3/3/10

it's all in the details

Congress passed the RICO Act to deal with organized crime, specifically The Mafia. RICO acknowledges the way rings work, meaning that people at the top don't actually do the dirty work, they just arrange it and count the money, and that makes them no less guilty. For instance:

In the context of the Maifa, the defendant person (i.e., the target of the RICO Act) is the Godfather. The "racketeering activity" is the criminal activities in which the Mafia engages, e.g., extortion, bribery, loan sharking, murder, illegal drug sales, prostitution, etc. Because the Mafia family has engaged in these criminal actions for generations, the criminal actions constitute a pattern of racketeering activity. The government can criminally prosecute the Godfather under RICO and send him to jail even if the Godfather has never personally killed, extorted, bribed or engaged in any criminal behavior. The Godfather can be imprisoned because he operated and managed a criminal enterprise that engaged in such acts. 
Human trafficking rings would be a good application for prosecution under RICO. They require many people with compartmentalized jobs to work together in an organized way. For instance, it takes several people cooperating to abduct a child, transport her across international borders, and arrange for an illegal kidney transplant to benefit a wealthy client. At the minimum it would seem to take at least five people: an abductor, someone in customs to allow passage, someone to accept delivery, a broker with a client, and a doctor.

Some people have long maintained that human trafficking rings are simply impossible. They cannot exist.

For example, in December 1994, Todd Leventhal issued a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, in which he explains that these rumors are just an urban legend.
Organ transplant experts agree that it would be impossible to successfully conceal any clandestine murder-for-organ-trafficking ring. Because of the large number of people who must be involved in an organ transplant, the sophisticated medical technology needed to conduct such operations, the extremely short amount of time that organs remain viable for transplant, and the abhorrent nature of the alleged activities, such operations could neither be organized clandestinely nor be kept secret.
He relies on the standard refrain: "No credible evidence has ever been produced to substantiate rumors of such activities."

No evidence.... no rings.

No bodies... no evidence.

So it's just a matter of getting rid of the bodies or explaining any anomalies away.

^^^^^^^

Nancy Scheper-Hughes unpacked Leventhal's disinformation. Three points:

1. It is transnational.
"In its strongest and plainest version, the body parts rumors may be taken as factually true. The business of organ transplants is conducted in a transnational space."
 2. Physicians collaborate.
"During the Argentine "Dirty War" of the late 1970s and early 1980s, children were stolen, students were captured, interrogated, tortured and killed. Their bodies were abused and mutilated, and physicians often collaborated as interrogator- torturers ( as they did in El Salvador , Argentina, and in South Africa) with the military state."...
3. The poor are targeted.
"In Brazil the rumors allude to the way that poor peoples' bodies are usually dis-regarded in medical encounters. In public clinics and hospitals of the rural Northeast indifferent doctors in the employ of the state or the municipio are willing to over-medicate the poor, to tranquilize hungry bodies, and to order unnecessary amputations and surgical removals for treatable conditions."
^^^^^^^



Some illegal organs end up in the United States. Some of them come through the US-Mexico border. In the same year that Todd Leventhal tried to brush everything under the rug, another report came out: The Sottas Report. I don't have a link.
In a March 21, 1994 issue of Proceso, Mexico's prestigious weekly magazine, who tracked the baby-trafficking story for months, interviewed Eric Sottas, President of the Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture, who confirmed the existence of international rings that kidnap "children, not only for illegal adoptions, pornographic activities and child prostitution, but for the purpose of trafficking in organs.". The Sottas Report was a result of a three-year investigation with the colloboration of 200 human-rights agencies.

Among many horrors, the report lists 17 clinics in Tijuana and Juarez , on Mexico's U.S. border, that perform sophisticated transplants of kidneys and corneal tissues from kidnapped children to wealthy North Americans who pay top prices for the operations, no questions asked . Most of these children are not heard from again!

Seventeen clinics involved. SEVENTEEN. Just on the border in Texas. I don't have the Sottas Report so I don't know which clinics might be listed, but here's a list of Texas hospitals. Perhaps the first thing one notices is the large military presence.

Somebody must complain, right, if there's some strange stuff going on? Well, yes. An April 2008 article in the El Paso Times reported, very briefly, that three doctors had been disciplined. The comments drew various other names from outraged patients, including one plea to stay away from an El Paso Ob/Gyn, Dr. Julio Novoa, who was educated largely in Maryland including two years at Fort Detrick.

http://www.firstchoicemedicine.com/GYN/physicians_novoa.html

But in general, doctors seem to enjoy a firewall of protection and privacy. One has to overcome several barriers to access details about complaints. Funny how that works.

