Trade (I) (2007)
Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother, Jorge, to save her. Trapped and terrified by an underground network of international thugs who earn millions exploiting their human cargo, Adriana's only friend and protector throughout her ordeal is Veronica, a young Polish woman tricked into the trade by the same criminal gang. As Jorge dodges immigration officers and incredible obstacles to track the girls' abductors, he meets Ray, a Texas cop whose own family loss to sex trafficking leads him to become an ally in the boy's quest. Fighting with courage and hard-tested faith, the characters of Trade negotiate their way through the unspeakable terrain of the sex trade "tunnels" between Mexico and the United States. From the barrios of Mexico City and the treacherous Rio Grande border, to a secret Internet sex slave auction and the final climactic confrontation at a stash house in suburban New Jersey, Ray and Jorge forge a close bond as they give desperate chase to Adriana's kidnappers before she is sold and disappears forever into this brutal global underworld, a place from which few victims ever return.
In the slums of Mexico City, the small time teenager thief Jorge gives a bike to his beloved sister Adriana on her thirteenth anniversary under the protest of their mother. While riding early in the morning, Adriana is kidnapped by members of an international network of sex traffickers. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Polish single mother Veronika arrives in Mexico City with a friend lured with the promise of a work in USA in a model agency by the same criminal gang. While transported to New Jersey, the two girls become friends and Veronika protects Adriana as much as she can. Meanwhile, Jorge desperately seeks his sister in the red light zone of Mexico. He witnesses children and the women being loaded as cargo in a truck and he tracks them trying to save his sister. When he arrives in Juarez, he sees the Texan investigator Ray Sheridan, who is chasing a missing daughter, in the house where his sister was lodged. He hides himself in the trunk of Ray's car and once in USA, Ray finds him and is convinced to help the boy in his quest.
- The camera pans along tall, lightly forested hills with lively Spanish music playing in the background. We pan along the sprawling Mexico City, the camera view wending through the streets and overhead. Finally we come to a ramshackle house among the poorer quarters of the city, but one with a festive mood, celebrating a 13th birthday party for Adriana (Paulina Gaitan).
As Adriana's mother is cooking, Adriana's older brother, Jorge (Cesar Ramos) comes home, bringing his sister a beautiful birthday present, a girls' bicycle. Adriana is delighted with the gift, hugging her brother gratefully, but their mother, Lupe, is skeptic; where did Jorge get the money to pay for the bicycle? Moreover, she doesn't approve of his latest group of friends, believing they look seedy. Jorge says they helped him get a job giving tours at the Zocalo in English. He needs to hurry to work now, having just stopped by to drop off the bike. But Lupe doesn't approve, neither of Jorge's supposed job, nor of how he acquired the bike. She also believes, that with her husband and Jorge and Adriana's father gone, it falls to Jorge to look after his young sister. Lupe flatly forbids Adriana to keep or ride it, saying it will be brought back soon as possible.
As Jorge drives off with his friends, we switch to a passenger airline where a young Polish woman named Veronica (Alicja Bachleda) is practicing English as she rides to Mexico City with a friend and an older woman. Their flight lands and they get their passports stamped. The older woman is bringing Veronica and her friend to the western hemisphere to work for what appears to be a modeling agency. She introduces the two young women to Vadim Youchenko (Pasha 'Pavel' Lychnikoff), the head of the agency, and his cohort, Manuelo (Marco Pérez), who offers the women each a flower. Vadim and Manuelo will be arranging transportation for the two through Mexico up to Los Angeles. The older woman politely says she'll need the two younger ladies' passports, and they hand them over without a fuss before going with Vadim and Manuelo.
Veronica's brunette friend says that something doesn't feel right to her. The agency workers shouldn't need their passports, she insists. Veronica asks the woman escort why their passports were collected. When told it's for their visas, Veronica says they already have them. The three agency workers look at each other with shifty eyes before the older woman gently takes Veronica's arm, leading her toward the car, and her voice suddenly becomes dangerous as she reminds Veronica that the agency knows where her parents live-- and that she has a very young son.
