Secret Service scandal brings new business to sex providers
The secret service’s adventures with Colombian ladies have benefited some sex providers in the city of Cartagena.
By MANUEL RUEDA
Not everyone is wringing their hands over the Secret Service prostitution scandal.
The misconduct allegations against 11 Secret Service members and at least 10 American military personnel has been a blessing in disguise for some sex providers in the Colombian city of Cartagena.
“They helped my business a lot” the manager of an international prostitution service that works in Cartagena told reporters from Colombia’s Caracol radio. “The next day [after the scandal broke out on the media], I got more than 20 emails [asking for services in Cartagena],” said the unnamed man.
That wasn’t the case for President Obama and the U.S. government. The 11 Secret Service agents involved were relieved of their duties and the agency, as well as the U.S. Southern Command, began an investigation into the incident. Some American media outlets reported that the incident overshadowed Obama’s official activities at the summit and lawmakers expressed concern it could have endangered the president’s security, though the administration denies that’s the case.
In Latin America, the scandal has sparked somewhat of a manhunt by media outlets.
Caracol reporters went undercover early this week, posing as foreign tourists in the hunt for escort services in Cartagena in order to speak to sex providers who had done business with the American agents.
The radio station said it could not reveal the names of the pimps it spoke to, because if it did so, it could face legal repercussions.
But one of their sources was clearly happy about the promotional support accidentally provided by the Secret Service agents, who decided to take 21 Colombian women to their hotel rooms on the eve of Obama’s visit to the city.
He even improvised a new slogan for his service.
“If it’s good enough for the Secret Service, it’s good enough for everyone,” the sex provider joked.
Sources contacted by Caracol Radio also provided some insights about what could have gotten the agents into trouble.
They told the station that the agents had arranged to pick up some girls from a VIP prostitution service where girls are paid for in advance and where clients hire the women for 24-hour periods.
However, one of Caracol’s sources said that some agents partying at Club Pley in Cartagena, decided to contract additional services from girls that required cash payments at the hotel after they provided the services.
One of the girls who had come back to the hotel with the American posse started to fight with one of the agents over her pay rate, telling local police and hotel staff that one U.S. agent did not want to pay her what they had agreed upon. That incident reportedly resulted in the incident becoming public.
“If they would’ve reserved everything with us, all of the girls would’ve already been paid for, they are idiots,” Caracol’s source said.
Back in Washington, the prostitution scandal has put Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan in the hot seat. Some members of Congress have expressed outrage over the incident and there have been other calls for Sullivan to resign.
But the White House has backed Sullivan and the agency has continued with an internal investigation into the details on the incident, including information provided by the women who were invited into the Cartagena hotel rooms.
According to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, some agents who were involved in the incident have claimed that the women were not prostitutes but simply ladies that they picked up at the club.
“But prostitutes or not, to bring a foreign national back into a secure zone is a problem,” King told CBS news.
King said that if the women had been working for a terrorist group or anyone else wanting to harm Obama, they could’ve obtained information on the president’s whereabouts or on security protocols.
He told CBS News that the Secret Service “really lucked out,” this time.
(Photo: Flickr Kat Gloor)