More than 40 women were forced into sex work after being taken from the Venezuelan border to Bogota. The gang that organized the ring hired a doctor to perform abortions on women who got pregnant while they were captive.
Colombia has rescued more than 40 Venezuelan migrant women from a forced prostitution ring, Colombia's chief prosecutor said Thursday.
Nestor Martinez said the gang behind the ring lured the women from Cucuta on the Colombia-Venezuela border to Bogota with promises of food and money.
After they arrived in the Colombian capital, gang members forced the women to work as prostitutes for 20 days to pay off the costs of transporting them. They also confiscated their identification papers, limited them to 15 minutes of freedom a day and forced them to undergo abortions when they got pregnant.
"It's absolutely despicable," Martinez said. He added that police were investigating an immigration official who had delayed the rescue operation after alerting the gang about it.
Half of the women were rescued in Bogota and the other half in Cucuta, according to Bogota Security Secretary Jairo Garcia. He said authorities were providing food and aid to the victims.
Police have detained some 144 people as part of a broader investigation into human trafficking.
Many women who have been fleeing Venezuela's political and economic crisis have turned to sex work after arriving in Colombia. The country has received most of the more than 3 million Venezuelans who have left their country in recent years.
amp/cmk (AP, EFE)