No inquiry into human trafficking without murder?

By deception, women are recruited from other Latin American countries with the promise of a high-paying job yet they become victims of sex trafficking

No inquiry into human trafficking  without murder?
Victim of human trafficking in Mexico – Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
English 19/04/2018 09:02 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 09:03
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The uncertain social and economic situation that many Latin American countries are going through has caused thousands of people – men and women – to see in Mexico an opportunity to lead a better life through legal immigration.

However, it's usually women who bear the brunt of this situation. By deception, women are recruited from countries such as Venezuela to travel to our country with the promise of a high-paying job. Once they arrive here, nevertheless, their reality is vastly different. The job offer turns out to be, quite frequently, sexual exploitation and slavery.

In columns and articles published by EL UNIVERSAL, we have detailed how female sex workers sometimes become victims of brutal murders. In the road towards the expectation of earning high wages, there is a chain of risks which have ended with the lives of many women.

However, the debate needs to go beyond the condemnation of prostitution, as if this were, in itself, the origin of crime and violence. Elvira Arellano, leader of the civil organization Brigada Callejera (Street Brigade) – an advocate for sexual workers – has told this newspaper that it's necessary to distinguish between prostitution from sex trafficking, otherwise, fighting sexual slavery can be easily disguised with the “recovery” of women who aren't necessarily linked to the arrest and sentences of traffickers, who are usually go unpunished.

Yesterday, 17 women were rescued according to local authorities. When will the immigration agents who collaborated to allow them entrance into the country to be victims of human trafficking will be arrested? When will the leaders of the international network which allows the recruitment, through deceit, of victims will be taken down? As long as this doesn't happen, actions like yesterday's will only be “a flash in the pan”.

This Wednesday, the alleged manager of an “escort” website known as was arrested after it was discovered several murder escorts had advertised on the site. Yet, on a previous occasion, the owner had already been arrested but due to a lack of evidence was released. Is this incompetence on the part of the authorities in building their case or inability in finding the real leaders of human trafficking organizations?

If the murders of the escorts had never been reported, would this operation had taken place? Fighting slavery in the 21st century shouldn't depend on political circumstances.


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