By Rebekah F Ward and Lizbeth Diaz
MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities are investigating the death of a Central American father shot by police in the northern city of Saltillo, state prosecutors said Thursday.
A member of a state police unit focused on drug crime shot and killed a Central American migrant at the train station in Saltillo on Wednesday night, the Attorney General of Coahuila state Gerardo Marquez told a news conference.
The man’s death comes at a time when activists and local migrant shelters in Saltillo denounced a series of crackdowns on migrants. Last week, federal police were investigated for threatening to raid a migrant shelter near where the shooting took place.
International human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Council, demanded a thorough investigation of the case.
“After the death of a Central American migrant during a police raid in Saltillo, we strongly reiterate our demand that the Mexican state respect the human rights of migrants,” Amnesty International Mexico said on Twitter.
Members of the police unit were investigating four men connected with narcotics sales, and told prosecutors they heard gunfire as they chased two suspects towards a train station in Saltillo, State Attorney General Marquez said.
The two suspects ran towards an area where a group of migrants stood and police opened fire, apparently killing the migrant, though this was still under investigation, Marquez said.
The human rights ombudsman for the state of Coahuila, Hugo Morales, said the man was a Central American with an eight-year-old daughter who has been transferred to the custody of the state agency for children and families (PRONNIF).
Nearby migrant shelter Casa del Migrante de Saltillo criticized the shooting, and said the victim was a 29-year-old Honduran called Marco.
(Reporting by Rebekah F Ward and Lizbeth Diaz; additional reporting by Diego Ore; Editing by Delphine Schrank, Dave Graham and Rashmi Aich)