Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat material from Vanguardia and Borderland Beat Archives Proceso
The tragic story of ‘El Ponchis’, the boy hitman who learned to murder at age 11 … ‘at first I felt horrible…’
At just 11 years old, Edgar Jiménez Lugo, ‘El Ponchis’, was the first case of child hitmen known and documented in Mexico; the minor confessed that he had cut the throat of four people and that he was in charge of a group of youngsters distributing cocaine in Morelos.
In 2019 violence has broken historical records, hundreds of people have died as a result of the drug war, including innocent lives like children; Just a week ago, Mexico was dismayed when a 4-year-old boy died riddled with bullets, along with his father in Cajeme, Sonora.
However, there are other minors who enter the world of deaths and drugs, such is the case of the ‘ Sicario boy’ from Morelos, ‘El Ponchis’.
The story of this minor, Ponchis, was one of the most emblematic cases and the first documented in Mexico, who would have been recruited by organized crime at age 11.
He was dedicated, along with other children, to distribute cocaine to drug dealers in the state of Morelos.
In 2010, at age 14, he was arrested on charges of possession of exclusive military weapons and for his involvement in kidnappings, torture, and killings.
‘El Ponchis’ confessed to having cut the throat of four people. As a minor, in 2013 he was incarcerated in a therapeutic facility and released when he turned 18 and transferred to the United States, where he was born and had part of his family.
The opinions of the experts of the prison, where he was for a short time, detailed that ‘El Ponchis’ was a quiet and introverted young man.
The minor confessed that he was recruited to work for Julio Hernández Radilla, ‘El Negro’, who is behind bars for the murder of the poet Javier Sicilia’s son.
Ponchis grandmother gained custody, she is above Ponchis center at his birthday
‘El Ponchis’ grew up in a dysfunctional family. Drugs and incarceration were a big part of the story. The streets of San Diego became his home.
He was taken by child protective service workers after testing reportedly found cocaine in Edgar’s bloodstream…. at birth. Both parents were addicted to crack cocaine and had frequent brushes with the law.
His paternal grandmother filed for and was awarded custody of Ponchis and he joined her and in Morelos. He did well and was happy. His grandmother made sure he attended school. He loved his grandmother; she was his world.
In a tragic turn of events, his grandmother died of cancer and Ponchis was once again on his own.
He was not yet 12 years old.
Julio de Jesus Radilla Hernandez, alias “El Negro,” a leader in cártel del Pacífico Sur, befriended Ponchis and was persistent in recruiting the youngster. Negro had dated an older sister of the boy. He was lured by what was a fortune to Ponchis. He was added to their ranks, they paid him 2,500 dollars to execute, in his own words “at first he felt horrible.”
“I have killed four people, I had their throats cut, I felt horrible, but I was forced, with the threat of killing me if I didn’t. I just cut their throats, but I never went to hang the bodies on the bridges,” he confessed when he was detained by elements of the Mexican Army.
Ponchis was arrested by Mexican Army troops last December as he attempted to board a flight for Tijuana en route/escape to his mother’s home in San Diego, California.
Paraded before the press by soldiers, the boy confessed to the murders and other crimes.
Credited with time serviced, Jimenez was be released in December 2013, court officials told the Mexican press. Since he faces no U.S. charges, the boy will be free to move north of the border upon release.
During his interrogation he confessed to having worked for, “El Negro”, imprisoned for the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia.
Under judicial reforms enacted nine years ago, Morelos state sets a maximum sentence of three years for offenders aged 12 to 15. Older minors can be sentenced to five years in prison, and those younger than 12 can’t be tried at all.
Credited with time serviced, Jimenez was released in December 2013, court officials told the Mexican press.
Since he faces no U.S. charges, he was completely free when returned to the United States upon his release.
WHAT HAPPENED TO EL PONCHIS?
Edgar served his three-year sentence in a juvenile prison. During his stay in prison, he learned to read and write, in addition to receiving psychological attention.
He was released and was on his way to the United States — where he would soon live as a free man. Or, rather, a free boy. The killer, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, known to Mexican crime reporters as “El Ponchis,” was still only 17 years old.
Mexican authorities consider him, as a victim of organized crime. He was transferred to either San Antonio or San Diego to live with relatives.
Supposedly he still lives in the U.S. States.
After his release, the then-Morelos government secretary, Jorge Messeguer, told the press that the opinions of the prison experts, where he served his short sentence, cataloged him as a quiet and introverted young man.
To an express question of whether it was possible for the young man to commit a crime again, the official was clear: “We did everything in our power, while he was hospitalized we offered him psychological support, instruction and even guaranteed protection upon his departure.”
Edgar Jiménez Lugo was a victimizer but also a victim, ‘El Ponchis’ is just one example, perhaps the bloodiest, of a national reality: criminal children.
The future of the now 24-year-old is uncertain.
Just before his release, he gave an interview to Proceso where he said about his future;
What are you thinking when you are within the four walls, Edgar?
Well, I think about working, having a family, wellness, you know a future
Have you spoken to your mother over in the united states?
No for now but when I arrive I will–
How do you picture yourself?
I’m seeing myself, coming to society as a good man, like I already said, already reflected some things and I’m feeling there’s motivation to try other things, it isn’t the same anymore, everything is positive now.