Like many victims of human trafficking, Marcela was tricked into the sex trade by a man she thought she could trust. She met him in her small hometown in Veracruz state when she was 16. Posing as a wealthy businessman, he asked for her hand in marriage, promising a comfortable lifestyle. Instead he took her to the Merced neighborhood of Mexico City, a hotbed for prostitution. She was kept under duress in a hotel room and forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day, who paid $15 each to her so-called boyfriend and his accomplices. Girls suffering from human trafficking are often kept under such conditions for years. However, after a week, police raided the hotel, and Marcela defied the threats from the traffickers to testify in court, sending them to prison. “When it was happening, I just blocked it out, as it was so painful,” says Marcela, who asked that her name be changed. “It took me a long time to regain any confidence in myself, to rebuild my life.”
Now 21, Marcela works with activists in support of a new drive by prosecutors to make sure other girls don’t suffer what she did. Their efforts have been aided by Mexico’s first federal law on human trafficking passed in 2012. (Before this, the issue was governed by varying state laws.) The new act dictates custodial sentences for perpetrators at all links in the trafficking chain with sentences up to 40 years. Activists estimate that hundreds of thousands of women in Mexico, including many underage girls, are coerced into sex work or other forced labor, though the clandestine nature of the trade makes it impossible to know exact figures. Under the new law, any sex work involving girls under the age of 18 qualifies as human trafficking. Laws governing prostitution vary across Mexico’s states, and it is often tolerated in red-light zones, such as those on the U.S. border.
Posts Tagged ‘mexico’
Mexican troops have rescued 165 people, mostly Central Americans including children and pregnant women, who were kidnapped by gunmen in Mexico’s northeast and held captive less than a mile from the U.S. border, the government said on Thursday.
The group of would-be immigrants, primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, had hoped to cross into the United States from the volatile northern state of Tamaulipas.
They were captured in batches near the border two to three weeks ago and held in a house in the municipality of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.
Claudia Ayala was promised work as a cleaner in a home in the United States. Her pastor, a man she had known for many years, assured her family he would organise everything with her employers – “God-fearing people” who would pay her well.
It was all a scam. Claudia was smuggled illegally into the US on the back of a trailer truck and forced to work as a prostitute in Texas. After months of being held against her will, barely fed and deprived of any contact with the outside world, she managed to escape and get back home.
Many are exploited, kidnapped, beaten and killed by the heavily armed criminal gangs, which control the highly lucrative business of human trafficking across the region. In 2010, 72 Central American would-be migrants were found murdered in northern Mexico, allegedly by the hands of Mexico’s most vicious cartel the Zetas. The Mexican army recently rescued 165 people who were travelling as undocumented migrants and were kidnapped by a drug cartel near the US border.
A U.S. district judge granted several requests by a defendant in a federal sex-trafficking case, including adding a lawyer to his defense team, hiring a private investigator’s services, and obtaining the names of unindicted co-conspirators, court records show.
Lawyers for Charles E. Marquez, charged with seven counts related to sex-trafficking, also filed an estimated budget indicating they will need $129,229 for their services.
Authorities allege that Marquez was involved in a sex-trafficking scheme in which women were lured from Juárez to work for Marquez as prostitutes in El Paso. One or more of the prostitutes allegedly were minors, authorities said.
Officials also allege that the sex-trafficking continued for five years.
Source: El Paso Times
Sold into prostitution, the young women were forced to have sex with workers on New Jersey farms and in dingy brothels around New York — some with as many as 25 men a day, authorities say.
Most got paid nothing.
Today, federal authorities said they have charged 13 people in connection with the far-flung sex trafficking ring that transported dozens women and girls — including one as young as 14 — from Mexico to be put to work in the sex trade.
Prosecutors said the enterprise, which operated for at least five years, was part of a larger network of sex traffickers working a pipeline that stretched from Tenancingo, Mexico, directly into the New York region.
The young Mexican women were driven to rural New Jersey, U.S. authorities said, where their handlers used threats to make them have sex with 25 farmworkers a day. Or they were confined to dingy brothels in the New York City area that advertised their services with “chica cards,” business cards passed out on street corners to attract customers. They were paid very little, or nothing at all.
Their ordeal was detailed in a criminal complaint charging 13 people with smuggling dozens into the United States and forcing them into prostitution. Some of the defendants were to appear Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to face multiple counts including sex trafficking and interstate transportation for prostitution.
The ring “lured their unsuspecting victims to the United States and then consigned them to a living hell,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
The investigation was among several aimed at “blockading the repugnant sex trafficking corridor” used to exploit victims from Tenancingo, Mexico, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York.
Source: Huffington Post
Two Mexican brothers have been extradited to the United States to join a third brother to face sex trafficking charges in New York as part of a complex collaborative effort to combat human trafficking, federal officials said Monday.
Benito Lopez-Perez, 32, and Anastasio Romero-Perez, 39, were arraigned on a 25-count indictment Monday morning in Brooklyn Federal Court, the U.S. attorney and the Justice Department said in a news release…
All the extraditions resulted from the comprehensive anti-trafficking program, which has so far resulted in the indictment of 52 defendants on sex trafficking charges and has “rescued over 100 victims, including 17 minors,” the release said.
“The sex trafficking of young girls and women is modern-day slavery we will do everything in our power to eradicate,” Lynch said in a news conference Monday.
She also announced the reuniting of a victim of sex trafficking with her child after a separation of more than 10 years.
A Mexican girl sent to America for a better life never saw the inside of a classroom. Instead, she became a human-trafficking victim in Oceanside.
For nearly two years, the 12-year-old was raped repeatedly, beaten, sold for sex and forced to work for no pay by a couple related to her, law-enforcement sources said.
“There have been some real bad cases, but this is one of the worst cases we’ve had,” said Sgt. Joe Mata of the sheriff’s department. “This was so important because there are so many victims and nothing gets done.”
Once at the Hernandez home, she was forced to care for the couple’s three young children, cook and clean, said sheriff’s Deputy George Crysler, the case investigator. She was also forced to have sex with Hernandez and occasionally sold as a sex slave, he said.
In addition, the suspects allegedly made the girl lie about her age to get a job at a restaurant and then kept her wages.
The victim was beaten whenever she refused to participate in sex or did not complete her work to her traffickers’ satisfaction, said Crysler, who added that she was “under the constant threat of physical abuse.”
The captivity lasted 21 months before the girl was beaten so severely that someone reported the situation to authorities. Child Protective Services removed the victim from the home and eventually returned her to her family in Mexico, Mata said.
Source: U-T San Diego
Jasmin’s boyfriend wanted her to drop her college studies, quit her job and leave her hometown region in Mexico for a new life with him.
It was such a big request. It had been only two months since they met.
She was hesitant. As the first in her rural farming family to pursue higher education, she hoped to stick with her dream of earning a bachelor’s degree.
But Jasmin, then 18, was also in love for the first time. A week before final exams, amid fears that her boyfriend would leave her, she gave in.
The couple drove through the night to his hometown, where he introduced her as his wife, secluded her in an upstairs bedroom and left her there. It did not take long for her to realize something was amiss.
For more than 2½ years afterward, Jasmin tried several times to flee the relationship. On each occasion, she returned because of her boyfriend’s promises of love and change, physical beatings and most of all, threats of bringing shame to her family.
He used romance, violence and brainwashing to turn Jasmin into a sex slave — a prostitute in Puebla, Mexico City, Tijuana and San Diego.
Source: U-T San Diego