Lydia Cacho: My Torture, Exile and Criminals Dedicated to Human Slavery, Feminicide, and Attacks on Freedom of Expression

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Zeta

Text By: Lydia Cacho

In the recordings the conversation is heard: “Bring me a thirteen-year-old, but a virgin from Miami. Yes that, for (words crudely describing child rape) How much?” . On the other side of the phone, the girl trafficker responds: “Three thousand dollars plus the papers … yes, a virgin, but let her do (description of child rape by two adults) it the way you like it Dad.” 
This is the fragment of one of more than fifteen conversations that the ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico listened to in April 2006. It was a few months since I had been kidnapped and physically, psychologically and sexually tortured for more than twenty hours by police; this for having written one of my 16 books: The Demons of Eden Research: The Power Behind Child Pornography.

The then governor of Puebla, Mario Marín Torres (PRI) led the political protection network that sought to silence the most documented political-business operation of commercial sexual exploitation of girls between the ages of 4 and 13 in Mexican history. 

To torture me, unlawfully imprison me and try to silence me 15 years ago, high-level public servants colluded; members of the senate, the governors of Quintana Roo, Chiapas and Veracruz, the president of the Judicial Power of Puebla, a judge, the director of the judicial police, businessmen who launder illicit capital, municipal police and public ministries. 

All their names are in the files of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) indicated by me, by witnesses, criminologists and victims, as part of the criminal plot of Demons of Eden.

For fifteen years, I have legally demonstrated that the case documented in my book and taken to the courts of Arizona, United States, the Supreme Court of Mexico, federal courts of Cancun, Puebla and CDMX, to later reach the Inter-American Court in Washington, even the UN in Geneva, demonstrates, without a doubt, that we are talking about transnational organized crime, cyber-crime specialized in child pornography, money laundering from Mexico, USA, Asia, Switzerland, as well as orchestrated police torture for protection of those white collar organized crime groups. 

The former deputy attorney for organized crime investigation (SIEDO), José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, compiled the evidence, along with my testimonies and evidence and his investigations, created a folder that demonstrates the power of this criminal network, with protective tentacles that reached the presidency of the Republic of Vicente Fox Quezada and Felipe Calderón; ties that remained for years and that the current Attorney General Gertz Manero refuses to admit.

For twenty years, when I received the first death threats for investigating crimes of trafficking in girls, boys and women, I have confronted the corrupt and / or ineffective authorities of two PAN governments, one of the PRI and now the current one: MORENA .
Perseverance lies in the urgent need for this government, and its security cabinet, to fulfill their duty together with the institutions related to the prevention, care, punishment and eradication of these crimes: 1,500,000 violations, the growing crimes against Mexican childhood and gender violence that takes the lives of 10 women daily. 
The political denial of these incontestable events implies death penalty for the victims, as well as the exponential increase in the disappearance of girls and boys. 
Every time the authorities deny reality, thousands of pedophiles become empowered who know that the “delusional truth” that nothing happens in Mexico, makes them freer to subject their victims with impunity.

Today, Tuesday, July 21, it is a year since two assassins entered my home, killed my dogs, entered armed for me and stole only newspaper material; fortunately I was able to escape. 

Already a year of living in forced displacement, investigating my own case, working, requesting temporary asylum in different countries while I demonstrate and declare again and again before the three prosecutors who take my case and who, in recent weeks, have refused to give me virtual audience. 

