Relatives of kidnapped youths accuse the mayor in harbouring perpetrators

28.09.2012 Paris Martínez

Relatives of three young persons those were abducted by an armed group on 22 July in Paracho, Michoacán, Mexico and still are missing, reported that there are significant contradictions between the version of events provided by municipal authorities and statements of witnesses of the abduction, which reveal that “at least the mayor of Paracho, Nicholas Vargas Zalapa, conceals the abductors.”

In interview with, Mrs. Guadalupe Nava said that her son Luis Enrique Castañeda Nava, her nephew Diego Antonio Maldonado and psychologist Ana Belem Sanchez, were abducted at around 4 am on Sunday, July 22, by a group of armed men and women who entered the hotel in which they were staying.

“According to statements of the owner of the Santa Fe hotel and the receptionist, our children were forcibly moved outside of the hotel and then the assailants were beating them and discussing with them for about an hour and a half. Then the abductors took them”, narrated Mrs. Guadalupe, “but Mayor Nicholas Zalapa Vargas said in his statement to the prosecutor that at 4:00 pm he sent a patrol to check what was happening, but patrolmen didn’t notice anything.

The mayor, however, did not explain how did he get to know that something happen in the hotel, located within walking distance from the City Hall of Paracho, or the reason why the patrolmen didn’t ask the employees to verify that everything was in order, ” continued Mrs. Nava, “it is unclear what type of inspection the policemen undertook because they didn’t realize that a group of several gunmen struck three people in the Santa Fe hotel, “didn’t see anything!”

“It is very contradictory”, wailed the mother of Luis Enrique, youth leader of the Citizens Movement party in Mexico City, “we have heard many versions but not the truth. We believe that, at least, the mayor is covering people those took our children… All in Paracho know who were the kidnapers and what they did: the police, the mayor, the director of the cultural center that hired our children to give workshops, the hotel owner and employees. But all of them don’t want to say, as if they have threatened, intimidated or they are accomplices… ”

The Animal Político notably sought to obtain the official version from the mayor of Paracho, into the kidnapping of the three youths (who had been hired by the town to conduct workshops for children during a weekend), but without favorable response.

In the office of mayor, in fact, it was announced that the official is traveling and, strangely, it was suggested to request information about triple kidnapping in the House of Culture of Paracho (where youths had taught a workshop). The institution is not able to locate it’s head… a fortiori he is traveling.

Deleting tracks

Although the Santa Fe hotel staff assured in first evidence that they didn’t realize that it was a kidnapping until several hours later, because it was committed during the night, in subsequent interviews with agents of the Attorney General of Michoacan both the owner and the clerk of the hotel acknowledged that this was perpetrated in their eyes. “At the same time they insist that they were out of fear and did not see faces of the attackers.” laments Mrs. Nava.

That version, however, does not fit with the mechanics of facts, because “the clerk said he had spoken with the first attacker, who entered the hotel at 4:00 pm, right after that they admitted my son and his two friends, that guy talked with the receptionist who was accompanying our children and nobody prevented him from passing the lobby up to the rooms … at that time there was no indication yet that the subject was to carry out an attack, but even so, the clerk says that, out of fear, did not see his face. ”

Minutes later, the mother continues to to tell: Luis Enrique, “my son, went down to the receptionist and asked to call to police, because there was a gunman attacked them, but the employee says he was so scared at the moment, that he forgot the police phone number … he could not do the call… and yet, the mayor says he sent a patrol to inspect what happened. ”

“But the receptionist”, informed Mrs. Guadalupe Nava, “was not the only witness who changed his plea. The owner of the hotel, who initially denied having seen the attackers, now says that after our children took their rooms, and while they were hitting outside the hotel, some of the assailants asked buckets and rags to clean the blood that had been in the cafe “, where, according to forensic investigations, were performed at least four shots.

“Originally the Michoacan Attorney detected only traces of a struggle” – Mrs. Guadalupe protests, “now we talk about bullets and blood. Now we talk that people who took our children were not fast. They even asked buckets and rags in the hotel and began to clean up, but neither the employees nor the owner never saw the face the whole time they were there, which was hours. The attorney says they can not move the investigations because the locals don’t allow… ”

Release them, please…

While in Michoacan “we feel that everything is going very slowly and nobody is looking for our children,” said Mrs. Nava, ” here in Mexico City, his cousins ​​and friends are struggling relentlessly … maybe we can not compete with capabilities that the police may have to perform this search, but still, we are the ones who are doing, because authority is not doing much. ”

As part of these actions, the Twitter account @liberenlosxfa, the hashtag #liberenlosxfa and blog were created, through which the family requested citizen solidarity in the search for the three youths.

“Help us through internet.” asked Mrs. Guadalupe, we’re trying to send many messages saying ‘Where are Kike, Ana Diego?’ and ‘release them, please’. It is something we want to repeat a lot, for see if anyone is listening, we are desperated … We do not know who we are fighting against, who has them, why they took … ”



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