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article image11 people disappear from Mexico City bar in possible kidnapping

By Anne Sewell     May 31, 2013 in World
Mexico - Six men, mostly in their 20's, along with a 16-year-old boy and four young women have vanished from a bar in Mexico City. Police fear that they may have been kidnapped.
Family members marched from the Interior Department building in the city to the Zocalo, which is the city's main square, urging authorities to find their relatives.
They then protested outside the Bicentenario Restaurante-Bar in Mexico City's Zona Rosa, which is normally a calm district of offices, restaurants, drinking spots and dance clubs, calling for authorities to allow them to view the bar's surveillance video.
The bar is located just off the Paseo de la Reforma, which is the city's main boulevard, close to the Angel of Independence monument and a short walk from the US Embassy.
The apparent mass kidnapping reportedly happened at some time between 10 am and noon on Sunday morning.
Josefina Garcia, mother of 19-year-old Said Sanchez Garcia, asked the media, "How could so many people have disappeared, just like that, in broad daylight?"
"The police say they don't have them, so what, the earth just opened up and swallowed them?"
Said is her only son and she says he wasn't involved in any criminal activity and worked selling beauty products at a market stall. She also questioned how a mass kidnapping could happen a few blocks from police headquarters.
According to Isabel Fonseca, whose brother Eulogio Fonseca is one of the missing, a man who escaped the kidnapping told her that masked men arrived in several white SUVs and took the group away. Fonseca said that her brother is a street vendor who sells cellphone accessories.
"We want them alive," Fonseca said. "They went out to have fun; they are not criminals."
The owner of a beauty parlor in the area, Guillermo Bustamante, said that the street is busy every Saturday morning with people coming and going from the bar.
"Every time we arrived on Saturdays, we would see weird people coming out of that bar," Bustamante said. "There would be many Hummers parked outside and men walking out with a woman on each arm."
According to Mexico City's chief prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, investigators had been able to glean very little information on the disappearances. Rios said police had not being able to locate any employees of the bar and that no other witnesses had presented themselves.
"We aren't sure what exactly occurred," he said. "No witness has come forward to say anything about any armed gang."
This is the second high-publicity incident in this area of Mexico City, and comes 20 days after the grandson of American civil rights activist Malcolm X was beaten to death at another downtown bar.
More about Mexico, Mexico city, Kidnapping, Bar, Zocalo
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