Six National Guard agents arrested for the death of a protester in Chihuahua

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The elements participated in the shooting in which Jessica Silva died when protesting the water conflict in the La Boquilla dam, in September

Six elements of the National Guard have been apprehended for their alleged responsibility in the death of Jessica Silva, one of the two people who lost their lives in the demonstrations for the La Boquilla dam, in Chihuahua, on September 8. The General Prosecutor’s Office has carried out the investigation of the six suspects, who are charged with crimes against the administration of justice, qualified homicide and attempted homicide. The National Guard has notified this Tuesday on Twitter that “abuse or excessive use of force by its personnel will not be tolerated, regulating their actions in the unrestricted respect of human rights.” The commander of the National Guard, Luis Rodríguez Bucio, acknowledged shortly after the shooting at a morning conference at the National Palace that the incident “was an unfortunate, unfortunate accident.”

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has assured this Tuesday morning that those allegedly responsible for these events will be punished. “We are not going to cover up for anyone, there is no impunity in this Government,” he declared. The president recalled that at the time the National Guard and the Government collaborated with the ministerial and justice authorities to clarify what happened and define responsibilities for the tragedy in Chihuahua.

Jessica Silva lost her life on the night of Tuesday, September 8. That day, the tension over the water conflict in Chihuahua escalated violently. Several farmers armed with bats and their peasant tools took La Boquilla dam and they closed their floodgates to stop the flow of water that Mexico must deliver to the United States. The fighting resulted in several wounded and two dead. Commander Rodríguez Bucio alleged that the National Guard agents “heard shots,” but that they did not know where they came from. Then, “one of the elements fired, unfortunately at that moment one of the four vehicles that were hindering the movement of the convoy that was carrying the detainees was passing to the right side of the Guard vehicle and was hitting the two people” .

The producers insisted that they needed this resource for their fields in the midst of an intense drought that afflicted the region. The authorities affirmed that behind the conflict there is political manipulation by opposition groups, but also pressure from powerful walnut and alfalfa producers, who need the water to maintain their huge plantations. President López Obrador has framed these protests as an attempt by the opposition, Chihuahua is governed by the National Action Party (PAN), for competing with the Morena Administration in the face of the 2021 elections. The northern state is one of the 15 to be elected by a new local government.

The Chihuahuan Institute for Women (Ichmujeres) rejected Commander Bucio’s excuses. “We express our disagreement with these expressions, as it cannot be an accident when, in the context of a social conflict, the National Guard intervenes and the result is one person dead and another seriously injured.” The group called for an objective government investigation “so that justice is done for the victim and his relatives,” through a statement.

The National Guard is López Obrador’s bet to try to restore peace to the country. The security body was created in this Government not without controversy, since its formation was placed in the hands of the armed forces, mainly the Army. This prompted many complaints from human rights defense organizations, who argued that the new force should be commanded and guided by a civilian and not by someone who has been responsible for numerous human rights violations throughout the years of the war. against drug trafficking.

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