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Mexico war against drugs face now an Army of under-age hitmen.

A frame from the video, believed to have been posted online by a rival cartel, shows young boys posing with guns.

Some 35,000 children were recruited by Mexican drug gangs over the past four years, according to a NGO report presented  to the United Nations. According to the document, the mexican cartels use children and adolescents in the entire line of production and drug trafficking. The recruitment of children and adolescents can be explained, in part because children under 14 have constitutional immunity and are not held criminally responsible for their actions, even if they killed, kidnapped or tortured, experts say Mexico.

The study made by 96 social organizations, indicated that the drug cartels recruit children aged between 12 years and 15 years and said that December 2006 to October 2010 died between 1060 and 1200 of them in the context of acts of violence.

The document adds that between 2009 and 2010 increased 34% the number of teenagers arrested by police on charges of organized crime offenses, possession of arms and drug trafficking. According to the UN report, illegal drug traffickers recruit on average up to 8,700 children each year. The Network for the Rights of Children and hundreds of organizations for the protection of children, grouped in the Children in Motion program, maintains that “we are mostly talking about kids between 13 and 17 years, but  the age of these juveniles is becoming further lower. ”

“Today we are watching with concern especially in cities like Juarez, Reynosa and Matamoros the incredible transition dropout between primary school and secondary school , and this has a direct correlation with the recruitment age “.

In Ciudad Juarez, for example, the recruitment age in five years fell from 14 to 16 years to between 12 and 14 years, according to estimates by some civilian organizations in Juarez.

The crimes committed by youth are also increasing. While in 2009 there were 3,843 prisoners this year already totaled 5,602.

The kidnapping is an offense that has been expanded and is also executed by young people. From 2007 to 2008, the Attorney General warned that in the Federal District (Mexico City) the number of young people involved in kidnappings had grown 289%.

Young people are also involved in murders. A high percentage of murders were committed by minors: out of the total of homicides this year, 32.59% of them were killers between 18 and 24 years.

Theft is at the top of the list of crimes committed by adolescents. The Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud said that of the 45,593 children who carried out criminal activities, the Institute considered that in 41% of cases they committed a robbery.

But there are states such as Sinaloa, where the presence of youth crime is alarming. 72% of the commission of crimes ranging from robbery, assault, bank, kidnapping, murder, possession of arms and drug trafficking, are led by young people between 18 and 29 years old, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Young people entering drug trafficking networks in Mexico often operate in detoxification centers of illegal drugs, misused by the cartels for recruitment activities. The narcos are seeking recruits to replace the thousands of members killed or arrested in the war against drugs.  Between 2008 and 2009, in Ciudad Juárez 134 children died because of drug-related violence – murderers and victims – the report notes. The children also become victims differently. For example, chronic drug consumption in Mexico doubled between 2002 and 2009, and an increase in the addiction rates have veen observed in young people between 12 and 17.

Hundreds of children from the age of 12, were arrested while trying to illegally enter the United States in 2009 on charges of drug trafficking. “They risk their future for an iPod,” said Joe Garcia, an agent of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. “There is an almost inexhaustible supply of teenagers,” he said.

These children grow up in poverty, without education or work, and surrounded by powerful criminal organizations that control the cities with violence, intimidation and manipulation. Some young Mexicans believe that the only viable option to survive is to join drug trafficking organizations. “It seems that in some parts of this country, the only options for these children are emigrating to the United States or become drug traffickers,” said Teresa Almada, director of the Center for Youth Promotion and Assistance in Juarez.

Several experts pointed out that up to seven million young mexican people are vulnerable to organized crime, due to the fact that they do not work nor go to school.