Cop fights human trafficking
Photo by Gabriel Goodwin
Melvindale Police Cpl. Rolando Hinjosa explainins the premise of “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” to a group of people before they watch the documentary about human trafficking. The 90-minute documentary featured interviews of human trafficking victims and chronicled the events surrounding their experiences. The documentary was shown at the Woodhaven Emagine Theatre Wednesday and was presented by Soroptimist International of Trenton Area. The club said it sold 140 tickets to the showing.
By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE — Melvindale Police Cpl. Rolando Hinjosa is planning a Feb. 10 mission trip to the Republic of Moldova to aid people affected by human trafficking.
“It has definitely been one of my passions to see what I could do to fight human trafficking in the U.S., around the Downriver area, and elsewhere in the world,” Hinjosa said. “Things finally came together for me to do something about it. I don’t know how this trip is going to go. All I can do is hope and trust that I can come back saying I have to go back and do more.”
Hinjosa’s seven-day missionary trip to the former Soviet republic is sponsored through his home church Christ the King Lutheran Church, 15600 Trenton Road in Southgate, and donations from local businesses and individuals helped pay for the trip.
“I am very blessed by the monetary donations I received,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the support. The trip has already been paid for, so the rest of the money will be used to buy equipment to train the women or be given to the Giving of Life initiative.
“I will be trusting them to do what is necessary to make sure these women are taken care of.”
He will volunteer his time with Restoration House Ministries — a group that has set up a facility in Moldova to help recent victims of human trafficking transition back into a normal life — and will educate and train the women to protect themselves, while learning about their experiences.
“I’m a huge boxing guy, so I will be teaching them some boxing techniques,” he said. “A friend of mine, Jerry Bobbitt, will teach them some Jiu Jitsu as well, so these women can be equipped to defend themselves properly.”
Moldova is considered the epicenter of human trafficking, Hinjosa said, because it has a “very high rate” of human trafficking and orphaned children. Hinjosa said the human trafficking issue was very important to him, so Moldova was the obvious choice to start helping out.
Hinjosa said human trafficking peaked his interest years ago and he thought it is finally coming into the national spotlight. His passion for the topic grew after seeing the documentary “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls,” he said, which follows the trends of modern sex slavery and human trafficking in three countries — Thailand, Russia, and the United States — and was produced in 2011.
“At the end of the documentary, you will have hope, but to get from point A to point B you have to hear a lot of bad things,” he said. “It is hard to keep a dry eye while watching the things these people experience. It leaves you wanting to do more, but it also creates the thought that (human trafficking) is bad, really bad.”
(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at [email protected])