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Texas DPS joins forces to battle human trafficking

By: Ruben Veloz

EL PASO, Texas-- Its known as modern-day slavery, and sometimes many of those victims are forced into prostitution. 
Interstate human trafficking has become a world-wide issue, and has affected many women, children, and even immigrants who are coerced into working for cheap labor.
That's why the state of Texas and the Department of Homeland Security have teamed up to teach officers in New Mexico how to spot victims of human trafficking. 
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, many of their troopers have found numerous human trafficking cases were linked to New Mexico.
Its not known how many sex trafficking and child exploitation rings there are, but investigators believe there are number of them operating throughout the land of enchantment.
"It's terrible.  It's very traumatic, said central El Pasoan Jesus Morentin.
Morentin is a student at University of Texas at El Paso and has learned about human trafficking cases in school.
"I think it is important to find different ways to confront this problem, and try to detect this atrocity, said Morentin, yes that should be encouraged."
Since 2009, the DPS criminal investigations division have been able to train more than 2,900 officers in Texas on how to how spot victims who do not show signs of abuse. 
Theyve been so successful that they've been able to help more than 2,600 officers outside Texas, including internationally, receive this training.
Jesus hopes this will help other officers take control of the situation.
"I think they have failed in this tragedy to prevent this acts of inhuman, inhumane treatment, you can see this problem in the field like California, with people illegal immigrants work under minimum wage, said Morentin.
Since the program began five years ago, DPS Criminal Divisions Unit has been able to recover more than 80 missing and exploited children and make over 26 criminal arrests.
The Training will take place in Albuquerque, and start within the next month.

 

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