Years after becoming a popular destination for sex tourism, Colombia’s second largest city Medellin began cracking down on the phenomenon and arrested a foreign sex tourism provider.
According to local newspaper Vivir en Poblado, sex tourism provider Jay Harry Drivas, a.k.a. “Colombia Jake” and an alleged client were arrested Thursday, July 7, while in the presence of a 13-year-old girl.
The two men will face charges for crimes of inducing to prostitution, pimping of a minor, trafficking, manufacturing and possession of narcotics. The girl was surrendered to child welfare authorities.
“Experience Jakes Poblado Spa 3 Suites with Private Baths! Two Blocks from Park Lleras, with Living Room Jacuzzi! Girlfriend Details click on Rooms and Suites!”, reads Jake’s website promoting his services.
The Ministry of Security of Medellin, said the man was arrested in the apartment 902 of a building located in the Carrera 38, a few blocks the Provenza and Parque Lleras neighborhoods, where the man been a resident for the last two months. In the apartment, a three bedroom, installed an inflatable jacuzzi that looked out to the city.
“Come live the Dream! Experience the beautiful girls and warm spring like weather of Medellin, Colombia!”, Jake says on his website.
The arrest of Colombia Jake is only the first arrest of a foreigner on sexual exploitation charges and was reportedly coordinated with the Embassy of the United States.
VivirEnPoblado.com says authorities believed a serious connection to organized criminal organizations engaged in the sexual exploitation of minors, and preliminary information indicates a link to the murder of an Israeli citizen a couple of weeks in Medellin, with alleged linksto a network dedicated to sexual and drug trafficking attending to the demand of visitors who came to the city in search of sex and drugs.
$49 Suite only you, and I offer Suites and Girlfriend Experience Evening Dates as a courtesy $75, or Suite and Happy Massage Girl During the Day and Girlfriend Experience Evening Date for $99…” reads the promo.
Authorities are also considering asset forfeiture of the rented apartment.
While prostitution is legal in Colombia, pimping is not.
Colombia Jake for years advertised women on the internet without any action from the Medellin authorities, recently criticized by the national media for its lax as the city increasingly turned into a popular destination for foreigners seeking sex, drugs or both. Especially the area around Parque Lleras, a hotspot for tourism, becoming a meeting point for sex tourists, pimps and prostitutes.
A police action in June, in attempt to remove drug dealers and prostitutes from the area around the park, only led to the activity moving over to the Provenza neighbourhood, only two blocks from Parque Lleras.
But following the recent assassination of two foreigners, one of whom an alleged pimp, Mayor Federico Gutierrez, authorities vowed to take action.
With the arrest of the American as provider of sex tourism, Medellin’s authorities entered a new chapter in combating the sexual exploitation of local women and girls.