Mexico: 5 Youths Forcibly Disappeared by Police in Tierra Blanca

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Veracruz: A new case of forced disappearance in Mexico is being compared to the 2014 Ayotzinapa case and bears striking similarities to the disappearance of the 43 students. 5 youths were last seen being detained by police on January 11. Security cameras show police arresting the 5 youths in broad daylight. No one has seen them since. Seven police officers have been detained in connection with the 5 missing youths in Tierra Blanca. The state government of Veracruz claims a cartel is responsible for their disappearance.

The 5 missing youths’ names are as follows: José Benítez de la O, age 24; Alfredo González Díaz, age 25; Marco Arturo Sánchez, age 27; Bernardo Benítez Arroniz, age 25, Susana T. G., age 16.

They were returning to their homes in Playa Vicente after spending the weekend in the port of Veracruz when they were illegally detained by state police. They were riding in a car on the way home from a weekend birthday celebration and had stopped to eat in Tierra Blanca. Security cameras in a store’s parking lot filmed the police detaining the students.

Animal Politico reported that so far 7 police officers have been detained for involvement in the disappearance. Family members have been occupying the prosecutor’s office in Tierra Blanca since the day their relatives went missing to put pressure on the government to find their missing relatives.

On January 24, the Veracruz state government announced the capture of Francisco Navarrete Serna, who was presented as the leader of Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) in Tierra Blanca. Veracruz governor Javier Duarte tweeted that along with those who have already been arrested, the CJNG cartel is presumed responsible for the disappearance of the 5 youths.

“In a joint operation between the @PoliciaFedMx and the #FuerzaCilvilVeracruz the boss of organized crime in Tierra Blanca has been arrested.”

“It is presumed that the criminal group which includes prisoners detained today are responsible for the disappearance of the young people in #TierraBlanca”

 

 
The names of the police officers detained so far are: Edgar Ramón Reyes Hermida, René Pelayo Vidal, Luis Rey Landeche or Lendechy Colorado, Omar Cruz Santos, Edgar Omar Ruiz Tecalco, Otoniel Cruz Linares and the SSP deputy in Tierra Blanca, Marcos Conde Hernández. All seven are being held in Veracruz prisons for the forced disappearances of the 5 youth on January 11 along with alleged CJNG leader, Francisco Navarrete Serna.

VIDEO: Francisco Navarrete Serna paraded for media in a perp walk after his January 24 arrest:

Luis Raúl González Pérez, head of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) said the forced disappearance of the 5 youths from Tierra Blanca demonstrates that the authorities are incapable of responding to cases of forced disappearances and that they have not learned how to combat this crime.

“7 detained policemen, where are the disappeared of Tierra Blanca”

Relatives of the 5 missing youths have started a campaign under hashtag #NosFaltan5 (we are missing 5) to ask for assistance locating their family members. They are posting updates via twitter and facebook. Family members have also recorded testimonies in a video describing what happened in their own words.

VIDEO: (Spanish) Youth disappeared by state police in Tierra Blanca Veracruz. 01/11/2016:

The five youth from Tierra Blanca are now among the more than 26,000 people who are reported missing in Mexico.

Sources:
Proceso
Animal Politico
Revolucion Tres Punto Cero
emeequis
Desinformemonos


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Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.