Sometime in 1997, a woman named Maria Elena approached me and told me about opportunities for work in the United States.
She told me she had worked there at a restaurant and had made good money. When I told my mother about the offer, she was skeptical. Since I was interested in helping my family out, I decided to learn more about this opportunity. Maria Elena set up a meeting with two men named Abel Cadena-Sosa and Patricio Sosa. At the meeting, the men confirmed that they had job openings for women like myself in American restaurants. They told me that they would take care of my immigration papers, and that I would be free to change jobs if I did not like working at the restaurants.
I decided to accept the offer. In 1997, I was brought into the United States through Brownsville, Texas. Maria Elena traveled with me. We were both transported to Houston, Texas, where a man named Rogerio Cadena picked us up and took us to a trailer in Avon Park, Florida. In Avon Park, I met a girl named Sue who lived in the trailer. She asked me if I knew why I had come to Avon Park. I said I was going to work in a restaurant. She told me that I was actually going to be selling my body to men.
I am trying hard to be the person I was before I came to the United States."
- Inez, trafficked in the United States, originally from Mexico
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Special Thanks to: Protection Project