It’s hard out there for a woman migrant. Especially, in this case, if you’re Mexican.
The illegal, dangerous journey across the U.S.-Mexico border has always been a more horrific one for Mexican women. It’s now de rigeur for would-be woman migrants to start taking birth control pills before their trips, so expected is rape and other sexual crimes. That still doesn’t protect against the transmission of HIV/AIDS, though, and other STDS. To scare the women even more, “rape trees” are popping up along the border, where cartel members and coyotes rape female border crossers and hang their clothes, specifically their underwear, on trees to mark their “conquests” and territory.
Coyotes, U.S. Border Patrol agents, drug cartels — women migrants face threats on all sides and little to no recourse to stop it. What they are doing is illegal but it isn’t an excuse to ignore this massive sexual exploitation, since women will keep trying their luck across the desert. The sweet, quirky girl who works in the shop on my street wants to try her luck, too. We tell her it’s too much of a risk, but she hasn’t changed her mind.
Photo via Latina