Violence Marks Mexico City-Pachuca Highway Takeover



For 20 full hours, traffic on both sides of the Mexico City-Pachuca Highway were blocked on Monday, Nov. 12, as several hundred residents of Tlalnepantla’s San Juan Ixhuatepec district, in the State of Mexico (Edoméx) took over the thoroughfare to protest what they claimed was an act of excessive force by police.

The conflict erupted in the early hours of the morning when Mexico City police officers tried to arrest a man who had allegedly robbed a filling station in the Gustavo A. Madero Precinct, in the northern part of the capital.

The suspected thief fled the scene of the crime in a car, where he was pursued in chase by the officers and finally detained in San Juan Ixhuatepec.

A group of local residents began to defend the suspect from the arrest, and a brawl ensued, growing larger and larger as more residents joined in and physically attacked the officers, leaving several severely injured.

More officers were called in and an angry and violent conflict between the two groups led to at least two police cars being set on fire and a local supermarket being looted.

There were also incidences of windows and doors of local homes being smashed, allegedly by the police.

Eventually, about 600 federal and Mexico City police officers were called in and the crowd was dispersed at about 7:30 p.m., with traffic on both sides of the highway reestablished shortly after.


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