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

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


 

 

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


Confronting Impunity in the Americas


Today in the United States, Canada and Latin America - Latina and Indigenous 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.

 

Our effective efforts to defend them now are critical to saving their very lives.

Indigenous Peruvians

 
 

Major Issues Index

About Global Trafficking

An estimated 24 million persons are enslaved today on a global level.  About 2 million are sex slaves.

Latin American Introduction

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

Latin Indigenous Issues

Five centuries of the deliberate targeting of native women for rape.

U.S. Indigenous Issues

U.S. indigenous women face 3.5 times rate of rape of other women in the United States. 

Latin American Slavery

Mafias and gangs traffic 100,000 Latina women and girls each year.

U.S. Latina Slavery

U.S. CIA - An estimated 15,000 Latina Slaves are "imported" yearly.

Latina Child Sex Slavery Crisis in San Diego, CA

Hundreds forced into 'child rape camps' in U.S. by Mexican traffickers

 

(Added January 29, 2004)

Slavery Happens Here
 

Criminal sex trafficking networks have sent enslaved Latina women and youth from New York City to Washington, DC. for over a decade.

 

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

U.S. Latin Communities

Women and girls face impunity in daily community life.

Abuse in Washington, DC

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

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' - throughout the Americas.

School Exploitation Latina and indigenous girls and youth have faced school-based sexual abuse across the Americas.

Forced Sexual Sterilization Indigenous and Latina women and youth have been sterilized against their will by the hundreds of thousands in Canada, the United States and across Latin America.

 

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS

Fall 2004

 

Washington, DC USA

LibertadLatina.org 

examines inadequate local government & criminal justice responses  to anti-Latina sexual & 

physical violence in 

Washington, DC. & Montgomery County,

Maryland

 

 

 

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:

"...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 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 groundbreaking El Universal News  Article: (In English  (En Español)

 

 

Workplace Sexual Assault  in Washington, DC & Across the United States

 

Plaintiffs & Attorneys in a successful anti- Latina sexual harassment case in Arizona

The work of LibertadLatina.org grew out of 2 decades of effort focused on providing Latina and Latina Indigenous women and girls in Montgomery County, Maryland  with advocacy against rape and retaliatory firings (for not giving in to rape) that were and are the daily reality in the low-wage workplace. 

Latina and Indigenous women and girls in the U.S. face an epidemic of rape in their workplaces.  The legal system does not now effectively protect these women and children from criminal sexual assault.

 

 

More on the sexual slavery of Latina women and girls in the U.S.

...Catalina Suarez was 9 years old when a grandfatherly neighbor lured her with a gift, kidnapped her and kept her chained to a bed in a rural Puerto Rico shack, forcing the child to have brutal sex with a succession of men.

It was the beginning of 18 years of sexual slavery throughout Latin America and the United States. By her own account, Suarez should have died several times from drugs, disease, beatings and neglect, but in December the San Francisco resident testified before the United Nations about her ordeal.

"I was always under the influence of some kind of drugs, or I was traumatized by the beatings or the pain or the fear," said Suarez, 36. "I was put into trunks of cars with rats and roaches. I screamed and screamed and screamed. No one would help me." Suarez's testimony comes as officials and watchdog groups confront a booming international trade in women and children as slaves for prostitution. 

 
 
Why is rape legal under the state laws of Oaxaca, Mexico?

In the southern state of Oaxaca ... the ...Oaxacan Women's Institute persuaded the [state]  legislature to pass heavy criminal penalties against a practice known as "rapto" ...a case where a man kidnaps a woman ...with the intent of marrying her or to satisfy his "erotic sexual desire." The new law ...established penalties of at least 10 years...

But in March [2002], the state legislature reversed itself and again made the practice a minor infraction. A key legislator—a man—argued for the reduction, calling the practice harmless and "romantic."

Human rights groups disagree. They say it is not charming for a man to spot a woman he fancies sitting in a park, pick her up and carry her away to have sex with her. Yet to this day, that is still how some women meet their husbands. 

From: - In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime (c) 2002 The Washington Post

[Note: Few rapes are prosecuted in Mexico, where police and prosecutors are often hostile to victims.]

[Note: "Rapto" is protected under the laws of many Latin American countries, provided that the assailant marries the rape victim, even if the victim is 13 years old.]

 

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)

 

 

A Few Rape Statistics:

In Mexico: A woman is raped every 9 minutes.

In Peru: 75% of all women are raped before their 15th birthday

In Ecuador: 3 out of every 10 children have been sexually abused by the age of 16.

More Statistics from the Center for Rape Victims - Department of Health, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

 
 

Brazil -- 1996 -- Nine Yea

"In the Amazon River basin, girls have been promised jobs as waitresses or cooks in gold mine camps and then [are] beaten or killed if they try to escape from brothels.

In such remote regions, gold mine operators operate like local kings and have been known to authorize "virginity auctions," where new arrivals - some as young as nine years old - are sold to the highest bidder, according to Gilberto Dimenstein, author of Girls of the Night, the first book to document the child sex trade in Brazil." 

 

 
Added January 18, 2003

Hunger, child labor on rise in Central America

Hundreds of thousands of Central Americans face hunger each day, and the numbers are growing, according to international agencies working in the regions.

...The World Food Program (WFP) has issued a hunger alert, calling on governments to provide support for its hunger assistance programs in four Central American countries. In February, the WFP reported that it was providing basic food and nutritional assistance to some 1.5 million people in the region.

...Guatemala and Nicaragua have some of the worst hunger problems in the region, including pockets of famine in some drought- stricken areas.  In Nicaragua the crisis is especially severe in the department of Matagalpa where pregnant women and children under age two are in danger from malnutrition.

...Meanwhile, as hunger and poverty worsen, many countries are cutting back on social services, with a shrinking percentage of social service budgets going towards health, education, and potable water projects.  

...Worst employment crisis in a quarter century

In December, the ILO reported that the region is suffering the worst employment crisis of the past quarter century, "due to economic globalization process"

...Human trafficking also on the rise

The employment crisis in Central and throughout all of Latin America creates other social problems as well. Human trafficking is on the rise, including "forced prostitution, bonded labor and servile marriage," reports IPS.  "The main victims of trafficking are women and children" (IPS, Nov. 22).

...Data from 1999 reported by the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) confirmed that "trafficking in human beings has taken on enormous proportions over the past decade."


Added: 8/23/2004

Central America:

7 Million Persons Live in Hunger.  C.A. Only Region with Growing Rates of Malnutrition in the Americas, Up 3% in Past 10 Years.

 
Added January 6, 2004

Central America, Mexico

More Central American women and girl migrants  are being forced into prostitution in Mexico.

Teenage girls are fleeing the poverty of Central America for the promise of opportunity in the United States only to find themselves stranded in Mexico and forced into prostitution.

...There is a rise in this phenomenon - perhaps 10 to 20 percent last year...

...The "sex servants," as they are known in Mexico, come "from the south and spread out" across the region... ...increasingly younger girls are being exploited, some only 12 years old.

...Ninety percent of them come from Central America, 95 percent of these are undocumented, and half are between 13 and 17 years of age.

 

 
December 31, 2003

United States

 -  UNICEF today named the top five concerns for children in 2004:  

  • Child survival
  • HIV/AIDS
  • War, 
  • Exploitation
  • Insufficient investment [especially in girl children's education]
"Each of these issues alone poses heartbreaking challenges for hundreds of millions of children," said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.  "Together they represent a global imperative to do more for children in 2004."

...[Globally] an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, and 2 million children, mainly girls, are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade.  


See also: Organization of American States - Two Million children are sexually exploited in Latin America (1998) 

(In English y Español)

 

 

Street Children from Brazil


Latest News & Content

Fall 2004


Our site now holds over 400 factual documents.


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Announces Dramatic Increase in Reports of Child Sexual Exploitation - Up 750 Percent in Five Year Period

LibertadLatina comments upon the need for the NCMEC and government to provide equal protection under law for Latin American and indigenous children facing community and commercial sexual exploitation with impunity. 

...The 5, 7, 10, 13 and 16 year old 'Marias' of the United States, facing exploitation and impunity from predators in her home, in her neighborhood, in her school, in her after-school job, and for some, while being trapped in the brothel, deserve as much attention from this nation's law enforcement, judicial officers and advocacy organizations as (the equally deserving cases of) Polly Klass, Megan Kanca and Carlie Brucia.  

The fact that cases as horrendous as those of these three girls occur every day in the United States in silence, targeted against indigenous and Latin American girls and boys by the thousands, should rightly shock the public, the NCMEC and every agency with responsibility for protecting our children...


January 25, 2004

New York Times prints major story on the Mexico-to-U.S. sex trafficking of Latina and European sex slaves.

(And LibertadLatina.org's links to related  facts:)

This story documents the process by which thousands of ( typically 12 year old) Mexican and Central American migrant girls (crossing Mexico to get to the U.S.) are systematic- ally kidnapped, and are then brutalized,  prostituted in Mexico and then trafficked to the U.S. by the thousands, where they are further prostituted, tortured, re-sold and sometimes murdered.

Rarely do police get involved in successfully controlling this criminal impunity.

That must change!!

- LibertadLatina.org

...[There are] dozens of active stash houses and apartments in the New York metropolitan area -- mirroring hundreds more in other major cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago -- where under-age girls and young women from dozens of countries are trafficked and held captive. Most of them -- whether they started out in Eastern Europe or Latin America -- are taken to the United States through Mexico. Some of them have been baited by promises of legitimate jobs and a better life in America; many have been abducted; others have been bought from or abandoned by their impoverished families.

Because of the porousness of the U.S.-Mexico border and the criminal networks that traverse it, the towns and cities along that border have become the main staging area in an illicit and barbaric industry, whose ''products'' are women and girls. On both sides of the border, they are rented out for sex for as little as 15 minutes at a time, dozens of times a day. Sometimes they are sold outright to other traffickers and sex rings, victims and experts say. These sex slaves earn no money, there is nothing voluntary about what they do and if they try to escape they are often beaten and sometimes killed.

...At least 15 major [sex] trafficking organizations and 120 associated factions tracked by the [Mexican federal police] operate as wholesalers: collecting human merchandise and taking orders from safe houses and brothels in the major sex-trafficking hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago. 

Like the Sicilian Mafia, Los Lenones are based on family hierarchies, Caballero explained. The father controls the organization and the money, while the sons and their male cousins hunt, kidnap and entrap victims. The boys leave school at 12 and are given one or two girls their age to rape and pimp out to begin their training, which emphasizes the arts of kidnapping and seduction. Throughout the rural and suburban towns from southern Mexico to the U.S. border, along what traffickers call the Via Lactea, or Milky Way, the agents of Los Lenones troll the bus stations and factories and school dances where under-age girls gather, work and socialize.

[ And referring to the San Diego Child Rape Camp Crisis covered on LibertadLatina.org: ]

 ...A local health care worker [A Latina medical doctor] had heard rumors about Mexican immigrants using the reeds for sex and... found more than 400 men and 50 young women between 12 and 15 dressed in tight clothing and high heels. There was a separate group of a dozen girls no more than 11 or 12 wearing white communion dresses. ''The girls huddled in a circle for protection,'' [San Diego sheriff Rick] Castro told me, ''and had big eyes like terrified deer.''

Why does the crisis of the San Diego child rape camps continue over 10 years after first coming to the attention of local law enforcement?  Why?


President Bush and Governor Swartzenegger: (Please)... Shut down the child rape camps of San Diego, California now!


When will we publicly hear the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a federally funded agency, stand up and advocate publicly for trafficked children?

Soon, we hope.


Thank you, New York Times, for highlighting this story after recently making the following related point:

January 9, 2004

Editorial: Governments in the Americas [including the U.S.] have not focused enough attention on [especially Latina American] human trafficking.  


.
Added January 29, 2004

January 25, 2004

Desperate bid to save kids who sell sex

The [New York] mayor's office is finally addressing the scandal of teen prostitution, and it can't happen fast enough for the youngest victims of the oldest profession.

 

 
January 25, 2004

The international Spanish language television network Univision reported today that police in New York City have broken up a Latin American immigrant based sexual slavery prostitution house.  Five traffickers were arrested and 4 victims were freed.

 

 
January 23, 2004

The Univision Spanish language television network news reported the rescue by police in Arizona of 48 Latin American migrants who were locked in a coyote's suburban house.  Five coyotes were arrested.  The accused demanded ransom above the agreed price to cross the migrants from Mexico into the U.S.  The coyotes are also accused of sexually assaulting the female migrants in the enslaved group. 

 

 

January 23, 2004 

NBC News Dateline presented: "Children for Sale."  NBC undercover crews investigated rampant child prostitution and western sex tourism in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.

This program featured the work of the International Justice Mission, a faith- based activist organization.

Thank you for having presented these important facts about human slavery.

We at LibertadLatina encourage NBC Dateline and the International Justice Mission to take a close look at the tragedy of rampant child and adult sex trafficking affecting hundreds of thousands of innocents in the Americas.

While NBC Dateline noted with horror (correctly) the Cambodian government's admission that 30,000 underage girls are forced to survive via prostitution...

...Note the figures for underage child and youth  prostitution in Latin America:

  • Brazil: between 500,000 and two million children each year forced into prostitution.

  • Northeast Argentina: 500,000 girls 16 and under are prostitutes

  • Peru: An estimated 500,000 children

  • According to a study of Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Haiti: 435,000

  • Costa Rica: 30,000

  • Mexico: 16,000 (officially), and 120,000 children were kidnapped never to be seen again in a recent 3 year period. Many victims were sold to child  prostitution & pornography gangs.

  • Organization of American States - Two Million children are sexually exploited in Latin America (In English y Español)

  • Our special section on the San Diego Crisis covers child prostitution 'camps' on U.S. soil where hundreds of Mexican girls as young as 7 have been kidnapped, prostituted, tortured and, in some cases, murdered.

  • Across Latin America, according to Sir Bruce Harris, 40 million street children exist.  Most of these children survive in- part through prostitution.

Remember also 

these victims, ye

non-governmental

organizations & 

members of 

the press!

LibertadLatina.org

Note that the figures for Latin America alone are well over two million children forced into prostitution - well above 

the two million global 

victim figure for all 

women and children 

that is commonly 

quoted.

 

 
Added: January 25, 2004

January 20, 2004

A group seeking to help migrant farm workers vulnerable to slavery is educating immigrants in Arizona.

 

 
January 20, 2004

Outrageous Florida-based pedophile travel agency advertises gay sex tours to Costa Rica, tours offer 14 year old male victims.

 

 
Added January 20, 2004

Palm Beach Post [Florida] Special Reports on Immigrant Exploitation

1) Guatemalan woman smuggled to Florida, kept as personal sex slave.

2) Sex slavery, rape await defenseless. 

Among immigrant women, many sexual assault victims never report it.  Immigration might get called.

...Vega, who works for Catholic Charities, said the girl was still a teenager when she was brought across into Texas by a coyote. She said he kidnapped her, had sex with her every day for two or three weeks, then beat her up and threw her out.

She ended up in a hospital and was so badly beaten the doctors were forced to remove her womb...

 

 

January 7, 2004

U.S. President George W. Bush proposes landmark immigration reform

Complete text of President Bush's radio speech

"...Some  [undocumented workers] have risked their lives in dangerous desert border crossings, or entrusted their lives to the brutal rings of heartless human smugglers. Workers who seek only to earn a living end up in the shadows of American life -- fearful, often abused and exploited. When they are victimized by crime, they are afraid to call the police, or seek recourse in the legal system."

"...[temporary workers will be able to] talk openly to authorities, to report crimes when they are harmed, without the fear of being deported."

While the true fairness of his plan has yet to be seen... Thank you President Bush for giving global coverage and mainstream respect to the plight of Latin@s and other  immigrants who face the severe crime & workplace exploitation issues that we struggle daily to document, organize against and overcome.

We encourage law enforcement and the judiciary across the U.S. to follow the President's leadership and provide real and equal assistance to victims, ending the  crisis in immigrant victimization with impunity and tepid local government response to that ongoing emergency.

- LibertadLatina.org

(Additional commentary)

 

 

See our News Archives

News & Events of: 2004
News & Events of: 2003
News & Events of: 2002
News & Events of: 2001

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WHAT'S NEW INDEX!   

SITE MAP

A listing of all content at LL.org   

OVERVIEW

A description of LibertadLatina.org

WORST CASES

Crisis hot-spots in the Americas

LATIN SLAVERY

Overview of Latin Trafficking

U.S SLAVERY

Sexual slavery of U.S. Latinas

SAN DIEGO

The worst U.S. slavery  case

WORKPLACE RAPE

Rape as a daily reality for Latinas.

 

¡Feliz Dia Internacional de la Mujer! 

Happy International Women's Day!   

March 8, 2004

 

 
 

 

 

 
 
     

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Updated: May 20, 2010


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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



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Added: May. 20, 2010

Peru

90% de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas

Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron embarazadas producto de violación, frecuentemente por incesto.

Estos datos brindados por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las causas y los efectos de esta realidad.

La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP), coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal, no será posible realizar un real cambio de los problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la comisión estudia la legislación comparada de otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia familiar...

Ninety percent of young adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape

Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant due to rape, often in situations of incest.

These statistics, provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed  in the Congress of the Republic by the Special Commission to Revise the Law of Protection Against Family Violence. Their goal is to understand the causes and effects of this reality.

Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who is the coordinator of the commission, said that without [congressional] funding, it would be impossible to bring about real changes in the problem of family violence that exists in the country. She added that the lack of qualified personnel, specialized judges and resources for training teachers to develop relevant content for students all hinder the fight against domestic violence.

In regard to punishing rapists, the commission is examining the laws of others nations. Commission members note that under the penal codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to mention Mexico and other Latin American nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age 12] can go free if he proposes to marry his victim and she consents.

To Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela Ramos Movimient, these statistics demonstrate that work should begin immediately on this issue, especially in school and family settings, so that victims know what to do if they are raped.

According to PAHO's study, 33% of women between 16 and 49 have been victims of sexual harassment, and at least 45% have been threatened, insulted or have had their personal property destroyed.

Diario la Primera Peru

May 19, 2010

See also:

Young adolescent mothers learn to love and care for their children at the Chuka Chuka center.

In Peru it is not uncommon for women to raise 5 or more children., each with a different biological father. What is also common is for the mother’s latest companion to rape the eldest daughters, often resulting in pregnancy.

One expects a reaction from the mother, but not the sort of reaction that is so evident here in Peru. As a result of the rape the mother feels shamed and jealous and abandons her own daughter who is often without the comfort of additional family members for support and understanding.

These abandoned, pregnant, adolescent rape victims (‘adolescents’), often only thirteen or fourteen years old face a dull future. They are without money; support; homes and job prospects. Most worrying of all, they are carrying an unborn baby, who will enter a world where education will not be available to them and their options for a self-sustainable life non-existent.

It is not uncommon for such desperate girls to drift into the sex trade and drugs; further blighting their lives and potential to contribute to society

Our mission: To save as many of these girls and their unborn children as we can, to prepare them for and steer them into a richer more productive life than they could have known without this project.

Chuka Chuka

See also:

Adolescent prostitution in Lima, Peru

Video news report from Peru showing underage prostitution in the capital city of Lima. Young sex workers are shown sniffing glue, caring for their toddlers in the prostitution zone late at night, and negotiating with johns for the going price of 20 Soles (US$7.00).

(In Spanish)

ATV

Posted on YouTube


Added: May. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Slain Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson

Businessman sentenced for harboring illegal alien cop-killer

A Houston, Texas landscaping business owner was sentenced to three months in prison and three months home confinement for harboring the illegal alien who molested a child and ultimately killed a Houston police officer in 2006, according to a report obtained yesterday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Houston Police Department.

Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, and now a convicted felon, was also sentenced to a five-year probationary term with special conditions by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore. Camp pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, admitting that he knowingly harbored Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez (Quintero), an illegal alien, by employing him and leasing a residence to him.

According to court documents, Camp employed Quintero in his landscape business. When Quintero was arrested and charged by the State of Texas with indecency with a child in 1998, Camp bonded Quintero out of jail and continued to employ him. Quintero was sentenced to a term of deferred adjudication for the state offense.

Quintero was deported in 1999, but illegally reentered the United States in Arizona, then flew to Houston. When Quintero returned to Houston, he resumed his employment with Camp. Camp also rented Quintero a home and listed Quintero's wife, a U.S. citizen, in government records as an employee instead of Quintero.

On Sept. 22, 2006, Quintero was arrested while driving a Camp company vehicle by Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson. While sitting in the back seat of Officer Johnson's patrol car, Quintero retrieved a pistol hidden on his person, and shot and killed Officer Johnson. Quintero was convicted of capital murder in the 248th District Court of Harris County, Texas, and has been sentenced to life in prison.

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

The Examiner

May 12, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Issues that may not (but should) be discussed  during Mexican President Felipe Calderón's May 19-20, 2010 visit to Washington, DC

The May 19-20, 2010 visit of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to the White House is being closely watched in regard to how the U.S. will react to Calderón's speech before Congress. We know that the war against drug cartels and immigration are top on the agenda.

The issue of mass gender atrocities facilitated by state corruption, complacency and criminal impunity are also critical issues in U.S. / Mexican relations. While these topics are rarely discussed in the mainstream English-language press, holding Mexico's federal government accountable for defending the lives, integrity and dignity of women and girls is just as important as addressing the drug war and immigration. In fact, we believe that the U.S. press needs to step up to the plate and ask both President Calderón and President Obama about their commitment to saving women and girls from mass kidnapping, mass rape and wholesale enslavement, which are crimes that impact tens of thousands of women and children each year in the Aztec Nation.

President Calderón took a major positive step on April 14, 2010 by launching the world's first nationally sponsored instance of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Yet a day later, Calderón's diplomats derided, in front of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the rape complaint of indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega, who had been gang raped by soldiers in 2002, with no effective response from the Mexican civilian and military criminal justice systems.

We repeat here below our list of some of the most critical gender rights issues that are not being addressed by the Calderón administration.

**

During the past several years LibertadLatina has dedicated its efforts to bringing world attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and enslavement of women, children and men that occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico.

According to the Southern Cone (southern South American) office of the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in annual profits created by the human slavery industry globally are generated in Latin America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal marketplace for worldwide slavery victims has never been responded to by the  engagement of 50% of the global anti-trafficking movement's energy, resources or focus.

That lack of attention, together with the willingness of past U.S. administrations to effectively ignore Latin America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow exponentially in the region while the world effectively looked the other way in apathy.

Mexico is home base for the largest problems in Latin American human trafficking.

We have decided to focus on the crisis in Mexico because solving that one single national emergency will have the most positive impact on the entire regional crisis.

In the United States, 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border into the U.S.

The population of Mexico (and especially its poor and vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer immensely from modern slavery. In addition, Central American migrants are kidnapped, raped and trafficked by the many thousands as they cross Mexico. Some are also murdered.

Southern Mexico's narrow border with Guatemala and Belize is the one 'bottleneck' where literally millions of South and Central American migrants who seek to travel to the United States must cross into Mexico. Human traffickers and also rapist thugs and robbers await these innocent migrants like trolls under a bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls among these migrants every single day of the year with complete impunity on the Mexican side of its southern border, with no discernable response from Mexican officials and authorities. In fact, police and military forces have harassed migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a 6 month period, according to a study by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission). A number of those victims are sold into slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

The NGO Save the Children has described the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region in the entire world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The city of Tapachula, for example, has 20,000 persons engaging in prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels. Half of that number are children and underage youth at any given time. Local police don't interfere with this 'business,' they focus on keeping child prostitutes away from schools and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Across Mexico, women, and especially those from Mexico's traditionally discriminated against Indigenous peoples, who are 30% of the population, are also raped with impunity. The perpetrators are not only criminal thugs, but also military soldiers engaged in the drug war. President Calderón has steadfastly denied that any problem exists with military rapes of civilians, and he has refused to allow accused soldiers to be tried in civilian courts.

On April 15, 2010, one day after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign, President Calderón sent his federal lawyers to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to fight against Inés Fernández Ortega, an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by soldiers in her home in 2002. The government lawyers denied that any rape took place, and blamed the victim for the lack of justice (an assertion that women's rights activists in Mexico are repulsed by).

Fernández Ortega, her family and her lawyers have faced intimidation and death threats. Her brother, a witness in her case, was murdered shortly after she began her now 8 year effort to find justice in her case.

For Inés Fernández Ortega and many other women victims of criminal impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has become the venue of last resort after having faced institutional injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and uncaring government response to their plight.

During the 500 year period since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Indigenous women have been easy target for rapists and human traffickers. We who are Indigenous know this history inside out, no matter what corner of the Americas we hail from.

What is an abomination in today's world is the fact that in Mexico and across much of Latin America, Indigenous women and girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized with the implied consent of national governments. By extension, none of these women can count on the protection of their national governments and local police forces in the face of such gender atrocities.

In Mexico, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage youth have been kidnapped and then sold to the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then transport the victims to Japan, where they are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes. Despite the existence of this story during the past several years, there are no visible signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever lifted a finger to rescue the victims.

In a similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous  girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old. The sale price was $25,000 each, because Indigenous girl children were considered to be "exotic" merchandise.

All of these issues are emergencies that demand your immediate attention, President Calderón. We call upon U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise these important issues with Mexico.

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to defend and rescue them now!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 20, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Jacobo Reyes

Cops: Man Fondled Little Girl While She Slept

Police say the suspect confessed to fondling five other girls and women.

Santa Ana .-- Police have arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom in Santa Ana.

Jacobo Reyes was arrested Monday and is being held without bail, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertanga.

Santa Ana investigators linked him to the crime with DNA evidence, Bertagna said.

Investigators asked Reyes to come in for questioning about the Feb. 11 attack in the 300 block of South Newhope Street.

They arrested him after he confessed to fondling up to five other girls and women ages 11 to 22 as they slept, Bertagna said.

In the Feb. 11 attack, police say Reyes climbed into the girl's bedroom, gaining entry by removing a screen in an unlocked window.

The girl could not describe her attacker because it was too dark, but he left behind genetic material that matched Reyes' DNA, Bertagna said.

Reyes was booked on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not yet charged him.

KTLA News

May 19, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Previously deported illegal alien admits to being serial molester

On Tuesday, police in Santa Ana arrested Roberto Jacobo Reyes, after DNA evidence linked him to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in February. According to police, Reyes entered the girl’s bedroom through an unlocked window.

Under questioning for that crime, Reyes has reportedly admitted to having assaulted at least four other victims, ages 11-22, in the same manner.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the LA Times: “His M.O. was to break into unsecured windows or unsecured doors.“

Reyes is currently being held in the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary, while the Orange County district attorney prepares more charges.

In 2007, Reyes was deported back to Mexico after serving three years in prison for burglary. While in prison, his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault.

In 1998, Reyes was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine.

Past arrests also include charges for peeping and possession of stolen property.

Though an illegal alien with a criminal record, Reyes was working for a landscaping business in Santa Ana at the time of his latest arrest.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New York, USA

Detective Oscar Sandino

NYPD Detective Oscar Sandino charged with demanding sex from women he arrested

A New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective was charged Tuesday with preying on women he arrested - on police property.

The alleged attacks by Detective Oscar Sandino date to 2006 and could land the 13-year veteran behind bars for three years if he's convicted on federal charges.

His lawyer dismissed the accusations as "old news" and questioned the credibility of the women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit.

But federal prosecutors Pamela Chen and Licha Nyiendo said the evidence that Sandino is more perp than protector is "substantial and irrefutable."

"The persistent and repetitive nature of the defendant's misconduct demonstrates that he is a sexual predator," they wrote in court papers.

