557 victims of sexual exploitation rescued in Mexico City since 2013

From June 2013 until July this year, Mexico City authorities have closed 42 table dance clubs.
(Photo: screen grab from El Universal TV)
Óscar Balderas
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To tell this story we must start with a 21-year-old woman who cries while pulling her hair, as if she was trying to expel from her head the memory of the gang rape she suffered at a table dance club in Mexico City.

"I hate them, I hate them!" shouted Elvira, while kicking on the floor, which for a moment makes her look like a 12-year old girl. "I don't even know how many raped me there that night!," she cried in despair.

In the spring of 2013 she was looking for a job at Anzures neighborhood when a head waiter invited her to work in a bar keeping track of the drinks ordered by customers.

She agreed to accompany him for a supposed job interview, but while waiting to talk to the manager of the Cadillac, a brothel disguised as a table club on Melchor Ocampo Avenue in Mexico City, the head waiter offered her a whiskey that weakened her arms, blurred her vision and left her unconscious on the table.

When Elvira opened her eyes she was in a 3 by 4 meter room with opaque windows instead of walls, a table and a pink armchair. The head waiter was the first to rape her, as a preamble of what she would have to do as an employee of the Cadillac.

"Anyone could come, open the door and rape me ... I only remember three, but I am sure more men abused me, so many that I could not sit for 14 days," Elvira explained while sobbing.

She was then handed over to a frequent customer of the table dance, who dragged her to his car and took her to a hotel room where he raped numerous times. Neither tears nor entreaties made the man stop. He argued that he was only getting what he had paid for her at the Cadillac.

Elvira's testimony was investigated by Mexico City Attorney General's Office and on June 29, 2013, federal and local police raided the Cadillac and rescued 46 victims of sexual exploitation before closing the club.

From then until July this year, Mexico City authorities have closed 42 table dance clubs, including Solid Gold, Tahiti, Farenheit and Royal. In each of them, authorities found stories of sexually exploited women with severe genital injuries, mutilated, forced by managers to get breast and buttock implants and to abort.

So far 557 victims of sexual exploitation have been rescued in 192 raids in Mexico City.

Others continue working as escorts advertised online or in states where table dance clubs are tolerated, such as Morelos, Hidalgo, Puebla and the State of Mexico, according to the manager of a table dance club who asked to remain anonymous and who works in the "industry" since the 80's. 


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