Monday, January 30, 2012

Will trail in Argentine prostitution ring case once again lead to Mexico's INM?

Opinion - Possibility of Mexican immigration involvement should not be excluded

Mexico's immigration department is called the National Institute of Migration (INM). It has a checkered history. The agency has been criticized for unwarranted delays in processing visas and other paperwork, and for bureaucratic ineptness. But other allegations have been far more sinister.

In 2009 Hernán Vega Burgos, then a local head of operations in INM's Yucatán regional office, was implicated in a scheme to arrange bogus identification and work documents for women who had been brought into Mexico from several neighboring countries, including Cuba. Some of those women were later found to be working as prostitutes at a Mérida residence. Authorities investigated Vega Burgos but declined to file criminal charges against him, despite finding that he had participated in extortion. He lost his INM position, was fined $5,000 USD and was banned from any form of public employment for 15 years (a woman who managed the prostitutes, said to be Vega Burgos' associate, received a 10 year jail sentence). Trafficking in undocumented persons remains a major problem throughout Mexico, often involving women and minors in the sex-for-hire industry.

Last October Mexico fired 121 immigration agents across the country for connections to organized crime. President Calderón has vowed to clean INM ranks of corruption.

So far no one has alleged that INM personnel worked with Raúl Martins or others in obtaining visas and work documents for the Argentine women whom he allegedly "imported" to Mexico to serve as prostitutes. But in view of the department's recent unsavory history, that possibility should be thoroughly checked out. If the underlying allegations are true then some powerful people in Mexico must have been involved with Martins, and a possible INM connection cannot be disregarded by investigators. Sufficient similarities between the unfolding Martins case and what happened in the Mérida INM office just 30 months ago warrant a vetting of the troubled immigration agency once more.

Note: The paragraph just above proved to be prophetic. Read this update.

Argentine woman prepares to tell all on father's prostitution ring
Human trafficking in the Yucatán peninsula:

No comments:

Post a Comment