed to meet their quota, they were not fed.

A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam shelter's director, Emilio Moctezuma, and a male resident of the shelter, while one of the women shelter workers held her down.

All of the victims were constantly threatened with being taken to other shelters outside of Mexico City.

One of these locations was called Veracruz Island. The sister of the above-mentioned rape victim had earlier been taken to that location and forced to engage in prostitution. Another victim, a woman, told police that her newborn child was kidnapped from her by shelter employees and taken to another shelter in the neighboring state of Mexico. An underage girl victim reported that she was forced to have an abortion without her consent.

EFE

May 21, 2010

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Perspective on this case from the Breaking Chains Ministry

The article [above] highlights a very important action that is just the beginning of what is going to be massive fruit from the last trip I took... There were 5 arrests and at least 10 more coming from this operation including the scum who rob these children from their homes and families. They used physical... as well as mental abuse and threats to force these children to serve as prostitutes. The big one is still coming but this is VERY GOOD....the government of Mexico is working to stop this evil and that is God!!! This is just the beginning...there are 6 operations live right now so please continue to pray for Jesus justice...

Reverend Stephen Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

May 21, 2010

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Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Rescatan a 37... esclavizados de casa de asistencia

Sin embargo, los inculpados refirieron que por su labor habían sido recibidos por el presidente Felipe Calderón y en la Embajada de Estados Unidos.

De acuerdo con la dependencia policiaca, los detenidos explotaban a niños y adultos, a quienes obligaban a vender diversos productos en la calle sin recibir ningún pago.

Incluso, se informó que la cuota diaria que les exigían era de 800 pesos. En el operativo, se liberaron a 37 niños y... personas de la tercera edad.

Las víctimas dijeron a la policía que fueron violadas, otras que las obligaban a entregar a sus hijos recién nacidos, e incluso una dijo que fue presionaba para que abortara.

RECHAZO. Durante su presentación ante los medios de comunicación, los inculpados denunciaron una presunta fabricación de culpables por parte del Ministerio Público.

Y se dijeron dispuestos a someterse a cualquier tipo de investigación y análisis, “pero de autoridades que sean imparciales”.

Agregaron que el Albergue Casa Adulam goza de una trayectoria reconocida por varias organizaciones sociales, incluso por las propias autoridades federales.

Es de mencionar que los cinco detenidos cumplirán un arraigo de 30 días.

Thirty seven are rescued from shelter

This story repeats the story of the arrests in the Casa Adulam case. It adds that Casa Adulam was previously praised for its work by the Calderon administration, and they had been received at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Cronica

May 21, 2010

Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and investigated since 2007. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino, (right) appointed in 2009 as  Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City on April 14, 2010

A... Moment With Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino... talks at length about her activism.

Mirror: Could you talk about your work as a human rights activist?

Sorvino: I was Amnesty International's campaign spokesperson to “Stop Violence Against Women” for over two years and on the subject of trafficking, I am Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ((UNODC).

Mirrror: What’s been your experience?

Sorvino: I just came back from Mexico for the kick-off the U.N.’s worldwide campaign to combat trafficking. The goal is to raise awareness and to get countries to commit to fighting this trafficking within their borders.**

Mirror: Can you talk about that trip?

Sorvino: It was a fascinating trip and I did a lot of public speaking. It’s a country where not much is known about trafficking [?-LL], so I felt like I was able to be informative. The most important thing for me, by far, was going to go to a shelter for recently liberated girls, and I mean girls. I’ve met trafficking victims before, but they were all past 30. These were teenagers and children. I met a little girl who was eight years old who had been sold into a brothel when she was four. She was walking around with a big smile on her face showing everyone her arithmetic homework. When I saw her I thought ‘Oh God, please tell me she’s the daughter of someone here.’ She was a victim, just like all the other girls, but we should call them survivors. I felt like I wanted to adopt her, but I can’t adopt everyone who is needy. I just wanted to save her and protect her for the rest of her life so she would never undergo anything like what had happened to her. There is only one shelter in Mexico for girls like this and I got to meet thirty lucky survivors, but there are hundreds of thousands of girls exactly like them all over Mexico...

Mirror: How many cases are prosecuted in the U.S.?

Sorvino: We have only a 1 percent solve rate and have about same number of trafficking cases as murder cases. Can you imagine if we only solved 1 percent of the murder cases? So it means that we have intensify our efforts and raise public awareness, train the police, get the judiciary to be very well informed, and encourage everyone to become a watcher. It’s very subterranean and hard to find, but it’s always concerned citizens who call in with tips that break cases...

Mirror: Why are men attracted to these little girls?

