Mexican Program Aims To Reach Drug Lords Before They Get Caught Up In Cartels

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Mexican Program Aims To Reach Drug Lords Before They Get Caught Up In Cartels

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO—Community advocates in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, announced Tuesday the launch of a new intervention program aimed at reaching out to impressionable drug lords at high risk for becoming involved in cartels. "Drug lords' millions of dollars, control of ruthless paramilitary forces, and ownership of thousands of marijuana plantations make them by far the most vulnerable recruiting target for cartels," said program coordinator Jorge Garc'a Botella, adding that drug lords typically lack the kinds of positive role models who might encourage them to use their vast networks of smuggling tunnels more constructively. "Cartels provide drug lords with the sense of belonging they crave, but then these groups exploit them, using them for the influence they have over corrupt government officials." Garc'a Botella warned that if no one intervenes, most narcotics kingpins will end up becoming just another statistic responsible for 20 percent of all the cocaine smuggled through Mexico.