Mexico weapons cache found after boy takes gun to school

Confiscated weapons on display in Hermosillo, Mexico (7 Sept 2012) Police in Hermosillo displayed some of the weapons seized

Mexican police have found a large number of weapons thought to belong to drug traffickers at a house in the northern city of Hermosillo, after a nine-year old boy took a gun to school.

The boy's classmates saw the gun in his bag and reported it to the school authorities, who alerted the police.

The weapon, which was reportedly loaded, was confiscated and police raided the boy's home.

There they found the weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The local authorities said they had found a powerful rifle (AR15) at the dining table and in one of the bedrooms, 13,000 rounds of ammunition, pistols and assault rifles, bulletproof vests and two money-counting machines.

Several cartridges capable of penetrating body armour, known as "cop-killers", were also discovered, a police spokesman said.

In addition, the police confiscated military uniforms, portable radios and three vehicles, two of them armoured.

A police spokesman said a woman, thought to be the boy's mother, had been arrested at the house but that a man had managed to escape.

The boy was taken into the care of social workers.

This episode is further evidence of the damaging effects the country's violent drug war is having on young people, the BBC's Will Grant in Mexico reports.

Lobby groups have called on the authorities to do more to protect children from falling under the control of the powerful drug gangs, our correspondent says.

One local non-governmental organisation, he adds, has urged parents to routinely check their children's rucksacks for weapons, to help improve security in schools.

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