MEXICO: Family Work or Human Trafficking? Child Labor Law Sparks Controversy

(05/19/2021) SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO — Before the arrests and the worldwide headlines, Enereida Gómez Sánchez and her three siblings’ families used to shuffle out of the home they shared early each morning. In the center of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in Chiapas state, they hawked bracelets, wooden dolls, earrings and amber jewelry. They toiled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Some of their 23 children – who ranged from 3 months to 16 years old – worked too.

“We work and they come with us, and they learn to work,” says Gómez, 35. “But we don’t make them work.”

Gómez and her brothers and sister had moved two decades earlier to San Cristóbal de Las Casas from the village of Chigtón, also in Chiapas state. Like many indigenous families, they hoped to escape Chigtón’s poverty. Instead, in their new city, they barely survived.

Last July, their lives took another bitter turn when Gómez, her mother, father, siblings and their spouses were accused of “human trafficking by forced labor exploitation.”

The case drew global attention to the controversial issue of “family work” in Mexico and specifically in Chiapas, the country’s southernmost state. Prosecutors say they were just following the law, but activists argue that poor families are trapped by a one-size-fits-all policy that doesn’t reflect reality and only adds to the travails of Mexico’s most vulnerable.Family work is “a subsistence strategy in the face of the government’s abandonment to guarantee basic rights such as health, food, education and decent housing,” says Mónica Salazar, director of the social organization Dignifying Work, which distributes information about forced labor, human trafficking and fair work.

International conventions generally classify child labor into three categories: exploitative work, such as slavery, prostitution and armed conflict; labor by children under the minimum age, as specified by each country; and work that endangers a child.

In Chiapas, one of Mexico’s poorest states, forced labor is the second most common form of trafficking, says Miriam Guadalupe Benítez Cruz, the prosecuting attorney against trafficking in Chiapas until December 2020.

Between 2018 and 2020, Mexico saw 1,436 human trafficking cases nationwide, including 42 in Chiapas.

“It’s never been our intention to use these laws to hurt the residents of Chiapas,” Benítez Cruz says.

She explains that parents often put their children to work because that’s what they grew up doing. The problem is when parents neglect issues such as the child’s health, education and play, she says. That’s when authorities investigate.


(04/10/2020) NEW YORK/GENEVA (ILO News) – Millions more children risk being pushed into child labour as a result of the COVID-19 crisis , which could lead to the first rise in child labour after 20 years of progress, according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF. 

According to COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act , child labour decreased by 94 million since 2000, but that gain is now at risk. 

Global estimates in 2017 showed that 152 million children were in child labour worldwide.

Children already in child labour may be working longer hours or under worsening conditions, the report says. More of them may be forced into the worst forms of labour, which causes significant harm to their health and safety. 

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labour."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

“As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labour,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. “Social protection is vital in times of crisis, as it provides assistance to those who are most vulnerable. Integrating child labour concerns across broader policies for education, social protection, justice, labour markets, and international human and labour rights makes a critical difference.” 

According to the brief, COVID-19 could result in a rise in poverty and therefore to an increase in child labour as households use every available means to survive. Some studies show that a one percentage point rise in poverty leads to at least a 0.7 per cent increase in child labour in certain countries. 


Trafficking in Persons during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting the world under enormous strain, affecting the lives of everyone. The unprecedented measures adopted to flatten the infection curve include enforced quarantine, curfews and lockdowns, travel restrictions, and limitations on economic activities and public life. While at first sight, these enforcement measures and increased police presence at the borders and on the streets seem to dissuade crime, they may also drive it further underground. In trafficking in persons, criminals are adjusting their business models to the ‘new normal’ created by the pandemic, especially through the abuse of modern communications technologies. At the same time, COVID-19 impacts the capacity of state authorities and non-governmental organizations to provide essential services to the victims of this crime. Most importantly, the pandemic has exacerbated and brought to the forefront the systemic and deeply entrenched economic and societal inequalities that are among the root causes of human trafficking.

The Victims

Identification of trafficking victims is difficult, even under normal circumstances. The main reasons include the fact that trafficking victims are often exploited in illegal, informal or unregulated sectors (e.g. petty crime, sex industry, domestic settings, drug cultivation and trafficking, agriculture and construction); the capacity of organized crime to hide its operations in plain sight; the lack of willingness by the victims themselves to report their victimization or their inability to do so; and limited law enforcement capacities to detect this crime.

