How thugs recruit children through video games – Alarm in Mexico

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Alarm has been triggered on Mexico the fact that gangs abuse penetrate platforms video games to recruit young people. The complaint was made by the government yesterday, Wednesday, referring for example to the recent disappearance of three children, which, however, had a happy ending, as they were found by the police.

In games on the “Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo” platforms, with complete “anonymity”, thugs “They” get in touch “with minors and” start the process of persuasion, recruitment, “explained the Deputy Minister of Public Security, Ricardo Mechia.

Organized crime also exploits social networking sites such as TikTok and Instagram, Mechia added, speaking during a daily news conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The criminals are presented with user codes such as “CJNG, CDN, sicai0os, c4art3l and other variants”, he added – the first acronym belongs to the New Generation of Jalisco cartel, one of the most feared in Mexico.

On October 9 in Oaxaca (southern), authorities found three children aged 11 to 14, whose family had reported their disappearance. A woman was arrested, as broadcast by the French Agency and relayed by the Athenian News Agency.

The approach through “Free Fire” and the “job” that the minor accepted

One of the children had come into contact with an organized crime barge in August via “Free Fire”, a video game that can be downloaded for free on his mobile phone, according to authorities.

The man of organized crime “offered him a job in Monterrey” after he took his Facebook phone number, always according to Mr. Mechias.

This “job” consisted of “monitoring the frequencies of the radio and alerting in case of police presence” for a fee of “8,000 pesos” (around 360 euros) every “two weeks”, continued the Undersecretary.

The minor accepted the offer, which he shared with two of his classmates, Mr. Mechia added.

The three minors met on October 9th with the woman who picked them up near a bus station before being arrested.

“We will send a message to families, mothers, fathers, children and adolescents about the dangers of video games,” said President Lopez Obrador, who devotes almost daily to part of his press conference on social issues.

The Mexican Children’s Rights Network (Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en Mexico, REDIM) has already reported that thousands of children are recruited each year by gangs, especially drug traffickers.

The action of these gangs is connected with the wave of violence sweeping many of the 32 states of Mexico, where 36,579 homicides were officially recorded in 2020, or around 100 per day on average.

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