Colombia Reports Controversy Part 1

Posted on 24. Jun, 2011 by in colombia

Alternate Title: I am NOT the go-to guy for people looking to sleep with minors!

Adriaan Alsema publishes the English daily news site Colombia Reports, the top English-language, country-specific  news site in Latin America. June 12 he sent me this email:

Hey man,

Your blog caused some controversy after I automated your posts to appear on CR’s facebook page. Check it out.

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150207793407408&id=64680372407

The CR Facebook feed published my last post,  Gringos Who Don’t Know How to Act in Colombia. The stories sparked controversy among Colombia Reports’ Facebook fans. Here’s the first comment to protest:

I’ve read this guy’s blog and while I find some of his entry’s interesting, the profanity and content doesn’t quite “go” with what I though CR was all about….just sayin’.

I actually agree. I never asked Adriaan to put my articles into the CR blog feed. But Adriaan and I are buddies; we hang out when I’m in Medellin. So he put my articles in the feed on his own.

Adriaan defended having Expat Chronicles in the feed, and then came this comment:

fair enough, i guess…if CR readers are coming here to do drugs and sleep with minors, then this is their go-to guide.

And I said “HOLD UP!”

I am NOT the go-to guy for people looking to sleep with minors!

The age of consent in Colombia is 14, but for our purposes here we’ll use the US definition of minors as under 18 years of age. I will NOT help anybody from any country find Colombian prostitutes under 18 years of age. I’ve received inquiries and turned away every one.

If someone asks about “jovenes” or drops “tight girls” into an email, I reply with the links to the relevant Colombian penal code concerning prostitution (which is legal), sex tourism, etc:

Capitulo IV. DEL PROXENETISMO
La Ley 747

Colombian law is clear in prohibiting the facilitating or offering services for prostitutes under 18. Girls can’t be sex workers that young, and nobody can employ, house, promote, or help such a girl become one.

Not only is it illegal in Colombia, it’s also illegal for American citizens to do abroad. So I also include in the reply, if the inquirer seems to be American, a link to the PROTECT Act of 2003, which makes it illegal for US citizens to travel to other countries and have sex with boys or girls under 18.

And needless to say there are moral implications in facilitating sex with girls so young.

Back to the CR Controversy

So when I found this lynch mob rallying against me, I went to the Expat Chronicles FB page to rally the troops, all 47 of them. I published the link for the FB thread and a few long-time readers stood up for me. This brightened my day.

Sometimes I’ll get a comment or email from a reader that completely makes my day. Heart-felt appreciation for what I’m doing is rewarding.  I got such a comment in that thread from David, who publishes Medellin Living.

Moving Forward on CR

I told Adriaan I understand if he wants to take my posts out of the feed. The first one caused backlash, and it’s going to happen as long as I’m writing. I’m so sure of it I put “Part 1” in the title of this piece.

Adriaan’s fiercely pro-free speech and adamantly against taking anything down because of public pressure. We’ve had discussions about neutrality and bias, and the guy is hardcore in his passion for independent journalism. But at the same time, this content is pretty bad … We’ll see what happens.

Either way, Adriaan and I have tentative plans for me to write for a new section on Colombia Reports. Stay tuned!

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13 Responses to “Colombia Reports Controversy Part 1”

  1. barry

    24. Jun, 2011

    you now have 48 on the expat chronicles fb

  2. Adriaan Alsema

    24. Jun, 2011

    @ Colin, I didn’t put your blog into the feed (that also appears on the CR front page) because we’re friends. I put it there because I put all blogs known to me there, with criminal law being the only filter.

    Even though I think the majority of your posts have low moral and may even hurt a healthy development of Colombian tourism, your weblog adds something very important to the blogoshpere: the ugly truth.

    BTW, you may skip “country-specific” from your intro 🙂

  3. Ryan

    24. Jun, 2011

    Colin, I am not here to learn more about Columbia or paying (or fantasizing about paying) women for sex. I am here because I have an unwavering admiration for your open hearted honesty and ability to take me into your world without making excuses. If you started to write about your toenails growing you’d probably have my attention.

    Please do not apologize for being alive. There is a significantly larger picture you are framing. Thank you.

  4. alex

    24. Jun, 2011

    Here here Ryan (above), pumped to see what the CR might have you doing, and t Adriaan, we should meet up inMedellin sometime

  5. Samuel

    24. Jun, 2011

    No such thing as bad PR, brother. As long as they are spelling your name right.

    =)

    If some nobody wants to make a dumbass comment like the one above, you address it for a minute (like you did) and then move the hell on.

    I hope none of this diminishes in any way your voice and your purpose.

    A blog can have a lot of purposes, whether educational, or inspirational, or whatever else…. but we mustn’t forget that unless you have some kind of “mission” to preach to the masses or something… one of the main functions of most media is ENTERTAINMENT!!!

