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RIP Malcolm Shabazz

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 6/10/2013, 12:58 p.m.
RIP Malcolm Shabazz

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City referred the paper to the U.S. State Department. A spokesperson referenced a Friday press briefing, where a reporter stated, "There was report earlier today that Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, died in Mexico yesterday. Do you have any information on that? There was a citation that the embassy there was confirming the report."

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell replied, "so, We are aware of the death of a U.S. citizen in Mexico City. We've been in contact with family members and are providing appropriate consular assistance. At their request, we have no further comment at this time."

The spokesman who took the AmNews call added that he would forward any additional comments on the case, especially--as requested--on the arrest of the two suspects.

They did call back on Tuesday afternoon to state, "At the family's request, we have no further information."

Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Rios confirmed that Shabazz was severely beaten around his head and torso.

A source familiar with the story who had given verbal reports to the AmNews co-signed media reports saying that Shabazz was in Mexico with labor activist Miguel Suarez, a co-founder of the California-based RUMEC (Revolutionary United Mexicans in Combat), who was deported in April. The two men reportedly wanted to bring attention to the deportation of Suarez.

Cruz and Perez de Jesus worked as waiters at the Palace Club, a downtown bar in a notorious part of town. Prosecutors are searching for two other Palace Club workers who they say took part in the deadly beating, which they claim was over a $1,200 bar bill. Some other source reports dating back to last Thursday have told the AmNews that it was an attempted robbery and/or a setup.

Prosecutor Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza told journalists at a press conference that Shabazz came to Mexico City from Tijuana and went to the bar with Suarez.

Garza said that two young women had approached Shabazz and Suarez and invited them to the bar.

Suarez told the Washington Post that after the dispute began over the bill around 3 a.m., he was taken to another room; but when he managed to get out, he found Shabazz lying beaten. The severe beating left Shabazz with fractures to his skull, jaw and ribs.

The AmNews has tried to reach Suarez but could not reach him by press time.

Shabazz had a troubled life. Born in Paris to an Algerian father, Shabazz didn't really know him.

As a youngster, on the back of several family issues, young Shabazz was sent to stay with his grandmother, Betty Shabazz. But in the summer of 1997, 12-year-old Shabazz was charged with setting the fire to the Yonkers apartment. Several days later, the widow of the great 1960s icon succumbed to the injuries she sustained in the blaze. Famed attorney and former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton represented the grandson of his one-time client, Malcolm X.

Sutton gave this reporter a ride back to New York City from the Yonkers Family Court that day. He stated that, despite the dire nature of the current case, young Shabazz "gets it. He just gets it. He is very bright, very intelligent."