- 18,000 foreign nationals trafficked into the US each year
- plus an estimated 200,000 American children at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year
- major ports of entry are southern and central Texas, Southern California, parts of Arizona and New Mexico
- emerging ports include Atlanta, Houston, Orlando and Washington DC
- the I-10 corridor is a main route for human traffickers in the US
- after drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with illegal arms as the second largest criminal industry in the world
- human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry
On February 2, Penny brought to our attention Dave McGowan’s latest, Sleazefest in Seattle. (Penny has an extensive Dave McGowan collection at her place, please avail thyself.) Since Dave’s site may be experiencing some sort of technical difficulty at the moment, you can also read Sleazefest in Seattle over at SOTT.
In completely unrelated news, various concerned parties have recently reported that Vancouver is a major hub for trafficking in a most unsavory type of freight: humans. And much of that freight is said to come from the same place those alleged cherries were supposed to be shipped out to; as University of British Columbia law professor Benjamin Perrin recently noted, “Vancouver is considered to be a hub for Pacific human trafficking.” The British Columbia Human Rights Coalition concurred, reporting that, “Canada has been identified as both a transit and a destination point for human trafficking, and Vancouver has been singled out by the US state department as a port of major concern.”
And it gets better. According to far more shocking allegations (http://www.galacticfriends.com/updates/galactic-friends/1784-galactic-federation.html), there is no shortage of other unsavory freight being shipped through Vancouver, including illegal drugs and weapons, and, perhaps inevitably, child pornography. According to witness statements taken from social workers, tribal elders and self-described victims, Vancouver is home to a protected network of pedophiles engaged in such pursuits as rape, torture, murder, child pornography, production of snuff films, and ethnic cleansing. Other then all that though, it seems like a great place to hold the Olympic games, especially since, as Perrin noted, “Traffickers will view the 2010 Olympics as the biggest business opportunity for them in decades.”
The network is said to be protected by virtually all levels of law enforcement and the judiciary, as well as by well-placed confederates in the church, the media, and other institutions of the state. If all of that sounds all too familiar, it is probably because you’ve spent time swimming in the sewers of the Franklin case in Omaha, Nebraska (http://franklinscandal.com/), or possibly the Marc Dutroux case in Belgium (http://www.illuminati-news.com/0/snuff2.htm).
Are you with me so far?
Now we have Haiti, and Puello, and El Salvador to sort through. I was just following that line of thought back down into South America. There’s a place in South America called the Tri-Border Area (TBA), where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.
Back in 2002, CNN reported, from various unspecified “intelligence sources,” that al Qaeda terrorists were meeting in this area and plotting to attack US and Israeli interests, in conjunction with Hezbollah.
CNN has learned from coalition intelligence sources that several top terrorist operatives met recently in the area — where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay intersect — to plan attacks against U.S. and Israeli targets in the Western hemisphere. Sources said the meetings, which took place in and around Ciudad del Este, were attended by representatives of Hezbollah and other groups sympathetic to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network….Other indications of the threat came from intelligence sources in the Middle East, who told CNN of a new terrorist effort aimed at U.S. and Israeli interests and coordinated by a man named Imad Mugniyeh.
Argentine officials point to more evidence they say indicates terrorist activity in the tri-border area — thousands of U.S. dollars bearing stamps from Lebanese currency exchange banks, tens of thousands of dollars in phony bills, and receipts from wire transfers made between the tri-border area and the Middle East.
In 2003, a paper titled Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America (pdf) described in detail the many criminal and Islamist elements from around the world operating in the TBA, an organized crime paradise. Chinese, Russian, Lebanese, etc. Eventually, the TBA came to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
The bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, followed by the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israeli-Argentina —AMIA), a Jewish community center, in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, focused the attention of the TBA countries, Israel, and the United States on the TBA because the investigation into both attacks led back to Hizballah operatives in the TBA.
There’s actually a very well-developed narrative about this area being connected to Hezbollah, Hamas, Lebanon, Iran and al Qaeda, among others. (Terrorist threat in the Tri-Border Area: myth or reality? 2004; Organized Crime: From Trafficking to Terrorism, Volume 2, pp. 159-161)
The narrative does not mention human trafficking, however. And the other thing conspicuously missing: Jews in any context other than victim of the organized criminals in the TBA.
One of the most well known money laundering scandals involved Banestado, the bank of Brazil’s Parana state. In 1995, five banks in the tri-border region, including Banestado, were authorized to open currency exchange accounts, known as CC-5 accounts. CC-5 accounts quickly became popular in money laundering, and brokers opened hundreds of fake CC-5 accounts, into which criminals deposited millions of reals. The money was then wired in dollars to the Banestado branch in New York City and from there to other banks, usually in countries considered to be tax havens. Money changers and complicit Banestado officials took cuts from each transaction. More than 250 phony CC-5 accounts have since been identified, and it is suspected that as much as $30 billion passed through Banestado accounts in the U.S. between 1996 and 1999, a portion of which was likely laundered. The case is still being investigated. (6/10/08)
But human trafficking does, of course, take place, and it is a huge and fast-growing organized crime industry. And it takes place in the TBA.
Sit by the swimming pool of the exclusive Iguazú Jungle hotel and you can watch the “contrabandistas” emerging from the undergrowth. All day, an army of smugglers can be seen passing along the mountainous path that separates Argentina from Brazil. … Everything from fake branded clothing to Class A drugs are ferried back and forth along these clandestine routes. The list of contraband goods now also extends to human beings.
…Many of those trafficked through the triple frontier are destined for the illegal labour market in Brazil or Argentina. The trade in babies for adoption is also widely reported. But a large proportion end up as sex workers. Many end up in brothels across the region, although a high number are destined for the triple frontier’s own thriving sex industry.
Children are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. Charities working with at-risk children in the border region estimate that as many as 3,500 young people could be involved. “Many girls are trafficked via the pique. It’s all highly organised”, explains Marcelina Antunez, director of Luz de Infancia, a children’s care centre in the Argentine town of Puerto Iguazú.Driving the trade is the flood of foreign tourists who come to visit the world famous Iguazú waterfalls. Much of the demand for prostitution is casual. Yet the region also attracts a hardened group of sex tourists.
…”The triple frontera is the Bangkok of Latin America…after the tsunami, many sex tourists started coming here instead of Asia,” notes Cynthia Bendlin, director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for the triple frontier area. IOM runs a number of awareness programmes to highlight the dangers of the trafficking trade. But it is an uphill struggle. Many of the children most at risk either live on the street or come from very impoverished families, Ms Bendlin explains. (2007)
A tourist destination, with beautiful hotels. Many tourists come to see the Igauzu falls. But hey, there’s really nothing to worry about because the place is crawling with feds and agency people, including CIA, on account of all the Arab terrorists there, so relax! Who would dare do any illegal trafficking with all these law enforcement people around?
Immigration officer Emilio Osses, who oversees one of the Argentine checkpoints in the area, said that contrary to popular belief, this is not the worst trafficking hotspot on Argentina’s border. He says that this tri-border area is heavily controlled — saturated with officers from at least eight local, federal and international agencies, including lots of CIA agents.
And it’s largely because of the intelligence community that there’s a lot of hype around the tri-border, he said. There is a large and important Arab population here, and it’s believed that the terrorist cells that bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires had support in this area.
“That’s why it has this stigma of terrorism, corruption, and illegal trafficking,” Osses said. “In reality, the tri-border area suffers from propaganda.” But Osses goes on to admit that there’s a lot of room for illegal trafficking here. In the high season, 30,000 people per day cross the triple border — and that’s just at the official checkpoints. Like any border, much more of it is uncontrolled.
Jesus God, Mr. Osses. Do you think there’s a connection between all those agency people and the trafficking?
So, anyway, it must be time to change the subject. New York Times, July 17, 2009: Inquiry on 1994 Blast at Argentina Jewish Center Gets New Life. Oh PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!
