More than 1,750 children have been killed in incidents related to the war against organized crime since 2007 until last March, according to a report from the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (REDIM), which emphasizes that this statistic of horror remains stable. The age group most affected is that of adolescents between 15 and 17 years and most dangerous states are Chihuahua, whose murder rate of minors exceeds five times the national average, although it has declined in recent years, Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. This NGO estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 adolescents are exploited by criminal gangs and drug cartels and that seven out of ten murdered children are killed by firearms.
Behind each number is a tragedy. Like Valeria a four year old girl disappeared on 1 April in the city of Texcoco, State of Mexico, and found days later in El Salvador or 13 year old boy whose body was found in Zacatecas with a shot of grace along with five other bodies on a road in the northern Mexico state, on February 28. The boy was arrested on the 3rd of that month in a police operation against an organized crime group and later released by the Attorney General of that State by reason of his young age without protection of any kind, his identity was revealed, and christened by the media as the "child assassin". It only took his murderers a few weeks to get their revenge.
Juan Martín Pérez García, director of REDIM, stresses that there is "a growing trend towards sexual exploitation of minors as well as the disappearance of teenage girls" and strongly condemned their criminalization as "child killers" when in fact they are "victims of the narco exploitation. " "They treat them like criminals. Currently in Mexico there is not a single institution that is required to prevent or care for children of violence ".
However, the trend remains constant. Only in the first quarter of this year, 60 children have died (19 in January, 17 in February and 24 in March). The monthly average of deaths was 15 in 2010, 20 in 2011, 24 in 2012 and 20 so far in 2013. Furthermore, 80% of homicides are not related to specific criminal group so its resolution is unpunished and at least 3% of them, according to REDIM, are caused by security forces.
The director of this NGO deplores the absence of official data on this tragedy and the backwardness of Mexico in this area compared to other Latin American countries. "It is impossible to get that information given the fragmentation of official statistics. There is no coordination as happens in other areas of health, education or justice. Mexico signed in 1989 the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the UN but we've fallen behind. Although there are currently two legislative initiatives in this respect in Congress, Bolivia, the second poorest country in Latin America, has a law on child protection more modern than us, being the second largest economy in the continent " .