RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #1196/01 0672218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 082218Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5714
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
REF: A. 06 STATE 202745 B. 06 MEXICO 6568 C. 06 MEXICO 3423
NOTE: This is the first part of a three part cable. End note.
1. (SBU) The mission's point of contact on the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Report is Poloff Walter R. Miller. He may be reached by telephone at (52) (55) 5080-2000, ext. 4806, or by fax at (52) (55) 5080-2247. Post requests that the names of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with the Government of Mexico (GOM) providing victim protection and assistance not be disclosed in this context. Post also requests that the names and details of ongoing investigations not be made public. NOTE: This is a two part cable. End note.
2. (SBU) Mexico is a country of origin, transit, and destination for persons trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation. While there are no reliable figures as to the extent of the trafficking problem, Mexico's geographic location along primary transportation routes for illegal migration into the U.S. as well as the country's high level of organized criminal gang activity leaves little doubt that the transnational and domestic trafficking numbers are substantial.
3. (SBU) The GOM has made significant and laudable advancements to address trafficking in persons in Mexico over the past year. While advancements are uneven across federal agencies, and expertise needs to be developed at all levels of government, the GOM has proactively addressed the trafficking problem, with measurable results, and can be expected to continue to build on its successes. In particular, the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) has been assertive in pursuing and investigating trafficking cases, in cooperation with other agencies. The GOM still needs to advance in the prosecution of cases and develop a better system to provide protection to victims. A significant obstacle preventing full GOM engagement in combating trafficking is the lack of a federal law explicitly criminalizing the activity. A bill currently being reviewed by MexicoQ,s Chamber of Deputies, however, does provide federal sanctions. GOM reports that it expects the legislation will be ready for passage in April. (MexicoQ,s Senate approved the legislation in December 2005). Despite the delays in Congress, the government has utilized current legislation available to fight trafficking Q) for instance, the smuggling of undocumented aliens, pimping and corruption of minors. At the state level, legislatures have surged ahead of their colleagues in the capital by passing three anti-trafficking laws.
4. (SBU) The following significant steps forward in fighting TIP have taken place in Mexico since the March 2006 report:
-- The states of Michoacan, Chihuahua and Guerrero (in June 2006, November 2006 and January 2007, respectively) passed state anti-TIP legislation.
-- The Congress passed reforms to the law against organized crime and corresponding changes to the penal code to strengthen the penalties against the commercial exploitation of minors in February 2007. The bill awaits the signature of the president.
-- The Federal Preventive Police (PFP) appointed a designated TIP coordinator, who also leads the GOM Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking.
-- 60 PFP officers participated in a 40-hour TIP training program and 300 PFP officers participated in a four-hour module training on trafficking at the police academy, among numerous other training courses in the last year.
-- The PFP established five vetted investigative units, made up of 25 investigators, to exclusively pursue trafficking cases.
-- PFP and the Mexican Senate launched separate media campaigns raising awareness of trafficking.
-- The Attorney GeneralQ,s Office (PGR) prevailed in an appeal on TIP-related charges and convicted Consuelo Carreto Valencia, a leader of the Carreto trafficking ring, with a sentence of more than 25 years.
-- GOM extradited Consuelo Carreto Valencia to the U.S. on 19 January 2007 to face trafficking charges.
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-- On July 15, the US extradited to Mexico suspected trafficker Jean Succar Kuri, a prominent businessman, who is currently detained in Cancun and facing trafficking-related charges.
-- INM issued the newly authorized humanitarian visas to trafficking victims, contingent on their participation in the prosecution.
-- CNDH issued its first recommendation towards the federal government on a trafficking case.
5. (SBU) QUESTION A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, or destination for internationally trafficked men, women, or children? Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group; how they were trafficked, to where, and for what purpose. Does the trafficking occur within the country's borders? Does it occur in territory outside of the government's control (e.g. in a civil war situation)? Are any estimates or reliable numbers available as to the extent or magnitude of the problem? What is (are) the source(s) of available information on trafficking in persons or what plans are in place (if any) to undertake documentation of trafficking? How reliable are the numbers and these sources? Are certain groups of persons more at risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)?
