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Mexican drug cartels are turning to San Diego’s youth to function as drug mules, the Latin American Herald Tribune is reporting.

Eleven percent of the more than 5000 youths that have been incarcerated in San Diego (many of them Hispanics accused of being involved in street gangs) report being approached at some time or another to transport drugs across the border. The youths, who can more easily cross into Mexico and back without raising suspicion, begin transporting contraband at an average age of 14.

Pedro Rios, an activist who works with the San Diego office of the American Friends Service Committee, says South Bay high schools have become particularly fertile recruiting grounds for cartels.

“The traffickers pay them around $400 per trip carrying drugs, but we have also seen them get involved in human trafficking, generally picking the people up on this side of the border and taking them to safe houses,” Rios told the Herald Tribune.

Rios is pushing for an expansion of the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, a county law that was adopted in 2000 in response to rising crime rates among youth in the 1990s. He argues that prevention programs should especially be beefed up in the county’s southern regions, where teens are more likely to be targeted to transport drugs and potentially become addicts themselves.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Dec. 28, 2011 @ 8:31 a.m.

When there are no jobs what choice does one have when it comes to living or dying?

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Ponzi Dec. 28, 2011 @ 9:16 a.m.

SurfPup, it is an irony. Teenagers used to mow lawns, deliver newspapers, work in fast food, busboy, and other jobs. Now they can’t find work in those vocations because mostly Mexican adults have taken the jobs over.

In addition, our society then complains that “kids these days” just stay home and watch video games and get fat eating junk food. Well if there were some after school jobs for them, many would prefer to work.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 28, 2011 @ 2:29 p.m.

Adults will always say kids today are weaker, dumber, lazier, so forth, than when they were kids-it is not true.

Kids are kids, sure-some are lazy, but most want to make a life for themselves and it is hard when you can't find a job b/c there are none, or the few who are employed are making $7 an hour and cannot make ends meet, no one can make ends meet on minimume wage jobs .....which account for 41% of all American jobs today.

GM was the largest private sector employer in America 30 years ago-today it is Walmart.

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anniej Dec. 28, 2011 @ 9:50 a.m.

what you report in this story is true.

young men and women, part of a poor family unit, looking for a way to help feed their younger brothers and sisters - take the load off of a struggling mother - lured into the drug traffic world, or the world of driving stolen cars across the border. they enter the world full of naivety "just one time, i will do it just one time". then are faced with the hard core reality - no one simply pops into the cartel world for a short time - once you are in you are in.

students hiding during lunch and breaks - looking over their shoulder for 'them' - those sent to retaliate and send the message 'you belong to us now, we own you - think you can hide? we will get you, if not you, no prob we will get your brother, sister, or mother -'

such a depressing reality.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 28, 2011 @ 2:26 p.m.

"Rios is pushing for an expansion of the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, a county law that was adopted in 2000 in response to rising crime rates among youth in the 1990s. He argues that prevention programs should especially be beefed up in the county’s southern regions, where teens are more likely to be targeted to transport drugs and potentially become addicts themselves."

I have a much better program to use, instead of the billion dollar Rios Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act that won't work, why not try one that is free-it is really only 4 letters;

JOBS

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