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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

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Atenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

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Lydia Cacho

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


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

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Febrero / February 2011



Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

Protest in Mexico - The poster says: "NO to the Abusers of Children"

Photo: El Diario de Coahuila

5,000 denuncias por robo de niños en 3 años

En los últimos tres años se han abierto 5,000 averiguaciones previas por el robo de niños en diversos estados del país, principalmente en los puertos turísticos de Acapulco, Manzanillo, Veracruz y Cancún

El director general de la Fundación Nacional de Investigaciones de Niños Robados y Desaparecidos, Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, explicó que estos robos son generalmente para explotar a los pequeños en los rubros de prostitución, pornografía infantil o venta de órganos.

Un estudio realizado por el Sistema de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), en coordinación con el Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), reveló que fueron detectados 45,000 niños en México que han sido víctimas de la prostitución...

Five thousand criminal complaints have been filed in child kidnapping cases during the past 3 years

During the past three years 5,000 preliminary investigations child kidnappings have been opened across Mexico. The cases have focused on the tourist ports of Acapulco, Manzanillo, Veracruz and Cancun.

Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero, general director of the National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children, explained that these young victims are typically used in child prostitution or for the sale of human organs.

A study done by Mexico’s national social welfare agency, the System for Integral Family Development (DIF), in coordination with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), notes that 45,000 children in Mexico have been identified as being victims of prostitution.

Gutiérrez Romero declared that between 5,000 and 6,000 children are victims of child prostitution in the coastal resort city of Cancun, where both Mexican and Central American children are exploited.

“We are very concerned that Cancun has one of the highest rates of child prostitution among tourist resorts. In general, the victims are children in the 4 to 5-year-old age range,” said Gutiérrez Romero.

Gutiérrez Romero said that Mexico, Cuba and the United States occupy top spots in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). In many cases, the trafficking mafias rely upon the collaboration of the authorities.

In November of 2010, an operation mounted by U.S. authorities against child prostitution networks in the United States rescued 69 minors, and resulted in the arrests of 884 persons.

El Diario de Coahuila

Feb. 25, 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, is shown here in a video of a press conference held during December of 2010, where he discussed the disappearances 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

It is estimated that for every ten children who are kidnapped in Mexico, only one is rescued. Activists are therefore urging the passage of legislation creating a federal crime of child kidnapping and the standing-up of specialized law enforcement units to respond to the problem.

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 federal Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007 is not  enforceable by federal police agencies 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 said, 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

Additional information about the work of Guillermo Gutiérrez Romero and Mexico's National Foundation for Investigation of Kidnapped and Disappeared Children may be found in our December, 2010 news archive.


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

Map shows the number of types of child slavery that occurs 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 two 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 great 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 and bilingual 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 following facts, among others:

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

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence collude 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 'alternative' investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass - for profit;

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 the sex trafficking industry;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens called Los Lenones [who exist 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 hostage - 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 finally activate the law - which some legislators now accurately 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 knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis, and about 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, and will address the topic 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

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Latin America

Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), Latin America and the Caribbean

This picture is from a video  presentation recorded by Teresa Ulloa during the Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking, held in Puebla Mexico during September of 2010.

Recorded statements from other leaders in the Latin American anti-trafficking movement are available from this YouTube site.

Aboga experta por unificar leyes contra trata de mujeres

Indicó que ante la situación regional hace falta “una política pública clara para la prevención, protección y asistencia a las víctimas de la trata de mujeres y niñas”.

Santiago.- América Latina y el Caribe deben unificar sus leyes para combatir la trata de mujeres y niñas, cuyas ganancias van a rebasar las que se obtienen por el tráfico de armas y drogas, aseveró la experta mexicana Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz.

La cifra de ganancias que calcula la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) es de 44 mil millones de dólares a escala global, indicó Ulloa, abogada y directora para Latinoamérica de la Coalición contra la Trata de Mujeres y Niñas, organismo consultor de la ONU y la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA).

“En América Latina y el Caribe la trata está produciendo, según cálculos de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, una cifra correspondiente al 25 por ciento del Producto Interno Bruto de la región”, apuntó la experta en entrevista con Notimex...

Activist advocates for region-wide unification of laws against human trafficking

Teresa Ulloa indicates that a clear public policy is needed to support prevention, and protection and assistance for women and children victims of trafficking

25% of the Gross Domestic Product of Latin America is  now derived from Human Trafficking

[We note that the 25% figure is an increase over earlier estimates by Teresa Ulloa that human trafficking constituted 17% of Latin American GDP]

Santiago, Chile – According to Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), Latin America and the Caribbean should unify their laws against human trafficking, [a scourge] which is on the verge of overtaking drug and arms trafficking as the world’s most profitable criminal enterprise. CATW-LAC is a consultant to the United Nations and the Organization of American States

(OAS).

The United Nations has calculated that the global criminal profits earned from human trafficking now total some 44 billion dollars per year, sad Ulloa.

Ulloa cited figures developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences showing that some 25% of the gross domestic product of Latin America and the Caribbean is derived from human trafficking activities.

In the face of this situation, the region lacks “clear public policy to support prevention, and protection and assistance for women and children victims of trafficking.

“There are border zones [in the nations of Latin America] where the growth of the problem of trafficking is accelerating,” said Ulloa, who was in Chile to provide capacity building training to a Chilean affiliate of the CATW-LAC.

In addition to trafficking that takes victims to the United States and Europe, an ‘internal’ [intra regional] form of trafficking is developing within Latin America and the Caribbean, “which is a phenomenon that is much larger than international trafficking [external to the region] is,” warned Ulloa.

Ulloa went on to explain that the region’s tourist resort cities and also its border towns are the most economically developed areas [which is true especially in Mexico].

In that regard, Ulloa warned that Chile will become a nation that is at-risk of the human trafficking of women and minor girls as a byproduct of the country’s efforts to develop first world economic status. [We note that significant problems in human trafficking already exist in Chile. – LL]

Ulloa said that a serious problem is developing in Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Brazil, where intense [law enforcement] pressure to stamp out drug trafficking is resulting in a refocusing by these criminal organization on alternative sources of illicit income.

“The problem [of human trafficking] is very difficult to prosecute, very difficult to prove, and it generates huge profits,” noted Ulloa.

She added that one unique aspect of sex trafficking involves the fact that when it comes to underage girls, they are considered victims. Once girls turns 18, they are regarded as “sex workers, even though they were brought in [to the business] between the ages of 11 and 14.”

“What has really been the response that Latin America has provided in regard to this phenomenon? How many cooperative agreements have been signed?” asks Ulloa.

Ulloa concluded that “we need to develop uniform anti trafficking legislation in the region. Obviously, if a given country has tougher laws than its neighbors, the traffickers will simply find an alternative route [to transport victims around the 'difficult' country].”

Notimex

Feb. 14, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

The Dominican Republic

Rescatan a 44 niños haitianos de una red de trata de personas

Santo Domingo, República Dominicana - Eran obligados a mendigar en las calles de Santo Domingo. Diez de ellos no llegan al año de edad. Denuncian que es una operatoria frecuente en ese país

El contraalmirante Sigfrido Pared Pérez, director de Migración, detalló que de las víctimas, 37 eran varones y siete, niñas.

En la operación, que se llevó a cabo en una guardería de la capital y contó con el apoyo de las Fuerzas Armadas y la Fiscalía, fueron detenidos 40 haitianos indocumentados, diez de los cuales fueron identificados como responsables de un grupo que transportaba ilegalmente personas al país...

Forty Four Haitian Children are Rescued form a Human Trafficking Network

Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic – The victims were forced to beg on the streets of Santo Domingo [the nation’s capitol]. Ten of the children who were used in this begging scheme had not reached age one.

Admiral Sigfrido Pared Pérez, The Dominican Republic’s director of migration, explained that the victims included 37 boys and 7 girls.

Police, supported by military forces and prosecutors raided a kindergarten in the capitol. Forty undocumented Haitians were arrested. Ten of them were identified as being human smugglers.

The presence of Haitian children asking for money is common on the streets of Santo Domingo. It is often reported that trafficking networks are behind these activities.

The Dominican authorities have begun talks with the National Council for Children and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to organize the return of some of these children to their country. Authorities are determining their plans for the remaining children.

 The United Nations has estimated that 600,000 undocumented Haitians were living in the Dominican Republic before the January, 2009 earthquake. The figures would be higher today, especially after a Cholera epidemic [recently] swept through Haiti.

La Crónica

Feb. 25, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Colombia

Autoridades buscan capturar a un español que dirige red de prostitución infantil en Medellín

La Fiscalía y la Interpol conjugan esfuerzos para capturar a un español, que se hace llamar Pedro Lapiedra, señalado de dirigir una red de pornografía infantil y de adolescentes que opera en Medellín, tres cuyos miembros fueron capturados por la policía Metropolitana.

La investigación despegó luego de una denuncia instaurada por directivos de una institución educativa de esta ciudad, donde revelaron un caso de pornografía en el cual aparecía una de sus alumnas en relaciones sexuales con adultos, que fueron convertidas en videos pornográficos en Internet.

La investigación permitió establecer que no sólo esa menor era víctima de esta red de pornografía, sino otras adolescentes estudiantes de secundaria de los municipios de Medellín y Bello...

Authorities seek to arrest a Spanish citizen who ran a child prostitution network in Medellín

Prosecutors and Interpol are joining forces to catch a Spaniard, who calls himself Pedro la Piedra [Peter the Rock], who directed a child pornography network that operated in the major Colombian city of Medellín. Three other members of the network have now been arrested.

The police investigation began after a complaint filed by officials of an educational institution in this city. They revealed that they had discovered that pornographic videos available on the Internet included one of their underage girl students, who was filmed engaging in sexual relations with adults.

During the investigation, the authorities established the fact that a number of underage girls from secondary schools in the cities of Medellín and Bello were also involved.

Colonel Juan Pablo Guerrero, deputy commander of the [Medellín] Metropolitan Police, said that the victims were apparently contacted by a man who called himself Pablo la Piedra, from Spain. A Colombian woman called Zuleidy, and a Colombian pornography actor who goes by the name ‘Rasputin’ were also involved.

All three suspects travelled to Medellín at the end of 2007 and recruited both underage girls and adult women to participate in the creation of pornographic videos. The recruits were told that their names would be changed in the videos, and that the videos would not be distributed in Colombia.

The suspects provided fake national ID cards to the victims [presumably showing that they were adults], so that the traffickers would not be subjected to prosecution, said Colonel Guerrero.

Caracol Radio

Feb. 24, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Venezuela

Criminal and Penal Sciences Investigations Corps (CICPC)  Commissioner General Wilmer Flores Trosel is shown at a press conference {regarding an unrelated  investigation]

Cicpc desmantela banda dedicada a la prostitución infantil

El cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalísticas (Cicpc), dio con el paradero de una de las bandas dedicadas a la prostitución de menores de edad, que tenía como fachada de negocio la venta de flores.

El comisario general, Wilmer Flores Trosel, informó que, luego de varias denuncias de lo que estaba sucediendo, se habían desplegado operativos conjuntos con los empleados del Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional de Derechos de los Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes (Idena).

La comisión fue la encargada de realizar el respectivo trabajo de campo y también de la toma de decisiones que fueran necesarias.

En un comunicado de prensa, la organización revela que los detectives se dedicaron al desarrollo de la labor de inteligencia en el sector de las Mercedes, donde encontraron a cinco jóvenes y seis niños que vendían flores, al tiempo que se prostituían.

El informe, emitido por parte de los responsables de la labor de inteligencia, reveló que la banda se dedicaba a ubicar niños en las aceras de la avenida principal del barrio, para que a los clientes les quedara fácil ubicarlos y poderlos llevar a alguno de los hoteles de la zona.

Estos niños son obligados a tener relaciones sexuales y en otros casos pueden ser hasta víctimas de violaciones...

CICPC dismantles child sex trafficking network

The Criminal and Penal Sciences Investigations Corps (CICPC) has taken down a child sex trafficking network that used the street selling of flowers as a legitimate business front.

CICPC Commissioner General Wilmer Flores Trosel announced that, after receiving a number of complaints about the criminal activities of the network, a law enforcement operation was mounted in collaboration with the National Autonomous Institute for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (IDENA)…

In a press release, the CICPC indicated that detectives focused on gathering intelligence about the network in the Mercedes sector, where they found six children and five adolescents who worked as flower sellers to cover their sale in prostitution. The victims ranged in age from 8 to 16.

The investigative report about the case noted that the criminal group focused on targeting and recruiting children and youth who lived close to the main street of the neighborhood, to make it easy for johns to locate the minors and take them to any one of a number of local hotels.

These children and youth were forced to have sex with johns, and some were also raped [what’s the distinction? - LL].

Police were able to detain six adults – men and women - all under the age of 40 - who ran the network.

Terra.com/Actualidad

Feb. 07, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Argentina

Buenos Aires lanza cruzada contra trata de mujeres

Buenos Aires - "La trajeron a Buenos Aires, le sacaron el DNI (documento), no la dejan salir", dice uno de los folletos de la primera campaña de prevención contra la trata de personas para su explotación sexual, un delito que suma medio millón de mujeres víctimas en el país.

Según expertos, la metrópoli es usada por las redes delictivas como centro para reclutar mujeres y menores que luego son trasladadas a otros países.

La iniciativa fue lanzada esta semana por la alcaldía capitalina, que además inauguró el primer refugio en la ciudad para asistir a las víctimas.

El jueves organizaciones sociales reclamaron frente al Congreso que la trata de personas sea declarado por ley un delito de lesa humanidad.

"La esclavitud está abolida en nuestro país y por eso consideramos que cualquier intención de querer esclavizar personas debe ser castigado severamente por una ley que directamente pueda permitir al Estado perseguir hasta las últimas consecuencias a todos los responsables de las redes de trata para la prostitución", explicó a la AP Fabiana Túñez, coordinadora de la ONG La Casa del Encuentro, que asiste a mujeres víctimas de abusos, violencia y discriminación.

Argentina es considerada un país de origen, tránsito y destino. El 70% de las mujeres esclavizadas son argentinas y el resto provenientes de República Dominicana, Paraguay, Bolivia y Perú.

Las redes operan de tres maneras: mediante el secuestro de las mujeres; por engaño, ofreciendo mejores condiciones de trabajo en otros lugares; y a través de internet, por la cual captan principalmente adolescentes.

En el país no existen cifras oficiales sobre víctimas, pero según las ONG vinculadas al tema, se calcula en 500.000 mujeres, muchas de ellas reclutadas en Buenos Aires y luego enviadas al interior del país o al exterior...

Buenos Aires launches campaign against sex trafficking of women

Buenos Aires – “They brought her to Buenos Aires, they took away her nations ID card (DNI), and didn’t let here leave,” says one of several brochures created as part of the first campaign against the sexual exploitation of women. An estimated 500,000 women are victims of sex trafficking in Argentina.

According to experts, the Buenos Aires region is used by criminal networks as a center for recruiting women and children, who are then transported to other countries.

The anti-trafficking campaign was launched this week by the mayor of Buenos Aires, who at the same time opened the first shelter for trafficking victims in the capitol city.

On Thursday, social organizations held a protest in front of Congress, where they demanded that human trafficking be considered a crime against humanity.

“Slavery has been abolished in our country. We therefore believe that any attempt to enslave people today should be punished severely by the law. Such a law should allow states to prosecute every last person who is involved in these sex trafficking networks,” declared Fabia Túñez, coordinator of the non governmental organization La Casa del Encuntro [The Meeting House], which assists women victims of abuse, violence and discrimination.

Argentina is considered to be a nation of origin, transit and destination in regard to trafficking victims. Some 70% of enslaved women here are Argentinean. The other victims come from The Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru.

Sex trafficking networks operate in three ways: 1) they kidnap women; 2) they entrap women through deception, using false offers of jobs in other locations [and false romances]; and 3) through the Internet, where they entrap victims who are mostly teenagers.

Argentina does not have any official statistics about the number of victims. According to the non governmental organizations that work on the problem, an estimated 500,000 women live in slavery. Many of these victims were recruited in Buenos Aires and were later taken either to the interior of the country or to foreign nations.

“We are strongly promoting this campaign against sex trafficking because it is an abhorrent crime that causes suffering for its victims, and especially for Argentine women and girls,” said Mayor Mauricio Macri of Buenos Aires, during his launch of the effort.

Mayor Macri went on to say that this battle must involve everyone. He therefore asked people who suspect trafficking crimes to report them [note that a social tradition that empowers people to denounce crime in general is largely absent across Latin America].

The city’s new trafficking victims shelter was opened several weeks ago. It provides free physical protection, health / mental health care and legal assistance for women who have been rescued from prostitution networks. The shelter also runs a fee telephone hotline.

Human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation involves an estimated $32 billion per year [according to older figures], and has affected the lives of 4.5 million women and girls globally.

The Associated Press

Feb. 03, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Argentina

Proposal to go after clients of sex trafficking victims

An Argentine government proposal to crack down on clients benefiting from the trafficking of persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation has unleashed a heated debate between feminist organizations that support the idea and sex workers who are opposed to it.

The proposal by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has the support of organizations whose aim is to abolish the commercial sex trade. These groups want prostitution to be condemned as a form of exploitation, and are calling for measures like the promotion of alternative sources of employment.

The concept of going after the client has received the backing of the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), which will study it to recommend its inclusion in the national laws of each country.

The idea is to discourage demand by sending clients convicted of hiring the sexual services of a trafficking victim to prison.

Women's rights and human rights groups seeking to abolish the sex trade back the idea, although they express doubts because of the difficulties of implementing it.

Monique Altschul with the Fundación Mujeres en Igualdad (Women in Equality Foundation) told IPS that her organization agrees with the government's proposal, which is similar to Sweden's law against the purchasing of sex services, and said "it would be difficult to implement, but not impossible."

In Altschul's view, which she shares with many other members of feminist groups, prostitution is not decent work, especially in the case of sexual exploitation resulting from trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery.

Trafficking in persons is "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion…for the purpose of exploitation," according to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which has been signed and ratified by Argentina.

"Prostitution is not decent work, because people are subjected to humiliation, and they never know what to expect in each transaction," Altschul said. "And in the case of trafficking, it is obvious that sexual exploitation is involved."

Many women's rights groups thus believe that not only the clients of trafficking victims should be penalized, but anyone who pays for sex.

But the Association of Women Prostitutes of Argentina (AMMAR), which has more than 4,000 members, is opposed to the proposal and has promised to make its voice heard at the next OAS General Assembly, to be held in June in El Salvador.

"This confuses trafficking, which we condemn, with sex work, which is an option followed by some women, as consenting adults," Elena Reynaga, president of AMMAR, told IPS.

She also complained that the "abolitionist" groups have not listened to their concerns. "They don't respect us, they don't listen to us," Altschul said. "Bans only hurt us and expose us more than we already are..."

Reynaga also said the laws are used to harass sex workers. "The police haul us in and bring charges against us, and force our clients to pay them bribes."

She also questioned the concept of clients being able to distinguish between sex workers in the trade of their own accord and victims of trafficking. "What, do they expect the clients to ask the women?

"The problem is corruption -- that is why the networks are mushrooming. The police already have tools and don't use them -- or rather, they use them against us."

Marcela Valente

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Feb. 25, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

Diputados avalan reforma para combatir publicidad que fomente trata de personas

La Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Cámara de Diputados validó reformas a la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas con objeto de prohibir la publicidad que vulnere o fomente la comisión de este delito. La Diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN) consideró necesario legislar en la materia pues muchas jóvenes caen en redes de tráfico ilegal de personas al ser engañadas por anuncios publicitarios.

En otros asuntos, también se avaló una reforma que establece el mecanismo, mediante el cual, una vez concluido el periodo del presidente saliente de la CNDH –y no se haya designado al entrante- este órgano no se quedé sin dirección...

Congressional members support reform measure to combat the use of advertising to promote human trafficking

The Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress] has approved amendments to the [2007] National Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons. The changes will criminalize the use of advertising that is used to promote human trafficking activities. Deputy Rosi Orozco [National Action Party – Mexico City], who is president of the Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, believes that the proposed change is needed due to the fact that many young people fall into the hands of trafficking networks through misleading advertisements [in newspaper classified ads and elsewhere].

In other news, the Chamber of Deputies also approved an amendment that will assure the National Human Rights Commission is provided with an interim director in cases where a director’s resignation and [congressional] failure to approve a new director leave the commission without leadership.

Canal del Congreso [The Congressional Channel]

Feb. 23, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

The United States

Freedom from sex slavery: Basic human rights as we celebrate President's Day

Slavery in the United States of all types was abolished February 1, 1865 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment. It had already been passed by the House and Senate and remained to be ratified by the states before becoming law. Final ratification occurred December 6, 1865 with Georgia being the 27th state to sign on to the document.

The text of the 13th Amendment is quite simple, yet remarkably profound in implication:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Although the United States no longer participates in open, institutionalized slavery, many forms of forced labor still exist in this country with estimates of 1 to 2 million domestics and internationals enslaved throughout the country. Of this number, half or more are considered to be in sexual slavery, and up to 300,000 of these are children...

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Publoc Law 106-386, updated the federal anti-slavery statutes to include victims who are enslaved through psychological coercion, even if there was no physical coercion. Involuntary servitude (or "debt servitiude) is often added to the mix when the slave has a "debt" which is owed to the master which needs to be paid off in forced sexual acts, revenue from which "belongs" to the master The "debt" may include: the price the pimp paid to procure the child (real or unsubstantiated) room and board (even if conditions are sub-human) paying off "fines" for "misbehavior" or "not living up to expectations" (such as not pleasing a john) penalties for "breach of contract" (not bringing in the requisite john fees of $1000 or more per night) the cost of the drugs the pimp uses to keep the minor addicted and thus dependent...

The legacy of President Lincoln in working to abolish slavery continues today through countless national and international organizations gathered in the fight against human trafficking. The child sex slavery market, as with the other forms of trafficking, grows in magnitude by the day. The task is huge, and the eradication of just this one sector will require nothing short of a revolution in our thinking. To the extent that people are either complacent or complicit in the sexualization of society and our children, this evil scourge will continue to gain momentum.

Potential freedom fighters and abolitionists need to be willing to examine their own attitudes toward others and come away from personal prejudices, desire for power over others, and permission to engage in demeaning behaviors. These are the roots of enslavement, sexual and otherwise, but freedom comes when we can treat other human beings with their best good in mind.

Over a quarter of a million children in the United States, some as young as 8, are brutalized as sex slaves 10-20 times each night, forced to give their "earnings" to the pimps, and generally treated worse than animals the rest of the time. Modern day abolitionists are taking a stand to say "No more!" and are working to see that existing laws are enforced, in accord with the 13th Amendment. Won't you join them in honor of President Lincoln and the celebration of President's Day?

Holly Craw

The Examiner

Feb. 21, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Texas, USA

Man Wanted for Super Aggravated Sexual Assault

Houston - Police and Crime Stoppers are seeking information on the whereabouts of a dangerous fugitive wanted on two counts of a rare charge -- Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

Luis Alonso Funes, 45, is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl multiple times.

The victim told Harris County child abuse investigators and forensic interviewers that Funes attacked her several times at a local residence.

Additional information was not available Tuesday, but officials said an extensive investigation was conducted and Funes was charged in the 180th District Court with two counts of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. Warrants were issued with a no bond for his arrest, but police have been unable to locate him.

The charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child was enacted in Texas in 2007. It was inspired by Jessica's Law, which was introduced in Florida in 2005 and designed to punish sex offenders and reduce their ability to re-offend.

Funes could face more jail time with the upgraded charge because it raises the minimum sentence from the usual five years to 25 years.

Funes is a Latino man who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 165 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. His last known address is Hockley, Tex.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information called in to the (713) 222-8477 tip line or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to Funes' arrest.