POST RESPONSE: Mexico is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficked men, women, and children for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Of those transited through or destined for Mexico, the vast majority of trafficking victims come from Central America, with a lesser number of victims originating from South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Those in transit are largely trafficked to the United States. Most victims originating from Mexico also are trafficked to the U.S., with smaller numbers to Europe, Asia and Canada. Mexico has a significant problem with internal trafficking; often women and girls are trafficked to the northern border, most prominently Tijuana, or to cities where sex tourism is prevalent, like Cancun and Acapulco.
According to a 2005 article (Asociacion Mexicana en Direccion de Recursos Humanos) and corroborated by experts, the following forms of trafficking can be associated with geographic regions of Mexico: domestic work and forced begging (principally among children, the elderly and disabled) are predominant in Mexico City, the State of Mexico and urban areas; labor exploitation is predominant in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Chihuahua and Veracruz; trafficking linked to cultural traditions (parents sell, rent or barter children for money or business) is prevalent in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero; and the sexual exploitation of children and women is prevalent in Acapulco, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Baja California and Mexico City. Many victims of internal trafficking in Mexico originated in Tlaxcala.
There are no reliable statistics on the extent of the trafficking problem. The government and civil society have expressed interest in conducting national studies on trafficking, but these initiatives have not been realized. Certain studies have targeted specific populations or geographic areas. The National Institute for Women (INMUJERES) - in collaboration with the Inter-American Commission for Women, Organization for American States (OAS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - has completed and expects to publish imminently a study on trafficking in the southern region of the country, titled Q&The Trafficking of Women, Adolescents and Children in Mexico: An exploratory study in Tapachula, Chiapas.Q8
Some statistics are available on specific trafficking victims and generally vulnerable populations. Mexico's family welfare agency, Desarollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), reported in July 2006 that approximately 20 thousand Mexican children are sexually exploited each year. This is an increase from an annual estimate of 16 thousand sexually exploited children according to the study "Stolen Childhood," published in 2000 by DIF, UNICEF and the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Antropologia Social (Ciesas). The INM reported that approximately 180,000 migrants, the vast majority from Central America, were detained in 2006; approximately 30 thousand were women and two thousand were minors. However, perhaps up to half a million in total crossed the border during the year.
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Other information on trafficking patterns that are available come from NGOs or academics; though, most often these reports tend to contain more anecdotal evidence than concrete statistics. In the April 2006 report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), "Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns," Mexico was ranked "high" (4 on a scale of 5) in the incidence of reporting of origin countries; "high" (4 on a scale of 5) in the incidence of reporting of transit countries; and "medium" (3 on a scale of 5) in the incidence of reporting of destination countries.
The populations most vulnerable to trafficking tend to be women and children (both boys and girls), undocumented migrants (most often from Central America), as well as indigenous groups.
6. (SBU) QUESTION B. Please provide a general overview of the trafficking situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP report (e.g. changes in direction). Also briefly explain the political will to address trafficking in persons. Other items to address may include: what kind of conditions are the victims trafficked into? Which populations are targeted by the traffickers? Who are the traffickers? What methods are used to approach victims? (are they offered lucrative jobs, sold by their families, approached by friends of friends, etc.?) What methods are used to move the victims (e.g., are false documents being used?).
POST RESPONSE: Political will to address the problem is high, evidenced by actions taken by the federal and state governments since the last TIP report. Three states passed anti-trafficking legislation; the federal government extradited a convicted trafficker to the U.S.; MexicoQ,s Federal Police (PFP) established five investigative units exclusively dedicated to TIP; the National Migration Institute (INM) issued new humanitarian visas to trafficking victims; both the Senate and PFP undertook national media campaigns targeting TIP; federal and state agencies sponsored at least four conferences; PFP, INM and state law enforcement undertook various training programs on trafficking, including a 40-hour training for federal investigators. Moreover, the media has covered the issues in scores of newspapers articles in the last year. Civil society, in its efforts to confront the problem, has significantly raised the profile of TIP in Mexico and has made measurable advancements in constructive cooperation with the government.
Nonetheless, government efforts to fight trafficking need to expand to all federal agencies and national anti-TIP efforts need to be based on a comprehensive legal framework. While the Senate passed federal anti-trafficking legislation in December 2005, the lower chamber of Congress is still considering the legislation.
