Mexico City, January 17, 2007 - The U.S. government is supporting the state of Chihuahua's efforts to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) by sponsoring speakers and providing technical assistance for the international conference, “Trafficking in Persons: The current situation, perspectives and challenges,” January 16-17th in Ciudad Juarez.
Chihuahua is the first state in Mexico to reform its penal code and adopt a comprehensive anti-trafficking in persons law that classifies TIP as a serious crime. These improvements were unanimously passed by state legislators, and enforcement of Chihuahua’s new anti-TIP laws began on January 1st of this year.
The conference brings together government and judicial officials, women and children’s groups, members of human rights NGOs, civil society, academics, and researchers. Among many topics, participants will discuss how to investigate and prosecute traffickers while maintaining a focus on protecting and rehabilitating victims.
“This conference is an excellent forum to exchange best practices in victim protection, crime prevention, and prosecution,” said U.S. Ambassador Antonio O. Garza. “Governor Baeza’s and Attorney General Gonzalez’s achievements are historic. Their efforts to protect the most vulnerable people in our societies not only make Chihuahua more secure, but also provide a courageous example for other states.”
U.S. speakers at the conference include Dr. Luis C. de Baca, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Special Litigation Counselor for the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Office, U.S. Department of Justice; Dr. Gerardo Chávez, Area Director, Americas, Office of International Affairs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security; and María Sanchez-Gagne, Assistant Attorney General, state of New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.