The Bogota Police rescued three minors who were victims of sexual exploitation on Thursday night. The authorities identified them during an operation in the central town of Los Martires along with 25 other women. All were transferred to a center of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF), since they did not have documents. There, it was possible to establish their ages and nationalities.
Authorities initially reported that the 28 women were minors. The mayoress of Bogota, Claudia Lopez, even highlighted this aspect. “We managed to protect 28 minors and leave them under ICBF protection,” she declared on Twitter. However, the Police and the ICBF later reported that only three were under 18 years of age.
Major Diego Loza Blanco, commander of the Bogota Children’s Police, explains by phone that the 25 adult women are not implicated in any investigation and can return to their usual activities on public roads. “We have no information that they are linked to human trafficking, to sexual exploitation against their will,” he emphasizes.
Paid sexual activities for minors are one of the concerns in the town of Los Martires, especially in the Santa Fe neighborhood. Loza Blanco comments that there is “a tolerance zone” there, an area authorized to engage in paid sexual activities. According to him, it is not common to find minors because prevention tasks have generated awareness that their participation is a crime.
The neighborhood, however, had another major operation in August of last year. Then 15 people were sent to jail for allegedly deceiving minors who were looking for accommodation and subjecting them to sexual exploitation. The Attorney General’s Office accused the criminal structure Las Vegas to take advantage of the vulnerability of adolescents in the area, especially foreigners.
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The ICBF emphasizes that the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a serious violation of human rights. “It is not a job, a profession, a service, or a trade; It is a crime and a form of violence. It is not true that sexually exploited girls and boys obtain from their submission, as sexual or commercial objects, sums of money that allow them to lead an easy life. You cannot naturalize this violation or argue that it is an economic opportunity ”, reads a text from the institute.
Other entities participating in the operation on Thursday included Migracion Colombia. Twenty-two of the 28 women originally transferred were identified as Venezuelans. The three minors included two women of this nationality. According to the ICBF, the priority is to guarantee their rights, beyond their immigration status.
The Night Command in Los Martires also carried out eight raids as part of the operation on Thursday night. 600 doses of narcotics were seized and eight people were arrested for crimes related to theft and drug trafficking.