Shabazz, who led a troubled life, was visiting his friend, recently deported activist Miguel Suarez, when "they and several other people had gone to a bar near the downtown plaza that is home to Mexico City's mariachis."
After being confronted with a $1,200 bar bill by the owner of the establishment, a fight ensued and Shabazz was taken behind the building and beaten. Suarez told the AP that he "found Shabazz injured outside the bar and took him to a hospital where he died on Thursday."
Shabazz had recently been enrolled at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and was writing a memoir about his life while traveling around the United States, speaking out against youth violence.
His family has released the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved El Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz. To all who knew him, he offered kindness, encouragement and hope for a better tomorrow. Although his bright light and boundless potential are gone from this life, we are grateful that he now rests in peace in the arms of his grandparents and the safety of God. We will miss him."