HomeNewsAnalysisPutting Salacious DEA Sex Party Report in Perspective
ANALYSIS

Putting Salacious DEA Sex Party Report in Perspective

SECURITY POLICY / 27 MAR 2015 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The new report by the US Department of Justice on the sexual misconduct of four law enforcement agencies is full of smutty details that may yet seriously impact their credibility in Latin America.

The report found that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — in an unidentified country that The Washington Post confirmed was Colombia — held sex parties with “prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels […] at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years.” Three DEA officers who attended these parties also allegedly received “money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members,” according to the report.

Prostitution is legal in designated zones in Colombia, so long as no intermediaries are involved, and the coastal city of Cartagena — where a 2012 scandal involving the US Secret Service prompted the Justice Department’s probe  — is a well-known hub for the sex trade. 

Aside from the DEA, the report looked at sexual misconduct allegations within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Marshals Service (USMS) between 2009 and 2012. The report found that the FBI had committed the greatest number of alleged offenses, although when taking the number of employees into account, the USMS had the highest offense rate. 

The most common type of alleged sexual misconduct was inappropriate relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, followed by sexting. As indicated in the chart below, the report also found that there were 33 total incidents of “improper association with a criminal element,” with the DEA responsible for the largest number. There were also a total of 26 alleged incidents involving the solicitation of prostitutes overseas, 11 alleged incidents involving child pornography, and 16 alleged incidents of sexual abuse involving a minor.  

InSight Crime Analysis

Given the strong relationship between Colombian authorities and US law enforcement, the report’s revelations are unlikely to impact binational cooperation in any significant way, although they are certainly embarrassing. The US also deserves credit for shining a light on sexual misconduct — Latin American law enforcement bodies have yet to apply the same degree of scrutiny when it comes to these types of offenses. 

In addition, the report gives little indication that sexual misconduct by the DEA and other agencies overseas is a systemic issue. While the numbers will certainly raise some eyebrows, the report itself states that the number of allegations is “relatively few.”

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles

The DEA, FBI and ATF are all major partners in supporting Latin America’s fight against organized crime, and the revelation that a few DEA agents fraternized with Colombian criminal groups  — in the interest of having a fun party — does not help the agency’s image. These are all agencies that, to some degree, are present in countries across Latin America in order to train up and professionalize local security bodies, and to support them in criminal investigations. Even if the Colombia sex parties involving DEA agents accepting lavish gifts and the services of beautiful women paid for by criminal groups was a case of a few bad apples, it is still a textbook example of how the actions of a few can damage the credibility of many.

Loren Riesenfeld contributed to this article.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 27 FEB 2020

In recent years, the port of Antwerp in Belgium has been the main entry point for cocaine into Europe, and…

MEXICO / 25 NOV 2016

A new law up for debate in Mexico's lower house proposes to expand and regulate the role of the military…

COLOMBIA / 8 JUL 2014

Authorities in Cali, Colombia have attributed a decrease in homicides to a combination of citizen security measures and increased presence…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…