Venezuelan women are being driven into the sex trade in Colombia in order to survive, a Sky News investigation has found.
Scores of women were found touting for business on the streets of the border city of Cucuta. In one club, the overwhelming majority of women working as prostitutes were Venezuelan.
In a brothel full of 60 women, there were just two Colombians, while the rest were Venezuelans.
One mother-of-two, who used to be a ballerina and businesswoman in Venezuela before the country’s economic collapse, told Sky News: “I would give this up if there was any other option.
“This is a shameful job but what option do I have? I have to make money to look after my children and feed them. There is nothing in Venezuela. The only way to put food on the table for my children is to travel here to Colombia and sell my body.”
A second woman, the mother of a one-year-old boy, said she used to be a hairdresser.
“If things ever get any better in Venezuela, I’d love to set up my own business,” she said.
“Anything would be better. I do this because I have to do this. I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink. I just do this. If I could do something better, I’d do it… and I’d stop this straight away.”
The women spoke of feeling powerless and vulnerable and admit their options are extremely limited, with no official paperwork to leave Venezuela legally in the long-term.
But the streets of Cucuta are filled to bursting with Venezuelans trying to find other options and a better life.
Scores are sleeping on pavements. The citizens of one of the richest nations in Latin America, destitute and reduced to begging.
Source: Sky News