Sunday, July 31, 2011

Western Sex Crimes ("The Whistleblower")

(NPR, July 30, 2011) In 1999, Kathryn Bolkovac had run into hard times. A police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska, who had recently lost custody of her daughters in a divorce settlement, she was looking for a new job that would give her the means to live near them.

When Bolkovac heard she could earn good money in a short period of time by becoming part of the U.N. International Police Force in Bosnia -- run by a private British agency called DynCorp -- she decided to sign on.

She found herself in the middle of an alarming human trafficking web. Mobsters were transporting teenage girls to bars and brothels for sex, and beyond turning a blind eye, the security firm and U.N. personnel seemed to be caught up in the trafficking themselves. She tried to sound the alarm, and she was fired.

Bolkovac, whose story has been adapted into a new movie called The Whistleblower (opening in some theaters on August 5) tells NPR's Scott Simon that her suspicion was first raised during a training session in Ft. Worth, Texas, before she ever left for Bosnia. "One of the men who had done previous missions in Bosnia came bounding into the pool with a beer stating where he could find really nice 12- to 15-year-olds once we got to Bosnia," Bolkovac says. More

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