Children Of The Drug War

Alexis Okeowo reflects on the case of Edgar (El Ponchis) Jiménez Lugo, a fifteen-year-old drug cartel assassin who says he started killing at age eleven:

While there are efforts to aid child soldiers and slaves in conflicts around the world, the Mexican drug insurgency’s effects on children have been largely ignored. At least thirty thousand minors have been recruited by cartels, which promise quick and easy money to kids who have been orphaned by the drug violence, or who lack schooling and regular employment. It’s not known how many of those children are becoming hired killers.