Latin America

Remains found of two of five missing youths taken by Veracruz police

Youngsters disappeared after they were loaded inside a patrol wagon following a weekend trip

Families of the missing youths hold a vigil in Veracruz.
Families of the missing youths hold a vigil in Veracruz.SAÚL RUIZ

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Authorities in the Mexican state of Veracruz announced Monday night that they had found remains matching the DNA of two of the five youths who were reportedly kidnapped by a group of police officers on January 11.

The five friends were coming home to Playa Vicente after spending a weekend in Veracruz city when they were stopped by state patrol officers.

While authorities have arrested seven officers, including the regional commander, the whereabouts of the remainder of the group of friends is still unknown.

The remains were found on a ranch in Tlalixcoyan, around 65 kilometers from where the group was stopped in Tierra Banca, a municipality near the Veracruz and Oaxaca state border. Authorities have reported that evidence of drug dealing and other illegal activities was also found at the ranch.

Authorities have arrested seven officers, including the regional commander, but the whereabouts of the group of friends is still unknown

According to sources, one of the bodies is that of Bernardo Benítez Arroniz, 25. Officials have still not confirmed this information or released the identity of the second body.

Benítez Arroniz was returning to Playa Vicente with José Benítez de la O, Mario Arturo Orozco, Alfredo González Díaz and Susana Tapia Garibo when they were stopped by officers who loaded them inside a patrol wagon. At 16, Garibo was the youngest in the group.

Video images of the arrests were captured by a security camera.

English version by Martin Delfín.

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