Beauty pageant for cocaine mules in Peru prison
BoingBoing reader Robert says,
I just stumbled across this while browsing the French quotidien that I used to read on the metro every morning when I lived in Paris. It's a photo essay about a "mule" beauty contest in a Lima prison, in Peru. Mules, as I'm sure most everyone knows, are the women who swallow nugget-sized capsules of cocaine in order smuggle them to other countries. The photos, to me, were uplifting in a way to see these women smiling, though you know they've had it hard, probably, all their life. I've done my best to translate the captions of the pictures:Link
(1) On October 3rd, the women's prison of Santa Monica in Lima, Peru, organized the finale of the beauty contest called "Miss Spring" of which all the participants are inmates.
(2) Nearly all of the participants in the contest are mules, women who swallow capsules of cocaine for trafficking abroad -- mostly, Europe or the US.
(3) Among the 11 finalists, many nationalities are represented, notably Bolivia, Thailand, Belgium, and Mexico. Enticed by the promise of easy money, women from "modest" origins come from all over the world to disperse drugs via the international airport in Lima.
(4) In 2005, the Peruvian police arrested about 125 mules of foreign origin at the airport, which makes 533 kilograms of cocaine confiscated.
(5) Of the 32,397 inmates incarcerated in Peru, more than 700 are foreigners, the majority of which have been implicated in some form of drug trafficking.
(6) According to the director of the prison, this contest doesn't just rate the women on their physique, though sex appeal is important. It also judges the women on their feminity and their value as a person.
(7) The winner last year, On Uma Chumsri from Thailand, is present at the contest. She has been in Santa Monica prison since 2004, still awaiting trial.
(8) The Dutch Dominica Cleopatra Cleoma poses for the photographers.
(9) His compatriot, Lisano Motina Nobels, danses with a local choreographer.
(10) This year the winner is the beautiful Koku Kasusura from Holland.
(11) Of the 927 inmates in Santa Monica prison, only 133 have been convicted. All the rest await trial.