[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

MEXICO (Tier 2) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of Mexico does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Mexico remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating and prosecuting more traffickers, such as the successful prosecution of a transnational sex trafficking ring under their new accusatory system; identifying more victims in Mexico and abroad; investigating and prosecuting allegedly corrupt or complicit government officials, including the conviction of a government official to 39 years’ imprisonment; maintaining law enforcement cooperation with the United States; providing increased resources for victim services; and initiating more investigations as a result of hotline referrals. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government convicted fewer traffickers than in the previous year, although those convicted were sentenced to significant prison terms; provided inadequate specialized services for trafficking victims, which were unavailable in most parts of the country; and maintained an inadequate number of shelters compared to the scale of the problem. The government sometimes erroneously detained trafficking victims during operations. The government investigated and prosecuted few complaints of forced labor.

Prioritized Recommendations

Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including forced labor, at both the federal and state levels and sentence convicted traffickers to significant prison terms.Increase victim identification and referral, especially among vulnerable populations, such as migrant workers, indigenous populations, and individuals in commercial sex using existing protocols.Increase efforts to protect victims and witnesses testifying against traffickers, while ensuring they are not coerced into testifying or inappropriately misidentified as traffickers and unlawfully detained.Increase efforts to hold corrupt or complicit public officials accountable through effective prosecutions and sentence convicted officials to significant prison terms.Develop and implement a national strategic action plan on victim services in consultation with international organizations and NGOs to include specialized trafficking victim services and shelters for all victims, including men, and funded by the government.Increase federal funding for law enforcement efforts and victim services.Increase the capacity of federal and state specialized anti-trafficking prosecutors or units to respond more effectively to trafficking cases, through increased funding and staff training.Provide improved security and victim-centered care to victims during judicial proceedings to ensure their safety, avoid re-traumatization, and prevent unlawful detention.Train officials to seek or order restitution for victims through the victim fund as provided by law.Increase capacity and strengthen the labor inspection system, particularly in the agricultural sector, and enforce laws to hold fraudulent foreign labor recruiters accountable.Finalize, implement, and allocate sufficient resources to a national anti-trafficking action plan that is coordinated across federal, state, and local authorities.Strengthen data collection efforts.