It may seem impossible to believed that a child of 14 years could be so cold blooded and have the mentality to be a leader, since he was 11 years old, of an organized crime gang, who were responsible for abducting, torturing, executing, dismembering and even hanging the bodies of their victims from bridges, while getting paid in dollars per head.
In total disbelief, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, better known as "El Ponchis," was finally arrested after military intelligence authorities followed closely his path as a hired assassin, who would ultimately be linked to more than 300 executions in Morelos.
It is a network of young people causing terror and misery among the population.
"When we don't find the rivals, we kill innocent people - maybe a taxi driver or a construction worker - so that we can get paid," Jimenez said, adding that he earned $3,000 per hit. He said he had personally killed four people.
The criminal group of the CPS (South Pacific Cartel) was young heirs of the Beltran Leyva cartel in the state of Morelos, uploaded and documented their atrocities on the internet. In late October a video was posted on the Internet of the boy, sporting a mop of frizzy hair, holding an AK-47 assault weapon and posing with other gang members. One image showed Jimenez with an apparent victim whose eyes and mouth were taped shut.
On the video, Jimenez casually says that he didn't care whether he and his fellow gunmen got the right targets, just as long as they killed someone.
It was also revealed that the child, a murderer for hire, was an accomplice in the crimes with his sisters, young women that were known as "Las Chavelas" and who were also captured along with his brother, while pretending to flee from justice. In news reports said that one of them, 19-year-old Elizabeth, was a girlfriend of Hector Beltran Leyva, the leader of a splinter faction of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel that operates out of Morelos state.
News reports also reported that the elder sister led the gang "Las Chavelas" that took slain rivals of the Beltran Leyva group and dumped them on city streets.
News reports said Jimenez was a U.S. citizen, although U.S. Embassy spokesman Alex Featherstone said, "We have not confirmed this boy's citizenship."
Mexican journalists who were present when soldiers turned the youth over to prosecutors in Morelos state Friday morning peppered the boy with questions. He said that the headless corpses of his gang's victims were strung up from an overpass on a main highway leading to the capital.
"Why did you kill them?" a reporter asked, according to a transcript on the website of the respected newspaper El Universal.
"'El Negro' ordered me to. I got high on weed and didn't know what I was doing," Jimenez responded.
"Why did you get into this?"
"I didn't get into it. They pulled me in," the boy responded.
"Are you sorry you did?"
"Yes, I'm sorry I got involved with all this," he responded.
President Felipe Calderon has pointed to the ever-younger ages of gunmen for the drug syndicates, especially in the northeastern border region, as a sign that cartels are facing problems recruiting foot soldiers.
Yet Mexico has an estimated 7 million young people who neither can find jobs nor attend school, and many of them are tempted by easy money or motivated to join gangs out of anger over the killing of a friend or a parent.
"We count some 20,000 orphans who have the choice of either being forgotten about or looking for some activity to help them survive," sociologist Luis Gomez Sanchez told the Milenio television network. "These youngsters are cannon fodder for drug traffickers and their illegal activities."
The case of "El Ponchis" highlights concern about the falling ages of foot soldiers in Mexico's ongoing drug violence, which has left more than 30,000 people dead since late 2006.
Experts say that cases like this, are signs of high concern in the Mexican society, showing a sign of decomposition affecting the very core of the Mexican structure by the brutal and increase violence that is prevailing the country as a whole.
Some translation by the McClatchy Newspapers