Children of the Drug War in Ciudad Juarez

Publication date: 10 November 2011

In the city of Juarez, about 7,000 children have become orphans of the 'War on Drugs'. Read the transcript of the story by David Fuentes on how the violence in the Northern state of Mexico has affected children and their families.

Story by David Fuentes (W Radio, Chihuahua Correspondent)

On this “Day of the Dead”, cemeteries in this borderland will be packed as a result of the people executed in the war against drugs.

According to state authorities [Chihuahua], the number of violent deaths in the state was over 10,000. The “narco-violence” also affected hundredths of families and 7,000 children orphans, only in Ciudad Juarez.

The so called “orphans of the violence” are being assisted by authorities through psychological treatment, education or food, through the programme “We are all Juarez”. Last week, Bertha Gomez Duarte, head of the Deparment for the Development of Families [known as DIF] gave the first 2000 scholarships, and said the 7000 orphans will be protected by the end of the first semester of 2012.

The Civil Registries explained earlier this year that the number of insurance claims made by families after the death of a relative have increased up to 300 per cent, as well as grandparents or other relatives filing child-custody requests. In this sense, in order to prevent children from growing up resentful and joining drug cartels to avenge the murder of a loved one, state authorities are giving workshops, psychotherapy, and ‘game activities’ in poverty stricken areas in order to cut the vicious circle [of violence].

To hear the story in Spanish, click here: