Friday, February 03, 2006
Child prostitution story leads to arrest
There have been a lot of really interesting and thoughtful responses on the blog tonight about the border issue. I just heard some great news. One of the stories we aired earlier this week highlighting the problems of child prostitution in Mexico actually had an impact. U.S. government officials say that after our piece ran Mexican officials received a tip from a viewer who had seen the story. That tip led to the arrest of at least one American man who was caught making pornography with three little girls in Tijuana, the U.S. officials say. That man is now in jail and those three little girls are safe tonight, and for that, we are truly grateful.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 7:34 PM ET
What a great way to start the weekend. Wonderful news. It's time we all stand up and stop this madness ourselves. Go with your gut. Remember the woman recently that saw the little girl in the store. She felt there was something wrong. She stuck with it and saved those two kids from a living nightmare. It is time to stop walking away. We need to look out for each other. Thanks for the news Anderson, I'm grateful.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Butler PA : 7:49 PM ET
That is the best news imagineable! Imagine what would happen if Oprah and 360 teamed up!
Posted By Anonymous Abby, St. Louis, MO : 7:50 PM ET
Anderson - if you ever find yourself wondering if you make a difference, think of this moment and know that you do.
Posted By Anonymous Chloe, Toronto, ON : 7:52 PM ET
That's awesome. Keep shining the light on this problem and others. I swear you could do 2 whole hours every night of Keeping Them Honest and barely scratch the surface of all the corruption and horrible things going on right now.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 7:56 PM ET
That is WONDERFUL news! Congrats, and great job!
Posted By Anonymous Joi - Dallas, TX : 8:02 PM ET
That's great news. It was just a matter of time once that story aired,Anderson. Now you know that you and CNN can and do make a BIG difference without arguement. GOOD JOB!!!
Posted By Anonymous Shannon Vancouver, Canada : 8:03 PM ET
Praise God!
Those little girls may have a chance in life!
I hope that man pays severly
Posted By Anonymous Christy in GA : 8:05 PM ET
Thank you for making a difference in this world. Thank you to the viewer that made the right choice. Its so wonderful to know there people who truly care.
Posted By Anonymous Melanie, Lancaster, PA : 8:06 PM ET
Job well done to 360, the police, and the person who gave the police the tip! There's a dark side to so many of the small border towns. Wait until someone hits Nogales after sunset. That's a seedy little two-part town, half in Arizona, half in Mexico.
Posted By Anonymous Somerset Judson, Phila., PA : 8:07 PM ET
In my opinion, the media's most important role has always been that of "watchdog." If you don't focus on these stories, who will? I couldn't do what you do, so I'm sure glad you're there to do it. Thanks, Anderson for keeping them all honest!
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Des Moines, IA : 8:10 PM ET
That is wonderful news! Keep up the great work exposing those who operate in darkness.
Posted By Anonymous Natasha, Vancouver, BC : 8:12 PM ET
That's great news! Just goes to show - a little attention can make a very big difference!
Posted By Anonymous Milena, Ft. Lauderdale : 8:17 PM ET
Need to target the people who pays the big $$$$ for this type of 'entertainment'.

They're your leaders and clergy. The ones you 'trust' so much. Cut off the head (not the hand) and this madness stops.
Posted By Anonymous Chad Wahl Madison Wisconsion : 8:18 PM ET
What a wonderful first step in the right direction!! Hopefully we will continue moving foward. Sooner or later (more than likely, later), we (the US gov. & Mexican gov.) will get our acts together & come up with solutions to some if not all the border problems (drugs/immigration/child prostitution)

