U.S. protests prompt reflections on racism, police violence in Mexico

U.S. protests prompt reflections on racism, police violence in Mexico

A group protesting the death of a 30-year-old man in police custody torched a pair of law enforcement pickups, broke windows and vandalized a government building, amid waves of police tear gas. The tumultuous scene Thursday mirrored violence in the aftermath of peaceful protests in U.S. cities in recent days. But in the case of Giovanni López Ramírez, the action unfolded in the historic center of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most populous city. The events followed a social media campaign that likened the fate of López to that of George Floyd, whose death while detained by Minneapolis police has resulted in homicide charges and fueled outrage about racism across the United States. Separate photos of the two men, side-by-side, have circulated on Twitter, along with the phrase: “Giovanni didn’t die, the police killed him.” The Mexican incident has even had a pandemic-era twist — activists alleged that police initially arrested López for not wearing a face mask, a version rejected by authorities. The civil unrest north of the border has transfixed many in Mexico. The media has featured images of large crowds of protesters and of armored vehicles roaring down U.S. streets. That turmoil, along with the López case and others here, are prompting reflections on the role of Mexican police — as well as the country’s relationship to race. “When we finish our important support of the anti-racist movement in the United States, can we talk about racism in Mexico?” asked Tenoch Huerta Mejía, the Mexican star of the Netflix series Narcos ...
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