By Sandra Dibble / SignOnSanDiego / October 18, 2011
TIJUANA — Some two dozen protesters in Tijuana affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement were arrested early today by police forces for sleeping in a public right-of-way. The detentions occurred at 2:15 a.m. near a traffic circle in Tijuana’s Rio Zone, according to Heriberto Garcia, Baja California’s human rights ombudsman.
Members of Occupy Tijuana reported on their Facebook page that more than 20 police vehicles participated in the operation, during which officers separated male and female protesters, the account said. The protesters did not resist arrest, it said, adding that “the violence was unilateral,” without offering specifics and that media were prevented from covering the event.
Garcia said the detained protesters included 20 males and six females, all students and the majority ranging in age from 18 to 28 years. One of those detained was under 18, he said.
Garcia’s office is studying a formal protest against the state and municipal police agencies involved because of the manner in which the protesters were removed and the fact that they have not recovered their belongings, including computers, books, musical instruments and tents.
The female protesters were released with a warning, Garcia said. Most of the male protesters were released after paying a fine, and the remainder were ordered to perform public service.
A spokesman for Tijuana municipal police said the state and municipal police participated in the operation. The charge against the protesters involves a municipal infraction, he said.