Like many Mexican young girls, Karla Jacinto was targeted by a trafficker who promised her a heaven on earth. by then she was still a 12 year old girl and the thought of becoming instantly rich was something she couldn’t let pass by.
She says she was one day waiting for some friends near a subway station in Mexico City, when a little boy who was sent by the trafficker came by and told her somebody was sending her a piece of candy as a gift.
A few minutes later a guy approached her and told her he was the one who bought her some candies and that he was a car salesman in the city.
After a short chat they exchanged some phone numbers and when he called a week later, Karla says she got excited. He asked her to go on a trip to nearby Puebla with him and dazzled her by showing up driving a bright red Firebird Trans Am.
“When I saw the car I couldn’t believe it. I was very impressed by such a big car. It was exciting for me. He asked me to get in the car to go places,” she says.
They continued hanging out together and one day, Karla’s mother refused to open the door because Karla came in late and that’s when she weighed her options and decided to leave with the guy.
They lived together for about three months when he started mistreating her and that’s when she started suspecting something was wrong.
Karla says her boyfriend would leave her by herself for a week in their apartment. His cousins would show up with new girls every week. When she finally mustered the courage to ask what business they were in, he told her the truth. “They’re pimps,” he said.
After some time Karla was forced to work as a prostitute, she would be sent to brothels, roadside motels, streets known for prostitution and even homes with no holidays and days off.
She says she was serving up to 30 men a day and did it for 4 years straight with no time to rest.
The pimp would threatened her when she thought of leaving and she didn’t have a choice, she was finally rescued in 2006 during an anti-trafficking operation in Mexico City.
Kara is now an activist who works hard to help end child sex trafficking in Mexico.