Mexico changes constitution to combat human trafficking
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, shown on June 23, gave Congress 180 days to approve a new human trafficking law.
July 14th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Mexico changes constitution to combat human trafficking

Mexico's president approved several changes to the country's constitution Wednesday aimed at cracking down on human trafficking.

President Felipe Calderon announced two of the changes - one that requires those accused of human trafficking to be imprisoned during trials, and one that guarantees anonymity of victims who denounce the crime.

"It is important that they can give their testimony to the authorities and to society without being at risk," he said.

Calderon gave Mexico's Congress 180 days to approve a new nationwide human trafficking law that will reform and streamline how authorities handle such cases across the country.

"There are thousands and thousands of cases, in a society that is still unaware of the seriousness of this crime," he said. "We have to break through this curtain ... that is hiding from the Mexicans a criminal reality that is in front of us."

With increasing frequency, he said, criminal organizations that ship and sell drugs and weapons have added human trafficking to their repertoire.

In addition to Calderon's speech, Wednesday's presentation included a video testimony from an anonymous woman who recounted how a man lured her into a vicious human trafficking network over the internet.

The man was in his 30s, she said, and she was in high school. He made her an offer she felt she couldn't refuse - work as an event promoter with a daily salary of 700 pesos (about $60), with food and transportation included. When she arrived in the affluent city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, the reality was very different, she said.

"He made me take drugs, and prostitute myself. There were no honest friendships for anyone. Only money was important," she recalled. "Out of fear I would obey the drug traffickers."

Earlier this year a report from Mexico City's human rights commission estimated that 10,000 women were victims of human trafficking in Mexico's capital, but there were only 40 investigations of the crime and three convictions in the city in 2010.

The discrepancy is an "alarming figure" that shows a need to improve laws and policies, according to the commission, which called the phenomenon a "new form of slavery."

On Wednesday, Calderon asked lawmakers and citizens alike to take action.

"We have to create a unified front to end human trafficking in Mexico," he said. "This front is not limited to police or officials, this front starts in the streets, in the neighborhoods and in the communities."

- CNN's Rey Rodriguez and contributed to this report.

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Topics: In The News

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. BillyBoy

    Too bad we can't change the US constitution and state laws making drug use a capital criminal offense.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Solon the Law Giver

      Obviously BillyBoy you must have failed US. Govt class. Every time congress passes legislature and the President signs it and the supreme court doesn't declare it unconstitutional then there is a change in the constitution.

      July 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
      • solon

        if it is declared as not unconstitutional, then nothing must have change in the constitution. Congress must pass amendments, not just ordianry legislation, if they want to change the constitution.

        July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
      • OldCactus

        You need to take a laxative. Seriously, you are full of it. A poster child for the government education system. The democrats are proud of you.

        July 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
      • Jeff

        No it doesn't dimwit....that is merely a new law. The constitution itself can only be changed by a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT and it takes at least 2/3rds of both federal government houses OR 2/3 of the States legislatures. Where did YOU go to government class?.....geeze.

        July 17, 2011 at 8:13 am |
      • Thomas


        You have a lot to learn about legislation. A little bit of research would have spared you this embarrassment.

        July 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Thomas

        That was meant for Solon the law giver, not solon.

        July 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • lizpiper

        It isn't of of the duties of the supreme court to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by congress – read the constitution on the subject.

        July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Ya expecally since all of the problems with it come fromt he fact that it is illigal.. Have you ever read the constitution. Well since you said what you did, I knoe the answer is no, or eltse you would know that the federal drug "laws" we have now are illigal and unconstitional. religicans make me sad at there ignorance.

      July 15, 2011 at 12:53 am | Reply
      • Seanster77

        Quit drinking bong water mickey. You're starting to ramble. Religicans?

        July 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mohammad Rafi Oryakhel From Afghanistan

      i saw last night Freeproject in CNN TV, i saw all the comment, regarding of your comments nothings impossible my dear, if a human wants anything in this world he can.

      July 16, 2011 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • billyslap

      you are a real dummy arent you, drugs are bad yes, if used improperly and not medically, but we need to go after the dealers not the users that are dumb and use em then addicted and have to use because they are enslaved by it.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • ColdWar153

      Mexico is a civil law country. The U.S. is a common law country. Essentially, every law has to be explicit as it is not open to interpretation; there is no case law in Mexico. Lawyers focus on determining which written law is applicable to a certain set of circumstances (crime, misdemeanor, or private law). This is not uncommon as half of Europe has civil law systems. As this is the case, everything has to be spelled out. It's not like the U.S. constitution in any way shape or form.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • Cam

      Our constitution needs some changes, as well.

