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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spain Holds Voodoo Pimps

A little over two weeks ago, Spanish authorities arrested some 23 men following raids on 10 houses in which they seized computer equipment, materials used in Voodoo rituals, and passports. The men are accused of supplying the European sex trade with Nigerian women forced into prostitution by threats of "Voodoo curses." The average age of the girls being trafficked is said to be between 12 and 18 years.

In February, Spanish authorities received a complaint from a Nigerian woman who claimed to have been one of the men's victims. She told police the men practice black magickery and frighten their victims with threats of "destroying their souls" or "making them crazy." Some women were transported by roadway into Libya then smuggled into Italy by boat, while others were approached in European hostels from which they disappeared. Some 150+ girls disappeared from hostels in Europe in 2006 and 2007. About a dozen were recovered; the rest are thought to have fallen prey to human traffickers. The money the girls make prostituting is kept by the criminals until their debt (for smuggling them into the country) is paid. The average cost is just under $70,000.00.

Somewhat ironically, many of the trafficked women were branded witches by their villages, who threw them out of their homes and abandoned them. They were promised high-paying jobs and marriage to good men in Europe, but first had to swear an oath in a cemetery. Their fingernails were cut and pubic hair shaved, then their clothes were seized and a sanitary pad with their menstrual blood was collected. These items were ceremoniously placed in a shrine as "wicked incantations" were recited. The girls were told both they and their families would die, should they try to escape or expose the criminals. So fervent was their belief in this magick that few of the girls would leave their lives as European prostitutes when offered escape.

Some of the girls have sex with as many as 30 men a day in an effort to pay off their debt quicker. Madams encourage this by telling them the sooner they paid-off their debt, the better it is for them and their families.

11 men are awaiting trial in the Netherlands for these very practices, following their arrest in March of this year. Arrests involving Voodoo curses used to force girls into prostitution in Europe date back to at least 2007.

The OddBlog will have more on this and will follow the story closely.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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