Lessons from a Mexican Brothel

by Patty Kelly on June 16, 2009

On a chilly March morning, my friend Abraham and I head out by car from Washington, D.C. to rural Virginia to do some exploring. Visiting from Mexico City, Abraham has been to New York City many times. But large cities can give a visitor the wrong idea about a nation and I’m taking Abraham to see another side of America. We drive the curving wooded roads, passing dilapidated junk stores and the occasional farm stand. There is honey, fireworks, giant hams, rusty old cast iron pans, T-shirts bearing images of howling wolves and Native Americans. But for Abraham, trying to get a grasp on this America, something is missing from the rural setting and he asks in all innocence, “Where are the brothels?” Continue reading

Venezuela ‘silent’ on hate crimes rise

By Will Grant
BBC News, Caracas

In a city where about 40 murders take place every weekend, it may not come as a big surprise that four prostitutes have been killed on the same stretch of road in Caracas in recent months.

But when you find out that all four were transsexuals or transgender, it changes the picture somewhat.

The bodies were reportedly found with money, mobile phones and handbags still on them, suggesting the attacks were not simple robberies. Continue reading

Ecuador Sex Workers Target HIV-AIDS Prevention

(Please see first comment below)

April 11, 2009

Run Date: 04/10/09
By Dominique Soguel
WeNews correspondent

Sex workers in Ecuador are building a national labor network and trying to curb HIV-AIDS, while dealing with the growing presence of minors and undocumented workers in brothels. The first of six stories on Ecuador’s sex industry.

ESMERALDAS, Ecuador (WOMENSENEWS)–Elizabeth Molina does not walk. She marches.

The word “comrade” follows each one of her greetings and remarks.

Molina is a sex worker. Eighteen thousand sex workers stand behind her. She is the head of RedTrabSex, Ecuador’s national network of sex workers with headquarters in Quito. The labor union is divided into 15 organizations and is still growing.

So far, the group, which began mustering its ranks in 2005, has established organizations in 14 of the country’s 24 total provinces. “We are halfway there,” Molina told Women’s eNews recently, sweeping her hand over a provincial map of Ecuador. “Keep in mind, 18,000 represents the women working in brothels. Our colleagues also reel in their clients on the streets, in the parks and by phone. We move around.” Continue reading

Sex Workers in Tijuana Must Pay More to Get Tested

Tijuana in the Shadow of HIV

El Mensajero, News Report, Erika Cebreros, Translated by Elena Shore, Posted: Sep 25, 2008

Editor’s Note: The price of health cards required for sex workers in Tijuana has increased in what observers say is a “scandalous” and “immoral” setback in the fight against HIV.

TIJUANA, Mexico – Like thousands of women, Veronica Lizarraga, 18, migrated from the interior of Mexico to Tijuana, where she joined the ranks of the city’s prostitutes. She picks up customers as an erotic dancer at Hong Kong, one of the more sophisticated strip clubs in the border town’s red light district. Her average weekly earnings: $2,000.

With modern architecture and neon lights, this business employs more than 300 dancers. Most of its customers are foreigners, men from southern California looking for fun and sex that’s cheaper than in their country.

High-income sex workers like Veronica are not affected by the price increase. In order to work at Hong Kong, Veronica and her colleagues are required to have a health ID card that the local government issues to sex workers. Each month they undergo a series of medical tests for sexually transmitted infections and every four months, for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). If all goes well, the city’s Department of Health Control renews their cards. Continue reading

Don’t Blame it on Rio: Black Men & Sex Abroad Part II

MTW: There are a lot of generalizations thrown around in the book by the men you interviewed. Such as, white women are submissive, women from third world countries are hypersexual, African American women have attitudes. Where do you think these generalizations stem from?

JW: Anyone who has worked with men professionally knows that the attitudes that they have about others, especially women, is a direct result of attitudes they have about themselves. So the generalizations about women stem from the same place where the generalizations about men develop.

MTW: I’ve always been disheartened that black men who travel to Brazil and other places for sex compare their interactions with sex workers to the interactions that they have with black women at home. Do these men really not see the difference between the motives, lives, and perspectives of sex workers versus their wives and girlfriends?

JW: I share your concern, but one of the dynamics which makes this phenomena so complex is that many of women that black men deal with are not just “sex workers.” In the chapter “Frigid Black Women,” the men argue vehemently that it is not just Brazilian prostitutes that have less hang-ups about sex compared to black women, rather it is Brazilian culture that treats sex and sexuality differently from black women. Another issue is that if they are sex workers, they don’t easily correspond to the “traditional” ideas and images we have here in America about prostitutes. Some of this has to do with the difference between legalized prostitution and non-legalized prostitution. In countries where prostitution is legal, you don’t have the tyranny of the ” pimp” like you do here in the States. As a result, women involved in sex work have far more control of both their finances and sexuality. This is one of the reasons why the Brazilian prostitutes or “program” girls tend to be more educated and are widely considered by men to not be victims. Additionally, women in poor countries don’t have to be working as sex workers to want to meet American men. I mention in the book several of the websites where men can find thousands of women waiting to come to the states daily. All the average American male (black or white) has to do is go online and see that there are alternatives to American women.

To your point about motives, it is extremely important to take notice of how men ultimately conclude that all relationships involve similar “transactions.” In the chapter “She Knows How To Love Me: The Secret of the Brazilian Attraction” the men talk very candidly about how materialistic black women are in America and how paying for sex is essentially what most men do. They also argue that women in other countries are far less materialistic than women in this country. So given this point of view, some might argue that men were pessimistic about relationships and have these attitudes about women way before they leave the US. In either case, what is really striking is the level of intimacy and interaction that men describe with women overseas but not here in the states.

Read the rest of this article at:



New York Post 



Hot-to-trot Andreia Schwartz ran a brothel at this West 58th Street building where Time Warner exec Wayne Pace was allegedly a john. Earlier, she worked for Emperors Club VIP — and cooperated with the fed probe of it.
SAMBA BEAUTY: Hot-to-trot Andreia Schwartz ran a brothel at this West 58th Street building where Time Warner exec Wayne Pace was allegedly a john. Earlier, she worked for Emperors Club VIP — and cooperated with the fed probe of it.

March 13, 2008 — A convicted Manhattan madam who served as an informant in the federal probe of Gov. Spitzer‘s liaisons with prostitutes was being whisked back home to Brazil last night, The Post has learned.

Handcuffed and shackled, Brazilian bombshell Andreia Schwartz – who pleaded guilty last January to state drug and prostitution charges – was quietly brought into her country’s Midtown consulate by federal authorities yesterday to fill out deportation paperwork.

Schwartz had once worked for Emperors Club VIP – the escort service that supplied Spitzer with his $4,300-a-night hooker, “Kristen.”

But she left to launch her own brothel based in a West 58th Street apartment – among whose clients was allegedly Time Warner Chief Financial Officer Wayne Pace.

The prostitution enterprise led to her arrest in 2006.

She accepted a guilty plea in state court that gave her immunity from federal prosecution and a sentence of time served in return for her agreement not to fight deportation.

But although she was officially sentenced on Feb. 4, she mysteriously was kept in town for more than a month – before her departure on the very day that Spitzer resigned.

In their complaint against Spitzer, federal prosecutors said they learned in 2006 from another law-enforcement agency of a woman who had worked as an Emperors Club escort.

That woman was Schwartz – and she became a “confidential source” for the federal authorities probing Spitzer, The Post’s sources said.

Although she had no knowledge of Spitzer’s patronage of Emperors, she provided the paper trail that linked the governor to the hooker ring, according to the sources.

The feds got access to the paychecks she got from QAT Consulting, the shell company that owns Emperors.

They were already investigating Spitzer’s moving thousands of dollars worth of checks to QAT – but until that point they hadn’t realized that QAT and Emperors were the same entity.

Neither federal nor state officials could be reached for comment.

Schwartz’s lawyer, Anthony Lombardino, asked whether his client had been part of the Spitzer probe, said, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

Flanked by two federal officers, Schwartz was escorted into the Midtown consulate at about 11:30 a.m., where she spent 45 minutes filling out the official deportation documents.

She had turned in her passport earlier.

No charges were ever brought against Schwartz on allegations that she had been ferrying bags of cash to and from Brazil and was involved in a mob-tainted, ultimately unsuccessful, $350 million bid to buy a floor of The Plaza hotel.

Additional reporting by Carolyn Salazar


Three get max sentences for roles in human trafficking ring

by Brian Donohue/ The Star-Ledger

Friday January 04, 2008, 5:08 PM

A federal judge in Trenton today sentenced three people to the maximum sentences allowed for their role in a human trafficking ring that smuggled young women from Honduras and forced them into indentured servitude working in Hudson County bars.

“I’ve been around criminal law a long time — since 1974,” U.S. Distirct Court Judge Joel A. Pisano said. “I don’t know that I’ve seen a more brazen, outrageous and depraved course of conduct” as this case.

“The facts of this case are horrific,” the judge added. “We have threats, physical abuse, psychological abuse, coercion, and we have death.”

Pisano sentenced Noris Elvira Rosales-Martinez, 31, to six and a half years in prison, the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines. Rosales-Martinez’s older sister and fellow illegal immigrant Ana Luz Rosales-Martinez was also sentenced yesterday to the maxiumum 57 months behind bars for her role in the ring.

Noris Elvira’s boyfriend, Jose Dimas Magana, 41, a legal immigrant from El Salvador, was sentenced to 51 months, also the maximum allowed under the guidelines.

The three had pleaded guilty to forced labor, conspiracy and harboring of illegal aliens. All three are expected to face deportation when they complete their sentences.

Today’s hearing brought the total number of suspects sentenced in the case to five. Three more have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. And four more are awaiting trial in Honduras.

The Rosales-Martinez sisters admitted they helped oversee dozens of illegal Hondurans who were forced to work six days a week and live in cramped Hudson County apartments until they could repay smuggling fees as high as $20,000.

The immigrants earned $5 an hour, plus tips, by dancing and drinking with male patrons at bars in Union City and Guttenberg. One ring member said the girls were encouraged to prostitute themselves; another said they were beaten if they ignored the house rules.

Another told agents she was forced to ingest abortion pills after ringleaders learned she was pregnant. The baby was born in a toilet and died.

Prosecutors said Noris Elvira began running the operation when a third sister returned to Honduras and turned over the reins to her in 2004. Ana Luz helped, collecting wages from the women and working in tandem with the bar owners. Magana, whose legal immigration status gave him a social security number and bank account, helped handle finances and send money back to Honduras.