In 2018, Colombia was the center of one of the most important operations against child sex tourism, with which it was possible to dismantle one of the largest prostitution networks
Cartagena de Indias is one of the most attractive and popular destinations in Colombia. However, the heroic city is also known as one of the largest places for sex tourism in the coffee country. In 2013, the Colombian journalist Guillermo Arturo Prieto La Rotta, better known as Pirry, revealed in a documentary titled "Fantasmas de la ciudad de piedra" ("The city of stone's ghosts"), what was happening in Cartagena before the eyes of the authorities and the mayor. According to W Radio, the mayor of Cartagena rejected the documentary in a statement.
In this South American country, prostitution is still not illegal, but child sexual exploitation is illegal. This is established in the T-620 of 1995 of the Constitutional Court, in the sections that correspond to "social morality in children" and "prostitution". In this city, many teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 are forced to prostitute themselves in exchange for money, according to information from Néstor Humberto Martínez, Attorney General of the Nation. Finally, this year one of the largest networks of child sex tourism in the jewel of the Colombia Caribbean was dismantled.
According to El Universal, through "Operation Vesta, organized by the Attorney General, Migration Colombia, the Dijin of the National Police and the HIS agency of the United States (wholesale operator and travel agency)", it was possible to dismantle the largest network of sexual tourism in the interior of Cartagena in which 18 people were captured for that crime. The Office of the Prosecutor of Colombia published in its Twitter account, a comment in which it explained that "13 raids and 7 police records were carried out".
In the largest operation against child sex tourism in #Cartagena , 13 raids and 7 police records were carried out with precautionary measures, in addition to monitoring 5 hotel centers. Operation #Vesta resulted in the capture of 18 people pic.twitter.com/Feevf2ArWO- Prosecutor's Office Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) July 29, 2018
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In addition, during this operation was captured Liliana del Carmen Campos Puello, better known as "La Madame", one of the biggest pimps in Cartagena. The "Captain Raúl Danilo Romero Pavón, known as" the sexual predator", who tattooed his name on the victims and then abused them," was also captured, according to El Universal.
Perhaps one of the most complex and worrisome issues in this situation is that, although the capture of this organization occurred, there are still many places where this crime is committed, including hotels, and there are still other networks of pimps. Even after the captures in the operation Veta, it was possible to establish the complicity of some members of the Police, El Tiempo mentioned.
LatinAmerican Post | Julio Abella
Translated from "El turismo sexual: una alarmante realidad en la joya del caribe colombiano"