Los Angeles Times

Teen known as ‘El Chapito’ arrested in Mexico killings


MEXICO CITY — Mexican authoritie­s have arrested a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Chapito” in the drug-related killing of eight people near Mexico City, the federal Public Safety Department said Thursday.

The boy is accused of riding up on a motorcycle and opening fire on a family in the low-income Mexico City suburb of Chimalhuac­an. A man was also arrested in the Jan. 22 killings, and seven other alleged gang members were arrested on drug charges.

The victims were holding a party at their house at the time of the attack, which also left five adults and two children wounded. It was reportedly a birthday party.

The boy’s name was not released, but his nickname — “Little Chapo” — is an apparent reference to imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The motive in the killings has not been made public, but drug gangs in Mexico frequently dabble in kidnapping and contract killing. They have also been known to kill rivals selling drugs on their territory, or people who owe them money.

Minors who kill are nothing new in Mexico.

In 2010, soldiers detained a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Ponchis.” The boy claimed he was kidnapped when he was 11 and forced to work for the Cartel of the South Pacific, a branch of the splintered Beltran Leyva gang. He said he had participat­ed in the decapitati­ons of at least four people.

After his arrest, “El Ponchis” told reporters he had been drugged and threatened into committing the crimes.

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