Medellin’s most important cultural event of the city, the Flowers Festival (Feria de las Flores), begins Friday, August 3 and lasts until August 12. Events such as the Flowers Festival allegedly increase problems of prostitution throughout the city, due in part to an influx of tourists willing to pay higher amounts for virgin “paisitas,” as young girls from Medellin are called.
Heads of criminal gangs that operate in Medellin will also pay up to approximately $3,000 for the services of prostitutes younger than 12 years of age. The “paisitas” are said to come from some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Medellin’s center is a known part of sex tourism routes within the country.