The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security reported earlier this year that the overall crime and safety situation in Mexico was so diverse countrywide that their report on the subject had to be crafted for regional significance. But they did list Colonia Juarez, which contains the first class financial and commercial district of Zona Rosa, as one of the highest crime areas to avoid. And on May 30 the Global Post reported that 11 people were believed kidnapped from that area after leaving a neighborhood bar.
According to Mexico City-Guide.com, the Zona Rosa area went from housing distinguished personalities of Porfirian society in eclectic mansions during the latter part of the 19th century to a period of decay that eventually became home to the Korean and gay communities.
And it was this setting in which 11 people, males and females, were allegedly kidnapped from a local bar that generally stays open round-the-clock on the weekends.
Yahoo!7 News reported on Friday, May 31 that the group vanished in the Zona Rosa district last Sunday, but that Mexico’s Public Security Chief Jesus Rodriguez said it is “unclear whether or not it was a kidnapping,” because the authorities had detained some people on drug-related charges in that same area.
Family members tell of masked gunmen showing up around 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and taking the 11 after bar employees warned the group that the police were about to conduct a raid and that they should exit the facilities.
It was also reported by someone in the Mexico City prosecutor’s office that the masked men initially appeared to be going to rob the 11 people, but then they decided to abduct them instead.
The U.S. State Department says that crime in Mexico City is a daily concern, and the federal agency’s recent report mirrors information found on Wikipedia.com about the law enforcement situation in Mexico overall, which includes a high level of private security firms operating with and without proper licenses and government approval.
That means the masked men who took 11 people from a bar on Sunday morning, including a 16-year-old boy, could have easily have been any number of groups operating illegitimately in the country.
In fact, the state department says their crime threat rating for Mexico City is listed as “critical,” and that despite the strict gun-control laws, criminals are typically armed anyway with handguns and knives, and so are some of the security personnel who operate in the country without a license.
One thing to note in this particular kidnapping allegation, however, is the fact that a 16-year-old boy was listed as one of the people who went missing after exiting the bar.
With the country’s public security chief mentioning the fact that his police had detained some people on drug-related charges in the same area as the missing 11 people, this case may prove to be nothing more than what the bar employees allegedly said in the first place: the police are coming to raid our establishment and you need to leave to avoid arrest.
And just what was a 16-year-old boy doing in a bar at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning in the first place?
Copyright 2013 Radell Smith
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