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December 2008 News

(News Added During December, 2008)

Last updated on January 10, 2009

Added: Jan. 10, 2009

Minnesota, USA

Man connected to Minneapolis rape, another in 2001

Minneapolis Police credits DNA evidence to helping them link a 31-year-old man to two rapes; one that occurred recently and the other in New Brighton seven years ago. While thrilled to be able to catch the man responsible for a crime so many years back, authorities worry there could be several other cases.

Trinidad Perez is in custody at the Hennepin County Jail on criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges. Officials told 5 Eyewitness News the Department of Immigration and Naturalization will likely become involved in the case.

On Aug. 7, a woman told police she was at the Latin America restaurant the night before, but really couldn’t remember anything else. She vaguely remembered a man driving her home in a white van, and that her purse and wallet were missing. She believed she had been sexually assaulted.

Nicole Muehlhausen

Dec. 25, 2008

Added: Jan. 10, 2009

Pennsylvania, USA

Bethlehem man allegedly rapes acquaintance at knifepoint

Bethlehem - A city man is wanted for allegedly raping a woman at knifepoint.

Nathanael Maldonado, 23, reportedly held a kitchen knife inches away from the victim's face and neck before raping her Monday night or early Tuesday morning, police said.

The victim and the suspect are acquainted, police said.

Colin McEvoy and JD Malone

The Express-Times

Dec. 25, 2008

Added: Jan. 10, 2009

California, USA

Police Search for Man Accused of Kidnap and Rape

Cerritos - The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department is seeking the public's help in identifying a man accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Cerritos.

Sheriffs detectives describe the man as a 30-35 year-old male, Hispanic, 5'9''-5'10'', weighing about 215 pounds and having brown eyes and a shaved head.

At the time of the rape he was driving a 80's-90's model Chevrolet Astro or GMC Safari van dark in color with a 1"-2" horizontal stripe running across the length of the vehicle.


Dec. 21, 2008


Added: Jan. 5, 2009


“No nos quedó de otra, más que salir de nuestro pueblo”, Floriana García

Premio Nacional de la Juventud 2005-2006

Winner of the 2005-2006 National Youth Award: "We have no other choice but leave our homes"

According to Beatriz Floriana Garcia Cortes, a migrant from Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca, now living in Guadalajara, the indigenous population in the region has two options: to move or to die. Floriana won Mexico's National Youth Award for 2005-2006for her work in promoting the efforts of women artisans among the Mixtec indigenous people.

Like many Oaxacans, Floriana had to leave her village to look for opportunities to study and work. She, along with her eight brothers and her parents migrated, adding to the swelling ranks of Oaxacans who represent one of the largest migrant communities now living outside of Mexico.

Floriana moved to Guadalajara when she was six years old. In time, she achieved her goal of getting an education. She completed a degree in computer management at the Western Technological Institute of Higher Studies (ITESO).

After graduation she had the opportunity to work in a company, but chose instead to open a store to promote employment for women artisans.

"Upon leaving the university you can work in any business, but I was concerned about how mothers left their children alone to go out and work."

It was then that she decided, together with Catalina Acevedo Olea and Francisco Acevedo, who had studied law, to start-up a micro enterprise - Bordados (flowers in Spanish) Mixtecos [Mixtec Flowers]. Their goal was to create jobs.

Floriana wins the National Youth Award

[As a result of her project] Floriana was honored with the National Youth Award for 2005-2006 in the category of productive activities. She had been nominated by the Jalisco Institute of Crafts...

Floriana notes that the Oaxacan people love their land, but the conditions of  poverty and misery force them to choose between two options: move or die. They choose to move. By doing so, they face barriers including an inability to speak Spanish well, and the fact that they do not have basic identification documents such as a birth certificate, a voter card or an immunization card.

The lack of these documents has been an obstacle for both women and men. Neither public nor private employers will hire them. Their only choice has been self employment, from selling on street corners to begging, to working as domestics...

Floriana recounts that, upon completion of her primary education, her grandparents asked her: "Why do you study? Women don't need to study."

Looking back on the path she has traveled, Floriana knows that she has had success, but that she still has a long way to go.

En Oaxaca, la población indígena tiene dos opciones: emigrar o morir, expresó Beatriz Floriana García Cortés, migrante oaxaqueña en Guadalajara y Premio Nacional de la Juventud 2005-2006 por su labor en el impulso de las mujeres artesanas mixtecas.

Al igual que muchos oaxaqueños, Floriana tuvo que salir de su pueblo para ir en búsqueda de oportunidades de estudio y trabajo. Junto con sus ocho hermanos y sus padres, engrosaron las cifras de personas que emigran del estado de Oaxaca, al sur de México, una de las entidades federativas con más comunidades de migrantes fuera del país.

Floriana llegó a Guadalajara cuando tenía seis años. Al paso del tiempo encontró lo que buscaba: estudiar. Logró concluir la licenciatura en Informática Administrativa en el Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO).

Olga Rosario Avendaño

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 18, 2008

Added: Jan. 5, 2009


Atentado del ejército colombiano iba dirigido a mí: Aída Quilcué

Consejera del CRIC había recibido amenazas de muerte

Aída Quilcué: "The Colombian army's attack was directed at me." Indigenous leaders had received death threats

Mexico City - "I think the attack was meant for me," said Aida Quilcué, head counsel for the Greater Regional Indigenous Council of [the province of] Cauca (CRIC).

Quilcué was referring to a Colombian Army attack last Tuesday that resulted in the death of her husband, Edwin Legarda, who had been riding in a van that Quilcué used for her travels.

Quilcué, after analyzing what had occured, stated that the murder was a premeditated crime, and that she was the intended target.

Quilcué has received numerous death threats.

In a communiqué from the CRIC, Quilcué stated that the threats to her life increased after she submitted reports nationally and internationally about the violence to which indigenous peoples are being subjected in Colombia.

Aída Quilcué, along with other leaders of the CRIC, recently spearheaded a "Minga" (meet-up or mobilization) of the aboriginal peoples of the southwest of the country, from October to November, that included a march to [the nation's capitol,] Bogota, to demand the return of their [stolen] land and an end to the violence against their communities...

The CRIC's vehicle, which is widely known on the roads of the region, was attacked from three sides and had 17 bullet impacts. According to witnesses, there was no checkpoint on the road, nor was an order given by troops to stop...

Luis Andrade Evelis Casamada, Director of the the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), pointed to these facts and declared that an attack on the CRIC is an attack on ONIC, on the Colombian indigenous movement and against any and all who dare to and engage the people by proposing new ideas.

Evelis Casamada said that with this murder, we confirm once again that efforts by the Colombian state to kill indigenous leaders are a component of its security policy, as was also demonstrated during the recent Minga act of resistance.

The state calls these events acts that are carried out by isolated individuals, to distance themselves. In reality, these events for part of the massacre against the Colombian people...

The CRIC has reiterated the position of their past statements. They reject bullets, terror and war, wherever they come from. Impunity, they say, cannot be allowed to continue in this painful situation. "This is a war against the people, and against the indigenous movement for dignity, including the right of peoples to build a country without bosses, that can live in peace."

The CRIC has demanded that soldiers leave their territories so that they can live in peace.

“Creo que el atentado era para mí”, expresó Aída Quilcué, Consejera Mayor del Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (CRIC), al referirse al ataque del ejército colombiano el pasado martes en el que murió su compañero Edwin Legarda, quien iba en la camioneta que ella utilizaba para sus recorridos.

La Consejera del CRIC, al analizar las circunstancias del asesinato de su esposo, denunció este hecho como un acto premeditado que en realidad la tenía a ella como objetivo, pues Aida Quilcué ha recibido múltiples amenazas de muerte. Su riesgo aumentó a raíz de sus denuncias nacionales e internacionales sobre la violencia contra los pueblos indígenas, expresó un comunicado del CRIC.

Aída Quilcué, junto a otros líderes del CRIC, encabezó recientemente la "Minga" (marcha o movilización) de los pueblos aborígenes del suroeste del país, que de octubre a noviembre pasados caminaron hasta Bogotá para exigir la devolución de tierras y el fin de la violencia contra sus comunidades.

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 18, 2008

Added: Jan. 5, 2009


En Ecuador, Conaie condena asesinato del líder indígena Edwin Legarda

Pide investigación internacional

In Ecuador, CONAIE indigenous leader condemns killing of Edwin Legarda in Colombia, and requests an international investigation

Mexico City - The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), has made a strong public condemnation of the murder of Colombian indigenous leader Edwin Legarda on December 16th, and calls for the establishment of an international commission of Inquiry into this event, that has affected indigenous peoples in Colombia and across the Continent.

Given the number of acts of violence in Colombia against indigenous peoples and their organizations, CONAIE believes it is imperative and urgent that international action be taken to investigate the facts, so that those responsible are punished to the full extent of the law .

CONAIE's statement went on to say that the murder of Edwin Legarda is not an isolated incident. They note that International human rights organizations have shown that leaders of Ecuador's social organizations and its Afro-Ecuadorian and indigenous communities are also the victims of gross violations of their fundamental human rights.

The self-defense of indigenous territories remains the major cause of these conflicts and associated crimes against humanity, which can not and should not continue with impunity. For our peoples, territories are crucial in the exercise of our right to life.

In the short-term, CONAIE calls upon the UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, [Mayan] Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum, to speak on the proposal of the commission of inquiry and to ensure its creation.

La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador ­(Conaie), hace pública su firme condena al asesinato en Colombia del líder indígena Edwin Legarda el pasado 16 de diciembre, y pide el establecimiento de una Comisión Internacional de Investigación sobre un hecho que afecta a los Pueblos Indígenas de Colombia y del Continente, informó un boletín de CONAIE.

Ante la serie de hechos de violencia acaecidos en Colombia contra los pueblos indígenas y sus expresiones organizativas, la Conaie considera que es imperativa y urgente una acción internacional que investigue estos hechos con la finalidad de que sus responsables sean sancionados con todo el rigor de la ley.

Debe señalarse que el asesinato de Edwin Legarda no es un hecho aislado, pues los organismos de derechos humanos internacionales han señalado que en ese país dirigentes sociales, organizativos, afroecuatorianos e indígenas, son víctimas de graves violaciones a sus derechos fundamentales.

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 18, 2008

Added: Jan. 5, 2009


Desempleo exacerba violencia contra las mujeres

Concluye informe de la CEPAL

Unemployment exacerbates violence against women

Mexico City - Violence against women takes a high toll on public health and increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, according to a study: Latin American Social Panorama 2008, developed by the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) of the United Nations. The report devoted one chapter to the topic of youth and family violence in Latin America.

The CEPAL study shows a clear relationship between violent abuse and the deterioration of the health of women victims and their children. For example, women who had suffered abuse from their partners had greater number of unwanted births and deaths of children (between 33 percent and 72 percent) than those who never experienced such violence.

There is evidence that violence is associated with conditions such as low birth weight, premature delivery and miscarriage. Women victims of violence showed a greater chance of having sexually transmitted infections and were much less likely than other women to receive prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Abused women were also less likely to vaccinate their children from 12 to 35 months of age. Their children were also more likely to die before reaching 5 years old.

The report also notes that manifestations of gender violence in the home are associated with patterns of unequal power relations within the family...

The [global] financial crisis could aggravate the factors that fuel youth violence in Latin America, to the extent that it causes an increase in youth unemployment and increased frustration of the expectations of social mobility among young people.

La violencia contra la mujer representa una alta carga para la salud pública y conlleva riesgos asociados a infecciones de transmisión sexual, así lo informó el estudio Panorama social de América Latina 2008, de la Comisión Económica para América Latina (CEPAL) de Naciones Unidas, que dedica un capítulo al tema de la violencia juvenil y familiar en Latinoamérica.

El estudio de CEPAL muestra una clara relación entre los maltratos y el deterioro de la salud de las mujeres víctimas y sus hijas e hijos. Por ejemplo, las mujeres que habían sufrido maltratos de sus parejas tenían mayor número de partos no deseados y partos de niños muertos (entre un 33 por ciento y un 72 por ciento) que las que nunca sufrieron violencia de este tipo.

Hay evidencias que asocian la violencia con patologías como bajo peso al nacer, parto prematuro y aborto. Las mujeres víctimas de violencia mostraban mayores probabilidades de tener infecciones de transmisión sexual y, por el otro lado, menos probabilidades tanto de recibir atención prenatal durante el primer trimestre del embarazo como de vacunar correctamente a sus hijas e hijos de 12 a 35 meses.

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 16, 2008

Added: Jan. 5, 2009


Discriminación hacia indígenas es ejercida por el Estado y funcionarios públicos

Discrimination against indigenous peoples is perpetrated largely by  public employees

The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has revealed that the majority of complaints of racism [by the majority indigenous population] have been filed against public officials.

According to information from the newspaper Prensa Libre, the Presidential Commission Against Discrimination and Racism (CODISRA), which coordinated the drafting of the document, reviewed 35 legal complaints by indigenous peoples, which are in the process of resolution, as well as 131cases that have been closed.

Most of the accusation involved public employees, particularly in educational establishments. Forty eight of those cases involved administrative resolutions including public apologies, dismissals or agreements.

Antonio Curuchich of CODISRA said there has been progress in regard to those cases of racial discrimination that are punishable by imprisonment (with penalties of up to three years), however much still remains to be done in the educational and health fields, where discrimination is most obvious.

Los informes 12 y 13 del Estado, solicitados por el Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial (CERD) revelan que la mayoría de las denuncias presentadas por racismo han sido en contra de funcionarios públicos.

Según una información del matutino Prensa Libre, la Comisión Presidencial contra la Discriminación y el Racismo (CODISRA), que coordinó la redacción del documento, recogió por medio de su asesoría jurídica 35 denuncias de pueblos indígenas, las cuales están en proceso de resolución, y otras 131que ya fueron cerradas.

La mayor parte de los hechos cerrados fueron cometidos por empleados públicos; 48 de esos casos fueron resueltos en el área administrativa, lo que implicó sanciones como disculpas públicas, despidos o acuerdos, sobre todo en establecimientos educativos.


Dec. 16, 2008

Added: Jan. 5, 2009

Mexico, Spain

Los crímenes de Ciudad Juárez, impunes por 'la corrupción' de las autoridades

The murders in Ciudad Juárez represent the impunity of 'corruption' on the part of authorities

During a recent visit to Madrid, Spain, Efe Marisela Ortiz, director of the organization Bring Our Daughters Home, stated that since 1993, more than 600 young women have been raped and tortured to death in the streets of Juarez. These crimes remain unpunished because 'there is corruption on the part of the authorities, and mafias have taken over, leaving the city in a state of social decay.

According to a woman named Marisela, who together with her three daughters has faced death threats, some 2,500 men and more than 130 girls and women have been killed in this city during 2008, the result of an internal turf war between drug gangs.

A side effect is an increase in crime in Juárez, where business owners and even teachers are blackmailed if they do not pay a fee for their protection.

Some who refused to pay have had their shops burned down, or they have been killed, with their bodies left on the streets for all to see...

Marisela added that nothing positive has come from having more than 1,000 federal police and 2,000 army soldiers stationed in the city. Not only do residents have to tolerate soldiers bursting into their homes and then stealing whatever they want, but some people believe that the soldiers have killed. Entire families have disappeared...

Over the years the profile of the victims has remained the same. They are teenagers between 15 and 18-years-of-age. They have similar physical traits, and they are kidnapped as they walk to school or work. Before they are killed they are raped by several men, tortured and sometimes mutilated.

Desde 1993, más de 600 mujeres jóvenes han sido violadas y torturadas hasta la muerte en las calles de la mexicana Ciudad Juárez, unos crímenes aún impunes porque 'hay corrupción por parte de la autoridad' y las mafias se han adueñado de este lugar que vive 'una tremenda descomposición'.

Así habla en una entrevista con Efe Marisela Ortiz, coordinadora de la organización 'Nuestras hijas de regreso a casa', quien visita Madrid para recibir el Premio de Derechos Humanos del Consejo General de la Abogacía Española.

En lo que va de año, unos 2.500 hombres han sido ejecutados y más de 130 chicas han sido asesinadas en esta ciudad fronteriza con Estados Unidos, el balance de una guerra interna entre las mafias de narcotraficantes que luchan por conquistar el territorio, según Marisela, amenazada de muerte junto a sus tres hijas.


Dec. 14, 2008

Lydia Cacho: tres años de lucha contra la impunidad

Su caso, en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Lydia Cacho: three years of combating impunity

She will soon present her case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Mexico City - "My dear Spanish poet Angel Petisme wrote: It is forbidden to mourn without learning. I have cried tears to wash away the sadness for my violent and corrupt country. But I have learned ... tears healed my pain ... they made me stronger ... "

This is an excerpt from a letter written by the journalist Lydia Cacho in February 2006, two months after her arrest on December 16, 2005 by judicial agents from Puebla state who went to Cancun, in Quintana Roo state to execute an arrest warrant.

In her letter Cacho defends the right to freedom of expression and the importance that such work has for allowing her to show the legality [...only in Mexico...] of journalism...

Three years after the fact [of official state retaliation against her for exposing a child sex trafficking ring run by two millionaires in Cancun], Cacho Ribeiro's hopes of obtaining justice have focused on the international arena, where no later than next February she will submit her case, and the cases of other human rights activists before the Inter-American Human Rights system.

Cacho is now at the end of her struggle for justice. She has had to [seek a fair hearing] outside of Mexico after having exhausted all of its legal avenues.

"And when we win this trial, we will continue to complete two tasks: the  decriminal-ization of journalism in Mexico and the demand for justice in the case of Jean Succar Kuri the pedophile [a textile millionaire and one of two targets of Cacho's accusations in her exposé, The Demons of Eden].

"And then, sisters and friends [amigas and amigos], we will celebrate the fact that none of us, because we speak the truth, should have to live in situations of 'conditional freedom.'

Although Cacho filed a formal complaint of torture [while in state Puebla state police detention] before a FEVIM panel chaired by Pérez Duarte, at this point in time, three years later, the federal case has [disappeared]... nobody knows what happened to the investigatory materials that were developed by FEVIM, that could have helped in the prosecution of the agents from Puebla state who tortured Cacho.

Full Article in English

“Mi querido poeta español Ángel Petisme escribió: Queda prohibido llorar sin aprender. Sí he llorado y con las lágrimas lavé la tristeza por mi país violento y corrupto. Pero he aprendido…las lágrimas sanaron mi dolor…me hicieron más fuerte…”

Este es un fragmento de una carta escrita por la periodista Lydia Cacho en febrero de 2006, dos meses después de su detención realizada el 16 de diciembre de 2005 por agentes judiciales de Puebla quienes se trasladaron hasta Cancún, Quintana Roo, para ejecutar la orden de aprehensión.

En el texto defiende su derecho a la libertad de expresión y la importancia que tiene para ella mostrar la legalidad de su trabajo periodístico.

“Voy a demostrar que mi trabajo periodístico tuvo como fin dar voz a las víctimas, voy a demostrar que no escribí ese reportaje para hacerle daño a mi acusador, porque el daño se lo hizo él mismo al cometer actos ilícitos que le costaron un oscuro historial que ya era público. Él, como todas nosotras, es el único responsable de sus actos”.

Lourdes Godínez Leal

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 18, 2008

Added: Jan. 1, 2009


Habría una red yucateca de pornografía infantil

Child pornography network is investigated in Yucatan state

Although federal authorities found no evidence of the existence of an international network of child prostitution in the case of the cybercafé Izamal, the investigations carried out by the State's Attorney revealed that several children in the region had been photographed in compromising photographs and videos.

For the moment, officials talk of a child pornography network in which various adults were involved in addition to the two photographers from Izamal who have been arrested.

The case is regarded as "extremely serious" because children who appear in these videos and photographs are practically babies, although older children and adolescents also appear.

Attorney Joseph Guzman Pacheco reported yesterday that there is evidence of a child pornography network.  He does not rule out more people being involved.

Authorities suspect that the network has an international reach.

Guzman Pacheco confirmed that the nude photographs that led to the initiation of the investigation, which were found in Spain, included those of several of minor girls, some of whom are from the Izamal region.

Aunque las autoridades federales no hallaron evidencias contundentes de la existencia de una red internacional de prostitución infantil en el caso del cibercafé de Izamal, las pesquisas que realiza la Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado revelan que varios menores de la región aparecen en fotografías y vídeos comprometedores.

Por el momento, se habla de una red local de pornografía infantil en la que estarían involucrados varios adultos, además de los dos fotógrafos izamaleños arraigados actualmente por ese asunto.

El caso es considerado como “sumamente grave“, ya que los menores que aparecen en dichos vídeos y fotografías son prácticamente niños, aunque también hay adolescentes y jóvenes de un poco más de edad.

Carlos Augusto Gebhardt Acosta


Dec. 9, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Washington, DC, USA

U.S. Ambassador Mark P. Lagon Announced as Incoming Executive Director of Polaris Project

Washington, D.C. – Polaris Project, a national organization combating human trafficking, has named Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) of the U.S. Department of State, as their incoming Executive Director. Founded in 2002, Polaris Project is one of the leading national organizations working to end modern-day slavery in the United States and Japan.

Dr. Lagon was confirmed by the Senate in 2007 to serve as Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP). and senior advisor to the Secretary of State.

Ambassador Lagon has spearheaded U.S. anti-slavery diplomacy across the globe, leading his office's catalytic role in international awareness-raising, grant making, and the release of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, unique in spurring other nations through ranking of their government's efforts against modern-day slavery.

Katherine Chon, President and Co-Founder

Polaris Project

Nov. 20, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Girls rescued from human trafficking, celebrate first Christmas

Some girls rescued from international sex-trafficking are celebrating their first Christmas safe and free from harm.

The International Crisis Aid project is in two countries so far, providing housing, education, training in a trade, and the gospel. Founder Pat Bradley talks about Ethiopia.

"We work in an area of Addis Ababa, the capital. We've dubbed it the 'red-light district' because we don't know what else to call it," he notes. "It's an area where the Ethiopians tell me there's somewhere around 40,000 girls who are working as prostitutes."

Charlie Butts


Dec. 24, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

United States

Sex Trafficking Law Expands Federal Authority

White House – A bill to crack down on sex traffickers in the United States and abroad, and also provide more help to victims was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Tuesday.

About 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year, according to the State Department Trafficking in Persons Office. Worldwide it is 800,000 trafficked across international borders, half of whom are minors and 80 percent of whom are women. The Department of Justice says it prosecuted 156 trafficking cases, secured 342 convictions and rescued more than 1,400 victims from 2001 to 2007.

Though the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 passed both chambers of Congress with no debate, the president signed the bill over the objections of his own Justice Department.

Fred Lucas

CNS News

Dec. 24, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

United States

US Bishops’ Conference lauds anti-trafficking legislation

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the Unite States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, praised the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which Congress passed on December 10 and President Bush signed yesterday. The US State Department estimates that there are 600,000 to 800,000 victims taken across borders annually and that between 14,500 and 17,500 of these victims are brought to the United States.

Catholic Culture

Dec. 24, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Soldiers beheaded as Mexican drug cartels step up terror to protect $15 billion-a-year trade

The bodies of 13 men were found with their hands tied this month. Now heavily armed police patrol in Chilipancingo after the latest round of killings

The discovery of a dozen decapitated bodies scattered across a city in Mexico has become the latest symbol of the terrifying price this country is paying for drug consumption in America.

Nine of the corpses were found on a busy street in Chilpancingo, an hour's drive from the tourist resort of Acapulco, yards from where the Governor of Guerrero state was later to participate in a religious procession.

A bag containing their heads, some gagged with tape, was found nearby, with a sign declaring: “For every one of mine you kill, I will kill ten.” Three more decapitated bodies were found later in a village outside the city.

Tom Baldwin

The Times Online

Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Saudi Arabia

Saudi judge refuses to annul marriage of girl, 8

Girl's father arranged her marriage to a 47-year-old to settle debts, lawyer says

A Saudi judge recently refused to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man -- a union apparently arranged by the girl's father to settle his debts -- a lawyer in the case told CNN.

On Saturday, the judge, Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib, dismissed a petition brought by the girl's mother because she "is not the legal guardian of the girl," the woman's lawyer Abdullah al-Jutaili said.

"Therefore, she cannot represent her daughter in these proceedings," al-Jutaili said.


Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

United States

New law expected to protect migrant workers

A new law is expected to help protect migrant laborers lured to the United States on false promises and left with little legal recourse.

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 allows foreign labor recruiters to be prosecuted for fraud when they fail to provide promised wages or working conditions. Currently, such cases are difficult to prosecute unless there's a clear violation of mail or wire fraud laws, said attorneys with the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

The legislation passed the House and Senate on Dec. 10 and was signed into law by President Bush on Tuesday.

Kevin Sieff

The Brownsville Herald

Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

California, USA

Lesbian rape victim not alone in 2008

San Francisco - From a series of street bashings in Seattle to the baseball bat murder of an Ecuadorean immigrant in Brooklyn, episodes of anti-gay violence punctuated a year now ending with police investigating the alleged gang rape of a lesbian near San Francisco.

Advocates said Tuesday they do not know whether the threats, beatings and murders involving victims who are suspected of being gay reflects a true rise in attacks or increased reporting of hate-based crimes that persist even as gays gain greater visibility and legal protections.

Either way, experts say 2008 likely will be remembered not only for same-sex couples losing the right to marry in California, but a rash of incidents nationwide that sometimes provoked public outrage and often went unnoticed amid their numbing frequency.

Lisa Leff

Associated Press

Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

California, USA

Support Pours In For Richmond Gang Rape Victim

Richmond - Since news broke of what police are calling a hate crime in which a lesbian Richmond resident was brutally gang raped over the weekend, Richmond police have received dozens of calls from people wanting to help, police Lt. Mark Gagan said Tuesday.

"Most of the calls were just people expressing concern for the victim and wanting to help financially," he said.

Some callers have provided tips in the case but nothing yet that has produced an arrest, Gagan said.


Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


“Wall of Violence” on Mexico’s Southern Border

[President] Calderon’s “two-faced” policy combines police, the military, gangs, and Los Zetas to fulfill US mandate to deter Central American migration

“Humberto” is a Honduran subsistence farmer. He grows his beans and vegetables without pesticides and herbicides. “The chemicals they put in food these days ruin the taste,” he says. Humberto has a patch of land, a house, a wife, and five children—three of whom still live at home.

Like many small farmers, Humberto has a lot of debt. The bank is going to take his home if he doesn’t come up with the approximately USD$17,000 he owes. So Humberto packed some clothes, kissed the wife and kids goodbye, and headed north to the United States. He told them he’d be back as soon as he’d paid off the debt; it wouldn’t take long.

Humberto had planned to take the route most undocumented Central Americans take north: he took busses, combis (vans), and hitched rides towards Mexico’s southern border. He crossed the Suchiate River that divides Guatemala’s Tecún Umán from Ciudad Hidalgo in Chiapas, Mexico. He took the combis north to Arriaga, Chiapas, where he planned to hop on a freight train, perched precariously on its roof as it headed towards Oaxaca. In Oaxaca he’d hop a different train to Veracruz; from Veracruz he’d hop a train to Mexico state, and from there he’d get on a train headed to one of five crossing areas on the Mexico-US border. He’d figure out how to cross into the US when he got there...

Part of the Price

Humberto’s story is repeated throughout El Hogar de la Misericordia and its sister Casas del Migrante in Oaxaca and Veracruz. The actors often change—sometimes the attackers are gang members, or police, or soldiers, or drug cartel members, or immigration agents. Too often, as in Humberto’s case, they seem to be a combination of several of the above. Together they take advantage of the impunity provided by the government to rob and abuse migrants, forming what several immigration activists have referred to as a “Wall of Violence” that discourages migrants from ever wanting to set foot on Mexican soil.

The “Wall of Violence” is fierce: El Hogar de la Misericordia estimates that 80% of all migrants who pass through Chiapas have been assaulted during their travels. Approximately 30% of the women who come to El Hogar de la Misericordia report being sexually assaulted in la Arrocera, Chiapas, which is only one of many stops along the migrants’ route. Fermina Rodriguez of the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center, which monitors human rights on Mexico’s southern border, says, “When you talk to women, they consider rape to be part of the price they pay to migrate.”


The “Wall of Violence” shouldn’t exist in Mexico. In mid-2007, Mexico decriminalized undocumented migrants. It did away with the ten-year prison sentences the law used to allow and now refers to foreigners who enter the country illegally as “administrative irregularities.” Police and soldiers shouldn’t be carrying out operations—be they official or clandestine—against undocumented migrants. But they do.

Kristin Bricker

Reporter's Notebook

Dec. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Guatemala, United States, The World

Sex slavery: Living the American nightmare

Shadowy multibillion-dollar industry far more widespread than expected

When FBI and immigration agents arrested a 28-year-old Guatemalan woman three months ago in Los Angeles, they announced that they had shut down one of the most elaborate sex trafficking rings in the country. It was also the family business.

The woman, Maribel Rodriguez Vasquez, was the sixth member of her family to be rounded up in the two-year multi-agency investigation. Vasquez, five of her relatives and three other Guatemalan nationals were charged with 50 counts, alleging that they lured at least a dozen young women — including five minors as young as 13 years old — to the United States with promises of good jobs, only to put them to work as prostitutes. All remain in custody as investigators attempt to unravel the complex case.

Vasquez — quickly dubbed the “L.A. Madam” — attracted attention because she had been featured on the fugitive-hunting television program “America’s Most Wanted.” But it was one of only a few such cases to be spotlighted by national media, contributing to the false impression that cases of immigrant sex trafficking are isolated incidents, law enforcement officials and advocates for immigrants say.

Alex Johnson and Cesar Rodriguez

msnbc.com and Telemundo

Dec. 22, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

California, USA

Richmond Gang Rape Investigated as a Hate Crime

Richmond - Richmond police are investigating the rape of a woman by four men last weekend as a possible hate crime.

The attack Saturday night began on the 1500 block of Visalia Avenue in the city's Belding-Wood neighborhood, as the 28-year-old woman got out of her car which had a rainbow sticker on her license plate, said Lt. Mark Gagan. The men forced the woman back into her car and took her to a secluded area where she was again attacked and beaten, Gagan said.

"She was beaten, she was robbed and she was sexually assaulted," Gagan said.


Dec. 20, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, USA

Leader of Expansive Multi-State Sex-Trafficking Ring Sentenced

Washington, DC - Corey Davis, the ring-leader of a sex-trafficking ring that spanned at least three states, was sentenced today in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., on federal civil rights charges for organizing and leading the sex-trafficking operation that exploited as many as 20 women, included minors. Davis was sentenced to 293 months in prison followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. In addition Davis was ordered to pay a fine of $200,000.

In March 2008, Davis pleaded guilty to multiple sex-trafficking charges, including recruiting a girl under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution. During his guilty plea hearing, Davis admitted that he recruited a girl under the age of 18 years to engage in prostitution, that he was the organizer of a sex-trafficking venture, and that he used force, fraud and coercion to compel the victim to commit commercial sex acts from which he obtained the proceeds.

According to the indictment, Davis lured victims to his operation with promises of modeling contracts and a glamorous lifestyle. Davis then forced them into a grueling schedule of dancing and performing at strip clubs in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. When the clubs closed, Davis forced the victims to walk the streets until 4:00 or 5:00 A.M. propositioning customers. The indictment also alleged that Davis beat many of the victims to force them to work for him and that he also used physical abuse as punishment for disobeying the stringent rules he imposed to isolate and control them.


Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Hallaron a tres jovencitas víctimas de trata de personas en Santa Ana

Three young trafficking victims are found in Santa Ana

A police operation took place early this morning in Santa Ana [to rescue three young trafficking victims]. The young women are natives of San Ignacio and Santa Ana. One was a secondary school student.

The Ministry of Human Rights participated in the raid.

The girls worked for the owner of a local pool, a retired corrections officer who has been detained.

El operativo tuvo lugar esta madrugada en la localidad de Santa Ana. Las jóvenes son oriundas de San Ignacio y Santa Ana, reveló Norma a Sawicz a una radio local.

Participó el ministerio de Derechos Humanos Según señaló Sawicz, las chicas trabajaban en un conocido pool del pueblo, cuyo propietario, quien regenteaba a las adolescentes, está detenido. Se trata de un agente retirado del Servicio Penitenciario Provincial.

El local está ubicado a una cuadra de la avenida principal. Una de las jóvenes cursa aún el ciclo secundario.

Territorio Digital

Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Florida, USA

Four Defendants Sentenced for Roles in Scheme to Enslave Farmworkers in Florida

Washington, DC - Four defendants were sentenced today in federal district court in Fort Meyers, Fla., after pleading guilty to a scheme to enslave Mexican and Guatemalan nationals and compel their labor as farmworkers, the Justice Department announced today.

Cesar and Geovanni Navarrete were each sentenced to 12 years in prison and held jointly and severally liable, along with other co-defendants, for $239,882.46 in restitution payable to the victims. Defendant Ismael Michael Navarrete was sentenced to 46 months in prison, and Defendant Villhina Navarrete was sentenced to time served. Both Ismael and Villhina were also joined in the order of restitution. All defendants will be removed from the United States following the completion of their sentences.

A total of six defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme. All defendants pleaded guilty to harboring undocumented foreign nationals for private financial gain and related felonies. Defendants Cesar Navarrete and Geovanni Navarrete also pleaded guilty to beating, threatening, restraining and locking workers in trucks to force them to work as agricultural laborers, in addition to other related crimes. According to documents filed in court, the defendants were accused of paying the workers minimal wages and driving them into debt, while simultaneously threatening physical harm if the workers left their employment before their debts had been repaid to the Navarrete family.


Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Aumentará desempleo y comercio informal: Cepal

Mujeres, las más afectadas por la crisis económica en America Latina

Women, the most affected by the economic crisis in Latin America Increased unemployment and informal trade: CEPAL

Mexico City - The United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) [has conducted a study of economic trends] among persons between the ages of 15 and 65 in nine Latin American nations.

[The conclusions indicate that] the global economic crisis in 2009 could involve an increase in female unemployment in the region in productive sectors such as formal trade, manufacturing, industry, and textiles, financial services, tourism and domestic employment. The unemployment rate for women is higher than that of men.

The lack of job opportunities for women... is an obstacle that may be exacerbated in this crisis situation. Participation in the informal economy and unemployment are higher among women. This will mean the absence of [formal workplace] protections and stable income...

It is estimated that by 2009 the region will see an increase in poverty equivalent to about 3 percent. As a result, an estimated 35 to 38 percent of the population will be in poverty, totaling about 15 million people. The figures are equivalent to one third of the poverty reduction that had been achieved in the region since 2002.

La crisis económica para el 2009 podría incrementar el desempleo femenino en América Latina y el Caribe en sectores productivos como el comercio formal, la industria manufacturera, maquila y textiles, servicios financieros, turismo y empleo doméstico, pues la brecha de la tasa de ocupación entre mujeres es más elevada que para los hombres.

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


La política en Colombia “francamente repugnante”, dijo

Destaca Ingrid Betancourt su admiración a las mujeres de la guerrilla PPPP La política en Colombia “francamente repugnante”, dijo

[Rescued FARC hostage and former presidential candidate] Ingrid Betancourt: "Politics in Colombia is "frankly disgusting." Betancourt stresses his admiration for the women of the [FARC] guerrillas

Mexico City - Ingrid Betancourt stated at a press conference held today at the home of French Ambassador to Mexico, Daniel Parfait, that in the isolated, rural areas of Colombia, women do not have many [economic] options.

Women who belong to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in rural poverty facede two options in life: to be a guerrilla or to engage in prostitution.

As guerillas, they have received training on an equal footing with men. At the same time they face machismo, violence and pressure to have sex with their peers.

Betancourt was in Mexico today at the end of a tour of several Latin American countries that sought collaboration to help [the several hundreds of] her fellow hostages who are still held by Colombia's guerrillas.

Betancourt said that for the time being she will not seek any public office in Colombia. She also stated that the nation's politics are "frankly disgusting."

For Betancourt, participation in politics involves strong feelings of love, solidarity, tolerance and compassion. Today, she is committed to helping those who suffer.

Betancourt went on to say that she will spend time with her family, and will spend one year in spiritual retreat. During that time she will only make appearances to advocate for her follow hostages in Colombia, and around the world.

Las mujeres que pertenecen a las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) son campesinas en miseria con dos opciones en la vida: ser guerrilleras o dedicarse a la prostitución, realizan actividades y tienen entrenamiento al igual que los hombres, pero se enfrentan al machismo, violencia y presión para mantener relaciones sexuales con sus compañeros.

Así lo declaró Ingrid Betancourt en conferencia de prensa realizada el día de hoy en la casa del embajador de Francia en México, Daniel Parfait, donde sostuvo que en esas zonas aisladas de Colombia no hay muchas opciones para las mujeres.

Betancourt terminó en México hoy una gira por varios países de América Latina, buscando acciones conjuntas a favor de sus compañeros que aún están en poder de la guerrilla colombiana.

Sandra Torres Pastrana

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Chiapas, la franja más amplia de tránsito migratorio al sur de México

Niñas y niños centroamericanos, la mayoría viajan solos

Chiapas state is the largest migration route into southern Mexico

Tuxtla Gutiérrez - Chiapas [state on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala] is a source, destination and transit point for human migration. Over 1 million people cross its 8 formal border crossings, 43 informal crossings and more than a thousand foot trails. Chiapas receives 57.8% of migration into Mexico...

Underage Migrants

...In 2007 the National Migration Institute (INM) detected 7,064 child and adolescent migrants into Mexico, mostly from Central America. Some 5,983 of these children and youth were traveling alone...

The migration of these minors, mainly from Central America, is increasingly seen as a problem of enormous dimensions. Minors are driven to migrate by differences in the level of development between regions, and because they are fleeing social conflict and violence in the home.

In 2007, the INM deported 5,983 people under 18 years (over 90 per cent of Central American origin)... However, these figures do not reflect the migration of children and [underage] teenagers who [went undetected and] crossed the border region of Chiapas, mainly around the cities of Tapachula [a major child sex trafficking center], Tuxtla Chico and Huixtla.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that this population includes around 4,000 children who engage in street trading, begging, loading and unloading, garbage and iron collection, flame throwers, cleaners, bar workers and sex workers.

Between five and eight thousand adolescents engaged in domestic service. Many of them go back and forth between the border and their place of origin.

Girls between the ages of 10 and 17 are the main victims of sexual exploitation in the border municipalities in Chiapas. These girls are also exposed to alcohol and drugs.

Chiapas, es un estado receptor, expulsor y de tránsito de personas, con un ingreso anual de más de un millón de migrantes en 8 cruces fronterizos, 43 informales y más de mil peatonales, por lo que se le considera la entidad federativa de entrada más amplia y transitada respecto al resto de los estados fronterizos en la frontera sur de México, con un flujo migratorio de 57.8 por ciento.

Aunque los últimos datos del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) señalan que de mayo a agosto del 2008 la tasa de emigración internacional mantiene una tendencia a la baja, con respecto al mismo trimestre del 2006 y 2007, tan sólo de enero a diciembre en el 2007 el Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) repatrió a 69 mil 816 centroamericanos de territorio nacional.

