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Tuesday:  November 25, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in EL SALVADOR (6)

Monday
Aug062012

"Saving the World From Madness" (REPORT) 

 

(Video: Sound bites from speakers at the UN WHO Meeting to launch the Quality Rights Tool Kit/NIA SPOONER)

By Dr. Judy Kuriansky

*Recently, the United Nations World Health Organization launched the Quality Rights Tool Kit, which supports countries in assessing and improving the quality of mental health care as a human rights condition. and civil society actors gathered together to lend their support to the project and to discuss how to promote the use of the Tool Kit in countries.  Dr. Judy Kuriansky was there to chronicle the discussion for HUMNEWS.

FACT:   Globally, one in four people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Poor quality services and human rights violations in mental health facilities and social care homes are an everyday occurrence in many countries around the world. People living in mental health facilities are often exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment and many are subject to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. As a result, people with severe mental health conditions in some countries die as much as 10 years younger than the general population. (Source: WHO)

(DRAWING: ArtTherapy) “Derogatory words are used to describe us, such as mentally disturbed, having unsound minds, idiots, lunatics, imbeciles and many other hurtful labels,” declared Mrs. Robinah Alambuya of Uganda, to an invited audience of about 100 health professionals, UN agency officials, the UN Foundation academics, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, journalists and guests.  The diverse group was gathered at the Millennium Hotel Diplomat Ballroom in New York City, across the street from the main United Nations headquarters, for an event sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighting abuses in the mental health care system and to launch a landmark product, the WHO QualityRights Toolkit, to address the problem.

“These words and the beliefs from which they derive, devalue us and form the basis of discrimination and the loss of inherent dignity,” Alambuya said. 

SHOWING RESPECT

Representing African women and the voices of survivors of people with psychiatric and psychosocial problems in Africa, Alambuya made a plea for respecting those who deal with mental health distress. In her role as President of the Pan African Network of People with Psychosocial Disabilities monitoring inhumane health care systems, she applauded WHO’s efforts to insure those rights in her keynote speech.

The `Tool Kit' is an awareness and training campaign to provide the public, the private sector,  and government groups with actionable steps to stop human rights violations against people with mental health conditions, in order to improve the quality of care and to promote human rights as including mental health.

The recommendations can be implemented in developing and developed nations by all stakeholders, and even includes those with mental disabilities themselves.

"IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE"

Dr. Michelle Funk, Coordinator of Mental Health Policy and Service Development in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse department at WHO, pointed out the extent of the problem with "One in four people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime," she said.

Suicide is among the top three cause of death in young people aged 15-34 worldwide. Qualified caregivers are scarce with less than one psychiatrist serving 200,000 in almost half the world populations. Yet poor quality services and human rights violations are pervasive in social care homes and mental health facilities where patents are often exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment. And worse, to physical, emotional and even sexual abuse. 

“It is a scandal that still today many mental health facilities are places of violence and harmful treatments practices rather than places of care and support," said Funk. “One of the most important points to note about this tool kit is that it establishes the key standards that need to be met in all inpatient and outpatient mental health and social care facilities across the world.” She went on to praise the role of the governments of Spain and Portugal in providing funds to help produce the toolkit.

NOTABLE ADVOCATES

Panelists at the June 28th event represented a wide range of perspectives about the issue, including UN and government officials, an African woman with disabilities, and a former prisoner from the slums of India.

Hollywood film producer Gary Foster described his evolution to become a mental health advocate when producing the film “The Soloist“ - a true life story about a former cello prodigy who developed a mental health condition and became homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. Foster, who also produced “Sleepless in Seattle” and "The Score” spent time on skid row where he discovered that all people have “dream for success.”  

Serving as an important example of how the campaign goals can be accomplished, Ambassador Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez, Deputy Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the UN, described his government’s recent advances in ambitious health care reform, including a social development component with a human rights approach - pointing out how abuses of mental health are not an isolated issue, because mental health care extends to all facets of society, and is integrally tied to attitudes and poverty. 

