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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.



OUR REPORTS


All of our reports and commentaries: 1994 to present

About Us

2006 - Migration, Social Reform and Women's Right to Survive

2005 - Defending 'Maria' from Impunity

2003 Slavery Report


ISSUES INDEX

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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

Native Latin America

Native Bolivia

Native Brazil

Native Colombia

Native El Salvador

Native Guatemala -

   Femicide and

   Genocide

Native Mexico

   Acteal Massacre

Native Peru

 

Native United States

Native Canada

African Diaspora

Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

Afro Latin America and the Caribbean

The Crisis Facing Latin American Women and Children

Introduction

Key Facts

HIV-AIDS Issues

About Machismo

Concept of Impunity

More Information

Central America / Mexico Region

Central America

El Salvador

Honduras

México

   Juarez Femicide

Nicaragua

Panama

Caribbean Region

Spanish Speaking

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Puerto Rico

French Speaking

Haiti / Dominica

English Speaking

Jamaica

Trinidad and Tobago

South American Region

Argentina

Brazil 

Columbia

Ecuador

Guyana

Paraguay

Venezuela

Crisis - U.S. Latinas

Crisis: U.S. Latinas

Washington, DC

Workplace Rape

U.S. Rape Cases

Sexual Slavery

Trafficking Overview

The Global Crisis

Latin American

   Sexual Slavery

U.S. Latina Slavery

Latina Child Sex

   Slavery in San Diego

Worst Cases

Urgent Human Rights Issues in Mexico

Oaxaca

Striking Mexican

   Women Teachers

   are Violently

   Attacked by Police

   in Oaxaca

Atenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

   Rape and Assault

   47 Women at

   Street Protest

Lydia Cacho

Journalist / Activist

   Lydia Cacho is

   Railroaded by the

   Legal Process for

   Exposing Child Sex

   Networks In Mexico

Other Issues

School Exploitation

Forced Sterilization

The Jutiapa, Guate-

   mala Child Porn

   Scandal

The Elio Carrion

   Shooting Case

President Bush's

  Immigration

  Proposal

Other Disasters

The Darfur Genocide

Impact of Hurricanes

  Stan and Wilma

Hurricane Katrina

Other Regions

Africa

Asia / Pacific

Middle East

Europe

Reference

Who's Who

Organizations

Books

Media Articles

 

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


 

Confronting Impunity in the Americas and the World


Today in the United States, Canada, the  Caribbean and Latin America - Latina, Indigenous and African descendant women and children are facing an unparalleled epidemic of severe sexual harassment, rape with impunity and a well financed international criminal industry of forced sexual slavery.   

Responding to quickly changing modern realities,  we must actively defend them and also support the spiritual healing of children, women and men, creating a bright future of dignity, true equality and freedom. 

Literally millions of Latina and Indigenous women and girl children are trapped by criminal sexual exploitation today.    Millions of others are at risk.

Now is the time to act!


Confrontamos a la Impunidad en las Américas

Las mujeres, las niñas (os) Latinos, Indígenas e Afro-Descendientes de las Americas estan frente a una epidemia incomparable del acoso sexual severo, violación con la impunidad y una industria criminal, internacional y bien financiada de la esclavitud sexual forzada.

Respondiendo a estas crecientes realidades, nosotros tenemos la obligación de defenderlas. A la vez, buscamos metas para lograr la curación espiritual de la poblaciòn de nuestras comunidades.  Deseamos crear un futuro brillante lleno de dignidad, igualdad y libertad verdadera.

Literalmente millones de mujeres, y niños Latinos e Indígenas estan atrapados por la explotación sexual criminal hoy. Millónes más viven en alto riesgo de caer en malas manos.

¡Ahora es el momento para tomar acción!


The Worst Case in the U.S.


Latina Child Sex Slavery in San Diego, California 

'Child rape camps' exist with impunity on U.S. soil! 

Our special section on the San Diego Crisis describes one of the largest known child and youth sex trafficking cases in the United States to date.  

In one of several related cases, hundreds of Mexican girls between 7 and 18 were kidnapped or subjected to false romantic entrapment by organized criminal sex trafficking gangs.  Victims were then brought to San Diego County, California.    

Over a 10 year period these girls were raped by hundreds of men per day in more than 2 dozen home based and agricultural camp based brothels.  Minor girls resisting this slavery were brutally beaten.  Some enslaved girls may have been murdered.   

These international criminal child  sex slavery networks continue to exist and operate with impunity despite the important efforts of San Diego, California and federal law enforcement agencies to stop them.   


The San Diego Child Rape Camps:

Centenas de niñas , de 12 a 18 años de edad, originarias de Puebla, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Morelos y Veracruz, han sido secuestradas o engañadas para ser despojadas de todos sus derechos humanos y ser convertidas en esclavas sexuales en los terregales de los campos agrícolas.

Hundreds of girls between the ages of 12 and 18, who were originally from the Mexican states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Morelos y Veracruz, have been kidnapped or tricked, only to be stripped of all of their human rights. They have been sold to be sexual slaves in the farm worker camps of San Diego County, California.


San Diego County, California

"...The first time I went to the [child rape] camps ...It was truly grotesque and unimaginable," recalls Patricia, our fictitious name for a medical doctor who works with government supplied resources, and who for the last five years has been in contact with the Salazar brothers, working to prevent HIV/AIDS and other venereal diseases in these exploited minor girls.

"...When I came here, in one hour I counted that one little girl had been with 35 men, one after the other. (Patricia)

 "...I have seen myself how U.S. INS [the former Immigration and Naturalization Service] agents have sex with these minor girls for free, in exchange for protection.  These agents even enter the houses of prostitution in uniform.  May a lightning-bolt split me in half if I am lying!"  (Patricia).

Read the ground-breaking El Universal News article:

In English  

En Español

  

Street Children from Brazil

What is this issue about?

About Global Trafficking

An estimated 27 million persons are enslaved today on a global level.  Millions of victims are sex slaves.    

Latin American Introduction

Women and children's basic right to the ownership of their own bodies is routinely violated with impunity.  

Latin Indigenous Issues

About five centuries of the deliberate targeting of native women for rape. 

U.S. Indigenous Issues

U.S. indigenous women face 3.5 times the average rate of rape in the U.S.  Some 82% of  assailants are white men.

Latin American Slavery

Mafias and other criminal gangs traffic 100,000 Latina women and girls into sexual slavery each year.     

U.S. Latina Slavery 

An estimated 18,000-20,000  slaves are "imported" yearly.  Many are women and girls from Mexico/Central America.

Latina Child Sex Slavery in San Diego, California

Hundreds of children and youth are forced into 'child rape camps' by traffickers.  

U.S. Latin Communities

Women and girls routinely face impunity in daily community life.    

Abuse in Washington, DC

Daily coercion and rape face Latina immigrant women and underage girls. 

"Violence against women in Washington [DC] takes many ugly forms, including slavery and forced labor."

LibertadLatina.org  examines inadequate local government and criminal justice responses to the crime wave of sexual and physical violence facing Latin American women and children in Washington, DC and nearby Montgomery County, Maryland.

Latina Workplace Rape

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

School Exploitation

Latina and indigenous girls and youth have faced school-based sexual abuse across the Americas for 100 years.

Forced Sexual Sterilization

Indigenous and Latina women and youth have been sterilized against their will by the hundreds of thousands.

Slavery Index

LibertadLatina's Index of  sexual slavery issues.

Exploitation Facing Afro-Latina & Caribbean Women

Afro-Latinas face severe sexism and racism.

JUAREZ FEMICIDE

Remember Them!

GUATEMALA FEMICIDE

Grieving for mom.

During the 1980's indigenous Mayans faced a Cold War genocide.  An estimated 200,000 innocent people were murdered, including 50,000 women. 

Almost all Mayan females of any age were raped.

In the aftermath, today, Guatemala's women and girls confront  over 500 acts of torture/rape/murders per year.  Guatemala's criminal justice system does not investigate, nor does it prosecute these crimes against women and girls.


