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Mexico mass kidnap linked to vendetta: official

Mexico City authorities said Monday vengeance was the motive behind the kidnapping of a dozen young people who were found in a mass grave near the capital.

The city's top prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, said a seventh suspect was detained last week and admitted that 12 people were taken from a downtown bar in broad daylight in May as a "reprisal" for the killing of a drug dealer.

Most of the kidnap victims hail from the city's rough Tepito neighborhood, known for a huge contraband market, and two of them are sons of men jailed for being part of criminal groups.

Relatives insist that none of the 12 missing were involved in criminal activities.

The case took a grim turn last week when authorities discovered a concrete-covered grave on a ranch 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of the capital that contained the remains of 13 people.

Rios said the suspect, Victor Manuel Aguilera Garcia, told investigators that the abductors took the 12 young people to the municipality of Tlalmanalco, where the ranch lies, the day of the kidnapping on May 26.

Officials confirmed on Friday at least five of the bodies belonged to kidnap victims and said DNA tests would be carried out on the others.

Julieta Gonzalez, the mother of one of the victims, said Sunday that federal officials told the families that the bodies of 10 people from the Heaven bar have been identified.

The case has tarnished the capital's image as an oasis from the kidnappings and mass murders committed by drug cartels in the northern border states and the west.

Rios said the kidnapping was linked to a dispute between small local gangs known as La Union and Los Tepis, which operates in Tepito.

The latest suspect in the case told investigators that the "motive for the kidnapping was a reprisal for the murder" of Horacio Vite, a drug dealer who had been gunned down in the trendy Condesa district two days earlier, Rios said.

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