Hiding in Plain Sight, Helping Hands Reach Mexican Trafficking Victims

3/16/16 New York Times 

Prostitute_tjNEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After more than two decades of working as a prostitute in Mexico City, Esperanza Escobar found salvation in a most unexpected place.

She regularly visited a hair salon in the heart of La Merced, the city’s tough red light district, where she would take a break from days when she might have as many as 60 clients wanting sex.

The hair salon, which treated women like Escobar kindly and keeps them coming back with rock-bottom prices, is in fact a front for a charitable operation aimed at rescuing sex workers and giving them the chance at new lives.

“In visiting the salon I had gone to for three months, I thought I was going in for a cut and dry,” Escobar, 53, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“I ended up escaping a life in which everyone treated me like a dog, thanks to the help of the undercover activists,” she said.\

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