More Impunity in the Exploitation of Children


In 12 Latin American countries, a rapist can be exonerated if he offers to marry the victim and she accepts. In one country, Costa Rica, he can be exonerated even if she refuses his offer. The family of the victim frequently pressures her to marry the rapist, which they believe restores the family's honor. 

- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


These customs apply even when the victim is 12 to 17 years old.

 

Two Million children are sexually exploited in Latin America

(In English & Español)

Organization of American States - 1998


MISSING

Jacqueline Maria

Jirón Silva

This case provides a rare photograph that reflects the real tragedy facing tens of thousands of children

across the Americas.

Child sex trafficking is

today growing rapidly and

with impunity in every

Latin American nation.

 

Kidnapped at Age 11

Necesitamos ayuda en Chiapas, para ubicar a esta Niña.

Alianza por tus derechos ha recibido informes de que esta niña ha sido vista en Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, un infierno-en-vida donde la mayoria de los 21,000 Centroamericanos forzados a prostituirsen son niñas y niños.

Update - October 31, 2007 -Nicaraguan girl kidnapped into forced prostitution at age 11 in 2004 is now known to be held in Tapachula, Mexico, a hell-on-earth where most of the 21,000 Central Americans prostituted there are enslaved children. 

We need your help to find her!

Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva was constantly moved from brothel to brothel after she was first kidnapped "because she cried so much."

End Impunity Now!


"Society’s silence is the main accomplice in allowing widespread impunity. Latin America and the Caribbean face enormous challenges... The region will have to bring out into the open this increasingly disturbing reality; and it will have to struggle against the high degree to which society tolerates or practices inconceivable forms of aggression against the most vulnerable individuals in society... It is everywhere, among rich and poor -- at home, in school, in the workplace and in the community. Yet... the vast scale of this outrage is still not widely acknowledged, nor even truly understood". 

Former UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy  

International Women’s Day Speech – 1999

 
 

 
   

LibertadLatina

News / Noticias



Updated:Oct. 25, 2011


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

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

The crisis in the Dominican Republic

The crisis in Paraguay - including coverage of the important work of anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez and the unjust retaliatory impeachment that she is now facing



Latest News
Últimas Noticias


Added: Oct. 24, 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. 24, 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 [on a brothel] 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 in 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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


Added: Oct. 12, 2011

Paraguay

Paraguay's anti trafficking prosecutor - Teresa Martínez

La Fiscal Teresa Martínez enfrenta jucio por difamación

Boletín de Prensa

Mexico City - La Fiscal Teresa Martínez es desaforada para ser juzgada por difamación, calumnia e injurias, por defender el caso de una adolescente de 16 años que estaba siendo explotada sexualmente.

La Abogada y fiscal de Paraguay, que desde hace tiempo ha desarrollado un intenso trabajo a favor de las víctimas de trata de personas y de explotación sexual en Paraguay, será enjuiciada como defensora de derechos humanos

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.

El caso de la Abogada Teresa Martínez, fiscal de Paraguay, que desde hace tiempo ha desarrollado un intenso trabajo a favor de las víctimas de trata de personas y de explotación sexual en Paraguay, quien también ha llevado casos en las investigaciones con sus países hermanos de Chile y Argentina en donde se han encontrado casos de trata.

En esta ocasión, Teresa llevaba un caso en el que estaba defendiendo a una chica de 16 años que estaba siendo explotada sexualmente. Por esta razón, le han demandado bajo los cargos de difamación, injurias y calumnias lo que ha llevado a su desafuero.

No podemos permitir que defensores que han estado trabajando en la impartición de justicia queden sin protección del estado y que sean incluso encarcelados por cumplir con su deber…

El resultado de su trabajo ha permitido la penalización y desarticulación de grupos dedicados al delito de la traía de personas en Paraguay y países colindantes.

Este desafuero resulta suspicaz ya que interfiere con algunas investigaciones en curso.

Repudiamos este desafuero que obstaculiza el combate a la trata de personas.

Solicitamos se reconsidere el desafuero de la fiscal, teniendo en cuenta la. trayectoria Teresa Martínez en la lucha contra la trata de personas, reconocida a nivel Nacional e Internacional.

