Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Video adds weight to claim Maradona ‘trafficked’ 16-year-old girl and kept her at hotel


New video has surfaced adding weight to claims by a woman that football legend Maradona seduced her when she was 16, gave her drugs and kept her locked in a hotel.

Mavys Alvarez also claims that she was forced to get breast implants after being groomed and flown to Argentina from her native Cuba by Maradona’s associates, without the permission of her parents.

The video, obtained by Spanish-language news outlet Infobae, came to light amid a human trafficking case against Maradona’s associates who Ms Alvarez says introduced her to the football icon in 2000 when she was 16 years old and he was 40.

In one part of the video, she looks visibly uncomfortable as Maradona films her, in others she sings karaoke and smiles, and in another, the pair are on a bed together while commentary from a football match plays in the background. Various associates of Maradona’s also appear at times in the video.

Considered a hero in Argentina and one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona was in Cuba for a drug rehabilitation course when he met Ms Alvarez at his hotel in the resort town of Varadero, The Daily Telegraph reports.

She says that he moved her into an apartment in Havana and introduced her to a life of drugs and partying.

“It was the biggest mistake of my life,” Ms Alvarez told the Miami-based TV station América TeVe in an interview in late September. “I was just a girl. I was pure. He was a stranger, he was rich and he paid attention to me. I could not say no.”

From Havana, she says she was taken to Buenos Aires in 2001. It was there that she says she was kept in a hotel for almost three months and “pressured” into having breast implants.

“I was not allowed to go out alone … always having people in charge of my stay there. During the entirety of my stay in [Argentina],” she said in a court filing, adding that she was only allowed to go shopping and visit the zoo during her time in the country and was always accompanied by an escort.

Ms Alvarez says her relationship with Maradona last three years. He died of a heart attack following brain surgery in late 2020.

As to why she kept silent for almost 20 years, Ms Alvarez says she feared her family could face reprisals from the Cuban regime.

She told América TeVe that Maradona introduced her to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who had hugged her and asked how he had met such a beautiful girl.

It was then that she was given special permission by Mr Castro to leave the country to attend a commemorative match for Maradona in Argentina on 10 November 2001. Few Cubans were permitted to leave Cuba at the time.

Mavys Alvarez being interviewed by América TeVe about her relationship with footballing legend Maradona when she was just 16

(América TeVe)

Ms Alvarez’s claims have been filed as a complaint with Argentina’s Prosecutor’s Office for Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons. She is listed as a plaintiff in the suit which was filed last week.

The case may not only investigate human trafficking allegations against the Maradona entourage. Ms Alvarez would also like it to look at the role played by immigration officials in Argentina, who let her enter the country without consent from her parents.

Gaston Marano, her lawyer, says that there was ”collusion between the foreign and local immigration authorities”.

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