A 14-year-old boy has been arrested by the Mexican army, who suspects him of being a hired killer for a drug cartel. He was trying to catch a plane with two of his sisters, from Cuernavaca to the US. (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk)
The military alleges that he took part in a number of beheadings under the influence of drugs supplied by the cartel.
In recent years, thousands have died in drug-related violence in Mexico.
According to the army the teenager is believed to have worked for the South Pacific drug cartel in Morelos state outside Mexico City.
Although he has admitted taking part in four murders, Edgar Jimenez said he had been drugged and threatened with death if he did not participate, an unnamed army official told AP news agency.
The army source also told AP that even though no charges have yet been filed, one of the teenager’s sister was accused of disposing of the bodies
The Reforma newspaper quoted Edgar Jimenez as saying: “I felt bad doing it. I was forced to do it. They said they would kill me if I didn’t do it.
“I only beheaded them, but never hung [bodies] from bridges, never,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Mexican cartels hang bodies from bridges at busy intersections in order to intimidate rivals.
This year, the number of crimes committed by minors in Mexico, including murders for cartels, have risen, said state officials.
The South Pacific gang is run by Hector Beltran Leyva, whose fight for control has caused a surge in violence in the states of Morelos, south of Mexico City, and neighbouring Guerrero.
Hector Beltran Leyva’s brother, Arturo was a top drug lord, but he was killed by Mexican troops a year ago.
In late 2006, president Felipe Calderon started deploying troops in order to fight the cartels. Since then, more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence.