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2011 DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk on the National Mall in Washington, DC was a great success, with over 1,600 people having registered for the event.
We were encouraged to see more Latina / Latino participation at this year's gathering.
Thanks to everyone who spoke with us at our information table!
Chuck Goolsby
Oct. 24, 2011
See also:

2011 DC Stop Human Slavery Walk and Rally

National Mall

Washington, DC

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, thousands will unite for the 2011 DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk on the National Mall to celebrate human rights, raise public awareness about human trafficking and raise funds for non-profits working to end the practice. The event includes a 5K walk around the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, resource fair, children's area, live music and luminary speakers, including survivors of trafficking. Last year's walk attracted over 2,000 walkers and raised over $100,000.

At the 2010 march and rally, Libertad Latina provided the only info table among those of 30 or so NGOs to address the Latina, Afro-descendent & indigneous aspects of the human trafficking issue.

For 2011, we are glad to see that vetern Latin@ legal services NGO Ayuda, Inc. is a co-sponsor of this important event.

For those who can attend, We look forward to meeting you there!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

See also:

Ayuda Seeks Supporters for Walk to Stop Modern Slavery

Ayuda, Inc., a provider of legal and social assistance for low–income immigrants in the Washington metropolitan area, is looking for supporters to participate in the 2011 DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk taking place on October 22 at the National Mall.

Ayuda will cosponsor the event, which will include a 5–kilometer walk, an anti–trafficking resource fair, guest speakers, and live music.

Human trafficking is an issue that Ayuda regularly addresses. Through legal and social services, the organization has helped hundreds of men, women, and children who have been enslaved in the United States.

Those wanting to participate can do so by either joining Team Ayuda on the walk (the team will have at least 25 walkers) or making a donation online. Ayuda will receive 80 percent of all funds raised.

For more information, contact Casey Tyler at casey @ayuda.com, or visit DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk.



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Added: Nov. 03, 2011

Historic caravan of mothers of missing migrants crosses Mexico

Mexico / Central America

Members of the Mesoamerican Mothers Movement show pictures of their disappeared loved ones during the installation of an alter at the site of the 2010 Tamaulipas massacre of 72 migrants. The event occured during the group's Fall 2011 awareness raising caravan across Mexico.

From: Caravana de madres de inmigrantes centroamericanos desaparecidos llega a México

TeleSur

Nov. 03, 2011

During an earlier march through southern Mexico, Salvadoran mothers gather to pray and leave offerings and crosses for their family members who were abused, kidnapped and murdered in the 'mugging and rape gauntlet' at Mexico's southern border region known as 'La Arrocera' - the Rice Cooker.

Madres de inmigrantes desaparecidos en México crean equipo de “investigadoras”

Madres de inmigrantes desaparecidos en tránsito por nuestro país crearon un equipo especial dedicado a labores ministeriales, encaminado a obtener información sobre el paradero de las víctimas.

La idea es desarrollar labores que hasta ahora han sido olvidadas en la Procuraduría General de la República o en las Procuradurías estatales.

Las “investigadoras” forman parte de las mamás que integran el Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano (MMM), el cual realiza desde el 30 de octubre y hasta el 13 de noviembre una caravana de búsqueda de los hijos por la ruta del Golfo de México, con paso por los estados de Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Ciudad de México, Veracruz, Oaxaca y Chiapas.

La mayoría de ellas provienen de países como Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador y Estados Unidos.

De acuerdo con el plan de trabajo divulgado por el Movimiento, las actividades de investigación consistirán, además del intercambio de información con los migrantes que se encuentran en ruta, “en pesquisas y seguimiento de pistas para encontrar a los familiares…,  saber si viven o murieron o están privados de su libertad o en situación de trata de personas”.

Y en “visitas a hospitales, prostíbulos, reclusorios, albergues de indigentes y/o minusválidos y a cualquier lugar público en donde pudiera hallarse algún dato”.

Esta labor es respaldada por organizaciones como Hermanos en el Camino, Casa Belem del Migrante, Instituto Tamaulipeco para los Migrantes, Pastoral Social Caritas, Casa de los Amigos, Cencos y Red Migrante, y por instituciones como la CNDH y Amnistía Internacional.

Además de las indagatorias alternas, las madres tienen programados plantones y exposiciones en las plazas públicas de lugares emblemáticos del flujo migratorio, la implementación de un correo comunitario para informar a otras familias sobre sus migrantes, así como ceremonias en las vías del tren y en tumbas sin nombre en cementerios.

Uno de los eventos más importantes será el de hoy en San Fernando, Tamaulipas, lugar de la masacre de 73 indocumentados el 23 de agosto de 2010.

“La idea es hacer un ritual en memoria de los asesinados, para evidenciar el trato ilegal, inhumano y criminal que México dispensa a los migrantes en tránsito, y denunciar y exigir cambios al gobierno mexicano, que se ha conducido con complicidad, impunidad y se ha negado a la reparación del daño de los afectados”, señala el MMM.

Caravan of mothers of migrants missing in Mexico creates team of investigators

A group of mothers of Central American migrants who have disappeared in Mexico have created a specialized team that is dedicated to investigating the fates of their victimized loved ones.

The group’s goal is to take on the responsibility of investigating cases that the office of the Attorney General of the Republic has simply forgotten about.

The "investigators" are mothers from the Mesoamerican Migrants Movement (MMM), which started a caravan across Mexico on October 30th that will continue through November 13th of 2011. The caravan is following the Gulf coast migration route in search of their children. The caravan will cross the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro and Tamaulipas, and will also enter Mexico City.

The majority of the marchers are from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the United States.

According to a work plan released by the group, research activities will include exchanges of information with migrants who are in transit, as well as the development and pursuit of leads with the aim of recovering family members who may be either dead, or alive and enslaved in a human trafficking situation.

The group added that they will be carrying out search activities in hospitals, brothels, jails and prisons, migrant shelters and at any other public environment where they can discover the facts.

This work is supported by organizations such as the Brothers on the Road migrant shelter, the Bethlehem Migrant House shelter, the Tamaulipas Institute for Migrants, Pastoral Social Charities, Casa de los Amigos, the Migrant Census and Network, Friendship House, and by institutions like Mexico’s [national] Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

In addition to their investigative work, the mothers are planning to present workshops and information expositions in public squares and at prominent landmarks along common migration routes. The caravan will also institute a community mail system to allow migrants to keep family members informed about their wellbeing, and will hold ceremonies along rail lines [where migrants are often victimized] and at unnamed graves located in cemeteries along the route.

One of the caravan’s most important events will take place today in the city of San Fernando, in Tamaulipas state, where the massacre of 73 undocumented migrants took place on August 23, 2010.

The Mesoamerican Migrant Movement declared that, "The idea is to perform a ritual in memory of those who were murdered, and to bear witness to the inhuman and criminal treatment that Mexico dispenses to migrants who transit through its territory. We will also denounce and demands changes from the Mexican Government, which has to date has behaved with impunity as an accomplice [to this crisis], and that denies reparations to those who were victimized as well.

Daniel Blancas Madrigal

La Crónica de Hoy

Nov. 02, 2011


Added: Nov. 03, 2011

Mexico / California, USA

An underage girl stands waiting for the next john in the Coahuila red light district of the city of Tijuana, in Baja California state.

From a YouTube video.

Riverside Girl Trapped in Tijuana Child Sex Trade

The sex trade in Tijuana is closely linked to the region’s violent drug cartels – sex trafficking of children is thought to be the third-highest revenue generator for the cartels after the drug trade and gun smuggling

The illegal sex trade is a growing export from the U.S. to Mexico, according to the State Human Rights Commission of Baja, California. The commercial sexual exploitation of children rakes in an estimated $32 million a year, much of that from Americans seeking illegal sex across the border, according to the commission.

Child prostitution in Tijuana is not a new problem. What may be less known is that among the boys and girls being sexually exploited across the border are youngsters from the United States.

I met one of these children – a teenage girl from Riverside-- on an undercover reporting trip to “La Zona Norte” in the red light district along Tijuana’s Coahuila Street, known as a hub of sex tourism.

Under the neon lights along Coahuila Street I quickly discovered Americans among both the exploited and the exploiters.

One man I met, who described himself as a pimp, told me he grew up in Merced [California].

He wasn’t shy and was quick to tell me that “everything is available here,” even children.

The price for sex with a young girl -- $40.

“It’s cheap bud,” he said. “Sex is really cheap here.”

The illegal sex trade is a growing export from the U.S. to Mexico, according to the State Human Rights Commission of Baja, California. The commercial sexual exploitation of children rakes in an estimated $32 million a year, much of that from Americans seeking illegal sex across the border, according to the commission.

“We know that this problem is not a local one,” said Francisco Cota, a spokesman with the commission. “It’s a regional problem. It’s a bi-national problem. If there is a demand here in Mexico. There’s going to be demand in LA.”

I paid the fee and the pimp introduced me to a girl who went by the name Najeri. She told me she was 16 and from Riverside.

I explained to her that I was a reporter working on a story about the child sex trade, and she immediately told me, “It wasn’t something I decided to do.”

She showed me the room where she’s forced to have sex, a tiny stall barely big enough for a shoddy bed.

“It can be very…very scary,” she said. “A lot of the times those guys are Americans.”

Najeri told me that as a child left largely on her own she started “hanging out with the wrong crowd” and was flattered the attention and companionship of men in the group. By the time she learned their true intentions it was too late.

The sex trade in Tijuana is closely linked to the region’s violent drug cartels – sex trafficking of children is thought to be the third-highest revenue generator for the cartels after the drug trade and gun smuggling, according to the commission.

Both boys and girls are among the children being sexually exploited, according to the commission, an assertion Najeri said is true. The main client base for the boys is American, she told me.

They are “coming here and paying with the American dollars, so it’s just like gold to them,” she said. “There are a lot of guys coming from the states that live in Vegas, live in Hollywood, live in Los Angeles,” she said.

Najeri is afraid to run away. Her pimp, she said, has told her what happens to the bodies of runaways.

“The morgue comes by the hospital and incinerates it before anybody can be alerted that an American died,” she said. “That struck fear in my heart.”

She continued: “I don’t have the power or the ability to do that,” she said.

Then she told me: “There’s been times when I have been wishing that somebody like you or some people come down, inquiring about it

At that moment I had the impulse to walk out and take Najeri with me. But I knew from talking with human rights advocates and with Najeri herself that doing so would put her life—and possibly mine-- at risk.

Going to the police could make matters worse, as many police offers are in cahoots with the drug cartels, Cota said.

“Corruption is a huge problem in Mexico,” Cota said. “It's one of the main reasons why this problem is growing."

Willful ignorance among the general population is fueling the growth of the sex trade, Cota said.

“Not a lot of people know about it,” Cota said. “They either ignore it or they just really don't want to know about it. They just think this happens in Bangkok."

A state office was recently established to combat child sex slavery. The first step is overcoming the culture of fear that makes it difficult to even openly acknowledge the problem, said Araceli Legosa-Parra a spokeswoman with the office.

“We want to put out the information,” she said. “Most of the information is not put out there because of fear.”

Antonio Castelan

NBC-LA

 Nov. 02, 2011

See also:

Mexico

Added: May. 25, 2011

Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

Pide diputada Orozco cerrar callejón Coahuila como sucedió con Manzanares en D.F.

Tijuana sigue siendo un paraíso para la trata de personas, y aunque afortunadamente ya empiezan a realizarse operativos, se pide lo mismo que en el Distrito Federal, cerrar el Callejón Coahuila, como ocurrió con el Manzanares, manifestó la diputada federal, Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial Contra la Trata de Personas…

Deputy Orozco calls for the shutting down of Tijuana's La Coahuila red light district

The city of Tijuana continues to be a paradise for human trafficking, and although it is fortunate that anti-trafficking raids have begun, Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco (National Action Party - PAN / Mexico City) has called for shutting down the Coahuila red light prostitution tolerance zone here…

Uni Radio Informa

May 24, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Young women in prostitution in the La Coahuila red light district.

From a YouTube video

More about La Coahuila

Tijuana's La Coahuila red light district is an extremely large prostitution zone, with at least 3,000 registered adult prostitutes and several thousand additional unregistered adults and children working in prostitution. During an April, 2007 visit to the area with another anti-trafficking activist, I counted an estimated 1,000 women and girls in prostitution standing on the street in an area that was approximately 10 blocks by 3 blocks in size.

I observed that U.S. men seeking women and youth in prostitution simply take a trolley ride from San Diego, California, or park in a lot on the U.S. side of the border, and then cross into Mexico without having to show identification to the Mexican border agents. They proceed to either walk the 10 blocks to La Coahuila or take one of the dozens of cabs that wait to route them to their business partners (the brothel owners).

I met the two women pictured above during my 2007 visit to the area.

On the left is an indigenous young woman from Chiapas state in southern Mexico. She was apparently addicted to drugs.

The young lady on the right, who is an Afro-Mexican woman from Acapulco, told me that she had been jilted by her boyfriend, and was left with two young children to care for. She told me that she could not cross the U.S. border carrying her children, so she decided to ‘work’ in La Coahuila.

Although I explained in detail the dangers of HIV/AIDS and other risks to this young lady, she told me that she was doing the work that she wanted to do, and that she would be back to work each and every day. She insisted that she didn’t have a pimp, which I doubt is the case.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 25, 2011

See also:

Mexico

En desventaja, niños mexicanos indocumentados

Many of the 80,000 Mexican children who cross from Mexico into the U.S. alone, as undocumented immigrants, are fleeing abuse at home, or are escaping from child prostitution rings...

[According to attorney Christopher Nugent, of the law firm Holland and Knight,] ...Thousands of Mexican and Central American children flee northward into the U.S. each year to escape child prostitution...

...Nugent... emphasized that Tijuana [on the U.S. border with San Diego County] has also become a zone controlled by powerful child prostitution networks.

Many children [in prostitution] from Tijuana are trying to flee to San Diego.

Georgina Olson
Excélsior

July 3, 2008

See also:

Teresa Ulloa: Tijuana is one huge brothel

Added: Nov. 21, 2010

Mexico

Trata de niñas: servicio para los ricos del norte

Tijuana, un inmenso burdel: Teresa Ulloa

De norte a sur, persiste la explotación sexual de menores en México, donde turistas ricos del norte pueden buscar a niñas hasta de nueve años provenientes de una zona rural.

