Warning: Includes upsetting images
A brave 12-year-old boy was thrown off a very high bridge after he refused to murder a bus driver for a local gang.
Angel Ariel Escalante Perez, from Guatemala city in Guatemala, was walking home from school when a local gang demanded he kill a random bus driver.
If he refused, the gang told him he would be stabbed to death with a machete or thrown off a bridge. They added that he could chose his preferred method.
As his father, Luis Escalante, is a bus driver – he chose death over murder and was thrown off Incienso Bridge, one of the longest bridges in Central America.
Despite plunging an terrifying 135m (443 feet) he survived after landing in the thick foliage below.
He lay there critically injured for 72 hours until finally his father and family found him. Angel was rescued from the deep gully by firefighters and taken to hospital.
Doctors tried hard for 15 days to save his life but he later died from his injuries.
A spokesman for the Guatemala fire service, Javier Soto said: ‘The father said his son had been gone for 72 hours and told him that six alleged kidnappers threw him off because he refused to kill a bus driver.
‘The child was asked how he would prefer to die – whether it would be through stabbing or by being thrown off a bridge – and he chose the latter.’
Local human rights activist Edgar Guerra said: ‘This type of phenomenon can be seen much more frequently: The use of underage children for murders.
Guerra said one possible reason why was that the group did not want to be charged for the killing in case they were caught.
Children recruited by organised crime are a common thing among Latin American gangs.
Given the lack of education, and often poor background and the capacity to smuggle drugs and guns unnoticed, many underaged children have become members of criminal organizations with little option of saying no.
Source: Metro UK