The Guardian – María Méndez was a live-in domestic worker when she met Ricardo López on her way to the supermarket. At first López and his family treated her well, but it quickly turned violent. “He sent me to work as a prostitute in Tijuana, Guadalajara, Torreón, Aguascalientes – all over the country to make money selling my body,” Méndez said.
Méndez, like thousands of other vulnerable women in Mexico, was hoodwinked by a family of traffickers in Tlaxcala, the country’s smallest state just two hours south of Mexico City. This is a deeply religious place, where the indigenous Nahua people united with the Spanish to conquer the mighty Aztecs, but which over the past five decades has transformed into an unlikely hub of human trafficking.