Mexico probes death of woman shown pinned to ground by police

by Reuters
Sunday, 28 March 2021 23:57 GMT

The message "S.O.S They are killing us" is projected on the facade of the National Palace during a protest by mothers and relatives of victims of femicides against what they say is the government's inaction to solve the crimes against women, in downtown Mexico City, Mexico March 28, 2021. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf

Image Caption and Rights Information

Mexico investigates into the death of a woman shown being pinned to ground by a police officer

MEXICO CITY, March 28 (Reuters) - Mexican prosecutors have opened a homicide investigation into the death of a woman who was shown on video being pinned to the ground by a female police officer, authorities said on Sunday.

Police were "probably" involved in her death, which had damaged "institutions and society," the attorney general's office of the state of Quintana Roo said in a statement following the woman's death on Saturday in the Caribbean beach resort of Tulum.

A video published by news site Noticaribe showed the woman squirming and crying out as she lay face down on a road with a policewoman kneeling on her back while male officers stood by.

The video, whose authenticity Reuters could not immediately verify, then cut to show the unidentified woman's prone, handcuffed body lying on the road. Officers are later seen moving the limp, shoeless body into the back of a police truck.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said it was not clear why the woman had been detained and that the cause of her death was still under investigation. Three male officers and one female officer had so far been questioned, the office said.

The National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women (CONAVIM) condemned the incident on Twitter and said those responsible must be held to account.

Alejandro Encinas, deputy interior minister responsible for human rights, called the incident an act of "police abuse."

The incident bore similarity to the case of George Floyd, an African-American man whose death in May as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck sparked racial justice protests in the United States and around the world.

Widespread and rising violence against women has long outraged many Mexicans, and has sparked major protests under the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

(Reporting by Dave Graham, Ana Isabel Martinez and Diego Ore; Editing by Peter Cooney)