Teresa Martínez es punta de flecha en el combate a la trata de personas a nivel Latino-americano, puntal en las operaciones de investigación y persecución para la desarticulación de las bandas delictivas e individuos que comercian con los seres humanos en todas sus modalidades.

Decisiones como ésta, exponen a los defensores de los Derechos Humanos frente a los delincuentes e impiden que puedan ejercer sus funciones como operadores de justicia quedando expuestos a denuncias que buscan evitar la aplicación de la Ley por parte de delincuentes.

Anti trafficking prosecutor faces impeachment for defamation in relation to her work

 Press Release

Mexico City - Paraguayan human trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez will face a lawsuit on charges of defamation, libel and insult as a result of her work to defend a 16-year-old victim of sexual exploitation.

Martínez has a long history of advocating for the rights of human trafficking and sexual exploitation victims in Paraguay.  Her investigations have involved the neighboring nations of Argentina and Chile [which are destinations for trafficked Paraguayan women].

She will be tried for actions taken in her role as a defender of human rights. The trial is set for Sep. 30, 2011.

Martínez was defending a 16 year old girl who was being sexually exploited when a lawsuit was brought against her on charges of defamation, libel and slander.

We cannot allow human rights defenders who have been working in the administration of justice as public employees to remain unprotected, and even risk imprisonment for doing their duty…

Martínez’ [extensive history of advocacy] has led to the and dismantling of human trafficking rings operating in Paraguay and neighboring countries.

The charges being brought against her are suspicious because the trial interferes with certain ongoing investigations.

We condemn this trial as an outrage that hinders the fight against human trafficking.

Teresa Martínez’ work in the fight against trafficking in persons has been recognized nationally and internationally.

We ask that the public good being done by Martínez be considered in this case.

Martínez is the tip of the arrowhead in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking in the Latin America. She has lead investigations and prosecutions aimed dismantling criminal gangs and individuals who engage in all forms of the   trade in human beings.

Decisions like this expose human rights defenders to the whims of criminals who would like to avoid effective application of the law by preventing their targets from exercising their duties as judicial officers.

Myra Rojas

Published on RosiOrozco.com

55112349

0445527382795

Oct. 07, 2011

 See also:

Added: Oct. 12, 2011

Paraguay

Protest sign says, "We simply will not accept the impeachment of Teresa Martínez"

Organismos se manifiestan contra el desafuero a la fiscal Teresa Martínez

Los integrantes de la mesa interinstitucional para la prevención y combate a la trata de personas en el Paraguay solicitaron, a los miembros del Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados, la reconsideración de la postura y las medidas adoptadas con respecto al desafuero de la fiscal Teresa Martínez.

A través de un comunicado, los integrantes de dicha mesa, que incluye tanto al Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Ministerio del Interior, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Ministerio de Salud y la Secretaría de la Niñez y la Adolescencia, solicitaron al jurado que “recapacite”.

La mesa coordinadora aprovechó para hacer un llamado a la opinión pública, a las entidades oficiales y a la sociedad civil a elevar sus voces en contra de procedimientos que buscan inhibir las acciones de profesionales, según manifestaron en un comunicado.

La mesa se reunió para analizar la situación que afecta a la fiscal Martínez, especializada en Trata de Personas y Explotación Sexual Infantil.

En la ocasión, mencionaron el porqué la profesional no puede cesar la labor que actualmente desempeña.

“Teniendo en cuenta que la abogada tiene una lucha contra la trata de personas reconocida a nivel nacional e internacional, además es integrante activa de esta Mesa interinstitucional y coordinadora de la Subcomisión de Investigación y de Legislación, desempeñando un rol fundamental en la investigación de un gran número de casos, actividad ésta que no puede cesar ante el crecimiento y visualización del problema que aqueja a miles de compatriotas en el país y en el exterior”, aseguraron en el escrito.

Finalmente, expresaron que consideran que decisiones como éstas exponen a los operadores de Justicia e impiden que puedan ejercer sus funciones quedando de esta manera expuestos a denuncias que buscan evitar la aplicación de la ley y la protección a las víctimas.

