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Two men arrested in Malcolm Shabazz murder in Mexico, more sought

A man sells sarapes at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City May 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo
A man sells sarapes at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City May 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

By Gabriel Stargardter

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Authorities in Mexico City have arrested two men on suspicion of the fatal beating of the grandson of U.S. civil rights activist Malcolm X in a bar last week and are looking for at least two more people, Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Rios said on Monday.

Malcolm Shabazz, who police have said was 29, died last Thursday at a bar just steps away from Mexico City's popular Plaza Garibaldi, where mariachis serenade tourists.

Police have arrested two men who are waiters at the bar, David Hernandez and Manuel Perez, and are looking for at least two more suspects, Rios said.

Shabazz was with Manuel Suarez, a labor rights activist who had recently been deported from the United States, when they were confronted by two women aged between 20 and 25 in the rough neighborhood of Tepito, said Rios.

The unidentified women, who police still want to question, took the two men to the Palace nightclub, said Rios. Shabazz and Suarez were then presented with a more than $1,200 bill, which they disputed. Police have described the Palace as a place of low repute.

"The aggrieved did not agree with the bill and couldn't come to an agreement," Rios said. Shabazz "was hit while his companion was threatened and had his belongings taken from him inside the building."

Shabazz, who had alcohol in his blood, died from blows to his head, ribs and jaw, Rios said.

Authorities were still trying to determine how Shabazz's body came to be dumped on the street, Rios said, noting that the bar's security cameras had been turned to face the wall.

Rios said rumors that Shabazz had jumped from the window were untrue. He said Shabazz's his family would not be coming to Mexico to recover the body.

Shabazz gained notoriety as a 12-year-old for starting a fire that killed his grandmother and Malcolm X's widow, Betty Shabazz.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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