Tips can also be sent by text message. Just text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.

Kristy Gillentine

KIAH-TV

Feb. 22, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

Iredell Sheriff's Office Looking For Rape Suspect

Stateville, NC - A three week investigation by the Special Victims Unit has resulted in eight felony warrants being issued against Juan Carlos Acuna Martinez a 21 year old Hispanic man from Statesville.

On Wednesday February 9, a 15 year old female and her mother came to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office and filed a report stating the juvenile had been sexually assaulted on numerous occasions by the suspect at a residence on Triplette Road in Eastern Iredell County. Witness interviews were conducted and numerous statements were taken.

Det. Lt. Hamby interviewed the suspect’s mother and learned he may be in the Lexington area. Detective Hamby was able to secure eight felony warrants on Thursday February 24 and the suspect was entered as wanted. Attempts were made to arrest the suspect, but he is believed to have fled the area.

If anyone has information on where Juan Carlos Acuna Martinez, 21, of 127 Arizona Drive, Statesville, NC can be located please dial 911, call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3100 or Iredell Statesville Crime Stoppers (704-)662-1340.

Fox Charlotte

Feb. 25, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

New York, USA

Queens man Cesar Guzman-Cordova nabbed after trying to rape teen in his apartment

A crazed fiend was nabbed moments after he punched and tried to rape a 15-year-old girl inside the bathroom of his Queens home Thursday, police said.

Cesar Guzman-Cordova, 24, pounced on the teen after following her into the room inside his apartment on Hillside Ave. near Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica about 4 p.m., cops said.

The horrified teenager screamed as the creep tried to pull off her pants and rape her - causing another man who was with a group of friends in another room to burst into the bathroom and break up the attack, sources said.

The sicko sprinted out of the home toward the Sutphin Blvd. subway station, where responding officers quickly grabbed him and took him into custody, cops said.

An MTA employee working at the station said he saw the terrified teen nursing a swollen face shortly after the assault.

"She was crying," he said. "She was distraught. There were a lot of cops."

The teen pointed Guzman-Cordova out to cops soon after he was cuffed. "That's the man who tried to rape me," she said, according to a source.

She was taken to Queens Hospital Center and treated for her injuries.

Guzman-Cordova - who has prior arrests that include rape and endangering the welfare of a child - was later charged with attempted rape, forcible touching and assault.

Nicholas Hirshon and Joe Kemp

The New York Daily News

Feb. 18, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Texas, USA

El Club Comedy - one of three Houston nightclubs recently raided by police as centers of sexual slavery

Feds bust east Houston sex-slave ring

10 arrested; victims freed after raid - The federal indictment, unsealed on Thursday, paints a vicious picture of Maria Rojas, aka "Nancy," an alleged ringleader in an international sex trafficking ring that pimped out girls as young as 14 inside a compound on the city's east side.

The federal indictment, unsealed on Thursday, paints a vicious picture of Maria Rojas, aka "Nancy," an alleged ringleader in an international sex trafficking ring that pimped out girls as young as 14 inside a compound on the city's east side.

It was Rojas, a 46-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, who prosecutors say co-owned La Costeñita Bar and a neighboring compound in the 8000 block of Clinton Drive, where the Mexican pimps — the padrotes — brought the girls, prosecutors charged. And it was Rojas who decided which girls worked the bar, who was friends with the pimps, who once held a gun to the belly of a young, pregnant woman and threatened to kill her and her baby.

On Wednesday night, federal agents raided the compound, comprising several buildings and trailers surrounded by a metal fence. They arrested Rojas, her brother and eight other suspects and rescued nine women, including three minors. U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno said 14 other women are in custody and are being interviewed to determine whether they are victims or witnesses in the case.

"Human trafficking continues to be a scourge in our community, and it happens like this, under our noses, under the guise and facade of legitimate businesses," Moreno said. "It's basically modern-day slavery."

Numerous charges

Rojas and her brother, Jose Luis Rojas, 38, face federal conspiracy charges in connection with the sex trafficking and harboring illegal immigrants. Rojas also faces a charge of re-entry after deportation.

The arrests by Houston's Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance capped a three-year investigation into the ring, which authorities said started operating here in 1999.

The bar had been targeted by federal authorities previously, as early as 2004, records show, after an underage girl escaped from the control of smugglers and told authorities she was forced into prostitution at several bars, including La Costeñita. The alleged smuggler in that case, Gerardo "El Gallo" Salazar, who also was mentioned in Thursday's indictment, is in custody in Mexico awaiting extradition to the U.S. in connection with another case.

After a 2005 raid of the bars on Clinton Drive, Rojas was deported to Mexico, records show, but she found her way back to the U.S. and into the business, prosecutors allege.

The indictment details the evolution of the ring over more than a decade, charging that it started out recruiting girls and women from Mexico with promises of work in restaurants in the U.S., but instead forced them into prostitution to work off smuggling fees. The ring would double the fee charged by a smuggler, forcing women to repay $4,000 for a $2,000 smuggling debt, prosecutors said.

By 2005, the ring had shifted tactics, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruben Perez, relying on pimps and charging for the use of the brothel.

"The Rojas organization said it's really hard to keep these women under control, to keep them from escaping, so why don't we just use padrotes, or Mexican pimps, to supply the girls?" Perez said.

The organization used lookouts on the compound to try and spot police, and charged $65 to have sex for 15 minutes with the girls and women there, according to the indictment. The pimps ultimately kept the $50 cut that went to the sex workers, and the organization made $15 from each transaction, for providing the room and condom, according to federal authorities. The defendants earned at least $5,000 a day on the weekend, plus at least $25,000 a week in bar sales, prosecutors said.

'Tip of the iceberg'

Nine of the 10 defendants in the case were in the country illegally and hailed from Mexico and Honduras. While the Rojas siblings face the sex trafficking charge, the remaining defendants are accused of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants for commercial gain, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

All of the defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Houston on Friday for detention hearings.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia called the arrests the "tip of the iceberg," urging other sex trafficking victims to come forward.

"It is an unconscionable act … and we cannot tolerate this," Garcia said. "We will go after the individuals involved in it. We will hunt you down."

 

Susan Carroll

Houston Chronicle

Feb. 18, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Texas, USA

Arrests made in alleged human trafficking ring

Houston - It came as no surprise to people who drive by one east Houston bar regularly. Federal agents say what was going on inside was a human trafficking operation where young women were forced into a life of prostitution.

On Thursday, federal and local authorities announced the indictments and arrests of 10 people accused of turning young women into sex slaves. The investigation centered around two businesses located on Clinton near McCarty.

Nine of the 10 suspects involved in this case are in this country illegally. They're a mix of Mexican and Honduran nationals. The indictments and arrests are the result of a three-year investigation.

La Constenita and El Club Restaurante and Comedy look like legitimate businesses, but on Wednesday night, federal authorities raided these two eastside establishments. The raid happened around 7:30pm and authorities spent more than five hours on the scene investigating.

FBI, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Homeland Security and SWAT officers led people away in handcuffs to a shuttle bus filled with prisoners. They arrested 10 people including the owner and rescued nine women and girls -- the youngest just 14. They were all allegedly being held captive as sex slaves.

"Rather than getting wages, they were forced to sit with men, for example at the bar to drink beer with them and forced into prostituting themselves with them," said U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno.

Authorities say 12 years ago, Maria Rojas, the bar's owner, began enticing young Mexican girls to come to the U.S. under false pretenses, promising them paying jobs as waitresses in bars and restaurants. They say in 2003, Rojas started hiring Mexican pimps, or padrotes, to supply the girls for her and to keep them from escaping. According to court documents, "if the smuggler charges $2,000 per girl, the conspirators would tell the girl she owed $4,000 for her trip."

"The traffickers have gotten smart. It used to be that the victims could pay off their debt. They don't do that anymore. They found a way to keep them in perpetual debt," said Ruben Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Authorities say the women and girls were taken to flea markets to get fake IDs and told to fix their hair a certain way to look older.

Jesus Cervantes has worked for years at a tire shop next door to the restaurant and says he's never noticed anything unusual.

"We're here all day and we see everything here from our backyard and there's nothing going wrong over there; not that I know of," said Cervantes.

The 10 suspects are due back in federal court Friday afternoon for a detention hearing.

According to the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, over the past four years more than 550 human trafficking investigations have led to the arrest of 132 suspects. The biggest obstacle is finding the victims. The number of human trafficking victims identified reflects only four-tenths of a percent of trafficking victims whom are out there somewhere.

If you know anyone that needs help, you're asked to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

Andy Cerota

KTRK

Feb. 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Peru

Peruvian police rescue underage Peruvian sex trafficking victims found in Arenillas Ecuador

Photo: Correo Peru

Deportan a cuatro menores víctimas de trata de personas

Lima - Tras un espectacular operativo conjunto entre la Policía Nacional y la de Ecuador, la noche del viernes cuatro menores de edad fueron rescatadas de las garras de la trata de personas. Las adolescentes, de entre 13 y 17 años, fueron captadas por dos mujeres en Tumbes, y trasladadas hasta la barra bar "El Berrinche" en Arenillas (Ecuador). Ayer se reencontraron con sus familiares.

Four underage victims of human trafficking are repatriated from Ecuador to Peru

Lima - In the aftermath of a spectacular joint police operation carried out by the national police forces of Peru and Ecuador, Friday night four underage girls were rescued from the claws of a human trafficking network. The girls, between the ages of 13 and 17, were entrapped by two women in the city of Tumbes, Peru, and were then taken to the El Berrinche bar en Arenillas, Ecuador. Yesterday, the girls were reunited with their families.

 

Correo Peru

Feb. 20, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Peru

Peruvian police rescue underage Peruvian sex trafficking victims found in Arenillas Ecuador

Photo: La Republica

Rescatan a menores peruanas que eran explotadas en Ecuador

Un duro golpe a la Trata de Personas dio la policía peruana y ecuatoriana al lograr intervenir, en la zona de Arenillas-Ecuador, un bar barra donde las menores nacionales venían prestando servicios de acompañamiento y prostitución.

Los hechos se iniciaron cuando el personal policial de la Divicaj Tumbes, de la sección de Trata de Personas, realizó desde hace más de una semana un trabajo de inteligencia y seguimiento a menores de edad que habían escapado de sus casas, pues se había denunciado que se las habían llevado a trabajar al país fronterizo.

Es así que gracias a las excelentes relaciones entre la policía peruana y la ecuatoriana, se coordinó par realizar este trabajo en forma conjunta.

Para esto ingresaron a la zona conocida como la Poza, en Arenillas Ecuador, distante a más de 80 kilómetros de la frontera.

Allí existe una gran cantidad de Bar Barras, que son cantinas en donde niñas, adolescentes y jóvenes atienden a los parroquianos como acompañantes e inclusive prestar servicios sexuales...

Peruvian adolescents who were sexually exploited in Ecuador are rescued

Peruvian and Ecuadorian authorities struck a major blow to human trafficking operations in a coordinated raid carried out against a bar located in the coastal Ecuadorian border town of Arenillas. Underage Peruvian girls were sold in prostitution at the bar.

The investigation into this case began when agents of Peru’s Criminal Investigation and Assistance to Justice agency (DIVICAJ) began an intelligence gathering exercise that followed-up on reports that a number of children had run away from their homes and had worked in neighboring Ecuador.

Thanks to the excellent working relationship that exists between Peruvian and Ecuadorian police forces, a joint investigation was organized.

Police proceeded to enter into the area called La Poza [the well], in Arenillas Ecuador, some 80 miles north of the Peruvian border.

A large number of bars exist in La Poza, offering girl children, adolescents and young women who work as escorts and in prostitution.

After an initial period of surveillance, the investigators discovered that the Garrincha Bar, owned by Darwin Aníbal Vargas Salvatierra, age 36, was offering underage girls, the majority of whom were Peruvian.

Police immediately organized a raid that included Peruvian DIVICAJ and members of Ecuador’s agency for child and adolescent protection.

Intervention

During the raid, the underage girls attempted to run from the bar, but were prevented from leaving.

Police arrested the bar’s owner, who has a prior history of  involvement in pimping and prostitution in Ecuador.

The minors were repatriated to Peru, where the Criminal Investigations Directorate of the Peruvian National Police (DIRINCRI) is continuing its investigation in the city of Tumbes.

Authorities were able to prove that 3 of the seven repatriated youth had recently reached the age of majority, and were allowed to leave.

The underage girl victims included a 13-year-old, a 16-year-old and two girls who are age 17. The 13-year-old was a sister of one of the adult young women who were freed from police custody…

La Republica - Peru

Feb. 19, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Mexico, Colombia

Lydia Cacho speaks at the Hay Festival in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Photo: EFE

Lydia Cacho denuncia en el Hay Festival la prostitución infantil

La periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho denunció hoy en el Hay Festival de Cartagena de Indias la impunidad con la que actúan las redes de prostitución infantil.

La activista mexicana dialogó hoy en el marco del Festival con el periodista colombiano Daniel Samper Pizano, quien hizo un recorrido muy emotivo por la historia personal de la autora de "Esclavas del poder", que ha sufrido torturas y persecución por su labor de denuncia de las redes de pederastia y prostitución en México.

Lydia Cacho se felicitó de que el acto de hoy en Cartagena haya coincidido con la salida del poder del gobernador del estado mexicano de Puebla, Mario Marín, implicado en su detención ilegal en 2005, tras seis años de Gobierno.

Los asistentes al coloquio escucharon por parte de Samper y Cacho una reconstrucción detallada de las investigaciones que llevó a cabo la periodista mexicana a mediados de la década pasada en torno a las redes de prostitución y pornografía infantil, y que implicaban a poderosos empresarios y políticos.

Lydia Cacho atribuyó la impunidad de estos delincuentes al sistema de "dictadura perfecta" que ha funcionado durante décadas en México, que facilitó que "el sistema aprendiera a negociar con las mafias". En ese sentido, subrayó que México está aún lejos de constituir un estado de derecho...

Lydia Cacho denounces child prostitution during forum at the Hay Festival

During the annual Hay Festival, held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombian journalist Daniel Samper Pizano interviewed Mexican journalist [and activist] Lydia Cacho about her book Slaves of Power, where she describes being subjected to torture and persecution in retaliation against here work to expose pedophilia and child prostitution in Mexico.

The author, journalist and gender rights activist celebrated the fact that the date of her presentation coincided with the departure from power of Puebla state governor Mario Marín, who has been implicated in Cacho’s illegal detention in 2005.

Cacho provided a detailed reconstruction of the investigations that he carried out around 2005 to uncover child prostitution and pornography networks [operating in the Cancun region], and the powerful businessmen and politicians who were implicated as being involved.

She attributed the impunity with which these criminals operate to the “perfect dictatorship that allowed the system [public institutions] to learn to negotiate with the mafia.” Cacho emphasized that Mexico is still far away from constructing a system based on the rule of law. 

Asked if she wanted to enter public life, Cacho stated that becoming a politician was not in her plans. She added that her journalism and her work for women who are abused and victims of prostitution were better avenues for achieving her goals.

Asked if human trafficking existed in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, Cacho affirmed that slavery does exist here.

Cacho attributed [local] trafficking to cartels such as those of Cali, Colombia and Sinaloa, Mexico, and of the Italian N'Drangheta mafia, all of whom traffic women and underage girls from Colombia to destinations such as Japan and Italy.

EFE

Jan. 29, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Colombia, Mexico

Audio: Lydia Cacho en conversación con Daniel Samper Pizano

Lydia Cacho es una de las periodistas más comprometidas y valientes de la actualidad. Como especialista en temas de violencia y género, dirige un centro de atención para mujeres víctimas de malos tratos en México y ha sido galardonada por su activismo feminista y su defensa de los derechos humanos. Daniel Samper Pizano, escritor y periodista colombiano, conversará con ella sobre sus últimos proyectos.

Audio: Lydia Cacho in conversation with Colombian journalist Daniel Samper Pizano

Lydia Cacho is one of the world’s most courageous and committed journalists. As a specialist in gender violence issues and as the director of a center for abused women, Cacho has been repeatedly honored for her feminist activism and defense of of human rights. Colombian writer and journalist Daniel Samper Pizano talks with Cacho about her latest projects.

 

Hay Festival - Cartagena Colombia

Jan. 28, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Mexico

México, sin medidas contra trata de infantes

Las medidas para prevenir los delitos relativos a la venta de niños y la prostitución infantil son insuficientes en México, documentó la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) a través de las observaciones conclusivas del Comité de Derechos del Niño. Por otro lado, estimó que los infantes en el país son vulnerables ante el crimen organizado y no existen datos suficientes para conocer la verdadera dimensión del problema...

Prostitución infantil

El Comité de la ONU advirtió sobre el carente impacto de las campañas de prevención sobre la prostitución y pornografía infantil. Si bien la ONU celebró que México ha introducido varias iniciativas para prevenir la explotación sexual y la trata de niños, lamentó que las medidas para prevenir los delitos a que se refiere el Protocolo Facultativo siguen siendo insuficientes.

Mexico lacks effective measures to fight child trafficking

According to a recently released report by the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of the Child, Mexico has taken insufficient action to fight the sale of children and child prostitution. The report also stated that the nation’s children are vulnerable to the activities of organized crime groups. Statistics do not yet exist that would allow society to understand the true dimensions of this problem.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child report noted that no information exists in regard to the recruitment of children in armed conflict. [The government of Mexico declared in its official response to this investigation that no armed conflict exists in Mexico, and that therefore, no issues exist in regard to the recruitment of children into military service.]

Mexico’s network for the Rights of Children (REDIM), questioned this assumption in its report, “Childhood and Armed Conflict in Mexico,” which noted that the number of Mexican youth who had agreed to early recruitment between the ages of 15 and 17 had grown from 593 in 2004 to 1,219 in 2009…

No official statistics exist that define the number and types of criminal activities that are committed by minors involved with organized crime. Non governmental organizations affiliated with REDIM estimate that 30,000 minors cooperate with criminal groups and are involved in 22 types of offenses. These activities include drug trafficking, kidnapping and human trafficking, among others.

From December of 2006 through October of 2010, 994 children lost their lives in Mexico’s battle against organized crime. The UN study raises concerns about the significant increase in deaths that this figure represents in comparison with the 503 deaths of minors in anti-crime actions that occurred between 2000 and [November of] 2006.

From December of 2006 through April of 2010, 3,664 children were detained by authorities during anti organized crime efforts.

Child Prostitution

The UN committee’s report warned about the ineffective impact of existing preventions campaigns targeting child prostitution and pornography. Although the UN report praises Mexico for having introduced several initiatives to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, it also regretted that the Mexico’s compliance with the UN Optional Protocol remains insufficient.

 

El Economista

Feb. 06, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Mexico

Ubican en San Lázaro a Veracruz en "zona roja de turismo sexual"

México D.F. México ya está considerado como el segundo país a nivel mundial con mayor producción de pornografía infantil, advirtió la diputada federal Rosy Orozco, quien añadió que en territorio mexicano existe una “zona roja de turismo sexual”, en la que se encuentran, entre otros, el estado de Veracruz.

La legisladora panista y presidenta de la Comisión Especial contra la Trata de Personas, destacó que la modalidad del turismo sexual ya no se limita sólo a que a los hombres busquen estar con prostitutas, sino que ahora también hay mujeres que buscan sostener una relación sexual con hombres e incluso con otras mujeres e incluso con menores de edad.

Añadió que la tolerancia de las autoridades fomenta este tipo de turismo, aunado a la falta de leyes con combatan de manera eficaz la explotación sexual, lo que deriva en impunidad y en una actividad tan lucrativa, que incide significativamente en la economía de muchos países...

Congress characterizes Veracruz state to be a focal point of sex tourism

According to congressional deputy Rosi Orozco (National Action Party – Mexico City), Mexico is now considered to be the second largest producer of child pornography globally. Deputy Orozco further declared that a “red zone of sex tourism” existed in the nation, and noted that the gulf coast state of Veracruz was part of that zone.

Deputy Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, noted that in addition to the traditional pattern of sex tourism, where men seek out women for sexual encounters, today women also seek out males and females, including those who are underage.

Deputy Orozco said that the tolerance of the authorities allowed this type of tourism to exist. She added that the lack of laws that effectively counter sexual exploitation leads to an acceptance of impunity in regard to this lucrative activity that has been established in so many nations of the world.

Deputy Orozco said that many countries have made laudable efforts to attract tourists from around the world as part of efforts to revive their. However, the tourism industry brings with it an influx of sexual exploiters who prefer to operate in countries where no effective criminal legislation to combat child sexual exploitation exists.

"The populations of countries where this type of activity goes on are notable because of the economic problems they face. That creates the perfect environment for sexual exploiters to entrap especially marginalized sectors of society [such as indigenous peoples], and force them into the sexual exploitation circuit, where the most valuable commodity is the one that sex tourists demand the most and will pay lots of money for.”

Deputy Orozco stressed that although it is assumed that a majority of sex tourists seek relationships with other adults, a significant and alarmingly increasing number of them also seek to minors. This is true despite the fact that Mexico has strict laws against sexual abuse children.

Deputy Orozco pointed out that although countries like Morocco, Cambodia, China and Thailand are also havens for child prostitution, but said that this problem also occurs in all of the countries of Latin America including Mexico.

In our country, said Deputy Orozco, "the main havens for child sex tourism are the cities of Acapulco, Guerrero, Cancun, Quintana Roo [where Cancun is located], Mexico City, and to a lesser extent several communities in the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. She added that the phenomenon is increasing in northern Mexico in Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez and in most of the states that have beaches near the U.S. border [such as the town of Rosarito, located south of Tijuana in Baja California state]."

In addition, Mexico is considered to be the second largest producer of child pornography materials globally. Within Mexico, the sexual exploitation of children online now holds third place in the list of major cybercrimes.

Deputy Orozco has therefore  proposed that the Chamber of Deputy should call upon the National Institute for Migration (Mexico’s immigration agency) and the National System of Public Security, and insist that they coordinate federal anti-trafficking efforts with the executive, judicial and legislative branches of all state governments [and Mexico City], with the goal of achieving more effective action to combat human trafficking in general and trafficking that supplies the sex tourism industry in particular.

 

Alfredo Plascencia Sánchez

e-Consulta

Feb. 14, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Peru

Ministerio Público intensifica campaña contra la trata de personas en Arequipa

Lima - El Ministerio Público a través de la Fiscalía de Prevención del Delito viene intensificando la campaña contra la Trata de Personas en especial de menores de edad, en Arequipa.

Con ese propósito se realiza operativos de manera continua en los diferentes lugares de salida y entrada a la ciudad de Arequipa, como el aeropuerto y terminal terrestre.

Los operativos tienen la finalidad de verificar el cumplimiento de las normas establecidas en la Ley contra la Trata de Personas y Tráfico Ilícito de Personas...

Attorney General steps up campaign against trafficking in Arequipa

Lima - The public prosecutor through the Crime Prevention Office has stepped up the campaign against trafficking in persons, and especially children, in the [largely indigenous] city of Arequipa.

To this end the authorities are performing continuously operations in the city’s airport and bus terminal, among other points of entry into the city.

The operations are intended to verify compliance with the rules established in the Law Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Persons.

The law prohibits the transfer of minors without proper identification (ID card or birth certificate) and a notarized authorization from their parents.

The interventions to date, according to prosecutors on Crime Prevention have reported that [the victims encountered] are mostly [indigenous] people from the high mountains. A large number of victims are from the Puno region.

In Peru, the most common form of trafficking involves sexually exploitation involving girls and adolescents. However, labor trafficking to supply the informal mining, begging, unpaid domestic work industries is also an important part of the equation, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Prosecutors urge the general public and transportation companies to not tolerate the travel of minors when they lack proper documentation.

 

Rocio Méndez

Andina - Agencia Peruana de Noticias

Feb. 18, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Mexico

El 80% de la trata de personas son mujeres

Coahuila.- En México, el 80 por ciento de quienes sufren la trata de personas son mujeres, informó la directora general del Instituto Coahuilense de la Mujer, María Antonieta González Ferriño, al señalar que el resto corresponde a niños y hombres.

Señaló que la problemática es “grave”, ya que se ha estado permitiendo e incluso facilitando este método de extorsión, por lo que ha crecido de forma considerable, violando así las garantías y derechos de las personas.

Por eso, destacó la reforma aprobada en el Congreso de la Unión contra la trata de personas, ya que es una medida que brinda protección y sustento legal a las principales víctimas que son del sexo femenino.

“Es una mafia muy bien organizada y grande, por eso cuando una persona desaparece es casi imposible dar con ella, por eso qué bueno que se comiencen a tomar medidas sobre eso”, subrayó...

80% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are women

Coahuila .- In Mexico, 80 percent of those who experience human trafficking are women, declared María Antonieta González Ferriño, the director general of the Coahuila Institute for Women, noting that the other 20% of victims are children and men.

González Ferriño noted that this problem, which violates the basic rights of its victims, is "serious.” The rapid and significant growth of this ‘method of extortion,’ has been allowed to exist and even facilitated [by the lack of response from society - LL], she added.

According to González Ferriño, the [recently passed constitutional] amendment passed in the national Congress against trafficking in persons is a measure that will [finally] provide protection and legal support to human trafficking’s main victims, who are women.

"It's a large and very well-organized mafia. As a result, when a victim goes missing, it is next to impossible to find her. It is a good thing that we are starting to take action against that [impunity]," said González Ferriño.

She said that Coahuila state is no stranger to the evil of human trafficking. It is known that men engage in false romances [with potential victims], with the goal of making them disappear [into the sex trafficking networks].

Given the current situation, the state Institute for Women and the Public Prosecutor's Office have initiated a public education campaign that will take specialists to schools across the state.

"One ways that the Women’s Institute's works is to provide preventive education in the schools. We work in the prevention of dating violence in primary and secondary schools. Now we will start teaching these students about human trafficking. We have some videos that are, to some extent crude, but they show the reality. We want girls and also boys, who are not exempt from these risks, to be aware," noted González Ferriño.

Meanwhile, González Ferriño recommended using the state’s “075” – which is available 24 hours a day. She lamented the fact that currently, to hotline receives only 100 to 150 calls per month, given that our culture still frowns upon the idea of reporting crime.

Milenio

Feb. 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Arizona, USA

"Rip crews"

On Thursday, Phoenix police announced the arrest of four Mexican nationals alleged to be operating a so-called “rip crew.”

According to the Illegal Immigration Prevention Apprehension Co-op Team, the group kidnapped illegal aliens in the desert and brought them to a house in Phoenix to be held for ransom.

The victims said their abductors forced them to call their families in Mexico while they were beaten and threatened with death if their ransoms were not paid.

Two of the kidnappers have previous arrest records.

Gov. Jan Brewer told reporters: “I applaud our brave men and women of state law enforcement for their work in apprehending these dangerous individuals. Our nation's porous southern border has enabled criminal enterprises such as this to operate in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Rip crews are becoming more prevalent in Arizona as most of the state’s border with Mexico remains unprotected.

Of course, because of that same open border, Phoenix has become the kidnap capital of the United States.

In December, Phoenix police officers, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided a so-called drop house and rescued 11 minors, including a 2-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and at least three teenage girls. Three human smugglers were arrested.

According to police, the children were brought into this country without their parents, from Mexico, Colombia and El Salvador. They were more than likely brought here to be used in the sex-slavery industry.

The smugglers were holding the children for ransom, trying to extort money from their parents and threatening to rape the girls.

Illegal aliens often fall victim to the human smugglers they rely on to bring them into the U.S. Once here, the smugglers will contact their families in Mexico and threaten to kill their loved one unless a ransom is paid.

In recent years, Phoenix has become the kidnap capital of the United States, that dubious distinction can be almost entirely attributed to the human smuggling industry, now dominated by the drug cartels who take advantage of an open border on a daily basis.

Consider these very sobering facts:

-According to ICE, in 2007 alone, 163 drop houses were found in Phoenix with 3,106 illegal aliens taken into custody.

-In 2008, there 359 kidnappings recorded in Phoenix. However, police estimate the actual numbers to be closer to three times as high as the reported figures. Many victims fail to report such crimes, out of fear from further retribution from the notoriously violent cartels.

-As of December 1, 2009, the Phoenix Police Department announced that the city had experienced 302 kidnappings for the year. That is an average of 27 abductions each month.

 

The Examiner

Feb. 18th, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Mexico

President to send more troops to northeastern Mexico

Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Saturday ordered the Army to send four battalions of soldiers to the country's northern borderlands, the site of increasing violence fueled by the drug trade.

Since Monday alone, gunmen have killed a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent, a man and his 8-year-old son were shot and set on fire Ciudad Juarez, and 13 people died in gunfire in that same Mexican border city, which has been wracked by drug-related violence.

Speaking at a military base in Reynosa in celebration of Mexican Army Day, Calderon said the increases were necessary to fight the drug gangs' "criminality and their lack of scruples."

"And because of the irresponsible actions of these thugs I am announcing that I have given instructions to establish four additional battalions, in order to support with efficient elements, the work of the armed forces in these places," he said.

Calderon did not say when the troops would be moved into the region, how long they would stay or what their exact role would be.

Mexicans flee cartel violence Calderon also said he has ordered upgrades to the Mexican Air Force's Hercules transport planes and promised to buy better weapons and bulletproof vests for troops in the field. He also said the Army battalions engaged in "high-risk operations" will receive armored trucks shown off during the Army Day celebration. Drug-related violence has claimed more than 34,550 lives since 2006, when Calderon took office and declared war on drug traffickers, according to the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego...

CNN

Feb. 19. 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter - Feb. 10-16, 2011

Excerpt

Feb. 16, 2011 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Kupk, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for rape in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

Feb. 14, 2011 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Norton, Vermont. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault of a child in the state of Colorado, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Feb. 13, 2011 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Hebbronville, Texas. ...The subject had several prior convictions, including one for aggravated sexual assault on a child in the state of Texas. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

Feb. 13, 2011 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual offenses in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

Feb. 11, 2011 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Laredo, Texas. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault of a child in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.

Feb. 11, 2011 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. ...The subject had a prior conviction for sexual assault with force in the state of New Jersey and had been previously removed from the United States.

 

U.S. Border Patrol

Feb. 16, 2011


Added: Feb. 21, 2011

Louisiana, USA

Police: Man Kidnapped, Tried To Rape 13-Year-Old

Boy Pulled Into Minivan In Kenner

Kenner police are looking for a man they said forced a 13-year-old boy into a van and tried to rape him.

Police said it happened Thursday around 3:25 p.m. in the 1600 block of Newport Place. The 13-year-old boy was walking in the parking lot behind the building when a Hispanic man asked the boy for directions, police said.

When the boy was within arm's reach, the man grabbed him and forced him into a dark green minivan. Once inside the van, the man pulled down the boy's pants, police said.

The boy bit the man and was able to escape the van and run toward nearby apartments.

The attacker was last seen fleeing inside the vehicle toward the 4100 block of California Avenue.

Police said the suspect is described as a 27- to 32-year-old Hispanic man with black hair and brown eyes, weighing 230 to 260 pounds, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall.

The suspect had short spiked hair, a vertical scar above his right eye and a pot belly, the boy told police The suspect was wearing a pair of black jeans and a black tee-shirt.

The suspect's vehicle is described a dark green minivan with a dent in the driver's door.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call the Kenner Police Department at 504-712-2222, or Crime stoppers at 504-822-1111.

 

WDSU

Feb. 18, 2011


Added: Feb. 15, 2011

Maryland, USA

Detective Jeffrey Hartlove of the Annapolis, Maryland Police Department

Photo: Ann-Marie Sedor

Local Detective Honored by the Knights of Columbus

Detective Jefrey Hartlove of the Annapolis Police Department was awarded for solving a case involving an interstate prostitution and human trafficking ring in Annapolis.

For Detective Jeffrey Hartlove of the Annapolis Police Department (APD)... saving lives in the face of danger is often just another day on the job...

Hartlove, a nearly 25-year veteran of the APD, received his award for his commitment to solving an interstate prostitution and human trafficking ring that was based in the Janwall Street neighborhood of Annapolis.

What began as his assignment to solve a homicide in 2008 ended nearly two years later with the arrest of several members of a prostitution business that had been promising women from Central America and Mexico... United States work visas, but instead forced them to become sex workers.

Hartlove learned that the murder ended up being between rival pimps, a lead that opened up the prostitution investigation for him and his partner, Det. John Lee. It was during the early stages of the interview process with Spanish-speaking associates of the victim when the police translator tipped the police that they were in the middle of a brothel, a fact that surprised even the two seasoned detectives.

“The fact is that we learned all of this was going on in Annapolis,” says Lee, “yet no one had ever known.”

Hartlove spent thousands of hours, much of it on his own time, working with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to break up the ring and collect enough evidence to prosecute the leaders. The main suspect is currently awaiting trial and several others will soon be tried at either the state or federal levels.

Lee says that most of the victims were given U visas, special permits issued by the federal government to victims of crime in exchange for their full cooperation in continuing to work with the police. “They get work papers, legitimate jobs, and so on, but only if they cooperate with us,” says Lee, otherwise they face deportation.

For his part, Hartlove was humbled by the nomination for the award, which was submitted by his supervisor and peers. “That my colleagues wanted to honor me means more than anything,” says Hartlove, whose wife and sons attended the ceremony along with Lee.

Historic Annapolis Patch

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 15, 2011

Georgia, USA

Customs Agents: Sex Trafficking Major Problem In Georgia

ICE Agents: Atlanta Has Large Customer Base

Atlanta - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents told CBS Atlanta News sex slaves rings are operating in various parts of the metro area.

CBS Atlanta spoke to a woman who said she was kidnapped from her home in Veracruz, Mexico, and forced into prostitution. The woman, who calls herself Maria, only speaks Spanish. She told CBS Atlanta’s Mike Paluska she had to make “$500 a day to cover her costs for coming to America.”

Maria said her captors promised her a better life in America working as a nanny or a restaurant worker. But once she made it to Georgia, she was told to be a prostitute, she said.

Maria said she was forced to have sex with 40 to 50 men a day.

ICE Agents said 12 million people globally are the victims of sex trafficking.

“Victims ranging in age from 14 on up; men, women, children from all across the globe, from Mexico, from Central and South America, Asia, India, Africa, eastern Europe,” said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge for ICE. “Atlanta is a large metropolitan area, a large customer base for the sex trafficking business. They are brought in, sometimes voluntarily thinking that they have a great job or a wonderful romance, and it's quickly dashed when they find themselves forced into prostitution.”

Maria said she was shuttled back and forth from apartment to apartment in Norcross, where men would be waiting in rooms, ten at a time, to have sex.

Her ordeal only lasted a month. One day while she was going to one of the apartments, she said she saw a police officer flagged him down and was able to tell police she had been smuggled into the U.S.

“At first, I was very scared,” she said. “But then they helped me. I would tell anyone in my position, 'do not be tricked by men with a lot of money and always ask for help anywhere you can.'”

Victims of human smuggling are free from deportation and will not face any penalties for coming into the country illegally.

CBS Atlanta

Jan. 27, 2011


Added: Feb. 15, 2011

Georgia, USA

Georgia sex traffickers loose appeal

U.S. versus CORTES-MEZA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FRANCISCO CORTES-MEZA, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JUAN CORTES-MEZA, Defendant-Appellant. 

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Filed February 1, 2011.

Before BARKETT, MARCUS and FAY, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Francisco and Juan Cortes-Meza appeal their sentences of 240 months' and 200 months' imprisonment, respectively, for offenses related to a human-trafficking and forced-prostitution ring.

Francisco pled guilty to one count of commercial sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) ("Count 7"). Juan pled guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud or coercion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) ("Count 4"), and one count of importation of an alien for immoral purposes, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1328 ("Count 9").

On appeal, Francisco and Juan argue that their above-guideline sentences constituted upward departures rather than variances, and, thus, the district court plainly erred in failing to give advance notice of its intent to depart. They further argue that the district court's application of U.S.S.G. §§ 2G1.1(c)(1) and 2A3.1(b)(1) constituted impermissible double-counting, and that the sentence appeal waivers in their plea agreements should be interpreted so as to permit them to appeal this issue. Finally, Juan challenges the substantive reasonableness of his above-guideline sentence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm Francisco's sentence as to Issue 1, affirm Juan's sentences as to Issues 1 and 3, and dismiss both appeals as to Issue 2.

In 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") agents discovered a nationwide network of brothels that brokered Hispanic girls and women for forced prostitution. During the course of the investigation, they determined that Francisco, his uncles Juan and Amador, and three other men were conspiring with each other in an organization in the Atlanta area that participated in human trafficking and forced prostitution of girls and young women from Mexico.

In 2008, agents identified at least 10 victim prostitutes, including 17-year-old LGI, 25-year-old LMJ, and 21-year-old MPM. All of the victims were poor teenagers and young women with limited education who lived in rural areas of Mexico. They reported being enticed by the defendants to travel to the United States under the false pretense of finding legitimate employment and a better way of life. On some occasions, the defendants enticed the victims by acting romantically interested in them or promising marriage. With the help of a "coyote," the defendants would smuggle the women into the United States.

Upon the victims' arrival, the defendants would tell them that they owed money for traveling expenses and would force them into prostitution. The victims were held against their will, intimidated, verbally abused, and sometimes physically assaulted. The defendants isolated the victims and used a combination of smuggling debts, romantic ties, psychological manipulation, false promises, threats, and occasional violence to control and coerce them. They were monitored by the defendants during the day and driven to various dwellings at night in order to engage in prostitution. The victims were prostituted for $25 per 15-minute session. On some nights, the victims were required to service over 20 clients.

In particular, LMJ told investigators that she met Juan and Amador in 2006 in Mexico. The men persuaded LMJ to travel to the United States to obtain work in a restaurant. The men smuggled LMJ into the United States and transported her to Atlanta. On her first night, they informed LMJ that she would be working as a prostitute. When she became upset, they told her that the trip was not free and she would have to work as a prostitute to pay the costs. Amador said that if she refused, he would call her father and tell him that she was working as a prostitute.

LMJ lived in various homes with other victims and at least one defendant throughout the period of the offense, including a period during which she stayed with Amador and Juan. At each location, the defendants directed the victims' work and provided them with food and other necessities. She said that she was beaten by the men when she disobeyed or expressed a desire to leave the business. She described the beatings and other physical abuse that were carried out by various defendants against her and the other victims. She feared all of the Cortes-Meza men based on the violence she had witnessed...

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Feb. 01, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 15, 2011

Georgia, USA

Key Member of Atlanta Human Trafficking Ring Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Charges

At Least 10 Victims, Including Several Minors, Were Compelled into Prostitution

Washington, DC – The Justice Department today announced that Juan Cortes-Meza, a Mexican National, pleaded guilty in federal district court in Atlanta to sex trafficking offenses involving young Mexican women and girls. Otto Jaime Larios Perez, a Guatemalan National, also pleaded guilty today to making a false statement to law enforcement and, thereby, obstructing a human trafficking investigation. Earlier this year, two other defendants charged in the same indictment, Francisco Cortes-Meza and Raul Cortes-Meza, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking offenses.

From Spring 2006 through June 2008, Juan Cortes-Meza, 31, and others charged in the conspiracy recruited and enticed approximately 10 victims to come to the Atlanta area from Mexico to engage in prostitution for the financial benefit of the members of the alleged conspiracy, according to information presented in court. With false promises of better lives, legitimate employment or marriage, Juan Cortes-Meza lured young, impoverished, rural Mexican women and girls with limited education, knowing the victims would actually be compelled into prostitution through a scheme of strict controls and physical violence.

The defendants who brought the victims into the United States used drivers, including defendant Larios Perez, 25, to transport the victims to the locations where they were forced to engage in acts of prostitution. Larios Perez was prosecuted for false statements he made when law enforcement officers stopped him with a victim in his car...

U.S. Department of Justice

July 30, 2009


Added: Feb. 15, 2011

Maryland, USA

Easton Brothel Worker Goes to Prison After Guilty Plea

Baltimore - A federal judge on Thursday sentenced an Easton man to a year and a day in prison followed by a year of supervised release Thursday after he pleaded guilty to transporting or aiding and abetting in the transport of individuals to engage in prostitution.

Upon completion of his sentence, Isidro Jimenez Sanchez, 32, a Mexican citizen who entered the United States illegally, is expected to be deported from the U.S. to Mexico.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Chief Michael Pristoop of the Annapolis Police Department; Chief David A. Spencer of the Easton Police Department and Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.

According to the statement of facts in Jimenez Sanchez's plea agreement, in July 2010, he began working in a brothel in Easton. On May 20, 2010, a co-defendant of Jimenez Sanchez who is alleged to run the brothel, handed a prostitution business card to a confidential source. The co-defendant told the source about the girls at the Easton brothel. The source said this same man tried to hand him another business card several days later.

On July 6, 2010, a source telephoned the number on the business card, which was a cell phone being used at the brothel, located at 318 E. Dover Street in Easton. Court records show a man answered the phone and when asked, informed the source that there was a 17-year-old Honduran girl available, who was "new and very good." On July 7, 2010, the Easton Police Department, Annapolis Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant at the brothel and arrested Jimenez Sanchez, a co-defendant and a female engaged in prostitution, who were in the apartment.

According to court documents, a search of the home recovered condoms, lubricants and other items reflecting that the apartment and individuals were involved in prostitution. Women who worked as prostitutes in the brothel stated that the man who ran the brothel misled them into believing the work they would perform in Maryland was domestic housework and subsequently he kept them working as prostitutes by threatening them and/or their families with physical injury and violence.

Prosecutors say Jimenez Sanchez aided and abetted in the operation of this prostitution business, including helping to transport the prostitutes into and from the state of Maryland to work in brothels run by his co-defendant, handling money in the brothel and purchasing items used in the operation of the prostitution business.

The case was investigated by members of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members.

WBOC

Feb. 11, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Peru

Sex trafficking victims rescued in a recent police raid in Huaypetue, Peru

Rescatan a seis mujeres explotadas sexualmente

Cusco / Madre de Dios - Durante un operativo de prevención del delito de trata de personas, personal de la comisaría de Huaypetue, con participación del representante del Ministerio Público, intervino el local nocturno ?Night Club Venus? al tener conocimiento de que en dicho local se estaba reteniendo a personas de sexo femenino contra su voluntad, obligándolas a trabajar en horas de la noche como damas de compañía; hecho registrado el último jueves al promediar las 22:00 horas.

La Policía, al incursionar en el inmueble, procedió a la intervención de los propietarios identificados como Willy G.P. (37) y Mauro B.C. (28). Durante el registro de la vivienda por parte de las autoridades, en el segundo piso se constató la presencia de cinco señoritas y una menor, quienes responden a los nombres Yanet H.L. (22), junto a su menor hijo A.T.H. (05 meses), y su hermana Judith H.L. (31), quienes refieren ser retenidas contra su voluntad Silvia G.C. (22), Lupita Vanesa S.R. (21) y Chela I.R. (23), la misma que se encontraba con su menor hija Y.I.Z. (01). Pero lo más indignante para las autoridades fue ubicar a la menor Anny D.A. (17), natural de Pucallpa, quien refiere haber sido traída de su lugar de origen con la finalidad de trabajar como cajera, pero la obligaron a prostituirse.

Five women and one girl are rescued from sexual exploitation

Cusco / Madre de Dios - During a police operation to control human trafficking in the town of Huaypetue, local police working with a representative of the public prosecutor's office, raided the "Night Club Venus," after they had received information that the club owners were holding several women against their will and forcing them to work in prostitution. The authorities confirmed these reports during their Thursday night raid.

Upon entering the night club, police detained the owners, Willy G. P., age 37, and Mauro B. C., age 28. During the investigation the authorities discovered found 5 women and an underage girl on the second floor of the establishment.  Rescued were: Yanet H. L., age 22, together with her five-month-old son; her sister Judith H. L., age 31, both of whom declared that they were being held against their will; Silvia G. C., age 22; Lupita Vanesa S.R., age 21; Chela I. R., age 23, who held together with her one-year-old daughter;. and - causing the most indignation for the authorities - Anny D. A., age 17. Anny D. A. stated that she had been brought to the nightclub from her hometown of Pucallpa with an offer to work as a cashier, but was then forced into prostitution.

Correo Peru

Feb. 12, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Peru

Virginia Borra, Peru's Minister of Women and Social Development, announces new anti-trafficking initiative focused on children

Mimdes lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores

Ministra de la Mujer lanza campaña a favor de los niños.

El Ministerio de la Mujer y Desarrollo Social (Mimdes) acaba de lanzar la campaña en contra de la trata de personas, en especial a favor de los niños.

La Ministra de la Mujer, Virginia Borra señaló que en las zonas mineras hay muchos niños y niñas que son llevados a trabajar. Así como en zonas turísticas de la selva, Madre de Dios, Cusco y hasta el Ecuador, las niñas son llevadas para la explotación sexual.

Lo importante de estas campañas, es que son sostenidas y se pide un apoyo a todos los medios de comunicación. Además se está pidiendo mayores sanciones para reducir la violencia.

El delito por trata de personas tendría una pena máxima de 25 años, y el de explotación de niños, entre 5 y 12 años.

La ministra indicó que en Madre de Dios no se cumple la ley, ya que no se sanciona y todos viven en total impunidad.

Así mismo, el Mimdes tiene 14 centros de asistencia residencial para niños y jóvenes víctimas de violencia, asimismo en Lima hay un centro exclusivo para jóvenes que sufrieron de la trata de personas, informó La República.

Women's Ministry launches campaign against child trafficking

Virginia Borra, Peru's Minister of Women and Social Development (MIMDES) has announced that her agency has just launched a campaign against human trafficking that focuses of children.

Minister Borra indicated that many boys and girls work in the nation's mining regions. Girls are taken to jungle tourist areas including Madre de Dios and Cuzco [in Peru], as well as to Ecuador to be sexually exploited.

The important aspect of this campaign is that it will be sustained. The organizers are asking for assistance of the communications media to promote the effort. The campaign is also calling for increased penalties against human trafficking to reduce this violence.

Under the proposals, human trafficking would involve a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Exploiting child would involve sentences of between 5 and 12 years.

Minister Borra declared that in the Madre de Dios region laws are not enforced. Therefore, she said, child exploitation takes place with total impunity.

Generaccion

Feb. 08, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Bolivia

"Choose Happiness" - a Bolivian government guide for children and youth about human trafficking

Víctimas de trata y tráfico son pasibles a caer en redes si callan

Las víctimas de trata y tráfico son vulnerables a caer en redes incluso internacionales si no denuncian. La información corresponde a la publicación de Infante: “Escoge la alegría” que sistematiza la atención integral a las víctimas de violencia sexual.

El representante de Infante, Miguel Gonzáles, explicó que el documento recopila información sobre la complejidad en la cual se encuentran las víctimas de trata y tráfico de personas.

“No denuncian porque ya se encuentran inmersas en redes delincuenciales que las amenazan”, manifestó Gonzáles, explicando lo complejo que es actuar ante un “delito invisibilizado o naturalizado”...

Child trafficking victims are at risk of being further entrapped if they remain silent

“Se da elementos importantes para que las personas que atienden delitos de trata de personas puedan comprender la dimensión psicológica por la cual pasa una víctima”, manifestó.

According to "Choose Happiness," a newly published government guide about human trafficking and dangers for minors, victims of human trafficking are at-risk for being exploited by national and international criminal networks when they decide not to denounce their exploitation.

Bolivia's representative for children's affairs, Miguel Gonzáles, explained at a press conference that the guide is a compilation of information about the complex world of problems in which trafficking victims find themselves entrapped.

Gonzáles, "Victims don't denounce their situation because they find themselves cornered by violent criminal network who threaten them. Gonzáles went on to explain that our problem is how how e respond to a crime that is often either invisible or has become made normal in society."

"Their are [minors] who have been enslaved through the use of lies, those who work and are exploited without knowing that they are victims, because they think that they are doing a favor for a relative or a god parent. We don't have statistics, because it is a crime that can't be seen.

The government's other new publication Infante [child] - presents a basic manual on integrated social service responses to support girls, boys and adolescents who have been victims of human trafficking. The guide discusses how to prevent re-victimization of the victim, and how to provide a high quality of services in regard to dealing with courts, prosecutors, legal services, consular affairs, migration and other issues that may be a part of a human trafficking case.

"This guide provides important elements so that service providers who deal with human trafficking victims may understand the psychological dimensions that victims experience," said Gonzáles.

Opinion.com.bo

Feb. 12, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Mexio

Avanza ley contra trata de personas

La Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales de la Cámara de Diputados avaló una reforma al artículo 73 de la Constitución, para que la trata de personas sea considerada un delito grave.

La propuesta de reforma también obligará a los gobiernos de los estados y del Distrito Federal a legislar en la materia.

Al respecto, el secretario de la comisión, Nazario Norberto Sánchez, expuso que este nuevo marco legal sienta las bases para revertir este grave delito.

El legislador del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) dijo que al considerarse la trata de personas como un delito grave, se endurecerán las penas y no habrá derecho de libertad bajo fianza a quienes lo cometan.

La iniciativa aprobada en comisiones tendrá que ser ratificada por el pleno en San Lázaro, el Senado y la mayoría de las 31 legislaturas locales para entrar en vigor.

Constitutional amendment on human trafficking advances in Congress

The Constitutional Affairs Commission of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress] has approved a proposal to reform article 73 of the Mexican Consitition. The reform would redefine human trafficking as a major crime.

Commission secretary Deputy Nazario Norberto Sánchez (Party of the Democratic Revolution - PRD) declared that the new legal framework provides the foundation needed to reverse this grave crime.

Sánchez added that he considers trafficking to be a serious crime. The reforms, he said, would provide for harsh penalties for perpetrators, and will revoke the right of bail for those who have been arrested for such crimes.

The consititutial amendment will require the approval of the full Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the majority of Mexico's 31 states before it becomes law.

El Universal

Feb. 08, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Mexico

Falta voluntad política para cumplir leyes contra violencia de género

Concluye Seminario de Red Nacional de Investigadoras

México, DF, - Investigadoras de 14 estados de la República criticaron que por falta de voluntad política en sus entidades federativas se incumplan legislaciones locales contra la violencia de género, intrafamiliar, contra la trata de personas y por la igualdad entre mujeres y hombres.

Las expertas afirmaron que en sus entidades no se aplican de manera adecuada leyes como la de Acceso de las Mujeres a Una Vida Libre de Violencia, la de Igualdad entre Hombres y Mujeres, la de Trata de Personas y la de Violencia Familiar.

Especialistas de Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla, Veracruz, Monterrey, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Yucatán y Zacatecas, participaron en el segundo seminario nacional “Empoderamiento de la Ley General de Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia” de la Red Nacional de Investigadoras por la Vida y la Libertad de las Mujeres...

Mexico lacks the political will to comply with laws against gender violence

National Network of Women Investigators Concludes seminar

Mexico City - Female investigators from 14 of Mexico's states have criticized the lack of political will in their respective states to enforce laws against gender violence, domestic violence, human trafficking and gender equality. These laws include the Law to Provide Women with Access to a Life Without Violence.

Specialists from the states of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla, Veracruz, Monterrey, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Yucatán and Zacatecas had gathered for the second national seminar "Empowering the General Law Providing Women with Access to a Life Without Violence." The event was organized by the National Network of Women Investigators for Women's Life and Liberty, with anthropologist Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos presiding.

The group declared that in their states, women continue to be discriminated against when they present complaints of violence to the authorities. At the same time, government functionaries refuse to recognize laws that defend the human rights of Mexican women.

Participants in the seminar also warned that state laws on gender violence do not include reparations for victims. These states also fail to recognize 'femicide' [intentional targeting of women for murder]. In some states such as Nuevo Leon, sexual harassment is not addressed in the law.

The investigators noted that all of their states do not maintain databases of statistics on crimes against women. This includes a failure to track cases of gender violence and cases of disappearances of women.

In the cases of Chiapas state [in southern Mexico on the border with Guatemala], not one state government agency keeps track of cases of violence against women. When women are reported as missing, the authorities continue to report that the woman ran away from her boyfriend. [We note that Save the Children has identified the southern Mexican border region, which centers on Chiapas state, is the largest center for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children the entire world. - LL].

In response to these realities, former congressional deputy Angélica de la Peña concluded that "there is no political will to enforce state level gender violence laws, despite that all states have a [law equivalent to the federal] Law Providing Women with Access to a Life Without Violence."

De la Peña demanded that gender violence laws not be viewed as being isolated from laws that address gender equality, human trafficking, discrimination, and laws that protect children and youth.

Specialists gathered at the seminar agreed that action must be taken so that legal frameworks and laws that address gender violence will actually be enforced.

During the seminar, Verónica Cruz Sánchez, director of the organization Free Women of Guanajuato, and feminist Olga Bustos Romero were honored for their long and distinguished efforts in the defense of women's rights.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC

Feb. 11, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Cuba

A young woman in prostitution - shown in a bar with a foreign tourist in Cuba

Red de prostitución infantil en Bayamo, Cuba, al descubierto

El caso de la niña cubana que murió mientras ejercía la prostitución con un grupo de tres turistas italianos en Bayamo ha destapado una red de prostitución infantil en esta ciudad cubana. El periodista y bloguero cubano Ernesto Morales, originario de esa ciudad, reveló al programa A mano limpia de America Tevé que, tras la muerte de la niña, se destapó una red de prostitución infantil que operaba en la localidad. “Se reveló una verdadera red de personas implicadas en prostitución infantil y 15 permanecen presos por aquel incidente desde el mes de mayo del año pasado”, señaló Morales...

Child prostitution network is discovered in Bayamo, Cuba

The case of the death of a 13-year-old Cuban girl who died while engaging in sex with three Italian tourists has uncovered a child sex trafficking network in the city of Bayamo. Journalist and blogger Ernesto Morales, who is originally from Bayamo, discussed the crime on America TV's show Program A. He stated that after the death of the victim, a true human trafficking network was uncovered. Fifteen suspects have been arrested and remain jailed in the case.

The one Italian [john] who engaged in sex with the victim stated that after she died (from an apparent drug overdose), he relied upon a group of pimps to hide the body. The traffickers threw the girl's body into the brush on the outskirts of Bayamo, without even bothering to bury her. Authorities became aware of the case after a dog appeared with a human hand in its mouth. said Morales.

Morales added that he personally knew the suspects, and noted that the Italians involved in this crime were long time residents of Bayamo. "They were not occasional tourists. They lived-in and were a part of our community. They bragged that - thanks to Cuba, they had been with every type of women there is," said Morales. After the crime was discovered, Cuban authorities arrested a number of owners of rental properties, and expropriated the buildings and everything in them, despite the fact that criminal proceedings have not been carried out in regard to the case. Some believe that the expropriations were carried out to exploit the situation.

What happened caused "social commotion" in Bayamo, where the case had a "devastating impact." The Cuban press has responded with "an absolute silence," Morales reported.

Joan Antoni Guerrero Valls

Gaceta de Cuba

Jan. 19, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Panama

Ricardo Vargas, human rights ombudsman for Panama, launches national campaign against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children CSEC)

Lanzan campaña para combatir la explotación sexual infantil

La Defensoría del Pueblo de Panamá y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la infancia (UNICEF) iniciaron hoy la "Campaña contra la explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes", que busca poner un alto a este delito y promover entre los panameños una cultura de cero tolerancia.

El defensor del Pueblo, Ricardo Vargas, dijo en su intervención que todavía persiste un desconocimiento del tema, unido al hecho de la poca anuencia de la sociedad para identificar las situaciones o conductas que pueden comprender la comisión de este delito.

"Unido a los esfuerzos de corresponsabilidad que tenemos todas las personas, hacemos el lanzamiento formal de la campaña para obtener un alcance real (...) en la protección de los derechos de los menores de edad", indicó Vargas...

Panama launches a campaign against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

The Panamanian Human Rights Ombudsman's office and UNICEF have initiated the "Campaign Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Boys, Girls and Adolescents," which seeks to end child trafficking and promote a culture of zero tolerance in society

During a press conference held to announce the new campaign, Panama's human rights ombudsman [an position known the Defender of the People], Ricardo Vargas stated that Panamanian society suffers from a lack of knowledge about child sexual exploitation as well as a lack of social acceptance of the idea that citizens should be able to identify and denounce these types of crimes.

"Recognizing the co-responsibility that all members of society have to respond to these realities, we are launching this campaign with the intent of achieving actual improvement in the protection of the rights of minors.

Vargas described the international protocols on the protection of children to which Panama is a signatory. These instruments address issues of child sexual exploitation and child labor. For these reasons, it is necessary for Panama to commit itself to push for actions that will defend these rights.

Una McCauley, UNICEF's representative in Panama, stated that the new anti-exploitation campaign has been created to generate interest in society about this problem.

"We believe that with this campaign, we will collect better information about this phenomenon and we will be able to engage in social dialog about it. If we do not have a social dialog that involves all sectors of society, we will not achieve anything," emphasized McCauley.

Liz Vásquez, the technical secretary of the National Commission for the Prevention of Sexual Crimes (CONAPRED) told EFE that the campaign seeks to inform and sensitize the population in regard to the activities of criminal [human trafficking] networks.

"We also want to inform the public that Panama has developed public policies and strategies to address human trafficking," added Vásquez.

Vásquez added, although the statistics in regard to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Panama are small compared to those of other countries, the fact that seven cases were recorded in 2009, compared to nine cases in 2010 is an indication that these crimes are on the increase. Vásquez concluded by noting that the population has begun to denounce cases of child pornography, sex trafficking and prostitution.

EFE

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Mexico

Mexico: Tercero en pornografía en el mundo

Esta información es posible gracias a una herramienta informática desarrollada por la propia institución española, que rastrea diariamente las redes P2P en busca de pedófilos.

México ocupa el tercer lugar mundial en el intercambio de archivos susceptibles de contener pornografía infantil, según el informe sociológico presentado hoy por la Fundación Alia2, dedicada a denunciar este fenómeno en internet.

De acuerdo a datos suministrados por esta organización española, en el caso de Estados Unidos y México los materiales pornográficos encontrados en la red de redes representaron el 79,5 por ciento del total expuesto durante los nueve meses que duró el estudio...

Mexico holds third place in child pornography globally

Mexico occupies third place in the world in regard to exchanges of computer files that are suspected of containing illicit images of child pornography, according to a sociological study presented by Spain's Alia2 Foundation, which is dedicated to denouncing the phenomenon.

According to statistics collected by Alia2, the United States and Mexico accounted for 79.5 of the suspected exchanges of child porn globally during the 9 month period of the study. The two countries are also responsible for 80% of such criminal activity among the nations of the Americas.

Software created by Alia2 is used to perform daily scans of peer to peer networks on the Internet in search of pedophile activity.

Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mexico City's head prosecutor, stated that Mexico's Cybernetic Police unit engages in a number of activities locate and arrest producers and distributors of child pornography.

Mancera, "We must eradicate this criminal activity while also raising public consciousness about the fact that it is unacceptable to hold, store, sell and produce any type of sexual-erotic photographs of children."

Last week five members of a band of criminals who used social networks such as Facebook to victimize minors were arrested. The accused used Facebook to contact minors, earn their trust and then convince them to engage in sexual acts or exhibitionism via webcam.

Prensa Latina

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Mexico

Deputy Leobardo Urbina Mosqueda of the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (Mexico City)

Crece prostitución infantil en calles y casas de citas en el DF

Ciudad de México.- Crece la prostitución infantil en calles y casas de citas de la ciudad de México, y se calcula que existen cerca de 12 mil menores que son obligados a ejercer la prostitución, y es que tan solo en La Merced, Zona Rosa y Tepito hay cerca de 5 mil menores que son explotados sexualmente por bandas dedicadas al lenocinio, denunció el diputado local del PRI, Leobardo Urbina Mosqueda.

El legislador, refirió que en el Distrito Federal, "en las delegaciones Venustiano Carranza y Cuauhtémoc, existen por lo menos 5 mil menores que son explotados sexualmente, principalmente en la zona de La Merced, en donde se concentra el 15 por ciento de la prostitución, destacando la Zona Rosa y Tepito", sugiriendo que se realicen operativos para rescatar a los menores.

"No es nada halagador ser nombrado el tercer país promotor de turismo sexual infantil, por lo que resulta urgente buscar métodos para inhibir este flagelo de la humanidad que afecta directamente a uno de los núcleos más vulnerables de nuestra sociedad como son nuestros niños y niñas, que tienen derecho a llevar una infancia libre de peligros"...

Child prostitution is on the increase on Mexico City's streets and in its brothels

According Mexico City local legislator [deputy] Leobardo Urbina Mosqueda (Institutional Revolutionary Party - PRI), the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is on the increase in Mexico City, where an estimated 12,000 children are forced to engage in prostitution. In the red light districts of La Merced, Zona Roja and Tepito alone, approximately 5,000 minors are prostituted by sex trafficking networks. The deputy suggested authorities carry out operations to rescue the children.

"There is nothing flattering in being named the third largest nation in terms of the promotion of child sex tourism. It is therefore urgent that we find methods to stop this scourge of mankind, one that directly affects one of the most vulnerable groups in society, our children. They have the right to live a childhood free of these dangers," said Deputy Urbina Mosqueda.

He said that in recent months, the borough of Venustiano Carranza has become a major center of activity for pedophiles from around the country. He added that the passivity of the authorities concerning the problem of child prostitution "has caused child prostitution to become big business in this city. One that threatens the integrity of our children. "

The PRI lawmaker argued that it is unacceptable that, in addition to Mexico being one of the capitals of child prostitution that included boroughs that have become "child sex tourism paradise," we have reached third place globally in such crimes. He added that we must stop the lenones (family-run child sex trafficking mafias) who force children into prostitution.

Deputy Urbina Mosqueda stressed that to prevent the growth of child sex trafficking, it is necessary that we push for greater criminal penalties. He exclaimed that due to the lack of security, it is undeniable that Mexico City has lost credibility nationally and globally. He added that, "Nonetheless, we must take additional preventative measures before we end up in first place [among child exploiting nations]."

M-Informex

Feb. 10, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Chile

Ex detective que reveló red de prostitución infantil acusa hostigamiento de la PDI

Nuevos hostigamientos por parte de la Policía de Investigaciones dio a conocer el ex detective que denunció la red de prostitución que funcionaba en Valparaíso, en la que estaban involucrados efectivos de la policía civil.

Como un procedimiento irregular calificó el ex detective Héctor Guzmán Godoy, el control de identidad al que fue sometido la tarde de este miércoles en Quilpué...

Recordar que el ex detective Héctor Guzmán Godoy fue quien denunció la red de prostitución infantil que funcionaba en Valparaíso.

Former detective who exposed police collusion with child prostitution ring reports harassment

Héctor Guzmán Godoy, a former detective with Chile's national Investigative Police (Policía de Investigaciones - PDI) has announced that he has been subjected to new acts of harassment against him by PDI officers.

Guzmán Godoy previously exposed the fact that a group of PDI officers had protected a child sex trafficking operation in the port city of Valparaiso. [Ten officers were charged in the case. A three judge panel recently reduced the charges and convicted only 4 of those accused.]

Guzmán Godoy declared that a recent police identity stop, which he identified as an irregular act, occurred after a PDI vehicle with four officers in it followed him for a number of blocks and detained him for 15 minutes after requesting to see his identification.

[As one of the officers recently convicted in the trial of 10 officers,] Guzmán Godoy stated that this coming Friday he plans to submit a request for an appeal of his own sentence of 541 days for obtaining sexual services. He is therefore not surprised that PDI officers are trying to scare him.

We recall that Guzmán Godoy was the person who denounced the Valparaiso child sex trafficking ring.

Radio Biobio

Jan. 20, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Colombia

A la cárcel inglés investigado por delitos sexuales con menores en Cartagena

Se convirtió en el segundo extranjero en afrontar un proceso jurídico por abuso sexual con menores de edad en la ciudad.

Un juez con función de garantías, profirió medida de aseguramiento intramural contra el ciudadano inglés Paul Anthony Braislford, acusado por los delitos de acceso carnal y pornografía con menor de 14 años de edad.

El extranjero fue trasladado por funcionarios del Inpec, hasta uno de los pabellones de la cárcel de Ternera.

Su captura se produjo en el barrio San José de Los Campanos, después que se interpusiera una denuncia en su contra por parte de una mujer que convivió por más de dos años con el acusado...

Englishman is jailed for sex crimes against minors in the [tourist resort] city of Cartagena

A Colombian judge has ordered Englishman Paul Anthony Braislford held in jail after his arrest on charges of carnal knowledge and child pornography involving a 14-year-old girl.

The foreigner was taken to the Ternera jail for detention.

Braislford was arrested in the San José de Los Campanos neighborhood after the woman with whom he has lived for more than two years denounced him to the authorities. The woman found and turned over to the authorities pictures and USB (flash) drives in which Braislford appears to be engaging with children of between 12 and 14 years-of age.

The woman made the decision to denounce Braislford after discovering that he had taken nude photographs of her underage daughter, and after he suggested that he wanted to have sexual relations with two underage neighbors of the couple.

Police have determined that Braislford had accounts on Internet social networking sites where pictures of minors in suggestive poses were posted. Some of those pictures were of children from Cartagena.

Braislford becomes the second foreigner to face criminal charges for sex crimes against children in the region.

The other foreigner was Italian citizen Paolo Pravisani, age 75, was has sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crimes of abusing a 14-year-old minor, promoting prostitution and child pornography.

RCN Radio

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

Florida, USA

Mother of Miami teen allegedly sexually abused by gym teacher speaks out

The Florida mother of a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly lured into sex on numerous occasions by her physical education teacher says her daughter “lost her childhood,” reported FOX WSVN.

Her daughter, a student at Miami Springs Middle School, had sex with the teacher on the school grounds, police say.

Carlos Usatorres, 32, was arrested in December.

“I don't know how to deal with it,” said the distraught mother in a interview where her identity was. "She was believing in him."

Miami-Dade Public Schools responded, saying, “School administrators responded to the allegation immediately with all necessary notifications. The employee has been reassigned as an investigation is conducted.

The family’s attorney told WSVN that parents want to know that their children are safe at school and when that trust is breached, “the consequences are devastating.”

WSVN

Feb. 11, 2011


Added: Feb. 14, 2011

California, USA

Morgan Hill man arrested on suspicion of rape

Police arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of having sexual relations with a 13-year-old female.

Marco Jarquin-Garcia, 21, of Morgan Hill, was arrested Friday after the victim reported multiple incidents of sexual contact between the two, Sgt. Jerry Neumayer said.

The victim, a Morgan Hill resident, told police that she had sex with Jarquin-Garcia multiple times in the last 90 days, Neumayer said. In the first incident, the suspect allegedly forced her to have sex with him in his vehicle. She told police last week that she now thinks she is pregnant.

The victim and suspect knew each other prior to the incidents, having met through a mutual acquaintance, Neumayer said.

Jarquin-Garcia was booked into county jail on suspicion of rape and lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14.

Morgan Hill TImes

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 11, 2011

New York State, USA

Nicholas Alvarez

County police initiate human trafficking investigation

A traffic stop by a Westchester County police officer has led to the arrest of a Florida man on charges that he forced at least three women into working for him as prostitutes through intimidation, acts of violence and threats to harm their family members.

Nicholas Alvarez, 35, of Miami, Florida, was arraigned late Friday in U.S. District Court in White Plains on three counts of transportation for illegal sexual activity. He is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

The investigation stems from a traffic stop made at noon last Thursday by Police Officer Donald Palmer, who pulled over a van on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers that lacked a rear license plate. The occupants gave Palmer a variety of documents as identification, which he recognized as forgeries. A subsequent check revealed that the van had been reported stolen in Virginia.

Alvarez and three females in the van were taken into custody. Detectives from the General Investigations Unit subsequently determined the women had a previous history of prostitution and conducted interviews with them. Although the women initially refused to cooperate, the detectives, through their training and experience, suspected the women were victims of human trafficking.

“These women were extremely fearful of Alvarez, but we were able to establish trust with them after many hours of interviewing. They eventually told us that he had beaten them regularly and threatened to kill them and their family members if they tried to stop working for him,” County Police Commissioner George N. Longworth said.

Investigators have determined that Alvarez, transported women between New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Virginia to engage in acts of prostitution under his coercion.

Westchester County Police and the FBI believe that the suspect has victimized more women in similar fashion and are currently conducting a multi-state human trafficking investigation.

Longworth said the case highlights the growing problem of human trafficking and he has directed that a block of instruction on the topic be added to the Department’s Unified In-Service Training Program. That program provides ongoing training for veteran officers of the county police and municipal police departments in Westchester.

“The exploitation of any human being is unconscionable and beyond the bounds of decency,” Longworth said. “We want to ensure that all officers are equipped to identify the signs of this growing problem.”

Sean Roach

Tarrytown-Sloopy Hollow Patch

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 11, 2011

New York State, USA

Florida man accused of human trafficking after van stop in Westchester

Timothy O'Connor

The Poughkeepsie Journal

Feb. 08, 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 (working 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 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.

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 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 housing Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who rented 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 has keys to access these offices).

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.

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 our 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 women and girls for victimization.


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

Mexico

Aprueban en comisión, que trata sea delito grave: PAN

La Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales de la Cámara de Diputados avaló una reforma al Artículo 73 de la Constitución, para que la trata de personas sea considerada un delito grave. Rosi Orozco, diputada federal panista, destacó que somos el país que más niños y niñas exporta a los Estados Unidos para el comercio sexual.

Rosi Orozco, diputada federal panista, destacó que la votación realizada ayer fue unánime "para la reforma al Artículo 73, que nos va a dar la fuerza de tener una ley general contra la trata de personas y que incluye la pornografía infantil porque me parece que el tema de la trata debe ser tratado igual o más severo que el secuestro".

Cabe recordar que la Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales de la Cámara de Diputados avaló una reforma al Artículo 73 de la Constitución, para que la trata de personas sea considerada un delito grave.

La propuesta de reforma también obligará a los gobiernos de los estados y del Distrito Federal a legislar en la materia.

En este contexto, Rosi Orozco indicó que los diputados han tenido varios foros para poder lograr un consenso y una ley general, a fin de que México no sea un productor de pornografía infantil.

La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, añadió que se debe hacer una investigación de lavado de dinero que viene de la trata de personas.

La iniciativa sobre trata aprobada en comisiones tendrá que ser ratificada por el pleno en San Lázaro, el Senado y la mayoría de las 31 legislaturas locales para entrar en vigor...

Congressional Constitutional Affairs Commission approves amendment to reclassify human trafficking as a major crime

Deputy Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party declares that Mexico is the nation that exports the largest number of child victims to the United States.

The Commission on Constitutional Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies [lower house of Congress] has approved a proposal to reform Article 73 of the Mexican Constitution. The reform will classify human trafficking as a major crime.

The reform will also require all of Mexico's federated entities (the nation's 31 states and Mexico City) to pass legislation to control human trafficking.

Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, commented that congressional deputies have had many opportunities to reach consensus about the details of a reform package, with the goal of ending Mexico's role as a [leading] producer of child pornography.

