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(en) ACTION NEEDED: POLICE BEAT STREET CHILDREN IN MEXICO

From Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net>
Date Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:30:51 -0700 (PDT)


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FWD  CC Replies to <rapid-response@casa-alianza.org>
     and to Bruce Harris <bruce@casa-alianza.org>
     and SEND PROTEST LETTERS to email addresses at bottom of post
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Streetkid-L: Promoting awareness of the plight of street children
and other children at risk worldwide. Your participation is welcome.
Streetkid-L Resource Page:  http://www.jbu.edu/business/sk.html
Listowner: jwalenci@acc.jbu.edu, John Brown University
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

April 16th, 1998

BEATING OF TWENTY STREET CHILDREN IN MEXICO CITY BY POLICE

On Tuesday, April 14th, at approximately 17:00 hours, a group of about
20 street children (boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18) were
in the Alameda Central of Mexico City (in front of the Diego Rivera
mural). This is a group of street children with whom Casa Alianza has
been working closely for more than a year - they are just two blocks
from our Casa Alianza program site. They live in the sewers close to
the plaza at the end of the Alameda closest to the metro Hidalgo.

The boys were being attended by a group of volunteers from a Mexican
agency, who were handing out food. Out of the blue police patrol car
number C-186, together with a Granaderos (riot police) bus No. 17525
stopped at the point where the street children were eating. The
uniformed authorities got out of their vehicles and immediately
started to hit the street children with their truncheons and the butts
of the weapons they were carrying. Several of the street children
received significant beatings, which needed medical treatment
(provided by Casa Alianza staff).

Both street children and nearby merchants heard at least "several"
shots fired by the Granaderos riot police. Luckily, no-one was
wounded. A photographer captured the action and the wounded children
and the children were able to identify the police agents from the
photos.

According to witnesses, one of the policemen threatened 10 year old
street child Fransisco Ivan Maya Lopez by holding a pistol to the
boy's head.

 Approximately 10 children were loaded onto the Granaderos bus (Pedro
 Anaya; Luis Hernandez; Silvino Lopez; Hector Cruz; Juan Ulises
 Garcia;  Raymundo Armas; Guadalupe Segura; Mario Perez; Homero Lopez;
 y Adan Chagoyan), all between 14 and 16 years old.

As the police bus drove away down Avenida Hidalgo to Paseo de la
Reforma Norte, witnesses saw the riot police kicking the children
inside the bus. Further down Reforma at the Glorieta de Simon Bolivar,
the Granaderos took photographs of the detained children.

Casa Alianza staff called the "Ministerio Publico Movil" - a mobile
Public Prosector's Office - which arrived to the Casa Alianza program
on Avenida Reforma No. 111, and took statements from six street
children who were treated by our medical staff. Many of the children
had head wounds). Casa Alianza made formal complaints for each of the
children, including thirteen year old Araceli.

The Granaderos riot police bus took the ten detained children to the
Sixth Agency of the Public prosecutor's Office (Ministerio Publico)
where file Sexta/116/9804 was opened, and the children were charged
with damage to private property and resisting arrest. All they were
doing was eating a sandwich....

According to press reports, the Mayor of the Cuauhtemoc district of
Mexico City, Jorge Legorreta, considered the actions as an "normal
confrontation" (La Jornada, 16 de abril de 1998).

Please send a polite e-mail message to the following Mexico City media
(I do not have e-mails for the authorities) expressing :

n your concern for the beating of the street children by police
authorities n your wanting an immediate investigation into the
violence against street children by the police n your interest in
receiving a public response to your concerns from the authorities

Thank you for your responses - they really ARE important.

Bruce Harris

Mexico City Times <mexcittm@infosel.net.mx>
La Jornada <jornada@condor.dgsca.unam.mx>
Mexico Corrspondent, Washington Post <74511.2345@compuserve.com>
NOTIMEX <internacional@notimex.com.mx>
Mexico City News <news@novedades.com>
Reforma <nacional@reforma.com.mx>

And a copy please to me <bruce@casa-alianza.org>

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Streetkid-L Resource Page:  http://www.jbu.edu/business/sk.html
Listowner: jwalenci@acc.jbu.edu, John Brown University
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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