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Colombia: The Virgin Auctions In Pablo Escobar’S Home Town

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colombia-the-virgin-auctions-in-pablo-escobars-home-town-8867289.html

It is a phrase now commonly heard in the hillside slums of Medellin, Colombia: “Take care of your daughter, or she will be sold.” The warning – or threat, depending on who is talking – is literal. The street gangs that rule the slums known as comunas are recruiting 10 to 15-year-old girls and auctioning off their virginities to drug lords and foreign tourists.

The girls are selected for their looks, and then approached by gang leaders or other girls already involved in the gang life, who act as recruiters.

“They start drawing them in with perks from a culture of high consumerism,” says Luis Pardo, Director of NGO Corporacion Consultoria de Conflicto Urabano (C3), which has been investigating the phenomenon over the last year. “They offer them brand-name clothes, trips to luxury restaurants, top of the range whisky and cocaine, and the girls end up as part of this network.”

Once in the sphere of the gang’s influence, the girls fall under their protection. “When it is decided that a girl is to be auctioned off, no man in the neighbourhood can touch her, no one can hassle her and, most of all, no one can take her virginity,” says Pardo.

The girls’ families are caught in the classic bind of organised crime. If they accept the overtures of the gangs, they receive financial help to ease the desperate poverty of life in the comunas. If they refuse, they can either leave their homes and join the ranks of the more than 10,000 people displaced within the city each year, or they can wait for the bullet fired from the back of a passing motorbike, or the knock on the door that will signal the last time they are seen alive.

..

According to C3’s investigations, trusted clients are contacted through these networks and are offered brochures of the children on the auction blocks – either physical booklets containing a small selection, or online catalogues of up to 60 girls.

Customers are passed a secret PIN number, which grants them access to the auction website. Clients can then bid on the girls, with C3 registering prices as high as five million pesos (about £1,600) for the right to take the child’s virginity. When the auction is completed, the sites are taken down, and the brochures destroyed.

After the experience, the girls very rarely return to family life, and instead get drawn ever deeper into the Medellin underworld.

Very tragic, although no mention of who the clients are likely to be. It must certainly be a very profitable business for the gang members and a nice way of ensuring families do as they are told.

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"..step it up Mary, my fine daughter, step it up Mary if you can,

step it up Mary, my fine daughter, show your legs to the countryman...."

Same old, n'est pas?

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Again, thank God I was born in the UK in this day and age. We have it so so lucky compared to billions of other Human Beings.

It's just the market in action. Very little state interference in these towns. Everyone making free voluntary contracts..

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