It is said that the worst thing that can happen to a man is to outlive his children. Having kids of my own I have little doubt that this is true, but an even worse outcome would be to have your children simply missing forever. What fate did they meet? Are they ok or have they suffered a horrible end? Not knowing and simply being left to fear the worst forever can be worse than simply losing them. As I write this there´s yet another child missing in Buenos Aires. Eleven year old Candela was last seen waiting at a friend”s house just a block away from here home. Its been almost a week now and there´s no news. Usually after the first 48hs, if the child wasn’t found the chances of finding him alive go down considerably. If you´re wondering whats this got to do with an economic collapse or crisis, you should know that these things only get worse during economic down turns. With the degradation of society in general comes along more perversion, more organized criminal activity combined with a tighter budget that has an impact on the police capabilities, both in terms of prevention and investigation.
Why Should you worry
You may think that perverts only kidnap kids from careless parents, or that kidnapers only go after kids with money. Studying these events you see that kids can be kidnaped during a distraction that lasts seconds, and that often your financial status has little implication: The child itself is the motivator. Even if they are looking for ransom, one of the changes seen after the economic crisis is that anyone can be a victim of this sort of crime. A business that went well, a car that got sold, even if your financial situation isn’t that good any child can get kidnaped and a couple thousand bucks asked for his safe return. Anyone will find the way get hold of a couple thousand through friends or relatives if your child’s life is at stake, you don’t need to have money, they are counting on that.
As the economy gets worse and more people become desperate, as the society continues to degrade, we will continue to see even more child abduction in the US and world wide. The situation in US regarding the amount of children that go missing each day is already alarming.
Why are they abducted
Sexual Exploitation: This is one of the most common causes in Argentina. After the 2001 collapse it became more and more common for children to get abducted so as to be exploited in one of the countless brothels along the country. With the social degradation that follows an economic collapse comes depravation of many kinds. The network and connections with both local police and political power makes it extremely hard to rescue children or adults from these organizations and they usually move them often from one brothel to another across different provinces to make identification harder. It not only happens with children. These groups have been known to abduct women in their 20´s and 30´s on broad daylight right from the sidewalk. Kept drugged, threatened, locked and incommunicated its very hard for them to contact the outside world.
Sexual Abuse/Murder: Perverts of all sorts abound, and it only gets worse when they feel the police can’t stop them and when police fail to properly investigate the cases.
Organs: Some organizations especially go after the body organs. This is unfortunately common in Latin America because of the high price organs go for in the international black market.
National/International adoption: Also very common, these groups abduct babies, children, even pregnant women to sell their children abroad. In many cases the parent dont know (or dont want to know) where the child comes from. ID and adoption forms are readily provided by people that work in adoption agencies and are in it.
Ransom: This type also boomed after the 2001 collapse. Kids are small and easy to abduct, and parents will do anything for their safe return. In some cases the more expensive schools allowed their pupils to go without their uniforms: The children were specifically being targeted because of wearing it, a clear sign that their parents had enough ransom money.
How they Operate and what You can do to Prevent it
A second of distraction is all they need. maybe your son asked to go to the bathroom, take a look at some nearby store, walk to a friend’s house across the street and you thought it was close enough, that it would only take a second. That’s all they need. One child that went missing in a mall in Buenos Aires was fortunately rescued. The mother immediately noticed he had been taken and alerted security. Having had children abducted in it before and being ready, they immediately closed all doors. The child was found moments later in a bathroom, drugged, his clothes already changed, his hair cut and dyed.
Talk with your children and make sure they understand they should put up a fight, most of all SCREAM for help when grabbed by a stranger, clearly shouting that the person is a stranger. While people dont help adults as often, in average people will help a child that they feel is being abducted. Finally, always keep an eye on your children. The second he is out of your sight anything can happen, and once you lose them its too late. Pay especial attention in parking lots, supermarkets, parks and theme parks, airports and other places where theres either conglomeration of people or easy exit routes for them to escape.
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