Tijuana, Mexico’s newest battle against drugs doesn’t involve military raids, police checkpoints, or firepower, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. It will be fought quietly in a public park, inside a children’s museum that focuses on drug prevention. The $10 million Museo Ambar, to open next summer, will feature interactive exhibits aimed at educating children 10 to 16 on the effects of drug use on the brain. Federal, state, and city funds are supporting this unprecedented effort, as is the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Drugs “are enslaving the best that we have, our children,” Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala de Caldero?n said at a groundbreaking this week attended by busloads of boisterous Tijuana students. The museum “is a step forward in terms of prevention,” she said. The museum’s shape evokes the image of a human brain. “We believe that prevention is where we’re going to win the final battle,” Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos said. Drug use in Mexico and the rest of Latin America has been rising, though it doesn’t approach the level of U.S. drug consumption, which is the highest in the world.