A disturbing piece at Al Jazeera about the proliferation of drug mules in the Philippines as the trend is for poor women to be drawn into working as drug mules (sometimes without even knowing what they’re carrying), and ending up on death row in China.
And more are getting caught. Over 690 Filipinos are currently sitting in jails around the world on drug offences, 227 in China alone. Of these, data shows there are 85 currently facing death row from drug-related crimes, and more and more of them are women.
Authorities say international drug syndicates have been specifically targeting Filipino women to traffic drugs, with dramatic increases in the numbers of convicted female drug mules in the last few years.
The women are paid between $500 and $5,000 to swallow tubes containing the drugs, carry them hidden in their luggage or even dissolved and soaked into paper or books.
Labour rights groups say these women are victims of poverty. One in four Filipinos lives on less than $1 a day and one-tenth of the population work abroad to send money home to support their families.
So a poor Filipino woman, desperate to provide for her family, agrees to carrying something and is caught. She gets executed.
How does her death help the world?
It certainly doesn’t affect the traffickers. And there are always more Filipino women for them to target.
The lengthy video investigative report is really a very powerful indictment of the drug war (although unfortunately the reporter’s interview with the Vice President at the end of the piece is very badly done).