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Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Chile

A scene from the trial of ten police officers charged with colluding with child sex traffickers and buying sexual services in the port city of Valparaiso

Photo: UPI

Justicia rebaja penas y condena a sólo cuatro funcionarios de la PDI por red de pederastia

Caso prostitución en Valparaíso - Nueva testigo reconoce a funcionarios de la PDI involucrados en red de prostitución infantil

Tribunales de Valparaíso dejaron libre de todos los cargos a otros seis policías imputados por facilitación a la prostitución infantil y no denunciar el caso. Mientras la defensa se mostró conforme, la Fiscalía podría pedir la nulidad de la resolución.

Los tribunales de Garantía de Valparaíso declararon culpables a cuatro funcionarios de la PDI por el delito de obtención de servicios sexuales, mientras otros seis acusados resultaron libres de todos los cargos debido a las prescripciones de sus casos...

Court sentences only 4 of 10 Chilean accused police officers in Valparaiso child prostitution case

A new witness recognizes PDI officers as being involved with child prostitution ring

A criminal court in the Chilean city of Valparaiso has acquitted and freed six Chilean Investigative Police (PDI) policemen charged with facilitating and refusing to report a child prostitution case. Although the defense was satisfied with the decision, prosecutors have announced that they may request the annulment of the court’s decision.

The Guarantee Court (a preliminary level in the criminal court process) of Valparaiso found four other PDI police officers guilty of the crime of obtaining sexual services.

The verdict was read by the residing judges in the case after nearly a month of oral trial proceedings.

The verdict state that the court became convinced of the truth of the allegations: that a network existed within the PDI that obtained sexual services from various locations in this port city.

In regard to the  charge of facilitating child prostitution, the ten defendants were acquitted even though the facts [supporting the allegation] were demonstrated. The decision divided the opinions of judicial panel, with one judge voting opposing the verdict.

All of the defendants were acquitted of the charge of not reporting the case. The act was considered to be an administrative but not a criminal failing on the part of the accused.

Officers Héctor Ángelo Guzmán Godoy, Jorge Mauricio Gallardo Raposo, Jimmy Eduardo Gutiérrez Muñoz and Alejandro Andrés Puga Herrman were convicted and sentenced for the crime of obtaining sexual services.

After learning of the court’s decision, prosecutor Pablo Avendano expressed his dissatisfaction. Avendano, "The Court believed the testimony of the victims and witnesses, as we did, and the court convicted on charges that the public prosecutor’s office presented to the Court. From that perspective, we are satisfied with the Court’s decision. What we disagree with is the fact that two of the judges who believe that the officers were guilty of a simple administrative failure, which goes against common sense and precedents that we had cited. failure, it goes against common sense and legal rules we have cited. Those two judges have to bear responsibility for their decision. To us, it doesn’t make sense.

By contrast,  public defender Héctor Petit estated his agreement with Court’s decision. Petit argued that the acts committed by the accused had[not amounted to criminal conduct as defined by the law].

Former PDI Commissioner Hector Guzman was also disturbed by the way in which the courts decided the case. Guzman, "The prosecutor himself stated during court sessions that they had withheld evidence. This is a clear case of revenge by [PDI lead detective] Carlos Parra, whom I denounced in this case…”

The guilty will be sentenced on January 13, 2011.

Prosecutors have announced that they are studying the possibility seeking to have the Court’s ruling nullified. They noted the fact that the accused are public functionaries, which constitutes an aggravating circumstance in regard to the crimes of which they are accused.

Ricardo Salazar

Radio uChile

Dec. 31, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Chile

Cuatro ex funcionarios de la PDI fueron condenados por red de prostitución infantil

Cooperativa.cl

Dec. 31, 2010

See also:

Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Chile

Chilean Cops Tied To Child Prostitution In Valparaiso (Again)

Two more police officers were charged last week in relation to an on-going investigation linking Valparaiso police detectives to child prostitution rings.

Prosecutors last week alleged that Alberto Olivares de la Barra and Gonzalo Torca Bernales, both active officers for the Valparaiso Police Department (PDI, hid the child prostitution ring from authorities and obtained sexual services from drugged minors.

The detectives have been relieved of duties pending the investigation, but deny involvement of any kind.

The investigation was first sparked by a Channel 13 report allegedly that police worked with child prostitution rings between 2004 and 2007. Thus far, 11 officers have been indicted on child prostitution counts related to the same Valparaiso ring. Of the group, 10 are active police officers serving in Valparaiso’s PDI.

According to lead prosecutor Pablo Avendano, “Both detectives (charged last week) were often seen meeting at the Hotel Luciana brothel and were fully aware that the location was harboring child prostitutes. Neither of the offices took it upon themselves to denounce the heinous crimes that were occurring there.”

Attorney Rafael Almarza, who is defending Torca Bernales, said his client is innocent and has not participated in any sexual practices with minors in exchange for money.

The PDI has suspended eight other detectives with links to the prostitution operation, which was managed by Carlos Parra Ruis, aka “Charly.” Ruis was the last person to be formally charged in connection with the crimes.

Channel 13 reported months ago that several police detectives were regular customers at two brothels run by Ruis: the Hotel Louisiana and the Cabaret Pandemonium, both in Valparaiso.

Channel 13 report also claimed the detectives who were allegedly protecting Charly’s operation were paying for having sex with drugged girls. Several young girls also told the television channel that they were taken to the police barracks to have sex with officers.

Although the prostitution network was broken up in 2007 by Santiago PDI officers assigned to Valparaiso, Channel 13 reported that neither local police chiefs or prosecutors were willing to investigate the charges about the cops associated with Ruis.

Chilean police say child prostitution is growing fast in Chile, with sophisticated networks involving children of both sexes being set up by gangs all over Chile.

A recent study by the National Youth Service (SENAME) estimates there are 4,000 children working in the commercial sex trade. Other surveys put the number as high as 15,000. The price for sex with children varies from US$1 to US$50.

Paul Herbert

Valparaiso Times

Nov. 04, 2009


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Mexico

Urge Navarrete a más reformas contra trata de personas

El coordinador del PRD en el Senado aseveró que el tema de combate a la trata de personas “no puede quedar para las calendas griegas o para otra Legislatura”, y hay que atacar ese ilícito con prontitud.

Ciudad de México.- El coordinador del PRD en el Senado, Carlos Navarrete, llamó a concretar reformas que permitan combatir el delito de trata de personas, que se expande de manera silenciosa y que forma parte de la agenda pendiente en el Congreso...

Senator Carlos Navarrete urges more reforms against human trafficking

Mexico City - The coordinator of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the Senate, Carlos Navarrete, has called for concrete reforms to combat the crime of human trafficking, which is a scourge that is spreading across Mexico and one  that remains a part of the outstanding agenda in Congress.

An article by Milenio published today shows that the sexual exploitation of children is growing and that the number of children abused by trafficking networks grows by at least 100 per month. By contrast, the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) had only opened 226 investigations in the first half 2010, and had proceeded with prosecutions in 12 cases under investigation.

Navarrete Ruiz added that the issue of combating human trafficking "cannot be postponed indefinitely for left for some future legislature." We need to tackle this illicit activity promptly, he said.

Navarrete Ruiz said that human trafficking must be addressed with urgency by adding the issue to the national agenda, given that the state has the responsibility for prevent and punish these new forms of modern slavery. “On this subject, there should be grounds for political debate or differences by political party. On this issue we all need to close ranks,” he noted.

Navarrete declared his support for preventing “our children, youth and women from being caught in the nets of exploitation. We must get to the bottom of this problem, increase our vigilance and apply the full weight of the law to stop offenders who attempt to take away the freedoms of Mexican citizens."

He explained that the Senate has made reforms to punish human trafficking crimes, but that these have not been sufficient. The Senate should revisit the issue of human trafficking, he exclaimed. "We are committed to raising the awareness of this issue across the entire Senate and to acting in concert with the Chamber of Deputies [Lower House of Congress] to promote the projects that will be needed to make the needed reforms."

Milenio

Dec. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Mexico

Agreement to Identify Human Trafficking Patterns on Mexico's Northern Border

Mexico - An agreement signed this week between IOM and a Mexican non-governmental organization (NGO) Sexualidad Responsable (SERE - Responsible Sexuality) based in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, will help to shed light on human trafficking trends in the area.

Human trafficking has received little attention in Ciudad Juarez with the result that there is little awareness of it among the general population. It has mainly been overshadowed by the disappearances and murders of women which have monopolized the attention of the authorities, civil society organizations and the media during the last decade. However, the border State of Chihuahua has been identified by Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH by its Spanish acronym) as a destination point for trafficking victims in a country where more than 20,000 people are estimated to be trafficked each year. Between 2005 and 2010, IOM has assisted more than 175 victims of trafficking in Mexico, most of them from Central America.

A surveyed carried out by SERE in 2009, based on its years of experience working in the field of sexual health, revealed that some 5,000 women work as prostitutes in Ciudad Juarez. Many of them are from other Mexican states such as Veracruz, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Coahuila and Chiapas, and others are foreigners, mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The nine-month initiative between IOM and SERE, funded by the US Agency for International Development's Program for Security and Justice, aims to produce additional information about human trafficking along the northern border with the aim of informing and raising awareness on human trafficking amongst at-risk populations and the public in general. The project also involves strengthening government and civil society's capacities to detect and assist victims of human trafficking.

"It is important to foster joint initiatives in order to bring together experiences and strengths from different sectors to combat human trafficking in areas where this crime has lacked the attention it deserves," explained IOM Mexico Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

International Organization for Migration

Dec. 03, 2010


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Mexico, Latin America

México, principal país de emigración: Organización Internacional para las Migraciones

Según el informe anual sobre migraciones 2010, se estima que alrededor de 26.6 millones de personas nacidas en América Latina y el Caribe viven fuera de sus respectivos países.

Ginebra.- La Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) señaló que “México es el principal país de emigración del mundo” con 10.1 millones de personas viviendo en el extranjero, alrededor de 10 por ciento de la población total del país.

Asimismo, según el informe anual sobre migraciones 2010 publicado recientemente, la OIM estimó que “alrededor de 26.6 millones de personas nacidas en América Latina y el Caribe viven fuera de sus respectivos países”.

Los principales países de emigración de la región son México, Colombia, Puerto Rico y Cuba, seguidos de El Salvador, Brasil, Jamaica, República Dominicana, Haití y Perú.

The International Organization for Migration has stated in its 2010 report that Mexico is the largest source nation for migration globally. Across Latin America, 26.6 million persons live outside of their countries of birth.

Geneva - Geneva .- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has announced that "Mexico is the largest [source of] migration in the world," with 10.1 million people living abroad, about 10 percent of the total population.

IOM’s 2010 annual report also estimates that "about 26.6 million people born in Latin America and the Caribbean live outside their respective countries."

The main source countries in the region are Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Cuba, followed by El Salvador, Brazil, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Peru.

The IOM's director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Diego Beltrand, said that he is concerned about the "increasing anti-immigrant sentiments that are aggravated by the global economic crisis."

He also said that the crisis has affected the development of migrants, which has resulted in a lower flow of remittances to home countries during the past year.

Bertrand noted the need for host countries "appreciate the positive contributions" of the migrants to their societies…

The IOM report added that migration from the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean representing approximately 15 percent of international migration worldwide.

The main destinations of migrants from Latin America are the United States (68 percent), Argentina and Spain, followed by Venezuela and Canada, according to the IOM more than half of these migrants come from Mexico.

The migration corridor between Mexico and the United States is the world's largest, with 9.3 million migrants, "a situation that reflects the particular historical and geographical relationship" between the two countries, says the study…

Argentina and Venezuela with 1.4 million to a million immigrants remain the two main destination countries in Latin America and the Caribbean while that Mexico has replaced Brazil in third place.

Irregular migration from Mexico to the U.S. decreased from one million in 2006 to 600 thousand in 2009), which is due largely to "a combination of recession with the implementation of stricter controls the entry of undocumented workers…"

Milenio

Dec. 31, 2010


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Connecticut, USA

Citing police abuse, Hispanics leaving Conn. town

East Haven - Santiago Malave has worked law enforcement jobs in Connecticut for more than four decades, but as a Puerto Rican, he says he cannot drive through his own town without worrying about police harassing him.

Malave, a probation officer who works in New Haven, says the racial abuse is so bad that he only crosses the town line into East Haven to go home. He and his wife are now preparing to sell their house and move, joining an exodus of Hispanics who say police have hassled them with traffic stops, false arrests and even jailhouse beatings.

The Justice Department has started a civil rights investigation, and the FBI recently opened a criminal probe. But that has not changed things on Main Street, where restaurants and stores that cater to Hispanics are going out of business.

If the goal of police was to ruin East Haven's Hispanic community, some grudgingly say they have succeeded.

"We can't tolerate the town anymore," said Malave, 64. "For us to leave our beautiful home is something that hurts, but we can't deal with these people."

Racial profiling allegations began swirling about two years ago in East Haven, a predominantly Italian-American seaside suburb of about 28,000 people 70 miles northeast of New York City. Hispanics make up only about 7 percent of the population, but their numbers had been growing as the peaceful, small-town setting and thriving businesses attracted newcomers from Mexico and Ecuador.

Police Chief Leonard Gallo, who is on administrative leave, has denied the allegations. The office of acting Police Chief Gaetano Nappi referred calls to Town Attorney Patricia Cofrancesco, who did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Hispanic business owners say police made a practice of parking outside their shops and stopping any Latinos. Some who complained say they faced retaliation.

Luis Rodriguez, an immigrant from Ecuador who owns the Los Amigos Grocery, said he was arrested two months ago and jailed for five days after a woman pointed out to police that his 3-year-old son was unsupervised on the sidewalk outside the store. He said police were out for revenge because his wife had been videotaping them. He was charged with child neglect; the case is still pending.

Meanwhile, his store is up for sale. Ecuadoreans used to travel from as far as Massachusetts for jalapenos, Ecuadorean sodas and other specialty products. But Rodriguez said police have scared customers away by threatening to alert immigration authorities if they ever saw them in town again.

"If I had known the police in East Haven are so much trouble I never would have invested so much money here," said Rodriguez, 41, who has put more than $120,000 into the store.

The Justice Department's civil rights branch began investigating the police force in September 2009. It is still looking into alleged discriminatory policing, but it identified preliminary concerns in April over issues including outdated policies and a lack of clear guidance on the use of force...

Dermot Lynch, a student intern with Yale Law School's Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, said the problem goes beyond a few rogue officers.

"This is a system-wide leadership failure. It's going to need widespread reform," said Lynch, whose group filed a lawsuit in October on behalf of nine immigrants who say East Haven police abused them with beatings and unwarranted use of a stun gun. It also quotes officers using ethnic slurs.

Until recently, East Haven was considered a refuge by Hispanics, a suburb with ample parking and less crime than New Haven.

Malave, who has lived here since 1977, said he never had problems before late 2008 when police responded to a report by his wife that some money was missing. The couple had begun to argue. Malave, who was asked his nationality, said police arrested him for disorderly conduct the minute he said he was born in Puerto Rico.

"I tried to talk to the sergeant, but he said, 'You spics don't have rights here,'" said Malave, a former New Haven police officer.

Hispanics in East Haven say more than half their population — estimated at 1,900 by the Census Bureau — has moved away...

The Associated Press

Dec. 26, 2010


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

Utah and Idaho, USA

Rafael Escamilla

Flier Blames Tabasco Spill For Lewd Act: Cops

Man exposed self to teenage girl on SkyWest flight

Meet Rafael Escamilla.

Arrested this week for allegedly masturbating while seated next to a teenage girl on an airplane flight, the 50-year-old suspect told police that he was actually massaging and itching himself because he had spilled Tabasco sauce on his penis.

Escamilla’s unique explanation for his alleged indecent exposure is contained in police reports detailing the December 26 incident on a SkyWest Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to Lewiston, Idaho. Escamilla, a Florida resident, was in Idaho visiting family.

The girl, a high school cheerleader who just turned 17, told cops that she was seated directly next to Escamilla, and had chatted briefly with him at the trip’s outset. Mid-flight, as she looked at prom dresses in Seventeen magazine, the teenager spotted something moving “out of my corner of my eye.”

In a handwritten statement, the girl recalled, “I looked over and I could clearly see the man’s penis going side to side under the tray table that was down.” Escamilla, she added, had one hand on his laptop (which was atop the tray table) and the other “under the tray table.” Escamilla is pictured in the above mug shot.

After waiting two to three minutes, the girl--who was traveling alone on the flight--got up to go to the bathroom. When she emerged, the teen sat next to a woman seated at the back of the plane, and told the woman that, “the guy that she was sitting with creeped her out.”

Upon arrival at Nez Perce County Regional Airport, the girl, upset and crying, told her father about what had transpired on the flight. The man contacted a Transportation Security Administration supervisor, who in turn summoned Lewiston Police Department officers.

When confronted by cops, Escamilla denied exposing himself. “I wasn’t out, I wasn’t hanging out,” he claimed. As reported by Officer Chris Reese, Escamilla “explained to me that he had spilled Tabasco sauce or something similar on his ‘penis’ and had an incredible itch.” He was rubbing his groin, Escamilla explained, “because it was the worst ‘itch in the world.’” Escamilla said he tried to be discreet by covering himself with his laptop, but that the girl must have “suspected something.”

During further questioning, Escamilla changed his Tabasco story, claiming that it “might” be from his breakfast that morning “as he did have Tabasco sauce with his eggs.” Asked why he did not just go to the bathroom to “take care of this problem,” Escamilla told Reese that he “didn’t feel that it would help.”

Reese noted that Escamilla used the words “rub” and “massage” to describe how he addressed the “incredible itch.” The cop reported that, “while I was speaking with [Escamilla], he never showed any obvious signs that he had an itch in this particular part of his body.”

Escamilla was then handcuffed and transported to the county jail, where the above mug shot was snapped. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure, and a District Court hearing was set for January 18.

According to an online biography, Escamilla is an accomplished physical therapist who holds a Ph.D. and has worked as a professor at Duke University and California State University. Escamilla currently works as research director at the Florida orthopedics and sports medicine institute founded by Dr. James Andrews, the noted surgeon whose clientele has included Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Charles Barkley, Jack Nicklaus, Roger Clemens, and Drew Brees.

The smoking Gun

Dec. 30, 2010


Added: Jan. 2, 2011

New Jersey, USA / Peru

Suspected child rapist who fled to Peru taken into custody by Clifton police

Clifton — Police are now questioning a suspected child rapist who fled to Peru last week and was taken into custody by authorities at Newark Liberty International Airport Wednesday morning.

Leonardo Quintero, the Paterson man suspected of raping a 12-year-old girl, was taken into custody by Clifton police this morning. Leonardo Quintero, 20, of Paterson, was arrested on the plane without incident by authorities, Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken said at a press conference Wednesday inside Clifton Police Headquarters.

Bracken said Quintero agreed to surrender voluntarily after his family convinced him to return from Lima, Peru. He left the country Dec. 21 after warrants were issued for his arrest in the rape of a 12-year-old girl who also was raped and videotaped by another man, police said.

“Once he realized he had no place to go, he cooperated and went voluntarily,” Bracken said, adding that officials from the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Customs assisted Clifton Police with the arrest Wednesday morning.

Police took Quintero to Clifton police headquarters where he arrived in an unmarked black car. Quintero, who was handcuffed and wearing an orange T-shirt, jeans and a khaki hooded sweatshirt, did not say anything to reporters as detectives led him inside.

Quintero was staying with family in Peru, Bracken said. He went to Peru because he was scared, Quintero’s attorney, Marc Darienzo said.

“He’s scared, and I think he acted impulsively, and he came back a short time later,” Darienzo said.

Quintero will plead not guilty and Darienzo said he expects him to be found not guilty once they go to trial.

“I think the age of the girl here I think has contributed to some of the exaggerated claims,” he said, declining to go into detail. “We are looking forward to proving that once we get our in day in court.”

Quintero and Canpolat Cankurt, 19, of Clifton, are accused of forcing a 12-year-old Paterson girl to drink alcohol before each man raped her while Cankurt allegedly videotaped the attacks. Quintero then drove her home, possibly sexually assaulting her again, police said.

Quintero went to Miami where he hopped on a flight to Lima, Peru, on Dec. 21, authorities said.

Bracken noted that several other law enforcement agencies played major roles in the surrender, including the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Embassy officials in Peru who helped with Quintero’s travel documents. The Clifton Police Department juvenile division detectives worked hard on the case, particularly Bracken, Detective Sgt. Bachar Balkar, Detective Charles Kazimir and Detective David Kishbaugh, Detective Capt. Robert Rowan said...

“This surrender is like a belated Christmas gift for us,” Rowan said. “We are extremely pleased that this vicious predator will face justice for his actions and society will be much safer now that he’s in custody.”

Maarlene Naanes

NorthJersey.com

Dec. 29, 2010


Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, director of the Brother Migrants on the Path shelter, has been subjected to ongoing harassment by authorities and drug cartels for assisting Central and South American migrants in need.

Denuncian migrantes operativo y secuestro por parte policías

Dos mujeres que escaparon fueron violadas

Más de 50 migrantes centroamericanos, entre ellos mujeres, niñas y niños, se encuentran en grave riesgo luego de que fueron secuestrados el pasado 16 de diciembre en el Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Algunas de las mujeres que lograron escapar denunciaron que las llevaron al monte, las desnudaron, y dos de ellas fueron violadas sexualmente.

En un comunicado de prensa, el sacerdote Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, director del albergue “ Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino”, sostuvo que el 16 de diciembre, unos 80 migrantes, fueron secuestrados en el poblado de Acuites Istmo de Tehuantepec cuando iban a bordo del tren después de un operativo realizado por elementos de Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) y la Policía Federal...

Migrants denounce their kidnapping in the aftermath of an undocumented migrant detention police operation

Two of the women who escaped had been raped by their captors

More than 50 Central American migrants, including women and children, are in grave danger after they were kidnapped on December 16 in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Some of the women who escaped reported that they were taken into the forest, were stripped, then two of them were raped.

In a press release, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, director of the shelter "Brother Migrants on the Path" declared that on Dec. 16, 2010, some 80 migrants were kidnapped in the town of Acuites Isthmus of Tehuantepec while they were traveling on board a freight train. The kidnappings occurred around the time of an operation conducted by elements of the National Migration Institute (INM - Mexico's immigration agency) and the Federal Police.

Father Solalinde Guerra said that two days later, on December 18, 2010, at about nine o'clock at night, a train in Arriaga, Chiapas [where Central American migrants traditionally board freight trains north], about 95 migrants were taken off of the train and "became victims of an operation, and were assaulted and robbed."

The migrants who escaped reported that they saw two groups of about 40 people, of whom 10 were women. One victim was a child. They were kidnapped and taken away in three Tracker model vehicles.

The statement said five women who arrived on the evening of December 18th at the Brother Migrants on the Path shelter reported that they were taken "into the bush, stripped," and that "two of them were raped."

On December 19th, a migrant went to a store near the shelter and was intercepted by two men, one them armed, who told the man that those who had escaped the kidnappers had to turn themselves back in to them. The men threatened to go into the migrant shelter after the escapees if they did not comply with their order.

In response, Father Solalinde Guerra, requested protection from the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH).

Father Solalinde Guerra pointed out that since December 18th, the deputy inspector of the CNDH has remained at the shelter to listen to, evaluate and guide the migrant victims of the kidnapping.

Father Solalinde Guerra added that given the serious nature of the case he had also sought support from the Chiapas State Police, which is currently guarding the perimeter area of the shelter. He added that the Mexican Army, the Center for Investigation and National Security and regional office of the Mexican Attorney General's office were also notified of the facts.

