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Investigators are looking into the disappearance of 11 young people following a supposed police operation at a bar in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa tourist district, a Federal District Attorney’s Office spokesman told Efe Thursday.
Armed men drove the young people, including a minor and several women, away from the bar Sunday in SUVs that apparently had police logos on them, the victims’ relatives told authorities.
“The relatives have filed a complaint” over the disappearance with the unit that handles kidnappings, the DA’s office spokesman said, adding that the incident was not technically considered a kidnapping.
The law says a ransom demand must be made for a disappearance to be considered a kidnapping and no ransom has been sought, the official said.
“Statements and general information were obtained” from the relatives, allowing prosecutors to open an investigation, the DA’s office spokesman said.
The victims’ relatives staged a protest Wednesday, closing off an avenue in the downtown Mexico City district of Tepito, where the missing young people lived, to call attention to the case and demand action from officials.
“They took them alive, we want them alive,” a poster carried by the protesters said.
Tepito is known for its huge outdoor market, which is notorious for offering an abundance of pirated goods.
The victims’ relatives plan another protest Thursday outside the bar, which is located just a few blocks from the Mexico City police headquarters.
The young people, who worked and liked to spend time at the bar, were taken out of the establishment by men dressed in black who identified themselves as police officers, relatives said.
The group may have been taken away by drug cartel members, who often abduct targeted individuals and do not demand ransom, dumping victims’ bodies at some location a few days later, relatives said.
Several of the missing young people had criminal records for involvement in robberies, drug trafficking and arms possession, media reports said.