      July 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
    • Manasquan1

      All drug offenses a capital offense wow, so can we make diabetes a misdemeanor. Diabetes most people don't ask to have it, but once educated should hold themselves responsible. But not all diabetics can contol their diabetes allllllllll the time. Very similar to addicts. O ya and Alcohol is a drug in case you bought lie that it wasn't. A chemical that changes your awareness and or alters tour mood is a drug.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Aaron L.

      Then we'd be murderers. Pot heads don't deserve the death penalty. Crack and Meth heads... well maybe I can agree with you there. They're responsible for most of the murders along with alcoholics and crazy religious right wingers.

      July 25, 2011 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Californian Michael

      don't be serious. all things are drugs that go into ones body. let people choose. more drug freedom in the USA please . don't support the Prison Industry

      July 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  2. jessicaber

    Viva Mexico!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • bosko

      Mexican Laws are never enforced, except against gringos, so this whole business is a complete waste of time.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
      • alejandro

        Mexico is one of the countries with more inequalities in the world, the majority of Mexicans are loss and believe very machos but live exploited and at the mercy of the Government, political parties and the majority believe all what television with a minimum of five dollars a day and the Government says 80% of Mexicans are poor and 10 per cent of the poorest population receives the 1.1 per cent of national income and 10% 40% of the revenue they concentrate of the richest. 10 families build up 10 per cent of national income. The real factors that cause poverty slavery drugs and violence in Mexico, are false democracy and corrupt Mexican Government managed by American interests and large corporations, in Mexico no matter who or who are in power, that Constitution has always will be equal, exploitation and misery thanks to the invisible Empire of the great capital.

        July 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
      • Mary Wendish

        alejandro: Not everything is due to the United States, Alex. One problem in Mexico is that Mexican people don't acknowledge problems generated by their own people. Surely the people in Sinaloa who glorify sicarios are partly to blame for the drug problem in the US-Mexico border. Americans are to blame, but so are Mexicans. Mexican people and American people need to accept responsibility.

        July 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Carla Conde - Freudendorff


    This is a very important case. Do a follow up ... Argentina – Dominican Republic – Mexico ...

    "De campeón con Larroudé a espía de la SIDE y proxeneta en Cancún"
    Raúl Martins brilló en el fútbol de la zona y su rastro se perdió, como el de tantos otros crack que venían de Buenos Aires. Detrás del futbolista, una historia de película.

    "La conexión caribeña"
    Los proxenetas tenían como cómplices a dos inspectores comunales
    Soplones: dos funcionarios municipales, ahora detenidos, alertaron a los dueños de un prostíbulo sobre la llegada de un juez.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • rido

      I see you like the write in Spanish. That's fine. That is if you want to miss 95% of your audience. But, if you also choose to write in English for the rest of us, there are two l's in the word excellent. You know like in the words, Carillo, Allende, calle, llama, etc....

      July 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
      • mickey1313

        Oh, that was spanish, I though it was jibbering re**rd.

        July 15, 2011 at 12:54 am |
      • Carla Conde - Freudendorff

        Rido, thanks, I missed one L in excellent, you are right. I have no excuses, but German is driving me crazy.
        Those are newspapers articles published in Mexico and Argentina. I hope CNN publishes about that case, a case on how organized crime was / is covered up by some institutions.
        CNN is international, like Human Trafficking, maybe this can be of help in case a comment is published in Telugu. Google translate

        July 15, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • alejandro

      México es uno de los países con más desigualdades del mundo, la mayoría de los mexicanos están dormidos y se creen muy machos pero viven explotados y a merced del gobierno y partidos políticos y la mayoría creen todo lo que dice el gobierno y la televisión con un salario mínimo de cinco dólares al día el 80% de los mexicanos son pobres Y el 10% de la población más pobre recibe el 1.1% del ingreso nacional y el 10% de los más ricos concentran 40% de los ingresos. 10 familias acumulan el 10%del ingreso nacional.
      Los verdaderos factores que causantes de la miseria esclavitud y violencia en México son la falsa democracia y gobierno corrupto mexicano manejado por intereses Norteamericanos y de grandes corporaciones, En México no importa quién o quienes estén en el poder, que constitución tenga siempre será igual, explotación y miseria gracias al el imperio invisible del gran capital.

      July 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • Victor

        Es para muchos más fácil creer que la culpa de todos sus males es por la opresión de alguien más, pero la verdad es que es culpa de los mexicanos que estén así. México crecerá el día que dejen culpar a cualquier otro país de sus problemas y se pongan a trabajar. Es el país del queja y queja, lo cual viene, desgraciadamente, de la herencia indígena.

        July 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • karlheiz

      oh, was fur eine scheiße

      July 22, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  4. jose

    "With increasing frequency, he said, criminal organizations that ship and sell drugs and weapons have added human trafficking to their repertoire." What? I don't understand... and the "war on drugs"? Wasn't it supposed to destroy these criminal organizations? Almost 6 year with this "elected" president and nothing changed in Mexico. Maybe if a certain organization and country hadn't promoted a huge fraud in last elections....

    July 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • OldCactus

      Since the Obama administration is a criminal organization that is involved in trafficing guns to Mexico, does this mean they have added human trafficking to their repertoire also? Inquiring minds want to know.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
      • Mary Wendish

        Citation needed, OldCactus

        July 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  5. jessicaber

    The Mexican mafia runs Mexico. That is the reason that things are so different and then The United States ignorantly discriminates against the Mexican mafia, so nothing ever gets done and nothing ever changes. I know, because I lived with and almost married a man in Arizona whose family is the Mexican mafia.

    July 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • OldCactus

      They don't allow same sex marriages in Arizona. At least not yet.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
      • BrainFart

        Apparently you are so hung up on blindly following political party lines (in your case, the Republican view that homosexuality is evil/the devil/a disease/etc) that you missed her name.......JESSICA!

        July 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
      • Hurst

        shut up old fool. this has nothing to do with the topic of human trafficing. btw, let the gays marry. geez

        July 20, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  6. cole

    I am surprised that anyone would even want to touch that piece of used toilet paper.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:09 am | Reply
  7. Roelof

    What a nice neighbours US has.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
  8. Mary Ann

    I'm still waiting for that wonderful day when The UNited States Anexes Mexico and Canada into one landmass.
    This way they would all be subject to proper laws and protection as well as our version of slavery.

    I believe in prostitution and personal drug use.
    As long as your not forced into it and no one under 18 is into prostitution then what business is it of the governing body what two consenting adults do?

    What business is it of the governments if you use drugs as long as you don't bother or threaten anyone?

    Everyone wants to comment on why there is so much corruption in Mexico or this and that when it all goes deeper than that especially when the United States keeps Mexico poor and uses the people as a source of slave labor all these years. Now, our government outsourced all the jobs in America which pushed our own people into a slave class.

    Senators in Washington now want to get rid of the minimum wage to pay you even less while the economy is crap with no jobs, even McDonald type jobs our wonderful embeded senators and president gets to go home to mansions and wealth while you lose your homes and YOU do all the physical labor in this country.

    Just like the gas prices. Oil prices down, gas prices high...those in Washington can afford gas and the heck with what YOU can afford to get to and from work when you have it.

    So when you think about Mexico and it's problems don't start thinking shame on them or treat them as a lower class because most of Mexico's problems are because of Washington and it's policies.

    How many people are in prisons with lost freedom and we fitting the bill just on the "War on Drugs"? A bogus war that hasn't done anything other than put people in jail. I never used drugs personaly but my brother was facing 10 years in jail over naturaly grown mushrooms while heroin would have gotton him two years. Now you tell me about US laws.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • Callette

      You are the reason many Canadians think America is a joke, you stand for nothing, you are nothing, you don't contribute anything good in your complete consumption sucking country, and if the US wasn't supporting the cartels in mexico and giving them weapons to fight the real good guys that drug war may be over by now. Sad that amrica has people like you no wonder 10% of the country is behind bars (the most of any civilized nation). Canada and Mexico will never be a part of the US so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
      • OldCactus

        @Callette, Sorry I was replying to Mary Ann, trying to transact a little business, I don't know why it looked Like I was responding to you. I liked your post.

        July 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
      • Mary Wendish

        The US is responsible for the drug war, but so is Mexico. If Mexicans didn't sell drugs, then the drug use would never affect Mexico.

        July 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
      • nomevoyacallar

        Thank Heavens USA will never be a part of Mexico! Mexico simply blames their problems on America and continue to live in filth.

        July 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
      • Don

        In complete agreeance with you Callete. Greetings from Mexico

        July 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • OldCactus

      How much do you charge?

      July 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • OldCactus

      @Mary Ann, how much do you charge???

      July 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Cam

      I don't think Canada would want the US or Mexico!

