"Hooker Roundup" - Immigration Snags Sundry Snatch in Santa Ana
Friday, May 28 2010 @ 01:59 pm EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: In Panama, most of the hookers come from other countries to sell their bodies in the adult sex trade. By far the majority of the women come from Colombia, with additional representation from places like the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, etc. Most of these women come here as "free lancers" - meaning they are not working as legal employees of one of the nightclubs, strip joints, or massage parlors. They just come to Panama on a tourist visa, buy a cell phone, hang out their "shingle" in a classified ad, and start making money. At night these women patrol the bars, looking for men who will pay them for sex. And, they play a constant game of cat and mouse with Panamanian immigration authorities, who try to make sure they are not breaking the law. It's one of the never ending stories in Panama that's always valid.
The Thursday Night Standard Immigration Hooker Raid: Lately it seems like Thursday night is when Immigration officials have been venturing out to make these raids. Last week on Thursday night they rounded up about 68 women and took them all to the immigration holding cell on Ave. Cuba. They sorted through their documentation and if they are here in Panama legally they are set free. I mean, these women are just tourists, right? And there's nothing illegal about a tourist going out for a cold drink in a bar, right? Both the woman and immigration know they are frequenting known whore houses and places where sex is sold, but unless they are caught in the act it's hard to make it stick. For the most part immigration uses these raids to round everyone up, sort through the stack, in order to identify those women who are here illegally, who don't have any kind of visa, those who overstayed their tourist visa, or are here illegally in some manner. These women are generally deported to their home countries.
Element of Surprise Lost: Last night the immigration raid started at about 10:00 pm. They were concentrating on some of the "seedier" establishments in Santa Ana and Calidonia, such as the "Fox's Cave." After they hit the first two places the word had gotten out on the "hooker's cell phone integrated alert network," and all of the girls who were working in other places that had not been hit yet scrambled like bugs in a hot fire. The last three places the immigration officials hit were "dry holes" (so to speak). Last week they got about 68 women, last night about 25. The first raid was more effective because it was a surprise. If they start going out every Thursday night like clockwork pretty soon the girls will have them figured out and they won't be able to arrest anyone at all. When that happens, they can then declare they have eradicated prostitution in the Republic of Panama, and a good time was had by all.