Is there slavery in Latin America?

The stolen freedom of hundreds of people, mostly women, is one of the Latin America’s hurdles nowadays. A crime without borders in a world where it deprives impunity.

Human trafficking has claimed at least 12 million victims in 2016, according to the United Nations. The International Labor Organization has also stated that there are around 21 million victims of forced labor around the world. This figure also includes victims of sexual exploitation.

This crime has become a transnational business that annually generatesnearly $32 billion dollars. Women, men, and children from all corners of the world are turned into tradable products and subjected daily to exploitative situations including, but not limited to, forced labor, domestic slavery, and illicit child employment.

On July 29th, Interpol rescued, through the operation “Spartacus III”,more than 2,700 people who were victims of trafficking. They also detained 134 subjects and dismantled at least 7 organized crime networks in an operation in South and Central America. This activity was carried out at the most traveled international airports in Latin America: Ministro Pistarini (Buenos Aires), Guarulhos (Sao Paulo), and El Dorado(Bogotá).

In South America, there are countries of origin, transit, and destination for trafficking both internally and internationally. As of recent years, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have become one of the main hotspots when it comes to trafficking teenagers. Countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico are following in very closely.

Additionally, various well-known cases of violence pertaining to sexual trafficking in Latin American has intensified the perception of danger around the world. This new form of transnational illegal business is not only affecting the people themselves, but also the image of the countries in which the act being carried out.

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

LatinAmerican Post | Manuela Pulido

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