The release of Edgar Jimenez Lugo, also known as “El Ponchis,” from a Mexican detention center to the U.S. is a nightmare. He has beheaded multiple people. Lugo is a teenage serial killer. At only seventeen, he has committed more crimes than most people on death row put together. Heinous, hideous crimes for the South Pacific drug cartel, including decapitation, kidnapping, and torture. In 2010, at the age of 14, he was captured by authorities and admitted to killing for the cartel. Under Mexican law, Lugo could only be held for three years. The teen is now being held in San Antonio. Born in San Diego, Lugo could soon be free to walk the streets and kill again.
Edgar Jimenez Lugo is a monster. When he was first captured by Mexican authorities at the age of 14, he looked like a harmless schoolboy. But this teen is a cold-blooded killer. The notorious “El Ponchis” is a U.S. citizen by birth. But this baby-faced killer started working for the South Pacific Cartel at age 11. That was when he made his first kill.
Soldiers arrested the mop-haired Jimenez, then age 14, on Dec. 2, 2010, as he tried to board a flight from Morelos state to Tijuana, across the border from San Diego. He later confessed to working for the South Pacific Cartel, a crime group based out of Acapulco and active in Cuernavaca, a resort in Morelos southwest of Mexico City.
In a blood-chilling confession hours after his arrest, Jimenez admitted that he belonged to the drug-trafficking group and was involved in the killing of four men.
Asked how he murdered them, Jimenez responded: “I cut off their heads.” A gruesome video of the beheadings later surfaced on the Internet. The bodies were found under a bridge.
Edgar Jimenez Lugo lived his life on the streets. His parents were Mexican immigrants. His story caused many people to feel sympathy for him. But his crimes are revolting. At one point, he claimed he was kidnapped and forced to work for the cartel. Regardless, Lugo was released from the Mexican detention center and sent to San Antonio, where he is in a “support center” and being treated as a “boarder.” The prospect of such a dangerous youth being freed in in the near future is terrifying. He is not being held in the U.S. for any crime. How long he will be detained in the U.S. remains isn’t known.
A spokesman for the US Embassy in Mexico City released a statement. “We are aware of Edgar Lugo’s upcoming release by the Mexican authorities following completion of his sentence,” the statement said. “We are closely coordinating with our Mexican counterparts and appropriate authorities in the United States regarding Edgar Lugo’s release. Due to privacy considerations, we do not publicly discuss details of matters involving US citizens.”
Lugo is living in a rehabilitation center in San Antonio temporarily. But how does one reform a paid hit man, a killer who decapitated people for $200 per week? This young man is already a career criminal. Because of his troubled youth, many have felt that he deserved lenient punishment. But given his atrocious crimes, freeing him will likely be a deadly mistake.
In the 1990s, child welfare officials removed Jimenez and five siblings from their parents’ custody in San Diego. In a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Edgar’s father, David Jimenez, said that he and his wife had been known to fight violently.
Edgar Jimenez’s grandmother was appointed legal guardian and brought the children to Mexico. But she died in 2004, and Jimenez dropped out of school in the third grade.
Where will he go once he is released? This is the problem since he is not being held for crimes committed in the United States. Though he is a U.S. citizen by birth, the truth is Mexican authorities wanted rid of him because the case was so high-profile. So they sent him back America. It also drew unflattering attention to how drug cartels operate in Mexico, and how they exploit children, using them and recruiting them. Often times, as in the case of Edgar Jimenez Lugo, children have no other place to go. So they join the cartel, either by choice or force.
The top security official in Morelos state, Jorge Messeguer, portrayed Jimenez as less a perpetrator than an adolescent hostage of a gang.
“He started out as a child having contact with a series of crime gangs that took him along on a series of atrocities that none of us in our right minds can comprehend,” Messeguer said.
Messeguer tweeted that the interest of the Morelos state government is that “El Ponchis is under the best conditions because he was also a victim.”
He may be a victim of abuse and neglect growing up, but he is also a killer. He has been a career criminal for most of his young life. He beheaded four people. This has to raise some serious questions about how logistically anyone could fathom the release of this young man back into society. He knows one life and that is with the cartel. What is to keep him from going back to it? Nothing.
Rosalia Martinez de Leon, another judicial official, stressed that the teen was no longer serving time.
“He is a minor who is requesting a return to his country of origin, and so … he is owed all the due protection so that he can find the best place to continue,” she said.
Edgar Jimenez Lugo is technically free. He’s back in the United States, and there is every chance that he will kill again. With our borders in a state of peril, the prospect of a “freed” teenage hit man walking the streets is a nightmarish situation. This situation is ripe for more murder, mayhem, and chaos.
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Contributed by Janna Brock of D.C. Clothesline.