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Javier Antonio Morazan & Juan Victoriano Ruiz

Nicaragua , Class of 2013

Javier Antonio Morazan & Juan Victoriano Ruiz

TIP Report


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Javier A. Morazan, a public prosecutor, and Juan V. Ruiz, a police officer, have created an incredibly effective prosecutorial and investigative team.

Mr. Morazan is the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Anti-Corruption and Anti-Organized Crime Unit in Nicaragua. Known as incredibly knowledgeable on the subject of human trafficking in Nicaragua, he has relentlessly pursued the conviction of traffickers. His office secured a record 25 convictions in 2012. He has personally been responsible for the majority of convictions against traffickers since 2009. His success in prosecuting the people responsible for trafficking has been at least partly due to a powerful partnership he formed with Juan V. Ruiz, a Lieutenant for the National Police of Nicaragua. Mr. Ruiz is the head of the Police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit. He has a small team that works day and night to investigate human trafficking cases throughout the country. Before his unit was created, there was an average of 11 cases investigated per year. After the creation of his unit, and his appointment as its head, that number has more than doubled to 24 cases per year. His unit investigates, gathers evidence, and presents that to Mr. Morazan, who follows up by filing charges against the individuals responsible. The teamwork that their informal partnership shows is remarkable and enviable, and should be an example to the world of how we can work together on combatting modern slavery. Their partnership was recognized when they were given a joint Heroes Acting to End Modern Slavery Award in 2013.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Nicaragua was listed as a Tier 1 country. In 2009, just six years before that, they had been listed on the Tier 2 Watch List, and their improvement is remarkable. It is a source and transit country for both sexual exploitation and forced labor, although primarily for the former. There still some child sex tourism to Nicaragua from Western countries. While strong in investigation and prosecution, victim services should be increased.

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