Friends told that Canadian being held as slave in Mexico

Marc Menard, 44, lived just north of Montreal and was in regular contact with family and friends...

Marc Menard, 44, lived just north of Montreal and was in regular contact with family and friends since he left in December for his three-month trip. He hasn't been heard from since March 14. (Handout)

Ewan Sauves, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:12 PM ET

MONTREAL - Friends of a Montreal-area hiker who went missing in Mexico last March say he's still alive, and they're demanding Interpol get involved.

Canadian officials say they're in contact with Mexican authorities but Marc Menard's family accuses Canada of dragging its heels.

Meanwhile, his friends travelled to Mexico and say they were told the 46-year-old hiker is being held as a slave by the brutal Los Zetas gang.

Loved ones say Menard was intercepted by two men when he tried to cross into Mexico from Guatemala March 14.

"Our last communication with Marc was (when he was) 544 kilometres from Nuevo Laredo," his tearful friend and colleague Marie-Josee Tessier told QMI Agency.

"He told us he was on his way and he was eager to get home."

On Aug. 9, Tessier received a tip that Menard had been spotted in a shop in Nuevo Laredo, at the U.S. border southwest of San Antonio, Texas.

"We received a call from a Mexican lady who said she spoke to him," said Tessier. "She said that Marc seemed nervous, was being watched and couldn't speak."

Francois Pilon, an NDP MP in Menard's hometown of Laval, Que., says he'll table a petition in Parliament demanding Interpol's immediate intervention.

"The same thing happened to the daughter of my wife's friend," he said. "She was reported missing in Hawaii and never found.

"I don't know if I'll be able to do something, but I'll do my best."


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