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Against Human Trafficking One Must Try to Listen, See and…

November 12, 2012

A true story…

By Sister Ana S. in Argentina

In the middle of last year I was talking with a farmer friend (producer of fruit) on various topics, when he told me his concerns because he had seen what was happening in a nearby farm where a migrant from a neighboring country brought other people from his country and had them work in inhuman conditions and also shared his suspicions that he may have young women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This conversation was repeated at other times and at my suggestion that he make the complaint, refused on the grounds of “prudence,” suggesting to me that I make it and that he would connect me with potential witnesses.

Earlier this year, we both spoke with a migrant family who had been able to escape this situation, living in the street a few days until a caring family gave them shelter and work. Confidentially they gave us valuable information. For example, they were made to work from sunrise to sunset in the field, they ate poorly, slept on the floor all together on rags without mattresses, with electricity limited to a few hours, a single tap for water, awakened at 5 with screaming insults and that only the father was paid some $400 US dollars “annually. ” In addition, they were prevented from leaving the field by scaring them with the idea that any Argentine was armed and could attack them or they were going to be imprisoned by the police for being illegal. Let me clarify that Argentina has a very open law with migrants and one cannot imprison them.

I prayed and reflected on what I had heard and seen, conquered fears, sought advice and made the denouncement without knowing if it would be accepted.

The Prosecutor’s Office took the complaint seriously and they assured me that the data could serve to initiate an investigation, but it was very important to have the direct testimony of a victim for possible trial. We went to the farmer to explain to the family the complaint made and the need for their testimony. With joy at the opportunity to seek justice, they agreed to be witnesses and then gave the information to the public Prosecutor. Currently this denunciation has been processed, although this only happens with 10% of the reports, as explained in the Prosecutor’s Office, but from here other investigations are being made.

It was a grain of sand not sought, but it sought me: it was a matter of listening, seeing and allowing the Light of Mercy to guide our actions.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2012 4:19 pm

    If letters or Mail can spread the word lets do it .

    I’m on board

  2. Michelle Salois permalink
    November 13, 2012 10:33 pm

    yea Sr Ana!

  3. Martha Larsen permalink
    November 14, 2012 4:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing the story. I think many of us do not realize the danger involved in this. Greed is the motive and loss of profit can cause violence. Both the family involved and the “reporter” of the evil news could be serious hurt/killed by the unscrupulous people who gain economically from the exploitation.

  4. Sr. Maria Campos permalink
    November 15, 2012 11:21 am

    Great Work!! thank you so much!!

  5. Martha Milner, RSM permalink
    November 16, 2012 10:01 am

    Anita, you are the Mercy of god for these families. Keep up the good work. Solidarity

  6. Kathy Grantz permalink
    November 16, 2012 2:18 pm

    God Bless. My prayers are with you.
    Kathy Grantz, Associate, Sisters of Mercy

    • November 19, 2012 10:39 pm

      Dear Anita, I am always happy that our paths crossed in Peru. It wonderful that all the good you do appears in our Mercy communications so that I can catch up with you every now and then. God bless you.
      Love, Mary Harvey

  7. November 21, 2012 8:13 am

    Thank you so much for being brave, speaking up, and being the voice for the family. Truly Mercy of God and courage shown. Thank you.

  8. January 11, 2013 10:44 pm

    I AGREE WITH ALL THE OTHER COMMENTS. ONLY WHEN BRAVE PEOPLE LIKE ANITA ARE WILLING TO SPEAK UP ON BEHALF OF SITUATIONS & PEOPLE INVOLVED IN HUMAN SLAVERY WILL WE BE ABLE TO CONFRONT EVIL DOERS AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE & COMFORT & DELIVERANCE & HELP TO THOSE IN SLAVERY BONDS. IT IS NOT AN EASY SITUATION YET FREEDOM CAN BE BROUGHT TO THOSE IN BONDAGE. ANITA, INDEED YOU WERE THE MERCY ON GOD IN ACTION. YOU WILL BE IN MY PRAYER as WELL AS THOSE BROUGHT TO SAFETY & THE COURAGE IT TAKES TO WORK THRU ALL THE PAIN & DISTRUST TO A NEW WAY OF LIFE & LEARN TO TRUST AGAIN .

  9. Teresa Lewis permalink
    January 13, 2013 2:49 am

    I have a calling….to do more and I am blessed that your courage to post this and act as a change agent inspired me! God Bless…

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