De esa cantidad, 52 mil 995, es decir el 75.9 por ciento, fueron asegurados en Chiapas, procedentes de Guatemala (59.5 por ciento), Honduras (23.2 por ciento), El Salvador (16.7 por ciento), y Nicaragua (.6 por ciento).

Candelaria Rodríguez

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 19, 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.

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

California, USA

San Francisco Police Dept. Issues $2M Warrant For Child Rape Suspect

San Francisco police have issued a $2 million arrest warrant for a 32-year-old man suspected of raping a 10-year-old girl on Tuesday.

Fermin Pucheta-Temich, the victim's uncle by marriage, may be headed to Juarez, Mexico, police said. The alleged attack occurred in San Francisco. Police urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911.


Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

California, USA

California es el Principal Destino del Contrabando Humano

California is the largest destination point for human smuggling

San Diego - A study presented by the Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery in California shows that this state is the main destination for human smuggling, which, in the United States, involves more than 17,000 [annually trafficked] immigrants who are trafficked from outside the country as slaves.

The study was conducted during a period of more than 18 months. It involved some 19 law enforcement and justice agencies that are joined in an alliance to combat the trafficking and slavery.

California is particularly vulnerable to this illegal activity because of its proximity to the Mexican border, its seaports and major airports, its growing immigrant population and also for because of its large economy, that requires a lot of labor.

Slavery in California involves at least 500 people from 18 different countries, working in the shadows inside garment factories, restaurants, motels and as domestic servants.

The cities most vulnerable to the exploitation of workers are San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.

The academics found that 80 percent of victims are immigrant women and 50 percent are minors.

Un estudio presentado por la Alianza del combate al tráfico y la esclavitud de California demuestra que este estado es el principal destino del contrabando humano, que mantiene a más de 17 mil inmigrantes trabajando como esclavos.

El análisis que se llevo a cabo por mas de 18 meses y en el que participaron mas de 19 agencias de las fuerzas del orden y la justicia que se unen en la alianza al combate del trafico y la esclavitud dice que esta entidad es particularmente vulnerable a esta actividad ilícita por su cercanía a la frontera con México, puertos marítimos y aeropuertos de importancia, su crecimiento población inmigrante y también por una gran economía que requiere de mucha mano de obra.

En esa esclavitud laboral se encuentran cuando menos 500 personas de 18 países distintos, que trabajan a la sombra dentro de fábricas de ropa, restaurantes, moteles e incluso como empleados domésticos.

Tatiana Martinez

El Mexicano

Dec. 19, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Arizona, USA

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Obama, Holder won’t dissuade immigration raids

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says scrutiny of racial and ethnic profiling by incoming President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will not deter his get-tough approach to illegal immigration.

“I’m not stopping,” said Arpaio. The Republican sheriff said he plans to continue crime sweeps and raids aimed at illegal immigrants and businesses that employ them.

The Obama administration and Holder are expected to increase the focus on racial and ethnic profiling by police. Critics of Arpaio’s immigration enforcement argue the sheriff’s office targets Hispanics and such actions take away from more serious investigations.

Mike Sunnucks

Phoenix Business Journal

Dec. 18, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

United States

Protecting minor aliens

In one of its final pieces of legislation this session, Congress passed an anti-trafficking bill with an unexpected twist

Washington, DC - While all eyes were on the auto bailout debate last week, Congress passed a bill to provide federal aid to victims of trafficking both in the United States and abroad, with provisions that downplay the role of law enforcement with trafficking victims.

A 2004 Department of Justice study estimated that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked in the United States annually, and 600,000 to 800,000 worldwide.

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act has been renewed now three times in Congress since it was first introduced in 2000, and has had the support of anti-trafficking groups like International Justice Mission (IJM) as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. In the Senate the bill has been championed by the vice president-elect, Joe Biden, D-Del., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan. In the House, Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and the late Tom Lantos, D-Calif., helped lead the way. Since the introduction of the legislation, prosecution of traffickers has increased sixfold, according to the Department of Justice.

Emily Belz

The Associated Press

Dec. 15, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Texas, USA

Latin Notes: Scandal doesn't keep rebellious Trevi down

Controversial, rebellious and often scandalous Mexican superstar Gloria Trevi brings her leather 'n' lace act to Club Rio for a free show Thursday. The only catch is that those free tickets are available only at Club Rio on Saturday, according to club management. So expect to dish out $8 cover charge to get thefree Trevi tickets.

Her days of serious criminal mischief may be behind her, but they are hardly forgotten. Nor should they be.

Trevi, along with her then-husband, Sergio Andrade, served years in Brazilian and Mexican prisons for her alleged role in a case of kidnapping and rape of her teenage background singers. She was eventually acquitted in a spectacle that reached O.J. Simpson proportions in Mexico, her life a telenovela incarnate.

Hector Saldaña


Dec. 12, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

United States

Congress Passes Strong Anti Trafficking Law

Late Wednesday night, the Senate passed by unanimous consent the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act that was passed earlier in the day by the House. The Act, H.R. 7311, authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 2008 through 2011 and enhances measures to combat trafficking in persons. The Act includes provisions making it easier for victims to remain in the U.S, provides $7.5 million for victim assistance and an increased focus on combating trafficking in children. "In addition to providing assistance to trafficking victims, this Act further puts the weight of the federal government behind efforts to combat trafficking for labor, sexual exploitation and child labor" said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Strong penalties, from fines up to life imprisonment, are included in the Act for traffickers and for those who benefit financially from trafficking activities carried out by others. Additional measures aimed at preventing and deterring trafficking include technical assistance to foreign governments and working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration to provide "increased protections for refugees…including outreach and education efforts" to combat exploitation of refugees by traffickers.

"If we are serious about protecting and rebuilding the lives of women and girls trapped in the flesh trade, we must target and duly prosecute their traffickers, pimps and all those who exploit them with impunity. The Wilberforce Act will hopefully provide us with tools to protect more effectively the most vulnerable and voiceless among us" Taina Ben-Amie, Executive Director of Equality Now, said about the passage of the bill.

Ms. Magazine

Dec. 12, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Texas, USA

Man Gets 3 Life Sentences for Dumas Rape

An area man is convicted of two aggravated sexual assaults and sentenced to three life terms in prison.

Rufus Nanez the third raped a Dumas woman in September of 2007.

He was also convicted for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a felony.


Dec. 11, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008

Colorado, USA

Attempted kidnapping in Lakewood

An attempting kidnapping in Lakewood has left a neighborhood on edge and the victim's mother determined to get the suspects off the street.

Around 6:30pm on Saturday, police say a man in a white sedan pulled up alongside three young girls playing in their front yard. The man then approached the girls, ages 4, 7, and 9, and tried to grab the youngest girl by her shoulder. According to their mother, one of the older girls grabbed her from the other side and began a tug of war with the suspect.

"She's screaming, my other daughter was screaming trying to get him away and he finally released her, jumped in the car and sped away," said the mother, who wanted to be identified only as Kimberly.


Nov. 23, 2008

Added: Dec. 30, 2008


Cancún, preso de mafia rusa y cubana

Cancun, a prisoner of Cuban and Russian mafias

Cancun - After announcing the start of the national Angel Watch, vice president of the Employers Confederation of Mexico (Coparmex), Rogelio Sierra Michelena, warned that Cancun has fallen into the hands of mafias run by Russians and Cuban-Americans.

Coparmex has therefore urged the authorities of the three levels of government to improve their coordination to combat organized crime and prevent the 'fall' of the top resort in Mexico, whose economic impact on the country would be severe.

In [the state of] Quintana Roo [where Cancun is located] there are gangs engaged in smuggling Cuban migrants [into Mexico], who are linked to the Zetas [AWOL Mexican soldiers who work as hit men for drug cartels] and Russian groups focused on trafficking and prostitution, as well as drug trafficking gangs.

Rogelio Sierra Michelena: "Furthermore, the south of the country is facing the expanding operations of the "Southeast Broad Front and Insurgent Movement" and the Korean Mafia, which controls the entry of street hawkers and illicit smuggling operations. These activities are spreading throughout the country."

Luego de anunciar el inicio del programa nacional Ángel Ciudadano, el vicepresidente de la Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (Coparmex), Rogelio Sierra Michelena, advirtió que Cancún ha caído en manos de las mafias rusas y cubanoestado-unidenses, por lo que urgió a las autoridades de los tres órdenes de gobierno a mejorar su coordinación para el combate del crimen organizado y evitar la caída del primer centro turístico de México, cuyas consecuencias impactarían económicamente al país. “En Quintana Roo hay mafias de cubanos dedicados al tráfico de personas y que están relacionados con Los Zetas, así como grupos rusos enfocados a la trata de blancas y prostitución, pero también hay bandas dedicadas al narcotráfico.

“Además, en el sur del país opera el Frente Amplio y el Movimiento Insurgente del Sureste, y la mafia coreana, que controla a los ambulantes y el ingreso de contrabando, que está extendiéndose por el país”.

Subrayó que la concentración de la riqueza en manos de unos pocos y la generación de pobreza en un amplio sector, es “caldo de cultivo” para el delito, razón por la cual, deben reforzarse los vínculos de comunicación en materia de seguridad, sin que medien intereses políticos, ya que el gobierno federal es representado por el PAN, el estatal por el PRI y el municipal por el PRD.

Adriana Varillas Corresponsal

El Universal

Aug. 16, 2008

Added: Dec. 19, 2008


Menores indígenas se desnudaron en un jaripeo a cambio de dinero

Denunciarán por prostitución infantil al edil de Hueytlalpan

State legislator: Twenty indigenous children stripped naked at a community rodeo in exchange for money.

The town's mayor was present and promoted child prostitution at the event.

Puebla city, in Puebla state - State legislator Deputy Irma Ramos Galindo of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) is demanding that criminal and administrative action be taken against the mayor of the town of Hueytlalpan, Juan Martín Barrientos Ramos, an activist from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Barrientos Ramos is accused of having covered-up acts of child prostitution and child pornography that occurred during a rodeo that was held on the evening of November 29th, 2008 in that community.

The lawmaker recounted that the rodeo's announcer, who was hired by Barrientos Ramos, made 20 indigenous children between the ages of eight and 13 years of age stand naked before the crowd of more than 600 people at rodeo in exchange for paying them 50 pesos for each garment that they took off.

Deputy Ramos Galindo: "The [announcer] asked the children to remove their shirts, then their trousers, and then their underpants. Then the the announcer asked the children to turn around twice [naked] to earn 50 pesos more."

Deputy Ramos Galindo said that it was at that point that she demanded that the event be stopped "because it was degrading to see how child prostitution and child pornography was being promoted." She went on to say that the announcer asked the public, on behalf of the [town] council of Hueytlalpan, to donate cash to pay the children involved.

Deputy Ramos Galindo added that Mayor Barrientos Ramos must be held accountable before the judicial and administrative systems [for his actions]. She announced her intention to file a complaint next Tuesday with the Human Rights Commission of Puebla state, because "the mayor should be the first to uphold order in his locality, and not cover up such acts."

Deputy Ramos Galindo noted that the incident was recorded by the niece of the mayor of Hueytlalpan, Guadalupe Barrientos Ramos, who is also a municipal treasurer, an act of nepotism.

Deputy Ramos Galindo also plans to submit a complaint to the Supreme Audit Authority of the State against the mayor. In addition, she announced that the state congress will submit an appeal to the 217 municipalities of Puebla state to refrain from acts that "degrade the quality of human beings" and violate the individual rights of people, particularly children.

Deputy Ramos Galindo: "This [situation] should not remain [uncontested], because it is often the case that our indigenous children compete in these events because of need. It is not fair to take advantage of that fact."

El presidente municipal de Hueytlalpan, Juan Martín Barrientos Ramos, militante del Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), solapó actos de prostitución y pornografía infantil durante un jaripeo nocturno que se realizó el 29 de noviembre en esa comunidad con motivo de la fiesta patronal, aseguró la diputada local del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) Irma Ramos Galindo, quien anunció que promoverá denuncias penales y administrativas en contra del edil.

La legisladora relató que el animador del jaripeo, quien fue contratado por Barrientos Ramos, hizo que 20 menores indígenas de entre ocho y 13 años de edad se desnudaran ante más de 600 personas a cambio de pagarles 50 pesos por cada prenda.

“Les pidió que se quitaran la camisa, el pantalón y el calzón. Después les pidió que dieran dos vueltas al ruedo para ganarse 50 pesos más, pero fue ahí cuando exigí que se cancelaran esos eventos, porque era denigrante ver cómo en este lugar se estaban fomentando la prostitución y la pornografía infantil”, afirmó Irma Ramos. Aseguró que durante la fiesta patronal el conductor pidió, en nombre del ayuntamiento de Hueytlalpan, que los asistentes donaran dinero en efectivo para premiar a los niños participantes.

Arturo Alfaro Galán

La Jornada de Oriente

Dec. 2, 2008


Added: Dec. 19, 2008


En Japón, de 3 a 4 mil niñas mexicanas víctimas 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.

Taking advantage of the condition of submission that Mexico's indigenous communities are forced to live in, the traffickers take their victims to Japan where they are prostituted and work as geishas, a role that Asian women no-longer want to play because today they have more decision-making power than in the past.

Ulloa said that before these victims from Japan are repatriated, the home conditions of these girls must be investigated to assure that they can be reintegrated without facing the risk of being sold or sexually exploited again.

Ulloa noted that in the year 2002 the CATW helped to repatriate two sisters, ages 8 and 10, who had been prostituted in a brothel in New York. They were subjected to exploitation again, 15 days later, because their family "had sold their daughters in exchange for two goats and two cases of beer."

Ulloa added that today these two girls live with a new family in the U.S., and are now learning English.

During her interview with CIMAC Noticias, Ulloa declared: "the subject [of child protection] is not on the national agenda. Much attention is paid to drug trafficking, but the government hasn't even realized that the same drug trafficking networks are used for the [sex] trafficking of children, and that organized crime regards this activity to be one of their most important businesses."

Ulloa stated the above knowing that "a nation that doesn't guarantee the lives, security, dignity and liberty of its children is condemned, sooner or later, to loose its ability to progress or to have social values."

For these reasons, Ulloa insists that the government of Mexico comply with the international agreements that it has signed in regard to these matters, and that it supply the resources needed to protect children, given that the anti-drug efforts are much better funded [than child protection].

Entre 3 y 4 mil niñas indígenas originarias de entidades pobres de México, como Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero y el Estado de México, son víctimas de explotación sexual comercial infantil en Japón.

El cálculo proviene de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas para América Latina y el Caribe, cuya directora regional, Teresa Ulloa, detalló que bajo engaños, ofreciendo miles de dólares a cambio de supuestos trabajos en Estados Unidos y aprovechándose de la sumisión a que han sido obligadas las comunidades indígenas, los traficantes de niñas indígenas las llevan a Japón para prostituirse o trabajar como geishas, algo que ya no quieren hacer las mujeres asiáticas porque ahora tienen más poder de decisión.

Señaló que antes de repatriarlas se debe hacer una investigación para constatar que existen condiciones para reintegrarlas a su lugar de origen sin que vuelvan a ser explotadas o vendidas.

Nadia Altamirano Díaz

CIMAC Noticias

Dec. 12, 2008

Added: Dec. 15, 2008


Investiga la PGJE caso de niñas indígenas prostituidas en Japón

State Attorney General's office in Oaxaca investigates the sale of Indigenous children into prostitution in Japan

The State Investigations Agency (AEI) of the Attorney General of Oaxaca state is investigating the case of underage indigenous girls from Oaxaca who have been tricked and then forced into prostitution in Japan.

"We don't have a criminal complaint, but we are investigating" stated prosecutor Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez.

Teresa Ulloa, regional director for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) has reported that indigenous children from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Mexico state have been prostituted by international mafias in Japan.

These trafficking mafias contact the families of underage girls, and then offer thousands of dollars in exchange for the parent's [legal] authorization to take the youth to what they are told are fast food restaurant jobs in the United States. In reality, they end-up being prostituted in Japan.

Prosecutor Martínez Ramírez noted that the investigation was proceeding despite the fact that no citizen has filed a complaint [required to begin police and prosecutorial action under Latin America's Napoleonic legal systems].

Martínez Ramírez emphasized that the legislature of Oaxaca state had recently reformed its penal code and has now defined human trafficking as a crime.

"We are required to uphold the law" said Martínez Ramírez. He added, "...This is being investigated because human trafficking is a grave crime."

Martínez Ramírez also said that the purpose of the AEI investigation was to gather data, and to the extent possible, determine if these trafficking networks exist.

La Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) investiga el caso de niñas indígenas oaxaqueñas que han sido llevadas mediante engaños a Japón para prostituirse.

"No tenemos ninguna denuncia, pero se está investigando", afirmó el procurador, Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez

La directora regional para América Latina y el Caribe de la Coalición contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas, Teresa Ulloa denunció que indígenas de Oaxaca, Chiapas, Estado de México y Guerrero han sido prostituidas por mafias internacionales en Japón.


Dec. 15, 2008

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous children across the Americas have been targeted for sexual exploitation (rape and sex trafficking) for centuries. The above story is an accurate reflection of the tragedy that indigenous girls and boys face from ruthless sex traffickers in Mexico.

Very little effort is focused on identifying, protecting and rescuing indigenous children from these crimes.  Because of the 500 year history of exploitation, impunity has been institutionalized.

For that reason, we will continue to agitate for action by the governments of the Americas to direct resources to address the crisis of the mass sex trafficking of indigenous women and children that is justified by racism.

End Impunity Now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 12 - 15, 2008

See also:

Guillermo Gutierrez, director of the National Foundation of Investigations of Stolen and Disappeared Children:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Often Unaided by Authorities, Mexican Parents of Abducted Children Spend Their

Days Searching and

Nights Haunted by ... Stolen Lives

Susana Hayward
San Antonio Express-News


Added: 03/2004

Undercover reporter in Spain poses as a pimp and is offered six 'virgin' Mayan indigenous girls by a child sex trafficker. The price in Europe for Mayan Girls kidnapped from Chiapas, Mexico is $25,000 each.  

(Article in Spanish)



Feb. 29, 2004

Added: 03/2004

The Chiapas state government investigates the sale of young Mayan girls into prostitution in Europe.

(Article In Spanish)

CIMAC Noticias

Mexico City

March 15, 2004

Added: Dec. 15, 2008

Nevada, USA

A missing teenager has been found.

Police say 17-year-old Rebecca Chavez was last seen by a Clark County School District staff member on Wednesday afternoon.

Rebecca suffers from a mental disorder which requires her to take medication.

Metro says she is now safe inside a treatment center.

KTNV - Las Vegas

Dec. 12, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Nevada, USA

Police Search for Missing Teen Girl

Rebecca Chavez

Las Vegas Metro Police are asking the public's help in locating a missing teen girl with special needs. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Chavez was last seen around 3 p.m. Wednesday walking in the area of H Street and Owens Avenue. She suffers from reduced mental capacity which requires medication, which is why police believe she may be endangered.

Rebecca is Hispanic, 5' tall, 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing all pink clothing. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Metro's Missing Persons Unit at 828-LOST.


Dec. 11, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Texas, USA

Police investigating indecent exposure complaints

The Plano Police Department is investigating a number of incidents of indecent exposure that have occurred in area neighborhoods.

The incidents have occurred between 4 and 6 p.m. and have involved children aged 10-14. Spokesman Andrae Smith said five incidents have been reported all by school-age girls and that none of the incidents have occurred on Plano Independent School District property. The first reported incident occurred in late October and the most recent was reported in early December.

All five of the reported incidents involve school-age girls who are approached by a male individual driving a small passenger car. Smith said there have been different variations of the suspect’s vehicle. The male suspect was seen trying to lure the girls to his vehicle for the purpose of exposing himself. In all incidents, the girls fled the location, got help and the police were immediately notified.

The department has investigators looking into the incidents to determine if the same individual is responsible. All incidents seem to have similarities, Smith said.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 20 to 30 years of age, with facial scars or pock-marks, and spoke with a thick Spanish accent.

Heather M. Smith

The Plano Star

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Puerto Rico

Arrestan a depredadores sexuales en Aguadilla y San Sebastián

Sexual predators are arrested in Aguadilla and San Sebastian

Agents of the Immigration Service and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have arrested a 43-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman in Aguadilla and San Sebastian, on charges of producing child pornography.

A Montalvo Manuel Ortiz and Joseli Perez were charged with having used, employed, persuaded and induced a minor of age 10 to participate in a sexually explicit act to produce a video.

Authorities searched their homes on Oct. 23, 2008, seizing a computer and some electronic devices that could "have been used to commit the crime."

The arrest was part of an initiative of the United States called Operation Predator. This operation protects children from sexual predators, including those who travel outside the continent to have sex with minors.

Agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE), arrestaron a un hombre de 43 años y a una mujer de 23, en Aguadilla y San Sebastián, por cargos de producción de pornografía infantil.

A Manuel Ortiz Montalvo y Joseli Pérez se les imputa haber utilizado, empleado, persuadido e inducido a una menor de 10 años, para que participara en un acto sexual explícito para producir un vídeo.

Las autoridades registraron sus residencias el 23 de octubre pasado, incautando una computadora y unos aparatos electrónicos que tenían almacenados, que pudieron ”haber sido utilizados para cometer el delito”.

Primera Hora

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Wisconsin, USA

Police say three arrested in prostitution ring

Members of the Safe Streets Task Force concluded a three-day investigation into an alleged prostitution ring that resulted in the arrests of three people, according to a news release from the Albertville Police Department.

Santiago Borjas Linares, 30, of Milwaukee, Wis., Marlos Antonio Bustillo, 25, and Irma Yareliz Sanchez, 26, addresses unknown, were all taken into custody after an undercover sting operation about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday at Mathis Mill Trailer Park on Mathis Mill Road.

Linares and Bustillo are currently being held on third-degree promoting prostitution charges and Sanchez faces prostitution charges.

The Gadsden Times

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Su lucha contra la explotación sexual de la niñez

The nation's struggle against the sexual exploitation of children

The National Secretariat for Childhood and Adolescence (SNNA) has issued a report on the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in Paraguay. The report was presented by Lourdes Barboza at the Third International Congress on the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents [held recently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil].

According to Barboza, the world has more profoundly internalized the problem [of exploitation]. She shared positive experiences in regard to best practices to confront this global scourge...

[In Paraguay] children are pushed to work and beg in the streets, making them easy prey for exploiters.

Juan Miguel Petit, a former the UN special rapporteur on the sale of children, child sexual exploitation and child pornography, noted in 2004 that in Paraguay, child sexual exploitation and organized crime are linked. In addition, he found that in the tri-border region where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, strong and dangerous [criminal] "parallel powers" exist. They profit from the shadow economy generated by sexual exploitation."

Paraguay has targeted the year 2015 as a deadline for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and for providing basic primary education for all.

La Secretaría Nacional de la Niñez y la Adolescencia (SNNA) tiene un informe sobre la explotación sexual de la niñez y la adolescencia (ESNA) en Paraguay, difundido por Lourdes Barboza en el III Congreso Mundial de ESNA.

Acerca de la situación mundial se interiorizó más a fondo e intercambió experiencias positivas de buenas prácticas –para enfrentar al este flagelo mundial de la ESNA– Lourdes Barboza, de la SNNA, integrante de la delegación paraguaya...

La niñez es empujada a trabajar o mendigar en la calle, siendo presa fácil de la explotación.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

The World

ONU: 27 millones de esclavos en el mundo

ONU teme que la crisis financiera agrave la servidumbre por deudas

UN fears that the global financial crisis is worsening debt bondage

Slavery is widespread and deeply rooted in contemporary society, the investigation concluded "Unfinished Business" (A pending issue), the first comparative historical analysis on modern forms of slavery. More than 27 million people are still victims of slavery, a scourge supposedly abolished two centuries ago that could worsen due to the global financial crisis, warned the United Nations (UN).

Each December 2nd the world celebrates the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, commemorating the adoption of the Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others on December 2 1949 by the UN General Assembly...

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that at least 1.3 million people are subjected to forced labor in Latin America and the Caribbean, of which 250,000 are also victims of trafficking.

Latin America suffers the second highest rate of forced labor in the world after Asia, although the problem is present in all societies, including in some industrialized countries.

The ILO estimates that the profits generated by forced labor amount to about 32 billion dollars worldwide...

La esclavitud está ampliamente extendida y profundamente arraigada en la sociedad contemporánea, concluye la investigación "Unfinished Business" (Una cuestión pendiente), el primer análisis histórico comparativo sobre las modalidades modernas de servidumbre. Más de 27 millones de personas aún son víctimas de la esclavitud, un flagelo supuestamente abolido hace dos siglos que podría empeorar debido a la crisis financiera mundial, alertó la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU).

Cada 2 de diciembre se celebra el Día Internacional de la Abolición de la Esclavitud, conmemorando la aprobación del Convenio para la represión de la trata de personas y de la explotación de la prostitución ajena el 2 de diciembre de 1949 por la Asamblea General de la ONU.

El 2004 fue proclamado "Año Internacional de Conmemoración de la Lucha contra la Esclavitud y de su Abolición", y se designó el 25 de marzo de 2007 como Día internacional de celebración del bicentenario de la abolición de la trata transatlántica de esclavos.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Investiga PGR red de empresarios pederastas

Federal Attorney General investigates pedophile network run by businessmen

The Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) has began an investigation into a network of pedophiles, made up of Mexican businessmen who cover their supposed "philanthropic'' actions to rescue drug addicted children in rehabilitation centers in Mexico City by giving them work. In fact, they eventually place the victims in "child prostitution catalogs.''

[LibertadLatina note: The prostitution of children via catalog is a practice mentioned in several other articles from Mexico listed on this site.]

The allegations were made by non-governmental organizations and foreign entities such as the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as by a minor who is a 'protected witness.'

Among the cases that these organizations have documented is that of Alejandro Puente Cordoba, of the National Counsil of the Cable Tele-communications Industry.

Advocates say that they received a detailed report prepared by the mother of a girl who was 'hooked' by one of these rehabilitation centers, and was then deceived and abused sexually.

The victim's attacker was an executive who, after exploiting the girl distanced himself, making it impossible to file a complaint against him.

The mother of the victim dedicated herself to investigating similar cases and found Alejandro Puente Cordoba, who involved himself with a local alcohol treatment center. Such centers have a dual purpose. In addition to alcohol detoxification, the aim is to hook these children [and exploit them].

The modus operandi is [for businessmen] to pay for a youth's treatment in private clinics such as "Monte Phoenix." Once detoxified, the victims are given jobs, and are sent gifts, jewelry, and even vehicles. Then they are abused.

The investigating mother found another victim of Alejandro Puente, a girl of less than age 16 named Amaranta "N", whom Puente had been meeting for more than two years. The teenager lives alone with her mother in San Pedro de los Pinos, and has stated that Puente traveled constantly to the beach with his victims.

La PGR inició una investigación contra una red de pederastas, compuesta por empresarios mexicanos que a través de actos "filantrópicos'' rescatan a menores de edad adictas a las drogas en Centros de Rehabilitación de la Ciudad de México y terminan por colocarlas en "catálogos de prostitución infantil''.

Las denuncias fueron realizadas por organizaciones no gubernamentales nacionales y extranjeras, como el "Centro Internacional para Menores Extraviados y Explotados'' y una menor, a la que tienen en calidad de "testigo con protección''.

Entre los casos que dichos organismos tienen documentados se encuentra el de Alejandro Puente Córdoba, de la Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Telecomunicaciones por Cable.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Imperdonable, ignorancia de autoridades ante abuso a infantes: Cacho

Destaca la periodista, en charla con usuarios de El Universal..., que los pederastas y pedófilos eligen a sus víctimas casi siempre grupos de edades justamente entre los 5 y los 13 años

Lydia Cacho: The ingorance of authorities who abuse foster children is unforgivable

In a conversation with the El Universal newspaper, human rights activist and journalist Lydia Cacho declared that the ignorance of authorities and government employees who humiliate and abuse foster children is unforgivable, and that we must expose and bring to light those public servants who condone such abuses.

Cacho was responding to recent reports that in the town of Hueytlalpan, in Puebla state, municipal president [mayor] Juan Martín Barrientos was present when a man at a local orphanage paid between 50 and 150 pesos each to four children between the ages of 5 and 12, in exchange for seeing them undress completely.

During a chat with El Universal and on the occasion of the presentation at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara of her latest book, entitled My Child No: A Manual to Prevent, Understand and Heal Sexual Abuse, Cacho reminded parents that pedophiles almost always choose victims in the age group between 5 and 13.

"They [pedophiles] have a narcissistic personality and are almost always heterosexual. They can be an ideal father, a caring teacher or the priest of a local church," warned the author of [most well-known exposé, the book] The Demons of Eden.

Upon receiving a host of congratulations and appreciation of its value to users in their work against child abuse, Cacho indicated that we must focus on the power of the abuser.

Cacho: "I've discovered that to a large extent we can prevent abuse by educating our children about their sexuality. My book deals with how we talk to children. There are educational and healthy ways of explaining what to do and how to avoid abuse depending on their age."

Cacho indicated that her latest book is based upon her experiences interacting with girls and boys who were abused, and their parents. Eight years ago she founded a center for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Cacho has spent 18 years providing workshops on human rights issues where violence and sexuality are a factor.

During the book fair, Cacho, together with Silvia Garza, Sanjuana Martíneza and a group of more than 40 intellectuals, issued a Manifesto Against the Silence About Sexual Exploitation of Children. Cacho said that the document represents "the first cry against [society's] silence about child abuse, and was an act that has been taken by some of the strongest intellectual voices in the nation."

La ignorancia de las autoridades y servidores públicos que humillan y fomentan el abuso de niños y niñas es imperdonable, por lo que hay que denunciar y señalar a los servidores públicos que lo condonan, aseveró la activista en derechos humanos y periodista Lydia Cacho.

Afirmó lo anterior luego de que se revelara el abuso cometido a infantes en un jaripeo realizado en el municipio de Hueytlalpan, en Puebla, donde en presencia del presidente municipal, Juan Martín Barrientos, el conductor del acto pagó de 50 a 150 pesos a cuatro niños de edades entre 6 y 12 años por desnudarse completamente y dieran vueltas al ruedo.

Durante un chat con EL UNIVERSAL.com.mx y con motivo de la presentación en la Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) de Guadalajara de su más reciente libro titulado Con mi hij@ no: manual para prevenir, entender y sanar el abuso sexual, recordó a los padres de familia que los pederastas y pedófilos eligen a sus víctimas casi siempre grupos de edades justamente entre los 5 y los 13 años.

El Universal

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Como prevenir el abuso sexual infantil

How to prevent child sexual abuse

Among the strategies used by those who sexually abuse minors are instilling in children a fear of revealing what happened to them, and promoting a feeling of complicity on the part of the child, to make them feel guilty.

Explicit and indirect threats are also used. The abuse is usually perpetrated by a family member. We find that the chances that the child will speak up are truly slim.

Only when the child understands that the threats and manipulations are not true, and that they are not guilty of anything, can we expect [them] to talk.

In the first moments, when the child says to have been sexually molested, the first thing parents should do is believe them and try to stay calm. Parents should assure the child that what occurred was not their fault, and that you are unconditionally on their side to support them.

After that you should take to make you a medical examination and psychiatric consultation.

Parents have the power to prevent or lessen the chance of sexual abuse by taking the following precautions:

- Tells the children to have every right to say NO to the person who tries touch them improperly or that makes them feel uncomfortable.

- Urge children to feel comfortable in talking about these problems with their parents.

- Teaching your child that respect for adults does not include a blind obedience to anything they say.

- Support school-based prevention programs.

- Be alert to any symptoms that may be related to sexual abuse, such as sexualized behaviors that do not correspond to their age, aggressiveness, fear of going to certain places or of seeing certain people, significant changes in school performance or reverses in the child's physiological development.

Entre las estrategias de aquellos que abusan sexualmente de menores, además del miedo a desvelar lo sucedido por parte del menor, está fomentar la complicidad del niño y hacerle sentir culpable .

También pueden producirse amenazas más o menos explícitas. Si a todo ello le unimos que el abuso, por lo general, es perpetrado por algún miembro de la familia, nos encontramos con que las posibilidades de que el niño hable son realmente escasas.

Sólo cuando se ha logrado que el niño comprenda que todo lo anterior no es cierto, que tiene todo nuestro apoyo, toda nuestra credibilidad y le hacemos saber que él no es culpable de nada, entonces podemos esperar que hable.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Florida, United States

Un programa pone la mirilla en los depredadores de la internet

Federal program tracks child sexual predators on the internet

If you ever wondered whether the world of sexual predators on the Internet is growing, consider the following:

So far this year, federal authorities have prosecuted people in 2289 to cases of child pornography, a hike of 32 percent compared with 2006.

In south Florida, in the same period, the federal prosecutor's office has almost doubled the prosecutions for sexual offenses against minors over the Internet bring to trial 81 people.

Federal prosecutor R. Alexander Acosta quoted these alarming figures yesterday as he announced a program in both English and Spanish to alert the public of the threat that sexual predators on the Internet pose for children.

''If you are afraid, you absolutely right have a right to be," said Acosta. "It is an extremely serious problem.''

Acosta pointed to a handful of cases, including the arrest last month of a popular swimming coach who admitted having exchanged child pornography on the Internet and having sexual contact with minors, according to the FBI. Roberto Caragol, aged 35 and living in Plantantion, was fired from his job at a Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale...

The Internet'' is a very dangerous place for children'', said Matthew W. Freidrich, Deputy Attorney General in charge of the criminal division.

''When your children are communicating with others on the Internet you should know with whom they communicate and what will seek'' he said.

The message: prevent predators from abusing minors on the Internet. Authorities pointed out that in the United States one in seven children receives a sexual proposition of a predator.

''We cannot solve this problem only by arresting people'', said J. Robert Flores, administrator of the Office of Justice Programs for the department. "A key need is education.

"In Miami" it is important to mobilize the Hispanic community'', he added.

Si alguna vez se ha preguntado si el mundo de los depredadores sexuales en internet está creciendo, considere lo siguiente:

En lo que va de año las autoridades federales han encausado a 2,289 personas en casos de pornografía infantil, un alza del 32 por ciento en comparación con el 2006.

En el sur de la Florida, en el mismo período, la fiscalía federal casi ha duplicado los encausamientos por delitos sexuales contra menores por internet llevando ante los tribunales a 81 personas.

Jay Weaver

The Miami Herald

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Desmantelan red de trata de personas

Police Dismantle Human Trafficking Network

The secret police of Colombia (Department of Administrative Security-DAS) today dismantled a gang of human traffickers. The action was taken in response to an alert from Spanish authorities warning that they were receiving numerous requests for asylum from Colombians in Spain who held falsified migration documents.

The coordinator of Migration Affairs of the DAS, Manuel Saenz, told the press that the investigation determined that 3,000 [undocumented] migrants were involved. They had been charged up to $9,000 U.S. dollars each [to be smuggled to Spain]...

The victims of human trafficking in Colombia are mainly people affected by the armed conflict, especially peasants (campesinos) and Afro-Colombians, who have been exiled from their homes [had their homes and towns stolen from them through the use of murder and other forms of terror by right-wing paramilitary death squads].

La policía secreta (DAS) de Colombia desarticuló hoy una banda de traficantes de personas que mantuvo en alerta a las autoridades españolas que avisó sobre numerosas solicitudes de asilo de colombianos con documentación falsa.

El coordinador de Asuntos Migratorios del DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad), Manuel Sáenz, dijo a la prensa que la investigación determinó que los ilegales tramitaron por lo menos 3. 000 pedidos cobrando hasta 9.000 dólares cada uno.

"La banda ofrecía supuestas asesorías migratorias y terminaba cobrando entre tres y 18 millones de pesos (1.500 a 9.000 dólares) a los ciudadanos para ingresar ilegalmente a España", aseguró el investigador.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Brazil, the World

2013, fecha límite para acabar con la explotación sexual de niños y jóvenes

The year 2013 has been set by advocates as the deadline to end the sexual exploitation of children and youth around the world

This was the goal set by some three thousand people who gathered recently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Third International Congress on Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents.

During the event it became clear that this is a problem that is far from being resolved, that a lack political will exists on the part of governments to put brakes on the crisis, and that it is necessary to toughen the laws to combat this phenomenon, especially in regard to child pornography and sex tourism.

Precisely in the favelas [poor urban neighborhoods] of Rio de Janeiro, the site of the conference, the prevailing law is that of the jungle. On the city's bushy mountains of tiny houses..., it is possible to get all kinds of drugs and weapons.

But that's not the only thing that is sold in the favelas, which contrast with the colors of the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, and with its modern buildings and shopping malls full of tourists. Lives are trafficked.

Girls from 9 years old are forced to have sex for survival, often in exchange for their next meal.

Nils Kastberg, UNICEF director for Latin America and the Caribbean, visited these places and met with a group of girls who are... forced to have sex and then are thrown real or two (a thousand or two thousand pesos on average). It is everyday for them," says Kastberg.

For his part, Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula said that sexual exploitation of children should be a source of shame for all governments and that this is an issue that should be high on official agendas. "It's a horrendous crime that is being committed against these children and the worst thing is that it is happening before the indifferent eyes of the world," said Lula.

The Brazilian president took the opportunity to sign a law that criminalizes child pornography, [following Canada , Chile and Paraguay, who have also criminalized child porn in the recent past.]

During the event participants questioned the tolerance and indifferent social response to these issues, which, according to UNICEF, affect 1.8 million children around the world.

The attendees were also concerned that 150 million girls and 73 million boys around the world have suffered some form of sexual abuse, including commercial sexual exploitation.

The figures could increase significantly. Nowhere in the world have the numbers of victims been accurately counted. [Formal] complaints are [not an accurate gauge of the extent of the problem].

Así lo establecieron unas tres mil personas de 125 países que se congregaron a finales de noviembre en Río de Janeiro en el III Congreso Internacional sobre Explotación Sexual de Niños y Adolescentes.

En el evento quedó en evidencia que se trata de una problemática que está lejos de ser solucionada, que falta voluntad política de los gobiernos para ponerle freno y que es necesario endurecer las leyes para combatir este fenómeno, al igual que la pornografía infantil y el turismo sexual.

Precisamente, en las favelas de Río de Janeiro, sede del encuentro, impera la ley del más fuerte. En esas montañas tupidas de casas pequeñitas, que guardan un parecido con muchos de los barrios de Ciudad Bolívar, en Bogotá, es posible conseguir todo tipo de drogas y armas.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008


Trata de personas: Hubo allanamientos y detenciones en lugares nocturnos

Human trafficking: police raid night spots

The Division of Trafficking in Persons of the police in Entre Rios recently conducted a large number of raids at night spots where minors were found working in prostitution.

The girls were handed over to their families and caregivers.

Victorino Borré, head of the Division of Trafficking in Persons, stated that "our approach to this problem presumes that these practices have become normal, natural behavior for many. For that reason our response requires a strong commitment from all of the institutions who have responsibilities to combat this form of modern slavery."

La Policía de Entre Ríos, a través de la División Trata de Personas, realizó numerosos procedimientos en lugares nocturnos donde fueron detectadas menores de edad trabajando ejerciendo la prostitución.

