Sex with children for money. As sick as that sounds, how does it sound to you to hear that cruise ships calling in Costa Rica ports are fueling a child sex slave industry?
That is the case in Costa Rica, where sleezy bars are filled right after a cruise ship pulls into port, and men crowd into bars to pay as little as $14 to a pimp, for sex with a child prostitute. Not only that, they can order any type of ilegal drug they want as well. It doesn't stop there, with Kiddie Porn sales topping the list of products available to cruise ship passengers.
The cruise industry has done almost nothing to help the local towns stamp out the kiddie sex slave industry in towns like San Jose, Sixaola, Puntarenas, Limon,
and Quepos. Once the kidde sex slave trade was pretty much confined to the big cities. But, with police cracking down after public outrage around the world, the trade packed up and moved to the small towns, where police don't have the manpower to work these sick crimes, and they largely run rampid, in a underground crime network.
The problem is huge in Limon, where contractors work on cruise ships to lead the cruise passengers to the kiddie sex slave traders in port. Locals say they know about the problem, it is common and "normal" and local leaders and churches turn a blind eye to the problem.
Outside of Limon, taxi drivers take Johns to childen sex slaves outside of town.
Casa Alianza has uncovered cases in which the Russian mafia appears to be involved, and Sanchez said there is an understood element of violence in the trade in Sixaola. "It's clandestine to a point, but everyone knows who the people are who are doing this," he said. "But they'll kill you for $50."
Cruise lines who call in Costa Rico, particularly Limon 100 miles from San Jose, are Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Radisson Seven Seas,
One travel sites promoting Limon says, calls the blight of the town "charming", "There's a certain charm in the town's fallen grace, drooping balconies, rotting woodwork, and chipped paint. Just be careful—Limón has earned a reputation for frequent muggings and robberies."
One tourist was left in Limon to wait for a bus back to the ship. When they told a friend where they had been left, they were told they were very lucky. They said Limon is the most dangerous city in Costa Rica. Other passengers said there are dark places to be mugged or worst, and only a tour was advised.
Costa Rica is a transshipment point for cocaine being moved from South America to the U.S. Costa Ricans have become increasingly concerned by rising domestic drug consumption and associated violence. Money laundering in banking and tourism remains a serious problem. Traffickers continue to smuggle cocaine and heroin through Costa Rica on small aircraft, surface vehicles, human couriers, and vessels through the port of Limon.
On March 13, 2000 two 19 year old American women were shot and killed in Limon. Emily Howell of Lexington, Kentucky and Emily Eagen of Ann Arbor, Michigan were found murdered and nude, or partially nude after being shot.
Human rights organizations have summed up the main problems:
- domestic violence against women and children
A cruise that includes Costa Rican port of calls supports these problems. If you want to see change, refuse to cruise these destinations, so the cruise lines are forced to pour money into changing and upgrading these communities, to make them fit for tourists and their money.
Click here for story of 12 cruise ship passengers robbed at gun point.