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News > Latin America

Detained Teen Found Alive, 2 Mexican Officers in Custody

  • Demonstrators display posters with images of high school student Marco Antonio Sanchez.

    Demonstrators display posters with images of high school student Marco Antonio Sanchez. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 January 2018

Mexico City authorities say 2 of the 4 police officers who beat and detained 17-year-old student, Marco Sanchez Jan. 23 are under arrest. 

Seventeen-year-old Marco Antonio Sanchez was found on Sunday, after going missing last Tuesday, according to authorities.

Mexican Teen Vanishes After Being Beaten, Arrested by Police

The teen vanished after being assaulted and detained by police officers. Family members of Sanchez said he displays signs of physical abuse, which likely took place during his detention.

Two of the four Mexico City officers who were implicated in the disappearance of Sanchez on Jan. 23 are currently under arrest.

In a press conference, Gil Garcia, sub-secretary of Police Information and Intelligence announced that the two police officers who took Sanchez are under arrest for “unduly conduct” and for not following police protocol.

The press conference was the first time the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City released the names of the four officers involved in last Tuesday’s disappearance of Sanchez. The officers are Ubel Mora Gallardo, Ricardo Trejo Juarez, Ricardo de la Rosa Guzman and Martin Jesus Gonzalez Martinez. It is unknown which four officers were detained. 

Garcia told reporters today that the four officers are testifying in front of the attorney general of anti-kidnapping to help in the investigation. The public prosecutor is investigating the arrest and disappearance of the young Sanchez.

A student at the National High School Number 8 and a fan of art, Sanchez was accosted by the four officers while out with his friend Roberto on January 23.

According to Roberto, Sanchez had taken out his camera and asked a passerby to pose for a picture alongside a mural the two friends were admiring. Police officers standing nearby witnessed the exchange and accused the teen of trying to rob the third party, who has not been identified.

When the officers refused to accept Sanchez's version of events, the teenager fled to a nearby bus station. Officers reportedly caught up with Marco and physically assaulted him before placing him under arrest.

Roberto asked to be placed under arrest alongside Sanchez, but the officers refused. They told him instead to meet his friend at the Public Ministry in Azcapotzalco, one of Mexico City's northern districts, but Sanchez never arrived.

Sanchez's relatives visited another police station, but officers were reluctant to help. They radioed several police cars, the occupant of one said Sanchez had already been released but didn't specify from where or by whom.   

The teen's father, Marco Antonio Sanchez Chavez, told reporters yesterday: "I want them to hand over my son... I know they have their methods; he was brutally beaten. He was hit on the face with a helmet at the Metrobus station, they are scoundrels."

"We’re so tired of police abuse and arrogance. The government and the police chief have to stand up to this, do their work”, Marco’s aunt, Margarita Ruiz, told El Pais.

Hundreds of citizens surrounded the Angel of Independence in Mexico City to protest the disappearance of Sanchez and demand his return.

Police officers and military personnel in Mexico have been involved in several cases of missing people, including the disappearing of 43 rural students in Guerrero in 2014.

More than 34,000 people are currently listed as missing in Mexico.

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