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Police Bust Mexican Drug Gang For Recruiting Boys Via Video Games

The three victims, 14 and younger, were contacted while playing the online game Free Fire, and promised paid work.

Photo of two police members in Veracruz, Mexico

Municipal Police in Cordoba

OAXACA — Police in Mexico have intervened to rescue three minors, aged 11 to 14, from recruitment into a drug gang that had enticed them through online gaming.

A top Mexican police agency official Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, said the gang had contacted the youths in the south-central city of Oaxaca, chatting through a free-to-download game called Free Fire, which involves shooting at rivals with virtual firearms.


Calling himself "Rafael," another player of the same age, the suspected gang member offered one of the youths work "checking radio frequencies and watching out for police presence" in Monterrey, northern Mexico, reported national daily El Heraldo de México. The pay was unusually good — 8,000 pesos (almost $400) every two weeks — and the youth called two friends who also wanted to get in.

Criminals use gaming and social networks

The three boys were set to take the bait, but an anonymous Mexican intelligence agent following the exchange while also posing as youth playing Free Fire, ultimately led police to a safe house in Santa Lucía del Camino, outside Oaxaca. The three were held before their transfer to Monterrey. Authorities arrested a woman who was supposed to take them there.

Gangs recruit youth who like these game, firearms and adrenaline.

Mejía said "this is an important case for interweaving the virtual and real worlds," with criminals operating "through online games and social networks." The recruiter, he said, "pretends to be young, invites [youngsters] to private meetings early in the morning or when the parents are working, when there is no proper oversight."

He said recruiters were interested in youngsters they discerned as "interested in this type of game, in firearms and adrenaline, and gradually draw them in through communication."

screenshot of the fire fire online game

Screenshot of Free Fire

Emulator PC

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Society

India Higher Education Inferior Complex: Where Are The Foreign University Campuses?

The proposed UGC guidelines are ill-conceived and populist, and hardly take note of the educational and financial interests of foreign universities.

Image of a group of five people sitting on the grass inside of the Indian Institute of Technology campus.

The IIT - Indian Institute of Technology - Campus

M.M Ansari and Mohammad Naushad Khan

NEW DELHI — Nearly 800,000 young people from India attend foreign universities every year in search of quality education and entrepreneurial training, resulting in a massive outflow of resources – $3 billion – to finance their education. These students look for greener pastures abroad because of the lack of quality teaching and research in most of India’s higher education institutions.

Over 40,000 colleges and 1,000 universities are producing unemployable graduates who cannot function in a knowledge- and technology-intensive economy.

The Indian government's solution is to open doors to foreign universities, with a proposed set of regulations aiming to provide higher education and research services to match global standards, and to control the outflow of resources. But this decision raises many questions.

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