El Jurado de Enjuiciamiento de Magistrados resolvió desaforar a la fiscala, el viernes pasado a pedido del juez Manuel Aguirre, para ser juzgada por difamación, calumnias e injurias.

Agencies speak out against the impeachment trial of anti trafficking prosecutor Teresa Martínez

The members of the inter-agency roundtable for the prevention and combating trafficking in Paraguay asked, members of the Jury for the Prosecution of Magistrates to reconsider their position and measures that have been taken to date with regard to the impeachment of prosecutor Teresa Martínez.

In a press release the members of the inter-agency board asked the jury to reconsider  its position. The Board includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Adolescents.

The board took the opportunity to appeal to the public, to government entities and to civil society to raise their voices against procedures that seek to inhibit the actions of [officers of the Court].

The board met specifically to discuss the situation involving prosecutor Martínez, who specializes in human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

During their session, the Board discussed the reasons why Martínez cannot stop the work that she is now carrying out.

The Board’s press release stated that, "Martínez is waging a fight against human trafficking  that has been recognized nationally and internationally. She is an active member of this Board and its Subcommittee on Research and Legislation. Martínez plays a key role in the investigation of many trafficking cases. This work cannot cease in the face of the growth and growth in this crime, one which affects thousands of  compatriots at home and abroad."

The statement concluded by pointing out that decisions [such as the action to prosecute Martínez] expose [officers of the Court] to to having their work impeded through the use of complaints that have as their actual motive avoidance of the application of the law to protect victims.

The Jury for the Trial of Magistrates decided to impeach Martínez last Friday at the request of Judge Manuel Aguirre. She will be tried for slander, libel and insult.

La Nación

Paraguay

Oct. 03, 2011



Added Oct. 09, 2011

The Indigenous Americas

LibertadLatina

Commentary

 

Chuck Goolsby

A Call to Action

During the past ten years the Libertad Latina project has called attention to the crisis of large scale sexual exploitation and trafficking that continually plagues Latin America, the Caribbean and indigenous and African descendent peoples from across the Americas.

One of our core focus areas has been to highlight the fact that indigenous children and women are uniquely targeted by criminal sex traffickers and rapists within the larger societies that they live in. This occurs in Latin America, the United States and in Canada. The documentary evidence for this proposition may be found in the archives of our publication.

Historically, indigenous children and women have been sexually exploited by men of the dominant society. Those abuses occurred 500 years ago across the Americas, and they occur today.

Within the United States, women and girls from the indigenous population suffer 3.5 times the rate of sexual assaults compared to other groups of women. Some 80% of the perpetrators in those cases are white U.S. men. They often get away with their crimes without being prosecuted.

In Canada, 90% of children in prostitution are of indigenous (first nations) ethnicities, which is a direct result of the condoned sexual abuse of native children at the hands of priests and others in the nation's now-closed mandatory native  boarding school system.

The figures for abuse in Latin America are many times higher, by comparion, given that governments and civil society have no need to hide their continuing racial hostility toward indigenous peoples.

The most highly concentrated waves of atrocities perpetrated against Latin American indigenous women during the modern era have occurred during the past 30 years. They include:

1) six wars in Central America that entangled indigenous communities, leading in the most horrific case to the deaths of 50,000 mostly Mayan women in Guatemala, the orphaning of 200,000 children and the rape of almost all Mayan women and girls of any age during the 1970s and 1980s;

2) Peruvian abuses during the 1990s: former president Alberto Fujimori authorized the  sterilizations of 300,000 indigenous women without their consent - unethical acts that were carried out by medical doctors during childbirth procedures;

3) the present-day mass kidnapping and enslavement of indigenous girls and women, as well as socially condoned domestic and agricultural labor servitude (peonage) with impunity in modern Mexico and Guatemala,

Our project has written essays for years calling for an end to these mass violations of basic human rights.

During our nearly 11 years of existence, we have insisted that the anti trafficking ‘movement’ and government agencies such as the U.S. State Department end the almost deliberate denial of the existence of the mass sex trafficking crisis in Latin America, the Caribbean and in indigenous communities across the Americas.

