In an effort to make ends meet, a Colombian mother is accused of selling the virginity of 12 of her daughters in order to make ends meet. Another daughter, a 9-year-old, was able to escape the abuse.
Margarita Zapata Moreno, 45, is facing charges in Bogota for charging men who had a favorable financial situation about $300 per minor to take their virginity. She and a 51-year-old contractor, Tito Cornelio Daza, were both arrested when he was accused of impregnating Moreno’s 14-year-old daughter. The issue came to light when the girl refused to get an abortion and came forward to the authorities.
Police said Moreno plied the girls with drugs and alcohol to get them to comply. She began prostituting her daughters at the age of 12. As a result, many of her daughters now use drugs and alcohol and live on the streets as prostitutes.
Colonel Carlos Melendez, a Bogota Metropolitan Police spokesman, told CNN affiliate Caracol TV the young girl described to investigators the “hell” in which she lived when she was still a prepubescent girl, about being forced to have sex with much older men in her home and about a life of abuse and neglect.
“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,” Melendez said.
Daza and Zapata deny the daughter’s accusations; however, they could face up to 25 years in prison should they be found guilty. Moreno also has a 11-year-old son. These two children have been placed in the custody of a Colombian government child protection agency.
Earlier this month, the National Medicine Institute reported 11,333 cases of sexual violence against minors in Colombia since January of this year. According to El Tiemp, 83% of the victims were girls.