ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Books that teach readers step by step how to control women and make money are readily available for anyone to buy on Amazon. Now an Albuquerque group is working to change that.
As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a local coalition of churches and non-profits started a petition. They’re asking Amazon to stop selling a group of books they claim teaches people how to become a human trafficker.
It’s a crime that often lurks in the shadows. “This is a horrific crime and it’s now in our back yard in New Mexico, and we need to do everything we can to protect families,” said Attorney General, Hector Balderas.
Balderas calls human trafficking, “one of the most profitable organized crime strategies in the world.”
Local groups gathered at Civic Plaza Friday to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. With the I-40 corridor, experts say the metro can become a hot spot for this type of crime.
Christine Barber works with human trafficking victims through her non-profit ‘Street Safe New Mexico.’
When Barber saw what was being sold on Amazon, she told News 13, “I can’t even tell you, I think the word ‘horrific’ doesn’t even do it justice.”
Barber is referring to content in 16 different books; books she said offer a step-by-step how-to on the human trafficking trade.
“I got kind of blown away by what I saw and I thought, ‘does everybody know that this is out there?'” Barber told News 13.
There are titles sold on Amazon such as, ‘Organized Game,’ ‘Pimps: The Raw Truth,’ and some more direct titles, like ‘How To Get A Woman To Pay You, and ‘How To Get A Fat Girl To Pay You.’
“The reason they can kind of fly under the radar is these books tell you how to become a ‘pimp,’ but a pimp is a human trafficker,” Barber told KRQE News 13.
An Amazon review of one of the books states, “Required reading for the Pimp in training. Written as an instructional manual, not an autobiography.”
It’s exactly why Barber is now petitioning Amazon to stop the sale of these books.
“I think as humans we want to believe that this is a joke, it’s not,” she said.
At her informational booth in Civic Plaza on Friday, she had a booklet pointing out other ‘pimp’ products sold on Amazon. People can purchase things like an air freshener or a pimp gnome.
“I realize that some of this stuff is funny and I realize that it’s hard for us to take it seriously,” she explained.
She said she’s not asking Amazon to stop selling all ‘pimp’ related products, rather specifically to stop selling the ‘how-to’ books that go into graphic detail about human trafficking tactics.
Barber said she wants people to at least think about what the word ‘pimp’ means when purchasing products, since so many women know the meaning all too well.
“We’ve already had women come by today who were sold by pimps, and they all will tell you this is how life actually is,” Barber said, pointing to the list of books.
KRQE News 13 tried contacting Amazon about the books and the petition, but did not hear back by air time Friday night. Barber said the coalition petitioning has also been unsuccessful so far hearing from Amazon about the issue.
At least a half dozen authors of the books wrote that they served prison time.