Alleged 14-year-old assassin arrested by Mexican army

CUERNAVACA, MEXICO—The Mexican army has detained a 14-year-old suspected of working as a killer for a drug cartel, an army official said Friday.

The much-rumoured alleged young assassin nicknamed “El Ponchis” was captured late Thursday at the airport in Cuernavaca with his 16-year-old sister as they were trying to catch a flight to Tijuana, said the official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The boy was brought to the office of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office in Cuernavaca early Friday and told reporters there that he participated in at least four decapitations. The source said his sister was accused of getting rid of the bodies.

“I participated in four executions, but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t, they would kill me,” said the teen, who appeared calm and showed no remorse.

No formal charges had yet been filed.

The sister told reporters that they planned to cross the border to San Diego, Calif., where their mother lives.

The two were suspected of helping the South Pacific Cartel headed by Hector Beltran Leyva, brother of Arturo Beltran Leyva, a top drug lord who was killed by Mexican marines in Cuernavaca a year ago.

Hector Beltran Leyva’s fight for control the cartel has caused a major spike in violence in Morelos, a state just south of Mexico City, and in neighbouring Guerrero state, where the resort of Acapulco is located.

Rumours that have circulated for weeks of a killer named “El Ponchis” as young as 12 years old.

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