Some of the former prostitutes said they had seen Veron drugged and haggard. One testified Veron felt trapped and missed her daughter. Another said she spotted Veron with dyed-blonde hair and an infant boy she was forced to conceive in a rape by a ringleader. A third thought Veron had been sold to a brothel in Spain — a lead reported to Interpol.
Trimarco’s campaign to find her daughter led the State Department to provide seed money for a foundation in Veron’s name. To date, it has rescued more than 900 women and girls from sex trafficking. The foundation also provides housing, medical and psychological aid, and it helps victims sue former captors.
Argentina outlawed human trafficking in 2008, thanks in large part to the foundation’s work. A new force dedicated to combating human trafficking has liberated nearly 3,000 more victims in two years, said Security Minister Nilda Garre, who wrote a newspaper commentary saying the trial’s verdict should set an example.
Whatever the verdict, Trimarco’s lawyer, Carlos Garmendia, says the case has already made a difference.
‘‘Human trafficking was an invisible problem until the Marita (Veron) case,’’ Garmendia said. ‘‘The case has put it on the national agenda.’’
But Trimarco wants more. ‘‘I had hoped they would break down and say what they'd done with Marita,’’ she said.
‘‘I feel here in my breast that she is alive and I'm not going to stop until I find her,’’ Trimarco said. ‘‘If she’s no longer in this world, I want her body.’’