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03:19

Mexico: Community police force arms child recruits with rifles

Mexico, Alcozacan
January 24, 2020 at 20:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

Around 20 children, aged between eight and 14-years old, were given rifles to train with after being recruited into an indigenous community police force in Alcozacan, in Mexico's south-western Guerrero state.

Footage from Wednesday shows the children lining up, standing at attention, with rifles in hand, before starting to march. The youngest children were filmed marching with sticks, which they were pretending were rifles.

"We were forced to prepare the children, for whatever future our people will have. We are indigenous people who don't receive any federal government resources" said an adult member of the force.

"To President Manuel Lopez Obrador, whomever listens to this people's petition that have suffered so much at the hands of criminal group Los Ardillos. The government knows that very well, and knows who they are. We demand Celso Ortega Jimenez, who is the leader of criminal group Los Ardillos, to be detained, alongside all of its members who have murdered our indigenous brothers. And if the government doesn't do as we told, we are going to keep on preparing the children so that they can defend themselves from delinquency," he continued.

According to reports, local authorities have defended their practice, taking place since 2014, saying it was to train the children to defend their families.

03:19
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Description

Around 20 children, aged between eight and 14-years old, were given rifles to train with after being recruited into an indigenous community police force in Alcozacan, in Mexico's south-western Guerrero state.

Footage from Wednesday shows the children lining up, standing at attention, with rifles in hand, before starting to march. The youngest children were filmed marching with sticks, which they were pretending were rifles.

"We were forced to prepare the children, for whatever future our people will have. We are indigenous people who don't receive any federal government resources" said an adult member of the force.

"To President Manuel Lopez Obrador, whomever listens to this people's petition that have suffered so much at the hands of criminal group Los Ardillos. The government knows that very well, and knows who they are. We demand Celso Ortega Jimenez, who is the leader of criminal group Los Ardillos, to be detained, alongside all of its members who have murdered our indigenous brothers. And if the government doesn't do as we told, we are going to keep on preparing the children so that they can defend themselves from delinquency," he continued.

According to reports, local authorities have defended their practice, taking place since 2014, saying it was to train the children to defend their families.

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