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Protecting our youth

There aren't enough public policies to cover the basic needs of our young, let alone to offer them the possibility of developing their potential
Protecting our youth
Young people taking a stroll – Photo: César Delado/EL UNIVERSAL
24/06/2018
08:52
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Young people, in developed countries, are a valued social sector and they are usually given all that's necessary for their professional and human development because they are the only demographic bonus capable of boosting the economic development and growth of their countries.

In Mexico, however, it seems our young population is non-existent. At all three levels of government, there aren't enough public policies to cover their basic needs, let alone the possibility to encourage their development and take advantage of their capabilities in accordance with the full exercise of their human rights – which reflects on the levels of the engines of a nation: education and employment.

And as a consequence of the lackluster panorama regarding opportunities our young perceive, and given the growth of violence and the empowerment of organized crime, many young people – voluntarily or not – end up becoming part of criminal organizations, a path which most often than not ends either in prison or worse, death.

It's not strange that homicides against young people in Mexico have risen in the last ten years. From 2007 to 2016, a total of 45,339 Mexicans between the ages of 15 to 24 were murdered, according to data by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). This is a very drastic increase. In 2007, the first year of the so-called war on drugs, there were 1,732 murders. The national rate was of 9 homicides for every 100,000 young people. The numbers in 2016 were five times higher: a total of 5,155 murders, and a rate of 24 homicides for every 100, 000. Each year, on average, 4,300 murders.

A frightful scenario to see that many young lives lost can only be attributed to the capacity of criminals to recruit them, yet if they have such capacity is only because the government has failed to create true prevention and diagnostics policies on the face of the explosive combination of poverty, violence, and lack of opportunities.

The most serious aspect is that, according to experts of this news outlet, it seems the State prefers to assume all young people are criminals They have presented a control strategy which aims to present them as the public enemy, the ones who have to be feared, so when their rights are violated, society does nothing. The State has criminalized this sector and it's not exaggerated to say that killing a young person in Mexico is seen as something “normal” and commonplace.

It's inadmissible to have such indifference in the Government and the society itself. We should all demand no more violence and death. Our young people are our present, we shouldn't desert them.

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