Many escaping drug gangs and poverty
(Vatican Radio) A new report by Mexico's National Immigration Institute says that 15,795 undocumented children were detained on Mexican soil, in the first eight months of this year. That's 167 percent higher than in 2012 and 62 percent more than last year. Mexico's Ministry of the Interior says that 98 percent of the youngsters are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Officials confirm that extreme poverty and the desire to join family members already in the United States, are strong motivating factors. Many of the children insist they are escaping threats of violence and even death from notorious drug cartels and gangs.
Experts about the Americas' drug wars, explain that many factions of organized crime demand that children as young as eight years old join their ranks, in order to be molded, indoctrinated and hardened to a life of murder and extortion. The alternative is liquidation, not only for them, but also for their entire family. So many are obliged to flee, even at such a tender age.