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Women fleeing poverty get the right to work as prostitutes. Barbara and her cousin Sophia have more serious business: they hope to make enough money from selling sex to live decently after fleeing Venezuela, where survival is a struggle. Some 4, Venezuelan prostitutes are thought to be working in Colombia; the trade is legal in both countries.
But until recently they were often rounded up by police and deported back to Venezuela by the busload. Mass deportations violate international human-rights law, it said.
Along with beverages, the bar offers four bedrooms just big enough to fit a mattress or two. When the mayor shut Ms Delgado down, she fought back in court. She and the prostitutes who worked there, including four Venezuelans, had no other income, she said. Closing Taberna Barlovento violated their right to work. The court agreed, and the bar reopened.
The ruling is likely to encourage Venezuelans who ply other trades. Many of them commute daily from Venezuela. Colombians complain that they are being forced to cut their prices. While Colombia is El Dorado compared with Venezuela, economic growth is slow and the unemployment rate is 9. Many forded rivers on their way back to Colombia.
While the law is becoming more welcoming to desperate Venezuelans, Colombians are growing increasingly nervous about the influx. Barbara thinks other countries offer bigger opportunities. She is planning to move on to Ecuador, where customers pay in American dollars.