A woman who was coerced into Mexico’s human trafficking industry has spoken out about her torment at the hands of ruthless organised crime rings.
Karla Jacinto, 23, believes she has been raped around 43,200 times, meaning she was forced to have sex with at least 30 men every day for four years, CNN reports.
After going through this horrific ordeal, she has shared her story of survival at public events and conferences including a talk with Pope Francis at the Vatican and speaking at United States Congress to deter young girls from being lured away from their homes.
At the age of just 12, she recalled being targeted by a 22-year-old trafficker who took her away from her home in Tenancingo in the state of Tlaxcala promising gifts, money and fast cars.
Ms Jacinto told CNN that she lived with her trafficker for three months before being transported to one of the nation’s largest cities, Guadalajara before being forced into prostitution.
I started at 10am and finished at midnight. 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.
During her horrific ordeal, Ms Jacinto was also brutally attacked by her trafficker after spotting kiss marks on her neck from a customer.
He started beating me with a chain in all of my body. He punched me with his fists, he kicked me, pulled my hair, spit at me in the face… he also burned me with the iron.
She also went on to claim that a rescue operation by police descended into a shocking turn of events, with officers filming the girls as young as 10 in ‘compromising positions’.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, there are a staggering estimation of 20,000 trafficking victims every year in Mexico.
The Guardian reported that a study in 2010 by the University of Tlaxcala found that 20 per cent of children in the town aspires to be a pimp, while two-thirds know at least one family member or friend who worked as a trafficker or pimp.
Ms Jacinto was finally released in 2008 in Mexico City and is an advocate against human trafficking.