Monday, June 17, 2024

Couple accuse police of assault causing pregnant woman to lose baby

A San Luis Potosí couple have accused state police of an unwarranted assault that caused the woman to lose her unborn baby.

According to the news website Infobae, police arrived outside the San Luis Potosí city home of Víctor Villegas and Brenda Guzmán on May 1 because a neighbor complained that a vehicle was blocking access to his house.

Officers from the state police metropolitan force responded to the call and are alleged to have physically assaulted the couple, both of whom are doctors.

Infobae reported that Villegas and Guzmán were initially involved in an argument with police over the improperly parked car because the officers wanted to impound it due to registration irregularities.

The couple were involved in a scuffle with the officers when the police indicated that they were going to arrest them. Guzmán says she suffered injuries inflicted by a policewoman that caused her to lose her baby hours later. She was allegedly yanked and hit in the abdomen by the officer.

Villegas and Guzmán met on Thursday with Edgardo Hernández Contreras, a state deputy and president of the public security committee of the state Congress.

Due to what they said was the indifference of authorities to what happened to them, the couple sought the assistance of the committee. Villegas and Guzmán, who have filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office (FGE), said they were the victims of police abuse and demanded that the officers responsible be held to account.

“We have no way of demanding that the life of our child be given back to us — it’s impossible — but justice should at least be served, and hopefully this won’t happen to anyone else,” Villegas said.

The state Public Security Ministry (SSPE) told Infobae that five officers involved in the incident — three men and two women — currently remain at their jobs. The FGE is investigating and will determine whether the officers have a case to answer, the SSPE said.

The Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that its investigation was 80% complete and that it expected it would be finalized in the coming days.

Hernández, the state deputy, said police committed “shocking” and “unforgivable” acts of violence that resulted in a tragedy for both Guzmán and Villegas. He attributed the incident to a lack of police training.

The lawmaker pledged to support the couple in their fight for justice, asserting that it’s “necessary to continue working to avoid these kinds of police abuse.”

Police brutality is a problem in many parts of Mexico. Two high-profile examples include the case of a Salvadoran woman who died after a municipal officer knelt on her back in Tulum, Quintana Roo, in March and the death of a man in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco, last June after he was allegedly beaten by municipal police after being arrested for not wearing a face mask.

Source: El Sol de San Luis (sp), Infobae (sp) 

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