Mexico City - Authorities in Ciudad Juarez arrested more than 1,000 people over the weekend in an operation aimed at cracking down on human trafficking, police said.
Federal police said raids in two dozen bars, hotels and boarding houses netted arrests of 500 men and 530 women they suspect are connected with human trafficking and sexual exploitation. FULL POST
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. FULL POST
A federal judge in Mexico has sentenced four people to a minimum of 16 1/2 years each behind bars for human trafficking, the Mexican attorney general's office said Tuesday, marking a rare conviction in a country struggling to get a grip on the illegal trade.
The investigation began because of a tip from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, authorities said.
Agents rescued four women being forced to work as prostitutes in Miami, Florida, according to a statement from the Mexican attorney general's office. An ICE spokeswoman said U.S. agents identified two of the victims in Miami and that the other two were identified by authorities in Mexico. FULL POST
While an estimated 10,000 women are victims of human trafficking in Mexico's capital, there were only 40 investigations of the crime and three convictions in the city last year, according to a report issued this week.
The discrepancy is an "alarming figure" that shows a need to improve laws and policies, according to a study on human trafficking and sexual exploitation from Mexico City's human rights commission, which calls the phenomenon a "new form of slavery."
"The authorities are not investigating, nor are they asking witnesses," said Eva Reyes, investigation coordinator at the Antonio de Montesinos Center for Social and Cultural Studies, one of the partners of the study.
A suspected human trafficker who recently was profiled on "America's Most Wanted" was arrested at a Connecticut casino, federal authorities said in January.
An Soon Kim, 52, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents on the floor of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Kim, alleging she engaged in a wide-ranging human trafficking ring operating throughout the northeastern United States, the agency said in a news release. FULL POST