México City (March 10, 2021).- By instructions of the head of the CDMX government, Claudia Sheinbaum, The Secretariat of Citizen Security of Mexico City (SSCCDMX) reported on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the dismissal of Chief Commissioner José Arturo Blanco Hernández, general director of the Banking and Industrial Police (PBI), after the arrest of four women photojournalists at the Hidalgo station on Line 3 of the Mexico City Metro, which occurred within the framework of the 8M demonstrations.
The SSCCDMX said in a statement that the Chief Commissioner Elpidio De la Cruz Contreras is in charge of the Banking and Industrial Police.
“Due to the incident recorded between PBI police officers, protesters and graphic journalists at the Metro station, the General Directorate of Internal Matters of this Secretariat took notice, identified the command that gave the instruction to detain the women, and ordered his suspension; there is already an investigation file open and the statement of the police officers who participated in the events is taken ”.
The agency added that the four affected people were contacted by Internal Affairs personnel to present their corresponding complaint and integrate the investigation file.
“The Secretariat of Citizen Security reiterates its commitment to the inhabitants of Mexico City, not to tolerate acts contrary to the principles and values that govern this Institution; to investigate and punish personnel who commit acts of corruption, police abuse or act outside the protocols, through Internal Affairs and, where appropriate, with the Attorney General’s Office ”, he specified.
The head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, condemned on Tuesday the attack by the capital’s police officers on four photojournalists who attended the demonstration on March 8, International Women’s Day, “Yesterday I asked for the dismissal of the chief of the Banking Police,” Sheinbaum explained during the conference.
“Whenever there is police abuse we will be there, I will be a priority,” Sheinbaum said this morning at a press conference.
The events occurred around noon inside the Hidalgo metro station, in downtown Mexico City when the photographers were following a march of women who painted the suburban facilities.
According to the account of Sáshenka Gutiérrez, an Efe photojournalist, dozens of police officers “began to attack the fellow photographers” and tried to arrest them even though they identified themselves as journalists at all times. In addition to Sáshenka Gutiérrez, Gabriela Esquivel, from 24 Hours; Leslie Pérez, from the Heraldo de México, and Graciela López, from Cuartoscuro. The last two were handcuffed and held against the wall by police officers.
The Banking and Industrial Police (PBI) is a body considered auxiliary to the Preventive Police – belonging to the Capital Security Secretariat – and its activity is focused on providing security, surveillance, and protection services to public and private companies in the Mexican capital. such as banks, businesses, industries, or service providers, among others.
Claudia Sheinbaum immediately requested the removal of the head of this body, José Arturo Blanco Hernández.
“By the way, I had known the gentleman for a long time, but we cannot allow in this city, police abuse cannot be allowed, especially against journalists. I am against that ”, Sheinbaum sentenced.
In this sense, he insisted that during the March 8 demonstration “there were no other police abuses” and recalled that the police officers who carried out the actions against the journalists “are all under review in internal matters.”
On Monday, when what happened was known, the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City (SSCCDMX) clarified on social networks that “women are not being held” and assured that they “investigated the facts.”
Later, in a message on Twitter, the SSC said that in relation to what happened, the affected women “have already presented their statement” and “so far one of the commanders who gave the instruction has been suspended and was in the place.” As well as the police officers that can be seen in the images.
Last year Mexico registered 967 femicides, 16,545 rape crimes and a record of more than 260,000 emergency calls related to violence against women.
In addition, it is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the press due to attacks by the authorities and organized crime, and in 2020 at least eight journalists were killed for their work, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
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