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The Crisis Facing Indigenous Women and Children

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

The war against indigenous women and girls in the Americas

Native Latin America

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Native Guatemala -

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   Acteal Massacre

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Haitian children are routinely enslaved in the Dominican Republic

Afro Latin America and the Caribbean

The Crisis Facing Latin American Women and Children

Introduction

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Central America / Mexico Region

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Crisis - U.S. Latinas

Crisis: U.S. Latinas

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Workplace Rape

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Latin American

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U.S. Latina Slavery

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Urgent Human Rights Issues in Mexico

Oaxaca

Striking Mexican

   Women Teachers

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   in Oaxaca

Atenco

Foto: Belinda Hernández

Mexican Police

   Rape and Assault

   47 Women at

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Lydia Cacho

Journalist / Activist

   Lydia Cacho is

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   Exposing Child Sex

   Networks In Mexico

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School Exploitation

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The Jutiapa, Guate-

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


¡Feliz Día International de la Mujer 2012!

Happy International Women's Day 2012!


 
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News and Events - English
News Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009

Noticias de Agosto, 2010

August 2010 News



Últimas Noticias

Latest News



Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Mexico

Mayor assassinated as Mexico violence flares

A wave of bomb attacks has hit northern Mexico, where police are investigating the mass killing of 72 asylum seekers.

Last week a group of migrants trying to cross the border into the United States were murdered by suspected drug cartel members.

In the past 24 hours four homemade bombs have exploded in the border city of Reynosa, injuring at least 17 people.

The bomb attacks appeared to target places connected with the investigation into the massacre.

Suspected drug hit men also shot dead the mayor of a small town in northern Mexico on Sunday.

Marco Antonio Leal was killed by gunmen in SUVs as he drove through his rural municipality of Hidalgo near the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas state, the local attorney-general's office said.

Gunmen also murdered a popular candidate for Tamaulipas governor in June, Mexico's worst political killing in 16 years.

Mexico's former foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda, says the government is losing control to the drug cartels.

"It seems to be no longer able to guarantee the safety of anybody in Mexico," he said.

"Public opinion is no longer as supportive of the president's efforts and of the military's involvement as it was before."

More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since president Felipe Calderon launched his war on drugs in late 2006, prompting fears bloodshed could undermine tourism and investment as Mexico slowly recovers from its worst recession since 1932.

ABC News

Aug. 301, 2010


Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Central America, Mexico

Presidente Colom: Masacre en México pudo haber ocurrido en Centroamérica

Los Angeles - La masacre de Tamaulipas pone en claro que la inmigración ilegal es ahora más peligrosa no sólo en México sino también en Centroamérica, por lo que la región seguirá combatiendo en bloque el narcotráfico, apuntó el sábado el presidente de Guatemala Alvaro Colom.

Una matanza como la ocurrida esta semana en Tamaulipas, estado nororiental mexicano, también pudo haber ocurrido en Guatemala u otro país centroamericano pues el narcotráfico es un problema significativo en la región, explicó el mandatario durante una entrevista con The Associated Press en un hotel de Los Angeles.

La matanza ha sido atribuida a los narcotraficantes conocidos como Los Zetas, que también operan en Guatemala.

"Definitivamente la lucha contra el crimen organizado es regional", indicó Colom, resaltando el peligro de la inmigración ilegal tras la matanza de cinco guatemaltecos y 67 latinoamericanos en México.

"El proceso de inmigración ya era peligroso, de alto riesgo. Ahora se le suma la participación de los narcos y del crimen organizado que es peligrosísimo", añadió.

Las declaraciones de Colom ocurren durante su primera visita a Los Angeles para reunirse exclusivamente con líderes de organizaciones comunitarias e inmigrantes guatemaltecos. La visita de dos días también es la primera en 12 años que realiza un mandatario guatemalteco a Los Angeles...

Guatemala's President Colom: The massacre in Mexico could have occurred in Central America

Los Angeles - The massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico makes clear the fact that undocumented migration is more dangerous now, not just in Mexico but also throughout Central America. For that reason, the nations of the region are continuing to fight the narco-traffickers as a block, declared President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala.

The massacre of 72 Latin American migrants, including 5 Guatemalans, was carried out the the Zetas cartel, which also operates in Guatemala.

President Colom: Definitively, the fight against organized crime is a regional effort." "The process of migration is a high-risk activity. Today organized crime, including narco-traffickers participate in human smuggling, which makes migration extremely risky."

President Colom was in Los Angeles, California for a meeting with Guatemalan migrants and community organizations.

E. J. Tamara

The Associated Press

Aug. 28, 2010


Added: Aug. 30, 2010

Mexico

Drug gang massacre puts Mexico in crisis

Mexico's most feared drugs cartel launched an offensive against the powers of law and order

Mexico was disintegrating into a war zone last night as its most feared drugs cartel launched an offensive against the powers of law and order.

The dreaded Los Zetas, fresh from massacring 72 migrant workers, launched their campaign against the authorities by detonating car bombs and kidnapping a senior prosecutor investigating their activities.

Roberto Jaime Suarez disappeared hours after launching an investigation into the Zetas, a formidable private army made up of former Mexican special forces, for carrying out an outrage that has shocked the world.

His wife Norma expressed her fears for Mr Suarez and a policeman snatched at the same time.

“I am almost certain my husband and the other man were kidnapped,” she said.

“I can only assume that those who abducted him are connected to organized crime.” ...

No one was hurt but the terrorist tactics are a new departure for the drugs cartels, showing they are prepared to use terrorist tactics.

The Zetas, who recruit former special forces soldiers from Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, operate deep into the USA from California to Florida, New York, Washington and up to Canada.

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon has vowed not to back down to the drugs gangs but warned last night: “Violence will persist and even intensify.”

Stuart Winter

Express (UK)

Aug. 29,2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Zeta Slaves: A Story from the Inside

[Mexican officials and police have been implicated as collaborators with the Zeta, who are rouge, AWOL military special forces personnel and their recruits, and who today form one of the most brutal and feared drug and human trafficking cartels in Mexico.]

The horrifying massacre of 72 Central and South American immigrants by the hands of Zetas shocked the world. Preliminary investigations, based on testimony by the sole survivor of this attack, report the immigrants were first given the option of paying their ransoms in cash or as cartel slaves. Having no cash and refusing to join Zeta forces, the 58 men and 14 women, were blindfolded and bound before being executed on the spot.

We know what happened to them, but what about the others? What happens to those who are unable to pay, but still desperately wish to survive? ...

Marisolina didn't have relatives in the United States, much less in El Salvador, who would or even could pay the Zetas, who kidnapped her, the $3,000 dollars they demanded to release her. "You're going have to come up with another way to pay us, Guerita", they repeatedly threatened her in the first few days of her captivity.

There was nobody to answer for her, no one to defend her. Within a week of kidnapping her near the railways of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, the Zetas had decided how she would pay her debt; Marisolina would become the safe house cook, in charge of preparing all meals for fellow immigrants who had been kidnapped, and those who held them captive. "At first I just cooked for them, but when they began to trust in me, they gave me their clothes to wash."

One evening, after serving dinner, a man everyone called "El Perro" [the dog], who was in charge of the safe house, after getting very drunk and high on cocaine, asked me to sit down and talk for a while. It was at this moment he asked me: "Guerita, do you know why my clothes are always so dirty?"

Marisolina spoke of the fear she had of this man who always had a weapon in hand and took great pleasure in constantly abusing the immigrants he held captive. "I told him I imagined (because of the dirty clothes) he worked on the trucks which were used to transport the Central Americans."

"El Perro" let out a hardy laugh and replied: "I'm the butcher. I don't do any type of mechanics. My job is to I get rid of the trash that doesn't pay."

Still visibly scared, Marisolina recalls that exact moment: "Mockingly, and without any remorse, he told me he was in charge of killing the immigrants who couldn't afford to pay their ransom. He said: First I cut them into pieces so they fit into the drums, then I light them on fire, I let them burn until there's nothing left of the little assholes."

That night she couldn't sleep. She was alert and spooked by every sound. She heard people coming and going from the house, but was too scared to try to catch a peak of what was happening. The next morning "El Perro" brought more clothes to be washed.

No longer able to contain her tears she finally, after several long minutes, continued her story: "I washed, so many times, the blood of those people. As I scrubbed at the blood, pieces of meat fell out. Everything smelled of soot, which to me, was the smell of death."

Marisolina was held captive for three months by a group that called themselves Los Zetas. In their 'get togethers' and business meetings, she was in charge of serving meals to the leaders. "When they were together, I would hear them say Los Zetas was a very respectable organization. Sometimes they took me to a hotel they rented in Coatzacoalcos, it was there I learned to recognize La Compania's, as they called it, chain of command."

The soldiers, she revealed, where those in charge of guarding the immigrants day and night. "Then there were the Alfa. I heard them, many times, speaking to police, immigration officials, and train conductors. They would advise them when large numbers of immigrants were coming on the train, or when they were detained."

Trying to minimize her Salvadoran accent, she recalls the location of at least six butchers, one for each safe house. "Above the butchers were the big bosses, they were the ones who gave the orders of which immigrants to kill." ...

One night, after a military strike on one of the Zeta safe houses led to the rescue of other immigrants, "El Perro", who by that time considered Marisolina his friend, asked her to accompany him to the store to by cigarettes and sodas. It was outside of the store she was released, but not before being warned she would die if she ever revealed what had occurred.

Long walks and days and nights without eating or sleeping, preceded her denunciation of the Zetas who had held her captive. She didn't want to talk to the police, she trusted no one. She agreed to the assistance offered by the National Commission of Human Rights only after being reminded her testimony could help prevent others from suffering the same.

Unfortunately, Marisolina's nightmare did not end there. The greatest deception came when the Attorney General's office informed them her situation had changed. After reviewing her testimony, they had reasonable suspicion she was part of the Zeta's criminal organization, thus her legal status had changed from that of the victim to the indicted.

Marisolina for her part, after everything that has happened and learning how the Zetas operate, can't believe she survived, let alone, that they released her just like that.

Borderland Beat

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Mexican massacre investigator found dead

Body of official dumped beside road near scene of killing of 72 Central and South American migrants in Tamaulipas

The body of an official investigating the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants killed in a ranch in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas was found today dumped beside a nearby road alongside another unidentified victim, according to local media.

Earlier, two cars exploded outside the studios of the national TV network Televisa in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria. There were no casualties, but the blasts added to a growing sense of fear in the aftermath of the worst single act of violence in the country's raging drug wars.

Meanwhile, investigators under armed guard continued the process of identifying the victims...

Jo Tuckman

The Guardian

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico

Families of migrants killed in Mexican massacre say they couldn't pay ransom

Reynosa - Their families pleaded with them not to leave, fearful of the growing danger that faces migrants trekking through Mexican territory where brutal drug gangs hold sway.

But the young migrants from across Latin America insisted on going. They met their ends together, among 72 migrants massacred just 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the U.S. border.

Pieces of the migrants' lives - and the story of their terrible fate - are slowly emerging as investigators painstakingly work to identify the bodies, which were discovered bound, blindfolded and lying in a row after what appears to be Mexico's worst drug-cartel massacre.

The survivor, 18-year-old Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla of Ecuador, said the killers identified themselves as Zetas, a group begun by former Mexican army special forces soldiers and now a lethal drug gang that has taken to extorting migrants.

The Zetas control much of the northern state of Tamaulipas, cattle-ranching country that is the last leg for migrants running the gantlet up Mexico's east coast to reach Texas.

Mexico's drug gangs have long kidnapped migrants and demanded payment to cross their territory. But the Mexican government says the cartels are increasingly trying to force vulnerable migrants into drug trafficking, a concern also expressed by U.S. politicians demanding more security at the border.

Lala, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck and is under heavy guard, told investigators the migrants were intercepted on a highway by five cars, according to his statement that The Associated Press had access to Friday.

More than 10 gunmen jumped out and identified themselves as Zetas, Lala said. They tied up the migrants and took them to the ranch, where they demanded the migrants work for the gang. When most refused, they were blindfolded, ordered to lie down and shot.

...Lala left his remote town in the Andes mountains two months ago, hoping to find work in the U.S. to support his pregnant 17-year-old wife. One of his eight siblings, Luis Alfredo Lala, told Ecuavisa television he begged his brother not to go.

Lala's wife, Maria Angelica Lala, told Teleamazonas that her husband paid $15,000 to the smuggler who was supposed to guide him to the U.S. That smuggler apparently tried to hide Lala's fate from his wife, calling her Wednesday to say her husband had safely reached the U.S.

Investigators have identified 31 of the migrants: 14 Hondurans, 12 Salvadorans, four Guatemalans and one Brazilian.

Mexico's rising violence has contributed to a sharp drop in the number of migrants in Mexico over the past few years, Romero said.

Mexican immigration agents have rescued 2,750 migrants this year, some stranded in deserts and others who were being held captive by organized crime gangs, she said.

In Tamaulipas alone, agents rescued 812 migrants kidnapped by drug gangs, she said. Many of those migrants told authorities the cartels tried force them into drug trafficking.

"We perhaps saved them from being massacred like the 72 that we lost this time," Romero said...

The Associated Press

Aug. 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 28, 2010

Mexico, The United States

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Phil Gordon's February, 2010 presentation at Harvard University (see below), before the controversy over Arizona law SB 1070 effectively forced him into silence on the issue, continues to be the most honest statement of the impact that the mass kidnapping and human slavery of Latin American immigrants in the Southwestern U.S. is having.

With the recent, tragic massacre of 72 migrants in Tamaulipas, Mexico, 100 miles south of the U.S./Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas, the U.S. anti-trafficking community has an even more urgent moral responsibility than we have previously stated to acknowledge the critical nature of the human trafficking emergency on the U.S./Mexico border. It is an issue that is growing exponentially. Mexican human trafficking may generate a full $20 billion per year in revenue, as CNN reported on August 26, 2010.

We pray that those who died in Tamaulipas and all of the other migrants who are murdered in the violent  gauntlet that is Mexico... rest in peace.

We also pray for the tens of thousands of women and girls who are kidnapped into sexual slavery without a finger being lifted (due to a lack of moral will) by government authorities in Mexico to find and assist them.

The time for politically expedient silence about this issue is over!

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 28, 2010

 

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 05, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

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

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

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

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

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Mexico

Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla - massacre survivor

Ecuatoriano sobrevive a masacre que dejó 72 muertos en México

El ecuatoriano Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla sobrevivió a la masacre en un rancho del estado mexicano de Tamaulipas, en donde se encontraron 72 cadáveres, después de que fueron secuestrados por un grupo armado mientras intentaban alcanzar la frontera con Estados Unidos, narró Lala en declaraciones tomadas por la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), informó el portal de La Reforma.

El compatriota quien dio aviso a la Infantería de Marina permanece en un hospital de la localidad tras presentar una herida de bala en la garganta.

El testigo narró que las víctimas "provenían de Centro y Sudamérica, ingresaron por Chiapas a territorio mexicano con la intención de llegar a Estados Unidos", según la página web de Reforma.

Según medios locales de Tamaulipas, el sobreviviente declaró que el grupo de inmigrantes fue interceptado por hombres armados que les ofrecieron trabajo como sicarios, a lo cual se negaron. De inmediato, los desconocidos abrieron fuego contra ellos.

"Presumimos que las víctimas son centroamericanos" luego de que "un sobreviviente así lo "denunció" ante las autoridades, dijo una fuente de la fiscalía que pidió el anonimato y rechazó brindar más detalles.

El ministerio de Marina informó del hecho la noche de ayer en un comunicado que señala que las 72 víctimas, de las cuales 14 son mujeres, fueron encontradas en el rancho tras registrarse un tiroteo con pistoleros que custodiaban el lugar y en el que falleció un soldado y tres presuntos sicarios. Según las investigaciones preliminares, los fallecidos serían de El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador y Brasil...

AFP/ EFE

Agosto 25, 2010

See also:

Drug cartel suspected in massacre of 72 migrants

Mexico City - A wounded migrant stumbled into a military checkpoint and led marines to a gruesome scene, what may be the biggest massacre so far in Mexico's bloody drug war: a room strewn with the bodies of 72 fellow travelers, some piled on top of each other, just 100 miles from their goal, the U.S. border.

The 58 men and 14 women were killed, the migrant told investigators Wednesday, by the Zetas cartel, a group of former Mexican army special forces known to extort migrants who pass through its territory.

If authorities corroborate his story, it would be the most horrifying example yet of the plight of migrants trying to cross a country where drug cartels are increasingly scouting shelters and highways, hoping to extort or even recruit vulnerable immigrants.

"It's absolutely terrible and it demands the condemnation of all of our society," said government security spokesman Alejandro Poire.

The Ecuadorean migrant stumbled to the checkpoint on Tuesday, telling the marines he had just escaped from gunmen at a ranch in San Fernando, a town in the northern state of Tamaulipas about 100 miles from Brownsville, Texas.

The Zetas so brutally control some parts of Tamaulipas that even many Mexicans do not dare to travel on the highways in the states.

Many residents in the state tell of loved ones or friends who have disappeared traveling from one town to the next. Many of these kidnappings are never reported for fear that police are in league with the criminals.

The marines scrambled helicopters to raid the ranch, drawing gunfire from cartel gunmen. One marine and three gunmen died in a gunbattle. Then the marines discovered the bodies, some slumped in the chairs where they had been shot, one federal official said.

The migrant told authorities his captors identified themselves as Zetas, and that the migrants were from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras...

The Reverend Alejandro Solalinde, who runs a shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca, where many migrants pass on their way to Tamaulipas, said the Zetas have put informants inside shelters to find out which migrants have relatives in the U.S. — the most lucrative targets for kidnap-extortion schemes.

He said he constantly hears horror stories, including people who "say their companions have been killed with baseball bats in front of the others."

Solalinde said he has been threatened by Zetas demanding access to his shelters.

He said the gangsters told him: "If we kill you, they'll close the shelter and we'll have to look all over for the migrants."

The Associated Press

Aug. 25, 2010

See also:

Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Mexico

Human trafficking second only to drugs in Mexico

CNN: Human smuggling may be a $20 billion business in Mexico

Mario Santos likely never made it to the United States.

The 18-year-old set out 10 years ago from his native El Salvador in search of opportunity and a better way of life. But he had to travel north through Mexico first.

A short while after leaving, he called his parents to tell them he had been beaten and robbed in Mexico, left penniless and without shoes or clothes. It was the last they heard from him.

It's a fate that likely befell 72 people believed to be migrants from Central and South America whose bodies were found this week in a ranch in northern Mexico, just 90 miles from the U.S. border. It's a fate that officials say also befalls thousands of Central and South Americans every year.

"It's brutal," says Peter Hakim, president emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue, a non-partisan Washington policy institute. "This is very big business. It's very brutal."

It is indeed big business. Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of crime worldwide after drug and arms trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in April.

In Mexico, it is a $15 billion- to $20 billion-a-year endeavor, second only to drug trafficking, said Samuel Logan, founding director of Southern Pulse, an online information network focused on Latin America.

"And that may be a conservative estimate," Logan said.

That money, which used to go mostly to smugglers, now also flows into the hands of drug cartel members.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a bipartisan, nonprofit policy institute based in Washington, noted in an August report that human smuggling and other illegal activities are playing an increasingly important role as narcotraffickers diversify their activities.

"The drug cartels have not confined themselves to selling narcotics," the report said. "They engage in kidnapping for ransom, extortion, human smuggling and other crimes to augment their incomes."

Some cartels have come to rely more in recent years on human smuggling.

"For the Zetas, it's been one of their main revenue streams for years," Logan said about the vicious cartel, which operates mostly in northeastern Mexico.

Cartel involvement has increased the risk for migrants crossing through Mexico to get to the United States, said Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights. An investigation by the commission showed that 9,758 migrants were abducted from September 2008 to February 2009, or about 1,600 per month.

No one knows exactly how many people try to make the passage every year.

The human rights organization Amnesty International estimates it as tens of thousands. More than 90 percent of them are Central Americans, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Amnesty International said in a report this year. And the vast majority of these migrants, the rights group said, are headed for the United States.

"Their journey is one of the most dangerous in the world," Amnesty International said.

"Every year, thousands of migrants are kidnapped, threatened or assaulted by members of criminal gangs," the rights group said. "Extortion and sexual violence are widespread and many migrants go missing or are killed. Few of these abuses are reported and in most cases those responsible are never held to account." ...

On Thursday, Amnesty International called on the Mexican government to take swift action about the slayings of the 72 people in Tamaulipas.

"Amnesty International issued a report in April highlighting the failure of Mexican federal and state authorities to implement effective measures to prevent and punish thousands of kidnappings, killings and rape of irregular migrants at the hands of criminal gangs, who often operate with the complicity or acquiescence of public officials," the rights group said in a release.

"This case once again demonstrates the extreme dangers faced by migrants and the apparent inability of both federal and state authorities to reduce the attacks that migrants face. The response of the authorities to this case will be a test."

Arthur Brice

CNN

Aug. 26, 2010

Additional press coverage of the Tamaulipas massacre.


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Washington, DC USA

Coalition organizes the largest walk and rally against human trafficking, to be held in Washington, DC on October 23, 2010

On October 23, 2010, thousands of people will gather on the National Mall for the DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, a united effort to celebrate human rights, raise awareness about human trafficking, and raise funds for organizations working to end human trafficking.

It’s One day, One place, and One Voice for the Voiceless!

This event will include:

* A 3.1 mile walk

* Information fair

* Luminary speakers

* Live music

* A shorter family walk

* A family-friendly area

It will be the largest anti-human trafficking event in DC history! Join us to help build a better world.

DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk

Aug. 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

Florida, USA

Ariel Hurtado

Arrestado en Miami uno de los cinco depredadores sexuales más buscados en el sur de la Florida

Según las autoridades, el sujeto, Ariel Hurtado, de 35 años, fue arrestado afuera del apartamento de su madre y acusado de seis violaciones de libertad provisional, así como de no inscribirse como agresor sexual.

En 1997, Hurtado fue arrestado y acusado de múltiples cargos de agresión lasciva y de asalto indecente contra un menor de 16 años.

En el 2001 fue declarado agresor sexual, hallado culpable y sentenciado a un año y un día de cárcel, además de cinco años de libertad provisional.

Agentes de la policía de Miami lo arrestaron de nuevo en el 2004 después que le enseñó los genitales a varias niñas y adolescentes en paradas de autobús.

Hurtado admitió haberlo hecho en seis ocasiones en paradas de autobús de West Flagler Street en Miami.

Las autoridades declararon a Hurtado depredador sexual en el 2008. Ha estado eludiendo a la policía desde el 9 de septiembre del 2008.

Los detectives que tenían vigilada la casa de la madre de Hurtado, lo vieron cuando llegó a visitar su apartamento, localizado en el 3150 Mundy St. en Miami.

Investigadores de la policía de Miami-Dade y alguaciles federales lo arrestaron en el estacionamiento. Las autoridades dijeron que Hurtado conducía el automóvil de su novia y utilizaba en el vehículo unas placas robadas para así evitar ser detectado.

One of Top 5 most wanted sex offenders arrested in Miami

A serial predator considered one of the Top 5 most wanted sex offenders in South Florida was arrested Thursday.

Authorities said Ariel Hurtado, 35, was arrested outside his mother's apartment and charged with six probation violations and failure to register as a sex offender.

In 1997, Hurtado was arrested and charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious assault and indecent assault on a child under the age of 16.

He was designated a sex offender in 2001, and was convicted and sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Miami police officers arrested Hurtado again in 2004 after he repeatedly exposed himself to numerous girls and teenagers at bus stops on several occasions.

Hurtado admitted to exposing himself six times to girls and teenagers at bus stops along West Flagler Street in Miami.

