Mexico’s Juvenile Drug Smuggling

Americas Now

South America’s illegal drug industry is an enterprise that generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Much of the drug trade from Latin America into the United States is dominated by the cartels in Mexico.

An estimated 90-percent of the cocaine that comes into the U.S. passes through the Mexican border. But transporting the product is always a challenge so inventive techniques are constantly being devised.

The latest trend, however, is disturbing because it involves children. More and more, cartels are turning to kids between the ages of 12 and 17 to carry the illegal drugs. It’s a journey that puts their lives and futures at serious risk.

Many of the cases are not discussed publicly because of privacy concerns, but our Correspondent Mike Kirsch was granted special access to one of these drug trafficking victims. And he speaks to the prosecutors who are trying to break the cartels’ control.

 

Mexico's Juvenile Drug Smuggling

Mexico's Juvenile Drug Smuggling

South America's illegal drug industry is an enterprise that generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Much of the drug trade from Latin America into the United States is dominated by the cartels in Mexico. An estimated 90-percent of the cocaine that comes into the U.S. passes through the Mexican border. But transporting the product is always a challenge so inventive techniques are constantly being devised. The latest trend, however, is disturbing because it involves children. More and more, cartels are turning to kids between the ages of 12 and 17 to carry the illegal drugs. It's a journey that puts their lives and futures at serious risk.Many of the cases are not discussed publicly because of privacy concerns, but our Correspondent Mike Kirsch was granted special access to one of these drug trafficking victims. And he speaks to the prosecutors who are trying to break the cartels' control.

According to Arizona border agents, teenage drug smuggling arrests doubled between 2011 and 2012 and continued to rise even higher in 2013. An organization in Mexico called the Children’s Rights Network says an estimated 30,000 juveniles work for drug cartels. In a future edition of Americas Now we will cover the alarming number of kids that cross the border without their parents.