The News Media is currently focused on multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein and those who have stepped forward to accuse him of human trafficking. This case is high profile because of the number of wealthy personalities and celebrities who are linked to his outlandish parties. Many ask how Epstein could have been able to commit these crimes after having already been convicted of related crimes. I am sure the Epstein trial will be interesting, but at the end of the day his luck, money, and legal team seem to be unmatched. In interviewing several human trafficking survivors, we continue to learn more and more about the powerful individuals involved in human trafficking as well as the robust human networks. We also learn of the billions of dollars being spent and the lies that are told to protect traffickers, johns, and enablers. It is in our face and human trafficking lives in our backyard.
Perhaps the biggest issue that we face is the problem that human trafficking is not polarizing. We all agree that it is a problem, which means the problem gets little coverage on the news in favor or polarizing and divisive issue that increase the ratings. There are several things we should consider. Perhaps one of the biggest underreported human trafficking crimes with little media attention is attached to the migrant crisis south of the border. The news media does not report the realities south of the border to the American populace, and instead, focuses on the issues at the border. The corruption, poverty, conflict, and drought in South and Central America have created a mass migration similar to that in the Middle East. Criminal networks such as MS13, the Zetas, and the Sinaloa Cartel capitalize off of the human crisis in order to move their drugs, guns, and trafficking victims throughout the region and into the United States. These organizations tie in with other networks to further their business in the United States and Canada, incorporating American and Canadian trafficking victims into their business model. The networks from south of the border compete with local networks, local pimps, local power, and political influence.
If there is one thing the Jeffrey Epstein case demonstrates, it is that money and influence go a long way. Epstein’s long list of celebrity friends and political influence demonstrates how hard it is to take these organizations down. If we were to take a deeper look at the problem, we may find that the issues on which the media reports are full of political bias and that they underreport the problems we are actually facing, both south of the border and even in our own backyard.