March 17, 2023 | 3:12 p.m.
A 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Chapito” has been arrested in Mexico in connection with the drug-related killing of eight people at a birthday party, officials said.
The Federal Department of Public Security announced on Thursday the arrests of the teenager and his suspected accomplice following the January 22 massacre in the low-income suburb of Chimalhuacan in Mexico City.
Officials say “El Chapito” and a man known as “El Ñoño” rode a motorbike and opened fire on a family celebrating their birthday at their home.
The attack also injured five adults and two children, including a 3-year-old child and a minor under the age of 14.
Federal police officers also arrested seven other gang members accused of drug trafficking during a 12-hour sting operation that was carried out last weekend in suburban Mexico City.
‘El Chapito’s’ real name has not been released, but his nickname, translated as ‘Little Chapo’, is an apparent nod to notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel who is serving a life sentence in Colorado.
The motive for the January killings has not been revealed, but drug gangs in Mexico have been known to engage in kidnapping and murder for hire. They also target rivals who sell drugs in their territory or people who owe them money.
Investigators arrested “El Chapito” and the others after apprehending the leader of their gang, “El Lenguas,” 28, on February 25.
“El Chapito” was transferred to a supervising judge specialized in the integral criminal justice system for adolescents, while the adult suspects were incarcerated in the penitentiary and social reintegration center of Neza-Bordo.
Child killers are not unknown in Mexico.
In 2010, soldiers arrested a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Ponchis” or “The Cloak”, who claimed he was kidnapped when he was 11 and forced to work for the South Pacific Cartel. He says he participated in at least four beheadings.
After his arrest, the boy, a US citizen identified as Edgar Jimenez Lugos, told reporters he was drugged and threatened to commit the crimes.
Lugos was later found guilty of torturing and beheading four men and was sentenced to three years behind bars – the maximum sentence allowed by law as he was a minor at the time of the murders.
After his release from prison in 2013, Lugos was allowed to return to the United States.
With post wires