Meet Karla Jacinto – the Mexican woman who was victim to human trafficking and constant sexual assault for 4 years straight. Read her heartfelt and compelling story below.

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Karla Jacinto was just 12 years old when she was preyed upon by hungry human-traffickers in Mexico City, Mexico. She was forced to work with 30 customers a day, for 7 days a week, for 4 years straight. The sum adds up to be 43,200 – the number haunting Karla throughout her life for the amount of times she was raped.

The first trafficker lured her away by using his kind words towards the vulnerable little girl as well as with a fast car. She says she was approached by a little boy who came to her selling sweets and telling her someone was sending her a piece of candy as a gift. Five minutes later, there was an older man talking to her, who said he was a used car salesman. The man related to Karla in a similar way when they both found out one another had been abused as a child.

The two exchanged phone numbers and when he came calling a week later, she was excited. He asked Karla to go on a roadtrip with him to Puebla, and picked her up in a bright red Firebird Trans Am.

“When I saw the car I couldn’t believe it. I was very impressed by such a big car. It was exciting for me. He asked me to get in the car to go places

The man was 22, 10 years older than Karla, and had convinced the innocent girl to leave with him – which she was not reluctant to do after her mother locked her out of the house for coming home too late one night.

“The following day I left with him. I lived with him for three months during which he treated me very well. He loved on me, he bought me clothes, gave me attention, bought me shoes, flowers, chocolates, everything was beautiful.”

But there were also suspicious signs everywhere Karla was. Karla says her then boyfriend would leave her home alone in the apartment for a week, and than show up with his cousins who always brought home different girls. When she finally worked up the courage to ask what was going on she got the truth: “They’re pimps,” the boyfriend said. Karla states:

“A few days later he started telling me everything I had to do; the positions, how much I need to charge, the things I had to do with the client and for how long, how I was to treat them and how I had to talk to them so that they would give me more money.”

The first time Karla was forced to work was in Guadalajara, a city known for it’s prostitution ring:

“I started at 10 a.m. and finished at midnight. We were in Guadalajara for a week. Do the math. Twenty per day for a week. Some men would laugh at me because I was crying. I had to close my eyes so that that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn’t feel anything,” Karla states.

In addition, there were several other cities, brothels, hotels, motels, homes and well known streets for prostitutes. After just her first few days “working”, Karla was to see 30 customers a day, 7 days a week.

Karla also iterates how her boyfriend abused her after a customer gave her a hickey:

“He started beating me with a chain in all of my body. He punched me with his fists, he kicked me, pulled my hair, spit at me in the face, and that day was when he also burned me with the iron. I told him I wanted to leave and he was accusing me of falling in love with a customer. He told me I like being a whore.”

A sense of false hope came one day, when police showed up at a well known site for prostitutes, where Karla was working. A police op showed up to rescue all the girls, or so they thought. The feeling of rescue quickly vanished when police officers took them into a private room and started filming them in compromising positions. Every girl was told the videos would be sent to their families if they did not cooperate.

“I thought they were disgusting. They knew we were minors. We were not even developed. We had sad faces. There were girls who were only 10 years old. There were girls who were crying. They told the officers they were minors and nobody paid attention.”

Karla was 13 years old at the time.

At 15 years old, Karla gave birth to a baby girl – who was taken from her. The baby was fathered by the pimp in charge of her and if Karla would not obey the rules he would threaten to harm the infant, or kill it.

Karla’s daughter was taken from her at only a month old and she would not be able to see it for another year.

At the culmination of the heinous tormenting four years in Karla’s adolescence, she was finally rescued in 2008 at 16 years old.

The United Against Human Trafficking group supports Karla’s story, but all the fine details were not able to be released due to the gruesome knowledge of Karla’s history.

Karla is now 23 years old and speaks out against human trafficking at events and seminars. Karla even went to visit Pope Francis this past July and has a message for everybody to hear:

“These minors are being abducted, lured, and yanked away from their families. Don’t just listen to me. You need to learn about what happened to me and take the blindfold off your eyes.”

Karla encourages us to help end human trafficking by donating to foundations aiding in solving the problem.