Deputy Orzco added that added that the problem of the money laundering of profits from human trafficking crimes needs to be investigated.

To become law, the constitutional reform must be approved by a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the majority of Mexico's state legislatures.

During an interview conducted by veteran newscaster Eduardo Ruiz Healy, [Deputy Orozco commented on the related topic of the recently introduced national identity card program for the nation's children.] Deputy Orozco noted that, in reference to the new identity card initiative, that she doesn't like to fight with anybody. "I am always negotiating agreements. I believe that together, we can make a difference." She noted that she has had to defend the child identification program in Congress throughout the time that she has worked on the project.

Deputy Orozco, "Above all, we have an international obligation, with the United Nations and the Organization of American States, in regard to the defense of children [through the use of our national identification program].

Deputy Orozco cited that case of a missing 9-year-old girl, Lisset Soto Salinas, who she knows personally. On October 14th [apparently in 2010], the girl was kidnapped close to her home. "The perpetrators tried to take the victim to a hair salon to kidnap her. The only information that we have from the date of her kidnapping is that a hairdresser saw the victim in such emotional distress that she called the police to report what was happening."

After speaking yesterday with the girl's parents, Melchor Soto y Esmeralda Salinas, Deputy Orozco said that, if the parents would have given anything to have had in place a child identification card, with fingerprints and an iris scan, to prevent their daughter from being taken to the United States [via a border checkpoint].

Deputy Orozco, "We are the nation wich exports the largest number of children to the United States for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).

Radio Fórmula

Feb. 09, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

Virginia, USA

Man sought on rape charges in Fairfax is detained in Houston

A man wanted on rape charges in Fairfax County - who had been released from custody in Loudoun County a month before the assault because of a gap in immigration databases - was captured Sunday in Houston, Fairfax police said Monday.

Immigrant database failed to detect suspect before rape of young girl Salvador Portillo-Saravia was being held in a Houston jail pending extradition to Fairfax. His case has highlighted flaws in the Secure Communities program, which is meant to keep dangerous illegal immigrants off the street.

Authorities said that Portillo-Saravia, 29, was a member of the street gang MS-13 and that he had been picked up by gang officers in Prince William County in 2003 and deported to El Salvador.

Portillo-Saravia sneaked back into the United States and was arrested again in Loudoun in November. Loudoun sheriff's deputies submitted his fingerprints through the Secure Communities program. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement database should have flagged him as having been deported, and he should have remained jailed.

But Portillo-Saravia's prints came back with a "no match." Charged only with the misdemeanor of being drunk in public, Portillo-Saravia was released after 12 hours in the Loudoun jail.

About a month later, on the day after Christmas, he was accused of raping an 8-year-old girl in her home in Centreville. A massive manhunt began.

When it was revealed last week that Portillo-Saravia had been in the Loudoun jail a month earlier, ICE disclosed that the fingerprints of many deportees obtained before 2005 had not been taken electronically and are not in the database. Participants in the Secure Communities program, which includes every jail in Virginia, said they were unaware that the database was not comprehensive.

ICE officials said they were reviewing their files to see how manually inked fingerprints can be scanned into the database used by the Secure Communities program. U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) sent a letter to ICE asking for a report on how the problem can be fixed.

Fairfax Police Officer Don Gotthardt said that agents with ICE in Washington and Houston, federal marshals and Fairfax detectives were involved in tracking and capturing Portillo-Saravia. He is charged with forcible rape and forcible sodomy in the Dec. 26 attack on the girl.

Tom Jackman

The Washington Post

Feb. 07, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

Florida, USA

Police officer faces molestation charges

Officer accused of groping teenage girls

Doral - A Miami-Dade police officer appeared in bond court Friday on molestation charges after being accused of groping two teenagers during a traffic stop.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, 24, was arrested Thursday on the lewd and lascivious molestation charges.

The charges stem from a Jan. 7 traffic stop. Police said that while on duty, Rodriguez pulled over a car full of girls in Kendall. According to investigators, Rodriguez called two 14-year-old girls to the back of the car, one at a time, to interview them. When they got there, Rodriguez groped each of them, police said.

Court documents said Rodriguez, a four-year veteran of the force, groped several others in the car, but he only faces charges in connection with the two 14-year-old girls.

"Someone who takes part in criminal activity, whether it's an officer or not, it will get investigated, and if we have enough information, enough probable cause, to effect an arrest, then we will make one," said Javier Baez of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Rodriguez is in jail on $150,000 bond. The judge said the bond is so high because of Rodriguez's position.

Rodriguez has no prior criminal record. He was relieved of duty on Jan. 13 in an unrelated incident.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez

WPLG - Post / Newsweek Stations

Feb. 04, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

A photo  of activity at Casa del Migrante - Migrant's House - now under threat from criminal elements.

Photo: El Universal

Amenazan casa de migrantes; AI pide protección al Estado

Amagan presuntos integrantes del crimen organizado con quemarla, dice

Amnistía Internacional pidió medidas de protección inmediatas para la Casa del Migrante San Juan Diego, ubicado en Lechería, en el Estado de México, ya que su personal recibió amenazas —al parecer del crimen organizado—, de que se atacarán las instalaciones y se incendiará el inmueble.

La organización —en su capítulo México— ha iniciado una campaña para recabar firmas, que se anexarán a la carta enviada al secretario de Gobernación, José Francisco Blake Mora, en la que se solicita que garanticen la seguridad de la gente del albergue y que la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) investigue las amenazas.

De acuerdo con AI, es evidente que la directora del refugio, Guadalupe Calzada, así como los voluntarios y migrantes que ahí se albergan “corren peligro, tras las amenazas recibidas de quemar el albergue y atacar a quienes se encuentren en él”.

Se detalló que el 30 de enero pasado, un guatemalteco informó a la directora del refugio que “un desconocido le había dicho que tuviera cuidado porque existen planes de en un plazo de tres días, quemar el albergue y matar a los migrantes guatemaltecos y a Guadalupe Calzada, como un perro”.

Silvia Otero

El Universal

Feb. 05, 2011

See also:

Amnesty International: Fears for staff and migrants at shelter

Urgent Action

Guadalupe Calzada, who runs the migrants shelter, San Juan Diego, in Lecheria, outside the capital Mexico City, and the volunteers and migrants at the shelter, are at risk of attack and arson after a threat was made against them.

On 30 January, a Guatemalan man informed Guadalupe Calzada, who runs the irregular migrants (those without official travel documents) shelter in Lecheria, that he had been told while at work to take care by an unknown man as there were plans to burn the shelter down, murder Guatemalan migrants and kill Guadaplupe Calazada “like a dog” (“como un perro”) within three days. The threat is believed to originate from people smuggler gangs operating in the area who consider the shelter a threat to their criminal activities.

Earlier the same day, Guadalupe Calzada had filed a report with police against a man who was loitering outside the shelter and who begun to shout insults at her. Police arrived and arrested the man. He was later released. Migrants rights defenders suspect the incident may be linked to the threat. As a result of the threat, the shelter has requested protection from the municipal authorities and has presented the incident to the National Human Rights Commission.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY (follow link) in Spanish or your own language:

•Expressing concern for the safety of Guadalupe Calzada, volunteers and migrants at the shelter in Lecheria after the threat;

•Calling for immediate protection measures to be implemented in accordance with the wishes of Guadalupe Calzada and others at risk;

•Calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the threat again the shelter and for those response to be held to account;

•Reminding the authorities of their duties to guarantee that human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Additional Information

Every year, thousands of undocumented migrants from Central America travel across Mexico in order to reach the US border. Many of them suffer beatings, kidnapping, rape and even murder. In most of the cases the attacks are carried out by criminal gangs, but officials are known to have been complicit or acquiescent in many of the attacks. By and large, the authorities fail to investigate attacks against migrants and to bring those responsible to justice.

A network of shelters, usually located near the freight railway line which migrants often use, provide humanitarian assistance to migrants and encourage them to file criminal complaints when they suffer abuses. The migrants rights defender running or volunteering these shelters frequently face threats and intimidation from criminal gangs and sometimes public officials. Those behind the threats are rarely held to account.

Amnesty International

Feb. 01, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

Mexican Federal congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, President of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House)

Alistan en San Lázaro foro contra trata de personas

DF.- La Cámara de Diputados alista para este martes el foro "Por un México sin trata de personas", en donde se analizará la ley en la materia con el fin de erradicar este delito en el país.

La presidenta de la Comisión Especial contra la Trata de Personas, Rosi Orozco, detalló que el foro se llevará a cabo durante los días 18 y 19 de este mes, y se desarrollará con la finalidad de analizar las actividades que se han realizado para eliminar ese delito.

Precisó que en ese espacio habrán de analizar la Ley General para Prevenir, Combatir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas con el fin de conocer las opiniones sobre el dictamen en la ma'eria...

Mexico’s Lower House of Congress prepares to discuss human trafficking

Mexico City – Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the Congress of the Republic) is preparing to present a forum on human trafficking, “For a Mexico Without Trafficking in Persons.” The event will be used to discuss the current national anti-trafficking law.

Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco [National Action Party (PAN) – Mexico City], who is president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies explained that the gathering, which will take place on Feb. 18th and 19th, will also be used to analyze actions that have been taken to-date to eradicate trafficking in Mexico.

Deputy Orozco went on to say that the nation’s current federal trafficking law, the General Law to Prevent, Combat and Punish Trafficking in Persons, will be evaluated, and opinions will be sought in regard to its effectiveness.

The congresswoman added that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be provided with information, and mechanisms that will allow for their participation in government anti-trafficking efforts will be shared, to increase the effectiveness of efforts to eliminate the crime of trafficking.

The forum will bring together local, state and federal legislators, government officials, and representatives of both Mexican non governmental and international organizations.

Notimex

Jan. 17, 2011 


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

Sex trafficking victims are rescued by authorities from a hotel in Mexico City

Photo: El Universal

Debatirá pleno reformas antitrata

Los diputados federales pretenden aprobar hoy una reforma constitucional para que el delito de trata de personas sea equiparable al secuestro, y se garantice la presión preventiva al inculpado, el resguardo de la identidad, y dotar de facultades al Congreso para legislar en la materia.

Actualmente, desde que se implementaron normas de combate a la trata de personas (en 2007), se ha consignado penalmente a una sola persona.

Por lagunas legales, el delito se confunde con lenocinio y pornografía, ello facilita a los acusados a librar la justicia, a lo que se suman las denuncias de organizaciones civiles, en torno a que los jueces aminoran sentencias, por falta de conceptos.

Con la nueva ley, se castigará a las terceras personas que sometan y esclavicen a alguien a cambio de una remuneración...

Congress to discuss anti-trafficking reforms

Federal congressional deputies will attempt to approve a constitutional reform that will make the crime of human trafficking equivalent to kidnapping. The legislation would also assure that suspects are subjected to pre-trial detention, that victim identities are protected, and give Congress [greater] authority to legislate in this area.

Since [the current federal anti trafficking law,] the General Law to Prevent, Combat and Punish Trafficking in Persons was passed in 2007, only one person has been sentenced to prison for trafficking [at the federal level].

Because of loopholes in the 2007 law, human trafficking crimes are confused with crimes against pimping and pornography, which makes it easier for defendants to escape punishment. In addition, non governmental organizations say that judges lessen the sentences of traffickers because they don’t understand the legal concept [of human trafficking as a criminal offense].

Under the proposed new law, third person accomplices who are paid to provide victims to be enslaved will be punished.

Today, Article 19 of the Mexican Constitution only allows for the preventive detention of suspects to assure that they appear in court, to protect victims, witnesses and the community, such as in cases where the accused has been previously convicted of a violent crime.

Under the new law, the crime of human trafficking would be included in the list of violent crimes, a category that currently includes organized crime cases, homicide, rape, kidnapping and other crimes committed by violent means.

In Article 20 of the Constitution, a legal obligation will be added that requires to protection of the identity of victims of trafficking crimes.

The proposed changes add language to Article 73 of the Constitution, that empowers the Chamber of Deputies to legislate in the area of human trafficking.

The initiative integrates two proposals, one from congressional deputy Araceli Vázquez  of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and another from Deputy Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party (PAN) – who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

During an interview, Deputy Vázquez said that today, only exist in five federated entities of Mexico: Mexico City and the states of Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Tlaxcala y Veracruz, actively fight human trafficking crimes through the use of state laws. Chiapas and Puebla states also have laws on their books. The other states of Mexico do not have penalties against human trafficking.

Andrea Merlos and Juan Arvizu

El Universal

Feb. 03, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Guatemala

Prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra (center) and activists discuss human trafficking in Guatemala

Denuncian trata de personas

La procuradora adjunta, María Eugenia Morales de Sierra, expresó: “Se dice que Guatemala es un paraíso para la explotación de niños, y esto es horrible. Tenemos que formar una alianza para poner fin a esto”.

Agregó que las personas más susceptibles son aquellas que tienen algún atractivo y están sumidas en la pobreza. “Es ese tipo de casos cuando las engañan para utilizarlas”, comentó Morales.

Con el lema “La trata es un delito, ¡denúncialo!”, la organización Save the Children aprovechó la ocasión para unirse a ese llamado y advertir de que las condiciones geográficas favorecen ese delito en el país.

Asimismo, Lesly Martínez, representante de esa organización, aseguró que Guatemala podría ser sancionada por el Departamento de Estado de los EE. UU., si no mejora su atención a las víctimas de trata.

“Ese delito no está incluido en la agenda política del gobierno”, puntualizó.

Advocates denounce human trafficking

Adjunct prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra recently declared that, "It is said that Guatemala is a paradise for the exploitation of children, and that is horrible. We must form alliances to put an end to this."

Morales de Sierra added that the persons who are the most susceptible to being victimized are attractive [women and girls] who are living trapped in poverty. Morales de Sierra, "It is in these types of cases where victims are tricked and entrapped so that they can be utilized."

Using the slogan, "Trafficking is a Crime, Report it," the non governmental organization Save the Children used the occasion to join forces with Morales de Sierra's call for action, and warned that geographic factors [most Central and South American migrants traveling north through Mexico crosses Guatemala first] contribute to creating favorable conditions for human trafficking in Guatemala.

Save the Children representative Lesly Martínez stated that Guatemala could find itself sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State [via the annual Trafficking in Persons - TIP report process], if the nation does not improve its level of assistance for victims.

Martínez, "These crimes are not on the political agenda of the government."

Alberto G. Luna

Prensa Libre

Feb. 06, 2011

See also:

Save the Children Guatemala

See also:

Prior gender activism by prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra

María Eugenia Morales de Sierra and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) filed a report against the State of Guatemala before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights ( IACHR). They claimed that the provisions in the Civil Code of Guatemala in respect of the role of each partner within marriage involved gender discrimination, violating the right to protection of the family, the right to equal protection, and the right to respect for honor and dignity under the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). The IACHR found the State was responsible for violating the rights to equality before the law and to protection of the family interpreted on the basis of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Among other issues, the IACHR understood that the applicable legislation denied women the equal right to find employment and to benefit from the resulting enhanced self-determination, because it stated, among other things, that engaging in a profession or having a job, in the case of women, should be conditioned to situations in which their role as mothers and housewives is not impaired in any way...

Case decided: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, January 19, 2001

ESCR.net

2001


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

La violencia contra las mujeres en México

EE UU, contra la impunidad del maltratador en México

En torno al 60% de las mujeres mexicanas ha sufrido violencia doméstica alguna vez en su vida, miles han sido asesinadas, y la impunidad de los agresores, facilitada por las disputas entre competencias federales o estatales, malogra los esfuerzos del gobierno de Felipe Calderón contra la erradicación de la lacra. Las mujeres son tratadas con cierta frecuencia como "objetos de usar y tirar", y sufren discriminación en la política y en otros ámbitos, según un duro informe de la embajada de Estados Unidos sobre la desprotección de la mujer mexicana. El problema no solo es alarmante en Ciudad Juárez, sino en todo el país: "cada seis horas una mujer es asesinada en México". El despacho enviado al Departamento de Estado (250019) deja en mal lugar al país pues además denuncia los incumplimientos legales en la composición de las listas electorales. La ley establece que ningún género acapare más del 60% de candidatos de las listas de partidos y agrupaciones.

  • Un cable de EE UU sobre la poca eficacia de la oficina mexicana para proteger a la mujer

  • Un cable de EE UU señala que más del 80% de las mujeres asesinadas en Ciudad Juárez (México) fueron víctimas de la violencia doméstica

  • Un cable de EE UU señala que dos sentencias de la Corte Interamericana sobre la violencia machista mete presión a las autoridades federales de México

  • Un cable subraya que la impunidad con la violencia machista en México es generalizada con las parejas, grupos delictivos y policías...

Violence against women in Mexico

The United States versus the impunity of those who abuse women in Mexico

This article presents analysis of recently revealed U.S. State Department cable traffic in regard to the issue of the lack of protections against gender violence that are made available by the government of Mexico.

The analysis includes review of the following U.S. cables

  • Discussion of the ineffectiveness of the Mexican agency for the protection of women FEVIMTRA

  • Discussion of the fact that 80% of the women murder (femicide) victims in Ciudad Juarez were victims of domestic violence

  • Discussion of the fact that the sentences emitted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in cases of sexist (machista) violence is putting pressure on Mexico's government

  • Discussion of the fact that sexist (machista) violence in Mexico is widely practiced in domestic settings, and by both criminal organizations and police forces

[Full English translation to follow]

Juan Jesús Aznárez

Jan. 28, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

Puebla state Interior Secretary Valentín Meneses

Valentín Meneses rechaza trata de personas

Meneses acusó a la diputada Rosy Orozco de amarillista; Karam niega que policías estén coludidos.

En Puebla no existen redes de trata de personas ni se protege a policías que tengan que ver con este delito, coincidieron autoridades estatales de la Secretaría de Gobernación y Seguridad Pública.

La semana pasada en el “Foro por un México sin trata de personas”, la diputada federal Rosi Orozco denunció que en Puebla elementos de la Policía Estatal cerraron un hotel para sostener relaciones sexuales con menores de edad, víctimas de una red de trata de personas.

La también Presidenta de la Comisión contra la Trata de Personas en el Congreso de la Unión, aseguró que en Puebla se tienen detectadas redes que practican este delito y que incluso son protegidas por corporaciones policiacas...

Puebla state Interior Secretary Valentín Meneses denies the existence of human trafficking in his state

Meneses Orozco Rosi Orozco of using yellow [fear tactics]

Assistant Secretary of Public Security Karam denies that police are in collusion with traffickers

Officials of the state departments of Governance (Interior) and Public Security, in Puebla say that human trafficking do not exist in their state, and deny [accusations by congressional anti-trafficking leaders] that a scheme exists to protect police officers who collude with traffickers.

Last week, during th "Forum for a Mexico Without Human Trafficking", federal Congressional Deputy Rosi Orozco [National Action Party (PAN) – Mexico City], who is president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies – denounced reports that elements of the Puebla State Police had closed down a hotel for the purpose of using the location to engage in sexual relations with minors who were victims of a human trafficking network.

Deputy Orozco added that human trafficking networks have been detected in Puebla state, and declared that these criminal networks are protected by police forces.

State Secretary of the Interior Valentín Meneses Rojas, denied that human trafficking exists in Puebla, and accused Deputy Orozco of engaging in ‘yellow’ [fear] mongering and of making accusations that do not have a basis in fact.

"They [congressional anti-trafficking leaders] make allegations that are without substance and without proof. It is regrettable that such meetings [such as the recent anti-trafficking presentation in Tijuana to introduce a new, national ID card for minors, where Deputy Orozco spoke up about problems in Puebla state] are held where events that have not actually occurred are discussed," he said.

For his part, the Assistant Secretary of Public Security for Puebla state, Adolfo Karam Beltrán, said the information delivered in the Lower House is not accurate, since in Puebla has not reported any type pf [human trafficking] situation of [any] magnitude. He went on to say that [discussion of] this issue had been a national scandal.

"In our [state] attorney general’s office there have been no complaints, and no networks involved in trafficking have been detected by our authorities," he said.

Security Karam Beltrán stressed that the Public Security Ministry keeps track of all law enforcement entities, and that there exists no risk that such forces would collude with criminals who are engaged in these [human trafficking] practices.

Despite these declarations, in 2009 the federal National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) and the Center for Studies and Research in Development and Social Assistance (CEIDAS) produced a study that found that Puebla is part of a [human trafficking] corridor that begins in Guerrero passes through Tlaxcala and ends in Puebla.

Gerardo Orta

Periódico Digital

Jan. 23, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

The World, Mexico

Cada año, más de 4 millones de mujeres son reclutadas para ser explotadas sexualmente

Para engancharlas, las mafias utilizan cada vez con más frecuencia Internet

Calculan que uno de cada cinco niños que navega por la web ha sido acosado por pederastas

Alrededor de 4 millones de mujeres y niñas son reclutadas cada año en el mundo para ejercer el comercio sexual y este fenómeno delictivo ha crecido porque las redes de tratantes han hecho de Internet un medio para enganchar a sus víctimas, advierte la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe (CATWLAC, por sus siglas en inglés).

En México los delincuentes usan las redes sociales de Internet para escoger a sus víctimas, sin abandonar sus prácticas tradicionales de enamorarlas y presionarlas para que salgan de sus casas, detalla Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, directora regional para América Latina y el Caribe de CATWLAC.

Each year, four million women and girls are recruited into sexual exploitation.

An estimated 4 million women and girls are recruited each year across the world to be used in sexual exploitation. The Internet is used with increasing frequency to recruit victims.

[Full English translation to follow]

La Jornada

Jan. 07, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Chile

Estudian anular juicio por red de prostitución infantil

Ministerio Público y víctimas no quedaron conformes con las bajas condena a 4 ex detectives.

Insatisfecho quedó el Ministerio Público y la defensa de las víctimas en el caso de la red de prostitución infantil detectada en la Ciudad Puerto. Esto, luego que los cuatro ex funcionarios de la PDI procesados por este caso fueron condenados en su mayoría a penas remitidas.

Sólo el ex detective Jimmy Eduardo Gutiérrez Vivar fue condenado a tres años de presidio efectivo sin beneficios. En tanto, Alejandro Puga recibió dos condenas de 541 días con beneficio de pena remitida, mientras que Héctor Guzmán y Jorge Gallardo fueron condenados a 541 días de pena remitida.

Por este motivo, y debido a que para dos de los jueces los hechos fueron considerados como faltas, es que la Fiscalía anunció estudiará anular el juicio, que finalmente condenó a 4 de los 10 involucrados.

“El Ministerio Público está satisfecho con el trabajo realizado, pero no estamos conformes con el fallo. Tenemos que leer la sentencia, pero lo más probable es que vamos a recurrir (a la nulidad)”, sostuvo el fiscal Pablo Avendaño.

Por su parte, la abogada de las víctimas, Laura Soto, agregó que “las expectativas de justicia de las víctimas no se han cumplido. Estamos pensando si recurrir a la nulidad o no, pero vamos a ver con atención el fallo”, concluyó.

Authorities study options to annul partial acquittal of 10 police officers charged in child prostitution case

Prosecutors are exploring their options to reverse a three judge panel's decision that reduced charges against police officers accused of protecting a child sex trafficking ring and exploiting the victims themselves. Only four of the ten accused officers were convicted of the reduced charges. The remaining six officers were acquitted.

[Full English Translation to follow]

VmasV

Jan. 13, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

Se suman premios Nobel a exigencia de justicia

Exigen al Estado mexicano fin de simulación ante feminicidio

México, DF, 17 ene 11 (CIMAC).- A un mes del asesinato de la activista Marisela Escobedo y a 11 días del homicidio de la defensora de Derechos Humanos (DH) Susana Chávez, organizaciones internacionales y seis mujeres galardonadas con el Premio Nobel de la Paz exigieron al Estado mexicano que cese la “simulación” e imparta justicia ante la ola de violencia feminicida en el país.