They say that in August 2006, when he was assigned to the Queens North Narcotics Bureau, he coerced a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her cousin's criminal case.

In February 2008, while arresting a woman and her boyfriend on drug charges, he took the woman into a bedroom and forced her to undress, the feds charge.

When he brought the woman to the 110th Precinct stationhouse for booking, Sandino warned she would lose her children unless she had sex with him, prosecutors say.

Sandino allegedly took the woman into the bathroom, ordered her to pull down her pants and molested her.

"Wow, you have an earring down there," Sandino said to the woman, according to a lawsuit she filed.

The victim reported Sandino to the Internal Affairs Bureau, and investigators gathered text messages, phone records and secretly taped conversations to corroborate the allegations.

In a third attack in September, Sandino allegedly took a handcuffed woman arrested for disorderly conduct into a room at Brooklyn Central Booking and made her bare her breasts.

Sandino, 37, was charged with civil rights violations and released on a $250,000 bond to be co-signed by his estranged wife, who lives in Arizona.

Defense lawyer Peter Brill claimed the Queens district attorney had passed on prosecuting Sandino because the second victim was not credible.

John Marzulli

New York Daily News

May 18, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Juan Gonzalez

Children, Youth and Families Department will report immigrant status of criminals

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department will start reporting violent juvenile criminals who are foreign nationals to immigration authorities.

Governor Bill Richardson ordered the change after Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque fitness club earlier in May.

Gonzales has been in trouble for sex crimes twice in the past, before he turned 18. In both those cases, CYFD never told authorities Gonzales was in the country illegally.

Taryn Bianchin

KOB.com

May 18, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Man accused of molesting girl at gym faces judge

The man accused of molesting a young girl at a Midtown Albuquerque fitness club was in court on Thursday.

Twenty-year-old Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, appeared before a judge on sex assault charges.

Police say Gonzalez pinned a six-year-old girl against a wall at the Midtown Sports and Wellness near Carlisle and Menaul and began touching her sexually.

Police say Gonzalez told them he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he has a problem.

Charlie Pabst

KOB.com

May 06, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Man accused of molesting 14-year-old girl is illegal alien

Bethlehem police said a 23-year-old man who allegedly had sex with a then 14-year-old girl is from Guatemala and illegally in the country. Ivan Antonio Alvarez-Lopez, who last lived in New Jersey, met the girl, who is now pregnant with his child, according to police, through a mutual friend in September. The two talked on the phone until allegedly meeting in December at the Comfort Suites in South Side Bethlehem.

Police allege the two met there four times and had unprotected sex. Alvarez-Lopez knew the girl was 14, police said, and she knew he was from Guatemala.

Alvarez-Lopez was charged with sex crimes and referred to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

JD Malone

Lehigh Valley Live

May 13, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Border Patrol Agents Capture Three Sex Offenders in One Day

Calexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector apprehended three illegal aliens Wednesday who are convicted sex offenders.

One of the men was apprehended in the morning by agents from the El Centro station. Record checks revealed the man had previously been convicted of assault to commit rape and sex with a minor.

The other two men were apprehended in the afternoon, along with four other illegal aliens, near the downtown Calexico port of entry. Record checks revealed that one of the men had a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and that the other man had been convicted of sexual assault of a child.

All three men will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.

Tribune Weekly Chronicle

May 05, 2010


Added: May. 20, 2010

Virginia, USA

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say Arlington police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman behind a restaurant on May 14.

A woman was walking behind a restaurant in the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard around 10:50 pm when a man grabbed her from behind, police said in a Tuesday press release. He held her arm and sexually assaulted her with his other hand, according to police, then fled on foot after the woman fought back.

The suspect was described as a "white Hispanic male" who was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall with a medium build, police said. He was wearing a white chef's style jacket and dark pants.

The attack was similar to another one that took place on May 8 in the 1800 block of N. Scott St., police said.

Police ask anyone with information about these attacks to call Detective Robert Icolari at (703) 228-4240 or e-mail him. They can also call the county's tip line at (703) 228-4242 or Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

David P. Marino-Nachison

The Washington Post

May 19, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican President Felipe Calderón will address the Congress of the United States on Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mexico's Calderon Needs to Listen, Not Just Lecture U.S.

Nine years have passed since a Mexican President last addressed the U.S. Congress. That was Vicente Fox, just days before 9/11, after which Al Qaeda's horrors all but erased Mexico from Washington's foreign policy radar. But, surprise, our southern neighbor's problems refused to go away. While we were fighting off an Iraqi insurgency, Mexico's drug war morphed into a ghastly narco-insurgency that threatens to spill over the Rio Grande. While we were dropping the ball on immigration reform, Mexico kept pouring undocumented workers into the U.S...

What's still missing is a real sense that Calderon takes seriously enough the only real long-term solution to Mexico's drug war: police reform. "Calderon has taken some positive steps to improve federal police," says Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, director of the U.S.-Mexico Studies Center at the University of California-San Diego. "But Mexico still doesn't have real investigative police forces." And in Mexico, where most cops moonlight for the cartels, the narcos seem more spooked by the prospect of more professional police than by the presence of more soldiers. Last month I interviewed the police director of Calderon's home state of Michoacan, who had just announced stricter recruitment criteria for cops. A week later her SUV was attacked by narco-hitmen with assault rifles and grenades. Miraculously, she survived, but her two bodyguards - who had watched the door during our interview - were killed.

Calderon also needs to prioritize another longer-lasting weapon: anti-poverty programs that give younger and poorer Mexicans economic opportunities beyond joining drug gangs. Mexicans in hard hit areas like Juarez are giving him an earful in that regard these days, and so should the U.S. - not just because it might blunt narco-recruiting, but because more social development efforts south of the border also mean fewer indocumentados crossing north of it. Immigration is as much foreign policy as it is domestic policy, and the U.S. has got to push both itself and Mexico's political class to do more to stanch the flow of illegals at the source, inside Mexico, instead of only at the border...

Given how feckless U.S. immigration reform efforts usually turn out to be, it seems all the more urgent that both sides do more to promote ways to keep Mexican workers in Mexico, like expanding microcredit programs. Those have proven a boon for small entrepreneurs in impoverished rural states like Oaxaca that are a major source of illegal migrants - and they'd be even more effective, Obama should remind Calderon, if Mexico didn't allow microlenders to charge interest rates that top an outrageous 70%, twice the world microfinance average...

That lack of meaningful competition, as well as an overreliance on the U.S market, is one reason the recession has hit Mexico's economy (which shrank about 7% last year) perhaps harder than any other in Latin America. And that doesn't bode well for the wars against drug traffickers and migrant smugglers. The most salient point Calderon will make to Congress is that the U.S. and Mexico are in this together. That means Washington needs to drop its insensitive disregard for problems south of the border - and Mexico City needs to drop its hypersensitive obsession with tossing blame for those headaches north of the border. If they do, they'll have something genuinely worthy to toast at the White House.

Tim Padgett

Time Magazine

May. 18, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Texas, USA

Eugenio Alejandro

Man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old in his home

A 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at his home. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl slept over at Eugenio Alejandro's house on the 200 block of E. Huebinger in Marion for a slumber party, when she woke up to him "penetrating her" with his hands.

"Oh sick!," exclaimed neighbor Gordon Dambow. "She's an innocent child, what could they do? A grown man, my goodness, picking on the innocent."

"A couple of nights in a row, there were a bunch of kids over," explained Cody Bodeau, who lives just across the street from Alejandro. "Every other night there were a bunch of kids and we were wondering why they were all there, and he'd be outside talking to them and hanging out with them."

Alejandro worked closely with children as a volunteer of the Marion Softball Pony League as an assistant coach. The League didn't want to talk to News 4 WOAI since they say they did not organize the slumber party, but say the allegations are a "complete shock".

"No one should ever harm a child," says resident Kathleen Beierly.

Marion is a town of a little more than a thousand residents, where many people know each other by name.

"It's bad because we're good people, and we love our children," added Beierly.

News 4 WOAI also did a background check of Eugenio Alejandro. Three years ago, he was arrested for domestic violence, and has also served time for a DUI, a DWI, and theft dating back almost 20 years.

He bonded out Tuesday, and still faces one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first degree felony.

Janet Kwak

WOAI - San Antonio

April 15, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect sought in sex assault on 11-year-old

Indianapolis - An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a man assaulted her in a west side apartment building. It happened in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive.

"My daughter will not be out," said one resident after hearing the news.

There's fear among parents living at Heather Ridge Apartments on the city's west side.

"There's no safe place anywhere, anymore," said Adam Bennett, a visitor.

Parents say this place seems even less safe after police say a man sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building Thursday around 6:30 pm.

"Pretty scary situation, especially an 11-year-old, and this individual has a hand gun and basically points it to her head and sexually assaults her," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, IMPD.

It happened inside a common area of the building where anyone could have come through.

"I heard about it on the radio and I immediately called my daughter and told her to be careful at the bus stop, to stand with the other girls. To not stand alone," said a worried mother.

Police say they're concerned, and that this is the type of crime where the suspect could strike again.

"He's probably done this before," said Lt. Duhamell. "We need to get this guy off the street right away."

Police say the man spoke in Spanish during the attack. Police describe their suspect as Hispanic, between the ages of 20 and 30, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds...

Police say a sketch of the suspect may be available in the next few days.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

WTHR

May 13, 20100


Added: May. 19, 2010

Florida, USA

Woman Escapes Attempted Kidnapping

Orlando police are searching for the man who tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman while she was walking on a trail near the Mall at Millenia.

The woman told police she was walking along the trail near 4850 Millenia Blvd. around 8 p.m. Sunday when a Hispanic man grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward some bushes.

The victim was able to escape and suffered only minor scratches, police said...

Meanwhile, police are still searching for a man who raped a woman in front of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando early Friday morning.

WKMG

May 17, 2010


Added: May. 19, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 6 - 12, 2010

Excerpt

May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sheffield, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child in the state of Tennessee, indecent liberties with a child in the state of North Carolina, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 12, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Arizona, USA

Karley Saucedo

Suspects: Jose Luna Valenzuela (left), Oscar Grijalva and Sergio Castaneda

Police rescue Phoenix woman kidnapped during home invasion

A 22-year-old Phoenix woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion has been freed from her captors.

Police said the suspects were armed with handguns and demanded drugs and money when they forced their way into a home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road on May 5. When they didn't get what they wanted, they took Karley Saucedo and an SUV and left.

Following a week of negotiations and surveillance, Phoenix police officers and detectives were able to free Saucedo from a home near Baseline Road and 47th Avenue.

Saucedo, who has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old, is back with her family. She reportedly was not injured.

Six people have been arrested on charges including kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and vehicle theft. They have been identified as Oscar Grijalva, 18; Sergio Castaneda, 17; Jose Luna-Valenzuela, 22; Hilda Gutierrez, 29; Carlos Aguilar, 28; and a 17-year-old boy, who was booked into Juvenile Corrections.

"This was a sophisticated group of naturalized citizens and illegal aliens who chose to prey on vulnerable victims for monetary gain," Phoenix police Detective James Holmes said.

Jennifer Thomas

Fox 11

May 14, 2010

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 5, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

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

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

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

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

Gordon expressed urgent concern about the state of immigration law in the United States. He believes that immediate action is necessary to reform immigration policy and assist burdened local police. "I couldn't and wouldn't stay silent any longer, not only because of the economic costs, but also because of the cost in human suffering."

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Indiana, USA

Neighbors offer clues in sexual assault of girl, 11

Indianapolis Metro Police are searching for a predator who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint . It happened around 6:30 Thursday night at a west side apartment complex.

The little girl was treated at Riley Hospital for Children and released. Her father told 24-Hour News 8 she was able to give police a detailed description of the attack.

The little girl lives at the Heather Ridge Apartments located in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive. The complex is filled with families with young children...

Police believe the attacker, driving a late-model, red, extended-cab Nissan pickup, asked the girl for directions. Police believe he then followed her inside the building's common area and attacked her.

Police have provided a picture of a truck like the one suspect was driving.

Neighbor Michelle Wells said she had seen the truck before, as had her sister.

A male resident named Nate nodded, saying he'd seen it too...

"They usually will do drive-bys and look around. And then when they see the opportunity, they'll act on it," said IMPD spokesman, Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

Police believe the suspect is a 20 to 30 year old Hispanic man who is 5'6" to 5'9" and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a white stripe, blue jeans, and work boots. He spoke to the little girl only in Spanish.

Police urge residents or anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

Deanna Dewberry

WISH

May 14, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Texas, USA

Accused sexual assault suspect arrested in Temple park

Temple - A man wanted by authorities for an alleged sexual assault was arrested early Friday morning after he was located violating a park curfew.

Rufino Hernandez-Ramirez, 23, of Temple, was stopped by officers around 1 a.m. at Miller Park, located at 1919 North 1st Street, for reportedly violating the park curfew.

The suspect reportedly provided a false name, however, after the officer properly identified Hernandez-Ramirez, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

The alleged assault occurred in June 2008 in Temple.

Hernandez-Ramirez was arrested and transported to the Bell County Jail.

He is charged with Failure to Identify Fugitive Intent Give False Information and Motion to Revoke Probation, along with his initial charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

KXXV

May 14, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

California, USA

Kidnapping, Attempted Assault Reported In Woodland

The Woodland Police Department is searching for a suspect who allegedly kidnapped and attempted to rape a woman in Yolo County.

Authorities said the alleged victim said she was walking on West Street near Buckeye Street on Saturday morning when a man drove up in a newer-model black SUV and asked her for directions. As she spoke with him, he pulled out a gun and ordered the woman into the car, authorities said.

The victim said he drove her into a wooded area near Interstate 5 and County Road 98 and ordered her to remove her clothes. When she resisted, the man attempted to drag her from the car, authorities said, but the victim was able to break free and run to Interstate 5, where she flagged down a car and asked for help.

The victim was not seriously injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s. He is 5'4" to 5'6", weighs about 160 to 180 pounds, with short black hair and a thin mustache. He also reportedly had two silver caps on his front teeth.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800.

CBS 13

May 15, 2010


Added: May 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Men harass girls going to school in York City

York City Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who have been harassing girls on their way to school.

Lt. Tim Utley, who supervises the detective bureau, said there have been three such incidents reported in the past several weeks. The girls were on their way to William Penn Senior High School and were in the area of the 500 block of South Duke Street when they were harassed, he said.

The two men are in a newer-model gray sedan, Utley said; they are Hispanic, in their 30s and, in the latest incident, were wearing black T-shirts and black hats.

Anyone with information on their identities is urged to call city police at 846-1234, or the department’s anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204.

Elizabeth Evans

York Dispatch

May 14, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

The United States / The World

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Conference on Human Trafficking

Arlington, Virginia - ...For today’s Justice Department, our work to pursue human trafficking investigations and prosecutions and to support those who serve and assist victims is not simply a top priority. It’s also a source of great pride. Much of this work is being led by our Civil Rights Division and its specialized Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. Three years ago, this unit was established to consolidate expertise and to improve coordination between the many critical partners needed to bring traffickers to justice and to protect and empower victims.

In a short time, this unit has achieved remarkable success in increasing both the number and impact of human trafficking prosecutions. It has dismantled organized human trafficking networks operating in multiple jurisdictions and across international borders. And it has achieved justice for many, including undocumented migrants who’ve seen their hopes of a better life destroyed; documented guest workers who’ve been deceived, threatened and frightened into captivity; women and children who’ve been forced into prostitution; and young Americans who’ve been exploited in their own county by traffickers preying on their vulnerabilities. These are extraordinary accomplishments.

But our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit isn’t working alone. It is supported and strengthened by our Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, our Office of International Affairs, our Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, our Office of Justice Programs and its Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the FBI. In addition, the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country are providing critical leadership in bringing human traffickers to justice. Later in this conference, you’ll be hearing from some of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were on the front lines of major human trafficking prosecutions...

Today, some of our most critical partnerships have been established beyond our nation’s borders. We’re working closely with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims’ families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines. A leading example of this is our recent work with Mexico. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated closely with our Mexican counterparts on a bilateral enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling the trafficking networks that operate across our Southwest border. Although this initiative is in its early stages, it has already produced promising results for both countries – including measurable increases in the number of defendants apprehended, cases prosecuted and victims rescued.

The benefits of such international partnerships are clear. By working with our foreign allies, we’ve succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana – some just 10 years old – from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey.

But despite these achievements, there is much more work to be done. Meeting the civil rights challenges of the 21st century will require us to identify new enforcement strategies, to forge new partnerships, and to provide more support for victim service providers. But we should all be encouraged that the global movement to end human trafficking has received unprecedented attention and resources, as well as unprecedented political support...

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Department of Justice

2010 National Conference on Human Trafficking 

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

The United States

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking - Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

The TVPA Decade: Progress and Promise

...Thank you for the invitation to speak at this national conference on human trafficking - an issue I care deeply about.

I also want to thank Attorney General Eric Holder for his leadership on this issue.

Ten years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we are even more committed to the conference's goal of disseminating best practices for prosecuting human trafficking and assisting victims.

The Department of Labor's commitment to fighting human trafficking comes from its long history of working to protect and assist vulnerable workers, some of whom may have been trafficked into forced labor.

As one of my priorities, the Department of Labor is engaged both domestically and internationally to better serve and protect vulnerable workers.

Labor trafficking puts women, children, and men in the most extreme forms of workplace exploitation.

It leads to situations where people are denied not only their wages, but their human rights.

Our efforts to ensure that workers are afforded all of their rights under the law include initiatives that help to combat human trafficking in all of its forms…

Trafficking victims are the most vulnerable workers in this country.

As a state senator in California, I learned first-hand how 72 Thai workers in my own district, worked for seven years in virtual slavery in a sweatshop with boarded up windows and fences covered with razor wire making garments until they were freed by law enforcement - and several hundred Latinos were not paid minimum wage or over-time.

As a member of Congress, I was involved in passing House Resolution condemning the murders of victims of human trafficking and labor abuse in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

These women worked in slave-like conditions and then brutally killed through no fault of their own.

These are the individuals whom we all have a duty to help and protect. This focus on protecting the most vulnerable workers in today's economy is why I have bolstered the enforcement staff in all of my agencies.

I have already added 250 investigators in the Wage and Hour Division alone.

And I'm not done yet!...

Violence in the workplace or trafficking for the sake of monetary gain is unconscionable.

No nation does or should get ahead at the peril of its workers.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Giving Latin America its rightful place at the table in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has come a long way from 1995, when I first toured the DOL Women's Bureau, passed out my 1994 report (see below) and discussed the rampant workplace sexual exploitation of Latin American immigrant women with staff. No Spanish language staff was available for their recently opened hotline at that time.

Approximately 5 years ago, a DOL analyst told me that she used LibertadLatina as a source for her research into Latina workplace exploitation issues.

Around 7 years ago, I gave then Represen-tative Hilda Solis a LibertadLatina business card at a Congressional luncheon on human trafficking, where I also gave around 200 congressional staffers copies of the LibertadLatina newsletter.

At the May 3, 2010 session of the annual federal government  Human Trafficking Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made some of the first official public pronouncements by U.S. Government officials acknowledging that a Latin American component to the global human trafficking crisis exists.

Although prosecutions, and work by State Department Trafficking in Persons director Ambassador Luis CdeBaca prior to his assuming his current post have touched upon the issue of Latin American victims, the U.S. Federal Government has yet to state a clear response to the fact that, as Ambassador CdeBaca noted in a December 2009 interview, some 60% of U.S. human trafficking victims come to the U.S. from Latin America. Most of those enslaved persons were trafficked over the U.S./ Mexican border.

In addition, the United Nations affiliated  International organization for Migration (IOM) in the Southern Cone region of South America estimates that Latin American human trafficking alone generates $16 billion dollars in annual revenues, amounting to an estimated 50% of global trafficking profits.

However we look at the situation, Latin America's crisis of modern day slavery cannot be minimized, nor can it be ignored.

We at LibertadLatina have persistently requested that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama speak out publicly on this issue, especially to demand that Mexico apply the rule of law to the current nationwide environment of lawless impunity that allows mass gender atrocities to occur on an ongoing basis. That is a violent crime wave that has impacts throughout the United States.

The pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca in December of 2009, and the May 3, 2010 statements by Secretary Solis and Attorney General Holder represent a start towards achieving full federal accountability for U.S. responses to the human trafficking crisis that today damages Latin American women, children and men both in Latin America and across the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Keep up the good work!

We will proceed to view progress on this issue from the perspective of "trust, but verify."

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 12/13, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s Case File # 1: The Sexual Exploitation of Latina Women and Girls at Computer Data Systems, Inc.

1992-1994.

* Your tax dollars at work supporting a sexist federal contractor.

* Sexual harassment, quid-pro-quo sexual demands and sexual assault with impunity in the low-wage American workplace.

...The below case relation is completely factual.  The events may seem startling for the average reader, but this case account tells a story that is happening every night in America in many office cleaning jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant and fast-food jobs, retail stores and other low-wage work places.

During… 1995, I presented detailed information about this… case and several equally serious episodes of the severe sexual harassment of Latina workers to… the… U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau's "Low Wage Worker's Conference" in Washington, DC, where the author passed out his 1994 report to Women's Bureau officials and conference participants...

While the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau never responded to the author in regard to his 1994 report, the director of Women's Bureau who followed the 1994 incumbent, Ms. Ida Castro, did make public statements to the press in the late 1990's referring to DOL's recognition of the issue of the exploitation of immigrant women in low wage jobs.

Chuck Goolsby

1995

See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s 1994 report: The Sexual and Economic Exploitation of Latin American Immigrant Women in Montgomery County, Maryland

Chuck Goolsby

March, 1994

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

USA / The World

A girl sits in a windowless garage where she was kept for two years. Purchased at the age of 10, she worked as much as 20 hours per day as domestic help.

Photo: U.S. State Department

Working To End Human Trafficking

"Modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe." "Human trafficking has become big business – generating billions of dollars each year through the entrapment and exploitation of millions," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on May 3rd, at the National Conference on Human Trafficking. "Almost every country in the world is affected, either as a source or destination for victims."

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world, and is second in financial scope only to the sale of illegal drugs. It occurs in every state in the U.S. and every country in the world. It is a global problem, and as such, it demands a global solution.

That is why the U.S. is "partnering with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims' families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines," said Attorney General Holder.

"By working with our foreign allies, we've succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey," said Attorney General Holder.

" We . . . . know that modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe," said Ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "It is a fluid phenomenon, responding to market demands, vulnerabilities in laws, weak penalties, natural disasters, and economic instability.

"No country, including the United States, has attained a sophisticated or truly comprehensive response to this massive, ever-increasing, ever-changing crime. . . . Every country is still learning what trafficking is and what works in response to it . . . . The vast majority of people enslaved today around the world have yet to see any progress.

"We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress," said Ambassador CdeBaca. "Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward."

Voice of America

May 13, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

Mexico

Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (right), with Bety Cariño - February 2010.

Llama ONU a gobierno mexicano a garantizar labor de las y los defensores de DH

“Deteriorada su situación”, condena asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca

La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU), a través de cuatro de sus Relatorías, expresó su preocupación por la deteriorada situación de las y los defensores de derechos humanos en México y condenó firmemente los recientes asesinatos de la defensora Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo y del observador internacional Jyri Antero Jaakkola.

En un comunicado de prensa, difundido por la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, el organismo internacional advirtió que las y los defensores de derechos humanos “enfrentan graves amenazas contra sus vidas a consecuencia de su trabajo”.

El grupo de expertos y experta de la ONU hizo un llamado al gobierno mexicano para “tomar las medidas que sean necesarias para proteger el derecho a la vida y la seguridad de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en el país contra todo tipo de violencia y acción arbitraria que se produzca como consecuencia del ejercicio legítimo de sus actividades.”

Exigen Investigación Pronto e Imparcial

Margaret Sekaggya, Relatora Especial sobre la situación de los Defensores de los Derechos Humanos, manifestó su “profunda preocupación” por el deterioro de la situación de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en México, en especial las mujeres y las personas defensoras que trabajan en temas relacionados con las comunidades indígenas.

Además condenó los hechos ocurridos el 27 de abril en la zona triqui de San Juan Copala, en Oaxaca, cuando una misión de observación de los derechos humanos sufrió una emboscada por parte de paramilitares, lugar donde fue asesinada, Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, defensora y directora del Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS) y donde también murió Jyri Antero Jaakkola...

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 12, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

Mexico

Human rights defenders continue to pay with their lives in Mexico, warn UN experts

Geneva - A group of United Nations independent experts* warned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Mexico, strongly condemning the recent killing of human rights defender Ms. Beatriz Alberta (Bety) Cariño Trujillo and the international observer Mr. Tyri Antero Jaakkola in Oaxaca, south east Mexico.

“Defenders continue to face significant threats to their lives in Mexico as a result of their work,” said Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in the country, including women and human rights defenders working on issues related to indigenous communities.”

On 27 April 2010, Bety Cariño and Tyri Antero Jaakkola were part of a mission to monitor human rights in Oaxaca when they were ambushed by paramilitaries and killed. Several other human rights defenders and journalists suffered injuries. Four other members of the mission, including two journalists of the magazine Contralínea, spent two days in a forest following the attack, before being rescued by the police on 30 April.

“The situation in Mexico is extremely complex and no-one could doubt the gravity of the challenges confronting the Government in its fight against the drug cartels” added Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “But there is no justification for failing to take strong steps when human rights defenders, journalists and others are killed. Human rights must not be permitted to be a casualty in the fight against drugs and crime.” ...

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

May 12, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

Mexico

Puebla state legislators work on drafting human trafficking law

Detallan legisladores apartados de la Ley de Trata de Personas

[Puebla -] Los representantes populares afinaron detalles y pactaron reunirse el próximo 18 de mayo para aportar mayores elementos en el sentido de los criterios de sanciones penales para la construcción de la Ley de Trata de Personas.

Dicha reunión contó con la asistencia de Diputados y personal de la Dirección Jurídica del órgano colegiado, quienes acordaron mantener 14 verbos en la iniciativa, como son: inducir, procurar, promover, reclutar, captar, conseguir, transportar, trasladar, recibir, entregar, entre los que destaca solicitar, facilitar, ofrecer y mantener...

Legislators Develop Details of New Human Trafficking Bill

[Puebla state -] Members of Congress have met to work out details of a new legislative proposal to address the problem of human trafficking. The working group has agreed to reconvene on May 18th to further elaborate the criteria for criminal penalties.

The meeting which was attended by members of the Congressional Chamber of Deputies including specialists in criminal law. The group agreed to maintain language that address 14 terms are pertinent to the bill: induce, procure, promote, recruit, capture, obtain, transport, traffic, receive, deliver, solicit, facilitate, offer and maintain.

The forms used to commit human trafficking crimes were also discussed, and will be expressed as sections of the law related to: deprivation of the freedom, physical violence, moral violence, deceit, abuse authority, taking advantage of a situation of vulnerability, concession, and receipt of payments or benefits.

Puebla Hoy

May 12, 2010


Added: May 13, 2010

Arizona, USA

ICE: Salvadoran kids held in Phoenix

Phoenix - Federal authorities say they have rescued three Salvadoran children who were being held hostage by suspected human smugglers in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Authorities believe the children's parents live in Washington, D.C., and paid $13,000 to have the children smuggled into the country.

They say the children - who range in age from 11 to 15 - arrived in Phoenix in late April and the smugglers refused to release them unless the parents paid an additional $6,500. Once that extra fee was paid, the smugglers then demanded another $7,000 and the parents called authorities.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say the children were left at a business in west Phoenix and appeared to be in good health when they were rescued Tuesday. They say an investigation into the smuggling scheme is continuing.

