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Mysterious Disappearances from Bar Add to Mexico's Many Missing People

Families of 11 people are desperately trying to locate their loved ones, some minors, who disappeared from a bar called Heaven in Mexico City on May 26, 2013. The disappearances coincide with the creation of a government task-force to locate Mexico's 26,000 ‘missing’ people.

According to an eyewitness who never signed official testimony and who authorities have since been unable to locate, the 11 people were kidnapped from the bar. Located in the Zona Rosa neighbourhood, a spot known to be accepting of the LGBT community and subcultures like urban tribes, the bar also operates under the name “Bicentenario” (Bicentennial).

According to newspaper La Jornada [es] bar “Heaven” had been receiving penalties from administrative authorities since 2011:

El 11 de septiembre de 2011 el Instituto de Verificación Administrativa del Distrito Federal (InveaDF) suspendió actividades en el bar Heaven que operaba como after ya que se encontraron en el interior al menos 30 personas, entre ellos varios menores de edad, por lo que se le pidió colaboración a la Procuraduría capitalina, quien inició una investigación en el lugar por corrupción de menores.

Aquel día integrantes de la policía de investigación detuvieron por lo menos a cinco personas que se identificaron como empleados del establecimiento.

Desde entonces, en la verificación se determinó que el lugar no contaba con las medidas de Protección Civil necesarias para ofrecer servicios como establecimiento mercantil y ni algún tipo de permiso.

Asimismo, en el lugar se encontró a Ernesto Espinoza Lobo, quien se ostentó como dueño del establecimiento. Hoy este sujeto se encuentra prófugo de la justicia, tras los hechos suscitados el domingo 26 de mayo, cuando al menos 11 jóvenes desaparecieron de dicho antro.

On September 11, 2011 the Institute of Administrative Verification of Mexico City (InveaDF) suspended the activities at bar Heaven, which operated as an after-hours bar, when at least 30 persons were found inside, among them some minors. The City's Prosecution Office was asked to step in, and they started an investigation for alleged corruption of minor at the venue.

That day the police arrested at least five persons that identified themselves as bar employees.

Since then, the verification determined that the place didn't meet the civil protection measures required to open its doors as a business nor did it have any type of permit.

Also, a man named Ernesto Espinioza Lobo, who said he was the owner, was present at the time. This man is now a fugitive after the events of Sunday, May 26 when at least 11 young people disappeared from the venue.

Also, journal Milenio [es] informed that there used to be drug trafficking inside the “Heaven”:

El Heaven era ubicado, por policías del sector Zona Rosa, como punto de conflicto, incluso como narcotiendita, versión que fue confirmada luego del cateo realizado al antro el pasado jueves, donde la Policía de Investigación encontró 12 pastillas psicotrópicas y 42 gramos de mariguana.

De acuerdo con efectivos policiacos de la zona, en noviembre pasado fue detenida una persona en la entrada del Heaven, ubicado en la calle Lancaster 27, colonia Juárez, delegación Cuauhtémoc, por narcomenudista.

The (bar) Heaven was known by Zona Rosa's police force as a conflict spot, even a drug dealing store, a version that was later confirmed by a search done last Thursday when the police found 12 drug pills and 42 grams of marijuana.

According to the zone's policemen, in November of last year a person was arrested at the entrance of the (bar) Heaven located at Lancaster 27 Street in Juarez neighborhood at Cuauhtémoc County for selling drugs.

Familiares de desaparecidos de Bar Heaven. Foto compartida por  Georgina Cantu @georgyz007 en Twitter.

Family members of the disappeared at Bar Heaven. Picture shared by Georgina Cantu @georgyz007 on Twitter.

Netizens were quick to react on Twitter.

Eduardo Yribarren (@eyribarren) [es] exhorted Mexico's City Major, Miguel Ángel Mancera, to admit there's organized crime in the city:

@eyribarren: Reconocer que en DF ya hay los “levantones” típicos del crimen organizado @ManceraMiguelMX #BarHeaven

@eyribarren: Recognize that in Mexico City we now have the typical organized crime “levantones” (liftings) @ManceraMiguelMX #BarHeaven

“Levantón” (lifting) is the urban term Mexicans use to describe kidnapping by members of organized crime.

Alejandra Villegas (@ala_brun) [es] asked the following about the official version of the disappearance of these 11 persons:

@ala_brun: Más desaparecidos #BarHeaven ¿qué nos van a decir ahora las autoridades?

@ala_brun: More (people) disappeared #BarHeaven what will the authorities tell us now?

Lawyer Susana Pedroza (@spedroza_12) [es] thought this about the way the Office of the Mexican Attorney-General is handling the case:

@spedroza_12: Terrible la actuación de PGJDF en la investigación del caso de los jóvenes desaparecidos. Terrible.

@spedroza_12: The way the PGJDF handled the case of the disappeared youngsters was terrible. Terrible.

Unfortunately, the Mexican authorities have to look for many people. On February 2013, the Government Secretary publicly recognized that the records show more than 26,000 missing people. Newspaper El Universal [es] was one of the outlets that broke the news:

La Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob) ratificó que cuenta con el registro de 26 mil 121 personas desaparecidas, entre diciembre de 2006 y noviembre de 2012, durante la última administración del PAN.

The Government Secretary (Segob) ratified that it has 26,121 persons on record as missing between December of 2006 and November of 2012 during PAN's [National Action Party] last administration.

The Government Secretary, along with the Office of the Mexican Attorney-General, made a public announcement [es] on May 27 about the creation of a Unit of Missing Persons to tackle these issues:

Al inicio del evento, el Subprocurador de Derechos Humanos, Ricardo García Cervantes, señaló que la Unidad estará integrada por un primer grupo de 12 agentes del Ministerio Público Federal con el apoyo de un equipo permanente de la Policía Federal.

At the beginning of the event, the Associate Prosecutor of Human Rights, Ricardo García Cervantes, pointed out that the Unit is made up of a first group of 12 agents from the Office of the Mexican Attorney-General with the permanent support of the Federal Police.

Twelve investigators will search for more 26,000 persons whose disappearance has been officially acknowledged by the authorities, all within the war against organized crime.

It is probable that the names of the missing youngsters in Mexico City, popularly called case #BarHeaven [es], will be added to this list of 26 thousand people (parents, sons and daughters, siblings) who haven't returned home.

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