Background: Jorge Armando Moreno, 13 years old, was killed on February 27, 2013. His body was found with fie other bodies on the side of the highway between Morelos and Vetagrande, about six miles from the state capital of Zacatecas. All the bodies showed signs of torture. Jorge Armando had been arrested on February 4, 2013, along with several suspected members of the Zeta Cartel, and several Guatemalan individuals accused of organized crime activities. Although the prosecutor claimed that the boy had confessed to having committed ten murders, the judge released hi into his mother's custody because he was not yet 14 years old, the minimum age for incarceration in the state's juvenile detention center.--un vato]
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
Detained and tortured by federal police, Jorge Armando was kidnapped again and tortured by a criminal organization -- believed to have been Zetas -- and then murdered. He was 13 years old. In the television news media he was called "the child assassin" because that is how he was portrayed by the state attorney general, and for the media, it was easy to disseminate the nickname. To this day, neither the Zacatecas Attorney General nor the Federal Attorney General (PGR) have issued corrections. This would constitute an admission that, in reality, the boy was the victim of the police and the criminals they say they're fighting.
ZACATECAS, ZAC. (Proceso).-- Federal police arrested him the afternoon of February 4 and then tortured him, along with 14 other persons, supposedly because he belonged to a criminal organization. Two days later, a judge released him because he was just 13 years old.
Although he was at risk, no authority provided him protection because an official disclosed -- and the media assumed-- that he was a "child assassin." That can no longer be proven or contradicted because the child was again tortured, then murdered.
At dawn on February 28, the ministerial police found his body, with five others, on the side of the highway between Morelos and Vetagrande, five miles north of the capital of Zacatecas. He was executed with large caliber weapons.
The death of the minor shocked Zacatecas society. The Network for Infant Rights in Mexico (Redim: Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en Mexico), the Organization for Social Development and Education for All (Odisea A.C.); (Organizacion para el Desarrollo Social y la Educacion para Todos) and the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH: Comision Estatal de Derechos Humanos) are demanding that the public officials who failed to respect the adolescent's due process rights be identified and held accountable, because, they argue, he was victimized by organized crime and by the authorities.
Mexico's Office of Attorney General (PGR) and Federal police (FP) are not giving out any information on the events in which their personnel intervened; the State Office of Attorney General (PGJE: Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado) has denied any responsibility in the case and the State's Superior Justice Tribunal (Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado) has remained silent on the matter.
The 14 persons who were arrested with the minor in early February have already been transferred by the PF to the SEIDO facilities [special unit for organized crime investigation] in Mexico City, where they remain incarcerated.
Being a child in Zacatecas
Jorge Armando Moreno Leos dropped out of elementary school at the age of 10, when his family fell apart. He lived a few months with his father, but then he went back with his mother and two younger sisters.
For three years, he earned a living on the street: washing cars, dumping the neighbors' trash and selling popsicles, But he also learned to use drugs on the street.
He dreamed of buying his mother a washing machine, but he didn't have enough money, so he decided to do what many others had done and joined the Zetas two and a half months ago.
His mother, Maria Isabel Leos, begged him to get out of that life and to go back to school, since he had finished grade school in June of 2012 in the Zacatecas Institute for Adult Education (IZEA: Instituto Zacatecano de Educacion para los Adultos) with an "A" grade point average, which is why Governor Miguel Alonso Reyes had awarded him a showy, three color diploma the following November, only four months before Jorge Armando was murdered.
Mrs. Leos talks about him with tears in her eyes: "My life went away with Jorge because he was a very good boy. Like all children, he was rebellious, he liked to go out with his friends. He dropped out of school because I work and he wanted to help me."
She describes him: "He was very helpful. You can talk to everybody and nobody believes it when you tell them he was the so-called "child assassin." He would see a person outside his house and ask, 'Can I help you sweep?', 'Can I help you take out the trash?', 'You want me to wash your car?'
He sold popsicles on the street when those people (Los Zetas) grabbed him. The boy would tell me that he was going to buy me a washing machine, that they were going to give him the money. I would tell him, 'Don't believe them, m'ijo (my son)', Because he never had any money! They promised him a lot of things that weren't true."
She supports her daughters working as a street vendor. She found out her son was arrested by the PF because he saw his photograph in the morning news on TV Azteca Zacatecas. 24 days later, she learned of his murder the same way.
Today, she's begging President Enrique Pena Nieto and Govenor Miguel Alonso Reyes for protection for her and her daughters. She doesn't want anything else, because, since the death of Jorge Armando, she has received messages and calls with death threats on her cell phone, from alleged members of the "three letters" organization.
Meanwhile, she lives terrified with her daughters, unable to get a full time job. She still owes the costs of her son's funeral because the state social security office let her rent the casket and chapel for the wake and the funeral.