Particularly notable in the past year, three states Q) Michoacan, Chihuahua and Guerrero Q) have shown resolve in the battle against TIP by passing legislation criminalizing trafficking, and Oaxaca is currently considering the same legislation. Many states have held training sessions (see paragraph 25) for state security forces, and Quintana Roo and Guerrero expressed interest in creating task forces to address TIP. The increase of political will among states is significant in MexicoQ,s federal system, where states have responsibility to take the lead in pursuing many criminal cases.
Because of the dearth of concrete statistics on trafficking, the increase in the numbers of victims or the kinds of trafficking victims is difficult to ascertain. The Bilateral Security Corridor Coalition (BSCC) reported a new trend, the trafficking of minors from the US for prostitution in Mexican border towns, most prominently in Tijuana. In July DIF stated publicly that an estimated 20 thousand children are sexually exploited annually in Mexico. However, it is difficult to determine whether the increase is significant. While this is an increase over the 16 thousand DIF estimated in the 2000 Q&Stolen ChildhoodQ8 report, the 2000 report based its figures on studies in only six cities and was one of the first studies of its kind in Mexico.
Within Mexico, women and children from Mexico's poorest regions of Mexico move to the urban, tourist, and the northern border areas seeking economic opportunity, but they often end up working in the commercial sex industry or domestic work (or both) due to trickery, threats, or physical violence by traffickers.
In addition, the continuing patterns of illegal migration from Mexico and Central America into the U.S. also put a
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larger number of vulnerable persons at risk for coming into contact with traffickers. Migrants from Mexico and Central America (especially women and children) are frequently smuggled into the U.S. with promises of a lucrative job only to find themselves forced into prostitution or debt-bondage working conditions. Some traffickers falsely offer victims help in reuniting them with family members in the U.S. Other common methods used to approach/target victims include placing ads in newspapers that invite girls to participate in international exchanges or to start lucrative modeling careers. Once the girl is isolated from family and friends, she is forced into prostitution.
The widespread use of professional alien smugglers, contracted to help illegal migrants transit Mexico and cross into the U.S., increases the risk falling prey to trafficking networks. Traffickers often employ alien smugglers to both target and transport victims. Alien smugglers use a wide variety of techniques to get people across the border, including false documents, hidden compartments, and dangerous desert crossings. Among legitimate transportation services, taxi drivers serve as guides and facilitators for sex tourists, common in border towns like Tijuana.
Many organized criminal organizations from Mexico and other countries use Mexico as a staging and training area for women and young girls destined for brothels and table dance bars in the U.S. There is reported involvement of criminal gangs from Mexico, Central America, Russia, Japan, China and several other countries in the trafficking of victims across the U.S.-Mexico border. Trafficking is also operated by small family networks.
For labor exploitation, traffickers often acquire legal work documents to transport victims to factories, where employers then confiscate documents and impose extreme working conditions. Regional migrants within Mexico (such as farm workers from southern Mexico seeking work in northern states) are also victims of such exploitation.
7. (SBU) QUESTION C. What are the limitations on the government's ability to address this problem in practice? For example, is funding for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources to aid victims?
POST RESPONSE: The principle obstacle to effectively addressing trafficking in Mexico is the lack of a federal law, which would define the crime; delineate prevention, prosecution and victim-protection responsibilities among government agencies; and mandate personnel and funding to accomplish those responsibilities.
TIP must also compete with other highly pressing law enforcement priorities in Mexico. In recent years, the GOM has focused an increasing amount of human and financial resources toward the fight against narcotics trafficking and violence associated with the drug trade. Although counter-TIP initiatives are given priority, TIP enforcers also must address the broader problem of spiraling violence and criminality in Mexico. The GOM puts scarce TIP resources to good use, however, and has been willing to accept USG assistance. Funds dedicated by the POTUS initiative contributed significantly to local efforts, particularly through ICE-coordinated law enforcement training, as well as USAID technical assistance programs. In addition, USAIDQ,s TIP Shelter Project is working to strengthen current shelters willing to accept trafficking victims, giving Mexico time to establish its own shelters dedicated to trafficking victims. DOJ plans to provide a program of legal technical assistance and training.
