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Added: Sep. 22, 2011
Activists raise the alarm bell in regard to the explosive growth in the kidnapping and sexual enslavement of indigenous children by human traffickers across Mexico
[Human traffickers target large numbers of indigenous children for sexual slavery across Mexico because their victims are discriminated against by the larger society, and because they do not speak Spanish and have been raised with docile personalities. In response, government has not addressed the issue - which aslo involves dynamics of institutional racism against indigenous peoples. The rate of kidnappings for purposes of sexual enslavement have increased alarmingly over the past 3 years.
Full English translation to follow
Mexico
Aumenta la trata de niñas indígenas
Activistas advierten que desde hace tres años creció de “manera alarmante” la trata infantil indígena y que se ignora por discriminación racial
El 14 de julio la niña maya Juane Belem Rojas fue secuestrada en su propia casa de la comunidad de Morocoy, Quintana Roo, por una red de trata sexual. La Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI) la rescató quince días después en Villa Hermosa, Tabasco.
En la capital mexicana, María, una niña chiapaneca tzeltal de 13 años, fue rescatada en un operativo realizado el 22 de mayo en el callejón de Manzanares de la Merced. María fue la víctima de menor edad del grupo de 61 mujeres liberadas de en el operativo.
Rebeca Ruiz Gómez, tzotzil de 16 años de edad, vendía artesanías con su abuela en la plaza de San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. El primero de mayo una familia que dijo vivir en Cuautitlán, Estado de México, le ofreció trabajo en el servicio doméstico y se la llevó. Ahora se ignora el paradero de Rebeca.
Teresa Ulloa, titular de la Coalición Regional Contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, A.C. (CATW en sus siglas en inglés), considera que éstos casos son representativos del incremento en la trata de niñas indígenas en México con fines de explotación sexual y laboral.
El aumento de la trata indígena en México “es alarmante”, dice.
Ulloa explica que no hay investigaciones ni datos confiables de trata indígena en ninguna parte del país, pero de 60 casos que atiende ahora 10 por ciento son de niñas y mujeres indígenas, y las etnias representan un porcentaje menor en la población nacional (entre 7 y 10 por ciento).
Su lectura surge también de su investigación de campo titulada Revalorización de las mujeres indígenas de los Altos de Chiapas, realizada por CATW entre 2010 y 2011 y hasta ahora inédita.
Otras especialistas y activistas indígenas coinciden con Ulloa.
La diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial contra la Trata de Personas, expone el caso de distintos ejidos del municipio de Tamuín, San Luis Potosí, en donde recientemente han secuestrado a niñas y a un niño pertenecientes “a 15 familias, muchas de ellas indígenas”.
La nahua Guadalupe Martínez, representante de la Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y de México en el centro del país, señala que cada vez se observan más casos de trata laboral o sexual “en pueblos mazahuas, otomíes, ñañus, mixtecos”.
Los mecanismos

Ana Elena Barrios, de la organización Enlace, Comunicación y capacitación, coautora de la investigación Sur inicio de un camino, que versa sobre los derechos de la población migrante centroamericana, opina igualmente ha aumentado la trata de niñas indígenas de Guatemala, Salvador y Honduras a México.
Asegura que la mayoría de ellas está en los 12 y 15 años de edad y son explotadas en la ciudad chiapaneca fronteriza de Tapachula, “uno de los puntos de prostitución más grande del mundo”. Advierte que hay nuevas rutas, más aisladas, para introducir centroamericanas a través de la zona de la Mesilla, del municipio Frontera de Comapala, Chiapas.
Este fenómeno a la alza es ignorado en México por discriminación racial y de género, opina América Martínez, de la Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral (APADI), que realiza campañas de salud sexual en sexoservidoras y contra la trata.
“No es lo mismo que secuestren al hijo de Alejandro Martí que a una niña indígena”, dice en referencia al secuestro y asesinato del hijo del empresario que movilizó al gobierno federal y local y a la sociedad en general.
Ulloa piensa que las niñas indígenas son más vulnerables a la trata porque muchas son monolingües, culturalmente son dóciles, pudieron ser víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar, y crecieron en poblados de extrema pobreza y marginación.
Su estudio se realizó en tres municipios chiapanecos: Chenalhó, San Juan Chamula y Oxchuc, conocidos por tener población mayoritariamente católica, con militancia en el Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) y con altos grados de alcoholismo.
La especialista dice que en estas poblaciones dominadas por el sistema patriarcal las mujeres no valen, por lo que aumenta la practica de venta de niñas por parte de sus padres.
Los compradores pueden ser hombres de la comunidad que migraron y ahora son enganchadores, o desconocidos que emborrachan a los padres o autoridades locales y van por niñas desde los ocho años de edad.
“El que busca sexualmente a estas niñas obviamente es mucho más violento, porque es una expresión absoluta de poder, donde ellas no tienen ninguna opción de defenderse, ni siquiera de usar condón”.
Refiere que en algunos casos la venta se realiza a través de un ritual de tres visitas en el que participan autoridades locales.
Los compradores llevan “rejas de refresco, pan, carne, y cada vez más se da una transacción en efectivo que va de 3 mil a 20 mil pesos”.
En un caso contrastante, destaca, las mujeres de las comunidades zapatistas chiapanecas exigieron en 1994 eliminar esa práctica ancestral en su Ley Revolucionaria de Mujeres “para que ellas elijan con quien casarse”.
Otro mecanismo de los enganchadores es el de enamorar a las adolescentes y prometerles casarse, y uno más el de ofrecer empleo fuera de la comunidad.
Dice que estas prácticas también se acostumbran en otros estados. Esas niñas terminan en prostíbulos de la región, son esclavas laborales o se trafica con sus órganos, por lo que también se les lleva a otros estados o incluso a Estados Unidos.
Ulloa observa que el incremento de este delito también se debe a “la llegada del crimen organizado a las comunidades indígenas” y a la fallida estrategia del Estado contra el narcotráfico.
En su opinión el narco recién descubrió en las niñas en general un potencial a explotar “porque no se les pone atención, y ya las empezaron a reclutar de halconas, sicarias, mulas o de esclavas sexuales, y eso es trata, porque al final las están usando para proteger su negocio”.
Igualmente responsabilizó del aumento de la trata infantil a la estrategia del Estado contra el narco: “generalmente donde se mueve el operativo conjunto hay más trata hacia ese lugar, más violaciones de mujeres, más consumo de prostitución, y más feminicidos”.
La respuesta institucional
Actualmente el Estado no cuenta con un modelo de atención a víctimas indígenas de trata.
Sara Irene Herrerías, titular de la Fiscalía Especial para los delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de personas (FEVIMTRA), dice que sin embargo “hay avances” en la Comisión intersecretarial para prevenir y sancionar la trata de personas, pues se realizan cápsulas preventivas que se difunden en lenguas indígenas en algunas comunidades.
La aprobación de la Ley General contra la Trata de Personas el pasado 3 de agosto es desatacada por la diputada Orozco, pues considera que además de sancionar con penas más graves a los victimarios, sí especifica la condición indígena.
Sin embargo, la coautora del libro sobre trata titulado Del cielo al infierno en un día, enfatiza que es importante homologar esa ley en todos los estados, pues actualmente sólo 16 tienen ley contra la trata.
Además piensa que esta ley no servirá si no se realizan operativos de rescate y se crean equipos interdisciplinarios para acompañar y proteger a las víctimas hasta el final del proceso.
Tampoco la ley servirá si no se sentencia a victimarios. Dice que en el país sólo en el Distrito Federal, Chiapas y Puebla se ha sentenciado a proxenetas.
“Existe la impunidad porque no hay sentencias, y porque en algunos estados estas son mayores por robarse una vaca que una niña”.
Rodolfo Casillas, autor del libro Me acuerdo bien…testimonios y percepciones de trata de niñas y mujeres en la Ciudad de México, precisa que antes de legislar y de establecer programas “hace falta reunir información pertinente sobre los efectos y consecuencias de la trata de personas en comunidades indígenas, y no se observa en el gobierno federal disposición alguna (presupuesto, programas, personal) para ello”.
Laura Castellanos
El Mercurio Digital
Sep. 22, 2011Added: Sep. 22, 2011
Mexico
Importantes diarios mexicanos retiran publicidad sexual
Mexico -- Dos de los más grandes grupos editores de periódicos de México dijeron el martes que dejaron de publicar la mayoría de los anuncios de oferta sexual que alguna vez cubrieron las últimas páginas de sus populares tabloides.
El diario El Universal dijo en una historia publicada en su página principal que ni éste ni su tabloide El Gráfico publicarán "anuncios que podrían ser utilizados por traficantes de personas", a fin de ayudar a combatir lo que expertos califican como un enorme problema de explotación de mujeres y niños en México.
"Convocamos a la industria periodística a que cerremos la puerta a estos criminales, no sólo en el ámbito comercial, ni únicamente en periódicos y revistas, sino que medios de gran penetración como la televisión, dejen de emplear estas temáticas como herramienta de penetración", dijo Juan Francisco Ealy, presidente ejecutivo de El Universal.
El diario Reforma también manifestó que canceló los anuncios. Verónica Tapia, de Grupo Reforma, dijo que su principal publicación, el Reforma, y su tabloide Metro ya no aceptarían anuncios de servicios sexuales.
Las ediciones tabloide de ambos diarios continuaron publicando el martes anuncios de lo que parecen ser servicios de "conversación" telefónica de orientación sexual, pero los anuncios de servicios estilo acompañamiento que aparecían por decenas han desaparecido de ambos.
Ninguno de los diarios indicó qué lineamientos específicos estaban aplicando en la prohibición, y algunos otros diarios continúan publicando anuncios de "acompañamiento" con frases como "dieciocho solamente ... oral natural", "24 horas de placer, discreción, 150%", "princesa complaciéndote totalmente, departamento".
Teresa Ulloa, directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATW-LAC, por sus siglas en inglés), dijo que es sabido que proxenetas manejan anuncios en diarios de México ofreciendo los servicios de mujeres forzadas a la prostitución, e incluso niñas.
"Las anunciaban como colegiales, bonitas, preciosas, infinidad de casos que hemos encontrado", dijo Ulloa, señalando que el grupo calcula que hay probablemente medio millón de mujeres y niñas que sufren actualmente explotación sexual comercial en México.
Esa cifra incluye migrantes de Centroamérica y mujeres pobres del México rural que son forzadas a la prostitución por su pobreza, engaño o secuestro por parte de bandas del crimen organizado.
Aunque calificó como "superpositivo" el paso dado por los dos diarios de circulación nacional con sede en la ciudad de México, ya que "eso permitirá disminuir la oferta de servicios sexuales que propicia la trata de mujeres y niñas en este país", Ulloa agregó que debe hacerse mucho más en los diarios de provincia y otros medios.
"Quisiéramos que fuera como una epidemia, que fuera contagioso, en los estados de la república. Hay veces que los periódicos principales que circulan en cada estado traen cuatro páginas de noticias, y ocho de oferta sexual; es un problema muy grave en México", subrayó.
Expertos afirman que México tiene un problema especialmente difícil en materia de prostitución forzada.
Dicen que grupos organizados de proxenetas en poblados como Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, se especializan en forzar a mujeres jóvenes a la prostitución en el país y exportan a algunas de ellas a Estados Unidos. Otras bandas se especializan en suministrar mujeres en ciudades fronterizas y centros vacacionales, y otros secuestran o fuerzan a la prostitución a mujeres migrantes que pasan a través de México, afirman los expertos.
Mark Stevenson
The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 22, 2011

Mexico

2 of Mexico’s largest newspaper groups drop most sex ads amid anti-trafficking campaigns

MEXICO CITY — Two of Mexico’s largest newspaper groups said Tuesday they have stopped running most of the sex ads that once blanketed the back pages of their popular tabloids.

The newspaper El Universal said in a front-page story that it and its tabloid El Grafico will not carry “ads that could be used by traffickers of people” to help combat what experts call a huge problem of exploitation of women and children in Mexico.

“We call on the journalistic community to close the door to criminals, not just in the commercial sphere, and not just in newspapers and magazines,” said Juan Francisco Ealy, the executive president of El Universal.

The newspaper Reforma also said it had canceled the ads. Veronica Tapia of Grupo Reforma said the company’s flagship broadsheet, Reforma, and its tabloid Metro would no longer accept sexual-service ads.

Both companies’ tabloid editions continued to run ads Tuesday for what appear to be sexually oriented phone chat services, but escort-style ads that once ran into the dozens had disappeared.

Neither paper specified what guidelines it was applying in the ban, and some other papers continued to run escort ads offering “24 hours of pleasure, discrete, $150,” ‘’I will please you totally, my apartment,” or “only 18 years old!”

Such ads have drawn criticism from feminist and child welfare groups, which argue the advertisements provide wider markets for violent pimps and popularize paid sexual services or make them seem more socially acceptable.

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women and Children in Latin America and the Caribbean, said pimps have been known to run ads in newspapers in Mexico offering the services of women and even children who have been forced into prostitution.

“They advertised them as ‘school girls,’ ‘pretty things,’” Ulloa said, noting that her group estimates there are probably about a half-million women and children currently suffering commercial sexual exploitation in Mexico.

That number includes migrants from Central America and poor women from rural Mexico who are forced into prostitution, sexual performance or sexually abusive situations by poverty, deceit or outright kidnapping by organized gangs.

While calling the step by the two Mexico City-based, national newspapers “super positive,” Ulloa said a lot more had to be done in provincial newspapers and other media.

“We want this to be like an epidemic, for it to be contagious ... throughout the country,” she said. “There are times when in some outlying states, the main newspapers in the states will have four pages of news and eight pages of sex ads.”

Experts say Mexico has an especially difficult problem in forced prostitution.

They say organized gangs of pimps in towns like Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, specialize in forcing young women into domestic prostitution and exporting some of them to the United States. Other gangs supply women to tourists in border cities and resorts, and still others kidnap or otherwise force migrant women passing through Mexico into prostitution, the experts say.

The Associated Press

Sep. 21, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 22, 2011

Reconoce PGR iniciativa de EL UNIVERSAL

Alejandra Barrales, Manlio Fabio Beltrones y el procurador Miguel Ángel Mancera también celebraron que esta casa editorial cancele la publicidad que pueda ser utilizaada por tratantes de personas

Funcionarios, legisladores y representantes de la sociedad civil reconocieron la decisión de EL UNIVERSAL de suprimir la publicidad de servicios que puedan ser aprovechados por tratantes de personas, y consideraron que este paso es un ejemplo a seguir en la lucha por prevenir y erradicar este delito.

La procuradora general de la República, Marisela Morales Ibáñez, afirmó que la iniciativa, anunciada por el licenciado Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, Presidente Ejecutivo y del Consejo de Administración de EL UNIVERSAL, demuestra el compromiso de esta casa editorial en el combate a la trata de personas.

"Este delito lo podremos enfrentar solamente con el compromiso de todos, compromiso que hoy es reflejado con las acciones de esta gran casa editorial.Con estas iniciativas y acciones, juntos sociedad y gobierno le haremos frente común a estos cobardes delincuentes", manifestó.

Recordó que México cuenta, desde 2007, con una ley específica para combatir la trata de personas, desde 2008 con una Fiscalía Especial y desde 2011 con un programa nacional intersecretarial en el que diversas dependencias coordinan acciones para prevenir y erradicar la trata.

El senador Manlio Fabio Beltones, coordinador de la bancada del Partido Revolucionario Institucional en el Senado de la República, reconoció la contribución de las organizaciones civiles en la elaboración y aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, cuando la Organización de las Naciones Unidas ubicaba a México entre los países que no hacían esfuerzo alguno en el tema.

"Las resistencias vienen de la ignorancia, del ocultamiento de la información, y sobre todo, de algunas actitudes que forman parte de nuestra cultura, que tenemos que corregir. Hoy aquí, en el EL UNIVERSAL se da un paso muy importante que hace efectiva la legislación", afirmó.

