Police officer charged with homicide for Mexico club deaths

June 27th, 2008 - 12:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, June 27 (IANS) The commanding officer of last week’s raid at a discotheque that resulted in the death of 12 people has been charged with homicide by a court here, Spain’s EFE news agency reported. A large crowd, mostly teenagers, had gathered at News Divine June 20 to celebrate the end-of-the-school-year party, when a police team raided the premises following a tip-off that drugs and alcohol were being sold to minors at the club.

People rushed for the exit when the club owner announced over the microphone about the raid. At least 12 people were killed in the ensuing stampede.

The District Attorney’s office here has charged Guillermo Zayas Gonzalez with homicide, the report said Thursday.

He was one of the 17 high-ranking police officers removed from their posts after the incident.

The court said Zayas, now hospitalised for complications due to diabetes, took no action to prevent nine patrons and three police officers from being crushed or asphyxiated.

“The evidence indicates that the operation was carried out in a negligent manner,” the District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

“Zayas was guilty of failing to instruct officers to stop blocking the exit door of the nightclub as panicked club-goers rushed to get out,” it said.

Seven youths and three policemen died on the spot, while two people, who were seriously injured, later died at a hospital.

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