Argentine Woman Fights Trafficking with Indomitable Hope
Washington -- It is hope and courage that have sustained Susana Trimarco de Veron ever since she launched the search for her 23-year-old daughter Marita, who was kidnapped in April 2002. Trimarco de Veron has ventured into dangerous places and situations in the past five years to find her daughter, who is believed to have been snatched by human traffickers just a block away from her home in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.
(PressZoom) - Washington -- It is hope and courage that have sustained Susana Trimarco de Veron ever since she launched the search for her 23-year-old daughter Marita, who was kidnapped in April 2002.
Trimarco de Veron has ventured into dangerous places and situations in the past five years to find her daughter, who is believed to have been snatched by human traffickers just a block away from her home in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.
False leads and death threats could not stop Trimarco de Veron, and in her passionate search she was able to find and save more than 100 girls from the bondage of human traffickers -- but not her beloved Marita.
Trimarco de Veron formed a network of concerned mothers of missing children and worked to establish a shelter for abused women.Â Her efforts did not go unnoticed, and in March she was among 10 women to be the first presented with the International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State. (See related article.)
At the awards ceremony in Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the women for their “dedication, commitment and passion” in work that is transforming societies and inspiring the international community.
That award helped to highlight Argentina’s human trafficking problem, and Trimarco de Veron’s work in particular.Â Weeks after she received the award, the Argentine government gave her a small grant to help pay the legal costs of obtaining juridical status for her anti-trafficking in persons foundation, known as Maria de los Angeles.
The purpose of the foundation is to continue investigations into human trafficking; provide assistance to trafficking victims until they are ready to be reintegrated into their communities or start new lives elsewhere; advocate for stronger government policies to combat human trafficking on behalf of mothers who have lost children to modern-day slavery; and raise awareness of the problem through media outreach and training to judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials.
The higher public profile gave Trimarco de Veron an opportunity to meet with Argentine Minister of Justice Alberto Irabarne, Minister of Interior Anibal Fernandez and other officials throughout the country to discuss the need for stronger anti-trafficking measures.
Renewed media interest in Trimarco de Veron’s cause allowed her to make at least one appearance on Argentine national television, and a filmmaker is making a documentary on her case.
Speaking with Laura Santillan for an interview published May 6 on Clarin.com, Trimarco de Veron said she never imagined the United States would recognize her for her anti-trafficking fight.Â (See related article.)
The United States is recognizing Trimarco de Veron’s courage once again in its 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report, where she will be acknowledged as one of the State Department’s eight “Heroes Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery.”
The “heroes” designation began with the Trafficking in Persons Report for 2004, under then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, to recognize ordinary people who have done extraordinary work to combat modern-day slavery.Â Since then, each year the State Department has identified in the report individuals who have shown great courage in the face of adversity in fighting this worldwide problem.
Trimarco de Veron told Santillan that she protected the girls she rescued, as she would like to do with her own daughter.Â She remains ever hopeful that one day soon she will find her daughter so that mother, daughter and young granddaughter Micaela will be reunited.
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