Human Trafficking from Venezuela to Trinidad Features in The New York Times

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HUMAN trafficking from Venezuela to Trinidad is featured today in an article in The New York Times.

In focuses on interviews with survivors and the relatives of Venezuelan women who drowned aboard the Jhonnailys José when it capsized in the waters between Venezuela and Trinidad on the night of April 23.

The boat was travelling from Guiria in Venezuela to Chaguaramas in Trinidad.

The article is titled, She Was Duped by Traffickers at 16, Then Shipwrecked.

The article quotes 16-year-old Yoskeili Zurita who was one of the survivors of the ill-fated vessel. She said she was being taken along with more than 30 other women to Trinidad to work as prostitutes. Only nine people were said to have survived.

Hair stylist Yubreilis Merchán, also gave an account of how she survived and was rescued on Patos island – a short distance away from Chacachacare on Trinidad’s northwest peninsular.

A Port-of-Spain bar owner said he pays US$300 to have girls brought from Venezuela to work in his establishment.

The Times reported that he held their passports until they paid back several times what it cost him to bring them to Trinidad.

The article quoted the bar owner: “He explained the arrangement he had with the Venezuelan women conscripted to work under him: He pays a fee to the boatman for their passage, confiscates their passports and returns them only after the women paid several times what he spent to have them smuggled, he said.

“The arrangement worked with the help of the Port-of-Spain police and the Trinidadian Coast Guard, both of which received payments, he said.”

The article by Nicholas Casey, the head of the Andean Bureau of The New York Times, included contributions from Nayrobis Rodríguez in Cumaná, Venezuela, and Prior Beharry in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. Beharry is Editor-in-Chief of AZPNews.

See link to The New York Times story below:



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