Las jóvenes fueron entregadas a sus familias y los encargados de esos lugares detenidos y puestos a disposición de la Justicia. “El abordaje de este tema supone ir en contra de prácticas que para muchos están naturalizadas, por lo que se requiere indudablemente de un fuerte compromiso de todas las instituciones que tienen responsabilidad en la lucha contra esta forma de esclavitud moderna”, sostuvo el titular de esta División, Victorino Borré.

La División Trata de Personas, que funciona en calle Laprida 460, de Paraná, tiene 15 efectivos directamente a su cargo, pero cuenta para todos los procedimientos con el apoyo de la totalidad de las jefaturas departamentales para cumplimentar los procedimientos, junto a funcionarios judiciales de cada jurisdicción.


Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

El Salvador

Denuncian 98 casos de trata de personas

De todos los casos, sólo se han registrado cuatro condenas en los juzgados.

Women's center denounces 98 cases of human trafficking

An investigation conducted by a feminist organization and a Dutch agency has found that in the past two years 98 cases of trafficking in persons have been recorded in the country, but the courts have imposed sentences of imprisonment in only four of those cases.

The study by the Center of Studies for Women (CEMUJER) and the agency Cordaid Netherlands was designed to evaluate the treatment of the crime of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation in the [Salvadoran] justice system...

Doris Montenegro of CEMUJER, said the study aimed to find the major problems that prevent trafficking cases from reaching convictions. She noted that there are solutions, such as [focusing] efforts to improve laws that focus on human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Supreme Court Justice Marina de Aviles said that human trafficking must be fought by all institutions that monitor human rights, as the main victims are children and women.

Una investigación realizada por una organización feminista y una agencia de cooperación holandesa determinó que en los últimos dos años se han registrado en el país 98 casos de trata de personas, pero que de esos sólo en cuatro casos los tribunales han impuesto condenas de prisión.

El proyecto ejecutado por el Centro de Estudios para la Mujer (CEMUJER) y la agencia de cooperación holandesa Cordaid, tenía como fin dimensionar el delito de trata de personas en el sistema de justicia y manejo de casos con fines de explotación sexual comercial.

Datos recogidos en la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC) indican que en el país se han detectado 98 casos entre abril de 2006 y abril del 2007.

Jaime García


Dec. 9, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Illinois, USA

Man makes sexual advances to girls going to school

Chicago - Residents of the Archer Heights neighborhood and the Deering police district on the Southwest Side are being advised to watch their children carefully after a man made sexual advances to two girls on their way to school Tuesday morning.

The incident occurred about 8:30 a.m. in the 4400 block of South Washtenaw Avenue, according to an alert from Wentworth Area detectives.

The suspect, a male Hispanic in his 30s, approached the two girls and solicited them for sexual favors, the alert said. The girls ran to school and notified authorities, while the suspect was seen driving away in a medium-sized maroon pickup.

Chicago Sun-Times

Dec. 9, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Iowa, USA

Human trafficking cases continue

Marcia "Jazzie" Ryan, whose human trafficking case was originally scheduled to begin December 2, has received a continuance until December 22.

Ryan is charged with the crimes of ongoing criminal conduct, two counts human trafficking, and two counts pandering. On October 14, Ryan entered a "not guilty" plea to all five felony counts at her arraignment hearing.

Allegedly, these crimes were committed in conjunction with Leonard Russell who was convicted of the same charges on September 12.

August 2007 - Two juvenile females, aged 16 and 15 years, ran away from a Fremont, Nebraska, group home and met Ryan, then 19 and acting as a prostitute. Ryan introduced the girls to Russell and they, then, allegedly provided the girls with fraudulent identities and arranged for them to perform as exotic dancers at clubs in Iowa and Illinois, including Big Earl's Key Club in Denison where Denison Police recovered one of the girls.

The girls were also instructed to act as prostitutes and located Hispanic males in Denison who paid them for sex acts. In exchange for profits the girls earned during exotic dancing and prostitution they were provided basic clothing, food, and shelter. The other girl was recovered in Washington, D.C.

Emma Struve

Southwest Iowa News

Dec. 5, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Mexico, United States

Bloodshed On the Border

Life in Juárez, where drug violence has created the equivalent of a failed state on our doorstep.

...The border between El Paso (population: 600,000) and Juárez (population: 1.5 million) is the most menacing spot along America's southern underbelly. On one side is the second-safest city of its size in the United States (after Honolulu), with only 15 murders so far in 2008. On the other is a slaughter-house ruled by drug lords where the death toll this year is more than 1,300 and counting. "I don't think the average American has any idea of what's going on immediately south of our border," says Kevin Kozak, acting special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's office of investigations in El Paso. "It's almost beyond belief."

Juárez looks a lot like a failed state, with no government entity capable of imposing order and a profusion of powerful organizations that kill and plunder at will. It's as if the United States faced another lawless Waziristan—except this one happens to be right at the nation's doorstep...

...Authorities face a ruthless enemy. Cartel capos have made clear they'll go to whatever length necessary to eliminate opponents. In early November, armed men stormed a Red Cross operating room in Juárez, ordered the doctors and nurses performing surgery on a 25-year-old gunshot victim to leave and then killed him. Oscar Varela, head of the city's Hospital General, says high-risk patients are now treated in a restricted, bulletproof area guarded by cops.

Violence has long plagued Juárez. This, after all, is the city where hundreds of women were mysteriously murdered in the 1990s. But recently the bloodshed has taken on an anarchic quality. The absence of authority has opened the way for hordes of criminal gangs—some of them offshoots of the cartels; others, bands of opportunistic street thugs—to carve out specific rackets, like kidnapping, human trafficking and car theft...

Arian Campo-Flores and Monica Campbell


Nov. 29, 2008

LibertadLatina Commentary:

We must unfortunately agree with Newsweek's characterization of the lawless conditions in Mexico as reflecting those of a "failed state."  That unique description is an interesting way to look at circumstances that our efforts have documented for over 7 years in the context of other types of impunity.

These realities have serious consequences for the human rights of women and children in Mexico.  Drug war murders are not the only criminal acts that can be carried out with brazen impunity.

As an example... the kidnapping, rape and enslavement of women, girls and even infants are crimes that go largely unpunished in Mexico. 

When famed anti-trafficking activist, women's center director, author and journalist Lydia Cacho wrote a book (The Demons in Eden) denouncing two millionaire pedophiles who prostituted young children in Cancun, she was kidnapped by state police, tortured and tried for criminal defamation. 

When her case came before the nation's Supreme Court of Justice, not only did they deny Cacho's human rights case be given a fair hearing, even after one justice had investigated the case for months and found it to have merit, but the Chief Justice burst out laughing when the Court's vote tally tipped in favor of the child sex traffickers who would have been prosecuted. 

[Lydia Cacho watched this event on closed-circuit television from a supportive congress-woman's office and later discussed this outrage with the press].

THAT is impunity. 

The federal Attorney General's Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women, Alicia Elena Perez Duarte, resigned in disgust soon after the Court's verdict, and stated openly that she could not work where the nation's highest court would not defend basic human rights.      

Just recently, both defense lawyers for Jean Succar Kuri, one of the two alleged millionaire child sex traffickers and pedophiles in the Cacho case, resigned and publicly denounced Succar Kuri as being guilty of the crimes with which he was charged.

Across Mexico, women and children (both girls and boys) face rampant sexual exploitation. 

From 6-month-old infants who are prostituted in the bars of Mexico City and Tijuana, to the systematic, condoned kidnapping, rape and sex trafficking of the tens of thousands of Central American women fleeing gender violence and poverty in their own countries, as they migrate to the U.S. border, to the deliberate targeting of indigenous women and girls for rape and slavery because Mexico's racism literally accepts that... Mexico's impunity has become worse, not better over time. 

The drug wars, which are taking more lives today than the war in Iraq, have made conditions for women and children in Mexico much worse. 

Whatever small amount of progress was being made in recent years by the government of Mexico to help the cause of women and children's rights is now being erased by the new level of lawless impunity that is taking over regions such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, places where mass kidnappings and rapes resulting in child prostitution and femicide murders were already at crisis levels before the drug cartels went to war.

This crisis is fueled by billions of dollars in drug trafficking and sex trafficking profits. It is a problem that is not going to get better by itself.  We all must help end this scourge.

The world must intervene, and it must not attempt to sweep this problem under the rug to present a false image of the reality on the ground.

To close our eyes to these truths is to collaborate with thousands of corrupt government officials, and individual and organized criminals, who openly allow the kidnapping, rape, prostitution and sex trafficking of tens of thousands of women and children to occur each year, just across the southern border from the United States.

End Impunity Now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 12, 2008

Updated Dec. 15, 2008

Slavery... or Not!

Added: Dec. 15, 2008

Florida, USA

More perspective on the details of the Homestead ICE anti-trafficking raid

(Includes video report from CBS4)

A number of community rights groups have joined forces to ask U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta to launch an investigation into an ICE raid in November.

The group, which include the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, WeCount! and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, claims that more than 40 Mexicans and 35 Guatemalans were rounded up in a raid across Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade counties that was supposed to be targeting individuals involved in a sex-trade trafficking ring in Homestead.

At the conclusion of the raid, ICE announced that it had arrested four suspected sex traffickers and rescued nine women who had been forced into prostitution in several brothels.

But the groups say too many innocent people were roughed up. ''The sum actions of these raids, meant to protect victims of trafficking, have victimized many in the Homestead community and created a climate of fear and mistrust,'' the coalition of groups wrote in a letter to Acosta.

CBS 4 - Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Dec. 9 2008

LibertadLatina Note

The Dec. 9th, 2008 CBS News video report on the Homstead, Florida U.S. ICE immigration raid brings more information about abuse allegations into the public discussion than had been made available through print media reports about the incident.

As a result of hearing that information, we join with the voices of immigrant  advocates in Florida in calling for an impartial investigation into allegations that some of the nearly 100 undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE during the Nov. 19th raid were beaten.

Most importantly for the Latino community is the fact that ICE is known for conducting workplace raids, and leaving undocumented people alone in the sanctity of their own homes.  It has been unnerving to community members to see a residential raid that resulted in bloody noses.

Years ago I witnessed first-hand a surprise residential INS raid, where I was living in my early 20's with a couple of Latino families.  It was no fun at all for the Mexican family who were my house mates to be arrested and then deported.

While these concerns are important, the points raised in our Dec. 15th commentary (below), remain valid.

During the past week I have seen an Anglo legal advocate present the case on Univision network news that anti-trafficking raids should not be carried out. He implied in his statement that such raids were unnecessary, and that ICE should stop them [because of the collateral effect that undocumented community members are often arrested].  That advocate certainly minimized the idea that Latina sex trafficking victims should be rescued.

Earlier this week, the Latino owner of the small apartment complex that was raided shrugged his shoulders during his Univision news interview, and said that ICE agents should not have conducted a raid that broke down people's doors "just to arrest a couple of people" (his exact words). 

Can this man say that he was unaware of the brothel?  I would imagine that he can't. He certainly expressed no outrage about sexual slavery on his block.

We emphasize again that ICE has a legal and moral duty to arrest criminal sex traffickers and rescue their victims, who include many underage girls.

As the details from the criminal complaints in this case show, these sex traffickers were bad people.  They engaged in the repeated kidnapping, rape, torture and forced prostitution of adult and underage Latina women and girls.

Where is the outrage from these Florida  community advocates on their behalf?

I have not heard one word from leaders about the heinous nature of these worst-of-the-worst gender crimes.  We encourage them to speak out forcefully in support for the right of law enforcement agencies to defend the rights of Latina and indigenous women and girls who are tortured and raped dozens of times a day, as part of a organized criminal scheme to provide large communities of unaccompanied men in migrant labor conditions with sexual satisfaction.

That satisfaction cannot come at the expense of the kidnapping, serial rape, torture and sometimes murder of innocent women and girls.

We will not make an accommodation with a sexist machismo that influences community advocacy and continues to make the basic  human rights of adult and underage female victims of sexual violence a low, almost non-existent priority, that must be boxed-in by the ancient 'code of silence,' and thus be totally subordinated to other pressing immigration issues.

Often, it is the very-young, the poor, the indigenous and the Afro-Latina woman and girl who is  subjected to the hell of sex trafficking.  Intra-Latina currents of racism, classism and sexist oppression (machismo), work to silence their unending, centuries-long screams of pain and basic human desper-ation.

Enough is enough!

Decide that you are on the side of the victims of sexual violence.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 18, 2008

See also:

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"...Gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compartments, 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

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Florida, USA

Federal agents accused of roughing up immigrants during Homestead raid

Immigration advocates accused federal agents of using excessive force on immigrants in a raid in Homestead -- an allegation federal authorities deny.

Homestead - A coalition of immigrant advocates is demanding that the U.S. attorney's office in Miami investigate the arrests of dozens of Mexicans and Guatemalans taken into custody as undocumented immigrants last month during a raid targeting a separate group of alleged sex-trade traffickers in Homestead.

The advocates, along with local community leaders, say the 42 Mexicans and 35 Guatemalans -- who were not involved in sex-trade trafficking -- were rounded up Nov. 19 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. They accused ICE agents of using excessive force when they took the foreign nationals into custody.

Nicole Navas, an ICE spokeswoman, denied allegations of agent misconduct. ''As is routine protocol, all allegations have been forwarded to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility for their independent review,'' Navas wrote in an e-mail to The Miami Herald...

Trenton Daniel

The Miami Herald

Dec. 10, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Florida, USA

Tactics Used in U.S. Raids Draw Claims of Brutality

Miami - Advocates for immigrants here demanded an investigation Tuesday into a series of federal raids last month that they said left at least six Guatemalan men bloodied and bruised in a roundup of nearly 100 people.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied all accusations of misconduct by agents in the raids on Nov. 19 in three South Florida counties, noting that the operation focused on sex trafficking and led to charges against seven people and the release of several women.

But lawyers working with other detainees said they were concerned that the agency was using human trafficking laws as a front for broader operations, and a cover for harsh tactics...

Damien Cave And Yolanne Almanzar

New York Times

Dec. 09, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Florida, USA

ICE arrests four sex traffickers and rescues nine trafficking victims who were forced into prostitution in several South Florida brothels

Miami - R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that Arturo-Rojas-Gonzalez, Elodia Capilla-Diego, Fidel Gutierrez-Gonzalez, and Rosalio Valdez-Nava were arrested on Wednesday for sex trafficking of women in several brothels across South Florida following an ongoing investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This investigation was made possible by the extensive collaboration among law enforcement agencies committed to combat this modern day form of slavery. Law enforcement also worked with non-governmental organizations to identify, rescue and provide assistance to the victims. The defendants made their initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres yesterday at 1:30 PM in Miami, and detention hearings are scheduled for each of the defendants on November 25, 2008 at 10:00 AM.

According to the criminal complaints filed with the United States District Court, ICE conducted an intensive investigation into more than a dozen brothels and stash houses where immigrant women were being forced into prostitution.

Through statements of former victims, corroborated by surveillance and evidence obtained through search warrants, ICE arrested the four alleged brothel operators as part of a larger criminal organization operating similar brothels across South Florida.

Additionally, as part of ICE's efforts to dismantle this brothel network, nine victims were rescued from locations where search warrants were executed on November 19, 2008.


Nov. 21, 2008

The following documents are linked-to from the above U.S. ICE press release (they are PDF Files):

From the criminal complaint in United States of America versus Rosalio Valdez (PDF File):

"Victim 1" described how she was kidnapped by an individual in Mexico, who later became her “husband.” She was then smuggled through the Mexican border and brought to Arizona and later transported to Queens, New York. There, she was repeatedly beaten and forced to work as a prostitute…

She had no freedom of movement whatsoever…

She attempted to escape several times, but was unsuccessful and severely beaten for her attempts.

She also attempted to take her life on numerous occasions.

Additionally, she described witnessing constant physical abuse of others who were working in the prostitution ring. She described how the traffickers would often kidnap these women’s children; keep the children in Mexico with family members; and threaten the women that if they did not work as prostitutes, their children and families would be harmed.

From the criminal complaint in United States of America versus
Elodia Capilla Diego and Fidel Gonzalez (PDF):

On Sep. 5, 2008 law enforcement encountered a minor victim [“victim 2”], who had been victimized by [the] prostitution / human trafficking ring…

Victim 2 was smuggled into the United States by her “husband" / trafficker, Timoteo Reyes-Perez, when she was 14 years old.

…Ultimately… her husband forced her to begin working as a prostitute… He would periodically threaten and beat her. …She was move weekly from locations in Homestead, West Palm Beach and Ft. Myers [Florida.]


Nov. 20, 2008

LibertadLatina Commentary

Justice, or Just-Us?

The case of the November 19th South Florida sex trafficking raids conducted by U.S. ICE brings to the forefront an inevitable conflict of priorities for immigrant advocates in the United States. 

U.S. law enforcement actions to rescue victims of sex and labor trafficking, and at the same time arrest and prosecute enslavers, are activities that will always run head-long into another strong current in immigrant advocacy, the goal of protecting all undocumented community members from immigration raids and deportation.

In the past several years, I have seen this dynamic play out as one faction in the anti-trafficking movement, involving the leading Latino legal advocacy center in Washington, DC, declined to collaborate with another faction, who now run a major federal anti-trafficking program, because the second faction assisted local police and the FBI in identifying and raiding some of the many dozens of residential-based Latino brothels that exist in the Washington, DC region.

In my own personal experience, I went knocking on the doors of Washington, DC area Latino advocacy agencies and newspapers for over 10 years, seeking both police and Latino  community agency assistance with the issue of the rampant sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women in our region, only to face almost total apathy and rejection of the idea, before I started the LibertadLatina project.

Much of that indifference came from people who were otherwise great human rights advocates for the people of El Barrio.

In another view into this complex dynamic, a California anti-trafficking activist and friend was chided in an article by the Southern Poverty Law Center for raising the issue of child sex trafficking in labor camps in Rancho Pensaquitos in San Diego County, California.  The analyst who wrote the piece, who is Latino, balked at the idea that child sex trafficking could exist in a backwoods Latino labor camp.

Our web site's special section on Latina child sex trafficking in rural San Diego County refutes such uninformed assumptions  completely.

During this past week I watched an advocate on Univision network news denounce the Homestead ICE raid.  The complaint was not just about the alleged heavy-handed approach (which ICE denies), but also included presenting before press cameras the theory that ICE was engaging in a new tactic, that of alleging the existence of sex trafficking in a given case as a legal ruse to justify rounding-up dozens of  undocumented immigrants who would then face deportation.

This is also mentioned in the December 9th article in the New York Times about the Homestead ICE Raid.

The tone of voice used by the advocate who spoke on the Univision network implied that sex trafficking was a minimal issue, and that stopping anti-sex-trafficking raids was something that the Latino community should support.

I have never in my life heard of such a dubious and preposter-ous analysis and conclusion. Facts could convince me otherwise, but I certainly don't see those facts.

If the 1,200 pages of the LibertadLatina web site communicate anything at all, it is the fact that the sexual exploitation of women and children in Latin America, and in Latin immigrant communities across the U.S., is occurring with impunity. It is a crisis that is now growing exponentially, at a very rapid pace. The current economic crisis will accelerate the rate of these crimes against women across the Americas.

Florida is an epicenter of the crisis of Latina sex trafficking.

Several months ago an official from the office of the Florida Attorney General told me that a major anti-trafficking campaign was upcoming.  The Homestead raid was no-doubt part of the state's stepped-up efforts to control modern-day slavery in the Sunshine State.

While it is unfortunate that close to 100 undocumented immigrants were arrested during the raid, it is also true that nine victims of trafficking were rescued, and four alleged traffickers were apprehended.

All of us who live and work in El Barrio know that within our communities, migrant men use prostitution as an outlet.  That fact is undeniable. 

What is also undeniable is that many of the women and girls trapped in 'sex work' were trafficked and are being held against their will.  This is true not just in a few cases, but in the many thousands of unseen, unending and unspeakable nightmarish acts of enslaved rape faced daily by Latina immigrant women and girls in the United States who are... not you and me.

Even here in my suburban Maryland community, enslaved Latina women are routinely trafficked into seemingly invisible apartment-based brothels from New York City and rotated back to New York on a two week cycle.  As a local Latino radio personality who frequents these brothels told me, the women are not there of their own free will.

As long as this is the reality 'on the ground' across the United States, law enforcement has a legal and moral obligation to defend the lives of the victims.

Or... are advocates proposing to leave 'Little Brown Maria' chained to a bed in a brothel, unpaid, unfed, tortured, raped dozens of times per day, in need of surgery that she will never get after being sexually ripped-apart, repeatedly beaten by her enslaver, and facing the threat of HIV/AIDS and a greatly shortened lifespan?

Because... why?

Can people who call themselves advocates defend such a view, perhaps because they have not awaken to 'smell the coffee' about the severity of the modern sexual slavery that is endemic in the Latino communities across the United States?

We cannot live with our heads in the sand. These victims are, for the most part, receiving no help whatsoever as they face this hell-on-earth. 

At this point, ICE is just exposing the tip of the iceberg.  Some 15 to 17 thousand newly enslaved persons, 80% of whom are women and girls, are trafficked into the U.S. each year

Some anti-trafficking activists have estimated that the total number of enslaved persons in the U.S. could now number into the hundred thousand plus range.

They are not yet being rescued. 

Rescuing nine victims is good, but there are  thousands more to find and save.

We cannot have it both ways, and we simply will not condone this modern form of slavery in El Barrio!

Let's make a decision to actively support the victims.  They have nobody to help them except for we the people, local and state police forces, the FBI, and ICE.

And if you don't want to be caught-up in anti-trafficking raids, stay away from the brothel! 

When we finally see comprehen-sive immigration reform come about in the U.S., as can be expected with President Elect Barak Obama's administration and a majority Democratic Congress in Washington, DC, Latina human slavery will be a major factor to consider as the law is written. The victims must continue to be protected.

Thank you ICE, and thanks to all of the law enforcement and anti-trafficking advocates who are on the front lines, for making a real, positive difference.

The victims await our serious efforts to rescue them.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 12, 2008

Updated Dec. 13

Updated Dec. 15

See also:

The ground-breaking 2003 article from Mexico' City's El Universal newspaper about the sex trafficking of children in rural San Diego County, California:

"The real horror is in the sheer number of men that, at the age of 15, Reyna was forced to serve as a prostitute.  In one hour she had to serve 20 men, and they made her work from 8 AM until 2 in the afternoon.  We are not talking about just prostitution, but also about slavery, about the violation of all of Reyna's human rights."

In English  

En Español

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 12 - 15, 2008

Added: Dec. 12, 2008

Landowners to condemn slavery in Brazil

Landowners to condemn slavery in Brazil

The 17th Federal Criminal Court in the state of Bahia, Brazil has sentenced Cleudete Nilza Sagrilo to three years' of home detention. Nilza Sagrilo was accused by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) in 2005 for keeping 20 workers in slave-like conditions. In the state of Para, a landowner was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The Field Audit Group on Slave Labor has reported that over the past 13 years more than 30,000 workers have been rescued from conditions similar to those of slavery in Brazil. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 21,000 persons have been rescued just in the last three years.

Between January and August of 2008 almost 3,000 people were rescued, and at least five people were reportedly convicted of enslaving workers.


Nov. 21, 2008

Added: Dec. 7, 2008

Oklahoma, USA

Enid man accused of raping teen

Enid - A 30-year-old Enid man accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl has been arraigned on a felony rape charge.

Gilberto Baca Zavala was arraigned Friday in Garfield County District Court on a single count of second-degree rape.

According to a police affidavit, the girl contacted police and told them Zavala forced her several times to have sex with him. Police also say Zavala is an illegal immigrant...

The Associated Press

Dec. 6, 2008

Added: Dec. 7, 2008

New Mexico, USA

Alamogordo man charged with rapes

Alamogordo - A 20-year-old Alamogordo man is jailed at the Otero County Detention Center on a $100,000 bail bond after he was arraigned on rape charges in Otero County Magistrate Court Thursday.

The alleged incident happened early Monday morning.

According to Otero County court records obtained by the Daily News, Valente A. Hernandez Jr. is suspected of two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a 20-year-old female co-worker in the 1900 block of Juniper Drive.

Duane Barbati

Alamogordo News

Dec. 6, 2008

Added: Dec. 7, 2008

Trinidad and Tobago

Colombian woman in protective custody

The Colombian sex worker who has accused police constable Derrick Badree of rape will not be deported before the matter is heard.

Mirza Ali, the Immigration Officer in charge of investigations and deportation, has confirmed that the woman, who has been charged with entering the country illegally, is in protective custody.

However, because of a lack of safe houses and facilities in the country for witnesses, she has had to be sent to Golden Grove Women's Prison in Arouca...

Nazma Muller

The Trinidad Express

Dec. 5, 2008

Added: Dec. 7, 2008

Tennessee, USA

Victim's parents sue motel for $100 million

Knoxville - The parents of a former Waterloo homecoming queen killed at a Knoxville, Tenn., motel in September have filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million from the inn, the Days Inn Corp. and its parent companies.

Police say Jennifer Lee Hampton, 21, was strangled to death Sept. 21 by an employee at the motel. The motel has since changed its franchise from Days Inn to AmeriStay Hotel and Suites.

Hampton's nude body was discovered a week later in Melton Hill Lake, about six miles from the motel.

She was staying at the Days Inn while helping train employees at a Mama Blues Buffet, which was opening a new restaurant in Knoxville. Hampton was a waitress at the Mama Blues restaurant in Florence.

Valentino Vasquez Miranda, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death and is being held in the Knox County Jail without bond.

Prosecutors contend that Miranda, a native of Mexico who was in the United States without proper immigration papers, used a master key to enter Hampton's motel room. Once inside, he is accused of sexually assaulting, beating and ultimately killing her. Police say he also carried her body to the lake and dumped it...

Dennis Sherer

The Times Daily

Dec. 4, 2008

Added: Dec. 3, 2008

Texas, USA

Rescued immigrants claim kidnapping, rape, torture

Edinburg - Mario Olivares Cifuentes thought he understood the risks of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Tales of migrants drowning in the Rio Grande or succumbing to the oppressive South Texas sun spread frequently among those hoping to make the trek.

But for Olivares, a Guatemalan migrant, the real danger emerged only after passing those natural perils.

For almost a day, he and 20 of his countrymen [and women] were allegedly kidnapped, tortured, raped and held for ransom in a stash house east of Edinburg before federal agents rescued them last week.

Their purported tormentors - a group of Mexican nationals believed to have abducted the immigrants from another smuggling organization - are set to appear before a federal judge today...

According to Sanchez' affidavit, the migrants were guided to an Hidalgo stash house Nov. 24 after crossing the Rio Grande with a group of coyotes.

But within an hour of their arrival, five armed men burst into the building and abducted them. The men guided the Guatemalans to another location, where they reportedly turned their weapons on their victims.

The men threatened the immigrants' lives if they could not secure ransoms from family members in the United States and abroad, the Guatemalans later told agents.

Olivares reported being tied up overnight and beaten by the men, according to court filings. Three... women said they were taken into back rooms and raped by their captors...

Jeremy Roebuck

The Monitor

Dec. 2, 2008

Added: Dec. 3, 2008

Virginia, USA

Man Pleads Guilty to Rape of Girl, 10

A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty in Prince William Circuit Court on Monday to raping a 10-year-old girl.

Jose Abel Zelaya-Ascencio, of no fixed address, was charged with raping the girl at her family’s home in the 7500 block of Alleghany Court on Oct. 22, 2007.

According to court testimony Monday, the girl was awakened at 5:35 a.m. that morning when Zelaya-Ascencio broke into the house and went into her bedroom.

The girl, who was home alone with her 7-year-old brother, said she tried to get away, but Zelaya-Ascencio overpowered her and raped her, police said...

Amanda Stewart

Inside Northern Virginia

Dec. 1, 2008

Added: Dec. 3, 2008


En Iquitos discuten acciones para combatir explotación sexual infantil

Meeting in Iquitos discusses measures to the combat sexual exploitation of children

As part of World Day to Combat HIV / AIDS, in the city of Iquitos, a meeting will be held to exchange intervention strategies in regard to youth who are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation.

The primary purpose of the event is to develop strategies to reduce sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to promote healthy sexual behaviors...

The meeting will also enable the development of recommendations through which state and civil society entities in Iquitos can work to develop prevention, care, recovery and punishment of the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

En Iquitos discuten acciones para combatir explotación sexual infantil En el marco del Día Mundial de la Lucha contra el VIH/Sida, hoy viernes se realiza en la ciudad de Iquitos (Loreto) una reunión de intercambio de experiencias de intervención con adolescentes y jóvenes en situación de vulnerabilidad a la explotación sexual comercial.

La finalidad de la actividad es desarrollar acciones dirigidas a la reducción de infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS) y promover conductas sexuales saludables.

El evento es organizado por el Fondo Global, a través del Consorcio de la Macrorregión Oriente, integrada por Acción por los Niños, la universidad Cayetano Heredia y la fundación ADAR.

SUR Noticias

Dec. 1, 2008

Added: Dec. 3, 2008

Texas, USA

Por pornografía infantil sentencian a empleado de Diócesis católica

Catholic Diocese employee sentenced for child pornography

[See also the related November 24, 2008 English language story from U.S. ICE, posted on this page.]

Roger García tenía en su computadora más de 30 video de niños no mayores de 14 años sosteniendo relaciones sexuales con adultos

Una sentencia de 7 años y medio recibió en una corte federal un empleado de la Diócesis católica local, declarado culpable de posesion de pornografia infantil el pasado mes de agosto.

Se trata de Roger García, de 47 años , quien se desempeñaba como gerente de construcciones de la Administracion de la Iglesia Católica. Fue aprehendido tres dias después de recibir cargos formales.

El Mañana.com

Dec. 1, 2008

Added: Dec. 3, 2008

Costa Rica, United States

Costa Rica: Acusado de violar sobrina política Llegó tico deportado de Estados Unidos

Man accused of raping his underage niece-in-law is deported from the U.S. to Costa Rica

Costa Rican citizen James Duran Vilchez, who was arrested by the International Police agency Interpol in the state of Virginia, United States, arrived on Saturday in Costa Rica after being deported to face criminal charges.

Duran Vilchez is wanted for the crime of sexually abusing his wife's niece between 1997 and 1999.

A fugitive team in Virginia arrested Duran Vilchez in October, while he was heading to work.

The Criminal Tribunal of the Second Judicial Circuit in San Jose had issued several arrest warrants against Duran Vilchez since March 2007. A recently issued international warrant lead to his arrest in the U.S.

El tico James Durán Vílchez, quien fue detenido por la Policía Internacional (Interpol) en el estado de Virginia, Estados Unidos, llegó el sábado anterior al país luego de ser deportado para hacerle frente a las acusaciones penales en su contra.

El hombre es requerido por el delito de abusos sexuales en perjuicio de su sobrina política, hechos que ocurrieron entre 1997 y 1999 cuando se aprovechó de su condición para abusar sexualmente de la menor.

El Equipo de Rastreo de Fugitivos de Estados Unidos realizó el arresto en octubre anterior, cuando el costarricense salía de su casa en el estado de Virginia y se dirigía hacia su trabajo.

Odilie Alpízar

Presnsa Libre

Dec. 1, 2008




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Updated: June 13, 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

Últimas Noticias

Latest News

Added: Jun. 13, 2010


Venden niñas por edades

En San Pedro Sula hay unas 10 mil menores que son víctimas de abuso sexual y comercial

Apenas tiene 16 años y “Elena” ya ha tenido relaciones sexuales con diferentes hombres. La menor era prostituida por su padrastro, ahora lo hace por su cuenta.

Desde pequeña empezó a sufrir los maltratos del hombre que apenas esperó a que el cuerpo de ella comenzara a notarse el desarrollo para poder lucrarse.

La niña recuerda que tenía cerca de 12 años cuando su padrastro le dijo que llegarían unos amigos de visita y que tenía que ayudarle a su madre a atenderlos...

Un día, cuando estaba cerca de cumplir los 13 y mientras sus seis hermanos jugaban en la calle, su padrastro la dejó en casa con un amigo. “Sólo me dijo que no tuviera miedo y que fuera cariñosa, ahora sé que pagaron por estar conmigo y en vez de que gane dinero él, mejor me lo agarro yo”, expresó la menor, que ahora se prostituye en las calles de la ciudad.

Ella logró huir de su casa, pero no del camino al que la orilló su padrastro...

El caso de “Elena” es más común de lo que parece. Sólo en San Pedro Sula hay cerca de 10 mil menores que son víctimas de abuso sexual y comercial, según información en poder de la Fiscalía de la Niñez. Las cifras recogen datos hasta 2008, por lo que las autoridades temen que el número hasta la fecha sea mucho más alarmante. El 98% de las estadísticas corresponde a niñas...

In the northern coastal city of San Pedro Sula, 10,000 minors are subjected to sexual abuse and commercial exploitation

Elena has just turned 16, but she has ‘been’ with many men. She was first prostituted by her stepfather. Now she does it to make money for herself.

From an early age Elena suffered abuse from her stepfather, who just waited long enough for her to show signs of maturing before he started profiting from selling her body.

Elena recalls that she was almost 12 when her stepfather told her that some of his friends would be coming over to visit, and that she had to help her mother to attend to his visitors.

At that time, Elena didn’t know that type of ‘attending’ she would have to do for her stepfather’s friends. She imagined that she would have to cook for them. Girls her age were expected to help out with the housework.

One day, when she was close to her 13th birthday, while her six brothers played in the street, her stepfather left her in the house with one of his friends. Elena: “He told me not to be afraid, and asked me to be affectionate with him. Now I know that this man paid my stepfather to be with me. Instead of making money for him, now I make it myself.”

Elena was able to escape from her home, but could not escape the path in life that her stepfather has set her upon.

Cases like Elena’s occur more frequently than one would think. Just in the city of San Pedro Sula, there are 10,000 minors who are victims of sexual abuse, including the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), according to data collected by the special prosecutor for crimes against children. Their statistics only cover a period through 2008, leaving the authorities believing that today’s figures are likely much higher. Some 98% of cases involve girls.

Special prosecutor for crimes against children coordinator Thelma Martínez indicates that the figures are worrying, given that an increasing number of these cases involve pimping and human trafficking.

Martínez declared that these girls and adolescents are manipulated and recruited by adults who profit from them through prostitution. The victims are selected for the marketplace based on the color of their skin, their age and their height.

The obstacle that prosecutors face in going after pimps is that minors are not willing to testify against them.

Martínez: “Many girls are fearful. Others, unfortunately, have gotten used to earning money this way, and prefer to say nothing.”

Due to the increase in these types of cases, a special office was created to attend to the complaints involving sexual abuse, kidnapping, pimping, human trafficking and rape, which is the most commonly reported crime.

According to the special prosecutor’s office, in the month of May, 2010 alone, 30 child sexual abuse cases were processed.

Although child sexual abuse cases involve a criminal penalty of from 5 to 10 years of prison time, the damage caused to the victim is irreversible.

“The worst part of these cases is that the [perpetrator] is in the same family nucleus. They are fathers, stepfathers, cousins or others” added Martínez.

In addition to attending to the cases of children who are victims of crime, the special prosecutor’s office also deals with at-risk minors and juvenile criminal perpetrators. When they receive a complaint, they sent the child to one of several centers run by the Honduran Institute for Children and Families – IHNFA, while the case is being resolved...

La Prensa - Honduras

June 09, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New York, USA

Smugglers kidnap girl bound for Long Island

A Long Island mom is racing against time to find her teenage daughter -- who is being held captive by immigrant-smugglers threatening to kill her unless a ransom is paid.

"Mom, save me! Please help! They are going to kill me," 14-year-old Eloisa Lopez, who left Honduras more than a month ago, told her mom by phone on Tuesday.

The terrified girl somehow managed to take a cellphone from her captors and call her mom. But she had no clear idea where she was being held, sending her family scrambling for help.

The devastated mom had saved up her earnings as a housekeeper and paid "coyotes" $5,000 to bring the girl to the country nearly a month ago, Eloisa's sister told the Post.

But 10 days later, a smuggler brazenly demanded $7,000 more from the family in exchange for Eloisa's life.

It was cash they didn't have.

Then on Tuesday, Dania received the terrifying call.

"I think I'm in Houston, but I don't know where I am!" Eloisa cried over the phone, fearful that her captors would discover she was calling for help.

"Don't worry, we will save you no matter where you are," Dania told her daughter, before phoning cops.

A law enforcement source told The Post yesterday that "authorities are investigating a claim that may have implications of human trafficking."

Federal authorities have since taken over the case, and Department of Homeland Security agents yesterday went to the Lopez family's home in Woodbury.

"She was due back this week," Ingrid Lopez, 18, said of her sister. "This is horrible. My sister is in danger of losing her life. These coyotes don't care. They will kill you and leave you in the desert."

Ingrid would know. She was smuggled from Honduras to Long Island three years ago on a similarly dangerous journey.

The 18-year-old, now a student, often went without food and water and walked for three days straight.

She now fears her younger sister has met a far worse fate.

"She is so small and slight. She would not be able to defend herself against them," Ingrid said.

Eloisa's mom has been working long and hard to bring all five of her children into the country.

Two, including Ingrid, have been safely brought to Long Island. The youngest two live in Honduras with their grandmother.

"We never imagined this would happen. We just wanted to be reunited as a family," Ingrid Lopez said. "We feel helpless but we have faith in God everything will work out."

Kieran Crowley and Emily Ngo

The New York Post

June 10, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Man admits sexually abusing boy, 5, in Parsippany

An illegal immigrant from Guatemala faces up to 15 years in state prison on his guilty plea Monday to sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in Parsippany over a six-month period.

Through a Spanish interpreter, Jorge Mario Hernandez, 26, admitted to state Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown to one count of aggravated sexual assault on the child between May 1 and Oct. 23, 2009.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor LaJuan Tucker has recommended that Hernandez be sentenced to 15 years in state prison, with 85 percent or 12 years and nine months to be served before parole consideration. Defense lawyer Neill Hamilton said he would argue for 10 years.

Hernandez, who told the judge he was educated until the 6th grade in his native Guatemala, said he understood he was likely to be deported upon release from prison. Sentencing tentatively was set for July 9.

Hernandez was arrested in October after an unidentified witness contacted police to say that he or she saw Hernandez assaulting the boy. Upon being confronted, the witness told police, Hernandez dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness. He said in court Monday only that he assaulted the child on more than one occasion; police had accused him of molesting the boy more than 30 times.

Before he is sentenced, Hernandez must be evaluated at the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel to determine if he is a compulsive and repetitive sex offender who should be incarcerated there. According to the law, if he receives a sentence of more than seven years and is considered compulsive and repetitive, he still must serve a portion of his punishment in state prison before being transferred to Avenel.

Peggy Wright

The Daily Record

June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Jesus Marrero

Man Charged with Child Sex Assault

A man from Scranton is accused of sexually assaulting a young boy over the course of a few months.

Jesus Marrero, 44, was arrested Wednesday. Police said he made a seven-year-old boy watch while he had sex with his girlfriend, then forced the boy to have sexual relations with him.

The boy was in Marrero's care at the time.

