Peru: 300 women liberated from sex slavery in Amazon

Authorities in Peru say National Police rescued 293 women from sexual exploitation in raids across the country’s Amazonian region of Madre de Dios. At least four people were arrested in the regional capital Puerto Maldonado on suspicion of human trafficking. Among those rescued from about 50 brothels were at least 10 minors—the youngest being a 13-year-old girl. More than 400 police agents took part in the three-day operation across the region, known for its illegal gold mining. Authorities said some of the women were being held against their will in mining camps, while others had been forced to work as prostibares—prostitutes who operate out of bars that line the region’s main road. 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 Madre de Dios. Many were lured to the region with promises of work in shops or as domestic helpers, only to find themselves forced to work as prostitutes. (BBC News, Oct. 4; Crónica Viva, Lima, EFE, Oct. 3)

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