Zacatecas, Mexico — The body of a 13-year-old hitman was discovered, along with the bodies of five other people, along a highway in northern Mexico Thursday, authorities said.
Jose Armando Moreno Leos was arrested three weeks ago by the Mexican Federal Police, according to Arturo Nahle Garcia, the state’s attorney in Zacatecas.
“After being detained, he confessed to authorities that he had participated in at least 10 homicides and that he was somebody who was good at shooting with a high-caliber weapon,” Nahle Garcia said.
After he was arrested, Moreno Leos was released into the custody of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. He was later set free in compliance with Mexican law, which prohibits the incarceration of anybody under the age of 14.
Moreno Leos missed a February 20 court date that was meant to determine custody and efforts to keep him from remaining in a life of crime. The teenager’s mother appeared instead, saying that she lost control of her son after he left the house about two years ago.
Nahle Garcia said the five other bodies, four females and one male, “all appeared to be young people.” Officials said all six were shot execution-style with high-caliber weapons.
Jose Armando Moreno Leos is not the only teenager to admit to being a hitman. In 2011, authorities arrested a 14-year-old boy known as “El Ponchis” (The Cloak), who admitted to beheading four people. He was found guilty and sentenced to three years in a correctional facility, the maximum sentence allowed under Mexican law.
“It’s really unfortunate, but we’re seeing more and more young men who drop out of school and end up selling drugs on the streets,” Nahle Garcia said. “They all end up the same. They either end up in jail or the cemetery.”