A 25-year-old law graduate and state judicial employee was arbitrarily arrested and beaten by police at a protest in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on Thursday, say the man’s mother and girlfriend.
Jesús Isaí Luna Martínez was arrested shortly after he arrived at the protest against the alleged murder of Giovanni López, who was supposedly beaten by police after he was arrested – apparently for not wearing a face mask – in the Jalisco municipality of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos on May 4.
Luna’s mother told the newspaper Milenio that video footage posted to social media shows that her son was not acting violently when he was arrested.
“He arrived and took out a Mexican flag to show that he was unhappy about the young man who was killed and that’s why they [the police] grabbed him,” Irma Araceli Martínez said.
“They arrested him without any reason,” she said, adding that videos posted to social media show her son being arrested by police who subsequently beat him, handcuffed him and put him into a police vehicle.
📢 De esta forma violenta, es como policías detienen a manifestantes en el primer cuadro de Guadalajara que exigen #JusticiaParaGiovanni. #TelediarioEnEl6 con @Carloszup y @paobarquet | https://t.co/VqUPqVxLBf pic.twitter.com/kOF2B01z6y
— @telediario (@telediario) June 5, 2020
“They kept beating him even when he was handcuffed. He fainted and they still kept beating him,” the man’s mother said.
“They completely violated the rights of the protesters. … He arrived 10 minutes earlier and this happened to him. He knew his rights and their limits and that he couldn’t be attacking anyone or spray-painting.”
Luna’s fiancée also said that he did nothing wrong. He joined the protest “peacefully” but was nevertheless attacked by state and municipal police, Laura Romo told the newspaper NTR.
“It was a very brutal attack, he was hurt very badly. At no time is he seen committing an act of vandalism. [In the video footage] he’s not spray-painting or shouting, he’s not doing anything like that. … The abuse of authority is undeniable,” she said.
Luna was hospitalized for injuries to his head, face and torso but was later discharged and returned to police custody.
Martínez said that she saw her son in the hospital but hasn’t had any contact with him since.
“He told me, ‘mom, I wasn’t doing anything, I took out my flag to protest and that was all I did until they [the police] grabbed me,’” she said.
Romo said that all of Luna’s family is worried about him as he remains in police custody. As of Saturday morning, no family members had been allowed to see him and it was unclear what charges, if any, he faces.
“We’re tremendously worried. We don’t know what’s going to happen to my fiancé,” Romo said, adding that the authorities haven’t provided any information to “calm us down.”
A total of 28 people were arrested at Thursday’s protest in the historic center of Guadalajara during which some demonstrators clashed with police, set police vehicles alight and broke into the state government palace.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro defended the conduct of the police, stating that they acted according to the circumstances and “didn’t commit any act of violence against the protesters.”