Girls of 13 and 14 years of age are being exploited by sex tourists in Bogota, according to a report from La Fundacion Renacer y Esperanza and the District Institute of Tourism.
On the streets, sex with minors is promoted through flyers which advertise “escorts” or “massages.” The flyers refer to children and adolescents as “Lolita” and “schoolgirls,” El Tiempo reports.
Taxi divers and hotel employees apparently help to promote the practice. “Tourists get the telephone numbers of taxi drivers who can help find the children to fulfill strange sexual habits and perversities,” a researcher explained.
Minors are placed in brothels, bars, malls, parks or on the street, and then taken to motels or hotels.
“Hotel staff foster the sexual exploitation of children and ‘victimization’ of children through their indifference,” a researcher said.
“Tourists understand that this is a crime, but they think there are no laws to punish them,” the report explained.
Researchers interviewed 67 victims, 35 boys and 32 girls, all between 14 and 17 years. “All the stories were sad, many girls were mothers who have not completed their studies,” a researcher explained. He added that many minors come from dysfunctional families, have been neglected and have experienced sexual violence.
More than half of the children in the study were from Bogota, while the rest came from other regions in Colombia.