Mexican Drug Cartels Recruit Children as Young as 10 and Groom Them to Be Killers
A teenager revealed that Mexican drug cartels in Mexico recruited children as young as 10 and groomed them to be killers.
According to Associated Press, the now 17-year-old boy reported to a Mexican non-profit organization how he was tasked to torture, kill, and dispose of bodies of rival cartel members when he was 12.
The young man, identified as Jacobo, grew up in the state of Jalisco, which is home to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. He said that due to his abusive childhood, he was never comfortable in school. He added that he experienced domestic violence and severe punishment at the hands of his mother.
Mexican Drug Cartels Lured Children as Killers
According to Jacobo, he was ordered to get information from the members of their rival cartels and was also ordered to cut up the bodies of those they killed and dissolve them in acid. However, after abiding by their orders, he was framed and was sentenced to prison.
The teenager said he was only 12 years old when he committed his first murder as ordered by the drug cartel. He said that members of the cartel would look for children who are wandering on the streets looking for money and recruit them. He said he was earning as high as $1,500.
"At 12 years old, I became sort of a hired killer," Jacobo noted.
Jacobo, who is currently held at a facility for youthful offenders in Mexico, approached the Mexican non-profit organization Reinserta to tell his story.
Jacobo said it was his last job with the drug cartel that made him wanted to the authorities. The cartel ordered him to carry out a killing in public, with many witnesses.
He was hunted by the police and was in a hiding place before the cartel set him up and asked him to switch hideouts, and that was when he got caught. Jacobo noted that the drug cartel treated him as one of the disposable teen hitmen they needed to get rid of.
Laws in Mexico allow sentences of between three and five years for most young offenders, which means almost all of them could get out before they are 21.
Mexican Drug Cartel Recruited, Kidnapped Children Through Shooter Game 'Free Fire'
On Saturday, five children in Mexico were rescued after a Mexican drug cartel recruited them through the survival shooter game "Free Fire."
The kids, aged 12 to 15, were contacted via a WhatsApp group related to the "Free Fire," and cartel members offered them lucrative work because of their evident interest in guns.
The recruiters told the children that they would be working for the Northeast Cartel in Tamaulipas. During the meetups at Tlacolula de Matamoros in Oaxaca state, the kids were forced into a vehicle as the Mexican drug cartel members kidnapped them.
Security officials tracked the kids' locations through their cellphones, which led them to a house on the east side of the city.
When they arrived at the property, security personnel had been told that a children's party was going on inside the house. But when they entered the house, they discovered that the youths were being held hostage and that their abductors planned to take them to Oaxaca. A woman was arrested.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Jess Smith
WATCH: The Kids Being Trained and Armed to Fight Mexican Cartels - From VICE News
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!