Venezuela is in a total meltdown and many of its citizens are crossing over into Columbia, seeking food and a job, but since they don’t have work permits, jobs are not easy to come by.
Women have resorted to selling their hair to wigmakers, breast milk and most commonly themselves for the hefty sum of seven dollars per service. Even heterosexual men are selling themselves as gay prostitutes. Young kids sell single cigarettes and candy bars, hoping to make a few coins.
Venezuela was at one time, the wealthiest country in South America and then communism happened.
“Hair, looking for hair,” an older man choruses through the crowd, turning to a group of women clutching their small children. Another man nearby holds a sign, “we buy hair.” More and more girls and women are turning to the cut the make ends meet, and feed their families for a few days.
Women sell their locks to local wigmakers in Colombia for around $10-30, depending on length and quality. Other women sell their bodies. Girls as young as 14 line the Cucuta streets available “for hire,” earning around seven dollars “per service.”
“Due to the brutal economic situation in Venezuela, they come to Colombia looking for a job, or at least for shelter and basic care. But they usually end up selling candles or coffee at traffic lights,” said Amy Roth Sandrolini, Chief of Staff at The Exodus Road, a U.S.-based organization devoted to fighting human trafficking globally. “Where they also become vulnerable to being recruited, to become victims of human trafficking.”
Both men and women are exposed to sex trafficking along the route from Venezuela to Colombia. According to several walkers, some women “chose” prostitution as a means to make money and earn rides along the way. And some heterosexual men “sell themselves on the gay market” for a little money.
This is why the election of Ocasio-Cortez is so frightening. We too could see our economy flounder under socialism’s banner.