MEXICO CITY – A Mexican teenager accused of being a drug cartel hitman who decapitated his victims has been implicated in the murders of three men whose bodies were found in clandestine graves near a highway south of the capital, authorities said.
Soldiers who took part in the recovery of the bodies told Formato 21 radio they were led to the graves by three gunmen from the South Pacific drug cartel, the same outfit that allegedly employs 14-year-old Edgar Jimenez Lugo.
The gunmen, who were arrested after a gunbattle with soldiers in Cuernavaca, a resort town in Morelos state about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Mexico City, confessed to several killings and offered to show investigators where the victims were buried.
One of the three men told police that Jimenez Lugo, known as “El Ponchis” (The Cloak), took part in the crimes.
The same man identified one of the three victims as a drug dealer from a rival cartel and another as a swindler, but provided no information about the third.
Jimenez Lugo was arrested by army troops last Thursday with two of his sisters at the airport in Xochitepec, Morelos, when he tried to catch a flight to the United States.
The three were planning to travel to the northwestern city of Tijuana and from there to neighboring San Diego, California, where their mother, Yolanda Lugo Jimenez, was arrested Monday on charges of having illegally entered the United States.
“I killed four people. I decapitated them. I felt terrible doing it (but) they forced me. They said if I didn’t do it they were going to kill me. I only decapitated them. I never hung any bodies from bridges, never,” Edgar Jimenez Lugo reportedly told prosecutors after his arrest.
Nearly 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Many victims of the gangland violence have been found decapitated and hung from bridges, as the drug mobs seek more and more grisly ways to intimidate rivals. EFE