(in Spanish, "Stolen Lives", but officially translated as "Taking Lifes") is a 2008 Argentine live-action tv novel. It is loosely based
on the Real Life
kidnapping of Marita Verón by a net of human trafficking.
The main character is Juliana Miguez
, a girl from the (fictional) Argentine village of Río Manso, who is kidnapped and forced to work as a prostitute. The network of human trafficking is managed by Ástor Monserrat
, who conceals his activities and the source of his wealth under faked activities as a businessman, even to his own daugther. Monserrat had two henchmen, Nicolás Duarte and Dante Mansilla
Juliana's parents, Rosario Soler
and Juan Miguez, began to search for her, but manage very little, as the local police is involved in the whole network and allows them to operate.
The other main character, Bautista Amaya
, got involved in the case as well when Duarte killed his wife by hitting her with his car while Bautista was saving Duarte's wifeon the mountain, and did not stay to help. He seeks him to avenge his wife. Bautista was not initially aware of the network, or Duarte's relation with Monserrat, and began dating Monserrat's daughter, Ana
. He get in contact with them later, and joined forces with them, along with his two friends, the retired prosecutor Fabio Pontevedra and the former police Tano Cigliotti.
Like other previous argentine novels, fiction was used as a means of social criticism. The series was declared of social interest by the city legislature of Buenos Aires and the House of Representatives of Argentina, and also won numerous awards, which emphasize the Martin Fierro de Oro in 2009.
Vidas Robadas contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Most of the female cast have their small moments, but the one that fits this trope better is probably Juliana, mainly due to Character Development.
- Action Hero: Bautista Amaya.
- Broken Bird: Agustina Amaya becomes this after getting raped by Dante's orders.
- Juliana as well.
- Most of the girls saved by Rosario and Belen would probably fit this trope.
- Children Are Innocent: Emma and Joaquin.
- Crapsack World: Portrayed quite realistically, actually.
- Death by Origin Story: Carla, Bautista's wife prior to the start of the series, who was killed in a car accident while Bautista rescued Ana.
- Failure Is the Only Option: The plot was near to rescue Juliana several times, but it only happened during the last episodes.
- Happily Married: Nacha and Ástor initially were this, although it took quite a lot of years to get to that due to Nacha being formerly a sex slave and Ástor, her employer.
- Also, Bautista and Carla before her death.
- Juan and Rosario as well, before he is killed, that is.
- And at the end of the series, Fabio with Alejandra, Bautista with Ana, and Manuel with Mirta.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Claudio Kurtz, the main head of the network, over even Monserrat himself. He is seen at the last episode, and captured.
- Honey Trap: Dante seduced Alejandra in order to get closer to her, drug her, convince her she's insane, and eventually kill her (although he failed on the last task).
- Mama Bear: Rosario's most prominent feature.
- Also, Ana tends to be quite protective towards Joaquin.
- Ines towards Emma as well.
- May-December Romance: Nacha is notably younger than her husband Ástor.
- Likewise, Nicolás is on his thirties while Juliana is at least ten years younger.
- Missing Mom: Helena abandoned Ana when she divorced Astor, leaving the country to move in with Kurtz.
- No Communities Were Harmed: There's no such a city as "Río Manso" in the Buenos Aires province, it's fictional. Still, it's an allegory of the small cities in the Buenos Aires province, distant from the main city of Buenos Aires.
- Rape as Backstory: Nacha.
- Rasputinian Death: Duarte was shot SO many times at the ending... it took a round of a machine-gun and being in the very last episode to take him down for good.
- The Bad Guys Are Cops
- The Stoic: Dante.
- Trophy Wife: Nacha is downright stated to be this in the beginning, then we get real insight on it when her backstory is revealed.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: For the actual case, see El caso Marita Verón (in Spanish)
- Villain with Good Publicity: Deconstructed. Ástor Monserrat has legitimate business activities, but only as a trick to launder the money he gets from the network of forced prostitution. He does not have good publicity any longer when his real activities get into the public light towards half the series.