Inspector sacked after public humiliation of 10-year-old selling cigarettes and sweets
A city inspector has been fired after a video showing him humiliating a 10-year-old boy for selling cigarettes and sweets on the street went public.
Juan Diego Lopez caught the boy, Manuel Diaz Hernandez, illegally selling the goods from a wooden basket in Villahermosa, Mexico.
A witness caught the incident on film, which has been viewed more than 1 million times. It shows the inspector grabbing the basket before making the boy throw out all the sweets, then the inspector grabs the the cigarettes himself.
Throughout the process, the little boy is very distressed. Once the inspector leaves, he slumps to the ground with his head in his hands, rocking back and forth while sobbing.
According to AP, the amount of cigarettes and sweets he lost equates to about a week's worth of work. Manuel's aunt said the boy had came to Villahermosa about 10 days prior from his home in the Tzotzil Indian village of San Juan Chamula in the Chiapas state where he lives with his grandparents.
He planned to spend the summer with his aunt selling goods on the street to save money for school.
While Mexican children get their textbooks for free, they usually have to provide their own pencils, paper and uniforms.
After the video went viral, the city announced that they had fired Lopez. While it was illegal for the underage boy to be selling cigarettes, they agreed that the punishment was out of line.
The state governor said that he would be giving the boy 'a scholarship as well as all medical and psychological help', The National Human Rights Commission said it would investigate the incident.
"Any form of violence against children is totally unacceptable, especially when directed against Indians, who are the most vulnerable groups in the country," the commission said.
Since the incident, the boy has gone back home to Chiapas.