“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

A mother from Zapopan is desperate because her 13-year-old son has been missing since May 31, and just a few hours ago she found out that he is apparently being held in Zacatecas, after he was allegedly recruited by an organized crime group.

Brayan Antonio is 13 years old and has a cognitive disability called “Peter Pan Syndrome” which makes him have an intellectual maturity of about six or seven years and a high level of naivety that makes him extremely vulnerable, according to specialists from the Jalisco Institute of Mental Health explained to his relatives.

Latinus spoke with Mrs. Laura Sandoval, mother of Brayan Antonio, who indicated that after the disappearance of her son on May 31, she began to receive phone calls and video calls from her son, however, he never revealed his whereabouts to her.

“I previously had communication with my child. He would make video calls to me in which he would tell me that he was fine and that he had left on his own, which is impossible, since he could not even go to the store to bring eggs. How is it possible that he left on his own if he does not do things on his own well”, said Mrs. Laura noticeably dismayed.

The woman reported to the authorities and the Jalisco Prosecutor’s Office published an Amber Alert on social networks with Brayan Antonio’s characteristics; however, Mrs. Laura did not hear anything until 20 or 30 days later. The prosecutor’s office informed her that there were clues that the minor could be in Zacatecas, although his exact whereabouts were still unknown.

Last September 8, three months and five days after his disappearance, Mrs. Laura Sandoval had news of her son. The Jalisco prosecutor’s office asked her to check the website of the National Registry of Arrests, which stated that Brayan Antonio had been detained in the community of Cieneguillas in Zacatecas.

The person who contacted her told her that the boy had been detained in possession of firearms and that he was at the disposal of the delegation of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in Zacatecas.

“That is what the prosecutor’s office told me, they gave me that information. That they suspected that my son had been recruited, but I never asked my son. I never told my son ‘hey son, were you recruited,’ nothing. I never asked him that. What I understand is that he was detained with weapons and because of a note I saw on Face (Facebook), but neither the Zacatecas nor the Jalisco prosecutor’s office has provided me with the information. I realized that the moment I recognized my son’s body, I said: that’s my son. They have him on his back and I realize that he is my son”.

According to sources from the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in Zacatecas and with the National Registry of Arrests, Brayan Antonio was released and is currently at the disposal of the state DIF, however, no authority in that entity has sought to contact the boy’s parents even though he is a minor and suffers from an intellectual disability, while the Jalisco prosecutor’s office has not gone for the teenager even though it was this instance that issued an Amber Alert.

In the face of the authorities’ inaction, Mrs. Laura’s hands are tied. She lives with her two other minor children, one of whom has autism.

The family is of low economic resources and it is impossible for the woman to go to Zacatecas to pick up her son, and she fears for her safety, believing that her son was recruited by organized crime. She is hoping for help from the authorities in Jalisco.

“The truth is that I am too afraid. I am very, very afraid, I am trembling with fear, I don’t sleep. In fact, just this morning they came by chance from Banco Azteca, who had never come before, with a warrant that had someone else’s name. The truth is that I did not open the door, but I looked out the window and the person looked very suspicious. I am very, very afraid that they want to shut me up, that they want to do something to me”, said the woman between sobs.

Interviewed on this matter on Wednesday, the Jalisco prosecutor, Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruiz, said that as with any other victim, he would support Mrs. Laura so that she could pick up her son Brayan in Zacatecas, but he did not say when. Until Thursday night this mother of a family was still in uncertainty.

“It is not the first time we do it. When the families do not have the facility or the resources to go for their family member to some other place where he or she is located, the state prosecutor’s office provides them with support and even accompaniment to go for the person and reincorporate him or her to his or her home,” said the state prosecutor.

This is at least the second time that Brayan Antonio leaves his home to look for work due to the precarious economic conditions of his family. The previous occasion was in March when the boy was found alone in the municipality of Teuchitlán, where armed men allegedly left him to his fate.

Authorities of Zacatecas do not know the whereabouts of the child.

The authorities of Zacatecas have little information about the whereabouts of the case of the minor Brayan Antonio, apparently located in Cieneguillas, Zacatecas.

They all refer to the delegation of the FGR in Zacatecas, however, sources in the delegation indicated that the minor is already in the custody of the state authorities.

The Centro de Internamiento y Atención Integral Juvenil en Zacatecas, formerly known as tutelar para menores, located in the community of Felipe Ángeles, in the municipality of Villanueva, confirmed to Latinus that there is no data in their system on this case.

The Federal Institute of Public Defense also indicated that none of their records match the name of the minor. It’s ruled out that there are no personnel assigned to this case.

So far, the Attorney General’s Office for the Defense of Minors, as well as the Special Prosecutor’s Office for the Attention of Forced Disappearance of Persons and Disappearance Committed by Private Individuals, did not respond to Latinus’ requests for information.