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Frontera newspaper reported that 189 people 50 and older have been arrested in drug-peddling cases in Tijuana this year: 156 in their 50s, 32 in their 60s and a 73-year-old man, according to statistics from the state Attorney General's Office. The paper said some claimed they got involved in the drug trade because of a lack of employment opportunities.
In the United States, it is often hard for people in their 50s and older to find work, and the same is true in Mexico. Many help-wanted ads in Tijuana newspapers specifically seek workers in their 20s or 30s. Many others seek workers only up to age 45. The Oxxo convenience-store chain appears to be a little more flexible; in Monday's classified section, it sought a salesperson with an upper-age limit of 55. Another ad in the tabloid's 24-page classified section sought a female, age 20 to 30, to work in a small grocery from 2:10 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. for 1,000 pesos a week (S76).
Frontera said drug-trafficking organizations have taken notice of how people over 50 are out of work and have actively recruited them.
Seventeen of those arrested were women, 13 in their 50s and four in their 60s.
Story, Frontera (PDF).