Human Trafficking in South Florida: A Growing Industry?

Over 32 billion dollars is annually garnered by the fastest growing industry in the world. This industry is second only to drug trafficking, but its impact is much more inhumane than drugs—it is human sex trafficking. This industry is occurring all over the world, yet the awareness remains low. Last Thursday, October 11th, Florida Atlantic University and Calvary Church tried to combat the low awareness levels by showing the hard-hitting documentary called Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Hundreds of students, faculty, and guests gathered in the University theater to watch as a group of film makers travelled from Europe, to Asia, and back to the United States to get answers on the striking and complex industry.

Perhaps the most remarkable fact is that South Florida is one of the top entry points in the U.S. for foreign human trafficking victims. There have been multiple arrests made involving traffickers— including an infamous arrest during the 2010 Super Bowl where two men were arrested for advertising sex with a 14-year-old on Craigslist. While the facts are daunting, they can only do so much. The most important thing that citizens can do is be aware of the signs of human trafficking victims and raise awareness within the local community, because the horrors of this industry are not foreign to South Florida and are quickly spreading.
Ways to help:
1) Get involved with the Broward Human Trafficking Coalition
2) Learn the truth behind the industry – Shared Hope and Polaris Project
3) Spread the word or e-mail and/or write the state and federal legislation to support the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 1301/HR 2830)
This pamphlet by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (pdf) provides an overview of human trafficking, aid for the victims, and how to identify human trafficking victims.

A Hotwire-Insura Security Problem in Boca Falls:

We reported some time ago on Hotwire Communications problems in Boca Falls.
Now we can add another to the list. But first, we received this notice:

Hotwire representatives will be on site to assist with any chronic technical issues … with Internet and television services … at the Boca Falls clubhouse Thursday 9/20 (tomorrow) from 4-7 pm.

As for the Insura Security, Hotwire included a deal as part of the package. For the first year it’s about $10/month, and goes up after that.
We have two problems. One is a security issue I won’t detail for, well, security reasons. It’s minor, but we still want to get it fixed. The other problem is that our “alarm system monitoring certificate” fails to indicate it covers the fire alarm. Thus we’re not getting the complete break on our insurance that we should.
So I call Hotwire support today to get this addressed. First I call the main customer service number. The call gets answered fairly quickly after a mildly annoying phone-computer system. But the person who answers tells me I need to call a different number, which I then see is mentioned on the alarm certificate.
So I call that number: 855-637-1554. This is for Insura by Hotwire. And we get another computer answering the phone – yet another example of a company using computers because they’re cheaper and less effective than paying someone in India $2/hour.
This computer asks me where I am – Boca Raton – it gets that right. Then it asks for my last name. I say it. This is where it bogs down. It apparently can’t find me in the system. It keeps giving me names of people who are not me. I keep saying no. We go around in circles a few times. I keep hitting Zero on the keypad, but that does nothing. I’m never offered a chance to speak to a person.
So after 5 or 6 tries I give up and call back to Hotwire. Now I wait another few minutes before getting a person. And the person tells me he’s never dealt with an alarm system question before. That’s just great. I tell him I’d like to speak to his supervisor. I get put on hold. For a while. That’s plenty of time for me to start writing this article.
I don’t get his supervisor, however. I get a woman who works with the alarm systems. She seems pretty clueless about the 855 phone number that doesn’t work. She tells me she’ll send out a corrected alarm certificate to us. We’ll see if we actually get that. As for the minor security issue, she says someone will call me to set up a time to come to the house.
Now we wait to see if they deliver on that. I’m not confident.

Dina Keever at Boca Tea Party

State Attorney candidate Dina Keever spoke tonight to the Boca Tea Party at Boca Greens.

Keever is the GOP nominee. Her opponent is Democrat Dave Aronberg. Aronberg has been criticized heavily by the Palm Beach Post for actions that seem a bit corrupt. Because of that we have already endorsed Keever.
State Attorney is the county prosecutor.
“Should be a prosecutor, not a politician.”
This references the widespread perception that Aronberg is more of a politician than a prosecutor or trial lawyer.
Experience – problems come from poor judgment and bad ethics. Keever worked “in the trenches” in Miami fighting drug cartels. Reputation as a hard charging prosecutor.
Worked as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia. She also worked on economic crimes and public corruption.
Moved back here in 2008. Has seen a lot of issues with corruption in the county.
“We cannot have a state attorney who is a puppet of a political machine.”
Asked about saving money in the office budget, Keever said she would work with other prosecutors (US Attorney and statewide agencies) to better share the load. She doesn’t care who gets the credit.