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News > Latin America

Students Demand Answers About Marco Antonio's Disappearance

  • A demonstrator holds up a poster with a picture of high school student Marco Antonio Sanchez, found in bad shape after being disappeared by Mexican police officers. January 28, 2018.

    A demonstrator holds up a poster with a picture of high school student Marco Antonio Sanchez, found in bad shape after being disappeared by Mexican police officers. January 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 January 2018

Marco Antonio was beaten and dettained by Mexico City's police. He was found after five days and doesn't remember who he is.

Students from National High School No. 5 closed their facilities' doors and prevented both students and staff from entering demanding answers about the Marco Antonio Sanchez case.


Detained Teen Found Alive, 2 Mexican Officers in Custody

Marco went missing after being beaten up and arrested by four police officers in Mexico City. Family and friends looked for him for five days until he was found in a neighboring state on Sunday, wearing different clothes, without a shoe, with visible signs of torture, disoriented and not remembering who he was.

Since then, students in Mexico's capital have organized massive protests and shutdowns, demanding the government hold the officers responsible and do a proper investigation to find out what happened to Marco.

Banners reading “High School No. 5 stands up,” “UNAM [National Autonomous University of Mexico] united,” “We're all Marco Antonio” and a red and black flag was hung up at the high school's entrance.

Last Monday, students from the “Miguel E. Schultz” National High School No. 8, Marco's high school, also closed down their installations demanding answers.

Both are part of a high school system linked with the national university and have a long history of political student organizing. In 1968, the army blew High School No. 8's main gate with a bazooka, as students entrenched inside, marking a turning point in that year's student movement.

On Monday, a group of hundreds of people, including students and organizations led by Marco's family, marched to the capital's city center.

This afternoon a massive assembly will take place in the national university's main square to decide on next activities.

One of their main demands regards the nature of the investigation. Authorities are treating the case as a protocol issue, as the police officers have declared they let Marco go shortly after taking him with them, but the family demands the investigation as a “forced disappearance.”


Mexican Teen Vanishes After Being Beaten, Arrested by Police

After the case circulated in the news and social media, two of the involved police officers went on the run. One of them was found in the state of Guerrero, where he was found hiding. The whereabouts of the other one are still unknown.

The remaining two officers have declared and remain under custody.

Marco met with a friend at a bus station in Mexico City on Tuesday when police started harassing him. He ran but was caught and beaten with a helmet in his face by the police. His friend took a picture of him lying on the floor, apparently unconscious, just before the police took him with them.

His disappearance caused a general outrage and people volunteered to look for him until he was found last Sunday by them and not by the police.

He is currently hospitalized and his family has declared the authorities haven't helped them with the expenses. He shows signs of irritability, troubled speech and violent behavior, besides not recognizing his parents or remembering his own name. He is only 17 years old.

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