Mexican Teenage Girls Train as Drug Cartel Killers

Dave Graham, Reuters, June 17, 2011

Dwarfed by surrounding reporters and with her head bowed to avoid the television cameras, the slender 16-year-old hesitated slightly before she answered the question. “I’m a hitwoman,” she said.

Maria Celeste Mendoza was among six teenage suspected gang members arrested this week by police after a shoot-out with authorities in central Mexico, one of the growing ranks of young people working for the country’s drug cartels.

Dressed in combat fatigues and with her face hidden, the girl from the northern border state of Tamaulipas described how she had been trained to use Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons by the Zetas, one of Mexico’s most brutal gangs.

In a listless drawl, Mendoza said she was paid 12,000 pesos ($1,000) for two weeks’ work, more than three times the national average. Although she said she was trained as a hitwoman, it was unclear if she had killed anyone yet.


The Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (REDIM), an advocacy group, says some 30,000 children are believed to work for criminal gangs in Latin America’s No.2 economy, where delinquency is often blamed on high drop-out rates at school.



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.

4 Responses to “Mexican Teenage Girls Train as Drug Cartel Killers” Subscribe

  1. Annie Oakley June 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Doing the jobs Americans won’t do. (sarcasm off).

  2. Anonymous June 21, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    There’s a “Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico”? where’s the Network for the Rights of Americans Not to be Killed by these little thugettes? Sterilize them permanently before they can produce more just like themselves, then sling them back across the border where they belong.

  3. Shawn (the female) June 21, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    It seems here in the waning days of the U.S. we have a comparable and even larger hit squad. Quanisha, Tamika, Shandrika, et al, can ‘whoop they a**’.

  4. ProudtobeWhite June 21, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Stay tuned for the movie…”La Femme Juanita.”