Mexican drug cartels are allegedly hiring hitmen as young as 12 years old to kill rivals and, failing that, random people — "maybe a construction worker or a taxi driver" — one kid, "El Ponchis" says on a cartel video.

Mexican police are looking for a boy, thought to be about 12, nicknamed "El Ponchis" (the Cloak) who allegedly kills people for the Beltran Leyva cartel. This comes after the arrest of another boy, thought to be about the same age, for working as a hitman for the South Pacific cartel outside of Mexico City. Here's the video (in Spanish) of El Ponchis "confessing" to murders for which he was paid $3,000 each, followed by a photo montage of other kids posing with guns and corpses:

[Image via AP]