Report: Federal Police Shoot Student Marcher

October 29, 2010

While all the facts are still sketchy as Frontera NorteSur goes to press, news accounts from Ciudad Juarez report the police shooting of a university student who was involved in a demonstration against militarization and violence this afternoon. The victim, identified as Jose Dario Alvarez Orrantia, was reported in stable condition at Ciudad Juarez’s General Hospital by the evening.

According to the preliminary press accounts, Alvarez was participating in the 11th Walk against Death with other demonstrators, when an altercation broke out between marchers and federal officers.

Unidentified students cited in the local press blamed federal policemen for shooting at marchers from an official vehicle; the students accused officers in two other vehicles of aiming their weapons at marchers.

A message from the Ciudad Juarez branch of the Other Campaign likewise blamed the Federal Police, which is in charge of waging President Calderon’s anti-organized crime campaign in Ciudad Juarez, for firing at marchers. Besides Alvarez, no other demonstrators were immediately reported injured.

A video showing parts of the confrontation and the young man later identified as Alvarez lying wounded on the ground was posted on the website of El Diario de Juarez on the evening of October 29.

The incident took place outside the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB), where marchers were arriving to inaugurate a three-day forum against militarization and violence.

Sponsored by Ciudad Juarez’s Plural Citizens Front, the event has scheduled speakers, films and cultural festivities throughout the weekend. Presentations by Congressman Jose Narro and former federal legislator Victor Quintana are part of the program. Relatives of murdered and disappeared citizens also are scheduled to give talks.

As of Friday evening, October 29, a tense stand-off was reported outside the ICB. According to the Other Campaign, the ICB was blocked off and people from the outside could not enter.

The shooting of Jose Dario Alvarez Orrantia capped an especially violent week in Ciudad Juarez and other parts of the state of Chihuahua. Fourteen young people were slain and 15 others wounded by gunmen who attacked a house party October 22 in the Ciudad Juarez neighborhood of Horizontes del Sur. The massacre sparked protests against “youthcide” organized by the pro-Zapatista Other Campaign.

On Thursday morning, October 28, four late-shift employees of the Eagle Ottawa Leather Company were slain by gunslingers south of the city as the workers were being transported home in the rural Juarez Valley. Fifteen other workers were wounded in the especially violent assault.

On Friday, October 29, four young men were gunned down in broad daylight before the startled eyes of dozens of onlookers at a shopping center in the state capital of Chihuahua City. The killings happened on the same day Governor Cesar Duarte inaugurated the new Chihuahua State Security Council.

Additional Sources: Lapolaka.com, October 29, 2010. El Diario de Juarez, October 29, 2010. El Universal, October 29, 2010. El Paso Times, October 28 and 29, 2010. Articles by Adriana Gomez Licon and staff.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S. -Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico

For a free electronic subscription email: fnsnews@nmsu.edu

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