Mexican Children at Greater Risk than War Zones

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Infobae

Children in Mexico are at greater risk of violent death than in countries at war like Palestine or Syria

In Mexico, four children die every day due to violence. The Save the Children organization launched a campaign to try to reverse the situation.

Mexico is not a safe place for children. Every day, girls, boys and adolescents are victims of murders, lost bullets and kidnappings. The risk of an infant being killed in Mexico is much greater than in countries where there is an armed conflict, such as Palestine or Syria .
Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that aims to work for the rights of children, revealed that four children die every day in Mexico because of violence.

The reality of childhood in Mexico: 6 out of 10 children suffer violence inside and outside their homes:
“In the homes, the violence experienced in the social fabric is somatized, and children, in addition to being subjected to this situation, also suffer structural abuse such as unaccompanied migration, abuses in residential care institutions, and it deals with people for work, sexual abuse and pornography, “said Gabriela Ruiz Serrano, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Violent discipline in the home is a broad concept that encompasses multiple forms , so that its differentiation is more complex, since not only do parents and guardians use it, but siblings, grandparents and uncles, among others.
The problem is that there is an ‘adult-centered ‘ perspective , which puts the little ones in inferior conditions, which have somehow legitimized the parenting styles that we have repeated generationally, said Ruiz Serrano.
One of the most everyday imagery is that a spanking in time is always necessary, because we believe that the blow transforms behavior; However, studies show otherwise: “the coup does not correct the behavior, it is installed in the memory and makes it prone to repeat these patterns of violence, because there is an impact at the neurological level when it occurs systematically” , he emphasized.
The 2017 Annual Report of UNICEF Mexico indicates that nine out of 10 children who speak an indigenous language are poor; 80% of infants do not reach the required knowledge in their educational level and more than four million do not go to school; 65 percent do not have access to children’s books and eight out of 10 attacks against them occur in school and on public roads.
María Josefina Menéndez, executive director of Save the Children Mexico, estimated that at least 30,000 children were kidnapped and threatened to work actively in organized crime gangs . He said that by collaborating with criminal groups, children are forced to be observers of brutal executions and a series of criminal acts marked by violence, blood and death.
“They are subjected to toxic stress, which will affect their psychosocial development and damage their physical and emotional health” and highlighted the official figures of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, which indicate that 8,195 people – between zero and 19 years old – were kidnapped or disappeared during the period between 2007 and 2018 .
In Mexico, four children and adolescents die daily due to violence, more than those who are victims of war in Middle Eastern countries, the Save the Children organization warned (Photo: Archive)
He added that for at least 12 years, children and adolescents have also been beheaded, corpses and shootings in their schools; They suffer the death of friends, colleagues or relatives , events that seriously damage their development conditions and generate emotional crises, anger, hatred and desire for revenge. “Violence generates violence,” he said.
Violence and its risks are not only on the streets:
María Josefina Menéndez warns that schools and homes are not always a refuge for infants. 60% of Mexican children are raised violently, are beaten, humiliated and insulted; 64% of those who are five years old or younger have suffered some form of sexual abuse ; 63%, from zero to six years old, are being violently educated, where physical punishment and humiliation are part of the formative process; and only in 2017, more than 12,300 children and adolescents reported serious injuries due to abuse.
60% of Mexican children are raised violently, they are beaten, humiliated and insulted (Photo: Archive)
Gender violence is also a scourge in Mexico. During 2017, more than 10,000 girls between 10 and 14 years old had a son, as a result of sexual abuse. Between 2015 and September 2018, 225 women – under 18 years of age – were violently murdered . The data only corresponds to crimes classified as feminicides, because in that period 800 more homicides of minor women were documented, considered as malicious murders.
# AltoaLaGuerraContraLaNiñez:
In the face of this child protection crisis, Save the Children launched the # AltoaLaGuerraContraLaNiñez campaign , to demand the Mexican Government to improve mechanisms to investigate, measure and process data on violence against children and a renewed impulse to public policies, in prevention and protection matter; as well as sufficient resources for the National System for the Protection of Girls, Children and Adolescents, corresponding to fiscal year 2020.
María Josefina Menéndez pointed out that although the Secretariats of Public Education and Governance push early childhood and comprehensive protection programs, in fact there is no official agenda for the sector.” The call that Save the Children makes is for awareness and transformation, we have to change the way we treat boys and girls, otherwise we will continue to affect their physical integrity and mental stability , violating their rights to be and grow in full plenitude, he finished.