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We just found some amazing bizarre video of an airport search in Brazil. A woman tried to get an eleven year old boy onto a flight by shoving him in her suitcase.
Fellow passengers waiting to board a flight from Rio de Janeiro noticed a small hand poking out of one of the woman’s suitcases, and authorities stopped her to investigate.
When the woman was asked some simple questions, she seemed evasive and nervous. Authorities pulled the woman, Natasha Vitoriano Souto, aside and then escorted her to a small room. When they unzipped her suitcase, out popped an 11year old boy wearing a tee shirt and shorts.
Souto was detained and questioned about the boy and what she was planning to do. She told police, “I was going to take him to my house. I found him in the street in Botafogo near the traffic lights. He asked me “for the love of God, adopt me please.”
She went on to describe his alleged living conditions, saying “His mother is dependent on drugs. He was adopted for a year with a family and they abandoned on the street as if he was nothing.”
She also claimed the boy had been abused.
Since being discovered, the child has been placed into the care of the Guardianship Council.
In a statement to the media issued by the police, Ms. Souto has yet to be charged with any crimes, but that the penalty for False Imprisonment of a Child, the likely charge, carries with it a sentence of from two to six years in prison.
While it is still unclear what the woman’s motives and intentions were, the video shines an important light on the extremely serious issue of human trafficking in Brazil.
Women and children are the most vulnerable because of lax laws and enforcement concerning their civil rights. They also have the most value in regard to sex enslavement, a major factor driving human trafficking in general. There is also a significant international trade for forced sex workers, driven largely by Russian interests. There is also extensive forced labor in the hospitality industry for both women and minors in more urban centers.
However men can also become trapped and used as forced labor in Brazil. Often lured by the promise of good pay, many men relocate to a new area and are quickly pressed into work in agricultural areas as farm labor or in mines, and in logging. Estimates put the number as high as twenty five thousand men may be working as slaves in Brazil.
The United States State Department concludes “The Government of Brazil does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking…”
In addition to forced labor and human trafficking, Brazil is also well known for it extraordinarily high level of kidnappings and ransoming. It is an extremely common occurrence in Brazil for businessmen and foreign travelers to be kidnapped and held for ransom. It is so common in fact that it almost has the air of a legitimate business transaction in many cases, but is nonetheless a serious and potentially violent crime that Brazil has yet to address effectively.
What do you think of this video? Is the woman just nuts? Was her heart in the right place and just didn’t think things through? Or was she a criminal? Share your ideas here.
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