Argentine authorities rescue Chinese human trafficking victims

A new report sheds light on the phenomenon of human trafficking involving Chinese citizens in Argentina, highlighting some of the factors underlying this illicit business.

An investigation broadcast on September 18 by the television news program Periodismo Para Todos delved into the issue of Chinese victims of human trafficking in Argentina.

According to the report, an estimated 80 percent of the country's Chinese population entered the country illegally, in many cases as part of human trafficking schemes.

A summary of the report by La Gaceta Salta stated that most Chinese migrants entering Argentina cross into the country through the provinces of Misiones, on the border with Brazil, or through Salta, which borders Bolivia to the north and Chile to the west.

Periodismo Para Todos reported that official statistics in recent years show a doubling of the number of Chinese encountered by Argentine authorities without proper immigation documentation.

The television program's investigation indicated that the majority of Chinese immigrants to Argentina come from situations of extreme poverty, and reportedly pay smuggling groups up to $6,000 dollars to be brought into the country. Many subsequently fall victim to human traffickers who exploit them for forced labor or sexual slavery.

According to El Diario de Madryn, the typical stories of Chinese trafficking victims in Argentina mirror those of victims from other countries like Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Many victims come from situations of economic hardship, and are seduced by traffickers with promises of well-paid work in the destination country. Once they arrive, however, traffickers often trap and exploit them, most commonly in forced labor and prostitution.

InSight Crime Analysis

There are several factors that play a role in the apparent increase in human trafficking in Argentina involving Chinese citizens. One factor is China's slowing economic growth, which could be contributing to increasing unemployment in the Asian nation. Moreover, even those who can find work are often confronted with exploitative conditions that may push them to seek opportunities outside their home country.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Human Trafficking

For poor Chinese who cannot afford the costs of regular migration, criminal organizations appear to have stepped into the void. Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative illicit industries on the planet, which no doubt adds to its appeal for crime groups. And the "Chinese Mafia" is well-established in South America; InSight Crime reported in 2014 on the involvement of Chinese crime networks in human smuggling activities. 

However, the Argentine government does appear to be stepping up efforts to dismantle these criminal strucutres. In June 2016, authorities in Argentina cooperated with Chinese counterparts to arrest 40 suspected members of one such mafia group.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...