Inside The Seedy Sextourism Trade

In recent years an alarming number of tourists are visiting Mexico not for the beaches and booze, but for the brothels.

As if this weren't bad enough, now Mexico is being used as a bridge to bring sex slaves, often underage, into the US, Japan and other developed countries, according to reports by Reuters.

Depending on what news source you look at, there are as many as 5000 child sex slaves in Mexico - calling them prostitutes just makes it sound too much on the up-and-up. The age of consent varies from region to region based on local laws, but is as low as 12 in some areas and under certain circumstances (people in the countryside get married young). On the whole, however, the general trend is toward creating a higher age of consent of 18 years. Prostitution is legal in most parts of the country (prostitutes must be 18 or older); however, this hasn't stopped pedophilia rings from profiteering in the trade of children.

Things may be changing. New laws in the US have made it possible to prosecute Americans who have had sex with children even if it occurred outside of its borders. And public awareness of and indignation about this issue has grown, even in Mexico.

If you're serious about your partying, consider a 'Party Hopper Package,' available at most of the lobby tour offices or at other travel agents downtown. Usually M$400 to M$500 will buy all you can drink at four or five of the popular clubs; some packages include van transportation.

The following four clubs are clustered along the northwest-bound side of Blvd Kukulcán, all within easy stumbling distance of each other. Be careful crossing the street.

Coco Bongo (Map p75; § 883-5061; Forum Mall; S 10:30pm-5am) This is often the venue for MTV's coverage of spring break, and tends to be a happening venue just about any day of the week. The club opens with celebrity impersonators, dancers and circus acts (clowns, acrobats and the like) for an hour or so, then the rock, pop and hip-hop start playing.

Dad/O (Map p75; § 800-234-9797; Blvd Kukulcán Km 9; S 10pm-4:30am) Opposite the Forum Mall, this is one of Cancún's more elaborate dance clubs. The setting is a five-level black-walled faux cave with a two-level dance floor and what seem like zillions of laser beams and strobes. The predominant beats are Latin, house, techno, trance and hip-hop, and the crowd is mainly 20-something.

Dady Ro<k (Map p75; § 883-3333; Blvd Kukulcán Km 9; S 5:30pm-3:30am) A steamy rock-and-roll club - it plays techno on occasion - next door to Dady'O and attracting a slightly older crowd than its neighbor. Admission is free until 10pm.

Bulldog Café (Map p75; § 883-1133, ext 544; Blvd Kukulcán Km 9; S 10pm-late) Bills itself as 'the home of rock and roll,' and features live bands and a jumbo Jacuzzi that's made to look a bit like a cenote but is really just a showcase for bikini-clad staff to splash around. Look for the giant bulldog sign outside and you'll know you've found the right place.

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    7 years ago
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