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More ‘upskirt videos’ being made in Mexico

Sharking videos found on pornographic websites

The practice of sharking, capturing video footage under women’s skirts and posting it online, seems to be on the rise in Mexico.

The most prominent victim of the offense has been American journalist Andrea Noel, who last March was attacked on the streets of the La Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City.

Originally Noel considered the attack to be an online prank, but then a friend sent her examples of sharking videos recorded globally. “Now I’m not sure,” said the journalist.

Several online forums have been created as support groups for the victims of sharking in the last two years.

Twitter has also been used as a reporting and support tool for victims under the hashtag #sharking, although women are also being victimized there by users who use the hashtag to share examples of the attacks.

Reported as originating in Japan some 10 years ago, the proliferation of sharking in Mexico is growing, judging by research by the newspaper El Universal. It scouted several pornographic sites and found many examples of sharking videos, usually filed under categories such as “public restrooms,” “changing rooms,” “convenience stores,” “subway” or just “street.”

Some videos are tagged as “secondary school,” implying that some victims of sharking attacks are underage.

On average, the videos had been watched 140,000 times.

El Universal interviewed one of the most active users of one of the online forums dedicated to posting “upskirt” videos.

“Misterio” explained his favorite places, techniques and types of victims: “Exclusive women’s clothing stores like Mango or Zara, places like that. Shoppers there are always high quality, lots of viejas [chicks].

Another of his favorite places are buses. Misterio’s “technique” consists of concealing a camera in a backpack which he carries by its straps and simply walk by his victims, join a queue next to them, or just let them walk by.

Large public events such as concerts and parades are preferred by sharking attackers, who often agree beforehand to attend an event.

In some cases sharking has also entailed pulling down the underwear of the victim, which is what happened to Andrea Noel in La Condesa on March 8.

Noel, who decided to leave the country after she became the target of death threats for going public with the attack against her, laments that she is helpless against a video that might appear online.

“If I find my video on a porn site or someone recognizes me on one of them, what can be done? Nothing.”

“I’ve demanded the surveillance tapes that caught my attack because I want to be able to identify the perpetrator, the guy who screwed up my life,” Noel told El Universal.

But she hasn’t been able to see them. “It seems they’re keeping them as proof that an investigation took place, even if that’s not the case.”

She believes that the large number of voyeuristic pornographic videos in Mexico is a product of a culture of lawlessness.

Noel told Radio Fórmula earlier this month that she would not return to Mexico, where she had worked as a correspondent for VICE News, primarily because she thinks her attack will go unpunished.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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