Risley, Amy. “Sex Trafficking: The “Other” Crisis in Mexico?.” Latin Americanist 54, no. 1 (March 2010): 99-117. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 11, 2015).

I chose this image because I appreciate the way that it combines imagery that is similar to 18th and 19th century abolition campaigns (i.e. the use of hands in chains) with the contemporary symbol for a commodity (i.e the price tag) as a way of emphasizing that human trafficking, especially sex trafficking is a form of slavery that turns human beings into objects for sale. This image, which originally came from an article by the Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force, relates to Risley’s article because both forms of media express how people are forced into these trades via acts of violence and are then kept in conditions of involuntary servitude for years which is a phenomenon that is equatable to slavery and is exactly what this image conveys.

Amy Risley’s article “Sex Trafficking: The ‘Other’ Crisis in Mexico?” gives a comprehensive overview of the definitions, causes, and statistics that are associated with sex trafficking within Mexico. Risley begins her article by summarizing the supply and demand dynamics that fuel the sex trafficking industry between Mexico and the United States. She then goes into detail about the United Nations’ definition of sex trafficking, discusses the different categories of sex trafficked victims, and explains the way in which women are coerced into these situations via acts of violence and manipulation. Risley continues her argument by discussing the conditions that often lead to sex trafficking including economic disparities, the marginalization of women, gender discrimination, gender inequalities breakdowns in the country’s rule of law, and the creation of a culture of impunity in which violence against women becomes commonplace. From here, Risley concludes the article with an analysis of the role that the United States plays in facilitating the sex trafficking trade and provides evidenced for how this relationship directly impacts the economy and political atmosphere in Mexico.

 This article is particularly useful because it not only provides an overview of how the sex trafficking industry works but it also answers questions about why sex trafficking is so pervasive in Mexico by identifying the underlying factors that lead to this practice. In addition, the reference to international policy from the United Nations, the use of relatively recent data on sex trafficking, and the identification of the underlying causes that contribute to the sex trafficking industry are all methods that add to the credibility of the information that is being conveyed and to the article as a whole. Another thing that is useful about this article is that Risley takes on a more informative approach in the way that she presents her evidence which means that overbearing authorial biases are largely absent from the article. However, it is also clear that the author does not condone the sex trafficking industry and feels that the best way to deal with these issues is to produce more scholarly articles that can inform the public and international policy makers about how to combat these human rights violations.

 This article is not only relevant to what we are studying in class because it deals with the social, political, and economic factors that contribute to human rights violations in Latin America, but it is also useful for our own research purposes because it forms the basis for our Dossier project. As such, this article will be the reference point that we use when researching other issues pertaining to the sex trafficking industry in Mexico. Additionally, because sex trafficking is an issue that hits so close to home, especially when considering how interconnected the sex trafficking industry is between Mexico and the United States, it makes the work that we will be doing with our Dossier project all the more relevant and capable of inspiring and effecting change.

 Image:

<http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/21822/20130424/joining-forces-to-stop-north-country-human-trafficking >

About Kristina Munoz

Kristina is currently an undergraduate student from the University of California Davis who is majoring in English and double minoring in Human Rights and Religious Studies.

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