Viral video of teen beating parking guard in upscale neighbourhood sparks anger in class-divided Mexico


The high school student, whose name authorities have not yet confirmed, was seen on security camera footage that went viral this week. He is seen rushing into the guard shack and punching the smaller employee ruthlessly and repeatedly. — Photo by Joe Gadd on Unsplash

MEXICO CITY: An expensive private high school in Mexico said on Nov 29 it has suspended and may expel a student who was caught on video beating a parking lot attendant at his housing complex.

It was the latest in a decade-long string of beatings of working-class Mexicans by wealthy people that have caused anger in a country riven by stark income disparities. The incident happened in the central state of Puebla, where income inequality is particularly sharp.

The state governor said that racism and classism may have been behind the incident, which he said occurred Tuesday. Gov Sergio Salomón Céspedes called on prosecutors to consider bringing criminal charges in the case.

The high school student, whose name authorities have not yet confirmed, was seen on security camera footage that went viral this week. He is seen rushing into the guard shack and punching the smaller employee ruthlessly and repeatedly. The student was reportedly angry because his automatic parking pass wouldn’t work.

“I condemn classism. I condemn the elitism that separates people based on their social standing, race, religion, physical condition or preferences,” Gov. Céspedes wrote in his social media accounts. “I call on the Puebla prosecutors' office to conduct an exhaustive investigation, so that justice can be done and a precedent set,” he wrote.

The student's high school said it had suspended him pending possible expulsion, even though the incident did not happen on campus.

“We have decided to take immediate action by suspending the student ... taking into account that under our regulations, what happened was a serious offense,” the Anahuac private prep school wrote in a statement.

“We emphatically condemn any serious offense against the principles of respect and responsibilities that we promote,” according to the statement.

The parking guard was darker-skinned, slight of build and had more indigenous features than his light-skinned attacker. The was no immediate comment from prosecutors on whether the youth might face charges.

The incident occurred earlier this week at the entrance to a luxury housing development on the outskirts of the central city of Puebla, which has developed a reputation for misbehaving, privileged youths. A gang of such young men were involved in the savage beating of another youth in September.

The most notorious incident occurred n 2012, when a wealthy Mexican man was caught on video beating a parking attendant who refused to show him where to find the jack in his car.

Ademar Gonzalez, the lawyer for parking attendant Hugo Enrique Vera, said at the time that Miguel Sacal, the man who beat his client at a luxury apartment building, agreed to apologise and pay damages for the beating.

Around the same time, two upper middle-class women drew widespread anger when they were caught on video insulting, shoving and slapping a Mexico City cop, insulting his mother and calling him a “crappy wage slave”.

The women were later charged with resisting officers, insulting authorities and discrimination. – AP

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