Ese es el panorama que ofreció esta mañana Teresa Ulloa, quien en el marco de los 16 Días de Activismo contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres presentó el Informe Final de Resultados, Rendición de Cuentas y Transparencia sobre el Proyecto para Prevenir la Explotación Comercial de la Niñez en México...

Underage girls are sex trafficked for 'men with money' from the U.S.

Tijuana is one huge brothel: Teresa Ulloa

The sexual exploitation of children is a constant reality across Mexico, from its north to its south. It is a place where well-heeled tourists from the U.S. can find rural girls as young as nine-years-of-age [available to be sexually exploited].

That is the scenario that was offered by Teresa Ulloa, the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and and the Caribbean. Ulloa presented a report - The Results, Accountability and Transparency of the Project to Prevent the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Mexico, as part of the events supporting the [global] 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign.

"Tijuana is a giant brothel, of sorts, where you can find sex, alcohol and drugs 365 days a year," said Ulloa, who has previously been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Moreover, she said, the international bridge [at the border] leads directly from [San Diego County, USA] to Tijuana's brothel district. "We were able to witness a girl of eight or nine years-of-age, in the red light district, negotiating with a client who was about 50 years old."

Due to the existence of extreme poverty and impunity, human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Mexico is a grave problem, added Ulloa. "In Mexico, we see internal trafficking." Girls are sent north by their families from rural regions across the country.

The map

The trafficking of girl children in northern Mexico is targeted at U.S. customers. In the South Mexican men are the consumers. Along the Pacific Coast, both European and U.S. men are the customers. Along the Gulf Coast, Mexican men are the exploiters…

Miriam Ruiz

Cimac Women's News Agency


Added: Nov. 03, 2011

Mexico / Massachusetts, USA

[Teresa Ulloa] Ziáurriz Honored At Harvard Kennedy School

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziáurriz began her law career representing trade unions. But after she accepted the request from a group of women to represent several 12- and 13-year-old girls who had been victims of sexual abuse, Ziáurriz began litigating rape cases.

Tuesday evening, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership honored the activist–who is the current director of the Latin America and Caribbean division of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women–with the Gleitsman International Activist Award for her leadership in the field.

The award ceremony, held at the Kennedy School, was accompanied by a panel discussion about sex trafficking.

Davíd Carrasco, a professor of Latin American studies, and Mary I. Setterholm, a Divinity School student joined Ziáurriz in the conversation.

The three discussed prostitution and sexual exploitation along with the initiatives Ziáurriz has developed during her time with CATW.

Setterholm, a former prostitute and victim of sexual abuse, described the activist and her work as “mercy” for her and other women who had been subjected to sexual violence.

Ulloa Ziáurriz, who has litigated over 30,000 rape cases, said that the culture of sexual abuse is primarily the result of the media over-sexualizing female bodies.

“What is selling [over-sexualization] to all of us is TV,” she said. “Women are just flesh, skinny flesh.”

The internet, she claimed, allows boys and men access to an unlimited amount of pornography that she said was harmful.

“The internet is a black hole and the law never goes faster than that black hole,” she said.

In her position at CATW, Ziauriz has led programs to reduce incidences of sexual violence.

The organization currently hosts camps for young men and boys to educate them about the negative role of male sexual expression in female prostitution.

Hannah M. Baron ’14 said, “[Ulloa Ziáurriz’s work] is very much an approach to a solution that directly tries to solve the problem [of prostitution] on the demand side.”

Ulloa Ziáurriz also emphasized her goal of reforming sex education so that it includes topics beyond simply biological functions.

After receiving her award, Ulloa Ziáurriz wiped tears from her face, as she thanked the members of CATW and spoke of the survivors of sexual violence and daughter as the motivations for her activism.

In the past, award recipients have included individuals such as Nelson Mandela and Karen I. Tse, founder of International Bridges to Justice.

“To see someone who has saved over 869 children and who has a holistic approach to the problem is empowering,” said Kate Sim ’14, who is the president of Harvard’s International Women’s Rights Collective.

Eliza M. Nguyen

The Harvard Crimson

Nov. 02, 2011


Added: Nov. 01, 2011

Mexico / Massachusetts, USA

Teresa Ulloa

Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz Wins 2011 Gleitsman International Activist Award

Lifelong advocate for women's rights to receive award at Nov. 1 ceremony

Cambridge, Massachusetts -The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) has named human rights activist Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz this year’s recipient of the Gleitsman International Activist Award for her 40 years of work fighting human trafficking and violence against women. The award and $125,000 prize, bestowed biennially to a leader who has "improved the quality of life in countries and inspired others to do the same," will be presented to Ulloa at a ceremony in Cambridge on Tuesday, November 1st.

A lawyer by training, Ulloa has litigated more than 30,000 rape cases in her career. As regional director of the Coalition Against Trafficking Women’s (CATW) Latin American and Caribbean division, Ulloa created the Red Alert System in Mexico in 2006. Coordinating the work of government agencies, prosecutors' offices and police departments, this system has been responsible for rescuing nearly 700 women and children from the snares of sex traffickers.

Before joining CATW, Ulloa founded two legal collectives, Compañera and Defensoras Populares, A.C.; as the general coordinator of this second group, Ulloa helped exonerate 150 Mexican women who were unjustly accused of crimes. But her efforts have not been confined to the legal system: Ulloa also developed a training program designed to reduce the demand for commercial sex that targets young males. The first of its kind, this program promotes an alternative conception of male sexuality based on gender equality; nine countries throughout Central and South America have adopted the model.

"I am honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award," said Ulloa. "Most important, I hope that this award shines a light on the countless women of Central and South America who find themselves trapped in detestable situations. Our work may never end, but for my daughter’s sake—and the sake of all daughters, wives, and mothers everywhere—I will continue this fight and remain grateful for this wonderful recognition."

Casey Otis-Cote, associate director of CPL's Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change, added: "For decades Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz has been the tireless voice and advocate that women throughout Central and South America have relied on. Her diversified approach to women's rights—using legal, political, and educational means—exemplifies the leaders of social change that this award was intended to honor."

Information about additional conversations and gatherings related to Ulloa's work will be announced in the coming weeks.

Harvard Kennedy School

Note: An additional gathering honoring Teresa Ulloa will be held on Nov. 2nd. That event is sponsored by: the Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, the Women and Gender Caucus (WAG-C), Human Rights Professional Interest Council (HR PIC), Hispanic/Latino Caucus, Asian-Latin American-African American-Native American Association (ALAANA), the Latin-American Caucus, Harvard College International Women's Rights Collective (IWRC), and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
See also:

Added: Nov. 01, 2011

The Americas

LibertadLatina

Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

We at Libertad Latina wish to join with the voices of all in the human rights community to congratulate Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), on the occasion of her receipt of the Gleitsman International Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

Our project works to bring global focus to the crisis of sex trafficking and related forms of exploitation in Latin America, the Caribbean, in indigenous communities and in the global Diaspora. There is no greater voice for that community of victims and the vulnerable than Teresa Ulloa.

Unique among the voices working against modern human slavery in the region, Ms. Ulloa has been at the vanguard of direct action to save victims, and has been a thought leader and a speaker of unpopular truths on a wide range of critical women's rights issues.

We are especially grateful for Ms. Ulloa’s advocacy on behalf of indigenous victims of sex trafficking, a community that includes many children and underage teens. Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico today are indigenous girls. Working in a cultural environment that often considers indigenous peoples as second class citizens, Ms. Ulloa has been unwavering in her efforts to bring light to the fact that the indigenous community of victims exists and deserves assistance. Ms. Ulloa was the first activist to identify the fact that 3-to-4 thousand underage indigenous girls from the poor southern states of Mexico have been trafficked by Yakuza mafias into forced sexual slavery in Japan, where they work as ‘geishas.’

Ms. Ulloa and her team at the CATW-LAC have also promoted facts about human trafficking that few governments in the region have wished to have known. These facts include the following:

- Ms. Ulloa has repeatedly cited figures developed by the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO) showing that some 25% of the gross domestic product of Latin America and the Caribbean is derived from human trafficking activities (up from 17% determined in an earlier FLACSO study).

- Ms. Ulloa’s studies in Mexico have determined that an estimated 1.2 million victims of human trafficking exist in that nation, a statistic that Deputy Rosi Orzoco, chair of the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Congress) has recently supported in her public discourse on Mexico’s trafficking crisis.

During 2010 and 2011, I participated in a number of Latin American and human trafficking related activities involving the Harvard community, where I distributed information about our project and spoke out about the issues. My goal was to raise awareness of this crisis at one of the world’s centers of human rights policy leadership.

Harvard’s adoption of Ms. Ulloa into its community of venerable human rights scholars represents a major step forward towards bringing full academic, policy and public recognition to one of the largest components of the global scourge of human trafficking, the mass gender atrocity of sexual slavery with impunity that today affects Latin American women and girls in general, and indigenous and African descendent victims in particular.

Kudos to the Human Trafficking Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School for enhancing recognition of this emergency at a time when we need all hands on deck to fight the overwhelming economic and political might of the sex trafficking cartels that operate in the Americas.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Nov. 1, 2011


Added: Oct. 29, 2011
Peru

Ana Cecilia Romero of CHS Alternativo
Photo: Diario La Región

En Loreto seguimos ocupando el segundo lugar en Trata de Personas

En el auditorio de la CSJLO se presentó libro El Proceso Penal en el delito de Trata de personas          

Ayer en el auditorio de la Corte Superior de Justicia de Loreto con la asistencia del presidente de la Junta de fiscales de Loreto, Mario Alberto Gallo Zamudio, del asesor de la presidencia de la Corte de Loreto, John Ancka Ikeda, la defensora del pueblo, Lizbeth Castro, así como representantes de la Policía Nacional y de otras instituciones ligadas al problema de la Trata de Personas. Asimismo se presentó el libro El Proceso Penal Peruano en el delito de Trata de Personas.

Ana Cecilia Romero, coordinadora de la oficina regional de CHS Alternativo, manifestó, hemos presentado un documental “La Noche de Gina” que es el caso de una víctima amazónica de Trata de Personas que fue  llevada con una falsa oferta laboral a Piura en donde fue víctima de explotación sexual durante varios años e inclusive salió embarazada, logrando finalmente escapar de esta explotación y esclavitud.

Sin embargo, no es acogida por las autoridades, ni tomaron su denuncia, pues cuando escapó ya era mayor de edad. Este es un caso que ha llegado inclusive a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y finalmente en el presente año ha sido considerado como Trata de Personas, por lo que existe un proceso judicial en contra de los tratantes por el delito de proxenetismo y otros delitos.

The Loreto region continues to rank second in Peru in Human Trafficking

Authorities and advocates who work in the fight against human trafficking recently held a forum in the auditorium of the Supreme Court of the the Loreto region of Peru.

Participating in the event were Mario Alberto Gallo Zamudio - president of the Loreto prosecutors board, John Ancka Ikeda - adviser to the president of the Court of Loreto,  Lizbeth Castro - the People’s Ombudsman, as well as representatives of the National Police and other institutions that work on the problem of human trafficking.  The book Peruvian Criminal Process in the Crime of Human Trafficking was also presented during the event.

Ana Cecilia Romero, coordinator of the CHS Alternativo [Human and Social Capital Alternatives] regional office, said, we have presented a documentary "The Night of Gina," that represents the case of a victim of human trafficking from Peru’s Amazonian region, who was entrapped through the use of a false job offer. ‘Gina’ went to the city of Piura, where she became a victim of sexual exploitation over a period of several years during which she became pregnant. Gina eventually escaped her life of exploitation and slavery.

Despite gaining her freedom, Gina’s case was ignored by the authorities, who refused to receive her criminal complaint because she was an adult at the time of her escape. Gina’s case has been presented before the Inter American Court of Human Rights. During 2011 the case has been interpreted as a case of human trafficking.  As a result, the traffickers involved in her case are facing charges of pimping and other, related crimes.

Diario La Región

Oct. 28, 2011


Added: Oct. 29, 2011

Mexico, The United States

This map shows  routes used to traffic victims from Mexico's sex trafficking wholesale distribution 'mega center' of Tlaxcala state (located just east of Mexico city) in the south to Tijuana and California(purple) and Texas / points east (blue) in the North.

Detienen en Puebla a dos por delito de trata

Elementos de la Policía Federal, en coordinación con el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés) aseguró en el municipio de San Miguel Xoxtla, Puebla, a dos personas a quienes se les vincula con el delito de trata de personas y que son requeridos por la justicia estadounidense.

La corporación, de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública federal (SSP), informó que las personas detenidas son Benito N, identificado por las autoridades como "Rodolfo" y a Anastasio N, identificado como "Carlos", originarios de Tenancingo, Tlaxcala.

"Esta detención se llevó a cabo en el marco de la colaboración para el combate a la delincuencia que opera de manera trasnacional, contando con el intercambio de información con del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos, agencia con la cual se pudo confirmar que los detenidos son requeridos por una Corte Federal estadounidense, por su presunta responsabilidad en el reclutamiento de personas en México para trasladarlas de manera ilegal a dicho país con fines de explotación sexual", dijo la SSP.

De acuerdo con líneas de investigación de la corporación policiaca el modo de operar de los detenidos era mediante engaños, pues cortejaban a mujeres con quienes procreaban hijos.

"Posteriormente las obligaban a prostituirse y entregar una cuota de dinero cada semana, bajo la amenaza de que no verían a sus hijos en caso de no hacerlo".

Así y en seguimiento a las investigaciones, elementos de la Policía Federal detectaron la presencia de Benito N y Anastasio en Puebla, por lo que implementó un operativo de búsqueda y localización en el municipio de San Miguel Xoxtla, donde fueron detenidos.

Estas personas fueron internados… y puestos a disposición del Juez Decimoséptimo de Distrito de Procesos Penales Federales en el Distrito Federal, para continuar con la orden de extradición internacional 9/2011-IV.

El 7 de octubre pasado, la SSP informó que desarticuló en Tlaxcala una organización dedicada a la trata de personas con fines de explotación sexual que operaba en México y Estados Unidos, que reclutaba a sus víctimas en parques y centros recreativos; posteriormente mediante promesas y engaños las llevaban a Tlaxcala, Puebla y al Distrito Federal, donde las obligaban a prostituirse,

Two are arrested in transnational human trafficking case

Agents of the Mexican Federal Police in coordination with the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have detained two suspects in the town of San Miguel Xoxtla, located in Puebla state. The two men were being sought by U.S. authorities as suspects in human trafficking crimes. Benito N, identified by authorities as "Rudolph" and Anastasio N, identified as "Carlos", were arrested. Both men are from the city of Tenancingo [Mexico’s sex trafficking mega center] in Tlaxcala state.

These arrests took place within a [Mexican-U.S.] framework of cooperation to combat crime, and involved an exchange of information with ICE.

The U.S. is seeking the suspects for their alleged responsibility in the recruitment of people in Mexico for the purposes of smuggling them illegally into the U.S. for sexual exploitation, "said a spokesman for Mexico’s Secretariat for Public Security (SSP).

According to investigators, the suspects recruited their victims through the use of lies and deceit. Their victims were first courted, then convinced to have children with the suspects. “After that, they were forced to prostitute themselves and turn ovr a weekly quota of money to their pimps, under threat that they would could not see their children if they did not comply.”

Federal Police detected the presence of Benito N and Anastasio in Puebla, and proceeded to arrest them.

The suspects have been detained, and have been made available to the Seventeenth District Judge for Federal Criminal Proceedings in the Mexico City, where the international extradition warrant will be processed.

On October 7, 2011, the SSP said that it had dismantled a Tlaxcala state based sex trafficking ring that operated in Mexico and the United States. The traffickers recruited their victims in parks and recreation centers. Through the use of false promises, the victims were then taken to the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala, as well as to Mexico City, were they were forced to prostitute themselves.

El Universal

Mexico City

Oct. 28, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

About Tlaxcala state, Mexico's mega center of forced prostitution, where women and children who are kidnapped or cajoled from across Mexico are 'trained,' sold on the streets of nearby Mexico City, and then are transported to the global destinations as victims of sex trafficking mafias based in that region.


Added: Oct. 29, 2011

Greater Washington, DC – USA / El Salvador

MS-13 gang member sentenced to life in prison for child sex trafficking

Alexandria, Virginia – An El Salvadoran national and MS-13 gang member was sentenced to life in prison for prostituting a 12-year-old female to clients throughout northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. The sentence was the result of investigative work by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations' (HSI) Gang Unit with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

Jose Ciro Juarez-Santamaria, 24, was convicted by a federal jury on July 28, 2011 for conspiracy, sex trafficking and transportation of a minor for prostitution.

"Mr. Juarez-Santamaria and his MS-13 accomplices had no regard for the human dignity of the young victim in this case," said John P. Torres, special agent in charge of the ICE HSI field office in Washington, D.C. "Cases like this demonstrate the importance of steadfast dedication by ICE HSI and the law enforcement community to protect the people of the D.C. metro area from transnational gangs and the criminal activity they perpetrate."

According to court records and evidence at trial, Juarez-Santamaria joined MS-13 while in El Salvador. He was a member of the Pinos Locos clique of MS-13 and known by the gang as "Sniper." At a Halloween party in Oxon Hill, Md., on Oct. 31, 2009, Juarez-Santamaria met a 12-year-old runaway who asked for his help in finding a place to stay. Instead, Juarez-Santamaria began prostituting the victim throughout the Washington D.C.-area the very next day.

The victim was prostituted from October to December 2009, providing sex for money every day of the week. Evidence at trial showed that Juarez-Santamaria generally charged $40 for 15 minutes of sex, but he would sometimes charge more depending on what the customer wanted. The prostitution took place at various businesses, homes, apartments and hotels in and around northern Virginia. Juarez-Santamaria also admitted to having sex with the victim and allowed MS-13 gang members to have sex with her free of charge. To keep the victim compliant, Juarez-Santamaria and others would supply her with alcohol and marijuana.

Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Press Release

Oct. 28, 2011


Added: Oct. 29, 2011

El Salvador

Vidal Aparicio Rivera

Ordenan prisión para dos por trata de menores

El Juzgado de Paz de Ilobasco decidió enviar a prisión mientras continúan las investigaciones contra dos sujetos, acusados por la Fiscalía General de la República de formar parte de una estructura dedicada a la trata de menores que operaba en ese municipio del departamento de Cabañas.

Los acusados son Vidal Aparicio Rivera, de 56 años y Benigno Hernández Franco de 54, a quienes se les decreto detención provisional, el referido juzgado, luego de escuchar las pruebas de cargo aportadas por la Fiscalía, resolvió que existen suficientes elementos contra ambos imputados.

La Unidad Especializada de Tráfico Ilegal y Trata de personas de la FGR, logró el pasado fin de semana la captura de ambos sujetos, quienes según las investigaciones mantenían una casa de citas en dicho lugar, en donde se presume obligaban a las menores a prostituirse.

Las investigaciones fiscales han revelado además, que las jóvenes eran contactadas por otra joven de 15 años, quien era la encargada de reclutarlas y llevarlas a las manos de ambos imputados.

Two men are face pre-trial detention on charges of trafficking in minors

A local judge in the city of Ilobasco has decided to hold two suspects in pre-trial detention while investigations continue against two men accused by the Attorney General of the Republic of being part of a network that engages in child trafficking operating in this municipality of the department [state] of Cabañas.

The defendants are Aparicio Vidal Rivera, 56, and Benigno Hernandez Franco, 54. They were held on a temporary detention order after the judge determined that prosecutors had sufficient evidence bring the suspects to trial.

The Special Unit and Illegal Trafficking of FGR, captured both subjects a week ago. According to investigators, both men operated a brothel where minors were presumably forced into prostitution..

Prosecutors have also revealed that potential victims were first contacted by a 15-year-old girl who was responsible for recruiting them for the traffickers.

Maynor Ruiz

ElSalvador.com

Oct. 28, 2011


Added: Oct. 28, 2011

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco
P
hoto: Noticiero Milamex

Piden más recursos para combatir la trata

Ante el crecimiento de la explotación y el turismo sexuales en territorio mexicano, la presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados, Rosi Orozco (PAN), demandó una ampliación presupuestal para destinar recursos a los estados, específicamente para prevención, combate y erradicación de este delito.

La legisladora federal dijo que se ha detectado el aumento de estas prácticas en Acapulco, Cancún, Tijuana y Ciudad Juárez, por el arribo de turistas sexuales de EU, Canadá y Europa.

Expuso que los recursos se requieren para capacitar, llevar a cabo programas concretos de combate a la trata de personas y desarrollar infraestructura que permita enfrentar el problema “con elementos científicos y tecnológicos”.

Por eso se pronunció por recursos etiquetados para esas tareas en el Presupuesto de Egresos de la Federación (PEF) 2012, y que “los estados contemplen recursos para la prevención, combate y erradicación de este delito, ya que continúa creciendo la explotación y el turismo sexual”.

Dijo que de acuerdo a la información con que cuenta, en las entidades del país se carece de recursos e infraestructura para la vigilancia, control y operación de sistemas de inteligencia en el combate de la trata de personas.

Opinó que si en verdad se pretende combatir ese delito, se les deben brindar los recursos suficientes.

Hace un año, recordó, la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina tenía registrados un millón 200 mil personas víctimas de trata y por eso ubicó a México en el quinto lugar de América Latina. Se estima que de cada diez víctimas dos son menores de edad.

El organismo internacional estimó que nuestro país se ubica después de República Dominicana, Haití, Brasil y Argentina pero, indicó Orozco, el delito de trata de personas es minimizado por algunas autoridades debido a su ignorancia, indiferencia o complicidad, ya que es considerado como el tercer delito más redituable para el crimen organizado.

Algunas autoridades, dijo la legisladora, le dan poca importancia a los diagnósticos, estudios, recomendaciones y demanda de infraestructura para combatir a los tratantes y atender a las víctimas.

Es por esa situación que consideró indispensable invertir en capacitación de autoridades para hacer conciencia de que la trata de personas lesiona la dignidad de la persona y se expresa principalmente en la explotación laboral y sexual de menores y mujeres jóvenes de quince a veinte años de edad.

A call for more resources to combat human trafficking

In response to the growth of exploitation and sex tourism in Mexico, the president of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the Chamber of Deputies, Rosi Orozco (PAN), has demanded an expansion of the federal budget allocations for specifc states to allow them to prevent, combat and eradicate human trafficking crimes.

The federal lawmaker said that she has detected an increase these criminal activities in the cities of Acapulco, Cancun, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, driven by demand from sex tourists who are arriving from the United States, Canada and Europe.

Deputy Orozco explained that the resources will be required to train people and carry out specific programs to combat trafficking, and to develop infrastructure to tackle the problem "with scientific and technological support."

Orozco has therefore come out in favor of increases in the 2012 Proposed Budget of the Federation (PEF) 2012. She also called upon state officials to consider resources for prevention, control and eradication of these crimes, given the continual growth in sexual exploitation and sex tourism.

According to information available to Orozco, Mexico lacks the resources and infrastructure that are required for the operation of the surveillance and intelligence systems that are needed to combat human trafficking.

Orozco exclaimed that, if the government says that they really want to fight human trafficking, then they should provide adequate resources to allow that to happen.

The congressional deputy recalled that one year ago, the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America (CATW-LAC) had documented the fact that 1.2 million victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico, placing the nation in fifth place in numbers of victims among Latin American nations. It is estimated that 20% of these victims are minors. The CATW-LAC ranks Mexico after the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Brazil and Argentina.

Orozco added that human trafficking crimes are minimized by some authorities, despite the fact that it is regarded as being third most profitable activity for organized crime [after drug and arms smuggling].

She said that certain officials give little credence to the diagnostic studies, recommendations and the resulting demands to create the infrastructure that will be needed to fight the traffickers and assist victims.

Deputy Orozco therefore believes that an investment in training for government officials and authorities is essential to raising their awareness of the damage that sex and labor trafficking inflicts on the dignity of its victims, who are typically girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 20.

Carina García

El Universal

Mexico City

Oct. 24, 2011


Added: Oct. 27, 2011

Mexico

Lydia Cacho
P
hoto: Melanie Haider - IPS

Women Reject Normalization of Gender Violence

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro receives death threats on a regular basis.

New York, New York - Ninety percent of the non-governmental organizations in Mexico are founded and run by women, says journalist and women's rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, even as crimes against women remain cloaked in impunity.

Cacho was recently in New York, where she was awarded the Civil Courage award from the Train Foundation, and also spoke at a special event hosted by Columbia University.

When Felipe Calderón became president in 2006, he deployed the military in a federal offensive against drug cartels and criminal groups, resulting in a virtual war in which more than 40,000 people have died. In 2010 alone, the death toll exceeded 15,000, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Human rights abuses and violence against women are widespread in Mexico, perpetrated by all actors in society, including the military and police.

Nine out of 10 women in Mexico who suffer human rights violations do not report it to the authorities, and "those who (do) report them are generally met with suspicion, apathy and disrespect", according to Human Rights Watch's latest country report.

"The normalization of gender violence is increasing incredibly," Cacho said.

Even though some legal measures have been put in place to prevent and punish gender-based violence, the implementation has been very limited and impunity remains the norm for murder or other crimes against women, according to human rights groups.

However, Cacho stressed that there is a growing feminist movement in Mexico to empower women and to discuss gender violence, including that perpetrated by the military.

"The problem right now in Mexico, regarding this discussion, is that the Mexican government is so obsessed with the media, with the main media that is pretty much linked with war discourse, that everything has to do with the war against drugs. And they won't talk about human rights (even) if we want to take back the conversation about gender violence," she said.

The issue is especially difficult since many of the same people responsible for public safety are also responsible for human rights violations.

Cacho said the military is involved in abuses such as human trafficking, and police occasionally attack women's shelters, either because they have a personal connection to a woman in the shelter or because they want to protect the traffickers.

Ten years ago, she founded such a shelter for women and their children who are fleeing various kinds of gender violence, called the Women's Assistance Centre (Centro Integral de Atención a la Mujer) in Cancún. It started mainly as a refuge for victims of domestic violence, but it soon became clear that most of the women had been involved in trafficking, especially forced prostitution.

The centre now has high security, with a barbed wire fence and cameras everywhere to keep the women safe.

Cacho recounted how the shelter was attacked by police who came to retrieve the wife of a policeman, whom she had helped to flee an abusive situation. The police didn't get inside, and the attack was caught on film, but when Cacho sought accountability and showed the tape to the district attorney, she said he told her "that there isn't much we can do, (and) the best thing you can do is just to close down".

Perseverance in the face of death threats

In the last decade, 80 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to Reporters Without Borders, and many journalists and human rights defenders have been forced to flee the country or censor themselves.

Cacho chose to do neither. She has investigated gender violence and sex trafficking and published numerous stories and books on the subject. Her 2005 book "The Demons of Eden" exposed an international child pornography and sex trafficking ring in Cancún which involved senators and politicians.

She was thrown in jail and tortured for publishing that book. When she finally came out and started talking, the government tried to label her a terrorist, but without success. She traveled for six years to investigate the world of international sex trafficking of women, resulting in her latest book "The Slaves of Power" in 2010.

Together with non-governmental organizations and a grassroots activist network, Cacho started a prevention campaign called "No estoy en venta" - "I am not for sale" - against sex trafficking that includes a video to give young people tools they need to protect themselves. The video explains anti-trafficking laws, the tactics traffickers use to lure their victims, and other aspects of the issue.

"It is getting away from discourse of fear and moral panic and all this (crap) and going back to the discourse of 'you have the power of the information, use it for your own good and how to protect yourself and other kids in school'," she stressed.

But her fight has not come without a price. Cacho told IPS that she has a lengthy checklist of safety strategies she must adhere to in her daily life because of the threats she receives, such as using a different name to make hotel reservations when she travels and constantly switching phone cards.

