Florida Senator Joins Group to Stop Child Sex Crimes Abroad
Tallahassee, FL - U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), joined 13 other colleagues sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to ensure that child sexual assault is given greater attention in decisions regarding United States assistance to Guatemala.
"As you make determinations regarding future U.S. assistance to Guatemala, we urge you to ensure that resources are provided to improve the National Civil Police's Special Unit for Sex Crimes," the Senators wrote.
"We believe that with greater capacity and training, this unit could conduct prompt and professional investigations, coordinate effectively with prosecutors, and successfully locate and apprehend perpetrators of child sexual assault."
A report by Doctors Without Borders in 2012 found that a quarter of all adolescent women and girls in Guatemala reported they had been a victim of sexual violence within the past year. Human Rights Watch noted that "rapes and sexual assaults of women increased by 34 percent from 2008 to 2011, while in 9 of every 10 of those cases, those responsible are not punished."
The Guatemalan government has recently taken some initial steps to tackle this problem by creating a Special Unit for Sex Crimes within the National Civil Police to investigate sexual assault cases. However, the unit still lacks the capacity and training that is needed to address the plague of child sexual assault in Guatemala. A study conducted by International Justice Mission found that fewer than 6 percent of child sexual assault cases in Guatemala reach a verdict - with the majority of these cases stalling during the investigation stage.
In addition to Senator Rubio the letter was signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), John Boozman (R-AR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Thad Cochran (R-MS). Taken from: http://www.wtxl.com/news/florida-senator-joins-group-to-stop-child-sex-crimes-abroad/article_f2c93d8c-92ed-11e3-9df3-0017a43b2370.html