Border group shields children from drug violence - CBS 5 - KPHO

Border group shields children from drug violence

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NOGALES, AZ (CBS5) -

A group of volunteers on the Arizona Mexico border is working to curb the influence of violence on Mexico's children. The effort is meant to prevent a generation of young people from viewing drug violence as a normal part of life.

Inside a barren classroom, fewer than 100 feet from the steel border fence, 70 teachers, social workers, religious leaders and students are learning how to teach children to say no to violence. It's a tall order, given the ruthlessness of Mexico's drug cartels.

More than 40,000 people have died in the drug war and the images of graphic violence are on full display on television and newspapers across the country.

"We're learning a new language," said Alma Yanez, who is one of the event's organizers.

She says one of the big problems is that many children in Mexico are growing up without fathers. They either leave to work in the United States, work long hours in Mexico, or abandon their families.

"We're seeing a generation of single mothers so these other organizations, teachers, preachers and pastors are providing the male image," Yanez said.

The goals of the effort is to encourage mothers to pay close attention to their children and dissuade them from embracing the "mafia" lifestyle, as well as teaching children that violence of any sort is wrong.

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