Police: Colombia Mother Prostitutes Children for Money

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 07:18 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Colombian police have arrested a 45-year-old woman and charged her with selling her daughters’ virginity for approximately $200, CNN reported.  

Bogota Metropolitan Police say that Margarita de Jesus Zapata Moreno, a mother of 14, began selling her 12 daughters to men when the girls reached age 12.

Zapata was arrested along with a 51-year-old contractor suspected of impregnating one of her daughters. Police say they learned of the abuse when one daughter had a baby at age 14 after refusing her mother’s order to have an abortion.

“She was a minor and she still had the courage to report the abuse and also to refuse to have an abortion. That’s when the investigation started — from the threats of her own mother,” said Col. Carlos Melendez, a Bogota Metropolitan Police spokesman.

Police also said that Zapata forced her daughters to abuse drugs and drink alcohol, and that some became prostitutes and have gone missing. Only her youngest children — a nine-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy — were not forced into prostitution, authorities said.

Zapata denies the charges.

If convicted, she faces 10 years in prison, the New York Daily News reported.

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