Human trafficking

Mexican women are being abducted in broad daylight from Guadalajara’s streets

A woman hangs signs with photographs of missing people during a demonstration commemorating Mother's Day in Guadalajara. (HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)

A rash of abductions and attempted kidnappings carried out in broad daylight and targeting young women has baffled and worried many in Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco state, which last year saw 1,161 women reported missing during the course of the year. That was before the abductions really began to surge in March, according to Vice News.

Denisse Velasco, a 19-year-old student, said she was walking from her home to the bus stop on her way to school one morning when a taxi pulled up and the driver demanded she get in the car. She heard a voice over the taxi’s radio saying, “Get out and grab the bitch,” and she took off running to a local pharmacy to hide and seek help. When she tried to report the situation to police, they told her she must have been mistaken. When she tried to go to to the attorney general’s office, they said they could not help her. The local mayor of Guadalajara, Enrique Alfaro, publicly dismissed the abduction reports as “rumors.” But the women posted their stories on social media, and pressure on authorities eventually led Alfaro to admit that there had been four reports of missing women and five reports of attempted kidnappings in recent weeks. Another 19 women had logged accounts online that Alfaro’s office had recorded, he said.

A local investigative reporter, Darwin Franco, theorized that the kidnappings may be related to changes among a local drug cartel looking to expand its illicit business into human trafficking. Mexican authorities have yet to identify suspects or make any arrests.

Read the full story at Vice News.

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