Teresa Ulloa, directora regional de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, entregó al licenciado Ealy Ortiz una placa que certifica al diario como un medio de libre de la promoción de trata de personas y de prostitución.
Anunció además que el próximo viernes se entregará a este diario el Cuarto Premio Latinoamericano por la Vida y la Seguridad de las Mujeres.

Josefina Vázquez Mota, consideró que las tres decisiones anunciadas por El Universal son la mejor noticia para las niñas y los niños, para las mujeres y los jovenes que están siendo víctimas de este delito.

"Hoy se escribe no solo una nueva página en la historia de EL UNIVERSAL, se escribe una nueva y una mejor página e la esperanza para México", dijo.

La diputada Alejandra Barrales, presidenta de la Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal, afirmó que la decisión de EL UNIVERSAL genera un parteaguas en la manera de un medio de comunicación de responsabilizarse con la información.

El procurador de Justicia del Distrito Federal, Miguel Ángel Mancera, hizo un llamado a los demás medios de comunicación para seguir el ejemplo de EL UNIVERSAL, que consideró "es un paso más en la búsqueda del empoderamiento de las mujeres, las niñas y los niños".

Felipe de la Torre, coordinador de la campaña "Corazón Azul" contra la trata de personas, de la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, expresó su reconocimiento a "la decisión de carácter práctico, que se suma a las acciones de combate a la trata de personas".

Federal attorney general praises El Universal for cancelling sexual services advertisinAlejandra Barrales, Manlio Fabio Beltrones and Mexico City attorney general Miguel Ángel Mancera join in the acknowledgement

Government officials, legislators and representatives from civil society joined today to recognize the El Universal newspaper for heir decision to cancel all advertising for services that could be exploited by human traffickers. They agreed that the decision is an example that should be followed by other organizations to increase the effectiveness of the fight against human trafficking,

Federal Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez declared that the decision, which was announced by El Universal's Executive President Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, showed the newspaper's commitment to the fight against human trafficking.

Attorney General Morales Ibáñez, "We can only wage this fight with everyone's participation, which we see today with the decision of this great editorial institution, With these types of actions and initiatives, society and government together will build a common front against these cowardly delincuents..."

María de la Luz González

El Universal

Mexico City

Sep. 21, 2011



Added: Sep. 20, 2011

Mexico

México – “foco rojo” en trata de personas
 
National City, California.— A comienzos de 2004, Marisa Ugarte consiguió que el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos financiara parte de una investigación que la llevaría al centro de las ciudades fronterizas del lado mexicano en las que ella había documentado la operación extraordinaria de grupos involucrados en la trata de personas.

Lo que halló en sus incursiones de dos años en zonas de bares y prostíbulos de Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juárez, Nogales y Tijuana reafirmó lo que ya muchas organizaciones civiles habían revelado: la corrupción y participación de autoridades en el negocio criminal convertía a estas ciudades en un paraíso para esclavizar sexualmente a mujeres, infantes y varones, lo mismo que para subordinarlos a trabajos forzados en uno y otro lado de la frontera. Pero en una segunda fase del trabajo de campo, que comenzó en 2008 y mantiene hasta hoy, obtuvo el dato más inquietante de todos.

Ugarte centró sus esfuerzos en descubrir detalles operativos en Mexicali, Tecate y Tijuana, las tres zonas más populosas de la frontera bajacaliforniana. Y en ellas censó alrededor de 5 mil células inmiscuidas en la trata.

La dirigente del Corredor de Seguridad Binacional Tijuana-San Diego, una organización que durante dos décadas ha trabajado en el rescate y asesoramiento de víctimas de tráfico y explotación humana, se metió en cada burdel, cantina, hotel y calle donde se ejerce el comercio sexual y se agrupa a migrantes. Ugarte dice que fue una investigación que contó con mucho menor presupuesto que la primera, y fue justo la falta de recursos lo que la obligó a levantar, ella misma, muchas de las entrevistas con víctimas y victimarios. El dato de los 5 mil activos dentro de la industria la estremeció, pero hasta cierto punto lo encuentra lógico.

Cuatro años atrás, en Tijuana, un taxista le ofreció en venta un niño de cinco años. “Me dijo que podía hacer con él lo que quisiera”. Por eso, cuenta, el asombro no le llegó por el drama de los individuos, sino por la complejidad y magnitud de quienes se volcaron al negocio de la trata de humanos en un periodo relativamente corto.

Ugarte clasificó las operaciones en 10 rubros fundamentales, que van desde el traslado, almacenamiento y cruce de personas, al manejo financiero y blanqueo de dinero, y los operadores se encuentran indistintamente entre la clase empresarial, política, policial y criminal tanto de México como de Estados Unidos.

“Cada célula es independiente y se venden servicios unos a otros”, explica. “Esto nos revela qué tan organizados están y también por qué no se pelean entre sí. Cada quien tiene un lugar, un movimiento, un transporte, un aseguramiento, un manejo de documentación falsa. Todo lo que haga falta”.

Las células descritas por la activista pueden estar constituidas por cuatro o cinco individuos o por más de un centenar. Las grandes organizaciones son, por lo general, células que en origen se dedicaban al tráfico de estupefacientes y por ello mismo suelen ser las que dominan las rutas de trasiego, aseguramiento y explotación de humanos. “Por eso es un negocio de alto riesgo. Hay muchas zonas a las que ya no puedo ir y no sólo en México, sino aquí mismo, al norte de San Diego, porque allí es donde operan las grandes estructuras criminales, como la mafia rusa, la china y la mexicana”, dice.

Mexico is a "hot spot" of human trafficking

 

National City, California .- In early 2004, Marisa Ugarte obtained funding from the U.S. Department of State U.S. to finance part of an investigation that would focus on Mexico’s U.S. border region, where she has documented the extraordinary dynamics of human trafficking operations.

What Ugarte discovered during her two year investigation of the bars and brothels of the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana has reaffirmed what many non-governmental organizations have said in the past – that the participation of corrupt government officials has turned the region into a paradise for the enslavement of women, girls and boys in forced prostitution, as well as for their exploitation in labor slavery on both sides of the Mexico / U.S. border.

The second phase of Ugarte’s work, which started in 2008 and continues today, revealed the most disturbing fact of all. Focusing her research efforts on the study of human trafficking operations in the three most populous cities in the western state of Baja California – Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana, Ugarte found that 5,000 criminal  human trafficking ‘cells’ are in operation. Although those results shocked her, she finds them to be logical [extensions of social conditions in the region].

Ugarte is the director of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC), an organization [coalition of more than 40 organizations and agencies on both sides of the international border] that rescues and counsels human trafficking and exploitation victims. She notes that the second phase of her investigation had a much lower budget than the first. She therefore found herself personally conducting many of the interviews that were carried out with victims and perpetrators. During that process Ugarte entered every brothel, tavern hotel, and street corner where commercial sex is sold or where migrants congregate.

Four years ago in Tijuana, a taxi driver offered her a 5-year-old boy. Ugarte, “He sad that I could do anything I wanted with him.” [We note that many dozens of Tijuana’s taxi drivers wait at the U.S. border each night to take U.S. men into the heart of the city’s red light district. - LL] Ugarte is surprised not by the drama of the individuals involved, but by the complexity and magnitude of the explosive growth in human trafficking in a relatively short period of time.

Ugarte has identified 10 key categories of human trafficking activity in the region, ranging from the transport and housing of victims, to the creation of false identification documents, to financial management and money laundering. The operators of these cells include members of the business community, politicians and law enforcements agents both in Mexico and in the United States.

 “Each cell is independent. They sell services to each other,” explains Ugarte. “This shows us how well organized they are. They don’t fight among themselves. Each of them has their place [providing every service niche that is needed].”

The cells that Ugarte describes may consist of 4, 5 or more individuals, or they may include over 100 people. The larger organizations are, generally, cells that since their beginnings dedicated themselves to illicit drug trafficking. They therefore had already dominated smuggling routes, had set up security and where experienced in human exploitation. Ugarte, “Therefore, this is a high risk business. There are many zones where I cannot go, not only in Mexico but right here, north of San Diego, California, because large criminal organizations operate in these sectors, including Russian, Chinese and Mexican mafias,” says Ugarte.

Southern California is a hotbed

Ugarte’s organization (the BSCC) is located on National City Boulevard, a few yards from the San Diego city limits. The zone is close to the local naval base, and when their office closes its doors, it becomes a street prostitution walk where foreign women offer sex.

In her offices, Ugarte points to a map that highlights the red zones of prostitution. One of those red zones is in front of her own offices. Many women and men are forced to sell theire bodies here, but the authorities don’t investigate these cases as human trafficking.

Ugarte, “There is a lot of racism in this as well, and many special interests. The reasoning that investigating agencies use is that [they don’t like the fact that] a victim of trafficking can look forward to obtaining a humanitarian [“T”] visa [as a victim of trafficking]. Therefore, the authorities prefer to treat the case as one of common delinquency.”

The phenomenon of trafficking is not limited to sex work. In 2010 the Center for Social Advocacy (el Centro de Promoción Social - a coalition of San Diego human rights organizations) and Cornell University conducted a surbvey of 505 members of the local immigrant community. Some 321 people reported experiences that quality as being cases of [labor] trafficking. The victims fall into two categories. The first group faced low wages and threats. The second group were hidden by their traffickers and were forced to perform dangerous jobs under threat that their families would be harmed if they escaped…

Southern California [in the U.S.] is a hotbed of human rights and labor violations, but it has also been an epicenter of forced prostitution perpetrated in farm labor camps for at least a decade, says Heriberto García, the human rights prosecutor for Baja California state. We know this through our interactions with organizations that work on the U.S. side of the border. García’s offices hold ample testimony from victims showing that girls and women from between the ages of 16 and 45 are routinely kidnapped from the central and southern regions of Mexico, and especially from the states of Guanajuato, Puebla, Tlaxcala and Oaxaca.

“We have come to find out that these women are being held in the U.S. solely for the purposes of exploiting them sexually in farm labor camps, where every [form of sex act] has a price,” said García.

García also notes that sexual slavery in California’s farm labor camps became acute in 2009. The great majority of farm workers, who are undocumented, chose not to leave their workplaces to avoid the risk of deportation. That opened the door for sex trafficking networks to expand, he exclaimed.

García added that only two formal cases have been brought to his attention during the past eight years. Neither victim wanted to pursue a criminal complaint.

García, “These figures may seem insignificant, but what they tell us most of all is that [victims and the public] feel distrust and fear, and they don’t know how to file a complaint [a cultural acceptance of the reporting of crime does not exist].

El Universal

Sep. 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 20, 2011

Short version from El Universal

Mexico

México, “foco rojo” en trata de personas


Mexicali, Tecate y Tijuana, triángulo de la prostitución; operan 5 mil células

De sur a norte México tiene corredores de trata de personas considerados por organismos no gubernamentales “paraísos” para el comercio de seres humanos.

Lo que se conoce como una nueva forma de esclavitud tiene como principales aliadas a la complicidad y la corrupción de autoridades federales, estatales y municipales, que brindan protección a los tratantes y lenones que operan redes de prostitución, cuyos tentáculos se extienden desde América Central hasta Estados Unidos.

Mujeres y niñas que un día son explotadas en la zona de La Merced, en la capital del país, aparecen al otro en áreas de prostitución en Puebla y Tlaxcala. Cuando las autoridades de un estado realizan operativos en contra de la trata, las redes criminales desplazan a sus víctimas a otras entidades aledañas.

donde el cobijo de la corrupción les permite seguir con la explotación.

Una investigación auspiciada por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos encontró sólo en Baja California 5 mil células de tratantes de personas. En esa entidad Tijuana, Mexicali y Tecate son consideradas el triángulo forzado de la prostitución.

La investigación documentó que la mayoría de las mujeres que son sometidas a explotación sexual fueron secuestradas de estados como Guanajuato, Puebla, Tlaxcala y Oaxaca.

Para la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, México es un punto estratégico en el mapa regional del comercio de personas.

El organismo también identifica a Costa Rica como paraíso sexual, al ser origen, destino y tránsito de víctimas, además de paso de miles de migrantes ilegales en su viaje de Sudamérica a México, Estados Unidos y Canadá. La cadena engancha a centenares de jóvenes centroamericanas y las traslada a México en complicidad con redes de traficantes del sur del país. Muchas se quedan en México y otras son enviadas a Estados Unidos.

Mexico is a hot spot of human trafficking

The cities of Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana form a triangle of crimal activity where 5,000 trafficking networks operate

From north to south, trafficking routes traverse Mexico. Non governmental organization consider these regions to be "paradises" for the commercial exploitation of people.

The crime that is often called a new form of slavery exists due to the activities of criminals and the corrupt federal, state and local officials who act as their allies, who provide traffickers with protection. The tentacles of these networks extent from Central America [through Mexico] into the United States.

Women and children who are exploited on a given day in Mexico City's 'La Merced' prostitution tolerance zone are to be found the next day being prostituted in the states of Puebla or Tlaxcala.

When the authorities of one state organize raids against the traffickers, they move their victims to distant locations - in states where corruption allows them to continue in their criminal activities.

An investigation sponsored by the U.S. Department of State discovered that in the state of Baja California alone, 5,000 human trafficking 'cells' are asctive. Within Baja California, the cities of Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana are considered to be the centers of the forced prostitution trade.

The investigation documented the fact that the majority of women who are forced into prostitution were kidnapped from the states of Guanajuato, Puebla, Tlaxcala and Oaxaca.

For the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mexico is a strategic location on the regional map of human trafficking.

The UNODC also identifes Costa Rica as being a sexual paradise, given that it is a point of origien, transite and destination for trafficking victims, as well as being a major transit point for those who are migrating from South America through Mexico to the United States and Canada.

El Universal

Sep. 19, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section:

About the rape with impunity of sex trafficked children and women in the farm labor camps of San Diego County, California


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Convicted child pornographer and sex trafficker Jean Succar Kuri

Edith Encalada presunta víctima del pederasta Jean Succar Kuri

Edith Encalada, a presumed victim of pedophile Jean Succar Kuri

Jean Succar Kuri photographed with one of his child victims during earlier times

Dan 112 años de prisión a Succar Kuri

Sentencia “histórica” contra el pederasta: abogado

México, DF.- Tras siete años de litigio, un magistrado federal aumentó la condena del empresario Jean Succar Kuri, acusado de pornografía infantil y corrupción de menores, a 112 años seis meses de prisión y apagar más de 527 mil pesos.

Este 30 de agosto el magistrado del Tribunal Unitario del Vigésimo Séptimo Circuito modificó la resolución que le fue impuesta al empresario de origen libanés en marzo de este año, acusado de manejar una red de pornografía infantil en México.

La Procuraduría General de la República y el Consejo de la Judicatura Federal ayer informaron de la nueva sentencia contra Succar Kuri, cuyos delitos quedaron al descubierto hace más de diez años en el trabajo de la periodista Lydia Cacho.

En libro “Los Demonios del Edén”, publicado por la periodista en 2005, se da cuenta la red de pornografía infantil que Succar Kuri mantenía en Cancún, Quintana Roo, lo que le valió a Lydia Cacho ser perseguida y acusada de difamación.

Sin embargo, el fallo del magistrado federal, José Ángel Mattar Oliva, acreditó responsabilidad penal del pederasta.

Cárcel de por vida

En entrevista con esta agencia, el abogado Xavier Olea Peláez, quien defendió a tres de las víctimas, explicó que el nuevo fallo surgió luego de que los representantes legales de las víctimas, la PGR y el propio Succar Kuri apelaran la primera resolución.

La primera pena de 13 años impuesta por Juez Segundo de Distrito, Alfonso Gabriel García Lanz, se hizo en un proceso global, mientras que el magistrado Mattar Oliva consideró siete años por cada víctima, lo que sumó los 112 años de prisión.

Sin embargo, el abogado señaló que de acuerdo con las leyes nacionales una persona no puede pasar más de 60 años en la cárcel, por lo que consideró que el acusado pasará el resto de su vida en prisión, aunque aun cabe la posibilidad de que interponga un amparo.

En caso de que Succar Kuri, quien fue relacionado con funcionarios públicos y empresarios como Kamel Nacif, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares y el ex gobernador de Puebla Mario Marín, interpusiera un amparo, el falló podría modificarse, revocarse o confirmarse.

Sentencia histórica

Tras siete años de litigio y después de los testimonios y videos presentados por los abogados de las víctimas, Succar Kuri sigue sosteniendo que no es responsable y que no hay pruebas en su contra, asegura Olea Peláez.

Afirmó que esta sentencia, que calificó de “histórica” también implica que el pederasta cumpla con la reparación del daño, que consiste en el pago de la atención médica y psicológica de las víctimas.

Al respecto el abogado alertó que Succar Kuri podrá declarase insolvente para pagar la indemnización, lo cual tendría que probar, y que fácilmente puede hacer si trasladó sus bienes a su esposa o a sus hijos.

Finalmente aclaró que aún hay cuatro procesos abiertos en el fuero común por los delitos de violación equiparada, sin embargo aclaró que esta sentencia sirve para que en los próximos procesos se haga un análisis individual de cada víctima.

Por último dijo que es probable que Succar Kuri no salga de la cárcel aun cuando en los las otros procesos se dicten penas más bajas o lo absuelvan. Además aclaró que el Despacho que representa no continuará con los procesos en el fuero común.

Child pornographer and sex trafficker Jean Succar Kuri receives 112 year prison sentence

Decision against Kuri is "historic" - lawyer

Mexico City - After seven years of seeing the case of [millionaire] businessman Jean Succar Kuri - accused of child pornography and corruption of minors - wind its way through the courts, a federal judge has increased his prison sentence from 13 to 112 and 1/2 years. The new ruling includes a fine of 527,000 pesos.

On August 30, 2011 the judge of the Unitary Court of the Twenty Seventh Circuit modified the resolution that was imposed on the Lebanese-born businessman in March of 2011. Succar Kuri is accused of having run a child pornography ring.

The Attorney General's Office and the Federal Judiciary Council announced the new sentence against Succar Kuri, whose crimes were uncovered more than ten years ago through the investigative work of anti-trafficking activist and journalist Lydia Cacho.

In her book "The Demons of Eden," published by Cacho in 2005, she exposes the child pornography network of Succar Kuri in [the resort city of] Cancun, in Quintana Roo state [where both Cacho and Succar Kuri resided]. In response, Cacho was accused of defamation [then a criminal offense in Mexico] and was prosecuted [by corrupt officials in Puebla state].

Despite that history, federal Judge Jose Angel Mattar Oliva held Succar Kuri responsible for his actions and sentenced him to life in prison.

In an interview with our news agency, Xavier Olea Pelaez, the lawyer for three of Succar Kuri’s victims, said that the new ruling came after the legal representatives of the victims, the federal Attorney General’s Office and even Succar Kuri himself had appealed the first sentence handed down in the case.

That 13 year sentence, imposed by Second District Judge Alfonso Gabriel García Lanz, was applied based on ''a global process,’ whereas Judge Mattar Oliva gave Succar Kuri a seven year sentence for each of his victims. Those consecutive sentences ad up to a 112 year term in prison.

However, one lawyer noted that in accordance with national law, a person cannot spend more than 60 years in prison. Regardless, the defendant will spend the rest of his life behind bars, although the possibility of an appeal will always exist.

Should Succar Kuri, who was linked with such public officials and businessmen as Kamel Nacif, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares and former Puebla state governor Mario Marín, file an appeal, the recent ruling may be either confirmed, modified or revoked.

Historic Judgment

After seven years of prosecution, and after the presentation of testimony and videos by lawyers for the victims, Succar Kuri continues to assert that he is not responsible for the crimes, and that there is no evidence against him, says attorney Pelaez.

Pelaez noted that Succar Kuri could declare himself to be financially insolvent and incapable of paying the court imposed fine. It would be easy for him to do that if he transfers his property to his wife and/or children.

Four court cases remain open against Succar Kuri in regard to criminal charges of statutory rape. Succar Kuri’s conviction on child pornography and corruption of minors charges will facilitate the ordering of an analysis of each of the individual cases that remain outstanding, added Pelaez.

Pelaez concluded by stating that it is likely that Succar Kuri will [ultimately] be freed, although the statutory rape cases may bring light sentences. He stated that his law firm will not be representing any of the victims in those cases.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Sep. 01, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Mexican judge increases sentence for businessman convicted of child pornography

Mexico City - A Mexican judge has increased the sentence of a prominent Mexican businessman convicted of child pornography after a prosecutors’ appeal. He extended the prison term to 60 years from 13 years.

Federal magistrate Jose Angel Mattar says Jean Succar Kuri deserves a harsher sentence for luring poor girls to his home in the resort of Cancun so that he and his friends could have sex with them.

Both prosecutors and Succar had appealed the previous sentence given in March. The magistrate actually set the new sentence at 112 years, but a statement Wednesday says Mexican law allows only a 60-year term.

Succar is a legal U.S. resident who was arrested in Arizona.

The Associated Press

Aug. 31, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section:

Journalist / Activist is railroaded by the legal process for exposing child sex trafficking networks in Mexico


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Two women journalists are murdered in Mexico City

Ana María Marcela Yarce Viveros

Rocío Trapaga González


Added: Sep. 5, 2011

LibertadLatina Note

The below is a statement from the staff of Contralínea Magazine in regard to the Sep. 1st murders of two of their colleagues by unknown cowardly assailants. We at LibertadLatina share our condolences and our commitment to continue to speak truth to power.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Contralínea de luto

Estamos de luto en Contralínea. Marcela Yarce y Rocío González Trápaga, dos mujeres, dos periodistas, una de ellas madre, queridas amigas y compañeras de trabajo, perdieron la vida la madrugada del 1 de septiembre –día del informe presidencial–, a manos de cobardes asesinos. En la redacción de la revista hay dolor, indignación, frustración, ira, impotencia. De un escritorio a otro se respira el miedo, con justa razón. Las desgracias no han cesado, una a otra nos persiguen en los escasos 10 años de vida de nuestra publicación. Todo por neciar en mantener una línea editorial independiente y crítica hacia los hombres y mujeres del poder político y económico en México, quienes se niegan a entender que el periodismo es dé y para la sociedad.

Contralínea in Mourning

The staff of Contralínea Magazine is in mourning. Marcela Yarce and Rocío González Trápaga, two women, two journalists, one of them a mother, beloved friends and coworkers, lost their lives in the early morning of September 1st - the day on which the president's annual report is released - at he hands of cowardly assassins. Within the press room of the magazine you can find pain, indignation, frustration, anger and impotence. From one desk to the next you can hear the sighs of fear, and with good reason. These disgraceful events have not stopped. One or another of us have been stalked during our few ten years in operation. All because we insist upon maintaining our independent and critical editorial point of view focused on the political and economic powers in Mexico, who refuse to acknowledge that journalism is by and for society.

Miguel Badillo

Revista Contralínea

Sep. 05, 2011

See also:

ONU-DH repudia nuevos asesinatos de periodistas en México

La Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ONU-DH) repudia los asesinatos de Ana María Marcela Yarce Viveros, miembro del equipo de la revista Contralínea, y Rocío González, periodista independiente, cuyos cuerpos sin vida fueron identificados el día de ayer en la Ciudad de México. Estos crímenes se suman al ocurrido la semana pasada que segó la vida del comunicador social Humberto Millán en Culiacán, Sinaloa.

“Estos asesinatos, amén del dolor que causan a las familias y personas cercanas para las cuales van nuestros sentimientos de solidaridad, agravian profundamente al gremio periodístico mexicano, cuyo reclamo de eficacia a las varias instancias oficiales destinadas a brindarles protección y seguridad, tienen vigencia y legitimidad indiscutibles”, sostuvo Javier Hernández Valencia, Representante en México de la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos.

En lo que va del año 2011 las y los comunicadores sociales muertos violentamente suman ocho, trágico panorama que se presenta reiteradamente desde el año 2000 para dar una cifra acumulada que eleva a 74 los homicidios contra periodistas, según fuentes oficiales.

Independientemente de sus múltiples móviles posibles, la violencia en contra de las y los periodistas ha devenido en un tema de acuciante preocupación y así lo plasmaron el Sr. Frank La Rue, Relator Especial de la ONU sobre la Libertad de Opinión y Expresión, y la Sra. Catalina Botero, Relatora Especial para la Libertad de Expresión de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, en sus respectivos informes de misión y recomendaciones a México luego de su visita conjunta al país exactamente hace un año.

La ONU-DH insta a las autoridades competentes a agotar todas las líneas de investigación que se deriven de estos crímenes con una adecuada perspectiva de género, incluyendo particularmente aquellas que se relacionen con su actividad periodística, con el objetivo de capturar, procesar, juzgar y sancionar a los responsables. Al mismo tiempo, invita a la ciudadanía a unirse activamente en el rechazo de todo acto de agresión en contra de las y los comunicadores sociales, cuya victimización constituye además un gravísimo atentado contra la libertad de expresión.

UN HCHR repudiates the latest murders of journalists in Mexico

The Mexican Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations has condemned the murders of Ana Maria Marcela Yarce Viveros, a member a cofounder and reporter for Contralínea ['Counterline'] Magazine, and Rocío González, a freelance journalist. Their bodies were found and identified yesterday in Mexico City. Their deaths come soon after the murder of social commentator Humberto Millan in the city of Culiacan in Sinaloa state.

"These murders, aside from the pain that they cause for the families and people who are close to them – for which express our feelings of solidarity – deeply aggravate the concerns of all Mexican journalists, whose demand for effective protection from these dangers have  unquestionable legitimacy," said Javier Hernández Valencia, representative in Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

during 2011 eight journalists have met violent deaths in Mexico, continuing a tragic scenario that has claimed 74 victims since the year 2000.

Regardless of its many possible mobile, violence against the journalists has become a topic of pressing concern for Frank La Rue, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter American Human Rights Commission. Their viewpoints were expressed in their respective mission reports and recommendations to Mexico after conducting joint visits exactly one year ago.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges Mexico’s authorities to exhaust all leads in regard to these crimes, especially with respect to their journalistic activities, while including a proper gender perspective. The goal should be to arrest, prosecute and punish those responsible. At the same time they invite the public to actively join in the rejection of any act of aggression against journalists, whose victimization is also a serious attack on freedom of expression.

Contralinea

Sep. 02, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Murders of reporters heighten despair and shock

Mexico City, - "And how do you escape this anxiety, this sensation that nothing we do does any good?" a Mexican journalist wrote on her Facebook page after the murder of two of her colleagues in Mexico City.

The brutal murders of Marcela Yarce, 48, and Rocío González, 48, rocked Mexico when their bodies were found Thursday.

Yarce was one of the founders of Contralínea, a political news magazine that regularly reports on government corruption, which has suffered constant harassment in recent years.

The two women were the first female journalists killed in the capital since the government of conservative President Felipe Calderón declared "war" on the drug trade and put the army on the streets shortly after taking office in December 2006.

"Mexican journalists are in mourning, not only because of these killings, but because of all of the murders committed against us," the "Los Queremos Vivos" (We Want Them Alive) collective that organises protests against attacks on journalists, wrote in an open letter to Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

The United Nations considers Mexico the third-most dangerous nation in the world for reporters.

The murders of Yarce and González also drew howls of outrage from other groups of reporters and women's organisations, as well as politicians of all stripes. But, unlike in 2010, when indignation over the kidnapping of four reporters prompted the largest protest demonstration by journalists ever held in Mexico, what has prevailed this time is a sense of shock.

"Every day, something happens that is more appalling than what happened the day before," one radio journalist wrote on Facebook. "We look at this with a sick stomach, thinking of our loved ones, of our country. Grief and rage. What do we do with this sad combination?"

By flinging the armed forces into the crackdown on drug trafficking cartels, Calderón has only worsened the spiral of violence. In the past four years, more than 40,000 people have been killed in increasingly grisly drug-related murders, 10,000 have been "disappeared", 700,000 have been forced to flee their homes, and growing numbers of people have been injured, mutilated, widowed or orphaned.

In the last few weeks, however, the violence has spread to areas that until now had been relatively untouched by the horror.

On Aug. 20, a firefight outside a stadium in the northern state of Coahuila during the live broadcast of a football game led to a suspension of the match. On Aug. 25, 61 people were killed when the Casino Royale in the northeast city of Monterrey was set on fire by unidentified armed men. And now, two women reporters were killed in Mexico City.

Neither of the two was actually involved in reporting work at the time of their deaths. Yarce was head of public relations in Contralínea, and González, a former reporter for Televisa, Mexico's largest television broadcaster, had a currency exchange business.

Their naked, bound and gagged bodies were found in a park in the poor neighborhood of Iztapalapa, on the southwest side of the city, hours after their families had reported them missing. The two women had been beaten and strangled.

Clemencia Correa, a professor at the Autonomous University of Mexico City who specializes in the issue of fear management, said a "policy of terror" is being used to terrify society.

"It is very complex to talk about Mexico today. What we see is that a policy of terror is being implemented, at different levels, and that unlike in the past, when there were state policies against human rights defenders or social movements, now these things are happening to the population in general, in the context of structural impunity," he said.

The consequences of the violence can be devastating for communities, because fear and despair cause a breakdown of the social fabric, said Verónica Martínez, who works at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and is also a member of the board at the International Organization for Victim Assistance (IOVA).

"The logic of fear is a very powerful form of domination and social control, because it aggravates the loss of individual and social identity and causes paralysis, isolation and segregation," she told IPS.

"This favors authoritarianism and legitimates the violation of human rights in the name of security," she adds...

Daniela Pastrana

Inter Press Service (IPS

Sept. 02, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 5, 2011

Mexico

Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa speaks to reporters about the murders of Marcela Yarce and Rocío González

Mancera se compromete a esclarecer crimen de periodistas

Mancera se compromete a esclarecer crimen de periodistas El titular de la PGJDF habló con familiares de las informadoras y con el director de la revista Contralínea a quien aseguró que el caso no quedará impune...

Mexico City's attorney general commits himself to solving the murders of two journalists in Mexico City

Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa has spoken to the families of the victims, and to the director of Contralínea Magazine. Mancera assured that the crimes against the journalists would not remain in impunity...

El Universal

Sep. 01, 2011

See also:

Added: Aug. 04, 2011

The anti-trafficking context: Death threats continue against one of Mexico's leading anti-trafficking activists - journalist Lydia Cacho

Mexico

Mexican Anti-trafficking activist and journalist Lydia Cacho is shown leaving a court session during one of her several past human rights related legal battles. Her blouse says, "No Pedophiles, No Corruption, No Impunity."

Lydia Cacho: La fama es una herramienta para salvar la vida

"Nuestra visibilidad ha logrado subir el coste político de nuestra desaparición", ha afirmado hoy la autora de "Esclavas del poder", un libro sobre la trata de mujeres y niñas que da nombres de criminales y funcionarios públicos implicados en estas redes en su país.

Lydia Cacho ha relatado, en la Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, su experiencia como parte de "una hermandad global", la formada por "los sobrevivientes de una guerra que no tiene cuartel y que quiere liquidar por todas las vías posibles la libertad de expresión". Una hermandad, ha dicho, que no existiría "sin las redes humanas que eligen protegerles".

La periodista y escritora mexicana lleva seis años preguntando qué hacer con ese doble papel de narrador y personaje a otros colegas amenazados, con los que ha emprendido lo que ellos llaman el "tour de la fama heroica", esos viajes al extranjero para recoger premios o pronunciar conferencias sobre derechos humanos.

Roberto Saviano, Salman Rusdhie o la fallecida Ana Politkovskaya son integrantes de esa hermandad que tuvo que "abdicar" de su personalidad para convertirse en "símbolo" y también para recordar que "el periodismo es una misión y no solo un trabajo mal pagado".

Para Lydia Cacho, convertirse en noticia es "un arma de doble filo" que hiere, debilita y aleja de colegas y amigos y que antepone "la tragedia de las amenazas a la importancia del trabajo que llevó a ellas".