Authorities designated Hurtado a sexual predator in 2008. He had been eluding police since Sept. 9, 2008.

Detectives, who were keeping Hurtado's mother's home under surveillance, spotted him as he arrived to visit her apartment at 3150 Mundy St. in Miami.

Miami-Dade detectives and U.S. marshals arrested him in the parking lot. Police said Hurtado was driving his girlfriend's car and using a stolen tag on the vehicle to avoid detection.

Andrea Torres

The Miami Herald

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 26, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Suspect sketch

Man Sought In Ocean City Sexual Assault

Police are searching for a suspect who is accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile in Ocean City.

Police say Felix Gonzalez, 36, sexually assaulted a juvenile female near the Seapray Road beach on July 27.

Gonzalez, who also uses the alias Santiago, is described as a Hispanic male, between 5'4"-5'7", 180-200 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was in Atlantic City.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gonzalez is urged to contact the Ocean City Police at 609-399-9111.

CBS 3 Philadelphia

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Texas, USA

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Governor Perry wants more penalties for human traffickers

Houston - Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday proposed new laws to stiffen penalties for human trafficking in the state and renewed his criticism of the federal government for failing to keep the Texas-Mexico border secure.

The governor wants state lawmakers when they reconvene in January to make "the worst of these traffickers" subject to first-degree felony charges that could carry up to 99 years in prison. Advocacy groups say Texas is a hotbed for such crimes because of its geographic location, demographics and large migrant work force.

"Those who would commit these heinous acts need to know if you're caught in Texas, you're not going to see the light of day for a long, long time," Perry said.

Texas enacted a human trafficking law in 2003, and last year Perry signed a measure creating a statewide human trafficking task force attached to the Texas Attorney General's Office. The law took effect in January.

Perry said he was making $500,000 in grants available to counties and cities to help victims of human trafficking. His office's criminal justice division also will provide the attorney general with nearly $300,000 to expand the trafficking task force to aid in prosecution of cases.

Perry said human trafficking preys on the hopes and dreams of victims who were promised better lives for themselves and their families.

"Unfortunately, what awaits victims is a life of confinement, hard labor, prostitution, physical and mental abuse, and in far too many cases an early death," he said. "Human trafficking is simply modern-day slave trade and its scope is very chilling."

The governor cited federal statistics that estimate 20,000 people fall victim to human trafficking in the U.S. each year, "but we have no reliable way of knowing if the problem may be worse than that." He said about 20 percent of the victims may be in Texas.

The Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, a consortium of Houston nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations and government agencies, said Texas and Houston remain hotbeds of human trafficking not only because of their locations, but because of demographics and large numbers of migrant workers. Houston's port and airport, along with its proximity to Mexico, add to the problem...

Michael Graczyk

The Associated Press

Aug. 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

35 Immigrants Held Hostage in Baldwin Park

Investigators say one child was among the illegal immigrants found inside the residence.

Baldwin Park - Police have arrested two men accused of human trafficking after 36 suspected illegal immigrants were found inside a Baldwin Park house believed to have been used as a holding cell.

At around 7:00 p.m., officers form the Baldwin Park Police Department say they received a call from an alarmed man claiming to be an illegal immigrant being held against his will.

Arriving officers saw several suspects fleeing the home in the 5000 block of La Rica Road in Baldwin Park.

After an investigation, officers discovered several men, women and one child being held inside the home.

Police believe they had been in the residence for up to one month.

They were smuggled into the country illegally from Mexico and Central America and were being held until family members paid a certain sum of money, Lt. David Reynoso said.

The 36 immigrants appeared to be in good health, Reynoso said.

Two alleged captors, ages 18 and 30 years old, were arrested.

No weapons were found.

Police initially said it appeared the immigrants were being held against their will.

Jennifer Gould

KTLA News

Aug. 20, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Chile

Ramona Nélida Serrano alias Nélida Urbina o La Chilena vendía bebés santiagueños en Buenos Aires

Enfermera santiagueña, fue acusada de vender un bebé en Buenos Aires

Gisela di Vicenzo, que presentó la denuncia asegura haberla confrontado y sostuvo que la mujer reconoció que participó de una prolífica red de trata de personas.

Una enfermera santiagueña, afincada en Buenos Aires, fue acusada pública y judicialmente de integrar una red de trata de personas, que durante varios años, en las décadas del 70 y el 80, habrían vendido varias decenas de niños en la capital del país.

Según relató la joven que presentó la denuncia, la mujer, conocida como Nelly Urbina, trabajaba en el Hospital Italiano y se la conocía bajo el apodo de “La Chilena”.

Nurse Ramona Nélida Serrano, alias Nélida Urbina or La Chilena, clandestinely sold babies from Santiago, Chile in Buenos AIres, Aregentina for decades

Ramona Nélida Serrano, a nurse, has been criminally charged with participating in a human trafficking ring that, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, sold babies Chilean babies in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires...

Julio César Ruiz

El Liberal de Santiago del Estero

Aug. 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Washington State, USA

Seattle dubbed 'hub city' for child and teen sex trafficking in the U.S.

In a recent Dan Rather television special he said the U.S. Department of Justice dubbed Seattle, Wash., and Portland, as two of the twelve “hub cities” in the U.S. for prostitution and human trafficking, including sex trafficking of children and teens.

While the problem exists across the nation, Portland and Seattle provide easy north and south access on the I-5 corridor that spans from Canada to Mexico.

Portland, Ore., a metropolitan area just hours south of Seattle, has acquired a deplorable nationwide reputation for being the leading major hub for prostitution and child sex trafficking. Rather featured a recent television special called “Pornland, Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland.”

Recognizing the depth of the problem, Portland is now leading the way to a solution for children and teens who are victims of human trafficking for the purpose of selling them for sex.

Many teens, Rather said during his TV special, are recruited for sex and then moved across the country. Only 60 to 100 shelter beds for this purpose currently exist in the U.S., with 20 of them located in Seattle, Wash. One avenue for abusers to locate their victims is through the popular online classified advertising site, Craiglist...

Isabelle Zehnder

The Examiner

Aug. 17, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

Arizona

Sentencing delayed

The sentencing hearing for a woman accused of training a 14-year-old girl how to be a prostitute was postponed Wednesday after a problem arose.

Maricela Ann Muñoz was indicted in June on a charge of child prostitution of a minor under 15, a charge that carries a prison sentence of between 13 and 27 years.

She pleaded guilty to attempted child prostitution of a minor under 15 as part of a plea agreement that stated she could get probation or somewhere between five and 15 years in prison.

The plea agreement also states it would be up to Judge Charles Sabalos to decide if Muñoz should have to register as a sex offender.

On Wednesday, Judge Sabalos said he believes he must order Muñoz to register as a sex offender.

Muñoz's sentencing was postponed until Sept. 9 so her attorney can see if the plea agreement can be amended in some way.

Muñoz's co-defendant, Whitley Minter, entered an identical plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9.

According to police, a patrol officer spotted the 14-year-old walking south on South Sixth Avenue near the Rodeo Grounds at about 11:30 p.m. April 24.

The girl appeared to be soliciting, and the officer approached and questioned her, Pacheco said.

The girl eventually admitted she was a runaway from Phoenix and she was being trained to sell herself by a man named "David" and some women.

The teenager said they were staying at two local hotels until they earned enough money to move to California. When the cops went to the motels, David was gone, but Minter and Muñoz were there.

Police said the girl has been reunited with her parents, who had hired a private investigator to look for her.

Kim Smith

Arizona Daily Star

Aug. 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

Floran Calixto Sulit

Victorville Teacher Accused of Child Molestation

Victorville - A 33-year-old Silverado High School teacher has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

School officials reported the inappropriate relationship between math teacher Floran Calixto Sulit and the female juvenile on Aug. 11, according to San Bernardino County sheriff's officials.

Detectives learned that during the "on-going relationship," Sulit was "sending harmful material to the victim via her cell phone," a sheriff's press release stated.

Sulit, of Victorville, has been working at the school for six years.

He was arrested on suspicion of oral copulation and sending harmful matter. He's being held on $25,000 bail.

Detectives are urging anyone with information, or who may have been a victim, to contact Detective Julie Brumm at (909)387-3615. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling WeTip at (800)78-CRIME (800-782-7463).

KTLA News

Aug. 18, 2010


Added: Aug. 23, 2010

California, USA

Man Charged with Having Sex witn 12-year-old Girl

31 year-old Neftali Procopio was caught having sex with the girl in his parked car.

Santa Ana - A 31-year-old man has been charged with having sex and smoking pot with a 12-year-old girl he met on a playground in Santa Ana.

Police say Neftali Pena Procopio started talking to the young girl while playing basketball at Santa Ana High School on Monday night. The two became friends and the young girl said she thought he was a good listener. She reportedly told him about problems she was having at home.

Propcopio and the young girl met again at 10 p.m. when he persuaded her to sneak out of her house.

Officers arrested Propcopio while the two were having sex in his parked car on Ross Street. They both lied about their ages, according to police.

The young girl said she was 19 years old. Officers, however, doubted the girl's age and determined later she was only 12. That's when Propcopio was taken into custody, according to officials.

Procopio was charged Wednesday with felony lewd acts on a child under 14 and felony furnishing marijuana to a minor. His Bail has been set at $100,000.

KTLA News

Aug. 18, 2010


Added: Aug. 17, 2010

Mexico

Federal Police Riot in Ciudad Juarez Over Corruption

On August 8, Federal Police stationed in Ciudad Juarez (dubbed the "Murder Capital of the World") staged a thirteen-hour work stoppage to demand the dismissal of their superiors. They claimed their superiors were corrupt: they plant drugs and weapons on suspects, they are members of organized crime, they use their government-issue armored vehicles (such as the ones donated by the US government under the Merida Initiative) to transport drugs, and they throw whistle-blowing officers in jail. Discontent within the force reached a boiling point when commanding officers brought federal charges against an officer who filed a complaint against his superiors for abuse of authority, mistreatment, and death threats.

In response to the arrest of the whistle-blower, approximately 400 agents blocked streets in Ciudad Juarez to demand his release. Their action led to the dismissal of four commanding officers. However, Federal Police Internal Affairs removed the rioting agents from duty and is investigating them for having "instigated attacks and protests." The commanding officers, on the other hand, are not "under investigation," according to the Attorney General's Office. They're simply being asked to give testimony about the protest in Juárez, not about the corruption charges.

[A more detailed article about this crisis appears at the linked web site.]

Kristin Bricker

My Word is my Weapon

Aug. 12, 2010

[Can anyone believe that Mexico is going to be able to organize an effort to seriously combat human trafficking when police commanders are owned by the cartels that profit from and promote such trafficking? -LL]


Added: Aug. 17, 2010

Florida, USA

6 arrested in rare human trafficking case in Jacksonville

Over the past several weeks, local and federal authorities have arrested six men in what they’re calling a rare sex-trafficking operation in Jacksonville.

It started when a 15-year-old runaway wandered into the city’s drug-ridden underbelly last spring. She met men who gave her crack cocaine in exchange for sex. Then, they held her captive for nearly a month and sold her as a prostitute until she managed to break free and call her mother, who then called police.

Sheriff John Rutherford compared the case to slavery on Monday as he and James Casey, FBI special agent in charge of the Jacksonville office, announced the arrests.

However, the details were kept to a minimum as both said they wanted to protect the 15-year-old girl, who had been placed in a therapy program.

Police would not specify where in the city the girl was being held or where she was forced to perform sex acts for drugs. The method the men used to strong arm her into prostitution also was not revealed.

Ian Sean Gordon, 29, and Melvin Eugene Friedman, 45, were identified as principle suspects in the case...

If he’s convicted on the federal sex-trafficking charges, Gordon could face a life sentence.

Police also rounded up three men accused of purchasing the girl as a prostitute. Phillip Anthony Aiken, 28, Oris Alexander English, 45, and Alfredo Martinez Riquene, 42, each face a mandatory 10-year prison sentence if convicted.

Another man, 28-year-old Antonio D. Ford, was arrested on charges that he knew about what was happening to the girl but did not come forward.

Nearly 300,000 children in the United States, most of them runaways, are considered at risk to be forced into prostitution, according to a November 2009 report compiled by International Crisis Aid, a St. Louis-based human rights organization.

Still, Rutherford said the case announced Monday is a first in Jacksonville. Investigators said there could be more arrests coming.

David Hunt

August 16, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Mexico

Young women from the Triqui indigenous community in Mexico

Confirman parálisis de niña triqui de 14 años por ataque en Oaxaca

Discriminadas por médicos del hospital Juárez, denuncian

La niña triqui Adela Ramírez López, quien fue herida el 30 de julio por elementos de la policía estatal y de grupos paramilitares que ingresaron de manera violenta al municipio autónomo San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, quedará imposibilitada para caminar.

Fuentes cercanas a Cimacnoticias informaron que la niña fue trasladada al Hospital Juárez de la ciudad de México, donde ayer las y los médicos les informaron el diagnóstico y les dijeron que ya no pueden hacer nada más por ella en ese nosocomio.

“Estamos hablando de una niña de 14 años que tenía todo un futuro por delante y nos dicen que ya no pueden hacer nada, estas son las tragedias que las mujeres y niñas triquis vivimos todo los días”, relató la fuente consultada por esta agencia.

Precisó que durante la estancia en el hospital de la niña, las mujeres triquis permanecieron a las afueras del nosocomio, para estar en todo momento atentas a lo que se necesite y denunciaron que fueron discriminadas por el personal del hospital...

14-year-old Triqui indigenous girl is paralyzed in shooting attack by state police and paramilitary [thugs] in Oaxaca

Adela Ramírez López, a 14-year-old girl from the Triqui indigenous community in Oaxaca state, was wounded on July 30, 2010 by elements of the Oaxaca State Police and members of paramilitary groups who engaged in a violent assault on the autonomous community of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. As a result of the attack, Adela is paralyzed and cannot walk.

Sources close to the CIMAC women's news service have told us that Adela has been transported to Juárez Hospital in Mexico City. Doctors stated that they cannot do anything more for Adela at their facility.

A source told us: "We are talking about a 14-year-old girl who has her whole future ahead of her, and they tell us that they can do nothing more to help her. These are the types of tragedies that Triqui women face on a daily basis."

The source added that during Adela's hospital stay, a group of Triqui woman has been by her side at every moment, to attend to her needs. These women report that hospital staff have behaved in a discriminatory way toward them.

The Tirqui tribal area is located in Oaxaca state's La Mixteca region. The zone has been a center of acts of violence between rival groups who seek political control [within the tribe]. Women and girls have been the constant targets of abuse even as they have been important actors in the search for peace in their communities.

On July 30th, the group Women in Resistance of the town of San Juan Copala denounced the fact that 200 state police agents, under the command of Commissioner Jorge Quezada, violently attached their community.

Sources: "Their pretext was that they wanted to recover the body of one of the bloodiest, most notorious paramilitary gang chiefs, [who was located in] the town. The state police decided to mount their attack with the assistance of 20 gunmen from a paramilitary group called UBIRISORT (The Union for Social Wellbeing for the Triqui Region [affiliated with and tribal proxies for the Oaxaca state government])."

In response, the women of the town formed a human shield to protect themselves and their daughters and sons from this act of aggression. The state police and paramilitaries responded by opening fire on the group of unarmed women.

Bullets hit Adela and her 15-year-old sister. Adela was hit in the intestines and that bullet lodged in her spinal column, leaving her paralyzed. Her sister was shot in the lung, and is in critical condition.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Aug. 13, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Mexico

Negociazo trata de personas

En el foro “Hacia una legislación Integral en Materia de Trata de Personas y Delitos Afines”, que se llevó a cabo en San Lázaro para tratar este delito, los diputados mencionaron que la trata se ha convertido en un tema de seguridad nacional, pues en los últimos años ha ido en aumento en toda la República Mexicana.

En el país existe una población infantil de 31 millones de niños, de los cuales el 0.6 por ciento es víctima de trata, es decir, 20 mil infantes son sujetos a la explotación sexual, o usados para actos de pornografía, según la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas en la Cámara de Diputados.

A decir de la diputada panista María Antonieta Pérez Reyes, la trata de personas genera ganancias para el crimen organizado por 9 mil 500 millones de dólares anuales.

Legisladores mencionaron que mientras siga la pobreza y la ignorancia, las personas se hacen más vulnerables a ser víctimas de trata de personas. En tanto, el Procurador de Justicia del Distrito Federal, Miguel Ángel Mancera, dio a conocer que con los distintos operativos que se han realizado, se ha logrado asegurar nueve hoteles dónde se realizaban delitos de este tipo.

Además de ser rescatadas 95 personas víctimas de delitos sexuales, y han arraigado a 83 delincuentes.

The Business of Human Trafficking

During a just-ended congressional forum: Working Towards Integral Legislation Addressing Human Trafficking and Related Crimes, members of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) declared that human trafficking was national security issue, which has increased during recent years across Mexico.

According to the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, headed by National Action Party (PAN) deputy Rosi Orozco, some 20,000 children - 0.06% of Mexico's 31 million children, are subjected to sexual exploitation, which may include child pornography...

Deputies mentioned that, as long as poverty and ignorance continue to exist, people will remain vulnerable to human trafficking.

During the session, Mexico City District Attorney Miguel Ángel Mancera announced that police raids in the capital city have resulted in shutting down 9 hotels and the rescue of 95 victims. Eighty three suspects have been held for prosecution.

Omar Sánchez

El Arsenal

Aug. 12, 2010

[Note: Mexico City's city government has worked hard to address human trafficking issues, although as the capital, the problem remains serious. The nation's 30 states have, for the most part, expressed much less enthusiasm for aggressively pursuing human traffickers and rescuing victims. -LL]


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Cuba

Contra la prostitución infantil

Cientos de agentes de la policía fueron desplegados durante el sábado 10 y el y domingo 11 de julio en las calles Galiano, Reina, Monte, y en los parques Central y El curita, para frenar la prostitución infantil que, según fuentes confiables, ha alcanzado índices elevados entre los jóvenes de 12 a 18 años. Esta reportera presenció el arresto de adolescentes que fueron trasladados en carros jaulas hacia diferentes unidades de policía. También los agentes arrestaron a varios homosexuales que se paseaban por los alrededores del Capitolio Nacional y el cine Payret. Los operativos se extendieron al malecón, la cascada del hotel Nacional y la calle G.

Against Child Prostitution

According to sources, hundreds of police agents conducted raids on July 10th and 11th, 2010 in Havana targeting child prostitution. The raids were conducted on Galiano, Reina and Monte streets, as well as in Central Park and El Curita park in the capital city of Havana. Youth from 12 to 18-years-of-age who engage in prostitution in these areas. This reporter witnessed the arrest of a number of adolescents, who were taken in police vehicles to local police stations. Homosexual [prostitutes] who congregate in the area of the National Capitol building and the Payret cinema were also arrested. The operation also involved the the city's beach front - El Malecón, the steps of the National Hotel and also G Street.

Magaly Norvis Otero

Hablemos Press

July 19, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Texas, USA

Shatavia Anderson

Melvin Alvarado, and Jonathan Ariel Lopez-Torres

Illegal immigrant who confessed to killing 14-year-old girl had been deported twice

Houston - The family of a 14-year-old girl who was murdered last weekend showed up in court Friday.

Although the two suspects charged in the crime didn’t physically appear in court, both were assigned attorneys.

The family of 14-year-old Shatavia Anderson came out to speak about the young girl’s murder and were seen embracing inside the courthouse. Though they were not able to see the men police say are responsible for Anderson’s death, the family said they wanted to be there nonetheless.

Anderson was robbed and killed Saturday less than 100 yards from her family’s apartment in the 1100 block of Langwick Drive, police said. Police said the crime happened at about 12:30 a.m. as Anderson walked to the intersection of Greens Road and Wayforest.

Melvin Alvarado, 22, and Jonathan Ariel Lopez-Torres, 18, confessed that they were involved in the robbery and shooting, police said.

Police said Alvarado shot Anderson in the back and Torres drove the getaway vehicle. Both of the suspects lived in the area where Anderson was robbed and killed, police said.

Detectives said the suspects saw the girl walking home alone and decided to rob her. Anderson fought back as Alvarado attempted the robbery, Houston Police Sgt. Billy Bush said.

"Something happened between them. She pushed off, and at that point she ran and he says he shot her in the back," he said.

Police said they started getting tips Tuesday after they put out a composite sketch of one of the suspects.

"Both of them show to have a criminal history, not a significant criminal history, but they both have been arrested," Bush said.

Anderson’s family members were angered when they learned Alvarado was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and had previously been deported from the U.S. twice.

"What I’m trying to figure out is how they started coming over here and they can do whatever they want," said Anderson’s uncle Joe Lambert. "What you doing is giving them the green light, tellin’ them, ‘Hey, you can come over here and do what you want.’ It’s a prime example, that guy.."

Torres, a legal immigrant from Honduras, had no prior criminal convictions.

The two men appeared in a probable cause court on Thursday.

A judge refused to set bail.

Alvarado and Lopez-Torres are expected to be appear before a judge at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center on Friday.

Anderson’s funeral is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church located in the 5000 block of Lockwood.

Her family set up a memorial fund at Capital One Bank.

KHOU

Aug. 11, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

California, USA

Mercury Air Centers To Pay $600,000 For National Origin, Race And Sex Harassment In EEOC Suit

Salvadoran Airport Employee Was Promoted Despite Harassment of Filipino, Guatemalan and Mexican Male Workers, Federal Agency Charged

Los Angeles - Aircraft services provider Mercury Air Centers, Inc., will pay $600,000 and furnish other relief to settle a national origin, race and sex harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC originally filed suit against Mercury Air Centers in September 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Mercury Air Centers, Inc., CV-08-06332-AHM(Ex)), alleging that the harassment violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since the filing of the lawsuit, Mercury Air Centers was sold and became a part of Atlantic Services, Inc. Atlantic Services then worked with the EEOC in an effort to resolve the lawsuit.

According to the EEOC, the seven victims – including one Filipino male and six Hispanic males – endured a barrage of harassing comments on the part of a Salvadoran male co-worker at the Bob Hope Airport facility in Burbank, Calif., since at least 2004. The EEOC claims that a Filipino line technician was regularly referred to as a “chink,” “chino,” and “stupid Chinese,” and subjected to offensive statements about Filipinos. The alleged harasser derided the Guatemalan victims with derogatory remarks regarding their national origin, including references to them as “stupid Guatemaltecos” and stating that Guatemalans are useless and inferior to Salvadorans. Prior to learning the actual national origin of one of the Guatemalan victims, the alleged harasser also called him a “stupid Mexican.”

The EEOC contends that the alleged harasser also repeatedly hurled offensive racial and sexual remarks toward the claimants and at least two African-American employees, which included usage of the N-word and requests for sexual favors. The alleged harasser grabbed his genitals in their presence and engaged in unwanted sexual touching. Despite complaints regarding his inappropriate behavior, Mercury Air Centers’ management officials failed to fully investigate or address the alleged harassment, says the EEOC. In fact, the alleged harasser was instead promoted to a supervisory position....

U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission

Aug. 09, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Ricardo Velasquez

Man held in rapes of 2 children in south Charlotte

A man accused of raping two children in south Charlotte Sunday night has been flagged as an illegal immigrant in Mecklenburg jail.

Ricardo Velasquez was in jail late Wednesday. He was given a $170,000 bond, but was also being held by immigration authorities after Sheriff’s deputies identified him as an illegal immigrant under the 287(g) program.

Velasquez, 40, was charged with two counts of rape on a child under 13, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of first-degree sex offense on a child. The children were seven- and eight years old, according to a police report.

According to the report, the crimes happened just before 9 p.m. on Sunday night at an apartment on Sharon Road West. The condition of the children was unknown, but the police report says they had to be treated by emergency room doctors.

