The photo of a young blonde girl begging for money on the streets of Mexico sparked cries of racism. The image of the child, clad in a dirty pink shirt and wearing a ponytail , was posted on Facebook last week. The concerned citizen, possibly a tourist, snapped the image of the little girl on a street asking strangers for coins.
The Facebook user thought that perhaps the girl was “stolen” due to her blonde hair and green eyes, not matching appearance of the presumed parents who stood in the vicinity as she begged passersby. Text beneath the photo noted that her “parents are brown” and asked that the photo be passed around to try to identify what could have been a missing child.
Tens of thousands of users on the online social network did pass the photo of the blonde girl begging around the internet, according to Fox News. The initial poster also noted that he had contacted state prosecutors and a welfare agency about the green-eyed little girl.
The wave of attention the photo attracted reportedly renewed the debate about racism in Mexico. Sadly, the blonde girl was just one of many children begging on the street. Those angry about the massive amount of attention paid to just one girl because of her Caucasian appearance noted that dark-skinned children begging in the street go largely unnoticed.
Jalisco state prosecutor’s office spokesman Lino Gonzalez had this to say about the little blonde girl:
“The concern was the suspicion the girl had been stolen. We had to respond because there was suspicion a crime had been committed.”
Local authorities tracked down the 5-year-old girl and her mother. At first the mother reportedly lied about her address and the identity of the girl’s father, claiming that he was a foreigner, according to the Daily Mail. The girl’s grandmother, who also reportedly has green eyes, was eventually able to produce a birth certificate. The girl remains in an orphanage while DNA testing is completed.
Human rights activist Yali Noriega had this to say about the case of the blonde girl begging in Mexico:
“We need to see a white girl to worry about kidnapping, trafficking of children and child exploitation. I’ve never seen photos of Indian children or simply dark-skinned kids circulating on the internet with people asking others to help them. It is not right that just because of the color of her skin, they can say it’s not her daughter. There is no such thing as a pure race. We are a mix … that tells you a lot about the authorities lack of knowledge.”