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

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Number Of Orphans Increases Because Of Organized Crime

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat 

This weekend, after nine o'clock at night on Saturday, November 13, an eight-month-old baby lost her mother, before her eyes and without knowing what was happening, armed men broke into her house and murdered her mother at close range in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato.

In total, the armed criminal cell riddled three adult women and two minors, with large-caliber weapons and then fled. The surviving baby remains hospitalized because a bullet shard caused a wound in one of her arms. 

The baby is now under the protection of the state Attorney General's Office waiting for her to recover, but the aftermath will be beyond physical injuries, this baby was left without the most important pillar of her life: her mother.

But he was not the only minor who was orphaned that Saturday, hours before, at six in the afternoon, two other children lost their mother. It happened during a children's party in Silao, in the same state, another armed criminal cell who arrived on motorcycles broke into and shot at the guests, leaving six dead and three injured.

The most serious thing of all is that the boys and girls who have lost their parents number in dozens, and there is not even a real record of these minors.

Infants who can suffer at the hands of organized crime, but also, once they grow up a little, become part of these groups. Unfortunately, they have no other choice in life.

These orphans are not even taken into account, it’s not even known how many exist.

They lose their families either because of an adjustment of accounts or because they are left in the middle of crossfire.

Currently there are no official figures on how many children remain in orphanhood, but according to the Network for the Rights of the Child in Mexico (Redim), from 2006 to date there are between 30 and 40,000 children orphaned by organized crime.

This is a moderate figure, because the System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) also does not have a basis on these cases, because there are no trained personnel or resources, and because each DIF, at the state level, is managed independently.

These children end up in homes or relatives who cannot take care of them either, either because of economic situation or because they also have their own children, this makes them more vulnerable and even end up integrating criminal cells.

The organization Citizen Security in Latin America indicates that Mexico is among the five countries in the region where minors do not feel safe, the group is headed by Venezuela, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Peru and our country.

And then comes the other side of this terrible situation and it is the minors who swell the ranks of drug trafficking.

According to the most recent study by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, gangs take advantage of the lack of opportunities and the lack of mechanisms to provide support to minors, which allows criminal groups to recruit and train poor and orphaned children and adolescents in the use of weapons and drug trafficking.

They are children who from the age of 10 or 11 are integrated into organized crime to be spies, move drugs and even start using weapons.

But there are other children who far from starting crimes that deserve low sanctions are taken to training to use weapons, even long weapons immediately, these children are in Montaña de Guerrero and Tierra Caliente, Michoacán.

They make them participate in violence.

In January 2020 and April of this year, minors from Chilapa, Guerrero, were presented as part of the so-called community police; however, several of those leaders are related to criminal groups.

These minors joined the self-defense groups because the group called Los Ardillos, which operate in Montaña, Guerrero, killed their parents, so today it is estimated that in that area there are just over two thousand minors orphaned by father or mother.

Meanwhile, in Michoacán, the situation is also worrying because groups such as Los Viagra, Caballeros Templarios and La Familia Michoacana take advantage of the fact that they are from the region to convince minors to join their groups and fight the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

However, the recruitment of minors in this entity is not recent and worsened in 2012 with the creation of the so-called self-defense groups, which began in Tepalcatepec and Buenavista Tomatlán.

There is a man who is dedicated to helping through the Cristos association, he is the priest Gregorio López Gerónimo, better known as Father Goyo, who estimates that in 2014 there were already 4,800 orphans in Michoacán and more than 2,500 widows.

The figures continue to grow.

Other states where criminal groups look for vulnerable minors to take over their services are Tamaulipas, where the Gulf Cartel also searches for children to turn them into spies and hitmen. Even this cartel distributes toys and pantries and provides support to society, of course nothing is free.

The state has not managed to take care of these minors, who have been orphaned by the violence we live in.

Without safeguarding and protecting them, the only thing that has been achieved is that they become vulnerable and that they can be captured by criminal groups.

There are no follow-up protocols, care, and these children end up trapped in a system that does not allow them to have stability or a better option, so many choose to look for a family within criminal groups.

In a report we did many years ago, in 2009, in Ciudad Juárez it was seen how this phenomenon began to grow. There we talked to minors who had been left alone because their parents had either abandoned them or died and their mothers worked in the factories.

Those young people told me a phrase that I will never forget: "We went in with them (with crime), because a life as a king is better than a lifetime working as an ox."

These children and young people who enter organized crime, often times it’s  because they have been stripped of their families, mothers, fathers or grandparents, have a life expectancy of about three years.

Today there are more and more helpless minors who must be cared for and protected, for them and for the safety of many others.

It is urgent that these little ones be visualized as a state policy and that they be given another way of life.

Bibiana Belsasso


  1. Besides mass rape, mass assaults, mass disappearances, and mass killings that occur during a genocide… another byproduct of a genocide is an exponential increase in orphans. Many who’ll become victims of the very predators that helped make them orphans. Many will perish, many will become cannon fodder, many will become constant sexual assault victims. Those that do make it to adulthood will very likely become predatory human beings. What a devastating and heart crushing situation. Somebody like me who cares greatly about Mexico, who many would call a racist due to my factual beliefs concerning the 13%, I weep for the poor and average and victimized Mexican citizens. So I will now clean a couple guns, shoot a couple more, and take a couple of my kids out of home school early in order to have target practice. God plz decimate the corrupt elite and the pathetic criminals.

    1. Miss H. Now I see why Whitey's tacos are called Raping. Anytime he reads kids in an article he goes crazy 😂.

    2. Lol. Cry me a river, preferably between California and Arizona. Or the Sierra Nevadas.

    3. Wow, Michoacan is a shithole. No worst enemy to the Michoacano than another Michoacano. What a shame.

    4. 11:14 michoacan was never contested, nobody has been crazy enough to try to take that plaza besides mencho..
      Mayo tried to sneak in with the autodefenzas but cartels unidos said NO.
      ARELLANOS almost got killed in michoacan once..
      Zetas got ran out by Familia michoAcana once they tried to take over michoacan..
      Beltranes never dared to go in that plaza..
      Only crazy mencho has had the audacity to take that plaza but ots not easy..

    5. It's crazy. These battles for control between CJNG and cartel (insert cartel name of the year here) has been raging for almost 10 years with Michcoan in near constant turmoil, depending on the municipalities being fought over. It's a mess.

    6. Whitey, I have to agree with you, absolutely. Its incredibly sad what these kids endure, any child living in gang infested poverty. Yes, we have it here in the USA, but in Mexico there are zero support services in place for these families to get any assistance. The psychological and financial/social service programs are not there, and these kids have no prospects for care at the most basic level. It is discouraging

    7. Ms. H. That's where you are wrong. There are support services, just not as advanced as the ones we have here... for as rich as we may think Mexico is, it is still a poor country.

    8. Ms. H there is a good amount of money for kids and education but corrupt government steals it and the people don't benefit from those programs because of lack of funds after people like that bitch LA chucky get a hold of them!!!

  2. Juerfanito!!! Onde andas sentado juerfano? "Aqui junto de ti jefe". De onde te trigo hermano? " meh sacas de la tierra oh de aqui arriba. Onde queras. De risa salimos facil en el modo ". I'll have an orphan come collect. And it will be me before I send it mine. Cause as I can see'em come after me! Who's aborting now?


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