A judge in El Salvador sentenced three people to eight years in prison for forcing Salvadoran women into prostitution in Guatemala

, a judicial spokesman told Efe Tuesday. The spokesman said that the verdict was handed down by a court in the western city of Santa Ana last month, although it was only announced recently because of the “voluminous and complex” nature of the case. The court found Salvadoran brothers Gonzalo and Oscar Humberto Cerritos Ramirez and Guatemalan Sonia Argentina Garcia Flores guilty of people trafficking. Testifying in the case were nine Salvadoran women, several of them minors, who were deceived into letting themselves be taken to Guatemala, where they were then forced to work as prostitutes. The daily El Diario de Hoy on Tuesday reported that the Cerritos Ramirez brothers worked as security guards in the brothel where they held the women. Garcia Flores was the brothel’s cashier and was in charge of keeping the women drugged so they could not escape, the paper reported. The victims were sold for $200 or $300 each to Adan Cerritos and Maria Elena Lopez de Cerritos, a Salvadoran couple running the El Pantanal brothel in the Guatemalan province of Santa Rosa, El Diario said. The women were lured to Guatemala with promises of work by Salvadorans Marco Antonio Godoy, an alleged gang member, and Marta Lidia Aguirre, who are fugitives from justice. Salvadoran authorities received the first complaint in the case in August 2006, which prompted them to begin an investigation along with their counterparts in Guatemala. EFE

source: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=345276&CategoryId=23558