Karla’s Story

Shucheesmita Simonti: “They would beat me with sticks, they would beat me with cables, they would beat me with chains.

“Nowadays people are listening to me.”

karla-jacintoKarla Jacinto from Mexico, who was once a human trafficking victim, is now travelling across the world as a human rights activist and offering help and advice to other victims of sexual slavery. [1]

At the age of 12, she fell into the trap of a trafficker whom she thought of as a loving boyfriend who told her: “You are going to be my princess.” Later, she found out that he was a pimp and part of an organized crime group in Tenancingo, the sex capital of the world. She was eventually forced into sex slavery after three months of their relationship, to Guadalajara. She was raped at least 30 times daily for about four years.

“I started at 10 a.m. and finished at midnight. We were in Guadalajara for a week. Do the math. Twenty per day for a week. Some men would laugh at me because I was crying. I had to close my eyes so that that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn’t feel anything,”- Karla said in an interview with CNN. In 2008, during an anti-trafficking operation in Mexico, Karla was rescued. Her ordeal lasted for about 4 years, but left her with emotional scars that would last a lifetime. But what is inspiring about Karla’s story is that she is using her experiences to help others in similar situations. Now her mission is to share her story and throw light on the ongoing crisis. Karla says: “These minors are being abducted, lured and yanked away from their families. Don’t just listen to me. You need to learn about what happened to me and take the blindfold off your eyes.”

Shucheesmita Simonti

Human trafficking crisis is a problem that continues to exacerbate. Tenancingo, a Mexican town is considered as the sex capital in the world. Many young girls and women from surrounding villages are lured into the town and forced into sex trade. As a report by CNN pointed out, in Tenancingo, many youths grow up with the aim of becoming pimps and this is what has been a common profession in the town for generations.

According to U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report(June 2009): Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women and children, indigenous persons, and undocumented migrants. A significant number of Mexican women, girls, and boys are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, lured by false job offers from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas. According to the government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas.

[1] Sex trafficking victim becomes activist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53jqbcYKWcg&spfreload=5

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