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3 held in Mexico City bar abduction

05 June 2013, 10:00

Mexico City — Another young woman has been added to the list of young people apparently abducted as a group from an after-hours bar in a normally calm district of Mexico City, raising the number of missing to 12, prosecutors said on Tuesday night.

Chief prosecutor Rodolfo Rios also announced that two of the bar's waiters and a woman he did not identify had been detained in the case.

Rios said surveillance video showed most of the group of seven men and five women arriving at the bar together in a car and in a taxi. He wouldn't say if there was footage showing them leaving or being abducted on a side street in the Zona Rosa entertainment district not far from the US Embassy.

"We're still analysing the footage to see how they got out of this place," Rios said, adding that investigators were going through video from 12 surveillance cameras in the area.

A man who said he escaped the mass abduction from the bar on 26 May told authorities that masked men with guns and SUVs kidnapped the group in broad daylight, just off the Paseo del Reforma, one of the city's main avenues.

The man talked to authorities when he accompanied relatives of one of the missing youths to file a report, but the man gave police a false name and address and authorities haven't been able to locate him since then, Rios said.

Centre of city's black market

Rios said that the owner of the bar was being sought for questioning in the case and that authorities had searched a couple of addresses listed by him without success.

Police have also searched another bar in the Roma Sur neighbourhood that many of the group visited before heading to the after-hours bar that is known as Heaven After, Rios said.

The bar is on a narrow street surrounded by towering office buildings a short walk from the federal police building and the US Embassy.

No other witnesses have reported seeing anything when the abduction supposedly happened around 10:00 that Sunday, a time when nearby Reforma was full of people gathering for a 5km foot race, the city's weekly urban bike ride and an international culture fair that had just opened the day before.

Rios said investigators were looking at several motives, including a dispute among drug dealers in the rough-and-tumble Tepito neighbourhood, which is the centre of the city's black market.

Most of the missing are from Tepito and their disappearance only came to light after their parents and other Tepito residents held a protest that blocked a major road. The fathers of two of the missing young men are suspected former Tepito crime bosses currently doing time in prison.

- AP


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