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Sex workers defended by activists after police make arrests downtown

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A woman is hauled away by police on Calle 58, south of the Plaza Grande. Photo: Desde el Balcon

The Yucatan Human Rights Commission of the State of Yucatán, or Codhey, complained to the Merida police after numerous sex workers were arrested downtown.

Codhey president Miguel Sabido Santana said he filed a grievance because the human rights of sex workers were at risk.

When the rights agency first learned of the arrests in July, it immediately opened an investigation, asking municipal police for copies of arrest reports from July 23 and Aug. 10.

Police, however, did not respond to the request.

Codhey asked police to refrain from arbitrary arrests that violate the rights of sex workers.

Sabido Santana said that measures to reduce COVID infections restrict vehicular mobility, but not the free movement of people.

Prostitution is legal in Mexico but soliciting on the street is not, although it is informally permitted in some neighborhoods.

“No one can be arrested on public roads for suspicion, since the presumption of innocence must prevail,” Sabido Santana said.

The municipal police denied running a permanent operation against women who engage in prostitution in the center of the city. They do, however, chase away people who are loitering on the sidewalks. If they refuse to move, people can be reprimanded or in extreme cases, arrested, police told local media.

Source: El Universal

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