Police learned what happened when the boy told a school official.


June 10, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Jose Arturo Lopez

Former Teacher Charged With Indecency With a Child

El Paso County Sheriff's Officers arrest a former Fabens ISD teacher. Jose Arturo Lopez was arrested for an alleged incident that took place in December of 2008 involving a 15-year-old girl. At the time, Lopez was working at O'Donnell Elementary school as fifth-grade teacher. Lopez is charged with indecency with a child.

Oralia Ortega


June 09, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

California, USA

Pedro Hernandez

Relative Caught In Girl's Sex Assault At San Francisco Elementary School

San Francisco - A 68-year-old man suspected of sexually assaulting his 8-year-old step-granddaughter at her San Francisco elementary school last week was arrested Thursday at a homeless shelter after reportedly being harbored by his children and altering his appearance, police said Friday.

San Francisco police arrested Pedro Hernandez, who allegedly assaulted the girl at Sanchez Elementary School in the Mission District around noon June 3, at a shelter at St. Bruno's Catholic Church in San Bruno Thursday night, police said.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned Monday morning in San Francisco Superior Court on seven felony counts, according to district attorney's office spokeswoman Erica Derryck.

The charges include continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years of age or younger, and oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years of age or younger. The last two charges are punishable by life in prison.

Three of Hernandez's adult children were also arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged attack on the girl. Prosecutors filed charges against two of the children, but decided not to charge the third.

Marisol Lopez and Jesus Hernandez were arraigned in court Friday morning in on charges of being an accessory to the crime after the fact, according to Derryck. Both pleaded not guilty and were ordered held on $100,000 bail.

Police spokesman Officer Samson Chan said the children are believed to have helped their father get a motel room in Daly City after the alleged assault.

In addition, Hernandez shaved his moustache and cut his hair short in recent days, Chan said.

"He was actively trying to conceal himself," Chan said.

An investigation by the Police Department's Fugitive Recovery Team led police to the homeless shelter.

Following the alleged assault, police issued a $2 million warrant for his arrest and initiated a statewide and international search.

Police do not believe Hernandez was a member of the San Bruno church or that anyone at the shelter knew he was a fugitive, Chan said.

Hernandez has known the girl's family for several years and has lived with them on and off, according to police.

He had married the girl's grandmother but they are now separated, Chan said.

According to police, Hernandez arrived at the school to bring lunch to the girl and a female school district employee saw him "being overly affectionate toward the victim" and became suspicious.

The same employee then caught Hernandez allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in a secluded stairwell area inside the school and Hernandez ran away, police said. The woman called police.

Hernandez allegedly assaulted the girl in the stairwell multiple times and the acts were recorded on a video surveillance camera, police said.


June 11, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Indiana, USA

Roberto Vasquez

A Chicago man convicted of child molesting in Elkhart County will be featured on the "America's Most Wanted" web page.

Roberto Vasquez, 54, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to 247 years behind bars for molesting a young girl from the time she was six until she was 12.

According to the America's Most Wanted website, Vasquez posed as a religious adviser in Elkhart to get into people's homes. He molested one girl from 1999 until 2006, when he was arrested.

On the day of his sentencing in 2009, Vasquez went into hiding and authorities have been looking for him ever since.

The Elkhart Police Department actually contacted “America’s Most Wanted”, hoping to get more publicity in the case on a national level.

“Just because of the severity of this crime; 9 different child molests charges of one child and it had been going on for six years, and the fact that he uses the “I'm a religious adviser” to get into him people’s homes. I mean, this family allowed him to live in their homes,” said Elkhart Police Lt. Ed Windbigler.


June 02, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Texas, USA

Genny Granados

Salvadoran immigrant gets 50 years for dumping baby in the thrash

On Thursday, in a Harris County courtroom, Genny Granados, 31, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder, after leaving her infant son in a Houston emergency room bathroom trash can.

According to prosecutors, sometime around midnight Feb. 9, 2008, Granados, who denied being pregnant, gave birth to a baby boy in an emergency room bathroom at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

She cut the umbilical cord herself, dumped the infant into the trash, and left.

A custodian later found the baby.

Doctors revived the infant, and placed him on life support. The baby was found to be brain-dead and died 11 days later.

At her arraignment, prosecutor Kelli Johnson said of Granados: “She has such little respect for human life that she tells no one, to my knowledge, that she was pregnant. She goes to the hospital, has a pair of scissors in her hand, and cuts her own umbilical cord and looks at her baby and throws it in the trash.”

Granados’ defense attorneys blamed hospital staff for the child’s death, saying they should have known that Granados gave birth in the restroom.

Granados is a legal U.S. resident who came to this country from El Salvador, and has two other children.

This sad case is reminiscent of another in which an illegal alien abandoned her baby in a dumpster in California.

In December 2009, the staff at Anaheim Medical Center became suspicious of the story given them by Juana Perez Valencia, 19, who though showing all of the signs, claimed she had not just given birth. Orange County deputies arrived and questioned her, eventually finding the corpse of her newborn daughter in the dumpster behind Sombrero’s restaurant, where Valencia worked as a waitress.

Apparently, Valencia gave birth to the girl in the restaurant’s bathroom, and allegedly placed the baby into a plastic bag, before tossing her into the dumpster.

An autopsy concluded that the baby had in fact, been born alive and healthy.

Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh told the Orange County Register that the Mexican national had concealed her pregnancy, and was fully aware that she could have simply handed the baby over to authorities with no questions asked, but instead chose to let her die in a trash bin.

The Orange County District Attorney‘s Office issued the following statement: “The baby girl was born alive. Baby Doe weighed 6.3 pounds and was 17 inches long. The defendant is accused of murdering the baby, putting Baby Doe in a plastic bag, and throwing her body in a dumpster behind the restaurant.”

Valencia was charged with murder and currently sits in the Orange County Jail awaiting trial. If convicted, she faces a sentence of 25 years to life.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 12, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Ohio, USA

Police investigate the use of date rape drug at bar

A 31-year-old Grove City woman reported to Grove City Police that at 1:17 a.m. May 26 that she was the victim of rape while she was at a bar in the 3000 block of Southwest Boulevard. She told police that she believed someone slipped a date rape drug in her drink.

She woke up next to the trash receptacles behind the bar, bleeding copiously and complaining of internal pain. She told police that two to three men, one of whom had a scar above his right eye, raped her.

She told police she believed the men were Hispanic and mentioned a gang initiation. She also complained of confusion. The bartender reported seeing the woman in the company of a number of individuals during the course of the night.

One witness said she saw the victim vomiting and bleeding in the bathroom, but none of the bar patrons reported any awareness of a rape.

Columbus Local News

June 02, 2010

Added: Jun. 13, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Crime Blotter - May 27 - June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 in the state of Kentucky and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject is a convicted sex offender and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ocotillo, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in the state of California and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 7, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Cowlic, Arizona. During processing, the subject admitted to being a Latin Kings gang member. Records checks revealed he had a prior conviction for statutory rape in the state of Georgia.

June 5, 2010 - Del Rio Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child with sexual contact in the state of Texas, and had previously been removed from the United States.

June 4, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from El Salvador near Naco, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) gang member and had a prior conviction for possession/purchase of cocaine and spousal abuse. He had also previously been removed from the United States.

June 3, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for molestation of a child in the state of California and he had previously been removed from the United States.

June 2, 2010 - Del Rio Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico in Weatherford, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance and an active arrest warrant for aggravated sexual assault on a child issued in the state of Texas. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Yuma Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Yuma, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had an extensive criminal history, to include convictions for aggravated driving under the influence, assault and disorderly conduct. The subject was also a registered sex offender and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Casa Grande, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for rape in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 29, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts and sexual penetration with foreign object of a minor in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 27, 2010 - Laredo Sector - Agents assisted other Federal and local law enforcement officers in the arrest of an illegal alien from Mexico for kidnapping at a bus station near Laredo, Texas. The subject was en route to Mexico after kidnapping an 11-year-old female in the state of Illinois. The child was returned unharmed to proper authorities.

May 27, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for rape in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

June 9, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Delaware, USA

New Castle Police Investigate Child's Abduction and Rape

Hockessin - New Castle County police are investigating a late night abduction and rape of a 9-year-old girl who accepted a ride from a stranger after she was inadvertently locked out of her home.

The investigation revealed that around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, a family friend drove the victim to her home on the 500 block of Homestead Road in Alban Park home. After the friend drove away, the victim initially entered her building but was unable to get into her home as the door was locked. Police learned she then walked back outside to search for her sister and her parents.

While walking along Alban Drive, near the rear of the Canby Park Shopping Center, the victim was approached by an unknown man who was driving a four-door vehicle. The man offered the victim a ride and after some conversation, she accepted. The two drove out of the community and then to an undisclosed location in the city of Wilmington where the car was parked.

Police say the male suspect then sexually assaulted the victim before she was able get out of the car and run. A good Samaritan found the young girl walking in the area and took her to a nearby convenience store. The victim was able to reach a family member by phone who responded to the store, picked her up and then drove her home. She then disclosed the assault to her mother, who in turned called 911.

The suspect is described as an Asian or Hispanic male with short black hair. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the New Castle County Police Department at (302) 395-8110 (attention Detective Brian Faulkner) or visit www.nccpd.com. Citizens may also provide a text tip at: 847411 (TIP411); begin your message with NCCPD and then type your message. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Police say investigators do not have any evidence at this point to believe this case is related to the two recent abduction and rape crimes that are being investigated by the Delaware State Police.

Kye Parsons


June 10, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Man Tries to Grab Child Walking to School

San Diego - A 14-year-old girls escaped from a kidnapping attempt Thursday morning in City Heights.

The girl told San Diego Police she was walking to school when a man walked out of an apartment complex at 4029 44th Street near University Avenue at about 7:15 a.m. He reportedly tried to grab her and started chasing her.

A passing school bus driver saw the girl appeared to be in trouble and called police.

Police describe the suspect as a Latino male, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall with a medium build, shaved head, wearing dark blue shorts and long white socks.

While the driver called police, the man fled. He was described as Hispanic, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall with a medium build and shaved head.

He had on dark blue Dickies shorts and long white socks.

San Diego 6

June 10, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Police Arrest Summit Man in Luring Case

Summit Police arrested Jose Gerardo Mazariedo, a 23 year old city resident, and charged him with two counts of third degree providing obscene materials to a minor and one count of second degree Child Luring on Monday, according to Detective Steve Zagorski.

This arrest, Zagorski emphasized, is not related to the May attempted luring on Linden Place.

On Saturday, the mother of a 14-year-old female reported to police that her daughter and three of her classmates had been followed home from school, every day for the past week, by an unidentified Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s who was operating a newer model Honda, color blue, Zagorski said.

At school dismissal time on June 7, the police set up surveillance around the victim's school and in the area of her walking route home. At around 3 p.m. police observed a 2010 Honda, which was being operated by Mazariedo, driving in the area under surveillance, Zagorski said.

The police stopped the vehicle and identified Mazariedo as the suspect from the June 7 complaint. Mazariedo was arrested after police uncovered additional evidence linking him to an additional victim, a 13-year-old female.

Mazariedo was committed to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth where he is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Chief Robert C. Lucid commended the actions and skills of the two detectives assigned to the case, Sgt. Thomas Rich and Det. John Padilla, for "quickly securing the necessary information for these criminal charges before this individual could perpetrate a sexual assault. Without their diligence we may have had a very different story to tell."

Heather Collura

Summit Patch

June 08, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Illinois, USA

Cops seek suspect in assault on Waukegan bike path

Waukegan police are asking for the public's help in locating a man suspected in the sexual assault last week of a woman near a bike path in the far northern suburb, officials said today. Police said a 38-year-old woman was attacked at about 5 p.m. on June 4, on the Robert McClorey Bike Path just north of Montesano Avenue.

The woman was riding her bicycle on the path when she a man on another bicycle knocked her off of her bicycle and forced her in to a wooded area, officials said. The man assaulted her at knife point, police said.

After the attack the man left the area on his bicycle, traveling southbound on the path from Montesano Avenue.

The man is described as Hispanic, about 26-years-old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build and short black hair. The bicycle he was riding is described as a dark colored BMX style bicycle with foot pegs on the front wheel.

Police officials said they have a possible suspect identified and are "actively looking for him." Officials are asking anyone with any information about the incident to call detectives at (847)599-2608.

Carlos Sadovi

The Chicago Tribune / WGN

June 09, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

Virginia, USA

Short Pump jogger fights off attacker whose genitals were exposed

Henrico - Scary moments for a [city of] Short Pump woman who says she was attacked while on a morning jog near Lauderdale Drive and Park Terrace Drive. Tonight, police say they're treating this as an assault, and, exposure case, because when the woman tried to fight back, it turns out the man wasn't entirely covered up.

It's a crime that is as stunning, as it is unusual...in the upscale, private, and peaceful Wellesley neighborhood.

Police say a woman was on a mid-morning jog, when she saw a man walking toward her. She said, "Good morning". But police say the man, all of a sudden, shoved her backward. Police say the woman responded with a push of her own...only to notice the man's genitals were exposed.

"Kind of, just, you know...shocked. You don't really hear that kind of thing going on in our neighborhood," said Wellesley resident Sharon Sachdeva.

After the initial tussle, police say the man tried to run away, so the woman and a passerby chased him. Police say the man then got into a pickup truck, and drove out of sight.

Those who grew up in the area say it makes them think twice about their personal safety, which they usually don't have to do...

Henrico Police are looking for a person who fits this description: Hispanic male. Approximately 6' tall and 230 pounds, wearing white painter-style pants and a dingy white t-shirt. Police say he was driving a pickup truck. If you have information that can help, call Henrico Police at 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.


June 10, 2010

Added: Jun. 11, 2010

California, USA

Woman fights off suspect in attack at San Jose storage facility

Police are searching for a man who attempted to sexually assault and rob a woman in a rented unit of a San Jose storage facility this afternoon.

The woman managed to fight off her assailant in the attack at about 4:30 p.m. at Public Storage in the 900 block of Felipe Avenue, police spokesman Dirk Parsons said.

He said the victim had entered her storage unit when an unknown man came up behind her, hit her with his elbow and attempted to lift her skirt.

The woman fought him off, but the suspect then threatened to steal her car. Parsons said the victim was holding keys to her Mercedes and that the suspect tried to grab them.

The victim, however, resisted and the suspect ran out the door of the storage unit, shutting it behind him, according to Parsons. The woman managed to quickly escape the unit, but the suspect then grabbed her.

Parsons said the victim again resisted and the suspect ran to his vehicle and drove off.

The victim was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 30s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 170 pounds. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, and a blue shirt and pants. A security camera at the business showed him driving away in a small Honda or similar vehicle, Parsons said.

Parson said the suspect could face charges of assault with attempt to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery. Advertisement

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call police at (408) 277-4102. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP.

Bay City News Service

June 02, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

The United States

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

New York - In the wake of allegations that a male guard at a central Texas detention facility sexually assaulted female detainees on their way to being deported, immigrant advocacy groups say stronger oversight and accountability is urgently needed to prevent further abuse of female detainees.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said last week that the guard has been fired. It added that Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison company that manages the Hutto facility, has been placed on probation pending the investigation's outcome. The consequences of probation were not immediately clear.

ICE said that several women who were held at Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas, were groped while being patted down and at least one was propositioned for sex.

"We understand that this employee was able to commit these alleged crimes because ICE-mandated transport policies and procedures were not followed," David Sanders, DHS's contracting officer, said in a letter to Corrections Corporation of America obtained by The Associated Press.

ICE has ordered Corrections Corporation of America to take corrective actions. Among them is forbidding male guards from being alone with female detainees.

"Hutto is not an isolated incident," Jacki Esposito of Detention Watch Network, a coalition of organizations that monitors ICE treatment of detainees, told IPS. "Allegations of sexual assault have plagued other facilities where immigrants are being held by the federal government." ...

William Fisher

Inter Press Service (IPS)

June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Man Sentenced for Interstate Travel to have sex with a minor

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Jose Jhonson Hernandez-Ramos, age 34, a Honduran national living in Baltimore, today to 87 months in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for interstate travel to have sex with a minor. Judge Bennett also ordered that Hernandez-Ramos be removed from the United States by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after he has completed his sentence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.

According to Hernandez-Ramos’ plea agreement, Hernandez-Ramos met the victim in California, when she was 14 years old, and they began to have a sexual relationship in May 2008. After the victim turned 15 years old, Jose Jhonson Hernandez- Ramos brought her from California to Baltimore in December 2008, where they continued a sexual relationship until August 4, 2009.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit projectsafechildhood.gov

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Baltimore Child Abuse Center Executive Director Adam Rosenberg and his staff, for their assistance in this investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force

June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Maryland, USA

Illegal immigrant pleads to sex abuse of 6-year-old boy

Man faces between 15 and 30 years in prison, deportation for crimes

An illegal immigrant caught on video sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to exploiting a child to make child pornography.

The arrest of 25-five-year-old Maynor Quintanilla-Leon occurred after someone found a videotape in a Hyattsville trash bin that showed Quintanilla-Leon sexually abusing a male child, according to charging documents.

Quintanilla-Leon faces between 15 and 30 years in prison, and will be deported after he serves his time, prosecutors said.

"Mr. Quintanilla-Leon's despicable acts committed on a 6-year-old boy cry out for a long period of incarceration," Prince George's Police Chief Roberto Hylton said.

On July 8, 2009, authorities were tipped off about the attack after someone turned over a video tape that had been found with a VCR in a trash bin.

The tape lasts 47 minutes and depicts acts of sadistic violence, charging documents said. During the video, the child refers to his assailant as "Maynor."

Three days later, a witness spotted the man on the videotape in Hyattsville and contacted police. Police identified the man as Quintanilla-Leon, but because they did not have a victim they did not immediately arrest him, police said.

Detectives were able to find the boy in the video by going back to the previous addresses where Quintanilla-Leon had lived. Quintanilla-Leon had rented a home near where the boy lived. The child told police that Quintanilla-Leon abused him 20 times.

Quintanilla-Leon had fled to Texas, but U.S. Marshals captured him in Houston on July 29.

In Greenbelt's district court on Friday, Quintanilla-Leon admitted to sexually assaulting the boy twice. He did not admit to videotaping the assault, but admitted to throwing away the videotape in the trash near his brother's house.

Scott McCabe

The Washington Examiner

June 06, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

California, USA

Manhunt for man who attacked 14-year-old in Kensington

San Diego - Police are looking for a man who tried to rape a 14-year-old girl in Kensington.

The girl says she was walking along on 41st Street near Monroe Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the man threw her to the ground and tore off her undergarments.

A nearby neighbor apparently heard the girl's screams and attempted to apprehend the suspect, but he got away.

The suspect is described as a Latino male in his 30s with a goatee and tattoo on his right forearm. He was last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt and shorts.


June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

New York, USA

Police Seek Suspects In Central Park Sexual Assault

Police released surveillance video that shows three men believed to be suspects in the sexual assault of a woman in Central Park early Sunday morning. The victim, 23, was near the crosstown bus stop at East 86th Street and Fifth Avenue around 3 a.m. when, according to the Daily News, "The men offered to walk her through the park." Police Commissioner Kelly said, "She was taken into Central Park, where she was attacked."

The News also reports, "Two of the men pushed her to the ground, while the third exposed himself. She was sexually assaulted, hit on the head and robbed, the source said." The men allegedly told her they were smoking marijuana with PCP. The woman was able to run out of the park, half naked, onto Fifth Avenue where a cab driver saw her, gave her a shirt and called 911.

Upon learning about the attack, one 24-year-old told the News, "I always walk this way at night, but no way I'm doing that now." And WABC 7 has descriptions of the suspects: "Suspect #1: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a dark colored Yankee baseball cap, dark colored patterned shirt and khaki shorts; Suspect #2: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a red Yankee cap, red shirt and black shorts; Suspect #3: Hispanic man, 5'5" tall, with a light blue baseball cap, light blue shirt and khaki pants." People with information are urged to call Crime Stoppers (800-577-TIPS), log onto the Crimes Stoppers website or texting 274637 (CRIMES) with TIP577.


June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 9, 2010

Colorado, USA

Fort Collins police arrest suspect in attempted kidnapping

Luis Garcia-Gonzales, 24, of Greeley, was taken into custody at 10:47 p.m. Saturday after a Greeley police officer noticed the vehicle he was driving matched the description of a vehicle Fort Collins police believed was tied to Thursday's attempted kidnapping incident.

Garcia-Gonzales was originally arrested for driving under restraint, but after an interview with a Fort Collins police detective, he was arrested on suspicion of felony attempted second-degree kidnapping and felony menacing.

Police began searching for a suspect after a 21-year-old woman reported that she was riding her bike northbound about 6:30 a.m. Thursday on Shields Street near Hill Pond Road when she noticed a man near an older white station wagon trying to get her attention.

According to police, the man was described as being Hispanic, in his mid-20s with a shaved head or very short hair, about 5-foot-7 and about 200 or 250 pounds.

The woman said the unknown man obstructed her path as she rode along the sidewalk and she stopped thinking he needed assistance.

"It was then that she saw the man had a knife in his hand. She attempted to flee, fell to the ground and two passing motorists stopped to assist," police said in a press release last week. "The suspect fled northbound on Shields Street in his vehicle. The victim was not injured."


June 07, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010


A young child labors in a melon field

Photo: El Universal

En México, 3.6 millones de niños son explotados

La mayoría de niños, mujeres, adolescentes que laboran en malas condiciones y sin la posibilidad de asistir a la escuela provienen de contextos de pobreza, derivada de la falta de oportunidades educativas

La presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas, la panista Rosi Orozco (PAN), informó que con base en datos del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, en México hay 3.6 millones de niños trabajadores entre cinco y 17 años en condiciones de explotación.

"El Instituto estima que en México hay 3.6 millones de niños trabajadores entre cinco y 17 años trabajando en malas condiciones, sin la posibilidad de asistir a la escuela y buscar un mejor futuro", dijo.

Aseguró que la trata de personas es un delito con un impacto social complejo, cuya principal característica es convertir a las personas en mercancías que se intercambian en mercados clandestinos nacionales e internacionales, que laboran al amparo de la impunidad que les brindan las autoridades.

Orozco dijo que se deben combatir las raíces que propician el fenómeno de la trata de personas, pues la mayoría de niños, mujeres, adolescentes víctimas de ese delito provienen de contextos de pobreza, derivada de la falta de oportunidades educativas y laborales.

In Mexico, 3.6 million children are exploited

The majority of girls, boys and adolescents who labor in abusive situations, with no hope of being able to attend school, live in poverty that is also caused by a lack of educational opportunities.

National Actional Party (PAN) Congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies, has announced the results of a statistical analysis on conditions facing working children, conducted by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEG).

Deputy Orozco: The INEG estimates that in Mexico, 3.6 million minors between the ages of 5 and 17 work in [deplorable] labor conditions, and are unable to attend school or seek a better future for themselves.

Orozco added that human trafficking is a crime that has a complicated impact on society. Its principal characteristic is that it converts people into merchandise, who are then bought and sold in national and international clandestine marketplaces with the assistance of the impunity that is offered by corrupt authorities.

The deputy added that human trafficking should be fought from the roots up. They majority of children, adolescents and women who are victims of these crimes come from backgrounds of poverty, which itself derives from a lack of educational and labor opportunities.

Andrea Merlos y Juan Arvizu

El Universal

June 02, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Texas, USA

Human trafficking decried as "a horrible problem" in Texas

Austin - In the 2008 film thriller Taken, two American girls on a pleasure trip to France are kidnapped from their apartment and thrown into a brutal world of modern-day slavery and forced prostitution.

On Thursday, Texas lawmakers heard grim real-life episodes of human trafficking as law enforcement officials described a burgeoning criminal enterprise that has spread across Texas and other states.

Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed told of one case in which a homeless teenage girl was abducted from a parking lot and spirited away to a strip club in Corpus Christi.

Capt. Rick Cruz of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a participant of a task force operation in Houston, said officers rescued nearly 100 girls from "basically forced slavery" in the break-up of a trafficking ring in Houston in 2005.

Victims are often told that their families will be killed or injured if they try to contact someone on the outside, Cruz said.

Dallas police Lt. Thon Overstreet opened testimony at a legislative hearing by revealing a coordinated law enforcement strike at three locations in the Metroplex on Thursday to arrest suspects in a human trafficking network in North Texas. Overstreet declined to divulge certain details or locations because the operation had not been completed...

"It's a horrible problem," said Rep. Paula Pierson, D-Arlington, a member of the state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, citing estimates that more than a half-million young people -- boys as well as girls -- have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Pierson said human trafficking often surges around "big events," such as the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 6.

Overstreet, interviewed after the hearing, said members of a North Texas task force on human smuggling are mapping strategy to combat it as the Super Bowl approaches. The game is expected to draw legions of visitors to North Texas...

Growing problem

During the joint hearing of the Criminal Jurisprudence and the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committees, lawmakers heard testimony that human trafficking rings have grown in sophistication and technological skill, often using the Internet to lure victims or conduct business. There are also strong indications that Mexican drug cartels are increasingly moving into human trafficking to expand their illicit profits.

"It's grown dramatically, and I don't think we've even scratched the surface on a lot of these organizations," Overstreet said.

Asked by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, to rank where law enforcement stands against human trafficking organizations on a scale of one to 10, Overstreet responded, "two or three, right now."

Overstreet clutched a rolled-up chart that he said detailed the operations of [a] human smuggling ring targeted by [a recent] raid.

The criminal network has ties in Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico, operates in more than 20 U.S. cities, and boasts $12 million in physical assets and more than $6 million cash, he said...

Dave Montgomery

The Star-Telegram

June 03, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Isabel Allende

Author Isabel Allende to visit New Orleans, hoping to draw attention to modern-day problem of human trafficking

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is no stranger to the rough currents of history. A cousin of Chilean President Salvador Allende, she was forced to flee her native country in the mid-1970s after a military coup overthrew his government. She lived for many years in Venezuela but now is a U.S. citizen, making her home in California with her second husband and extended family.

The author of 18 books -- fiction, memoirs and novels for young adults -- Allende's literary focus is primarily on families and interpersonal relationships, with an emphasis on the lives of women. While fluent in English, she writes in Spanish; her works are then translated into English. Her wildly successful first novel, "The House of the Spirits, " a complex, multigenerational saga set in Latin America, remains for many readers her most important work.

Her new novel, "Island Beneath the Sea, " coming 28 years and 16 books later, echoes in many ways her earliest. The story follows the complicated, often troubled intertwining of several families as they move from Saint Domingue (now Haiti) to New Orleans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The rich history of her settings exerted a natural attraction for Allende...

Allende writes, "The legacy of slavery is like an open wound. In the United States we are only beginning to deal with it. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 but it took 100 years for the Civil Rights movement to empower the blacks. To this day, they suffer from discrimination, racism and inequality.

"Unfortunately, in Haiti there are around 300,000 slave children, given away by their families because they can't feed them. It's a system that supposedly ensures that the children will be fed and sheltered, but in reality they are exploited as house servants and brutally abused; they don't receive education of any kind, no one cares for them."

The Isabel Allende Foundation, created in 1996 to honor the memory of her daughter Paula, who died in her late 20s, is focused on "social and economic justice" as well as "empowerment and protection" for women and girls.

The author connects the story of Zarite's journey from enslavement to freedom to contemporary concerns. She writes, "I hope that Zarité's story draws attention to the plight of modern slaves. Today there are 27 million slaves counted. Who knows how many more have not been counted? Some are victims of slave trafficking, but most are enslaved by debt bondage, kidnapping in war zones (child soldiers, for example), exploited under inhuman conditions in mines, fishing industry, sweatshops, agriculture, etc. Slavery is illegal and no country admits that it happens within its borders, yet there is slavery everywhere, even in the U.S. (Google 'Free the Slaves'). Before, slaves were an investment, and therefore valuable. Today slaves are so cheap that they are disposable, they have no voice; they are invisible.

"My foundation supports several grass-roots programs that empower women and girls in the U.S. and other countries. We do some work with clinics in Haiti. We also support programs that rescue women and girls from slavery in sex traffic and in bonded servitude." ...

Marigny Dupuy

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

May 13, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

The Americas

Tackle immigration problems at economic roots, bishops say

Washington, DC - Bishops of the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean called on their governments to address the economic root causes of migration and seek policies that will help create jobs for people in their homelands.

During a regional consultation on migration held at the headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops June 2-4, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and bishops from Canada, Haiti and Latin America spoke with reporters about some of the issues being discussed at the meeting.

Addressing economic root causes of migration "in our mind, is the lasting and humane solution to the challenge of illegal immigration," said Bishop Wester, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in a statement he read at the June 3 news conference.

"Second, we believe that all governments, not only the U.S., should look at their immigration laws and reform them in a manner which respects basic human rights," Bishop Wester continued. The nations of the hemisphere also must "redouble their efforts against the scourge of human trafficking," he said.

He noted that in a globalized world, where capital, communications and goods are readily exchanged, the movement of labor has not been regularized, and the impact of globalization on human beings has not been acknowledged or addressed...

Guatemalan Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri said, for example, that the poor of his country have not benefited from the Central American Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, which it ratified three years ago.

"The level of poverty in Guatemala is increasing," he said...

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Bishop Ramazzini said Guatemala is reeling from the twin effects in less than a week of a volcanic eruption near the capital, Guatemala City, that coated streets and farms with inches of ash and the inundation of much of the country with up to 3 feet of rain by Tropical Storm Agatha. The two have destroyed many farmers' entire production for the season, he said. That jeopardizes their income as well as the source of affordable food for Guatemalans, he said.

At the news conference, Bishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana, Mexico, chairman of the Mexican bishops' migration commission, said his country is becoming a collection of semi-abandoned small towns as working-age teens and men have gone to the United States to be able to provide for women, children and elderly people left behind...

Participants included more than two dozen bishops from the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico and Central America and other representatives of national bishops' conferences, including the migration program director for the Cuban bishops.

Patricia Zapor

Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 04, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Costa Rica

Menor llegó violada y forense la manoseó

Cuando estaba en valoración médica, Cartago

A pesar de que estaba acostumbrado a ver y tocar mujeres desnudas, el irresistible cuerpo de una joven menor de edad lo llevó a la tentación. Un médico forense del Poder Judicial de Cartago, de apellidos Durán Ramírez, fue detenido por sus propios compañeros de trabajo porque al parecer abusó sexualmente de una menor de edad, quien fue víctima de una violación.

La muchacha llegó a los Tribunales de Cartago para una valoración médica, por lo cual fue atendida por el funcionario, quien además del examen de rutina llevó sus manos más lejos y aparentemente le tocó las partes íntimas.

El incidente se produjo en setiembre de 2009, pero la afectada no interpuso la denuncia hasta la semana pasada...

A child sexual abuse victim is victimized again by a forensic examiner

Despite the fact that a forensic medical examiner (last names Durán Ramírez) was accustomed to examining unclothed women, he proceeded to sexually abuse an underage sexual assault victim who he was assigned to examine.

The victim came to the judicial center of the city of Cartago for a medical examination, which was conducted by Durán Ramírez. After the exam, the doctor touched the victim's intimate areas.

The incident happened in September of 2009, but the victim did not file a complaint until last week.

Surprised by the case, the forensic medical examiner's office immediately opened an investigation.

In the hallways of the local judicial center, the accusations were not taken seriously, given that the 38-year-old was well liked, and was considered to be very professional by his colleagues.

After his arrest, the local prosecutor interrogated Durán Ramírez, and recommend pre-trial detention. He was charged with the crime of sexually abusing a minor.

Despite the prosecutor's recommendation in the case, the Cartago Criminal Court ordered bail and a restraining order that does not allow Durán Ramírez to approach the victim, or the Cartago Legal Medical Office, for a period of three months...

Danny León González

Diario Extra

June 02, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Virginia, USA

Hugo Antonio Callejas

Salvadoran immigrant sentenced to prison for pursuing 13-year-old Virginia girl

On May 26, Loudoun County Judge James Chamblin sentenced Hugo Antonio Callejas, 43, to seven years in prison for soliciting a 13-year-old Leesburg girl for sex. Callejas originally approached the girl at a lemonade stand she set up on Memorial Day 2009, trying to raise money for the Relay for Life charity.

Callejas, who was found guilty in January, was working in the girl’s neighborhood and visited the lemonade stand three times in one day. During his last visit, he gave the girl his phone number and told her she was beautiful.

The girl’s friend, told her parents, who called the police.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s investigator, Shannon Cumberledge, then called Callejas, pretending to be the 13-year-old girl.

She and Callejas had 11 conversations over a two-day period. Some of the recorded calls were played during his trial.

Callejas could be heard saying: “You’re beautiful, and I love you.”

During other phone calls, he talked about kissing and touching the teenager, and how he would like to see her without any underwear.

Callejas said: “If you want to touch a lot, I’ll touch a lot. If you want to touch a little bit, I’ll touch you a little bit.”

The investigator agreed to meet Callejas at a community swimming pool. When he showed up, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies too him into custody.

Initially, Callejas denied the allegations, telling detectives that he only gave the teenager his number so that he could buy more cookies and lemonade from her. However, once confronted with the taped phone conversations, Callejas admitted to his actions.

Callejas came to this country from El Salvador, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. He is married with three children.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

June 05, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Deleware, USA

Gino Alfonso Laflora

North Carolina Man Charged With Raping Deleware Teen

Frederica, Deleware - Delaware State Police have charged a North Carolina man with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Gino Alfonso Laflora, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is facing several charges in connection to the alleged incident on May 16.

According to investigators, Laflora was visiting family in Kent County, Delaware when the assault occurred. The victim told police that the assault occurred near an open lot between Willow Drive and Maple Drive in Frederica.

The victim said she knew the suspect from a friend in the neighborhood. She said she was alone with Laflora in his car when the assault happened.

Laflora surrendered to authorities on June 3. He has been charged with Rape and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Laflora is being held on $52,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.


June 05, 2010

Added: Jun. 7, 2010

Oregon, USA

Hernan Hernandez Vera

High school student charged with sexual assault on graduation day

An Eastern Oregon high school senior who planned to attend his own graduation today, instead is in jail, facing felony sexual assault charges.

The Bellingham Herald reports that 19-year-old Hernan Hernandez Vera was charged with first-degree sodomy, rape and sexual abuse.

The sexual assault was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by staff at Good Shepherd Hospital.

Deputies learned the victim had been assaulted earlier in the day in Irrigon and around 1 a.m. Wednesday tracked Vera down at his home.

Vera, an Irrigon High senior, was jailed on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kimberly A.C. Wilson

The Oregonian

June 04, 2010

Added: Jun. 2, 2010


Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies

México, número uno en pornografía infantil

Este fenómeno tiende a incrementarse más.

Ciudad de México.- El país ocupa el primer lugar en apertura de páginas web de pornografía infantil, y tiende a incrementarse más de 5% la distribución de videos de imágenes de abuso a recién nacidos, afirmó la diputada Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas.

La legisladora dijo que las denuncias telefónicas por delitos de pornografía infantil aumentaron 200% entre el 2008 y el 2009, y que otro problema radica en el uso de internet para la comercialización y funcionamiento de redes de trata de niños y niñas y de explotación sexual comercial...

Mexico is Number 1 in Child Pornography

The problem is continuing to grow

Mexico City - Mexico occupies first place [globally] in access of child pornography by way of the Internet. The problem includes a [recent] 5% increase in the distribution of obscene photos of recently born babies, according to Mexican congressional deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Commission to Fight Human Trafficking in the Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Orozco stated that phoned-in complaints about child pornography increased 200% between 2008 and 2009. She noted that another Internet-based aspect of the problem involves the fact that child sex trafficking networks in Mexico are using the Web to commercialize and operate their illicit businesses.

She warned that currently, no [anti-pornography] filters exist for cell phone users who browse the Web, which is concerning, given that 75.6 million cell phone users exist in Mexico, 29% of those have Internet access, and 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use those services.

In response to this problem, Deputy Orozco has presented a non-binding resolution calling upon the nation's state legislatures to reform their penal codes to include crimes that involve public and private telecommunications [networks].

Deputy Orozco also stated that the top criminal activities that take place on the Internet involve, in order of importance: 1) fraud; 2) threats; and 3) child pornography.

The Deputy concluded by noting that 11 million computers have Internet access in Mexico. Some 55% of them are installed in homes, which represents 3.5 computers for every 10 households. Thirty nine percent of the nation's 23 million computer-based Internet users are between the ages of 12 and 18.

El Manana

May 14, 2010

Added: Jun. 2, 2010

New York, USA

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Robles-Roman launch new public education campaign to end human trafficking

“Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking” Campaign Encourages New Yorkers To “See It. Know It. Report It.”

Press Release (excerpt)

New York City - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt today launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations. The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion. The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, in partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking...

“Human Trafficking is happening here, but we don’t know it because we don’t see it,” said Alice Ericsson, Executive Creative Director of Grey New York. “If we want New Yorkers to see the problem, we have to put it in plain view. And, in plain language. The silhouettes will tell the stories of human trafficking that can happen right here in our own town.” ...

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also help to disseminate information and materials to vulnerable communities in the city, and bring broader awareness about human trafficking and where to go for help. Outreach to community and faith- based organizations serving immigrants as well as ethnic media will reinforce these efforts...

If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911. If you would like more information about human trafficking or would like to learn about how you can help, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/ humantrafficking...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

May 20, 2010

Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Washington State, USA

Crime Spree in Washington State

One woman is dead and two others were raped recently and police say each crime was committed by a different illegal immigrant. One of the sexual assaults happened just hours before the Seattle city council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona over its new immigration law.

Gregorio Luna Luna had a history of beating up his live-in girlfriend Griselda Ocampo Meza. He was also in the U.S. illegally. On May 1, [2010] Luna Luna was deported to Mexico. Three weeks later Meza was murdered in her apartment in a violent knife attack.

Franklin County prosecutors say Luna Luna slipped past the border again and killed Meza in front of their five year old son. He's in the county jail awaiting trial.

A suspected rapist in Edmonds, Washington has been deported at least 4 times according to Snohomish County prosecutors. Jose Lopez Madrigal has been charged with raping a woman next to a dumpster behind a Safeway store. A witness to the attack alerted police and Madrigal was taken into custody.

An illegal immigrant just convicted of his possible 3rd strike in Whatcom county- a rape of a homeless woman- has been deported to Mexico five times.

Dan Springer

Fox News

June 01, 2010

Added: Jun. 2, 2010

Texas, USA

Joe Chavez

Former TABC officer indicted on sexual assault charges

Bastrop - A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer was indicted by a Bastrop County grand jury on Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child.

During a TABC undercover investigation of alcohol sales in May 2009, 41-year-old Joe Chavez allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl hired to assist in the sting.

Investigators say that the incident took place in Chavez's state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting. He also reportedly texted explicit photos of himself to the teen a day before the operation.

He was arrested on Friday by investigators with the Office of the Attorney General.

Prior to being stationed in Bastrop, Chavez was a TABC officer in Waco from June 2004 to August 2005.

Chavez is charged with two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

Louis Ojeda Jr.


June 01, 2010

Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, of the New Alliance Party, speaks with reporters as she calls for the nation's current federal anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the federal level (it currently is limited to being enforced by states in most circumstances.

Segundo proveedor de EU de víctimas de trata

Entre 16 mil y 20 mil niños y niñas son víctimas de explotación sexual cada año en México, lo que convierte al país en la segunda nación que más víctimas de trata provee a Estados Unidos, superado únicamente por Tailandia, afirmó la diputada, Cora Pinedo Alonso, del Partido Nueva Alianza.

La también secretaria de la Mesa Directiva de la Cámara baja precisó que el municipio de Tapachula, Chiapas, es el lugar donde se realiza la mayor venta de mujeres, niñas y niños con fines de trata.

Muchos de esos menores son "redistribuidos" a los estados de Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa y el Distrito Federal, señaló con base a estudios de la organización internacional End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

Mexico is the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States

Between 16 and 20 thousand boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico each year. As a result, Mexico has become the second largest provider of human trafficking victims to the United States, according to congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso of the New Alliance Party.

Pinedo Alonso, who is the secretary of the governing council in the Chamber of Deputies, also stated that Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state, is the largest center for the sale of women, girls and boys for purposes of human trafficking in the nation.

Many of child victims are "redistributed" to the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as to Mexico City. Pinedo Alonso based her statements on a research study conducted [in 2007] by the organization End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).

In response to this situation, Pinedo Alonso has presented a non-binding resolution that has been submitted to the Second Permanent Commission of Congress (37 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies who conduct congressional business when Congress is not in session) for consideration. The resolution calls for the creation of stricter measures than now exist to investigate trafficking crimes and to punish those responsible.

The resolution calls upon the director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) to assign staff to supervise and evaluate anti-trafficking activities on Mexico's southern border, and specifically in the city of Tapachula, with reports on conditions there to be sent to Congress.

According the the ECPAT study, Central American adolescents, the majority of whom are minors, "are prostituted in 1, 552 bars and brothels in Chiapas, and also in other cities and towns along the nation's southern border [with Guatemala and Belize.]"

Pinedo Alonso added that in 50% of these cases, the victims are Guatemalans. [Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans are also victims]. The victims are usually between the ages of 8 and 14. "They are sold by traffickers [to brothels] for $200 dollars each," Pinedo Alonso denounced.

Joining in the call for action, Chiapas state governor Juan Sabines has asked for working groups to be created that coordinate the work of non-governmental organizations, state agencies, the Chiapas state Human Rights Commission and the state's office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking. The goal of the working groups would be to evaluate the effectiveness of policies implemented to fight human trafficking.

Governor Sabines also called for an analysis to be conducted to track actions taken in regard to cases of human trafficking that involve both Mexican and Central American girls, boys and adolescents, and to document the number of prosecutions pursued.

Governor Sabines: "We wish to express our indignation and complete repudiation of these criminal practices. We energetically condemn those public servants who, through acts of omission or commission, have been complicit in collaborating with human trafficking networks. We call upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to join forces [to combat these crimes]."


May 31, 2010

See also:

Central America and Mexico


María de Jesús Silva, Jackeline's mother

Trata de blancas en Centroamérica

For non-governmental organizations, the child kidnapping and sex trafficking case of 11-year-old Jackeline Jirón Silva fom Nicaragua is emblematic, as the case shows clearly how the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world operates.

...Jackeline has been forced to work in brothels all over Central America.  Her pimps now have her in Tapachula, in Chiapas state [near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala].

María de Jesús Silva [Jackeline's mother, who searched all over Central America and southern Mexico for her daughter]: "I saw things that I never imagined existed... The brothels are full of children, sold by traffickers and abandoned by their parents. I saw them prostitute themselves and wished that any one of them would have been my daughter. I settled for caressing the hair of these girls, and I imagined that in the 'next' brothel, I was going to find my daughter. Everything that I have suffered through is nothing compared to what my girl is going through."

Mexico - The Hot Spot

Save the Children has identified the border region between Guatemala and Mexico as being the largest hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children globally.

Ana Salvadó: "It is the neck in the bottle, because many children attempt to migrate from Central America [and South America] to the United States, and they never get past [southern] Mexico, where they are sold by pimps and sometimes are returned to Central America."

A study by the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)... reveals that over 21,000 Central Americans, with the majority being children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula, Mexico (near the Guatemala border).

Traffickers sell these children to Tapachula's pimps for $200 each.

Prostitution in cities like Tapachula operates openly. Contralínea Magazine has documented the fact that traffickers work with corrupt federal and local officials in exchange for bribes or as direct participants in the criminal networks...

According to ECPAT's report "Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes," from Tapachula, where these children are sold, the victims are transported to the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Mexico City.

More that 50% of these child victims are from [indigenous] Guatemala. The rest are Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. They range in age from eight to fourteen-years-old.

- Ana Lilia Pérez

Revista Contralínea

Oct. 22, 2007

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

About the numbers used to discuss minors involved in sex trafficking in Mexico

We reiterate our belief that the official Mexican Government estimates in regard to the numbers of underage sexual exploitation victims is unbelievably low. The above article about child sex trafficking in the southern border city of Tapachula states that an estimated 10,000 underage victims are prostituted in that city alone.

As we noted in our March 1, 2010 essay - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way:

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, legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for 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 used.

- Chuck Goolsby


March 01, 2010

June 01, 2010

See Also:


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

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

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See Also:

Added: Jun. 1, 2010


Presenta diputada Cora Pinedo Alonso iniciativa de ley para tipificar trata de personas como delito federal

MEXICO, D.F., - Palacio Legislativo 23 de Febrero de 2010./Notilegis.- La vicecoordinadora de Nueva Alianza, Cora Pinedo Alonso, propuso tipificar la trata de personas como un delito federal y modificar la denominación de la Ley para Prevenir y Sancionar la Trata de Personas, para elevarla a rango federal, ya que actualmente sólo puede ser aplicada por las autoridades federales bajo cuatro supuestos...

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso presents an initiate to require the national anti-trafficking law to be enforced at the fedeal level.

Congressional deputy Cora Pinedo Alonso, who is the vice-coordinator of the New Alliance Party in the Chamber of Deputies, has called for the nation's current anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking, to be changed, to allow its enforcement at the federal level. Currently [states enforce the law]. Federal authorities may only enforce its provisions under four circumstances. First, if the human trafficking crime was committed outside of Mexico, federal action may be taken. Second, when the trafficking crime is perpetrated within Mexico, but is intended to have an impact outside of Mexico, federal agents may also act. Third, federal action may be taken when the criminal act falls within Article 50, Section I, Subsection 'b) a j)' of the Organic Law of the Power of Judicial Power of the Federation. Fourth, when the criminal act is a violation of the Federal Law Against Organized Criminal Delinquency.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso stated that currently, [the federal law differs significantly from the anti-trafficking laws enacted in the majority of states. Therefore, the federal law should be changed to allow for the uniform application of anti-trafficking law across the nation, and especially in regard to the application of criminal penalties.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso referred to the United Nations human trafficking study Human Trafficking: A Global Panorama. The study identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit nations and 137 destination nations in regard to victims of human trafficking. Mexico is ranked very high among the countries of origin listed in the report. Mexico is rate in 28th place among nations where traffickers entrap victims, and is in 5th among nations in Latin America.

Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative proposes to reform Article 73 of the Constitution, and will update Article 3 of the Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. It has been referred to the Chamber's Commission on Constitutional Law for review.


Feb. 23, 2010

Note: Mexico's federal system does not impose federal legal jurisdiction on the federated entities (Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City) for federal criminal laws that are passed as 'general laws.' The Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking is a general law. - LL

Note: Deputy Pinedo Alonso's initiative has been superseded by a more recent proposal, submitted by the ruling National Action Party, to update the now ineffective Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking. Earlier in 2010, Mexico's Interior Secretary, Fernando Gómez Mont, expressed his adamant opposition to federalizing anti-trafficking law. - LL

Added: June 1, 2010


Descubren red trafico personas en Amazonia Brasileña

Autoridades brasileñas informaron que organizaciones dedicadas al tráfico de personas se instalaron en la región amazónica por donde decenas de haitianos ingresan al país tras el terremoto ocurrido en el país caribeño en enero.

"Coyotes braileños" (traficantes de inmigrantes) cobran 600 dólares por introducir a cada haitiano en el estado de Acre, indicaron fuentes de la Policía Federal.

"El destino preferido en Brasil es Assis Brasil (localidad fronteriza con Perú) desde donde continúan camino hacia otras regiones del país" dijo el comisario Flaveio Avelar, jefe de la delegación de Migraciones de la Policía Federal en Acre.

El número de inmigrantes haitianos llegados a Brasil se incrementó tras el terremoto que devastó a ese país en enero pasado y dejó más de 200 mil víctimas fatales.

La legislación brasileña establece que los inmigrantes sin papeles sean deportados a su país de origen, pero las autoridades decidieron hacer una excepción con los haitianos.

"Se trata de una cuestión humanitaria, ellos dejaron su país debido al terremoto y podrán permanecer en Brasil como refugiados" explicó el comisario Avelar, consultado por el diario Correio Braziliense.

A human smuggling network is discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities have announced that human smuggling networks have established themselves in the Brazilian Amazon. These groups have smuggled dozens of Haitians into Brazil through the Assis Brazil area on the Peruvian border. Brazilian coyotes have charged Haitians $600 to bring Haitians to the Brazilian state of Acre, from which they travel to other regions of Brazil. The smuggling of Haitians has increased significantly since the January, 2010 earthquake.

Although Brazilian law calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the government has announced that Haitian migrants will be allowed to stay as refugees,

"It is a humanitarian issue. They left Haiti due to the earthquake, and they may remain in Brazil as refugees," explained the federal immigration police's commissioner in the state of Acre, Flaveio Avelar.

Ansa (Italy)

May 31, 2010

Added: June 1, 2010

Mexico / Brazil

Mexican officials arrest German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested a German citizen wanted in Brazil on human trafficking charges.

Mexico's Public Safety Department says Dieter Erhard Fritzchen Stieleke was arrested while waiting to board a flight to Germany out of the resort city of Cancun.

The department says Stieleke was handed over to Interpol for extradition to Brazil. A statement released Wednesday gives no details on the human trafficking charges against Stieleke. He was arrested Sunday.

The German Embassy did not return phone calls seeking comment. The Brazilian Embassy declined to comment.

The Associated Press (Canadian Press)

May 26, 2010

Added: May. 30, 2010


A photo of Valentina Rosendo Cantú from earlier in her life

Carta abierta de apoyo para Valentina Rosendo Cantú


El día de hoy, cuando se lleva a cabo la audiencia en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, el equipo de la CMDPDH queremos enviarte un mensaje con nuestro profundo respeto y apoyo.

Sabemos que has asumido, junto con las organizaciones que te acompañan en esta lucha, la tarea de denunciar las violaciones a los derechos humanos cometidas por el Ejército Mexicano, en particular la violencia sexual como una forma de tortura. Por tu voz hablan decenas de mujeres que han sufrido la violencia del Estado, pero no han tenido acceso a denunciar. Al mismo tiempo, también nos sentimos representadas las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajamos por el respeto de los Derechos Humanos y por una sociedad libre y democrática.

Asimismo, estamos conscientes de que esta denuncia y todo el proceso de defensa en su conjunto, ha significado una enorme carga para ti y que en este camino has enfrentado amenazas, contra ti y tus seres queridos, que buscan hacerte desistir. Sin embargo, te has mantenido firme en la búsqueda de justicia, reivindicando tu dignidad de mujer indígena, y la de cientos de comunidades que han sido afectadas en su tejido social por la militarización.

Por todo esto, recibe hoy nuestro abrazo solidario y nuestro compromiso de seguir, inspirados en tu ejemplo, en esta lucha.


El equipo de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos A.C.

An open letter to Valentina Rosendo Cantú


On this day, the day when your case will be presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, we of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights wish to send you this message expressing our profound respect and solidarity.

We know that you have taken on, together with the organizations who are assisting you in this struggle, the task of denouncing the violations of human rights that have been committed by the Mexican Army, and in particular the use of sexual violence as a form of torture. Your voice speaks for dozens of women who have suffered violence perpetrated by the State, but do not have access to a forum to denounce these crimes. At the same time, we who work for human rights organizations, who seek to achieve a fee and democratic society, feel well represented by you.

We are aware that your case, and all of the efforts in your defense, have amounted to being a huge burden for you. We know that you have faced threats against yourself and your family, that are designed to force you drop your case. Nonetheless, you have remained steadfast in your search for justice, vindicating your dignity as an indigenous woman, as well as that of hundreds of communities whose social fabric has been affected by [domestic] militarization.

For all of these reasons, today we ask you to accept our hug of solidarity and our commitment to continue, inspired by your example, in this struggle.


The staff of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 28, 2010

Tlapaneca Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel denounces death threats against herself, her family and Indigenous rape victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú - who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

Photo: March 24, 2010 - Cronica

Tlapaneca Indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega

Exigen Cese de Agresiones Contra Tlapaneca Violada por Militares

Lanzan activistas campaña contra la impunidad militar

Defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos exigieron hoy al Estado mexicano que cesen las agresiones y amenazas contra Inés Fernández Ortega, indígena tlapaneca violada sexualmente por militares en 2002, y quien ante la falta de justicia, se presentará en una audiencia pública en la sede de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) en Lima, Perú, el próximo 15 de abril...

Activists Demand an End to the Harassment of Indigenous Woman Who Was Raped by Soldiers

Human Rights Defenders Launch Campaign Against Military Impunity

Human rights activists have today demanded that the Mexican Government cease and desist from its campaign of aggression and threats directed against Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapaneca Indigenous women who was the victim of rape perpetrated by Mexican servicemen in 2002. Due to the inability to receive due process within Mexico, Fernández Ortega's case will be presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on April 15th, 2010.

During a press conference held by Amnesty International and the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, activists announced their new campaign "Break Down the Walls of Impunity!" The project aims to develop a network of solidarity and add voices to the outcries for justice in the cases of both Fernández Ortega and also Valentina Rosendo Cantú, another Tlapaneca woman who was also raped by soldiers in 2002.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working in the Tlachinollan region stated that both Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú began their efforts to find justice 8 years ago. Not only did they suffer rejection, discrimination and stigmatization in their own communities after they were raped, but the government conducted an ineffective investigation.

Because of the government's reaction to their plight, the victims hope that the IACHR finds the Mexican state guilty in the case of Fernández Ortega. Rosendo Cantú's case will be presented before the IACHR on May 27th and 28th of 2010.

Rosales Sierra declared that the military leaves women [victims] completely defenseless. They put women's security and lives at risk when they attempt to seek justice...

On October 30, 2008, the Commission issued their findings [in the case of Fernández Ortega]. The Mexican state was informed on November 7, 2008 that the Commission regarded the State as being responsible for the violations of the integrity of the victim. Due to a refusal by Mexico to implement the Commission's [legally binding] recommendations, the case was forwarded to the IACHR.

During the press conference, Indigenous human rights activist Obtilia Eugenio Manuel stated that, after May 7th, 2009, when the IACHR accepted the case de Fernández Ortega, she (Eugenio Manuel) and her family became the victims of threats. The threats doubled in December of 2009, when the IACHR notified the Mexican state of the specific date of its hearing of the case.

Because of this history of threats, a well-founded fear exists that victims Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, or their legal representatives could face some type of violence. Obtilia Eugenio Manuel emphasized that they will continue their struggle for human rights. She hopes that the IACHR hearing will demonstrate that lack of responsible action by the Mexican state to protect human rights.

Anayeli García Martínez

CIMAC Women's News Agency

April 06, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 30, 2010


This is your war on drugs

...On 16th February 2002, Valentina Rosendo Cantú was washing her clothes in a stream near her home in Caxitepec, Mexico, when six soldiers approached. Seemingly too busy for pleasantries, the men started barking questions at her: Who was she? Where was she from? Had she seen the people they were looking for? Did she recognize the names on the list they thrust in front of her?

Her answers weren’t good enough, so one soldier pulled a gun and threatened to shoot. Another punched her so hard that she passed out. When she came to, two men tore off her underwear and raped her, one after the other. She was sixteen years old.

It took several months for Valentina to find a doctor willing to treat her; her nearest hospital turned her away because they didn’t want any trouble from the military. The next nearest, which she walked for eight hours to reach, examined her but offered no medicine. Only after legal action was threatened did she finally receive the gynecological care she needed.

At the time of writing, no criminal prosecution has ever been brought against these men and no one has been formally disciplined by a military which has perpetually dragged its feet over investigations. Some 7 years later, she still hasn’t found justice.

This case is just one of many allegations of human rights abuses leveled at the Mexican military in pursuit of an expensive, bloody and failed war on drugs. As well as rape, the allegations include enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention and unlawful killing. And it’s all being bankrolled by the United States of America...

This is your war on drugs

August 13, 2009

Added: May. 30, 2010

Georgia, USA

Samuel Sanchez

Man Charged in Cherokee County Sex Assault

Cherokee County deputies say a Woodstock man is behind bars after allegedly breaking into a mobile home and crawling into bed with a woman he didn’t know as she slept with her 1-year-old son.

Deputies say 22-year-old Samuel Sanchez broke into a mobile home off of Dupree Road in Woodstock on Friday morning. They say 19-year-old Bridget Gonzalez was asleep in her bed with her son when the suspect came into the room and got in bed with them. Then, he attempted to sexually assault her, investigators say.

Gonzalez told FOX 5 she thought the man was her boyfriend, but soon realized it was a stranger instead. She says she and her son don’t know Sanchez.

After Gonzalez realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend, she screamed and he ran out of the house. But, much to her surprise, she says he came back.

Sanchez was later picked up while walking along Dupree Road. They say when they spotted him, he began running, but deputies were able to catch up to him.

According to deputies, Sanchez told them he wanted to see someone he knows who lives at the home, so he just went inside.

Sanchez is charged with sexual battery, criminal attempt to rape, and burglary. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Fox 5 Atlanta

May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010


Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Niega Estado mexicano violación de Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Argumenta ante la CoIDH falta de “pruebas fehacientes”

San José, Costa Rica - Durante la audiencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CoIDH) sobre el caso de Valentina Rosendo Cantú, el Estado mexicano insistió categóricamente que “no existen pruebas fehacientes de la presunta violación sexual”, por lo cual pidió a este tribunal internacional tome en cuenta este elemento a la hora de emitir su sentencia.

Si bien es cierto que la integración de la investigación de los hechos ocurridos el 16 de febrero de 2002 no se hizo de manera eficaz y eficiente, no se puede responsabilizar al Estado mexicano por tortura y tampoco por violar el derecho a la salud y al debido proceso de Valentina, así lo dijo Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)...

Después de esta audiencia, tanto la defensa de Valentina como el Estado mexicano deberán entregar sus alegatos finales por escrito, de acuerdo con la CoIDH el próximo 28 de junio y advirtió que no habrá prórroga.

Mexico’s government denies the fact of the rape of Valentina Rosendo Cantú

Mexican state argues that no compelling proof of the rape exists

San Jose, Costa Rica – During a hearing held by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in regard to the case of indigenous rape victim Valentina Rosendo Cantú, the Mexican State declared categorically that no compelling proof exists to show that the rape occurred. Mexico asked that the Court take this into consideration when deliberating their decision.

Armando Vivanco Castellanos, director of Democracy and Human Rights in the Secretary of External Relations (SRE), argued part of Mexico’s case before the Court. He declared that Mexico cannot be held responsible if the investigation into the events of February 16, 2002 was not efficient and effective, and that the State also cannot be held responsible for the torture and violation of the right to health and a lack of access to the proper [judicial] process.

Full English Translation to follow.

Anayeli García Martínez


May 27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 29, 2010


Raped with impunity - Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú

...Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú are still waiting for justice. The two women, who belong to the Tlapaneca Indigenous community, were raped by members of the Mexican army in February and March 2002 respectively in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Inés Fernández Ortega, who speaks little Spanish, was reportedly raped on 22 March 2002. Soldiers entered her home to interrogate her about some meat they claimed had been stolen. When she did not answer their questions, they raped her. Valentina Rosendo Cantú, then aged 17, was approached on 16 February 2002 by soldiers near her home, who questioned her about the activities of some "hooded men" (a reference to armed opposition groups). When she replied that she did not know any, she was threatened and two of the soldiers raped her.

The Mexican authorities claim that both women have failed to co-operate with the military investigation. However, the fact that both cases remain under military jurisdiction places the women at serious risk of reprisals. The women are required to go into the barracks to ratify their complaints before the military prosecutor. There, they may face a real risk of intimidation.

The women have shown great courage in speaking out, demanding that their cases be transferred to the civilian authorities. Amnesty International supports their demands as the military justice system lacks the impartiality and independence to properly investigate such cases. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now investigating the Mexican government’s failure to ensure effective access to justice for both women.

Amnesty International

March 8, 2007

Added: May. 28, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Abel Moreno

Photo from: Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares


May 26, 2010

He Did the Right Thing; Now He Faces Deportation

Charlotte - Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble.

Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest.

Several things then happened. Five other women came forward to allege that the officer, identified as Marcus Jackson, now 26, had tried to molest them, too. Moreno was released after investigators debunked the resisting arrest charge. So was his girlfriend.

Jackson was fired and faces 11 counts of sexual battery, extortion and interfering with emergency communication. Police Chief Rodney Monroe admitted that Jackson should never have been hired in the first place because of previous charges related to a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend. The local 911 system is under review because Moreno’s call wasn’t acted upon.

And Abel Moreno now has a six-month deadline to show why he shouldn’t be deported, even though police acknowledge that his 911 call was crucial to their uncovering a dirty cop, and even though they agree that he shouldn’t have been arrested...

A judge granted Moreno a six-month deferment on his deportation because he is a witness in the criminal investigation. But that reprieve runs out in November.

Moreno’s attorney, Rob Heroy, said he was confident Moreno would eventually be granted a so-called U visa, which allows illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses in criminal investigations to stay in the country for up to four years. But only 10,000 such visas are available in any year, and while that process works its way through the system, Moreno remains in limbo.

“Now I’m unemployed,” Moreno said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “I don’t have any money, not even for rent, not even for my phone — anything. ... The truth is I’m scared.” ...


May 26, 2010

See also:

Abel Moreno Might Get Deported After Reporting Police Groped His Girlfriend

Cindy Casares


May 26, 2010

Added: May. 29, 2010

New York, USA

Rape Victim's Mother Arrives In U.S. To Claim Body

The mother of the Chinese immigrant who died after being brutally beaten and raped in a Queens alley arrived yesterday. The Daily News reports, "Sobbing inconsolably as she stepped off a plane at Newark Airport, the mother was too distraught to speak of her daughter, Yu Yao, 23, who was raped and fatally beaten in Queens by a pipe-wielding madman. Escorted through the airport terminal by relatives, the heartbroken mother collapsed into a chair and laid her head in a cousin's lap."

Yao, who had arrived in NYC two months ago on a student visa, was taken off life support on Friday, after being struck with a metal pipe and then sexually assaulted in Flushing on Sunday May 16. According to the Queens DA's office, she suffered a "fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to the vagina." While one witness's call to the police enabled the arrest of suspect Carlos Salazar Cruz, Assemblywoman Grace Meng said other people witnessed the attack but did not do anything.

NY1 reports that community activists held an anti-violence vigil at the attack site on 41st Road, urging residents to report violent acts. Community Prevention Alternatives' Martha Florez-Vazquez said, "I feel that it's important to send out a message to the community that it takes a village and that it's up to our neighbors to prevent crime.” One resident added, "I'm very concerned... no one should be beaten to death the way this young lady was."

Jen Chung


May 25, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Arizona, USA

Kyleigh Ann Sousa

Woman dragged by car during robbery dies

Tempe - A young woman who was run over and dragged by a car during a robbery in Tempe early Wednesday morning has died.

The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the area of Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue near the Arizona State University campus.

The victim has been identified as Kyleigh Ann Sousa, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. She died of her injuries Wednesday night.

According to police, a man approached Sousa outside of a hotel and grabbed her purse. He then tried to drive away.

Sousa held on to her purse. She was dragged by the suspect's car.

The suspect is described as a heavyset Hispanic man. The car he was driving is a newer model Chrysler 300.

Police and Sousa's parents are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect.

Anybody who has information about the incident should call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Catherine Holland

Fox 11

May 27, 2010

Added: May. 29, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Omar Shariff Cash

Cash guilty of murder and rape

Jurors must now sentence Omar Shariff Cash to life in prison or death by lethal injection.

After hearing two weeks of testimony that one prosecutor likened to the musings of a horror writer, a Bucks County jury in Doylestown Thursday found Omar Shariff Cash guilty on all counts, including first- and second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft and other crimes...

The 43-year-old woman [victim] told the jury that Cash laughed as he forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, then turned up the volume on the car radio and swayed to hip-hop music after leaving her boyfriend, Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez, dead alongside a Bensalem exit ramp.

In the front row of the courtroom, the rape victim wept softly as the verdict was read. A native of Brazil who doesn't speak English, she listened to the verdict with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

Rosas-Gutierrez's family also had interpreters to help them understand the verdict. They passed around a box of tissues and cried as each "guilty" was announced...

Prosecutors Marc Furber and Maureen Flannery-Spang laid out a convincing case against Cash...

The prosecution said Cash was on the run from Philadelphia police when he carjacked the victims as they left Jalapeno Joes, a northeast Philadelphia nightclub round 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2008.

Cash forced Rosas-Gutierrez to drive into Bucks, and trained a gun on his head while he raped the woman in the back seat.

Cash told Rosas-Gutierrez to pull over on the Street Road exit ramp from northbound Route 1, the woman told the jury. While she screamed his name from one of the passenger seats, Rosas-Gutierrez was marched up a steep embankment by the killer and shot in the back of the head.

The woman testified that Cash raped her again at an abandoned office complex immediately after the slaying, and then brought her to the Comfort Inn in Lawrenceville, N.J., where the sexual assaults continued.

Unable to communicate with hotel staff, the woman finally made a break for it when Cash brought her back down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. Footage of her dashing through the lobby and vaulting a four-foot check-in counter was shown to the jury...

Furber called Rosas-Gutierrez and the woman "the perfect victims." He said that once Cash looked through their belongings and learned they were both illegal immigrants, he believed that they wouldn't be missed...

Laurie Mason Schroeder

Bucks County Courier Times

May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Georgia, USA

Police: Lilburn Middle student hit with bleach-filled balloon

A 14-year-old Lilburn Middle School student was struck by a bleach-filled water balloon Wednesday afternoon, police said, sending him to the hospital with burns to both eyes and putting a traumatic damper on what have should been a joyous start to summer vacation.

Just after leaving his last day of school, the student was walking down the sidewalk on the 4000 block of Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Hedley said.

A water balloon filled with bleach was thrown from a moving vehicle, Hedley said, striking him in the face at around 4:40 p.m.

“From time to time, especially on the last day of school, you see pranks, and maybe a water balloon is just having fun,” Hedley said. “But to see one that is filled with bleach is beyond comprehension ... A kid leaving school for the last day for what could have been a perfect summer, this is just crazy to me.”

The child was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center and was treated for severe trauma to his face and burns to both eyes. He has since been released and is “resting comfortably” at his mother’s Norcross home, Hedley said.

“He was in bad shape, but aware of his surroundings (during a visit Wednesday night),” Hedley said.

Witnesses have reported that the suspects were three Hispanic males driving a gray minivan with a black stripe down the lower portion of the vehicle...

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the van or the identity of the suspects is asked to call 770-921-2211.

Tyler Estep

The Gwinnett Daily Post

May 27, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Danny Mariel Suarez

Man accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old

WACO - A man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he sexually assaulted a child.

Officers reportedly began an investigation after they were notified in April that a 12-year-old girl had told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted.

After the investigation, officers arrested Danny Mariel Suarez, 35, of Waco, in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly occurred on multiple occasions.

Suarez is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and bond has been set at $250,000.

Louis Ojeda Jr.


May 26, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police suspect 2 men tried to pull girl into car

The Hollister Police Department is searching for two men suspected of trying to force a 17-year-old Hollister girl into a car Wednesday night near the 1500 block of San Juan Road.

Just after 7 p.m., the teenager was walking to a relative's house near the Plaza 156 gas station before police allege that two men inside a black Volkswagen Bug pulled alongside the girl and grabbed her arm, trying to force her inside the car.

The men whistled and spoke Spanish to her as they grabbed her, according to police.

The girl wrestled of their grasp and took off running to her relative's house, police spokesman Sgt. David Westrick said. The car did not follow her.

"Once she was able to break free of the suspects, she ran and never looked back," Westrick said.

The girl didn't know in what direction the car took off after she had left, Westrick said.

The suspects are described as two Hispanic men in their 40s. The passenger wore a black hooded jacket and sunglasses. The girl had no other identifying information about the driver.

The Volkswagen Bug is described as an older model with a loud engine and rusted black paint.

The police department is still searching for more information, Westrick said.

"We are trying to get this handled as soon as possible," Westrick said. "We have as many detectives working on it as we can."

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Hollister Police Department at 630-4330. People who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTIP at (800) 58-CRIME.

Connor Ramey

Freelance News

May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA / Jamaica

Herbert Morrison

Illegal Immigrant a Suspect in Continuous Molestation of Santa Maria Girl Police say the child was victimized over nine years

In April, the Santa Maria Police Department began investigating the sexual-assault case involving a minor female. [Herbert] Morrison was arrested in May, but charges were not filed at that time because of insufficient evidence.

However, evidence gathered in recent weeks led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Morrison, who was being held in a federal detention facility in Los Angeles pending deportation for being in the country illegally after a previous deportation.

He was picked up at the detention facility, transferred back to Santa Maria and booked into jail.

He faces charges of continuous sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault, rape by force or duress, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

Bail was set at $500,000.

Police have not released how the suspect knew the victim.

Michelle Nelson


May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Undocumented immigrant can't bail out of jail, officials say

An undocumented immigrant and previously deported felon from Jamaica whose anticipated deportation has been put on hold because he is facing new criminal charges in Santa Barbara County, is not able to bail out of jail.

Herbert Morrison, 49, who had been living in Santa Maria, was picked up Tuesday from a federal detention facility in Los Angeles where he was being held pending deportation for being in the country illegally. He was arrested on suspicion of various charges including continual sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old, sexual battery and rape by force or duress, according to Santa Maria police.

Morrison was booked into county jail with bail set at $500,000.

However, Lt. Dan Ast said that Morrison is not able to bail out of jail because of an immigration hold, and he will eventually once again face deportation.

"If we allowed him to be deported without filing the charges, he could potentially re-enter the country at some later time after arriving back in Jamaica and continue to victimize people in this country," Ast said. "Or, he could stay in Jamaica and potentially victimize others there without ever facing justice."

The Lompoc Record

May 27, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child

Houston - An accused child predator was behind bars Tuesday, charged with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Al D. Checo lured the child into his green Dodge pickup while she was walking home from school in the 9300 block of Pagewood Ln. on Friday. He then drove her to his apartment nearby, forced her to watch pornographic images and tried to sexually assault her, but stopped short of the act.

"It could have been the first time for him to do something like this and he was testing the waters, could have been were something might have spooked him. We don't really don't know exactly yet," said Officer John Colburn with HPD's Juvenile Sex Crime Division.

Checo, 32, held the child at his apartment for several hours before dropping her off near where she was abducted, police said.

According to officials, Checo warned the child not to tell anyone what happened, but she went home and told her mother and was able to identify her abductor.

Checo is charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held Tuesday without bond.


May 25, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

SFPD searching for girl, 12, reported missing

San Francisco police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a 12-year-old girl reported missing.

Police said Mireya Zapata was last seen Thursday morning when she went to school. At about 2:50 p.m., she sent a text message to her mother, saying she was at a bus stop and on her way home.

However, Zapata, who goes to school in the Sunset District and lives downtown, never showed up at her home, police said. The girl exchanged text messages with her mother over the next several hours, but did not text a secret code letting the mother know she was OK upon request, according to police.

At about 7 p.m., Zapata's mother received a text message reading, "Don't look for me no more," and when her mother asked why, the response read, "Just don't," police said.

Police spokesman Officer Boaz Mariles said Zapata does not have a history of running away and she is considered to be at risk. Police are actively searching for the girl and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police at (415) 553-1071.

"It's a continuous search, meaning there are officers assigned strictly to this,'' Mariles said.

Zapata is described as a light-skinned Hispanic girl, 5 feet 3 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black and white Nike shoes and had a white backpack.


May 27, 2010

Added: May. 29, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect faces string of sex assault charges

4 alleged victims range in age from 11 to 49

Luis Alberto Gonzales was armed with a BB gun when he targeted numerous Hispanic women and girls for sexual assaults on Indianapolis' Westside, prosecutors say.

But he didn't even bother to cover his face -- and that lack of a disguise enabled police to arrest Gonzales last weekend. One victim from months ago spotted him sleeping in his red truck in an apartment court off West 30th Street near Moller Road, according to court documents filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Still more alleged victims have come forward after seeing Gonzales' mug shot in media reports...

So far, he faces charges in connection with four victims ranging in age from 11 to 49. He is in the Marion County Jail with a combined bond set at $700,000.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said his office was still readying charges representing two more victims, including one younger than 18; police were investigating allegations by three others.

That could make for nine victims, with convictions bringing up to hundreds of years in prison.

"Mr. Gonzales has essentially been preying on Hispanic adults and children since at least January 2010," Brizzi said. "He was going back to the same area. It seems he was unafraid about being arrested or caught."

The lead charges on the four cases that have been filed are Class A felony child molesting of an 11-year-old girl; Class A felony rape of a 40-year-old woman; Class A felony criminal deviate conduct against a 49-year-old woman; and Class D felony sexual battery against a 23-year-old woman...

Jon Murray


May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Nevada, USA

Joel Eliazar Ortega

Illegal immigrant sentenced in Reno rape of paralyzed woman

A life in prison term was imposed Wednesday upon a married father of one who dragged a paralyzed woman out of her wheelchair, raped her, and then left her lying nude in an alley.

The woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been in a shopping center Oct. 30 in the 3300 block of North McCarran Boulevard when Joel Eliazar Ortega, 30, led her behind a business and attacked her. Soon after, Reno police officers responding to a call that Ortega was battering his wife in their nearby apartment, recognized Ortega as fitting the description of the suspect. He was arrested after the victim identified him.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn described the crime as among the most ghastly sexual assaults he’s ever seen.

“She was dragged from her wheelchair, her clothes taken off, sexually assaulted and then left lying in an alley,” said Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan. “I have listened to you carefully, and you said ‘things happen’ and you get in trouble based on your behavior and doctors say you can’t take care of your daughter.

“You are a danger,” Flanagan said. “...you are lucky there is only one life sentence I can impose in this case.”

In rendering a sentence of life against Ortega, Flannagan said he would be eligible for parole after serving at least 10 years in prison. Ortega is also an illegal immigrant who also must face immigration charges.

“You will be deported at the earliest opportunity and will never return to this country again, except lawfully,” Flanagan said.

Ortega had apologized for the crime and said “I need help.”

His public defender, John Malone, said Ortega has been receiving treatment at the state’s mental hospital for several years. He blamed the rape on Ortega not taking his psychiatric medicines and drinking alcohol.

Ortega pleaded guilty to the rape, and was also convicted of domestic violence, related to when police responded to his apartment after the assault.

The victim was not present in court, although her father was and said he was too emotional to speak about the incident.

Jaclyn O'Malley


May 26, 2010

Added: May. 29, 2010

Virginia, USA

Arturo F. Lopez

Henrico judge sends rape charge to grand jury

A woman testified at a preliminary hearing in a Henrico County court today that her foster son sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her and her husband.

Arturo F. Lopez, 18, had been living with a foster family in the Interstate 64-Staples Mill Road area since sometime late last year, according to Henrico police. He was charged with rape in the April 9 incident and appeared at a preliminary hearing in General District Court this morning.

At the hearing, the judge certified the rape charge to a grand jury, which will hear the case on July 12. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Lopez came to the Richmond area sometime last year. His attorney said he was a homeless immigrant from Mexico and has no family in the U.S. Lopez was placed in the home by the Richmond Department of Social Services, because Spanish is spoken in the home.

Bill Mckelway

The Richmond Times Dispatch

May 27, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010


Officer Jose Manuel Santiago


Pennsylvania Cop Charged With Sex Offenses

A southeastern Pennsylvania police officer is charged with hundreds of sex-offense counts including rape, incest, statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Chester County prosecutors say 54-year-old Kennett Square police Officer Jose Manuel Santiago was arrested Thursday at his home in Newark, Del.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan says Santiago had sexual encounters with three juveniles under the age of 14 between 1991 and 2000.

Borough officials say Santiago joined the department in 1998. He had been on disability leave since December 2008 and is now suspended without pay.

Santiago is in New Castle County prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. His phone number is unlisted and it was not clear if he had an attorney.


May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Alleged rapists' victims afraid to tell

Indianapolis - Prosecutors expect to file more charges against a man suspected of molesting and raping as many as nine women and girls on the northwest side. Police say 27-year old Luis Gonzales was a serial rapist - preying solely on Hispanic victims for at least five months.

Police say investigating this case was challenging. They didn't begin to put the pieces together until an 11-year-old girl reported being assaulted in May. But the first known attack occurred five months before that.

It was a January evening at about 10:00 at the La Joya apartments on the northwest side of Indianapolis. A 23-year-old woman walked into her building carrying bags and her baby. She says an attacker waited - pretending to be talking on his cell phone. After she went in the building, she says he grabbed and groped her in the stairwell.

An affidavit states she was holding her baby tightly during the attack, and the infant began to cry. At that point her attacker ran away.

But no police report was filed. Detectives believe for the next five months, Luis Gonzales terrorized, molested, and raped as many as nine Hispanic women and girls in west side apartment complexes. The youngest known victim is 11-years old.

Asked why the public wasn't made aware of a serial rapist, IMPD officer Lt. Jeff Duhamell responded, "The lack of reporting from some of our victims, and probably the language barrier and maybe some of them were afraid to come forward because they may be in our country illegally."

Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi believes there are likely more victims out there, and at a press conference on Thursday, he had a clear message to victims.

"There is absolutely no threat of immigration and customs enforcement, ICE, of us reporting that documentation status as a result of reporting a crime," Brizzi said.

Luis Gonzales has ties to Indianapolis. The probable cause affidavit states he graduated from Lawrence North High School and has lived in the city for six years. He's being held on a $100,000 bond, and has declined our request for an interview.


May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Teen Assaulted In Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande, CA -- Police arrested a parolee who allegedly assaulted a teen yesterday afternoon. This happened at about 4:30 in the area near Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande High School. Authorities received several reports by phone that a girl was thrown to the ground near the hospital. Many later calls told officers that within minutes several witnesses chased the suspect, 23-year-old Fernando Frias, and cornered him in the back of a home on Cerro Vista Circle.

Meanwhile, according to the Tribune, officers found the 17-year-old victim, near the Fair Oaks bridge with injuries to her head and face. They arrested Frias who is currently on parole. Frias was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole.

King Harris


May 27. 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Oregon, USA

Ismael Recinos-Velasquez

Reward Offered for Sex Assault Suspect

Crime Stoppers and the Washington County Sheriff's office are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wante for sexual assault. Investigators say Ismael Recinos-Velasquez, who may also go by Jose Perez-Perez, or the name 'Carlos', sexually abused his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter and another 12-year old girl.

A warrant was issued for Recinos-Velasquez's arrest on May 13th. He's wanted on charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, along with numerous other charges.

Recinos-Velasquez is 5' 3" tall and 140 pounds. If you see him, call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-4357, go online to crimestoppers oforegon.com, or text message to 823HELP.

Chris Brown


May 27, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

California, USA

Police seek man accused of the assault and attempted kidnap of his ex-girlfriend

Pasadena - Police are searching for a 53-year-old man who allegedly beat and tried to kidnap his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:07 p.m. a 45-year-old female Hispanic, of Temple City, was waiting at a bus stop in the 200 block of South Lake Avenue when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and began striking her, Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ said.

The victim suffered minor bruising to her face and arms and also complained of back pain, he said.

After a struggle, the man dragged her through a nearby parking lot and attempted to force her into his 2000 Honda Odyssey, but he fled on foot after several passersby came to her assistance, Russ said.

The man is described as a 5-foot-6-inch male Hispanic weighing 186 pounds.

The Pasadena Star News

May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Wanted for Inappropriate Conduct

Midland Police are trying to track down a man who has a problem keeping his hands to himself.

A suspect is wanted for inappropriate conduct.

The man in question is Hispanic, who apparently goes around touching women in stores.

He reportedly rubs or bumps into them, making it seem like an accident.

If this has happened to you in an offensive manner or if you have any information, call Midland Police or CrimeStoppers at 649-TIPS.

NewsWest 9

May 28, 2010

Added: May. 28, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 20 - May 26


May 26, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape, the sale of marijuana, domestic violence, and possession of a controlled substance. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 25, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for rape with threat in the state of California, assault with intent to cause serious injury/sexual abuse in the state of New York, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 22, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near El Paso, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for fondling, and lewd and lascivious acts against a child in the state of Florida. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 21, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sells, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for lascivious acts with a child / false imprisonment with violence in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 20, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Arivaca, Arizona. Record checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for aggravated child molestation and felony sodomy in the state of Georgia. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 26, 2010

Added: May. 27, 2010

Illinoid, USA

Jennifer Hurtado

11-Year-Old Girl Missing With 22-Year-Old Paramour

An 11-year-old girl is missing from her Brighton Park neighborhood home, and police say she may have disappeared with a much-older man she calls her boyfriend.

Jennifer Hurtado is missing... She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with the word "Shields" in purple lettering.

She was also wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old "paramour" Jose "Carlos" Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4 feet 8 inches tall, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact the Chicago Police Wentworth Area Special Victims Unit, at (312) 747-8385.


May 26, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 26, 2010

Illinois, USA / Mexico

Police seek girl, 11, who vanished from Southwest Side with man

A missing persons alert has been issued for an 11-year-old girl who has gone missing from the Southwest Side and may be heading to Mexico or North Carolina with her 22-year-old boyfriend, police said.

Jennifer Hurtado, 11, is missing... according to release from police News Affairs. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with purple lettering that said, “Shields” that was worn over a black t-shirt.

She was wearing blue jeans, black slip-on shoes and was with her 22-year-old boyfriend Jose “Carlos” Contrerras, the release said.

She is described as 4-foot-8, 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to the release, which said the two may be heading for Mexico or North Carolina.

Anyone with information should contact Wentworth Area detectives are (312) 747-8385.

The Chicago Sun TImes

May 26, 2010 0

Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

40th Washington Conference on the Americas

Remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Council of the Americas was pleased to hold its 40th Washington Conference on the Americas. For 40 years, the Washington Conference on the Americas has been honored to host presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state, U.S. cabinet officials, ministers from the region, and congressional leaders...

As the opening speaker at the 40th Annual Washington Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the primacy of hemispheric issues on the Obama administration’s agenda. She... stressed three priority areas for cooperation between the United States and Latin America: trade and energy partnerships, public security, and inequality and immigration...

[An] area of concern stressed by the secretary was public security... She referred to the “barbarism” of organized crime syndicates, comment[ed] on Washington’s support for Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative, but also urged for “smarter, more effective strategies.”

...Clinton referred to the twin issues of inequity and immigration. “We don’t have the poorest people in the world in Latin America, with the exception of Haiti, but we have the most inequity,” said the secretary. “Therefore we need to have a partnership between the public and private sector to address this.” In particular, she spoke of the need to increase tax revenues in the region. “We can take a lot of joy in the positive GDP growth, but income disparity continues to grow,” she said, noting it is “a source of social and political instability” that feeds criminal activity. “We have to do a better job.” ...

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

One of [U.S. Labor Secretary] Secretary Solis’ main concerns is the 12.5 percent unemployment rate among the Latino population. Latinos-who Solis termed the “new entrepreneurs”-are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and will account for over 25 percent of the population by 2050. This population, however, accounted for only 5 percent of the 3.6 million STEM (science, technology, education, and math) jobs in 2008. Solis and the Department of Labor are focusing on creating more of these jobs for Latinos as STEM fields are the future of innovation and competitiveness.

Latino workforce development also extends to training workers in the renewable energy sector and to breaking down the barriers between employers and employees.

The Department of Labor has launched a multilingual help line as a resource for workers that have been unfairly treated on the job and is focusing on bringing to light “good business practices” that help to prevent on-the-job injuries. Just recently Secretary Solis and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhán signed a declaration reaffirming their joint commitment to work collaboratively on informing Mexican workers about their labor rights. She hopes to extend this type of agreement to El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries...

Prepared by Jason Marczak and Carin Zissis

Americas Society

May 12, 2010

Added: May. 26, 2010

The Americas

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza

OAS Secretary General Takes Office for Second Term

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today... [took] office for his second term at a special session of the Permanent Council...

Reelected by acclamation for the period 2010-2015 in an election held March 24, Insulza described in a speech this morning delivered in the Hall of the Americas the main goals for his new term, reiterating the convictions that will guide his leadership...

Among the successes of his first term, the top OAS official mentioned the effective role of the Organization in nearly a dozen political crises in the continent, as well as the observation of more than fifty electoral processes, asserting that “nobody can in good faith affirm that the OAS in these years has failed in having, in all of these events, a conciliatory and unifying attitude.” In this context, Insulza renewed his commitment to what he called “the three basic pillars of OAS activity: democracy and human rights, integral development and multidimensional security, and the aspects most relevant to the people of the continent.”

With respect to the new five-year period that now begins, Secretary General Insulza reiterated his wish to have “a genuinely multilateral OAS, built by all of us jointly on the basis of common principles,” and he traced five lines of work for his new mandate: to develop a broad, modern and inclusive multilateralism; to increase support for democratic governance by promoting areas such as respect for the rule of law and institutions; to improve the balance between the tasks of democracy building and those of promoting integral development; to continue prioritizing subjects relative to public security, drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, arms trafficking and human trafficking; to give greater momentum to the subject of gender at the OAS...

Organization of American States

May 24, 201

Added: May. 26, 2010


The triple frontier region, where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a major child and adult sex trafficking marketplace with many  thousands of victims.

Todos los casos deben ser remitidos a Asuncion para su investigacion

Impunidad hace florecer el trafico de personas en las Tres Fronteras

El tráfico de personas en la zona de las Tres Fronteras sigue siendo un negocio floreciente debido a la impunidad reinante. En el sistema judicial del Alto Paraná no existen datos de que algún caso haya sido elevado a juicio, buscando castigar a los culpables de este delito. El Ministerio Público se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los hechos denunciados sobre la trata de personas. Ever Ovelar, fiscal adjunto.

Varios son los esquemas que operan en la zona para el tráfico de personas. Casi siempre integran el sistema las agencias de viaje que camuflan el envío de jóvenes a otros países como excursionistas. En el décimo departamento no existe una unidad fiscal especializada en el tema, pese a que los casos aumentan considerablemente. Los antecedentes algunas veces son remitidos a la unidad especializada en el tema a cargo de la fiscal Teresa Martínez, de Asunción. La fiscal estuvo en esta zona y dijo que al menos tres agencias de turismo locales están en la mira por vincularse supuestamente al tráfico de personas.

No quiso dar el nombre de las firmas para no entorpecer las investigaciones que casi no han avanzado en los últimos 30 días. En Ciudad del Este y Presidente Franco son donde más abundan personas que reclutan a jóvenes especialmente para llevarlos a otros países, de preferencia europeos siendo las mujeres las preferidas. Varias de ellas son obligadas a prostituirse y son mantenidas en régimen de esclavitud, mientras otros deben trabajar en viviendas en régimen inhumano.

El silencio de las víctimas y sus familiares contribuyen a que los traficantes sigan operando normalmente en esta región fronteriza. Pero la inacción de los organismos públicos contribuyen más para que se de esta situación. El Minis-terio Público de Ciudad del Este se convirtió en una especie de “frezeer’’ para los casos de trata de personas, pues al menos son 20 carpetas fiscales las que nunca fueron investigadas. No existen antecedentes en el Poder Judicial de la zona de que algún caso haya sido llevado a juicio oral y público...

All human trafficking cases should be referred to federal agencies in the capital city of Asuncion

Impunity allows human trafficking to flourish in the triple frontier (Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) region.

(English Translation to follow)

Diario Vanguardia

May 26, 2010

Added: May. 26, 2010

US Fights Human Slavery in Major Cities

People from Latin America, Asia trafficked to the US for sex, labor

In almost every major city in the United States, advocates say victims of human slavery are exploited everyday.

"Human trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States," says Bradley Myles of the Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking.

According to Myles, some of the victims are forced to work in the homes of the wealthy and at restaurants. Many others, especially women, are forced into prostitution.

"We know from our very own eyes that it's happening. We're not kind of hearing it third hand. We've been inside those places. We work with those women."

The Polaris Project operates a human trafficking hotline. Calls come in from around the country.

"So we're getting calls from Texas. We're getting calls from California. We're getting calls from New York, Florida and DC is one of those top five cities where we're getting calls," says Myles.

Deborah Sigmund, founder of the advocacy group, Innocents at Risk, says most of the victims of human trafficking come from economically depressed countries and are lured to the U.S. with promises of a better life.

"They want to think that they can come to America and have a great job so it's very easy to fool them," she says.

According to the experts, some of the victims are forced to sell sex from brothels disguised as massage parlors.

Tim Whittman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is an expert on human trafficking in the U.S.

"The number one foreign country is Mexico," says Tim Whittman, an expert on human trafficking with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Approximately 20 percent of our cases involve victims from Mexico."

The nation's capital is not immune to the problem. In Washington, the Polaris Project sees sex trafficking victims who are U.S. citizens, and women from South Korea, China and Latin America.

A study by The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center finds nearly 83 percent of suspected human trafficking incidents involve sex trafficking. Advocates say other types of human slavery include people being forced to work as domestic servants and in agriculture. The FBI says the smugglers often threaten their victims and make it difficult for them to pay off their debts...

Elizabeth Lee

Voice of America News

May 24, 2010

Added: May. 26, 2010

Indiana, USA

Luis Gonzales

Sexual assault suspect may be linked to 7 attacks

Indianapolis - Police have arrested a suspect in the sexual assault of a young girl.

Luis Gonzales, 27, was taken into custody Saturday evening after an IMPD officer found him sleeping in a pick-up truck on Hillsboro Drive. A woman told police she recognized Gonzales from an incident a month or two ago when he attempted to fondle her. The woman told her father, who called police.

Police say Gonzales sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at her west side apartment complex on May 13. Investigators identified the suspect in that assault as a Hispanic male, who left the scene in a red Nissan pick-up truck, like the one Gonzales was in when police apprehended him Saturday.

Metro police detectives say Gonzales is a prime suspect in at least two confirmed assault cases. He was found in possession of a BB gun described in the other attacks, as well as other possible evidence belonging to his victims. He is being held on felony charges of child molesting and criminal confinement.

Monday, police described Gonzales as a dangerous predator, saying he may be linked to as many as seven attacks on girls.

"He is almost like an addict. He has to have sex all the time," said IMPD Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

One of the other attacks happened to a 13-year-old girl in the Covered Bridge Apartments on Georgetown Road. The victim remained reluctant to even report the attack until IMPD Officer Candi Perry, a Spanish translator for the department, intervened. That's when the 11-year-old girl in the May 13 attack came forward, too.

"Right now, we definitely have him on admitting two child molestation cases," said Lt. Duhamell.

Sex crime detectives suspect Gonzales in a May 7 sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman. The attack happened at the West Lake Apartments near Rockville Road.


May 24, 2010

Added: May. 26, 2010

Georgia, USA

Man gets 35 years for sexually assaulting child

A DeKalb man will spend the next 35 years in prison after being convicted of raping and infecting a child with a sexually transmitted disease.

Omar Luna-Fraide, 22, of Doraville, was convicted Wednesday on one count of rape; two counts of child molestation; two counts of aggravated child molestation; and one count of false imprisonment, said Orzy Theus, spokesman for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Fraide was accused of assaulting the child on multiple days in 2009, Theus said. He also infected the child with a sexually transmitted disease, Theus said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Guatemala, The United States

Esperanza Arreaga, age 62, lost two small daughters and 14 other family members when they were murdered by Guatemalan soldiers in the massacre of Las Dos Erres.

In this picture, Arreaga looks at the remains of massacre victims uncovered by forensic archeologists.

Photo: Larry Kaplow - GlobalPost

Ramiro Cristales, then age 5, witnessed Guatemalan special forces soldiers murder his family and rape and murder the 10 and 12-year-old girls from his village of Las Dos Erres, in 1982.

From a video statement by Ramiro Cristales, and a collage of photos, by GlobalPost.

Ramiro Cristales, after he was abducted at age 5 by the Guatemalan soldiers who murdered his family

U.S. rounds up Guatemalans accused of war crimes

Washington - U.S. federal agents are today closing in on four former Guatemalan soldiers accused of taking part in a 1982 massacre, which one law enforcement official called "the most shocking modern-day war crime American authorities have ever investigated."

One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location. One former soldier alleged to have taken part in the massacre of 251 villagers in the rural Guatemalan hamlet of Las Dos Erres is already in custody in Texas. Another former soldier in Florida and two more in California are under active investigation.

Law enforcement officials close to the case acknowledged the four men are part of a probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency into immigration violations aimed at rounding up suspects named in a recently revived, landmark human rights case in Guatemala. If found in violation of U.S. immigration laws, the men would likely face deportation to Guatemala and a possible prosecution there for war crimes.

For years these men, who are all accused of serving in a notoriously brutal Guatemalan military unit, have lived in America, blending in to communities in Florida, California and Texas. One is a popular karate teacher. One is a cook. The man in custody is a day laborer who had allegedly abducted and then adopted a boy who was orphaned in the slaughter 28 years ago.

That boy, Ramiro Cristales, who was 5 years old at the time, is now a key witness in the case in Guatemala against the former soldiers and against the man who raised him.

In an exclusive interview with GlobalPost, Cristales, one of only two known survivors of the massacre, saw his entire family murdered. He said he was frustrated it has taken so long for the men to be brought to justice. But he said he hoped U.S. and Guatemalan officials might work together to make that happen.

"They have to do something... The only thing I ask is justice," said Cristales, who is now hiding in an undisclosed location.

The massacre in Las Dos Erres, where a total of 251 men, women and children were killed, is widely considered one of the darkest chapters of Guatemala's 36-year civil war that claimed some 200,000 lives, and in which the U.S. military played a shadowy role.

One month after allegedly raping young girls and women during the massacre, one of the men under investigation, Pedro Pimentel Rios, began work as an instructor at the School of the Americas, the Pentagon-run training school for Latin American militaries, then located in Panama...

Because the alleged crimes occurred before the passage of war crimes laws in the United States, prosecutors are not legally permitted to charge the men under any of those laws. This limitation in U.S. law has long frustrated federal prosecutors, who have only... been able to denaturalize and deport even suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States.

U.S. officials began their investigation after the Inter-American Court on Human Rights decided last year that Guatemala's 1996 amnesty agreement does not apply to serious human rights violations, including the massacre at Las Dos Erres. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice who monitor cases involving foreign-born human rights abusers decided to see if any of the accused killers were living in the United States...

U.S. involvement

Human rights groups have long criticized the involvement of the American government and military in Guatemala. The Las Dos Erres case reveals several connections between the two countries.

The U.S. government knew the Guatemalan army was probably responsible for the massacre at Las Dos Erres, yet the School of the Americas began to welcome new instructors and students from the army only days after the killings...

In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had introduced a ban on cooperating with the Guatemalan military. But President Ronald Reagan lifted the ban and the School of the Americas began admitting Guatemalan soldiers, including Rios, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre...

Just as the massacres were intensifying, Reagan re-established military and political cooperation with the Guatemalan government. Reagan saw [Guatemalan president Efrain] Rios Montt as a useful ally against leftist guerrillas and maintained friendly relations in the face of evidence that Rios Montt's government was responsible for increasing numbers of civilian massacres. (In July 1982, Amnesty International published a report listing more than 50 massacres of non-combatant civilians by the military.)

On Dec. 4, 1982, when the massacres in the Guatemalan countryside were fully under way, Reagan met with Rios Montt. Reagan publicly described Rios Montt as "a man of great personal integrity…[who] wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice." Reagan said that Rios Montt had received a "bum rap" from human rights groups.

It was an inauspicious day to make such a show of support. On the same day Reagan spoke, the 17 members of the Kaibiles [counter-insurgency rangers] squad arrived at a military base near Las Dos Erres. On Dec. 7, the massacre started. Over the following two days, the men are alleged to have killed 251 residents of Las Dos Erres. "Everything that moved had to be killed," one of the soldiers later wrote in a sworn statement.

Last month archaeologists began exhuming the mass grave and DNA testing is now underway to confirm the identities of those killed.

"I lost everything"

The Kaibiles tortured the men first. They then began throwing children alive into the village well. Women were shot or beaten to death with a sledgehammer and then thrown in. Men were then shot and dumped on top. One of the Kaibiles abducted a 5-year-old boy [Ramiro Cristales]. Another boy escaped. They may be the only surviving witnesses...

Matt McAllester


May 06, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Genocide, Femicide and Human Trafficking in Guatemala All Grew From the Same Roots of Wartime Impunity

The genocide suffered by the indigenous Mayan majority population of Guatemala during the 1980s took place with the complicity of the U.S. Government, especially during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Some 200,000 innocent civilians, including 50,000 women, were murdered by government military forces during the civil conflict. The nation's Supreme Court has officially declared that 200,000 orphans resulted from the war.

While the International Court in the Hague and other international judicial bodies have aggressively prosecuted, or at least charged suspects in the genocidal mass murders in Bosnia, Sudan and other equally notorious circumstances, the largest act of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the modern history of the Americas, which was carried out by pro-U.S. government forces during the Guatemalan Civil War, has until recently been off limits to effective prosecution.

We thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for laying the legal groundwork for permitting renewed judicial action in regard to important cases such as that of the Las Dos Erres Massacre. Many other massacres and individual murders have yet to be investigated.

In all, some 440 Mayan villages, located mostly in Guatemala's northwestern highlands region, were completely destroyed by Guatemalan soldiers during a brutal scorched earth campaign of ethnic cleansing that hid behind a cloak of supposedly justifiable cold war counter insurgency.

Guatemala's military was supported in this endeavor with military strategy, training and equipment supplied by the United States, Argentina and Israel.

The perpetrators of mass murder in Guatemala thought that they would have a lifetime of protection in regard to their crimes, because past conservative U.S. presidential administrations lead them to believe that was the case. Thanks to the changing political and legal landscape in the Americas, serious prosecutions of these criminals may, finally, occur.

In the early and mid 1980s I and many other activists in Washington, DC and across the Americas worked hard to publish and broadcast news about the ongoing massacres of innocents in Guatemala. We also protested in front of Congress and organized to do everything we could to save the lives of Guatemalans from the murderous hands of these cruel perpetrators.

Today in 2010, Guatemala's postwar culture has the highest rate of 'femicide' murders in all of the Americas. Thousands of women have been murdered during the past several years with almost total impunity. The rate of femicide murders, (which are crimes that typically include acts of rape, torture, mutilation and dismemberment -echoing the behavior of military forces during the civil war), is ten times higher than the rate of gender-based murders in Mexico's infamous Ciudad Juarez..

These femicides, and Guatemala's inability to investigate the rape/ torture killings of so many women and girls, as well as that nation's serious problems with mass sex trafficking currently, are all direct outgrowths of the impunity that the world community ALLOWED to exist in Guatemala during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Effectively, these crimes were never prosecuted because past conservative U.S. administrations were  both passively and actively complicit, and the world community of nations simply stood silently by and watched these horrific events unfold with impunity.

A nexus with the anti-trafficking movement

During the early 2000's, I joined the anti human trafficking listserv (email-based private forum) of Dr. Donna Hughes, who was then, and is today, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hughes is one of the original pioneers of the modern U.S. movement against human trafficking, and she deserves all of the honors that she has received over the years for those important efforts.

Dr. Hughes' listserv, which was made up of many notable names in the anti-slavery movement across the globe, including names that many followers of the movement today would recognize, totaled about 400 members. Simultaneous to her work with this listserv, Dr. Hughes was also writing for the conservative National Review Online.

The majority of U.S. listserv participants were conservative women. I educated that online community of professionals and activists about the dynamics of the Latin American crisis in human trafficking at a time when few were aware of the issues.

As part of that work, I discussed the mass rapes and murders of innocent Mayan indigenous women and girls (among others) during the Guatemalan Civil War (almost all Mayan women and girls of any age, among other victims, were targeted for rape by soldiers and civilian paramilitary guards during the war). I also discussed Mayan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Rigoberta Menchu, who fled into the jungle to avoid becoming another victim of a government massacre. Several of Dr. Menchu's relatives died at the hands of soldiers.

Conservative members of the listserv became so infuriated with my simple and truthful educational postings that several of them quit the listserv. Dr. Hughes told me by phone, almost apologetically, that she had to ban me from participating to prevent her conservative followers from leaving.

In an earlier email conversation, Dr. Hughes had rationalized the human rights abuses in Guatemala by stating that some victims supported communist insurgency.

What Mayans actually supported was building a future for themselves that was free from the 500 years of peonage (slavery) that Spanish descendants had subjected them to.

During this online debate, an anti-trafficking activist from the Salvation Army wrote-in to emphasize that the group was not denying the events that took place in Guatemala (although only she expressed that view, not the other listserv members).

U.S. Conservatives had long supported the efforts of former President Ronald Reagan and others to back often brutal right wing dictators in Latin America. Any mention of the mass murders of Guatemalan innocents, including women and children, was considered to be an unacceptable topic of public conversation.

In late 1995, for example, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich denounced then-Democratic Representative Robert G. Torricelli, who, like Speaker Gingrich, was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, for having publicly exposed information about the atrocities in Guatemala, followed by a demand for congressional hearings.

Speaker Gingrich also demanded that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) not air a documentary on the massacres of Mayan peoples in the Guatemalan Civil War. He only relented and allowed the program to be broadcast after his demand for adding 'alternative views' to the program's content were agreed to by PBS.

How do you provide an alternative view about multiple acts of racially motivated mass murder being perpetrated against innocent children, women and men with impunity?

This truthful account of one part of the history of the Guatemalan Genocide also sheds light on aspects of the modern U.S. response to the human trafficking crisis in Latin America.

The U.S. based anti-trafficking movement is a unique social space where conservatives, liberals and others (and I am 'other') may join in common purpose to save human lives. Unfortunately, politics has often been played with the issue of Latin American human trafficking.

In the early 2000s, conservatives such as Dr. Donna Hughes and her followers shunned any discussion of the important gender related human rights issues (specifically, the Guatemalan Genocide) that were closely associated with the modern human slavery issue in Latin America.

During the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, I was present at two separate major public speeches given by the first and second directors of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State - Ambassador John R. Miller, and Ambassador Mark P. Lagon. Latin America’s human trafficking crisis was never mentioned during those presentations, despite what we know today, that Latin American human trafficking generates an estimated $16 billion per year, perhaps half of all world income from human slavery.

When, on May 27, 1994, I gave a presentation on Latina women and exploitation to the Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women, I mentioned the mass rapes and murders of women in the Guatemalan conflict, several conservative women commission members shook their heads and declared that the genocide never happened. In response, a Cherokee indigenous woman commission member, and a Panamanian woman physician who was also a member both acknowledged the fact of the Guatemalan genocide, and also recognized the other issues that I had raised for their consideration (the workplace sexual exploitation of Latina immigrant women).

An intentional failure to  acknowledge the problem of Latin American human trafficking during the administration of President George W. Bush (as a byproduct of conservative politics) effectively allowed the region's billion dollar cartels and other criminal elements free reign to grow their now $16 billion per year human slavery 'industry' (IOM figure) without any visible U.S. opposition.

On the other end of the political spectrum, some liberals, including, perhaps, influential members of the administration of President Barack Obama, also politicize human trafficking, from a leftist perspective.

It does not add to Obama administration Latin America strategy to have a highly visible public discussion of human trafficking and the mass rape and enslavement of women and girls in Mexico, when such visibility would raise doubt in Congress, and among the public, as to the value of continued funding of the war on drug traffickers, given that Mexican soldiers deployed in the conflict have been the culprits in many rapes and murders of indigenous women with total impunity.

Open discussion of the severe levels of human trafficking and the brutal sexual exploitation of women perpetrated by some Latino men in Latin America, and in U.S. community settings, is also an uncomfortable topic for progressives as they market Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the people and Congress of the United States.

That concern does not justify remaining silent about the growing humanitarian emergency of mass gender atrocities that is taking place in Mexico, throughout the rest of Latin America and, increasingly, in U.S. Latino immigrant population centers.

Progressives who favor the legalization of prostitution also apparently have strong influence in the Obama Administration, which perhaps leads to a diminished focus on sex trafficking while labor trafficking takes center stage in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts.

By justifying the genocide of Mayan indigenous peoples during the Guatemalan Civil War (a mentality that is consistent with excusing the mass murder of U.S. indigenous peoples in the past), U.S. conservatives, together with their allies in Guatemala, succeeded in setting-up the circumstances that lead not only to the anti-Mayan genocide, but also set off the 'firestorm' of the largest ongoing crisis of mass murders of women in the Americas, today's Guatemalan femicide.

A similar conservative-lead environment of social and govern-mental tolerance for mass gender atrocities also exists in neighboring Mexico.

We assert that the lack of willingness of the U.S. government and of some U.S. NGOs to fully engage the issue of human trafficking in Latin America (where half of the world's estimated $32 billion of human trafficking apparently takes place) during the George W. Bush administration and beyond had its roots in conservative unwillingness to acknowledge the serious human consequences of their past support for murderous dictators such as Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt.

To be clear, U.S. conservatives cannot declare their opposition to modern day human trafficking and slavery on the one hand, and on the other, declare that the genocide in Guatemala, or Mexico's current repression of women's rights (and until recently, intentional inaction on human trafficking) all orchestrated by the ruling conservative National Action party (PAN), are justifiable expressions of modern conservatism.

You cannot have it both ways.

The left, which has often been indifferent to the issue of human trafficking, bears a similar responsibility for condoning inaction... because human trafficking is, for some of them, a round peg that will not fit into the square holes of their political ideologies.

Shame on those who politicize human trafficking, be they from the right or the left!

The victims, and those who are at-risk, await our effective and hurried efforts to protect and rescue them.

Public servants, put the politics aside, and get to work! There is no time to waste.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


May 23/24/27, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010


An indigenous woman walks by a street poster of Guatamala's most brutal president, Efrain Rios Montt.

In the words of a poem by Pablo Neruda: 'For the one who gave the order of agony, I ask for punishment.'

Guatemala: Massacre investigation breakthrough

Recently declassified documents from US archives have shed further light on the extent of US complicity in Guatemalan human rights crimes, one of Latin America’s most brutal examples of population control.

The hard-working farmers of Dos Erres, in Peten department, had never asked for much — just a few acres of recently-cleared land from which to scratch a meager living in a country racked by violence.

When armed guerrillas cut across their land six months prior to December 7, 1982, community leaders had done everything possible to placate the national army, even inviting the soldiers in for inspections.

They had nothing to hide, they said. But a psychopathic military killing machine had already condemned them to death on the grounds that they were the soil in which the seed of resistance grows.

Acting on orders issued by the US-backed regional command, a death squad of army Kaibiles (counterinsurgency rangers) entered the peaceful hamlet early that morning, smashing in doors, killing livestock, starting fires and rounding up groups of men, women and children.

Hours of rape and torture ensued, followed by execution in small groups. After being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, the victims were hurled into a village well or left in nearby fields.

By nightfall, more than 250 were dead - almost the entire population. There were two child survivors - one who escaped and one, Ramiro Cristales, who was spared by his parents’ murderer only to be subsequently raised as a domestic slave (reputedly an army custom). Cristales, now aged in his 30s, has recently come forward at considerable risk to his own life as an eyewitness to the horror at Dos Erres.

His testimony to the Guatemalan truth commission has been corroborated by previously classified material obtained by the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the US Freedom of Information Act...

David T. Rowlands

Green Left (Australia)

May 22, 2010

See also:

Former Guatemalan Soldier Arrested for Alleged Role in Dos Erres Massacre

Washington, D.C. - Following this week's arrest of a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, the National Security Archive is posting a set of declassified documents on one of Guatemala's most shocking and unresolved human rights crimes, the Dos Erres massacre.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordan had lied to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleges that Jordan, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordan allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military's "scorched earth campaign" and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children.

Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just "disappear," and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre...

The National Security Archive

George Washington University

May 7, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

An indigenous woman in Guatemala holds a sign saying, WANTED: Jose Efrain Rios Montt (the unseen part says, "for genocide") - during the 2008, 28th anniversary of the Spanish Embassy Massacre in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

General José Efraín Ríos Montt is best known for heading a military dictatorship from 1982–1983 that was responsible for some of the worst atrocities against civilians in the 36-year Guatemalan civil conflict.

Photo: MiMundo

My observations about the only human trafficker I have ever met.

...To further tie together these linked issues, I know victims of that genocide, and I have met a perpetrator, through one of his family members. This family member talked to me at length about this perpetrator’s activities in Guatemala. I will refer to him here as ‘Juan.’

Juan’s grandfather owned a large ranch in Guatemala, and when he was feeling especially angry, he would go to the Mayan village at the far-end of his ranch and "shoot a few Indians" (a direct quote). During the time of the 1970s-1980s Guatemalan Civil War, Juan was a member of the Guatemalan president's security detail, the Presidential Guard. This security unit had a secondary task, aside from protection, of receiving a daily hit list from the president’s palace, finding these persons and murdering them for being suspected ‘subversives.’

The bodies of the victims were typically left laying in the street as a message to the population. Juan stated to his family: "Me daba mucha lastima tener que malograr a las mujeres" - that is: "it really saddened me to have to tear-up the women [on the hit list]." In other words, he supposedly felt sad for having willfully kidnapped, tortured, gang-raped and finally murdered his mostly Mayan women and girl victims over a number of years...

During the mid 1990s, before I even knew what sex trafficking was, Juan’s family member explained to me that Juan was engaged in smuggling people into the United States under peculiar circum-stances, and that he had ties to Colombian mafias. Today, I understand that what was being explained to me was the fact that Juan, a former mass rapist and murderer of women, had 'graduated' to sex trafficking women into the U.S. while living a comfortable and otherwise 'normal' life in Washington, DC.

It was also explained to me that Juan would travel to Guatemala City, place an add in a local paper seeking young girls to work as escorts, and that 13 and 14-year-old girls would gleefully respond. Juan then 'trained' these girls as prostitutes, and sent them out as escorts for wealthy businessmen.

In Washington, DC, Juan, when working in the role of office building cleaning crew manager, imposed quid-pro-quo sexual demands upon the Latina women who applied to work at his office building.

The world's past denial of the Guatemalan Genocide plays into the world's current lack of attention to the ongoing femicide, mass kidnappings of babies for illegal adoptions and prostitution, and to the mass trafficking of Guatemalan women into the brothels of southern Mexico...

Chuck Goolsby


Ashoka anti-trafficking competition entry

June 18, 2008

See also:

LibertadLatina Note

Mayan women and supporters gather to protest a then-recent massacre in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala - 1978

Photo: El Gráfico

In the early 1980's I lived in a house in Washington, DC where a couple who had fled Guatemala were invited to stay. The husband was an agronomist from Spain. His wife was a white U.S. citizen from the Midwest. They told me how they were saved from a death squad execution in Guatemala.

A Guatemalan woman friend had told the couple that her boyfriend, a high-ranking Guatemalan military officer, had told her one night while he was drunk that the couple had been put on the to-be-murdered list that was printed nightly in the presidential palace (using a computer system set up by the Israeli military). Having been warned by their friend, the couple and their young child immediately fled Guatemala.

What was their crime?

The husband taught people in rural Mayan communities how to grow food better and improve their nutrition. For the Guatemalan military, anything that benefited the Mayan population was subversive, and deserved a murderous response. Any arguments that the Mayan majority was subversive fly out the window when one understands that the goal of the genocide was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple.

Chuck Goolsby


May 23, 2010

See also:

Israel and Guatemala

The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala roughly parallels that of its ties with El Salvador except the Guatemalan military was so unswervingly bloody that Congress never permitted the ... Reagan Administration to undo the military aid cutoff implemented during the Carter years.

Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel has delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign of terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors perpetrated by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: to ensure that the profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its agents worked actively to maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala.

Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 45,000 dead, and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile - mostly indigenous Mayan Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight million people - and thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the Guatemalan military. Three successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide against the Indians," had the benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as well as hardware...

...It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. and Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala.

Third World Traveler

See also:

May 26, 2009

More about Former Guatemalan president Efrain Ríos Montt

In 1978, [Efrain Ríos Montt] left the Roman Catholic Church and became a minister in the California-based Evangelical / Pentecostal Church of the Word; since then Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have been personal friends [both reverends Falwell and Robertson had publicly defended Ríos Montt's human rights abuses].

Ríos Montt's brother Mario is a Catholic bishop, and in 1998 succeeded the assassinated Bishop Juan Gerardi as head of the human rights commission uncovering the truth of the disappearances associated with the military and his brother.

About Efrain Ris Montt


See also:

Bill Clinton during his presidency

Clinton says U.S. did wrong in Central American Wars - March 10, 1999

...President Clinton admitted Wednesday to Guatemalans that U.S. support for "widespread repression" in their bloody 36-year civil war was a mistake.

"For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that the support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression ... was wrong," Clinton said as he began a round-table discussion on Guatemala's search for peace.

"The United States must not repeat that mistake. We must and we will instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala," he said on the third day of a Central American tour.


March 10, 1999

See also:


Read our special section of the crisis of sexual exploitation and femicide facing women and girls in modern Guatemala.

See also:


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, on the other hand...

- Chuck Goolsby


Dec. 18, 2008

Added: May. 24, 2010


These workers from the Adulam shelter were arrested for forcing children and elderly clients into labor slavery, while also subjecting some of the victims to rape.

Photo: Mexico City Prosecutor's Office

Desmantelan redes de trata de personas en México

Una red de explotación laboral camuflada en un hogar social, que abusaba de menores de edad, y otra de prostitución que simulaba ser un salón "spa" fueron desarticuladas por la policía, informó hoy la Procuraduría General de Justicia de la capital mexicana.

El 13 de mayo la Fiscalía capitalina comenzó un operativo que se saldó este lunes con cinco detenciones y con la liberación de 37 personas, entre ellas 27 menores, a las que supuestamente se explotaba laboral y sexualmente en la casa de asistencia a indigentes "Adulam", ubicada en el oeste de la ciudad.

Asimismo, el pasado martes fueron capturados Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, presuntos responsables de la red de prostitución que se ocultaba en una casa de masajes antiestrés en el sur de la capital, donde se engañó y obligó a vender su cuerpo a varias jóvenes mediante amenazas y extorsiones.

En marzo, cuatro de los huéspedes de "Adulam" denunciaron que eran obligados a comerciar con distintos productos en la calle, sin obtener remuneración, y a entregar entre 700 y 800 pesos diarios (entre cincuenta y sesenta dólares) ya que, si no lo hacían, se les negaba el alimento.

Una menor de dieciséis años denunció también que Emilio Moctezuma, director de "Adulam" y uno de los detenidos, la violó mientras una de las asistentes de éste la sujetaba.

Todas las víctimas eran amenazadas constantemente con ser trasladadas a otras casas fuera del Distrito Federal y a un lugar llamado Isla Veracruz, donde la hermana de esta última chica fue enviada para ejercer la prostitución.

Además, una mujer declaró que desconoce el paradero de su hija desde que le fue arrebatada recién nacida y enviada a un hogar de asistencia en el vecino estado de México, y otra -también menor de edad-, aseguró que le practicaron un aborto sin su consentimiento.

Human trafficking networks are dismantled in Mexico City

The Mexico City Prosecutor's Office has announced that establishments dedicated to human exploitation have been taken down. One location, which operated as a shelter for children and the elderly. The other passed itself off as a massage parlor, but was actually a house of prostitution.

On May 13, 2010 the city prosecutor's office commenced an operation that concluded with 5 arrests and the liberation from slavery of 27 children and 10 adults, who were subjected to labor and sexual exploitation in the Casa Adulam shelter, located on the west side of Mexico City.

At the same time, the authorities arrested Claudia Escalante González y Hugo Escalante Penkoff, who are alleged to have run a prostitution network out of a massage parlor. A number of youth were entrapped and forced to sell their bodies in prostitution while facing threats and extortion.

In March of 2010, four residents of Casa Adulam denounced to police that they were forced to sell between 700 and 800 pesos of various products on the streets of Mexico City. On days when the victims failed to meet their quota, they were not fed.

A 16-year-old girl also reported to police that she was raped by both the Adulam shelter's director, Emilio Moctezuma, and a male resident of the shelter, while one of the women shelter workers held her down.

All of the victims were constantly threatened with being taken to other shelters outside of Mexico City.

One of these locations was called Veracruz Island. The sister of the above-mentioned rape victim had earlier been taken to that location and forced to engage in prostitution. Another victim, a woman, told police that her newborn child was kidnapped from her by shelter employees and taken to another shelter in the neighboring state of Mexico. An underage girl victim reported that she was forced to have an abortion without her consent.


May 21, 2010

See also:

Perspective on this case from the Breaking Chains Ministry

The article [above] highlights a very important action that is just the beginning of what is going to be massive fruit from the last trip I took... There were 5 arrests and at least 10 more coming from this operation including the scum who rob these children from their homes and families. They used physical... as well as mental abuse and threats to force these children to serve as prostitutes. The big one is still coming but this is VERY GOOD....the government of Mexico is working to stop this evil and that is God!!! This is just the beginning...there are 6 operations live right now so please continue to pray for Jesus justice...

Reverend Stephen Cass

Breaking Chains Ministry

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010


Rescatan a 37... esclavizados de casa de asistencia

Sin embargo, los inculpados refirieron que por su labor habían sido recibidos por el presidente Felipe Calderón y en la Embajada de Estados Unidos.