"I guess right now in Mexico my biggest challenge is to stay alive," she said…

Melanie Haider

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Oct. 24, 2011


Added: Oct. 26, 2011

Latin America

Participants from the Second Ibero-American Summit Against Human Trafficking

Latin America fights human trafficking

The number is staggering

…There are an estimated 2.5 million people being trafficked at any given time throughout the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“In Latin America alone, the number of human trafficking victims is around 700,000. I am talking about estimates because we know data, in most countries, are imprecise,” said Bo Mathiesen, UNODC’s regional representative for Brazil and the Southern Cone, during the Second Ibero-American Summit Against Trafficking of Human Beings, held recently in Santiago, Chile.

Women, girls and boys represent 90% of human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO)…

Human trafficking victims are often taken from Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the Antilles, but Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru are emerging as hotbeds for the crime, according to the Organization of American States (OAS).

“It is estimated that, yearly, close to 100,000 women and adolescents from these countries are led by deception and false promises of work in the United States, Spain, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Israel, Japan and other Asian countries,” wrote Fernanda Ezeta, with the Mexican office of the International Migration Organization (IMO) in the “Trafficking in Persons: Basic Aspects” report.

“The regions of Central America and the Caribbean are experiencing increased rates of trafficking and slavery of women, girls and boys for sexual exploitation, with different characteristics and challenges which must be considered when designing public strategies,” the report read. “In addition to this, the region suffers from a lack of strategies for prevention, protection and bringing the traffickers before the courts.”

The General Directorate of the Spanish Civil Guard reported “around 70 percent of the victims of human trafficking in that country are women from Latin America.”

In Latin America alone, the number of human trafficking victims is around 700,000…

Attorney generals and officials from throughout Latin America, the United States and Spain recently met at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, creating an initiative where their nations will work together to curtail the crime.

The initiative calls for the strengthening of prosecution and provide better protection to victims and witnesses of the crime. It also mandates countries exchange information regarding missing persons who are suspected of being victims of human trafficking and notifying officials when a suspect has been arrested on human-trafficking charges.

“The members of the Ibero-American Association of Public Ministries, as well as the Public Ministries within MERCOSUR, sent the Public Ministry of Chile their profound interest in taking a new step in the fight against human trafficking,” said Chilean Attorney General Sabas Chahuán during the closing ceremonies of the Second Ibero-American Summit against the Trafficking of Human Beings.

The initiative also empowers officials throughout the region to freeze or seize assets that derived from human trafficking.

“[We are] convinced that to advance our fight in the crime of human trafficking, international cooperation is necessary,” the initiative stated. “[There must be] cooperation between organizations in charge of criminal prosecutions, which includes the area of investigations as well as the attention and protection of victims and witnesses, according to the role carried out by the respective legal systems.”

Adrián Martínez

Infosurhoy.com

Oct. 23, 2011

See also:

Added: Oct. 26, 2011

Latin America

Fiscales Generales crearán red iberoamericana sobre trata de personas

Fiscales Generales de Iberoamérica crearán una red regional de Fiscales Especializados contra la Trata de Personas. La red es parte del protocolo de cooperación firmado durante la II Cumbre Iberoamericana contra la Trata de Seres Humanos, desarrollada en Santiago de Chile, entre el 21 y el 23 de septiembre. El objetivo es el de fortalecer la persecución penal, y la atención y protección a víctimas y testigos de la trata de personas, delito que afecta a millones de personas en todo el mundo…

Attorneys General will create Ibero-American network on human trafficking

Attorneys General of Latin America will create a regional network of specialized prosecutors against Trafficking in Persons. The network is part of the cooperation protocol signed during the Second Ibero-American Summit against the Human Trafficking held in Santiago, Chile, from 21 to 23 September 2011. The aim is to strengthen the prosecution of traffickers, the assistance and protection provided to victims and witnesses of human trafficking, a crime that affects millions of people around the world…

Procuradores-Gerais criarão Rede Ibero-Americana sobre o tráfico de pessoa

Procuradores-Gerais da América Latina irão criar uma rede regional de procuradores especializados contra o Tráfico de Pessoas. A rede faz parte do protocolo de cooperação assinado durante a segunda Cúpula Ibero-americana contra o Tráfico de Seres Humanos, realizada em Santiago, Chile, entre 21 e 23 de Setembro. O objetivo é fortalecer a perseguição penal, os cuidados e a proteção às vítimas e às testemunhas do tráfico de seres humanos, um crime que afeta milhões de pessoas em todo o mundo.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Office for Brazil and the Southern Cone of Latin America

Sep. 26, 2011


Added: Oct. 25, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Puebla Attorney General Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget

Participa procurador en encuentro binacional sobre trata de personas

Puebla, Pue.- De acuerdo con autoridades federales, Puebla es el estado que durante los últimos meses ha iniciado y consignado más averiguaciones previas por el delito de trata de personas, lo que representa un fuerte trabajo que coloca a la entidad entre los primeros lugares a nivel nacional en resultados positivos contra este delito.

Derivado de lo anterior, el procurador de justicia estatal Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget fue invitado por la embajada de Estados Unidos al Encuentro Binacional de alto nivel en el tema de trata de personas que se realiza en la ciudad de Washington.

A partir de este lunes y hasta el próximo miércoles un grupo de legisladores y funcionarios federales, junto con los procuradores de Puebla y el Distrito Federal, sostendrán diversas reuniones con miembros de los departamentos de Justicia y de Estado, así como del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés), a fin de conocer los programas y acciones implementados en aquel país en materia de trata de personas y juicios orales.

Dentro de las actividades en las que participará el procurador Carrancá Bourget, destacan reuniones con Lou de Baca, Embajador encargado de vigilar y combatir la trata de personas; con la congresista involucrada en la legislación de trata de personas, Chris Smith, y con John Morton, Director de la ICE.

Además, en este encuentro auspiciado por el departamento de justicia de EUA, la delegación mexicana presenciará un juicio oral y pronunciamiento de sentencia, aunado a que visitará organizaciones no gubernamentales  de asistencia a víctimas de trata, así como el Departamento de Justicia de la Unión Americana, el Centro Nacional e Internacional para Niños Desaparecidos y Explotados, y la INTERPOL.

Previo a la inauguración de este encuentro internacional, el embajador de Estados Unidos en México, Anthony Wayne, expresó "su admiración por los fiscales mexicanos y las agencias de procuración de justicia por su cooperación en la lucha contra la trata de personas", al tiempo de destacar que su nación y México comparten la convicción de que la trata de personas se debe atender de manera coordinada y con enfoque en las víctimas.

Cabe destacar que de febrero a la fecha, la Procuraduría de Justicia de Puebla ha detenido a cerca de cincuenta personas vinculadas con el delito de trata de personas y sus ilícitos relacionados.

La participación del procurador Víctor Carrancá en este encuentro sin precedentes para la entidad poblana, es un importante paso para fortalecer las acciones de investigación y reacción operativa  contra la trata de personas en el estado, pero sobre todo para mejorar la atención a las víctimas y sensibilizar en mayor medida la labor de las autoridades involucradas en este rubro.

Puebla Attorney General participates in binational meeting on human trafficking

The city of Puebla, capital of Puebla state - According to federal authorities, the state of Puebla has opened and moved forward with a significant number of preliminary investigations into human trafficking crimes. The state's actions place it among the leading states in the nation in regard to positive responses against modern human slavery.

As a result of these activities, Puebla Attorney General Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget has been invited by the Embassy of the United States to participate in a high level binational meeting on human trafficking that is taking place in Washington, DC.

From Oct. 24th through the 26th, a group of federal legislators and officials, together with the attorneys general of Puebla and Mexico City will hold a wide range of meetings with U.S. officials from the Departments of Justice and State, as well as with representatives of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to learn about best practices that have been developed in the U.S. in regard to combating human trafficking.

The meetings will be held with U..S. Ambassador Lou CdeBaca, director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons [at the U.S. State Dept.], Congressman Chris Smith, author of U.S. federal legislation on human trafficking, and John Morton , Director of the ICE, among others.

In addition, the Mexican delegation will witness a sentencing proceeding, and will visit local non-governmental organizations that assist victims of trafficking as well as the offices of the U.S. Department of Justice, the National and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Interpol.

Prior to the opening of the international gathering, U.S. ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne expressed "admiration for Mexican prosecutors and law enforcement agencies for their cooperation in the fight against human trafficking." The ambassador added that the U.S. and Mexico share a conviction that human trafficking should be addressed through coordinated efforts that focus on care for the victims.

The unprecedented participation of the Puebla Attorney General in this meeting is an important step toward strengthening the state's investigative and enforcement activities against human trafficking. Most importantly, the event helps to bring focus to the need to improve care for victims and raise awareness among [state] authorities who work in the fight against human trafficking.

 Puebla Noticias

Oct. 24, 2011


Added: Oct. 25, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Consignan a dos presuntos tratantes de personas en Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.- Un hombre y una mujer fueron consignados ante el Juez Mixto del Ramo Penal e ingresados al Centro de Reinserción Social número seis como probables responsables del delito de trata de personas.

De acuerdo con la Ley para Combatir, Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas en Chiapas -aprobada en 2009 por el Congreso local-, el propietario y la encargada del bar "El Amigo", en el municipio de Frontera Comalapa, podrían alcanzar una pena hasta de 18 años de prisión.

Derivado de una denuncia anónima ciudadana, la Fiscalía Especializada realizó un operativo en el inmueble y fue rescatada una menor de 17 años de edad, originaria de Guatemala, quien relató haber sido enganchada por la encargada del bar.

La mujer la obligaba a consumir bebidas alcohólicas con los clientes, vendiendo las "fichas" a 30 pesos cada una, dinero que era para el propietario del negocio.

Los agentes investigadores en el operativo detuvieron al mexicano, Jorge Ariel de la Cruz Morales, de 47 años, y a María Leticia Hernández Godínez, de 29 años, de nacionalidad hondureña.

En cuanto a la menor se le brindó atención médica, psicológica y victimológica, en pleno respeto a sus derechos humanos, mientras que la Fiscalía de Migrantes dio aviso al Consulado de Guatemala para los efectos de asistencia integral a la joven.

Two suspected traffickers are held for trial

The city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas state - A man and woman have faced a judge and are being held in pre-trial detention at a local prison on charges of human trafficking.

According to the 2009 Chiapas state Law to Combat, Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, the owner and manager of the El Amigo bar, located in the [Mexican / Guatemalan border] town of Frontera Comalapa, could face a sentence of up to 18 years in prison.

Acting on an anonymous tip received from a private citizen, agent's of the state Special Prosecutor's office conducted a raid and rescued a 17-year-old girl from Guatemala. The victim told authorities that she had been entrapped by the woman who manages the bar.

The bar manager forced the victim to drink alcohol with the bar's customers, and to sell them 30 peso tickets - money that was pocketed by the bar's owner.

Mexican citizen Jorge Ariel de la Cruz Morales, age 47, and Honduran Maria Leticia Hernandez Godinez, age 29, were arrested.

The state is providing medical and psychological care for the victim, as well as assistance to her as a victim of crime. The Guatemalan consulate in Chiapas has been contacted so that they may provide the victim with additional, comprehensive assistance.

Notimex

Oct. 24, 2011


Added: Oct. 24, 2011

Mexico, New York, USA

Lydia Chacho (right) has received the 2011 Civil Courage Prize

Leading Figures in the fight against sex trafficking win 2011 Civil Courage Prize

New York, New York - Lydia Cacho Ribeiro of Mexico and Triveni Acharya of India will receive the 12th annual Civil Courage Prize in New York on October 19. The Prize of $50,000 will be divided between the two women in acknowledgement of their leadership roles in the fight against the abuse of women and children…

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro is one of Mexico's best known investigative journalists and a prominent women's rights activist. She is the founder of the Women's Assistance Center in Cancún, which provides free legal, psychological and medical services to women and child victims of domestic and sexual violence and trafficking, as Mexico is a top destination for sex trafficking from other countries in the region.

Following the 2005 publication of her book, The Demons of Eden, in which she implicated a number of influential businessmen and politicians in a child pornography network, she was wrongfully arrested, detained and ill treated before being subjected to a yearlong criminal defamation trial. She was cleared of all charges but continues to be a target of harassment and threats to her life for her continued work on behalf of abused women and children.

Many have suggested that she leave Mexico as a safety precaution. She has replied, "I am not going away. I am not going anywhere other than forward, to shed light on everything. Those, the corrupt, the evil are in reality very few. We men and women, on the other hand, keep being the majority, and so I do not lose the hope that Mexico can change."

A Sorbonne graduate and linguist, Cacho is the author of seven books, most recently Slaves of Power: A Journey to the Heart of World Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls (2010). Currently a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper, El Universal, she has spoken about how many lesser known journalists feed her information that they are too afraid to publish under their own name.

Triveni Acharya is President of the Rescue Foundation, an organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation of women and children who have been victims of kidnapping and sex trafficking. The victims, who are from India, Nepal and Bangladesh, are sold into forced prostitution in India...

The Train Foundation

See also:

The Civil Courage News - highlighting the work of Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Triveni Acharya

(PDF file)

See also:

Added: Oct. 24, 2011

New York, USA

Lydia Cacho Blasts Facebook

Mexico’s most prominent human-rights activist says the site has become a tool for sex predators—and isn’t doing enough to combat the problem. Facebook says otherwise.

A prominent human-rights advocate has accused Facebook of becoming the stomping grounds for sex predators, traffickers, and child pornographers.

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, a Mexican journalist and activist known for busting pedophile rings, made the comments in New York on Wednesday night, while accepting the Civil Courage Prize from the Train Foundation, an organization that awards an annual $50,000 prize to activists. Cacho Ribeiro challenged [keynote speaker] United Nations Under-Secretary General Michelle Bachelet [head of UN Women] and 130 others in attendance to join her new campaign to pressure Facebook to take serious action against child abusers.

 “If anyone has the power to do it, talk to the owners and CEO of Facebook to stop child pornography that is going on Facebook every day,” she said. “We are seeing thousands of children—babies from 2 and 3 months old to girls from 7 to 10 years old—that are being sold, and having pictures taken by guys, predators, on Facebook,” she continued. “Stop Facebook. Tell them to stop child pornography.”

