Married Couple & Daughter Arrested For Human Trafficking, Selling Colombian Women Into Sexual Slavery
Colombian police over the weekend have arrested and charged a husband and wife couple (above), Martha Lucía Osorio Cárdenas & Fernando Zuleta Bermúdez along with their daughter, Leidy Johana Osorio Bermúdez (below) for preying on poor Colombian women in Bogotá, Cali, and the Medellín area by offering them nonexistent employment abroad, but sending them on trips where they were received and held captive by sex traffickers in Panamá, China, and Singapore.
Upon arrival, the women were forced to perform sex acts for customers of their captives. Their passports were held, and they were never paid, but told they in fact owed money for the trip. Over time, 10 victims escaped and were able to contact authorities who opened an investigation. Colombia’s attorney general’s office has said that the mother in the triad, Osorio Cárdenas, had actually been prosecuted for similar offenses almost a decade ago, in 2013.
According to Colombian government statistics, since 2013, there have been 405 cases human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 134 cases involving forced labor, and 48 cases of servile marriage pursued by the Colombian government. Real numbers are certainly much higher.
The International Organization for Migration in Colombia says that victims encountered outside of Colombia are most frequently rescued from China (73 cases), México (59 cases) Spain (42 cases) Argentina (41 cases) and neighboring Ecuador (31 cases). 72 victims have come from Antioquia (Medellin & surrounding areas), The coffee growing region anchored by the cities of Manizales, Pereira & Armenia (99 victims), 74 victims from Bogotá, and 77 victims from Cali & its surrounding area. There were 71 cases of foreigners rescued within Colombia; often from Venezuela.
Photos courtesy Fiscalía General de la nación