REVEALED: 12 Main Routes used by Human Traffickers, to move captured victims

SUCRE, Bolivia – The expert Mabel Lozano, a Spanish researcher and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela and Panama are characterized as the main countries where the human trafficking victims are taken from, and then moved abroad.

Mabel Lozano (researcher and filmmaker), presented last month in Bolivia the documentary “El Proxeneta”, which was based on an interview with an ex-pimp who took at least 2,000 women from South America and other regions of the world to Spain and Europe. Lozano agrees with the UNODC, stating that the most usual routes to attract and transfer people are those that are graphed in the image, in addition, they are found in the Global Trafficking in Persons Report 2018, in this document of 570 routes in the world, according to Interpol, but there are 12 that have the highest frequency.


Source: UNODC and researcher Mabel Lozano


The 12 routes mentioned above, are characterized by being areas where women are in a maximum state of vulnerability. The dynamics are usually the same, the trafficker arrives at the victim’s place of origin, makes contact with the victim or people surrounding the place and then captures adolescents and young people with false promises and is transferred to another place.

The UNODC report states that 49% of trafficking victims in the world are women, 23% girls, 21% boys and 7% boys.

In addition, a report from the Integral Assistance of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation (APRAMP) indicates that up to 2014 they treated 32 Bolivian women who were subjected to sexual exploitation (after that, no other census was taken). However, Lozano believes that “one in 10 sex trafficking victims in Spain can be Bolivian, despite the fact that now more Venezuelans and Romanians are entering.”

It also reveals the precariousness of the situation that they have on the borders of Paraguay, where, on the Libertad bridge, which is a triple border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, people pass easily and with little control. The same happens in Bolivia, in the sector of Desaguadero, which according to the Migration Service, this area is used by some traffickers. “Last year, 28 traffickers were detected and a majority of cases occurred in Desaguadero and Villazón,” said the director of the Migration Service.

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