News, Culture & Society

Venezuelan women are driven to prostitute themselves in Colombia ‘to feed their families’

Venezuelan women are fleeing their homeland gripped by an economic crisis and prostituting themselves to feed their families.

Teachers, police officers and newspaper carriers are among those turning to the sex trade in Colombia to provide for their children and relatives back home.

The undocumented women often end up working in sordid bars and the tropical climate exposes them to infections and diseases such as malaria.

Teachers, police officers and newspaper carriers are among those turning to the sex trade in Colombia to provide for their children and relatives back home

The undocumented women often end up working in sordid bars and the tropical climate exposes them to infections and diseases such as malaria

The undocumented women often end up working in sordid bars and the tropical climate exposes them to infections and diseases such as malaria

Prostitutes from a brothel in Colombia get ready to welcome clients

Prostitutes from a brothel in Colombia get ready to welcome clients

Some 1.9 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-ridden country since 2015, according to the United Nations.

Poverty has soared after four years of recession and years of financial mismanagement.

The International Monetary Fund predicts inflation will hit a staggering 1.4 million per cent this year, rising to an astronomical 10 million per cent in 2019.

Psychologist Jhon Jaimes says the women prostituting themselves in Colombia suffer from ‘anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder.’

Mother-of-three Patricia, 30, was beaten, raped and sodomized by a drunken client at a brothel in Calamar, where approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes.

The region is a hub for drug-trafficking and a bastion of dissident former FARC guerrillas.

‘There are customers who treat you badly and that is horrible,’ she said.

A sex worker prepares her clothes for the evening at a Colombian bar

A sex worker prepares her clothes for the evening at a Colombian bar

Approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes in Calamar, Colombia, which is a hub for drug-trafficking

Approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes in Calamar, Colombia, which is a hub for drug-trafficking

Some 1.9 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-ridden country since 2015

Some 1.9 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-ridden country since 2015

Women at a brothel in Calamar, where approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes

Women at a brothel in Calamar, where approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes

Women at a brothel in Calamar, where approximately 60 Venezuelans work as prostitutes

A Venezuelan sex worker getting ready for clients at a brothel in Colombia

A Venezuelan sex worker getting ready for clients at a brothel in Colombia

A 26-year-old mother calling herself Alegria also travelled to Calamar.

She is a teacher of history and geography but was earning just 312,000 bolivars a month: less than a dollar.

Her salary was not enough ‘even for a packet of pasta’, she told AFP.

With nine other women, Alegria prostitutes herself every night in a bar in the town of 3,000 people.

Each client pays between 37,000-50,000 pesos ($11-16), of which 7,000 is kept by the establishment’s manager. 

On a ‘good night,’ Alegria can earn the equivalent of between $30 and $100. 

Each client pays between 37,000-50,000 pesos ($11-16), of which 7,000 is kept by the establishment's manager

Each client pays between 37,000-50,000 pesos ($11-16), of which 7,000 is kept by the establishment’s manager

A sex worker, who chose to remain anonymous, speaks about her experience of the industry

A sex worker, who chose to remain anonymous, speaks about her experience of the industry

Sex workers in Calamar, Colombia, where dozens of women have travelled from Venezuela

Sex workers in Calamar, Colombia, where dozens of women have travelled from Venezuela

Sex workers in Calamar, Colombia, where dozens of women have travelled from Venezuela

Mother-of-three Patricia, 30, (pictured) was beaten, raped and sodomized by a drunken client

Mother-of-three Patricia, 30, (pictured) was beaten, raped and sodomized by a drunken client

Joli, 35, is another victim of Venezuela’s poverty who turned to the sex trade.

She told AFP: ‘We never intended on prostituting ourselves. We’re doing it because of the crisis.’

Joli lost her job as a newspaper carrier in 2016 because ‘there was no more paper to print them.’

Venezuelan sex workers receive birth control implants in the Calamar muncipality

Venezuelan sex workers receive birth control implants in the Calamar muncipality

She left her three children with her mother before trekking from town to town and job to job looking to make ends meet.

When she crossed the border into Colombia without a passport, she had nothing but the clothes she was wearing. 

She said she couldn’t even find work as a cleaner because of her Venezuelan accent so ended up in Calamar, where she turned to sex work.

‘My back was against the wall,’ she said.

Venezuelan migrants such as Sonia (pictured)  fled their country due to the crisis, turn to prostitution in Colombia for the lack of opportunities to work in other trades

Venezuelan migrants such as Sonia (pictured)  fled their country due to the crisis, turn to prostitution in Colombia for the lack of opportunities to work in other trades

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.