Mexican authorities reported today that drug cartels in the country are recruiting young people by contacting them in online video game chat.
Ricardo Mejía, assistant minister of the Ministry of Public Security, says he has already found three boys in the age group 11 to 14 years old who used the online game platform Free Fire have been recruited to work for 200 pesos a week in northern Mexico as a lookout for drug deals. One of the boys received a message from a recruiter saying that he would probably like the job ‘because you like guns and you will earn a lot’. He would have invited two friends to do it with him. Bus tickets had already been bought by the recruiter for the boys under false names.
Drug cartels have used social media to recruit sidekicks before, but this is the first time it’s happened through video games. According to the Mexican government, this way would reach a much more specific audience: young boys with a fascination with weapons who are already used to blood and murder on a virtual level. Mejía says evidence has also been found that cartels have similarly tried to recruit young people into the games call of Duty, Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto V, all three violent.
It is not yet known how often drug cartels actually use this method to recruit new accomplices, and how often they succeed. In Mexico, about 21,000 young people under the age of 18 die from murder each year and another 7,100 go missing. It is estimated that around 30,000 young people are recruited by the cartels every year.
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Mexican drug cartels recruit youth through violent video games | Tech
Source link Mexican drug cartels recruit youth through violent video games | Tech