Monday, January 30, 2012

Argentine woman prepares to tell all on her father - and his business associates - in sex, human trafficking ring

"Ex-spy" supposedly controls the sex-for-hire racket in Cancún . . .

The daughter of a former Argentine spy will travel to Mexico City this week to hang out the dirty laundry on her father, a former agent of that country's state intelligence service. If her claims are true, more than a few must be sweating in anticipation, including government officials in both countries.

Lorena Martins, 35, plans to testify before the Special Commission Against Human Trafficking of Mexico's lower legislative body, the Cámara de Diputados, which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives. She says that her father, Raúl Martins, who once worked as an agent for Argentina's Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado (State Intelligence Dept.), runs a prostitution ring which "imports" women to Mexico.

Ms. Martins plans to back up her claims with ample evidence, she says, including calenders, cell phone records, e-mails and other documents. She alleges that her father, who lives in Mexico, is well-connected with businessmen, politicians and government officials here, and that Buenos Aires police and Argentine intelligence service officials are also involved in the ring, together with "many other people." In addition to the testimony she will deliver to the civil commission, she has turned over evidence to Mexican federal prosecutors who could file criminal charges.

A Mexican legislator who is following the case and supports Martins' planned exposé has demanded that Raúl Martins be expelled from the country. "It's terrible there are people like this, who bring women from another country to be enslaved in Mexico," she says.

Ms. Martin claims the Argentine women are promised jobs as office receptionists, bar and restaurant workers or models, their travel costs to Mexico are paid, accommodations are arranged and they're guaranteed visas and work documents. But once here the support network is pulled, and the women are forced into providing sexual services to survive.

The Mexican press has widely reported that Raúl Martins controls prostitution in Cancún and adjacent areas of Mexico's Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast, in Quintana Roo state. In 2007, Cancún authorities shut down a nightclub owned by Martins, "The One," which allegedly was a front for the sex trade. Lorena Martins says that her father's business also runs a prostitution network in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital.

Read the latest update to this story here:

Was Mexico's immigration agency involved?:

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