He was 13, a B student with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bicycle who got nervous around the girls in his middle school.
Then, in November, as violence surged in the mountains of Guerrero state, the men of Ayahualtempa decided it was time for their sons to take up arms.
Alex was handed a hunting rifle and told to show up for daily training on the village basketball court. He and his young comrades, some as young as 6, marched and crawled with loaded guns almost as tall as they were. Their uniforms said "Community Police" in yellow letters.