International government officials and the Minneapolis-based Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (ITEMP) continue their search for information about a suspected human trafficker arrested and currently awaiting formal charges in Bolivia. JosĂ© Ignacio Llopis MirĂł, 45, was arrested by INTERPOL agents June 17 at a cafĂ© in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, after a nearly three-year manhunt.
Online PR News – 24-August-2011 – – MINNEAPOLISâ€”International government officials and the Minneapolis-based Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (ITEMP) continue their search for information about a suspected human trafficker arrested and currently awaiting formal charges in Bolivia.
JosĂ© Ignacio Llopis MirĂł, 45, was arrested by INTERPOL agents June 17 at a cafĂ© in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, after a nearly three-year manhunt. He is suspected in the disappearance of two women in Bolivia. He is also wanted in Uruguay, Spain, Guatemala, Argentina, and Australia on fraud, theft, and human trafficking-related charges. Furthermore, he is under investigation in Guatemala in connection with a homicide.
Spanish-born MirĂł allegedly operated under nearly a dozen aliases in 17 countries. He is approximately 6 feet tall, with brown hair and green eyes. He speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese.
An avid sailor, MirĂł would reportedly arrive on his yacht and quickly befriend other travelers with his easy charm. To his alleged victims, he claimed to be a doctor traveling the world to compete in sailing regattas.
He would then allegedly deceive and defraud his victims, and is accused of entrapping women in sexual servitude more than once. MirĂł is accused of emptying his victimsâ€™ bank accounts before vanishing.
In one pending criminal case, MirĂł allegedly stole EUR 2000 from a Uruguayan woman. According to the criminal complaint, he romanced her and offered to take her to Spain to work on his yacht. He asked her for money to complete visa paperwork, the victim said. After she gave it to him, MirĂł disappeared.
He was arrested in Paraguay in November 2010 but released for lack of evidence.
Miro first came to ITEMPâ€™s attention in Guatemala in 2009 when an allegedly drugged, entrapped, and sexually-victimized young woman escaped from him and fled to file a report with the Guatemalan National Police. The first several officials the woman turned to laughed. One even called her a â€śsilly tourist.â€ť
ITEMP is the international anti-human trafficking subprogram of The GODâ€™S CHILD Project. Founded in 2001 by Bismarck-native Patrick Atkinson, ITEMP takes a multifaceted approach to combating modern day slavery. Through victim rescue and rehabilitation, as well as government advocacy and community education, ITEMP fights human trafficking around the globe.
Eventually, a government official suggested she tell her story to Atkinson. He recognized the classical signs of human trafficking in her tale, and directed her to officials who could help. Finally, a Guatemalan arrest warrant was signed for MirĂł in May 2009.
After this case, Atkinson started digging up MirĂłâ€™s past and quickly realized that this was not the first young woman he had allegedly targeted.
â€śHe was very predictable. He was a sailor and always used the same name for his boat, Don Juan. He frequented certain places, especially where there were tourists. He dressed a certain way,â€ť Atkinson said. â€śWe used all of this information to track him and eventually nab him. But now we need victims to come forward to make sure we can keep him behind bars.â€ť
To prevent MirĂł from being released again, ITEMP is asking victims or people with information on other crimes connected to MirĂł to come forward.
Some of the more general information about MirĂł is posted on ITEMPâ€™s website (http://www.itemp.org/wantedtraffickers.html), and is promoted through search engine optimization to come up quickly if a person searches for one of his many aliases.
Coordinating tips generated from the website, and feeding this information to an international network of law enforcement agencies, ITEMP was able to track MirĂłâ€™s location and alias, while studying his methodology.
ITEMP officials in Guatemala are preparing to pass on the information they have collected through the website and through the pending criminal case in Guatemala to prosecutors in Bolivia. Guatemalan ITEMP officials are working actively with Bolivian officials to present a strong criminal case against MirĂł.
If you have information about JosĂ© Ignacio Llopis MirĂł or have been the victim of a human trafficking crime, please contact ITEMP at Director@ITEMP.org or (952)544-1670.
About the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited, & Missing Persons: Founded in 2001 by Patrick Atkinson, ITEMP focuses on trafficking in persons and child labor. The anti-human trafficking subprogram of The GODâ€™S CHILD Project, ITEMP works with an estimated 6 percent of the Projectâ€™s children who qualify as human trafficking victimsâ€”typically through forced child labor. ITEMP also rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking victims. In addition to rescue and rehabilitation efforts, ITEMP aims to heighten public awareness of global human trafficking through community education and government advocacy.