13-Year-Old Mexican Assassin, Murdered Execution Style
Jose Armando Moreno Leos, 13, was found Thursday, February 28, alongside a highway in the municipality of Morelos. Moreno Leos was arrested three weeks ago by the Mexican Federal Police and confessed that he had actively contributed to at least 10 homicides. Additionally, he claimed he was “somebody who was good at shooting with a high-caliber weapon.” (cnn.com)
Despite Moreno Leos’ admission that he was an assassin for a Mexican drug cartel, he was set free in compliance with the law after being turned over to the Attorney General’s Office. In Mexico, the constitution bans the incarceration of children under the age of 14.
On February 20, Moreno Leos was to attend a court appearance, but he failed to appear; his mother attended and informed the judge that she had “lost control of her son after he left the house at about age 11.” (cnn.com)
There were five other bodies found at the scene, where the 13-year-old boy was found, four females and one male. Officials are still in the process of identifying the victims but say they were all shot execution-style and appear to be young.
While 13 may seem young for an assassin, Moreno Leos is not the youngest to be involved in such a violent lifestyle. In 2010, the
Mexican Army was hunting a 12-year-old assassin known as “The Cloak”. There were reports that he was paid $3000 per murder and he would torture his victims before their murders, then he would cut their throats leaving them attached by only a thread.
In 2011, “The Cloak” was arrested and found guilty of his crimes; he was sentenced to three years, the maximum under Mexican law.
Children are much easier to influence and are willing to do more for less money making them a better bargain. They are also less threatening at first glance, most would not think a 12 or 13-year-old would be coming after them. However, with Mexico’s current state of affairs, anything is possible.