Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/20/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Americas

Infamous leader of Knights Templar drug cartel arrested Watch

Image of Servando Gomez, the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, was arrested by Mexican authorities. This will deal a critical blow to the deadly group.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major blow has been dealt to the infamous Knights Templar drug cartel, after Mexican federal police arrested Servando Gomez, the leader of the group, on February 27. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Knights Templar have been operating out of the ... continue reading


SNOW FUN: Eastern Canada inundated by heavy snowfall (PICTURES) Watch

Image of Snow has hammered eastern Canada is some of the heaviest snowfall in years.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Many residents in eastern Canada have resigned themselves to sitting out this winter. Massive snowfalls have left many prisoners in their homes, snow past windowsills, reaching up to roofs in many parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Twice as deadly: Virulent strain of AIDS now plaguing Cuba Watch

Image of A new strain of HIV in Cuba that progresses to AIDS twice as fast has many medical officials worried. Those who contract this form of HIV are left with a much shorter window in which they can seek treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new strain of HIV in Cuba that progresses to AIDS twice as fast has many medical officials worried. Those who contract this form of HIV are left with a much shorter window in which they can seek treatment. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A deadly mix of ... continue reading


VIDEO: Snow doesn't stop Canadian super train in a spectacular video Watch

Image of The track, being completely covered with high snow, the windscreen at the front of the train likewise is also all blocked up. At this point, you'd be hard pressed to guess there was a train approaching.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A spectacular video is making the rounds, and it's just another case of a not-so-little engine that could. A Canadian freight train doesn't shy away from a massive snow bank - and plows straight through it, spreading snow all over the place in a mini-avalanche. ... continue reading


South American nation of Ecuador becomes first nation to back digital cash Watch

Image of Once the government flips the switch, the South American nation of 16 million will host the first-ever state-run electronic payment system.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The South American nation of Ecuador ditched its stumbling currency for the U.S. dollar back in 2000. Fifteen years later, Ecuador is revamping its monetary system again, this time using digital currencies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ecuador's Sistema de ... continue reading


Is the Cold War over? Congress pushes for end of restrictions on travel with Cuba Watch

Image of President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro have been working together to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's inroads into warming relations between the United States and Cuba is being supported by a bipartisan group of Senators, who on Thursday unveiled a bill that would end travel restrictions for Americans who wish to visit Cuba. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Castro making demands: Won't budge an inch on Cuban sovereignty in opening relations to U.S. Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Cuban President Raul Castro, brother of longtime dictator Fidel Castro appears to welcome normalizing U.S. relations. His compatriots wish to end the isolation that was visited upon the Caribbean nation since the communists took over in the 1950s. However - ... continue reading


IT'S MINE! Traders, tycoons and miners all vying for possession of Brazil's 180,000-carat Bahia Emerald Watch

Image of For the time being, the gem is now held in an undisclosed Sheriff's Department location.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ever since human eyes laid upon it in 2001, Brazil's Bahia Emerald has been caught in an ongoing tug of war between those who say the gem is rightfully theirs. Landing in an L.A. County sheriff's locker, the 180,000-carat, 840-pound behemoth has been the ... continue reading


THE RISE OF WOMEN: Negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba begin with two influential women leading the way Watch

Image of Jacobson and Vidal cover everything from human rights to tourist travels during the beginning of negotiations between Cuba and the U.S.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama recently loosened the embargo the United States has with Cuba. Now the next step is to negotiate and work towards less hostility and normalizing the relationship between the two countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the base of these ... continue reading


Murderous gang violence plagues El Salvador every day with no end in sight, ambitious new plan offers hope Watch

Image of Gangs run the streets in El Salvador, often leaving people terrified to be out at night.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

412 people were murdered in El Salvador during December 2014. A total of 3,942 murders occurred last year in what is now the most dangerous country in the world. A 57 percent increase than those killed in 2013. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Violent gangs have ... 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, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... 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