Quintana Roo prosecutors have charged 11 Cancún police officers for their actions during a November 9 incident in which police opened fire upon during a women’s march.
The 11 officers charged, nine of whom were senior personnel and two were rank-and-file officers, all work for the police department in the Benito Juárez municipality where Cancún is located. They have been charged with assault, abuse of authority, and robbery.
The incident happened at the municipal palace after the march turned destructive, with some more radical demonstrators attempting to break into the palace and set fire to wooden boards that protected its façade.
Municipal police used tear gas and fired weapons into the air and at the ground to disperse them. Two journalists were injured in the gunfire, whereas eight others were allegedly beaten by police or were injured in the panicked rush to avoid the gun battle.
The Attorney General’s Office said the senior officers “put at risk the attendants [of the march] by permitting that staff under their command approach the scene with firearms and by not avoiding the illegal use of force in an unnecessary and unjustified manner.”
Officials also said they were planning to press additional charges against the senior officers for permitting the crime scene to be altered in order to destroy or hide evidence.
The demonstrators, mainly women, were protesting the femicide of 20-year-old Blanca Alejandrina Lorenzana Alvarado, whose body was found November 8, a day after she disappeared in Cancún.
According to the investigation, at least 78 officers were determined to be on duty at the march with the mission of protecting property during the protest.
The incident resulted in the firing of police chief Eduardo Santamaría and the resignation of Quintana Roo security chief Alberto Capella.
“We’re not just annoyed but extremely ashamed because it’s not possible to understand it [the aggression], let alone explain it,” Capella told Milenio Television soon after the incident.
Source: Milenio (sp)