The Associated Press

May 11th, 2010


Added: May 12, 2010

Costa Rica / Nicaragua

Couple Charged With Slavery Of Their Nicaraguan Domestic Employee

She was sixteen when she came to Costa Rica from her native Nicaragua with the promise of work. Yesterday, at the age of 22, the girl, now a woman, was rescued from being a domestic slave for the last six years.     

The woman was identified by her last names Centeno Barrera, was brought to Costa Rica from her hometown of Matagalpa by a Nicaraguan couple living in Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica.

The couple, identified as Portobanco Torres (wife) and Medina Kraudy (husband) would keep their domestic employee/slave locked up in the house when they went out, work, shopping, etc.

The young woman didn't have any way of communication with the outside world until she was able to contact neighbors through the window of the house where she was kept in slavery.

The [Judicial Investigations Agency] (OIJ) took the call from neighbors seriously and began an investigation that resulted in a raid of the home on Monday.

Jorge Rojas, director of the OIJ, said the couple have been charged with "trata de personas" ([human] slavery).

"We raided the home and the young woman told us she had been held captive for the last six years", Rojas told the press.

Apparently, the young woman told authorities that she was never received pay for her services.

The couple have denied the accusations against them, saying it is all a lie made up by the young woman.

"The neighbors made a spectacle of the situation, we brought her here by land from Nicaragua to give her a better future. We paid half her salary to her, the other half sent to her mother in Nicaragua, here she has no family or documents, she is alone", said the employer.

"Several times we took her to the Parque de Diversiones [amusement park] so that she could play with my daughter, she never left the house alone because she didn't want to, the doors were always open to her. Many times when I came home from work I would find her sleeping, leaving her keys on the door, she was never locked up", the woman said.

The couple, after the arrest, were released on bail having to sign in at the local courthouse every two weeks and had to surrender their passport and not have any contact with the victim or her family.

This case is typical of many situations where Nicaraguans come to Costa Rica in search for work and find themselves in slave like conditions, though not to such extremes.

Many young Nicaraguan girls, some under age, make their way to Costa Rica with the consent and blessings of their families back home, in the hopes of better their (the family's) economic condition, as salaries and job opportunities in Costa Rica are much better than up north...

In past year Costa Rica has passed legislation giving domestic employees - both foreign and national - rights that include a decent workplace, work hours and pay.

Inside Costa Rica

May 11, 2010


Added: May 12, 2010

Louisiana, USA

Jose Moreno and Luis Nava,Gonzalo Cortes, Esdras Garcia (Left top to right bottom)

Four Mexican nationals charged with rape, murder of Louisiana woman

On Sunday, less than 24 hours after the lifeless body of Angela Laudun, 33, was discovered in a remote area, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Deputies arrested and charged four Mexican nationals with her rape and murder.

According to the sheriff’s office, around 2:00 a.m., Saturday, the woman voluntarily left a Galliano bar with the men, at which time they drove her to a nearby house. Apparently, Laudin became concerned for her safety and tried to leave, but the men held her down and took turns raping her.

At some point, during the ordeal, she was strangled to death.

The men, then allegedly placed the woman’s body in their SUV, eventually dumping her in a heavily wooded area. A few hours later, the body was discovered by a man doing some work on his property.

Gonzalo Portillo Cortes, 20; Esdras Sanchez Garcia, 21; Louis Nava, 28; and Jose Castille Mareno, 23, have all been charged with aggravated rape and first-degree murder.

All four suspects work for Quality Shipyard in Houma, La., and while their employer claims that the men presented valid documents prior to their employment, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on them.

The alleged assailants are Mexican nationals and their interrogations had to be conducted in Spanish. They are currently being held in the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 11, 2010


Added: May 12, 2010

Maryland and Florida, USA

Jose Alexander Menjivar

DNA helps uncover suspected serial rapist

Evidence from 2003 city cold case led to four others

He almost disregarded the DNA evidence.

The elderly victim of the 2003 home invasion and sexual assault in Annapolis died three years ago.

Without her testimony at trial, David Cordle, chief investigator for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, knew prosecutors could never secure a conviction.

But still, Cordle recalled, he knew the suspect's name; he had an un-served warrant in a file and a full DNA profile ready to be submitted to the FBI's Combined DNA Data Index System.

Maybe - just maybe, he thought - the evidence would help solve another rape case.

"I was this close to not entering the evidence," Cordle said last week, holding his right thumb and forefinger together. "I am sure glad I did."

Because he did, cold case investigators are now asking for the public's help in locating a suspected illegal immigrant they believe was behind five sexual assaults between February 2002 and December 2005 in Maryland and Florida.

With the evidence from the 2003 assault of an 81-year-old woman inside her Annapolis home, Cordle explained, police were able to crack another case in Annapolis as well as one in West Palm Beach, Fla., and another two in Orlando, Fla.

Jose Alexander "Alex" Menjivar, 37, formerly of 1033 Martha Court in Annapolis and 1649 Fairhill Drive in Edgewater, is charged by name in two of the assaults and wanted for questioning in the others, police said. Detectives with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida also have a warrant for a "John Doe" with Menjivar's DNA.

William Johns, a civilian investigator with city police and the other half of the city's cold case squad, explained DNA linked Menjivar to four of the attacks - including both of those reported in Annapolis. A fifth rape in Orlando was committed in such a similar fashion that detectives believe the same man must be behind it as well.

"It's just simply amazing we got so many matches," Johns said last week after outlining some of the details behind the five rapes and illustrating Menjivar's alleged progression down the East Coast. He noted that without the DNA evidence police would never have been able to connect the crimes.

"You wonder how many more cases are sitting on shelves waiting to be solved," Johns said.

"It shows you in cold cases you can't assume or presume anything," Cordle said.

The five cases

According to cold case investigators, police believe Menjivar is behind five violent sexual assaults. The attacks occurred on:

Feb. 16, 2002: A 22-year-old woman was assaulted inside her home on Copley Court in Annapolis...

March 23, 2003: An 81-year-old woman was assaulted inside her home on Tiburon Court in Annapolis...

Nov. 27, 2004: A 29-year-old female cab driver was assaulted in Orlando...

Jan. 30, 2005: A female cab driver was assaulted in Orlando...

Dec. 16, 2005: A 30-year-old woman was assaulted outside a West Palm Beach nightclub...

Detective Nichole Addazio with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said they have known the same man was behind their assault and at least one of the ones in Orange County since 2005, but they were surprised to hear their attacker had assaulted two more women in Annapolis. She said she had mixed emotions when she got the notification.

"I was horrified to learn there was another case, but I was elated to know we had a suspect," she said...

Menjivar is Hispanic, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. While in Maryland, he worked as a landscaper. Anyone with information about Menjivar, these attacks or any other attacks that may be related should contact Cordle or Johns at the Anne Arundel State's Attorney's Office at 410-222-1740.

Scott Daugherty

Hometown Annapolis

May 09, 2010


Added: May 12, 2010

Colorado, USA

Denver Police Search For Child Enticement Suspect

Denver police would like the help locating a suspect in a possible child enticement that happened on Tuesday.

Sonny Jackson with Denver police said a 14-year old girl was walking in the 1400 block of Ivy Street when she noticed a vehicle that she described as a dirty white van without windows. It had what appeared to be decorative ladders on the back.

"The driver called out to the victim, possibly trying to get her into the vehicle. She continued to walk and the suspect parked the van and continued attempting to contact her," Jackson said in a prepared statement.

The driver of the van was described as a clean-shaven Hispanic male about 5-foot-7 with a thin build wearing a white t-shirt and burgundy and black pants with black boots.

Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000. Remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).

CBS

May 11, 2010


Added: May 12, 2010

Nevada, USA

Reno Police Search for Attempted Abduction Suspect

Police need your help finding a man they say tried to abduct a teen girl near a Reno school Tuesday morning.

Police say around 8:20am, a 15-year-old girl was walking between buildings at the Coral Academy of Science on East Ninth Street when she was approached by a man. They spoke briefly before he grabbed her arm. Officers say the suspect then tried to pull her away but she screamed and eventually ran away.

The man ran west from the area.

The school was placed on lockdown for about two hours.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, about 21 years old, 5'10" with a thin build, shaved head and clean shaven face. He was wearing a black ‘hoodie' sweatshirt, brown Dickie pants and white shoes.

Police say the man has been seen in the general area before so he may live in the area.

The girl was not hurt.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Secret Witness at 322-4900. Your call will remain anonymous.

Channel 2 News

May 11, 2010


Added: May 11, 2010

Impunity!  

Oaxaca, Mexico

Bety Cariño

Letter from the family of Bety Cariño, murdered by paramilitaries in Oaxaca

To our friends and brothers and sisters

To those who share the pain and anguish

To the public opinion, saddened and full of rage

The the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the world

To those whose solidarity envelops us with their deepest condolences

To all of you who, with you warmth, solidarity, presence, denouncements, you tell us and dictate the path that we have to and need to follow. To those whose hearts have suffered the pain of having a loved one taken from you, we want to tell you that the words don't exist to be able to express to you the rage that we feel, the impotence, the anguish, and the desperation of not being able to be with the person who was the compañera, the mother of two children, the leader, the friend, the sister, THE LOVE OF OUR LIFE when hate, brutality, and anger took her life because of the struggle that we undertook for fourteen years. To all of you and in the name of my children, thank you.

Once again, just like in 2006, [Oaxacan Governor] Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's terrorist, murderous, repressive State seeks to demonstrate its strength, impose its policies, and demonstrate its hatred of that which doesn't agree with it, that which can't be subordinated, that which doesn't give in, and that which is incorruptible, because it is born from below and full of life, because it is built with the brotherhood of those of us who have decided to work towards the construction of a different world, a more human world, where the Earth and the dreams we sow flower every day. Bety, or Beto as her father called her, or, as she was really called, Alberta Cariño Trujillo, has not died! Her word grows and gives voice to those who did not have one, and in being a sister to the women of Copala, of the Mixteca, and of the world, in being a woman, your determination as a sister in this autonomist struggle resists against the hatred, anger, and distain of the UBISORT paramilitaries who are lead by Rufino Juarez and Antonio Cruz...

Because you are the flower, and your seed is the fruit of the dignified path we must follow. We won't forget you. Omar, Ita, and I say to you, "Until the victory."

Prison for Ulises Ruiz, Evencio Martinez, Rufino Juarez, Anastasio Juarez, Antonio Cruz, and the authorities in La Sabana!

Death to Ulises' bad, repressive and murderous government!

We must break the siege in San Juan Copala!

Bety will never be silenced, not in death, nor with machine guns!

Land, Freedom, or Death!

With all our love,

Omarcito, Itandewi, and Omar Esparza

The Family of Bety Cariño

May 03, 2010


Added: May 11, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Reyna Isabel-Reyes Caballero makes his first court appearance

Man Suspected of Human Trafficking Appears in Court

Greensboro - Detectives are investigating whether a human trafficking arrest is a small part of a larger prostitution and trafficking ring.

Guilford County sheriff's deputies and Immigration and Customers Enforcement officers were shot at Friday while searching a home at 700 N. English St. where they believe a human trafficking victim was being held. Deputies charged Reyna Isabel-Reyes Caballero, 37, with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Caballero, from Honduras, had his first court appearance Monday and said he fired because he though the people at the door were thieves.

"I was afraid," he said through an interpreter. "I thought they were thieves, burglars at the door. I have a family in Honduras with five children."

Caballero said he wants to be deported to Honduras, but he must first face the assault charge and possibly some human trafficking charges at the state level.

Betty Cauthen, who lives three houses down from the home raided on Friday night, said she thought the house was empty.

"That's just it. We never saw anything. Nobody come in, nobody come out. No groceries in. No mail being checked. No company," she said.

While searching the residence and conducting multiple interviews, deputies found a juvenile in the house they say was a victim of human trafficking. Deputies say she was removed from the home and is working with ICE through the investigation.

Sheeka Strickland

FOX8 News

May 10, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

Impunity!

Mexico

On April 27, 2010, Mixtec Indigenous human rights leader Bety Cariño and a Finnish international observer, Jyri Antero Jaakkola, were murdered in Oaxaca state by paramilitary soldiers affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), one of Mexico's three top political parties.

Members of the European Parliament, the Finnish Embassy, and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner have demanded a full investigation.

Photo: Bety Cariño tragically killed in violent paramilitary attack in Oaxaca

Frontline - Protection of Human Rights Defenders

April 29, 2010

Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo

México, DF - Trabajar por la paz y el respeto a los derechos humanos, ha colocado en riesgo a las defensoras y defensores de estos derechos, un caso extremo ocurrió el pasado 27 de abril cuando una caravana por la paz fue emboscada en el estado de Oaxaca, México y dos de sus integrantes fueron asesinados: Tyti Antero Jaakkola , observador internacional originario de Finlandia y Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, integrante de Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (Cactus).

Beatriz Alberta fue una luchadora social que hizo de la defensa de la autonomía de los pueblos indígenas su motor en la vida, alentó a las comunidades mixtecas a luchar por su patrimonio cultural, por su identidad, sin sumisión y con dignidad.

Ese fue su andar por la sierra mixteca, al convocar a las mujeres triquis a tomar su papel protagónico en la historia de su pueblo, a mirar de frente y defender sus recursos naturales del saqueo de las grandes trasnacionales...

Erika Cervantes

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 10, 2010

See also:

Mexico's State Of Impunity

When international human rights observers rounded a curve on a remote road in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, they found the way blocked by boulders. They decided going forward would be dangerous. But they didn’t know that going back would be deadly.

As the vans began to turn around, masked gunmen came down from the hills and opened fire on the vehicles. Some of the people scattered into the brush. Others got lucky and were freed by the assailants. Two were murdered, shot in the head — Bety Cariño of the Mexican rights group CACTUS (Center for Community Support Working Together) and Finnish human rights observer Jyri Jaakola.

The activists were traveling to the village of San Juan Copala in the Triqui indigenous region of Oaxaca. Local paramilitaries from a group called UBISORT, which is reportedly founded by Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), had surrounded and cut off the village. The caravan of journalists, state activists, and international human rights observers wanted to investigate the worsening situation in the village. They knew the risks but decided to undertake the mission because the lives of villagers were at stake, and they saw a dangerous precedent in standing by as an illegal armed group took an entire village hostage.

Killings are a common occurrence in the Triqui region for those who defend indigenous rights and resources. Scores of people have been assassinated, including two women from San Juan Copala's community radio station in 2008.

The leaders advised the state government of its intentions, but the state government provided no guarantees. Gabriela Jimenez, a member of the caravan who escaped, stated that the paramilitary captors bragged of having the governor's backing...

Human Rights and U.S. Indifference

The April 27 ambush shocked even a nation accustomed to violence in the news. Drug war tolls of 30 or more victims a day are standard fare in Mexico. But the calculated assault on a human rights mission crossed some invisible line. Members of the European Parliament, the Finnish Embassy, and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner have demanded a full investigation. Demonstrating the arrogance characteristic of his rule, Governor Ruiz announced he would carry out an investigation — of the migration papers of the foreigners on the caravan.

Human rights violations in Mexico have been on the rise in the last few years, with a sixfold increase in complaints against the armed forces since it launched the drug war. Civilian deaths have increased in the context of drug war militarization. The nation faces a crisis of confidence in the government’s ability — or willingness — to provide even the most basic human security.

The U.S. State Department has ignored this crisis to justify its support for the failed drug war of President Felipe Calderón. Security aid to Mexico under the Merida Initiative required that a human rights report be presented to Congress showing progress in ending impunity for crimes committed by the armed forces, an end to torture, and progress in the Brad Will murder. The State Department delayed presenting the report until last year. When it finally submitted the report, it showed no progress.

Security aid to police and armed forces that violate human rights consistently empowers a system of violations. Human rights training by U.S. forces will make no difference whatsoever in that equation. The problem is obviously not a lack of training, but a lack of political will. As long as the same political forces that commit violations receive support and aid, they are encouraged to continue practices that damage society and destroy lives...

Laura Carlsen

Huffington Post

May 08, 2010

See also:

Added: May 10, 2010

Mexico

Oaxaca Caravan Attack: The Militarization And Para-militarization Of Mexico

On April 27, gunmen opened fire on an international aid caravan that was bringing food, clothing, medicine, and teachers to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. The attack left two dead: Oaxacan indigenous leader and media organizer Alberta "Bety" Cariño and a Finnish observer, Jyri Antero Jaakkola. Gunfire injured three other Oaxacans during the attack.

The attack was the latest in a series of assassinations in a region where shootouts are a frequent occurrence. While the attack on the caravan attracted international media attention, the other murders (at least 23 since 2007) were lost in the wave of violence that has gripped Mexico. Ever since President Felipe Calderon deployed 40,000 soldiers to fight the US-funded war on drugs, all violent murders in Mexico are automatically chalked up to the drug war in the media and in the government's official numbers. Drug war violence provides a too-convenient cover for the political violence that also pervades Mexico.

The violence in the Triqui region is the direct result of government machinations aimed at dividing the indigenous people who live there. “The political organizations are dividing us,” says San Juan Copala spokesman Jorge Albino. “When we form organizations, the political parties come and they offer to make one of us a leader, or they offer us a position. And some of us wind up identifying with a political party and we kill each other as a result.”

The government has good reason to want to weaken the Triquis through division: the Triquis have historically put up some of the fiercest resistance to the colonial (and later neo-colonial) project in Mexico. For this reason, their territory is particularly rich in natural resources. John Gibler writes in his book Mexico Unconquered: "As a result of their armed defense, the Triqui region today is a green oasis in the midst of the eroded Mixteca region where centuries of clear-cutting and goat herding have decimated the land." ...

The Oaxacan government has denied all responsibility for the attack. Instead, it is attempting to blame the caravan organizers. "Whoever organized this caravan will have to answer for it, whoever invited these people ... without taking precautions, because I think these people did not know what the situation and problems in the area were," Oaxaca state Interior Secretary Evencio Martinez told the AP. "They (the caravan members) will have to answer, too, for having accepted the invitation."

However, sociologist Victor Raul Martinez Vasquez argues, "I believe that it was a deliberate act on the part of the government, with the idea to teach them a lesson and to dissuade those foreigners who want to help this town that is under siege, where they've closed the road to the community, they've cut the electricity. [The town] is running out of food." ...

Kristin Bricker

My Word Is My Weapon

May 6, 2010

Added: May 10, 2010

Mexico

Keegan Smith: My friend Bety Cariño was killed by Mexican Paramilitaries in Oaxaca

A good friend of mine Bety Cariño... who I lived and worked with in Mexico was killed in southern Mexico by paramilitaries. The paramilitaries acted with the support of the State and National government to eliminate opposition to their plans and their way of thinking. Bety was one of the most charismatic and caring people I have come across in my 27 years. She has 2 young children and hundreds of friends who have been touched by her passion and courage. She was the leader of the organization CATCUS which supported local indigenous communities and in securing projects for small business and agriculture initiatives. Together with the organization she informed about women and children's rights to basic services. She also informed about the dangers of transgenic crops and pesticides and the damage caused by massive mining and damming projects which are proposed for Oaxaca.

Bety participated in various movements and forums in Mexico and Central America and traveled to Europe to increase awareness about the situation in Mexico and particularly the situation Oaxaca. Bety went to every length to make people feel welcome and had amazing power in her spirit to overcome personal loss and illness for the sake of her beliefs. This infectious passion will outlive her many lifetimes over.

This is one of many horrible crimes committed everyday in order to maintain the flow of capital, and the power it holds, in the hands of the few. While I am no longer inclined say eye for an eye and I don't want vengeance for the pain this act has caused. The world needs very profound changes. This is not a call to arms but to reflect and change our minds. Our physical world is a reflection of our thoughts...

Keegan Smith

My Word Is My Weapon

April 28, 2010

See also - Video:

Discurso de Bety Cariño en la conferencia de la organización Frontline - dedicados a defender a los y las Defensores de los derechos humanos

Speech by Bety Cariño during the 2010 annual conference of the organization Frontline - Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Dublin, Ireland.

(In Spanish)

Frontline - Dublin Conference 2010

On YouTube.com

Dec. 03, 2009

See also - Video:

Discurso de Bety Cariño.  Kolectivo Azul. Embajada de Canadá.

Speech by Bety Cariño during a protest against multinational mining company exploitation of Indigenous lands in Oaxaca state. Held at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City - 2009.

(In Spanish)

Tecuán News

On YouTube.com

Dec. 03, 2009

See also - Video:

Declaración de una de los sobrevivientesdel ataque a la carvana San Juan Copala.

News conference by Gabriela, a survivor of the ambush and murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakola.

(In Spanish)

Camaradaappo

On YouTube.com

April 28, 2010

See also:

"The Triqui region - a history of violence against women"

A collection of (currently) 29 news articles on the crisis of impunity facing women in the Triqui tribal region of Mexico - from the CIMAC women's news agency.

(In Spanish)


Added: May 10, 2010

Texas, USA

Children Kidnapped for Sex Trafficking

Rio Grande Valley - Four young children could have ended up as sex trafficking victims. Instead they're now back with their families in Mexico.

They were kidnapped. Suspected smugglers tried to bring them to the Valley. The children were all under six.

San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez says... human traffickers want children under 10.

"These children have been raped repeatedly more than 30 times a day. The more use they get out of a child, the more profit," he tells us. "They are using these children. The younger the better for the human trafficker."

Gonzalez trains officers around the country to recognize signs of sex trafficking.

Two women from San Juan and Edinburg tried to bring four children across the bridge illegally. A customs officer suspected the women were going to sell the kids. The children ranged in age from less than a year to six years old. The women told officers the kids belonged to them. They even had fake U.S. birth certificates.

An alert customs officer didn't believe their story.

“Officers are being trained to recognize force, fraud and coercion," the San Juan police chief says.

Gonzalez says if the suspected smugglers [had gotten] away with their crime, the children would [have lived] through unimaginable horror.

"They’re utilizing them in bars and nightclubs, [and] even for individuals who are requesting them, to abuse them," he tells us.

Or traffickers might sell the children to pornographers.

"Traffickers seek young children, because they can abuse them for a longer period of time," Gonzalez explains. "This kind of crime is a money maker."

He adds, "Human trafficking [has become] more profitable [than drug smuggling, human smuggling and arms] trafficking."

Human trafficking is hard to detect and harder to prosecute.

Gonzalez says children trafficked into this country are often taken to brothels. He says there are probably brothels around the Valley [that] investigators haven't found yet.

...Officers will usually find human trafficking when they respond to a [noise violation or a runaway case].

Farrah Fazal

KRGV

May 8, 2010


Added: May.10, 2010

Kidnapped

Arizona, USA

Karley Rivera Saucedo

Woman kidnapped during home invasion earlier this week still missing

Phoenix - Police are asking for the public's to help find a woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion earlier this week.

According to Detective James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department, Karley Rivera Saucedo was taken after four suspects broke into her home at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5.

Saucedo, 22, has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old.

Holmes said the suspects, Hispanic males who range in from 17 to 30, forced their way into the home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road, which Saucedo shares with her 17-year-old sister and a baby.

The suspects were armed with handguns, police said, and demanded drugs and money. When they didn't get what they wanted, the four men took Saucedo and left.

They also stole a gray 2007 Chevy HHR. That vehicle was later recovered, but there's been no sign of Saucedo or the four suspects.

The descriptions of the suspects are limited.

The first is a 17-year-old Hispanic male who is 5 feet 6 inches tall. He has black spiked hair.

The second is an 18- or 19-year old Hispanic male. He's also 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs about 140 pounds and has short black hair.

The third is an Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and has acne scars.

The fourth is an Hispanic male who is 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds. He has light skin, a skinny face and a chubby body.

Anyone with information about Saucedo or what happened the morning of May 5 is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-261-6151 or Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.

Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

May 7, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

Texas, USA - Mexico

Angel Rojas

Texas Girl Who Was Focus Of Amber Alert May Be In Mexico

Austin - Karen Anastacio, 13, for whom Austin police issued an Amber Alert last week, is probably in Mexico with the 25-year-old man who abducted her from her middle school, authorities say.

The Amber Alert was canceled over the weekend.

Anastacio was last seen at around 8 a.m. Thursday getting into either a brown 1997 GMC Jimmy SUV with Texas license 84TFL4 at Bedichek Middle School in Austin.

She had told a teacher's aide she didn't feel well and would likely be going home.

Police think Angel Rojas Ambrocio was driving the brown and silver SUV.

They said they believe he previously committed a violent felony against the girl.

Anastacio is 5-foot-2, weights about 115 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

When she was last seen she was wearing a black shirt, black pants and carrying a pink backpack.

Ambrocio is 5-foot-3, weighs 135 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Police are asking anyone with information about the missing girl to call 911.

KWTX

May 10, 2010

See also:

Runaway suspect charged with sex crime

Amber Alert suspect fled with 13-year-old

Austin - The 25-year-old man accused of abducting a 13-year-old Austin girl Thursday morning is now charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

Officials issued the Amber Alert Thursday morning after police said Karen Anastacio was last seen at 8:07 a.m. Thursday with suspect Angel Rojas, 25. Police said they fear he may be headed to the border to leave the country, and court documents indicate information pointed to Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The two were in a relationship police said was illegal, and authorities filed charges Friday against Rojas - a family acquaintance. In those documents, police said they developed information Rojas was going to be taking the victim to Mexico.

"We have reason to believe that she is in immediate danger," said Austin Police Department Cmdr. Julie O'Brien Thursday. "We're asking for the public's help in locating Karen."

Austin police said a teacher's aide saw Karen getting into a brown 1997 GMC Jimmy SUV across the street from Bedichek Middle School in South Austin with Rojas at the wheel. License plate number: 84TFL4

School Principal Dan Diehl said the incident happened just before the start of the school day across the street from the campus near the intersection of Bill Hughes Road and Thelma Drive.

Karen was walking to school with a group of other students when she said she felt ill, Diehl said. He said shortly after, the suspect arrived at that location, where Karen got in his car.

Karen is a 5-foot-2-inch tall Hispanic female and weighs approximately 115 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants, carrying a pink backpack.

Angel Rojas is described as a Hispanic male, weighing approximately 135 pounds. He is 5 feet 3 inches tall and has black hair and brown eyes. Rojas may also use the following names: Juan Alberto Espinoza-Ambrocio and/or Eduardo Lopez.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the victim or suspect is urged to call 911 immediately.

Police said Thursday Karen's family was taking action in filing a criminal charge against Rojas for allegedly committing a violent felony offense against Karen, something officials said may be the motivator for Rojas to flee not only the area but also the country.

Police said they are working with various law enforcement agencies throughout the state and with border agents as well, but they are also asking for all eyes to be on the lookout.

KXAN

May 07, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

The Dominican Republic

Desmantelan en Dominicana red de pornografía infantil

Un estadounidense y tres dominicanas que tenían organizado una red de pornografía infantil fueron detenido por las autoridades que confiscaron equipos de filmación y una pequeña cantidad de droga.

Las pesquisas permitieron conocer que el estadounidense Williams Bonaparte tenía contratadas a las tres mujeres para que reclutaran adolescentes y a cambio de sumas de dinero filmarlas en actos sexuales, dice la información circuladas por la policía.

El grupo operaba desde hacía meses en la provincia de Puerto Plata (Norte) y las filmaciones se centraban en menores y adolescentes del sexo femenino, según los detalles del parte.

Las actividades fueron interrumpidas por una redada policial en el apartamento en el que residía el extranjero, en el cual se ocuparon cámaras de filmación y fotográficas, un reproductor de casetes, equipos de iluminación, decenas de discos compactos con material pornográfico y una pequeña cantidad de marihuana.

El año pasado la policía dominicana desmanteló una organización similar que se especializaba en filmaciones pornográficas a adolescentes y jóvenes haitianas, anexa a una red de prostitución que operaba desde un apartamento en una céntrica calle de esta capital.

Authorities break-up child pornography ring

A U.S. citizen and three Dominicans have been arrested in the Dominican Republic for having organized a child pornography ring. The suspects were caught with film equipment, still cameras, film reproducing equipment, and drugs.

According to police, American citizen Williams Bonaparte had contracted with three women to recruit adolescent girls, who were offered money to be filmed performing sexual acts.

Previously, police has dismantled a similar child pornography ring that had targeted Haitian girls.

Prensa Latina

May 07, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

Washington, DC - USA

Luis CdeBaca - Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons - U.S. State Department

Trafficking Victims Protection Act: Progress and Promise

...In the mid-1990s, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton became interested and focused on this issue through her work with women and children. At the time, the most visible form of trafficking was women and girls from the former Soviet Union. There were duped by false advertisements for work in Western Europe only to find themselves trapped in brothels and strip clubs. The image of the blonde, beautiful, and vulnerable victim, reminiscent of anachronistic approaches to this problem back in the 1800s, garnered worldwide attention, but also demonstrated the weaknesses of that old legal regime. In the meantime, cases in the United States still involved men, women, and children--United States citizens and foreigners alike--in both sex and labor trafficking.

It became clear that a holistic approach was needed, one that focused more on the exploitation than merely on the movement of people for immoral purposes. Then-First Lady Clinton, along with Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, were instrumental in bringing this issue to the attention of policymakers in Washington. Out of it was borne the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).

The TVPA emboldened states to pursue and enact legislation to combat trafficking at the state level. In fact, the successes of the TVPA and effectiveness of state law is clearly shown in a recent case, Ramos v. Texas where the legal pitfalls exemplified in the Shackney case were bridged. In fact, the Ramos case recognized that the threat of deportation is indeed coercion and a factor in determining a victim of trafficking in persons, even if the victim walked out through the front door rather than escaping through the window or in the middle of the night. The Ramos case is a prime example of what we can achieve through solid legislation and implementation of federal and state-level laws...

The TVPA helps us... with important new tools that stands for the proposition that ignorance is not an excuse. The strip club owner who looks the other way as so-called talent agents enslave women: that’s not a bystander; that’s an accomplice. The landlord who turns a blind eye and collects rent from "massage parlors" where foreign women are held for forced prostitution: that’s not rent; that’s complicity. So too for the grower who is comfortable with farm labor contractors using force and threats to harvest the crops as long as they get picked on time. To those who have turned a willfully blind eye to the exploitation in front of them, the updated law puts down a marker: whether you partake or profit, you're accountable. Period...

The promise we seek to fulfill will be bolstered by what has now been coined as the fourth "p" – partnerships. We must strive toward better coordination with our interagency partners within our "whole of government" approach, but also partners from unlikely or untapped resources...

Through partnership, we must secure the safe place of refuge the President referred to; we must "lead by example" as we are known and expected to do; and we must allow every victim to realize his or her God-given potential. The United States has made historic progress on this issue, still in its modern infancy. We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress. Bursts of activity, and successes, in the early 1900s, the 1930s, and the early 1980s were allowed to fall dormant. We must not allow that to happen again. We can, and we must, get it right this time. Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward. Thank you again for having me here this morning and for all you do to fulfill the promise of freedom in America.

Luis CdeBaca

Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

May 3, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

Mexico

Group of People Rescued from Mexican Stash House

Matmoros, Tamaulipas state, Mexico - A tip to police in Matamoros led to the rescue of 17 people from two different stash houses this week.

Human traffickers took the people hostage. Officials say the traffickers extort money out of families. Border security analysts tell us it's big money.

"The human trafficking business is extremely lucrative. People can fetch up to $10,000 a person to transfer them to across the border," says one analyst.

Experts say due to the proximity to the border, there are probably a high number of stash houses here in the Valley.

Mexican military arrested Juan Ponce Ramirez in the raid on the Matamoros stash houses.

Soldiers also found just over 10 pounds of marijuana and a rifle in the raid.

Farrah Fazal

May 06, 2010

Note: Matamoros is located on Mexico's border with the U.S., opposite the city of Brownsville, Texas. -LL


Added: May 10, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Reyna Isabel Reyes Caballero fired on officers.

Officers fired upon during human trafficking investigation

Greensboro — Five people were taken into custody Friday night after officers raided a home during a human trafficking investigation.

One suspect is accused of firing at a Guilford County Sheriff deputy during the incident. Reyna Isabel Reyes Caballero, 37, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Caballero is being held at the Guilford County Jail. His bail was set at $250,000.

Caballero and four other people were also taken into custody at the scene and are being detained by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

The other people being held are Jose Martinez-Cruz, 26, of Reidsville; Herculano Lopez-Garcia, 24, of Greensboro; Costanzio Aguileras Palmas, 25, of Reidsville; and Vinicio Arrazate Calderon, 31, of Greensboro.

Caballero has not been charged with human trafficking. The incident, which involves alleged prostitution, is still being investigated, according to law enforcement officials.

Officers conducting an undercover operation believed a female human trafficking victim was being held at a home at 700 N. English Street in Greensboro, according to the sheriff’s department.

Shortly before 11 p.m. Friday night, sheriff department vice officers, agents from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and Greensboro Police entered the home. Caballero allegedly fired at a deputy with a semi-automatic handgun, according to law enforcement officials.

A deputy fired back. No one was injured in the shooting.

Officers discovered a woman they say is a human trafficking victim in the home.

“She is not being charged. We have moved her to a safe place,” Powers said.

For her safety, law enforcement officials would not give any information about the woman.

His arrest records say Caballero was “running a brothel,” although he has not been charged with crimes other than the assualt charge.

Caballero, who is a native of Honduras and was living in the English Street home, the victim and four other people were at the home at the time of the search.

Two of the men were believed to be customers, Powers said.

Caballero and the other four men are all being held in the Guilford County Jail because they are undocumented U.S. residents. ICE officials are handling that portion of the investigation.

“We’ve lodged detainers against them because they are in the country illegally,” said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for ICE...

Amanda Lehmert

The News-Record

May 8, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

Louisiana, USA

4 arrested in Lafourche Parish murder

Thibodaux - Four men have been arrested in the death of a woman, whose partially-clothed body was found in the woods in Galliano.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said Sunday that 20-year-old Gonzalo Portillo Cortes, 21-year-old Esdras Sanchez Garcia, 23-year-old Jose Castillo Moreno and 28-year-old Luis Nava were booked with killing Angela Laudun less than 24 hours after her body was found. Each was booked with aggravated rape and first-degree murder.

A sheriff's spokeswoman says it's the parish's first homicide case this year.

Associated Press

May 9, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Juan Gonzalez

Accused child rapist on ICE hold

Police said Juan Gonzalez raped 6-year-old girl

Albuquerque - An illegal immigrant accused of raping a 6-year-old girl at Midtown Sports and Wellness Club Tuesday night is on an immigration hold.

Juan Gonzalez, 20, allegedly assaulted the child while she was alone in a play room at the club. The girl’s mother was working out at the gym at the time.

Gonzalez is accused of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Judge Benjamin Chavez raised his bond at $200,000 cash only.

Despite being under the federal hold by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Gonzalez will not be sent back to his home country of Mexico until he goes through New Mexico’s judicial system.

Police said Gonzalez was a member of Midtown because his mother is an employee.

As for the health club’s child care center, it is solely responsible for managing it. The Children, Youth and Families Division regulates traditional day cares.

“Drop-in programs for children specifically that are for children whose parents stay on the same premises are exempt from the regulations,” Dan Haggard with CYFD said Thursday.

The playroom where the victim was attacked is unsupervised, and there is a sign that says so. Workers at the club said the playroom is for kids who are 7 and older. The reported victim in this case is 6.

There is also a child care center at Midtown for younger kids where there is always supervision and they are never left alone. Parents have to pay $3 an hour to drop their child off there while they work out.

“I believe regardless of the setting for parents to be as involved and as knowledgeable as possible about the program where they're leaving their children,” Haggard said.

In a statement, Sports and Wellness said its staff acted immediately after being told about the incident. It also said it has stringent hiring practices and complies with all federal and state laws.

Kaitlin McCarthy

KRQE

May 06, 2010


Added: May 10, 2010

California, USA

Former Menlo Park Preschool Chief Charged For Pestering Girl

Menlo Park - The former supervisor of a San Francisco Bay area preschool is facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly pestering a 13-year-old girl with unwanted gifts and letters.

Fifty-five-year-old Jose Adalberto Lopez was charged with one count of annoying or harassing a child under the age of 18 on Friday.

Prosecutors say the former supervisor at Belle Haven Child Development Center in Menlo Park gave the girl intimate clothing on her 13th birthday, a bracelet as a Valentine's Day gift and wrote her letters describing how pretty she was.

The girl was the daughter of another preschool employee.

Lopez resigned from his job shortly after his arrest on April 13.

He faces up to a year in county jail if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 18.

The Associated Press

May -08, 2010 


Added: May 10, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: April 29 - May 5

Excerpt

May 5, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Blythe, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 4, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ocotillo, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 4, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under 18 in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 3, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault/sexual battery in the state of Indiana, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 3, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near San Luis, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault of a minor in the state of Washington, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 2, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a national of Mexico in Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for molesting a child under the age of 14 in the state of California, and was a registered sex offender.

May 2, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a national of Mexico in Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child in the state of California, and was a registered sex offender.

April 30, 2010 - Marfa Sector - An off-duty Border Patrol agent observed a 2005 Toyota Camry with a single male occupant watching children for an extended period of time at several locations near Midland, Texas. The agent notified local law enforcement officers, who responded and made contact with the subject. Officers found two loaded handguns, a stun gun, duct tape, a pipe, flex-cuffs, gloves, ropes, and maps of city parks in Midland in the vehicle. The subject, a USC, was arrested by local law enforcement officers and charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon.

April 29, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for rape of a child in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

April 29, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for assault to commit rape and sex with a minor. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

April 29, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Lordsburg, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and burglary in the state of California. He had also been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 5, 2010


Added: May 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Amber Alert

Karen Anastacio

Angel Rojas Ambrocio

Amber Alert Issued for 13 Year Old Texas Girl

The State of Texas issued the Amber Alert Thursday afternoon (May 5, 2010) after the girl was apparently abducted from her school in Austin earlier in the day. Police believe the suspect may try to take the girl to Mexico. According to Police felony charges are pending against the suspect resulting from a violent act he committed against the girl.

Karen Anastacio, an Hispanic female, 13 years old, 5' 2", 115 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants and carrying a pink backpack

The suspect is Angel Rojas Ambrocio, an Hispanic male, 25 years old, 5' 3", 135 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

The suspect vehicle is a brown Ford Expedition or Explorer..

Anyone with information is asked to call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-0911 or dial 911.

CodeAmber.org

May 06, 2010

About 'Rapto'

In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime

Rape Victims Face Widespread Cultural Bias in Pursuit of Justice

...A "machismo culture," instilled through what is learned in the home, school and church, has allowed many men to "believe they are superior and dominant, and that women are an object." ...That mind-set has contributed to making many men-including policemen, prosecutors, judges and others in positions of authority-believe that sexual violence against women is no big deal.

...A review of criminal laws in all 31 Mexican states showed that many states require that if a 12-year-old girl wants to accuse an adult man of statutory rape, she must first prove she is "chaste and pure." Nineteen of the states require that statutory rape charges be dropped if the rapist agrees to marry his victim...

In the southern state of Oaxaca last summer, the one-year-old, government-funded Oaxacan Women's Institute persuaded the legislature to pass heavy criminal penalties against a practice known as "rapto."

Laws in most Mexican states define rapto as a case where a man kidnaps a woman not for ransom, but with the intent of marrying her or to satisfy his "erotic sexual desire."

The new law championed by the women's group established penalties of at least 10 years in prison.

But in March, the state legislature reversed itself and again made the practice a minor infraction. A key legislator -a man- argued for the reduction, calling the practice harmless and "romantic."

Human rights groups disagree. They say it is not charming for a man to spot a woman he fancies sitting in a park, pick her up and carry her away to have sex with her. Yet to this day, that is still how some women meet their husbands. The attorney general's office said there have been 137 criminal complaints of rapto in the state of Puebla since January 2000...

Mary Jordan

The Washington Post

June 30, 2002


Added: May 6, 2010

California, USA

Jose Perez

Fast Food Chef Arrested in Series of Attacks on Women

Other possible victims are urged to come forward

Los Angeles - Police have arrested a 23 year old fast food chef suspected in a string of attacks on young women in the western

San Fernando Valley dating back over a year.

Jose Perez was arrested April 28 in connection with five crimes over the past 13 months, including two attacks last week, police said.

Police say Perez targeted petite teenage girls who appeared to be defenseless, sneaking up during daylight hours and trying to assault them or drag them into his vehicle.

According to police:

The first crime in which Perez is suspected occurred March 19, 2009. A 15-year-old girl reported being abducted from behind a Sherman Oaks school where she was a student.

The girl was dragged into the bushes, but she fought back as the man groped her, and he eventually fled.

On May 8, 2009, a 15-year-old girl reported being grabbed from behind outside her apartment building. Both fell to the ground, and the suspect fled in a silver four-door Volkswagen.

On Nov. 11, 2009, a 13-year-old girl reported being grabbed by a man who got out of a white GMC Yukon. But she also fought off the man, and he fled in the SUV.

Perez is suspected in at least two other similar crimes in April.

On April 26, a 13-year-old girl was in front of a Van Nuys school when a man drove up in a gray Volkswagen Jetta, got out and started asking her questions. He then fondled the girl, who pushed him away. The girl jotted down the license number as he drove away.

Two days later, an 18-year-old woman was walking home when she noticed a white SUV rolling alongside her. The driver pulled over, got out, grabbed her from behind and hustled her into the vehicle.

But the young woman's uncle, who happened to be nearby, heard the commotion and ran off the man, while the woman got out of the vehicle, which was last seen headed north on Lindley Avenue.

The license plate on the SUV in that case also pointed to Perez.

Detectives believe other possible victims may not have reported similar encounters and urged them to come forward.

Anyone with more information was asked to call Lt. Edward Pape or Detective John Doerbecker at (818) 374-7730.

KTLA News

May 4, 2010


Added: May 6, 2010

California, USA

Cesar Ysidro Fernandez

Coach Accused of Having Sex with Student

Los Angeles - A basketball and volleyball coach for the Los Angeles Unified School District has been arrested on suspicion of carrying on a sexual relationship with a female student.

Cesar Ysidro Fernandez, 39, was arrested at his home, locked up in lieu of $100,000 bail after being charged Friday with four counts of unlawful sex with a minor, police said.

The investigation began in January when investigators learned that the sexual relationship appeared to have started during the school summer break of 2009.

The student was 17 years old at the time of the relationship and is now 18, according to police.

Fernandez, a teacher at 32nd Street USC Math, Science and Technology High School, reportedly purchased expensive gifts for the teen and allegedly brought her to hotel rooms and an apartment to have sex.

According to police, Fernandez will not be put back in a Los Angeles Unified School District classroom if he bails out before the case is resolved.

Fernandez also taught summer school at Carson High School.

He has been a teacher since 1993, and has been at the 32nd Street school since 1996. It's believed he has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the case...

KTLA News

May 6, 2010


Added: May 6, 2010

Mexico

Sentencian a 9 años a un hombre por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez federal sentenció a nueve años de prisión a un hombre que sometía a trabajos forzados a un grupo de mujeres centroamericanas en Tapachula.

El Juzgado Tercero de Distrito condenó a Calixto Celestino Plata, por los delitos de trata de personas y violencia contra las mujeres.

El sentenciado obligaba a nueve jóvenes guatemaltecas, de 14 y 16 años de edad, a realizar jornadas de trabajo de más de 10 horas diarias.

Calixto Celestino fue asegurado durante un cateo por policías federales, en una vivienda de la colonia centro de Tapachula, a principios del año pasado...

Man is sentenced to 9 years in prison for human trafficking in Chiapas state

Federal judge sentences the convict for forcing Central American women into labore slavery in the city of Tapachula

The federal Third District Court has sentenced Calixto Celestino Plata to prison fore engaging in human trafficking and violence against women.

Celestino Plata forced nine Guatemalan girls between the ages of 14 and 16 to work for more than ten hours per day in conditions of forced labor...

Rotativo.com

May 05, 2010


Added: May 6, 2010

Mexico

Street scene from Mexico City's 'La Merced' red light district - from Youtube.com

67% de las prostitutas, explotadas desde niñas

En la zona, 20 por ciento de las trabajadoras tiene entre 12 y 18 años. Provienen de Oaxaca, Chiapas y Tlaxcala; además son analfabetas, detallan.

México.- Un estudio efectuado por el Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), la UNICEF y el Centro de Investigación y Estudios Superiores reporta que “67 por ciento de las mujeres que trabajan en La Merced, se dedican a la prostitución desde niñas.

Indica que 95 por ciento de las personas, hombres y mujeres, que son explotados sexualmente, tienen antecedentes de haber sido agredidas física, sexual y mentalmente.

67% of women working in Mexico City's La Merced prostitution district started in 'the business' as children

In La Merced, 20% of sex workers are between the ages of 12 and 18, They came from the [heavily Indigenous] states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and also Tlaxcala. Most are illiterate.

Mexico – A study conducted by the Nation System fore Integral Family Development (DIF – Mexico’s main social services agency), UNICEF and the Center for Investigation and Studies – reports that 67% of women sex workers in Mexico City’s La Merced prostitution tolerance zone started working when they were children.

The study reports that 95% of female and male sex workers in the zone experienced past sexual, physical or psychological abuse.

In Mexico, more than 20,000 children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. [We assert that the number run much higher – LL.] In Mexico City and specifically at La Merced, child sex trafficking mafias control the prostitution of Indigenous and other rural children and youth who were either kidnapped or who were sold by their own parents.

The estimates vary in regard to the number of minors who are prostituted in La Merced. Some statistics indicate that 20% of sex workers are between 12 and 18 years-of age.

These are usually cases in which a girl has run away from an abusive home, or their parents were tricked into believing that their child was being taken to work in a legitimate job in Mexico City that would provide her with food and shelter.

The girl children who are prostituted in the bars, clandestine flop houses, street markets and alleyways [of La Merced] are most often found to have originated in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tlaxcala.

The Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-LAC) reports that in La Merced, 56% of sexually exploited women had faced aggression within their families. Some 66% of them were abused by their spouses.

Ninety percent of the minors prostituted in La Merced have not completed primary school. Eighty eight percent of these minors become mothers to an average of three children each.

According to the report: “During the past several decades the age of initiation into prostitution has dropped from 15 to 11.

The daughters of prostituted women in La Merced are obliged, without exception, to live a life of prostitution. Their mothers typically sell their virginity for an average price of 10,000 Mexican pesos (US$760).”

Prostituted minors typically sell sex for 50 pesos ($3.85).

Child prostitution is visible to everyone [in Mexico City]. It is irresponsible and undignified to fail to recognize it and work to change the situation for the better.

Milenio

May 05, 2010


Added: May 6, 2010

Virginia, USA

Leonel Torres-Lopez

[Man] sentenced to five years for molesting two local girls

...Leonel Torres-Lopez, 24, was sentenced by York-Poquoson Circuit Court, substitute Judge Thomas Nance to five years in prison on two counts of aggravated sexual battery. His victims were two York County girls, ages 7 and 9.

Judge Nance actually sentenced Torres-Lopez to 20 years in prison on each count, only to suspend 15 years of each sentence. The sentences will run concurrently.

In 2007, Torres-Lopez molested the two girls, while they were sleeping. At the time of the assault, the children were being watched by a babysitter.

The girl’s parents were in court and stated that both young victims are now afraid to sleep, and have “persistent nightmares.”

To no avail, Torres-Lopez’ attorney Nora Misenti asked that he client only be sentenced to time served. For the last year, the Mexican national has been in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

York-Poquoson Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Barbara Cooke told the courtroom that Torres-Lopez had a "history of freely moving across the border."

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 05, 2010


Added: May 5, 2010

Mexico

Tlaxcala state, located just east of Mexico City, is a major source and 'distribution' area for kidnapped sex trafficking victims. The victims who are 'assembled' in Tlaxcala are first taken to Mexico to be broken-in to a life of forced prostitution. Many are then taken to brothels in Mexico's border regions, the United States, Europe and Japan.

Prostitución Infantil en México

México.- Él, es líder de una red de trata de personas. Es miembro de una industria familiar dedicada a la explotación sexual que tejió sus lazos incluso en los Estados Unidos. Una cadena que apunta, invariablemente a Tlaxcala.

Tenía varias niñas en la merced y una de ellas en el 2005 se atrevió a denunciarlo por lenocinio. Él se entera, hace una reunión y delante de todas las demás la mata a golpes. Él dice que para ejemplo de todas las demás y que cuidado y otra se atreva a denunciarlo.

La fiscal de Delitos Sexuales de la Procuraduría de Justicia del Distrito Federal, Juana Camila Bautista Rebollar, narra así, los detalles de una investigación contra Alejo Guzmán, que sigue abierta...

Child prostitution in Mexico

He is a leader of a human trafficking network. He forms part of a family-based criminal industry dedicated to sexual exploitation. Their network extends its tentacles as far as the United States. The network, like so many others, is based in Tlaxcala state in central Mexico.

The child  trafficking gang had a number of girls in the La Merced area in 2005, when one of them dared to denounce the network to police. The leader of the group found out, and calls a meeting. In front of the other girls, he beats the girl who went to the police to death. He said that he was giving the other girls a lesson as to what they would face if they did the same thing.

Juana Camila Bautista Rebollar, the prosecutor for sex crimes for Mexico City, narrated these details to the press in regard to her ongoing investigation of Alejo Guzmán.

Bautista Rebollar: “He killed this girl by beating her. He later doused her with gasoline and burned her body under the Congress of the Union bridge.”

Unfortunately, their was no way to discover who she was, to notify next of kin, given that her body was burned to cinders.

Two other girl victims testified about the homicide. The network’s victims were all young girls who had been entrapped by the traffickers in rural communities in Puebla, Morelos, Tlaxcala and Veracruz states.

Bautista Rebollar: “We could only find one of the victims [murdered by Alejo Guzmán]. The other has not been found. . These are cases that we continue to investigate. Lamentably, there are many [similarly] frightening cases.” ...

Guzmán Flores, age 36, who is originally from the city of Tenancingo, in Tlaxcala, was arrested in March of 2009 in Puebla state. Investigators say that he has been involved in the above-mentioned sex trafficking network for 10 years. He has been charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution (pimping) and homicide.

W Radio

April 27, 2010


Added: May 5, 2010

Mexico

Migrantes michoacanos, víctimas de prostitución infantil, extorsión y trata

Una proporción importante de los migrantes, sufren violaciones a sus derechos ya sea en el tránsito por el estado u otras entidades

Morelia, Michoacán.- La prostitución infantil, la trata de personas y la extorsión son los principales delitos de que son víctimas los migrantes michoacanos, declaró Arnulfo Sandoval Cervantes, director regional (Michoacán, Colima y Guanajuato) del Centro de Atención a Víctimas de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR).

Sin embargo, hace falta una cultura de la denuncia puesto que la mayor parte de los casos no son del conocimiento de las autoridades, de ahí que en el año 2009 sólo se dio atención a seis casos de connacionales, uno donde el agraviado de doce años de edad fue víctima de prostitución infantil, dos mujeres menores de 30 años de trata y tres más fueron extorsionados.

Migrants from Michoacán state are the victims of child prostitution and extortion

A large number of state residents are subjected to human rights violations as they cross Mexico in route to the U.S.

Morelia, Michoacán state - Child prostitution, other forms of human trafficking and extortion are the most common crimes faced by migrants who leave Michoacán, declared Arnulfo Sandoval Cervantes, regional director of the federal Attorney General’s office for the tri-state Michoacán, Colima y Guanajuato area. A lack of willingness to report these crimes on the part of society contributes to their continuing impunity...

Ivonne Monreal Vázquez

Cambio de Michoacan

April 22, 2010


Added: May 5, 2010

California, USA

Convicted Mexican Sex Offender Arrested At Indio Bus Stop - Border Patrol

Indio - A convicted sex offender from Mexico, with reputed ties to a Northern California gang, was found at an Indio bus station and was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol, agents said today.

The 37-year-old man, whose name was not released, was arrested Tuesday at the Greyhound Bus station on Oasis Street in Indio during a check by Border Patrol agents, said spokesman Victor Brabble.

Border Patrol agents determined that the man was a citizen of Mexico with no U.S. immigration documents.

He was taken to the Indio Border Patrol Station, Brabble said, where a records check revealed that the man was an aggravated felon convicted of carjacking with a firearm and unlawful sex with a minor.

The man also had tattoos identifying him as a member of the Border Brothers, a Northern California street and prison gang that began in Mexico in the 1980s.

The alleged gangster was being held pending prosecution for entering the United States after deportation, Brabble said.

KESQ

April 28, 2010

See also:

Added: May 5, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter - April 22-28, 2010

Excerpt

April 28, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a Border Brothers gang member, and had prior convictions for carjacking with a firearm and unlawful sexual contact with a minor in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

April 28, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near San Miguel, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter and indecency with a child in the state of Texas. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

April 27, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested a USC who illegally entered the United States near El Paso, Texas, avoiding the port of entry. During the investigation to determine the subject's citizenship, records checks revealed he was a registered sex offender with two active arrest warrants for burglary and theft issued in the state of California.

April 26, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for criminal sexual penetration of a minor and kidnapping in the state of New Mexico, and had been previously removed from the United States.

April 26, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sunland Park, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.

April 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for homicide in the state of Arizona and had been previously removed from the United States.

April 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for theft and a sexual offense against a child in the state of Washington. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

April 24, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Indio, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior felony conviction for attempted sexual assault on a child in the state of Colorado and had previously been removed from the United States.

April 24, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The subject had an active arrest warrant for criminal sexual contact with a child under 13 issued in the state of New Mexico.

April 24, 2010 - Miami Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for forcible rape of a child with the use of a weapon issued in the state of Massachusetts. The subject had also previously been removed from the United States.

April 24, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nolia, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for two counts of rape issued in the state of Oregon. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

April 23, 2010- Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for statutory rape in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

April 22, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for molestation of a minor in the state of Florida, and had previously been removed from the United States.

April 22, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for a sex offense against a child in the state of Indiana, and had previously been removed from the United States.

Office of Field Operations - U.S. Border Patrol

April 28, 2010


Added: May 5, 2010

Alabama, USA

Huntsville police investigating rape of 14-year-old

Huntsville - A rape investigation is underway in Huntsville...

The victim is an underage girl.

The disturbing attack was unsettling for many women in the neighborhood, who said they're going to be extra cautious from now on...

...Police said early Sunday morning, a 14-year-old girl reported being raped by a Hispanic male while she was asleep in her bed.

Investigators said the man ran off after the victim woke up and began screaming.

Police are not sure how the man got into the house...

News of the rape put other neighbors on edge.

"I wouldn't expect it around here, that, that kind of blows my mind," said Shannon Stadler, who moved to the area just a few months ago...

Police said the suspect got away in a red Ford Mustang.

If you have any information that might help investigators, give Huntsville Police a call at (256) 722-7100.

Trang Do

WAFF

May 03, 2010


Added: May 3, 2010

New York, USA

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn at Cornell

Nicholas Kristof Talks of Oppression of Women Worldwide

Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof told a story yesterday afternoon to a packed audience in Statler Hall about two 15-year-old Cambodian girls trapped in the despairing shackles of prostitution. He had spoken to both of them for an article he was working on as a reporter and was struck by the fact that after his article ran, they would return to their lives of physical and emotional abuse.

