Saturday, June 25

The death of a woman after a brutal arrest reignites criticism of the police in the Mexican Caribbean


Lying face down on the asphalt, with her hands handcuffed and the knee of a police officer on her back, a woman screams and complains at the gaze of three other officers. Moments later, he is unconscious and the police officers are heard saying “he’s still breathing” before loading the unconscious body into the patrol car. The woman ends up dying on the way to the police station. The scenes of the brutal arrest at the hands of the Tulum municipal police, recorded by neighbors and uploaded to social networks, have once again ignited the fuse of indignation in one of the most exclusive tourist spots in the Mexican Caribbean.

The dissemination of the events, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, has also caused the reaction of institutions of the State of Quintana Roo. The state prosecutor’s office announced this Sunday that it has opened an investigation to determine the responsibility of the municipal police in the case. The statement from the prosecution already qualifies what happened as “homicide”, at the expense of ending the autopsy and the forensic experts’ studies on the cause of death.

The mayor of Tulum, Víctor Mas Tah, also came out with a video posted on his social networks. “It is unacceptable,” said the councilor, in addition to announcing that the four policemen have been removed from their position while the prosecution’s investigation lasts. In the video, the mayor appears accompanied by two women, the person in charge of the gender equality commission in the town hall and the president of an association of women entrepreneurs.

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Police in the tourist areas of the Mexican Caribbean have been in the eye of the hurricane since in November, a group of about 50 municipal agents from Cancun, less than two hours by car along the Caribbean coast of Tulum, disbanded a feminist demonstration. in front of the Municipal Palace. The balance of the brutal repression was two journalists with gunshot wounds and complaints of sexual assaults by the authorities during the march.

The events even precipitated a resounding condemnation by the Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Organization for Human Rights (UN-DH Mexico). “The police must abide by the principles of the use of force, which include necessity, proportionality, prevention and accountability,” the UN demanded in a statement that takes effect again after the events of this Saturday in Tulum.

The special rapporteurs also emphasized the government’s obligation to “protect, and not attack, women”. In Mexico 10 women are murdered a day. Eight out of 10 have suffered sexist violence. And only 4% of crimes of sexual violence in the country are reported.

Local corporations are one of the most controversial links in the weak Mexican institutional chain and one of the great pending accounts in the task of regenerating and cleaning up the springs of the State. Almost every recent federal government has announced a plan to properly prepare and purge often corroded corporations for corruption and organized crime.

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