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Jan. 2009 News

Added: Feb. 02, 2009


Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones

(PRI Party)

Photo: Oswaldo Ram�rez - Milenio Online

Calder�n atora la ley contra la trata de personas: Beltrones

La demora deja abierto un espacio de impunidad a la delincuencia organizada

El atraso de m�s de ocho meses impide la creaci�n de la Comisi�n Secretarial, indica. Acusan al Presidente de no cumplir con los compromisos internacionales.

Senator Beltrones: Mexico’s Human Trafficking Law is Stuck Thanks to President Calderon's Refusal to Act

The delay leaves a wide open space for impunity and organized crime, and prevents the creation of the [inter-agency] Secretarial Commission [required by the law].

Members of Congress accuse the President of failing to comply with Mexico’s international commitments.

The coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the Senate of the Republic, Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones, has accused President Felipe Calder�n of causing the national law against human trafficking to become 'stuck' because of the President’s refusal to publish federal regulations to actually implement the law.

Senator Beltrones stated that the situation reflects a lack of willingness by the President to honor Mexico’s international commitments in the midst of the current wave of violence plaguing the country. The Senator added that there should be no more excuses for inaction on the issue.

In a meeting with members of the Confederation of National Popular Organizations (CNOP) and the group’s leader Marco Antonio Bernal, PRI party members expressed concern about the fact that the tools that Congress has given to the government to fight this violence have been kept in the freezer.

In a press release, the PRI block in the Senate summarized their meeting with the CNOP and expressed their regret that the Senate's attempt to provide legal instruments to the  Mexican Government to tackle this crime against humanity [human trafficking] have so far been incomplete, due to the defiance of the executive branch in regard to issuing the needed regulations.

The press release urged President Calderon to rush the law's regulations to publication, given that these delays are leaving open a space of impunity for organized crime.

"The delay of over eight months in issuing the regulations, which the law had required to be in place by May 21, 2008, has prevented the formation of the inter-agency Secretarial Committee to be established by the National Program to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons," Senator Beltran said...

Further Background

• The PRI in the Senate last week issued a warning in the Standing Committee of Congress that requires President Felipe Calder�n to issue the regulations of the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

• It is the fourth warning made to President Calderon, with the first three having been issued on July 8, September 10 and December 4, of 2008 respectively. These previous calls to action went unanswered by President Calderon.

• The warning signed by the PRI states that: "The Federal Executive has committed a serious omission for not having issued the regulations that will activate the law," .

Full English Translation

El coordinador del PRI en el Senado, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, denunci� que el presidente Felipe Calder�n ha atorado por ocho meses la promulgaci�n del reglamento de la ley para prevenir y sancionar la trata de personas, lo que denota una falta de compromisos internacionales en medio de la violencia que azota al pa�s, y no debe haber m�s pretextos para emitirlo.

Al reunirse con integrantes de la CNOP encabezados por su dirigente, Marco Antonio Bernal, los priistas manifestaron su preocupaci�n por la crisis de violencia que se ha generado a escala nacional y porque los instrumentos que le ha dado el Congreso al gobierno se mantengan en la congeladora.

En un comunicado, la bancada tricolor revel� lo ocurrido en la reuni�n de Beltrones con cenopistas, en la que el propio l�der senatorial lament� que el esfuerzo del Legislativo por proveer de instrumentos jur�dicos al Estado mexicano para hacer frente a este delito de lesa humanidad haya quedado, hasta ahora, “incompleto por la actitud omisa del Ejecutivo federal” en la expedici�n del reglamento...

Angelica Mercado

Milenio Online

Jan. 26, 2009

Added: Feb. 03, 2009

Costa Rica

Sign: Machista judges: Violence against women is always a crime!

Costa Rica
Urgent Campaign: Violence Against Women Is Always

a Crime

In a divided vote, the Costa Rican Supreme Court’s constitutional division, the Sala IV, declared unconstitutional the two types of abuse most commonly punished under the Law to Penalize Violence Against Women: physical abuse and emotional violence. The justices decided that this aggression does not result in incapacitating injuries and that verbal abuse, insults and systematic aggression are endured by thousands of women everyday through out the country.

In light of this tremendous setback, a campaign entitled “Violence Against Women Is Always a Crime” has been launched to denounce the ruling of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court. Promoted by the Red Feminista Contra la Violencia Hacia las Mujeres (Feminist Network Against Violence Against Women) and developed by the Centro Feminista de Informaci�n y Acci�n (CEFEMINA, Feminist Information and Action Center), this campaign demands urgent international solidarity and support.

Deborah Meacham

Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network

Jan. 16, 2009

Added: Feb. 01, 2009


La ropa provoca, dice clero a mujeres

Autoridades eclesi�sticas responsabilizaron a las mujeres de ser culpables de las agresiones sexuales que sufren, debido a la ropa “provocativa” que visten

Clothing Provokes Violence, Clergy Tells Women [Translation by Kristin Bricker]

Ecclesiastical authorities say women are to blame for the sexual aggressions they suffer, due to the "provocative" clothing they wear.

Note by author Kristin Bricker's:

The Catholic Church held its Sixth World Meeting of the Families in Mexico City this month.

The World Meeting of the Families was founded by Pope John Paul II. Mexican President Felipe Calderon gave the surprise keynote address at the beginning of the conference.

Ecclesiastical authorities blame women for the sexual aggressions they suffer due to the "provocative" clothing they wear.
With plunging necklines and mini-skirts, "they're provoking men," said the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodrigez during the Sixth World Meeting of the Families.

Women expose themselves to rape, to being used, to being treated like an old dishrag, because they devalue themselves and their dignity, said the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Darwin Rudy Andino.

Likewise, laypersons who attended the meeting said that women are the ones responsible for physical as well as verbal attacks. They should dress modestly and not arouse kinkiness in other people.

"It's their fault that they attack them," added Ecuadorian Alexandra Marcillo.

Renato Ascencio, the bishop of Ciudad Juarez said: women should not only change the way they dress, but also their behavior. Modesty has been lost in the Mexican family...

The World Meeting of the Families' official website recommends that women don't use provocative clothing, that they watch how they look and gesture at other people, and that they don't allow "hot jokes."

Additional notes from Kristin Bricker:

*Ciudad Juarez is internationally considered to be the femicide capital of Mexico. While accurate estimates of how many women have been murdered in Juarez are unavailable, what is most striking is how the dead women are found. They are often raped and sexually mutilated beyond recognition.

Bishop Renato Ascencio's statement leads one to believe that he thinks women's lack of modesty causes men to kidnap them, rape them, bite off their nipples and mutilate them in other ways, murder them, and hide their bodies for months before dumping multiple bodies killed in the same manner in a field in his city.

Is women's lack of modesty also to blame for the fact that these murders almost always go unpunished, and that Mexican police rarely carry out rigorous investigations?

Autoridades eclesi�sticas responsabilizaron a la mujer de ser culpables de las agresiones sexuales que sufren, debido a la ropa “provocativa” que visten.

Con escotes pronunciados y minifaldas “est� provocando al hombre”, dijo el arzobispo de Santo Domingo, Nicol�s de Jes�s L�pez Rodr�guez, durante el sexto Encuentro Mundial de las Familias.

Las mujeres se exponen a violaciones, a que las usen, que las traten como un trapo viejo, porque desvaloran su persona y su dignidad, dijo por su parte el obispo auxiliar de Tegucigalpa, Darwin Rudy Andino...

Natalia Gomez Quintero and Noemi Gutierrez

El Universal - Mexico City

Jan. 16, 2009

Translated by Kristin Bricker

Jan. 17, 2009

See also:

La Iglesia culpa a escotes y minis de violaciones, �est�s de acuerdo?

El foro de El Universal sobre el tema

(El Universal newspaper's Internet forum about this story - in Spanish)


Barrio Terrazas: dej� atr�s el feminicidio y es embajador en Canad�

Las v�ctimas ocasionaron su muerte, dec�a el ex gobernador

Mexico's Congress has confirmed Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, of the National Action Party (PAN), as ambassador to Canada. Barrio Terrazas once declared that the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua state - of which there are over 400 to date - were "natural" because the victims were walking in dark places and had dressed provocatively in miniskirts.

Full English Translation

M�xico DF, 16 enero 09 (CIMAC).- M�xico ratific� como embajador ante el Gobierno de Canad� al hombre que afirm� que los asesinatos de mujeres en Ciudad Ju�rez, Chihuahua --m�s de 400 hasta hoy-- era una situaci�n “natural”, en virtud de que las v�ctimas caminaban por sitios oscuros y “se vest�an de manera provocativa” con minifaldas: Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, del Partido Acci�n Nacional (PAN)...

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 18, 2009

About the PAN

The National Action Party (Partido Acci�n Nacional), known by the acronym PAN, is a conservative and Christian Democratic party and one of the three main political parties in Mexico...

In some cases, PAN mayors and governors have banned public employees from wearing miniskirts (in Guadalajara)... and once, in Baja California, brought religious and political pressure to bear on a teenaged rape victim to dissuade her from the abortion to which she was legally entitled. Carlos Abascal, secretary of the interior in the latter part of the [Vicente] Fox administration, called birth control pills weapons of mass destruction in 2005. Such stances are not, however, shared by many of the PAN's middle-class rank and file members...

For the presidential election in 2006, Felipe Calder�n, a former party president, was selected as the PAN candidate for the office of president, beating his opponents...

From: NationMaster.com

Added: Feb. 01, 2009


Juarez Femicides Lawyer Murdered

All lawyers involved in the defense of two Juarez bus drivers falsely accused of femicide have been executed; state police [had] shot one in the head [in 2002]

Two unidentified gunmen executed Mario Escobedo Salazar and his son Edgar Escobedo Anaya, also a lawyer, in their Juarez office on Tuesday, January 6 [2009].

The double homicide comes nearly seven years after Chihuahua State Judicial Police killed Escobedo Salazar's other son, Mario Escobedo Anaya, during a chase. The police originally stated that Mario Escobedo Anaya died when his vehicle crashed during the chase. It was later revealed that he died of a gunshot wound to the head fired by state police.

Prior to Mario Escobedo Anaya's 2002 execution, he, his father, and a third lawyer, the late Sergio Dante Almaraz Mora, represented the two Juarez public transportation bus drivers accused of murdering eight women whose bodies were found dumped in an area of Juarez known as "the Cotton Field." Escobedo Salazar's recent execution means that the entire defense team is now dead; all were executed. One of the bus drivers also died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody...

Kristin Bricker

My Word is My Weapon

Jan. 10, 2009

Added: Jan. 30, 2009


Lydia Cacho with her new book “Not With My Child” Photo: Deborah Bonello / Los Angeles Times

Lydia Cacho publishes manual for parents on detecting child abuse

Lydia Cacho’s celebrity was apparent from the get-go last Thursday night in the trendy Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, where the journalist launched her new book “Not With My Child” (Con Mi Hij@ No).

...Her latest book [is] a manual for parents in Mexico to help them recognize if their children are being abused and, if so, what they can do about it...

The sexual abuse of minors is a topic she has specialized in, and Cacho has been the victim of harassment due to her investigations into the issue.

She was a relatively unknown journalist until she published a book in 2006 that alleged the existence of a child sex ring in the southern state of Cancun, after which she was illegally arrested and harassed by some of the powerful men she implicated in “Los Demonios del Eden.”

She catapulted to fame when she challenged her aggressors by going public and filing a legal action against them — although it was ultimately unsuccessful.

Since then, Cacho has become something of a symbol for the issue of the repression of journalists and freedom of expression in Mexico. Her last book, “Memories of a Disgrace (Memorias de una Infamia)” detailed the events that unfolded after the publication of “Los Demonios del Eden.”

Speaking to a packed auditorium on Thursday, Cacho said that after “Los Demonios del Eden” was published, she was inundated by more than 3,000 e-mails from people who were worried their children were being abused, or who knew their children had been abused and didn’t know what to do about it. That prompted her to write “Not With My Child,” which she says is an effort to answer the questions she received from her anxious public...

“Not With My Child” includes chapters on the history of pedophilia and the sexual abuse of children, as well as how to negotiate Mexico’s ineffective justice system. Cacho says that building strong social networks is one of the most important means of detecting and putting a stop to child abuse in Mexico...

Deborah Bonello

Mexico Reporter

Jan. 26, 2009

Added: Jan. 30, 2009

United States

The Right Priority Now

National Association to Protect Children advocates for including anti-exploitation project funding in President Obama's economic stimulus legislation

$50 MILLION in new funding for anti-child exploitation teams has been included in the Senate economic stimulus bill, thanks to Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

PROTECT has worked with Sen. Mikulski on child exploitation and child rescue issues since 2007. She's a tough pro-child, anti-crime champion for children. Next, the full Senate will vote on the bill. Then House and Senate will hammer out differences between their two stimulus bills... the final hurdle for getting stimulus funding for child rescue.

Quick Overview: The heart of President Obama's Economic Recovery Plan is getting federal dollars to "shovel-ready" projects to generate jobs and economic activity. The President says these projects should be important for America and subject to full accountability. The single best way to do that, right now, is to gear up the national effort to combat child exploitation. This can be done by directing economic stimulus funds for the Justice Department (BJA, COPS and OJJDP) to state and local law enforcement for anti-child exploitation work...

Also from the Protect.org...

Last year [2008], law enforcement identified over 300,000 suspects distributing sadistic movies and photographs of very young children being sexually abused, raped and tortured. The demand for these foul crime scene recordings can only be supplied one way: through the abuse of more and more children.

But the explosion of child pornography trafficking has not only caused a modern-day human rights crisis, it has also given law enforcement powerful new tools to find and stop child predators. Hundreds of thousands of criminals are now hiding in plain sight, and 1 out of 3 arrests for child pornography uncovers evidence of local child sexual abuse victims. Investigators can follow the trail of child pornography trafficking "back through the Internet," directly to the door of these criminals. That means that for the first time ever, we have the power to stop and prevent child sexual abuse on a massive scale.

...The shocking truth is that while we could rescue thousands of children tomorrow, less than 2% of these known suspects are even being investigated due to lack of resources. In 2008, PROTECT won a major victory with the passage of the PROTECT Our Children Act, but thousands of children will not be rescued until the bill is fully-funded.

National Association to Protect Children

Jan. 20, 2009

Added: Jan. 30, 2009

United States

Big Increase In Child Pornography Cases Leads To Backlog At FBI's Forensic Laboratories

The FBI's stepped-up effort to fight Internet child pornography has led to an evidence backlog in the bureau's computer labs, auditors said Friday.

The Justice Department's inspector general said the number of such cases handled by the FBI rose more than 20-fold between the 1996 and 2007 budget years. As a result, the heavy volume meant it took an average of about two months to examine such evidence in 2007 _ and even as long as nine months.

The FBI, which has built a new lab in Maryland to handle the increased demand, agreed with the inspector general's recommendations to create deadlines to reduce the backlog.

In a written response to the report, the FBI's executive assistant director, Stephen Tidwell, said the bureau should try to hire more staff to handle the growing number of people needed to process digital evidence, not just in child exploitation cases but in other types of criminal investigations...

The Associated Press

Jan. 30, 2009

Added: Jan. 30, 2009

Washington, DC, USA

Pornograf�a de menores de edad atasca laboratorios del FBI. N�mero de casos se multiplic� por 20

Washington, DC - El aumento de los casos de pornograf�a infantil en Internet ha provocado un atasco en los laboratorios inform�ticos de la Oficina Federal de Investigaciones (FBI), seg�n una auditor�a del Departamento de Justicia publicada hoy. Recursos insuficientes

El informe se�ala que el n�mero de casos tramitados por el FBI entre 1996 y 2007 se multiplic� por veinte, por lo que recomienda que se marque objetivos para acabar los trabajos y tratar as� de desbloquear los laboratorios de investigaci�n.. Es tal el aumento que el pasado a�o el FBI construy� otro laboratorio inform�tico para poder gestionar esta demanda, pero no ha sido suficiente. El FBI se�al� en un comunicado que est� de acuerdo con las recomendaciones del inspector general del Departamento de Justicia, Glenn A. Fine, para crear los plazos para reducir el retraso.

En un comunicado, el subdirector ejecutivo del FBI, Stephen Tidwell, se�al� que la oficina tratar� de contratar m�s personal para atender estos casos. Seg�n explic�, cada vez se necesitan lunes, enero 26, 2009

Univisi�n and EFE

Jan. 26, 2009

Added: Jan. 30, 2009

Native United States

Sex offender registries raises sovereignty issues

Washington, DC - Two laws authorizing national sex offender registries were highlighted during the year [2008].

The Violence Against Women Act, would establish a national tribal sex offender registry, as well as a related tribal registry of civil and criminal orders of protection issued by tribes and proximate jurisdictions.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is not Native-specific and does not authorize a tribal orders-of-protection registry. AWA mandates the creation of tribal sex offender registries, but it does so on terms that empower the U.S. attorney general to revoke the jurisdiction of tribes that cannot or will not comply with the difficult, expensive and uncertain details of its implementation.

But because of the threatened transfer of tribal registration duties to states if Native governments do not meet federal government deadlines, and despite being left out during the law’s crafting and enactment, almost 200 tribes had agreed to establish their own AWA registries by mid-year.

At a meeting of National Congress of American Indian’s National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, NCAI’s associate counsel Virginia Davis described the AWA as a “quagmire.”

“Unfortunately, the Adam Walsh Act basically tells about half the tribes in the country that if they don’t comply with these really onerous mandates that are in the law – that, again, don’t really make sense for tribal communities – if the tribes fail to comply with those, then all of the tribe’s authority to track and register and manage sex offenders on tribal lands will be given to the state,” Davis said. “So it raises some serious sovereignty concerns and we’re continuing to really struggle with the Adam Walsh Act. So the Adam Walsh Act is becoming a quagmire, a real challenge for Indian country that I think we’re going to keep talking about for the next couple of years...”

Gale Courey Toensing

Indian Country Today

Dec. 31, 2008

Added: Jan. 30, 2009


Ra�l Quiroga Ariza

Por delitos de pornograf�a infantil y acto sexual abusivo es encarcelado hombre en el Meta

Man is jailed for acts of child sexual abuse and child pornography

Meta - Ra�l Quiroga Ariza, aged 48, was arrested while he was in possession of a cell phone with nearly 30 pornographic pictures of minors. In court proceedings Quiroga Ariza pleaded guilty.

"Using guile and ingenuity, Quiroga Ariza photographed the girls nude through various means," said police commander Colonel Pablo Emilio Suarez Gomez.

Colonel Gomez Suarez stated that Quiroga Ariza obtained photographs of the victims by first earning the confidence of mothers with limited economic resources. He then gained easy access their daughters, who were girls between 8 and 12 years of age.

Despite threatening to murder the victim's parents if they told of the abuse, two girls did tell their parents, who immediately called police.

Colonel G�mez Su�rez made a public call for parents to report cases of sexual abuse of their sons and daughters, and to take precautions against strangers who approach their children.

Ra�l Quiroga Ariza, de 48 a�os de edad, fue capturado mientras ten�a en su poder un tel�fono celular con cerca de 30 fotograf�as pornogr�ficas de menores de edad. El delincuente admiti� ante un juez de control de garant�as los cargos que le fueron imputados por la Fiscal�a. "Vali�ndose de artima�as y de la ingenuidad de las ni�as, las manoseaba y fotografiaba de distintas maneras, con sus cuerpos desnudos", afirm� el coronel, Pablo Emilio G�mez Su�rez, comandante de la Polic�a Meta.

Para obtener las fotograf�as de las menores, Quiroga Ariza primero se ganaba la confianza de las madres, de escasos recursos econ�micos, para as� acceder sin dificultades a las hijas, ni�as entre los 8 y 12 a�os, precis� el coronel G�mez Su�rez.

A pesar de que a las peque�as las manten�a en silencio bajo amenazas de que si denunciaban o le contaban a alguien lo que les estaba haciendo, mataba a sus mam�s, 2 de las ni�as decidieron contarle a sus pap�s lo que ocurr�a, quienes de inmediato denunciaron los hechos.El coronel G�mez Su�rez hizo un llamado para que los padres denuncien los casos de abuso sexual de sus hijos e hijas, y tomen precauciones frente a las personas extra�as que se acercan a sus hijos. jueves, enero 29, 2009

El Tiempo

Jan. 26, 2009

Added: Jan. 29, 2009


Congressional Deputy Violeta del Pilar Lagunes Viveros

Puebla, d�cimo lugar en pederastia

La propuesta de la legisladora panista incluye la no prescripci�n del delito.

Puebla state holds tenth place in child sexual abuse

Congresswomen proposes reforms in state criminal laws

Federal congress-woman from Puebla state Violeta Lagunes, of the National Action Party (PAN), has urged the Puebla state legislature to reform its penal Code of Social Protection to include acts of sexual abuse against children as aggravating circumstances in cases where religious ministers and priests, or school teachers are involved.

Yesterday, Deputy Lagunes, who is the chair of the Special Committee for Policy and Administration of Justice Linked in Relation to Femicide of Congress, submitted a letter to the General Secretariat of the Congress of Puebla, urging them to use their moral and social authority to modify state laws in regard to the sexual abuse of children.

Lagunes' proposal is extremely avant-garde, inasmuch as her proposal, in-line with laws in the United States, would open a legal window to allow adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse to seek prosecution of the perpetrators.

Deputy Lagunes: "Based on [our] research, we realized the shortcomings in criminal law in the states, including the state of Puebla...

The letter presented by Deputy Lagunes states: "Puebla is among the 10 states with the highest rates of pedophilia in the country, and that there have been very serious cases in which ministers of religious denominations who have been active subjects in sex crimes, such as the case of Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, who is accused of having sexually abused about sixty children.

"In the same vein, according to reports from the Secretariat of Public Education in the state of Puebla, during the year 2008, 11 teachers were prosecuted for committing sex crimes against minors in their care. These cases demonstrate the need for strong laws that establish penalties covering both scenarios."

Presenta ante el Congreso local una serie de propuestas para reformar el C�digo de Defensa Social para que se incluya la agravante al delito de abuso sexual infantil cuando se perpetre por alg�n ministro de culto o docente

Con el escandaloso caso del cura pederasta Nicol�s Aguilar Rivera y las 11 denuncias de abuso sexual infantil en contra de profesores, Puebla ocupa el d�cimo lugar a nivel nacional en pederastia, por lo que la diputada federal Violeta Lagunes urgi� al Congreso local modificar el C�digo de Defensa Social para que se incluya como agravante del delito cuando se perpetre por alg�n ministro de culto, sacerdote o docente.

Ayer, la diputada panista y presidenta Comisi�n Especial para Conocer las Pol�ticas y la Procuraci�n de Justicia Vinculada a los Feminicidios del Congreso de la Uni�n present� ante la Secretar�a General del Congreso local un escrito para que la LVII Legislatura modifique su ley para sancionar a las personas que abusen sexualmente de menores, vali�ndose de su calidad moral o social.

Selene R�os Andraca

La Quinta Columna

Jan. 29, 2009

Added: Jan. 28, 2009


Enhanced role expected for U.S. in drug cartel battle

Mexico Bureau chief chief Alfredo Corchado is currently a Nieman fellow at Harvard University.

Alarmed by spiraling drug violence along their shared border, U.S. and Mexican officials say they foresee an enhanced U.S. role in the battle against powerful cartels, including joint operations that could involve private American contractors or U.S. military and intelligence personnel.

The U.S. and Mexican officials say their cooperation could go beyond the current practice of "sharing intelligence." They say that historical concerns about Mexican sovereignty may be overcome by the challenge in restoring stability to key regions, particularly along the border...

"Mexico is not a narco state, but we're witnessing a giant criminal apparatus operated by drug traffickers," said Arturo Ya�ez, an author and security expert at the Autonomous University in the state of Mexico. "If Mexico is not a failed state, it sure is acting like one..."

Howard Campbell, a border anthropologist and drug expert at the University of Texas at El Paso...

"I really characterize this as a civil war, even if it's not formally declared," Campbell said. "We're seeing all the casualties of a war, people murdered, people wounded, people fleeing their homes, social disintegration and chaos...

"This is more like Afghanistan than Colombia, with regional, powerful chieftains who operate with complete authority, oftentimes through graft and corruption."

Alfredo Corchado

Dallas Morning News

Jan. 28, 2009

LibertadLatina Note:

The lawless conditions across Mexico's northern and southern border zones provide cover to drug cartels and other organized sex trafficking organizations who systematically target the poor... migrants, indigenous and rural women and girls especially, for mass rape, kidnapping and enslavement in prostitution in Mexico, across the United States and in Japan and Europe.

We call upon the administration of U.S. President Barak Obama to structure its multi-hundred-million dollar support for the Calderon government to ensure that they are required to end the corruption and impunity that fuels these criminal mafias and their mass sexual victimization of women and children.

