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article imageDozens wounded as Mexico City eviction turns violent

By AFP     Sep 19, 2018 in World

Violence erupted when Mexico City authorities evicted a squatter camp Wednesday, with residents hurling stones at riot police in clashes that left dozens of people wounded.

Residents of the tent city in the central Juarez neighborhood said authorities arrived early in the morning along with men in civilian clothing and started hitting them without warning.

"They beat us, the police took their guns out in front of the kids.... They just arrived and started hitting us -- children, women, the elderly," said Margarita Margarito, 30, a street vendor who, like many in the camp, is from the indigenous Otomi people.

The camp sprouted up more than 20 years ago in an empty lot beside an abandoned building. Some 100 families lived there, according to the authorities.

Some 100 riot police cordoned off the camp  refusing to allow furious residents inside to get their ...
Some 100 riot police cordoned off the camp, refusing to allow furious residents inside to get their belongings
Pedro Pardo, AFP

Margarito, who had a large gash on her forehead, said the police did not show any eviction order. The men in civilian clothes meanwhile stole residents' money and belongings, she said.

Residents responded by throwing stones, swinging large sticks and rushing at riot police clustered behind protective shields, in clashes that lasted several hours, said AFP correspondents at the scene.

An AFP photographer had to be hospitalized after he was hit in the head with a rock. Children and police were also among the wounded.

Exploding petrol bombs ignited fires in the alleys of the tent city. It was unclear who threw them.

The city's public security ministry blamed the clashes on residents resisting an eviction order.

Some 100 riot police cordoned off the camp, refusing to allow furious residents inside to get their belongings.

The violence erupted amid commemorations and protests in Mexico City for the anniversaries of two deadly earthquakes -- one last year that killed 369 people, and one in 1985 that killed more than 10,000.

The squatter camp was located next to an abandoned building that was damaged in last year's earthquake, but there was no apparent connection with the anniversary.

The camp sprouted up more than 20 years ago in an empty lot beside an abandoned building. Some 100 f...
The camp sprouted up more than 20 years ago in an empty lot beside an abandoned building. Some 100 families lived there, according to the authorities
Pedro Pardo, AFP

Elsewhere in the capital city of 20 million residents, people left homeless by the quake held protests accusing the authorities of turning a blind eye to their plight and breaking their promises to help them.

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