Thursday, December 7, 2023

Police arrest director of school where student died during hazing

Police on Saturday arrested the director of a Chiapas school where one student died and two were seriously hurt during a hazing ritual.

Conrado Borraz León is accused of homicide and attempted homicide in connection with the death on July 21 of José Luis Hernández Espinosa, a 19-year-old freshman at the Mactumactzá Rural Teacher Training School in Tuxtla Guitiérrez.

He is believed to have died from kidney failure, presumably caused by the rupture of muscular tissue during a hazing or induction organized by senior students.

Two other students, Ulises Jiménez de la Cruz and Sergio Ballinas Zambrano, were admitted to hospital with similar injuries. There have been reports since that were not only physically injured, apparently beaten during the initiation ritual, but were also severely dehydrated.

They are now reported in stable condition.

The Mactumactzá school has a military-style training ground, where the freshmen students were apparently forced to perform exhausting exercises.

The school’s new batch of students, who are scheduled to start their first school year on August 20, were also forced to mount a guard for at least 20 days. They were left incommunicado for the duration of the ritual after their cell phones were taken from them.

Prosecutors said the investigation is continuing and that more arrest warrants could be issued.

The school’s students’ council has remained silent about the hazing but spoke out after Borraz was detained, condemning his arrest and demanding he be released.

The students mounted a street blockade in protest.

The school itself also criticized the director’s arrest, claiming that he was in fact kidnapped and detained in a brutal manner.

It said it would hold responsible the state government and the “disgraceful, imperialist puppet governor” for any physical or psychological suffering on the part of Borraz.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Cinco (sp), Reforma (sp)

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