Yuki Tanaka on sexual violence by the occupational force
Since the greater part of Tokyo had been incinerated in the air raids, initially there were not many areas where comfort facilities could be provided. In the latter part of September, Do. Yosano Mitsuru, the head of the municipal government's hygiene department was summoned by GHQ and asked to help apportion the prostitutes into separate districts to be reserved for use by U.S. (the emphasis mine) Officers, white enlisted men and black enlisted men. Inially, women designated for use by black soldiers were said to have been horrified---until they discovered that many black GIs treated them more kindly than the white did. ....
Such "recreation and amusement" center expanded rapidly in Tokyo---there were soon thirty-three by one count----and spread almost as quickly to some twenty other cities. Not surprisingly, they proved popular among U.S. servicemen. They were , among other things,inexpensive. The prices for a short visit with an R.A.A prostitutes was 15yen, or one dollar---about the same as half as a pack of cigarettes on the Japanese market. Two or three times that amount purchased an entire night of personal diplomacy. Although these services did not prevent rape and assault*, the incidence of rape remained relatively low given the huge size of the occupation force....
Despite its popularity and initial support form the victors, the R.A.A (Recreation and Amusement Association) didn't survive the early months of the occupation. In January 1946, occupation authority ordered the abolition of all "public" prositituion, ....Privately they acknowledged that their major motivation was an alarming rise in venereal disease among the troops. ....It was largely to combat such diseases that the first U.S patents for penicillin were sold to Japanese companies in April of that year.(page130)....
Ending formal public prostitution did not, of course, mean the end of prositituion itself. The trade simply carried our more privately---(page131)
According to one calculation, the number of rapes and assaults on Japanese women amounted to around 40 daily while R.A.A. was in operation and then rose an average of 330 a day after it was terminated in early 1946.page 579
Embracing Defeat/John W. Dower
During a 12-day period extending from August 30 to September 10, 1949, the Japanese government reported 1,326 rapes , in Kanagawa prefecture alone, the the authorities at GHQ. This topic is discussed in detail in Gifts from the Vanquished by Masayo Duuns(page 170)
(Haisyakarano okurimono Tokyo Koudanshya bunko 1995p78ff) via The Nanking Massacre: Fact versus Fiction page 346
See also A town and prostitutes (in Korea)/kalaniosullivan.com
Otoki's words made an even stronger impression than her appearance.
"Of course it's bad to be a hooker. But without relatives or jobs due to the war disaster, how are we supposed to live? ...There aren't many of us who do this because we like it."(page 124
An eighteen-year-old in Kyoto told of how, while attending a dressmaking school in Nara the previous year, she had lost her virginity to a young GI in a park on a summer night, Several months later, after their romantic liaison broke up, she decided almost casually to become a prostitute and moved to Kyoto to do so. Most of her customers were GIs.page 134
It is quite easy to accuse USA of "the issue of Japanese comfort for GIs" in Japan, for that matter in Korea after the independence on the same ground that Korea blame Japan.
All you need is to collect 20 testimonies from the former Japanese comfort women.
You don't have to check who they really were, whether the story they would tell is truth or not. All you need is to get testimony someone in what looked like US soldier's clothes, according to the testimony made more than 50 year later, forcibly took four women away to the comfort station.
That is how the testimony of Korean comfort women were collected.
Does the US order to stop the official prostitutes matter? Japanese troop ordered to regulate illegal pimps ,Korean or Japanese and punished them. What is the big difference?
Every other official evidence point to the direction that they are recruited on a voluntary basis---Does that matter? The fact there are voluntary prostitutes does not mean there were no forced prostitutes---even if the rest of evidence show there were no force used, Look at the rate of rape by GIs. and we have testimony. Don't you want to believe the testimony ?because that was made more than 50 years later assisted by our researcher? because they were inconsistent with facts?;That is because they scarecely remember the detail ---you know---they repressed the memory out of the agony. Hey, Don't try to whitewash history! Face it . It should be taught at your school. Historical accuracy? Don't make me laugh. International relation is more important , isn't it. Look , though they remember the detail so faintly that they could not confess without the help of our knowledge about it, it is insulting to say they were telling lies; they testified after all with our encouragement that they suffered terribly You are the denier of the Asian Holocaust!! You are an expansionist. You are an Imperialist, You have been exploiting Asian women! Just put your word into action!
It might be a good idea Japan and Korea unite this time to protest against USA. We have finally found something in common!
But does Japanese government want to do that? --- I hope not,--- even if many Japanese reacted keenly to anti-Japan campaigns in China and South Korea and as a result they have become sulky and angry , even if Kono's statement was the result of putting priority to international relation before historical accuracy and it was result of a tacit agreement with Korea that Korea would not raise historical issues again .
Yet, I am not so sure. Pro-American sentiment is not invincible even in Japan.
- 6 -
広島県警の歴史 全警察官が慰安婦募集に、慰安所は押すな押すなの盛況 「まことに残念なことではあるが、占領軍人にたいする性的慰安施設を設営するという幇間（ほうかん）まがいの仕事を警察がせねばならなかったのである」
兵庫県警察史 警部・警部補が遊女屋の設営作戦「保安課の任務は何か？ 外でもないそれは８月１８日に内務省が発した『占領軍の進駐時に合うように進駐軍将兵用慰安施設の設営を急げ』という緊急指令を実行する事であった。内務省の指令は、いわば性の防波堤を築こうというわけである」共産党
The Japanese government initially organised a Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA) to fill the brothels, a venture encouraged by the occupiers. The Australian military was no stranger to such arrangements, having run supervised brothels in the Middle East. (Tanaka 2002: 93)
But the RAA didn’t survive very long. In January, 1946 occupation officials ordered the abolition of all ‘public’ prostitution, amidst genuflections to democracy and human rights. ‘Privately they acknowledge their major motivation was an alarming rise in venereal disease among the troops.’ Prostitution continued as part of the black market, often organised by Yakuza gangsters or fascist groups. Returned Services League blowhard Bruce Ruxton was stating hard facts when he said that in the eyes of occupation troops, Japan became ‘one big brothel’. (Dower 1999: 130 (quote); Tanaka 2002: 138-140; ‘RSL Denies Mass Rape in Occupied Japan, The Australian, 24 September 1993 CHECK)
Ruxton was trying to dismiss rape claims, but in fact rapists flourished in the ‘one big brothel’. According to historian Oshiro Masayasu, when US marines landed on Okinawa, ‘all the women of a village on Motobu Peninsula fell into the hands of these American soldiers [who] started "hunting for women" in broad daylight … It was no different from the "brutal acts of conquerors" committed by the Japanese forces in China’. The same happened all over Okinawa, and things didn’t turn out any better in the home islands: immediately after the surrender ceremony MacArthur had to summon General Eichelberger to discuss rape by GIs. (Tanaka 2002: 111-112 (quote), 123.) Neither was this a temporary outbreak:
According to one calculation, the number of rapes and assaults on Japanese women amounted to around 40 daily while the RRA was in operation, and then rose to an average of 330 a day after it was terminated in early 1946.’ (Dower 1999: 579, fn 16)
When it comes to the Australians’ part in this, Allan Clifton’s eye-witness testimony is heart-rending:
I stood beside a bed in a hospital. On it lay a girl, unconscious … A doctor and two nurses were working to revive her. An hour before she had been raped by twenty soldiers … The hospital was in Hiroshima. The girl was Japanese. The soldiers were Australians. [She had awoken] to find a huge Australian soldier kneeling beside her, and another swaying in the doorway, his drunken leer telling more clearly than any speech or gesture what was to follow …
Rape victims couldn’t expect justice from the Australian legal system:
At the Court Martial that followed the accused was found guilty and sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude. In accordance with army law the court’s decision was forwarded to Australia for confirmation. Some time later the documents were returned marked ‘Conviction quashed because of insufficient evidence.’
We are usually told these were isolated cases. At first Clifton thought so too. He endured the looks of hospital staff, which said, ‘So, we are barbarians, and you are civilized … How is it then that all through the Far East your tribunals are now trying Japanese soldiers for these very crimes?’. He wrote:
It was easy to answer them at first: ‘This is not the act of a typical Australian. Such brutes as these are found among all peoples, in all armies. It is a question of proportions. There were so many more of them in your army.’
That was the first time it happened. But since then I had become a monotonously regular visitor to the hospital, always bringing with me a victim of the Yabanjin – the barbarians – as they had begun to call the Australians. Last time it had been a young lad, who had been knocked down and kicked unconscious, and left lying in the gutter. [But] it was the unhappy Japanese women who were the chief sufferers. (Clifton 1950: 141-143)
Barbarians occupy Japan魚拓
MacArthur’s troops began the occupation by terrorizing the Japanese population. Japanese historian Takemae Eiji writes, "U.S. troops initially comported themselves like conquerors, especially in the early weeks and months of the occupation. Misbehavior ranged from blackmarketeering, petty theft, reckless driving and disorderly conduct to vandalism, assault, arson, murder and rape. Much of the violence was directed against women, the first attacks beginning within hours after the landing of advance units."13 In the Yokohama district alone, U.S. troops during the first week committed 487 armed robberies, 411 thefts, 9 rapes, 5 break-ins, 3 crimes of assault and battery and 16 other acts of lawlessness.14 In the Kanagawa prefecture, U.S. soldiers committed 1,336 rapes in the first ten weeks of the occupation.15 MacArthur and the Japanese authorities not only failed to punish the soldiers; they censored the stories about the crime wave in the Japanese press.
