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Cablegate: Interim Tip Assessment for Mexico

VZCZCXRO5760
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6568/01 3260035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220035Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4329
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 006568

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KCRM KWMN MX
SUBJECT: INTERIM TIP ASSESSMENT FOR MEXICO

Summary
--------

1. (SBU) The Government of Mexico (GOM) has shown
appreciable progress in addressing its deficiencies in
combating trafficking in persons (TIP) since the release of
the June 2006 TIP Report, especially in the conduct of
trafficking investigations. However, to provide a clear and
reliable framework for the protection of victims and
prosecution of traffickers, the GOM should adopt federal
anti-trafficking legislation; show more improvement in the
areas of arrests and prosecutions; establish a reliable data
gathering mechanism; create identification and referral
procedures for victims; and provide better protection for
trafficking victims.

Coordination and Cooperation
----------------------------

2. (SBU) The Mexican Federal Preventative Police (PFP), the
lead government agency on TIP, appointed Jose Nemecio Lugo as
the Director General for Smuggling and Contraband, which also
covers trafficking cases. Lugo also leads the federal
interagency committee on trafficking. PFP created five
investigative units dedicated exclusively to trafficking
cases in different geographic areas. Two units have already
initiated investigations. Although PGR and the National
Institute for Migration (INM) have yet to assign their
respective trafficking coordinators, the agencies have
actively assisted PFP on investigations and the
identification of victims.

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3. (U) The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH), with
the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sponsored
a TIP conference in June, in Chiapas, that was attended by
more than 200 persons representing government agencies, NGOs
and academia from Mexico, the United States and Guatemala.
The Secretariat for Foreign Relations sponsored an
interagency meeting with NGOs on trafficking, intending to
build stronger relations and cooperation between government
and civil society. The GOM has also participated in two major
international conferences on trafficking.

4. (SBU) While GOM-USG bilateral law enforcement mechanism
is working well, resulting in effective collaborative
investigations and extraditions, Mexico must bolster
bilateral cooperation with its southern neighbors on anti-TIP
efforts, particularly Guatemala. DHS-ICE has provided a
40-hour training course on TIP investigations to 60 PFP
officers, a 4-hour module to 300 officers at the PFP training
academy, and additional training to INM officers in Chiapas.

Investigations, Arrests, and Prosecutions
-----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) The GOM has pursued at least nine trafficking cases
(verified by the DHS-ICE TIP coordinator at post), most of
which are still active. As a result, the GOM has conducted
several rescues of potential trafficking victims, issued one
active state arrest warrant (though no arrest has been made),
and made one arrest under federal charges of child
pornography. The GOM participated closely with civil society
on these investigations, and the leads to all rescues were
provided by NGOs. Five cases involved an element of USG
cooperation and two were related to active USG trafficking
investigations, resulting in one extradition of an alleged
trafficker from Mexico to the US. A case is still pending for
a Mexican citizen extradited from the US to Mexico on
TIP-related charges on July 15 and who is currently detained
in Cancun.

6. (U) On April 28, the Mexican Attorney General's Office
(PGR) prevailed on an appeal in a significant prosecution on
TIP-related charges. The seven defendants were members of the
Carreto trafficking ring and were convicted with sentences
ranging from 19 to 27 years. Though currently serving time,
the defendants have initiated another appeal process. GOM
also granted the extradition to the US of one of the
defendants wanted on trafficking charges, though first she
will have to complete her 25 year sentence in Mexico.

7. (SBU) CNDH issued its first recommendation in April to
the INM and the Secretariat of Labor, addressing a
trafficking case of two Chinese nationals in the state of
Guanajuato. The subsequent investigation by authorities,
however, was largely ineffective.

8. (SBU) PFP is developing a mechanism to collect data on
TIP-related investigations, arrests and prosecutions from the
state governments, but considerable work remains to be done.
The PFP and Save the Children have entered into a formal
collaborative relationship, which will include a project

MEXICO 00006568 002 OF 002


among a network of civil society organizations to manage a
web-based database to track missing persons, including
potential trafficking victims.

9. (SBU) Impunity and corruption are serious problems in
most areas and at all levels of government in Mexico. There
have been no reported sanctions against corrupt officials
involved in trafficking.

Anti-Trafficking Legislation
----------------------------

10. (SBU) Although the Mexican senate passed comprehensive
anti-trafficking legislation early in the year, the lower
chamber of congress did not vote on the bill before its
session ended in June. The lower chamber is currently
studying the anti-trafficking legislation in committee, in
consideration for a floor vote. There is strong support for
the legislation across party lines in the chamber. The state
of Michoacan passed state-level anti-trafficking legislation
in June. The state of Chihuahua has completed the draft of
its anti-trafficking legislation, which it expects to
introduce to the state congress shortly.

Protection Services
-------------------

11. (SBU) In September, INM authorized the issuance of visas
to trafficking victims, contingent on assistance in
prosecution cases. However, there currently do not exist
formal mechanisms for immigration officials to interview and
detect potential trafficking victims and refer them to
victims' services. Though CNDH enjoys complete access to
victims, NGOs have limited entree to INM detention centers.
INM and PFP have expressed interest in participating with
NGOs in training programs on identifying TIP victims. Mexico
lacks shelters exclusively dedicated to TIP victims.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity
BASSETT

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