The Bogota Metropolitan Police in Colombia have arrested Margarita de Jesus Zapata Moreno, a mother of fourteen, and charged her with selling twelve of her children into prostitution. The police have been investigating the mother for over a year after one of her daughters reported her. According to her daughter, once all of her daughters would reach the age of twelve she would sell their virginity for 300,000 to 400,000 pesos which only equates to around 200 US dollars. She denied all of the charges when she was shown to a crowd in front of the police station (a common occurrence when there is a high profile suspect is arrested in Columbia). The police are still trying to find all of the men to whom her daughters were sold to.
This article not only brings forth to light a heinous crime but shows gross disregard for a basic human rights. “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms” and “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” are both basic rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that were violated when this mother sold her daughters virginity, making them slaves. The article also talks about how in Colombia it is commonplace to show accused criminals to a crowd after their arrest. This is very different than how the process for arrests occurs here in the United States where the motto is “innocent until proven guilty”. It can be assumed that showing the accused is a form of deterrence to keep others from committing similar deviance in fear of the public ridicule. Ultimately, this article shows how this type of crime can affect anyone and that we have a long way to go to protect people around the world from these human indecencies.