Mexico in Brief: Only 1% of human trafficking cases are reported, official says


EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The government of Mexico investigated 575 cases of human trafficking last year, with most of them involving women who were sexually exploited, a Mexican newspaper reported.

The figures come from a Sunday briefing by Salvador Guerrero Chipres, head of the Mexico City-based Justice and Public Safety Council, who said he believes only 1 out of 100 cases of human trafficking are reported to authorities.

The official said few complaints are filed because most victims aren’t aware of their rights or are fearful of turning in their abusers. Even though, the complaints filed represent a 15% increase over 2018, and in 87% of the cases, the victims are women being sexually exploited, El Universal reported.

According to a June 2019 report by the U.S. Department of State, Mexico does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but was making efforts to improve.

Graphic courtesy Government of Mexico

“As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Mexico. […] Groups considered most vulnerable to trafficking in Mexico include women, children, indigenous persons, persons with mental and physical disabilities, migrants, and LGBTI individuals,” the Department of State report says.

“Traffickers recruit and exploit Mexican women and children, and to a lesser extent men and transgender individuals, in sex trafficking in Mexico and the United States through false promises of employment, romantic relationships, or extortion,” the report states.

LeBaron family members continue activism despite threats to relative

Even though one of their relatives has fled to the U.S. due to death threats, two members of a Mormon community in Mexico continued their activism this weekend.

Adrian and Bryan LeBaron were speakers at the “March for Peace” in the city of Puebla, where they spoke out against violence and impunity in Mexico, El Sol de Puebla reported.

The rally Sunday in Puebla, Mexico. (photo courtesy El Sol de Puebla)

“We share your pain because the same crimes are taking place here,” said Adrian LeBaron, referring to the murder of three LeBaron women and six children in November near the Sonora-Chihuahua border. “Apparently authorities are doing their job in Puebla, but in my case, I remain very disappointed. We are under heavy vigilance.”

Last week, Julian LeBaron fled the Mormon colony in northern Chihuahua state after death threats were made against him. He told the Associated Press groups of armed men patrol the streets of communities around LeBaron, Chihuahua and that he fled, fearing for his life.

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