"I pulled up in a car and rolled down the window," he recalls. "Someone said, 'Do you want to get a person?'"
Though the country was in a time of political chaos, the street where he met the trafficker was clean and relatively quiet. A tape of the conversation reveals a calm, concise transaction. He was initially told he could get a 9-year-old sex partner/house slave for $100, but he bargained it down to $50.
"The thing that struck me more than anything afterwards was how incredibly banal the transaction was. It was as if I was negotiating on the street for a used stereo."
In the end, he agreed on the price, but told the trader not to make any moves.
"When I was talking to traffickers, I had a principle that I wouldn't pay for human life," he says.
This principle enabled him to keep a certain distance from the system, but not giving in to the temptation to free a suffering human being was an emotionally taxing struggle, he says.
"It's one thing when you are planning an effort like this, this is a work of journalism — I'm not going to interfere with my subjects. It's another thing when you are in an underground brothel in Bucharest, who has this girl with Down Syndrome, who you know is undergoing rape several times a day. When this girl is offered to me in trade for a used car ... I walk away ... it's not an easy thing to do," he says.
Holy fuck: Like slavery
(Via) I'm picking "holy crap!" as my witty commentary on this: