Things That Matter

Family Of Andres Guardado Are Asking For The Autopsy Report Be Released

Update July 8, 2020, 11:15 a.m. PST: The family of Andrés Guardado has received an independent autopsy report in the young man’s death. After weeks of demanding answers, the report ordered by the family found that Guardado died from multiple gun wounds to the back.

An independent autopsy reports that Andrés Guardado died after being shot in the back.

The report found that Guardado was shot five times in the back by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Miguel Vega, according to the LA Times. The family was compelled to pay for their own independent autopsy because a “security hold” was placed o the official autopsy from the LA Country Coroner.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, according to the LA Times and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials are not commenting on the progress. However, Sheriff’s Lt. Charles Calderaro told the LA Times that the “security hold” on the official autopsy would be lifted in the coming weeks.

“I know there’s people that want answers, but when you conduct a thorough investigation sometimes you need to protect the integrity of future statements you might be getting,” Sheriff’s Lt. Charles Calderaro told the LA Times.

Update: On June 18, Andrés Guardado was shot and killed by officers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The 18-year-old was working as a security guard at an auto mechanic shop when he was killed. Two weeks later, the family is demanding the autopsy report.

It’s been two weeks since Andrés Guardado was killed by LASD officers and the autopsy still hasn’t been released.

Guardado was working as a security guard for an auto repair shop when he was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. The death sparked protests in southern California demanding justice.

“He told me he was going to come back home and eat some tacos dorados, but he never came back home. My family and my community feel destroyed because we still don’t know anything. We don’t know what happened with my son,” said Elisa Guardado, Andrés’s mother, in Spanish during a press conference.

The family is demanding the release of Andrés’s autopsy, which has recently been delayed. A security hold was placed on the autopsy just two days after the head of the homicide bureau, Capt. Kent Wegener, said the autopsy would be released to the public. It’s been about a week and the family demands to see the autopsy for closure and to know what happened to their loved one.

Original: Friends and family are demanding answers after an 18-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy. The man, identified at Andrés Guardado, was working as a security guard when he was shot and killed by an LASD deputy. The killing has set off protests and national outrage.

Andrés Guardado was killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy and the community is demanding answers.

According to reports, Guardado was working as a security guard in Gardena, California when LASD officers drove by. The officers claim that Guardado was not wearing a security guard uniform when they drove by the auto repair shop and that he had a gun.

His death is sparking outrage in California because it is another example of police brutality. Protesters have taken to the streets in major cities demonstrating for weeks. The protesters are demanding severe police reform to save the lives of Black and brown people killed by the police.

The nation is taking notice and demanding some action to bring justice.

Those who knew Guardado are casting a lot of doubt on the story being pushed by the police. The case has drawn the attention of national and local politicians demanding something to be done to fully investigate Guardado’s death.

“Another day and another Black or Brown kid has been shot in the back by police,” Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán and Maxine Waters, both from Los Angeles, said in a joint statement. “These killings must stop. We demand it. The American people demand it.”

Videos of the store owner sharing what happened are circulating on social media.

According to the shop owner, the sheriffs came to the shop and took the tapes and recording equipment with the footage. This was done before a warrant was issued for the equipment. In the video, the shop owner shows the damage done to the cameras.

The shop owner claims that the officers were not wearing body cameras. Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva acknowledged the importance of all officers wearing body cameras.

The story from the police and the story from the shop owner and family are very different.

The discrepancies have led to protests against the police adding to the growing unrest from Americans against police brutality. States and cities across the country have started to take steps to wrangle in the numerous police departments.

“I firmly believe that an immediate and independent investigation must be conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) into this matter, and I urge the Sheriff’s Department to immediately and fully cooperate with this OIG independent investigation,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

People are protesting to demand justice for Guardado.

As more and more people join in the fight to radically reform the police, the country gets closer to ending over-policing. Guardado is not the first and won’t be the last questionable killing of a person of color by police in the U.S. Rest in peace, Andres.

READ: Protests Erupt After Police Kill A Mexican-American Teenager In Mexico

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Things That Matter

Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Noti Tolum / Facebook

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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The Colombian City Where Body Parts Wash Up On The Shore So Often It’s Become Normal

Things That Matter

The Colombian City Where Body Parts Wash Up On The Shore So Often It’s Become Normal

Credit: Fernando Vergara / Getty Images

Colombia has made incredible progress since the 1990’s when the country was a hotbed for international drug trafficking and guerrilla warfare. Today, modern bustling cities are home to shopping centers, museums, and hordes of international visitors.

However, despite the advancements, the country is still in a delicate peace deal with the main guerrilla oppossition – Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) – and there are many other paramilitary groups that still operate across the country, including in the main port city of Buenavista.

The city of Buenavista is seeing an uptick in body parts washing up along its shores.

In mid-January, an arm washed up on the city’s shore. It was quickly assumed, by local media reports, that the arm belonged to one of three local fisherman who had most likely been rounded up, killed, and dismembered. The arm had a tattoo on it, connecting it to one of the missing men, Armando Valencia.

And it wasn’t the first time this has happened. According to residents, body parts washing up on beaches is a tragically familiar occurrence. “There were some reports of body parts washing up at La Bocana [a nearby tourist spot]. A head, a leg, an arm,” said María Miyela Riascos, a social leader from Buenaventura, in a statement to VICE News. “Also, they found a man and a woman dismembered in the rural area of Bajo Calima.”

Violence has been rampant in Buenaventura for decades. The city has some of the highest rates of forced displacement and homicide in the country. But seldom has it been confronted by the levels of brutality experienced in the past year.

Criminal groups have long terrorized the city but things seem to be out of control.

So many different criminal groups have terrorized the slums of Colombia’s main Pacific port that residents rarely bother to learn the name of the latest clan in control. They simply call the warring gangs los malos or the bad guys.

Three people have been killed or disappeared daily, and conflict between organized crime has displaced as many as 6,000 people. Videos on Twitter show people fleeing their homes and young men and women patrolling with assault weapons. #SOSbuenaventura has been trending.

Community leaders see darker interests behind the violence, saying the areas where most crimes occur are the same where plans have been laid for a waterfront project, an airport and seaport terminals. “I see the violence as a means of pressure to get us off this area so they can build their projects,” Armando Valencia told The Guardian.

Criminals use “chop houses” to dismember their victims.

Colombian navy special forces on patrol among stilted waterfront shacks in Buenaventura
Credit: Fernando Vergara / Getty Images

The criminals recruit children, extort businesses, force people from their homes and dismember live victims, scattering their remains in the bay or surrounding jungle. Dozens of wooden huts balanced precariously on stilts over the bay have been abandoned by terrorized citizens and taken over by the gangs for use as casas de pique, or chop houses, where they torture and murder their victims.

The chop houses are the most gruesome consequence of a deeply flawed attempt to dismantle rightwing militias, which originally emerged to combat leftwing guerrillas in collusion with state security forces and drug traffickers.

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