Charlotte Hannah
January 28, 2013

Toddler Gets Tattooed in Shocking Viral Video

A shocking video depicting a toddler being restrained by his mother and forcibly tattooed was posted on YouTube yesterday.

I’ve posted the video below, but please be advised that while it’s not graphic (it’s fairly grainy and there’s no visible blood), it’s extremely disturbing.

According to the Daily Mail, this disturbing incident occurred in Havana, Cuba, and the toddler in the video is three years old. As the boy gets tattooed, the mother can be heard saying, “Look, look,” in Spanish.

Understandably, the general reaction to the video has been fury and disbelief. Anyone with a tattoo understands exactly the kind of pain that child is going through. It’s hard to imagine what would prompt a parent to inflict that on their kid — let alone what kind of unscrupulous tattoo artist would agree to do it.

Because the motivations behind it are so difficult to understand, my first reaction upon hearing about this video was that it must be a hoax. After all, hoaxes that go viral are often comprised of a highly emotionally provocative incident with unclear (or unbelievable) motivations. However, from what I can tell, the video looks genuine — though I’m no expert. I’ll provide an update if it turns out to be a fake. I hope it is.