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January 31, 2006

"I stare at the ceiling. That's how I handle it"

Sex rings prey on immigrant women.
Human traffickers trap hundreds of female Hispanics into prostitution
Posted on Sun, Jan. 29, 2006
The Charlotte Observer

The corner bungalow on Weldon Avenue looks like any other house on the quiet street in northeast Charlotte. But for a while in 2004, police say, it cloaked a secret brothel.

At night, men, mostly immigrants, lined up outside to wait their turn with young Latino women held as sex slaves. A typical session lasted 15 minutes, police say, and cost each customer about $30. Some women had sex with dozens of men a night.

Police shut down the brothel in July 2004. But authorities say many more dot the city.

In neighborhoods along North Tryon Street, The Plaza and South Boulevard, criminals have turned small, unassuming homes into illegal houses of prostitution, holding women against their will. Police shut down two last week, but declined to give details because of ongoing investigations.

Hundreds of Hispanic women are brought in and out of Charlotte every week to work at more than a dozen brothels connected to sex-trafficking rings on the East Coast, according to FBI and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigators.

Most of the women are in the country illegally and are reluctant to report the crimes. Often locked in rooms with few clothes and no telephone, they fear being beaten if they try to escape.

To keep a constant cycle of prostitutes in Charlotte, traffickers exchange the women with other pimps and handlers in cities such as Raleigh and Greensboro, often for as little as $130 each. The women are moved so frequently that some no longer know what city they're in.

"No one thinks of Charlotte and human trafficking," said Capt. Bruce Bellamy, head of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police vice and narcotics unit. "But it's a far greater issue than people realize."

`Supply and demand'

The sex trafficking rings exist because of the influx of illegal immigrants in the Carolinas, FBI officials said. More than 300,000 immigrants are estimated to live illegally in North Carolina. Most are men who left their wives and families to find work in the U.S."It's about supply and demand," said FBI agent Kevin Kendrick, who heads a local campaign to help victims of human trafficking.

In a recent meeting with the Observer, FBI agents and members of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police's vice and narcotics unit and criminal intelligence unit detailed the Charlotte area's role in a burgeoning international problem.

Human trafficking often begins with someone paying to be smuggled across the border. The situation changes when smugglers increase their prices or add fees the person is unable to pay. Smugglers then force them into work to pay off the debt. For women, the work is often prostitution. [...]

A haunting picture

In Charlotte, the brothels appear to be typical homes, according to undercover police who investigate local prostitution. But after hours and on weekends, they turn into busy night spots, protected by security guards.

Lines are so long at some that house managers must serve as hosts, entertaining their restless customers with food and television. The Weldon Avenue brothel set up a burrito truck outside, police said.

"They don't miss an opportunity," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Eddie Levins, head of the criminal intelligence unit.

Police believe that Francisco Romero Piña, 37, known as "El Gallo" or "The Rooster," ran two Charlotte brothels with trafficked women, the Weldon Avenue house and another on North Tryon Street, until July 2004.

Romero was never charged with human trafficking, but was sent to prison on related weapons and fraud charges stemming from the investigations. Police said their human trafficking case was hindered because alleged victims were too scared to cooperate.

Romero, like many brothel owners, advertised by word of mouth, authorities said. He passed out business cards with directions to the houses he operated, police said.

Customers paid a house manager who gave them a ticket, a playing card or a bead. The men then gave those items to women inside as proof of payment. According to police, brothel operators usually kept half the fees, giving the women the other half, which often went to pay off debts.

"It's very sad," said Maudia Melendez, leader of a Charlotte Latino advocacy group, who is working with the FBI to locate and help trafficking victims. "These girls are in a situation that they don't know how to get out of. They're so afraid to talk with anybody."

Last month, a Wake County brothel operator pleaded guilty in federal court to trafficking women and girls as young as 14 to work in at least three brothels.

Valente Chavez Sanchez, 33, was charged, along with two other men, with bringing women from New York, New Jersey and Maryland to service brothels in Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina and Lillington over a seven-year period, according to prosecutors. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, who assisted with the federal investigation, said those same women also worked in Charlotte.

One undercover detective investigating six brothels in Charlotte said the women are "disgusted" by the work.

"The last interview I had, I asked the woman, `How do you handle 30 guys a night?' " he recalled. "She said, `I stare at the ceiling. I stare at the ceiling. That's how I handle it.' "


To fight the growing problem, the FBI, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and advocacy groups launched a campaign last week to draw more attention to the issue and help trafficking victims.FBI agent Kendrick, who heads the campaign, said various law enforcement agencies will work more closely to shut down trafficking rings.

The effort marks a shift for police, who previously had focused on arresting and prosecuting handlers and women.

The push is part of a national effort funded by $15 million in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, signed by President Bush on Jan. 10. The law also provides assistance and immigration benefits to trafficking victims.

The FBI does not intend to arrest or deport victims, Kendrick said. Instead, the agency will help them escape their captors and inform them of their rights. The agency also will help them secure special visas to remain in the country legally in exchange for their cooperation in prosecuting their handlers.

"It's a vicious cycle of people being victimized," he said. "People can (now)come forward and don't have to worry about their immigration status."

-- staff researcher Sara Klemmer contributed.

-- Franco Ordoñez: (704) 358-6180

To Report Suspicious Activity Call:

- The FBI at (704) 377-9200

- Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600

Women Trapped in Neighborhood Brothels Unusual activity offers clues

Authorities say prostitution houses run by human traffickers typically exhibit some of these characteristics: - Stringent security at homes of migrant workers.

- Presence of armed guards.

- Fences with locked gates.

- Employees living and working in same building.

- Workers are never seen alone or without supervision.

Tips for the FBI

Investigators welcome tips. Call the FBI at (704) 377-9200.

El FBI Pide su Ayuda

Si tiene información sobre incidentes de tráfico humano, llame al FBI en Charlotte al (704) 377-9200. Tambien puede llamar a Crime Stoppers, al (704) 334-1600.
[HT], [SS]

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January 30, 2006

The Pornography /Trafficking Connection

By Daniel Weiss
Guest commentary
Colorado Springs
Article Last Updated: 1/27/2006 01:02 AM

Last week, President Bush signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, mandating the U.S. government and military expend greater efforts to combat the illegal practice of buying and selling human beings.

As the president said at the bill-signing ceremony, "Human trafficking is an offense against human dignity, a crime in which human beings, many of them teenagers and young children, are bought and sold and often sexually abused by violent criminals. Our nation is determined to fight and end this modern form of slavery."

The extent of the trade in human flesh is staggering. The U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that as many as 4 million people across the globe are bought and sold each year. Just within the United States, as many as 50,000 people are trapped in sexual slavery at any given time. This grim reality was again brought to light in a recent Toledo Blade series documenting how that city is a national trafficking hub for underage prostitution.

This global tragedy hinges on the notion that human beings are commodities to be bought, sold, used and discarded. If the president is truly serious about ending the global sex trade, he would do well to start at home by cleaning up one of its primary drivers: the explosive growth of illegal hardcore pornography.

Hardcore pornography, or material depicting actual sex acts, promotes the idea that human beings can be sexually used and abused without consequences. If we tolerate pornographic material that encourages people to indulge their darkest sexual fantasies, we cannot act surprised when millions do so in real life as well.

In this regard, the United States is the world's worst violator. Software company N2H2 tracked the explosion of online pornography, which grew from 14 million Web pages in 1998 to 260 million in 2003. Adult Video News claims that 11,000 new pornographic films are released annually in the United States. Research by the Florida Family Association found that as much as 70 percent of the world's free online pornography is distributed by as few as 20 U.S. based companies.

Although the Supreme Court has determined that hardcore pornography, or obscenity, has no First Amendment protection, Justice Department enforcement efforts over the past five years total only 40 obscenity prosecutions of persons or entities, most of whom worked alone and ran their businesses out of garages.

In the absence of meaningful enforcement, thousands of large-scale porn purveyors continue to churn out "entertainment" products featuring depictions of rape, bondage, group sex and pseudo-child pornography.

Vivid Entertainment, one of America's largest porn-producers, produces about 80 porn films per year with revenues around $150 million annually. Its main competitor, VCA Pictures, operates a 40,000-square-foot facility that produces 400,000 X-rated videos per month.

Companies like LodgeNet and On Command pump these movies to millions of hotel rooms, generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The strangest (and perhaps leading) contributors to the global sex industry are hotel chains such as Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn and others that offer hardcore pay-per-view pornography in hotel rooms in direct violation of U.S. law.

The first step toward reducing demand for sex slaves is to prosecute those distributing material that violates obscenity laws and serves as a veritable training manual for abuse.

While the new anti-trafficking law has some excellent provisions, President Bush also needs to take a hard look at his own Justice Department, which is serving him so poorly in this area. The lives of millions literally depend on it.

Daniel Weiss serves as Focus on the Family's senior analyst for media and sexuality.
[HT], [SS]

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January 28, 2006

CWA: Human Trafficking Now Tied for World's #2 Crime

Second to Drug Dealing as Largest and Fastest-Growing

To: National Desk

Contact: Stacey Holliday of Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /Christian Wire Service/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) is saddened by a United Nations report that says human trafficking has tied illegal arms dealing as the world's second largest and fastest-growing criminal enterprise, behind only illicit drug trading.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, "Combating trafficking is like running on a treadmill; we are moving as fast as we can, but it is almost impossible for our programs to keep up with the destructive path of the criminal networks involved in human trafficking."

The U.N. report declares that nearly 30 million people are caught in modern-day slavery and that the industry now brings its criminals about $10 billion a year. With victims bought and sold over the Internet on such popular sites as eBay and Craig's List, trafficking victims in the United States number over 50,000 –– one-third of these are assumed to be children. Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, forced marriage, and labor trafficking, such as sweatshops, migrant workers and domestic service.

Dr. Crouse, who has worked for nearly a decade to combat sex trafficking at the national and international levels, commented, "While the U.N. blames social and economic disparities for fostering trafficking, the demand for prostitutes is the driving force behind sex trafficking where the victims overwhelmingly are women and girls."

Crouse adds, "In the United States Congress, legislators are working to end the demand for 'sex slaves,' and more and more states are passing legislation that will target pimps and johns rather than further punish the victims. They are used as a lucrative commodity in sex transactions, often being sold repeatedly until they are completely used up."

Crouse concludes that, in the United States, public policy addresses both the prosecution of criminals engaged in human trafficking and the protection of vulnerable women and girls who are potential victims of sex trafficking.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
Supply and demand.


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January 27, 2006

CT Interagency Task Force proposes pro-active legislation

Via the Boston Globe: Report recommends new laws to combat human trafficking.
By Susan Haigh, AP Political Writer | January 23, 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. --Following isolated reports of human trafficking in Connecticut, a task force is expected this week to recommend legislation making the practice a crime.

The Connecticut Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons intends to increase public awareness and educate law enforcement and domestic violence advocates about how to recognize a trafficked victim, typically an immigrant who has been tricked and ultimately forced into the sex trade or low-skilled, manual labor.

"I really look at this as pro-active legislation," said state Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, who began working on the issue three years ago. "We need to have some laws in place. And most important, we need to train and educate our police on both the local and state level as to how to recognize it and what to do about it."

The task force, which Stillman heads, is scheduled to unveil its report at a news conference at the state Legislative Office Building on Wednesday. The legislative session begins Feb. 8.

The report comes after a Connecticut businessman pleaded not guilty in federal court last week to charges of illegally recruiting Portuguese immigrants to work excessively long hours for low wages in his Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and home.

Jose Calhelha, 46, was charged with illegally transporting and harboring illegal aliens. He faces up to 70 years in prison and fines of up to $1.75 million if convicted.
Great work is being done in Connecticut!


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Local television station exposes trafficking in Tex.

I-Team: Young children forced into a world of prostitution.
Web Posted: 11/11/2005 02:47 AM CST
Brandy Ralston
KENS 5 Eyewitness News

A young girl, just 6 years old, forced into prostitution. Another who's 7 has lived in a brothel for three years. It may sound hard to believe, but each year more than a million children are sold as sex slaves. In a KENS 5 I-Team investigation, Brandy Ralston discovered some of them are trafficked right through San Antonio.

“There's almost no country in the world that's immune from this crime. It's one of the three largest profit-making criminal activities of organized crime around the world,” spokeswoman for the International Justice Mission Sharon Cohn said.

They are the children, the innocent victims that groups like International Justice Mission are trying to save.

“International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, oppression, sexual exploitations and slavery,” Cohn said. “I remember a girl who said through a translator, ‘Thank you very much for rescuing me.”

She's helped rescue young girls all around the globe who have been sold by their families, kidnapped, or gone on their own with the promise of a better life.

“The youngest girls we've ever rescued were in Cambodia, where we rescued about 10 girls under the age of 10 who were being sold primarily to Western pedophiles who traveled to Cambodia specifically for the purpose of having sex with young children,” Cohn said.

“These are crimes against children, the most vulnerable members of our society, and they're going to be protected by the U.S. government,” said San Antonio division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Al Peña [?].

He says the U.S. passed the protection act in 2003 to cut down on what they call sex tourism. Already, there have been 12 cases of men arrested and accused of traveling to foreign countries to have sex with children.

“We'll go after you no matter where you go commit your offenses. The U.S. government will pursue you and bring you to justice,” Peña said.

Read the rest of the story here.