Velasquez has three previous convictions for driving while impaired, dating back to 1997, according to a search of N.C. court records. He’s also been found guilty of interfering with an emergency communication three times.

The 287(g) program that flagged Velasquez identifies and begins deportation proceedings against people in the country illegally who are arrested in Mecklenburg and other cooperating jurisdictions.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

The Charlotte Observer

Aug. 11, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Georgia, USA

Houston County judge sentences man to 35 years for molesting 6-year-old relative

William Mamfredo Castro, 29, who had been living in Warner Robins, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden after pleading guilty to one count of child molestation and two counts of first degree cruelty to children, said Senior Assistant District Attorney David Cooke. The girl was related to Castro, Cooke said.

Houston County public defender Nick White, who represented Castro, noted that Castro entered a “best-interest” plea. Castro was facing a potential life sentence had he gone to trial and been convicted of all the charges against him, White said. As part of the plea agreement, other charges, including rape and aggravated sexual battery, were dismissed. But Cooke said he thought a similar sentence would have been rendered had Castro gone to trial and been convicted of all the charges.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has a hold on Castro, an illegal immigrant, White said. How much time Castro will serve in prison before being deported will be up to the state parole board and federal authorities, White said.

However, Cooke said he expects that Castro’s status as an illegal will not impact his prison term and that Castro likely will serve 90 percent of the 35 years.

Becky Purser

Macon.com

Aug. 07, 2010


Added: Aug. 16, 2010

Oregon, USA

Tigard Police Seek Sexual Assault Suspect

Tigard Police investigators are seeking a suspect who reportedly unlawfully entered a woman’s home and sexually assaulted the victim. The incident occurred on August 6th, 2010 at approximately 3:50 pm. at the Windmill Apartments located along SW Tigard St. near 105th Ave.

The 40 year-old victim reported she was confronted in her unit by a Hispanic male that entered through an open rear slider. The victim was sexually assaulted by the suspect, who then fled on foot. The suspect is further described as 30-40 years of age, 5'6? tall, chubby with short dark hair. At the time of the incident, the suspect was seen wearing blue jeans, a polo shirt with a horizontal stripe pattern and white athletic shoes. A distinguishing feature of the suspect is a scar through the left eyebrow.

Tigard Police Detectives are asking the public’s help to identify the suspect. A composite sketch of the suspect is available to further assist the search. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the Tigard Police Tip line at 503-718-COPS (2677).

The Portlander

Aug. 13, 2010


Added: Aug. 10, 2010

Mexico

Pimps force Mexican women into prostitution in U.S.

Tenancingo - In this impoverished town in central Mexico, a sinister trade has taken root: Entire extended families exploit desperation and lure hundreds of unsuspecting young Mexican women to the United States to force them into prostitution.

Those who know the pimps of Tlaxcala state - victims, prosecutors, social workers and researchers - say the men from [the city of] Tenancingo have honed their methods over at least three generations.

They play on all that is good in their victims - love of family, love of husband, love of children - to force young women into near-bondage in the United States.

The town provided the perfect petri dish for forced prostitution. A heavily Indian area, it combines long-standing traditions of forced marriage or "bride kidnapping," with machismo, [and] grinding poverty...

Added to that, says anthropologist Oscar Montiel - who has interviewed the pimps about their work - is a tradition of informal, sworn-to-silence male groups. He believes that, in the town of just over 10,000, there may be as many as 3,000 people directly involved the trade. Prosecutors say the network includes female relatives of the pimps, who often serve as go-betweens or supervisors, or who care for the children of women working as prostitutes.

A pimp Montiel identified only by his unprintable nickname said his uncle got him started in the business and that he has since passed the techniques on to his brother and two sons.

Federico Pohls, who runs a center that tries to help victims, says established pimps will sometimes bankroll young men who aspire to the profession but lack the clothes, money and cars to impress young women.

Dilcya Garcia, a Mexico City prosecutor who did anti-trafficking work in Tenancingo, confirms that many boys in the town aspire to be pimps.

"If you ask some boys, and we have done this, 'Hey what do you want to be when you grow up?' They reply: 'I want to have a lot of sisters and a lot of daughters to make lots of money."' ...

A typical scenario, prosecutors say, involves an elaborate sham of a marriage - sometimes with false papers and names - before the pimp feigns a sudden financial crisis that would put the couple out in the street. The pimp then casually mentions a friend whose wife "worked" them out of the problem, noting, "If you love me, you'd do that for me."

Sometimes the tactics are more violent.

Garcia tells of an 18-year-old woman who was picked up by a Tenancingo pimp; her 11/2-year-old baby girl was placed in the care of one of his female relatives, and the woman was then taken to a down-at-the-heels Mexico City hotel and made to serve dozens of clients per day, for around 165 pesos ($12) apiece. When she resisted, the pimp told her, "If you don't do what I'm asking you to, you'll never see your daughter. You'll see what we'll do to your daughter."

Mostly, the pimps concentrate on isolating women, lying to them, and breaking down their self-esteem.

The victim who spoke to the AP described it this way: Her pimp, Rugerio, humiliated her, pulled her hair, withheld food and told her that she had to practice sex acts on him so she would perform well with the clients.

"I didn't like it," she said. "I felt ugly and it was very painful."

Rugerio told her he would send her to the U.S. and that he'd join her a bit later. After walking through the desert, she was sent to a nondescript apartment complex in suburban Atlanta, where she was met by two women and a man who, she was told, were related to Rugerio.

One of the women took her shopping for clothes. Even though it was September and starting to get chilly, the woman selected mostly short, tight skirts and tops and told her she'd have to start working the next day.

"I asked them what kind of work I would be doing," the young victim said. "She took out a bag of condoms and then I knew."

Her minders kept her in a small, sparsely furnished apartment, isolated from any other girls and mostly ignored her during the day. Around 4 p.m., a driver would come pick her up to take her to work. In the beginning, she had sex with between five and 10 men a night, but as time went on the number got as high as 40 or 50, mostly Latino men...

The 28-year-old Rugerio was sentenced in February to five years in federal prison in the U.S. for helping smuggle young women from Mexico to Atlanta and forcing them into prostitution.

But many others aren't caught.

"We've always suspected the problem is larger than we know about," said Brock Nicholson, deputy special agent in charge of the Atlanta division of the federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Oftentimes, victims are very reluctant to come forward."

Those arrested on suspicion of forced prostitution almost never admit it...

Kate Brumback and Mark Stevenson

The Associated Press

August 09, 2010


Added: Aug. 10, 2010

Canada

Children dying while predators roam free

Vancouver, British Columbia – Convicted sexual predator Martin Tremblay is still roaming free after two teenage girls died in March – one at his home – after being given a lethal mix of alcohol and drugs within hours of their deaths.

Friends of Martha Hernandez, 17, and Kayla LaLonde, 16, said the two First Nations [indigenous] teens had been hanging out with a man named “Martin” who supplied them with free drugs and alcohol at parties he held for teens at his Richmond home.

Angela LaLonde, whose daughter was found collapsed on a road with bruises on her body, said police told her they were close to an arrest in her daughter’s death, but then they stopped returning calls.

“That was the last time I saw them, the last time they even said anything, and I’ve tried calling and calling and they will not call me back,” she told CTV News in June.

Yet no arrests have been made, and the families are worried there will be no justice for their daughters, particularly after hearing that Tremblay recently had a garage sale and plans to move to a new location where no one knows his history.

What is particularly alarming is that Tremblay was convicted in 2003 for raping five Native girls between the ages of 13 and 15, most of whom were in foster care.

Tremblay, 44, not only drugged and raped young girls, he made pornographic videos of them while they were unconscious. Witnesses told police he had given the girls a mixture of morphine, ecstasy, codeine and alcohol.

It was his habit of videotaping his rapes that led to his arrest after an anonymous source delivered the tapes to the Vancouver police who initiated an investigation and eventually brought charges.

Tremblay pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault, but was only sentenced to three-and-a-half years in custody and 18 months of probation – and released after serving little more than a year in prison.

Before his release, women’s advocacy groups petitioned the judge to prohibit Tremblay from contact with girls under the age of 18, but that didn’t happen. Nor was he ever listed on a sex offender registry.

Frustrated by the lack of concern by law enforcement, women’s advocacy groups plastered the neighborhood with posters bearing his picture, warning girls that Tremblay has a history of drugging and sexually assaulting teenagers. And they repeatedly questioned why police didn’t issue a public warning about him.

So when two more teenagers linked to Tremblay died, activists and families were angry and frustrated that police had not done more to protect them.

“The community wants to know what happened to these girls and why was it allowed to happen,” said Carrie Humchitt, a lawyer with the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network. “These warnings weren’t taken seriously and here we are again.”

At the time, Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Jennifer Pound told the media that they had received many questions regarding “a specific individual and whether or not police will be putting out a public warning.” She said while the investigation was active, police were not in a position to name suspects or issue any warnings “based on speculation.”

According to a 2010 report by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, 582 cases of murdered and missing Native women have been documented so far, mostly over the past 10 years. Experts agree, however, that the actual numbers are much higher – in the thousands – and that more cases need to be documented though funding is limited...

“Aboriginal girls are hunted down and prostituted, and the perpetrators go uncharged with child sexual assault and child rape,” said Laura Holland, a spokeswoman for the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network. “These predators, pervasive in our society, roam with impunity in our streets and take advantage of those aboriginal children with the least protection.” ...

Valerie Taliman

Indian Country Today

August 06, 2010


Added: Aug. 6, 2010

Brazil

BBC reporter Chris Rogers talks with a young girl in prostitution

Brasil: el auge del turismo sexual que busca niños

La reputación erótica del país atrae a un tipo de turista indeseable.

Gran parte de la demanda de los turistas que viajan a Brasil en busca de relaciones sexuales la están satisfaciendo niños, reveló una investigación de la BBC.

Su pequeño bikini deja al aire su exigua contextura. No parece mayor de 13 años y es una de las decenas de niñas que se pasean en la calle en busca de clientes, bajo el sol abrasador de la mediatarde.

La mayoría proviene de las poblaciones marginales de los alrededores, las favelas...

Chris Rogers

BBC Mundo

July 30, 2010

See also:

Brazil's sex tourism boom

Young children are supplying an increasing demand from foreign tourists who travel to Brazil for sex holidays, according to a BBC investigation. Chris Rogers reports on how the country is overtaking Thailand as a destination for sex tourism and on attempts to curb the problem.

Her small bikini exposes her tiny frame. She looks no older than 13 - one of dozens of girls parading the street looking for clients in the blazing mid-afternoon sun. Most come from the surrounding favelas - or slums.

As I park my car, the young girl dances provocatively to catch my attention.

"Hello my name is Clemie - you want a programme?" she asks, programme being the code word they use for an hour of sex. Clemie asks for less than $5 (£3) for her services. An older woman standing nearby steps in and introduces herself as Clemie's mother.

I usually have more than 10 clients per night - they pay 10 reais each - enough for a rock of crack.”

"You have the choice of another two girls, they are the same age as my daughter, the same price," she explains. "I can take you to a local motel where a room can be rented by the hour."

I make my excuses and head towards the bars and brothels of the nearby red-light district.

Despite assurances of a police crackdown, there appears to be little evidence of child prostitution disappearing from the streets of Recife. In four years' time, the country will be hosting the World Cup, which will fuel its booming economy.

Brazil has defied the global economic downturn thanks, in part, to its exotic, endless beaches attracting record numbers of tourists.

The country's erotic reputation has long been attracting an unwanted type of tourist. Every week specialist holiday [vacation tour] operators bring in thousands of European singles on charted flights looking for cheap sex. Now Brazil is overtaking Thailand as the world's most popular sex-tourist destination.

Underage

...Taxi drivers work with the girls who are too young to get into the bars. One offers me two for the price of one and a lift to a local motel.

"They are underage, so much cheaper than the older ones," he explains as he introduces me to Sara and Maria.

