Many an enterprising gringo get the idea to start their own businesses in Latin America, and some get the idea to serve a niche in the world’s oldest profession. It’s a bad idea. Let this article serve as a warning.
First up is Noah Goldberg, AKA Medellin Paisa. He’s still dead.
Then there was Dave Strecker, AKA Cuba Dave, who was locked up in Costa Rica for promoting sex tourism in a dodgy case that raised free speech implications.
Cuba Dave was initially locked up under the Latin American standard of “preventive detention,” equivalent to being held without bail. Then he was sentenced to five years in prison, and just this year acquitted. He’s out now. But he spent two years of his life, some of his last years judging from the pictures, in a Costa Rican prison … broke if you believe the blog posts.
In my old piece on Goldberg, another Medellin operator dubbed “Colombia Jake” came up in the threads. As another Medellin operator, he was Goldberg’s competition. Jay Harry Drivas got popped in an underage sting in 2016 and was locked up in Itagui. He attempted suicide in prison a couple times before finally succeeding last New Year’s Eve.
I’m sure there are more gringos doing this kind of work in the region, but these are the three names that came across my desk in the last five years. Two dead and the other did two years in prison.
It reminds me of an email exchange I had with an anonymous gringo years ago. Below are excerpts from him.
I have lived and worked in Latin America for the past 12 years, primarily in the Dominican Republic and Colombia. I have seen many gringos promoting sex tourism and thinking they will get away with it because it’s open or even legal and going on all over the place in Colombia, Brazil, DR, etc.
If you don’t have excellent connections, avoid the sex business, period. I’m talking politicos, generals, etc. If you don’t have the connections, they will make an example of you. They will continue to make your life hell and slowly push you out, a little like Chinese water treatment.
No country wants to be labeled a whoremongers’ paradise. I have seen gringos deported, thrown in jail, beaten and killed. You’re a gringo and a guest in their country with no rights.
Sex tourism promoter beaten, or suspected pedophile killed by drug gang. Do you think the embassy cares? Do you think anyone cares, besides the family?
Something to think about.
I’ll also add something I’ve noticed about Latin America. The crime and murder rates are generally higher than elsewhere in the world, but there is a method to the madness. And I have observed a pattern in news stories, personal anecdotes and more.
Rarely does the hammer come down as a complete surprise, whether the hammer be criminal charges or a hired killer. There are usually signs, if not explicit warnings and threats. I wouldn’t be surprised if each of these operators had their own little signs, and either dismissed them or failed to read them.
Either way, it’s not a business you want to be in.
As you know already Colin, I met Noah maybe 6 months before he met his end.
I was not in the least bit surprised about it. A mutual friend had said that he was a nice guy when they had met in Guatemala. What I saw was someone who was trying to be a Hebrew- Mafioso big shot, in a pool of bigger sharks. He scared the crap out of me, and I put as much distance between us as possible, ASAP. I’ll never forget his sicario “Taxi” guy, who had the eyes of a stone-cold killer. Or his quote, “There’s nothing like a roll of duct tape, a plastic chair, and a can of gasoline, to change somebody’s mind.”
Was not at all sorry to hear of his demise.
I met Jake Drivas right after he first arrived in Medellin.. He thought that he was hot shit and came off as a boorish turd. He simply pissed off so many people over his years there, that’s what eventually brought him down.. Other gringos he alienated himself to keyed into this push to control human smuggling/trafficking & people associated with it. He was lucky in a way, because bacrim wanted to fuck him up as well.
The Colombian military got to him first. There was this other dude, a German national who would actually advertise for virgin auctions on the net in Medellin… They got him when he was transiting the US en route to Europe.. He’s still in jail in Miami.
No one misses either one of these creeps, either.
10-15 years ago I posted on another website and an American joined who called himself Batman. He was trying to put together a trip/hotel package for gringos to visit Colombia and party with chicas that he would provide. The whole idea imploded before got himself killed or arrested. I forget why, but I think the hotel pulled the plug on his plans. Colombians can do it and call them “marriage agencies”, but Americans are not welcome to play that game. Anyway, the Internet has killed marriage agencies, too. The feminists behind the old IMBRA law can suck my dick. LOL.
https://colombiareports.com/colombia-expels-alleged-sex-tourism-provider/ Colombia expelled an Israeli citizen amid claims he engaged in drug dealing and prostitution in a popular tourist spot on the Caribbean coast.
something i noticed about colombia…. the whole whores or also the drug trade is strictly for Colombian people. the whole place is corrupt top to bottom. if you ain’t part of them, you are out. and if you won’t go out, they take you out. one way or another.
Cuba Dave never ran tours. He simply publicized his his lifestyle such that it seemed like he was advertising something. But he was just documenting his lifestyle. He was accused of promoting sex, but he never offered tours, merely showing off online.
I knew Noah exceptionally well. He claimed to be a connected Mafioso and he tried to bring me into his business. By the end of 2011 there were signs that he either had to leave or he would end up dead. He made numerous threats against my life and well being which only raised my ire. I advised him as a former friend to get the hell out of Colombia. I have reasonable idea as to ordered the hit and it was related to his attempts to muscle in on money lending using money he had borrowed off a hardened old school Medellin gangster and couldn’t repay. He had progressively pissed off many locals, underpaid most of the girls he was pimping and extorted his clients, yet he thought he was untouchable. When you engage in that kind of behaviour it is only a matter of time before you are eliminated.