Bar owner held in mass kidnap case

2013-06-29 18:28
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Mexico City - Police have detained the presumed owner of a Mexico City bar where 12 young people were brazenly kidnapped in broad daylight last month, authorities said on Friday.

The federal prosecutor's office said Ernesto Espinosa Lobo was detained along with eight other people in the streets of the southern borough of Coyoacan in an anti-drug operation, and that he was in possession of "toxic substances."

Once Espinosa Lobo was identified as the presumed owner of the after-hours bar Heaven, he was handed over to city prosecutors, who want to question him over the mass kidnapping, the office said in a statement.

Two bar workers and a woman had already been detained in the case that shocked the capital, which has been a relative oasis from the wave of drug-related violence plaguing many parts of Mexico.

Mexico City authorities have offered a $7 500 reward for information on the location of the missing people, who include a 16-year-old boy.

The bar is in the Zona Rosa district, a short walk away from the federal police headquarters and the US embassy.

Some 300 relatives and friends of the missing group marched to the Guadalupe Basilica on Wednesday, wearing white and holding candles, to pray for their loved ones.

Mexico City's top prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, says the kidnapping may be related to a dispute between two gangs, La Union and Tepis, who deal drugs in Tepito, a rough neighbourhood where the abductees come from.

Mexican media reported authorities are investigating whether the kidnapping is related to the assassination of a drug trafficker who sold his product at Heaven or a bid by the Juarez cartel to recoup $2m and 20kg of cocaine stolen by a Tepito gang.

Read more on:    mexico  |  abductions  |  narcotics

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