The Jalisco Human Rights Commission (CEDHJ) has concluded that the death of Giovanni López, a 30-year-old man apparently arrested for not wearing a face mask, was an extrajudicial killing at the hands of municipal police.
The commission said in a report that López’s death was caused by a beating to which he was subjected after he was arrested by police in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, a municipality south of Guadalajara, on May 4.
“His death occurred when he was in the custody of police officers in municipal government facilities,” the CEDHJ said.
“Giovanni was beaten excessively by municipal police officers. … Everything indicates that his death was the result of the injuries he suffered.”
The rights commission said police intended to cause López to suffer and intimidate him.
The officers acted in a “conscious” manner and used “disproportionate” violence, the CEDHJ said.
“By beating the victim on repeated occasions, the police officers committed acts of torture, violating his right to personal safety,” it said.
According to police records, López was placed in municipal cells at 10:17 p.m. on May 4. The warden on duty said that he was already in poor health when he was locked up.
There is no video footage of López while he was being held at police facilities because the closed circuit camera system was not operating as it should have been.
The morning after he was placed in a cell, López was taken to a private hospital in Chapala for a CT brain scan. He arrived at the facility with two police officers, two paramedics and a man who appeared to be a specialist doctor.
While he was waiting for the scan, López was agitated and attempted to get off the gurney on which he had been placed. Just when he was about to be taken in for the scan, the specialist doctor said it wouldn’t be necessary and López was removed from the hospital.
He was subsequently transferred to municipal medical facilities in Ixtlahuacán where he was pronounced dead at about 12:00 p.m. on May 5. The cause of his death was determined to be a traumatic brain injury. He had also been shot in the foot.
Ixtlahuacán’s municipal police force was disarmed last Friday and a police commissioner, a middle-ranking commander and a police officer were arrested in connection with the case.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro and Attorney General Gerardo Octavio Solís have denied that López was arrested for not wearing a face mask as his family claims. The latter said that he was arrested for “aggressive behavior.”
Source: Milenio (sp)