Tenancingo, Tlaxcala Mexico: Ground Zero for Lucrative Sex Slave Trade

Posted on April 5, 2015 • Filed under: Crime, Human Rights Latin America, Human Smuggling, Mexico, Social Issues

TheGuardian.com/ Nina Lakhani reported….Méndez, like thousands of other vulnerable women in Mexico, was hoodwinked by a family of traffickers in Tlaxcala, the country’s smallest state just two hours south of Mexico City. This is a deeply religious place, where the indigenous Nahua people united with the Spanish to conquer the mighty Aztecs, but which over the past five decades has transformed into an unlikely hub of human trafficking. Local crime families have grown rich by luring poor, uneducated girls into fake romances, then forcing them into prostitution

In the US, five of the 10 “most wanted” sex traffickers are from Tenancingo, where Mendez’s nightmare began. Trafficking networks rooted in Tlaxcala are the biggest source of sex slaves in the US, the state department has said.

This improbable crime story began in the 1950s after industrialisation, when working-age men returned home from neighbouring states to find few opportunities beyond badly paid factory jobs. Pimping and trafficking, which they had seen while working away, was a way to get ahead, and many set up small, family-run sexual exploitation rings. Some of the most powerful Tlaxcala families are believed to collaborate with Mexico’s most feared cartels. Tenancingo is the most notorious hotspot in Tlaxcala, with some estimates suggesting one in 10 people are actively involved in trafficking. But 16km north in Axotla del Monte, population 2,000, the concentration of garish mansions and flashy sports cars is even more conspicuous. This is another red zone, home to loyal, close-knit communities. In December 2012 the army was drafted in after police officers were almost lynched trying to detain an alleged trafficking family. Read Article

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