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AJudicialWatchWhitePaper:
DesignationofDrugCartelsas
ForeignTerroristOrganizations
AndaReassessmentoftheClassificationofthe
MexicanGovernmentUndertheTraffickingVictims
ProtectionAct
PracticalSolutionsforaNationalEmergency
March12,2019
JudicialWatcht4253rdStreet,SWtSuite800tWashington,DC20024
Tel:202-646-5172twww.JudicialWatch.orgtinfo@judicialwatch.org
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
Though critical ally and trading partner, Mexico presents unique challenges and risks the
national security the United States. Two the issue areas which this most evident are the threats
posed Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and the tremendous scale human
trafficking the country. This paper discusses two policy changes that the government the United
States may consider address these risks: the designation Mexican TCOs foreign terrorist
organizations, and reassessment the classification the government Mexico under the Trafficking
Victims Protection Act.
Part One: Designation Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations Foreign Terrorist
Organizations
Statutory Authority
Section 219 the Immigration and Nationality Act USC 1189) authorizes the Secretary
State, consultation with the Secretary the Treasury and the Attorney General, designate
organization Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) the Secretary finds that:
(A) the organization foreign organization;
(B) the organization engages terrorist activity (as defined section 212(a)(3)(B) 1a)
terrorism (as defined section 140(d)(2) the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal
Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2)), retains the capability and intent engage
terrorist activity terrorism); and
(C) the terrorist activity terrorism the organization threatens the security United States
nationals the national security the United States.
The definition terrorist activity the Immigration and Nationality Act follows:
Any activity which unlawful under the laws the place where committed (or which,
had been committed the United States, would unlawful under the laws the United States any State) and which involves any the following:
(I) The hijacking sabotage any conveyance (including aircraft, vessel, vehicle).
(II) The seizing detaining, and threatening kill, injure, continue detain, another
individual order compel third person (including governmental organization)
abstain from doing any act explicit implicit condition for the release the individual
seized detained.
(III) violent attack upon internationally protected person (as defined section 1116(b)(4)
title 18, United States Code) upon the liberty such person.
(IV) assassination.
(V) The use any(aa) biological agent, chemical agent, nuclear weapon device,
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
(bb) explosive, firearm, other weapon dangerous device (other than for mere
personal monetary gain), with intent endanger, directly indirectly, the safety one more individuals cause substantial damage property.
(VI) threat, attempt, conspiracy any the foregoing.
The Foreign Relations Reauthorization Act defines terrorism simply as, premeditated, politically
motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets subnational groups clandestine
agents. (22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2))).
Process
The process for designating organization FTO follows: The Department State Office the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) identifies organization for potential designation. S/CT prepares administrative record for the Secretary detailing how the organization
activities meet the statutory requirements for designation. The Secretary, consultation with the Secretary the Treasury and the Attorney General,
determines that designation appropriate. Seven days prior the designation, the Secretary required notify the Speaker and
Minority Leader the House, the President Pro Tempore, Majority Leader, and Minority
Leader the Senate, and the members the Senate Judiciary, Intelligence, and Foreign
Relations Committees and the House Judiciary, Intelligence, and International Relations
Committees. Following the seven-day period, the designation published the Federal Register. The designated organization may seek judicial review the designation the D.C. Court
Appeals within days the publication.
Designation FTO can revoked act Congress.
There have been number legal actions filed organizations designated FTO, including
the Tamil Tigers and the Kurdish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). These challenges have not been
successful.1
The current Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Nathan Sales, who was
appointed President Trump and confirmed the Senate August 2017.2
There are currently designated FTOs. Most, but not all, are Islamic terrorist groups. Exceptions
include the Greek anarchist organization Revolutionary Struggle (EA), ETA, Peru Sendero
Luminoso, the FARC, and two IRA spin-off groups.
CRS Report for Congress: The FTO List and Congress. Congressional Research Service. October 21, 2003
(https://fas.org/irp/crs/RL32120.pdf),
U.S. Department State website (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/273451.htm)
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
Practical Impact
There are three major impacts designation Foreign Terrorist Organization. First, and
perhaps most significantly, U.S.C. 2339B prohibits providing material support FTO
conspiring so:
Whoever knowingly provides material support resources foreign terrorist organization,
attempts conspires so, shall fined under this title imprisoned not more than
years, both, and, the death any person results, shall imprisoned for any term years
for life. violate this paragraph, person must have knowledge that the organization
designated terrorist organization (as defined subsection (g)(6)), that the organization has
engaged engages terrorist activity (as defined section 212(a)(3)(B) the Immigration and
Nationality Act), that the organization has engaged engages terrorism (as defined
section 140(d)(2) the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989).
