July 22, 2012 in Paracho, Michoacan. Two psychologists, Diego Maldonado Castañeda (34) and Ana Sánchez Mayorga Belém (30) and Luis Enrique Castañeda Nava (28), youth coordinator of the Movimento Ciudadano party, were kidnapped from Hotel Santa Fe in the early hours of Sunday July 22nd. So far the police have no answers.
The three urban youth traveled from Mexico City to the town of Paracho, in order to lead workshops for children at the Cantoya International Balloon Festival. Finishing the workshops on Saturday the 21st, they decided to stay for the rest of the festival. But that night, an unidentified armed group came to the Hotel Santa Fe and took them away with extreme force.
The hotel closed the very next day for “maintenance reasons.” It wasn’t until Monday, when the victims’ parents started to search for their children, that the police started their investigation.
The information regarding the evidence found in the hotel varies. Some say that “there was blood on the walls,” others say “there were spots of blood in their beds.” An excerpt from Animal-Politico blog:
In the hotel stairwells, said Castañeda Nava’s mother, the prosecutors told us that there are traces of a struggle: shoe marks and hand prints along the walls, as if they’d tried to anchor themselves. One of the hotel receptionists reported a broken step.
These investigations were conducted on Wednesday July 25th, three days after the youths’ disappearance. Police maintained they did not find evidence of violence.
The hotel manager testified that the event was so frightening that he was forced to hide, and therefore cannot provide any information! He did not see who came into the hotel, nor did he see who left!
The news began to spread on July 25th and some articles have since been altered or deleted, especially the ones featuring pictures of Luis Enrique Castañeda with the left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
On July 26th Movimento Ciudadano party members helped the families of the missing youths move to a safer place. Currently it is the families, having come to Paracho to collect their childrens’ things from the hotel rooms, who remain steadfast in their search.
Zalapa Nicholas, mayor of Paracho, Michoacán, described as an isolated incident. He added: This does not reflect the reality of life in Paracho, because there are no records of severe or recurring criminal activity here.
Anibal Guerra, Movimento Ciudadano Michoacan state leader, after relaying that Castañeda Nava, Maldonado and Sanchez were taken by force from the hotel where they stayed, lamented over the deeply rooted terror the region has from organized crime. Hotel employees “had not reported a thing,” until the parents of three youths filed the missing persons report. Guerra demanded that the state government and the municipality of Paracho face the facts and initiate appropriate investigations to locate these three youths.
NOMASVICTIMAS is dedicated to monitoring the investigation into this case of triple disappearance. Keep checking back with us for updates.