Pero aún no conoce, ha subrayado, a un colega que haya sido perseguido o torturado y que considere "que defender la libertad individual o colectiva es un acto de heroicidad".

Quienes sufren esas amenazas deben mantenerse en guardia para seguir a salvo y saltan "ante cualquier sonido que se parezca a un disparo" pero tienen que seguir "denunciado a los cuatro vientos hasta el hartazgo el nombre del empresario, el político o el policía que ha puesto precio a su cabeza", ha defendido.

Lydia Cacho ha recordado que 64 periodistas han perdido la vida en México y "ni uno de esos homicidios ha sido esclarecido" en un país donde "estar amenazado de muerte no es noticia, como tampoco lo es morir".

Y le preocupa que a quienes se la juegan como ella se les vea como mártires. "No lo somos, esto no tiene que ver con el sacrificio aunque tenga unos costes altísimos", unos costes que asume porque sabe que su trabajo es "vital", al menos para las 200 niñas que ya no están en la red de trata que denunció. "La valentía es la de ellas, que se atrevieron a contarme sus historias", ha apostillado.

Cree que en su país cada vez hay más periodistas que "se someten al yugo de la autocensura" y que quienes se atreven a hablar se convierten en "el enemigo de una patria que busca disfrazarse de democracia".

Pero están las organizaciones civiles, fundadas por mujeres en un 90 por ciento, que trabajan por la regeneración aunque movilizarse también tenga un coste y una generación joven que se está concienciando.

"Se puede sorprender el mundo muy pronto con lo que puede hacer la sociedad de México", ha avisado.

Lydia Cacho: Being famous can be a lifesaving tool

“Our visibility is raising the political costs of eliminating us” declared author and anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho during a recent presentation at Menéndez Pelayo International University. Cacho’s latest work, The Slaves of Power, is a book about the sex trafficking of women and girls that directly names and implicates criminals and public officials in the operation of criminal networks in Mexico.

Cacho related her experiences as being part of a global sister-and-brotherhood that consists of “the survivors of a war that has no ‘army’ – but which works to eliminate by any means necessary freedom of expression.” That sister-and-brotherhood could not exist “without the networks [of global pro human rights activists and supporters] who have chosen to protect us.”

The Mexican journalist and author has spent six years wondering what to do with her double role as narrator and threatened character in this story. Together with colleagues who live in the same situation, she has undertaken what they call the "heroic tour of fame" - trips abroad where they receive awards and give lectures on human rights.

Roberto Saviano, Salman Rusdhie and the late Anna Politkovskaya are members of this group. They each had to set aside their individuality to become “symbols, while remembering that journalism was a mission, not just a poorly paid job.”

For Cacho, being the news is becoming a "double-edged sword" that hurts you, weakens you, distances you from colleagues and friends, and places the "tragedy of the threats into the middle of your working relationships.”

Cacho has yet to meet a colleague who has been persecuted or tortured and who considers "the defense of individual and collective freedom to be an act of heroism." 

Those who suffer such threats are constantly on the lookout for their own safety. [We] jump at "any sound resembling a gunshot." Nonetheless, we must continue to “denounce to the four winds [until people are sick of hearing about it] - the name of the [corrupt] businessman, politician or police officer who may have put a price on your head," Cacho argued.

Lydia Cacho recalled that 64 journalists have been killed in Mexico and "not one of those murders has been solved." This in a country where "being threatened with death is not news, nor is death itself."

Cacho worries that those who find themselves in this position may be seen as martyrs. "We are not. This has nothing to do with sacrifices, despite the fact that we do pay a very high price.” We take on these costs because we know that our work is vital. [In my case], my efforts have been vital for the 200 [underage] girls [in Cancun] who are no longer [enslaved] in the sex trafficking network that I denounced [starting in 2005]. Those girls, who dared to tell me their stories, were the courageous ones, says Cacho.

Cacho believes that more and more journalists are "submitting themselves to the yoke of self-censorship." She added that those who continue to dare to speak up have become the “enemies of a nation that seeks to cloak itself with the label of democracy.”

Cacho says that civil society organizations, some 90% of which have been founded by women, are working to reform Mexican society, despite the fact that acting to mobilize also has a price. We also see that a young generation is becoming aware, she said.

"It may surprise the world very soon to see what Mexican society can do," concluded Cacho.

EFE

July 22, 2011

See also:

Added: Aug. 04, 2011

Mexico

Muckraking Mexican journalist receives death threats

Mexico City – Mexican journalist and author Lydia Cacho told authorities she has received death threats for revealing the names of sex traffickers and urged them to take action to identify the perpetrators.

"Last week, as I was returning from an event in (the northern state of) Chihuahua, I received very specific death threats," Cacho said in a statement released Wednesday, adding that after investigating the source of the threats she decided to report them to authorities.

"We have clear signs of who these people claiming to be hit men are. There's also evidence of the origin of the calls and e-mails. Authorities have the responsibility to act," the investigative reporter and women's rights activist, who has exposed prostitution and child-pornography rings, said.

She recalled that several journalists have been killed "after receiving very similar threats," although they were disregarded at the time by the authorities and the recipients themselves.

The idea was that "those who threaten don't kill, but that's changed," Cacho said.

She said experts who analyzed the threats she received last week and the format in which they were sent urged her to "take them very seriously and take all appropriate precautions."

The journalist and author said she is not asking for any special treatment but only wants authorities to do their duty to investigate "those who are promising to torture me and end my life out of revenge for revealing the names of traffickers of girls and women."

"I don't have the slightest intention of ceasing to practice journalism and work in defense of human rights, but I also don't want to die or risk my life without (taking) necessary precautions," Cacho said.

The journalist has been the target of threats since 2005, when she published a book, "Los demonios del Eden" (The Demons of Eden), that exposed pedophile rings operating under the protection of politicians and business leaders. For publishing the crimes of Lebanese-born Mexican businessman Jean Succar Kuri and others, Cacho was the victim of kidnapping, torture and police abuses, which she revealed in another book titled "Memorias de una infamia" (Memoirs of an Infamy).

In it, she detailed her arrest in late 2005 in Cancun on charges of defamation - a criminal offense in Mexico - filed by Kamel Nacif, one of Mexico's richest men, whom she had identified as a friend and protector of Succar Kuri.

She told of being taken to Puebla, a city more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away, and of being psychologically tortured and threatened with death.

In early 2006, Mexican newspapers published transcripts of wiretapped conversations between Nacif and the then-governor of the central state of Puebla, Mario Marin, in which the two men discussed a plot to have Cacho jailed and then sexually assaulted behind bars.

On the tapes, Nacif, known as the "denim king" for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, is heard telling Marin that he had arranged for "the crazies and the tortilleras (Mexican slang for lesbians)" to sexually assault Cacho in the women's prison in Puebla city.

The transcripts indicate that Nacif engineered the journalist's arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the summonses for the defamation case.

The reporter's lawyers managed to get her out of jail before any harm could come to her and the defamation case against her was later dismissed.

In her weekly newspaper column and other published works, Cacho also has revealed precise information about people trafficking, organized crime, drug trafficking, gender-related violence and official corruption.

The author's most recent book, "Esclavas del poder, un viaje al corazon de la trata de mujeres y niñas en el mundo" (Slaves of Power: A Journey to the Heart of the World Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls), exposes global sex-trafficking rings and reveals the names of public officials who protect them.

EFE

June 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section:

Journalist / Activist is railroaded by the legal process for exposing child sex trafficking networks in Mexico


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Sentencían a familia acusada de trata de personas

Según los hechos, dos hermanos circulaban por zonas marginales de algunos estados donde seducían a menores de edad, a quienes convertían en sus parejas para después convencerlas de irse a Estados Unidos, país donde eran explotadas sexualmente.

Dictaron sentencia contra tres delincuentes acusados de trata de personas y se ofrece una recompensa por información que conduzca a la aprehensión del hijo de los sentenciados, informó la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR).

Un Juez Federal en la Ciudad de México sentenció a Emiliano Romero Ramírez, María Juana Rugerio Saucedo (o Cristina Ruberio) y a Cristina Hernández Suárez (alias "Alondra" o "La Güera"), por el delito de trata de personas.

La PGR, a través del trabajo de investigación y jurídico del Fiscal de la Unidad Especializada en Investigación de Tráfico de Menores, Indocumentados y Órganos de la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada, obtuvo sentencias por 37 años y seis meses de prisión y una sanción de 231 mil 608 pesos contra Romero Ramírez y Rugerio Saucedo. Para Cristina Hernández pugnará una pena de 28 años y seis meses de prisión además de 145 mil 639 pesos de multa.

Asimismo, se ordenó el decomiso del bien inmueble el cual, según se determinó, fue construido con dinero producto de la trata de cuatro de las víctimas del delito. Está valuado en 10 millones 446 mil pesos, por lo que será entregado al Servicio y Administración y Enajenación de Bienes (SAE).

A través de un comunicado de prensa, la PGR informó que de igual manera se le sentenció a la reparación del daño moral "por la exposición al riesgo de la transmisión de enfermedades venéreas, así como la reputación, la honra, los sentimiento y los trastornos conductuales de las víctimas, que producen un resultado material que se puede percibir a través de la forma en que las víctimas son materia de hostigamiento, burla y señalamientos por parte de los miembros de la sociedad en que tengan convivencia."

Cabe recordar que los hechos en los que participaron las tres personas iniciaron el 21 de abril de 2009, luego de que la agencia estadounidense ICE informó a la SIEDO sobre el rescate de tres mujeres que eran explotadas sexualmente en la ciudad de Atlanta, Georgia.

En su declaración, las féminas rescatadas refirieron haber sido seducidas y engañadas en Tlaxcala por los hermanos Miguel Ángel y Saúl Romero Rugerio para viajar a la Unión Americana.

Tras investigaciones, se conoció que dos jóvenes mujeres más, quienes al escapar de sus tratantes, regresaron a México. Ambas fueron localizadas por la Agencia Federal de Investigación en Tabasco y Veracruz, con lo cual se logró conocer a detalle el modo en que operaban los hermanos Romero Rugerio, quienes adquirían autos lujosos para impresionar a las jovencitas, seducirlas y después enviarlas a Estados Unidos.

Dos de las mujeres, menores de edad, fueron enganchadas en una escuela de Tabasco, donde las enamoraron y convencieron de vivir con ellos, en un lapso máximo de una semana. Una vez en el domicilio, en Tanancingo, Tlaxcala, donde convivían con ellas y, tras un corto periodo, las convencían de la ventaja de irse a vivir a Estados Unidos.

Cruzaban de indocumentados y, una vez en aquel país, eran trasladadas a departamentos que el mismo grupo tenía y atendía Cristina Hernández, quien les instruía en su nueva labor, que desempeñaban de lunes a domingo, sin descanso, durante todo el día hasta que cubrían la cuota de entre 20 y 40 contactos sexuales.

Por cada acto sexual de 15 minutos, cobraban 30 dólares. Empero, si debían despojarse de alguna prenda o "atender alguna solicitud especial", la tarifa aumentaba. El dinero les era quitado de inmediato, con el argumento de que era para construir una casa en México. Hasta que lograban huir.

Los ahora sentenciados fueron detenidos el 11 de septiembre de 2009, se solicitó y obtuvo la medida cautelar de arraigo en su contra y el 28 de noviembre de ese mismo año, se obtuvo la orden de aprehensión contra los tres miembros y otros dos más, Miguel Ángel Romero, preso en Estados Unidos y otro, Saúl Romero Rugerio, prófugo por quien se ofrecen 15 millones de pesos de recompensa.

Family accused of human trafficking is sentenced

According to the known facts, two brothers circulated throughout the poor areas of several states where they seduced minors whom they convinced to become their romantic partners. The girls who were seduced in this way were then convinced to go the the United States. Later, they were sexually exploited.

The federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) has announced that a federal court in Mexico City has found three defendants in this case guilty, and has offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of the son of one of those convicted.

The judge who presided over the case sentenced Emiliano Romero Ramírez, María Juana Saucedo Rugerio and Cristina Hernandez Suarez for the crime of human trafficking.

The PGR, by way of an investigation carried out by prosecutors of the Special Unit for Investigation of Trafficking in Children, the Undocumented and Organs - of the PRG’s Special Investigations into Organized Crime division - achieved prison sentences of 37 years and six months imprisonment and a fine 231,608 pesos against Romero Ramírez and Rugerio Saucedo. Cristina Hernandez faces a term of 28 years and six months in prison plus a 145,639 peso fine.

The court also ordered the confiscation of a house which was determined to have been built with profits from the trafficking of four of the group’s victims. The property is valued at 10,446,000 pesos, so it will be delivered to the Property Service and Disposal Administration (SAE).

Through a press release, the PGR said that those convicted were also sentenced to repair the moral damage caused "by exposing the victims to the risk of transmission of venereal diseases, as well as damaging the reputation, honor, sentiments and mental health of the victims."

 PGR statement went on to explain that these effects have a material result, which can be seen in the way in which the victims are subjected to harassment, ridicule and accusations by members of the society that they have to live in.

It should be remembered that the criminal actions of those who were convicted came to light on April 21, 2009, after  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) informed Mexico's Assistant Attorney General's Office for Special Investigations into Organized Crime (SIEDO) that they had rescued three women who had been sexually exploited in the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

In its statement, the women reported having been seduced and deceived in Tlaxcala state [Mexico’s sex trafficking capital] by brothers Miguel Ángel and Saúl Romero Rugerio, who convinced them to travel to the United States.

During the investigation it was learned that two additional young women had escaped from the traffickers and had returned to Mexico. Both were located by the Federal Investigations Agency [AFI – equivalent to the U.S. FBI] in the states of Tabasco and Veracruz. Interviews with these victims allowed the authorities to discover the modus operandi that the brothers had used. They obtained luxury cars to impress these minor girls and seduce them, with the goal of later [sex] trafficking them to the U.S.

Two of the minor girls were entrapped within their own school in Tabasco state, where they were courted and where the traffickers convinced the victims to live with them, a process that took, at most, one week. After the girls arrived in the city of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, they were convinced by the brothers of the benefits of going to the United States.

After the girls crossed illegally into the U.S., they were taken to the network’s apartments [in Atlanta], where [the madame] Cristina Hernández trained them in what their new ‘jobs would be. The victims were forced to work seven days a week without a break, during the entire day until they had met their quota of 20 to 40 sexual contacts.

The gang charged $30 for each sex act, which lasted 15 minutes. Customers were charged more if they requested that the victims remove their clothing or if they “had a special request.” The traffickers took all of the money, telling the victims that it was being used to build a house in Mexico.

The three suspects were arrested on September 11, 2009, and were then arraigned. Suspect Michael Angel Romero is currently jailed in the U.S. Suspect Saúl Romero Rugerio is a fugitive. A 15 million peso reward has been offered for his arrest.

Radio Fórmula

Sep. 03, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Three Mexicans jailed for human trafficking

Mexico City - Three Mexican nationals, including [two women], have been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for forcing a group of young women to work as prostitutes in the US, officials said.

Emiliano Romero Ramirez and Maria Juana Rugerio Saucedo were each sentenced to 37 years and six months in jail, while Cristina Hernandez Suarez will serve 28 years and six months behind bars.

The convicts – arrested in December 2009 at the request of the US embassy – must also pay damages to the victims, the Council of the Federal Judiciary, which supervises most of Mexico’s federal courts, said.

The traffickers recruited the women ‘by trickery or force’ in Tenancingo town and then shipped them off to the US to work as prostitutes, the officials said.

The criminals, according to investigations carried out by US authorities, operated from 2007 till early 2009.

IANS/EFE

Sep. 04, 2011


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Hay más pobres, pese a inversión en programas sociales

MEXICO, D.F.- Hace dos meses, el Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social (Coneval) reportó que, de 2008 a 2010, bajo la administración de Felipe Calderón, el número de pobres se incrementó y representa casi la mitad de los mexicanos: 52 millones de personas.

