Human trafficking in Mexico

The World

This woman admits she didn’t know her husband well when she married him, but he was nice to her and told her she loved her. That all changed after their husband was born and the husband convinced her that they move into the house of his best friend. She began to realize something was wrong with the relationship�she had to do everything for her husband, the best friend, the best friend’s wife and the husband hardly ever worked. She was there to be trafficked. She was then locked up in an abandoned house and told not to make any trouble. They she was brought to a brothel in Tijuana in the city’s red light district. There she and about 30 other women served a handful of customers a day with no pay while guards watched over them. She says she was threatened constantly. The elaborate method of entrapment is a hallmark of prostitution gangs here and is a pattern for many young men as well, a tradition that goes back almost three generations. This judge says the men target poor and innocent young women. Often the women are lured by the man’s promises of wealth so they’ll accept. If they refuse the man will hold the child hostage. The judge said not much action can be taken against the prostitution rings. About a year ago the Mexican government created a special prosecutor for sex crimes, although it is reportedly without much success so far, partly because most victims don’t want to approach the police. The local police have such a bad reputation because of corruption, many are afraid to go to police. The woman from earlier eventually escaped the brothel and then hitch hiked back home and then went to the police. As a result her husband was arrested and convicted of kidnapping but the other men are still out on the streets. Stiffer penalties were recently passed in Mexico for human trafficking and many hope that will change things, but few expect it will.

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