You & your crew certainly deserve a pat on the back!
Posted By Anonymous Amber Morgantown, WV : 8:18 PM ET
Another sideline to your effective reporting---now that people in the US can see the reality behind the difficulties with the US/Mexico border, perhaps it will have an impact on drug use in this country. It may be a bad analogy, but being a vegetarian, I hear from people that when they stop and think where the meat on their plate REALLY came from, they think twice about eating it. With any luck, perhaps drug users in this country will think twice about what is involved in transporting contraband across the border. Maybe they will think about the poverty in Mexico that drives people to offer up little girls to prostitution. Maybe they will remember the awful story of the puppies who were brutalized just to get drugs across the border undetected. Is the "high" really worth the debasement and degradation that comes with it?
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Raleigh NC : 8:19 PM ET
Thank you - your post gave me the chills. Those girls are safe tonight because people saw your piece and cared enough to get involved. You are a powerful voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Cheri - Juneau, Alaska : 8:19 PM ET
Thank God those three little girls have been saved from their nightmare. Sadly there are so many more. Keep up the good work Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous David Localio, San Gabriel, CA : 8:21 PM ET
Thank you for all you do, and for bringing light to this disturbing subject. Having recently visited Tijuana, I could see the desperation people living there face. We need to protect our children, no matter where they live. Who are we turn a blind eye as well. Once again thanks for all you do!
Posted By Anonymous Lali Delgadillo-Torres, Calgary, AB : 8:26 PM ET
Way to go Anderson! What a terrific way to start your weekend! KUDOS to you and CNN for making such a difference in the lives of so many!

Anderson Cooper and John Walsh, what an unstoppable duo that would be!

Heaven must be missing an Angel Mr. Cooper, because you are truly an Angel here on Earth! God Bless!
Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, Kingston NY : 8:27 PM ET
Isn't it great, Anderson, to know that in your way, you made a difference in the lives of three innocent children?
It's such a large and entrenched problem, though, it seems all that can be done is to nick away at the edges...
Posted By Anonymous Shannon, Charlottesville, VA : 8:29 PM ET
That's great to hear. Wow, that's the best news I've heard all day!!! Great job, Anderson. It's awesome to know that your work is making such a huge impact. Keep it up!
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Raleigh, NC : 8:33 PM ET
These girls are poor and have no recourse for making money. If they can safely satisfy someone with money, and no one gets hurt, then let them do it!
Posted By Anonymous bruce, San Fran, Ca : 8:38 PM ET
That's great news! Being a father of two beautiful little girls, my heart sinks whenever I hear about these innocent children being exploited. There needs to be tougher laws....or else, sooner or later, fathers are going to end up taking the law into their own hands. It is definitely time to start hunting the terrorists in our own lands! Bravo, Coop, and keep up the great work...This just goes to show what an incredible difference the media, and the americans who rely on it can make!!
Posted By Anonymous Heath Rush, Madison, WI : 8:38 PM ET
I first started watching you when you were covering Katrina. I am hooked. Thank you for your stories that help uncover the filth in this country. Because of you, there are girls tonight that are safe!!
Posted By Anonymous Sandi Agolia, St Louis, MO : 8:38 PM ET
That is terrific news. Hopefully this will lead to more arrests and stop this horrible crime that is going on. Those poor little girls will be marred for life by this.
Good job Anderson. Know it makes you feel good when things turn out like this.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo : 8:39 PM ET
This is excellent news. For every victory like this, there are so many others who need to be rescued from these disgusting predators. There is a special place in Hell for the men and women who abuse innocent children in ANY way. One can only hope that this evil sub-human being ends up in that place quickly.
Posted By Anonymous VoxyLady Chicago, IL : 8:40 PM ET
Our "leaders and clergy"? Stereotyping I can at least understand as having a discernible origin, but I'm surprised comments like that one even make it onto moderated boards.

Unless, of course, there's some sort of scientific data that indicates child pornography is primarily accessed by clergy and congressmen...sheesh.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Krueger, Midland, MI : 8:40 PM ET
What amazing news! Thanks so much for reporting this serious issue, and now that you're really trying to get something done for these kids we can get more of those animals off the streets.