The American leadership quickly established itself in royal splendor. Officials took over the major buildings that were still left standing in Tokyo (an area which became known as "little America") and other cities. In 1948, SCAP built 17,000 new homes for U.S. bureaucrats and military brass while millions of Japanese were still homeless and suffering starvation.16 Outrageously, SCAP forced Japan to foot the bill for this construction project as well as the occupation as a whole. While Japanese were starving, American occupiers lived lavishly, shopping in special stores and employing Japanese servants. The Japanese government spent 30 percent of its annual budget paying the costs of their own occupation.17 The State Department’s George F. Kennan, who was never a friend of the poor, denounced SCAP as a parasite that displayed "monumental imperviousness to the suffering and difficulties of the" Japanese. The occupation "monopolized"…"everything that smacks of comfort or elegance or luxury" and he contrasted its "idleness and boredom" with the "struggles and problems of a defeated and ruined country."18
Adding insult to injury, SCAP instituted racial segregation in Japan. Takemae writes, "Facilities reserved for occupation troops carried large signs reading ‘Japanese Keep Out’ or ‘For allied Personnel Only,’ and in downtown Tokyo important buildings requisitioned for occupation use had separate entrances for Americans and Japanese. The effect of such policies was to create a subtle but distinct color bar between predominantly white conquerors and the conquered ‘Asiatic’ Japanese."19
Not only did the U.S. impose Jim Crow segregation, it also collaborated with the Japanese regime in oppressing the women of Japan. The Japanese regime set up the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA) which hired 70,000 poor women to work as prostitutes to serve the U.S. troops. The RAA ran government brothels around the U.S. military bases for the first two years of the occupation. In 1947, SCAP ordered the RAA privatized, but the brothels still operated in government approved red light districts surrounding the U.S. bases through 1949.20
The occupation of Japan
by Ashley Smith
GI frequented Japanese comfort women
*SAPIO (サピオ) 2007年4月11日号
「特高」は解散命令が出た10月4日の記録も残している。その日の記録には「公僕学校、倉庫等ニ侵入シ保管品等ヲ不法徴発 被害発生場所屋内10件 屋外10件」「両国ノ浴場ニテ女性暴行未遂事件」などとある。掠れたページもあり、正確な数字ではないが、全ファイル約1か月間で少なくとも強姦37件（未遂を含む）、その他の不法行為945件を数える。
五島氏は「印刷ミスではない」と断わってこう記す。 「Ｔ子（十一歳・武蔵野市小学五年生）Ｒ子（同）Ａ子（同）の三人は、十月（中略）武蔵野の林のなかを仲よく手をつないで歩いていた」 《キャンプ・トコロザワの近くで夢中でスケッチをしていると、まずＲ子がおそわれ、次々に米軍の餌食になってしまったのだ。彼女達のスカートは切られ、何か起こったのか全然わからなかった。子とＡ子は気絶し、Ｔ子はまた泣き叫ぶと、アメリカ兵は彼女の顔を蹴り、ジープで去った》（要旨、以下同）
the diary of Japanese comfort women/Japan times 魚拓
Japan times 魚拓
The Girls Next Door
By PETER LANDESMAN
Published: January 25, 2004
Correction and Editors' Note Appended
The house at 12121/ 2 West Front Street in Plainfield, N.J., is a conventional midcentury home with slate-gray siding, white trim and Victorian lines. When I stood in front of it on a breezy day in October, I could hear the cries of children from the playground of an elementary school around the corner. American flags fluttered from porches and windows. The neighborhood is a leafy, middle-class Anytown. The house is set back off the street, near two convenience stores and a gift shop. On the door of Superior Supermarket was pasted a sign issued by the Plainfield police: ''Safe neighborhoods save lives.'' The store's manager, who refused to tell me his name, said he never noticed anything unusual about the house, and never heard anything. But David Miranda, the young man behind the counter of Westside Convenience, told me he saw girls from the house roughly once a week. ''They came in to buy candy and soda, then went back to the house,'' he said. The same girls rarely came twice, and they were all very young, Miranda said. They never asked for anything beyond what they were purchasing; they certainly never asked for help. Cars drove up to the house all day; nice cars, all kinds of cars. Dozens of men came and went. ''But no one here knew what was really going on,'' Miranda said. And no one ever asked.
On a tip, the Plainfield police raided the house in February 2002, expecting to find illegal aliens working an underground brothel. What the police found were four girls between the ages of 14 and 17. They were all Mexican nationals without documentation. But they weren't prostitutes; they were sex slaves. The distinction is important: these girls weren't working for profit or a paycheck. They were captives to the traffickers and keepers who controlled their every move. ''I consider myself hardened,'' Mark J. Kelly, now a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security), told me recently. ''I spent time in the Marine Corps. But seeing some of the stuff I saw, then heard about, from those girls was a difficult, eye-opening experience.''
The police found a squalid, land-based equivalent of a 19th-century slave ship, with rancid, doorless bathrooms; bare, putrid mattresses; and a stash of penicillin, ''morning after'' pills and misoprostol, an antiulcer medication that can induce abortion. The girls were pale, exhausted and malnourished.
It turned out that 1212 1/2 West Front Street was one of what law-enforcement officials say are dozens of active stash houses and apartments in the New York metropolitan area -- mirroring hundreds more in other major cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago -- where under-age girls and young women from dozens of countries are trafficked and held captive. Most of them -- whether they started out in Eastern Europe or Latin America -- are taken to the United States through Mexico. Some of them have been baited by promises of legitimate jobs and a better life in America; many have been abducted; others have been bought from or abandoned by their impoverished families.
Because of the porousness of the U.S.-Mexico border and the criminal networks that traverse it, the towns and cities along that border have become the main staging area in an illicit and barbaric industry, whose ''products'' are women and girls. On both sides of the border, they are rented out for sex for as little as 15 minutes at a time, dozens of times a day. Sometimes they are sold outright to other traffickers and sex rings, victims and experts say. These sex slaves earn no money, there is nothing voluntary about what they do and if they try to escape they are often beaten and sometimes killed.
Last September, in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush named sex trafficking as ''a special evil,'' a multibillion-dollar ''underground of brutality and lonely fear,'' a global scourge alongside the AIDS epidemic. Influenced by a coalition of religious organizations, the Bush administration has pushed international action on the global sex trade. The president declared at the U.N. that ''those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished'' and that ''those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.''
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 -- the first U.S. law to recognize that people trafficked against their will are victims of a crime, not illegal aliens -- the U.S. government rates other countries' records on human trafficking and can apply economic sanctions on those that aren't making efforts to improve them. Another piece of legislation, the Protect Act, which Bush signed into law last year, makes it a crime for any person to enter the U.S., or for any citizen to travel abroad, for the purpose of sex tourism involving children. The sentences are severe: up to 30 years' imprisonment for each offense.
The thrust of the president's U.N. speech and the scope of the laws passed here to address the sex-trafficking epidemic might suggest that this is a global problem but not particularly an American one. In reality, little has been done to document sex trafficking in this country. In dozens of interviews I conducted with former sex slaves, madams, government and law-enforcement officials and anti-sex-trade activists for more than four months in Eastern Europe, Mexico and the United States, the details and breadth of this sordid trade in the U.S. came to light.
In fact, the United States has become a major importer of sex slaves. Last year, the C.I.A. estimated that between 18,000 and 20,000 people are trafficked annually into the United States. The government has not studied how many of these are victims of sex traffickers, but Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, America's largest anti-slavery organization, says that the number is at least 10,000 a year. John Miller, the State Department's director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, conceded: ''That figure could be low. What we know is that the number is huge.'' Bales estimates that there are 30,000 to 50,000 sex slaves in captivity in the United States at any given time. Laura Lederer, a senior State Department adviser on trafficking, told me, ''We're not finding victims in the United States because we're not looking for them.''
In Eastern European capitals like Kiev and Moscow, dozens of sex-trafficking rings advertise nanny positions in the United States in local newspapers; others claim to be scouting for models and actresses. In Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova -- the poorest country in Europe and the one experts say is most heavily culled by traffickers for young women -- I saw a billboard with a fresh-faced, smiling young woman beckoning girls to waitress positions in Paris. But of course there are no waitress positions and no ''Paris.'' Some of these young women are actually tricked into paying their own travel expenses -- typically around $3,000 -- as a down payment on what they expect to be bright, prosperous futures, only to find themselves kept prisoner in Mexico before being moved to the United States and sold into sexual bondage there.
The Eastern European trafficking operations, from entrapment to transport, tend to be well-oiled monoethnic machines. One notorious Ukrainian ring, which has since been broken up, was run by Tetyana Komisaruk and Serge Mezheritsky. One of their last transactions, according to Daniel Saunders, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, took place in late June 2000 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tijuana. Around dinnertime, a buyer named Gordey Vinitsky walked in. He was followed shortly after by Komisaruk's husband, Valery, who led Vinitsky out to the parking lot and to a waiting van. Inside the van were six Ukrainian women in their late teens and early 20's. They had been promised jobs as models and baby sitters in the glamorous United States, and they probably had no idea why they were sitting in a van in a backwater like Tijuana in the early evening. Vinitsky pointed into the van at two of the women and said he'd take them for $10,000 each. Valery drove the young women to a gated villa 20 minutes away in Rosarito, a Mexican honky-tonk tourist trap in Baja California. They were kept there until July 4, when they were delivered to San Diego by boat and distributed to their buyers, including Vinitsky, who claimed his two ''purchases.'' The Komisaruks, Mezheritsky and Vinitsky were caught in May 2001 and are serving long sentences in U.S. federal prison.