Last year, the GOM appointed a high level PFP officer responsible for trafficking Q) Jose Nemecio Lugo Felix, Director General for Smuggling and Contraband (with responsibility for trafficking) Q) and charged him with leading the GOM Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking in order to improve government cooperation. The appointment of this official has added significant momentum to the fight against trafficking.
Training needs to continue and expand in the areas of awareness-raising (the distinction between trafficking and smuggling remains unclear, particularly among local law enforcement); the identification and interaction with victims; and the provision of services to trafficking victims.
A culture of impunity persists and corruption exists at all levels of government, especially at the state and local level, exacerbating the problem since traffickers can operate without fear of prosecution by simply paying off authorities.
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8. (SBU) QUESTION D. To what extent does the government systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- prosecution, prevention and victim protection) and periodically make available, publicly or privately and directly or through regional/international organizations, its assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts?
POST RESPONSE. The GOM is increasing its capacity to systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts. The PFP has provided to USG personnel carefully prepared presentations on trafficking cases. Post is not aware of the GOM making any of this information public. PFP launched an internal database to track trafficking cases, principally for the use of its TIP investigators. However, because of the change in government in December 2006, the database has been inoperable but is expected to be reconstituted again under the new PFP anti-trafficking leadership (see paragraph 10).
The PFP and Save the Children have entered into a formal collaborative relationship, to establish and manage an internet-based database among a network of civil society organizations that will help track missing persons, including potential trafficking victims.
The Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) at post is exploring options to provide PGR with case tracking software.
9. (SBU) QUESTION A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a problem in the country? If not, why not?
POST RESPONSE: The GOM acknowledges that trafficking is both a transnational and domestic problem. GOM officials, including senior leaders in both the Fox and Calderon administrations, lawmakers of all political parties, state officials and the national human rights ombudsman, continued to speak out against trafficking throughout the year.
In May 2006, the GOM and international organizations jointly published a book called "Trafficking in Persons: Basic Aspects." The book provides critical information about trafficking, defines the distinction between smuggling and trafficking, outlines forms of exploitation, discusses the importance of the Palermo Protocol and advocates for a federal anti-trafficking law. The book was a collaboration between the National Institute of Women (INMUJERES), National Institute of Migration (INM), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), and the Organization of American States (OAS).
During the last year, the GOM sponsored numerous seminars and conferences that included panels on trafficking and the promotion of a federal anti-trafficking law:
-- The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) sponsored a two-day TIP conference on 14 and 15 June 2006, "Trafficking in Persons: Protection, Prosecution and Prevention," that was attended by more than 200 individuals from NGOs, academia, federal and local law enforcement, from Guatemala as well as Mexico. The speakers included the Governor and Attorney General of Chiapas, the Federal Assistant Attorney General for Organized Crime, and the president of CNDH.
-- The National Institute for Penal Sciences (INACIPE) held a forum on the pending federal law in June 2006 that featured speakers from the congress and other federal agencies. INACIPE also conducted a four-part course on the subject in June and July.
-- The Secretariat for Foreign Relations (SRE) sponsored a conference on August 30 between all the government secretariats involved in trafficking and the NGOs working in
SIPDIS the area, the first broad governmental initiative to engage civil society on the subject.
-- The state of Jalisco held a conference on trafficking for local government officials and civil society on November 30, with the technical assistance of USAID and the NGO Proteja.
-- The state of Chihuahua held a conference called "Trafficking in Personas: Current Situation, Perspectives and Challenges" on January 16-17, 2007, with the technical assistance of USG agencies. The conference followed the passage of its anti-trafficking legislation, and featured the state attorney general as a speaker as well as a variety of civil society members.
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In the summer of 2006, the Mexican Senate launched 30 second commercials to raise awareness about TIP and to highlight its recent legislative accomplishments. In October, the PFP launched a media campaign on TIP through spots shown in movie theaters, on television and radio and through print materials, like posters on public buses; the Secretary of Public Security publicly opened the campaign.
The PFP Director General for Smuggling and Contraband (with responsibility for trafficking), Jose Nemecio Lugo Felix, lead the GOM Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking and made a concerted effort to speak publicly on the subject in the last year, such as at the following events:
-- "International Convention on the Human Rights of Migrant Women: Actions for their Protection," sponsored by SRE and UN agencies (Mexico, 24-25 April); -- "Trafficking in Persons: Protection, Prosecution and Prevention," sponsored by IOM and CNDH (Tapachula, Chiapas, 14-15 June); -- Mexico's meetings at the UN on its report to the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, (New York, 17 August); -- The conference between NGOs and the GOM agencies on trafficking, organized by the SRE (Mexico City, 30 August); -- Third Session of Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols (Vienna, 9-18 October). -- Conference on Trafficking in Persons, sponsored by the UNAM Law School (Mexico City, 26 October).
Nemecio Lugo also gave interviews on trafficking to Radio Formula (26 July), Radio Enfoque (12 September), and the television program "Proyecto 40" (8 November).
On April 28, CNDH issued its first recommendation on trafficking, suggesting measures that the INM and Secretariat of Labor (STPS) should take to address the situation that led to the trafficking for labor exploitation of two Chinese nationals in Guanajuato between 2001 and 2003.
On December 15, 2005, the Mexican Senate unanimously passed (95 to 0) a comprehensive TIP law. The legislation is currently being considered by Mexico's Chamber of Deputies.
10. (SBU) QUESTION B. Which government agencies are involved in anti-trafficking efforts and which agency, if any, has the lead?
POST RESPONSE: The GOM established the Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking in 2004, which includes representatives from the Federal Preventive Police (PFP), Attorney General's Office (PGR), National Institute of Migration (INM), Secretariat for Foreign Relations (SRE), Integral Development of the Family (DIF) Secretariat of Public Security (SSP), The Secretariat of Labor (STPS), Center for Research on National Security (CISEN), National Institute for Women (INMUJERES), Secretariat of Health (SSA), and the Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR).
The PFP is the lead agency in the Interinstitutional Working Group, possessing the law enforcement capabilities necessary to run investigations and arrest traffickers. The PFP Director General for Smuggling and Contraband (with responsibility for trafficking), Jose Nemecio Lugo Felix, led the group until January 2007. PFP worked closely with the ICE TIP Coordinator to establish five investigative units dedicated exclusively to trafficking cases. Many investigations of trafficking cases have taken place and are ongoing. PFP investigators, however, proved adept in obtaining intelligence on trafficking cases but less competent in investigating cases that would produce evidence admissible in a court of law. The federal and state attorneys general offices are still responsible for prosecuting cases.
The inauguration of President Calderon on 1 December 2006, succeeding Vicente Fox, occasioned the kinds of personnel changes normal to any change of government. In addition, President Calderon mandated a significant law enforcement reorganization, and Mexico's security forces are being combined under the command of SSP. Nemecio Lugo, who led the PFP trafficking efforts, was reassigned to the PGR where he now holds the responsibility of prosecuting trafficking cases. Post perceives this to be a positive development because the expertise and initiative that Lugo exercised at PFP can be brought to PGR, which previously was slow to act on trafficking cases. The new PFP Director General in charge of trafficking, Marcos Garcia, is reconstituting his agency's TIP investigative units, and PFP remains the lead agency in combating trafficking.
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11. (SBU) QUESTION C. Are there, or have there been, government-run anti-trafficking information or education campaigns? If so, briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives and effectiveness. Do these campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or beneficiaries of forced labor)?
POST RESPONSE: As documented in last yearQ,s TIP report, the primary focus of the GOM's anti-trafficking information and education campaigns have focused on a National Program to Eradicate the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors. The program is administered by the DIF and is supported by numerous executive and legislative branch entities (e.g., the STPS, the SECTUR, and the PGR), as well as civil society groups (the ILO in particular). DIF reported this year that the campaign expanded to 18 states of Mexico (Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Estado de Mexico, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Yucatan).
In the summer of 2006, the Mexican Senate launched 30 second commercials to raise TIP awareness. The commercials focused specifically on commercial sexual exploitation of minors and publicized the legislation criminalizing trafficking that was approved by the Senate in late 2005.