Vadim suddenly grabs Veronica and pulls her into the car, covering her mouth with his hand. The brunette girl drops her suitcase and flees with Manuelo in pursuit. The brunette girl runs straight across the roadway leading out of the airport... into its traffic. A passenger car tries to slow down, but cannot do so in time. The brunette girl is struck down by the car, and she lies dead on the ground. Veronica screams, but Vadim's hand covering her mouth keeps anyone from hearing. Manuelo and the older woman jump into their car and drive off with Veronica, while the gathering crowd is focused on the dead young woman lying in the road.
We see Jorge approaching an American tourist, offering to act as a guide. When the tourist seems disinterested, Jorge offers him a brochure for a museum, which, when opened, is shown to contain photographs of beautiful, naked young Mexican women. Jorge gives a smooth pitch about how these girls can please American tourists and that American money goes a long way in Mexico.
The tourist follows Jorge toward this encounter, only to find that it's a setup. Jorge's two friends quickly flank the tourist, pistols drawn and pressed against his neck. They divest him of his wallet, suitcase and all his other valuables, before slyly suggesting he now hates all Mexicans, and they in turn, hate gringos. They make it look like they're going to kill him, but the guns shoot only water. Jorge and his two friends run off quickly, laughing uproariously as the tourist stands shaken in the empty street. The three of them meet a large circle of friends at a Mexican cantina, where they party and celebrate into the evening.
The next morning, Adriana is drawing a card for Jorge as thanks for the bicycle. She sneaks to her mother's room, while her mother is still sleeping, and quietly grabs the keys off a small bookcase. Adriana goes out riding her bicycle across the neighborhood, against her mother's orders. Watching the neighborhood pan by her, she doesn't notice a black car beginning to follow her. Finally looking over her shoulder, she sees the car and smiles as she waves to them to let them know she'll slow down so they can drive ahead, but the car doesn't oblige. Adriana finally begins to understand that something's very amiss, and she quickly turns into a narrow alley, through which the car cannot follow. She looks relieved as the car pauses for a few seconds, and then drives away.
But the driver of the car knows the ramshackle shanty neighborhood better than Adriana does. As she emerges from the other end of the alley, the car is there, cutting her off. Adriana's bike tips over and she falls off, onto the ground. Two men jump out of the car, grab Adriana up and carry her, kicking and screaming, inside, before driving off with her, leaving her bike in the street.
Jorge and one of his accomplices are hanging out on the corner in front of the cantina as their other friend is making out with a girl in their car. A young boy rides by on a bicycle, and Jorge's friend laughs, saying the boy is riding a girl's bike.
Jorge looks and realizes to his shock, that the boy is riding Adriana's bike. Springing to his feet, he chases after the boy as his friends run to catch up. Jorge catches the boy, pulling him off the bike and down to the ground. The three start roughing him up as Jorge accuses him of stealing the bike. The boy protests he found it in the street and offers to lead them there if they don't hurt him.
The boy brings them to where he found the bike. Jorge looks crushed as he sees the card Adriana drew for him, still lying on the ground. He runs to a residential hut and pounds on the door, asking the tenant if she saw what happened to the girl on the bike. But Jorge's two friends quickly point out that in this shanty neighborhood, nobody seees anything-- often by choice. Their only hope is to see a local government official they know, named Don Victor.
Victor tells them that he has a hunch who's taken Adriana. Mexico City is a prime stalking ground for Russian sex traffickers looking for young virgins. Adriana's young age means she's surely a virgin, which to a sex trafficker, is worth her weight in gold. Jorge asks for Victor's help, but Victor warns him that these traffickers are dangerous men with a large network throughout Mexico City. He laughs noisily at Jorge's insistence that he and his friends aren't afraid of anyone, letting them know that the Russians are not to be messed with. Looking over his shoulder, Jorge finds that Victor is right-- his two best friends have quickly been intimidated into not wanting to stick their necks out in such a manner. Jorge rages in anger until Victor grabs him and sits him down, describing what he knows of the traffickers' M.O. They each have several contacts in Mexico City, using them to sell and trade the girls from one hand to another, until they're smuggled into America near a large airport, such as Newark in New Jersey. Finally they're sold for a lot of money to degenerate men looking to deflower such young virgin girls.
Vadim and Manuelo herd Veronica into one of many stash houses where captive girls are kept; one waypoint of many along the route into brutal slavery. A dangerous looking, large dog makes thoughts of flight vanish into thin air. Veronica fearfully begs Vadim not to hurt her. Vadim merely tells her to sit and relax. As 'encouragement,' he holds a photo of Veronica's little son and tears it in half, letting the pieces drop to the floor. Suddenly he punches the frightened young woman right in her face and throws her to the floor, grabbing her by her throat. Forcing Veronica onto her stomach, he shoves her skirt up to her hips and yanks her panties down to her knees, before dropping his pants and raping her. The other captive girls, including Adriana, huddle in the far corner, terrified.
As Vadim rapes Veronica, her mind spins back to the travel agency she visited in Poland, which helped her arrange her flight. The agent told Veronica that a layover in Mexico City would save her a lot of money, and it was close to Los Angeles, rich with job openings so she could make enough money to bring her son into America. When she asked why they needed the names and addresses of her parents, the agent smiled and said, 'standard bureaucratic nonsense.' Gears click and Veronica understands this was the first step in the terrible trap laid for her.
Jorge's friends drop him near a back alley where Don Victor knows young women are paraded around in a circle while prospective johns look them over like a herd of cattle. He walks through the alley, discreetly trying to see each woman's face, and finds Adriana isn't there.
At the stash house, Manuelo is making Adriana take a pill. He then goes to the mattress where Veronica still lays, dazed after her rape. Her eyes drift open as he reaches out to touch her. Manuelo tells her that he has a vitamin for her that will help ease the pain she's in. Veronica takes the pill and puts it in her mouth, but declines a sip of water. Manuelo gets up and walks out. Soon as she hears the door close, Veronica spits the pill back out.
Adriana picks up the pieces of the torn photograph and puts them near Veronica's hand. Veronica pushes the pieces underneath her body as Adriana sits near her. Both girls speak just enough English to communicate. Veronica sees that Adriana wears a necklace with an image of Mary, and asks if Adriana prays to her. Adriana says she does, and that Mary will guide Jorge to find her. Tears come to Adriana's eyes as she leans over and hugs Veronica as she would a sister.
Jorge walks through crowded streets as he asks any random passerby whose attention he can get, about Adriana, giving a description that he doesn't realize is painfully vague and can apply to any of millions of young teenage girls in Mexico City. Worse, he doesn't know just how close he is to the stash house. Manuelo opens a door and herds the captive girls out, including Adriana. Jorge happens to turn to one side and look into a mirror, which shows a reflection over his shoulder. He sees Adriana, and Vadim and Manuelo. Jorge hides behind a cart, getting a good look at Vadim's face as he herds the girls into a truck, and his female accomplice drives up with a very young boy. Jorge races back to the cantina where he finds his friend Alejandro high on pot while sitting in the car. He throws Alejandro out onto the street and jumps in the car, trying to follow the truck.
In the truck, Veronica sees one of the other captives is feeling very sick. She goes to Adriana and tells her not to swallow any more pills. She knows that they're no vitamins, but a drug to keep the captives under control.
The truck stops and the girls are delighted to see two Mexican border agents-- but quickly find the officers receive sex with captive girls in return for looking the other way on the trafficking. One of the agents chooses Veronica, and Manuelo orders the other girls out of the truck onto the road to wait. Veronica assures Adriana that they can't hurt her any more than they already have. As the agent climbs into the truck and leers at Veronica, Jorge hides behind a rock slope, watching the truck. The traffickers are using a produce delivery truck to look inconspicuous.
Manuelo pays the other guard for fake ID's and passports for the other girls. He makes Adriana put on a pretty dress and shoes, and pose provocatively for a photograph as Jorge watches in outrage. Unable to watch any further, he hunkers down behind the rock slope and cries.
In the shanty outskirts of Juárez, a town near the border, Jorge's car runs out of fuel. He gets out and runs frantically down the road, seeing that he's lost sight of the truck.
Veronica, Adriana and several other captive children are in a stash house in Juárez. Adriana tries to offer a portion of what food they've been given, to Veronica, concerned that the older girl hasn't eaten. Veronica only stares at the torn photo of her child, trying to fit the pieces together as if she could undo the tear. Manuelo walks into the cell, picks up a stuffed doll, and mocks Veronica not eating. Furiously angry, with no concern for her personal well-being, Veronica jumps to her feet, boldly and brazely telling Manuelo that one day, he'll suffer for all he's done, not only to her, but the other children. Manuelo stares back for a few seconds before laughing Veronica off and calling her a communist.
