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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

Pope Francis, President Varela has many contacts, he can hook you up when you visit in 2019!

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

The President has more than 5,000 hookers working on Prostitute Visas in Panamá, just feet away from the presidential palace.

55% of the sex workers surveyed were asked by the police for money in exchange for not being arrested and that 45% asked for free sexual favours.

A study reveals that the majority of sex workers in Panama suffered extortion and some type of police aggression during this year, by state security forces.

The text, prepared by the association Women with Dignity and Law of Panama (MDDP), indicates that 55% of the sex workers surveyed were asked by the police for money in exchange for not being arrested and that 45% asked for free sexual favors.

"The police follow us as if we were criminals to extort money from us but also from our clients, when sex work is not a crime in Panama," said Gladys Murillo, president of MDDP, an association that fights for the rights of these women.

77% of women surveyed also claim to have been victims of verbal violence, while 43% report that they beaten, pushed or pulled their hair on occasion.

"We have not made any progress on the issue of police abuse, the only thing that we have advanced is the respect that the media are beginning to show us, they no longer call us with substantive names like whores, prostitutes or servants," said the activist. .

The document also indicates that 30% of the respondents were forced to have sexual relations with a member of the security forces so as not to be denounced, while 32% of the women affirmed that the agents stole some of their personal belongings.

"Sex workers are very reluctant to denounce the bitter experiences they have had, most of the time the files are not investigated or investigated so that the police always benefit," denounced the lawyer of the Eduardo association. López.

The report collects the testimonies offered between July and October of this year, a total of 317 sex workers, of whom 85% were Panamanians and the rest Dominicans, Colombians and Venezuelans.

According to MDDP, which was initiated last year and is attached to the Latin American Network of Sex Workers (RLTS), the economic emergence of Panama in recent years has led to an increase in prostitution in the country.

The association also claims that Panama is the Central American country where sex workers feel more vulnerable to police abuse and estimates that there are more than 5,000 prostitutes in the country.

In Panama, sex work is not illegal, but the Criminal Code does consider procuring as a crime and establishes penalties of four to six years in prison for those who exercise it.

#PopeFrancis #PresidentVarela #Panamá #PanamáGovernment

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