A musical and journalistic account of the brave children facing the violence in Mexico.
Young Mexicans are responding to the violence of the country’s drug war with acts of bravery. This Bravery Tapes episode tells some of those stories from Monterrey, a city greatly affected by drug-related violence. The episode includes Jens Erik Gould’s original song “Guns Down,” whose lyrics are about a boy growing up around violent kidnapping.
Mexico’s children may be the greatest casualty of the entire drug war. Some 30,000 minors in Mexico participate in organized crime, and at least 1,400 were killed in homicides between 2006 and 2010, according to Mexico’s nonprofit group Network for the Rights of Children.
The headlines are difficult to read: teenagers massacred, little girls shot, a baby killed. The rate of teenagers between 15 and 17 years old grew threefold from 2008 to 2010.
Some in Mexico say citizens shouldn’t work for a solution, that it’s the government’s problem to solve. Some in positions of leadership even said individual heroism shouldn’t be praised because it distracts us from the government’s obligation to do more. One editor at a prominent newspaper said he couldn’t remember any stories of personal bravery.
But they do exist, as this video shows. And highlighting them can provide inspiration for others to do the same.
Directed and produced by Jens Erik Gould
Edited by David Brown
Music by Jens Erik (www.jenserikmusic.com)
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens has more than a decade of experience covering multiple beats in more than a dozen countries across the globe, including covering Venezuela politics for The New York Times and Mexico’s economy for Bloomberg News. He covered music for TIME Magazine and time.com, interviewing artists from Skrillex to Danger Mouse. He is also a singer songwriter who has released three albums.