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Noticias de Noviembre, 2009
New York, USA
She Survived the Horror - Ex-'Chica' Takes Aim at
As children and their parents
walked past crowded restaurants on Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights recently,
men yelled "Chicas!" and handed out cards with phone numbers and pictures of
busty, scantily clad women.
For Kika Cerpa, a woman in her
mid-30s, those cards bring back memories of her harrowing ordeal as one of those
Cerpa's hellish tale began in
1993, when she was lured from her native Venezuela by a boyfriend who had moved
to the U.S.
"I was forced," Cerpa said of
her coercion into prostitution.
She escaped that life after a
friend was killed by a drunken client, said Cerpa...
She lobbied for passage of a
state law against human trafficking in 2007. The measure passed. But citywide,
there were only eight arrests for sex trafficking in 2008, state records show.
And sex trafficking remains all
too common along Roosevelt Ave. and in the vicinity, advocates and local leaders
When Cerpa arrived in the U.S.
at age 20, her boyfriend's cousin - a brothel madame - took her passport and her
life savings of almost $2,000 and told her she had to pay off her beau's debt.
She was taken to a brothel on Roosevelt Ave.
It's been 13 years since Cerpa
worked there. But her tale of horror has received international attention,
including from the United Nations secretary general.
Before she told her story to a
recent UN forum on human trafficking, she told Queens News that for three years
she was often forced to serve 40 johns a day.
Young women, many of them
undocumented immigrants, are being intimidated and blackmailed to work for
prostitution rings operating near restaurants, bars and clubs in the
neighborhood, community leaders said.
"Once they get here, they are
enslaved," said Arnaldo Salinas, a member of the Guardian Angels, which patrols
the neighborhood. "I've seen scars...from women beat upon by their pimp." ...
Sonia Ossorio, of the National
Organization for Women's New York City chapter, said one reason there are so few
arrests for sex trafficking is that local law enforcement officials are not
trained to detect it as a crime.
When asked whether sex
trafficking is treated as a crime, an NYPD spokesman said it would be considered
a "derivative of prostitution."
The Queens district attorney's
office declined to comment when asked how sex trafficking offenses are
and Rima Abdelkader
The New York
Nov. 24, 2009
Nov. 30, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
UNIFEM and CICIG
officials sign letter of understanding with
the participation of Mayan congressional
deputies Beatriz Concepción Canastuj
Canastuj and Elza Leonora Cu Isem.
Firman Carta de Entendimiento Entre CICIG y UNIFEM
Guatemala - Con el fin
de establecer los parámetros de cooperación interinstitucional entre
CICIG y UNIFEM para apoyar y fortalecer a las instituciones del Estado
de Guatemala encargadas de velar por la defensa de los derechos de las
mujeres, adolescentes y niñas; Carlos Castresana, Comisionado de la
CICIG y Gladys Acosta, Jefa para América Latina y el Caribe del Fondo de
Desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas para la Mujer (UNIFEM), firmaron una
carta de entendimiento entre ambas instituciones (se firmó el día
miércoles 25 de noviembre)…
Mayan women and supporters gather to protest
a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango - 1978
Photo: El Gráfico
CICIG and UNIFEM Sign Letter of Understanding
Guatemala City - In
order to establish the parameters of interagency cooperation between
International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala
United Nations Development Fund for Women
(UNIFEM) to support and strengthen the institutions of the State
of Guatemala for upholding the rights of women, adolescents and
children, Carlos Castresana, CICIG Commissioner and Gladys Acosta,
UNIFEM’s director for Latin America and Caribbean – have signed a letter
of understanding between the two institutions.
who attended the signing, which took place in the Guatemalan Congress,
President of Congress;
the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, and
Delia Back, president of the Commission for Women . F
congressional deputies Beatriz Canastuj and Elsa Leonora Cu, as well as
Rita Cassisi, also attended the signing ceremony.
According to the text
of the letter of understanding, "the parties will collaborate to
implement actions to strengthen women's access to justice, especially
the recording and collation of data to analyze the impact of organized
crime in the violence and the impunity of crimes against women. The
parties agree to generate quarterly reports reflecting the results of
these actions and promote its dissemination in the appropriate spaces..."
UNIFEM's Gladys Acosta
said: "We discussed with [CICIG]Commissioner Castresana the fact that
one of the key issues that needs to be understood is the nature of the
link between the organized crime organizations that span our region,
especially in Central America and more specifically in Guatemala, and
violence against women. Clearly the primary responsibility for
protecting women lies with the state, but what happens when non-state
actors have even more power than the state itself and can not be
Society needs to react
very strongly, and that's what we're doing today. It is a justified, and very
strong reaction, [insisting] that the high levels of violence against
women not be tolerated any longer, and that once and for all, we have an
Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP
Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean stated: "This is a
very important moment, because not only must we fight against violence,
but we must also fight against impunity. We must say no to violence, and
we must say no to impunity. Paraphrasing Commissioner Castresana:
‘Violence plus justice equals less violence. But
violence plus impunity equals more violence.' "
The union of the
efforts of UNIFEM, a United Nations organization that fights tirelessly
for the rights of women, and the Committee Against Impunity in Guatemala
[CICIG], is exactly what we need to carry this agenda forward...
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
Nov. 26, 2009
Nov. 29, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
Guatemala, Honduras, Latin America
Mujeres Guatemaltecas: Entre la Vulnerabilidad y la
Violencia de Estado
“Rescatemos el derecho a tener derechos”: Feministas en Resistencia
En Guatemala, de 2005 a 2008, 2
mil 680 mujeres fueron asesinadas, de acuerdo con datos de la Policía Nacional
Civil, el Organismo Judicial y el Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Forenses (Inacif);
de estos crímenes, únicamente dos por ciento –43 casos– ha sido resuelto.
Lo anterior fue comentado por
Carlos Castresana, presidente de la Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad
en Guatemala (CICIG) y uno de los expertos de la Comisión Interamericana de
Derechos Humanos que realizó el peritaje de tres casos de feminicidio ocurridos
en un campo algodonero en Ciudad Juárez, México; actualmente se espera la
sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH)...
Guatemalan Women: Stuck Between Vulnerability and State Violence
rescuing our right to have rights” - Feminists in Resistance of Hunduras
In Guatemala, from 2005 to
2008, 2,680 women were killed, according to data from the National Civil Police,
the Judiciary and the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF); of these
crimes, only two percent - 43 cases - have been solved.
The above figures were
announced by Carlos Castresana, president of the International Commission
against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and one of the experts of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which conducted a survey of three
cases of femicide that occurred in a cotton field in Ciudad Juarez , Mexico.
[Having found in favor of families of the victims against the Mexican state]
Everyone is currently waiting for the sentence in the case to be announced by
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).
To date in 2009 there have been
602 murders of women, with a rate of impunity of 98 percent, according to data
from the Panel Study of Guatemala.
With these facts as a backdrop,
today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a
campaign initiative by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, "Unite to
end violence against women" was launched in a ceremony at the National Palace of
Culture. The event was attended by the President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, and
representatives of UN agencies...
A significant role in the
campaign launch was offered to activist Daysi Flores of the Feminist Resistance
of Honduras, a nation which, sine June 28th 2009, has lived through a
coup d’etat, and which is a few days away from holding elections.
Flores, who won the applause of
the audience, narrated the story of the violence that women and men are living
through since the coup. She said that 325 [Honduran] women have been murdered, and that
other women have been repressed, raped and harassed.
Flores declared that the right of women to live a life free of
violence has so-far existed only in words, and that it takes more than that
to fully exercise those rights. Flores said that practical responses from
governments are needed, such as policies, budgets, access to resources of all
kinds and state secularism.
We need, emphasized the
Honduran feminist, to "rescue our right to have rights"...
Full English Translation
Lourdes Godinez Leal
Nov. 25, 2009
Comisión Internacional Contra la impunidad en
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
Nov. 29, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
Campaign Is Launched To Combat Violence Against
On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
Guatemala holds a week of activities to inaugurate the United Nations program against
violence against women, with headquarters in Guatemala. Yesterday, participants
from the UN and Latin American Countries discussed five themes: legislative and
judicial advancements; prevention strategies, plans and programs, information
and training systems; access to justice; and armed conflict and displacement. On
Nov. 23, there was an event held in Guatemala City to emphasize the extremes of
violence against women and femicide. Names were placed under shoes to symbolize
the missing people who no longer fill those shoes.
Prensa Libre - Guatemala
Translated abstract by the Guatemala Human Rights
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
United Nations and Guatemalan
officials participate in the launch of the
Unite Campaign in Guatemala City on Nov. 25,
More photos at
- Guatemala City
"Unite To End Violence Against
Un Secretary General's
Campaign To Be Launched From Guatemala - NOV. 23-30,
On November 25th in Guatemala, the United Nations
[launched] Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's campaign
“Unite to End to Violence Against Women” for the region
of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The campaign focuses on strategies to counter violence
against women at the regional, national, and local
levels. At the Board of Directors 41st Regional Reunion
Conference about Women in Latin American and the
Caribbean, the Secretary General proposed an agreement
to formally initiate the campaign, and many UN
organizations have committed to lead campaign activities
in the region.
The regional efforts are focused on ending impunity for
the crime of violence against women and girls through
the implementation of international and national legal
mechanisms; the increased commitment of governments to
fulfill their promises to put and end to violence
against women and girls; and the mobilization of key
actors working for the empowerment of women and their
Women’s organizations have been invited to be part of
the campaign with the understanding that they are the
key actors in this international and national effort...
Guatemala has been chosen as the focal point of this
effort because of the escalation of violence against
women in the country, a level of violence which has yet
to be fully recognized by the international community.
In 2007, Guatemala was ranked third highest in death
rates in Latin America resulting from violence against
women. In 2009, Guatemala has moved quickly to first
(depending on the method of classifying causes of
death). Between January and May of 2009, 265 femicide
(murder of women for being women) cases were recorded.
Between 2005 and 2007, there were 19,600 women murdered;
however, only 43 of those responsible for the deaths
were sentenced. A factor that explains the increase of
assassinations in 2009 is that, in the previous three
years, 1,912 murders were never prosecuted.
Since the law against femicide took effect in May of
2008, only two offenders have been sentenced, although
722 women have been killed by violence. (Fundación
Sobre-vivientes (the Survivors' Foundation)...
Violence in Guatemala generates a cost of more than $300
billion annually, equivalent to 7% of the GDP.
organizations and the specialized programs that they
have created for the promotion of their rights in
Guatemala reflect a strong measure of resilience and
resistance, as well showing the infinite creativity
possessed by these women as they organize, prepare, and
mobilize for the struggle against adverse conditions of
social devaluation, misogyny, and ethnocentrism. The UN
campaign supports these efforts by promoting solidarity
among regional and international organizations and
initiatives in order to share knowledge, strength, and
María Suárez Toro
Feminist International Radio Endeavour (RIF/FIRE)
Translated by Hannah Powell Losada
Edited by Ross Ryan & Margaret Thompson
Oct. 20, 2009
Sex Slave Horror in Brooklyn
A sex slave trafficker lured
a love-smitten 15-year-old girl from Mexico to
Brooklyn, turned her into a prostitute and then let
their infant child die without medical care, authorities
The ghoulish story emerged
as federal agents raided an apartment on 40th Street in
Sunset Park and removed a cement-packed bucket that is
believed to hold the tiny remains of the child.
Agents arrested Domingo
Salazar, 33, who was described as an illegal alien who
had been deported to Mexico after being arrested in a
similar sex trafficking case.
Sources said he returned to
the US and ran a new trafficking ring that brought in
several unwitting women from Mexico to become
While in Mexico he began a
romantic relationship with the teen and later paid a
smuggler to bring her to the US in April 2007.
After she arrived she gave
birth to their baby.
But Salazar forced her into
turning $17.50 tricks, at a rate of 8 to 15 tricks per
He and his wife Norma
Mendez, 32, began abusing her — including beating her
with a brick.
Sources said the woman, now
in protective custody, had knife wounds, black eyes,
broken fingers and broken bones in her hand when
In January 2008 her baby
became ill but Salazar wouldn’t let her take the child
to a hospital.
After the tiny girl died,
Salazar had the grief-stricken mother put the child in a
bucket which they filled with cement and then hid in a
The bucket was removed from
the apartment yesterday and x-rays determined there was
a tiny child inside, sources said.
Investigators were stunned
by the cruelty of the case.
"It is unconscionable in
this day and age that there are person who would hold
other human beings in conditions of servitude and force
them into lives of prostitution in order to line their
own pockets," said US Attorney Ben Campbell."
Murray Weiss and Kati
The New York Post
Nov. 25/29, 2009
Police Search for Alleged Child Rapist
The search is on in Boynton
Beach for a man police desperately want to find.
They say he's a danger to the
community, especially to children.
He's accused of disgusting
crimes against children, committing them over and over again for the past three
Police Detective Alfred
Martinez is focused on finding a man who has given him the slip since early
year old Margarito Andres of Boynton Beach...
Police say Andres is wanted on
charges of child sexual battery for repeatedly raping two little girls from
Boynton Beach, ages 13 and 11.
One of them, the older girl,
was raped more than 40 times.
She says Andres starting having
sex with her when she was 10...
Andres is an undocumented
illegal alien from Guatemala, who does landscaping and day labor jobs. He is in
the U.S. illegally.
Police want to make it clear
that if some other undocumented immigrant comes forward with a tip about where
they can find Andres, they have no reason to fear that they will be deported.
They can remain anonymous and
police say they will not contact federal authorities if an undocumented person
helps them find Andres. Contact
at (561) 436-4770.
Washington, DC, USA
Charges Promised in Chandra Levy Case
Move delays trial for 2001
slaying until October
prosecutors in the Chandra Levy murder case told a D.C.
Superior Court judge Monday that they plan to file
additional charges against the suspect, Ingmar Guandique.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor told the
judge that his office plans to file a superseding
indictment within the next few weeks and has scheduled a
new arraignment for Guandique for Dec. 15.
the hearing, Campoamor declined to name the new charges.
But in court filings this summer, prosecutors said they
found at least one other person who reported having been
attacked by a man fitting Guandique's description. Last
month, prosecutors said that Guandique had threatened to
kill a potential witness in the case. Prosecutors said
Guandique and members of his Salvadoran gang, MS-13,
sent two letters to the witness, an inmate in another
prison. The witness had to be moved...
Guandique, 28, was arrested in April and charged with
six counts, including first-degree murder, kidnapping,
robbery and sexual abuse, in connection with Levy's 2001
disappearance and slaying.
guilty, Guandique could be sentenced to life in prison.
Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, has
been serving a 10-year term for attacking two women at
knifepoint in Rock Creek Park about the time Levy
disappeared. Levy's body was found in the park a year
Keith L. Alexander
The Washington Post
Nov. 24, 2009
California, USA / Mexico
Authorities Free Girl From Alleged
Santa Ana - Authorities have
arrested a suspected human smuggler who allegedly
refused to release a 4-year old girl he brought across
the border from Mexico at her mother's request.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday the
girl's mother had the man smuggle the child while she
took another route, but he later refused to release her,
demanding more and more money.
Authorities rescued the
girl, who is a U.S. citizen, on Thursday and returned
her to her mother.
ICE says deputies from the
Orange County Sheriff's Department arrested 32-year old
Emanuel De La Costa-Valdiva for investigation of human
trafficking, kidnapping and extortion.
ICE says the mother, an
illegal immigrant from Mexico, will be allowed to stay
in the country to serve as a witness.
The Associated Press
Nov. 27, 2009
Nov. 29, 2009
Gets 15 Years in Federal Prison
A Mexican national living
Phoenix was sentenced to federal prison Monday for
harboring illegal immigrants and sexually assaulting a
15-year-old immigrant girl kept at his house.
Feliciano Rojas-Vivar, also
known as Ruben Lopez-Lopez, 53, of Pueblas, Mexico,
received a 15-year term.
U.S. District Court Judge
Frederick Martone said there was credible evidence
Rojas-Vivar sexually assaulted and degraded a female
juvenile, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rojas-Vivar pleaded guilty
to three counts of harboring illegal immigrants.
His stepson, Juan Daniel
Rojas-Perez, 30, was sentenced to 46 months in prison
for conspiracy to harbor aliens. He was not part of the
Young women entering the
U.S. from Mexico are sometimes subject to abuse during
their treks through the Arizona desert and when they are
housed at drop houses in the Phoenix area, according to
police and immigration groups on both sides of the
Phoenix Business Journal
Oct. 27, 2009
Nov. 28, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
Mayan Women from
Textiles, which was
born out of the most desperate
and devastating times of the
Civil War in Guatemala when most
of the men -- grandfathers,
fathers, brothers, and sons,
were murdered by soldiers and
paramilitary forces, and the
women were forced to find a way
to survive and support their
households and communities.
Guatemala: donde la justicia para las
mujeres no llega
A trece años de la firma de los Acuerdos de
Paz en Guatemala, las mujeres sobrevivientes
y víctimas de la violencia sexual ejercida
por militares y paramilitares entre 1981 y
1983 continúan exigiendo al Estado
guatemalteco la reparación del daño, la
restitución de sus propiedades y de sus
derechos, y esperando una justicia que no
Indigenous Women Victims of Rape During the
Civil War Break Their Silence
Guatemala: where justice for women
Guatemala - Thirteen years after the signing
of the peace accords in Guatemala, the
surviving women victims of the sexual violence
perpetrated by military and paramilitary
forces between 1981 and 1983 [during the
most intensive period of anti-Mayan ethnic
cleansing massacres carried out by
government forces] continue
demanding restitution of their property
rights and other reparations from the
Guatemalan State. They have been waiting for
a justice that never arrives.
These women came together in the plaza Justo
Rufino Barrios, in the historic center of
Guatemala as an activity to commemorate the
25th of November [International
Day Against Violence Against Women]. These
surviving victims of rape during
the armed conflict decided to break their silence for
the first time.
The majority of these women are widows, as
their husbands were murdered during the
civil war. The women denounced the lack of
support and aid on the part of the
Guatemalan government who, they said, had
made false promises to repair the damage
caused to the victims.
According to the report “Guatemala, the
Legacy of the Violence”, by Amnesty
International (AI), during the four decades
[1960 to 1996] that the conflict armed in this Central
American country lasted, around 200,000
people became victims of homicide or forced
disappearance. Some 400 communities
[actually 440 Mayan villages and towns -LL]
Sexual violence against women and children
was in-fact generalized during the entire
conflict. At the event, 4 women narrated how
they were abused, separated from their
husbands and had their land and homes stolen
from them during the civil war.
Petrona Cucul is a surviving woman of the
conflict. She remembered how the soldiers
burned their house and killed their husband.
She was left alone in charge of her four
children. After burning the house and the
harvest and killing all of their farm
animals, the soldiers raped her. Till this
day Cucul continues to demand justice and
aid from the government so that their
children can continue their studies.
Germana Lucas was also raped by soldiers.
Like Petrona, she had her land, her house,
and all of her belongings stolen from here.
She has never been repaid for these actions
by the State.
Isabela Méndez related how, before the
conflict, “there were good crops” of beans
and corn. Later everything changed. : Méndez
fled to the border and left her home. Who
will repay the damage that we suffered, the
pain, the sentiments?, she asked.
Illiterate and monolingual, Isabela was
forceful and, in her Mayan language, she
said: “I do not know how to read nor to
write, I do not speak Spanish. But I have
learned and recognize that I have rights and
that I am citizen of Guatemala. We want to
live peacefully and with justice.”
In a ritual ceremony, the indigenous women
gave to one ear of corn to the women victims
of sexual violence, as a symbol of
solidarity and cleansing.
The women stated that, even [now] when there
is no war, women continue to be
discriminated against, raped, excluded and
murdered for the single reason that they are
We recall that, during the visit to
Guatemala in 2004 of the special
representative for women’s rights of the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission
(CIDH), was informed about the increase in
the number of murders against women; a
situation that is at its most serious when
indigenous women are the victims. For them,
justice simply does not exist.
The AI report on this subject makes
reference to a report by the Guatemalan
Truth Commission, which recognized that
during the armed conflict, the bodies of
women were used [by government forces] to
destroy and to intimidate the enemy [that
is, the entire Mayan population]. Rape
became one of the cruelest and degrading
ways to violate a woman’s rights during this
The Truth Commission report notes that the
majority of victims of rape were young Mayan
According to the document [and other
reports], in March of 1982 at least 140
women and children of Negro River were
forced to march up a mountain, where they
were [raped and then] murdered, some to
machete blows and others by strangulation.
Shortly after, 79 people, in their majority
women and children, were massacred in the
neighboring town of the Encounter.
As a result of the massacres and other
killings during the armed conflict, widowed
women, many with five or more children, were
forced off of their lands. They did not know
how to read, and they lived with the traumas
caused by the sexual assaults.
Without support from their government, these
women had to begin to help each other. They
began to weave alliances to talk, and to
fortify themselves by means of self-help
For that reason, on this commemoration of
this International Day for the Elimination
of Violence against the women, they decided
to speak up, and to continue demanding
justice. They conclude by stating, “although
they cut even the stem off of us, we bloom
Lourdes Loyal Godínez
News for Women
Nov. 27, 2009
Protection, No Justice: Killings of Women in
June 9, 2005
About the crisis of
anti-Mayan genocide and femicide in
rate of femicide murders in Guatemala is ten
times higher than the rate of such crimes in
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The Truth Under the
Earth: The Relationship Between Genocide and
Femicide in Guatemala
The war in
Guatemala has never ceased. While the Peace
Accords signed in 1996 demobilized some
combatants and weapons - the killing, raping
and torturing continues unabated. In 2009
the homicide rate for Guatemala, with a
population of 13 million, is about 8,000 per
year. Of these 8,000 murders approximately
10 percent are women and girls.
to figures from Guatemala City based women’s
group Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM)
between January 2002 and January 2009 there
were 197,538 acts of domestic violence,
13,895 rapes and 4,428 women were murdered.
What is perhaps even more disturbing is that
for this tsunami of violence there is a 97
percent impunity rate. One of the main
reasons for near total impunity in the
Guatemalan context is that the people
responsible for the genocidal civil war
against indigenous people in which 200,000
people were murdered and 50,000 disappeared
have never, nor are they ever likely to be
and September of 2009 I visited Guatemala,
at least in part, to examine how the civil
war has been superseded by an as yet
undeclared social war, part of which is an
Finca Covabunga, which is just up the road
from Chul, a bumpy, dusty, windy three hour
trip through the mountains on the back of a
pick up, north of Nebaj. On December 9,
1982, 75 men, women and children were
massacred by the Guatemalan army...
and recorded survivors of the massacre.
Margarheta lost her husband, animals, land
and all her possessions on that day. She
spent the next ten years living in the
mountains running from the army. Digging up
the bodies was painful for her as it brought
back a flood of painful memories...
day Nicolas and I and a couple of other
activists visited a community on the
outskirts of Nebaj. It is named June 30th
which commemorates the date in 2006 in which
the community reclaimed land from the army -
who had stolen it after eradicating the
owners - and started growing food, teaching
their kids and various other projects of
the community I met a young woman of sixteen
who had a six month old baby, the father is
a soldier and the conception method was
rape. Nothing has ever happened in regards
to this rape. In June of 2009 a woman who
had five young children, was raped, murdered
and cut up by soldiers. Nothing will likely
ever happen to the person/s who committed
this heinous act - impunity for such crimes
is total in Guatemala...
Oct. 22, 2009
About the crisis of
anti-Mayan genocide and femicide in
Nov. 28, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women - 2009
ONU: Lanza en Guatemala una Campaña
Latinoamericana Contra la Violencia de Género
La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)
lanzó hoy en la capital guatemalteca una campaña
latinoamericana que durará hasta 2015 con el
objetivo de unificar esfuerzos entre diferentes
sectores y fortalecer legislaciones para poner
fin a la violencia en contra de las mujeres…
The United Nations Kicks-off Regional Campaign
Against Latin American Gender Violence in
Guatemala City - The United Nations (UN) chose
the capitol of Guatemala [Guatemala City] to
launch is continent-wide campaign against gender
violence. The effort will continue until 2015
with the objective to unify efforts between
different sectors of society, and to fortify
legislative efforts to end violence against the
women in the region.
The campaign “Latin America, Unite to End
Violence Against Women," will involve efforts by
all of the agencies in the UN system. It is an
initiative of its UN Secretary General Ban
The launch was celebrated in the presence of the
president of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, and the
core UN officials working across Latin America.
The November 25th event coincided
with the celebration of the the International
Day of Non Violence Towards Woman.
The director of the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), Alicia
Bárcena, stated during the presentation that the
various activities to be carried out through
this UN campaign will attempt to reduce the
levels of violence against the women.
A study by CEPAL of conditions of violence
facing women in the region was presented during
the event. CEPAL indicates that 40% of women in
the region are victims of physical violence, and
that the 60 percent suffer from psychological
The report “ Not Even One More! From Words to
Facts: How Much Farther Until We Get to This
Goal? declares that the many forms of violence
facing women in the region include domestic
violence, murder, sexual harassment and sexual
Latin American women also suffer from sex
trafficking, institutional violence,
discrimination against immigrants, and
race-based gender violence that targets
Indigenous and Afro-descendent women [and
The regional director for Latin America and the
Caribbean of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), Rebeca Grynspan, explained
that by means of this campaign, the UN will
collaborate, together with the countries of the
region, in efforts to fortify legislation in
nations of the region regarding the protection
of the rights of women.
In addition, the campaign will advance a
“multisectorial plan”, that promotes the
prevention and eradication of
campaigns of sensitization, and development of
national capacities for data collection.
With this campaign, it needed Grynspan, “we will
revitalize the fight and the commitment of the
UN tp put an end to violence against women, an
urgent task that must be accomplished to prevent
the continuation of the sentence of violence
that generations of women have faced, which many
women have paid for with their lives."
President Colom of Guatemala emphasized the
importance of the United Nations’ choice of
Guatemala as the launch-point of this campaign.
Colom assured that “this constitutes a
commitment” by his government to eradicate the
evils that afflict Guatemalans women.
President Colom added that in Guatemala, most
women are targeted for violence because they are
poor, indigenous, young and women.
In this Central American country, one of most
violent of Latin America, and where the greatest
amount of violence against women occurs, two
women are murdered every day, often by men known
According to the International Commission
Against Impunity in Guatemala, a UN agency, 94%
of murders committed against women between 2001
and 2009 have remained [unsolved and] in
Nov. 25, 2009
"Unite To End Violence
United Nations Secretary General's campaign to
be launched from Guatemala
Feminist International Radio
Nov. 25, 2009
About the crisis of
anti-Mayan genocide and femicide in
La Trata de Mujeres, en Chiapas
La vulnerabilidad de las mujeres, adolescentes,
niñas y niños que van hacia los Estados Unidos
ha aumentado en gran medida ya que son el blanco
perfecto para las variadas formas de explotación
que existen en la mayoría de las fronteras del
The Human Trafficking of Women in Chiapas State
Mexico is rich in natural environments, climates
and amiable people. However, we also have
problems in our southern region due to the
geographic location of Mexico. Adults and
children from Central [and South] America, who
migrate north in search of the American Dream
[in the United States], must migrate through
Mexico. As with all nations in the northern
regions of the Americas, Mexico experiences a
great influx of people from its neighbors to the
south. One alarming fact is that a growing
number of very young migrants are attempting to
travel north, putting themselves at risk of
facing bad experiences in the process.
Women, adolescents, girls and boys who attempt
to migrate to the United States are at
ever-increasingly risk of being exploited in
Mexico. They are a ‘perfect target’ for the
various forms of human exploitation that exist
along Mexico’s borders.
As a country of origin, transit and destination
for trafficking victims, Mexico is vulnerable to
the interminable networks of national and
international organized crime that are dedicated
to human slavery. Lamentably, Mexico has
reported large numbers of people who have been
enslaved for sexual and labor exploitation.
These victims include women, adolescents and
children, who are easier to convince, to
manipulate and to exploit.
Without a doubt the seriousness of this
situation represents enormous challenges for
Mexico’s government and its society, because it
impacts deals not only its direct victims, but
also their families, communities, and society in
Opinion of Eduardo González A.
Nov. 27, 2009
The Dominican Republic, Haiti
Feministas Denuncian la Trata de Mujeres Para la
Una agrupación feminista dominicana expresó hoy
su preocupación por el tráfico de haitianas a
territorio dominicano y de dominicanas hacia
Europa y otros países donde son explotadas
sexualmente por las redes que se encargan de
Feminists Denounce the Human Trafficking of
Women for Sexual Exploitation
A Dominican feminist group today expressed its
concern in regard to the trafficking of Haitians
into the Dominican Republic, and the trafficking
of Dominican women to Europe and other countries
where they are sexually exploited sexually by
the networks that recruit them.
While mafia networks that operate in the
Dominican-Haitian border recruit and deal to
Haitians to prostitute them in the Dominican
Republic, many women of this country also are
victims of trafficking networks, who send them
to Europe for prostitution, noted Raquel Rivera,
spokeswoman of the Coordination of Women of the
Cibao, located in the northern city of Santiago.
Rivera has presented the idea to the authorities
in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic that
they collaborate to eradicate the criminal
groups that traffic in the women of both
Rivera added that human trafficking, especially
involving women who are prostituted, is nothing
new in Latin America and the Caribbean. The
Dominican Republic and Haiti have not escaped
from these dynamics.
According to Rivera, the trafficking of Haitians
to the Dominican Republic to exercise
prostitution, and of Dominican women trafficked
to Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany and other
nations of Europe, is a result of the
discrimination, violence and lack of
opportunities that these women suffer.
Rivera added that all people who attempt to
migrate from their home countries in search of
better living conditions do so because the
authorities in their nations have not given them
the opportunity to live in dignity.
In Rivera’s opinion, the trafficking of women is
a new indicator of the level of violence that
affects females in Latin America and other parts
of the world.
Nov. 27, 2009
Red de Pederastas en México (Primera
La red de trata de personas
desarticulada el pasado 24 de octubre en
la colonia Guerrero no está aislada. Se
trata de crimen organizado que opera en
Tlaxcala, Guerrero, Chiapas, Morelos y
Oaxaca. Durante años hizo del Distrito
Federal un mercado para la explotación
sexual comercial infantil y lo convirtió
en punto de partida hacia los estados
fronterizos del norte…
Pedophile Ring is Broken-up in Mexico
City (Part One)
The human trafficking network that was
dismantled on October 24th,
2009 in the Guerrero neighborhood in
Mexico City is not isolated. This is
organized crime ring that operates in
the states of Tlaxcala, Guerrero,
Chiapas, Morelos and Oaxaca. For years
they made Mexico City, as well as
northern states on the U.S. border a
marketplace for the commercial sexual
exploitation of children.
"What we have here is a phenomenon where
women trafficked for sexual exploitation
were [first] assembled in Tlaxaca state.
From there, they are taken to other
states. They were taken to Puebla, them
to Tijuana, and then to the United
States," said Federico Pholsen
Fuentevilla, of the Friar Julián Garcés
Center of Tlaxcala.
The Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office
reported that investigations of this
network began last July when Maria del
Socorro Vázquez Villegas, aka "La Coco",
and Michelangelo Lopez Reyes, known as
"The Clown", who were arrested.
However, citizen complaints, and
neighborhood monitoring of the problem
began years ago.
"It has been almost seven years since we
began organizing the neighbors in our
[community] association to denounce the
prostitution that was happening in the
streets. First there were women, then
men and women, and now there are men,
women and children," said David
Alejandro Mondragon president of the
Buena Vista Neighborhood Association.
Seven youth between the ages of 14 and
16 were rescued. They are from Oaxaca
and Morelos states, and from Mexico
City. The authorities found evidence
linking this group with other pedophile
networks in hotels that were raided.
Pornographic materials, video cameras,
customer log books and other evidence
was collected, said Juana Camila
Bautista Rebollar, a prosecutor for Sex
Crimes Investigative Center in the
Mexico City attorney general’s office.
One victim testified that: "I was sold
from one man to anther and to yet
another, as if I were a toy.”
At the end of 2008 the Centro Fray
Julián Garcés and various civil society
organizations in Tlaxcala state
denounced the fact that a
well-structured network of pedophiles
operating in the cities of Tenancingo
and Zacatelco was recruiting youth, most
of them just over the age of 14, to be
trafficked to Mexico City for purposes
"Disgracefully, sex trafficking is
inherent in the social behavior in some
cities and towns in Tlaxcala state. In
Tlaxcala, if you ask children what they
want to do when they are grown-up, they
say that they would like to have lots of
sisters in order to have money" [by
pimping them], said Dilcya Samantha
Garcia, assistant prosecutor for the
Care of Victims of within the Mexico
City prosecutor’s office.
Without backing from the government of
Tlaxcala, civil organizations and the
Human Rights Commission of Mexico City
discovered on their own the specific sex
trafficking routes into the Mexico City
neighborhoods of Colonia Guerrero,
Centro Historico, Alameda Central, La
Calzada de Tlalpan, La Merced and La
Central de Abasto.
Last August, the commission issued a
"The [government of the Mexico City
borough of] Cuauhtémoc was cynical in
its rejection of the commission’s
recommendations, even though they have a
moral responsibility for what is
happening, including their lack of
action, as in their failure to inspect
the hotels that shelter this activity,”
said Buena Vista association president
David Alexander Mondragon.
But the Pandora's box that opened by the
October 24th extends even
"We have grave problems of human
trafficking in the state of Chiapas,
particularly in the area Zoconúzco and
Tapachula, where there is a brutal
problem in human trafficking," said
Samantha Garcia Dilcya.
The crusade began in the Federal
District on October 24th
brings us to the question, what took
them so long?
November 4, 2009
Nov. 28, 2009
Aprueban Ley de Prevención en Trata de
Personas [en Tlaxcala]; prevén sanciones a
Tal y como se había previsto, en sesión
extraordinaria del Congreso del estado se
aprobó por unanimidad de votos en lo general
y particular el decreto por el que se
crea la Ley de Prevención de la Trata de
Personas para el Estado de Tlaxcala, así
como las reformas a los Códigos Penal y de
Tlaxcala State Congress Approves New
Just as had been anticipated, a special
session of the Tlaxcala state congress has
unanimously approved the Law to Prevent the
Trafficking of Persons of the State of
Tlaxcala. The law includes reforms to the
criminal code and sentencing rules in
relation to trafficking crimes.
