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Press Room


The Ballard Family and The SPEAR Fund Issue Statement on Anniversary of Historic Island Rescue in Colombia

(SALT LAKE CITY, UT—October 11, 2023)—The SPEAR Fund—an organization funding and defending efforts to end child-trafficking in our time—is releasing a statement on behalf of Senior Advisor Tim Ballard and his wife Katherine:

“It was 9 years ago today that 120 women and children were rescued from evil and conspiring traffickers on a remote island in Colombia, as depicted in the hit movie SOUND OF FREEDOM.

“These women and children have names and faces; they are real people. They tragically call to mind the innocent women and children who are pawns in the horrific events in Israel at the hands of the terrorist group Hamas.

“We regret that the five women who have come forward—though still without names and faces—are caught up in this difficult struggle we face together. Two of these women went on actual Operation Underground Railroad operations. One went on a single operation, and the other woman repeatedly put herself in harm’s way. Three did not go on any actual operations, as they did not make it through the training and certification process.

“We know from repeatedly speaking to this one veteran operator of her authentic concern for other operators, for Tim, and for OUR. We speak now directly to her, “You have assured us privately that you would bravely do it again, and aren’t sure how we could have changed things in the moment. You told us that OUR, its leadership and teams were learning as they went, but that you felt that the cause was too important and urgent.”

“And it still is.

“When we started Spear Fund, Tim agreed that he is permanently retiring from undercover rescue operations, and is instead working to apply the lessons learned in the field to help other operators improve the process going forward. We start with recognition of the post trauma inflicted on all those who went in harm’s way, and know that there are years of healing needed ahead.

“But like the wars going on right now overseas, healing and caring for the wounded must be done while the battle rages on.

“Rescuing kids and exposing those behind the powerful, well-funded child trafficking cartels is an ugly and dark business and leaves unintended consequences, which we all are finding out. Who would have thought we would now be fighting amongst ourselves while these evils are rapidly escalating all around us?

“It’s evident that those who are behind these cartels have clearly woken up to the light that is being shed on their dark activities. We had no idea how much influence they had with so many powerful people and organizations in the United States.

“But we do now.

“SOUND OF FREEDOM brought Providential awareness about the global scourge of child sex slavery. We must awaken to the awfulness of what we face and move swiftly and courageously to action. It’s time for accountability and integrity, unity and forgiveness, and constructive action like never before in our lifetime.”

“Please join us, more to come.”

With warm affection—Tim and Katherine Ballard.


About The Spear Fund

The SPEAR Fund is an innovative organization that funds a coalition of experts, organizations, and concerned citizens to help end human trafficking, while at the same time protecting those courageous male and female operators engaged in doing so.