By Emmy Andersson
Intern, Witness for Peace
Have you ever thought, “I am glad I was born here, I am glad I was born in a family that could give me food, safety and opportunity in life?” If you have, you are lucky. Unfortunately, not everyone can say that.
I think that every mother wants their children to have that safe childhood or at least that when they grow up, a chance in life that they never had themselves. How far a mother would go to ensure her child’s safety is probably as far as is needed, since more and more women now choose to migrate from Mexico to the U.S. to be able to support their children. Not only is it extremely dangerous for a woman to make that route, but in most cases they have to leave their children behind.
With more attention drawn to the drug trafficking in Mexico, drug cartels have found another way to bring in money: sex trafficking. As InSight Crime has highlighted, drug traffickers increasingly turning to this trade has resulted in an increased number of women and girls disappearing. Women are easy targets both for sex traffickers and for sex abuse.
In Ciudad Juarez, located on the U.S.-border, hundreds or even thousands of women have been found dead in the last 20 years. Femicide, gender based killing, is getting more common in Mexico. It seems to accompany the more generalized drug violence. REDGE, a women’s advocacy group, in their recent press release said that most female migrants from Mexico to the U.S. are escaping violence and insecurity. To just be a woman in Mexico is now very dangerous. To try to make it to the U.S. is even worse.
35-45% of migrants are now women; twenty years ago it was fever than 20%. People do not migrate because they want to; they migrate because they have to. Their feeling of insecurity doesn’t even end when they come here to the U.S., because here they are too scared to go outside, due to harsh immigrant laws. The violence needs to stop in Mexico and we need to stand up against the tactics and laws that the Mexican and the U.S. government use, because apparently they don’t work. I think everyone should have the right to think, “I am glad because I am safe,” don’t you?