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Senator Vázquez at a presentation of her new book. Senator Vázquez at a presentation of her new book.

Author of book about sexual violence urges action on child sex tourism

Senator Josefina Vázquez calls for agreement with tourism sector to combat the issue

A lawmaker whose crusade is the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors says Mexico needs to do much more to combat child sex tourism.

Senator Josefina Vázquez Mota, president of the Senate Commission on Child and Adolescent Rights, presented her new book on child exploitation at an event on the weekend in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where she urged the establishment of a pact with the tourism sector to confront the issue.

Her book, titled Alas Rotas, or “Broken Wings,” tells the the story of more than 5 million children who are victims of crime and sexual violence in Mexico.

According to Vázquez, Mexico is the second-highest country in the world for sex tourism involving minors, after Thailand. It also producers 70% of the world’s child pornography, she said.

The senator said her presentation in Mazatlán was apt because the city and other tourist destinations in Mexico need to combat the sexual exploitation of minors in their communities.

According to a global study on the topic by the anti-child exploitation organization ECPAT International, locales with a heavy economic dependence on tourism and travel income frequently become centers of the exploitation of children because of the influx of affluent travelers and the fact that they often exist next to impoverished communities, where children tend to be more vulnerable to exploitation.

Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel told the audience that sex crimes against children, including forced prostitution and child pornography, are the second most-profitable criminal activity in Mexico, after drug trafficking. He also said that the recent opening of a Financial Intelligence Unit office in Sinaloa was a boon for the state’s enforcement abilities, in combination with the state’s existing cyber crimes unit. He said the internet is the site of the greatest number of cases of the exploitation of minors.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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