State Human Rights Office censures police officers
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Fifteen of the 400 complaints that have been filed at the state Human Rights Office have come from residents of San Miguel de Allende. Of those 15 complaints, 11 arose from an alleged incident of police abuse of two young men on March 19.
On May 31, Mayor Mauricio Trejo signed an agreement of collaboration with the Guanajuato Humans Rights attorney, Gustavo Rodríguez Junquera. This agreement was signed in order to train the traffic and security officers of San Miguel de Allende to respect the human rights of the inhabitants and visitors in the city. Trejo noted that security is one of the priorities of his administration, but also they have now a priority of decreasing the number of recommendations received from the Humans Rights Office. Trejo commented that the violation of human rights is very fine line and for that reason they will work along with the state human rights office so police officers respect people’s rights. Trejo asked for trust, support and respect from sanmiguelenses toward the municipal authorities.
Rodríguez Junquera said that among those recommendations are those related to the case of police abuse against two law students in March this year, which was filmed and broadcast multiple times in the national media.
The problem started when police officers pulled over the two students, who were supposedly driving and drinking alcoholic beverages. The young men did not obey and drove to the parking lot of a nearby commercial center. Once there, the students did not get out of the car and were threatened by the police officers, who sprayed chemicals into the car and pulled the victims out. The students were arrested and paid a fine of 600 pesos each. The Human Rights Office recommended the local government censure the policemen for violating the students’ human rights and for the excessive use of force, injuries, threats and for spraying the chemical substance inside the car. The document also suggested refunding the fines paid by the students and having medical personnel in the municipal jail as well to avoid these kinds of cases in the future. A case of two foreign women who also denounced police officers for abuse of power is still under investigation, according to Rodríguez Junquera.
The human rights attorney in the state highlighted that the citizens should not feel intimidated by the authorities and that currently the municipality has been accepting all the suggestions made by his department, which are issued following examination of evidence in these cases. He concluded by saying that the Humans Rights Office is not against the persecution of felonies, but that “it must be done by respecting the human rights of everybody.”