It is just as likely that some of the $400 million dollar U.S. funded Merida Initiative aid package to fight drug cartels will end up in the hands of those cartels themselves, as not, given the corruption in the region.

In the meantime, women and girls, and all innocent members of Mexican society and those who cross Mexico as migrants from South and Central America (and Asia), are sitting ducks for waves of violent sexual predators who victimize tens of thousands of women and girls while the world sits on the sidelines and does, effectively, nothing.

The victims, and those at risk of exploitation, enslavement and death await our serious and effective efforts to protect and rescue them!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


Jan. 28, 2009

Added: Jan. 23, 2009


Leticia Valdez Martell

Lydia Cacho

Puebla y Oaxaca, historia de un pa�s productor de pornograf�a infantil

Desde el poder pol�tico y judicial, los ped�filos se fortalecen

Puebla and Oaxaca states, the history of a child pornography producing nation

Pedophiles are protected by the heads of political and judicial power

Lydia Cacho - [This] is the story of the nation of Mexico as a producer of child pornography, where the kidnapping of children is, in many cases, linked to sexual exploitation. It is the story of a nation where, from the seats of political and judicial power, pedophiles are strengthened, a nation where such men unite and celebrate their power.

Three months ago, the mother of a victim of a child pornography network sought me out. Her daughter was abused at the age of 5 by a crime network that was run by [millionaire businessmen] Succar Kuri and Kamel Nacif.

Their criminal enterprise was protected by [Puebla state governor] Mario Marin and Emilio Gamboa, among others...

Succar Kuri [now on trial] has... insisted that the daughter return to court to retell her story for the umpteenth time.

The girl, now age fifteen, speaks of committing suicide if she is forced to go to [the trial court in] the prison of La Palma to confront her abuser once again, and if another judge dares to ask her to narrate, again, her memories of childhood terror...

The victim’s mother is even less motivated to return to court given that the Supreme Court of the Nation made a ruling that effectively protected the child sex trafficking network of Kamel Nacif and Governor Mario Mar�n.

The Court’s decision [in the Lydia Cacho case] shielded the network of pedophiles and politicians, who protect each other's shared personal and business interests and who engage in political money laundering.

Like the families in the Succar Kuri case, Leticia Valdez brings to court the videos of her young son’s abuse, and carries photographs and medical evaluations that describe the damage caused to her baby by pedophiles. And she talks and talks, seeking that her country believe her…

Leticia Valdez… demands that the guilty pay for the crimes that are clearly visible in the videos: acts of the rape of young children carried out in a school.

While Valdez Martell dares to tell the truth, Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz gives orders intended to silence any discussion of the case. According to a court secretary in Oaxaca, there are clear orders from the governor for the case to be prolonged, so as not to allow the further accumulation of evidence to take place….

But Valdez Martell is not alone. She has already benefited from the fact that the Attorney General of Oaxaca has provided her with twelve files of similar cases involving the same suspects. In addition, the names of state police agents from Veracruz and Oaxaca, as well as PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party] officials, and, according to sources, a PRD [Party of the Democratic Revolution] member, also appear.

None of these 12 cases has ever been follow-up on…

Meanwhile, the media evades getting to the root of the problem.

Why have the mothers and fathers of the other children who were raped and used to produce child pornography by the same clan [at the San Felipe Institute]  remained silent?

Why did Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora insist during a news interview with tv talking head Carlos Loret de Mola, that human rights violations reported by Amnesty International are [just] individual cases?

Why have special prosecutors denied the existence of pornography networks despite the fact that journalists and the victims themselves have, time and again, demonstrated that they do exist?

These networks of criminal impunity are not created in silence, but in view of the entire country. They are woven together beginning at the seats of power.

Pedophilia, Before the Supreme Court

Why did the Valdez case reach the Supreme Court?

…The case reached the Supreme Court because Ulises Ruiz, the constitutional governor of Oaxaca, indirectly protects the network of pedophiles that is involved in the case.

The case never came to court [in Oaxaca state] because one of the lawyers for the [accused] pedophiles and their accomplices is Jorge Franco Jimenez, who is the father of Jorge Franco Vargas, the current president of the PRI political party in Oaxaca…

The state government of Oaxaca will [act to save their friends]. Meanwhile the production of “home” child pornography, as one INTERPOL agent has called it, continues to grow under the protection of those in power.

Mexico’s Attorney General will find arguments to make this case, like millions before it, into one of “individual acts” of human rights violations, while ignoring the role of the use of state power in the defense of  criminals.

We know that the federal government of Mexico rejects the defense of human rights, and they spit in the face of [president of the National Human Rights Commission] Jose Luis Soberanes, the Ombudsman who dreams of presenting the Supreme Court with cases that the victim's [lawyers] have prepared well...

The attacks against Leticia Valdez and her family will not remain hidden. Society is watching Governor Ulises Ruiz and the child pornography networks that he protects. One thing is clear: Neither Leticia nor her family are alone. Millions of Mexican men and women are on her side.

Full English Translation

Hace tres meses, me busc� la madre de una de las ni�as que fuera utilizada, a los 5 a�os, para fabricar pornograf�a infantil por la red de Succar Kuri, protegido de Kamel Nacif, de Mario Mar�n y Emilio Gamboa, entre otros.

Con la mirada inundada de desesperanza, con la voz cansada, con la ira colgada de su pecho, me dijo que luego de casi cuatro a�os de abogados, de juicios, de amenazas de muerte, Succar otra vez quiere que su hija vaya a verlo y declare por en�sima vez.

Y la ni�a, ahora de quince a�os, habla de quitarse la vida si la fuerzan a ir al penal de La Palma a ver a su abusador; si otro juez se atreve a pedirle que narre sus recuerdos de terror infantil. Y la madre dice que si tiene que matar a alguien, pues mata, pero a su hija no la vuelven a llevar a un juzgado.

Lydia Cacho

Appearing in CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 21, 2009

See also:

Lydia Cacho Starts Foundation

In October, 2008 Lydia Cacho formed the Lydia Cacho Foundation, based in Madrid, Spain.

Please donate!


Video excerpt from the 2007 film Demons of Eden, that documents the campaign of retaliation against Lydia Cacho.

This film clip includes a short statement by a girl who was trapped by the Jean Succar Kuri / Kamel Nacif child sex trafficking network, and includes video of Kamel Nacif confronting Lydia Cacho during legal proceedings. Also included is a audio conversation recorded between Kamel Nacif and Puebla governor Mario Marin, during which Nacif admits that he took revenge (with Governor Marin's help) against Lydia Cacho for exposing what Nacif states were his "parties with children."

Despite this extensive audio evidence, the Supreme Court (which can investigate cases of high-level state corruption), denied that any violation of Lydia Cacho's basic rights took place (and thus shielding the child sex trafficking network from scrutiny).

(See the below listed video for the Mexican public's reaction to this decision by the Court.)

(In Spanish)

TVCiudania (Citizen TV)

Presented on YouTube

Dec. 3, 2007

Video documentation

Leticia Valdez Martell speaks out at rally for Lydia Cacho

Leticia Valdez Martell speaks at large rally in front of Mexico's Supreme Court to protest the Court's decision to reject a Court investigation of Puebla governor Mario Marin and accused pedophile millionaire Kamel Nacif, plotters in the kidnapping and torture of activist journalist Lydia Cacho in revenge for publishing her expos� against pedophile networks in Cancun: Demons of Eden.

(In Spanish)

 TVCiudania (Citizen TV)

Presented on YouTube

Dec. 3, 2007

Rogelio Mora-Tagle entrevista a la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho

Extensive TV news report on the the Lydia Cacho case with Rogelio Mora-Tagle, including an interview with Lydia Cacho in which she explains her arrest and torture, the involvement of corrupt politicians and the impunity that provides protection to accused child sex traffickers in Mexico.

(In Spanish)

 TVCiudania (Citizen TV)

Presented on YouTube

Nov. 27, 2007

Lydia Cacho  interview after receiving the 2007 CNN Hero of the World award.

(In English)


Presented on YouTube

Dec. 3, 2007

Added: Jan. 19, 2009


Mexico On Path To Becoming Bigger Security Threat Than Iraq 

...The prospect that America's southern neighbor could melt into lawlessness provides an unexpected challenge to Barack Obama's new government. In its latest report anticipating possible global security risks, the U.S. Joint Forces Command lumps Mexico and Pakistan together as being at risk of a "rapid and sudden collapse."

"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels," the command said in the report published Nov. 25...

Retiring CIA chief Michael Hayden told reporters on Friday that that Mexico could rank alongside Iran as a challenge for Obama _ perhaps a greater problem than Iraq.

The U.S. Justice Department said last month that Mexican gangs are the "biggest organized crime threat to the United States." National security adviser Stephen Hadley said last week that the worsening violence threatens Mexico's very democracy...

The grim assessments from north of the border got wide play in the Mexican media but came as no surprise to people here. Many said the solution lies in getting the U.S. to give more help and let in more migrant workers who might otherwise turn to the drug trade to make a living.

Otherwise the drug wars will spill ever more heavily into America, said Manuel Infante, an architect. "There is a wave of barbarity that is heading toward the U.S.," he said. "We are an uncomfortable neighbor."

The Huffington Post

Jan. 18, 2009

Added: Jan. 19, 2009


Threat of Violence on the Mexican Border Could Draw Federal Troops ...

Mexico City -

Escalating drug violence in Mexico and a fear that it may soon spill over into the United States has resulted in a comprehensive defense plan that could see an unprecedented military presence along the southern border.

...Concentrated around busy drug routes, especially the town of Ciudad de Juarez just across the border from El Paso, Texas, the violence has resulted from a struggle to control the lucrative narcotics trade into the United States, representing the “greatest organized crime threat to the United States," according to a 2009 threat assessment prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Although the Department of Homeland Security kept exact details of the plan under wraps, the Associated Press reported that it would likely include “federal homeland security agents helping local authorities and maybe even military assistance from the Department of Defense, possibly including aircraft, armored vehicles and special teams to go to areas overwhelmed with violence.”

The Huffington Post

Jan. 12, 2009

Added: Jan. 16, 2009

Mexico, United States

Mexico's Instability Is a Real Problem

Don't discount the possibility of a failed state next door.

Mexico is now in the midst of a vicious drug war. Police officers are being bribed and, especially near the United States border, gunned down. Kidnappings and extortion are common place. And, most alarming of all, a new Pentagon study concludes that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state. Defense planners liken the situation to that of Pakistan, where wholesale collapse of civil government is possible.

One center of the violence is Tijuana, where last year more than 600 people were killed in drug violence. Many were shot with assault rifles in the streets and left there to die. Some were killed in dance clubs in front of witnesses too scared to talk.

It may only be a matter of time before the drug war spills across the border and into the U.S. To meet that threat, Michael Chertoff, the outgoing secretary for Homeland Security, recently announced that the U.S. has a plan to "surge" civilian and possibly military law-enforcement personnel to the border should that be necessary.

The problem is that in Mexico's latest eruption of violence, it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad. Mexico's antidrug czar, Noe Ramirez Mandujano was recently charged with accepting $450,000 from drug lords he was supposed to be hunting down. This was the second time in recent years that one of Mexico's antidrug chiefs was arrested for taking possible payoffs from drug kingpins. Suspicions that police chiefs, mayors and members of the military are also on the take are rampant.

In the past, the way Mexico dealt with corruption was with eyes wide shut. Everyone knew a large number of government officials were taking bribes, but no one did anything about it. Transparency commissioners were set up, but given no teeth.

And Mexico's drug traffickers used the lax law enforcement their bribes bought them to grow into highly organized gangs. Once organized, they have been able to fill a vacuum in underworld power created by Colombian President �lvaro Uribe's successful crackdown on his country's drug cartels...

Joel Kurtzman

Wall Street Journal

Jan. 16, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

The drug cartels that are waging war against the Mexican state also control large segments of the highly profitable sex trafficking business that kidnaps, rapes and enslaves thousands of women and girls each year.

We encourage the incoming Obama administration to take note of this fact, and not allow the human rights tragedy facing women and girls in Mexico to go without a strong and effective international response.

In this drug war, sexual exploitation and slavery targeting Mexico's most vulnerable people (children, migrants, the indigenous and other poor women) has been pushed not just to the back burner of public and political attention, but the subject has been pushed off the burner altogether.

Yet the sex traffickers and the drug cartels are often one in the same. 

