National Guard records an increase in pedophilia and child pornography reports over the last year; They say it is part of the Covid confinement effects.
MEXICO (El Universal) – According to a National Guard report to which EL UNIVERSAL newspaper had access through the national transparency platform in the first six months of 2020, citizen reports of some cyber crimes committed against minors increased to levels never seen before.
Between January and June of this year, citizen reports of child pornography increased 157% concerning 2019, from 121 reports to 312.
In the case of pedophilia, the numbers are more severe since there have been 17 times more reports this year; until the middle of 2020, there were 262 alerts, and in 2019 there were 15.
According to the response to information requests 2800100033220, other crimes on the web with more reports are trafficking against minors, which went from one report last year to two in 2020. Similarly, this year, there have been 18 alerts for minors’ corruption, and in 2019 there were only 13.
According to the National Guard documents, which has a record of cyber-crimes since 2013 -before the Federal Police- generated the information, citizen reports of pedophilia and child pornography on the Internet have never been as high as in this 2020.
The security institution follows up on crimes on the net related to aggravating persons, fraud and extortion, computer security events, various illicit acts through the web, and crimes against minors, the latter being where the most significant growth is seen.
In its response to the request for information, the National Guard specified that these citizen complaints do not correspond to the totality of the events on national territory. Likewise, he explained that the reports are not equivalent to denunciations in the agencies of the Public Ministry (MP) and are received via email or social networks.
Specialists consulted for this work agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic could be a factor in the increase of cyber-crimes against minors since they spend more time on the Internet and do not have tools to prevent an illicit act.
Also, authorities like Santiago Nieto Castillo, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Ministry of Finance, warned on July 1, in an interview with this newspaper, that during the quarantine, the crimes of child pornography and trafficking registered an increase.
In the same way, Radamés Hernández Alemán, director of the Center for Response and Cyber Incidents of the Scientific General Direction of the National Guard, exposed in a webinar organized by the organization Causa en Común three months ago that at least in the period March-April there was an increase of 73% in the crime of child pornography.
“We have warned that cyber-crimes have increased in the quarantine; being in confinement the conditions of treatment in the family can generate affectations, and this is how children and adolescents isolate themselves in social networks, come into contact with strangers, and the crimes are registered,” points out Cristian Acosta, coordinator of Public Affairs of the Early Institute.
The specialist, who is dedicated to studying the phenomenon of sexual violence against children and adolescents, indicates that demonized illicit grooming, sexting, or cyber-bullying are the ones that have increased, according to the research work carried out by the Early Institute.
According to the Module on Cyberbullying of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), in 2019, 27% of adolescents between 12 and 17 reported having been bullied, which shows the vulnerability in which this sector of the population is even without a pandemic.
Rodrigo Garher, general director of the Agenda Cero foundation, dedicated to the protection of minors who are victims of violence, lamented that in Mexico, there are no statistics that show the reality of the country in terms of cyber-crimes against children and adolescents, and agreed on the increase in cases.
“Sexual violence has increased a lot because of a pandemic issue, an issue of staying at home, and we have noticed the growth of crimes related to abuse and sexual violence in which undoubtedly the issues of the Internet, social networks and all technology have facilitated this increase,” said Rodrigo Garher
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