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Accused Teenaged Assassin Was Born In S.D.

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Video published December 10, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: A 14-year-old boy born in San Diego was arrested in Mexico this week. Authorities claim he killed at least four people on behalf of drug traffickers in Central Mexico. Other members of the teen's family have also been arrested including his mother, who was living in San Diego. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson joins us with the latest details.

A 14-year-old boy born in San Diego was arrested in Mexico this week. Authorities claim he killed at least 4 people on behalf of drug traffickers in Central Mexico. Other members of his family have also been arrested including the boy's mother, who was living in San Diego. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson explains.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

A 14-YEAR-OLD BOY BORN IN SAN DIEGO WAS ARRESTED IN MEXICO THIS WEEK. AUTHORITIES CLAIM HE KILLED FOUR PEOPLE ON BEHALF OF DRUG TRAFFICKERS IN CENTRAL MEXICO. HALF OF THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY HAVE BEEN ARRESTED INCLUDING THE BOY'S MOTHER WHO IS LIVING IN SAN DIEGO. BORDER REPORTER AMY ISAACSON IS HERE TO EXPLAIN THE DETAILS. WHAT LED TO THE ARREST OF THE 14-YEAR-OLD.

THERE WERE TEENAGERS WHO UPLOADED A VIDEO OF THEMSELVES AND GUNS AND SUPPOSEDLY A BODY AND TALKING ABOUT A 12-YEAR-OLD KILLER. THAT TIPPED OFF AUTHORITIES. AUTHORITIES WENT TO LOOK FOR THIS BOY. THEY FOUND HIM AT THE AIRPORT WITH A TICKET TO TIJUANA IN HIS PLAN SUPPOSED ALL TO CROSS TO SAN DIEGO TO SEE HIS MOM.

WHO DO YOU AUTHORITIES SAY HE DID?

HE TOLD CAMERAS, BECAUSE THE ARMY TOOK HIM IN FRONT OF CAMERAS THAT HE PARTICIPATED IN FOUR EXECUTIONS, DECAPITATIONS, HE HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED BY THE CARTEL AT 11, DRUGGED AND FORCED INTO SERVITUDE.

WE HAVE HEARD OF CHILD SOLDIERS FORCED TO FIGHT IN OTHER PLACES. DOES THE SAME THING SEEM TO BE HAPPENING HERE?

TO THE EXTENT THAT CHILDREN ARE VULNERABLE YES. DO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS A BREAK DOWN IN SOCIETY YES. TO THE CHILDREN SOLDIER IN MEXICO I COULD THINK NEIGHBOR GANG BANGER. KIDS ON THE TREAT CORNERS GET TIED UP AS LOOKOUTS OR DELIVERING DRUGS. THIS CASE IS GETTING SO MUCH PRESS BECAUSE IT IS SO EXTRAORDINARY. IT IS NOT LIKE IN SIERRA LEON WHERE THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILD SOLDIERS. THIS IS ONE CASE WHERE A KID WAS A KILLER. A FEDERAL CONGRESSMAN FROM TIJUANA ESTIMATED 50,000 KIDS BEING TURNED INTO SOLDIERS.

HIS NAME IS EDGAR LUCO. WHAT DID HE SAY ABOUT HE IS CONNECTION TO THE CARTEL?

HE SAID I'M DONE. HE SAID THAT TO THE CAMERAS. HE SAID IT DONE IT. IT IS A KID TALKING IN FRONT OF CAMERAS. WHO KNOWS WHAT PRESSURES HE WAS UNDER? THAT'S GOING TO BE INVESTIGATED.

DOES THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO HIM? HE IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND HE'S BEING DETAINED. WHAT'S THE RESPONSIBILITY?

ANY TIME A U.S. CITIZEN IS DETAINED IN FOREIGN CUSTODY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES THAT THEY SEND TO MEET WITH THE PERSON. IN THIS CASE THEY DONE THAT EARLIER THIS WEEK.

DO WE HAVE A SENSE OF THE SENTENCE HE WOULD RECEIVE?

AS A JUVENILE IN MEXICO THE SENTENCE IS NOT TOO MUCH. THEY CAN HOLD HIM UNTIL HE'S 18 YEARS OLD. THEN HE WILL BE SET FREE. THIS IS THE DISCUSSION ABOUT JUVENILE JUSTICE IN MEXICO TO REFORM IT SO CHILDREN CAN BE TRIED AS ADULTS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU.

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