A 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Chapito” has been arrested in Mexico in connection with the drug-related slaughter of eight people at a birthday party, officials said.
The federal Public Safety Department announced Thursday the arrests of the teenager and his alleged accomplice stemming from the massacre that took place on Jan. 22 in the low-income Mexico City suburb of Chimalhuacan.
According to officials, “El Chapito” and a man known as “El Ñoño” allegedly rode up on a motorcycle and opened fire on a family celebrating a birthday at their home.
The attack also injured five adults and two children, including a 3-year-old and a minor younger than 14.
Federal police officers also arrested seven other accused gang members on drug charges during a 12-hour sting operation that was carried out last weekend in Mexico City suburbs.
“El Chapito’s” real name was not released, but his nickname, translated as “Little Chapo,” is an apparent nod to notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the former head of the Sinaloa cartel who is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado.
The motive behind the January killings has not been disclosed, but drug gangs in Mexico are known to dabble in kidnapping and murders-for-hire. They also target rivals selling drugs on their turf, or people who owe them money.
Investigators collared “El Chapito” and the others after apprehending the leader of their gang, 28-year-old “El Lenguas,” on Feb. 25.
“El Chapito” has been transferred to a Specialized Control Judge in the Comprehensive Criminal Justice System for Adolescents, while the adult suspects have been booked into the Neza-Bordo Penitentiary and Social Reintegration Center.
Child killers are not unheard of in Mexico.
In 2010, soldiers detained a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Ponchis,” or “The Cloak,” who claimed he was kidnapped at age 11 and forced to work for the Cartel of the South Pacific. He said he had participated in at least four beheadings.
After his arrest, the boy, a US citizen identified as Edgar Jimenez Lugos, told reporters that he was drugged and threatened into committing the crimes.
Lugos was subsequently found guilty of torturing and decapitating four men and was sentenced to three years behind bars — the maximum penalty allowed by law because he was a minor at the time of the killings.
After his release from prison in 2013, Lugos was allowed to return to the US.
With Post wires