Six Coahuila state police officers are being investigated for the killing of a Honduran migrant in the city of Saltillo on Wednesday.
Coahuila Attorney General Gerardo Márquez Guevara told a press conference that the migrant was killed as the police were chasing down suspected drug dealers.
“A group of police investigators were searching for people who had been identified as drug dealers,” he said. “At least four people had been identified, and last week two people were arrested as a result of the investigations.”
Márquez said the officers attempted to arrest the drug dealers at about 9:30pm but the two suspects fled towards the Casa del Migrante, a nearby migrant shelter, and started shooting at the police, who returned fire.
“The group of people that was present in the area dispersed, probably because of the chase that was going on,” said Márquez. “When the police arrived, they found a person on the ground with a gunshot wound.”
The six officers who were involved in the operation have been removed from field duty while the investigation is carried out. Márquez would not say how many times the migrant had been shot.
The victim was identified as Marco, the father of a young girl.
According to accounts by neighbors and migrants who witnessed the event, the police started shooting first, and the incident took place at 8:00pm and not at 9:30pm.
“They shot at us like we were animals,” one migrant told the newspaper Vanguardia. “I heard four shots, and then they killed Marco.”
Márquez added that state police have interviewed four witnesses who said that Marco and his daughter were planning to hop a train to reunite with their family in the United States.
Marco is the second migrant to be murdered since December.