In October, I met Nicole, a young Russian woman who had been trafficked into Mexico by a different network. ''I wanted to get out of Moscow, and they told me the Mexican border was like a freeway,'' said Nicole, who is now 25. We were sitting at a cafe on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, and she was telling me the story of her narrow escape from sex slavery -- she was taken by immigration officers when her traffickers were trying to smuggle her over the border from Tijuana. She still seemed fearful of being discovered by the trafficking ring and didn't want even her initials to appear in print. (Nicole is a name she adopted after coming to the U.S.)
Two years ago, afraid for her life after her boyfriend was gunned down in Moscow in an organized-crime-related shootout, she found herself across a cafe table in Moscow from a man named Alex, who explained how he could save her by smuggling her into the U.S. Once she agreed, Nicole said, Alex told her that if she didn't show up at the airport, '''I'll find you and cut your head off.' Russians do not play around. In Moscow you can get a bullet in your head just for fun.''
Donna M. Hughes, a professor of women's studies at the University of Rhode Island and an expert on sex trafficking, says that prostitution barely existed 12 years ago in the Soviet Union. ''It was suppressed by political structures. All the women had jobs.'' But in the first years after the collapse of Soviet Communism, poverty in the former Soviet states soared. Young women -- many of them college-educated and married -- became easy believers in Hollywood-generated images of swaying palm trees in L.A. ''A few of them have an idea that prostitution might be involved,'' Hughes says. ''But their idea of prostitution is 'Pretty Woman,' which is one of the most popular films in Ukraine and Russia. They're thinking, This may not be so bad.''
The girls' first contacts are usually with what appear to be legitimate travel agencies. According to prosecutors, the Komisaruk/Mezheritsky ring in Ukraine worked with two such agencies in Kiev, Art Life International and Svit Tours. The helpful agents at Svit and Art Life explained to the girls that the best way to get into the U.S. was through Mexico, which they portrayed as a short walk or boat ride from the American dream. Oblivious and full of hope, the girls get on planes to Europe and then on to Mexico.
Every day, flights from Paris, London and Amsterdam arrive at Mexico City's international airport carrying groups of these girls, sometimes as many as seven at a time, according to two Mexico City immigration officers I spoke with (and who asked to remain anonymous). One of them told me that officials at the airport -- who cooperate with Mexico's federal preventive police (P.F.P.) -- work with the traffickers and ''direct airlines to park at certain gates. Officials go to the aircraft. They know the seat numbers. While passengers come off, they take the girls to an office, where officials will 'process' them.''
Magdalena Carral, Mexico's commissioner of the National Institute of Migration, the government agency that controls migration issues at all airports, seaports and land entries into Mexico, told me: ''Everything happens at the airport. We are giving a big fight to have better control of the airport. Corruption does not leave tracks, and sometimes we cannot track it. Six months ago we changed the three main officials at the airport. But it's a daily fight. These networks are very powerful and dangerous.''
But Mexico is not merely a way station en route to the U.S. for third-country traffickers, like the Eastern European rings. It is also a vast source of even younger and more cheaply acquired girls for sexual servitude in the United States. While European traffickers tend to dupe their victims into boarding one-way flights to Mexico to their own captivity, Mexican traffickers rely on the charm and brute force of ''Los Lenones,'' tightly organized associations of pimps, according to Roberto Caballero, an officer with the P.F.P. Although hundreds of ''popcorn traffickers'' -- individuals who take control of one or two girls -- work the margins, Caballero said, at least 15 major trafficking organizations and 120 associated factions tracked by the P.F.P. operate as wholesalers: collecting human merchandise and taking orders from safe houses and brothels in the major sex-trafficking hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago.
Like the Sicilian Mafia, Los Lenones are based on family hierarchies, Caballero explained. The father controls the organization and the money, while the sons and their male cousins hunt, kidnap and entrap victims. The boys leave school at 12 and are given one or two girls their age to rape and pimp out to begin their training, which emphasizes the arts of kidnapping and seduction. Throughout the rural and suburban towns from southern Mexico to the U.S. border, along what traffickers call the Via Lactea, or Milky Way, the agents of Los Lenones troll the bus stations and factories and school dances where under-age girls gather, work and socialize. They first ply the girls like prospective lovers, buying them meals and desserts, promising affection and then marriage. Then the men describe rumors they've heard about America, about the promise of jobs and schools. Sometimes the girls are easy prey. Most of them already dream of El Norte. But the theater often ends as soon as the agent has the girl alone, when he beats her, drugs her or simply forces her into a waiting car.
The majority of Los Lenones -- 80 percent of them, Caballero says -- are based in Tenancingo, a charmless suburb an hour's drive south of Mexico City. Before I left Mexico City for Tenancingo in October, I was warned by Mexican and U.S. officials that the traffickers there are protected by the local police, and that the town is designed to discourage outsiders, with mazelike streets and only two closely watched entrances. The last time the federal police went there to investigate the disappearance of a local girl, their vehicle was surrounded, and the officers were intimidated into leaving. I traveled in a bulletproof Suburban with well-armed federales and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
On the way, we stopped at a gas station, where I met the parents of a girl from Tenancingo who was reportedly abducted in August 2000. The girl, Suri, is now 20. Her mother told me that there were witnesses who saw her being forced into a car on the way home from work at a local factory. No one called the police. Suri's mother recited the names of daughters of a number of her friends who have also been taken: ''Minerva, Sylvia, Carmen,'' she said in a monotone, as if the list went on and on.
Just two days earlier, her parents heard from Suri (they call her by her nickname) for the first time since she disappeared. ''She's in Queens, New York,'' the mother told me breathlessly. ''She said she was being kept in a house watched by Colombians. She said they take her by car every day to work in a brothel. I was crying on the phone, 'When are you coming back, when are you coming back?' '' The mother looked at me helplessly; the father stared blankly into the distance. Then the mother sobered. ''My daughter said: 'I'm too far away. I don't know when I'm coming back.''' Before she hung up, Suri told her mother: ''Don't cry. I'll escape soon. And don't talk to anyone.''
Sex-trafficking victims widely believe that if they talk, they or someone they love will be killed. And their fear is not unfounded, since the tentacles of the trafficking rings reach back into the girls' hometowns, and local law enforcement is often complicit in the sex trade.
One officer in the P.F.P.'s anti-trafficking division told me that 10 high-level officials in the state of Sonora share a $200,000 weekly payoff from traffickers, a gargantuan sum of money for Mexico. The officer told me with a frozen smile that he was powerless to do anything about it.
''Some officials are not only on the organization's payroll, they are key players in the organization,'' an official at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City told me. ''Corruption is the most important reason these networks are so successful.''
Nicolas Suarez, the P.F.P.'s coordinator of intelligence, sounded fatalistic about corruption when I spoke to him in Mexico City in September. ''We have that cancer, corruption,'' he told me with a shrug. ''But it exists in every country. In every house there is a devil.''
The U.S. Embassy official told me: ''Mexican officials see sex trafficking as a U.S. problem. If there wasn't such a large demand, then people -- trafficking victims and migrants alike -- wouldn't be going up there.''
When I asked Magdalena Carral, the Mexican commissioner of migration, about these accusations, she said that she didn't know anything about Los Lenones or sex trafficking in Tenancingo. But she conceded: ''There is an investigation against some officials accused of cooperating with these trafficking networks nationwide. Sonora is one of those places.'' She added, ''We are determined not to allow any kind of corruption in this administration, not the smallest kind.''
Gary Haugen, president of the International Justice Mission, an organization based in Arlington, Va., that fights sexual exploitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia, says: ''Sex trafficking isn't a poverty issue but a law-enforcement issue. You can only carry out this trade at significant levels with the cooperation of local law enforcement. In the developing world the police are not seen as a solution for anything. You don't run to the police; you run from the police.''
BREAKING THE GIRLS IN
Once the Mexican traffickers abduct or seduce the women and young girls, it's not other men who first indoctrinate them into sexual slavery but other women. The victims and officials I spoke to all emphasized this fact as crucial to the trafficking rings' success. ''Women are the principals,'' Caballero, the Mexican federal preventive police officer, told me. ''The victims are put under the influence of the mothers, who handle them and beat them. Then they give the girls to the men to beat and rape into submission.'' Traffickers understand that because women can more easily gain the trust of young girls, they can more easily crush them. ''Men are the customers and controllers, but within most trafficking organizations themselves, women are the operators,'' Haugen says. ''Women are the ones who exert violent force and psychological torture.''
This mirrors the tactics of the Eastern European rings. ''Mexican pimps have learned a lot from European traffickers,'' said Claudia, a former prostitute and madam in her late 40's, whom I met in Tepito, Mexico City's vast and lethal ghetto. ''The Europeans not only gather girls but put older women in the same houses,'' she told me. ''They get younger and older women emotionally attached. They're transported together, survive together.''
The traffickers' harvest is innocence. Before young women and girls are taken to the United States, their captors want to obliterate their sexual inexperience while preserving its appearance. For the Eastern European girls, this ''preparation'' generally happens in Ensenada, a seaside tourist town in Baja California, a region in Mexico settled by Russian immigrants, or Tijuana, where Nicole, the Russian woman I met in Los Angeles, was taken along with four other girls when she arrived in Mexico. The young women are typically kept in locked-down, gated villas in groups of 16 to 20. The girls are provided with all-American clothing -- Levi's and baseball caps. They learn to say, ''U.S. citizen.'' They are also sexually brutalized. Nicole told me that the day she arrived in Tijuana, three of her traveling companions were ''tried out'' locally. The education lasts for days and sometimes weeks.
