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Cablegate: Tip Activist Trimarco Launches Anti-Tip Foundation

VZCZCXRO8384
RR RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHQU RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHBU #2095/01 2971808
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241808Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9544
INFO RUCNMRC/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0683

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUENOS AIRES 002095

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

G/IWI FOR PENNY RECHKEMMER
G/TIP FOR BARBARA FLECK AND KATIE BRESNAHAN
WHA/BSC FOR JANINA SLATTERY
WHA/PPC FOR SCOTT MILLER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AR KWMN PHUM PREL KCRM SMIG KFRD ASEC ELAB

SUBJECT: TIP ACTIVIST TRIMARCO LAUNCHES ANTI-TIP FOUNDATION

REF: BUENOS AIRES 300

1. (U) Summary. Ambassador Wayne delivered the keynote speech at
the launch of Susana Trimarco's anti-trafficking in persons (TIP)
foundation. In the Ambassador's remarks, he highlighted the need
for comprehensive anti-TIP legislation and underscored USG
commitment to fight TIP. He also announced an Embassy donation of
computers and educational materials to the foundation. The event
attracted strong local media coverage, and National Deputy Stella
Maris Cordoba as well as provincial officials attended the event.
After the event, Trimarco and the Ambassador called on Tucuman
Governor Jose Alperovich to underscore the importance of fighting
human trafficking. Alperovich congratulated Trimarco and offered
continued support.

2. (U) Earlier this year, the Department twice recognized Trimarco
for her efforts to combat trafficking: first as an International
Woman of Courage and later as a Heroine Acting to end Modern-Day
Slavery. Department recognition of Trimarco's fight against TIP has
helped raise her profile and call attention to Argentina's human
trafficking problem. An extraordinary networker, Trimarco has
relied on the media, grassroots organization, the Catholic Church
and the National Gendarmerie to develop an ad hoc response to
identifying, rescuing, and rehabilitating victims. The
establishment of the Maria de los Angeles Foundation is the first
step to institutionalizing Trimarco's crusade against human
trafficking and will hopefully inject momentum to civil society's
efforts to pass meaningful anti-TIP legislation. End Summary.

---------------------------------
Foundation Inauguration a Success
---------------------------------

3. (U) Ambassador Wayne delivered the keynote speech at the launch
of Susana Trimarco's anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) foundation on
October 19. The "Maria de los Angeles Foundation" is named after
Trimarco's daughter who was kidnapped in 2003 and is believed to
have been trafficked into sexual slavery. During the ribbon-cutting
ceremony, Trimarco publicly thanked the Ambassador for his and the
USG's continued support of her fight against TIP.

4. (U) Trimarco says that the main objectives of the foundation
are to: 1) continue investigations into human trafficking; 2)
provide assistance to trafficking victims until they are ready to be
reintegrated into their communities or start new lives elsewhere; 3)
advocate for stronger government policies to combat human
trafficking on behalf of mothers who have lost children to
modern-day slavery; and 4) raise awareness of the problem through
media outreach and training to judges, prosecutors and law
enforcement officials. According to Trimarco, the GOA and the
provincial government of Tucuman provided financial assistance to
help her launch the foundation.

5. (U) In his remarks, the Ambassador congratulated Trimarco on
her achievements, highlighted the need for comprehensive anti-TIP
legislation, and underscored USG commitment to working with Trimarco
and others in the government and civil society to combat human
trafficking. The Ambassador also presented Trimarco with a State
Department certificate naming her a Heroine Acting to end Modern-Day
Slavery and announced an Embassy donation of two computers and
educational materials. National Congresswoman Stella Maris Cordoba,
who has sponsored comprehensive draft anti-TIP legislation, attended
the event, as did a number of officials from the provinces of
Tucuman and La Rioja. Representatives from the National Ministry of
Justice and the National Anti-Discrimination Institute (INADI) were
also present.

-------------------------------
Media Views Ambassador's Presence as Sign of USG Support
-------------------------------

6. (U) Local television, radio and press in full force covered the
event and carried the Ambassador's key-note address as the main
feature of their news items. Tucuman's most traditional and
biggest-selling newspaper, La Gaceta, for example, carried the news
on its front page and two separate stories on the Ambassador's visit
inside. Local journalists viewed the Ambassador's presence as a
sign of strong international support for Trimarco's cause.

------------------------------
Trimarco and Ambassador Raise TIP with Tucuman Governor
-------------------------------

7. (U) After the foundation's launch, Trimarco accompanied the
Ambassador on a courtesy call to Tucuman Governor Jose Alperovich.
The Ambassador noted USG commitment to supporting Trimarco and her

BUENOS AIR 00002095 002 OF 002


foundation. Trimarco thanked Alperovich for the financial support
his administration provided to the Foundation, and asked him to
"forgive her" when she asks him for more. She praised the
governor's efforts to create a special police unit dedicated to
investigating crimes against sexual integrity, including TIP crimes,
calling the unit "exemplary". Alperovich congratulated Trimarco on
the inauguration of her new foundation and offered to continue
supporting her efforts to combat human trafficking.

----------------------------
What Accounts for Trimarco's Success
----------------------------

8. (U) Trimarco has relied heavily on the media, at the national
and provincial levels, to highlight the problem of human trafficking
in Argentina, in general, and her search for her missing daughter,
in particular. The opening of the foundation is widely seen as a
landmark in her work. Trimarco is an extraordinary networker,
organizing a group of mothers throughout the country whose children
have disappeared. They often accompany her at meetings with
provincial government officials to demand greater action in
resolving these cases. As reported reftel, Trimarco's initial modus
operandi included her investigating bars and brothels disguised as a
prostitute in search of information that could lead to the rescue of
her daughter, Marita. In her search, she came across trafficking
victims and worked with the Argentine National Gendarmerie to
organize rescue missions.

9. (U) Now, due to her high public profile, people call Trimarco
directly to provide her information on new disappearances. Trimarco
passes this information on to the Argentina National Gendarmerie,
and if it is a case that took place in Tucuman, to the Special Unit
in charge of investigating sex crimes and TIP. The Gendarmerie then
looks into the case, and if the lead can be verified, they organize
a rescue mission. The Maria de los Angeles Foundation website,
www.casoveron.org.ar, also has a link so that people can report
information about the whereabouts of Trimarco's missing daughter,
Marita, or other cases. Once rescued, Trimarco works with the
Catholic religious order "Hermanas Adoratrices" to provide housing
to victims. It is Trimarco's hope that the foundation will help to
institutionalize these ad hoc efforts to rescue and rehabilitate
trafficking victims.

-------
COMMENT
-------

10. (U) Department recognition of Trimarco's efforts have helped
raise her profile and call attention to Argentina's human
trafficking problem. The establishment of the Maria de los Angeles
Foundation is the first step to institutionalizing Trimarco's
crusade against human trafficking and will reenergize civil
society's efforts to pass meaningful legislation to prevent human
trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute offenders.

WAYNE

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