Prosecutors in a Mexican border state say a group of youths aged 11 to 15 tortured, killed and buried a 6-year-old boy as part of what they considered “playing.”
A statement by the Chihuahua state prosecutors’ office says the minors admitted last Thursday’s killing in a poor neighbourhood of the state capital.
It says two 13-year-old girls, an 11-year-old boy and two 15-year-olds caught Cristopher Raymundo Martinez, tied him up, nearly asphyxiated him with a bar, stoned him and then stabbed him in the back. Then they buried the six-year-old in a shallow grave.
The body was found on Saturday. The prosecutors’ statement expresses concern over a killing that shows “social decomposition” and an “absence of values.”
The two 15-year-olds face criminal charges. The younger children were turned over to juvenile authorities. The boy was found in a shallow grave by a stream on Saturday, on the outskirts of the Chihuahua state capital. The body was found after investigators interrogated the children.
The five were detained as “probable culprits in an act that reflects a problem of social decay,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The victim disappeared late Thursday and his mother reported his disappearance the next morning, sparking a search.
The boy and the other children are neighbours who knew each other. “They were playing, they tied him up and they put a stick on his neck that semi-asphyxiated him,” the statement said.
“When the boy fell to the ground, they hurled rocks at him, they stuck a knife in his back and once dead, they dragged him where they deposited the body, in a shallow dig,” it said.
“They covered the body with dirt and put plants and a dead animal on the surface” in a bid to hide him, the statement said.
The two 15-year-old boys could be jailed if found guilty but the other three other minors face “other types of sanctions,” prosecutors said.
The state has witnessed some of the worst bloodshed in Mexico’s drug war, with thousands of people killed in turf wars between cartels.
Chihuahua, which borders Texas, is home to Ciudad Juarez, which was once considered the world’s murder capital outside a warzone as the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels fought for the territory.
The city’s murder rate has dramatically dropped in the past four years but the state continues to witness murders, torture, kidnappings and extortion.
The five children accused of murder “are victims of an environment of extreme violence,” said Juan Martin Perez, executive director of the Children’s Rights Network, a non-governmental organization.
“There’s a strong presence and culture of organised crime and a lack of culture of rule of law,” he said.
“The children reflect what they experience every day.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved