Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cartel use of child drug mules on the rise

Kids 11-17 are offered up to $500 for each trip; more for kidnapping and other crimes

In October MGRR reported on the drug cartels' extensive recruitment of children along the Texas border, who are used to transport narcotics into the U.S. below the radar. Mexican drug cartels recruit Texas school kids, says Dept. of Public Safety. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that such activity increased precipitously in the last quarter of 2011, with San Diego a hot spot for recruitment of the young mules.

Most of them are between the ages of 11 and 17, of Mexican origin, bi-lingual and know the border area well. Some are illegally residing in the United States with their families, but increasingly the cartels seek out those who are U.S. citizens, so they can pass through checkpoints with little scrutiny. The young workers often belong to gangs on the American side of the border which work closely with Mexican drug cartels. The mules are hired to haul smaller quantities of narcotics across the border for an average pay of $500 per trip.

But other kids are engaged to assist in extortion, trafficking in pirated goods and even kidnapping. The DEA says that Mexican cartels may pay $1,000 to young assistants who agree to guard a kidnap victim (usually in a safe house) over a period of days, and as much as $1,500 to those who are willing to serve as spies, reporting on law enforcement movements and police activities in border areas. Apart from the lure of the money, most of the youthful cartel associates report little fear of being caught, since their age guarantees minimal punishment.

Mar. 31, 2013 - Mexican drug traffickers find ready assistance in mules carrying American passports

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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