Pirambu. It is from slums like this, from
this misery like this, that hundreds of children and teenagers leave each day, in search of
tourists. At home there is no food on the table. On the beaches of Fortaleza there are
plenty of men eager for easy and cheap bodies. Left to themselves, or encouraged by their
parents into prostitution, many children try to survive with what the night of Fortaleza
has to offer; sex and drugs. – hey boy, come here
– What are you doing here at this hour? – I’m looking for cardboard to sleep over
there. – Are you with anyone?
– I’m alone. – How old are you?
– I’m 12 years old – Come here, we want to talk to you.
– Do you know Tatiana? You don’t? – Do you know the girl?
– Yes – Do you know the girl Isabelle?
– Yes, the blonde. – Is she here?
– No? – The judge wants to catch her
– Why? – Because she is here.
– Isabelle wanted to go to the Curamins shelter. But she didn’t because she was with another
boy, who convinced her not to go. Because of that she ended up sleeping on the streets. NGO ‘Curumins’ are trying to rescue some of
these children. But during the humid nights in Northeast Brazil, sleeping on the floor
is the lesser of two evils for the 400 street children of Fortaleza. Homeless, without food
or parental love, they quickly become experts in petty theft, drugs and prostitution.
00:03:16:24 – Do you know any girl or boy that goes out
with the tourists? – I know Isabelle.
– She goes out with them? – And they pay her? How much?
– 50 reais – But she is very young, isn’t she? Do you
know how old she is? – She’s 14.
– She uses her mother’s identity at the motel. On the streets and in newspaper ads, all the
Brazilian women sold to tourists are 18 years old. No more, no less. To avoid the police,
who are now more attentive to child sexual exploitation, documents are falsified and
they avoid the main streets. – How old are you?
– 18 – 18. Are you sure?
– Are you doing business? – Yes
– How much? – 10
– 10? All included? – Yes
– Have you made any today? Not yet? – They only want to give me small change,
like 2 reais. – Who? A taxi driver?
– Yes, a taxi driver. – You aren’t 18.
– Yes, I am 18. – Show me your ID.
– I don’t have it with me. – Do you smoke ash?
– No. – Are you sure?
– Yes, absolutely sure. ZéZé, a member of the NGO CUFA, or the Central
Union of Slums, is making a documentary on the consumption of crack; a mixture of cocaine,
sodium bicarbonate and ammonium. He doesn’t believe Diana. – Why did I ask? Because she has a burnt finger.
We can identify crack users by their burnt fingers.
– How do they burn their fingers? – You saw them smoking at the beach?
– They put it on a can and just smoke it. The crack then breaks. That is why its called
‘crack.’ When the pieces fall on the floor they pick them up with their fingers.
– Its hot… – Yes. They pick it up and put it back on
the can to smoke it. That is how they burn their fingers. Diana cannot stand the heat in the shantytown
of tents. She’s tired of being broke. She sells herself on the streets of Fortaleza.
These pavements were once Juliana’s home. At home she was abused by her father, so swapped
the slum for a piece of ground in the capital of Ceara. -I left home at age 10. My father abused me.
– what did your mother do when she found out? – She didn’t believe me.
– I suffered a lot. – What made you suffer most?
– Being on the streets, not being able to take a bath. What I suffered with most was
being abandoned by my family. Without any protection, Juliana became an
easy target. Guilt brings in crack. Crack brings in guilt. It is a lucrative combination. – I did jobs just to buy drugs.
– How many jobs did you do in a day? Do you remember?
– Around 3. I was encouraged by a friend of mine.
– That friend also lived on the streets? – No she took me to her place to have a bath
and lend me clothes. Sometimes she gave me food. She took me to Ceara, went out with
a man, and told me I didn’t need to do anything. But he asked me to participate, and I did.
He gave us money. Then she took me to a drug point and asked for my money to buy ash. She
said it was mine and hers, that when she got more it would be for both of us.
– She took your money? – I gave it to her and she bought it. She
gave me one and asked if I wanted it. I told her I didn’t know how, she explained it to
me and I did it. It is estimated that every year, 200 thousand
men travel to poor countries in search of sex. Fortaleza is very much on their route.
Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are the most frequent customers. – The Portuguese are very discreet. They usually
stay at the hotel, arrange it over the phone, and ask for a room. They rarely approach girls
on the streets. – They also search for minors?
