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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Mexico to Consider Lower Age of Criminal Prosecution Down to 16-Year-Old

Mexico to Consider Lower Age of Criminal Prosecution Down to 16-Year-Old

Photo: Judicial Reform in Mexico

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A Mexican state prosecutor wants Congress to consider making the age of criminal responsibility lower than 18 after authorities were required by law to release a 13-year-old boy who confessed to participating in nearly a dozen homicides.

“These are very, very young kids who are entering the ranks of organized crime” in Mexico, Zacatecas state Attorney General Arturo Nahle told Efe.

He issued the call after the release of the 13-year-old minor, who was arrested along with several other suspects at a home in Zacatecas city, the state capital, on Feb. 4.

The adult suspects remain in custody, but the unidentified boy gave a statement at the CIAIJ youth-detention facility and was subsequently released.

“Because of his age, he had to be released immediately even though he confessed to participating recently in 10 homicides,” Nahle said.

Under current Mexican law, only minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can be locked up at youth-detention facilities.

According to Nahle, this case reopens an old debate about the age of criminal responsibility and whether legislators should consider lowering it to 17 or 16.