The law has been designed to criminalize
human trafficking in the state, as well as
to provide for assistance, protection and
reparations for victims. The ultimate goal
is the eradication of trafficking in
The legislation was approved after a brief
period of review by the state legislature’s
Commission on Constitutional Compliance, the
Interior, Justice and Political Affairs.
The law contemplates the formation of a
State Council on Human Trafficking. The
Council will be charged with developing
strategies and taking actions to prevent
trafficking. The Counsil will oversee the
provision of care for victims, which will
include medical, psychological, legal and
material services. The law also creates a
fund to support these operations through the
fines levied against those convicted of
The law anticipates the participation of
municipal governments, who will be expected
to participate in prevention programs and
coordinate their anti-trafficking work with
civil organizations. Municipal governments
will be expected to be on the front lines of
efforts to detect trafficking crime.
The law identifies as a crime any activity
by a person that “promotes, solicits,
offers, facilitates, obtains, transports,
gives shelter to, gives or receives, for
themselves or for a third person, acts of
sexual exploitation, forced labor or
services, slavery or practices analogous to
slavery, or the extirpation of any human
organ, or tissue.”
In cases where the victims granted consent,
the perpetrator will not escape
responsibility. Their crime will be
sanctioned with prison sentences of between
seven and fifteen years, and fines amounting
to 500 to 1,500 days of minimum wage pay.
In cases where physical or moral violence
was used to control their victims, sentences
will range from 9 to 18 years in prison, and
will include fines of between 1,000 and
2,000 days of minimum wage pay.
Government employees found guilty of
trafficking related offenses will face
prison terms of 15 to 25 years, and fines of
1,500 to 3,000 days of minimum wage salary.
Government employees who are fired from
their positions will be ineligible for
reemployment for a period equal to the
length of their prison sentence.
In cases where the victimizer is a family
member, having a blood relationship with the
victim to the fourth degree, sentencing will
range from 15 to 25 years of prison time,
and the fine will be the equivalent of 1,500
to 3,000 days of minimum wage salary.
If the crime has been committed against a
person who is under age 18 or over age 60,
or against a person with a mental or
physical handicap, prison sentences will
range from 30 to 40 years, and fines will
range from 1,000 to 6,000 days of minimum
The Congress of Tlaxcala also reformed
Article 93 of the state penal code. The
reform defines pimping and human trafficking
as serious crimes. Suspects in these cases
will not be allowed pre-trail release on
Pacific Pair Accused
of Smuggling, Enslaving... Mexican
For at least three years, a couple in the
town of Pacific [a Seattle suburb] ran a
smuggling operation that brought illegal
immigrants from Mexico to be housed in the
garage of their home, where the immigrants
lived as indentured servants while paying
off their smuggling debt, according to court
Maria Bartola Santos-Gonzalez and Juan
Gonzalez-Guerra slipped illegal immigrants
from Aguascalientes, Mexico, across the
border and up into Washington state, for
$3,000 to $3,500 each, federal and state
Among their victims was an 8-year-old girl,
whom the couple brought to the United States
in 2007, along with her parents and brother.
The girl described to a school counselor and
to a Pacific detective how Gonzalez-Guerra,
55, a legal permanent resident, sexually
Her 7-year-old brother told of how
Santos-Gonzalez, 63, a U.S. citizen, would
sometimes tie him up, cover his mouth with a
handkerchief or tape and beat him with a
stick, leaving purple marks.
The family said they were fed twice a day
and a chain was kept around the refrigerator
so they couldn’t get more food.
Family members told a Pacific detective the
couple threatened to “cut out their tongues”
if they told anyone about what happened and
told the immigrants the police wouldn’t
listen to them anyway because they were
Nov. 27, 2009
South Dakota, USA
[Yankton -] Thumbs down to news that human
trafficking may be much closer to our front door
than we would like to believe. A Tea couple has
been charged with conspiring to sell the
services of underage prostitutes. The issue of
human trafficking has been receiving a lot of
publicity from human rights organizations around
the world and for good reason — it is one of the
most heinous crimes imaginable. Millions of
children are enslaved and used for sex acts.
According to data reported at CNN.com, the
global commercial sex trade exploits one million
children annually. At least 100,000 children in
America are victims of sex trafficking each
year. It’s no secret that this activity is
funneled through many small towns across the
nation. To have it uncovered so close to Yankton
is disturbing, and we hope that if this couple
is guilty they are brought to justice.
Yankton Press & Dakotan
Nov. 27, 2009
The United States
US Officials Begin Push
Against Human Trafficking
Boston - Fourteen cities are being targeted in a
new campaign aimed at alerting people about
human trafficking, federal immigration officials
The "Hidden in Plain Sight" initiative,
sponsored by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, features billboards highlighting
"the horrors and the prevalence of human
trafficking," which the agency says is
equivalent to "modern-day slavery."
The words "Hidden in Plain Sight" are displayed
on the advertisements with a toll-free number
people can call to report situations where they
believe people are being sexually exploited or
forced to work against their will.
Cities in the new campaign are Atlanta; Boston;
Dallas; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami;
Philadelphia; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; New
York; St. Paul, Minn.; San Antonio; San
Francisco and Tampa, Fla.
Bruce Foucart, an ICE special agent in charge of
New England, said officials hope the billboards
persuade residents to report suspected cases to
ICE or local law enforcement.
"It's difficult to identify victims and it's
difficult for them to tell their stories," said
About 800,000 men, women and children are
trafficked each year around the world and about
17,500 of them end up in the United States,
according to ICE. Immigration officials say the
victims are lured from their homes with false
promises of well-paying jobs but are trafficked
into the commercial sex trade, domestic
servitude or forced labor.
Foucart said victims who cooperate with law
enforcement are offered temporary status and can
later apply to stay in the U.S. permanently.
Jozefina Lantz, director of New Americans
services at Lutheran Social Services in
Worcester, Mass., welcomed the new campaign and
said the public is generally unaware that human
trafficking is occurring near their homes.
"Often the victims get mistaken for undocumented
immigrants," said Lantz. "It's not the same
because these people were abducted from their
homes and forced into trafficking."
Lantz said her group has recently helped
trafficking victims from Africa and South
The Associated Press
Nov. 10, 2009
Nov. 28, 2009
The United States
Sex Trafficking: An American
Editor's note: Professor Bridgette Carr directs the
Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of
Michigan Law School. The Human Trafficking Clinic
provides direct representation to victims of human
trafficking and works to identify solutions to
combat human trafficking.
Ann Arbor, Michigan...
The grim reality of child sex trafficking in the
United States is this: Human traffickers are selling
sex with children in big cities and small towns
Through my work with... clients in the Human
Trafficking Clinic we have identified a number of
ways to fight sex trafficking.
Raise awareness within your community: One of the
biggest barriers to helping victims of sex
trafficking is the lack of awareness about the
issue. Human traffickers profit when we think human
trafficking only happens in foreign countries.
• Human trafficking happens everywhere, and sex
trafficking cases involving children have been found
in all regions of the country. No community is
immune to the horrors of human trafficking.
• Communities must prioritize the fight against
human trafficking -- including providing enough
resources to law enforcement.
Change the conversation: Children who by law are too
young to consent to having sex obviously cannot
consent to selling sex, so:
• Victims should not be described as entering into
prostitution; they are being exploited and should be
described as victims of human trafficking.
• Law enforcement officials often arrest and detain
child victims of sex trafficking on either
prostitution charges or other charges, such as
truancy or curfew violations. Law enforcement must
be trained about human trafficking.
• Sellers of sex, especially when they are children,
should not be guilty of a criminal violation. Buyers
and pimps should be the only individuals at risk of
criminal penalties. This would ensure that no
victims are arrested or jailed.
Reduce demand: The reality of sex trafficking must
not be neutralized or glamorized.
• Individuals who travel abroad to purchase sex from
children are demonized in the media and identified
as sexual predators, yet individuals who stay in the
United States and pay to have sex with children are
given the anonymous title "john" -- and frequently
aren't even charged with a crime.
• Individuals who pay for sex with children in the
United States should be punished.
Commentary by Bridgette Carr
Special to CNN
Nov. 25, 2009
Charges Dropped in East
Baltimore Brothel Case
The sex trafficking and prostitution charges seemed
pretty clear cut -- Carlos Silot was accused of
running a brothel near Patterson Park, staffed with
illegal immigrant women, from a rented row house,
where police found a customer roster, photographs,
condoms and more. But the case fell apart this week
for a predictable reason: The women refused to
How could we have expected otherwise? Women are
brought to this country from Mexico, cut off from
family, made to endure countless deprivations, and
can't possibly expect that testifying against the
man they say was responsible would turn out well.
What believable assurances could the Baltimore
State's Attorney's Office possibly make that it
could protect these women? It certainly can't have
helped that prosecutors initially charged the women
-- the victims in this case -- with prostitution,
only dropping the charges due to a lack of evidence.
It's unclear why local, rather than federal,
prosecutors took this case. The U.S. Attorney's
Office can bring to bear more resources to
investigate the alleged crimes and to offer
protection for the women who are the true victims.
Moreover, federal laws for such crimes are much
stricter, thanks to a law signed by President George
Bush in 2005. The federal government also has
mechanisms to help provide legal status for victims
of such crimes -- the women in this case were in the
country illegally -- and to help them rebuild their
Maryland law was tightened recently to deal more
harshly with child sex trafficking, but not with
cases such as this one, in which the women were
adults. Sex trafficking involving adults is a
misdemeanor under Maryland law; if convicted, Mr.
Silot faced at most 10 years in prison on a charge
of pandering. That needs to be changed.
The Baltimore Sun
Nov. 10, 2009
A Response by a Baltimore
The news that a credible sex trafficking case "fell
apart" due to a lack of testimony from two victims
is unsurprising at best. Both foreign national and
U.S. citizen victims of sex and labor trafficking
face enormous obstacles as they attempt to leave (or
simply survive) unimaginable, often terrifying
However, rather than cast blame on prosecutors who
were undoubtedly trying their best to further a
tough-to-win case, it is more productive to
understand that in Maryland, over 100 community and
NGO advocates, law enforcement officers and
legislative experts have come together in the form
of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force to
assist victims and ensure justice, including
successful prosecution. This body, first convened in
December, 2007 by Baltimore City State's Attorney
Patricia Jessamy, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, and
Attorney General Doug Gansler, has grown not only in
number but in capacity to serve victims and "get the
word out" about the scourge of sex and labor
trafficking in Maryland.
Rather than curse the darkness, all of us have to be
part of growing light that is the human trafficking
movement in Maryland. A recent awareness event in
Baltimore -- held in the pouring rain -- brought
dozens of individuals and families together, seeking
ways to prevent all forms of human trafficking and
more effectively address the issue. Let's put aside
our differences and focus on the real enemy -- male
and female traffickers, from this country and
elsewhere, who ruthlessly exploit child, teen and
adult victims -- and on real solutions, which always
involve working together as one.
Nov. 10, 2009
resident of the state of Maryland for the past 40
years, I am impressed to see that the Maryland Human
Trafficking Task Force is a well-developed
collaboration between both state and federal law
enforcement and prosecutors, as well as
non-governmental anti-trafficking organizations and
individuals. According to the Task Force, they are
considered to be a model for such collaborations
During my decades
in Maryland and the adjoining regions of Washington,
DC and Virginia, I have witnessed the many faces of
exploitation facing women and children in local
Latin American communities. Much of that history has
been told on
During that time, I have been consistent in my
efforts to contact and collaborate with local law
enforcement, to ensure that Latin American immigrant
residents of the region receive equal and fair
access to the criminal justice system as victims of
During the past several months I have engaged in
dialog and activity with the Maryland Human
Trafficking Task Force. Their response has shown
some resistance to the idea of tackling the hard
issues that surround the Latin American dynamics of
human trafficking and exploitation in Maryland, but
I trust that the Task Force will have an open mind
to learn about the unique conditions that face our
local Latino communities, where anti-immigrant
hostility and the traditional code of silence
combine with an often-times unfriendly interaction
with government to create cover for the criminal
activities of traffickers and the sexual exploiters
of women and children.
In response to the above
Baltimore Sun editorial and the response to it by
Task Force activist and veteran direct services
provider Sidney Ford, I posted the below commentary
on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force web
site on Nov. 22, 2009.
Nov. 27, 2009
International head of the
Salvation Army, General Shaw Clifton (2nd
left) with Colonel Onal Castor, territorial
commander of the Caribbean; and members of
the organization's local chapter Lieutenant
Lynette Row (2nd right); and Colonel Edmane
Castor, following a press conference at the
Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston
yesterday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Salvation Army General Arrives in
General Shaw Clifton, the international head of the
Salvation Army, arrived in the island yesterday for a
three-day visit during which he will attend a series of
meetings and church services with members of the
organization's local chapters to offer encouragement and
to discuss ways to tackle gang-violence, human
trafficking and other issues affecting Jamaica.
His visit is the first to the island and will be
followed by a stop in Haiti tomorrow on his way back to
"The purpose of my visit to Jamaica is to find out for
myself what the Army is doing here. I have heard about
it, I have read about it, but I am here mainly for my
own education," Clifton said at a press briefing at the
Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday.
"One specific issue, a worldwide issue, is human
trafficking and I am very interested to find out how
this impacts your beautiful island of Jamaica," he said.
"The Salvation Army is deeply concerned about the level
of human trafficking for sexual proposes over the world
and we are committed to doing everything in our power to
combat it," he added.
The Jamaica Observer
Nov. 25, 2009
Border Patrol Agents Arrest Sex
U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector arrested
a convicted sex offender in Kingman on Wednesday who was
in the country illegally.
According to Agent Michael Lowrie, at about 2 p.m., the
Arizona Department of Public Safety called the Yuma
Sector's Blythe Station and said they had a "possible
illegal alien" in their custody.
Agents assigned to the Blythe Station responded to the
Kingman jail and took custody of the individual, who was
later identified as Jorge De Jesus-Martinez.
Lowrie said agents determined that De Jesus-Martinez was
in the country illegally and transported him back to the
Blythe Station for further processing.
During processing, Lowrie said a fingerprints checks
revealed that De Jesus-Martinez was a convicted sex
Back in September of 2008, De Jesus-Martinez was charged
with one count of rape and one count of sexual battery.
He was convicted on both counts and sentenced to serve
two years in prison.
"He served his time in Stockton, California," Lowrie
Lowrie said De Jesus-Martinez will be processed for
removal proceedings and deported back to Mexico.
The Yuma Sun
Nov. 06, 2009
Two Men Plead Guilty to Running
San Diego - Two men have pleaded guilty to helping to
run a prostitution ring for migrant workers in San Diego
Eduardo Aguila-Tecuapacho and Carlos Tzompantzi-Serrano,
who are both illegal immigrants from Mexico, pleaded
guilty in federal court on Wednesday of harboring
illegal immigrants for prostitution.
Each could face up to 10 years in prison. They are
expected to be sentenced in January.
Court documents say Aguila-Tecuapacho rented an
apartment in Vista where one of the prostitutes lived.
Prosecutors say Tzompantzi-Serrano drove the women to
work in outdoor brothels.
A third man who faces charges of bringing the women
across the border from Mexico will stand trial next
The Associated Press
Nov. 26, 2009
Drawing of suspect
Girl, 14, Says Man Fondled
Her, Exposed Self in Howard Store
Howard County police are looking for a Hispanic
man in his late 30s or early 40s who a 14-year-old
girl said kissed her hand, fondled her and exposed
himself in an Ellicott City department store.
The girl said the man, who spoke only Spanish,
ran off after her grandmother approached.
Police on Wednesday said the incident took
place in a Kohl's department store on Montgomery
Road, but they did not specify when it happened.
Anyone with information is asked to call
410-313-STOP. Police are offering a $500 reward for
information leading to an arrest.
Nov. 26, 2009
Francisco Wellington Barros-Gomes
J.C. Penney Clerk Charged with
Dressing Room Rape
A sales clerk at a J.C. Penney department store in
Sturbridge has been arrested and charged with raping
a boy in a dressing room, police said.
Francisco Wellington Barros-Gomes, 26, of Charlton,
was charged with indecent assault and battery on a
child under 14 and rape of a child with force,
according to Sturbridge police. He was arraigned
today in Dudley District Court and ordered held on
Police arrested Barros-Gomes after they responded to
a report of an assault at the Sturbridge store
around 6 p.m. yesterday.
Barros-Gomes is a Brazilian immigrant who is here
legally as a resident-alien, police said.
The Boston Herald
Nov. 25, 2009
Nov. 27, 2009
North Carolina, USA
Officers Save Suicidal Child Sex
Henderson County - An inmate awaiting trial on charges
of raping a child tried to commit suicide, but was saved
by officers who took quick action, according the the
The man, whose identity is not being released, is
charged with first-degree rape of a minor child and
first-degree sexual offenses against a child, tried to
hang himself at the Henderson County Detention Center at
about 3 a.m. last Saturday.
Security cameras showed that from the time the inmate
hanged himself until officers intervened was well under
a minute. The officers were able to respond to the unit,
lift and hold the victims body weight, and untie the
“If not for them, he would have died,” Henderson County
Sheriff Rick Davis said...
The inmate is being held on a $301,000 dollar secured
He is also under federal detainment [via] the 287(g)
program pending the outcome of any possible conviction
and sentencing resulting from his current charges...
Nov. 24, 2009
Romero Sentenced to 130 Years
Enterprise man found guilty of five sex-related charges
against children was sentenced to 130 years in prison
Thursday morning in Coffee County Circuit Court.
Jorge Romero was found guilty in September of two counts
of sodomy first degree, two charges of sexual abuse of a
child less than 12 and one charge of first degree rape
in 30 minutes by an eight woman, six man jury after a
two-day trial. He had remained in Coffee County Jail
without bond, pending Thursday’s sentencing where he has
remained since his arrest in August 2008 and after
federal immigration officials placed a hold on him as an
Kelley sentenced Romero to 30 years each for two first
degree sodomy convictions, 20 years each for two sexual
abuses of a child less than 12 convictions and 30 years
for the first degree rape conviction. Because the
convictions involved children, Kelley told Romero that
he is not eligible for parole.
During the trial the girls, now aged 8 and 7, separately
testified perched upon three reams of copy paper in
order to see the court. Both said they had been touched
inappropriately by Romero when they were visiting his
home. Using anatomically correct dolls, the girls
separately showed the court what Romero had done to
The director of Dothan’s Women’s and Children’s
Services, who is also a nurse, told the court she had
examined both girls and that both showed evidence of
The Enterprise Ledger
Nov. 19, 2009
Richard Morales-Marin, and
Therapy Dog Helps Young Girl
Testify Against Men Who Raped Her
On October 30, illegal aliens Juan
Hernandez-Monzalvo, 25, and Richard Morales-Marin, 24,
were found guilty by an Orange County, FL jury of
kidnapping and sexual battery, along with other charges.
On February 5, 2009, the 11-year-old girl
was walking to school when she was grabbed by the two
Mexican nationals, who forced her into their car at
knifepoint. They drove her to an abandoned house where
both men took turns raping her.
Because of the girl’s young age and the
severe trauma she has suffered, prosecutors brought a
therapy dog into the courtroom to help calm her frayed
nerves and allow her to testify against her brutal
The little girl never looked at her
assailants, but locked eyes with the gentle Golden
Retriever as he lay close to her, and described the
ordeal to the courtroom.
“He grabbed my neck and put a knife to my
throat,” she said.
She continued: “He told me to get in the
car, I was crying. He told me if I didn’t he’d kill me.”
She said that when the pair was finished
with her, they ordered her to put her clothes on and get
back into the car. They drove her to another area and
Sickeningly, one of the men,
Morales-Marin, testified that he thought the little girl
was a prostitute and that she went with them willingly.
He claimed that he did not realize she was only a child
until after he and his cohort had both raped her, when
he noticed her small backpack.
Both men face up to life in prison and
will be sentenced in January.
One of the rapists, Juan
Hernandez-Monzalvo, had actually been previously
deported to Mexico, but easily made his way back to
Florida. He has been arrested many times for driving
without a license.
Both Hernandez-Monzalvo and Morales-Marin
are suspected of committing other sexual assaults in the
area. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office say that DNA
evidence has linked Morales-Marin to a recent rape near
a local mall.
Nov. 17, 2009
Cops: Orlando-area Rape Suspects
Could Have Many More Victims
eb. 13, 2009
Two Arrested in Rape of
eb. 11, 2009
New York State, USA
Illegal Alien Charged with Rape in
Endicott police arrested and
charged an illegal alien Tuesday with several felonies
related to the rape of a 21-year old female.
Arnoldo Monroy-Gonzalez, 18... was charged with
first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sex act and
first degree unlawful imprisonment.
Endicott police said Monroy-Gonzalez, of Guatemala, was
accused of holding a female against her will for over
two hours and forcing her to engage in sex acts at knife
point. Police recovered the knife and other evidence
during a search of his apartment.
Monroy-Gonzalez was remanded to the Broome County Jail
Police were assisted by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement in Syracuse.
Press & Sun Bulletin
Nov. 24, 2009
Nov. 27, 2009
Washington State, USA
Francisca Hernandez-Ramirez Age 14
Girl Reportedly Slain to Keep Her
from Claiming Rape
The 22-year-old Outlook man suspected of slashing her
throat and leaving her to bleed to death next to an
irrigation canal was ordered held on $500,000 bail at
his first court hearing in the case Wednesday afternoon.
Jesus Fabian Perales was arrested Tuesday on suspicion
of first-degree murder in the October 2008 death of
The girl's body was discovered in February in the Yakima
River near Prosser.
She had been missing since Oct. 20, 2008, and was
identified in February through dental records. Her
family had reported her as a runaway shortly after she
Perales fled the Yakima Valley after Hernandez-Ramirez's
death, but authorities said they learned last week that
he had returned.
An arrest report by Yakima County sheriff's detectives
gave the following account:
Hernandez-Ramirez, the suspect and several others had
been drinking and playing cards at a home in Outlook.
One of the men at the party found Hernandez-Ramirez
passed out on the bathroom floor. After he helped her
up, she said she wanted to go home.
That man and the suspect then drove her toward
Sunnyside. Midway through the trip, she started
screaming that she had been raped by another male at the
The men drove around the area while deciding what to do.
They decided to drop her off in an orchard, hoping that
she would forget what happened when she awoke.
The suspect told the other man, who was driving, that he
would deposit the girl, then return to the vehicle.
When he came back, the driver asked if she was all
right, and Perales said she was "good."
The autopsy found that her throat had been cut, severing
both carotid arteries.
The next day, Perales returned and told the driver he
needed to sell or destroy the car because it might
contain evidence of Hernandez-Ramirez's death.
He also threatened to kill the driver or his family if
he went to police...
The Yakima Herald-Republic
Nov. 25, 2009
Jesus Fabian Perales Accused of
Killing 14-Year-Old Girl So She Wouldn't Report Rape
The Daily Weekly
Nov. 27, 2009
Nov. 27, 2009
Benjamin Delacruz Ajqui
Illegal Alien Sentenced in
Minnesota for Raping 14-year-old Girl
A few days ago, after pleading guilty to first-degree
criminal sexual conduct, Benjamin Delacruz Ajqui was
sentenced to 12 years in prison for the rape of a
14-year-old girl. The attack took place this past
summer, amidst a pastoral setting in central Minnesota.
On the afternoon of July 28, 2009, the teenaged victim
was riding her bicycle along the Lake Wobegon Trail,
when she encountered Ajqui. The Mexican national, who
was also riding a bike, grabbed the girl and shoved her
down into a ditch, where he raped her.
Ajqui fled the scene and was later captured in a nearby
At the time, Stearns County Sheriff John Tanner told
reporters: "The suspect responsible for this, I'm sure
waited for this young girl to get into a secluded area
where he couldn't see anybody else on the trail system
and took advantage of that opportunity.” ...
Nov. 27, 2009
Police Detectives Shocked at
Remorseless Suspects in Gang Rape of San Francisco-area
The shocking gang rape of a
15-year-old San Francisco-area girl was awful enough.
But what has shaken even veteran cops is the complete
lack of remorse shown by at least some of the suspects
arrested in the case.
It’s "disgusting" and "the
worst thing I’ve heard of," Richmond Detective Ken
Greco, who has been on the force for 29 years, was
quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle.
The victim was found
semiconscious beneath a picnic table after being
brutalized by up to 10 suspects for about two hours.
"She was raped, beaten,
robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were
obviously okay enough with it to behave that way in each
other’s presence," police Lt. Mark Gagan told the
"What makes it even more
disturbing is the presence of others," Gagan said.
"People came by, saw what was happening and failed to
"This just gets worse and
worse the more you dig into it," Gagan told CNN. "It was
like a horror movie after looking at the evidence. I
can’t believe not one person felt compelled to help
Manuel Ortega, 19, a former student at the school, was
arrested soon after he ran from the scene. He faces
charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, and was held on
Also arrested Tuesday night
were a 16-year-old San Pablo boy and 21-year-old
Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond. On Monday, police
arrested Manuel Ortega, 19, and a 15-year-old boy, a
student at Richmond High who knows the rape victim...
The New York Daily News
Oct. 28th 2009
The United States
U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter
for November 19 -
November 25, 2009
an illegal alien from Mexico near Sonoita, Arizona. The
subject had a prior conviction for rape in the State of
Michigan and had been previously removed from the U.S.
an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona.
The subject… had a prior conviction for indecent liberty
with a child and had been previously removed from the
an illegal alien from Mexico near Naco, Arizona. The
subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor and
strong arm rape in the State of California. He had also
been previously removed from the U.S.
arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Tucson,
Arizona. The subject had a prior conviction for lewd and
lascivious acts on a child in the State of California
and had been previously removed from the U.S.
an illegal alien from Mexico near Bisbee, Arizona. The
subject had a prior conviction for indecent liberties in
the State of Washington and had been previously removed
from the U.S.
an illegal alien from Mexico near Bisbee, Arizona. The
subject had a prior conviction for sexual intercourse
with a minor in the State of California and had been
previously removed from the U.S.
arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico,
California. The subject had a prior conviction for sex
with a minor and had been previously removed from the
agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near
Nogales, Arizona. The subject had a prior conviction for
soliciting sex and indecency with a child, public sexual
indecency, and obstructing government operations in the
State of Alaska. He had also been previously removed
from the U.S.
U.S. Border Patrol
Nov. 25, 2009
Latin America, Mexico
Reverend Steven Cass of the
Breaking Chains Ministry sits with teens
saved from the streets of Tijuana, Mexico.
Training school for Missionaries
With the Heart to Help Children Who are Being Sexually
We are going to convert the downtown center we have a 5
story building in the center of Acapulco's oldest
tourist zone into a training center for missionaries who
want to be trained to go out to all of Latin America to
work with these high risk children.
We were called to this massive problem and we believe
the Lord provided this building for this cause. The
program will be bi-cultural as all student groups will
be a equal mix of Latin American students co-laboring
with North American students. We will be teaching these
students how we work the red light zones in a
non-threatening manner. The classes will focus on how to
gain trust, provide the out and also how to build the
appropriate local relationships.
The school will run on a 90 day semester culminating
with the graduating class being sent out to a city in
Latin America to apply what they will have learned here
in Acapulco both academically as well as in real life
The needs are great in this area
as Latin America has actually overtaken Asia as the
primary source of child exploitation [globally].
of the roles of this school will be to reach out to the
woman and children of the local community offering them
vocational training as well as English classes. Where we
excel as a ministry is gaining the trust of those who
come in. From these people we get information that is
otherwise unattainable. It is this information which
leads to many of the children we actually rescue from
needs are as follows:
1. We need
approximately 50K to restore this facility and to
prepare it to be able to house these class groups of 20
2. We need
missionaries with street level experience who are
willing to join our staff for training. We are looking
for 90 day commitments but will also have shorter term
opportunities for specialists
3. We need
teams who are willing to present this training to
churches both in the US and Canada but also to the
churches in Latin America.
4. We need
materials and vocational programs that are proven to
1000's of single
mothers starving in this city
as well as English as a second language materials.
importantly we need your prayers that this school will
come together in Gods will. It is a grand project and
something we don't feel ready for but at the same time
feel the Lord calling us to go now.
Steven T Cass
Breaking Chains Ministry
Nov. 17, 2009
testified in April, 2009 in Chile against
the state of Mexico in regard to their
(From left to
right) Josefina Gonazalez, United Nations
representative Florenti Melendez, Irma
Monreal, and Benita Monarrez.
Maria Grusauskas - The Santiago Times
Fallo de CoIDH, un Hito en
Lucha Contra Feminicidio
violaciones de México a Convención Belém Do Pará
México, DF.- La
sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos
Humanos (CoIDH) –la cual no es pública aún– que
posiblemente condenará al Estado mexicano por el
feminicidio de tres mujeres (de ocho) encontradas
asesinadas en un campo algodonero en Ciudad Juárez,
cobra especial relevancia porque para emitirla se
analizó la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir,
Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra las
Mujeres (Belem Do Pará)...
Lourdes Godínez Leal
News for Women
Nov. 20, 2009
State Held Responsible for
Three Juárez Killings
Mexico City - The families of three young women
murdered in Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican
state of Chihuahua on the border with the United
States, had to wait eight years for justice, which
they finally obtained through the inter-American
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, part of
the Organization of American States (OAS), found the
Mexican state guilty of denial of justice to Claudia
González, Esmeralda Herrera and Berenice Ramos,
whose bodies were found with five others in November
2001, and to their relatives...
The trial against Mexico opened April 27  in
the Court's branch in Santiago, Chile. The
non-governmental National Association of Democratic
Lawyers (ANAD), the Latin American and Caribbean
Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM),
the Citizen Network for Non-Violence and Human
Dignity and the Centre for Women's Integral
Development (CEDIMAC) provided legal support for the
Eight bodies were found in a cotton field across
from a "maquiladora," a factory assembling tax-free
imported materials for export, on the outskirts of
Ciudad Juárez. Five of them were still unidentified
when the accusation was presented, so the Commission
decided to exclude them from the petition...
Known as the "Juárez femicides," at least 300 women
were murdered between 1993 and 2003, and most of the
perpetrators have gone unpunished, according to
human rights watchdog Amnesty International. The
disappearances and killings of women are still
In 2003, the Mexican National Human Rights
Commission published a special report on the cases
of 263 murdered women and 4,587 who had disappeared
since 1993. It accused state and municipal
authorities of serious omissions in the
Emilio Godoy (IPS)
Nov. 20, 2009
Neighbors: Park Where Girl Was
Assaulted Could Use More Light
More details were
released Wednesday about the sexual assault of girl
at Dottie Jordan Park in Central East Austin...
A 12-year-old girl told
police she was walking home in front of the park
around 7 p.m. when a man pulled up next to her in a
red extended pickup truck. She says he tried to coax
"She continued to walk
away from the man. She said the man then exited the
truck, pulled her into the park and sexually
assaulted her," APD Corporal Scott Perry said.
The girl described her
attacker as Hispanic, 30 years of age, 5'8" tall and
150 pounds. She told police he wore a red shirt,
jeans, brown boots and black gloves.
"It's really sad that an
innocent child at 12 sexually assaulted. That's sad
especially 'cause there's a lot of children around
here," Moten said.
Children don't just come
here for the park. This is a route... [that] many
use to walk to and from area schools. An elementary
school zone ends where the park begins...
Oct. 28, 2009
The United States
Secretary Napolitano and ICE
Assistant Secretary Morton announce that the Secure
Communities Initiative identified more than 111,000
aliens charged with or convicted of crimes in its
Washington, D.C. -
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary
Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton
today announced that ICE's Secure Communities
initiative-a partnership with local law enforcement
agencies that uses biometrics to identify and remove
criminal aliens-identified more than 111,000 aliens
in local custody charged with or convicted of crimes
during its first year...
The results announced
today are the product of enhanced interoperability
between DHS' US-VISIT and the FBI's Criminal Justice
Information Services Division criminal biometrics
program-technology that streamlines information
sharing to enhance public safety...
Since its inception in
October 2008, Secure Communities has identified more
than 11,000 aliens charged or convicted with Level 1
crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnapping-1,900 of
which have already been removed from the United
States-and more than 100,000 aliens charged with or
convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes, including
burglary and serious property crimes...
The United States
for Raping 8-year-old Boy
On Wednesday, police in
Brewster, New York arrested a 24-year-old illegal
alien for molesting an 8-year-old boy.
The abuse was discovered
during an October 30th medical exam by the boy’s
pediatrician. The little boy told his doctor that
Mendez-Depaz was responsible.
Nelson Mendez-Depaz has
been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, and is
being held in the Putnam County Jail without bail.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has also placed
a retainer on the suspect.
The following facts help
illustrate the growing epidemic of child molestation
being committed by illegal aliens:
Schurman-Kauflin Ph.D. of the Violent Crimes
Institute reports that the U.S. illegal alien
population includes at least 240,000 sex offenders.
Based on various studies, it is estimated that they
will commit 130,909 sex crimes annually.
- 63 percent of the sex
crimes committed by illegal aliens, were done so by
previously deported criminals...
Nov. 14, 2009
The United States
Senators Press Holder on Rape
Pledges His Dept Will Address Backlog
CBS News investigation on
untested rape evidence, Senators asked
Attorney General Eric Holder today if the Justice
Department will do more to ensure that untested
evidence in rape cases is processed and analyzed by
Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he was
disturbed to have recently learned that despite
federal funding “substantial backlogs remain.”
Holder responded, “Mr.
Chairman, I not only pledge that we should, we have
to work on this. For every crime that remains
unsolved, there is a rapist who is potentially still
out there and ready to strike again. The Justice
Department looks forward to working with this
committee to come up with a way in which we do away
with that backlog.” ...
The Rape, Abuse and
Incest National Network (RAINN) told CBS News that
in response to the CBS story on rape kits online
sessions with their National Sexual Assault Online
Hotline increased by 53%.
"Stories on topics such
as this have the potential to trigger difficult
memories for those who have been affected by sexual
violence, that's why it's critical that viewers are
provided with information on how to get help, and
what to do if they've been sexually assaulted," says
Katherine Hull, spokesperson for RAINN.
Nov. 18, 2009
Masters at age 13
Raped at 13, Victim Fights to
Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog
...Lavinia Masters was
raped by a stranger in her Texas home when she was
It was a hot July night
in 1985, and the Texas sixth-grader had been
sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect...
DNA testing had not been
available when Masters was assaulted. But in 2005,
police said they discovered the DNA in her kit
matched DNA samples from a man who was already
serving time in prison for unrelated crimes,
including sexual assault.
But the suspect could
not be prosecuted in Masters' case because the
statute of limitations had run out.
...Masters, now 38,
decided to let her name be known to shed light on
the issue of backlogged rape kits.
Government officials say
many police departments and crime labs across the
country are inadequately funded and overwhelmed,
leaving many rape kits untested. Rape victims'
advocates say leaving the kits untested suggests law
enforcement agencies aren't prioritizing rape cases.
In Los Angeles,
California, 7,495 untested rape kits were in the
police department's system in October 2008, the
department said. The rape kits may have the critical
DNA that could lead to the arrest of offenders,
exonerate those wrongly convicted and end the
agonizing uncertainty for rape victims...
The Los Angeles Police
Department drew criticism last year over its
backlog. By September, the LAPD reported the backlog
had dropped to 2,937 due to an influx of federal
grant money and the efforts of its DNA Task Force.
The tested rape kits resulted in 405 suspect hits,
according to law enforcement officials...
Oct. 15, 2009
The United States
Liberan a 52 Niños en Acción
Contra Prostitución Infantil en EU
Washington. Al menos 52
niños fueron liberados en una acción contra la
prostitución infantil en Estados Unidos, en la cual
además fueron detenidas 690 personas, entre ellas 60
presuntos proxenetas, informó hoy el Buró Federal de
Investigaciones (FBI) en Washington.
La acción de tres días
se realizó en 36 ciudades y fue parte de una
iniciativa que desde 2003 combate la prostitución
infantil y el tráfico de niños en Estados Unidos.
infantil sigue siendo un problema grave en nuestro
país", afirmó el subdirector del FBI Kevin Perkins,
que aludió a la alta cifra de niños rescatados.
Agregó que desde el comienzo de la iniciativa fueron
rescatados unos 900 menores obligados a prostituirse.
Además hubo 500 condenas.
Oct. 26, 2009
52 Children Rescued in
Nationwide Sex-trafficking Raids
Federal officials arrest
almost 700 people, including 60 suspected pimps, in
a three-day crackdown on child prostitution. The
youngest victim was 10, authorities say.
Washington - Federal officials rescued 52 children
and arrested nearly 700 people over the last three
days in a nationwide crackdown on child
Almost 1,600 agents and
officers took part in the raids, which followed
investigations in 36 cities, according to the FBI,
local law enforcement agencies and the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Included
in the arrests were 60 suspected pimps, according to
the FBI and local police officials.
Authorities say the youngest victim was 10...
The sweep, dubbed
Operation Cross Country, is part of the Innocence
Lost National Initiative, started in 2003 to address
child sex trafficking in the U.S.
The initiative has
rescued nearly 900 children; led to the conviction
of 510 pimps, madams and their associates; and
seized $3.1 million in assets, according to the FBI.
"We're having an
enormous impact on this business," said Ernie Allen,
president of the National Center for Missing and
Most of the recovered
children have been girls, who usually become victims
of traffickers around age 12, Allen said.
He estimated that
100,000 children are still involved in sex
trafficking in the U.S., adding that the problem is
growing partly because of the recession.
The Los Angeles Times
The Associated Press
contributed to this report.
Oct. 27, 2009
Rape Suspect Sought in Halloween
Los Angeles - Police are
asking for the public's help in finding a man accused of
pouring battery acid on his girlfriend's face before
raping her on Halloween night.
Police say 30-year-old
Miguel Angel Herrera restrained and tortured his
girlfriend after the two got into a heated argument at
his apartment around 9:00 p.m.
Captain Art Miller says
Herrera told the woman he wanted to teach her a lesson.
Miller says he punched the
woman, stabbed her with a knife, whipped her with an
electrical cord, poured acid on her face and body and
tried to make her drink the acid.
Miller says Herrera raped
her before allowing her to leave.
The woman drove to her
She was taken to the Newton
Division Police Station then to a local hospital where
she was treated and released...
Herrera is described as
Hispanic, with black hair, brown eyes and was last seen
driving a Nissan, Titan pick-up truck license plate
It's believed the incident
was an isolated attack, however, police are trying to
find out if there were any additional victims.
Anyone with information is
asked to call Southwest Detectives at (213) 485-2585.
KTLA-TV, Los Angeles
Nov. 11, 2009
San Antonio Blogger Has Had
Enough "Free South Park Mexican" Sentiment
A little over seven years
ago, we wrote about the South Park Mexican trial.
[Rapper South Park Mexican -
SPM], born Carlos Coy, had it all: money, his own record
label, a nightclub and, most importantly, the ear of a
generation. He was the voice of a new type of person:
the Southern and Southwestern Mexican-American who
acclimated to American life through black culture -
specifically hip-hop - instead of white. As Tejano music
and culture started to wither and die in the wake of the
murder of Selena, SPM stepped into the breach with a new
style and swagger.
As the '90s progressed,
young Texas Latinos stashed their hand-tooled leather
belts, ostrich-skin boots and Charro-style hats and
replaced them with, as commentator Rolando Rodriguez
recently put it, " 'south side fades,' fitted Astros
hats, oversized t-shirts, [and] gold grills in the mouth
spittin' Southern slang."
And then Coy's weakness - a
predilection for sex with underage girls - came to
light. In June of 2002, Coy was convicted of the
aggravated sexual assault of the nine-year-old daughter
of two family friends and sentenced to 45 years in
Many of SPM's friends were
outraged, and a measure of their scorn can be found in
the comments at the end of our trial coverage.
Ana Sanchez from Phoenix:
"How can an innocent man sit behind jails to rot without
having a proper trial. I think its a bunch of **** how
the prosecutors sent him to 45 years of prison without
studying the evidence. The lawyers did not bring up the
girls possible intentions of accusing him of rape. All
those lying b*** want is the money and publicity!! All I
can say is dat SPM can be doing so many things outta
prison and instead he is caged like an animal. FREE SPM!!!!!!!!!!!"
And again and again,
variations of "FREE SOUTH PARK MEXICAN!!!!!", a cry you
can also hear in underground rap videos and see on
T-shirts and in videos to this day.
writes Rolando Rodriguez, a native of Richmond, Texas,
now based in San Antonio:
"In their minds and for the
fans, all of this is a conspiracy by a bunch of "money
hungry ****" who wanted to cash in on his earnings and
fame. For the sake of the community I come from and for
the inspiration he brought to Hispanics in Houston and
elsewhere, I want to believe that, so bad.
"But I can't. I have an
eight-year old daughter and the thought of anything like
that happening to her doesn't allow me to support the
"Free SPM" movement, and that should be reason enough
for those who have children of their own and do follow
the "Free SPM" movement, not to anymore. I'd rather be
wrong about SPM's guilt and face my own community in
embarrassment, than be wrong about his innocence and
face my own daughter in shame." ...
"Today, we've got to find a
new hero," he says. "We need to find someone who's more
socially conscious, whose delivery is more positive. Why
not use that power for good?"
Houston Press - Houston
Nov. 18, 2009
[Voices from some of the
good people working for change on the front lines of
the crisis in Mexico...
Rescues In the Works - We Need
Breaking Chains Ministry Update
My heart is aching
lately as I feel like while we are making major
strides all around us the world seems to be falling.
I live in a part of the world where lawlessness and
murder are daily occurrences...
There are 5 major
rescues in process...2 of them are here in Acapulco.
One is a group that is stealing children from the
street, they use methods which include getting the
children addicted then using them to deliver drugs,
once they have them working the girls are sent to
deliver drugs to a home where they are taken by
force and moved to other parts of Mexico and at
times to the US or other countries to become sex
slaves. We have enough information now that we know
how it is happening but still lack the solution so
please pray with us that God will come through.
There is one girl who is
in my sights now who has been on the streets since
she was 13..she is now 17 and sadly has a 3 month
old baby. She was put in my path during a recent
outreach which was considered a failure by the team
that was with me. For me it was a grand victory as
we found Beranice even though she refused to speak
with us or even let us minister to her baby.
Yesterday I dropped off diapers and baby food to her
at the spot she lives on the street in the middle of
drug addicts. I just left the stuff and walked away
as I wanted her to see there was no agenda beyond
giving her and her baby help. God led me to this and
I believe it was enough that today when I go for
them she will receive at least my offer of a safe
home. Please pray for her and the baby and that the
light will shine bright enough to let her see
through the dark to the opportunity the Lord is
giving her and her daughter...
The last 2 cases involve
dangerous situations so I cannot share
details...they involve many children most of whom
have yet to reach 16 and yet they are being
prostituted. The clients are mostly American men and
praise God we have help with the US govt. that will
God willing not only get these men but also get
these children to safety...
Steven T Cass
Breaking Chains Ministry
Nov. 17, 2009
Arrestan en México a un
Estadounidense Acusado de Pornografía Infantil
Guerrero - Agentes federales
capturaron en el sureño estado mexicano de Guerrero a un
estadounidense acusado del delito de pornografía
infantil, en la modalidad de almacenamiento, informó hoy
la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR, Fiscalía).
La fuente señaló en un comunicado que se trata de John
Terrence McGovern, quien fue detenido ayer cuando
llegaba al aeropuerto de Zihuatanejo (Guerrero),
procedente de Los Ángeles, California...
Mexico to an American man accused of child pornography
Guerrero - The federal
Attorney General's Office (PGR) has announced that
federal agents in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero
have arrested an American accused of the crime of
possessing of child pornography.
John Terrence McGovern was
arrested yesterday as he arrived at the airport in
Zihuatanejo (Guerrero), from Los Angeles, California.
The investigation was headed
by the Special Unit for Research into Trafficking in
Minors, Undocumented Persons and Human Organs, in
cooperation with U.S. authorities.
According to investigators,
authorities searched McGovern's house in Michigan (USA),
and found information linking emails with the generation
and distribution of child pornography originating from
Police also searched
McGovern's home in Zihuatanejo and found eight compact
disks containing sexually explicit images where those
photographed appear to be under age 18.
McGovern is being held in a
prison in Acapulco, in Guerrero state.
Nov. 12, 2009
Police: Jogger Sexually
Assaulted on Trail
Takoma Park - Police are looking for a man who
allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while she was
Montgomery County Police say a woman was dragged
into the woods along the Sligo Creek Stream Valley
Trail in Takoma Park around 5 p.m. Thursday.
Once inside the woods, the suspect sexually
assaulted the woman.
Police say the suspect is a Hispanic man, age 25-35
and about 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 9 inches with
short black hair. He was wearing a heavy long sleeve
beige shirt and baggy pants.
Police are asking anyone who may have been in the
area near the Carroll Avenue Bridge to call them at
Nov. 20, 2009
Police: Man Tries To Kidnap
Girl On Her Way To School
Bakersfield - On Thursday around 7:30 a.m., an 18
year old female Bakersfield High School student
reported that as she was walking in the 300 block of
California Avenue, she was approached by a man who
asked if she needed a ride.
Police said the girl
refused the ride and walked away only to be
contacted a few blocks later by the same man who
grabbed her arm and told her to go with him. The
girl pulled away from the suspect who then grabbed
her buttocks as she ran away, police said.
The man is described as
Hispanic in his mid 20s. He is said to be between 5
feet 8 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall with a
thin build. He has a bald or shaved head and was
last seen wearing a gray sweater with lettering on
the front and light blue jeans, police said.
Prior to the assault
police said the man was seen standing near a lowered
maroon 1990's mini truck, possibly a Chevrolet, with
Anyone with information
related to this offense is encouraged to call the
Bakersfield Police Department Investigations
Division at 326-3846.
Nov. 20, 2009
Washington State, USA
driver of minivan
Two Men Sought in Attempted
Abduction in Redmond
The Times' criminal
justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the
The Redmond Police
Department has released these sketches of two men
involved in the attempted abduction of a 14-year-old
girl on Wednesday afternoon.
The girl was standing on
the corner of Avondale Road and Northeast 90th
Street when a light blue van with two men pulled up
alongside her. The passenger said to the girl, "Come
here" several times.
When the man opened his
door and attempted to grab her, the teen turned and
ran in the opposite direction as the van sped off.
The girl worked with authorities this afternoon to
create sketches of the passenger and driver.
The passenger is
described as a Hispanic male in his early 40s with a
heavy build, dark "tanned" skin tone, and black
hair. He stands is 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-8 and has a
pointed nose with a bump in the bridge of his nose.
The driver is thought to
be a Hispanic male in his mid- to late-40s with a
thick build, "messy" black hair, double chin,
wrinkles, and dark "tanned" skin.
They were driving a
light blue mid-to-late 1990s minivan.
Anyone with information
on the men or their vehicle is asked to call Redmond
police at 425-556-2584.
The Seattle Times
Nov. 19, 2009
Police Looking for Suspected
[San Diego] - East
County authorities were on alert Thursday for a man
who harassed a girl walking to school.
The girl told deputies
she was walking near Apple Street and Paraiso Avenue
shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday when a man pulled
over a late-model dark blue minivan next to her and
asked if she wanted a ride to school, said San Diego
County sheriff’s Deputy W. Bunk.
“I’ve been watching you
and your sisters,” the man told the girl, according
to Bunk. When she asked him how he knew she had
sisters, he responded: “I’ve been watching you and
seeing you around here.”
He then asked for the
girl’s phone number; she said she didn’t have one,
The man then began to
follow the girl as she walked on, asking her again
to accept a ride, Bunk said.
The girl “became
frightened and ran to the 7-Eleven store located on
Jamacha Road and Grand Avenue, where she called her
mother and waited until deputies arrived,” Bunk
the man as Hispanic, around 40, about 6 feet, with a
goatee and short unkempt hair. His minivan had dents
San Diego News
Central America: Gender-based
Violence, the Hidden Face of Insecurity
Managua - Gender-based violence and sexual abuse are
serious public security problems in Central America, and
Nicaragua is no exception, according to reports by
United Nations agencies and women’s organizations.
The Central American Human Development Report 2009-2010,
released on Oct. 20 by the United Nations Development
Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Latin America and
the Caribbean, says violence against women, adolescents
and children is the "hidden" and "most invisible face"
of public insecurity in the region.
According to the study, entitled "Opening Spaces for
Citizen Security and Human Development", two out of
three women murdered in Central America are killed for
gender-related reasons, a phenomenon that is known as
Gender violence, however, remains largely concealed by
prevailing social attitudes that condone it and by the
victims’ reluctance to report abuse...
The women who pressed charges had suffered the worst
abuse, including sexual assault, bodily injuries,
mutilations and torture, Granera said. More
specifically, 4,129 were cases of domestic violence,
2,253 were cases of sexual assault, and 8,645 were cases
of physical and psychological harm, such as threats,
blackmail and verbal abuse.
"The rest of the victims kept quiet. This shows that
even though it is the leading public security problem
(in Nicaragua), it is the least reported crime, and,
therefore, the one with the greatest impunity," Granera
The UNDP report, which assessed levels of public
insecurity in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, reported that
Central America has become the
region with the highest levels of non-political violence
However, the report clarifies that while the countries
of Central America's so-called
"northern triangle" have homicide rates five to seven
times higher than the global average of nine per 100,000
people - 48 per 100,000 in Guatemala, 52 per 100,000 in
El Salvador and 58 per 100,000 in Honduras -
Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama to the south are
significantly safer, with murder rates of 11 per 100,000
population, 13 per 100,000 and 19 per 100,000,
Women, adolescents and children, ethnic minorities and
groups with alternative sexual orientations are the main
victims of what the study refers to as the region’s
"phenomenon of 'invisible' (or rather 'invisibilized')
insecurities," whereby certain groups are "exposed to an
exceptional disparity between the risk of violent or
predatory crimes they face and the protection they
Bautista noted that the report presents at least six
atrocious forms of "invisible crimes" that plague
children in Central America: murder, forced
participation in criminal activities, police brutality,
domestic abuse, sexual abuse and assault, and forced
labor and prostitution...
In Nicaragua, one out of three women married or living
with a man has been subjected to physical violence,
including sexual abuse, at some point in her life. Half
the victims report that they first suffered abuse before
the age of 15.
"According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),
in 2008 alone there were 1,400 pregnant girls under the
age of 15. Most of these pregnancies were the result of
rape," Millón said, citing a study published in Managua
in June by the multilateral agency.
against women - like violence against children or ethnic
minorities - "is almost totally excluded from the
official debate on public insecurity in the region,"
José Adán Silva
Inter Press Service
Nov. 16, 2009
Sketch of suspect
Attempted Kidnapper Wanted In
are looking for a man who tried to kidnap a teenage girl
as she walked in Encino.
Police Tuesday were
searching for a man who allegedly tried to kidnap a
13-year-old girl as she was walking in Encino.
The teen told investigators
with the Los Angeles Police Department that a man jumped
out of his parked vehicle and grabbed her at around 2:20
p.m. Nov. 11, near Magnolia Boulevard and Zelzah Avenue.
As he dragged the girl
toward his car, she screamed and managed to free herself
from his grasp and run away, according to authorities.
The suspect immediately ran back to his car and drove
off, authorities said.
The suspect was described as
a Hispanic man in his 30s or 40s. He is 5 feet 6 inches
tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He had a shaved head
and wore a white oversized T-shirt and dark baggy
He was driving a white
four-door SUV with a broken right tail light, possibly a
1995-2005 GMC Yukon, with a license number that began
Anyone with information
about the case was urged to call LAPD Detective Larry
Concepcion at (818) 374-7725, or the toll-free number
(877) LAPD 24-7.
Nov. 17, 2009
Rowlett Police Warn of Possible
Child Enticement Threat
We recently got word from the RPD about a report of a
possible child enticement -- an adult trying to get a
child into his vehicle -- a few weeks aqo in the 9500
block of Waterview Parkway. A 10-year-old girl told
police an unknown Hispanic man approached her and told
her several times to get in his truck. He finally gave
up and drove away southbound on Liberty Grove Road
The man is 30-40 years of age with a mustache or small
beard, wearing a dark blue long-sleeve shirt "with
buttons." His truck is an older-model red two-door,
possible a Toyota, with an open bed, a dent in the right
rear passenger side, and chrome or silver rails on the
bottom of the truck.
Anyone with information about this is asked to call the
RPD's Investigations Division at 972-412-6220.
The Dallas Morning News
Nov. 18, 2009
Sketch of suspect
Police Seek Suspect in
Las Vegas police are searching for a
man in connection with an attempted abduction of a
13-year-old girl who was walking to school Friday.
Lt. John Bradshaw said today that the
attempt happened in the morning as the girl was
walking to Mack Middle School.
She was walking near Vegas Valley
Drive and Mountain Vista Street when a Hispanic man
driving a black SUV made disparaging remarks to her
and tried to lure her into his vehicle, Bradshaw
The girl told school authorities
about the incident. She did not know the man.
Anyone who knows the man in the
sketch or who has knowledge of the incident is urged
to call Las Vegas police’s Sexual Assault Section at
828-3421 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nov. 18, 2009
Woman Pushing Stroller
Attacked in San Rafael
San Rafael police are
investigating an assault on a woman pushing a baby
stroller in the Canal area.
The attack occurred Monday on a private walking path
parallel to Playa del Rey, said San Rafael police
Sgt. Jim Correa. The woman told police a man
approached her from behind, covered her mouth and
tried to pull her backwards, but she was able to
The man then grabbed the
woman's breasts and buttocks before running away
toward Bellam Boulevard, Correa said. The infant in
the stroller was not harmed.
The suspect was
described as Hispanic, 20 to 25 years old, thin and
about 6 feet tall with short black hair. He was
wearing a black sweater and black pants and was
carrying a cell phone...
Anyone with information
can call the San Rafael Police Department at
485-3000, or place anonymous tips with Bay Area
Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, a multilingual line.
Nov. 18, 2009
Elementary on Alert After Reported
The principal of a southeast
Houston elementary school warned parents about a
possible attempted abduction of a student on his way to
Principal Karen Jackson said a mustached Hispanic male
wearing a black jogging suit and blue shoes grabbed a
fourth-grade boy off a bike and tried to drag him up a
driveway Tuesday morning. The boy escaped, ran to campus
on the 7400 block of Westover and reported the attack,
and the suspect remains at large.
Jackson said the school will
remind students to run away in similar situations, and
said Houston Independent School District police will be
patrolling the area more heavily.
Nov. 18, 2009
Yuba City Police Warn of
Suspicious Activity Near Bus Stop
Yuba City police today
issued a warning about a man who apparently tried to
pick up two children who had just been let off a school
The incident occurred about
1:10 p.m. Tuesday at Whyler Road and Oji Way, said
police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey.
The bus driver saw a man
pull up in a white van or sport utility vehicle and talk
to the children, who "looked shocked," she said.
When the bus driver
investigated, the children — a boy and girl ages 10 and
12 — told her they did not know the man and that he had
asked them if they wanted a ride, Pavey said.
The man was described as a
Spanish-speaking Hispanic male adult. No further
description of the man or his vehicle was immediately
Police commended the driver
for being alert and getting involved.
Nov. 18, 2009
New Jersey, USA
Newark Police Report Child
Newark police are warning
residents that a man tried to lure an 11-year-old boy
into his van Tuesday afternoon.
The boy said the man drove
up to him in the area of Parkshore and Edgewater drives
at about 4:20 p.m. and asked him if he needed a ride,
When the boy declined, the
man got out of the van, opened the passenger door and
asked him to get in, police said. The boy ran away.
Officers searched the area
but were unable to locate the man or the vehicle.
The van is described as
being green with tinted windows and may have the letters
"NVE" on the license plate.
The driver is Hispanic,
about 5 feet 11 inches tall and is described as having a
"big stomach," police said. He was wearing a black
sweatshirt, blue denim pants with holes in the knees and
a blue wristband on his left wrist.
Anyone with information
about the incident is asked to call the Newark Police
Department at (510) 578-4237.
Bay City News
Nov. 04, 2009
DNA points to Rape Suspect
DNA evidence pointed the
finger Tuesday at a law school graduate as the man who
impregnated an underage girl he is charged with sexually
Ralf Moises Mondonedo, 41,
of Bedford, Texas, is charged with one count of rape or,
in the alternative, one count of aggravated incest with
a relative 16 to 17; six counts of aggravated indecent
liberties with a child 14 to 15; two counts of criminal
sodomy with a child 14 to 15; one count of attempted
criminal sodomy with a child 14 to 15; and one count of
battery, according to court records. All but the battery
Karol Elias, co-laboratory
director at the Paternity Testing Corp. in Columbia,
Mo., told jurors the probability that Mondonedo was the
father of the victim's child was 99.99 percent...
Mondonedo and the girl last
had sex around Thanksgiving Day in 2008, a time when she
felt like vomiting all of the time, the victim said. The
defendant told her that if they had sex, it would get
rid of the baby, the girl testified.
The attacks were reported to
Topeka police on Jan. 5, 2009, after the girl told her
mother, and an over-the-counter test confirmed she was
pregnant, the girl and her mother testified.
Mondonedo, who graduated
from the Washburn University School of Law in December
2003, had worked for the Kansas Attorney General's
Office for almost four years, starting in April 2004. He
worked in the consumer protection division, but not as a
lawyer or investigator, an office spokeswoman said soon
after he was charged.
Nov. 18, 2009
North Carolina, USA
Caught on tape.
A hotel surveillance camera
shows Shaniya Davis being carried into a
room by a man believed to be Mario Andrette
Fayetteville mother's arrest
sheds light on human trafficking problem
Fayetteville - North Carolina is a prime destination
for human trafficking due to its many highways and
interstates, according Senator Ellie Kinnaird,
"It’s out there. It’s out there (and it's) scary,”
Kinnaird has sponsored anti-trafficking legislation
before the General Assembly. She said the weekend
arrest of a Fayetteville mother on human trafficking
and felony child abuse charges shows that the
trafficking trade is more prevalent than most people
“I think people just have a view of what our
American life is, and it doesn't encompass really
evil criminal acts like this,” she said.
According to Fayetteville police, Antoinette Nicole
Davis, 25, offered daughter Shaniya for
prostitution. The 5-year-old's body was found Monday
afternoon southeast of Sanford, ending a weeklong
search, police said.
Kinnaird said if Shaniya was involved in a sex
trafficking plot, she is among other victims in the
“Many of them are Asian women and children. Many of
them are Hispanic women and children. But as we saw
to our horror (possibly with Shaniya), they are now
homegrown, and may have been all along,” she said.
Paralegal Rachel Braver, with the statewide Task
Force (RIPPLE) to address Human Trafficking, said
the state's large immigrant population also plays a
part in attracting human traffickers. She said it is
difficult to know just how many victims are out
State lawmakers approved a bill in 2007 making human
trafficking a felony offense and offering state
assistance to victims...
Nov. 16, 2009
report on human
trafficking in 2009, Mexico had almost 20,000
children and adolescent victims of sexual
exploitation, especially in tourist and business
Tragic end to Shaniya Davis search: Body of missing
Sanford, North Carolina - A missing
5-year-old whose mother was accused of offering her
for sex was found dead off a heavily wooded road in
a rural area Monday, ending a weeklong search,
Searchers found Shaniya Davis' body
early Monday afternoon about 100 feet off a wooded
road southeast of Sanford, in central North
Carolina, Fayetteville Police spokeswoman Theresa
Chance said. She declined to comment on a cause of
death or the condition of Shaniya's body.
"We've got a lot of people out at the
scene right now that are torn up," Chance said.
"Detectives have been running off adrenaline to find
this little girl and to bring her home alive. You
have a lot of people in shock right now."
Two people have been charged in her
disappearance, one of them her mother, Antoinette
Davis, 25. Police charged Davis with human
trafficking and felony child abuse, saying Shaniya
was offered for prostitution. A first court
appearance for Davis was scheduled Monday afternoon,
and police said she did not yet have an attorney.
Authorities also charged Mario Andrette McNeill, 29,
with kidnapping after they said surveillance footage
from a Sanford hotel showed him carrying Shaniya
there. Authorities said McNeill admitted taking the
girl, though his attorney said he will plead not
The Associated Press
Nov. 16, 2009
Preocupación por el Crecimiento del “Turismo Sexual”
La Cámara de Diputados de México asegura que hay 20
mil menores explotados.
informe de la Cámara de Diputados aseguró que en
México 20 mil menores de edad son explotados
sexualmente. Además, informó que las bandas de
tratantes de personas crecieron y que operan en 21
estados del país…
Legislators Express Concern
About the Growth in Child Sex Tourism in Mexico
report published by the federal Chamber of Deputies [the lower house
of Congress] declares that 20,000 minors are being
sexually exploited in Mexico. The report also notes
that human trafficking gangs are on the increase,
and are operating in 21 of Mexico’s  states.
According to a
Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against
Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA),
assigned to the Attorney General's Office (PGR),
reported that in 2008 it has started only 24
preliminary investigations into trafficking cases.
of these cases were prosecuted. Among
the victims are Mexican women, as well as foreign women
from El Salvador, Korea, Argentina, China, Honduras,
Peru and Guatemala.
Alliance Party member Deputy Cora Alonso Pinedo,
during the introduction of her proposed amendments
to Article 6 of the Law to Prevent and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, said that the original law
had omitted the prosecution of offenses where there
was consent by the victim.
lawmaker explained that the current law states that
if the victim consented, no crime was
committed, an approach that conflicts with the provisions of
international instruments to which Mexico is has
Alonso Pinedo said that positive change would be achieved
if a greater level of legal certainty was
established in these cases...
significant judgments or penalties against
traffickers have been reported during the past year,
despite the fact that 24 federal preliminary
investigations had been initiated.
Mexico, Country of Origin
According to the United Nations Fund for Children
[UNICEF], child sex tourism has been detected in 21
of Mexico’s states.
"The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women said
that Mexico is ranked fifth worldwide for these
victims, and that at least 250,000 children and
teenagers are in the sex trade.
Deputy Pinedo Cora Alonso stressed that child sex
tourism continues to grow in [the cities of] Acapulco, Cancun,
Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.
Oct. 26, 2009
Hundreds in Dallas County
Deported Before Their Trials
Hundreds of defendants awaiting trial for violent
crimes in Dallas County have been deported by
federal immigration officials and then set free in
their home countries.
The practice goes back to at least 1991 and includes
the release of murder, kidnapping and child rape
suspects. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
officials say they're required to deport illegal
immigrants quickly but are now in talks with local
agencies who are trying to resolve the problem...
One survey of prosecutors shows that since 1991 in
Dallas County, nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants have
not stood trial after being accused of felonies.
That number also counts cases in which a wanted
person fled before being arrested, but does not
include all Dallas County cases – just ones that
prosecutors judged to be of the highest priority.
Those who post bail and agree to then be sent home
are taking advantage of the system to escape
justice, said Terri Moore, top assistant to District
Attorney Craig Watkins...
Officials from the DA's office, the Dallas County
Sheriff's Department and ICE met this week to
discuss the problem. No quick fixes were found, but
they plan to meet again, officials said...
The agency's policies led to
the deportation of one defendant, Jose Rico, who
returned to Mexico before he could stand trial in
the rape of two girls in separate incidents. DNA
connected him to both sexual assaults, court records
Both girls, ages 12 and 14, were bound with clear
duct tape. The attacker told one of the girls: "I
have a gun. I will kill you."
Rico, 34, posted his $125,000 bond and was deported
In Dallas County, judges this week took a step
toward decreasing the chances that someone in the
country illegally will post bond and be deported
before trial. Judges began setting the bail at
$100,000 per charge if a defendant is in the country
Under the new system, the bail for Rico, the child
rape suspect, probably would have been $200,000...
Nov. 14, 2009
Dallas Police Identify Suspect
in 2 Child Rapes
Dallas police today released the identity of the man
believed to be responsible for raping two children
in northeast Dallas.
He was identified as Jose Rico, 33, an illegal
immigrant, police said.
Rico was being held in the Dallas County jail on
charges of aggravated sexual assault and burglary of
He is also under an immigration hold...
In both assaults, the victims -- girls between 12
and 14 -- were home alone when a man entered through
an unlocked doors. Both girls were bound before they
Oct. 16 assault the attacker... entered the home
while the girl and an 11-month-old baby were alone.
The man confronted the girl as she was coming out of
a bathroom, pushed her back in and turned off the
lights. He threatened to hurt the baby if she
Jan. 30 attack... a man with a similar description
bound and raped a girl while she was home alone.
Dan X. McGraw
The Dallas Morning News
March 26, 2009
Guatemala: Where Sexual
Exploitation of Minors Is Not a Crime
Guatemala City - Sexual
exploitation of minors is not classified as a crime in
Guatemala, where activists say child sex tourism is on
the rise, and the toughest penalty for "corruption of
minors" and "aggravated procuring" is a 400 dollar fine.
"I had problems at home, and
a girlfriend took me to work with her in a bar." That is
how Alba, at the age of 14, began to be sexually
exploited in a brothel on the outskirts of the
Guatemalan capital. Her mother was demanding that she
bring money home, and she saw it as a way to earn an
For Alba's family, which is
poor, the 160 dollars a month that she brought home was
an important source of income.
Alba was the only underage
girl in the bar where she worked, which attracted a
relatively upscale clientele. She was also the most
popular, to the point that she was the target of envy on
the part of her fellow sex workers.
But hers is not an isolated
case. Although no precise figures are available, in 2002
it was estimated that 2,000 minors were sexually
exploited in Guatemala City alone, according to a report
by Casa Alianza (the Latin American branch of the New
York-based Covenant House, a child advocacy organisation)
and ECPAT (an international NGO working to end child
prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of
Of those 2,000 minors, 1,200
were from El Salvador, 500 from Honduras and 300 from
Guatemala itself. María Eugenia Villarreal, ECPAT
director for Latin America, says Central America is a
hub for trafficking in minors, child pornography and sex
Villarreal told IPS that
"the problem continues to grow." She put the number of
victims as high as 15,000 nationwide, the majority of
them girls between the ages of 15 and 17, who are mainly
exploited in brothels in the capital and in border and
The Guatemalan Congress is
studying a draft law that would classify sexual
exploitation as a crime, which would be punishable by
six to 12-year prison sentences. Guatemala is the only
country in Central America that has not yet updated its
laws in this area, and according to experts, the
political parties are in no hurry to do so.
"I do not see any hope that
Guatemala's penal code will be reformed in the short
term, because that would touch the interests of people
with political and economic clout," said Héctor Dionisio,
coordinator of Casa Alianza's legal programme in
Doria Giusti, a United
Nations children's fund (UNICEF) representative in
Guatemala, told IPS that "children are not given high
priority in Congress, and the sexual exploitation of
minors is a taboo issue. Besides, most of the lawmakers
are men, so a sexist viewpoint prevails." ...
Inter Press Service (IPS)
Oct. 13, 2009
Juan Gomez Dominga
Man Arrested for Human
Bonita Springs - A Bonita Springs man was arrested
on human trafficking charges Wednesday.
Gomez Dominga is accused of forcing a young girl to
have sex for money.
Deputies say the girl went into labor with her
second child Wednesday and doctors at Health Park
Hospital became suspicious when she gave
inconsistent stories about her living situation.
Investigators learned that she had been illegally
smuggled into the United States three years ago and
was taken to work at a nursery in Homestead,
Florida. According to her statements, she was forced
to have sex with managers there to pay back the
Domingo knew the victim and her family and heard
about her situation. Deputies say he offered her
marriage as a way out.
Deputies say once she moved to Bonita Springs to be
with Domingo, he would drop her off with different
women who would in turn deliver her to various
brothels in Bonita.
Domingo's brother tells WINK news the victim is only
16 years old.
Domingo's bail has been set at 1 million dollars. He
is charged with human trafficking and forced labor.
Nov. 14, 2009
Women protest the
forced closing of the last two feminist
radio programs in Honduras by
the de facto government regime led by
Roberto Micheletti. The tape on their
mouths and bodies read: "Censured. We
have no freedom."
International Radio Endeavor (FIRE)
(right), host of "Time to Speak" on the
programs closed in latest assault
on civil liberties
Oct. 17, 2009
Report on Women's Human Rights
Violations Shows Systematic Attack on Women Under
On Nov. 2
representatives from Honduran women's organizations
presented a grim panorama of violations of women's
human rights by the de facto regime led by Roberto
Micheletti before the Inter-American Human Rights
provided documented proof that the coup regime and
its security forces have been responsible for rapes,
beatings, murders and harassment of Honduran women
in the resistance movement, and the dictatorial
elimination of gains in gender equity. These crimes
against women have been committed in the context of
impunity for the perpetrators...
Honduras has a strong
and organized feminist movement. This movement came
together, fortified by the integration of hundreds
of independent women, in the coalition Feminists in
Resistance following the coup. It has seen its
members beaten, its hard-fought gains rolled back,
its institutions taken over and its projects for
gender equity in public policy shattered over the
past four months, under an illegitimate and
ultraconservative regime. Despite the personal risk
and the continuous setbacks, it remains strong and
united and committed to restoring the rule of law
necessary for peaceful advances in women's rights...
• The most prevalent
forms of police and military violence against women
involve insults and beatings aimed at women’s
vaginas, breasts, hips and buttocks.
• Of the 240 cases
registered, 23 women were victims of groping and
beatings targeted to the breasts and crotch area as
well as sexual insults and threats of sexual
• Of these 23 cases, 7
involve rapes that occurred in the cities of
Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choloma, El Progreso
and Danli. These were all gang rapes carried out by
police and used explicitly to “punish” women for
their involvement in demonstrations. It is suspected
that all were pre-meditated as the police involved
used condoms. These rapes all occurred while the
women victims were apprehended after peaceful
demonstrations or during curfews. Of these 7 cases,
only 1 woman has presented a formal case to the
authorities (the Inter-American Commission for Human
Rights). The other victims have presented their
testimonies to women’s human rights organizations
but have refused to register their cases with the
Honduran government Office of Human Rights or Office
of Women’s Rights.
• While it is certain
these are not the only cases, all the women who are
victims give three reasons why they do not register
their complaints with the authorities: 1) they fear
that the inevitable police investigation will
involve the men who perpetrated the crime; 2) since
the coup, women do not trust the judicial system to
provide an effective response; and 3) where cases
have been reported, the police have refused to
register the complaint, as in the case of a
17-year-old raped in the company of another woman on
Americas Mexico Blog
Nov. 5, 2009
Gabriel García Márquez
A Film Adaptation Runs Into
A rights group filed a criminal complaint last week
against adapting Gabriel García Márquez's "Memories
of My Melancholy Whores" into a movie.
In the 2004 book, a 90-year-old falls in love with
"an adolescent virgin."
Mexico City - When the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian
author Gabriel García Márquez penned his most recent
novel, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," the wily
old master knew he was being provocative.
book begins with this line by an unnamed narrator:
"The year I turned 90, I wanted to give myself the
gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent
there is art and there is life. And so just as an
international cast and crew were about to begin
filming a movie adaptation of the 2004 novella, the
plug was pulled as the filmmakers and García Márquez
were denounced as aiding and abetting perverts.
human rights organization called the Regional
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in
Latin America and the Caribbean [CATW-LAC] filed a
criminal complaint with the Mexican attorney general
last week, asserting that the filmmakers would be
"responsible for acts that could be constituted as
the crime of condoning child prostitution."
That is a serious assertion in Mexico, which faces
challenges to control sex trafficking and child
don't want them to put García Márquez in jail,"
coalition director Teresa Ulloa told the Associated
Press. "What we want is for them not to film the
"The question of the week is why García Márquez
agreed to take to the screen 'Memories of My
Melancholy Whores' at a time when the world is
fighting against the growing commercial sexual
exploitation of children and adolescents. The novel
has a limited audience, while the film would end up
on television and find a mass audience," wrote Lydia
Cacho in the newspaper El Universal.
Cacho is not just a columnist but an internationally
recognized crusader against the sexual abuse of
women and children. She investigated a ring of
pedophiles operating out of the coastal city of
Cancun and then wrote a book about it, "The Demons
of Eden: the Power Behind Child Pornography."
the García Márquez novel, the protagonist is a randy
old goat, a newspaper columnist as bitter as ancient
almonds, without family or friends, who paid money
for each of the 514 women he has slept with in his
misspent existence. Before the young virgin
Delgadina is presented to him, the brothel owner
drugs the nervous girl with salts of bromide and the
herb valerian, which puts her into a deep sleep. The
narrator does not touch her that night but lies
beside her, falling in love for the first time in
Cacho is not having any of it. "In his novel the
Gabo says the old man falls for Delgadina. This
argument we heard from hundreds of pedophiles
seeking virgin girls between 13 and 14 years for
rape and all those who paid for the kidnapping,
buying and selling of children," she said.
Guadalupe Loaeza, a public intellectual whose barbed
wit is often aimed at the rich and powerful, came to
the aid of García Márquez in the pages of the
newspaper Reforma: "As I remember, while reading
your book it never entered my mind that this was a
defense of pedophilia," any more than Vladimir
Nabokov's "Lolita" was...
The Washington Post
Oct. 17, 2009
Gabriel García Márquez, the
Nobel Prize Winner in Literature for 1982
Military Abuses Brought to
case of rights abuses allegedly committed by the
Mexican armed forces is coming up for a hearing at
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR),
where it joins a long list of accusations against
the army in this Latin American country.
part of the IACHR's 137th Period of Sessions, which
began in Washington Monday, a hearing will be held
Thursday on "Public Security and Human Rights in
Tijuana, Mexico" at which activists and victims'
relatives will report human rights violations
allegedly committed by Mexican soldiers.
want to denounce what is happening as a result of
the public security model, which is generalized
throughout the country but has had specific
consequences in certain areas, like Tijuana," in the
northwestern Mexican state of Baja California,
activist Humberto Guerrero with the non-governmental
Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of
Human Rights (CMDPDH), one of the plaintiffs in the
case, told IPS.
complaint, one of five cases against Mexico being
heard Thursday, will air the case of a group of
municipal police in Baja California who were
detained and tortured by members of the military...
an autonomous organ of the Organization of American
States (OAS), the IACHR has a mandate under the OAS
Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.
Its principal function is "promoting the observance
and the defense of human rights." ...
Mexican state faces several lawsuits at the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Among them is the case of community leader Rosendo
Radilla, kidnapped and disappeared in 1974 by
soldiers in the southwestern state of Guerrero;
the rape of two indigenous women by troops in the
same state in 2002; and the 2001 murders of three
women in Ciudad Juárez
on the border with the United States, notorious as
the scene of hundreds of femicides (gender related
murders) in recent decades.
hearings coincide with Attorney General Arturo
Chávez's visit to the United States this week to
report on the progress of the Mérida Initiative, an
anti-drug plan approved by the administration of
former U.S. president George W. Bush (2001-2009)
which provides 1.4 billion dollars in aid for Mexico
and Central America.
This year Mexico will receive 420 million dollars
under the Mérida Initiative.
Inter Press Service (IPS)
Nov 4, 2009
University of Pennsylvania Law
School Held a Symposium on Sex Trafficking and
The Penn Law Review symposium provided a forum
for scholars and practitioners on combating human
trafficking on Nov. 13th and 14th, 2009.
Feminist and anti-trafficking activist Gloria
Steinem kicked off the symposium with opening
remarks and participated in the Labor
Trafficking panel discussion.
Authorities Close 3 Brothels
in Cumberland County
Bridgeton - County, federal and local law
enforcement collaborated in a month-long
investigation this summer that ended with the
shutdown of two alleged brothels in Bridgeton and
one in Vineland.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella on
Friday said his worst fear is the operations
involved human trafficking; that is, women forced
against their will to be prostitutes.
Hispanic men were the clients. A total of seven
females from New York were recruited for the
brothels, which were set up in houses. The women
were not indicted because prostitution is only a
disorderly conduct offense...
One prostitute was an underage girl believed to be
16; she was not charged due to her age...
The alleged operator of one brothel... in Bridgeton,
is registered sex crime offender Juan Marrero of
Middlesex County, authorities said.
Casella said the underage girl worked at Marrero's
brothel, which resulted in a second-degree charge of
promoting prostitution against him and three others.
The offense of second-degree promoting prostitution
can carry a five-year prison term.
The other brothels were [also]... in Bridgeton.
Daniel Lopez-Araiza and his girlfriend, Selene
Guevara, operated them, Casella said...
Cirilo L. Sanchez, a Mexican national, had pleaded
guilty earlier to a fourth-degree charge of
promoting prostitution. He was given 90 days in the
county jail and will be deported.
Sanchez... is listed as a customer of Marrero...
A four-count indictment was filed against Lopez-Araiza,
Guevera and two other men. It lists three charges of
promoting prostitution, ranging from third- to
fourth-degree offenses, and resisting arrest.
A five-count indictment names Marrero and 16 other
men. It lists four counts of promoting prostitution,
ranging from second- to fourth-degree offense,
including the use of a girl under age 18.
Joseph P. Smith
The Daily Journal
Nov. 7, 2009
Hartford Police Hunt Suspect
in Reported Sex Assault on Minor
Hartford - Police said they are searching for a 60-year-old East
Hartford man who is suspected of sexually assaulting
Detectives of the Hartford Police Department's
Juvenile Investigative Division have obtained an
arrest warrant charging Jorge Ortiz, also known as
Jorge Astudillo, with sexual assault in the first
degree and risk of injury to a minor...
Ortiz, a Colombian national, is described as a
Hispanic male with black hair, medium complexion and
brown eyes. He is 5-foot-6 and weighs 180 pounds.
Authorities believe he may be attempting to flee the
country. Ortiz is also the subject of a pending
deportation proceeding by Immigration and Customs
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jorge
Ortiz is asked to contact Detective Edward P. Foster
at 860-757-4342 or call Hartford Crime Stoppers at
The Hartford Courant
Nov. 5, 2009
Family Friend Arrested For
Palm Bay - An illegal immigrant in Palm Bay faces multiple
counts of sexual battery after officers say he
sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl. David
Sanchez, 28, investigators say, used a family
friendship to rape the child.
Sanchez is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who
been deported once for doing the same thing to
another child in Alabama.
Investigators say he returned to the U.S. in
mid-2008 where he began having an unlawful sexual
relationship with a then,
Sunday detectives arrested Sanchez after the girl’s
father found him having sex with his daughter in her
“Prior to entering the home, the suspect removed the
hurricane shutters from the girl’s bedroom window
and she let him in through the back door,” said
Detective Greg Guillette. “When dad was at the
bedroom door, the suspect jumped out the window and
After the confrontation the girl told her father
she’d been having a sexual relationship with Sanchez
since the middle of last year when she had just
turned 12 years old.
“This child was taken advantage of in the worst
possible way,” Guillette said. “She was coaxed into
thinking it was okay and the suspect continued to
sexually abuse her until he was finally caught.”
Sanchez faces 15 counts of first-degree sexual
battery on a child. He is being held in the Brevard
County Detention Center without bond.
Oct. 27, 2009
Man Arraigned for Groping
Women on Orange Line
Somerville - An Everett man has been identified as
the person who groped at least four women on Boston
subway cars in the past six months, Suffolk County
District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
Hugo Hernandez, 22, was arraigned this morning in
the Boston Municipal Court on four counts of
indecent assault and battery. Assistant District
Attorney Patrick Devlin recommended that he be held
on $25,000 cash bail; Judge Michael Coyne, noting
that Hernandez is the subject of an immigration
detainer, set bail at $2,000 on each count, for a
total of $8,000. Coyne further ordered Hernandez to
stay away from all MBTA stations and conveyances if
he posts bail and to check in weekly with the
Department of Probation.
“Young or old, male or female, everyone has the
right to ride the subway without being grabbed or
groped,” Conley said. “If you see that behavior or
if you’re subjected to it, then don’t hesitate to
contact Transit Police at 617-222-1212. Time and
again, victim reports have taken suspects off the
streets and out of the subway.”
charges against Hernandez arise out of an extensive,
seven-month investigation by members of the MBTA
Transit Police that began when two separate adult
women reported that a man had groped them on an
Orange Line train on April 28.
Both women were assaulted while traveling northbound
on the Orange Line during the late afternoon. One of
them used her cell phone camera to photograph the
assailant; she later provided that photo to
responding Transit Police officers.
other women reported similar incidents, one on the
evening of Sept. 10 while traveling southbound on
the Red Line and the other on the evening of Oct. 19
while traveling northbound on the Orange Line. All
four provided similar descriptions of the assailant.
Wicked Local Somerville
Nov. 06, 2009
Jose Orlando Romero-Feliciano
Staunton Man Pleads Guilty to
Molesting 8-year-old Girl
STAUNTON — A Staunton man who was on the lam for
several months after being accused of molesting an
8-year-old girl in February pleaded guilty Tuesday
in circuit court to a charge of forcible sodomy...
Staunton assistant prosecutor Anne Reed said Romero-Feliciano was
baby-sitting the child, ill at the time, when he
decided to play a game Reed said he learned in his
native Puerto Rico. He blindfolded the girl and had
her taste fruit and whipped cream in an attempt to
identify the foods. But while the girl was still
blindfolded, Reed said Romero-Feliciano orally
sodomized the girl.
Reed said Romero-Feliciano told police the
molestation wasn't planned. "It just hit him at that
moment," she said.
Seminal fluid found on the girl's clothing matched
Romero-Feliciano fled Staunton after getting a ride
from a friend to Washington Dulles International
Airport, where he caught a flight to Seattle. Later,
Reed said he took a bus to Louisiana, where he was
living under an assumed name. The U.S. Marshals
Service eventually apprehended Romero-Feliciano in
West Monroe, La.. He was extradited to Virginia in
Reed said based on Virginia's recommended sentencing
guidelines, Romero-Feliciano, who has a previous
2006 Staunton conviction for possession of a
controlled substance and then violated probation in
that case, faces anywhere from six to 20 1/2 years
in prison. Reed said she will ask for a
"substantial" prison sentence...
Nov. 4, 2009
Affidavit: Teen Says He Killed
Boy Found in Dryer
Mendota - Authorities say in court documents that a
California teenager charged with murder confessed to
killing a 4-year-old boy because the child was going
to reveal the teen molested him.
Fresno County prosecutors have charged 14-year-old
Raul Castro as an adult. His arraignment hearing was
affidavit was filed by sheriff's Detective Sergio
Toscano to get an arrest warrant.
says Castro lured Alex Mercado into a bathroom and
molested him. When Alex threatened to tell his
mother, Castro said he held him under water in a
bathtub until he died then hid the body in a clothes
dryer, the affidavit states.
Castro is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on
charges including murder and sodomy...
The Associated Press
Nov. 04, 2009
Mauricio Alberto Morales
Suspected Serial Rapist
Charged with Raping 10-year-old
Nashville - A suspected serial rapist in jail on
charges he raped two adult women in Nashville in
separate cases in 2008 and earlier this year has
been indicted for raping and fondling a 10-year-old
grand jury in Davidson County on Friday indicted
Mauricio Alberto Morales on three counts of child
rape, one count of aggravated sexual battery and one
count of aggravated burglary after DNA evidence
linked him to the girl's bedroom.
Morales, a 32-year-old El Salvadoran national, is
believed to have entered the girl's room through a
window in the overnight hours in late April.
10-year-old reported she was sexually assaulted more
Morales is charged with raping a 49-year-old woman
at her home on Madeline Drive in January and in June
2008, raping a 32-year-old woman and assaulting her
four-year-old son at their home on Antioch Pike.
Morales was located at his sister's home in Texas on
July 3 and taken into custody for both incidents.
Police said in 1998, Morales was convicted of
aggravated burglary and aggravated assault in
was behind bars for six years before being deported
from the United States in 2004.
Nov. 02, 2009
The World, Latin America,
Kidnapping and Human Trafficking –
the Seamy Side of Globalization
created new opportunities for the transfer of people and
products across borders, and broadened the scope of many
businesses around the world. But it’s not all good news
of course: one of the seamier sides of growing
international commerce is the abduction and trafficking
of human beings.
The problem is getting
worse. Just over a year since the collapse of the global
market, countries around the world have reported a
significant increase in cases of the exploitation of
people for monetary gain. While cases of kidnapping and
ransom continue to be common in African and Latin
American countries, such as Nigeria and Venezuela, the
majority of organized human trafficking cases are
actually in Europe.
The United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced that the
number of human trafficking cases has increased
dramatically since 2006. In Europe alone, its report
estimated there are 270,000 victims of human
trafficking, but authorities fear it is only a fraction
of unreported cases. The majority of these victims are
women who have been forced into prostitution.
Yet the most shocking
statistic released by the UN is an estimate that only
around one-in-100,000 traffickers are actually convicted
for human exploitation. “Perhaps police are not finding
the traffickers and victims because they are not looking
for them,” said the UNODC executive director Antonio
Maria Costa. “Lives should not be for sale or for rent
on a continent that prohibits slavery and forced labour,
and prides itself on upholding human dignity.”
Even though most human
trafficking cases are in Europe, human abduction and
kidnapping have also become a significant problem in
Latin America. Recently, Venezuela became the
continent’s latest hot spot for kidnappings, with
abduction rates higher than both Colombia and Mexico.
The country’s most recent surge of kidnappings have been
in Barinas, in west central Venezuela, where the
abduction rate is 7.2 people per 100,000 inhabitants.
According to the country’s interior ministry, the
national average is much lower - roughly two kidnappings
per 100,000 inhabitants...
International News Services
Oct. 28, 2009
Nov. 03, 2009
We say again...
Latin America and Especially its
At-Risk Indigenous Peoples
a Seat at the Table in the Global Fight Against Gender
The above article from International News Services,
Kidnapping and Human Trafficking – the Seamy Side of
Globalization, states that "most human trafficking
cases are in Europe."
From our perspective, the idea that more human
trafficking victims exist in Europe than in Latin
America and Asia does not ring true. Among the experts
trying to focus the spotlight of urgent action on the
crisis in Latin America is Teresa Ulloa, executive
director of the Latin American and Caribbean branch of
the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). Ulloa
estimates that in Mexico alone, 500,000 victims of
trafficking exist, far beyond the
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimate that 270,000
victims exist in Europe. Ulloa also notes that Mexico
generates an estimated 17% of its gross domestic product
(DGP) from prostitution.
Repeatedly, the mainstream press, experts in human
trafficking and entities such as human trafficking task
forces around the United States fail to take notice of
the fact that Latin America is an unending source of sex
trafficking victims, given that regional efforts to
combat the problem are weak, unfunded and largely
unsupported by national governments, civil institutions
and the public.
Until the anti-trafficking movement wakes-up and
discovers that modern Latin American sexual slavery and
related forms of community-based sexual exploitation are
absolutely pervasive in the cities and farm fields in
every corner of the United States, victims will continue
to suffer, anti-trafficking funds will continue to be
misdirected, and multi-billion dollar trafficking mafias
will continue to laugh in the face of civilized society.
That is not an acceptable scenario for the present or
Although the anti-trafficking movement in western
nations is made-up of a dedicated cadre of mostly white and
Asian activists, Latin American, Indigenous American,
African and other populations, those who are those who
are most especially
targeted for kidnapping, rape and sexual and labor enslavement
in the Americas, deserve an equal
place at the table in the anti-trafficking movement.
Their interests must be represented. That representation
is not being effectively accomplished today.
Now why is that?
End impunity now!
- Chuck Goolsby
Nov. 03, 2009
Un millón de menores
latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución
Former federal special
prosecutor for violent crimes against women - Alicia
Elena Perez Duarte:
least one million children across Latin America
have been entrapped by child prostitution and
many cases in Mexico] these child victims are
offered to [wealthy] businessmen and
Full story (in English)
Madres Desde los Diez Años
y falta de educación sexual, las causas
guatemal-tecas suelen tener hijos más
temprano de lo que mudan dientes. Desde los
diez años de edad ellas ya conocen una sala
de parto y saben lo que significa
recuperarse del dolor de una cesárea...
Become Mothers From the Age of Ten
Incest, Rape and a
Lack of Sex Education are the Causes
girls have children sooner than they loose
all of their baby teeth. From the age of ten
they know what a delivery room is, and they
know what it means to recover from the pain
of a cesarean section.
rights advocates see this social phenomenon
as a problem that occurs behind closed
doors, and involves abuse by the father, an
uncle or a grandfather within the home.
Prosecutors and the Public Ministry are
convinced that the statistics are an
indication of a high incidence of rape in
sex education perceive the problem as
resulting from poor knowledge about sex and
its consequences, which leads to a state of
Central American country of 14 million
inhabitants, with a population of five
million children, girls menstruate between
the ages of 10 and 13. According to the
Maternal and Child Health Survey of 2006, 26
of 100 girls have their first sexual
experience between the ages of 13 and 15.
typically have their first relationship with
a friend, a boyfriend or a partner. But in
many cases their first experience is a
result of rape.
Two out of every ten
girls have been raped before finishing
elementary school. Frightened,
rejected and discriminated against by their
families, these girls accelerate their
sexual maturation by [an average of] 5
years. By the time they reach age 20,
according to the National Statistics
Institute, they often have two or three
conducted in 2006 by the Guttmacher
Institute, entitled "Early Childbearing: A
Continuing Challenge," in Guatemala there
are 114 births per thousand women, while in
the rest of the region, the figure is 80
births per thousand women...
pregnancies in girls are not only related to
a lack of sex education. According to Ana
Gladys Ollas of the Prosecutors Office for
Human Rights for Women, pregnancies are also
the result of incest and emotional blackmail
exerted by gang members and gangs of
teenagers who sometimes rape girls
official noted that the neighborhoods where
poor pregnant girls live are also places
where gangs abound. And the situation is
repeated in prisons.
Girls are brought to
prisons to be raped as a result of acts of
extortion committed against their families.
country, the poorest are also the most
vulnerable citizens. With just a [pennies]
to survive, a [typical] household with five
children must also submit to the extortion
of gangs that require them to pay fees of
$50 to $ 1,000...
scolding, beating, burning, being locked in
a room and [extreme] prohibitions are the
forms of violent punishment that girls
suffer on a daily basis. Some 22 of every
100 Guatemalan girls have been beaten by
their parents before age 15. These forms of
violence drive young girls to seek affection
from teens and men who end-up deceiving
Dubon, who heads the Foundation for the
Girl, explains that families get rid of
the babies of young girls through the use of
clandestine abortions. According to Zenaida
Escobedo, in charge of gender affairs in the
judiciary, in Guatemala around 65,000
illegal abortions are performed each year.
after giving birth, these girls sell their
babies for up to $600 to clandestine human
are the poorest, and often have up to 10
sons and daughters, as within indigenous
culture, condom use among men and
contraceptive use by women is often frowned
CIMAC / SEMIlac
Oct. 30, 2009
story states that the rate of childbirth in
Guatemala is 114 births per thousand women.
In the surrounding region the birth rate is
80 births per 1,000 women.
comparable rates for young women between the
ages of 15 and 19 in the United States:
All races and origins, 42
Asian/Pacific Islander, 17
White (including Hispanic), 38
American Indian/Alaska Native, 55
Black (including Hispanic), 65
U.S. Centers for
Disease Control (CDC)
The targeting of
ten-year-old girls by teen and adult Latino
gang members for rape with impunity
described in the above story occurs not only
in Guatemala, by across the Americas.
A Washington, DC- Latina Social Worker and
Community Center Director's Letter - 1999
"Over the past two years, I have been
observing a systemic pattern of violence
committed against girls and young women in
our community. This violence involves the
sexual abuse/assault against girls as young
as 10 years old...
have been incidents of date rape, gang rape,
abductions, drugging, threats with firearms,
etc. The incidents are just as you
[Mr. Goolsby's letter on
the subject to the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children]
and have been met with the same level of
indifference and dismissal of legal (never
mind moral) responsibility on the part of
civil institutions -- the police
department, public schools, etc."
...While some do say this is culturally
accepted behavior, the reality is that many
families -- mothers and fathers alike -- are
enraged and wanting to pursue prosecution of
the perpetrators, but they find themselves
without recourse when the police won't
respond to them, when they fear risking
their personal safety, and/or when their
legal status (undocumented) prevents them
from believing they have rights or legal
protection in this country. Many girls and
young women's families are threatened and
harassed by the perpetrators when it becomes
apparent that the family is willing to press
charges for statutory rape/child sexual
...The use of intimidation and violence to
control girls and their families results in
the following: 1) parents/guardians back off
from pressing charges, 2) relatives do not
inform the police or others of sightings of
girls and young women who have been
officially reported as "missing juveniles,"
and 3) the victims of sexual violence refuse
to participate as "willing witnesses" in the
When this sexual violence occurs within the
context of a seemingly permissive public
environment -- indifferent civil
institutions, forced silence and complicity
of families, gang culture, a society that
explicitly promotes the sexualization and
exploitation of children through media --
its criminal and immoral nature goes
unquestioned. My question is how and where
do we create the public environment that
allows us to voice our disapproval and to
hold the implicated adults accountable for
their negligent care of our children?
...We're also looking at the rate of
incidence among black and Asian girls and
young women to document that this is not
merely a culturally accepted behavior, but
rather a complex and systemic form of
violence carried out against poor girls and
young women of color.
- From a
letter by a Latina Social Worker
and girl's community center director working
with young Latina girls in Washington, DC's
largest Latino neighborhood.
Although this serious, truthful, accurate
and poignant letter was written in
1999, from my observations, the same
conditions exist today in 2009. Nothing has
changed for the better, while the code of
silence in the barrio and the extending
tentacles of criminal networks have made the
violence worse, resulting in a permissive
environment in the Washington, DC, Maryland
and Virginia region.
End impunity now!
Nov. 03, 2009
Texas, USA, Mexico,
The sex trafficking routes
used by the brutal enslavers described in
the several cases related in this story.
Special Investigation: Inside the
Mission, Texas - One woman was sold on an auction block.
Another became an involuntary servant in the land of the
"Human slavery, we have it. It is in our neighborhood
but a lot of people don't want to see it," says Jaime
Ortiz, a coordinator for the South Texas Civil Rights
"Slavery is still here in our neighborhood in the Rio
During Channel 5 News' investigation into the slave
trade, we met a woman in Reynosa who had escaped her
life as a sex slave the night before we spoke to her.
We'll call her "Carlita."
The Honduran native says her captivity began the moment
she arrived by boat in Veracruz, Mexico. Her smuggler
sold her to a madam and the nightmare began.
"Carlita" tells us she ended up in a nearby brothel.
Forty-five days later, she was lined up again for
auction in Reynosa.
She was allegedly one of half a dozen women up for sale.
…A man bought her there for $1,000.
"Carlita" says she was held captive in a home for three
Her captors would allegedly rape her and other slaves
repeatedly. "Carlita" tells us screaming and yelling
only made it worse. She learned to be quiet and turn the
Eventually, she asked a trusted friend for help and
"Carlita" tells us her buyer wanted a child. But his
long-term plans were to add "Carlita" into "the
pipeline." It's the dangerous underground sex slave
trade in American cities.
It starts in Houston.
FBI Agent Maritza Conde-Vazquez says Latin women like
"Carlita" become cantineras.
They're forced to work in dirty saloons found among a
cluster of cantinas. The businesses cater to Central
Americans and are often owned by people from those
From Houston, slaves are taken to Atlanta and moved
up the East Coast. From Washington, D.C., the pipeline
continues to New York. Some women are eventually
trafficked west to San Francisco...
Conde-Vazquez says the only reason traffickers force
women into prostitution is to make money.
"It's a very profitable business, when you come to think
about it," explains the FBI agent. "It's a human being.
And it's basically a person who can provide you endless
services as long as that person is alive and in fair
condition. It's going to provide you services for the
life of that person."
The FBI tells us victims rarely come forward and
traffickers are difficult to catch...
As for "Carlita," she was headed home to Honduras.
There's no word where she is tonight.
Oct. 29, 2009
Mexico, Latin America,
The United States
Expertos: En Auge, la Trata de
Personas en México
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas - México se ha convertido en
uno de los países que tienen un alto índice de trata de
personas, ilícito sólo superado por el tráfico de
drogas, advirtieron expertos de Centro y Sudamérica que
participan en el primer Congreso internacional sobre
migración, trata de personas y derechos humanos, que se
inició hoy en esta entidad...
Experts: Human Trafficking is
Booming in Mexico
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state -Mexico has become one
of the nations that have a high incidence of trafficking
in people, [with profits] second only to illegal drug
trafficking, warned Central and South American experts
participating in the first International Congress on
migration, human trafficking and human rights , which
began today in this city.
Ana Maria Martinez, coordinator of the Violence and
Trafficking Convention of Save the Children in
Nicaragua; Edith Zavala, coordinator of the technical
secretariat of the Regional Network of Civil
Organizations for Migration of Honduras, and Rodolfo
Casillas Ramirez, a researcher at the Latin American
Faculty of Social Sciences Mexico (FLACSO), all
indicated that in Chiapas state, human trafficking is on
the increase, and declared that this criminal activity
is tied to the smuggling of migrants seeking to reach
the United States.
Edith Zavala stated that the problem has its origins
[principally] in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and that
the principal destinations are the United States and
Zavala explained that the International Labor
Organization estimates that there are some 2.5 million
victims of trafficking, of which 77 percent are women
and 48 percent under 18, but non-governmental civil
organizations indicate that people subjected to this
form of slavery amount to more than 4 million people.
The revenue generated is estimated at about 42 billion,
500 million dollars…
Rodolfo Casillas, a researcher at FLACSO, said the
sexual and labor exploitation is present within the
international and domestic migration flows because
current migration policies have undesirable effects that
lead to the existence, development and operation of
networks of smugglers and human traffickers.
We have moved from simple smugglers to criminal networks
that make this a lucrative business, and organized crime
has discovered this source of profits, he concluded.
Oct. 21, 2009
United States, Mexico
Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson
Mexican Official Calls U.S.
Rights watchdog for Chihuahua is released by Customs and
Human-rights official: Mexican soldiers part of drug
Paso, texas -
Chihuahua human-rights investigator Gustavo de la Rosa
Hickerson feels betrayed and disappointed.
day after being released by U.S. immigration
authorities, Hickerson said Thursday that he felt
betrayed by the Mexican government for not coming to his
aid after he was taken into custody against his will
he said he was disappointed in a system in the United
States that allows immigration officials to take someone
into custody for his or her own safety without legal
was in prison five days without a legal cause to process
me -- why? Because the only thing I did was to say I was
afraid to be in Juárez," Hickerson said at a news
Oct. 15, de la Rosa was crossing at the Paso del Norte
Bridge into El Paso when officers recognized him as a
human-rights activist and questioned him, said his
lawyer, Carlos Spector.
Spector said border agents asked de la Rosa whether he
was afraid to be in Mexico because of his work. de la
Rosa told the agents that he was afraid but that he did
not want asylum.
la Rosa said that at the moment of his detention, he
expressed fear to go back to Juárez because one of his
bodyguards was recently killed and he needed time to
find out why. He added that the slaying was not
connected in any way to him. de la Rosa receives
protection from Mexican authorities.
Early in October, de la Rosa said he could document 170
cases in which Mexican soldiers extorted, kidnapped,
tortured, beat or killed innocent people while deployed
in the state to limit the violence that has taken hold
want to know who ordered my detention for being afraid.
They didn't protect me; they detained me. Why did the
Mexican Consulate not intervene?" asked de la Rosa, a
former director of the Cereso prison in Juárez.
Mexican Consulate was notified of my detention
immediately," he said.
feel betrayed by the Mexican consul; he didn't even show
up to visit me once. This is not fair, not only because
of who I am, but for the rest of the Mexicans," de la
Mexican Consul Roberto Rodríguez said that at the
beginning of de la Rosa's detention, he took immediate
action by sending a letter to Ana Hinojosa, director of
field operations for Customs and Border Protection,
asking her to inform the consulate about de la Rosa's
legal status. The letter was sent on Oct. 16, one day
after de la Rosa's detention...
Aileen B. Flores
The El Paso Times
Oct. 23, 2009
Richmond - Four teens could appear in court as early as
Thursday after being charged in the alleged gang rape of
a 15-year-old girl outside her high school homecoming
dance in Northern California.
The four - ages 15, 16, 17 and 19 - were charged
Wednesday with rape and enhancements that they acted in
concert, which could make them eligible for life in
"These are people who played a significant role in the
incident," Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan said. "I'm
confident that more arrests will be made."
Besides rape, the 19-year-old, Manuel Ortega of
Richmond, was charged with robbery and assault causing
great bodily injury. It was unknown if he had an
The other three face one count each of felony rape with
a foreign object. They were charged as adults because of
the severity of the crime, Gagan said. The 16-year-old
also faces robbery charges.
All four remained in custody Wednesday. A fifth suspect
arrested Tuesday, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of
Richmond, also remained jailed but had not been charged.
The alleged gang rape and beating Saturday night at
Richmond High School have rattled the city of about
120,000 in the San Francisco Bay area.
Police believe as many as 10 people ranging in age from
15 to mid-20s attacked the girl for more than two hours
in a dimly lit area. As many as two dozen people
witnessed the rape without notifying police...
New York Daily News
Oct. 29, 2009
Police Arrest Mother of Girl, 15,
in Relationship with Soccer Coach
Daughter told police
her mother approved of relationship, but mother denies
Henderson Police have arrested the mother
of a 15-year-old girl who was in an ongoing sexual
relationship with a soccer coach.
The private soccer club coach,
40-year-old Gabriel G. Lopez of Las Vegas, was booked
Wednesday on 11 counts of statutory sexual seduction,
Henderson Police said.
A Henderson police officer spotted a
black Chevy Tahoe parked in a dark area of the Arroyo
Grande Sports Complex parking lot about 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, police said. The officer found a man and a girl
inside the vehicle and the girl said she had had sexual
relations with Lopez since June.
Police said that the alleged sexual
relationship is believed to be consensual, the girl had
not reached the age of consent, which is 16 years under
After Lopez and the girl gave police
separate interviews to the police, the girl told police
that her mother approved of the relationship. "Love only
comes around once," she quoted her mother as saying.
The girl also told police that her mother
also said, "You can't deny love. You never know who it
will be," according to a police report.
The girl told police that her mother
suggested Lopez provide a second cell phone to the girl,
so her father would not find out about the relationship,
the report said.
According to the mother's interview with
police, she denied approving of her daughter's
relationship with Lopez, and told her to end the affair.
The mother is facing a felony charge of
child abuse, neglect or endangerment.
The Nevada Sun
Oct 23, 2009
Lubbock Man Sentenced for Rape of
A Lubbock man will spend up to 35 years in prison for
the rape of his young neighbor.
137th District Judge Cecil Puryear sentenced Francisco
Manuel Rodriguez, 36, for the July 2008 rape of an
Rodriguez pleaded guilty Monday. He had faced up to life
His victim described the attack Tuesday morning in front
of families from both sides of the case.
Rodriguez walked into the girl’s house while she was
home alone and began rubbing her legs, the girl said.
It progressed to forced sex from there.
“I asked him what he was doing but he never answered
me,” the girl said. “I told him to stop, but he didn’t.”
She reported the assault shortly after. Police found
Rodriguez drinking beer on his couch not long after her
Logan G. Carver
Oct. 27, 2009
Norwalk Man Guilty of Sexually
Abusing 11-Year-Old Girl
Stamford - A Norwalk man was found guilty
by a Stamford Superior Court jury of sexually molesting
his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter and faces 60 years
in prison when sentenced in January.
After the guilty verdict came in at noon
Tuesday, Judge Richard Comerford increased Ricardo
Roman's bond to $250,000, and he was taken into custody.
Since his arrest on two counts of first-degree sexual
assault and risk of injury to a child in January 2008,
Roman had been freed on $20,000 bond.
The jury found Roman, 40, formerly of 3
Trinity Place, Norwalk, guilty on all three counts.
The verdict, after five hours of
deliberation Monday and Tuesday, followed three days of
testimony last week where the victim, now 18, and
Roman's daughter, 19, testified against him. The
victim's name is being withheld by The Advocate. Last
week, Roman took the stand and denied the allegations
and professed his innocence.
Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney
James Bernardi, the prosecutor, said jurors made the
right decision. "I think the jury carefully considered
the evidence and came to the right conclusion. The
victim in the case lives in South Carolina, and the
victim's advocate said she was extremely gratified and
emotionally overcome by the verdict," he said...
During the trial, the victim told the
jury that when she was 11 and 12, Roman forced her to
perform oral sex on him at the Trinity Place apartment
on more than one occasion.
The woman said that even though the
sexual abuse occurred much earlier, she decided to come
forward with her allegations against Roman in 2007 after
she gave birth to a boy -- not Roman's -- and wanted to
give him a "better life."
Oct. 27, 2009
in Northeast Austin
Police are investigating the sexual
assault of a 12-year-old girl in NE Austin on Tuesday
Police responded to the call of a
sexual assault around 8:30p.m. at the Dottie Jordan
Recreation Center, located at 2803 Loyola Lane, that’s
near Manor Road and Northeast Drive.
Authorities tell KEYE TV a Hispanic
male enticed the girl into a vehicle where he sexually
Police aren’t releasing any other
details but say they are investigating the incident...
Oct 27, 2009
Send us an...
Grant lets law school fight human trafficking in
The University of Michigan Law School is working
with a law school in Mexico to take on human
The law school has received a $300,000 grant
from the U.S. Department of State to establish a
human trafficking clinic at the Universidad
Autónoma de Zacatecas, Unidad Académica de
Derecho, a law school located in north central
Mexico. The Mexican clinic is an offshoot of the
human trafficking clinic that Michigan launched
in 2009, which was the first of its kind in the
"The part that I'm excited about is that here in
the U.S., we can do a lot as far as assisting
prosecutors and victims of trafficking," said
Bridgette Carr, who directs the Michigan clinic.
"What we can't work on as much is prevention,
because we're sitting here in Ann Arbor. The
goal is to not have clients."
Human trafficking involves the recruitment,
transportation and harboring of people for
forced labor, servitude or slavery. Agriculture,
spas and massage parlors, hotels and
prostitution are just a few industries that have
been connected to human trafficking.
One of the goals of the Mexican clinic, which
will represent a partnership between the two law
schools and a local nongovernmental organization
called Centro de los Derechos del Migrante
(Center for Migrant Rights), is to educate
people about human trafficking. Although it will
officially be part of the Mexican law school,
the Michigan law school will help set up the
"This is really an opportunity to see how we can
most effectively advocate for these clients on a
transnational basis," Carr said.
The partnership between the two clinics is a
real innovation, said center founder and
executive director Rachel Micah-Jones. "Students
will provide quality legal representation to
vulnerable migrant communities whose legal needs
often cross borders," she said. "In doing so,
students will develop the skills to be
transnational advocates in this new economy."
In the year that the Ann Arbor-based clinic has
been running, students have assisted clients who
were forced to work in hair braiding salons,
restaurants and in the commercial sex industry.
The clinic's 15 students are part lawyer, part
caseworker. They assist victims of human
trafficking in criminal and immigration
proceedings, but also help them obtain services
such as federal money to attend college, Carr
The Justice Department grant will fund the
project for two years.
The National Law
Oct. 11, 2010
Insiste México en negar justicia a víctimas de
violación en Atenco
Pide a la CIDH
que no admita 11 casos de 26 mujeres violadas
México, DF - El gobierno mexicano pidió a la
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
(CIDH), que no admita el caso de 11 de las 26
mujeres, que fueron víctimas de violación
sexual, durante los operativos del 3 y 4 de mayo
de 2006 en Texcoco y San Salvador Atenco, porque
las instancias nacionales "aún lo están
Además insistió en que las peticionarias han
tenido diversas vías y recursos legales para
acceder a la justicia. Con esta respuesta, el
Estado mexicano no reconoce los hechos ocurridos
hace cuatro años y tampoco acepta su
responsabilidad en ellos, dijo en conferencia de
prensa, Jaqueline Sáenz, abogada del Centro de
Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez
(Centro Prodh), asociación que lleva estros
casos ante el sistema interamericano.
Aunque en febrero de 2009, la Suprema Corte de
Justicia de la Nación (SCJN), reconoció que en
los operativos de 2006, se cometieron graves
violaciones a derechos humanos; y pese a que el
30 de junio de este año, este mismo tribunal
ordenó la liberación de 12 presos políticos que
participaron en esos hechos, el Estado mexicano
sigue negando la justicia para 11 mujeres
Mexico insists upon
denying justice to the victims of rape at Atenco
Mexico City - The government of Mexico has asked
the Inter-American Human Rights Commission
(IAHRC) to reject consideration of the case of
11 women [from among a total of 26 women
victims] who were raped or otherwise sexually
assaulted by police officers during a law
enforcement operation carried out on May 3rd and
4th of 2006 in the adjoining cities of Texcoco
and San Salvador de Atenco, in the state of
Mexico. The federal government of Mexico cites
the fact that it is still investigating the case
[4 years after the events occurred] as the
justification for requesting that the IAHRC deny
the petition by the victims and their attorneys.
In addition, Mexican officials insisted that the
petitioners have had access to a range of legal
avenues within Mexico.
According to Jaqueline Sáenz, a lawyer with the
Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center
(ProDH), which represents the victims, the
government of Mexico has, through its response
to the IAHRC, refused to acknowledge or accept
any responsibility for the events that occurred
four years ago in Atenco.
Mexico takes this position despite the fact that
the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation
(SCJN) has recognized that grave human rights
violations that occurred during the 2006 police
operation, and has acted to free 12 political
prisoners who participated in protest activities
at the event. Nonetheless, Mexico's federal
government continues to deny justice for the 11
women sexual assault victims who were willing to
seek justice in this case.
Following public protests resulting from a local
government ban on allowing flower vendors to
work on city streets, a confrontation erupted
between protesters and a combined force of
federal and state police. The conflict resulted
in 211 protesters being detained. Some 47 of
those arrested were women. Twenty six women were
raped or sexually abused by police officers. Of
that group, 13 filed formal complaints, and 11
victims were willing to proceed with the case
that is now being considered by the IAHRC.
Sáenz stated that, after seeing that the federal
investigation into victim's legal complaints was
not progressing, the 11 victims of sexual
torture, accompanied by lawyers from ProDH and
the International Center for Justice and the
Rule of Law (CEJIL), decided to petition the
IAHRC on April 29, 2008.
The IAHRC forwarded the petition to the
government of Mexico, and allowed for a two
month response period. Mexico did not respond
within the time limit, and requested an
extension. They finally submitted their response
on July 23, 2010.
Mexico's response to the petition, which was
received by the ProDH Center on September 1,
2010, stated that the investigation into the
Atenco case was still open. In addition, the
response completely absolved the five policemen
who were accused of abuse of authority, despite
the fact that the victim's petition before the
IAHRC accuses the five men of torture.
Sáenz noted that, consistent with their response
to the IAHRC, Mexico denies that any human
rights violations occurred at Atenco in their
discussions with international organizations.
Since July of 2009, when the federal Special
Prosecutor's Office for Violent Crimes Against
Women and Human Trafficking (FEVIMTRA), declined
to investigate the case, referring it instead to
the Attorney General of Mexico State [were
Texcoco and Atenco are located], no follow-up
action has been taken by authorities, because
the preliminary investigation file was quite
large, and it is still being revised.
Mexico's response to the IAHRC petition by the
victims included a list upcoming investigatory
activities that the Mexico State prosecutors
will carry out. The list includes a plan to
solicit interviews with the victims, despite the
fact that the victims have been adequately
interviewed in the past. State prosecutors also
plan to evaluate the case in the context of the
Istanbul Protocol on Torture [to evaluate
whether the case meets the Istanbul standard for
torture], despite the fact that this process has
already been completed, and the results indicate
that the case does meet the Istanbul criteria
for defining acts of torture.
On October 1, 2010, Sáenz declared, the ProDH
Center and CEJIL submitted a document to the
IAHRC in which they provide their observations
in regard to Mexico's response to the Atenco
case petition. They state, among other things,
that although they have not exhausted all legal
avenues available within Mexico, it is also true
that Mexico is not conducting a serious and
impartial investigation, and that therefore, the
Atenco petition should be admitted before the
In response to this series of events, Bárbara
Italia Méndez, one of the victims and a
petitioner in the case, observed that the
Mexican government response to the petition was
a slap in the face to the victims. In addition,
she said, the response shows the lack of justice
involved, given that the five accused assailants
were absolved of any wrongdoing.
Italia Méndez added that she will continue
participating in the case, although she knows
that the road will be a long one, thanks to the
fact that "the responsible authorities continue
to lie," and especially the governor of Mexico
State, who had ordered the police crackdown on
protesters, and who, after the assaults took
place, declared that he would repeat his actions
if he had to do it again.
For the victims of sexual torture, the most
recent ray of hope has been the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights decision in favor of
indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and
Inés Fernández Ortega, who were raped by Mexican
Army soldiers [in 2002]. That decision, she
said, puts the issue of sexual violence against
women back on the table.
Oct. 07, 2010
May 16, 2009
Mujeres de Atenco, tortura
sexual e impunidad
México DF - El Estado mexicano violó sus
garantías individuales. Fueron agredidas con
golpes en todo el cuerpo, despojadas de su ropa,
violentadas sexualmente, mordidas, pellizcadas…
les cubrieron el rostro, les introdujeron dedos
y objetos anal y vaginalmente, las violaron, las
humillaron, las insultaron, las amenazaron de
muerte y finalmente se les negó la asistencia
ginecológica para que no pudieran demostrar la
Women of Atenco - sexual
torture and impunity
...Of the 20 accused policemen, none has been
sent to prison. Only officer Doroteo Blas
Marcelo, a rapist, was convicted for "libidinous
Ana Maria Rodriguez
Velasco, was forced to perform oral sex. She was
able to recognize her torturer because when he
finished, he yanked her by the hair, looked in
her face, and said: “Now swallow it, bitch!”
Judge Tomás Santana Malvaez sentenced officer Blas Marcelo to pay a fine
of only 1,877 Mexican pesos (US $142 dollars).
The judge pardoned Blas Marcelo from paying
reparations to the victim...
Full English Translation
News for Women
May 12, 2009
Rape and Assault
Women at Street Protest in the city of San
Ulloa, director of the Coalition
Against Trafficking in Women and
Girls for Latin America and the
a la cabeza en lucha contra trata de personas:
El Distrito Federal va a la cabeza en la lucha
contra la trata de personas en el país, pues ha
dado pasos importantes como los últimos rescates
de mujeres y niñas de hoteles donde eran
explotadas sexualmente, reconoció Teresa Ulloa.
La directora regional de la Coalición Contra el
Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas para América Latina y
el Caribe (CATWLAC, por sus siglas en inglés)
afirmó en entrevista que la ciudad de México
también cuenta con un plan que integra políticas
públicas en la materia.
La activista, nominada al Premio de Derechos
Humanos de las Naciones Unidas 2005 y al Premio
de Derechos Humanos del gobierno de Suiza,
indicó que en los últimos tres años la capital
del país ha mostrado un esfuerzo y se ha
preocupado más por atacar la trata de
Mexico City's government
leads the way in Mexico's fight against human
According to Teresa Ulloa, director of the
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls
for Latin America and the Caribbean, the local
government of Mexico City has taken the
initiative to become the nation's leader in
taking action to combat modern human slavery. In
recent months, city police and prosecutors have
raided a number of hotels that were fronts for
sex trafficking rings that exploited women and
During an interview Ulloa said that Mexico City
has also developed an integrated plan of action
to address the problem of trafficking. She added
that during the past three years, the city's
leaders have shown that they are willing to
aggressively confront traffickers. City
prosecutors have committed to bringing
trafficking cases to court. However, [the
attitudes of] judges continue to be a major
obstacle to their success.
Ulloa added that Mexico City is a major transit
and distribution center for trafficked women and
girls. Sex tourism exists, but is completely
clandestine. Sexual services are sold in
'packages' on the Internet.
The trafficking law that was passed by the
Legislative Assembly of the Federal District
[Mexico City] has flaws, and is not consistent
with international protocols against human
trafficking, especially in the area of criminal
prosecution, said Ulloa. It is seen as being of
limited effectiveness because of these flaws.
Ulloa declared that both Mexico City and Mexico
as a whole have yet to come to understand that
human trafficking involves a multi-faceted set
of crimes that express themselves in diverse
Ulloa noted that human trafficking networks in
Mexico are moving fast to adapt to change, and
are always one step ahead of society's attempts
to implement policies and actions to combat
The Mexico City government has made tremendous
efforts to fight trafficking, said Ulloa, but
they have been hampered in their efforts at
prosecution by inadequate laws. Nonetheless,
city prosecutors has won four convictions
against trafficking defendants, while the
federal government has achieved only one
conviction at the national level.
Mexico City's trafficking law "is not very good,
it requires modification, but in general it has
allowed authorities to rescue women and girls,
and it is being enforced by officials who are
motivated to combat trafficking" said Ulloa.
Ulloa stated that, at the federal level, a need
exists to establish effective, integrated
strategies in regard to prevention, victim
assistance and the prosecution of traffickers.
She warned that Mexico is just one step away
from becoming a child sex trafficking center at
the level of Thailand.
Ulloa concluded by observing that sex
trafficking in Mexico has now displaced
narcotrafficking in profitability for criminal
organizations, and is fighting for first place
with illicit arms trafficking. At the same time,
she emphasized, poverty and impunity have become
the best allies of traffickers in women and
Oct. 03, 2010
City Attorney General Miguel Ángel
Detalla PGJDF acciones para combatir la trata de
El procurador general de justicia capitalino,
Miguel Ángel Mancera, detalló frente a sus
homólogos de la zona Centro del país las
acciones emprendidas en la Ciudad de México
contra el delito de trata de personas.
Durante la Segunda Sesión 2010 de la Conferencia
de Procuradores Generales de Justicia de la Zona
Centro, Mancera Espinosa señaló que el Gobierno
del Distrito Federal ha impulsado una serie de
acciones de prevención y persecución para
erradicar este delito.
En una sesión de trabajo de esta reunión
celebrada el pasado viernes en la ciudad de
Puebla, el abogado de la ciudad reconoció que
pese a los esfuerzos para erradicar ese acto
ilícito, el crimen organizado usa otros medios
delincuenciales para eludir la acción de la
Para contrarrestar las artimañas de los
delincuentes, el gobierno capitalino tiene como
prioridad establecer políticas públicas en la
materia que permitan desactivar y desalentar las
conductas delictivas de los individuos...
Mexico City prosecutor
details actions to fight human trafficking
During a recent presentation before fellow local
prosecutors at the Second Conference of Attorney
Generals of the Central Zone of Mexico, Mexico
City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera
presented his city's strategy and actions to
fight human trafficking.
Mancera detailed to his colleagues how Mexico
City has initiated a series of efforts to
address prevention and prosecution of
trafficking crimes. He admitted that going after
trafficking networks was difficult work, given
that organized crime changes its modus operandi
to evade detention and prosecution.
To counteract the evasive actions of
traffickers, Mexico City considers its number
one priority to be the implementation of public
policies that will allow prosecutors to
disable and discourage the criminal behavior of
noted that, among the actions taken by Mexico
City was the implementation in October of 2008
of the Law to Prevent and Eradicate Human
Trafficking, Sexual Abuse and the Commercial
Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Mancera added that the city created a
specialized agency to address human trafficking
crimes, and developed both a telephone hotline
and a web page to assist in crime prevention and
the reporting of cases by the public.
Currently, the Mexico City Attorney General's
Office is in the process of formalizing a
relationship with the Special Prosecutors Office
for Crimes of Violence Against Women and
Children, which is a division of the federal
Attorney General of the Republic...
The conference was attended by the attorney
generals of Hidalgo, Morelos, Tlaxcala, Puebla
states, as well as by officials from Baja
California, Sur, Baja California, Guerrero and
Oct. 03, 2010
Human trafficking alleged in Durham
Durham - A grand jury has indicted Ivan
Cervantes Damian on charges he held a
15-year-old girl captive for more than 18 months
and forced her to have sex.
Damian, 30, faces charges of first-degree
statutory sex offense, human trafficking and
forcing a child into sexual servitude.
Authorities accuse Damian of having sex with the
teenage girl between December 2008 and August
2009. They also accuse him of holding the victim
in servitude from December 2008 to July 2010.
"He alienated her from society," said Durham
Police Cpl. Marty Walkowe.
Walkowe said the relationship began as a
voluntary one while the couple was still living
in Mexico. When they immigrated a couple of
years ago, Walkowe said, Damian violated North
Carolina's human trafficking law by bringing a
minor from another nation into the state.
"Even though his girlfriend left voluntarily,
because she was a minor, it's human
trafficking," Walkowe said. "It sounds like a
big organized thing, but it was actually just
her voluntarily coming from Mexico with him to
Walkowe said the victim reported Damian to
police after their relationship soured and she
wanted to leave.
Damian is being held at the Durham County
Detention Center on $250,000 bail. The federal
Immigration and Customs
Oct. 06, 2010
Alert Driver Saves Kidnapped Girl
Fresno - An 8-year-old girl who was abducted by
a stranger while playing outside a Fresno home
escaped from her captor Tuesday morning after a
driver recognized the suspect's vehicle and cut
it off, police said.
The child was found in Fresno about 11 hours
after she disappeared around 8:30 p.m. Monday,
triggering a statewide Amber Alert. Police
arrested Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, who they said
was a member of the Bulldogs street gang.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver
recognized the red pickup truck from media
reports that showed surveillance video of the
When the driver saw a girl's head in the window,
he cut the truck off and forced it to stop, Dyer
said. The suspect pushed the girl out of the
car, and she ran to safety, he said.
The girl was taken to a hospital in good
condition, but Dyer later confirmed she had been
sexually assaulted. The police chief described
her as "frightened, traumatized." ...
"I was at the same time happy and grateful that
my daughter had been brought home," the girl's
mother told a news conference. "During the
night, the hours seemed very long."
Police said quick action by Fresno resident
Victor Perez helped the girl escape...
Oct. 05, 2010
Another Wall Blocks Route to U.S.
Guatemala City - Travelling without documents to
the United States from Latin America can turn
into an odyssey, in which migrants have to elude
common criminals and drug traffickers along the
way, not to mention the laws on migration. But
now another obstacle is emerging: a wall between
Guatemala and Mexico.
According to the head of customs for Mexico's
tax administration, Raúl Díaz, in order to stop
boats carrying contraband, the southern Mexican
state of Chiapas is building a wall along the
border river Suchiate, similar to the one the
United States is building along its southern
border with Mexico.
"It could also prevent the free passage of
illegal immigrants," admitted the Mexican
Smugglers use the Suchiate River to move
products across an international border without
paying duty taxes, but at the same time,
thousands of Central and South Americans cross
the river in their attempts to reach the United
States in search of opportunity -- and without
the required documents.
Some 500,000 migrants cross Mexican territory
without permission each year, according to
Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights
The intention to build a border wall has
triggered a wave of opposition from civil
society and government organizations, with
charges that it is a "senseless" measure that
will not succeed in preventing undocumented
migrants from crossing the border on their way
The cruelty to which undocumented migrants are
often subjected was laid bare Aug. 23, when 72
people coming from Guatemala, as well as El
Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil, were
brutally murdered in San Fernando, a town in the
eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. They were
presumably killed by the Los Zetas drug cartel,
which is also involved in kidnapping and
In addition, a total of 9,758 kidnappings of
migrants were reported in Mexico from September
2008 to February 2009, according to the CNDH.
Putting up a wall on the Guatemala-Mexico border
"is going to make the migrants' situation worse,
because to meet their needs they are always
going to find blind points where there are no
migration or security controls, which implies
greater risks," said Maldonado...
Sep. 15 , 2010
Police search for man in California girl's
Authorities early Tuesday were searching for a
man they said snatched an 8-year-old girl from a
central California neighborhood and took off
with her in his pickup.
Police said the mother was close by and got into
a car and frantically tried to chase down the
truck but was not able to catch up with the
[The girl] was last seen wearing bluejeans and a
purple sweater with "Winnie the Pooh" on the
front, Fresno police said.
Police said the suspect, described as a
6-foot-tall, thin man with slicked-back hair,
drove to the Fresno neighborhood in an older
reddish-brown Ford truck. The man drove up to
six children about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
The man spoke in Spanish and told the children
that he would take them to the Dollar Store and
buy them toys if they got into his car, CNN
affiliate KFSN-TV in Fresno reported.
The man then pulled the victim into his car and
sped away, authorities said.
Police told the TV station they had received
reports earlier of a man with a similar
description and vehicle exposing himself to
young girls blocks away from where the abduction
Fresno police said 100 officers were searching
for the girl and the suspect, KFSN reported.
Oct. 05, 2010
Inés Fernández and
Comunicado: Las sentencias de la CoIDH
permitirán a Inés y Valentina acceder a la
justicia negada en México.
Inter-American Court of Human RIghts Decision
Allows Inés and Valentina Access to Justice in
• Valentina Rosendo Cantú narró lo que el fallo
del Tribunal significa para ella, su familia y
• Cejil y Tlachinollan explicaron los alcances y
el impacto de estas sentencias; Emilio Álvarez
Icaza abundó en la relevancia que tienen para el
• Valentina y sus representantes reiteran su
exigencia de seguridad para Inés y Valentina
México, D.F., a 4 de octubre de 2010.- Valentina
Rosendo Cantú y sus representantes -las
organizaciones civiles CEJIL y Tlachinollan-
detallaron en conferencia de prensa los
contenidos y alcances de las sentencias de los
casos de las indígenas me´phaa Inés Fernández
Ortega y Valentina Rosendo Cantú que fueron
notificadas por la Corte Interamericana de
Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) el pasado viernes 1 de
octubre. Esta mañana, en la conferencia, estuvo
presente también el ex ombudsman capitalino,
Emilio Álvarez Icaza y el abogado Mario Patrón.
Valentina Rosendo Cantú explicó su sentir en
este momento en que después de más de ocho años
de búsqueda de justicia, vividos en condiciones
de adversidad y de riesgo, finalmente la CoIDH
le ha dado la razón, estableciendo como un hecho
incontrovertible que fue violada sexualmente y
torturada por soldados mexicanos. “Por fin se
reconoció que siempre dijimos la verdad”, dijo
la mujer Me’phaa. Rosendo Cantú también externó
algunas de sus más sentidas preocupaciones,
compartidas tanto por ella como por Inés
Fernández Ortega, y señaló: “Ya que por fin se
demostró que siempre dijimos la verdad porque no
sabemos mentir, para nosotras y nuestras
familias lo más importante ahorita es que nos
dejen vivir en paz, con tranquilidad”...
Valentina Rosendo Cantú and her representatives
- the organizations CEJIL and the Tlachinollan
Human Rights Center, explained during a press
conference the details of the October 1, 2010
decision by the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Rosendo Cantu and
Inés Fernández Ortega. Emilio Álvarez Icaza,
former director of the Human Rights Commission
for Mexico City, and lawyer Mario Patrón were
present at the event.
Valentina Rosendo Cantú said that, after 8 years
of seeking justice in her case [in which Mexican
soldiers raped her], years that involved
adversity and risks [due to repeated death
threats and acts of retaliation against the
victims and their families], the IACHR has
finally vindicated us.
Justice for Inés
Oct. 04, 2010
director of the Tlachinollan Center
(left) joins Alejandra Nuño,
Central American director for CEJIL;
Valentina Rosendo Cantú, and Emilio
Álvarez Icaza, former president of
theMexico City Human Rights
Commission - at press conference.
The banner says: "Break Through the
Walls of Impunity."
Human Rights Court: Mexico responsible for rapes
Mexico City - The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights condemned Mexico on Monday for failing to
protect the rights of two indigenous women who
were raped by soldiers in 2002.
In two separate rulings, the Costa Rica-based
court said Mexico failed to guarantee the rights
to personal integrity, dignity and legal
protection of Valentina Rosendo and Ines
Fernandez, both of southern Guerrero state.
Mexico must publicly acknowledge its
responsibility and called for a civilian
investigation into the crimes, rather than the
military one, which resulted in no charges,
according to the ruling. The government also
must compensate both women and publish the court
rulings in Spanish and the women's indigenous
The government said will follow the rulings, the
Interior Department said in a statement.
"The government of Mexico reiterates its full
commitment to the promotion and protection of
human rights, in particular to combat violence
against women and girls," the statement said.
It was the fourth condemnation of Mexico from
the court, which previously issued rulings
against the government for the unsolved killings
of women in the border city of Cuidad Juarez in
the 1990s and for the country's "dirty war" in
Rosendo called on the government to publicly
recognize that it wrongly accused her of lying
about being assaulted.
"If the government has a little bit of dignity,
it should accept they were mistaken so I can go
on with my life," she said tearfully at a news
conference. "They didn't want to hear me in my
Rosendo, then 17, was washing clothes in a river
in February of 2002 when eight soldiers came up
and asked her about the whereabouts of a masked
suspect. When she said she didn't know anything,
she was beaten and raped.
A month later, in another indigenous community
in Guerrero, at least 11 soldiers approached
Fernandez in her house and asked for her
husband. She didn't respond because she didn't
speak Spanish, and the soldiers raped her.
No one was punished in either case.
Oct. 04, 2010
Cantú at the Inter-American Court
session where she presented of her
case on May 28, 2010
Mexico Ordered to Pay Damages to Women Raped by
San Jose - The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights ordered the Mexican government to pay
damages to two indigenous women raped by
soldiers in 2002.
The Costa Rica-based court, a body of the
Organization of American States, on Monday
published on its Web page rulings against Mexico
for the rapes of the Indian women Me’phaa
Valentina Rosendo Cantu and Ines Fernandez
Ortega, as well as for the lack of investigation
by the authorities in both cases.
The court’s rulings are binding on OAS members.
Mexico was found to have violated the rights and
personal integrity, dignity and autonomy of the
two indigenous women, who lived in the
municipality of Ayutla de Los Libres, in the
southern state of Guerrero.
In both cases, the Court ordered Mexico to
guarantee that the investigations would be
conducted “with the knowledge of the civil
jurisdiction” and “under no circumstances under
military jurisdiction,” and that those found to
be responsible would be punished.
In the case of Rosendo Cantu, the Court set at a
total of $100,500 the indemnity to which she
would be entitled for material damages,
immaterial damages and trial costs, while the
figure established was $128,000 in the case of
The Court also ordered Mexico “to modernize its
legislation” so that human rights violations
will not fall under military jurisdiction and so
that “people affected by the intervention of
military jurisdiction may have effective
recourse to challenge it.”
The state also must take public action to
acknowledge its international responsibility,
authorize study scholarships for the victims and
their children, and ensure that services to care
for female victims of sexual violence “are
provided by the designated institutions,” among
Oct. 04, 2010
Mexico Ordered To Pay Damages To Two Indigenous
Women Raped By Soldiers
In two separate rulings, the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights condemned the Mexican
government and ordered it to pay damages to two
indigenous women who were raped in 2002 by
The court said that Mexico failed to guarantee
the rights to personal integrity, dignity and
legal protection of Ines Fernandez and Valentina
Rosendo, both from the southern Mexican state of
Mexico, which has to publicly acknowledge its
responsibility, must also compensate both women
and publish the court rulings in Spanish and the
women’s indigenous language, Me’phaa. The
Mexican government promised to fulfill the
demands of the court ruling.
“The government of Mexico reiterates its full
commitment to the promotion and protection of
human rights, in particular to combat violence
against women and girls,” according to a
statement released by Mexico’s Interior
Department, the Associated Press reports...
Oct. 05, 2010
Mexico / The
human rights activist Abel Barrera
Hernandez, the founder and director
of the Tlachinollan Human Rights
Mexican Activist Wins Prestigious Robert F.
Kennedy Human Rights Award
Washington, DC / Mexico City - An anthropologist
and human rights defender who has worked for
years with the indigenous people in one of
Mexico's poorest and most marginalized regions
has been awarded one of the world's most
important human rights prizes.
Abel Barrera Hernandez, the founder and director
of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre of the
Montana in the state of Guerrero, will receive
this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award
in recognition of his efforts to end abuses
committed by the military and police against the
local population, the RFK Center for Justice and
Human Rights announced here Thursday.
"Our friends at the Tlachinollah Centre
represent true courage in their struggle to
expose and confront ongoing human rights
abuses," said Claudio Grossman, the dean of the
Washington College of Law at American University
and a member of the five-person jury that
decided on this year's winner.
"By standing with the most vulnerable
communities, Abel Barrera Hernandez and his
colleagues are at great personal risk, and we
are proud to recognize their work with this
prestigious award," added Grossman, who also
served as a member of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 1993 to
The prize, which will be presented here in
November, was praised by a number of rights
activists who noted that the RFK Center has a
well-established reputation for maintaining
material and political support for its awardees
for many years after the honor is received.
"I think that this prize comes at an especially
important moment because of the tremendous
increase in human rights violations in the
context of the drug war," said Laura Carlsen,
the Mexico-based director of the Americas
Program of the Center for International Policy.
"Last year, human rights groups reported a
six-fold rise in complaints against the army,
and the indigenous populations are suffering the
most. They require the most vigilance from civil
society," she added.
"The centre works in a very difficult and
dangerous situation at the heart of one of the
most marginalized communities in the country,"
said Maureen Meyer, a Mexico specialist at the
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which
gave the centre its annual human rights award
In 2002, the centre brought the case of Inés
Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, two indigenous
women allegedly raped by soldiers in Guerrero in
2002, to the IACHR, which referred it to the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is
set to hand down a sentence.
In 2005, it defended the right to education for
people of two towns that had been abandoned by
their overworked teaching staff for an entire
year. After filing complaints with the
Department of Education, lobbying state
representatives, and gaining the attention of
national and international media, the Centre
succeeded in obtaining 14 state-appointed
teachers and four additional classrooms.
In the same year, it launched a successful
campaign to formally criminalize forced
disappearances in Guerrero while carrying out
numerous investigations that exposed military
abuses, including torture, disappearance, rape
of indigenous women, arbitrary detentions and
interrogations, intimidation, and dispossession
It has also taken up the cases of two human
rights defenders from the Organization of the
Future of the Mixtec People who had been
arrested and later found dead with signs of
torture in February 2009. Those cases resulted
in a new round of threats to centre staff which,
in turn, spurred the IACHR to issue new
The IACHR has issued more than 100 orders to
protect human rights defenders in Guerrero.
The award "represents a shield, from an
organization with great prestige, for a region
that is terribly vulnerable and unprotected, and
where human rights are a dead letter," Barrera
told IPS. "It brings visibility to what the
authorities wish would remain invisible. They
don't want to see the tragedy, the poverty, the
"May justice flourish in the mountain, where it
has been suffocated by impunity, by corruption,
by endemic violence, and by the age-old neglect
of the local peoples," he said...
Barrera: "We see the war on drugs in our state
as a war against the poor; there is cruelty
against the indigenous peoples that have been
driven to plant poppies in ravines as a last
measure to ensure their survival," he said.
Jim Lobe and
Sep. 23, 2010
Mexico / The
Abel Barrera Hernandez
speaks about his role in founding the
Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre of the Montana
in the state of Guerrero.
with English subtitles)
Sep. 23, 2010
Mexico / The
Mexico has failed to prosecute violations,
The US government significantly strengthened its
partnership with Mexico in combating organized
crime in 2007 when it announced the Merida
Initiative, a multi-year US security assistance
package for Mexico. To date, the US government
has allocated roughly $1.5 billion in Merida
funding to Mexico. From the outset, the US
Congress recognized the importance of ensuring
that the Mexican government respect human rights
in its public security efforts, mandating by law
that 15 percent of select Merida funds be
withheld until the State Department issued a
report to the US Congress which showed that
Mexico had demonstrated it was meeting four
human rights requirements.
On September 2, 2010, the State Department
issued its second report to Congress concluding
that Mexico is meeting the Merida Initiative's
human rights requirements, and it stated its
intention to obligate roughly $36 million in
security assistance that had been withheld from
the 2009 supplemental and the 2010 omnibus
However, research conducted by our respective
organizations, Mexico's National Human Rights
Commission, and even the State Department's own
reports, demonstrates conclusively that Mexico
has failed to meet the four human rights
requirements set out by law. As a result,
Congress should not release these select Merida
funds. Releasing these funds would send the
message that the United States condones the
grave human rights violations committed in
Mexico, including torture, rape, killings, and
We recognize that Mexico is facing a severe
public security crisis, and that the United
States can play a constructive role in
strengthening Mexico's ability to confront
organized crime in an effective manner. However,
human rights violations committed by Mexican
security forces are not only deplorable in their
own right, but also significantly undermine the
effectiveness of Mexico's public security
Sep. 14, 2010
Added: Dec. 4, 2010
to Speak up on Military Abuse in Mexico
Vivanco, Director - Americas Division - HRW
May 17, 2010
North Alabama man convicted in sex trafficking
of an underage girl
A 31-year-old Florence man was convicted today
of sex trafficking involving an underage girl.