The lawless vacuum that exists across Mexico today gives free reign to those who actively engage in the mass rape, kidnapping, enslavement and murder of women and underage girls to fuel their prostitution empires around the world.

Enough is enough!

Only the voices of we the people, directed to our politicians, will raise awareness of this human rights crisis to a level where the United States, Mexico and international institutions will have to take action.

The victims, and those at risk of exploitation, enslavement and death await our serious and effective efforts to protect and rescue them!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


Jan. 16/19, 2009

Added: Jan. 19, 2009

Washington, DC, USA

More than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking reported in the U.S.

Washington - In the first 21 months of operation, the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) recorded information on more than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The HTRS contains data collected by 38 federally funded human trafficking task forces on alleged incidents of human trafficking that occurred between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), and its reauthorizations in 2003, 2005, and 2008 define a human trafficking victim as a person induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Any person under age 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion was present.

Most (83 percent) of the reported human trafficking incidents involved allegations of sex trafficking. Labor trafficking accounted for 12 percent of incidents, and other or unknown forms of human trafficking made up the remaining five percent. About a third (32 percent) of the 1,229 alleged human trafficking incidents involved sex trafficking of children...

Hispanic victims comprised the largest share (37 percent) of alleged sex trafficking victims and more than half (56 percent) of alleged labor trafficking victims. Asians made up 10 percent of alleged sex trafficking victims, compared to 31 percent of labor trafficking victims...

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Jan. 15, 2009

Added: Jan. 19, 2009

Arkansas, USA

Lack of translators for sex offender program

Bentonville - The state Correction Department says it does not have enough translators to accommodate non-English speakers if they are ordered into a treatment program for sex offenders.

The issue came to light after Circuit Judge David Clinger included the year-long treatment program as part of the sentences for two sex offenders. The department wrote Clinger, asking him to drop the requirement for the two convicts and to not make participation in the program a requirement if the defendant does not speak English.

Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said two men Clinger sentenced have holds through Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will likely be deported immediately upon release, Tyler said.

The department says about 360 of its inmates are Hispanic. Tyler says most speak at least some English.

"This non-English speaking population is new for us. Most of our population of this nature is coming from Benton County," Tyler said.

The Associated Press

Jan. 14, 2009

Added: Jan. 18, 2009


Barrio Terrazas: dej� atr�s el feminicidio y es embajador en Canad�

Las v�ctimas ocasionaron su muerte, dec�a el ex gobernador

Mexico Congress has confirmed Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, of the National Action Party (PAN), as ambassador to Canada. Barrio Terrazas once declared that the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua state - of which there are over 400 to date - were "natural" because the victims were walking in dark places and had dressed provocatively in miniskirts.

Barrio Terrazas was the Mayor of Ciudad Juarez in the 1980s, and became Chihuahua state's governor in 1992.

This week, the plenary session of the Standing Committee of Congress approved Barrio Terrazas as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mexico to Canada.

On January 7th, 2009 President Felipe Calder�n nominated Barrio Terrazas for Senate confirmation. Barrio Terrazas did not solve the femicide Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua. He refused to create a special prosecutor's office the cases, and had received a recommendation from the National Human Rights Commission that he be censured for impunity and neglect in investigating the murders.

Only the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) questioned the presidential appointment and abstained in the vote. Gerardo Villanueva of the Aztec Sun Party added his concerns that Barrio Terrazas had "done little or nothing in the fight against corruption in Mexico."

Pleas fall on deaf ears

During Barrio Terrazas' time as governor of Chihuahua, a coalition of community organizations called the Pro-Women Coordination called for the creation of a special prosecutor's office to investigate the crimes of women.

In 1997 Barrio Terrazas said that "special prosecutors have never been useful for anything." During the same year the national Congress set up a Special Commission to come to Ciudad Ju�rez to verify status of investigations.

Barrio Terrazas ended 1997 still refusing to create the special prosecutor's office. In January 1998, one month after Barrio Terrazas met with the visiting federal commission, he finally agreed to create a special prosecutor's office, and appointed Maria Antonieta Esparza as its head.

Also during 1998, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) addressed the case of femicide in the region and issued recommendations that highlighted the existence of impunity, and noted deficiencies in the investigations. For the first time in its history, the CNDH declared that sexism had impeded the investigation.

 Shortly before the CNDH report was published, then ex-governor Barrio Terrazas stated that the rate of crimes against women in the region were within the "normal" range.

As CIMAC Noticias has documented, Barrio Terrazas has always minimized the importance of femicide, much as did former PRI (Institutional Revolutionary party) governor (from 1998 2004) Patricio Martinez, who said that the women who were murdered had caused their own deaths.

Today femicide remains an unresolved issue in Chihuahua state, to such a degree that on January 7, 2009, the same day that Calderon nominated Barrio Terrazas, the organizations Justice for Our Daughters and the Center for Human Rights for Women submitted to the Standing Committee of the Congress of Chihuahua state a petition to activate a Alert Gender, a law enforcement state of emergency that is stipulated in the state's Law Giving Women the Right to a Life Free of Violence.

The request is a reaction to the ongoing femicide. Far from being a settled issue, acts of femicide murder claimed two lives in the first week of 2009, according to Luz Estela Castro, coordinator of the Center for Human Rights for Women. Since November 25, 2008, the Day of Non-violence Against Women, to date, media have reported the malicious killings of 20 women. Fifty percent of those cases involved domestic violence.

As Lucha Castro says, "the femicide today has a history, which is one of neglect and apathy in the case of the missing victims." And part of that story involves the failure to act by officials, including former governor Barrio Terrazas, who dismissed the cries of help for the victims. So, stated the mothers of the victims, "we talk of negligence and complicity."

M�xico DF, 16 enero 09 (CIMAC).- M�xico ratific� como embajador ante el Gobierno de Canad� al hombre que afirm� que los asesinatos de mujeres en Ciudad Ju�rez, Chihuahua --m�s de 400 hasta hoy-- era una situaci�n “natural”, en virtud de que las v�ctimas caminaban por sitios oscuros y “se vest�an de manera provocativa” con minifaldas: Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, del Partido Acci�n Nacional (PAN).

Esta semana, el Pleno de la Comisi�n Permanente aprob� el dictamen por el que se ratific� como Embajador Extraordinario y Plenipotenciario de M�xico en Canad� a quien fuera tambi�n Presidente Municipal de Ciudad Ju�rez y Gobernador de Chihuahua, en 1983 y 1992, respectivamente.

Fue Felipe Calder�n quien el 7 de enero de 2009 le propuso al Senado de la Rep�blica que Barrio Terrazas --cuya gesti�n de gobierno no solucion� el feminicidio en su entidad, se neg� a crear una Fiscal�a especial y recibi� una recomendaci�n de la Comisi�n Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) por impunidad y negligencia en las investigaciones de los asesinatos-- fuera distinguido como embajador de M�xico en Canad�.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 18, 2009


Added: Jan. 18, 2009


4� extra�amiento a Calder�n: no publica Reglamento de Ley de Trata

Ha incurrido en una omisi�n grave: PRI

Mexico's Congress warns President Calderon for the forth time for his failure to publish rules to enable the 2007 Anti-Trafficking Law

Mexico City - The PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) caucus in the Standing Committee of the Congress had reached an agreement to release its forth Letter of Concern [warning] to President Felipe Calder�n in response to the President's failure to publish rules that will allow the 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons to be put into force.

The first call made to insist that President Calder�n publish the regulations that implement the law was announced on July 8, 2008. The second request was made on September 10, 2008 and the third on December 4 2008. All three previous requests went unanswered by the President.

During its regular session on January 13 this year, senators from the PRI stated that Calderon has engaged in a serious omission by not issuing the regulations, because "in the fight against crime the state must follow-through with its responsibilities [hold up its end of the bargain]."

Senator Raul Gonzalez Mejia asked the President to report to Congress on the status of progress in forming the Inter-Ministerial Commission which the Act calls-for in its Article 12.

The Act states that the federal government should establish an Inter-Ministerial Commission, under Article 21 of the Organic Law of Federal Public Administration, to coordinate their actions to develop and implement the National Program to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

The Commission shall be composed of agencies of the Federal Public Administration and the Attorney General's Office, and should include the Calderon government's policies on the prevention and punishment of trafficking in persons, as well as guidelines for the protection and care of victims...

Under the law, federal Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Public Security must both sign agreements with the the states and the federal district in regard to the law.

 The law establishes that a person shall be in violation of the crime of human trafficking when they encourage, order, offer, facilitate, transport, hand-over or receive, for themselves or for another person, a person. A person who, through physical or moral violence, deception or abuse of power, causes a victim to be subjected to sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of an organ, is guilty of the crime of human trafficking.

When a convicted person is declared criminally responsible for the crime of trafficking, the judge must order that person to pay reparations to the victim(s), including the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, transportation, and food and housing.

La bancada del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) en la Comisi�n Permanente del Congreso present� un punto de acuerdo para emitirle un cuarto extra�amiento y primero de este a�o a Felipe Calder�n por no expedir el reglamento de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas (Ley de Trata) publicada en el Diario Oficial de la Federaci�n el 27 de noviembre de 2007.

Este es el cuarto exhorto que se le realiza a Felipe Calder�n respecto la publicaci�n del Reglamento de la Ley de trata, el primero fue hecho el 8 de julio de 2008, el segundo el 10 de septiembre de 2008 y el �ltimo el 4 de diciembre de 2008, los tres quedaron sin respuesta.

Durante la sesi�n ordinaria del 13 de enero de este a�o, las y los senadores del PRI afirmaron que Calder�n ha incurrido en una omisi�n grave, al no expedir dicho Reglamento, pues “en la lucha contra el crimen el Estado tiene que cumplir con la parte que le corresponde.

Gladis Torres Ruiz

CIMAC Noticias

Jan. 16, 2009

Added: Jan. 16, 2009

Mexico, United States

Mexico's Instability Is a Real Problem

Don't discount the possibility of a failed state next door.

Mexico is now in the midst of a vicious drug war. Police officers are being bribed and, especially near the United States border, gunned down. Kidnappings and extortion are common place. And, most alarming of all, a new Pentagon study concludes that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state. Defense planners liken the situation to that of Pakistan, where wholesale collapse of civil government is possible.

One center of the violence is Tijuana, where last year more than 600 people were killed in drug violence. Many were shot with assault rifles in the streets and left there to die. Some were killed in dance clubs in front of witnesses too scared to talk.

It may only be a matter of time before the drug war spills across the border and into the U.S. To meet that threat, Michael Chertoff, the outgoing secretary for Homeland Security, recently announced that the U.S. has a plan to "surge" civilian and possibly military law-enforcement personnel to the border should that be necessary.

The problem is that in Mexico's latest eruption of violence, it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad. Mexico's antidrug czar, Noe Ramirez Mandujano was recently charged with accepting $450,000 from drug lords he was supposed to be hunting down. This was the second time in recent years that one of Mexico's antidrug chiefs was arrested for taking possible payoffs from drug kingpins. Suspicions that police chiefs, mayors and members of the military are also on the take are rampant.

In the past, the way Mexico dealt with corruption was with eyes wide shut. Everyone knew a large number of government officials were taking bribes, but no one did anything about it. Transparency commissioners were set up, but given no teeth.

And Mexico's drug traffickers used the lax law enforcement their bribes bought them to grow into highly organized gangs. Once organized, they have been able to fill a vacuum in underworld power created by Colombian President �lvaro Uribe's successful crackdown on his country's drug cartels...

Joel Kurtzman

Wall Street Journal

Jan. 16, 2009

LibertadLatina Note:

The drug cartels that are waging war against the Mexican state also control large segments of the highly profitable sex trafficking business that kidnaps, rapes and enslaves thousands of women and girls each year.

We encourage the incoming Obama administration to take note of this fact, and not allow the human rights tragedy facing women and girls in Mexico to go without a strong and effective international response.

In this drug war, sexual exploitation and slavery targeting Mexico's most vulnerable people (children, migrants, the indigenous and other poor women) has been pushed not just to the back burner of public and political attention, but the subject has been pushed off the burner altogether.

Only the voices of we the people, directed to our politicians, will raise awareness to a level were the United States, Mexico and international institutions will have to act.

The victims, and those at risk of exploitation, enslavement and death await our serious and effective efforts to protect and rescue them!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


Jan. 16, 2009

Added: Jan. 16, 2009

California, USA

Arrestan a hombre que habr�a "vendido" a su hija

Tanto el padre como el joven fueron detenidos por violar las leyes de California sobre tr�fico humano y violaci�n de un menor

Un hombre de 36 a�os, de nombre hispano, fue detenido en una zona rural de California por haber pactado casar a su hija de 14 a�os a cambio de dinero, alcohol y comida, inform� el martes una fuente policial.

Seg�n la polic�a de Greenfield, una regi�n agr�cola a 225 km al sudeste de San Francisco, Marcelino de Jes�s Mart�nez acord� con un joven de 18 a�os que contrajera matrimonio con su hija adolescente a cambio de 16.000 d�lares, 100 cajas de cerveza y comida.

El hecho fue descubierto por las autoridades luego de que el padre acudiera a la polic�a a quejarse por no haber recibido el pago del acuerdo, mientras la hija de 14 a�os hab�a sido obligada a mudarse con su "marido".

Tanto el padre como el joven fueron detenidos por violar las leyes de California sobre tr�fico humano y violaci�n de un menor.


Jan. 15, 2009

Added: Jan. 14, 2009

California, USA

Police: Man sold teen daughter into marriage for cash, beer, meat

Such arrangements are normal in Mexican state where family is from, police say

Greenfield - A California man sold his 14-year-old daughter to an 18-year-old man for cash, beer and meat -- then called police when the prospective bridegroom didn't live up to his end of the deal, authorities said Tuesday.

Marcelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, of Greenfield, California, was arrested Monday and booked into the Monterey County Jail, Greenfield police said in a statement. He faces felony charges of receiving money for causing a person to cohabitate, police said.

All those involved in the case are from the western Mexican state of Oaxaca, the police chief said. In the Oaxacan community, such an agreement is "normal and honorable," he said. "In California, it's against the law..."

"The 14-year-old juvenile moved in with Galindo and when payments were not received, the father, Martinez, called Greenfield PD to bring back the daughter," according to a written police statement...

The Greenfield area has had a large influx of Oaxacans. A presentation on understanding Oaxacan culture is posted on the Greenfield police Web site.

"Arranged marriages are common in several cultures, and this is not an issue among consenting adults over the age of 18," police said in the statement. "But California has several laws regarding minors, the age of consent and human trafficking."

Police are trying to be culturally sensitive, Grebmeier told CNN, but "when I'm in Mexico, I have to respect Mexican laws. When you're in the United States, you have to respect United States laws. That's the bottom line."

Ashley Broughton


Added: Jan. 13, 2009

California, USA

Dad Sells Girl, Calls Cops to Complain He Wasn't Paid

One hundred cases of beer was only part of what a California man wanted in exchange for his daughter.

Greenfield - Greenfield, Calif., police said Marcelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, tried to arrange for his 14-year-old daughter to marry Margarito de Jesus Galindo, 18, for $16,000 and 100 cases of beer, along with several cases of meat and other items.

After the girl moved in with Galindo, Martinez called police to complain that he hadn't been paid. Police said he asked for their help getting his daughter back...

Galindo, the intended buyer/groom, was booked on suspicion of statutory rape, police said.

 Police said the practice of arranged marriage in some cultures is not relevant in the case, and even if it were, California law doesn't go for it when one or both parties have been coerced.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Jan. 13, 2009

LibertadLatina Commentary

Within the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and its regional neighbors Chiapas and Guerrero, many indigenous cultures engage in the tradition of arranged marriage.  Typically this practice starts at age 11 for girls. This involves an exchange of food and goods that are given to the girl's parents (a sort of dowry).

Child marriage is also common across Latin America.

These 'traditions' have caused a clash with the cultural values and laws of the United States, which is the destination of tens of thousands of people who practice these beliefs.

Unfortunately, human traffickers long-ago figured out how to exploit these traditions for their profit.

Members of trafficking gangs 'marry' young, underage girls in southern Mexico [and in neighboring Guatemala], in exchange for a few boxes of fruit and cases of beer, and then they sell these girls into forced prostitution both locally and internationally via organized sex trafficking networks.

Tens of thousands of these girl victims are enslaved in brothels, in places like Tapachula, a child prostitution mega-center on the Mexico-Guatemala border, in the child prostitution mege-centers of Tijuana and Acapulco (which cater largely to thousands of male sex tourists from the U.S.), in the San Diego County, California child rape camps (where a large Oaxacan population also lives), and in Europe and Japan.

The nation of Mexico does nothing of substance to protect these victims. Within the United States, the problem is off-the-radar-screen for many in law enforcement.

Mexico's indigenous population has been looked-upon as free source of labor and sexual exploitation for centuries. With billions of dollars of drug cartel money in their pockets, sex trafficking networks today (including Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, the Japanese Yakuza, the maras (youth gangs) and the Russian Mob - are taking that condoned 'tradition' of exploitation to a whole new commercial level as the World, including the United States, stands-by and does nothing.

That must change!

Meanwhile, on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala, organized criminal culture (made up of these same mafias, cartels and gangs, as well as thousands of corrupt police, immigration agents and soldiers)... systematically rape 450 to 600 migrant women and underage girls each day, with no police response whatsoever, along migration routes traveled daily by thousands of people.

And that is just the statistic in the southern border region.

Women and girls in the region, and especially along the "Milky Way" (the local name for the entire south-to-north migration route across Mexico to the U.S. border, where sex traffickers systematically kidnap and enslave women), and especially women and girls in Mexico's many indigenous communities, are at risk. Today, as poverty in the region increases dramatically, they are not protected by anyone from this mass for-profit anti-female crime wave and gender-hostile living environment.

Urgent action is needed to protect victims and those who are at risk!

We look forward to the active interest and participation of the new U.S. presidential administration of Barak Obama, and incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in regard to forming, finally, a truly organized response to these crimes against humanity, that does not blatantly ignore the real needs of Latin Americas poor, Afro-descendent and indigenous victims.

Stop this madness!

U.S. political pressure on Mexico's government and its human trafficking cartels will not happen unless and until we the people add our voices of outrage to the political process.

Its time to act ... today, not tomorrow!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


Jan. 14/15, 2009

See also:

En Jap�n, de 3 a 4 mil ni�as mexicanas v�ctimas de ESCI

Afirma la experta Teresa Ulloa

Three to four thousand underage indigenous girls from the poor states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Mexico [state] have become victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Japan.

Puebla city, in Puebla state - Teresa Ulloa, Latin America and Caribbean Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW) announced her estimates of the numbers of indigenous children sex trafficked to Japan, and explained that traffickers trick the victims using offers of thousands of dollars for their parents in exchange for  [obtaining permission] to take their daughters. The parents are told that their girls are going to the United States to work in fast food restaurant jobs.

The city of Tapachula, near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

A 2007 study by... ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

Undercover Reporter in Spain Poses as Buyer, is Offered Six 13 Year Old 'Virgin' Mayan Girls Kidnapped from Chiapas, Mexico, Mexican Trafficker's Price: $25,000 Each.  

(In Spanish)

Chiapas State Investigates Sale of Young Mayan Girls in Europe.

(In Spanish)

The Girls Next Door

The New York Times' ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States


Our special section on the San Diego Crisis

Added: Jan. 12, 2009


Al salir, viajar por M�xico hacia EU y regresar a casa

Migraci�n de centroamericanas, el fen�meno de la violencia

Central American women face violence during migration

Comit�n [in southern Mexico] - Central American women migrants leave their countries of origin and then travel through Mexico on their way to the United States.  During their travels they experience many forms of gender violence.

That violence does not end when they return to their homes. Upon returning, they are stigmatized for having left their towns, and they are looked upon as being 'easy' women by local men.

This situation is worse for returning women migrants, mainly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, who have been victims of sex and labor trafficking. They return to their homes without money, and are seen as having failed. By contrast, men who return home are viewed with dignity.

Men in their local communities believe that if these women were sexually exploited outside of the country, they too have a right to do so.

It is important to note that indigenous Central American women are up to four times more vulnerable to these forms of violence, because of their gender, ethnicity and condition as undocumented migrants.

These issues were addressed during the Second Binational Workshop on Gender and Intercultural Identity, which was conducted in Comitan, in Chiapas state. Rub� Escamilla from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) spoke at the event.

Escamilla is a member of the IOM team in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas [an epicenter of child sex trafficking near the Guatemalan border], where she provides inter-agency assistance to women who are victims of sex and labor trafficking, as well as those who have faced sexual violence during their migration across Mexico to the United States.  

During the meeting, which was convened by the Latin American Association of Organizations for the Promotion of Development (ALOP), Ruby Escamilla explained that six to eight out of every ten Central American women - some 30 to 40 percent of 1,500 migrants who cross Mexico's southern border daily, suffer some form of sexual violence [that amounts to 450 to 600 new victims of rape with impunity each day].

Women migrants also face robbery, physical assault, extortion and abduction by criminal groups and by elements of federal and state police forces and the Mexican Army.

Escamilla reported that women migrants leave their homes due to poor [local] economies and insecurity [vulnerability to organized crime].

Lu�s Flores, project officer for the IOM in Tapachula, noted that during the two and a half years that their project has spent working on the southern Mexican border, they have identified at least 150 cases of sex and labor trafficking. Some 40 to 50 victims have been assisted. Some victims have refused help.

Central American migrant women are also stigmatized in Mexico. Honduran migrants, for example, are refused domestic work, unlike other Central American women, because they are considered to be husband stealers (roba maridos).

This situation forces them to work in bars to earn enough money to continue their journey to the United States. In Tapachula, roughly 90 percent of Honduran migrant women are sex workers, which makes them vulnerable to human traffickers.

Despite the existence of Mexico's human trafficking law, and the fact that the Attorney General's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Trafficking (FEVIMTRA) exists, few if any of the 331 human rights complaints filed by migrants in 2007 have succeeded.

Despite having been created by Congress to address gender violence issues, FEVIMTRA has yet to formulate policies and receive funding that will allow it to operate.

Las migrantes centroamericanas durante el tr�nsito de sus pa�ses hacia M�xico rumbo a Estados Unidos viven distintos tipos de violencia, que no terminan cuando regresan a sus lugares de origen, pues al volver son estigmatizadas por haber salido de sus pueblos, consideradas “f�ciles, sin valor”, por los hombres de sus comunidades.

Esta situaci�n se agudiza cuando las mujeres migrantes, provenientes principalmente de Honduras, El Salvador y Guatemala, son v�ctimas de trata de personas con fines de explotaci�n sexual y laboral, pues regresan sin dinero a sus casas, “fracasadas”; caso contrario al de los varones que al volver “se dignifican”.

Cabe mencionar, que las migrantes centroamericanas ind�genas son todav�a m�s vulnerables, hasta cuatro veces por su condici�n de g�nero, migrante, sin documentos y su origen �tnico.

Guadalupe Cruz Jaimes

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 23, 2008

See also:

The city of Tapachula, near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

A 2007 study by... ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.






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Updated: Oct. 08, 2010

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

�ltimas Noticias

Latest News

Added: Oct. 8, 2010


Insiste M�xico en negar justicia a v�ctimas de violaci�n en Atenco

Pide a la CIDH que no admita 11 casos de 26 mujeres violadas

M�xico, DF - El gobierno mexicano pidi� a la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), que no admita el caso de 11 de las 26 mujeres, que fueron v�ctimas de violaci�n sexual, durante los operativos del 3 y 4 de mayo de 2006 en Texcoco y San Salvador Atenco, porque las instancias nacionales "a�n lo est�n investigando".

Adem�s insisti� en que las peticionarias han tenido diversas v�as y recursos legales para acceder a la justicia. Con esta respuesta, el Estado mexicano no reconoce los hechos ocurridos hace cuatro a�os y tampoco acepta su responsabilidad en ellos, dijo en conferencia de prensa, Jaqueline S�enz, abogada del Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agust�n Pro Ju�rez (Centro Prodh), asociaci�n que lleva estros casos ante el sistema interamericano.

Aunque en febrero de 2009, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Naci�n (SCJN), reconoci� que en los operativos de 2006, se cometieron graves violaciones a derechos humanos; y pese a que el 30 de junio de este a�o, este mismo tribunal orden� la liberaci�n de 12 presos pol�ticos que participaron en esos hechos, el Estado mexicano sigue negando la justicia para 11 mujeres violadas sexualmente...

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 S�enz, a lawyer with the Miguel Agust�n Pro Ju�rez 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.

S�enz 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.

S�enz 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 ahs already been completed, and the results indicate that the case does meet the Istanbul criteria for defining acts of torture.

On October 1, 2010, S�enz 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 IAHRC.

