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Cablegate: November Tip Update

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 QUITO 003099

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/PPC, WHA/AND, AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EC
SUBJECT: NOVEMBER TIP UPDATE

REF: A. QUITO 2773

B. QUITO 3027

1. Summary: This cable reports significant anti-TIP
developments since our interim TIP report (Ref A). USAID and
Geneva Global will mount six new projects to combat TIP
(Trafficking in Persons) by the end of the year. We recently
met with two organizations who provide services to children
and are interested in adapting their programs to help TIP
victims. The director of the Ricky Martin Foundation met
with government officials to promote anti-TIP television
broadcasts. The police continued stepping up TIP efforts by
conducting 64 raids on nightclubs and bars from October 28 -
November 11 reuniting 54 minors with their families. End
Summary.

----------------------------
Progress on Victims Services
----------------------------

2. USAID and Geneva Global will provide $600,000 to fund 12
to 15 projects to address TIP issues in Ecuador. Geneva
Global held a conference on November 15 with 38 NGOs to
solicit proposals for projects. The organization will
coordinate with the Embassy to choose proposals that target
Ecuador's needs and will choose six projects by the end of
the year. The remaining projects will be chosen by March
2005. We met with Geneva Global on November 16 to coordinate
and explain our priorities: shelters, psychological
services, and alternative job training for victims.

3. PolOff and AIDOff recently met with two potential
providers of victims services: Street Children and the San
Jose Foundation. The former organization is faith-based and
runs a shelter for 12 to 15 boys; provides food, education,
and before- and after-school activities to many more
children; and has victims centers in seven cities. The San
Jose foundation is largely funded by the municipality of
Quito with some support from local businesses. It will open
a transitory shelter in January 2005 that will house 60
people of all ages and currently runs programs to assist
victims of child labor. The foundation runs a shelter for
beggars and impoverished senior citizens. The directors of
both organizations were interested in providing services to
TIP victims but need assistance tailoring their programs to
meet the needs of TIP victims. PolOff will work with AID to
see what assistance we can provide, and we put both
organizations in contact with Geneva Global.

-----------------------
Ricky Martin Foundation
-----------------------

4. Angel Saltos, executive director of the Ricky Martin
Foundation (RMF), met with the DCM, PolOff, AIDOff, and IO on
November 19 to explain RMF's interest in combating TIP in
Ecuador. Saltos and PolOff met with the National Committee
on Women and the police on November 22 to encourage further
cooperation on combating trafficking. The RMF's People for
Children works to prevent TIP and assist victims,
particularly children. The MFA is trying to get free airtime
for Ricky Martin's public service announcements (PSA) against
trafficking. These spots have already aired on one
television channel in Quito in August during the noon news.
Saltos said that one of the PSAs was aired in Ecuador on
October 10 in an UNICEF telethon. He also recorded a
10-minute radio interview that PAS will distribute to 60
radio stations and did a radio interview with Radio Quito to
raise awareness of TIP and its consequences.

--------------------------
New Minister of Government
--------------------------

5. The DCM and PolChief met with the new Minister of
Government, Jaime Damerval, on November 15 (Ref B). They
encouraged him to appoint someone soon to cover TIP and call
a meeting of the Interagency TIP Commission he heads.
Damerval was more focused on other concerns, such as
political reforms but said he would personally lobby Congress
to pass pending anti-TIP legislation.

--------------------------------------
Sixty-Four Raids in the Last Two Weeks
--------------------------------------

6. From October 28 - November 11, DINAPEN conducted 64 raids
of nightclubs and bars and found 55 minors who may have been
involved in prostitution. With the exception of one minor
who was taken into protective custody, all victims were
handed over to family members. We are requesting additional
information on the activities of the potential TIP victims.

--------------------------------------
News from the Office of the Presidency
--------------------------------------

7. PolOff met with Carlos Larrea, the President's legal
advisor and secretary of the Interagency TIP Commission, on
November 24. He said he would lobby in favor of the bill and
was trying to build a coalition. However due to Congress'
coming recess, he expects no further progress will be made on
the legislation until mid-January. Larrea said he would ask
all committee members to provide him with a report on their
progress and will continue to press MinGov Damerval to
appoint someone to cover TIP.

-------
Comment
-------

8. We will work with organizations, such as Geneva Global
and the Ricky Martin Foundation, to develop public-private
partnerships to combat TIP and help victims. We have
encouraged the GOE and local NGOs to work with these
foundations and will consider them for USG matching funds.
The MFA is taking steps in the right direction by working to
air the anti-trafficking videos. Larrea is emerging as a key
supporter and TIP ally while the new Government Minister
assembles his team. We will continue promote GOE
coordination with NGO's, and urge Congress to take up TIP
reforms.
KENNEY

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