Often times, people with psychosocial disabilities become homeless, are abandoned by their families, and are detained against their will by authorities - neglected in inferior conditions. Therefore, mental health services need to encompass access to decent work, education and quality of life. 

Panelist Julian Eaton, a psychiatrist and mental health advisor from the West Africa Office of CBM in Togo, discussed how "the value of technology in such a campaign, particularly the use of mobile phones, is revolutionary". 

The initiative builds on WHO’s Mental Health and Development Report, published in 2010 and is also based on the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which asserts that “human rights standards that must be respected, protected and fulfilled in all facilities”.

(Video: WHO)

A short film was shown of cruel and deplorable conditions in a care center, showing emaciated patients, chained to beds, crying out and lying in excrement. Ambassador Gonzalez pointed out that mental health workers themselves, who have to work in substandard conditions, are another victimized group. 

As a psychologist who has worked in many mental health institutions with psychiatric patients, I asked Michele Funk whether a solution would be to allot needed funds for improvements in these facilities.  “No", she responded, “They must be shut down, and new ones opened.”

CRITICS, SUPPORTERS

While generally lauded, the Toolkit is not without criticism.  Alambuya expressed concern about the emphasis on a medical model of service delivery that does not adequately take into account the social problems faced by persons with mental disabilities, saying, "The voices of people with disabilities must be heard, using the popular phrase, `Nothing about us, without us'”.

(PHOTO: Adolescents are generally perceived as a healthy age group; yet an estimated 10-20% of them experience a mental health problem/WHO)In a powerful close to the panel, Gregory David Roberts, speaking from personal experience of his being imprisoned and overcoming drug abuse, the author of the best-selling novel “Shantaram”  recounted the story of a fellow inmate - mentally challenged - who had been abused by the other prisoners; and who despite consistently smiled.  One day the man found unhatched eggs, and put them under his armpits until they hatched.  The baby pigeons became valued and protected in the jail, eventually taming hard-hearted cruel prisoners.  The experience prompted Roberts to learn lessons about his shame for not defending the man, and about the power of people of mental disability to transform others.

Roberts recounted another story of a mentally challenged young man who would have been arrested had it not been for the community people who chained him up near them, where he could be cared for and protected from arrest,  underscoring his point that community-based programs are key.

More launches of the toolkit campaign will be held to gain more visibility for the project.

“Everyone should have access to mental health care,” said His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly. Recommending mainstreaming of mental health care, he noted that his own state of Qatar introduced a resolution to the UN General Assembly to introduce and International Day of Autism"If we all consider human rights together," he said, “We can make a difference.”  

- Dr. Judy Kuriansky is the Main United Nations NGO Representative for the International Association of Applied Psychology and a member HUM's Board of AdvisorsA licensed clinical psychologist in the Departments of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University Teachers College, she is world renowned as a humanitarian who has led workshops on peace, trauma recovery, crisis counseling and on her unique East/West intervention programs around the world, from Argentina to India, Singapore, the Czech Republic, Israel, the UAE, and Iran. She has worked in disaster relief and psychological first aid at Ground Zero after 9/11, after SARS in China, bombings in Jerusalem, earthquakes in Australia and Haiti, the tsunami in Sri Lanka and the tsunami/earthquake in Japan, information about which is on www.DrJudy.com. An award-winning journalist and accomplished author, she is a tireless advocate for media which sheds light.

Thursday
Apr122012

El Salvador Gang Truce Expanded to Include Extortion (REPORT) 

(Video Al Jazeera)

Opinion by Tatiana Faramarzi

El Salvador’s involvement in a truce between the country’s two major street gangs has grown, with the government now pursuing a reduction in gang extortion in addition to homicides.

Although the daily homicide rate has declined sharply since 30 leaders of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs were transported to a more relaxed prison facility in March, reports of extortion have continued and even risen in some departments, according to the country's Attorney General.

Transportation unions in particular have reported an increase in the monetary losses incurred by gang extortions.

(PHOTO: Tico Times) Straying from prior denials of government involvement in the negotiations, La Prensa Grafica reports that Justice and Security Minister David Munguia Payes has stated that “the government cannot sit down to negotiate with criminal groups, but if other institutions do, we will facilitate the dialogue.” The Church and former congressman Raul Mijango have already initiated efforts to negotiate a reduction in extortions with the gangs.