Neither has made any attempt to disguise their age. One clings to a bright pink Barbie bag, and they hold each other's hands looking terrified at the possibility of a potential customer.

Recife's red-light area is now crammed with cars slowly crawling past groups of girls parading their bodies...

For safety, Pia works with a group of older girls who act as pimps, taking care of the money and watching over the younger ones.

"There's lots of girls working around here. I'm not the youngest, my sister is 12, and there's an 11-year-old." But Pia is worried about her sister: "Bianca hasn't been seen for two days since she left with a foreign guy," she says.

Pia first started working as a prostitute at the age of seven, and UNICEF estimates there are 250,000 child prostitutes like her in Brazil.

"I've been doing it for so long now, I don't even think about the dangers," Pia tells me. "Foreign guys just show up here. I've been with lots of them. They just show up like you." ...

Pia told me that one day she hopes to break out of prostitution. She said she had heard of charities that provide a home for girls like her.

"Every day I ask God to take me out of this life. Sometimes I do stop, but then I go back to the streets looking for men. The drug is bad, the drug is my weakness and the clients are always there willing to pay." ...

BBC News

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Mexico

Award-winning journalist and anti trafficking activist Lydia Cacho

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

[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 [read: 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. Plan B refers to the need to dialog on the issues in an out of the box manner that normal discourse tends not to cover.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Mexico

Mónica Flores Barragán, the general director of Manpower, Inc. for Mexico, central America and the Dominican Republic

Cada año dejan la secundaria 445 mil jóvenes

Esta deserción fomentan explotación laboral y sexual

México.- Cada año 445 mil jóvenes dejan la secundaria por razones de pobreza y violencia, y otro millón 144 mil más no alcanza un espacio en ese nivel de enseñanza, por lo que engrosan las filas del trabajo infantil e incluso explotación sexual.

Así lo reveló el director general del Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Desarrollo y Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá.

En la firma de un convenio con Manpower para la prevención y erradicación de la trata de personas, la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, la diputada Rosi Orozco, propuso a Manpower establecer una bolsa de trabajo, para capacitar y emplear a las víctimas de delitos sexuales...

45,000 students abandon school annually

Dropouts become victims of labor and sexual exploitation

According to Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá, director of the Center for Center for Studies and Investigation in Development and Social Assistance (CEIDAS), each year some 445,000 children and youth in Mexico abandon secondary school for reasons tied to poverty and violence. Another 1,114,000 children do not even enter secondary school. These children fill the ranks of child workers, including those who are sexually exploited.

Rosi Orozco, who is president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking of the Chamber of Deputies in Congress, recently signed an agreement with Manpower [Incorporated]. The contract calls on Manpower to create an employment agency that will train and employ victims of sex crimes.

Mónica Flores Barragán, who is the general director of Manpower [for Mexico, central America and the Dominican Republic], explained that she would work to enlist additional corporate allies to work to prevent these types of crimes.

Manpower, she said, will provide counseling to job seekers to help them avoid becoming the victims of human trafficking. They will also educate their clients about avoiding being entrapped by false classified job ads (which appear everywhere) that don’t require a good education but offer very attractive rates of pay.

Manpower will also provide information about foreign companies that recruit, validating whether or not the company is legitimate. They will also provide emergency phone numbers to their clients, and will warn them that nobody has the right to take your passport from you.

Flores Barragán: “Manpower has committed to not working with companies that hire children and underage minors. In Mexico, we work with 2,000 job seekers per month, on average. If we provide this education to not just the workers, but to their families as well, we can have a positive impact on society. We also need to engage the suppliers [corporate customers of Manpower].

Fuentes Alcalá and Deputy Orozco agree that it will not be possible to fight labor exploitation and human trafficking as long as impunity exists at all levels of the justice system, and as long as a culture that permits denouncing these crimes remains non-existent.

They recalled that during 2008 and 2009, only 4 cases of human trafficking were documented. In addition, the large majority of youth who are sexually exploited have been entrapped through the use of false pretensions of love [by their victimizers]. In other words, they don’t see themselves as victims.

Another contributing factor to the current increase in human trafficking cases is the expansion of poverty, say Fuentes Alcalá and Orozco. From 2006 to the present, 11 million people have newly fallen into poverty, adding to the 45 million who already lived under those conditions.

El Financiero

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Mexico

Preparan foro sobre trata de personas en San Lázaro

Durante la reunión de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados, se anunció la próxima realización del foro “Hacia una legislación integral en materia de trata de personas y delitos relacionados”.

La Presidenta de este órgano parlamentario, Rosi Orozco (PAN), detalló: “Necesitamos que sea algo integral, tomando en cuenta también otros delitos”.

Asimismo, la legisladora indicó que en el evento se contará con la presencia de personalidades del Gobierno federal y del Poder Judicial, así como con algunas personas que han sido factores importantes en este rubro...

Congressional anti-trafficking commission will present a new forum on human trafficking

During a special meeting of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, members announced an upcoming forum called: Development Toward Integral Legislation to Address Human Trafficking and Related Crimes.

The president of the commission, National Action Party (PAN) congressional deputy Rosi Orozco said, “we need this legislation to represent an integral approach, that recognizes related crimes.”

Deputy Orozco added that federal executive and judicial branch officials, as well as specialists in human trafficking will attend the forum.

The topics to be discussed will include: the crime of human trafficking and criminal penalties and prosecution. In addition, the forum will discuss regional moralities as they impact human trafficking, local necessities for fighting these crimes and the need to homogenize [widely differing] state and federal laws under a single legal framework.

Deputy Orozco concluded by stating: “As long as state laws differ widely in their criminal laws and penalties addressing human trafficking, we will not be able to defeat this scourge. We will not be able to stop this crime in the face of its very rapid increase [in our society].

Canal del Congreso (The Congressional channel)

July 22, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Florida, USA

Sex Trafficking of Mentally Disabled Girl Puts Focus on Illegal Immigrants and Crime

Immigration Critics Call Florida Case Consequence of 'Broken Borders'

Mario Laguna-Guerrero had been dating his 17-year-old girlfriend for two years and even lived with her and her mother before he made a decision that would change their relationship forever.

Laguna, struggling to repay a debt to smugglers who brought him into the country from Mexico, decided to become a pimp -- driving his girlfriend to migrant labor camps in Hillsborough County, Florida, and selling her for sex.

Over four months in late 2009, as many as 80 men slept with the teenage girl while Laguna pocketed $25 a head. He later pressured his girlfriend to recruit high school classmates to work as prostitutes too.

Law enforcement agents arrested Laguna in April and charged him with sex trafficking of a minor, a federal crime.

More stories from ABC News' special series "Out of the Shadows: Illegal Immigration in America"

According to the affidavit, Laguna, 25, said his girlfriend, who's a U.S. citizen, agreed to help him pay off his debt by having sex for cash. But the girl, who has a mental disability and is only identified as "Victim #1," told detectives separately, "I don't wanna do this."

Investigators determined Victim #1 has an IQ of 58, which psychologists described to ABC News as "low-functioning," adding that she would have difficulties making decisions on her own.

"This girl was rescued from a nightmare which could only have gotten worse," said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

As national debate rages over ties between illegal immigration and crime, the Laguna-Guerrero case depicts a disturbing trend in human sex trafficking and, some immigration critics say, a consequence of the U.S. failure to secure its borders.

"This is a heinous crime, there are real victims left in its wake, and it's all unnecessary," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform. "It could have been prevented if he weren't here illegally... Legal immigrants go through a vetting process that's designed to weed out criminals."

Laguna, who worked as a strawberry picker on a farm near Tampa, first arrived in the U.S. in 2002. He told investigators the smugglers who brought him into the country threatened to cut off his fingers if he did not soon pay his $2,000 debt.

While Mehlman praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for uncovering the case and prosecuting the "most egregious" crimes perpetrated by immigrants, he said more must be done to curb the "disproportionate" criminal activity of those in the U.S. illegally.

Devin Dwyer

ABC News

July 28, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Global Warming Means More Mexican Immigration?

As Mexican crops wither, immigration to the U.S. might increase.

Disputes over illegal Mexican immigrants are already heating up in the United States, thanks in part to a new Arizona immigration law.

But global warming could bring the immigration issue to a boiling point in the coming decades, if a new study holds true.

According a new computer model, a total of nearly seven million additional Mexicans could emigrate to the U.S. by 2080 as a result of reduced crop yields brought about by a hotter, drier climate—assuming other factors influencing immigration remain unchanged.

"The model shows that climate-driven refugees could be a big deal in the future," said study co-author Michael Oppenheimer, an atmospheric scientist at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Using data on Mexican emigration as well as climate and crop yields in 30 Mexican states between 1995 and 2005, Oppenheimer and colleagues created the computer model to predict the effect of climate change on the rate of people crossing the border.

In that ten-year period, 2 percent of the Mexican population emigrated to the U.S. for every 10 percent reduction in crop yield.

Using the model to extrapolate this real-world figure over the next 70 years, the researchers calculated that 1.4 to 6.7 million adult Mexicans—a number roughly equal to 10 percent of Mexico's current adult population—could migrate to the U.S. by 2080.

The research is one of the first attempts by scientists to put hard numbers on how climate change can affect human migration patterns.

"Our study is the first to build a model that can be used for projecting the effects on migration of future climate change," Oppenheimer said...

U.S. Should Help Mexicans Adapt to Warming?

Despite its limitations, the Mexican-immigration model could help spur governments to start thinking about how they'll deal with so-called eco-migrants created by global warming, the University of Guelph's Smit said.

"The takeaway message for me of this study is that there is indeed a relationship between changes in crop yield and the movement of people," Smit said. "And to the extent that future climate change will introduce more of those stresses on yields, we can expect more pressures on the movement of people."

If the U.S. and other developed nations start thinking about climate change-related immigration now, before it becomes a major problem, they could take steps that would help reduce the amount of immigration in the first place, said Robert McLeman, a geographer who studies climate migration at Canada's University of Ottawa.

Toward this end, developed nations can do a lot to help their poorer neighbors, said McLeman, who wasn't involved in the modeling.

For example, the U.S. could make it easier for Mexican crops to reach U.S. markets, McLeman said. Or the U.S. could help Mexico create new, non-agricultural employment opportunities by encouraging other industries in rural areas.

"One of the things I encourage policymakers to think about is that people don't have to migrate if they have other means of adapting to climate change where they already live," he added...

No Downside to Preempting Global Warming Immigration?

In some sense, it may not matter whether the study is right or wrong.

The University of Ottawa's McLeman, for example, argues that many of the things the U.S. could do to help Mexico adapt to global warming will also help improve the quality of life for many of Mexico's poor.

"A lot of the things that we could be doing are things that we should be doing anyway," he said.

"Even if it turns out that our future projections about climate change impacts aren't right, it's still a good investment. I don't see any downside to it."

Ker Than

National Geographic News

July 26, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Obama, US Media Ignore Mexico's Brutality Towards Illegal Aliens

"Besides the news media's overall silence on illegal immigrants being terrorized, robbed and killed by Mexican authorities, the Obama Administration and US lawmakers are equally silent."

If the news media were truly unbiased in their reportage of Mexican illegal immigration and told the whole story, Americans would be shocked at the degree of President Felipe Calderon's hypocrisy.

...Calderon and his government appear to be unwilling to acknowledge their own hypocrisy in dealing with illegal immigrants who enter Mexico from Central American countries. Considered felons by the Mexican government, these immigrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers beat them and simply take their money and possessions.

Anyone who doesn't believe the above treatment of illegal aliens by Mexican authorities should peruse reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

"This 128-page report examines the commission's work on more than 40 human rights cases, including recent abuses by soldiers involved in law enforcement operations, police crackdowns against demonstrators in Guadalajara and San Salvador de Atenco, and the killings of women in Ciudad Juárez over the past decade, among others. The report also examines the commission's role in addressing abusive laws, including restrictions on freedom of expression, and responding to important reforms..." states the Human Rights Commission report's preface.

