MORELIA.- During the weekend, hackers from the state of Michoacan in México, alerted authorities to a pedophile and child sex trafficking network based around a website called "Hurt 2 the Core", accessible by using anonymity software such as The Onion Router (Tor), allowing "Hurt 2 the Core" users to hide their true identities and illicit activities.
"Hurt 2 the Core" was used to traffic children younger than 11 years-old, who are rented and even sold as sex slaves. "Renting" a boy or girl would start at $4,000 USD, while "buying" one come in at $10,000 USD, basing the service around the city of Morelia, capital of Michoacan, although they could "branch out" to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
Users of this pedophile network would be asked to take several strict precautions in order to avoid being discovered, one of which is to not make any inquiries about the kinds of children that would be used, there is no "sampling", they must pay in advance and be patient. Sources say that the minor can be transported to any location clients want and event schedule an appointment in a hotel at their convenience.
"Don't worry about parents or anything, these children are taken and bought with the only purpose of giving us pleasure, they aren't street children or anything like that, they are clean and ready to be used for the first time..." said a post on the site according to a source from one of the sites that reported about the case.
"A subforum called 'Child Sex & Prostitution' caught our attention and when we accessed it, we found topics referencing specific countries and among those was Mexico. We began to follow through on the only topic focused on Mexico in which there aren't any pictures but there are testimonials..." commented the ciyberactivists who took their evidence to the Mexican National Security Council and sought out the Federal Police's cybersecurity office, but were faced with no replies or acknowledgement from them.
The case finally broke through enough media coverage for the governor of Michoacan, Fausto Vallejo Figueroa, to take notice and place "special attention" on the matter and work collaboratively with the Cyber Police, as well as with the support of the State Attorney General's office, to continue with the investigation and stop the child abuse network , said the governor during a press conference on Monday, December 9th.
Human trafficking is just another type of slavery, handled by organized crime that, according to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, is defined as:
- The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
It is considered the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide by organized crime, after drug trafficking and arms dealing. Mexico is 5th in human trafficking globally, which isn't surprising, since according to Unicef and the national census agency, INEGI, approximately 16,000 children are currently being sexually exploited in the country.