GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexican police are investigating a 16-year-old boy suspected of working as a hitman for Los Mazatlecos gang in northwestern Mexico.
Francisco Miguel N., also known as “The Boy,” is suspected of participating in at least 50 murders, Reuters reported today.
His victims included police and farmers, El Universal reported.
Los Mazatlecos is faction of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in the coastal state of Sinaloa, which has a long history of drug trafficking.
El Universal reported that Miguel was arrested for carrying a loaded gun. He later confessed to working as a hitman for the group, Reuters said.
Teenagers are lured to work for drug cartels by the prospect of making quick money in a country where wages are low and youth unemployment high.
More than 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since late 2006 when the sitting President Felipe Calderon launched an aggressive offensive against the drug cartels.
Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers across the country to fight the gangs. He has defended the controversial strategy, saying it has cost the traffickers more than $14 billion and resulted in the arrests of many senior gang members.
In recent weeks, Mexican authorities have captured leaders of the Gulf Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation gang and La Resistencia.
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