Munguia claimed that he is unsure of what the gang leaders will ask for in exchange for a reduction in extortions, but the government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to facilitate a dialogue, so long as concessions remain within the scope of the law. Currently, the government is considering some “gestures of goodwill” that gang leaders have requested, such as allowing imprisoned gangsters to be visited by their children, or lengthening the allowed visit time.

According to the minister, all the dialogue can do is “create opportunities.” If negotiations through Mijango and the Church are fruitless, the government will be forced to explore other options. However, he is convinced that the reduction in homicides that resulted from the truce can only be followed by a reduction in extortion, auto theft, and illicit arms acquisition.

The Salvadoran government’s continued facilitation of the discussion between the Church and the country’s two largest street gangs points to the state’s deepening investment in the deal.

The consideration of new concessions to curtail gang extortion also sheds light on the leverage that the gangs have in the negotiations.

(PHOTO: Justice Minister David Munguia Payes) Minister Munguia appears confident that dialogue between the Church and the gang leaders will lead to the decline of several criminal activities, but brokering a truce between two gangs at war is very different from convincing the groups to cease the activities that dictate their way of life.

Each of the myriad illicit activities that Salvadoran gangs engage in may require new government concessions.

As Insight has suggested, inadvertently delegating this kind of political power to gangs could compromise the justice system, as well as any peace that has already resulted from the negotiations.

---This piece originally appeared in INSIGHT HERE.

Saturday
Oct292011

Floods in Central America Cause Death, Displacement, Chaos 

(PHOTO: UNISDR)(HN, October 29, 2011) – Ten days of heavy rains in Central America have caused the deaths of an estimated 123 persons; forced tens of thousands from their homes and destroyed crops, livelihoods and infrastructure in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

In El Salvador, 35 persons are reported dead and some 55,000 persons were evacuated from their homes and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has begun to deliver assistance and manage shelters in the flood zone.  As part of the UN Flash Appeal for El Salvador, IOM is appealing for US$709,522, which includes US$ 288,997 from the CERF.

With funds from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), in El Salvador IOM will support the management of 42 temporary shelters currently housing 1,895 persons; that the shelters comply with safety and hygiene standards; provide basic materials to improve the shelters; and distribute non-food emergency items amongst most affected families. 

"This week, all assessments were finished, and so with that concrete information in hand we can now begin the delivery of relief supplies and the rehabilitation of shelters", explains Jorge Sagastume, IOM Shelter and Emergency Coordinator in El Salvador, where the need is focused on urgent shelters and return kits for the families to rebuild their damaged homes.

"The rains have stopped, but the emergency continues," said Sagastume, head of the IOM eight-person assessment team which this week visited the departments of Ahuachapán, Sonsonate, La Libertad, Usulután, La Paz y San Miguel.

"Hundreds of persons have left the shelters, but have returned to communities that are still suffering from lack of clean water, proper hygiene, and bacterial infections, especially amongst the children," added Sagastume.

In Guatemala, where 39 people are reported dead and more than 500,000 have been affected, IOM is requesting US$ 442,417 from the CERF to repair and upgrade basic living and sanitary conditions in temporary shelters and provide non-food emergency assistance to some 2,000 families in the departments of Santa Rosa, Escuintla, Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango, Jutiapa y San Marcos.

IOM's Sebastian Berkovich headed the three-person IOM team that this week visited seriously affected communities in the southern department of Santa Rosa"We had relentless rains for more than a week; non-stop rain for more than seven days.  During our trip to Santa Rosa we saw chunks of highway that had been washed away by the rains and entire communities isolated on the other side of the road," recounted Berkovich.  

Marta Zamora, Nursing Assistant at the village of La Bomba health centre, told IOM, "The water has receded a bit, but access to the clinic is still very difficult.  Fortunately one of our colleagues was able to go the nearest town and fetch medicine, so we have supplies.  We're treating children with upper respiratory infections and many people with fungal infections." 