In response to this series of events, B�rbara Italia M�ndez, 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 M�ndez 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 Cant� and In�s Fern�ndez 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.

Anayeli Garc�a Mart�nez

CIMAC Women's news agency

Oct. 07, 2010

See also:

Added: May 16, 2009


Mujeres de Atenco, tortura sexual e impunidad

M�xico DF - El Estado mexicano viol� sus garant�as 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 neg� la asistencia ginecol�gica para que no pudieran demostrar la tortura sexual…

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 acts."

His victim, 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 Tom�s 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

Sanjuana Mart�nez

CIMAC Noticias

News for Women

Mexico City

May 12, 2009

See also:


Mexican Police Rape and Assault 47 Women at Street Protest in the city of San Salvador Atenco

Added: Oct. 7, 2010


Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Latin America and the Caribbean

DF, a la cabeza en lucha contra trata de personas: Teresa Ulloa

El Distrito Federal va a la cabeza en la lucha contra la trata de personas en el pa�s, pues ha dado pasos importantes como los �ltimos rescates de mujeres y ni�as de hoteles donde eran explotadas sexualmente, reconoci� Teresa Ulloa.

La directora regional de la Coalici�n Contra el Tr�fico de Mujeres y Ni�as para Am�rica Latina y el Caribe (CATWLAC, por sus siglas en ingl�s) afirm� en entrevista que la ciudad de M�xico tambi�n cuenta con un plan que integra pol�ticas p�blicas 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, indic� que en los �ltimos tres a�os la capital del pa�s ha mostrado un esfuerzo y se ha preocupado m�s por atacar la trata de personas...

Mexico City's government leads the way in Mexico's fight against human trafficking

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 girls.

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 ways.

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 them.

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 girls.


Oct. 03, 2010

Added: Oct. 7, 2010


Mexico City Attorney General Miguel �ngel Mancera

Detalla PGJDF acciones para combatir la trata de personas

El procurador general de justicia capitalino, Miguel �ngel Mancera, detall� frente a sus hom�logos de la zona Centro del pa�s las acciones emprendidas en la Ciudad de M�xico contra el delito de trata de personas.

Durante la Segunda Sesi�n 2010 de la Conferencia de Procuradores Generales de Justicia de la Zona Centro, Mancera Espinosa se�al� que el Gobierno del Distrito Federal ha impulsado una serie de acciones de prevenci�n y persecuci�n para erradicar este delito.

En una sesi�n de trabajo de esta reuni�n celebrada el pasado viernes en la ciudad de Puebla, el abogado de la ciudad reconoci� que pese a los esfuerzos para erradicar ese acto il�cito, el crimen organizado usa otros medios delincuenciales para eludir la acci�n de la justicia.

Para contrarrestar las artima�as de los delincuentes, el gobierno capitalino tiene como prioridad establecer pol�ticas p�blicas en la materia que permitan desactivar y desalentar las conductas delictivas de los individuos...

Mexico City prosecutors 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 �ngel Mancera presented his city's 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 individuals.

Mancera 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 Oaxaca.


Oct. 03, 2010

Added: Oct. 7, 2010

North Carolina, USA

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 here."

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

Jesse James Deconto

News Observer

Oct. 06, 2010

Added: Oct. 6, 2010

California, USA

Gregorio Gonzalez

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 kidnapper's vehicle.

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...

The Associated Press

Olivia Mu

Oct. 05, 2010

Added: Oct. 6, 2010

Guatemala, Mexico

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, Ra�l D�az, 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 official.

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 (CNDH).

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 north...

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 exploiting migrants.

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...

Danilo Valladares

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Sep. 15 , 2010

Added: Oct. 5, 2010

California, USA

Police search for man in California girl's abduction

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 man...

[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 happened.

Fresno police said 100 officers were searching for the girl and the suspect, KFSN reported.

Scott Thompson


Oct. 05, 2010

Added: Oct. 5, 2010


In�s Fern�ndez and Valentina Rosendo

Comunicado: Las sentencias de la CoIDH permitir�n a In�s y Valentina acceder a la justicia negada en M�xico.

Press Release: Inter-American Court of Human RIghts Decision Allows In�s and Valentina Access to Justice in Mexico

• Valentina Rosendo Cant� narr� lo que el fallo del Tribunal significa para ella, su familia y su comunidad.

• Cejil y Tlachinollan explicaron los alcances y el impacto de estas sentencias; Emilio �lvarez Icaza abund� en la relevancia que tienen para el momento actual.

• Valentina y sus representantes reiteran su exigencia de seguridad para In�s y Valentina

M�xico, D.F., a 4 de octubre de 2010.- Valentina Rosendo Cant� 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 ind�genas me�phaa In�s Fern�ndez Ortega y Valentina Rosendo Cant� que fueron notificadas por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) el pasado viernes 1 de octubre. Esta ma�ana, en la conferencia, estuvo presente tambi�n el ex ombudsman capitalino, Emilio �lvarez Icaza y el abogado Mario Patr�n.

Valentina Rosendo Cant� explic� su sentir en este momento en que despu�s de m�s de ocho a�os de b�squeda de justicia, vividos en condiciones de adversidad y de riesgo, finalmente la CoIDH le ha dado la raz�n, estableciendo como un hecho incontrovertible que fue violada sexualmente y torturada por soldados mexicanos. “Por fin se reconoci� que siempre dijimos la verdad”, dijo la mujer Me’phaa. Rosendo Cant� tambi�n extern� algunas de sus m�s sentidas preocupaciones, compartidas tanto por ella como por In�s Fern�ndez Ortega, y se�al�: “Ya que por fin se demostr� que siempre dijimos la verdad porque no sabemos mentir, para nosotras y nuestras familias lo m�s importante ahorita es que nos dejen vivir en paz, con tranquilidad”...

Valentina Rosendo Cant� 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 In�s Fern�ndez Ortega. Emilio �lvarez Icaza, former director of the Human Rights Commission for Mexico City, and lawyer Mario Patr�n were present at the event.

Valentina Rosendo Cant� 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 In�s and Valentina

Oct. 04, 2010

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Added: Oct. 5, 2010


Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Center (left) joins  Alejandra Nu�o, Central American director for CEJIL; Valentina Rosendo Cant�, and Emilio �lvarez 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 language, Me'phaa.

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 the 1970s.

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 own country."

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.

E. Eduardo Castillo

The Associated Press

Oct. 04, 2010

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Added: Oct. 5, 2010


Valentina Rosendo Cant� 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 Soldiers

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 Fernandez Ortega.

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 other things...


Oct. 04, 2010

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Added: Oct. 5, 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 soldiers.

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 Guerrero.

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...

Latin America News Dispatch

Oct. 05, 2010

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Added: Dec. 4, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Indigenous human rights activist Abel Barrera Hernandez, the founder and director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre

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 2001.

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 last year...

In 2002, the centre brought the case of In�s Fern�ndez 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 of lands.

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 protective orders.

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 hunger."

"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 Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Sep. 23, 2010

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Added: Dec. 4, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Abel Barrera Hernandez speaks about his role in founding the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre of the Montana in the state of Guerrero.

(In Spanish with English subtitles)

On YouTube,com

Sep. 23, 2010

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Added: Dec. 4, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexico has failed to prosecute violations, reduce torture

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 budgets.

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 enforced disappearances.

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 efforts...

Human Rights Watch

Sep. 14, 2010

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Added: Dec. 4, 2010


Time to Speak up on Military Abuse in Mexico

Jos� Miguel Vivanco, Director - Americas Division - HRW

Human Rights Watch

May 17, 2010

Added: Dec. 4, 2010

Alabama, USA

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 the car.

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 document.

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 trial.

"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 Wednesday.

"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 case.

"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 prepared statement.


Sep. 22, 2010

Added: Dec. 4, 2010

California, USA

Man 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 Wednesday.

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 the Internet.

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 illegally.

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 deportation hearing.

Pauline Repard

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Sep. 29, 2010


Added: Dec. 4, 2010

California, USA

Man 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 951-487-7368.


Oct. 1, 2010

Added: Oct. 1, 2010


Outgoing director of Mexico's National Institute for Migration Cecilia Romero

Cecilia Romero sale de Migraci�n

La funcionaria fue notificada que ser�a removida, por lo que elabor� una carta de despedida para sus colaboradores; en el �ltimo mes su posici�n en el cargo se vio debilitada por la masacre de 72 migrantes en Tamaulipas

El gobierno federal confirm� que Cecilia Romero dej� a partir de hoy el cargo como comisionada del Instituto Nacional de Migraci�n (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 ser�a removida de esa posici�n, por lo que la funcionaria elabor� una carta de despedida que circul� de manera interna en el INM por el sistema de intranet.

En el texto, Romero agradeci� el "trabajo, saludo, apoyo y sonrisa" de sus colaboradores, con quienes se reuni� por la ma�ana para revisar temas pendientes de la agenda migratoria y los exhort� a seguir adelante porque dicha labor no es una moda y parte de una �poca, sino de una instituci�n, las cuales perduran por encima de las personas.

En agosto pasado un inmigrante de origen ecuatoriano acudi� a una caseta naval para denunciar la ejecuci�n de personas en un rancho ubicado en el estado de Tamaulipas, hecho que permiti� conocer la noticia de 72 v�ctimas que habr�an ca�do abatidas presuntamente a manos de los Zetas.

Funcionarios federales definir�n en las pr�ximas horas la v�a institucional para dar a conocer el cambio de Romero, el cual puede formalizarse en Los Pinos o la Secretar�a de Gobernaci�n (Segob).

Jos� Gerardo Mej�a

El Universal

Sep. 14, 2010

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Added: Oct. 1, 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 Mart�nez, 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 migrants racket.

'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 Mart�nez of Sin Fronteras...

Migrant protection organizations have urged the Mexican state to issue an official invitation to Felipe Gonz�lez, 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 country...

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service

Sep. 16, 2010

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Added: Oct. 1, 2010


Mexican immigration official quits after massacre

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 the country.

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, Texas...

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 its statement.

...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 immigration agents.

Hours before Romero's resignation was announced, Mexico's Congress summoned her to a hearing to explain what the government was doing to protect migrants.

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.

Alexandra Olson

The Associated Press

Sep. 14, 2010

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Added: Oct. 1, 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...

The News

Sep. 15, 2010

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Added: Oct. 1, 2010


Eval�a Segob trabajo de Romero en Migraci�n

Mexico's Interior Department to investigate the work of National Institute for Migration director Cecilia Romero

La lupa est� sobre migraci�n despues de la masacre de 72 migrantes en Tamaulipas

El secretario de Gobernaci�n, Jos� Francisco Blake Mora, revel� que al interior de su dependencia est�n evaluando el trabajo de la titular de migraci�n, Cecilia Romero.

Ante las versiones de que habr�a renunciado el encargado de la pol�tica interior del pa�s, dijo que s�lo est�n revisando como en todas las acciones del gobierno su actuaci�n y en su momento vendr�n definiciones

Entrevistado al participar en el IV Informe de Gobierno de Felipe Calder�n, Blake Mora, dijo que se enfocar� en la evaluaci�n al trabajo de Cecilia Romero despu�s de la masacre de 72 migrantes en Tamaulipas, hace unos d�as.

�Se queda la titular de migraci�n en su cargo?, se le pregunt�

- Estamos revisando, estamos evaluando como en todas las acciones del gobierno que tienen que ser evaluadas, ya en su oportunidad tomaremos definiciones.

�Para cu�ndo las conclusiones?

-Voy a trabajar y cuando las tenga seguramente se las informo.

El Universal

Sep. 02, 2010

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Added: June 28, 2009


Cecilia Romero, head of Mexico's national immigration service, says that sex tourism and pedophile networks are "inevitable."

"El turismo sexual es inevitable" - Cecilia Romero del Instituto Nacional de Migraci�n de M�xico

Photo: El Universal

LibertadLatina Commentary

President Calder�n, 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 truth.

The citizens of Mexico, Mexico's Congress and the international community need to hold the government of President Felipe Calder�n 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 would "entirely 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 for.

Do you need money, President Calder�n, 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?

�Esta barbarie no ser� perdonado por Dios!

This 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) N�stor 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 Palermo Protocol, 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... unacceptable!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


June 28, 2009

Updated Oct. 2, 2010

See also:


The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our 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 ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby


Added: Oct. 1, 2010


La trata de personas no se persigue en el pa�s. Apenas seis entidades

Gobiernos soslayan la trata de personas

...La trata de personas no se persigue en el pa�s. Apenas seis entidades —Chiapas, Distrito Federal, Nuevo Le�n, Tabasco y Tlaxcala, adem�s de Hidalgo que ayer la aprob�—, tienen legislaci�n sobre la materia. El resto a excepci�n de Campeche y Tamaulipas tipificaron el delito en sus c�digos penales. Sin embargo, s�lo 12 estados cuentan con una legislaci�n 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.

