In Mexico, a mass kidnapping claimed eleven people from a popular Mexico City bar on Sunday. The incident and seems to have possibly started as a robbery before taking an even more sinister turn.
The mass kidnap victims were youths hanging out in a popular bar Heaven in the Zona Rosa, a district of restaurants, drinking spots, dance clubs, and offices. The bar where the mass kidnapping took place was just off the Paseo de la Reforma, the city's main boulevard, near the Angel of Independence monument and only 1 1/2 blocks from the U.S. Embassy.
The kidnapping happened sometime between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday morning. Reports say gunmen entered Heaven to rob the victims, but ended up abducting them instead. "At first it appeared that their goal was not to take the youths, but to rob them," said a Mexico City official. "However, they took them in the end."
Isabel Fonseca, sister of one of the kidnapping victims, said one man who escaped the attack and abduction told her that masked men stormed the bar in several white SUVs and forced the youths into the vehicles. Fonseca's brother Eulogio Fonseca is reportedly a street vendor who sells cellphone accessories.
"We want them alive," Fonseca said of the kidnapped youths. "They went out to have fun. They are not criminals."
Mexico's chief prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, said the investigation had stalled with very little information. The police had not been able to locate any employees of the bar, and no other witnesses had come forward. "We aren't sure exactly what occurred," he said. "No witness has come forward to say anything about any armed gang."
The latest Mexico mass kidnapping victims are reportedly from the tough downtown neighborhood of Tepito, where residents say there has been a wave of abductions in recent months possibly in connection with organized crime activities. Tepito is central to Mexico City's black market activities, where guns, drugs, and stolen goods are widely trafficked.
Mexico's mass kidnapping problems are concentrated in parts of the country where drug cartels operate in brutal competition with one another.
This is the second high profile crime in Mexico City to make global news this month. Malcom Shabazz, grandson of the late Malcom X, was killed May 9 at a dive bar near Plaza Garibaldi after a fight erupted over a $1,200 bill presented to Shabazz and his friend. The bar was located in a rough neighborhood downtown. Two waiters at the bar have been arrested in connection with Shabazz's death.