Wanted: Texan kids for Mexican drug gang

El Paso County Sheriff patrolman Manny Marquez talked to students about the efforts by Mexican drug cartels to lure young people into their organizations.-Rudy Gutierrez/El Paso Times

“Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations,” reports Jim Forsyth from Reuters news.

This first sentence made my heart stop. I mean it’s obvious that they would do this for reasons such as children being easy to control, especially for small amounts of money, and they’re not immediately sought after as suspects, and there’s a significantly smaller scope of consequences for them if they were to be detained, but it’s still a scary thought. As soon as I read that, I pictured my adorable, innocent 11 year old niece; and to think that she could be lured into the hands of the drug cartels is something I would not want to ever encounter.

The drug cartels named these little children, “The Expendables.” How appropriate. Sounds exactly like something they would do to these children…easily dispose of them.

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said that evidence has been found from 6 different Mexican drug gangs of “command and control centers” spread throughout Texas, so to speak “enlisting” children to perform simple odd jobs for them for small amounts of cash. To me that’s kind of like, geez they have legitimate centers up and running now? I’m pretty sure it takes some time and planning to set up a center such as this. I don’t exactly know how investigators work, but do they not see any sign of this kind of suspicious activity? Perhaps they’re not looking hard enough, or the drug gangs are just extra sneaky.

The director said they found and arrested 25 minors in just one county this year for “running drugs, acting as lookouts, or doing other work for organized Mexican drug gangs. The cartels are now fanning out, he said, and have operations in all major Texas cities.” All major cities…alright, now this is close to me, and it’s only going to spread and get worse. This is becoming more and more dangerous for a larger amount of people and for some reason it’s becoming more and more difficult to stop this… there’s something we (and Mexico) aren’t doing.

I also wonder things like, do these kids really care about the money? I’m trying to analyze the situation to get a better understanding of how kids put their selves in these predicaments. Like are these kids really poor and feel like they have to do this to take care of their family? Or do they just want a place to fit in? Do they think it’s cool or fun? Or are they forced into it by being threatened to be killed and such? I can’t put myself in that state of mind to understand why I would make myself ever want to be a part of the illegal acts of a drug gang. I just feel really sorry for these kids, they should have the opportunity to live for a brighter future, but instead they’re getting themselves in trouble at a very early age, and it seems almost unfair for them.

The director went on to say that this month “we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana.” Seriously? That is insane! I hope someone else is as blown away by this as I am. I would like to know, where are these kids’ parents? It drives me crazy when parents and kids don’t communicate. It’s so sad when parents don’t know how to take care of their own child. And occasionally you find those parents that are aware of what’s going on, but they’ll act stupid or clueless, because they don’t want to get involved. It just breaks my heart.

But at least U.S. Customs and Border Protection are doing something about this. They set up a program called “Operation Detour” in which they go to schools and community centers to inform and caution both kids along with parents about these current events and the hazards of the recruiting of young children into Mexican drug gang job offers.

The article ends with the latest released report saying that these Mexican drug gangs are creating a safe sector “’intimidating landowners’ in south Texas into allowing them to use their property as ‘permanent bases’ for drug smuggling activity.”

I’d like to know what they intend on doing about that. It’s nice they released a report and all, but now what…you know about it, ok what course of action will you take? This is happening in Texas, in cities all over, I want to make sure I’m going to be safe, because now this is directly affecting me, and my family, friends, and neighbors around me.

Article Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-drug-cartels-recruiting-texas-children-173402030.html

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