On Tuesday, December 3, the Pop Culture Trends Examiner had the opportunity to screen “Trata de mujeres: de Tenancingo a Nueva York” (Trafficking in women: Tenancingo to New York), which is an original production from the Discovery en Español network. This compelling documentary exposes the pervasive and heinous crime of human trafficking from the picturesque city of Tenancingo, Mexico to the streets of New York City.
This writer knows all too well how widespread the crime of commercial sexual exploitation (human trafficking) is within the US and is fully aware if the secondary exploitation of human trafficking that comes via the form of sensationalized media. Fortunately, the latter is not what one will find when viewing “Trata de mujeres: de Tenancingo a Nueva York”. If you think that it’s not your problem simply because these girls aren’t American, think again. Once a crime is committed on US soil, it is now a concern for every US citizen.
Regardless of whether you are a Spanish speaker or not, “Trata de mujeres: de Tenancingo a Nueva York” expresses the universal language of human suffering. Each year, thousands of women and girls are forced into sexual slavery from Mexico. While these girls are from all over Mexico, it is known that the majority of traffickers are located in the city of Tenancingo. In “Trata de mujeres: de Tenancingo a Nueva York” Discovery en Español’s cameras travel from this small town up to locations in New York City to uncover how innocent women and girls are lured, with promises of love and marriage, into commercial sexual exploitation (forced prostitution).
The production exposes this harsh reality through the heart-wrenching stories of Madai and Amanda, two young women who were forced to into sexual slavery when they were brought to New York City by their boyfriends, under the pretense of a vacation, only to be brutalized. Both young women were repeatedly beaten, raped, and threatened with the murder of their families who resided back in Mexico. This terrorization is standard practice for the perpetrators of human trafficking, regardless of whether the victims hail from outside the US or are American born and raised.
Madai shares, “I met Enrique in Veracruz, my hometown, when I was 17. He said he wanted to marry me. I was very naive and believed everything he told me. I immediately accepted leaving my hometown and came to Mexico City with him. Days later my boyfriend told me that I would work as a prostitute. I realized he was not joking when I received the first punch and he left the room telling me that he knew where my parents lived and if I try to speak to them or try to escape, they would be severely hurt.”
The documentary also includes interviews with a human trafficker who reveals the “secrets of his trade” to the cameras, as well as interviews with government officials such as Mexico's Anti-Trafficking Task Force Leader and Congresswoman, Rosi Orozco, and organizations on both sides of the border, as well as interviews with mothers who have spent years looking for their daughters. “Trata de mujeres: de Tenancingo a Nueva York” premieres on Sunday, December 8 at 10 p.m. on Discovery en Español.
For more information about the crime of human trafficking, please visit the Polaris Project or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Llama la línea gratuita y confidencial 1-888-373-7888: Denunciar casos de trata; Conectarse con servicios en su localidad; Pedir información o recursos en español sobre la trata de personas y la esclavitud moderna.
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