At the peak of the rains and floods, the Nicaragua Government reported that 10,000 persons had been evacuated to emergency shelters.  Although some 3,000 have returned home, IOM Nicaragua is working with its partners to rebuild and rehabilitate existing shelters, strengthen the capacity of shelter managers, distribute non-food items (house cleaning implements, kitchen kits, comfort kits, and hygiene kits) to the estimated 7,000 persons who remain homeless and in shelters.  As part of the UN Flash Appeal, IOM Nicaragua is appealing for US$ 637,374.

This week, the IOM Nicaragua team visited the most affected departments of Estelí, Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Leon and Chinandega.  The team worked hand-in-hand with IOM's local staff in Chinandega and Estelí, as well as with authorities and the NGO Shelter Box to assess the extent of damage to the homes, as well as the living conditions of those who took refuge in official shelters.

IOM Officer Daizen Oda reported heard from people whose homes completely collapsed or were washed away; others lamented that their home was missing the roof or a wall.

"Some shelters are filled with more than 200 people, including women and children.  They told us that they had lost most of their belongings.  IOM, working with its many partners, is ready to begin distributing non-food items to this population the moment funds become available," said Oda.

A woman from Villanueva, in the department of Chinandega, who was forced to seek refuge in a school told IOM: "It is not easy to live in a school with so many other people and with students coming in every day for their classes." 

As the lead agency in charge of shelter, IOM Nicaragua will work with its partners to rebuild or rehabilitate existing shelters, strengthen the capacity of shelter managers, distribute non-food items (house cleaning implements, kitchen kits, comfort kits, and hygiene kits) to families in shelters; provide protection and psychosocial support to some 4,000 children and adolescents in shelters, and support the prevention of gender-based violence in shelters in Managua.  

To carry out these activities in Nicaragua, and as part of the UN Flash Appeal, IOM is appealing for US$ 637,374.  The approval of the UN's Flash Appeal for Nicaragua is expected today.

IOM is working with governments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as national and international partners, and is appealing for US$ 2,783,926 to provide emergency assistance to the affected communities.

In the past 40 years, the region has endured a multitude of natural disasters that have killed some 50,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

--HUMNEWS staff, IOM

Tuesday
Oct252011

Hurricane Rina Heading Towards Mexico As Many Parts of Central America Suffer From Severe Flooding (NEWS BRIEF)

(graphic courtesy of National Weather Service) (HN, October 25, 2011) Hurricane Rina, which spent days nagging the coastline of Honduras as a disorganized depression, has now coalesced into a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, could barrel into Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula by the end of the week, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The storm was packing sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour and was tracking to the northwest at six miles per hour.

"Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," and Rina could unleash up to five inches (12.5 centimeters) of rain in some areas, the Miami-based NHC said in a bulletin.

Rina's center was about 135 miles northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios, on the Nicaragua-Honduras border, and was predicted to pass north of the Honduran coast.

Several nations in Central America have only just begun to dig out from recent torrential rains which triggered deadly flooding and landslides, swamped huge swathes of farmland and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

The number of fatalities across the region topped 100, including 36 deaths in Guatemala, 34 in El Salvador and 18 in Honduras, from non-stop downpours that have affected hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed crops, livelihoods and infrastructure. 

Throughout the region, some 1.2 million people have been affected, said the UN.

According to the Salvadoran Ministry of Natural Resources, almost 60 inches (150 centimetres) of rain have fallen in the past 10 days.  The cumulative record for Hurricane Mitch, which in 1998 killed 11,000 people in the region, was 34 inches (86 centimetres).

