Photo: Ernesto Espinoso Lobo (Azteca noticias)
One of the owners of the Mexico City bar where 12 youths were kidnapped last month, and who are still missing, was arrested here during a police operation, authorities said.
The federal Attorney General’s Office and the Federal District Attorney’s Office said Friday in a joint communique that Ernesto Espinoso Lobo and another seven people were taken into custody in the Romero de Terreros suburb on the south side of the capital.
Though the official statement did not indicate when the arrests took place, officials at the District Attorney’s Office told Efe that it was done Thursday by agents from the federal AG’s office.
The individual was on the authorities’ wanted list after investigations began into the multiple kidnapping on May 26.
On that day the 12 young people were led to waiting SUVs from the Heaven bar in Mexico City’s popular Zona Rosa tourist district by men dressed in black who identified themselves as police officers.
Besides Espinosa there are four other people in custody for their suspected involvement in the case, though this new arrest could be of key importance to the investigations.
Another of the bar’s owners, Marco Ledesma, gave himself up to authorities on June 6, after which his wife was arrested. Also under arrest are two people who worked at the establishment.
Mexico City residents were shaken by the kidnapping of the 12 youths because it was done in broad daylight, on a Sunday, in one of the neighborhoods most visited by tourists.
On several occasions capital authorities have said that the investigations were making progress, though it is not even known whether the victims are alive or dead.
The victims are from Tepito, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Mexico City and a center for sales of pirated goods.
One of the missing youths is Jerry Ortiz Ponce, a 16-year-old boy whose jailed father, Jorge Ortiz Reyes, is one of the leaders of the Tepito gang La Union, media reports said.
A rival gang may have staged the kidnapping to settle a score with La Union following the killing of a drug dealer in Mexico City two days before the youths disappeared, press reports said.