You're a true hero to those girls, and there aren't enough people like you in this world. Keep up the good work, Anderson, you're truly one of the greatest journalists the country has ever known.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, Ohio : 8:41 PM ET
See, the viewer is more important than the host.
Posted By Anonymous John, Trenton, NJ : 8:44 PM ET
This story has a bitter sweet ending. Yes, I am glad that those little girls were saved from such a monster but I truly hope that they also receive the psychological help that they will need to recover and start a normal life. I hope that someday all those parasites that feed off from children are caught and brought to justice. They truly make me sick.
Posted By Anonymous Ana Munoz, Lancaster, CA : 8:50 PM ET
Great news. Thanks to you and CNN for getting the story out there. Maybe other good things can happen and get more children off the streets.
Posted By Anonymous Wynona, San Diego, CA : 8:51 PM ET
Hey Anderson, Do you know how special you are? You have the power to make a difference in our world by virtue of your reporting and passion to to be a voice for the abused, the poor, and the oppressed. Each day you seem to keep someone honest and the world is a better place because of you.
The lives of three little girls have changed for the better and there is nothing more important than that.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 8:57 PM ET
If you believe information from the police in Tijuana, I have a bridge in Arizona that you might want to buy.
Posted By Anonymous Rita, San Diego CA : 8:59 PM ET
that's wonderful news, not only to those of us reading here tonight, but to the those little girls and their families. it's great to know that the time and effort that you put forth in your stories and reports does so much good. keep up the great work!
Posted By Anonymous kathryn, brunswick, georgia : 9:02 PM ET

If that guy is in jail in Mexico, do not worry, he will pay. That is one place on this Earth you do not want to do time.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Phoenix, AZ : 9:08 PM ET
Once again Anderson Cooper makes a difference.
You do so much for so many people, you should be very proud of yourself. The amazing work that you do, with the stories that you cover that no one else touches is what makes us watch you five nights a week.
Posted By Anonymous Ingrid, Carson City, Nevada : 9:11 PM ET
This is fantastic news. Something good finally came out of the media. Anyone caught doing such things to kids of any age should be given only two choices. 1 Physical castration and life in prison labeled as a pedophile. or 2 Death. Not years in prison waiting but the same day. Use a rope and recycle. A few of these and people ,I mean monsters, would think twice before acting.
Posted By Anonymous Tony,St. Simons Is.,Ga. : 9:13 PM ET
Every little bit does make a difference.Three little lives hopefully have a new chance, and one more predator of young children put away and the world is just a tiny bit better.
Posted By Anonymous Ed Monroe, Ashland WI : 9:14 PM ET
I hope they hang him. Sick people like that need to be dealt with appropriately. Can you imagine this guy roaming our streets? No matter where the crime occurs it still needs to be addressed worldwide. It's time to protect children everywhere.
Posted By Anonymous Craig Cunningham Waikoloa, HI : 9:14 PM ET
This story shines light on the much ignored problem of child prostitution. Thank you for your story and the difference you have made.
Posted By Anonymous Jain Shikha, East Lansing, MI : 9:18 PM ET
Wonderful news....that is why we need your program and the issues that you address...keep it coming Mr. Anderson please...
Posted By Anonymous Linda April, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada : 9:20 PM ET
Hi Anderson......I saw that story on your show....and guess what...our TV news also reported many people were surprised by that story and feeling so sorry for those girls (kids) and your show really did a great job....plz keep up doing that....
Posted By Anonymous Elaine, Chia-yi, Taiwan : 9:29 PM ET
Is child prostitution such a horrendous crime in Third World countries such as Mexico? I would never condone sex with any girl under 14. But for those teenagers, prostition is sometimes the only other alternative to starvation.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Adams, Toronto, ON : 9:31 PM ET
That's great! It's possibly the best thing that could have come out of that story. Congratulations to you, your crew, and everyone involved with the story.
Posted By Anonymous Pooja, Iselin, NJ : 9:35 PM ET
Posted By Anonymous Marla Gaspard, Kenner, LA : 5:21 PM ET
Congratulations on your great work, Anderson! You are a truly amazing journalist. I appreciate the honesty and emotions in your pieces. I also love the blog! Please keep up the good work- you really DO make a difference!
Posted By Anonymous Lydia Taylor, Hagerstown, MD : 5:23 PM ET
Anderson, that is truly wonderful! I imagine it must add to your sense of purpose as a journalist in being able to contribute to justice and helping to alleviate some suffering. Good work brother. Get some rest (ie turn off crackberry). Prayers for the kids. And a citizen's thanks to the viewer who called in!
Posted By Anonymous Jane, NYC : 5:57 PM ET
This is great news! Now if we can only get the crooks who surgically implanted those innocent puppies with the liquid heroine!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 6:56 PM ET
Anderson -

Good coverage on border issues. There's just one problem: It's Tijuana, not Tiajuana.

