Mexican authorities rescued 18 women in Chiapas Mexico, South of Mexico, five of them were from Central America, said Mexican officials.
Additionally, the National Institute of Migration (NIM) and the Government of Chiapas found another 41 unknown immigrants; 32 Salvadorians and 7 Hondurans immigrants. Two suspects were arrested. in relation to the incident, said the Ministry of the Interior in a statement.
During the first case, there were eight suspects from an unspecified criminal group, two women and six men. Authorities also intercepted three vehicles allegedly used by the suspects to provide sexual services. Five of the victims who endured sexual exploitation, were from Central America, originating from Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, and another thirteen from Mexican States of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas.
The women told authorities that they were “‘hooked up’ (captured) and forced into prostitution while they were illegally retained in a safe house, without the ability to communicate with the outside”.
After being found, they were transferred to a hostel where the victims received comprehensive, medical and psychological care as directed by the protocols that are in place to take care of victims of trafficking.
The rescue of these victims from Central America, the 41 who were unknown immigrants, the Ministry of the Interior explained that of the 41, 10 of them are women, 2 of which are minor, and the other 31, were males.
“In this human trafficking conducted in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (Chiapas)there was a vehicle that was carrying several foreigners, which was led by two people, identified as Otto Gabriel Tovar Herrera of 37-years-old and Pedro Vidal González Bustamante, 46-year-old”, added authorities.
They released details that the two detainees were unaware of “the immigration status of its passengers”, which were given to NIM for possible repatriation.
Mexico is known to have a large problem where human trafficking is high, and the reasons for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women and children, indigenous persons, and undocumented migrants. A significant number of Mexican women, girls, and boys are trafficked and lured by false job offers from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas.
According to the government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas. The vast majority of foreign victims are trafficked into the country for commercial sexual exploitation and are from Central America, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; many travel from Mexico en route to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada and Western Europe.
However a new trend is showing that unaccompanied Central American minors, traveling through Mexico to meet family members in the United States, increasingly fall victim to human traffickers, particularly near the Guatemalan border.
Mexican men and boys are trafficked from southern to northern Mexico for forced labor. Central Americans, especially Guatemalans, are subjected to forced labor in southern Mexico, particularly in agriculture. Child sex tourism continues to grow in Mexico, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco and Cancun, and northern border cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.
Foreign children who arrive most often from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe fall victim. Organized criminal networks traffic Mexican women and girls into the United States for commercial sexual exploitation, and males are forced into labor, particularly in agriculture and industrial sweatshops.
The Government of Mexico does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to change that. The government took steps to implement its federal anti-trafficking law, issuing regulations in February 2009. As of May 2009, twenty-two Mexican states and its federal district had enacted legislation to criminalize some forms of human trafficking on the local level.
However, no convictions or stringent punishments against trafficking offenders were reported last year, though the federal government opened 24 criminal investigations against suspected trafficking offenders. Moreover, the government has not completed renovations on its planned trafficking shelter, though it continued to refer victims to NGOs for assistance. While Mexican officials recognize human trafficking as a serious problem, the lack of a stronger response by the government is of concern, especially in light of the large number of victims present in the country.