In the back of the bar Horcones in Chachagua San Ramon, they are some of the rooms in which women lived. The bad smell and dirt were palpable. The prosecution announced that it will ask the Ministry of Health that close down. | CARLOS HERNANDEZ
In the back of the Horcones bar in Chachagua San Ramon, where some of the women victims lived. Photo La nacion, Carlos Hernandez

(QCOSTARICA) The 13 women, all foreigners, sexually exploited in three bars in San Carlos and San Ramon, had to pay ¢10,000 colones (almost US$20) every time they went out and had to return at a pre-set time.

That is the information revealed this Monday from the Fiscalia (district attorney) of La Fortuna de San Carlos, Natalia Alvarez, in explaining the abuse the women suffered at the hands of their handlers (pimps).

The victimes were freed last Saturday in a joint police operation between the Fiscalia and the immigration police, raiding the three bars.

Alvarez added that customers were charged ¢25,000 colones (less than US$50) for sexual relations with the women.

Watch the video of the police action Friday night by La Nacion

The prosecutor explained that the women lived in squalor: small rooms with broken, soiled and smelly mattresses and having to share communal bathrooms. Alvarez said a the Los Horcones bar, in Chachagua, the bathroom water was green and included toads.

In the raid, police found garbage bins filled with used condoms, old syringes and drugs for treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, demonstrating the unhealthy working and living conditions of the victims.

The police action to liberate the women, who for the most them felt like being in a prison, started late Friday night continuing into dawn Saturday. Authorities raided the Los Horcones in San Ramon and Tenampa and Los Acostados bars, in La Fortuna.

Arrested are a brother and sister believed to be the head of the organization, identified by they last names Rivera Carrion. Arrested also was the daughter of the woman and two other women. All will be spending the next six months in preventive detention on the order issued by the San Carlos criminal court on Sunday night.

The prosecutor explained that the group recruited women from Nicaragua, offering them waitressing jobs in Costa Rica paying ¢180,000 colones (US$320). The women entered into the country illegally, and once in the country were instead forced into prostitution.

The condition of the these women was uncovered last August 15, when a client helped three of the women escape, who decided to turn to police to report the abuses they suffered.

In the raid, a total of 16 women were found on the premises, however three of them said they were there willingly and received proper payment for their (sexual) services.

Meanwhile, the other 13 women have been placed in the witness protection program, where they will also receive health and psychological treatment, according to the Fiscalia.

Source La Nacion