Up Close and Personal: The Effects of Violence
Children in Tijuana, Mexico went about their normal morning routine on a school day only to be confronted with twelve dead bodies dumped in the field directly across from their school. At other times, students have had to flee school in a panic as gunfights have broken out between police and drug traffickers. In Tijuana alone, 99 bodies have been discovered since September 26th in a rash of violence that has a death toll higher than that of Baghdad during the same time. Violence has become an all too unfortunate part of the scenery for children living along the US border as they attempt to grow up under constant warfare all around them. Social Learning theory teaches us that people are led to engage in criminal activity as a consequence of being associated with others involved in crime. For these children of Mexico, they grow up learning of the “heroes” of their community – drug traffickers who rule the land. They hear songs about them and watch grisly murders scenes on Youtube. This positive association with crime leads impacts youth who grow up seeing few other viable alternatives for lifestyles.
New York Times article on violence in Mexico