Despite all the international attention, despite investigative help from Israel and the United States, no one has been convicted for the July 18, 1994, bombing of the community center, in which 85 people died and more than 300 were injured….But suddenly, an investigation that former President Néstor Kirchner called a national disgrace has received new urgency and is again raising hopes among Jewish groups, though significant concerns about the inquiry remain.
…last month, a federal judge here, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, ordered the international capture of Samuel Salman El Reda, a 43-year-old Colombian citizen whom prosecutors here had accused of helping coordinate the local Hezbollah cell that Argentine investigators said had carried out the bombing.
Investigators here believe that they have solved the case in principle, having accused the Iranian government of planning and financing the attack, and Hezbollah of executing those plans.
But some experts, including a former American F.B.I. agent who assisted the Argentines in their investigation, are skeptical about the claims of direct Iranian involvement. “The guilt field was painted with a bit too broad a brush,” said the former agent, James Bernazzani, who led the F.B.I.’s Hezbollah operations unit in the late 1990s.
…Previous inquiries were riddled with incompetence, witnesses who were threatened and bribed, stolen evidence and accusations of a cover-up involving the former Argentine president Carlos Menem. The Argentines, nevertheless, maintain that Iran was behind the attack, and have had limited relations with Tehran partly because of the investigation’s importance to the nation’s 230,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The 1994 bombing came two years after the Israeli Embassy here was bombed, killing 29 people, a case that also remains unsolved.
…Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who took over the investigation in 2005, has intensified a line of inquiry that Mr. Galeano had played down: the involvement of Iran.
In 2006, Mr. Nisman formally accused several members of Iran’s government of planning and financing the bombing, including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Central to the indictments was an Iranian defector, Abdolghassem Meshabi, who said that the plot had been hatched in Tehran and that Iranian officials had paid Mr. Menem about $10 million to help cover up Iran’s involvement.
And guess what? Yes, it all comes back to the TBA. Mr. Nisman has it all figured out. I mean, just look what he says.
Mr. Nisman, meanwhile, is pressing on with his investigation of Mr. El Reda. In the weeks before the bombing, Mr. El Reda shuttled between “safe houses” in Buenos Aires and a red brick house in Foz do Iguaçu, a Brazilian town in the Triple Frontier area where Argentina meets Brazil and Paraguay, investigators said.
From millions of phone call records and the help of an unidentified Hezbollah operative, investigators say they were able to piece together evidence of a terrorist cell involving Mr. El Reda that kept in close contact with Beirut leading up to the bombing.
On the morning of July 1, 1994, Mr. Nisman said, Mr. El Reda made a call from the international airport here to a cellphone registered in Foz do Iguaçu, a call that may have set off the final phase of the attack.
Other calls to the cellphone were made from public phone centers near the Jewish community center and near a mosque in Buenos Aires where the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy, one of the people charged in 2006, spent a great deal of time, Mr. Nisman wrote in court papers. Mr. El Reda had forged close ties with the Iranian attaché, Mr. Nisman said.
Calls were often made from those same locations to the communications center of Hezbollah in Beirut and to known militants in the Triple Frontier, Mr. Nisman said.
Mr. Bernazzani warned that that “doesn’t prove anything,” because what had been said on the calls was not known. “Telephones don’t get indicted, people do,” he said.
Mr. Nisman, nevertheless, said that at 7:41 a.m. on the day of the bombing a final call was made from Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires. Forty minutes later, a flight bound for Puerto Iguazú in the Triple Frontier took off. Mr. Nisman said he believed that Mr. El Reda made the call before boarding the plane.
Then, at 9:53 a.m., a van loaded with about 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil exploded in front of the community center. A few days later Mr. El Reda left South America for Lebanon, where he still lives with his family, Mr. Nisman said.
Boy it makes a person wonder if Alberto NISMAN belongs to the largest Jewish community in Latin America, given the alacrity of his beliefs.
Not that it matters. Perish the thought.
In closing, I would just like to remind you that the 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro.