Hundreds of protesters took to the streets and clashed with riot police in Guadalajara June 4, one month after the killing of a construction worker at the hands of local law enforcement. The rally climaxed with the storming of the Jalisco state government palace, where protesters smashed down the front door and left graffiti on the exterior walls. Police cars were also set on fire. Bricklayer Giovanni López, 30, was brutally beaten by municipal police in the town of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos on May 4, after being stopped for failure to wear a face-mask, in violation of mandatory measures to contain COVID-19. He died in the hospital the following day, with the cause of death named as traumatic brain injury. Protesters hailed López as “the Mexican George Floyd.” State authorities failed to act in the case for a month; it was only after the explosion of anger on the streets of Guadalajara that Jalisco Prosecutor General Gerardo Solis announced that authorities had arrested three police officers involved in the incident. It is unclear what charges they will face.
Jalisco authorities were also under pressure from the state’s official human rights office. The State Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) declared that “the excessive use of force and mistreatment of people by police authorities is unacceptable. In this event, where the detained person’s lifeless body was handed over to relatives, it is necessary to act with all the rigor of the law and dictate all preventive measures, and guarantee access to justice for victims, knowledge of the truth, and comprehensive reparation of the damage.” (Puerto Vallarta Daily News, Yucatan Times, Mexico News Daily)
Photo: Notimex via Yucatan Times