Tag Archives: children

The children continue to suffer

An article in Latino Fox News talks about the suffering and victimization of young Mexican students now attending school in Texas.

They have a lot of psychological issues since they have grown up for over 6 years now in a war zone because of the Mexican drug war.

Even though they are mostly free of physical dangers they still have many emotional issues to work through.

One of the classes they take involve a victimization course in which educators teach about the psychological stages of a mind that has suffered from violence.

But these youth understand and have gone through these stages many, many times and don’t need a constant reminder since they are living through it everyday.

One of the 17-year-old students, Alan Garcias, declared to his classroom crying, “I’ve been through all three stages: impact, recoil, reorganization of my life. My mom goes in and out of recoil stage.”

These troubling times for these students have been a problem in their academic studies that it’s led to some Texas school districts having to provide classes and counseling they teach in the military, since those in the military have been through similar experiences.

Officials aren’t keeping track of the students troubled by the violence on the border seeking help or counseling, but it involves kids from border cities that go to the U.S. for schooling as well as those that have already moved to Texas to go to school.

It’s really sad because many families are afraid to reach out and seek help because they think that if they talk to counselors they would be identified by the criminals that are trying to harm them. So parents encourage their kids to not speak about their issues.

“The emotional difficulties affect them ‘in many areas of academic performance,’ said Alma Leal, professor of counseling at the University of Texas at Brownsville and coordinator for counseling and guidance of the Brownsville Independent School District. They suffer from poor discipline, lack any sense of security and fear losing loved ones.”

One of the courses taught as I mentioned earlier that deals with victimization, also explains how children and teens can talk about their experiences. Keeping those thoughts and feelings inside are not healthy for children.

Counselors have been teaching these classes utilizing the same skills they learned to counsel children of military parents.

“Children fleeing from the cross-border violence and those whose parents have been in combat share issues like separation or loss of a parent, she said. But unlike military children, those coming from Mexico have sometimes been exposed to violence or been victims themselves.”

The issue that they are battling is that the entire community doesn’t understand the importance of helping the children. They are simply “tackling the problem, but we are not solving it.” (<<<Alvaros)

Read the article about this issue here: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/11/28/students-survive-mexican-drug-war-but-struggle-with-emotions-in-texas-schools/#ixzz1f7ybHleX

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“Too strong for publication”

This image was created by the famous Mexican cartoonist Jose Hernandez. The title “Nuevo Eslogan” means “New Slogan.” The artist has depicted President Calderon as putting up a sign from the Federal Government that says “In order for drugs not to reach your children… we are killing them for you.” So Hernandez is basically saying that the Federal Government is killing the children of Mexico. According to Monthly Review Magazine the cartoon was “deemed too strong for publication by La Jornada and subsequently widely disseminated in the Mexican blogosphere.”

I can understand why La Jornada would think it’s somewhat intense, because it’s head on dissing the government and Calderon in a non-satirical way. It’s extremely blunt and directing it’s hostility towards Calderon.

I’m not going to say Hernandez is right or wrong, because I feel like since I’m not living in Mexico, I can’t really know everything that’s going on first hand, so I can’t choose to blame an entire government that’s not ruling over me; because it could just be one person, or a group of people and not the entire government, but I just don’t know. I try to be an objective person in most of my dealings, and this image certainly does not embody that. I do however, have to give props to Hernandez for being bold enough to convey his true thoughts on the subject and be willing to stand up for something he believes in. And I will say that the Mexican government is at fault for many things and I somewhat agree with Hernandez, but there are also many other factors that are involved as well.

Overall, I feel that this has a strong message to portray, and it’s important that people are exposed to it. This is not a joke, this is real.

Cartoon Source: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/hernandez060510.html

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The Bang Bang Generation

I read all these articles about the goings on of the cartels, or the government, or the media dealing with the Mexican drug war, but I wanted to know about the innocent families that are going through this…especially the children. At a time like this, of violence and intense war, these young kids could be suffering negative psychological effects, and it’s important to take notice of this. Just try to imagine if it was your own child, or your little brother or sister, younger cousin, nieces/nephews, anything. If it’s someone that’s near and dear to you, you wouldn’t want to ignore what they’re going through.

The Bang Bang Generation was a term coined by Francisco Benavides, a reader of El Norte news, referring to the youth under 20 years of age that are “growing up in a society terrorized by violence.”

The age group most affected by this are teenagers. In the case of adolescents living in Mexico now, this society of war, gangs, shootings, killings, kidnappings, is something that they had to get used to. This major outbreak happened in 2006, so before that, they were able to go out by themselves, or hang out with friends on the weekends, or go to parties, etc. But now they are unable to because they always have to be on the lookout for dangers and be aware of their safety. I could only imagine how challenging this may be, to get accustomed to a completely different lifestyle, and not be able to have fun without worrying for the sake of your life.

Two 13-year-old friends were very upset about this issue that they even took the time to write a letter asking why all the parties involved, the government, the police, or the cartels themselves, don’t keep the children in mind.

These young girls said, “They don’t even consider us, maybe because they had a peaceful adolescence. Now we want the same, we want safe streets. We want to go out without seeing masked men carrying weapons.”
They feel as if they are trapped and alone because they aren’t allowed to have the freedom to grow up as a normal teen. No social life and no communication can really drive someone insane. The only thing these girls have as a means to communicate with the outside world is Facebook. But in a sense, these girls are more fortunate that they have the technology to be able to use Facebook. Imagine those really poor children that have no money to have a means of using the internet or for that matter any social networking media.
The girls ask that the aforementioned affiliates put themselves in the shoes of the younger generation and respect what they are going through, to create some kind of change, even if they can’t stop the war, at least give back the happiness that these kids once had.

Another teenager going through this hard time is a young man named Emiliano. He fears for his life everyday and grieves, “It bothers me that I am not allowed go out by myself or at night, and we always have to be very attentive, listening for gunshots, watching for kidnappers. We must always be careful. It’s tiring to always be so attentive, I would really like to just relax a little.”

The poor guy must be so stressed, all those nerves I’m sure make him really tense which in turn cause extreme fatigue. I bet it’s difficult for these kids to sleep at night, let alone keep a constant eye out during the day.

Throughout communities, adults are teaching their kids to take care and protect each other.

The youngsters are learning to simply accept the environment they currently live in and be extra cautious in everything they do. What else can they really do except just deal with it and do their best to live everyday to its maximum potential.

The article provides an inspiring statement given by professor of the UDEM Department of Education and Academic Director of Formus, Andrés Bolaños Werren. He said that “The world and history have taught us that the personalities that have transformed the world have come from difficult times, maybe it is human nature, man’s will to not just survive, but to overcome, move forward, thrive, and succeed, regardless of the circumstances. Although it will not be easy, there is great potential to become like those from our past.”

This is exactly what these young teens are having to prove. They will simply have to continue to push through these trials and adversities and hopefully…come out on top.

Article Source: http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/mexicos-drug-war-youth-generation-bang-bang/

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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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