Friday, June 17, 2011

Human trafficking in South America

I am not sure if I really should be writing about this if I really want to come back to some states I have been and especially the stated which are highly involved in bussiness of human trafficing and the government somehow doesnt do anything or even support this kind of bussiness or even try to threaten the people who are trying to rescue the victims of human trafficing,but I will try to write what I heared (do its just the information from the second had especially - from the members of the affected victims,from the friends and as well  member of organisations who are working with the victims)
I first met with human trafficing stuff in Brasil,where they are at least trying to do something against this as the sex bussiness is very popular and common in Brasil - I can recommend to see the movie Anjos do Sol  - all on youtube - I am putting on the link for interested.)
When I was in Buenos Aiers I had a really long talk with one peruvian girl,who explained me especially the practiques of the argentinian gangs of human trafficing,where one of her friend was kidnapped directly after taking a taxi from the center of Buenos Aires and afterwards raped and trown in the forest,being lucky that they havent kidnapped her and havent brought her directly to the borders from Argentina and Paraguay/Bolivia or Brazil - Missiones and Corrientes,where I had the option to be later on on the roads,where the victims could be brought.
Litteraly there is one settlement in 200km in the middle of nowhere and almost no cars or trucks are stopping,even if u manage to run away (as there are later police barrers - for cocain search of the trafficants. Even though in eventually 4 police stops I have been stopped and my bag was pulled out just once to be sniffed by a dog,even though that if the driver had several kilos of cocain inside,they wouldnt find it,as the dog or even the police controler havent entered the truck. And it was close to Paraguayan border. The only control which really controled,but just me - they havent taken off my things,nor nothing (how the chilians do on the border to enter,if u are not carying some kind of biological material - jams,food or whatsoever),but just took out my backpack and let it sniffed by a dog. Would the dog smell the cocain,if it was inside of the dirty socks plastic bag,I am asking? Not that I would smuggle something ...)

Just for ilustration of what kind of abandoned areas we are talking about... Normally the settlement there is very small - and I am taling about workers there. I have been close to the village which has about 800 inhabitants and then about 100km nothing. At this video which I would put on,u will really see afterwards,how are the areas empty... Even if u managed to escape - the people who are moving trough these pampas are just people who would know who they are looking for.

I was told in Buenos Aires,as during the night I was followed by several taxis,to never take a taxi alone,neither by the company which is not known and secured to dont be kidnapped.
When I got to Peru,the stories started to be more drastic and the people started to be more worried about me hitchhiking alone. As the peruvians itself are calling other peruvians"manosos y peligrosos",maniacs and dangerous,mainly during the daylight u will be fine,just during the night u should be really careful and even the secured cars and people who would stop for u the police on the posts could be quite dangerous.
I was hitchhiking at night from Arequipa to Tacna,as the borders were blocked for the strike and I needed to get to Bolivia and that time and running down from Antiplano from Juliaca and Puno exacly at that moment.
I got to police control,who were so nice and were stopping me cars/buses/trucks just to ask,if they are going my direction and it was on the main officer to decide if they are safe or not. 
I could leave much sooner,but by his sight I got to know that there was quite a wrong people even offering the ride and for my security,he stopped one bus for me. Of course free of charge to continue back to the chilian border. I got in talk with the drivers as I was sitting in front and I got to know that kidnapping and selling the girls for prostitution is quite common in Peru. Heared from them about the story of two girls from Lima,who got promissed the work of voluntary in Antiplano. Then they had been driven to Juliaca,where they got closed with old drunk man in one room for 2 days and then they managed to free from there. Hitchhiking back to Lima,without no money. The main driver met them in Arequipa,trying to earn some soles to get back home to Lima. And he offered them to pay them passage back and as well the call home ("the girls were crying to the phone to their family,as they couldnt get in contact for about 3 weeks,u know").
As the same driver was talking he told the story of his niece,which was kidnapped and brought to Maldonado and they managed to get her back after 2 years. Maldonado is considered as one of the places where are brought the victims of trafficing and without the way back home.
The another story starts when I got to Bolivia and I have seen the situation over there. And as well as easily would be to get lost in somewhere of nowhere with no people even having interest to help u in anything.
When I was in La Paz I got to one party or celebration of people from high circles how we would say. Embasadors,people from United nations,some reporters and documentarists,people from human rights organization. And in this point I would like to stop a bit.
I had a quite a long talk with a girl from one organization which should be supported by bolivian goverment for refugees and victims of human trafficing. The girl when we were talking was crying from helplessness and fear. And at this moment,even though I tried to contact with her,she is not responding the emails.
They have many cases in the office of human trafficing each day and they have been threatened by underground organisations for billions of times. Threats of death,hurting their families etc. The goverment of bolivia doesnt really support them and have no ineterst in solving this issue.
The strongest story the girl told me,when we were talking was about little boy. The boy who was sold by their  grandparents in vision of better life to Chile.They have been contacted with the message by chilian police to come to pick him up,as he was found uncounsoius beaten up almost to death,abused in the middle of the desert of Atacama near San Pedro. The boy was sold when he was about 11,being systematicly tortured,abused and misused till the one decided to get rid of him. When he was found. The Bolivians brought him back to Bolivia,found the parents,called them. None of them was really interested to take the boy with them. The boy was in miserable state in hospital in La Paz. He wasnt able to talk,to eat,holding on life with very tiny string. They contacted his grandparents,who were up to taking the boy with them to their small village. But as the girl said "Thanks to god,the boy died,before they manage to take him away. After 2 weeks of fight for the life. In La Paz. He would be just a load for them and inaccaptable part in the society in a small village of hardworkers. He is better now." No charges had been risen. No investigation had been held.
Even though that they would have all the information to find out...
This is the way how it works in South America ... 
U got lost,u will never be find,if someone is not looking for u. 
And even though they look,the gangs and mafias are strong enough,that with a lot of ransom u wouldnt get out of this dirty bussness.... And goverments support this over there and close their eyes.

