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Mexico: Federal Senate Approves of Law Against Human Trafficking

(Feb. 24, 2014) The Mexican Senate recently approved a comprehensive reform of the law against human trafficking. The reform provides for more severe penalties, incorporates new types of criminal behavior associated with human trafficking, extends the scope of aggravating circumstances of the crime, and increases penalties to up to 30 years of imprisonment and fines of 60,000 days’ worth of the minimum wage. (Victor Ballinas & Andrea Becerril, Aprueba Senado Reformas a la Ley de Trata de Personas [Senate Approves Reform to Law on Trafficking in Persons], LA JORNADA (Feb. 12, 2014).) The sanctions for the crime of human trafficking will increase by 50% when the offender is a public officer, has a family relationship with the victim, or inhabits the same house or is one of the members of the lodge or civic organization that takes care of trafficking victims. (Id.)

Senators Adriana Dávila of the National Action Party (PAN) (Partido Acción Nacional), who is President of the Senate’s Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, and Angélica de la Peña of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática) (PRD), who is President of the the Senate Commission on Human Rights, stated that in addition to the other changes in the law, the reform makes possible the imposition of accumulative penalties for all crimes a person commits in connection with human trafficking. Dávila and de la Peña pointed out in connection with the broader scope of aggravating circumstances that from now on, for example, a trafficking offense is aggravated if the victim is under 12 years old. De la Peña added that the reform newly specifies, as part of aggravating circumstances, the means used to commit the crime, such as threats, use of force, coercion, deception, seduction, the use of power, and payment to a third party. (Id.)

The reform was approved with the unanimous vote of 102 Senators and was sent on to the Chamber of Deputies for consideration. (Id.)