Government overlooks modern slavery

Human 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 immediately visible.

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 Lenones [family based sex trafficking mafias] are there. At Noon they stop to eat pork quesadillas. It's their territory.

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 Le�n, 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 Palermo Protocol.

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...

El Universal

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 29, 2010


Officials from Mexico's Chiapas state, together with the IOM, launch a major media campaign against human trafficking

Emprenden Gobierno de Chiapas y OIM campa�a contra la trata de personas

Con el objetivo de proteger a los grupos m�s vulnerables, el gobierno de Chiapas, a trav�s de la Secretar�a para el Desarrollo de la Frontera Sur y Enlace para la Cooperaci�n Internacional, une esfuerzos a la Organizaci�n Internacional para las Migraciones para combatir la trata de personas mediante una amplia campa�a medi�tica.

Siendo Chiapas un estado de tr�nsito de migrantes, es prioritario que ellos sepan que hacerlo indocumentadamente no es sin�nimo de indefensi�n, sino por el contrario, en Chiapas se comprende el sentido de su viaje en b�squeda de una mejora calidad de vida y la vulnerabilidad con la que lo efect�an. Es por eso que el gobierno de Chiapas, encabezado por Juan Sabines Guerrero, trabaja en transformar la frontera sur de M�xico 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 d�a de hoy una ambiciosa campa�a en medios masivos como la televisi�n y radio, as� como espectaculares, pantallas de proyecci�n, material impreso e internet, con lo que se pretende concientizar a la ciudadan�a de que la trata de personas es evitable y se combate con la denuncia; adem�s de que tengan la seguridad de que recibir�n todo el apoyo, asistencia y protecci�n en caso de ser v�ctimas de este flagelo. Es importante destacar que la parte medular de la campa�a se concentra en la posibilidad de hacer una denuncia an�nima y sin costo al 018007152000...

The state government of Chiapas and the International Organization for Migration launch media campaign against human trafficking

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...

Diario Chiapas Hoy

Sep. 27, 2010

Added: Sep. 29, 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 Geneva, Switzerland.

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

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

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

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

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

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010

Added: Sep. 29, 2010

Oregon, USA

Police warn of man exposing himself near Portland school

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 fender.

Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call 9-1-1.

Teresa Blackman


Sep. 28, 2010

Added: Sep. 29, 2010

California, USA

Man 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 sexual act.

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 area.

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 Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking

Added: Sep. 28, 2010


Buscaremos romper el cerco de los “guardianes del patriarcado”

El delito de trata de personas es tan complejo, que el discutir pr�ximamente sobre el acceso a la justicia y restituci�n de derechos para las v�ctimas, permitir� a quienes estamos luchando contra �ste, homogeneizar criterios y exigir con mejores herramientas a las autoridades judiciales de Latinoamericana, que cumplan con la ley.

La directora Regional de la Coalici�n contra la Trata y Tr�fico de Mujeres y Ni�as en Am�rica Latina y el Caribe, Asociaci�n Civil (CATW-LAC), Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, dijo a Cimacnoticias que la complejidad del delito de trata, ha impedido su tipificaci�n, y por ende demostrarlo, para lograr sentenciar a los proxenetas.

Al cierre del II Congreso Latinoamericano contra la Trata y Tr�fico de Personas: Migraci�n, G�nero y Derechos Humanos que se realiz� en esta ciudad, dijo que una vez que ya se conoce la agenda del pr�ximo Congreso a efectuarse en Per� en 2012; el intercambio de ideas entre la academia, organizaciones de la sociedad civil e incluso con autoridades, generar� ideas m�s claras sobre c�mo resolver la problem�tica.

Reconoci� que en Am�rica Latina se ha avanzado en la elaboraci�n de leyes, pero no se ha logrado que sean efectivas, que haya sentencias, “ y yo coincido con lo que dicen las espa�olas que los jueces son los guardianes m�s celosos del patriarcado y eso es lo que tenemos que romper”, asegur�...

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 Caribbean (CATW-LAC) [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 and pimps.

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..."

Elizabeth Mu�oz V�squez

CIMAC Women's News Service

Sep. 27, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010


Dr. Raquel Pastor, the Academic Secretary of the Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking, in a photo from an earlier anti-trafficking press conference

Condena un�nime contra migraci�n forzada y aumento de trata en AL

Pronunciamiento del II Congreso Latinoamericano sobre trata

Puebla, Puebla - Con una condena a las autoridades de Puebla, M�xico y Latinoam�rica, 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, concluy� aqu� el II Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas: Migraci�n, G�nero y Derechos Humanos.

Raquel Pastor, Secretaria Acad�mica del Segundo Congreso y representante del Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales Antonio Montesinos AC de M�xico, al dar lectura al pronunciamiento precis� que las y los integrantes al evento condenan “los hechos que violentan los derechos humanos, la migraci�n forzada, el aumento de casos de trata en la regi�n”.

Demandamos, dijo, las investigaciones correspondientes exhaustivas para que los cr�menes de Tamaulipas, no queden en la impunidad y sean restituidos los derechos de las familias de las v�ctimas.

De igual manera dijo, “condenamos tambi�n los actos represivos y de persecuci�n en contra de aquellas personas que se atreven a denunciar, como los que llevan a cabo algunos gobernantes en Puebla, M�xico y Latinoam�rica para acallar y encubrir la vulneraci�n de los derechos de las ni�as v�ctimas de explotaci�n 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 Tamaulipas.

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 restored.

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, Mexico [see 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 women.

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 activities.

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 Congress.

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.

Elizabeth Mu�oz Vasquez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

Sep. 24, 201-

Added: Sep. 26, 2010


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 with Haiti.

"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 City.

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 Dominican Republic.

The author was in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit.

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 national laws.

"The penal system is fragile and the judiciary is neither independent nor trustworthy, a situation that works in favor of traffickers," Guylande said...

Emilio Godoy

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010


Puebla, entre los estados que m�s producen pornograf�a infantil, informa una ONG

M�xico ocupa el primer lugar de Am�rica Latina en la producci�n y distribuci�n de pornograf�a infantil, principalmente hacia Estados Unidos, Espa�a y pa�ses de Oriente Medio, se�al� ayer Mayra Rojas Rosas, representante de la Organizaci�n Infancia Com�n, durante el Segundo Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas que se realiza en la Universidad Iberoamericana.

Los estados con m�s casos de trata infantil, puntualiz�, son: Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo Le�n, Guerrero, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Distrito Federal, Tlaxcala y Puebla. “La gente cree que s�lo son fotos o que s�lo es un video, pero eso da�a y los da�a para siempre porque a veces son relaciones reales y otras simuladas, pero esos ni�os est�n siendo trastocados en su integridad y est�n siendo sometidos a una serie de experiencias que no tiene que sufrir un ni�o o un adolescente”, declar�.

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 nations.

Rojas Rosas added that the states with the highest levels of the production of 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 through.

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 Rosas.

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 carried out).

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 Salvador.

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 m�s 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.

Arturo Alfaro Gal�n

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 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 Mart�n P�rez, 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 socially accepted.

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 P�rez.

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 Atizap�n, 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 pregnancy.

"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 prevails."

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 was born.

"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 Ju�rez, 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 official data.

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 her consent.

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.

Daniela Pastrana

Inter Press Service (IPS) / TerraViva

Sep. 21, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010


Bicentennial Nothing to Celebrate, Say Indigenous Peoples

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 Mazahua language.

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 fireworks display.

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 Veracruz.

"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 rates.

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 children.

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 M�xico 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 Chiapas.

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 compromise."

"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 desperation."

Daniela Pastrana

Inter-Press Service (IPS)

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010


IOM - Co-organizer and Participant in the Second Latin-American Congress on Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking

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, Mexico.

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 Latin-America.

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 hemisphere.

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 destinations.

"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...

H�l�ne Le Goff

International Organization for Migration (IOM)  M�xico

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010

Texas, USA

Chase leads deputies to possible human trafficking ring

San Antonio - A chase led Bexar County deputies to a home they say may be part of human trafficking ring.

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 find space.

"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

Added: Sep. 26, 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 Thursday.

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 Monday.

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 older woman...

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.

Gabrielle Giroday

The Winnipeg Free Press

Sep. 24, 2010

Added: Sep. 24, 2010

Mexico, Latin America

Marcela Lagarde y de los R�os - president of Mexico's Network for Women’s Life and Liberty, speaks at the Second Latin American Congress on Human Trafficking

Mujeres con derechos y ciudadan�a, debe exigir la sociedad

Plantea Marcela Lagarde en Congreso sobre Trata y Tr�fico

El delito de trata de personas no s�lo 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 �ste �ltimo no se ha reformado para hacer frente a sus obligaciones legales, afirm� aqu� la feminista Marcela Lagarde y de los R�os.

Ante los comit�s de organizaci�n y acad�mico del II Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas: Migraci�n, G�nero y Derechos Humanos, se pronunci� por recurrir a los aportes te�ricos de la investigaci�n de la perspectiva de g�nero, para definir y diferenciar los l�mites precisos sobre los riesgos de ser objeto de trata, que corren las mujeres y las ni�as, por edad, clase social, etnicidad, condiciones de migraci�n, de legalidad e ilegalidad...

Women, with our rights of citizenship, must make demands upon society

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 R�os 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 migration.

Lagarde explained that when, for example, the topic of immigrants is discussed, the term “inmigrantes”

 (immigrants), not “las migrantes” (women immigrants) is used.

Linguistically, Lagarde 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 of women.”

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...

Elizabeth Mu�oz V�squez

The CIMAC Women's News Agency

Sep. 22, 2010

Added: Sep. 24, 2010

Mexico, Latin America

Ibero-American University rector David Fern�ndez D�valos, 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”: Fern�ndez D�valos

Encuentro Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas

Cada a�o, cerca de 100 mil mujeres provenientes de pa�ses de Am�rica Latina y el Caribe, son llevadas con enga�os y falsas promesas de empleo, a diversas naciones del mundo, sin que se conozcan las cifras nacionales oficiales, estudios, las estad�sticas, ni los informes cuantitativos que permitan evidenciar el fen�meno de la trata de personas.

Al inaugurar aqu� el Segundo Encuentro Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas: Migraci�n, G�nero y Derechos Humanos, el rector de la Universidad Iberoamericana, Puebla, David Fern�ndez D�valos, lament� que este problema no le importe a nadie, “ni a la academia, ni a los gobernantes, ni a gran parte de la sociedad civil”.

En el mundo, dijo, m�s de 4 millones de personas son v�ctimas del delito de trata y de esa cifra, el 80 por ciento es sufrida por mujeres, ni�os y ni�as en sus diversas formas de explotaci�n sexual.

Desafortunadamente, continu�, a la trata con fines de explotaci�n sexual y laboral, la adopci�n ilegal, el comercio de �rganos y el tr�fico de droga, se suma la venta de ni�as y adolescentes en comunidades ind�genas de M�xico, los abusos en el servicio dom�stico, los matrimonios serviles y la violencia familiar, son validadas por sistemas patriarcales, machistas y conservadores, que limitan la problem�tica y la reducen...

Ibero-American University rector David Fern�ndez D�valos: "Nobody cares about  eradicating human trafficking"

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 trafficking.

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 Fern�ndez D�valos lamented that nobody cares about human trafficking, "neither academia, nor those in government, nor the great majority of civil society."

Fern�ndez D�valos 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 exploitation.

Unfortunately, added Fern�ndez D�valos, 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.

Fern�ndez D�valos 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.

Fern�ndez D�valos 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 human mobility."

Castro, "[Organized 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 Mexico."

The opening ceremonies of the Congress were also attended by Jos� Manuel Grima, president of the Congress and Teresa Ulloa Ziaurr�z, 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.

Elizabeth Mu�oz V�squez

The CIMAC Women's News Agency

Sep. 21, 2010

Added: Sep. 26, 2010

Latin America

Am�rica 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 creaci�n de mercados intrarregionales, seg�n especialistas y activistas de Am�rica Latina reunidos desde este martes en esta ciudad mexicana.

"El combate ha terminado en respuestas m�s formales que reales, como los cambios legales. No hay inter�s de los estados, no es una prioridad", critic� a IPS Ana Hidalgo, de la oficina en Costa Rica de la Organizaci�n Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM), la instituci�n intergubernamental que promueve una migraci�n ordenada y justa.

