A 16-year-old boy has been arrested by Mexican authorities on suspicion of killing at least 50 people while working for a gang known as Los Mazatlecos.
Yahoo News says the 16-year-old, who was identified as Francisco Miguel N. was arrested for carrying a loaded gun and drugs. After his arrest he told police he was given an AK-47 rifle and a pistol and told to carry out the various attacks in Sinaloa, Mexico, a violent northeastern state with a long tradition of drug trafficking.
According to a MSNBC report, Miguel, who also goes by the nicknames "El Nino" or "The Boy," said he had taken part in executions of police, farmers and even a musician for Los Mazatlecos, a criminal group attached to the Beltran Leyva drugs cartel. Another member of Los Mazatlecos was implicated in the assassination of the commander of the State Ministerial Police late last year.
Sinaloa is home to the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel led by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman. Beltran Leyva was once allied to Guzman's cartel, but broke away in 2008. Fighting between the two groups has continued since that time. It is unclear if the individuals targeted by Miguel were somehow associated with Guzman or his cartel.
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Mexican drug cartels
The Christian Science Monitor reported in February that in the nearly six years soon to be former Mexican President Felipe Calderon was in power, the criminal networks of five cartels, one of which is the Sinaloa drug cartel, dominated more than half of the national territory. The Beltran Leyva cartel however became a shell of its former self, partly due to skirmishes with Sinoloa. The leader of Beltran Leyva, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed by Mexican marines in December of 2009 which also contributed to the decline of the group.
Turf wars between the gangs and their clashes with security forces have killed more than 55,000 people since President Felipe Calderon took office.