Argentine specialists have confirmed that the bodies found last August in a mass grave were those of the 13 young people kidnapped from the Heaven bar in Mexico City’s upscale Zona Rosa district, prosecutors said.
“The results of the external investigation conducted by Argentine specialists confirm the findings released by this institution and by the Attorney General of the Republic’s Office on the full identification of the Heaven bar victims,” the Federal District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Investigators found the remains of 13 people, all of them abducted from the Heaven bar, in a clandestine grave in Tlalmanalco, a city in Mexico state, on Aug. 22, 2013.
The bodies of the people snatched from the Heaven bar were discovered by federal authorities pursuing leads in a firearms case unrelated to the Heaven bar kidnappings.
Investigators found the mass grave - covered with cement, asbestos and lime - on the La Mesa ranch in Tlalmanalco.
The victims were abducted in broad daylight on May 26, 2013, from the bar.
Some of the victims’ relatives expressed doubts about investigators’ conclusions and demanded that foreign experts examine the remains.
The Argentine team traveled to Mexico and produced a report whose results were released on Saturday.
The Federal District Human Rights Commission will work with the Argentine experts to create a group to explain the methodology used to identify the victims to relatives, the DA’s office said.
Four of the bodies were released to relatives and nine others were kept at the coroner’s office at the request of family members until the final identification could be completed.
The mass kidnapping and killings were in reprisal for the May 24, 2013, murder of Horacio Vite Angel, a reputed member of the La Union de Insurgentes drug gang, by the rival La Union de Tepito gang, officials said.
One of the people taken from the bar and killed, 16-year-old Jerzy Ortiz, was the son of Jorge “El Tanque” Ortiz Reyes, the jailed boss of La Union de Tepito, officials said.
Tepito is the crime-ridden downtown Mexico City neighborhood where most of the victims lived.