Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) ordered on Friday an investigation regarding the death of a Honduran migrant who was shot by police officers at the northern border of the country.
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"I am very sorry for the murder of a Honduran migrant in Saltillo, which is an issue related to Coahuila State Police," AMLO said, adding that police officers acknowledged that "they had unfortunately murdered a migrant during an operation."
The death of this man, who was traveling with his daughter, was denounced by human rights defenders on Thursday. Almost inmediately, the state prosecutor Gerardo Marquez confirmed that six officers had been "concentrated" but not "detained" at the Criminal Investigation Police headquarters.
The Saltillo Migrant House director Alberto Xicontencatl reported that the deceased migrant and his 8-year-old daughter were traveling to the U.S. with the intention of requesting asylum in that country. In the face of this tragedy, the U.N. High Commissioner Office in Mexico requested that the case be thoroughly investigated.
Since the AMLO administration deployed thousands of National Guard troops to control migratory flows, which is part of an agreement that Mexico reached with the U.S. to avoid tariffs on its export products, social organizations have stated that the new surveillance modalities could increase xenophobia and human rights violations.
“Migrants came running with women and children as policemen were chasing and shooting at them,” local media reported, adding that witnesses indicated that, although the police were dressed as civilians, they "belonged to the Prosecutor's Office" because a black van with the its logos accompanied them.”
The murder of this Honduran migrant occurred at a time when a racist chat among Mexican public officials leaked into public opinion.
In this private conversation, Martha Lopez Bravo, who is the Federal Attorney for Children and Adolescents Protection, referred to African migrants as "cannibals."
On July 18, while talking about an eventual visit to a shelter in Chiapas, she recommended another officer to be careful because "remember, they are cannibals." All this was affirmed between emoticons and other comments that confirmed what the Federal Attorney said previously.