Mexico's National Institute of Migration (INM - Mexico's immigration service) said yesterday there is no evidence of an alleged kidnapping of migrants who were traveling on a train, as has been claimed by authorities in El Salvador. The Salvadoran Foreign Ministry released a statement on the alleged abduction of at least 50 people on December 16th.

By the Editors

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Dec. 22, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Migrants detail mass kidnapping in Mexico

Oaxaca - A Honduran who was at the scene of an alleged mass kidnapping in southern Mexico described Wednesday the chaos at the time of the incident, even as Mexican authorities cast doubt on whether the crime took place.

El Salvador's foreign ministry and two heads of Roman Catholic shelters, all citing witnesses, said gunmen kidnapped scores of migrants after robbing a freight train carrying migrants in the southern state of Oaxaca late December 16.

Mexico's interior ministry initially dismissed the claims as "unsubstantiated," but on Wednesday flew a group of Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans to Mexico City to give details of their alleged ordeal to federal prosecutors.

The National Institute of Migration (INM) gave the migrants humanitarian visas so they can temporarily stay in Mexico, an interior ministry spokesperson told AFP.

Alejandro, a middle-aged Honduran who said he was aboard the train with his 23 year-old son, told AFP in a telephone interview from a Catholic shelter in the town of Ixtepec, in Oaxaca state, that he had been warned that criminals often preyed on migrants.

"The train stopped suddenly and we heard cries and shots," said Alejandro, who only gave his first name. "A lot of us fled into the countryside..."

Alejandro later returned to the railroad and met other migrants who escaped the train.

"There they told me that the criminals carried firearms and machetes, and kidnapped women, men and children," Alejandro said...

Father Heyman Vasquez, who runs a shelter for migrants in Oaxaca state, said Tuesday that as many as 100 migrants were kidnapped by gunmen during the raid, citing some 50 migrants who reached his shelter after the incident.

He said Mexican police had earlier stopped the train and detained nearly a third of the 300 migrants believed to be on board. Mexican authorities confirmed that 92 migrants were detained at a checkpoint.

The criminal raid allegedly took place soon thereafter, Vasquez said, citing witnesses.

The head of another nearby shelter said he received 19 migrants after the attack and requested police protection after armed men from two powerful gangs warned him to give them up or "face the consequences."

Mexican drug and human traffickers have a history of capturing illegal migrants, at times forcing the women into prostitution and men into low-level criminal jobs.

Migrants avoid Mexican police for fear of being deported, which could explain why news of the kidnapping took so long to emerge...

Around half a million illegal migrants cross Mexico each year, mostly from Central America on their way to the US border, according to Mexico's Human Rights Commission.

The head of the Migration Institute, Salvador Beltran, said in a radio interview Wednesday that the drug cartels "are apparently having major difficulties recruiting Mexicans, so they are focusing on migrants..."

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Dec. 23, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Mass kidnapping of migrants alleged in Mexico

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico - Mexican officials on Tuesday dismissed as "unsubstantiated" reports that as many as 100 Central American migrants were taken hostage during a raid on a train in southern Mexico.

El Salvador's foreign ministry said that around 50 migrants of various nationalities, mostly women, had been kidnapped during the attack in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca.

The director of a Roman Catholic charity in Oaxaca state, citing witnesses, also mentioned a large number of hostages in the alleged attack late December 16...

Alejandro Solalinde, a priest in charge of another shelter that took in 19 migrants from the train, has since asked for government protection.

He said that last week gunmen from two powerful gangs -- the Zetas from Mexico and the Mara Salvatrucha, which operates in El Salvador and Central America -- demanded he give up the migrants, warning he would "face the consequences" if he refused.

In August the bodies of 72 abducted Central American migrants were found on a ranch in Mexico's northern Tamaulipas state, in what police said was a mass execution by the Zetas of men and women who refused to work for them.

Around half a million illegal migrants cross Mexico each year, mostly from Central America on their way to the US border, according to Mexico's Human Rights Commission.

Some 10,000 undocumented migrants were abducted in Mexico over six months from September 2008 to February 2009, the commission reported last year.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Dec. 21, 2010


Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Activists march for Marisela Escobedo Ortiz in Ciudad Juarez

Hundreds gather for demonstration to honor slain activist in Juárez

Activists calling for justice in the murder of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz gathered for a march in Juárez on Wednesday.

A coalition of advocacy organizations and relatives of victims is organizing the protest demonstration, said Judith Galarza, a veteran activist.

Escobedo's public murder in front of the governor's palace in Chihuahua City made headlines around the world and elicited the condemnation of Amnesty International and the United Nations.

She was protesting the release by Chihuahua state judges of a suspect in her daughter's 2008 slaying when a man wielding a gun shot her at close range on Thursday. Security cameras recorded her murder.

The El Paso Times

Dec. 23, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Anti-femicide activist Marisela Escobedo Ortíz is shown in a street security video collapsed on a sidewalk just after being assaulted in front of teh Chihuahua state governor's office.

Activist Murdered in front of Chihuahua Governor’s Office

Although murders in Mexico’s northern state of Chuihuahua have, sadly, become commonplace, Marisela Escobedo Ortíz’s death last week drew widespread attention and outcry. Escobedo became a one-woman activist after judges set free the confessed killer with narco ties suspected of murdering her teenage daughter in 2008. Escobedo initiated an ongoing vigil in front of Chihuahua’s government buildings where a gunman killed her on December 16. The assassination was captured on video and has been widely broadcast. Two days later, authorities found the body of Escobedo’s slain brother-in-law. Observers say the family tragedy underscores rampant impunity in Mexico.

Americas Quarterly

Dec. 22, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Incendian el negocio de pareja de Marisela Escobedo

Chichuahua, Chih, - Un grupo de hombres armados quemó ayer por la mañana en Ciudad Juárez una maderería cuya propiedad es atribuida a José Monge, pareja sentimental de Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, la activista que fue asesinada el jueves pasado en esta capital.

“Era su pareja sentimental desde hace muchos años y vivían juntos”, dijo una persona que pidió el anonimato por el temor a represalías. Él apoyaba a Marisela, agregó, en su lucha por encontrar justicia para su hija Rubí Marisol Frayre Escobedo, quien a su vez fue asesinada hace dos años por Sergio Rafael Barraza Bocanegra, dejado en libertad por tres jueces locales.

Los responsables del siniestro, además de rociar el establecimiento con gasolina y provocar un aparatoso incendio que dejó pérdidas totales, se llevaron secuestrado a Manuel Monge, de 37 años, hermano del dueño, según testigos...

Arsonists burn business of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz' partner and kidnap the partner's brother

Chichuahua city in Chihuahua state - A group of armed men started an arson fire yesterday at the lumber yard run by José Monge, partner of anti-femicide activist Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, who was murdered last Thursday in this state capitol city.

"He [Monge] was her partner for many years. They lived together," said a friend of the couple who remained nameless for fear of reprisals. The firend added that Monge helped Escobedo Ortiz in her struggle to find justice in the case of teh murder of her daughter Rubí Marisol Frayre Escobedo, who was killed two years ago by Sergio Rafael Barraza Bocanegra [who at the time confessed to where he had hidden the body o fhis victim], who was later freed by three local judges.

In addition to the arson fire, the suspects in this latest act also kidnapped Manuel Monge, age 37, who is the brother of José Monge...

Carlos Coria and el Diario Juárez

Dec. 19, 2010


Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Liberan en Morelos a dos violadores sentenciados a 28 años de cárcel

La impunidad en casos de mujeres víctimas se ampara en la Ley

México, DF, - En México, las violaciones sexuales a las mujeres continúan bajo el resguardo de la impunidad; los jueces siguen dejando en libertad a los hombres que las agreden, el caso más reciente ocurrió el 7 de diciembre pasado, cuando en Morelos fueron liberados dos hombres que habían sido sentenciados a 28 años de prisión y 80 mil pesos de multa, por ser culpables de violar a una joven de 21 años.

Nadxieellii Carranco Lechuga, representante del Comité contra el Feminicidio en Morelos, dijo a Cimacnoticias que la impunidad que priva en los casos de mujeres víctimas de violencia, se ampara en la Ley. Bajo su amparo, dijo, jueces y magistrados han dejado libres a delincuentes confesos; “convirtiéndose en cómplices y privilegiando la impunidad”...

The state of Morelos frees two rapists who had each been sentenced to 28 years in prison

The law facilitates impunity in cases of violence against women

In Mexico, the rape of women continues to be protected by an institutionalized impunity as judges continue to free male assailants. The most recent case of this phenomenon occurred on December 7, 2010, when two men who had sentenced to 28 years in prison, and fined 80,000 pesos each - were free in the state of Morelos. The men had previously been convicted of raping a 21-year-old woman.

Nadxieellii Carranco Lechuga, who is a representative of the Morelos Committee Against Femicide (CCFM), told CIMAC News that the law facilitates impunity in cases of violence against women. She added that by using that 'shelter,' judges and magistrates have freed confessed delinquents; "converting themselves into accomplices and placing impunity in a privileged position."

In the town of Ocotepec in Morelos state, a pueblo with many traditional customs, two constables raped the 21-year-old victim in April of 2009. The rapists were accompanied by three other men. The rape took place in the town's police headquarters.

The so-called 'patrolmen,' Roberto Jaimes Colín and Gerardo Estrada Rosas, were reported and located. During a trial held in October of 2010, the two accused men were sentenced to 28 years in prison and were fined 80,000 pesos each.

Despite the convictions, December 7, 2010 the ruling was reversed by the Magistrate Iván Arenas Angeles. The culprits were freed from custody.

According to activist Carranco Lechuga, information provided by the state attorney general's office indicates that the public prosecutor's office does not have any legal options available to it to appeal the sentence. Therefore, the magistrate's decision, which was justified by "a supposed lack of evidence that the crime took place," will stand.

Carranco Lechuga noted that the three other suspects in the crime have never been changed, for unknown reasons. The CCFM has not been able to access case documents to discover why they have no been charged. CCFM must rely upon press reports as their only source of information about the case.

In a press release, members of the CCFM stated that the victim in this case no longer lives in Morelos. Nonetheless, they declared, "we are thousands of women who could become victims of these magistrates and rapists."

The CCFM press release rebuked the authorities for not protecting the life of the victim. "She's still alive but, what are the authorities waiting for, that she too be killed? We are tired of listening to those who run this country declare that, we 'regret' what [just] happened."

"The state governance [Interior] minister says that he does not want us to shake with fear." We say that he must shake up the discourse and begin to take action, says the CCFM press release.

The press release emphasized that: "those of us who defend human rights also deplore the murder of activist Marisela Escobedo that occurred in the city of Chihuahua on December 16th."

In the face of the impunity that severely affects the victims of femicide and their families on Mexico, once again the state of Chihuahua [note that Ciudad Juarez is located in this state] has shown that neither women in general nor human rights advocates are being provided with protection under the law.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

The CIMAC Women's News Agency

Dec. 23, 2010


Added: Dec. 27, 2010

Mexico

Mexico says its troops killed U.S. man

Mexico City - Joseph Proctor told his girlfriend he was popping out to the convenience store in the quiet Mexican beach town where the couple had just moved, intending to start a new life.

The next morning, the 32-year-old New York native was dead inside his crashed van on a road outside Acapulco. He had multiple bullet wounds. An AR-15 rifle lay in his hands.

His distraught girlfriend, Liliana Gil Vargas, was summoned to police headquarters, where she was told Proctor had died in a gun battle with an army patrol. They claimed Proctor - whose green van had a for-sale sign and his cell phone number spray-painted on the windows - had attacked the troops. They showed her the gun.

His mother, Donna Proctor, devastated and incredulous, has been fighting through Mexico's secretive military justice system ever since to learn what really happened on the night of Aug. 22.

It took weeks of pressuring U.S. diplomats and congressmen for help, but she finally got an answer, which she shared with The Associated Press.

Three soldiers have been charged with killing her son. Two have been charged with planting the assault rifle in his hands and claiming falsely that he fired first, according to a Mexican Defense Department document sent to her through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

It is at least the third case this year in which soldiers, locked in a brutal battle with drug cartels, have been accused of killing innocent civilians and faking evidence in cover-ups.

Such scandals are driving calls for civilian investigators to take over cases that are almost exclusively handled by military prosecutors and judges who rarely convict one of their own.

"I hate the fact that he died alone and in pain an in such an unjust way," Donna Proctor, a Queens court bailiff, said in a telephone interview with the AP. "I want him to be remembered as a hardworking person. He would never pick up a gun and shoot someone."

President Felipe Calderon has proposed a bill that would require civilian investigations in all torture, disappearance and rape cases against the military. But other abuses, including homicides committed by on-duty soldiers, would mostly remain under military jurisdiction. That would include the Proctor case and two others this year in which soldiers were accused of even more elaborate cover-ups...

The Associated Press

Dec. 25, 2010


Added: Dec. 20, 2010

Mexico

Anti-trafficking leaders gathered in Mexico City for the forum The Panorama of Human Trafficking in Mexico. Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco is second from left.

Photo: Ariel Ojeda / EL UNIVERSAL

Se dispara en México la trata de personas

Impunidad, corrupción, leyes deficientes y una sociedad permisiva y consumidora de sexo de paga hacen que el fenómeno de la trata de personas sea un problema de dimensiones alarmantes al que, en el corto plazo, no se le ve salida a menos de que se impulse un cambio cultural, advirtieron autoridades del país e integrantes de la sociedad civil que asistieron al foro Panorama de la Trata de Personas en México, organizado.

Rosi Orozco, diputada federal y presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, alerta que la explotación sexual se ha disparado en los últimos años a consecuencia de la guerra contra narcotraficantes, quienes al verse perseguidos han optado por hacerse de recursos mediante la venta de mujeres y niñas. “El desinterés de algunas autoridades estatales en el tema, las laxas legislaciones y la falta de capacitación de policías, ministerios públicos y jueces para perseguir y castigar el delito facilitan que el crimen organizado actúe con total impunidad”...

Human Trafficking Explodes in Mexico

During the forum The Panorama of Human Trafficking in Mexico, organized by [Mexico City's leader daily newspaper] El Universal, government authorities and nongovernmental organization leaders warned that trafficking has reached alarming dimensions due to impunity, corruption, deficient laws and a permissive society that feels comfortable with paying for sex. They believe that no improvements in this situation will occur without bringing about a cultural change in Mexican society.

Rosie Orozco, a federal congressional deputy and president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress], cautioned that [commercial] sexual exploitation has exploded in recent years due to the war against drug traffickers. In reaction to [more effective law enforcement interdiction efforts], they have chosen to [redirect their activities and] make their profits from the sale of women and girls. "The lack of interest on the part of some state authorities in regard to trafficking crimes, the existence of lax laws and a lack of training for police, prosecutors and judges to prosecute and punish trafficker allows organized crime to act with total impunity."

Of the 32 federated entities of Mexico, only six, Mexico City and the states of Chiapas, Nuevo León, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Hidalgo have passed [anti-trafficking] legislation. The rest of the states, with the exception of Campeche and Tamaulipas, mention the crime in their penal codes. Only 12 states have harmonized their legislation with the content of the Palermo Protocol on human trafficking.

To date, said Deputy Orozco, at the federal level there has only been one person convicted of human trafficking. Four traffickers have been convicted by the Attorney General's office of Mexico City. Orozco, "This is nothing compared to the magnitude of the problem, because Mexico is considered by the United Nations (UN) to be one of the five countries with the highest incidence of human trafficking [among all nations], and we are in first place internationally in regard to child pornography. This shows the high level of disinterest that exists on the part of authorities in regard to attacking the trafficking mafias..."

Dilcya García Espinoza, the assistant prosecutor for Victim Services in the Mexico City Attorney General's office recognizes that sexual exploitation in Mexico City is very serious, because we face a cultural reality that says that it "is normal for a man to solicit sexual services - without him having an awareness that he has become part of a chain of human exploitation."

García Espinoza: "Most human trafficking is perpetrated by organized crime. It could not exist without the existence of state corruption, both within agencies and also under the domed roofs [of legislatures]. Within the Mexico City Attorney General's office we are fighting against this. We know that there are police officers who are in collusion with the trafficking mafias. We are working to identify and prosecute those personnel..."

García Espinoza added that Mexico City prosecutors have executed more than 100 anti-trafficking operations. Some 100 traffickers have been arrested and 200 victims have been rescued. "We started in this work from ignorance; we worked on the knees because we had no training. We have gained knowledge  not only by way of our  experiences with each case, but also with the help of civil society organizations [such as the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean] that support us with training in specialized care for victims and in regard to prosecuting traffickers."

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), warned that at least 1.2 million people are the victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico.

During the forum, Ulloa, who has been a pioneer in the fight against this social scourge, called upon society and the authorities to focus their efforts on inhibiting the demand for paid sex "because otherwise, we [Mexico] will never stop being such an attractive location, as we are, for sex tourism and the consumption of child pornography..."

Ulloa, "[traffickers are now offering] a new product in La Merced - young [underage] girls from Central America. Traffickers bring them here [to be trained]. They then take them illegally to the United States, and force them into prostitution there."

Carmen Rubio, assistant director for identification and care for victims at the National Migration Institute [Mexico's immigration agency], acknowledges that human traffickers sell women and underage girls from Central America to other organizations to exploit these victims sexually. "Unfortunately, the situation of the victims is so complex that the hardly ever denounce their traffickers."

Teresa Ulloa urged U.S. authorities to take action. Just as the U.S. proposed a target of lowering the demand for illicit drugs by 15% over the next five years, Ulloa would also like to see the U.S. inhibit the demand for paid sex, because U.S. citizens are highly involved as sex tourists in Mexico and Central America...

Full English Translation

 

Evangelina Hernández

El Universal

Dec. 19, 2010

See also:

Other recent human trafficking articles from El Universal

Impunidad facilita trata de personas: expertos 2010-12-19

Experts: Impunity facilitates human trafficking

Red de prostitución, de Tlaxcala a Miami 2010-12-19

Prostitution network operates from Tlaxala, Mexico to Miami, Florida

Zonas de tolerancia, nichos de explotación 2010-12-19

Red light zones: niches of exploitation

Trata de personas ´moderniza´ la esclavitud

Human trafficking 'modernizes' slavery

Narco recluta a menores a través de trata

Noarcotrafickers recruit minor through human trafficking

Video: Trata de mujeres podría desplazar al narco: Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho: Human Trafficking could displace narcotrafficking

English translations to follow - LL


Added: Dec. 16, 2010

Mexico

Investigan presencia de mafia japonesa en México

La reciente captura en esta ciudad de un ciudadano japonés identificado como jefe de una red de tráfico de drogas, podría reavivar hoy las denuncias de posibles vínculos de la Yakuza japonesa con los cárteles locales.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública abrió una investigación, tras la detección del narcotraficante por utilizar a tres mujeres mexicanas para transportar drogas hacia Tokio, Japón. Junto con él fue apresado el encargado de contratar a las llamadas "mulas".

A finales de noviembre pasado, una denuncia de María Teresa Ulloa, directora de la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, alertó sobre la actuación en la capital mexicana de mafias rusa y japonesa junto a los cárteles locales de la droga, quienes controlan el tráfico de personas con destino a la prostitución...

Authorities investigate the presence of Japanese yakuza mafias in Mexico

The recent arrest of a Japanese citizen who has been identified as being a crime boss in a drug trafficking network could revive concerns about alliances between Yakuza mafias and Mexican drug cartels.

The Secretariat of Public Security opened an investigation into the Yakuza boss after he and three Mexican women were arrested. The women were taking drugs to Tokyo as so called drug mules.

At the end of November, 2010, Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean raised concerns that Russian and Japanese mafias were collaborating with local Mexican drug cartels to engage in the trafficking of women for purposes of prostitution.

In July of 2010, the Mexican journalist and author Lydia Cacho revealed to the press that "the majority of the drug cartels, together with a large number of public servants are implicated as being involved in the organized prostitution and sex trafficking networks in Mexico."

A study performed in 2002 by Johns Hopkins University concluded that in recent years, criminal gangs that operate in the city of Tijuana, in Baja California state, have taken 1,200 Mexican women between the ages of 18 and 30-years-of-age to Japan. These women were taken to Japan under false pretenses for the purpose of exploiting them in prostitution.

The Japanese Yakuza and the Mexican criminal organization Titanium of Mexico were identified in the study as being "the major networks of organized crime that recruit, transport, hide and sell persons for prostitution and other forms of human slavery."

The Yakuza is a mafia that was formed in the 17th Century. The largest of its 3,000 clans is the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is considered to be the largest mafia organization globally, with approximately 84,700 members.

Prensa Latina

Dec. 06, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 19, 2008

Mexico

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

Afirma la experta Teresa Ulloa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nadia Altamirano Díaz

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 12, 2008

See also:

Added June 21, 2008

Mexico

Implican a los Zetas con la mafia rusa, con Los Mexicanos y la Yakuza en la explotación sexual y laboral y cobro de cuotas

'Zeta' hitmen, Russian Mob, Japanese Yakuza and Mexican drug cartels are implicated in sexual and labor exploitation and extortion

From the Russian Mob to the Japanese Yakuza, which dedicates itself to drug trafficking, child pornography and money laundering in Mexico, international criminal networks cover our country like a giant brotherhood.

According to reports from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), close to 3,000 Mexican women have been taken by the Yakuza and enslaved in prostitution in Japan. The Yakuza collaborates with the Russian Mob. "There are mafias that are not just working in Mexico, but are cooperating [to send Mexican women into the sex industry in Japan], notes Aquiles Colimoro, coordinator of the foundation Casa de Mercedes.

These mafias place employment ads in newspapers seeking models and secretaries without experience. They obtain passports for these young women for the trip to Japan, where the passport is taken away from them.

Lately, these mafias have built alliances with the 'Zetas' [mafia], who extort bar owners.

Mexico's drug cartels are also heavily involved in sex trafficking. According to Sadot Sánchez Carreño, head of the Program Against Trafficking in Persons at Mexico's National Human Rights Commission: "We know that many of the cartels that are dedicated to illegal drug and arms trafficking are also involved in human trafficking."

Mario Luis Fuentes, director of the Center for Studies and Investigation in Development and Social Assistance (CEIDAS) agrees. "There are indications detected by the United Nations, that conclude that the same criminal networks that traffic in drugs and arms also engage in human trafficking, given the level of sophistication, relationships and logistics needed to navigate around the legal and migration controls in Mexico.

Full English Translation

- A. Olivier Pavón

Cronica

June 18, 2008

See also:

Infancia robada - El tráfico de mujeres y niñas

Stolen Childhood - The trafficking of women and girls

Teresa Ulloa, head of the the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW):

...The Russian Mafia "have an infinity of brothels on the Mexican-U.S. border, in cities such as Tijuana, where they prostitute girls that are ever younger in age. The last time I accompanied a police raid we found seven-year-old girls.

- Univision Online

Oct., 2007

See also:

UNICEF: An estimated 50,000 minors are prostituted along Mexico's border with the United States

- Judith García Aura

El Sol de México

April 13, 2008


Added: Dec. 16, 2010

Mexico

Congressional Deputy and anti trafficking leader Rosi Orozco

Venden mujeres en cárceles mexicanas

A través de una red de trata de personas, cualquier interno de los centros de readaptación social de México tiene la posibilidad de escoger y “comprar” mujeres. “Esta red que existe en los centros penitenciarios, es un acto terrible al que se enfrentan las mujeres, quienes son llevadas hacia los penales varoniles, donde las escogen para violarlas y venderlas como objetos”, reveló la diputada federal panista Rosi Orozco.

Orozco, quien es presidenta de la Comisión de la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas en San Lázaro, aseguró que estas mujeres reciben un trato discriminatorio, lo cual muestra la violación a los derechos humanos y la falta de equidad de género que se vive...

