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Ecuador Attorney-General’s Office Investigates Alleged Human-Trafficking Network After Massacre

By Dialogo
August 30, 2010



The Ecuadorean attorney-general’s office began an investigation in order to
dismantle alleged human-trafficking networks in the southern part of the country, as
a consequence of the killings of seventy-two Latin American emigrants in Tamaulipas
(in northeastern Mexico), a massacre that one Ecuadorean survived.

“We’re already beginning an investigation, because the origin is here; these
international organizations have their business partners – to call them
something – here, and (they operate) basically in the southern part of the
country,” the agency’s head, Washington Pesántez, announced.

The attorney-general agreed to a request from the National Migrant
Secretariat (Senami) and the Interior Ministry to begin an investigation, following
the confirmation that a young Ecuadorean, eighteen years old and originally from the
province of Cañar (in southern Ecuador), survived the massacre.

The young man, who was trying to emigrate to the United States, survived
after pretending to be dead and managed to escape with a facial wound.

The 72 victims (14 of them women), who are believed to have been emigrants
from Brazil, Honduras, Ecuador, and El Salvador, were murdered by organized-crime
hitmen who were guarding them on a ranch near the town of San Fernando, located
around 180 km from the border with the United States.

According to official estimates, around three million Ecuadoreans, many of
whom are originally from localities in the southern part of the country, have
migrated in recent decades, chiefly to the United States and Spain.



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