Facebook strongly denied the accusations when contacted by The Daily Beast. Joe Sullivan, the company’s chief of security, said Facebook’s security software constantly searches the site’s pages for evidence of sexual predators and child abusers. Every picture uploaded by Facebook users is run through a program called “Photo DNA,”  he said, to look for possible matches with offenders. The company saves the data, he said, and makes referrals to law-enforcement agencies…

Cacho Ribeiro first gained international attention as a journalist and activist in the '90s in Cancun, Mexico, where she established a high-security shelter for female victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. In her book, Demons of Eden, published in 2004, Cacho exposed a high-profile businessman and politicians involved in a child pornography ring. Now an award-winning author of seven books, she recently accused the Mexican drug cartels of smuggling underage girls to the U.S. for prostitution…

Newsweek

Oct. 21, 2011

Added: Oct. 23, 2011

Congressional anti trafficking leader acknowledges that 1.2 million victims of sex and labor slavery exist in Mexico

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco is the president of the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress of the Repiblic

México, quinto lugar en AL en trata de personas

México. D.F. México ya ocupa el quinto lugar en América Latina con el mayor número de víctimas de la trata; se estima que un millón 200 mil personas son explotadas sexual y laboralmente en territorio mexicano. Y  la cifra de víctimas va en aumento, mientras federales, estatales y municipales, poco o nada hacen para combatir ese delito.

Así lo advirtió la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada federal, Rosi Orozco, quien alertó que en todo el territorio nacional  continúan despareciendo niñas y niños, con la consecuente angustia y desesperación al interior de las familias afectadas.

Señaló que uno de los casos representativos de este delito, es el de Georgina Ivonne Ramírez Mora, de 22 años de edad, quien trabajaba en un casino situado en el municipio de Atizapán, y desapareció el 30 de mayo de 2011, días después de manifestar a una de sus compañeras de trabajo su intención de renunciar a dicho empleo.

Aclaró la legisladora que la Procuraduría mexiquense tiene conocimiento de este caso y sin embargo no se ha avanzado en la investigación.

Por ello, propuso que la Cámara baja haga un llamado tanto a los gobernadores, como a las procuradurías estatales para que, en el seno de la Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores (Conago) den a conocer los resultados de los operativos en contra de la trata de personas, así como las estadísticas reales de menores recuperados.

Mexico holds fifth place in human trafficking in Latin America

[Deputy Rosi Orozco declares that 1.2 million victims exist across the nation]

Mexico City – According to Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress], Mexico currently has the fifth highest number of human trafficking victims among Latin America nations, with an estimated 1.2 million victims of sex and labor exploitation. The numbers of victims continue to increase as federal, state and local authorities do little or nothing in response, said Deputy Orozco.

The anti trafficking leader warned that girls and boys continue to disappear across Mexico, which has a devastating impact on their loved ones.

Deputy Orozco discussed a representative case, that of Georgina Ivonne Ramírez Mora, age 22, who worked at a casino located in the municipality of Atizapán. Ramírez Mora disappeared on May 30, 2011, just days after she mentioned to one of her coworkers her intentions to resign from her job.

The attorney general’s office for Mexico state has opened an investigation in the case, but no progress has been made toward resolving it.

Deputy Orozco has recently proposed that the Chamber of Deputies issue a call to the nation’s governors and state prosecutors, calling upon them to use the forum of the National Conference of Governors to share their state statistics in regard to the numbers of enforcement operations being carried out in their states.. She added that state leaders should discuss [and be honest about] the actual numbers of minors who have been rescued in their respective states.

Alfredo Plascencia Sánchez

Diario Portal

Oct. 17, 2011


Added: Oct. 23, 2011

Paraguay

Harvard Law School graduate James H. Thessin was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 8, 2011

Embajador de EEUU en Paraguay, preocupado por desafuero de fiscala Teresa Martínez

El embajador de Estados Unidos en Paraguay, James Thessin, manifestó su preocupación sobre el desafuero de la fiscala Teresa Martínez al fiscal general del estado, Rubén Candia Amarilla, según comentó a la prensa este último.

Durante una visita protocolar que realizó este viernes el embajador estadounidense Thessin al Ministerio Público, se reunió con el fiscal general Candia Amarilla a quien le expresó su preocupación por la decisión que tomó el Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados (JEM), de desaforar a la agente Teresa Martínez.

El desafuero ocurrió luego de que la agente fiscal fuera denunciado por difamación, calumnia e injuria, por haber allanado una casa de citas, en donde según una denuncia de la Secretaría de la Niñez, explotaban a una adolescente.

Anastasio Gómez, el dueño de la casa de citas, querelló a la fiscala Teresa Martínez, que finalmente fue desaforada por el JEM.

Ambassador expresses U.S. concerns about the impeachment of anti trafficking procescutor Teresa Martínez to Paraguay's Attorney General

The U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, James Thessin, has expressed concern about the the impeachment of federal prosecutor Teresa Martínez to Paraguayan Attorney General Ruben Candia Amarilla.

During a diplomatic visit that took place this past Friday at the Public Ministry, Ambassador Thessin expressed his concerns in regard to the decision by the Trial Jury for Magistrates (JEM) to impeach prosecutor Martínez.

The impeachment process began after Martínez was sued for defamation, libel and insult in the aftermath of a raid by authorities on a brothel where, according to the Secretariat for Children, an adolescent girl was being exploited.

Anastasio Gomez, the owner of the brothel, filed the lawsuit against Martínez, resulting in the impeachment charges being brought by the JEM.

Última Hora

Mexico

Oct. 21, 2011


Added: Oct. 23, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Man accused in Charlotte human trafficking operation

Charlotte - A human trafficking operation was going on inside a southwest Charlotte home, according to investigators. They said a man who is in the country illegally sold women for sex...

Filemon Guzman-Martínez is charged with human trafficking and forcing women into prostitution.

Court documents said agents found business cards with pictures of women posed in a sexually suggestive manner and the phrase “What do you have to lose” written in Spanish.

In a bedroom of the house he rented, they found a bulk package of condoms and a woman with a suitcase. Almost all of the clothing, agents said, consisted of lingerie.

“It's a growing problem,” said Del Richburg, a special agent with Charlotte's Homeland Security Office. “It's a problem we've seen on the rise.”

Richburg said human trafficking is bringing a steady stream of victims from Mexico and Central America to Charlotte on the promise of jobs that don't exist.

“Might be as a nanny or working in a restaurant -- where they're brought up here and forced into prostitution,” Richburg said...

Neighbors said they hope federal agents won't stop investigating now.

“Just the tip of the iceberg -- there's four more houses of them,” Ronald Caldwell said.

Federal agents wouldn’t comment on whether they're looking at other houses in that neighborhood, but said new victims are being moved in and out of Charlotte every week.

Martínez, who was apparently in the country illegally, will make a first appearance in federal court on Thursday.

WSOC-TV

Oct. 12, 2011


Added: Oct. 23, 2011

Mexico

Youth Career Initiative pilots human trafficking awareness training for hotel staff in Mexico

Press Release

The Youth Career Initiative (YCI), a six-month education program that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills in leading hotels, launches its first training workshop in Mexico this week for hotel staff working with participants who have survived human trafficking. Course attendees include General Managers, HR and training managers, representatives of YCI’s local coordinating partners, and staff of local shelters.

The half-day training program is also aimed at representatives from other partner organizations in the target locations for this project. This workshop is conducted with partial support from the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP).

The training has two main aims: to raise awareness about the complex issue of human trafficking, particularly within the context of the hotel industry; and to enable hotel staff coordinating the YCI program to better support participants who have survived human trafficking. Facilitated by a team comprised of human trafficking experts, as well as hotel staff, the training workshop offers a general overview of the issue before delving into particular challenges within the hospitality industry. It also provides an insight into the victims’ experience including the rescue and recovery process, while encouraging discussions about how to support the re-integration of survivors. 

The training course was developed with input from a range of local shelters, anti-trafficking organizations, governmental organizations and hotel companies. Leading hotel companies participating in this Mexico pilot include InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International Inc., and NH Hoteles.

As a new adaptation of the YCI model, this pilot project aiding the re-integration of survivors of human trafficking will initially run in three pilot countries (Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam). The first pilot is currently running in Mexico City with 45 young people, 15 of whom are survivors of human trafficking. The eventual aim is to scale up the project to involve all 11 participating YCI countries.

3BL Media / theCSRfeed

Oct. 21, 2011

Added: Oct. 21, 2011

Mexico

Soledad Griensen

Hallan pruebas de trata de personas vs Griensen

El Ministerio Público que sigue la investigación sobre el caso de Soledad Griensen, dio a conocer que existen elementos de prueba suficientes para consignarla ante un juez de Garantía por los delitos de trata de persona, cuya pena máxima llega a los 24 años de prisión.

La investigación se fortaleció luego de que agentes investigadores realizaron un cateo en el refugio Mujeres Unidas Contra la Violencia ubicado en el cruce de las calles Delicias y Jiménez de la colonia 9 de Septiembre.

"Ahí se encontraron documentos y una serie de evidencias que llevaron al Ministerio Público a solicitar dos órdenes de aprehensión", dijo ayer el fiscal Jorge González Nicolás, quien rechazó dar a conocer las identidades, sin embargo trascendió que se trata de la misma Griensen y un familiar cercano.

El propio gobernador del estado, César Duarte Jáquez, refirió durante un evento celebrado ayer en Cibeles que se buscará la pena máxima para esta mujer al tiempo que llamó a los representantes de distintas organizaciones sociales a no utilizar la bandera de organizaciones para intereses mezquinos.

El fiscal Jorge González, manifestó que el albergue Mujeres Unidas Contra la Violencia, estaba dentro de un grupo de ocho organismos a los que se canalizaba a personas que eran víctimas de la violencia, entre ellas mujeres y niñas.

"Desde luego que se canalizaron a personas a ese lugar, pero a partir de este año, Gobierno del Estado ya no apoyaba a este albergue económicamente, además de que del estudio que se hizo se determinó que no se cumplía con ciertos requisitos", reconoció el funcionario estatal.

Añadió que lamentablemente existe un vacío en la ley que no permite una supervisión constante a este tipo de centros, pero por ello mismo, este año no se otorgó ningún tipo de subsidio por parte del Estado.

"Hay un gran vacío, pero en cuanto a la comisión de un delito, definitiva-mente que existe responsabilidad por parte de la Fiscalía para investigarlos tan es así que ya está detenida esta persona", señaló.

Dijo que la Fiscalía escuchó en declaración a las cinco mujeres que fueron víctimas del maltrato por parte de la señora Soledad Griensen pero además de la trata de personas, incurrió en la privación ilegal de su libertad.

Félix A. González

Norte Digital

Oct. 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Oct. 21, 2011

Mexico

Owner of Juarez Women’s Shelter Being Investigated for Abuse, Human Trafficking

Soledad Griensen Porras being investigated for abuse, human trafficking

A battered women’s shelter in Mexico is at the center of a human trafficking, abuse, and forced prostitution investigation, where a woman thought to be “a charitable soul” has been accused of abusing the women of the shelter.

Soledad Griensen Porras, 55, is being accused of forcing a number of women into prostitution and holding them against their will at the Mujeres Unidas contra la Violencia (Women United Against Violence). Some even claim Griensen punished them by putting chile on their private parts.

Many in the community are shocked to hear these allegations, as Griensen is known to donate food and blankets to those in need, and is said to regularly fight for women’s rights.

However, according to police, while everything looked copacetic, the women say men routinely came to the shelter soliciting sex, for which Griensen requested payment. Others claim they were forced to pay her in order to leave the shelter.

When officers searched the shelter, they say they found pornographic material, though it is unclear what exactly was found.

A neighbor who asked to remain anonymous told the El Paso Times she knew the community saw Griensen as the woman who gave the less fortunate groceries, blankets and toys, but she saw how Griensen was when in or around the shelter, which not only helps battered women, but is said to help those with substance abuse issues.

“I’m not going to tell you she was a nice person,” she told the Times. “Outside, she helped a lot, but she didn’t treat well the people inside.”

The unnamed neighbor said she once heard from one of the girls in the shelter that the place was “hell” and once had her hair shaved off for misbehaving.

But while this neighbor is not entirely surprised by the accusations against Griensen, others are having trouble believing them.

Irma Casas, director of the women’s rights organization Casa Amiga, said she was in the shelter about four months ago and did not see anything out that would lead her to believe anything sinister was going on.

Casas said the shelter was well kept and clean. Adding that a woman she had recently conversed with from the shelter did not report anything like what is being claimed.

However, Casas did suggest police look at all the shelters in the area to ensure nothing like this was happening elsewhere.

“This is a symptom of the little or null political and social intervention in this topic,” she said. “We should evaluate if in the case of Mrs. Griensen there had been an inspection of the spaces and who was in charge of them.”

So far, four of the five women who spoke to police have filed complaints against Griensen with state authorities.

Authorities say Griensen is currently being held and is facing human trafficking charges, and may face additional charges for threats, injuries, and deprivation of liberty.

Hispanically Speaking News

Oct. 20, 2011


Added: Oct. 19, 2011

Mexico

Nueve mexicanas eran obligadas a prostituirse en un refugio para mujeres

Ciudad Juárez (México), 18 oct (EFE).- Nueve mujeres de Ciudad Juárez (norte de México) fueron rescatadas hoy por agentes de la Policía Municipal de un refugio para víctimas de violencia donde eran obligadas a prostituirse, informaron fuentes oficiales.

Las mujeres denunciaron que el lugar funcionaba como una "casa de citas", donde acudían hombres invitados por la directora del refugio, señaló Adrián Sánchez, portavoz de la Policía.

Las nueve víctimas aseguraron que también varios niños que vivían en el refugio fueron igualmente obligados a prostituirse.

La directora del refugio Mujeres Unidas contra la Violencia, Soledad Griensen, de 53 años, fue detenida y presentada ante el Ministerio Público, dijo Sánchez a Efe.

Ciudad Juárez cobró notoriedad en la década de 1990 por la muerte de cientos de mujeres, principalmente jóvenes trabajadoras de empresas maquiladoras (de ensamblaje). Muchos de estos crímenes, cometidos por miembros de la delincuencia organizada, asesinos seriales o imitadores de estos, no fueron esclarecidos.

