Latino Residential Brothels: Sex Trafficking from Latin-America

By Efrain Nieves

It is well known that the U.S. is a ripe market for sex trafficking. Young men, women and children are imported, primarily, from  locations as far as China, India and Eastern Europe but also as close as Latin America, even as we speak.  Predominantly from poor and rural areas, these individuals are lured by images of a big home, a higher paying job and the “American dream” with young women accounting for the largest percentage of sex slaves in the world. Upon arrival to the promised land, even well before, these women quickly fall prey to a world of beatings and forced prostitution.

Today, I would like to bring awareness to a particular type of sex trafficking coming from Latin America.  As such, I will be citing the work of the anti-sex trafficking group Polaris Project. The group is calling attention to a particular prostitution ring called  “Latino Residential Brothels”  that have been reported to be in 25 states including Washington D.C.

An article titled The sex slaves next door: Sex trafficking aimed at Hispanics takes over the U.S.”  in dailymail.co.uk states:

According to MSNBC, one of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement agencies, besides locating and infiltrating the closed network brothels, is getting the cooperation of the victims.

Traffickers keep women and girls under close supervision, and often take away their personal identification. If they are in the country illegally, they are told that the police will arrest them for prostitution and then deport them.

This is a topic we must speak out about  and stand up against.  Awareness is the key to  helping these women understand they are victims of slavery and there is a way out. I leave all to ponder on these words from news.gather.com:

Doesn’t it seem ironic that in one of the most civilized and educated countries in the world there are sex slaves being forced on a daily basis to do unthinkable things? Isn’t it despicable that there are women and young girls sold into slavery in a country that supposedly abolished slavery nearly two generations ago?

Photo from msnbc.msn.com

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One Response to “Latino Residential Brothels: Sex Trafficking from Latin-America”

  1. I think that yes, to a degree, we as civilians, have an opportunity to help these women/girls understand that they are victims. But so few of them are out in the open and have very little contact with the outside world. Which is why it’s so important to be discerning when we pick our public officials; they have to have the sophistication to tell the difference between the gray areas of victim and perpetrator. In CA, we have an outstanding Attorney General, Kamala Harris, who understands this complex problem. But alas, we need more smart-on-crime advocates like her who see that trafficking is part of a larger systemic problem and who are willing to do something about it.

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