Mexicans Outraged by Video of Official Humiliating 10-Year Old Orphan Selling Candy


In the State of Tabasco, in southern Mexico, a young orphan boy was accosted by an official and ordered to throw away the candies he was selling. The sad video has enraged many Mexicans after being posted on Youtube. In the video the official is holding cigarettes that he’s confiscated from the little boy, who is seen crying.

The video shows the poor, sandal-clad Tzotzil boy selling candy, cough drops and apparently cigarettes out of a wicker basket in Villahermosa, the capital of the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. State officials say the boy, Manuel Diaz Hernandez, was trying to earn money to buy his own school supplies.

In Mexico, it is illegal to sell candy on the street without a permit, but many of the poor find no other way to earn enough to feed themselves. In the southern states there is also a greater indigenous presence, and they are often less educated and less cared for than other Mexican citizens.

The video was viewed hundreds of thousands of times over the last few days, and on Friday the governmental National Human Rights Commission announced it would investigate the case. The city announced on Wednesday that it has fired the inspector.

It was the latest victory for social media in winning some measure of justice in Mexico. In recent years, social media have exposed a number of scandals and instances of mistreatment that often would have gone overlooked in the past.

“Any form of violence against children is totally unacceptable, especially when directed against Indians, who are one of the most vulnerable groups in the country,” the rights commission said in a statement.

All the outrage from Mexican citizens might have secured a happy ending for the indian boy – the state of Tabasco has offered him a scholarship and medical help.

It’s good to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be Americans – this kind of abuse is much more common in other countries like Mexico than they are here.

Read more from the AP

(note: his identification as an orphan came from unsubstantiated social media sources, but the AP story gave no indication that his parents were involved with his welfare)