Notably, the law also contains provisions for extraterritorial jurisdiction for offenses under the act
and violators who are U.S. citizens located abroad.
Material support defined the statute any property, tangible intangible, service.
The term excludes medicine and religious materials, but includes currency, financial services, lodging,
training, expert advice assistance, safehouses, false documentation identification, communications
equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (one more individuals who
may include oneself), and transportation.3
Secondly, U.S.C. 1189 (a)(2)(C) provides that the Secretary the Treasury may require
United States financial institutions possessing controlling any assets any foreign organization
included the notification block all financial transactions involving those assets until further directive
from either the Secretary the Treasury, Act Congress, order court. This provision means that
the designated organization assets may frozen and access the U.S. banking system may denied.
Finally, the designation organization FTO has immigration implications. Members
and representatives designated organizations are inadmissible and subject deportation.
Applicability Mexican TCOs
The idea designating Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) foreign terrorist
organizations has been considered for several years. 2012, Rep. Michael McCaul introduced legislation
that would have directed the Secretary State designate the seven largest TCOs operating the
time: The Arellano Felix Organization, Los Zetas Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Beltran Leyva
Organization, Familia Michoacana, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel/New Federation. The bill
did not advance out the committees which had been referred.4
Doyle, Charles. Terrorist Material Support. Congressional Research Service, December 2016
(https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41334.pdf),
All Actions H.R.4303 112th Congress (2011-2012). (https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/housebill/4303/all-actions?overview=closed#tabs)
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
The defeat the bill was due, least part, concerns that would have adversely impacted
U.S.-Mexico relations.5 noted above, there are three criteria that must met support FTO designation: that the
organization foreign, that engages terrorism, and that its activities threaten the national security
the United States. Though all the currently-designated organizations have ideological component,
the law clear that one not required justify designation. The FARC, which has been designated FTO since 1997, has been estimated have generated much $3.5 billion annually from drug
production and trafficking activities6 and arguably more accurately classified criminal organization
than revolutionary movement.
With regard Mexican TCOs, satisfaction the first criterion self-evident. determine the
applicability the second, necessary assess whether the activities the organizations fall within
the scope statute. conducting such assessment, should noted that the definition terrorism
codified the Immigration and Nationality Act only requires that one the delineated offenses
committed, and that the threat, attempt, conspiracy commit any them sufficient.
ActivityConstitutingTerrorist
ActivityPursuantto8U.S.C.
1182(a)(3)(B)
Thehighjackingorsabotageofanyconveyance
(includinganaircraft,vessel,orvehicle).
ApplicabilitytoMexicanTCOActivities
HijackingbyTCOmembersisafrequentcrimeinMexico.Targeted
conveyancesincludebuses,commercialtrucks(includinggasoline
tankers7),andtrains.Ferromex,oneofthethreelargestrail
transportoperatorsinthecountry,reportsasmanyas16train
robberiesaday.8
Thoughhijackingcrimesbycartelmembersandassociatesaremost
commonlymotivatedbyprofit,thatisnotalwaysthecase.Vehicles,
frequentlybuses,areoftenhijackedtobeusedaspartofblockades.9
Thepracticehasforcedsomebusoperatorstoceaseoperations
duringperiodsofcartelviolence.10
Aguilar, Julian. Bill Seeks Designate Drug Cartels Terrorists. New York Times, April 21, 2011
(https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/us/22ttcartels.html)
Otis, John. The FARC and Colombia Illegal Drug Trade. Wilson Center, November 2014
(https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/Otis_FARCDrugTrade2014.pdf),
Semple, Kirk. Mexico, Epidemic Fuel Thefts Becomes Crisis. New York Times, April 26, 2017
(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/world/americas/mexico-fuel-theft-crisis.html)
Morley, Hugh. Ferromex Sounds Alarm Rocketing Cargo Thefts. JOC.com, October 30, 2017
(https://www.joc.com/rail-intermodal/international-rail/central-america/mexican-railway-sounds-alarmrocketing-cargo-thefts_20171030.html)
Eells, Josh. The Brutal Rise Mencho. Rolling Stone, July 11, 2017
(https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/the-brutal-rise-of-el-mencho-196980/)
Gang Reacts Violently Michoac Arrest. Mexico News Daily, Murch 2018
(https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/gang-reacts-violently-to-michoacan-arrest/)
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
InJune2015,suspectedcartelgunmenhijackedatrucktosteal
11,500BorderCrossingCardsenroutetoU.S.Consulatesin
northernMexico.11
Theseizingordetaining,andthreateningtokill,
injure,orcontinuetodetain,anotherindividual
inordertocompelathirdperson(includinga
governmentalorganization)todoorabstain
fromdoinganyactasanexplicitorimplicit
conditionforthereleaseoftheindividual
seizedordetained.
