Translated for Borderland Beat from a Sinembargo article by Otis B Fly-Wheel
The Mexican drug cartels have managed to recruit thousands of youngsters, in primary, secondary and preparatory schools in Texas, to form gangs under their control, in order to strengthen the flow of narcotic drugs to all of the United States.
This is clear from a National Gang Report from 2014, released by the Department of Public Safety for the State. In Texas there are about 100,000 Gang members and in El Paso approximately 5,600, distributed among 307 criminal organisations, according to information.
In accordance with the document "Texas Gang Threat Assessment", the Cartels of Sinaloa, Juarez, del Golfo, and Los Zetas, recruit students using the internet and prisoners to become involved in illicit activities.
The gang members, who are supporting any of the Cartels, receive orders to locate children, who accept money, fame, women and drugs in exchange for activities related to drug trafficking, human trafficking or sexual trafficking.
According to information in the report, the ease of recruitment is great, because when one of these youngsters are detained, they can easily be replaced, and will continue to bolster gang numbers inside prison, once convicted.
In the document, they identify the Barrio Azteca gang, La Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos, and the Latin Kings, that serve the Juarez Cartel, headed by Vincente Carillo Fuentes until his detention on 9th October 2014.
In the case of the Sinaloa Cartel, the report identifies Tango Blast, Latin Kings, the Mexican Mafia and Los Surenos 13. The last in the list are considered the second most dangerous organisation in El Paso. The number one spot being attributed to Barrio Azteca.
Once students are recruited, they are put to work carrying out the following activities, sale of drugs, sale of weapons, collection of money, transit of drugs, murder, extortion, kidnapping or theft of vehicles, later to be sent to Juarez and used in violent crimes.
A unique series of events positioned the Sureno 13 gang as one of the most viable criminal gangs in El Paso, Texas. A review of events leading up to this, identifies three reasons how a gang based in California, is now one of the most influential in El Paso, and the implications for Texas in the future, said the text.
Adding that this movement had been a process over years, and that already members of said organisation has had time to relocate to other locations. As well as the gangs mentioned, others exist in different states of the country, and also have relations with Mexican Cartels.
Among them are Barrio Locos 13, Vista Home Boys, United Blood Nation, Brown Pride, Border Brothers, East Side Bloods, East Side Locos, Gangster Crips, and others.
One of the most important detentions of gang members in El Paso, happened last year, where authorities of the DEA, FBI and other diverse agencies, achieved the capture of 35, the majority of which were members of Barrio Azteca, who had formed a Bi-National network of heroin traffickers.
The members of this gang, known only as "Aztecas" in Juarez, were accused of racketeering under the RICO act.
The report states that the gangs operate under the arm of the Mexican Cartels, they have been instructed to expand their illegal activities to include sexual trafficking and illegal alien smuggling.
The gangs most involved in these types of crimes are, Tango Blast, the Mexican Mafia, the Bloods, the Crips, and Barrio Azteca.
Some of these groups of organised criminals in Texas, regularly support the operations of the Cartels in human contraband, facilitating the transport of groups of illegal aliens, to cross the frontier between Juarez and El Paso.
One of the cases revealed the participation of members of the organised crime group of Charles Marquez alias "El Puerkote" the leader of a sexual trafficking network in El Paso.
Marquez was arrested in 2012 and declared himself innocent, but was found culpable of seven charges that included sexual trafficking of minors, conspiracy to force or seduce undocumented immigrants to engage in sexual activities, as well as importation of illegal immigrants.
The prosecution said that Marquez recruited the women, through classified ads in Juarez Newspapers, who were then forced into prostitution with customers in hotels in the city and state of New Mexico.
Also it was said of Marquez that he the women including minors that he recruited, were kidnapped with ransom demands of £200 per person.
Original article in Spanish at Sinembargo