Men, women and children are working as prostitutes on Medellin’s metro, a local study revealed Tuesday.
Corporacion C3, a consultation group focusing on urban conflict said that every day prostitutes use the metro to drum up business, selling their bodies to passengers.
The study, which ran over several months, found that the prostitutes used the metro to find customers, especially tourists visiting the city.
The president of the study group, Luis Guillermo Pardo, said that the situation is due to the increase of tourists to Colombia’s second city and to the prevalence of sex-tourism.
According to Pardo, poverty makes many young people see prostitution as an opportunity to make good money.
The study said that the metro is used as a setting to find single men or groups of men and tourists to offer “services” to.
In the central San Antonio station, according to the study, “girls roam the platforms in search of potential customers … There the contact is mostly with tourists.” Other stations in the city have child-prostitutes on the platforms and the stairs, or girl-prostitutes who wear their school uniforms to attract more customers. The clients are then taken to the city’s many by-the-hour hotels.
Pardo said that the authorities expressed little concern about the issue and despite being aware of the problem, little has been done to tackle it.
A 2012 report from the U.S. State Department said Medellin was one of Colombia’s main destinations for sex tourists.