Whether there was police repression in Mexico City during the 2 October 2003 demonstration commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre and whether there is a police commander named Marco Antonio del Prado in Mexico City [MEX42820.FE]

On 2 October 2003, thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Mexico City to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre (EFE 3 Oct. 2003a; La Jornada 3 Oct. 2003a; ibid. 3 Oct. 2003b). Of the 17,000 (La Jornada 3 Oct. 2003b) to 40,000 (EFE 3 Oct. 2003a) demonstrators, about 250 youths committed acts of vandalism (La Jornada 3 Oct. 2003b). The police arrested 75 people (ibid.; EFE 3 Oct. 2003a), including 50 minors (La Jornada 3 Oct. 2003b). According to the deputy prosecutor, people were arrested for serious offences, including robbery (robo calificado), bodily injury (lesiones) and damage to private property (daños a propiedad privada) (ibid.). The EFE News Service indicated that the "most violent protests were seen outside the Senate, where demonstrators shattered windows and threw rocks and bottles at police" (3 Oct. 2003b). Law enforcement officials said that material damage totalled around 10,000,000 pesos (EFE 3 Oct. 2003a), which is roughly CDN$1,155,000 (Bank of Canada 2 July 2004).

According to the EFE News Service, the Mexican press criticized the "hands-off police response" to protesters, but the mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, responded that, aside from the 75 arrests, the police had to act cautiously in order to avoid making matters worse (3 Oct. 2003a). No information about police repression during the demonstration could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Several sources indicate that Marco Antonio del Prado was the Director of the Metropolitan Police in Mexico (Es Más 4 Mar. 2002; La Jornada 30 Mar. 2003; Terra 3 Aug. 2001; Todito.com 13 July 2002). More recent information on whether Prado currently holds this position could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the constraints for this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Bank of Canada. 2 July 2004. "Convertisseur éclair de devises." http://www.banqueducanada.ca/fr/exchange-f.htm [Accessed 2 July 2004]

EFE News Services. 3 October 2003a. "Mexico City Mayor Defends Police Restraint During Disturbances." (Dialog)

_____. 3 October 2003b. "Marches Marking 1968 Mexico City Massacre Turn Violent." (Dialog)

Es Más. 1 August 2001. "Arranca SSP operativo 'cascada' para vigilar bancos." http://www.esmas.com/noticierostelevisa/mexico/124418.html [Accessed 30 June 2004]

La Jornada. 3 October 2003a. Claudia Herrera and Gustavo Castillo. "Entre consignas y saqueos, la marcha del 2 de octubre." http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2003/oct03/031003/007n2pol.php?origen=index.html&fly=1 [Accessed 30 June 2004]

_____. 3 October 2003b. Agustín Salgado. "Menores de edad, 50 de los 75 detenidos en la capital." http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2003/oct03/031003/007n2pol.php?origen=index.html&fly=1 [Accessed 30 June 2004]

_____. 30 March 2003. Ángel Bolaños Sánchez. "Revisará si hubo excesos de policías en Amalacachico, afirma Ebrard." http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2003/mar03/030330/036n2cap.php?origen=capital.html [Accessed 30 June 2004]

Terra. 3 August 2001. "Milpa Alta, listo para recibir al EZLN." http://www.terra.com.mx/noticias/articulo/059835/pagina1.htm [Accessed 30 June 2004]

Todito.com. 13 June 2002. "Detienen a 70 durante festejos en el Ángel de la Independencia." http://www.todito.com.mx/paginas/noticias/85933.html [Accessed 30 June 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted


Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), The Economist, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), United States Department of State, El Universal, World News Connection (WNC).