Little blonde girl forced to beg in Mexico

Blond girl begging in Mexico  
By: Debbi Gross 

Mexicans are angry after the government reacted quickly when a blond little girl was discovered in the street of Mexico begging for money, according to reports.

She was not different than any of the other thousands of poor children selling gum and asking for money in the street in dirty clothes except for one thing, her blond hair.

The wave of internet attention for the photo, and officials’ quick reaction, has renewed the debate on racism in Mexico, a nation that is proud of its mixed heritage but where millions of Indians live in poverty and often barely noticeable dark skinned children begging in the streets.

The controversy began when a Facebook user posted a picture of the girl standing next to a mirror on a street in Guadalajara.
He suspected that she may have been kidnapped as her parents are brown, and he immediately contacted a welfare agency and state prosecutors.
"We will pass this photo around", wrote the unidentified user.

The photo was shared by tens of thousands of people with some praising the photographer and another complaining that the post was racist.
"The concern was that the suspect had kidnapped the girl," Lino Gonzalez, a spokesman for the prosecutor in the state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is the capital said. "We had to respond because there was suspicion that a crime was committed.”

Mexican officials immediately began searching for the girl. They soon found the 5-year-old, put her in an orphanage in Guadalajara, and arrested her 23-year-old mother for two days.
Authorities said she lied about her address and the girl's father, first claiming he was a foreigner, and then saying he was Mexican, but she separated from him.

The girl's grandmother, who also has green eyes, was able to deliver the certificate of birth of the child.
The mother was released later and no sign of the girl being kidnapped had been discovered, but DNA results are pending. Authorities said they are also considering charges of child exploitation.

The case sparked international outrage. "We need to see a white girl to worry about kidnapping, child trafficking and child exploitation," a human rights activist Yali Noriega, wrote.



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