Sunday, April 4, 2021

George Floyd and Victoria Salazar


Image by @sirakiry

Abuse of power is the most inappropriate use of authority in any form. When somebody is in charge whichever the commanding position is, it is not enough to deprive people from their rights but lead a person to death it can be considered a ruthless way to exert their authority. Entities like The Police Corps are entitled to employ the force when it comes to execute the rule of law because any culprit wouldn't be that peaceful upon committing crimes, in most of the cases, they face fully armed criminals so the police should be prepared with the same or even better weaponry than their opponents. 

Taking a look around to most of all police departments it's familiar to us the motto "Serve and Protect". Of course those two words comes to our mind when we look to an officer walking around us. However, this article recalls two recent events which show a different appreciation about the Police. On May 25th 2020, the world was witness of a cruel video which displays a police officer pinning a handcuffed man to the ground using his knee on his neck. His name is George Floyd and his crime was paying with a counterfeit $20 bill. After about 9 minutes of having the officer's knee pressing his neck, Floyd lost consciousness, and in a few minutes the paramedics declared him dead. A question surges, did he deserve to be killed just for a counterfeit $20 bill? This question and the fact that Floyd was a black man and the officer Derek Chauvin is a white man it leads to a racial hate crime. 

Drawing taken from Derek Chauvin's trial. Source EN24

As a result, several protests flooded across the U.S. demanding justice for George Floyd and raising a voice to stop the racial hate. A country full of stories of segregation, redlining and mistreatment against racial minorities had awakened this sentiment of unfairness which had prevailed throughout the years, yet it seems that there are too many stakes to overcome.  According to the New York Times:

Since the death of Mr. Floyd, protests have erupted in at least 140 cities across the United States, and the National Guard has been activated in at least 21 states.

Protest asking for justice for George Floyd (via NY Times)

Those days were so intense. A deadly growing pandemic, curfews and the national guard deployed across several cities, and the former President Trump being careless about Floyd's death but people looting and vandalizing monuments. However, nothing is worthless when it comes to make everyone's part to incite big changes in the system, so is the message for the ones bewildered with this type of events. During this days, we remember George Floyd as the trial of Derek Chauvin is running right now, so it will be a big exam if the system is fair enough to people have trust in it. 

Very close to Derek Chauvin's trial, on March 27th, Victoria Salazar, who was a Salvadoran immigrant worker in Tulum, Quintana Roo México, was killed by an officer while in custody. The way she was killed is very alike to George Floyd: pinned to the ground with the officer's knee on her neck, so after a few minutes she was unconscious and medical authorities declared her death. The medical statement said:

The post-mortem examination has revealed that Victoria Salazar died from a broken neck, the attorney-general for the state of Quintana Roo said on Monday.

Oscar Montes de Oca said that she had suffered "a spinal fracture caused by the rupture of the first and second vertebrae". He said that the officers had used "disproportionate force" against Salazar.

Four police officers have been detained and will be charged with femicide, Mr Montes de Oca added.

Victoria Salazar being apprehended by the police. Via BBC 

This murder of Victoria awakened an outcry by protesters which swarmed throughout Mexico claiming justice for her, in addition to a series of femicides which are constantly occurring in Mexico. Furthermore, she left two orphan daughters, and to make this matter even worse, one of her daughters was reportedly missing after her mothers death, but the authorities found her three days after. However, Salazar's husband was detained by the police and accused by Quintana Roo's attorney general for abuse of her daughters. It's so outrageous and unfair. 

It's very important not being shut with this injustices happening in this modern era. We demand an end to every racial and misogynist hatred, regardless who the executors are. The police role is very important to keep every city balance, so I don't believe that all agents have those intentions that the ones involved in those crimes did, but they are on the eye of the world when something alike to Floyd and Salazar deaths occurs.

Hopefully Floyd, Salazar and the rest of people who have been victims of related crimes have their respective justice.