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Two doors down from the Palace club, just past gay nightclub Divercity, garage attendant Mario Tzompantzi recalled how he had turned in for the night, bedding down in a tiny cubby hole where he guards patrons’ keys.
“I woke up because there was a commotion. I could see him lying on the floor. There were lots of people crowded around him,” Tzompantzi, 41, told Reuters.
“He was lying right there,” he said, pointing to the kerb leading into the garage. A pool of greenish-yellow car radiator fluid now marks the spot. “I couldn’t tell if he had been beaten up or run over by a car.”
“He’s dead?” he added, clearly shocked. “But he was alive there on the ground when the ambulance came and took him away.”
He and others in the area described Palace as a brothel.
“When you go to a bar like that, you expose yourself,” said Alberto Gomez, a spokesman for the Mexico City police.
Fights at Mexico City strip clubs are fairly frequent. Booze-fueled patrons who buy drinks for the women working in the clubs can find themselves confronted with staggering bills they cannot pay.
FAMILY AREA MEETS DARK UNDERBELLY
Police have sealed Palace, its neon sign extinguished. At the door, two agents sat like menacing bouncers on Friday night, filling their clips with bullets. Their unmarked car blocked the entrance.
Dozens of Mariachi bands play for a fee in Plaza Garibaldi, competing to drown each other out. Vendors hawk hats and rugs, and families in party attire mill about while their children play on the ground with toys.