Skip to main content

Police officers in Mexico suspected in alleged rape

By Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor
updated 8:25 AM EST, Fri February 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An Italian resident of Playa del Carmen says she was raped by police officers, authorities say
  • Two officers have been charged with rape and abuse of authority, district attorney's office says
  • Incident closely follows an attack on six Spanish tourists in Acapulco

(CNN) -- Police officers in the Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen are suspects in the alleged rape of an Italian citizen earlier this month, according to the local state's attorney's office.

The alleged rape occurred on February 12, when the victim and a male companion were leaving a night club in Playa del Carmen between 3 and 4 a.m., said Maria Antonia Salmeron, a spokeswoman with the state's attorney's office of Quintana Roo, the state where Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located.

The man, also an Italian citizen, decided to stop at a nearby alley to urinate. That's when the couple was intercepted by the police. Subsequently, the woman was attacked by the officers of the Playa del Carmen Police Department, Salmeron said.

Mexican attorney general: Six suspects confess to raping Spanish tourists

Community police take on Mexican cartels

"(The suspects) detained her, and these young men caught (her) when she was in an 'inconvenient' state and took (advantage of the situation), or rather, took advantage of her," said Carlos Bibiano Villa Castillo, Quinata Roo security secretary, according to Mexico's Foro TV.

The victim, who is a resident of Playa del Carmen, reported the incident to police, Salmeron said.

Salmeron identified the suspects as Mardonio Guzman Gomez and Jose Manuel Enriquez Hernandez, who have been charged with rape and abuse of authority. Playa del Carmen Police Commander Ramon Bolainas Xicotencatl is at-large, Salmeron said

According to the government news agency Notimex, the police officers also demanded a bribe of 3,000 Mexican pesos (about $235) from their victims. When the police officers realized the Italians had no money, the woman was attacked, Notimex said. Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres, Quintana Roo's state's attorney, confirmed the bribe attempt.

"We were obviously very concerned after we learned about the alleged rape. That's why we immediately launched an investigation," Salmeron said.

The alleged rape happened only eight days after six Spanish tourists were allegedly raped in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco. Officials in the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, announced the arrests of five suspects a week after the attack.

Rape case in Mexican resort city puts violence back in the spotlight

The six victims were among 14 people victimized by hooded gunmen who burst into a beach bungalow in the resort town before dawn on February 4.

An investigator in the Acapulco incident said the suspects, all between the ages of 20 and 30, also stole cell phones, iPads and tennis shoes from the victims, who allegedly had bought drugs from their attackers the day before the rape.

According to a recent U.S. State Department travel warning "resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes."

The warning published last November says "no advisory is in effect" for tourist areas in Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum.

Authorities search for Nuevo Laredo police chief

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT