Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Eleven Secret Service agents were suspended this weekend amid a massive prostitution scandal that overshadowed President Barack Obama’s trade talks in Colombia. The night in question took place at the Hotel Caribe, a five-star beachfront resort in Cartagena’s Bocagrande district, a popular tourist destinations. According to reports, 22 members of the White House’s advance security detail — including five members of the U.S. special forces — capped off a week of “heavy drinking” with a wild night of partying, accompanied by local prostitutes. People familiar with the Secret Service are now calling it the biggest scandal in the agency’s history.
Although prostitution is technically only legal in designated “tolerance zones,” police enforcement of those restrictions is lax. Luxury hotels like the Hotel Caribe often reserve rooms specifically for prostitutes, and guests pay by the hour. One Trip Advisor review of Hotel Caribe complained that hotel employees tried to pin a special “badge” on his fiancee because they assumed she was a prostitute.
But that’s not to say that the hotel is seedy. Travel reviews and photos from the hotel website indicate that the resort is enormous and pretty beautiful, with Caribbean views and the largest hotel pool in Cartagena. So while the agents’ behaviour was obviously inappropriate, t’s not hard to see why they felt like letting loose at this seaside spot.
Hotel Caribe is one of the oldest resorts in Cartagena — it's even been designated a national landmark in Colombia
It's also HUGE — there are at least three different guest towers — so it is not hard to see how Secret Service partying could go undetected
The neighbourhood, located in between Cartagena Bay and the Caribbean Sea, is best known for its beaches
To this Premium Suite overlooking the ocean. It is not clear which rooms the Secret Service agents were staying in
But according to the hotel's website, the poolside restaurant India Catalina is where guests go to have fun
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