19 September 1998
Report: Honduran children forced to peddle drugs in Canada

                  TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) -- Honduran children are being used
                  by drug gangs to peddle cocaine in Canadian cities, a childrens' rights group
                  said Friday.

                  Pressure group Casa Alianza said it was sending two investigators to
                  Canada shortly "to support investigations and the rescue of Honduran
                  children being exploited" there.

                  Casa Alianza officials said several children from the Central American
                  country had swallowed stones of the drug crack, derived from cocaine, and
                  were seriously ill in Canadian hospitals after being caught by Vancouver

                  "The children are being used as little mules to transport and sell the drug,"
                  Casa Alianza's Latin American director Bruce Harris said.

                  The group said it suspected about 200 Honduran children ages 10-13 were

                  The group added that the drug gangs had set up smuggling and distribution
                  networks stretching from Honduras through Mexico to the United States and

                  Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.