Convicted Sexual Slave Trafficers Deserve The Harshest Punishments Available
For years, Gerardo Salazar played the Romeo in dusty Mexican villages, trolling town squares and schoolyards for women and girls he could seduce with declarations of love and, ultimately, sell in seedy Houston cantinas.
Salazar, who called himself El Gallo – the Rooster – could have been arrested three years ago after a federal indictment named him leader of an international human trafficking ring. Instead, he escaped to Mexico, where his hometown is a notorious center for kidnapping.
But the cantina sex trade Salazar helped build in Houston continues to flourish.
Despite enforcement efforts, human traffickers and prostitution operators have constructed resilient and lucrative networks of organized crime that have a franchise-like ability to persist and prosper, a Houston Chronicle investigation has found.
Two associates of Salazar’s, bar owners who escaped prosecution in 2005, were arrested only recently after police rescued a teenager allegedly held captive and sold as their sex slave…