For the Mexican girls abducted by Los Lenones, the process of breaking them in often begins on Calle Santo Tomas, a filthy narrow street in La Merced, a dangerous and raucous ghetto in Mexico City. Santo Tomas has been a place for low-end prostitution since before Spain's conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. But beginning in the early 90's, it became an important training ground for under-age girls and young women on their way into sexual bondage in the United States. When I first visited Santo Tomas, in late September, I found 150 young women walking a slow-motion parabola among 300 or 400 men. It was a balmy night, and the air was heavy with the smell of barbecue and gasoline. Two dead dogs were splayed over the curb just beyond where the girls struck casual poses in stilettos and spray-on-tight neon vinyl and satin or skimpy leopard-patterned outfits. Some of the girls looked as young as 12. Their faces betrayed no emotion. Many wore pendants of the grim reaper around their necks and made hissing sounds; this, I was told, was part of a ritual to ward off bad energy. The men, who were there to rent or just gaze, didn't speak. From the tables of a shabby cafe midblock, other men -- also Mexicans, but more neatly dressed -- sat scrutinizing the girls as at an auction. These were buyers and renters with an interest in the youngest and best looking. They nodded to the girls they wanted and then followed them past a guard in a Yankees baseball cap through a tin doorway.
Inside, the girls braced the men before a statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, and patted them down for weapons. Then the girls genuflected to the stone-faced saint and led the men to the back, grabbing a condom and roll of toilet paper on the way. They pointed to a block of ice in a tub in lieu of a urinal. Beyond a blue hallway the air went sour, like old onions; there were 30 stalls curtained off by blue fabric, every one in use. Fifteen minutes of straightforward intercourse with the girl's clothes left on cost 50 pesos, or about $4.50. For $4.50 more, the dress was lifted. For another $4.50, the bra would be taken off. Oral sex was $4.50; ''acrobatic positions'' were $1.80 each. Despite the dozens of people and the various exertions in this room, there were only the sounds of zippers and shoes. There was no human noise at all.
Most of the girls on Santo Tomas would have sex with 20 to 30 men a day; they would do this seven days a week usually for weeks but sometimes for months before they were ''ready'' for the United States. If they refused, they would be beaten and sometimes killed. They would be told that if they tried to escape, one of their family members, who usually had no idea where they were, would be beaten or killed. Working at the brutalizing pace of 20 men per day, a girl could earn her captors as much as $2,000 a week. In the U.S., that same girl could bring in perhaps $30,000 per week.
In Europe, girls and women trafficked for the sex trade gain in value the closer they get to their destinations. According to Iana Matei, who operates Reaching Out, a Romanian rescue organization, a Romanian or Moldovan girl can be sold to her first transporter -- who she may or may not know has taken her captive -- for as little as $60, then for $500 to the next. Eventually she can be sold for $2,500 to the organization that will ultimately control and rent her for sex for tens of thousands of dollars a week. (Though the Moldovan and Romanian organizations typically smuggle girls to Western Europe and not the United States, they are, Matei says, closely allied with Russian and Ukrainian networks that do.)
Jonathan M. Winer, deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement in the Clinton administration, says, ''The girls are worth a penny or a ruble in their home village, and suddenly they're worth hundreds and thousands somewhere else.''
CROSSING THE BORDER
In November, I followed by helicopter the 12-foot-high sheet-metal fence that represents the U.S.-Mexico boundary from Imperial Beach, Calif., south of San Diego, 14 miles across the gritty warrens and havoc of Tijuana into the barren hills of Tecate. The fence drops off abruptly at Colonia Nido de las Aguilas, a dry riverbed that straddles the border. Four hundred square miles of bone-dry, barren hills stretch out on the U.S. side. I hovered over the end of the fence with Lester McDaniel, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On the U.S. side, ''J-e-s-u-s'' was spelled out in rocks 10 feet high across a steep hillside. A 15-foot white wooden cross rose from the peak. It is here that thousands of girls and young women -- most of them Mexican and many of them straight from Calle Santo Tomas -- are taken every year, mostly between January and August, the dry season. Coyotes -- or smugglers -- subcontracted exclusively by sex traffickers sometimes trudge the girls up to the cross and let them pray, then herd them into the hills northward.
A few miles east, we picked up a deeply grooved trail at the fence and followed it for miles into the hills until it plunged into a deep isolated ravine called Cottonwood Canyon. A Ukrainian sex-trafficking ring force-marches young women through here, McDaniel told me. In high heels and seductive clothing, the young women trek 12 miles to Highway 94, where panel trucks sit waiting. McDaniel listed the perils: rattlesnakes, dehydration and hypothermia. He failed to mention the traffickers' bullets should the women try to escape.
''If a girl tries to run, she's killed and becomes just one more woman in the desert,'' says Marisa B. Ugarte, director of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, a San Diego organization that coordinates rescue efforts for trafficking victims on both sides of the border. ''But if she keeps going north, she reaches the Gates of Hell.''
One girl who was trafficked back and forth across that border repeatedly was Andrea. ''Andrea'' is just one name she was given by her traffickers and clients; she doesn't know her real name. She was born in the United States and sold or abandoned here -- at about 4 years old, she says -- by a woman who may have been her mother. (She is now in her early to mid-20's; she doesn't know for sure.) She says that she spent approximately the next 12 years as the captive of a sex-trafficking ring that operated on both sides of the Mexican border. Because of the threat of retribution from her former captors, who are believed to be still at large, an organization that rescues and counsels trafficking victims and former prostitutes arranged for me to meet Andrea in October at a secret location in the United States.
In a series of excruciating conversations, Andrea explained to me how the trafficking ring that kept her worked, moving young girls (and boys too) back and forth over the border, selling nights and weekends with them mostly to American men. She said that the ring imported -- both through abduction and outright purchase -- toddlers, children and teenagers into the U.S. from many countries.
''The border is very busy, lots of stuff moving back and forth,'' she said. ''Say you needed to get some kids. This guy would offer a woman a lot of money, and she'd take birth certificates from the U.S. -- from Puerto Rican children or darker-skinned children -- and then she would go into Mexico through Tijuana. Then she'd drive to Juárez'' -- across the Mexican border from El Paso, Tex. -- ''and then they'd go shopping. I was taken with them once. We went to this house that had a goat in the front yard and came out with a 4-year-old boy.'' She remembers the boy costing around $500 (she said that many poor parents were told that their children would go to adoption agencies and on to better lives in America). ''When we crossed the border at Juárez, all the border guards wanted to see was a birth certificate for the dark-skinned kids.''
Andrea continued: ''There would be a truck waiting for us at the Mexico border, and those trucks you don't want to ride in. Those trucks are closed. They had spots where there would be transfers, the rest stops and truck stops on the freeways in the U.S. One person would walk you into the bathroom, and then another person would take you out of the bathroom and take you to a different vehicle.''
Andrea told me she was transported to Juárez dozens of times. During one visit, when she was about 7 years old, the trafficker took her to the Radisson Casa Grande Hotel, where there was a john waiting in a room. The john was an older American man, and he read Bible passages to her before and after having sex with her. Andrea described other rooms she remembered in other hotels in Mexico: the Howard Johnson in León, the Crowne Plaza in Guadalajara. She remembers most of all the ceiling patterns. ''When I was taken to Mexico, I knew things were going to be different,'' she said. The ''customers'' were American businessmen. ''The men who went there had higher positions, had more to lose if they were caught doing these things on the other side of the border. I was told my purpose was to keep these men from abusing their own kids.'' Later she told me: ''The white kids you could beat but you couldn't mark. But with Mexican kids you could do whatever you wanted. They're untraceable. You lose nothing by killing them.''
Then she and the other children and teenagers in this cell were walked back across the border to El Paso by the traffickers. ''The border guards talked to you like, 'Did you have fun in Mexico?' And you answered exactly what you were told, 'Yeah, I had fun.' 'Runners' moved the harder-to-place kids, the darker or not-quite-as-well-behaved kids, kids that hadn't been broken yet.''
Another trafficking victim I met, a young woman named Montserrat, was taken to the United States from Veracruz, Mexico, six years ago, at age 13. (Montserrat is her nickname.) ''I was going to work in America,'' she told me. ''I wanted to go to school there, have an apartment and a red Mercedes Benz.'' Montserrat's trafficker, who called himself Alejandro, took her to Sonora, across the Mexican border from Douglas, Ariz., where she joined a group of a dozen other teenage girls, all with the same dream of a better life. They were from Chiapas, Guatemala, Oaxaca -- everywhere, she said.
The group was marched 12 hours through the desert, just a few of the thousands of Mexicans who bolted for America that night along the 2,000 miles of border. Cars were waiting at a fixed spot on the other side. Alejandro directed her to a Nissan and drove her and a few others to a house she said she thought was in Phoenix, the home of a white American family. ''It looked like America,'' she told me. ''I ate chicken. The family ignored me, watched TV. I thought the worst part was behind me.''
IN THE UNITED STATES: HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
A week after Montserrat was taken across the border, she said, she and half a dozen other girls were loaded into a windowless van. ''Alejandro dropped off girls at gas stations as we drove, wherever there were minimarkets,'' Montserrat told me. At each drop-off there was somebody waiting. Sometimes a girl would be escorted to the bathroom, never to return to the van. They drove 24 hours a day. ''As the girls were leaving, being let out the back, all of them 14 or 15 years old, I felt confident,'' Montserrat said. We were talking in Mexico City, where she has been since she escaped from her trafficker four years ago. She's now 19, and shy with her body but direct with her gaze, which is flat and unemotional. ''I didn't know the real reason they were disappearing,'' she said. ''They were going to a better life.''
Eventually, only Montserrat and one other girl remained. Outside, the air had turned frigid, and there was snow on the ground. It was night when the van stopped at a gas station. A man was waiting. Montserrat's friend hopped out the back, gleeful. ''She said goodbye, I'll see you tomorrow,'' Montserrat recalled. ''I never saw her again.''
