Recruitment Strategies Used by Mexican Sex Traffickers




sex traffickers, migrant women, Mexico, United States


This article, based on a qualitative methodology that includes in-depth interviews with 43 Mexican sex traffickers, analyses the strategies used by sex traffickers to recruit women from Mexico and Central America demanded by the US illegal sex industry. We conclude that trafficking is a demand-led industry. Traffickers recruit vulnerable women from Mexico and Central America who fit with US procurers’ requirements. Foreign girls smuggled into the United States should be young (in many cases underage girls), beautiful, slim and healthy. Mexican sex traffickers’ job is to entice with salaries in US dollars impoverished Latin American girls who do not want to migrate or enter prostitution. Maintaining trafficked women captive against their will is more time consuming and less profitable than wining women’s will with a salary


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Author Biography

Simón Pedro Izcara Palacios, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas

Simón Pedro Izcara Palacios is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology (UAMCEH), Tamaulipas University, Mexico. He specializes in rural and immigration studies. Recent publications include: (2019) “Corruption at the Border: Intersections between US Labour Demands, Border Control, and Human Smuggling Economies”. Antipode.; (2019) Migration and sex trafficking in North America. Revista de Estudios Sociales, (67), 87-100; (2018) “El déficit de denuncias de víctimas de prostitución forzada en México”. Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, 34(2), 191-217.



How to Cite

Izcara Palacios, S. P. (2020). Recruitment Strategies Used by Mexican Sex Traffickers. Migration Letters, 17(5), 669–679.