Video: I Was a Hit Man for Miguel Treviño

“It’s eating me inside little by little, and there’s nothing I can do or say to justify my actions.”


This story first appeared on the Center for Investigative Reporting website.

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.”

CREDITS:
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

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate