Street gangs control neighborhoods and young women are sold into a life of prostitution.
The young girls are typically lured by gang members with promises of shopping sprees and quick money but quickly fall under the control of the gang. While the right to take the virginity of the young girls is often purchased by high-paying foreigners, many go to local drug capos, continuing to a tradition associated with Pablo Escobar, whose demand for teenage virgins was notorious.
A Colombian non-governmental organization named the Consulting Center on Urban Conflict, or C3 for short, recently issued a report on the problem. Zapata denies the allegations and faces up to 25 years in prison, according to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. At least some of her daughters were under the age of 14 when they were first forced to have sex.
Follow us on twitter. Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox.
Andrew O'Reilly. Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox Arrives Weekdays.