Women are sold in prostitution in Mexico's prisons

A human trafficking network has set itself up to allow any prisoner in Mexico's prisons and jails to select and "buy" women. "The network, which exists in the nations penal institutions, puts the women involved in a terrible situation. They are taken to men's prisons, where they are chosen to be sold as objects and raped," stated Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress].

Deputy Orozco emphasized that the women who are prostituted under these conditions face discriminatory treatment, which demonstrates a lack of gender equality and a  violation of their human rights.

One factor that aggravates these problems is the level of overpopulation in the prison system, noted Deputy Arturo Santana, who is a member of the Public Security Commission in the Chamber of Deputies...

The Justice Commission in the Chamber of Deputies has reacted to the problem by passing a non binding resolution that calls upon the appropriate authorities to implement measures to control sex trafficking. Their resolution asks that the National Penitentiary System, local jails, the Council of the Judiciary, the Attorney General's Office, the Superior Court of Justice, the Mexico City Human Rights Commission and the Secretariat of Public Security all take action to prevent the exploitation of women.

The resolution asks that the Secretary of Public Safety create an environment conducive to the social rehabilitation of inmates while also taking action to effectively monitor conditions in the nation's prisons. It calls upon the secretaries of National Defense and the Federal Public Security Secretariat to act to permanently strengthen the presence of the Federal Police [at prisons], and to engage in aerial surveillance in the municipalities of Práxedis, Guadalupe and Valley de Juarez, in Chihuahua state.

Omar Sánchez

El Arsenal

Dec. 11, 2010


Added: Dec. 16, 2010

Texas, USA

District Attorney: Human Trafficking A Major Problem

San Antonio - On Friday, a jury in state district court sentenced Juan Moreno, 45, to life in prison after convicting him on human trafficking charges. He held a 13-year-old runaway girl captive and forced her to have sex with several men.

Human trafficking, according to Assistant District Attorney Kirsta Melton, is "when a child is, in some way, obtained and then forced into prostitution or forced to engage in any other kind of forced labor or services."

State laws against human trafficking have been strengthened recently and now carry a maximum punishment of life in prison. The state laws are primarily used in domestic cases.

Federal laws against human trafficking, in most cases, deal with international cases.

"Best estimates suggest that there are over 100,000 children being trafficked here in the United States," Melton said. "What we do not realize is that there are huge numbers of our very own children who are being trafficked right here."

Prosecution at both the federal and state levels is vital, she said.

"We've got to take the resources and expertise that we have and apply it to the crisis," Melton said.

Melton said that there are other cases currently being prepared for prosecution in Bexar County. Among them are cases against Moreno's younger brother and two other men accused of raping the teenage runaway.

Paul Venema

KSAT 12 News

Dec. 13, 2010


Added: Dec. 16, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Farm worker arrested for raping girl in New Jersey

On December 3, New Jersey State Police arrested Elias Santos, 32, and charged him with first degree aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to NJ State Police spokesman Sgt. First Class Stephen Jones, the incident took place two days before Thanksgiving, in the girl’s home in Upper Freehold.

The victim is under the age of 10.

Santos, who works at a Christmas tree farm, admitted to police that he is in the country illegally from Guatemala...

David Gibson

The Examiner

Dec. 15, 2010


Added: Dec. 14, 2010

Latin America

University of California - Santa Cruz professor of Latin American and Latino studies Rosa-Linda Fregoso

UCSC professor explores feminicide in Latin America

…A new book co-edited by University of California - Santa Cruz professor of Latin American and Latino studies Rosa-Linda Fregoso, "Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas," investigates violence targeted at women and offers some strategies for combating the phenomenon…

Since 1993 more than 1,000 women and girls have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez, according to Fregoso.

Feminicide [also referred to as femicide in Spanish] is not simply any murder of a female. In "Terrorizing Women" Marcela Lagarde y de los Rios defines feminicide in the preface as "genocide against women " that "occurs when the historical conditions generate social practices that allow for violent attempts against the integrity, health, liberties and lives of girls and women."

In other words, feminicide is systematic violence rooted in social, political, economic and cultural inequalities.

Much of the early attention to feminicide in Mexico revolved around the border factories know as maquiladoras, and structural inequalities between men and women in the border state of Chihuahua. However, as the book points out, the problem is not limited to border states -- in fact the highest rate of feminicide is found in the central, Pacific-coast state of Nayarit -- and is found in many countries outside of Mexico. The book includes chapters that address feminicide in Guatemala, Argentina and Costa Rica, and refers to cases in Peru and other countries. According to studies done in Mexico and Guatemala, nearly all the cases of feminicide, 98 to 99 percent, go unpunished.

There are many factors contributing to the unabated violence toward women according to Fregoso: patriarchal legal structures, devaluing of women's bodies and lives, systems of impunity, power relationships and legacies of violence and armed conflict.

"Violence against women is a complex phenomenon and there are many factors to consider in explaining feminicide and violence against women," Fregoso said. "We are also attempting to challenge cultural stereotypes about gender violence as rooted in Mexican culture. ... Mexican culture is not monolithic nor is it one thing,' but rather quite diverse and heterogeneous."

While Fregoso says studies have shown that a mere 10 percent of violence against women in Mexico is linked to the drug war, the fight against narco-traffickers has affected the movement to bring attention to feminicide more than just by grabbing all the headlines.

Activists in Ciudad Juarez were holding regular protests, similar to those in Buenos Aires by the Madres del Plaza de Mayo that spread awareness of the disappearances during Argentina's dirty war, but have stopped because of the escalating drug-related violence in the area.

Fregoso, who is a former radio and television journalist from south Texas and joined the UCSC faculty in 2001, sees the current Mexican government's strategy of combating the drug war as incompatible with appropriate methods for addressing feminicide.

"With this particular government in place I'm not confident it will help," Fregoso said. "What is needed is a people-centered approach to human security, instead of a national approach. It will take a grass roots shift of focus to a human security model. The further militarization of law enforcement will not help. The military is not trained to combat this."

Instead, Fregoso advocates for a multi-level approach that addresses fundamental inequalities such as access to jobs and health care, while also seeking justice through collaborations between community groups, advocacy and non-governmental organizations, the state and law enforcement agencies.

"There is a lot of work that still needs to be done," Fregoso said. "We have focused on the problem, the next phase in research is to look at the potential solutions and methods for combating the problem."

In addition to the book, Fregoso and Bejarano have also set up a website, stop terrorizing women, that is dedicated to raising awareness and coordinating advocacy.

Tovin Lapan

The Santa Cruz Sentinel

Nov. 14, 2010


Added: Dec. 14, 2010

Indigenous Latin America

HIV/AIDS in Indigenous Communities: Indo-America’s Forgotten Victims

...The International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS (IIWGHA) is a worldwide network of representatives of native groups that seeks to incorporate “first peoples” into the international efforts to address and combat the spread of HIV. Over half of the members of the IIWGHA represent Central or South American indigenous peoples. As they prepare to release their strategic plan of action in the next few months, it is clearly time to address the social marginalization that has heightened the risk of infection in indigenous populations.

Indigenous Community Marginalization and Health

...The legacy of colonization has left indigenous communities in Latin America significantly marginalized. Most of these groups were forced off of their ancestral lands, which has contributed to critical health issues caused by persistent poverty. With the expenses brought on by poor general health in the community, the “increased burden of care” means that individuals are rarely capable of financially coping with debilitating diseases like HIV/AIDS, much less of engaging in preventative strategies like condom use. The strong correlation between poverty and HIV infection has been analyzed in innumerable contexts, demonstrating that poverty results in less education, poor/inadequate healthcare, and a higher susceptibility to sexual exploitation. Geographical isolation compounds these challenges.

...As the UN report puts it, “Because the spread of HIV in any community involves complex questions of culture, sexuality and social relations, and because indigenous cultures, by definition, are different from prevailing or mainstream cultures, the development of strategies to reduce the impact of HIV on indigenous populations requires real and active engagement with those communities.”

In most Latin American governments, this concept is not well understood or effectively implemented.

Louisa Reynolds reported her findings on HIV in Guatemalan indigenous communities in the Latinamerica Press in July of 2009. This article, which provided one of the earlier-cited anecdotes, began in the city of Almolonga, in the Guatemalan department of Quetzaltenango. Almolonga registered 14 new cases of HIV in the first seven months of 2009. Reynolds reported that, although the mayor recognized the crisis and attempted a campaign for condom use, the town’s evangelical churches vetoed his efforts. Quetzaltenango had 206.71 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with a total of 1551 HIV positive citizens at the time of the article’s publication, a number which can only continue to grow without active efforts to impede it. The age group most affected was teens and young adults ages 15 to 25.

...Reynolds quoted another Guatemalan mayor, Saturnino Figueroa of San Jaun Ixcoy in Huehuetenango: After people migrate, they come back with sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, which has already caused a number of deaths. A young man comes back from the United States infected with the disease and has sex with a number of women. All the women in the community want this man to marry them because they think he will give them material goods. Then, these women have sex with other men and that’s when it becomes a threat to the population. It’s an issue that few people are willing to talk about because it involves a person’s honor and people prefer to remain silent.

Unfortunately, this dynamic of increased HIV susceptibility from patterns of migration pervades the indigenous communities....

The United Nations reported that, though in 2000 only 4.6 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in Mexico came from rural locations, in the decade since, the disease has begun to leave the cities and permeate indigenous, rural areas. A team led by Daniel Hernández-Rosete performed 91 interviews with Purépecha and Zapotec indigenous communities, focusing on the health of indigenous women in the context of the Mexican concubinage institution. Under this cultural practice, some women are “stolen” (robadas) from their families at very young ages to be “concubines” (similar to the English concept of common-law wives) for men. Though many Mexicans accept this practice, it often creates dynamics of hyper-masculinity, machismo, and power domination in concubine relationships. The 91 interviews included 24 women in concubinage and 29 indigenous migrants.

...Many transient workers insist on having unprotected sex with their concubines upon return, in an attempt to keep the women dependent on, and therefore faithful to, the men through pregnancy. The heavily machismo culture prevents many women from resisting, even those who suspected their partners of engaging in sexual behavior abroad and acknowledged the danger this posed to their children’s health as well as their own. In addition, though the concubinage system carries less stigma than the word evokes in English, concubines still have a diminished social support structure. Over time, this system has caused these women to become “wrapped in a spiral of isolation, economic dependency, and domestic violence that places them in situations that diminish their ability to prevent and treat HIV/STIs.”

Though HIV/AIDS in indigenous communities mainly revolves around a simple lack of attention, the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) has alleged that the indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, have been actively repressed by a corrupt government. The article claimed that an organization called Frente Común Contra el SIDA discovered that the state AIDS council, COESIDA, was treating indigenous patients improperly (or not at all) and under-reporting rural AIDS cases. It quoted the journals of late AIDS activist Bill Wolf, who pointed to a suspicious relationship between COESIDA’s director and current and past governors. Wolf also claimed that during the disruptive 2006 strikes in Oaxaca, the government forced him to sign an agreement “to cease activities concerning HIV/AIDS.” Wolf also alleged that, even more reprehensibly, the government attacked a Frente-run condom supplier in a mafia-like scenario. Though some of the details of the allegations seem unverifiable to say the least, the simple truth remains that governments are not doing enough to address HIV/AIDS in their indigenous communities...

...Local experts have accused the Brazilian government of covering up an HIV/AIDS crisis in Amazonia. Neil McKenna raised this issue almost 20 years before this announcement in a 1993 article entitled “A Disaster Waiting to Happen.” In it, he referenced a number of alarming statistics, such as high rates of prostitution (among girls as young as 11 years old), and STI rates of 20 percent among garimperos. To conclude, McKenna quoted the founder of the Amazonia AIDS and Health Project, in regards to HIV/AIDS in the region: “The tribes of Amazonia are an endangered species: they’re facing extinction.”

Call to Action

Clearly, the international HIV/AIDS activist community needs more data on this issue in order to develop effective long-term policies. Yet, even from the limited available data, one thing is certain: if Latin American officials do not begin to address HIV/AIDS in indigenous communities swiftly, purposefully, and with the intention of incorporating culture-specific risk factors, the death toll in Indo-America could become catastrophic. Accordingly, this work concludes with an international call to action. It is to be hoped that NGOs, aid networks, governments, and individual activists will answer this call and address the plight of Latin America’s indigenous population before it is too late. There is simply no excuse to continue ignoring this problem.

J. Preston Whitt

Counsil on Hemespheric Affairs

Dec. 01, 2010


Added: Dec. 14, 2010

Latin America

Violence in Latin America more ruthless, ritualistic

Mexico City: Violence and murder grew across Latin America in 2010, with ruthless, ritualistic bloodshed by drug traffickers and criminal gangs making public safety the top concern in the region.

The execution in northeastern Mexico of 72 US-bound migrants in August, and 37 people killed in Brazil's recent crackdown on criminal gangs in Rio de Janeiro's biggest favela (slum) show the two faces of the regional violence.

"We live in a region where violent and slow, painful death have spilled across the borders," said the director of the Human Rights Institute at Central American University El Salvador, Benjamin Cuellar.

He noted that for the past 10 years, Latin America's murder rate has been twice that of any other continent…

In August, Organization of American States secretary-general Jose Manuel Insulza admitted that Latin America was experiencing an unprecedented crime wave, which "in a number of cities has become a real epidemic".

"Five years ago, we spoke separately of drug cartels, maras, armed gangs, kidnappers, smugglers and people traffickers. Now all this violence seems to converge in criminal organizations alone," he said after a Mexico City event.

Sofia Miselem

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Dec. 14, 2010


Added: Dec. 14, 2010

Southwest U.S., Mexico, Central America

'Lives for Sale': film examination of human trafficking

"Lives for Sale" is a thought-provoking film that humanizes the plight of the immigrant in a heartfelt way. Hollywood films such as "Trade", "Babel", and "Fast Food Nation" explore related issues such as sex trafficking and the exploitation of immigrants.

The "Lives for Sale" documentary examines the reasons why immigrants such as Mexicans and Central Americans are willing to risk death at the hands of "coyote" smugglers and criminal gangs called "maras", or in the deserts of the southwestern United States. Rarely seen is the human tragedy of lives lost and ruined along the permeable border between the United States and the waves of immigrants seeking refuge and a better way of life.

As Mexico's ongoing war with narcotraffickers appears to go awry, and the governments of Central America reach the brink of ungovernability, the people of the United States need to look at the complexity of the issue of immigration and its ties to demands in the US for cheap labor, cheap sex, and cheap produce. That a black market in human beings can exist under the noses of a people known heretofore for the rule of law diminishes our humanity.

Speroforum editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

The Spero Forum

Dec. 08, 2010


Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

Indigenous girl children in Mexico: Always at risk from sex traffickers, U.S. and European pedophile sex tourists and a government that doesn't care.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, who is the president of Mexico's National Foundation for the  Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children, holds a press conference to discuss the disappearance of 140,000 children in Mexico during the past 5 years.

De cada 10 niños robados uno es recuperado

En México, se estima que por cada diez niños que son robados sólo uno es recuperado, por lo que urge que se tipifique este hecho, como un delito federal y se integren unidades policíacas especializadas de investigación.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, presidente de la Fundación Nacional de Investigación de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos, observó que este ilícito, comienza, a presentarse con mayor frecuencia en zonas indígenas del país, donde los padres de familia, no cuentan con documentos o fotografías de sus menores que permitan abrir indagatorias...

Only one out of 10 kidnapped children in Mexico is ever recovered

The kidnapping of indigenous children is accelerating due to the impunity that is made possible by language barriers and a lack of children's birth certificates and photographs

An estimated 50,000 children have been kidnapped and are now living on the streets under the control of sexual exploiters

It is estimated that for every ten children who are kidnapped in Mexico, only one is rescued. Activists are therefore urging the passage of legislation creating a federal crime of child kidnapping and the standing-up of specialized law enforcement units to respond to the problem.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, who is the president of the National Foundation for the Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children believes that the crime of child kidnapping is focused on indigenous regions of Mexico, where the parents of victims do not have birth certificates or photographs that would allow the authorities to investigate their cases.

Gutiérrez Romero added that human trafficking has become the third most profitable criminal activity globally, after arms and drug smuggling. This requires, he said, that the legislative branch of the federal government reform the nation's laws, so that human trafficking becomes a federal crime.

[Note, the nation's current Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007, is not a 'general' federal law. It therefore is not enforceable by federal law enforcement in any of this nation's states, nor in Mexico City. - LL]

No statistical reporting mechanisms exist in any of Mexico's states to identify unusual patterns in child kidnappings, said Gutiérrez Romero. Therefore, he added, criminal networks operate with complete impunity.

From Gutiérrez Romero's perspective, these kidnappings have three purposes: 1) to sell these children to couples via illegal adoptions; 2) to use the victims for sexual exploitation; and 3) to illegally extract their organs.

Gutiérrez Romero emphasized that the kidnappings of infants and young children is perpetrated specifically to supply the illegal adoptions market. He has recommended that hospitals and clinics step-up security in their facilities.

The kidnapping of children between the ages of 3 and 6 represents a particular pattern, noted Gutiérrez Romero. He said that many young couples in which the woman wants to preserve her figure seek out clandestine adoptions of children in this age range.

Gutiérrez Romero declared that the only statistics that are available about child kidnappings in Mexico indicate that at least 50,000 of these victims live on the streets and are exploited by sex trafficking networks, while at the same time nobody [particularly in law enforcement] takes action to rescue them.

What is striking is that now, in southern Mexico and especially among the indigenous peoples of the region, this phenomenon is beginning to accelerate, especially because the language, spoken by he parents of the victims is not Spanish, said Gutiérrez Romero.

A second problem that impedes the documentation of each of these cases is the fact that parents do not have birth certificates, photographs or other documents that are required to create the case file that is needed to begin the search.

Gutiérrez Romero concluded by saying that families, schools and hospitals must develop approaches to protect children, and they must fight back, so that the federal authorities echo our demands to pass legislation that responds to this phenomenon.

El Universal

Dec. 09, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

Guillermo Gutiérrez informa que en México en los últimos 5 años han desaparecido 140 mil niños

Para combatir el robo de niños falta voluntad de la autoridad

Culiacán, Sinaloa.- En México, en los últimos 5 años, han desaparecido 140 mil niños, de los cuales sólo el 10 por ciento ha sido recuperado, informó Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, director general de la Fundación Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos IAP.

Señaló que 50 mil de esos infantes están siendo víctimas de la prostitución infantil, mientras que 70 mil de ellos son explotados laboral y sexualmente.

Los rangos de edad, dijo, van desde recién nacidos hasta la adolescencia, siendo las niñas las que encabezan la lista...

Combating the kidnapping of children will remain impossible as long as Mexico's government lacks the will to do so

140,000 Children have been kidnapped during the past 5 years

According to National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children president Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, 140,000 children have disappeared during the past 5 years. He added that only ten percent of these children have been found.

Fifty thousand of these victims have become victims of child prostitution. Another 70,000 are subjected to labor and sexual exploitation.

These missing children range in age from recently born infants to adolescents. Girls are the primary victims.

Speaking in the city of Culiacán on the northwestern state of Sinaloa, Gutiérrez Romero declared that large numbers of children are kidnapped from the family nest, given that during divorces, the father often takes his children without the consent of their mother.

When the mother in these cases submits a formal complaint to the authorities, they refuse to receive it. They choose not to believe the woman, and this slows down the investigation.

The segment of the problem of child kidnapping that is expanding is associated with sexual exploitation, noted Gutiérrez Romero.

Gutiérrez Romero emphasized that the law enforcement has the personnel, infrastructure and other resources needed to fight child kidnapping. The only missing element in the equation is political will on the part of these authorities.

Rumors

Although no statistics exist in regard to the kidnapping of children in the state of Sinaloa, Gutiérrez Romero said that he was speaking here in response to his concerns about the number of rumors of kidnapped children that he has received.

Gutiérrez Romero presented a strategic plan to guide the prevention of child kidnappings. He added that his organization may open an office in the Sinaloan capitol of Culiacán.

El Debate

Dec, 12, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

"Sufren 50 mil niños explotación sexual"

Culiacán.- Se calcula que en México hay alrededor de 50 mil niños raptados que son explotados sexualmente, sin embargo, no existe una cifra oficial que permita conocer la realidad, dijo el presidente de la Asociación de Niños robados y Desaparecidos, IAP, Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero. "No tenemos esa cifra. Desconocemos cuál es la radiografía nacional, para saber cuántos niños robados hay en México. Muchas veces los mismos estados niegan cierta información porque no conviene a sus intereses", aseveró.

Por la explotación infantil, indicó, México es considerado el Bangkok de América Latina, donde llegan miles y miles de pedófilos de todo el mundo. "Les ofrecen carteras donde vienen bebés, niñas y niños de 1 ó 2 años, incluso, para tener sexo con ellos", reveló...

Fifty Thousand children kidnapped suffer [commercial] sexual exploitation

The city of Culiacán on the state of Sinaloa - It is estimated that 50,000 kidnapped children are being sexually exploited in Mexico, although no official statistics exist to allow us to understand the actual situation, declared Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, the president of Mexico's National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children. Gutiérrez Romero, "We don't have any statistics. We don't know how many stolen children exist in Mexico." Gutiérrez Romero warned that, "On many occasions, the state governments themselves have refused to provide certain statistics, because to do so would not be in their own self interest."

Gutiérrez Romero observed that in regard to the [commercial] sexual exploitation of children [CSEC], Mexico is considered to be the Bangkok of Latin America, where thousands of pedophiles arrive from all over the world. "These pedophiles are offered venues where infants, babies of 1 to2-years-of-age are sold, to have sex with them," he declared.

Gutiérrez Romero reported that the majority of CSEC takes place in Mexico's large cities and in its tourist ports. For that reason, he said, these are the locations that pedophiles flock to. "What is known as child sex tourism is taking place in our tourist ports. A number of people choose these destinations to have sex with children."

Gutiérrez Romero cautioned that state governments that have tourist resort areas within their jurisdictions are loathe to announce publicly that the kidnapping of children takes place, because that news would diminish tourism.

Only 10% of child kidnapping victims are rescued, noted Gutiérrez Romero.

Gutiérrez Romero denounced the fact that the laws against stealing cattle in Mexico are more severe than the laws against the kidnapping of children.

Janneth Aldecoa

Noroeste (Northwest)

Dec. 12, 2010

See also:

Added: 2001

Mexico

[This article from the year 2000, which mentions the important work of missing children's advocate Guillermo Gutierrez Romero, shows that Mexico's federal government has not done much of anything at all to live up to its responsibility to protect its children from human traffickers during the past 10 years.]

Often unaided by authorities, Mexican parents of abducted children spend their days searching and nights haunted by... stolen lives

…At a time when the U.S. Congress has called for better cooperation in tracking American children abducted during custody fights to other countries, including Mexico, the issue of missing Mexican children gets barely a mention.

It is the other side of a story cloaked in silence and malevolence.

In Mexico, families with missing children have no answers. They are lonely voices screaming for justice, for a resolution and government recognition of what they claim is practically an epidemic of crime rings trafficking in children.

In a country where political and drug crimes get all the publicity, where children are coddled and spoiled, it is Mexico's dark secret: Babies, infants and teen-agers are disappearing. Some accounts put the rate at one per day; others say it's much higher.

…Mexico lags behind the rest of the world in legislation to combat the problem.

There is no national data bank on the names and numbers of disappeared children and no single government agency dedicated to finding them.

The federal attorney general's office oversees such cases, and since 1990 Mexico City's attorney general has operated the Center of Support for Missing Persons, but it doesn't investigate.

Mexico is among 28 countries that signed The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter Country Adoption. Under the agreement, it is required to name authorities responsible for controlling the trafficking of children.

Discussion has been under way to create such a special agency, but it has yet to develop. Officials from the Foreign Relations Secretariat, the president's office and the attorney general have been in contact with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., to join forces. But it has yet to come to fruition…

"When people rob a bank, there are cameras. But if you steal a child in circumstances no one sees, we are talking about an invisible enemy," said Guillermo Gutierrez Romero, who runs one of the largest private organizations in Mexico dedicated to finding missing children.

"There is not a trace of anything," said Gutierrez, who heads the National Foundation of Investigations of Stolen and Disappeared Children and has been trying to establish links with the Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Virginia. "In the United States, you have help from the government, from the FBI, from private corporations. In Mexico we are on our own…"

The only organization with a breakdown of the percentage of cases is the Association for the Recovery of Lost Children, run by accountant Israel Betanzos.

He said about 60 percent of the cases he handles are custodial. That is, a husband or wife took the child. But he said between 30 percent and 40 percent are stolen or kidnapped. Other organizations agree on the breakdown.

"Police don't help us. When we call them, they want money," said Betanzos, who wants to establish an alliance with the Heidi Search Center for Missing Children of San Antonio. "But all the victims are poor. They barely have enough to eat…"

Betanzos said if a child is under 3 years of age, the chance of recovery is virtually nil.

"Minors who are stolen are becoming younger all the time. That way they can't remember their parents or talk about their families, and in many cases they don't even know their name," the newly created Federal Preventive Police said in a statement in March.

"They are stolen for sale to illegal adoption networks that take them out of their country, and are exploited in various forms, including sexually, for pornography and prostitution," he said…

Bring in the clowns

The children's organizations say kidnappers use all means to take a child when parents have their guard down.

"The kidnapping of newborn babies from hospitals and clinics by people dressed as nurses is very common," said Gutierrez, a business administrator who founded his organization after running the Mexico City attorney general's Center for Missing Persons.

"There is also what we call 'shopping from a catalog,' which happens in poor, rural areas," he said.

A few years ago, Gutierrez said, officials discovered a clown ring that traveled to remote indigenous villages in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Veracruz to entertain children and take their photographs.

"The whole village came out, children, parents to see the clowns. They gave out candy and told jokes," Gutierrez said. "When the games were over they took photographs of the children."

A couple of months later, the clowns return to the villages bearing gifts for the children.

"They give presents except to certain ones, the ones selected in photographs," Gutierrez said. "To those they say 'Oh, no! We've run out of toys, but there are more in our van if you come with us.'"

The children follow and are locked inside, not to be seen again, Gutierrez said.

"These rings operate where there is poverty, where people have no power or political clout," Gutierrez said.

Children's organizations say a child can bring anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on skin and eye color. The whiter the skin, the more expensive…

Susana Hayward

San Antonio Express-News

April 09, 2000

LibertadLatina Special Section

Read our section on the prostitution of infants by trafficking gangs across Latin America


Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

Men line up by the dozens to buy women and underage girls in prostitution on Santo Tomás street, in Mexico City's La Merced prostitution zone.

The photographer's notes say: "This is a, although not well-known, Mexico-City institution. The small road Santo Tómas near the metro station La Merced is one of the red light zones.

Men standing beside the wall, while prostitutes passing by from time to time offering their service. The whole atmosphere is so absurd: there is no sound, no whisper, nothing. Just the sound of the Prostitutes' shoes passing on the pavement..."

La mafia rusa opera en La Merced; prostituye a mujeres del Este

DF.- Prostitutas rusas, de Bulgaria, rumanas y de varias naciones asiáticas están comenzando a operar en las diversas zonas rojas de la Ciudad de México, manejadas por grupos criminales internacionales, denunció la Coalición regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATWLAC, por sus siglas en inglés).

María Teresa Ulloa, Directora Regional del organismo precisó que la zona de La Merced, ubicada en la delegación Venustiano Carranza y en donde se concentra gran parte de la prostitución capitalina, se ha incrementado la presencia de extranjeras.

The Russian Mafia operates in Mexico City's La Merced prostitution zone, and has trafficked Russian, Eastern European women and Asian to the area

La Merced is used to traffic women from Eastern European to the U.S.

The Regional Coalition Against Trafficking of Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC) has denounced the fact that international criminal networks are introducing prostitutes from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and several Asian nations in Mexico City's various red light districts.

CATW-LAC director Teresa Ulloa noted specifically that the red light zone known as La Merced, where a large part of Mexico City's prostitution activity is concentrated, is experiencing an increase in the presence of foreigners. La Merced is located in the city's borough of Venustiano Carranza.

Ulloa, "[La Merced] has been converted into a zone where we now encounter many foreign women. It looks like a gathering place for models, whereas previously, we only found ugly women, indigenous women and those who charge the cheapest prices. Ulloa added the transsexual prostitution is also on the increase in the area.

Federal deputy Rosi Orozco (National Action Party - Mexico City), who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), stated that among the women and minor girls who have been forced into prostitution, the ones who receive the worst treatment from the leaders of organized crime are Central Americans.

Ulloa commented that she has filed complaints with the National Institute for Migration [Mexico's immigration service] in regard to the arrival in Mexico of hundreds of young women. Those who are European tell immigration that they are coming to Mexico to teach ballet classes. In reality, said Ulloa, they are employees of table dance clubs.

From La Merced to the United States

Just as European women and girls are trafficked to Mexico City, Mexican females, the majority of whom are underage, are also brought in from across Mexico to be 'trained' as prostitutes in La Merced. After their training, they are exported to the United States.

"[La Merced] has become a distribution center where many women are taken to initiate them in prostitution. They are then taken to Atlanta, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, where they are later rescued," said Ulloa.

Deputy Orozco stated that Mexico is the second largest supplier of human trafficking victims to the United States, after Thailand.

[Note: we refute Deputy Orozco on this point. Mexico is by far the number one source of foreign born child trafficking victims who are brought into the U.S. See the below reference. - LL].

Deputy Orozco added that Mexico is among the top five nations globally in regard to the incidence of human trafficking.

Statistics developed by the CATW-LAC estimate that prostitution in Mexico City represents 20% of the national total. The majority of prostitution activity takes place along Mexico's northern border with the U.S.

During a presentation of recommendations for changing police procedures in regard to trafficking victims, provided to the Mexico City Attorney General's office and the Secretariat of Public Security, Ulloa said, "Our estimate of the number of people who are living in sexual exploitation in Mexico City amounts to 250,000 persons. We are extrapolating in our statistics. We know that the parts of the prostitution business that are hidden in the shadows amounts to 80% of the problem. What we can see openly is only 20% of the total, because there are [underground] segments of the trade such as those that are based on the Internet."

Paraselas

Ulloa demanded that Mexico City authorities shut down the so-called paraselas [street runways - see above photo], where prostituted women and girls are presented to potential johns under humiliating conditions that she called outrageous. Ulloa specifically identified the paraselas that exist along the [infamous] Santo Tomás street, Limones Street and Manzanares Street areas of the La Merced red light zone as being problem areas where many underage girls are on display.

Ulloa also called for criminal penalties to be put into place to punish borough officials and police officers who make these activities possible.

In regard to that issue, Mexico City Assistant Prosecutor Dilcya García [who runs victims services and public affairs for the PGJDF] said that the PGJDF is seeking to reform the city's criminal code so that public servants, and especially agents of the PGJDF and police officers who are found to be traffickers of women or prostitution clients, may be charged with aggravating circumstances, and be subject to prison sentences.

García added that her role in the investigation of cases at the PGJDF will continue.

Excélsior

Nov. 30, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Anti-trafficking leader Deputy Rosi Orozco and other officials have stated on many occasions that Mexico is the second largest 'exporter' of trafficked girls and boys into the U.S., trailing only Thailand. This information is incorrect.

Here is what is stated in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, published by the U.S. Department of State:

…More foreign victims are found in labor trafficking than sex trafficking, some of whom have entered the country under work or student visa programs. Primary countries of origin for foreign victims certified by the U.S. government were Thailand, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti, India, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic…

The TIP report statement above addresses only statistics for victims who actually came into contact with U.S. government agencies and were officially certified as trafficking victims. This is a small percentage of the total number of foreign born victims.

In reality, the vast majority of foreign born children who are trafficked for sex or labor into the United States are Latin American. The majority of those victims are Mexican.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Nov. 23, 2010


Added: Dec. 12, 2010

California, USA

Above: Heroes - DeMario Hawkins,  left, describes how he and Sammy Johnson, right, helped to tackle Eugene Ramos.

Suspect Eugene Ramos

Union City sex offender accused of raping 2-year-old

Union City - A registered sex offender was arrested on suspicion of raping a 2-year-old girl in a Dollar Tree store as her relatives were Christmas shopping in the next aisle, police said Thursday.

Eugene Ramos, 36, of Union City, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of kidnapping, rape, sexual acts with a child and false imprisonment. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, and the case will go to the District Attorney's Office today.

Ramos was convicted in 2003 for the sexual assault of a 7-year-old in Hayward, police said.

On Thursday, police honored two men who prevented Ramos from fleeing the scene.

Sammy Johnson, 55, of Fremont, was in the store Wednesday afternoon when the crime occurred, and 24-year-old DeMario Hawkins was outside soliciting donations.

"They were absolutely instrumental in the capture of the suspect from yesterday," police Capt. Brian Foley said. "Without their help, the suspect would not be in custody."

The incident began about 1 p.m. when a man grabbed the girl as she returned a ribbon to a Christmas aisle in the store, momentarily leaving the sight of her grandmother and aunt, police said.

"This is not a case of inattentive parents or guardians. "... This happened in the space of 20 to 30 seconds," Foley said.

The man had the child pinned down in the aisle and was sexually assaulting her when he was spotted by the grandmother, police said. The child's pants and diaper had been removed and she was being straddled by the man, who had pulled down his pants and underwear, police said.

The man was pulling up his pants as he fled the store while being chased by the girl's grandmother and aunt, police said.

"She (the aunt) was just hysterical, holding this baby and screaming, 'Please, please, help me,' " Johnson said.

He and Hawkins thought there had been a purse snatching, and intervened.

Hawkins tried to stop Ramos, who squared off and swung at him. Hawkins punched back and hit Ramos on the cheek.

"I reeled back, swung at him and kind of decked him," Hawkins said.

Johnson then tackled Ramos and kept him pinned down...

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the crime to call Sgt. Jared Rinetti at 510-675-5229 or the tip line at 510-675-5207, or e-mail tips@unioncity.org.

Rob Dennis and Matthew Artz

Oakland Tribune

Dec. 03, 2010


Added: Dec. 12, 2010

The Dominican Republic

A Full Disclosure: A criminologist fictionalizes real-life crimes of the Caribbean island in novel

Asesino de Crimen o Usurpador de la Ley (published by AuthorHouse).

In an astonishing tale of triumph over adversity, Carlos, Asesino de Crimen o Usurpador de la Ley tells the story of Petra Luna, a single mother raising her son Mico amidst the drug and sex-trafficking streets of the Dominican Republic. When Petra is murdered, Mico, educated at one of the best schools on the island, vows to overturn the violent streets of his country. With his street-wise cousin, Carlos, by his side, Mico dives into the island’s murky underground political movement in hopes of rising as the people’s new president.

“The conventional rules are completely convoluted and broken,” Gomez says of the world his protagonists find themselves. “Therefore they need to find a way to restore order and peace by eradicating the impunity, controlling or eradicating the organize crime activity and educating the people. Carlos knows that in order to reach such a goal, many people will have to be killed.”

A riveting political thriller, Carlos, Asesino de Crimen o Usurpador de la Ley brings the vivacity of the Dominican Republic to life and offers a unique discourse of the realities of organized crime, government corruption, drug trade and human trafficking occurring in Latin America.

About the Author

Orlando N. Gomez was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, a town known for its great poets and major league baseball players. In San Pedro de Macoris, he began to study law and soon developed a passion for history and justice which led him to victim advocacy. Upon moving to the U.S., he received his licensing in criminology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His other books include Caribbus Dagger Bundelle: The Relentless Sprout and The Opprobrium of Wanton Behavior.

PRWeb

Dec. 09, 2010


Added: Dec. 7, 2010

Teresa Ulloa - Executive Director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America (CATW-LAC)

Mexico

México, primer lugar de AL en producir pornografía infantil

La Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe reportó que en estados fronterizos y del Pacífico registran un millón 200 mil víctimas de trata de personas. En el país la tendencia es traer rusas y búlgaras para explotarlas

La Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATW-LAC, por sus siglas en inglés), informó que México ocupa el primer lugar de Latinoamérica en producción de pornografía infantil, el tercero en consumo de esos materiales y el quinto en trata de personas, y que en estados de las fronteras y del Pacífico, se han reportado al menos un millón 200 mil víctimas vinculadas a redes del narcotráfico...

Mexico holds first place in the production of child pornography in Latin America

Press conference

CATW-LAC reports that 1.2 million victims of human trafficking exist along Mexico's border states and on its Pacific coast.

Russian and Bulgarian women are also brought into Mexico

The Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America (CATW-LAC) is reporting that Mexico occupies first place among Latin American nations in the production of child pornography. Mexico places third as a consumer of child porn, and holds 5th place in human trafficking in the region. At least 1.2 million trafficked persons have been reported to exist in these regions of Mexico. The victims are being exploited by the drug cartels.

During a recent press conference, CATW-LAC Executive Director Teresa Ulloa indicated that the cartels have diversified their activities in response to the increased [effectiveness of] law enforcement responses to criminal drug trafficking activities. They now engage in piratery, kidnappings and human trafficking for the purposes of exploiting these individuals in the drug trade and in prostitution.

Ulloa noted that 20% of human trafficking victims are minors. She added that "Mexico holds fifth place among Latin American nations in human trafficking statistics. Only the Dominican Republic, Haiti. Brazil and Argentina rank higher than Mexico." Ulloa emphasized that "Mexico holds first place as a producer, and third place as a consumer of child pornography among the countries of the region.

Ulloa also declared that Russian and Bulgarian women are brought to Mexico under the guise that they will be smuggled into the United States, or that they are coming for [an arranged] marriage. In reality, these women are trafficked to Mexico for the purpose of sexual exploitation...

The problem of child exploitation affects almost the entire nation of Mexico. Some 70% of Mexico's 31 states report suffering from the problem of child trafficking and child sex tourism.

In general, 90% of sexually exploited children have not completed primary school, and 22% of child victims are illiterate. Eighty eight percent of sexually exploited minors become the mothers of at least three children.

Ulloa states in her report, "During the past two decades the age of initiation of females into prostitution has dropped from 15 to 11. The daughters of sex workers in the La Merced prostitution zone n Mexico City, for example, are condemned without exception to engage in prostitution. Normally, the mother sells her daughter's virginity between the ages of 11 and 13, for an average price of 10,000 Mexican pesos (US$800)."

The sale of women and girls

Pablo Navarrete, the coordinator for judicial affairs for the National Women's Institute (Inmujeres - a federal agency) stated during the event that the tradition of families selling their daughters for livestock, money or even two cases of beer, continues in the [rural] states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Campeche and Guerrero.

Navarrete noted that in the state of Oaxaca, for example, local authorities do not accept the existence of human trafficking because they lack sufficient information. It is therefore important to work in a coordinated manner to raise their awareness in this regard. "The cost of a woman ranges from a sack of corn to a pig," he said.

"In indigenous communities, girls are sold by their family. It is these practices that must be reversed, given that they result in forced marriages and also slavery. Although people are sold to become domestics or for sexual exploitation, the penalties are higher for stealing a cow than they are for assaulting a woman." Said Navarrete.

According to the penal codes of 20 Mexican states, a man who uses violence or deception to kidnap, hold hostage and rape a women is freed from any criminal liability if he agrees to marry his victim. [This holds true in many Latin American nations - LL.]

In additional, added Navarrete, "it is outrageous that 30 state criminal codes protect those who commit child rape, and also legitimize the forced marriage of minors, something that international law forbids" declared Navarrete.

Navarrete rejected the idea that respect for "traditions and customs" should be used to justify violence against women and trample their human rights.

Ricardo Bucio Mujica, chairman of The National Council to Prevent Discrimination, CONAPRED, presented additional statistics. According to reports from CONAPRED, there are a growing number of cases of women [and girls] who were sold to rich people to serve as domestics in big cities, and then fell into the hands of criminal groups involved in pornography and the sex trade.

Bucio Mujica, "Females engaged in domestic work range in age from 12 to 29. We have seen that the phenomenon of human trafficking for domestic work is widespread, as is child labor trafficking, organ trafficking and commercial [sexual] exploitation."

[Note, the vast majority of domestic servants in Mexico are poor indigenous girls in the 12-to-14 years-of-age range. - LL]

Full English Translation

Blanca Valadez

Milenio

Nov. 30, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 7, 2010

Latin America

Over 5 million Latin American women sex trade victims

Mexico City - More than five million women have become victims of people trafficking networks in Latin America and 10 million more are at risk of falling prey, activist Teresa Ulloa has said.

The director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), also said that the traders "are more and more linked with organized crime", and added that poverty had made the phenomenon "skyrocket in recent years".

"It's a very serious problem," said Ulloa Monday after inaugurating CATW-LAC's first formal conference here. Part of the problem of the current spike in this kind of crime is due to the fact that "organized crime throughout Latin America has diversified its illicit activities", moving into "very lucrative" activities such as sex trafficking, Ulloa said.

"A dose of drug is sold once and there's no more profit. They can sell a woman or a girl up to 40 or 50 times per day, making $40 or $60 each time and they can be exploiting her for five years," she added. She said she feared that the number of women and minors involved in the trade will grow in the coming months "because of the problem of the recession and poverty", both of which are bound to the economic crisis.

The meeting in Mexico City brought together non-governmental organizations from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries who want to create forums to improve information about these cases and to make proposals for better public policies. According to the International Organization for Migration, earnings from sex trafficking amount to about $16 billion per year in Latin America.

EFE

March 26, 2009

See also:

Added July 5, 2008

Mexico 

En desventaja, niños mexicanos indocumentados

Mexico's undocumented migrant children are at a disadvantage for refugee benefits

Thousands of children cross alone into the U.S. each year to escape child sex trafficking networks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Note: The 2010 renewal of the Trafficking Victim's Protection Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law, resolves some of the child asylum vetting process issues raised by Christopher Nugent in the above article - LL]

Full English Translation

Georgina Olson

Excélsior

July 3, 2008


Added: Dec. 4, 2010

Mexico

Dr. Patricia Olamendi is shown during a previous presentation to the United Nations.

Dr. Olamendi is a former Vice-Minister for Global Issues in Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

México ignora trata de personas: Olamendi

Edomex inaugura Foro Regional para Prevención y Erradicación de ese mal

Toluca, Méx.— De las 33 mil denuncias telefónicas que ha registrado el programa Llama y Vive que opera en Perú, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y el estado de México, 12 mil han estado relacionadas con el delito de trata de personas y de éstas se han derivado 180 denuncias penales, dijo ayer Ellis Juan, representante del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) en México.

En el marco del Foro Regional para la Prevención y Erradicación de la Trata de Personas, inaugurado por el gobernador mexiquense, Enrique Peña Nieto, el representante del BID precisó que el programa inició operaciones en Perú y desde hace un año la entidad mexiquense se incorporó al esquema que tiene como objetivo denunciar el ilícito que, según organismos internacionales, después del tráfico de droga y armas es el que genera más ganancias.

“Nos preocupa mucho todo el impacto que está teniendo el tráfico ilegal de personas de Centroamérica, hacia el norte —Estados Unidos—, que buscan mejores oportunidades de trabajo y, México es una región de paso”, comentó Ellis Juan.

Patricia Olamendi, experta mexicana en el tema y colaboradora del Comité Técnico del Mecanismo de Seguimiento de la Convención de Belem Do Pará, sostuvo que el delito de trata de personas, en su modalidad de prostitución y tráfico de migrantes, es ignorado por las autoridades federales y estatales, entre otras cosas, porque es aceptado por la sociedad...

Dr. Patricia Olamendi: The nation of Mexico ignores human trafficking

Mexico State opens regional forum in regard to the prevention and eradication of trafficking

The city of Toluca in the state of Mexico – Of the 33,000 complaints received by the anti-trafficking project Call and Live in the nations of Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the state of Mexico [a state within the nation of Mexico], some 12,000 were related to the crime of human trafficking. Those complaints have led to 180 criminal charges being filed.

These results were announced by Ellis Juan, a representative of the Inter-American Development bank (IDB) in Mexico.

[Note: The Call and Live project is a collaboration between the Ricky Martin Foundation and the IDB.]

During the opening events of the Regional Forum on the Prevention and Eradication of Human Trafficking, which began with a presentation by Governor Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico state, the IDB’s Juan stated that the Call and Live hotline had been in operation for one year. The program will now be implemented in Mexico state.

Ellis stated, “We are very concerned about the impact that the mass illegal trafficking in persons from Central America - people who are seeking to reach the United States – is having as they pass through Mexico.

Dr. Patricia Olamendi, who is a Mexican expert in human trafficking and a collaborator on the Technical Committee of the Monitoring Mechanism for implementation of the Convention of Belem do Para, declared that the forms of human trafficking that involve prostitution and migrant trafficking are being ignored by federal and state authorities [across Mexico], because human slavery is accepted by our society.

"We do not see any responses to human trafficking from state prosecutors across Mexico. Nor is the federal Attorney General’s office responding, despite the fact that they are spending millions of pesos [on anti-trafficking activities].

Pardon me for saying this, but we also see no response from the courts. This is a form of complicity with the human traffickers”, said Dr. Olamendi.

Dr. Olamendi noted that in some states, prosecutors are not investigating trafficking and when they do, they equivocate. That is, they do not follow the protocols that, for example, indicate that under no circumstances can a prosecutor state the identity of the victim and his statements. There are also no special spaces for those who will testify (such as the Gesell chamber) to avoid direct eye contact with the aggressor.

Dr. Olamendi believes that the prosecutors and officials in general who work with human trafficking cases must be trained. If the are negligent in their duties they should be sanctioned punished.

During the event, stated that every day, domestic workers [many of whom are young, teens and are often indigenous], are treated as objects and are forced to submit to schemes of servitude that are similar to slavery…

Federal congresswoman Rosi Orozco (of the ruling National Action Party-PAN), who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress], stated that human trafficking is a crime as serious as kidnapping. Both crimes, she added, should involve the same investigative mechanisms and criminal sanctions.

Deputy Orozco noted that the exception to the rule in regard to state responses was Mexico City [a federated entity – with powers similar to those of a state], where human trafficking is investigated and criminals face [serious] penalties. In the rest of Mexico’s states, said Deputy Orozco, prosecutors don’t even worry about the problem.

Governor Peña Nieto declared that his administration will open a specialized judicial center next year that will provide integral services to victims.

El Universal

Dec. 04, 2010


Added: Dec. 4, 2010

The United States, Mexico, Latin America

John Walsh, Host of America's Most Wanted

Teens Enslaved in Plain Sight

John Walsh, Host of "America's Most Wanted" speaks to CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper in regard to human trafficking

John Walsh: It [human slavery] is all -- it's all over this country, and I don't think politicians or the criminal justice system has really dealt with it. It's the ugly underbelly of America...

And who is the No. 1 country that engages in sex trade and use of illegal workers and keeping them in slavery like those women? It's America. And we have Central Americans. We have Mexicans --

CNN's Anderson Cooper: Tens of thousands of people are brought -- are trafficked into the United States for this, for slavery.

Walsh: For sex, for work, work they don't want to do, work they don't have to do, seven days a week. Brutalized, scared to death, threatened with, "We'll kill you. We'll kill your family…"

Walsh: Of retribution. I mean, the people who manipulate these people are good at it. They brought them in. They smuggled it in. Look at the Mexican people that have been smuggled in here. I've done many cases of Mexican pimps and madams. A woman who smuggled in young girls from Mexico telling them that they're going to be maids… at the Ritz Carlton. They're going to be a waitress at an Applebee's.

And where are they brought to? South Florida where I'm from or they're brought to Southern California or Texas. And they're brutalized by -- pimps control them and say, "I'll kill you. You don't tell anybody. Or we'll get back into Mexico and we'll kill your loved ones. We know exactly where you're from. We got you from your family."

Cooper: Do you think the law knows how to deal with this? I mean, the trafficker in the case of the Africans [highlighted in a film segment] in the hair salon got 27 years. That's an extraordinarily long sentence for -- it's a rare sentence.

Walsh: It's a bellwether. It's great. It sends that large message that, if you're going to bring people into this country illegally and exploit them, you're going to pay for it. And I think law enforcement's [been] ready to saddle up for years. They just don't have the resources.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children just partnered up in a nationwide sting. And they arrested 900 people that were involved in sex trafficking of little children, of teenagers, girls, 12, 13 years old. They got -- I forget how many kids that they got out of that. Something like 30 kids they got out of it. [Sixty nine children were rescued in the FBI's Operation Cross Country V - LL].

They've been wanting to do this for years. They need the mandate. They need the money. They need the training. They need the resources. And they need the politicians to say it's not just enough to deport these guys and push them back over the border. They're going to come back in six months and they're going to operate somewhere else...

News Anchor Anderson Cooper

CNN

Dec. 02, 2010


Added: Dec. 3, 2010

Argentina

Photo from an Argentine press article: Alumnos de Recreo trabajan en la prevención de Trata de Personas (Youth in recreation program fight against human trafficking)

Foto: El Litoral - Nov. 28, 2010

700 mujeres fueron secuestradas para la prostitución en Argentina en año y medio

Buenos Aires - La trata de mujeres con fines de prostitución tuvo un crecimiento alarmante en Argentina, donde en los últimos 18 meses desaparecieron 700 mujeres -entre ellas varias de otros países- que se sumaron a las llamadas rutas de la soja y del petróleo, reveló una ONG.

"La trata de personas en Argentina en los últimos 10 años tuvo un crecimiento sumamente preocupante", dijo a AFP Fabiana Túñez, de La Casa del Encuentro, una ONG que elabora la única estadística disponible sobre el secuestro de mujeres para el tráfico sexual...

700 women were abducted for prostitution in Argentina during the past 18 months

Buenos Aires – The rate of trafficking in women for purposes of sexual exploitation has underdone an alarming increase in Argentina. During the past 18 months 700 women have disappeared, including a number of victims from countries beyond Argentina.

"The growth in human trafficking in Argentina during the past 10 years has been extremely worrying", said Fabiana Túñez of the non profit organization Casa del Encuentro, which produces the only statistics available on the abduction of women for sex trafficking in Argentina.

Túñez stated, "In the past year and a half 700 women and girls have gone missing. They were kidnapped by human trafficking networks for prostitution. Of these, 70% are Argentinean. The rest are Paraguayans, Dominicans, Peruvians, Bolivians and Brazilians, in that order...”

"One thing that particularly concerns us is that recently, the age of the victims of prostitution networks has decreased. We are seeing children and adolescents ranging from ages 8 to 16," noted Túñez. Boys and adolescent males are also being targeted...

"Once they are in the hands of these mafias, the victims are subjected to 20 days of what traffickers call the ablande (the softening-up process). The victim is raped, tortured, their family is threatened, and they are given drugs to break them mentally. After this process, they are moved into the brothels,” revealed Túñez.

After stealing the victim’s identity documents, or after they are given counterfeit documents, the victims are hidden away in regions that they are not familiar with. They are forced to receive customers as frequently as once every 20 minutes.

"A pimp can buy a kidnapped woman for between $2,000 and $ 3,000, but there are also auctions of teenagers and girls - to see who wins the right to steal her virginity. Johns bid up to $7,000 for this,” reported Túñez.

The 'investment' is extremely profitable given that each slave will generate about $2,000 for her pimp each month, a figure that can increase fivefold in the case of a girl under age 12.

Trafficked women are kept at a given [brothel] location for only 20 to 25 days. When they are rotated, the brothels advertise a "change list" to draw their customers' attention...

Túñez denounced the fact that "the existence of human trafficking requires the complicity of the political and judicial powers, as well as the security forces." She added that there must also exist "social indifference, and men who are willing to pay for sex with women in slavery..."

See also: Full English Translation

Josefa Suárez

AFP

Dec. 02, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 3, 2010

Argentina

Grave: el 50% de las mujeres víctimas de trata de blancas en el país son menores de edad

Argentina tuvo un alarmante crecimiento en la trata de mujeres para explotación sexual en el último tiempo. Aunque no existe una estadística oficial, los datos recogidos por la ONG La casa del encuentro sugieren que el flagelo en el país ya atrae a las grandes redes internacionales dedicadas a la prostitución.

"En los últimos 18 meses secuestraron en Argentina a 700 mujeres para explotación sexual. De ellas, el 50% son menores de edad", aseguró a ámbito.com Fabiana Túñez, coordinadora general de la asociación. A estos escalofriantes números se le agregó el dato de que en los pasados dos años "han aumentado los casos de mujeres- niñas de entre 10 y 17 años"...

Grave crisis: Some 50% of sex trafficking victims in Argentina are minors

Argentina has recently experienced an alarming increase in sex trafficking. Although no official statistics exist, data gathered by the NGO Casa del Encuentro suggest that this scourge is experiencing rapid growth at the hands of large, international sex trafficking mafias.

According to Fabiana Túñez general coordinator of Casa del Encuentro, “during the past 18 months 700 women and girls have been kidnapped in Argentina for purposes of exploiting them sexually. Half of the victims are minors.” Túñez added that during the past two years, the sexual enslavement of girls ages 10 to 17 has increased…

Guadalupe Rivero

ámbito.com

Dec. 02, 2010


Added: Dec. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes (left) is shown at a recent event accepting food donations for victims of domestic violence

Sex trafficking in Brooklyn

Sex traffickers in Brooklyn are targeting Caribbean teenage girls, many as young as 13 years, to lure them into prostitution.

Young women from Russia, Germany, China and Latin America are also on the radar screen of criminal youth gangs, including the Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings, who beat, threaten or otherwise force them into becoming prostitutes.

That alarm was raised by Charles Hynes, Brooklyn’s district attorney and top prosecutor, who has created the Brooklyn Sex Trafficking Unit, BKSTU, to investigate cases and bring perpetrators to court. He has also launched a public information campaign to heighten awareness about what he calls a “barbaric” crime. “It’s hundreds of kids and every one of these kids is being trafficked,” Hynes said. “People misunderstand trafficking. When you say trafficking they picture someone being spirited across the Canadian or Mexican border.”

Hynes explained that the profile of a victim was a teenage girl who had moved to the city with her parents from the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Latin America, probably as an undocumented immigrant, and would have been approached by a gang member.

She was then enticed by the young man who pretended to be interested in a relationship as a boyfriend but then forced her into prostitution...

Carib News

Reprinted in the New York Times

Nov. 28, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Brooklyn DA Works With Local Community to Fight Trafficking

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes knows too well that the U.S. is not immune to the problem of sex trafficking – it occurs in his own borough every day. And high at risk, Hynes says, are young immigrant girls. That's why he's working with the community and New York celebrity activists like Sarah Jessica Parker and Gabourey Sidibe to create a community safety net for trafficking victims.

According to Hynes, girls between the ages of 13 and 15 are frequently trafficked in Brooklyn, many of them from Latin American countries, as well as Europe and China. Lacking proper documentation and a good handle on language, these girls are easy prey for sex traffickers, many of whom, Hynes says, belong to gangs. The Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings, among other groups, specifically target young, undocumented immigrants, knowing their trademark tactics of threats, coercion and brutality will work like a charm in pushing the girls into prostitution...

Angela Longerbeam

End Human Trafficking

Nov. 30, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

The below letter from a Latina social worker, although written 11 years ago, continues to accurately describe the problem of community-based sexual exploitation that is epidemic in immigrant neighborhoods across the United States and throughout the Americas.

This pattern of largely uncontested gender violence, targeting underage girls and young women, including many immigrants, is actively used by criminals to entrap victims into forced prostitution. The crime organizations know that the immigrant community's code of silence, its vulnerability to legal status issues and its fear of both police and criminals will provide the shield that is needed to hide sex trafficking and allow it to flourish right under our noses.

During a September 2010 interview with a human trafficking victim's shelter director working in greater Washington, DC, for example, the director stated that ALL of the victims that her organization is rescuing in Washington's populous Virginia suburbs were sex trafficked by major Latin gangs.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 02, 2010

Added: 2001

A Washington, DC Latina social worker and girls community center director's letter

Dear Mr. Goolsby,

"...Over the past two years, I have been observing a systemic pattern of violence committed against girls and young women in our community. This violence involves the sexual abuse/assault against girls as young as 10 years old...  

...There have been incidents of date rape, gang rape, abductions, drugging, threats with firearms, etc.  The incidents are just as you described in your letter [Chuck Goolsby's 1999 letter to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children], and have been met with the same level of indifference and dismissal of legal (never mind moral) responsibility on the part of civil institutions -- the police department, public schools, etc." 

...While some do say this is culturally accepted behavior, the reality is that many families -- mothers and fathers alike -- are enraged and wanting to pursue prosecution of the perpetrators, but they find themselves without recourse when the police won't respond to them, when they fear risking their personal safety, and/or when their legal status (undocumented) prevents them from believing they have rights or legal protection in this country. Many girls and young women's families are threatened and harassed by the perpetrators when it becomes apparent that the family is willing to press charges for statutory rape/child sexual abuse. 

...The use of intimidation and violence to control girls and their families results in the following: 1) parents/guardians back off from pressing charges, 2) relatives do not inform the police or others of sightings of girls and young women who have been officially reported as "missing juveniles," and 3) the victims of sexual violence refuse to participate as "willing witnesses" in the prosecution / trial process...

- Excerpt of a letter from a Latina social worker and girl's community center director working with young Latina girls in Washington, DC's largest Latino neighborhood.

Late 1999

See also:

Added: Dec. 3, 2010

New York, USA

Prostituted Youth in New York City: An Overview

…By focusing on New York, where ECPAT-USA is based, this report presents the dynamics and ramifications of child prostitution in the microcosm of one city… Through interviews with social workers, law enforcement officials, and others, we are learning that the problem only appears to be getting worse. Younger children are being coerced into prostitution under ever more violent circumstances. Gang pimping has become more common in recent years, as well as sexual assaults and kidnappings by pimps and clients…

…Susan Breault of the Paul and Lisa Program estimates that there are roughly five thousand youth and children in prostitution in New York City…

…The average entering age of prostitutes has decreased from fourteen to thirteen or even twelve years of age in recent years. Also, many girls physically mature between the ages of twelve to thirteen and are prime candidates for the sex trade. According to Laura Italiano, reporting on the scene in East New York, Brooklyn, "the youngest girls are so popular, their customers cause traffic jams…"

Sexually exploited youth in New York reflect the ethnic diversity of the city. A report on New York City streetwalking prostitutes revealed that half of all the prostitutes were African-American, twenty-five percent were Latino, and twenty-five percent were White… According to [Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director of GEMS, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services], latent racism may also serve as one explanation for the lack of attention given to CSEC [commercial sexual exploitation of children], because of the high percentage of prostituted youth who are of color: "They aren't your sympathetic victims-these kids are loud, foul-mouthed, and they're not White..."

Mia Spangenberg

ECPAT-USA

2001


Added: Nov. 28, 2010

Massachusetts, USA / The World

Human Rights and Sex Trafficking Film Forum 2010

Brattle Theatre

Cambridge Massachusetts

Dec. 2 - 5, 2010

Recognizing the need for greater public and academic awareness of sex trafficking, Human Rights and Sex Trafficking: A Film Forum will explore the power of film in effectuating a movement to combat commercial sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery.

The Latin American presence at the forum's events will include the following speakers:

Maria Suarez

Maria Suarez is survivor and activist. She was sold at fifteen for $200 to a Mexican witch-doctor after arriving for a summer visit in California from her home in rural Mexico. He kept her in captivity and used her as his sexual slave for five years. When her abuser was murdered, Maria was imprisoned for 22 years for a crime she did not commit.

Virginia Isaias

Virginia Isaias is a survivor of human trafficking. Kidnapped on a trip to Mexico by a sex-trafficking ring, she managed to escape and come back home to the U.S. In spite of the horrors she experienced during her captivity, Isaias has become an inspiring and empowered advocate for victims of human trafficking. She is a counselor for Casa de la Familia, an NGO catering to the immigrant community in Orange County, CA, and has just established her own organization “Sobrevivientes de Trafico Humano,” that seeks to rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking.

Isaias is the subject of the documentary film project Sands of Silence, which will be screening at Human Rights & Sex Trafficking: A film Forum on Sunday, December 5th.

Films:

* Fatal Promises

* Daughters and

   Sons

* I’m a Victim not a

   Criminal (Preview)

* Sold in America

* RedLight

* The Selling of

   Innocents

* Very Young Girls

* Holy Ghetto

   (Preview)

* Sands Of Silence

* Red Leaves Falling

* Playground

Additional speakers include:

* Ambassador Swanee Hunt - The Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

* Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now (Igualdad Ya)

* Siddharth Kara, Fellow with the Harvard Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery and author of Sex Trafficking - Inside the Business of Modern Slavery

* Christina Bain, Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

* Cherie Jimenez - founder and director of Kim’s Project, a Boston-based program offering support services and resources for women working in prostitution and seeking a way to get out.

* Rachel Lloyd, founder and Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)

- Boston Initiative to Advance Human Rights


Added: Dec. 2, 2010

Cambodia, The United States, Mexico, The World

Somaly Mam speaks at at Palo Alto High School

CNN Hero Encourages Students to Join Fight Against Sexual Slavery

Somaly Mam speaks to students about how to combat sexual slavery around the globe without leaving their homes.

[Palo Alto, California -] At 2:55 p.m. Friday, the school bell rang in an auditorium building at Palo Alto High School, but no student in the audience so much as flinched. Somaly Mam stopped speaking in bewilderment, looking from face to face, continuing only when a student explained that the bell signals the end of class.

Unlike Paly students, Mam did not grow up with school bells, or any school at all. Mam grew up in Cambodia and was sold into sexual slavery at age 12 by a man who posed as her grandfather. She was forced to work in a brothel with other children, where she was brutally tortured and raped every day for the next 10 years.

Vowing to never forget those left behind, Mam founded the Somaly Mam Foundation, through which she has dedicated her life to saving more than 6,000 victims of sexual slavery in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. In 2009, Mam was honored as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People and named a CNN Hero...

Mam and Bill Livermore, the CEO of Mam's foundation, have spent the last three weeks speaking at schools and events in the United States, shedding light on the organization and on the issue of human trafficking...

"We see the drug cartels in Mexico using woman to mule drugs into the United States and then selling those young girls into brothels that service migrant workers," Livermore says. "In Detroit, Seattle and Buffalo we see a lot of Vietnamese and southeast Asians brought in from across the Canadian border. In Miami we see Latin Americans sex slaves brought in, and in New York we see a lot of Eastern Europeans. Because they are all brought in illegally, it is hard to measure exactly how many there are..."

After a girl is bought, she is forced into a brothel, where she serves clients all day. When a brothel owner is able to recoup costs, usually within two days, there is no incentive for that person to take care of that "capital investment" anymore, according to Livermore.

Fortunately... there are ways to combat human trafficking. Their two main solutions are to build a strong legal system and empower women in developing countries. While there are an estimated 25 million sex slaves the world, only 3,200 people have ever been convicted of owning a slave...

Alexandra Messick-Kopel

Palto Alto Patch

Nov. 13, 2010


Added: Dec. 1, 2010

Mexico

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC)

Ms. Ulloa is a veteran women's rights lawyer from Mexico. The CATW-LAC manages offices in 21 nations.

50 mil menores en el DF, víctimas de trata

Ubican puntos rojos en delegaciones Cuauhtémoc y Venustiano Carranza

En la ciudad de México se estima que unas 250 mil personas son víctimas de explotación sexual comercial, 20% de ellas menores de edad, y la mayoría se concentra en las delegaciones Cuauhtémoc y Venustiano Carranza.

Teresa Ulloa, directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATW-LAC), consideró indignante y degradante que sigan existiendo pasarelas en Manzanares y Santo Tomás...

50,000 minors are victims of human trafficking in Mexico City – Teresa Ulloa

Press conference

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), has presented a report, The Rule of Law, Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in the Federal District, that details the results of a project to sensitize and equip police forces in Mexico City to [address human trafficking crimes].

Within the report, Ulloa estimates that approximately 250,000 persons in Mexico’s capitol city are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Some 20% of those victims are minors [that is a figure of 50,000 children and underage youth]. Most [commercial sexual exploitation of children – CSEC] in the nation’s capitol may be found in the city’s boroughs of Cuauhtémoc and Venustiano Carranza.

[Ulloa also noted that over 60% of adults in prostitution in Mexico City started as children].

Ulloa added that the La Merced area of the city has been converted into a wholesale distribution point for prostituted women, victims who are later rescued in the United States and other countries. [Well, a few of them are rescued. - LL].

Ulloa expressed her indignation at the fact that ‘zonas rojas’ [red light districts where adult prostitution is legal] continue to exist along Santo Tomás Street [an infamous strip used to break-in enslaved women and girls  - LL], and also in the Manzanares area.

During her presentation Ulloa stated that under the previous administration of the city’s Cuauhtémoc borough, the number of sex trafficking victims multiplied 100%. When the borough opened a red light district, prostitution extended itself to within blocks of the borough government’s office buildings. A report was delivered to the city attorney, Miguel Ángel Mancera, identifying borough officials who had become involved with prostitution activity.

The most important hot spots of sex trafficking activity within Mexico City are the areas of La Merced, Buenavista, Santo Tomás, Tlalpan and Sullivan. The problem also exists in Iztapalapa, Iztacalco and other boroughs.

Ulloa stated that in Mexico City we have [human trafficking] activity that ranges from enormously large organized crime outfits to lunch counters that hide their prostitution operations.

Ulloa noted that human trafficking in the city also includes labor trafficking, such as that which may be found in the Central de Abasto district [an industrial zone], where it is commonplace to find children working.

Dilcya García Espinoza, the city’s assistant prosecutor for Attention to Victims of Crime and Community Services, reported during the press conference that her office has created an elite unit to address human trafficking crimes. The task force engages in intelligence gathering, investigations and raids, and also offers assistance to victims.

The task force has carried out four operations to date, resulting in the rescue of 100 victims. More than 100 suspects have been arrested. The majority were believed to have been engaged in international trafficking activities.

Mónica Archundia

El Universal

Nov. 30, 2010

See also:

Added: 2004

Mexico

A woman is paraded before johns on Mexico City's Santo Tomás Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitution and are 'trained.'

Photo: (C) New York Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

We regard veteran anti-trafficking activist Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC) to be one of the most reputable sources available for factual information about the dynamics of human trafficking across all of Latin America, and especially in regard to conditions in Mexico. The CATW-LAC is based in Mexico City.

While Deputy Rosi Orozco, another venerated anti-trafficking activist, who is a member of Congress and the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Congress), continues to use an antiquated, 2005 figure stating the existence of only 20,000 victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) across all of Mexico, Teresa Ulloa has consistently presented statistics on the number of victims that are, we believe, much closer to being accurate than the 20,000 victim figure. It is most likely that Deputy Orozco's statements tow a political 'line' for her ruling National Action Party (PAN), which is effectively being unwillingly dragged by its feet (due to international pressure) to address the issue of human trafficking.

The November 30, 2010 publication by El Universal of the details of Teresa Ulloa's press conference, where she announced that 50,000 minors are sex trafficked in Mexico City - the most populous city in the Americas, represents a significant step forward towards achieving truthful public recognition that the sex trafficking of children and youth is a crisis that is growing exponentially in Mexico. El Universal is a reputable publication. It is Mexico City's leading daily paper.

The ruling PAN party's thinking in regard to how it publicly discusses human trafficking must equate to the following: As long as the lower figure of 20,000 child victims is repeated, global condemnation of Mexico's ongoing mass gender atrocity, that of legally uncontested girl child and adult female sex trafficking, will not be so harshly criticized.

No accurate figures exist to define this crisis, of course, but we do trust in Teresa Ulloa's analysis as the best among several available sources of data on the topic.

Peter Landesman's 2004 New York Times Magazine story, the Girls Next Door (see above link), also accurately portrays the complex chain of events that occurs when underage girls and adult women are entrapped in rural Mexico, are 'broken in' by mafias in the state of Tlaxcala, just east of Mexico City, are then taken to Santo Tomás street in Mexico City to be be further broken in, and are then trafficked to Tijuana to be prostituted yet again before they are taken to the United States, Japan or Western Europe to be sold as perpetual rape victims - for profit.

We support the work of these voices of truth.

The work of the anti-trafficking movement must include assuring that government institutions everywhere are held responsible for truthfully defining the human trafficking crisis. Without that truth, effectively combating this scourge will become next to impossible to accomplish.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 01/02, 2010

See also:

Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista

Expert: More than one million minors are sexually exploited in Central Mexico

Tlaxcala city, in Tlaxcala state - Around 1.5 million people in the central region of Mexico are engaged in prostitution, and some 75% of them are between 12 and 13 years of age, reported Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean...

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

[Note: The figure of 75% of 1.5 million indicates that 1.1 million girls between the ages of 12 and 13 at any given time engage in prostitution in central Mexico alone. - LL]


Added: Dec. 1, 2010

Bolivia

Congressional deputy Marianela Paco

Presentan proyecto de 12 años de cárcel para trata y tráfico

La diputada por el partido oficialista Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) Marianela Paco dijo ayer que la sanción para los infractores del delito de trata y tráfico de personas deberá ser una condena de entre ocho a 12 años.

La parlamentaria manifestó a radio Panamericana que el Proyecto de Ley contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas pretende resguardar a la sociedad de estos crímenes, que, en su criterio, “son uno de los que mayor lucro da a gente inescrupulosa que trafica con seres humanos”...

Congressional members propose criminal penalties of 8-to12 years in prison for human trafficking crimes

Congressional Deputy Marianela Paco of the ruling MAS [Pro Socialist Movement] party has proposed that the criminal penalties for human trafficking crimes in Bolivia should range from between 8 and 12 years in prison.

Deputy Paco stated during a radio interview that [the anti-trafficking law now being proposed in Congress] is designed to protect society from trafficking crimes, which she characterized as being one of the most profitable illicit activities that unscrupulous people engage in.

On December 1st, 2010, the congressional commission that is developing the trafficking law will meet with citizens in the city of Santa Cruz to understand their concerns about human trafficking. The commission will travel to Sucre on December 6th.

The bill proposes three mechanisms to address trafficking: 1) prevention; 2) protection for victims; and 3) criminal penalties for traffickers.

In regard to "express kidnapping" - a phenomenon that has become commonplace in Bolivia, Deputy Paco said that people must begin to report these crimes without fear, because the authorities are obligated to protect the public. The population has a responsibility to collaborate with police to help victims of trafficking.

Deputy Paco, "Criminal justice institutions must expand training to be able to handle trafficking cases. They should also hire specialists in the field, because it is not easy to prosecute the trafficking networks and the perpetrators of express kidnappings for human trafficking crimes without utilizing other criminal statutes, such as those covering torture, to do so.

Nonetheless, says Deputy Paco, the public is becoming educated about human trafficking, and we look forward to receiving help from civil society.

La Prensa

Nov. 29, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Bolivia, who's population is 55% indigenous and a total of over 80% of indigenous descent, suffers from severe levels of human trafficking. Women and children are trafficked to be prostituted internally, and are taken to Argentina and to mining centers in Peru.

Bolivia is one of the few nations in Latin America with significant indigenous populations to actively work to prevent the victimization of its native women and children in sex trafficking.

Labor slavery also impacts the region's indigenous populations. The International Organization for Migration has estimated that approximately 1 million native people are enslaved in labor trafficking schemes in the mining and logging industries of the mountainous Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 01, 2010


Added: Dec. 1, 2010

Mexico

Encuentran vigilantes ciudadanos prostitución infantil en el zócalo

Extranjeros y locales se presentan en el lugar a comprar menores; señala a padres indígenas

El coordinador general del programa Vecino vigilante de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública y Protección Civil municipal, Gustavo Téliz Hernández, denunció que brigadas de dicho órgano han detectado casos de hostigamiento sexual en el centro de la ciudad, principalmente en el zócalo.

Expresó que “tenemos problemas de prostitución infantil, reportes de pedófilos extranjeros y locales, individuos que vienen de diversas zonas de Acapulco a hostigar sexualmente a muchas damas”.

Agregó que “tenemos reportes de extranjeros, de hombres mayores de 60 años que se dedican a comprar a los padres inconcientes que venden a sus hijos, muchos de ellos indígenas, para actos sexuales”...

Acapulco's residents are warned to be vigilant about child sex trafficking

Foreign tourists and local men gather in the city's central plaza to buy minors for sex. They especially target indigenous children.

Téliz Hernández, the coordinator of the neighborhood watch program of the city of Acapulco's Secretary of Public Security and Civil Protection, has warned that his watch brigades have detected the fact that foreign tourists and local men are sexually harassing women, especially in the city's central plaza [el zócalo].

Hernández went on to say that "we have a lot of problems with child prostitution perpetrated by foreign and local pedophiles, who come from all over Acapulco to sexual harass 'many women.'"

Héctor Briseño

La Jornada - Guerrero

Nov. 05, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 1, 2010

Mexico

Niñas de 12 años, nuevo eslabón de la prostitución en Acapulco

Amanece en la zona dorada. Tres gringos comienzan a contar, uno por uno, los billetes de a 100 que ponen en las manos de una mujer, hasta completar dos mil pesos: es una madrota que al rato les trae en camioneta a seis niñas con bikini y pareo. Ninguna es mayor de 12 años: los tipos, en camisa tipo Miami y bermudas, pagan a cada una 300 pesos por dos horas de compañía.

Espero, paciente, mientras los primeros rayos del sol empiezan a calentar el ambiente de la Costera cuando por fin regresan las muchachas caminando y se colocan frente al bar Barbarroja: se ven cansadas. Se me acerca la más alta, se llama Sofía, es morenita. Sonríe primero y luego se ofrece: “Dame 500 y me quedo a dormir contigo”. No hay trato y subo al coche.

Apenas he avanzado unos 50 metros y un taxista se me empareja y revienta en gritos: “¿Oye, socio, buscas una chamaca yo tengo muchas,?”Se detiene. En cinco minutos aparecen otras siete niñas, entre 12 y 14 años, y empieza el regateo: cada una, como las otras, cobra 300 pesos por dos horas de sexo. A unos metros, un par de policías escucha la conversación y no pasa nada...

Twelve-year-old girls are the new link in the chain of prostitution in Acapulco

Its is late night in the golden zone of Acapulco. Three U.S. men begin to count, one by one, the 100 dollar bills that they are putting into the hands of a woman, until they reach a total of $2,000. The woman is a pimp. She immediately comes back in a pickup truck with 6 girls dressed in bikinis. None of them are over the age of 12. The men, in their Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts, pay each of the girls $300 for two hours of 'company.'

I wait, patiently, until the first rays of the day's sun begin to warm this costal city, when, finally, the girls come walk back and hang out in front of the Barbarroja bar. They look tired. The tallest one, named Sofia, comes up to me. Sofia is Afro-Mexican. First she smiles. Then she tells me: "Give me $500 and I will stay and sleep with you." I don't accept her offer, and get in my car.

I go 50 meters down the street and a taxi driver befriends me and bursts out laughing. "Look, my friend, he says. Are you looking for a girl? I have many. In five minutes he comes back with another six girls. These are between 12 and 14-years-of-age. They too charge $300 for two hours of sex. A few meters away, two policemen listen to the conversation and do nothing...

Francisco Reséndiz

La Crónica de Hoy

Oct. 20, 2005

See also:

Added: Dec. 1, 2010

Mexico

Instala Acapulco cámaras contra prostitución infantil

Acapulco , Gro. El gobierno municipal instaló tres monitores o cámaras de seguridad en el zócalo de esta ciudad, con el objetivo de combatir la pornografía y prostitución infantil en este puerto, que ocupa el primer lugar nacional en este ilícito. Además, dicha zona está considerada como un foco rojo , de entre los 80 puntos para este tipo de "encuentro" existentes en este destino turístico.

La instrucción para la instalación de los citados monitores partió del alcalde, Alberto López Rosas, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD).

Y es que Rosa María Cruz Muller, presidente de la Asociación Civil por Nuestros Niños y Niñas Guerrerenses, que trabaja en coordinación con la Policía Federal Preventiva (PFP) en la prevención de este tipo de ilícitos, alertó que en Guerrero existen 8 mil menores de edad víctimas de la explotación sexual...

Acapulco installs street cameras in the fight against child prostitution

Acapulco city in Guerrero state - The city government of Acapulco has installed three security cameras in the city central plaza [el zócalo], with the objective of combating child prostitution and pornography activities in this port city, which occupies first place in these types of crime. Acapulco's central plaza is considered to be one of 80 hot spots for child prostitution in this tourist city.

Mayor Alberto López Rosas (Party of the Democratic Revolution - PRD) ordered the installation of the cameras.

Rosa María Cruz Muller, president of the Civic Association for Our Boys and Girls of Guerrero State, who works in coordination with the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) in the prevention of child sexual exploitation crimes, warned that 8,000 minors in Guerrero state are victims of commercial sexual exploitation...

Alfredo Mondragón

El Universal

Feb. 19, 2004

 
   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias



Updated: March 14, 2011


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Key new special sections
About the crisis of forced prostitution of minor girls and young women in the largest center for organized sex trafficking in Mexico: Tlaxcala state.

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Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Former Argentine spy Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola has been accused by his adult daughter, Lorena Martins, of running a sex trafficking ring based in Cancun, Mexico.

El “caso Martins”, al Congreso de la Unión

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unión, solicitó la expulsión de Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola del país, debido a que significa un riesgo para la sociedad mexicana su presencia por lucrar con seres humanos.

La titular de la comisión, Rosi Orozco, afirmó que es urgente concretar la expulsión del país del ciudadano argentino Raúl Luis Martins al señalar que esta persona junto con un socio "está lucrando con seres humanos", por lo que es necesario que las autoridades mexicanas investiguen a fondo su presunta participación como líder de una red de trata de personas en Cancún y la Riviera Maya...

La legisladora federal explicó que "es urgente que las autoridades tomen cartas en el asunto, pues no entiendo cómo pueden no darse cuenta que el mismo abogado que defendió a Succar Kuri es quien ha estado defendiendo a este señor", puntualizó. Indicó que el asunto debe ser investigado de manera exhaustiva ya que se tiene una procuradora comprometida contra la trata de personas, a quien no le tiembla la mano para castigar a personas que explotan a niñas, niños y jóvenes. De acuerdo con medios de comunicación argentinos Martins Coggiola es líder de una red de trata de personas en centros nocturnos en su país y en Cancún, donde jóvenes sudamericanas son enganchadas con promesas de trabajo y posteriormente las obligan a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Congress considers the case of Raúl Martins

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the lower house of Congress has called for the expulsion of Argentine citizen Raul Luis Martins Coggiola, because his presence represents a risk to Mexican society due to his [ilicit] efforts to profit from human exploitation.

The head of the commission, Deputy Rosi Orozco, said it is urgent to realize the deportation of an Argentine Raul Luis Martins, stating that both he and a partner "are profiting from human beings," so it is necessary that the Mexican authorities thoroughly investigate his alleged role as the leader of a trafficking network based in [the beach resort cities of] Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Deputy Orozco explained that "it is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter...I do not understand how they have failed to realize that the lawyer who defended [infamous convicted millionaire child pornographer Jean] Succar Kuri is the same one who has been defending this man." She added that the matter should be investigated comprehensively, given that we now have a prosecutor who is dedicated to human trafficking cases and whose hand does not tremble when it comes to the task of punishing those who exploit children and youth. According to Argentine media reports, Martins Coggiola leads a human trafficking network based in nightclubs both in Argentina and in Cancun, Mexico, where young South American women are entrapped with false promises of jemployment, and are then forced into prostitution.

Read the full article

Por Esto

Feb. 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Lorena Martins, daughter of Raul Martins

Argentine ex-spy accused of sex trafficking

The daughter of former Argentine intelligence officer Raul Martins will arrive in Mexico this week with evidence that her father is running a sex trafficking ring in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, an activist told EFE Monday.

Lorena Martins will deliver the evidence to Mexican lawmaker Rosi Orozco, who chairs a special committee investigating human trafficking, Gustavo Vera, head of the NGO La Alameda, said.

Lorena has already filed a criminal complaint in Argentina accusing her father of luring Argentine women and girls to Cancun and then forcing them into prostitution.

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IANS/EFE

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Prostitution Network Buenos Aries – Cancun case will go to the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City

Lorena Martins daughter of Raul Martins, an Argentine former spy accused of managing a prostitution network in Cancun that has reached even the mayor of Buenos Aires of receiving money for his campaign from this illegal activity in Mexico, will flight to Mexico City to denounce her father before the Chamber of Deputies, reported the Excelsior.

Lorena Martins will present emails, cell phones and other materials as proofs of a prostitution network between Buenos Aires and Cancun that ties her father Raul Martins with several businessmen, politicians and high ranking official in Mexico.

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The Yucatan Times

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Tratan de expulsarlo por la trata

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Diputados de México pidió que Raúl Martins fuera deportado. Sus abogados apelaron. Lorena, su hija, entregó a la jueza Servini de Cubría el diario de una ex de su padre en el que relata la trata de dos niñas.

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados de México pidió ayer la expulsión de Raúl Martins. El pedido es un reflejo de la denuncia de su hija, Lorena, quien relató la forma en que la organización de su padre llevó chicas argentinas, brasileñas y de otras nacionalidades a ejercer la prostitución en Cancún. Ya en 2010, la multipremiada periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho, en su libro Esclavas del Poder, tituló el capítulo sobre Martins con el nombre de “El Intocable”. En Buenos Aires, Lorena se presentó ante la jueza María Romilda Servini de Cubría, que finalmente es quien investigará el caso, y le entregó pruebas manuscritas de un diario de una ex pareja de su padre en la que se relata cómo le trajeron dos chicas de 15 años. Otras evidencias fueron remitidas a la jueza por el procurador Esteban Righi.

Lorena Martins estuvo cinco días en México. Presentó las denuncias ante la Comisión de Lucha contra la Trata y también ante la Procuración General de la República. La joven fue recibida por la primera dama de México, Margarita Zavala, en la sede del gobierno azteca, de manera que el interés por el caso –adelantado en exclusiva por Página/12 en diciembre– llegó hasta el más alto nivel del país del Norte.

Ayer, la diputada Rosy Orozco, titular de la Comisión de Trata, pidió la expulsión de Martins de México, porque “está lucrando con seres humanos. Es urgente que las autoridades se den cuenta de que quien defiende a este señor es el mismo que defendió a Succar Kury”, un famoso pederasta, poderoso dueño de una cadena hotelera, que hasta decía en un video que mantenía relaciones sexuales con niñas, incluso de cinco años. El caso también fue investigado por Lydia Cacho en el libro Los demonios del Edén.

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Congressional members call for the expulsion of Raúl Martins from Mexico

The Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Lower House of Congress has requested that Raúl Martins be deported. Martins' lawyers have appealed. Martins' daughter Lorena has turned over evidence to a Judge Servini de Cubría

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the of the lower house of Congresss yesterday asked the expulsion of Raul Martins. The demand is a reaction to a complaint made by Martins' daughter Lorena, who recounted how her father's [ilicit human trafficking] organization has brought women from Argentina, Brazil and other nations to engage in prostitution in the city of Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, the award-winning Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, in her book Servants of Power, mentions Martins in a chapter called "The Untouchable." In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorena appeared before Judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who investigated the case, and provided evidence in the form of a handwritten diary written by a former girlfriend of her father, in which she relates how Raul Martins had [sex] trafficked two 15-year-old girls. Other evidence was submitted to the judge by the prosecutor Esteban Righi.

Lorraine Martins [recently] spent five days in Mexico. She presented her complaints before the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking [of the lower house of Congress], as well as before the federal Attorney General's Office. She was also received by the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala in the seat of the Aztec [Mexican] government, showing that the case, which was releaved by Page12 reporters in December of 2011, had reached the highest level of attention. .

Yesterday, Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the congressional anti-trafficking commission, called for the expulsion of Martins from Mexico, because, she said, "he is profiting from human exploitation. It is urgent that the authorities realize that the lawyer who is defending Martins also represented [convicted child sex trafficker] Jean Succar Kuri," an infamous pedophile and powerful hotel chain owner, who had once been recorded with hidden video admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with girls as young as age five. The case was [first exposed by anti-trafficking activist and journalist] Lydia Cacho in her book The Demons of Eden.

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Raúl Kollmann

Page 12

Feb. 09, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina / Paraguay / Dominican Republic

Prostitution ring brought people from Argentina to Mexico

Buenos Aires.- A prostitution ring operated by former Argentine spy Raul Martins, reported yesterday in Mexico by his own daughter, started by advertising vacancies in local newspapers and culminated in the sexual exploitation of women in Cancun, Mexico.

Gustavo Vera, representative of La Alameda, a prestigious organization dedicated to denouncing people trafficking for labor and sexual slavery in the South American country, told Notimex details of the operation.

In fact, La Alameda published the photo of Martins with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, who is alleged to have received funding of the alleged pimp in his election campaign.

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Cecilia Gonzalez

Notimex

Feb. 02, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mayoría de víctimas de trata de personas en NY son hispanos

Nueva York - Más de la mitad de los afectados por la trata de personas y que viven en el estado de Nueva York son inmigrantes latinoamericanos obligados a realizar trabajos forzados o a prostituirse, según datos de la mayor agencia de servicios a víctimas de Estados Unidos.

Un 58% de los clientes de Safe Horizon, la agencia más importante de servicios de víctimas en el país, proviene de Latinoamérica, dijo la organización a The Associated Press. Aproximadamente un 24% de esas víctimas son mexicanos.

Las victimas de trata no tienen oportunidad de denunciar su situación por temor a ser deportados.

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The majority of human trafficking victims in New York are Hispanic

New York - According to data gathered by the largest [non profit] victim service agency in the United States, more than half of New York ressidents who are victimized by human trafficking are Latino immigrants who are forced into prostitution or labor exploitation.

Some 58% of the clients of Safe Horizon were Latin Americans, the organization told The Associated Press. Approximately 24% of those victims were Mexican.

[Many immigrant] victims of trafficking have have not had an opportunity to speak out de to their fear of being deported.

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The Associated Press

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

Sex slave's story: Woman duped into leaving Mexico, forced to New York City's trafficking underworld

Sofia tells the Daily News how a "boyfriend" tricked her into leaving Mexico illegally -- and forced her into the life of a sex slave.

Her boyfriend told her they were leaving Mexico to live with his relatives in Queens, get restaurant jobs and build a happy life in America.

Instead, she was forced into a life of sex slavery — made to work as a “delivery girl” prostitute riding from john to john in a livery cab.

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Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexican Member of Congress and leading anti-trafficking advocate Deputy Rosi Orozco

Cada semana llegan a Tijuana decenas de niñas y mujeres de para ser forzadas a prostituirse: Rosi Orozco

Diputada Rosi Orozco: "cada semana llegan a Tijuana, Baja California, autobuses y aviones con decenas de niñas y mujeres de entre 3 a 65 años de edad para ser forzadas a prostituirse, refirió."

Distrito Federal.-La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN), impulsa un punto de acuerdo para la colocación de un muro en las instalaciones del Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, en el que se exhiban fotografías de niñas, niños y mujeres desaparecidos por posible trata de personas. Además, que el Canal del Congreso difunda, de manera permanente, cápsulas con las imágenes de las posibles víctimas, así como los datos de las instancias competentes para formular denuncias, como señal de solidaridad y efectivo auxilio, precisó la legisladora.

Señaló que la trata de personas con fines sexuales es el tercer negocio ilícito más lucrativo a nivel mundial, después del tráfico de drogas y armas; genera al año diez mil millones de dólares.

La gran mayoría de las víctimas provienen de contextos en los que difícilmente pueden conocer plenamente sus derechos, subrayó.

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Each week, dozens of girl children and women are trafficked into sexual slavery in [the Mexico/U.S.] border city of Tijuana

Deputy Rosi Orozco: "According to a study conducted by the College of the Northern Frontier (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each week dozens of girls and women between the ages of 3 and 65 are brought by bus and by air to the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California so that they can be exploited sexually."

Mexico Ciy - National Actional Party deputy Rosi Orozco, who is President of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons in the lower house of Congress, has introduced a resolution for the placement of a mural on the premises of the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro, where the photographs of children and women who have disappeared and may be vicims of human trafficking will be displayed. In addition, Deputy Orozco proposes that the Congress Channel permanently broadcast segments that show the images of possible victims, as well as instuctions for filing human trafficking complaints, as a practical act of solidarity and assistance.

Orozco noted that human trafficking for sexual purposes is the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking, generating a year ten billion dollars.

The vast majority of victims come from contexts [situations] where it is difficult for them to fully know their rights, she said.

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El Observador Diario

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Human Trafficking Continues To Rise Along San Diego-Tijuana Border

San Diego - Nearly every official who attended the second annual bi-national forum to address human trafficking in Chula Vista agreed: Human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise.

Government figures show about 18,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. But officials also acknowledge there are many more victims hidden in communities who are sold for prostitution, labor or other services. Often times the illegal practice goes unreported.

The goal of Thursday's forum was to improve collaboration between agencies on both sides of the border to help crackdown on human trafficking and child prostitution.

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Marissa Cabrera

Fronteras Desk

Jan. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

ICE agent cites 'disturbing and subhuman' methods used to trick young women into sex slavery

"It’s very difficult for us to break through to the average American, the average New Yorker and let them know that people in 2011 and 2012 are actually held against their will," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, Jr., of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

G-men and cops are busting twice as many human traffickers, but advocates say a sickening number of immigrants are being forced into prostitution in the city.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement racked up 172 arrests for trafficking in the metropolitan area, up from 75 the previous year.

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Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Presentan marcas de abuso sexual, bebes recuperados en Jalisco

En entrevista con Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Tomás Coronado Olmos, procurador de Justicia de Jalisco, ratificó que bebés adoptados ilegalmente en dicha entidad presentan huellas de abuso sexual. “De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

“De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

Derivado de las investigaciones que realiza la PGR, dijo, hay nueve detenidos pero aun no se precisa si extranjeros de origen irlandés están relacionados con las agresiones sufridas por los menores.

“Los tenemos plenamente identificados y el embajador de Irlanda en México ha estado muy al pendiente. Una vez que concluya el proceso se determinará su situación jurídica”.

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Children put up for adoption in the cityof Jalisco show signs of sexual abuse

Jalisco state Attorney General Tomás Coronado Olmos has confirmed that the babies show signs of abuse.

"Six of 11 recovered todlers show signs of sexual abuse"

According to the federal Attorney General's Office, their investigations into this case have resulted in nine arrests. The authorities have not yet determined whether prospective adoptive parents from Ireland have any connection to the abuses.

"The [couples seeking adoption] have been identified. Ireland's ambassador in Mexico has been very attentive. After completion of the process the legal status of the prospective parents will be determined."

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wradio.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco at recent anti-trafficking forum

México, segundo lugar en pornografía infantil a nivel mundial

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

México está ubicado en el segundo lugar en producción de pornografía infantil a nivel mundial, afirmó la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada panista Rosi Orozco al inaugurar el Foro Líderes de Opinión Contra la Trata de Personas.

En presencia de la presidenta del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, la legisladora subrayó que el delito de trata de personas ocupa el segundo lugar a nivel mundial, como el negocio ilícito más redituable para el crimen organizado, con 42 mil millones de dólares, y después está el de la venta de armas.

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Mexico holds second place globally in [the production of] child pornography

Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco. First Lady Margarita Zavala declares that confronting trafficking head-on is fundamental.

Some 45% of trafficking victims are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco.

According to National Action Party Depurty Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Lower House of Congress, Mexico holds a second-place position in the global production of child pornography. Deputy Orozco made these remarks as she opened the forum Opinion Leaders Against Human Trafficking. The event was attended by Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, who is also the president of the National System for Integral Family Development (the nation's social services agency).

Depurty Orozco explained that the global human trafficking business brings in ilicit earning of $42 billion per year, making it the most profitable criminal enterprise after illegal arms trafficking.

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Grupo Fórmula

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

México, Segundo en Pornografia Infantil en el Mundo

Trata de personas y pornografía infantil, delitos graves… Al señalar que México es de los cinco países del orbe con el mayor problema en materia de trata de personas y segundo en pornografía infantil, la diputada panista Rosi Orozco previno que el delito de la trata, ya superó las ganancias que obtiene la delincuencia organizada por el tráfico de armas a nivel mundial, con más de 42 mil millones de dólares.

Al inaugurar el foro “Líderes de Opinión contra la Trata de Personas”, sostuvo que por todo ello, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas escogió a nuestro país para iniciar la campaña del Corazón Azul, donde se pretende sensibilizar a la población y a las autoridades para erradicar el delito.

En nuestro país, el negocio de la trata de personas sigue en ascenso; mientras que a la fecha, sólo 19 entidades del país tienen una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, y únicamente el Distrito Federal, Puebla y Chiapas han aplicado sentencias condenatorias.

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Mexico: The second largest producer of child pornography globally

Human trafficking and child pornography, felonies ... Noting that Mexico is among the five countries in the world with the biggest problem in terms of trafficking in child pornography and second, the National Action Party's Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is a member of the Lower House of Congress, has warned that the crime of trafficking has surpassed the profits earned through ilicit arms trafficking, and now amount to $42 billion dollars per year [in criminal profits].

During her presentation opening the forum Opinion Leaders Against Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Orozco added that the Organization of the United Nations chose Mexico to start its [global] Blue Heart campaign, which aims to sensitize the population and authorities with the goal of eradicating modern human slavery.

In our country, the business of trafficking in persons continues to rise, while to date only 19 states [out of 32 federated entities] in the country have a law against trafficking in persons, and only the Federal District [Mexico City], and the states of Puebla and Chiapas have have handed down sentences in criminal cases associated with these crimes.

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Jaime Arizmendi

Quadratín

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico No. 2 Producer Of Child Porn, Lawmakers Say

Mexico is the world's No. 2 producer of child pornography and is classified as a source, transit and destination country for people traffickers involved in sexual exploitation, lawmakers said.

Child pornography is the No. 2 illegal business, trailing only drug trafficking, and generates $42 billion annually, Special Committee to Fight People Trafficking chairwoman Rosi Orozco said.

Indians account for about 45 percent of the victims, Orozco, a member of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said at the start of a forum in Mexico City on people trafficking.

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EFE

Jan. 26, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Estados más pobres, vulnerables a trata de personas: PAN

La diputada Rosi Orozco, apuntó que en el tema de la trata de personas, ahora se ha hecho mucha conciencia, luego que tiempo atrás se veía una marcada ignorancia de lo que sucedía. Asimismo, dijo ya hay acciones encaminadas a terminar con la pornografía infantil, "con los ciberdelitos que agreden tan fuertemente a los niños, niñas y jóvenes".