Jorge finds a small shop and thirstily gulps down water from a bottle. He asks the shop owner if he can use her phone. Jorge calls his mother, but can't answer when she asks in a wary tone if it's him. He hangs up and glances out the window, spotting the produce truck again.
Late in the evening, Jorge creeps over to the truck and finds his way to the stash house. It's now abandoned, the holding cage empty. As Jorge looks at the few clothes left on the mattresses and on the floor, he hears the sound of another car. Hearing someone getting out of the car, he hides behind the refrigerator in the kitchen.
Ray Sheridan (Kevin Kline), an insurance fraud investigator, walks into the stash house, his flashlight beam shining near Jorge's location but not onto him. As Ray passes by the kitchen, heading toward the caged enclosure, Jorge creeps out of the stash house behind him, and hides in the trunk of Ray's car. Meanwhile, Ray shines his flashlight along old, semi-faded sketches covering the walls of the caged enclosure, many showing scenes of kids with families, and being pulled away from them; sketches made by frightened, despairing children.
Manuelo brings the captives to the Rio Grande river on foot. When they see he expects them to wade across it, they recoil uncertainly, until Veronica takes point in climbing down and wading across. Adriana and the other children follow, with Manuelo bringing up the rear. Soon as they're across, a border patrol vehicle comes driving up; border officers coming out to arrest everyone. Manuelo grabs Adriana and warns all the kids not to say a word, or he'll make sure all their family members are killed.
As yet unaware of the stowaway he carries, Ray gets a room in a motel and calls his wife, Patty (Linda Emond). He tells her he's in Juárez, although he doesn't tell her why. He says he'll be home tomorrow. Their pet cat is ill and Patty needs to take her to the vet. After hanging up, Ray pulls out a wrinkled old photo of a girl looking to be around five or six years old, looking at it. The next morning, as Ray is driving across the border, a radio news program talks about (then-President) George W. Bush having spent $1.9 billion on tightening border security against unlawful immigration.
Manuelo and his captives are in an immigrant detention center. As Manuelo is being documented, Veronica rushes to the gate, frightfully begging a guard to listen to her. But he only laughs her off when she tries to tell him that she's a kidnap victim.
A school bus drops off a class of high-school students learning the Spanish language. One of the girls goes over to Adriana and introduces herself, saying why she's here, and gives Adriana an American fashion magazine.
Driving through a town on the American side of the border, Ray stops at a gas station convenience store for a beverage. As he's returning to his car, he hears a noise from the trunk. He goes to investigate and discovers Jorge. Jorge tries to slam the trunk against Ray and make a run for it, but Ray proves too much for Jorge to handle, deftly grappling him and forcing him into the back passenger seat, telling Jorge that he's a cop and they're taking a ride to the nearest police station.
With nothing else to lose, Jorge tells Ray the truth about why he hid in Ray's car to sneak into America. Ray is, as expected, skeptical, until Jorge tells how he saw Ray go into the stash house in Juárez; the same house Jorge had tracked his sister to. Ray still maintains some skepticism, but tries to assure Jorge that the American police will help him if he's being truthful. Jorge, however, is too distrustful of any police, whether in Mexico or America, and points out that even if they think he's telling the truth, they'll just deport him back to Mexico and then probably drag their feet on finding Adriana until she's through the 'tunnel' and sold off, at which point she'll become untraceable. But after Jorge finishes his plea, Ray only says he's going to the police.
Manuelo and party have been deported back across the border into Mexico, and he's marching them back along a different route. As Manuelo watches a patrolling vehicle, the children all pray before a Catholic shrine. As they all begin moving again, Veronica looks back and sees Manuelo praying at the shrine.
At the police station, Ray appears to be struggling with whether to believe Jorge's story. He tells Jorge not to move, and shows his badge to the front desk officer, asking to speak to the officer's CO about 'that boy who says his sister's been kidnapped.' The officer promptly asks, 'Which boy?' and Ray sees he should have known better than to think Jorge would listen to 'Don't move.'
Fortunately, it takes Ray little time to find and catch up to Jorge. This time Ray offers to help Jorge himself, saying he knows someone from the Academy who he can turn to. Having already been hauled to the police station once, Jorge has little reason to believe Ray now, until Ray points out that Jorge's chances of success in finding his sister are nil, without his help.
