Human Trafficking Gang Busted By Zimbabwe and Zambia

By Majie Sayila, The Times of Zambia | Staff, The Herald Online. Forty-one Bangladeshis have been arrested between Zimbabwe and Zambia as these countries tighten the fight against human trafficking. Fifteen who were smuggled into Zambia from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been fined for unlawful presence in the country. The driver of the truck in which they were ferried was committed to the High Court for sentencing after he admitted to the offense of smuggling persons, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Lac Azuei: A Bridge for Child Traffickers


By Milo Milford (kft, gp), AlterPresse | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | YouTube. Lac Azuei, also called Etang Saumatre, is Haiti’s main natural lake. With an area of ​​over 110 square kilometers (42.5 square miles), it is a lovely sight. The lake is also a place of feverish activity by child traffickers. (English | French)

Former Argentina Dictator Jorge Videla Gets 50 Years for Stolen Children


By Staff, Agencies via AlJazeera | By Staff, RT. In a major victory for rights group the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo (Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo), former military leader and president of Argentina Jorge Videla has been sentenced to 50 years for systematically stealing the babies of detained leftist activists. Another 10 former members of Videla’s government, including a woman were also sentenced. (English | Spanish)

Francoist Nun Charged With Theft of Babies from Poor Single Women


By Inés Benítez, IPS, Cambio3 | NY Daily News, YouTube. Eighty-year-old Catholic nun, María Gómez, is charged with involvement in the 1982 disappearance of a child who was reunited as an adult with her biological mother in 2011. The Spanish nun is alleged to have belonged to a network of francoist doctors, priests, nuns, public notaries and judges who stole babies from clinics and hospitals, mainly linked to religious organizations, and sold them to infertile couples. Such networks had continued after the Franco era, well into the 70′s and 80′s, in Spain. (English | Spanish)

Argentina Remembers Children Stolen During Dictatorship: Trial Finally Under Way


By Marcela Valente, IPS | Staff, Cuba Debate. The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo are finally getting heard in court after 35 years of demanding their stolen grandchildren. Eight former officials of the brutal Argentinian dictatorship that began on March 24, 1976 and lasted 7 years, are accused of “taking, retaining, hiding and changing the identities of” 34 children born to political prisoners held in clandestine prisons during the dictatorship. UPDATE on Mar 27th: Closing arguments. (English | Spanish)

The Underside of International Adoption in Haiti


Amos Cincir, Le Nouvelliste | Staff, HPN | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Over 2,000 Haitian children are adopted each year by foreigners, over 55 percent of them French. This is an activity fraught with scandal. The Haitian government has announced that it would resume international adoptions that had been frozen since the earthquake. This decision follows two years of pressure from a group of French nationals to tie the delivery of French aid to an ex post facto legalization of the removal of undocumented Haitian children.

Argentina Invokes Universal Jurisdiction for Crimes Against Humanity


By Marcela Valente, IPS, Periodistas En Español | Princeton Principles of Universal Jurisdiction, Univ. Minnesota Human Rights Library. A judge in Argentina has begun to investigate human rights crimes committed during Spain’s civil war and the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco (between 1936 and 1975). The case is invoking the principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and has landed in Argentina because Spain’s justice system is not effectively taking action. Indeed Spain is currently persecuting Judge Baltasar Garzón. This story is important to watch. Summary of Principles of Universal Jurisdiction included. (English | Spanish)

Argentina Dictator Guilty of Torture


By Michael Warren, AP via Sydney Morning Herald | Staff, AFP via Noticias 24. Argentina’s last dictator Reynaldo Bignone was convicted on Thursday [Dec 29] of more crimes against humanity for setting up a secret torture centre inside a hospital during the 1976 military coup. Also convicted on Thursday were SWAT team leader Luis Muina, 57; and a former air force brigadier, Hipolito Rafael Mariani, 85. Bignone received 15 years, Muina 13, and Mariani 8. The victims’ families also want life imprisonment for Mariani and Muina. (English | French | Spanish)

Tout Moun Se Moun: The Haitian Revolution as a Permanent State of Mind

By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. It is Haitian Independence Day, and I am in a mood to celebrate year two-hundred and six. The stereo blasts a wild, up-tempo, tune. Haitian drums burn! As I dance, I explain to my befuddled husband that this exhuberant song is about a woman who survived a storm. She is stuck up a tree and singing that her day to die has not yet come.