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USA: Mexican minors prostituted to farmworkers

Publish Date: 13 Dec 2004

Source: Frontera (Tijuana)

Mexican Minors Prostituted To Farmworkers Near San Diego

At 4:30 in the afternoon a group of ten young woman arrive at a farm in Del Mar, California, about 25 miles from downtown San Diego.  They are being forced to work as prostitutes and accompanying them is an equal number of men with radios and cell phones.  The men keep them from escaping and make sure that no one interferes with their profitable business.   

Every Wednesday the prostituted women are brought to the farm where more than 300 workers are picking tomatoes.  On other days of the week they are taken to five other nearby farms in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Penasquito, California. 

Told that they were going to work in US factories or restaurants, these women and others like them from poor Mexican communities were smuggled into the US only to be forced into prostitution, says Venustiano, a farmworker that has befriended some of the women.  He says that the women do not protest how they are treated because they fear deportation or retaliation against their families. 

Most of the ten women at the farm in Del Mar are minors although the women vary in age from 14 to 22.   Upon arrival the women walk down to a stream surrounded by trees to change their clothes and put on makeup.  

Men go and look at the women and choose one.  The cost is US$30.  

Venustiano says that up to ten men will go with one woman.  The women have condoms to protect themselves, he states.  

At 7:00 p.m. Venustiano heads to the place where he sleeps at night.  The women have been at the farm for two and a half hours but when he leaves they are still down by the river.

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