Manuelo herds the captives back across the river and are met by Alex Green (Zack Ward), a contact in the 'tunnel' with a van to continue bringing them all toward New Jersey.
Alex stops at a rest stop where trafficked girls are traded and johns can pay for sex. When Manuelo tries to take Adriana out of the car, Veronica comes to her defense, fiercely insisting she be taken instead. Seeing a look in Manuelo's eyes, she challenges him as being afraid of her. But Manuelo simply punches her square in her nose, knocking her unconscious, and yanks Adriana out of the car. He sells a middle-aged john a blow job from her for $80, saying he can't take regular intercourse because she's still a virgin. The john herds Adriana through tall reed grass, where several other girls plead tearfully to no avail, as other johns force the girls to pleasure them. Adriana is sold several times, forced to give blow jobs to a number of men who each pay Manuelo $80 for her time.
Ray is on the phone with Patty at a rest stop, learning that the vet put their cat to sleep. Patty takes her grief out on Ray, who didn't bring his cell phone with him to Juárez, making him unreachable.
Ray and Jorge are sitting down to eat at the rest stop's diner. Ray sees a man sitting at a booth with a young Thai boy. As a waitress takes their order, the man leaves with the boy, Ray watching them. Noticing, Jorge turns to look, and suddenly jumps to his feet, saying he knows the kid.
Jorge races out, quickly losing sight of the man and boy. Tearing through the parking lot, he causes a scene which attracts a passing officer, who demands to see identification, which Jorge isn't carrying. Fortunately, Ray catches up and shows his badge, acting as if Jorge is his son.
Jorge tells Ray that he saw the Thai boy being put into the same truck that Adriana was put into. Turning, they see the pedophile again leading the boy through the parking lot and push him into a public restroom. Ray orders Jorge to take the boy to the police, and then warns the pedophile about the cops, and that they can go outside to deal with them, or Ray can ask the man for information one on one.
As the police move in to arrest the pedophile, Ray hurries Jorge away with bad news. The pedophile bought the boy from the traffickers, but didn't see what happened to the others. He has no idea where they are or where they were going.
Manuelo and Alex are with Veronica, Adriana and the Brazilian girl at another stash house. Manuelo is posting photos he took of Adriana onto a child trafficking website. In the bathroom, Veronica grimly brushes her teeth, and turns at the sound of Adriana sobbing. As she showers, Adriana cries that after what's happened to her, her mother won't love her anymore, meaning she can't go home even if she's rescued. Veronica tries to comfort the girl and insists that her mother will always love her.
Alex comes into the restroom and forces them both to swallow a pill. He holds Veronica's nose and covers her mouth, leaving her unable to breathe until she swallows. Fearful at the display, Adriana takes her pill willingly.
In the middle of the night, Ray makes Jorge wait just outside an internet cafe. Going online, Ray finds his way to the trafficking website. giving the correct user names and passwords to navigate through the correct locations of a seemingly legitimate real estate website to reach photos and auction information on trafficked children. As he looks through the photographs, Jorge comes up behind him. He points at a photograph, saying that's his sister. Adriana's name is given as Maria, and her age is falsely listed as 15. Jorge fights back bile as he sees the photos that he watched Manuelo take of Adriana, along with an online auction ID number, and that bidding will start at $500 soon.
Later that morning, Ray has passed the information on to his contact, who'll forward it to the internet crimes unit. As Ray mentions he gave his contact the website location and passwords, Jorge realizes Ray got all this from the pedophile they'd stopped at the diner. Ray says the pedophile paid $25,000 as the highest bidder, to have the boy smuggled in from Thailand and delivered to him. They need to get to New Jersey in time for when Adriana is auctioned.
Waking up, Adriana and Veronica overhear Manuelo arguing with someone he calls 'Laura' on his cell phone. After hanging up, Manuelo tells Alex that Adriana's auction has been set up for tomorrow and they have to be in New Jersey by then. Alex had freaked out on drugs during the night and accidentally killed the Brazilian girl, meaning Veronica and Adriana are the only remaining captives in Manuelo's custody.
Alex stops the van off the road and gets out to relieve himself. Manuelo sees both Veronica and Adriana are asleep, so he steps out as well. But Veronica was wide awake and alert, and sees her chance. Waking Adriana, she creeps out around the back of the van, and the two girls make their break.
