Mexico City – Federal police arrested more than 60 people, reportedly identifying themselves as “anarchists,” for bashing in windows of hotels, restaurants and banks in the capital city’s historic center.
The violence marred otherwise peaceful protests around centro histórico, where the newly inaugurated President Enrique Peña Nieto was delivering a speech inside the National Palace.
Broken glass littered Avenida Juárez where protestors destroyed the façade of the Hilton and Fiesta Inn hotels. The plush purple chairs of a corner Starbucks sat in the open air, covered in shards of glass.
We’ve never had a provocation like this in the city.
Across the street in the newly rehabilitated Alameda Park—part of a popular tourist corridor that leads toward the famous Zocalo plaza and National Palace—protestors sprayed graffiti on statues and monuments.
The damage was done despite there being several hundred city and federal police on guard in the area. At least 76 people were treated for injuries, including 29 who hospitalized, as the result of clashes between protesters and tear-gas firing police, the Red Cross said. City officials said 103 people were detained, including 11 minors.
“We’ve never had a provocation like this in the city,” Ebrard said in a press conference. “We reject totally and absolutely these barbarous acts.”
In several skirmishes, protestors also hurled rocks and other objects at police, who responded with tear gas. There were reports of damages to businesses along two other important thoroughfares, Reforma and Insurgentes avenues.
The youth movement known for its hashtag #YoSoy132 and its disdain for Peña Nieto wrote from its official Twitter account that the movement isn’t in agreement “with the imposition” of Peña Nieto “nor with the violence.” The movement repeated its commitment to pacific demonstrations.
With reporting by the Associated Press.