Colombia's bulletproof tailor moves into children's market after Sandy Hook

Miguel Caballero, Colombia's famed purveyor of bespoke bulletproof fashions to the global elite, is getting into children's clothing following the Sandy Hook shooting:

In his factory in Bogota, Miguel Caballero makes bullet-proof vests attached to bullet-proof backpacks which he has tested with machine guns and handguns to show they can withstand a barrage of bullets.

Mr Caballero said that following the December 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, his company received a surge in customer interest in this kind of item.

"We started getting e-mails from customers asking for protective clothing because they were afraid to take their kids to school," said Mr Caballero on the factory floor where his company's clothing is made.

Caballero has never been shy about exploiting shooting incidents for marketing purposes. His last boom in business occurred after Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his friend in the face on a 2006 hunting trip. His clients have included the British royal family, Spain's Prince Felipe, Hugo Chavez, and he has a branch in British department store Harrod's.

Sadly, from a U.S. point of view, he says the new backpacks are being designed exclusively for the American market. 


India's politicians have their own rape problem

In light of the recent brutal gang rape on Dec. 16, which led to the death of a 23-year-old medical student in India, there have been substantial criticisms of the government for not doing enough to protect women. Protestors say they will continue till they are satisfied that real action is being taken.

But in demanding action, the protesters should keep in mind the people who they're appealing to. According to a recent report, a shockingly high number of members of India's national parliament (MPs) and members of state-level legislative assemblies (MLAs) have actually been accused themselves of crimes against women, including rape.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (an affiliate of the Indian Institute of Management) compiled the report, using the affidavits filed by candidates as part of their nomination papers that are submitted to India's Electoral Commission. In other words, this was all public information at the time these members were elected.  

According to the report, in the past five years:

  • 6 MLAs had charges of rape against them at the time of their election
  • 36 MLAs have charges of crimes against women including assault and "insulting the modesty" of a woman
  • 2 MPs have charges against them of using cruelty to outrage a woman's modesty
  • 27 candidates for state elections are accused with raping women
  • 260 candidates for state elections are accused of crimes against women

These were hardly the only crimes listed in the report. Other included: assault, murder (one man had 8 charges of attempted murder), defiling a place of worship, promoting enmity between different groups, rioting and dacoity (banditry). Many of these crimes also included violence against women.  

The Association for Democratic Reforms has advocated that "cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and decided upon in a time based manner." This presumably would be similar to the recently inaugurated fast track rape courts created to deter tragic incidents like Dec. 16. Though, in typical fashion, police were late to submit evidence on time (something about difficulty in using a thumb drive).

But with so many accused rapists in government, it's little wonder that it has taken so long for rape to be taken seriously as a problem. 

Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP/GettyImages