Child and youth crime are on the rise

Inequality, violence, and poverty are some of the reasons behind this phenomenon

Child and youth crime are on the rise
A child deposits her toy gun in exchange for a non-weapon-like toy as part of a government project - Photo: Mariana Bazo/REUTERS
English 29/09/2019 09:36 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:41
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There are several theories that try to explain the origin of child and youth crime. Some explain that its root is the lack of opportunities or that children with broken homes are attracted by crime, as well as those who live in poverty and are the victims of inequality. The truth is that there is not just one reason behind this phenomenon, therefore, society has to admit that there are several factors behind this problem.

The Criminal Justice Law for Youth implemented in 2016 establishes a different system than the one implemented on adults, it also focuses on the age of the youngster and the seriousness of the crime, since the younger the child is when detained by authorities, the less time they will spend in custody because authorities believe they will rejoin society quickly. Also, they are granted the benefit of parole with the exception of serious crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, and organized crime. Nevertheless, although probation is positive, it actually works against the youth as they become useful for organized crime, which will approach them because their age makes them relatively invulnerable for justice. Therefore, they become ideal to be recruited by criminal groups who will introduce them to crimes such as drug trafficking because they won't serve time.

It is obvious that part of the current government's discourse is that this problem won't be solved through bullets or jail but it should be considered that money is an important factor and it could also be said that there is a replacement for every youth that is sent to jail. Nevertheless, it is not enough to offer scholarships since criminal groups can offer even more money.

Therefore, it is necessary to consider options such as jobs and leisure activities for the Mexican youth, so that their honor their values and are never tempted to join criminal organizations.


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