About the Podcast
Welcome to another powerful episode of Liberating Humanity, the podcast where we explore pressing issues and seek innovative solutions to create a better world. In today’s episode, titled “Beyond Judgement: Reimagining Solutions for Human Trafficking in La Zona Rosa,” your hosts Paul Hutchinson and Josh Sanchez delve into the heartbreaking reality of human trafficking in Mexico City’s notorious Zona Rosa.
Paul recounts his personal experience working undercover in this dark world, shedding light on the plight of countless victims who are forced into prostitution. The mission was twofold: to provide these girls with a glimpse of normalcy and to offer them an opportunity for rescue if they so desired. However, as Paul reveals, the judgment and misconceptions surrounding these victims often hinder our understanding of the complex and tragic circumstances they endure.
As the hosts discuss these eye-opening encounters, they emphasize the vital importance of compassion in tackling the pervasive issue of human trafficking. By recognizing that the majority of prostitutes are, in fact, victims controlled by fear and manipulation, we can begin to take proactive steps towards eradicating this heinous crime. Together, Paul and Josh challenge listeners to challenge their own preconceived notions and view these individuals with empathy, understanding, and ultimately, the desire to provide healing and a chance for a normal life.
Join us as we delve further into the inspiring actions taken to rescue and support these victims and discuss the profound impact that compassion can have in transforming lives. This episode will leave you pondering the power of judgment and the vital role each of us plays in liberating humanity from the clutches of human trafficking. Stay tuned for an enlightening and thought-provoking conversation on Liberating Humanity.
[mks_toggle title=”Read Transcript” state=”closed”]Paul Hutchinson [00:00:09]:
So we fly into Mexico City. There’s an area in Mexico City called Zona Rosa. This is the red zone, and there’s a section right next to that. That’s a road where prostitutes will line up just like window shopping, and cars will drive past these girls and boys and pick them out. Yep, yep, yep, nope, nope, nope, nope. Yep. That one. We’re talking hundreds of victims, hundreds of girls that were that are there that are lined up. Our mission here was twofold. Number one, to give an opportunity for these girls to feel normal for just one moment, one night, for them to have somewhat of a normal life and to make it so that if they wanted to be saved, if they wanted to be rescued, especially the younger ones, that we would give them an opportunity. So what we did is this. We flew in, I met with one of these Green Beret guys, and he was huge, total, just very obvious security. And we walked around this area, and I was seeing all of this stuff going on firsthand. This is one of my first missions. This is like my third time being undercover. I’m seeing everything that’s happening there. And then somewhere later in the evening, I think it was around 11:00 at night, we have a mariachi band show up and start playing. And then we have a truck pull up with a whole bunch of tables and tablecloths. And we set up this beautiful dinner. This other truck comes in with this catering company, and we set up this beautiful dinner with a mariachi band. And then we invited, and we was just right there in this area, and it was pissing off all the pimps. You could see they were mad. And then we started inviting the girls to come and sit down, and some of them would come willingly, and others are like, no, because you would see their eyes dart over to where their pimps were. They were controlling them, and they’re like, no, we don’t want to go. And so then what we would do is we would go up and say, listen, how much? How much for a half an hour? And they would give us a price, and I would pay them the money for that half an hour, for a half an hour of their time to come and sit down and enjoy some dinner. Some of them took that because they were looking at their pimps and worried if they were earning enough money and whatever. And even then, there were a number of them that were scared of coming over. And you could tell that some of those ones were the ones that were definitely being controlled through fear and manipulation. So we would give them cards, and this card would have in Spanish, if you need help, if you want a place to stay, we’re here to help with a phone number that they could call for one of the NGOs that was there in the country. This wasn’t my idea. This was coming from the foundation that we were working with at the time. I helped to pay for some things, but this was their idea to just provide an opportunity to pull some of these victims out of that situation. And it’s important to understand that so many people judge so many people judge the prostitutes in that situation. You don’t know. You don’t know what happened to them as a child. You don’t know the financial position they’re in. You don’t know the fact that most of them are being controlled by fear. And so for you to sit back and say, wow, yeah, she this they are victims. I’m telling you right now. The majority of the women and men who are prostitutes, the majority of them are victims. And once we understand that, then we can take a step back and say, okay, if our goal is to eradicate trafficking, if that’s what our goal is, it’s not just a twelve year old. It’s not just a 15 year old. It’s the 21. It’s the 25 year old who’s been working for the same pimp for the last ten or 15 years. And I’ve seen it over and over again. And so we were given an opportunity for some of these girls to just have an enjoyable evening. A couple of us as operators were dancing with them as a mariachi band and twirling around and everything else, and it was beautiful. We had a number of them where they ended up calling some of those phone numbers, and we were able to rescue and put them in a safe place. Something that was memorable about that operation was this. There was a couple of the girls who worked for the foundation at the time that after we were done and we were packing up, one of them said to me, she said, that was just gross. I’m like, what do you mean gross? She said, you were dancing with those girls and you were touching their hands. You must have just can you imagine what’s on your hands right now, where their hands have been? And I was like and how she was talking about those girls, I thought, why the crap are you here working with this foundation if that’s how you feel? If you think that they’re just dirty, yeah, maybe they’re you know what? I can wash my hands, right? I’m not going to catch a bunch of diseases because I was dancing with these girls that were there. They’re human beings, right? They have probably gone through way more crap in their life than you can imagine. And to give them an opportunity to feel normal just for one night, to not being sold, being sold over and over again instead, to come and enjoy a dinner and to enjoy a dance. To me, that was beautiful. To you, that was disgusting. That disgusts me that you think that that was disgusting. And so this is a lesson for all of us. How many of us sit back and say, oh, that’s disgusting. Oh, there we go. Whatever else, diseases, you know what? They’re people and they’re being trafficked. And it’s important that we all understand that and come from a place of compassion so that we can truly help people heal and fix this problem. Because the second that you look at them like a piece of crap, then you’re not going to do what’s necessary to provide the healing that they need and the opportunity they need to go and live a normal life. You don’t know. You can’t judge them anytime that you judge another person. I’ve realized this for myself. Anytime that I’ve ever judged another person, there is a 100% chance that I don’t have enough information to make that judgment. 100% chance. I have no idea if that guy’s selling me a child, I’m going to make sure he never sells a child again. Right. But I don’t know. I don’t know if he was raped as a child. He probably was. I don’t know all of the horrible things that happened in that person’s life. If somebody cuts me off on a freeway, I don’t know. They may have a daughter that’s in the hospital. But the reality is, if I’m ever judging them, there’s a 100% chance that I don’t have enough information to make that judgment. There’s only one person in the universe that’s got all of the facts, and that ain’t me, and that isn’t you either. So look at other people with compassion. Yes. Do what’s necessary to ensure that innocence is preserved. Do what’s necessary to put people in a place where they can’t hurt another child again, but come from a place of compassion for them, for the prostitutes, for the operators. Everybody in your life, everybody in your family, even the people that you’re super close to. You don’t have all the information to make a judgment. Come from a place of compassion and life will be so much better than living in a place of judgment. And this is for yourself as well. I’m telling you what how many of us live in a place of judgment of ourself? That’s a super low energy place to live. Forgiveness for others, forgiveness for yourself is the first step to healing. Once you’re holding on to all this crap that happened to you or happened even things that you did in your past, when you’re holding on to all of that, when you’re holding on to it, it’s going to affect your ability to move on and live a normal life. It’s going to make it so that you’re going to transfer that trauma to other people. Let it go. Realize that that old version of you is not the version of you today. There’s things in my life I’m not proud of. There’s times in my life that I haven’t acted in total integrity in my relationship. Lives and everything else. I haven’t. I’m not proud of that. But I’m not going to live in that energy. I am not that guy anymore. I have moved on. I have come to a place of light and love and honor and integrity in my life. And that goes for all of us. Let go of judgment and understand that everybody has been on their own road. And where they are right now, everybody needs compassion and needs a place of healing. And you can offer that to them once you break down that judgment and come from a place of compassion. So that’s what I learned from Mexico City. It’s what I learned very, very clearly. Being with those women who were being trafficked. And some of them, I don’t care. I don’t care if they weren’t being trafficked. I don’t care if it was their decision to become a prostitute and be there. I don’t care. The bottom line is I can’t judge them for that. I don’t know. I don’t know if their mom’s in the hospital and they’re trying to figure out because they have no education, there’s no other way for them to make money. I don’t know. I don’t know all of that. But I’m not going to judge them.
Josh Sanchez [00:10:03]:
Do you know the resolution of how many girls called in from those cards?
Paul Hutchinson [00:10:08]:
I was told that there was a handful. I’m believing that it was about five or ten, that I can actually look into it to find out. But I was told that there was a handful. I was there just helping to fund things and being a part of whatever. And there was another NGO, another foundation that was fielding those calls. I was told that there were a number of them that were brought out of that, put into a safe place, given the opportunity to have a good education and move forward. But even beyond that, just that opportunity to give them a chance at a normal life, even just for one night, was beautiful.
Josh Sanchez [00:10:44]:
How much of a role do you think?
