In Mexico, sex work is considered a public health problem because it is associated with the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Due to this, health regulation is based on reducing or eliminating the effects of sex work on the general population, through mandatory health checks and sanitary control. This comes at a high economic cost for sex workers and violates their human rights.
The Latin American Platform of Sex Workers (PLAPERTS) is shocked by the murder of their colleague Angelica Miriam Quintanilla, who was Director of LIQUIDAMBAR, a sex worker-led organisation in El Salvador. In March 2016, sex workers from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru received the news that LIQUIDAMBAR wanted to join PLAPERTS. Just as quickly, PLAPERTS received news of her murder. The image above shows LIQUIDAMBAR at a protest with PLAPERTS. Angelica is to the far left.
The municipality of Lima, in collaboration with the National Police of Peru (PNP), the Research Crime Administration (DIRINCRI, as it is known is Spanish) as well as those in charge of the Human Trafficking Division, conduct frequent operations that result in the closure of bars, clubs, pubs, and inns where sex workers work.
Ángela Villón, a 50-year-old woman, a sex worker, a mother and active advocate for the rights of sex workers, ran for Congress and lost on the 10th of April, 2016. Despite loosing, she decided to support her running mate Veronica Mendoza from the Frente Amplio party. Veronica Mendoza also supports sex workers’ rights and works with Ángela Villón. Veronica Mendoza is running for president, and the vote will take place on the 5th of June, 2016.
In Mexico, there is a conflation between human trafficking and sex work. Sex work stigmatised, and sex workers experience marginalisation and discrimination, which violates their human rights. Addressing these issues has required raising awareness within various segments of society.
NSWP member APROASE warned Mexicans about the negative impact that the Law Against Human Trafficking would have on both the recognition of sex work as work and on the human rights of sex workers.