Mexico, the Bangkok of Latin America of sexual tourism

Child sex tourism in Mexico is a practice that is growing in recent years, alerted the National System for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents (SIPINNA), to the extent that it is already considered "The Bangkok of Latin America". It is estimated that 20 thousand minors have been victims of prostitution in the country.

It is estimated that 20 thousand minors have been victims of prostitution in the country
It is estimated that 20 thousand minors have been victims of prostitution in the country
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In an interview with El Sol de Mexico, Ricardo Bucio Mújica, head of SIPINNA, made it clear that the federal government is taking the necessary actions to deal with this crime and said that Cancun is located in the unwelcome fourth place in the field of sex tourism childcare, while in other tourist destinations such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Mexico City are kept on the spotlight alert for the high indigence of this crime.

"Basically it is Cancun that has the greatest influx and this is of great concern. But we are also concerned that cases are being reported in Mexico City, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos."

They are deploying an operation that has included the Ministry of Tourism, as well as with the Attorney's Offices and State Prosecutors so that together with hoteliers, restaurateurs and entertainment centers they fight this practice frontally.

"There are warning lights because it is a situation that is being linked to organized crime, where a large number of people or sectors of the tourism industry are participating and which is being very poorly attended."


The study "Trafficking in the Tourism Sector" revealed the high rate of sexual exploitation of minors in the main tourist destinations of the country such as Acapulco, Cancun-Riviera Maya, and Puerto Vallarta.

According to data provided by SIPINNA, it is established that the System for the Integral Development of the Family affirms that more than 20 thousand minors were victims of prostitution, being sexual exploitation as the most frequent complaint in the cities of Tijuana, Acapulco, Cancun, and Guadalajara.

36 percent (18 of 50) of cases of sex tourism with children are committed by citizens from the United States and Canada, who come for short periods to develop pornographic material with Mexican children and return to their countries to market it. There are also cases of citizens coming from England, Holland, and Germany in search of having a sexual encounter with minors

Regarding cases of trafficking or sale of children between countries, SIPINNA stresses that this occurs at the borders of Mexico with the United States and Guatemala, although it is also known that Japanese citizens travel to Cancun and Guadalajara to take some girls in exchange for money. Poverty is one of the factors that force children to earn a living in any way, regardless of whether they suffer abuse and risk their health.

The data maintain that Mexico is considered by sex tourists as "The Bangkok of Latin America" ​​and that children and adolescents in street situations are the most vulnerable to the techniques of capture and abuse by wealthy tourists.

Mexico together with Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Costa Rica are countries that are designated internationally as sources of sexual commerce of consumers from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, mainly.


Ricardo Bucio, Executive Secretary of SIPINNA, indicated that a monitoring plan is maintained in Quintana Roo, due to the fact that the authorities of this state activated the alert on the increase in child sex tourism.

Given this and according to data from the report "The commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in travel and tourism in Mexico," the tourist centers of Quintana Roo have maintained efforts to combat trafficking, prostitution and child pornography old.

In the report, it is inferred that it was detected that middle and high school students are the ones who are involved in issues related to prostitution and pornography, being mainly men who access these types of issues.

It was also discovered that there are catalogs of young people and the prostitution of young people has been maintained through the escorts or with a new expression used as the "sugar babies".

The text shows that the places where meetings with minors are offered are spas, table dance, hotels, appointment houses, luxury apartments, and security houses.

In relation to the supply chain, staff from travel agencies located at the airport, taxi drivers, dealers, bartenders, and surveillance personnel are the ones that promote this type of practices.

In relation to the victims, the relation to the ages in which they are incorporated into sexual exploitation was recorded in the case of children from 8 years of age and in the case of girls from 10 years of age.

Around the sex offender, so far there is no unique profile, although it has been recorded that the majority are older tourists and the LGBTI population, occasional tourists who visit the area through congresses or entrepreneurial activities, tourists nationals and travelers from other states who arrive for industrial supplies, among others.

The report makes clear that the lack of the correct application of the laws, impunity and the lack of denunciation has caused that there is no real sanction for those who practice child sex tourism.


The Executive Secretary of SIPINNA, Ricardo Bucio Mujica, considered that child sex tourism should not only be a crime of the common law but should have an attraction for prevention of private initiative, but there is no public capacity to deal with this situation.

Trafficking and sex tourism are also quite invisible situations because there is no adequate real framework or an organization to address this focus and this effect that children have in order to prevent them.

Finally, he said that the investigation should be denounced and continued, so that "in the best case there may be some type of intervention, but normally there are no public policies from the municipality to the Federation to prevent it.

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