"I'm already picturing myself as a good man," said "El Ponchis" in an interview with Proceso
|"El Ponchis" shortly after his arrest Dec. 2010|
Early this morning under heavy security of elements from state, federal and State Attorney General's Office, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, alias "El Ponchis" or "El Niño Sicario" left the Court of Justice for Adolescents in Morelos.
According to data from the Morelos government secretary, Jorge Vicente Guillén Messeguer, who said in an interview with Mexico’s Milenio news channel that the youth, had served all but about a week of his three-year sentence, had family in San Antonio. Once in the United States, Jimenez would be sent to what he referred to as a “support center” where he would be treated as a “boarder,” not as an inmate. 'El Ponchis', 17, left the detention center at 2:30 am Tuesday to be transferred to the International Airport in Mexico City .
The official explained that Edgar departed from Mexico City en route to San Antonio, Texas, USA, where his family is waiting for him to be admitted to a rehabilitation support center.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City released a statement Tuesday morning that shed little light on the fate of the youth, who was born in San Diego.
“We are aware of Edgar Lugo’s upcoming release by the Mexican authorities following completion of his sentence,” the statement said. “We are closely coordinating with our Mexican counterparts and appropriate authorities in the United States regarding Edgar Lugo’s release. Due to privacy considerations, we do not publicly discuss details of matters involving U.S. citizens.”
In a separate TV interview, Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez said that Edgar's rehabilitation had been "notable," and that he would continue it in the United States.
Ramirez confirmed that the youth was not being extradited to the U.S. Rather, he was being sent there because his life was at risk if he remained in Morelos.
It may be recalled that on 20 November, it first was reported that the teenager would not leave prison until December 3, after spending three years in captivity.
the child assassin better known as "El Ponchis", is looking for alternatives to continue his social rehabilitation process and one that is being considered is his return to the United States, where he was born.
El Ponchis was born in the United States but has spent much of his time growing up in in Mexico, where sisters and an aunt live.
His mother now lives in San Diego where she has another family.
Upon serving his sentence, the Court of Justice for Adolescents Center in Morelos the adolescent will be released from the facility and whether or not he has been able to overcome his criminal behavior remains uncertain.
Edgar "El Ponchis" Jimenez Lugo was arrested three years ago when he tried to board a flight to San Diego, California, where the flight originated. BB Dec. 3, 2010
The child, admitted to being a member of the South Pacific Cartel and participated in kidnapping, torture and murder of at least four people.
Édgar Jimenez Lugo, who at the time only14 years old, admitted to being a cartel member and participating in kidnapping and torture. He was convicted of beheading four men whose bodies were found in August 2010 under a bridge near Tabachines. He was accused abduction, of torture by beheading, transportation of drugs possession of weapons military use-only weapons, and military use during his participation in the South Pacific Cartel.
Authorities later linked him with 300 violent deaths which occurred in Morelos where he had the task of beheading and mutilating his victims.
"Edgar fulfills his sentence and will be credited with time served before or on December 3, 2013. Since he faces no U.S. charges, he will be free to move north upon his release should he so choose. The court has been considering several possibilities for his future" said Ana Perez Gomez Virinia.
Background, December 2010 Arrested, Trial July 2011MEXICO CITY — A juvenile court judge Tuesday found the child assassin nicknamed "El Ponchis" guilty of multiple murders, kidnappings and other crimes, then sentenced him to three years in a youth jail, the maximum allowed by state law.
Edgar Jimenez Lugo, 15 (at the time of his sentencing) helped murder four men and kidnap three others last year in the service of a cartel, Judge Jose Luis Jaimes ruled. The teen will serve his sentence at a youth prison outside the city of Cuernavaca, about 50 miles south of Mexico City.
Jimenez was arrested by army troops 2010 December as he attempted to board a flight with a 19-year-old sister, Elizabeth Jimenez Lugo, going to Tijuana at an airport near Cuernavaca south of Mexico City.
The two planned to cross the border into San Diego to be with their mother, Jimenez Lugo told reporters when they were handed over to federal authorities on Friday. Soldiers also detained another sister, Lina Erika Jimenez Lugo, 23, who had driven them to the airport.
Paraded before the press by soldiers, the boy confessed to the murders and other crimes.
The public confession was inadmissible in the trial that began on July 18. Instead, prosecutors called 42 witnesses in the closed-door oral trial, including several of those Jimenez was accused of kidnapping. The boy's court appointed attorneys did not call a single witness and the judge ruled other evidence presented by them to be invalid.
Officials accuse the three of working for the Cartel of the South Pacific, a branch of the splintered Beltran Leyva gang fighting for control of the central state of Morelos, where he grew up.
Jimenez and other under-aged accomplices worked as enforcers for the Beltran Leyva narcotics drug cartel in the Cuernavaca area. Following the killing by Mexican marines of boss Arturo Beltran Leyva, the gang fell into internal warfare throughout much of last year, leaving hundreds dead in and near Cuernavaca.
"El Ponchis" was tried only for the killing of four men whose bodies were hung from a busy highway overpass. In addition, he was convicted of narcotics trafficking, weapons possession and kidnapping, the state prosecutors office said in a statement.
Authorities say Edgar and his sister Elizabeth Jimenez Lugo worked for Julio "El Negro" Padilla, who has been fighting for control of the drug trade in Morelos, formerly part of the territory under the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Elizabeth Jimenez Lugo was allegedly "El Negro's" Padilla's girlfriend. He was arrested late in March 2010 for a murder near Cuernavaca and also for the murder seven innocent people found stuffed into a compact car.
Officials had not located a birth certificate for the boy is on file in San Diego County. But birth records so show Elizabeth Jimenez Lugo was born in 1991 at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in San Diego, and her sister, Lina Erika, is registered as having been born in Jiutepec, Mexico. Both records name Carmen Solis, born in 1926, as the mother and no father.
Solis, who has since died, was their paternal grandmother and she is who also raised Edgar in Jiutepec, according to a close relative, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.
Authorities had been looking for Edgar since videos appeared a month ago on the Internet showing teenagers mugging with weapons and some victims, claiming they were drug cartel assassins. One teen nicknamed "El Ponchis" was believed to be as young as 12.
The relative said his nickname is "Ponchi," a name the family gave him when he was a pudgy 4-year-old.
Soldiers hunting for the boy barged into a baptism party of his young cousin in late November and searched every corner. They returned two days later, nearly breaking down the gate to the two-story concrete house shared by several families in a working-class suburb of Cuernavaca, the relative said
This time they even checked under the bed, but didn't find the boy.
After that, his family decided to send him with his sister to San Diego to be with their mother, the relative told The Associated Press.
"We didn't think he would get caught," she said.
The boy told reporters that he was kidnapped and forced to work for the cartel at age 11 and participated in at least four executions, though he said he was drugged and under threat.
The children were taken by child protective service workers after testing reportedly found cocaine in Edgar's bloodstream. Both parents were addicted to crack cocaine and had frequent brushes with the law.
Edgar Jimenez’s grandmother was appointed legal guardian and brought the children to Mexico. But she died in 2004, and Jimenez dropped out of school in the third grade.
"The boy loved her very much, and we watched how he would hug her as if she were his mother," the relative said.
Neighbors said the father remarried and the two captured teens talked about a stepmother.
The family knew the petite boy with curly hair and soft voice was hanging out with the wrong crowd but refuse to believe he was a killer for hire.
"Ponchi was an errand boy, not an assassin," the relative said.
"He is a sweet boy," the relative said. "Maybe he appeared in the video just to show off."
But under judicial reforms enacted two years ago, Morelos state sets a maximum sentence of three years for offenders aged 12 to 15. Older minors can be sentenced to five years in prison, and those younger than 12 can't be tried at all.
On Nov. 20, credited with time served, Jimenez will be released in December 2013, court officials told the Mexican press. Since he faces no U.S. charges, the boy will be free to move north of the border upon release.
Military notes on El Ponchi; Extreme cruelty, the record reveals
Following his grandmother's death and after frequent run-ins with teachers, "El Ponchis" was allowed to drop out of school after the third grade. His street life began for real then.
Edgar Jimenez Lugo was arrested when he was 14 years old, and became known almost immediately as El Ponchis, or Sicario Niño. In the shadow of his mentor Julio Jesus Hernandez Radilla AKA Julio Jesús Padilla Hernández, who the PGR identified as "El Negro", "El Ponchis" took just two years to transcend his nickname to the national, even global levels, after a military investigation placed him as the first documented case of a child who was trained in Mexico by a crime organization to torture and kill opponents of his criminal group, often under the influences of marijuana, according to the record AP/PGR/MOR/CV/726/2010 -II.
A series of videos uploaded to the Internet in mid-2010 betrayed El Ponchis's activities, and so began the persecution that made military personnel aware of the minor as the CPS assassin, who before his arrest was already carrying a hefty list of crimes..
Minutes before taking the taxi to the airport terminal, "El Niño sicario" met with his mentor, Julio de Jesús Radilla Hernández, "El Negro, who a few days earlier recommended that "El Ponchis" should leave the country.
And while Edgar and two sisters drove to the airport, the 24th military zone received an anonymous call that warned of the imminent escape of the child sicario by plane that evening
Judicial TJO-019/2011 file contains the military report on the arrest of "El Ponchis" at the Mariano Matamoros Airport, signed by eight soldiers of the 21st Infantry Battalion of the 24th Military Zone.
The official document reported that Edgar Jimenez's father asked him several times to leave the criminal organization, while his mother only knew the teen worked washing trucks for CPS.
The military commander who arrested the child told officials it was the first time the young sicario was going to see his mother because he did not remember her well as he left the United States when he so young.
Edgar said he would travel to the United States-with a birth certificate from San Diego County, California-on instructions from his boss because who recommended the departure, "Go, because this is very bad, they will grab you, take care of yourself."
Edgar and his sisters gathered on December 2 at Las Fuentes in Civac, Cuernavaca, a regular meeting place of CPS members. Julio de Jesus Radilla was driving a white Tsuru with tinted windows, but later they took a taxi to the airport where they intended to take a flight at 21:30.
A military report signed by a military commander, identified as Barrales, said that around 20:00 that night the army received an anonymous call to report that Edgar Jimenez Lugo "El Niño Sicario" would flee on a plane to Tijuana, Baja California, with one of his sisters .
Then Lieutenant Barrales left for the airport with 16 operatives, where they found Edgar and Elizabeth who had their boarding passes printed, in hand and were preparing to leave on Volaris flight number Y4841 at 21:15 hours landing in Tijuana at 23:05 a couple hours later. They had documents for their luggage and they were in the waiting area
There the siblings were detained by the military who searched Edgar's belongings and found two pistols supplied with cartridges. Then they searched him and found in his trouser pockets 12 envelopes of cocaine and two packages of marijuana.
In their belongings they brought two birth certificates issued from the state of California and two cell phones, and on one of them, the Sony phone, there was a video where a man is being tortured by people impersonating CPS. Another video shows a dead man whose body does not have any skin on the chest, abdomen and left arm.
In another video, men are hung in a room and subjected torture. In another one, "El Ponchis" appears beating detainees with a stick that is engraved with the initials of the CPS.
The videos are of young people between 14 and 23 years old, but Edgar said the CPS had recruited new people, 19 and 20 year olds, working under the orders of Julio de Jesus Radilla,arrested in May 2011, in Veracruz suspected of the murder of seven people, including Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega, son of writer and poet Javier Sicilia.
Life with El NegroBefore authorities, Edgar said he had studied to third grade at the Miahuxochitl school, in the town of Tejalpa in the municipality of Jiutepec, Morelos, and then he was accepted and entered the CPS to meet "El Negro" when he was 12 years old, who "lifted" and took him to his home in Cuernavaca.
"Now you have a home and work," he promised him, and since then, El Ponchis said, he was subjected to military discipline by Julio de Jesus, who informed him that he had been a soldier and so when "he was in the safe house he expected good behavior or he disciplined him and others, planked even arrested him, giving him days of forced payments for offenses.
He confessed that as a "worker" for CPS he killed five people, 1 shot with a gun, four of them beheaded,"but my teammates have killed 36 people," he admitted. "El Negros" orders were to take victims to the safe houses to torture, and then murder. His work in the CPS, he said, was to steal, prohibit rivals from getting information to victims and then kill them.
One of his last exhibitions of "antisocial behavior", according to the definition of the Morelos Justice Adolescent, happened two months before the capture of "El Ponchi. It involvedand was the murder of a man whose body they dumped on the Cuernavaca-Acapulco highway, at the near the Antonio Barona neighborhood.
The head was split open and in the brain they put ground meat and then threw it in that place, says a report by the Directorate General of Regional Police Deployment of the PGR. But if greater weight was used by the prosecution to prove Edgar's "antisocial behavior" probably it was the quadruple homicide committed the August 22, 2010 around 01:00 hours, when he was in company of three of his accomplices who were in two vehicles. They intercepted a Peugeot on Avenida Ciudad Chapultepec in Cuernavaca In the Peugeot were the youngsters named Edgar Eduardo Ayala Gallardo , Mauricio Michael Maravilla Martinez, Eder Ernesto Calderon Martínez, andEric Ivan Ayala Ortiz.
Subsequently, the hostages were taken under the threat of high powered weapons to the safe house in Colonia Las Fuentes, Jiutepec. There they were beaten in the face, skull, thorax, neck, chest, abdomen and then tied with a plastic cord. They they cut off various parts of their bodies. Their genitals were chopped off and heads decapitated. Then they were taken to kilometer 93 on the Mexico-Acapulco highway. There they attached a card to the bodies, the genitals were cast on the asphalt. From the bridge at Tabachines, where they suspended bodies with plastic ropes tied to the feet and slipped them into the void. In the end they put a cardboard and genitals on the asphalt.
JIUTEPEC, Mexico - U.S. Embassy officials met with Mexico's alleged child assassin to check on his welfare and provide him with legal information. It is unclear whether the request was initiated by the teenager or the U.S. authorities who have regularly visited Edgar Jiminez at the custody center in Morelos that currently holds 134 juveniles.
Another Spokesman for the US Embassy refused to comment on the case after consulting with the State Department. Several U.S. law enforcement agencies also declined to comment on Edgar’s transfer request.
Edgar, who turned 17 in May, has not been accused of crimes in the Americans or U.S. institutions. Criminal justice experts, however, have said U.S. prosecutors could try to pursue conspiracy charges against the teen based on possible links to cross-border drug smuggling networks.
"I'm already picturing myself as a good man," said El Ponchi
At 14 he gave his first interview with two Army soldiers at his side. Then he revealed that he had beheaded four against the Beltran Leyva Cartel in Morelos.
Three years afterwards, days before leaving the Custody Discipline Center Cempla, after completing his sentence, Édgar Jiménez Lugo, in a telephone interview, confessed he had been living in hell inside the jail and promised upon leaving to live a different life, but at 17, it is not clear how he will do it
The only thing he knows he's not afraid of what's to come–
Are you not afraid of it out there, things aren't like they were before–
I'm more concerned than anything but not afraid
Édgar Jiménez Lugo known by his family as El Ponchis, was detained December 2, 2010 when he tried to escape to the US; the army was already looking for him.