They are not for sale!
With one Lie,they can make u a slave
No,to Human trafficking!
The comercial on Brazilian Border!
For more information,please look for the book of Lydia Cacho - Esclavas de Poder (its the study of 5 years especially about human trafficing and trafficing for prostitution in south america,far east asia,middle east,africa, and Europe)


  1. i didnt know that Peru is such dangerous!
    guess in Brazil the worst are families selling their children in northeast or north (sure, it happens the most of the time like secretly). in southeast and south i think it's not so commun.
    recently we had some news on TV about human traffing in north/northeast..

    have you read this book Esclavas del Poder before travelling and passing through those experiences?

  2. I have read the half of it when I was in Argentina when I was waiting for someone to meet in Puerto Madryn. The person never showed up and I really got stuck with the book,till they had to kick me out of the bookstore for closing hours.
    I tried to find it in another states,like chile or other places in argentina,but wasnt lucky.
    Did u watched the videos of the interview?
    The common kidnappes in argentina are especially in poorer areas of Buenos Aires and as well the taxi drivers mafia.
    In Chile most of who comes in are prostitutes from Carribbean. U would be very surprised to see so many black girls in Punta Arenas - extreme south of Chile - very close to south pole as well,as there is a military base of Chilians and all young and old and profesionals have to have to be there for a while. So lots of clients. But I think these girls are not sold,they just come,like colombians in Santiago as they know that the economy is good and they can do some more money over there.

    About trafficing on the north east I know just from movie I mentioned on the top - its a good and very strong one,if u can,watch it! But actually,even though I have been hitchhiking on all the parts I have never had the chance to talk with any prostitute more than just a few words,that she was asking me for a cigarete or something or just trying to help me which cars not to take (That was when I was hitchhiking on a border of Piaui and Maranao). It was posto de fiscalizacao. There I met again one Paulistano,who we met before on Bahia with his truck and he started to be creepy so I ran away. And I ended up at night on this posto de fiscalizacao.
    But if I think about it - the birthrate in northeast of brazil is so high and the responsibility of the parents is so low,that I managed to met people who were from 8 kids abandoned by their mother and their father just didnt want them,so they all got adopted to one farm in amazonas. Monte Alegre. And I can imagine that these places are so isolated,that noone ever would be able to find out what is actually happening over there.
    I was talking there on a boat with father of a boyfriend of the girl who was acompaniing him for some operation to Belem (all payed by brazilian government - 2 months trip with all expenses for both of them,anyway,the girl was trying to pick up any man,married or not on the boat. And old man said on it: if that mine is not able to make her some babies,let the girl to find a real man :).Anyway: As the old man was talking about his granddaughter who was brutaly murdered one month ago. Having just 15 years,was ran over with a car and then the person came back for her to finish her. Any judge? Anybody going to prison? Forget it.

    One of my last rides in Brazil was murderer and rapists - killed his own wife with her lover and raped his neighbour. I was lucky that I got with him just fine. The last words what he said to me with this wierd smile on his lips: "U are the first ride I gave to someone and there havent happened anything." I asked: how anything? what had to happen? He just closed the door with this smile on his lips and went...
    He got for it 4 years in prison.