The region has endured a multitude of natural disasters, in the past 4 decades, that have killed some 50,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

- HUMNews Staff 

Friday
Jun102011

(HEADLINES) - The Americas - June 11, 2011

THE AMERICAS

(File: Eva Peron) Latin ladies take crack at presidential glass ceiling

EU challenges and opportunities with LatAm

Latin America ponders role of the renminbi

Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru shoppers, most promising for retail expansion

New South American exchange opens with uncertainty

Visit of EC Vice-President Tajani to Chile, Argentina and Brazil

UPS expands Latin American capacity

UN chief starts tour of four Latin American nations

Rainforest Leaders to Sign Sustainability Action Plan in 2012

Latin America’s Glossed Decade  

Central America losing war on crime (commentary)

Argentina

(Photo: NASA, A cloud of ash billows from the erupting Puyehue volcano in southern Chile)Flights resume tonight in Argentina from Aeroparque, Ezeiza airports after Chile Volcano eruption

Argentine satellite launches to monitor ocean saltiness from US base

Yum! Brands looks to Argentina for expansion

Israel and Argentina 'most engaged' on Facebook

Argentina's Film `COLD SWEAT’ Will Dynamite U.S. This Fall

Argentinean doctors claim they have cloned the world’s first cow capable of producing human breast milk

Argentinean Air Force launches new UFO commission

Belize

University of Belize Makes History, Offers First Masters Degree

(Photo: ZUMA Press)Destination of the week: Belize

Overturning the Belize Constitution (commentary)

Bolivia

Bolivia switches on modified foods ban

Bolivia asks Iranian official to leave country after Argentine complaint

Bolivia to strengthen ties with Peru's new government

Swapping sugar cane fields for school in Bolivia

Bolivia's stunning salt flats

(Photo: Bolivia's `Bus-train', JALOPNIK)Take a scenic ride in Bolivia’s bizarre Mercedes bus-train

Brazil

Amazon Deforestation Increases Alarming

Brazil to fight drugs with drones

Italy recalls ambassador to Brazil

Brazil is improving on human rights (Commentary)

Rio's Favela Tours: Helpful or Just an Exercise in Voyeurism? (Commentary)  

Canada

Ensure measles shots up to date, health officials urge, as Quebec cases top 300

Vancouver still leads country in reported gay bashings

The Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - a tremendous success (Blog)

Chile

Chinese VP Xi visits 'gateway to Latin America'

(Photo: The Nilahue River, Chile. EPA)Chilean volcanic eruption turns waterway into a steaming torrent

Protest at world’s largest underground copper mine in Chile, drags on (Blog)

(Photo: Lollapalooza, Santiago Chile 4/3/11. Jane's Addiction. Credit: Jeremiah Alexis)Lollapalooza Evolution

Colombia

Ban Ki-Moon arrives in Colombia

Colombian gunman kills victims' rights campaigner

Land and Victims Law Crucial for Millions of Displaced Farmers in Colombia

Costa Rica

Energy expert: Costa Rica needs to define path

(Photo: Containers of Hope. Benjamin Garcia Saxe. INHABIT) Containers of Hope: Cool Costa Rican Shipping Container House Only Costs $40,000

A fair deal for Costa Rica’s indigenous artisans

Ecuador

Ecuador: Correa’s Economic Legacy

Germany's Withdrawal of Funding Threatens Plan to Save Ecuador Forest

The UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Ecuador's 17 year battle against Chevron

Ecuador's vice president to head country’s Special Olympic delegation

El Salvador

Journalist Slain in El Salvador

El Salvador Investigates Mysterious Deaths of Sea Turtles

OAS and El Salvador Work together for a Greener General Assembly

Canada to Give $1 Million to El Salvador to fight crime, human trafficking (blog)

Falkland Islands

(Photo: Gilbert House, Falkland Islands Legislative building. MERCOPRESS)Falklands tells OAS sovereignty is “non negotiable”, but seek “neighbourly relations” with Argentina

Obama Administration Votes Against England, Supporting Argentine-Backed Resolution on the Falkland Islands (commentary)

French Guiana

Astra 1N readies for a July 1 liftoff in French Guiana

Guatemala

Future Interoceanic Corridor in Guatemala Will Rival Panama Canal

Guyana

President Jagdeo named first Goodwill Ambassador for global tropical forest

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission is advocating the marketing of non- traditional minerals

Land is the most valuable asset a person can have (commentary)

Honduras

'Up in Smoke' Chronicles Slash and Burn Agriculture in Honduras

Zelaya returns to Honduras

Honduras Levies Security Tax to Pay for Prison

Spain to aid Honduras on basic education

Honduras Readmitted to OAS (commentary)

