Sunday, October 17

The goddess of brothels: magic as coercion for sexual exploitation | Blog Women



Pomba Gira is the name of a rebellious Afro-Brazilian spirit that is often revered by pimps and traffickers to prevent women from leaving brothels. The “goddess of brothels” is invoked with a call: “Laroie Pomba Gira, beautiful lady of the night, I call you and invoke you to work for me.” Devout prostituted women feel, on the one hand, the fear that something will happen to them if they decide to escape or change their lifestyle, but they also go for protection. To this pagan figure it is necessary to leave offerings to make it work, things that are usually in a brothel, such as gin, champagne, wine, tied with cigarettes, underwear or surround her with glasses of liquor, which was precisely how the agents of the UCRIF (Unit Against Immigration Networks and Documentary Falsehoods) when they entered that brothel chalet on the outskirts of Lorca (Murcia) and opened one of the closed doors. The researchers did not leave their amazement when they saw an entire room dedicated as a Santeria altar, where the Pomba Gira occupied a position of honor.

For days they had received an anonymous complaint through the free telephone number of the Service for Attention to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings (900 105 090), which highlighted the existence in the city of Lorca of a criminal network led by a woman of Brazilian origin, which, helped by other people, formed a criminal organization dedicated to the sexual and labor exploitation of women and minors, as well as drug trafficking, criminal actions that were carried out in two different locations that the organization ran: a chalet converted into a brothel on the outskirts of Lorca and a cafeteria in the center of the city that served them to attract women who were later referred to the brothel.

When the policemen crossed the threshold of that room, in addition to the offerings to the goddess, the room had other divinities such as Chango, the god of thunder, virility, dance and fire; It was also full of candles and human figures representative of wills or desires, heads of sacrificed animals, rag dolls of different sizes, some of them inside glass vases and symbolizing some ritual, feathers and animal horns, all on altars covered in red satin fabric. Also, it had the walls painted red. A daunting and chilling image that made researchers suppose what all those rituals were used for: white magic, black magic, animal sacrifices practiced by santeros masters as coercion for women of Brazilian origin, Latin women where these practices are deeply rooted in the society. A coercive measure similar to what voodoo or yuyu represents for sub-Saharan women. Thus the pimps win the obedience, the confidentiality and the fidelity of the women, who do not dare to protest, much less to denounce their exploiters.

From babysitter to slave

Adriana’s story is that of many other women. They came to our country from places of poverty with the hope of a better life, without imagining that from the first step they would become victims of trafficking, of sexual exploitation, that their bodies would be in the hands of greedy pimps who would rent them over and over again. Although in the case of this young Brazilian, the victimizer was a woman, also a Brazilian who called herself Ani, and who offered her compatriot a babysitting job in Lorca.

Upon her arrival, she was taken to that house where they told her that she had to practice prostitution to pay the debt of 2,000 euros for the plane ticket that had been anticipated, a debt that was increasing since she had to pay for the club’s accommodation or “daily” , plus the fines imposed for breaking the house rules, which made his commitment grow daily and was impossible to pay.

Adriana could not leave this place, but there they brought her everything she might need, such as lubricants, condoms, and lingerie, to practice prostitution. It was Ani herself who bought it, because everything was discounted from the passes with the male prostitutes for whom it had to be available 24 hours. On one occasion, Adriana disobeyed her pimp and they, at night, opened the door where the young woman had never been. Once inside, Ani placed the photo of Adriana’s young son next to the head of a bug while she was performing a satanic spell. The young woman was very afraid and was aware that she could not escape from that place. On another occasion, in order to coerce and scare her, the pimp took her to a master santero outside the brothel, a man covered in gold necklaces, because for goddesses, offerings are everyday things, but to them, however, they are He gives them the precious metal, because it cleans, they say.

Adriana spent three months in that hell from which she could not escape until all her debt was paid. But, one night, she found her plane ticket and her passport realizing that she had been cheated on for too long, because the ticket had really cost much less than what she was being made to pay with her body and soul. That was the trigger for the young woman to flee from that place where they sacrificed animals, celebrated black masses and performed witchcraft to prevent the women from escaping because, despite the fact that that room was locked, they had all seen the altars and altars from the door. rituals that scared them so much.

Thanks to his complaint, his bravery and courage fell into this network of human exploitation and the agents of the Murcia UCRIF rescued 10 foreign women, most of them in an irregular situation in our country and with minors in their care in their countries of origin, for they are forced into prostitution in conditions of extreme exploitation due to their personal and economic vulnerability.


elpais.com

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