Mexico frees 62 in forced-prostitution case

Police freed 62 female victims of a forced-prostitution ring in Mexico City, including a 13-year-old girl, prosecutors said.

The women complained they were forced to work as prostitutes in the capital's downtown sector and had to hand over their earnings to a group of pimps, Mexico City chief prosecutor Miguel Mancera said Monday.

Five men and two women were detained in raids on five bars and are being held pending investigation for alleged human trafficking, organized crime, pimping and corruption of a minor.

Prosecutors said they are investigating the suspects, who range in age from 19 to 62, to see whether any came from Tenancingo, a town in central Tlaxcala state where Mexico's forced-prostitution trade is believed to be centered.

Mancera's office said one of the victims told police that a man had befriended her in another state and offered to find her work in Mexico City. Upon arriving in the capital, she and other women were forced to prostitute themselves.

Police found out about the ring in April when the woman wound up in the hospital with a potential miscarriage and decided to tell police.

Mancera said the women were forced to have sex in tiny bedrooms smaller than 6½ feet (6 meters) a side. They would charge between $9 and $26 and paid pimps $4.

The place, known as "La Pasarela," or "The Runway," was in business for decades.

Manchuria said he does not know why previous city administrations had not cracked down on the prostitution ring before.