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Houston cantinas hid Houston's lucrative sex-trade

"Despite enforcement efforts, human traffickers and prostitution operators have constructed resilient and lucrative networks of organized crime that have a franchise-like ability to persist and prosper," reports Lise Olsen of the Houston Chronicle.   Cantinas, with secret doors and hidden brothels, helped conceal the active prostitution and sex slave trade in Houston.  The ringleader of the trade, Gerardo Salazar, avoided prosecution in 2005 by escaping to Mexico.  Two of his associates were recently arrested for holding a teenager hostage as a sex slave.  The bar where she was held, Maria Bonita Cantina, remains open under new ownership.

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