MEXICO CITY — The death at the hands of police of a woman who was a refugee from El Salvador has drawn international condemnation and potential embarrassment for Mexico, which on Monday began hosting a United Nations summit focused on gender equality.
The woman, Victoria Esperanza Salazar Arriaza, died on Saturday after being detained by the police in Tulum, a resort town on the Yucatán Peninsula. Videos shared on social media show an officer kneeling on the woman’s back as she cried out. Officers can later be seen dragging her limp body into the back of a police truck.
Authorities in the state of Quintana Roo confirmed on Monday that the cause of death was a fractured spine, and four officers were arrested in connection with the killing.
On Monday afternoon, the mayor of Tulum, Victor Mas Tah, said at a news conference that the city’s chief of police had been removed from his post.
ever-increasing number of Central Americans who are traveling the length of Mexico in a bid to reach the United States.
Mr. López Obrador has come under intense criticism for his inaction on gender violence from local feminist activists, whom he dismisses as being politically motivated. Earlier this month, hundreds of women marched on the president’s residence, the National Palace, attacking with bats and blowtorches a metal barrier erected by officials to protect the building. On Sunday night, family members of women killed in Mexico held an all-night vigil outside the National Palace to demand justice for the dead.
were arrested in the massacre of 19 people, including several Guatemalan migrants, in the northern state of Tamaulipas, the latest in a long line of killings in Mexico involving government forces.
On Sunday night, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador sent out a flurry of tweets condemning the killing of Ms. Esperanza and calling on Mexican authorities to punish the officers involved.
“I am sure that the Mexican government will apply the full weight of the law on those responsible,” Mr. Bukele said. “My condolences to Victoria’s family, especially her two daughters, to whom we will give all possible help.”
Ms. Esperanza’s killing in police custody also drew comparisons to the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, who similarly died under an officer’s knee, sparking nationwide protests in the United States and an international reckoning on race and police brutality.