Mexico: Malcolm X grandson murdered in DF bar

According to Mexican authorities, Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of assassinated US rights activist Malcolm X and educator Betty Shabazz, was found badly beaten on a sidewalk in Mexico City the night of May 8. Federal District (DF, Mexico City) emergency services took him to a hospital, where he died early in the morning of May 9. A Mexican friend, Miguel Suárez, said he and Shabazz had been invited into The Palace, a bar in the Plaza Garibaldi neighborhood. Later they were presented with a $1,200 bill for music, alcohol and the company of the women they had been drinking with. When they refused to pay, Suárez was separated from Shabazz and eventually escaped; apparently Shabazz was beaten to death.

In 1997, at the age of 12 Shabazz set a fire in which Betty Shabazz died. He was placed in juvenile detention, and had brushes with the law after his release, but more recently he had been studying and was active as a speaker and a blogger. He was visiting Mexico to help Suárez, a California activist who was deported to Mexico in April.

DF police and homicide detectives conducted a search in The Palace, which area shopkeepers say is known for its abuses of tourists who patronize it. Cases like the killing of Shabazz are the result of the authorities’ failure to enforce the law at such establishments, according to Gabriela Salido Magos, a member of the DF Legislative Assembly for the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and part of the Assembly’s tourism committee. She cited the reported rape of a young woman in the Cadillac High Class strip club in February and the robbery the month before of customers at the SO.DO.ME Bathhouse, a gay sauna. These abuses aren’t exceptional, Salido Magos said, but they are viewed differently when the victim is the grandson of an historic US activist. (La Jornada, Mexico, May 11, May 12)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 12.