Zona Norte (North Zone) is a red light district located in Tijuana, Mexico. It is known for prostitution and illicit drug sales. Due to its proximity to San Diego, California, it is frequented by Americans. The district is also known La Coahuila for the name of the primary avenue that runs through it.
Prostitution is permitted in Tijuana's North Zone. Legal prostitution within the city requires sex workers to obtain a permit and be subjected to monthly health checkups. Brothels in Tijuana must also conform to certain health regulations, such as standards of cleanliness, fixed operating hours and be placed a regulated distance from schools or day-care centers.
Prostitutes, who like most working individuals, choose their trade for a variety of purposes: some simply love the money & the easy hours, others find this is the easiest way to support a drug habit, some find prostitution is the easiest way to pay for their college books/tuition, while there are others who are single mothers, who have marginal job skills and have turned to prostitution in order to support their families. Some fathom that because of a failed border crossing, "these and other single mothers end up in Tijuana" [sic] hooking.
In addition to established brothels, there are prostitutes who roam the streets and are referred to as paraditas, Spanish for "the standing girls", for the habit of standing on the streets to advertise their services. Paraditas have been regarded as part of Tijuana's cultural history, and attempts to force the women off the streets to curb such public advertising have proven unpopular and unsuccessful.. These street walkers are often illegal prostitutes who do not have permits, or who simply prefer the relatively quiet environment of the street to the loud music and smoky atmosphere that can be found in the bars. Many of these prostitutes are women from southern California seeking a more permissive environment for their trade.
Prostitution of children is a problem in Tijuana's Zona Norte, both in the form of voluntary acts as well as illegal child trafficking. Voluntary prostitution by children, often referred to as "survival sex" in order to obtain a warm meal or a place to sleep for the night is prevalent in the area. Often these children are smuggled across the border into San Diego and other nearby areas.
Child trafficking into Tijuana for the sex industry is also problematic. Children are often brought in from various parts of the country, often from the poorer southern states such as Tlaxcala and Oaxaca. Many of the young girls are employed in an unofficial and illegal manner in undocumented brothels disguised as massage parlors, bars and nightclubs. Such child prostitutes are generally between the ages of 14 and 17.
Young boys are also often recruited as prostitutes, sometimes as early as age 8. This forced prostitution tends to cater more to pedophiles from the United States.
Zona Norte is also a hotbed for illicit drug sales in Tijuana. Mexican pharmacies are commonly visited by US citizens where prescription medication can be purchased at significant discounts over US prices, and often over the counter. Nevertheless, pharmacies in Mexico still require a prescription issued in Mexico for certain drugs, and US citizens have been jailed for violating these rules.
This article is based on "Zona Norte" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zona+Norte&action=history