Scott Marks 3:01 p.m., Dec. 12
A daily Baja paper, Sol de Tijuana reported on March 1, 2011 that some 5,000 children might be suffering sexual abuse or slave labor in Baja. Also, a consideration is that all of the victims are not only Mexican nationality, because in 2010 there were cases of minors brought from Somalia and Ethiopia. This information was provided by Marta Ugalde, Executive Director and President of the Bilateral Corridor of Human Rights, who also said while the authorities do not compile official figures they have good estimates of 5000 vulnerable children. “There are probably more abused children, because the predators currently have access via the Internet”, he noted.
Sr. Ugalde said that the border situation exacerbates the situation. Baja California is a common destination for human trafficking with assistance from countries like Somalia and Ethiopia. “Minors arrive at the border reporting they have been exploited and forced to beg all over Latin America,” he said. “It is necessary for authorities to also listen to children who are not of our nationality, because we are a transit destination. Many of these children are then going to move towards U.S.,” he added. Authorities must establish a charter that creates specific actions against human trafficking.
“Children and women everywhere are vulnerable. Then we have to stop the pornography. The law of supply and demand in the sexual industrial zone is more than $33 billion dollars a year. While demand is a problem and will continue, we hope authorities will work on the issue,” he said.