Besides the news media's overall silence on illegal immigrants being terrorized, robbed and killed by Mexican authorities, the Obama Administration and US lawmakers are equally silent...

Undocumented Central Americans complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the US side of the border, where aliens may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail, according to this writer's sources within the intelligence community.

If an immigrant is carrying any money, Mexican police officers or soldiers take it from the hapless illegal immigrant. And it's not just local cops: Federal (Federales) and state police officers are equally corrupt and brutal. There is no such thing as a sanctuary city in Mexico. And the illegal immigrants are lucky if the are confronted by police officers; the soldiers are far worse in their treatment of these foreigners. While most countries including the United States have some police corruption, the level of corruption in Mexico is shocking. To many, the only difference between Mexican organized crime gangs and the police is that the cops wear uniforms and badges.

While the Obama Administration praises Mexican cooperation with fighting a war on drugs, most law enforcement commanders know better. The Mexican government has been bought and sold by the drug gangs. The only time there is a crackdown on a drug gang is when a rival drug gang "requests" police action in order to eliminate their competition...

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

Jim Kouri

Family Security Matters

July 17, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

The Americas

Combating Human Trafficking in the Western Hemisphere: The Need for Increased NGO Involvement

Human Trafficking is a global industry that transcends borders, regions, and cultures. Within the Western Hemisphere trafficking is an important issue that arguably helps to shape relations between Latin American and the United States. In June 2010, the State Department Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) included, for the first time, in its ten year existence, a ranking allocated to the United States as well as 177 other countries. The TIP report helps substantiate the claim that the United States and Latin American governments must strive to improve the lives of millions of innocent people who increasingly are victims of human trafficking. The restaveks, Haitian youth forced into domestic labor without compensation, exemplify the lack of protective measures against child trafficking who usually turn out to be the chief victims of trafficking.

The plight of these children, in Haiti and elsewhere throughout the region, reflect both the obvious and more subtle weaknesses in efforts to reduce human trafficking in Latin America. The trafficking of children is an immensely serious problem that regional governments paired with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must address. Moreover, the United States must actively engage with both the governments of other countries as well as foreign NGOs to facilitate this improvement...

The TIP Report

The U.S. State Department releases the TIP Report annually. It discusses each country elaborating on improvements or regression and gives countries a grade: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2-Watch or Tier 3. Tier 1 countries are those deemed to comply fully with the minimum requirements provided by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TPVA). Tier 2 consists of nations that do not fully comply with the TPVA, but are making substantial attempts to do so, while Tier 2-Watch nations make these efforts as well, but still have a significant increase in absolute number of trafficking victims. Tier 3 countries, such as the Dominican Republic, do not fulfill the minimum standards nor are they making attempts to do so. Some critics of the TIP report argue that some countries in the region attempt to meet TIP requirements out of fear of receiving a low rank in the compilation’s annual report and therefore do not implement measures specific to the nature and dimensions of the tempo of trafficking that is occurring within a given country.

Others speculate that the status of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Latin America serves as the driving force behind the grade each country receives. Opponents of the U.S., like Venezuela unquestionably perceive a lower grade, than a country like Colombia which is rewarded for supporting U.S. interests in the region. For example, the United States ranks Cuba (a country with which the U.S. lacks basic diplomatic relations) as a Tier 3 country while Colombia receives the rank of Tier 1. Moreover, in 2005, Latin America had a higher percentage of Tier 3 countries than any other region in the world.

Even though it is difficult to produce a completely unbiased account of government efforts against trafficking without being swayed by foreign policy objectives, the TIP could at least try to find a balance between ethical concern and broader U.S. geopolitical goals and interests. This equilibrium is particularly important with regards to Latin American countries because the concept of migration and human trafficking are closely related to one another. Illegal immigrants who travel up through Mexico and Central America lack legal protection and are therefore more vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking. Moreover, strict immigration policies, such as those in the United States, provide only limited opportunities for legal migration that would go to protect immigrants. Restrictive human trafficking measures implemented by other countries in the region are likely to reduce the amount of trafficking in the United States.

The TIP Report as a Tool

In an interview with COHA, Mark Lagon, Former Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons and current Senior Advisor of Corporate Responsibility for Lexus Nexus, uses the case of Venezuela to refute some criticism of the TIP report: “I advocated for raising Venezuela to a better ranking. The integrity of the report requires acknowledging improvement because all in all, there is no reason to give countries anything but an objective assessment.” In this capacity, Lagon contributed to global anti-trafficking policy and directed the compilation of the TIP report. Venezuela, a nation with which the United States has strained ties, had a Tier 3 rank in 2007, but in 2008, it was moved down a level to Tier 2-Watch class. Lagon views the TIP report as a constructive tool for improving relations between the U.S. and Latin America.

He describes the improvement in US-Mexico relations with regards to human trafficking as a “quiet success,” which in part is due to the State Department’s decision to assign the U.S. a grade for the first time. Furthermore, Lagon contends, “Mexico continually hated any report where it was given a grade, but by including the U.S. in the TIP report we admitted, weaknesses in a way that we had not done before. Consequently, this dialogue has led to a more constructive relationship, fostering cooperation in regards to preventing human trafficking.”

He went on to clarify that “the heart of human trafficking lies in exploitation; it’s not always about migration. Forty percent of trafficking victims in the U.S. come from Latin America. It is every bit as much for labor as for sexual exploitation.” A Congressional Research Report highlights the case of Mexico because it accounted for twenty-three percent of recognized human trafficking victims in the U.S. in 2008 alone. Thus, increased collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico regarding immigration and trafficking legislation will only yield positive outcomes. By examining the case of Mexico it is evident that a deepening of relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries could be facilitated by engaging in dialogue regarding human rights, especially trafficking.

The Nature of Child Trafficking

Countries that do not provide programs to combat child trafficking often receive more condemnation and higher rankings in the TIP report. One of the most unsettling aspects of human trafficking is the exploitation of children used for sex tourism. A significant discrepancy exists in the legal age of consent for females in Latin American countries. Averages range from fourteen to eighteen years, the legal age as provided by the Palermo Protocol. These disparities make victim identification more difficult. A 2008 article published in Human Rights Quarterly reports that “other forms of trafficking include using children as panhandlers, news agents, garbage recyclers (i.e. those who sort through the public dumps for recyclable materials), domestic help, mining, agriculture, illegal adoption and child soldiers.” These types of forced labor jobs frequently occur within the borders of one country, as with the restaveks in Haiti and child soldiers in Colombia...

The Importance of NGOs

Increased cooperation between the U.S. and Latin American countries regarding laws as well as punitive measures will be crucial to countering the efforts of traffickers in the region, but the legal canvas is not necessarily the only area of concern. Lagon pointed to the problem of corruption among law enforcement officials who “tend to blame victims instead of help them.” In order to assist victims not only in Haiti but also those to be found within the region, it is crucial that Washington step up its assistance to NGOs. For example, the Polaris Project is an NGO that focuses on victim identification and then provides social services and transitional housing as called for by advocates of stronger federal anti-trafficking legislation. Another NGO, International Justice Mission (IJM), works in many locations, such as Guatemala, Peru, and Honduras, to rescue victims of human trafficking, particularly children, and bring justice to their perpetrators. Lagon explains that “We need to move the needle by extending the capacities of NGOs. They are often seen as an irritant, but are an essential part of civil society. By assisting NGOs financially, we can help build the capacity to decrease human trafficking.” It is not merely a coincidence that Colombia which has a flawed human rights reputation, nevertheless received a Tier 1 ranking and is the largest recipient of U.S. aid in the region as well as being among Washington’s primary military allies in the Caribbean.

Working Towards a Brighter Future

Human trafficking is a wealth-generating industry in which the risk to reward ratio eventually perpetuates the problem. A person can be exploited repeatedly, whereas drugs bear a one-time use restriction. This makes trafficking a lucrative matter for those involved.

Tensions over definition and desensitization on the trafficking issue have only weakened efforts to prevent it. Consequently, the United States and governments in the region need to work together and thrust human trafficking into more of a spotlight. This must be done not merely once a year when the State Department releases the TIP report. Progress in the fight against human trafficking in the region will not come to fruition until the United States is willing to not only assist the governments of the Latin American countries, but also help NGO’s identify as well as liberate victims. Washington must also resist any temptation to politicize the matter, as has been seen in the evaluation of Venezuela.

Kelsey Cary

Council on Hemispheric Affairs

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Oregon, USA

Federal Court Bars Employer’s Questions About Immigration And Sexual History In EEOC Sexual Harassment Case

Judge Grants Order Against Inquiries that "Intimidate ... Needlessly"

Portland - A federal district court has ordered an employer to stop questioning Hispanic farm workers who filed charges of sexual harassment and retaliation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concerning their immigration status, employment history and, in one woman’s case, her sexual history. In June 2009, the federal agency sued Willamette Tree Wholesale, Inc. of Molalla, Ore., alleging that workers were sexually harassed and threatened in retaliation for reporting the harassment. The EEOC also charged that one Latina farm worker was repeatedly raped by her supervisor.

The EEOC, together with the claimants represented by the Oregon Law Center, sought a protective order in response to requests by Willamette Tree’s lawyers for certain information. They argued that the company’s inquiries would have a chilling effect. In an order issued last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak of U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland division, specifically prohibited the company’s attorneys from asking questions concerning the alleged rape victim’s immigration status, whether she has ever used another name, her prior sexual history and her reasons for not contacting police after the sexual assaults. It also bars discovery of the immigration status and third-party employment records for all workers participating in the case.

The court stated that “the public interest would be far better served” if meritorious discrimination claims were presented by immigrants regardless of their status, rather than if the “potentially chilling effect” of scrutinizing plaintiffs' documentation prevented workers from coming forward.

Judge Papak also found that the female farm worker’s sexual history is “not clearly relevant” to the claims of the case and would have “clear prejudicial effect” on the lawsuit: “to permit Willamette Tree to make inquiries into [her] sexual or romantic history would intimidate [her] needlessly.” He rejected Willamette Tree’s arguments to depose the worker as to why she did not contact law enforcement after the sexual violence, by observing that the woman had already testified on record “that her supervisor threatened her and her family with violent reprisal should she tell anyone that he had raped her.”

EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo said, “Judge Papak’s order gives hope to victims of sexual harassment at work. By refusing to re-victimize the victim with needless attack on her sexual history and immigration status, the court provides key protections not only for the individual involved in this case, but ultimately for others who have been in her situation: immigrants, females, workers driven to keep their jobs, and the targets of sexual assault and retaliation.”

“The EEOC has seen an alarming rise in harassment cases involving egregious sexual assaults being committed against female workers, particularly those from immigrant communities,” Tamayo continued. These include suits against AllStar Fitness in Seattle on behalf of a Latina janitor who allegedly had been raped multiple times; La Pianta L.C.C., which does business as Frenchman Hills Vineyard in Othello, Wash., alleging that a supervisor sexually assaulted a Latina worker; and a suit with the Oregon Law Center against Woodburn, Oregon-based Wilcox Farms resulting in a $260,000 settlement in a sexual harassment case that involved a physical sexual assault. Additionally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict of $1,000,000 in favor of the EEOC against Coalinga, Calif.-based Harris Farms on behalf of a Latina farm worker who charged she was raped by her supervisor and retaliated against...

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 15, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Knouse Foods Agrees to Pay $300,000 To Settle EEOC Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Food Growers Cooperative Disciplined Employees Who Complained about Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

Harrisburg - – A major farm growers’ cooperative which owns the Musselman Company agreed to pay $300,000 to a class of women and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a federal harassment and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Knouse Foods, a class of female farmworkers was subjected to egregious sexual harassment by male coworkers at its processing plant in Gardners, Pa. The sexually hostile work environment included making lewd and unwanted sexual advances and sexually explicit remarks. The male coworkers also engaged in threatening behavior, such as using the forklift to chase women or blocking them with their bodies or a broom while they walked down the hall. In addition, the women were subjected to unlawful harassment and called derogatory names because of their Mexican national origin.

