YOUTH GANG

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Youth Gang Recruitment in Mexico Our research centered on forced gang recruitment in Mexico as a plea for asylum in the United States. I chose to focus Guadalajara, not only because it is the second largest city in Mexico, but because the majority of my family is from this area. Though for tourists violence in Mexico may seem sensationalized, given the numerous reports of assassinations and raving drug cartels, it is truly the civilians who live in Mexico that experience this violence. This summer, I spent a month in Guadalajara , Mexico. A week before my visit I read the local papers to check for general safety; the first link I found marked events that had occurred a week before my visit on June 14th. The title read, “Seven severed heads found on highway near Guadalajara, Mexico.” It dealt with the murder a drug pin’s son. As the journalist, Deborah Hasting asserts “despite assurances from the Mexican government that murder rates are dropping, homicides in Jalisco state increased more than 5 percent during the first five months of 2013” (Hastings, June 2013). Though I never encountered violence firsthand, I was made aware of it by the experiences of my family members. I have an uncle who drives semi-trucks across the country. To him paying a levy to the drug cartels in order to pass a certain highway has become commonplace. For the simulated case, I chose to relate the story of a likely victim of gang recruitment. Here, the chosen defendant is a young man of about 20. As a teen, he who was accosted daily for recruitment by local gangs. Though he had been able to resist their threats, while driving through the border of Zacatecas and Jalisco, he was stopped at a “reten” by a group of men. They demanded money before continui... ... middle of paper ... ...ed with regards to socio economic status; there is virtually no middle class. The family members I have in Guadalajara are lower class, blue collar workers.For many, one day’s work in the US, accounts for more money that what one could make in an entire week in Mexico. Fear of return, race, religion, nationality, membership between social groups.Another uncle of mine works in a paint factory. While I was in Mexico, one of his coworkers was murdered two blocks away from the workplace after finishing his shift. But they saw these occurrences as nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps this is due to Mexico’s long history of covering up the distress that its poor face daily. A great deal of the country's yearly spending is allocated to culture. This includes festivals and dances. It is ironic that amidst on the color and joy lies a world of shadows where violence thrives.

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