Last updated on January 6, 2021
Puerto Morelos, Q.R. — “In an effort to protect the integrity of protesters, excesses and errors were made in police containment tactics that are not acceptable and that I will not tolerate,” says Puerto Morelos mayor Laura Fernández Piña after five people were arrested by excessive police force during a Friday morning protest.
“As soon as I was informed, I gave instructions for the five detainees to be released under the supervision of Cdheqroo, who confirmed the absence of injuries,” she added. The five were taken into custody while protesting the demolition of the town’s central park, which has been set for remodeling.
While heavy machinery tore down concrete park structures, police arrested the three women and two men whose detainment was captured on video and still shots showing three female police officers using excessive force. Fernández Piña stated that during her administration, police abuse against citizens will not be tolerated, referring to the arrest of the five.
“I express my deepest rejection of the excessive use of force used by three female police officers in the arrest of five people who participated in a protest,” said Laura Fernández, who reported that she ordered the immediate separation of the three female officers involved from their duties, adding that the three uniformed women involved will be investigated and responsibilities delineated.
“My government has always been characterized by privileging conciliation and respect for freedom of expression and individual guarantees,” she said reiterating that a strong hand will be applied to sanction any abuse against citizens.
Fernández Piña said that police went to the Casco Antiguo Park in response to a support request from the managers in charge of the remodeling work who feared for the physical integrity of a group of protesters who were inside an area where they were working with heavy machinery.
The head of the State Secretariat for Public Security, Jesús Alberto Capella Ibarra admitted that protocols were not followed in the incident registered Friday between residents of Puerto Morelos and elements of the Quintana Roo Police.
Capella said that as of 7:22 p.m. Friday, he ordered all Police Commands in the state, attached to the Single Command, to personally supervise the actions of the personnel in their charge, paying more attention than usual to avoid excesses, errors or abuses against citizens given the events in other regions of the country and the world.
“Unfortunately in the case of Puerto Morelos, this instruction was not followed and action was taken without planning, evaluating and measuring the consequences,” he wrote adding that together with the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE), they will analyze the facts and an evaluation of the command that made those decisions, noting that the process is being carried out without prejudgment.