Hundreds of police deployed in Mexico protests

Mexico protests

Mexico City, (Samajweekly) At least 400 police officers were deployed in Mexico City during youth protests demanding an end to police violence and the immediate release of the country’s political prisoners.

Shortly after Wednesday afternoon, the representative office of Jalisco state in Mexico City, located in the affluent neighbourhood of Polanco, became a bunker as protesters from various social organizations were expected to arrive, reports Efe news.

“We are demanding the dissolution of repressive bodies, the release of political prisoners, the punishment of perpetrators and the entire line of command that has sheltered these violent acts,” a member of the Accion Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Action) group told Efe.

The protesters demanded justice for the police custody deaths of the African-American George Floyd in the US, and of the Mexican Giovanni Lopez after being detained in Jalisco state for not wearing a mask, as well as the release of the lawyer Susana Prieto, who was detained in Matamoros.

They also marked the 49th anniversary of the 1971 student massacre known as “El Halconazo” or “The Corpus Christi Massacre”, considered the second most tragic after the Tlatelolco Massacre on October 2, 1968.

They reported that the police tried to intimidate them when they arrived.

On Wednesday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke out against the repression, recalling El Halconazo.

“No to repression, neither to students nor to any citizen. No to repression, no to torture, no to enforced or forced disappearances, no to massacres, no to violence,” he said.

Lopez Obrador indicated that his government seeks to resolve differences peacefully “and that the State, the State security forces should not be used to repress the people” since, he said, “that does not solve the problems; on the contrary, it complicates them”.

On June 5, dozens of protesters vandalized the US embassy in the Mexican capital, protesting the deaths of Floyd and Lopez.

They tried to tear down the metal fences that guard the embassy, hit the police and caused damage.

They then went to the headquarters of the government of Jalisco and destroyed shops and other properties in their wake, while a group of police officers allegedly beat a 16-year-old girl who was participating in the protest.

On Monday, during another march in the centre of Mexico City, protesters caused destruction and looting, which was condemned by Lopez Obrador, who proposed the creation of an unarmed peace group for the demonstrations.