In October, the PFP launched an anti-TIP media campaign on TIP through spots shown in movie theaters, on television and radio and through print materials, like posters on public buses. The campaign was aimed to raise awareness among the general public, providing a hotline and a website to register complaints. However, the hotline generally has been regarded as a failure since it reportedly lacked sufficiently trained personnel to address issues of trafficking and did not have a referral system for TIP cases.
12. (SBU) QUESTION D. Does the government support other programs to prevent trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's participation in economic decision-making or efforts to keep children in school.) Please explain.
POST RESPONSE: Yes. INMUJERES runs programs designed to prevent discrimination against women and help them understand their rights. In February 2007, President Calderon signed the General Law for Women's Access to a Life Free from Violence, which provides considerable protection to women from domestic violence, including the eviction of abusive husbands and penalizing the manipulation of family resources to deny the freedom or independence of a woman. On both borders the DIF runs an extensive network of crisis-response shelters that protect unaccompanied minors detained while trying to enter the U.S./depart Mexico; however, they do not provide mid- to long-term services. The DIF also has a program to Prevent and Combat Child Labor and Protect the Rights of Minors.
13. (SBU) QUESTION E. What is the relationship between government officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society on the trafficking issue?
POST RESPONSE: The relationship between government officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and elements of civil society on the trafficking issue varies - generally depending on the particular government agency and whether the relationship is at the federal or state level. The relationship between the GOM and civil society in any context has traditionally been tense, but in the area of trafficking there has been significant, if uneven, cooperation in the last year.
By building a good relationship with INM over the last couple years, IOM has easy access to the two large INM detention centers in Mexico City and Tapachula. However, access varies among NGOs: Sin Fronteras has complained of increasing obstruction by INM for NGOs to access detainees, while Casa Migrante has generally enjoyed easy access to the Tapachula detention center.
In cases of identifying potential trafficking victims in detention centers, INM defers to IOMQ,s expertise to handle the cases. Since March 2006, INM has helped identify and solicited IOM's assistance in four trafficking cases. The Mexican Commission of Assistance to Refugees (COMAR) and the Institute of Human Development (IDH - the equivalent of state-level DIF in Chiapas) referred to IOM two more trafficking cases in this period. Yet there is still progress to be made. In June 2006, IOM held a meeting with INM on establishing standard procedures for the identification and assistance of trafficking victims in detention centers
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nationwide, but this issue has since gained little traction. IOM made significant progress in developing an anti-TIP committee in Tapachula, consisting of representatives from Grupo Beta (an INM unit that provides assistance to migrants in need), IDH, COMAR, Central American consulates, UNHCR and a string of NGOs. The committee meets monthly, exchanges information, and cooperates in the identification and assistance of victims. However, IOM stated that it met some resistance in establishing a Coordinating Committee with key government entities at the federal level, though IOM met on March 1 with high level SRE and INM officials who expressed their support for its victim services programs.
NGOs and international organizations often report positive cooperation with government agencies on the state level. IOM receives excellent cooperation from INMUJERES on the state level. BSCC, ECPAT and Fundacion Infantia have reported constructive working relationships with DIF in a variety of states (though with less success with the DIF in Tijuana). Civil society actors also participate in the Committee for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children organized by DIF.
The NGO Fundacion Infantia and the International Labor Organization (ILO) has worked with the Secretariat of Labor (STPS), PGR, DIF and INM on public awareness campaigns to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children, with particularly good cooperation with state-level DIF offices.
IOM, ILO, UNICEF, the Bilateral Security Corridor Coalition (BSCC), Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women and Children (CAT-W), and Fundacion Infantia have conducted training for federal and state governmental agencies to build capacity in victim services and to develop greater awareness of trafficking and the harms of sexual tourism.
14. (SBU) QUESTION F. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking? Do law enforcement agencies screen for potential trafficking victims along borders?
POST RESPONSE: Mexican authorities are aware of the influx of trafficked persons and other illegal migrants entering through the southern border with the intention of transiting Mexico en route to the U.S., but scarce resources prevent them from training personnel to effectively screen for potential trafficking victims. Mexican migration authorities deported or detained for deportation approximately 180,000 aliens in 2006 Q) the vast majority of whom were from Central America; approximately 30 thousand were women and two thousand were minors. INM, however, believes that up to 500,000 aliens may cross the border every year. Since March 2006, the GOM referred six migrants who were trafficking victims to IOM; and consulates and NGOs referred three other victims who were migrants.
