Mexican authorities charged four policemen for the crime of femicide after the excessive use of force against a handcuffed Salvadoran woman who lost her life in Tulum, the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office reported on Monday.
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The Prosecutor’s Office indicated that according to the results of the autopsy, the victim presented “a fracture in the upper part of the spine produced by the rupture of the first and second vertebrae, which caused the loss of life” on Saturday in the afternoon.
The injuries, according to the opinion based on criminology, forensic medicine, and the videographic material collected, “are compatible and coincide with the submission maneuvers that were applied to the victim during the process of her arrest and before her death.”
“The police technique of body control applied and the level of force used was carried out in a disproportionate, immoderate way and with a high risk to life, since it was not in accordance with the resistance of the victim, which caused a deceleration with rotation of the neck, thereby violating the provisions of the National Law on the use of force,” says the Prosecutor’s Office in a press release.
Activists have compared what happened to the murder of African-American George Floyd, who died of suffocation by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020, sparking the historic protests for racial justice in the United States.
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The event in Tulum occurred on Saturday afternoon when neighbors called the police because the woman was supposedly intoxicated and creating a public scene.
Although she has not been officially identified by the Prosecutor’s Office, immigrant and feminist groups identified her as Victoria Esperanza Salazar, 36, originally from El Salvador and a resident of Tulum, where she lived with her three minor daughters.