Pimps force Mexican women into prostitution in US - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Pimps force Mexican women into prostitution in US

TENANCINGO, Mexico (AP) - In the impoverished central Mexico town of Tenancingo, a sinister trade has taken root.

Extended families are exploiting the desperation of unsuspecting young Mexican women, luring them to the United States and forcing them into prostitution.

Those who know the pimps of the Mexican state of Tlaxcala - such as victims, prosecutors, social workers and researchers - say the men from Tenancingo have honed their methods over at least three generations.

One local pimp is now behind bars after he was convicted in Atlanta.

The heavily Indian area combines long-standing traditions of forced marriage, or "bride kidnapping," with machismo, grinding poverty and an early wave of industrialization in the 1890s that later went bust That left a displaced population that would roam, looking for elusive work.

Added to that, according to anthropologist Oscar Montiel, is a tradition of informal, sworn-to-silence male groups. He believes that, in the town of just over 10,000, there may be as many as 3,000 people directly involved the trade. Prosecutors say the network includes female relatives of the pimps, who often serve as go-betweens or supervisors, or who care for the children of women working as prostitutes.

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