Only during 2011 have we seen evidence that U.S. government policy and Mexican government action is placing more emphasis on the crisis in the region. We commend the important role that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has played in bringing about that change.

Recently, prominent publications have highlighted concerns raised by activists in Mexico and Central America. The alarm bell has been sounded to warn the world that organized criminal sex traffickers are rapidly accelerating their kidnappings and efforts to entrap indigenous children and youth for the purposes of either prostituting them directly, or to resell them to global sex trafficking networks that will enslave them in Japan, Western Europe or, more recently, the Middle East.

We ask, what has the U.S. State Department’s Office on Trafficking in Persons done to identify and act to stop the human trafficking crisis that affects indigenous women and girls? What have they, or the governments of Mexico and Japan done to investigate the trafficking of thousands of poor, underage indigenous girls from southern Mexico’s heavily indigenous states – to Japan?

From what we can observe, the answer is that nothing at all has been done to address the targeting of indigenous children as a major source of 'raw material' for the global forced prostitution trade.

The anti trafficking movement and government agencies in the U.S. cannot rely only upon the appointment of officials with Spanish surnames, and the engagement of agencies that serve the Latin America immigrant community to ‘handle’ the Latin American human trafficking issue. Dynamics of intra-Latino oppression permeate both the region and the immigrant diaspora. Many Latin Americans who otherwise have the education and required social consciousness to take action against human trafficking also have culturally ingrained prejudices against indigenous (and African descendent) peoples.

These realities are especially problematic in Mexico.

Therefore, we are glad to see Mexican congressional representative and anti trafficking leader Rosi Orozco and Xavier Abreu Sierra, director general of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples - further raise the alarm in an October 8, 2011 article in La Jornada, a Leading Mexico City daily paper, in regard to the crisis facing indigenous victims in Mexico.

We are also encouraged by the efforts of Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, who has shone a constant spotlight on the crisis facing indigenous girls who confront enslavement by sex traffickers.

More must be done. This crisis has become increasingly dire over time.

Indigenous leaders such as Mayan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu, who is also an activist against the sex trafficking of indigenous children in the region, must be allowed to have a prominent place at the table of deliberations on the subject.

Multi-billion dollar drug cartels seek to diversify their earnings by engaging in the mass kidnapping and sex trafficking of poor Mexican girls and young women. They need large numbers of victims to feed into the wholesale global market for sex slaves. At the end of the day, the most accessible and vulnerable source of victims are young indigenous girls who may not speak Spanish.

Once entrapped, these children are beaten, gang raped, starved, pimped out and then are resold to trafficking operations across Mexico, Central America, the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

We call upon the anti trafficking community and applicable government agencies to bring more focus to this aspect of the global trafficking crisis. We cannot sit by and watch yet another generation of our indigenous children be subjected to this obscene mass gender atrocity.

The government of Mexico must be held to account for its indifference in the face of the mass sex trafficking of indigenous girl children.

The government of Japan must also be held to account for its indifference in the face of the mass sex trafficking of indigenous Mexican girl children to Japan - to become sex slaves and geishas to the tune of several thousand victims.

All who are victims, and all who are at risk deserve the world's attention. Indigenous girl children from the Americas must not continue to be left on the sidelines of that effort.

We the people will hold both government and the NGO community accountable for their inaction to rescue these innocent children from a life of rape, torture and early death.

We are not second class human beings.

Enough is enough.

End this atrocity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Oct. 09, 2011


See also:

Added June 28, 2008

Guatemala, Mexico

Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Rigoberta Menchú denuncia venta de niñas indígenas Centroamérica y México

Rigoberta Menchu denounces the sale of indigenous girl children in Central America and Mexico

Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu denounces the sale of indigenous children into sexual slavery

[Mayan human rights leader] Rigoberta Menchú, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, during a visit to Veracruz, Mexico, has denounced the sale of indigenous girls in Mexico and Central America, in which traditional indigenous marriage customs are perverted by criminal gangs to force underage girls into sexual slavery.

According to information from Prensa Libre, Menchu said that the trade in minors involved organized mafias, doctors, lawyers, legislators and local authorities.

Menchu regretted that the sale of children, mainly girls, occurs with the knowledge of officials within indigenous communities.

Menchu protested the fact that in Guatemala, there is an extensive, underground trade in boys and girls, which authorities find hard to detect.

Menchu stated that many non-governmental organizations have denounced this situation, adding that they are mainly concerned by the fact that families 'sell' girls to older men to become wives. In reality, the girls [typically in the age range of 11 to 13] are resold [to child sex traffickers and pimps] for sexual exploitation. she noted.

The Nobel laureate said that in southeastern Mexico and across Guatemala this practice is common, and asked that the public report these sales of children.

Finally, Menchu announced that the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation has signed an agreement with the Government of Veracruz [Mexico] to perform various prevention measures in rural [indigenous] communities.

- CERIGUA

Guatemalan Human

Rights News

June. 27, 2008


See also:

Added: Dec. 19, 2008

Mexico

Teresa Ulloa

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

Afirma la experta Teresa Ulloa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nadia Altamirano Díaz

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 12, 2008

See also:

El año que "trafiqué" con mujeres

Niñas virgenes de 13 años. Presentadoras famosas que se venden por varios millones de pesetas... Antonio Salas publica en Temas de Hoy una escalofriante investigación sobre la prostitución en España. Publicamos tres extractos

Reporter: The year that I 'trafficked' in women.

An undercover reporter in Spain reports on how he was offered six 13-year-old 'virgin' Mayan indigenous girls who were for sale by sex traffickers.

The sale price in Europe for underage Mayan girls kidnapped from Chiapas state in Mexico is $25,000 each, because they are considered to be 'exotic.'

Antonio Salas and Joan Manuel Baliellas

Crónica

Feb. 29, 2004


Added Oct. 08, 2011
Mexico

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

Indigenous girls in Mexico are constantly under threat from local and global sex traffickers and sxex tourists

En México, 45% de las víctimas de trata son niñas indígenas: legisladores

México, DF. En México “45 por ciento” de las víctimas de la trata son niñas indígenas dieron a conocer, Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas y Xavier Abreu Sierra, director general de la Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI), quienes expresaron la urgencia de contar con una ley general que combata este crimen que arrebata la infancia a más de 20 mil niños mexicanos.

La diputada federal señaló que aunque en 2007 se promulgó la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, existen importantes vacíos que llenar, sobre todo que en las indagatorias no se “revictimice” a las niñas que han sufrido esta situación y se sancione de manera ejemplar también a los clientes. Recordó que el 13 de julio, Felipe Calderón promulgó un decreto que reforma el artículo 73, lo que faculta al Congreso a expedir una Ley General en la materia.

La legisladora llamó a crear conciencia y advertir a las familias de estos pueblos originarios a no dejarse engañar por los tratantes, pues las formas para enganchar a las menores no sólo son múltiples, sino que muy efectivas”.

Officials: Some 45% of trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous girls

Indigenous peoples represent 15-to-30% of Mexico's population

Mexico City - In Mexico, "45 percent" of the victims of trafficking are indigenous girls, declared federal congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Xavier Abreu Sierra, director general of the National Commission for Development Indigenous Peoples (CDI). They expressed an urgent need for the passage of a comprehensive law to combat human trafficking, a crime that robs [the freedom of] more than 20,000 Mexican children.

Deputy Orozco noted that despite the fact that the [ineffective] Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons was passed in 2007, there are important gaps ]in criminal law] that must be filled, especially in regard to structuring investigations so that they do not "re-victimize" girls who have experienced being trafficked. Johns should also be punished, she added. Orozco recalled that on July 13th of 2011 President Felipe Calderón issued a decree amending Article 73 of the constitution, which empowers Congress to issue a general law addressing human trafficking.

Orozco called for creating awareness about trafficking and warning families not to be fooled by the traffickers, because techniques used by traffickers to entrap children are not only many in number, but they are also very effective."

Carolina Gómez Mena

La Jornada

Oct, 08, 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

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia Pérez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking ...is... big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.