Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mexican drug cartels recruiting Texas children

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told Reuters the drug gangs have a chilling name for the young Texans lured into their operations.

"They call them 'the expendables,'" he said.

McCraw said his investigators have evidence six Mexican drug gangs -- including the violent Zetas -- have "command and control centers" in Texas actively recruiting children for their operations, attracting them with what appears to be "easy money" for doing simple tasks.

"Cartels would pay kids $50 just for them to move a vehicle from one position to another position, which allows the cartel to keep it under surveillance to see if law enforcement has it under surveillance," he said.

"Of course, once you're hooked up with them, there's consequences."

McCraw said 25 minors have been arrested in one Texas border county alone in the past 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.

This month, "we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana," he said. "So they do recruit our kids."

McCraw says the state of Texas is joining a program initiated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection called "Operation Detour," in which law enforcement officers meet with children and their parents in schools and at community centers to warn them about the dangers of what appears to be the easy money the Mexican drug gangs offer.

Law enforcement officers say children are less likely to be suspects than adults, are easily manipulated by relatively small sums of money, and face less severe penalties than adults if arrested.

Last month, Texas officials released a report indicating Mexico-based drug gangs are intent on creating a "sanitary zone" on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, and are "intimidating landowners" in south Texas into allowing them to use their property as "permanent bases" for drug smuggling activity.


  1. This is what it really means when its said that a good Zeta is a Dead Zeta. These are truly filty pig shit eaters who will learn thier lesson real well with a hot bullet in thier mouths or complete lock down at Florence Supermax that makes these punks cry like the little bitches that they are. I hope that get confronted with some of the Texan armed parents of these children who WILL show them how we in Texas operate. Bang, Bang and good bye asshole is an old Texas tradition!!

  2. This is old now they've gotten more sophisticated and smarter than that.

  3. So do americans need to be wary of black children, white children, brown children, or all children?

  4. To me, they are confusing drug cartels with drug smugglers. There is a lot of difference.

  5. Sure, it sounds like Lazca himself is patrolling the junior high schools looking for recruits in his Ice Cream "Trocka"
    I wonder which Texas Gangs are doing the street level enforcement, oh my bad
    Its only the Mexicans.

  6. last year during red ribbon week when we talked about drugs a male student stayed after class and said to me " what do I do, my cousins from mexico are telling me to work with them moving and selling drugs what should I do?". I told him "tell your parents and don't go to mexico to visit them anymore.". This year I saw him in the halls wearing a gold chain and a santa muerte death medallion favored by the mexican drug cartels. I guess he did not head my advice.

  7. 7:40. Please explain difference of drug smuglers and cartels. I thought they were the same. Thanks

  8. For the person who wonders which children we should be wary of I think you are missing the point which is: The more you educate ALL our children about the realities of what happens when they innocently agree to help do simple tasks for drug criminals.

    They've worked this game on Mexican youth for a long time. It will start happening more often in our border towns as needs increase to move their product north. Its not just a little gang-banging anymore. If they get mixed up with the wrong people it could be VERY dangerous. Its amazing how many of them don't know what's going on south of the border. Its time they learned.

  9. This is hyped up. I live in San Antonio and I do keep up with the news and no where have I seen anybody recruit Kids on the streets and trust me I know where the streets are at and live them. I am not saying they are not here, but they seriously are not operating openly because they are smart and know not to.

  10. "we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana," he said. "So they do recruit our kids."
    That proves nothing!!!
    Yeah Im sure the Zetas want whiteboys ( that dont speak Spanish )from McKAmey Texas to do their dirty work LMAO

  11. The high school in the town from where I'm from is a great example of this story. There are an estimated 300 students running drugs through the high school. It's not small amounts either. The local PD estimates that it's in the thousands of pounds and at least 6 teachers are involved with the smuggling. The students are recruited with the promise of money and protection. Most of the time they end up in hand irons at best. The two students who were captured and tortured were from the school I'm talking about. So yes. The Zetas are actively recruiting in the school system.

  12. Seriously? You're going to post as if San Antonio is a border town? It is in South Texas, but it's not on the border. And most border kids aren't white boys who don't know Spanish; they're Hispanic kids who typically learned Spanish before they learned English. So before you question the article, please take the time to get your facts right. I taught in a border town, and the comment above about students being recruited in exchange for money and protection is accurate from my experience.

  13. The video needs more of the execution videos from the cartels, and there are lots of them, I mean just censor them but yeah. Should of showed the one with the chainsaw lmao.


  15. Please, this is BS to create more anti hispanic sentiments in the USA...


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