Rosi Orozco, diputada del PAN quien ha buscado combatir desde tiempo atrás la trata de personas, destacó el encuentro que se llevó a cabo el día de ayer en donde una chica por primera vez dio su testimonio sin cubrirse el rostro.

Explicó que la joven, quien en el libro "Del cielo al infierno", narró su historia de cómo la habían enganchado a través de enamoramiento, con el que se sentía en el cielo al estar con un príncipe, para después bajar a lo peor de un infierno de vida, de golpes para obligarla a prostituirse.

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Mexico's poorest states are vulnerable to human trafficking: National Action Party

During a recent event focused on the topic of human trafficking in Mexico, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party stated that significant public awareness of the issue has now been acheived, after a period in which ignorance about the facts had prevailed. She added legislation is being considered by Congress that will put an end to child pornography and "cybercrimes that seriously assault children and youth." First Lady Margarita Zavala and the media also attended.

Deputy Orozco, who has had long sought to combat human trafficking, said the meeting that was held yesterday included for the first time testimony by a victim who appeared without hiding her face.

Deputy Orozco explained that the youth, who's story is told in Orozco's book "From Heaven to Hell", related the story of how she was entrapped by a trafficker who pretended to fall in love with her. She felt that she was in heaven with her prince. Later, she fell into the worst depths of hell-on-earth when the same man beat her to force her into prostitution.

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Paola Rojas

Grupo Fòrmula

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Avances, no descartan riesgos de frenar ley

No se descartan riesgos en San Lázaro que frenen la aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas y los Delitos Relacionados, toda vez que al momento sólo 104 legisladores de todos los partidos la han avalado, todavía falta trecho por andar, y aunque “está bastante acordada”, todos los esfuerzos se hacen para que avance, a fin de combatir el lacerante comercio y explotación sexual de seres humanos: niñas, niños y mujeres.

La diputada del PAN Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas aclaró: “no he politizado ninguna situación, realmente va más allá de los partidos, estamos hablando de nuestros mexicanos, de nuestros niñas y niños y protegerlos a ellos no tiene colores”, ya que es una esclavitud en pleno siglo XXI, advirtió en entrevista durante la sesión en San Lázaro.

Confió que en este último periodo ordinario de la LXI Legislatura salga la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas, “es una ley que no tiene por qué no salir, la gente que está en las comisiones está de acuerdo en que tengamos una Ley General, lo difícil fue sacar la reforma al artículo 73 y eso, pues ya se logró” apunta la legisladora albiceleste.

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Human trafficking legislation advances in Congress, members decline to reveal hidden threats to passage

Congressional lawmakers have declined to reveal the sources of hidden influences that are putting efforts to pass the proposed Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes at risk. Currently, only 104 federal lawmakers from across Mexico's political parties have endorsed the proposal. Although significant work needs to be accomplished to achieve passage of the bill, basic agreement has been reached [on the need for an enforceable federal anti-trafficking law]. All possible efforts are being made to advance the bill, which will allow [a more effective federal effort to fight the damaging effects of the labor and sexual exploitation of girls, boys and women].

During an interview held in San Lazaro (the seat of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the lower house of Congress said: "I have not politicized this effort. It [is a campaign that] really goes beyond the [interests of individual political] parties. What we are talking about here are our Mexican people, our children. They don't have colors [political affiliations]." She added that this [crisis] is a 21st Century form of slavery.

Deputy Orozco added that she hopes that, during the latter period of the 61st [LXI] Legislature's regular session, the Law to Prevent, Punish and Erradicate Human Trafficking will be passed." She noted that there is no reason why the bill should not pass, given that the members of the relevant congressional commissions [committees] are in agreement that we should have a general law against trafficking [a general law is the only form of federal law that may actually be enforced by federal authorities in the states]. The hardest part was achieving the reform of Article 73, said Orozco [During 2011, President Felipe Calderón achieved the passage of amendments to Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution to remove certain obstacles to the prosecution of human trafficking cases].

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Luz María Alonso Sánchez

El Punto Critico

Feb. 03, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Ritmoson combate con música trata de personas

Crean campaña para generar conciencia del delito y cerrarán con un concierto

El tercer delito más lucrativo en México y otros países es la trata de personas, por ello, crear conciencia entre los jóvenes y niños para no ser víctimas de él es la pretensión del canal Ritmoson Latino.

Con la campaña Música libre, la señal internacional puso a andar su tercera iniciativa social, esta vez para combatir un “grave problema”.

Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez y Kinky, entre otros artistas, hacen el llamado que a partir de este mes y hasta julio próximo se transmitirá por televisión restringida y redes sociales oficiales.

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Ritmoson TV channel to run anti-trafficking campaign

The third most lucrative crime in Mexico and other countries is human trafficking. Therefore, the Latino Ritmoson channel, which is a part of the Televisa network, has created a trafficking prevention campaign to raise awareness among children and youth.

The international channel's Free Music campaign is its third social initiative, directed, this time, at addressing a "grave problem."

Performing artists] Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez. Kinky, among other artists will promote the campaign between now and July of 2012. It will be broadcast on television and by way of social media networks.

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Josue Fabián Arellano M.

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Bill Aims to Make It Easier to Prosecute Child Sex Traffickers

As child sex trafficking expands as a source of money for San Diego gangs, there’s an effort to make it easier for prosecutors to go after pimps.

The way California law is written now, prosecutors have to prove force or coercion when a sex trafficking victim is younger than 18. Because so many victims are lured by pimps through emotional bribery or promises of work, it’s been difficult for prosecutors to prove trafficking.

Susan Munsey is with the nonprofit group Generate Hope which helps trafficking victims get back on their feet. She said Assembly Bill 90, which changes the standard of proof from forced to encouraged or persuaded, is badly needed.

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Amita Sharma

Fronteras Desk

Aug..12, 2011


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Lideraba "La Niurka" red de prostitución de menores

Tijuana.- Una orden de aprehensión por el presunto delito de trata de personas le fue cumplimentada a María Guadalupe Román Valenzuela, alias "La Niurka", señalada como quien lideraba una red de prostitución con mujeres menores de edad desde el año 2005.

Fueron agentes de la Policía Estatal Preventiva quienes finalmente le concretaron el mandato judicial que pesaba en su contra desde el año 2007 por el delito de lenocinio, cuya figura delictiva fue cambiada con motivo de la entrada en vigor de la Ley Contra la Trata de Personas en el estado.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Estatal informó que la detención de la fémina, también conocida como "La Tía", se llevó a cabo la tarde del domingo al ubicarla tras semanas de investigación en el fraccionamiento La Bodega, en la ciudad de Mexicali.

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Police arrest child sex trafficker known as "La Niurka"

The city of Tijuana - An arrest warrant for the alleged crime of human trafficking ihas been carried out against Maria Guadalupe Roman Valenzuela, also known as "The Niurka." Authorities indicate that since 2005, Roman Valenzuela has lead a prostitution ring that exploits underage girls.

The [Baja California] State Preventive Police (SSPE) arrested Roman Valenzuela, who had been wanted since 2007 on charges of pimping. The charges were later modified after the enactment of the state's Law Against Human Trafficking.

The State Secretariat of Public Security reported that the arrest of the suspect, who also went by the name of "Auntie," took place Sunday afternoon following a weeks-long investigation in the La Bodega neighborhood in the city of Mexicali.

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Manuel Cordero

El Sol de Tijuana

Jan. 17, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking advocate Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho wins Olof Palme Prize 2011

Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist and writer, and Roberto Saviano, Italian author, were awarded with Olof Palme Prize 2011. They both spoke about justice and human rights issues in their native countries with a great deal of courage, and currently they are living under threats and persecution.

In 2009, Lydia Cacho received a lot of attention at the Göteborg Book Fair, where she presented the translated version of her book "I will not let myself be intimidated". She wrote it based on her life experience in Mexico – her motherland, where she is known for her accusations of corruption among Mexican politicians and businessmen.

In 2005, by having written "Demons of Eden", she exposed paedophile Succar Kuri's network in Cancun and named several accomplices among high-ranking politicians and businessmen. Since that moment the author has lived under constant death threats. Besides being an author and having written seven books in total, since 2000, Lydia Cacho has been sheltering vulnerable women and children in Cancún, where they get an opportunity to retreat.

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Göteborg Book Fair

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores en la minería informal

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

"Una de las metas de la campaña es recuperar con apoyo de la policía y fiscalía a unos mil niños, niñas y adolescentes explotadas sexual y laboralmente en campamentos de la minería informal en Madre de Dios", dijo a la AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, representante de Save The Children en Perú.

En los campamentos las menores son explotadas en cantinas convertidas en prostíbulos conocidos como 'prostibares', así como en, entre otras actividades, en la extracción de oro y la servidumbre, señaló Carpio.

Lea el artículo completo

NGO launches [million dollar] campaign against child trafficking in Peru's remote informal mining camps

THe NGO Save the Children and the Earopean Union are launching a compaign this week to intensity efforts to eradicate the sexual and labor exploitation of children and youth in the informal mining camps of Madre de Dios, one of Peru's poorest regions.

The NGO Save The Children and the European Union this weekend launched an intensive campaign to eradicate sexual and labor exploitation of children and adolescents in the informal mining region of Madre de Dios (Mother of God), one of the poorest regions of Peru.

"One of the goals of the campaign is to organize police and prosecutorial support to rescue approximately 1,000 children and teens who are exploited for sex and labor in informal mining camps of the Madre de Dios," he told AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, who Save the Children's representative in Peru.

In the mining camps, children are exploited in bars that have been converted into brothels and are known as 'prostibars.' Minors are also exploited to work in gold mining and [other forms of] servitude, Carpio said.

Read the full article

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Indigenous Mexico

Indigenous women are marginalized in Mexican society. Comprising 15-to30 percent of the population, they and their underage daughters make up an estimated 45% of all human trafficking victims in the Aztec nation (Mexico).

Voces del pueblo indígena

México-. La situación de asimetría y desigualdad ha hecho que históricamente los pueblos indígenas en México sean marginados y excluidos de los procesos de toma de decisiones en el país.

En la actualidad, con una población que se acerca a los 16 millones de habitantes, de ellos más de mitad mujeres, de acuerdo con estimados de la Movimiento Indígena Nacional (MIN), estos grupos se localizan, fundamentalmente en los estados de Yucatán (59 por ciento) y Oaxaca (48 por ciento).

También en Quintana Roo (39), Chiapas (28), Campeche (27), Hidalgo (24), Puebla (19), Guerrero (17), San Luis Potosí (15) y Veracruz (15).

Lea el artículo completo

Voices of indigenous peoples

Conditions of inequality have historically resulted in the indigenous peoples being marginalized and excluded from the decision making process in Mexico.

Today, with their population is approaching 16 million people. Over half of them are women, according to estimates from the National Indigenous Movement (MIN). These groups are located mainly in the states of Yucatan (where they are 59% of the state's total population) and Oaxaca (where they are 48%).

The indigenous population is also significant in several other states: Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), Campeche (27%), Hidalgo (24%), Puebla (19%), Guerrero (17%), San Luis Potosi (15%) and Veracruz (15%).

Read the full article

Deisy Francis Mexidor

Prensa Latina


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Agents save 13 from sex slavery in Mexican bar

The city of San cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas state - Investigators say they have rescued a group of 13 women and girls, mostly from Central America, who were forced to have sex with clients at a bar in southern Mexico.

Chiapas state prosecutor Miguel Hernandez says at least half of the 13 women were minors, and 10 were from Central America.

Hernandez and other agents raided the bar in the town of Teopisca Saturday and arrested the manager, 42-year-old Mauri Diaz, on human trafficking, prostitution and corruption of minors charges.

Read the full article

The Associated Press

Feb. 4, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico unravels child trafficking ring

Zapopan - The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.

"All the families have valid declarations to adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland," they said in a statement, which was read over the phone to The Associated Press by their lawyer in Mexico, Carlos Montoya.

Prosecutors in Mexico contend the traffickers tricked destitute young Mexican women trying to earn more for their children and childless Irish couples desperate to become parents.

Read the full article

News24

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Central America

Rescatan a centroamericanos víctimas del tráfico de personas

Some 73 undocumented Central Americans have been located and rescued by army units after being held in 'safe houses' that were presumably owned by human traffickers.

El Ejército mexicano encontró a 73 inmigrantes indocumentados en presuntas casas de traficantes de personas en el nororiental estado de Tamaulipas, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa.

La acción se realizó el martes en la ciudad de Reynosa "de manera coordinada, simultánea y sorpresiva" y permitió la detención de cuatro personas. Entre los indocumentados, cuyas nacionalidades no se dieron a conocer, había 18 menores de edad, informó DPA.

Lea el artículo completo

Central American human trafficking victims are rescued

Se trata de 73 indocumentados localizados por el ejército en casas que presuntamente pertenecen a traficantes de seres humanos.

The Mexican army has found 73 illegal immigrants in alleged human trafficking safe houses located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Secretary of Defense announced Thursday.

The action took place on Tuesday in the city of Reynosa "in a coordinated suprise raid" that led to the arrest of four people. Among the undocumented, whose nationalities were not released, there were 18 children.

Read the full article

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

The World

UNODC: The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC report focuses on the close interrelation between corruption and human trafficking, critiquing existing international legal instruments that deal only indirectly with this problem, and providing recommendations on how to strengthen these tools.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime outlines the impetus for its report:

Trafficking in persons and corruption are closely linked criminal activities, whose interrelation is frequently referred to in international fora. Yet, the correlation between the two phenomena, and the actual impact of corruption on trafficking in persons, are generally neglected in the development and implementation of anti-human trafficking policies and measures. This lack of attention may substantially undermine initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and prevent the customization of responses as needed. Only after recognizing the existence and the effects of corruption in the context of human trafficking, can the challenges posed by it be met.

Read the full article

Insight Crime

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Oklahoma Human Trafficking Operation May Have Ties To Mexican Cartels

Oklahoma City - We're learning more about a human trafficking operation busted last week in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It appears to have ties to a Mexican human trafficking ring, which are said to be some of the most violent and brutal.

A search warrant obtained by News 9 reveals a victim of human trafficking, who was rescued in Tulsa, said she was also held against her will in Oklahoma City.

She told investigators she was held at the apartments off S.W. 59th Street and Harvey during the first part of January, and that she and others were forced to have sex with multiple strange men.

Read the full article

Adrianna Iwasinski

Oklahoma News 6

Feb. 06, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Pretenden regular pornografía en Baja California

Baja california es uno de los estados que ofrece más turismo sexual en México, es por esto que el Partido Encuentro Social presentará este mes una iniciativa ante el Congreso del Estado para que las compañías proveedoras de internet regulen el consumo de la pornografía.

La iniciativa pretende regular el uso de internet en el aparto de Gobierno y el sector educativo, además el que vende internet debe cuidar el acceso de los menores el uso de la pornografía reveló el presidente Estatal del PES, Javier Peña García.

“Es una iniciativa ciudadana, pero estamos invitando a las diferentes fracciones de los partidos a que se adhieran en esto para que salga en común acuerdo con todos los partidos de Baja California”, adelantó.

Lea el artículo completo

Legislators work to regulate online pornography in Baja California state

Baja California is one states that offers the most sex tourism in Mexico, which is why the Social Encounter Party will, later this month, present a proposal to the State Congress that will require Internet service provider companies to regulated the consumption of pornography.

The initiative seeks to regulate Internet use in government agencies and in the education sector. The measure will also insist that companies that provide Internet services take measures to limit that access of minors to pornography. which also sells Internet access to take care of children using pornography revealed the leader of the state branch of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Javier García Peña.

"It's a citizens' initiative, but we are inviting the different political parties in Baja California to agree to this so that we may present a common front on the issue," he stated.

Read the full article

Uni Rdio Informa

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Many Indigenous Communities Turn to Vigilantism to Fight Crime

If a man kills another man in the harsh high plains of Jesús de Machaca or the lush lowlands of Beni, the people who catch him might not call the police. Instead they might call a meeting.

Far from courthouses and police stations that may not know their languages, and despite having no jails to lock up criminals, remote villagers in Bolivia have quietly kept justice in their own hands for centuries, handling everything from malicious gossip to murder. They have demanded fines, doled out whippings, even banished people from the pueblo. These community courts have sometimes been criticized for trampling on human rights, especially when it comes to the rights of women, but indigenous leaders say they work better for them than the regular system.

To press a case in the ordinary courts, “you must hire a lawyer and spend money on paperwork,” says Justina Vélez, who represents Pando, the northernmost province of Bolivia, in an organization of female peasants named for the indigenous hero Bartolina Sisa. “All the courthouses are located in the main cities.… The indigenous authorities are right here where we live.”

Read the full article

Emily Alpert

Indian Country Today

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico Official Admits Some Areas Out of Government Control

At a military ceremony yesterday, Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galva described the national security situation in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country public security has been completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.” He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions.

Galvan also endorsed the military’s role in combating insecurity, asserting that although they have a responsibility to acknowledge that “there have been mistakes,” the armed forces have an “unrestricted” respect for human rights.

InSight Crime Analysis

Read the full article

Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight Crime

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Operan 47 redes de trata de personas en México

Diputados piden a los tres órdenes de gobierno crear políticas adecuadas en la materia

La Cámara de Diputados pidió a los tres órdenes de gobiernos que combatan de manera integral el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en México operan al menos 47 redes que se dedican a este ilícito, de acuerdo con datos de la Red Nacional de Refugios.

Según cifras de la red, al año hay 800 mil adultos y 20 mil menores víctimas de este delito cuyas ganancias oscilan entre los 372 mil millones de pesos.

Las rutas incluyen los estados de Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero y Quintana Roo, así como países centroamericanos como Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

Lea el artículo completo

Some 47 human trafficking networks are operating in Mexico

Congressional deputies ask the three branches of government to develop adequate policies to address human trafficking

Mexico's Lower House of Congress has asked the three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) to integrate their efforts to fight human trafficking, given that at least 47 trafficking networks exist in the nation, according to data released by the National Network of Refuges.

According to the Network, some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are entrapped by modern human slavery each year, resulting in criminal earnings of some 372 million Mexican pesos ($28 million US dollars).

Trafficking routes exist in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as in Central American countries including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Read the full article

Israel Navarro and José Luis Martínez

Milenio

Feb. 05, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

Costa Rica lags in sex-trafficking fight

“Mariel” became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 17. She managed to escape, but still suffers anxiety and fear. Rahab Foundation is helping her recover.

“Mariel” fears that she will be kidnapped again.

At 17, she was lured into human trafficking by an acquaintance with the promise of work. Her captor used false documents to take her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Read the full article

Dominique Farrell

The Tico TImes

Jan. 27, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

La pornografía infantil existe en Costa Rica

Adultos sedientos de sentir y tocar la piel de un cuerpo junto al suyo, deseosos de pagar sumas de dinero por alquilar un rato de confort, quizás hasta hacer una película o tomar unas fotos, pero no de cualquier cuerpo ni de cualquier persona, sino de un niño o una niña costarricense.

La explotación sexual comercial -también llamada prostitución infantil- es un flagelo social que existe en Costa Rica y se concentra mayoritariamente en las zonas fronterizas y las costas, según cuentan organizaciones no gubernamentales que han dado seguimiento a los casos esta ha desembocado en una riada de producción de pornografía infantil en la que se utilizan niños y niñas costarricenses.

Según Rocío Rodríguez directora de Alianza por tus Derechos, en la actualidad las zonas más plagadas de casos –tanto de explotación sexual comercial como de pornografía- son Puntarenas, Guanacaste y Limón.

Lea el artículo completo

Child pornography exists in Costa Rica

Hungry adults feel and touch the skin of a body against thiers, eager to pay money to rent a bit of comfort, perhaps even make a movie or take some pictures, but not of any body or any person, but a boy or a girl in Costa Rica.

Commercial sexual exploitation, which is also known as child prostitution, is a social scourge that exists in Costa Rica. It is concentrated along the nation's borders and coasts, accourding to non governmental organizations who support victims. This reality has led to a flood in the production of child pornography that exploits Costa Rican children.

According to Rocio Rodriguez director of the NGO Alliance for your Rights (Alianza por tus Derechos), the cities of Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón are the regions that are the most plagued by both commercial sexual exploitation and pornography.

Read the full article

Daniela Araya

Costa Rica Hoy

Feb. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Arrestan a pastor por violar niñas

De la secta Sendero de Luz.. Abusó de ellas durante años con la complacencia de sus padres

Delicias, Chihuahua.- Años de un sufrimiento en silencio fueron vividos por dos niñas desde que tenían 11 años de edad, pues un pastor de la denominada Iglesia Sendero de Luz les decía que "para ser siervas de Dios tenían que hacerle todo lo que les indicara", y eso incluía tener relaciones sexuales con él, acciones de las cuales aparentemente su padres estaban enterados.

Las familias de ambas sabían lo que pasaba con el religioso, pero su fanatismo les impedía actuar en su contra, según las jóvenes de ahora 22 años de edad, quienes comentaron que los abusos comenzaron desde el año 2001 y continuaron durante 9 años, hasta que se mudaron a la capital de estado.

Tras la denuncia impuesta por parte de las afectadas, agentes investigadores detuvieron mediante una orden de aprehensión a José Manuel Herrera Lerma, de 59 años, líder del grupo religioso previamente señalado.

Lea el artículo completo

Pastor is arrested on charges of child rape

Path of Light sect leader abused two girls over a number of years with the knowledge of the victim's parents

The city of Delicias in Chihuahua state - Two girls suffered years of sexual abuse in silence, from the time they were age 11, at the hands of their church pastor. The reverend of the Path of Light church told the girls that, "to be servants of God they had to do everything that he told them to do," and that included having sex with him. The parents were apparently aware of the pastor's behavior with their daughters.

The families of both girls knew what was happening with the pastor, but their religious fervor prevented them from acting against him. The victims, who are now both age 22, have stated that the abuse began in 2001 and continued for 9 years, until [the family] moved to the state capital.

In response to the complaint filed by the victims, investigative agents served an arrest warrant on José Manuel Herrera Lerma, age 59.

Read the full article

Marisol Marín

oem.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Children in Mexican adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse

Ten children were seized by authorities in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after they uncovered the apparent child trafficking scam last weekend.

Eleven Irish couples hoping to adopt children in the country have been caught up in the investigation.

“There are four children who show signs of having been abused (sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of abuse),” the Jalisco state attorney general Tomas Coronado told reporters today.

Read the full article

TheJournal.ie

Jan. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ecuador

148 millones invirtió el Gobierno en implementación de tres mil centros infantiles

Como parte de este proceso, 242 profesionales entre sicopedagogas, parvularias, tecnólogas en educación y especialistas en desarrollo infantil se incorporaron al trabajo en la provincia costera del Guayas, luego de un periodo de selección y capacitación.

Alrededor de 500 mil niños en Ecuador, entre 0 y 5 años, son atendidos por el Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), en los Centros del Buen Vivir y el programa “Creciendo con nuestros hijos”.

La ministra de Inclusión Económica y Social, Ximena Ponce, indicó que el desarrollo infantil es uno de los seis proyectos de inversión prioritarios del gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa.

La meta es implementar un profesional por cada Centro para garantizar una conducción técnica en sus tres componentes: salud, educación y protección, especialmente en niños de 0 a 3 años.

Lea el artículo completo

Government invests $148 million to implement 3,000 children's centers across the country

As part of the initiative, 242 professionals have joined the effort in the key coastal province of Guayas

About 500,000 children, from newborns to age 5 are served by Ecuador's Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), through its Good Living Centers and by way of its program "Growing with our children."

Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Ximena Ponce indicated that child development is one of six priority investment projects for the government of President Rafael Correa.

The goal is to provide one professional worker for each center to ensure technical leadership in its three focus areas: health, education and protection. The initiative is especially geared toward assisting children from 0 to 3 years of age.

Read the full article

eldiario.com.ec

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Guatemala

Former Guatemala dictator to give testimony in genocide trial

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will be made to testify at his genocide trial, according to a statement by judicial officials on Saturday. Rios Montt was in control of Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as a result of a coup and is being charged with crimes against humanity and genocide during his rule. He was protected from prosecution until this month because he was serving in congress. Rios Montt said he would cooperate with the court [EFE report, in Spanish]. The case involves at least 1,771 deaths and 1,400 human rights violations during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] with much of the violations occurring during Rios Montt's rule.

The Guatemalan civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, mostly among Guatemala's large indigenous Mayan population. According to a UN report [text, in Spanish] released in 1999, the military was responsible for 95 percent of those deaths. In response to these violations, the Guatemalan government founded the National Compensation Program (PNR) in 2003 to deal with claims by civilians affected by the civil war. The PNR, after setting up its administrative structure, has begun to use its $40 million budget to work through a backlog of more than 98,000 civilian complaints. Four former soldiers and two former police officers [JURIST reports] have already been convicted in relation to these crime. Spain attempted to extradite Rios Montt [JURIST report] in 2008, but failed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Read the full article

Matthew Pomy

Jurist

Jan. 22, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Dictan prisión contra tres hombres por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez penal dictó auto de formal prisión por el delito de trata de personas en contra de tres hombres que operaban un bar clandestino en San Cristóbal de las Casas, donde fueron rescatadas cuatro menores víctimas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó que los presuntos responsables Abraham “N”, propietario del negocio, el encargado Rosendo “N” y el vigilante Diego “N”, son procesados en el centro penitenciario ” El Amate”.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especializada en Asuntos Relevantes ejecutaron un operativo en el bar ” La Sirena”, donde rescataron a cuatro menores, sometidas a trata de personas y corrupción de menores.

En el sitio fueron sorprendidos también dos menores de edad que ingerían alcohol, lo que constituye una violación a las leyes de salud.

Lea el artículo completo

Three men are sentenced to prison in [the southern border state of] Chiapas

I jusdge has sentenced three men to prison on human trafficking charges who operated a clandestine bar in the cisty of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Four minors had been rescued from the bar.

The Office of the Chiapas State Attorney General (PGJE) has announced that three suspects, Abraham "N," a bar owner, bar manager Rosendo "N" and a guard, Diego "N," have been detained and sent to the "El Amate" prison.

Agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Relevant Issues executed an operation at the bar "La Sirena" (the Siren), where they rescued four children who had been subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and the corruption of minors.

The authorities also encountered two other youth who were drinking alcohol in violation of health laws.

Read the full article

Provincia.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Piden cadena perpetua para acusado de violar a 15 menores en 2009

La directora del Programa Nacional contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual, Ana María Mendieta, exhortó hoy al Poder Judicial a aplicar la pena máxima de cadena perpetua a Óscar Visalot, acusado de abusar sexualmente de 15 menores de edad en 2009.

Este pedido contra Visalot, quien fue capturado en octubre de 2010, surge ante la posible excarcelación del acusado por exceso de carcelería, precisó la funcionaria de ese programa perteneciente al Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (Mimp).

“Exhortamos al Poder Judicial, a la Primera Sala de Reos en Cárcel de Lima y a las autoridades penitenciarias a que el procesado sea trasladado a Lima y se le dicte una sentencia ejemplar de cadena perpetua”, sostuvo Mendieta.

Lea el artículo completo

Officials ask for a life sentence for a man accused in 2009 of the rape of 15 minors

The director of the National Programme Against Family and Sexual Violence (PNCVFS), Ana Maria Mendieta, today urged the judiciary to apply the maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the case of Oscar Visalot, accused of sexually abusing 15 minors in 2009.

The request to have Visalot, who was captured in October 2010, sentenced promptly arose from the fact that the defendant is being considered for release from prison due to a determination that the has spent an excessive amount of time in detention, said Mendieta, an official of the PNCVFS, which is a program under the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP).

"We urge the Judiciary, the First Board of Inprisoned Inmates in Lima and the prison authorities to transport the prisoner to Lima and [that the Court] hand down a sentence of life imprisonment," said Mendieta.

Read the full article

Andina.com.pe

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ohio, USA

Man guilty of raping girl in 2005

Hamilton - The adoptive parents of a young girl raped and kidnapped by Butler County’s former “most wanted” fugitive say their daughter can finally start “healing from the nightmare she suffered at the hands of this monster.”

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three hours Wednesday before deciding “Mario” Lopez-Cruz was guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape for his attack on a 9-year-old Hamilton girl on Fathers Day 2005.

Lopez-Cruz faces life in prison without parole until he spends 10 years in prison on the rape charges and up to 10 years on kidnapping. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth will sentence him March 15.

Read the full article

Denise G. Callahan

The Oxford Press

Feb. 01, 2012



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

During the over ten years that the LibertadLatina project has existed, our ongoing analysis of the crisis of sexual abuse in the Americas has lead us to the conclusion that our top priority should be to work to achieve an end to the rampant sex trafficking and exploitation that perennially exists in Mexico. Although many crisis hot spots call out for attention across Latin America and the Caribbean, working to see reform come to Mexico appeared to be a critical first step to achieving major change everywhere else in the region.

We believe that this analysis continues to be correct. We also recognize the fact that the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia are other emergency zones of crisis. We plan to expand our coverage of these and other issues as resources permit.

Mexico is uniquely situated among the nations of the Americas, and therefore requires special attention from the global effort to end modern human slavery.

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

  • Includes a long contiguous border with the U.S., thus making it a transit point for both 500,000 voluntary (but vulnerable) migrants each year as well as for victims of human slavery

  • Has multi-billion dollar drug cartels that profit from Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and that are today investing heavily in human slavery as a secondary source of profits

  • Has a 30% indigenous population, as well as an Afro-Mexican minority, both of whom are marginalized, exploited and are 'soft targets' who are now actively being cajoled, and kidnapped by trafficking mafias into lives of slavery and death

  • Has conditions of impunity that make all impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking

  • Has a child sex tourism 'industry' that attracts many thousands of U.S., European and Latin American men who exploit vulnerable, impoverished children and youth with virtual impunity

  • Is the source of the largest contingent of foreign victims of human slavery who have been trafficked into the U.S.

  • Has a large and highly educated middle class which includes thousands of women who are active in the movement to enhance human rights in general and women's rights in particular

  • Has a growing anti-trafficking movement and a substantial women's rights focused journalist network

  • Has a politically influential faction of socially conservative men who believe in the sexist tenants of machismo and who favor maintaining the status quo that allows the open exploitation of poor Mexicans and Latin American migrants to continue, thus requiring assistance from the global movement against human exploitation to help local activists balance the scales of justice and equality

For a number years LibertadLatina's commentaries have called upon Mexico's government and the U.S. State Department to apply the pressure that is required to begin to change conditions for the better. It appears that the global community's efforts in this regard are beginning to have impact, yet a lifetime of work remains to be done to end what we have characterized as a slow-moving mass gender atrocity.

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

  • The March 31, 2011 resignation of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez (who had earlier failed to address the crisis of femicide murders facing women in Ciudad Juarez as Chihuahua state attorney general)

  • The replacement of Chávez Chávez with Marisela Morales Ibáñez as the nation’s first female attorney general (Morales Ibáñez was recently honored by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

  • Morales Ibáñez’ reform-motivated purge of 174 officials and employees of the attorney general’s office, including the recent resigna-tions of 21 federal prosecutors

  • Morales Ibáñez’ recent raid in Cuidad Juárez, that resulted in the arrests of 1,030 suspected human traffickers and the freeing of 20 underage girls

  • The recent appointment of Dilcya Garcia , a former Mexico City prosecutor who achieved Mexico's first trafficking convictions to the federal attorney general's office (Garcia was recently honored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her anti-trafficking work)

  • The July, 2010 replacement of Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont with José Francisco Blake Mora. (Secretary Gómez Mont openly opposed the creation of strong federal anti-trafficking legislation.)

  • Success by President Calderón and the Congress of the Republic in achieving the first steps to bringing about a constitutional amendment to facilitate human trafficking prosecutions

  • Recent public statements by President Calderon imploring the public to help in the fight against human trafficking

  • Some progress in advancing legislation in Congress to reform the failed 2007 federal anti trafficking law, a reform effort that has been lead by Deputy Rosi Orozco

  • The active collaboration of both the U.S. Government and the United Nations Office eon Drugs and Crime in supporting government efforts against trafficking

Taken together, the above actions amount to a truly watershed moment in Mexico’s efforts to address modern human slavery. We applaud those who are working for reform, while also recognizing that reform has its enemies within Congress, government institutions, law enforcement and society.

Mexico’s key anti-trafficking leaders, including journalist and author Lydia Cacho, Teresa Ulloa (director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean - CATW-LAC), and Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have all raised the alarm in recent months to indicate that corrupt businessmen, politicians and law enforcement authorities continue to pressure Mexican society to maintain a status quo that permits the existence of rampant criminal impunity in relation to the exploitation of women, children and men. The fact that anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho continues to face credible deaths threats on a regular basis and must live with armed guards for 24 hours a day is one sobering indicator of this harsh reality.

The use of slavery for labor and sexual purposes has a solid 500 years of existence in Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Indigenous peoples have been the core group of victims of human exploitation from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. This is true in Mexico as well as in other nations with large indigenous populations such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. African descendants are also victims of exploitation - especially in Colombia, and like indigenous peoples, they continue to lack recognition as equal citizens.

These populations are therefore highly vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation due to the fact that the larger societies within which they live feel no moral obligation to defend their rights. Criminal human traffickers and other exploiters take advantage of these vulnerabilities to kidnap, rape, sex traffic and labor traffic the poorest of the poor with little or no response from national governments.

A society like Mexico - where even middle class housewives are accustomed to treating their unpaid, early-teen indigenous girl house servants to labor exploitation and verbal and physical violence – and where the men of the house may be sexually abusing that child – is going to take a long time to adapt to an externally imposed world view that says that the forms of exploitation that their conquistador ancestors brought to the region are no longer valid. That change is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be easy.

Mexico’s current efforts to reform are to be applauded. The global anti-trafficking activist community and its supporters in government must, however remain vigilant and demand that Mexico continue down the path toward ending its ancient traditions of tolerated human exploitation. For that transformation to happen effectively, indigenous and African descendant Mexicans must be provided a place at the table of deliberations.

Although extending equality to these marginalized groups is a radical concept within the context of Mexican society, we insist that both Mexico, the United States State Department (a major driver of these reforms in Mexico) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC - another major driver in the current reforms) provide the social and political spaces that will be required to allow the groups who face the most exposure to exploitation to actually have representation in both official and NGO deliberations about their fate at the hands of the billion dollar cartels and mafias who today see them as raw material and 'easy pickings' to drive their highly lucrative global slavery profit centers.

Without taking this basic step, we cannot raise Mexico’s rating on our anti-trafficking report card.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

Note: Our August 4/5, 2011 edition contains a number of stories that accurately describe the nature of the vulnerabilities that indigenous children and women face from modern day sex traffickers, pedophiles and rapists.

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

An editorial by anti trafficking activist Lydia puts the spotlight on abusive domestic work as a form of human slavery targeting, for the most part, indigenous women and girls

Mexico

Esclavas en México

México, DF, - Cristina y Dora tenían 11 años cuando Domingo fue por ellas a la Mixteca en Oaxaca. Don José Ernesto, un militar de la Capital, le encargó un par de muchachitas para el trabajo del hogar. La madre pensó que si sus niñas trabajaban con “gente decente” tendrían la posibilidad de una vida libre, de estudiar y alimentarse, tres opciones que ella jamás podría darles por su pobreza extrema.

Cristina y Dora vivieron en el sótano, oscuro y húmedo, con un baño improvisado en una mansión construida durante el Porfiriato, cuyos jardines y ventanales hablan de lujos y riqueza. Las niñas aprendieron a cocinar como al patrón le gustaba. A lo largo de 40 años no tuvieron acceso a la escuela ni al seguro social, una de las hermanas prohijó un bebé producto de la violación del hijo del patrón. Les permitían salir unas horas algunos sábados, porque el domingo había comidas familiares. Sólo tres veces en cuatro décadas les dieron vacaciones, siendo adultas, para visitar a su madre enferma...

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City – Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the state of Oaxaca. José Ernesto, a military man living in Mexico City, had sent Domingo to find a pair of girls to do domestic work for him. The girls’ mother thought that if they had an opportunity to work with “decent people,” they would have a chance to live a free life, to study and to eat well. Those were three things that they she could never give them in her condition of extreme poverty.

Cristina and Dora lived in the dark and humid basement of a mansion built during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876 to 1910). Their space had an improvised bathroom. Outside of the home, the mansion’s elaborate gardens and elegant windows presented an image of wealth and luxury. The girls learned to cook for the tastes of their employer.

It is now forty years later. Cristina and Dora never had access to an education, nor do they have the right to social security payments when they retire. One of the sisters had a child, who was the result of her being raped by one of their employer’s sons.

They are allowed out of the house for a few hours on Saturdays. On Sundays they had to prepare family meals for their patron (boss).

Today, some 800,000 domestic workers are registered in Mexico. Ninety three percent of them don’t have access to health services. Seventy Nine percent of them have not and will not receive benefits. Their average salary is 1,112 pesos($87.94) per month. More than 8% of these workers receive no pay at all, because their employers think that giving them a place to sleep and eat is payment enough.

Sixty percent of domestic workers in Mexico are indigenous women and girls. They began this line of work, on average, at the age of 13. These statistics do not include those women and children who lived locked-up in conditions of extreme domestic slavery.

Mexico’s domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation, racism and being otherwise poorly treated…

Recently, the European Parliament concluded that undocumented migrant women face an increased risk of domestic labor slavery. In Mexico, the majority of domestic slaves are Mexicans. Another 15% of these victims are [undocumented] migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Their undocumented status allows employers to prohibit their leaving the home, prohibit their access to education or deny their right to have a life of their own. The same dynamics happen to Latina women in the United States and Canada.

For centuries [middle and upper class white Mexican women] became accustomed to looking at domestic labor slavery as something that ‘helps’ indigenous women and girls. We used the hypocritical excuse that we were lifting them out of poverty by exploiting them. [They reality is that] millions of these women and girls are subjected to work conditions that deny them access to education, healthcare, and the enjoyment of a normal social life.

We (Mexico’s privileged) men and women share the responsibility for perpetuating this form of slavery. We use contemptuous language to refer to domestic workers. Like other forms of human trafficking, domestic labor slavery is a product of our culture.

Domestic work is an indispensable form of labor that allows millions of women to work. We should improve work conditions, formally recognize it in our laws, and assure that in our homes, we are not engaging in exploitation cloaked in the idea that we are rescuing [our domestic workers] from poverty.

To wash, iron, cook and care for children is as dignified as any other form of work. The best way for us to change the world is to start in own homes.

“Plan B” is a column written by Lydia Cacho that appears Mondays and Thursdays in CIMAC, El Universal and other newspapers in Mexico.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Justice Department and all of the agencies and officers involved in Operation Delego, which shut down a grotesque  international child pornography network that glorified and rewarded the torture and rape of young children. We also wish you good hunting in taking down all child pornography rings, wherever they may exist.

We call attention to a recent story (posted on Aug. 4, 2011) on the rape with impunity of indigenous school children, from very young ages, in the nation's now-closed Indian boarding school system. The fact that the legislature of the state of South Dakota passed legislation that denies victims the right to sue the priests and nuns who raped them is just as disgusting as any of the horror stories that are associated with the pedophile rapist / torturers who have been identified in Operation Delego.

Yet neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the Canadian government, where yet more horrible sexual abuses, and even murders of indigenous children took place, have ever sought to prosecute the large number of rapists involved in these cases.

In addition, federal prosecutors drop a large number of rape cases on Indian reservations despite the fact that indigenous women face a rate of rape in the U.S. that is 3.5 times higher that the rate faced by other groups of women. White males are the perpetrators of the rape in 80% of these cases.

When former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired eight U.S. attorneys in December of 2006, it turned out that 5 of those targeted had worked together to increase the very low prosecution rates for criminal cases on Native reservations. Their firings did a disservice to victims of rape and other serious crimes in Indian Country.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas demand an end to the rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of our peoples, be they from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru or Canada.

We expect the United Stated Government to set the tone and lead the way in that change in social values.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, its legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely quoted today.

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

While "Little Brown Maria in the Brothel" - our metaphor for the voiceless victims, suffers yet another day chained to a bed in Tijuana, Acapulco, Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Tapachula and Cancun, the entire law enforcement infrastructure of Mexico sits by and does virtually nothing to stop this mass gender atrocity from happening.

That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for a Mexico that is a member of the world community, and that is a signatory to international protocols that fight human trafficking and that defend women and children's human rights.

We once again call upon U.S. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama to stand-up and speak out with the moral authority of the United States in support of the forces of change in Mexico.

Political leaders and non governmental organizations around the world also have a responsibility to speak-up, and to let the government of President Felipe Calderón know that the fact that his ruling party (finally) supported presenting a forum on trafficking, and the holding of a few press conferences, is not enough of a policy turn-around to be convincing.

The PAN must take strong action to aggressively combat the explosive growth in human slavery in Mexico in accordance with international standards. Those at risk, and those who are today victims, await your effective response to their emergency, President Calderón.

Enacting a 'general' federal law that is enforceable in all of Mexico's states would be a good fist step to show the world that sincere and honest voices against modern day slavery do exist in Congress, and are willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

As for Secretary Mont, we suggest, kind sir, that you consider the age-old entrepreneurial adage, and either "lead, follow, or get out of the way" of progress.

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

Víctimas del tráfico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas en América Latina

De esa cifra, más de 500 mil casos ocurren en México, señalan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

Saltillo, Coahuila state - Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, the director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American / Caribbean regional office, announced this past Monday that more than five million women and girls are currently victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During a forum on successful treatment approaches for trafficking victims held by the Women's Institute of Coahuila, Ulloa Ziaurriz stated that 500,000 of these cases exist in Mexico, where women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography and the illegal harvesting of human organs.

Ulloa Ziaurriz said that human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, a fact that has given rise to the existence of a very large number of trafficking networks who operate with the complicity of both [corrupt] government officials and business owners.

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista

Expert: More than one million minors are sexually exploited in Central Mexico

Tlaxcala city, in Tlaxcala state - Around 1.5 million people in the central region of Mexico are engaged in prostitution, and some 75% of them are between 12 and 13 years of age, reported Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean...

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

[Note: The figure of 75% of 1.5 million indicates that 1.1 million girls between the ages of 12 and 13 at any given time engage in prostitution in central Mexico alone. - LL]


LibertadLatina

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


A child in prostitution in Cancun, Mexico  stands next to a police car with an adult john.

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

Thousands of foreign sex tourists arrive in Cancun daily from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the intention of having sex with children, according to a short documentary film by a local NGO (see below link). Police and prosecutors refuse to criminalize this activity.

This grotesque business model, that of engaging in child sex tourism, exists along Mexico's entire northern border with the U.S., along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala [and Belize], and in tourist resorts including Acapulco, Cancun and Veracruz. Thousands of U.S. men cross Mexico's border or fly to tourist resorts each day to have sex with minors.

Unfortunately, Mexico's well heeled criminal sex traffickers have exported the business model of selling children for sex to every major city as well as to many migrant farm labor camps across the U.S.

Human trafficking in the U.S. will never be controlled, despite the passage of more advanced laws and the existence of ongoing improvements to the law enforcement model, until the 500-year-old 'tradition' of sexual slavery in Mexico is brought to an end.

The most influential political factions within the federal and state governments of Mexico show little interest in ending the mass torture and rape of this innocent child population.

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

Our one page flyer about Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva (Microsoft Word 2003)


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

Award-winning anti-child sex trafficking activist, journalist, author and women's center director Lydia Cacho

Muertes por violencia en México podrían ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

Especialistas indagan si asesinatos vinculados con el crimen son una estrategia del Estado, dijo.

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en México en los últimos años, 15 mil en los últimos tres años, podrían formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declaró este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

Deaths from violence in Mexico could be the results of social cleansing: Lydia Cacho

Specialists are investigating whether murders are state strategy, Cacho says.

Madrid. Deaths from violence in Mexico in recent years, including 15,000 during the past three years, could form part of a plan of "social cleansing by the Mexican State," declared Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho in Madrid, Spain on Monday.

"Experts are beginning to investigate at this time in Mexico whether these 15,000 murders are linked to intentional social cleansing by the Mexican State," Cacho said in a press conference in which she denounced human rights violations and persecution of the press in her country.

Since President Felipe Calderón [became president] three years ago, we have been witnessing a growing authoritarianism in Mexico "justified by the war " (on drugs), in which " militari-zation, and harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is increasing danger-ously," stated Cacho.

Cacho was kidnapped [by rogue state police agents] and tortured in Mexico after divulging information about a pedophile ring in which businessmen and politicians were involved.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will determine in an upcoming decision whether Mexican authorities violated the rights of the journalist in that case.

The foundation that bears Cacho's name, created in Madrid a year ago, is organizing a concert to raise funds to help pay for her defense before the IACHR...

Cacho is the author of [the child sex trafficking exposé] The Demons of Eden. In recent years she has received several awards for her work on behalf of human rights carried out through investigative journalism, including the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

Madrid - A muckraking Mexican journalist known for exposes of pedophile rings and child prostitution said on Monday that President Felipe Calderón’s bloody campaign against Mexico’s drug cartels is “not a battle for justice and social peace.”

Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats and judicial persecution for her writings, told a press conference in Madrid that Mexico’s justice system is “impregnated with corruption and impunity.”

Accompanied by the head of the Lydia Cacho Foundation, Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna; and Madrid Press Association President Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja, the author said the nearly three years since Calderón took office have seen increased “authoritarianism” and harassment of journalists and human rights advocates.

The period has also witnessed “15,000 documented killings,” Cacho said, exceeding the carnage in Colombia at the height of that country’s drug wars.

“Specialists are beginning to investigate if those 15,000 killings are linked with intentional social cleansing on the part of the Mexican state,” she said.

Calderón, she noted, “insists on saying that many of those deaths are collateral effects and that the rest are criminals who kill one another.”

“It is a war among the powerful and not a battle for justice and social peace,” she said of the military-led effort against drug cartels, which has drawn widespread criticism for human rights abuses.

Cacho also lamented “self-censorship” in the highly concentrated Mexican media, saying that many outlets color their reporting to avoid trouble with the government and other powerful interests.

A long-time newspaper columnist and crusader for women’s rights, Lydia Cacho became famous thanks to the furor over her 2005 book “Los demonios del Eden” (The Demons of Eden), which exposed wealthy pedophiles and their associates in the Mexican establishment.

In the book, she identified textile magnate Kamel Nacif as a friend and protector of accused pedophile Jean Succar Kuri, who has since been sent back to Mexico from the United States to face charges.

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calderón completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calderón’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calderón’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The Mérida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

Nuestra declaración de 2005 Día Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en día, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as niñas de todas las Américas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al público en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presión popular sobre los funcionarios electos y otros encargados de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de género -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las niñas de las Américas.

¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


LibertadLatina

Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula

Mexico

The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Doméstica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de la Prostitución ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevención de la migración temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's Santo Tomás Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitution and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia Pérez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

Read our  section on the prostitution of infants by trafficking gangs across Latin America


About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking ...is... big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.