The "killer" who never killed
On the afternoon of February 4, 2013, in a leak to the news media, not through an official communique, the local government disclosed that, in an "intelligence" operation, the PF arrested 15 suspected criminals and delivered them to the Federal Public Ministry in the City of Zacatecas: five were is a safe house in the Lomas del Lago subdivision and eight in the Condessa Hotel, with the latter individuals being from Guatemala.
The news story and the photographs were published the nest day in the press and in electronic media. In the mid-afternoon, Maria Isabel Leos found out from the TV that her son was detained.
With difficulty, she got a relative to give her a ride to the PGR installations, located on the west side as you leave the city of Zacatecas, but it was already dark, recalls the lady, "and they did not let me see my son. I stayed there about three hours, and they told me I had to go to court the next day." [continues on next page]
But it was not until the 6th that, through court order No. 35 of the Zacatecas Judicial Authority, judge Frida Jazmin Rubio Renteria, a specialist on juvenile justice matters, ordered the director of the Juvenile Detention Center (Centro de Internamiento y Atencion Integral Juvenil) to release Jorge Armando, once it was established that he was 13 years old.
The minor was delivered to his mother, but he only stayed with her a few hours then returned to the streets. During that brief period, he told Mrs. Leos how the federal police treated him during the 24 hours before they delivered him to the Public Ministry (MP: Ministerio Publico).
"The boy came home very beat up on his body -- she says indignantly-- I asked him what was wrong, because even his left hand was very swollen. He told me that the "federales" would wrap him up in a blanket, throw him on the floor and kick him, they would kick him several times on the body, one of them would step on his hand and another would kick him.
"He told me that the "federales" kept them detained in the Howard Johnson Hotel (the agency's principal center of operations). And that another one would get a pistol and fire it beside his ear to make him talk."
When Jorge Armando went out again, his mother began o hear that the "child assassin" was free. "I don't know where that name came from. Suddenly, I began to hear that in the news Also, a woman PGR lawyer came here to the house and told me: "Pay no attention to what they're saying, it's not true, you know very well why the boy is (being held). They're going to start to speculate and say things in the news that are not true."
In fact, says Mrs. Leos, "it was even said that I am dead along with the boy. In most of the media and for everybody, I died along with the boy, they killed both of us."
She blames Zacatecas Attorney General Arturo Nahle Garcia, for calling Jorge Armando "child killer" and attributing to him the murder of ten people. "I don't know why Nahle keeps making those statements; he's never made it clear that Jorge was not under arrest for that and that I wasn't killed along with him."
When asked whether her son confessed murdering 10 people, she denies it. "At the court, from the time I went there to ask about him, they would say: 'It's just that the kid is a heavy because he's the one who gives orders here in Zacatecas'. How is a 13 year old boy, who had been with them (the criminals), at most, two and a half months, and I don't think it was even that long, how could he be the boss of all of them?"
And, in fact, in the notice from the court that she personally received at her home on February 19, captioned Criminal Case No. 14/2013, it specifies that the minor Jorge Armando Moreno Leos is accused of several crimes, except that of homicide.
"...For the offense of organized crime, violation of the federal weapons and explosives law by keeping firearms reserved for the exclusive use by the Army, Navy and National Air Force, and the possession of ammunition reserved for the exclusive use by the Army, Navy and National Air Force, committed to the detriment of society."
The mother had received the court communication so that on February 20, she would present herself and her son before the court to initiate his prosecution and determine his legal status with respect to the crimes he was accused of. But Jorge was no longer in the house and did not go to the hearing. Maria Isabel went before the court by herself.
Fragment of a report published in Proceso, edition No. 1900, already in circulation.
Note: Thank you to the reader who requested this story be posted and sent in links.
The story condemning the child was in fact posted here on BB also of his death, at time the mother begged people to believe that her son was being framed no one was buying her story, read Havana's post HERE . This new post story casts doubt on the guilt of other so called teen assassins. In Mexico the lives of innocents are taken and used for many nefarious reasons. Sadly, life is cheap in Mexico, even the lives of children.
The government was successful in creating indignation , and exasperation in the public, this is part of the statement issued in February and perhaps reveals the objective intended of why an innocent child would be framed, if that be the case.:
"State Attorney Arturo Nahle Garcia said, "really the boy can be even more dangerous because of his age, so it is necessary to reevaluate the criminal age of a person".
The boys mother was wrongly reported dead and among the tortured bodies found with her son. Until today I did not know she was alive. Read that post by Havana HERE. Reading the comments of readers there were few sympathetic comments, as we put our faith in the word of the government, when will we ever learn?.....Paz, Chivis