Mexico City Missing Unsolved

11 missing in Mexico City

Eleven people are still considered “missing” after attending an after-hours club in Mexico City.  They disappeared on May 26th, and the mystery continues to be unsolved.

Families of the missing demanded answers from authorities.  Police have said that surveillance tapes from adjoining buildings reveal nothing of interest.  The relatives of the 11 missing have demanded to see the tapes themselves.

The club, called ‘Heaven’ is in an upscale area of Mexico City.  The bar is only steps away from Paseo de la Reforma, an iconic avenue in central Mexico City. The emblematic Angel of Independence monument is nearby, as are the U.S. Embassy and the financial district.

Guadalupe Dominguez, a relative of one of the missing, says a witness told her that men with military style weapons forced the 11 into SUV’s and drove away.

“A young fellow who managed to escape was the one who told us about it, but we don’t really know anything else,” Dominguez said.

Yersi Ortiz, who is 16, is the youngest of those who have disappeared.  The others were in their 20’s.   Maria Teresa Ramos, Yersi’s grandmother does not understand how no one saw what happened because the alleged kidnapping took place between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on Sunday.

“This supposedly happened on Sunday in broad daylight.  This couldn’t have happened during the day and only a few steps from Reforma Avenue without anybody noticing.  There should be surveillance cameras that can show us exactly what happened,” Ramos said.

Maria del Carmen Zamudio is another of the distraught relatives.  She claims the witness told her that the owner of the bar suddenly told them to leave, and turned off the lights.

“The bar owner apparently told them that there was going to be a police operation and turned the lights off. He told them to get out, and armed men in black SUVs were already waiting for them outside,” Zamudio said.

Police spokesmen said there was no such operation.  They are treating the disappearance of the 11 young people as a ‘missing persons’ case because there is no evidence of a kidnapping.

“For now, we haven’t been able to confirm how this happened or the specific location where (these young people) were kidnapped. What we have is a missing persons report and the knowledge that they’re missing. We have to do something to find them,” Police said.

Surveillance cameras in the bar were inoperable. Police are relying on cameras in the surrounding area.

Employees of neighborhood business say that the club played loud music, and expensive cars were seen coming and going at all hours.  They said they frequently had to cross the street on their way to work to avoid drunken people loitering on the sidewalk.  They referred to it as a “narco-bar.”

Some of the authorities believe the incident is retaliation for the incarceration of two of the boy’s fathers.

The spokesman for the city’s penitentiary system said Sanchez’s father, Alejandro Sanchez, was sentenced in October 2004 to 23 years in prison for extortion, organized crime, homicide and robbery. He is serving time in a maximum security prison in the city.

Jerzy’s father Jorge Ortiz, known as “the Tank,” was arrested the same day as Sanchez and was sentenced for the same crimes and to the same number of years. He was transferred to a federal maximum security prison in 2009 because he is considered a high-risk criminal.

“My husband has been locked up for many years,” Garcia said. “He doesn’t have any problems with anybody, he doesn’t mess with anybody. So that would be a long time for that to keep having consequences, right?”

Some are saying that because the missing are from Tepito, which is one of Mexico’s most dangerous areas, and is known for trafficking in drugs, guns, and even counterfeit handbags, police are not making a serious effort, or may be somehow involved.

Tuesday the case of 11 missing young people in Mexico City remains unsolved.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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