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Guatemala Is Investigating U.S. NGOs Amid Child Sex Trafficking Allegations

Foreign officials are seeking collaboration with Texas in the probe

Guatemala Is Investigating U.S. NGOs Amid Child Sex Trafficking Allegations

The Guatemalan government is investigating U.S. funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) amid allegations of complicity in child trafficking.

Guatemalan officials say they are already probing allegations of abuse and focusing on facilities contracted by NGOs that may have allowed physical and sexual abuse of children, according to investigative reporter Sara Carter, who broke the story.

Alternatively, the government is also investigating NGOs that are allegedly aiding and abetting trafficking organizations by providing resources needed to move children to the U.S. border without guardians or parents.

In a letter obtained by Carter, Guatemalan Attorney General María Consuelo Porras asks Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for assistance with investigations into criminal reports recently filed with Guatemala’s Public Ministry exposing the trafficking network.

“These Guatemalan children have reportedly been placed in shelters and organizations throughout Texas under the guise of providing them with a family environment,” Porras states in the letter. “Disturbingly, there have been reports and documented situations of sexual abuse in these shelters, which is a huge violation of the rights and dignity of these children.”

The letter adds, “The State of Texas bears much of the responsibility for these lost children, who have been transferred to the border and processed migratory (through migration procedures) in Texas apparently fully aware of this situation.”

Organizations named in the criminal complaints as allegedly facilitating trafficking include Save the Children, Changing the Way We Care, the World Childhood Foundation, Arise, and La Unión del Pueblo Entero.

On April 14, Guatemalan Secretary General Angel Pineda spoke with Carter, confirming he is seeking investigative collaboration with the State of Texas.

“As a Prosecutor’s Office, Ministerio Publico of Guatemala have received a criminal complaint that states some criminal actions, which we see with great concern,” Pineda said. “Due to the situation that is happening in Texas, regarding different forms of abuses of some Guatemalan children and adolescents, when the institution received that criminal complaint, the institution has started investigations, so it is necessary to work on this matter in an integral way.”

He added, “That is why, I have been authorized to ask for the collaboration of prosecutor Paxton so we can work together and protect Guatemalan children, and have sent a letter in that matter.”

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