After leaving the gas station, Alejandro drove Montserrat to an apartment. A couple of weeks later he took her to a Dollarstore. ''He bought me makeup,'' Montserrat told me. ''He chose a short dress and a halter top, both black. I asked him why the clothes. He said it was for a party the owner of the apartment was having. He bought me underwear. Then I started to worry.'' When they arrived at the apartment, Alejandro left, saying he was coming back. But another man appeared at the door. ''The man said he'd already paid and I had to do whatever he said,'' Montserrat said. ''When he said he already paid, I knew why I was there. I was crushed.''
Montserrat said that she didn't leave that apartment for the next three months, then for nine months after that, Alejandro regularly took her in and out of the apartment for appointments with various johns.
Sex trafficking is one of the few human rights violations that rely on exposure: victims have to be available, displayed, delivered and returned. Girls were shuttled in open cars between the Plainfield, N.J., stash house and other locations in northern New Jersey like Elizabeth and Union City. Suri told her mother that she was being driven in a black town car -- just one of hundreds of black town cars traversing New York City at any time -- from her stash house in Queens to places where she was forced to have sex. A Russian ring drove women between various Brooklyn apartments and strip clubs in New Jersey. Andrea named trading hubs at highway rest stops in Deming, N.M.; Kingman, Ariz.; Boulder City, Nev.; and Glendale, Calif. Glendale, Andrea said, was a fork in the road; from there, vehicles went either north to San Jose or south toward San Diego. The traffickers drugged them for travel, she said. ''When they fed you, you started falling asleep.''
In the past several months, I have visited a number of addresses where trafficked girls and young women have reportedly ended up: besides the house in Plainfield, N.J., there is a row house on 51st Avenue in the Corona section of Queens, which has been identified to Mexican federal preventive police by escaped trafficking victims. There is the apartment at Barrington Plaza in the tony Westwood section of Los Angeles, one place that some of the Komisaruk/Mezheritsky ring's trafficking victims ended up, according to Daniel Saunders, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the ring. And there's a house on Massachusetts Avenue in Vista, Calif., a San Diego suburb, which was pointed out to me by a San Diego sheriff. These places all have at least one thing in common: they are camouflaged by their normal, middle-class surroundings.
''This is not narco-traffic secrecy,'' says Sharon B. Cohn, director of anti-trafficking operations for the International Justice Mission. ''These are not people kidnapped and held for ransom, but women and children sold every single day. If they're hidden, their keepers don't make money.''
I.J.M.'s president, Gary Haugen, says: ''It's the easiest kind of crime in the world to spot. Men look for it all day, every day.''
But border agents and local policemen usually don't know trafficking when they see it. The operating assumption among American police departments is that women who sell their bodies do so by choice, and undocumented foreign women who sell their bodies are not only prostitutes (that is, voluntary sex workers) but also trespassers on U.S. soil. No Department of Justice attorney or police vice squad officer I spoke with in Los Angeles -- one of the country's busiest thoroughfares for forced sex traffic -- considers sex trafficking in the U.S. a serious problem, or a priority. A teenage girl arrested on Sunset Strip for solicitation, or a group of Russian sex workers arrested in a brothel raid in the San Fernando Valley, are automatically heaped onto a pile of workaday vice arrests.
The U.S. now offers 5,000 visas a year to trafficking victims to allow them to apply for residency. And there's faint hope among sex-trafficking experts that the Bush administration's recent proposal on Mexican immigration, if enacted, could have some positive effect on sex traffic into the U.S., by sheltering potential witnesses. ''If illegal immigrants who have information about victims have a chance at legal status in this country, they might feel secure enough to come forward,'' says John Miller of the State Department. But ambiguities still dominate on the front lines -- the borders and the streets of urban America -- where sex trafficking will always look a lot like prostitution.
''It's not a particularly complicated thing,'' says Sharon Cohn of International Justice Mission. ''Sex trafficking gets thrown into issues of intimacy and vice, but it's a major crime. It's purely profit and pleasure, and greed and lust, and it's right under homicide.''
IMPRISONMENT AND SUBMISSION
The basement, Andrea said, held as many as 16 children and teenagers of different ethnicities. She remembers that it was underneath a house in an upper-middle-class neighborhood on the West Coast. Throughout much of her captivity, this basement was where she was kept when she wasn't working. ''There was lots of scrawling on the walls,'' she said. ''The other kids drew stick figures, daisies, teddy bears. This Mexican boy would draw a house with sunshine. We each had a mat.''
Andrea paused. ''But nothing happens to you in the basement,'' she continued. ''You just had to worry about when the door opened.''
She explained: ''They would call you out of the basement, and you'd get a bath and you'd get a dress, and if your dress was yellow you were probably going to Disneyland.'' She said they used color coding to make transactions safer for the traffickers and the clients. ''At Disneyland there would be people doing drop-offs and pickups for kids. It's a big open area full of kids, and nobody pays attention to nobody. They would kind of quietly say, 'Go over to that person,' and you would just slip your hand into theirs and say, 'I was looking for you, Daddy.' Then that person would move off with one or two or three of us.''
Her account reminded me -- painfully -- of the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In the story, a piper shows up and asks for 1,000 guilders for ridding the town of a plague of rats. Playing his pipe, he lures all the rats into the River Weser, where they drown. But Hamelin's mayor refuses to pay him. The piper goes back into the streets and again starts to play his music. This time ''all the little boys and girls, with rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, and sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls'' follow him out of town and into the hills. The piper leads the children to a mountainside, where a portal opens. The children follow him in, the cave closes and Hamelin's children -- all but one, too lame to keep up -- are never seen again.
Montserrat said that she was moved around a lot and often didn't know where she was. She recalled that she was in Detroit for two months before she realized that she was in ''the city where cars are made,'' because the door to the apartment Alejandro kept her in was locked from the outside. She says she was forced to service at least two men a night, and sometimes more. She watched through the windows as neighborhood children played outside. Emotionally, she slowly dissolved. Later, Alejandro moved her to Portland, Ore., where once a week he worked her out of a strip club. In all that time she had exactly one night off; Alejandro took her to see ''Scary Movie 2.''
All the girls I spoke to said that their captors were both psychologically and physically abusive. Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist's patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted,'' she explained. ''Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it's always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group.
''They'd get you hungry then to train you'' to have oral sex, she said. ''They'd put honey on a man. For the littlest kids, you had to learn not to gag. And they would push things in you so you would open up better. We learned responses. Like if they wanted us to be sultry or sexy or scared. Most of them wanted you scared. When I got older I'd teach the younger kids how to float away so things didn't hurt.''
Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves says: ''The physical path of a person being trafficked includes stages of degradation of a person's mental state. A victim gets deprived of food, gets hungry, a little dizzy and sleep-deprived. She begins to break down; she can't think for herself. Then take away her travel documents, and you've made her stateless. Then layer on physical violence, and she begins to follow orders. Then add a foreign culture and language, and she's trapped.''
Then add one more layer: a sex-trafficking victim's belief that her family is being tracked as collateral for her body. All sex-trafficking operations, whether Mexican, Ukrainian or Thai, are vast criminal underworlds with roots and branches that reach back to the countries, towns and neighborhoods of their victims.
''There's a vast misunderstanding of what coercion is, of how little it takes to make someone a slave,'' Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission said. ''The destruction of dignity and sense of self, these girls' sense of resignation. . . . '' He didn't finish the sentence.
In Tijuana in November, I met with Mamacita, a Mexican trafficking-victim-turned-madam, who used to oversee a stash house for sex slaves in San Diego. Mamacita (who goes by a nickname) was full of regret and worry. She left San Diego three years ago, but she says that the trafficking ring, run by three violent Mexican brothers, is still in operation. ''The girls can't leave,'' Mamacita said. ''They're always being watched. They lock them into apartments. The fear is unbelievable. They can't talk to anyone. They are always hungry, pale, always shaking and cold. But they never complain. If they do, they'll be beaten or killed.''
In Vista, Calif., I followed a pickup truck driven by a San Diego sheriff's deputy named Rick Castro. We wound past a tidy suburban downtown, a supermall and the usual hometown franchises. We stopped alongside the San Luis Rey River, across the street from a Baptist church, a strawberry farm and a municipal ballfield.
A neat subdivision and cycling path ran along the opposite bank. The San Luis Rey was mostly dry, filled now with an impenetrable jungle of 15-foot-high bamboolike reeds. As Castro and I started down a well-worn path into the thicket, he told me about the time he first heard about this place, in October 2001. A local health care worker had heard rumors about Mexican immigrants using the reeds for sex and came down to offer condoms and advice. She found more than 400 men and 50 young women between 12 and 15 dressed in tight clothing and high heels. There was a separate group of a dozen girls no more than 11 or 12 wearing white communion dresses. ''The girls huddled in a circle for protection,'' Castro told me, ''and had big eyes like terrified deer.''
I followed Castro into the riverbed, and only 50 yards from the road we found a confounding warren of more than 30 roomlike caves carved into the reeds. It was a sunny morning, but the light in there was refracted, dreary and basementlike. The ground in each was a squalid nest of mud, tamped leaves, condom wrappers, clumps of toilet paper and magazines. Soiled underwear was strewn here and there, plastic garbage bags jury-rigged through the reeds in lieu of walls. One of the caves' inhabitants had hung old CD's on the tips of branches, like Christmas ornaments. It looked vaguely like a recent massacre site. It was 8 in the morning, but the girls could begin arriving any minute. Castro told me how it works: the girls are dropped off at the ballfield, then herded through a drainage sluice under the road into the riverbed. Vans shuttle the men from a 7-Eleven a mile away. The girls are forced to turn 15 tricks in five hours in the mud. The johns pay $15 and get 10 minutes. It is in nearly every respect a perfect extension of Calle Santo Tomas in Mexico City. Except that this is what some of those girls are training for.