Hidalgo forma parte de los 450 acad�micos y activistas que participan en Puebla, a 129 kil�metros al sur de Ciudad de M�xico, en el Segundo Congreso Latinoamericano sobre Trata y Tr�fico de Personas, inaugurado este martes y que concluir� este viernes 24.

"Se atiende a una v�ctima y se inicia un proceso penal, pero no hay sentencia porque hay impunidad. El consumidor, l�ase el prostituyente o el violador, no est� captado en la f�rmula", se�al� la abogada Ana Ch�vez, del Servicio Paz y Justicia de Argentina.

En M�xico cada a�o unas 20.000 personas ser�an v�ctimas de la trata, seg�n el no gubernamental Centro de Estudios e Investigaci�n en Desarrollo y Asistencia Social (CEIDAS), uno de cuyos ejes es el estudio de ese fen�meno.

En Am�rica Latina esa cifra es de 250.000 personas, con una ganancia de 1.350 millones de d�lares para las bandas, seg�n estad�sticas de la mexicana Secretar�a (ministerio) de Seguridad P�blica. Pero los datos sobre el fen�meno 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:

Added: Sep. 24, 2010

Latin America: Five Million Women Have Fallen Prey to Trafficking Networks

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 Ch�vez, 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 equation.'

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 their hands...

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 Fern�ndez D�valos, 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 Women (CATW).

Government authorities 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 Mexico.

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 Ch�vez 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 crimes.'

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 Exc�lsior 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.'

Emilio Godoy

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Sep. 22, 2010

Added: Sep. 21, 2010


Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has insisted upon linking U.S. aid to human rights improvements in Mexico

Rights groups against giving US anti-drug aid to Mexico

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.

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 the Senate.

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 security crisis.

"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."

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Sep. 15, 2010

See also:

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.

(In Spanish)

Added: Sep. 19, 2010


Mexican journalist, author and anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro

Photo: CIMAC Women's News Agency - Mexico

Premio Internacional al Escritor Valiente para Lydia Cacho

Por investigaci�n y denuncia de red de pederastia en M�xico

La periodista Lydia Cacho Ribeiro recibir� el pr�ximo 20 de octubre el Premio Internacional al Escritor Valiente, que otorga la Asociaci�n de Escritores PEN Internacional, distinci�n que se confiere a quienes escriben y sufren persecuci�n por sus creencias.

En un comunicado, la Asociaci�n sin fines de lucro inform� que otorgar� a Cacho el reconocimiento por su investigaci�n y denuncia de una red de pederastia, y sus presuntos v�nculos con autoridades y empresarios en M�xico...

Lydia Cacho receives award for valiant journalism

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 their beliefs.

In 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.

The 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).

In 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 link.

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.

IN 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 Vienna, Austria.

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 Agency

Sep. 17, 2010

See also:

Mexican 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 beliefs.

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 in 2005...

The awards will be presented in London on Oct. 20.

The Associated Press

Sep. 16, 2010

See also:

Journalist / Activist   Lydia Cacho is    Railroaded by the Legal Process in Mexico for Having Exposing Child Sex Networks In Mexico

Added: Sep. 19, 2010

The World, Chile

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) with former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, on 14 September 2010

Bachelet: ONU Mujeres Ser� un Enorme Desaf�o

La ex presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet describi� su nombramiento al frente de ONU Mujeres como un enorme desaf�o que acoge con benepl�cito.

En una entrevista exclusiva con la Radio de la ONU, Bachelet indic� que su designaci�n representa un reconocimiento a los logros de su gobierno y a los avances de su pa�s en pol�ticas destinadas al adelanto de la mujer.

Consider� que su experiencia como mandataria y su relaci�n con otros jefes de Estado contribuir�n a avanzar en el objetivo de la igualdad de los g�neros.

“Mi experiencia tambi�n en todo lo vinculado al trabajo de igualdad de las mujeres, igualdad de derechos, a luchar contra la violencia, a luchar contra la discriminaci�n, esta ha sido la historia de mi vida. No s�lo con respecto a las mujeres, sino de los hombres, mujeres, ni�os, ancianos. Toda esta experiencia la quiero entregar en esta tarea que es la direcci�n de esta nueva estructura de Naciones Unidas”.

La nueva Entidad para la Igualdad entre los G�neros, “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. Comenzar� a operar en enero de 2011.

Radio ONU - UN Radio

Sep. 15, 2010

See also:

Former Chilean president to head new high-profile UN women’s agency

Secretary-General 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 global affairs.

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 private sector.”

“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 of 2015...

The United Nations

Sep. 14, 2010

See also:

Bachelet 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 - Weekly Update

Sep. 16, 2010


Added: Sep. 19, 2010


Ecuador 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 - Weekly Update

Sep. 16, 2010

Added: Sep. 19, 2010

The World

Governments seek coordination to fight sex trafficking

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. - LL]

"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 trafficking.

"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.

Amra Alirejsovic

Energy Publisher

Sep. 13, 2010

Added: Sep. 19, 2010

Illinois, USA

West 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...

Christy Gutowski

The Daily Herald

Sep. 16, 2010

Added: Sep. 19, 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 said Monday.

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, police said.

"I'm looking for my mother," the brawny pervert told her.

"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 on her."

...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.

Rocco Parascandola, Kevin Deutsch and Corky Siemaszko

The New York Daily News

Sep.13, 2010

Added: Sep. 19, 2010

California, USA

San Bernardino County Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing 2 Boys

Reverend Alex 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 Ontario.

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.

Eric Spillman


Sep. 14, 2010

Added: Sep. 19, 2010

Ohio, USA

Teen girl says she was raped

Dayton - Police are looking for a man, possibly Hispanic in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

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 black.

If you have any information about this crime, please call 333-COPS.

Charlie Van Sant


Sep. 17, 2010

Added: Sep. 14, 2010


The wrong solution in Mexico

The Obama 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 impunity...

[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 Mexico.

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 magazine.

John M. Ackerman

Sep. 10, 2010

Added: Sep. 11, 2010

New Mexico, USA

New 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 safety initiatives.

[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. Jeff Bingaman.

The Associated Press

Sep. 11, 2010

Added: Sep. 10, 2010

Mexico, The United States

Los Angeles Times metro columnist Hector Tobar is a former Mexico City bureau chief for the newspaper.

Photo: L.A. Times

Where's 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 nightmare.

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 City.

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 El Universal.

"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 living.

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 American countries.

"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 live."

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 disappearances.

Most of the country's leading immigrant rights groups haven't even bothered to issue a news release.

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 farms.

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 of people.

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 threat...

...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.

Hector Tobar

The Los Angeles Times

Sep. 9, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Clarifying the Issues in an Age of Impunity

The 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, LibertadLatina, 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 Washington.

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!

Chuck Goolsby


Sep. 10/14, 2009

Also mentioned in Hector Tobar's September 9, 2010 Los Angeles Times article was the El Mozote massacre:

No Rescue From Atlacatl Battalion

The U.S.-trained 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

A 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 tree."

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."


Added: Sep. 10, 2010


37 suspected illegal immigrants found captive in Riverside

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, Arnold said.

"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.

Phil Willon

The Los Angeles Times

Sep. 9, 2010

Added: Sep. 10, 2010

Spain, Brazil

Spain 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 February.

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 Maranh�o. 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.

Raphael Minder

The New York Times

Aug. 31, 2010

Added: Sep. 9, 2010


The Ibero-American University in Puebla opens the Ignacio Ellacur�a Human Rights Institute in March of 2010

Acciones vs trata de personas en M�xico son insuficientes: UIA

Cada minuto y medio se comete un delito de trata de personas en el mundo, y en M�xico, a�n sabiendo los lugares y rutas donde operan las redes, las acciones que se realizan para evitarlo son insuficientes, se�alaron especialistas.

Oscar Castro Soto, director del Instituto de Derechos Humanos “Ignacio Ellacurr�a” de la Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), indic� que cada a�o 400,000 personas son v�ctimas de dicho delito en el mundo.

En la presentaci�n de la agenda del “II Congreso latinoamericano de trata y tr�fico de personas”, el director explic� que 80% de las victimas son ni�os y mujeres utilizados para explotaci�n sexual y trabajos dom�sticos, ya sea de forma conciente o en contra de su voluntad.

Las rutas identificadas son: Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile y Argentina; Brasil y Espa�a; Panam�, Nicaragua y Costa Rica; y El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, M�xico y Estados Unidos, expresaron acad�micos de la UIA.

Las redes de trata y de pornograf�a infantil en M�xico que est�n vinculadas al narcotr�fico, se encuentran en regiones de Tapachula, Canc�n, Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Ciudad Ju�rez y La Merced, en el Distrito Federal, indicaron expertos.

Las instituciones federales y estatales de M�xico, con excepci�n 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 pa�ses, lo que ocasion� la sorpresa de varios especialistas.

Raquel Pastor, integrante del Comit� Acad�mico del Congreso, se�al� en un comunicado, el apoyo del foro para ayudar a quienes trabajan en la persecuci�n del delito de trata, ya que en M�xico no existen instituciones especializadas que atiendan a las v�ctimas de dicho delito.

Mexico's actions against human trafficking are insufficient: Ibero-American University

According to Oscar Castro Soto, director of the Ignacio Ellacurr�a 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 servitude.

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 - LL].

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, Canc�n, Acapulco, Veracruz, Tijuana, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Ciudad Ju�rez and the La Merced sector of Mexico City.

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

See also:

From the CATW-LAC flyer for their third annual awards ceremony

La Coalici�n Regional Contra El Tr�fico De Mujeres Y Ni�as En Am�rica Latina Y El Caribe presentar� su "Tercer Premio Latino-americano por La Vida y la Seguridad de las Mujeres y Ni�as 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.

(In Spanish)


Sep., 2010

See also:

En la UIA Puebla se inaugurar� el Instituto de Derechos Humanos Ignacio Ellacur�a |22 de Marzo de 2010|

The UIA in Puebla opens the Ignacio Ellacur�a Human Rights Institute on March 22nd, 2010.

(In Spanish)


March 22, 2010

Other important news stories from 2009 and 2010

Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

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

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

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

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

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

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

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

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

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


July 21, 2010

Added: March 1, 2010


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

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama G�mez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

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

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby


March 1, 2010

See Also:


V�ctimas del tr�fico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y ni�as en Am�rica Latina

De esa cifra, m�s de 500 mil casos ocurren en M�xico, se�alan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Mexico: M�s de un mill�n de menores se prostituyen en el centro del pa�s: especialista

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

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

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 200

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

Added: Dec. 03, 2009


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

Muertes por violencia en M�xico podr�an ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

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

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en M�xico en los �ltimos a�os, 15 mil en los �ltimos tres a�os, podr�an formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declar� este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.


Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:


Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009

Added: Dec. 03, 2009


The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calder�n completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calder�n’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calder�n’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agust�n Pro Ju�rez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The M�rida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?


Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?


Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

The National Organization of the Anvil, or simply El Yunque (The Anvil), is the name of a secret society... whose purpose, according to the reporter Alvaro Delgado, "is to defend the [ultra-conservative elements of the] Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan, whether through violence or murder "and establish" the kingdom of God in the land that is subject to the Mexican Government, to the mandates of the Catholic Church, through the infiltration of all its members at the highest levels of political power.

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com

�Feliz D�a Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International


Day, 2010

March 8 / Marzo 8


�Feliz D�a Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!


Nuestra declaraci�n de 2005 D�a Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en d�a, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as ni�as de todas las Am�ricas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al p�blico en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presi�n popular sobre los funcionarios electos y otros encargados de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de g�nero -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las ni�as de las Am�ricas.

�Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby


March 8, 2008


Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 18, 2008

Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula


The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby


See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Dom�stica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence

Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciaci�n Sexual y Consumo de la Prostituci�n ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevenci�n de la migraci�n temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina


Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby


June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's San Tomas Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitu-tion and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

The New York Times' ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004

Added March 23, 2008










Un mill�n de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostituci�n

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por verg�enza en resoluci�n sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia P�rez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."

Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.

Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute


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

Last Updated:

Nov. 27, 2008

About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala

Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States

United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006

Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jir�n Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Ni�a.

Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking ...is... big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006

"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lard�. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!


Jan., 2009


Dec., 2008


Nov.  2008 


Oct.   2008


Sep.  2008


Aug.  2008


July   2008


June 2008


May   2008



We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials � the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.