Beyond the Veil| This week’s TIME magazine asks if the sex workers of Mexico City need their town red-light district.
Facing an economy that’s shrinking 7.2% in 2009, the number of women working as prostitutes has risen 10% in the Buenavista district of Mexico City.
Agustin Torres, the newly sworn-in president of Mexico City’s central borough, has proposed taking prostitutes off the streets and into a new “tolerance zone,” like Amsterdam’s red-light district, where sex workers can operate without the risk of police harassment and with access to contraception and health checks. The suggested circuit road on a nearby avenue away from family homes would help protect the sex workers against pimps and assailants, Torres says. “We have a duty to defend these people, who are simply doing their job,” he told TIME. “Most of the residents of the area are poor folks who support a more socially progressive attitude to this issue.” TIME
Torres’ approach fits solidly with the leftist political principles of Mexico’s Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). Talk of a sanctioned prostitution zone has agitated not only social conservatives but the Catholic Church. A