| MEXICO | 22 JULY 2015 |

Cartels Look To Hook The Young

Stopping the Drug Menace in its Tracks in Mexico.

Mexico’s drug cartels hold a firm grip on the lucrative U.S. drug trade, controlling 70% of all drugs trafficked into the U.S. and over 90% of the cocaine trade. Each year, more than 8,000 kids under 18 are recruited into the cartels—many as young as 10 or 12 years old. And it’s not rare for a child of 10 to use cannabis and quickly progress to harder drugs. While Mexican police forces say they are powerless to keep the kids from slipping into the drug world, Mexico’s Drug-Free World Association is dedicated to forging partnerships with government and law enforcement to do something about this national crisis.

One such partnership is with Mexico City’s Unidad de Seguridad Escolar (USE), known as the “School Safety Police,” a special branch of the police force entrusted with drug and crime prevention in Mexico City’s schools.

The connection with USE began in 2011 when hundreds of copies of the Truth About Drugs booklets were distributed at a large public security convention organized by the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City. One of the officials who received a booklet was the Director of Mexico City’s School Safety Police. Impressed by the accuracy of the data and the approach of empowering youth through real education—not scare tactics—the Director saw that this was a perfect match. At his request, a team of Truth About Drugs instructors assembled at the School Safety Police’s training headquarters and brought 80 School Safety Unit officers through the full program of our materials.

More than 1,000 officers were trained to deliver the Truth About Drugs program in Mexico City’s schools and elsewhere. The School Safety Police began large-scale outreach actions, first at a rock concert at Azteca Stadium where a team of 15 police officers passed out more than 7,000 booklets to high-risk youth. The School Safety Police also brought the facts about drugs to schools and community after-school programs across the city, reaching more than 100 schools and 37,000 school age kids.

The Drug-Free World Mexico team reached out to security officials throughout the State of Mexico. Soon, 2,000 Auxiliary Forces officers were trained on the program—the largest law enforcement service ever assembled under Drug-Free World.

In launching their plan to reach youth in high-risk zones across the region, officers mobilized at Auxiliary Headquarters, loaded their patrol cars with thousands of Truth About Drugs booklets and set out—distributing 30,000 booklets across the state in a single weekend.

Observes World Health Day

For World Health Day 2015, Foundation for a Drug-Free World held events in 31 major cities around the world.

The Los Angeles event focused on synthetic drugs, showcasing Drug-Free World’s newest in its series of Truth About Drugs booklets: The Truth About Synthetic Drugs, now available online.

The Pasadena, California, World Health Day observance featured speakers from the Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena Human Relations Commission, Promise Christian Church, and the Church of Scientology, which supports the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

Bishop Chidiebere Ogbu of Impact Africa Network was the keynote speaker at the event in Johannesburg, South Africa, expressing the critical role of religions in drug education and prevention.

In Padova, Italy, the World Health Day theme—“We take care of youth before the dealers do”—drew speakers from the local City Council and other civic and religious groups.


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