Monday, October 18, 2010

Traffic Jam

We'd like to see this as another sign that we are the most powerful media outlet in the entire Bajio region, but it's probably just a coincidence that ten days after this post, the local paper Plaza de Armas puts the perro's accordion-playing namesake street urchin on its front page.

The black rectangle across the eyes is a bit much, especially since they show his face literally life-size on the inside pages. The article, of course, is absolutely maddening. It explains in great detail how there are four "cells" that control the labors of 440 street kids in the center of Querétaro, providing them with gum, candy, etc, to sell in exchange for a big cut of the profits. Now, we should probably point out that we have never noticed a journalistic tradition here requiring photographs to be in any way related to the story, so we have no reason to believe one way or another that Jesús is involved with any of these cells. But that doesn't make a huge picture of him under the words "Child Exploitation" any less worthy of being framed.

The article features several quotes from the head of DIF Municipal (the city version of the state-wide DIF, which is run by the mayor's wife, rather than the governor's wife...see how this shit works?) in which she laments the situation and the difficulty of persuading these parents to get their kids off the street and into the classroom. Conspicuously absent from her comments is any pledge to actually fucking try to make it happen.

But then maybe we're being too hard on her. She goes on to say that this sort of organized child exploitation can be considered a form of human trafficking, no different from, say, forced prostitution, and that, for that reason, it would be great to see Querétaro pass a law against it. Another way of reading that - which we were sure could not be correct but in fact turns out to be the case - is that, holy fucking shit, human trafficking is not against the law in Querétaro. It's worth mentioning that the state legislature unanimously outlawed the sale of energy drinks in bars yesterday, after less than three weeks of debate, but has not yet acted on a proposed anti-trafficking law introduced on May 25. (And, it bears repeating, did not have a fucking law on the books prior to May 25, 2010.)

Now that Plaza de Armas has joined our crusade, we expect things to move quickly, so we're going out now to stock up on underage sex slaves before the law changes. Presumably, existing human-trafficking networks will be grandfathered in. Also, we're going to buy a couple of extra copies of the paper to give to Jesús and his mom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is great stuff. loving your campaign to save the children of Mexico. You'll pardon me, but that seems to be totally out of character.