By Mariana Gonzalez
Guadalajara, Mexico, June 7 (efe-epa).- The governor of the western Mexican state of Jalisco has apologized for police abuses amid continued protests sparked by the death of a man in police custody.
Enrique Alfaro released a video on Saturday in which he said he was appalled by the police beating protesters in the state capital of Guadalajara during the demonstrations against the alleged May 4 killing of 31-year-old Giovanni Lopez.
“I turn to the people of Jalisco to apologize in the name of the state government and my behalf over the events occurred yesterday outside the prosecution where youth were assaulted by ministerial police personnel,” he said.
“It hurts me to see police assaults against citizens,” he said referring to a video shared on social media that shows cops in plainclothes hitting and arresting demonstrators.
Lopez allegedly succumbed to injuries he sustained in police custody after he was arrested on May 1 for not wearing a mask, which is compulsory in the state due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prosecutors have, however, denied the accusation.
The protests against the alleged police excesses have roiled the western state for the past three days as hundreds of youth again marched on Saturday through central Guadalajara, demanding justice.
The demonstrators also demanded the immediate release of the protesters detained on Thursday and a day after. They also sought whereabouts of at least 17 men who have been reported missing after their detention.
Governor Alfaro conceded the demand for the release of the arrested protesters and announced that all the people detained in the last two days will be set free immediately.
He said a group of ministerial police personnel had ” disregarded the order” of containing the protesters without force.
The governor accused Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of instigating violent protests following the detention of 27 people on Thursday after a police officer set afire.
Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Octavio Solis announced that two police personnel were detained, including, a high ranking officer, involved in illegal detention on Friday.
“The police acted without the command and direction of the public ministry, arbitrarily detained several young people. They did not keep an adequate arrest record of people taken in,” he said.
The Jalisco State Human Rights Commission denounced that “detentions were carried out outside every protocol”.
The Center of Justice for Peace and Development denounced that “it is not known how many continue to be detained” as their whereabouts remain unknown.
Three municipal police officers have been detained in Lopez’s death while the Jalisco government disbanded the local police of Ixtlahuacan where the man was detained.
The protests reached Mexico City on Friday where a group was involved in vandalism – in the center of the capital – over the police killings of Lopez and African American George Floyd in Minnesota, United States.
During these protests, a group of riot police allegedly kicked a young protester in the head after she fell on the ground. Two police officers have been detained for the alleged abuse.
“Even when breaches of public order were committed which should be penalized, I gave clear and precise instruction of avoiding a provocation. However, orders were disobeyed and police abuse was committed against at least one teenager,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said in a video. EFE-EPA