En conferencia de prensa, Lydia Alpizar, integrante de la Coalición Internacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos, expresó que la indignación por la muerte violenta de las activistas rebasó las fronteras del país, por lo que hoy “hacemos un enérgico llamado a los tres órdenes de gobierno en México para que frene la violencia contra las mujeres”.

A la exigencia de la Coalición se sumaron seis mujeres laureadas del Premio Nobel de la Paz, Betty Williams (Irlanda, 1976); Máiread Maguire (Irlanda, 1976); Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala, 1992); Jody Williams (Estados Unidos, 1997); Shirin Ebadi (Irán, 2003) y Wangari Maathai (Kenya, 2004), informó Andrea Medina Rosas, de la organización Red Mesa de Mujeres de Ciudad Juárez...

Female Nobel Peace Prize laureates join to demand justice in the murder case of femicide activist Marisela Escobedo

Female Nobel Peace Prize laureates Betty Williams (Ireland, 1976); Máiread Maguire (Ireland, 1976); Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala, 1992); Jody Williams (United States, 1997); Shirin Ebadi (Iran, 2003) and Wangari Maathai (Kenya, 2004) have joined forces to demand justice in the murder case of femicide activist Marisela Escobedo.

[Full English Translation to follow]

Guadalupe Cruz Jaimes

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Jan. 11, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

The World

Peace Corps Gang Rape: Volunteer Says U.S. Agency Ignored Warnings

ABC News Investigation Finds More Than 1,000 Rapes, Sexual Assaults Since 2000

More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries, an ABC News 20/20 investigation has found.

In some cases, victims say, the Peace Corps has ignored safety concerns and later tried to blame the women who were raped for bringing on the attacks.

"I have two daughters now and I would never ever let them join the Peace Corps," said Adrianna Ault Nolan of New York, who was raped while serving in Haiti.

She is one of six rape and sexual assault victims who agreed to tell their stories, in hopes the Peace Corps will do a better job of volunteer training and victim counseling. The report will be broadcast Friday night on 20/20.

In the most brutal attack, Jess Smochek, 29, of Pennsylvania was gang raped in Bangladesh in 2004 by a group of young men after she says Peace Corps officials in the country ignored her pleas to re-locate her.

"They all took turns raping me," she told ABC News. "They raped me with their bodies,. They raped me with foreign objects."

Smochek says the group began to stalk her and tried to kiss her and touch her from the very first day she arrived at the city where she was assigned.

"Every day we felt unsafe. And we reported everything, we just kept reporting," she said in an interview with five other former volunteers who also were rape or sexual assault victims.

She says the gang rape took place just hours after a Peace Corps safety official filed a report with the local police but again ignored her pleas for re-assignment.

She says the young men knew she had complained to the police.

"They slammed me against the wall and just started threatening me, they're calling me a filthy American whore," she said. "'We told you to stop going to the police. And now we have to kill you,'" she said.

"I was in so much pain that I just told them, 'Just kill me. Please. Just do it.'" Smochek was left unconscious in a back alley.

Anna Schecter and Brian Ross

ABC News

Jan. 12, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico / Canada

Canadian tourist accuses Mexican police of raping her

Police deny reports woman beaten, repeatedly raped, robbed

A Canadian woman alleges that Mexican police gang-raped her in jail after she and her fiancé were arrested while on vacation in Mexico for New Year's Eve, CBC News has learned.

Rebecca Rutland, 41, says police in the Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen took the Ontario couple into custody in the late hours of Dec. 31 following a confrontation between officers and her fiancé.

Once in jail, Rutland, a social worker doing her thesis in Thunder Bay, Ontario, says two police officers took turns raping her. Rutland and her fiancé, Richard Coleman, 51, of Toronto, also allege officers robbed them of hundreds of dollars and other valuables.

Mexican authorities deny that Rutland was sexually assaulted and dispute the couple's version of events, saying the two were very intoxicated and quarreled with police in an exchange witnessed by several people.

After several rum-and-cola drinks, Rutland and Coleman say they stopped at a restaurant to use the washroom on their way back to their nearby resort when a man tried to pick up Rutland. Coleman and the man began to argue on the street packed with partygoers and four police officers intervened, the couple says.

Coleman says he had a heated exchange with the officers when the police wanted to search him for drugs. Coleman, a six-foot-tall man with long hair tied in a ponytail and gold hoop earrings, says he believes police targeted him due to his looks.

"I don't think anything I could've said or not said in that moment in time would have really changed it," said Coleman. "But I believe when dealing with a police officer that is overstepping his authority. I believe it is incumbent on me to point it out to them, even if it means I am going to have to deal with some charges afterwards."

Police threw Coleman to the ground, allegedly causing a gash on his forehead, and handcuffed him. They also arrested Rutland.

On the way to the police station, Rutland said a female officer stole one of her rings. Coleman claims an officer also stole more than $700 cash, his BlackBerry and jewelry. He says he later discovered the word "deceased" posted as his BlackBerry Messenger status, as well as Facebook updates via BlackBerry stating he beat his wife.

Allegations of repeated rape

Rebecca Rutland went to the Canadian consular agency in Playa del Carmen on Jan. 12 to report the sexual assault...

Rutland says she was taken to a room where an officer conducted a frontal body search, touching her breasts and undoing her jeans. She alleges the officer then made her kneel and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Two police officers, she alleges, then took turns raping her.

She says she didn't put up much resistance because she feared for her life.

"I did try sort of push him away but I had four officers standing there in Kevlar with machine-guns and my feeling was if I tried to resist it was going to make things a whole lot worse for me," said Rutland. "And I just wanted to get out as intact as possible, which is not really all that intact actually."

Rutland said the police officers beat her and also bit her during the ordeal, once below her lip and another time on her right arm leaving a gash and bruise.

At one point, Rutland said she saw the night supervisor at the door. "I remember looking up and thinking and seeing him and thinking, 'Thank God, somebody is going to stop this.' [Then] he turned around and walked away," said Rutland...

"We are very concerned about these allegations," said Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Alain Cacchione from Ottawa.

Mexican authorities say they are investigating the allegations and co-operating with Canadian officials based at the consulate.

"At the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary [Deepak] Obhrai has spoken with Mexico's ambassador to Canada to discuss the case," said Cacchione. "We welcome the Government of Mexico's investigation into these allegations, and we expect a thorough and transparent investigation and a timely resolution to this case." ...

Quintana Roo State Attorney General Francisco Alor Quezada said a rape kit test on Rutland came back negative.

A sexual assault expert from Toronto's Women's College Hospital, however, says a negative finding on the kit doesn't mean a sex assault didn't happen...

"I'm not going to let this go," said Rutland, who vowed to pursue every avenue possible.

Stephen Puddicombe

CBC News

Jan. 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Georgia, USA

Feds: Atlanta emerging as a human trafficking hub

Atlanta -- Federal authorities are highlighting Atlanta's emergence as a hub in human trafficking along the East Coast as they try to raise awareness about the problem and generate tips from the public.

Brock Nicholson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for Georgia and the Carolinas says human trafficking has been increasing in the Atlanta area and the crimes are often hard to uncover because many victims won't come forward.

Nicholson said victims often fear beatings from traffickers or arrest and deportation by authorities if they try to escape. He stressed that authorities will not punish or deport victims.

Nicholson said two troubling new trends are that victims are getting younger, some as young as 14, and traffickers are increasingly using violence to control victims.

Kate Brumback

The Associated Press

Jan. 20, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Texas, USA

Prostitución infantil, el lado oscuro del Super Bowl

Arlington, Tx.— Mientras miles de aficionados al futbol americano llegaban a Texas para el Super Bowl que tendrá lugar el domingo, las fuerzas del orden están manteniéndose atentas por un tipo distinto de visitante de fuera: proxenetas que venden a menores con fines sexuales.

Las ciudades sede del gran partido con frecuencia atraen un animado comercio sexual. Este año, las autoridades texanas y grupos de activistas están intensificando sus campañas contra la prostitución, especialmente en lo que respecta a jovencitas menores de edad.

“La mayoría de la gente no sabe que nuestros hijos están siendo brutalmente tratados de esta manera, y tenemos que ponerle un alto”, dijo Deena Graves, fundadora de Trafick911, la organización texana que lanzó la campaña “Yo no compro” para el Super Bowl XLV. “Necesitamos enojarnos. Necesitamos enojarnos por lo que les está pasando aquí mismo a nuestros niños”.

The Associated Press

Feb. 02, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Texas, USA

Texas Battles Underage Sex Trade at Super Bowl

Commentary

The Super Bowl is the largest sporting event occurring annually in the United States. According to Reuters, the 2011 match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is expected to bring around 150,000 out-of-state visitors to Dallas. The forecast economic impact of Super Bowl XLV is enormous. $612 million is expected to be brought into the local economy. Unfortunately, a small portion of the out-of-state visitors and economic impact will be due to underage sex rings.

Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, is bringing in additional help to deal with the influx of trafficking and prostitution. In USA Today, Abbot said, "The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly. It's commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States."

Of the girls rescued in the past two years at Super Bowl festivities, six had been on the list of Missing and Exploited Children. Around 50 total girls have been rescued at the events from sexual exploitation.

It's shocking to hear of child sex trafficking in the United States, but it is a thriving industry. A study detailing the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico estimates an extremely large [number] of children are involved in the United States alone. Many of the children at risk are runaways and "throwaway" children. "Throwaway" children are kids forced to leave their home or are abandoned by their caretakers.

Although laws exist to combat prostitution of underage children, they can be difficult to enforce and often require testimony from the exploited child. Unfortunately, the girls often refuse to testify. They may be terrorized or threatened by their "pimps," untrusting of law enforcement, or scared in general. The girls themselves may also be arrested for soliciting money for sex. Recent laws have made strides in protecting the victims and prosecuting offenders, but many cases still go unresolved...

The I'm Not Buying It campaign is making a presence at the Super Bowl. The goal of the program is to raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking. According to I'm Not Buying It, up to 300,000 children are forced into the sex trade each year. A PSA highlights the following facts: events like the Super Bowl can increase the demand for human sexual trafficking by up to 80%, and Texas, the location of this year's event, has the highest density of trafficking in the United States. Anyone can help by signing the online petition.

Yahoo News

Feb. 04, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Colorado, USA

Raped and extorted by a prison gang, Scott Howard was called a "drama queen" by corrections officials

The room was teeming with Department of Justice attorneys, law enforcement agents and corrections officials. Not exactly Howard's kind of crowd; he'd tried to tell his story to such people before, only to be labeled a liar and a whiner. But the participants also included members of Congress, medical professionals, prison activists, counselors and sexual-assault survivors.

They'd all come to take part in a "listening session" on the wishfully titled Prison Rape Elimination Act. Passed in 2003, PREA created a national commission to study the causes and costs of sexual assault behind bars and to come up with federal policies to attack the problem. Seven years and several blown deadlines later, backers are still waiting for United States Attorney General Eric Holder to adopt new standards incorporating the commission's findings.

Howard had been invited to join the discussion because of his experiences behind bars — in particular, the three nightmarish years he'd spent in Colorado state prisons, doing time for fraud. It would be the first time he'd ever discussed his ordeal publicly.

When his name was called, he went to the microphone, trying to keep his hands steady as he studied the pages in front of him. "Thank you for allowing me to participate," he began.

He explained that, although living in a halfway house, he was still in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons: "Before I was taken into BOP custody, however, I served time in the Colorado Department of Corrections, and it was there that I was repeatedly raped, assaulted and extorted by members of a large, notorious gang."

The gang was the 211 Crew, a white supremacist group found in many Colorado prisons. 211 leaders pressured him for money and demanded that he help them in an ambitious $300,000 fraud scheme; their threats soon turned into physical attacks, then sexual assaults. He was forced to perform oral sex on gang members and anally raped.

"I spent well over a year trying to get protection by writing to officials," he said. "My efforts to report were mostly fruitless — and often put me at greater risk. Because I am openly gay, officials blamed me for the attacks. They said as a homosexual I should expect to be targeted by one gang or another..."

...Winning his [civil suit against corrections officials] case was a major victory for Howard. Finding the proof that he wasn't lying was even greater vindication, though. Behind bars, all kinds of crimes are committed in secret, and prisoners soon learn to keep quiet about them. Exposing the most heinous violations can be almost impossible when staff attitudes about rape and homosexuality are as convoluted as those of the predators — and Howard says that's what made the Colorado prison system particularly dangerous for him.

WestWord

Feb. 2, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

A photo  of activity at Casa del Migrante - Migrant's House - now under threat from criminal elements.

Photo: El Universal

Amenazan casa de migrantes; AI pide protección al Estado

Amagan presuntos integrantes del crimen organizado con quemarla, dice

Amnistía Internacional pidió medidas de protección inmediatas para la Casa del Migrante San Juan Diego, ubicado en Lechería, en el Estado de México, ya que su personal recibió amenazas —al parecer del crimen organizado—, de que se atacarán las instalaciones y se incendiará el inmueble.

La organización —en su capítulo México— ha iniciado una campaña para recabar firmas, que se anexarán a la carta enviada al secretario de Gobernación, José Francisco Blake Mora, en la que se solicita que garanticen la seguridad de la gente del albergue y que la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) investigue las amenazas.

De acuerdo con AI, es evidente que la directora del refugio, Guadalupe Calzada, así como los voluntarios y migrantes que ahí se albergan “corren peligro, tras las amenazas recibidas de quemar el albergue y atacar a quienes se encuentren en él”.

Se detalló que el 30 de enero pasado, un guatemalteco informó a la directora del refugio que “un desconocido le había dicho que tuviera cuidado porque existen planes de en un plazo de tres días, quemar el albergue y matar a los migrantes guatemaltecos y a Guadalupe Calzada, como un perro”.

Silvia Otero

El Universal

Feb. 05, 2011

See also:

Amnesty International: Fears for staff and migrants at shelter

Urgent Action

Guadalupe Calzada, who runs the migrants shelter, San Juan Diego, in Lecheria, outside the capital Mexico City, and the volunteers and migrants at the shelter, are at risk of attack and arson after a threat was made against them.

On 30 January, a Guatemalan man informed Guadalupe Calzada, who runs the irregular migrants (those without official travel documents) shelter in Lecheria, that he had been told while at work to take care by an unknown man as there were plans to burn the shelter down, murder Guatemalan migrants and kill Guadaplupe Calazada “like a dog” (“como un perro”) within three days. The threat is believed to originate from people smuggler gangs operating in the area who consider the shelter a threat to their criminal activities.

Earlier the same day, Guadalupe Calzada had filed a report with police against a man who was loitering outside the shelter and who begun to shout insults at her. Police arrived and arrested the man. He was later released. Migrants rights defenders suspect the incident may be linked to the threat. As a result of the threat, the shelter has requested protection from the municipal authorities and has presented the incident to the National Human Rights Commission.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY (follow link) in Spanish or your own language:

•Expressing concern for the safety of Guadalupe Calzada, volunteers and migrants at the shelter in Lecheria after the threat;

•Calling for immediate protection measures to be implemented in accordance with the wishes of Guadalupe Calzada and others at risk;

•Calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the threat again the shelter and for those response to be held to account;

•Reminding the authorities of their duties to guarantee that human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Additional Information

Every year, thousands of undocumented migrants from Central America travel across Mexico in order to reach the US border. Many of them suffer beatings, kidnapping, rape and even murder. In most of the cases the attacks are carried out by criminal gangs, but officials are known to have been complicit or acquiescent in many of the attacks. By and large, the authorities fail to investigate attacks against migrants and to bring those responsible to justice.

A network of shelters, usually located near the freight railway line which migrants often use, provide humanitarian assistance to migrants and encourage them to file criminal complaints when they suffer abuses. The migrants rights defender running or volunteering these shelters frequently face threats and intimidation from criminal gangs and sometimes public officials. Those behind the threats are rarely held to account.

Amnesty International

Feb. 01, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Mexico

Sex trafficking victims are rescued by authorities from a hotel in Mexico City

Photo: El Universal

Debatirá pleno reformas antitrata

Los diputados federales pretenden aprobar hoy una reforma constitucional para que el delito de trata de personas sea equiparable al secuestro, y se garantice la presión preventiva al inculpado, el resguardo de la identidad, y dotar de facultades al Congreso para legislar en la materia.

Actualmente, desde que se implementaron normas de combate a la trata de personas (en 2007), se ha consignado penalmente a una sola persona.

Por lagunas legales, el delito se confunde con lenocinio y pornografía, ello facilita a los acusados a librar la justicia, a lo que se suman las denuncias de organizaciones civiles, en torno a que los jueces aminoran sentencias, por falta de conceptos.

Con la nueva ley, se castigará a las terceras personas que sometan y esclavicen a alguien a cambio de una remuneración...

Congress to discuss anti-trafficking reforms

Federal congressional deputies will attempt to approve a constitutional reform that will make the crime of human trafficking equivalent to kidnapping. The legislation would also assure that suspects are subjected to pre-trial detention, that victim identities are protected, and give Congress [greater] authority to legislate in this area.

Since [the current federal anti trafficking law,] the General Law to Prevent, Combat and Punish Trafficking in Persons was passed in 2007, only one person has been sentenced to prison for trafficking [at the federal level].

Because of loopholes in the 2007 law, human trafficking crimes are confused with crimes against pimping and pornography, which makes it easier for defendants to escape punishment. In addition, non governmental organizations say that judges lessen the sentences of traffickers because they don’t understand the legal concept [of human trafficking as a criminal offense].

Under the proposed new law, third person accomplices who are paid to provide victims to be enslaved will be punished.

Today, Article 19 of the Mexican Constitution only allows for the preventive detention of suspects to assure that they appear in court, to protect victims, witnesses and the community, such as in cases where the accused has been previously convicted of a violent crime.

Under the new law, the crime of human trafficking would be included in the list of violent crimes, a category that currently includes organized crime cases, homicide, rape, kidnapping and other crimes committed by violent means.

In Article 20 of the Constitution, a legal obligation will be added that requires to protection of the identity of victims of trafficking crimes.

The proposed changes add language to Article 73 of the Constitution, that empowers the Chamber of Deputies to legislate in the area of human trafficking.

The initiative integrates two proposals, one from congressional deputy Araceli Vázquez  of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and another from Deputy Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party (PAN) – who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

During an interview, Deputy Vázquez said that today, only exist in five federated entities of Mexico: Mexico City and the states of Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Tlaxcala y Veracruz, actively fight human trafficking crimes through the use of state laws. Chiapas and Puebla states also have laws on their books. The other states of Mexico do not have penalties against human trafficking.

Andrea Merlos and Juan Arvizu

El Universal

Feb. 03, 2011


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Guatemala

Prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra (center) and activists discuss human trafficking in Guatemala

Denuncian trata de personas

La procuradora adjunta, María Eugenia Morales de Sierra, expresó: “Se dice que Guatemala es un paraíso para la explotación de niños, y esto es horrible. Tenemos que formar una alianza para poner fin a esto”.

Agregó que las personas más susceptibles son aquellas que tienen algún atractivo y están sumidas en la pobreza. “Es ese tipo de casos cuando las engañan para utilizarlas”, comentó Morales.

Con el lema “La trata es un delito, ¡denúncialo!”, la organización Save the Children aprovechó la ocasión para unirse a ese llamado y advertir de que las condiciones geográficas favorecen ese delito en el país.

Asimismo, Lesly Martínez, representante de esa organización, aseguró que Guatemala podría ser sancionada por el Departamento de Estado de los EE. UU., si no mejora su atención a las víctimas de trata.

“Ese delito no está incluido en la agenda política del gobierno”, puntualizó.

Advocates denounce human trafficking

Adjunct prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra recently declared that, "It is said that Guatemala is a paradise for the exploitation of children, and that is horrible. We must form alliances to put an end to this."

Morales de Sierra added that the persons who are the most susceptible to being victimized are attractive [women and girls] who are living trapped in poverty. Morales de Sierra, "It is in these types of cases where victims are tricked and entrapped so that they can be utilized."

Using the slogan, "Trafficking is a Crime, Report it," the non governmental organization Save the Children used the occasion to join forces with Morales de Sierra's call for action, and warned that geographic factors [most Central and South American migrants traveling north through Mexico crosses Guatemala first] contribute to creating favorable conditions for human trafficking in Guatemala.

Save the Children representative Lesly Martínez stated that Guatemala could find itself sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State [via the annual Trafficking in Persons - TIP report process], if the nation does not improve its level of assistance for victims.

Martínez, "These crimes are not on the political agenda of the government."

Alberto G. Luna

Prensa Libre

Feb. 06, 2011

See also:

Save the Children Guatemala

See also:

Prior gender activism by prosecutor María Eugenia Morales de Sierra

María Eugenia Morales de Sierra and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) filed a report against the State of Guatemala before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights ( IACHR). They claimed that the provisions in the Civil Code of Guatemala in respect of the role of each partner within marriage involved gender discrimination, violating the right to protection of the family, the right to equal protection, and the right to respect for honor and dignity under the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). The IACHR found the State was responsible for violating the rights to equality before the law and to protection of the family interpreted on the basis of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Among other issues, the IACHR understood that the applicable legislation denied women the equal right to find employment and to benefit from the resulting enhanced self-determination, because it stated, among other things, that engaging in a profession or having a job, in the case of women, should be conditioned to situations in which their role as mothers and housewives is not impaired in any way...

Case decided: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, January 19, 2001

ESCR.net

2001


Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Texas, USA

Prostitución infantil, el lado oscuro del Super Bowl

Arlington, Tx.— Mientras miles de aficionados al futbol americano llegaban a Texas para el Super Bowl que tendrá lugar el domingo, las fuerzas del orden están manteniéndose atentas por un tipo distinto de visitante de fuera: proxenetas que venden a menores con fines sexuales.

Las ciudades sede del gran partido con frecuencia atraen un animado comercio sexual. Este año, las autoridades texanas y grupos de activistas están intensificando sus campañas contra la prostitución, especialmente en lo que respecta a jovencitas menores de edad.

“La mayoría de la gente no sabe que nuestros hijos están siendo brutalmente tratados de esta manera, y tenemos que ponerle un alto”, dijo Deena Graves, fundadora de Trafick911, la organización texana que lanzó la campaña “Yo no compro” para el Super Bowl XLV. “Necesitamos enojarnos. Necesitamos enojarnos por lo que les está pasando aquí mismo a nuestros niños”.

The Associated Press

Feb. 02, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 08, 2011

Texas, USA

Texas Battles Underage Sex Trade at Super Bowl

Commentary

The Super Bowl is the largest sporting event occurring annually in the United States. According to Reuters, the 2011 match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is expected to bring around 150,000 out-of-state visitors to Dallas. The forecast economic impact of Super Bowl XLV is enormous. $612 million is expected to be brought into the local economy. Unfortunately, a small portion of the out-of-state visitors and economic impact will be due to underage sex rings.

Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, is bringing in additional help to deal with the influx of trafficking and prostitution. In USA Today, Abbot said, "The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly. It's commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States."

Of the girls rescued in the past two years at Super Bowl festivities, six had been on the list of Missing and Exploited Children. Around 50 total girls have been rescued at the events from sexual exploitation.

It's shocking to hear of child sex trafficking in the United States, but it is a thriving industry. A study detailing the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico estimates an extremely large [number] of children are involved in the United States alone. Many of the children at risk are runaways and "throwaway" children. "Throwaway" children are kids forced to leave their home or are abandoned by their caretakers.

Although laws exist to combat prostitution of underage children, they can be difficult to enforce and often require testimony from the exploited child. Unfortunately, the girls often refuse to testify. They may be terrorized or threatened by their "pimps," untrusting of law enforcement, or scared in general. The girls themselves may also be arrested for soliciting money for sex. Recent laws have made strides in protecting the victims and prosecuting offenders, but many cases still go unresolved...

