A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a birthday party massacre that left eight dead and seven injured, including children.
A young teenager nicknamed “El Chapito” allegedly rode up to a family celebration on a motorcycle and opened fire on attendees in Mexico City on January 22.
The boy, whose identity has not been released, was arrested along with an alleged accomplice known as “El Ono,” Mexican authorities said Thursday.
The killing took place in the low-income neighborhood of Chimalhuacan, Mexico City, during a party.
The attackers killed eight people, injured five adults and two children, including a 3-year-old child.
Federal police also arrested seven members of the same gang on drug-related charges during a 12-hour sting operation in suburban Mexico City last weekend.
The motive for the birthday party killings has not yet been revealed, but drug cartels in Mexico are known for carrying out contract killings or exacting merciless revenge on rivals and enemies.
Child killers are not uncommon in Mexico, which is still reeling from news of “El Ponchis” crimes.
The 14-year-old, known only as Edgar, admitted to at least four beheadings in 2010.
However, the young boy claimed he was kidnapped at the age of 11 and forced to commit horrific crimes on behalf of the South Pacific cartel.
For now, El Chapito has been transferred to a specialized juvenile criminal justice facility.
The boy’s nickname is a reference to notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the vicious former leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
Guzman was arrested and extradited to the US in 2017. He was convicted in 2019 of drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons offenses. He is now serving a life sentence in Colorado.
The drug lord’s son, Ovidio Guzmán, was captured in a dramatic operation by Mexican security forces in January.
His arrests sparked an all-out war as a wave of violence ripped through Sinaloa state. The army was forced to take to the streets to fight members of a vicious drug cartel.
At least 30 people were killed in bloody clashes between the military and cartel militants.
News of El Chapito’s arrest comes as waves of gang violence roil Mexico and tourists are being warned to avoid traveling to the country.
Just as university students flock to Mexico for spring break, there is a spike in brutal murders and kidnappings, causing many to abandon their trips.