Cablegate: Embassy Buenos Aires Proposals for G/Tip Managed Fy 2008


DE RUEHBU #0171/01 0441537
R 131537Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A


B) 07 STATE 161287
B) 05 STATE 21324
C) 03 STATE 34981

1. (SBU) Summary and Background: Among Embassy Buenos Aires's top
priorities in strengthening Argentina's anti-trafficking efforts
include strengthening law enforcement and judicial capacity to
investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. The Argentine
government, in conjunction with the International Organization for
Migration, worked hard to raise public awareness of human
trafficking, and has made basic anti-trafficking education a regular
part of training for law enforcement and judicial officials through
its Office of Assistance to Victims of Crime (OFAVI). The proposals
that we recommend for G/TIP consideration would build on this effort
and strengthen institutional capacity to effectively identify
victims, as well as investigate and prosecute human trafficking

2. (SBU) Post received six bilateral proposals and one regional
proposal, of which we recommend two bilateral proposals and
co-endorse one regional proposal for the Tri-Border Area which
includes the border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The
first proposal was submitted by 2007 International Woman of Courage
Award Winner Susana Trimarco's NGO, the Maria de los Angeles
Foundation. It focuses on increasing law enforcement capacity to
investigate trafficking in persons crimes by establishing in six
high-risk provinces specialized police units to investigate TIP
cases based on a similar unit in Tucuman province. The second
proposal was submitted by local NGO Unidos por la Justicia (United
for Justice). It focuses on providing advanced training to judges,
prosecutors, and law enforcement officials in investigating and
prosecuting cases. In addition to these proposals, post endorses a
regional proposal from the International Organization for Migration
to combat TIP in the Tri-Border area as presented in ref A from
Asuncion. End Summary and Background.

Proposals for INCLE Funding

3. (SBU) Argentina is on the Department's Tier-2 Watch List. The
Embassy has worked closely with two Argentine NGOs that have each
submitted separate proposals for possible consideration of INCLE
funding. Both the Department in its 2007 TIP report and the Embassy
in its FY08 Mission Strategic Plan have identified the need to
increase Argentina's law enforcement and judicial capacity to
investigate, prosecute, and convict human traffickers. The separate
proposals from the Maria de los Angeles Foundation and Unidos por la
Justicia (Unidos) address this need. The Unidos proposal addresses
the additional need to provide greater assistance to trafficking
victims - a need also identified in the 2007 TIP report.

Maria de los Angeles Foundation Proposal

4. (SBU) The first, submitted by the Maria de los Angeles
Foundation ("The Foundation"), proposes to create special police
units to investigate trafficking in persons crimes modeled after the
Tucuman unit the Foundation assisted in setting up. We selected
this proposal for the following reasons:

-- The project addresses the need to increase Argentina's
law enforcement and judicial capacity to investigate,
prosecute, and convict human traffickers.

-- The project's cost is feasible, and Trimarco has a clear
understanding of Argentina's trafficking problem.

-- Trimarco and her staff have experience in developing
these types of specialized police units given their
assistance to develop the Tucuman special police unit.

5. (SBU) The Foundation was established in October 2007 by TIP
activist Susana Trimarco, whose daughter, Marita Veron, was
kidnapped by a human trafficking ring on April 3, 2002 in San Miguel
de Tucuman, Argentina when she was 23 years old. In 2007, Trimarco
was recognized by the U.S. Department of State twice: first as one
of 12 International Women of Courage and later as a Hero in the
global fight against human trafficking. We have worked very closely
with Ms. Trimarco, offering her guidance and material support in her
continued efforts to fight TIP.

i) Maria de los Angeles Foundation
For the fight against human trafficking

ii) Budget Cost: $ 62,000.00

iii) Project Title: Increasing Law Enforcement Capacity to
Investigate Human Trafficking Crimes

iv) Project Duration: 1 year

v) Proposal Abstract:

Identified need:

One of the biggest challenges in Argentine civil society's fight
against trafficking in persons (TIP) is the weak law enforcement and
judicial capacity to effectively investigate and prosecute human
trafficking crimes. Recognizing this problem, the Maria de los
Angeles Foundation successfully lobbied the Tucuman provincial
government to create a special police unit for the investigation of
TIP crimes. In the first six months since its establishment in June
2007, the Foundation and the unit have worked together to rescue 78
victims who were either trafficked or at risk of being trafficked.

Proposed Activities:

Building on this success, the foundation proposes to create similar
units in six provinces where the incidence of TIP is highest: Salta,
La Rioja, Misiones, Cordoba, Tierra de Fuego, and Buenos Aires City.
To do this, the Foundation will negotiate agreements with provincial
authorities to create, recruit, select, and train the special police
units. Training will include techniques on:

-- identifying a potential trafficking case when interviewing a
victim's relatives or friends;

-- working quickly with judicial authorities to obtain the necessary
search warrants to conduct rescue operations;

-- investigating the various components of trafficking rings
including the recruitment, transportation, harboring, and actual
exploitation of the victims; and

-- developing leads and obtaining evidence that can be used in
prosecuting the crime.

The Foundation also intends to work with these units to develop a
database to track and develop official statistics on missing persons
and trafficking victims.

Expected Outcomes:

At the conclusion of the project, we expect the special police units
to have the capacity to effectively investigate and dismantle human
trafficking networks as well as train additional police officers.
Once they are fully operational, we expect the units to resolve up
to 150 human trafficking cases a year and report TIP crime
statistics, recruiting patterns, and victim profiles to bolster the
government's and NGO community's efforts to combat the crime.

Unidos por la Justicia Proposal

6. (SBU) The second proposal, submitted by Unidos por la Justicia
(Unidos), focuses on providing advanced training to judges,
prosecutors, and law enforcement officials in investigating and
prosecuting cases. We selected this proposal for the following

-- It addresses the need to increase Argentina's law enforcement and
judicial capacity to investigate, prosecute, and convict human
traffickers and provide greater assistance to trafficking victims;

-- The project's cost is feasible; and

-- Although Unidos does not have direct experience in human
trafficking issues, it has a strong understanding of Argentina's
judicial system. It is a well-respected NGO in the judicial
community that we believe would be able to attract large numbers of
judges and prosecutors to its training workshops.

7. (SBU) The Embassy has worked closely with Unidos in the
implementaion of our "Justice Undergoing Change" program, which is
aimed at providing training to magistrates to help Argentina make
its judicial system more efficient.

i) Name of the Applicant:
Unidos por la Justicia Asociacion Civil

ii) Requested Funding Amount: $160,000

iii) Project Title: Integrated Trafficking in Persons Training and
Prevention Program

iv) Project Duration: 2 years

v) Proposal Abstract:

Identified Need:

In Argentina, there is no coordinated strategy among judicial and
law enforcement officials to carry forward integrated judicial
investigations into trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. In addition,
vulnerable populations are not aware of the methods traffickers use
to lure their victims, nor of the legal resources available to
denounce the crime. There is a scarcity of civil institutions -
particularly in high-risk areas - working to prevent the crime,
assisting victims and/or their families to denounce the crime, or
aiding in the social and labor reinsertion of victims in their home

Proposed Activities:

The goal is to enhance the efficiency of the prosecution of crimes
related to human trafficking through the integrated training of
judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials and agents. It
also aims to train people involved in assisting trafficking victims
and vulnerable populations, with the goal of strengthening the
social reintegration process and avoiding the recruitment of new

Experts will direct intensive workshops for members of the
judiciary, prosecutors, and law enforcement agents to train them in
investigative techniques to combat trafficking in persons. The
workshops will develop specific investigative protocols, which will
emphasize the planning and coordination of the different activities
that investigations require among all those involved.

Another team of experts will prepare workshops aimed at preventing
the recruitment of victims in high-risk areas, and at training
community leaders to aid and help reinsert victims.

Expected Outcomes:

The following outcomes are expected:

a) Enhance prosecutorial effectiveness by improving coordination
among people and resources;

b) Improve planning of investigations;

c) Strengthen the criminal system to combat trafficking in persons;

d) Decrease levels of revictimization in smuggling and trafficking
crimes; and

e) Strengthen mechanisms of assistance and social reinsertion of

IOM Regional Proposal

6. (SBU) The third proposal submitted by IOM and outlined in ref A
aims to prevent trafficking in persons, especially women and
children, by strengthening counter-trafficking networks in the TBA.
In addition, the project will provide medical, psychological, legal,
and labor reinsertion assistance to victims of trafficking in
persons (TIP) in the TBA. We co-endorse the proposal with Asuncion
for the following reasons:

-- It addresses the need to provide greater assistance to
trafficking victims and to strengthen NGO-government
counter-trafficking networks to combat TIP.

-- The Project's cost is feasible for a regional project.

-- IOM did an excellent job in implementing a previous Department
grant from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to
combat TIP in the region. As a part of that grant, IOM conducted a
comprehensive study on trafficking patterns in the region, developed

basic training programs to educate law enforcement and other
government on Argentina's TIP problem, and conducted numerous TIP
public awareness campaigns in Argentina. In addition, it has
created a tri-national network of government officials and NGOs in
the tri-border area to increase coordination and improve cooperation
to combat TIP in the TBA.


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