Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Lonesome, Well-Attended Death of Jesús Angel Vela Lares

A year ago last September, a businessman named Jesús Angel Vela Lares treated himself to a night out at the Fantastic casino in Querétaro. It's not clear whether or not he came out ahead - probably not - but he more than broke even on the cut-rate alcoholic beverages. Around 4am, he wandered out the door and wove an uneasy path down Constituyentes, which is a six-lane highway. Jesús Angel Vela Lares was on foot.

At that point, and over the next two hours, at least five of the 300 police-state security cameras that blanket this city kept Jesús Angel Vela Lares in their sites. Soon, a couple of Querétaro's vastly over-armed police officers showed up and tried to persuade him to use the sidewalk. Jesús Angel Vela Lares responded by running smack into a tree. The police then did what you'd expect - they got in their car and drove off, leaving him there. Jesús Angel Vela Lares staggered to his feet and continued ambling down the six-lane highway. Another patrol car came and went. Drivers swerved to avoid him. The cameras kept rolling.



Jesús Angel Vela Lares turned onto Bernardo Quintana, another six-lane highway, and eventually staggered into an auto service store's parking lot, where he fell over a trash can, got up and then fell down a flight of stairs. He got up, made it to the sidewalk, and dropped to the ground, slumped forward on his knees. Another patrol car arrived, watched him for a few minutes, and left. The cameras were still rolling a half hour later, as another man came up, rifled Jesús Angel Vela Lares's pockets, and made off with his wallet. A fourth patrol car picked up the wallet thief and, after several more minutes, went back to the parking lot to check on Jesús Angel Vela Lares, who was dead from a heart attack at age 44. The eight hours of combined video tape of his last 110 minutes was the basis for the State Human Rights Commission recommending charges be brought against the various cops and officials who watched him die. So maybe those 300 cameras are good for something, after all.

4 comments:

Dave said...

Well, first off, a well-done post. On the other hand, a nice cheery piece for New Years' Eve.

Here's to a better 2012.

tepetapan said...

so they caught the thief, not bad at all.

Anonymous said...

they did tryed to help the guy, if they have put him by force in the patrol car there would a recomendation too. I don't like this "blame the first you see" also they do followed him on video to make sure he was fine, they in fact caught the thief.

Burro Hall said...

So, the consensus seems to be that having his wallet stolen was the worst thing that happened to the guy that night, and the police are heroes for catching the thief?