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Mexico

Specialist: Human Trafficking on the Rise in Mexico

Over 60% of Mexican states do not have legislation guiding the punishment of traffickers or rehabilitation of victims

Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá set out the need to formalize national laws to combat trafficking of persons, photo: Flickr
By The News Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
1 year ago

The number of people who have their rights, dignity and freedom taken from them to become one more human trafficking statistic, is estimated to be roughly 300,000 in Mexico. This number is increasing, creating a necessity to strengthen the legal framework and public policy of the country, said Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá, professor at the Faculty of Economics at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

“There is no overall estimate of the potential number of victims of trafficking,” he said. “The numbers range from 20,000 to 300,000 in the Mexican case, and globally, the UN estimates into the millions.”

With the increase of this social evil, which generates profits of more than $150 billion worldwide, the biggest concern to eradicate people trafficking is the reintegration and support given to victims.

“Reintegration efforts, which should be a fundamental objective when rescuing victims, are totally inadequate. As noted in the latest global report from the State Department of the United States, Mexico’s efforts to address human trafficking are insufficient,” said Fuentes Alcalá.

This July 30, World Day Against Trafficking as established by the United Nations General Assembly, Fuentes Alcalá, who is UNAM’s Special Chair for Human Trafficking, will urge the executive and legislative branches to emphasize measures that decrease inequality and violence against women. These problems are social problems and impunity is commonplace.

“As the vulnerability of people, poverty, inequality, discrimination, lack of access to justice, increases, this further increases the threats to our country. Only one in every 10 crimes is reported. There’s huge degree of impunity and I maintain that the greatest problem in trafficking offenses is impunity,” he said.

Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá of UNAM. Photo: Wikipedia

Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá of UNAM. Photo: Wikipedia

UNAM itself also calls for the passage of the General Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Human Trafficking, in order to ensure an adequate regulatory framework in all states. At least 12 states do not have any law about human trafficking. UNAM also calls for the budget of Special Prosecutors to be increased.

“The prosecutor’s office has 97 million pesos ($5.2 million). While it is true that, from 2012 onwards, there have been marginal budget increases, they remain insufficient because the Special Prosecutor for Violence against Women and Human Trafficking has very few specialized government ministries, few long-term investigations and this process of weak institutional justice is reproduced in the 32 states,” said Fuentes Alcalá.

Among the states that do not have laws or codes to punish this crime are: Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco and Yucatan.

Fuentes Alcalá concluded that the actions he had outlined are urgently required to improve public policies aimed at the prevention and punishment of human trafficking, in addition to an effective national strategy in order to ensure that joint federal and local efforts are made.

 

NUMBERS

Only 8 out of 100 crimes are reported

674 preliminary inquiries were registered, but only 86 people obtained judgment

60 percent of the states do not have a code or law for the prevention, punishment, protection, care and assistance to victims of human trafficking.

ELIZABETH HERNÁNDEZ

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