[JURIST] A Mexican woman pleaded guilty [DOJ press release] Tuesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] to one count of sex trafficking for her role in recruiting Mexican women, sometimes by force, for prostitution in the US. Consuelo Carreto Valencia was extradited to the US in January 2007, and in March 2007 was arraigned [DOJ press releases] in federal court on 27 counts of sex trafficking, conspiracy and smuggling. Her trial on 12 of those counts began Monday but ended Tuesday with her guilty plea. The Department of Justice (DOJ) commented on the charges:
From 1991 through 2004, Carreto Valencia served as a manager in her familys sex trafficking operation based in San Miguel de Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Carreto Valencia, and her sons Josue Flores Carreto and Gerardo Flores Carreto, and other co-conspirators, recruited young, uneducated women and girls from impoverished areas of Mexico and used or approved of a combination of deception, fraud, rape, forced abortion, threats, and physical violence to compel them to prostitute themselves in brothels throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Queens and Brooklyn. Carreto Valencia and her family made hundreds of thousands of dollars in prostitution profits, while the women who had been separated from their families in Mexico received next to nothing.Josue Flores Carreto and Gerardo Flores Carreto were each sentenced [DOJ press release] in April 2006 to 50 years in prison for their roles in the prostitution scheme. Carreto Valencia could be sentenced to up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The New York Times has more. AP has additional coverage.
A 2007 US State Department report [text, PDF] mandated by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTPA) [text, PDF] ranked Mexico [JURIST report] among 32 countries or territories on the "Tier 2 Watch List," a classification for countries that continue to face a significant or growing human trafficking problem. In February 2008, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported [text; JURIST report] that Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) [official website, in Spanish] was not doing enough to promote remedies and reforms needed to end human rights abuses. It is estimated [advocacy website] that thousands of victims of human trafficking enter the US each year, often lured by promises of work.