McClatchy News Services
MEXICO CITY — As many as six out of every 10 Central American women and girls are raped as they pass through Mexico hoping to cross illegally into the United States, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
The London-based human rights group issued a 48-page report, “Invisible Victims,” that says that tens of thousands of migrants, nearly all of them from Central America, fall prey to gangs that rob, kidnap or rape them as they cross Mexico.
The rapists include local authorities in collusion with the gangs, said Rupert Knox, an Amnesty International researcher on Mexico.
Much of the abuse occurs in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, where criminals who are in cahoots with conductors and local, state or federal police halt freight trains, which often are carrying hundreds of illegal migrants, it said. Problems are also severe in Tabasco and Veracruz states.
Many migrants who pass through those states, Knox said, “suffer abductions, sexual abuse, mistreatment, extortion, murder and other abuses that they endure in this voyage of terror.”
Migrants fear that if they report assaults, abductions or rapes, they’ll be deported to their home countries, the report said.
Amnesty International arrived at the conclusion that as many as six out of 10 women are raped after sifting through independent studies, consulting Mexican and international experts and monitors, and conducting its own interviews, Knox said.