Experts warn that young people are increasingly used as “mules” or dealers, from 2008 to 2011 increased the phenomenon in the north
- Children and crime in Tijuana
TIJUANA, March 10. – At age 14, Luis Alberto transmits security and has a piercing gaze of an adult. He says this
is because since very little known “life”. He had no father, worked from small, hooked on drugs and was used by a criminal cell to distribute narcotics.
Last October he was admitted to CIRAD, a rehabilitation center located west of the city and caters to 500 drug addicts, a hundred of them under 17, which began a six months program.
“I was brought here because selling and consuming ‘criloco'” said Luis Alberto, referring to his addiction to methamphetamine, the powerful drug white crystalline consuming 90% of adolescents in recovery, its low cost and high availability the street.
In a relatively new phenomenon, young people are increasingly being used as “mules” or distributors, whether to cross drugs into the U.S. or to sell in the cities, especially the border, said Victor Clark, a social anthropologist and specialist in the issue of drug trafficking in this region.
“Minors are cheap labor and disposable for organized crime in an environment where there are not many opportunities for employment and recreation for them, and where the business of drug distribution and consumption has grown rapidly,” he said.
The authorities say they are aware of this phenomenon, but say there is no statistics on the number of teenagers arrested for selling or distributing drugs that existing legislation does not allow for criminal records of minors.
The office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego said that between 2008 and 2011 increased ten times the arrest of young people between 14 and 18 who tried to cross drugs, mainly methamphetamine, in the Tijuana-San Diego. Lauren Mack, ICE spokeswoman in San Diego, said that in 2008 there were 19 juvenile arrests, while in 2009 there were 165 in 2010 were 190 and 190 were reported in 2011.
Most were high school students who took the drugs hidden in their bodies or in vehicles they were driving. They tried to smuggle drugs especially strong as methamphetamine and cocaine, said Mack.
“It’s a problem that is occurring in cities (Mexico) border such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales, Reynosa, and we have seen that is increasing at an alarming rate,” says anthropologist Clark.
Directors of rehabilitation centers in Tijuana estimated that there are around 50 adolescents as Luis Alberto, 500 who are in recovery, in addition to being addicted to any drugs were used by organized crime for drug dealing.
Luis Alberto, whose name cannot be spread by a minor, said that for two years selling and distributing methamphetamine in a neighborhood of this city with a group of children who were led by “a pattern”. The day got 200 pesos (about $ 16) that spent on food and drugs to consume.
“Among my friends and I were selling forty packs a day. My employer took him to each packet thousand 100 pesos (about $ 88) and all that was left was for us. Sometimes three or four packs left over and gave out to us, “he said.
Usually the drug cartels employing teens as “flags”, a sort of stray spies warned about military operations or police, so far not been centerpieces in drug dealing, said Clark.
This phenomenon began to be felt in homes for the drug in late 2008 and was increased in subsequent years, said Jose Luis Serrano, director of the rehabilitation center Meson.
Academic calls for stronger liberal education to combat violence
Among the courses offered higher education urgently implement a humanistic education in the students, it will be a measure to destroy the violence facing our country and warned Beuchot Mauricio Puente, one of the most important philosophers in Latin America.
The UNAM’s academic and creator of hermeneutics analog felt that college students must learn the skills required by their race, but the division has been between sciences and humanities for decades has led to unethical professionals away from the responsibility social.
“Many professionals do not receive ethics training and that is reflected in how they perform, to the extent that no human rights are respected,” said the philosopher.
It was, found that different races should provide materials aimed at a comprehensive education in order to mitigate the gap that for years have kept the exact sciences and the humanities, in order that students come out better prepared and can expand their employment opportunities in a labor market increasingly demanding professionals.
The specialist will participate in the third conference Rethinking University Teaching will be held from 14 to 16 March in South Anahuac University, in order to find the weaknesses in the teaching of higher education in Mexico and provide alternatives for students that level graduate with a comprehensive training either to the degree that they have studied.
The symposium will analyze the needs of today’s young, in order that classes are designed to receive in your environment, as part of the digital age.
The authorities say they are aware of this phenomenon but say there is no reliable figures.
The perception is that the state police in the past two years have increased the number of arrests of adolescents, according to the Ministry of Public Security of Baja California (SSPE).
For the first time, this dependence is recorded in the Guardian Council from Tijuana to ten adolescents who are locked up for drug distribution.
The use of minors in drug sales was not common, said Jose Ramon Arreola, director of child and adolescent Cirad center. He added that from 2009 began to attend a month four or five children of addicts also engaged in selling narcotics, other than 25 or 30 cases per month of children who only consume.
The State Attorney reported in Tijuana from 2008 to 2010 two thousand 327 murders, nearly a hundred missing and more than one hundred kidnappings.