    And your blogs fucking ROCK that category.

    As a future resident of Colombia, also, I find them to be very helpful in ways you might not even guess. And I do love the complete absence of ‘political correctness’ because I like to cut through the bullshit similarly.

    Write on, Colin.

  6. Maria

    24. Jun, 2011

    Okay sorry this is a sensitive issue- it is NOT Columbia it is COLOMBIA
    You might say Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia University…… etc… the Country is COLOMBIA…thanks

    This is what I love…….. and again Samuel, I beg to differ….. man and you are moving here???? Future resident….oh hell…. welcome.. better you than this Adriaan

    Adriaan: (about Colin’s blog)

    “have low moral and may even hurt a healthy development of Colombian tourism”

    Antes de empezar…what??? Esta loco ud? Si ve las noticias?

    Mr. Adriaan – you have it backwards it is the truth and it is ugly….. todo el mundo aqui roba… and to pin point un blog de un gringo es pensoso, como si el fuera afectar the ‘healthy development of Colombian Tourism’
    Por Dios señor Adriaan… mire a los politicos y TODO el mundo robando en realidad creo que un pobre gringo escribiendo un blog no tiene nada que ver…. Is that all you have, pendejo…..

    Y todos los problemas de Colombia estan en Colin???? Vaya, el seguramente trae a mas turistas que ninguno…

    Me da pena por Ud Mr. Adriaan

    Saludos, Maria

  7. matthew

    25. Jun, 2011

    jajajjajaa que chistoso!!! y que turismo trae Maria a colombia? y nadie dijo el blog de colin trae mas turismo ni es sus motivos en escribir si usted no le gusta no leas!!!!!

    A mi me gusta mucho su blog. no tengo planes viajar alla y no es por su blog y lo que escribe. es que no me gusta el pais, el presidenta, farc, todo presencia del ejercito en cada lugar, todos los bazuceros. colombia es un bajo mundo. por eso no viajare alla. no tiene nada que hacer con su blog! como ya te dijo ignoralo!!!

  8. Adriaan Alsema

    26. Jun, 2011

    @ Maria,
    I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. We’re on the same side on this one.

    My point was that Expat Chronicles adds something very important to what is being published about Colombia: the unpolished, often inconvenient truth.

    @ Alex,
    There’s always fresh coffee at CR

  9. John

    27. Jun, 2011

    ok here it is in a nut shell the people that want to change Colombia cant or wont grow a set to do what is needed to change it ………..And the ones that can or have the power to change Colombia like it the way it is the only question that really needs to be asked is WHICH ARE YOU AND WHAT LENGTH’S ARE YOU PREPARED TO GO TO GET JUSTICE ………to me it is better than it used to be but dose have room to improve and yes if i dont like it i can go back to the States but it really dumb founds me that all those people wanna talk shit about true honesty when you know every last one of them has done some low ball bs in their life at some point but yet they wanna degrade someone else with a set wtf

  10. Daniel

    28. Jun, 2011

    I myself loathe the image this country is trying to sell, it tends to whitewash a lot of the nastiness and insanity that comes along with the folkloric dancing and festive spirits. The only risk is wanting to stay…well I stayed too, but that’s not the only risk, and thats part of why I stayed.

    If I wanted a country that was merely a prepackaged tour of frilly dresses and riding horses I would live in Chile or something. This place is still pretty raw and untamed, and after all the gringos and Colombians whining about “Colombia’s negative reputation” have said their piece, this country still deserves a lot of that reputation. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of nice people caught up in the crossfire, but Colombia is still full of corruption, vice, and violence. Maybe I shouldn’t find that stuff interesting and exciting, but I do. It keeps life from getting too tedious.

    I can’t imagine wanting to spend more than five minutes with the kind of priss that would turn their nose up at a blog like this.

  11. matthew

    07. Jul, 2011

    John you make a good point. It seems to me a similar situation in peru. The ones that want change and perhaps have the power or opportunity to are the ones that leave. They’re first to leave too as they have the money. So they fly off to spain, usa, UK, france, etc. It’s really sad. And i hear things like people of peru are poor bla bla bla. Yes, true in general they are but its because there are so many people that dont work. someone with a university degree and motivation can earn good in peru. There are good opportunities. They want the easier way. Leaving peru no better than before. It’s ok i personally wouldnt want this type in the country anyways.

    bit off topic. It may not be the reason students learn a language but it seems like once they learn that foreign language they go to that country. pretty good since being able to speak the language is a prerequisite.

  12. Rubio

    05. Aug, 2011

    Human beings are the same all around. We like sex. We like drugs. We LOVE violence. It’s time we just stopped with the bullshit and ADMITTED IT!

    That’s what I like about Colombia, human nature is not quite so dissimulated here….

  13. Colin

    30. Mar, 2012

    I survived this one, but was removed from the CR site altogether after my second CR controversy.

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