Conflicts & War

Impunity for alleged killer cops sparks disturbances in Mexico

Morelia, Mexico, Apr 5 (EFE).- A demonstration here Tuesday on the fifth anniversary of a police operation in the western Mexican town of Arantepacua that left four residents dead ended with vandalism against the headquarters of the Michoacan state Attorney General’s office.

The Purepecha indigenous people who traveled to Morelia, the state capital, for the protest were joined by members of the radical CNTE teachers union at around 10:30 am outside Casa Michoacan, the former gubernatorial residence, and the group began marching toward the city center.

When the contingent reached the state AG Office, some among the crowd attacked the building, destroying the main entrance and breaking numerous windows.

The militants also set fire to two state police motorcycles.

The chief demand of the demonstrators was for federal authorities to take over the investigation of the events of April 5, 2017, in Arantepacua.

State police entered the community in ostensible pursuit of gunmen allegedly hiding there and the force said that the four people who died – one of them a minor – were killed in the cross fire between officers and suspects.

But a report issued in December 2020 by Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) concluded that all of the killing was done by police and that the officers also engaged in torture, arbitrary arrest, and illegal searches of homes.

Arantepacua leaders say that Michoacan Attorney General Adrian Lopez Solis has a conflict of interest because as government secretary in 2017 under then-Gov. Silvano Aureoles Conejo, he was in charge of the police at the time of the incident.

Last December, current Michoacan Gov. Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla accepted the judgment of the CNDH and apologized to the people of Arantepacua on behalf of the state government. EFE


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