In Mexico, you can go from nothing to a hired hit man in as little as three months, according to Mexico's Secretariat of Public Security (SSP). The hired gun position within most DTOs is the third up the ladder. Informant and recruiter comes first.
The analysis describes the three month process of becoming a narco hit man as one that has become something of a narco counterculture, one that presents "work in the gang as synonymous with success."
Minimum wage in Mexico is about 700 pesos a week (roughly US$65). Working as only an informant can bring as much as US$140 to US350 a week. The job requires that informants simply report on what moves in their area of responsibility. If invited to move up the ladder, young assassins can earn as much as US$700 a week, ten times more than they likely earned with a legitimate job.
This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.