Therewerenearly1,200reportedkidnappingsinMexicolast
year12;however,thetruenumberofthesecrimesisundoubtedly
higher,asmostkidnappingsgounreported.13
Whilemostofthesecrimesarefinanciallymotivated,asignificant
numberareexecutedtodissuadeorpreventpolitical,judicial,
military,andlawenforcementofficialsfromeffectivelycombating
TCOmembers.Examplesincludethefollowing:
February2018:TwoMexicanfederalagentsinvestigatingorganized
crimeactivitieswerekidnappedandsubsequentlymurderedby
membersoftheCarteldeJaliscoNuevaGeneracion(CJNG).During
theircaptivity,theywereforcedtoreadastatementcriticizingthe
workoftheiragency.14
InAugust2018,congresswoman-electNormaRodriguezwas
kidnappedinHidalgo.Amonthearlier,localmayorGeneroUrbano
waskidnappedalongthesamehighway.
AccordingtoriskanalysisfirmEtellekt,thereweremorethan400
reportedactsofaggressionagainstpoliticiansandcandidates
duringthe2018electioncycle,including assassinationattempts,
threats,intimidationandkidnappings.
Aviolentattackuponaninternationally
protectedperson(asdefinedinsection
1116(b)(4)oftitle18,UnitedStatesCode)or
uponthelibertyofsuchaperson.
Internationallyprotectedindividualsaredefinedinthereferenced
statuteasaChiefofStateorthepoliticalequivalent,headof
government,orForeignMinister,oranyotherrepresentative,
officer,employee,oragentoftheUnitedStatesGovernment,a
foreigngovernment,orinternationalorganizationwhoatthetime
andplaceconcernedisentitledpursuanttointernationallawto
specialprotectionagainstattackuponhisperson,freedom,or
dignity,andanymemberofhisfamilythenformingpartofhis
household.Thatis,essentially,anyindividualaffordeddiplomatic
statusinaforeigncountry.
ThoughMexicanTCOshavenotbeenknowntosystematicallytarget
internationallyprotectedindividualsinMexico,theyhavecertainly
demonstratedawillingnessandcapacitytodoso.InFebruary1985,
SinaloaCartelmembersabducted,tortured,andmurderedDEA
SpecialAgentEnriqueCamarena.InOctober2008,suspected
Estevez, Dolia. U.S. Reports 11,500 U.S. Visas Stolen from Truck Hijacked Northern Mexico. Forbes, June 25,
2015 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/doliaestevez/2015/06/25/u-s-reports-11500-u-s-visas-stolen-from-truckhijacked-in-northern-mexico/#2fd6541f65eb)
Smith, Rory. Hundreds People Mexico are Kidnapped Every Year. Vox, May 11, 2018
(https://www.vox.com/2018/5/11/17276638/mexico-kidnappings-crime-cartels-drug-trade)
Mexico 2018 Crime and Safety Report. OSAC, March 2018
(https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=23660)
Mexico Special Agents Found Dead After Cartel Kidnapping. BBC News, February 19, 2018
(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-43112150)
Villegas, Paulina. Criminal Groups Seek Decide Outcome Many Mexican Races. New York Times, July
2018 (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/world/americas/mexico-election-assassinations.html)
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
membersoftheLosZetasorganizationthrewanundetonated
grenadeandfiredsmallarmsfireattheU.S.ConsulateinMonterrey.
InFebruary2011,LosZetasmembersassassinatedICESpecial
AgentJaimeZapata.
BecausetheINAdefinitionofterroristactivityincludesthe threat,
attempt,orconspiracy tocommitanyofthespecifiedacts
delineatedtherein,theactivitiesofMexicanTCOslikelymeetthis
standard.
Anassassination.