If anything, the women I talked to said that the sex in the U.S. is even rougher than what the girls face on Calle Santo Tomas. Rosario, a woman I met in Mexico City, who had been trafficked to New York and held captive for a number of years, said: ''In America we had 'special jobs.' Oral sex, anal sex, often with many men. Sex is now more adventurous, harder.'' She said that she believed younger foreign girls were in demand in the U.S. because of an increased appetite for more aggressive, dangerous sex. Traffickers need younger and younger girls, she suggested, simply because they are more pliable. In Eastern Europe, too, the typical age of sex-trafficking victims is plummeting; according to Matei of Reaching Out, while most girls used to be in their late teens and 20's, 13-year-olds are now far from unusual.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., are finding that when it comes to sex, what was once considered abnormal is now the norm. They are tracking a clear spike in the demand for harder-core pornography on the Internet. ''We've become desensitized by the soft stuff; now we need a harder and harder hit,'' says I.C.E. Special Agent Perry Woo. Cybernetworks like KaZaA and Morpheus / through which you can download and trade images and videos -- have become the Mexican border of virtual sexual exploitation. I had heard of one Web site that supposedly offered sex slaves for purchase to individuals. The I.C.E. agents hadn't heard of it. Special Agent Don Daufenbach, I.C.E.'s manager for undercover operations, brought it up on a screen. A hush came over the room as the agents leaned forward, clearly disturbed. ''That sure looks like the real thing,'' Daufenbach said. There were streams of Web pages of thumbnail images of young women of every ethnicity in obvious distress, bound, gagged, contorted. The agents in the room pointed out probable injuries from torture. Cyberauctions for some of the women were in progress; one had exceeded $300,000. ''With new Internet technology,'' Woo said, ''pornography is becoming more pervasive. With Web cams we're seeing more live molestation of children.'' One of I.C.E.'s recent successes, Operation Hamlet, broke up a ring of adults who traded images and videos of themselves forcing sex on their own young children.
But the supply of cheap girls and young women to feed the global appetite appears to be limitless. And it's possible that the crimes committed against them in the U.S. cut deeper than elsewhere, precisely because so many of them are snared by the glittery promise of an America that turns out to be not their salvation but their place of destruction.
Typically, a young trafficking victim in the U.S. lasts in the system for two to four years. After that, Bales says: ''She may be killed in the brothel. She may be dumped and deported. Probably least likely is that she will take part in the prosecution of the people that enslaved her.''
Who can expect a young woman trafficked into the U.S., trapped in a foreign culture, perhaps unable to speak English, physically and emotionally abused and perhaps drug-addicted, to ask for help from a police officer, who more likely than not will look at her as a criminal and an illegal alien? Even Andrea, who was born in the United States and spoke English, says she never thought of escaping, ''because what's out there? What's out there was scarier. We had customers who were police, so you were not going to go talk to a cop. We had this customer from Nevada who was a child psychologist, so you're not going to go talk to a social worker. So who are you going to talk to?''
And if the girls are lucky enough to escape, there's often nowhere for them to go. ''The families don't want them back,'' Sister Veronica, a nun who helps run a rescue mission for trafficked prostitutes in an old church in Mexico City, told me. ''They're shunned.''
When I first met her, Andrea told me: ''We're way too damaged to give back. A lot of these children never wanted to see their parents again after a while, because what do you tell your parents? What are you going to say? You're no good.''
Correction: February 8, 2004, Sunday An article on Jan. 25 about sexual slavery referred erroneously to the film ''Scary Movie 2.'' A Mexican woman who was being held as a sex slave in the United States could not have been taken to see it by her captor; by the time the movie came out in 2001, she had already escaped and returned to Mexico.
Editors' Note: February 15, 2004, Sunday ''The Girls Next Door,'' an article about the importing of women and girls to the United States for sexual slavery, has generated much discussion since it appeared in The Times Magazine on Jan. 25. In response to questions from readers and other publications about sources and accuracy, the magazine has carried out a thorough review of the article.
On the issue of sources, the writer, Peter Landesman, conducted more than 45 interviews, including many with high-ranking federal officials, law enforcement officers and representatives of human rights organizations. Four sources insisted on anonymity to protect their professional positions. A magazine fact checker also interviewed all relevant sources, many of them both before and after publication. Some readers have questioned the figure of 10,000 enforced prostitutes brought into this country each year. The source of that number is Kevin Bales, recommended to the magazine by Human Rights Watch as the best authority on the extent of enforced prostitution in the United States, who based his estimates on State Department documents, arrest and prosecution records and information from nearly 50 social service agencies.
In the course of this review, several errors were discovered in specific details. One, an erroneous reference to the release date of ''Scary Movie 2,'' was corrected in the magazine last Sunday.
On the question whether women imported through Cottonwood Canyon, Calif., could have been wearing high heels, the original source, when pressed, acknowledged that his information was hearsay. The article should not have specified what the women were wearing, and the anecdote should have been related in the past tense, since the trafficking ring was broken up in 2001.
The woman in her 20's known to her traffickers as Andrea recalled an incorrect name for the hotel to which she was taken in Juárez, Mexico. The Radisson Casa Grande had not yet opened when she escaped from her captors.
After the article was published, the writer made an impromptu comment in a radio interview, noting that Andrea has multiple-personality disorder. The magazine editors did not learn of her illness before publication. Andrea's account of her years in slavery remained consistent over two and a half years of psychotherapy. Her therapist says that her illness has no effect on the accuracy of her memory. Her hours-long interview with the author, recorded on tape, is lucid and consistent.
An independent expert consulted by the magazine, Dr. Leonard Shengold, who has written books and papers about child abuse and the reliability and unreliability of memory, affirms that a diagnosis of multiple-personality disorder is not inconsistent with accurate memories of childhood abuse. Because multiple-personality disorder has been associated with false memory, however, the diagnosis should have been cited in the article.
