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MEXICO CITY: Tepito



Rodendo Rodríguez reports:

"I was in Mexico during the Tepito riot and all I can say is that it was a sad scene of an undermined state police power. Although, clearly the search and seizure were not intended to encompass the whole of Tepito, it got out of hand when Tepito residents confronted and forced an empty-handed police force out of the neighborhood. While this violence could not have been prevented in a routine shakedown, its aftermath should have been contained. It took five hours for police forces to react to these events. During that time, people destroyed, burned and ransacked anything they got their hands on. The police made a massive display of stupidity, staging a 600-car comeback around 8 pm once the rioters had gone home for dinner. They probably decided that they needed more of a challenge and waited to play games in the dark. Anyone that knows Tepito can understand the absurdity of looking for someone inside that maze, especially at nighttime. The police finally left the neighborhood around 1 am with only two arrests."

If they were serious about it, those 600 cars should have been in Tepito early that day at the first shakedown and it should have encompassed the whole neighborhood. You can give me all sort of different scenarios for not doing this, but the bottom line is if you're going to do something do it right, otherwise don't bother."

Ronald Hilton - 12/06/00


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