While working on another piece, I was distracted when I noticed an article, Mexico "narco junior" teenagers kill drug rivals. These "narco-juniors," some as young as 15, are being recruited by the drug cartels often in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. For what? Apparently, the drug cartels have concluded that enlisting kids as killers adds an element of surprise in their attacks against rivals. It is also reported that the "juniors" are immune to long prison sentences.
Mexico's justice system is struggling to deal with the increasing number of minors involved in organized crime because by law the teenagers are not treated as criminals and are normally released after counselling in a juvenile delinquency centre.
So here are quotes from two kids that should send a chill up and down everyone's spine.
● "There are lots of us and we get $300 (206 pounds) for each kill," said 17-year-old Eduardo, a middle-class student who was arrested in December after an army raid on a drug safe house in Tijuana.
● "I had been doing it for about five months, it was easy money," he told Reuters in a police detention centre, wearing designer clothing. Police said he killed at least one man.
The fact is that this trend has been occuring for some time in Mexico. As I've mentioned a few times in the past, the blending of youth gangs and criminal gangs like MS-13 in the United States with drug cartel activities makes this ruthlessness a concern for all people north of the border.
Believing that this practice will not spread would be naïve.