Posted By Anonymous Briana, Los Angeles, California : 8:26 PM ET
Ask your state legislature to get tough on the "Adult Entertainment Industry" who continue to legally make big bucks with this stuff from inside your hometown.
Posted By Anonymous roland, carlsbad, CA : 9:13 PM ET
Hi Anderson, that is wonderful, ur news story saving three innocent children's lives and hopefully many more in future. It is very sad to see adults abusing children, sad to see young children forced to work at wrong places instead of having a nice innocent childhood where they should be spending their time going to school educating themselves.
Iam glad there are people like you who focus on real life problems of people in the world and giving a voice to suffering people who cannot speak for themselves so that the whole world hears their agonies.
some time back I saw a movie "salaam bombay" made on child laborers in india which made me realise how hard life is orphan orphan poor children and how they are forced to go for work and forced to do wrong things to fill their stomachs instead of going to schools and studying.
I hope people like you all keep covering such news and hope people make documentaries and movies focusing on real life problems in the world.
Posted By Anonymous cerebralbirdie, Indianapolis, IN : 10:18 PM ET
You do a great job on reporting the un-told parts to the story. Thank you

David Chergosky
Posted By Anonymous woodbridge,va.22191 : 10:39 PM ET
i am happy to hear that that man was arrested;it makes me sick to my stomach to have men like that out in the streets abusing and exploiting little girls. it's ashame that sexual abuse or exploitation of children does not have more importance in the politics of the world. Anderson,not only do i enjoy your show and your journalism but i also admire you and adore you more as a human being.
Posted By Anonymous Martina, TX : 2:07 AM ET
I am glad that I am not the only one watching you on television. Any time I hear someone say they jyst want the truth, I tell them to watch CNN for you. I am grateful that the little girls are safe tonight and look forward to your reports helping to make a difference.
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Acme MI : 12:35 PM ET
You rule for running stories that actually make an impact.

i said in an earlier comment that nothing can fix a lot of the problems with Mexican official, but American media pressure (and the ensuing money) can have an affect. you make me happy.
Posted By Anonymous nicole, el paso tx : 1:50 PM ET
How Can I donate funds to the Sister who houses 16 children in home made for 6? The sister who left her luxury life behind to answer the calling to porvide safety and shelter to harmed children. I would like to give her $20-40 a month.
Posted By Anonymous Faith Shaw, Milwaukee, WI : 2:31 PM ET
For the longest time I did not know why Lou Dobbs was so 'hung up' on the border immigration issue. It wasn't until I saw your stories on the border that I truly grasped the complex nature of the situation. I suppose it is as though all of the factors of poverty, dislocation, greed, and criminality [trafficers, predators, graft, etc.] have combined. In the early 70s I worked the fields of California - cutting broccoli, celery, picking walnuts, weeding sugar beet fields - from Tres Pinos to Yuma. I crossed the boarder at Calexico with thousands at 3 a.m., traveled to Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali . . . . I now live on the US-Canadian border where potent mj is finding its way across to New York State. Where will this end?? This deathly economy built on personal devastation, all the while hiding at every turn? Thank you CNN for shining the only light available on this powerful, dark scenario.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara Carder, Hilton, NY : 3:00 PM ET
I was very happy to read that AC360's ratings are going up. I enjoyed and I miss Aaron Brown, bit Anderson you are my next favorite. Keep up the good reporting.
Posted By Anonymous TImALoftis Douglasville, Georgia : 3:27 PM ET
The thing that sets you apart from other journalists is that, not only do you get the news on site but, you have a humanistic approach to stories that is compelling and positive. You are a joy to watch in a world where there is so much negativity!
Posted By Anonymous Bryan Robinson, Asheville, NC : 4:15 PM ET
Wow Anderson, you are the man!! I have nieces and it hurts me to hear these kinds of things. Thank you for taking your time to bring these news to us. I hope that man rots in Jail!!
Posted By Anonymous Ben, NYC : 5:18 PM ET
I must tell you that this story moved me to tears. I'm glad to know that there has been some progress. Three little girls are safe tonight. How many others are not???
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Raleigh, North Carolina : 5:39 PM ET
Amazing job... Actually, it's not surprising to me that you and the CNN family assisted with the arresting of the bad guy. You worked hard and suceeded. This is, I'm sure, one of many success stories to come. Keep up the awesome work!
Posted By Anonymous Helen Union, NJ : 6:48 PM ET
People are always waiting for the big one; they think well I can't do anything here but there's going to be that day when we're going to get all the evil in one big sweep, but it's small steps like this arrest and your continous exposure of such issues that really gets us somewhere. Imagine if we each took the time to speak out. Child predators would be afraid to walk down the street looking for children because they would know that everyone is hyperalert. Thanks Anderson!
Posted By Anonymous Stella, New York, New York : 7:00 PM ET
That is fine work done by Mr AC , i think there is lots more work to be done in america , these little girls will be thankful to your work for rest of their lives, keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous S singh , simi valley CA : 7:19 PM ET
Being a mom there are some things and some people that put fear in me and this blog is one of them. I'm greatful the officials have this man. One more off the streets is one more that won't hurt our children. If I could have one wish it would be all children only had to worry about playing.
Posted By Anonymous Belinda Williams, The Woodlands, Tx. : 7:25 PM ET
Props to you Cooper and the crew. Im an avide watcher and learn from your reporting. You truly make a difference. Awareness is half the battle won. With all else in this world of reality people face everyday you give me hope and a refreshed positive attitude that someone out there gives a DAUM! Blessings and keep up the good work, You give light at the end of the tunnel.
Posted By Anonymous Julie Linville,Erwin,TN : 7:39 PM ET
Anderson, Thank you for not being afraid to expose the darkest aspects of human nature. Keep on telling the truth. People really are listening.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 7:48 PM ET
Great work on helping to catch this man and good job to the person who phoned him in! On a larger scale, I think that little can be done unless both Presidents Bush and Fox embark on a massive change in how the country's economies work--you can't have a poor country situated right next door to a rich one which is often willing to exploit its desperate neighbors--but I think a lot of little improvements like this do add up and certainly make the landscape less secure for the bad guys on both sides of the border. Well done!
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Windsor, ON : 9:23 PM ET
Living a similar experience myself, makes this especially good news to me. I'm glad that he was caught, and I hope he was the only one. People like that have no idea the mental and physical scarring that puts on a child. I know the person who did it to me didn't care.
Posted By Anonymous Alyssa Colorado Springs, Colorad : 9:28 PM ET
It's cool that you have a blog Anderson. I think that's one of the best things about the media today, how interactive it has become.

