Crackdown widens in Atenco case

From Mexico’s El Universal, June 21, via Chiapas95:

Arrest warrants issued for 23 officers

A top State of Mexico judge issued arrest warrants for 23 police officers who stand accused of abuse and use of excessive force during unrest in San Salvador Atenco last month.

Jose Castillo Ambriz, head of the state’s Superior Tribunal of Justice, told local media that he had received 21 files in the case, in which the police were named. He did not release their names to the press, however.

The officers will be charged with abuse of authority and will be eligible for bail.

State prosecutors first announced they would seek charges against the 23 officers last week.

The violent clash between police and residents – which resulted in two deaths – erupted after authorities attempted to forcefully dislodge a group of flower sellers who had set up on the street in front of a market on May 3.

Thousands of state and federal police descended on the town after residents took six officers hostage. Law enforcement regained control of the town, located northeast of Mexico City, but the officers have been accused of sexual abuse of suspects, arbitrary detentions, illegal forced entry into homes and physical abuse.

Four police officers were fired following the clash, and five others have been suspended for 90 days.

Residents and activists have accused the government of protecting the police and have organized a number of protests in Mexico City and surrounding areas in recent weeks.

See our last posts on Mexico and the Atenco case.