Re: News: Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in V

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Subject: Re: News: Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in V
From: Melanie Orhant (
Date: Mon Feb 01 1999 - 10:06:24 EST

I thought that I would mail this to everybody on the list as a talking
point. Somebody asked me off the list to explain the difference between
trafficking and smuggling. I hope that this can be you as a talking point.


Human trafficking for forced labor such as forced participation in the sex
industry, forced sweatshop labor, forced domestic servitude recurs in large
part because of economic hardships in a person's home country. But it is
also because governmental responses in the countries of destination,
transit and origin fail to address the human rights and labor aspects of
human trafficking. Most countries, especially destination countries, view
trafficking solely as an issue of illegal migration and organized criminal
activities. Many countries conflate trafficking with smuggling or with
facilitated migration. In the end, this only penalizes the victims of a
crime - the trafficked person. Trafficking occurs when people are placed
in exploitative labor situations through the use of force, coercion or
deception. This happens either in the country of origin, for example, when
a woman is kidnapped or lied to about what work she will do in the country
of destination. Trafficking also occurs in the country of destination,
when a person ends up in an abusive labor situation. When an individual
receives aid from others to illegally gain entry into another country and
upon arrival terminates that contract and both parties go their separate
ways it is a case of smuggling or facilitated migration. The difference
between the two situations of trafficking and smuggling stems from the
presence of force, coercion or deceit involved in trafficking. Many
countries are pouring money into efforts to halt the "flood" of illegal
migrants without examining which people are victims of trafficking and
which have used facilitated migration.>

>______________________________ Reply Separator
>Subject: news: Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in Valle
>Author: at UUCP
>Date: 1/12/99 9:43 AM
>Is this a case of smuggling or trafficking????
>Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in Valley caps two-year
>January 9, 1999
>RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Border Patrol agents found 63 undocumented
>immigrants in a grocery store and a set of run-down apartments Friday,
>capping an investigation that lasted more than two years.
>Five people were arrested and charged with smuggling and harboring
>undocumented immigrants. They were identified as Olga Contreras; her
>husband, Abel Contreras; their daughter, Yolanda Hernandez; their son, Abel
>Contreras Jr., 35; and their employee Daniel Munguia, 53.
>Authorities described Mrs. Contreras as the mastermind of the smuggling
>operation and said other arrests were possible.
>They said the Contreras grocery and apartment houses served as a staging
>area where immigrants were held for a time before continuing north.
>Authorities said some of the immigrants had been in Raymondville for only a
>day or two, while others had been there longer.
>"We hope to send out a message that it's more difficult to get to the Lower
>Rio Grande Valley, especially when you're trying to smuggle aliens out of
>here," said McAllen Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Joe Garza.
>In January 1997, about 300 immigrants were found in the same apartments and
>the surrounding area.
>Fifty-three of those rounded up Friday morning are Mexicans. The
>nationalities of the others were not known.
>The immigrants paid between $300 and $700 each to be smuggled, said Border
>Patrol spokeswoman Letty Garza.
>The FBI, the IRS and the Immigration and Naturalization Service also took
>part in the investigation.
>As many as a dozen people lived in each unit of the small apartments. Dirty
>mattresses lay on the floor. The apartments contained rusted and broken
>stoves and dirty bathrooms.
>Border Patrol investigator Rick Aguirre said the doors to some of the
>apartments were locked and couldn't be unlocked from the inside.
>None of the suspects said anything as they were taken into custody after
>being questioned by the FBI. Mrs. Contreras smiled and waved at cameras.
>Melanie Orhant
>Human Trafficking Program
>Global Survival Network
>P.O. Box 73214
>Washington, DC 20009
>T: 387-0028
>F: 387-2590

Melanie Orhant

Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590

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