Because it was noticed that the toy guns children in Juarez play with look identical to the weapons used by delinquents, authorities in Mexico’s most violent city created a campaign urging children and parents to swap their ‘war toys’ for more child friendly traditional toys.
We are noticing that innocent fictitious ‘war play” as children is leading to reality and violence as adults. Possession and use of illegal firearms is the second highest criminal offense in Chihuahua.
– Roberta Fabián, Represenative of Crime Prevention and Community Services
In a press conference, it was stated authorities would begin visiting 70 ‘high risk’ kindergarten and elementary schools. The toy weapons will be traded for traditional toys such as tops, dolls, action figures, and Mexican baleros. Children who participate will also be entered in a drawing for sports equipment and bicycles to be held at a later date.
‘Parents play the most important role in insuring that children do not play with this type of toys. There are toy guns that come complete with ammo clips, the only thing missing are real bullets. There are replicas of 9 mm, AR-15, and AK-47, we have seen them, you can see them. In the end, it seems when it comes to ‘toy weapons’, we have a colors, shapes, and flavors. These children are growing and being raised in a violent culture and soon toy guns will not be enough, they will want a real one.
-José Ignacio Chávez Sáenz, Chief of Crime Prevention for the State Public Safety Department of Chihuahua
All war toys collected in Juarez will be destroyed by a steam roller in a future dated public event.