Friday, June 14, 2024

Police suspended after assaulting woman during arrest in San Miguel de Allende

At least one male and three female police officers who were filmed assaulting various people on Sunday in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, during an arrest — including that of an 18-year-old woman who suffered visibly serious injuries before being taken into custody — have been suspended.

A phone camera video filmed by spectators at the arrest shows one of the officers arresting a woman on the ground while a group of about 10 unarmed people who appear to be on a night out stand close by, watching, filming and at times trying to intervene.

At one point, a brawl breaks out, and at least three officers can be seen beating people with batons and kicking them. The woman on the ground is violently grabbed by her hair.

“They’re not doing anything to them … asshole police,” people can be heard shouting in the video.

It’s not clear how many people were arrested in the incident. But one of the alleged victims, Estefanía Monserrat García Sánchez, 18, presented a complaint against the officers in a wheelchair on Monday.

Spectators can be heard in the video telling the officers that they are being filmed.

 

Her brother, Andrik García Sánchez, told the newspaper La Jornada that his sister was hit in the head, face, throat and mouth.

“She can’t eat solid foods. We have to blend food because they damaged the inside of her mouth and she uses braces.” He also said that police attacked his sister brutally enough for her to lose consciousness and wake up in a patrol car, spitting up blood, for which he says an officer in the car yelled at her, telling her that she was staining the vehicle.

Estefanía later had to pay 500 pesos (US $23) to be released from custody.

The incident began soon after the woman had been in a cantina that evening in the city’s historic center, along with eight friends. Security personnel had thrown everyone out because there were underage customers inside. The police were called to the area due to reports that people were vandalizing cars.

Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco said he was committed to securing justice and that the officers had been suspended.

“… even if the arrest was justified, the way in which these citizens were detained is totally reprehensible. They violated all the rules and protocols regarding the use of force,” he added.

An independent human rights prosecutor in Guanajuato, PRODHEG, opened a complaint against the municipal police department, in which Estefanía participated.

PRODHEG’s lead attorney, Vicente Esqueda Méndez, said the victims’ human rights could have been violated.

With reports from El Queretano and La Jornada

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