SÃO PAULO, Brazil — At least two US Marines and a US Embassy staff member stationed in Brazil picked up two prostitutes at a nightclub in Brasilia late last year, and one of the Marines reportedly ended up pushing one of the women out of a still-moving official embassy car.
According to the Daily Mail, the fall broke Romilda Ferreira's collarbone and two of her ribs, and also punctured her lung. The Marines, who were on a US Embassy security team, and the embassy staff member, who is said to be a supervisor, were all pulled out of Brazil before police could press charges.
Ferreira and the other woman picked up by the four men had a dispute over payment before the incident occurred, reported the New York Post. The US Embassy is said to have paid her medical expenses.
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Another prostitution incident came to light this month in Colombia when US Secret Service agents in Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas had a payment disagreement with a prostitute they had hired, along with many others. At least a dozen agents came under investigation and six of them have had to leave the agency.
"This incident was fully investigated and those that were involved have been punished in Cartagena. They [the Marines involved in the Brazil incident] are no longer in this country. They were disranked and they were severely punished for that behavior," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to Brazilian reporters, according to Voice of America. "I have no tolerance of that kind of conduct, not here or any place in the world. And where it takes place you can be assured that we will make sure that they are punished and that that kind of behavior is not acceptable."
The Associated Press reported that in the wake of the Cartagena scandal, Ferreira has hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the embassy.