Susana Trimarco was recently confirmed as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition for her fight against human trafficking in Argentina. The mother of Maria of Los Angeles (Marita) Veron, who disappeared nine years ago, Trimarco said to LV7 Tucumán Radio that the recognition gives her a “flood of emotion and force. I am content but on the other hand sad. Thus it is my life, but I must come out ahead.”
Who is Susana Trimarco?
Susana Trimarco is the mother of Marita Veron, a young Argentinean who was kidnapped in Tucumán on April 3, 2002 and apparently forced into prostitution. Marita’s baby girl was only two years old when her mom went to a gynecologist appointment. They never met again. According to a witness, Marita was pulled into a red car and gone forever.
Susana Trimarco was devastated and turned to raising her granddaughter. But she also felt that she couldn’t just wait for the police to find her daughter, so she began visiting brothels dressed as a prostitute, trying to find Marita.
All her investigation was risky and very hard. She received threats and was given false clues in order to mislead her search. But her work lead to the release of other women deprived of their liberty. Still, her daughter was never found.
Nobel Peace Prize: Recognition of Susana Trimarco’s work
In the ensuing years, Trimarco’s tireless work against human trafficking has earned her numerous awards and recognition:
- In 2008, Trimarco’s efforts led to Argentine legislation to prohibit human trafficking, and as a consequence 3,000 people were rescued from human traffickers in Argentina.
- In 2007, on International Women’s Day, the U.S. Department of State honored Trimarco with the International Women of Courage Award.
- Also in 2007, the Argentinean National Senate honored Trimarco with the Domingo Faustino Sarmiento award for her labor in promotion of human rights.
- In 2012, Susana Trimarco testified at the trial of 13 people, including police officers, who were accused of kidnapping Marita Veron and selling her to human traffickers.
- Also in 2012, Canada honored Trimarco with the John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award.
Human trafficking in Argentina
Human trafficking refers to the illegal trade in persons in any form, but often for purposes like sexual exploitation. This is a crime against humanity and violates human rights.
To fight this internationally, there is a United Nations international protocol against human trafficking signed by 117 different countries, among them Argentina, to prevent and combat human trafficking and to assist and protect the victims of it.
In Argentina this crime is punishable by law, but sadly, it still goes on. An important milestone in the fight against human trafficking was the enactment of Law number 26.364, which tries to achieve the goals of the U.N. protocol. Also, as a way to prevent trafficking, in 2011 the Argentine government banned any kind of explicit publication of sexual solicitation in the newspapers.
The Maria de Los Angeles Foundation
In 2007, Susana Trimarco founded the Foundation of Maria of the Angeles in order to rescue kidnapped girls in Argentina. It is a nonprofit organization that assists and offers free legal assistance to victims of sexual exploitation. They also provide them with counseling for victims and families, and social assistance. This foundation has achieved the filing of more than 800 court cases, and has rescued about 400 women and girls who were kidnapped and forced to work as prostitutes.
Susana Trimarco, the mother
Susana Trimarco dressed as a prostitute and investigated in disguise trying to get any information on the fate of her daughter.
Although she has not been successful in rescuing her daughter, nothing has deterred her. Trimarco is still searching for Marita diligently as the day she started, more than 10 years ago. In an intimate interview in Cinco Web, Trimarco speaks of how long her days are since Marita’s disappearance, her solitude, her fear, and her efforts to find her daughter and other girls like her who disappeared in plain sight.
Trimarco says that she does not accept “No” as an answer. She is not satisfied with the Argentinean government’s efforts against human trafficking, and she feels that her foundation is desperately needed to help these kidnapped girls. She has received death threats… but nothing stops her. Like any mother, she won’t stop until her daughter is back home.
Last news on Marita Verón’s daughter
The daughter of Marita Verón, Micaela Catalán Verón, aged 13, participated in a spot advertising against human trafficking. She told Radio Independiente (Argentina) she is very happy with the repercussion the video has had in the social networks.