Manuel Enrique Zelaya-Rodriguez was also
convicted in the trial in Huntsville of coercing
a minor to engage in prostitution, harboring an
illegal alien, and failing to file a report with
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about
an illegal alien in his employment.
Zelaya--Rodriguez will be sentenced by U.S.
District Judge C. Lynwood Smith in a Jan. 19
hearing in Huntsville. He could face a sentence
of up to life in prison.
The case against Zelaya-Rodriguez began Sept. 8,
2009 when he was driving a car that was stopped
by Florence police at a trailer park, according
to court documents. An officer was responding to
complaints about prostitution when he stopped
Inside the car was a 15-year-old girl who told
police that Zelaya-Rodriguez was prostituting
her, according to court documents. Condoms and
business cards were found inside the car.
The unidentified girl was born in Veracruz,
Mexico, in September 1993, according to a trial
memorandum from prosecutors. The girl became
pregnant when she was 13 years old and later
crossed the border into the U.S. "so that she
could work and send money back to her mother to
care for the victim's baby," according to the
The girl started work in Atlanta as a
prostitute, but fled there after pimps became
violent with her, according to the court
document. The girl got the name of
Zelaya-Rodriguez from another prostitute,
according to the court document filed before the
"The victim had been with the defendant for
approximately two weeks, and during that time
the victim had engaged in commercial sex acts
with approximately forty and fifty men,"
according to the trial memorandum.
"We have shut down this particular trafficker
and, hopefully, given pause to others who would
commit the same morally reprehensible crime,"
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said in a press
statement after the jury returned its verdict
"Human trafficking for purposes of sexual
exploitation and forced labor is a growing
problem in North Alabama and across the country
and is a grave concern of the Department of
Justice," she said. "We want a zero-tolerance
policy on this crime."
Florence police, the FBI, and ICE investigated
"The FBI is committed to working with ICE and
our other law enforcement partners to combat
human trafficking, which is modern day slavery,
and bring to justice those who would deny
individuals of their fundamental right to
freedom," Patrick Maley, special agent in charge
of the FBI's Birmingham office, said in the
Sep. 22, 2010
Added: Dec. 4, 2010
arrested in sex case involving Encinitas teen
Girl had made
up story she was gang-raped; authorities say she
had sex with 20-year-old she met on Internet
Encinitas - Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a
20-year-old Vista man who they say had sex with
a 15-year-old Encinitas girl, authorities said
The teen initially told authorities she was
raped by three men rather than admit to her
mother she had gone off with a man she met on
Jose Adrian Cano was arrested Tuesday night and
booked on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with
a minor, lewd acts with a 15-year-old, and
contacting a minor online with intent to commit
a sex crime.
Investigators say they have evidence of three
more under-age victims and want any others to
come forward to report contact with Cano.
He is being held in the Vista jail without bail
because federal immigration authorities have put
a hold on him. Lauren Mack, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, said Cano is
listed in the agency’s records as Cano-Cid and
is suspected of being in the United States
Mack said Cano was arrested earlier this year by
a police agency in San Diego County and federal
officials returned him to Mexico without a
The San Diego
Sep. 29, 2010
Tries to Kidnap Teen Girl Walking to School
San Jacinto - Police in Riverside County are
searching for a man who tried to kidnap a
15-year-old girl as she was walking to school.
The attempted kidnapping happened just after 6
a.m. Thursday on Lyon Avenue, south of Merlot
Place, in San Jacinto.
Police say the suspect approached the girl from
behind and grabbed her arm, but she was able to
fight him off.
A passing driver saw the struggle and called
911, and the suspect ran from the area.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man,
about 19- or 20-years-old, and 5'9" tall. He has
a thin build, short "spiked" brown hair and
brown eyes. The man was last seen wearing blue
jeans and a white t-shirt.
Anyone with information about the suspect is
asked to call San Jacinto Police at
Oct. 1, 2010
director of Mexico's National
Institute for Migration Cecilia
Cecilia Romero sale de Migración
fue notificada que sería removida, por lo que
elaboró una carta de despedida para sus
colaboradores; en el último mes su posición en
el cargo se vio debilitada por la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas
El gobierno federal confirmó que Cecilia Romero
dejó a partir de hoy el cargo como comisionada
del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) luego
de la matanza de 72 migrantes de distintas
nacionalidades en el estado de Tamaulipas.
De acuerdo con fuentes gubernamentales, Romero
fue notificada este lunes que sería removida de
esa posición, por lo que la funcionaria elaboró
una carta de despedida que circuló de manera
interna en el INM por el sistema de intranet.
En el texto, Romero agradeció el "trabajo,
saludo, apoyo y sonrisa" de sus colaboradores,
con quienes se reunió por la mañana para revisar
temas pendientes de la agenda migratoria y los
exhortó a seguir adelante porque dicha labor no
es una moda y parte de una época, sino de una
institución, las cuales perduran por encima de
En agosto pasado un inmigrante de origen
ecuatoriano acudió a una caseta naval para
denunciar la ejecución de personas en un rancho
ubicado en el estado de Tamaulipas, hecho que
permitió conocer la noticia de 72 víctimas que
habrían caído abatidas presuntamente a manos de
Funcionarios federales definirán en las próximas
horas la vía institucional para dar a conocer el
cambio de Romero, el cual puede formalizarse en
Los Pinos o la Secretaría de Gobernación
Sep. 14, 2010
Migration-Mexico: Crisis Sparked by Massacre
Spurs Demands for In-depth Changes
Organizations working for the rights of
undocumented immigrants are using the crisis
triggered by the massacre of 72 migrants a few
weeks ago near the U.S. border to press for
in-depth changes in Mexico.
'The migration authorities do not have a human
rights perspective, and their position is
inconsistent with the reality of migration in
this country,' Diana Martínez, assistant
coordinator of advocacy at Sin Fronteras, a
non-governmental organization (NGO) that
promotes the rights of migrants and provides
them with legal advice, told IPS.
The killing of the undocumented migrants from
several Latin American countries, whose bound,
blindfolded bodies were found Aug. 24 on a
remote ranch in San Fernando, in the
northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas,
unleashed the worst ever migration-related
crisis in this country.
The mass murder, which was survived by at least
one man from Ecuador, one from Honduras and one
from El Salvador, brought down National
Migration Institute (INM) Commissioner Cecilia
Romero, who resigned Tuesday Sept. 14.
Romero, a former senator for the governing
National Action Party (PAN), had ridden out
earlier rumors that she would leave the top job
at the INM, which she held since December 2006.
But the heat and pressure generated by the
shocking event made her position untenable...
An estimated 500,000 Latin Americans a year
cross Mexico heading for the United States,
according to experts and NGOs. Along the way
they face arbitrary arrest, extortion, robbery,
rape and kidnapping, especially at the hands of
Los Zetas, a criminal organization that
dominates the kidnapping of undocumented
'The Mexican state must design a truly
comprehensive state policy on migration that is
not limited to managing migratory flows, but is
centrally focused on the human rights of
migrants,' said Martínez of Sin Fronteras...
Migrant protection organizations have urged the
Mexican state to issue an official invitation to
Felipe González, rapporteur on the rights of
migrant workers and their families for the
Washington-based Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR), part of the Organisation
of American States (OAS) human rights system.
In his March 2009 report, the United Nations
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of
migrants, Jorge Bustamante, recommended
legislative reforms to combat the impunity
surrounding human rights abuses in this
Sep. 16, 2010
Mexican immigration official quits after
Mexico - Mexico's top immigration official
resigned Monday in the wake of a massacre of 72
migrants that exposed how brutally drug cartels
have come to control human smuggling routes in
Cecilia Romero stepped down as head of the
National Institute of Migration, a post she had
held since the beginning of President Felipe
Calderon's term in December 2006, the Interior
Department said in a statement.
The statement gave no reason for her
resignation, only praising Romero's efforts to
modernize the Mexico's immigration system and
improve the treatment of migrants. It did not
name her replacement.
A government official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to speak
publicly about the issue, said the government
was looking for someone with more experience in
security to head the institute.
The official said the massacre three weeks ago
highlighted how intertwined drug trafficking and
illegal immigration have become in Mexico.
"She's revamped the institute and made it a more
human and respectful place," the official said.
"Given that organized crime has gotten into the
business, we need a different type of head with
a different type of background."
The bodies of the 72 Central and South American
migrants were found Aug. 24 at a ranch about 100
miles (80 kilometers) south of Brownsville,
Drug cartels have long controlled migration
corridors in Mexico, demanding that migrants pay
for passage through their territory. Now,
Mexican authorities say drug cartels are
increasingly trying to recruit vulnerable
migrants to smuggle drugs.
Romero, a former congresswoman who steadily rose
up in Calderon's National Action Party, revamped
migrant holding centers across the country and
ensured that immigration agents were trained in
human rights, the Interior Department said in
...The government has come under intense
criticism for continuing abuses against
migrants, who are constantly kidnapped and
assaulted as they pass through Mexico — often
with the collusion of corrupt police or
Hours before Romero's resignation was announced,
Mexico's Congress summoned her to a hearing to
explain what the government was doing to protect
Opposition legislators warned Mexico was losing
its moral right to demand better treatment for
immigrants in the United States.
The massacre "is the tip of the iceberg that
revealed the neglect of Mexican authorities, who
are incapable of meeting its responsibilities in
human rights," said Sen. Ricardo Monreal Avila
of the Workers' Party.
Sep. 14, 2010
Romero leaves the INM
Mexico City – For reasons unknown, Cecilia
Romero, commissioner of the National Migration
Institute (INM), announced on Tuesday that she
is leaving her job.
“Today is my last day as commissioner of the
INM. I thank each and every one of you for your
work, effort and participation during the
transformation of the INM,” Romero said to INM
members during her farewell message. She did not
say whether she quit or was fired and did not
give any reasons for leaving her position.
Her departure is taking place three weeks after
the Navy found the bodies of 72 illegal
immigrants in the state of Tamaulipas in
northeastern Mexico. Romero recently said it was
“natural” that there were several rumors of her
leaving after the tragedy in Tamaulipas. “I
think it is only natural that there are rumors
like this when there is a crisis as big as this
one, of national security and of organized
crime,” she said...
Sep. 15, 2010
Added: Oct. 1, 2010
Evalúa Segob trabajo de Romero en Migración
Department to investigate the work of National
Institute for Migration director Cecilia Romero
La lupa está
sobre migración despues de la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas
El secretario de Gobernación, José Francisco
Blake Mora, reveló que al interior de su
dependencia están evaluando el trabajo de la
titular de migración, Cecilia Romero.
Ante las versiones de que habría renunciado el
encargado de la política interior del país, dijo
que sólo están revisando como en todas las
acciones del gobierno su actuación y en su
momento vendrán definiciones
Entrevistado al participar en el IV Informe de
Gobierno de Felipe Calderón, Blake Mora, dijo
que se enfocará en la evaluación al trabajo de
Cecilia Romero después de la masacre de 72
migrantes en Tamaulipas, hace unos días.
¿Se queda la titular de migración en su cargo?,
se le preguntó
- Estamos revisando, estamos evaluando como en
todas las acciones del gobierno que tienen que
ser evaluadas, ya en su oportunidad tomaremos
¿Para cuándo las conclusiones?
-Voy a trabajar y cuando las tenga seguramente
se las informo.
Sep. 02, 2010
June 28, 2009
head of Mexico's national
immigration service, says that
sex tourism and pedophile
networks are "inevitable."
turismo sexual es inevitable"
- Cecilia Romero del Instituto
Nacional de Migración de México
the Human Rights Crisis at Mexico's Southern
Border is Unacceptable
Our current series of articles covering the
human rights emergency facing women and girl
migrants at Mexico's southern border
responds directly to the recent comments of
Cecilia Romero, head of Mexico's national
immigration service (the National Institute
for Migration - INM).
Director Romero stated in a press interview
with El Universal, a major Mexico City daily
paper, that human trafficking is
"inevitable", and that, "the existence of
the smuggling of migrants, human
trafficking, pedophile networks, and the
kidnappings and the violence that affect
thousands of migrants are only "evils of
mankind" that Mexico cannot eradicate.
We strongly disagree with
Director Romero and others in the leadership
of Mexico's National Action Party, who
habitually dismiss critical women's rights
issues, including the femicide murders in
Ciudad Juarez, as being the inevitable, and
'normal' results of male human behavior.
Nothing could be further from
The citizens of Mexico,
Mexico's Congress and the international
community need to hold the government of
President Felipe Calderón accountable for
the fact that he is allowing a steady stream
of unending mass gender atrocities to
occur on Mexico's southern border with
Guatemala and Belize.
In that hell-on-earth, an
estimated 450 to 600 migrant women and girls
are sexually assaulted each day, according
to the International Organization for
Migration. Police response is almost
non-existent. At times police officers are
complicit in this criminal violence.
Mexico's southern border is
also the largest zone on earth for the
commercial sexual exploitation of children
(CSEC), according to Save the Children.
As Father Luis Nieto
states in an article about Salvadoran
mothers who must come to Mexico's border to
grieve for their raped and murdered
daughters, "We cannot
keep quiet, we cannot be complicit in this."
We strongly agree with that
sentiment. Silence is also violence.
The federal government of
Mexico is not ignorant in regard to this
ongoing human catastrophe. The United
Nations, the International Organization for
Migration, Save the Children, elements of
the Catholic Church, the National Human
Rights Commission (CNDH) and many members of
Congress have, for the past several years,
demanded action to end these atrocities.
Although INM director Cecilia
Romero promised in February of 2007 that she
eliminate this terrible situation,"
no visible action has been taken to do
so as of June of 2009, 16 months after she
made that promise.
With the current economic
slowdown and the expansion of global
criminal sex trafficking operations, the
rapes, kidnappings and brutal sexual
enslavement of innocent migrants on that
border is increasing with no end in sight.
As the United States Congress
prepares to send over $400 million dollars
in largely military aid to Mexico as part of
the Merida Initiative to combat the drug
cartels, we insist that human rights
conditions be placed on those and other U.S.
foreign aid funds that are headed to Mexico.
Mexico must close down the
mass rape, kidnapping, murder and
child sex trafficking gauntlet that exists
with total impunity on its southern border.
We also want to see the
estimated 4,000 mostly Mayan indigenous
children who were kidnapped by the Yakuza
mafias from this region and sold to brothels
in Tokyo, and also the uncounted thousands
of other indigenous child victims who have
been sold to brothels in New York and Madrid
rescued, repatriated and then truly cared
Do you need money, President
Calderón, to get these things done? Or is a
misogynist, 'socially conservative' ideology
that is resurgent in Mexico, and that has as
its strongest voice the PAN political party,
the real problem here?
barbarie no será perdonado por Dios!
barbarity will not be pardoned by God!
If Mexico does not have
control over this part of its own territory,
or if, as actually appears to be the
case, the PAN's socially conservative agenda
won't allow it to defend innocent and
vulnerable women and children in crisis,
consistent with their apathetic reaction to
the femicide murders in Ciudad Juarez, then
perhaps an international force organized by
the Organization of American States, or by
the United Nations needs to step up to the
plate, offer to help Mexico, and take
control of the situation.
This crisis in Mexico is the
best example in the Americas of why a new
Global Plan of Action, as proposed by
Ecuadorian Minister of
Justice and Human Rights (Attorney General)
Néstor Arbito Chica
and diplomats gathered at the
United Nations on May 13, 2009, is needed to
get around this impasse.
Somehow, the fact that the
government of Mexico is a signatory to the
and the fact that Mexico passed its 2009
U.S. Department of State Trafficking in
Persons Report evaluation with a relatively
positive Level 2 Rating (as we also
acknowledge State's strong critique of
corruption in Mexico), misses the point.
New and out-of-the box
strategies are needed to oblige Mexico to
fulfill its international obligations to
end this ongoing mass gender atrocity
once and for all.
It is not an impossible task.
The status quo today is...
End impunity now!
June 28, 2009
Updated Oct. 2, 2010
The city of Tapachula,
located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border
is one of the largest and most lawless child sex
trafficking markets in all of Latin America.
Our news section on Tapachula 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
[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
trata de personas no se persigue en el país.
Apenas seis entidades
soslayan la trata de personas
...La trata de personas no se persigue en el
país. Apenas seis entidades —Chiapas, Distrito
Federal, Nuevo León, Tabasco y Tlaxcala, además
de Hidalgo que ayer la aprobó—, tienen
legislación sobre la materia. El resto a
excepción de Campeche y Tamaulipas tipificaron
el delito en sus códigos penales. Sin embargo,
sólo 12 estados cuentan con una legislación
armonizada con el Protocolo de Palermo.
Organismos civiles ubican a Puebla y Tlaxcala
dentro de los cinco principales “corredores” de
traslado de personas que son explotadas sexual y
laboralmente. Se estima que de 60 municipios que
integran el estado de Tlaxcala en al menos 26 se
han establecido redes de tratantes.
overlooks modern slavery
trafficking is not being fought in Mexico
Tenancingo [a major city in Tlaxcala state] -
The streets here are different from those in any
other region of rural Tlaxcala state. The city's
population does not live by farming, nor do they
live in humble dwellings. From the time you
enter the city, the air is tense. The
ostentatious two-to-four floor houses become
Luxury Mustangs, Corvettes and Dodge trucks with
tinted windows line the cobblestone streets.
Chatting with people is almost impossible for
outsiders. Locals immediately know who is a
stranger. They seem to alert everyone about the
presence of outsiders. The
based sex trafficking mafias] are there. At Noon
they stop to eat pork quesadillas. It's their
About 30 miles south of Tlaxcala, in the city of
Puebla, two men descend from a fancy Mustang
blaring reggaeton music. Their imposing presence
makes it hard to look at them face-to-face. Each
of them is wearing three gold chains and
sportswear made by international companies.
The municipal police look at them with the
familiarity that is just part of the daily
rhythm of life. The same is true of the mothers
of children returning to school. The locals are
watched and subdued. Within minutes, a group of
students questions the reason for my visit. They
say that it would be better for me to leave
their neighborhood in the company of the Mexican
Army troops stationed nearby.
On Wednesday night, federal forces besieged a
residential street in the City, presumably in
search of a sexual exploitation network. The
outcome of their effort is unknown. There were
no arrests. Seven soldiers without identifying
clothing remain on guard outside the house. They
call upon the reporters present to leave. They
claim that "no operation ever took place," and
say that in Tenancingo, "everything is normal,"
although the place is known internationally as a
center for sex trafficking.
Human trafficking is not being pursued in this
country. Only the Federal District [Mexico City]
and six states, Chiapas, Nuevo León,
Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Hidalgo have passed
legislation to govern human trafficking. The
remaining states, with the exception of Campeche
and Tamaulipas, have specified the crime in
their penal codes. However, only 12 states have
harmonized their state legislation with the
Non-governmental organizations located in Puebla
and Tlaxcala call the region one of the top five
"corridors" in Mexico for trafficking in persons
who are exploited for sex and labor. It is
estimated that human trafficking networks
operate in at least 26 of the 60 municipalities
in the state of Tlaxcala....
Tlaxcala ranks sixth nationally in human
trafficking as a result of its environment of
violence, a lax criminal justice system and poor
security. Puebla state holds 5th place...
Sep. 24, 2010
Mexico's Chiapas state, together
with the IOM, launch a major media
campaign against human trafficking
Emprenden Gobierno de Chiapas y OIM campaña
contra la trata de personas
Con el objetivo de proteger a los grupos más
vulnerables, el gobierno de Chiapas, a través de
la Secretaría para el Desarrollo de la Frontera
Sur y Enlace para la Cooperación Internacional,
une esfuerzos a la Organización Internacional
para las Migraciones para combatir la trata de
personas mediante una amplia campaña mediática.
Siendo Chiapas un estado de tránsito de
migrantes, es prioritario que ellos sepan que
hacerlo indocumentadamente no es sinónimo de
indefensión, sino por el contrario, en Chiapas
se comprende el sentido de su viaje en búsqueda
de una mejora calidad de vida y la
vulnerabilidad con la que lo efectúan. Es por
eso que el gobierno de Chiapas, encabezado por
Juan Sabines Guerrero, trabaja en transformar la
frontera sur de México en una frontera amiga y
de oportunidades y que no escatima esfuerzos en
llevarlo a cabo.
Bajo el slogan “No permitas que destruyan tu
vida”, se lanza el día de hoy una ambiciosa
campaña en medios masivos como la televisión y
radio, así como espectaculares, pantallas de
proyección, material impreso e internet, con lo
que se pretende concientizar a la ciudadanía de
que la trata de personas es evitable y se
combate con la denuncia; además de que tengan la
seguridad de que recibirán todo el apoyo,
asistencia y protección en caso de ser víctimas
de este flagelo. Es importante destacar que la
parte medular de la campaña se concentra en la
posibilidad de hacer una denuncia anónima y sin
costo al 018007152000...
The state government of
Chiapas and the International Organization for
Migration launch media campaign against human
Seeking to protect the most vulnerable groups in
society, the government of the southern Mexican
state of Chiapas, through its Secretary for the
Development of the Southern Frontier and its
Network for International Cooperation, has
joined forces with the [United Nations
affiliated] International Organization for
Migration to present a new and large scale media
campaign to educate the public about the dangers
of human trafficking.
Given that Chiapas state is a [major] transit
point for migrants [it is the bottleneck point
for almost all Central and South American
migration to the U.S.], the campaign's priority
to let migrants know that their state of being
undocumented does not mean that they are
defenseless. To the contrary, the campaign
stated, Chiapas understands the motives that
cause people to migrate in search of a better
life, as well as the vulnerabilities that go
along with migration. For these reasons, the
government of Chiapas state, headed by governor
Juan Sabines Guerrero, is dedicating significant
resources to achieve the goal of transforming
the southern border of Mexico into a friendly
frontier of opportunities.
Using the slogan "Don't Allow Them to Destroy
Your Life," the ambitious media campaign is
being launched today through public service
advertising on television, radio, and through
materials presented at major public events and
on the Internet. The campaign will raise public
awareness about human trafficking, and will
drive home the point that becoming a victim of
trafficking is avoidable. The campaign
emphasizes that victims will receive every form
of assistance and protection. An anonymous
hotline, at telephone number 018007152000, has
also been opened...
Sep. 27, 2010
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
“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
“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.
Sep. 28, 2010
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.
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
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
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!
Police warn of man exposing himself near
Portland - A man was spotted exposing himself
near a Southeast Portland school Monday morning
and now police are warning people to beware of
the lurking sex offender.
“A subject was observed openly masturbating in
his vehicle parked near Southeast 26th Avenue
and Grant Street in view of the public. Four
female students from Hosford Middle School
walked past his vehicle on their way to school
and he soon started his car, followed them for
about a block and pulled over next to them as if
to make contact with them while still
masturbating,” said Lt. Kelli Sheffer with the
Portland Police Bureau.
Then, just a few minutes later, Sheffer said the
suspect contacted a different female student in
the same area, telling her he liked her shirt.
At one point, the man got out of the car and
walked after a student, police said.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in
his 20's to late 30's, about 5'2 and 150 pounds,
with very short dark hair, wearing a
light-colored shirt and dark pants or jeans.
Police said his head was almost shaved and he
had a mustache and a goatee.
His vehicle was described as an older model,
white 4-door smaller car, possibly a Pontiac,
with a dent on one of the front fenders,
possibly black wheels and black bumpers, with
black scratches on the rear passenger side
Anyone with information about the suspect was
urged to call 9-1-1.
Sep. 28, 2010
Arrested for Peeping in School Bathroom
Covina - Police have arrested a suspect accused
of peeping at a student in a bathroom stall at
Las Palmas Middle School in Covina.
The suspect, who told police his name was
Cristian Estrada Diaz, was arrested Tuesday
morning. His fingerprints, however, identified
him as Juan Hernandez, 31, according to Covina
Sgt. Dave Foster. Detectives are trying to
determine his true identity.
Foster says the man is a Covina resident. He
does not speak English and had no identification
on him, according to Foster.
The man was arrested on suspicion of making
contact with a minor with intent to commit a
The suspect is accused of entering the girls'
bathroom on Friday and crawling on his knees
under a bathroom stall to spy on a girl. He ran
when another student walked in and noticed him.
He fled on a blue bike...
Detectives are trying to figure out if the man
is responsible for other similar cases in the
Anyone with information is asked to call the
Covina Police Department at (626) 384-5808.
Sep. 28, 2010
We present full
bilingual coverage of the
American Congress on Human Trafficking
Buscaremos romper el cerco de los “guardianes
El delito de trata de personas es tan complejo,
que el discutir próximamente sobre el acceso a
la justicia y restitución de derechos para las
víctimas, permitirá a quienes estamos luchando
contra éste, homogeneizar criterios y exigir con
mejores herramientas a las autoridades
judiciales de Latinoamericana, que cumplan con
La directora Regional de la Coalición contra la
Trata y Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América
Latina y el Caribe, Asociación Civil (CATW-LAC),
Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz,
dijo a Cimacnoticias que la complejidad del
delito de trata, ha impedido su tipificación, y
por ende demostrarlo, para lograr sentenciar a
Al cierre del II Congreso Latinoamericano contra
la Trata y Tráfico de Personas: Migración,
Género y Derechos Humanos que se realizó en esta
ciudad, dijo que una vez que ya se conoce la
agenda del próximo Congreso a efectuarse en Perú
en 2012; el intercambio de ideas entre la
academia, organizaciones de la sociedad civil e
incluso con autoridades, generará ideas más
claras sobre cómo resolver la problemática.
Reconoció que en América Latina se ha avanzado
en la elaboración de leyes, pero no se ha
logrado que sean efectivas, que haya sentencias,
“ y yo coincido con lo que dicen las españolas
que los jueces son los guardianes más celosos
del patriarcado y eso es lo que tenemos que
We Seek to Break the Ring
of the Guardians of Patriarchy
The crime of human trafficking is hugely
complex. Therefore, during the next Congress on
Human Trafficking in Latin America, to be held
in Lima, Peru in 2012, the event will focus its
attentions on developing strategies to resolve
one of the largest problems that we face,
gaining access to equal justice and restitution
for victims. The 2012 Congress will allow those
who are fighting against modern human slavery to
collaborate to create a common legal framework
to address human trafficking and to demand
improved legal tools from Latin America's
judicial institutions. The Congress will also
insist that the region's governments must comply
with the laws governing these crimes.
Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz,
director of the Coalition Against Trafficking of
Women and Girls for Latin America and the
[and a veteran women's rights lawyer in Mexico],
told the CIMAC News that the complexity of this
crime has impeded its classification [in the
criminal code] and use in sentencing traffickers
At the close of the Second Congress on Human
Trafficking, Migration, Gender and Human Rights,
held from Sep. 21 to 24, 2010 in Puebla, Mexico,
Ulloa declared that once the agenda for the 2012
Congress is determined, the mechanisms will be
in place that will allow for an exchange of
ideas between academics, civil society and
government officials, to generate clear
strategies in regard to what needs to be done to
effectively address this problem.
Ulloa recognized that laws have advanced across
Latin America. However those laws are not
enforced, resulting in a lack of the actual
sentencing of convicted traffickers. Ulloa, "I
agree with the what people say in Spain, that
judges are the most jealous guardians of
patriarchy. That [ring of power - old boy's
club] is what we have to break through..."
Sep. 27, 2010
Academic Secretary of the Second
Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking, in a photo from an
earlier anti-trafficking press
Condena unánime contra migración forzada y
aumento de trata en AL
Pronunciamiento del II Congreso Latinoamericano
Puebla, Puebla - Con una condena a las
autoridades de Puebla, México y Latinoamérica,
que han reprimido a aquellas personas que se
atreven a denunciar y combatir el delito de
trata, y a la masacre de los migrantes
centroamericanos ejecutados hace unas semanas en
San Fernando, Tamaulipas, concluyó aquí el II
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico
de Personas: Migración, Género y Derechos
Raquel Pastor, Secretaria Académica del Segundo
Congreso y representante del Centro de Estudios
Sociales y Culturales Antonio Montesinos AC de
México, al dar lectura al pronunciamiento
precisó que las y los integrantes al evento
condenan “los hechos que violentan los derechos
humanos, la migración forzada, el aumento de
casos de trata en la región”.
Demandamos, dijo, las investigaciones
correspondientes exhaustivas para que los
crímenes de Tamaulipas, no queden en la
impunidad y sean restituidos los derechos de las
familias de las víctimas.
De igual manera dijo, “condenamos también los
actos represivos y de persecución en contra de
aquellas personas que se atreven a denunciar,
como los que llevan a cabo algunos gobernantes
en Puebla, México y Latinoamérica para acallar y
encubrir la vulneración de los derechos de las
niñas víctimas de explotación sexual...
Second Latin American
Congress on Human Trafficking concludes with a
unanimous condemnation of forced migration and
slavery in Latin America
Puebla city in Puebla state – The Second Latin American Congress on
Human Trafficking ended four days of events
today by condemning government authorities in
Puebla State [Mexico], in Mexico itself as well
as among governments across Latin America for
repressing those persons who have dared to speak
up about, combat and report cases of human
trafficking. In addition, the Congress also
deplored the recent massacre of 72 Central and
South American migrants in the Mexican state of
Dr. Raquel Pastor, the Academic Secretary of the
Second Congress and a representative of the
Antonio Montesinos Center for Social and
Cultural Studies of Mexico, declared that the
participants in the Congress “denounce ongoing
events that violently deny human rights,
including forced migration and the increase in
human trafficking cases in the region.”
We demand, she said, exhaustive investigations
into the massacre in Tamaulipas, so that this
crime does not remain unchallenged, and so that
the rights of the victim’s families are
Equally, Dr. Pastor stated,
“we also condemn the acts
of repression and persecution that have been
taken against those persons who have dared to
report trafficking cases, such as those that
have been perpetrated by government officials
across Latin America, including in Puebla state,
the Lydia Cacho case], in their
efforts to cover-up and silence the sexual
exploitation of girl [and women] victims.
Dr. Pastor underlined the fact that the
participants in the Congress are speaking-up to
pressure the nations of Latin America to reform
and modernize their criminal justice systems, so
that the definition-of and persecution-of
trafficking crimes become focused on protecting
the dignity of girls, boys, adolescents and
Dr. Pastor asked that academic investigations be
undertaken with the participation of civil
society and government entities to allow for the
development of a body of knowledge about
trafficking, as well as to support the
development of public policies and protocols
that will result in actions and criminal
investigations that focus on those who suffer as
victims of these crimes.
Dr. Pastor stated - 'We demand these nations
address the proposals and the body of experience
that non-governmental organizations bring to the
table, and that they adopt the best practices
that NGOs have developed in the fields of
preventing trafficking, and attending to the
needs of victims. We especially call-upon Chile
and Paraguay to pass laws against human
trafficking, given that they are the only
nations in Latin America not to have done so.'
The Congress also expressed its support for
organizations in Puebla and Tlaxcala states, who
have developed the Agenda for the Protection of
Women and Girls Against Human Trafficking, and
who are demanding punishment for elected and
other officials at all levels of government who
have benefited from human trafficking
The creation of a Latin American 'Observatory'
[think tank] for Human Trafficking was
announced, with the goal of creating a center
that will allow for the analysis of
anti-trafficking efforts being carried out
across the nations of the region.
The Congress will also create a web site, a
system of statistical indicators, and will
create spaces to allow for dialog and reflection
among participants before and after each
The Third Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking will take place in Lima, Peru in
2012. The themes will be: “Access to Justice and
the Restitution of Rights.”
Oscar Castro Soto, director of the Ignacio
Ellacuria Human Rights Institute at the
Ibero-American University in Puebla, stated that
some 600 persons attended the Second Congress.
Two hundred fifty presentations were make by
subject matter experts, and 7 sessions by
keynote speakers were presented.
Sep. 24, 201-
Haitian Women at Increased Risk of Trafficking
Puebla, Mexico - The January earthquake that
devastated Haiti put women and girls in the
poorest country in the hemisphere at an
increased risk of falling prey to people
trafficking, activists and experts warn.
"The phenomenon has become much more visible
since the earthquake, with the increase in the
forced displacement of persons," said Bridget
Wooding, a researcher who specializes in
immigration at the Latin American Faculty of
Social Sciences (FLACSO) in the Dominican
Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola
"There is huge vulnerability to a rise in human
trafficking and smuggling," she told IPS.
The Dominican Republic and the United States are
the main destinations for Haitian migrants. The
figures vary, but there are between 500,000 and
800,000 Haitians and people of Haitian descent
in the U.S. and between one and two million in
the Dominican Republic.
Women in Haiti "are exposed to forced
prostitution, rape, abandonment and
pornography," Mesadieu Guylande, a Haitian
expert with the Coalition Against Trafficking in
Women-Latin America and the Caribbean
(CATW-LAC), told IPS.
The situation in Haiti was one of the issues
discussed by representatives of NGOs, experts
and academics from throughout the region at the
Second Latin American Conference on Human
Smuggling and Trafficking, which ran Tuesday
through Friday in Puebla, 130 km south of Mexico
The 7.0-magnitude quake that hit the Haitian
capital on Jan. 12 and left a death toll of at
least 220,000 forced tens of thousands of people
to live in camps...
"We have evidence of a growth in trafficking and
smuggling of persons, which is reflected in the
increase in the number of children panhandling
in the streets of Santo Domingo, for example,"
said Wooding, co-author of the 2004 book "Needed
but Not Wanted", on Haitian immigration in the
The author was in Port-au-Prince when the quake
Even before the disaster, some 500,000 children
were not attending school in Haiti, a country of
around 9.5 million people, Guylande said.
Since 2007, there have been no convictions in
the Dominican Republic under Law 137-03 against
trafficking and smuggling, passed in 2003,
according to the U.S. State Department
Trafficking in Persons Report 2009.
As a result, the State Department reported that
the government of the Dominican Republic "does
not fully comply with the minimum standards for
the elimination of trafficking" and put the
country on its Tier 2 Watch List.
In Haiti, things are no different. Although the
government ratified the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
especially Women and Children, supplementing the
United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime, in force since Sept. 29, 2003,
it has failed to implement its provisions in
"The penal system is fragile and the judiciary
is neither independent nor trustworthy, a
situation that works in favor of traffickers,"
Sep. 24, 2010
Puebla, entre los estados que más producen
pornografía infantil, informa una ONG
México ocupa el primer lugar de América Latina
en la producción y distribución de pornografía
infantil, principalmente hacia Estados Unidos,
España y países de Oriente Medio, señaló ayer
Mayra Rojas Rosas, representante de la
Organización Infancia Común, durante el Segundo
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico
de Personas que se realiza en la Universidad
Los estados con más casos de trata infantil,
puntualizó, son: Baja California, Sonora,
Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Guerrero, Quintana Roo,
Veracruz, Distrito Federal, Tlaxcala y Puebla.
