MEXICO CITY (AP) — A 17-year-old university student whose disappearance after being detained by police prompted an outcry on social media and a protest at a central monument has been located, Mexico City’s mayor said late Sunday.
Earlier authorities placed two officers under “provisional” arrest in connection with the case.
Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said authorities had received a phone call saying a person fitting the description of Marco Antonio Sanchez Flores was seen in the municipality of Melchor Ocampo, in the neighboring State of Mexico, and the youth was now in the company of police there.
Sanchez’s mother was shown a photo and said it was him, and was on her way to meet with him and confirm beyond any doubt, the mayor said.
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“The information we have is that he has been located in the State of Mexico,” Mancera said.
Family members and a friend who was present told local media that Sanchez was taking a picture of a mural Tuesday when he was accused of robbery by officers near a subway station in the northern borough of Azcapotzalco. They said he was beaten, handcuffed and put in a patrol car.
When relatives tried to find him at a police station, they were told the teen was never brought there.
Jose Gil Garcia, deputy secretary of police information for the Mexico City force, said earlier Sunday that the officers reported the youth was detained at the request of an unidentified “citizen.” The officers said they freed Sanchez shortly afterward, but Gil said two of the four agents were in custody while the investigation advanced.
Mancera said later that they were under “provisional custody.”
Officials also said Sanchez had been seen Saturday in the nearby city of Tlalnepantla, in the State of Mexico, on a pedestrian bridge. Police there took him before a civic court, but he was allowed to leave because he had not done anything wrong. It was not clear the court knew who he was at the time.
Authorities released video images of Sanchez in the court and in the street, wearing a white T-shirt and seeming to walk unsteadily at times.
The teen’s disappearance had caused consternation on social media, and a Spanish hashtag that translates as “WhereIsMarcoAntonio” was a top trending topic for Mexico City.
Dozens of demonstrators gathered at the capital’s Independence Monument in the afternoon to demand his safe return.