The story of a Courageous mother
Recently a controversial judgement angered the people of Argentina where all the accused were acquitted by a local court in Tucuman province in a high profile case where a 57 year old mother has been searching her young daughter Marita de los Angeles Veron for the last 10 years and
has even undertaken country wide public awareness campaign against sex traffickers and brothel owners who abducted and forced teenagers and young women into prostitution. Even protesters clashed with the police against the verdict.
Susana Tarimaco, a resident of Tucuman in Argentina fanatically searched for her daughter Marita a mother of three year old daughter did not return home while visiting a nearby doctor on April 13,2002. Informed from various sources including eye witnesses that their daughter might be sold to brothel in La Rioja, a small town, she and her husband Daniel insisted police to take action against brothel owners. Initially reluctant, police raided a bar in La Rioja but Marita was not found. Not deterred by the outcome, Susana visited every bar and brothel across the country posing as a prostitute to find her missing daughter.
She has even sacrificed her personal life also. Her husband Daniel separated from her, fed up with her obsession to find Marita. Police even discouraged her to visit La Rioja as Marita was last located there. Subsequently, media got interested into the matter and took her interviews. Media pressure compelled police to step up raids on bars and brothels. During raids several girls were rescued. Bar owners and sex traffickers even tried to eliminate her on several occasions. After such incidents police protection was arranged for Susana. Meanwhile, anti sex trafficking rallies were organized in the town of La Rioja on regular basis.
In 2007, Susana was awarded an International Women of Courage Award for her initiative to curb sex trafficking. Though her daughter has not been found, despite massive search, she set up a foundation in Marita’s name to rescue and help victims of sex trafficking and lobbying country’s lawmakers to pass a law that would treat human trafficking a Federal (Center) subject and safeguard the future of victims.