Federal police shot and injured a student after an exchange of insults with a group of university students who were marching and demonstrating for peace in front of the Ciudad Juárez Autonomous University (UACJ) Institute for Biomedical Sciences.
According to early reports, the students were holding a “March against Death” on their way to the International Forum against Militarization and Violence being held at the ICB. On the way they came across federal agents and insults were exchanged until the dispute intensified and soon shots were heard.
Photo by Twitter user morfeo007: the moment the student was shot by Federal Police:
"The students had just arrived at the entrance of ICB when a federal police patrol came through. As the patrol approached them, the protesters began to shout their demonstration slogans, such as "Leave Juarez", "Go back to your barracks", "We don't want you here" and "You are to blame for the extortions, rapes, and kidnappings". When the police heard what they were saying, they stopped in the middle of street and one of the agents fired two shots." -anonymous witness
One of the bullets hit 19 year old, first semester sociology student Darío Alvarez Orrantia. Although Alvarez Orrantia survived surgery, his future may be grim. The high caliber bullet entered his body in the upper part of his buttocks and exited through his gut, exposing his intestines. His intestines have been perforated in multiple places. Doctors are confident he will recover, but he will likely have permanent complications and may require dialysis for life due to the damage caused to his intestines and other internal organs.
Other witnesses confirm verbal confrontations did take place between protesters and police, but not until after Dario was shot.
Accounts by students accuse of patrol #12428 of firing the shots and agents of patrol #20401 of also taking aim at the students protesters.
Although the federal police involved told their superiors that “a shot accidently got away from” one of the policemen, an official statement released by the Secretary of Federal Public Security on Saturday, October 30, claims after detecting a group of young men, some with their faces covered, in front of ICB, agents fired two warning shots into the air to disperse the masked crowd.
Photos by Twitter user Renato
The 11th Walk Against Death was part of the International Forum Against Militarization and Violence, which is underway this weekend in Ciudad Juarez. Alvarez Orrantia was shot just before a scheduled roundtable discussion entitled "Youthicide."
Juarez has been a laboratory where government officials have experimented new tactics and strategies in the Mexico's increasingly violent drug war. The military occupied Juarez and relieved local police of their duties from March 2008 to April 2010, when Federal Police took over policing duties from the soldiers. Juarez's mayor and the governor of Chihuahua, where Juarez is located, have sought advice and training from Colombian mayors and police. Furthermore, a new phase of the US drug war aid package the Merida Initiative will focus on "institution building" and "rule of law" in Ciudad Juarez.
Sources: Kristin Bricker, El Universal, La Polaka, Milenio, Twitter, Youtube