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P edro's life as a sex trafficker began when he offered a sweet to a pretty young domestic servant out on a Sunday stroll in a provincial city in central Mexico. A week later he was roasting a pig at the home of her poverty-stricken family to celebrate their non-existent forthcoming nuptials. Within a month she was working an alley in a northern border city to raise money to help him pay off an imaginary debt.
After many years of largely ignoring the problem, federal deputies approved a people-trafficking law in that was supposed to spur a nationwide crackdown. So far, however, only Mexico City has responded with any gusto, ratcheting up the of raids in the name of rescuing victims and arresting traffickers. But the new official concern about sex trafficking in the capital has sparked controversy. Some say the raids have left many important traffickers untouched. Instead the authorities have been rounding up prostitutes and accusing them of complicity.
Another problem is that even well-directed stings in Mexico City rarely dismantle the much broader sex-trafficking networks often generated in other states where the authorities continue to turn a blind eye. It is a problem that some estimate sucks in thousands of women every year. Pedro, who was detained in a raid on a hotel in the capital in , adds that the influence of pimps in his home state would almost certainly have protected him from facing justice. Tlaxcala pimps dominate sexual slavery in the capital, as well as in several other Mexican cities — and the odd US one as well, including New York.
And, according to Pedro, there are ever more of them. Pedro became one of them 15 years ago, after a short stint working in a US factory as an illegal immigrant took the shine off the American dream. To get started, he sought out veterans who had retired and laundered their profits in a string of legal businesses while also keeping their oar in the old trade by initiating younger relatives and eager pupils like Pedro.
And they asked me if I was conscious of that," he recalls. Pedro's pimping godfathers advised him on how to ensnare poor and lonely Mexican women, often from troubled families. They told him to limit his initial "investment" when going after potential targets to a week, in order to avoid wasting his time. They also played an active part in his first conquest, the one that started with a sweet. Posing as his uncles, they helped convince the girl's family that Pedro was a hard-working young man with good intentions.
Once she was well and truly hooked, they helped him organise a move to the border city of Tijuana, where they ran hotels. Even so, it was up to Pedro to cajole her into prostitution in the name of paying off a debt, while keeping the dream of a wedding and future happiness alive. That was in When he was arrested nine years later, she was still seeing dozens of clients every day, entirely for his profit. He never gave his women any of their earnings, though he insists he sometimes took them to dinner or to the cinema and reserved violence for extreme circumstances such as an escape.
This was the nightmare that Veronica lived for years. She met her pimp while working in a brothel just outside Mexico City when she was He approached her as a client, treating her with a kindness she had never known, and promising to take her away to a life of love and security.
They talk to you nicely and they treat you well at first because they see the profit in you," she says. And when you fall, you are stuck. Things got even worse for Veronica after a failed escape attempt prompted her pimp to move her to the capital, where she was allowed only an hour's sleep a day between seeing about 40 clients. The pimp's fear that a rival was trying to steal Veronica, or the merest hint of insubordination, prompted vicious beatings.
But, Veronica says, what really kept her in line was his family's control of her two children, whom they rarely allowed her to see. Eventually Veronica did escape, with the help of the activists from Brigada Callejera, who also helped her snatch back her daughter in a daring raid on her pimp's family home.
That's the way they do it, the father passing the title to the son. Veronica laid low for a while until, penniless and with no education, she returned to prostitution, though at least she was keeping her earnings. A few months ago her trained eye spotted an obvious pimp honing in on her daughter, and the terror came flooding back.
Veronica's pimp was not from Tlaxcala, and nor was the man hitting on her daughter. According to Pedro, this shows that while Tlaxcala pimps may abound, they are not particularly territorial. After all, the supply of vulnerable young women in Mexico can seem close to endless. Pedro insists he is a reformed character with no intention of returning to the business when he is released from jail in a few years, though his expressions of regret appear to be tinged with nostalgia.
Sorry I broke their dreams and illusions," he says at one point. Modern-day slavery in focus Global development. Sexual slavery in Mexico — a pimp tells his story. Sex trafficking entraps thousands of Mexican women every year. A jailed pimp, who claims to be reformed, explains his role.
A sex worker in downtown Mexico City, where an attempted crackdown on traffickers has met with mixed . Modern-day slavery in focus is supported by. Jo Tuckman in Mexico City. Reuse this content.Mexico fuck body
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