Sunday, May 13, 2012

Not Such a Glamorous Profession

Dania Londono, the Cartagena 'escort' who
found fame after spending the night
with a Secret Service agent.

And so, the plot grows thicker around the Secret Service sex episode.

Now, in addition to the widely reported sex-for-money and lack-of-money-for-sex, stories appear suggesting some sort of conspiracy: a 17-year-old girl who apparently had worked as a prostitute claims that Dania (who spent the night with one of the Secret Service men) had offered her money to spy on the Americans and recruit other prostitutes to do so. The 17-year-old says Dania told her that 'an Arab' had offered the payment and that she refused the offer.

Young prostitutes on a
Bogotá Plaza.
And there's also the report that someone flew Dania to Dubai not long after the scandal.

All of which probably means nothing. The 17-year-old's story sounds like just the kind of fantasy someone who'd seen too many spy movies would invent to gain her 15 minutes in the sun. And, what's unbelievable about an Arab shiek flying an exotic Colombian prostitute to his desert mansion for a fling?

More troubling is the suggetion of illegal prostitution of minors.

Not very glamorous: A prostitute waits
for clients on a street near the
presidential palace. 
While the lives of Dania and other high-earning 'escorts' may sound glamorous, such women are only the tiny elite of the sex-for-pay world. An English friend who works with girls who've worked as prostitutes says that in nearly every case the girls suffer emotional and physical harm. In fact, he says, most are forced into the business by some sort of emotional trauma.

"Becoming a prostitute isn't a choice like 'should I become a secretary, a stewardess or a prostitute?' he says.

On the right, a tomb in Bogotá's Central Cemetery whose
occupant is called Salome and considered the patron saint
of the prostitutes. However, when a famous astronomer
 was buried beside her, Salome was disinterred.
Prostitutes get no respect, dead or alive. 
This friend believes that for prostitutes like Dania for whom the relationship also includes meals, travel and shopping, the profession can be a career choice. But that for those who are paid only for sex suffer lots of physical and emotional trauma.

He believes that buying sex should be illegal, but selling it permitted, since the seller is usually victimized in some way.

Today's El Tiempo tells the story of a prostitute who commutes into Cartagena to work from a miserable room outside of town which she shares with her three children. For her, of course, there are no trips to Dubai, luxury hotels or exclusive nightclubs.
Related posts: 

The Red Light District's Guardian Angel

A Profession Like Any Other?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


mauricio forero l said...

Hey Mike, how are you!!

In a totally unrelated note. I wonder if you have among your books a vintage copy of La Voragine or The Vortex by Jose Eustasio Rivera, I'm looking for a copy from the 50s or 40s or even 30s.


Mauricio Forero.

Miguel said...

Hi Mauricio,

Sorry, but can't help you. I have a recent used copy of that book (in English), but no old ones. I'll keep an eye out, tho. One might just appear on a sidewalk.


Colin said...

"He believes that buying sex should be illegal, but selling it permitted, since the seller is usually victimized in some way."

Am I the only one for whom this makes no sense?

Miguel said...

I believe that this is the legal arrangement in Sweden and some other European nations.

Cops can arrest Johns, but not prostitutes, since it's assumed that the women are acting under some sort of duress.