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Kathryn Jean Lopez: Emancipation 2006

An excellent article by Kathryn Lopez of NRO: Saving innocents from modern-day slavery (a work in progress).
On September 2003, President George W. Bush started something of a sexual revolution.

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, the president, known more popularly by left-wing groups as the man who would "turn back the clock on women's rights," challenged his fellow leaders to crack down on the sex trade in their countries, promising to lead by example at home.

George W. Bush is waging a war on modern-day slavery with a winning plan for success, involving an essential ingredient: building coalitions. And what was once under most of our radars is now a fight that so many are now involved in that it's impossible to give them all adequate credit for their work ­ which, in its way, is an excellent problem to have.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, investigations into trafficking "increased by more than 400 percent in the first six months of fiscal year 2005, compared to the total number of cases in fiscal year 2004." Although keeping true numbers on these elusive crimes is next to impossible, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are being traded within the United States. Internationally, the estimate is between 600,000 and 800,000, mostly women and children. But nations plagued with sex trafficking, who've enabled sex trafficking, are changing in part because, according to Congressman Chris Smith (R., N.J.), "they know we mean business."

On January 10, President Bush signed the bipartisan 2005 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, providing $361 million over the next two years to combat trafficking domestically. At the signing ceremony, the president noted, "Over the past four years, the Department of Homeland Security has taken new measures to protect children from sexual predators, as well as pornography and prostitution rings. The Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with faith-based and community organizations to form anti-trafficking coalitions in 17 major cities across our country."

The bill renewed 2000 legislation that made human trafficking a federal crime. It was authored by Congressman Smith, who was already a veteran of the fight, having participated in the rescue of Ukrainian girls in bondage in Montenegro ­ long before trafficking was on most people's radars. Closer to home, he sees the fruits of his labor: In Smith's own New Jersey this November, one Xochil Nectalina Rosales Martinez, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her role in running a trafficking ring that smuggled Honduran women some younger than 21 into the United States to be forced to work at Union City bars.

[...] But abroad and at home, folks are at work, educating, investigating, enforcing, and healing. This is a fight the United States is in to win because it is quintessentially what we're about as a nation. As one slave in North Korea wrote to a rescuer-pastor in South Korea: "I want to live like a human being for one day. I am a human being. How can I be sold like this? I need freedom."
Read it all.


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January 26, 2006

Man allegedly downloaded child porn to cell phone

Child porn case alleges offender used cell phone.
BANGOR - A convicted sex offender living in Houlton appears to be the first person in the state to face federal charges for using his cell phone to possess child pornography.

Joshua Dunston, 27, owned three different cell phone models between April and September 2005, according to court documents. He allegedly used his T-Mobile account to download child pornography onto his cell phone.

Dunston also allegedly posted 30 photos that appeared to depict the sexual exploitation of children to a personal Web page that T-Mobile allows subscribers to maintain.

The pictures are described in court documents as "depict[ing] pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts with adults" and "naked pre-pubescent children in sexually suggestive and exploitive positions."

Dunston also allegedly posted pornographic photographs of himself to the Web site using his cell phone.

A T-Mobile employee discovered the images last summer in a routine audit of customer accounts. The company notified federal law enforcement officials.

Dunston, who last year was a student at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, used computers at the campus Outreach Center to access his T-Mobile Web page, according to court documents. UMPI officials in December cooperated with investigators, giving them the hard drives from the computers Dunston used and surveillance video of him at the center.

The man is not a student at UMPI this semester, a university spokesman said Tuesday.

On the hard drives, investigators found Internet links saved by Dunston that included "Child sex murders and condoned Internet kiddy porn," "excited angels," "free Lolitas gallery" and others.

Some of the children depicted in the images have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to court documents.

Statistics on the number of prosecutions for obtaining child pornography using a cell phone were not available Tuesday. A Canadian expert in October warned that child pornographers were going high-tech.

"Everything's going to be in the size of a [cellular] telephone that has the computer power of the best PCs that are out there right now," Detective Sgt. Paul Gillespie, a veteran of the Toronto Police force's sex crimes unit, told an international conference in Toronto.

He warned that hand-held devices including cell phones, PDAs and portable MP3-type players increasingly would be used to take and transfer images of child pornography. Gillespie issued his warning while Dunston allegedly was posting child pornography to his Web site from his cell phone.

Dunston is being held at the Penobscot County Jail until a detention hearing to set bail and conditions of release can be held. That hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk is set for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 31 in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

His criminal record dates back to 2001. Dunston's convictions in state court include violating conditions of release, negotiating a worthless instrument, possession of sexually explicit materials, and sexual abuse of a minor. He is required to register as a sex offender because of the sexual abuse conviction.

That conviction also means he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges. He also faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A check Tuesday afternoon of the sex offender Web site showed that Dunston is registered as required.

He also is on probation for his 2003 misdemeanor conviction in 2nd District Court in Houlton for having sex with a 14- or 15-year-old when Dunston was at least five years older than the victim. If his probation on that charge were to be revoked in state court, it's unlikely he would be released from jail.

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January 25, 2006

The Hungarian "Catfight Convention"

Pestiside: Girls Gone Wild (III): Foreign Pervs Mob "Catfight Convention".
Before closing out the day with our third report on the world-beating aggressiveness and go-ahead-and-stop-me-copper lunacy of some of our Hungarian womenfolk, we'd first like to give a big shout out to Belgium. For without the fathomless perversity and moral decrepitude of our good friends the Belgians, we never would have gotten wind of the following story of sex and violence so base and vile Satan Himself is probably wondering if He has the stomach to keep on reading.

The story, which comes from Belgian television via dailies La Derniere Heure and Népszabadság, involves a most unusual "wrestling competition" that was held at an unnamed hotel somewhere south of Budapest last August. At the event, 30 women, among them Belgians, Ukrainians, Russians and Germans (and, one has to assume, a few super-aggressive Hungarians) duked it out with each other, butt-naked, in front of about 70 people, many of them foreigners who had paid an "entry fee" ranging from €1,500 to €2,000. Members of the audience - almost all men - were also allowed to fight the female wrestlers, among other things.

According to the report, the competition featured not just hair-pulling and other catfight staples, but "violent sexual intercourse without condoms," and even "forced prostitution." The extravaganza was organized by an Austrian producer who used it to record an "erotic video."

The event came to light after a Belgian girl who had participated went to the police. She was brought to the competition by a Belgian man only identified as Michel V., who denied the most serious charges, which we reckon would be the "forced prostitution" part. Among the four girls he brought to the competition, two also said that no "violent" intercourse or prostitution took place.

V. admitted that such an event had taken place in Hungary, but he stressed that the event was in fact a "sporting competitions," and that the four girls he brought were all of legal age and had attended the "tournament" on their own free will. He also denied that he kept half of the money his "competitors" won. (The girls received €80 per fight.) He said he "didn't hear" about anybody being raped, adding that the reason the entry fee was high was that it included room and board for a few days. V. said that this wasn't the first time he was in Hungary for such an even, and added that the audience consisted of "respectable people," including university teachers.

There was no word in the piece about whether the Hungarian authorities were investigating the events. As for the Belgians, they have apparently already told V. he is free to continue holding such competitions at his home in Brussels, and to otherwise continue with his stated goal of "liberating morals." Welcome to the EU.

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January 19, 2006


Mission Statement and Purpose:

Simply put?

To raise awareness of the gross injustices that pervade our societies worldwide, namely that of the trafficking of men, women, and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and the use of children for purposes of warfare.

I am by no means an expert, nor do I purport to be one. I am merely a gatherer of information for the sole purpose of educating readers about these topics -- though, I often may inject personal commentary in my posts.

Sometimes, I may go several days (or even over a week) without posting --- this is due to the reality that I maintain this site when time permits. Also, and not uncommonly, I tend to become overwhelmed at times by the sheer volume of information I accumulate and therefore focus my attention on sifting through various articles before I post about them.

Brief Disclaimer:

It is the official position of this website to oppose, in all forms, the legalization of prostitution. Any view mentioned in an article excerpt or reader comments stating the contrary should be attributed to the appropriate author of said view and not the Webmaster.

Though it is my initial belief many of the organizations and/or blogs share the same purpose as Fleshploitation, it is often difficult to fully assess the correct position of all groups, as some may appear unclear (whether intentionally or unintentionally).

It has been my (rather unfortunate) experience that some organizations appear to share the same purpose, but, after closer examination, (vaguely or outright) support the legalization of prostitution as a contemporary and legitimate "profession" (ie: "sex workers"). Some effort has been made to identify such organizations/blogs and remove them from the website's links. If you, the reader, believe you have run across an organization/blog listed whose content/purpose is questionable, please do not hesitate to raise this issue with the Webmaster.

With this being said, please note, organizations and/or blogs listed on Fleshploitation do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Webmaster nor should said links be considered an endorsement.

* * * *

Thank you for taking the time to visit my humble project of a website, and please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, information, or suggestions.

In Him,


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Psalm 82:3-4
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

June 8, 2006

(Revised: January 3, 2007)

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