Sin embargo, en los capítulos del Quinto Informe de Gobierno relativos a los sectores más sensibles a los vaivenes económicos, como los indígenas, las mujeres y los grupos vulnerables, parece que se describe otra realidad a la revelada por el Coneval, institución federal especializada en supervisar la efectividad de los programas sociales.

En lo que va del año, el gobierno de Calderón asegura haber elevado su inversión a 49 mil 101 millones de pesos a favor de los indígenas, de los que más de la mitad se aplicaron en los programas de Oportunidades, 70 y Más e Infraestructura Social Básica para la Atención a Pueblos Indígenas (PIBAI).

A pesar de ello, el Coneval encontró que el porcentaje de pobres entre la población indígena pasó, entre 2008 y 2010, de 75.3 a 79.3%, y la pobreza extrema de 39.4 a 40.2 puntos porcentuales.

En el reporte presidencial se asegura que en este año se impulsó una política pública que promueve la equidad de género a través del Programa Nacional para la Igualdad entre Mujeres y Hombres 2009-2012, que en este año tuvo un monto de 14 mil 196 millones de pesos.

Asimismo, se enlistan una serie de programas y campañas para evitar la violencia contra la mujer, así como para el Fortalecimiento de la Transversalidad de la Perspectiva de Género, el Desarrollo de las Instancias Municipales, y líneas gratuitas para asesoría contra la violencia intrafamiliar extrema.

De entre las acciones tomadas por la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y la Trata de Personas (Fevimtra), se reportan mensajes radiofónicos dirigidos a la población indígena sobre la trata de personas...

The ranks of the poor increase despite investments in social development

Mexico City - Two months ago, the National Counsil for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) has reported that between 2008 to 2010 (during the administration of President Felipe Calderón), the number of poor in the nation has increased. They now account for almost half of Mexico’s population, and total 52 million people.

In contrast, the official Fifth Government Report’s chapters on the most vulnerable groups in society, such as indigenous peoples, women and other at-risk groups paint a different picture than the alarm raised by the CONEVAL report. CONEVAL is a federal agency who’s function is to monitor the effectiveness of social programs.

So far this year, Calderon's government says it has raised its investment to 49 billion 101 million pesos for programs targeting indigenous peoples. Over half of that amount was used to support the programs Opportunities, 70 and Over, and Basic Social Infrastructure for the Care for Indigenous Peoples (PIBAI).

However, the CONEVAL found that the percentage of poor among the indigenous population increased between 2008 and 2010, from 75.3 to 79.3%, and extreme poverty has increased from 39.4 to 40.2%.

The presidential report said that during 2011 it has prompted public policies that promote gender equality through the National Programme for Equality Between Women and Men 2009-2012, which this year was funded at 14 billion 196 million pesos.

It also lists a series of programs and campaigns to prevent violence against women, to advocate for the mainstreaming of gender perspectives and to create domestic violence hotlines at the municipal level.

The Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), in the office of the Attorney General of the Republic, reported that it had created radio messages about human trafficking that wee addressed to the nation's indigenous peoples.

However, nothing is mentioned in the Government Report about the worrying increase in femicides, or the refusal of the National System for Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women to issue [legislatively mandated] gender alerts [that are required to be publicized when crimes against women reach a certain level] in the State of Mexico.

In Mexico state, which is run by Governor Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) , there were 2,015 homicides of women between the ages of 18 and 32 from January of 2007 to December of 2009, according to data from the National Citizen’s Observatory [think tank] on Femicide.

Nor did the president’s report mention the sentence of the Inter American Court of Human Rights, in the [femicide] case called the Cotton Fields, involving the murders of three young women in the city of Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua state. The Court’s decision requires the Mexican government, through Attorney General's Office (PGR) and state prosecutors, to establish protocols for handling cases of missing girls and women…

Gloria Leticia Díaz

Proceso

Sep. 01, 2011


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

New Mexico, USA

Hero: Antonio Diaz Chacon (right), and his wife, Martha Diaz

Antonio Diaz Chacon, New Mexico Man, Thwarted Kidnapping Of 6-Year-Old Girl

Albuquerque - The pair of 911 calls came in quick succession from a New Mexico mobile home park.

On one, a frantic 12-year-old says her little sister is missing. On the other is the wife of the man who would be credited with saving the 6-year-old from every parent's nightmare.

"We are outside of my mom's house here," Martha Diaz told the dispatcher. "We heard a man going, `Hey, hey let her go. Let her go.' So we turn around ...

"The man came running to us and said, `They stole a little girl.'"

Phillip Garcia, 29, had snatched the girl moments earlier on Monday afternoon in Albuquerque, taking her away in a blue van, police said.

Diaz's husband, Antonio Diaz Chacon, jumped in his black pickup and gave chase. Garcia tried to lose him by driving through a maze of residential streets, "turning, and turning," Diaz Chacon, a 24-year-old mechanic said Tuesday night as a swarm of media stood outside his home to hear his story. The events were interpreted and relayed from Spanish to English by his wife.

Finally, Diaz Chacon said, the man crashed into a telephone pole.

Garcia fled on foot, and Diaz Chacon grabbed the girl and took her home. Garcia then returned to his wrecked van and took off but was later captured by police, authorities said.

Hidden under a rock just 25 feet from the van was packing tape and a tie-down strap, police said.

Inside the impounded van were tostadas, a glove, a Leatherman tool, a black satchel, orange strapping similar to the strap found hidden under the rock, police said.

"This little girl was very lucky," police Sgt. Tricia Hoffman said. "We can only guess what would have happened to this child."

"Throughout the county we see situations like this and they do not end typically well," she said.

Diaz Chacon, she said, "did an amazing, amazing job and he saved this girl's life"

Diaz Chacon said he was proud people considered him a hero, but that he never thought twice about taking the action. While he was chasing the van, he said, he thought of his own two girls, one 7 years old, the other 5 months, and how he would want someone to do the same for him.

"I told him `I don't know how you could have gone after him," his wife said, shaking as she recalled the events in front of their house in the normally quiet sprawling South Valley neighborhood, where even on the evening after the abduction kids played freely in the streets on their bikes and scooters.

"How could you have gone after him, not knowing where he's going, what he's going to do? But he saved a life." Garcia was charged with kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence. Hoffman said Garcia is from Albuquerque and had a revoked license but she was unsure if he had a criminal record.

Garcia immediately "lawyered up," declining to give any statement to authorities, Hoffman said. Garcia was still jailed Tuesday and no lawyer had yet been listed as taking the case, according to court officials.

There have not been any other recent child abductions or attempted abductions in the city, Hoffman said...

The Associated Press

Aug. 17, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 05, 2011

New Mexico, USA

Hero says he's an illegal immigrant

Hopes to change perception of undocumented workers

Albuquerque - The Albuquerque man who is being hailed a hero for chasing down a kidnapper and saving a 6-year-old girl said he's an illegal immigrant. Antonio Diaz Chacón, 23, is now at the center of the debate over illegal immigration.

"We're just trying to take it all in," said Martha Diaz Chacón, who was translating for her husband.

Diaz Chacón, who works as a mechanic, became an instant celebrity with hundreds of news stories written about him across the country and people from coast to coast wanting to send the hero their thanks.

"He thinks this happened for a reason," said Martha.

Diaz Chacón and Martha, who is a U.S. citizen, have been married for two years. The couple has been living in Albuquerque for four years.

Diaz Chacón said he's tried to get his citizenship in the past but stopped after the process became too time-consuming and expensive.

Still, he believes there is a reason why he was the one to save the girl Monday night.

"Now that everywhere people are attacking immigrants, he thinks this happened for a reason, for people to know that immigrants aren't just criminals," said Martha.

Immigrant rights groups are using Diaz Chacón's story to counter the calls for deporting all illegal immigrants. President Barack Obama announced Thursday his administration will only focus on deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes...

Diaz Chacón isn't concerned he revealed his immigration status to the media because he said "he's done nothing wrong."

KRQE

Aug. 19, 2011


Added: Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico, The United States

U.S. Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Alan Bersin

Piden a inmigrantes de no cruzar a EU por crecimiento en trafico de personas

Alan Bersin, secretario asistente para asuntos internacionales y representante especial para asuntos fronterizos del gobierno de Barack Obama, llamó a los mexicanos a no cruzar a Estados Unidos de manera indocumentada por el peligro que representan los cárteles de la droga que operan el tráfico de personas.

"El peligro de intentar cruzar no vale la pena", dijo el funcionario norteamericano en entrevista con Carmen Aristegui en MVS Radio, como parte de una nueva campaña migratoria impulsada desde Estados Unidos que señala los riesgos de dicha acción.

Además de las condiciones ambientales, el también llamado "zar fronterizo" resaltó que el principal peligro para los inmigrantes es el crimen organizado que controla el tráfico de personas y que antes no lo hacía.

"El crimen organizado está involucrado en una manera muy profunda en el contrabando, en la trata de humanos. Hay asaltos y extorsiones y otros delitos contra los migrantes", expresó.

"Si una persona piensa cruzar por el desierto hay más riesgos con los contrabandistas. Los polleros, los coyotes que están actuando en esta trata de humanos, porque en el pasado no había un crimen organizado, no fue involucrado en la cruzada ilegal de personas (sic)", aseveró.

Bersin señaló que el flujo migratorio bajó un 31 por ciento, pero no precisó fechas. Esto, atribuyó, al fortalecimiento de la presencia de la Patrulla Fronteriza y a que "hemos mandado un mensaje a los pueblos en el sur de México y a otros sitios de "que el peligro de intentar cruzar no vale la pena".

También, dijo, a que en Arizona se implementó "un sistema de aplicación de consecuencias o un castigo". No vamos a permitir el cruce, dijo...

U.S. Official asks immigrants not to cross into the U.S. because of the growth in human trafficking

Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection [and former ‘Border Czar and California Education Secretary] Alan Bersin has urged Mexicans not to cross the U.S. without documents because of the danger posed by drug cartels that operate as human traffickers.

"The danger of trying to cross the border is not worth it," the U.S. official said in an interview with Carmen Aristegui on MVS Radio, as part of a new campaign promoted by the U.S. that highlights the risks of migration.

In addition to [desert] environmental conditions, the Bersin emphasized that the main danger for immigrants was from organized crime groups that today control human trafficking, whereas before they did not.

"Organized crime is involved in a very profound way in smuggling, in trafficking in humans. There have been assaults, extortions and other crimes perpetrated against migrants," he said.

"If you are planning to cross the desert, the risk is higher if you go with a smugglers who transport people, because in the past organized crime was not involved in taking people across [the border]." he warned.

Bersin said that cross-border migration was down by 31 percent, but did not specify specific dates. This is attributed to the strengthening of the Border Patrol presence and because "we are sending a message to the towns in southern Mexico and elsewhere that "the danger of trying to cross not worth it."

Bersin added that his agency has implemented a system of the application of consequences or punishment in Arizona. “We will not allow people to cross” he said.

Bersin said that an estimated at 168 deaths of migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico…

El Universal / Norte

sep. 01, 2011

 

Added: Sep. 01, 2011

The World, Latin America

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

I recently read a Huffington Post article by Ronald Weitzer, Professor of Sociology at George Washington University - Myths About Human Trafficking (see below excerpt). The professor's article asserts that the current level of effort and funding focused on addressing the crisis of sex trafficking is an overreaction to an exaggerated problem.

Although we disagree strongly with Professor Weitzer's analysis and conclusions, it is important for all observers of the issue of human trafficking to understand the broad range of viewpoints that are represented within this movement.

The crisis of human trafficking and exploitation that confronts the poor of Latin America, and especially women and children from marginalized indigenous, Afro-descendant, migrant and refugee populations, is on the upsurge. While well-financed drug cartels gear-up to focus on the lucrative modern human slavery market - by provisioning their supply chain through the mass kidnapping and entrapment of innocents as an alternative source of profits in the face of more effective law enforcement interdiction of their drug shipments - the pro-legalization faction of the movement seeks to reduce funding for anti-trafficking efforts. As we engage in this academic debate, the trafficking mafias are laughing all the way to the bank as their victims continue to suffer.

We favor neither a liberal nor a conservative approach to resolving the global human trafficking emergency. What we want to see accomplished is the development-of and widespread adoption-of effective approaches to controlling the largely hidden mass atrocity of modern human slavery.

Both sides of the  political spectrum in the U.S. have skeletons in their closets in regard to past inaction in the face of the onslaught of modern day slavery. This is evident, for example, in their collective failure to deal with Latin America's human slavery emergency until very recently. Despite that history and the demonstrable growth in this criminal enterprise, the 'pro-legalization of prostitution' movement criticizes the fact that the U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, directed by Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, has grown to a staff totaling 52 persons. We think that growth is a good sign. It may have resulted in some of the more effective global actions that are now being taken to control exploitation.

A balance must be struck between the liberal tendency that thinks that human behavior should be loosely controlled and virtually unmonitored, and more conservative perspectives that focus-on ending all forms of sex work globally (and thus giving less emphasis to the labor aspects of human slavery). Neither viewpoint should interfere with agreement on the basic imperative that forced labor and prostitution is wrong, and that humanity must do all in its power to catch up to the trafficking ‘industry’ and shut it down.

I responded to Weitzer in a series of posts that I have assembled into the below commentary. 

An excerpt of Professor Weitzer's article follows my commentary.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 01, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

Human Trafficking is a crisis that cannot be ignored.

The modern anti-trafficking movement has a history dating back to the 1990’s. The end of the Soviet Empire impoverished many in areas of former Soviet influence. Organized crime rushed into that gap and commercialized the mass sex trafficking of women and underage girls.

Women’s studies professors and Evangelical Christians [in the U.S.]  were among the first to step up to the plate and confront the issue. They reacted to the crisis in Eastern Europe, although human slavery existed prior to the 1990’s across the world.

For the past 12 years I have been an active advocate for the Latin American victims of human trafficking, [a former board member and then] executive director of a small trafficking NGO (Captive Daughters, Inc.) and, for the past 10+ years, organizer of the largest global news aggregation web site on trafficking - LibertadLatina.

Having seen the history of this issue evolve for a dozen years, and having pushed for an equal place at the table for Latin American, and especially indigenous and Afro-Latina victims, I can attest that the issue is serious, despite the lack of objective statistical evidence to quantify the scope of the problem.

Years ago, the U.S. CIA came up with a figure of 50,000 foreign victims being trafficked into the U.S. on an annual basis. They later revised that estimate to around 17,000. U.S. agencies and the United Nations disagree on the global scope of the problem.

Here are some facts:

1. Latin Americans are today an estimated 60% of all trafficking victims brought into the U.S.

2. In 1918 the League of Nations examined forced prostitution and found the Latin America was the epicenter of the global problem.

3. Global mafias focus their kidnapping, torture, rape and overseas transport of victims on Latin American, and especially indigenous and other poor victims, because apathetic and sexist law enforcement will not go after them.

4. The Japanese Yakuza began sex trafficking Colombian women in the 1980s.

Currently, they hold captive an estimated 3 to 4,000 indigenous underage girls, kidnapped or entrapped in southern Mexico, who are forced to work as Geisha sex slaves in Japan.

5. The NGO Save the Children has identified the southern Mexican border with Guatemala as being the largest region in the world for CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of children).

6. The International Organization for migration (IOM) has estimated that between 450 and 600 female Latina migrant women and girls are raped each day in their migration through the same region.

7. The U.S. anti-trafficking movement virtually ignored the Latin American crisis for years, favoring instead a focus on European and Asian victims.

Our site examines these issues in depth...

What is concerning is that progressives have been largely asleep at the switch in regard to human trafficking, except for the activism of people such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Liberals - who would have fought anti-Mayan genocide in Guatemala [during the 1970s, 80s and 90s] and slavery in the 1860’s South - often yawn upon hearing about modern slavery.

While we can debate the statistics involved, the crisis is real for those who are victimized by it. In the context of Latin America, billion dollar drug cartels are retooling their profit engines to move away from drugs and toward human trafficking. There are brothels that use unwilling Latina women and underage girls in virtually every barrio and farm labor camp in the U.S. The law enforcement response to that imported tradition of impunity is inadequate.

Professor Weitzer’s article involves an analysis that is consistent with the pro-legalization of prostitution ‘faction’ of the anti-trafficking movement. It can be said that the majority of anti-trafficking activists are pro-abolition, a perspective that the professor critiques in his article.

The pro-legalization position is strongly advocated by Professor Ann Jordan of the Washington College of Law at American University. See her most recent article, posted on her web site, 2011 State Department Trafficking in Persons Report: A need for more evidence and U.S. accountability.

I do like Professor Jordan’s emphasis on the need to go after the root causes of sex trafficking, which involve gender inequality and its resulting global female poverty.

At a seminar hosted by Professor Jordan at American University on pro-legalization, a participant from India [a female medical doctor] declared that a number of career prostitutes in Mumbai send their daughters to private schools, which I find to be utterly preposterous. Invariably, the pro-legalization folks reject child prostitution, however we know that in major red light districts such as Mexico City’s La Merced tolerance zone, adult prostitutes sell the virginity of their daughters for a premium price of $800 when they reach age 11.

The pro-legalization lobby is, you could say, a counterweight to the pro-abolition faction, which is heavily conservative and Christian Right. Abolition though, is neither left nor right. It is a common sense position that addresses a global emergency.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Posted on HuffingtonPost.com

Aug. 28, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 01, 2011
 

The World

Professor Ronald Weitzer

Myths About Human Trafficking

As recently as fifteen years ago, the term "human trafficking" was virtually absent from public discourse. Today, it is all the rage, and a huge amount of taxpayer money has been spent fighting it. There is no doubt that, when force or deception is involved in the recruitment or transportation of laborers (the definition of trafficking in U.S. law), trafficking is an evil that deserves robust countermeasures. But there are also many popular myths about trafficking -- frequently voiced in the media and by government officials -- that have distorted proper understanding of the problem and, more importantly, hampered efforts to combat it. What are the chief myths?

Trafficking is a mammoth problem

Interest groups, the media, and the U.S. government have given very high estimates of the number of persons trafficked each year into the sex industry or other labor arenas. In some instances, the numbers appear to be pulled out of thin air, as in a Washington Post editorial (June 28, 2011) declaring that "trafficking is understood today as a global phenomenon exceeding 20 million cases each year." Or consider a November 2005 episode of Oprah, in which it was claimed that "millions" of children are trafficked into prostitution each year. The U.S. Government's figures are lower -- 800,000 worldwide victims (down from an estimated 4 million in 2000) and 14,500-17,500 domestic victims (down from a high of 50,000 in 2000) -- though the sources of these figures have never been disclosed.

There is a stark difference between the official estimates and the tiny number of victims identified and rescued each year or the number of traffickers brought to justice, both domestically and internationally. Worldwide, the State Department reported in 2010 that only 0.4% of the estimated number of victims have been officially located and assisted. No one would claim that the official estimates could possibly match the number of identified victims -- given the obstacles to locating victims in illicit, underground markets -- but the huge disparity between the two should at least raise doubts about the alleged scale of victimization.

Trafficking is growing worldwide

Not only is human trafficking said to be a huge social problem, but also one that it is escalating worldwide. Trafficking does appear to have increased in some parts of the world, especially with the loosening of controls in the former Soviet empire. But the generic assertion that trafficking is growing globally cannot be substantiated. A related claim, by activists and some government officials, is that human trafficking has progressed from the third largest criminal enterprise in the world, behind the drug and arms trades, to number two status, behind drugs. I have yet to see any supporting evidence for this claim. Estimates of the profits -- said to be between $5 and $12 billion annually -- are similarly dubious. We simply have no reliable data on which to extrapolate profit margins in black markets...

Ronald Weitzer - Professor of Sociology, George Washington University

The Huffington Post

Aug. 24, 2011


Added: Sep. 01, 2011

Mexico

Trata de personas crece en México: PGR y PGJDF

Ciudad de México • Los titulares de las procuradurías General de la República (PGR), Marisela Morales Ibañez, y General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), Miguel Ángel Mancera, dieron a conocer que al igual que en todo el mundo, en México, durante los últimos años, se ha incrementado el delito de trata de personas.

Por su parte, la procuradora general de la República dijo que la trata de personas “es un negocio rentable para quienes la ejercen, y que en México esta deleznable práctica se ha multiplicado en años recientes, como también ha ocurrido en otros países del mundo”.

La funcionara federal dijo que actualmente, la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas (Fevimtra) y la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SIEDO) tienen en curso 32 procesos penales relacionados con este ilícito.

Sin embargo, también destacó que gracias a la nueva comprensión de este delito por parte de las autoridades, también se ha incrementado el número de órdenes de aprehensión y de intervenciones judiciales de cateo, cuando en el 2009 eran casi nulas, además de que en ese año sólo se abrieron dos procesos penales.

Durante su intervención en la inauguración del seminario “Combate y sanción de la trata de personas en México en el ámbito federal”, alertó que los tratantes de personas operan en redes transnacionales y “han refinado sus métodos de atracción”, para lo cual utilizan la seducción y el engaño, no sólo de manera personal, sino a distancia, a través de medios como el Internet.

A su vez, el procurador capitalino, Miguel Ángel Mancera, informó que en los últimos tres años, la PGJDF ha realizado 18 operativos contra la trata de personas, rescató a 156 víctimas y 68 menores de organizaciones criminales dedicadas a esta actividad, además de que se consignó a 134 personas por este ilícito.

De igual manera, detalló que en los últimos años se aseguraron 17 inmuebles que eran utilizados para estos fines, y que fueron sometidos a un procedimiento de extinción de dominio, así como que se obtuvieron ocho sentencias condenatorias contra 26 involucrados en este delito.

Dijo que estas cifras son el resultado de la colaboración con la PGR, con un trabajo de intercambio de información, al tiempo que con la Fevimtra y otros organismos, se trabaja en la elaboración de una ley general marco para armonizar los tipos penales.

Dijo que esta nueva ley busca distinguir entre el delito de trata de personas y el delito de explotación, además de que pueda “dar cuenta de manera moderna de lo que es el delito de esclavitud, así como las diferentes conductas que señalen distintos marcos punitivos.

Mexico City – Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibañez and Mexico City’s Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera have announced that, as is true across the world, the rate of human trafficking in their jurisdictions has increased during the past several years.

Full English translation to follow…

Milenio

Aug. 24, 2011


Added: Sep. 01, 2011

Translated into English Sep. 05, 2011

Mexico

Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa

Trabaja PGJDF en nueva ley contra Trata de personas

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, informó que avanzan para dar cumplimiento puntual al Protocolo para Prevenir, Reprimir y Sancionar la Trata de personas, especialmente el rubro de mujeres y niños, emitido por la Organización de Naciones Unidas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF), refrendó la noche de ayer, su compromiso con las víctimas del delito de Trata de personas, mujeres y niños y revalidó la coordinación interinstitucional en la lucha contra ese flagelo.

En un comunicado, el titular de la dependencia capitalina, Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, informó que trabajan en una nueva ley en la materia, que sea de vanguardia, moderna, que incluya otras formas de explotación humana y que responda adecuadamente a los agraviados.

Durante la inauguración del ciclo de conferencia y mesa de Intercambio de Experiencias sobre Combate y Sanción de la Trata de Personas en México en el Ámbito Federal, en el edificio alterno de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, el Procurador capitalino, detalló que en los últimos tres años, la institución ha realizado 18 operativos, rescatado 156 víctimas, salvados 68 menores, consignado 134 probables tratantes, asegurado 17 inmuebles sometidos al procedimiento de extinción de dominio y obtenido 18 sentencias condenatorias con 26 personas condenadas.

Asimismo, ante la procuradora General de la República, Marisela Morales Ibáñez; la ministro Olga Sánchez Cordero y el experto en prevención del delito de la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, Felipe de la Torre, entre otros, Mancera Espinosa, reconoció que con estos resultados, lo que están tratando de hacer, es saldar la cuenta que todavía se tiene pendiente con las víctimas del delito de Trata.

Comentó además, que se avanza para dar cumplimiento puntual al Protocolo para Prevenir, Reprimir y Sancionar la Trata de personas, especialmente el rubro de mujeres y niños, emitido por la Organización de Naciones Unidas.

Destacó por otra parte, que en coordinación con la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados, la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas, dependiente de la PGR, de la Organización Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres, Niñas y Niños, se impulsa la elaboración de una Ley General en materia de Trata de personas que sirva como marco para armonizar tipos penales a nivel federal y conjuntamente dar las pautas para las entidades federativas.

Además, explicó que la nueva legislación distinguirá lo que es Trata de personas, de lo que es el delito de explotación, a fin de establecer con toda precisión las reglas y el concurso de normas y de ilícitos.

Se busca, dijo, que pueda dar cuenta por primera vez de manera moderna de lo que es el delito de esclavitud; una ley que pueda distinguir para poder sancionar con todo lo que vale lo justo penal y las diferentes conductas que van acompañando a este delito.

Abundó, en que también esperan incluir otras formas de explotación que tradicionalmente han sido condenadas dentro de otros capítulos; además de establecer en esta ley, lo que es la pornografía infantil para que pueda darse una relación puntual sobre este tipo de explotación en niñas y niños.

De igual forma, sostuvo que a efecto de que el combate sea efectivo, es imperativo conjugar los esfuerzos de la sociedad, del gobierno, de los encargados de la procuración de justicia y también de la importancia de los juzgadores.

Por lo mismo, destacó la convocatoria del Poder Judicial Federal a este encuentro.

Enfatizó en la importancia de la coordinación interinstitucional, pues dijo, se trata de la unión de esfuerzos.

Al respecto, reconoció, "no lo hemos hecho solos, en los diferentes tramos del combate al delito de Trata hemos tenido que compartir ayuda de la Procuraduría General de la República o bien de los centros especializados en custodia de víctimas y en el empoderamiento de las mismas".

De ahí que pusiera de relieve lo significativo del Ciclo de Conferencia y Mesa de Intercambio de Experiencias sobre Combate y Sanción de la Trata de Personas en México en el Ámbito Federal.

Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office contributes to work on new anti trafficking legislation

The Attorney General of Mexico City [the Federal District] has reported progress towards the goal of implementing the United Nations’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, the Attorney General of the Federal District (PGJDF), has reiterated his commitment to the victims of the crime of human trafficking, and women and children, and emphasized the importance of interagency coordination in the fight against this scourge.

In a press release, Mancera Espinosa reported that his office is contributing to work on new anti trafficking legislation that will be leading edge. The proposal will also address other forms of human exploitation and will provide for adequate support for victims.

During the inauguration of the conference and round table, An Exchange of Experiences in Regard to the Federal Effort to Combat and Punish Human Trafficking in Mexico, held in the Supreme Court’s annex building, the Attorney General Mancera explained that during the past three years, his office had engaged in 18 operations, rescued 156 victims, saved 68 children, arraigned 134 probable traffickers, confiscated 17 properties that are subject to forfeiture proceedings, and had obtained 18 convictions involving 26 suspects.

Mancera noted that his office coordinates with the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking of the Chamber of Deputies [in Congress], the office of the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women and Trafficking in Persons - in the office of the Attorney General of the Republic and the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls (CATW-LAC) to develop new national anti trafficking legislation that will serve as a framework to harmonize federal criminal statutes as well as provide guidelines for the nation’s federated entities [31 states and the Federal District – Mexico City].

Mancera also explained the the new legislation will distinguish between human trafficking and the crime of exploitation, with the objective of establishing clear definitions of crimes and their corresponding criminal statutes.

We seek, said Mancera, to define for the first time in a modern context, what exactly human slavery is. It will be a law that distinguishes various criminal acts and behaviors to allow them to be punished with the appropriate level of sanctions.

Mexico City’s attorney general added that the authors of the legislation also hope to include other forms of exploitation that have traditionally been covered by other chapters of the criminal code. We also include definitions of child pornography, so that a prompt legal response to this form of the exploitation of children can be achieved.

Mancera explained that for the fight against human trafficking to be effective, it is imperative to coordinate the efforts of society, government, those who are in charge of criminal justice and judges. Mancera highlighted the fact that members of the judiciary were participating in the conference.

Mancera said that the fight against trafficking must be a joint effort. He notes, “we we have not achieved these results by working alone. We have had to share this effort with the federal attorney general’s office and with centers [NGOs] that specialize in assisting and empowering victims…”

Attorney General of the Republic Marisela Morales Ibáñez, Supreme Court Justice Olga Sánchez Cordero and United Nations crime prevention expert Felipe de la Torre attended the conference.

Radio Fórmula

Aug. 25, 2011


Added: Sep. 01, 2011

Mexico

Mexico Establishes Code against Sexual Tourism with Minors

Mexico City - The Mexican government on Tuesday passed a law that seeks to protect minors from sexual tourism.

The new code enacts preventive and protective measures for children and teenagers in tourism companies, and also and also allows for the prosecution and punishment of travelers who commit this crime.

The code was signed by Margarita Zavala, president of the Consulting Citizens Council of the National System for Integral Family Development, Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives.

The legislation to avoid human trafficking has improved with a constitutional reform passed by the Congress, but it requires more participation to fulfill and respect the law, Zavala said.

Inside Costa Rica

Aug. 24, 2011


Added: Sep. 01, 2011

Canada, Tanzania

Mumtaz Ladha

British Colombia provincial government sues for house in human trafficking case

The [government of the Canadian province of British Colombia] is attempting to seize the $3.1 million home of a West Vancouver woman charged with human trafficking.

According to the civil claim filed by the province's Director of Civil Forfeiture in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday, Mumtaz Ladha and two family members used the home as an "instrument of unlawful activity."

Ladha, 55, was charged with human smuggling after a 21-year-old woman claimed she was being confined as a servant at the family's British Properties home.

The young woman left the home in June 2009 after living there for one year and made her way to a women's shelter, police said earlier this year.

The director of civil forfeiture wants all or part of the property where Ladha allegedly made the woman work up to 22 hours a day for a pittance of a wage.

Worked for $200 a month

According to the court documents, the servant was offered a job for $200 a month. But when she arrived from Africa in 2008, she began a life of indenture that saw her wash cars for the family and its friends, launder underwear by hand and shovel snow for Ladha's vehicles, clad only in a cotton dress and sandals.

Ladha also allegedly took possession of the woman's passport after she arrived in Canada, according to police.

The claim also provides insight into the RCMP investigation. Border services officials told police the servant's initial visa application was refused, but later accepted on the basis of a doctor's note which said Ladha needed help with an alleged health condition — vertigo.

But the alleged victim later told investigators that to her knowledge Ladha was in "perfect health."

No statement of defence has been filed by Ladha or the other family members, but in the past the family has said police have got it all wrong and the African woman making the allegation was never forced to work as a slave in Canada.

Ladha was arrested without incident at Vancouver airport on July 19 as she returned to Canada and is facing one charge of human trafficking and one charge of human smuggling.

The Huffington Post - Canada

Aug. 26, 2011

See also:

Added: Sep. 01, 2011

Canada, Tanzania

B.C. human trafficking suspect a no-show in court

Mumtaz Ladha, of West Vancouver, faces human trafficking and human smuggling charges. 

A West Vancouver woman facing human trafficking and smuggling charges was respresented by her lawyer at a court appearance in Vancouver Wednesday morning.

Mumtaz Ladha, 55, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on July 19 and charged with human trafficking and human smuggling.

Ladha was represented at B.C. Provincial Court by legal staff and the case was put over until Sept. 19. She has hired well-known criminal defense attorney Richard Peck to represent her.

A warrant for her arrest was issued in May, alleging Ladha lured a 21-year-old African woman to Canada on the promise of a job in a hair salon in 2008. But police allege Ladha instead forced the woman to work in her home 18 hours a day without pay, confiscated her passport and fed her table scraps.

The crown has asked for a publication ban in the trial to protect the identity of the victim. It is not clear why she is seeking to protect her identity.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Aug 10, 2011



Added: Aug. 24, 2011

Mexico

Missing poster for Perla Ivonne Aguirre González, who disappeared in 2009 at age 15 - from a video report by PRI - Public Radio International posted on YouTube

Desaparecen en promedio en el país 41 niños cada día

Según la Fundación Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos, se rescatan a cuatro de cada diez

En los últimos cinco años la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) tiene reportados como robados o desaparecidos a 75 mil niños, es decir 41 en promedio cada día, de los cuales se ha logrado recuperar a 30 mil, que equivalen a 40%. De acuerdo con datos recabados por la Fundacion Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos, el crimen organizado penetra hasta en las rancherías para robarse a niños y niñas, los cuales vende a redes de pederastas con fines de explotación sexual. Aun cuando el problema del narcotráfico es de alta prioridad para las autoridades, en México el fenómeno en el cual niños son arrebatados de su familia y utilizados con fines de adopción ilegal, tráfico de infantes, prostitución infantil o para ser explotados laboralmente es altamente preocupante. Al menos así lo deja ver la Fundación, que nació en 1997 como respuesta a la problemática social del robo, extravío, explotación y desaparición de menores en nuestro país, y la cual se encarga de brindar apoyo a las familias que han sufrido el robo, extravío o desaparición de alguno de sus hijos para orientarlos y lograr su recuperación.

“Hacemos todo lo humanamente posible para recuperar a estos pequeños y regresarlos a sus casas. Una vez recuperados, les brindamos gratuitamente terapia física y sicológica, así como a sus familias”, explicó la vocera de la Fundación, Lourdes Begné.

Los logros

La Fundación, de carácter asistencial, busca reintegrar a los menores a sus hogares, apoyándose de investigaciones que ayuden a localizarlos; este apoyo e investigaciones son sin costo alguno, ya que la institución recurre a donativos de personas, empresas y organizaciones que desean ayudar a su labor.

“De cada diez casos (que llegan a la institución) logramos recuperar sólo a uno. Es muy complicado, pero estamos luchando por la cultura de la prevención con nuestra cartilla y dando cursos a los niños para evitar que se los roben”, expuso Begné.

De hecho, para la Fundación el rescate de niños al año es muy variable; se encuentra en un rango de entre 150 y 300 niños. “Esto depende de la ayuda que se reciba por parte de las familias y personas. El tiempo que se tarda en recuperar al desaparecido, también depende de la ayuda que reciba la Fundación por parte de la gente”, señala.

Apenas el martes pasado fue encontrada una niña de 13 años que fue secuestrada y ahora se encuentra en recuperación sicológica. Otro de los últimos casos más sonados fue el rescate de 15 niñas que robaron y prostituyeron en un penal.

También se logró la recuperación el 5 de junio pasado de la menor Alejandra “Ch”, de 12 años, desaparecida el 4 de junio del 2011 como consecuencia de contactos que estableció a través de las redes sociales.

Para recuperar a los niños la PGR ocupa varios métodos, y uno de ellos es tomar cabellos de los desaparecidos para sacar el ADN; a partir de ahí, la Fundación comienza a distribuir folletos, boletines, anuncios en radio y televisión, así como correos electrónicos, para anunciar la desaparición. En esa parte la ayuda de las personas es vital, ya que son los que mencionan haber visto al desaparecido.

An average of 41 children go missing each day in Mexico

According to Mexico's Attorney General's Office, during the past 5 years 75, 000 children have gone missing, which is an average of 41 disappearances per day. Some 30,000 of those children have been recovered, amounting to 40% of the total. According to data collected by the National Foundation for Investigations into Stolen and Disappeared Children (Fundacion Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos), organized crime groups go so far as to invade rural homes to kidnap girls and boys. The victims are sold to pedophile [child sex trafficking] networks for purposes of sexual exploitation. Although the war against the drug cartels is the nation's highest [law enforcement] priority, the high numbers of children who are robbed from their families to be sold in illegal adoptions and in baby trafficking, or who are exploited in labor slavery and forced prostitution is truly worrying. That is how the staff at the Foundation - founded in 1997 to aid families who have suffered the kidnapping of a child - see the situation. Foundation spokeswoman Lourdes Begné stated, "We do all that is humanly possible to find these little ones and return them to their homes. After they are recovered, we offer both the victims and their families free psychological and physical therapy."

Achievements

With donations provided by individuals, organizations and businesses, the Foundation has been able to provide free assistance in investigations, and has worked to reintegrate the victims back into their home life.

"For every 10 cases that the foundation receives, one victim is recovered. It is very complicated, but we are fighting to create a culture of prevention with our information cards and through our workshops for children," explained Begné.

The number of children rescued by the Foundation on an annual basis varies widely, from between 150 to 300. "The rates of recovery,  depend upon the amount of help that they receive from the victim's families and the public. The time needed to find a child also depends upon the level of public cooperation that we receive," said Begné.

On Tuesday of last week the Foundation rescued a 13-year-old girl who had been kidnapped. She is now in psychological therapy. Another recent case that was notable involved 15 underage girls who had been kidnapped and were being prostituted in a prison.

On June 5, 2011 the foundation also achieved the rescue of Alejandra "Ch," age 12, who had disappeared on June 4th as a result of her use of [Internet] social networks.

The federal attorney general's office uses various methods to search for disappeared children, including the taking of hair samples to extract DNA. The Foundation joins in these investigations by distributing flyers, running announcements on radio and television and by sending email distributions. The response of the public is vital, as it is their sightings of the victims that result in rescues.

Periódico Excélsior (Mexico)

Aug. 20, 2011

See also:

National Foundation for Investigations into Stolen and Disappeared Children: 41 Children Go Missing Each Day in Mexico

According to a Mexican non-profit organization, the Attorney General's Office has registered 75,000 minors as missing since 2006, many of them likely sold to sex trafficking rings.

The National Foundation for Investigations into Stolen and Disappeared Children (Fundacion Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos) says that an average of 41 children a day have been reported missing over the past five years. Only one in 10 cases handled by the foundation end with the child being rescued, the organization's spokeswoman said. According to data from Mexico's Attorney General's Office, 30,000 of the 75,000 children reported missing have been rescued.

According to a report prepared last year for the United Nations, up to 35,000 minors have been recruited by drug trafficking gangs since 2006. Under Mexican law, minors cannot serve prison sentences longer than three years, which may explain why some gangs have turned to recruiting teen hitmen, including 14-year-old Edgar Jimenez, alias "El Ponchis," a U.S. citizen charged with kidnapping and homicide in July.

Minors are also recruited into the sex trade. Many of Mexico's missing women and girls may be working in forced prostitution, the foundation notes. According to a report published last year by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, the focus on the war against drug trafficking has forced some gangs to broaden their criminal portfolio and begin seeking profits from human and sex trafficking.

Other agencies besides the Attorney General's Office have tracked the negative impact of Mexico's so-called "drug war" on the youth population. According to Mexico's Minister of Education, 30 percent of the homicides connected to organized crime involve minors.

Elyssa Pachico

InsightCrime.org

Aug. 22, 2011

See also:

Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

Indigenous girl children in Mexico: Always at risk from sex traffickers, U.S. and European pedophile sex tourists and a government that doesn't care.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, who is the president of Mexico's National Foundation for the  Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children, holds a press conference in 2010 to discuss the disappearance of 140,000 children in Mexico during the past 5 years.

De cada 10 niños robados uno es recuperado

En México, se estima que por cada diez niños que son robados sólo uno es recuperado, por lo que urge que se tipifique este hecho, como un delito federal y se integren unidades policíacas especializadas de investigación.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, presidente de la Fundación Nacional de Investigación de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos, observó que este ilícito, comienza, a presentarse con mayor frecuencia en zonas indígenas del país, donde los padres de familia, no cuentan con documentos o fotografías de sus menores que permitan abrir indagatorias...

Only one out of 10 kidnapped children in Mexico is ever recovered

The kidnapping of indigenous children is accelerating due to the impunity that is made possible by language barriers and a lack of children's birth certificates and photographs

An estimated 50,000 children have been kidnapped and are now living on the streets under the control of sexual exploiters

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, who is the president of the National Foundation for the Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children believes that the crime of child kidnapping is focused on indigenous regions of Mexico, where the parents of victims do not have birth certificates or photographs that would allow the authorities to investigate their cases.

Gutiérrez Romero added that human trafficking has become the third most profitable criminal activity globally, after arms and drug smuggling. This requires, he said, that the legislative branch of the federal government reform the nation's laws, so that human trafficking becomes a federal crime.

[Note, the nation's current Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007, is not a 'general' federal law. It therefore is not enforceable by federal law enforcement in any of this nation's states, nor in Mexico City. - LL]

No statistical reporting mechanisms exist in any of Mexico's states to identify unusual patterns in child kidnappings, said Gutiérrez Romero. Therefore, he added, criminal networks operate with complete impunity.

From Gutiérrez Romero's perspective, these kidnappings have three purposes: 1) to sell these children to couples via illegal adoptions; 2) to use the victims for sexual exploitation; and 3) to illegally extract their organs.

Gutiérrez Romero emphasized that the kidnappings of infants and young children is perpetrated specifically to supply the illegal adoptions market. He has recommended that hospitals and clinics step-up security in their facilities.

The kidnapping of children between the ages of 3 and 6 represents a particular pattern, noted Gutiérrez Romero. He said that many young couples in which the woman wants to preserve her figure seek out clandestine adoptions of children in this age range.

Gutiérrez Romero declared that the only statistics that are available about child kidnappings in Mexico indicate that at least 50,000 of these victims live on the streets and are exploited by sex trafficking networks, while at the same time nobody [particularly in law enforcement] takes action to rescue them.

What is striking is that now, in southern Mexico and especially among the indigenous peoples of the region, this phenomenon is beginning to accelerate, especially because the language, spoken by he parents of the victims is not Spanish, said Gutiérrez Romero.

A second problem that impedes the documentation of each of these cases is the fact that parents do not have birth certificates, photographs or other documents that are required to create the case file that is needed to begin the search.

Gutiérrez Romero concluded by saying that families, schools and hospitals must develop approaches to protect children, and they must fight back, so that the federal authorities echo our demands to pass legislation that responds to this phenomenon.

El Universal

Dec. 09, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

Guillermo Gutiérrez informa que en México en los últimos 5 años han desaparecido 140 mil niños

Para combatir el robo de niños falta voluntad de la autoridad

Culiacán, Sinaloa.- En México, en los últimos 5 años, han desaparecido 140 mil niños, de los cuales sólo el 10 por ciento ha sido recuperado, informó Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, director general de la Fundación Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos IAP.

Señaló que 50 mil de esos infantes están siendo víctimas de la prostitución infantil, mientras que 70 mil de ellos son explotados laboral y sexualmente.

Los rangos de edad, dijo, van desde recién nacidos hasta la adolescencia, siendo las niñas las que encabezan la lista...

Combating the kidnapping of children will remain impossible as long as Mexico's government lacks the will to do so

140,000 Children have been kidnapped during the past 5 years

According to National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children president Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, 140,000 children have disappeared during the past 5 years. He added that only ten percent of these children have been found.

Fifty thousand of these victims have become victims of child prostitution. Another 70,000 are subjected to labor and sexual exploitation.

These missing children range in age from recently born infants to adolescents. Girls are the primary victims...

El Debate

Dec, 12, 2010

See also:

Added: Dec. 12, 2010

Mexico

"Sufren 50 mil niños explotación sexual"

Culiacán.- Se calcula que en México hay alrededor de 50 mil niños raptados que son explotados sexualmente, sin embargo, no existe una cifra oficial que permita conocer la realidad, dijo el presidente de la Asociación de Niños robados y Desaparecidos, IAP, Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero. "No tenemos esa cifra. Desconocemos cuál es la radiografía nacional, para saber cuántos niños robados hay en México. Muchas veces los mismos estados niegan cierta información porque no conviene a sus intereses", aseveró.

Por la explotación infantil, indicó, México es considerado el Bangkok de América Latina, donde llegan miles y miles de pedófilos de todo el mundo. "Les ofrecen carteras donde vienen bebés, niñas y niños de 1 ó 2 años, incluso, para tener sexo con ellos", reveló...

Fifty Thousand children kidnapped suffer [commercial] sexual exploitation

The city of Culiacán on the state of Sinaloa - It is estimated that 50,000 kidnapped children are being sexually exploited in Mexico, although no official statistics exist to allow us to understand the actual situation, declared Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, the president of Mexico's National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children. Gutiérrez Romero, "We don't have any statistics. We don't know how many stolen children exist in Mexico." Gutiérrez Romero warned that, "On many occasions, the state governments themselves have refused to provide certain statistics, because to do so would not be in their own self interest."

Gutiérrez Romero observed that in regard to the [commercial] sexual exploitation of children [CSEC], Mexico is considered to be the Bangkok of Latin America, where thousands of pedophiles arrive from all over the world. "These pedophiles are offered venues where infants, babies of 1 to 2-years-of-age are sold, to have sex with them," he declared.

Gutiérrez Romero reported that the majority of CSEC takes place in Mexico's large cities and in its tourist ports. For that reason, he said, these are the locations that pedophiles flock to. "What is known as child sex tourism is taking place in our tourist ports. A number of people choose these destinations to have sex with children."

Gutiérrez Romero cautioned that state governments that have tourist resort areas within their jurisdictions are loathe to announce publicly that the kidnapping of children takes place, because that news would diminish tourism.

Only 10% of child kidnapping victims are rescued, noted Gutiérrez Romero.

Gutiérrez Romero denounced the fact that the laws against stealing cattle in Mexico are more severe than the laws against the kidnapping of children.

Janneth Aldecoa

Noroeste (Northwest)

Dec. 12, 2010

See also:

Added: 2001

Mexico

Often unaided by authorities, Mexican parents of abducted children spend their days searching and nights haunted by... stolen lives

"...When people rob a bank, there are cameras. But if you steal a child in circumstances no one sees, we are talking about an invisible enemy," said Guillermo Gutierrez Romero, who runs one of the largest private organizations in Mexico dedicated to finding missing children.

"There is not a trace of anything," said Gutierrez, who heads the National Foundation of Investigations of Stolen and Disappeared Children and has been trying to establish links with the Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Virginia. "In the United States, you have help from the government, from the FBI, from private corporations. In Mexico we are on our own…"

The only organization with a breakdown of the percentage of cases is the Association for the Recovery of Lost Children, run by accountant Israel Betanzos.

He said about 60 percent of the cases he handles are custodial. That is, a husband or wife took the child. But he said between 30 percent and 40 percent are stolen or kidnapped. Other organizations agree on the breakdown.

"Police don't help us. When we call them, they want money," said Betanzos, who wants to establish an alliance with the Heidi Search Center for Missing Children of San Antonio. "But all the victims are poor. They barely have enough to eat…"

Betanzos said if a child is under 3 years of age, the chance of recovery is virtually nil.

"Minors who are stolen are becoming younger all the time. That way they can't remember their parents or talk about their families, and in many cases they don't even know their name," the newly created Federal Preventive Police said in a statement in March.

"They are stolen for sale to illegal adoption networks that take them out of their country, and are exploited in various forms, including sexually, for pornography and prostitution," he said…

Bring in the clowns

The children's organizations say kidnappers use all means to take a child when parents have their guard down.

"The kidnapping of newborn babies from hospitals and clinics by people dressed as nurses is very common," said Gutierrez, a business administrator who founded his organization after running the Mexico City attorney general's Center for Missing Persons.

"There is also what we call 'shopping from a catalog,' which happens in poor, rural areas," he said.

A few years ago, Gutierrez said, officials discovered a clown ring that traveled to remote indigenous villages in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Veracruz to entertain children and take their photographs.

"The whole village came out, children, parents to see the clowns. They gave out candy and told jokes," Gutierrez said. "When the games were over they took photographs of the children."

A couple of months later, the clowns return to the villages bearing gifts for the children.

"They give presents except to certain ones, the ones selected in photographs," Gutierrez said. "To those they say 'Oh, no! We've run out of toys, but there are more in our van if you come with us.'"

