As an anti-human trafficking bill makes its way through Mexico's legislature, a congresswoman has claimed that more than 800,000 people a year are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

In an effort to draw attention to the crime of human trafficking in Mexico, congresswoman Rosi Orozco (pictured) recently cited figures showing that some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are trafficked for sexual exploitation each year in Mexico, reports EFE.

Orozco said the figure came from the National Refuge Network (RNR), an NGO that provides shelter to abused women. According to the RNR, at least 47 criminal networks control these trafficking routes that predominantly run through the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and·Quintana Roo.

Mexico's lower house·voted unanimously·on Thursday for a new anti-human trafficking law that would mandate sentences of between 15 and 30 years for the crimes of slavery, child pornography and the sexual exploitation of women and children. If passed into law, a maximum sentence of 40 years would also be imposed for parents who allow their children to be sexually exploited.

The bill follows two constitutional amendments made last year by President Felipe Calderon, one that requires those accused of human trafficking to be imprisoned during trials, and one that ensures the anonymity of victims.

InSight Crime Analysis

Estimates over the income generated from the global human trafficking industry vary widely with some putting the figure at close to $10 billion annually, and others over $30 billion. What is beyond doubt is that it is one of the most profitable forms of crime in the world.

Attracted by the potential profits, Mexican cartels have become increasingly involved in the trade, according to a 2011 Washington Post investigation. Because crimes related to human trafficking are rarely prosecuted, this has given criminal groups another incentive to deepen their involvement. As Orzoco told the Post, “If narcotics traffickers are caught they go to high-security prisons, but with the trafficking of women, they have found absolute impunity.”

The new law will seek to address this discrepancy in Mexico's judicial system, a problem that was recently highlighted with the release of figures by the Attorney General's Office that showed only a fraction of cases were subject to preliminary investigations over the last three years.

Investigations

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

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.