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Latin America
Women & Children at Risk
 
Title: 

If the federal government doesn't provide basic hygienic conditions in schools educators may refuse to resume classes: teacher's union

  Schools don't have access to water, and federal sanitation funds are insufficient
 
Publisher: CIMAC Noticias
Publish Date:  2009-05-06
   
 

Versión en Español (Version in Spanish) from CIMAC Noticias

Sin medidas de higiene, docentes no reanudarán clases: CNTE

Escuelas sin agua y escaso recurso federal para limpieza

México DF - Si no cuentan con las medidas necesarias de higiene en las escuelas de preescolar, primaria y educación especial, alrededor de 58 mil docentes de la Sección 9 de la Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), 85 por ciento de ellos mujeres, no regresarán a clases el próximo 11 de mayo, pues la llamada influenza humana sigue “latente” y los recursos asignados por el Gobierno federal son insuficientes para abastecerse durante los 40 días que restan al ciclo escolar. 

Así lo informó en conferencia de prensa Francisco  Bravo Herrera, secretario general del Comité Ejecutivo Seccional de la Sección 9, quien informó que la discusión sobre las condiciones de sus centros de trabajo, entre las y los trabajadores de esta sección ubicada en el Distrito Federal (DF) y los comités regionales, se da desde ayer y hasta hoy. Hoy entregan su decisión a Alonso Lujambio, titular de la Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP)...

   
Translation: May 8, 2009 - Chuck Goolsby LibertadLatina

The almost 58,000 teachers of Section 9 of the the National Coordinator of Education Workers union ( CNTE) have declared that they will not return to work when Mexico’s schools re-open on May 11th, unless the federal government takes action to insure hygienic conditions at the schools. The CNTE membership, 85% of whom are women, states that the H1N1 influenza continues to be a latent danger. They note that the federal government has provided insufficient supplies of hygienic materials to carry schools through the remaining 40 days of the school year.

This was announced at a press conference by Francisco Bravo Herrera, secretary general of the Section 9 Executive Committee. Bravo Herrera reported on his discussions about workplace conditions with union members from Mexico City and regional chapters. The union’s final decision on returning to work will be delivered today to Alonso Lujambio, head of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP).  

Bravo Herrera noted that 4,100 public schools in Mexico City may become strong centers spread of the H1N1 influenza virus. These particular schools do not have even minimal resources to prevent disease – drinking water, “much less soap and water.” Some 150,000 teachers and workers, 70% of whom are women, work in these 4,100 schools.

In the City 60 percent of in preschool, primary, secondary and special education schools, where one and a half million students attend school, do not have potable water service.

In addition to the conditions in Mexico City, 26,077 schools across the Mexico also lack water [and even septic] facilities. These schools are concentrated in the impoverished [read: intentionally impoverished Indigenous], regions of the southeast of the nation.

Federal resources insufficient

"We need clean, hygienic buildings with the necessary equipment. The 200 million pesos (US$15 million dollars) which the federal government has given to protect public schools from H1N1 are insufficient to meet the current need, given that each of the 223,144 public schools in the nation will receive 896 pesos (US$ 68 dollars) each for the remaining 40 days of school. With that money they are expected to purchase chlorine and soap for washing hands and cleaning the facilities.

Therefore public school teachers have called for returning to classes in a responsible manner, with the necessary resources to prevent the spread of the virus. Without a basic agreement on this point, the caution that they are contemplating the idea of not returning to work until they are guaranteed the ability to return without facing these [avoidable] health risks.

Two years without resources

In addition, Bravo Herrera complained that were never given notice of what happened to basic school supplies that Mexico City has failed to deliver to its schools during the past two years, an act that has led to a serious deterioration of school facilities.

Bravo Herrera also noted that in classes  composed of 30 to 45 students, it would be "impossible" to keep the distance of two meters (6.6 feet) that has been recommended by health authorities for avoiding H1N1. He added that in some classrooms, each table is used by 4 or 5 students.  

Due to the conditions in those schools, Francisco Bravo said that they expect to see increase absenteeism. Prior to the health emergency, the rate was 5 -8 percent absenteeism. When classes re-open the rate is expected to increase to 30%, because "parents do not have certainty that their children will be safe."

Furthermore, added Francisco Bravo, the Manual for School Administrators, which explains the health guidelines for overcoming the contingency, and indicates that school staff school conduct medical history interview with families, is outdated and incomplete, given that medical personnel should the ones to conduct such investigations.

The teachers of Section 9 mentioned that final exams should be suspended because it would be very stressful to students after being cooped-up at home because of the health emergency.

Finally, Francisco Bravo said that "it is not feasible at this point in time to enforce the requirement that students attend class for 800 hours during this school year."

Francisco Bravo and Section 9’s education workers emphasized that the threatened work stoppage was not about a refusal to work, nor a refusal to complete the school year’s work plan. “What we demand is that the [federal government] go about the task of re-opening schools in the best possible way, while at the same time  respecting our labor rights."

 
 
     

 

 

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias


Updated: Sep. 2, 2010


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LibertadLatina

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



Últimas Noticias

Latest News



Added: Sep. 2, 2010

Mexico

Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco talks with children and youth rescued from sex slavery at a government- run victim's shelter in Mexico

Trata de personas, secuestro de los más pobres en México

Al inaugurarse el Foro Nacional contra la Trata de Personas, la diputada Federal Rosi Orozco, se pronunció que así “como se alzan las voces porque se castigue a los secuestradores, también debería exigirse castigo para los tratantes de blancas, porque también aquí se les tortura”.

Este Foro se inauguró este viernes y la representante de la Comisión Especial de la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas del Congreso Federal, ante autoridades del gobierno estatal y federal, exigió que “se escuchen las voces de esos niños y niñas pobres, porque es la misma demanda que tienen los niños ricos que sufren secuestro. La trata de blancas es el secuestro de lo más pobres, de los más vulnerables, que no tienen para pagar un rescate”.

Human Trafficking and the Kidnapping of Mexico's Poorest

During the commencement of a recent forum on human trafficking held by the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber, declared that "just as we must raise our voices to demand punishment for kidnappers, we should also insist on the same treatment for human traffickers, because torture is involved in both [crimes].

Deputy Orozco went on to demand that "we listen to the voices of these poor boys and girls, because it is the same demand [for freedom] that wealthy child victims of kidnapping cry out for. Human trafficking is the act of kidnapping those who are the poorest and most vulnerable. They are the one who don't have the money to pay for rescue."

Estela Frajinal, director of the Institute for Women in Oaxaca state, added that the objective of the national forum was to design a strategy to "attack this phenomenon which touches many families. We need to promote a culture of prevention and demand the all persons who engage in human trafficking be punished.

Deputy Orozco went on to warn that those of us who are involved in this initiative will not going to let the officials of this nation rest, until [public] enemy number 1 - impunity, is confronted.

Deputy Orozco noted that human trafficking must be punished "with life sentences, just as such punishments are demanded for kidnapping cases. We insist that criminal penalties must increase. The consumer and every person in the chain of human trafficking activity must be punished.

In previous congressional conferences on human trafficking, victims have testified and demanded punishment for those who had raped and exploited them, as well as for the owners of the newspapers where these services are advertised.

Among the federal, state and local officials who attended the forum were Pablo Navarrete of the National Women's Institute, Oaxaca state Attorney General Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, Oaxaca Women's Institute director María de la Luz Candelaria Chiñas, and federal special prosecutor Zara Irene Guerra…

Currently, human trafficking is not a punishable crime in the state of Oaxaca. This sends a message to criminal groups, who know that selling a young girl 30 times a day is more profitable than selling a kilo of marijuana…

Olga Rosario Avendaño

Olor a Mi Tierra - Oaxaca

Aug. 19, 2010


Added: Sep. 2, 2010

The World

UN General Assembly Launches Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons

Assembly President Says ‘Heinous Crime’ Cannot Be Accepted in Today’s World

With thousands of people forced into labor, servitude or the sex trade each year, the General Assembly formally launched the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons today, one month after its adoption as a consensus resolution outlining the terms of the Plan.

“With this Global Action Plan, we have announced our steadfast commitment to stop human trafficking,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in opening remarks to the one-day high-level meeting. Indeed, the Plan was a clarion call. Human trafficking was among the worst human rights violations and constituted “slavery in the modern age”. No country was immune — almost all played a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination.

Since the Assembly’s adoption ten years ago of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Governments, international organizations and civil society had taken steps to stop the crime, he said. But to end human trafficking in all its forms, a common approach was needed — coordinated and consistent across the globe. “The Global Plan of Action will help us to achieve exactly that,” he said.

Moreover, it would engage Governments and criminal justice systems, civil society and the private sector, he observed. Under the Plan, the fight against human trafficking would become part of all the United Nations broader development and security policies and programs.

He added that one of its most important elements was a United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for trafficking victims, especially women and children, which aimed to protect vulnerable people and support physical and psychological recovery. He urged Member States, the private sector and philanthropists to contribute generously to the Fund and increase technical assistance to countries that supported the fight against trafficking, but lacked financial resources.

The Plan also stressed the paramount importance of increased research, data collection and analysis of trafficking. “We must improve our knowledge and understanding of this crime if we are to make good policy decisions and targeted interventions,” he added.

However, the only way to end human trafficking was by working together, in partnerships between States and within regions, within the United Nations and under the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, he said. The biggest challenge was to reduce the numbers of people vulnerable to trafficking. Progress being made to empower women, fight discrimination, reduce poverty and keep children healthy was also helping to do just that. The thousands of people living as slaves needed help, now.

...Saisuree Chutikul, Chair of the National Subcommittee on Combating Trafficking in Children and Women in Thailand... said that all those who had been fighting the crime of trafficking at all levels and had witnessed the suffering of its victims welcomed the Plan of Action. Now the task was ensuring comprehensive and effective implementation, in connection with the various conventions, protocols and other instruments already in existence. She called for adequate support to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for its part of the efforts, for cooperation between all other actors and for linkages at all levels. She maintained, in addition, that national policy must be clear and deal with problems of stateless persons and others in a position of extreme vulnerability. Behind all those efforts must lie compassion, she said...

Participating in the interactive discussion that followed were the representatives of Ghana (on behalf of the African Group), Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Portugal, Cape Verde, Belarus, Japan, Thailand, Russian Federation, United States, Cuba, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua, Colombia, Brazil and the Philippines.

Sixty-fourth General Assembly of the United Nations

Aug. 31, 2010

See also:

Added: Oct. 4, 2009

The World, Ecuador

Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor Arbito Chica

Few Governments Serious About Human Trafficking, U.N. Finds

United Nations - The U.N. General Assembly discussed ways of taking stronger collective action to end human trafficking on Wednesday, with delegates debating the need for… a "global plan of action" to end this form of modern slavery.

"National and regional efforts are not enough to cope with this global problem," said Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights Néstor Arbito Chica. "That’s why we call on the U.N. to take action."

The starting point for the debate was whether the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, passed in Palermo, Italy, in 2000, is enough to stop this global problem.

"The protocol is not a sufficient tool for stopping human trafficking, and more than one-third of U.N. member states are not a party to it," said Valentin Rybakov, assistant to the president of Belarus. "The Palermo Protocol is, if you will, an aspirin which helps us to bring the fever down, but aspirin cannot cure us."

The need for a new global plan of action was echoed by the majority of speakers and delegates. The United States, however, felt otherwise: "We believe that the U.N. is already effectively leading the fight against global trafficking."

The U.S. representative’s concerns were that launching a global plan of action would strain the limited resources of the U.N. and, likewise, that the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) "financial and personnel resources would be severely stretched if it were to undertake such a plan of action."

"Efforts undertaken at regional and national levels are clearly not enough," Rybakov countered. "Adopting a global plan of action is not an end in itself to us, but this plan is a logical step."

The U.N. has passed comprehensive plans of action before - for instance on terrorism, as pointed out by Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC…

Sexual exploitation accounts for 79 percent of human trafficking, it says, while forced labor makes up 18 percent…

"In 2006, the last year for which we have statistics, 22,000 victims were rescued, and we know the problem goes into the millions," Costa said…

Matthew Berger

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

May 14, 2009

See also:

The World, Belarus

Belarus Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov

Belarus to Promote Global Action Plan to Fight Human Trafficking at United Nations General Assembly Session

Minsk - At the session of the UN General Assembly Belarus will push forward the adoption of the global action plan to fight trafficking in human beings, the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry told BelTA.

As head of the delegation Belarus Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov is participating in the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly that opened in the UN headquarters in New York.

The head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take part in general political discussions to present Belarus’ views on the most topical problems of the international agenda. The Belarusian delegation will focus efforts on promoting Belarus’ initiatives, namely the adoption of the global action plan to fight slave trade, creation of an effective international mechanism to facilitate access of all countries to technologies of new and renewable energy sources, enhancement of international development aid to countries with average incomes.

The Minister is also supposed to take part in events timed to the start of the General Assembly session. Those are the Conference on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, ministerial meetings on fighting violence against girls, dialogue between religions.

Sergei Martynov is also expected to hold meetings with top executives of the UN Secretariat, several international organizations, and foreign ministers of several countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

BelTA

Sep. 23, 2009

See also:

¡Esta barbarie no será perdonado por Dios!

This barbarity will not be pardoned by God!

If Mexico does not have control over this part of its own territory, or if, as appears to actually be the case, the National Action Party's socially conservative agenda won't allow it to defend innocent and vulnerable women and children in crisis, consistent with their apathetic reaction to the femicide murders in Ciudad Juarez, then perhaps an international force organized by the Organization of American States, or by the United Nations needs to step-up to the plate, offer to help Mexico, and take control of the situation.

This crisis in Mexico is the best example in the Americas of why a new Global Plan of Action, as proposed by Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor Arbito Chica and diplomats gathered at the United Nations on May 13, 2009, is needed to get around this impasse.

Somehow, the fact that the government of Mexico is a signatory to the Palermo Protocol, and the fact that Mexico passed its 2009 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report evaluation with a relatively positive Level 2 Rating (as we also acknowledge State's strong critique of corruption in Mexico), misses the point.

New and out-of-the box strategies are needed to oblige Mexico to fulfill its international obligations to end this mass gender atrocity once and for all.

It is not an impossible task.

The status quo today is... unacceptable!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 28, 2009

See also:

Women's Rights at the Crossroads in Mexico

...A Global Plan of Action... must be implemented to get around the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of state impunity.

In extreme circumstances, the United Nations overcomes the problem of criminal impunity by mounting an international force to combat state actors who engage in crimes against humanity.

A Global Plan of Action does not have to target state actors through the use of military action, but some new, creative process must be employed to show nations like Mexico that they cannot just sell the poor and minority women and girls in their nations 'down the river' into a tortured, shortened life of sexual slavery in the brothels of Mexico City, Tijuana, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam and Madrid, just because they are willing to look the other way in exchange for a 'piece' of this multi-million dollar criminal action.

We strongly encourage the people of the world to wake up and actively combat the mass crime against humanity that the oppression of women and girl children in Mexico represents.

Enough is enough!

...We also applaud Ecuadorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General) Néstor Arbito Chica and diplomats from a number of nations including Belarus, who have recently spoken out to demand that the United Nations develop a Global Plan of Action to really step-up-the-game to effectively combat modern slavery.

The policy of the United States should, we believe, embrace the efforts of Ecuador, Belarus and other nations to develop a Global Plan of Action to get past the ineffectiveness of the Palermo Protocol...

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 30, 2009


Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Mexico

Mayor assassinated as Mexico violence flares

A wave of bomb attacks has hit northern Mexico, where police are investigating the mass killing of 72 asylum seekers.

Last week a group of migrants trying to cross the border into the United States were murdered by suspected drug cartel members.

In the past 24 hours four homemade bombs have exploded in the border city of Reynosa, injuring at least 17 people.

The bomb attacks appeared to target places connected with the investigation into the massacre.

Suspected drug hit men also shot dead the mayor of a small town in northern Mexico on Sunday.

Marco Antonio Leal was killed by gunmen in SUVs as he drove through his rural municipality of Hidalgo near the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas state, the local attorney-general's office said.

Gunmen also murdered a popular candidate for Tamaulipas governor in June, Mexico's worst political killing in 16 years.

Mexico's former foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda, says the government is losing control to the drug cartels.

"It seems to be no longer able to guarantee the safety of anybody in Mexico," he said.

"Public opinion is no longer as supportive of the president's efforts and of the military's involvement as it was before."

More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since president Felipe Calderon launched his war on drugs in late 2006, prompting fears bloodshed could undermine tourism and investment as Mexico slowly recovers from its worst recession since 1932.

ABC News

Aug. 301, 2010


Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Central America, Mexico

Presidente Colom: Masacre en México pudo haber ocurrido en Centroamérica

Los Angeles - La masacre de Tamaulipas pone en claro que la inmigración ilegal es ahora más peligrosa no sólo en México sino también en Centroamérica, por lo que la región seguirá combatiendo en bloque el narcotráfico, apuntó el sábado el presidente de Guatemala Alvaro Colom.

Una matanza como la ocurrida esta semana en Tamaulipas, estado nororiental mexicano, también pudo haber ocurrido en Guatemala u otro país centroamericano pues el narcotráfico es un problema significativo en la región, explicó el mandatario durante una entrevista con The Associated Press en un hotel de Los Angeles.

La matanza ha sido atribuida a los narcotraficantes conocidos como Los Zetas, que también operan en Guatemala.

"Definitivamente la lucha contra el crimen organizado es regional", indicó Colom, resaltando el peligro de la inmigración ilegal tras la matanza de cinco guatemaltecos y 67 latinoamericanos en México.

"El proceso de inmigración ya era peligroso, de alto riesgo. Ahora se le suma la participación de los narcos y del crimen organizado que es peligrosísimo", añadió.

Las declaraciones de Colom ocurren durante su primera visita a Los Angeles para reunirse exclusivamente con líderes de organizaciones comunitarias e inmigrantes guatemaltecos. La visita de dos días también es la primera en 12 años que realiza un mandatario guatemalteco a Los Angeles...

Guatemala's President Colom: The massacre in Mexico could have occurred in Central America

Los Angeles - The massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico makes clear the fact that undocumented migration is more dangerous now, not just in Mexico but also throughout Central America. For that reason, the nations of the region are continuing to fight the narco-traffickers as a block, declared President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala.

The massacre of 72 Latin American migrants, including 5 Guatemalans, was carried out the the Zetas cartel, which also operates in Guatemala.

President Colom: Definitively, the fight against organized crime is a regional effort." "The process of migration is a high-risk activity. Today organized crime, including narco-traffickers participate in human smuggling, which makes migration extremely risky."

President Colom was in Los Angeles, California for a meeting with Guatemalan migrants and community organizations...

E. J. Tamara

The Associated Press

Aug. 28, 2010


Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Mexico

Drug gang massacre puts Mexico in crisis

Mexico's most feared drugs cartel launched an offensive against the powers of law and order

Mexico was disintegrating into a war zone last night as its most feared drugs cartel launched an offensive against the powers of law and order.

The dreaded Los Zetas, fresh from massacring 72 migrant workers, launched their campaign against the authorities by detonating car bombs and kidnapping a senior prosecutor investigating their activities.

Roberto Jaime Suarez disappeared hours after launching an investigation into the Zetas, a formidable private army made up of former Mexican special forces, for carrying out an outrage that has shocked the world.

His wife Norma expressed her fears for Mr Suarez and a policeman snatched at the same time.

“I am almost certain my husband and the other man were kidnapped,” she said.

“I can only assume that those who abducted him are connected to organized crime.” ...

No one was hurt but the terrorist tactics are a new departure for the drugs cartels, showing they are prepared to use terrorist tactics.

The Zetas, who recruit former special forces soldiers from Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, operate deep into the USA from California to Florida, New York, Washington and up to Canada.

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon has vowed not to back down to the drugs gangs but warned last night: “Violence will persist and even intensify.”

Stuart Winter

Express (UK)

Aug. 29,2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Zeta Slaves: A Story from the Inside

[Mexican officials and police have been implicated as collaborators with the Zeta, who are rouge, AWOL military special forces personnel and their recruits, who today form one of the most brutal and feared drug and human trafficking cartels in Mexico.]

The horrifying massacre of 72 Central and South American immigrants by the hands of Zetas shocked the world. Preliminary investigations, based on testimony by the sole survivor of this attack, report the immigrants were first given the option of paying their ransoms in cash or as cartel slaves. Having no cash and refusing to join Zeta forces, the 58 men and 14 women, were blindfolded and bound before being executed on the spot.

We know what happened to them, but what about the others? What happens to those who are unable to pay, but still desperately wish to survive? ...

Marisolina didn't have relatives in the United States, much less in El Salvador, who would or even could pay the Zetas, who kidnapped her, the $3,000 dollars they demanded to release her. "You're going have to come up with another way to pay us, Guerita", they repeatedly threatened her in the first few days of her captivity.

There was nobody to answer for her, no one to defend her. Within a week of kidnapping her near the railways of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, the Zetas had decided how she would pay her debt; Marisolina would become the safe house cook, in charge of preparing all meals for fellow immigrants who had been kidnapped, and those who held them captive. "At first I just cooked for them, but when they began to trust in me, they gave me their clothes to wash."

One evening, after serving dinner, a man everyone called "El Perro" [the dog], who was in charge of the safe house, after getting very drunk and high on cocaine, asked me to sit down and talk for a while. It was at this moment he asked me: "Guerita, do you know why my clothes are always so dirty?"

Marisolina spoke of the fear she had of this man who always had a weapon in hand and took great pleasure in constantly abusing the immigrants he held captive. "I told him I imagined (because of the dirty clothes) he worked on the trucks which were used to transport the Central Americans."

"El Perro" let out a hardy laugh and replied: "I'm the butcher. I don't do any type of mechanics. My job is to I get rid of the trash that doesn't pay."

Still visibly scared, Marisolina recalls that exact moment: "Mockingly, and without any remorse, he told me he was in charge of killing the immigrants who couldn't afford to pay their ransom. He said: First I cut them into pieces so they fit into the drums, then I light them on fire, I let them burn until there's nothing left of the little assholes."

That night she couldn't sleep. She was alert and spooked by every sound. She heard people coming and going from the house, but was too scared to try to catch a peak of what was happening. The next morning "El Perro" brought more clothes to be washed.

No longer able to contain her tears she finally, after several long minutes, continued her story: "I washed, so many times, the blood of those people. As I scrubbed at the blood, pieces of meat fell out. Everything smelled of soot, which to me, was the smell of death."

Marisolina was held captive for three months by a group that called themselves Los Zetas. In their 'get togethers' and business meetings, she was in charge of serving meals to the leaders. "When they were together, I would hear them say Los Zetas was a very respectable organization. Sometimes they took me to a hotel they rented in Coatzacoalcos, it was there I learned to recognize La Compania's, as they called it, chain of command."

The soldiers, she revealed, where those in charge of guarding the immigrants day and night. "Then there were the Alfa. I heard them, many times, speaking to police, immigration officials, and train conductors. They would advise them when large numbers of immigrants were coming on the train, or when they were detained."

Trying to minimize her Salvadoran accent, she recalls the location of at least six butchers, one for each safe house. "Above the butchers were the big bosses, they were the ones who gave the orders of which immigrants to kill." ...

One night, after a military strike on one of the Zeta safe houses led to the rescue of other immigrants, "El Perro", who by that time considered Marisolina his friend, asked her to accompany him to the store to by cigarettes and sodas. It was outside of the store she was released, but not before being warned she would die if she ever revealed what had occurred.

Long walks and days and nights without eating or sleeping, preceded her denunciation of the Zetas who had held her captive. She didn't want to talk to the police, she trusted no one. She agreed to the assistance offered by the National Commission of Human Rights only after being reminded her testimony could help prevent others from suffering the same.

Unfortunately, Marisolina's nightmare did not end there. The greatest deception came when the Attorney General's office informed them her situation had changed. After reviewing her testimony, they had reasonable suspicion she was part of the Zeta's criminal organization, thus her legal status had changed from that of the victim to the indicted.

Marisolina for her part, after everything that has happened and learning how the Zetas operate, can't believe she survived, let alone, that they released her just like that.

Borderland Beat

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Mexican massacre investigator found dead

Body of official dumped beside road near scene of killing of 72 Central and South American migrants in Tamaulipas

The body of an official investigating the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants killed in a ranch in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas was found today dumped beside a nearby road alongside another unidentified victim, according to local media.

Earlier, two cars exploded outside the studios of the national TV network Televisa in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria. There were no casualties, but the blasts added to a growing sense of fear in the aftermath of the worst single act of violence in the country's raging drug wars.

Meanwhile, investigators under armed guard continued the process of identifying the victims...

Jo Tuckman

The Guardian

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Families of migrants killed in Mexican massacre say they couldn't pay ransom

Reynosa - Their families pleaded with them not to leave, fearful of the growing danger that faces migrants trekking through Mexican territory where brutal drug gangs hold sway.

But the young migrants from across Latin America insisted on going. They met their ends together, among 72 migrants massacred just 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the U.S. border.

Pieces of the migrants' lives - and the story of their terrible fate - are slowly emerging as investigators painstakingly work to identify the bodies, which were discovered bound, blindfolded and lying in a row after what appears to be Mexico's worst drug-cartel massacre.

The survivor, 18-year-old Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla of Ecuador, said the killers identified themselves as Zetas, a group begun by former Mexican army special forces soldiers and now a lethal drug gang that has taken to extorting migrants.

The Zetas control much of the northern state of Tamaulipas, cattle-ranching country that is the last leg for migrants running the gantlet up Mexico's east coast to reach Texas.

Mexico's drug gangs have long kidnapped migrants and demanded payment to cross their territory. But the Mexican government says the cartels are increasingly trying to force vulnerable migrants into drug trafficking, a concern also expressed by U.S. politicians demanding more security at the border.

Lala, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck and is under heavy guard, told investigators the migrants were intercepted on a highway by five cars, according to his statement that The Associated Press had access to Friday.

More than 10 gunmen jumped out and identified themselves as Zetas, Lala said. They tied up the migrants and took them to the ranch, where they demanded the migrants work for the gang. When most refused, they were blindfolded, ordered to lie down and shot.

...Lala left his remote town in the Andes mountains two months ago, hoping to find work in the U.S. to support his pregnant 17-year-old wife. One of his eight siblings, Luis Alfredo Lala, told Ecuavisa television he begged his brother not to go.

Lala's wife, Maria Angelica Lala, told Teleamazonas that her husband paid $15,000 to the smuggler who was supposed to guide him to the U.S. That smuggler apparently tried to hide Lala's fate from his wife, calling her Wednesday to say her husband had safely reached the U.S.

Investigators have identified 31 of the migrants: 14 Hondurans, 12 Salvadorans, four Guatemalans and one Brazilian.

Mexico's rising violence has contributed to a sharp drop in the number of migrants in Mexico over the past few years, Romero said.

Mexican immigration agents have rescued 2,750 migrants this year, some stranded in deserts and others who were being held captive by organized crime gangs, she said.

In Tamaulipas alone, agents rescued 812 migrants kidnapped by drug gangs, she said. Many of those migrants told authorities the cartels tried force them into drug trafficking.

"We perhaps saved them from being massacred like the 72 that we lost this time," Romero said...

The Associated Press

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico, The United States

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Phil Gordon's February, 2010 presentation at Harvard University (see below), before the controversy over Arizona law SB 1070 effectively forced him into silence on the issue, is perhaps the most honest statement to date about the impact that the mass kidnapping and human slavery of Latin American immigrants is having in the Southwestern U.S.

With the recent, tragic massacre of 72 migrants in Tamaulipas, Mexico, 100 miles south of the U.S./Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas, the U.S. anti-trafficking community has an even more urgent moral responsibility than we have previously called for to acknowledge the critical nature of the human trafficking emergency on the U.S./Mexico border and throughout Mexico. It is a crisis that is growing exponentially. Mexican human trafficking may generate a full $20 billion per year in revenue, as CNN reported on August 26, 2010.

We pray that those who died in Tamaulipas and all of the other migrants who are murdered in the violent gauntlet that is Mexico... rest in peace.

We also pray for the tens of thousands of women and girls who are kidnapped into sexual slavery without a finger being lifted (due to a lack of moral will) by government authorities in Mexico to find and assist them.

The time for politically expedient silence about this issue is over!

The victims, and those at risk, await our effective efforts to protect and rescue them today.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 28, 2010

 

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 05, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

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

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

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

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

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Mexico

Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla - massacre survivor

Ecuatoriano sobrevive a masacre que dejó 72 muertos en México

El ecuatoriano Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla sobrevivió a la masacre en un rancho del estado mexicano de Tamaulipas, en donde se encontraron 72 cadáveres, después de que fueron secuestrados por un grupo armado mientras intentaban alcanzar la frontera con Estados Unidos, narró Lala en declaraciones tomadas por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), informó el portal de La Reforma.

El compatriota quien dio aviso a la Infantería de Marina permanece en un hospital de la localidad tras presentar una herida de bala en la garganta.

El testigo narró que las víctimas "provenían de Centro y Sudamérica, ingresaron por Chiapas a territorio mexicano con la intención de llegar a Estados Unidos", según la página web de Reforma.

Según medios locales de Tamaulipas, el sobreviviente declaró que el grupo de inmigrantes fue interceptado por hombres armados que les ofrecieron trabajo como sicarios, a lo cual se negaron. De inmediato, los desconocidos abrieron fuego contra ellos.

"Presumimos que las víctimas son centroamericanos" luego de que "un sobreviviente así lo "denunció" ante las autoridades, dijo una fuente de la fiscalía que pidió el anonimato y rechazó brindar más detalles.

El ministerio de Marina informó del hecho la noche de ayer en un comunicado que señala que las 72 víctimas, de las cuales 14 son mujeres, fueron encontradas en el rancho tras registrarse un tiroteo con pistoleros que custodiaban el lugar y en el que falleció un soldado y tres presuntos sicarios. Según las investigaciones preliminares, los fallecidos serían de El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador y Brasil...

AFP/ EFE

Agosto 25, 2010

See also:

Drug cartel suspected in massacre of 72 migrants

Mexico City - A wounded migrant stumbled into a military checkpoint and led marines to a gruesome scene, what may be the biggest massacre so far in Mexico's bloody drug war: a room strewn with the bodies of 72 fellow travelers, some piled on top of each other, just 100 miles from their goal, the U.S. border.

The 58 men and 14 women were killed, the migrant told investigators Wednesday, by the Zetas cartel, a group of former Mexican army special forces known to extort migrants who pass through its territory.

If authorities corroborate his story, it would be the most horrifying example yet of the plight of migrants trying to cross a country where drug cartels are increasingly scouting shelters and highways, hoping to extort or even recruit vulnerable immigrants.

"It's absolutely terrible and it demands the condemnation of all of our society," said government security spokesman Alejandro Poire.

The Ecuadorean migrant stumbled to the checkpoint on Tuesday, telling the marines he had just escaped from gunmen at a ranch in San Fernando, a town in the northern state of Tamaulipas about 100 miles from Brownsville, Texas.

The Zetas so brutally control some parts of Tamaulipas that even many Mexicans do not dare to travel on the highways in the states.

Many residents in the state tell of loved ones or friends who have disappeared traveling from one town to the next. Many of these kidnappings are never reported for fear that police are in league with the criminals.

The marines scrambled helicopters to raid the ranch, drawing gunfire from cartel gunmen. One marine and three gunmen died in a gunbattle. Then the marines discovered the bodies, some slumped in the chairs where they had been shot, one federal official said.

The migrant told authorities his captors identified themselves as Zetas, and that the migrants were from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras...