De acuerdo con la dependencia policiaca, los detenidos explotaban a niños y adultos, a quienes obligaban a vender diversos productos en la calle sin recibir ningún pago.

Incluso, se informó que la cuota diaria que les exigían era de 800 pesos. En el operativo, se liberaron a 37 niños y... personas de la tercera edad.

Las víctimas dijeron a la policía que fueron violadas, otras que las obligaban a entregar a sus hijos recién nacidos, e incluso una dijo que fue presionaba para que abortara.

RECHAZO. Durante su presentación ante los medios de comunicación, los inculpados denunciaron una presunta fabricación de culpables por parte del Ministerio Público.

Y se dijeron dispuestos a someterse a cualquier tipo de investigación y análisis, “pero de autoridades que sean imparciales”.

Agregaron que el Albergue Casa Adulam goza de una trayectoria reconocida por varias organizaciones sociales, incluso por las propias autoridades federales.

Es de mencionar que los cinco detenidos cumplirán un arraigo de 30 días.

Thirty seven are rescued from shelter

This story repeats the story of the arrests in the Casa Adulam case. It adds that Casa Adulam was previously praised for its work by the Calderon administration, and they had been received at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.


May 21, 2010

Note: Allegations of abuses taking place at Casa Adulam had been received and investigated since 2007. - LL

Added: May. 24, 2010


Deputy Rosi Orozco (left)and Actress Mira Sorvino, (right) appointed in 2009 as  Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the United Nations, at the Blue Heart Campaign launch in Mexico City on April 14, 2010

A... Moment With Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino... talks at length about her activism.

Mirror: Could you talk about your work as a human rights activist?

Sorvino: I was Amnesty International's campaign spokesperson to “Stop Violence Against Women” for over two years and on the subject of trafficking, I am Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ((UNODC).

Mirrror: What’s been your experience?

Sorvino: I just came back from Mexico for the kick-off the U.N.’s worldwide campaign to combat trafficking. The goal is to raise awareness and to get countries to commit to fighting this trafficking within their borders.**

Mirror: Can you talk about that trip?

Sorvino: It was a fascinating trip and I did a lot of public speaking. It’s a country where not much is known about trafficking [?-LL], so I felt like I was able to be informative. The most important thing for me, by far, was going to go to a shelter for recently liberated girls, and I mean girls. I’ve met trafficking victims before, but they were all past 30. These were teenagers and children. I met a little girl who was eight years old who had been sold into a brothel when she was four. She was walking around with a big smile on her face showing everyone her arithmetic homework. When I saw her I thought ‘Oh God, please tell me she’s the daughter of someone here.’ She was a victim, just like all the other girls, but we should call them survivors. I felt like I wanted to adopt her, but I can’t adopt everyone who is needy. I just wanted to save her and protect her for the rest of her life so she would never undergo anything like what had happened to her. There is only one shelter in Mexico for girls like this and I got to meet thirty lucky survivors, but there are hundreds of thousands of girls exactly like them all over Mexico...

Mirror: How many cases are prosecuted in the U.S.?

Sorvino: We have only a 1 percent solve rate and have about same number of trafficking cases as murder cases. Can you imagine if we only solved 1 percent of the murder cases? So it means that we have intensify our efforts and raise public awareness, train the police, get the judiciary to be very well informed, and encourage everyone to become a watcher. It’s very subterranean and hard to find, but it’s always concerned citizens who call in with tips that break cases...

Mirror: Why are men attracted to these little girls?

Sorvino: The sexual drive in men is so strong that unless they are educated correctly throughout their formative years, once they are focused on a certain kind of sex object that they find stimulating, that’s going to continue to be stimulating for them. Every culture has always put a prize on virginity and youthful beauty so a child who hasn’t been “spoiled” by other people will always be more ideal to the “John” who wants to have something special. But, men need to be educated to the terrible sorrow that behavior is creating because many times the buyer of commercial sex is not really thinking about the individual, but just view it as a service. I think if you did sensitivity training for males worldwide, you might be able to discourage them from buying sex.

Mirror: We applaud you for doing this important work.

Sorvino: Thank you so much...

Beverly Cohn

The Santa Monica Mirror

Edition 50 - May 20-26, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010


Cassandre St. Vil

See also:

Haitian student had 'no chance to scream' when thugs raped her in earthquake aftermath

Christina Boyle

The New York Daily News

April 18,2010

Escala violencia hacia las mujeres en campamentos de Haití

Preparan abogadas estrategia legal para abordar problemática

Una delegación de abogadas y activistas de Estados Unidos constató en Haití, la alarmante violencia que persiste contra las mujeres en esa nación, y la escalada de otras formas de agresión en los asentamientos provisionales.

Ante la afirmación de algunas fuentes oficiales que responsabilizan a las víctimas de la escalda, “es importante contrarrestar este mito de que es por la promiscuidad, son crímenes violentos por extraños en la noche y ameritan la atención de la policía y otros grupos que ayudan a organizar los campamentos” dijo la coordinación de la delegación y abogado del Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Blaine Bookey.

Los testimonios de mujeres niñas dan cuenta de que son crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y asaltantes que las golpean y las amenaza si denuncian las violaciones. Las mujeres entrevistadas también sostienen que cuando reportan, la policía no las toma en serio.

“Es inaceptable que estas violaciones no sean castigadas, ahora estamos trabajando casos legales contra los violadores y para que las mujeres tengan la justicia que se merecen” dijo Mario Joseph, abogado del Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) que recibió la delegación en su oficina de Puerto Príncipe...

María Suárez Toro

RIF / CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 21, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 24, 2010


U.S. Delegation Finds Inadequate Response, and “Victim-Blaming” Approach to Rapes in Haitian Displacement Camps

Lawyers collect rape survivor accounts and plan legal strategy

Port-au-Prince - In over a week of on-site interviews and exploration, a delegation of U.S. lawyers, health professionals, and community activists found continued alarming rates of rape and other gender-based violence (GBV) in the displaced persons camps throughout Port-au-Prince since the Haitian earthquake in January. Expressed sentiments on the part of some Haitian government officials that victims are somehow to blame for the rapes is outrageous to human rights attorneys and community members, who find that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis. Medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults.

"It is critical that we dispel the myth that these rapes are a result of promiscuity," said Blaine Bookey, an attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and coordinator of the delegation. "These are violent crimes being perpetrated by strangers in the dark of night and they merit the attention of the police and other groups helping organize the camps."

The vast majority of the women and girls reported being raped by groups of armed, unknown assailants who often beat them in the course of the attack, and threatened them with further violence if they reported the rape. Perpetrators often attack at night, when women are asleep beside their children; or when they go to the latrines, men wait for them in the dark stalls. "It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished," said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which hosted the delegation at its office in Port-au-Prince. "We are now building strong legal cases to hold rapists accountable and bring these women the justice they deserve."

Women who report rapes to the police describe being turned away, not taken seriously, or told to notify the police if they see the rapists again. "Pa tap vini" or "They never would have come," described one woman as to why she did not report her rape. These experiences foster the perception that reporting to the police is futile, especially if the survivor cannot identify her assailants. "If we are going to overcome a culture of complete impunity for rapists, we must create environments in which survivors are able to report these crimes and be taken seriously" said Lisa Davis, an attorney with MADRE. "Haiti's political and economic crises both before and as a result of the earthquake still do not relieve the authorities of the responsibility to protect women from sexual assault," said Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law...

The Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH)

May 17, 2010

Note: The above-described conditions of impunity facing women and girls in Haiti are also the daily 'normal' experiences of many women and girls across all nations in Latin America. - LL

Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA / Mexico

The Salvation Army's Christine MacMillan speaks at the recent Oregon anti-trafficking rally

Battling human trafficking

Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Committee for the Salvation Army, speaks last Friday at a rally put on by the student group, Slavery Still Exists. MacMillan spoke about the causes and effects of human trafficking.

Slavery Still Exists, an ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) student group, kicked off its human trafficking and advocacy awareness campaign with a rally Friday.

Kristin Rudolph, co-president of the club, said the rally’s purpose was to make students aware of a growing, worldwide injustice.

Community members gathered in the EMU amphitheater at noon to listen to the featured speaker, Christine MacMillan, talk about her personal experiences with human trafficking as the director of the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. The International Social Justice Commission has worked to fight global human rights violations, such as human trafficking, since its inception in 2007...

Rally attendees expressed surprise at learning the prevalence and proximity of human trafficking locally.

“I really didn’t know that this was such a big issue where I live,” University sophomore Apolinar Montero-Sanchez said. “I’m glad that people are getting aware of this stuff, because it’s a big problem.”

MacMillan shared several stories of human trafficking during the rally. For example, she explained that while sex trafficking is well-known, there are other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking human organs. While visiting Mexico City, MacMillan discovered how unmarked ambulances pick up homeless children, strap the children onto gurneys, bring them to the hospital and drug them with anesthetics in order to traffic their organs. After removing organs, such as kidneys, the traffickers leave most of the children for dead.

Because the majority of the world is not informed about the topic, it continues to go on unbeknownst to many, according to MacMillan. She described human trafficking as “a very hidden problem in our world.”

She urged rally attendees to gain more knowledge about human trafficking and join the fight to end this problem...

Malaea Relampagos

Oregon Daily Emerald

May 17, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Maryland, USA

Police Add Patrols After Man Grabs Girl

Annapolis police are adding patrols near school bus stops and around Bates Middle School after a pair of suspicious incidents involving a man approaching children.

ABC7's Brad Bell spotted some anxious parents waiting while their children got off school buses Friday afternoon.

"It has been the talk in this neighborhood the last couple days," said Joe Hall, a parent. "There's a lot of concerned parents."

So far there have been two reported incidents. On Wednesday, May 5, a man in a car approached a 13-year-old girl and, in Spanish, made suggestive remarks. The man then tried to lure her into his car, police said.

On Tuesday, May 18, a man matching the description from the first encounter made lewd comments and then actually grabbed a 13-year-old girl by her arm in a neighborhood a couple miles from where the first incident took place. The girl was able to break away, but police fear he may strike again

"The reason we're on patrol in the school bus areas and the walkways is to make sure something like that doesn't happen," said Ray Weaver, an Annapolis police spokesman.

Parents and neighbors appreciate the increased police presence and say they, too, are now on the look-out.

"Well, of course it concerns me to know there is a predator out there that's trying to victimize children," said Nancy Fields, an Annapolis resident.

"Me personally, since I have kids, I don't think he should be on the street," Hall said.

Police described the man as Hispanic. One victim said the man was 30-35 years old, average height, with black thinning hair. The other victim described him as six feet, one-inch tall, with a slim build. He wore a black baseball cap with the letters "NY" on the front, a blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt with white stripes and blue jeans.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a small, dark blue Honda and as a blue sedan with dark-tinted windows.


May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Mississippi, USA

William Velasquez Castillo

Illegal immigrant arrested on child molestation charge

Pascagoula - An illegal immigrant sought for nearly a month and a half was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'm hiding from the cops" when he was arrested Wednesday on child molestation charges, and tried to wear the shirt inside out Thursday when he went before a Jackson County judge.

A guard removed William Velasquez Castillo from the courtroom, and the 27-year-old returned with his shirt on the proper way.

The guard said that Castillo must have switched his shirt around at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center before he was brought to the courthouse.

Castillo was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Investigators had been searching for Castillo since April 3, when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said.

A warrant was issued for Castillo on April 23, and detectives believe he fled the area shortly after learning he was wanted, Byrd said.

Castillo was discovered by authorities at the Dorsett Hotel on Main Street in Lucedale.

Castillo told County Judge Larry Wilson that he was unemployed and had a previous felony shoplifting conviction.

"I served 1 year and 1 day," Castillo said. "It was from Harrison County."

Wilson said bail for Castillo at $50,000 and placed a hold on him for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

"ICE has their own investigation," Byrd said.

Cherie Ward


May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Arizona, USA

Jose Juan Martinez

Gilbert man accused of molesting girl for 4 years

Gilbert police officers arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl for four years.

Police were called to a home near Neely Street and Elliot Road Monday evening. The victim's mother told officers that her daughter said Jose Juan Martinez had molested her.

The girl told investigators that Martinez had molested her over the past four years and the most recent time was Friday.

Martinez was booked into jail on suspicion of 39 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

Jennifer Thomas


May 19, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Texas, USA

Midland Police Searching for Suspect Who Tried to Kidnap Teenage Girl

Midland Police need your help tracking a down a man they say tried to kidnap a teenaged girl in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

It happened between 5:00 and 5:30 near the Family Dollar in the Kingsway Shopping Center on West Illinois.

Police tell NewsWest 9, the girl was walking home when a Hispanic man pulled up next to her, blocked her, then tried to talk her in to getting in his car.

The teen was able to get away.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20's to late 30's, about 5'9," and heavy set weighing between 250 - 300 pounds.

He has moles or acne on his face and was wearing a white T-shirt.

He was driving a dented two door silver car.

If you have any information, call Midland police or midland crime stoppers at 694-TIPS.


May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

New York, USA

Thug bashes Chinese woman with pipe, assaults her in Queens: cops

A 23-year-old woman is on life-support in a Queens hospital after a weekend attack by a pipe-wielding rapist two months after she arrived in New York from China, cops said.

Officials are working desperately to get a visa for the woman's mother, who lives outside Beijing, so she can come to Queens to face the awful task of deciding her daughter's fate.

The young woman was returning from grocery shopping in downtown Flushing around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a drunken Queens man smashed her in the head with a pipe and dragged her into an alley, authorities said.

Once inside the alley along 41st Road, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe, according to court papers.

Two months ago, the young woman, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, traveled from her native China on a student visa. She moved in with a distant uncle in Flushing.

"She was working in a nail salon, saving up money. She was going to start attending school," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). "She had good grades in China. That's why her parents wanted her to come and expand her horizons."

Now, the woman who once dreamed of a better future is in the intensive care unit at New York Hospital Queens. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and trauma to her vaginal area.

Meng said she and Rep. Gary Ackerman (R-Bayside) are working to expedite a visa for the woman's mother. Cops collared Cruz a few blocks from the crime scene after a witness, who saw him drag the woman into the alley and then emerge alone - called 911. Police later recovered the pipe about a block from the alley.

Cruz, who did not have a criminal record, emigrated from Mexico two years ago and found work at a Manhattan fish market.

He was arraigned late Tuesday on a slew of charges, including a top count of attempted murder. Prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges if the woman is removed from life-support.

Cruz's family said he claims he blacked out drunk and doesn't remember the incident.

"He woke up and found himself cuffed to the hospital bed," said his stunned sister, Patricia Salazar, 26. "He never acted violently....We just don't know why he would do this. We can't explain it."

John Lauinger

The New York Daily News

May 20, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

California, USA

Illegal alien charged with murder

Barstow - A 31-year-old illegal alien who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old woman has now been charged with murder.

Melissa Curley of Arizona died of strangulation with asphyxiation, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Wednesday.

Police arrested Cesar Rascon in Yermo Saturday afternoon and charged him with rape and kidnapping for the purposes of rape. Now Barstow police are charging him with murder.

Curley’s body was found at the Sunset Inn motel at 860 West Main Street after police received a 911 call at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Detectives learned that Curley was staying at the motel, but wasn’t registered for the room her body was found in. The room was registered to Rascon.

Police found Rascon working at a Yermo gas station at 4:57 p.m. Saturday and arrested him.

V V Daily Press

May 20, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Idaho, USA

Rape suspect deported 4 times

Edmonds - The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.

An officer responding to a woman's cry for help Sunday night found 46-year-old Jose Madrigal on top of the woman and arrested him.

According to court documents, the woman told police that Madrigal had followed her and offered her $35 for sex, but she said no. She said Madrigal then forced her into the bushes on the north side of the store and raped her.

Documents say Madrigal told police "Sometimes we have control in our brains, but we make mistakes."

The 28-year-old Edmonds woman was treated at a hospital.

Snohomish County prosecutors have charged Madrigal in district court with second degree rape. He is also is being held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Associated Press

May 19, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 13 - May 19, 2010


May 19, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Guatemala near Cathedral City, California. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sexual battery in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for sex with a minor in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 19, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Willcox, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as other sex offenses in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - El Centro Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Calexico, California. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender who had been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Amado, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had prior convictions for driving under the influence and willful cruelty to a child by means of sexual penetration with a foreign object in the state of California. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 16, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Three Points, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of California and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - El Paso Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Columbus, New Mexico. Records checks revealed the subject… was a registered sex offender in the state of Arizona. The subject had also been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Ajo, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault in the state of Illinois and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 14, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for indecency with a child/sexual contact in the state of Texas and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Douglas, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject was a convicted sex offender in the state of Wyoming and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 13, 2010 - Tucson Sector - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for child molestation in the state of Washington and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 19, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Washington State, USA

Investigators: Edmonds rape suspect deported nine times

Edmonds - KING 5 Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That's much more than previously reported.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement won't comment on the case of Jose Lopez Madrigal. But KING 5 got the information through confidential sources and documents.

Larry Klein was the man who heard the alleged victim's cries for help. Police say the suspect pulled the woman off the street to a dumpster and raped her.

"I could see the back of his head. I could see his pants were down. I could see her lying on the ground. I could hear her crying, but I couldn't really see her face," said Klein.

Klein called police, who quickly arrested the suspect. But learning his identity took much longer because of some 30 aliases. It was only through fingerprints that they identified him as Madrigal, a Mexican citizen.

Madrigal's arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That's the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California...

People who live near the scene of Sunday's alleged rape wonder how it could keep happening.

"Makes you wonder, what are we doing wrong? How is he getting back in here?" said Kirby Aumick.

"It’s troubling. I mean, if this man should not have been in this country, he should have been behind bars then, really, this is a senseless tragedy," said Klein.

According to our sources, Madrigal's last contact before Sunday was around 2003. So, it's not clear how much of that time Madrigal was in this country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has refused to comment on the case which started making national headlines when it was learned that Madrigal had been deported several times prior to the Edmonds case...

Chris Ingalls

KING 5 News

May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

Oregon, USA

Perez gets jail time

Judge cites official abuses

Former North Wasco County schools liaison Carlos Perez was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail and five years probation for making sexual advances to a 41-year-old Hispanic woman who had sought his help in receiving basic community services and Spanish-English translation aid.

Although he cut the jail time in half from the 90 days requested by Wasco County Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly said he was compelled to order some incarceration because Perez, a public official with many community and family connections, took advantage of and preyed on a low-income woman who speaks no English and who is an illegal alien.

“The offensive part of this has less to do with your laying hands on this woman than on your abuse of power,” Kelly told Perez before about 35 people at the Wasco County Courthouse in The Dalles. “You have status and respect in the community – you have power, and she has none.”

Kelly also ordered Perez to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with the victim or to come within 500 feet of her home. Perez, who was a family liaison and coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Educational Service District, is also barred from visiting any North Wasco County schools and from participating in any migrant services programs.

In addition, Perez will have to pay up to $3,000 into a state victims’ restitution fund to cover counseling sessions for the woman. He is also being let go from his job as a translator for Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Kelly said.

Perez maintained at Thursday’s proceeding that he was innocent, that the sentence was unfair and alleged it was the result of racial bias...

Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said he thought the sentence was “appropriate,” and that there was “no evidence at all that this was based on his race,” Nisley said.

“The point is that a jury believed a Hispanic woman over a Hispanic man,” Nisley said. “It isn’t about Mr. Perez’s race.” ...

Keri Brenner

The Dalles Chroncicle

May 21, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

North Carolina, USA

Store surveillance photo of suspect

Suspect sought in string of sex assaults at stores

Charlotte - Police are still looking for a man they believe is behind several sexual assaults inside stores.

They have stepped up patrols at shopping centers in Southeast and Union County after they say at least five fondling incidents in three stores might be connected.

They say that they believe one man is responsible for the sexual assaults: two that happened at Wal-Mart on Tuesday, one at a Harris Teeter grocery store on Saturday of last week and two more at another Harris Teeter, this time in Union County, sometime in between.

WBTV talked to Dan Biber, a forensic psychologist who gave us insight as to what drives a person to sexual violence.

"Let's call it adrenaline," he said. "He gets a rush. Part of the rush is not just the sexual rush of groping women, but also the rush of doing it in public when there's a high risk of detection that he successfully avoids."

That is frightening to shoppers like Tracy Brown who said, "that's even more frightening to know that someone is getting a rush from assaulting people because ultimately, that's what you're doing."

Another reason? Biber told us the man could be rationalizing his actions by downplaying the severity of the assaults.

"He might in his own mind, think this is no big deal," he said. "He might just think, well, rape would be bad but this doesn't count."

According to CMPD officers, the girl was in the grocery store at 11516 Providence Road at approximately 12:15 p.m. when a man came up and forcefully fondled her from behind.

Police say two more women reported being groped at a Harris Teeter in Union County. They say, before Union Co. deputies arrived, two employees escorted the suspect off the property because the victims didn't want to press charges.

The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon when two women told police they were forcibly fondled at a Wal-Mart store on Highway 51.

The incident happened around 2:24 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 3209 Pineville-Matthews Road. Investigators say the two victims, who are 55 and 47 years old, actually tried to restrain the man--but he was able to get away.

On Thursday morning, police released in-store photos of the suspect from two incidents at the Harris Teeters. The photos were taken on May 15 between 12:15 and 12:20 pm at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road.

Police are looking for a Hispanic man who is about 25 years old, and is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Although the incidents happened inside the stores, police say the man drives a white van with ladders on it...


May 19, 2010

Added: May. 24, 2010

New Jersey, USA

Reverend Moises Cotto

Authorities say evidence backs charges against Newark pastor in Linden sex assault case

Newark - At the Newark church where his congregants dress all in white, he was known as a husband, father and respected pastor for more than 20 years.

But, authorities said, Moises Cotto, the 55-year-old pastor, had been meeting for the past two years with a female congregant at a motel in Linden where the pair had sex — and forced two teenage girls to videotape them in the act.

Cotto was arrested at his apartment in East Orange on Monday night, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.

His parishioner, Brenda Pabon, 37, of Middlesex County, has been charged with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a minor.

But Wednesday, the assistant pastor of the Newark church, Yahweh Templo El Candelero, said he is convinced Cotto is innocent. He called Pabon a "problematic parishioner," saying she had recently threatened the pastor and vowed to leave his congregation along with her husband.

"I do think that an injustice is being done, based on my friendship with the minister," said Assistant Pastor A. Diaz. "There’s no truth to the allegations. He’s been an upstanding pastor for more than 20 years."

The church carefully screens pastors, Diaz said, and holds them to "high standards."

Prosecutors say they have significant physical evidence that corroborates the victims’ allegations...

Julie O'Connor

The Star-Ledger

May 20, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010


90% de niñas madres fueron ultrajadas

Alarmante estadística. El 90 % de niñas peruanas que dieron a luz, entre los 12 y 16 años, fueron embarazadas producto de violación, frecuentemente por incesto.

Estos datos brindados por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) fueron analizados en el Congreso de la República por la Comisión Especial Revisora de la Ley de Protección Frente a la Violencia Familiar a fin de abordar las causas y los efectos de esta realidad.

La congresista Olga Cribilleros (PAP), coordinadora de la citada comisión, señaló que si no se toma en cuenta el aspecto presupuestal, no será posible realizar un real cambio de los problemas de violencia familiar que se vive en el país. Mencionó que la falta de personal idóneo, jueces especializados así como recursos para capacitación a docentes que desarrollen el tema con contenidos adecuados dificultan la lucha contra la violencia familiar. Sobre las sanciones a los violadores, en Costa Rica, Perú y Uruguay, bajo el Código Penal, se prevé que un violador puede quedar libre si propone casarse con su víctima y ella consiente. Al respecto, la comisión estudia la legislación comparada de otros países para elaborar el anteproyecto de la nueva ley de protección frente a la violencia familiar...

Ninety percent of young adolescent mothers became pregnant due to rape

[We note that the definition of 'rape' used in this Peruvian news article refers to forcible rape, and not statutory rape as that crime is defined in the United States. - LL]

Some 90% of Peruvian girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 16 became pregnant due to rape, often in situations of incest.
These statistics, provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been analyzed in the Congress of the Republic by the Special Commission to Revise the Law of Protection Against Family Violence. Their goal is to understand the causes and effects of this reality.

Congresswoman Olga Cribilleros, of the Partido Aprista Peruano (PAP - Peruvian APRA Party), who is the coordinator of the commission, said that without [congressional] funding, it would be impossible to bring about real changes in the problem of family violence that exists in the country. She added that the lack of qualified personnel, specialized judges and resources for training teachers to develop relevant content for students all hinder the fight against domestic violence.

In regard to punishing rapists, the commission is examining the laws of others nations. Commission members note that under the penal codes of Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay [not to mention Mexico and other Latin American nations], a rapist [even if the victim is age 12] can go free if he proposes to marry his victim and she consents.

For Gina Yañez, director of the Manuela Ramos Movement, these statistics demonstrate that work should begin immediately on this issue, especially in school and family settings, so that victims know what to do if they are raped.
According to PAHO's study, 33% of women between 16 and 49 have been victims of sexual harassment, and at least 45% have been threatened, insulted or have had their personal property destroyed.

Diario la Primera Peru

May 19, 2010

See also:

Young adolescent mothers learn to love and care for their children at the Chuka Chuka center.

In Peru it is not uncommon for women to raise 5 or more children., each with a different biological father. What is also common is for the mother’s latest companion to rape the eldest daughters, often resulting in pregnancy.

One expects a reaction from the mother, but not the sort of reaction that is so evident here in Peru. As a result of the rape the mother feels shamed and jealous and abandons her own daughter who is often without the comfort of additional family members for support and understanding.

These abandoned, pregnant, adolescent rape victims (‘adolescents’), often only thirteen or fourteen years old face a dull future. They are without money; support; homes and job prospects. Most worrying of all, they are carrying an unborn baby, who will enter a world where education will not be available to them and their options for a self-sustainable life non-existent.

It is not uncommon for such desperate girls to drift into the sex trade and drugs; further blighting their lives and potential to contribute to society

Our mission: To save as many of these girls and their unborn children as we can, to prepare them for and steer them into a richer more productive life than they could have known without this project.

Chuka Chuka

See also:

Adolescent prostitution in Lima, Peru

Video news report from Peru showing underage prostitution in the capital city of Lima. Young sex workers are shown sniffing glue, caring for their toddlers in the prostitution zone late at night, and negotiating with johns for the going price of 20 Soles (US$7.00).

(In Spanish)


Posted on YouTube

Added: May. 20, 2010

Texas, USA

Slain Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson

Businessman sentenced for harboring illegal alien cop-killer

A Houston, Texas landscaping business owner was sentenced to three months in prison and three months home confinement for harboring the illegal alien who molested a child and ultimately killed a Houston police officer in 2006, according to a report obtained yesterday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Houston Police Department.

Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, and now a convicted felon, was also sentenced to a five-year probationary term with special conditions by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore. Camp pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, admitting that he knowingly harbored Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez (Quintero), an illegal alien, by employing him and leasing a residence to him.

According to court documents, Camp employed Quintero in his landscape business. When Quintero was arrested and charged by the State of Texas with indecency with a child in 1998, Camp bonded Quintero out of jail and continued to employ him. Quintero was sentenced to a term of deferred adjudication for the state offense.

Quintero was deported in 1999, but illegally reentered the United States in Arizona, then flew to Houston. When Quintero returned to Houston, he resumed his employment with Camp. Camp also rented Quintero a home and listed Quintero's wife, a U.S. citizen, in government records as an employee instead of Quintero.

On Sept. 22, 2006, Quintero was arrested while driving a Camp company vehicle by Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson. While sitting in the back seat of Officer Johnson's patrol car, Quintero retrieved a pistol hidden on his person, and shot and killed Officer Johnson. Quintero was convicted of capital murder in the 248th District Court of Harris County, Texas, and has been sentenced to life in prison.

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

The Examiner

May 12, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Issues that may not (but should) be discussed  during Mexican President Felipe Calderón's May 19-20, 2010 visit to Washington, DC

The May 19-20, 2010 visit of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to the White House is being closely watched in regard to how the U.S. will react to Calderón's speech before Congress. We know that the war against drug cartels and immigration are top on the agenda.

The issue of mass gender atrocities facilitated by state corruption, complacency and criminal impunity are also critical issues in U.S. / Mexican relations. While these topics are rarely discussed in the mainstream English-language press, holding Mexico's federal government accountable for defending the lives, integrity and dignity of women and girls is just as important as addressing the drug war and immigration. In fact, we believe that the U.S. press needs to step up to the plate and ask both President Calderón and President Obama about their commitment to saving women and girls from mass kidnapping, mass rape and wholesale enslavement, which are crimes that impact tens of thousands of women and children each year in the Aztec Nation.

President Calderón took a major positive step on April 14, 2010 by launching the world's first nationally sponsored instance of the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking. Yet a day later, Calderón's diplomats derided, in front of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the rape complaint of indigenous victim Inés Fernández Ortega, who had been gang raped by soldiers in 2002, with no effective response from the Mexican civilian and military criminal justice systems.

We repeat here below our list of some of the most critical gender rights issues that are not being addressed by the Calderón administration.


During the past several years LibertadLatina has dedicated its efforts to bringing world attention to the mass rapes, kidnappings and enslavement of women, children and men that occurs with almost total impunity in Mexico.

According to the Southern Cone (southern South American) office of the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated $16 billion of the $32 million in annual profits created by the human slavery industry globally are generated in Latin America. That 50% 'share' of the criminal marketplace for worldwide slavery victims has never been responded to by the  engagement of 50% of the global anti-trafficking movement's energy, resources or focus.

That lack of attention, together with the willingness of past U.S. administrations to effectively ignore Latin America's crisis in human slavery, allowed a drug-profit fueled criminal industry to grow exponentially in the region while the world effectively looked the other way in apathy.

Mexico is home base for the largest problems in Latin American human trafficking.

We have decided to focus on the crisis in Mexico because solving that one single national emergency will have the most positive impact on the entire regional crisis.

In the United States, 60% of U.S. trafficking victims are Latin American. Most of them have been trafficked across the Mexican border into the U.S.

The population of Mexico (and especially its poor and vulnerable Indigenous peoples), also suffer immensely from modern slavery. In addition, Central American migrants are kidnapped, raped and trafficked by the many thousands as they cross Mexico. Some are also murdered.

Southern Mexico's narrow border with Guatemala and Belize is the one 'bottleneck' where literally millions of South and Central American migrants who seek to travel to the United States must cross into Mexico. Human traffickers and also rapist thugs and robbers await these innocent migrants like trolls under a bridge. They rape an estimated 450 to 600 women and girls among these migrants every single day of the year with complete impunity on the Mexican side of its southern border, with no discernable response from Mexican officials and authorities. In fact, police and military forces have harassed migrants and their NGO caregivers. Many of these victims are kidnapped (10,000 during a 6 month period, according to a study by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission). A number of those victims are sold into slavery, often to be trafficked to brothels in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

The NGO Save the Children has described the southern border of Mexico as being the largest region in the entire world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The city of Tapachula, for example, has 20,000 persons engaging in prostitution in its 1,500 bars and brothels. Half of that number are children and underage youth at any given time. Local police don't interfere with this 'business,' they focus on keeping child prostitutes away from schools and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Across Mexico, women, and especially those from Mexico's traditionally discriminated against Indigenous peoples, who are 30% of the population, are also raped with impunity. The perpetrators are not only criminal thugs, but also military soldiers engaged in the drug war. President Calderón has steadfastly denied that any problem exists with military rapes of civilians, and he has refused to allow accused soldiers to be tried in civilian courts.

On April 15, 2010, one day after the launch of the Blue Heart campaign, President Calderón sent his federal lawyers to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to fight against Inés Fernández Ortega, an Indigenous woman who was gang-raped by soldiers in her home in 2002. The government lawyers denied that any rape took place, and blamed the victim for the lack of justice (an assertion that women's rights activists in Mexico are repulsed by).

Fernández Ortega, her family and her lawyers have faced intimidation and death threats. Her brother, a witness in her case, was murdered shortly after she began her now 8 year effort to find justice in her case.

For Inés Fernández Ortega and many other women victims of criminal impunity in Mexico, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has become the venue of last resort after having faced institutional injustice, impunity, and a corrupt and uncaring government response to their plight.

During the 500 year period since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Indigenous women have been easy target for rapists and human traffickers. We who are Indigenous know this history inside out, no matter what corner of the Americas we hail from.

What is an abomination in today's world is the fact that in Mexico and across much of Latin America, Indigenous women and girls continue to be enslaved and brutalized with the implied consent of national governments. By extension, none of these women can count on the protection of their national governments and local police forces in the face of such gender atrocities.

In Mexico, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Indigenous children and underage youth have been kidnapped and then sold to the Japanese Yakuza mafias, who then transport the victims to Japan, where they are enslaved as 'Geisha' prostitutes. Despite the existence of this story during the past several years, there are no visible signs that either Mexico or Japan have ever lifted a finger to rescue the victims.

In a similar case, a reporter in Spain posed as a pimp, and was offered 6 Mayan Indigenous  girls for sale. They were all 13-years-old. The sale price was $25,000 each, because Indigenous girl children were considered to be "exotic" merchandise.

All of these issues are emergencies that demand your immediate attention, President Calderón. We call upon U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise these important issues with Mexico.

The victims, and those at risk, await our serious and effective efforts to defend and rescue them now!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


May 20, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Jacobo Reyes

Cops: Man Fondled Little Girl While She Slept

Police say the suspect confessed to fondling five other girls and women.

Santa Ana .-- Police have arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of molesting an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom in Santa Ana.

Jacobo Reyes was arrested Monday and is being held without bail, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertanga.

Santa Ana investigators linked him to the crime with DNA evidence, Bertagna said.

Investigators asked Reyes to come in for questioning about the Feb. 11 attack in the 300 block of South Newhope Street.

They arrested him after he confessed to fondling up to five other girls and women ages 11 to 22 as they slept, Bertagna said.

In the Feb. 11 attack, police say Reyes climbed into the girl's bedroom, gaining entry by removing a screen in an unlocked window.

The girl could not describe her attacker because it was too dark, but he left behind genetic material that matched Reyes' DNA, Bertagna said.

Reyes was booked on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not yet charged him.


May 19, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Previously deported illegal alien admits to being serial molester

On Tuesday, police in Santa Ana arrested Roberto Jacobo Reyes, after DNA evidence linked him to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in February. According to police, Reyes entered the girl’s bedroom through an unlocked window.

Under questioning for that crime, Reyes has reportedly admitted to having assaulted at least four other victims, ages 11-22, in the same manner.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the LA Times: “His M.O. was to break into unsecured windows or unsecured doors.“

Reyes is currently being held in the Santa Ana City Jail on suspicion of felony assault to commit rape and burglary, while the Orange County district attorney prepares more charges.

In 2007, Reyes was deported back to Mexico after serving three years in prison for burglary. While in prison, his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault.

In 1998, Reyes was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine.

Past arrests also include charges for peeping and possession of stolen property.

Though an illegal alien with a criminal record, Reyes was working for a landscaping business in Santa Ana at the time of his latest arrest.

Dave Gibson

The Examiner

May 19, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

New York, USA

Detective Oscar Sandino

NYPD Detective Oscar Sandino charged with demanding sex from women he arrested

A New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective was charged Tuesday with preying on women he arrested - on police property.

The alleged attacks by Detective Oscar Sandino date to 2006 and could land the 13-year veteran behind bars for three years if he's convicted on federal charges.

His lawyer dismissed the accusations as "old news" and questioned the credibility of the women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit.

But federal prosecutors Pamela Chen and Licha Nyiendo said the evidence that Sandino is more perp than protector is "substantial and irrefutable."

"The persistent and repetitive nature of the defendant's misconduct demonstrates that he is a sexual predator," they wrote in court papers.

They say that in August 2006, when he was assigned to the Queens North Narcotics Bureau, he coerced a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her cousin's criminal case.

In February 2008, while arresting a woman and her boyfriend on drug charges, he took the woman into a bedroom and forced her to undress, the feds charge.

When he brought the woman to the 110th Precinct stationhouse for booking, Sandino warned she would lose her children unless she had sex with him, prosecutors say.

Sandino allegedly took the woman into the bathroom, ordered her to pull down her pants and molested her.

"Wow, you have an earring down there," Sandino said to the woman, according to a lawsuit she filed.

The victim reported Sandino to the Internal Affairs Bureau, and investigators gathered text messages, phone records and secretly taped conversations to corroborate the allegations.

In a third attack in September, Sandino allegedly took a handcuffed woman arrested for disorderly conduct into a room at Brooklyn Central Booking and made her bare her breasts.

Sandino, 37, was charged with civil rights violations and released on a $250,000 bond to be co-signed by his estranged wife, who lives in Arizona.

Defense lawyer Peter Brill claimed the Queens district attorney had passed on prosecuting Sandino because the second victim was not credible.

John Marzulli

New York Daily News

May 18, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Juan Gonzalez

Children, Youth and Families Department will report immigrant status of criminals

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department will start reporting violent juvenile criminals who are foreign nationals to immigration authorities.

Governor Bill Richardson ordered the change after Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, was accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque fitness club earlier in May.

Gonzales has been in trouble for sex crimes twice in the past, before he turned 18. In both those cases, CYFD never told authorities Gonzales was in the country illegally.

Taryn Bianchin


May 18, 2010

See also:

Added: May. 20, 2010

New Mexico, USA

Man accused of molesting girl at gym faces judge

The man accused of molesting a young girl at a Midtown Albuquerque fitness club was in court on Thursday.

Twenty-year-old Juan Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, appeared before a judge on sex assault charges.

Police say Gonzalez pinned a six-year-old girl against a wall at the Midtown Sports and Wellness near Carlisle and Menaul and began touching her sexually.

Police say Gonzalez told them he knew what he was doing was wrong, but said he has a problem.

Charlie Pabst


May 06, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Man accused of molesting 14-year-old girl is illegal alien

Bethlehem police said a 23-year-old man who allegedly had sex with a then 14-year-old girl is from Guatemala and illegally in the country. Ivan Antonio Alvarez-Lopez, who last lived in New Jersey, met the girl, who is now pregnant with his child, according to police, through a mutual friend in September. The two talked on the phone until allegedly meeting in December at the Comfort Suites in South Side Bethlehem.

Police allege the two met there four times and had unprotected sex. Alvarez-Lopez knew the girl was 14, police said, and she knew he was from Guatemala.

Alvarez-Lopez was charged with sex crimes and referred to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

JD Malone

Lehigh Valley Live

May 13, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

California, USA

Border Patrol Agents Capture Three Sex Offenders in One Day

Calexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector apprehended three illegal aliens Wednesday who are convicted sex offenders.

One of the men was apprehended in the morning by agents from the El Centro station. Record checks revealed the man had previously been convicted of assault to commit rape and sex with a minor.

The other two men were apprehended in the afternoon, along with four other illegal aliens, near the downtown Calexico port of entry. Record checks revealed that one of the men had a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and that the other man had been convicted of sexual assault of a child.

All three men will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.

Tribune Weekly Chronicle

May 05, 2010

Added: May. 20, 2010

Virginia, USA

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say

One man may be behind two recent Arlington attacks, police say Arlington police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman behind a restaurant on May 14.

