Giovanni López was arrested on May 4 by a group of policemen for not wearing a mask, according to witnesses, while walking through the Valles de los Olivos subdivision in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, in the state of Jalisco. The day after his arrest, the 30-year-old citizen lost his life while in the custody of the agents of the Municipal Police of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos.
The case outraged the country after a video was published on social media where it can be seen that several officers arrest López, a masonry worker, who is finally beaten by one of the seven patrols that arrived at Olivio Frantoio street around 9:30 p.m.
That night, at least 10 officers beat, subdued, and arrested Giovanni, who the next day was found dead; His family collected the body at the Guadalajara Civil Hospital, where it was confirmed that he died of traumatic brain injury, had traces of torture and a gunshot wound to his left leg.
The family accused the Mayor of the municipality, Eduardo Cervantes, of offering them $200,000 pesos ($9,235 USD) so that the video of the aggression would not be released on the internet and the family says they were even threatened with violence and death if the video was released.
When the clip went viral, the mayor said he did not know the details of the case, and after the video release, the State Attorney’s Office held a press conference and opened an investigation into the arrest and death of Giovanni López, however, the reports make no mention of the cause for arrest, that witnesses have reported was due to the victim not wearing a mask, and report that Giovanni López was ‘violent’, although that cannot be seen on video by witnesses at the time of the arrest.
“The police will have to explain what that act of violence was and what were the reasons that led to the use of force in his arrest. If it is verified that the mayor made an offer of money or that he tried by some means to divert the investigation, it would be a very serious conduct that we would certainly pursue, something considered as an obstruction of justice, “said Gerardo Solís Gómez, Prosecutor of Jalisco.
The case has become known worldwide and some celebrities have also joined the cause that advocates for human rights and rejects violence and police brutality.
Salma Hayek posted a video of the night of the arrest and asked that the death of Giovanni López be clarified:
“We ask the Mexican government for JUSTICE for Giovanni and for all the people affected by the brutality and corruption of some members of the Mexican police. And I ask those responsible for public security to find in their hearts the strength, humanity, and honor to protect our people who are so in need of heroes and hope. Let’s change. #MeduelesMexico #justiciaparagiovanni”, wrote Hayek at the foot of a photo where she wears a mask covering the petition that was also shared by the director of The Shape of Water, and Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro:
“After more than a month there are no answers, there are no arrests. It is not abuse of authority, it is murder. The nonsense, the absolute madness, is that a murder occurs in the name of public health,” said the film director sharing a link to an online petition seeking justice.
Actor José Ron wrote: “ENOUGH !!! Enough of police abuse around the world! This happened here in Mexico. They arrest a man for not wearing a mask and return him dead! His body had traces of torture and a bullet in the leg! Hopefully you join and support as well as support what happens in other countries! And to you my people, YOU ARE NOT ALONE !!!! #JusticiaParaGiovanni ”
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The Governor of Jalisco has denied that Giovanni López was arrested for not wearing a mask, but wouldn’t offer another explanation, except to accuse the President of Mexico for being behind the violent protests without any evidence.
The Governor did announce that some arrests in connection to the murder of Giovanni López have taken place without elaborating and promised no one responsible will go unpunished.
Later in the afternoon, the Attorney General of the State of Jalisco announced the Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos Police Commissioner, a middle command and a base police officer, were the first three arrested by Jalisco authorities for the murder of Giovanni López and more arrests were coming.