1,200 Children Killed by Cartel Violence in Mexico Since 2006
(CNSNews.com) - The drug war in Mexico has claimed the lives of at least 1,200 minors in that nation, according to a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The coalition, in a press conference on Monday in Mexico City, said the drug violence has killed 1,200 girls, boys, and teenagers since December 2006.
These young people have become “collateral damage” as a result of the drug war, said the NGO group.
In the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez alone, there have been 138 minors killed since 2006, the NGOs reported.
According to a Sept. 2 report by the Congressional Research Service, “On August 3, 2010, President Calderón announced that more than 28,000 individuals died as a result of drug trafficking related-violence between December 2006 and July 2010.”
During Monday’s press conference, the NGOs asked for the United Nations to intervene in Mexico’s drug war to help prevent the deaths of more children.
They also suggested that organizations that promote children’s rights, such as the United Nations Children's Fund and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, should make a strong presence in Ciudad Juarez.
The coalition acknowledged that drug violence in Mexico has risen in 2010, but it criticized the way Mexican authorities are handling the situation.
They denounced the Mexican authorities’ response to the violence, claiming it has been focused on “criminalizing” adolescents and on classifying them as either narco-traffickers, gang members or prostitutes.
The Mexican civil organizations that brought attention to the number of children who have died as a result of Mexico’s war against drugs include Ririki Intervención Social, Incide Social, Marabunta, Cauce Ciudadano, Serapaz, Frente Plural Ciudadano, and Consejo Ciudadano para el Desarrollo Social.
During the press conference, the NGOs announced that they will create a permanent panel on violence against children and adolescents and establish a self-advocacy help group for victims of the war against criminal enterprises in Mexico.
The NGOs held the press conference after two separate massacres in Mexico over the weekend that left 27 dead, most of them young people. Groups engaged in the illicit drug trade are blamed for the killings.
One of the massacres took place during a birthday party in Ciudad Juarez last Friday, where criminals opened fire on a group of young people ages 16 to 25, killing 14 of them.
The second massacre took place on Sunday. It involved another group of gunmen who killed 13 people, ages 19 to 56, at a drug-rehabilitation center in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, near San Diego, Calif.
The NGO's called on the Mexican government to develop a new security strategy on the basis of respect for human rights and the rule of law. According to Mexican government officials, 90 percent of those killed in that country's war against drugs are gunmen, five percent are police officers and security officials, and less than five percent are civilians.
Of the more than 28,000 people who have died as a result of Mexico’s drug-related violence, about four percent (1,200) are minors, the NGOs revealed. Information for this story was gleaned from various Spanish language news outlets in Mexico.
Information for this story was gleaned from various Spanish-language news outlets in Mexico.