It is now 20 years since one of the biggest corruption and child sexual exploitation scandals broke in Chile. What was known as the Spiniak Case came to light in 2003, named after the businessman Claudio Spiniak. He was in charge of a network recruiting vulnerable children and adolescents from children's homes and marginalised neighbourhoods, to be prostituted at parties for powerful men. His clients involved a number of politicians. One girl in fact stated in a televised interview that she had been abused by a member of the Chilean Parliament. Although it did not subsequently prove possible to convict the politician, as she committed perjury, the scandal rocked public opinion.
Unfortunately, the Spiniak Case is no one-off. In the USA, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, friend of Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, was arrested in 2008 and 2019, accused of trafficking and sexually abusing girls. He also paid them to seek out other teenagers in difficult circumstances, to serve as the sex slaves of members of the royal family, politicians, businessmen…
In Italy there was the notable Ruby Case brought against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, accused of orgies with under-age girls and riotous private parties, at one of which the former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was photographed naked.
These and other cases of sexual abuse of minors, which happen in practically every country, reveal a global structural crisis, demanding an urgent response through legislation, policies and protocols for action against such abuse, and against the impunity of those in political and economic power.