The EEOC further charged that Knouse Foods wrongfully disciplined or reassigned employees in reprisal for their complaints about the abusive treatment.

In addition to the $300,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree includes injunctions against engaging in retaliation or harassment based on sex or national origin; mandatory anti-discrimination training of all employees at the Gardners facility; and supervisor accountability to ensure that work areas be in compliance with company policies against discrimination. Additionally, Knouse will be required to report periodically to the EEOC regarding the cooperative’s investigation into and resolution of any complaints of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, and must post a notice confirming Knouse’s commitment to comply with Title VII.

The EEOC attempted to reach a voluntary settlement before filing suit in United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-01811-CCC.

“The EEOC has seen a troubling number of sexual harassment charges filed by farmworkers across the country,” said Debra Lawrence, the regional attorney of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office. “The Commission is committed to eliminating this egregious harassment of migrant and low-income workers.”

Iris Santiago-Flores, the trial attorney responsible for handling the litigation, added, “We are pleased that Knouse worked with EEOC to resolve this case. In addition to the monetary compensation to the victims of the harassment and retaliation, the consent decree provides substantial injunctive and remedial relief intended to protect all employees at the processing plant from unlawful harassment and retaliation.”

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 26, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

California, USA

EEOC And Hilltown Packing Company Settle Harassment And Retaliation Suit

Broccoli Packer to Pay $48,000 and Make Changes to Prevent Future Harassment

San Francisco - Hilltown Packing Company, a broccoli packer based in Salinas, Calif., will pay $48,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit asserted that Filomena Ruelas, who was also represented in the matter by California Rural Legal Assistance, and other women were sexually harassed by their supervisor and then retaliated against when they opposed the harassment. The suit was filed after a neutral investigation by EEOC investigators Yasmin Macariola-Wolohan and Juan Vaca and after first attempting to reach voluntary settlement out of court. Hilltown denied the allegations but agreed to resolve the case through a consent decree.

The decree, approved by the Honorable Judge Patricia V. Trumbull of U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose (Civ. No. C-09-4647 PVT ), provides for $48,000 in damages, and requires that the company reissue its policy against sexual harassment in English and Spanish, provide training to all its employees, and submit regular reports to the EEOC if it receives any complaints of harassment or retaliation. Hilltown also agreed to include in its supervisor evaluations an assessment of their effectiveness in preventing sexual harassment and retaliation. The company has informed the EEOC that the supervisor accused of harassment is no longer employed with the company.

“Women in the agricultural industry are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment, especially immigrant women who may not be proficient in English and are unaware of their employment rights,” said EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “The EEOC appreciates Hilltown’s cooperation in reaching a settlement and agreeing to consent decree provisions which will help prevent harassment in the future.”

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado added, “ The EEOC continues to receive charges of harassment and retaliation from agricultural workers. Through a program of outreach, education and litigation, the EEOC is committed to remedying that situation. The policy changes brought about by the consent decree settling this case further that goal.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Virginia, USA

Virginia Beach Plastering Company Sued by EEOC for Same-Sex and National Origin Harassment

Federal Agency Charges Salvadoran Was Victimized by Supervisor

Norfolk – A plastering and drywall company doing work at Norfolk Naval Base and MacArthur Center mall violated federal law when it subjected an employee of Salvadoran origin to a hostile work environment based on both his sex and national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC’s suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tidewater Plastering and Drywall Company, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-00369), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, charged that Virginia Beach-based Tidewater Plastering and Drywall Company, Inc. created and maintained a hostile working environment for Jorge Calderon based on both his male gender and Salvadoran national origin. According to the complaint, from around September 2008 until February 2009, a male foreman for Tidewater Plastering subjected Calderon to unwelcome sexual conduct. The conduct included calling Calderon “sexy,” blowing him kisses and caressing his hands and back. The complaint also alleged that on one occasion the foreman also told Calderon that Calderon would have to sleep with the foreman in order to work at Tidewater Plastering’s next job site.

The same foreman also made derogatory comments to Calderon based on his national origin, including calling him a “stupid Salvadoran.” According to the complaint, when Calderon sought the help of his employer to end the harassment, the president of the company told him that nothing could be done. Consequently, Calderon quit his job.

The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Calderon, as well as an injunction enjoining Tidewater Plastering from engaging in similar discrimination again and requiring it to take other measures to ensure a workplace free of discrimination for future employees. The agency filed suit after first attempting to settle the matter informally.

“Offering employees avenues for reporting harassment and then responding appropriately to employee complaints are critical in maintaining a workplace free from unlawful harassment,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District Office which also has jurisdiction over Virginia. “This is true across all industries. Employees in the construction industry have just as much right as persons in any other occupation to a workplace free from unlawful harassment.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Report - July 22-28, 2010

July 28, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from El Salvador near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 27, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual solicitation of a child in the state of Delaware, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 26, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of Indiana, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 24, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tat Momoli, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 24, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Arizona, had a prior conviction for aggravated assault, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 23, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Nogales, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had multiple convictions for sex offenses in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 22, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Why, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape and burglary, and had been previously removed from the United States.

July 22, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Ecuador near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an active arrest warrant for rape and sexual abuse issued in the state of New York.

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Report - July 22-21, 2010

July 20, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Marana, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had active arrest warrants for rape, kidnapping, communication threats, and larceny issued in the state of North Carolina.

July 17, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

July 16, 2010 - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

July 15, 2010  - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender and had previously been removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

July 29, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

At the march for I’riana DeJesus

Justice Elusive for I'riana DeJesus 10-Years Later

DNA match identifies suspect, but he's hiding out in Honduras, sources say

A march through the neighborhood of Hunting Park marks a decade since 5-year old I’riana DeJesus was raped and murdered. Her killer remains a free man.

"It’s sad, it’s sad that’s she’s gone," the girl's mother Lizasuain DeJesus said -- speaking through tears.

She says her heart breaks every time she thinks about what happened to her daughter on this day 10-years ago.

"She was an innocent kid," the mother said. "Why would someone want to murder her? She didn’t do nothing to nobody. It’s a shame it had to be my daughter."

Police and the FBI are searching for the little girl’s accused killer Alexis Flores.

He’s believed to be in hiding in his native Honduras and sources say recent information reveals he’s getting plenty of help from his family.

Flores was linked to I’riana’s murder after he was arrested in Phoenix on forgery charges in 2004.

A DNA match to I’riana’s murder came several years late and by that time Flores had already been deported.

"Now we have a DNA match. Now we have a name, now we have a face. You can run but you can never hide," Lizasuain said.

I’riana’s body was discovered inside a building at 6th and Pike Streets only a couple blocks from where she lived.

Just two weeks ago, a childcare center opened-up in its place giving new life to what had become a painful reminder of I’riana’s murder. The daycare is now named after the little girl.

"I knew that there was no way I could open up something like a childcare center or a preschool and not give back to I’riana," daycare owner Domonique Prince said. "What happed was just tragic."

Lizasuain says she’s glad to see her neighborhood moving forward and standing behind her -- never giving up hope that one day her daughter’s killer will be caught.

"People say let it go, let it rest. I just can’t rest until I know he’s been caught. I have a problem with that," Lizasuain said. "I want my justice and I believe that I deserve that."

Alexis Flores is on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Dense Nakano

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

New Jersey, USA

12-year-old girl sexually assaulted, say police

An Englewood resident was arrested on July 29 on charges of sexually assaulting and endangering the welfare of a 12-year-old girl at his workplace in Bergenfield.

Under the investigation and direction of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the Bergenfield Police arrested Rafael Antonio Guzman Jr., 27, around 7 p.m. at his place of employment, Play N Trade in Bergenfield.

An investigation was conducted by members of the county's sex crimes and child abuse unit.

Guzman, a manager at Play N Trade, was charged with one count of sexual assault, a second-degree crime, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime.

In lieu of bail, he was remanded to the Bergen County Jail. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option by Superior Court Judge Robert L. Polifroni of Bergen County Civil Division. Arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 4.

Jennifer Kim

The Northern Valley Suburbanite

July 30, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Florida, USA

Family tries to get marriage license for 13-year-old

A Lake Placid man was arrested Thursday on allegations that he had sex more than once with a 13-year-old girl, which led to her getting pregnant.

Pedro Valladares Martinez, 27, of Sudburry Drive, Lake Placid, was charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a victim 12 to 16 years of age.

He remained in the Highlands County Jail Friday under a $50,000 bond.

Law enforcement was alerted about the two after Highlands County Courthouse employees called and said the girl's family was trying to get a marriage license for her and Martinez, according to the Lake Placid Police Department.

"Interviews with the suspect and the victim found that sex occurred more than once at the victim's residence in Lake Placid, and resulted in the victim becoming pregnant," according to a press release.

Lake Placid Police Office Eddie San Miguel investigated the case and made the arrest.

Brad Dickerson

July 31, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

Texas, USA

Sex assault suspect sketches released

Austin - With the release of two composite sketches, Austin police bolstered their search for a man they said pushed his way into an apartment and tried to sexually assault a teen girl last Tuesday.

Investigators are looking to the public for help in finding a suspect wanted for attempted sexual assault of a child after authorities said he made his way into a 16-year-old girl's home at 10:20 a.m.

The man tried to sexually assault her before punching her in the face and fleeing the apartment with her cell phone.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male with a Spanish accent. He is 5 feet 5 inches tall with an overweight build and was last seen wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans and black sunglasses.

Authorities said the suspect is possibly driving a newer-model maroon, four-door Acura MDX.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the APD Child Abuse Unit at (512) 974-8694.

Jackie Vega

KXAN

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 1, 2010

The United States, Colombia

US denies visa to Colombian journalist

Bogota - The U.S. government has denied a visa to a prominent Colombian journalist who specializes in conflict and human rights reporting to attend a prestigious fellowship at Harvard University.

Hollman Morris, who produces an independent TV news program called "Contravia," has been highly critical of ties between illegal far-right militias and allies of outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, Washington's closest ally in Latin America.

The curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, which has offered the mid-career fellowships since 1938, said Thursday that a consular official at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota told him Morris was ruled permanently ineligible for a visa under the "Terrorist activities" section of the USA Patriot Act.

U.S. Embassy and State Department officials refused to confirm the visa denial, citing privacy laws.

"We were very surprised. This has never happened before," said the Nieman curator, Bob Giles. "And Hollman has traveled previously in the United States to give speeches and receive awards." He said he had written the State Department to ask it to reconsider the decision.

Giles told The Associated Press by telephone that the only visa issues ever to arise with foreign Nieman Fellows have been over concerns they might try to remain in the United States — clearly not the issue in Morris' case. Colombia's President-elect, Juan Manuel Santos, was a 1988 Nieman Fellow.

"We're frankly shocked. We feel it's outrageous," Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said of the visa denial.

He said the committee had discussed its concerns with State Department officials but was not provided with an explanation.

"They told us they discussed this with Hollman and that's just not true," Simon said.

The 41-year-old Morris, one of 12 foreign journalists admitted to the Nieman program for the 2010-2011 academic year, is among the most controversial chroniclers of Colombia's long-running leftist insurgency.

Among international awards he has received is one from Human Rights Watch in 2007 in which he was praise by Executive Director Kenneth Roth for "courage, an unswerving commitment to justice and genuine concern for the rights of all victims."

On various occasions, President Uribe has accused Morris of collaborating with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which killed Uribe's father in a 1983 botched kidnapping...

Reached by the AP, Morris would neither confirm nor deny that he had been turned down for the visa.

"Things are in motion," he said, adding that he had obtained a DAS document that described a campaign to discredit him internationally, including by stripping him of a visa.

Giles said the U.S. consular official cited Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Patriot Act as the reason for the visa denial. It renders ineligible for a U.S. visa anyone who engages in terrorist activities, belongs to a terrorist organization or endorses terrorist activities...

Frank Bajak

The Associated Press

July 08, 2010

 
     

   

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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).

Lea el artículo completo

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%).

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.”

Read the full article

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

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.

Read the full article

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.

Lea el artículo completo

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.