Not new, still outrageous. A mexican inspector of the government did one of the most humiliating acts. But well, let’s start from the origin of all.
In Mexico are forbidden (among other things):
- Child labour.
- Selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors.
Clear so far? ok. However, there is a problem. It is not possible to achieve it. Why? Well, in Mexico there is a high level of poverty and many people have to find some source of income, rather than going even to schools, including children. True, some children are exploited and some others just don’t have any further goals in their lives. But, although the law is supposed to guarantee the same opportunities for everyone, in reality it is not possible due to the high inequality in the country.
So, unfortunately some children really have to go out and earn some money so they can have something to eat. This happens especially in the rural areas, where the opportunity to have a good-quality life is technically impossible. One just survives with the basics.
An inspector of the Mexican Government is walking by in downtown Villahermosa, a southern city in the state of Tabasco. What he sees attracts his attention. There is a kid with a basket selling candies and other goods on the street. Breaking the law in his eyes. Sure, but no matter what, he is willing to take this kid and “teach him a lesson”.
The inspector Juan Diego López Jiménez comes to him with
two helpers one helper and shows them how to “control” the situation by stopping the kid and snatching the cigarettes away with the left hand. It’s forbidden. The constitution especially states that children are not allowed to work, right? So he is breaking the law and the inspector takes the three packages of cigarettes.
But hey! Is not yet over. The inspector, holding the basket with the right hand, forces the kid to throw every product to the floor. Yes, FORCING the kid. Why? Well, we don’t know, maybe because is a “lesson learned”?
The child bursts into tears and looks for help, but he barely speaks Spanish, it’s his second language, and his eyes don’t find anyone close, only
three two persons making him throw his products all over the ground, a pedestrian that was stopped by the same inspector and a cameraman from the local news that saw the action and came to record it. The kid is there in the middle of the street by himself, there is no help and the representant of the Government won’t let him go if he doesn’t obbey.
With a loud cry the child starts the humiliating session. Still looking around for help but he cannot even speak. Nobody comes, nobody helps. But what to do against “the authority”?
“He is a minor” says the inspector, while still holding the basket. The humiliated child cannot stop crying feeling the impotence of his situation. Maybe he will come home with empty hands, not because he didn’t sell but because the authority told him to throw everything away. What to do? “He is a minor and doesn’t know what these contain” says the inspector, showing the cigarettes to his partners.
Before finishing the humiliation in front of all pedestrians, the inspector holds the cigarettes in his left hand and says to the kid “I won’t give you the cigarettes back”. He lets the basket go and leaves.
That was all, he just wanted to humiliate the kid in front of the people to show “his authority”.
The child still crying crouches down and tries to pick his stuff back, while the inspector walks away with his cocky attitude proud of his “job”.
One of his partners, probably The pedestrian heartbreaked because of the child, comes and helps him to pick his things up. The kid covers his face and head in a clear feeling of suffering and humiliation. What he had in mind as an other day to earn a piece of bread for him has been transformed into the day he was humiliated in front of everyone.
The cameraman that filmed this is part of the local media in Villhermosa. But what power could it have in the local TV? Well, they decided to upload the video to their channel in Youtube.
2 days and more than 2 Million views later, the now international story drag the attention of the big authorities and is giving some responses.
Due to the scandal and bad image portrayed by the inspector. The Government decided to fire him immediately. They localized the kid and offered help and everything needed to overcome his situation.
But the real question is, what is the story of the kid? Why was he working on the streets, if he is supposed to be at school or playing? Where are his parents?
The kid is orphan, he only lives in the surroundings of the city with his aunt, he doesn’t speak fluent Spanish and his opportunities were narrowed until he was forced (by society) to sell candies and cigarettes on the streets to get money and eat. A very honest way to make money, if you ask me.
But what attracts me the most is that nowadays technology, rather than spying and affecting people, can actually be used to help others, to expose and condemn such acts like these. It worked in this case and the indignation of the people was stronger than any kind of unjust policy.
The people have spoken and new Mexicans are not willing to let things like these happen again. The Mexican youth is awaking. Technology is our ally by now.
Update. The interview with the cameraman explaining the situation (in Spanish):