Mexico is the world’s number one distributor and the second largest producer of child pornography, according to Mexican officials, highlighting the extent of an illicit activity that could be linked to the country’s lucrative human trafficking industry.
During the forum “Combating pornography of girls, boys and adolescents,” Senator Gabriela Cuevas said that 85,000 children in Mexico are victims of pornography, reported El Economista. There are over 1,300 Mexican websites dedicated to child pornography, reported La Jornada.
Jacobo Bello, the coordinator of the electronic crimes unit of the national police, said 16 people were arrested last year amidst an estimated 11,000 child pornography cases. He also noted that current law does not require Internet services to provide information about users involved in criminal activities, which has hindered investigations.
Both officials called for the implementation of more effective laws to combat the crime.
InSight Crime Analysis
In 2011, Mexico was reported to be a world leader in cyber crime, with 50 percent of these crimes linked to child pornography, according to the government. As noted by Bello, a lack of adequate Internet regulations — as well as the low-profile nature of the crime — makes it difficult to combat the diffusion of child pornography.
Mexican organized crime is not thought to be directly involved in child pornography.
“While there is evidence that organized crime is involved in adult pornography, the same is not usually true for child pornography,” a 2010 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.
The report notes that the perpetrators of the crime are often people close to the child, and much of the material produced is amateur, rather than commercial.
However, Mexican criminal organizations are known to be involved in human trafficking and have been linked to underage prostitution. With an estimated 800,000 adults and 20,000 children trafficked for sexual exploitation each year in the country, it is feasible that some trafficked children become part of Mexico’s large child pornography industry.