Las autoridades locales han expresado su preocupación por el alto índice de trata de personas en esta urbe fronteriza con la estadounidense El Paso (Texas).

Women and children are forced into prostitution at women's shelter

Police in the city of Cuidad juarez in Chihuahua state today rescued nine women and several children from a domestic violence shelter where the victims had been forced into prostitution.

Those rescued reported that the shelter [effectively] functioned as a brothel, where the female director invited men [to exploit the shelter’s residents], said Adrian Sanchez, spokesman for the police.

The nine adult victims also claim that several children who lived at the shelter were forced into prostitution.

The director of the Mujeres Unidas (Women United) shelter against Violence, Griensen Soledad, age 53, was arrested and brought before the local prosecutor’s office, Sanchez told EFE.

Ciudad Juarez gained notoriety in the 1990s due to the death of hundreds of women. Those victims were mostly young maquiladora (assembly plant) workers [those with indigenous characteristics were especially targeted]. Many of the crimes had been committed by organized crime members, murderers and serial imitators…

Local authorities have expressed concern about the high incidence of human trafficking in this city, which sits adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

EFE

Oct. 18, 2011


Added: Oct. 17, 2011
Mexico

Policías agreden sexualmente y torturan a mujer indígena

La detuvieron en Tulum luego de que fue asaltada en un bar

Tulum, Cuatro policías de este municipio de Quintana Roo fueron suspendidos por haber cometido los delitos de lesiones, abuso de poder y violación en grado de tentativa, contra una trabajadora de origen maya en el interior de la cárcel municipal.

Dos policías son mujeres –participaron en la detención– y dos más varones, quienes custodiaban la cárcel en el lapso en que ocurrieron los hechos. Se trata de Gisela Morales Reyes, Selena Torres Hernández, Liborio May May y Martín López Dorantes.

Sin embargo, otros cuatro elementos policiacos –de quienes se desconoce sus nombres y están en libertad– estarían implicados en la agresión contra Gabina Pat Díaz, de 24 años de edad y cocinera en un hotel de la Riviera Maya, quien fue obligada a desnudarse ante la presencia de seis agentes que la acariciaron y uno de ellos la presionó para tener relaciones sexuales a cambio de su libertad.

La indígena maya fue detenida por supuesta alteración del orden público, la cual es una falta administrativa de acuerdo con el Bando de Policía y Buen Gobierno Municipal.

Díaz relató a los medios de comunicación que los policías la insultaron y la colgaron esposada y desnuda contra los barrotes de los separos durante tres horas, tiempo –acusó– en el que fue torturada física y psicológicamente.

Los hechos se asentaron en la averiguación previa 845/2011 del Ministerio Público del Fuero Común en este municipio por violación en grado de tentativa y lesiones. Se informó que la investigación está en curso y que en breve se darían a conocer avances de la misma.

Los cuatro policías municipales identificados fueron suspendidos como una medida administrativa, pero no fueron detenidos ni arraigados por lo que se teme que haya impunidad en el caso.

La Comisión de Derechos Humanos del estado de Quintana Roo (Cdheqroo) ya atrajo también el caso con la apertura del expediente 151 por abuso de autoridad y trato cruel y degradante.

Gabina Pat Díaz fue detenida por los uniformados a las 5 de la mañana del pasado 8 de octubre, cuando se encontraba con unos amigos adentro de una discoteca.

Personal de seguridad del local llamó a la policía municipal luego de que Díaz decidió buscar por cuenta propia su bolso que –alegó la mujer– le sustrajeron en ese negocio. Ahí guardaba sus documentos personales, tarjeta bancaria y dinero en efectivo.

La agraviada narró que dos policías mujeres y un varón la sometieron con lujo de violencia, tirándola al piso, para luego subirla a rastras a una patrulla y trasladarla a la cárcel municipal.

Police torture and sexually assault Indigenous woman

The victim had been arrested in the city of Tulum after being assaulted in a bar

Four police officers friom [the tourist center and  Mayan cultural site of] Tulum, in the state of Quintana Roo have been suspended after they were accused of attempted rape, assault and abuse of power. The victim was an indigenous  Mayan woman who had been detained on disorderly conduct charges after she had been assaulted in a bar. The sexual assault took place in the city’s jail.

Two female officers who had participated in the arrest and two male guards who were on duty at the jail during the sexual assault were  accused in the case. Gisela Morales Reyes, Selena Torres Hernandez, Liborio May May and Martin Lopez Dorantes were suspended from duty.

An additional four police officers, who’s identities and whereabouts are not known, are also implicated in the assault of 24-year-old Gabina Pat Díaz, who works as a cook in a hotel in the Riviera Maya tourist area.

While in custody, Díaz was forced to strip naked in front of six of the officers. She was then handcuffed to the bars of her cell as the officers put their hands on her. One of the officers pressured the victim to have sex with him in exchange for her freedom.

The victim had been arrested for disorderly conduct, which is an administrative charge in the city’s criminal code.

Diaz told the media that the officers insulted her and hung her naked and handcuffed to the bars of her holding cell for three hours, during which time she says that she was tortured physically and psychologically.

The facts were documented during a preliminary investigation conducted by prosecutors in Tulum. It was reported that the investigation is ongoing. The results will be announced shortly.

The four officers who have been identified were given administrative suspensions, but they have not been arrested or arranged, leading to fears that the case will be left in impunity [the case will be covered up].

The Human Rights Commission of the state of Quintana Roo (CDHEQROO) plans to open an investigation into abuse of authority and cruel and degrading treatment.

Gabina Pat Diaz was arrested at 5 am on Oct. 8, while she was with friends in a nightclub.

The club’s security staff had called police after Díaz decided to search on her own for her purse, which had been stolen in the club. Díaz stated that two female and one male police officer threw her to the ground and dragged her to their patrol car before taking her to the city jail.

Eduardo Cocom Sosaya

CIMAC Women’s News Agency

Oct. 13, 2011

Added: Aug. 04, 2011

Peru

Huánuco region in central Peru

CHS organiza talleres contra la trata de personas en Huánuco y Tingo María

Dirigido a autoridades y líderes indígenas

Con el objetivo de generar un espacio de reflexión sobre las funciones y obligaciones de los operadores de justicia en el tema de la trata de personas y la vulnerabilidad de la población indígena frente a este delito, la organización Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (CHS Alternativo) realizará talleres en Tingo María y Huánuco, ciudades de captación y de tránsito para la trata de personas con fines de explotación sexual a mujeres menores de edad.

Se informó que el  taller en Tingo María se realizará el miércoles 12 de octubre en el Hotel Madera Verde, en tanto que el taller en Huánuco será el viernes 14 de octubre en el Grand Hotel Huánuco.

En dichos eventos se presentarán asimismo los resultados del análisis de expedientes sobre trata de personas en la región, el último suceso ocurrido en Madre de Dios y el documental “La noche de Jhinna”, reciente caso de explotación sexual presentado en el nightclub La Noche, en Piura.

Ambos talleres son auspiciados por la fundación alemana Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) y cuentan con el apoyo de la Defensoría del Pueblo, Paz y Esperanza y de la Federación Departamental de Comunidades Campesinas y Nativas – Región Huánuco (FEDECCANH).

ONG conducts workshops against human trafficking in Huánuco and Tingo María

Training is designed for indigenous leaders and authorities

With the aim of creating a space for reflection on the roles and responsibilities of criminal justice workers in regard to the issue of human trafficking and the vulnerability of indigenous peoples to this crime, the organization Human and Social Capital Alternative (CHS Alternativo) will present workshops in in the cities of Tingo Maria and Huanuco, which are known as locations where traffickers entrap and transport underage girl victims for purposes of sexual exploitation.

The workshop in Tingo Maria will be held Oct. 12th at the Hotel Madera Verde, while the Huánuco workshop will be held on Oct. 14th at the Grand Hotel Huanuco.

The events will include discussion of an analysis performed of trafficking cases in the region, the most recent of which occurred in the city of Madre de Dios. The documentary "The Night of Jhinna" will also be shown. The film presents a recent case of sexual exploitation at a nightclub in the city of Piura.

Both workshops are sponsored by the German foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and have the support of the office of the [federal] Ombudsman of the People, Peace and Hope, and the Departmental [State] Federation of Peasant and Native Communities for the Huánuco Region (FEDECCANH).

InfoRegión

Peru

Oct. 11, 2011


Added Oct. 15, 2011

Paraguay

Hero: Internationally recognized Praguayan anti-trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is currently facing  impeachment based on defamation complaints brought by suspects whom 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 2005 jailing and trial that was concocted by corrupt authorities in retaliation for her work to expose a wealthy child sex trafficker in the resort city of Cancun.

Hot spot:

Paraguay is located in the "Triple Frontier" region of South America, where its border converges with that of Argentina and Brazil.

The Triple Frontier is one of the very largest sex trafficking marketplaces in South America.

LibertadLatina

Commentary

Effective anti trafficking activists face retaliation across the Americas

Currently, Libertad Latina is providing coverage of the impeachment process that anti-trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is facing in the South American nation of Paraguay. We have aggregated and translated several important news articles on the subject.

We regard the actions of the Paraguayan Trial Jury for Magistrates in bringing the impeachment charges against Teresa Martínez to be highly suspect. We agree with the conclusions of Paraguayan congressional deputy Aída Robles, who is 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 who seek to bring an end to effective anti-trafficking prosecutions in that nation. The Paraguayan Association of Prosecutors and the Inter-agency Roundtable for Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Paraguay - made up of more than a 20 federal agencies and NGOs - have both released press statements in support of Martínez.

To paraphrase the statement released by the Paraguayan Association of Prosecutors, since when in western jurisprudence can a criminal suspect bring defamation charges against the prosecuting attorney in their case, and then have that complaint accepted by a judicial body as grounds for the impeachment of that prosecutor?

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 the voracious forced prostitution markets that thrive in the neighboring wealthy nation of Argentina. A recent press article noted that 80% of all women and girls who are sexually exploited in Argentina are from Paraguay.

Dozens of news stories have discussed the work of Teresa Martínez. They show that Martínez has been an effective leader in waging the nation's 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-billion dollar drug-and-sex trafficking cartels (both local and global) that are active in the region are daunting. Martínez has committed only one offense, that of daring to challenge the status quo that today allows poor indigenous and other Paraguayan women and children to be sex trafficked en-mass with impunity.

The impeachment action taken against Martínez follows a pattern of behavior that has been seen in other nations in the region. These underhanded responses have in common the fact that they are acts of retaliation that are designed to punish both public officials and private citizens who have become 'too' effective in their efforts to fight modern human slavery. Other victims of that scenario have included 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 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, who 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 the sex traffickers who were expoiting the many Honduran women and girls who had been lured to the region (we note that Chiapas state has been identified by Save the Children as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC - in the entire world).

Recently, 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 will be sexually exploited. From Argentina, a number of these victims - as well as Argentine women and girls - will be 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. These include organizations that receive U.S. funds. The U.S. State Department is fully aware of these allegations through complaints that have been submitted to them.

The cases of Teresa Martínez, Lydia Cacho and Patricia Villamil represent part of a disturbing but not unfamiliar pattern. Although Latin America has moved away from its past traditions of authoritarian rule and political repression as its standard response to unconventional viewpoints, some of those in power continue to use such tactics when they find it convenient to achieving their more sinister goals.

Mexico and the Triple Frontier region in South America are two of the most critical hot spots for 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 those involving the mass sex trafficking of women and girls from the Dominican Republic to Argentina and other global destinations, the corrupt practices that allow these tragedies to continue to occur are not-yet clearly visible to the general public.

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

There is an important lesson to be learned by the anti-trafficking movement and government entities working in the field in regard to this theme. The fact is that not everyone with official powers actually wants 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 a 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 fundamental reality must become the first step to re-building the currently less-than-effective global strategies that are in-use for tackling traffickers and shutting them down for good. 

A global campaign of condemnation that denounces the retaliatory action taken against Teresa Martínez must also be organized. A similar effort was highly effective in rescuing Lydia Cacho from unjust imprisonment in Mexico. People of conscience must make that happen once again. This time, it is  Teresa Martínez who needs our help.

Finally, 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 time 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 a raid on 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 Teresa Martínez, Paraguayan congressional deputy Aida Robles declared that the anti trafficking prosecutor 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

Paraguay

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

See also:

Added: Oct. 15, 2011

Context from 2010

Paraguay

U.S. Embassy cable on human trafficking conditions

...Most trafficking victims depart Paraguay via land border crossings near Ciudad del Este, Asuncion, and Encarnacion. The Women's Secretariat provided direct aid to 19 women in 2009. Of these, two were trafficked domestically, while the others went to Argentina (53%), Bolivia (31%), Japan (8%), and Spain (8%.).

Anecdotal evidence suggests that each year several thousand women, children, adolescents, and trans-gendered prostitutes (taxi boys) are trafficked internationally. An estimated 80 percent of victims are young women and adolescent girls. The Women's Secretariat (SMPR) estimated in January 2010 that 95 percent of TIP victims are exploited for commercial sexual purposes and that 52 percent of victims were minors.

...Paraguayan women, adolescent girls, and children are most at risk of being trafficked, primarily for purposes of sexual exploitation. Many street children are also trafficking victims. Studies show that most victims worked as street vendors when traffickers targeted them and that 70 percent of victims had drug addictions. Poor indigenous women living in the interior are also at significant risk. Argentine authorities speaking at seminars in Paraguay noted they frequently require translation assistance from Paraguayan consulates to interview TIP victims who speak only [the indigenous language] Guarani...

U.S. State Dept.

Feb. 17, 2010

See also:

Added: Oct. 15, 2011

Context from 2005

Paraguay

U.S. Embassy cable on human trafficking conditions

TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Senior Reporting Officer Linda Brown visited Paraguay as part of a four-country tour of South America.  In meetings with Embassy officers, governing party officials, and representatives of NGOs, Brown discussed Paraguay's progress in combating trafficking in persons…

Brown had a number of meetings with various officials and NGOs, raising a number of issues in Paraguay's efforts to combat TIP.

Minister for Children and Adolescents Mercedes Britez de Buzo 

--The Minister described efforts to combat the trafficking in children, pointing to participation in Embassy Montevideo's regional project, participation in the Embassy's bilateral project, and efforts to criminalize child pornography...

