Meanwhile... in Guerrero, Mexico

"I can defend myself with a gun, not with a book." Boys between six and 15 have joined a local militia in Mexico to push back against drug cartels.

A child militia stands strong

Alexander is a member of the child militia in Guerrero, Mexico. “I joined this group to protect our town,” he explains. He confirms that he is capable and has fired a gun before. He was asked how he felt the first time he fired it which he replied, “I was afraid but now there's no fear when I use it.” In Mexico, Alexander is marching, weapons in hand, surrounded by some 20 kids in the streets of his village. This is not an uncommon sight for his town. “I can defend myself with the gun, I can't with a book,” Alexander declares. The kids are between 6 and 15 years old, and they’ve just joined a local militia responsible for the villagers’ safety.

A day in the life of a child in the militia

That day, instead of going to school, Alexander and the other children are learning how to use weapons to fight and defend themselves against criminal groups, such as Los Ardillos’ local cartel. “I actually wanted to go to school but now we can't. The school we go to is where the Ardillos go, so we can't go. That's why our only option was to join the police to defend our town,” he shares. This is taking place in the heart of the Mexican state Guerrero, the largest opium producer in Mexico, where massacres and kidnappings are part of these children’s daily lives.

A few days before the children took up weapons, the local cartel was suspected of murdering 10 members of the village. After a local media broadcast this footage, the Guerrero government asked the militia training the children to respect the rights of minors. Héctor Astudillo Flores, Governor of Guerrero, states, “There is great anger, which is understandable, but it’s also our duty to make an appeal so that the children, according to the Mexican Constitution, are protected.”

“We want justice, we want the guilty to be caught, those who are massacring our people.”

In 2019, the homicide rate in Mexico hit a record high of 34,582 which means four people are killed every hour. Javier Sicilia, a poet, claims, “It’s a disgrace that nobody has assumed or addressed a correct state policy, so the pain, the death, the brutal crimes continue happening day by day, and are sadly increasing.” The country has been riddled with organized crime and drug trafficking since the 1990s.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico, acknowledges, “The majority of these criminal acts are committed by young drug traffickers.” In Mexico, the war on drugs is mostly fought at a local level. Since 2011, civilians have been forming self-defense militias to denounce the inaction and corruption of law enforcement. “We’re protected because they’re here. We feel protected, it's a good thing that they’re here. But we don't want soldiers or police officers because they’re too violent. However, some vigilante groups ended up being infiltrated by members of the cartels,” Guadalupe Melgar Perez, an Antunez resident shares.


02/02/2020 10:57 AM
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  • Neptali A.
    a day

    Los pueblos han Sido desplazados de sus tierras por grupos armados en áreas que hay oro Lo que OBRADOR debe hacer es meter a la cárcel a Carlos salinas de Gortari y sus títeres (muerto el perro se acaba la rabia) estos son los que han desatado está guerra junto con los noeliberales que an saqueado a muchos países VIVA MÉXICO Y VIVA OBRADOR Y VIVA BERNY SANDERS (EL AMLO GRINGO

  • Lucas J.
    a day

    It's better to be prepared and nothing happen than to be unprepared and it does. It's a sad situation, at least they are willing to do what it takes to protect themselves.

  • Rodolfo M.
    2 days

    Que Dios proteja a los niños de mis estado de Guerrero

  • Rrufino A.
    2 days

    Es clear un escudo con niñ pueblos Estan los mas.afectados.los ketienen.menosrrecursos.y los ke asen suboluntat.son los ketienen.mas dinero.y compran.alos polisia.y claro. No.asenana.comosiempre

  • Alex A.
    2 days

    Jajaja déjenlos estudiar no sean Culeros Jajajaja

  • Neil M.
    2 days

    And yet we as U.S.cant send our military to Mexico to wipe out the Cartell.. O wait to much money to lose..

  • Justin W.
    3 days

    Children shouldn't be fighting this battle the government should be taking this into their hands but why would they do that when the cartel is funding the government

  • Matt C.
    3 days

    I would love to down the ranks and record what guns they are using!!!

  • Timothy M.
    4 days

    Hope they don’t come here. Most of our kids only know how to take selfies. Think about that!

  • Jesús C.
    4 days

    This is the result of corruption in the goverment, Presidents in Mexico don't do nothing to end crime. They just blame the previos ones for everything, when THEY'RE campaining they promise to end crime and violence, but when THEY'RE in power, theny dont do nothing. AMLO is the new IDIOT that don't do anything. But people love him, I don't know why.

  • Jose R.
    4 days

    Astudillo no te hagas pendejo tu pactaste con la delincuencia organizada y usas a la opoeg como brazo ejecutor encabezado por bruno placido entrenado en colombia en el gobierno de epn y en Acapulco Osorio shon fue y les dio instrucciones y ahora ellos son los que secuestran matan y venden la droga

  • Blaine D.
    5 days

    The democrats have been responsible for a lot of drugs and sex trafficking in the USA.

  • Hector T.
    5 days

    Que nos pasa en este Mundo ? Ya parenle ignorantes .

  • Alfred M.
    5 days

    Take the hint when here in our country they are trying to take the guns away and a person can't buy guns or ammunition until the age of 21, Ridiculous, they need to be taught safe use of guns along with moral standards at an early age and a lot of the nonsense going on in our country would be reduced. Keep going the way we are and down the road will be just like Mexico with the violence and drugs because the non law abiding, gangs, and cartels will be the only ones with the firepower.

  • Joshua F.
    5 days

    Mexican and all south America please arm yourselves and stay together.

  • Luis O.
    5 days

    la culpa del gobierno ,este presidente es un tonto solo dice calmantes montes ,y no hace nada

  • Nena T.
    5 days

    Estos degrsiados lerobaron ainosensi a estos niños tienen que pagar

  • Ron F.
    5 days

    Horrible, they will most likely all be killed. WTF is wrong with people

  • Arnold S.
    5 days

    No oermitan eso

  • Scott F.
    5 days

    Yep breeding Cartel members