Police arrested in Mexico after riots over man's death

The arrests followed riots in Guadalajara after protesters had gathered to demand justice over Giovanni Lopez's death; ademonstrator holds a banner during a protest in Guadlalajara, Jalisco

Mexico City (AFP) - Three police officers have been arrested in the Mexican state of Jalisco over the death of a man taken into custody for allegedly breaking coronavirus restrictions, authorities said Friday.

Among those placed under arrest over the death of 30-year-old Giovanni Lopez last month is a municipal police chief in Guadalajara and another middle-ranking officer, state prosecutor Gerardo Solis told reporters.

The arrests follow riots in the state capital Guadalajara after protesters had gathered to demand justice over Lopez's death.

At least 28 people were arrested after protesters set police vehicles alight and attacked the headquarters of the state government. One police officer suffered burns.

Authorities said Lopez had been detained for "administrative misconduct." 

They denied claims he had been arrested for not wearing a mask in public.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mourned the death of the construction worker on Friday and said his government condemned "authoritarian actions."

"I regret the facts because I am in favor of solving problems through dialogue and without the use of force," he said in his usual morning press conference.

The president urged Mexico's national human rights commission to join the investigations into Lopez's death.

Amnesty International on Friday condemned the incident and said Lopez's "death in police custody is a serious symptom of the misuse of force used by the authorities and the widespread use of torture."

Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro, who is from Guadalajara, also condemned the killing.

Jalisco governor Enrique Alfaro  accused the federal government of being behind the disturbances on Thursday, but Lopez Obrador denied the allegation.

"If the governor has proof, let him bring it to light," the president said.

Mexico has recorded over 105,000 infections from the coronavirus with nearly 13,000 deaths.

© Agence France-Presse