In an extensive investigative series called Pimp City: A Journey to the Center of the Sex Slave Trade, Fusion explores Tenancingo, Mexico, a town that makes virtually its entire living from sex trafficking, sending prostitutes forced into the trade all the way to cities around the U.S.
"Tenancingo has spawned, frankly, a cottage industry of victimization," U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch told Fusion. "It's disturbing on many, many levels. They're family-led organizations that specialize in trafficking young girls, prostituting them in Mexico, bringing them to the U.S., forcing them into prostitution here."
According to the documentary – hosted by Mariana van Zeller – human trafficking is the fastest growing enterprise in the world, partially because of corrupt local government officials who are in on this money-making scheme. "The women are actually a commodity to be used over and over and over again," one U.S. government official told them.
As for the U.S. government, they spend far more money on fighting the drug trade and counterfeiting, despite the huge profit sex trafficking makes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only 146 women have seen their pimps face any kind of sentencing.
"Based on our estimates, a pimp can make half a million dollars a year with three women working for him, each seeing an average of 20 clients a day, each for 15 minutes," Fusion reports. They traveled to Tenancingo (a town that's been the subject of attention for this issue before), sent a reporter into a normal-looking house in Queens that ended up being a brothel, interviewed an incarcerated former pimp and spoke with women who have been in or are still working in prostitution against their will. It's chilling, moving and definitely worth watching.