The Reverend Alejandro Solalinde, who runs a shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca, where many migrants pass on their way to Tamaulipas, said the Zetas have put informants inside shelters to find out which migrants have relatives in the U.S. — the most lucrative targets for kidnap-extortion schemes.

He said he constantly hears horror stories, including people who "say their companions have been killed with baseball bats in front of the others."

Solalinde said he has been threatened by Zetas demanding access to his shelters.

He said the gangsters told him: "If we kill you, they'll close the shelter and we'll have to look all over for the migrants."

The Associated Press

Aug. 25, 2010

See also:

Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Mexico

Human trafficking second only to drugs in Mexico

CNN: Human smuggling may be a $20 billion business in Mexico

Mario Santos likely never made it to the United States.

The 18-year-old set out 10 years ago from his native El Salvador in search of opportunity and a better way of life. But he had to travel north through Mexico first.

A short while after leaving, he called his parents to tell them he had been beaten and robbed in Mexico, left penniless and without shoes or clothes. It was the last they heard from him.

It's a fate that likely befell 72 people believed to be migrants from Central and South America whose bodies were found this week in a ranch in northern Mexico, just 90 miles from the U.S. border. It's a fate that officials say also befalls thousands of Central and South Americans every year.

"It's brutal," says Peter Hakim, president emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue, a non-partisan Washington policy institute. "This is very big business. It's very brutal."

It is indeed big business. Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of crime worldwide after drug and arms trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in April.

In Mexico, it is a $15 billion- to $20 billion-a-year endeavor, second only to drug trafficking, said Samuel Logan, founding director of Southern Pulse, an online information network focused on Latin America.

"And that may be a conservative estimate," Logan said.

That money, which used to go mostly to smugglers, now also flows into the hands of drug cartel members.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a bipartisan, nonprofit policy institute based in Washington, noted in an August report that human smuggling and other illegal activities are playing an increasingly important role as narcotraffickers diversify their activities.

"The drug cartels have not confined themselves to selling narcotics," the report said. "They engage in kidnapping for ransom, extortion, human smuggling and other crimes to augment their incomes."

Some cartels have come to rely more in recent years on human smuggling.

"For the Zetas, it's been one of their main revenue streams for years," Logan said about the vicious cartel, which operates mostly in northeastern Mexico.

Cartel involvement has increased the risk for migrants crossing through Mexico to get to the United States, said Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights. An investigation by the commission showed that 9,758 migrants were abducted from September 2008 to February 2009, or about 1,600 per month.

No one knows exactly how many people try to make the passage every year.

The human rights organization Amnesty International estimates it as tens of thousands. More than 90 percent of them are Central Americans, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Amnesty International said in a report this year. And the vast majority of these migrants, the rights group said, are headed for the United States.

"Their journey is one of the most dangerous in the world," Amnesty International said.

"Every year, thousands of migrants are kidnapped, threatened or assaulted by members of criminal gangs," the rights group said. "Extortion and sexual violence are widespread and many migrants go missing or are killed. Few of these abuses are reported and in most cases those responsible are never held to account." ...

On Thursday, Amnesty International called on the Mexican government to take swift action about the slayings of the 72 people in Tamaulipas.

"Amnesty International issued a report in April highlighting the failure of Mexican federal and state authorities to implement effective measures to prevent and punish thousands of kidnappings, killings and rape of irregular migrants at the hands of criminal gangs, who often operate with the complicity or acquiescence of public officials," the rights group said in a release.

"This case once again demonstrates the extreme dangers faced by migrants and the apparent inability of both federal and state authorities to reduce the attacks that migrants face. The response of the authorities to this case will be a test."

Arthur Brice

CNN

Aug. 26, 2010

Additional press coverage of the Tamaulipas massacre.


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Washington, DC USA

Coalition organizes the largest walk and rally against human trafficking, to be held in Washington, DC on October 23, 2010

On October 23, 2010, thousands of people will gather on the National Mall for the DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, a united effort to celebrate human rights, raise awareness about human trafficking, and raise funds for organizations working to end human trafficking.

It’s One day, One place, and One Voice for the Voiceless!

This event will include:

* A 3.1 mile walk

* Information fair

* Luminary speakers

* Live music

* A shorter family walk

* A family-friendly area

It will be the largest anti-human trafficking event in DC history! Join us to help build a better world.

DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk

Aug. 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Florida, USA

Ariel Hurtado

Arrestado en Miami uno de los cinco depredadores sexuales más buscados en el sur de la Florida

Según las autoridades, el sujeto, Ariel Hurtado, de 35 años, fue arrestado afuera del apartamento de su madre y acusado de seis violaciones de libertad provisional, así como de no inscribirse como agresor sexual.

En 1997, Hurtado fue arrestado y acusado de múltiples cargos de agresión lasciva y de asalto indecente contra un menor de 16 años.

En el 2001 fue declarado agresor sexual, hallado culpable y sentenciado a un año y un día de cárcel, además de cinco años de libertad provisional.

Agentes de la policía de Miami lo arrestaron de nuevo en el 2004 después que le enseñó los genitales a varias niñas y adolescentes en paradas de autobús.

Hurtado admitió haberlo hecho en seis ocasiones en paradas de autobús de West Flagler Street en Miami.

Las autoridades declararon a Hurtado depredador sexual en el 2008. Ha estado eludiendo a la policía desde el 9 de septiembre del 2008.

Los detectives que tenían vigilada la casa de la madre de Hurtado, lo vieron cuando llegó a visitar su apartamento, localizado en el 3150 Mundy St. en Miami.

Investigadores de la policía de Miami-Dade y alguaciles federales lo arrestaron en el estacionamiento. Las autoridades dijeron que Hurtado conducía el automóvil de su novia y utilizaba en el vehículo unas placas robadas para así evitar ser detectado.

One of Top 5 most wanted sex offenders arrested in Miami

A serial predator considered one of the Top 5 most wanted sex offenders in South Florida was arrested Thursday.

Authorities said Ariel Hurtado, 35, was arrested outside his mother's apartment and charged with six probation violations and failure to register as a sex offender.

In 1997, Hurtado was arrested and charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious assault and indecent assault on a child under the age of 16.

He was designated a sex offender in 2001, and was convicted and sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Miami police officers arrested Hurtado again in 2004 after he repeatedly exposed himself to numerous girls and teenagers at bus stops on several occasions.

Hurtado admitted to exposing himself six times to girls and teenagers at bus stops along West Flagler Street in Miami.

Authorities designated Hurtado a sexual predator in 2008. He had been eluding police since Sept. 9, 2008.

Detectives, who were keeping Hurtado's mother's home under surveillance, spotted him as he arrived to visit her apartment at 3150 Mundy St. in Miami.

Miami-Dade detectives and U.S. marshals arrested him in the parking lot. Police said Hurtado was driving his girlfriend's car and using a stolen tag on the vehicle to avoid detection.

Andrea Torres

The Miami Herald

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Suspect sketch

Man Sought In Ocean City Sexual Assault

Police are searching for a suspect who is accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile in Ocean City.

Police say Felix Gonzalez, 36, sexually assaulted a juvenile female near the Seapray Road beach on July 27.

Gonzalez, who also uses the alias Santiago, is described as a Hispanic male, between 5'4"-5'7", 180-200 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was in Atlantic City.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gonzalez is urged to contact the Ocean City Police at 609-399-9111.

CBS 3 Philadelphia

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Texas, USA

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Governor Perry wants more penalties for human traffickers

Houston - Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday proposed new laws to stiffen penalties for human trafficking in the state and renewed his criticism of the federal government for failing to keep the Texas-Mexico border secure.

The governor wants state lawmakers when they reconvene in January to make "the worst of these traffickers" subject to first-degree felony charges that could carry up to 99 years in prison. Advocacy groups say Texas is a hotbed for such crimes because of its geographic location, demographics and large migrant work force.

"Those who would commit these heinous acts need to know if you're caught in Texas, you're not going to see the light of day for a long, long time," Perry said.

Texas enacted a human trafficking law in 2003, and last year Perry signed a measure creating a statewide human trafficking task force attached to the Texas Attorney General's Office. The law took effect in January.

Perry said he was making $500,000 in grants available to counties and cities to help victims of human trafficking. His office's criminal justice division also will provide the attorney general with nearly $300,000 to expand the trafficking task force to aid in prosecution of cases.

Perry said human trafficking preys on the hopes and dreams of victims who were promised better lives for themselves and their families.

"Unfortunately, what awaits victims is a life of confinement, hard labor, prostitution, physical and mental abuse, and in far too many cases an early death," he said. "Human trafficking is simply modern-day slave trade and its scope is very chilling."

The governor cited federal statistics that estimate 20,000 people fall victim to human trafficking in the U.S. each year, "but we have no reliable way of knowing if the problem may be worse than that." He said about 20 percent of the victims may be in Texas.

The Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, a consortium of Houston nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations and government agencies, said Texas and Houston remain hotbeds of human trafficking not only because of their locations, but because of demographics and large numbers of migrant workers. Houston's port and airport, along with its proximity to Mexico, add to the problem...

Michael Graczyk

The Associated Press

Aug. 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

35 Immigrants Held Hostage in Baldwin Park

Investigators say one child was among the illegal immigrants found inside the residence.

Baldwin Park - Police have arrested two men accused of human trafficking after 36 suspected illegal immigrants were found inside a Baldwin Park house believed to have been used as a holding cell.

At around 7:00 p.m., officers form the Baldwin Park Police Department say they received a call from an alarmed man claiming to be an illegal immigrant being held against his will.

Arriving officers saw several suspects fleeing the home in the 5000 block of La Rica Road in Baldwin Park.

After an investigation, officers discovered several men, women and one child being held inside the home.

Police believe they had been in the residence for up to one month.

They were smuggled into the country illegally from Mexico and Central America and were being held until family members paid a certain sum of money, Lt. David Reynoso said.

The 36 immigrants appeared to be in good health, Reynoso said.

Two alleged captors, ages 18 and 30 years old, were arrested.

No weapons were found.

Police initially said it appeared the immigrants were being held against their will.

Jennifer Gould

KTLA News

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Chile

Ramona Nélida Serrano alias Nélida Urbina o La Chilena vendía bebés santiagueños en Buenos Aires

Enfermera santiagueña, fue acusada de vender un bebé en Buenos Aires

Gisela di Vicenzo, que presentó la denuncia asegura haberla confrontado y sostuvo que la mujer reconoció que participó de una prolífica red de trata de personas.

Una enfermera santiagueña, afincada en Buenos Aires, fue acusada pública y judicialmente de integrar una red de trata de personas, que durante varios años, en las décadas del 70 y el 80, habrían vendido varias decenas de niños en la capital del país.

Según relató la joven que presentó la denuncia, la mujer, conocida como Nelly Urbina, trabajaba en el Hospital Italiano y se la conocía bajo el apodo de “La Chilena”.

Nurse Ramona Nélida Serrano, alias Nélida Urbina or La Chilena, clandestinely sold babies from Santiago, Chile in Buenos AIres, Aregentina for decades

Ramona Nélida Serrano, a nurse, has been criminally charged with participating in a human trafficking ring that, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, sold babies Chilean babies in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires...

Julio César Ruiz

El Liberal de Santiago del Estero

Aug. 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Washington State, USA

Seattle dubbed 'hub city' for child and teen sex trafficking in the U.S.

In a recent Dan Rather television special he said the U.S. Department of Justice dubbed Seattle, Wash., and Portland, as two of the twelve “hub cities” in the U.S. for prostitution and human trafficking, including sex trafficking of children and teens.

While the problem exists across the nation, Portland and Seattle provide easy north and south access on the I-5 corridor that spans from Canada to Mexico.

Portland, Ore., a metropolitan area just hours south of Seattle, has acquired a deplorable nationwide reputation for being the leading major hub for prostitution and child sex trafficking. Rather featured a recent television special called “Pornland, Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland.”

Recognizing the depth of the problem, Portland is now leading the way to a solution for children and teens who are victims of human trafficking for the purpose of selling them for sex.

Many teens, Rather said during his TV special, are recruited for sex and then moved across the country. Only 60 to 100 shelter beds for this purpose currently exist in the U.S., with 20 of them located in Seattle, Wash. One avenue for abusers to locate their victims is through the popular online classified advertising site, Craiglist...

Isabelle Zehnder

The Examiner

Aug. 17, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Arizona

Sentencing delayed

The sentencing hearing for a woman accused of training a 14-year-old girl how to be a prostitute was postponed Wednesday after a problem arose.

Maricela Ann Muñoz was indicted in June on a charge of child prostitution of a minor under 15, a charge that carries a prison sentence of between 13 and 27 years.

She pleaded guilty to attempted child prostitution of a minor under 15 as part of a plea agreement that stated she could get probation or somewhere between five and 15 years in prison.

The plea agreement also states it would be up to Judge Charles Sabalos to decide if Muñoz should have to register as a sex offender.

On Wednesday, Judge Sabalos said he believes he must order Muñoz to register as a sex offender.

Muñoz's sentencing was postponed until Sept. 9 so her attorney can see if the plea agreement can be amended in some way.

Muñoz's co-defendant, Whitley Minter, entered an identical plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9.

According to police, a patrol officer spotted the 14-year-old walking south on South Sixth Avenue near the Rodeo Grounds at about 11:30 p.m. April 24.

The girl appeared to be soliciting, and the officer approached and questioned her, Pacheco said.

The girl eventually admitted she was a runaway from Phoenix and she was being trained to sell herself by a man named "David" and some women.

The teenager said they were staying at two local hotels until they earned enough money to move to California. When the cops went to the motels, David was gone, but Minter and Muñoz were there.

Police said the girl has been reunited with her parents, who had hired a private investigator to look for her.

Kim Smith

Arizona Daily Star

Aug. 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

Floran Calixto Sulit

Victorville Teacher Accused of Child Molestation

Victorville - A 33-year-old Silverado High School teacher has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

School officials reported the inappropriate relationship between math teacher Floran Calixto Sulit and the female juvenile on Aug. 11, according to San Bernardino County sheriff's officials.

Detectives learned that during the "on-going relationship," Sulit was "sending harmful material to the victim via her cell phone," a sheriff's press release stated.

Sulit, of Victorville, has been working at the school for six years.

He was arrested on suspicion of oral copulation and sending harmful matter. He's being held on $25,000 bail.

Detectives are urging anyone with information, or who may have been a victim, to contact Detective Julie Brumm at (909)387-3615. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling WeTip at (800)78-CRIME (800-782-7463).

KTLA News

Aug. 18, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

Man Charged with Having Sex with 12-year-old Girl

31 year-old Neftali Procopio was caught having sex with the girl in his parked car.

Santa Ana - A 31-year-old man has been charged with having sex and smoking pot with a 12-year-old girl he met on a playground in Santa Ana.

Police say Neftali Pena Procopio started talking to the young girl while playing basketball at Santa Ana High School on Monday night. The two became friends and the young girl said she thought he was a good listener. She reportedly told him about problems she was having at home.

Propcopio and the young girl met again at 10 p.m. when he persuaded her to sneak out of her house.

Officers arrested Propcopio while the two were having sex in his parked car on Ross Street. They both lied about their ages, according to police.

The young girl said she was 19 years old. Officers, however, doubted the girl's age and determined later she was only 12. That's when Propcopio was taken into custody, according to officials.

Procopio was charged Wednesday with felony lewd acts on a child under 14 and felony furnishing marijuana to a minor. His Bail has been set at $100,000.

KTLA News

Aug. 18, 2010


Added: Aug. 17, 2010

Mexico

Federal Police Riot in Ciudad Juarez Over Corruption

On August 8, Federal Police stationed in Ciudad Juarez (dubbed the "Murder Capital of the World") staged a thirteen-hour work stoppage to demand the dismissal of their superiors. They claimed their superiors were corrupt: they plant drugs and weapons on suspects, they are members of organized crime, they use their government-issue armored vehicles (such as the ones donated by the US government under the Merida Initiative) to transport drugs, and they throw whistle-blowing officers in jail. Discontent within the force reached a boiling point when commanding officers brought federal charges against an officer who filed a complaint against his superiors for abuse of authority, mistreatment, and death threats.

In response to the arrest of the whistle-blower, approximately 400 agents blocked streets in Ciudad Juarez to demand his release. Their action led to the dismissal of four commanding officers. However, Federal Police Internal Affairs removed the rioting agents from duty and is investigating them for having "instigated attacks and protests." The commanding officers, on the other hand, are not "under investigation," according to the Attorney General's Office. They're simply being asked to give testimony about the protest in Juárez, not about the corruption charges.

[A more detailed article about this crisis appears at the linked web site.]

Kristin Bricker

My Word is my Weapon

Aug. 12, 2010

[Can anyone believe that Mexico is going to be able to organize an effort to seriously combat human trafficking when police commanders are owned by the cartels that profit from and promote such trafficking? - LL]


Added: Aug. 17, 2010

Florida, USA

6 arrested in rare human trafficking case in Jacksonville

Over the past several weeks, local and federal authorities have arrested six men in what they’re calling a rare sex-trafficking operation in Jacksonville.

It started when a 15-year-old runaway wandered into the city’s drug-ridden underbelly last spring. She met men who gave her crack cocaine in exchange for sex. Then, they held her captive for nearly a month and sold her as a prostitute until she managed to break free and call her mother, who then called police.

Sheriff John Rutherford compared the case to slavery on Monday as he and James Casey, FBI special agent in charge of the Jacksonville office, announced the arrests.

However, the details were kept to a minimum as both said they wanted to protect the 15-year-old girl, who had been placed in a therapy program.

Police would not specify where in the city the girl was being held or where she was forced to perform sex acts for drugs. The method the men used to strong arm her into prostitution also was not revealed.

Ian Sean Gordon, 29, and Melvin Eugene Friedman, 45, were identified as principle suspects in the case...

If he’s convicted on the federal sex-trafficking charges, Gordon could face a life sentence.

Police also rounded up three men accused of purchasing the girl as a prostitute. Phillip Anthony Aiken, 28, Oris Alexander English, 45, and Alfredo Martinez Riquene, 42, each face a mandatory 10-year prison sentence if convicted.

Another man, 28-year-old Antonio D. Ford, was arrested on charges that he knew about what was happening to the girl but did not come forward.

Nearly 300,000 children in the United States, most of them runaways, are considered at risk to be forced into prostitution, according to a November 2009 report compiled by International Crisis Aid, a St. Louis-based human rights organization.

Still, Rutherford said the case announced Monday is a first in Jacksonville. Investigators said there could be more arrests coming.

David Hunt

August 16, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Mexico

Young women from the Triqui indigenous community in Mexico

Confirman parálisis de niña triqui de 14 años por ataque en Oaxaca

Discriminadas por médicos del hospital Juárez, denuncian

La niña triqui Adela Ramírez López, quien fue herida el 30 de julio por elementos de la policía estatal y de grupos paramilitares que ingresaron de manera violenta al municipio autónomo San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, quedará imposibilitada para caminar.

Fuentes cercanas a Cimacnoticias informaron que la niña fue trasladada al Hospital Juárez de la ciudad de México, donde ayer las y los médicos les informaron el diagnóstico y les dijeron que ya no pueden hacer nada más por ella en ese nosocomio.

“Estamos hablando de una niña de 14 años que tenía todo un futuro por delante y nos dicen que ya no pueden hacer nada, estas son las tragedias que las mujeres y niñas triquis vivimos todo los días”, relató la fuente consultada por esta agencia.

Precisó que durante la estancia en el hospital de la niña, las mujeres triquis permanecieron a las afueras del nosocomio, para estar en todo momento atentas a lo que se necesite y denunciaron que fueron discriminadas por el personal del hospital...

14-year-old Triqui indigenous girl is paralyzed in shooting attack by state police and paramilitary [thugs] in Oaxaca

Adela Ramírez López, a 14-year-old girl from the Triqui indigenous community in Oaxaca state, was wounded on July 30, 2010 by elements of the Oaxaca State Police and members of paramilitary groups who engaged in a violent assault on the autonomous community of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. As a result of the attack, Adela is paralyzed and cannot walk.

Sources close to the CIMAC women's news service have told us that Adela has been transported to Juárez Hospital in Mexico City. Doctors stated that they cannot do anything more for Adela at their facility.

A source told us: "We are talking about a 14-year-old girl who has her whole future ahead of her, and they tell us that they can do nothing more to help her. These are the types of tragedies that Triqui women face on a daily basis."

The source added that during Adela's hospital stay, a group of Triqui woman has been by her side at every moment, to attend to her needs. These women report that hospital staff have behaved in a discriminatory way toward them.

The Tirqui tribal area is located in Oaxaca state's La Mixteca region. The zone has been a center of acts of violence between rival groups who seek political control [within the tribe]. Women and girls have been the constant targets of abuse even as they have been important actors in the search for peace in their communities.

On July 30th, the group Women in Resistance of the town of San Juan Copala denounced the fact that 200 state police agents, under the command of Commissioner Jorge Quezada, violently attached their community.

Sources: "Their pretext was that they wanted to recover the body of one of the bloodiest, most notorious paramilitary gang chiefs, [who was located in] the town. The state police decided to mount their attack with the assistance of 20 gunmen from a paramilitary group called UBIRISORT (The Union for Social Wellbeing for the Triqui Region [affiliated with and tribal proxies for the Oaxaca state government])."

In response, the women of the town formed a human shield to protect themselves and their daughters and sons from this act of aggression. The state police and paramilitaries responded by opening fire on the group of unarmed women.

Bullets hit Adela and her 15-year-old sister. Adela was hit in the intestines and that bullet lodged in her spinal column, leaving her paralyzed. Her sister was shot in the lung, and is in critical condition.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Aug. 13, 2010

See also:

A collection of articles (in Spanish) about the ongoing wave of violence facing Triqui women.

CIMAC Women's News Agency


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Mexico

Negociazo trata de personas

En el foro “Hacia una legislación Integral en Materia de Trata de Personas y Delitos Afines”, que se llevó a cabo en San Lázaro para tratar este delito, los diputados mencionaron que la trata se ha convertido en un tema de seguridad nacional, pues en los últimos años ha ido en aumento en toda la República Mexicana.

En el país existe una población infantil de 31 millones de niños, de los cuales el 0.6 por ciento es víctima de trata, es decir, 20 mil infantes son sujetos a la explotación sexual, o usados para actos de pornografía, según la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas en la Cámara de Diputados.

A decir de la diputada panista María Antonieta Pérez Reyes, la trata de personas genera ganancias para el crimen organizado por 9 mil 500 millones de dólares anuales.

Legisladores mencionaron que mientras siga la pobreza y la ignorancia, las personas se hacen más vulnerables a ser víctimas de trata de personas. En tanto, el Procurador de Justicia del Distrito Federal, Miguel Ángel Mancera, dio a conocer que con los distintos operativos que se han realizado, se ha logrado asegurar nueve hoteles dónde se realizaban delitos de este tipo.

Además de ser rescatadas 95 personas víctimas de delitos sexuales, y han arraigado a 83 delincuentes.

The Business of Human Trafficking

During a just-ended congressional forum: Working Towards Integral Legislation Addressing Human Trafficking and Related Crimes, members of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) pf Congress declared that human trafficking was a national security issue that has increased in intensity across Mexico during recent years.

According to the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, headed by National Action Party (PAN) deputy Rosi Orozco, some 20,000 children - 0.06% of Mexico's 31 million children, are subjected to sexual exploitation, which may include child pornography...

[Note: We reject the figure of 20,000 child victims as being an indefensable undercounting (and thus a whitewash) of the problem. - LL]

Deputies mentioned that, as long as poverty and ignorance continue to exist, people will remain vulnerable to human trafficking.

During the session, Mexico City District Attorney Miguel Ángel Mancera announced that police raids in the capital city have resulted in shutting down 9 hotels and the rescue of 95 victims. Eighty three suspects have been held for prosecution.

Omar Sánchez

El Arsenal

Aug. 12, 2010

[Note: Mexico City's city government has worked hard to address human trafficking issues, although as the capital, the problem remains serious. The nation's 30 states have, for the most part, expressed much less enthusiasm for aggressively pursuing human traffickers and rescuing victims. - LL]


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Cuba

Contra la prostitución infantil

Cientos de agentes de la policía fueron desplegados durante el sábado 10 y el y domingo 11 de julio en las calles Galiano, Reina, Monte, y en los parques Central y El curita, para frenar la prostitución infantil que, según fuentes confiables, ha alcanzado índices elevados entre los jóvenes de 12 a 18 años. Esta reportera presenció el arresto de adolescentes que fueron trasladados en carros jaulas hacia diferentes unidades de policía. También los agentes arrestaron a varios homosexuales que se paseaban por los alrededores del Capitolio Nacional y el cine Payret. Los operativos se extendieron al malecón, la cascada del hotel Nacional y la calle G.

Targeting Child Prostitution in Cuba

According to sources, hundreds of police agents conducted raids on July 10th and 11th, 2010 in Havana targeting child prostitution. The raids were conducted on Galiano, Reina and Monte streets, as well as in Central Park and El Curita park in the capital city of Havana. Youth from 12 to 18-years-of-age who engage in prostitution in these areas. This reporter witnessed the arrest of a number of adolescents, who were taken in police vehicles to local police stations. Homosexual [prostitutes] who congregate in the area of the National Capitol building and the Payret cinema were also arrested. The operation also involved the the city's beach front - El Malecón, the steps of the National Hotel and also G Street.

Magaly Norvis Otero

Hablemos Press

July 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Texas, USA

Shatavia Anderson

Melvin Alvarado, and Jonathan Ariel Lopez-Torres

Illegal immigrant who confessed to killing 14-year-old girl had been deported twice

Houston - The family of a 14-year-old girl who was murdered last weekend showed up in court Friday.

Although the two suspects charged in the crime didn’t physically appear in court, both were assigned attorneys.

The family of 14-year-old Shatavia Anderson came out to speak about the young girl’s murder and were seen embracing inside the courthouse. Though they were not able to see the men police say are responsible for Anderson’s death, the family said they wanted to be there nonetheless.

Anderson was robbed and killed Saturday less than 100 yards from her family’s apartment in the 1100 block of Langwick Drive, police said. Police said the crime happened at about 12:30 a.m. as Anderson walked to the intersection of Greens Road and Wayforest.

Melvin Alvarado, 22, and Jonathan Ariel Lopez-Torres, 18, confessed that they were involved in the robbery and shooting, police said.

Police said Alvarado shot Anderson in the back and Torres drove the getaway vehicle. Both of the suspects lived in the area where Anderson was robbed and killed, police said.

Detectives said the suspects saw the girl walking home alone and decided to rob her. Anderson fought back as Alvarado attempted the robbery, Houston Police Sgt. Billy Bush said.

"Something happened between them. She pushed off, and at that point she ran and he says he shot her in the back," he said.

Police said they started getting tips Tuesday after they put out a composite sketch of one of the suspects.

"Both of them show to have a criminal history, not a significant criminal history, but they both have been arrested," Bush said.

Anderson’s family members were angered when they learned Alvarado was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and had previously been deported from the U.S. twice.

"What I’m trying to figure out is how they started coming over here and they can do whatever they want," said Anderson’s uncle Joe Lambert. "What you doing is giving them the green light, tellin’ them, ‘Hey, you can come over here and do what you want.’ It’s a prime example, that guy.."

Torres, a legal immigrant from Honduras, had no prior criminal convictions.

The two men appeared in a probable cause court on Thursday.

A judge refused to set bail.

Alvarado and Lopez-Torres are expected to be appear before a judge at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center on Friday.

Anderson’s funeral is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church located in the 5000 block of Lockwood.

Her family set up a memorial fund at Capital One Bank.

KHOU

Aug. 11, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

California, USA

Mercury Air Centers To Pay $600,000 For National Origin, Race And Sex Harassment In EEOC Suit

Salvadoran Airport Employee Was Promoted Despite Harassment of Filipino, Guatemalan and Mexican Male Workers, Federal Agency Charged

Los Angeles - Aircraft services provider Mercury Air Centers, Inc., will pay $600,000 and furnish other relief to settle a national origin, race and sex harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC originally filed suit against Mercury Air Centers in September 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Mercury Air Centers, Inc., CV-08-06332-AHM(Ex)), alleging that the harassment violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since the filing of the lawsuit, Mercury Air Centers was sold and became a part of Atlantic Services, Inc. Atlantic Services then worked with the EEOC in an effort to resolve the lawsuit.

According to the EEOC, the seven victims – including one Filipino male and six Hispanic males – endured a barrage of harassing comments on the part of a Salvadoran male co-worker at the Bob Hope Airport facility in Burbank, Calif., since at least 2004. The EEOC claims that a Filipino line technician was regularly referred to as a “chink,” “chino,” and “stupid Chinese,” and subjected to offensive statements about Filipinos. The alleged harasser derided the Guatemalan victims with derogatory remarks regarding their national origin, including references to them as “stupid Guatemaltecos” and stating that Guatemalans are useless and inferior to Salvadorans. Prior to learning the actual national origin of one of the Guatemalan victims, the alleged harasser also called him a “stupid Mexican.”

The EEOC contends that the alleged harasser also repeatedly hurled offensive racial and sexual remarks toward the claimants and at least two African-American employees, which included usage of the N-word and requests for sexual favors. The alleged harasser grabbed his genitals in their presence and engaged in unwanted sexual touching. Despite complaints regarding his inappropriate behavior, Mercury Air Centers’ management officials failed to fully investigate or address the alleged harassment, says the EEOC. In fact, the alleged harasser was instead promoted to a supervisory position....

U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission

Aug. 09, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Ricardo Velasquez

Man held in rapes of 2 children in south Charlotte

A man accused of raping two children in south Charlotte Sunday night has been flagged as an illegal immigrant in Mecklenburg jail.

Ricardo Velasquez was in jail late Wednesday. He was given a $170,000 bond, but was also being held by immigration authorities after Sheriff’s deputies identified him as an illegal immigrant under the 287(g) program.

Velasquez, 40, was charged with two counts of rape on a child under 13, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of first-degree sex offense on a child. The children were seven- and eight years old, according to a police report.

According to the report, the crimes happened just before 9 p.m. on Sunday night at an apartment on Sharon Road West. The condition of the children was unknown, but the police report says they had to be treated by emergency room doctors.

Velasquez has three previous convictions for driving while impaired, dating back to 1997, according to a search of N.C. court records. He’s also been found guilty of interfering with an emergency communication three times.

The 287(g) program that flagged Velasquez identifies and begins deportation proceedings against people in the country illegally who are arrested in Mecklenburg and other cooperating jurisdictions.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

The Charlotte Observer

Aug. 11, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Georgia, USA

Houston County judge sentences man to 35 years for molesting 6-year-old relative

William Mamfredo Castro, 29, who had been living in Warner Robins, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden after pleading guilty to one count of child molestation and two counts of first degree cruelty to children, said Senior Assistant District Attorney David Cooke. The girl was related to Castro, Cooke said.

Houston County public defender Nick White, who represented Castro, noted that Castro entered a “best-interest” plea. Castro was facing a potential life sentence had he gone to trial and been convicted of all the charges against him, White said. As part of the plea agreement, other charges, including rape and aggravated sexual battery, were dismissed. But Cooke said he thought a similar sentence would have been rendered had Castro gone to trial and been convicted of all the charges.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has a hold on Castro, an illegal immigrant, White said. How much time Castro will serve in prison before being deported will be up to the state parole board and federal authorities, White said.

However, Cooke said he expects that Castro’s status as an illegal will not impact his prison term and that Castro likely will serve 90 percent of the 35 years.

Becky Purser

Macon.com

Aug. 07, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Oregon, USA

Tigard Police Seek Sexual Assault Suspect

Tigard Police investigators are seeking a suspect who reportedly unlawfully entered a woman’s home and sexually assaulted the victim. The incident occurred on August 6th, 2010 at approximately 3:50 pm. at the Windmill Apartments located along SW Tigard St. near 105th Ave.

The 40 year-old victim reported she was confronted in her unit by a Hispanic male that entered through an open rear slider. The victim was sexually assaulted by the suspect, who then fled on foot. The suspect is further described as 30-40 years of age, 5'6? tall, chubby with short dark hair. At the time of the incident, the suspect was seen wearing blue jeans, a polo shirt with a horizontal stripe pattern and white athletic shoes. A distinguishing feature of the suspect is a scar through the left eyebrow.

Tigard Police Detectives are asking the public’s help to identify the suspect. A composite sketch of the suspect is available to further assist the search. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the Tigard Police Tip line at 503-718-COPS (2677).

The Portlander

Aug. 13, 2010


Added: Aug. 10, 2010

Mexico

Pimps force Mexican women into prostitution in U.S.

Tenancingo - In this impoverished town in central Mexico, a sinister trade has taken root: Entire extended families exploit desperation and lure hundreds of unsuspecting young Mexican women to the United States to force them into prostitution.

Those who know the pimps of Tlaxcala state - victims, prosecutors, social workers and researchers - say the men from [the city of] Tenancingo have honed their methods over at least three generations.

They play on all that is good in their victims - love of family, love of husband, love of children - to force young women into near-bondage in the United States.

The town provided the perfect petri dish for forced prostitution. A heavily Indian area, it combines long-standing traditions of forced marriage or "bride kidnapping," with machismo, [and] grinding poverty...

Added to that, says anthropologist Oscar Montiel - who has interviewed the pimps about their work - is a tradition of informal, sworn-to-silence male groups. He believes that, in the town of just over 10,000, there may be as many as 3,000 people directly involved the trade. Prosecutors say the network includes female relatives of the pimps, who often serve as go-betweens or supervisors, or who care for the children of women working as prostitutes.

A pimp Montiel identified only by his unprintable nickname said his uncle got him started in the business and that he has since passed the techniques on to his brother and two sons.

Federico Pohls, who runs a center that tries to help victims, says established pimps will sometimes bankroll young men who aspire to the profession but lack the clothes, money and cars to impress young women.

Dilcya Garcia, a Mexico City prosecutor who did anti-trafficking work in Tenancingo, confirms that many boys in the town aspire to be pimps.

"If you ask some boys, and we have done this, 'Hey what do you want to be when you grow up?' They reply: 'I want to have a lot of sisters and a lot of daughters to make lots of money."' ...

A typical scenario, prosecutors say, involves an elaborate sham of a marriage - sometimes with false papers and names - before the pimp feigns a sudden financial crisis that would put the couple out in the street. The pimp then casually mentions a friend whose wife "worked" them out of the problem, noting, "If you love me, you'd do that for me."

Sometimes the tactics are more violent.

Garcia tells of an 18-year-old woman who was picked up by a Tenancingo pimp; her 11/2-year-old baby girl was placed in the care of one of his female relatives, and the woman was then taken to a down-at-the-heels Mexico City hotel and made to serve dozens of clients per day, for around 165 pesos ($12) apiece. When she resisted, the pimp told her, "If you don't do what I'm asking you to, you'll never see your daughter. You'll see what we'll do to your daughter."

Mostly, the pimps concentrate on isolating women, lying to them, and breaking down their self-esteem.

The victim who spoke to the AP described it this way: Her pimp, Rugerio, humiliated her, pulled her hair, withheld food and told her that she had to practice sex acts on him so she would perform well with the clients.

"I didn't like it," she said. "I felt ugly and it was very painful."

Rugerio told her he would send her to the U.S. and that he'd join her a bit later. After walking through the desert, she was sent to a nondescript apartment complex in suburban Atlanta, where she was met by two women and a man who, she was told, were related to Rugerio.

One of the women took her shopping for clothes. Even though it was September and starting to get chilly, the woman selected mostly short, tight skirts and tops and told her she'd have to start working the next day.

"I asked them what kind of work I would be doing," the young victim said. "She took out a bag of condoms and then I knew."

Her minders kept her in a small, sparsely furnished apartment, isolated from any other girls and mostly ignored her during the day. Around 4 p.m., a driver would come pick her up to take her to work. In the beginning, she had sex with between five and 10 men a night, but as time went on the number got as high as 40 or 50, mostly Latino men...

The 28-year-old Rugerio was sentenced in February to five years in federal prison in the U.S. for helping smuggle young women from Mexico to Atlanta and forcing them into prostitution.

But many others aren't caught.

"We've always suspected the problem is larger than we know about," said Brock Nicholson, deputy special agent in charge of the Atlanta division of the federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Oftentimes, victims are very reluctant to come forward."

Those arrested on suspicion of forced prostitution almost never admit it...

Kate Brumback and Mark Stevenson

The Associated Press

August 09, 2010


Added: Aug. 10, 2010

Canada

Children dying while predators roam free

Vancouver, British Columbia – Convicted sexual predator Martin Tremblay is still roaming free after two teenage girls died in March – one at his home – after being given a lethal mix of alcohol and drugs within hours of their deaths.

Friends of Martha Hernandez, 17, and Kayla LaLonde, 16, said the two First Nations [indigenous] teens had been hanging out with a man named “Martin” who supplied them with free drugs and alcohol at parties he held for teens at his Richmond home.

Angela LaLonde, whose daughter was found collapsed on a road with bruises on her body, said police told her they were close to an arrest in her daughter’s death, but then they stopped returning calls.

“That was the last time I saw them, the last time they even said anything, and I’ve tried calling and calling and they will not call me back,” she told CTV News in June.

Yet no arrests have been made, and the families are worried there will be no justice for their daughters, particularly after hearing that Tremblay recently had a garage sale and plans to move to a new location where no one knows his history.

What is particularly alarming is that Tremblay was convicted in 2003 for raping five Native girls between the ages of 13 and 15, most of whom were in foster care.

Tremblay, 44, not only drugged and raped young girls, he made pornographic videos of them while they were unconscious. Witnesses told police he had given the girls a mixture of morphine, ecstasy, codeine and alcohol.

It was his habit of videotaping his rapes that led to his arrest after an anonymous source delivered the tapes to the Vancouver police who initiated an investigation and eventually brought charges.

Tremblay pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault, but was only sentenced to three-and-a-half years in custody and 18 months of probation – and released after serving little more than a year in prison.

Before his release, women’s advocacy groups petitioned the judge to prohibit Tremblay from contact with girls under the age of 18, but that didn’t happen. Nor was he ever listed on a sex offender registry.

Frustrated by the lack of concern by law enforcement, women’s advocacy groups plastered the neighborhood with posters bearing his picture, warning girls that Tremblay has a history of drugging and sexually assaulting teenagers. And they repeatedly questioned why police didn’t issue a public warning about him.

So when two more teenagers linked to Tremblay died, activists and families were angry and frustrated that police had not done more to protect them.

“The community wants to know what happened to these girls and why was it allowed to happen,” said Carrie Humchitt, a lawyer with the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network. “These warnings weren’t taken seriously and here we are again.”

At the time, Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Jennifer Pound told the media that they had received many questions regarding “a specific individual and whether or not police will be putting out a public warning.” She said while the investigation was active, police were not in a position to name suspects or issue any warnings “based on speculation.”

According to a 2010 report by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, 582 cases of murdered and missing Native women have been documented so far, mostly over the past 10 years. Experts agree, however, that the actual numbers are much higher – in the thousands – and that more cases need to be documented though funding is limited...

“Aboriginal girls are hunted down and prostituted, and the perpetrators go uncharged with child sexual assault and child rape,” said Laura Holland, a spokeswoman for the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network. “These predators, pervasive in our society, roam with impunity in our streets and take advantage of those aboriginal children with the least protection.” ...

Valerie Taliman

Indian Country Today

August 06, 2010


Added: Aug. 6, 2010

Brazil

BBC reporter Chris Rogers talks with a young girl in prostitution

Brasil: el auge del turismo sexual que busca niños

La reputación erótica del país atrae a un tipo de turista indeseable.

Gran parte de la demanda de los turistas que viajan a Brasil en busca de relaciones sexuales la están satisfaciendo niños, reveló una investigación de la BBC.

Su pequeño bikini deja al aire su exigua contextura. No parece mayor de 13 años y es una de las decenas de niñas que se pasean en la calle en busca de clientes, bajo el sol abrasador de la mediatarde.

La mayoría proviene de las poblaciones marginales de los alrededores, las favelas...

Chris Rogers

BBC Mundo

July 30, 2010

See also:

Brazil's sex tourism boom

Young children are supplying an increasing demand from foreign tourists who travel to Brazil for sex holidays, according to a BBC investigation. Chris Rogers reports on how the country is overtaking Thailand as a destination for sex tourism and on attempts to curb the problem.

Her small bikini exposes her tiny frame. She looks no older than 13 - one of dozens of girls parading the street looking for clients in the blazing mid-afternoon sun. Most come from the surrounding favelas - or slums.

As I park my car, the young girl dances provocatively to catch my attention.

"Hello my name is Clemie - you want a programme?" she asks, programme being the code word they use for an hour of sex. Clemie asks for less than $5 (£3) for her services. An older woman standing nearby steps in and introduces herself as Clemie's mother.

I usually have more than 10 clients per night - they pay 10 reais each - enough for a rock of crack.”

"You have the choice of another two girls, they are the same age as my daughter, the same price," she explains. "I can take you to a local motel where a room can be rented by the hour."

I make my excuses and head towards the bars and brothels of the nearby red-light district.

Despite assurances of a police crackdown, there appears to be little evidence of child prostitution disappearing from the streets of Recife. In four years' time, the country will be hosting the World Cup, which will fuel its booming economy.

Brazil has defied the global economic downturn thanks, in part, to its exotic, endless beaches attracting record numbers of tourists.

The country's erotic reputation has long been attracting an unwanted type of tourist. Every week specialist holiday [vacation tour] operators bring in thousands of European singles on charted flights looking for cheap sex. Now Brazil is overtaking Thailand as the world's most popular sex-tourist destination.

Underage

...Taxi drivers work with the girls who are too young to get into the bars. One offers me two for the price of one and a lift to a local motel.

"They are underage, so much cheaper than the older ones," he explains as he introduces me to Sara and Maria.

Neither has made any attempt to disguise their age. One clings to a bright pink Barbie bag, and they hold each other's hands looking terrified at the possibility of a potential customer.

Recife's red-light area is now crammed with cars slowly crawling past groups of girls parading their bodies...

For safety, Pia works with a group of older girls who act as pimps, taking care of the money and watching over the younger ones.

"There's lots of girls working around here. I'm not the youngest, my sister is 12, and there's an 11-year-old." But Pia is worried about her sister: "Bianca hasn't been seen for two days since she left with a foreign guy," she says.

Pia first started working as a prostitute at the age of seven, and UNICEF estimates there are 250,000 child prostitutes like her in Brazil.

"I've been doing it for so long now, I don't even think about the dangers," Pia tells me. "Foreign guys just show up here. I've been with lots of them. They just show up like you." ...

Pia told me that one day she hopes to break out of prostitution. She said she had heard of charities that provide a home for girls like her.

"Every day I ask God to take me out of this life. Sometimes I do stop, but then I go back to the streets looking for men. The drug is bad, the drug is my weakness and the clients are always there willing to pay." ...

BBC News

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Mexico

Award-winning journalist and anti trafficking activist Lydia Cacho

Esclavas en México

Domestic worker slavery in Mexico

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

[Domestic worker slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City - Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the Mixteca indigenous region of 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 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 her employer’s sons.

They are allowed out of the house for a few hours on Saturdays. On Sundays they have to prepare family meals for their patron (boss).

They were allowed only three vacations in 40 years, when, as adults, they were allowed to visit their sick mother.

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 the cases of women and children who live 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 and 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 we [read: 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. [The 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 domestic work 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 our 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. Plan B refers to the need to dialog on the issues in an out of the box manner that normal discourse tends not to cover.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010

LibertadLatina Note

The emotionally violent way in which domestic workers are treated by upper middle class and elite women is a dynamic that is openly displayed in any number of Mexican TV soap operas (telenovelas).

This form of human slavery exists in every Latin American nation. Several years ago near Washington, DC, I rescued two domestic workers from Colombia. Brought to work in the homes of Colombian officials at the World Bank (international organizations in Washington have access to special visas to bring in domestic workers), 'Maria' had asked for help to escape during a visit to a local hair salon. It was one of the few places that she was allowed to go on weekends, and even there she was followed by the lady of the house. Maria was paid $200 per week to work from 6 AM until Midnight taking care of an upper middle class home - cleaning, cooking and caring for several children. The lady of the house continuously yelled and screamed at Maria. In the wintertime, she had to manually shovel heavy snow from a long driveway and two car garage. In the summer, she had to mow a huge lawn.

After been freed, Maria married, and was able to bring her then 12-year-old daughter to the U.S. Many foreign-born women face these types of abuses, and worse, in the greater Washington, DC region.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05/06, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

From our response to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 21/22/23, 2010

See also:

Mexico

Congressional deputy Angélica de la Peña

El 99 por ciento de las trabajadoras domésticas del país son adolescentes y niñas; 40 mil tienen menos de 14 años.

99% Of domestic workers In Mexico are adolescents and girls - 40,000 are under age fourteen

Mexico City - Deputy Angélica de la Peña of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), president of the Special Commission on Childhood, Adolescents and Families in the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), indicated in a press conference that 99% Of all domestic workers In Mexico are adolescents and girls who do not study in school, and who are vulnerable to sexual abuse in their work-places.

Deputy de la Peña stated that 40,000 of these workers are under 14-years-of-age, children who depend upon their employers for shelter and food.  They have no set list of work tasks, and no work schedule.

 Domestic work is considered to be the least respected, the most poorly paid and the least regulated form of work.

Although the Mexican Constitution states that children must be provided with food, healthcare, education and recreation for their integral development, and  prohibits youth under age 14 from working, the reality is that Mexican society is violating that sacred concept.

Mexico is also a signatory to the International Labor Organization's Convention 182, prohibiting the worst forms of child labor.

Faced with these realities, Deputy de la Peña is proposing that the Mexican Congress modify Article 175 of Mexico's employment Law, to completely eliminate child domestic work.  In addition, the Deputy would like to add an Article 21 to the Law for Child and Adolescent  Protection, to specifically defend children from forms of work that subject them to sexual, physical or psycho-logical harm.

- La Cronica de Hoy

Jan. 22, 2006

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the crisis of workplace sexual exploitation in the Americas.


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Mexico

Mónica Flores Barragán, the general director of Manpower, Inc. for Mexico, central America and the Dominican Republic

Cada año dejan la secundaria 445 mil jóvenes

Esta deserción fomentan explotación laboral y sexual

México.- Cada año 445 mil jóvenes dejan la secundaria por razones de pobreza y violencia, y otro millón 144 mil más no alcanza un espacio en ese nivel de enseñanza, por lo que engrosan las filas del trabajo infantil e incluso explotación sexual.

Así lo reveló el director general del Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Desarrollo y Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá.

En la firma de un convenio con Manpower para la prevención y erradicación de la trata de personas, la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, la diputada Rosi Orozco, propuso a Manpower establecer una bolsa de trabajo, para capacitar y emplear a las víctimas de delitos sexuales...

445,000 students abandon school annually

Dropouts become victims of labor and sexual exploitation

According to Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá, director of the Center for Center for Studies and Investigation in Development and Social Assistance (CEIDAS), each year some 445,000 children and youth in Mexico abandon secondary school for reasons tied to poverty and violence. Another 1,114,000 children do not even enter secondary school. These children fill the ranks of child workers, including those who are sexually exploited.

