Viewing cable 04GUATEMALA798
Title: GUATEMALA: SIGNIFICANT STEPS TO COMBAT TIP

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04GUATEMALA7982004-03-31 22:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Guatemala
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUATEMALA 000798 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT OF STATE FOR G/TIP, WHA/CEN AND WHA/PPC 
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR OPDAT 
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR ILAB 
USTR FOR BUD CLATANOFF 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB ETRD KCRM PHUM GT
SUBJECT: GUATEMALA: SIGNIFICANT STEPS TO COMBAT TIP 
 
 
¶1.  (SBU) Summary:  The Berger Government has recently taken 
significant steps to combat trafficking in persons.  During 
President Fox's recent visit to Guatemala, Guatemalan 
authorities signed an MOU on anti-TIP cooperation with 
Mexico.  The GOG will deposit its articles of ratification of 
the UN Protocol to Combat TIP in New York on April 1, and 
President Berger has backed legislative reforms to increase 
sanctions for TIP and related crimes.  Since shortly after 
staffing a new anti-TIP unit in the Public Ministry, the GOG 
has conducted regular sweeps of bars and brothels seeking TIP 
victims and traffickers.  Casa Alianza has been accompanying 
law enforcement authorities on these operations. 
Approximately 400 GOG law enforcement officials received DHS 
anti-TIP training during the week of March 22.  We remain 
convinced that the GOG is making significant efforts to 
combat TIP.  End Summary. 
 
Mexico anti-TIP MOU 
------------------- 
 
¶2.  (SBU) During the visit by Mexican President Vincente Fox 
to Guatemala on March 23, the Guatemalan and Mexican Foreign 
Ministers signed an MOU to protect female and minor TIP 
victims in both countries.  The MOU promotes actions leading 
to cooperation in the protection of women and minor victims 
of trafficking in persons in the border area between 
Guatemala and Mexico.  Both nations pledge to respect the 
human rights of victims while they are in custody, and 
promise not to incarcerate victims of TIP.  They also agree 
to form a joint Technical Commission comprised of, from 
Mexico: the General Directorate of Protection and Consular 
Affairs of the Foreign Relations Secretariat, the Coordinator 
of International and Inter-institutional Relations of the 
Immigration National Institute of the Secretariat of Interior 
and the Attorney General's Office; and from Guatemala: the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Government, the 
Attorney General's Office and the General Directorate of 
Immigration. 
¶3.  (SBU) The Technical Commission is charged with: 
 
-- developing an action plan to train public officials in 
both countries to prevent and support female and minor 
victims of TIP, 
 
-- produce a study about TIP and the areas in Mexico and 
Guatemala where trafficking occurs, 
 
-- establish mechanisms for the voluntary return of women and 
minors to reunite them with their families, 
 
-- exchange information regarding female and underage victims 
of TIP, and, 
 
-- develop information and prevention campaigns in the areas 
where trafficking occurs. 
¶4.  (SBU) The Technical Commission may accept the support of 
international, civilian and or academic organizations.  The 
MOU also provides for joint enforcement activities in 
compliance with existing regulations of the host country. 
(Note:  Because of the sovereignty issues this raises, the 
agreement will take effect only after the GOG notifies the 
Mexican Embassy that the agreement meets requirements of 
domestic law.  End Note.)  The agreement will last three 
years and can be extended with approval of both parties. 
 
Legislative Initiatives 
----------------------- 
 
¶5.  (SBU) MFA Vice Minister for Human Rights and Migration 
Marta Altolaguirre told the Ambassador on March 26 that she 
will personally deposit Guatemala's articles of ratification 
of the UN Protocol (to the Palermo Convention Against 
Organized Crime) to Combat TIP at the UN on April 1, before 
visiting Washington to meet with Department officials on 
April 2.  Altolaguirre confirmed that President Berger 
supports the ILO's proposed reforms to the Guatemalan 
criminal code to increase penalties for TIP and to add new 
TIP-related crimes. 
 
Recent Law Enforcement Actions 
------------------------------ 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Sandra Zayas, the GOG Prosecutor for Crimes Against 
Women, told PolOff that a raid on six brothels in 
Mazatenango, Suchitepequez province (located one province 
over from the Mexican border and a major transit center for 
migrants) resulted in the rescue of a minor engaged in 
prostitution on March 26.  Zayas told us that the minor has 
provided information which will be used to arrest a 
trafficker, who was not present in the brothel during the 
operation. 
 
¶7.  (SBU) The Mazatenango raid was the latest in a series of 
sweeps of bar/brothels cited in a report by Casa Alianza 
where minors in prostitution are present.  Four minors have 
been rescued from prostitution in recent weeks (several 
others were discovered and rescued prior to the establishment 
of the unit) and five traffickers are imprisoned awaiting 
trial on TIP-related charges (another is free on bail). 
Another such raid is planned for April 2. 
 
¶8.  (SBU) The raids are planned by Zayas, and involve a task 
force including police and immigration officials.  Zayas has 
also invited Casa Alianza to accompany the raids to provide 
immediate assistance to victims.  Asked why so few victims 
had been found so far, Casa Alianza director Arturo 
Echeverria told PolOff on March 25 that the information in 
the report was collected 5-10 months ago, and shifting 
patterns of prostitution could partially (but not fully) 
account for poor results.  He did not speculate further, and 
confirmed that Zayas was very careful not to divulge the 
location of the raids in advance. 
 
Anti-TIP Training 
----------------- 
 
¶9.  (U) DHS anti-TIP training was well-attended by GOG law 
enforcement officials (principally from the Public Ministry, 
National Civilian Police, judiciary, and Immigration 
Directorate) during the week of March 22.  Over 400 people 
attended 4-hour sessions to sensitize them to the differences 
of TIP from alien smuggling, how to recognize victims, the 
need to protect victims and use their testimony to convict 
traffickers, and to prevent TIP by educating the public about 
the crime. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶10.  (SBU) We are encouraged by the Berger Government's 
strong signals of engagement on this issue on a variety of 
fronts.  While initial law enforcement efforts have produced 
limited results, we believe the GOG's efforts are sincere and 
will in time yield more significant results.  It is very 
encouraging to us that the GOG has requested Casa Alianza 
participation in its law enforcement efforts, which should 
help target those efforts where victims can be easily found. 
The upcoming visit by Vice Foreign Minister Marta 
Altolaguirre on April 2 and the April 30 Berger visit to 
Washington provide opportunities to encourage further efforts 
and collaboration to combat TIP. 
HAMILTON