Dozens of U.S. citizens, perhaps as many as 50, could be detained in the coming weeks in the wake of a child-sex trafficking sting that is shining a spotlight on the seedy side of Colombia’s booming tourism industry.
In mid-October, Colombian and U.S. authorities, working with two nonprofit groups, staged three simultaneous raids in the cities of Cartagena, Medellin and Armenia. By the time the busts were over, 55 children, some as young as 11 and 12, had been rescued from sex-traffickers. In addition, at least a dozen people were detained on allegations of trafficking of minors, pimping and pandering.
Those busts, however, are just the leading edge of a larger sweep that aims to jail U.S. citizens who have been traveling to this Andean nation seeking sex with minors.