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Sexual Violence Against Migrant Women in Mexico has Increased, NGO Alerts

Elizabeth Velasco C. - La Jornada
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February 3, 2013

The Women of Juarez is a short documentary on the women behind the "job." Music by Mike Ator. (luis saenz)

Daily, a woman is raped, kidnapped to be subject to sex trade or trafficked while crossing the borders of Mexico to the U.S., a fact that has increased due to the restrictions of immigration laws, warned Jaime Montejo, spokesman for the Street Brigade to Support Women Elisa Martinez Association (Asociación Brigada Callejera de Apoyo a la Mujer Elisa Martínez).

 "The migration of Central American women is increasing as is violence against them in Mexico," he said, stressing that on average thirty women a month are victims of rape and submitted to the sex trade and even conditions of slavery.

In an interview, Montejo warned that children and teenagers accompanying the migrant women run the same fate; in some cases, it is the women’s partners who use them as a bargaining chip with hit-men or gangs involved in human trafficking.

"They sell them to pay the $100 dollar fee charged to board the train, and other stratospheric sums that smugglers demand to bring them to the United States".

Municipal, state and federal police are also abusing migrant women: "Most of these migrant women are from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, who also run the risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and face unwanted pregnancies," emphasized Montejo.

The spokesman for the Street Brigade, an organization that defends the rights of sex workers and promotes sexual health, said that Mexican women moving to the north of the country are at equal risk.

"Some Mexican or Central American women, let’s admit, are already prostituting, but are heading to the United States in search of better living conditions."

Montejo remarked that the greatest number of violations of sexual rights and human rights of migrant women are reported in states such as Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz, as well as in the northern border. "In Chiapas the number of cases has re-surged, due to the militarization to which the state was subjected."

Montejo specified that, "after being kidnapped by drug traffickers, migrant women are raped and then marked with tattoos, later to be victims of sex trafficking in states like Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, Toluca and other cities in the state of Mexico and Morelos, where in zones of tolerance they are held against their will, while they pay for their right to continue moving north to the United States."

"Others are kept as sex slaves, that is, without the right to pay for their freedom", while some become consorts forced by a military operator of criminal groups."

Translated by Cecilia Ayala

See Spanish original

Posted by Reed Brundage at Mexico Voices

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