Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico Heaven Bar disappearance: More bodies identified

Security forces guard the entrance to a ranch where 13 bodies were found in August 2013
Image caption The mass grave was found after a tip-off in a wooded area near the capital

Forensic experts have identified the bodies of five more people who went missing after visiting a bar in a popular entertainment district in Mexico City.

Police found 13 bodies in a mass grave on a ranch near the capital on Thursday.

Ten of them have now been identified as those of people who disappeared from Mexico City's Heaven bar in May.

The motive behind their disappearance and subsequent killing remains unclear.

Mystery disappearance

Seven young men and five women ranging between 16 and 34 years of age were reported missing in the days after the group went to the bar in the Zona Rosa district on 26 May.

Surveillance footage showed some of them being led to cars outside the after-hours bar.

There was no obvious sign of force on the surveillance footage. The men who took them away were not masked and did not seem to be carrying weapons.

There was no trace of the missing people until their bodies were discovered in a grave covered with lime, cement and asbestos on the outskirts of Mexico City.

All of them came from the rough Tepito neighbourhood of Mexico City, and local media have speculated that their killing could be related to warfare between local crime gangs in the area.

Image caption Relatives have accused police of acting too slowly after their relatives disappeared

Three of them were related to convicted crime bosses, but their relatives have denied they were involved in illegal activities.

Mass kidnappings carried out by drug cartels are not unusual in the border areas of Mexico, but the case of the 12 shocked capital residents.

Two co-owners of the Heaven bar and two employees who were working on the night of the incident have been arrested in connection with the case.

Another co-owner, Dax Rodriguez Ledesma, was found burned to death in July. Police had been searching for him at the time of his killing.

Official figures say 26,000 people have gone missing across Mexico since December 2006, when the army was deployed to fight crime gangs.

Amnesty International has accused the Mexican government was not doing enough to investigate the disappearances of thousands of people.

More on this story