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Mexican cartels move into human trafficking

MEXICO CITY — The Salvadoran single mother was hoping to support her children in the United States. Instead, gunmen from the Zeta drug cartel kidnapped her in Mexico and forced her to cook, clean and endure the rapes of multiple men.

Now the survivor of this terrifying three-month ordeal is a witness for a growing group of legislators, political leaders and advocates who are calling for action against the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation in Mexico.

As organized crime and globalization have increased, Mexico has become a major destination for sex traffic, as well as a transit point and supplier of victims to the United States. Drug cartels are moving into the trade, preying on immigrant women, sometimes with the complicity of corrupt regional officials, according to diplomats and activists.

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