No one speaks loudly in the neighborhood yard. No one says his name, or gives more details than necessary. You don’t hear cumbias, salsas, or reggaetons: the silence of the Virgin of Guadalupe, who dominates the filthy decadence of this little piece of Mexico City, commands from her stone pedestal.
A few steps from the National Palace, seat of federal power, the doors of Cuba, 86 look wide open, unaware of what is happening inside. A handful of merchants come and go, loading and unloading carts, boxes and cages from the cellar, which occupies the ground floor. Someone says hello without much conviction, like someone listlessly blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.
Mr. Alfonso, who has lived here for 30 of his 67 years, is one of the few who stops to speak, the only one who gives his name. With a file in hand, the man tries to undo a steel chain that ties his car to a metal bar at the end of the courtyard: he has lost the key to the padlock. “What they did with those boys is cruel, something inhuman. Let them still be killed, but let them undo them! I don’t think there is punishment for these people, ”he says.
Alfonso refers to the two children murdered and dismembered less than two weeks ago in the center of the capital. Their names were Alan and Hector and they were 12 and 14 years old. The police found her remains a block and a half from here, at the intersection of Belisario Domínguez and República de Chile streets, on the gauze and pearl mile, the couple of blocks that supply half the city with dresses for 15-year-old parties. years.
It is not very clear how it happened, but it seems that a man, identified as Baltasar “N” by the local Prosecutor’s Office, removed the remains of the boys from Cuba, 86 on the night of October 31. He did it in a plastic box and a drum, packages that he placed in a cargo cart, a little devil. Baltasar turned the street and it seems that the box and the drum fell. He panicked and ran off. Then another man, identified as Edgar “N” arrived, picked up the car and continued on the road. At some point the police intervened and realized that there were human remains inside the box and the drum. Days later, the Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that they belonged to Alan and Héctor and detained these two people.
It seems they were killed on the roof of Cuba, 86. It seems, because the Prosecutor’s Office has not officially reported the details, only through leaks to some reporters with a red note. On the rooftop, a policeman was watching Thursday that nobody approached the hut of horror, a two-by-two room with a tin roof. There supposedly and from that horror there is hardly a police sticker left. Several neighbors who were in the neighborhood Thursday said they heard nothing on Oct. 31, no screaming or strange noises. Mr. Alfonso also says that he did not hear anything that night. “And even if I had listened, I wouldn’t tell you,” he says.
Alan and Héctor disappeared on October 27. They lived in a neighborhood very close to the Franz Mayer museum, less than a kilometer from Cuba, 86. They were part of a community of Mazahua indigenous people, originally from San José del Rincón, a town on the border of the State of Mexico and Michoacán. There is no official information on how or who took them away, although the head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum, said last week that it seemed like a drug-related issue.
This week, two shiny crepes, one black and one white, were fluttering above the boys’ neighborhood gate. Alan’s mother, Karina, tends a popular kitchen on the patio. The woman did not want to talk about her son, or stop the rumors about the motive that led to the murderers of Alan and Hector. So far, the woman has only told the press that the children had nothing to do with La Unión.
Since the discovery of the bodies of the minors, the amount of rumors about their past has overshadowed the extent of the pain of their families. The most constant rumor has been the alleged proximity of the boys with a criminal group that operates in the center of the capital, La Unión. His murder would thus have to do with a revenge between La Unión and another group. There are also reporters who have pointed out that his murder had to do with the children “doing something wrong.”
Hypotheses like the previous one dominate the story in the media, as if the confirmation that the children had to do with La Unión settled the matter. The attitude of the authorities, ready to pigeonhole the issue in the drug nebula, does not help this change.
The fact, however, is that children have become bait for criminal groups in parts of Mexico City. In the last two weeks, in addition to Alan and Héctor, another 14-year-old boy was found murdered, his body in a suitcase, less than a kilometer from Cuba, 86, in the Guerrero neighborhood. Another child under the age of 15, a resident of the center, also disappeared in early November in the Guerrero neighborhood. This Tuesday, the police found the tortured corpse of a 17-year-old youth in a neighborhood in the Morelos neighborhood.
According to Juan Martín Pérez, of the Network for Children’s Rights, Mexico City has had 516 missing minors since 2006. The network takes data from the National Registry of Missing Persons. Half of the 516 disappeared between 2019 and 2020.
“We didn’t hear anything”
At 108 Magnolia Street, in the Guerrero neighborhood, a yellow plastic ribbon hung from two irons at the back of the patio reminds the neighbors of the horror of the past few days. Police placed the tape this week, so that experts from the Prosecutor’s Office could analyze the last section of the patio, “a space that is a void,” as the neighbor of 101-A says, who prefers not to give her name. In that void, prosecutors think someone killed Alessandro, the 14-year-old boy whose body ended up in a suitcase on the street, a block and a half from here.
The Prosecutor’s Office has arrested two 15-year-olds for the Alessandro case. According to leaks from the agency to various media, Alessandro was kidnapped on Tuesday night at Venustiano Carranza’s mayor’s office. Someone took him on a motorcycle to the Guerrero neighborhood, about four kilometers away. Again, leaks from the Prosecutor’s Office to various media suggest that Alessandro’s captors asked the family for money for their ransom. Something happened in that process, but Alessandro ended up murdered and his body in a suitcase.
The neighbor of 101-A says that she did not hear anything on Tuesday night. “The rooms do not give onto that empty space,” he explains. The lady has seen the images of the detained boys on television and says that they don’t sound like anything to her. Although it seems that they only took care of removing Magnolia’s suitcase, 108, with the intention of transporting it to a garbage dump in exchange for a payment.
Alessandro was a goalkeeper and played for the Tlatelolco football club. Not so long ago, the dismembered remains of two men appeared on a bridge next to the old neighborhood. It was in June 2018. One of them was just a boy, his name was José Francisco and he was 18 years old. The authorities, the press, then explained that what happened had to do with a fight between groups of drug dealers, La Unión and the Anti-Union Force. Now the story is different from then, when the presence of organized crime in the city was denied. Now he does not refuse, but young people fall the same as then.