Mexico

Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens Remains on IMF Chief Short List

(Photo: US Mexico Ambassador Nominee, Earl Anthony Wayne, Foreign Policy) Obama nominates new ambassador to Mexico

Mexico tourism chief blasts 'ludicrous' travel warnings

Twitter Saves Lives in Mexico (blog)

Nicaragua

Nicaragua to begin cotton production

Nicaragua, Honduras Restore Bilateral Trade

Nicaragua, Ecuador Condemns U.S. Threats against Venezuela at OAS

Solidarity Plan with Cuba Approved in Nicaragua

Panama

More than 60,000 Children Work in Panama

Panama’s “litter pigs” get tongue lashing from Mayor Bosco

Dam construction threatens Ngöbe

Citizens’ groups fight on as government steams ahead with Cinta Costera

Paraguay

Under UN pressure, Paraguay agrees to ‘open debate’ on abortion issue

Indigenous still marginalized 200 years later (commentary)

Paraguayan Senate approves Unasur charter; new Venezuela Mercosur bid

Peru

Humala: 'Peru's economy is rock solid'

Peru’s Humala Visits Brazil To Meet With Rousseff; Looks To Distance Himself From Chávez

(Photo: Lima skyline. Peru is expected to grow by 6.9% this year. LivinginPeru.com) World Bank says that Peru will be star performer in South America

Suriname

Significant mining pollution in Suriname

Heavy rain triples price of some Suriname vegetables

Suriname soccer chief describes alleged bribery attempt

Suriname not giving up claim to New River – Bouterse

United States

Mexicans protest against Alabama's new anti-illegal immigration law

Cancer patients struggle as drug costs soar

Endless 'war on (some) drugs' fills our prisons, wrecks lives and wounds society (commentary)

Uruguay

Hundreds of Dead Penguins Wash Up on Uruguay Shore

(Photo: Uruguay President Jose Mujica received Vice President Xi Jinping of China. MERCOPRESS)China and Uruguay sign 17 cooperation accords and 530m USD trade package

Uruguay: A Bitter Lesson in Forgiving (analysis)

Venezuela

Venezuela ranks sixth in Gallup wellbeing survey

Venezuela-Iran ties go beyond the oil issue

Venezuelan government to borrow additional USD 10.5 billion

Venezuela’s Chavez and Senior Officials in Cuba for Talks (Commentary)

Sunday
Dec052010

Human Trafficking in Mexico Gets More Attention (News Brief)

(HN, December 5, 2010) - More than 20,000 people are estimated to be trafficked each year in Mexico, many of them ending up in the northern border state of Chihuahua.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), most of the victims are from Central America - especially Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Last week, IOM finalized an agreement with a Mexican non-governmental organization (NGO) - Sexualidad Responsable (SERE by its Spanish acronym) - based in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. It will help to shed light on human trafficking trends in the area.

IOM said it aims to produce additional information about human trafficking along the northern border - informing and raising awareness on human trafficking amongst at-risk populations and the public in general. The project also involves strengthening government and civil society's capacities to detect and assist victims of human trafficking.

"It is important to foster joint initiatives in order to bring together experiences and strengths from different sectors to combat human trafficking in areas where this crime has lacked the attention it deserves," says IOM Mexico Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

Human trafficking has received little attention in Ciudad Juarez, IOM says, with the result that there is little awareness of it among the general population. It has mainly been overshadowed by the disappearances and murders of women which have monopolized the attention of the authorities, civil society organizations and the media during the last decade.

However, Chihuahua has been identified by the Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH by its Spanish Acronym) as a destination point for trafficking victims in a country where more than 20,000 people are estimated to be trafficked each year.

Between 2005 and 2010, IOM has assisted more than 175 victims of trafficking in Mexico, most of them from Central America.

A surveyed carried out by SERE in 2009, based on its years of experience working in the field of sexual health, revealed that some 5,000 women work as prostitutes in Ciudad Juarez. Many of them are from other Mexican states such as Veracruz, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Coahuila and Chiapas, and others are foreigners, mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

--- HUMNEWS staff, files