Correspondent in Mexico City
The NGO ‘Reinserta’, an expert in getting involved in the complicated Mexican prison system to fight crime, has recently denounced the recruitment of more than 30,000 girls and boys at the hands of organized crime. They report that the figure is an approximation and could be much higher among children who join the gangs. The official number dances by the non-existence of a registry of minors inside prisons since they are usually registered as crimes against health. What is certain is that the pandemic has exacerbated the number of recruitment due to educational dropouts of five million children and that 90% of crimes against minors occur through the Internet.
Adolescents are usually assigned the quartermaster (cleaning, preparing packages) while the youngest act as spies, looters, messengers or informants. In this horrible situation, it must be explained that others are the object of a bargaining chip for get guns or are sex slaves or human shields. One activity stands out as the majority: acting as a decoy to attract other victims. Women are called “layers” that they use to infiltrate work and romantic relationships.
Drug trafficking, more lethal and violent than any other crime, attracts minors because of its manageability and availability. They explain from the non-profit organization that the gangs take advantage of this group, mainly because follow orders properlyThey do not demand as much as adults, they easily transport weapons and justice is usually more benevolent with them. Adolescents themselves carry out up to 22 types of crimes such as human trafficking, kidnapping, drug trafficking or piracy. The payment depends on the criminal organization that directs them, but usually includes a minimum of 500 euros and the supply of some type of drug.
The co-founder of the foundation, Saskia Niño de Rivera, aware of the estimate made by the Network for the Rights of the Child in Mexico, confirms that 20,000 minors have been murdered in the last twenty years. We should add the chilling figure of 7,000 children whose whereabouts are unknown.
To this bleak panorama with the youngest, we add the statistics of the World Justice Project that places Mexico among the ten worst countries – out of a total of 139 – in terms of security and civil justice. It also deals with the ‘absence of corruption’, one of President López Obrador’s favorite slogans to which he often resorts. The report ranks the Mesoamerican country fifth from the bottom. Only surpassed by Uganda, Cameroon, Cambodia and the Congo, but surprisingly Venezuela and Haiti are better positioned.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism