Teen Edgar Jimenez Lugo Sentenced to 3 Years for Mexican Drug-Cartel Killings

Daniel Hernandez, The Vancouver Sun, July 26, 2011

The “boy killer” who for many became a symbol of the lawlessness and social deterioration of Mexican society because of the nation’s drug war was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for killing four people in Morelos state.

Edgar Jimenez Lugo, alias “El Ponchis,” was 14 years old when he was arrested by the Mexican army in December. The teenager admitted before news cameras at the time that he began killing at age 11 and that a cartel paid him $200 a week to do it. He claimed to have beheaded four of his victims.

Three years is the maximum sentence for underage criminals in Morelos state, said Juan Carlos Castro, a Juvenile Court spokesman. However, because of time already served, Jimenez will now spend two years and five months of his sentence behind bars, Castro said.

Jimenez was arrested Dec. 2, 2010, while attempting to board a flight to Tijuana from the city of Cuernavaca, presumably planning to escape to the U.S. after details of his alleged exploits began appearing in Mexican newspapers. He was born in San Diego but grew up in Jiutepec, a small town near Cuernavaca where he was “kind of forgotten,” his father, David Jimenez, told the Los Angeles Times last year.

The case shook Mexico. Good schools and good jobs remain out of reach for many young people, leaving up to a million youths drawn to the easy money and dubious street glory of the drug trade, university studies have shown.

The tale of “El Ponchis” was especially chilling. Jimenez was charged with four cartel-related executions–“I cut their throats,” he said at the time–as well as carrying illegal weapons and trafficking in cocaine.

The teenager appeared remorseless after his arrest. Even as Jimenez’s father attempted to defend his son before reporters last year, the boy responded to a question about his parents by saying, “They’re dead.”

Jimenez’s sentencing came on the same day as violent incidents roiled Mexico amid President Felipe Calderon’s 4 1/2-year assault on organized crime.

On Tuesday morning, the body of a missing journalist was found decapitated near the port city of Veracruz, the latest in a growing number of attacks against journalists in Mexico.

Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, a police reporter, worked at the same newspaper that employed Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a columnist who criticized local politicians. He was killed in an ambush at his home in late June, along with two members of his family.

Veracruz state authorities made an early denial Tuesday that Ordaz was killed for her “journalistic work,” hinting at “links to organized crime” but not elaborating.

Also on Tuesday, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, 17 people were reported killed after a riot in the municipal prison.

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  • Chicagoan

    Since he has American citizenship maybe he’ll end up living in the US after he finishes up his sentence in Mexico. It’s a possibility.

  • Anonymous

    this is so messed up, i am at a loss for words. killing at 11-14. i am ten yrs older than him and have not ever killed anyone.

  • WASP

    Latin America is brimming with murderous criminals and corrupt criminal justice systems that catch and release them back into the society after ridiculously light sentences.

    One that comes to mind is the serial killer Pedro Lopez (e.g. the Monster of the Andes) who killed over 300 little girls after raping them and then burned their bodies and buried them. He also murdered at least five adults.

    After serving 16 years (apparently not much is thought of little girls in Latin America), he was released and quickly dropped out of sight. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

    Sometimes they make their way into the USA and ride the rails like the serial murderer Angel Maturino Resendez did or if they are younger often join street gangs and start putting in “work.”

    The latter were responsible for crimes like murdering the Catholic Church Cardinal of Mexico for their San Diego Hispanic streetgang.

    But then all of this is just the tip of the iceberg.