Latino residential brothels adopt sophisticated camouflage to elude authorities
By Azriel James Relph Producer
NBC News NBC News
updated 3/24/2011 3:22:13 PM ET 2011-03-24T19:22:13
Cristina was just 24 years-old, living in a rural farming village in Mexico, when Amador Cortes-Meza told her he was falling in love with her. He promised her marriage and a good job, and then brought her to the United States. But when she arrived in the Atlanta area, he physically abused her and forced her to work as a prostitute.
“That’s when I realized he was not telling me the truth,” said Cristina (not her real name). “A man who loves a woman would not make them do that. I lived under his humiliation, I lived under the beatings, under the fear, there was nothing I could do.”
She is an example of an insidious form of slavery spreading across the United States – prostitution operations that traffic in women and children from Latin America.
In these operations, “closed-network” houses of prostitution cater to customers of a specific race or ethnicity, in this case, Hispanic women and Hispanic customers. One nonprofit anti-trafficking group labels them Latino Residential Brothels, or LRBs.