Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/20/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Kids as young as 12 are being used, thrown away by cartels.

A disturbing trend has emerged along the U.S. border with Mexico. Children, some as young as 12, are being used as mules to smuggle drugs into the United States. Federal programs have launched to educate kids about the dangers of working as a drug mule.

Drug mules may carry drugs concealed on their person or even inside their bodies. The payout is nowhere near the potential cost.

Drug mules may carry drugs concealed on their person or even inside their bodies. The payout is nowhere near the potential cost.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/20/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: kids, drugs, mule, trafficking, price, pay, cost, federal, border, Mexico, violence, death


SAN DIEGO, CA (Catholic Online) - There is no honor amongst the drug cartels and the past several years has demonstrated their capacity for ruthlessness in their pursuit of money and power. Among their latest tactics has been to recruit children to smuggle drugs into the U.S. on the notion that children are less susceptible to interception by the authorities, while they are more susceptible to temptation.

According to Al Jazeera, which published a featured report on the topic this week, kids as young as 12 are being recruited with the allure of perhaps $100 or $200 cash offered in exchange for a quick trip across the border, usually on foot, carrying drugs.  The drugs can be carried in a backpack or taped to their body, the smugglers don't really care. They only care that their shipments get through.

Pray for our youth, that they may be protected from evil.

That lack of humanity leads to many consequences including the deaths of kids.

Al Jazeera told the brief story of Cruz Marcelino Velazquez Acevedo, 16, who was recruited to carry a liquid substance across the border in a couple beverage bottles. The teen who always had a smile and was full of life, was intercepted when a customs official noticed a discrepancy in his visa.

Detained, officials looked at the liquid he was carrying, but it smelled like fruit juice, didn't crystallize on the air, and Cruz claimed it was apple juice. To prove his point, a took a swig.

Swayed by the demonstration, officers sent Cruz to the next level of scrutiny as they considered his release. However, a final check by a drug dog revealed something horrific. The apple juice in the bottle was 90 percent methamphetamine.

Within minutes, Cruz began to show signs of overdose, and soon his heart began to fail. Clutching his chest, he cried for help. He was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, now cuffed to a gurney as a suspect. Paramedics swiftly administered anti-overdose medication, but to no avail. In his bid to assuage suspicion, he drank too much of the poisonous liquid. An autopsy revealed he died of methamphetamine overdose.

Stories like this are becoming dangerously typical and the numbers of kids intercepted at the border is increasing each year. Cartels are turning to kids because they can be easily bought. As little as $100 can persuade the kid to ditch school or to lie to their parents and disappear for several hours.

Kids who are caught face prosecution in the U.S. although the sentences for minors tend to be light, usually a few months in juvenile detention or probation. Adults can get up to five years, depending on the drug and its quantity.

Still, enough kids are getting through that it remains a problem. The border is too porous and agents cannot check every person thoroughly enough to determine if they are smuggling drugs.

To help stem the tide, Al Jazeera reported that officials have launched an awareness program targeted towards teens. A pilot program launched last November in front of a teenage audience at a San Ysidro High School. Students were warned about the dangers of becoming a drug mule. As a finishing touch, they were shows gory images of people decapitated by the cartels.

The images certainly burned into the minds of the kids, although some made light of the material, and others said they had seen just as much gore in video games. Their reactions are perhaps typical for teenagers.

Nonetheless, authorities have to reach these kids. Children should not be conscripted into the drug industry, however this is a normal phenomenon around the world. We live in a world rife with human trafficking, slavery, and every conceivable form of corruption. It should be no surprise that evil people happily prey upon children.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Americas

Is the Islamic State - In Mexico? Officials deny 'car bombing' rumors Watch

Image of While it's nightmarishly plausible - and there have been warnings from the international community to the United States as such, the Department of Homeland Security has denied claims on from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has militants stationed in Juarez, Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's nightmarishly plausible - and there have been warnings from the international community to the United States as such, the Department of Homeland Security has denied claims on from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has ... continue reading


Deadly silence: 92,000 Columbians remain missing Watch

Image of Around 4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found, following the confessions of scores of paramilitary warlords.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 92,000 Colombians have disappeared during 50 years of war and at the hands of drug gangs, and the government needs to step up efforts to find missing people, the Red Cross said. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day nine people are reported missing ... continue reading


GOING DIGITAL: Ecuador plans digital currency Watch

Image of Some believe that Ecuador's new digital currency will eventually lead to the nation's abandonment of paper and coin currency altogether - i.e., the United States dollar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a bold move into the 21st Century, the South American nation of Ecuador is now planning digital currency. Some believe this will eventually lead to the nation's abandonment of paper and coin currency altogether - i.e., the United States dollar. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


California Governor: 'You're all welcome,' even illegal immigrants Watch

Image of California Governor Jerry Brown meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California Governor Jerry Brown in a speech this week declared that all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California. While introducing Mexican President Enrique Pe√Īa Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the ... continue reading


Argentine president may take drastic measures to deal with debt Watch

Image of Argentinian President Cristina FernŠndez praised her nation's financial system as being

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Argentinian President Cristina Fern√°ndez praised her nation's financial system as being "one of the most solid in the world" during a speech at the Buenos Aires stock exchange last week. Many disagree, saying that they fear the mercurial president may go to ... continue reading


GRISLY HARVEST: Mexican children, adults murdered for their organs Watch

Image of Victims targeted by organ harvesters usually range in age from seven to 10 years while younger children are often kidnapped for adoption.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The already rampant criminal network in Mexico and South America, in addition to dealing drugs, has taken to abducting children and adults in order to murder then and harvest their vital organs. The lucrative, underground business of livers, lungs and eyes to ... continue reading


MASSIVE ACID SPILL: Mexico closes 88 schools after 10 million gallons of acid spills from copper mine Watch

Image of Officials are working to de-acidify the two rivers by adding heaps of calcium to the water. Acid levels are dropping, Mexico's National Water Commission said, but the water is still not totally safe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ecological disaster of momentous proportion is unfolding near the U.S. - Mexico border after a massive acid spill from a copper mine has found its way into waterways. Up to 5,000 school children will be kept out of 88 schools for a week as 800,000 people ... continue reading


The new favorite weapon of the drug cartels has arrived in America -- and it will shock you Watch

Image of Mexican soldiers with hundreds of bricks of marijuana, which is about to be burned.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mexican drug cartels are utilizing a deadly military weapon to keep local residents in terror and protect drug stockpiles. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Authorities on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border say that the cartels are using the grenades. Four live ... continue reading


THREE DEAD: relatives of Pope Francis die in traffic accident in Argentina Watch

Image of According to newspaper accounts, the 38-year-old nephew of the Pope was driving the family's Chevrolet when he collided with an agricultural truck bearing corn in Cordoba.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three members of Pope Francis' extended family, including two young grand-nephews, have died in a traffic accident. The Pope's nephew, Horacio Bergoglio Emanuel was critically injured in crash. Emanuel's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two children, ... continue reading


Priest jailed in El Salvador for gang rehabilitation! Watch

Image of Father Antonio Rodriguez a Spanish Passionist also known as Padre Tono, was arrested for bringing cell phones to gang members held inside prison.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Father Antonio Rodriguez, a Spanish Passionist, will remain in jail after a judge in El Salvador ruled that he was guilty of various crimes regarding gang activities. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rodriguez, also known as Padre Tono, is well known for ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skšnninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter