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Guadalajara authorities identify child prostitution hotspots

April 15, 2013

Child prostitution is most prevalent in the areas around Avenida Chapultepec, the San Juan de Dios market and the Calzada Independencia, Mayor Ramiro Hernandez said last week.

Addressing the Zero Tolerance for the Sexual Exploitation of Children forum, Hernandez vowed that his municipal government will act “energetically and rigorously” to eradicate this, “the most despicable of crimes.”

Hernandez told the forum that child prostitution not only occurs on the city streets, but also in diverse commercial establishments, adding that people trafficking is a 32-billion-dollar industry, the most lucrative illegal trade after drugs and arms trafficking.

In 2011, the Family Development Agency (DIF) tended 324 girls and 322 boys who had suffered sexual exploitation across Mexico, Ramiro said, noting that this unfortunately accounts for only a small proportion of the actual number of cases.

“It’s a growing problem and it is difficult to keep statistics, as many of these children are not registered or reported as missing by families,” added the forum coordinator, Maribel Alfeiran of the National Action Party (PAN). Alfeiran said that for every complaint received, another 20 or 30 cases go unreported – an assertion corroborated by the DIF estimate that over 20,000 minors were victims of child prostitution in Mexico in 2005.

Sexual abuse of children is rife in Mexico, with Tijuana, Acapulco, Cancun and Guadalajara considered the cities where it is most common. The impoverished southern state of Chiapas is also considered one of the worst areas in the world for child prostitution, with human rights groups reporting that children there are sold for as little as 100 to 200 dollars.

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