Las mujeres mexicanas, en especial aquellas campesinas que viven en territorios próximos a la frontera con Estados Unidos, sufren la acción de bandas de traficantes de personas. Se convierten en mercancía para la prostitución, cuando no desaparecen asesinadas. Había leído la novela de Roberto Bolaño pero los datos, incompletos, superan cualquier ficción. La vida de un número desconocido de mujeres y niñas se roba impunemente. Y nadie hace nada.
"There are no precise figures as to how many women and girls are being stolen and trafficked in Mexico. In rural areas few trust the police forces as they are often involved in local mafias, so many cases of missing girls are not registered. One fact all government and non-government agencies agree on is that instances of forced labour, debt bondage and sex trafficking are growing at an alarming rate. The government has vowed to find a more effective means to fight the country's violence – the head-on fight with the drug cartels has killed up to 70,000 people in the past six years – but has yet to produce any kind of plan.
Last November the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, stood beside Rosario Robles, Minister of Social Development, as she opened a women's centre in the remote, impoverished community of Tlapa de Comonfort in Guerrero. "In Mexico in the 21st century the worst expression of discrimination against women is violence," said Robles. "In this modern Mexico there are still states where the punishment is greater for stealing a cow than stealing a woman."
Jennifer Clement's Prayers for the Stolen is published by Hogarth at £12.99.