– Yes The men take away the pleasure, the girls
the money — 3 to 20 euros max. They also take away the guilt. – I slept with a guy, and after we did it
I felt disgusted with my body. I felt like….like I wanted to rip myself apart. Like most children, Christine entered into
this sexual exploitation without realizing what was happening to her. The abuse began
with her father when she was only 7 years old. Her mother turned her back. A clear message
to paedophiles: there is an open door here. – She turned her back on me. She just turned
away. I hate her. If were to choose between my mother and my father, I would choose my
father. Their money was for drink. I had to fend for myself. We never got money to buy
clothes. It was for my sister for her to eat something. I met a guy…
– How old? – I was 12. He was over 60. He was my friend,
he gave me money. I didn’t need to do anything with him. But after a while I was with him
at a motel. If I didn’t see him often, then he’d take me to a motel, beat me, and wouldn’t
give me anything. Any men could touch me and I couldn’t say no.
– Why not? – Because of the beating. This is the story of thousands of poor children
in Brazil. Some come to the office of psychologist Rejiane Alves, who has treated a girl of 9
with syphilis. “Most of the time sexual exploitation starts
with incest. The most common feeling is guilt.” “It was cold, and I felt disgusted. The majority
were drunk, and smelt of rum. It was disgusting.” “In a prejudiced and chauvinistic society
sleeping with girls of 12 or 14,is not understood as exploitation. It is a delicate matter.
People say, ‘she does it because she wants to.’ She is a woman, we can’t tell a woman
what to do.” 18 year old Juliana, and Christine live in
the city hall shelter, ‘Espaco Aquarela.’ It is a confidential place. It is to here
that the court directs teenagers at risk for denouncing their exploiters. The youngest
resident is 13. She has been selling her body from the age of 11. 17 year old Christine
has discovered here the childhood games she never had. – Do you want to have children?
– No, never. – Are you afraid that what happened to you
will happen to them? – I just don’t want to… Visible on the streets, child sexual exploitation
begins indoors, away from public view. Cristine, Juliana and so many other Brazilian teenagers
could be the protagonists of this scene dramatized by volunteers at the Teenage Reference Centre. “All the time, our girls, our children, are
being pulled into that industry. According to the latest data of the Brazilian Geographical
Research, 62% of the population are living below the poverty line. 62% is a lot.” Tourists with euros beckon. The Brazilians
are at their mercy. The women want to escape poverty. The men believe that anything can
be bought. With shelters and training centres in the slums of Pirambu, the Sisters of Redemption
quickly realized that the lack of opportunities turns the tourists into disloyal competition. “We can not say ‘leave that life’, because
it is a job. They go after the foreigners, misled by them, and they get pregnant. The
foreigners make promises, which they believe. For two, three months they send money, and
then? There are 12 year olds who are already working in the square.” The industry is designed so that no law prevents
exploiters from profiting from the misery of Brazil. “Foreigners and also some Brazilians rent
houses on the beach, and taxi drivers take the girls there. They stay there two weeks
of their holiday time. Here they are persecuted. But there they can do it.” Sociologist and photographer, Robson Oliviera,
has studied sexual exploitation for many years and knows that in this industry, profit is
the law. “Drug dealers realise that the prostitute
is the best vendor, because she sells inside the room. She sells it to her clients. Her
partner makes her use the drugs and she gets addicted. For the dealer it is excellent,
because he creates a dependency on the drug and it also creates a system of trafficking.
It makes it impossible for her to denounce him because she also becomes a dealer. The
40 million dollar profit that these Brazilian women mean to the traffic, to the organised
crime, is only sex. It is estimated that this value has increased 4 to 5 times.” Many of the sex tourists don’t come looking
for children, but they are in regular supply — despite the sanctions. “In Brazil, the sexual exploitation of minors
is a crime. Even if the child has consented, if caught with a child younger than 14, the
man will be sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison for abuse. If the child is over 14,
but under 18, he’ll be sentenced to 1 to 4 years for corruption of minors.” There are beach vendors and taxi drivers that
exploit. There are tourists that take advantage. There is a culture that makes it easy. But
if asked who is at fault, Robson says guilt should be shared more evenly. “They are subjected to misery and we are responsible
for that. Yet using their body is partly their own decision, and partly imposed by our society.” The sexual exploitation of children occurs
in 20% of Brazilian counties. Fortaleza, with more complaints registered, is first on the
list: 80% of flights arriving in Caera bring lone men. The police have no doubts as to
the motivation of these tourists. “Some tourists spend 20 to 30 days here in
Fortaleza. They take around 10 girls to their room, sometimes 2 a night. Portuguese, Italians,
Germans, Dutch….” Although rare, cases of imprisonment for sexual
exploitation have increased in Brazil. But the industry knows how to take advantage of
any gap in the legislation. Besides drugs and prostitution, sex tourism also acts as
a gateway for human trafficking. “Most of the Brazilian women are trafficked
to Spain, but also to Italy and Portugal. Trafficking in drugs and weapons is the most
profitable, but the prediction is that in a few years human trafficking will exceed
both. Why? Because the penalties for drugs and arms dealers much more severe. The human
traffic sentences are much lighter.” Rosangela had no idea she was about to enter
the world of trafficking when, at the age of 17, she accepted a job cleaning the house
of a Swiss man, 30 years her senior. “He managed to take all my documents, my ID,
passport etc, and took me with him.” The promise of a better life seduced this
Pataxó Indian. She traded a wedding ring for a tattoo. “He drew an ugly beast on her back and said
that was a wedding. This was the wedding.” The fact that the Swiss was already married
to another Brazilian woman did not make her change her mind. “He married her just to get her a European
visa. He didn’t marry her for love, and he wasn’t living with her. She paid him and they
got married. Living in fear of the police and of being
repatriated or abandoned, Rosangela accepted all the rules, including one banning her from
leaving the house. – Did you feel like a slave?
