Drug War

Teen Hit Man Is U.S. Citizen

A 14-year-old accused of killing for a Mexican cartel has turned out to be a U.S. citizen. Flanked by police, the teen told reporters he was an orphan, that he’d dropped out of school in the third grade, and that the cartel leader Julio “El Negro” Padilla had forced him to work as a hit man, drugging him and telling him to work or be killed. He joined the Pacifico Sur cartel when he was 12. The teen was carrying a birth certificate issued in San Diego when he was detained along with two of his sisters in a central Mexico airport, and the State Department has confirmed he is a U.S. citizen.