Added Oct. 15, 2011

Paraguay

Hero:
Internationally recognized Praguayan anti-trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is currently facing suspect impeachment charges that are based on  defamation complaints brought by suspects that she had actually investigated.

 

Hero: Patricia Villamil - former consul for Honduras in Chiapas state on Mexico's southern border, was removed from her post in mid-2011 in retaliation for her criticism of Mexican officials' failure to respond to the mass sex trafficking of Central American women and girls into Chiapas. 

 

 Hero: Lydia Cacho lives with continual death threats in the aftermath of her  jailing 2005 and trial concocted by corrupt authorities in retaliation for her work exposing child sex traffickers in the resort city of Cancun.

LibertadLatina

Commentary

Effective anti trafficking activists face retaliation across the Americas

During the past week, Libertad Latina has provided coverage of the impeachment process that anti-trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is facing in Paraguay. We have aggregated and translated the important stories on the subject.

We regard the actions of the Trial Jury for Magistrates in bringing the impeachment charges to be highly suspect. We agree witht he conclusions of Paraguayan congressional deputy Aída Robles, who is also the chairwoman of the Commission on Equality and Gender, that the decision to impeach Martínez is the result of the actions of powerful, unseen individuals to bring an end to effective anti-trafficking prosecutions. The Paraguayan Association of Prosecutors and the Inter-agency Roundtable for Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Paraguay (made up of more than a dozen federal agencies and NGOs have both released press statements in support of Martínez.

Paraguay is a poor nation. It also has a large indigenous population that has been subjected to sexual oppression for centuries. All poor and young Paraguayuan women are at risk of being sex trafficked to supply to voracious forced prostitution markets that trive in the neighboring wealthy nation of Argentina. A recent press articel noted that 85% of trafficking victims in Argentina are Paraguayan women (and girls).

Dozens of press articles discuss the work of Teresa Martínez, and show that she has been an effective leader to waging the war against sex trafficking. Paraguay is located in the "Triple Frontier" region, where the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil intersect. For over a decade, the Triple Frontier has been one of the largest centers for criminal sex trafficking activity in the Americas. The challenges faced by Teresa Martínez in confronting the multi-million dollar sex trafficking cartels (both local and global) are daunting. Martínez has committed only one offense, daring to chanllenge the status quo that allows poor inidngenous and other Paraguayan women to be trafficked as as sex slaves with impunity.

The impeachment action taken against Martínez follows a pattern of actions that have been taken by authorities in other nations. These actions have in common the theme of engaging in retaliation against both public officials and private citizens who become 'too' effective in their efforts to fight modern human slavery. Other victims of that pattern have been anti child sex trafficking activist, women's center director and journalist Lydia Cacho, who was jailed and tried for defamation (the same change being levied against Teresa Martínez) in Mexico in 2005 after publishing the book 'The Demons in Eden" - that exposed the names of child pornographer Jean Succar Kuri and his corrupt associates in government and business - and, during 2011, Honduran Consul to the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, Patricia Villamil, was removed from her post for speaking out publicly in regard to the fact that Mexican officials in Chiapas state were not taking action against sex traffickers who were expoiting Honduran women and girls (note that Chiapas state has been identified as the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the world).

During recent conversations, Libertad Latina has spoken with anti sex trafficking advocates who are active in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. Like Paraguay, the Dominican Republic is a major source nation for sex trafficking victims who are destined to arrive in Argentina, where they are sexually exploited. From Argentina, a number of these victims as well as Argentine and Paraguayan women and girls are resold into the global sex market.

Our sources inducate that government entities as well as certain non-governmental agenices in the region actively work to cover-up sex trafficking cases.

The cases of Teresa Martínez, Lydia Cacho and Patricia Villamil represent part of a pattern. Although Latin America has moved away from its past traditions of authoritarian rule and political repression of controversial viewpoints, those in power continue to use thosed tactics when they find it to be convenient to do so. Mexico and the Triple Frontier region in South America are two of the most critical hot spots of sexual slavery in the world. Any prosecutor or activist who dares to stand-up and defend the innocent children, adolescents and women who are victimized by this multi-billion dollar criminal business can expect to face retaliation. In other cases, such as the mass sex trafficking of women and girls from the Dominican Republic to Argentina and global destinations, the corrupt practices that allow these tragedies to have are not-yet clearly visible.

We who engage in anti-trafficking analysis work and news coverage will continue to bring these little-seen dynamics to light. 