MexicanTCOshavecommittedhundredsofpoliticalassassinations
inrecentyears.BetweenSeptember2017andJuly2018,132
politicalcandidateswereassassinatedinMexico.16Whileit
unprovablewhetherallofthekillingswerecommittedbyTCO
membersandassociates,someareknowntohavebeen.OnJune8,
2018,congressionalcandidateFernandoPuronwasmurdered
whileposingforaphotographfollowingadebateinwhichhe
pledgedtocrackdownonLosZetas.OnOctober18,2016,the
MexicanjudgehandlingthecaseofJoaquin Chapo Guzmanwas
assassinatedwhilejoggingnearhishome.17
Theconsensusamongsecurityanalystsisthatmostofthe
assassinationsaretheresultofTCOsattemptingtoexertpolitical
influence.Accordingtooneexpert, Criminalgangswanttobesure
thatinthenextgovernment,theycanmaintaintheirpower
networks,whichiswhytheyareincreasingattacks.
Theuseofanybiologicalagent,chemicalagent,
ornuclearweaponordevice.
Theuseofanyexplosive,firearm,orother
weaponordangerousdevice(otherthanfor
merepersonalmonetarygain),withintentto
endanger,directlyorindirectly,thesafetyof
oneormoreindividualsortocausesubstantial
damagetoproperty.
NoMexicanTCOhasutilizedachemical,biological,ornuclear
weapon;however,thereisgrowingconcernthatsuchaweapon
mightbeutilizedinthefuture.Since2013,therehavebeenatleast
seveninstancesofradioactivematerialbeingstoleninthe
country.19ThepossibleuseofsuchweaponsbyaMexicanTCOisof
particularconcernduetodocumentedcontactsbetweenmembers
oftheSinaloaCartelandmembersofHezbollahandalQaeda
(thoughthereisnoevidenceofanactiveoperationalalliance).20
Theuseofexplosivedevicesandhigh-caliberfirearmsbyMexican
TCOsiswell-documented.Theirarsenalincreasinglyincludes
fragmentationandrocket-propelledgrenadesandothermilitary
weapons.InoneseizureinJanuary2018,Mexicanofficialsseized
1,960fromsuspectedcartelassociatesinMexicoCity.21Therehave
beenapproximately150,000organized-crimerelatedmurdersin
thecountrysince2006.22
ThequestionofwhethercertainactivitiesofMexicanTCOsare
conductedforpurposesotherthanmerepersonalmonetarygainis
Diaz, Andrea and Jessica Campisi. Mexico Goes the Polls This Weekend. CNN.com, July 2018
(https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/27/americas/mexico-political-deaths-election-season-trnd/index.html)
https://abc7ny.com/news/judge-in-el-chapo-case-assassinated-while-jogging/1564586/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-election-violence/we-are-watching-you-political-killings-shakemexico-election-idUSKBN1HP0HV
https://www.foxnews.com/world/truck-carrying-radioactive-material-stolen-in-mexico-9-states-on-high-alert
http://www.milenio.com/opinion/gerardo-viloria/ejercicio-del-poder/nexos-narco-y-terrorismo
https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Federal-officers-discover-40-boxes-with-1-960-12520475.php
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41576.pdf,
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
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thesubjectofongoingdebate.23Thoughillicitprofitfromthedrug
tradeandothercriminalactivitiesarecertainlyadefining
characteristicoftheorganizations,theyarealsoengagedinarmed
conflictwiththeMexicangovernmentforterritorialcontroland
activelyseektoinfluenceorweakeninstrumentsofthestate.At
leasttwomajorTCOs,LaFamiliaMichoacanaandtheKnights
TemplarCartel,publishedanddistributedquasi-religious
statementsofpoliticalandsocialideology.24
ItisalsonotablethatothergroupscurrentlydesignatedasFTOsare
involvedindrugtraffickingforprofit.TheseincludetheFARC,Boko
Haram,Hezbollah,andal-QaedaintheIslamicMaghreb.25
The third criterion for designation FTO under USC 1189 that the, terrorist activity
terrorism the organization threatens the security United States nationals the national security
the United States. The threat posed the United States Mexican TCOs clearly satisfies this
requirement. The Acting Administrator the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently
determined, Mexican drug trafficking organizations are the biggest criminal threat the United States
faces today.
Incidents Mexican TCO-related violence the United States are innumerable and include
murders, kidnappings, and sex trafficking. Occasionally, the activities these organizations U.S. soil
more closely resemble terrorism than conventional criminality. January 2009, suspected cartel
operatives threw undetonated grenade into bar Pharr, Texas. August 2009, members
street gang working for the Tijuana Cartel were arrested for murdering nine people and dissolving two
the victims bodies vats acid. July 2018, cartel members beheaded 13-year old girl Alabama
after stabbing her grandmother death.27
Writing the American Bar Association National Security Law Report, Syliva Longmire
identified three ways which Mexican TCOs constitute threat U.S. national security:28
Public Safety: There are several examples that Mexican cartels pose threat the safety our
citizens. Hundreds citizens and illegal immigrants are kidnapped the cartels soil individuals working for Mexican cartels, and often taken Mexico tortured and held for
ransom.
Territorial Integrity: Parts national parks and wildlife refuges along the southwest border have
either been closed the American public because the danger posed traffickers. Millions
acres our national parks and forests particularly California are being defended
Mexican nationals with guns who are protecting fields marijuana, and federal agents are
woefully incapable stopping them.
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1038984.pdf
http://www.academia.edu/6065057/Mexican_Drug_Cartels_Are_They_Terrorists
https://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_5_NEXUS.pdf,
https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/409244-dea-chief-says-mexican-cartels-opioid-push-biggest-criminal-threat-toamerica
https://wreg.com/2018/07/17/police-alabama-teen-beheaded-by-cartel-after-witnessing-grandmothersmurder/
https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/national_security_law_report/volume32_number3.
pdf
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
TVPA
March12,2019
Economic: Mexican cartels are having negative impact our economy and financial system.
Their involvement media piracy costing businesses hundreds millions dollars every
year. They are actively using banks launder drug money Familia Michoacana, one the larger cartels, even involved real estate fraud north the border.
Finally, course, the threat posed illegal drugs themselves. 2017, more than 72,000
Americans died drug overdoses total that has more than doubled the past ten years.29 Drugs now
claim more lives than firearms, suicide, homicide, and even motor vehicle accidents.30 Mexican TCOs are
the primary drivers this trend. According the Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug
Threat Assessment, The population using heroin, the number heroin seizures law enforcement, and
the number heroin-related overdose deaths have increased heroin availability has increased. Opium
poppy cultivation and heroin production Mexico, believed the primary source heroin for the
U.S. market, have continued surge, providing traffickers steady stream high-purity, low-cost
heroin market throughout the United States.
Conclusion
Pursuant USC 1189, organizations must meet three criteria properly classified
Foreign Terrorist Organizations: foreign nature, engage terrorism terrorist activity possess
the capability and intent so, and pose threat U.S. nationals U.S. national security. Mexican
TCOs clearly meet all three criteria. They are inherently foreign, routinely commit criminal acts that fall
well within the statutory definition terrorism, and arguably represent more immediate and ongoing
threat U.S. national security than any the currently-designated FTOs. Properly designating the major
Mexican TCOs FTOs would enhance federal government ability combat that threat enabling
the prosecution those who provide material support them, facilitating the denial entry and
deportation TCO members and affiliates, and eliminating the organizations access the U.S. financial
system.
Part II: Trafficking Victims Protection Act
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000, amended, wide-ranging law that addresses the
plague international human trafficking. Key provisions include enhanced criminal sanctions for human
traffickers, immigration protections for victims (specifically, the establishment the T-Visa class), the
establishment the Department State Office Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons, the
appropriation grant funding, and judicial redress for trafficking victims. also directs the Secretary
State publish annual report regarding the global state the human trafficking problem that includes assessment the efforts foreign nations effectively address the problem.
This assessment includes the classification foreign countries efforts into three tiers. 2003, the
law was amended include facto fourth category consisting tier two countries that merit
enhanced scrutiny.32 The criteria for determining the tier placement foreign nations are follows:
Tier The governments countries that fully meet the TVPA minimum standards for the
elimination trafficking.
https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/DIR-040-17_2017-NDTA.pdf,
https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/DIR-040-17_2017-NDTA.pdf
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R44953.pdf,
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
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Tier The governments countries that not fully meet the TVPA minimum standards, but
are making significant efforts bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
Tier Watch List: The government countries that not fully meet the TVPA minimum
standards, but are making significant efforts bring themselves into compliance with those
standards, and for which:
the absolute number victims severe forms trafficking very significant
significantly increasing;
there failure provide evidence increasing efforts combat severe forms
trafficking persons from the previous year, including increased investigations,
prosecution, and convictions trafficking crimes, increased assistance victims, and
decreasing evidence complicity severe forms trafficking government officials;
or,
the determination that country making significant efforts bring itself into
compliance with minimum standards was based commitments the country take
additional steps over the next year.
Tier The governments countries that not fully meet the TVPA minimum standards and
are not making significant efforts so.
Additional statutory criteria for determining placement the Tier Two Watch List are:
The extent which the country country origin, transit, destination for severe
forms trafficking,
The extent which the country government does not meet the TVPA minimum
standards and, particular, the extent which officials government employees have
been complicit severe forms trafficking, and
Reasonable measures that the government would need undertake compliance
with the minimum standards light the government resources and capabilities
address and eliminate severe forms trafficking persons.
The minimum standards defined the TVPA are follows:
(1) The government the country should prohibit severe forms trafficking persons
and punish acts such trafficking.
(2) For the knowing commission any act sex trafficking involving force, fraud,
coercion, which the victim sex trafficking child incapable giving
meaningful consent, trafficking which includes rape kidnapping which causes death, the government the country should prescribe punishment commensurate with
that for grave crimes, such forcible sexual assault.
(3) For the knowing commission any act severe form trafficking persons, the
government the country should prescribe punishment that sufficiently stringent
deter and that adequately reflects the heinous nature the offense.
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
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(4) The government the country should make serious and sustained efforts eliminate
severe forms trafficking persons.
There are criteria for meeting the serious and sustained efforts standard, summarized the
Congressional Research Service follows:33 Enforcement and prosecution whether governments vigorously investigate and
prosecute acts severe forms trafficking persons, including convicting and
sentencing those responsible for such acts. Victim protection whether governments protect victims severe forms trafficking persons, encourage their assistance the investigation and prosecution such
trafficking, and ensure that victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, filed,
otherwise penalized for unlawful acts resulting directly from having been trafficked. Trafficking prevention whether governments have adopted measures prevent
severe forms trafficking persons. International cooperation whether governments cooperate with other governments
the investigation and prosecution severe forms trafficking persons and whether
governments have entered into bilateral, multilateral, regional law enforcement
cooperation and coordination arrangements with others. Extradition whether governments extradite those charged with acts severe forms trafficking persons terms and extent similar those charged with other
serious crimes. Trafficking patterns and human rights protections whether governments monitor
migration patterns for evidence severe forms trafficking persons and whether law
enforcement responses such evidence are both consistent with the vigorous
investigation and prosecution acts such trafficking and with the protection
victim human rights. Enforcement and prosecution public officials whether governments vigorously
investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence public officials who participate
facilitate severe forms trafficking persons, well whether governments take all
appropriate measures against officials who condone such trafficking. Foreign victims whether noncitizen victims severe forms trafficking persons
are insignificant percentage all victims country.
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R44953.pdf,
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
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March12,2019 Partnerships whether governments have entered into effective and transparent
partnerships, cooperative arrangements, agreements that have resulted concrete and
measurable outcomes with the United States other external partners.
10. Self-monitoring whether governments systematically monitor their efforts satisfy
certain above-listed criteria and publicly share periodic assessments such efforts.
11. Progress whether governments achieve appreciable progress eliminating severe
forms trafficking persons, compared the previous year assessment.
12. Demand reduction whether governments have made serious and sustained efforts
reduce demand for commercial sex acts and international sex tourism.
The most significant impact designation tier three country under the TVPA the potential
loss U.S. foreign aid under U.S. Code 7107(a): the policy the United States not provide nonhumanitarian, nontrade-related foreign
assistance any government that
(1) does not comply with minimum standards for the elimination trafficking; and
(2) not making significant efforts bring itself into compliance with such standards.
Funding subject potential restriction includes nonhumanitarian, non-trade-related foreign
assistance authorized pursuant the Foreign Assistance Act 1961, sales and financing authorized
the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), and educational and cultural exchange funding, well loans
and other funding provided multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund.34 practical matter, aid restrictions pursuant the TVPA are selectively and rarely enforced.
The statute requires the President, within days the issuance the State Department annual
Trafficking Persons (TIP) Report, determine whether fully apply the restrictions provide
full partial waiver the national interest the United States. Presidential determinations recent
years are follows:
Fiscal
Year
2014
Aid Restricted
2015
Iran, North Korea,
Russia
Cuba, Iran, North
Korea
Full National Interest Waiver
Granted
Algeria, C.A.R., China, GuineaBissau, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania,
Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, Uzbekistan, Yemen
Algeria, C.A.R., Gambia, GuineaBissau, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia,
Mauritania, Papua New Guinea,
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R44953.pdf,
Partial National Interest
Waiver Granted
D.R.C., Sudan, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Syria,
Zimbabwe
Cuba, D.R.C., Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Syria,
Venezuela, Zimbabwe
JudicialWatchWhitePaper:DesignationofCartelsas FTOs ReassessingMexicoUnder
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Saudi Arabia, Thailand,
Uzbekistan, Yemen
2016
Iran, North Korea
Algeria, Belarus, Belize, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,
C.A.R., Comoros, Gambia,
Russia, South Sudan, Syria,
Guinea-Bissau, Kuwait, Libya,
Venezuela, Yemen,
Marshall Islands, Mauritania,
Zimbabwe
Thailand
2017
Iran, North Korea
Algeria, Belarus, Belize, Burma,
Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,
Burundi, C.A.R., Comoros,
Russia, South Sudan, Sudan,
Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
Haiti, Marshall Islands,
Mauritania, Papua New Guinea,
Suriname, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan
The subjectivity and political sensitivity tier rankings has led internal disputes within the
Department State regarding the proper classification several nations. investigation Reuters
found that 2015, officials within the Office Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons (J/TIP) were
repeatedly overruled senior American diplomats and pressured into inflating assessments
strategically important countries. Specifically, China, Cuba, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan were all
recommended for tier three designation, but senior department officials ultimately assigned all the tier
two watch list. the same year, J/TIP officials recommended that Mexico designated tier two watch list
country; however, that recommendation was overruled and was ultimately elevated tier two.
reasonable assume that these overrides the J/TIP recommendations result from strategic political
considerations.
Mexico has been classified tier two country for least the past decade. evidenced the
initial determination J/TIP officials 2015, that classification dubious. While touting improvements Mexico efforts certain areas, the 2018 TIP report found that:
The government [of Mexico] did not meet the minimum standards several key areas. The
government obtained fewer convictions than the previous year; identified fewer victims than
the previous year; provided limited specialized services for trafficking victims, which were
unavailable most parts the country; and maintained inadequate number shelters
compared the scale the problem. The government inspected and prosecuted few complaints forced labor agriculture, part due lack resources. Corruption and complicity
remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action.36
This assessment alone makes prima facie case that the tier-two classification inappropriate
and that the country should, minimum, downgraded the Tier Two Watch List.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-humantrafficking-disputes-special/special-report-state-departmentwatered-down-human-trafficking-report-idUSKCN0Q821Y20150803
https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2018/282708.htm
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Tier Two Watch List Criteria
Applicability the Situation Mexico
The absolute number victims severe forms trafficking very significant significantly
increasing.
According Renato Sales-Heredia, Director
Mexico National Security Commission, Mexico
ranks fifth the world human trafficking.37 2017 analysis the National Citizen
Observatory Femicide found that human
trafficking Mexico was skyrocketing.
There failure provide evidence
increasing efforts combat severe forms
trafficking persons from the previous year,
including increased investigations, prosecution,
and convictions trafficking crimes, increased
assistance victims, and decreasing evidence
complicity severe forms trafficking
government officials.
The determination that country making
significant efforts bring itself into compliance
with minimum standards was based
commitments the country take additional
steps over the next year.
DHS estimates that Mexican criminal
organizations generate $500 million from human
smuggling annually.39 noted the 2018 TIP report, the number
convictions for human trafficking and the number victims identified Mexico have both fallen.
The report also found that, corruption and
complicity remained significant concerns,
inhibiting law enforcement action.
16,000-20,000 Mexican and Central American
children are estimated sex victims
Mexico.40
Mexico repeatedly described the Department State endeavoring improve its anti-human
trafficking efforts; however, the results have been
mixed. every annual Trafficking Persons report
since 2004, the language describe the situation Mexico has been identical: The Government Mexico does not fully comply with the
minimum standards for the elimination
trafficking; however, making significant
efforts so.