“I had a great front page story and these girls were going to stay behind and die of AIDS,” he said.

So he made a call to the legal counsel at The New York Times and asked if the newspaper had a policy on purchasing human beings. “It turns out they didn’t!” he said to warm laughter from the audience. He bought the girls’ freedom for a total of $350.

“When you get a receipt for buying a human being, it’s a disgrace on our century,” he said.

Kristof, who was joined on stage by his wife, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Cornell Board of Trustees member Sheryl WuDunn ’81, continually walked a narrow line between journalist and activist.

While telling the stories of young women who have endured widespread abuse in third-world nations, they made a heart-tugging plea to end the violence. Their claim that their work to save young girls was “unusual” for journalists was one of many similar statements that defined the unique nature of their jobs.

Kristof and WuDunn’s appearance, part of the the 20th anniversary celebration of the President’s Council for Cornell Women, focused on what they called the century’s most pressing problem — the worldwide oppression of women. This is also the subject of Half the Sky, their bestselling book released last year...

Ben Eisen and Emily Cohn

The Cornell Daily Sun

April 30, 2010

See also:

Added: May 3, 2010

The World

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

The Latin American Gender Crisis Also Deserves Mainstream Coverage

Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are doing important work spreading the word about human trafficking and the oppression of women and girls around the world.

During the fall of 2009, I spoke with both of the authors during a public radio discussion of their book on third world gender oppression, Half the Sky, on WAMU, public radio at the American University in Washington, DC.

I mentioned to Kristof, WuDunn and talk show host Frank Sesno that Asia and Africa were not the only hot spots for gender oppression in the developing world. I said that Latin America also has a major gender rights emergency that rivals that found in India. I mentioned that southern Mexico has been identified by Save the Children as the largest region in the world for the crime of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC - child sex trafficking). I added that the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in southern Mexico has reported that an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls migrants, mostly from Central America, are systematically raped each and every day on the Mexican side of the narrow border with Guatemala and Belize, while Mexico's government intentionally refuses to police that zone of complete criminal impunity.

Kristof and WuDunn responded that they had not studied Latin America when writing the book Half the Sky, and said that they considered India to be the largest and most critical gender rights emergency globally, and that therefore it should be tackled first.

In following their interviews on the subject, I see that Kristof and WuDunn continue to discuss India as the global priority. They rarely mention Latin America in their discussions about the subject of third world gender oppression.

Each and every journalist and author has the freedom to choose any subject matter to focus on. A person can only do so much in the fight against global gender oppression. We call out the inconsistencies in Kristof and WuDunn's presentation of the issue of gender oppression because, as both are Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and best selling authors, their views are used as a reference point for those interested in gender oppression issues globally.

Kristof and WuDunn's views also represent the status quo among anti-trafficking organizations in that they, like most workers and volunteers in the anti-trafficking movement, are of European and Asian descent, and they therefore tend to focus on gender rights and human trafficking issues that involve Europe and Asia (and to some extend the U.S. and Africa).

Our project, Libertad-Latina, has for the past 9 years addressed the task of speaking out with documented facts to make the case that Latin America is home to one of the most severely critical gender oppression crises on planet earth.

We assert that the crisis of gender oppression and especially human trafficking is just as severe in Latin America as it is in Asia. The fact that the Japanese Yakuza mafias have been kidnapping and exporting women and girl children (and especially Indigenous girl children) to Japan and other Asian nations from Colombia (since the 1980s) and also from Mexico and other nations in the region, is one clear indicator of the importance of Latin American victims as an economically valuable cohort of slaves used to populate the world's brothels.

The International Organization for Migration has stated that Latin America generates $16 billion per year from sex trafficking. That number is around 50% of the best estimates of the illicit revenues derived from human trafficking globally. Given that Latin America represents roughly 50% of the global human trafficking marketplace, it deserves the focused attention of the world's women and children's human rights defenders.

Veteran Mexican women' rights lawyer Teresa Ulloa, director of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-LAC) has reported that 17% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Latin America is generated from prostitution, most of which involves sex trafficking. Ulloa also reports that Mexico alone has 500,000 victims of human trafficking.

In recent months, U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP), has acknowled-ged that an estimated 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are from Latin America. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border with the U.S. Yet most public pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca and his two predecessors failed to mention Latin America, even in passing.

We encourage everyone who works to end human trafficking: individuals, activists, non governmental organizations, government agencies and inter-governmental bodies to take a stand against gender oppression in Latin America. We also ask that the journalists and authors who cover gender oppression and human trafficking speak-up and join the tireless efforts of activists in the region and their supporters, who work day and night to end the mass gender atrocities that today plague Mexico and most of the other nations of Latin America.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

May 03, 2010


Added: May 3, 2010

Massachusetts, USA

Ismael Rivera (right) appears in court

Springfield man arrested for vicious assault on 10-year-old girl

Sringfield - A 10-year-old girl is recovering after allegedly being viciously attacked inside of a Chestnut Street apartment building around midnight Wednesday, according to police, who have announced a suspect is in custody.

Ismael Rivera, 26, of 10 Chestnut St., is facing charges of assault and battery on a child with injury, unarmed robbery, kidnapping of a child, intimidating a witness and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the assault on the girl after allegedly punching her in the mouth, burning her with a cigarette and attempting to drag her toward the building's garage before she was able to escape and run for help, according to Springfield Police Department Sgt. John Delaney.

The girl had been sent from her home on the 12th floor of 10 Chestnut St., to the 8th floor to an apartment belonging to the her mother's friend to get some cereal and milk, according to Delaney. As the girl was walking down the stairwell, Rivera allegedly grabbed her by the arm, spun her toward him and then punched her in the mouth. According to Delaney, Rivera then allegedly ripped the girl's cell phone from her hand as she pulled it out in an attempt to call for help and then grabbed her by the throat and threatened to break her neck if she didn't stay quiet before burning her neck with his cigarette.

Rivera then allegedly attempted to bring the girl to down the stairs to the building's garage, according to Delaney, when she was able to free herself and run to a security guard in the lobby for him to call 911.

Police were able to obtain a description of the attacker from the girl and went through the building to speak with residents, according to Delaney, and were able to identify Rivera as a suspect. Rivera was later found allegedly attempting to get back into the building while hiding his face with a hooded sweatshirt, according to Delaney, who added Rivera had the young girl's blood on his clothing.

Rivera had been arraigned in Springfield District Court Wednesday and ordered held without right to bail. Police had requested he be held on $1 million bail as he had allegedly threatened to flee to Puerto Rico, according to Delaney.

Nate Walsh

WGGB

April 28, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

Mexico

Rupert Knox, de Amnistía Internacional, recomendó al gobierno mexicano hacer reformas legislativas para garantizar el acceso a la justicia para los migrantes.

Rupert Knox of Amnesty International has recommended to the Mexican government that it pass legislative reforms to guarantee migrants access to tMexico's justice system.

Photo: EFE

AI: México viola DH como Arizona

El gobierno federal admitió la vulnerabilidad de los migrantes en su paso por el país; actuará en pro de los indocumentados

La organización Amnistía Internacional (AI) demandó al gobierno de México ser congruente en sus reacciones en temas migratorios y atender el problema de abusos cometidos en contra de ciudadanos centroamericanos en territorio nacional, como lo hace en la defensa de sus connacionales en Arizona.

Añadió que nada exime a las autoridades mexicanas para llevar ante la justicia a los responsables de violaciones cometidas en la frontera sur, ya sean funcionarios públicos o particulares...

Amnesty International: Mexico Violates Migrants Human Rights "Same as Arizona"

Mexico’s Federal Government admits the vulnerability of undocumented migrants; declares that it will work in favor of immigrant rights

During a press conference and report release: “Invisible Victims, Migrants in Movement Across Mexico,” Amnesty International (AI) demanded that the government of Mexico be consistent in its response to migration issues and abuses – and that it treat abuses committed against Central American migrants on Mexican soil in the same fashion as it treats its own complaints about abuses of Mexican citizens in Arizona, USA.

Rupert Knox noted that nothing exempts Mexican authorities from bringing cases of migrant abuse long its southern border, be they committed by public officials or others, before the justice system.

In response, the federal government admitted the vulnerability of migrants during their trek across Mexico, where they encounter dangers such as human trafficking and extortion.

At the conclusion of the press conference, AI Mexico president Alberto Herrera stated that abuses occur that are not being correctly addressed by the Mexican authorities.

Herrera: “These are the two sides of the same coin. They are systematic practices of the Mexican state. On the one hand, the government is making [pro human rights ] energetic statements for international consumption [Blue heart campaign, etc.]. On the other hand, a critical lack of attention to these domestic problems.

Herrera added that Mexico should investigate both abuses committed by public officials, and those perpetrated by individuals, including crimes that may be linked to organized crime.

The AI report indicated that 90% of migrants crossing Mexico are Central Americans, especially from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. 20% of that number of migrants are women and girl children.

One in 12 of these migrants is under age 18. Although the majority of those are teenagers, some have not yet reached age 10.

The AI report also mentions that in 2009, 64,061 foreign migrants were detained by Mexico’s National Migration Institute. Some 60,383 of them were originally from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Miguel Á. Sosa and

Gerardo Mejía

El Universal

April 29, 2010

See also:

Added: May 2, 2010

Mexico

Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes

Mexico City - Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants.

The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants.

The Interior Department acknowledged in a statement that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants.

Rupert Knox, Amnesty's Mexico researcher, said in the report that the failure by authorities to tackle abuses against migrants has made their trip through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.

"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," Knox said.

Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.

Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.

One of the main issues, Amnesty says, is that migrants fear they will be deported if they complain to Mexican authorities about abuses.

At present, Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law says, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues."

The Interior Department said the government has taken some steps to combat abuses and Mexico's legislature is working to repeal Article 67 "so that no one can deny or restrict foreigners' access to justice and human rights, whatever their migratory status."

The Amnesty report said one female migrant told researchers that Mexican federal police had forced her group off a train and stolen their belongings. Forced to walk, she said, she was subsequently attacked by a gang and raped.

The Interior Department said it shares Amnesty's concern, and called the report "a valuable contribution."

Mexico has long been offended by mistreatment of its own migrants in the United States...

Mark Stevenson

The Associated Press

April 29, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

The United States

Hundreds Of Immigrants With Criminal Records Arrested

Arrests Made In Florida, Puerto Rico

Miami, Florida - Hundreds were arrested this week as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement searched for immigrants with criminal records living in the U.S.

ICE officials announced Friday that a total of 596 foreign nationals with criminal records were arrested during a three-day operation in the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

Of the 596 arrests, officials said 258 were in Florida and Puerto Rico. Five were arrested in Monroe County, 48 in Miami-Dade and 24 in Broward.

ICE officials said investigators targeted immigrants who pose a threat to national security, are members of gangs or who have a history of sex crimes against children, although the immigrants were not necessarily fugitives. Some of those arrested who have serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records could face federal prosecution.

Arrestees who have deportation orders outstanding or who have reentered the U.S. illegally will be deported, officials said.

JustNews.com

April 30, 2010

See also:

Added: May 2, 2010

The United States

596 criminal aliens arrested in targeted ICE operation throughout the southeastern U.S. Operation Cross Check yields the largest-ever number of arrests

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its law enforcement partners arrested 596 foreign nationals with criminal records during a three-day enforcement surge throughout the southeastern United States, making it the biggest operation targeting at-large criminal aliens ever carried out by ICE in the region...

U.S. ICE

April 30, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

New York, USA

Richard Figueroa

'Manny' busted for sexually abusing 5-year-old

A Manhattan "manny" has been busted for sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in his care, police said Friday.

Richard Figueroa, 23, performed lewd acts - which sources said involved oral sex - on a Morningside Heights boy over a period of several years, law enforcement officials said.

The mother called police last Tuesday after the boy asked her why "Richie always wants to kiss me on the lips" and perform sexual acts on him, sources said.

Figueroa, of East Harlem, was taken into custody at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, cops said. He was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court last night on charges of sexual assault on a child and committing a sexual act on a child, and held on $200,000 bail...

Kate Nocera and Joe Kemp

The New York Daily News

May 01, 2010


All May, 2010 News



Added: May 2, 2010

Ohio, USA

Cops: House guest got girl pregnant

Family took in illegal immigrant after meeting him at church

A 19-year-old illegal immigrant faces charges he impregnated the 13-year-old daughter of a family who helped him by moving him into their home after they met at church.

Estuardo Ruiz of Forest Park was booked into the Hamilton County jail Thursday on one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

According to court documents, Ruiz met the girl and her family at a church in Lockland that the family runs. The family reached out to Ruiz and moved him into their home.

That’s when he became sexually active with their teenage daughter, say Forest Park police.

The girl is pregnant with his child, which is due in October.

Her parents have made him move out.

Police say Ruiz, who does not speak English and is in the U.S. illegally, wrote a confession with the assistance of an interpreter.

Jennifer Baker

Cincinnati.Com

April 30, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

No suspects identified in reported rape at playground

Wenatchee - Wenatchee police say they have no suspects, but have asked other police agencies to attempt to locate the man and van described by a 16-year-old girl who reported she was raped at a school playground Saturday evening.

The girl told police she was walking on Orondo Avenue at about 8 p.m. when a man pulled up beside her in a light-colored van with tinted windows and began talking to her through the open passenger window, said Wenatchee Police Sgt. Cherie Smith.

She reported that she ignored the man and continued walking, but he got out and grabbed her, dragged her into the playground at Columbia Elementary School and sexually assaulted her, Smith said.

She told police she did not scream or call for help, and after the assault she walked home and told her mother.

Smith said they have not increased patrols at the school. Wenatchee School Superintendent Brian Flones said he hasn’t talked to his security officer, but doesn’t think the district has done anything specific in response, other than normal patrols around its schools...

The girl described the suspect as a man between 18 and 20 years old, about 130 pounds and 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a black tank top, dark blue jeans, and a black bandana. She told police he had a pierced tongue and goatee, tattoos across the knuckles of both hands, and a tattoo of barbed wire around his right elbow.

The girl identified the man as Hispanic...

K.C. Mehaffey

The Wenatchee World

April 27, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Peñitas man gets five years for molesting young relatives

Edinburg - A 25-year-old Peñitas man has been sentenced to five years in prison for molesting three female relatives.

Marco Antonio Molina Gonzalez pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

One of his victims, 8, reported the continuous abuse to a counselor at her elementary school in March 2009. She said that he once had sex with her while she was locked in his room, according to court documents.

Her name as well as those of Gonzalez’s other 4- and 5-year-old victims have been withheld as it is The Monitor’s policy not to identify victims of sexual abuse.

Because he is an illegal immigrant, Gonzalez faces possible deportation after completing his prison term.

Jeremy Roebuck

The Monitor

April 26, 2010


Added: May 2, 2010

New York, USA

Victor Hernandez-Perez

Hernandez-Perez found guilty on 13 counts, including kidnapping

Ballston Spa - Victor Hernandez-Perez has been found guilty of kidnapping a 24-year-old woman last July, assaulting her and forcing her to undress while he threatened to rape and kill her.

After five hours of deliberation, a jury returned the verdict — guilty on 13 of 14 counts — just after 7 p.m. Friday night.

Hernandez-Perez now faces eight to 25 years in state prison for his crimes. He will be sentenced in Saratoga County Court July 6. Hernandez-Perez, who entered the country illegally from his native El Salvador, will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials at the end of his prison term.

“We’re going to ask for the maximum sentence,” District Attorney James A. Murphy III said. “This guy is a predator.” ...

The Saratogian

April 30, 2010


Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Mexico

Impunity!

Father Alejandro Solalinde, director of the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference - is thrown into the back of a pickup truck and taken away by corrupt police forces in Oaxaca state.

Amnesty International: "Father Alejandro Solalinde has been repeatedly arrested, threatened and intimidated by local authorities and criminal gangs [for his work assisting migrants]..."

How is the Blue Heart Campaign going to end the madness of corrupt police action against migrants, others at risk of human exploitation and those who help them, President Calderón? - LL

(From a 7 minute video documentary

by Amnesty International)

Los abusos generalizados contra migrantes en México son una crisis de derechos humanos

(comunicado de prensa - 48 páginas - en el Formate de PDF)

Amnesty: Widespread abuse of migrants in Mexico is 'human rights crisis'

[Amnesty: Authorities are complicit in crimes against migrants]

The Mexican authorities must act to halt the continuing abuse of migrants who are preyed on by criminal gangs while public officials turn a blind eye or even play an active part in kidnappings, rapes and murders, Amnesty International said in a new report released on Tuesday.

Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico, documents the alarming levels of abuse faced by the tens of thousands of Central American irregular migrants that every year attempt to reach the US by crossing Mexico.

"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," said Rupert Knox, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International.

"Persistent failure by the authorities to tackle abuses carried out against irregular migrants has made their journey through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world."

Kidnappings of migrants, mainly for ransom, reached new heights in 2009, with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reporting that nearly 10,000 were abducted over six months and almost half of interviewed victims saying that public officials were involved in their kidnapping.

An estimated six out of 10 migrant women and girls experience sexual violence, allegedly prompting some people smugglers to demand that women receive contraceptive injections ahead of the journey, to avoid them falling pregnant as a result of rape.

On 23 January 2010, armed police stopped a freight train carrying over 100 migrants in Chiapas State, southern Mexico.

Veronica (not her real name) said that Federal Police forced her and the other migrants to leave the train and lie face down on the ground, before stealing their belongings and threatening to kill them unless they continued their journey by foot along the railway.

After walking for hours, the group was assaulted by armed men who raped Veronica and killed at least one other migrant.

Two suspects were later detained after a local activist helped the migrants file a complaint but no action was taken against the Federal Police, despite migrants identifying two officers allegedly involved.

"Mexico has a responsibility to prevent, punish and remedy abuses whether these are committed by criminal gangs or public officials," said Rupert Knox.

The report calls for immediate action to ensure migrants' access to complaint mechanisms regardless of their status and ensure effective investigations...

Despite some welcome measures in recent years, for example better protection of the rights of unaccompanied children and criminalization of people trafficking, this has often in reality failed to prevent and punish abuses against migrants.

[The above linked page at Amnesty International includes an excellent 7 minute video report]

The full report in English (48 pages - PDF format)

Amnesty International

April 28, 2010


Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Mexico

A final end to another stark case of official impunity targeting Indigenous women

Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice has freed two wrongly convicted Otomi indigenous women, Teresa González Cornelio (left) and Alberta Alcántara Juan - two months after they were sentenced to prison for supposedly kidnapping six AFI (equivalent to the U.S. FBI) agents - when a group of unarmed women vendors at a street bazaar protested the confiscation of their merchandise and surrounded the agents.

Resuelve SCJN libertad para indígenas otomíes Alberta y Teresa

México, D.F., 28 abr 10 (CIMAC).- Por unanimidad, cinco ministros de la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) resolvieron hoy revocar la sentencia dictada el 19 de febrero del 2010 contra Alberta Alcántara Juan y Teresa González Cornelio, indígenas otomíes acusadas de “secuestrar” a seis elementos de la desaparecida Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI).

La sesión pública, en la que ambas indígenas fueron absueltas, convocó a una gran cantidad de medios de comunicación, quienes estuvieron pendientes del dictamen de la ministra Olga Sánchez Cordero, quien concluyó que no hay elementos suficientes para acreditar el delito de privación de la libertad en su modalidad de secuestro ni acreditar la responsabilidad de Alberta por delitos contra la salud, es decir, posesión de cocaína.

Por tanto, José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, presidente de la Primera Sala de la SCJN resolvió que de inmediato se mandaría un telegrama al juez Cuarto de Distrito en el estado de Querétaro, Rodolfo Pedraza Longi, para que este a su vez gire la orden de liberación.

Caber recordar que Pedraza Longi, impuso a Alberta y Teresa una pena de 21 años de prisión y el pago de una multa de 91 mil pesos, más 70 mil pesos por concepto de “reparación del daño”, luego de responsabilizarlas de haber “secuestrado” a seis elementos de la desaparecida Agencia Federal de Investigaciones (AFI).

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 28, 2010

See also:

Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Mexico

Teresa González Cornelio in her prison cell

Mexico frees 2 Indians after 4 years in prison

Mexico's Supreme Court has overturned the kidnapping convictions and ordered the release of two Indian market vendors whose case received international attention.

Otomi Indians Alberta Alcantara Juan and Teresa Gonzalez Cornelio have spent almost four years in prison on 21-year sentences for the alleged kidnapping of six federal agents.

Prosecutors say the agents were confiscating pirated goods at a market in 2006 when angry vendors overpowered them and held them against their will.

The court ruled Wednesday there was insufficient evidence to convict the women. Critics, including Amnesty International, contend prosecutors fabricated evidence.

A third woman convicted in the case, Jacinta Francisco Marcial, was freed last year.

The Associated Press

April 28, 2010

See also:

Mexico

Amnesty International Demands Release of 2 Mexican Indigenous Women

Mexico City - Amnesty International of Mexico said two indigenous women jailed since 2006 on charges of kidnapping six police officers are “prisoners of conscience” and called for their immediate release.

Alberta Alcantara Juan and Teresa Gonzalez Cornelio were arrested three-and-a-half years ago during a raid on pirate DVD vendors at a square in the central Mexican state of Queretaro, the home region of both women.

In the same operation, police also arrested another indigenous market stall holder, Jacinta Francisco, who was released last September due to what Mexican prosecutors acknowledged was a lack of evidence during a retrial.

In a joint press conference with the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, or Centro Prodh, – which is assisting in the defense of Alcantara and Gonzalez – the director of that latter organization, Luis Arriaga Valenzuela, said the jailing of the two women serves as a dissuasive measure against all marginalized Indian populations.

“In cases like this, they know that if they rise up, they run the risk of getting lost in the labyrinth of Mexico’s deficient justice system,” he said.

For his part, Gabriel Alcantara Juan, Alberta’s brother and Teresa’s husband, said this situation is common among “low-income families” like his and demanded the immediate release of his sister, his wife and their daughter, who was born in prison and is now one year old.

Centro Prodh said Alcantara and Gonzalez had previously been victims of ethnic, gender and class discrimination and were targeted during the police operation because they “demanded to see the identification of the officers taking part” in the raid.

The police arrived at the Santiago Mexquititlan square dressed as civilians and violently dismantled some market stalls and seized merchandise, an operation resisted by the vendors...

The Latin American Herald Tribune

Late 2009


Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Georgia, USA / Puerto Rico

Army Lt. Colonel Accused Of Making Child Porn

Atlanta - A lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army has been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography production and possession offenses.

Edgar Pagan-Torres, 41, of Peachtree City, made his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate judge on April 15, 2009, and was indicted Tuesday afternoon.

"This defendant allegedly sexually abused his own daughter and niece and then produced videos of his crimes, mementos that he carefully organized into home-video-style DVDs," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "This shocking and tragic conduct has no place in our nation's military, nor anywhere else. I appreciate all the hard work the U.S. Army investigators did to bring this case to the FBI and to ensure that the defendant now faces these very serious charges." ...

WSB-TV

April 27, 2010


Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Nevada, USA

19-year-old suspect Juan Rivera

14-Year-Old Identified as Murder Victim

Las Vegas - The Clark County Coroner's Office has identified the teen found murdered in a daycare parking lot as 14-year-old Diana Soto of Las Vegas.

No cause or manner of death has been determined.

Soto's body was found Sunday morning in the back parking lot of a daycare near Owens Ave. and Marion Dr. Officers were able to identify Soto through a missing persons report that was filed on April 24, 2010.

After interviewing family and friends, detectives arrested 19-year-old Juan Rivera in connection with Soto's murder. He has been booked into the Clark County Detention Center for murder, robbery and sexual assault. He will make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

KLAS

April 27, 2010


Added: Apr. 29, 2010

Ohio, USA

14-year-old indicted in rape of 64-year-old

Hamilton - A 14-year-old accused of robbing and sexually assaulting a 64-year-old woman has been indicted by a Butler County grand jury.

Alexis Ramirez of Liberty Township was indicted Wednesday, April 28, on charges of felonious assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, two counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape and tampering with evidence. According to prosecutors, he faces up to 83 years in prison if convicted.

Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress said the rape charges stem from “three distinct places in the house he forced to have sex with him.”

Ramirez was indicted for tampering with evidence for allegedly ditching the gun used in the attack in the woods behind his residence in a Liberty Twp. trailer park.

According to Butler County sheriff’s detectives, the woman was attacked Jan. 11 after the 14-year-old Monroe student - armed with a “pellet rifle” - entered her residence at Countryside Mobile Home Community on Ohio 4. Authorities say the teen demanded money, hit the woman in the head and raped her before forcing her to drive to an ATM.

In March, following psychological evaluations and a hearing, Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Craft transferred the case to adult court...

Dayton Daily News

April 28, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico

Migrantes originarias de Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, y de otras nacionalidades, continúan siendo víctimas de las redes de la delincuencia organizada.

Migrant women, hailing from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and other nations, continue to become the victims of organized crime networks.

Foto: Organización Editorial Mexicana (OEM)

"Zetas" secuestran y venden mujeres en 40 dólares: ONG´s

Ciudad de México.- Organizaciones de derechos humanos que trabajan en temas migratorios sostienen que pese a las campañas de prevención que lleva a cabo el Gobierno federal para radicar la trata de personas, mujeres, hombres, niñas, niños y adolescentes que salen de sus países en busca de una mejor vida tienen que soportar el costo de sufrir todo tipo de agresiones y violaciones a sus derechos humanos a lo largo de su trayecto por territorio mexicano.

Organizaciones como Frontera con Justicia, Humanidad Sin Fronteras, Belén Posada del Migrante y el Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez afirman que de acuerdo a testimonios de mujeres centroamericanas, en nuestro país las mujeres migrantes que viajan en el tren son secuestradas por grupos delictivos como los Zetas y forzadas a ejercer la prostitución en bares, prostíbulos y casas clandestinas en donde las venden hasta por 40 dólares"...

"Zetas" kidnap and then sell [pimp] migrant women for $40 - NGOs

Human rights organizations who work on migration issues in Mexico say that, despite the existence of federal initiatives to combat human trafficking, girls, boys, adolescents, women and men who leave their homes in search of a better life must face every form of violence and violations of their human rights throughout their long journey across Mexican territory.

Non-profit agencies such as Frontera con Justicia [Border with Justice], Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without Borders], Belén Posada del Migrante [the Bethlehem Migrants Shelter] and the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez [The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center] say that, according to the testimonies of Central American women, many females who travel through Mexico by jumping onto trains [the most common form of migration] are then kidnapped by criminal networks such as the Zetas [a very powerful drug cartel founded by AWOL military men who apply extreme violence during their criminal activities]. The Zetas and other gangs force these kidnapped women to exercise prostitution in bars, brothels and safe houses, where they are sold for up to 40 dollars.

Victims say that these crimes are committed with complete impunity. “The authorities, instead of taking action against the bars, actually work against us,” says a Honduran  migrant victim who was interviewed by a Honduran newspaper, and who has been supported by NGOs in Mexico.

The advocacy groups denounced the fact that migrants originating from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and other nations continue to be victimized by these crime networks, and by state governments who will not defend and protect their human rights.

The human rights advocates went on to add that government officials actually participate in the commission of crimes against migrants. This is especially true in the many cases where women have been kidnapped and taken to safe houses and brothels where they are subjected to sexual exploitation and labor trafficking. 

Because of this, the above-named organizations energetically call upon the government of Mexico to make good on the commitment and will expressed during the recent [April 14, 2010] launch of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign. The NGOs want Mexico’s federal government to focus especially on the undocumented Central American migrant population [as human trafficking victims].

At the same time, the advocates are demanding that the rule of law and the statutes governing human trafficking, the office of the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), and programs to protect trafficking victims - stop being, as they are today, a set of inoperable political actions that allow neither the eradication of the root causes of trafficking nor the elimination of related crimes.

Within this context, the NGOs, who previously extended an open invitation for visits on these issues to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), are also calling on the Mexican state to set solid dates for the visits offered, in response, by Felipe González, the CNDH Special Rapporteur for Workers, Migrants and their Families.

Manrique Gandaria

El Sol de México (OEM)

April 24, 2010

See also:

(Another report about the same press conference)

Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico

Piden ONG contener creciente trata de personas en México

Organizaciones No Gubernamentales (ONG) reclamaron hoy al gobierno mexicano hacer efectivo el compromiso de contener la creciente trata de personas, ejercida básicamente contra inmigrantes centroamericanos en condición irregular.

Pese a los esfuerzos del Ejecutivo, el delito resulta frecuente y las políticas aplicadas no conducen a la erradicación de ese grave flagelo, señalaron ONG especializadas en la materia, entre ellas Frontera Con Justicia y los centros de derechos humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez y del Migrante "Beato Juan Bautista Scalabrini"...

Prensa Latina

April 22, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Logo of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking

Is Mexico Finally Willing to Act to End Human Slavery and Gender Exploitation?

The April 14th launch in Mexico City by President Calderón of the world's first national-level (United Nations sponsored) Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking offers the hope that the Mexican government has finally turned a corner, and is now willing to act positively to combat the crisis of modern human slavery after a very long history of inaction.

While that is the hope, it is not unfair for the world to maintain a skeptical eye on the activities of Mexican officials as they work to put into effect such a radical change in national policy.

During the past several years LibertadLatina has dedicated its efforts to bringing world attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and enslavement of women, children and men that occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico. While the global anti-trafficking movement -and especially its powerful and pioneering English-speaking contingent- have focused almost exclusively on fighting human trafficking in other regions of the world (especially in Europe, Asia and the U.S.), we have worked to close the gap in English-language and bilingual coverage of the trafficking crisis in the Spanish-speaking, Caribbean, Indigenous and African-descendent communities of the Americas.

The United Nations is perhaps the only major entity with the power to affect positive change - to have taken the crisis in Latin America seriously during the past decade. It is not by accident that the UN had previously developed an anti-trafficking relationship directly with Mexico's border state of Chiapas, the only UN-to-state relationship of its kind, in response to the mass human atrocities that occur there. It is also not by accident that Mexico was chosen as the world's first nation to adopt the UN Office of Drugs and Crime's Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking.

According to the Southern Cone (southern South American) office of the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in annual profits created by the human slavery industry globally are generated in Latin America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal marketplace for worldwide slavery victims has never been responded to by the  engagement of 50% of the global anti-trafficking movement's energy, resources or focus.

That lack of attention, together with the willingness of past U.S. administrations to effectively ignore Latin America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow exponentially in the region while the world effectively looked the other way in apathy.

Mexico is home base for the largest problems in Latin American human trafficking.

We have decided to focus on the crisis in Mexico because solving that one single national emergency will have the most positive impact on the entire regional crisis.

In the United States, 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border into the U.S. The population of Mexico (and especially its poor and vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer immensely from modern slavery. In addition, Central American migrants are kidnapped, raped and trafficked by the many thousands as they cross Mexico. Some are also murdered.

Southern Mexico's narrow border with Guatemala and Belize is the one 'bottleneck' where literally millions of South and Central American migrants who seek to travel to the United States must cross into Mexico. Human traffickers and also rapist thugs and robbers await these innocent migrants like trolls under a bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls among these migrants every single day of the year with complete impunity on the Mexican side of its southern border, with no discernable response from Mexican officials and authorities. In fact, police and military forces have harassed migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a 6 month period, according to a study by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission). A number of those victims are sold into slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

The NGO Save the Children has described the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region in the entire world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The city of Tapachula, for example, has 20,000 persons engaging in prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels. Half of that number are children and underage youth at any given time. Local police don't interfere with this 'business,' they focus on keeping child prostitutes away from schools and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Across Mexico, women, and especially those from Mexico's traditionally discriminated against Indigenous peoples, who are 30% of the population, are also raped with impunity. The perpetrators are not only criminal thugs, but also military soldiers engaged in the drug war. President Calderón has steadfastly denied that any problem exists with military rapes of civilians, and he has refused to allow accused soldiers to be tried in civilian courts.

On April 15, 2010, one day after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign, President Calderón sent his federal lawyers to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to fight against Inés Fernández Ortega, an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by soldiers in her home in 2002. The government lawyers denied that any rape took place, and blamed the victim for the lack of justice (an assertion that women's rights activists in Mexico are repulsed by).

Fernández Ortega, her family and her lawyers have faced intimidation and death threats. Her brother, a witness in her case, was murdered shortly after she began her now 8 year effort to find justice in her case.

For Inés Fernández Ortega and many other women victims of criminal impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has become the venue of last resort after having faced institutional injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and uncaring government response to their plight.

The Mexican government's actions in the Inés Fernández Ortega case, just after kicking-off the Blue Heart Campaign, raise a red flag of concern about the true nature of President Calderón's level of commitment to truly changing Mexico's long tradition of openly exploiting people for profit while repressing the rights of those who dare to file a complaint.

During the 500 year period since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Indigenous women have been easy target for rapists and human traffickers. We who are Indigenous know this history inside out, no matter what corner of the Americas we hail from. What is an abomination in today's world is the fact that in Mexico and across much of Latin America, Indigenous women and girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized with the implied consent of national governments. By extension, none of these women can count on the protection of their national governments and local police forces in the face of such gender atrocities.

In Mexico, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage youth have been kidnapped and then sold to the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then transport the victims to Japan, where they are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes. Despite the existence of this story during the past several years, there are no visible signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever lifted a finger to rescue the victims. In a similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous  girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old. The sale price was $25,000 each, because Indigenous girl children were considered to be "exotic" merchandise.

During the past 9 years, LibertadLatina has related many similar true stories of impunity to our readers. We have backed-up our arguments with the 1,300 pages of factual news articles, research reports and essays that are available on this web site.

We have especially focused on translating into English the many articulate voices for change in Mexico and Latin America. They are women and men; journalists, academics and activists who have dared to speak the truth about the mass gender atrocities that plague this region of the world, a region where exercising your freedom of expression, especially as a journalist, can easily get you killed.

We salute them all, and remain dedicated to presenting the truth to the public about these institutionalized forms of gender and ethnic oppression.

The United Nations Blue Heart Campaign's first national-level effort will offer Mexico an opportunity to show its citizens, its indigenous nations, its undocumented migrants, its children and the world community that it is really willing to change.

Change will not come easily. We will not celebrate any victories over impunity until we see real, consistent change on the ground.

To make that change happen, human rights organizations, activists, academics and concerned citizens within Mexico and across the globe will all have to keep up the pressure on Mexico's government. Many political and cultural forces in Mexico will fight hard to block the effective work of the Blue Heart Campaign and the imposition of the rule of law in regions where it does not now exist.

Mexico has relied upon slave labor (farm labor peonage and unpaid Indigenous domestic servitude for the middle and upper classes) for 500 years. In addition, according to veteran Mexican women's rights lawyer Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American and Caribbean branch (CATW-LAC), 500,000 victims of human slavery exist in Mexico. The great majority of these victims are forced into prostitution. That economic sector generates great wealth for criminals, corrupt police officers and politicians. Raping, robbing and murdering migrants who attempt to cross Mexico also generates significant illicit 'profits.'

Those who benefit from exploiting people will not give up without a fight. It is not unlike asking people in Afghanistan to give up growing opium poppies to make heroin. That is simply how money is made in that part of the world.

The supporters of the lawless status-quo have included many officials within the Calderón administration.

The 2007 Law to Prevent, Combat and Punish Human Trafficking was effectively derailed by opposition within the administration, and it is now referred to accurately as a "dead letter" by congressional leaders.

Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont was effectively in charge of seeing to it that the 2007 law's required federal regulations were written, and that the Commission and the Program to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking were set up. He dragged his feet for two years before the law's regulations were written, and then delayed setting-up the commission called for in the law. The National Program, the last major element called for to actually implement the law, was never created.

The aspects of the 2007 law that were put into effect only came into being because of persistent agitation from members of Congress. Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont, for example, only created the federal regulations required to implement the law after Congress issued four stern warnings to President Calderón, demanding that he act to put the law into effect.

Congressional members are still demanding that the 2007 law's required National Program to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking be created, as called for in the 2007 law.

In addition to these realities, the National Action Party (PAN) has not had a stellar history in regard to defending women's rights within many other venues.

The former mayor of Ciudad Juarez and later Chihuahua state governor during the 1990s femicide crisis, Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, was rewarded by president Calderón, (over the vocal objections of anti-femicide activists who recalled his apathy in addressing the crisis) with an appointment as Mexico's ambassador to Canada in 2009.

Arturo Chávez, who botched the investigations into the Ciudad Juarez femicides and prosecutions of suspects, was roundly denounced by anti-femicide activists when President Calderón named him to be Attorney General, also in 2009.

Cecilia Romero, head of the national immigration service (INM) and a long-time PAN party official, boasted in a 2009 press interview with El Universal, a major Mexico City daily paper, that human trafficking is "inevitable", and that, "the existence of the smuggling of migrants, human trafficking, pedophile networks, and the kidnappings and violence that affect thousands of migrants are only "evils of mankind" that Mexico cannot eradicate.

The worst legacy of misogyny within the ruling National Action Party is represented by El Yunque (the Anvil) - an ultra-conservative Catholic secret society that has been reported to be a major, if not dominating influence within the PAN. As we have reported previously:

"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 assassina-tions and murders targeting their opponents.

We are today being asked by President Calderón to believe that his administration has made the radical shift from policies that effectively matched those of El Yunque, to a now enlightened, pro-women and pro-victim stance that aggressively supports the war against human trafficking.

If President Calderón's lofty words, spoken at the April 14, 2010 launch of the "Blue Heart Campaign - Mexico - 2009-2010" (see below articles), are sincere, we support those sentiments 100%

PAN congresswoman Rosi Orozco, who has just presented a new anti-trafficking bill to replace the 'failed' 2007 law (see below articles) is proposing a measure that appears to be a truly groundbreaking piece of legislation. Her bill, developed with input from the United Nations (and likely the United States), appears to repair the many deficiencies found in the 2007 law that made its implementation such a political nightmare for anti-trafficking advocates in Congress.

We do insist, however, that the Mexican government dismantle ALL forms of human exploitation, and that it do so effectively. We echo the recently announced demands of NGO agencies  Frontera con Justicia [Border with Justice], Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without Borders], Belén Posada del Migrante [the Bethlehem Migrants Shelter] y el Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez [The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center] (see above article).

[We all demand that] the rule of law and the statutes governing human trafficking, the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), and programs to protect trafficking victims - stop being, as they are today, a set of inoperable political actions that allow neither the eradication of the root causes of trafficking nor the elimination of related crimes.

The wonderful words spoken by President Calderón and Deputy Orozco during the Blue Heart campaign launch said nothing about the 3,000 to 4,000 Mexican Indigenous children and youth enslaved in Japan who are awaiting the president's action and their rescue.

Those words said almost nothing about the rape with impunity of 450 to 600 women and girl children by traffickers and thugs each and every day on the Guatemalan border, an atrocity that Mexico's Congress has demanded action to have resolved for years to no avail. [Although efforts to assist migrant victims of trafficking were mentioned by President Calderon on April 14th.]

Those words also said nothing about any federal action to change conditions in Tapachula, a southern Mexican border city where an estimated 10,000 underage children and youth are forced to prostitute themselves with virtually no government intervention.

Nothing was said about Save the Children's observation that Mexico's southern border is the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the entire world.

We expect, at the very least, that the U.S. State Department's 2010 Trafficking Persons (TIP) report, that applies a rating to all of the world's nations, will be honest and acknowledge these multiple crises. Were it not for the Blue Heart Campaign and the positive anti-trafficking leadership and actions of Deputy Rosi Orozco. the PAN party's new spokesperson on human trafficking issues, Mexico would have rightly deserved a downgrading of its 2009 rating from Level 2 to the Level 2 Watch List in 2010.

No nation wants to be on that 'trouble' list.

We have no doubt that the U.S. Government, through Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, played a major role in bringing about such a major change in Mexican federal policy on human trafficking. If that assumption is correct, we salute Ambassador CdeBaca, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama for those important efforts.

Mexico has a lot of work to do to show the world that it is serious about ending human exploitation and impunity. As it goes through these first apparent baby steps of changing direction, it is the responsibility of the world's peoples and governments to "trust, but verify."

We cannot divert our attention from this crisis while government actors in Mexico continue to be part of the problem, and while thousands of innocents continue to be kidnapped and raped each week with total impunity.

The whole world is watching!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 27, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

Traffickers sell these children to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

More that 50% of these child victims are from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

Undercover reporter in Spain poses as buyer, is offered 6 Indigenous 'virgin' girls [all of them age 13] by child sex trafficker.  'Sale' price in Europe for Mayan girls kidnapped from Chiapas state in Mexico: $25,000 Each.

(In Spanish)

- Cronica

Feb. 29, 2004

See also:

Chiapas - State government investigates the sale of young Mayan girls in Europe.

(In Spanish)

- CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

March 15, 2004

See also:

Read the CIMAC Women's News Agency's collection of over 340 articles published between 2007 and 2010 about the rape with impunity of [mostly indigenous] women by soldiers in Mexico.

(In Spanish)

CIMAC Women's News Agency - Mexico City

See also:

Modern Day Slavery in Mexico and the United States

...Ambassador [Luis] C. de Baca [Director of the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office]  believes that focusing on eradicating human trafficking could improve U.S.-Mexican efforts to combat other forms of transnational crime.

According to C. de Baca, human trafficking “appears to be an area where the [Mexican government] is prepared to cooperate with [the U.S.].” C. de Baca and others are hopeful that the exchange of information on human trafficking cases will build relationships between Mexican and U.S. officials that might help further combat the drug war.

Megan McAdams

Council on Foreign Relations

Dec. 21, 2009

See also:

Mexico

Felipe González, IACHR Vice-Chair  and Rapporteur, and
Professor Dinah Shelton
, IACHR Rapporteur and
Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washing-ton University Law School - Listen to the March 22, 2010 presentation on the kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico.

Photo:  European Press Photo Agency

Denuncian el "infierno" de unos 18.000 migrantes secuestrados al pasar por México

Washington, DC.- México se ha convertido en la trampa de miles de migrantes de Centroamérica y Sudamérica que son secuestrados cada año cuando atraviesan ese país, según denunciaron hoy activistas en la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH)...

Activists Denounce the “Hell” Faced by 18,000 Migrants per Year Who Are Kidnapped in Mexico

Washington, DC  - According to activists who testified on March 22, 2010 at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) - Mexico has become a dangerous trap for thousands of migrants from South and Central America who are kidnapped each year when they attempt to cross Mexico.

The religious and human rights activists testified during an IAHRC hearing, held during its 138th period of sessions. In their testimony, they accused the Mexican state of abandoning the 18,000 migrants who were kidnapped during 2009, which they declared to be a terrible year for the phenomenon.

The director of the migrant shelter Brothers on the Road to Hope, Father Alejandro Solandide, denounced the lack of political will in Mexico to put a stop to the problem, as well as the complicity and cover-up that state agents engage in – in relation to these crimes.

Father Solandide: “It is very hard to see a line that separates the authors of these kidnappings - be they organized criminals or public officials.”

Migrants begin their trek in their home countries, where these criminal networks [first] coordinate their activities, said Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the National Institute for Migration [Mexico’s immigration agency].

When migrants reach Mexico, they are trapped, and are taken to safe houses, where the coyotes demand their family’s phone number [to allow them to extort the family], and they are beaten with sticks and suffer other tortures.

“These safe houses are hell. The victims suffer tortures. If they resist [the extortion], they are made examples of and are mutilated or murdered, declared Reverend Pedro Pantajo Arreola, of the Bethlehem Migrant’s Shelter.

The wave of kidnappings began in 2006, says Father Solandide, but the problem became even larger in 2009, when it became like a “silent, low-motion massacre” – “due to moral decay,” the increase in organized criminal violence, and judicial impunity.

During the last three years, the ‘industry’ of mass kidnapping has been perfected, especially in the state of Veracruz. In a six month period of time, these kidnappings generate $50 million dollars in revenue.

Aside from the Mexican government’s failure to investigate these crimes, and the “immense defenseless-ness” of the victims, Father Solandide denounced the “insufficient actions taken and mechanisms put into place” by the government in the face of this reality. Scant resources exist to house, assist and restore the victims.

The representatives of the organizations who testified directly assist victims, a situation that has also placed them in harm’s way.

“Our migrant shelters are being threatened and attacked by both the Mexican authorities and by members of organized crime, to such an extent that we have found in necessary to seek the legal protection of this Commission,” said Monsignor Raúl Vera, Archbishop of Saltillo, who is also the president of the Council of the Friar Juan de Larios Center.

[Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the federal National Institute for Migration, and Alejandro Negrín, human rights representative at the Mexican Chancellery, testified in opposition to the petition.]

Felipe González, the President of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) stated that he was in agreement with the petitioners, and invited the IAHRC to visit Mexico to determine the magnitude of the problem in person.

 

EFE

March 22, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico

National Action Party (PAN) Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco (center) listens as President Felipe Calderón (left) speaks during Mexico's April 14, 2010 national inauguration of the United Nation's Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking.

Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino, (right) appointed in 2009 as  Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City on April 14, 2010

Mexico se Suma a la Campaña Corazón Azul de la ONU - Contra la Trata de Personas

Una fructífera semana en avances sobre la concientización del delito de trata de personas y el apoyo que debemos darle todos a los niños y niñas, y mujeres y hombres víctimas de esta práctica catalogada como “la esclavitud del siglo XXI”, tuvimos en estos últimos días.

El Gobierno Federal, a través del presidente Felipe Calderón, emprendió la Campaña Corazón Azul para sensibilizar a la ciudadanía sobre este grave delito que flagela a la sociedad, y dio todo su apoyo a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para que a nivel nacional se emprendan actividades de sensibilización y prevención.

Con el apoyo de todo el equipo de trabajo que me acompaña, desde hace un par de meses nos sumamos a la organización de la campaña Corazón Azul en nuestro país, junto con la oficina de las Naciones Unidas Contra la Droga y el Delito, la Comisión nacional de los Derechos Humanos, la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) y el gobierno federal...

Mexican Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco reports on a productive week of activities during the launch of the UN Blue Heart Campaign in Mexico

This past week was fruitful, in that major advances were made in raising awareness about the crime of human trafficking, and about the assistance that all of us need to be giving to boys, girls, women and men who are victims of modern day slavery.

Mexico's federal government, through the actions of President Felipe Calderón, has launched a national version of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign to raise public consciousness among citizens about this grave crime. President Calderón offered his assistance to the UN so that national efforts at education and prevention become successful.

Together with my staff, during the past two months I have joined the National Human Rights Commission, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mexico's federal government, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC-initiators of the Blue Heart Campaign) in coordinating efforts [to begin this campaign].

I had the honor to represent the Special Commission for the Fight Against Human Trafficking of the (congressional) Chamber of Deputies on the panel at the Campaign launch. Joining me was [fellow PAN party anti-trafficking activist] Senator Guillermo Tamborrel.

We can both testify to the fact that the struggle to assist victims of human trafficking has now become a major focus on the national Agenda, which redoubles our commitment to end this scourge.

President Calderón invited all Mexican women and men, civil organization, NGOs, academic institutions, authorities across federal state and local governments, officials from the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and all political parties, without exception, to unite without conditions to defend the freedom of millions of Mexicans and people around the world.

President Calderón stated: "Together we will generate, my friends, a new social consciousness that leaves behind us forever the pain and violence the human trafficking leaves in its wake. We must continue to work with dedication, not only to honor the liberty that our ancestors conquered, but also to defend those freedoms against any and all interests that threaten them. That is the legacy that we must leave to future generations of Mexicans - a world that is more free, more just, and more human."

Deputy Rosi Orozco

RosiOrozco.com

(Approx.) April 22, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico

Presenta PAN ley para prevenir trata de personas

Al advertir que al año cerca de 20 mil de niños son victimas de explotación sexual en nuestro país y 1.2 millones a nivel mundial, la diputada del Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), Rosi Orozco, presentó una iniciativa para expedir la Ley General para Prevenir, Combatir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas.

La también presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, explicó que la iniciativa busca cimentar la construcción de un marco jurídico que coordine los tres órdenes de gobierno y distribuya las competencias y facultades entre éstos...

National Action Party proposes new anti-trafficking legislation

National Action Party congressional deputy Rosi Orozco has presented a legislative initiative to strengthen the [existing 2007] General Law to Prevent Combat and Punish Human Trafficking.

Deputy Orozco, who is also president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, explained that her proposal aims to cement the construction of a legal framework that will coordinate the efforts of the the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and will assign responsibilities to each of these branches [such an effort was legislated into the 2007 law, but was never enacted].

Deputy Orozco's bill contains 36 articles. If passed, the law will replace the existing 2007 law [which legislators have referred to as a 'dead letter' because it was not effectively implemented]. The bill takes into account recommendations provided by the United Nations, and establishes coordination of action in regard to prevention, prosecution, criminal penalties, and to provide assistance to victims with the objective of quickly re-integrating them back into society.

Deputy Orozco stated that the bill defines human trafficking crimes in certain terms, and establishes standards for the creation of federal and state programs. It also includes requirements for evaluating results, providing compensation for victims and including society in anti-trafficking efforts.

The proposal argues that existing [state and federal] legislation contains legal loopholes and gaps, and therefore it is urgent that the efforts to fight human trafficking be coordinated among the three branches of government.

At the same time the bill recognizes that a number of the legal concepts that exist in current federal and state legislation differ with those found within the international protocols and treaties to which Mexico is a signatory.

Therefore, is is necessary that existing laws at both the federal and state level be revised and improved upon. Specifically, the concepts defining exactly what constitutes criminal conduct, as well as standards for criminal penalties and criteria for assisting victims must be established and standardized.

In regard to the fight against human trafficking, the law establishes clear responsibilities between the federal government, the states and the federal district, and also municipalities.

“The bill clearly lays out the competencies among entities, their scopes of action, as well as dispositions relative to coordination in regard to prevention, protection and attention to victims and inter-institutional collaboration,” Deputy Orozco emphasized. In that sense, it authorizes the nation’s federated entities [states and the federal district-Mexico City] so that they are empowered to address these crimes in their jurisdictions, which they deserve.

Roberto José Pacheco

Periódico Excélsior

April 20, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

New York, USA

Good Samaritan Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax lay bleeding for over an hour on a sidewalk after coming to the aid of a female assault victim. Passersby did not call police or rescue services.

This man is a hero. May he rest in peace!

Photo: New York Post

Multiple Pedestrians Ignore Dying New York Hero

A homeless man who was stabbed while saving a woman from a knife-wielding attacker lay dying in a pool of his own blood for more than an hour while several New Yorkers walked past without calling for help.

Surveillance video obtained by the New York Post shows that some passers-by paused to gawk at Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax early Sunday morning and yet kept on walking.

One man came out of a nearby building and took a cellphone photo of the victim before leaving. Another leaned over and vigorously shook the dead man before walking away. But most people never stopped.

Firefighters arrived more than an hour and 20 minutes after Tale-Yax collapsed. By that time, the 31-year-old was dead.

"They needed to help and call the police. I don't get it," resident Ramon Bellasco, 46, told the Post.

The incident happened at 7:21 a.m. almost a week ago at 88 Road and 144th Street in the borough of Queens, but police didn't have a clear idea of what happened until recently.

Tale-Yax is seen on the grainy video approaching a man who was threatening a woman with a knife. The man turned and stabbed Tale-Yax but most of the action is out of the security camera's field of vision. Both the stabber and the woman then fled in different directions and Tale-Yax stumbled a few paces before collapsing face-down on the sidewalk.

Within a minute or so, the first of a long series of people begins walking by Tale-Yax without going to his aid.

Police told the Post they received four 911 calls at around the time of the attack reporting a woman screaming, but found nothing. They said they received no other 911 calls.

The incident is reminiscent of the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, also in Queens, in 1964. In that case, dozens of people witnessed some or all of the attack and yet no one did anything to stop it.

No arrests have been made in the latest slaying, and police have been unable to identify the woman Tale-Yax was trying to help.

 

AOL News

April 24, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico

Blanco fácil - Migración, geografía, desigualdad social y discriminación han convertido a México en un país con cierto grado de vulnerabilidad ante este delito

Easy prey - Migration, geography and discrimination have converted Mexico into a nation that is vulnerable to human trafficking.

Photo: EL Universal - archives

CNDH apura acciones legislativas contra trata

Para erradicar la trata de personas, es necesario que los Congresos locales impulsen acciones legislativas, subrayó la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos.

Para el organismo, la falta de armonización en las legislaciones estatales abre una brecha de impunidad y dificulta la acción coordinada de las autoridades en la lucha contra la esclavitud del siglo XXI.

La CNDH y el Senado de la República instalaron el Observatorio Nacional contra la Trata de Personas, instrumento que concentra el trabajo de diez comités regionales mediante los que se promueve la armonización del sistema jurídico mexicano para combatir ese delito, proteger y asistir a las víctimas...

The National Human Rights Commission accelerates legislative initiatives to fight human trafficking

According to Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the elimination of human trafficking will only come about if Mexico's states push legislative action.

For the CNDH, the lack of compatibility among the various state laws has created a breech that allows impunity to exist, and makes coordinated government action more difficult.

The CNDH and the Senate of the Republic have created a National 'Observatory' Against Human Trafficking. This entity integrates the work of 10 regional committees through which efforts to synchronize Mexico's anti-trafficking efforts to develop [an improved] legal framework and victim protection and assistance will be carried out.

The Observatory documents ongoing government actions in regard to prevention, prosecution, victim assistance and victim compensation. They are also considering ways to strengthen the 'culture' for reporting trafficking crimes...

Thirteen yeas ago, the CNDH put in place a program to combat human trafficking. They have pioneered methods for denouncing trafficking, and for understanding the modes of operation used by trafficking networks.

El Universal

April 19, 2010 


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

The United States / Mexico

Regino Vasquez-Martinez (left) and Raul Ortiz-Caseres

‘Rapto’ in the United States

The crime of kidnapping a woman for the purpose of marriage against her will, often raping her in the process, or "rapto," as it is known in Mexico, is actually considered by Mexican authorities to be a minor crime and rarely prosecuted. A Mexican legislator has even called the practice "romantic."

Along with a tidal wave of illegal aliens, this medieval practice has now made its way to the U.S.

This week, Mexican nationals Regino Vasquez-Martinez and Raul Ortiz-Caseres were arrested and charged with kidnapping, after allegedly abducting a woman in Kansas City.

According to police, Ortiz-Caseres has admitted to kidnapping a 25-year-old Kansas City woman because he wanted to take her to New Jersey to marry her, even after she had rejected him.

Ortiz-Caseres called the woman constantly, wrote her love letters, and even sent her an engagement ring, and her answer was always “no.”

Undaunted, Ortiz-Caseres showed up at the woman’s apartment on Tuesday, broke down her front door and dragged her to a van driven by his accomplice.

When her kidnappers stopped at a McDonald’s in Illinois, she convinced them to let her use the bathroom. The woman locked the door behind her and used her cell phone to call her sister. The restaurant manager eventually unlocked the door and called police.