There is an important lesson to be learned by the anti-trafficking movement and government entities working in the field. The fact is that not everyone with official power actually want to see human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children with impunity ended. Whether they are driven by greed and payoffs, or by the fact that their worldview is based on sexist machismo that condones exploitation, or whether it is because they themselves exploit victims, many politicians and law enforcement authories across the Americas do not support the effort to stop the modern day slavers in our midsts.

Acknowledging that reality can become the fist step to re-building the currently less-than-effective global strategies for tackling the traffickers and shutting them down. 

A global campaign of condemnation against the retaliatory action taken against  Teresa Martínez must also be undertaken. Such a campaign was highly effective in rescuing Lydia Cacho from unjust imprisonment in Mexico. We who are people of conscience must make that happen once again. This time, it is  Teresa Martínez who needs our help.
Finally, it must be said that the United States Department of State is fully aware of the fact that some nations in the Americas engage in acts of repression against effective anti-trafficking activists. We call upon U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at State, to provide all necessary support for Martínez in her hour of need.

We say: End impunity now! 

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Oct. 15, 2011

See also:

Added: Oct. 15, 2011

Paraguay

 Deputy Aída Robles, chairwoman of the Commission on Equality and Gender in the Congress of Paraguay

Preocupación por desafuero de la fiscala Teresa Martínez

La diputada Aída Robles (PPC-Central), titular de la Comisión de Equidad y Género, en conferencia de prensa, manifestó su preocupación por la Resolución del Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados, relacionado al desafuero de la Agente Fiscal, abogada Teresa Martínez, de la Unidad Especializada contra la trata de personas y explotación sexual de niños, niñas y adolescentes. El documento que involucra a la afectada fue caratulado por difamación, calumnia e injuria.

"Estamos muy preocupados por la situación de la fiscala Teresa Martínez, porque es una de la que ha demostrado una capacidad de lucha contra la trata de personas, explotación sexual de niños y niñas en nuestro país. La fiscala recibe esta mañana (viernes 30 de setiembre), la notificación de desafuero, aparentemente por dos casos específicos; uno de ellos, se refiere al caso de Tacumbú, sobre pornografía infantil y el otro por realizar allanamiento de un lupanar", explicó la parlamentaria Robles.

Finalmente, la diputada Aída Robles, informó que desde la comisión que preside, realizarán las investigaciones correspondientes para esclarecer el caso, teniendo en cuenta la labor que desempeña la fiscala Teresa Martínez, contra la trata de personas y la explotación sexual de menores.

Congresswoman expresses concerns in regard to the impeachment of Teresa Martínez

Congressional deputy Aída Robles of the PPC-Central Party, who is also the chairwoman of the Commission on Equality and Gender, held a press conference to express her grave concerns in regard to the recent resolution of the Trial Jury for Magistrates, in which that body moved to impeach Teresa Martínez, who is Paraguay’s anti trafficking prosecutor within the Attorney General’s special unit to combat human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Martínez was charged [by a subject that she was investigating for child exploitation] with libel, slander and insult.

Deputy Robles, “We are very worried about the situation facing Teresa Martínez, because she has demonstrated that she has the ability to lead the struggle against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation in our nation. Prosecutor Martínez received the decision in regard to her impeachment on the morning of Sep. 30th, 2011. The charges refer to both a child pornography case that occurred in the Tacumbú barrio of the capital city of Asunción, and also to the raid of a brothel.”

Deputy Robles also announced that the congressional Commission on Equality and Gender will conduct hearings to clarify the events in this case in the context of the work that Teresa Martínez carries out against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

La Presna

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Oct. 15, 2011

Paraguay

La Diputada Aida Robles dijo que la fiscal Teresa Martínez es perseguida por gente poderosa

Deputy Aída Robles declares that prosecutor Teresa Martínez is being persecuted by powerful individuals

During a press conference organized in response to the impeachment of prosecutor Martínez, Paraguayan congressional deputy Aida Robles declared that anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is being persecuted by powerful people.

Deputy Robles noted that it is critically important that Paraguay have a point person in charge of anti trafficking prosecutions. She added that it would not be possible for the impeachment of Martínez to have occurred without the [behind the scenes] influence of powerful people being involved. She added that these forces want to see an end to the prosecution of human traffickers in Paraguay.

 (Audio - In Spanish)

Radio Cardinal

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Oct. 15, 2011

Diputada Aida Robles lamenta influencias en relación con el desafuero de fiscala Teresa Martínez

Paraguayan Congressional deputy Aida Robles laments that external influences have cause the impeachment case against anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez to come about.

 (Audio - In Spanish)

Radio Ñanduti

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011

 

 

 

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