Mexico City suspends six police in rape investigation

The Secretary of the Public Security of Mexico City Jesus Orta Martinez -with his hair sprayed by a demonstrator- is hounded by the press during a protest called by civil organizations against the police, after four police officers had been accused of raping a minor las t weekend in their patrol car in the Azcapotzalco neighborhood, in front of the Ministry of Public Security in Mexico City on August 12, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 14 August 2019

Mexico City suspends six police in rape investigation

  • The rapes are the latest incidents to trigger outrage over the high rate of violence against women and girls in Mexico

MEXICO CITY: Mexico City’s mayor said on Tuesday that six police officers were suspended as part of an investigation into the rape of two teenage girls, after demonstrations by hundreds of women demanding justice.
Around 250 people had taken to the streets on Monday, dousing the capital’s security minister in pink glitter and smashing the glass doors of the local prosecutor’s office.
The protests were in response to two recent cases: that of a 17-year-old girl who says four policemen raped her in their patrol car as she left a party on the capital’s north side, and that of a 16-year-old girl who says a policeman raped her at the national photography archive museum, in the city center.
“Six police have been suspended from their duties while the investigation continues,” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman elected to the job, in a video posted to Twitter. “There will be no impunity nor any fabrication of guilt.
The rapes are the latest incidents to trigger outrage over the high rate of violence against women and girls in Mexico.
One policeman was already arrested Thursday in the case that occurred at the museum.
In addition to covering the capital’s security minister, Jesus Orta, with glitter as he appealed for calm, the protesters, who were mostly women, spray-painted a group of policemen and displayed a pig’s head outside the local prosecutor’s office.
Masked demonstrators later hurled rocks at the building, shattering the glass entrance.
Machismo plays a prominent role in Mexican culture, and levels of violence against women and girls are high in the country.
Nine women are murdered in Mexico every day, according to the United Nations.


Families grieve after Kabul wedding blast

An Afghan man mourns during the funeral of his brother after a bomb exploded at a wedding hall killing 63 people and injuring 200 others. (Reuters)
Updated 19 August 2019

Families grieve after Kabul wedding blast

  • Bride’s relatives, members of music band among victims of Daesh attack

KABUL: Mirwais Elmi’s special night soon became a bloodbath after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in the hotel hall where his wedding ceremony was taking place, killing more than 63 people and injuring 200 others in Kabul on Sunday. Elmi and his bride, who were in separate areas of the venue, survived the blast. The explosion took place just before dinner was to be served to the nearly 1,000 guests who had gathered in the southwest of the city.
The local Daesh affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack Speaking to a private TV channel on Sunday, a shaken Elmi was unable to describe the carnage that took place.
“I am not a groom today, my family, my friends are all in grief,” Elmi, who is in his early 20s and works as a tailor, said.
He added that he never thought “such an incident would happen during my wedding party.”
As survivors buried victims of the attack, an infant’s milk bottle and an invitation card could be seen near one of the hotel’s walls, badly damaged by the blast.
The attack comes as the US and Taliban close in on a peace deal which would lead to the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, nearly 18 years after the Taliban were ousted. The group immediately distanced themselves from the attack and strongly condemned it.
Elmi’s father-in-law lost 14 members of his family, while another man lost three of his sons, four nephews and five of his aunt’s grandchildren, according to survivor accounts.
“My family and my bride are in shock, they cannot speak. My bride keeps fainting. I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again,” he said. All five members of the wedding’s music band were killed. The groom and bride’s families, like many of those attending the ceremony, belonged to poor families.  
None of the guests were government officials sought by Daesh or other militant groups.

Government leaders live behind heavily protected compounds, drive in armored vehicles and have their families living abroad, but we ordinary Afghans are suffering routinely.

Ghulam Hussien Nasiri, Lawmaker

Many of the victims were children and young men. The hotel had no guards and guests were not body searched, according to survivors.
Shi’ite cultural centers and an anti-government protest have all recently come under attack, but Sunday’s wedding blast was the first of its kind, evoking a reaction from President Ashraf Ghani. He blamed Daesh for the incident. “I strongly condemn the inhumane attack on the wedding hall in Kabul. My top priority for now is to reach out to the families of victims of this barbaric attack. On behalf of the nation, I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were martyred. “The Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide a platform for terrorists,” he tweeted.
Ghulam Hussien Nasiri, a lawmaker, said the attack exposed the government’s weakness.
“Government leaders live behind heavily protected compounds, drive in armored vehicles and have their families living abroad, but we ordinary Afghans are suffering routinely,” he told Arab News.