Paul Hutchinson [00:10:48]:
Here’s something to really get our heads around. The biggest problems I have seen in trafficking, especially trafficking of children, have come from countries with big challenges from an economic standpoint. A lot of poverty, and there’s a lot of different ways that we can fight this. You can arrest all the pedophiles, you can change the mindset of people to take away the demand side, but at the same time, the supply side is coming in from people that have some economic challenges. I’ve seen it over and over again. I’ve seen in Thailand that there are so many of the families that were super poor, that couldn’t afford to feed their families, yet they could sell one of their daughters and now have enough money to be able to feed them. It’s sad. And again, do we judge them? What would you do if you couldn’t feed your family? Right? If your kids were starving. Now you say, I wouldn’t prostitute my daughter. You probably wouldn’t. You’re right. But would your moral compass change at all if your kids were starving? This is something we all have to ask ourselves, is how strong that moral compass is in the standards you have in your life. Again, who are we to judge, right? Who are we to judge? If we could figure out how to fix the poverty problem in these countries, I believe that would fix a major part of the supply side. I really do. Because some of these pimps, this is a great way for them to earn money, because there’s not other ways for them. It’s not a great way, but it’s a way that they do earn money. There’s big profit involved in selling other humans. It’s a massive, massive industry. In fact, I heard a report recently where the amount of money in trafficking last year exceeded all of the money that was brought in by all of the airlines of the world combined. So follow the money. But from a supply side. I’ve seen so many situations where these kids came from poverty, and the parents are just hoping somehow that this child maybe could make some money as a model, or they’ve sold the child, or even if they were abducted and taken it’s because there was money to be made by the traffickers. So fixing the supply and fixing the demand on both sides of things that we can get behind. So if your foundation is helping to solve hunger and solve poverty, I believe you’re helping to solve child trafficking as well.
Josh Sanchez [00:13:38]:
Would you say statistically, 80% of sex workers are also being trafficked, even in the United States? Or is that just in third world countries?
Paul Hutchinson [00:13:46]:
So when I found out from a rescued trafficked victim who had been trafficked for more than five years, and she was now 18 years old, and when I asked her what percentage, and I thought it was maybe 50% of the girls who were prostitutes, maybe 50% of them were really independent and 50% were trafficked. And she said, no, that number is closer to 80 or 90%. And I thought, wow, that changes things a lot. Knowing that that level, that percentage of these sex workers were being trafficked were being controlled, the first thing that it did for me, it expanded my compassion for them and my concern that they were being controlled by fear. And the question was asked to me, well, what do you do if you feel like that’s the case? Provide opportunities for them to heal. Provide opportunities for them to be in a safe place. I have a friend who one of his companies. He specifically has things that these women can do in sewing and in teaching them some other skills, where he has an entire portion of his company that specifically takes these sex workers who don’t have any other options and says, okay, I can give you a similar paycheck. And I will from a charity standpoint, I will pay for your education in exchange for you using this new skill in this new place. It’s a beautiful thing that he’s doing in being able to give them that because a lot of them don’t see any other way. Even if they’re whether they’re being trafficked or whether they’re doing it on their own, they don’t see any other option. This is the only thing they know how to do. They don’t have money to go to school. They’re coming from a broken home. They don’t have any other way out. Maybe they’re being controlled, fear or whatever else. And so he says, Listen, I will put you up in a place to stay. I will give you the education to create some new skills and I will give you the job that you can now use those skills as. And overall, he’s been able to make it so that the profit that’s coming off of that new job for him and his new company covers every he’s not making a bunch on it because he’s paying a lot from a charity standpoint. But he’s able to give them that opportunity to start a new life. That’s something that a lot more people should be doing, not just him. So here’s the thing. We live in this super judgmental world, right? Super judgmental in so many ways. And we have to ask ourselves, where’s that judgment coming from? Let’s go back 2000 years. Who did Christ pick as his favorite woman? Who was it? Where did Mary Magdalene where did she come from? Answer that question and you’ll fix your judgment. I’m telling you what if we could get to the place of compassion like that where we could remove that judgment from people and see their hearts and see who they could be, this whole world would be so much better. Everybody watching this right now has judgment in some way. All of them. They’re looking at these people saying, oh, well, that’s not me. Whatever. Really? How about you look at them with some compassion? How about you see the divinity within them no matter where they are right now and the struggles that they’ve been through? How about you get to that point before you sit back and say, hey, I’m a good Christian. You’re a good Christian? Really? You’re a good Christian and you’re looking at somebody like me and saying, oh, your hands are dirty because you danced with those prostitutes. Really, that makes you a good Christian? No, you need to look back and really ask yourself what compassion looks like and let go of that judgment and see people for who they are and who they can be. That’s the only way that we’re going to fix this problem. That’s the only way. How do we fix I’ll tell you that one right now. How do we fix poverty? This is a thing I actually have a little bit of a problem with in these podcasts and talking about sex trafficking. Understand this. The things that we focus on will actually bring those things into the world. What we need to focus on right now is not child trafficking. It’s child freedom. It’s important to understand that because we as a global collective, as we’re focusing on certain things, it will actually bring those things into existence. Perfect example. Things that I worried about in bringing this movie out is let’s say that you’ve got some guy who’s addicted to pornography and didn’t even think that child pornography was a thing, right? That wasn’t even on his purview. He didn’t even know that children were being sold for sex, right? And so then is what happens is he starts hearing about this really? Children being that’s weird, that’s weird. And it goes from that’s horrible to that’s weird to that’s interesting. You see where I’m going here? Okay, so then is what happens is this pervert who’s already stepped across this line and maybe a rape situation or maybe he’s in his pornography, is looking at rape videos and getting off on that kind of violence and whatever that didn’t even think that child trafficking was a thing, and gets drawn to that. That’s what I worry about here. That’s what I worry about. So when it comes to poverty and this is a whole other subject, but this is important to understand in all of this stuff, realize this. Your actions are powerful, your words are powerful and your thoughts are powerful. If you’re going to eradicate trafficking, showing trafficking to everybody may or may not be the solution. We’ve got to create awareness so that we know what’s going on. But we’ve got to look at the bigger picture and say, okay, can we focus on healthy families? Can we focus on love? Can we focus on compassion? Can we focus on seeing each other as divine beings rather than objects? That’s what the focus needs to be when it comes to eradicating poverty. You’re not going to eradicate poverty by showing pictures of poverty to affluent people. You’re not going to do it. This is what people have been trying to do for years. That’s not going to fix it. Here’s what’s going to fix it. Yes, you need those people in affluent positions to write checks and create opportunities for people in poverty. But the most important thing that you can do is show pictures of affluence to those people in poverty. You’re like, why would you no, you need to help them believe in a better life. You need to help them see themselves as different from where they are already. This is where the welfare system doesn’t work. When people think that they need welfare, when people think that they are not capable, when people think that they are not able to create abundance in their life, then they gravitate towards that. And their thoughts become their words become their actions. And they live a life of quiet desperation living in abject poverty because they don’t believe they can get better. So years ago I had a company that was selling a program to help people with anxiety and depression disorders and in this program we had a workbook, we had videos and we had over 50,000 people a month calling in off of this infomercial to get help to overcome anxiety and depression. The problem was, is that the very thing that we were fighting kept people where they were even if they had the right tools. That negative self talk and worry and what if thinking and negative expectations and the perceptions they had of themselves those negative thinking habits were creating the anxiety and depression and those same negative thinking habits, once they got the program they’re like that’s not going to work for me. That’s not going to work for me. I’m going to stay this way forever. Those same negative thinking habits kept them stuck. So how did we help them overcome that? We needed to help them see themselves in a place different from where they were right now. How do we do that? We just say hey I believe in you. I believe we line them up with a personal coach. Now this personal coach was not a therapist, was not a psychiatrist. It was somebody who had used the cognitive restructuring programs that we had in our system of changing their negative thinking patterns. Somebody who had dealt with debilitating anxiety and depression themselves to the point where they couldn’t overcome it and they couldn’t move forward. But through our tools was able to move forward. Then we lined them up on a twelve week program once a week on the phone, half an hour at a time saying I believe in you. I was you. I was there. I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way. Here’s what I found. And in doing so it gave them the missing ingredient which was belief. Belief. That’s what had to happen. It was that change of focus in believing that they could get better. We ended up with a 97% success rate in helping people overcome anxiety and depression disorders to the point where they could live a normal life with that ingredient. So in fixing poverty you’re not going to do it by just showing pictures of poverty people to those who have the money. Yes, you need to get them to write the check. But the most important thing that you can do is help people believe in a better future. This is the same thing with the traffic victims. If we can take those girls that were there on the street in Mexico and we can say guess what? You can have a better life you can get out of. Now I’m not saying that your life is bad. I’m not going to judge you. I mean here’s the thing guys, let me just tell you the simple fact that if you say, hey, I can help you have a better life, that’s a form of judgment. Maybe that’s their choice. Don’t judge them, right? But give them an opportunity to see something different, right? Have them an opportunity to see a life that is separate from where they are. If that’s what they choose, then give them the hand up to be able to have that new life. Give them that belief that they can create some new skill sets. Give them that belief that they can have a safe environment to live in and a place that they can raise their children without being involved in prostitution or trafficking. That’s a key point. And that’s something that we all need to do to help people move forward. Thank you for spending this time with us. Thank you for joining me again for the Liberating Humanity podcast. Be sure to rate and review. Please go down. Click the review. Rate this if you hate it, text me and let me know and I’ll fix things, whatever. But I’m speaking from the heart and I’m here to help to liberate humanity. And I believe we can do so by helping people change our perceptions of ourself, of other people, and understand really what’s going on in the world and what we can do to fix. So rate and review. Thank you for joining us on the Liberating Humanity podcast.