The magazine's cover showed a 19-year-old nicknamed Montserrat, who escaped from a trafficker four years ago. An insignia on her school uniform had been retouched out of the picture to shield her whereabouts. The change violated The Times's policy against altering photographs. Ａｇａｉｎｓｔ ｏｕｒ ｗｉｌｌ mochi thinking Monday, April 9, 2012 Danan comfort women for US army http://www010.upp.so-net.ne.jp/japancia/kiji/beigun.html 米軍がベトナムで設けていた慰安所のレポート。 米国議会はマイクホンダの議案を通して日本を責める立場には無い！ the report that the comfort stations had been provided the U.S. military in Vietnam. U.S. Congress has no rigt to blame against Japan through Mike Honda's proposal. 原文は http://www.amazon.com/Against-Our-Will-Women-Rape/dp/0449908208 Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape [Paperback] Susan Brownmiller (Author) の92-97ページ、 訳文は レイプ・踏みにじられた意思 の119-126ページです (南ベトナム兵やベトコンによるレイプの話から続く) さて、次にアメリカ軍であるが、まずは制度としての売春に目を向けてみよう。ヴェトナムでのアメリカ軍のプレゼンスが大きくなるに従い、暗黙の軍隊の論理――女の身体は戦争の報償であるばかりか、兵士たちの健康と幸福を守るためのソーダ水やアイスクリームのような必需品であるという――が、日常的に実施されるにいたった。女性の身体を金で買うことのできたヴェトナムの状況は、イデオロギーとしてのレイプを増幅させなかったと同時に、それを抑えることもなかったのである。 レイプの発生に関してきわめて現実的な予測を立てていたジョージ・Ｓ・パットン将軍は、第二次世界大戦の司令官時代、軍慰安所を実験的に建設したいとの意向をもっていたとされる。だがその後、アメリカ本国での妻や母親たちの反対運動が戦争遂行に支障を与えるとの懸念から、この計画は実行にいたらなかった。第二次世界大戦で実現できなかった彼の着想は、ヴェトナムで実を結んだといえる。 軍慰安所の伝統は、アメリカ軍の駐留よりはるか以前からヴェトナムに根づいていた。ヴェトナム戦争初期のルポを生き生きとした筆致で描いた故バーナード・フォールは、インドシナ戦争中のフランス陸軍が戦争における女性の利用に対して行った際だった貢献――移動野戦慰安所を設置し、アルジェリア女性を働かせた――について、熱っぽく語っている。フォールによれば、「移動慰安所は部隊とともに戦闘地域を移動した。インドシナに駐留していたフランス軍は、その存在をアメリカの記者や役人の目にはふれないようにしていた。ある大佐は『どかかのおしゃべりが、アメリカの資金がフランス軍の慰安所維持に使われているなどということを言いふらしたら、とんでもない騒ぎになる』ともらした」。有名なディエンビエンフー要塞の中にも移動野戦慰安所があったと、フォールは書いている。 アメリカ軍がフランス軍にとって代わるころには南ヴェトナム社会は混乱の度を増し、もはや軍慰安所のために外国女性を連れてくる必要もなくなっていた。もっとも、この長期にわたる戦争以前のヴェトナム社会に売春が存在しなかったというわけではない。ピーター・アーネットの言葉を借りれば、「売春は古くから存在していた。金が必要になると家長が娘を売るという例も少なくなかった」のである。だが戦争が長引くにつれて、多くの南ヴェトナム女性にとって売春が生計を立てるための唯一の手段となったのは事実だ。一九六一年には、この問題を憂慮した教育者や作家、ソーシャルワーカーら数百人の女性によってヴェトナム女性の尊厳および人権擁護委員会なる組織がサイゴンで結成されたとＡＰ電は伝えている。同電によれば、その第一回会合では「激しい言葉」が飛び交い、ある女性教育者は、「戦争で悲惨な状況に陥った国民は、アメリカドルを得るために妻や子ども、親戚、友人まで売ることを余儀なるされている」と発言した。しかし戦争という圧倒的な現実の前に、この委員会の消息はその後二度と聞かれることはなかった。 アメリカ軍は徐々に売春ビジネスに手を染めていった。戦争の拡大に並行して売春もまた拡大していったが、その背後にあったのは、戦場に出た男には性的対象としての女性の身体が必要だという前提である。アーネットによれば、アメリカ軍が管理・統制する慰安所が徐々に受け入れられていったのは、彼が「マクナマラ理論」と呼ぶ考え方の当然の帰結だという。いわく、「一九六五年の時点での最重要課題は、軍隊を満ち足りた状態にしておくことだった。アイスクリーム、映画、プール、ピッツァ、ホットドッグ、クリーニングサービス、”フーチメイド”などを完備することである。”フーチメイド”はメイドとして雇われるのであり、売春婦ではない。メイドとのセックスはあくまで個人的な取り決めによるもので、その関係は便宜的なものとされた。実際には多くのメイドが売春婦となったが、初期のころには、そうであることが見つかればメイドは解雇された」。 ”フーチメイド”は売春施設への第一歩だった。やがてバーの女性、そしてマッサージ・パーラーがこれに続く。アーネットによれば、一番「問題」を起こしたのは後方部隊の兵士たちだった。「そこには不満と退屈が充満していた。戦闘要員ではなく、したがって勲章にはありつけないことを知っている彼らは、退屈しのぎに車を駆って町に行っては違法の売春宿にしけこんだ。だが性病の防止と安全上の理由から、売春宿への出入りは禁止されていた」（マッサージ・パーラー――サイゴンからニューヨークにいたるあらゆる場所に存在するあやしげな性の”グレーゾーン”――は常に合法的と見なされた） 一九六五年、ダナンの海兵隊基地では月に一回、実験的に兵士たちを大隊ごと町まで行かせてみることにした。ところがアーネットによると、これはさんざんな結果に終わった。「兵士たちはまるで獣の群と化し、手がつけられなかった。まさに混乱の一語に尽きる状態だった」。この苦い経験を経て、海兵隊司令部は兵士たちを基地から外には出さないことに決めた。その結果、動かしがたい需要と供給の法則がはたらき、基地の周りにはたちまち売春宿、マッサージ・パーラー、麻薬売人などが占めるバラック――”ドッグパッチ”――が建ち並んだのだった。「海兵隊員は夜になると鉄線を押し分けて基地の外に出ていき、司令部もこれを見逃した」とアーネットは話した。 アーネットのみるところ（私は同意していないが）、性的便宜施設という点ではアメリカ陸軍のほうが海兵隊より「進歩」していた。一九六六年には、中央高原地帯のアン・ケに駐留する第一騎兵師団、サイゴン北方四○キロのライ・ケに駐留する第一歩兵師団、さらにはプレイク省に駐留する第四歩兵師団のそれぞれの基地周辺には、すでに正規の軍慰安所が設置されていたという。 第一歩兵師団第三旅団の基地に付属するライ・ケの「レクリエーションエリア」は面積約四○○○平方メートル、周囲には有刺鉄線をはりめぐらされ、ゲートには憲兵が立っていた。保安上、出入りが許されるのは日中の明るい間だけで、構内にはホットドッグ、ハンバーガー、みやげ物などの売店もあったが、兵士たちの目当ては長さ三○メートルほどの細長い二棟のコンクリート・バラック――旅団を構成する四○○○人の兵士にサービスを提供する軍慰安所――にあった。どちらの棟にもバーが二ヵ所と楽団の演奏用ステージが一ヵ所、そしてカーテンで仕切られた小部屋が六○室あり、ここにヴェトナム女性が住み込みで働いていた。 小部屋には薄いマットレスを敷いただけの粗末なベッドが置かれ、壁の一方には着替えの服をかけておくための釘が一本。反対側の壁には『プレイボーイ』の見開きのページのヌード写真が、兵士の気をそそるように飾られていた。このライ・ケのレクリエーションセンターの女性たちは、派手なメーキャップに大きく膨らませた髪をスプレーで固め、アメリカ兵の好みに合わせてシリコンでバストを豊かにしている者も大勢いた。アーネットによれば、彼女たちのサービスは「手早くストレートで、いつも同じだった」。米兵は一回ごとに五○○ピアストル（米ドルで二ドルに相当）支払う。代金は必ずピアストルで支払われ、女性の手元に残るのは一回につき二○○ピアストルで、残りはさまざまな段階での支払いにあてられた。一日に八－一○回仕事をすれば、女性たちは客である兵士よりも多くの収入を手にすることができたとアーネットは言う（自由企業とは言いがたいのに、おもしろい説明をしてくれるものだ）。 ここで働いているのは、戦争で家や家族を失った難民や、もともとサイゴンで水商売をしていた女性たちだった。彼女たちは省知事の指示で集められ、ライ・ケ市長の指示によって町へ送り込まれた（二人は相応の分け前を受け取っていた）。こうした人員の調達や料金の取り決めなどの仕事をヴェトナム民間人に委ねた上で、アメリカ軍部は衛生面と安全保障面の管理統制を受けもった。「女性たちは毎週、衛生兵によって性病検査と消毒を受けていた」とアーネットは肯定的な口ぶりで話した。 陸軍基地内の慰安所（「罪の都」「ディズニーランド」「ブーム・ブーム・パーラー」などと呼ばれた）は師団長である陸軍少将の裁量で設置され、大佐クラスの旅団長の直接監督下におかれた。ヴェトナムにおける米軍慰安所が、陸軍参謀総長ウィリアム・Ｃ・ウェストモーランド、サイゴンの米大使館および米国防総省の三者の了承のもとに成り立っていたことは明白である。 性病（とくに淋病）はヴェトナムにおけるアメリカ軍の重大な関心事だった。サイゴン市郊外に設けられたある公設の慰安所では、バーの壁に「札をつけた女性は清潔です」との掲示が出ていた。向かい側の壁にはご丁寧にも「札をつけていない女性は病気をもっています」という掲示が出ている。どの部隊も性病が発生した際には上層部に報告することを義務づけられていた。性病は兵士の健康ばかりか、軍紀も損なうものだったからだ。患者数の大小は大隊の評定に影響し、アーネットによれば「ほとんどの部隊が患者数を偽っていた」という。また性病の発生率は他の戦争や一般社会の数字と比較して「はじめから高かった」ともいう。（ある統計によれば、一九六九年にヴェトナムで性病にかかっていた米兵の割合は一○○○人当たり二○○人だったのに対し、同時期のアメリカでの割合は一○○○人当たり三二人だった）。中隊長たちは性病の罹患数を減らすため、時に巧妙な策を講じた。アーネットによれば、自分の隊には性病はまったくないと自慢していたある中隊長は、部下を性病から守るためにきわめて独創的な方法をとっていた。「彼は公設の慰安所を信用しておらず、自分の部下の兵士たちには利用させなかった。その代わりに自分の部隊専用の女性六人を用意し、毎日ペニシリンをたっぷり注射させていた」というのである。 こうして外国軍が駐留したおかげで「職業売春婦」という身の上になったヴェトナム女性たちの生活については、残念ながら本書のテーマから外れるのでここでは言及しない。それはそれで別個に詳細にわたって語られるべき物語――売春が、包囲された彼女たちの国にもたらした莫大な収入から、わずか一○歳の少女たちで一杯だったサイゴンの慰安所の様子、そして結核や性病といった職業病で死んでいった女性たちや苦境を生き延びた女性たちの物語――である。これまで長々と米軍の売春制度やそれに付随する性病の管理について述べてきたのは、米兵による強姦の実態についての考察を進めるに先立ち、軍人のメンタリティについて理解しておく必要があったからだ。 さて、比較的厳格な倫理規定を貫こうとした海兵隊を除けば、米軍の基地において女性の身体を利用することは「兵士たちを機嫌よくさせておく」ための手段と見なされた。基地の慰安所は「グラント」と呼ばれる歩兵、すなわちヴェトナムに駐留しても何も得るところのない者のための施設であり、将校は利用しないこととされた。そもそも自分にとって理解できない戦争を戦い、しかも日々死と直面していた歩兵こそ、慰めをもっとも必要としている存在だった。アーネットが強調したように、「連中の頭には常に『今晩女とやるんだ――これが最後になるかもしれない』という考えがあった」のだ。 アメリカ陸軍が売春ビジネスに手を出すことになったのは、こうした兵士たちを慰撫するという目的のためであり、彼らが男性の本能的衝動から女性の身体を必要としているとの考えからではなかった。ヴェトナムでの従軍期間は通常一年で、女性なしで過ごすのに法外に長いわけではなく、また性的緊張を解消するにはマスタベーションという手段が日常的に使われたと思われる。一九七三年二月、あるアメリカ兵捕虜は本国への送還に際してこう話している。「セックス抜きではやっていけないなんて、まったくの嘘っぱちだ。自分が夢にまで見たのは食い物と薬だった」。だが軍が性病の予防のために教育映画を使ったり、部隊の評定に細心の注意を払ったりした一方、レイプを犯させないための教育となると、ほとんど何も行われなかったに等しい。 (アメリカ兵によるレイプの話に続く) (南ベトナム兵やベトコンによるレイプの話から続く) And so we come to the Americans - where first we must look at institutionalized prostitution, for as the American presence in Vietnam multiplied, the unspoken military theory of women's bodies as not only a reward of war but as a necessary provision like soda pop and ice cream, to keep our boys healthy and happy, turned into routine practice. And if monetary access to women's bodies did not promote an ideology of rape in Vietnam, neither did it thwart it. General George S. Patton, who had been so pragmatic about expectations of rape, is credited with the desire to experiment with military brothels during his World War II command, an idea he abandoned when he became convinced that the uproar they would create among wives and mothers back in the States might hurt the war effort. Patton did not have his way in World War II but his ghost must have approved of Vietnam. The tradition of military brothels had been established in Vietnam long before the American presence. The late Bernard Fall, who wrote so vividly of the war in its early years, detailed with enthusiasm the French Army's particular contribution to the use of women in war - the mobile field brothel, or Bordel Mobile de Campagne, stocked with girls imported from Algeria. "The B.M.C.'s would travel with units in the combat zones," Fall wrote, "and in general, the French Army in Indochina kept them pretty much out of sight of American newsmen and officials. 'You can just imagine the howl if some blabbermouth comes out with a statement to the effect that American funds are used to maintain bordellos for the French Army,' said one colonel." A mobile field brothel, Fall reported, was inside the famous fortress of Dienbienphu when the French surrendered. By the time the Americans had fully replaced the French in Indochina the war had sufficiently disrupted South Vietnamese society to a point where it was no longer necessary to import foreign women for the purpose of military prostitution. I do not mean to imply that prostitution was unknown in Vietnam before the long war. As Peter Arnett told me, "Prostitution was a time-honored tradition. Certain heads of families would not think twice before routinely selling their daughters if they needed the money." But as the long war progressed, prostitution increasingly became the only viable economic solution for thousands of South Vietnamese women. By 1966 the problem had reached such proportions that a Committee for the Defense of the Vietnamese Woman's Human Dignity and Rights was organized in Saigon by several hundred women educators, writers and social workers, according to an AP dispatch. The wire service reported that bitter words" were expressed at the first meeting. "Themiserable conditions of war have forced our people to sell everything - theirwives, children, relatives and friends - for the American dollar," a womaneducator was quoted. The Committee for the Defense of the Vietnamese Woman,overwhelmed by the reality of the Vietnam war, was never heard from again. The American military got into the prostitution business by degrees,an escalation process linked to the escalation of the war. Underlying theescalation was the assumption that men at war required the sexual use of women's bodies. Reporter Arnett saw the gradual acceptance of U.S. military-controlledand -regulated brothels as a natural outgrowth of what he called "the McNamaratheory": "In 1965 the main idea was to keep the troops contented and satisfied.Ice cream, movies, swimming pools, pizza, hot dogs, laundry service and hootchmaids. The hootch maid were brought in as maids, not as prostitutes. Sex witha hootch maid was a private arrangement, a relationship of convenience. A lotof hootch maids did become prostitutes, however, but in the early days if theywere discovered at it, they were fired." The hootch maids were the first step toward accommodation; bar girlsand massage parlors soon followed. According to Arnett, the rear-area troopscaused the most "problems": "There was a lot of discontent and boredom. Themen were aware that they were soldiers who weren't fighting, who weren'tgetting any medals. They might drive into town to the illegal brothels, butfor reasons of VD and security the brothels were off limits." (Massageparlors, that vague gray area of sexual action from Saigon to New York City,were always considered legal.) In 1965 the Marine Corps base at Danang began experimenting withorganized battalion trips to town on a once-a-month basis, but according toArnett it was a disaster: "The men would hit town like animals, they couldn'tcope, it was pure chaos." After this early experience the Marine commanddecided to confine their men to the base camp, but the inviolate law of supplyand demand went into operation. A shantytown of brothels, massage parlors anddope dealers, known as Dogpatch, soon ringed the base. "The marines would bustthrough the wire at night - the Marine command could live with that," thereporter told me. It was Arnett's opinion (not shared by me) that the U.S. Army was"more enlightened" than the Marine Corps when it came to sexual accommodation.By 1966 the 1st Cavalry Division at An Khe, in the Central Highlands, the 1stInfantry Division at Lai Khe, twenty-five miles north of Saigon, and the 4thInfantry Division at Pleiku had established official military brothels withinthe perimeter of their base camps. The Lai Khe "recreation area" belonging to the base camp of the 3rdBrigade, 1st Infantry Division was a one-acre compound surrounded by barbedwire with American MP's standing guard at the gate. It was opened only duringdaylight hours for security reasons. Inside the compound there were shops thatsold hot dogs, hamburgers and souvenirs, but the main attraction was twoconcrete barracks, each about one hundred feet long - the military whorehousesthat serviced the four-thousand-man brigade. Each building was outfitted withtwo bars, a bandstand, and sixty curtained cubicles in which the Vietnamesewomen lived and worked. An individual cubicle contained little more than a table with a thinmattress on it and a peg on one wall for the girl's change of clothing. On theopposite wall a Playboy nude centerfold provided decoration and stimulationfor the visiting soldier. The women who lived in the Lai Khe recreation-centercubicles were garishly made up with elaborate, sprayed bouffant hairdos andmany had enlarged their breasts with silicone injections as a concession toWestern fetish. The sexual service, as Arnett described it, was "quick,straight and routine," and the women were paid five hundred piasters (theequivalent of two dollars in American money) for each turn by their GI clients.Americans always paid in piasters. For each trick she turned, a girl would getto keep two hundred piasters (seventy-five cents), the rest going to variouslevels of payoffs. By turning eight to ten tricks a day a typical prostitutein the Lai Khe compound earned more per month than her GI clients, Arnettadvised me - a curious sidelight to a not-so-free enterprise system. Refugees who had lost their homes and families during the war andveterans of the earlier Saigon bar trade formed the stock of the brothel. Theywere recruited by the province chief, who took his payoff, and were channeledinto town by the mayor of Lai Khe, who also got his cut. The American military,which kept its hands partially clean by leaving the procurement and pricearrangement to Vietnamese civilians, controlled and regulated the health andsecurity features of the trade. "The girls were checked and swabbed every weekfor VD by Army medics," my informed source told me approvingly. Military brothels on Army base camps ("Sin Cities", "Disney-lands" or"boom-boom parlors") were built by decision of a division commander, atwo-star general, and were under the direct operational control of a brigadecommander with the rank of colonel. Clearly, Army brothels in Vietnam existedby the grace of Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland, the United StatesEmbassy in Saigon, and the Pentagon. Venereal disease, mostly gonorrhea, was a major preoccupation of themilitary in Vietnam. One official brothel outside Saigon had a sign on thewall of the bar that read "GIRLS WITH TAGS ARE CLEAN." Lest the declarationfailed to make its points, a sign on the opposite wall spelled out "GIRLSWITHOUT TAGS ARE DISEASED." It was mandatory for all units to report theirincidence of VD to the higher-ups, since it reflected on military disciplineas well as on the health of the soldiery, and a high VD count was chargedagainst the merit rating of a battalion. "Most units lied about their VDcount," Arnett believed. It was also his understanding that the reported VDrate "was high from the beginning" in relation to other wars and to a normalcivilian population. (in 1969 GI's contracted venereal disease in Vietnam at areported rate of 200 cases per 1,000 persons; the United States rate at thetime was 32 per 1,000.) Company commanders often went to ingenious lengths tolower their counts. One commander, Arnett told me, boasted that there was noVD at all in his company. His method of protecting his men was highlyenterprising: "He didn't allow them to use the official brothel, he didn'ttrust it. It turned out he kept six girls sequestered on his part of the baseand had them shot full of penicillin every day." I am sorry that it is not within the scope of this book to explore thelives of Vietnamese women who became "Occupation: prostitute" as a directresult of the foreign military presence in their country. It is a story thatshould be told in detail, from the tremendous source of revenue thatprostitution provided their beleaguered country, to account of Saigon brothelsfilled with ten-year-old girls, to the incidence of work-related deaths fromtuberculosis and venereal disease, and with a special nod of recognition tothose who survived. I have dwelt on official U.S. military prostitution, andthe concomitant concern for control of venereal disease, because it isnecessary to understand the military mind before proceeding to an examinationof GI rape. Except for the Marine Corps, which attempted to enforce a relativelystrict moral code, the use of women's bodies on the base camps was seen as away to "keep the boys happy." Officers were not expected to engage in whoring;the institution was made available for the foot soldier, or "grunt," the fellowwith the least to gain from being in Vietnam, the one who needed to bemollified and pacified - perhaps because he was fighting a war he did notunderstand and because he daily faced the possibility that he might be killed.As Arnett cautioned me to remember, "These guys were always thinking,'I'm gonna get screwed tonight - this may be my last.'" It was this mollification aspect, and not a belief that soldiersrequired the use of a woman's body out of some intrinsic male urge, thatmotivated the U.S. Army to get into the prostitution business. A regular tourof duty in Vietnam consisted of a one-year stretch, not an unconscionably longperiod of time to be without a woman, and relief from sexual tension could be,and I presume routinely was, accomplished by masturbation. As one GI prisonerof war remarked upon his repatriation in February, 1973, "This stuff about notbeing able to live without sex is nonsense. What I dreamed about was food andmedicine." And while the military's emphasis on avoidance of venereal diseaseis certainly commendable, for all the anti-VD training films and for all theconcern about merit ratings, there was no comparable cautionary trainingagainst committing rape. (アメリカ兵によるレイプの話に続く) 投稿者 sakuramochi 時刻: 9.4.12 Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook ラベル: comfort women