By Elizabeth O’Brien

MEXICO CITY, June 14, 2007 ( – The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PDR), the ruling party of the Mexico City Federal District, submitted a bill on Tuesday that would make prostitution legal within Mexico City.

Juan Bustos, head of the assembly’s Human Rights Commission, brought forward the bill, reports the Los Angeles Chronicle. He defended the proposed legislation by claiming that it is an attempt to control the widespread street prostitution and child sex-traffic that already takes place within Mexico City. An estimated 50,000 sex workers live within the city, he said (although specific numbers are difficult to pinpoint).

The PDR argues that prostitution needs legal recognition in order for the government to put “safety” restrictions into place. According to the Chronicle, the new legislation will allow prostitution “in designated areas at least roughly 1,000 feet from schools, parks, churches and apartment complexes, though pimping would remain a crime. It also would require prostitutes to adhere to health standards or face punishments similar to those under the current law.”

The Mexico City government claims that these new measures would tighten-up prostitution, thereby improving the living conditions of prostitutes. However, this proposal ignores many of the negative impacts of legalized prostitution.

Several other countries have either changed their laws to re-criminalize prostitution or else seriously considered doing so. They found that legalizing prostitution did not benefit sex-workers or improve their standard of living.

In Sweden, for example, legalized prostitution came hand in hand with a boom in the illegal drug trade. Drug addiction soared until finally the Swedish government was forced to make prostitution illegal once again after 30 years. (See

“We have to discourage this (prostitution), so that more women will not even think about becoming sex workers,” the Associated Press quoted Mariana Gomez del Campo, head of National Action in Mexico City. “We have to try to recover values.”

Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexico City archdiocese, voiced the Catholic Church’s opposition to the new bill. He also indicated that the government appears to be working from a biased agenda. As Reuters AlertNet reports, Valdemar is concerned that the government favors minority groups (such as homosexuals and pro-abortion advocates), yet fails to address important issues such as “crime and water shortage”.

The spokesman stated, “We have problems of drug dealers in front of schools and churches, and they do nothing to stop it. We have problems of family violence, a whole series of truly urgent situations.”

Valdemar also disagreed with the bill’s description of prostitution as “dignified work”, reported AlertNet, for the Catholic Church always has condemned prostitution as a grave offence against women. The Church released a document in 2005 that described prostitution as “a form of modern day slavery” and that “sexual exploitation, prostitution and trafficking of human beings are all acts of violence against women.” As such they “constitute an offence to the dignity of women and are a grave violation of basic human rights.”  (See

The Mexico City government has caused great alarm and protest amongst Mexican Church leaders and citizens through its rapid and methodical destruction of traditional laws regarding marriage and the family. In November of last year, the Party of the Democratic Revolution officially recognized same-sex unions and then legalized abortion this April.

See Related Coverage:

Mexico City Legislature Pushes Through Abortion Bill

Mexico City: Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox ChurchLeaders Unite to Fight Abortion Law

Germany Forcing Unemployed Women into Legalized Prostitution

Germany Rethinks Legalized Prostitution

National Post Advocating Legalization of Prostitution Again


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