By Diego Brozzon
On April 18, six United States Secret Service Agents were fired due to a recent majorly-publicized scandal in Colombia.
A number of agents are under investigation for allegedly hiring at least 20 prostitutes in a hotel; President Obama had been attending a regional summit in the country.
The scandal began when a conflict allegedly arose between a Secret Service agent and prostitute, Dania Suarez.
An agent approached a group of prostitutes at a nightclub for their services without revealing his profession.
Suarez was promised $800 for the night, but complained that she was only paid $30 the next morning. Suarez later claimed to have fled the country, fearing for her life.
After insisting that the agent pay her and then being pushed out of his room, Suarez called for her friends in the other rooms. Police intervened, telling the agent he had to pay Suarez the money he promised. With the help of other agents, he managed to collect about $100 before the women left.
News of the situation with the escorts and the police reached the agents’ superiors, who began investigating the men involved.
Upon interviewing the main offender, it was discovered that other agents had also paid for the service of sex workers that night. Six agents have been let go and five more are on administrative leave while their cases are being reviewed.
The situation has been widely seen as an embarrassment for the Obama administration. However, prostitution is legal in Colombia; this scandal has prompted the country to consider a government-regulated sex industry.
Other presidential trips abroad are also being examined, including trips to Argentina, El Salvador and Russia during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling for an independent investigation into the possible misconduct.
“This culture can’t persist, not only for the reputation of the United States but also for the protection of the president,” he said.
As the situation unfolds, more details will become publicized.