Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Thanks to the Guardian Angel program implemented by Mexico's National Immigration Institute (INM) last December, immigration authorities turned away 53 foreigners with criminal records for acts of pedophilia and child prostitution who were trying to enter the country via the Puerto Vallarta International Airport between January and July 2014.
Under Section I of Article 43 of the new Immigration Act, which came into force in 2011, immigration authorities have the power to deny entry to anyone with a criminal record.
But it wasn't fully implemented until December 2013, when a filtering system was applied to the Plataforma Mexico national database, which is connected to Interpol and allows officials to run a check on visitors, that the Guardian Angel Program was put into effect to detect - and reject - foreigners who have a history of child abuse.
An INM spokesman said the Puerto Vallarta airport has seen the largest number of travelers turned away, and the majority of them are Americans and Canadians between 40 and 65 years of age, many of them with recent records.
He said that INM has increased its vigilance in Vallarta due to cases of youth prostitution in recent years, citing that of American businessman Thomas Frank Wright, who was arrested in 2003 on charges of child pornography and drug trafficking, convicted in 2005, and died last year at the age of 78 after spending 10 years in a Jalisco jail.
The INM agent said that in addition to the Guardian Angel program, there is also a permanent coordination with the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking, under the PGR and the Federal Police.Source: El Informador