According to Texas law enforcement officers, children as young as eleven years old are being recruited by the Mexican drug cartels to work for them in their smuggling operations. The Mexican drug cartel calls the children “the expendables.” There is evidence that there are at least six Mexican drug gangs that are recruiting children to work for them. They are attracting the children by offering them easy money for doing some simple tasks.
They are paying the children fifty dollars just for moving a vehicle from one place to another. By the children moving the vehicles, this is giving the drug cartel the opportunity to keep it under surveillance so they can see if the law enforcement also has it under surveillance.
In the past year, twenty-five minors have been arrested in one county along the Texas border. They were acting as lookouts, running drugs, and other work for the Mexican drug cartel. With the Mexican drug cartels fanning out, they now have operations in all of the major Texas cities. One arrest this month involved a twelve-year-old boy who was in a pickup truck that was stolen and contained eight hundred pounds of marijuana.
There is now a program that the United States Customs and Border Protection agency has started in which children and their parents are meeting with law enforcement officers. They are meeting at community centers and schools to inform them about the dangers of the easy money that the Mexican drug gangs are offering the children to work for them. One reason that they use children is that they are less likely to be suspects than adults and can be manipulated by small amounts of money.