Turn on the news these days and what do you see? College campuses turned into “war zones,” fringe radicals fighting in the streets, and professional athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem. But while Americans tear each other apart over what we consider to be injustice and oppression, unspeakable acts of very real abuse are going on all over the world.
Right now, more than 40 million people are enslaved. That’s more than the total number of slaves that existed during the height of the slave trade in the 1700 and 1800’s.
For three years, day after day, she would increase my workload and how much she beat me.
In this continuation of a four-part series, Glenn talks with Zunguri, a former victim of human trafficking in Mexico City. Zunguri endured years of slavery, starvation and unspeakable torture and abuse at the hands of a woman who promised “a stable family and a mother’s love.”
Zunguri first met Leticia Molina Ochoa, the mother of a classmate, when she was eight years old. Leticia and her family owned a dry cleaning shop in Mexico City. She offered Zunguri a place to live in exchange for working in the shop. But little by little, the work increased until her shifts were as long as 20 hours a day.
Then things got even worse
Leticia began to withhold food and water, and then the beatings began. Zunguri was brutally and repeatedly beaten, sometimes with a wrench or hot iron. Ultimately, she was shackled to the plumbing with a chain around her neck and waist.
“She had a surprise for me: a surprise that lasted for more than half a year of my life,” Zunguri told Glenn. “It was a thick chain … she added another around my neck; a very heavy lock so I couldn’t escape.”
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My life is a blank page and I am its only author. This is Zunguri’s story.
Finally, after years of enslavement and savage abuse, Zunguri was able to escape. She has since become an outspoken advocate against human trafficking, telling her heart-wrenching tale to Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York and Pope Francis at the Vatican. She has also traveled to other countries, such as Argentina, where she helps shed light on the terrible crimes being committed in Mexico.
Listen to Zunguri share her story in the video clip above.