A group of 11 people reportedly went missing following a police operation at a bar in Mexico’s Federal District, calling attention to the country's ongoing disappearance "crisis" in which state agents are frequently implicated.
According to relatives and friends -- who have been protesting in the hundreds in the working class neighbourhood of Tepito -- the group were detained outside a nightclub late Sunday night, by armed men dressed in black who identified themselves as police, reported Milenio. They were then reportedly driven away in trucks bearing the logo of Mexico City's Secretariat of Public Security.
Nothing has been heard since from the nine men and two women, various of whom had criminal records and one of whom was just 16 years old. The case has been registered with the Federal District's Attonery General (PGJDF). Relatives said they had asked local security authorities whether any police operations had been carried out in the relevant zone that Sunday, but had been told nobody had been deployed.
InSight Crime Analysis
The friends and family of the 11 missing join the tens of thousands of people whose loved ones have disappeared in Mexico in recent years. A string of reports earlier this year stated that more than 26,000 people disappeared during the six-year term of former President Felipe Calderon, figures confirmed by Peña Nieto's government.
According to US non-governmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch, security forces at federal, state, and local level have carried out many of the disappearances, often acting alongside drug traffickers in what it describes as "the most severe crisis of enforced disappearance in Latin America in decades." Claiming the disappeared had criminal records is a common tactic used by Mexican authorities to assign blame to the victims for their own fate.
While senior members of Pena Nieto's adminstration have made promises to look for all the disappeared, it's worth questioning whether the government will make any real progess without significant international pressure. Meanwhile, as demonstrated by this week's case, unexplained disappearances show no sign of abating.