I can't believe I didn't hear about this sooner. I suppose released public information was rather limited because he was a minor. These drug cartels are recruiting these guys younger and younger. This is little different than what is going on in parts of Africa where rebel groups are forcing young children into roving armies that hack their way through the oppositional countryside.A 14-year-old American citizen has been found guilty in a Mexican court of torturing and beheading at least four people and kidnapping three others. Judge Jose Luis Jaimes sentenced the teenager, known as "El Ponchis" ("The Cloak") to three years in a correctional facility -- the maximum sentence allowed under Mexican law because of his age. The teen also must pay a 4.5 million-peso fine (about $400,000). Mexican authorities also said the 14-year-old was responsible for at least three kidnappings as an operative for the South Pacific Cartel.
"How many have you killed?" one reporter asks. "Four," responds the accused, who seems calm and collected in a video of the interview." How did you execute them?" the questioner continues. "I slit their throats," the teen replies. Authorities recorded the video only hours after they arrested the teenager near Mexico City last December as he was allegedly trying to catch a flight to Tijuana to flee to the United States. A YouTube video that circulated last year purportedly showed the teenager beating a man with a two-by-four while the man was tied at the wrists and hanging from the ceiling, as other young people watched.
What is going on in these cartels that they can be this successful in brainwashing young people? Do they convince them with death threats? Are there large financial incentives? Do they cultivate an intense, bubble-like society similar to a cult and brainwash these kids? Or is it developing a loyal, camaradic hierarchy like in urban street gangs (which are likely closely involved with the distribution of the drugs) where they can earn status/power?
Also, what do you all think about this teenager's sentencing?
In general, I am woefully uninformed on this rapidly growing problem along our border.