Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Organization With Utah Roots Frees Children From Sex Slavery

Operation Underground Railroad
We rescue kidnapped children from slavery.

The story of operation Clear Hope has raised many questions such as, who are these American sex tourists and what happened to the children?

Matt, a jump team leader for the Operation Underground Railroad organization, whose last name will not be used for security issues, said Americans are the number one consumer of child sex trafficking.

According to Matt, Colombia is a beautiful destination that attracts many people from all over the world - including those interested in illegal activity.

“There are wealthy businessmen and wealthy individuals who look like an average Joe who, unfortunately, kiss their wives and hug their kids and put them into bed, and then... go off to some of these little areas because there’s that impunity," Matt said. "There’s too much of a risk to do that within the United States, so that’s why these sex tourists go down to these countries, because that’s where they can do it.”

Sources say that the investigation of all the evidence will take some time and will hopefully lead to other arrests and ultimate convictions.

As for the children. Matt said that there are many professionals working together to help them.

“They have the psychological help," Matt said. "They have psychologists and social workers there trying to determine what happened to them, trying to help them to move on from this, right. It’s a long process. But we also try to get them into a regular day-to-day life.”

Of the 123 sex trafficking victims that they rescued Saturday, 55 were minors who are now in protective custody.