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Cablegate: Mexico: Tip Interim Assessment

VZCZCXRO1685
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #5891/01 3242207
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 202207Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9616
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 005891

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

G/TIP -- BARBARA FLECK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KCRM KWMN MX PGOV PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: MEXICO: TIP INTERIM ASSESSMENT

REF: STATE 148925

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Government of Mexico (GOM) has shown
significant and substantive progress in addressing its
deficiencies in combating trafficking in persons (TIP) since
the release of the June 2007 TIP Report, in particular by
enacting comprehensive federal anti-TIP legislation to
criminalize and punish all severe forms of TIP. Meanwhile,
it has opened several new cases against traffickers and has
developed plans to engage more government agencies in a
coordinated effort to assist and protect victims. With the
adoption of the new anti-TIP law, the GOM is looking at
expanding the resources it dedicates to combating trafficking
and creating a special unit in the Attorney General's Office
to prosecute trafficking cases. END SUMMARY.

Anti-Trafficking Legislation
-----------------------------

2. (U) On March 27, Mexico enacted a federal law against the
Sexual Exploitation of Children, which includes sanctions for
the corruption of minors. On October 31, President Calderon
signed into law Mexico's new federal anti-trafficking
legislation (unanimously approved and ratified by the Senate
on October 2). The law not only criminalizes trafficking in
persons, as defined by international treaties signed and
ratified by Mexico, but also underscores the need to
establish specialized shelters that can protect, assist, and
provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims.
Separately, Tlaxcala joined four other states (Michoacan,
Chihuahua, Guerrero, and Zacatecas) in adopting anti-TIP
legislation at the state level.

GoM Opens New Trafficking Cases
-------------------------------

3. (SBU) Since June, the GOM has reported making arrests in
connection to three new TIP cases. The GOM reportedly made
new arrests in the Divas case that it opened originally in
early 2007. It also provided USG authorities with information
contributing to arrests made in connection to a TIP case in
South Carolina. All told, Mexican authorities have arrested
at least six individuals in connection to alleged federal
trafficking cases since June. Meanwhile, the state of
Chihuahua has produced seven indictments against alleged
traffickers this year. Separately, the GOM has conducted
several rescues of potential trafficking victims in cases
where there was insufficient evidence to initiate a formal
investigation/prosecution.

Information Collection
----------------------

4. (U) The GOM-USG bilateral law enforcement cooperation is
working well, resulting in effective collaborative
investigations. In 2005, Mexico's Foreign Affairs Secretariat
created a working group focused on TIP. Over the last three
months, this group has considered next steps once the TIP law
passed Congress, including the creation of two sub-groups
dedicated to social and legal issues respectively. The legal
sub-group will be dedicated to prosecuting and convicting
traffickers. In addition, INM has expanded its efforts to
collect information on foreigners involved in trafficking
either as victims or traffickers with a particular focus on
Central Americans. The Attorney General's office relies on a
database to track TIP cases at both the federal and local
level and is looking at developing a single unit to prosecute
TIP cases.

Protection Services
--------------------

5. (SBU) The sub-group working on social issues noted above
will focus on providing services to victims including witness
protection. The SRE has also created a toll free hotline for
trafficking victims to call. The budget to support the
federal law is expected to be drawn from the budgets of INM,
PGR, and SSP. By November, INM reported that it had issued
six humanitarian visas to allow trafficking victims to remain
in Mexico pending investigations into their cases. With the
adoption of the Mexico's new TIP law, a national commission
for trafficking in persons will replace the exiting
interagency committee presently led by SRE. This commission
will have the authority to request additional funds to
support the law and implement a national program to prevent
trafficking and protect victims. To date, the GOM has
expended significantly expanded resources to train
prosecutors, judges, immigration officials, and police in
anticipation of the new law's adoption and implementation. As
of November 2007, USAID and Mexico have collaborated in
assisting 245 TIP victims with medical, legal, psychological

MEXICO 00005891 002 OF 002


support and shelter.

Victim Identification
---------------------

6. (U) Mexican immigration (INM) officials regularly
interview migrants -- generally from Central America --
detained in migrant detention centers to ascertain if they
have been the victims of trafficking. Mexico's National
Human Rights Commission (CNDH) maintains offices on location
at the migrant detention centers for the purpose of
monitoring treatment of all migrants and assuring that
victims of trafficking enjoy special protections. The
Mexican Government has an established a Memorandum of
Understanding with Guatemala providing for the protection of
victims of trafficking with particular attention to women and
children.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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