The children follow and are locked inside, not to be seen again, Gutierrez said.

"These rings operate where there is poverty, where people have no power or political clout," Gutierrez said.

Children's organizations say a child can bring anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on skin and eye color. The whiter the skin, the more expensive…

Susana Hayward

San Antonio Express-News

April 09, 2000

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

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


Added: Aug. 23, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Mexico's Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez meets in Mexico City with Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Recibe PGR a encargada de Asuntos Mundiales de la Mujer de EU

México.- La titular de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), Marisela Morales Ibáñez, recibió la visita de Melanne Verveer, embajadora especial para Asuntos Mundiales de la Mujer de Estados Unidos, quien está de gira por México. En un comunicado, la procuraduría informó que ambas abordaron temas relativos al desarrollo económico y la participación política de las mujeres, quienes enfrentan grandes retos en los principales problemas sociales, tales como la seguridad de la ciudadanía.

Durante la reunión también estuvieron Patricia Bugarín, subprocuradora de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada, e Irene Herrerías, fiscal especial para la Atención de Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y Trata de Personas.

Entre las funciones de la embajadora estadounidense destaca la de buscar la reducción de la violencia contra las mujeres por razones de etnia, raza, clase social, religión, nivel educativo y nacionalidad. Verveer también se encarga de verificar que se combatan amenazas como el infanticidio por género, el matrimonio infantil, la trata de personas y la violencia doméstica, entre otros problemas que afectan a la población femenina en el orbe.

En ese contexto, Morales Ibáñez refrendó el compromiso de la PGR de velar por la estricta aplicación de la ley, agotando las instancias legales procedentes para su cumplimiento, siempre con respeto a los derechos humanos, así como a los procedimientos y competencias establecidos en la ley.

Todas coincidieron en que el fortalecimiento de las instituciones de procuración de justicia es fundamental para la construcción de una sociedad democrática, así como en el papel que actualmente desempeña el sector femenino para el fortalecimiento del tejido social.

Mexico's Attorney General receives Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Marisela Morales Ibáñez, Mexico’s Attorney General, has received a visit by Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who is currently touring Mexico. In a press release, Morales Ibáñez stated that the two had discussed issues related to economic development and political participation of women, who today face great challenges in regard to the nation’s major social problems such as personal safety.

Also present during the meeting were Patricia Bugarín, Deputy Attorney General for Organized Crime, and Irene Herrerías, Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA).

Ambassador Verveer’s responsibilities include leading global efforts to reduce violence against women that are caused by their condition of ethnicity, race, social class, religion, educational attainment or nationality. The Ambassador is also empowered to verify the efforts of nations in regard to reducing the threats of gender based infanticide, child marriage, human trafficking and domestic violence, among other themes.

In this context, Attorney General Morales Ibanez reiterated her commitment as Attorney General to ensure strict enforcement of the law, the compliance of government entities with their responsibilities, as well as maintaining respect for human rights in accordance with the procedures and powers established by law.

The attendees at the session agreed that the strengthening of criminal justice institutions is fundamental to building a democratic society, as is the role played by women in strengthening the nation's social fabric.

Notimex

Aug. 19, 2011

See also:

Added: Aug. 23, 2011

Mexico, The United States

Travel of Ambassador Melanne S. Verveer to Mexico

Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will travel to Mexico City, Mexico August 16-19 to promote bilateral engagement on women’s economic empowerment and political participation, as well as challenges women face on key societal issues like citizen safety. On August 17, she will deliver the keynote address at the Mexican publisher Expansion Group’s event “50 Most Powerful Businesswomen in Mexico,” highlighting the role of women in driving economic growth. While in Mexico, Ambassador Verveer will also meet with government, civil society, and business leaders to exchange views on the economic, political, cultural, and social situation of women in Mexico and the United States.

Office of the Spokesperson - U.S. Department of State

Aug. 15, 2011


Added: Aug. 23, 2011

Mexico, The United Nations

Autorizan a la ONU hacer diagnóstico sobre trata

Informará sobre la situación actual en el país

Informará sobre la situación actual en el país Autorizan a la ONU hacer diagnóstico sobre trata 2011-08-20•Política .El gobierno federal avaló la elaboración de un Diagnóstico Nacional del Delito de Trata de Personas en México, el cual será realizado por la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito. El subsecretario de Asuntos Jurídicos y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Gobernación, Felipe de Jesús Zamora, informó lo anterior durante la quinta sesión ordinaria de la Comisión Intersecretarial para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas. En un comunicado explicó que el análisis permitirá conocer la situación actual de México en materia de trata de personas. Además de consolidar políticas públicas transversales para prevenir y sancionar ese delito y atender a las víctimas. México.

Mexico authorizes the United Nations to perform a study on the current state of human trafficking and the effectieness of government responses

The federal government has endorsed the development of a National Assessment of the Crime of Trafficking in Mexico, which will be conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Felipe de Jesus Zamora, who is Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights in the Department of the Interior, announced the agreement at the fifth ordinary session of the Interdepartmental Commission to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons [a commission established under the nation's 'underpowered' 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons] . In a statement he explained that the analysis will reveal the current state of trafficking in Mexico, and will measure the strength of the nation’s policies for preventing and punishing trafficking crimes, as well as efforts to assist victims.

Notimex

Aug. 20, 2011


Added: Aug. 23, 2011
 

Mexico

Indigenous girls in Mexico live under constant threat from international sex traffickers

Oaxaca state

Investigan a comunidades indígenas por supuesta venta de niñas

Las autoridades mexicanas iniciaron una investigación en varios pueblos y comunidades indígenas en el estado de Oaxaca, donde supuestamente las familias venden a niñas, informó hoy la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH, defensoría del pueblo).

El organismo público inició una queja de oficio por esos casos de abuso contra mujeres en la región de la Mixteca Alta, en el sureño estado de Oaxaca, indicó la dependencia en un comunicado.

La CNDH explicó que se trata de una "costumbre ancestral" que "al parecer se sigue llevando a cabo", en la que "se vende a las menores en cuanto llegan a los once años y hasta los 15 años".

"Los padres han encontrado la manera de negociar y a cambio de dinero dar a sus hijas, ya sea al futuro esposo o a familias que las llevan a otras ciudades para ayudar en labores domésticas", explicó la defensoría.

Una vez que son vendidas hasta por tres mil pesos (250 dólares) o el equivalente en productos varios como cabezas de ganado, fríjol o maíz, los padres renuncian a todo derecho sobre las menores, agregó la institución.

Los pueblos y comunidades indígenas en México gozan de cierta autonomía, por las leyes de "usos y costumbres" del país, pero se deben ceñir a "lo establecido en la Constitución" de México "en materia de derechos humanos", consideró.

Las mujeres indígenas son uno de los grupos más vulnerables y menos atendidos del país, subrayó la CNDH, y es importante la defensa de sus derechos humanos.

En México 10,1 millones de habitantes (9,8 % de la población) son considerados indígenas.

Según el Consejo Nacional de Población (Conapo), siete de cada diez hablantes de lengua indígena reside en municipios con alto grado de marginación.

La población indígena es más pobre que el resto de los mexicanos, y esa condición se evidencia en menores niveles salariales, educación de menor calidad y, en general, en un acceso restringido a los servicios públicos.

Los estados con mayor presencia de indígenas son Yucatán (65,5 %), Oaxaca (55,7 %), Quintana Roo (45,6 %) y Chiapas (30,9 %).

De acuerdo con Unicef, los indígenas en México, en especial los niños, niñas y adolescentes, constituyen la población con mayores carencias y menor grado de cumplimiento de sus derechos fundamentales.

Mexican authorities investigate the suposed sale of girl children in indigenous communities

Mexic's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has announced that they are investigating a number of indigenous communities in the state of Oaxaca, where families supposedly sell their girl children.

According to a press release from the agency, the CNDH opened a formal complaint in regard to reported cases of abuses against female minors in the Mixteca Alta region of southern Oaxaca state.

The statement said that the problem involves ancestral customs that "apparently are still being followed," in which girl children are sold between the ages of 11 and 15.

"The parents have found a way to negotiate the sale of their daughters in exchange for money, be it to a future husband or to a family that wants to take the girl to be a domestic worker.

Once the girl is sold, for the equivalent of 3,000 Pesos (US$250) or its equivalent in head of cattle or beans or corn, the parents renounce any parental rights in regard to the child.

The indigenous peoples of Mexico enjoy a certain level of autonomy, but they should follow the requirements of Mexico's constitution, said the press release.

Indigenous women are one of the most marginalized and underserved communities in Mexico, emphasized the CNDH statement...

The indigenous population is more impoverished than the rest of Mexico, a fact that is reflected in the lower salaries paid, the substandard education and, in general, the restrictions that are placed on their access to public services.

The state with the highest indigenous populations are (65,5 % of the total population), Oaxaca (55,7 %), Quintana Roo (45,6 %) y Chiapas (30,9 %).

According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), indigenous peoples in Mexico, and especially boys, girls and adolescents, constitute the demographic group that suffers from the highest levels of poverty and the lowest level of compliance with enforcement of their human rights.

EFE

Aug. 19, 2011

See also:

Added June 28, 2008

Guatemala, Mexico

Rigoberta Menchú denuncia venta de niñas indígenas Centroamérica y México

Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu denounces the sale of indigenous children into sexual slavery in Central America and Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CERIGUA

Guatemalan Human

Rights News

June. 27, 2008

See also:

Launch event for the book ‘Mirame,’ shining a light on challenges facing indigenous girls in Guatemala

Manuel Manrique, UNICEF Represent-ative in Guatemala:

“Indigenous people in general are discriminated against, the indigenous child doubly discriminated against, [and] the indigenous girl triply discriminated against.”  “If you review the life cycle from birth until 18 years of age, the situation of the indigenous girl is worse than that of others...”

'Mirame is a project of UNICEF and the Office of the Public Defender of Indigenous Women in Guatemala.

- UNICEF

Guatemala City

Aug. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the crisis of sexual exploitation facing indigenous women and children

in Guatemala's civil war aftermath - including the history of Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu.


Added: Aug. 23, 2011
 

Guatemala

Mayan women who survived genocidal massacres during the civil conflict in Guatemala

Cuatro acusados niegan participación en matanza en Guatemala en 1982 Cuatro acusados niegan participación en matanza en Guatemala en 1982

Guatemala.- Cuatro exmilitares y patrulleros civiles guatemaltecos negaron hoy su participación en la matanza de más de 240 campesinos perpetrada el 18 de julio de 1982 en una remota comunidad indígena del norte de Guatemala.

En su primera declaración ante el Juzgado Primero de Primera Instancia de Mayor Riesgo, que preside la jueza Patricia Flores, tras su captura la semana pasada, Lucas Tecú, Mario Acoj, Eusebio Grave y Santos Rosales se declararon inocentes

El fiscal del Ministerio Público (MP) Orlando López acusó a los cuatro detenidos de asesinato múltiple e incumplimiento de los deberes de humanidad...

Según la investigación de la Fiscalía de Derechos Humanos del MP, los exmilitares, luego de asesinar a recién nacidos, adolescentes, mujeres y hombres, les prendieron fuego para no dejar evidencia de "los actos inhumanos contra la población civil".

El alto tribunal, luego de analizar la primera declaración de los cuatro detenidos y las pruebas del MP, decidirá si envía o no a juicio oral y público a los cuatro detenidos.

La matanza de Plan de Sánchez se perpetró durante el régimen militar que presidió el general golpista José Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-1983) y es la segunda que llega a los tribunales.

El pasado 2 de agosto fueron condenados a 6.060 años de prisión cuatro exmilitares guatemaltecos que fueron hallados culpables por el Tribunal de Alto Riesgo, en la capital, de la matanza de 201 personas el 7 de diciembre de 1982 en una comunidad del departamento norteño de Petén.

Se trata de Daniel Martínez, Manuel Pop, Reyes Collin, los tres ex miembros del grupo kaibil, una fuerza elite del ejército entrenada para matar, y del exteniente de infantería Carlos Antonio Carias.

La Comisión del Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH), auspiciada por las Naciones Unidas, documentó 669 casos de masacres durante el conflicto interno (1960-1996), la mayoría de ellas atribuidas al Ejército.

Four defendants deny involvement in killings in Guatemala in 1982

Guatemala. Four former military and civil [guard] patrollers today denied their involvement in the killing of more than 240 peasants perpetrated on July 18, 1982 in a remote indigenous community in northern Guatemala.

In their first statement to Judge Patricia Flores after their capture last week, Lucas Tecú, Mario Acoj, Eusebio Grave and Santos Rosales pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Orlando López accused the four detainees accused of the crime of multiple murders and dereliction of their duties to humanity.

Lopez said the detainees participated along with other military and not-yet identified civilian patrol members in the killing of more than 240 farmers in the community of Plan de Sánchez, in the municipality of Rabinal, the northern department of Baja Verapaz, July 18 1982, after accusing them of being guerillas.

However, Tecú, a 56-year-old former military commissioner, denied involvement in the slaughter and assured the court that the army had in fact killed one of his brothers. And that he himself had been shot for not collaborating with the massacre that took place in his community.

Tecú said an Army captain named José Antonio Solares "was the commissioner who ordered César Baldizón to recruit 20 people to carry out the massacre." Further details are not known about these two additional suspectsn as the prosecutor’s case is not being publicized.

Tecú admitted that he observed when the inhabitants were killed, called the killing "an injustice" but said he is innocent of the crimes of which he is accused.

Mario Acoj, age 54, explained that when the slaughter was perpetrated he was on duty in the military zone of Playa Grande in the northwestern province of Quiché.

"I was in Playa Grande. The accusation is false," said Acoj. The suspect insisted that he was unaware of the massacre and that he was “not in the area at the time.”

"I will not make a statement because I don’t know anything" said Santos Rosales, age 71, who is also an ex civil patrol member.

Eusebio Grave, another suspect and former soldier, said that he is "innocent in this case" and explained that he didn’t learn about the massacre until 1985, when he returned to the community of Concul, in the town of Rabinal after completing his military service in the Guards of Honor Brigade in the capital.

According to an investigation conducted by the human rights office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the accused and their accomplices

murdered newborns, adolescents, women and men. They then attempted to cover-up the crime by burning the bodies.

The high court, after analyzing the statements of the four detainees and the case offered by the prosecution, will decide whether to hold a public trial in the matter.

The Plan de Sanchez massacre was perpetrated during the military regime headed by coup-installed General Jose Efrain Rios Montt coup (1982-1983). It is the second [civil war massacre] case to find its way to the courts.

On August 2, 2011. four former Guatemalan Armey soldiers were found guilty by the Court of High Risk in the capital in the killings of 201 people on December 7, 1982 in a community of the northern department of Petén.

Sentenced were Daniel Martinez, Manuel Pop and Reyes Collin. All three are former members of the Kaibiles special forces. Former Infantry lieutenant Antonio Carlos Carias was also sentenced in the case.

The Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH), sponsored by the United Nations, has documented 669 individual cases of massacre events during the internal conflict in Guatemala that took place between 1960 and 1996. Most of the massacres have been attributed to the Guatemalan Army.

EFE

Aug. 16 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Special Section

About the crisis of sexual exploitation facing indigenous women and children

in Guatemala's civil war aftermath - including the history of Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu.



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

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

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

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

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

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

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

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

Mexico

Esclavas en México

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

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

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

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

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

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

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

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

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

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

Speakers:

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

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

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

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

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

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

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

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

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

* The production of Child Pornography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

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

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

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

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

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

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

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

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

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

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

Contact: Tiffany Williams

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

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

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

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

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

See also:

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

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

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

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also:

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

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

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


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

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

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

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

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

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

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

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

Video posted on YouTube

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

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

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

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


LibertadLatina

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


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

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

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


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

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

Americas Program Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

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

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

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

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

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

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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

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

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


LibertadLatina

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

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

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

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

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

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

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

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

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

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

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

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

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

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

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

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

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

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

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

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

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

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

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

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

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

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

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

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


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

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

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


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

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

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

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

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

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

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

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

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


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

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!