A Mérida restaurant was abruptly closed Monday by authorities following accusations that a Canadian expat connected with the restaurant attacked the daughter of the owner of a business next door.
The restaurant, named Harlow, was closed indefinitely on Monday by local and state officials.
Accounts of the alleged attack — which went viral online after many users reposted an audio recording alleged to be of the attack — said the Mérida resident attacked the girl after a dispute escalated between the woman and the owner of a neighboring business. According to the newspaper Diario de Yucatán, the neighboring business was an art gallery.
In the audio that circulated online, a woman with an Anglo accent can be heard shouting death threats and apparently attacking a female alleged to be the art gallery owner’s daughter.
News of the incident spread online, galvanizing both Mexican and expat residents, some of whom demonstrated at Harlow on Monday, calling for justice for the teen and for the expat’s deportation. Later that day, authorities appeared at Harlow to close it down.
According to Diario de Yucatán, the dispute was regarding dining tables from Harlow that had been placed in front of the art gallery, and which the gallery owner had asked the other woman to remove.
In the audio recording, a woman can be heard speaking in English and telling a young female with a non-Anglo accent, “You better be calling your mom, because we need to have a little chat.”
When the girl on the audio responded in English that her mother was busy teaching a class and wouldn’t be coming to talk with her, the woman on the audio began insulting the young woman and issuing death threats, both littered with expletives.
“I’ll bury your body in the fucking front of this yard,” the woman told the girl moments before what sounds like a physical attack, followed by screams from the girl that apparently attracted a man to intervene and tell the woman to leave.
The Anglo-accented voice continued to shout death threats on the recording.
According to the newspaper La Silla Rota, the victim’s mother has filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office.