Children in Mexico Are Being Trained to Use Military-Style Weapons to Protect Villages

Residents claim the government hasn’t done much to control the gang violence in the region

A community in Mexico is going to extreme lengths to protect itself from gang violence, including arming children with military-style weapons. Guerrero, which includes the resort town of Acapulco, is on Mexico’s Pacific coast. And the locals are in constant fear.

Residents in the mountain villages of the state reportedly say they hesitate to step outside of their villages out of fear drug cartels will kill them. Just last year, a group of ten musicians were ambushed and killed after leaving their territory. They also say that the government hasn’t done much to control the gang violence in the region.

So, about five years ago, many of them formed their own militia for protection. Villagers are allowed to form security and police forces of their own, and many have been successful. They have recently even offered to train young school-age children to use military-style weapons as well.

The president of Mexico has been critical of the move, and rights groups have spoken out, demanding children not be used in militia forces. Unfortunately, villages are skeptical of state police who they believe may work for the cartels. And with little hope of the government stopping the violence, it seems they are looking for ways to develop their own protection group.

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