There were three rooms decorated in Disney motifs and next to each bed was a stash of condoms, lubricant, and lingerie. A call to the new anti-trafficking hotline in Chiapas had given authorities a lead on three possible child trafficking victims. It was reported that the girls were being forced to work as waitresses in a brothel bar and prostituted at the attached motel. Tipped off brothel owners hid the girls in the jungle. By the time we arrived all we found were empty rooms and a pair of panties accompanied by cast off stilettos at the jungle’s edge. Five days later 4 pimps were arrested and the girls were rescued. After Chiapas, we moved north to Toluca, the capital of the state of Mexico where the cartel is deeply entrenched. The trafficking and exploitation of women and children is most often connected to organized crime in this area.
We invite you to explore the screen shots we have selected from our filming and gain insight on the reality of raids and rescues in Mexico. This recent media expedition began at the southern border of Mexico in the state of Chiapas where human trafficking from Central American is a daily dilemma.
Leading up to the raids, a small group of us sat with Chief of Intelligence Alejandro Poire (recently appointed Secretary of Interior) and President Calderon and heard their perspective on the trafficking issues in Mexico and between the US. The week following we were asked by congress member Rosi Orozco, Deputy of the anti-trafficking commission, to document some upcoming efforts that the Mexican government was taking to combat human trafficking. The footage will add to our advocacy media in Mexico and is meant to be used for a December airing of CNN’s Freedom Project featuring Mexico’s growing anti-trafficking movement. If the feature airs it will certainly strengthen our work and that of our partners.
In our work, we encounter the reality of child trafficking face to face. This compels us to relentlessly fight against this crime and for the countless kids it impacts. In Mexico, we collaborate on growing and sustaining a safe home movement. Over 100 child survivors have been provided with short or long term care. We also provide media for the Mexican Congress’ Commission to End Human Trafficking. Our media has educated, inspired, and influenced people at the US Embassy, Congress, and other strategic venues. Our media educates Attorney General departments and employees who are now taking on anti-trafficking portfolios in light of recently passed human trafficking legislation. At the end of this story you can learn about our new projects for 2012 and how you can be a part.
Our media gives child survivors a voice with three audiences: vulnerable kids, influencers, and the public. Throughout 2010 and 2011, we developed media that engages diverse influencers like policy makers and segments of the marketplace that intersect with at-risk and exploited children. We have integrated the media into events that inspire the public to empathize and engage. In 2012, we are editing our media to be viewed by at-risk populations of kids in the US, Russia, and Mexico. Kids get to help kids. All of this media is connected to hotlines that are in place and proven effective, just like in the Chiapas story and with Truckers Against Trafficking. We have open doors in schools and existing outreaches to at-risk kids in all the countries we work in.
Screen shots captured from film footage by Christopher Kueh