“La gente cree que sólo son fotos o que sólo es
un video, pero eso daña y los daña para siempre
porque a veces son relaciones reales y otras
simuladas, pero esos niños están siendo
trastocados en su integridad y están siendo
sometidos a una serie de experiencias que no
tiene que sufrir un niño o un adolescente”,
Puebla – among the states with the highest rate
of producing child pornography – NGO
Mayra Rojas Rosas, director of the
non-governmental organization Common Infancy,
declared at the Second Latin American Congress
on Human Trafficking that Mexico occupies first
place among Latin American nations in the
production and distribution of child
pornography. She noted that most of these
illicit materials are destined to be sold in the
United States, Spain and in Middle Eastern
Rojas Rosas added that the states with the
highest levels of the
child pornography are Baja California, Sonora,
Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Quintana Roo,
Veracruz, the Federal District [Mexico City],
Tlaxala and Puebla. “People think that it is
only a video, but participating in child
pornography damages the lives of the victims
forever. Some of the scenes are simulated, and
some are real, but the integrity of these
children is being disrupted. They are being
subjected to a series of experiences that no
child or adolescent should have to suffer
During a press conference on the subject, Rojas
Rosas lamented the fact that human trafficking
is being transformed into a business that is
larger and more easily sold than narcotics. In
response, she said, the only way to fight this
crime is through cooperation and a demand that
the problem be made ‘visible.’
“We are not talking about a problem of
persecution here. We are talking about the need
to engage in construction. We must change
legislation and generate spaces to provide for
an integral attention to the victims of
trafficking, so that they are given a chance to
develop a different type of life. The state must
assume part of the responsibility, because at
times, due to presumed acts of complicity and
omission, we have had problems,” said Rojas
In a separate press conference, Helen Le Goff, a
representative of the International Organization
for Migration (IOM) in Mexico, called upon
authorities to investigate and castigate
trafficking cases based upon their own sources
of information, without waiting for a formal
complaint to be filed by a victim (victim
complaint initiation is generally required by
Mexican law before a police investigation may be
During her presentation at the Congress, Le Goff
mentioned that studies conducted by Mexico’s
National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) estimate
that each year, 20,000 persons are victims of
human trafficking, principally in tourist cities
and in frontier regions. Most victims are
illegal immigrants, who have migrated from some
13 nations, including Guatemala, Honduras and El
Le Goff, “In addition to the 60% of victims who
experience labor trafficking, an additional 40%
were victims of sex trafficking.”
Le Goff concluded by stating that the the IOM is
launching a campaign called “No más trata de
personas” [No more Human Trafficking] in the
cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tapachula. The
project is being developed in collaboration with
the the CNDH. The project’s goal is to educate
the public about the risks of irregular
migration and human trafficking.
La Jornada de
Sep. 24, 2010
Giovanni, a nine-year-old girl who
lives in the violent Mexico City
neighborhood of Penitenciaria
Photo:Daniela Pastrana / IPS
Gender Violence Hits Behind the News
Mexico City - Amalia is an indigenous Maya girl
from a rural community in southern Quintana Roo,
on Mexico's Caribbean coast. She is 11 years
old, and in August became the youngest mother in
the country when she gave birth to a baby girl,
51 cm long and just under three kg.
Amalia was raped when she was 10, allegedly by
her stepfather. She did not have the option of
terminating the pregnancy because by the time it
emerged that she was pregnant it was too late
for a legal abortion.
Her case highlights the government's failures in
dealing with violence against girls, a
phenomenon that is overlooked due to the many
other types of violence plaguing Mexico, such as
the epidemic of drug-related murders, and the
human rights violations attributed to the
military and police.
Amalia "represents an accumulation of social
exclusions: she is female, a child, indigenous
and poor," Juan Martín Pérez, executive director
of the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico,
which brings together more than 50 pro-child
organizations, told TerraViva.
"It took more than 20 years for me to admit what
had happened. It's something that you never
forgive; you just learn to live with it," a
35-year-old professional from Mexico City told
TerraViva. She was sexually abused by an uncle
when she was Amalia's age.
In this Latin American country of 108 million
people, there are 18.4 million boys and 17.9
million girls under 18. Violence against
children occurs in one-third of households,
despite the many institutions across the country
entrusted with protecting their well-being.
A UNICEF (United Nations
Children's Fund) study ranked Mexico second for
mistreatment of children, after Portugal,
among the 33 member countries of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD). The mortality rate
attributed to this phenomenon is 30 deaths for
every million minors.
According to UNICEF, a large portion of this
physical, sexual and psychological violence and
neglect remains hidden, and is sometimes
And while this crime is underreported, there is
even less information about the differences in
mistreatment based on gender. "There is a
statistical invisibility that prevents us from
getting a clear picture of the problem," said
Several recent studies provide isolated data for
an incomplete puzzle. For example, the latest
National Survey on Health and Nutrition reports
six pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 12 to
15, and 101 per 1,000 for ages 16 to 17.
In Quintana Roo, the state's secretary of
health, Juan Carlos Azueta, said that in 2009
5,500 adolescent pregnancies were reported, 16
percent of which were the result of rape -- a
proportion in line with the national average.
"I love my daughter, but I've never known how to
deal with her. She exasperates me, and I'm often
unfair to her," admitted Gloria, a mother of
three girls, whose eldest was born after she was
raped at the age of 15 by a married man.
"There is something in her that reminds me of
how I got pregnant, and nobody taught me how to
be a mother or how to deal with this memory
inside," said the abusive mother, who lives in
Atizapán, on the outskirts of Mexico City.
"La infancia cuenta" (Childhood Counts / 2009),
a web-based monitoring tool and publication by
the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico
dedicated to girls, states "there are specific
groups of females who are marginalized from the
educational system," such as adolescent mothers
or disabled or indigenous girls and adolescents.
According to Mexico's National Institute on
Statistics and Geography, 180,500 adolescent
mothers, ages 12 to 18, have not completed their
basic education. Girls have higher school
attendance rates than boys until age 16, when
the balance starts to tip, in part due to early
"At 15, I ran away from home with the man who is
now the father of my children, but things went
even worse for me," Citatli, now 45 and a
grandmother, told TerraViva. She lives in a
low-income neighborhood in the eastern part of
the Mexico City metropolitan area.
She had two children by the time she was 17,
"and the younger one was born prematurely after
I was beaten," she said. "I have always been
surrounded by violence. From my mother, my
brothers, my first husband, and now from my
children." Her only hope is that her five
grandchildren "don't turn out like that."
In Mexico, violent acts against girls,
adolescents and women are based on a social
construction that assumes males are superior,
several sources consulted by TerraViva agreed.
"We've made some limited progress, with a
federal law (against gender violence) and local
laws in all states, but we haven't seen
fundamental changes," said Axela Romero,
director of Integral Health for Women. "A
culture in which masculine is put above feminine
Giovanni, a nine-year-old girl who lives in the
violent Mexico City neighborhood of
Penitenciaria, knows all about that. She has
what is traditionally a boy's name because when
her mother was about to give birth to her
firstborn son, she lost the pregnancy due to "a
fright" when the father got involved in a fight.
So the name went to the little girl, when she
"I hate violence, and I hate it even more when
the men drink," Giovanni told TerraViva.
Years of gruesome unsolved murders of women --
known as "femicides" -- put Ciudad Juárez, on
Mexico's northern border, on the global map. At
least 800 women have been tortured and murdered
in the last 16 years, according to incomplete
Meanwhile, in some Mexican states, the laws are
tougher on women who undergo abortions than on
the rapists who impregnated them.
According to government surveys, more than 60
percent of male adolescents believe it is solely
the responsibility of the woman to take
precautions against pregnancy, and at least
one-fifth of students have witnessed incidents
at their schools, off in a corner, where one or
more boys inappropriately touched a girl without
But those incidents, like other forms of
aggression against girls, are likewise abandoned
in a corner.
*This story was
originally published by IPS TerraViva with the
support of UNIFEM and the Dutch MDG3 Fund.
Service (IPS) / TerraViva
Sep. 21, 2010
Bicentennial Nothing to Celebrate, Say
Mexico City - "I don't understand why we should
celebrate [Independence]. There will be no
freedom in Mexico until repression against
indigenous peoples is eliminated," says Sadhana,
whose name means "moon" in the indigenous
Over the course of the year, the Mexican
government has organized a series of lavish
celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of
the start of the war of independence against the
Spanish Empire, Sep. 16, 1810. The main events,
held Sep. 15, included a military parade with
soldiers from several other countries and a
But to many of Mexico's indigenous peoples, the
festivities are an alien concept.
According to indigenous organizations, at least
a third of Mexico's 108 million people are of
native descent. But the government's National
Council on Population says the majority of
Mexicans are mestizo (of mixed European and
indigenous ancestry), while 14 million belong to
one of the country's 62 native groups.
"There is no birth certificate or other official
document that says we are indigenous. The
official calculations are based on the census
that asks just one question about this: if you
speak an indigenous language. That is the only
element they use to define who is indigenous,"
said Julio Atenco Vidal, of the Regional
Coordinator of Sierra de Zongolica Indigenous
Organisations, in the southeastern state of
"Furthermore, there are many who say they are
not indigenous, because it is associated with
backwardness," he told IPS.
Registered by her Mazahua parents with the name
"Daleth Ignacio Esquivel," Sadhana, 14,
participates in a dance group of Mexica origin.
They promote the recovery of their ancestral
language among youths in San Miguel, a town in
the central state of Mexico.
In the latest census of population and housing,
conducted in May and June, the question about
personal ethnic identification was added...
Of all the segments of the population,
indigenous women have the worst living
conditions, according to the National Commission
for the Development of Indigenous Peoples. These
women suffer serious health problems resulting
from nutritional deficiencies and high birth
From childhood, indigenous girls are obligated
to help their mothers. They tend to marry
between ages 13 and 16. And their "normal"
workday can last 18 hours daily.
Meanwhile, illiteracy among indigenous children
is five times greater than among mestizo
An extreme case of indigenous exclusion is found
in San Juan Copala, in the southern state of
Oaxaca, home of the Triqui community, which
declared itself "autonomous" in 2007. The Triqui
people have been under siege since January by
illegal armed groups that block the entry of
food and medicine, and teachers. Governmental
authorities have yet to intervene.
The ongoing harassment has led to at least a
dozen deaths since 2007 and earned a
denunciation from the United Nations Office of
the High Commissioner of Human Rights. In April,
the armed groups ambushed an international
humanitarian convoy that was attempting to bring
supplies to the Triqui village.
"We are celebrating the
construction of a type of stratified and racist
state, which is what has been created in Mexico,
often based on liberal ideas," said Rodolfo
Stavenhagen, a researcher at the Colegio de
México and former UN special rapporteur on the
situation of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of indigenous peoples.
"Now is a good time to reform the concept of
'nation'. We must take steps in building an
indigenous citizenry and indigenous spaces that
have never before appeared in Mexico's
institutional fabric," Stavenhagen told IPS.
Along similar lines, 177 organizations from 15
states are working to breathe new life into the
indigenous movement. It has been largely
stagnant since 2001, when the government quashed
the efforts towards autonomy by the indigenous
Zapatista National Liberation Army, which took
up arms in January 1994 in the southern state of
Now, in a new national and international
context, the organizations are pursuing a model
of a "plurinational" and "pluricultural" state,
one that includes Mexico's array of indigenous
ethnicities "without adulteration or
"We don't have anything to celebrate," reads a
declaration from the National Indigenous
Movement, which met in the capital on Sep. 15
while the rest of the country commemorated 200
years of the Mexican republic.
The movement questioned "the irrational festive
nature of the great national celebration," on
which the government spent 200 million dollars,
"while our peoples are fighting hunger and
Sep. 24, 2010
- Co-organizer and Participant in the Second
Latin-American Congress on Migrant Smuggling and
The [United Nations affiliated] International
Organization for Migration (IOM) is
participating in the second Latin American
Congress on Migrant Smuggling and Human
Trafficking, taking place this week in Puebla,
The four-day event co-organized by IOM which
ends today, brings together hundreds of
government officials, experts from international
organizations, researchers, civil society and
students, as well as the general public, to
discuss issues of common concern related to
migrant smuggling and human trafficking in
More than 250 international experts are
presenting their counter-trafficking work and
shared experiences, with the more than 350
participants from every country in the
The main objective of the Congress is to promote
active discussion amongst key actors combating
human trafficking in Latin America, in order to
encourage the development of public policies and
legislation against trafficking in the region.
IOM Mexico, as a member of the Latin-American
Committee of the Congress, has been coordinating
as well as organizing the event. IOM experts
from Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have
participated in different panels, presenting IOM
activities in the region as well as discussing
the link between migration and human trafficking
and the need for protection of the human rights
of all migrants.
In Latin America, human trafficking for sexual
and labor exploitation has reached alarming
proportions in recent years. Since 2000, when
the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons was approved, many Latin
American countries have updated or drafted anti
human trafficking laws and have put in place
public policies aimed at combating the crime and
providing vital protection to the victims.
Organized criminal networks earn billions of
dollars each year from the traffic and
exploitation of persons who suffer severe
violations of their human rights. Common abuses
experienced by trafficking victims include rape,
torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement, and
threats against their family or other persons
close to them, as well as other forms of
physical, sexual and psychological violence.
According to Mexico’s National Human Rights
Commission (CNDH by its Spanish acronym), with
whom IOM Mexico has recently signed a
cooperation agreement, each year more than
20,000 persons fall victim to human trafficking
in Mexico, mainly in border areas and in tourist
"Data on human trafficking in Mexico is rare and
there are only estimations on this serious
problem," said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of
Mission in Mexico.
"What we know is that Chiapas and Chihuahua,
where IOM has sub-offices, are two of the main
states of origin and destination of trafficking
in Mexico. One of the worst forms of trafficking
detected recently in Mexico is linked with the
kidnapping of people for recruitment in the
organized criminal groups," Weiss added...
Hélène Le Goff
Organization for Migration (IOM) México
Sep. 24, 2010
Chase leads deputies to possible human
San Antonio - A chase led Bexar County deputies
to a home they say may be part of human
Deputies chased a stolen truck to a home in the
11,000 block of Jarrett Road in Far Southwest
Bexar County around 11:00 a.m. Friday. The
deputies found 17 illegal immigrants living
inside the home in horrible conditions.
Investigators believe the illegal immigrants
were smuggled here and stayed cramped up inside
the small home, sleeping wherever they could
"The living conditions are pretty bad," said
Sgt. R. Fletcher of the Bexar County Sheriff's
Department. "And we're talking about 15 to 17
people in a 3 bedroom home..."
Sep. 24, 2010
Woman faces first such Manitoba charge; Victim
forced into prostitution, police say
Manitoba's first-ever human trafficking charge
has been laid after an older woman befriended a
21-year-old woman from northern Manitoba, then
allegedly forced her into the sex trade.
The 38-year-old is accused of taking the
victim's identification and clothing, punching
her in a fight and stopping her twice as she
attempted to run away, Winnipeg police said
The pair lived in a home in the 300 block of
Aikens Street. The older woman forced the girl
to turn over the cash she made to pay for food
and a roof over her head, investigators believe.
The Winnipeg Police Service vice unit began
probing the case after officers were initially
called to the home on a complaint of a fight
The woman was arrested Wednesday.
"The best way to describe it is we have an
individual whose human rights have been violated
to an extreme," said WPS spokesman Const. Jason
Michalyshen, noting investigators believe the
abuse started earlier this month.
"It's certainly not something we come across on
a regular basis."
The Criminal Code added a specific section
against human trafficking in 2005.
The Criminal Code describes a trafficker in
human beings as "a person (who) exploits another
person if they cause the victim to provide
labour or service for fear of their safety or
the safety of someone known to them."
...A source said the victim is from a remote
First Nations [indigenous] community and lived
in two city shelters before moving in with the
Theresa Peebles is charged with forcible
confinement, assault and three counts of
trafficking. All charges date from Sept. 5 to
Sept. 20 this year...
"These types of charges are difficult to lay.
There's a lot of criteria that need to be
established, and because it is fairly new
legislation, fairly new law, members of the
policing community are still learning and being
educated about it," Michalyshen said.
The Winnipeg Free
Sep. 24, 2010
Added: Sep. 24, 2010
Mexico, Latin America
y de los Ríos
of Mexico's Network for Women’s Life and
Liberty, speaks at the Second Latin
American Congress on Human Trafficking
con derechos y ciudadanía, debe exigir la sociedad
Lagarde en Congreso sobre Trata y Tráfico
El delito de trata de
personas no sólo debe ser visto como un hecho del
crimen organizado, sino como resultado de una
complejidad social apabullante, que abarca a la
sociedad y al Estado, y que éste último no se ha
reformado para hacer frente a sus obligaciones
legales, afirmó aquí la feminista Marcela Lagarde y
de los Ríos.
Ante los comités de
organización y académico del II Congreso
Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas:
Migración, Género y Derechos Humanos, se pronunció
por recurrir a los aportes teóricos de la
investigación de la perspectiva de género, para
definir y diferenciar los límites precisos sobre los
riesgos de ser objeto de trata, que corren las
mujeres y las niñas, por edad, clase social,
etnicidad, condiciones de migración, de legalidad e
with our rights of citizenship, must make demands
Feminist activist Marcela Lagarde addresses the
Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking
In her presentation
before the Second Latin American Congress on Human
Trafficking, feminist activist Marcela Lagarde y de
los Ríos stated that human trafficking should not be
seen only as an act perpetrated by organized crime,
but also as a overwhelmingly powerful social complex
that envelops our society and the state. In
response, she said, government has not reformed
itself to accept its legal obligations in this area.
During her presentation:
Human Rights Synergies for Women in Response to
Human Trafficking, Lagarde, who is the president of
the Network for Women’s Life and Liberty (in
Mexico), went on to discuss the fact that
investigating human trafficking from a gender
perspective requires that we understand the risks
that women and girls face upon becoming victims of
trafficking, because of their gender, social class,
ethnicity and their legal or illegal condition of
Lagarde explained that
when, for example, the topic of immigrants is
discussed, the term “inmigrantes”
(immigrants), not “las
migrantes” (women immigrants) is used.
declared, this imposes a brutal form of
discrimination when the topic of human
trafficking is discussed. When the term “personas”
(persons) is used in the context of our patriarchal
discourse, the term means, specifically, men.
Thus, the term
‘trafficking in persons’ is never translated to mean
that the human slavery of women and girls exists.
Female victims are almost never mentioned in the
context of human trafficking [in Mexico]. This
omission contributes to their invisibility.
Lagarde went on to say
that, if we approach the problem of human
trafficking without using a gender-based
perspective, we cannot arrive at a point where we
understand that this problem “is closely associated
with the [intentional] domination and dehumanization
These factors cause
society to focus its solutions to trafficking on
targeting organized crime, while at the same time
failing to work toward equality between men and
women and a respect for the sexual and reproductive
rights of girls and adolescents, said Lagarde...
The CIMAC Women's
Sep. 22, 2010
Mexico, Latin America
Ibero-American University rector David
Fernández Dávalos, shown at another
university event - spoke at the opening
ceremonies of the Second Latin American
Congress on Human Trafficking
Erradicar la trata no “le importa a nadie”:
Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de Personas
Cada año, cerca de 100
mil mujeres provenientes de países de América Latina
y el Caribe, son llevadas con engaños y falsas
promesas de empleo, a diversas naciones del mundo,
sin que se conozcan las cifras nacionales oficiales,
estudios, las estadísticas, ni los informes
cuantitativos que permitan evidenciar el fenómeno de
la trata de personas.
Al inaugurar aquí el
Segundo Encuentro Latinoamericano sobre Trata y
Tráfico de Personas: Migración, Género y Derechos
Humanos, el rector de la Universidad Iberoamericana,
Puebla, David Fernández Dávalos, lamentó que este
problema no le importe a nadie, “ni a la academia,
ni a los gobernantes, ni a gran parte de la sociedad
En el mundo, dijo, más
de 4 millones de personas son víctimas del delito de
trata y de esa cifra, el 80 por ciento es sufrida
por mujeres, niños y niñas en sus diversas formas de
continuó, a la trata con fines de explotación sexual
y laboral, la adopción ilegal, el comercio de
órganos y el tráfico de droga, se suma la venta de
niñas y adolescentes en comunidades indígenas de
México, los abusos en el servicio doméstico, los
matrimonios serviles y la violencia familiar, son
validadas por sistemas patriarcales, machistas y
conservadores, que limitan la problemática y la
Ibero-American University rector David Fernández
Dávalos: "Nobody cares about eradicating human
Each year, close to
100,000 Latin American and Caribbean women are
taken, through the use of offers of work and other
false promises, to nations around the world. We do
not know the real numbers of victims. Neither
official national estimates nor quantitative studies
can really tell us the true scope of human
During the opening
ceremonies of the Second Latin American Congress on
Human Trafficking, which is being held on the campus
of the Ibero-American University in the city of
Puebla, in Puebla state, university rector David
Fernández Dávalos lamented that nobody cares about
human trafficking, "neither academia, nor those in
government, nor the great majority of civil
Fernández Dávalos noted
that globally, some 4 million persons are victims of
human trafficking. Of these, 80% are women and
children who suffer through diverse forms of sexual
Fernández Dávalos, in addition to the traditional
categories of sex and labor trafficking, illegal
adoptions, organ trafficking and drug trafficking,
we must also add the sale of children and youth in
the indigenous communities of Mexico [they are 30%
of the national population], abuses found in
domestic service, servile marriages and family
violence. These problems are all validated by [our]
conservative and machista [machismo-based]
patriarchal systems, which work to diminish
action to respond to the problem.
presented figures compiled by the Civil Guard of
Spain which indicate that 70% of the female victims
of human trafficking in that nation come originally
from Latin America, while in Japan, an estimated
1,700 Latin America women are held as sex slaves.
declared that public strategies must be created to
address human trafficking in each region of Latin
America. Today efforts at prevention, protection and
prosecution are inadequate.
Oscar Arturo Castro, who
is the director of the Ignacio Ellacuria Human
Rights Center at the university as well as member of
the organizing committee of the Congress, argued
that the dynamics of migration must be studied as
part of the problem of human slavery. Castro,
"because organized crime is taking advantage of
crime] exploits migration driven by greed, and
disregards human dignity, a reality that we can
observe in the example of the recent massacre of 72
Central American migrants in Tamaulipas, as well as
in the cases of the thousands of Central [and South]
American migrants who are kidnapped by drug
trafficking gangs across the entire territory of
The opening ceremonies
of the Congress were also attended by José Manuel
Grima, president of the Congress and Teresa Ulloa
Ziaurríz, director of the Coalition Against the
Trafficking Women and Girls - Latin American and
Caribbean branch. Some 300 presenters are expected
during the 4 days of planned conference sessions.
The CIMAC Women's
Sep. 21, 2010
Latina ineficaz en combate a trata de personas
Puebla city in Puebla state, Mexico - El combate a
la trata de personas ha sido ineficaz y ha derivado
en la creación de mercados intrarregionales, según
especialistas y activistas de América Latina
reunidos desde este martes en esta ciudad mexicana.
"El combate ha terminado en respuestas más formales
que reales, como los cambios legales. No hay interés
de los estados, no es una prioridad", criticó a IPS
Ana Hidalgo, de la oficina en Costa Rica de la
Organización Internacional para las Migraciones
(OIM), la institución intergubernamental que
promueve una migración ordenada y justa.
Hidalgo forma parte de los 450 académicos y
activistas que participan en Puebla, a 129
kilómetros al sur de Ciudad de México, en el Segundo
Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tráfico de
Personas, inaugurado este martes y que concluirá
este viernes 24.
"Se atiende a una víctima y se inicia un proceso
penal, pero no hay sentencia porque hay impunidad.
El consumidor, léase el prostituyente o el violador,
no está captado en la fórmula", señaló la abogada
Ana Chávez, del Servicio Paz y Justicia de
En México cada año unas 20.000 personas serían
víctimas de la trata, según el no gubernamental
Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Desarrollo y
Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), uno de cuyos ejes es el
estudio de ese fenómeno.
En América Latina esa cifra es de 250.000 personas,
con una ganancia de 1.350 millones de dólares para
las bandas, según estadísticas de la mexicana
Secretaría (ministerio) de Seguridad Pública. Pero
los datos sobre el fenómeno son variables, si bien
las Naciones Unidas subraya que el delito se ha
exacerbado en el comienzo del siglo...
Inter Press Service
(IPS) / TerraViva
Sep. 21, 2010
English Language Version:
America: Five Million Women Have Fallen Prey to
The fight against human
trafficking in Latin America is ineffective and has
led to the emergence of intra-regional markets for
the trade, according to experts and activists
meeting this week in this Mexican city.
'Responses to the trade
in human beings have been more formal than real, as
have the changes in legislation. Governments are not
interested: it is not their priority,' Ana Hidalgo,
from the Costa Rican office of the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), told IPS.
Hidalgo is one of the
450 academics and activists taking part in the
Second Latin American Conference on Smuggling and
Trafficking of Human Beings, under the theme
'Migrations, Gender and Human Rights', Sept. 21-24
in Puebla, 129 kilometers south of Mexico City.
Ana Chávez, a lawyer
with Argentina's Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ)
said, 'Victims are listened to, and criminal
prosecutions are initiated, but no one is sentenced
because of impunity. The consumers, that is, the
pimps, clients or rapists, do not come into the
In Mexico some 20,000
people a year fall victim to the modern-day slave
trade, according to the Centre for Studies and
Research on Social Development and Assistance
(CEIDAS), which monitors the issue.
The total number of
victims in Latin America amounts to 250,000 a year,
yielding a profit of 1.35 billion dollars for the
traffickers, according to statistics from the
Mexican Ministry of Public Security. But the data
vary widely. Whatever the case, the United Nations
warns that human trafficking has steadily grown over
the past decade.
Organizations like the
Coalition Against Trafficking of Women and Girls in
Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC) estimate
that over five million girls and women have been
trapped by these criminal networks in the region,
and another 10 million are in danger of falling into
Latin America is a
source and destination region for human trafficking,
a crime that especially affects the Dominican
Republic, Brazil and Colombia.
The conference host,
David Fernández Dávalos, president of the
Ibero-American University of Puebla (UIA-Puebla),
said in his inaugural speech that human trafficking
is a modern and particularly malignant version of
slavery, only under better cover and disguises.
On Aug. 31, U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged member states to
implement a Global Plan of Action to Combat
Trafficking in Persons, because it is 'among the
worst human rights violations,' constituting
'slavery in the modern age,' and preying mostly on
'women and children.'
The congress coincides
with the International Day Against the Sexual
Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children
on Thursday, instituted in 1999 by the World
Conference of the Coalition Against Trafficking in
and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Mexico
concur that criminal mafias in this country have
been proved to combine trafficking in persons with
drug trafficking, along both the northern and
southern land borders (with the United States and
with Guatemala, respectively)...
In Mexico, a federal Law
to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons has
been on the books since 2007, but the government has
yet to create a national program to implement it,
although this is stipulated in the law itself.
The Puebla Congress,
which follows the first such conference held in
Buenos Aires in 2008, is meeting one month after the
massacre of 72 undocumented migrants in the
northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which exemplified
the connection between drug trafficking and
trafficking in persons, and drew International
attention to the dangers faced by migrants in
Miguel Ortega, a member
of the Democratic Alliance of Civil Society
Organizations, a Mexican umbrella group representing
50 NGOs, told IPS: 'In first place, the problem is
invisible, and until the state makes appropriate
changes to the laws, there will be no progress. We
want to see prompt and decisive action.'
IOM's Hidalgo said, 'our
investigations and research have found that
Nicaraguan women are trafficked into Guatemala and
Costa Rica, and Honduran women are trafficked into
Guatemala and Mexico.'
Women from Colombia and
Peru have been forced into prostitution in the
southern Ecuadorean province of El Oro, according to
a two-year investigation by Martha Ruiz, a
consultant responsible for updating and redrafting
Ecuador's National Plan against Human Trafficking.
SERPAJ's Chávez said,
'We have not been able to get governments to take
responsibility for investigating these crimes. The
states themselves are a factor in generating these
Out of the 32 Mexican
states, eight make no reference to human trafficking
in their state laws. Mario Fuentes, head of CEIDAS,
wrote this week in the newspaper Excélsior that the
country is laboring under 'severe backwardness and
challenges in this field, because it lacks a
national program to deal with the problem, as well
as a system of statistics.'
Inter Press Service
Sep. 22, 2010
Democratic U.S. Senator
Patrick Leahy of Vermont has insisted
upon linking U.S. aid to human rights
improvements in Mexico
groups against giving US anti-drug aid to Mexico
groups Tuesday urged US lawmakers not to authorize
36 million dollars in anti-drug trafficking aid to
Mexico because of human rights violations by its
Mexico City - Human
rights groups Tuesday urged US lawmakers not to
authorize 36 million dollars in anti-drug
trafficking aid to Mexico because of human rights
violations by its security forces.
"Releasing these funds
would send the message that the United States
condones the grave human rights violations committed
in Mexico, including torture, rape, killings, and
enforced disappearances," they said in a letter to
Seven human rights
groups signed the petition including Amnesty
International, Human Rights Watch, the Washington
Office on Latin America and Mexico's Association for
the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights.
An annual US State
Department report on September 2 gave the Senate its
assessment of the state of human rights in Mexico,
required before the disbursement of additional aid
in the Plan Merida drug interdiction program, under
which Mexico got 36 million dollars last year.
Mexico is facing
spiraling drug-related violence that has cost the
lives of more than 28,000 murders since 2006,
despite a major police-military crackdown on crime
by President Felipe Calderon.
The rights groups
recognized that Mexico was facing "a severe public
"However, human rights
violations committed by Mexican security forces are
not only deplorable in their own right, but also
significantly undermine the effectiveness of
Mexico's public security efforts."
Sep. 15, 2010
The CIMAC women’s news
agency’s collection of more than 370 factual
articles on cases of the rape of civilian women in
Mexico by military service members.
author and anti-trafficking activist
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro
Photo: CIMAC Women's
News Agency - Mexico
Internacional al Escritor Valiente para Lydia Cacho
y denuncia de red de pederastia en México
La periodista Lydia Cacho Ribeiro recibirá el
próximo 20 de octubre el Premio Internacional al
Escritor Valiente, que otorga la Asociación de
Escritores PEN Internacional, distinción que se
confiere a quienes escriben y sufren persecución por
En un comunicado, la Asociación sin fines de lucro
informó que otorgará a Cacho el reconocimiento por
su investigación y denuncia de una red de
pederastia, y sus presuntos vínculos con autoridades
y empresarios en México...
Lydia Cacho receives
award for valiant
This coming 20th of October, 2010,
journalist and author Lydia Cacho Ribeiro will
receive International Writer of Courage Prize from
the PEN international writer’s association. The
prize is awarded to writers who face persecution for
a press release, the non-profit association declared
that Cacho had been chosen in recognition of her
investigation and denunciation of a child sex
trafficking network that is presumed to have had
ties with Mexican business leaders and authorities.
PEN press release mentioned that, after the release
of her 2005 book about the case, the “Demons of
Eden, The Powers Behind Pornography,” Cacho was
arrested, accused of defamation and became the
subject of death threats.
Cacho is a member of the editorial board of the
CIMAC women’s news agency, for which she serves as
its correspondent in the city of Cancun. She is also
a co-founder of the Journalists Network of Mexico,
Central America and the Caribbean. Since the year
2000, Cacho has been a special consultant on human
rights and women’s health issues for the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
her most recent book, “Slaves of Power, A Journey to
the Heart of the Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls
Across the World,” Cacho reveals that between 20,00
and half a million victims of trafficking exist [in
Mexico]. The great majority exist to make profits
for the prostitution mafias.
Cacho spent 5 years researching the operations of
large and small international sex trafficking
organizations. She conducted interviews with a large
number of victims as well as actual members of the
trafficking mafias. See the CIMAC article on Cacho’s
work at this
Cacho’s efforts have been recognized in awards from:
Human Rights Watch; Mexico’s National Journalism
Prize; the Amnesty Award of 2007, the Oxfam Award of
2007; the 2009 Hermila Galindo prize for her
distinguished work in defense and promotion of human
rights for women.
April of 2010, Cacho was selected as the World Hero
for Press Freedom by the International Press
Institute. Cacho was also one of 60 journalists
honored during the World Congress, celebrated in
During September, 2010, Cacho received the Manuel
Leguineche International Journalism Prize, which was
awarded to her by the Spanish Federation of
Journalism Associations (FAPE). That prize was
dedicated by FAPE to the many journalists who have
been murdered in Mexico.
By the Editors
CIMAC Women's News
Sep. 17, 2010
journalist Lydia Cacho receives PEN prize
London - A Mexican journalist who was arrested and
threatened after exposing a pedophile ring is to
receive a major writing prize.
Writers' charity PEN says Lydia Cacho is the
recipient of its International Writer of Courage
Prize, which goes to writers persecuted for their
Cacho was arrested, charged with libel and received
death threats after publishing a book about a child
sex abuse ring involving business figures in Cancun
The awards will be presented in London on Oct. 20.
The Associated Press
Sep. 16, 2010
Journalist / Activist
Lydia Cacho is
Railroaded by the Legal
Process in Mexico for Having
Networks In Mexico
The World, Chile
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
(right) with former Chilean president
Michelle Bachelet, on 14 September 2010
Bachelet: ONU Mujeres Será un Enorme Desafío
La ex presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet
describió su nombramiento al frente de ONU Mujeres
como un enorme desafío que acoge con beneplácito.
En una entrevista exclusiva con la Radio de la ONU,
Bachelet indicó que su designación representa un
reconocimiento a los logros de su gobierno y a los
avances de su país en políticas destinadas al
adelanto de la mujer.
Consideró que su experiencia como mandataria y su
relación con otros jefes de Estado contribuirán a
avanzar en el objetivo de la igualdad de los
“Mi experiencia también en todo lo vinculado al
trabajo de igualdad de las mujeres, igualdad de
derechos, a luchar contra la violencia, a luchar
contra la discriminación, esta ha sido la historia
de mi vida. No sólo con respecto a las mujeres, sino
de los hombres, mujeres, niños, ancianos. Toda esta
experiencia la quiero entregar en esta tarea que es
la dirección de esta nueva estructura de Naciones
La nueva Entidad para la Igualdad entre los Géneros,
“ONU Mujeres”, fue creada por la Asamblea General el
pasado 2 de julio, y fusiona cuatro organismos de la
ONU que se ocupaban del tema. Comenzará a operar en
enero de 2011.
Radio ONU - UN Radio
Sep. 15, 2010
Chilean president to head new high-profile UN
Ban Ki-moon (right) with Michelle Bachelet
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named former
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United
Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to
oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at
promoting women’s rights and full participation in
The new body – which will receive a large boost in
funding and become operational in January – merges
four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development
Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the
Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the
Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN
International Research and Training Institute for
the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).
“UN Women will promote the interests of women and
girls across the globe,” Mr. Ban told reporters in
announcing the appointment. “Ms. Bachelet brings to
this critical position a history of dynamic global
leadership, highly honed political skills and
uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among
UN agencies and many partners in both the public and
“I’m confident that under her strong leadership we
can improve the lives of millions of women and girls
throughout the world.”
Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who
prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and
since leaving office has been working with UNIFEM to
advocate for the needs of Haitian women following
January’s devastating earthquake, was chosen over
two other candidates.
The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at
least $500 million, double the current combined
resources of the four agencies it comprises.
“As you know the creation of UN Women is the
culmination of almost four years’ effort and today’s
announcement has been made possible thanks to the
hard work of the Member States and the many partners
who share our commitment to this agenda, and this
has been a top and very personal priority of mine,”
Mr. Ban said.
He stressed that at next week’s UN Summit on the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) women and
children will be “at the very core of our final
push” to realize the ambitious targets for slashing
extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and infant
mortality, rampant diseases, and lack of access to
education and health services, all by the deadline
The United Nations
Sep. 14, 2010
Named Head of UN Agency for Women
Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet became
the head of UN Women, a new agency that merges four
UN agencies devoted to women’s and gender issues. In
his announcement of the position, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “Ms. Bachelet
brings to this critical position a history of
dynamic global leadership.”
Americas Quarterly -
Sep. 16, 2010
Closes Open-Door Policy
Authorities announced that Ecuador will begin
requiring entry visas for visitors from nine Asian
and African countries, ending the country’s policy
of universal free entry. The government says it
added the exceptions to its visa laws in an effort
to stop the use of Ecuador as a base for human
trafficking, reports IPS News.
Americas Quarterly -
Sep. 16, 2010
Governments seek coordination to fight sex
Child trafficking is one of the fastest growing
crimes in the world - an underground business, often
conducted on the internet, and driven by enormous
profits. According to UNICEF, an estimated 2.5
million children, the majority of them girls, are
sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar
commercial sex industry.
While the problem is usually associated with
countries with unstable economic and political
systems, today it is the biggest in Europe, the
United States, Russia and Africa.
[We disagree with the
conclusion that . Mexico alone has many more victims
of child sex trafficking than the United States. The
Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and
Argentina each have more child victims than the U.S.
has at any given time. It is unacceptable that the
Latin American sex trafficking problem remains
'invisible' to large segments of journalists,
researchers and decision makers. Human smuggling and
trafficking in Mexico amounts to a $15 to $20
billion per year criminal industry. The UN's
International Organization for Migration has noted
that sex trafficking across Latin America totals an
estimated $16 billion in annual revenues. That
amount in half of the commonly used global number
for all human trafficking profits - $32 billion. -
"Last year we identified 56 cases of young people
who have experienced sexual exploitation just in the
Washington D.C. area," Andrea Powell, executive
director of FAIR Fund stated. Powell co-founded the
organization eight years ago to stop the trafficking
of youth worldwide. It has assisted thousands of
teen-aged girls and boys so far in the United
States, Bosnia, Serbia, Russia and Uganda.
"Asia" is one of her group's success stories: Lured
into prostitution, she often worked 15-hour days in
the sex trade…"It was just gross. I separated
myself, my mind; I was in another place when it
happened," she recalls, "It was like it was not me."
...FAIR Fund helped her turn her life around.
"To put it in a nutshell, they have helped me
transform to who I am now," Asia says, "I am not the
same person. "But for every "Asia" there are many
more who are not so fortunate.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith is one of the strongest
advocates for rights of victims of human
"At least a 100,000 American girls, mostly runaways,
average age of 13, are on the streets. And within 48
hours, if they are not brought back home or to some
shelter, through the use of drugs, crack cocaine, or
some other harmful drugs, the pimps are able to turn
those girls into forced prostitutes," Smith said.
"They abuse them, they rape them. They get STDs,
including HIV and AIDS."
Many children are brought to the U.S. from other
countries, mostly Latin America, Southeast Asia,
south and eastern Europe. Roma children are often
brought from Bosnia or Serbia to steal or clean
houses. Children from East Africa are brought to
work as domestic servants or farm labor, while
children from India are forced to work in the
garment business. Their families often do not have
any idea what has become of them. In many countries,
including the US, even police officers who come to
brothels or strip clubs buy sex from the victims
instead of helping them...
Amra Alirejsovic writes for
Voice of America.
Sep. 13, 2010
Chicago man gets 30 years for molesting girls
After the West Chicago woman returned home from her
daughters' school event, the two girls told her a
secret they shared about her live-in boyfriend.
"I had no idea what I was about to hear," the mother
wrote in a victim-impact statement. "Both my
daughters then said that he had sexually molested
them. I am so angry because this man has taken
something so sacred. They are going to have to live
with the pain and memories of his actions for the
rest of their lives."
Francisco Moyotl was sentenced Thursday to 30 years
in prison after he pleaded guilty to committing
predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and
aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The 42-year-old West Chicago man must serve 85
percent of the prison term before being eligible for
parole. He also likely will face deportation because
he is not a U.S. citizen...
The Daily Herald
Sep. 16, 2010
New York, USA
32-year-old sex offender arrested for rape of
75-year-old woman in Bronx
A hulking sex offender raped a 75-year-old Bronx
woman who employed his mother as a caretaker, police
Marcos Cuevas sneaked into a private senior citizens
residence on Sunday and had wormed his way into the
apartment of another woman - a neighbor of the
victim - when she happened to come by for a visit,
"I'm looking for my mother," the brawny pervert told
"She's not here," the elderly victim replied. "She's
off on weekends."
So Cuevas, 32, tied the wrists of the victim and her
76-year-old pal behind their backs - and then raped
the younger woman, police said.
The tattooed terror, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs
295 pounds, also robbed the 76-year-old of $10
before fleeing the Bronx building, cops said.
When detectives arrived, the rape victim had no
problem identifying her attacker because his mom,
Iris, works as a home care attendant for her
95-year-old mother, police said.
A Level 3, or high risk, sex offender, Cuevas was
caught later on E. 141st St. in Manhattan.
Cuevas was charged with rape, robbery, sex abuse and
unlawful imprisonment. His alleged victim was in
stable condition at Lincoln Hospital.
Ivonne Suarez, who said she is Cuevas' wife,
defended her "Gentle Giant" and insisted the rape
accusation was dreamed up by a "crazy woman."
"He would never do this after spending that time in
jail," said Suarez, 40. "The woman is senile. She
made up this story. My husband wouldn't lay a hand
...Cuevas spent nearly a decade behind bars for
raping two Manhattan women - one of them at
knifepoint in Harlem - in 1996.
Sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison, Cuevas was
twice denied parole by boards that deemed him a
danger to society. He won a conditional release in
November 2005, but a year later he was back in jail
after violating his parole in August 2006.
He wasn't released again until November 2009,
according to records.
Kevin Deutsch and Corky Siemaszko
The New York Daily
Bernardino County Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing
Castillo maintains his innocence.
Ontario - A Catholic priest in San Bernardino County
is accused of sexually abusing two boys within the
last two years.
Rev. Alex Castillo was removed from duty as an
active priest in June.
He served at four churches within the Diocese of San
Bernardino, including Our Lady of Guadelupe in
The parents of two adolescent boys, who are
brothers, claim Castillo sexually abused their sons.
Castillo maintains his innocence.
The accusations were revealed in a letter read in
church over the weekend.
Parishioners say the man they call "Reverend Alex"
is strict and spiritual.
"It's a good person. It's a good father. He's been
here for quite a few years," parishioner Benjamin
Rosas told KTLA.
Church members say they were told Castillo was sick
when he left back in June.
The diocese will only say he's in a place where he
no longer has any contact with parishioners. They
won't say where.
Police will not comment on the allegations.
The San Bernardino Diocese is asking any potential
victims to come forward.
Sep. 14, 2010
girl says she was raped
Dayton - Police are looking for a man, possibly
Hispanic in connection with the sexual assault of a
Officers say the girl was walking home from school
near Bolton Avenue when a man started following her.
He then jumped out , grabbed the girl, threw her
over his shoulders, and took her into a vacant house
where she was assaulted.
Police say the man is between the ages of 18 and 20
and weighs about 140 pounds. He has a teardrop
tattoo under one of his eyes, and he is dressed in
If you have any information about this crime, please
Charlie Van Sant
Sep. 17, 2010
wrong solution in Mexico
administration is right to consider boosting
funding, but increased militarization to combat drug
cartels is misguided. The U.S. would be wiser to
address rampant corruption.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a
dangerous mistake Wednesday when she spoke of
Mexico's drug cartels as "insurgents" and suggested
reviving President Clinton's Plan Colombia to
address the issue. That program set up U.S. military
bases in Colombia and funneled billions of dollars
in military aid to fight the country's
drug-trafficking left-wing insurgency. The last
thing the United States needs today is a new
quagmire south of the Rio Grande.
Mexico is different from Colombia. Colombia was up
against a rebel organization bent on taking over the
government. In contrast, Mexican drug traffickers
are businessmen who we can assume are principally
concerned with increasing their profits. In the end,
they prefer to use "silver," or bribes, over "lead,"
or bullets. Although they are quick to kill or
decapitate members of rival gangs, they much prefer
a pliant police officer, soldier or mayor to a dead
one. This is why government officials make up such a
small percentage of the dead — only about 3,000 out
of 28,000, according to official statistics...
Plan Colombia was highly problematic. More than $4
billion of military aid and the construction of U.S.
military bases did reduce the violence.
Nevertheless, Colombian cocaine still flows freely
into the U.S. market and is one of the most
important sources of income for the Mexican cartels.
U.S. military support in Colombia also led to
skyrocketing human rights abuses and numerous
"disappeared" citizens, at a considerable cost to
the country's social fabric. Nongovernmental
organization and media reports have found that much
of the aid was channeled to [ultra-conservative]
paramilitary groups and that the U.S. presence
emboldened the Colombian military to act with
[One] strategic move would be to aggressively fund
and support independent investigative journalism and
alternative media outlets, which have played a major
role in holding government accountable. Journalism
has become a high-risk profession in Mexico. Both
cartels and the government have done their best to
suppress the truth about corruption.
Unfortunately, neither strong anti-corruption
agencies nor support for journalists have formed a
part of the new focus on social programs, which
months ago the Obama administration suggested as a
possible focus for future funding to Mexico. Under
the influence of the Calderon government, most of
the talk has been about much "softer" initiatives,
such as drug education, urban renewal, scholarships
and community development programs. All of this is
fine, but none of it will attack the roots of the
present failure to rein in the drug cartels in
It is time to turn the corner in U.S. policy toward
Mexico. Instead of sending more money [for] attack
helicopters, military bases or social development
programs, the U.S. could make a significant
contribution to peace in North America by helping to
aggressively combat corruption and supporting
freedom of expression.
John M. Ackerman is a
professor at the Institute for Legal Research at the
National Autonomous University of Mexico,
editor-in-chief of the Mexican Law Review and a
columnist for La Jornada newspaper and Proceso
John M. Ackerman
Sep. 10, 2010
New Mexico, USA
Mexico receives $1.6 million from Justice Department
The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the state
of New Mexico $1.64 million in grants for public
[The grants included ...$215,000] to create a
special agent position assigned to the [state
attorney general's office's] Border Violence
Division to investigate human trafficking cases.
The grants were announced by Democratic U.S. Sen.
The Associated Press
Sep. 11, 2010
Mexico, The United
Los Angeles Times
metro columnist Hector Tobar
is a former
Mexico City bureau chief for the
Photo: L.A. Times
the outrage over immigrant slayings in Mexico?
...For those of us who remember the tragedy of Latin
America's recent past, seeing the images of last
month's massacre of 72 immigrants in northern Mexico
is like reentering an old and very familiar
Not long ago, dictators ruled most of Latin America.
They had large groups of people kidnapped, tortured
and executed in secret. Their crimes against
humanity hit nearly every corner of the region, from
cosmopolitan Buenos Aires to provincial Guatemala
But this new act of mass murder was not the work of
a military junta run by generals. It didn't take
place in a tiny banana republic without a judicial
system worthy of the name.
It happened in the proud, multiparty democracy
called Mexico, a country with ample social freedoms,
including a vibrant free press. And it wasn't an
isolated occurrence. A report last year by Mexico's
human rights ombudsman said at least 400 mass
kidnappings are reported in Mexico every year, many
involving the rape and murder of hostages.
Modern death squads are operating freely in northern
Mexico, extorting those who wish to come here, where
relatives and jobs await. The kidnappings and
murders of immigrants carried out by these groups
are a stain on Mexican democracy, and many
commentators there recognize this.
"The abuse against migrants is an everyday
embarrassment we don't want to talk about because it
would rob us of all our moral authority before our
neighbors to the north," columnist Alfonso Zarate
wrote in response to the massacre in the newspaper
"Mexico demands respect for the human rights of
'illegal' workers in the U.S.," Zarate continued, "
… but is now itself under the microscope of the
international community, which is rightly
scandalized and indignant."
...As with the many killings of police officers and
officials in Mexico, the San Fernando massacre was
an act of psychological warfare. Such extreme
violence is meant to spread fear and thus make it
easier for the killers to impose their will on the
If we stay silent about their crime, if we treat it
as just another episode in Mexico's unwinnable drug
wars, then we'll allows the killers to win.
And yet, here in the United States, the expressions
of outrage from the immigrant rights movement have
been muted. You could say they are a mere whisper
compared with the very loud campaign against
Arizona's SB 1070, a law whose most controversial
provisions will probably never go into effect.
We should see the killings as a blunt reminder of
the reasons why people so desperately want to come
here. And we should speak of San Fernando with the
same horror as we do
El Mozote and the
Naval Mechanics School of Buenos Aires — sites of
the most heinous crimes committed by the militaries
of El Salvador and Argentina in the 1970s and '80s.
It's not just the killers who deserve our moral
outrage, it's the failed judicial systems that allow
them to thrive without fear of punishment.
In Latin America, the massacre has already provoked
much reflection and protest. The government of
Honduras, home to the largest number of its victims,
announced it would take new steps to try to
discourage illegal immigration to the U.S.
In Mexico, the northern city of Saltillo witnessed a
rare event just days after the Aug. 23 massacre: a
march by 200 undocumented immigrants, carrying the
flags of El Salvador, Guatemala and other Central
"Our countries deny us the opportunity for economic
development," the demonstrators said in a written
statement, after marching through the city with
covered faces. "But Mexico denies us the opportunity
To stop SB 1070, we've seen Angelenos drive across
the desert to Phoenix to march, to denounce both the
governor of Arizona and the mad sheriff of Maricopa
County, Joe Arpaio.
But I've yet to hear of any rallies at the Mexican
consulate or anywhere else here in Los Angeles,
demanding that the Mexican government prosecute
those guilty of so many migrant killings and
Most of the country's leading immigrant rights
groups haven't even bothered to issue a news
That doesn't surprise me. Generally speaking, the
U.S. immigrant rights movement doesn't have much to
say about the social and political conditions that
lead so many to leave their native countries and
place themselves at the mercy of an increasingly
violent smuggling industry.
This is wrong. We can't turn a blind eye to the
deeper, seemingly intractable injustices that are
the obvious root cause of the problem.
Simply put: It's wrong that people have to undertake
the journey to the U.S. in the first place. People
shouldn't have to leave the land of their ancestors,
their extended families, their barrios and their
They leave because the promise of democracy in
Mexico and Central America remains unfulfilled.
The Tamaulipas murders are really just the most
sickening expression of a vast system of inequality
and corruption that still defines life for millions
U.S. immigration reform, unfortunately, won't do
anything to strengthen the rule of law in those
countries that supply the greatest number of
migrants. It won't stop the power of the criminal
groups that infiltrate government and intimidate
officials, not just in certain regions of Mexico but
in much of Central America.
There's a movement for democracy and government
accountability in those places. But it's often under
...Many more of us need to stand with those who work
to keep the promise of democracy and justice alive
in northern Mexico, Guatemala and other places.
It matters not just to them but to us.
And now, as in the age of the dictators, it's a
matter of life and death.
The Los Angeles Times
Sep. 9, 2010
Clarifying the Issues in an Age of Impunity
September 9th, 2010 article by Los Angeles Times
columnist Hector Tobar:
Where's the outrage over
immigrant slayings in Mexico?,
speaks volumes of truth in regard to the world's
lack of response to the human rights crises that
terrorize the daily lives of the people of Mexico
and the rest of Latin America. While much attention
is paid to the injustices that immigrants, including
the undocumented, face in the United States, few
U.S. human rights organizations, including those
that exist within the Latino community, dare to
address the root causes of the oppression that
drives millions to flee to the U.S. in response.
We go beyond Mr. Tobar's analysis to state that the
same problem, that of an imbalanced attention to
human rights tragedies, also exists in regard to the
mass gender atrocities that are today a constant in
Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. Our project,
exists to counter that lack of awareness and action
by focusing the world's attention on the problems of
criminal impunity and state corruption and
complacency. These dynamics have created conditions
in Mexico that have resulted in conditions where
rule of law is weak, and where both criminal
networks and corrupt law enforcement and military
forces compete to see how many Central and South
American migrants they can kidnap, rob, rape and, in
many cases, sell into slavery.
It is clear to us that the criminal impunity that
dominates in Mexico has spread its influence across
the United States. The fact that Latin American
victims of human slavery account for approximately
60% of the U.S. total of enslaved persons is one
indicator of that reality. The related fact that
Mexico's human smuggling networks now earn between
$15 and 20 billion annually by smuggling immigrants
to the U.S. under often inhuman conditions,
according to a recent CNN report, is another red
flag that should start the alarm bells ringing in
Mexico's governmental and social institutions are
not capable of addressing criminal impunity, and
especially its human trafficking component, without
being pushed hard to do so. U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton's recent statement indicating that
Mexico's drug cartels are mounting an
'insurgency-like' campaign against Mexican
governmental rule, should give pause to anyone who
thinks that bringing human slavery under control in
that nation will happen anytime soon.
Both the global human rights community and the U.S.
federal government must shift focus and begin to
address this crisis as the emergency that it truly
is. There is no hope for ending human trafficking in
Latin America, nor in the United States, while
criminal impunity and state inaction continue to
reign in Mexico.
End impunity now!
Sep. 10/14, 2009
Also mentioned in Hector Tobar's September 9,
2010 Los Angeles Times article was the El Mozote
Rescue From Atlacatl Battalion
Atlacatl Battallion massacred hundreds of unarmed
villagers in the town of El Mozote
About the El
Mozote Massacre in El Salvador, perpetrated on
December 10, 1981
case of anti-indigenous repression through state
sanctioned rape and mass-murder
...The women were
disposed of next. "First they picked out the young
girls and took them away to the hills," where they
were raped before being killed, Amaya reported.
"Then they picked out the old women and took them to
Israel Marquez's house on the square.
We heard the shots there."
The children died last.
"An order arrived from a Lieutenant Caceres to
Lieutenant Ortega to go ahead and kill the children
too," Amaya observed. "A soldier said 'Lieutenant,
somebody here says he won't kill children.' 'Who's
the sonofabitch who said that?' the lieutenant
answered. 'I am going to kill him.' I could hear
them shouting from where I was crouching in the
A boy named Chepe, age
7, was the only child to survive the siege. He later
described the terrors he witnessed:
"They slit some of the
kids' throats, and many they hanged from the tree
... The soldiers kept telling us, 'You are
guerrillas and this is justice. This is justice.'
Finally, there were only three of us left. I watched
them hang my brother. He was two years old. I could
see that I was going to be killed soon, and I
thought it would be better to die running, so I ran.
I slipped through the soldiers and dove into the
bushes. They fired into the bushes, but none of
their bullets hit me."
suspected illegal immigrants found captive in
The group, which
included juveniles, was being held in a
10-by-12-foot room that was locked from the outside
and had boarded-up windows.
Federal agents found 37 suspected illegal
immigrants, smuggled into the United States from six
countries, crammed into a small house in Riverside
where some had been held captive for weeks,
authorities said Wednesday.
Immigration agents raided the "drop house" after a
relative of one of the captives called the Los
Angeles Police Department. The caller told police
the smugglers had threatened to kill his relative
because the family failed to come up with enough
money to pay for his release, according to Virginia
Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement in Los Angeles.
Agents found the immigrants — including two toddlers
and a baby — in a small bedroom, measuring about 10
by 12 feet. The room was locked from the outside and
the windows were boarded up. The home is in one of
the city's older neighborhoods along Martin Luther
King Boulevard, about a mile east of the 91 Freeway.
"As far as we know, they were all in pretty good
physical condition, though some reported that they
had not eaten for days," said Claude Arnold, special
agent in charge for ICE in Los Angeles.
Six suspected smugglers have been detained and are
being questioned, but no arrests have been made,
"We're still in the process of interviewing
everyone," Arnold said. "In these circumstances, it
does take some time to sort this out."
Agents took an additional seven immigrants linked to
the same smuggling scheme into custody earlier in
the day as they were being taken to other
destinations in the Los Angeles area.
The 44 smuggled immigrants are from Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador and the
Dominican Republic. The group included 34 men, four
women and six juveniles.
Those smuggled into the country illegally will
eventually go though deportation proceedings.
However, any immigrants who were assaulted by a
smuggler or were victims of another crime will be
treated as victims and could be eligible for a
victims' visa, he said.
Two weeks ago, federal immigration agents found a
drop house in Baldwin Park with 35 smuggled illegal
immigrants from Central and South America.
The Los Angeles Times
Sep. 9, 2010
Breaks Up a Trafficking Ring for Male Prostitution
Madrid - The Spanish police said Tuesday that it had
dismantled for the first time a human trafficking
network bringing men rather than women into the
country to work as prostitutes.
The police said 14 people, almost all of them
Brazilian, were arrested over recent weeks as part
of an inquiry into the network’s activities begun in
The sex workers were recruited in Brazil, with their
travel costs to Spain initially covered by the
trafficking network’ organizers in return for a
pledge to work subsequently for them, according to a
police statement. Most of the recruits, however,
expected to work as models or nightclub dancers,
although some allegedly knew that they were coming
to Spain to offer sex.
The police estimated that between 60 and 80 men were
brought to Spain by the network, most of them in
their 20s and originating from Brazil’s northern
state of Maranhão. They reached Spain by passing
through third countries.
The bulk of the arrests occurred on the island of
Majorca, including that of the Brazilian accused of
being the ringleader, whose identity was not
disclosed by the police. The prostitutes ended up
owing the network as much as €4,000 each and were
sometimes threatened with death if they refused to
pay the debt, according to the Spanish police.
Although it is the first time that police officers
have broken up a professional male prostitution
trafficking network, five people were arrested in
2006 in Spain’s western region of Extremadura for
their involvement in an illegal Brazilian
prostitution business. More recently, the police
have dismantled several gangs exploiting female sex
workers, generally from Eastern Europe or Africa. In
July, 105 people were arrested for their involvement
in a dozen prostitution centers around Madrid in one
of the largest clampdowns to date.
A police spokeswoman who asked not to be identified
said that Brazilian officials had been involved.
Some of the prostitutes were also placed in custody
for working illegally in Spain.
The New York Times
Aug. 31, 2010
in Puebla opens the Ignacio Ellacuría
Human Rights Institute in March of 2010
vs trata de personas en México son insuficientes:
Cada minuto y medio se comete un delito de trata de
personas en el mundo, y en México, aún sabiendo los
lugares y rutas donde operan las redes, las acciones
que se realizan para evitarlo son insuficientes,
Oscar Castro Soto, director del Instituto de
Derechos Humanos “Ignacio Ellacurría” de la
Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), indicó que cada
año 400,000 personas son víctimas de dicho delito en
En la presentación de la agenda del “II Congreso
latinoamericano de trata y tráfico de personas”, el
director explicó que 80% de las victimas son niños y
mujeres utilizados para explotación sexual y
trabajos domésticos, ya sea de forma conciente o en
contra de su voluntad.
Las rutas identificadas son: Paraguay, Bolivia,
Chile y Argentina; Brasil y España; Panamá,
Nicaragua y Costa Rica; y El Salvador, Honduras,
Guatemala, México y Estados Unidos, expresaron
académicos de la UIA.
Las redes de trata y de pornografía infantil en
México que están vinculadas al narcotráfico, se
encuentran en regiones de Tapachula, Cancún,
Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla,
Ciudad Juárez y La Merced, en el Distrito Federal,
Las instituciones federales y estatales de México,
con excepción del Instituto de Mujeres del Distrito
Federal, no se sumaron a la convocatoria del evento
internacional a realizarse del 20 al 24 de
septiembre en la UIA de Puebla en la que
participaran funcionarios de varios países, lo que
ocasionó la sorpresa de varios especialistas.
Raquel Pastor, integrante del Comité Académico del
Congreso, señaló en un comunicado, el apoyo del foro
para ayudar a quienes trabajan en la persecución del
delito de trata, ya que en México no existen
instituciones especializadas que atiendan a las
víctimas de dicho delito.
Mexico's actions against human
trafficking are insufficient: Ibero-American
According to Oscar Castro Soto, director of the
Ignacio Ellacurría Institute for Human Rights at
Mexico's Ibero-American University (UIA) in Puebla
state, every minute and a half a human trafficking
crime is committed somewhere in the world. In
Mexico, despite the fact that trafficking locations
and routes are known, [state] actions to prevent
such crimes are inadequate. According to Castro
Soto, 400,000 persons become victims of trafficking
each year globally.
Castro Soto presented his observations in the
just-released agenda for the upcoming Second Latin
American Congress on Human Trafficking, which will
be held at the UIA campus in Puebla between
September 20th and 24th, 2010. He explained that 80%
of the victims of human trafficking are children and
women, who either consciously or against their will
are utilized for sexual exploitation or domestic
Known [Latin American] trafficking routes exist in
Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Panama,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras,
Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Spain,
stated Castro Soto
[Soto-Castro's statement omits important human
trafficking routes that involve the Dominican
Republic and Colombia, the two largest sources of
sex trafficking victims in Latin America -
Castro Soto's statement noted that within Mexico,
human trafficking and child pornography networks are
tied to narco-trafficking organizations. These
criminal groups may be found in Tapachula, Cancún,
Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla,
Ciudad Juárez and the La Merced sector of Mexico
With the exception of the National Women's
Institute, Mexican federal agencies chose not to
participate in the conference. This decision brought
expressions of surprise from some of the specialists
involved with the event. Government officials of
several other nations plan to attend.
Raquel Pastor, who is a member of the academic
committee of the Congress, stated in a press release
that the goal of the Congress was to assist those in
government who seek to prosecute human trafficking
crimes, given the fact the Mexico currently does not
have institutions set-up to assist victims.
El Semanario - Mexico
Sep. 07, 2010
From the CATW-LAC flyer
for their third annual awards ceremony
La Coalición Regional Contra
El Tráfico De Mujeres Y Niñas En América Latina Y El
Caribe presentará su "Tercer Premio
Latino-americano por La Vida y la Seguridad de las
Mujeres y Niñas en America Latina y el Caribe
During the upcoming Secnd
Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking, which
will be held at the UIA campus in Puebla, Mexico,
between September 20th through 24th, 2010, the
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin
American and Caribbean branch (CATW-LAC), will
present its Third Award for the Defense of Life and
Security for Women and Girls in Latin America.
UIA Puebla se inaugurará el Instituto de Derechos
Humanos Ignacio Ellacuría |22 de Marzo de 2010|
The UIA in Puebla opens the Ignacio
Ellacuría Human Rights Institute on March 22nd,
March 22, 2010
Other important news stories from
2009 and 2010
New York, USA
Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and
other presenters at UN / Brandeis
in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing
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
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
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
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
Ten years after starting
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!
July 21, 2010
Video of Mexican
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
[Ten minutes - In
Feb. 26, 2010
Lead, Follow or Get Out
of the Way!
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
The video of Secretary
Mont's discourse shows
that he is passionate
about the idea of
raising awareness about
human trafficking. He
[trafficking] visible is
the first step towards
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
violence and also the
extreme poverty are the
dynamics that push
at-risk children and
youth into the hands of
During Secretary Mont's
talk he expressed his
strongly held belief
that federalizing the
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
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 -
A note about
that, if the
- CSEC, at
CSEC for its
is known to
in the world
in the city
in Mexico is
be so widely
Regardless of what the
actual figures are, they
include a very large
number of victims.
While officials such as
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
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
That is not too
much to ask from a
Mexico that calls itself
a member of civilized
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
exploitation of children
on Planet Earth.
Colombian and Mexican
drug cartels, Japanese
Yakuza mafias and the
Russian Mob are all
(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
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
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
Interior Secretary Mont
has presided over the
two year delay in
provisions of the
the Law to Prevent, and
Trafficking, passed by
Congress in 2007.
required to enable
the law were left
unpublished by the
for 11 months after
the law was passed.
When the regulation
were published, they
were weak, and left
out a role for the
agency, the Special
Against Women and
Human Trafficking in
failed to target
Commission to Fight
called for in the
law, was only
stood-up in late
2009, two years
after the law's
passage, and only
agitation by members
act to create the
National Program to
called for in the
2007 law, has yet to
be created by the
In early February of
2010, Senator Irma
stated that the 2007
and its long-sought
regulations were a
'dead letter' due to
the power of
impunity that has
of the delaying tactics
that were used to thwart
the will and intent of
Congress in passing the
law originated in the
National Action Party
(PAN) administration of
Calderón. All aspects of
the 2007 law that called
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
must come to the aid of
the many political and
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
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
suffers yet another day
chained to a bed in
Juárez, Mexico City,
Tlaxcala, Tapachula and
Cancun, the entire law
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
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
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
Political leaders and
organizations around the
world also have a
speak-up, and to let the
government of President
Felipe Calderón know
that the fact that his
supported presenting a
forum on trafficking,
and the holding of a few
press conferences, is
not enough of a policy
turn-around to be
The PAN must take strong
action to aggressively
combat the explosive
growth in human slavery
in Mexico in accordance
standards. Those at
risk, and those who are
today victims, await
your effective response
to their emergency,
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
As for Secretary Mont,
we suggest, kind sir,
that you consider the
adage, and either "lead,
follow, or get out of
the way" of progress.
No more delays!
There is no time to
End impunity now!
- Chuck Goolsby
March 1, 2010
Víctimas del tráfico de
personas, 5 millones de
mujeres y niñas en
De esa cifra, más de 500
mil casos ocurren en
Five million victims of
Human Trafficking Exist
in Latin America
Coahuila state - Teresa
Ulloa Ziaurriz, the
director of the
Trafficking in Women's
Latin American /
office, announced this
past Monday that more
than five million women
and girls are currently
victims of human
trafficking in Latin
America and the
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
pornography and the
illegal harvesting of
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
officials and business
a country of origin,
transit and also
trafficked persons. Of
500,000 victims in
Mexico, 87% are
subjected to commercial
Ziaurriz pointed out
that locally in Coahuila
state, the nation's
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
- Notimex / La
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
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
Against Trafficking in
Women and Girls in Latin
America and the
La Jornada de Oriente
Sep. 26, 200
[Note: The figure of 75%
of 1.5 million indicates
that 1.1 million girls
between the ages of 12
and 13 at any given time
engage in prostitution
in central Mexico alone.
Added: Dec. 03, 2009
violencia en México
podrían ser plan de
vinculados con el
crimen son una
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
este lunes en Madrid
Deaths from violence
in Mexico could be
the results of
whether murders are
Madrid. Deaths from
violence in Mexico
in recent years,
during the past
three years, could
form part of a plan
of "social cleansing
by the Mexican
Lydia Cacho in
Madrid, Spain on
are beginning to
investigate at this
time in Mexico
15,000 murders are
cleansing by the
Cacho said in a
press conference in
which she denounced
persecution of the
press in her
three years ago, we
have been witnessing
Mexico "justified by
the war " (on
drugs), in which "
Cacho was kidnapped
[by rogue state
police agents] and
tortured in Mexico
information about a
pedophile ring in
and politicians were
Court of Human
Rights (IACHR) will
determine in an
the rights of the
journalist in that
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
Cacho is the author
of [the child sex
The Demons of
Eden. In recent
years she has
awards for her work
on behalf of human
rights carried out
Cano World Press
Agence France Presse
Nov. 23, 2009
Part of Problem, Not
Madrid - A
journalist known for
exposes of pedophile
rings and child
prostitution said on
cartels is “not a
battle for justice
and social peace.”
Lydia Cacho, who has
faced death threats
persecution for her
writings, told a
press conference in
Accompanied by the
head of the Lydia
Alicia Luna; and
the author said the
nearly three years
since Calderón took
office have seen
and harassment of
The period has also
said, exceeding the
carnage in Colombia
at the height of
that country’s drug
investigate if those
15,000 killings are
cleansing on the
part of the Mexican
state,” she said.
Calderón, she noted,
“insists on saying
that many of those
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
cartels, which has
criticism for human
Cacho also lamented
media, saying that
many outlets color
their reporting to
avoid trouble with
the government and
and crusader for
Lydia Cacho became
famous thanks to the
furor over her 2005
book “Los demonios
del Eden” (The
Demons of Eden),
and their associates
in the Mexican
In the book, she
magnate Kamel Nacif
as a friend and
protector of accused
Succar Kuri, who has
since been sent back
to Mexico from the
United States to
business is based in
the central state of
Cacho of defamation
- a criminal offense
- in Mexico and
arranged to have her
ignoring a summons
to appear in court
for the case.