A woman was walking behind a restaurant in the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard around 10:50 pm when a man grabbed her from behind, police said in a Tuesday press release. He held her arm and sexually assaulted her with his other hand, according to police, then fled on foot after the woman fought back.

The suspect was described as a "white Hispanic male" who was about 5 ft. 7 in. tall with a medium build, police said. He was wearing a white chef's style jacket and dark pants.

The attack was similar to another one that took place on May 8 in the 1800 block of N. Scott St., police said.

Police ask anyone with information about these attacks to call Detective Robert Icolari at (703) 228-4240 or e-mail him. They can also call the county's tip line at (703) 228-4242 or Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

David P. Marino-Nachison

The Washington Post

May 19, 2010

Added: May. 19, 2010

Mexico / The United States

Mexican President Felipe Calderón will address the Congress of the United States on Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mexico's Calderon Needs to Listen, Not Just Lecture U.S.

Nine years have passed since a Mexican President last addressed the U.S. Congress. That was Vicente Fox, just days before 9/11, after which Al Qaeda's horrors all but erased Mexico from Washington's foreign policy radar. But, surprise, our southern neighbor's problems refused to go away. While we were fighting off an Iraqi insurgency, Mexico's drug war morphed into a ghastly narco-insurgency that threatens to spill over the Rio Grande. While we were dropping the ball on immigration reform, Mexico kept pouring undocumented workers into the U.S...

What's still missing is a real sense that Calderon takes seriously enough the only real long-term solution to Mexico's drug war: police reform. "Calderon has taken some positive steps to improve federal police," says Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, director of the U.S.-Mexico Studies Center at the University of California-San Diego. "But Mexico still doesn't have real investigative police forces." And in Mexico, where most cops moonlight for the cartels, the narcos seem more spooked by the prospect of more professional police than by the presence of more soldiers. Last month I interviewed the police director of Calderon's home state of Michoacan, who had just announced stricter recruitment criteria for cops. A week later her SUV was attacked by narco-hitmen with assault rifles and grenades. Miraculously, she survived, but her two bodyguards - who had watched the door during our interview - were killed.

Calderon also needs to prioritize another longer-lasting weapon: anti-poverty programs that give younger and poorer Mexicans economic opportunities beyond joining drug gangs. Mexicans in hard hit areas like Juarez are giving him an earful in that regard these days, and so should the U.S. - not just because it might blunt narco-recruiting, but because more social development efforts south of the border also mean fewer indocumentados crossing north of it. Immigration is as much foreign policy as it is domestic policy, and the U.S. has got to push both itself and Mexico's political class to do more to stanch the flow of illegals at the source, inside Mexico, instead of only at the border...

Given how feckless U.S. immigration reform efforts usually turn out to be, it seems all the more urgent that both sides do more to promote ways to keep Mexican workers in Mexico, like expanding microcredit programs. Those have proven a boon for small entrepreneurs in impoverished rural states like Oaxaca that are a major source of illegal migrants - and they'd be even more effective, Obama should remind Calderon, if Mexico didn't allow microlenders to charge interest rates that top an outrageous 70%, twice the world microfinance average...

That lack of meaningful competition, as well as an overreliance on the U.S market, is one reason the recession has hit Mexico's economy (which shrank about 7% last year) perhaps harder than any other in Latin America. And that doesn't bode well for the wars against drug traffickers and migrant smugglers. The most salient point Calderon will make to Congress is that the U.S. and Mexico are in this together. That means Washington needs to drop its insensitive disregard for problems south of the border - and Mexico City needs to drop its hypersensitive obsession with tossing blame for those headaches north of the border. If they do, they'll have something genuinely worthy to toast at the White House.

Tim Padgett

Time Magazine

May. 18, 2010

Added: May. 19, 2010

Texas, USA

Eugenio Alejandro

Man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old in his home

A 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at his home. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl slept over at Eugenio Alejandro's house on the 200 block of E. Huebinger in Marion for a slumber party, when she woke up to him "penetrating her" with his hands.

"Oh sick!," exclaimed neighbor Gordon Dambow. "She's an innocent child, what could they do? A grown man, my goodness, picking on the innocent."

"A couple of nights in a row, there were a bunch of kids over," explained Cody Bodeau, who lives just across the street from Alejandro. "Every other night there were a bunch of kids and we were wondering why they were all there, and he'd be outside talking to them and hanging out with them."

Alejandro worked closely with children as a volunteer of the Marion Softball Pony League as an assistant coach. The League didn't want to talk to News 4 WOAI since they say they did not organize the slumber party, but say the allegations are a "complete shock".

"No one should ever harm a child," says resident Kathleen Beierly.

Marion is a town of a little more than a thousand residents, where many people know each other by name.

"It's bad because we're good people, and we love our children," added Beierly.

News 4 WOAI also did a background check of Eugenio Alejandro. Three years ago, he was arrested for domestic violence, and has also served time for a DUI, a DWI, and theft dating back almost 20 years.

He bonded out Tuesday, and still faces one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first degree felony.

Janet Kwak

WOAI - San Antonio

April 15, 2010

Added: May. 19, 2010

Indiana, USA

Suspect sought in sex assault on 11-year-old

Indianapolis - An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a man assaulted her in a west side apartment building. It happened in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive.

"My daughter will not be out," said one resident after hearing the news.

There's fear among parents living at Heather Ridge Apartments on the city's west side.

"There's no safe place anywhere, anymore," said Adam Bennett, a visitor.

Parents say this place seems even less safe after police say a man sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building Thursday around 6:30 pm.

"Pretty scary situation, especially an 11-year-old, and this individual has a hand gun and basically points it to her head and sexually assaults her," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, IMPD.

It happened inside a common area of the building where anyone could have come through.

"I heard about it on the radio and I immediately called my daughter and told her to be careful at the bus stop, to stand with the other girls. To not stand alone," said a worried mother.

Police say they're concerned, and that this is the type of crime where the suspect could strike again.

"He's probably done this before," said Lt. Duhamell. "We need to get this guy off the street right away."

Police say the man spoke in Spanish during the attack. Police describe their suspect as Hispanic, between the ages of 20 and 30, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds...

Police say a sketch of the suspect may be available in the next few days.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.


May 13, 20100

Added: May. 19, 2010

Florida, USA

Woman Escapes Attempted Kidnapping

Orlando police are searching for the man who tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman while she was walking on a trail near the Mall at Millenia.

The woman told police she was walking along the trail near 4850 Millenia Blvd. around 8 p.m. Sunday when a Hispanic man grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward some bushes.

The victim was able to escape and suffered only minor scratches, police said...

Meanwhile, police are still searching for a man who raped a woman in front of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando early Friday morning.


May 17, 2010

Added: May. 19, 2010

Southwest USA

U.S. Border Patrol Weekly Blotter: May 6 - 12, 2010


May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Mexico near Sheffield, Texas. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child in the state of Tennessee, indecent liberties with a child in the state of North Carolina, and had been previously removed from the United States.

May 6, 2010 - Border Patrol agents arrested an illegal alien from Honduras near Gila Bend, Arizona. Records checks revealed the subject had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child and had been previously removed from the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol

May 12, 2010

Added: May 17, 2010

Arizona, USA

Karley Saucedo

Suspects: Jose Luna Valenzuela (left), Oscar Grijalva and Sergio Castaneda

Police rescue Phoenix woman kidnapped during home invasion

A 22-year-old Phoenix woman who was kidnapped during a home invasion has been freed from her captors.

Police said the suspects were armed with handguns and demanded drugs and money when they forced their way into a home near 59th Avenue and Indian School Road on May 5. When they didn't get what they wanted, they took Karley Saucedo and an SUV and left.

Following a week of negotiations and surveillance, Phoenix police officers and detectives were able to free Saucedo from a home near Baseline Road and 47th Avenue.

Saucedo, who has the mental capacity of an 11- or 12-year-old, is back with her family. She reportedly was not injured.

Six people have been arrested on charges including kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and vehicle theft. They have been identified as Oscar Grijalva, 18; Sergio Castaneda, 17; Jose Luna-Valenzuela, 22; Hilda Gutierrez, 29; Carlos Aguilar, 28; and a 17-year-old boy, who was booked into Juvenile Corrections.

"This was a sophisticated group of naturalized citizens and illegal aliens who chose to prey on vulnerable victims for monetary gain," Phoenix police Detective James Holmes said.

Jennifer Thomas

Fox 11

May 14, 2010

See also:

Arizona, USA

Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona speaks at Harvard University - Feb, 5, 2010

Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins

Phoenix mayor paints disturbing picture of immigrant experience

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

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

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

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

Gordon expressed urgent concern about the state of immigration law in the United States. He believes that immediate action is necessary to reform immigration policy and assist burdened local police. "I couldn't and wouldn't stay silent any longer, not only because of the economic costs, but also because of the cost in human suffering."

Matthew W. Hutchins

The Harvard Law Record

Feb. 12, 2010

Added: May 17, 2010

Indiana, USA

Neighbors offer clues in sexual assault of girl, 11

Indianapolis Metro Police are searching for a predator who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint . It happened around 6:30 Thursday night at a west side apartment complex.

The little girl was treated at Riley Hospital for Children and released. Her father told 24-Hour News 8 she was able to give police a detailed description of the attack.

The little girl lives at the Heather Ridge Apartments located in the 3300 block of Heather Ridge Drive. The complex is filled with families with young children...

Police believe the attacker, driving a late-model, red, extended-cab Nissan pickup, asked the girl for directions. Police believe he then followed her inside the building's common area and attacked her.

Police have provided a picture of a truck like the one suspect was driving.

Neighbor Michelle Wells said she had seen the truck before, as had her sister.

A male resident named Nate nodded, saying he'd seen it too...

"They usually will do drive-bys and look around. And then when they see the opportunity, they'll act on it," said IMPD spokesman, Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

Police believe the suspect is a 20 to 30 year old Hispanic man who is 5'6" to 5'9" and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a white stripe, blue jeans, and work boots. He spoke to the little girl only in Spanish.

Police urge residents or anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

Deanna Dewberry


May 14, 2010

Added: May 17, 2010

Texas, USA

Accused sexual assault suspect arrested in Temple park

Temple - A man wanted by authorities for an alleged sexual assault was arrested early Friday morning after he was located violating a park curfew.

Rufino Hernandez-Ramirez, 23, of Temple, was stopped by officers around 1 a.m. at Miller Park, located at 1919 North 1st Street, for reportedly violating the park curfew.

The suspect reportedly provided a false name, however, after the officer properly identified Hernandez-Ramirez, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

The alleged assault occurred in June 2008 in Temple.

Hernandez-Ramirez was arrested and transported to the Bell County Jail.

He is charged with Failure to Identify Fugitive Intent Give False Information and Motion to Revoke Probation, along with his initial charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.


May 14, 2010

Added: May 17, 2010

California, USA

Kidnapping, Attempted Assault Reported In Woodland

The Woodland Police Department is searching for a suspect who allegedly kidnapped and attempted to rape a woman in Yolo County.

Authorities said the alleged victim said she was walking on West Street near Buckeye Street on Saturday morning when a man drove up in a newer-model black SUV and asked her for directions. As she spoke with him, he pulled out a gun and ordered the woman into the car, authorities said.

The victim said he drove her into a wooded area near Interstate 5 and County Road 98 and ordered her to remove her clothes. When she resisted, the man attempted to drag her from the car, authorities said, but the victim was able to break free and run to Interstate 5, where she flagged down a car and asked for help.

The victim was not seriously injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s. He is 5'4" to 5'6", weighs about 160 to 180 pounds, with short black hair and a thin mustache. He also reportedly had two silver caps on his front teeth.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800.

CBS 13

May 15, 2010

Added: May 17, 2010

Pennsylvania, USA

Men harass girls going to school in York City

York City Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who have been harassing girls on their way to school.

Lt. Tim Utley, who supervises the detective bureau, said there have been three such incidents reported in the past several weeks. The girls were on their way to William Penn Senior High School and were in the area of the 500 block of South Duke Street when they were harassed, he said.

The two men are in a newer-model gray sedan, Utley said; they are Hispanic, in their 30s and, in the latest incident, were wearing black T-shirts and black hats.

Anyone with information on their identities is urged to call city police at 846-1234, or the department’s anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204.

Elizabeth Evans

York Dispatch

May 14, 2010

Added: May 13, 2010

The United States / The World

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Conference on Human Trafficking

Arlington, Virginia - ...For today’s Justice Department, our work to pursue human trafficking investigations and prosecutions and to support those who serve and assist victims is not simply a top priority. It’s also a source of great pride. Much of this work is being led by our Civil Rights Division and its specialized Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. Three years ago, this unit was established to consolidate expertise and to improve coordination between the many critical partners needed to bring traffickers to justice and to protect and empower victims.

In a short time, this unit has achieved remarkable success in increasing both the number and impact of human trafficking prosecutions. It has dismantled organized human trafficking networks operating in multiple jurisdictions and across international borders. And it has achieved justice for many, including undocumented migrants who’ve seen their hopes of a better life destroyed; documented guest workers who’ve been deceived, threatened and frightened into captivity; women and children who’ve been forced into prostitution; and young Americans who’ve been exploited in their own county by traffickers preying on their vulnerabilities. These are extraordinary accomplishments.

But our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit isn’t working alone. It is supported and strengthened by our Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, our Office of International Affairs, our Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, our Office of Justice Programs and its Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the FBI. In addition, the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country are providing critical leadership in bringing human traffickers to justice. Later in this conference, you’ll be hearing from some of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were on the front lines of major human trafficking prosecutions...

Today, some of our most critical partnerships have been established beyond our nation’s borders. We’re working closely with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims’ families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines. A leading example of this is our recent work with Mexico. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated closely with our Mexican counterparts on a bilateral enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling the trafficking networks that operate across our Southwest border. Although this initiative is in its early stages, it has already produced promising results for both countries – including measurable increases in the number of defendants apprehended, cases prosecuted and victims rescued.

The benefits of such international partnerships are clear. By working with our foreign allies, we’ve succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana – some just 10 years old – from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey.

But despite these achievements, there is much more work to be done. Meeting the civil rights challenges of the 21st century will require us to identify new enforcement strategies, to forge new partnerships, and to provide more support for victim service providers. But we should all be encouraged that the global movement to end human trafficking has received unprecedented attention and resources, as well as unprecedented political support...

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Department of Justice

2010 National Conference on Human Trafficking 

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

The United States

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking - Remarks of Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

The TVPA Decade: Progress and Promise

...Thank you for the invitation to speak at this national conference on human trafficking - an issue I care deeply about.

I also want to thank Attorney General Eric Holder for his leadership on this issue.

Ten years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we are even more committed to the conference's goal of disseminating best practices for prosecuting human trafficking and assisting victims.

The Department of Labor's commitment to fighting human trafficking comes from its long history of working to protect and assist vulnerable workers, some of whom may have been trafficked into forced labor.

As one of my priorities, the Department of Labor is engaged both domestically and internationally to better serve and protect vulnerable workers.

Labor trafficking puts women, children, and men in the most extreme forms of workplace exploitation.

It leads to situations where people are denied not only their wages, but their human rights.

Our efforts to ensure that workers are afforded all of their rights under the law include initiatives that help to combat human trafficking in all of its forms…

Trafficking victims are the most vulnerable workers in this country.

As a state senator in California, I learned first-hand how 72 Thai workers in my own district, worked for seven years in virtual slavery in a sweatshop with boarded up windows and fences covered with razor wire making garments until they were freed by law enforcement - and several hundred Latinos were not paid minimum wage or over-time.

As a member of Congress, I was involved in passing House Resolution condemning the murders of victims of human trafficking and labor abuse in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

These women worked in slave-like conditions and then brutally killed through no fault of their own.

These are the individuals whom we all have a duty to help and protect. This focus on protecting the most vulnerable workers in today's economy is why I have bolstered the enforcement staff in all of my agencies.

I have already added 250 investigators in the Wage and Hour Division alone.

And I'm not done yet!...

Violence in the workplace or trafficking for the sake of monetary gain is unconscionable.

No nation does or should get ahead at the peril of its workers.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

2010 DOJ National Conference on Human Trafficking

May 3, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Giving Latin America its rightful place at the table in U.S. anti-trafficking efforts

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has come a long way from 1995, when I first toured the DOL Women's Bureau, passed out my 1994 report (see below) and discussed the rampant workplace sexual exploitation of Latin American immigrant women with staff. No Spanish language staff was available for their recently opened hotline at that time.

Approximately 5 years ago, a DOL analyst told me that she used LibertadLatina as a source for her research into Latina workplace exploitation issues.

Around 7 years ago, I gave then Represen-tative Hilda Solis a LibertadLatina business card at a Congressional luncheon on human trafficking, where I also gave around 200 congressional staffers copies of the LibertadLatina newsletter.

At the May 3, 2010 session of the annual federal government  Human Trafficking Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made some of the first official public pronouncements by U.S. Government officials acknowledging that a Latin American component to the global human trafficking crisis exists.

Although prosecutions, and work by State Department Trafficking in Persons director Ambassador Luis CdeBaca prior to his assuming his current post have touched upon the issue of Latin American victims, the U.S. Federal Government has yet to state a clear response to the fact that, as Ambassador CdeBaca noted in a December 2009 interview, some 60% of U.S. human trafficking victims come to the U.S. from Latin America. Most of those enslaved persons were trafficked over the U.S./ Mexican border.

In addition, the United Nations affiliated  International organization for Migration (IOM) in the Southern Cone region of South America estimates that Latin American human trafficking alone generates $16 billion dollars in annual revenues, amounting to an estimated 50% of global trafficking profits.

However we look at the situation, Latin America's crisis of modern day slavery cannot be minimized, nor can it be ignored.

We at LibertadLatina have persistently requested that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama speak out publicly on this issue, especially to demand that Mexico apply the rule of law to the current nationwide environment of lawless impunity that allows mass gender atrocities to occur on an ongoing basis. That is a violent crime wave that has impacts throughout the United States.

The pronouncements by Ambassador CdeBaca in December of 2009, and the May 3, 2010 statements by Secretary Solis and Attorney General Holder represent a start towards achieving full federal accountability for U.S. responses to the human trafficking crisis that today damages Latin American women, children and men both in Latin America and across the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Keep up the good work!

We will proceed to view progress on this issue from the perspective of "trust, but verify."

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

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby


May 12/13, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s Case File # 1: The Sexual Exploitation of Latina Women and Girls at Computer Data Systems, Inc.


* Your tax dollars at work supporting a sexist federal contractor.

* Sexual harassment, quid-pro-quo sexual demands and sexual assault with impunity in the low-wage American workplace.

...The below case relation is completely factual.  The events may seem startling for the average reader, but this case account tells a story that is happening every night in America in many office cleaning jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant and fast-food jobs, retail stores and other low-wage work places.

During… 1995, I presented detailed information about this… case and several equally serious episodes of the severe sexual harassment of Latina workers to… the… U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau's "Low Wage Worker's Conference" in Washington, DC, where the author passed out his 1994 report to Women's Bureau officials and conference participants...

While the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau never responded to the author in regard to his 1994 report, the director of Women's Bureau who followed the 1994 incumbent, Ms. Ida Castro, did make public statements to the press in the late 1990's referring to DOL's recognition of the issue of the exploitation of immigrant women in low wage jobs.

Chuck Goolsby


See also:

Chuck Goolsby’s 1994 report: The Sexual and Economic Exploitation of Latin American Immigrant Women in Montgomery County, Maryland

Chuck Goolsby

March, 1994

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010

USA / The World

A girl sits in a windowless garage where she was kept for two years. Purchased at the age of 10, she worked as much as 20 hours per day as domestic help.

Photo: U.S. State Department

Working To End Human Trafficking

"Modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe." "Human trafficking has become big business – generating billions of dollars each year through the entrapment and exploitation of millions," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on May 3rd, at the National Conference on Human Trafficking. "Almost every country in the world is affected, either as a source or destination for victims."

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world, and is second in financial scope only to the sale of illegal drugs. It occurs in every state in the U.S. and every country in the world. It is a global problem, and as such, it demands a global solution.

That is why the U.S. is "partnering with authorities in other countries to extradite fugitive defendants, protect victims' families, obtain evidence of criminal activity, and combat trafficking networks that operate across international lines," said Attorney General Holder.

"By working with our foreign allies, we've succeeded in liberating Jamaican tree-cutters from shacks in New Hampshire; Filipino workers from chain motels in South Dakota; Eastern European women from strip clubs in Detroit; Vietnamese garment workers from American Samoa; Peruvian factory workers – including children – from traffickers on Long Island; and young girls from Togo and Ghana from toiling around the clock without pay in hair salons in New Jersey," said Attorney General Holder.

" We . . . . know that modern slavery exists in communities and cultures spanning the globe," said Ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "It is a fluid phenomenon, responding to market demands, vulnerabilities in laws, weak penalties, natural disasters, and economic instability.

"No country, including the United States, has attained a sophisticated or truly comprehensive response to this massive, ever-increasing, ever-changing crime. . . . Every country is still learning what trafficking is and what works in response to it . . . . The vast majority of people enslaved today around the world have yet to see any progress.

"We must devote ourselves to never again letting a generation go by without forward progress," said Ambassador CdeBaca. "Working toward a world without modern slavery is no doubt a bold proposition, but it is one that we must work toward."

Voice of America

May 13, 2010

Added: May 13, 2010


Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (right), with Bety Cariño - February 2010.

Llama ONU a gobierno mexicano a garantizar labor de las y los defensores de DH

“Deteriorada su situación”, condena asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca

La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU), a través de cuatro de sus Relatorías, expresó su preocupación por la deteriorada situación de las y los defensores de derechos humanos en México y condenó firmemente los recientes asesinatos de la defensora Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo y del observador internacional Jyri Antero Jaakkola.

En un comunicado de prensa, difundido por la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, el organismo internacional advirtió que las y los defensores de derechos humanos “enfrentan graves amenazas contra sus vidas a consecuencia de su trabajo”.

El grupo de expertos y experta de la ONU hizo un llamado al gobierno mexicano para “tomar las medidas que sean necesarias para proteger el derecho a la vida y la seguridad de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en el país contra todo tipo de violencia y acción arbitraria que se produzca como consecuencia del ejercicio legítimo de sus actividades.”

Exigen Investigación Pronto e Imparcial

Margaret Sekaggya, Relatora Especial sobre la situación de los Defensores de los Derechos Humanos, manifestó su “profunda preocupación” por el deterioro de la situación de las y los defensores de los derechos humanos en México, en especial las mujeres y las personas defensoras que trabajan en temas relacionados con las comunidades indígenas.

Además condenó los hechos ocurridos el 27 de abril en la zona triqui de San Juan Copala, en Oaxaca, cuando una misión de observación de los derechos humanos sufrió una emboscada por parte de paramilitares, lugar donde fue asesinada, Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo, defensora y directora del Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS) y donde también murió Jyri Antero Jaakkola...

CIMAC Women's News Agency

May 12, 2010

See also:

Added: May 13, 2010


Human rights defenders continue to pay with their lives in Mexico, warn UN experts

Geneva - A group of United Nations independent experts* warned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Mexico, strongly condemning the recent killing of human rights defender Ms. Beatriz Alberta (Bety) Cariño Trujillo and the international observer Mr. Tyri Antero Jaakkola in Oaxaca, south east Mexico.

“Defenders continue to face significant threats to their lives in Mexico as a result of their work,” said Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in the country, including women and human rights defenders working on issues related to indigenous communities.”

On 27 April 2010, Bety Cariño and Tyri Antero Jaakkola were part of a mission to monitor human rights in Oaxaca when they were ambushed by paramilitaries and killed. Several other human rights defenders and journalists suffered injuries. Four other members of the mission, including two journalists of the magazine Contralínea, spent two days in a forest following the attack, before being rescued by the police on 30 April.

“The situation in Mexico is extremely complex and no-one could doubt the gravity of the challenges confronting the Government in its fight against the drug cartels” added Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “But there is no justification for failing to take strong steps when human rights defenders, journalists and others are killed. Human rights must not be permitted to be a casualty in the fight against drugs and crime.” ...

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

May 12, 2010


All May, 2010 News

Added: Mar. 24, 2010

Latin America

Conference Poster

The 2010 Lozano Long Conference – Republics of Fear: Understanding Endemic Violence in Latin America Today

Violence has become the signal threat to stability in Latin America in the new millennium. Kidnappings and murders generate lurid headlines from Mexico to Honduras to Argentina. Communities tired of statelessness and voicelessness set suspected criminals on fire in Guatemalan public squares. Hundreds of women die violent deaths in Ciudad Juárez and Guatemala City while the state remains either impotent or indifferent. Police raids into Rio’s favelas kill dozens of people while drug trafficking gangs stockpile more numerous and more powerful weapons. Prison gangs paralyze the megalopolis of São Paulo for days in retaliation for official measures taken against their imprisoned leaders.

Meanwhile, structural violence continues to condemn huge portions of the region’s population to poverty, disease, marginalization, and penury. If cold war ideologies set Latin America aflame in the 1960s and 1970s, a far more complex set of factors stokes the ordinary and extraordinary violence that burns in the region today.

In its Third Annual Lozano Long Conference, LLILAS hosted the academics who are exploring the causes and consequences of this conflagration. Researchers have only begun to respond to these new challenges to democracy, development, and human well-being. The time is ripe for a conference that brings together cutting edge research from different disciplines, perspectives, methods, and viewpoints, all united around a concern for the peoples of the region and the circumstances they face.

The conference hosted panels on topics such as gender violence; intimate violence; organized violence; the trafficking of humans, weapons, and drugs; political, state, and para-state violence; structural violence, including poverty, forced migration, racism, and discrimination; and the responses to violence, including representations of violence in the media, literature, films, and public discourse. The institute hopes in this way to foster and stimulate a new wave of theoretically informed, interdisciplinary, and culturally aware research into this crucial new challenge for Latin America.

Sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.


Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

The University of Texas at Austin

March 4–5, 2010

Added: Mar. 24, 2010


Mexican Police Implicated in Killings, Kidnappings

Mexico City - Scores of police officers - including the entire department of one town - have been detained in Mexican probes of killings and kidnappings.

Mayor Alfredo Osorio of the Gulf coast town Tierra Blanca said Monday that about

90 city policemen were being held for questioning about the kidnapping of undocumented Central American migrants.

The officers - the town's entire local force - were detained by state police and soldiers and taken to the capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz for questioning. No formal charges had been filed.

The police allegedly kidnapped the migrants to shake them down for money. Central Americans frequently are robbed or abused by police or by drug gangs as they cross Mexico to seek work in the United States.

In the central State of Mexico, prosecutors announced the arrest of two policemen and two former officers on charges they participated in 11 killings related to robberies.

The officers, ex-officers and a fifth man posing as a police office, had been assigned to two towns on the outskirts of Mexico City. They were detained over the weekend.

Mexico State Attorney General Alberto Baz Baz said the men allegedly preyed on businessmen and professionals, snatching them off the streets to steal debit cards and other possessions, and then often killing them. Another ex-officer is being sought in the case. Some of the crimes were allegedly committed while the officers were on duty.

The suspects face possible prison sentences of up to 70 years. They had no attorney of record.


The Associated Press

Mar 16, 2010

Added: Mar. 24, 2010


Mexican Troops Rescue 20 Migrants from Traffickers

Veracruz, Mexico – Mexican troops rescued 20 Central Americans who had been kidnapped by a gang of migrant smugglers that was holding them captive at a house in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The commander of Mexico’s 26th Military Zone, Miguel Gustavo Gonzalez, told a press conference that five suspected smugglers were arrested who were holding the undocumented migrants as hostages and were demanding $1,200 from their families to free them and allow them to continue on their way to the U.S. border.

The officer said that the operation took place in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, where members of the gang were arrested and forced to hand over 40,000 pesos ($3,200) in cash, two guns and four vehicles.

Gonzalez said the raid followed an anonymous tip.

He said that the 11 women and nine men from Honduras and Nicaragua were found being held captive in the community of Palma Sola.

Meanwhile, the undocumented migrants who were rescued received food and medical attention from the immigration authorities, who will settle their legal status.



March 19, 2010

We note with interest that this raid occurred immediately after the Inter-American Human Rights Commission hearing of March 22, 2010 on the mass kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, and especially in Veracruz.

 - LibertadLatina

Added: Mar. 23, 2010


Felipe González, IACHR Vice-Chair  and Rapporteur, and
Professor Dinah Shelton
, IACHR Rapporteur and
Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washing-ton University Law School - Listen to the March 22, 2010 presentation on the kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

Photo:  European Press Photo Agency

Denuncian el "infierno" de unos 18.000 migrantes secuestrados al pasar por México

Washington, DC.- México se ha convertido en la trampa de miles de migrantes de Centroamérica y Sudamérica que son secuestrados cada año cuando atraviesan ese país, según denunciaron hoy activistas en la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

En una audiencia del 138 período de sesiones de la CIDH, organizaciones religiosas y humanitarias acusaron al Estado de México de abandonar a los 18.000 emigrantes secuestrados, que convirtieron 2009 en el "año maldito" del fenómeno...

Activists Denounce the “Hell” Faced by 18,000 Migrants per Year Who Are Kidnapped in Mexico

Washington, DC  - According to activists who testified on March 22, 2010 at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) - Mexico has become a dangerous trap for thousands of migrants from South and Central America who are kidnapped each year when they attempt to cross Mexico.

The religious and human rights activists testified during an IAHRC hearing, held during its 138th period of sessions. In their testimony, they accused the Mexican state of abandoning the 18,000 migrants who were kidnapped during 2009, which they declared to be a terrible year for the phenomenon.

The director of the migrant shelter Brothers on the Road to Hope, Father Alejandro Solandide, denounced the lack of political will in Mexico to put a stop to the problem, as well as the complicity and cover-up that state agents engage in – in relation to these crimes.

Father Solandide: “It is very hard to see a line that separates the authors of these kidnappings - be they organized criminals or public officials.”

Migrants begin their trek in their home countries, where these criminal networks [first] coordinate their activities, said Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the National Institute for Migration [Mexico’s immigration agency].

When migrants reach Mexico, they are trapped, and are taken to safe houses, where the coyotes demand their family’s phone number [to allow them to extort the family], and they are beaten with sticks and suffer other tortures.

“These safe houses are hell. The victims suffer tortures. If they resist [the extortion], they are made examples of and are mutilated or murdered, declared Reverend Pedro Pantajo Arreola, of the Bethlehem Migrant’s Shelter.

The wave of kidnappings began in 2006, says Father Solandide, but the problem became even larger in 2009, when it became like a “silent, low-motion massacre” – “due to moral decay,” the increase in organized criminal violence, and judicial impunity.

During the last three years, the ‘industry’ of mass kidnapping has been perfected, especially in the state of Veracruz. In a six month period of time, these kidnappings generate $50 million dollars in revenue.

Aside from the Mexican government’s failure to investigate these crimes, and the “immense defenseless-ness” of the victims, Father Solandide denounced the “insufficient actions taken and mechanisms put into place” by the government in the face of this reality. Scant resources exist to house, assist and restore the victims.

The representatives of the organizations who testified directly assist victims, a situation that has also placed them in harm’s way.

“Our migrant shelters are being threatened and attacked by both the Mexican authorities and by members of organized crime, to such an extent that we have found in necessary to seek the legal protection of this Commission,” said Monsignor Raúl Vera, Archbishop of Saltillo, who is also the president of the Council of the Friar Juan de Larios Center.

[Oliver Bush Espinoza, of the federal National Institute for Migration, and Alejandro Negrín, human rights representative at the Mexican Chancellery, testified in opposition to the petition.]

Felipe González, the President of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) stated that he was in agreement with the petitioners, and invited the IAHRC to visit Mexico to determine the magnitude of the problem in person.



March 22, 2010

See also:

Inter-American Human Rights Commission Hearing

Petitioner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro Juárez (PRODH); Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes en México; Centro Diocesano de Derechos Humanos Fray Juan de Larios; Dimensión de la Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana; Casa de Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe A.C. [Migrant Refuge]; Albergue Guadalupano de Tierra Blanca [Migrant Refuge]; Servicio Jesuita de Jóvenes Voluntarios; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova; Frontera Con Justicia A.C.y Humanidad Sin Fronteras

Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Organization of American States

March 22, 2010

See also:

20,000 Migrants a Year Kidnapped in Mexico En Route to U.S.

Some 20,000 of the 140,000 illegal migrants en route to the United States via the Mexico border to find work and a better life are kidnapped each year and subjected to rape, torture and murder, crimes that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, fear of reprisals and distrust of authorities, according to Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission.

Mexico City – More than 1,600 migrants, above all Central Americans en route to the United States to find work, are kidnapped monthly and subjected to humiliations that usually go unpunished due to the corruption of the authorities, Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission reported.

“The kidnapping of migrants has become a continuous practice of worrying dimensions, generally unpunished and with characteristics of extreme cruelty,” commission chairman Jose Luis Soberanes said Monday at the presentation of the report.

Between September 2008 and February 2009, the commission registered a total of 198 cases of mass kidnappings of migrants involving 9,758 people...


June 16, 2009

Added: Mar. 22, 2010

Washington, DC USA

Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo - Photo

Presentation: Kidnappings of Migrants in Mexico

Event: Monday March 22nd - 5:30-6:30pm - Washington, DC

Every year tens of thousands of migrants travel through Mexico en route to the United States. Often on their arduous journey these migrants are exposed to brutal violence, extortion, and kidnappings.

Join us for a forum with this exceptional group of speakers all of whom are highly recognized as leading moral authorities on migrant rights. These speakers will discuss the kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, the ways in which Mexican laws and policies make them more vulnerable and may prevent their access to justice, how authorities directly collaborate in this practice and the hearing on this issue that has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


Monsignor Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo, is also President of the Counsel of the Fray Juan Juan de Larios Diocese Center and a member of various organizations that work to protect migrants' human rights.

Father Alejandro Solalinde, director of the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza " [Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope] and the coordinator of the Southern Zone of the Pastoral Dimension of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. The shelter offers food, shelter and legal advice to the thousands of migrants that pass through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca en route to the United States.

Father Pedro Pantoja Arreola founded Emaús House, Passage of Migrants in Ciudad Acuña and created the project Borders and Dignity. After more than five years he returned to Saltillo, where he oversees the shelter "Belén [Bethlehem] Migrant Inn" and the Borders with Justice project, both founded in 2001 to respond to the grave human rights violations of migrants.

Our panelists will also be joined by representatives from the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center and Frontera con Justicia [Justice for the Border] and Humanidad Sin Fronteras [Humanity Without Borders].


Kidnapping of Migrants in Mexico

March 22, 2010

5:30-6:30pm - plus reception

Washington Office on Latin America - WOLA

1666 Connecticut Ave NW - Suite 400

Washington, DC

Please RSVP to Ashley Morse at amorse@wola.org

(Space is limited, RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come basis)



March 22, 2010

See also:


Harassment and intimidation of human rights defender, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra

About the harassment of Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra's efforts to assist migrants in crisis

Sign-on to a letter of support to President Calderón of Mexico

...Human rights defender Father Solalinde has recently been subjected to harassment and intimidation as a direct result of his activities in defense of human rights. Father Solalinde is the director of the Albergue del Migrante Hermanos en el Camino de la Esperanza (Shelter for Migrant Brothers on the Road of Hope) and co-ordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants. The Shelter provides food, shelter and legal assistance to thousands of migrants who travel through the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, on their way to the United States of America. Over the last two years, the Shelter has reported several cases of corruption by state and federal government officials as well as the practice of abduction of migrants...

FrontLine - Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Feb. 02, 2010

See also:

Added: Mar. 21, 2010

Mexico, Central America

Salvadoran mothers gather to pray and leave offerings and crosses for their family members who were abused, kidnapped and murdered in the 'mugging and rape gauntlet' at Mexico's southern border region known as 'La Arrocera' - the Rice Cooker.

Kidnapping - A Growing Risk for Central American Migrants

The increase in kidnappings of Central American migrants crossing Mexico on their way to the United States will be brought up at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) current session next Monday.

”We are experiencing a humanitarian disaster that the authorities want to cover up at all costs,” Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who heads the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants in Ciudad Ixtepec, in the southern state of Oaxaca, told IPS.

Solalinde, who has been defending the rights of undocumented Central American migrants since 2005, is flying to Washington to describe the situation on the ground to the IACHR, which is holding its 138th period of sessions Mar. 15-26, along with representatives of other civil society groups.

Although the priest has been the target of death threats from people traffickers and kidnappers, he was denied police protection.

In January 2007, Solalinde, who also set up a shelter to provide food and medical attention to migrants next to the railway lines that they ride on their long trek north, helped a group of Central Americans escape their captors in Oaxaca.

He has also spoken up against police brutality, and even filed legal action against local police officers and authorities. But the lawsuit is merely gathering dust.

Thousands of Central Americans, mainly from the impoverished countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, are detained and deported every year by the police in Mexico as they attempt to reach the United States.

However, they don't only face a risk of being seized and deported by the police, but are also vulnerable to harassment, sexual abuse, extortion, robbery and kidnapping by immigration agents and police, while they are assaulted, raped, held up, kidnapped and sometimes killed by gang-members and thieves.

From September 2008 to February 2009, 9,758 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according to a special report by the governmental National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

”The kidnapping of migrants in Mexico is on the rise,” Maureen Meyer, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Associate for Mexico and Central America, told IPS.

However, ”this number (9,758) is by no means the full extent of the phenomenon, as given the vulnerability of migrants in Mexico, many cases go unreported.”

WOLA is backing the Mexican activists who will appear before the IACHR in the U.S. capital, where they will ask the Commission to recommend that the government provide protection to migrants, fight kidnappings and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mexican immigration authorities have arrested 4,164 Central Americans so far this year, according to official figures.

The IACHR session will also be attended by Raúl Vera, Catholic bishop of Saltillo, a city north of the capital; Pedro Pantoja, a priest who runs the Belen migrants shelter and the Borders with Justice project in Saltillo; and representatives of Mexican non-governmental organisations that provide protection to undocumented Central American migrants.

In the southern state of Veracruz, 13 municipal police have been prohibited from leaving the country, because they are under suspicion of kidnapping and extorting Central American migrants.

The kidnappings are planned in Oaxaca and carried out in Veracruz, with the collusion of public employees and municipal and state agents, according to Solalinde...

Because of the numerous reports of abuses, the government of El Salvador opened a consulate in Oaxaca in January to provide attention to Salvadoran citizens.

But not even the diplomatic mission has escaped harassment: less than a month after it opened, armed men who claimed to be federal police but did not identify themselves forced their way into the consulate without authorization, supposedly as part of an investigation.

Salvadoran ambassador to Mexico Hugo Carrillo has asked President Felipe Calderón to take effective action against the police involved in the incident.

”It would appear that kidnapping has become another source of income for organized criminal groups operating in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border (which are) already involved in drug trafficking, pirated goods, extortion, etc.,” said Meyer.

She added that some reports indicate that along the border ”and even in the U.S. itself, groups involved in human smuggling are now earning more money from holding some of their 'clients' for ransom, than from the fees they already charge to make the crossing.”