1 March 2013
- The body of Jorge Armando Moreno was found near Morelos in Zacatecas
- It was found alongside bodies of four unidentified women and one man
- All six murder victims had been tortured and dumped at a busy roadside
- He was arrested this month and confessed to assassinations and murders
- But Moreno was released, with the criminal age of responsibility set at 14
A self-confessed child hitman has been found murdered in Mexico today after police were forced to return him to his mother because he was so young.
The body of Jorge Armando Moreno was found alongside five others, who had been tortured, killed and dumped at a busy roadside.
He had confessed to taking part in at least 10 assassinations and killing three people himself for the violent drugs cartel Los Zetas when he was arrested earlier this month.
But authorities in the central state of Zacatecas were forced to release him because of his age, and his body was found this morning next to a main road.
The bodies of four unidentified women and a man, which all displaying signs of torture, were found alongside him around 10 minutes drive from the state capital Morelos.
It is thought that one of the victims may be Moreno’s mother.
State prosecutor Arturo Nahle, who described Moreno as ‘extremely dangerous’ after his arrest on February 3, said: ‘It would have been better for him if we’d been able to keep him in custody.’
Moreno’s release sparked a debate about the age of criminal responsibility, which is 14 in Zacatecas.
He was just four months short of his 14th birthday when he was arrested along with 15 other suspected drugs cartel members.
Authorities said Moreno had confessed to killing a taxi driver and taking part in the murder of a woman whose body was set on fire after she was killed.
Child protection organizations estimate up to 20,000 minors are victims of exploitation by Mexico’s drugs cartels.
The country’s most famous child hitman is Edgar Jimenez, dubbed El Ponchis.
He was sentenced to three years in jail in July 2011, aged just 14, for homicide, kidnapping and drugs and weapons possession.
Jimenez was arrested when he was just 12 for crimes which included the beheading of four people and the hanging of their headless corpses from a bridge.
He confessed after his detention to working for the South Pacific drug cartel.
American-born Jimenez was arrested in the border town of Tijuana on the way to his stepmother’s home in San Diego.
Speaking after his arrest he said: ‘I participated in four executions but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t they would kill me.
‘I’ll go on the straight and narrow. I’ll work in anything else except this.’