The sex slaves next door: New form of trafficking invades US Latino residential brothels adopt sophisticated camouflage to elude authorities Cristina was just 24 years-old, living in a rural farming village in Mexico, when Amador Cortes-Meza told her he was falling in love with her. He promised her marriage and a good job, and then brought her to the United States. But when she arrived in the Atlanta area, he physically abused her and forced her to work as a prostitute. That's when I realized he was not telling me the truth, said Cristina (not her real name). A man who loves a woman would not make them do that. I lived under his humiliation, I lived under the beatings, under the fear, there was nothing I could do. She is an example of an insidious form of slavery spreading across the United States prostitution operations that traffic in women and children from Latin America. In these operations, closed-network houses of prostitution cater to customers of a specific race or ethnicity, in this case, Hispanic women and Hispanic customers. One nonprofit anti-trafficking group labels them Latino Residential Brothels, or LRBs. What separates them from other sex-trafficking operations, experts say, is their sophisticated camouflage and adherence to a simple business plan, used from coast to coast with cold efficiency. The operators set up shop in average neighborhoods and use coded advertisements and word of mouth to attract specific customers. An underground growth industry The Latino brothels rely on what amounts to slavery. Women and, in some cases, girls held captive, denied choice, denied freedom of movement, denied dignity, their bodies sold by someone else for sex. Interviews with law enforcement and advocacy groups and independent research has found that Latino residential brothels have spread to at least 25 states and Washington, D.C. over the past 20 years. The stories told to law enforcement or support organizations by women and girls who have lived through the brothel experience are often similar. Many times they begin in small rural towns in Latin America, where girls as young as 13 are approached by men or women who promise to set them up with good jobs as waitresses, housecleaners or cooks in the United States. Sometimes victims are courted or married by the men. Once they agree to seek a better life, they are sent off with coyotes and smuggled into the United States. But when they arrive, there is no job, merely a debt they owe their smugglers, usually $2,000 to $3,000. They are told they will have to work as prostitutes to pay it off. The debt can bean elusive target. Many sex ring operators add charges for rent and food to ensure victims remain under their control for many years. Read more and follow the sex trade map to the US: The sex slaves next door - US news - Enslaved in America - msnbc.com ------------------------------------------------------------- How long will it be before American women and children will be used for this disgusting Latino practice?