• Athena Ives

Pablo Escobar’s Virgin Obsession

Pablo Escobar’s Virgin Obsession

By Athena Ives

Researchers have found human trafficking trends that differ from country to country. The UK is known for using children to traffic drugs, Ethiopia is known for domestic servitude, the USA is known for Sex Trafficking out of the Foster Care System, and Colombia, specifically Medellin, is known for selling Virgins.

Pablo Escobar is probably one of the most well-known criminals in the world. With all his power and money, Pablo had one vice most don't know about. He was obsessed with Virgins, preferably between ages 14 and 17. He met his wife when she was 13 and he was 24.

At the peak of his reign, Escobar’s enforces, Los Señuelos, were responsible for finding him Virgins. He would take some for himself and auction off the others. “She told me she had a boyfriend and she asked me if I did, too. Then she asked me if I was a virgin,” said Maria. And so it began. In an intercepted call between members of a drug-trafficking paramilitary group from northwest Colombia called Los Urabeños, a young woman casually discusses her efforts to recruit “zero kilometres,” the code-name for virgins who’ve got no miles on them. She even offers her 11-year-old sister’s virginity, but only for the group’s leader.

Taxi drivers assist sex tourists find whatever they are looking for. For the wealthy tourists, young girls aren't enough, they want Virgins. Gang members specifically target poor Christian families because their daughters are more likely to have their Virginity. They often approach the family and let them know that they will be coming to take their daughter and they have the option of giving their daughter up for enough money to feed their family for a long time. If the family does not, they will kidnap the child and harass the family, often threatening their lives.

After Escobar’s death, the trafficking of Virgins continued and they expanded their business from cartel members to wealthy tourists. NGOs that fight sexual exploitation in Medellín, including Convivamos, Corporación Primavera, and Red de Derechos Sexuales, confirm that selling girls as virgins is common within Medellín’s sex trafficking industry. Amigo Joven, another NGO, says it knows of at least one confirmed case in which the mother of the girl was complicit.

Due to the reach of the internet, auctions started being held online. They would kidnap Virgins, dress them up, photograph them, put the photos up online and the bidding began. The Virgin experience is part of a sex tourism package that wealthy tourists purchase for a once in a lifetime experience. Their one night of pleasure cost them very little but it cost that girl her innocence and sentenced her to a lifetime of pain. Due to fear of retaliation against themselves and their families, these innocent young girls keep silent. Their voices need to be heard!