– A slave? – You couldn’t go out, you had to do what
he wanted to do. – No, I went out with him.
– But you didn’t go out alone? – No, I didn’t go out alone. Not alone. Living illegally in Switzerland made her vulnerable,
someone ready to use and discard – but Rosangela did not want to go back to the poverty of
her village. “He beat me with the children watching. He
set me on fire.” – He set you on fire? How?
“He set my clothes on fire — struck a match and touched me with it. My 6 year old girl
saw it. She remembers it still.” In Porto Seguro, the Swiss man had told Rosangela
that he worked in transport. Only later, in Europe, did she realize that the transport
were women. “He took women from one country to another
to sell themselves. Men paid those women, and they also paid him for bringing them there,
for transporting the women from one country to another. He bought a car, a house, a kiosk,
furniture…he bought everything with that money.” In a village with 92% unemployment, it wasn’t
difficult to convince Rosangela’s mother to let her daughter go to Switzerland. “He said he had a good job for her in a family
home. When she arrives at the airport he is there with two other men — for her to choose
from. My daugher, naïve as she was, left her purse somewhere. She lost her ticket and
her passport.” – She lost it or it was stolen?
– Stolen probably. The youngest daughter of Maria Adalgisa, refused
to exchange her job as a domestic employee for a life of prostitution. She escaped the
trap of human trafficking. Just. “He came on to her, She didn’t accept it,
so he hit her. He kicked her so hard that she was purple, especially her legs. But she
managed to escape out of Switzerland.” Rosangela had two daughters by the Swiss man.
They were abandoned by him three years ago, but the family lives in fear of a possible
return, this time to take the children away. “The first picture of the baby he took, she
was naked. He just wanted to take pictures of the baby’s bottom. He was constantly taking
a photo of the child’s vagina.” – You believe he wants to take the children
away? – Yes
– What for? – Not for a good thing. He could sell them,
make money with them. When the Portuguese first set foot in Brazil
in 1500, they found in these islands a safe harbour. And amongst the people, the Pataxo
Indians, they found hospitality. Nowadays, the Indians of Coroa Vermelha are waging a
daily battle for survival. “We live in a very precarious social state.
The village’s economy is based on the commerce of handicraft. Many families starve. There
isn’t any profit. Nowadays, more than 85% of handicraft is made by non-Indians.” The motto of this chief has been to fight
back. Over the past three years, he has created a internal security system, opened a social
service and arranged training courses. Sonia is the pride of the village’s technicians. ” I looked at myself in the mirror and thought;
is this really me? Everyone offered me money to stay. But I arrived here and made the decision
of my life. I’ve changed.” Sonya started adult life at 12. Now, at 16,
she is married and serves drinks in a beach bar. But she still sheds tears for the past. Those who came looking for me were always
aged around 50 or 60. They like young girls, like us.
– How old? – From 10 onwards. Although decreasing, the poverty of Coroa
Vermelha is fertile ground for sexual exploitation. In most cases, it is child labour that gives
the access to the predatory tourist. “If they go to the streets to sell handicraft,
they go back home without a penny. Many families depend on their children; they make their
children work, because tourists show more sympathy for children.
– How old are they when they begin to sell handicrafts?
– There are children here who are 3,4,5 years old, selling on the beach.”
Then you meet the tourists. Title; Fatiana, 23; has sold herself since
she was 9. “I sold handicrafts.”
– How did you manage to enter a hotel when you were a minor?
– The tourists know us. He talks to the waiter to distract him, and we can enter without
being seen. – Do the waiters and the tourists help you
to get clients? – Yes, the waiter helps. “They take advantage of their innocence to
have a better access. They tell her to sit down. Often they haven’t eaten all day.” – What do you tell your mother when you bring
home more money? – I tell her I was working at the beach, selling
handicraft. ” It is the hunger. If we are lost on a desert,
when we reach the limit, either you eat me, or I eat you. And at that moment, will she
feed her children, or will she ask where it comes from?” Fatiana had to help feed her 10 siblings.
