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Mexico/United States: Binational Law Enforcement Operation Against International Human Trafficking Organization

(Nov. 23, 2016) In November 2016, law enforcement authorities from the United States and Mexico announced a bilateral operation that led to the arrest of a group of individuals who allegedly are part of an international criminal organization accused of smuggling women from Mexico into the United States for sex trafficking purposes. (Press Release, ICE HSI Investigation Leads to Arrest of 6 in US, Mexico in International Sex Trafficking Scheme (Nov. 1, 2016), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website; Press Release, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Announce Indictment of Seven Individuals and Six Arrests in United States and Mexico on Sex Trafficking and Related Charges (Nov. 1, 2016), U.S. Department of Justice website.)

According to a press release issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), members of the sex trafficking organization … used false promises, physical and sexual violence, and threats to force and coerce adult and minor women to work in prostitution for the organization’s profit in both Mexico and the United States.”  (ICE HSI Investigation Leads to Arrest of 6 in US, Mexico in International Sex Trafficking Scheme, supra.)

The press release further explains that since 2009, U.S. law enforcement authorities have worked with the Mexican government through a Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative aimed at combatting human traffickers, with operations in both countries, in order to capture them and rescue the victims. These efforts have contributed to convictions in the United States and in Mexico.  (Id.)