US teen, alleged cartel hitman, on trial in Mexico

A Mexican soldier escorts "Edgar" aka "El Ponchis", an alleged hitman for the South Pacific drug cartel, in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico, Dec. 2, 2010.
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MIACATLAN, Mexico - A Mexican court has begun the trial of a 15-year-old U.S. citizen accused of working as a hitman for a drug cartel.

The defendant is identified only as Edgar. He was born in San Diego and raised in Mexico by a grandmother.

Prosecutors say that after his December arrest the teenager confessed to killing four people whose decapitated bodies were found in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City. He is now 15 years old. He reportedly began working for the South Pacific cartel when he was only 11 years old.

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The trial that opened Monday is being held behind closed doors for security reasons.

The teen faces up to just three years in prison if convicted of murder and other charges, due to his status as a minor, according to The Houston Chronicle.

His arrest came at a time Mexico was talking about a YouTube video that appeared to show other Mexican adolescents posing with dead bodies and weapons.