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english/mexico-ranks-fifth-human-trafficking
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Human-Trafficking-Soaring-in-Mexico-Rights-Groups-Warn--201712270025.html
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/15/kirstjen-nielsen-cartels-make-500-million-year-smu/
https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036context=njihr, 314
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Fifteen years significant efforts meet the statutory minimum standards for effectively
combating human trafficking difficult reconcile with the current crisis Mexico and raises the
question whether Mexico could more accurately classified tier three country. many the
criteria that define serious and sustained efforts address the problem, Mexico has been demonstrably
unsuccessful. Those include:
Whether governments vigorously investigate and prosecute acts severe forms
trafficking persons, including convicting and sentencing those responsible for such acts: noted above, the number convictions for human trafficking Mexico decreased during the
2018 TIP reporting period. 2016, the government won convictions against 228 human
traffickers. Last year, the total fell 95.41 The TIP report also found that, The government had
laws facilitate the investigation, prosecution, conviction child sex tourists, but did not
report any such cases. Some NGOs alleged corrupt local officials allowed child sex tourism
occur isolated incidents, but the government did not take action these cases.
Whether governments have adopted measures prevent severe forms trafficking
persons: Mexico the highest-ranked country the Americas terms female trafficking for
sexual exploitation. estimated 21,000 minors are captured trafficking networks for
sexual exploitation each year the country, and percent human trafficking victims are
minors.43
Whether governments protect victims severe forms trafficking persons, encourage
their assistance the investigation and prosecution such trafficking, and ensure that
victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, filed, otherwise penalized for unlawful acts
resulting directly from having been trafficked: Though there are statutory protections for
victims severe forms human trafficking Mexico, their application inconsistent.
According the 2018 TIP report:
NGOs reported that practice some officials unlawfully detained
victims. Some officials transferred victims [immigration authorities]
for detention and deportation due their immigration status and lack
formal identification trafficking victims. Individuals prostitution
Mexico City alleged officials detained and forced them sign
declarations accusing detained individuals trafficking, which raised
serious concerns about law enforcement tactics secure evidence.
NGOs also reported officials often re-traumatized trafficking victims due lack sensitivity. The national anti-trafficking law provided for
https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2018/282708.htm
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2018/09/26/sex-trafficking-and-sexual-exploitation-are-collateraldamage-of-mexicos-neoliberal-fantasy/#author-info
https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/politica/Mexico-sin-cifras-precisas-sobre-trata-20170730-0073.html
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restitution paid from victims fund, but the government did not
report whether the courts awarded any trafficking victims restitution. addition, the number trafficking victims identified Mexican authorities falling
dramatically, from 1,814 2015 just 667 2017.
Conclusion
The Department State assessment foreign nations efforts combat human trafficking and
the statutory authority impose meaningful restrictions foreign assistance the world worst
violators are critical components the U.S. government anti-trafficking efforts. Unfortunately, political
interference the three-tier classification system codified the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
2000, amended, undermines this goal. The country Mexico has been classified tier two country
since 2005. merit this classification under the law, tier two countries must be, making significant
efforts bring themselves into compliance with the minimum standards for human trafficking
prevention and reduction efforts defined the TVPA.
The scale the human trafficking crisis Mexico, including the prevalence sex trafficking
and the sexual abuse minors, and the government ineffective response the problem are inconsistent
with tier two classification. The number trafficking victims identified Mexican authorities and the
number convictions traffickers are both declining sharply, and trafficking rings directed
transnational criminal organizations operate with near immunity. 2015, officials with the Department State Office Monitor and Combat Trafficking
Persons reportedly recommended that Mexico classification downgraded level more
commensurate with the country anti-trafficking efforts; however, their recommendation was rejected
senior officials. NGOs report that the situation the country has only deteriorated the intervening
three years.
Since least 2004, the Department State annual Trafficking Persons report has asserted
that while, The Government Mexico does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the
elimination trafficking; however, making significant efforts so. The lack meaningful
progress the fight against human trafficking Mexico those fifteen years calls this assessment into
doubt indeed, calls into doubt whether factual assessment all, politically-motivated and
unsubstantiated claim designed protect one our largest trading partners. detailed above, the Government Mexico anti-human trafficking efforts not meet the
statutory requirement for tier two classification, and whether they meet the standard for tier two watch list
status debatable. The Department State inflation Mexico classification weakens the
effectiveness the TVPA and, continued, will likely raise questions the international community
regarding the depth the U.S. Government commitment combating human trafficking.
https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2018/282708.htm