A day later, he was presented outside the PGR in Morelos.
Now remember that previous to his detention he had talked with his mother
She asked me what had happened and why had they detained me over . She couldn't believe her eyes.
Did you tell her you would go to her?
No, well I told her I was going to her to start a new life but then I couldn't make it.
You already wanted to change life since they detained you
Well I already was going for an improvement in my life and I was going to leave my shit behind
Is it true that the military hit you? But he refuses to answer
Prior to his release, Édgar only knows that no later than the third of December he will leave after three year in Cempla. However the waiting in cell 6, he confesses feel good and different than when I entered. I feel good, different.
So well he affirms it that he could go to the US even though he prefer to stay in Mexico–
do you want to go or to stay here in Mexico
–no, well here in Mexico–
They already are helping you find work–
the truth is that I go and I have thought I go there in order to change my life–
You already spoke with your family to know what they're going to do
And what did they tell you?
no, well, because we'll talk about when I go out and then decide what to do
A minor, the Unitary Court of Justice, sentenced him to three years in prison after finding him guilty of crimes of homicide, organized crime and possessing a firearm used exclusively by the army .
In a few days his sentence will be fullfilled
no, well the truth I've thought and wondered reflecting about things because out there I wasn't thinking nothing
–Did lonliness come to you. Were you bothered by lonliness
Dang being here sucks, it's fucking hell.
What are you thinking when you are within the four walls, Edgar–
Well I think about working, having a family, wellness, you know a future
Have you spoken to you mother over there in the united states– no for right anow but when I arrive yes–
How do you picture yourself?
I'm seeing myself, coming to society as a good man , like I already said, already reflected some things and I'm feeling there's motivation to try other things, not the same anymore, it is positive now
Edgar left Court of Justice for Adolescents (Cempla) Tuesday morning and was taken to Imigration (INM) to process his assisted return to the United States. In the morning he was taken to the International Airport of Ciudad de Mexico where he was transported to San Antonio informed Jorge Messeguer, Government Secretary. In respect to the judge, Ana Virinia Pérezcial, who explained that it will be a welfare institution which concludes with a reintegration treatment that he didn't finish by the end of the three years
The judge of the case, Rosalía Martínez de León in a press conference explained that the court has the legal right to anticipate the departure of adolescents of Cempla.
The judge explained that Édgar was taken to immigration to process the minor's assisted return to the United State upon having made the request of the American consulate
the officials explained that the minor will be handed over to the American government who will be completing the reintegration or reinsertion at an institution they don't even know the name.
El Ponchis' Prognosis is good according to Vanguardia
Lastly Vangardia says in a Nov. 30 article that the prognosis for social reintegration of El Ponchis is bad. the study of his personality made during his stay at the Center for Freedom custodial Measures (Cempla) of Morelos.According to the text, the young could even return to the delinquency of a more violent form.
"It is likely that upon release integrates major criminal gangs and their degree of danger rises considerably," the study dated February 16, 2012.
I considered high risk to society, with low IQ, called "Niño Sicario" presents conduct disorder, characterized by conducting aggressive, transgressive behaviors of social and legal norms.
This, says the study, was shown by the acts committed by the young man (confessed to beheading four people). Furthermore, the degree of aggressiveness is high, as well as his self-centeredness and emotional indifference (not interested in others).
On November 26, El Ponchis ended his years of imprisonment and was moved to Mexico City to be shipped to the U.S., where his parents live.
His profile produced by the Cempla of Morelos, El Ponchis is not subject to the rules, shows discontent and aggression.
His life of crime is the result of coming from a dysfunctional, disorganized, and highly criminogenic family because his parents were were arrested on crimes related to drugs on several occasions and even on child abuse/neglect to their six children, the children were removed from the home.
Sources: Riodoce, Univision, Dailybreeze, informador, Universal, Latimes, Diario, Vanguardia