“Rape Trees” Frame Arizona-Mexico Border: Grim Reminders of Human Trafficking

March 15, 2009

(ChattahBox)–A recent report from the Cronkite News Service, a student-run news service of Arizona State University, shed the national spotlight on a new immigration problem plaguing the desert border towns of Arizona: so called “rape trees,” trees on the U.S. side of the border littered with women’s undergarments. Mexican drug cartel members and the coyotes, who smuggle immigrants across the border, are believed to rape the women as soon as they enter U.S. territory to instill fear, intimidate and control them. When the coyote-rapists are finished, they hang the women’s panties from the trees as trophies to mark their brutal conquests.

These “rape trees” are becoming more common along the Arizona border counties of Pima and Cochise, as coyotes and drug cartel members find human trafficking more lucrative than drug smuggling. With the shrinking U.S. economy and high un-employment rate, fewer and fewer Mexican immigrants are crossing the borders for work. As the Mexican authorities push back against the drug cartels, it’s getting harder to smuggle drugs across the border. The result is the increased smuggling of young women, who are immediately forced into prostitution and slavery.

Arizona house members, Sen. Jonathan Paton and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema recently co-sponsored a bill addressing the increasing sex trafficking problems in their state, seeking to make the crime of human trafficking smuggling, a felony. State law enforcement officials appeared before the state Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Paton, to testify on the growing violence against women on the border. Law enforcement officials testified to the existence of the grim “rape trees” that are cropping up everywhere as human trafficking increases.

The “rape trees” are just one more horrific reminder of the growing violence across the border in Mexico as it spills out into the U.S. Astonishingly, Phoenix is now recognized as the number two kidnapping capital in the world, behind Mexico City. Coyote smugglers and violent drug cartel members are increasingly kidnapping U.S. citizens for ransom and are torturing, raping and oftentimes, murdering the hostages.

As Arizona seeks to put a stop to the growing violence along its border, let’s hope local enforcement officials do more to combat the violent rape of young Mexican women on U.S. soil and eliminate the appalling “rape trees.”


2 Responses to ““Rape Trees” Frame Arizona-Mexico Border: Grim Reminders of Human Trafficking”

  1. scott on March 17th, 2010 4:49 pm

    This story is very upsetting to read. People do thing for reason doctors cant even understand. Money is a major factor in ever part of are life, i equate it to water. It’s unhealthy to not have your food, toothpaste, toilet paper, and whatever else you can think of dehydrates. I feel that the youth has never been unable to apprehend what the world uses to keep it self in balance. they just haven’t felt the longing for materials that matter because life in the best way the parents can give to child is usually done up to a certain age. There is the my answer, the parents, the family needs to be closer and more connected. Being and staying connected is hard without money, some people have cell phones some lap-tops some don’t even have that. The Criminal if seasoned is prepared and percise to his economic capabilities. All organization have cell phone and laptops this types growing daily, because their captures flip and learn to become more like their predator. I see no clear solution to these types of problem. We can only fix are homes and keep an eye on are children by suppling them with productive things to accomplish.

    This is a Black World Writer

  2. 14 Year Old Illegal Immigrant Goes On-Line to Sell Sex - ALIPAC on May 2nd, 2012 2:59 pm

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