      July 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • ceardadh

      How is it that Mexico and Canada are su different societies. Did The US create that difference?

      July 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • lenny

      Yankee land will nnnnneeevvveeerrrr anex Canada.No one here wants to be part of a messed up country like the US

      July 27, 2011 at 4:14 am | Reply
  9. Ron

    Have you seen the new movie"A better life"?
    The last scene is the father in a group led by a coyote guide to sneak back into the USA to see his son.
    How does the new Mexican law fit in?
    In my opinion the US born son should have been deported together with the father and then gone to the consulate to immigrate legally. The fact that the son was born in the US to Mexican nationals does not legally make him a US citizen according to the authors of the 14th amendment. But this is abused today by the US State Dept. to do the opposite.
    I wonder when the new Mexican law will do the opposite of what the authors meant?

    July 16, 2011 at 12:50 am | Reply
    • OldCactus

      Democrats see the illegals as undocumented future democrat voters. That is why they changed the interpretation of the 14th amendment. Everybody with a brain that functions knows it was adopted because the democrats in control of the south was denying the freed slaves of their constitutional rights. Now because it doesn't specifically exclude undocumented future democrat voters the demoncrats changed the interpretation to include all who may in fact vote democrat in the future.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Reply
    • Mary Wendish

      "In my opinion the US born son should have been deported together with the father and then gone to the consulate to immigrate legally." – But that can't happen unless the son chooses to go with the father. As a US citizen he has the RIGHT to stay in America, if he wants.

      "Democrats see the illegals as undocumented future democrat voters. That is why they changed the interpretation of the 14th amendment. " – Who says that? Who says the interpretation changed?
      And it's GOOD to have future Democrat voters, because the Republican Party has been hijacked by religious conservatives. The fiscally conservative Bush 41 voters need to go to the Democrat party. Then once the religious conservative voters lose all of their voices and power in US politics, then the Democrat party can split into two parties – one fiscally liberal, one fiscally conservative, but both pro-gay, por-multiculturalism, and pro-American.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply




    July 16, 2011 at 5:39 am | Reply
    • OldCactus

      Obama doesn't want us to hurt the mu slims feelings. I didn't even know thay had feelings.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Reply
      • BrainFart

        Old drum same beat.......amazed the sheep are still following though.

        July 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mary Wendish

      JAYSON REX: Islam is not relevant to this discussion.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  11. lula mae fragd

    Childhood is a time of innocence! leave the childen to grow!PEACE and LOVE to ALL!!!!

    July 16, 2011 at 9:07 am | Reply
  12. R. G.

    They want convictions on the basis of testimony from anonymous witnesses. So, the accused has no right to confront his accuser. Mexico must still be living in the Dark Ages.

    July 17, 2011 at 6:59 am | Reply
  13. Delmar H. Knudson

    I hope this the start of really getting something done about this problem. Too often we have seen high profile arrests in Mexico, then a bit later the charges are dropped and the miscreant is let go for "insufficient evidence".

    July 17, 2011 at 9:23 am | Reply
  14. jessicaber

    To Old Cactus's reply: I studied World Religions in college in the fall of 1997 amd we learned about the Musilm religion. Not all Muslims are like the ones that have been terrorizing The U.S. in the last decade. Jihad...they are using it wrong. It is actually a Muslim belief (Jihad is) that if a group is coming after them then they can commit Jihad against them and die for their beliefs because God sanctioned that. That is what they beieve. Something like has been a while, but The United States was not going after those Muslims in any way. I think that they were just sick mentally ill people. It had nothing to do with them being Muslim.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:41 am | Reply
  15. jessicaber

    Stop thinking in percentages and start praying.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • BrainFart

      " god!" Name that sh!tty horror movie of the night.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  16. coriolana

    Yeah, put words on a piece of paper. That will help. *eyeroll*

    July 18, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  17. FauxNews

    So, now the Mexican government can put you in jail with no bail on the word of an anonymous accuser. That makes me want to visit more, lol.

    July 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  18. justathought

    The Mexiican goverment may be corrupt, but so is the American government, just in a different way.

    July 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  19. jessicaber

    If you are trying to write to me just send me a note on my website.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:28 am | Reply
  20. ceardadh

    How is it that Mexico and canada are so different? Did the US create that difference?

    July 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  21. jessicaber

    geography created the difference.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
  22. Nuke Mexico

    Nuke Mexico

    July 23, 2011 at 1:54 am | Reply

    it's pretty sad when the people here can't even reach a concensus on human trafficing

    July 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
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