MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Masked men and women protesting police abuses vandalized buildings and threw stones at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City on Friday as Mexican state authorities arrested three officers in a bid to quell anger over the death of a man in police custody.
Protesters have been demanding that authorities be held accountable over the death of Giovanni Lopez, who died in police custody in the western state of Jalisco last month.
The circumstances are unclear, but footage on social media shows a young man, identified as Lopez, being detained by police in early May. Bystanders can be heard saying he was arrested for not using a face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Protests in Jalisco’s capital, Guadalajara, flared up again, though on a smaller scale. On Thursday, protesters set a police officer on fire and vandalized buildings and police cars.
Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Solis said authorities had arrested three police officers over the death of Lopez.
“We already have the first arrests and we have decided to take control of the Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos municipal police. And I give you my word, Giovanni’s death will not go unpunished,” Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said on Twitter.
Cities in the United States and elsewhere have been swept by protests in support of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died last month after a white police officer kept a knee pressed to his neck. Some of the protests have been marred by violence and vandalism.
Dressed in black and with faces covered, protesters marched along one of central Mexico City’s main avenues, setting fire to cars and smashing up the fronts of a number of businesses, including a local branch of U.S. bank Citigroup Inc.
(Reporting by Raúl Cortés Fernández and Adriana Barrera; Writing by Anthony Esposito and Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Leslie Adler)