Expats denounce seizure of property
By Atención Staff
Last week, a local TV station broadcast a citizens’ denouncement from two expat women concerning abuse of power by officers of Public Security. Later, the video of the denouncement was uploaded to a public website. According to municipal authorities, the women were arrested for aggressively opposing a lawful seizure process. Local authorities contend that the women did not follow the correct procedure for denouncing the seizure of property. Even though the identities of the two women were made public in the video, because we could not reach them for comment at the time of this writing we will call them “Jane” and “Mary” herein.
The filmed denouncement
In the video shown on a local TV station and uploaded to YouTube, Jane, a friend of Mary, whose property was seized, said that on Monday, March 11, she received a call from Mary’s lawyer, who said that his client was having problems at her house and that police officers were removing her possessions. The lawyer asked Jane to go to the house and take some photos. According to Jane’s declaration in the video, Mary’s husband also called her and told her that he was afraid because Mary had been handcuffed and arrested.
Jane commented that when she arrived and went in the police officers asked her why she was there, and she told them that she had permission from her friend to enter and take photos because she needed to know what was happening. They insisted that Jane did not have permission to go inside. She told them again that she did, but they took her telephone and arrested her. The women were detained for two hours and had to pay a fine of 500 pesos.
In the video, Mary stated that all her jewelry and furniture was taken and she does not know whether she will get the items back. She made the video, she said, because the population needs to know what is happening. “I am very afraid of the police,” she commented, adding that crime and the police are out of control in the city.
Version from local authorities
Ramón Medellín, secretary of the City Council, said that on March 11 local police went to Comunidad de Banda to aid in a property seizure ordered by a state judge. He said that Mary had been informed of the situation and the authorities carrying out the judge’s order had given her time to seek legal advice, but she would not allow them to enter her house. He said that at the request of authorities a locksmith opened the padlocks on the main gate, and when Mary realized that she got into her car and tried to run them down. Once inside the house, he continued, she was aggressive to the people performing their job, and for that reason the police were asked to arrest her. Later, Jane jumped a wall and went into the house, he said, where she began physically and verbally assaulting the officials inside, and for that reason she was arrested also.
Medellín commented that the expats never presented a formal denouncement at the Office of Human Rights or at the district attorney’s office or filed a complaint before the municipal judge or the municipal comptroller. Medellín said that the case has been brought to the attention of the Commission of Honor and Justice at City Hall and it will be investigated. He did not mention the reason why the state judge ordered the seizure of property.
Before we went to press, “Mary” phoned Atención office and sent us a document issue by Poder Judicial de Guanajuato (Guanajuato Judicial Office) stating that the seizure process was not against her but against the owner of the house she is renting, so the seizure of her things was completely illegal.