I'm glad your report led to an arrest however, while watching your report briefly today I noted that one of the human traffickers only got 12 years in prison. That sentencs seems shamefully short. That's just anbother part of the bad news about the border.
Posted By Anonymous Karoline, LA, CA : 9:51 PM ET
great job and congratulations. you inspire me
Posted By Anonymous Amanda, Erie, Pa : 10:46 PM ET
what about everywhere else in the world? the southeast asian countries are really infested with child sex slave rings. a report on anything over there might help too.
Posted By Anonymous sara, belleville, nj : 11:00 PM ET
wow that's great news! its great to see how journalists like yourself do make a big difference in this world
Posted By Anonymous Aman Mavi, Toronto, Ontario : 11:03 PM ET
Human trafficking has been a serious issue around the world, since the beginning of mankind. It is respectable that lately the media has placed great effort into informinig the public of such things and that amazing actions, such as this arrest, have taken place. However, I must emphasize that a large amount of trafficking has nothing to do with sexual exploitation, but forced labor and it is to my discontent that most media coverage focuses only on the sexual aspects of trafficking. I applaud you for your reflections on the matter and hope it serves to arouse the public to be aware of such issues on a broader level.
Posted By Anonymous Mea Aloha Shimizu, Haleiwa, HI : 11:44 PM ET
I am the mother of an abused child. From someone who has walked through the darkness with her child, thank you for making a difference in the lives of these children. I pray they will be as fortunate as my child and be able to put their lives back together.
We should all strive to make a difference in this world and to make it a better place.
Posted By Anonymous A luckymom WS, NC : 12:43 AM ET
I would like to add my voice to those who are saying, "GREAT JOB Anderson!" I love your show and the fact that you are making a difference in the world must feel really good! Keep up the GREAT work.
Posted By Anonymous Darma, Knoxville, TN : 12:48 AM ET
I get to watch Anderson Cooper 360 in the mornings, in Bangalore, India. I watched the one on child prostitution. It's the same bloody story across the globe. This is one problem which has no boundaries, cast, creed or colour. Perverts are the same be it India or in the US. So is the pain and trauma for the child -be it here in India or in the US. As a journalist here in India, I have covered child prostitution and one always feels good when one does something like that. Because you believe you are creating awareness, you believe that your story is going to help people track criminals and you believe that your story is going to make a difference -however small it might be. And it does! However, in some of the cases when I went back to see what happened to the children -it broke my heart to learn that some of them had gone back to the flesh trade or were sold off to some unscrupulous bastard with a very sick mind. The reason being -the situations that put these children at risk in the first place have never been dealt with -by the government or the people. And these reasons (poverty, lack of education, abandonment by family, lack of food, shelter, care) are universal -i believe it is the same be it here in India or in the US. Same old problems! That's when it really hit me hard -i might be able to write 100 stories about child prostitution that might help the cops put 200 traffickers behind bars. But there will be 200 more waiting to make their move because they know that these rescued children (atleast most of them) will go right back to an environment that prompted them to become child prostitutes in the first place. No sooner,the kids will be put back on the market and the perverts will make their kill! We need to create an awareness about the situations that's prompting these children to enter the flesh trade in the first place. Just like how your story on child prostitution created an awareness and prompted a Mexican to inform the officials, I hope your follow up story will help your viewers in America to become aware of the situations that these children live and grow up and which propels them into the flesh trade; and that awareness might someday lead some people to do something about the situation and make this world a better place to live for our children. Afterall, we should as human beings should be able to take care of our children and our old -whether they are Indians or Americans.
Posted By Anonymous Sudha Pilla, Bangalore, Karnataka,India : 3:50 AM ET
Hi everyone.

I was reading through the comments section, and I read Bruce's comments. I'm now trying my best to unfreeze my face from the shocked contortions that took over. Is he actually serious? For one, the girls are UNDERAGE, and on top of that, they're being exploited for a couple of dollars. Prostitution dehumanizes and strips away the self-worth of the workers, and this practice--including the underage type--is never, never okay nor cool under any circumstance(has he not seen the Dateline specials?). And..his argument is full of logical fallicies.

Mr. Cooper, I'd just like to thank you for always doing the best work that you can do--as I remember, you were the only reporter from the cable news stations who was live on the air when the Sago Mine news drastically changed at 3:00 AM; the others were playing reruns of prime-time shows.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick, Nassau, Bahamas : 6:02 AM ET
Thank you, Anderson, for your consistent hard work in journalism. Although Oprah stated in her interview that we were just hearing about you, I remember seeing your Channel One work a decade or so ago. Even though it was a bit rough around the edges, I thought that you and Lisa Ling both did a great job bringing world news to American classrooms. The fact that you two are beginning to have more of an impact is wonderful. I look forward to hearing more and more stories from you.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa, Cerritos, CA : 6:20 AM ET

I hope the man's in a Mexican Jail "getting" what he deserves. There is no punishment strict enough for people that exploit and abuse/degrade minors.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Taylor, Fairfax, VA : 8:24 AM ET
Too cool. AC360 gets results like John Walsh and AMW - and you have five nights a week to take down criminals instead of one. I miss Aaron Brown but I am becoming seriously addicted to 360.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Cleveland, OH : 8:50 AM ET
That really is a blessing! Good job!!!
Posted By Anonymous Shanan, Winston-Salem NC : 10:29 AM ET
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