Traditional Colombian brothers have lost ground to alternative methods of prostitution emerging in the country, Caracol Radio reported.
The customary houses of ill-repute are losing business in Colombia as patrons of Colombia’s sex industry have turned to new alternatives for obtaining prostitutes.
Brothels–such as “Las Pereiranas,” a traditional meeting place for businessmen and artists since the 60’s, and which operates a few yards from a Catholic church–are losing business to “prepago” (pre-paid) prostitutes who work from their homes, contact johns through their own networks and arrange meetings through cellular phones. Such sex-workers can expect to make much more than prostitutes working in a brothel and are becoming more popular with customers as well.
Brothels are also losing business to street workers who typically charge far less than either brothels or prepagos. Whereas a pre-paid prostitute may earn as much as $500 per client, a streetwalker may earn as little as $45 for an entire night’s work.
It is unknown what effect this move away from traditional brothels is likely to have on the participation of minors in Colombia’s sex industry. With prostitutes working independently, authorities will have more difficulty keeping minors out of prostitution. Whatever control brothels might have had over the industry will quickly disappear as they close for business.
Prostitution is currently legal in Colombia, so long as it is conducted in designated red-light districts. Last month, the State Department acknowledged that Colombia remains a major hotspot for women forced to participate in the international sex trade and women forced into domestic human trafficking as well.