When Rosalio Reta was 13, the leader of Mexico’s most violent drug cartel recruited him to be an assassin. Miguel Treviño, who was just captured by the Mexican marines, used American teenagers to carry out killings on both sides of the border.

Reta is now serving time in a Texas prison for one of the 30 killings he claims to have committed. He spoke to The Center for Investigative Reporting prior to Treviño’s arrest about the years he spent as a hit man for the leader of the Zetas. The interview is airing now for the first time.

Reta says he feels remorse and shame for the life he led as a killer. “It gets to a point where I can’t even stand myself,” Reta tells CIR. “It’s eating me inside little by little, and there’s nothing I can do or say to justify my actions.”

Producer
Josiah Hooper

Co-Producer
Bruce Livesey

Editor
Angela Reginato

Senior Supervising Editor
David Ritsher

Associate Producer
Rachel de Leon

Intern
Andrew Nathan Bergman

Production Assistant
Owen Wesson

Voiceover Talent
Daffodil Altan
Marco Villalobos

Senior Producer
Stephen Talbot

Executive Producer
Susanne Reber

Archival images provided by
Associated Press
Mexico attorney general’s office website
Mexico Interior Ministry

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