Cablegate: Ecuador's Tip Legislation and Conference

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 2519

B. 2773

1. (U) Summary. Ecuador took additional steps forward in
combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) over the past week.
Congress debated the draft of anti-TIP legislation that
criminalizes TIP, sexual tourism, child pornography, and
child prostitution. On October 22, the MFA and United
Nations co-sponsored a TIP conference, where government
officials spoke out against trafficking. The Ambassador's
October 21 visit to Fundacion Quimera, the NGO that will set
up the Machala TIP shelter, showed that the organization
thoroughly understands the problem and is committed to the
cause. The police conducted 37 raids from October 7 - 14.
Also the Ministry of Government (MoG) plans to provide
alternative employment training to adolescent prostitutes in
mid-November, and the Burdet-Cedeno couple was sentenced to
an additional 25 years for a rape related to their ongoing
child pornography case. End Summary.

TIP Legislation

2. (U) According to media reports and MoG official Carlos
Jativa, the Congressional Committee on Civil and Criminal
Legislation has reviewed all anti-TIP bills submitted by
several congresspeople and the Ministry of Government. The
committee combined all proposals into one bill, and Congress
held the first debate on October 20. Jativa expects the
anti-TIP legislation pending in Congress to be passed within
30 days. He claimed Minister of Government Raul Baca will go
to the press if the bill is delayed. Pertinent facets of the
bill include the following:

a. The definition of TIP complies with G/TIP's model
b. Child is defined as a person under 18 years for
pornography and prostitution.
c. Penalty of 12 to 25 years for traffickers
d. Penalties for clients and persons who facilitate the crime
of sexual tourism with minors under 18.
e. Penalty of 4 to 25 years for people who produce child
f. Presumption that a person cannot give consent for TIP and
sexual exploitation when:
1. the person is under 18 years of age
2. the person has a disease that doesn't allow him/her to
resist violence or threats
3. the perpetrator takes advantage of a situation of
superiority over the victim.

3. (U) G/TIP is requested to review the legislation which was
faxed on October 26. Jativa has told us we can submit
changes to him, and if the MoG agrees with them, Jativa will
submit them to Congress.

MFA's TIP Conference

4. (U) The MFA and UN co-sponsored a two-day conference on
alien smuggling and TIP on October 21 and 22. Approximately
50 people attended, of whom 10 were DINAPEN officers (the
police unit dedicated to protecting children). Several
high-level Ecuadorian government officials spoke at the
meeting. Director of CONAMU (the National Women's Council)
Rocio Rosero spoke out against TIP and CSEM. Minister of
Labor Raul Izurieta described the evils of child prostitution
and the circumstances that lead some Ecuadorian families to
domestically traffic their children as prostitutes. Attorney
General Mariana Yepez stated there is a pilot program to
facilitate minors' testimonies and avoid victimizing them
again in legal proceedings. However, most speakers confused
alien smuggling and TIP, and many discussed issues unrelated
to TIP for a large portion of their speeches.

NGO in Machala Gets It

5. (U) On October 21, the Ambassador and PolOff visited
Fundacion Quimera, a NGO in Machala that has worked on
commercial sexual exploitation of minors (CSEM) and related
issues for several years. The NGO will set up a Machala
shelter for TIP victims in conjunction with the International
Labor Organization (ILO), through a grant from the Department
of Labor (Ref A). The ILO's headquarters in Geneva should
give official approval for the project shortly, and the
shelter should open in January 2005. The facility will
accommodate 50 minors who were sexually exploited, and
management also will educate potential TIP victims. The
NGO's leaders were very energized, committed to fighting TIP,
and understood the problem in depth.

Police Raids

6. (U) From October 7 - 14, DINAPEN conducted 37 raids of
nightclubs and bars and found 35 minors, who are believed to
have engaged in prostitution. Almost all of them were handed
over to family members. Twenty-nine of the 35 minors were
males. DHS is investigating to determine why so many males
were found.

MoG Plans More Training

7. (U) PolOff met with Jativa on October 20. Jativa's office
is canvassing a group of 19 adolescent prostitutes to study
their entry into the trade and better understand their social
service needs. He reported that Baca met with the leaders of
this group on October 15 and that the MoG and ILO are funding
alternative vocational training sessions for 25 adolescent
prostitutes and their families. They will occur by

Burdet-Cedeno Sentenced to 25 Years

8. (U) According to press reports, a court in Guayas province
sentenced the Burdet-Cedeno couple on October 19 to 25 years
for the rape of their ten-year old niece. The crime occurred
in conjunction with their child pornography videos. There
are three remaining charges against the couple (Ref B).


9. (SBU) The legislation in Congress is a good sign and shows
the determination of the MoG and many congresspeople to fight
TIP. With Jativa's offer to accept our input, we hope
Ecuador will eventually pass a strong anti-trafficking law.
The raids and MoG training sessions also show a commitment to
stopping the crime, prosecuting the perpetrators, and
attending to victims' needs. Substantial press coverage of
the Burdet-Cedeno case has kept the problem in the public eye.

10. (SBU) The MFA's conference, however, revealed there still
is a lack of understanding of the difference between TIP and
smuggling, and very few new ideas and information were
presented. We will continue to meet with government
officials to discuss their actions and remind them of the
need to provide as much information as possible for the
November 15 report.

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