Acala, March 2014 @Mundo Veracruzano)
On 1 March, José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz (21 years of age) was arrested by municipal police in Acala without any stated reason and has been held in the local jail since that time. He was last seen there alive by his grandmother, who arrived when the youth was transferred to the hospital for injuries and a bleeding face.
The police action resulted in the release of a denunciation of homicide holding the local police responsible. After the arrest, relatives and residents of Acala mobilized to mourn his death outside City Hall, assuring that they would remain there until actions would be taken to punish those responsible for his death.
On 15 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that “the acts remain in impunity and the municipal authorities claim that the youth committed suicide by hanging, though there are witnesses describing that the body showed signs of beatings and injuries.” The CDHFBC continues: “The corpse showed signs of injuries received from beatings including bruises on the ribs and on the left check, as well as on the eyebrows, in addition to a bloody nose. It remains crucial to determine the reasons for his death; after death, his body went to autopsy. The results of the autopsy claim that the ’cause of death of José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz was MECHANICAL ASPHYXIATION FROM HANGING, and that the body presented no injuries, whether external or internal.’ This account clearly contradicts that of the witnesses who saw the dead body.”
For this reason, the CDHFBC manifested “its concern and indignation regarding the disproportionate action of municipal police of the state of Chiapas, who instead of acting with respect for human rights, as based in established protocols and manuals, exercise arbitrary force by using torture which then leads to death.” It added furthermore that it “has knowledge of other cases of death while in custody in 2014 on the part of municipal police, as took place in the Tapachula jail: one on 7 January, the other on 1 March. This shows the recurring pattern of police action.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Muere joven de 21 años, según en manos de policías (Cuarto Poder, 3 de marzo de 2014)
Boletín: Policías municipales de Acala privan arbitrariamente de la vida al joven Rolando Pérez (CDHFBC, 15 de marzo de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):