In Mexico, drug traffickers infiltrate video game platforms to recruit young people, the government denounced on Wednesday.

"There are PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo games where, in anonymity, individuals come into contact [with minors] and begin this process of persuasion, of recruitment," said the Secretary of State for Security, Ricardo Mejia.

A child contacted via a mobile game

Organized crime also uses social networks like TikTok and Instagram, the secretary of state added during a press conference.

The offenders hide behind names like "CJNG, CDN, sicai0os, c4art3l and other variations," he explained.

The acronym "CJNG" refers to the "Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion", one of the most formidable cartels in Mexico.

On October 9, police found three missing children, aged 11 to 14, in the state of Oaxaca.

One of them had come into contact with an alleged tout in August on "Free Fire", a free mobile game, and was offered a "job".

This consisted of "monitoring radio frequencies to warn in the event of a police presence, for a salary of 8,000 pesos ($ 400) every two weeks", detailed Ricardo Mejia.

Thousands of children enrolled each year

The miner accepted the offer he shared with two school friends.

The three of them joined the woman near a bus station on October 9.

The latter has since been arrested.

"We will send a message to families, mothers, fathers, children and adolescents regarding the risks of electronic games," commented President Lopez Obrador.

According to the Network for the Rights of the Child in Mexico (Redim), thousands of children are recruited each year by drug trafficking and other organized crime gangs.

Drug trafficking is a leading cause of violence in several of Mexico's 32 states, where more than 36,579 homicides were officially recorded in 2020, an average of 100 per day.

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  • Did you see ?

  • Recruitment

  • Child

  • Video games

  • Mexico

  • Drug traffickers

Keywords: people, drug traffickers, games, video games, police, children, nintendo, mexico, government, video game platforms, contact, process, way, ricardo mejia, anonymity