Sorvino: The sexual drive in men is so strong that unless they are educated correctly throughout their formative years, once they are focused on a certain kind of sex object that they find stimulating, that’s going to continue to be stimulating for them. Every culture has always put a prize on virginity and youthful beauty so a child who hasn’t been “spoiled” by other people will always be more ideal to the “John” who wants to have something special. But, men need to be educated to the terrible sorrow that behavior is creating because many times the buyer of commercial sex is not really thinking about the individual, but just view it as a service. I think if you did sensitivity training for males worldwide, you might be able to discourage them from buying sex.

Mirror: We applaud you for doing this important work.

Sorvino: Thank you so much...

Beverly Cohn

The Santa Monica Mirror

Edition 50 - May 20-26, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

Cassandre St. Vil

See also:

Haitian student had 'no chance to scream' when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath

Christina Boyle

The New York Daily News

April 18,2010

Escala violencia hacia las mujeres en campamentos de Haití

Preparan abogadas estrategia legal para abordar problemática

Una delegación de abogadas y activistas de Estados Unidos constató en Haití, la alarmante violencia que persiste contra las mujeres en esa nación, y la escalada de otras formas de agresión en los asentamientos provisionales.

Ante la afirmación de algunas fuentes oficiales que responsabilizan a las víctimas de la escalda, “es importante contrarrestar este mito de que es por la promiscuidad, son crímenes violentos por extraños en la noche y ameritan la atención de la policía y otros grupos que ayudan a organizar los campamentos” dijo la coordinación de la delegación y abogado del Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Blaine Bookey.

Los testimonios de mujeres niñas dan cuenta de que son crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y asaltantes que las golpean y las amenaza si denuncian las violaciones. Las mujeres entrevistadas también sostienen que cuando reportan, la policía no las toma en serio.

“Es inaceptable que estas violaciones no sean castigadas, ahora estamos trabajando casos legales contra los violadores y para que las mujeres tengan la justicia que se merecen” dijo Mario Joseph, abogado del Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) que recibió la delegación en su oficina de Puerto Príncipe...

María Suárez Toro

RIF / CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010

Haiti

U.S. Delegation Finds Inadequate Response, and “Victim-Blaming” Approach to Rapes in Haitian Displacement Camps

Lawyers collect rape survivor accounts and plan legal strategy

Port-au-Prince - In over a week of on-site interviews and exploration, a delegation of U.S. lawyers, health professionals, and community activists found continued alarming rates of rape and other gender-based violence (GBV) in the displaced persons camps throughout Port-au-Prince since the Haitian earthquake in January. Expressed sentiments on the part of some Haitian government officials that victims are somehow to blame for the rapes is outrageous to human rights attorneys and community members, who find that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis. Medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults.

"It is critical that we dispel the myth that these rapes are a result of promiscuity," said Blaine Bookey, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and coordinator of the delegation. "These are violent crimes being perpetrated by strangers in the dark of night and they merit the attention of the police and other groups helping organize the camps."

The vast majority of the women and girls reported being raped by groups of armed, unknown assailants who often beat them in the course of the attack, and threatened them with further violence if they reported the rape. Perpetrators often attack at night, when women are asleep beside their children; or when they go to the latrines, men wait for them in the dark stalls. "It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished," said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which hosted the delegation at its office in Port-au-Prince. "We are now building strong legal cases to hold rapists accountable and bring these women the justice they deserve."

Women who report rapes to the police describe being turned away, not taken seriously, or told to notify the police if they see the rapists again. "Pa tap vini" or "They never would have come," described one woman as to why she did not report her rape. These experiences foster the perception that reporting to the police is futile, especially if the survivor cannot identify her assailants. "If we are going to overcome a culture of complete impunity for rapists, we must create environments in which survivors are able to report these crimes and be taken seriously" said Lisa Davis, an attorney with MADRE. "Haiti's political and economic crises both before and as a result of the earthquake still do not relieve the authorities of the responsibility to protect women from sexual assault," said Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law...

The Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH)

May 17, 2010

Note: The above-described conditions of impunity facing women and girls in Haiti are also the daily 'normal' experiences of many women and girls across all nations in Latin America. - LL


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA / Mexico

The Salvation Army's Christine MacMillan speaks at the recent Oregon anti-trafficking rally

Battling human trafficking

Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Committee for the Salvation Army, speaks last Friday at a rally put on by the student group, Slavery Still Exists. MacMillan spoke about the causes and effects of human trafficking.

Slavery Still Exists, an ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) student group, kicked off its human trafficking and advocacy awareness campaign with a rally Friday.

Kristin Rudolph, co-president of the club, said the rally’s purpose was to make students aware of a growing, worldwide injustice.

Community members gathered in the EMU amphitheater at noon to listen to the featured speaker, Christine MacMillan, talk about her personal experiences with human trafficking as the director of the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. The International Social Justice Commission has worked to fight global human rights violations, such as human trafficking, since its inception in 2007...

Rally attendees expressed surprise at learning the prevalence and proximity of human trafficking locally.

“I really didn’t know that this was such a big issue where I live,” University sophomore Apolinar Montero-Sanchez said. “I’m glad that people are getting aware of this stuff, because it’s a big problem.”

MacMillan shared several stories of human trafficking during the rally. For example, she explained that while sex trafficking is well-known, there are other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking human organs. While visiting Mexico City, MacMillan discovered how unmarked ambulances pick up homeless children, strap the children onto gurneys, bring them to the hospital and drug them with anesthetics in order to traffic their organs. After removing organs, such as kidneys, the traffickers leave most of the children for dead.

Because the majority of the world is not informed about the topic, it continues to go on unbeknownst to many, according to MacMillan. She described human trafficking as “a very hidden problem in our world.”

She urged rally attendees to gain more knowledge about human trafficking and join the fight to end this problem...

Malaea Relampagos

Oregon Daily Emerald

May 17, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Maryland, USA

Police Add Patrols After Man Grabs Girl

Annapolis police are adding patrols near school bus stops and around Bates Middle School after a pair of suspicious incidents involving a man approaching children.

ABC7's Brad Bell spotted some anxious parents waiting while their children got off school buses Friday afternoon.

"It has been the talk in this neighborhood the last couple days," said Joe Hall, a parent. "There's a lot of concerned parents."

So far there have been two reported incidents. On Wednesday, May 5, a man in a car approached a 13-year-old girl and, in Spanish, made suggestive remarks. The man then tried to lure her into his car, police said.

On Tuesday, May 18, a man matching the description from the first encounter made lewd comments and then actually grabbed a 13-year-old girl by her arm in a neighborhood a couple miles from where the first incident took place. The girl was able to break away, but police fear he may strike again

"The reason we're on patrol in the school bus areas and the walkways is to make sure something like that doesn't happen," said Ray Weaver, an Annapolis police spokesman.

Parents and neighbors appreciate the increased police presence and say they, too, are now on the look-out.

"Well, of course it concerns me to know there is a predator out there that's trying to victimize children," said Nancy Fields, an Annapolis resident.

"Me personally, since I have kids, I don't think he should be on the street," Hall said.

Police described the man as Hispanic. One victim said the man was 30-35 years old, average height, with black thinning hair. The other victim described him as six feet, one-inch tall, with a slim build. He wore a black baseball cap with the letters "NY" on the front, a blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt with white stripes and blue jeans.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a small, dark blue Honda and as a blue sedan with dark-tinted windows.

WJLA

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Mississippi, USA

William Velasquez Castillo

Illegal immigrant arrested on child molestation charge

Pascagoula - An illegal immigrant sought for nearly a month and a half was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'm hiding from the cops" when he was arrested Wednesday on child molestation charges, and tried to wear the shirt inside out Thursday when he went before a Jackson County judge.

A guard removed William Velasquez Castillo from the courtroom, and the 27-year-old returned with his shirt on the proper way.

The guard said that Castillo must have switched his shirt around at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center before he was brought to the courthouse.

Castillo was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Investigators had been searching for Castillo since April 3, when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said.

A warrant was issued for Castillo on April 23, and detectives believe he fled the area shortly after learning he was wanted, Byrd said.

Castillo was discovered by authorities at the Dorsett Hotel on Main Street in Lucedale.

Castillo told County Judge Larry Wilson that he was unemployed and had a previous felony shoplifting conviction.

"I served 1 year and 1 day," Castillo said. "It was from Harrison County."

Wilson said bail for Castillo at $50,000 and placed a hold on him for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

"ICE has their own investigation," Byrd said.

Cherie Ward

GulfFive.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Arizona, USA

Jose Juan Martinez

Gilbert man accused of molesting girl for 4 years

Gilbert police officers arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl for four years.

Police were called to a home near Neely Street and Elliot Road Monday evening. The victim's mother told officers that her daughter said Jose Juan Martinez had molested her.

The girl told investigators that Martinez had molested her over the past four years and the most recent time was Friday.

Martinez was booked into jail on suspicion of 39 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Who Tried to Kidnap Teenage Girl

Midland Police need your help tracking a down a man they say tried to kidnap a teenaged girl in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

It happened between 5:00 and 5:30 near the Family Dollar in the Kingsway Shopping Center on West Illinois.

Police tell NewsWest 9, the girl was walking home when a Hispanic man pulled up next to her, blocked her, then tried to talk her in to getting in his car.

The teen was able to get away.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20's to late 30's, about 5'9," and heavy set weighing between 250 - 300 pounds.

He has moles or acne on his face and was wearing a white T-shirt.

He was driving a dented two door silver car.

If you have any information, call Midland police or midland crime stoppers at 694-TIPS.

NewsWest9.com

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New York, USA

Thug bashes Chinese woman with pipe, assaults her in Queens: cops

A 23-year-old woman is on life-support in a Queens hospital after a weekend attack by a pipe-wielding rapist two months after she arrived in New York from China, cops said.

Officials are working desperately to get a visa for the woman's mother, who lives outside Beijing, so she can come to Queens to face the awful task of deciding her daughter's fate.

The young woman was returning from grocery shopping in downtown Flushing around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a drunken Queens man smashed her in the head with a pipe and dragged her into an alley, authorities said.

Once inside the alley along 41st Road, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe, according to court papers.

Two months ago, the young woman, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, traveled from her native China on a student visa. She moved in with a distant uncle in Flushing.

"She was working in a nail salon, saving up money. She was going to start attending school," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). "She had good grades in China. That's why her parents wanted her to come and expand her horizons."

Now, the woman who once dreamed of a better future is in the intensive care unit at New York Hospital Queens. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to her vaginal area.

Meng said she and Rep. Gary Ackerman (R-Bayside) are working to expedite a visa for the woman's mother. Cops collared Cruz a few blocks from the crime scene after a witness, who saw him drag the woman into the alley and then emerge alone - called 911. Police later recovered the pipe about a block from the alley.

Cruz, who did not have a criminal record, emigrated from Mexico two years ago and found work at a Manhattan fish market.

He was arraigned late Tuesday on a slew of charges, including a top count of attempted murder. Prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges if the woman is removed from life-support.

Cruz's family said he claims he blacked out drunk and doesn't remember the incident.

"He woke up and found himself cuffed to the hospital bed," said his stunned sister, Patricia Salazar, 26. "He never acted violently....We just don't know why he would do this. We can't explain it."

John Lauinger

The New York Daily News

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

California, USA

Illegal alien charged with murder

Barstow - A 31-year-old illegal alien who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old woman has now been charged with murder.

Melissa Curley of Arizona died of strangulation with asphyxiation, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Wednesday.

Police arrested Cesar Rascon in Yermo Saturday afternoon and charged him with rape and kidnapping for the purposes of rape. Now Barstow police are charging him with murder.

Curley’s body was found at the Sunset Inn motel at 860 West Main Street after police received a 911 call at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Detectives learned that Curley was staying at the motel, but wasn’t registered for the room her body was found in. The room was registered to Rascon.

Police found Rascon working at a Yermo gas station at 4:57 p.m. Saturday and arrested him.

V V Daily Press

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Idaho, USA

Rape suspect deported 4 times

Edmonds - The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.

An officer responding to a woman's cry for help Sunday night found 46-year-old Jose Madrigal on top of the woman and arrested him.

According to court documents, the woman told police that Madrigal had followed her and offered her $35 for sex, but she said no. She said Madrigal then forced her into the bushes on the north side of the store and raped her.

Documents say Madrigal told police "Sometimes we have control in our brains, but we make mistakes."

The 28-year-old Edmonds woman was treated at a hospital.

Snohomish County prosecutors have charged Madrigal in district court with second degree rape. He is also is being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Associated Press

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010

Excerpt

May 19, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Willcox, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as other sex offenses in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender who had been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for driving under the influence and willful cruelty to a child by means of sexual penetration with a foreign object in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Columbus, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject… was a registered sex offender in the state of Arizona. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault in the state of Illinois and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child/sexual contact in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Wyoming and had been previously removed from the United States.

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

U.S. Border Patrol

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Washington State, USA

Investigators: Edmonds rape suspect deported nine times

Edmonds - KING 5 Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That's much more than previously reported.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement won't comment on the case of Jose Lopez Madrigal. But KING 5 got the information through confidential sources and documents.

Larry Klein was the man who heard the alleged victim's cries for help. Police say the suspect pulled the woman off the street to a dumpster and raped her.

"I could see the back of his head. I could see his pants were down. I could see her lying on the ground. I could hear her crying, but I couldn't really see her face," said Klein.

Klein called police, who quickly arrested the suspect. But learning his identity took much longer because of some 30 aliases. It was only through fingerprints that they identified him as Madrigal, a Mexican citizen.

Madrigal's arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That's the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California...

People who live near the scene of Sunday's alleged rape wonder how it could keep happening.

"Makes you wonder, what are we doing wrong? How is he getting back in here?" said Kirby Aumick.

"It’s troubling. I mean, if this man should not have been in this country, he should have been behind bars then, really, this is a senseless tragedy," said Klein.

According to our sources, Madrigal's last contact before Sunday was around 2003. So, it's not clear how much of that time Madrigal was in this country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has refused to comment on the case which started making national headlines when it was learned that Madrigal had been deported several times prior to the Edmonds case...

Chris Ingalls

KING 5 News

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA

Perez gets jail time

Judge cites official abuses

Former North Wasco County schools liaison Carlos Perez was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail and five years probation for making sexual advances to a 41-year-old Hispanic woman who had sought his help in receiving basic community services and Spanish-English translation aid.

Although he cut the jail time in half from the 90 days requested by Wasco County Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly said he was compelled to order some incarceration because Perez, a public official with many community and family connections, took advantage of and preyed on a low-income woman who speaks no English and who is an illegal alien.

“The offensive part of this has less to do with your laying hands on this woman than on your abuse of power,” Kelly told Perez before about 35 people at the Wasco County Courthouse in The Dalles. “You have status and respect in the community – you have power, and she has none.”

Kelly also ordered Perez to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with the victim or to come within 500 feet of her home. Perez, who was a family liaison and coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Educational Service District, is also barred from visiting any North Wasco County schools and from participating in any migrant services programs.

In addition, Perez will have to pay up to $3,000 into a state victims’ restitution fund to cover counseling sessions for the woman. He is also being let go from his job as a translator for Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Kelly said.

Perez maintained at Thursday’s proceeding that he was innocent, that the sentence was unfair and alleged it was the result of racial bias...

Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said he thought the sentence was “appropriate,” and that there was “no evidence at all that this was based on his race,” Nisley said.

“The point is that a jury believed a Hispanic woman over a Hispanic man,” Nisley said. “It isn’t about Mr. Perez’s race.” ...

Keri Brenner

The Dalles Chroncicle

May 21, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Store surveillance photo of suspect

Suspect sought in string of sex assaults at stores

Charlotte - Police are still looking for a man they believe is behind several sexual assaults inside stores.

They have stepped up patrols at shopping centers in Southeast and Union County after they say at least five fondling incidents in three stores might be connected.

They say that they believe one man is responsible for the sexual assaults: two that happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday, one at a Harris Teeter grocery store on Saturday of last week and two more at another Harris Teeter, this time in Union County, sometime in between.

WBTV talked to Dan Biber, a forensic psychologist who gave us insight as to what drives a person to sexual violence.

"Let's call it adrenaline," he said. "He gets a rush. Part of the rush is not just the sexual rush of groping women, but also the rush of doing it in public when there's a high risk of detection that he successfully avoids."

That is frightening to shoppers like Tracy Brown who said, "that's even more frightening to know that someone is getting a rush from assaulting people because ultimately, that's what you're doing."

Another reason? Biber told us the man could be rationalizing his actions by downplaying the severity of the assaults.

"He might in his own mind, think this is no big deal," he said. "He might just think, well, rape would be bad but this doesn't count."

According to CMPD officers, the girl was in the grocery store at 11516 Providence Road at approximately 12:15 p.m. when a man came up and forcefully fondled her from behind.

Police say two more women reported being groped at a Harris Teeter in Union County. They say, before Union Co. deputies arrived, two employees escorted the suspect off the property because the victims didn't want to press charges.

The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon when two women told police they were forcibly fondled at a Wal-Mart store on Highway 51.

The incident happened around 2:24 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 3209 Pineville-Matthews Road. Investigators say the two victims, who are 55 and 47 years old, actually tried to restrain the man--but he was able to get away.

On Thursday morning, police released in-store photos of the suspect from two incidents at the Harris Teeters. The photos were taken on May 15 between 12:15 and 12:20 pm at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man who is about 25 years old, and is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Although the incidents happened inside the stores, police say the man drives a white van with ladders on it...

WBTV

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 24, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Reverend Moises Cotto

Authorities say evidence backs charges against Newark pastor in Linden sex assault case

Newark - At the Newark church where his congregants dress all in white, he was known as a husband, father and respected pastor for more than 20 years.

But, authorities said, Moises Cotto, the 55-year-old pastor, had been meeting for the past two years with a female congregant at a motel in Linden where the pair had sex — and forced two teenage girls to videotape them in the act.

Cotto was arrested at his apartment in East Orange on Monday night, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.

His parishioner, Brenda Pabon, 37, of Middlesex County, has been charged with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a minor.

But Wednesday, the assistant pastor of the Newark church, Yahweh Templo El Candelero, said he is convinced Cotto is innocent. He called Pabon a "problematic parishioner," saying she had recently threatened the pastor and vowed to leave his congregation along with her husband.

"I do think that an injustice is being done, based on my friendship with the minister," said Assistant Pastor A. Diaz. "There’s no truth to the allegations. He’s been an upstanding pastor for more than 20 years."

The church carefully screens pastors, Diaz said, and holds them to "high standards."

Prosecutors say they have significant physical evidence that corroborates the victims’ allegations...

Julie O'Connor

The Star-Ledger

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Peru

90% de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas

Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron embarazadas producto de violación, frecuentemente por incesto.

Estos datos brindados por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las causas y los efectos de esta realidad.

La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP), coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal, no será posible realizar un real cambio de los problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la comisión estudia la legislación comparada de otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia familiar...

Ninety percent of young adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape

[We note that the definition of 'rape' used in this Peruvian news article refers to forcible rape, and not statutory rape as that crime is defined in the United States. - LL]

Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant due to rape, often in situations of incest.
These statistics, provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed in the Congress of the Republic by the Special Commission to Revise the Law of Protection Against Family Violence. Their goal is to understand the causes and effects of this reality.

Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who is the coordinator of the commission, said that without [congressional] funding, it would be impossible to bring about real changes in the problem of family violence that exists in the country. She added that the lack of qualified personnel, specialized judges and resources for training teachers to develop relevant content for students all hinder the fight against domestic violence.

In regard to punishing rapists, the commission is examining the laws of others nations. Commission members note that under the penal codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to mention Mexico and other Latin American nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age 12] can go free if he proposes to marry his victim and she consents.

For Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela Ramos Movement, these statistics demonstrate that work should begin immediately on this issue, especially in school and family settings, so that victims know what to do if they are raped.
According to PAHO's study, 33% of women between 16 and 49 have been victims of sexual harassment, and at least 45% have been threatened, insulted or have had their personal property destroyed.

Diario la Primera Peru

May 19, 2010

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Young adolescent mothers learn to love and care for their children at the Chuka Chuka center.

In Peru it is not uncommon for women to raise 5 or more children., each with a different biological father. What is also common is for the mother’s latest companion to rape the eldest daughters, often resulting in pregnancy.

One expects a reaction from the mother, but not the sort of reaction that is so evident here in Peru. As a result of the rape the mother feels shamed and jealous and abandons her own daughter who is often without the comfort of additional family members for support and understanding.

These abandoned, pregnant, adolescent rape victims (‘adolescents’), often only thirteen or fourteen years old face a dull future. They are without money; support; homes and job prospects. Most worrying of all, they are carrying an unborn baby, who will enter a world where education will not be available to them and their options for a self-sustainable life non-existent.

It is not uncommon for such desperate girls to drift into the sex trade and drugs; further blighting their lives and potential to contribute to society

Our mission: To save as many of these girls and their unborn children as we can, to prepare them for and steer them into a richer more productive life than they could have known without this project.

Chuka Chuka

See also:

Adolescent prostitution in Lima, Peru

Video news report from Peru showing underage prostitution in the capital city of Lima. Young sex workers are shown sniffing glue, caring for their toddlers in the prostitution zone late at night, and negotiating with johns for the going price of 20 Soles (US$7.00).

(In Spanish)

ATV

Posted on YouTube


Added: May. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Slain Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson

Businessman sentenced for harboring illegal alien cop-killer

A Houston, Texas landscaping business owner was sentenced to three months in prison and three months home confinement for harboring the illegal alien who molested a child and ultimately killed a Houston police officer in 2006, according to a report obtained yesterday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Houston Police Department.

Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, and now a convicted felon, was also sentenced to a five-year probationary term with special conditions by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore. Camp pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, admitting that he knowingly harbored Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez (Quintero), an illegal alien, by employing him and leasing a residence to him.

According to court documents, Camp employed Quintero in his landscape business. When Quintero was arrested and charged by the State of Texas with indecency with a child in 1998, Camp bonded Quintero out of jail and continued to employ him. Quintero was sentenced to a term of deferred adjudication for the state offense.

Quintero was deported in 1999, but illegally reentered the United States in Arizona, then flew to Houston. When Quintero returned to Houston, he resumed his employment with Camp. Camp also rented Quintero a home and listed Quintero's wife, a U.S. citizen, in government records as an employee instead of Quintero.

On Sept. 22, 2006, Quintero was arrested while driving a Camp company vehicle by Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson. While sitting in the back seat of Officer Johnson's patrol car, Quintero retrieved a pistol hidden on his person, and shot and killed Officer Johnson. Quintero was convicted of capital murder in the 248th District Court of Harris County, Texas, and has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police

The Examiner

May 12, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Issues that may not (but should) be discussed  during Mexican President Felipe Calderón's May 19-20, 2010 visit to Washington, DC

The May 19-20, 2010 visit of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to the White House is being closely watched in regard to how the U.S. will react to Calderón's speech before Congress. We know that the war against drug cartels and immigration are top on the agenda.

The issue of mass gender atrocities facilitated by state corruption, complacency and criminal impunity are also critical issues in U.S. / Mexican relations. While these topics are rarely discussed in the mainstream English-language press, holding Mexico's federal government accountable for defending the lives, integrity and dignity of women and girls is just as important as addressing the drug war and immigration. In fact, we believe that the U.S. press needs to step up to the plate and ask both President Calderón and President Obama about their commitment to saving women and girls from mass kidnapping, mass rape and wholesale enslavement, which are crimes that impact tens of thousands of women and children each year in the Aztec Nation.

President Calderón took a major positive step on April 14, 2010 by launching the world's first nationally sponsored instance of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Yet a day later, Calderón's diplomats derided, in front of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the rape complaint of indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega, who had been gang raped by soldiers in 2002, with no effective response from the Mexican civilian and military criminal justice systems.

We repeat here below our list of some of the most critical gender rights issues that are not being addressed by the Calderón administration.

**

During the past several years LibertadLatina has dedicated its efforts to bringing world attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and enslavement of women, children and men that occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico.

According to the Southern Cone (southern South American) office of the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in annual profits created by the human slavery industry globally are generated in Latin America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal marketplace for worldwide slavery victims has never been responded to by the  engagement of 50% of the global anti-trafficking movement's energy, resources or focus.

That lack of attention, together with the willingness of past U.S. administrations to effectively ignore Latin America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow exponentially in the region while the world effectively looked the other way in apathy.

Mexico is home base for the largest problems in Latin American human trafficking.

We have decided to focus on the crisis in Mexico because solving that one single national emergency will have the most positive impact on the entire regional crisis.

In the United States, 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border into the U.S.

The population of Mexico (and especially its poor and vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer immensely from modern slavery. In addition, Central American migrants are kidnapped, raped and trafficked by the many thousands as they cross Mexico. Some are also murdered.

Southern Mexico's narrow border with Guatemala and Belize is the one 'bottleneck' where literally millions of South and Central American migrants who seek to travel to the United States must cross into Mexico. Human traffickers and also rapist thugs and robbers await these innocent migrants like trolls under a bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls among these migrants every single day of the year with complete impunity on the Mexican side of its southern border, with no discernable response from Mexican officials and authorities. In fact, police and military forces have harassed migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a 6 month period, according to a study by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission). A number of those victims are sold into slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

The NGO Save the Children has described the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region in the entire world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The city of Tapachula, for example, has 20,000 persons engaging in prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels. Half of that number are children and underage youth at any given time. Local police don't interfere with this 'business,' they focus on keeping child prostitutes away from schools and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Across Mexico, women, and especially those from Mexico's traditionally discriminated against Indigenous peoples, who are 30% of the population, are also raped with impunity. The perpetrators are not only criminal thugs, but also military soldiers engaged in the drug war. President Calderón has steadfastly denied that any problem exists with military rapes of civilians, and he has refused to allow accused soldiers to be tried in civilian courts.

On April 15, 2010, one day after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign, President Calderón sent his federal lawyers to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to fight against Inés Fernández Ortega, an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by soldiers in her home in 2002. The government lawyers denied that any rape took place, and blamed the victim for the lack of justice (an assertion that women's rights activists in Mexico are repulsed by).

Fernández Ortega, her family and her lawyers have faced intimidation and death threats. Her brother, a witness in her case, was murdered shortly after she began her now 8 year effort to find justice in her case.

For Inés Fernández Ortega and many other women victims of criminal impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has become the venue of last resort after having faced institutional injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and uncaring government response to their plight.

During the 500 year period since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Indigenous women have been easy target for rapists and human traffickers. We who are Indigenous know this history inside out, no matter what corner of the Americas we hail from.

What is an abomination in today's world is the fact that in Mexico and across much of Latin America, Indigenous women and girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized with the implied consent of national governments. By extension, none of these women can count on the protection of their national governments and local police forces in the face of such gender atrocities.

In Mexico, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage youth have been kidnapped and then sold to the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then transport the victims to Japan, where they are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes. Despite the existence of this story during the past several years, there are no visible signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever lifted a finger to rescue the victims.

In a similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous  girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old. The sale price was $25,000 each, because Indigenous girl children were considered to be "exotic" merchandise.

All of these issues are emergencies that demand your immediate attention, President Calderón. We call upon U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise these important issues with Mexico.

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to defend and rescue them now!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Jacobo Reyes

Cops: Man Fondled Little Girl While She Slept

Police say the suspect confessed to fondling five other girls and women.

Santa Ana .-- Police have arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom in Santa Ana.

Jacobo Reyes was arrested Monday and is being held without bail, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertanga.

Santa Ana investigators linked him to the crime with DNA evidence, Bertagna said.

Investigators asked Reyes to come in for questioning about the Feb. 11 attack in the 300 block of South Newhope Street.

They arrested him after he confessed to fondling up to five other girls and women ages 11 to 22 as they slept, Bertagna said.

In the Feb. 11 attack, police say Reyes climbed into the girl's bedroom, gaining entry by removing a screen in an unlocked window.

The girl could not describe her attacker because it was too dark, but he left behind genetic material that matched Reyes' DNA, Bertagna said.

Reyes was booked on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not yet charged him.

KTLA News

May 19, 2010

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Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Previously deported illegal alien admits to being serial molester

On Tuesday, police in Santa Ana arrested Roberto Jacobo Reyes, after DNA evidence linked him to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in February. According to police, Reyes entered the girl’s bedroom through an unlocked window.

Under questioning for that crime, Reyes has reportedly admitted to having assaulted at least four other victims, ages 11-22, in the same manner.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the LA Times: “His M.O. was to break into unsecured windows or unsecured doors.“

Reyes is currently being held in the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary, while the Orange County district attorney prepares more charges.

In 2007, Reyes was deported back to Mexico after serving three years in prison for burglary. While in prison, his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault.

In 1998, Reyes was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine.

Past arrests also include charges for peeping and possession of stolen property.

Though an illegal alien with a criminal record, Reyes was working for a landscaping business in Santa Ana at the time of his latest arrest.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New York, USA

Detective Oscar Sandino

NYPD Detective Oscar Sandino charged with demanding sex from women he arrested

A New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective was charged Tuesday with preying on women he arrested - on police property.

The alleged attacks by Detective Oscar Sandino date to 2006 and could land the 13-year veteran behind bars for three years if he's convicted on federal charges.

His lawyer dismissed the accusations as "old news" and questioned the credibility of the women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit.

But federal prosecutors Pamela Chen and Licha Nyiendo said the evidence that Sandino is more perp than protector is "substantial and irrefutable."

"The persistent and repetitive nature of the defendant's misconduct demonstrates that he is a sexual predator," they wrote in court papers.

They say that in August 2006, when he was assigned to the Queens North Narcotics Bureau, he coerced a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her cousin's criminal case.

In February 2008, while arresting a woman and her boyfriend on drug charges, he took the woman into a bedroom and forced her to undress, the feds charge.

When he brought the woman to the 110th Precinct stationhouse for booking, Sandino warned she would lose her children unless she had sex with him, prosecutors say.

Sandino allegedly took the woman into the bathroom, ordered her to pull down her pants and molested her.

"Wow, you have an earring down there," Sandino said to the woman, according to a lawsuit she filed.

The victim reported Sandino to the Internal Affairs Bureau, and investigators gathered text messages, phone records and secretly taped conversations to corroborate the allegations.

In a third attack in September, Sandino allegedly took a handcuffed woman arrested for disorderly conduct into a room at Brooklyn Central Booking and made her bare her breasts.

Sandino, 37, was charged with civil rights violations and released on a $250,000 bond to be co-signed by his estranged wife, who lives in Arizona.

Defense lawyer Peter Brill claimed the Queens district attorney had passed on prosecuting Sandino because the second victim was not credible.

John Marzulli

New York Daily News

May 18, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Juan Gonzalez

Children, Youth and Families Department will report immigrant status of criminals

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department will start reporting violent juvenile criminals who are foreign nationals to immigration authorities.

Governor Bill Richardson ordered the change after Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque fitness club earlier in May.

Gonzales has been in trouble for sex crimes twice in the past, before he turned 18. In both those cases, CYFD never told authorities Gonzales was in the country illegally.

Taryn Bianchin

KOB.com

May 18, 2010

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Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Man accused of molesting girl at gym faces judge

The man accused of molesting a young girl at a Midtown Albuquerque fitness club was in court on Thursday.

Twenty-year-old Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, appeared before a judge on sex assault charges.

Police say Gonzalez pinned a six-year-old girl against a wall at the Midtown Sports and Wellness near Carlisle and Menaul and began touching her sexually.

Police say Gonzalez told them he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he has a problem.

Charlie Pabst

KOB.com

May 06, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Man accused of molesting 14-year-old girl is illegal alien

Bethlehem police said a 23-year-old man who allegedly had sex with a then 14-year-old girl is from Guatemala and illegally in the country. Ivan Antonio Alvarez-Lopez, who last lived in New Jersey, met the girl, who is now pregnant with his child, according to police, through a mutual friend in September. The two talked on the phone until allegedly meeting in December at the Comfort Suites in South Side Bethlehem.

Police allege the two met there four times and had unprotected sex. Alvarez-Lopez knew the girl was 14, police said, and she knew he was from Guatemala.

Alvarez-Lopez was charged with sex crimes and referred to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

JD Malone

Lehigh Valley Live

May 13, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Border Patrol Agents Capture Three Sex Offenders in One Day

Calexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector apprehended three illegal aliens Wednesday who are convicted sex offenders.

One of the men was apprehended in the morning by agents from the El Centro station. Record checks revealed the man had previously been convicted of assault to commit rape and sex with a minor.

The other two men were apprehended in the afternoon, along with four other illegal aliens, near the downtown Calexico port of entry. Record checks revealed that one of the men had a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and that the other man had been convicted of sexual assault of a child.

All three men will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.

Tribune Weekly Chronicle

May 05, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Virginia, USA

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say Arlington police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman behind a restaurant on May 14.

A woman was walking behind a restaurant in the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard around 10:50 pm when a man grabbed her from behind, police said in a Tuesday press release. He held her arm and sexually assaulted her with his other hand, according to police, then fled on foot after the woman fought back.

The suspect was described as a "white Hispanic male" who was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall with a medium build, police said. He was wearing a white chef's style jacket and dark pants.