Rosi Orozco, who is president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking of the Chamber of Deputies in Congress, recently signed an agreement with Manpower [Incorporated]. The contract calls on Manpower to create an employment agency that will train and employ victims of sex crimes.

Mónica Flores Barragán, who is the general director of Manpower [for Mexico, central America and the Dominican Republic], explained that she would work to enlist additional corporate allies to work to prevent these types of crimes.

Manpower, she said, will provide counseling to job seekers to help them avoid becoming the victims of human trafficking. They will also educate their clients about avoiding being entrapped by false classified job ads (which appear everywhere) that don’t require a good education but offer very attractive rates of pay.

Manpower will also provide information about foreign companies that recruit, validating whether or not the company is legitimate. They will also provide emergency phone numbers to their clients, and will warn them that nobody has the right to take your passport from you.

Flores Barragán: “Manpower has committed to not working with companies that hire children and underage minors. In Mexico, we work with 2,000 job seekers per month, on average. If we provide this education - to not just the workers, but to their families as well, then we can have a positive impact on society. We also need to engage the suppliers [corporate customers of Manpower].

Fuentes Alcalá and Deputy Orozco agree that it will not be possible to fight labor exploitation and human trafficking as long as impunity exists at all levels of the justice system, and as long as a culture that permits a person to denounce these crimes remains non-existent.

They recalled that during 2008 and 2009, only 4 cases of human trafficking were documented. In addition, the large majority of youth who are sexually exploited have been entrapped through the use of false pretensions of love [by their victimizers]. In other words, they don’t see themselves as victims.

Another contributing factor to the current increase in human trafficking cases is the expansion of poverty, say Fuentes Alcalá and Orozco. From 2006 to the present, 11 million people have newly fallen into poverty, adding to the 45 million who already lived under those conditions.

El Financiero

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Mexico

Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco talks with children and youth rescued from sex slavery at a government- run victim's shelter in Mexico

Preparan foro sobre trata de personas en San Lázaro

Durante la reunión de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados, se anunció la próxima realización del foro “Hacia una legislación integral en materia de trata de personas y delitos relacionados”.

La Presidenta de este órgano parlamentario, Rosi Orozco (PAN), detalló: “Necesitamos que sea algo integral, tomando en cuenta también otros delitos”.

Asimismo, la legisladora indicó que en el evento se contará con la presencia de personalidades del Gobierno federal y del Poder Judicial, así como con algunas personas que han sido factores importantes en este rubro...

Congressional anti-trafficking commission will present a new forum on human trafficking

During a special meeting of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies of Congress, members announced an upcoming forum called Toward Developing an Integral Legislation to Address Human Trafficking and Related Crimes.

The president of the commission, National Action Party (PAN) congressional deputy Rosi Orozco said, “we need this legislation to represent an integral approach, that recognizes [both trafficking and its] related crimes.”

Deputy Orozco added that federal executive and judicial branch officials, as well as specialists in human trafficking will attend the forum.

The topics to be discussed will include: the crime of human trafficking, criminal penalties and prosecution. In addition, the forum will discuss regional 'moralities' as they impact human trafficking, local necessities for fighting these crimes and the need to homogenize [widely differing] state and federal laws under a single legal framework.

Deputy Orozco concluded by stating that: “As long as states differ widely in their criminal laws and penalties addressing human trafficking, we will not be able to defeat this scourge. We will not be able to stop this crime in the face of its very rapid rise [in our society]."

Canal del Congreso

(The Congressional channel)

July 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Florida, USA

Sex Trafficking of Mentally Disabled Girl Puts Focus on Illegal Immigrants and Crime

Immigration Critics Call Florida Case Consequence of 'Broken Borders'

Mario Laguna-Guerrero had been dating his 17-year-old girlfriend for two years and even lived with her and her mother before he made a decision that would change their relationship forever.

Laguna, struggling to repay a debt to smugglers who brought him into the country from Mexico, decided to become a pimp -- driving his girlfriend to migrant labor camps in Hillsborough County, Florida, and selling her for sex.

Over four months in late 2009, as many as 80 men slept with the teenage girl while Laguna pocketed $25 a head. He later pressured his girlfriend to recruit high school classmates to work as prostitutes too.

Law enforcement agents arrested Laguna in April and charged him with sex trafficking of a minor, a federal crime.

More stories from ABC News' special series "Out of the Shadows: Illegal Immigration in America"

According to the affidavit, Laguna, 25, said his girlfriend, who's a U.S. citizen, agreed to help him pay off his debt by having sex for cash. But the girl, who has a mental disability and is only identified as "Victim #1," told detectives separately, "I don't wanna do this."

Investigators determined Victim #1 has an IQ of 58, which psychologists described to ABC News as "low-functioning," adding that she would have difficulties making decisions on her own.

"This girl was rescued from a nightmare which could only have gotten worse," said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

As national debate rages over ties between illegal immigration and crime, the Laguna-Guerrero case depicts a disturbing trend in human sex trafficking and, some immigration critics say, a consequence of the U.S. failure to secure its borders.

"This is a heinous crime, there are real victims left in its wake, and it's all unnecessary," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform. "It could have been prevented if he weren't here illegally... Legal immigrants go through a vetting process that's designed to weed out criminals."

Laguna, who worked as a strawberry picker on a farm near Tampa, first arrived in the U.S. in 2002. He told investigators the smugglers who brought him into the country threatened to cut off his fingers if he did not soon pay his $2,000 debt.

While Mehlman praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for uncovering the case and prosecuting the "most egregious" crimes perpetrated by immigrants, he said more must be done to curb the "disproportionate" criminal activity of those in the U.S. illegally.

Devin Dwyer

ABC News

July 28, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Global Warming Means More Mexican Immigration?

As Mexican crops wither, immigration to the U.S. might increase.

Disputes over illegal Mexican immigrants are already heating up in the United States, thanks in part to a new Arizona immigration law.

But global warming could bring the immigration issue to a boiling point in the coming decades, if a new study holds true.

According a new computer model, a total of nearly seven million additional Mexicans could emigrate to the U.S. by 2080 as a result of reduced crop yields brought about by a hotter, drier climate—assuming other factors influencing immigration remain unchanged.

"The model shows that climate-driven refugees could be a big deal in the future," said study co-author Michael Oppenheimer, an atmospheric scientist at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Using data on Mexican emigration as well as climate and crop yields in 30 Mexican states between 1995 and 2005, Oppenheimer and colleagues created the computer model to predict the effect of climate change on the rate of people crossing the border.

In that ten-year period, 2 percent of the Mexican population emigrated to the U.S. for every 10 percent reduction in crop yield.

Using the model to extrapolate this real-world figure over the next 70 years, the researchers calculated that 1.4 to 6.7 million adult Mexicans—a number roughly equal to 10 percent of Mexico's current adult population—could migrate to the U.S. by 2080.

The research is one of the first attempts by scientists to put hard numbers on how climate change can affect human migration patterns.

"Our study is the first to build a model that can be used for projecting the effects on migration of future climate change," Oppenheimer said...

U.S. Should Help Mexicans Adapt to Warming?

Despite its limitations, the Mexican-immigration model could help spur governments to start thinking about how they'll deal with so-called eco-migrants created by global warming, the University of Guelph's Smit said.

"The takeaway message for me of this study is that there is indeed a relationship between changes in crop yield and the movement of people," Smit said. "And to the extent that future climate change will introduce more of those stresses on yields, we can expect more pressures on the movement of people."

If the U.S. and other developed nations start thinking about climate change-related immigration now, before it becomes a major problem, they could take steps that would help reduce the amount of immigration in the first place, said Robert McLeman, a geographer who studies climate migration at Canada's University of Ottawa.

Toward this end, developed nations can do a lot to help their poorer neighbors, said McLeman, who wasn't involved in the modeling.

For example, the U.S. could make it easier for Mexican crops to reach U.S. markets, McLeman said. Or the U.S. could help Mexico create new, non-agricultural employment opportunities by encouraging other industries in rural areas.

"One of the things I encourage policymakers to think about is that people don't have to migrate if they have other means of adapting to climate change where they already live," he added...

No Downside to Preempting Global Warming Immigration?

In some sense, it may not matter whether the study is right or wrong.

The University of Ottawa's McLeman, for example, argues that many of the things the U.S. could do to help Mexico adapt to global warming will also help improve the quality of life for many of Mexico's poor.

"A lot of the things that we could be doing are things that we should be doing anyway," he said.

"Even if it turns out that our future projections about climate change impacts aren't right, it's still a good investment. I don't see any downside to it."

Ker Than

National Geographic News

July 26, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Obama, US Media Ignore Mexico's Brutality Towards Illegal Aliens

"Besides the news media's overall silence on illegal immigrants being terrorized, robbed and killed by Mexican authorities, the Obama Administration and US lawmakers are equally silent."

If the news media were truly unbiased in their reportage of Mexican illegal immigration and told the whole story, Americans would be shocked at the degree of President Felipe Calderon's hypocrisy.

...Calderon and his government appear to be unwilling to acknowledge their own hypocrisy in dealing with illegal immigrants who enter Mexico from Central American countries. Considered felons by the Mexican government, these immigrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers beat them and simply take their money and possessions.

Anyone who doesn't believe the above treatment of illegal aliens by Mexican authorities should peruse reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

"This 128-page report examines the commission's work on more than 40 human rights cases, including recent abuses by soldiers involved in law enforcement operations, police crackdowns against demonstrators in Guadalajara and San Salvador de Atenco, and the killings of women in Ciudad Juárez over the past decade, among others. The report also examines the commission's role in addressing abusive laws, including restrictions on freedom of expression, and responding to important reforms..." states the Human Rights Commission report's preface.

Besides the news media's overall silence on illegal immigrants being terrorized, robbed and killed by Mexican authorities, the Obama Administration and US lawmakers are equally silent...

Undocumented Central Americans complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the US side of the border, where aliens may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail, according to this writer's sources within the intelligence community.

If an immigrant is carrying any money, Mexican police officers or soldiers take it from the hapless illegal immigrant. And it's not just local cops: Federal (Federales) and state police officers are equally corrupt and brutal. There is no such thing as a sanctuary city in Mexico. And the illegal immigrants are lucky if the are confronted by police officers; the soldiers are far worse in their treatment of these foreigners. While most countries including the United States have some police corruption, the level of corruption in Mexico is shocking. To many, the only difference between Mexican organized crime gangs and the police is that the cops wear uniforms and badges.

While the Obama Administration praises Mexican cooperation with fighting a war on drugs, most law enforcement commanders know better. The Mexican government has been bought and sold by the drug gangs. The only time there is a crackdown on a drug gang is when a rival drug gang "requests" police action in order to eliminate their competition...

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

Jim Kouri

Family Security Matters

July 17, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

The Americas

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

Human Trafficking is a global industry that transcends borders, regions, and cultures. Within the Western Hemisphere trafficking is an important issue that arguably helps to shape relations between Latin America and the United States. In June 2010, the State Department Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) included, for the first time, in its ten year existence, a ranking allocated to the United States as well as 177 other countries. The TIP report helps substantiate the claim that the United States and Latin American governments must strive to improve the lives of millions of innocent people who increasingly are victims of human trafficking. The restaveks, Haitian youth forced into domestic labor without compensation, exemplify the lack of protective measures against [children,] who usually turn out to be the chief victims of trafficking.

The plight of these children, in Haiti and elsewhere throughout the region, reflect both the obvious and more subtle weaknesses in efforts to reduce human trafficking in Latin America. The trafficking of children is an immensely serious problem that regional governments, paired with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), must address. Moreover, the United States must actively engage with both the governments of other countries as well as foreign NGOs to facilitate this improvement...

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

The U.S. State Department releases the TIP Report annually. It discusses each country elaborating on improvements or regression and gives countries a grade: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2-Watch or Tier 3. Tier 1 countries are those deemed to comply fully with the minimum requirements provided by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA). Tier 2 consists of nations that do not fully comply with the TVPA, but are making substantial attempts to do so, while Tier 2-Watch nations make these efforts as well, but still have a significant increase in absolute number of trafficking victims. Tier 3 countries, such as the Dominican Republic, do not fulfill the minimum standards nor are they making attempts to do so. Some critics of the TIP report argue that some countries in the region attempt to meet TIP requirements out of fear of receiving a low rank in the compilation’s annual report and therefore do not implement measures specific to the nature and dimensions of the tempo of trafficking that is occurring within a given country.

Others speculate that the status of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Latin America serves as the driving force behind the grade each country receives. Opponents of the U.S., like Venezuela unquestionably [receive] a lower grade, than a country like Colombia which is rewarded for supporting U.S. interests in the region. For example, the United States ranks Cuba (a country with which the U.S. lacks basic diplomatic relations) as a Tier 3 country while Colombia receives the rank of Tier 1. Moreover, in 2005, Latin America had a higher percentage of Tier 3 countries than any other region in the world.

Even though it is difficult to produce a completely unbiased account of government efforts against trafficking without being swayed by foreign policy objectives, the TIP could at least try to find a balance between ethical concern and broader U.S. geopolitical goals and interests. This equilibrium is particularly important with regards to Latin American countries because the concept of migration and human trafficking are closely related to one another. Illegal immigrants who travel up through Mexico and Central America lack legal protection and are therefore more vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking. Moreover, strict immigration policies, such as those in the United States, provide only limited opportunities for legal migration that would go to protect immigrants. Restrictive human trafficking measures implemented by other countries in the region are likely to reduce the amount of trafficking in the United States.

The TIP Report as a Tool

In an interview with COHA, Mark Lagon, Former Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons and current Senior Advisor of Corporate Responsibility for Lexus Nexus, uses the case of Venezuela to refute some criticism of the TIP report: “I advocated for raising Venezuela to a better ranking. The integrity of the report requires acknowledging improvement because all in all, there is no reason to give countries anything but an objective assessment.” In this capacity, Lagon contributed to global anti-trafficking policy and directed the compilation of the TIP report. Venezuela, a nation with which the United States has strained ties, had a Tier 2-Watch rank in 2007, but in 2008, it was moved down a level to Tier 3 class.

Lagon views the TIP report as a constructive tool for improving relations between the U.S. and Latin America.

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

He went on to clarify that “the heart of human trafficking lies in exploitation; it’s not always about migration. Forty percent of trafficking victims in the U.S. come from Latin America. [We note that in December of 2009, Dr. Lagon's successor as director of the U.S. State Department TIP office, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, stated that Latin Americans comprise 60% of U.S. human trafficking victims. - LL] It is every bit as much for labor as for sexual exploitation.” A Congressional Research Report highlights the case of Mexico because it accounted for twenty-three percent of recognized human trafficking victims in the U.S. in 2008 alone. Thus, increased collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico regarding immigration and trafficking legislation will only yield positive outcomes. By examining the case of Mexico it is evident that a deepening of relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries could be facilitated by engaging in dialogue regarding human rights, especially trafficking.

The Nature of Child Trafficking

Countries that do not provide programs to combat child trafficking often receive more condemnation and higher rankings in the TIP report. One of the most unsettling aspects of human trafficking is the exploitation of children used for sex tourism. A significant discrepancy exists in the legal age of consent for females in Latin American countries. Averages range from fourteen to eighteen years [the age of consent is 12 in 19 of Mexico's 30 states], the legal age as provided by the Palermo Protocol. These disparities make victim identification more difficult. A 2008 article published in Human Rights Quarterly reports that “other forms of trafficking include using children as panhandlers, news agents, garbage recyclers (i.e. those who sort through the public dumps for recyclable materials), domestic help, in mining, in agriculture, [as victims of] illegal adoption and as child soldiers.” These types of forced labor jobs frequently occur within the borders of one country, as [is the case] with the restaveks in Haiti and child soldiers in Colombia...

