State police chief out after shots fired at Mexico protest

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The police chief for the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo has been pushed out in the continuing fallout from shots fired during a protest in the vacation destination Cancun.

Governor Carlos Joaquín said on Tuesday night that Alberto Capella would leave his position and that state prosecutors would conduct a “deep investigation” of the shooting outside Cancun’s city hall on Monday. Capella had denied his officers fired the shots, but later called it “stupid” that six officers took guns.

It was not immediately clear if Joaquín had left open the possibility of Capella returning at some point. Joaquín said that he had accepted Capella’s separation from the job while prosecutors and police internal affairs finish their investigation.

“As governor I offer a public apology for the incompetence of the police who did not follow my instructions” that there not be violence, Joaquín said in a video on social media. He said eight people were injured, two of them with bullet wounds.

Joaquín had initially blamed Cancun municipal police. Cancun fired its police chief following the incident. He had said local police fired shots into the air as protesters tried to break into city hall.

The Feminist Collective of Quintana Roo also called for Capella to be fired. Technically, city police are under the command of state forces.

Monday evening’s demonstration was called to protest the recent killings of women in Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located. Earlier in the day, prosecutors announced that the body of a 20-year-old woman had been found in Cancun about two days after she went missing. A total of 58 women were killed in the state in the first nine months of the year, although the motives in most of the cases were not believed to be reasons of gender.

Feminist activists and police face off during a demonstration in Mexico City to protest the killing of Bianca Lorenzana and against police who opened fire on protesters in Cancun. PHOTO: AP