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Husband of Mexican border city mayor tied to sex trafficking ring

January 2, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Husband of Mexican border city mayor tied to sex trafficking ring

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Authorities in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas shut down several businesses following an investigation into a sex trafficking and forced prostitution operation with ties to the current mayor of the border city of  Reynosa.

State prosecutors identified Carlos Peña Garza,  the husband of Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz, as part owner of commercial real estate properties where several businesses operated and cases of forced prostitution were reported.

The investigation prompted Tamaulipas state police to raid four bars and three makeshift hotels last week that were suspected of being used as brothels, Vanguardia reported.

The illicit businesses were in an area called the “Zona de Tolerancia” or “Boys Town” located just a mile from the U.S. border.

Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz Domínguez

Authorities conducted the raids as part of a probe into sex trafficking ring that was initiated after Mexico’s Grupo Radio Formula published an expose on rampant forced child prostitution in the border city.

“It is a place so well known that there is a certain influx of sex tourism, where people from Texas frequent and pay for the sexual services of victims who come through slavery circuits from Central America, even to the extent that they call it ‘ Boys Town” ‘or “Disneyland,” said respected Mexican journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva.

Local reports indicated that law enforcement officials shut down the businesses after management at various establishments failed to provide the necessary permits required to operate as bars, while the makeshift hotels were closed for not meeting basic sanitary conditions.

Although details of the investigation remain scarce, investigators did indicate that the criminal activities conducted at the establishments were related to organized crime groups.

Reynosa, which is located just across the border from McAllen, Texas is a known stronghold of the Gulf Cartel.

The city has been engulfed in a brutal civil war over drug territories between rival Gulf Cartel factions following a split within the criminal organization.

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