Saturday, October 30, 2010

Federal Police Reportedly Shoot Student in Ciudad Juarez During International Forum Against Militarization and Violence

by Kristin Bricker

La Polaka reports that sociology student Darío Alvarez Orrantia was shot and gravely injured in a clash with federal police during the 11th Walk Against Death in Ciudad Juarez.  A witness says the shot came from Federal Police vehicle #12428.  The confrontation occurred just outside the municipal headquarters of the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI), which rules Juarez.

Alvarez Orrantia survived surgery and is in grave condition, reports La Polaka.  The bullet entered his body in the upper part of his buttocks, meaning that he was shot from behind.  The bullet exited through his gut, exposing his intestines.  His intestines have been perforated in multiple places.  If he survives his injuries, he will likely have permanent complications due to the damage to his intestines, doctors told La Polaka.

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  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.

Ciudad Juarez has the distinction of being the deadliest city in the world.


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