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Cablegate: Paraguay Raises Profile of Trafficking in Persons

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TAGS: PHUM KTIP PGOV PREL KPAO PA AR
SUBJECT: PARAGUAY RAISES PROFILE OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

1. (U) Leading daily newspaper ABC Color ran a full-page
article on trafficking in persons (TIP) January 11. The article
focused on Ciudad del Este (CdE) and cited the penal code,
explained "what is trafficking in persons," and described two
ongoing prosecutions. The new penal code increased the penalty for
international trafficking as of July 2009. The Paraguayan
government's Women's Secretariat and the TIP division of the
National Police subsequently opened offices in CdE to assist
post-rescue TIP victims, receive complaints, and liaise with
prosecutors in the Public Ministry.

2. (U) Paraguayan and Argentine TIP prosecutors collaborated
to extradite one trafficker to Argentina in December 2009. Members
of the Inter-institutional Roundtable Against Trafficking in
Persons (the "Roundtable"), which includes relevant government and
non-governmental organizations, visited a Brazilian home for
trafficked women December 11. On December 18, the Roundtable
hosted Argentine social development director Gloria Bonatto, who
shared her views, statistics, and "best practices" for preventing
TIP.

3. (U) Lead Paraguayan TIP prosecutor Teresa Martinez shared
with PolOff January 4 statistical information from her unit on open
TIP cases. The victims of the 124 cases under investigation come
primarily from the departments of Asuncion (38), Alto Parana (27),
Central (21) and Caaguazu (13). The majority of the 118 victims
trafficked internationally went to Argentina (71), with smaller
numbers to Spain (19), Bolivia (15) and Chile (7).

4. (SBU) COMMENT: The spate of TIP articles in major media
publications, the government's outreach to neighboring countries,
and the continued opening of new offices has raised the public
profile of TIP in Paraguay. While significant challenges remain,
the government is taking positive steps and hopes that increased
visibility will impact prosecution and prevention efforts. END
COMMENT.
HOLLOWAY

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