Mexican troops have rescued 165 people who were purchased and kept as slaves by a Mexican drug cartel. The adults, children, and pregnant women had been kept in Mexico less than one mile from the U.S. border.
The 165 people were intending to illegally cross the U.S. border, but their human smugglers sold them to a cartel instead of helping them across, according to a report from the U.K.’s Mail Online. The victims are reported to have been from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, one of our nation’s leading experts on human trafficking, Dottie Laster, illuminated the issues facing people who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally and other migrant workers.
“Many people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala enter Mexico illegally to work there. Not all of them intend to come into the United States,” said Laster. “The ones who do intend to come here often have to pay for someone to bring them. They get into trucks, but sometimes the coyotes sell the trucks to cartels for slaves.”
Laster said anti-human trafficking efforts are seeing more and more cases of slavery, not only in Mexico but in the United States as well. “Regardless of anyone’s feelings about illegal immigrants who are coming to work, many of these people end up in forced-servitude, having to work against their will under the threat of force or of promised violence to their wives, children, or other family members back home,” said Laster.
“Though the high number of individuals in one location in this case is somewhat unusual, we see cases nearly everyday where people have been kidnapped, coerced, and enslaved against their will both north and south of the U.S. border,” said Laster. “Such situations are not confined to only Mexicans or people from south of our border. We see vulnerable people from all over the world, usually young women, victimized by the same situations.”
“Many of our cases involve U.S. citizens who were victimized,” she added.
Laster’s assertion that vulnerable U.S. citizens are also victims of forced-servitude or sex slavery is reinforced by recent reporting from Breitbart News regarding the FBI and their recent success in freeing multiple American child sex slaves in the northern U.S.
Editor’s note: Breitbart’s Brandon Darby worked undercover with the FBI in anti-human trafficking efforts and with Dottie Laster. Darby continues to help Laster in her efforts. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonDarby.