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Some bad deeds are so shameful that there isn’t much to say about them really.
Such is the case with the crimes of three American men, Ronald Boyajian, 49, Erik Peeters, 41, and Jack Sporich, 75, who were charged this week under a new international law initiative, Operation Twisted Traveler, that specifically targets Americans traveling to Cambodia to sexually abuse children. U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said in a statement:
“The men charged in this investigation apparently thought they could pursue their abhorrent desires by leaving the United States to prey on children in another country, but they were sadly mistaken. We are now working closer than ever with officials in other nations and concerned private parties to take every effort we can to identify and prosecute sex tourists, as well as to provide every protection we can to the world’s children.“
CNN reports that two of the three men sexually abused children as young as 10 and 12 years old abroad. All three face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Which is just fine by us. We only have one quibble with this story, and it’s semantic. What Boyajian, Peeters, and Sporich are accused of isn’t “sex tourism.” When we think of the word “tourism,” we think of Disney World, comfortable sandals for long days of sightseeing on foot, hundreds of generic snapshots of monuments/state buildings/waterfalls, our very cute mothers in not-so-cute visors and fanny packs on a package-tour to Europe.
But “sex tourism”? There’s no such thing as “sex tourism.” Sex tourism is human trafficking. Sex tourism is sexual abuse. Sex tourism is rape. Let’s not let “twisted travelers” like Boyajian, Peeters, and Sporich off the hook in another way–by twisting our words about their crimes.
Filed under: Alleged Child Molesters, Child Rape, Deplorable Crimes, Forms of Child Abuse, Human Trafficking, Operation Twisted Traveler Could've Been a Great Band Name, Sex Tourism, Tourism, Unfunny Stuff
North Korea announced that it will reopen its border with South Korea “to allow periodic family reunions and group visits by tourists from the South.”
Although sources like the NY Times quietly mention that this morning’s announcement also condemned joint military exercises (“obviously maneuvers for a war of aggression”) of the U.S. and South Korea, stating that payback could be “annihilating,” I think we can all look past that bunch of creepy threat stuff to see the positive:
“The North said it would allow reunions of Korean families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, with visits taking place at Mount Kumgang, or Diamond Mountain, during the three-day Harvest Moon Festival, when Koreans traditionally visit their hometowns. This year the festival begins Oct. 3.”
Families together at last. Incredible. Beautiful. This seems like a natural priority for the North Koreans, considering leader Kim Jong Il’s stress of importance on the family unit and warm, healthy familial relations:
But let’s not forget the incredibly exciting opportunity of increased tourism in the Northern region!
Regular visits to Mount Kumgang on North Korea’s eastern coast will start “as soon as possible,” the official North Korean news agency reported, as well as visits to the ancient border town of Kaesong.”
We’re sure peeps are dying to get back up to those beautiful hotspots, and will quickly forget some of the ugly little snafus from tourism’s past:
“Programs allowing tour groups — predominantly South Koreans — to visit the North were expanded in October 2007 but were stopped last year when a South Korean tourist at Kumgang who apparently entered a restricted zone was fatally shot by a North Korean guard.”
What are we all waiting for?? SOMEBODY START PACKIN’ UP THE RV!!!
Japan has named Hello Kitty a goodwill tourism ambassador in hopes that “tapping into that fan base will lead to a bigger flow of tourists into Japan.”