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The students were traveling in a white pickup truck, center left, when the guardsmen began to shoot. The students were traveling in a white pickup truck, left, when the guardsmen began to shoot.

National Guardsman in custody for killing student in Guanajuato

The students 'hastily' left when the guardsmen arrived, causing confusion and uncertainty, authorities said

A member of the National Guard (GN) who shot and killed a student in Irapuato, Guanajuato, on Wednesday has been arrested.

The Guanajuato Attorney General’s Office announced on Twitter Thursday that the guardsman, who also wounded another student, was in custody. It indicated that the next steps in the case against him will be determined within 48 hours.

According to a statement issued by the National Guard, its personnel were carrying out an anti-fuel theft patrol in the municipality of Irapuato when they came across two vehicles parked on a dirt road near Pemex’s Salamanca-León petroleum pipeline.

The GN said the occupants of the vehicles left the area “hastily” when they became aware of the guardsmen’s presence.

Their quick escape “caused confusion and uncertainty among the members of this police institute,” the statement said.

Guanajuato University Rector Luis Felipe Guerrero Agripino attended a student protest on Thursday.
Guanajuato University Rector Luis Felipe Guerrero Agripino attended a student protest on Thursday.

“As a result, a member of the National Guard got out of the vehicle in which he was traveling and unilaterally fired his weapon at the pickup trucks that were leaving,” the GN said, adding that one person was killed and another was injured.

Ángel Yael Ignacio Rangel, a 19-year-old agronomy student at the Irapuato campus of the University of Guanajuato (UG), was shot in the head and died from his injuries. Edith Alejandra Carillo Franco, a 22-year-old UG agronomy student, was shot in the shoulder and later taken to hospital for treatment. She was reported in stable condition. A third student who was driving the vehicle that came under fire was uninjured.

According to a report by the news website La Silla Rota, the students were attacked shortly after leaving a lunch event. The location where they came under fire is very close to the university campus they attend.

Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez condemned the attack and rejected any suggestion they had done something wrong. “They weren’t in the wrong place, they were studying,” he said. Given that similar incidents involving the GN have occurred in other states, the security force – which was created by the current federal government – needs to review its protocols, the governor said.

UG students held a protest on Thursday to demand justice for the unprovoked attack. They paid tribute to their deceased classmate with applause and cheers and honored his life with a minute’s silence.

Guanajuato University Rector Luis Felipe Guerrero Agripino added his voice to the protest, calling the attack on the students a “homicidal act” that affects the entire university community and society more broadly. He also said that the National Human Rights Commission, as well as state authorities, should investigate the case.

With reports from El Universal and La Silla Rota

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