Tenancingo is a town with a foundation built on exploitation. Powerful networks of traffickers operate out of the region, where boys are groomed to become pimps from a young age. Women and girls are forced to sell sex on the streets, in residential brothels, online, and in cantinas across the United States and Mexico. They and their families are threatened through violence, deception, and intimidation. These women and girls are trapped in modern slavery, enslaved by criminal networks that have perfected human trafficking and exploitation into a sophisticated science over decades.
The depth and breadth of the modern slavery that is intricately woven throughout our global society is both shocking and daunting. In fact, the International Labor Organization estimates that 4.5 million people are victims of sex trafficking around the world in an industry that generates tens of billions of dollars in criminal profits each year.
But this is a fight we can win. Instead of becoming discouraged by the number of sex and labor trafficking cases, we are more hopeful than ever.
Citizens in the United States and Mexico can help prevent further victimization of vulnerable women and girls from the Tenancingo region by understanding what human trafficking looks like, raising awareness that it is happening, and demanding more action from their leaders in government, law enforcement, and civil society.
Not only that, but we must increase services for victims, which means governments must take a more active role in funding these services. And if we want to shut down this network once and for all, we must address the core source of revenue by convincing men to stop purchasing commercial sex from trafficking victims.