“Some men would laugh at me because I was crying.”
Between the ages of 12 and 16, Karla Jacinto, was forced to have sex 43,200 times.
She was lured away from her dysfunctional family home, in a small town near Tenancingo, Mexico, and into the dangerous human trafficking ring by false promises, expensive gifts and kind words.
“I started at 10 am and finished at midnight,” Jacinto told CNN’s Freedom Project. “Some men would laugh at me because I was crying.”
“I had to close my eyes so that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn’t feel anything.”
Now, at 24, Jacinto has dedicated her life to saving sex slaves from the trafficking industry, waiving her right to anonymity to help raise awareness about the “growing” issue.
“I never imagined that the girl who used to stand on the corner wearing high heels, who was considered a prostitute, would feel so strong,” she said, referring to the transformation she’s gone through. “Nowadays many people listen to me.”
Among them, Pope Francis.
Jacinto met with the Pope during a conference in July, to talk about the reality of modern day slavery. She also shared her story with the United States Congress in May, which was later used as evidence in support for H.R. 515, or Megan’s Law, which obliges US authorities to share any information relating to American child sex offenders when these convicts attempt to travel abroad.
Human trafficking has become a trade so lucrative that it knows no borders, linking small towns like Tenancingo with cities like Atlanta and New York.
Many of her clients, Jacinto shared in her testimony, were foreigners visiting her city “looking to have sexual interactions with minors.”
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