Edgar Jimenez Lugo, 17, a U.S. citizen who goes by the nickname “El Ponchis” (the cloaked one), is expected to be released from a Mexican prison in early December.
In December 2010, Jimenez, then 14, was arrested by the Mexican army, and readily admitted to working as a hit man for the South Pacific Cartel, beginning at age 11.
The diminutive assassin was captured at the airport near Cuernavaca, as he tried to board a flight, in an attempt to return to the U.S. He, along with his 16-year-old sister planned to fly to Tijuana and then cross the border to San Diego, where their mother and father live.
At a press conference, the unapologetic teenager said:
I participated in four executions, but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t, they would kill me.
According to Mexican authorities, the boy said in his confession: “I have killed four people, I beheaded them. I felt ugly to do that. They forced me, saying they’d kill me if I didn’t do it. I only behead them, but I never went hanging them from bridges, never.”
Apparently, the boy’s sister would help dump the bodies, after her brother decapitated the victims.
Jimenez was born in San Diego, but has spent most of his life in Mexico.
In July, 2011, Jimenez was sentenced to three years in prison for four murders, kidnapping, and drug and weapons possession.
Mexican law only allows for a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment for criminals aged 14-16, no matter what the crime may be…even murder.
The case has prompted many in Mexico to ask legislators to reform the country’s juvenile justice system and greatly increase the prison sentences for minors who commit murder.
Jimenez left San Diego when he was only an infant to live with his paternal grandmother in Mexico. He was taken from his mother and father, Yolanda and David Antonio Jimenez, by San Diego County Child Protective Services after he tested positive for cocaine, shortly after his birth.
His parents were convicted on drug charges and deported to Mexico.
However, his mother re-entered the U.S. at some point and was arrested in San Diego by Border Patrol agents, four days after her son was arrested in 2010.
Of course, as a U.S. citizen, Jimenez can legally return to the United States anytime after his release.
The South Pacific Cartel is run by Hector Beltran-Leyva, his brother, Arturo Beltran-Leyva, was killed last year by the Mexican military in Cuernavaca. After he was killed, a fight ensued for control of the cartel which has produced unprecedented violence in an around the resort city of Acapulco.