Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US Embassy in Madrid interviewed Colombia prostitute

Nearly four weeks after the Secret Service prostitution scandal erupted, U.S. government investigators on Thursday interviewed the Colombia prostitute at the center of the affair, which cost eight officers and supervisors their jobs and became an election-year embarrassment for the Obama administration. Dania Londono Suarez voluntarily met with investigators at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said. He said the Secret Service investigation was nearly complete. More than 200 people, including most of the women involved, have been interviewed in the United States and Colombia. Londono mysteriously disappeared days after the incident and couldn’t be reached by investigators. In a radio and television interview from Madrid on May 4, Londono said she works as a prostitute in Colombia, catering to foreigners. She said after leaving Colombia, she spent some time in Dubai before going to Madrid. Londono said she met a Secret Service employee at a club in Cartagena, Colombia, last month and escorted him back to his hotel after a night of heavy drinking. “I told him it would be $800 and he said that was fine and not a problem,” Londono said in Spanish. But the next morning the officer refused to pay, offering her only about $30 for a taxi. Londono said she was insulted and tried for several hours to get paid, eventually asking a local police officer at the hotel for help. She said the argument ended when other Secret Service officers at the Hotel Caribe paid her about $250. The officers were in Colombia in advance of President Barack Obama’s arrival for a South American summit. Prostitution is legal in Colombia. A dozen employees have been implicated since the April 12 argument became public. Eight people, including two supervisors, have lost their jobs. The agency is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance for one other employee, and three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing. Twelve military personnel have also been implicated. Londono left Colombia a few days after the incident and she said last week she said he had not been contacted by the Secret Service or anyone from the U.S. government. She described the officers involved as “fools” and said the whole situation could have been avoided if the man she spent the night with had just paid her.



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