Increase In Violence and Discrimination By Police In Mexico City

The LA Times tells the story of Jonathan Zamora, a 31-year old man from Mexico City, who was detained and beaten by police in that city simply for being gay. While Mexico City is seemingly gay-friendly (same-sex marriage is legal as are adoptions by gay couples), LGBT people have recently reported more and more discrimination from police.

MexicocityThe abuse Zamora experienced by the authorities:

He claimed four officers entered his cell and proceeded to punch and kick him. Zamora said he was then taken to a hospital, examined, returned to a police station and let go, ending an ordeal that lasted about eight hours.

"In my case, it wasn't just about a lack of training, it was a lack of everything," he said. "How can you hire people who are aggressive, violent, who don't behave like community?"

This week has seen the introduction of new regulations distributed to Mexico City police officers:

New police protocols published Thursday instruct officers to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people “with respect for human rights” and to respect their “gender identity.” They also prohibit the use of insulting language or degrading comments.

"First, the police have to recognize that we're people," said Jaime Lopez Vela, a longtime gay rights activist who helped draft the new rules. "We've been talking about this for years. It's been on the agenda, and sadly, it's been expedited by the recent aggressions."

Meanwhile the police officers who violently beat Zamora have yet to face any disciplinary action.


  1. says

    there are a few factors – a biggie being what most folks who’ve had interactions with the police know: there are two types of people who join The Force, sort like like the two types that join the military: those that want to serve and protect, and those who got Cs and Ds in high school and want a badge, a gun, and a license to bully.

    up North we have LGBT liaisons with the police forces, and indeed LGBT-specific “Sensitivity Training”.

    why the blowback after such leaps in progressive policy? again, textbook: the world spins forward, and those who don’t want it to get even more angry.

    the post-’08 Presidential election Eruption of Crazy Racism, the birth of the teabaggers. when the oppressed refuse to hide and explode into the streets, it invokes fury in the former-rulers – they don’t want to see “their world” disappear. alas, it’s a losing battle.

    the gov’t needs to step in – your police are there to serve and protect, not BE the problem themselves. report report report. and for the love of GOD, film all that you can film, and get it into the web.

    what do we have on our side? public outrage.

  2. ratbastard says

    I’ve always found some people’s naivete amusing in regards to having a zillion laws passed ‘protecting’ gay right, protecting people from being assaulted, outlawing murder and rape,and them believing this is the end all and everything will be hunky dory now. Such people throw thousands of years of human history and nature out the window in order to believe in a fantasy utopia.

    And the truth about many places that have passed all the PC laws, including gay friendly ones, is that they aren’t necessarily super gay friendly or even superior. And understanding of political processes in various nations, even American states, will show there’s often over-riding ulterior motives above and beyond gay rights, and in some locales it’s simply a quirk that it’s politically easier to legalize things such as gay marriage as opposed to other locales. How political processes work in each locale explains better than listening to various shills repeating their talking points and narrative.

  3. GB says

    With each state passing gay marriage there is a naive belief that people now accept homosexuals. It’s a media creation. If there were violence, just watch their zeal in reporting it.

  4. Carlos says

    Police in Mexico does not only discriminate against gay people, it discriminates against everything (unless you are white and with money). For instance, I believe being poor is more dangerous. Want to hear some horror stories? just read mexican newspapers. A short one, two guys (uncle and nephew) went to an ATM, at the exit they were intercepted by the police, they got scared and ran, the police shot, one dead and the other badly wounded in the hospital. What the media reported first hand (the police version), two criminals escaping from arrest, but the truth came out days later. Two honest blue collar family guys withdrawing money, they saw the police and they thought they were going to be robbed, Yes! that’s the impression we have from the police, they are the criminals! We do no trust them. The situation is really bad. At least in Mexico City there are laws that protect gays, in the rest of republic there are not.

  5. ratbastard says

    I agree with Carlos. There’s a certain brutal degree of class consciousness,privilege and racism not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America. This stems primarily, IMO, from the foundations laid by the colonial European powers, Spain and Portugal. The ruling class are almost always white, mestizos are often looked down upon, and native Indians are brutally treated, even today. And racism in general, especially against blacks, is widespread and the norm, regardless of anything else you may have heard to the contrary.

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