-- She spoke of the need to prosecute traffickers but conceded, based upon her own experiences as a prosecutor and judge, that it is not career enhancing in the judicial system to focus on trafficking or children's issues.

Attorney General Oscar Latorre and Prosecutor Teresa Martínez

--Latorre offered general remarks about the importance of stopping trafficking, but was not positive about prospects for the creation of a specialized unit of anti-trafficking prosecutors.

 --Martínez described the history of TIP prosecutions in Paraguay, observing that the issue was unknown just 18 months ago, and is now an important focus in the Public Ministry (prosecutor’s office)...

Martínez described the difficulties in getting victims to cooperate, and the Attorney General's lack of legal authority to investigate independently.

Independent Women's Rights Activist and Consultant Andrea Cid

 --The discussion primarily dealt with Paraguayan culture and the ways in which it complicates both government and NGO efforts to fight trafficking.  In the eyes of many here, prostitution is not a bad thing in and of itself.  Given the levels of stark poverty in the country, many feel that prostitution is a legitimate way to earn a living.  Many families, she said, knowingly sell their own daughters into prostitution abroad in the hope that the girls will send money home.

--The legal culture in Paraguay complicates efforts to stop trafficking.  She described the Penal Code and the entire judicial system as lenient, with laws prescribing mild penalties for crimes such as trafficking. The authorities are unable to stop traffickers from threatening victims who file complaints with prosecutors.

U.S. State Dept.

Jan. 04, 2005

See also:

Added: Aug. 04, 2011

Paraguay

Mujeres indígenas van perfilándose cada vez más como víctimas

La trata de personas es un delito que tiene como principales víctimas a personas de sectores vulnerabilizados en sus derechos, en particular cada vez más, a la población indígena.

La trata de personas es un problema sin visibilidad en las comunidades campesinas e indígenas, lo que constituye un negocio de pocos que nos desafía a todos.

El 14 de julio, en algunos medios de prensa, se publicó un caso de explotación de niñas indígenas del Chaco (como por ejemplo en el Última Hora Digital).

En la ocasión, realizamos la siguiente reflexión:

Es preciso estar cada vez más atentos ante el flagelo de la explotación sexual comercial, la explotación laboral, la servidumbre doméstica y el comercio de niños y niñas.

La trata de personas es un delito que tiene como principales víctimas a personas de sectores vulnerabilizados en sus derechos, en particular cada vez más, a la población indígena, que inmersa en situaciones de desigualdad y abandono, fácilmente escucha y accede a promesas de una mejora de vida hecha por personas inescrupulosas.

Las mujeres, más aún cuando son niñas y no hablan español, son muy proclives a ser engañadas. En este caso, se trató de niñas indígenas totalmente indefensas (que por razones de feria judicial en Argentina, todavía no han logrado retornar). En efecto, las jóvenes, niñas y adultas mujeres, al ser traficadas, una vez en el lugar de destino, ya se topan con un entorno desconocido, no cuentan con posibilidades de contacto familiar, ningún tipo de soporte, lo cual las coloca en una situación de desamparo total. Esta vez, el accionar de ambos Estados estuvo de su lado ¿pero, y el resto de casos denunciados y no denunciados? ¿y la trata interna de mujeres indígenas?

Paraguayan Indigenous women are increasingly being targeted as victims of human trafficking

Human trafficking is a problem without visibility in rural and indigenous communities. It is a business run by a few but which impacts many.

On July 14th a number of media outlets published reports about the case of the exploitation of indigenous girls in the nation’s Chaco region.

On occasion, we have made the following observation: We must be increasingly vigilant against the scourge of commercial sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, domestic servitude and the trade in children.

Human trafficking is a crime whose main victims are people from sectors of society whose rights are vulnerable. This includes, increasingly, the indigenous population, which continues to be immersed in [a social condition of] inequality and neglect, which makes them at-risk to going along with the false promises of a better life to which they are subjected by unscrupulous people.

Women, and especially girls who do not speak Spanish, are very much at-risk of being deceived. This case involved two completely defenseless indigenous girls (who for reasons of the justice process in Argentina have not yet been returned [to their families]).

Young women, girls and adult women who have been trafficked are, once they reach the [trafficker’s intended] destination, faced with an unfamiliar environment. They have no access to family or other forms of support, which makes them helpless.

In this particular case, the actions of both states (Argentina and Paraguay) stood with the victims. But what about the [many] cases that go unreported. And what about the problem of the internal trafficking of indigenous women?

Base-IS

July 20, 2011


Added: Oct. 12, 2011

Paraguay

Teresa Martínez

Fiscales denuncian violación de Constitución en desafuero de Martínez

A través de un comunicado, la Asociación de Agentes Fiscales del Paraguay refiere que la decisión del Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados, de levantar los fueros a la fiscala Teresa Martínez, es una flagrante violación de los artículos 255 y 270 de la Constitución Nacional, como una garantía del agente fiscal para el ejercicio independiente de su rol constitucional.

“Esta decisión establece un preocupante precedente que atenta en contra de la independencia en el ejercicio de las funciones de los Agentes Fiscales; pudiéndose llegar al absurdo de que el imputado en una causa penal podrá promover una querella por calumnia contra el funcionario fiscal encargado de la investigación con la finalidad de separarlo de la misma, con lo cual todo agente fiscal se encuentra expuesto a este tipo de acciones temerarias”, refieren.

En el texto, los fiscales instan al Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados, a la rectificación inmediata de la medida tomada; a los Magistrados Judiciales, a valorar y fundar debidamente sus resoluciones en este tipo de casos, más aún teniendo en consideración la naturaleza y gravedad de los hechos punibles investigados por la fiscala Teresa Martínez, vinculados a la trata y explotación sexual de niños, niñas y adolescentes.

El viernes 30 de septiembre, el Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados resolvió desaforar a la fiscala de la unidad de Trata de Personas, Teresa Martínez, a pedido del juez Manuel Aguirre, para ser juzgada por una acción de difamación, calumnias e injurias.

Durante la misma jornada del viernes, la Mesa Interinstitucional para la Prevención y Combate a la Trata de personas en el Paraguay solicitó a los miembros del Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados reconsiderar la postura y las medidas respecto al desafuero de la fiscala Martínez.

Prosecutors denounce the impeachment of Teresa Martínez as a violation of the Paraguayan Constitution

The professional association of prosecutors in Paraguay has issued a press release in which they declare that the recent decision by the Trial Jury for Magistrates to impeach anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez is a flagrant violation of Articles 255 and 270 of the Constitution, which guarantee the independence of prosecutors in the exercise of their constitutional role.

"This decision sets a disturbing precedent which threatens the independent exercise of the prosecutorial function. The decision could result in the absurd scenario where a defendant in a criminal case could initiate a defamation lawsuit against the prosecutor in their case, with the intent of removing them. All prosecutors would then be exposed to such reckless actions,” said the statement.

Prosecutors urged the Trial Jury for Magistrates to take immediate action to rectify the decision made to bring prosecutor Martínez to trial, especially taking into consideration the nature and severity of the offenses that are investigated by Martínez, which involve cases of human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

On Friday September 30, the Trial Jury for Magistrates ruled in favor of a request by judge Manuel Aguirre to bring Martínez to trial on charges of defamation, libel and slander.

On the same day, the Inter-agency Commission for the Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Paraguay [a federal inter-agency coordinating committee] also asked the members of the Trial Jury of Judges to reconsider their decision to impeach prosecutor Martínez.

ABC Color

Paraguay

Oct. 03, 2011

See also:

Added Oct. 13, 2011

Paraguay

Jurado deja sin fueros a fiscala Martínez

El Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados resolvió desaforar a la fiscala de la unidad de Trata de Personas, Teresa Martínez, a pedido del juez Manuel Aguirre, para ser juzgada por difamación, calumnias e injurias.

El Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados finalmente resolvió desaforar a la fiscala de la unidad de Trata de Personas, Teresa Martínez, luego de que Anastacio Gómez Romero la denunciara ante el juez Manuel Aguirre.

La fiscala Teresa Martínez expresó a ABC Digital que el Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados no le había notificado, y que recién a las 10 del viernes le enviaron una notificación.

“Es algo muy grave. Voy a contratar un abogado y defenderme. Tengo que pedir una copia de la denuncia. Es la primera vez en 30 años que recibo una denuncia”, expresó Martínez a nuestro medio…

La fiscala expresó que sus casos están concluyendo, y lamenta profundamente que no la hayan escuchado antes de tomar la medida.

Jurists remove Teresa Martínez’s prosecutorial authority

The Trial Jury for Magistrates has resolved to impeach Paraguay’s human trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez. Judge Manuel Aguirre requested that Martínez be tried for libel, slander and insult.

The decision was made after Anastacio Gómez Romero had filed a complaint against Martínez before Judge Aguirre.

Martínez told ABC Digital that the Trial Jury for Magistrates had not notified her of the decision until 10 AM on Friday.

Martínez, "This is very serious. I will hire a lawyer and defend myself. I have to ask for a copy of the complaint. This is the first time in 30 years that I have received a complaint...”

Martínez said that her cases [active human trafficking prosecutions] are concluding. She said that she deeply regrets that the cases were not heard before the action against her was taken.

ABC Digital

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011

See also:

Added Oct. 13, 2011

Paraguay

Fiscala Teresa Martínez respecto a su desafuero y proceso por difamación

Prosecutor Teresa Martínez speaks out in regard to the defamation case against her

(Audio - In Spanish)

Radio Ñanduti

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011

See also:

Added Oct. 13, 2011

Paraguay

Dr. Manuel Aguirre aclara sobre recepción de desafuero a fiscala Teresa Martínez

Judge Manuel Aguirre explains his actions in requesting the impeachment of prosecutor Teresa Martínez

(Audio - In Spanish)

Radio Ñanduti

Paraguay

Sep. 30, 2011



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

During the over ten years that the LibertadLatina project has existed, our ongoing analysis of the crisis of sexual abuse in the Americas has lead us to the conclusion that our top priority should be to work to achieve an end to the rampant sex trafficking and exploitation that perennially exists in Mexico. Although many crisis hot spots call out for attention across Latin America and the Caribbean, working to see reform come to Mexico appeared to be a critical first step to achieving major change everywhere else in the region.

We believe that this analysis continues to be correct. We also recognize the fact that the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia are other emergency zones of crisis. We plan to expand our coverage of these and other issues as resources permit.

Mexico is uniquely situated among the nations of the Americas, and therefore requires special attention from the global effort to end modern human slavery.

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

  • Includes a long contiguous border with the U.S., thus making it a transit point for both 500,000 voluntary (but vulnerable) migrants each year as well as for victims of human slavery

  • Has multi-billion dollar drug cartels that profit from Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and that are today investing heavily in human slavery as a secondary source of profits

  • Has a 30% indigenous population, as well as an Afro-Mexican minority, both of whom are marginalized, exploited and are 'soft targets' who are now actively being cajoled, and kidnapped by trafficking mafias into lives of slavery and death

  • Has conditions of impunity that make all impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking

  • Has a child sex tourism 'industry' that attracts many thousands of U.S., European and Latin American men who exploit vulnerable, impoverished children and youth with virtual impunity

  • Is the source of the largest contingent of foreign victims of human slavery who have been trafficked into the U.S.

  • Has a large and highly educated middle class which includes thousands of women who are active in the movement to enhance human rights in general and women's rights in particular

  • Has a growing anti-trafficking movement and a substantial women's rights focused journalist network

  • Has a politically influential faction of socially conservative men who believe in the sexist tenants of machismo and who favor maintaining the status quo that allows the open exploitation of poor Mexicans and Latin American migrants to continue, thus requiring assistance from the global movement against human exploitation to help local activists balance the scales of justice and equality

For a number years LibertadLatina's commentaries have called upon Mexico's government and the U.S. State Department to apply the pressure that is required to begin to change conditions for the better. It appears that the global community's efforts in this regard are beginning to have impact, yet a lifetime of work remains to be done to end what we have characterized as a slow-moving mass gender atrocity.

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

  • The March 31, 2011 resignation of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez (who had earlier failed to address the crisis of femicide murders facing women in Ciudad Juarez as Chihuahua state attorney general)

  • The replacement of Chávez Chávez with Marisela Morales Ibáñez as the nation’s first female attorney general (Morales Ibáñez was recently honored by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

  • Morales Ibáñez’ reform-motivated purge of 174 officials and employees of the attorney general’s office, including the recent resigna-tions of 21 federal prosecutors

  • Morales Ibáñez’ recent raid in Cuidad Juárez, that resulted in the arrests of 1,030 suspected human traffickers and the freeing of 20 underage girls

  • The recent appointment of Dilcya Garcia , a former Mexico City prosecutor who achieved Mexico's first trafficking convictions to the federal attorney general's office (Garcia was recently honored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her anti-trafficking work)

  • The July, 2010 replacement of Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont with José Francisco Blake Mora. (Secretary Gómez Mont openly opposed the creation of strong federal anti-trafficking legislation.)

  • Success by President Calderón and the Congress of the Republic in achieving the first steps to bringing about a constitutional amendment to facilitate human trafficking prosecutions

  • Recent public statements by President Calderon imploring the public to help in the fight against human trafficking

  • Some progress in advancing legislation in Congress to reform the failed 2007 federal anti trafficking law, a reform effort that has been lead by Deputy Rosi Orozco

  • The active collaboration of both the U.S. Government and the United Nations Office eon Drugs and Crime in supporting government efforts against trafficking

Taken together, the above actions amount to a truly watershed moment in Mexico’s efforts to address modern human slavery. We applaud those who are working for reform, while also recognizing that reform has its enemies within Congress, government institutions, law enforcement and society.

Mexico’s key anti-trafficking leaders, including journalist and author Lydia Cacho, Teresa Ulloa (director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean - CATW-LAC), and Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have all raised the alarm in recent months to indicate that corrupt businessmen, politicians and law enforcement authorities continue to pressure Mexican society to maintain a status quo that permits the existence of rampant criminal impunity in relation to the exploitation of women, children and men. The fact that anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho continues to face credible deaths threats on a regular basis and must live with armed guards for 24 hours a day is one sobering indicator of this harsh reality.