She lost her virginity at 9. Now, at 23, she has three children; all from tourists. Besides
selling herself, Fatiana also became an intermediary in the child sex business. – You get them younger girls, when they ask
for them? – Yes.
– What do you do to know if they are no longer virgins?
– I slip a rope on their neck. If it goes through she is a virgin. If it is stuck at
the crown, she isn’t. I don’t work with virgins. Fatiana is just one of many small scale agents
earning money through child sex. This reporter posed as a sex tourist, looking for a minor.
All he had to do was take a taxi. – Will you help me, if I want a girl for dating?
You can? How? In Porto Seguro? A minor? – Yeah. The police are on top of minors now,
but no worries. Last week I took a young one. – A young one? How old?
– Yes, it was by chance. She was 16. – Did you like her?
– Yes, it was by chance. I didn’t know her. I liked her.
– You drove her? – But I can’t find her anymore. Maybe she
left. I liked her. But there are many girls here.
– Ah you had sex with her? Was it good? – Of course, she was very good. They are really
good, being so young. But there is need of a plan. To know who she likes, who calls….got
it? Its not like a last minute thing, that you pay and get it. You have to wait a few
days. – I have to wait a few days?
– Yes you have to wait. I know all the channels. – How much is it?
– Adult women charge 60 — 80 reais. – And the younger ones?
– There isn’t a specific price. It can range from up to 30. Its cheaper. The receipt of this trip had the name of the
Porto Seguro Taxi Association printed on it. They have just signed a deal with Sentinela,
a Government program, against the sexual exploitation of minors. “There is a financial factor that favours
sexual exploitation. Who ever brings in the child gets something, the hotel reception
gets something — it keeps corrupting people. – And people make money with child abuse?
– Yes, it is a strong network made up of people with buying power. It is a collusion that involves all those
working in tourism. During the day business takes place on the beach. At night, on the
Passarela do Alcool, the most famous street in Porto Seguro. ” You are in a square that has the monopoly
on drug traffic and prostitution with girls of 11 and 12, involving Portuguese, Dutch
and Italians – all part of the sexual abuse of minors. Where there is the European market,
there is prostitution and there are drugs. The European brings this. We want nothing
but this, that any country in the world provides — health, social protection and education.
Our country lacks these. It is very regrettable.” Carlito’s indignation applies to Porto Seguro,
to Fortaleza, to Salvador; some of the most visited cities by sex tourists. Six years
ago, Sylvia Boa-Morte and her team posed as prostitutes in the capital of Bahia. What
they saw haunts her to this day. “The hotels have books with pictures of women,
boys and children. That was six years ago. At this particular 5 star hotel —
-in Salvador? – Yes, in Salvador. This woman went to the
reception with her 8 month old baby. I remember it was a boy. They gave her the number of
a room and she went in there. She left the baby with the tourist and left. If the time
established was one hour, she spent one hour on the street. If it was 2 hours, she would
spend 2 hours on the street. Then she returned, collected her money, picked up her son, and
left.” Sylvia knew that the mothers themselves were
recruiting their own children. But she never imagined the detail and cruelty with which
they planned the child prostitution. ” There was a mother with 2 daughters of 16
and 14, and a boy of 9. The father of the children exploited her. She was a prostitute
in Pelourinho, in Salvador. She made the father take his own children’s virginity, the girls
and the boy, to make them ready to prostitute themselves.” If it is true that tourists turn child abuse
into a desired business, it is also necessary to acknowledge that Brazilians are the first
to take advantage of the misery and innocence of their own children. In Itinga, a slum in
Salvador, the police just closed a home where several children were forced into prostitution. ” It was a woman with three children. They
weren’t related. According to an anonymous tip off, it was a prostitution den.” On the day of this arrest, Itinga was in the
news: a couple had been murdered inside their house. As in Fortaleza, violence is also common
in this slum in Salvador. ” Violence is getting worse in Itinga.” There are also no jobs here. ” I’ve been unemployed for 10 years. There
are many people who have been unemployed for even longer than me. I want a chance!” There is no time or place to dream. – Do you have dreams?
– No, you can’t have any here. All that is left is to survive. All over the
world, two million children are forced to sell their bodies to be able to eat. Instead
of playing, they sell themselves to adults. They pay a high price for survival. “How much is the human body worth? How much
is the innocence of a child worth? How much is an individual of 3 or 4 or 5 years old
worth socially? Who is going to save the lost childhood of a teenager, of a human being?”