Two suspected associates of the “boy hit man” captured last month as he was preparing to leave the country were arrested Thursday in the central state of Morelos, Mexican official sources told Efe.
Giovanni Molina Ortiz, 18, and 15-year-old Erick Gomez are accused of working for the South Pacific drug cartel.
Molina and Gomez were apprehended in Jiutepec, Morelos, by army troops and agents from the federal Attorney General’s Office, one source said.
According to Gomez's statement he was forced into killing by José de Jesús Radilla, "El Negro", leader of the CPS hitmen in Moreles, who kidnapped his sister and threatened to kill her if he did not join them.
On the other hand, Geovanni Molina, 18 years old and resident of Jiutepec, stated he worked as a halcon, or lookout, and was paid to alert the cartel of military operations.
"They paid me $1000 pesos a week, but I got out about a month ago, because we didn't have anymore people, I was working for El Negro and after they picked up all of his crew, I left, there wasn't anyone left, we didn't have anymore people", said Molina Ortiz in a statement to the press.
“Boy hit man” Edgar Jimenez Lugo, 14, is said to have carried out executions on behalf of the same criminal outfit.
Jimenez Lugo, alias “El Ponchis”, was arrested early last month with two of his sisters at the airport in Xochitepec, Morelos.
The three were planning to travel to the northern city of Tijuana and from there to neighboring San Diego, California, where they have family.
The search for El Ponchis began in October after soldiers arrested six suspected members of the South Pacific cartel. One of the suspects told authorities that the most brutal assassin in the group was Jimenez Lugo, released earlier by the troops because he was a minor.
After his arrest, Jimenez Lugo reportedly confessed to beheading four victims, but insisted the cartel forced him to carry out the murders.
Morelos, which is close to Mexico City, has been caught up in a turf war between rival drug cartels and the state capital, Cuernavaca, was the scene of a dramatic December 2010 battle that ended with the death of kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva.
More than 34,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Many victims of the gangland violence have been found decapitated and hung from bridges, as the drug mobs seek more and more grisly ways to intimidate their rivals.
Sources: EFE, GRUPO REFORMA, MILENIO