Video game

Mexico's Drug cartels enrolling kids through video games, warn authorities – Republic World

Mexican drug cartels are allegedly enrolling kids through online platforms, especially through contacts made via multiplayer video games, the Associated Press reported, quoting Mexico officials. Assistant Public Safety Security Ricardo Mejía Berdeja on Wednesday raised a warning for all parents asking them to check up on their children after cases of such recruitment emerged in the country. The warning came about after Mexican authorities nabbed three teen boys between 11 to 14 after the latter was paid to buy bus tickets by a drug cartel operator.

Adding details about the case Deputy Security Chief Berdeja said, “The cartel recruiter had already brought bus tickets for three boys.” Luckily, the young boys were located before they could board an outbound bus from a southern state of Oaxaca, the Associated Press reported. These children met the recruiter on the online gaming platform of “Free Fire,” which is also known as “Garena Free Fire.” As per AP, the recruits were allured with monetary compensation of $200 per week to work as police lookouts at a drug cartel in northern Mexico.

“Lot of Money”

The boys were offered a hefty sum of money along with promises of being given a gun, Deputy Security Mejía said adding the first boy was contacted in August by an alleged recruiter. The boy then involved two of his friends who agreed to join the former. Mexican police have also detained a woman, who allegedly brought the boys for Monterrey under false names. Mejía refused to provide details about the cartel in the case, instead appraised the media about a similar case from early September when recruiters on behalf of Cartel Del Noreste also attempted such online enrollment.

Several other dangerous recruiters for violent cartels veil under fancy names and look for potential targets, especially young males who are fascinated by weapons, Deputy Security Chief Ricardo Mejia said during a press briefing on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. Some of the recruiters work for huge cartels like the Jalisco New Generation, the Cartel of the Northeast, and other groups and look for teens who are “somewhat desensitised to killing,” AP reported quoting the official. Among some of the games identified as a platform for such traps were- Call of Duty, Gears of War, and Grand Theft Auto V.

With inputs from AP

Image: Unsplash (representative)


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