Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/20/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Americas

Ecuador quake survivors share powerful stories of survival Watch

Image of The quake was the worst the Andean nation had seen in ten years (Paul Ochoa/Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated sections of Ecuador and left the death count at over 300 people. Over 2,000 destroyed buildings and ruined roads have been reported - and now survivors are sharing their harrowing experiences. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Previous Argentina President accused of money laundering Watch

Image of Former President of Argentina accused of money laundering (1meee).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After serving her country for eight years, former Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars into oversea accounts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former president Fernández de Kirchner has ... continue reading


Virgin Mary statue considered in notoriously secular Uruguay Watch

Image of Secular Uruguay debates whether to erect a Virgin Mary statue in a park (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Uruguay is considered a secular country and is known for its refusal to condone religious beliefs of any kind - yet there exists a debate concerning the erection of a Virgin Mary statue. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many in Uruguay stand on the country's ... continue reading


You won't believe what archaeologists recently uncovered in North America! Watch

Image of Were vikings in America before Columbus (Alamy)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sarah Parcak and her team set off on a journey to North America, where they expected to uncover Viking relics beneath over 1,000 years' of soil. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parcak used satellite images to search Northern America for irregularities in soil, each ... continue reading


Cuban paper accuses 'Negro Obama' of being dumb Watch

Image of Obama's visit to Cuba was a miserable failure and has been blasted in state media.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cuban state media has criticized Obama, calling him a "negro" and accusing him of attempting to incite rebellion and disorder in the communist state. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Cuban paper, Havana Tribune, has published a scathing article criticizing ... continue reading


Obama embarrasses nation, himself, in front of kids after suggesting communism is same as capitalism Watch

Image of If Obama really believes communism and capitalism are rational choices, then he should be kept at home until he's out of office to spare the rest of us national embarrassment.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama has made a downright dumb and embarrassing statement to Argentine youth during his visit to that country last week. The President claimed there was no difference between communism and capitalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In a bizarre ... continue reading


SHOCKING: 'El Chapo' visited USA TWICE while hiding from authorities Watch

Image of Despite being hunted, 'El Chapo' Guzman allegedly made two visits to the United States in late 2015.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mexican drug lord, "El Chapo" visited the USA twice following his escape from a Mexican prison last July. According to his daughter, Rosa Guzman Ortiz, the cartel leader used the opportunity to visit family members living in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Immigrants Welcome: 'It's a double standard for sure': America favors Cuba Watch

Image of United States shows favoritism toward Cubans (Jim Wyss).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While the United States fights to keep migrants from entering its borders illegally, the Obama administration has pledged $1 million to provide Cubans trapped in Costa Rica with water, food, sanitation kits and temporary housing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One ... continue reading


Desperate parents seek help for 'possessed' teenage daughter Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 15-year-old Honduran girl is being referred to as "possessed by the Devil" by her family and friends after she threatened to kill her mother and suffered from severely violent convulsions in church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unnamed girl was filmed on ... continue reading


Obama to become first U.S. president to visit Cuba in more than 80 years Watch

Image of The Cuban visit will mark the first visit by a U.S. president since Coolidge (Fort Worth: Sister Cities).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

United States President Barack Obama will visit the Caribbean nation of Cuba as early as next month. This follows declarations of closer diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba announced in December of 2014. In doing so, Obama will become the first U.S. ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More