There are fears that COVID-19 is making the task of identifying victims of human trafficking even more difficult. They are also more exposed to contracting the virus, less equipped to prevent it, and have less access to healthcare to ensure their recovery. Essential and practical operations to support them have become a challenge, due to countries adjusting their priorities during the pandemic. Dramatic increases in unemployment and reductions in income, especially for low wage and informal sector workers, mean that significant numbers of people who were already vulnerable find themselves in even more precarious circumstances. From the garment industry, agriculture and farming, to manufacturing and domestic work, millions of people who were living in subsistence conditions have lost their wages.

We can help you find a lost child at no charge.

(12/09/2018) If you have any cases you would like us to consider, as a reminder, our office mailing address is:

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How 'Live PD,' AMBER Alerts and Social Media Have Helped Find Missing Children

Over the last century, dozens of highly publicized child kidnappings—including Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. in 1932, Steven Stayner in 1972, Etan Patz in 1979, Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and Elizabeth Smart in 2002—have shocked the nation and ignited a public effort to prevent them.

Today, child abductions by non-relatives have become rare. Even rarer are abduction cases that result in the victim’s murder. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported assisting families and law enforcement with 27,000 missing-child cases in 2017. Of those, about 90 percent were runaways (one in seven of whom were likely victims of child sex trafficking). Roughly five percentwere abducted by a family member, while three percent were classified as “critically missing young adults” ages 18 to 20.

Missing-child awareness campaigns now leverage media and technology to help spread the word more widely and quickly.

AMBER Alerts, mobile-phone pop-up notifications providing key details about a recent child abduction, have led to the rescue of 924 children in the roughly five years they’ve been in use, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Investigators and family members have also used clues posted on social-media platforms to track down possible suspects or the whereabouts of children who may have run away and weren’t, in fact, kidnapped. TV shows, like America’s Most Wanted and, more recently, Live PD, where missing-children segments are featured, have also helped raise awareness about local cases.

Crowd-sourcing Clues
But one of the biggest obstacles to successful awareness campaigns is simply getting the public to care enough, says Jeff Tiegs, an expert on child abductions and sex trafficking. “People don’t [always] bother paying attention to AMBER alerts, or calling in that small detail they’re sure is probably nothing,” he says. “Each time a child is rescued through these efforts, it’s because someone, somewhere noticed something and decided to follow through on their suspicion,” says Tiegs, founder of Guardian Group, a nonprofit that fights against child sex trafficking in the U.S.
A&E Real Crime looks at four cases of children who went missing, but were rescued by everyday heroes who saw the news and acted.

Mariah Martinez
A Texas girl,
 Mariah Martinez, who had been missing for more than a year, was rescued after a viewer saw a segment detailing her abduction on an episode of A&E’s Live PD that aired on March 23, 2018.

Mariah and her two younger siblings disappeared in October 2016 after their mother, Amanda Martinez, lost custody of them to Child Protective Services in connection with a child-abuse incident at the hands of Martinez’s boyfriend.

Mariah’s two siblings, Jeremiah and Leimiah, were found safe with family members in January 2017. Their mother was then arrested and taken into custody by police. Mariah, however, was nowhere to be found.

The New Mexico viewer who saw the girl on Live PD tipped off authorities by pointing them to the apartment where Mariah was living with “extended family.”

Police used surveillance to confirm the information provided by the viewer, and on March 26, 2018, Mariah was recovered. She has been brought back home to Texas.

Bella Martinez
Bella Martinez was in her father’s black SUV outside a Utah convenience store on February 4, 2015, when a strange woman, who had earlier approached her father for a cigarette, suddenly jumped into the vehicle and drove away with the 3-year-old still inside.

A few blocks away, a cupcake shop owner, Leslie Fiet, was getting ready to wrap up at work when her phone buzzed with an AMBER alert, indicating a statewide search for the toddler. It included the make and model of the stolen SUV.

Moments later, Fiet noticed a vehicle in the parking lot of her shop that matched the license-plate number and description from the AMBER alert. She dove in through the passenger-side window of the vehicle to grab the child.

“My initial thought was just to call 911,” Fiet later told ABC News. “But then I looked closer and saw Bella was in a tremendous amount of stress, hyperventilating and crying. I just dropped my phone and ran out the door.”

After Fiet pulled the girl from the vehicle, she noticed the SUV had been abandoned by the thief. She carried Bella into her bakery, locked the door and called police. Bella was soon reunited with her parents.

Rebecca Lewis
Kaitlyn Brown
 was taking a lunch break during her shift at a Tennessee hospital, leisurely looking through Facebook when she came across a post about a missing child, Rebecca Lewis.

Moments later, she spotted the 4-year-old missing girl walking down a hallway inside the hospital, holding the hand of her alleged male abductor.

Brown, immediately recognizing Rebecca, hurried to tell her father, another hospital employee, to call the police. The alleged abductor was captured in the hospital parking lot. Rebecca was reunited with her family the following day. Her alleged abductor was charged with kidnapping and is currently awaiting trial.

Unnamed 8-year-old Sexual Assault Victim in Fresno, California
In October 2010, an
 8-year-old girl was rescued after being abducted as she played in her front yard with friends.

Her alleged kidnapper, a 24-year-old man, had pulled up beside the girls as they played and tried to lure her into his pickup before two adults noticed and began shouting for the girls to run away. He then snatched the girl up and drove off while witnesses, including the girl’s mother, chased after them unsuccessfully.

An AMBER Alert was issued and the victim was featured on the local news, which is how her hero, Victor Perez, first became aware the girl had been abducted.
Perez was later standing outside his house when he saw a vehicle matching the description from the news report pass by.

“I had a split-second decision to decide to call 9-1-1 or go after it,” Perez later said in an interview with ABC News.

He decided to hop into his Ford truck and chase after the vehicle. During the pursuit, he saw the girl’s head appear in the window while her captor tried to push her back out of view.

Perez eventually managed to overtake the suspect’s truck, forcing him to stop. The suspect opened the door, pushed the little girl out and sped away.

The young girl reportedly ran to Perez and told him she was scared. He stayed there with her until police arrived to take her to an area hospital, where it was determined that she had been sexually assaulted.

The suspect, a gang member out on parole, was arrested shortly after the incident. Although he was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault and has been in jail for the past 10 years, the case still hasn’t gone to trial.

Courtesy: A&E, Live PD and Audry Spade

Non-Nude Child Smut Sites - We need your help to stop them!

(04/29/2017) Some people believe that keeping the so-called 'non-nude child modeling smut sites' up on the internet gives pedophiles something to keep their interest focused on...

We at the child finders believe that these sites promote child porn and actually excite pedophiles to a possibly dangerous point.

We believe the best way to attack these sites and take them down is to find out who their credit card processors are and expose/stop them.

Our investigation has found the most common credit card processor out there for these sites is:

If anyone out there has a lead on where these people are processing their credit card charges through this site, please advise us for our investigation.

Email us at: or leave us a comment here with details. Thank you for your help...


Note: As usual, do not email us any depictions of children or child pornography, if you find any illegal depictions, please contact your local Law Enforcement or the FBI Cyber Crimes unit.

Mother of two female children sold video of daughters performing sex acts as orchestrated by mother.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - A Houston-area mom pleaded guilty to producing child pornography with her own daughters, officials in Montgomery County announced Wednesday.

Vanessa Patricia Ganung, 31 years old, pleaded guilty and was sentenced 40 years in prison for the first degree felony offense of Sexual Performance by a Child in the 9th District Court

The district attorney's office stated Ganung was arrested in 2013 after an investigation by the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigation revealed she had been producing child pornography of her biological daughters, 7 and 5 years old, in her house in Willis. One of the videos depicted Ganung forcing her daughter to expose her genitals and perform sexual acts for the camera, officials said.

Investigator Jason Grindstaff with the Montgomery County Precinct 2 Constable's Office found that Ganung not only took pictures and filmed her daughters, but she had actually sent the images to another adult male.

The D.A. said the mom would have been facing life in prison had she not accepted the plea agreement.

When Ganung's sentence expires in 2056, she will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

"Ganung was the vehicle by which these girls arrived on this earth, but she is no mother. There is nothing we value more in Montgomery County than our children, and I happy to say that both girls, now removed from that horrible situation, are doing great," said Mary Nan Huffman, chief prosecutor.