- Title: Bolivian sex workers protest coronavirus curfew
- Date: 23rd March 2020
- Summary: EL ALTO, BOLIVIA (MARCH 20, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, BOLIVIAN SEX WORKERS AT BROTHEL FEET OF SEX WORKER SEX WORKERS SEATED IN A ROW SEX WORKER WEARING FACE MASK VARIOUS, SEX WORKERS IN BROTHEL VARIOUS, SEX WORKER IN ROOM WHERE SHE WORKS, SHOWING CLEANING SUPPLIES CLEANING SUPPLIES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN SEX WORKER, "GRISEL," SAYING: "I'm working because I have to, but I'm also taking care of myself. I've always taken care of myself since before this disease (coronavirus) showed up. I like for my clients to leave content and clean. I've always had alcohol gel since I started this job. I have three disinfectants, toilet paper, a first-aid kit, and my air freshener." "GRISEL" IN HER ROOM DECORATIONS IN ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN SEX WORKER, "GRISEL," SAYING: "We don't earn much money because today there is a lot of competition including from Venezuelans who started working this profession. Like I said, there are days that I make something, but there are also days when you don't get anything." PHARMACY OUTSIDE BROTHEL INTERIOR PATIO AND ENTRANCE TO BROTHEL BED IN ROOM ROOM NUMBER ABOVE DOOR VARIOUS, SEX WORKERS SEATED AT BROTHEL SEX WORKER WEARING FACE MASK REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BOLIVIAN NATIONAL SEX WORKERS ASSOCIATION, LILY CORTES,WALKING THROUGH BROTHEL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BOLIVIAN NATIONAL SEX WORKERS ASSOCIATION, LILY CORTES, SAYING: "We're also a part of Bolivian society. We're sex workers, we're women, we're aunts, grandmothers that live day-to-day. They should think about what time we go to work, but like I said, we live day-to-day and they should give us from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 p.m. But, no, they tell us no. The thing is, you can't close this down, unfortunately we sex workers will go out in the streets - and the cure will be worse than the disease with all the STIs (sexually transmitted diseases) and HIV. Because we educate our co-workers in the rooms, at the sites, so they get their check ups, we take their documents. But, they'll go out in the street and nobody will test them there and this is a very delicate topic." VARIOUS, STREET SCENES IN AREA WHERE BROTHELS OPERATE VARIOUS, EXTERIOR OF BROTHEL
- Keywords: Bolivia brothel coronavirus curfew disease infection prostitution quarantine restrictions sex workes
- Reuters ID: LVA001C69UA87
- Location: EL ALTO, BOLIVIA
- City: EL ALTO, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Duration: 00:03:44
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: A nighttime curfew imposed by the Bolivian president to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the Andean country faces opposition from sex workers, who say their already precarious livelihoods are at stake.
In a neighborhood of El Alto, an impoverished satellite city of the capital, La Paz, more than 50 licensed establishments have been forced to close after the Bolivian government imposed a daily curfew from about 5 p.m. to 5 a.m (2100-1200GMT).
As of Sunday (March 22), the country was entering a 14-day lockdown, with most businesses shut.
Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the Americas, has 24 confirmed coronavirus cases, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
A sex worker who gave her name as Grisel said she normally looked after her three children in the day and worked at night. Like many Bolivian prostitutes, she is part of a sex workers' collective. Prostitution is legal in the country, but procuring is not.
"We don't make much money anyway," said Grisel. "I work for what I need, but I also try to be careful."
Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia's sex workers union, said that if the legal establishments cannot function, "unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse."
"We are also part of Bolivian society," said Cortes. "We are sex workers, women, aunts and grandmothers that also have to worry about our work hours."
(Production: Santiago Limachi, Monica Machicao)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:6th April 2020 13:08
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None