MEXICO CITY — At a busy intersection, a girl with a high half ponytail looks at you as she begs for coins. There is dirt beneath her fingernails and her pink shirt looks unwashed. The image in the photo could fit thousands of impoverished Mexican children who sell gum or beg for money in the streets, but for one thing: The girl in this picture is blonde.
The flurry of internet attention to the photo, and the quick way officials reacted, has renewed a debate about racism in Mexico, a nation that is proud of its mestizo heritage but where millions of indigenous people live in poverty and passers-by often barely notice the dark-skinned children begging in the street.
okay the excerpt does not do justice to how horrendous this debacle is.
It started last week when a Facebook user posted a photo of the girl standing next to a rearview mirror on a Guadalajara street. He apparently suspected she might have been stolen because “her parents are brown,” and said he had already contacted a welfare agency and state prosecutors.
“Let’s spread this photo around,” he wrote.
Tens of thousands shared the photo of the golden-haired, green-eyed girl and dozens commented on it, some thanking him, others complaining the post was racist.
Officials quickly tracked down the 5-year-old child, put her in a Guadalajara orphanage and detained her 23-year-old mother for two days.
The child’s grandmother — who also has green eyes — was able to hand over the birth certificate of the girl. Gonzalez said the mother was released and there were no signs the girl had been kidnapped, though DNA results are pending. Authorities say they are also considering charges of child exploitation.
The case outraged many.
“We need to see a white girl to worry about kidnapping, trafficking of children and child exploitation. I’ve never seen photos of Indian children or simply dark-skinned kids circulating on the Internet with people asking others to help them,” wrote human rights activist Yali Noriega in her blog.
So this little girl was taken from her mother because brown people can never produce lily-skinned flaxen-haired children and sparked increased suspicion and interest in human trafficking precisely because of that. Never mind the untold number of brown children being ripped from their mothers arms to become accessories to wealthy, white US-ians who want to adopt an exotic child from a country they view as the land of a people they view too broken to properly care for their own children.