Both Vasquez-Martinez and Ortiz-Caseres were taken into custody at the McDonald’s and now sit in a Fairway Heights, Illinois jail cell. They are each being held on $150,000 bond.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

April 24, 2010

More about 'Rapto'

In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime

Rape Victims Face Widespread Cultural Bias in Pursuit of Justice

...A "machismo culture," instilled through what is learned in the home, school and church, has allowed many men to "believe they are superior and dominant, and that women are an object." ...That mind-set has contributed to making many men-including policemen, prosecutors, judges and others in positions of authority-believe that sexual violence against women is no big deal.

...A review of criminal laws in all 31 Mexican states showed that many states require that if a 12-year-old girl wants to accuse an adult man of statutory rape, she must first prove she is "chaste and pure." Nineteen of the states require that statutory rape charges be dropped if the rapist agrees to marry his victim...

In the southern state of Oaxaca last summer, the one-year-old, government-funded Oaxacan Women's Institute persuaded the legislature to pass heavy criminal penalties against a practice known as "rapto."

Laws in most Mexican states define rapto as a case where a man kidnaps a woman not for ransom, but with the intent of marrying her or to satisfy his "erotic sexual desire."

The new law championed by the women's group established penalties of at least 10 years in prison.

But in March, the state legislature reversed itself and again made the practice a minor infraction. A key legislator -a man- argued for the reduction, calling the practice harmless and "romantic."

Human rights groups disagree. They say it is not charming for a man to spot a woman he fancies sitting in a park, pick her up and carry her away to have sex with her. Yet to this day, that is still how some women meet their husbands. The attorney general's office said there have been 137 criminal complaints of rapto in the state of Puebla since January 2000.

Mary Jordan

The Washington Post

June 30, 2002


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

The United States

Human trafficking mixing-up views on immigration to the United States

Victims of modern-day slavery are being brought here as human cargo, and destined for the most vile purposes as forced labor and prostitution. Phoenix, Arizona. April 16, 2009 - There was a time when the common assumption about United States-bound immigration was about impoverished people crossing the border searching for work to improve their economic situation.

This drive about immigration based on the possibility of finding a job still plays a fundamental role in explaining the influx of human beings coming from Latin America into the U.S. However, the social and moral forces behind many of the new arrivals have been increasingly distorting the traditional concept of voluntary human migration by giving it a violent and criminal twist, and by disguising human trafficking as migration.

Contrary to people who migrate by their own will, human trafficking recruits and transports individuals generally under forced and deceitful tactics, evading the same immigration laws undocumented immigrants do. An immigrant is typically interested in getting a job, while victims of human trafficking are lured for the purpose of performing forced work or sex acts. However, many recent cases in the United States show human traffickers are using traditional immigration as a way to conceal their real intentions by hooking people up with false promises of work and dollars...

...Trafficking gangs are not concerned with helping people improve their economic conditions but in obtaining the maximum profit possible in spite of the inherent risks and dangers they place their victims in. In other words, what is presented to them as an opportunity to come to this country to work, is in reality a well organized criminal scheme that many times involves rape, assaulting and even murder.

We often hear news about busted drop houses where dozens of “immigrants” are found by police piled up in single homes in the most deplorable sanitary conditions, locked up against their wills. They are actually held as hostages until their relatives, in Latin American countries or the U.S. after being blackmailed and threatened, wire high sums of money to the traffickers in order to free them. Some are kept captive and forced to prostitute or work until they pay off their own debts.

Once again, this is not the standard scenario where immigrants come [at] their own risk...

Race-Talk - on AlterNet.org/

April 19, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

The United States / Mexico

Trafficking series by The Star wins Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award

For its five-part series on human trafficking in the United States, The Kansas City Star has earned the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

The award, known as the “Poor People’s Pulitzer,” recognizes outstanding coverage of injustice against the underprivileged.

In “A New Slavery,” reporters Laura Bauer, Mike McGraw and Mark Morris exposed America’s weak enforcement system that allows human trafficking to continue.

Last month, Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. gave an award to the same series.

“The team’s impressive reporting results in a distressing collection of individual narratives and a concise legal and policy-based explanation of the nation’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act,” read an announcement from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Calling The Star to relay the news, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of the former attorney general, senator and presidential candidate, told one reporter: “You’ve given hope to a lot of people who didn’t have hope before. That’s right in line with Bobby’s legacy.”

Sixty judges, all media professionals, selected the winning entries in 11 categories, and a committee of seven advisers chose a grand prize winner. This year, winners wrote on subjects including infant mortality and Navy abuses against gay sailors.

The Star’s series won in the domestic print category.

“It’s a wonderful honor to win such a distinguished award for journalism that champions human rights and social justice. Those remain among the most important issues in the world today,” said Mike Fannin, editor/vice president of The Star. “This was inspired work, executed by a great team of journalists and well-deserving of recognition.”

The Wall Street Journal won in the international category for “Hearts, Mind and Blood: The Battle for Iran.” Photographers at The Washington Post won in both the domestic and international photography categories. Diane Sawyer from “20/20” on ABC News won in the domestic television category for her work on enduring poverty in Appalachia.

Ethel Kennedy will present the awards May 26 in Washington, D.C., where the grand prize winner will be announced.

Meredith Rodriguez

The Kansas City Star

April 21, 2010

LibertadLatina Note

The Kansas City Star's anti-trafficking series focused on the crisis among Mexican and Central American migrants to the U.S. It was therefore a groundbreaking effort to raise awareness about the intensity of the modern human slavery crisis affecting Latin American victims.

Thank you, Kansas City Star, for raising awareness of this issue!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 27, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Texas, USA

Texas one of nation's hubs for human trafficking

The human trafficking industry, the second largest criminal industry in the world, is like a kaleidoscope, a speaker told a victim's training class.

Every time you turn it, there's a new picture.

"It doesn't always look the same," Tomi Grover said.

Grover serves as a specialist in resources to combat human trafficking for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and has worked to help trafficked victims for the past 5 to 7 years.

She was the main speaker Tuesday afternoon for a free training class sponsored by the Midland Victims Coalition to help provide information for local law enforcement and those who work with and alongside victims on a daily basis.

"Maybe it was an act of crime that was witnessed by our own family. Maybe it was someone we worked with who confided in us that they had been a victim of a crime," she said to the many investigators and advocates in the audience of why so many of them were interested in the class. "Crime exists and sometimes it happens in our own backyards."

Statistics show that Texas is one of the leading states across the country for human trafficking and serves as a hub for about 25 percent of those brought into the U.S. illegally.

"It's not just a global issue that other countries are dealing with, but an issue we're dealing with right here in the U.S.," she said.

The average cost of a slave, according to Grover, is approximately $90 or less and more than 20,000 people are trafficked into the States each year, with an estimated 27 million now considered slaves around the world.

"Not only is it all about the business, but it's about big business," Grover said...

She told a story of a young lady who first recalled being sexually used when she was just 5 years old.

"We should hear no little girl say that. We should not put up with this kind of behavior in our community," she said.

Audrie Palmer

Midland Reporter-Telegram

April 20, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Egypt

House Members Press White House to Confront Egypt on Forced Marriages

Seventeen members of Congress are pressing the State Department to act on the "grim reality" faced by Coptic Christian women in Egypt, who frequently are coerced into violent forced marriages that leave them victim to rape and captive slavery.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote on April 16 to Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, who heads up American efforts to thwart human trafficking around the globe.

In their letter, they exhort the State Department to confront the "criminal phenomenon" of forced marriage they say is on the rise in Egypt, where the 7 million Coptic Christians often face criminal prosecution and civic violence for their rejection of Islam.

"I think it is about as bad as it can be" for Copts and other religious minorities in Egypt, said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who penned the letter. "It is very tough to be a Coptic Christian."

The official communication to the State Department outlined just what women face when forced into marriages with Muslim men: "physical and sexual violence, captivity ... exploitation in forced domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, and financial benefit to the individuals who secure the forced conversion of the victim."

Wolf and the other lawmakers say this bears all the hallmarks of human trafficking and want the State Department to include reports of the abductions in their next Trafficking in Persons report, which is due in June.

"Keep in mind that we have given Egypt about $53 billion since Camp David" — the 1978 peace accords between Israel and Egypt that were arranged by the U.S. government — "so we're actually funding them," Wolf said...

The State Department said Wednesday that a response to the lawmakers' letter was being crafted, but offered no word on whether the abduction of Copts would be included in the forthcoming report for 2010.

Wolf, however, does not expect to see much action from the State Department, which he criticized for failing to fill key human rights positions including the ambassador at large for religious freedom — a position mandated by law.

"I expect the State Department to do nothing," he said, "because that's the way the State Department has been responding."

Wolf was joined by 16 other members of the House in signing the letter, including: Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Chris Smith, R-N.J., Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Donald Payne, D-N.J., Dan Burton, R-Ind., Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Joseph Cao, R-La., Aaron Schock, R-Ill., Bob Inglis, R-S.C., Michele Bachman, R-Minn., Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Ted Poe, R-Tex. The delegate from Washington, D.C., Eleanor Holmes-Norton, also signed the note.

Joseph Abrams

FOXNews.com

April 21, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Massachusetts, USA

Trafficking: Mei-Mei Ellerman spoke Wednesday about human trafficking in the United States.

Photo: Nafiz “Fiz” R. Ahmed/The Hoot

Panel discusses human trafficking, sex work in U.S.

Three leading experts and advocates in the field of human slavery and trafficking spoke Wednesday at the panel event “Slavery Today: Sex Labor & Pornography,” which focused on trafficking issues within the United States and the rise of pornography that features many enslaved women...

Mei-Mei Ellerman, a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center and frequent speaker on the issues of modern day trafficking, Katherin Chon, a co-founder of the Polaris Project, an NGO that works with victims of sex trafficking, and Gail Dines, the author of the book “PORNLAND,” spoke about their experiences with these human rights violations at the panel.

“So often we think of trafficking as something ‘out there,’” Ellerman said “There are 200,000 to 300,000 U.S.-born American [minors] who are in high risk of ending up in forced prostitution every year. That is a huge number,” she explained...

“Many people are confused when they hear trafficking because they think about it being someone crossing borders,” Ellerman said. “You can be trafficked without leaving your house.”

These victims are often abducted, however, they can also be lured into their situations with the promise of work, pay and a better life. In this kind of situation, especially, many victims are not aware of the extent to which they are being abused.

“Most of us know what freedom feels like, what freedom looks like, and there are so many people in our own neighborhoods and communities who don’t,” Chon said. “Most of those enslaved or trafficked won’t even raise their hands and say, ‘I need to escape from this, this is bad,’” she illustrated.

At the Polaris Project, Chon and her co-founder Derek Ellerman work to free victims of trafficking in the United States and Japan, help those victims overcome their experiences, push for anti-trafficking legislation and gather supporters as well as raise awareness for the cause.

“We find the most success when we’re just there with [the victims] as fellow human beings,” Chon said.

Pornography has become a cultural steppingstone to the extreme of human trafficking. It often features trafficked women and according to the event speakers, spreads a culturally-based dehumanization of and disrespect toward women.

“What pornography does, is it legitimizes the buying and selling of women’s bodies,” explained Dines...

Rebecca Carden

The Brandeis Hoot

April 23, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Virginia, USA

Emilio Diaz

Illegal alien arrested for multiple sexual assaults on 8-year-old Virginia girl

On March 23, detectives with the Prince William County Police Department arrested Emilio Diaz, 25, for multiple counts of molestation on an 8-year-old girl.

According to police spokeswoman Erika Hernandez, the alleged attacks took place between January and February 2010, in the girl’s home. Apparently, Diaz had access to the victim, as he is an acquaintance of the girl’s family.

Diaz has been charged with four counts of Object Sexual Penetration and two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery.

Diaz is in the country illegally, and is being held without bond.

 

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

April 17, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Texas, USA

Cesar Bazara

Illegal alien suspected of child molestation arrested at U.S. / Mexican border

The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested a Mexican national accused of molesting a 10-year-old Texas girl. Cesar Bazara, 34, was apprehended on April 9, as he tried to re-enter the United States.

Bazara has spent the last four years on the run.

The alleged molestation took place on Christmas Eve 2006. The mother quickly reported the incident to Weslaco Police, but Bazara fled back to Mexico before he could be arrested.

Bazara, who lives in Valle de San Lorenzo, Mexico, now sits in the Hidalgo County jail on a charge of indecency with a child. Bail has been set at $250,000.

 

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

April 13, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Missouri, USA

Eduardo Ortiz

...Man accused of molesting daughter's friends at sleepovers

A 42-year-old man has been accused of molesting his daughter's friends during sleepovers at his house.

Police say Eduardo Ortiz, an illegal alien, faces charges for touching three middle school-aged girls. The girls reported three separate instances that happened in 2009. Two of the girls told police that Ortiz touched their breasts. The first of the victims came forward a year ago, but police say they didn't have enough evidence to make an arrest.

A third victim recently contacted police with more information. Police then re-interviewed Ortiz, and say he confessed.

One detective says that police are concerned because they fear there might be other victims. "If there is a parent that knows that their daughter stayed the night there, we don't want them to suggest anything to their daughter, but ask them, 'did anything happen to you when you were there,'" said Detective James Wethington of the Woodson Terrace Police Department. "Open the discussion and see what happens."

Woodson Terrace police say they've reported Ortiz to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He is married and worked as a handyman. Police also say they've talked to Ortiz's daughter - detectives don't have reason to believe she was a victim of abuse.

Ortiz is currently behind bars in the St. Louis County Jail.

 

KMOV

April 19, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Sanchez Balbuena

Authorities need the public's help in searching for a man wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

A 13-year-old girl told investigators that Jose Sanchez Balbuena had touched her inappropriately and had sex with her numerous times over a two-year period. Balbuena is a friend of the victim's family. The victim stated that Balbuena started touching her inappropriately at her house when her mom was at work. The touching soon escalated to sex. Balbuena threatened the victim and told her not to tell anyone about what he did to her.

An investigation was conducted and Balbuena was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Balbuena, 35, is an Hispanic male. He is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. His last known address is in Southwest Houston.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-8477 (TIPS) hotline or submitted online at Crime-Stoppers.org that leads to an arrest in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message - Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES(274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.

KTRK

April 23, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Maryland, USA

Seventh man arrested in connection with Waldorf gang rape

Charles County authorities have arrested an additional suspect and identified three others in the March 16 sexual assault of a woman in Waldorf.

Last week in Newark, N. J. police arrested Jose Maria Echebarria, 30, of Waldorf in connection with the assault. Police have also identified three other suspects, Jose Santos Portillo, 25, Balmoris Argueta, 26, and Lionicio Argueta, 29.

Police said 10 men were involved in the attack, seven of whom have already been arrested and charged. Police are also working with officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“This was a brutal attack and we are absolutely committed to bringing justice to the victim,” said Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said in a statement.

 

Keith L. Alexander

The Washington Post

April 6, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Arizona, USA

Illegal alien sentenced to prison for re-entry

A Mexican national who illegally re-entered the country nearly a year ago and was found in the desert outside of Yuma has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

Adolfo Estrella-Yuan, 52, of Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced Monday in Phoenix by U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver to 101 months in prison.

Estrella-Yuan was found guilty of illegal re-entry after prior removal by a federal jury in Phoenix on Feb. 3 and was sentenced to a term of 80-months for his crime.

However, Estrella-Yuan had also been serving a term of supervised release related to a 1999 Southern District of Illinois illegal re-entry conviction, and was found in violation of that supervised release term. He received a sentence of 21 months to be served consecutive to his 80 month sentence.

Estrella-Yuan had been deported from the United States at least four times: August 1980, November 1990, December 1991 and January 2007.

He also has had a significant and serious criminal history that included, among other offenses, three immigration-related convictions — the last of which resulted in a 77-month sentence — and two convictions related to the molestation of young children.

Silva said she took Estrella-Yuan's criminal history in consideration while imposing his sentence.

 

James Gilbert

The Yuma Sun

April 19, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Arizona, USA / Mexico

Border Patrol captures 7 sex offenders

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended seven illegal aliens in separate incidents over the weekend; all later identified as sex offenders. Their criminal backgrounds were revealed after agents enrolled them into the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).

According to records found using IAFIS, charges included rape and sexual assault. One individual from Mexico had been charged in New Castle, Delaware for "solicitation of a child under 16 to engage in a prohibited sexual act." He had also been arrested for child sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and attempting to induce sexual contact. All subjects were held for further processing.

Sex offenders and other criminal aliens are frequently among the thousands of illegal aliens apprehended while attempting to illegally cross the Arizona border. IAFIS technology helps agents identify those aliens who have a history of being involved in criminal acts. The Tucson Sector Border Patrol strives to improve the quality of life along the border by identifying and removing those aliens with a criminal background.

 

KGUN9-TV

April 12, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

California, USA / Mexico

Two deported sex offenders, one from L.A., arrested near Calexico

Two deported sex offenders, including one with an outstanding criminal warrant in Los Angeles, were arrested by border agents in separate incidents in Imperial County, authorities said Tuesday.

Federal agents Friday apprehended a man 29 miles west of the U.S.-Mexico port of entry in Calexico, the Department of Homeland Security said.

Record checks showed that the man, a Honduran citizen, had been convicted of a felony sex offense and sentenced to 365 days in jail and 60 months probation, the department said. He was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Hollywood by the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, according to a department spokesman.

Authorities were preparing to turn the man over to the LAPD for prosecution.

The second case involved a man arrested Saturday seven miles east of Calexico after agents said he crossed the All American Canal with seven other illegal immigrants. The man, a Mexican citizen, had been convicted of rape by force, oral copulation and assault to commit rape, according to the Homeland Security Department.

Federal authorities were holding the man for prosecution.

The Los Angeles Times

March 30, 2010


Added: Apr. 27, 2010

The United States / Mexico

Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, right, a former altar boy, has sued the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar, shown in photo at left

From: Accused Priest Flees From Law in U.S. and Mexico

James C. McKinley Jr.
The New York Times
Oct. 21, 2006

Photo by Tomas Bravo/Reuters

Attorneys sue LA, Mexico City cardinals over abuse

Los Angeles - A Mexican citizen filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday accusing Roman Catholic cardinals in Mexico City and Los Angeles of conspiring to shelter a Mexican pedophile priest in both countries.

The lawsuit alleges then-Bishop Norberto Rivera, head of the Diocese of Tehuacan, and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony shuttled the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera between the U.S. and Mexico in the late 1980s to shield him from prosecution. Parishioners in both countries complained he had molested young boys.

The Mexican bishop has since been elevated to cardinal for the Archdiocese of Mexico City. He has no relation to the accused priest.

Aguilar Rivera was defrocked last summer and remains at large in Mexico, where he was believed to be living out of his car in Puebla, in central Mexico. He has been wanted by U.S. authorities on 19 felony counts of lewd conduct since he fled his temporary post in Los Angeles in 1988 and returned to Mexico.

Once back in Mexico, Aguilar Rivera continued to work as a priest for at least another decade and molested more young boys in Mexico City and in the Diocese of Tehuacan, in central Mexico, attorneys said. One of those boys is the current plaintiff.

"This priest was not only a rapist, but remained a priest and at large and was allowed to rape this child and many others," attorney Jeff Anderson said at a bilingual news conference. "He was raped by this priest as a child in Mexico after both cardinals knew this priest posed a serious risk of harm."

The Rev. Hugo Valdemar, Rivera's spokesman, said the Mexican cardinal was not responsible for the priest's wrongdoing and said suing the cardinal made no sense. Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for Mahony, said any allegations that Mahony helped cover up Aguilar Rivera's crimes were "ludicrous."

"We're not losing sleep over this, we're very calm," Valdemar said.

Judges have thrown out two previous lawsuits filed against the Mexican cardinal in the U.S., saying a Mexican citizen cannot sue another Mexican citizen in U.S. court. Mahony settled his portion of an earlier lawsuit in 2007.

This time, attorneys have filed the lawsuit under the 221-year-old Alien Tort Claims Act, an 18th century law which allows non-U.S. citizens access to courts to challenge violations of international laws or treaties...

Gillian Flaccus

The Associated Press

April 20, 2010

See also:

Added: Apr. 27, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Suit alleges U.S., Mexican cardinals covered up sexual abuse

A Mexican resident who says he was sexually abused by a priest as a child is suing the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Los Angeles and Mexico's top-ranking Catholic cleric, alleging they aided and abetted the abuse by moving the priest between dioceses as allegations piled up against him.

The suit does not name the alleged victim, identifying him only as a Mexican citizen. It alleges that Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera knew the priest -- identified in the suit as Nicholas Aguilar Rivera -- was abusive but authorized him to move back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. and to continue serving in parishes...

In April 1988, the Los Angeles Police Department charged Aguilar with 19 felony counts of sexual abuse against children, but Mexico has declined to extradite or prosecute him, according to Mike Finnegan, one of the lawyers for the unnamed plaintiff...

The [plaintiff's] Minnesota law firm has represented previous Mexican victims of sex abuse against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in which the church wound up settling out of court. But this is the first in which the firm is also trying to sue the Catholic Church in Mexico.

The plaintiff's lawyers are relying on an obscure federal law that they say grants U.S. courts jurisdiction in foreign civil cases that violate treaties to which the United States is party...

Dan Gilgoff

CNN

April 22, 2010


Added: Apr. 19, 2010

Mexico

Reporter Mariana Sanchez interviews 'Chabelita,' an Indigenous Guatemalan child sex trafficking victim

Mexico sex trafficking soars

Mexico has become the top provider of sex slaves to the Americas, according to the United Nations.

In an effort to tackle the problem, the Mexican government has now signed onto the United Nation's Blue Heart campaign, but so far it has had little success in prosecuting and convicting human traffickers.

One reason, according to some analysts, is confusion over which government agencies have jurisdiction over human trafficking cases.

In addition the Mexican government has yet to conduct any comprehensive surveys detailing the true extent of the problem.

...Mariana Sanchez reports.

Excerpt:

Chabelita is a playful child. She can't remember how old show was when she saw her father kill her mother in a remote indigenous village in Guatemala. That was only the beginning of her tragic ordeal.

Chabelita: "My uncle kidnapped me when I was six. He took me to Cancun. Some men would call him up. They would pay him to harm me. I tried to escape, but they locked me up in my uncle's room, and in there, they harmed me too. It was a lot of men."

Mexican authorities believe that Chabelita was sexually abused for two years before she managed to escape.

Chabelita: "They took me to a place where there were a lot or stones. I took one, and hit the man who was touching me. I kicked him and ran. I walked for many days without eating.

Only then did police rescue her and bring her to this [federal government] safe house…

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mexico has become the number one provider of sexual slaves to Latin America.

Anti-trafficking leader and protestant minister Deputy Rosi Orozco talks with Mariana Sanchez

(Chair of the Chamber of Deputies' Commission to Fight Human Trafficking) Rosi Orozco: "In Mexico, impunity is rampant. Organized groups and opportunists lie to their victims, telling them they'll live a life of riches, and then exploit them, making between $150 and $250 every day. They exploit human beings for economic benefits, turning human beings into slaves." …

Deputy Rosi Orozco talks with rescued underage former sex slaves at a federal safe house

These girls who were once used as sex slaves are on the front line of the fight against human trafficking. While they are hiding in a federal safe house under federal protection, most have cases pending against their attackers.

But for these victims of modern slavery, the worst fear for now is to come to terms with the sexual abuse they suffered.

[The above link presents the video version of this report.]

 

Mariana Sanchez

Al Jazeera

April 18, 2010


Added: Apr. 19, 2010

Haiti

Cassandre St. Vil

Haitian student had 'no chance to scream' when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath

Cassandre St. Vil, 19, was raped by four men who broke into her tent after the Haiti earthquake. Months later, sexual violence remains a major concern in tent encampments. The four armed men came looking for Cassandre St. Vil in the dead of night.

The 19-year-old was asleep in the street under a canopy of sheets that had been her makeshift home in the two nights after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

"I couldn't fight back," said St. Vil, now living in a camp in Port-au-Prince. "They came in - we didn't have a door - and they asked my mother and grandmother to leave.

"My mother said, 'Don't do that to my daughter,' but they were armed and held a gun to my mother's neck. They threatened to kill her if she called for help.

"It took place in front of my mother and grandmother," she continued in a whisper.

"Four people raped me.

"I didn't have the chance to scream. They covered my mouth," she said, leaning in close. "While one had sex with me, the three others stood with my mother and grandmother."

St. Vil is a bright, articulate young woman who was attending a university in Port-au-Prince. The quake shattered dreams of completing her studies, finding a good job, getting married.

She has joined the growing ranks of women who have been sexually abused after the quake, which collapsed the Port-au-Prince jail and unleashed criminals into the streets.

"They took my virginity," she lamented. "I always dreamed of getting married a virgin - it was very important to me."

After the rape, she and her family moved to the sprawling Champs de Mars camp near the Presidential Palace. There, she sought help from a local women's group, KOFAVIV, which gives support to rape victims.

A founder, Eramithe Delva, says the group has helped 180 women raped since January. In the three months before the quake, there were just 25 cases...

A few shelters away from St. Vil is another victim, Helia Lajeunesse, 49, gang raped with her daughter during sexual depravity that accompanied the 2004 coup.

Her daughter became pregnant. The child was a girl, now 5 years old. She, too, was raped - in late January in the provinces where her mother fled after the quake.

"[The girl] was going to buy a cup of rice," LaJeunesse said. "A young man took the rice from her hands and she ran after him.

"He took her into the cemetery and a woman passing by saw him lying on top of her ... She shouted at him and he ran off.

"Now she doesn't eat, she has no appetite," Lajeunesse said, wiping tears as the girl stared ahead vacantly. "Each night you hear the cries of the rapes, almost every night." ...

Mario Joseph, a Haitian lawyer who is working to prosecute rapists, is hoping to set up a rape hotline and distribute whistles to women to call for help.

He says most of the attacks go unpunished, so perpetrators have little to fear.

"Judges are scared because prisoners are in the streets," he said. "We need to build files against people and when we have the chance, bring them to court. But the priority now is to get the camps more secure."

 

Christina Boyle

The New York Daily News

April 18,2010


All April, 2010 News



Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Latin America

Conference Poster

The 2010 Lozano Long Conference – Republics of Fear: Understanding Endemic Violence in Latin America Today

Violence has become the signal threat to stability in Latin America in the new millennium. Kidnappings and murders generate lurid headlines from Mexico to Honduras to Argentina. Communities tired of statelessness and voicelessness set suspected criminals on fire in Guatemalan public squares. Hundreds of women die violent deaths in Ciudad Juárez and Guatemala City while the state remains either impotent or indifferent. Police raids into Rio’s favelas kill dozens of people while drug trafficking gangs stockpile more numerous and more powerful weapons. Prison gangs paralyze the megalopolis of São Paulo for days in retaliation for official measures taken against their imprisoned leaders.

Meanwhile, structural violence continues to condemn huge portions of the region’s population to poverty, disease, marginalization, and penury. If cold war ideologies set Latin America aflame in the 1960s and 1970s, a far more complex set of factors stokes the ordinary and extraordinary violence that burns in the region today.

In its Third Annual Lozano Long Conference, LLILAS hosted the academics who are exploring the causes and consequences of this conflagration. Researchers have only begun to respond to these new challenges to democracy, development, and human well-being. The time is ripe for a conference that brings together cutting edge research from different disciplines, perspectives, methods, and viewpoints, all united around a concern for the peoples of the region and the circumstances they face.

The conference hosted panels on topics such as gender violence; intimate violence; organized violence; the trafficking of humans, weapons, and drugs; political, state, and para-state violence; structural violence, including poverty, forced migration, racism, and discrimination; and the responses to violence, including representations of violence in the media, literature, films, and public discourse. The institute hopes in this way to foster and stimulate a new wave of theoretically informed, interdisciplinary, and culturally aware research into this crucial new challenge for Latin America.

Sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.

 

Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

The University of Texas at Austin

March 4–5, 2010


Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Police Implicated in Killings, Kidnappings

Mexico City - Scores of police officers - including the entire department of one town - have been detained in Mexican probes of killings and kidnappings.

Mayor Alfredo Osorio of the Gulf coast town Tierra Blanca said Monday that about

90 city policemen were being held for questioning about the kidnapping of undocumented Central American migrants.

The officers - the town's entire local force - were detained by state police and soldiers and taken to the capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz for questioning. No formal charges had been filed.

The police allegedly kidnapped the migrants to shake them down for money. Central Americans frequently are robbed or abused by police or by drug gangs as they cross Mexico to seek work in the United States.

In the central State of Mexico, prosecutors announced the arrest of two policemen and two former officers on charges they participated in 11 killings related to robberies.

The officers, ex-officers and a fifth man posing as a police office, had been assigned to two towns on the outskirts of Mexico City. They were detained over the weekend.

Mexico State Attorney General Alberto Baz Baz said the men allegedly preyed on businessmen and professionals, snatching them off the streets to steal debit cards and other possessions, and then often killing them. Another ex-officer is being sought in the case. Some of the crimes were allegedly committed while the officers were on duty.

The suspects face possible prison sentences of up to 70 years. They had no attorney of record.

 

The Associated Press

Mar 16, 2010


Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Mexico

Mexican Troops Rescue 20 Migrants from Traffickers

Veracruz, Mexico – Mexican troops rescued 20 Central Americans who had been kidnapped by a gang of migrant smugglers that was holding them captive at a house in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The commander of Mexico’s 26th Military Zone, Miguel Gustavo Gonzalez, told a press conference that five suspected smugglers were arrested who were holding the undocumented migrants as hostages and were demanding $1,200 from their families to free them and allow them to continue on their way to the U.S. border.

The officer said that the operation took place in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, where members of the gang were arrested and forced to hand over 40,000 pesos ($3,200) in cash, two guns and four vehicles.

Gonzalez said the raid followed an anonymous tip.

He said that the 11 women and nine men from Honduras and Nicaragua were found being held captive in the community of Palma Sola.

Meanwhile, the undocumented migrants who were rescued received food and medical attention from the immigration authorities, who will settle their legal status.

 

EFE

March 19, 2010

We note with interest that this raid occurred immediately after the Inter-American Human Rights Commission hearing of March 22, 2010 on the mass kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, and especially in Veracruz.

 - LibertadLatina


Added: Mar. 23, 2010

Mexico

Felipe González, IACHR Vice-Chair  and Rapporteur, and
Professor Dinah Shelton
, IACHR Rapporteur and
Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washing-ton University Law School - Listen to the March 22, 2010 presentation on the kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

Photo:  European Press Photo Agency

Denuncian el "infierno" de unos 18.000 migrantes secuestrados al pasar por México

Washington, DC.- México se ha convertido en la trampa de miles de migrantes de Centroamérica y Sudamérica que son secuestrados cada año cuando atraviesan ese país, según denunciaron hoy activistas en la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

En una audiencia del 138 período de sesiones de la CIDH, organizaciones religiosas y humanitarias acusaron al Estado de México de abandonar a los 18.000 emigrantes secuestrados, que convirtieron 2009 en el "año maldito" del fenómeno...

Activists Denounce the “Hell” Faced by 18,000 Migrants per Year Who Are Kidnapped in Mexico

Washington, DC  - According to activists who testified on March 22, 2010 at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) - Mexico has become a dangerous trap for thousands of migrants from South and Central America who are kidnapped each year when they attempt to cross Mexico.

The religious and human rights activists testified during an IAHRC hearing, held during its 138th period of sessions. In their testimony, they accused the Mexican state of abandoning the 18,000 migrants who were kidnapped during 2009, which they declared to be a terrible year for the phenomenon.

The director of the migrant shelter Brothers on the Road to Hope, Father Alejandro Solandide, denounced the lack of political will in Mexico to put a stop to the problem, as well as the complicity and cover-up that state agents engage in – in relation to these crimes.

Father Solandide: “It is very hard to see a line that separates the authors of these kidnappings - be they organized criminals or public officials.”

Migrants begin their trek in their home countries, where these criminal networks [first] coordinate their activities, said Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the National Institute for Migration [Mexico’s immigration agency].

When migrants reach Mexico, they are trapped, and are taken to safe houses, where the coyotes demand their family’s phone number [to allow them to extort the family], and they are beaten with sticks and suffer other tortures.

“These safe houses are hell. The victims suffer tortures. If they resist [the extortion], they are made examples of and are mutilated or murdered, declared Reverend Pedro Pantajo Arreola, of the Bethlehem Migrant’s Shelter.

The wave of kidnappings began in 2006, says Father Solandide, but the problem became even larger in 2009, when it became like a “silent, low-motion massacre” – “due to moral decay,” the increase in organized criminal violence, and judicial impunity.

During the last three years, the ‘industry’ of mass kidnapping has been perfected, especially in the state of Veracruz. In a six month period of time, these kidnappings generate $50 million dollars in revenue.

Aside from the Mexican government’s failure to investigate these crimes, and the “immense defenseless-ness” of the victims, Father Solandide denounced the “insufficient actions taken and mechanisms put into place” by the government in the face of this reality. Scant resources exist to house, assist and restore the victims.

The representatives of the organizations who testified directly assist victims, a situation that has also placed them in harm’s way.

“Our migrant shelters are being threatened and attacked by both the Mexican authorities and by members of organized crime, to such an extent that we have found in necessary to seek the legal protection of this Commission,” said Monsignor Raúl Vera, Archbishop of Saltillo, who is also the president of the Council of the Friar Juan de Larios Center.

[Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the federal National Institute for Migration, and Alejandro Negrín, human rights representative at the Mexican Chancellery, testified in opposition to the petition.]

Felipe González, the President of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) stated that he was in agreement with the petitioners, and invited the IAHRC to visit Mexico to determine the magnitude of the problem in person.

 

EFE

March 22, 2010

See also:

Inter-American Human Rights Commission Hearing

Petitioner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro Juárez (PRODH); Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes en México; Centro Diocesano de Derechos Humanos Fray Juan de Larios; Dimensión de la Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana; Casa de Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe A.C. [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue Guadalupano de Tierra Blanca [Migrant Refuge]; Servicio Jesuita de Jóvenes Voluntarios; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova; Frontera Con Justicia A.C.y Humanidad Sin Fronteras

Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Organization of American States

March 22, 2010

See also:

20,000 Migrants a Year Kidnapped in Mexico En Route to U.S.

Some 20,000 of the 140,000 illegal migrants en route to the United States via the Mexico border to find work and a better life are kidnapped each year and subjected to rape, torture and murder, crimes that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, fear of reprisals and distrust of authorities, according to Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission.

Mexico City – More than 1,600 migrants, above all Central Americans en route to the United States to find work, are kidnapped monthly and subjected to humiliations that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission reported.

“The kidnapping of migrants has become a continuous practice of worrying dimensions, generally unpunished and with characteristics of extreme cruelty,” commission chairman Jose Luis Soberanes said Monday at the presentation of the report.

Between September 2008 and February 2009, the commission registered a total of 198 cases of mass kidnappings of migrants involving 9,758 people...

EFE

June 16, 2009


Added: Mar. 22, 2010

Washington, DC USA

Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo - Photo

Presentation: Kidnappings of Migrants in Mexico

Event: Monday March 22nd - 5:30-6:30pm - Washington, DC

Every year tens of thousands of migrants travel through Mexico en route to the United States. Often on their arduous journey these migrants are exposed to brutal violence, extortion, and kidnappings.

Join us for a forum with this exceptional group of speakers all of whom are highly recognized as leading moral authorities on migrant rights. These speakers will discuss the kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, the ways in which Mexican laws and policies make them more vulnerable and may prevent their access to justice, how authorities directly collaborate in this practice and the hearing on this issue that has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Featuring

Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo, is also President of the Counsel of the Fray Juan Juan de Larios Diocese Center and a member of various organizations that work to protect migrants' human rights.

Father Alejandro Solalinde, director of the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. The shelter offers food, shelter and legal advice to the thousands of migrants that pass through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca en route to the United States.

Father Pedro Pantoja Arreola founded Emaús House, Passage of Migrants in Ciudad Acuña and created the project Borders and Dignity. After more than five years he returned to Saltillo, where he oversees the shelter "Belén [Bethlehem] Migrant Inn" and the Borders with Justice project, both founded in 2001 to respond to the grave human rights violations of migrants.

Our panelists will also be joined by representatives from the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center and Frontera con Justicia [Justice for the Border] and Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without Borders].

Event:

Kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

March 22, 2010

5:30-6:30pm - plus reception

Washington Office on Latin America - WOLA

1666 Connecticut Ave NW - Suite 400

Washington, DC

Please RSVP to Ashley Morse at amorse@wola.org

(Space is limited, RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come basis)

 

WOLA

March 22, 2010

See also:

Mexico

Harassment and intimidation of human rights defender, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra

About the harassment of Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra's efforts to assist migrants in crisis

Sign-on to a letter of support to President Calderón of Mexico

...Human rights defender Father Solalinde has recently been subjected to harassment and intimidation as a direct result of his activities in defense of human rights. Father Solalinde is the director of the Albergue del Migrante Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza (Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope) and co-ordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants. The Shelter provides food, shelter and legal assistance to thousands of migrants who travel through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, on their way to the United States of America. Over the last two years, the Shelter has reported several cases of corruption by state and federal government officials as well as the practice of abduction of migrants...

FrontLine - Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Feb. 02, 2010

See also:

Added: Mar. 21, 2010

Mexico, Central America

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

Kidnapping - A Growing Risk for Central American Migrants

The increase in kidnappings of Central American migrants crossing Mexico on their way to the United States will be brought up at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) current session next Monday.

”We are experiencing a humanitarian disaster that the authorities want to cover up at all costs,” Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who heads the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants in Ciudad Ixtepec, in the southern state of Oaxaca, told IPS.

Solalinde, who has been defending the rights of undocumented Central American migrants since 2005, is flying to Washington to describe the situation on the ground to the IACHR, which is holding its 138th period of sessions Mar. 15-26, along with representatives of other civil society groups.

Although the priest has been the target of death threats from people traffickers and kidnappers, he was denied police protection.

In January 2007, Solalinde, who also set up a shelter to provide food and medical attention to migrants next to the railway lines that they ride on their long trek north, helped a group of Central Americans escape their captors in Oaxaca.

He has also spoken up against police brutality, and even filed legal action against local police officers and authorities. But the lawsuit is merely gathering dust.

Thousands of Central Americans, mainly from the impoverished countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, are detained and deported every year by the police in Mexico as they attempt to reach the United States.

However, they don't only face a risk of being seized and deported by the police, but are also vulnerable to harassment, sexual abuse, extortion, robbery and kidnapping by immigration agents and police, while they are assaulted, raped, held up, kidnapped and sometimes killed by gang-members and thieves.

From September 2008 to February 2009, 9,758 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according to a special report by the governmental National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

”The kidnapping of migrants in Mexico is on the rise,” Maureen Meyer, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Associate for Mexico and Central America, told IPS.

However, ”this number (9,758) is by no means the full extent of the phenomenon, as given the vulnerability of migrants in Mexico, many cases go unreported.”

WOLA is backing the Mexican activists who will appear before the IACHR in the U.S. capital, where they will ask the Commission to recommend that the government provide protection to migrants, fight kidnappings and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mexican immigration authorities have arrested 4,164 Central Americans so far this year, according to official figures.

The IACHR session will also be attended by Raúl Vera, Catholic bishop of Saltillo, a city north of the capital; Pedro Pantoja, a priest who runs the Belen migrants shelter and the Borders with Justice project in Saltillo; and representatives of Mexican non-governmental organisations that provide protection to undocumented Central American migrants.

In the southern state of Veracruz, 13 municipal police have been prohibited from leaving the country, because they are under suspicion of kidnapping and extorting Central American migrants.

The kidnappings are planned in Oaxaca and carried out in Veracruz, with the collusion of public employees and municipal and state agents, according to Solalinde...

Because of the numerous reports of abuses, the government of El Salvador opened a consulate in Oaxaca in January to provide attention to Salvadoran citizens.

But not even the diplomatic mission has escaped harassment: less than a month after it opened, armed men who claimed to be federal police but did not identify themselves forced their way into the consulate without authorization, supposedly as part of an investigation.

Salvadoran ambassador to Mexico Hugo Carrillo has asked President Felipe Calderón to take effective action against the police involved in the incident.

”It would appear that kidnapping has become another source of income for organized criminal groups operating in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border (which are) already involved in drug trafficking, pirated goods, extortion, etc.,” said Meyer.

She added that some reports indicate that along the border ”and even in the U.S. itself, groups involved in human smuggling are now earning more money from holding some of their 'clients' for ransom, than from the fees they already charge to make the crossing.”

She also said the kidnappings in Mexico are often carried out ”with the support and collusion of officials from all levels of the government.”

Most of the migrants do not file an official complaint, out of fear of being deported, or because the legal formalities are too complex...

 

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

March 19, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Human rights activists, international NGOs, the United Nations and Central American governments have repeatedly implored Mexico to bring the rule of law to its southern border region, where an estimated 450 to 600 women and girl children are systematically raped each day (according to the United Nations affiliated International Organization for Migration), often with the cooperation or involvement of local police and immigration agents. President Calderon's government has repeatedly ignored these pleas, even when they have been made by Mexico's Congress.

The fact that Save the Children has identified the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the entire world is closely linked to the fact that migrant children and youth are kidnapped, raped and sold into sexual slavery en mass by traffickers who know that the Mexican government will do absolutely nothing to stop their organized crime wave.

Like other human trafficking related issues, these mass gender atrocities are of no consequence for 'socially conservative' politicians who uphold the validity of feudal-era sexist machismo in modern Mexico.

We thank God for the existence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. While the U.S. Administration and the United Nations sit on their hands in the face of these mass human rights violations, the Court acts as the forum of last resort as a response by civilization to national governments who's lack of action in these circumstances amounts to rogue and abominable behavior.

Where is this issue on the agenda of the federal National Commission to Punish and Prevent Human Trafficking, or on the agenda of the newly formed Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking headed by Deputy Rosi Orozco in the Chamber of Deputies? We don't see any action on this issue from them.

Indeed, where is this issue on the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her director of the State Department Trafficking in Persons office, Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca?

They, and also U.S. President Obama, must stand-up and speak out against this brazen form of impunity, and not remain silent in the face of such organized, mass violent crimes against women.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 21/22, 2010

See also:

Mexico, Central America

Madres salvadoreñas depositan ofrendas en "La Arrocera"

El 80 porciento de los abusos cometidos contra los inmigrantes se cometen en esta zona de Huixtla, Chiapas

Huixtla, Chiapas - Los parientes de indocumentados fallecidos y desaparecidos visitaron "La Arrocera" , un pequeño tramo de escasos cuatro kilómetros que los indocumentados utilizan para evadir la caseta migratoria El hueyate, en Huixtla...

Salvadoran mothers leave offerings for their murdered children at the "Rice Cooker"

80 percent of abuses against migrants occur in this area near the city of Huixtla, Chiapas

Huixtla, Chiapas - relatives of deceased and missing undocumented migrants visited "La Arrocera," a four kilometer long rural trail that north-bound Central and South American migrants use to bypass the Hueyate immigration station in the city of Huixtla, Chiapas.

Under strict security arrangements and with the support of Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), members of the Committee of Families of Deceased and Missing Migrants toured the area of "the Rice Cooker" near Huixtla, a municipality in the state of Chiapas, where dozens of men and women have been assaulted, raped and murdered.

"The Rice Cooker" is a [rural] migrant trail where 80 percent of the assaults and homicides in the region are committed, according to testimony gathered by the Catholic Church and human rights organizations.

Even police will not enter this zone unless they have several officers armed with high-powered weapons.

Father Luis Angel Nieto prayed for eternal rest for all of those migrants who lost their lives here in their attempt to reach "the American Dream."

For the second time during the trip, Father Luis Nieto demanded that the Mexican authorities combat these crimes, that for several years have sewn pain and fear.

"We cannot keep quiet, we cannot be complicit in this," he said.

After prayer, the Salvadorans planted dozens of crosses in memory of those who lost their lives here and who were never identified.

During the emotional ceremony, the mothers and fathers could not contain their tears. The sadness and pain invaded their faces. Most knew the true meaning of "the Rice Cooker".

Juan de Dios Garcia Davish

Feb. 11, 2009

See also:

Mexico, Central America

Crosses for those murdered at the 'Rice Cooker'

El 80% de migrantes son violadas en el tramo la Arrocera

Arriaga. Chiapas.-A primera vista, el campo verde de arbustos medianos y matas de mango de esta zona despoblada en el estado de Chiapas luce apacible y amigable. Nada más distante: las ráfagas de viento rompen con violencia el silencio, tal como el grito de mujeres inmigrantes que son violadas cada año al cruzar por esta región ubicada a unos 120 kilómetros de la frontera con Guatemala.

"Alrededor del 80% de las centromaricanas que cruzan La Arrocera son violadas", señala el padre Herman Vázquez, fundador del alberque Hogar de la Misericordia y párroco de Arriaga, cercana a la zona "roja", por donde cada año caminan unos 230 mil centroamericanos en el inicio del viaje por territorio mexicano hacia EE.UU...

80% of Migrant Women are Raped in the Zone Called the Rice Cooker

The city of Arraiga, in Chiapas state – At first glance, the green landscape in this sparsely populated region of Chiapas state looks peaceful and inviting. The gusts of wind violently break the silence, much as do the screams of the women migrants who are raped each year as they cross this gauntlet, located 120 from the Guatemalan border.

“About 80% of the central American women who cross “the Rice Cooker – la Arrocera” – are raped, says Father Herman Vázquez, founder of the House of Mercy shelter and parish priest in Arraiga. Arraiga is located close to the “red zone” where 230,000 Central American migrants walk during their journeys to the Mexican border with the U.S.

Between the scrub and rocks of this rural area, bands of delinquents stalk their victims. These assailants have been identified as being residents of nearby towns who have dedicated themselves to raping and robbing migrants.

For migrants, passing through this 4 square kilometer bottleneck on the migrant’s trail is almost inevitable, as migrants seek to bypass the immigration station on the main highway nearby…

Gardenia Mendoza

Chiapas Fronterizo

Feb. 26, 2009

See also:

Added: Mar. 22, 2010

Mexico

Thousands of Migrants Kidnapped in Southern Mexico

A report published by Mexico’s Human Rights Commission shows that close to 10,000 migrants were kidnapped for ransom in Mexican territory between September 2008 and February 2009. That’s an average of 50 kidnappings a day for 6 months. The commission based its statistics on information provided by migrant shelters, migrant testimonies, press accounts, and legal records, while noting that the actual dimensions of the kidnapping problem are likely much larger.

More than half of the nearly 10,000 kidnappings documented by the National Human Rights Commission occurred in the southern states of Veracruz and Tabasco.

Friar Blas Alvarado, who runs a migrant shelter in the southern border town of Tenosique, Tabasco, said the commission’s statistics are just the tip of the iceberg because his shelter has had “hundreds more cases that we haven’t documented or reported because, at this point, we don’t know where to take them”. He says he doesn’t trust the National Human Rights Commission to do anything beyond crunch numbers and that he doesn’t trust any other government agency because “they know very well – and have known for a long time – where these crimes are taking place, and they don’t do anything”.

Ties to organized crime

Migrant kidnappings in Tabasco and Veracruz are mostly attributed to the “Zetas” organized crime group. Friar Blas Alvarado says officials take no action against kidnappers either out of fear or because they are in collusion with the criminals. “ ...

 

South Notes

June 22, 2009

See also:

Central America and Mexico

mariajesusdl02297.jpg

María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

Traffickers sell these children to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

More that 50% of these child victims are from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007


Added: Mar. 20, 2010

Mexico

(Related story)

The Other Side of the Street

Part of a photo essay on street children in Mexico city

Laura ran away from home when she was 12, after her stepfather raped her. She became infected with HIV at age 14 after being raped on the street by an HIV Positive man. He is known to have sexually assaulted 3 other homeless girls, and is now serving a prison sentence for rape. Laura is regularly sexually exploited for money. She has 2 children who live with her parents.

Reforma

– Mexico City

"The Storm"

I don't know where to even start...we are in the middle of stuff here that is so sick - not sure how to even describe it. All I know is the Lord has been preparing me over the last weeks for what we have now....

We lost the 6 year old [see "Acapulco Update" - March 15, 2010] because certain un-named people told the mother that if she was with us I would go after the guys once I had the whole story...I can't deny that I would but the way it blew up from inside is something that will be addressed.

So that was one thing....the next is equally disturbing and involves 2 sisters - one 15, the other 10...the 15 year old was brutally raped and beaten to death and God only knows where they left her body...many times real news gets ignored for the "good" of the people. Her sister 10 was and is also being victimized by rape and has had her teeth all punched out....in the midst of this she is now pregnant and seemingly has vanished from the face of the earth...the same guys who did these acts raped and murdered 2 boys 7 and 10 years old and left the 7 year old body in front of the marina area...no investigation and certainly no prosecution at least that anyone will admit to. So what to do...

Well I don't have the answer other than pray....today we are going to an abandoned house where the homeless drug addicts of Acapulco regularly violate both boys and girls who find themselves on the streets. We are going there only to pray in the hopes that maybe...just maybe our prayers can be enough for Angels to free even one child who would be victimized here.

My flesh really wanted / wants to shut down our work in Acapulco, not because the work is hard or not needed, but because we keep getting hit with stuff that is not our call...we still have a house full of elderly sick people and NO ONE is able or at least willing to help with them...so instead of doing what we are called to and what is clearly needed...going out and getting these children off the streets and out of danger...we are spending the limited resources we have running a nursing home. I am doing all I know how to ....in order to fix it but it is seemingly impossible.

So brothers and sisters...I ask for focused prayers at this time.....we need the the government or at least a ministry with the call to elderly to help so we can go get these kids before they end up washed up on the beach like so many others...we are not going to shut down here...we are going to increase our efforts against all odds.

Prayer...lots of prayer!

 

Reverend Steven T. Cass

Breaking chains Ministry

March 18, 2010


Added: Mar. 14, 2010

Indigneous Latin America

Trabajo Infantil Indígena y Descolonización

17 millones de niños indígenas trabajan en América Latina en labores agrícolas y en el área urbana se desempeñan en actividades domésticas, en construcción y como vendedores ambulantes, según datos de la OIT y UNICEF.

Indigneous Child Labor and Decolonization

17 million Indigenous Children work in Latin America in agriculture, domestic work and as street vendors, according to data from the International Labor Organization and UNICEF

El tema es abordado en el Encuentro Latinoamericano: “Pueblos indígenas y gobierno: hacia una protección efectiva de los derechos de los niños, niñas y adolescentes indígenas en situación de trabajo infantil por abolir. De la declaración a la acción” que se desarrolla en Cartagena de Indias, con la participación de 200 representantes de entidades gubernamentales y comunidades indígenas. UNICEF ha presentado, junto con la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) y la Fundación para la Educación en Contextos de Multilingüismo y Pluriculturalidad (FUNPROEIB Andes), el Atlas sociolingüístico de pueblos indígenas en América Latina, un análisis lingüístico y sociocultural para Latinoamérica. "No teníamos ningún informe sobre el estado de la situación de los pueblos indígenas, ni en el ámbito cultural, educativo, lingüístico, económico, demográfico ni social", señala el jefe de la Unidad de Políticas Intraculturales, Interculturales y Plurilingüismo del ministerio de Educación de Bolivia y aymara del altiplano boliviano, Walter Gutiérrez. Según él, sin una "mirada amplia" sobre América Latina, resulta "imposible planificar políticas integrales que protejan los intereses indígenas". Por esta razón, califica el Atlas como "un avance" y una "herramienta útil" para planificadores y gobernantes...

[English translation to follow]

 

Cristiano Morsolin

ArgenPress

March 11, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

An activist's letter speaks the truth from the front lines of the battle to save children from impunity

Mexico

Street children in Mexico

Photo: Alex Moore

Breaking Chains Update...lots of action....almost more than we can handle.

Lots of action but it is taking its toll……

In the last 2 weeks we have successfully rescued 2 new daughters both of whom have extraordinary testimonies…I will share Monica’s in a bit. We also through the US Dept. Of Homeland Security successfully shut down a child porn site that had more than 500 videos involving hardcore acts with children many of whom have yet to reach 5 years of age.

I don’t think you can understand until you have seen this stuff the depth of evil that exists in mankind and while the acts are one thing what is causing me what may be more pain than I can handle is the faces of these children during the acts. I keep seeing them over and over in my mind. I find myself now at times in the middle of the day and night just stopping and crying. I can handle a lot as most of my work keeps me in the midst of hell but the enemy may have found the way to take me out of this battle.

On top of that we have identified 3 different middle schools in Baja California where girls yet to reach 16 years of age and many of whom are only 12 are willingly selling themselves not out of force but for money to buy things like cell phones, chips and soda, and the latest fashions. Many of the clients are Americans who either live here or come down specificially seeking these children.

Through an ongoing operation in the red zones of Tijuana we have also identified 42 minors who are being prostituted blatantly with seemingly no repercussion from law enforcement…yeah they do go in and arrest them from time to time but the next day they are back on the streets. It is a helpless feeling to see all this and only be able to act on a miniscule fraction.

We have been waiting for help from Mexico City for a long time now and are pretty much resigning ourselves that it is not coming. It is not like they don’t have other things to do…this country is in the midst of a full blown war that makes Iraq look like a playground. There are armed groups attacking each other daily and many of the attacks are happening in the middle of civilians and even in the middle of town squares. The numbers are staggering and it seems like the daily reports of multiple homicides at the hands of AK 47’s and AR 15’s are just another story. The US has shut down the consulate in Monterrey where the Zetas and Gulf Cartel have engaged in a full blown war.

In the middle of all this I often find myself asking God…where are you?????? I know He is here as my faith has not been completely stolen but those little 3 and 5 year old faces from the videos sure bring legitimacy to the question...

Now would be a good time to pray brothers and sisters…it is a season of almost unbearable pain. We need you now more than ever…we need your prayers, we need your financial support and we need more people to get off their butts and start doing something. There is a war going on …a war which is reaching a level of evil most of you cannot fathom or at least that you choose not to. I don’t have that luxury I have been called to fight for these kids and the images of those tiny faces is a double edged sword…it makes me want to quit and at the same time won’t let me.

 

In Christ

Steven T. Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

Feb. 28, 2010

Steven - be strong!

We support your important efforts to save children!

Keep up the great work, hard as it may be. Those who are defenseless depend upon your tireless efforts to stand tall in the face of impunity.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 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 extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expresses 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 who 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, legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for CSEC, with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to International Organization for Migration 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 used.

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, 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 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 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 support the political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 200

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

 Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

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

Americas Program Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

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

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

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

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

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

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



All May, 2010 News

All April, 2010 News




LibertadLatina

Sobre el Brote de Gripe Porcina

About the Swine Influenza Outbreak




March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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

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

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


LibertadLatina

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

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

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008


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


Ricky Martin

Llama y Vive

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

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

April 24, 2008

Llama y Vive

Call and Live Hotline:

1-888 NO-TRATA

llamayvive.org



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

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

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

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

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

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

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

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

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

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

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

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

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

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

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

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

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

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's San Tomas Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitu-tion and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004



Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

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

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

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

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

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

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


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

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

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


Latin American Trafficking News Summary


Coverage of the Elvira Arellano Deportation Case


Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

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

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

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

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

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

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

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

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


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

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

 

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

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!