Detienen a 5 por trata de personas en zona minera

Lima — La fiscalía informó el lunes la detención de cinco personas tras un operativo policial que duró tres días y donde se rescató a 293 mujeres de prostíbulos de una zona selvática donde miles de mineros informales explotan oro.

"Se ha ordenado la detención preliminar de cinco individuos por el delito de trata de personas", dijo a la AP el fiscal Fernando de Santa María, quien intervino en el gigantesco operativo, el primero del gobierno de Ollanta Humala.

La acción se realizó entre el viernes y la madrugada del domingo en más de 60 prostíbulos ubicados en la ciudad de Puerto Maldonado, capital de la región Madre de Dios, ubicada a 861 kilómetros al sureste de Lima.

Madre de Dios, una región rica en biodiversidad, sufre la fiebre de la explotación ilegal de oro lo que conlleva a la contaminación de ríos, destrucción de bosques tropicales, intensa migración y el aumento de la prostitución.

En un primer momento el viceministro de Interior, Alberto Otárola, dijo el domingo a la AP que se rescataron 234 prostitutas, de las cuáles 15 eran menores de 18 años. Pero el lunes, el fiscal de Santa María precisó que el número de prostitutas rescatadas era 293 y cinco de ellas eran menores de 18 años: una de 13 y cuatro de 17.

El delito de trata de personas se castiga en Perú con penas de entre cinco y diez años de prisión y el delito se agrava con hasta 12 años de cárcel si se prostituye a menores de edad.

The Associated Press

Oct. 03, 2011

See also:

Peru sex slavery: Police free 300 women in Amazon More than 400 police took part in the three-day operation

Police in Peru say they have rescued nearly 300 women from sexual exploitation in a raid in the country's Amazon region.

At least four people were arrested in Puerto Maldonado on suspicion of human trafficking.

Among those rescued from about 50 brothels were at least 10 minors - the youngest was a 13-year-old girl.

More than 400 police took part in the three-day operation in the region, known for its illegal gold mining.

The region has seen an influx of fortune-hunters trying to make a living from the trade.

Prosecutors say young girls are lured to the area by women who travel around offering them jobs in shops or as domestic helpers, but that the girls often end up being forced to work as prostitutes in local bars.

Last month, the charity Save the Children said that more than 1,100 underage girls were being used as sexual slaves in illegal mining camps in the south-eastern Peruvian state of Madre de Dios.

Camps set up along the main highway have also attracted unlicensed bars used for prostitution.

The gold rush is contributing to the destruction of the rain forest and contaminating the environment with tons of mercury, used in processing the precious metal.

Peru is the world's fifth largest gold producer.

BBC News

Oct. 03, 2011

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La prostitución infantil golpea la Selva

Prostituyen a niñas de 14 años. Ofrecen sus servicios sexuales por 50 soles la hora.

Child prostitution is rampant in Peru’s Amazon Jungle region

Fourteen year old girls sold. Services are offered for as little as 50 new soles ($18 US dollars).

[Includes vieo report - in Spanish]

Trome

Feb.. 06, 2011

See also:

More about child prostitution in the gold mining camps of the Amazon jungle:

According to June Kane's 1998 book, Sold of Sex, an estimated 2,000 child prostitutes were at that time being exploited in Brazil's Amazon Jungle gold minig town of Fortaleza.  Their ages are: 

15 to 16

approx. 400 girls

13 to 14

approx.  620 girls

 8 to 10

approx.  340 girls

Younger than 8 

approx.    20 girls

Year 2000

Child Prostitution A Way Of Life In Peru

…Of the 3.8 million people living in extreme poverty [in Peru], 2.1 million are children, with more than 60% of the under-18 population living below the poverty line…

Victoria Huerta, a psychologist at La Restinga, a local nonprofit organization that works with at-risk children, said that many girls are lured into prostitution by a family member -- sometimes even a parent -- or a neighbor with the promise of quick cash...

Ruck estimates that about half of the 600 male inmates in the Iquitos prison, which was built to house 300, were arrested on charges of rape of a minor under age 14.

Part of the problem is a social attitude that views sex with adolescent girls as normal, said Luis Gonzalez-Polar Zuzunada, president of La Restinga.

"It's not seen as a crime," he said. "People think that's the way it is. Here, anyone is a potential client…"

Once children become involved in prostitution, it is difficult for them to get out. Many were raped by relatives before becoming involved in prostitution, and "it's hard for them to recognize what has happened to them," Huerta said. "They want to (get out), but there is no process that supports them in that…"

The work is not easy, however, because both the family situations that led the girls to get involved in prostitution and the sexual exploitation leave serious psychological scars. Many of the girls are also addicted to drugs, and Huerta said that La Restinga's staff members need specialized training -- or some expert assistance -- in dealing with that combination of problems. Because the city is fairly remote, accessible from the rest of the country only by air or river, such expertise is hard to find.

Many of the children involved in prostitution have dropped out of school -- and some have never been to school, especially if their families have moved to the city from remote villages. La Restinga offers summer school and tutoring to help them get up to their grade level…

La Restinga is currently working with nearly 50 girls who have been sexually exploited or are at risk of being drawn into prostitution. The girls take part in summer school sessions and art workshops, partly funded by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency. Integrating them into the larger group helps keep the girls from feeling stigmatized, Huerta said.

"When they come here," she added, "they turn into what they are -- children."

May 11, 2007