The year-old, whose drug-addicted mother died on the infamous BR highway, is a working prostitute from the town where underage girls are raffled off to middle-aged men. Lying km up the highway north west and a world away from the glitter and sands of Rio de Janeiro and Copacabana beach, the town is in Bahia, one of Brazil's poorest states. Bisected by the BR, Candido Sales is clogged with trucks and heavy goods vehicles crawling by the town's bars and brothels. Sex trafficking gangs target the town and poor families are vulnerable to offers of money for their little girls. When anti-child prostitution organisation Meninadanca set up in Candido Sales two years ago, even they were surprised to find the extent of abuse of girls still of primary school age. Town council psychologist Gleyce Farias told Meninadanca, which runs the Pink House charity, that regular raffles offered the winning ticket holder a young girl as first prize. One of the "lost" young girls the Pink House workers heard about when they first arrived was Alejandra.
WHEN the anonymous truckie is done with Leidiane, 11, he will simply push her out of the cab before she looks for her next client. She is a skinny year-old whose parents send her out each night to the highway in a skimpy sun dress to sell her body to truck drivers so her family can eat. Often, when they've finished with her, the truckies just push her out the door of the long drop down from the cabs of their car-carriers or semi-trailers. Then it's back to the Rio-Bahia, nicknamed "highway of death" for the truckies due to its many hijackings and accidents. The km truck stop which has brought misery for Leidiane and thousands of girls aged as young as nine is now being called "the highway to hell".
Four years ago, Jess Salgueiro started writing her book, Bitches be Witches. Somewhere along the way, we started to combine ideas and talk a lot about the kind of movement that was most important to us as women and as artists. If you have art of writing that you want to publish— reach out to us. We are very excited about diversifying the material and giving women a voice. Jess and I are collaborating with a very talented and witchy a f artist, Meaghan Harris, to make this website beautiful.