I want to share the story of 3 young Honduran women, single mothers, unemployed, with family problems from the city of Amapala.
They were victims of a false job offer by a Honduran, who offered them a job cleaning houses and in a restaurant.
However, when they showed up to work, the individual kidnapped them under threats, forcing them to become sex workers, not only in the city of Amapala but also in El Salvador.
These young women became victims of sexual exploitation and modern slavery.
Her Excellency Presidential Appointee Doris Gutiérrez; CICESCT Executive Secretary Sua Martinez; and other distinguished participants.
It is an honor for me to participate in this significant event, which seeks to raise public awareness about the crime of human trafficking.
Without a doubt, it is a heinous and heartbreaking crime that involves the exploitation of men, women, and children for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.
It is a crime that not only robs the victim of their freedom and their human rights, but also leaves sequels such as mental and physical trauma.
And that is why it is important for society to be aware of the existence and reality of human trafficking.
But also that public officials have the necessary knowledge and tools so that the survivors of trafficking can be identified and protected.
That they have access to justice, and a dignified life.
Returning to the story of the three young women, the trafficker controlled his victims with drugs and threats to their families.
The trafficker had ties to maras and gangs.
In this case, the Prosecutor’s Office obtained the conviction of two individuals (father and son) to 15 years in prison.
The CICESCT collaborated with the rescue and reintegration of the victims into society, to the point that they now have decent jobs in formal jobs.
And their children are getting an education.
The CICESCT continues to provide them with psychological and social support, in order to improve their quality of life, feel protected, valued and accepted.
I congratulate the CICESCT for its valuable work that changed the lives of these three young women.
It is important that public officials have the capacity to identify, prosecute and provide protection to survivors of trafficking.
The crimes of trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants are different but linked crimes.
Many irregular migrants become victims of trafficking on their journey north.
By not having opportunities, they put their lives, safety and well-being at risk.
Unfortunately, we saw it in the case of the 6 Hondurans who died in the van in San Antonio.
That is why, during his visit, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security spoke of the dangers that migrants run when entrusting their lives and that of their children to smugglers to enter the United States irregularly.
We do not want more deaths or more victims of trafficking.
Trafficking is a crime that crosses borders.
And that is why all countries have to cooperate to combat it.
On July 19, the Secretary of State published the Annual Report on Trafficking in Persons, which includes the narrative for Honduras and provides recommendations for the coming year.
The United States is committed to combating human trafficking and also to supporting Honduran efforts in its fight.
It is our most sincere wish to avoid cases, such as the young women of Amapala and tragedies such as the one in San Antonio.
For all these reasons, I am pleased to be able to support the “Five-Star Heart, Heart Pact” campaign.
Thank you very much!