Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In three years, over 1,800 minors have been arrested for murder in Mexico

"MX" for Borderland Beat; Milenio
Mural in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua that calls for an end of violence through education
In the past three years, 1,882 children across Mexico have been criminally prosecuted for murder. Most of these murders were linked to organized crime cases.

Mexican media outlet Milenio made a transparency request to access this information. 28 out of the 32 states in Mexico provided Milenio reporters with this information. However, the states of Baja California, Hidalgo, Queretaro and Tabasco refused to release such data.

According to official figures, the states with the most minors imprisoned for homicide are Sonora, Jalisco, Chihuahua and the State of Mexico. The data per year shows that in 2017, Mexican authorities convicted 415 children for murder. The following year the number dropped to 369. In 2019, the number continued to drop to 298.


One of the most recent cases occurred last December in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. The case was widely publicized after an underage murderer was recorded on video shooting two people in broad daylight during a traffic stop. The video showed that the kid got off his vehicle and committed the murder in front of several eye-witnesses. Almost three months after the murder, the boy was captured.

Juan Martín Pérez García, director of the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico (REDIM), considered that the increase in the participation of minors in serious crimes, such as homicide, is due to the fact that they are considered "disposable" recruits by organized crime groups. He also argued that the children who fall into the cartels' network are deceived with the fake promises of a luxurious style. Most children will be imprisoned or die in their pursuit of this lifestyle.

Kidnapping and robbery
In addition, the participation of minors extends to other types of crimes, such as kidnapping. According to official figures, in the last three years, 244 children were imprisoned for participating in kidnapping. The states with the highest incidents of minors were Veracruz, Mexico City, Tamaulipas, and Puebla.

The statistics obtained also show the participation of minors who were imprisoned for stealing. In total, 1,519 children were behind bars, with Sonora being the state that registered the most cases with 823 (54 percent). Other states with high numbers were Chihuahua, Mexico City, State of Mexico and Nuevo León.

Recent case
The National Guard (GN) reported this past Sunday that near the municipality of Celaya, Guanajuato, they arrested a minor who was driving a car with 10 heavy-caliber weapons, 39 cartridges and tactical equipment (i.e. bullet-proof vests, knee pads, camouflaged pants), and 154 tire-poppers. The suspect tried to flee when he saw the the GN members which led to a vehicle chase. 

Just last Friday, REDIM warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in unemployment, and that this can place more children at risk of being recruit by drug cartels.

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