“Tell me more about the situation in Guatemala.” Army Captain Henry Stephenson pulled up a chair between Monroe and their grandfather, Senator Cohen so that they could face Aaron and Felicia. He spoke in Spanish and directed his attention to Felicia.
“The problem is actually in Belize.” Felicia seemed relieved to speak in her native language, but also to have everyone taking her seriously. “I live in a border town between Guatemala and Belize. Our two countries have been in a civil war for many years and the Mayans agreed to stop fighting in exchange for a reserved land for them to live.
“The reservation spans across both borders and neither country seems to want to claim jurisdiction of the reservation. When some of the girls started going missing on the Belize side of the border those of us in Guatemala just assumed that it was men in Belize who were stealing the girls. But when we went up there to talk to the Mayans, we found out the people stealing the girls were not Belize but from America.”
Both officers took a soft gasp at that revelation. Now maybe they understood why the United States needed to get involved.
“What is the Belize government doing about it?” Monroe asked.
“So far they haven’t done anything,” Aaron said. “I’m not even sure they know what’s going on. If they do, there are corrupt people within the government who are stopping them from accomplishing any sort of intervention on behalf of the girls.”
“Where are the Americans taking the girls?” Henry asked.
“We think they’re taking them to a port town called Belize City where they are either selling them or using them as sex slaves right there at the resort town.”
“Well, my experience is with refugees,” Henry said. “But I know of a nonprofit called Operation Freedom Warriors who help take down human trafficking rings. I’ll try to get in touch with the people on the ground in Belize. Why don’t I fly down there with you and assess the situation and then we can go from there.”
“Can you get the time off from the Army like that?” Aaron asked.
“Yes, I have some paid leave available right now, and we’re not deployed so I can take a few days off.”
Aaron had never known what it was like to depend on a paycheck. He wondered how hard that must be. He wished he could figure out a way to use his money in a more philanthropic manner. He would keep an eye open for his opportunity to be of service.
For now, the best way he could help is to rescue these young girls and bring them back to their families.
He was thankful to have Monroe and Henry assisting.