The seven teenagers were kidnapped in Zacatecas, in images shared on social networks.
The youngest is 14 years old, the oldest is already 18 years old. They are family and friends. That evening they had gathered to have dinner with other relatives and to enjoy the Sabbath. But at 4 a.m. Sunday, several vehicles loaded with armed men broke into the El Potrerito ranch where they were resting in the municipality of Malpaso, Zacatecas. Seven teenagers were forcibly taken away. Two days later there is no news of his whereabouts.
The kidnapping of seven teenagers has once again raised goosebumps in Zacatecas, a state accustomed to violence and enforced disappearances. No one knows where they are, and the first few days are crucial to finding them alive. The authorities have deployed an operation consisting of 300 soldiers from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), the National Guard and police officers from the different communities of Villanueva, the municipality where the crime took place.
There are many more questions than certainties. It is not known why the teenagers were kidnapped or how many gunmen were involved in the kidnapping. “At around four in the morning they noticed the presence of a criminal group, people arriving in vehicles, taking them out and taking them away,” said Zacatecas prosecutor Francisco Murillo, who said operations were continuing. Local media in Zacatecas have indicated that security forces managed to locate the suspected vehicle in which the teenagers were abducted. However, neither the public prosecutor’s office nor any other authority have confirmed the discovery.
In its latest official communication, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that it had attended to the relatives of the victims who maintained a blockade throughout the day on the Zacatecas-Malpaso highway, near the Regional Security Unit (Unirse), in order to put pressure on their whereabouts of the living boys. “I want my son, I want my children,” one of the young men’s mothers screamed desperately this afternoon, “we want them alive.” “I wouldn’t be part of the government if I hadn’t flown in a helicopter.” The woman did also accused Zacatecas Governor David Monreal of not seeming to “show his face.”
Meanwhile, the community holds its breath, hoping for the teenagers to return alive. There is Jorge Alberto René Ocón Acevedo, the youngest, only 14 years old. She has big brown eyes, brown hair, shaved sides, thick lips and is 165 centimeters tall. When he was kidnapped, he was wearing a gold jacket, blue pants and black sneakers.
Héctor Alejandro Saucedo Acevedo is 17 years old, he shares the second surname with Jorge and some characteristics: he has eyes and lips like his, according to the description in the prosecutor’s file. He is thin, has straight black hair, a tattoo on one arm, a scar on his eyebrow and braces. It measures 1.75. On the day of the kidnapping he was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue pants and white sneakers.
Sergio Yobani Acevedo Rodríguez is 18 years old, has brown hair and green eyes. He measures 1.70. His file shows that he has a “tattoo of a dragon on his right calf” and also has braces. He is the oldest alongside Gumaro Santacruz Carrillo, who is the same age. He has “medium-sized, slanted” brown eyes, straight black hair and is 1.60 meters tall. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, a black T-shirt and black pants and white sneakers.
There is another teenager, also 18, Jesús Manuel Rodríguez Robles. At 1.78 meters he is the tallest of the seven. Big, straight nose, short, straight brown hair. He was wearing Vans sneakers, a T-shirt with black and gray prints and blue pants. Óscar Ernesto Rojas Alvarado is only 15 years old. He is the second smallest after Jorge. He has brown, slanted eyes, is 1.57 meters tall and has a slim build. When he was kidnapped he was wearing a gold chain, a diamond earring, a black cloth belt and a balaclava. And Diego Rodríguez Vidales, 17. He is strong, 1.74 tall and has tattoos on his left arm, right forearm and right calf.
According to official figures, of the 111,648 missing in Mexico, 3,650 are from Zacatecas. Like much of the rest of the country, its territory is disputed by the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, two criminal organizations fighting for control of the territory and drug trafficking routes. In 2021, the state was the state with the most forced displacements, according to the report of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights presented in January of this year.
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