^^^^^^^

But getting back to the evidence, the problem of "no credible evidence." What is the evidence of illegally trafficked human beings for things like organ trafficking and snuff films? Dead bodies.

Do organized crime rings know how to get rid of dead bodies? No problem. One link from Sleazefest in Seattle leads to this account of human trafficking in Canada and beyond.
1. An organized system of abduction, exploitation, torture and murder of large numbers of women and children appears to exist on Canada ’s west coast, and is operated and protected in part by sectors of the RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the judiciary, and members of the British Columbia government and federal government of Canada , including the Canadian military.

2. This system is highly funded and linked to criminal organizations including the Hell’s Angels, the Hong Kong Triad, and unnamed individual “free lance” mobsters from Vancouver and the USA . It is funded in part by a massive drug trade, with which it is intimately connected.

3. This system is decades-old and has been supplied for many years with women and children from aboriginal reserves and residential schools, with the paid collusion of lawyers, clergy and officials of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada, along with state-funded aboriginal leaders and officials of the Department of Indian Affairs.

4. This system is international in scope, Vancouver being one spoke in a wheel of pedophilia, sex slavery, human organ black markets, “snuff” films and violent child pornography that has outlets throughout the Pacific Rim world, particularly in China and Thailand.

5. This system relies upon a network of complicity extending to the highest levels of power in Canada and other nations, involving coroners, judges, doctors, clergy, politicians and social workers, as well as the media. It also relies upon a network of “body dumping grounds” and mass graves, located in remote rural areas or on aboriginal reserves and both church and Crown land, where human remains are regularly disposed of by RCMP officers.

6. This system is kept in place because of a practice and philosophy of tolerance and protection by the established police, judicial, military, church and governmental institutions in Canada and elsewhere. The crimes committed by individual officers of the police, churches, court and government against women and children caught in this system are known and tolerated by these institutions.

Body dumping grounds. Makes sense. Do you suppose there are some in the desert wastelands along the US-Mexico border too?

Or is that another urban legend.

^^^^^^^

And then we have the corruption, the ability to explain away anomalies. 

For example, the County Medical Examiner for El Paso is Dr. Paul Shrode with the Texas Medical Board. He has several complaints filed against him, but board officials cannot comment naturally.
"It took Paul Shrode 76 days to issue a death certificate for my husband's death," Gard said. "It took Shrode 74 days to sign off on the autopsy. Initially, Shrode identified my husband as a Hispanic when he was in fact an Anglo blond with blue eyes. "I found it especially disturbing that the medical examiner's office had in their files a copy of my husband's last will and testament. I don't know how they got it and what they were doing with it."

Gard said delays and contradictory statements in the medical examiner's documents created problems in settling with the insurance companies. Without a death certificate, families cannot cremate or bury deceased relatives, collect Social Security benefits or conduct probate matters.

Under Texas law, a death certificate must be filed within 10 days of a death....Also under state law, an autopsy report must be filed within 30 days after an autopsy is requested, unless a required test (such as toxicology) cannot be completed in that time, and the person conducting the autopsy certifies in writing that the test could not be done within the 30-day limit.

Shrode's office corrected her husband's ethnicity at Gard's request, but she had other issues with the documents. She said the autopsy report indicates her husband's appendix was missing, but he never had it removed.

...The Texas Medical Board in Austin is investigating another complaint against Shrode filed by David Fisher, a government watchdog in Elgin, Texas, alleging Shrode falsified his credentials on résumés he used for job applications....Shrode is the highest-paid county official and receives an annual salary of $254,385, not including benefits.
This incredible sloppiness extends to other coroners in Texas. Unlicensed physicians giving cause-of-death opinions in dozens of cases, including child deaths and complex capital murder cases.
Around the state, some medical examiner offices have relied on the work of medical school interns and unlicensed doctors, as well as physicians who have repeatedly failed certification exams or been disciplined for poor work — even for complex capital murder cases.
Why? Oh they have too many dead bodies to deal with.
Texas doesn’t keep track of how many certified forensic pathologists work in the dozen county medical examiner offices; some put the number at 50. That’s not enough to serve large counties, let alone the 200-plus smaller ones that turn to them for autopsies.
Now I ask you... just theoretically of course, can you envision how human trafficking rings might function?

4 comments:

Dublin Mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Peasant said...

hey dubs, thanks for this link.

Dublin Mick said...

You are welcome, I just thought that one might fit in. Makes you think about wandering over for one of those onyx chess sets huh?

A. Peasant said...

ha! not so much no....

legal mumbo jumbo

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