Cablegate: Government of Ecuador Participates in Tip Forum

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: Four GOE officials spoke at the June 16
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) forum, sponsored by the Embassy
and Catholic University. Topics included anti-trafficking
legislation, underage prostitution, and the government's
actions. "Dying to Leave", a video about trafficking, was
shown, and PAS distributed information packets. On June 15,
PolOff met with Congresswomen Myriam Garces and Jaqueline
Silva, who promised to meet with First Lady Maria Beatriz
Paret and encourage her to speak out against TIP. The June
13 - 24 International Law Enforcement Academy conference has
provided excellent case-specific training to thirty-two
police officers, judges, and prosecutors from the Andean
region. End Summary.

GOE Officials Speak at TIP Forum

2. The Embassy and Catholic University sponsored a TIP forum
on June 16, which featured four GOE speakers. Consuelo
Bowen, of the National Commission on Women, focused on the
government's efforts to combat commercial sexual exploitation
of minors and on its inter-institutional anti-trafficking
committee. The police's National Director of Investigations,
General Paco Teran, spoke out against TIP and explained
efforts to stop underage prostitution. Congressman Hugo
Ibarra, Vice President of the Committee on Civil and Criminal
Legislation, discussed the legislation Congress approved on
June 1 to combat trafficking and the problem of underage
prostitution. The MFA's Human Rights Director, Carmen
Larrea, spoke about the government's work in the last year to
fight TIP and about what needs to be done to move forward.
Maria Elena Najera, a lawyer at Catholic University, clearly
defined trafficking and mentioned the TIP-related
international agreements Ecuador has signed.

3. The turnout was excellent with 100 people at the standing
room only event. The video "Dying to Leave" was shown with
Spanish subtitles that were funded by WHA/PDA. The film
features trafficking victims who relate their experiences,
warning potential victims about how they were tricked and
coerced. PAS distributed information packets to attendees
including the media, government officials, police officers,
civil society members, and students.

Congresswomen Pledge Continued TIP Support

4. On June 15, PolOff met separately with Congresswomen
Myriam Garces and Jaqueline Silva, president of the
Commission on Women, Children, Youth, and Families. Both
have long supported TIP legislation and remain interested in
the topic. The congresswomen agreed to raise trafficking
with First Lady Paret and encourage her to use her role as
head of the National Institute for Children and Families
(INNFA) to speak publicly against TIP.

Conference Provides Practical Law Enforcement Training
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. Thirty-two police officers, prosecutors and judges are
attending a two-week International Law Enforcement Academy
(ILEA) conference on TIP, sponsored by the International
Organization on Migration. Attendees came from Ecuador,
Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia for the June 13 - 24 conference.
The conference is very case-oriented, has familiarized
participants with international standards on trafficking, and
encourages officials to use other legislation where
TIP-specific legislation is inadequate. The following themes
have been discussed in the course: risk assessment, witness
protection, pro-active investigative techniques,
international cooperation, and intelligence gathering.

Six Weeks Left

6. Comment: The June 13 resignation of Undersecretary of
Government Juan Carlos Guzman, who handled TIP, and the lack
of clarity in the ministry as to who will take over the
portfolio is a new hurdle, but we will use our wide range of
GOE and other local contacts to keep moving forward. In
particular, we will work with the police to push for
significant investigations into trafficking, and with the
government to promote an awareness campaign and public
discussion of the evil of trafficking by a high-level

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