Meanwhile, in Mexico, the president assures that human rights violations are over, that women and children receive protection and justice. One day after that declaration, cuts of 151 million pesos were approved to the INMUJERES, the institution responsible for the programs for the protection and prevention of gender violence, and Thus resigned, due to a lack of operational resources, the director of the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women (CONAVIM, a dependency of the Ministry of the Interior). The facts undoubtedly blur the political statements.
18 months ago, on January 10, 2019, the then incoming López Obrador government was forced to admit that I was tortured by members of the Mexican State to protect organized crime. It was not a government favor, they gave mandatory compliance to the United Nations resolution that require comprehensive reparation of the damage in my case. This involves not only an apology, but the arrest of all those involved, the recognition that organized crime buys and sells thousands of girls and boys to enslave them, and that public servants and businessmen of the highest levels are involved; with political ties to previous administrations and members of the current government. 
Today the intellectual authors of my torture and attempted enforced disappearance are at large, they are three of thirteen leaders of this criminal network: a millionaire businessman, a former police chief and a former governor. 
The assassins who entered my home are still untouched, despite the fact that I have presented evidence of who they are, who they work for, where they live and why they agreed to put a price on my head. We have shown that the same group of lawyers defends all those involved in my torture and in the Demons of Eden case. 
The authorities refuse to acknowledge that we are fighting organized crime dedicated to human slavery, feminicide, and attacks on freedom of expression. 
A handful of public servants are doing battle within the government, but they are not enough, while cowardice and pacts of silence are still alive, the mafia in power will be untouched and I will continue to demonstrate it.
Lydia Cacho is often called one of Mexico’s bravest journalists. It’s a title she’s earned many times over in her years investigating the global sex trade, organized crime, and human rights abuses both in her home country and abroad.
In the late 1990s, not long after she began reporting on violence against women in her country, Cacho herself was violently attacked – likely, she says, because of her work. The next year, she helped create a high-security shelter for battered women and sexually exploited children in her hometown of Cancun. Meanwhile, she kept digging, her work ultimately culminating in a 2005 book, Los Demonios del Eden, a stunning exposé of child porn rings operating under the noses of authorities amid Cancun’s ritzy resorts and pristine beaches.  Seven months after the book was published, police showed up at her door, shoved her into a van and drove her nearly 1,000 miles across the country – she says they shoved a gun barrel in her mouth, and for hours threatened to rape and murder her. 
Lydia María Cacho Ribeiro (born 12 April 1963) is a Mexican journalist, feminist, and human rights activist. Described by Amnesty International as “perhaps Mexico’s most famous investigative journalist and women’s rights advocate”, Cacho’s reporting focuses on violence against and sexual abuse of women and children.[1]
Her book Los Demonios del Edén (in English: The Demons of Eden) (2004) created a nationwide scandal by alleging that several prominent businessmen had conspired to protect a pedophilia ring. In 2006, a tape emerged of a conversation between businessman Kamel Nacif Borge and Mario Plutarco Marín Torres, governor of Puebla, in which they conspired to have Cacho beaten and raped for her reporting.[2]
Cacho is the winner of numerous international awards for her journalism, including the Civil Courage Prize, the Wallenberg Medal, and the Olof Palme Prize. In 2010, she was named a World Press Freedom Hero of the International Press Institute.
In 2003, Cacho wrote articles on the sexual abuse of minors for the newspaper Por Esto including a note on a girl abused by a local hotel owner, Jean Succar Kuri.[4][5] Feeling that the local police had failed to act on the girl’s complaint, the following year, Cacho published the book Los Demonios del Edén (in English: “Demons of Eden”) in which she accuses Kuri of being involved in a ring of child pornography and prostitution, based on official statements from his alleged victims and even a video of him (filmed with hidden camera). The book also mentions important politicians Emilio Gamboa Patrón and Miguel Ángel Yunes as involved, and accuses Kamel Nacif Borge, a Puebla businessman, of protecting Succar Kuri.[2][4]
After the book’s release, Cacho was arrested in Cancún by Puebla police and driven back to Puebla, 900 miles away.[2] Cacho has stated that the arresting officers verbally abused her and hinted there was a plan to rape her.[6] She was then imprisoned for a short time on defamation charges before being released on bail.[2]
On 14 February 2006, several telephone conversations between Nacif Borge and Mario Marín, governor of the state of Puebla, were revealed by the Mexico City daily La Jornada. In these conversations, before Cacho’s arrest, Marín and Nacif Borge discussed putting Cacho in jail as a favour, and having her beaten and abused while in jail to silence her.[7][8] The recording sparked widespread calls for Marín to be impeached.[2]
Cacho took the case of her arrest to the Supreme Court, becoming the first woman in Mexico’s history to testify there.[1] On 29 November 2007, the Court ruled 6 to 4 that Marín had no case to answer in Cacho’s arrest, jailing and harassment, a case that The New York Times described as “a setback for journalistic freedom in Mexico”.[2]
The United Nations Human Rights Council advised her to leave the country, recommended that she seek political asylum in another country, and offered her legal assistance and assistance in gaining access to international courts.[9] While being held, Cacho was granted the Premio Francisco Ojeda al Valor Periodístico (Francisco Ojeda Award for Journalistic Courage).[10]
In May 2008, a few days before she was scheduled to testify at Kuri’s trial, Cacho was almost killed when the lug nuts on one of her car’s wheels were loosened.[1]
Other reporting:
In 2006, Cacho reported on the hundreds of female homicides in Ciudad Juárez.[11]
Awards and honors
In 2007, Lydia Cacho received the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women and Children’s Rights,[12] the IWMF (International Women’s Media Foundation) Courage in Journalism Award,[6] and the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award.[13] The following year, she received the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.[11]
In 2009, Cacho was awarded the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan for her work to bring to public attention to the corruption that shields criminals who exploit women and children.[14] Cacho was a recipient of the PEN/Pinter Prize as an International Writer of Courage in 2010, which goes to writers persecuted for their beliefs.[15] She was also named a World Press Freedom Hero of the International Press Institute.[16]
A year later, Cacho received The International Hrant Dink Award,[17] presented to people who work for a world free of discrimination, racism and violence, take personal risks for their ideals, use the language of peace and by doing so, inspire and encourage others.[18] She also won the Civil Courage Prize of The Train Foundation, which she shared with Triveni Acharya for efforts against “sex trafficking, domestic violence and child pornography”,[19] and the Olof Palme Prize together with Roberto Saviano.[20]
In 2017, Cacho was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for the Defense of Human Rights by the Inter-American Dialogue.[21]
Publications
As of 2018, Lydia Cacho has written twelve books, ranging from poetry to fiction, and including a Manual to prevent child abuse, essays on gender issues and love, and her international best sellers about Sex trafficking, Human Slavery and the relationship between child pornography and child sexual abuse like Slavery Inc.: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking ,[22] published in the U.K. Her books have been translated into French, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, German, Croatian, Swedish, and Turkish.
As she stated at top Lydia Cacho has now written 16 books