Marcela Loaiza

Survivor of sex trafficking and founder, La Fundación Marcela Loaiza

Marcela Loaiza was born on February 20 1978, in Colombia, South America. She became a single mother at a young age, a circumstance that made her the perfect target for human traffickers. She was a victim of trafficking in persons, more specifically sexual exploitation, for eighteen months in the country of Japan. When she was able to escape, she returned to her native country feeling afraid, helpless, and did not receive any help. The damage caused by the traumatic experience and the lack of support led her back to the life of prostitution. Tired of feeling like a helpless victim, Marcela decided to change her life around and became a survivor. She wrote and published two books called Atrapada por la Mafia Yakuza, and Lo que fui y lo que soy, with the purpose to raise awareness about trafficking in persons in her country. She also formed an alliance with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to bring about awareness through her testimonial to the community. On 2011 she accomplished her dream and created a foundation in Colombia that helps survivors overcome their psychological problems and reintegrate back into society. She currently lives in the United States and is happily married with three children.