Law enforcement officers are making headway in the fight against human trafficking in Peru.
According to Peru21, police have arrested seven people who are suspected of participating in human trafficking activities. The operation took place in several cities across the country where investigators believed human trafficking enterprises were being carried out, including Huánuco, Cusco, and Apurímac.
The traffickers’ victims were women, who were forced to work as prostitutes in Puerto Maldonado. Peru21 reports that the women were lured by false claims of legitimate employment as waitresses in Cusco, where they were told they could earn S/. 3,000 per month. Police told press that the traffickers then robbed their victims of their identification documents and forced them into prostitution. 20 people total were rescued from the human trafficking ring.
Peru21 writes that police were able to capture the traffickers with the help of a young woman who was able to escape from their grasp.
According to the US State Department, Peru is an international hub for human trafficking. Recent reports indicate that Peru is a source, transit point, and destination for victims of the trade; in many cases, victims are used for forced agricultural or mining labor, as well as forced sex work, as described above. Human trafficking is the third most profitable crime worldwide.