The city of Medellin and the Caribbean coast are Colombia’s main sex tourism destinations, the U.S. State Department said in a report released Wednesday.
According to the State Department, “Colombia–particularly the northern Colombian coast and Medellin–is a destination for foreign child sex tourists from the United States, Europe, and other South American countries.”
In response, Medellin mayor Anibal Gaviria told media his administration was aware of the situation.
According to the mayor, the increase in sex tourists in the city is due to the internationalization of the Colombia’s second largest city. Medellin saw an 87% increase in foreign visits between 2006 and 2011.
The State Department maintained Colombia’s classification as top tier in terms of efforts to prevent human trafficking, but highlighted the lack of effective prosecution of child sex tourists.
“Child sex tourism is not a specific crime under Colombian law; while the [family welfare agency] ICBF reported 49 cases of child sex tourism in 2011 and law enforcement investigated several child sex tourists during the year, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists in Colombia.”
The age of consent in Colombia is 14, however, it is illegal to engage in prostitution under 18.
The United States’ Protect Act allows U.S. prosecutors to prosecute American citizens for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18.