Mexican woman sold into sex slavery told 'customer' who put gun in her mouth to end her misery

Her hometown of Tenancingo is one of the worst sex trafficking centres in the world

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The Independent US

A trafficked woman has described being raped repeatedly for ten years as such a "hell" that she told a customer who put a gun in her mouth to pull the trigger and kill her.

The woman, who has not been identified, said she had spoken out in an effort to help other vulnerable women in Mexico. She said she wanted to warn them against apparently kind men who betray them by selling them into sex slavery and allow other men to pay to rape them.

She said she was 19 when she fell in love with a man she "trusted completely" in Tenancingo in Mexico - only to discover he was a member of one of many families in the area who earn their income by sexually enslaving women.

A small town in the state of Tlaxcala, Tenancingo is regarded by US authorities to be one of the sex trafficking centres of the world, with five of its 10 most wanted sex traffickers based there.

Authorities have said the massive scale of the problem is difficult to police because criminal groups use traditional notions of romance and marriage to entrap girls, according to The Guardian.

Many women are still formally "married" to the men who sell them and keep the money.

The woman said she was in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US when she told a customer who had paid $30 to rape her and put a revolver in her mouth to shoot her.

"I was beaten severely for having spoken to a client instead of silently obeying. But it didn't stop me wanting to die," she told the MailOnline.

She said she was being held prisoner at the brothel by "Francisco" and his family, who together had tricked her into believing he would marry her when she was a teenager.

His method of "charming" her to gain her trust is reportedly common in the town, with one in five children in Tenancingo saying they want to be a pimp when they grow older because it is seen as lucrative, and women are regarded as the property of men.

Another two-thirds of youngsters reportedly know at least one relative or friend working as a trafficker or pimp.

By 29 years old, the woman said she was "burned out after 10 years of living hell", according to the MailOnline.

She managed to escape on a bus and return to her family, but had so far dared not reveal what Francisco had done to her family.

"I had to say I left him rather than tell the shameful truth," she said.

Women and girls make up 98 per cent of sex-trafficking victims worldwide, according to Equality Now.