The Importance of NGOs

Increased cooperation between the U.S. and Latin American countries regarding laws as well as punitive measures will be crucial to countering the efforts of traffickers in the region, but the legal canvas is not necessarily the only area of concern. Lagon pointed to the problem of corruption among law enforcement officials who “tend to blame victims instead of help them.” In order to assist victims not only in Haiti but also those to be found within the region, it is crucial that Washington step up its assistance to NGOs. For example, the Polaris Project is an NGO that focuses on victim identification and then provides social services and transitional housing as called for by advocates of stronger federal anti-trafficking legislation. Another NGO, International Justice Mission (IJM), works in many locations, such as Guatemala, Peru, and Honduras, to rescue victims of human trafficking, particularly children, and bring justice to their perpetrators. Lagon explains that “We need to move the needle by extending the capacities of NGOs. They are often seen as an irritant, but are an essential part of civil society. By assisting NGOs financially, we can help build the capacity to decrease human trafficking.” It is not merely a coincidence that Colombia, which has a flawed human rights reputation, nevertheless received a Tier 1 ranking and is the largest recipient of U.S. aid in the region as well as being among Washington’s primary military allies in the Caribbean.

Working Towards a Brighter Future

Human trafficking is a wealth-generating industry in which the risk to reward ratio eventually perpetuates the problem. A person can be exploited repeatedly, whereas drugs bear a one-time use restriction. This makes trafficking a lucrative matter for those involved.

Tensions over definition and desensitization on the trafficking issue have only weakened efforts to prevent it. Consequently, the United States and governments in the region need to work together and thrust human trafficking into more of a spotlight. This must be done not merely once a year when the State Department releases the TIP report. Progress in the fight against human trafficking in the region will not come to fruition until the United States is willing to not only assist the governments of the Latin American countries, but also help NGO’s identify as well as liberate victims. Washington must also resist any temptation to politicize the matter, as has been seen in the evaluation of Venezuela.

Kelsey Cary

Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)

July 27, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

We applaud the Council on Hemispheric Affairs for providing what is now a second position paper on the topic of human trafficking in Latin America. One of our goals is to bring the crisis of modern human slavery in that region into the mainstream of discourse among government officials, academics and anti trafficking organizations. COHA's efforts further that goal by exposing the issue to a wider audience.

Dr. Mark Lagon, a former director, in the administration of President George W. Bush, of the U.S. State Department's Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP office), provides important insights in this document.

Consistent with the theme of the paper, Dr. Lagon indirectly admits that the U.S. State Department has structured the reporting of its annual Trafficking in Persons report to fit political motives that have nothing to do with ending human trafficking. By admitting that Venezuela deserves a better ranking in the TIP report because it has, in fact, improved its response to human trafficking, we are left to extrapolate from that fact and assume that the Tier 3 (poorest) rankings given to Venezuela and Cuba in the 2010 TIP report are completely motivated by cold war politics.

These political motives have no place in the ranking of nations by the U.S. State Department. The lives of millions of victims and at-risk persons are endangered because of ineffective responses, in-part because the U.S. has, for the past ten years and under two administrations, played 'footsy' with this global crisis for purely geopolitical gain.

How outrageous and embarrassing!

This behavior does not encourage the global community or the general public in the U.S. to trust the TIP office reporting structure.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, we are not winning the war against modern human slavery. The multi-billion dollar pockets of the Mexican, Colombian, European, Japanese and U.S. organized crime syndicates who run the bulk of human trafficking business operations are outpacing government and NGO efforts to catch-up with them and stop them.

Here at LibertadLatina, we focus most of our attention on the crisis in Mexico, although the entire Latin American and Caribbean region faces the same crisis. We focus on Mexico because it is the source of the lion's share of human trafficking in the region (together with Colombia and the Dominican Republic). Yet Mexico has done very little, to date, to demonstrate a true willingness to address human trafficking. Tens of thousands of women and girls are kidnapped to be sold wholesale to brothels across the globe while Congress and the Calderon administration can't agree to reform the 'broken' 2007 federal human trafficking law.

The global economic downturn, reduced funding for social service programs, the non-existence of social services for large numbers of Latin Americans, and the continuing dominance of impunity (driven by feudal machismo's mandates to exploit women, persons of color and the poor), add fuel to a fire of mass human trafficking, and mass gender atrocity, that is now engulfing the entire Western Hemisphere.

An effective response to human trafficking must involve many factors. One of them is honesty. The U.S., as a beacon of freedom in the world, must reform its tendency to politicize human trafficking.

We support the return to democracy in Venezuela and Cuba. But to say that they are Tier 3 nations, the worst of the worst, in regard to human trafficking, is simply politically motivated nonsense.

In 2008 I listened to Dr. Lagon give an eloquent speech on human trafficking at a well attended human trafficking conference. He spoke of the issue in Europe, Asia and Africa, but did not say one thing about Latin America. At least now, in 2010, Latin America is becoming an accepted part of the agenda of government and inter-governmental organizations working to fight this crime wave.

We applaud Dr. Lagon for coming forward with candor to discuss the need for reform of the TIP reporting process. Such reform will be an important step toward bringing much needed focus to the crisis in Latin America.

The victims, and those who are at risk, await our serious and persistent efforts to protect and rescue them today!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

August 3/5, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our response to the 2010 TIP Report's rating of Cuba as a Tier 3 nation


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Oregon, USA

Federal Court Bars Employer’s Questions About Immigration And Sexual History In EEOC Sexual Harassment Case

Judge Grants Order Against Inquiries that "Intimidate ... Needlessly"

Portland - A federal district court has ordered an employer to stop questioning Hispanic farm workers who filed charges of sexual harassment and retaliation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concerning their immigration status, employment history and, in one woman’s case, her sexual history. In June 2009, the federal agency sued Willamette Tree Wholesale, Inc. of Molalla, Ore., alleging that workers were sexually harassed and threatened in retaliation for reporting the harassment. The EEOC also charged that one Latina farm worker was repeatedly raped by her supervisor.

The EEOC, together with the claimants represented by the Oregon Law Center, sought a protective order in response to requests by Willamette Tree’s lawyers for certain information. They argued that the company’s inquiries would have a chilling effect. In an order issued last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak of U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland division, specifically prohibited the company’s attorneys from asking questions concerning the alleged rape victim’s immigration status, whether she has ever used another name, her prior sexual history and her reasons for not contacting police after the sexual assaults. It also bars discovery of the immigration status and third-party employment records for all workers participating in the case.

The court stated that “the public interest would be far better served” if meritorious discrimination claims were presented by immigrants regardless of their status, rather than if the “potentially chilling effect” of scrutinizing plaintiffs' documentation prevented workers from coming forward.

Judge Papak also found that the female farm worker’s sexual history is “not clearly relevant” to the claims of the case and would have “clear prejudicial effect” on the lawsuit: “to permit Willamette Tree to make inquiries into [her] sexual or romantic history would intimidate [her] needlessly.” He rejected Willamette Tree’s arguments to depose the worker as to why she did not contact law enforcement after the sexual violence, by observing that the woman had already testified on record “that her supervisor threatened her and her family with violent reprisal should she tell anyone that he had raped her.”

EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo said, “Judge Papak’s order gives hope to victims of sexual harassment at work. By refusing to re-victimize the victim with needless attack on her sexual history and immigration status, the court provides key protections not only for the individual involved in this case, but ultimately for others who have been in her situation: immigrants, females, workers driven to keep their jobs, and the targets of sexual assault and retaliation.”

“The EEOC has seen an alarming rise in harassment cases involving egregious sexual assaults being committed against female workers, particularly those from immigrant communities,” Tamayo continued. These include suits against AllStar Fitness in Seattle on behalf of a Latina janitor who allegedly had been raped multiple times; La Pianta L.C.C., which does business as Frenchman Hills Vineyard in Othello, Wash., alleging that a supervisor sexually assaulted a Latina worker; and a suit with the Oregon Law Center against Woodburn, Oregon-based Wilcox Farms resulting in a $260,000 settlement in a sexual harassment case that involved a physical sexual assault. Additionally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict of $1,000,000 in favor of the EEOC against Coalinga, Calif.-based Harris Farms on behalf of a Latina farm worker who charged she was raped by her supervisor and retaliated against...

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 15, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Knouse Foods Agrees to Pay $300,000 To Settle EEOC Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Food Growers Cooperative Disciplined Employees Who Complained about Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

Harrisburg - – A major farm growers’ cooperative which owns the Musselman Company agreed to pay $300,000 to a class of women and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a federal harassment and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Knouse Foods, a class of female farmworkers was subjected to egregious sexual harassment by male coworkers at its processing plant in Gardners, Pa. The sexually hostile work environment included making lewd and unwanted sexual advances and sexually explicit remarks. The male coworkers also engaged in threatening behavior, such as using the forklift to chase women or blocking them with their bodies or a broom while they walked down the hall. In addition, the women were subjected to unlawful harassment and called derogatory names because of their Mexican national origin.

The EEOC further charged that Knouse Foods wrongfully disciplined or reassigned employees in reprisal for their complaints about the abusive treatment.

In addition to the $300,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree includes injunctions against engaging in retaliation or harassment based on sex or national origin; mandatory anti-discrimination training of all employees at the Gardners facility; and supervisor accountability to ensure that work areas be in compliance with company policies against discrimination. Additionally, Knouse will be required to report periodically to the EEOC regarding the cooperative’s investigation into and resolution of any complaints of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, and must post a notice confirming Knouse’s commitment to comply with Title VII.

The EEOC attempted to reach a voluntary settlement before filing suit in United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-01811-CCC.

“The EEOC has seen a troubling number of sexual harassment charges filed by farmworkers across the country,” said Debra Lawrence, the regional attorney of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office. “The Commission is committed to eliminating this egregious harassment of migrant and low-income workers.”

Iris Santiago-Flores, the trial attorney responsible for handling the litigation, added, “We are pleased that Knouse worked with EEOC to resolve this case. In addition to the monetary compensation to the victims of the harassment and retaliation, the consent decree provides substantial injunctive and remedial relief intended to protect all employees at the processing plant from unlawful harassment and retaliation.”

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 26, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

California, USA

EEOC And Hilltown Packing Company Settle Harassment and Retaliation Suit

Broccoli Packer to Pay $48,000 and Make Changes to Prevent Future Harassment

San Francisco - Hilltown Packing Company, a broccoli packer based in Salinas, Calif., will pay $48,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit asserted that Filomena Ruelas, who was also represented in the matter by California Rural Legal Assistance, and other women were sexually harassed by their supervisor and then retaliated against when they opposed the harassment. The suit was filed after a neutral investigation by EEOC investigators Yasmin Macariola-Wolohan and Juan Vaca and after first attempting to reach voluntary settlement out of court. Hilltown denied the allegations but agreed to resolve the case through a consent decree.

The decree, approved by the Honorable Judge Patricia V. Trumbull of U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose (Civ. No. C-09-4647 PVT ), provides for $48,000 in damages, and requires that the company reissue its policy against sexual harassment in English and Spanish, provide training to all its employees, and submit regular reports to the EEOC if it receives any complaints of harassment or retaliation. Hilltown also agreed to include in its supervisor evaluations an assessment of their effectiveness in preventing sexual harassment and retaliation. The company has informed the EEOC that the supervisor accused of harassment is no longer employed with the company.

“Women in the agricultural industry are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment, especially immigrant women who may not be proficient in English and are unaware of their employment rights,” said EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “The EEOC appreciates Hilltown’s cooperation in reaching a settlement and agreeing to consent decree provisions which will help prevent harassment in the future.”

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado added, “ The EEOC continues to receive charges of harassment and retaliation from agricultural workers. Through a program of outreach, education and litigation, the EEOC is committed to remedying that situation. The policy changes brought about by the consent decree settling this case further that goal.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Virginia, USA

Virginia Beach Plastering Company Sued by EEOC for Same-Sex and National Origin Harassment

Federal Agency Charges Salvadoran Was Victimized by Supervisor

Norfolk – A plastering and drywall company doing work at Norfolk Naval Base and MacArthur Center mall violated federal law when it subjected an employee of Salvadoran origin to a hostile work environment based on both his sex and national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC’s suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tidewater Plastering and Drywall Company, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-00369), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, charged that Virginia Beach-based Tidewater Plastering and Drywall Company, Inc. created and maintained a hostile working environment for Jorge Calderon based on both his male gender and Salvadoran national origin. According to the complaint, from around September 2008 until February 2009, a male foreman for Tidewater Plastering subjected Calderon to unwelcome sexual conduct. The conduct included calling Calderon “sexy,” blowing him kisses and caressing his hands and back. The complaint also alleged that on one occasion the foreman also told Calderon that Calderon would have to sleep with the foreman in order to work at Tidewater Plastering’s next job site.

The same foreman also made derogatory comments to Calderon based on his national origin, including calling him a “stupid Salvadoran.” According to the complaint, when Calderon sought the help of his employer to end the harassment, the president of the company told him that nothing could be done. Consequently, Calderon quit his job.

The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Calderon, as well as an injunction enjoining Tidewater Plastering from engaging in similar discrimination again and requiring it to take other measures to ensure a workplace free of discrimination for future employees. The agency filed suit after first attempting to settle the matter informally.

“Offering employees avenues for reporting harassment and then responding appropriately to employee complaints are critical in maintaining a workplace free from unlawful harassment,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District Office which also has jurisdiction over Virginia. “This is true across all industries. Employees in the construction industry have just as much right as persons in any other occupation to a workplace free from unlawful harassment.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Report - July 22-28, 2010

July 28, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from El Salvador near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 27, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual solicitation of a child in the state of Delaware, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 26, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of Indiana, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 24, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tat Momoli, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 24, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Arizona, had a prior conviction for aggravated assault, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 23, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had multiple convictions for sex offenses in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 22, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape and burglary, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 22, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Ecuador near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for rape and sexual abuse issued in the state of New York.

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Report - July 22-21, 2010

July 20, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Marana, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had active arrest warrants for rape, kidnapping, communication threats, and larceny issued in the state of North Carolina.

July 17, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

July 16, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

July 15, 2010  - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had previously been removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

At the march for I’riana DeJesus

Justice Elusive for I'riana DeJesus 10-Years Later

DNA match identifies suspect, but he's hiding out in Honduras, sources say

A march through the neighborhood of Hunting Park marks a decade since 5-year old I’riana DeJesus was raped and murdered. Her killer remains a free man.

"It’s sad, it’s sad that’s she’s gone," the girl's mother Lizasuain DeJesus said -- speaking through tears.

She says her heart breaks every time she thinks about what happened to her daughter on this day 10-years ago.

"She was an innocent kid," the mother said. "Why would someone want to murder her? She didn’t do nothing to nobody. It’s a shame it had to be my daughter."

Police and the FBI are searching for the little girl’s accused killer Alexis Flores.

He’s believed to be in hiding in his native Honduras and sources say recent information reveals he’s getting plenty of help from his family.

Flores was linked to I’riana’s murder after he was arrested in Phoenix on forgery charges in 2004.

A DNA match to I’riana’s murder came several years late and by that time Flores had already been deported.

"Now we have a DNA match. Now we have a name, now we have a face. You can run but you can never hide," Lizasuain said.

I’riana’s body was discovered inside a building at 6th and Pike Streets only a couple blocks from where she lived.

Just two weeks ago, a childcare center opened-up in its place giving new life to what had become a painful reminder of I’riana’s murder. The daycare is now named after the little girl.

"I knew that there was no way I could open up something like a childcare center or a preschool and not give back to I’riana," daycare owner Domonique Prince said. "What happed was just tragic."

Lizasuain says she’s glad to see her neighborhood moving forward and standing behind her -- never giving up hope that one day her daughter’s killer will be caught.

"People say let it go, let it rest. I just can’t rest until I know he’s been caught. I have a problem with that," Lizasuain said. "I want my justice and I believe that I deserve that."

Alexis Flores is on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Dense Nakano

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

New Jersey, USA

12-year-old girl sexually assaulted, say police

An Englewood resident was arrested on July 29 on charges of sexually assaulting and endangering the welfare of a 12-year-old girl at his workplace in Bergenfield.

Under the investigation and direction of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the Bergenfield Police arrested Rafael Antonio Guzman Jr., 27, around 7 p.m. at his place of employment, Play N Trade in Bergenfield.

An investigation was conducted by members of the county's sex crimes and child abuse unit.

Guzman, a manager at Play N Trade, was charged with one count of sexual assault, a second-degree crime, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime.

In lieu of bail, he was remanded to the Bergen County Jail. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option by Superior Court Judge Robert L. Polifroni of Bergen County Civil Division. Arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 4.

Jennifer Kim

The Northern Valley Suburbanite

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Florida, USA

Family tries to get marriage license for 13-year-old

A Lake Placid man was arrested Thursday on allegations that he had sex more than once with a 13-year-old girl, which led to her getting pregnant.

Pedro Valladares Martinez, 27, of Sudburry Drive, Lake Placid, was charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a victim 12 to 16 years of age.

He remained in the Highlands County Jail Friday under a $50,000 bond.

Law enforcement was alerted about the two after Highlands County Courthouse employees called and said the girl's family was trying to get a marriage license for her and Martinez, according to the Lake Placid Police Department.

"Interviews with the suspect and the victim found that sex occurred more than once at the victim's residence in Lake Placid, and resulted in the victim becoming pregnant," according to a press release.

Lake Placid Police Office Eddie San Miguel investigated the case and made the arrest.

Brad Dickerson

July 31, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Sex assault suspect sketches released

Austin - With the release of two composite sketches, Austin police bolstered their search for a man they said pushed his way into an apartment and tried to sexually assault a teen girl last Tuesday.

Investigators are looking to the public for help in finding a suspect wanted for attempted sexual assault of a child after authorities said he made his way into a 16-year-old girl's home at 10:20 a.m.

The man tried to sexually assault her before punching her in the face and fleeing the apartment with her cell phone.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male with a Spanish accent. He is 5 feet 5 inches tall with an overweight build and was last seen wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans and black sunglasses.

Authorities said the suspect is possibly driving a newer-model maroon, four-door Acura MDX.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the APD Child Abuse Unit at (512) 974-8694.

Jackie Vega

KXAN

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 2, 2010

The United States, Colombia

US denies visa to Colombian journalist

Bogota - The U.S. government has denied a visa to a prominent Colombian journalist who specializes in conflict and human rights reporting to attend a prestigious fellowship at Harvard University.

Hollman Morris, who produces an independent TV news program called "Contravia," has been highly critical of ties between illegal far-right militias and allies of outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, Washington's closest ally in Latin America.

The curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, which has offered the mid-career fellowships since 1938, said Thursday that a consular official at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota told him Morris was ruled permanently ineligible for a visa under the "Terrorist activities" section of the USA Patriot Act.

U.S. Embassy and State Department officials refused to confirm the visa denial, citing privacy laws.

"We were very surprised. This has never happened before," said the Nieman curator, Bob Giles. "And Hollman has traveled previously in the United States to give speeches and receive awards." He said he had written the State Department to ask it to reconsider the decision.

Giles told The Associated Press by telephone that the only visa issues ever to arise with foreign Nieman Fellows have been over concerns they might try to remain in the United States — clearly not the issue in Morris' case. Colombia's President-elect, Juan Manuel Santos, was a 1988 Nieman Fellow.

"We're frankly shocked. We feel it's outrageous," Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said of the visa denial.

He said the committee had discussed its concerns with State Department officials but was not provided with an explanation.

"They told us they discussed this with Hollman and that's just not true," Simon said.

The 41-year-old Morris, one of 12 foreign journalists admitted to the Nieman program for the 2010-2011 academic year, is among the most controversial chroniclers of Colombia's long-running leftist insurgency.

Among international awards he has received is one from Human Rights Watch in 2007 in which he was praise by Executive Director Kenneth Roth for "courage, an unswerving commitment to justice and genuine concern for the rights of all victims."

On various occasions, President Uribe has accused Morris of collaborating with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which killed Uribe's father in a 1983 botched kidnapping...

Reached by the AP, Morris would neither confirm nor deny that he had been turned down for the visa.

"Things are in motion," he said, adding that he had obtained a DAS document that described a campaign to discredit him internationally, including by stripping him of a visa.

Giles said the U.S. consular official cited Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Patriot Act as the reason for the visa denial. It renders ineligible for a U.S. visa anyone who engages in terrorist activities, belongs to a terrorist organization or endorses terrorist activities...

Frank Bajak

The Associated Press

July 08, 2010


Added: Jul. 27, 2010

Guatemala, The United States

U.S. Senator John Kerry Urges TPS Visas for Guatemalans

A recent spate of natural disasters along with high crime rates in Guatemala prompted U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to write to President Barrack Obama on July 15 requesting Temporary Protected Status for Guatemalan citizens living in the United States. Kerry argues that Guatemalans are not able to return to safety in their country, as “their most basic human needs cannot be met.”

Americas Quarterly

July 21, 2010


Added: Jul. 27, 2010

Arizona, USA

Does Illegal Immigration Lead to More Crime?

Undocumented Immigrants Make up 7 Percent of Arizona's Population, but 15 Percent of the Prison Population

Arizona's new immigration law empowers police to ask anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally for ID. The Obama administration calls it unconstitutional.

Thursday, Justice Department lawyers asked a federal judge in Phoenix to block the law before it takes effect next Thursday. Those in favor of the law say illegal immigration leads to more crime. But does it?

In Pima County, Arizona, sheriff's deputies patrol for people crossing the border illegally from Mexico.

"We are encountering folks who have warrants out for their arrests, deported felons," said Sgt. Robert Krygier.

It's a fact of life here that frightens and infuriates many Arizonans.

CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports supporters of the new law point to the recent murder of rancher Robert Krentz. Investigators say his killer snuck in from Mexico. Arizona governor Jan Brewer says Mexican drug cartel-style violence is crossing the border too.

"Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there, that have been beheaded," Gov. Brewer said.

In Pima County, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said not only is there no evidence of beheadings, but "the border is more secure now that it's ever been."

Murder? Burglaries? Rape? The major crimes? Up or down on the border?

"They're down," Dupnik said. "Violence in the cities is down."

According to the FBI, that's true across the southern border this decade. In San Diego violent crime is down 17 percent. In El Paso, Texas violent crime down 36 percent - it sits right across from Juarez, Mexico, one of the deadliest cities on earth. In Phoenix major crime has dropped 10 percent from 2000 to 2009.

West along the border in Nogales, Arizona, Chris Ciruli said it's a "safe environment." ...

Protestors for and against the law are outside the court. Inside court, the judge said she is skeptical that the law is constitutional. She's expected to rule within days...

CBS News

July 22, 2010

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 05, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

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

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

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

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

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: Jul. 27, 2010

Honduras

Honduran Leader Nathan Pravia Dies After Lifetime Defending Miskito Indians

Honduran Leader Nathan Pravia Dies After Lifetime Defending Miskito Indians Tegucigalpa - The leader of the Miskito Indians, Nathan Pravia, who fought on behalf of the native peoples of Honduras, died Saturday in Tegucigalpa following a breakdown in his health, family members said. He was 62. Pravia, a native of Puerto Lempira in Gracias a Dios province on the Nicaraguan border, dedicated many years of his life to the cause of his country’s Miskito communities, traditionally all but forgotten by the government.

As a defender of human rights, he led several battles to gain the Miskitos of Honduras access to the land. He also reported on and condemned the plight of Miskito divers who earn their living catching lobsters, many of whom have been left paraplegic or have died from injuries incurred during their labors deep in Caribbean waters. On several occasions he slammed in the local press the rampant drug trafficking going on in the La Mosquitia region, chiefly involving cocaine from South American countries.

Pravia was president of the Honduras Native Peoples Confederation and a delegate for his country to indigenous organizations in Latin America and Central America. In the cultural realm he leaves a collection of articles and other notes on Miskito culture that will soon be published, his daughter Yuwan, a student of journalism at the National Autonomous University of Honduras, said. The president of the Community Ethnic Development Organization, or Odeco, Celeo Alvarez, lamented Pravia’s passing and praised his struggles on behalf of Indian peoples and their rights.

The Latin American Herald Tribune

July 25, 2010


Added: Jul. 27, 2010

Massachusetts & New Jersey, USA

Edilzar “Eddie” Mazariegos

Suspect in rape of girl in Massachusetts captured on farm

Mannington Township, New Jersey - Authorities late Saturday night captured a man here who is wanted for the alleged rape of a 4-year-old girl in Massachusetts.

Earlier Saturday, Edilzar “Eddie” Mazariegos, 22, managed to escape through crop fields after officers closed in on him on a property on Haines Neck Road.

Lt. Robert DiGregorio of the Carneys Point Police Department confirmed the arrest of Mazariegos shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. He was found on a farm on Haines Neck Road here not far from where he was seen earlier in the day.

DiGregorio said local farmers helped play a critical role in the capture of Mazariegos.

The sighting of Mazariegos, who is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault in the alleged attack in Springfield, Mass., earlier this month, prompted a six-hour search earlier Saturday...

According to television station CBS 3 of Springfield, Massachusetts, the alleged attack on the four-year-old took place in a house where the girl lived with her mother, a farmworker, and others.

The girl’s mother, a Guatemalan immigrant, told the television station that alleged sexual assault on her daughter occurred in early July while she was working picking blueberries and her daughter had been left in the care of others living at the house, including Mazariegos.

The woman said her daughter told her of the alleged assault when her mother returned from the fields. The girl was taken to an area hospital for treatment, the television station said.

Bill Gallo Jr.

NJ.com

July 24, 2010


Added: Jul. 27, 2010

Washington state, USA

Man charged with raping 12-year-old girl

Yakima - A Toppenish man accused of raping a 12-year-old neighbor girl he accosted on her way to summer school was arraigned Thursday in Yakima County Superior Court.

Jose Jesus Velazquez-Palomino, a 23-year-old farm worker, is charged with second-degree rape of a child and unlawful imprisonment.

Authorities allege Velazquez accosted the girl moments after she left home for summer school July 7.

The girl told police Velazquez forced her into his home, where he sexually assaulted her. She escaped to the Safehaven Community Center while he was taking a shower afterward.

The case also ensnared Velazquez's four roommates, who were arrested after police investigating the assault call discovered 26 marijuana plants on the property.

Velazquez remains lodged in the Yakima County Jail on a no-bail immigration hold, as do his roommates.

The Yakima Herald

July 22, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

California, USA

Norma Lopez

Body found in Moreno Valley near area where girl, 17, vanished

A partially decomposed body was found in a desolate, grassy field in Moreno Valley on Tuesday afternoon, just two miles from where a 17-year-old girl disappeared last week on her walk home from summer school.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department officials said they have not determined if the remains are those of Norma Lopez, who authorities believe was abducted Thursday, triggering a massive search throughout central Riverside County.

A local resident doing yard work found the body around 3 p.m. about a mile south of the 60 Freeway, just off Theodore Street, on the eastern outskirts of the city in an area surrounded by wheat fields, horse ranches and jagged hills. The remains, which have yet to be identified as male or female, were found in the tall grass and near a line of trees but were not otherwise concealed, said Sgt. Joe Borja, a Sheriff's Department spokesman.

"I know you're all interested in finding out whether this is Norma Lopez or not, and honestly we do not know," Borja told reporters gathered several hundred yards from the crime scene. "No matter which way it is, it's still a tragic event. There's someone out in the field who is dead." ...

Norma was reported missing about 12:30 p.m. Thursday by her older sister, Sonja, after she failed to return home from summer school. She was out of class at Valley View High School by 10 a.m. and had plans to meet her older sister and another friend, authorities said.

Investigators said they found some of Norma's belongings, and signs of a struggle, in a vacant field along Cottonwood Avenue. They are also looking for the driver and passengers of a newer-model green SUV seen near the dirt field at the time of her disappearance.

After the body was found, deputies roped off the area and waited for coroner's officials to arrive and examine the remains. FBI investigators, assisting the Sheriff's Department in the case, also went to the scene.

"It could take as short as one day to a week to determine who that person is," Borja said...

Authorities urged anyone with information about the case to call (877) 242-4345, or e-mail [the Riverside Sheriff's office].

Phil Willon

Los Angeles Times

July 21, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

Mexico

Chamber of Deputies Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking president Deputy Rosi Orozco

Piden penalizar pornografia en Internet

La presidenta de la Comision Especial contra la Trata de Personas en la Camara de Diputados, Rosi Orozco pidio penalizar el consumo, intercambio y almacenamiento de pornografia infantil por Internet.

Agrego que debido a los vacios legales aunado a la rapidez con que evolucionan las tecnologias de la informacion, este delito se ha incrementado de manera alarmante en el pais.

En entrevista, la legisladora del Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) senalo que la pornografia infantil es el tercer delito mas comun en Internet despues fraude y las amenazas.

Explico que Mexico ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de paginas web de pornografia infantil, y tiende a incrementarse mas de cinco por ciento la distribucion de videos de imagenes de abuso a recien nacidos.

Por ello, considero que se debe incorporar a las redes de telecomunicacion en las legislaciones y penalizar el consumo, almacenamiento e intercambio de pornografia infantil.

"Porque hoy estas lagunas facilitan que los pederastas y quienes comercian con ella escapen a la justicia", sostuvo.

Orozco comento que a traves de reformas al articulo 202 del Codigo Penal Federal, mismas que analiza la Comision de Justicia, se busca inhibir y evitar el almacenamiento, arrendamiento y compra de material que contenga pornografia infantil.

En ese contexto, subrayo la importancia de que se castigue con penas de siete a 12 anos de prision y de 800 a dos mil dias de multa, a quien para obtener un beneficio de cualquier indole o con animo de lucro o sin el, produzca, distribuya o venda material pornografico.

Rosi Orozco calls for increased penalties for Internet Child Pornography

National Action Party (PAN) congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Congress), has called for legislative action to increase penalties for those who commit the crimes of consuming, exchanging and selling child pornography via the Internet.

Deputy Orozco explained that, due to gaps in current legislation, caused in-part by the pace of changes in information technology, these crimes have increased in an alarming manner across Mexico. Orozco added that child porn related crimes are the third largest category of criminal activity on the Internet after fraud and threats.

Deputy Orozco noted that Mexico holds first place globally in the number of accesses to child pornography web sites. [Authorities have also registered] a recent 5% increase in the distribution of pornographic videos of recently born babies.

Due to these conditions, Deputy Orozco has called upon Congress to pass legislation that includes communications networks, and that controls the consumption, exchange and sale of child pornography via the web.

Orozco: "Because of the gaps that continue to exist in our laws, pedophiles and those who commercialize [child pornography] escape justice."

Deputy Orozco seeks to bring about changes to Article 202 of the Federal Penal Code, which is currently being reviewed by the Commission on Justice in the Chamber of Deputies. She added that the proposed legislation will seek criminal penalties of 12 years in prison and 800 to 1,000 days of salary [typically minimum wage salaray is used to define these types of fines], for anyone associated with the production, distribution or sale of illicit pornography.

Notimex

July 01, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely ignored 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, 200

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

 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



All June, 2010 News

All May, 2010 News



¡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


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008


About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala


Ricky Martin

Llama y Vive

Ricky Martin lanza campaña contra trata de personas en Washington, D.C. Llama y Vive promoverá línea telefónica de asistencia confidencial y gratuita

Ricky Martin  launches Call and Live in Washington DC, a campaign that promotes an anti-trafficking hotline.

April 24, 2008

Llama y Vive

Call and Live Hotline:

1-888 NO-TRATA

llamayvive.org



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, 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 San Tomas Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitu-tion 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

[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.


Latin American Trafficking News Summary


Coverage of the Elvira Arellano Deportation Case


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!

 

 

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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 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.