The road is nicknamed the Highway of Death Rodovia da Morte for its mortality rate due to many accidents and unstable weather and conditions along the route. Two underage prostitutes near the football stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil before the World Cup soccer. Supplied The child sex trade along the BR brings misery into the lives of young Brazilian girls. Supplied Emilly, who was taken from her family and raped and murdered in Supplied Jessica, 13, was kidnapped and forced to have sex with a truck driver.
Supplied At Meninadanca, an organisation established to stop the exploitation of at-risk girls in towns along the BR, the real life stories are mind blowing.
When a Meninadanca team visited the remote town of Candido Sales, which is bisected by the BR, they discovered that underage girls in the town were regularly offered to men as prizes in raffles.
Trucks and heavy goods vehicles clog the road lined with bars and brothels through the town, just metres away from the dirt brick homes where Brazilian families live in poverty. Sex trafficking gangs target the town and poor families are vulnerable to offers of money for their little girls.
Supplied Child prostitutes as young as 11 work in this slum which lines the fence of the Olympic football stadium in Sao Paulo.
She told us how from the age of nine she was made to watch pornographic films, and men would pay her to touch them. Supplied Author and anti-child prostitution activist Matt Roper with a young girl saved in Brazil. Supplied In the case of year-old Jessica, from a small town on the BR in northeastern Brazil, was drugged by a female pimp at a party and kidnapped in a truck.
It was a different case for a nine-year-old called Emilly, who was taken from her family and raped and murdered in The Pink House held public protests and the man was eventually tried and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo where Olympic soccer will take place not far from the highway where underage girls work as prostitutes.
Supplied The town of Candido Sales above where young girls were auctioned off is now being saved by the establishment of a Pink House refuge. Supplied During the World Cup soccer in Brazil, which was a forerunner for the football venues in the Games, Roper and fellow Pink House activists found young girls selling their bodies in streets just metres away from the showpiece World Cup stadium in Fortaleza.
Supplied Ana Flavia, aged five in the only photo her mother still has, was working an year-old prostitute when she died. Supplied The little girl was trapped in the wreckage and the driver ran off, leaving Ana Flavia to die at the scene. The driver still plies the highway in his truck. The Meninadanca Pink House group has reached out to girls, but is not always successful in saving them.
She moved in with a year-old man who held her captive and beat her up. Matt Roper has written three books of harrowing tales about the girls along BR The dirt poor town of Salgueiro, Brazil where young girls are taken from the streets to the big cities for prostitution. Supplied A section of the km highway along which has truck stops where girls as a young as nine sell their bodies.
Supplied A police officer talks with staff from the Pink House which regularly reports child sex exploitation of young girls in Brazil. Supplied Three years ago, Roper retold the sad tale of Leidiane, a skinny year-old whose parents send her out each night to the highway near Governador Valadares, km north of Rio de Janeiro. Encountering her on the highway, Roper could still see the innocent little girl in Leidiane, despite the fact she was selling herself amid the dust and the diesel fumes.
Handcuffed following his arrest Joel Cruz, the former mayor of Taiobeiras, Brazil and a wealthy landowner who auctioned off a year-old virgin girl in his town. Supplied Edna, centre the mother of raped and murdered Emilly, nine, with Meninadanca staff. Supplied When Roper returned to Governador Valadares, he took the time to track down Leidiane who by then was 12 years old and a crack addict. The innocence she had projected during their highway meeting was gone.
When he refused her request for money, arguing she would only spend it on more crack, Leidiane became sullen and angry. Meninadanca is now establishing a new Pink House in Candido Sales to combat the local practice of raffling girls off for money, and have a sponsorship and donation program on their website for anyone wanting to help rescue young girls in Brazil.