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Violence in a 'world of children': Can video shock Mexico into action?

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Our Mexico of the Future/YouTube

(Read caption) A screen shot from the video, 'Uncomfortable Children.'

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The alarm clock beeps, and a small hand reaches over to turn it off. A kid sits up, turns on the morning news and grabs a bathrobe off an exercise machine. At the breakfast table, the front page of his newspaper reads “Alarming increase in violence in the country.”

He looks about 10 years old.

No sooner does the kid leave his house in a suit and tie than two muggers rob him at gunpoint. They take his wallet and cell phone. Despite tough language and angry looks, they, too, have cherub-cheeked baby faces.

In a country where fresh news of drug war massacres and gruesome killings barely registers on the national consciousness, the sight of children living out the daily trials and tribulations of the adult world has grabbed plenty of attention. 

These scenes open a shocking 4-minute video titled "Uncomfortable Children," that is making the rounds in Mexico via television, social media, and the Internet. Logging more than 1 million hits on YouTube within the first 48 hours of its debut, and airing on national news programs, the film depicts the country’s most intractable problems – insecurity, poverty, economic disparity, and drug trafficking – in a world made up of children. 

An organization called Our Mexico of the Future – founded by the insurance giant Grupo Nacional Provinical (GNP) and sponsored by an array of businesses and civil organizations – created the video. Mario Muñoz, the Mexican director of the 2008 film Under the Salt, directed the video. Some 250 children participated in its making.

Later in the video, there are two bureaucrats packing bundles of US currency into a briefcase and wandering into the street. They pass a protest against corruption, which is growing violent. They don’t blink an eye.

In yet another part, girls wearing the smocks of assembly plant workers, reminiscent of the factories known as maquiladoras in Mexican border towns, fling themselves against against a wall as a shootout ensues between police and gunmen.

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