Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Putting a Face on Human Trafficking

Naples Daily News reported this week on a pattern of human trafficking showing up in Southwest Florida as part of its series, “The Guatemala Connection.”
Trafficking victims are brought from the remote western highlands of Guatemala into the U.S. NDN reports:
“This quiet spot with mountain views is where questions begin. It’s the home of a victim at the core of a Southwest Florida human trafficking case stirring U.S. and Guatemalan leaders to respond. They believe this horrific crime has been pulsing across their borders for years.
Trafficking’s tentacles are stretching to Guatemalan villages to pluck the poorest and most powerless from their homes: children.”
What is the connection between the origin and destination of the trafficking victims? According to the report, there’s no easy answer:
“Trying to mine reasons why the slave trade thrives between Southwest Florida and Guatemala feels like getting stuck in a spider web. It’s sticky, messy and connected. It’s poverty. It’s migration. It’s smuggling. It’s exploitation. It’s globalization and other ’ations and ’isms that are nebulous even in college textbooks.”
One Guatemalan trafficking victim, now in protective care, was kept isolated from the world by her captors, forced to wake at 4 a.m. to work, and was raped and beaten. She told FBI agents that her stepfather and her mother sold her into slavery at the age of 11.
Her story is not unique. A global network of human trafficking has pervaded the entire world – from the Central Highlands to Vietnam to the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe.
To read the full article on human trafficking in Guatemala, follow the link below:


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