Veronica and Adriana make it across the road into a town that is in the midst of a parade and celebration. Veronica and Adriana hug joyfully. Veronica spots a police officer watching the parade and tells Adriana to go to him, while Veronica goes to a pay phone across the street to call and warn her family.
But as Veronica struggles through the waiting to get through the proper operators and call her family in Poland, Adriana stops short of approaching the police officer and starts to run back to Veronica's side. The worst is yet to come, as Veronica reaches her mother and, instead of starting to explain what's happened to her, only tries to tell her mother to take Gregor (Veronica's son) and leave, as they're in danger. Veronica's mother asks, puzzled, whether Gregor hasn't already arrived in America.
Veronica becomes hysterical, not paying attention to Adriana, who sees Alex and Manuelo's van turning the corner in search of them. Veronica's mother says that people came from the agency, showed all the correct papers Veronica signed, and said they were there to arrange Gregor's travel to America. The traffickers have Veronica's son in custody. Unable to believe what she's hearing, Veronica fails to react as the van roars up, and Manuelo and Alex grab her and Adriana, dragging them back inside the van. Manuelo tells a dazed Veronica that both she and her son will pay for this.
The van stops at another rest stop, overlooking a high bluff. Manuelo orders Veronica out of the van. It's painfully obvious he's going to beat her within an inch of her life as punishment for her attempted escape.
But Veronica looks disturbingly calm and serene as she looks out over the bluff. Lifting the hood of her sweatshirt, she turns to Manuelo and smiles at him, before telling him that she'll make sure that he pays for everything he's done. Adriana, Alex and Manuelo alike, look on in horror as Veronica turns and sprints straight toward the edge of the bluff, leaping to her death before Manuelo can catch her.
Both parties make it to New Jersey. While Jorge and Ray head into the city proper, Alex drops off Manuelo and Adriana in the suburbs, and another stash house where Adriana will be held until she's auctioned. Waiting in the stash house for them is Laura (Kate Del Castillo), a woman overseer in the trafficking operation. Laura appears to be a Mexican-American woman in her mid twenties. She treats Adriana better than Manuelo did, and better than she treats Manuelo. Laura is furious to hear that both Veronica and the Brazilian girl didn't make it, telling Manuelo that Vadim has lost $50,000 over the botched delivery.
Ray and Jorge check into a Holiday Inn. Checking the auction website, they find that Adriana's online auction will begin at 2 PM. Ray leaves Jorge at the hotel and meets with his contact, Detective Hank Jefferson (Tim Reid) to speak with a local detective named Henderson. There, Ray finds that Henderson knows where the New Jersey operation is based, but he's looking at a bigger picture: The trafficking operation is all over the globe. The auction website is on a server in the Maldives, and their bank is in South Africa. Traffickers and contacts are all over the country, and around the world. The internet crimes unit is trying to bide their time, gathering as much intel as possible, looking for a way to stamp out the operation as close to the root as they can. Adriana's handlers are a small part in one area, and moving on them will cause the operation to move around and vanish back under the radar. Ray is disgusted at the seeming indifference toward the fate of one innocent Mexican girl.
Jorge awakens to overhear Ray talking to Patty on the phone. Ray has asked to withdraw a large amount of money from their savings, and he'll tell her all about it when he gets home. Patty asks Ray if he's found his daughter, and he says he might have. She tells him that, if he locates her, to bring her home.
Ray finally opens up to Jorge, showing him a picture of Carly, Ray's daughter from an extramarital affair shortly after he married Patty. Ray was down in Juárez to investigate a possible lead on Carly's whereabouts. Officers arrived to tell Ray that Alma, the Mexican woman with whom Ray had the affair, died a few days ago of a drug overdose, and they found an unsent letter to Ray, written ten years earlier, among her possessions. Ray always knew Alma had a daughter, but until receiving the letter, didn't know for sure the child was his. Talking with a police detective who worked near a house where Alma lived, Ray found out that Alma had gone to Juárez just about the time she wrote the letter to Ray, and came back two years later without Carly. As a lifelong drug addict, Alma had likely sold her daughter for drug money. If Alma had sent the letter right away, Ray would have come to pick up Carly himself and bring her home, where he and Patty would care for her. Ray shows Carly's photo to Jorge, who says that Carly has beautiful green eyes (Ray mentions Alma had the same eyes).
Adriana has been dressed as a school girl. In her room, she prays that Veronica is happy in heaven. She asks Veronica to talk to the Virgin Mary for her. Adriana's one hope is that if she's sold, that it be to a kind man.
Jorge and Ray go to the hotel internet center and log into the trafficking website in time for Adriana's auction. The auction is harrowing for Jorge, as bidders named Little Buddha and South African Master, bid against them for Adriana. Jorge seems almost ready to break down as he and Ray are outbid again. Ray tells Jorge to wait until two seconds before closure of bidding before raising to thirty-two thousand. The website signals the end of the auction and Jorge holds his breath, until the website signals he and Ray have won. A chat window opens up on the website asking for their address. Immediately Ray gets a call from Laura, who tells him that he'll get an address on his computer where he's to bring the money, and she'll bring the girl, that simple.
But it's not as simple as Laura suggested. Ray is sent to the parking lot of a shopping center, where Manuelo tells him to get into his van and he'll drive Ray to the stash house, or else the deal's off. Ray is to leave the car there and he'll be driven back with Adriana. Ray pops his trunk just before leaving with Manuelo. Jorge gets out of the trunk and begins following Manuelo in the car.
Manuelo brings Ray to the stash house where he's greeted by Laura. Adriana sits in a chair nearby. Ray gives the money to Manuelo, who runs it through a counter. Laura is eager to close the transaction, but Ray makes a dangerous mistake. Laura's green eyes and approximate age remind him of Carly, and he tries to strike up small talk, asking where she's from. Her suspicions writhing, Laura confronts Ray on being a possible cop. She has an easy way to find out-- Ray has to take Adriana upstairs and have sex with her in the bedroom. If he doesn't, Laura knows he's a cop, and she'll kill him. If he does, he's now a child sex offender, meaning he has too much to lose, himself, if he tries to turn Laura in. Since Adriana is a virgin, there will be blood on the sheets after legitimate intercourse.
Upstairs in the privacy of the room, Ray tells Adriana that he's here with Jorge, looking to rescue her. Adriana excuses herself, going into the bathroom, where Ray hears her cry out in pain. She comes out with her blood on her hand to smear on the sheet to fool Laura. But Manuelo opens the door to check in just in time to catch Adriana in the act. Adriana runs after him, telling him it's not too late, reminding him that Veronica is watching. She touches his hand with her bloody thumb. Manuelo is haunted at the gesture and walks down in a daze, lying to Laura that her demand to Ray has been satisfied.
Laura tells Ray that Adriana is now his, and Manuelo will drive them back to his car and he can be on his way. Just as Ray and Adriana walk out, Laura sarcastically calls after them, "What a nice daddy." Her tone of voice makes Ray turn around and hand her a deadly glare of suspicion. Manuelo turns around to look over his shoulder. Jorge suddenly lunges out of the bushes, bashing Manuelo across the face with a crowbar. Laura pulls a gun and points it at Ray point blank, her eyes seething with wrath. But police are swarming over and through the house, surrounding Laura from all directions. Laura holds Ray at gunpoint for a tense moment before she gets on her knees and surrenders. Hank, who'd arrived with the officers, tells Ray he knew that Ray was going to take matters into his own hands. Combat-geared officers search the house thoroughly and find a concealed and latched hinge in a bookcase in the basement. It conceals a door to a room where over a dozen children are being held.
Ray tells Jorge that if he can trust some people for once, some of Hank's men will see him and Adriana safely back to Mexico. Ray also gives Jorge the money that he used from his own savings to help rescue Adriana.
As Ray is driving home, he happens to glance down and sees that Jorge secretly put the envelope with the money back in his car. The camera pans to the back seat to show a cat laying in a kitty couch, which Ray is bringing back to his wife.
In the last scene, Vadim is seen hugging and kissing a woman and young boy goodbye before leaving their house in Mexico City. As he steps outside and approaches a circle of young women showcasing themselves to potential buyers, Jorge peeks around the edge of a building. Waiting for the right moment, Jorge comes up behind Vadim and stabs him from behind with a knife. Everyone in the street flees as Vadim collapses, dead.
Feeling that Adriana has been properly avenged, Jorge turns and walks away with a surreal look. A look that lasts only a few seconds before the cry of a child catches his ears. Jorge turns and looks in shock; the young boy from the house is Vadim's son.