Tim Ballard, real hero of ‘Sound of Freedom’: I’ve spent more than 20 years in this fight

Tim Ballard and Eduardo Verástegui Tim Ballard (left) and Eduardo Verástegui at the preview of “Sound of Freedom” in Mexico City, on Aug. 29, 2023. | Credit: Movimiento Viva Mexico

Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie “Sound of Freedom,” which is based on his work, in an Aug. 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping children in this fight against trafficking,” he said.

His work has been brought to the big screen in the successful film, which was recently shown at a preview in Mexico City. In the movie Ballard is portrayed by Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.”

The former agent stressed that the film, which opened Aug. 30 in various Latin American countries, “has been a miracle” since the “the biggest problem” he has faced has been “opening the eyes of the world.”

Ballard is the founder and former CEO of the nonprofit organization Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R).

Speaking in Spanish, Ballard said: “It’s such a difficult subject, so repugnant,” but at the same time he stressed that “thanks to the inspiration of Alejandro Monteverde and Eduardo Verástegui,” the film’s director and producer, respectively, “a miracle has been achieved” because it’s “not a dark film but an inspirational one.”

“We have the proof, because millions of people ... in the United States have already seen it and we are already seeing the fruit of this,” he said.

In the U.S. Congress, he noted, members are already working on “new laws based on this film. I think we are going to see this all over the world,” Ballard said.

“This is the most powerful tool that I have seen in my life in the fight against child trafficking,” he emphasized.

Ballard hopes that in the future, with the help of this film, it will be possible to reach “the presidents of all countries.”

“I also hope that people will fight against trafficking, that they will help out, that they will provide support with financial resources, time, because there are many organizations that are in this fight, but there is little support,” he said. “We have to rescue God’s children, who are not for sale.”

Ballard expressed his concern that “human trafficking is a business that is developing very quickly, more than any other crime,” and it is related to pornography.

The ‘No. 1 protection’ is the family

Ballard stressed that in the face of the drama of trafficking, “the family is the No. 1 protection. If the families of the world are strong, with a father, with a mother, who are paying a lot of attention to their children, that’s protection. The problem is that we don’t see this.”

“We have to protect the family so that we can protect the children,” he said.

In addition, Ballard stressed the importance of “educating our children not to play with pornography, because it changes their brains.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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