According to a CNN report, Karla Jacinto estimates she was raped over 43,000 times over the course of 4 years, up to 30 men a day and seven days a week, during which time she was held captive by human traffickers. Her survival story is a a brutal reminder of how Human trafficking has become a trade so lucrative and prevalent, that it knows no borders and links towns in central Mexico with cities like Atlanta and New York. U.S. and Mexican officials both point to a town in central Mexico called Tenancingo that for years has been a major source of human trafficking rings and a place where victims are taken before being eventually forced into prostitution.
Karla was abducted when she was 12 years old by a 22 year old man, who at first treated her with kindness for several months, before forcing her and many other young girls into prostitution. She was often beaten with a chain all over her body if she acted out of line, and for 4 brutal years she endured a life of slavery. She gave birth to a child at age 15, only to have the baby stripped from her by father who was a Pimp and would use the child to force Karla into doing whatever he wanted. Karla Jacinto was finally rescued in 2008 during an anti-trafficking operation in Mexico City, when she was 16 years old.
Karla is now 23 years old. She has become an outspoken advocate against human trafficking, telling her story at conferences and public events. She told her story to Pope Francis in July at the Vatican. She also told the U.S. Congress in May. Her testimony was used as evidence in support for H.R. 515 or Megan’s Law that mandates U.S. authorities share information pertaining to American child sex offenders when these convicts attempt to travel abroad. Her message is that human trafficking and forced prostitution still happens and is a growing problem in our world. 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.”