VanishedEleven people were kidnapped from an after-hours bar in Mexico City Sunday morning. Zona Rosa, a popular tourist district lined with restaurants, dance clubs and offices, is the locale of the mass abduction. Relatives told the Associated Press the 11 abductees were taken between 10 a.m. and noon about 1 ½ blocks from the United States’ Embassy.

The Associated Press reports:

The incident was the second recent high-publicity blemish for the city’s largely unregulated entertainment scene, coming 20 days after the grandson of American civil rights activist Malcolm X was beaten to death at another tough bar in the downtown area.

Calling for authorities to find their loved ones, family members marched Thursday morning from the Interior Department building to the Zocalo, the city’s main square. Later they protested outside the bar, which bears a sign that reads Bicentenario Restaurante-Bar, and demanded to see the bar’s surveillance video.

“How could so many people have disappeared, just like that, in broad daylight?” said Josefina Garcia, mother of Said Sanchez Garcia, 19, her only son. “The police say they don’t have them, so what, the earth just opened up and swallowed them?”

She said her son wasn’t involved in any criminal activity, and worked at a market stall selling beauty products.

City prosecutors said they had received 11 missing-person reports, but Garcia said residents of the tough downtown neighborhood of Tepito where the victims live thought as many as 15 or 16 people could have been abducted.

The known missing include six men, most in their 20s, a 16-year-old boy and four young women.

Mass abductions are rare in Mexico City, but it is also an area rife with drug cartel wars and explosive violence.

Isabel Fonseca’s brother, Eulogio Fonseca, is among the missing. She alleges a man who escaped before he was kidnapped told her several masked men came to the bar in white SUVs and abducted the group.

“We want them alive,” Fonseca said. “They went out to have fun; they are not criminals.”

The bar has been closed as Mexico City’s anti-kidnapping unit conducts an investigation at the site. Not much is known about the disappearances according to Mexico City’s chief prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios.

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  • Sandy

    This is what happens when all the wealth is in the hands of a small amount of people.

  • That’s so horrifying and sad! There was something similar happening in Juarez some years ago. Very sad!!

  • Kay

    Mexico has a huge problem with the drug cartels. It’s hard to combat because everyone is involved, from the police officers, to the laymen/women and probably even some local religious leaders. Because of this, charges get dropped, people are being terrified into silence and the cartels run whole towns and the people are trapped in the middle. I’ve heard it’s gotten so bad that some cities have stopped relying on police protection and have taken up arms against the cartels themselves. The cartels are absolutely ruthless, and are not against kidnapping, torture, murder and shock value to get their messages across.

    They’ve taken over trade routes, streets and the like to get drugs into the U.S. as the demand here is what’s fueling the craziness over there. Some people are saying legalization of some drugs here in the U.S. would stem some of the cartels, but that won’t happen anytime soon. I was going to go to Mexico a few years ago but decided not to when some cartel activity was reported around the hotels in the area. Unfortunately, I’m sure that stories like these will be cropping up more and more. I feel bad for some of the folks who rely on tourism to stay afloat.

  • anon

    zetas