Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office said Sunday he would file criminal charges against a controversial radio host for negotiating the purchase of an indigenous slave on air.
In an interview with a storyteller of the Wayuu nation that inhabits the most northern part of Colombia, radio host Fabio Zuleta caused indignation when he inquired what a woman from the indigenous would cost him.
Additionally, Zuleta felt no scruples to publicly announce “I would keep her locked up so she doesn’t run away.”
The Zuleta family owes their prominence largely to them entertaining drug traffickers since the so-called Marijuana Bonanza in the 1970’s and are currently implicated in an investigation into a plot to rig the 2018 election with President Ivan Duque’s Democratic Center party and the mafia.
The interview did not just cause public indignation, but infuriated Inspector General Fernando Carrillo who almost immediately announced he would file human trafficking charges.
Like in many cultures around the world, the use of women as commodities or to strengthen ties between clans is an ancestral custom in the Wayuu nation.
Selling women to outsiders, however, never has been and is considered a human rights violation, according to both Colombian and international humanitarian law.
Human trafficking has long been a problem in Colombia, which has become worse after a 2014 drop in oil prices triggered the exodus of more than 1.5 million Venezuelans to Colombia.
Often, these women fall victim to human traffickers who force them to engage in prostitution or sell them as sex slaves.