Venezuela's economic crisis is so bad that some women say they're turning to sex work to survive

Business Insider US

Two Venezuelan women talking to the Sky News reporter Alex Crawford about turning to sex work in Colombia.
Sky News

  • Venezuela is suffering from currency inflation, power cuts, and food shortages.
  • As a result, several Venezuelan women are taking up sex work in neighbouring Colombia, a Sky News investigation found.
  • The investigation found that nearly all the workers in a brothel in a Colombian city near the border were Venezuelans.
  • Women who spoke to Sky News said they had no other way of feeding their families as Venezuela's currency is so weak and supplies are so short. 

Several Venezuelan women are taking up sex work in neighbouring Colombia because the economic crisis in their country has made it impossible to make a living, a new investigation by Sky News found.

Cúcuta, a Colombian city near the border with Venezuela, is seeing an influx of Venezuelan women who are working in brothels to get by, the Sky News report says.

These women — and many others — have been forced out of Venezuela as the country is in economic ruin, experiencing hyperinflation, severe power cuts, and food and medicine shortages.

See also: Millions of Venezuelans have fled their homes, and it's affecting the entire region — here's where they're going

Sky News found that out of 60 women in a Cúcuta brothel, two were Colombians, while the rest were Venezuelans. The reporter, Alex Crawford, said one woman charged as little as $33 (R470) per client.

"Anything would be better," one woman said. "I do this because I have to do this."

Another woman told Crawford it was the only way she could get money to feed her family.

The women have left Venezuela temporarily and have no formal immigration documents, meaning they can't legally get employment, Sky News said.

Venezuela's economy has been in a tailspin for months, prompting drastic measures from the government. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro lopped five zeros from the bolívar on Monday in an attempt to halt rampant hyperinflation that has pushed a packet of rice to 2.5 million bolívars.

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