This week, the U.S. media repeatedly told the story of the Drug Enforcement Administration agents who had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia. Ten DEA agents admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days.
But the media did not do justice to the story of fifty-four under-age Colombian girls who were sexually assaulted by American troops and contractors stationed in Colombia, serving under Plan Colombia, between 2003 and 2007, according to a new report by the Historical Commission of the Conflict and its Victims.
The abuses allegedly happened in military bases in Melgar and Tolemaida.
Colombian prosecutors could not make arrests because of immunity agreements made between the U.S. and Colombia.
‘There exists abundant information about the sexual violence, in absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of United States officials,’ scholar Renan Vega said.
In once case, on August 26, 2007, two American military personnel — allegedly U.S. sergeant Michael J. Coen and defense contractor Cesar Ruiz — drugged the 12-year-old daughter of Olga Lucía Castillo, kidnapped her, and drove her from a nightclub in Melgar, Tolima, to the nearby military base. The victim said she had stopped at the nightclub to use the bathroom.
Coen and Ruiz reportedly filmed the abuse and sold the films as pornographic material. They were flown out of Colombia.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family received multiple death threats, and has repeatedly been forced to flee and resettle in different cities.