December 12, 2013
Salvador mazza leader carlos villalbaFriday, August 16, 2013
Salta town mayor arrested during brothel raid
A Salta mayor was arrested yesterday during a raid on a brothel, when 64 women were rescued from a sexual trafficking network in the northern province.
Salvador Mazza Mayor Carlos Villalba was arrested yesterday during the raid ordered by a federal judge as part of an investigation into human trafficking. Court sources said that Villalba was under suspicion for allegedly helping with the transfer of three women from Jujuy to Salta and for allegedly being linked to traffic networks.
The mayor said that he believed he was at a family home where there were men and women when he was arrested, not in a brothel. He alleged that men in the house were simply “businessmen”.
The head of the municipality was then released and denied the accusations against him. The mayor of a city near the border with Bolivia, Villalba highlighted that he had only been detained for police background checks.
Agents from the AFIP tax bureau, the federal police and the airport security police took part in the raid, which was ordered by Federal Judge Miguel Medina, who is leading an investigation to break apart a sex trafficking network. Salta’s Human Rights Minister María Pace said that thirty of the rescued women would be taken to a provincial shelter dedicated to women victims of gender violence
The official highlighted that she did not know if the women had been kidnapped, but she said that all of them were victims of sexual exploitation. Pace rejected the mayor’s claims, and said that a criminal investigation should determine his responsibility.
According to Pace, prostitution follows the law of supply and demand. She added: “It is deplorable that someone who is supposed to work against women’s exploitation ends up strengthening it.”
The regional AFIP tax bureau’s representative, Javier Resnick Brenner, explained that the investigation that led to the detentions — including the mayor’s arrest — began in 2010 and was recently re-activated. Clues appeared at the Paso de Sico Customs, in the border area with Chile, where it was detected that women entered frequently. Then, AFIP tax agency’s inspector realized that women were forced to prostitute themselves, following orders of three procurers.
In the raid, large amounts of money and drugs were also found.
Herald with DyN