TIP Award Year:
It was in 2002 that Marita, her daughter, disappeared. Through eyewitness reports, and rumors, she was able to determine that her daughter had been taken by men who meant to force her into prostitution. Ms. Trimarco then began to hunt relentlessly for her daughter, even going to clubs and brothels dressed as a prostitute in order to investigate, and attempt to find her daughter. Her investigations have allowed her to gain an incredible knowledge of the rings of sex traffickers in Argentina and the surrounding countries. Between 2002, and 2005, she was able to help police successfully prosecute 13 individuals, and rescue 100 women from slavery. She was given a “Women of Courage” Award by the US Department of State in 2007, and was given a Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award for that same reason.
In 2007 and 2008, her lobbying efforts achieved legislation targeted at human trafficking and sex trafficking in Argentina. She started the Maria de los Angeles Foundation in 2007, an organization that helps women and girls who have been kidnapped or trafficked, and attempts to prevent such things from happening. The foundation provides legal assistance, psychological support, and social forms of support as well to victims. The foundation had filed over 800 court cases on behalf of kidnapped girls and women by 2012. It also trains judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement. Hundreds of women have been helped or rescued through the foundation’s efforts. Ms. Trimarco was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to combat trafficking in Argentina. The traffickers who kidnapped her daughter were tried in 2012, but acquitted. However, in 2013, the case was brought back before different judges, who then convicted 10 of the original defendants.
In the 2014 TIP Report, Argentina was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is a source, destination, and transit country for victims of both forced labor and sex trafficking. Many women are trafficked into Argentina for sexual exploitation, and some are trafficked internally. Forced labor is also a problem, and one that the government takes less seriously than sex trafficking.