Susana Trimarco

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Susana Trimarco
Flia veron mujeres.jpg
Susana Trimarco (left) and María de los Ángeles Verón (right)
Sara Susana del Valle Trimarco de Veron

1954 (age 64–65)
Spouse(s)Daniel Verón (1975–2010)
ChildrenMaría de los Ángeles
AwardsWomen of Courage in 2007
Premio Cristo Rey in 2008
Premio Sarmiento in 2011
WebsiteFundación María de los Ángeles

Sara Susana del Valle Trimarco de Veron,[1][2] or Susana Trimarco (born 1954), is an Argentinian human rights activist, whose efforts to combat human trafficking and corruption have been recognized internationally. After the 2002 disappearance of her daughter, who is believed to have been kidnapped by a human trafficking network, she spent years searching for her daughter, and started a foundation to support victims of sex trafficking. Her lobbying is credited as bringing corruption and government impunity to the fore in Argentina, a discussion which led to a 2011 law banning the advertisement of sexual services in newspapers and magazines.


Susana Trimarco's daughter Marita (born María de los Ángeles) was kidnapped in San Miguel de Tucumán, the capital of Tucumán Province, on April 3, 2002. Marita was the mother of a two-year-old girl and had gone to a doctor appointment when, according to a witness, she was pulled into a red car. It is believed that she was forced into prostitution.

Trying to find her, Trimarco began to visit brothels dressed as a prostitute. She received threats and was given false clues in order to mislead her search. Her investigations led to the release of other women supposedly deprived of their liberty, but her daughter is still missing.[3]

In 2007, Trimarco founded the Fundación María de los Ángeles ("María of the Angels Foundation") in order to rescue kidnapped girls in Argentina. It claims to have achieved the release of hundreds.[4]

In February and March 2012, Trimarco testified at the trial of 13 people, including police officers, who were accused of kidnapping Marita Veron and selling her to human traffickers. All the defendants were acquitted on December 12, 2012.[5]

In December 2012, seven men and six women were charged with Marita's kidnapping, but acquitted in a Tucuman criminal court. A week later, Trimarco met with Argentina's president, and impeachment proceedings were started against the 3 judges who had delivered the verdict.[6][7] In December 2013, ten of the original 13 defendants were convicted of the kidnapping and sexual exploitation of Marita Verón.[8]

Legacy and awards[edit]


Trimarco's campaign has exposed the sex-trafficking industry and brought the issues of corruption of high officials and the impunity of the human trafficking networks into the public eye. As a result of her efforts, Argentina passed a law that makes the abduction and sexual exploitation of persons a federal offense in 2007. The law also established a Rescue Office to provide legal assistance to victims.

In 2008, Trimarco's efforts led to Argentine legislation that prohibited human trafficking, and led to 3,000 people being rescued from human traffickers in Argentina.[9] In 2011, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner enacted "Rubro 59", which bans the advertisement of sexual services in newspapers and magazines.[10][11][12][13] For the first time, the Ministry of Security was able to uncover that police forces were implicated in trafficking rings.[10]

In 2008 an anti-trafficking law was passed, and a Rescue Office was established in the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to oversee the prevention and investigation of human trafficking crimes and provide legal assistance to victims.[10]


On March 8, 2007, the U.S. Department of State honored Susana Trimarco with the International Women of Courage Award, conferred by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The official citation reads:

Ms. Susana Trimarco de Veron has faced danger and threats in her efforts to combat human trafficking and to find her daughter, who was kidnapped by traffickers. Desperate to find her missing daughter, Ms. Trimarco put herself in dangerous situations, disguised as a prostitute, trolling bars and alleys in search of anyone who might know her daughter's whereabouts. Despite false leads and death threats, she has uncovered evidence of trafficking networks operating in the Argentine provinces of La Rioja, Tucuman, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Santa Cruz. Thanks to Ms. Trimarco's work, human trafficking is now gaining public and government attention in Argentina, and victims are being encouraged to report the crime.[1][2]

The Argentinian national senate also honored Susana Trimarco with the Premio Domingo Faustino Sarmiento for her work in promotion of human rights.[14]

On March 14, 2012, the Canadian government honored Ms. Trimarco with the John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award.[15][16]

Trimarco was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.[17]


The Telefé series Vidas Robadas ("Stolen Lives") was inspired by this case.[4]

Susana Trimarco was also the subject of a 2009 documentary, Fragmentos de una Búsqueda (Fragments of a Search), directed by Pablo Milstein and Norberto Ludín.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Honorees". United States Department of State. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Blum, Orna (June 2007). "2007 Women of Courage". State Magazine. pp. 29–31.
  3. ^ Benitez, Laura (5 February 2013). "Impeachment Proceedings Begin Against Marita Verón Judges". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b Byrnes, Brian (18 September 2008). "Argentine mom seeks daughter forced into prostitution". CNN. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Argentina Marita Veron sex slave trial clears accused". BBC News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  6. ^ "Marita Verón's Mother Met With President Yesterday". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Impeachment Proceedings Begin Against Marita Verón Judges". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Court Convicts 10 of 13 Defendants in Marita Verón Case". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  9. ^ Hernandez, Vladimir (2 April 2012). "Confronting Argentina's people-traffickers". BBC News. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Cotton, Jess (14 March 2012). "The Marita Effect: Documenting Human Trafficking in Argentina". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Argentine president announces ban on newspapers' ads for prostitution". The Portland Press Herald. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  12. ^ Roberts, Mhairi (6 July 2011). "Decree Banning Sexual Advertisements Signed". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  13. ^ Battaglia, Nicole (20 July 2011). "President Bans 'Rubro 59' to Combat Human Trafficking". The Argentina Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos - Presidencia de la Nación". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Baird Honours Human Rights Defenders". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  16. ^ "Text of speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  17. ^ ""Proponen a Trimarco para el Nobel de la Paz", Perfil, 26 abril, 2012". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Warsaw Film Festival". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  19. ^ "Fragmentos de una búsqueda" (in Spanish). Cines Argentinos. Retrieved 24 September 2014.

External links[edit]