Police officers teach students in Guanajuato to use weapons; NGOs condemn the program

215

The organizations expressed their concern about the impact that armed violence continues to have on children and adolescents in the country.

Civil society organizations condemned the program through which police officers from Purísima del Rincón, Guanajuato, taught the use of various weapons to students, as part of a course “on prevention of addictions and violence” of the Planet Youth program.

The organizations expressed their concern about the impact that armed violence continues to have on children and adolescents in the country.

“Girls, boys, and adolescents are the main victims of the serious human rights crisis that exists in a country subjected to an armed conflict not recognized by the State or its authorities, but which has increased the presence of weapons in the national territory. Eliminating violence from the daily lives of children is a difficult enough task that it is also the public security authorities who bring firearms closer to children and adolescents,” they affirmed.

Through a statement signed by NGOs such as the Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico, the Victoria Díez Human Rights Center and Weaving Networks for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean, among others, they recalled the urgency of taking measures to prevent and address armed violence in the country that affects the daily lives of children and adolescents.

“The approach to address violence by State institutions cannot and should not occur with the approach of any type of weapons to girls, boys and adolescents. On the contrary, the strategies of attention to violence and insecurity must contemplate children and adolescents as persons subject to rights in scenarios where they have their voice and their concerns and proposals are encouraged to be heard, instead of being used for this type of activities in which they place weapons in their hands and teach them how to use them, which promotes a normalization of the violence that is currently experienced in the state.”

They urged the authorities to review their protocols in carrying out their activities in schools, which although they said that prevention actions are necessary, these must prioritize and guarantee the human right to a life without violence and the construction of a culture of peace.

They recalled that the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development (UNLIREC) recently presented the report “Firearms in schools in Latin America and the Caribbean” in which it highlights that some of the manifestations of the phenomenon include: weapons found inside schools; students carrying weapons among their belongings; armed students threatening their classmates and teachers and shooting inside schools; among other. Given this scenario, UNLIREC prepared a campaign to promote safe and violence-free spaces for young people in the region that can be considered to offer these talks inside schools.

Finally, they demanded an immediate investigation, sanctions against the responsible authorities, restitution of rights to adolescents who participated in the activity and the non-repetition of these actions.

The municipal presidency of Purísima del Rincón, through the Secretary of Public Security, reported that it is already investigating the case to find the person responsible for allowing the students to maneuver the weapons.

San Miguel Post