Kony video crimes similar to Mexican drug cartel tactics?

University of Texas at Brownsville Assistant Professor of Government Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera spoke to Action 4 News about the issue.

The Kony 2012 Campaign is taking the internet by storm.

Joseph Kony is the leader of a Ugandan guerrilla group known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) accused of carrying out atrocities.

The documentary aims at exposing Kony for his heinous acts, including the recruitment of child soldiers, murder, mutilation and sexual enslavement of women and children.

With pictures of teens from Reynosa and the Rio Grande Valley posing with high-caliber weapons circulating on Twitter, some say Kony looks and sounds familiar to several crimes committed by Mexican drug cartels.

Other draw comparisons to the kidnapping of bus passengers and the murders of large numbers of people because they refused to join the cartel.

University of Texas at Brownsville Assistant Professor of Government Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera spoke to Action 4 News about the issue.

In the case of San Fernando where 72 bodies were found in mass graves, the allegations are that they were killed because they weren't willing to work for The Zetas, Dr. Correa-Cabrera said. If that is the case, if they are kidnapped and forced to work for them, then we are talking about something similar.

But Dr. Correa-Cabrera said that although these types of crimes are unacceptable, comparing the Mexican Drug Cartels to international warlords is dangerous.

That would imply that the United Nations, the European countries and the United States would have to get involved in helping Mexico, said Prof. Correa-Cabrera. And that is a big issue. In the case of Mexico, it is a crime. But we need to analyze who are the groups involved, are they kidnapping, are they forced to work for them.

Correa-Cabrera said it's not exactly a forced labor issue because teens in the border region are willingly and voluntarily joining the drug cartels.

Law enforcement officials said Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 years old on both sides of the border to work in their smuggling operations.

Cartels recruit children to move narcotic loads or to smuggle people from Point A to Point B.

Often times, what's either going to happen is they are going to end up in jail or dead, said Rosie Huey with the U.S. Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector.

Agent Huey said that's why the Border Patrol initiated a program called "Operation Detour" in 2010.

Under the program, law enforcement officers meet with schoolchildren to warn them about the dangers of what appears to be the easy money the Mexican drug gangs offer.

The arguments continue over the viral video Kony 2012 and it's similarities to the crimes committed by Mexican drug cartels.

But one thing is for certain, it has surely raised awareness about crimes against humanity.

Any children wanting to get out of the drug trafficking life can call their hotline and remain anonymous at (877) 872-7435 toll free.