A 14-year-old American boy admitted on live TV that he had killed four people on orders from Mexican drug cartels.
“I slit their throats,” the boy, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, said, “They drugged me and forced me to do it.”
In response to the boy’s crimes, he was sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center for murder, kidnapping and weapons possession. He has since been released, and is scheduled to return to Texas, the New York Daily News reports.
Lugo is now 17 years old. His mother lives in El Paso, where he is scheduled to return. When he was 11, he was sent from his birthplace of San Diego to Mexico to live with his grandparents due to his parents’ fighting and marital troubles. He was subsequently kidnapped by the Beltran Leyva cartel and forced to carry out the cartel’s crimes.
The return of Lugo to his native United States raises questions about the boy’s behavior. He claims he was forced into committing the crimes, but violent crimes of that nature are not easy to overcome.
Speaking with AP, the interior secretary of southern Morelos state, Jorge Messeguer, explained that it would be difficult to say for certain that Lugos has been rehabilitated.
“Being able to say whether he’s been rehabilitated, that would be risky. I wouldn’t really dare say that, because obviously the crimes he committed were so severe,” Messeguer said.
Three years is the maximum sentence for juveniles in the Mexican state of Morelos. Lugo is not expected to be prosecuted upon his return to the United States.