This is in response to the article Human trafficking activist benefited personally from contracts: lawmaker published on May 22, 2019.
Because as stated on your webpage you “strive for accuracy, balance and fairness in your coverage,” we believe it is important that you have the correct information related to your article. Although the article is based on information gathered from other sources, we will address the false statements that were published in your news outlet.
The United Against Human Trafficking Commission (Comisión Unidos Vs Trata), presided over by Rosi Orozco, since its inception in 2012 has been supported by private donations and does not depend on government funds in any way, nor has it recently received any direct or indirect awards from any government agency or ministry.
The use of properties seized from criminal organizations by the Mexican System of Administrative Allocation of Assets (SAE), arranged under authorized leasing contracts and maintenance commitments was, until the last few days, a legal use of property in Mexico.
NGOs that provide attention to victims rescued from violence and other crimes used this benefit to provide shelter, protection, security, privacy and well-being to the children under their care. It is fair to mention that Fundación Camino a Casa A.C., an organization that is not presided over by Rosi Orozco, took advantage of this benefit, but none of the contracts came under her signature or name.
Every citizen or NGO had a right to solicit these properties under their rules. The SAE published its rules and procedures in their web page. These properties were then leased as a means to produce income for the state.
With regard to the recent announcement of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador related to the decision made to auction all seized real estate and other goods, the new director of the recently created Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People, recklessly mentioned, without having the full disclosure of information, that Rosi Orozco benefited personally from these properties.
Ricardo Rodríguez, head of the new institute, had to correct himself in a widely shared interview by the renowned journalist Adela Micha. Rosi Orozco, an activist for 14 years who has made a lifetime commitment dedicated to defend and protect children and teenagers rescued from sexual slavery, is in total agreement with President López Obrador concerning the eradication of corruption and the auctioning of all goods seized from criminals, because our organization has always made it clear that the fight against human trafficking is also an open war against organized crime that affects many criminal and political interests.
This being said, the only petition made by Rosi Orozco was to give the shelters enough time to find new facilities that provided the victims safety and well-being. It is important to clarify that our organization is perfectly structured. It is led by an executive board and works under strict accountability standards, the general assembly of members is advised by important philanthropic organizations such as Rotary International.
The executive board approves all budgets and projects. The United Against Human Trafficking Commission’s work has been recognized by different governments and supported by many people in different administrations. Our main achievements are helping to pass the Mexican human trafficking law to prevent, punish and eradicate this crime.
We also strive to provide long-term protection to victims. We have been able to successfully help more than 200 victims to heal and recover. We have a trajectory that has provided education, information and prevention programs to different institutions and communities, as well as training for law enforcement and those in charge of administering justice.
In recognition of this work, Rosi Orozco was honored with the Ignacio Manuel Altamirano Medal, an award given by the president of the High Court of Justice of Mexico City for social merit. Orozco, as well as the organization she presides over, the United Against Human Trafficking Commission, received this recognition from the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum.
The United Against Human Trafficking Commission holds consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council and has actively participated in many national and international forums, conferences and UN initiatives, especially in the area of human rights in both New York and Geneva.
Journalists should dig further into the careers of those who have accused us of corruption, carefully reviewing their work, claims, the questionable statistics they provide and their true achievements as human trafficking activists.
Do they have any hard, reliable evidence to back up their accusations? The United Against Human Trafficking Commission has always strived to conduct its work with integrity, and will continue to keep the dignity and protection of victims at the forefront of its mission and work.
The writer is the legal representative of the United Against Human Trafficking Commission AC.