The arrest earlier this month of Edgar Jimenez a/k/a El Ponchis or The Cloak, the American-born 14-year-old who has admitted to beheading at least four people on behalf of the South Pacific Cartel, comes as little surprise to those who have been following the drug war in Mexico as reported by Ioan Grillo for Time magazine: "Youth prisons in Mexico are now full of minors who have been arrested for crimes linked to the drug war. Most of the inmates had been convicted of drug-related murders, kidnapping and drug trafficking." Oswaldo Hogaz, a prison official in Juarez, Mexico, states: "These kids are cheap, bloodthirsty, and they know the government can't punish them much."
Meanwhile, The Cloak's mother -- Yolanda Jimenez Lugo -- was arrested yesterday in San Diego, CA for allegedly entering the United States illegally as reported by The Associated Press: "San Diego County court records show that in 1997, a year after Edgar was born, Yolanda Jimenez Lugo and a co-defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possessing rock cocaine with the intent to sell."
El Ponchis is not the first American juvie whom the drug cartels have recruited for their dirty work. Last year police in Laredo, TX reported that Los Zetas was signing up U.S. teenagers as young as thirteen years old to carry out enforcement hits on the north side of the border. Two such teens -- Rosalio Reta and Gabriel Cardona -- now are serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in several murders, and Reta admitted that he made his first kill at 13: "I thought I was Superman. I loved doing it, killing that first person."
It's a mad world.