Agents raid three locations they say are houses of prostitution

For some reason, judicial agents cracked down on three prostitution operations Tuesday afternoon and detained five men and a woman.

The agents found some 70 women working as prostitutes in the three locations, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The judicial agent said that the three locations were listed as pensiones, a Spanish term for a smaller hotel. Nearly every prostitution operation in the city is licensed as a pension and they contain private rooms for renting.

The three raids may have been prompted by reports that minors were working in the locations. Agents said they did find one 17 year old working as a prostitute. That is a serious offense.

The action came from agents in the Sección de Delitos Contra La Integridad Física, Trata y Tráfico de Personas. All the raids took place in the center of San Jose.

Prostitution is not penalized in Costa Rica, but pimping is illegal. In nearly every prostitution operation that characterizes itself as a pension, there is someone in charge who takes money and arranges the delivery of prostitutes to a room. In fact, this goes on at most strip clubs, too.

Many prostitutes say they prefer working in such establishment for security and to remain anonymous. There also are clearly established working hours.

Periodically, judicial agents, municipal police or tax police conduct raids of a few prostitution operations. One major raid resulted in the operators being fined only for not having access for the disabled.

The bulk of the women located at work during the raids were Nicaraguans or Costa Ricans along with a few Dominicans, the judicial agency said.

The location of these prostitution operations in San José are not secret. Some announced their presence with flashing Christmas lights.

In fact, one expat has posted a detailed map and narrative that lists and evaluates perhaps two dozen such prostitution operations in the center of the city.

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