Grupo Beta, the INM unit that operates on the borders and provides humanitarian aide to migrants in need, is alert to trafficking victims and referred three trafficking victims to IOM since March 2006. Grupo Beta is also an active participant in the anti-trafficking committee in Tapachula, Chiapas, established by IOM. During 2006, Grupo Beta reported that its agents rescued 7,745 migrants; gave medical support to 694; found 148 in the desert and rain forest; provided social assistance to 103,732 and legal advice to 222; and authorized protection to 92 migrants who were victims of crime, some of whom were trafficking victims.
In September 2006, INM authorized the issuance of humanitarian visas, which are valid for one year, renewable, and granted to victims who agree to cooperate in the prosecution of cases. INM reported that it has identified and granted visas to 11 trafficking victims, four of whom received visas since March 2006. Four of the victims were from Argentina, four others from Honduras, two from China, and one from El Salvador. One victim identified an INM official in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, who provided protection to traffickers; INM has since removed that official and is conducting an investigation.
In operations to secure its borders, INM nonetheless misses significant opportunities to identify victims. In 2006, Mexican authorities designed a national program to raid bars, conducting 872 operations and detaining 799 foreigners working illegally, but no trafficking victims were identified. On the northern border, Mexican authorities rarely intervene when migrants cross into the U.S., providing opportunity for trafficking.
In September 2006, INM cooperated with the NGO Sin Fronteras and the GOM agencies PGR, PFP and CISEN to carry out an operation on the manufacturing plant KBL, where they found 61
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Chinese workers whose migratory documents were in the control of their employer and who were forced to work 14 hours per day. The workers returned to China. (See paragraph 22 for more information on the case.)
Within the last year, the GOM completed a USD $10 million migrant processing facility in Tapachula, Chiapas, where many Central American migrants pass. The facility provides separate sections for women and children.
The GOM has signed accords with Guatemala, Belize, and El Salvador that include provisions to enhance border security and provide for the safe and orderly repatriation of migrants, with special procedures for unaccompanied women and children.
INM is establishing SIOM, a law enforcement database, at 175 ports of entry in Mexico, which will potentially be a useful instrument in fighting trafficking. In addition, President Calderon just announced plans for a Safe Southern Border Program, designed to strengthen Mexico's law enforcement efforts in the south, improve treatment of illegal migrants, and create a guest worker program for Central Americans.
15. (SBU) QUESTION G. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication between various agencies, internal, international, and multilateral on trafficking-related matters, such as a multi-agency working group or a task force? Does the government have a trafficking in persons working group or single point of contact? Does the government have a public corruption task force?
POST RESPONSE: The government uses its Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking to coordinate internal, international, and multilateral efforts to combat trafficking. The PFP is the lead agency, providing the Technical Secretary for the Working Group. (See paragraph 10 for more information.)
While PGR and PFP have identified TIP coordinators in their agencies, the INM has not designated a TIP coordinator, though the point of contact remains the head of the nationQ,s migrant detention centers. ICE is working with INM to identify a coordinator and establish investigative units.
The Secretariat for Public Administration (SFP) and the PGR share the responsibility to investigate public corruption. Many government agencies also have internal anti-corruption programs.
16. (SBU) QUESTION H. Does the government have a national plan of action to address trafficking in persons? If so, which agencies were involved in developing it? Were NGOs consulted in the process? What steps has the government taken to disseminate the action plan?
POST RESPONSE: The GOM does not have a national plan of action to address trafficking at this time, though the Interinstitutional Working Group on Trafficking has expressed an interest in drafting a national plan. The PFP, however, drafted a plan of action for its own operations, establishing five investigative units and assigning them to five distinct regions in the country. DIF also drafted and executed a national plan for its program to eliminate commercial sexual exploitation of children, identifying the nationQ,s most critical cities. Civil society participated in DIFQ,s development of a national plan and remains involved in the program's committee. (See paragraph 13.)
(End of Part I.)
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