The use of slavery for labor and sexual purposes has a solid 500 years of existence in Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Indigenous peoples have been the core group of victims of human exploitation from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. This is true in Mexico as well as in other nations with large indigenous populations such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. African descendants are also victims of exploitation - especially in Colombia, and like indigenous peoples, they continue to lack recognition as equal citizens.

These populations are therefore highly vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation due to the fact that the larger societies within which they live feel no moral obligation to defend their rights. Criminal human traffickers and other exploiters take advantage of these vulnerabilities to kidnap, rape, sex traffic and labor traffic the poorest of the poor with little or no response from national governments.

A society like Mexico - where even middle class housewives are accustomed to treating their unpaid, early-teen indigenous girl house servants to labor exploitation and verbal and physical violence – and where the men of the house may be sexually abusing that child – is going to take a long time to adapt to an externally imposed world view that says that the forms of exploitation that their conquistador ancestors brought to the region are no longer valid. That change is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be easy.

Mexico’s current efforts to reform are to be applauded. The global anti-trafficking activist community and its supporters in government must, however remain vigilant and demand that Mexico continue down the path toward ending its ancient traditions of tolerated human exploitation. For that transformation to happen effectively, indigenous and African descendant Mexicans must be provided a place at the table of deliberations.

Although extending equality to these marginalized groups is a radical concept within the context of Mexican society, we insist that both Mexico, the United States State Department (a major driver of these reforms in Mexico) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC - another major driver in the current reforms) provide the social and political spaces that will be required to allow the groups who face the most exposure to exploitation to actually have representation in both official and NGO deliberations about their fate at the hands of the billion dollar cartels and mafias who today see them as raw material and 'easy pickings' to drive their highly lucrative global slavery profit centers.

Without taking this basic step, we cannot raise Mexico’s rating on our anti-trafficking report card.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

Note: Our August 4/5, 2011 edition contains a number of stories that accurately describe the nature of the vulnerabilities that indigenous children and women face from modern day sex traffickers, pedophiles and rapists.

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

An editorial by anti trafficking activist Lydia puts the spotlight on abusive domestic work as a form of human slavery targeting, for the most part, indigenous women and girls

Mexico

Esclavas en México

México, DF, - Cristina y Dora tenían 11 años cuando Domingo fue por ellas a la Mixteca en Oaxaca. Don José Ernesto, un militar de la Capital, le encargó un par de muchachitas para el trabajo del hogar. La madre pensó que si sus niñas trabajaban con “gente decente” tendrían la posibilidad de una vida libre, de estudiar y alimentarse, tres opciones que ella jamás podría darles por su pobreza extrema.

Cristina y Dora vivieron en el sótano, oscuro y húmedo, con un baño improvisado en una mansión construida durante el Porfiriato, cuyos jardines y ventanales hablan de lujos y riqueza. Las niñas aprendieron a cocinar como al patrón le gustaba. A lo largo de 40 años no tuvieron acceso a la escuela ni al seguro social, una de las hermanas prohijó un bebé producto de la violación del hijo del patrón. Les permitían salir unas horas algunos sábados, porque el domingo había comidas familiares. Sólo tres veces en cuatro décadas les dieron vacaciones, siendo adultas, para visitar a su madre enferma...

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City – Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the state of Oaxaca. José Ernesto, a military man living in Mexico City, had sent Domingo to find a pair of girls to do domestic work for him. The girls’ mother thought that if they had an opportunity to work with “decent people,” they would have a chance to live a free life, to study and to eat well. Those were three things that they she could never give them in her condition of extreme poverty.

Cristina and Dora lived in the dark and humid basement of a mansion built during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876 to 1910). Their space had an improvised bathroom. Outside of the home, the mansion’s elaborate gardens and elegant windows presented an image of wealth and luxury. The girls learned to cook for the tastes of their employer.

It is now forty years later. Cristina and Dora never had access to an education, nor do they have the right to social security payments when they retire. One of the sisters had a child, who was the result of her being raped by one of their employer’s sons.

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

Today, some 800,000 domestic workers are registered in Mexico. Ninety three percent of them don’t have access to health services. Seventy Nine percent of them have not and will not receive benefits. Their average salary is 1,112 pesos($87.94) per month. More than 8% of these workers receive no pay at all, because their employers think that giving them a place to sleep and eat is payment enough.

Sixty percent of domestic workers in Mexico are indigenous women and girls. They began this line of work, on average, at the age of 13. These statistics do not include those women and children who lived locked-up in conditions of extreme domestic slavery.

Mexico’s domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation, racism and being otherwise poorly treated…

Recently, the European Parliament concluded that undocumented migrant women face an increased risk of domestic labor slavery. In Mexico, the majority of domestic slaves are Mexicans. Another 15% of these victims are [undocumented] migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Their undocumented status allows employers to prohibit their leaving the home, prohibit their access to education or deny their right to have a life of their own. The same dynamics happen to Latina women in the United States and Canada.

For centuries [middle and upper class white Mexican women] became accustomed to looking at domestic labor slavery as something that ‘helps’ indigenous women and girls. We used the hypocritical excuse that we were lifting them out of poverty by exploiting them. [They reality is that] millions of these women and girls are subjected to work conditions that deny them access to education, healthcare, and the enjoyment of a normal social life.

We (Mexico’s privileged) men and women share the responsibility for perpetuating this form of slavery. We use contemptuous language to refer to domestic workers. Like other forms of human trafficking, domestic labor slavery is a product of our culture.

Domestic work is an indispensable form of labor that allows millions of women to work. We should improve work conditions, formally recognize it in our laws, and assure that in our homes, we are not engaging in exploitation cloaked in the idea that we are rescuing [our domestic workers] from poverty.

To wash, iron, cook and care for children is as dignified as any other form of work. The best way for us to change the world is to start in own homes.

“Plan B” is a column written by Lydia Cacho that appears Mondays and Thursdays in CIMAC, El Universal and other newspapers in Mexico.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Justice Department and all of the agencies and officers involved in Operation Delego, which shut down a grotesque  international child pornography network that glorified and rewarded the torture and rape of young children. We also wish you good hunting in taking down all child pornography rings, wherever they may exist.

We call attention to a recent story (posted on Aug. 4, 2011) on the rape with impunity of indigenous school children, from very young ages, in the nation's now-closed Indian boarding school system. The fact that the legislature of the state of South Dakota passed legislation that denies victims the right to sue the priests and nuns who raped them is just as disgusting as any of the horror stories that are associated with the pedophile rapist / torturers who have been identified in Operation Delego.

Yet neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the Canadian government, where yet more horrible sexual abuses, and even murders of indigenous children took place, have ever sought to prosecute the large number of rapists involved in these cases.

In addition, federal prosecutors drop a large number of rape cases on Indian reservations despite the fact that indigenous women face a rate of rape in the U.S. that is 3.5 times higher that the rate faced by other groups of women. White males are the perpetrators of the rape in 80% of these cases.

When former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired eight U.S. attorneys in December of 2006, it turned out that 5 of those targeted had worked together to increase the very low prosecution rates for criminal cases on Native reservations. Their firings did a disservice to victims of rape and other serious crimes in Indian Country.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas demand an end to the rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of our peoples, be they from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru or Canada.

We expect the United Stated Government to set the tone and lead the way in that change in social values.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

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

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

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

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

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

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

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

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, its legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely quoted today.

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

While "Little Brown Maria in the Brothel" - our metaphor for the voiceless victims, suffers yet another day chained to a bed in Tijuana, Acapulco, Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Tapachula and Cancun, the entire law enforcement infrastructure of Mexico sits by and does virtually nothing to stop this mass gender atrocity from happening.

That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for a Mexico that is a member of the world community, and that is a signatory to international protocols that fight human trafficking and that defend women and children's human rights.

We once again call upon U.S. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama to stand-up and speak out with the moral authority of the United States in support of the forces of change in Mexico.

Political leaders and non governmental organizations around the world also have a responsibility to speak-up, and to let the government of President Felipe Calderón know that the fact that his ruling party (finally) supported presenting a forum on trafficking, and the holding of a few press conferences, is not enough of a policy turn-around to be convincing.

The PAN must take strong action to aggressively combat the explosive growth in human slavery in Mexico in accordance with international standards. Those at risk, and those who are today victims, await your effective response to their emergency, President Calderón.

Enacting a 'general' federal law that is enforceable in all of Mexico's states would be a good fist step to show the world that sincere and honest voices against modern day slavery do exist in Congress, and are willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

As for Secretary Mont, we suggest, kind sir, that you consider the age-old entrepreneurial adage, and either "lead, follow, or get out of the way" of progress.

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

Víctimas del tráfico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas en América Latina

De esa cifra, más de 500 mil casos ocurren en México, señalan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

Saltillo, Coahuila state - Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, the director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American / Caribbean regional office, announced this past Monday that more than five million women and girls are currently victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During a forum on successful treatment approaches for trafficking victims held by the Women's Institute of Coahuila, Ulloa Ziaurriz stated that 500,000 of these cases exist in Mexico, where women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography and the illegal harvesting of human organs.

Ulloa Ziaurriz said that human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, a fact that has given rise to the existence of a very large number of trafficking networks who operate with the complicity of both [corrupt] government officials and business owners.

Mexico is a country of origin, transit and also destination for trafficked persons. Of 500,000 victims in Mexico, 87% are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.

Ulloa Ziaurriz pointed out that locally in Coahuila state, the nation's human trafficking problem shows up in the form of child prostitution in cities such as Ciudad Acuña as well as other population centers along Mexico's border with the United States.

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

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


LibertadLatina

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


A child in prostitution in Cancun, Mexico  stands next to a police car with an adult john.

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

Thousands of foreign sex tourists arrive in Cancun daily from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the intention of having sex with children, according to a short documentary film by a local NGO (see below link). Police and prosecutors refuse to criminalize this activity.

This grotesque business model, that of engaging in child sex tourism, exists along Mexico's entire northern border with the U.S., along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala [and Belize], and in tourist resorts including Acapulco, Cancun and Veracruz. Thousands of U.S. men cross Mexico's border or fly to tourist resorts each day to have sex with minors.

Unfortunately, Mexico's well heeled criminal sex traffickers have exported the business model of selling children for sex to every major city as well as to many migrant farm labor camps across the U.S.

Human trafficking in the U.S. will never be controlled, despite the passage of more advanced laws and the existence of ongoing improvements to the law enforcement model, until the 500-year-old 'tradition' of sexual slavery in Mexico is brought to an end.

The most influential political factions within the federal and state governments of Mexico show little interest in ending the mass torture and rape of this innocent child population.

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

Our one page flyer about Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva (Microsoft Word 2003)


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

Award-winning anti-child sex trafficking activist, journalist, author and women's center director Lydia Cacho

Muertes por violencia en México podrían ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

Especialistas indagan si asesinatos vinculados con el crimen son una estrategia del Estado, dijo.

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en México en los últimos años, 15 mil en los últimos tres años, podrían formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declaró este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

Deaths from violence in Mexico could be the results of social cleansing: Lydia Cacho

Specialists are investigating whether murders are state strategy, Cacho says.

Madrid. Deaths from violence in Mexico in recent years, including 15,000 during the past three years, could form part of a plan of "social cleansing by the Mexican State," declared Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho in Madrid, Spain on Monday.

"Experts are beginning to investigate at this time in Mexico whether these 15,000 murders are linked to intentional social cleansing by the Mexican State," Cacho said in a press conference in which she denounced human rights violations and persecution of the press in her country.

Since President Felipe Calderón [became president] three years ago, we have been witnessing a growing authoritarianism in Mexico "justified by the war " (on drugs), in which " militari-zation, and harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is increasing danger-ously," stated Cacho.

Cacho was kidnapped [by rogue state police agents] and tortured in Mexico after divulging information about a pedophile ring in which businessmen and politicians were involved.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will determine in an upcoming decision whether Mexican authorities violated the rights of the journalist in that case.

The foundation that bears Cacho's name, created in Madrid a year ago, is organizing a concert to raise funds to help pay for her defense before the IACHR...

Cacho is the author of [the child sex trafficking exposé] The Demons of Eden. In recent years she has received several awards for her work on behalf of human rights carried out through investigative journalism, including the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

Madrid - A muckraking Mexican journalist known for exposes of pedophile rings and child prostitution said on Monday that President Felipe Calderón’s bloody campaign against Mexico’s drug cartels is “not a battle for justice and social peace.”

Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats and judicial persecution for her writings, told a press conference in Madrid that Mexico’s justice system is “impregnated with corruption and impunity.”

Accompanied by the head of the Lydia Cacho Foundation, Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna; and Madrid Press Association President Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja, the author said the nearly three years since Calderón took office have seen increased “authoritarianism” and harassment of journalists and human rights advocates.

The period has also witnessed “15,000 documented killings,” Cacho said, exceeding the carnage in Colombia at the height of that country’s drug wars.

“Specialists are beginning to investigate if those 15,000 killings are linked with intentional social cleansing on the part of the Mexican state,” she said.

Calderón, she noted, “insists on saying that many of those deaths are collateral effects and that the rest are criminals who kill one another.”

“It is a war among the powerful and not a battle for justice and social peace,” she said of the military-led effort against drug cartels, which has drawn widespread criticism for human rights abuses.

Cacho also lamented “self-censorship” in the highly concentrated Mexican media, saying that many outlets color their reporting to avoid trouble with the government and other powerful interests.

A long-time newspaper columnist and crusader for women’s rights, Lydia Cacho became famous thanks to the furor over her 2005 book “Los demonios del Eden” (The Demons of Eden), which exposed wealthy pedophiles and their associates in the Mexican establishment.

In the book, she identified textile magnate Kamel Nacif as a friend and protector of accused pedophile Jean Succar Kuri, who has since been sent back to Mexico from the United States to face charges.

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calderón completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calderón’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calderón’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The Mérida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

Nuestra declaración de 2005 Día Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en día, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as niñas de todas las Américas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al público en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presión popular sobre los funcionarios electos y otros encargados de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de género -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las niñas de las Américas.

¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


LibertadLatina

Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula

Mexico

The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Doméstica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de la Prostitución ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevención de la migración temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

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

(C) NY Times