The I'm Not Buying It campaign is making a presence at the Super Bowl. The goal of the program is to raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking. According to I'm Not Buying It, up to 300,000 children are forced into the sex trade each year. A PSA highlights the following facts: events like the Super Bowl can increase the demand for human sexual trafficking by up to 80%, and Texas, the location of this year's event, has the highest density of trafficking in the United States. Anyone can help by signing the online petition.

Yahoo News

Feb. 04, 2011

 
   

LibertadLatina

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Updated: March 14, 2011


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

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Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Former Argentine spy Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola has been accused by his adult daughter, Lorena Martins, of running a sex trafficking ring based in Cancun, Mexico.

El “caso Martins”, al Congreso de la Unión

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unión, solicitó la expulsión de Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola del país, debido a que significa un riesgo para la sociedad mexicana su presencia por lucrar con seres humanos.

La titular de la comisión, Rosi Orozco, afirmó que es urgente concretar la expulsión del país del ciudadano argentino Raúl Luis Martins al señalar que esta persona junto con un socio "está lucrando con seres humanos", por lo que es necesario que las autoridades mexicanas investiguen a fondo su presunta participación como líder de una red de trata de personas en Cancún y la Riviera Maya...

La legisladora federal explicó que "es urgente que las autoridades tomen cartas en el asunto, pues no entiendo cómo pueden no darse cuenta que el mismo abogado que defendió a Succar Kuri es quien ha estado defendiendo a este señor", puntualizó. Indicó que el asunto debe ser investigado de manera exhaustiva ya que se tiene una procuradora comprometida contra la trata de personas, a quien no le tiembla la mano para castigar a personas que explotan a niñas, niños y jóvenes. De acuerdo con medios de comunicación argentinos Martins Coggiola es líder de una red de trata de personas en centros nocturnos en su país y en Cancún, donde jóvenes sudamericanas son enganchadas con promesas de trabajo y posteriormente las obligan a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Congress considers the case of Raúl Martins

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the lower house of Congress has called for the expulsion of Argentine citizen Raul Luis Martins Coggiola, because his presence represents a risk to Mexican society due to his [ilicit] efforts to profit from human exploitation.

The head of the commission, Deputy Rosi Orozco, said it is urgent to realize the deportation of an Argentine Raul Luis Martins, stating that both he and a partner "are profiting from human beings," so it is necessary that the Mexican authorities thoroughly investigate his alleged role as the leader of a trafficking network based in [the beach resort cities of] Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Deputy Orozco explained that "it is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter...I do not understand how they have failed to realize that the lawyer who defended [infamous convicted millionaire child pornographer Jean] Succar Kuri is the same one who has been defending this man." She added that the matter should be investigated comprehensively, given that we now have a prosecutor who is dedicated to human trafficking cases and whose hand does not tremble when it comes to the task of punishing those who exploit children and youth. According to Argentine media reports, Martins Coggiola leads a human trafficking network based in nightclubs both in Argentina and in Cancun, Mexico, where young South American women are entrapped with false promises of jemployment, and are then forced into prostitution.

Read the full article

Por Esto

Feb. 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Lorena Martins, daughter of Raul Martins

Argentine ex-spy accused of sex trafficking

The daughter of former Argentine intelligence officer Raul Martins will arrive in Mexico this week with evidence that her father is running a sex trafficking ring in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, an activist told EFE Monday.

Lorena Martins will deliver the evidence to Mexican lawmaker Rosi Orozco, who chairs a special committee investigating human trafficking, Gustavo Vera, head of the NGO La Alameda, said.

Lorena has already filed a criminal complaint in Argentina accusing her father of luring Argentine women and girls to Cancun and then forcing them into prostitution.

Read the full article

IANS/EFE

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Prostitution Network Buenos Aries – Cancun case will go to the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City

Lorena Martins daughter of Raul Martins, an Argentine former spy accused of managing a prostitution network in Cancun that has reached even the mayor of Buenos Aires of receiving money for his campaign from this illegal activity in Mexico, will flight to Mexico City to denounce her father before the Chamber of Deputies, reported the Excelsior.

Lorena Martins will present emails, cell phones and other materials as proofs of a prostitution network between Buenos Aires and Cancun that ties her father Raul Martins with several businessmen, politicians and high ranking official in Mexico.

Read the full article

The Yucatan Times

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Tratan de expulsarlo por la trata

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Diputados de México pidió que Raúl Martins fuera deportado. Sus abogados apelaron. Lorena, su hija, entregó a la jueza Servini de Cubría el diario de una ex de su padre en el que relata la trata de dos niñas.

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados de México pidió ayer la expulsión de Raúl Martins. El pedido es un reflejo de la denuncia de su hija, Lorena, quien relató la forma en que la organización de su padre llevó chicas argentinas, brasileñas y de otras nacionalidades a ejercer la prostitución en Cancún. Ya en 2010, la multipremiada periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho, en su libro Esclavas del Poder, tituló el capítulo sobre Martins con el nombre de “El Intocable”. En Buenos Aires, Lorena se presentó ante la jueza María Romilda Servini de Cubría, que finalmente es quien investigará el caso, y le entregó pruebas manuscritas de un diario de una ex pareja de su padre en la que se relata cómo le trajeron dos chicas de 15 años. Otras evidencias fueron remitidas a la jueza por el procurador Esteban Righi.

Lorena Martins estuvo cinco días en México. Presentó las denuncias ante la Comisión de Lucha contra la Trata y también ante la Procuración General de la República. La joven fue recibida por la primera dama de México, Margarita Zavala, en la sede del gobierno azteca, de manera que el interés por el caso –adelantado en exclusiva por Página/12 en diciembre– llegó hasta el más alto nivel del país del Norte.

Ayer, la diputada Rosy Orozco, titular de la Comisión de Trata, pidió la expulsión de Martins de México, porque “está lucrando con seres humanos. Es urgente que las autoridades se den cuenta de que quien defiende a este señor es el mismo que defendió a Succar Kury”, un famoso pederasta, poderoso dueño de una cadena hotelera, que hasta decía en un video que mantenía relaciones sexuales con niñas, incluso de cinco años. El caso también fue investigado por Lydia Cacho en el libro Los demonios del Edén.

Lea el artículo completo

Congressional members call for the expulsion of Raúl Martins from Mexico

The Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Lower House of Congress has requested that Raúl Martins be deported. Martins' lawyers have appealed. Martins' daughter Lorena has turned over evidence to a Judge Servini de Cubría

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the of the lower house of Congresss yesterday asked the expulsion of Raul Martins. The demand is a reaction to a complaint made by Martins' daughter Lorena, who recounted how her father's [ilicit human trafficking] organization has brought women from Argentina, Brazil and other nations to engage in prostitution in the city of Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, the award-winning Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, in her book Servants of Power, mentions Martins in a chapter called "The Untouchable." In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorena appeared before Judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who investigated the case, and provided evidence in the form of a handwritten diary written by a former girlfriend of her father, in which she relates how Raul Martins had [sex] trafficked two 15-year-old girls. Other evidence was submitted to the judge by the prosecutor Esteban Righi.

Lorraine Martins [recently] spent five days in Mexico. She presented her complaints before the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking [of the lower house of Congress], as well as before the federal Attorney General's Office. She was also received by the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala in the seat of the Aztec [Mexican] government, showing that the case, which was releaved by Page12 reporters in December of 2011, had reached the highest level of attention. .

Yesterday, Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the congressional anti-trafficking commission, called for the expulsion of Martins from Mexico, because, she said, "he is profiting from human exploitation. It is urgent that the authorities realize that the lawyer who is defending Martins also represented [convicted child sex trafficker] Jean Succar Kuri," an infamous pedophile and powerful hotel chain owner, who had once been recorded with hidden video admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with girls as young as age five. The case was [first exposed by anti-trafficking activist and journalist] Lydia Cacho in her book The Demons of Eden.

Read the full article

Raúl Kollmann

Page 12

Feb. 09, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina / Paraguay / Dominican Republic

Prostitution ring brought people from Argentina to Mexico

Buenos Aires.- A prostitution ring operated by former Argentine spy Raul Martins, reported yesterday in Mexico by his own daughter, started by advertising vacancies in local newspapers and culminated in the sexual exploitation of women in Cancun, Mexico.

Gustavo Vera, representative of La Alameda, a prestigious organization dedicated to denouncing people trafficking for labor and sexual slavery in the South American country, told Notimex details of the operation.

In fact, La Alameda published the photo of Martins with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, who is alleged to have received funding of the alleged pimp in his election campaign.

Read the full article

Cecilia Gonzalez

Notimex

Feb. 02, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mayoría de víctimas de trata de personas en NY son hispanos

Nueva York - Más de la mitad de los afectados por la trata de personas y que viven en el estado de Nueva York son inmigrantes latinoamericanos obligados a realizar trabajos forzados o a prostituirse, según datos de la mayor agencia de servicios a víctimas de Estados Unidos.

Un 58% de los clientes de Safe Horizon, la agencia más importante de servicios de víctimas en el país, proviene de Latinoamérica, dijo la organización a The Associated Press. Aproximadamente un 24% de esas víctimas son mexicanos.

Las victimas de trata no tienen oportunidad de denunciar su situación por temor a ser deportados.

Lea el artículo completo

The majority of human trafficking victims in New York are Hispanic

New York - According to data gathered by the largest [non profit] victim service agency in the United States, more than half of New York ressidents who are victimized by human trafficking are Latino immigrants who are forced into prostitution or labor exploitation.

Some 58% of the clients of Safe Horizon were Latin Americans, the organization told The Associated Press. Approximately 24% of those victims were Mexican.

[Many immigrant] victims of trafficking have have not had an opportunity to speak out de to their fear of being deported.

Read the full article

The Associated Press

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

Sex slave's story: Woman duped into leaving Mexico, forced to New York City's trafficking underworld

Sofia tells the Daily News how a "boyfriend" tricked her into leaving Mexico illegally -- and forced her into the life of a sex slave.

Her boyfriend told her they were leaving Mexico to live with his relatives in Queens, get restaurant jobs and build a happy life in America.

Instead, she was forced into a life of sex slavery — made to work as a “delivery girl” prostitute riding from john to john in a livery cab.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexican Member of Congress and leading anti-trafficking advocate Deputy Rosi Orozco

Cada semana llegan a Tijuana decenas de niñas y mujeres de para ser forzadas a prostituirse: Rosi Orozco

Diputada Rosi Orozco: "cada semana llegan a Tijuana, Baja California, autobuses y aviones con decenas de niñas y mujeres de entre 3 a 65 años de edad para ser forzadas a prostituirse, refirió."

Distrito Federal.-La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN), impulsa un punto de acuerdo para la colocación de un muro en las instalaciones del Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, en el que se exhiban fotografías de niñas, niños y mujeres desaparecidos por posible trata de personas. Además, que el Canal del Congreso difunda, de manera permanente, cápsulas con las imágenes de las posibles víctimas, así como los datos de las instancias competentes para formular denuncias, como señal de solidaridad y efectivo auxilio, precisó la legisladora.

Señaló que la trata de personas con fines sexuales es el tercer negocio ilícito más lucrativo a nivel mundial, después del tráfico de drogas y armas; genera al año diez mil millones de dólares.

La gran mayoría de las víctimas provienen de contextos en los que difícilmente pueden conocer plenamente sus derechos, subrayó.

Lea el artículo completo

Each week, dozens of girl children and women are trafficked into sexual slavery in [the Mexico/U.S.] border city of Tijuana

Deputy Rosi Orozco: "According to a study conducted by the College of the Northern Frontier (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each week dozens of girls and women between the ages of 3 and 65 are brought by bus and by air to the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California so that they can be exploited sexually."

Mexico Ciy - National Actional Party deputy Rosi Orozco, who is President of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons in the lower house of Congress, has introduced a resolution for the placement of a mural on the premises of the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro, where the photographs of children and women who have disappeared and may be vicims of human trafficking will be displayed. In addition, Deputy Orozco proposes that the Congress Channel permanently broadcast segments that show the images of possible victims, as well as instuctions for filing human trafficking complaints, as a practical act of solidarity and assistance.

Orozco noted that human trafficking for sexual purposes is the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking, generating a year ten billion dollars.

The vast majority of victims come from contexts [situations] where it is difficult for them to fully know their rights, she said.

Read the full article

El Observador Diario

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Human Trafficking Continues To Rise Along San Diego-Tijuana Border

San Diego - Nearly every official who attended the second annual bi-national forum to address human trafficking in Chula Vista agreed: Human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise.

Government figures show about 18,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. But officials also acknowledge there are many more victims hidden in communities who are sold for prostitution, labor or other services. Often times the illegal practice goes unreported.

The goal of Thursday's forum was to improve collaboration between agencies on both sides of the border to help crackdown on human trafficking and child prostitution.

Read the full article

Marissa Cabrera

Fronteras Desk

Jan. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

ICE agent cites 'disturbing and subhuman' methods used to trick young women into sex slavery

"It’s very difficult for us to break through to the average American, the average New Yorker and let them know that people in 2011 and 2012 are actually held against their will," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, Jr., of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

G-men and cops are busting twice as many human traffickers, but advocates say a sickening number of immigrants are being forced into prostitution in the city.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement racked up 172 arrests for trafficking in the metropolitan area, up from 75 the previous year.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Presentan marcas de abuso sexual, bebes recuperados en Jalisco

En entrevista con Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Tomás Coronado Olmos, procurador de Justicia de Jalisco, ratificó que bebés adoptados ilegalmente en dicha entidad presentan huellas de abuso sexual. “De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

“De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

Derivado de las investigaciones que realiza la PGR, dijo, hay nueve detenidos pero aun no se precisa si extranjeros de origen irlandés están relacionados con las agresiones sufridas por los menores.

“Los tenemos plenamente identificados y el embajador de Irlanda en México ha estado muy al pendiente. Una vez que concluya el proceso se determinará su situación jurídica”.

Lea el artículo completo

Children put up for adoption in the cityof Jalisco show signs of sexual abuse

Jalisco state Attorney General Tomás Coronado Olmos has confirmed that the babies show signs of abuse.

"Six of 11 recovered todlers show signs of sexual abuse"

According to the federal Attorney General's Office, their investigations into this case have resulted in nine arrests. The authorities have not yet determined whether prospective adoptive parents from Ireland have any connection to the abuses.

"The [couples seeking adoption] have been identified. Ireland's ambassador in Mexico has been very attentive. After completion of the process the legal status of the prospective parents will be determined."

Read the full article

wradio.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco at recent anti-trafficking forum

México, segundo lugar en pornografía infantil a nivel mundial

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

México está ubicado en el segundo lugar en producción de pornografía infantil a nivel mundial, afirmó la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada panista Rosi Orozco al inaugurar el Foro Líderes de Opinión Contra la Trata de Personas.

En presencia de la presidenta del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, la legisladora subrayó que el delito de trata de personas ocupa el segundo lugar a nivel mundial, como el negocio ilícito más redituable para el crimen organizado, con 42 mil millones de dólares, y después está el de la venta de armas.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico holds second place globally in [the production of] child pornography

Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco. First Lady Margarita Zavala declares that confronting trafficking head-on is fundamental.

Some 45% of trafficking victims are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco.

According to National Action Party Depurty Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Lower House of Congress, Mexico holds a second-place position in the global production of child pornography. Deputy Orozco made these remarks as she opened the forum Opinion Leaders Against Human Trafficking. The event was attended by Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, who is also the president of the National System for Integral Family Development (the nation's social services agency).

Depurty Orozco explained that the global human trafficking business brings in ilicit earning of $42 billion per year, making it the most profitable criminal enterprise after illegal arms trafficking.

Read the full article

Grupo Fórmula

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

México, Segundo en Pornografia Infantil en el Mundo

Trata de personas y pornografía infantil, delitos graves… Al señalar que México es de los cinco países del orbe con el mayor problema en materia de trata de personas y segundo en pornografía infantil, la diputada panista Rosi Orozco previno que el delito de la trata, ya superó las ganancias que obtiene la delincuencia organizada por el tráfico de armas a nivel mundial, con más de 42 mil millones de dólares.

Al inaugurar el foro “Líderes de Opinión contra la Trata de Personas”, sostuvo que por todo ello, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas escogió a nuestro país para iniciar la campaña del Corazón Azul, donde se pretende sensibilizar a la población y a las autoridades para erradicar el delito.

En nuestro país, el negocio de la trata de personas sigue en ascenso; mientras que a la fecha, sólo 19 entidades del país tienen una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, y únicamente el Distrito Federal, Puebla y Chiapas han aplicado sentencias condenatorias.

Lea el artículo completo

Mexico: The second largest producer of child pornography globally

Human trafficking and child pornography, felonies ... Noting that Mexico is among the five countries in the world with the biggest problem in terms of trafficking in child pornography and second, the National Action Party's Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is a member of the Lower House of Congress, has warned that the crime of trafficking has surpassed the profits earned through ilicit arms trafficking, and now amount to $42 billion dollars per year [in criminal profits].

During her presentation opening the forum Opinion Leaders Against Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Orozco added that the Organization of the United Nations chose Mexico to start its [global] Blue Heart campaign, which aims to sensitize the population and authorities with the goal of eradicating modern human slavery.

In our country, the business of trafficking in persons continues to rise, while to date only 19 states [out of 32 federated entities] in the country have a law against trafficking in persons, and only the Federal District [Mexico City], and the states of Puebla and Chiapas have have handed down sentences in criminal cases associated with these crimes.

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Jaime Arizmendi

Quadratín

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico No. 2 Producer Of Child Porn, Lawmakers Say

Mexico is the world's No. 2 producer of child pornography and is classified as a source, transit and destination country for people traffickers involved in sexual exploitation, lawmakers said.

Child pornography is the No. 2 illegal business, trailing only drug trafficking, and generates $42 billion annually, Special Committee to Fight People Trafficking chairwoman Rosi Orozco said.

Indians account for about 45 percent of the victims, Orozco, a member of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said at the start of a forum in Mexico City on people trafficking.

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EFE

Jan. 26, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Estados más pobres, vulnerables a trata de personas: PAN

La diputada Rosi Orozco, apuntó que en el tema de la trata de personas, ahora se ha hecho mucha conciencia, luego que tiempo atrás se veía una marcada ignorancia de lo que sucedía. Asimismo, dijo ya hay acciones encaminadas a terminar con la pornografía infantil, "con los ciberdelitos que agreden tan fuertemente a los niños, niñas y jóvenes".

Rosi Orozco, diputada del PAN quien ha buscado combatir desde tiempo atrás la trata de personas, destacó el encuentro que se llevó a cabo el día de ayer en donde una chica por primera vez dio su testimonio sin cubrirse el rostro.

Explicó que la joven, quien en el libro "Del cielo al infierno", narró su historia de cómo la habían enganchado a través de enamoramiento, con el que se sentía en el cielo al estar con un príncipe, para después bajar a lo peor de un infierno de vida, de golpes para obligarla a prostituirse.

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Mexico's poorest states are vulnerable to human trafficking: National Action Party

During a recent event focused on the topic of human trafficking in Mexico, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party stated that significant public awareness of the issue has now been acheived, after a period in which ignorance about the facts had prevailed. She added legislation is being considered by Congress that will put an end to child pornography and "cybercrimes that seriously assault children and youth." First Lady Margarita Zavala and the media also attended.

Deputy Orozco, who has had long sought to combat human trafficking, said the meeting that was held yesterday included for the first time testimony by a victim who appeared without hiding her face.

Deputy Orozco explained that the youth, who's story is told in Orozco's book "From Heaven to Hell", related the story of how she was entrapped by a trafficker who pretended to fall in love with her. She felt that she was in heaven with her prince. Later, she fell into the worst depths of hell-on-earth when the same man beat her to force her into prostitution.

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Paola Rojas

Grupo Fòrmula

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Avances, no descartan riesgos de frenar ley

No se descartan riesgos en San Lázaro que frenen la aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas y los Delitos Relacionados, toda vez que al momento sólo 104 legisladores de todos los partidos la han avalado, todavía falta trecho por andar, y aunque “está bastante acordada”, todos los esfuerzos se hacen para que avance, a fin de combatir el lacerante comercio y explotación sexual de seres humanos: niñas, niños y mujeres.

La diputada del PAN Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas aclaró: “no he politizado ninguna situación, realmente va más allá de los partidos, estamos hablando de nuestros mexicanos, de nuestros niñas y niños y protegerlos a ellos no tiene colores”, ya que es una esclavitud en pleno siglo XXI, advirtió en entrevista durante la sesión en San Lázaro.

Confió que en este último periodo ordinario de la LXI Legislatura salga la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas, “es una ley que no tiene por qué no salir, la gente que está en las comisiones está de acuerdo en que tengamos una Ley General, lo difícil fue sacar la reforma al artículo 73 y eso, pues ya se logró” apunta la legisladora albiceleste.

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Human trafficking legislation advances in Congress, members decline to reveal hidden threats to passage

Congressional lawmakers have declined to reveal the sources of hidden influences that are putting efforts to pass the proposed Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes at risk. Currently, only 104 federal lawmakers from across Mexico's political parties have endorsed the proposal. Although significant work needs to be accomplished to achieve passage of the bill, basic agreement has been reached [on the need for an enforceable federal anti-trafficking law]. All possible efforts are being made to advance the bill, which will allow [a more effective federal effort to fight the damaging effects of the labor and sexual exploitation of girls, boys and women].

During an interview held in San Lazaro (the seat of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the lower house of Congress said: "I have not politicized this effort. It [is a campaign that] really goes beyond the [interests of individual political] parties. What we are talking about here are our Mexican people, our children. They don't have colors [political affiliations]." She added that this [crisis] is a 21st Century form of slavery.

Deputy Orozco added that she hopes that, during the latter period of the 61st [LXI] Legislature's regular session, the Law to Prevent, Punish and Erradicate Human Trafficking will be passed." She noted that there is no reason why the bill should not pass, given that the members of the relevant congressional commissions [committees] are in agreement that we should have a general law against trafficking [a general law is the only form of federal law that may actually be enforced by federal authorities in the states]. The hardest part was achieving the reform of Article 73, said Orozco [During 2011, President Felipe Calderón achieved the passage of amendments to Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution to remove certain obstacles to the prosecution of human trafficking cases].

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Luz María Alonso Sánchez

El Punto Critico

Feb. 03, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Ritmoson combate con música trata de personas

Crean campaña para generar conciencia del delito y cerrarán con un concierto

El tercer delito más lucrativo en México y otros países es la trata de personas, por ello, crear conciencia entre los jóvenes y niños para no ser víctimas de él es la pretensión del canal Ritmoson Latino.

Con la campaña Música libre, la señal internacional puso a andar su tercera iniciativa social, esta vez para combatir un “grave problema”.

Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez y Kinky, entre otros artistas, hacen el llamado que a partir de este mes y hasta julio próximo se transmitirá por televisión restringida y redes sociales oficiales.

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Ritmoson TV channel to run anti-trafficking campaign

The third most lucrative crime in Mexico and other countries is human trafficking. Therefore, the Latino Ritmoson channel, which is a part of the Televisa network, has created a trafficking prevention campaign to raise awareness among children and youth.

The international channel's Free Music campaign is its third social initiative, directed, this time, at addressing a "grave problem."

Performing artists] Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez. Kinky, among other artists will promote the campaign between now and July of 2012. It will be broadcast on television and by way of social media networks.

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Josue Fabián Arellano M.

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Bill Aims to Make It Easier to Prosecute Child Sex Traffickers

As child sex trafficking expands as a source of money for San Diego gangs, there’s an effort to make it easier for prosecutors to go after pimps.

The way California law is written now, prosecutors have to prove force or coercion when a sex trafficking victim is younger than 18. Because so many victims are lured by pimps through emotional bribery or promises of work, it’s been difficult for prosecutors to prove trafficking.

Susan Munsey is with the nonprofit group Generate Hope which helps trafficking victims get back on their feet. She said Assembly Bill 90, which changes the standard of proof from forced to encouraged or persuaded, is badly needed.

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Amita Sharma

Fronteras Desk

Aug..12, 2011


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Lideraba "La Niurka" red de prostitución de menores

Tijuana.- Una orden de aprehensión por el presunto delito de trata de personas le fue cumplimentada a María Guadalupe Román Valenzuela, alias "La Niurka", señalada como quien lideraba una red de prostitución con mujeres menores de edad desde el año 2005.

Fueron agentes de la Policía Estatal Preventiva quienes finalmente le concretaron el mandato judicial que pesaba en su contra desde el año 2007 por el delito de lenocinio, cuya figura delictiva fue cambiada con motivo de la entrada en vigor de la Ley Contra la Trata de Personas en el estado.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Estatal informó que la detención de la fémina, también conocida como "La Tía", se llevó a cabo la tarde del domingo al ubicarla tras semanas de investigación en el fraccionamiento La Bodega, en la ciudad de Mexicali.

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Police arrest child sex trafficker known as "La Niurka"

The city of Tijuana - An arrest warrant for the alleged crime of human trafficking ihas been carried out against Maria Guadalupe Roman Valenzuela, also known as "The Niurka." Authorities indicate that since 2005, Roman Valenzuela has lead a prostitution ring that exploits underage girls.

The [Baja California] State Preventive Police (SSPE) arrested Roman Valenzuela, who had been wanted since 2007 on charges of pimping. The charges were later modified after the enactment of the state's Law Against Human Trafficking.

The State Secretariat of Public Security reported that the arrest of the suspect, who also went by the name of "Auntie," took place Sunday afternoon following a weeks-long investigation in the La Bodega neighborhood in the city of Mexicali.

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Manuel Cordero

El Sol de Tijuana

Jan. 17, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking advocate Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho wins Olof Palme Prize 2011

Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist and writer, and Roberto Saviano, Italian author, were awarded with Olof Palme Prize 2011. They both spoke about justice and human rights issues in their native countries with a great deal of courage, and currently they are living under threats and persecution.

In 2009, Lydia Cacho received a lot of attention at the Göteborg Book Fair, where she presented the translated version of her book "I will not let myself be intimidated". She wrote it based on her life experience in Mexico – her motherland, where she is known for her accusations of corruption among Mexican politicians and businessmen.

In 2005, by having written "Demons of Eden", she exposed paedophile Succar Kuri's network in Cancun and named several accomplices among high-ranking politicians and businessmen. Since that moment the author has lived under constant death threats. Besides being an author and having written seven books in total, since 2000, Lydia Cacho has been sheltering vulnerable women and children in Cancún, where they get an opportunity to retreat.

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Göteborg Book Fair

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores en la minería informal

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

"Una de las metas de la campaña es recuperar con apoyo de la policía y fiscalía a unos mil niños, niñas y adolescentes explotadas sexual y laboralmente en campamentos de la minería informal en Madre de Dios", dijo a la AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, representante de Save The Children en Perú.

En los campamentos las menores son explotadas en cantinas convertidas en prostíbulos conocidos como 'prostibares', así como en, entre otras actividades, en la extracción de oro y la servidumbre, señaló Carpio.

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NGO launches [million dollar] campaign against child trafficking in Peru's remote informal mining camps

THe NGO Save the Children and the Earopean Union are launching a compaign this week to intensity efforts to eradicate the sexual and labor exploitation of children and youth in the informal mining camps of Madre de Dios, one of Peru's poorest regions.

The NGO Save The Children and the European Union this weekend launched an intensive campaign to eradicate sexual and labor exploitation of children and adolescents in the informal mining region of Madre de Dios (Mother of God), one of the poorest regions of Peru.

"One of the goals of the campaign is to organize police and prosecutorial support to rescue approximately 1,000 children and teens who are exploited for sex and labor in informal mining camps of the Madre de Dios," he told AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, who Save the Children's representative in Peru.

In the mining camps, children are exploited in bars that have been converted into brothels and are known as 'prostibars.' Minors are also exploited to work in gold mining and [other forms of] servitude, Carpio said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Indigenous Mexico

Indigenous women are marginalized in Mexican society. Comprising 15-to30 percent of the population, they and their underage daughters make up an estimated 45% of all human trafficking victims in the Aztec nation (Mexico).

Voces del pueblo indígena

México-. La situación de asimetría y desigualdad ha hecho que históricamente los pueblos indígenas en México sean marginados y excluidos de los procesos de toma de decisiones en el país.

En la actualidad, con una población que se acerca a los 16 millones de habitantes, de ellos más de mitad mujeres, de acuerdo con estimados de la Movimiento Indígena Nacional (MIN), estos grupos se localizan, fundamentalmente en los estados de Yucatán (59 por ciento) y Oaxaca (48 por ciento).

También en Quintana Roo (39), Chiapas (28), Campeche (27), Hidalgo (24), Puebla (19), Guerrero (17), San Luis Potosí (15) y Veracruz (15).

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Voices of indigenous peoples

Conditions of inequality have historically resulted in the indigenous peoples being marginalized and excluded from the decision making process in Mexico.

Today, with their population is approaching 16 million people. Over half of them are women, according to estimates from the National Indigenous Movement (MIN). These groups are located mainly in the states of Yucatan (where they are 59% of the state's total population) and Oaxaca (where they are 48%).

The indigenous population is also significant in several other states: Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), Campeche (27%), Hidalgo (24%), Puebla (19%), Guerrero (17%), San Luis Potosi (15%) and Veracruz (15%).

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Deisy Francis Mexidor

Prensa Latina


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Agents save 13 from sex slavery in Mexican bar

The city of San cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas state - Investigators say they have rescued a group of 13 women and girls, mostly from Central America, who were forced to have sex with clients at a bar in southern Mexico.

Chiapas state prosecutor Miguel Hernandez says at least half of the 13 women were minors, and 10 were from Central America.

Hernandez and other agents raided the bar in the town of Teopisca Saturday and arrested the manager, 42-year-old Mauri Diaz, on human trafficking, prostitution and corruption of minors charges.

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The Associated Press

Feb. 4, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico unravels child trafficking ring

Zapopan - The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.

"All the families have valid declarations to adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland," they said in a statement, which was read over the phone to The Associated Press by their lawyer in Mexico, Carlos Montoya.

Prosecutors in Mexico contend the traffickers tricked destitute young Mexican women trying to earn more for their children and childless Irish couples desperate to become parents.

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News24

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Central America

Rescatan a centroamericanos víctimas del tráfico de personas

Some 73 undocumented Central Americans have been located and rescued by army units after being held in 'safe houses' that were presumably owned by human traffickers.

El Ejército mexicano encontró a 73 inmigrantes indocumentados en presuntas casas de traficantes de personas en el nororiental estado de Tamaulipas, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa.

La acción se realizó el martes en la ciudad de Reynosa "de manera coordinada, simultánea y sorpresiva" y permitió la detención de cuatro personas. Entre los indocumentados, cuyas nacionalidades no se dieron a conocer, había 18 menores de edad, informó DPA.

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Central American human trafficking victims are rescued

Se trata de 73 indocumentados localizados por el ejército en casas que presuntamente pertenecen a traficantes de seres humanos.

The Mexican army has found 73 illegal immigrants in alleged human trafficking safe houses located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Secretary of Defense announced Thursday.

The action took place on Tuesday in the city of Reynosa "in a coordinated suprise raid" that led to the arrest of four people. Among the undocumented, whose nationalities were not released, there were 18 children.

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El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

The World

UNODC: The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC report focuses on the close interrelation between corruption and human trafficking, critiquing existing international legal instruments that deal only indirectly with this problem, and providing recommendations on how to strengthen these tools.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime outlines the impetus for its report:

Trafficking in persons and corruption are closely linked criminal activities, whose interrelation is frequently referred to in international fora. Yet, the correlation between the two phenomena, and the actual impact of corruption on trafficking in persons, are generally neglected in the development and implementation of anti-human trafficking policies and measures. This lack of attention may substantially undermine initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and prevent the customization of responses as needed. Only after recognizing the existence and the effects of corruption in the context of human trafficking, can the challenges posed by it be met.

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Insight Crime

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Oklahoma Human Trafficking Operation May Have Ties To Mexican Cartels

Oklahoma City - We're learning more about a human trafficking operation busted last week in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It appears to have ties to a Mexican human trafficking ring, which are said to be some of the most violent and brutal.

A search warrant obtained by News 9 reveals a victim of human trafficking, who was rescued in Tulsa, said she was also held against her will in Oklahoma City.

She told investigators she was held at the apartments off S.W. 59th Street and Harvey during the first part of January, and that she and others were forced to have sex with multiple strange men.

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Adrianna Iwasinski

Oklahoma News 6

Feb. 06, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Pretenden regular pornografía en Baja California

Baja california es uno de los estados que ofrece más turismo sexual en México, es por esto que el Partido Encuentro Social presentará este mes una iniciativa ante el Congreso del Estado para que las compañías proveedoras de internet regulen el consumo de la pornografía.

La iniciativa pretende regular el uso de internet en el aparto de Gobierno y el sector educativo, además el que vende internet debe cuidar el acceso de los menores el uso de la pornografía reveló el presidente Estatal del PES, Javier Peña García.

“Es una iniciativa ciudadana, pero estamos invitando a las diferentes fracciones de los partidos a que se adhieran en esto para que salga en común acuerdo con todos los partidos de Baja California”, adelantó.

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Legislators work to regulate online pornography in Baja California state

Baja California is one states that offers the most sex tourism in Mexico, which is why the Social Encounter Party will, later this month, present a proposal to the State Congress that will require Internet service provider companies to regulated the consumption of pornography.

The initiative seeks to regulate Internet use in government agencies and in the education sector. The measure will also insist that companies that provide Internet services take measures to limit that access of minors to pornography. which also sells Internet access to take care of children using pornography revealed the leader of the state branch of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Javier García Peña.

"It's a citizens' initiative, but we are inviting the different political parties in Baja California to agree to this so that we may present a common front on the issue," he stated.

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Uni Rdio Informa

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Many Indigenous Communities Turn to Vigilantism to Fight Crime

If a man kills another man in the harsh high plains of Jesús de Machaca or the lush lowlands of Beni, the people who catch him might not call the police. Instead they might call a meeting.

Far from courthouses and police stations that may not know their languages, and despite having no jails to lock up criminals, remote villagers in Bolivia have quietly kept justice in their own hands for centuries, handling everything from malicious gossip to murder. They have demanded fines, doled out whippings, even banished people from the pueblo. These community courts have sometimes been criticized for trampling on human rights, especially when it comes to the rights of women, but indigenous leaders say they work better for them than the regular system.

To press a case in the ordinary courts, “you must hire a lawyer and spend money on paperwork,” says Justina Vélez, who represents Pando, the northernmost province of Bolivia, in an organization of female peasants named for the indigenous hero Bartolina Sisa. “All the courthouses are located in the main cities.… The indigenous authorities are right here where we live.”

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Emily Alpert

Indian Country Today

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico Official Admits Some Areas Out of Government Control

At a military ceremony yesterday, Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galva described the national security situation in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country public security has been completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.” He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions.

Galvan also endorsed the military’s role in combating insecurity, asserting that although they have a responsibility to acknowledge that “there have been mistakes,” the armed forces have an “unrestricted” respect for human rights.

InSight Crime Analysis

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Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight Crime

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Operan 47 redes de trata de personas en México

Diputados piden a los tres órdenes de gobierno crear políticas adecuadas en la materia

La Cámara de Diputados pidió a los tres órdenes de gobiernos que combatan de manera integral el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en México operan al menos 47 redes que se dedican a este ilícito, de acuerdo con datos de la Red Nacional de Refugios.

Según cifras de la red, al año hay 800 mil adultos y 20 mil menores víctimas de este delito cuyas ganancias oscilan entre los 372 mil millones de pesos.

Las rutas incluyen los estados de Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero y Quintana Roo, así como países centroamericanos como Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

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Some 47 human trafficking networks are operating in Mexico

Congressional deputies ask the three branches of government to develop adequate policies to address human trafficking

Mexico's Lower House of Congress has asked the three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) to integrate their efforts to fight human trafficking, given that at least 47 trafficking networks exist in the nation, according to data released by the National Network of Refuges.

According to the Network, some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are entrapped by modern human slavery each year, resulting in criminal earnings of some 372 million Mexican pesos ($28 million US dollars).

Trafficking routes exist in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as in Central American countries including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

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Israel Navarro and José Luis Martínez

Milenio

Feb. 05, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

Costa Rica lags in sex-trafficking fight

“Mariel” became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 17. She managed to escape, but still suffers anxiety and fear. Rahab Foundation is helping her recover.

“Mariel” fears that she will be kidnapped again.

At 17, she was lured into human trafficking by an acquaintance with the promise of work. Her captor used false documents to take her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

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Dominique Farrell

The Tico TImes

Jan. 27, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

La pornografía infantil existe en Costa Rica

Adultos sedientos de sentir y tocar la piel de un cuerpo junto al suyo, deseosos de pagar sumas de dinero por alquilar un rato de confort, quizás hasta hacer una película o tomar unas fotos, pero no de cualquier cuerpo ni de cualquier persona, sino de un niño o una niña costarricense.

La explotación sexual comercial -también llamada prostitución infantil- es un flagelo social que existe en Costa Rica y se concentra mayoritariamente en las zonas fronterizas y las costas, según cuentan organizaciones no gubernamentales que han dado seguimiento a los casos esta ha desembocado en una riada de producción de pornografía infantil en la que se utilizan niños y niñas costarricenses.

Según Rocío Rodríguez directora de Alianza por tus Derechos, en la actualidad las zonas más plagadas de casos –tanto de explotación sexual comercial como de pornografía- son Puntarenas, Guanacaste y Limón.

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Child pornography exists in Costa Rica

Hungry adults feel and touch the skin of a body against thiers, eager to pay money to rent a bit of comfort, perhaps even make a movie or take some pictures, but not of any body or any person, but a boy or a girl in Costa Rica.

Commercial sexual exploitation, which is also known as child prostitution, is a social scourge that exists in Costa Rica. It is concentrated along the nation's borders and coasts, accourding to non governmental organizations who support victims. This reality has led to a flood in the production of child pornography that exploits Costa Rican children.

According to Rocio Rodriguez director of the NGO Alliance for your Rights (Alianza por tus Derechos), the cities of Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón are the regions that are the most plagued by both commercial sexual exploitation and pornography.

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Daniela Araya

Costa Rica Hoy

Feb. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Arrestan a pastor por violar niñas

De la secta Sendero de Luz.. Abusó de ellas durante años con la complacencia de sus padres

Delicias, Chihuahua.- Años de un sufrimiento en silencio fueron vividos por dos niñas desde que tenían 11 años de edad, pues un pastor de la denominada Iglesia Sendero de Luz les decía que "para ser siervas de Dios tenían que hacerle todo lo que les indicara", y eso incluía tener relaciones sexuales con él, acciones de las cuales aparentemente su padres estaban enterados.

Las familias de ambas sabían lo que pasaba con el religioso, pero su fanatismo les impedía actuar en su contra, según las jóvenes de ahora 22 años de edad, quienes comentaron que los abusos comenzaron desde el año 2001 y continuaron durante 9 años, hasta que se mudaron a la capital de estado.

Tras la denuncia impuesta por parte de las afectadas, agentes investigadores detuvieron mediante una orden de aprehensión a José Manuel Herrera Lerma, de 59 años, líder del grupo religioso previamente señalado.

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Pastor is arrested on charges of child rape

Path of Light sect leader abused two girls over a number of years with the knowledge of the victim's parents

The city of Delicias in Chihuahua state - Two girls suffered years of sexual abuse in silence, from the time they were age 11, at the hands of their church pastor. The reverend of the Path of Light church told the girls that, "to be servants of God they had to do everything that he told them to do," and that included having sex with him. The parents were apparently aware of the pastor's behavior with their daughters.

The families of both girls knew what was happening with the pastor, but their religious fervor prevented them from acting against him. The victims, who are now both age 22, have stated that the abuse began in 2001 and continued for 9 years, until [the family] moved to the state capital.

In response to the complaint filed by the victims, investigative agents served an arrest warrant on José Manuel Herrera Lerma, age 59.

Read the full article

Marisol Marín

oem.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Children in Mexican adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse

Ten children were seized by authorities in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after they uncovered the apparent child trafficking scam last weekend.

Eleven Irish couples hoping to adopt children in the country have been caught up in the investigation.

“There are four children who show signs of having been abused (sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of abuse),” the Jalisco state attorney general Tomas Coronado told reporters today.

Read the full article

TheJournal.ie

Jan. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ecuador

148 millones invirtió el Gobierno en implementación de tres mil centros infantiles

Como parte de este proceso, 242 profesionales entre sicopedagogas, parvularias, tecnólogas en educación y especialistas en desarrollo infantil se incorporaron al trabajo en la provincia costera del Guayas, luego de un periodo de selección y capacitación.

Alrededor de 500 mil niños en Ecuador, entre 0 y 5 años, son atendidos por el Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), en los Centros del Buen Vivir y el programa “Creciendo con nuestros hijos”.

La ministra de Inclusión Económica y Social, Ximena Ponce, indicó que el desarrollo infantil es uno de los seis proyectos de inversión prioritarios del gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa.

La meta es implementar un profesional por cada Centro para garantizar una conducción técnica en sus tres componentes: salud, educación y protección, especialmente en niños de 0 a 3 años.

Lea el artículo completo

Government invests $148 million to implement 3,000 children's centers across the country

As part of the initiative, 242 professionals have joined the effort in the key coastal province of Guayas

About 500,000 children, from newborns to age 5 are served by Ecuador's Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), through its Good Living Centers and by way of its program "Growing with our children."

Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Ximena Ponce indicated that child development is one of six priority investment projects for the government of President Rafael Correa.

The goal is to provide one professional worker for each center to ensure technical leadership in its three focus areas: health, education and protection. The initiative is especially geared toward assisting children from 0 to 3 years of age.

Read the full article

eldiario.com.ec

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Guatemala

Former Guatemala dictator to give testimony in genocide trial

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will be made to testify at his genocide trial, according to a statement by judicial officials on Saturday. Rios Montt was in control of Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as a result of a coup and is being charged with crimes against humanity and genocide during his rule. He was protected from prosecution until this month because he was serving in congress. Rios Montt said he would cooperate with the court [EFE report, in Spanish]. The case involves at least 1,771 deaths and 1,400 human rights violations during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] with much of the violations occurring during Rios Montt's rule.

The Guatemalan civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, mostly among Guatemala's large indigenous Mayan population. According to a UN report [text, in Spanish] released in 1999, the military was responsible for 95 percent of those deaths. In response to these violations, the Guatemalan government founded the National Compensation Program (PNR) in 2003 to deal with claims by civilians affected by the civil war. The PNR, after setting up its administrative structure, has begun to use its $40 million budget to work through a backlog of more than 98,000 civilian complaints. Four former soldiers and two former police officers [JURIST reports] have already been convicted in relation to these crime. Spain attempted to extradite Rios Montt [JURIST report] in 2008, but failed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Read the full article

Matthew Pomy

Jurist

Jan. 22, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Dictan prisión contra tres hombres por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez penal dictó auto de formal prisión por el delito de trata de personas en contra de tres hombres que operaban un bar clandestino en San Cristóbal de las Casas, donde fueron rescatadas cuatro menores víctimas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó que los presuntos responsables Abraham “N”, propietario del negocio, el encargado Rosendo “N” y el vigilante Diego “N”, son procesados en el centro penitenciario ” El Amate”.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especializada en Asuntos Relevantes ejecutaron un operativo en el bar ” La Sirena”, donde rescataron a cuatro menores, sometidas a trata de personas y corrupción de menores.

En el sitio fueron sorprendidos también dos menores de edad que ingerían alcohol, lo que constituye una violación a las leyes de salud.

Lea el artículo completo

Three men are sentenced to prison in [the southern border state of] Chiapas

I jusdge has sentenced three men to prison on human trafficking charges who operated a clandestine bar in the cisty of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Four minors had been rescued from the bar.

The Office of the Chiapas State Attorney General (PGJE) has announced that three suspects, Abraham "N," a bar owner, bar manager Rosendo "N" and a guard, Diego "N," have been detained and sent to the "El Amate" prison.

Agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Relevant Issues executed an operation at the bar "La Sirena" (the Siren), where they rescued four children who had been subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and the corruption of minors.

The authorities also encountered two other youth who were drinking alcohol in violation of health laws.

Read the full article

Provincia.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Piden cadena perpetua para acusado de violar a 15 menores en 2009

La directora del Programa Nacional contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual, Ana María Mendieta, exhortó hoy al Poder Judicial a aplicar la pena máxima de cadena perpetua a Óscar Visalot, acusado de abusar sexualmente de 15 menores de edad en 2009.

Este pedido contra Visalot, quien fue capturado en octubre de 2010, surge ante la posible excarcelación del acusado por exceso de carcelería, precisó la funcionaria de ese programa perteneciente al Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (Mimp).

“Exhortamos al Poder Judicial, a la Primera Sala de Reos en Cárcel de Lima y a las autoridades penitenciarias a que el procesado sea trasladado a Lima y se le dicte una sentencia ejemplar de cadena perpetua”, sostuvo Mendieta.

Lea el artículo completo

Officials ask for a life sentence for a man accused in 2009 of the rape of 15 minors

The director of the National Programme Against Family and Sexual Violence (PNCVFS), Ana Maria Mendieta, today urged the judiciary to apply the maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the case of Oscar Visalot, accused of sexually abusing 15 minors in 2009.

The request to have Visalot, who was captured in October 2010, sentenced promptly arose from the fact that the defendant is being considered for release from prison due to a determination that the has spent an excessive amount of time in detention, said Mendieta, an official of the PNCVFS, which is a program under the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP).

"We urge the Judiciary, the First Board of Inprisoned Inmates in Lima and the prison authorities to transport the prisoner to Lima and [that the Court] hand down a sentence of life imprisonment," said Mendieta.

Read the full article

Andina.com.pe

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ohio, USA

Man guilty of raping girl in 2005

Hamilton - The adoptive parents of a young girl raped and kidnapped by Butler County’s former “most wanted” fugitive say their daughter can finally start “healing from the nightmare she suffered at the hands of this monster.”

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three hours Wednesday before deciding “Mario” Lopez-Cruz was guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape for his attack on a 9-year-old Hamilton girl on Fathers Day 2005.

Lopez-Cruz faces life in prison without parole until he spends 10 years in prison on the rape charges and up to 10 years on kidnapping. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth will sentence him March 15.

Read the full article

Denise G. Callahan

The Oxford Press

Feb. 01, 2012



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

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

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

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

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

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

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

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

Mexico

Esclavas en México

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

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

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

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

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

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

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

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

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

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

Speakers:

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

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

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

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

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

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

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

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

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

* The production of Child Pornography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

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

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

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

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

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

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

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

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

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

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

Contact: Tiffany Williams

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

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

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

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

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

See also:

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

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

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

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

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also:

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

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

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


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

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

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

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

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

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

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

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

Video posted on YouTube

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

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

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

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

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

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


LibertadLatina

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


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

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

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


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

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

Americas Program Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

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

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

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

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

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

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

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

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

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

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


LibertadLatina

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

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

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


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

Mexico

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

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

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

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

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

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

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

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

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

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

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

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

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

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

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

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

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

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

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

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

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

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

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

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

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

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

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

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

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

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

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

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

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


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

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

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


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

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


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



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

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


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

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

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

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

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

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

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

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

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


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

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

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

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

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

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.