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Mexico: Boy arrested in killings of 8 people

MEXICO –

Mexican authorities have arrested a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Chapito” for the drug-related killings of eight people near Mexico City, the federal Department of Public Security said Thursday.

The boy is believed to have ridden a motorcycle and opened fire on the family in the low-income suburb of Chimalhuacan, Mexico City. Another man was also arrested in the Jan. 22 killings, and seven other gang members were arrested on drug charges.

At the time of the attack, the victims had organized a party at their home, as a result of which five adults and two children were also injured. It was reportedly a birthday party.

The boy’s name has not been released, but his nickname, “Little Chapo,” is an apparent reference to jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzm├ín.

Motives for the killings have not been released, but drug gangs in Mexico often engage in kidnappings and contract killings. They also kill competitors who sell drugs in their area or people who get money.

Mexico is no stranger to child killers.

In 2010, soldiers arrested a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “El Ponchis,” who claimed he had been kidnapped at age 11 and forced to work for the South Pacific Cartel, an offshoot of the splinter Beltran Leyva gang. He said he participated in at least four beheadings.

After his arrest, the boy, who authorities identified only by his first name, Edgar, told reporters he was drugged and threatened into committing the crimes.

Also Thursday, prosecutors in the northern border state of Sonora said they had arrested a woman in connection with nine murders in the border city of Mexicali.

The state’s attorney’s office said the woman had outstanding warrants for two murders, but was named in seven other homicide investigations. The office did not say what the possible motives for those murders could be.

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