One dead and two police officers injured in clashes between civilians and gendarmes in the Chota valley
People from “Valle del Chota” clashed with police on Thursday after a traffic accident in which they tried to arrest the driver.
The incident was recorded in Mascarilla, on the provincial border between Imbabura and Carchi. In the middle of the confrontation, a man died after being shot by a policeman. The deceased was identified as Andrés Padilla, 24 years old.
Before the altercation, the accident had left three injured, including a woman in pregnancy.
The people who tried to avoid the arrest of the presumed cause of the accident took the crane in which the vehicle was taken and attacked the gendarmes.
Jimmy Viteri, Imbabura Police Commander, said that “there were detonations of weapons and that is why the investigations are being carried out.”
The governor of Imbabura, Marisol Peñafiel, said that three police members are being detained and will be investigated. If responsibilities are found, the authority indicated that they will be sanctioned to the full extent of the law. “We will not allow this fact to remain unpunished,” he said.
Rosa Delgado, family member of the deceased, considered that the death of the young man is a state crime. “What those bad people did, they come to kill people like animals,” she said.
Enraged after the events, dozens of persons took over the police station Mascarilla, looted the belongings of the soldiers who left terrified of the barracks.
They set the building on fire and also burned a police patrol car.
With police reinforcements of specialized groups from Imbabura and Carchi, which were mobilized in buses and in a helicopter, the uniformed people managed to evict, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the community members who were positioned in the detachment.
However, the Pan-American, for which dozens of Venezuelans pass through these days, was not authorized.
According to the unofficial report, two policemen would also be injured, but that could not be confirmed.
Until 17:00 yesterday the Panamericana Norte was blocked, so the police and military diverted the vehicles by alternate routes and second order roads. (I)