A report by The New York Times today reveals the new trend for Mexican cartels is recruiting American teens along impoverished U.S. bordertowns, adding complexity and tensions to life along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The story centers around Rosalio Reta, a 19-year-old Mexican American former Zeta, the infamous assassins who work for the violent Gulf Cartel. Reta, who is now serving 70 years in a Texas jail, tells how he and other Zeta members were recruited and his “love” for what he did; the teen says it gave him a sense of invincibility, like Superman or James Bond.
Reta had been working for the Zetas since he was 13, a story which sadly is being seen more and more as the cartels lure these young men from gritty, indigent areas with promises of tons of money ($500 as a weekly retainer, aside from $10,000 to $50,000 for each killing, plus incentives for jobs well done), hot cars and even women. While working as a hired killer, Reta along with two other American teens, lived in a comfortable, luxurious house rented by their employers in Laredo, a far cry from their family homes in the same city.