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Cablegate: Congress Passes Tip Legislation

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

1. Summary: On June 1, Congress passed a law criminalizing
trafficking in persons (TIP) with 6 to 35-year prison terms.
The legislation also penalizes companies and individuals who
promote sexual tourism and child sex tourism with 6 to 12
years. The bill is expected to go to President Alfredo
Palacio on June 6 for approval. The passage of this
long-pending legislation will, when fully implemented,
provide authorities new tools to combat TIP. We will work
with authorities to use the new law to develop cases against
traffickers. End Summary.

Penalty for TIP is 6 to 16 Years

2. Congress passed legislation on June 1 to explicitly
criminalize TIP, in accordance with its international
commitments. According to press reports, Congress approved
the following penalties:

-- 6 to 9 years for TIP when sexual exploitation is not
-- 9 to 12 years if the TIP victim is under 18 years of age
-- 12 to 16 years when TIP involves a victim under 14, a
victim who suffers a severe or permanent bodily injury or
irreversible psychological damage, or a trafficker who is a
legal or common-law spouse or blood relative up to the fourth
-- $20,000 fine for the legal representative of a
communication medium that promoted sex crimes or TIP

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Related Crimes Also Sanctioned

3. The law also defines sex tourism and child pornography as
crimes. These new protections could benefit TIP victims.
According to press reports, the law provides for:

-- 6 to 9 years and fines of $10,000 to $15,000 for
organizers or promoters of sexual tourism
-- Up to 12 years and a $20,000 fine if a victim of sex
tourism is under 18
-- Companies involved in sex tourism will have their licenses
revoked, and individuals' businesses will be closed.
-- 4 to 8 years for people who force a handicapped person or
someone less than 18 years old to have sexual contact
-- 6 to 9 years for persons who produce, publish, or
advertise child pornography in which the victim is between
the ages of 14 and 18
-- 12 to 16 years if a victim of child pornography is less
than 14 years or is disabled
-- 25 to 35 years for crimes of sexual exploitation of minors

Next Steps

4. President of Congress Wilfrido Lucero is expected to send
the law to President Palacio on June 6. He is expected to
approve or suggest changes to the text (through a partial
veto) within two weeks. We have requested a copy of the law
and once received, will fax it to WHA/PPC.

5. Comment: Passing an anti-trafficking law represents a
significant step forward and is particularly notable coming
in Ecuador's exceedingly unstable political environment.
After analyzing the text, we hope to encourage the GOE to
implement it fully, by building cases against traffickers
using the new provisions. Full implementation will also
require training law enforcement and judicial officials.
Coming just two days before the USG issues the TIP report, we
are prepared to acknowledge Congress' overdue action, call on
the GOE for rapid implementation of the law, and defend
Ecuador's Tier III rating.

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