Yesterday`s demonstrations at construction site, photo by Raul Ponce de LeonIn the wake of yesterday’s violent street demonstrations, with resultant injuries, over the planned underpass construction at Paseo de Montejo and Circuito Colonias, PAN (National Action Party) Deputy Renan Barrera Concha today delivered a formal statement of condemnation before the Yucatan Congress, demanding the immediate removal from office of Merida’s Mayor, Angelica Arajuo Lara. The statement in its entirety, edited only for linguistic clarity, is as follows:
“Yesterday there was an attack by municipal authorities of the City of Merida against its own citizens, who, in the exercise of their basic human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and assembly, were peacefully demonstrating near the so-called “Glorieta de la Paz.”
“My comments today are not based upon what others have told me. Rather, I was summoned to the scene by one of my own constituents, and I experienced these events first hand. I was a personal witness to these reprehensible events.
“The worst thing that occurred, and of which I have direct personal knowledge, is that the municipal government of Merida, under the direction of Mayor Angelica Arajuo Lara, committed grave offenses against defenseless citizens. City officials, following direct orders from their superiors, openly attacked Meridans who were simply gathered in the exercise of their fundamental legal right to protest. Using official vehicles with the City of Merida logo as their weapons, they caused sudden panic among peaceful protesters, with resultant injuries to some citizens and the very real threat of physical harm to all present. The City did this despite its constitutional obligation to serve and protect everyone.
“The complete lack of control at the scene, and the City’s failure to carry out its legal duty to protect citizens, led to chaos and indeed, to anarchy. This is intolerable in a State premised upon democratic rights, and is incompatible with the rule of law.
“The Mayor of Merida committed serious violations of basic legal rights that the City is obliged to enforce and which the Mayor herself, only a year ago, publically swore to uphold. But her actions have demonstrated just the contrary. Openly and without shame, she exceeded all legitimate legal authority, gravely and systematically violating her sworn duties, as well as the City’s responsibilities to its citizens.
“We in Congress have the constitutional duty to initiate the legal procedures provided for by law to hold the Mayor accountable, and to remove her from the office which she has dishonored.
“We deputies of the Yucatan Congress represent the people, in whom resides ultimate sovereignty. We have the duty to ensure that all comply with the law, and to remove from office those officials who would attack our own citizens. We must return and restore to our citizens full enjoyment of their legal rights and guarantees.”
Lic. Edward V. Byrne