Parque Calderon fight between informal vendors and Citizen Guards leads to bloodshed and arrests

Sep 27, 2017 | 16 comments

A fight that resulted in injuries broke out early Tuesday afternoon after two Cuenca Citizen Guards asked a small group of informal vendors to move from their positions near the corner of Calles Presidente Borrero and Marsical Sucre.

A woman is placed in an ambulance Tuesday afternoon at Parque Calderon. Photo by Bartley D’Alfonso

Following the order, the vendors, described as three middle-aged women, pursued the guards west up Calle Sucre, throwing objects and beating them on their backs, according to Citizen Guard Commander Felipe Camacho.

The incident turned bloody in Parque Calderon, where the women and guards fought openly. “Based on what we know, several other people joined the confrontation in the park,” he said.

“The guards, who are unarmed, were protecting themselves and sustained a number deep sractches and bruisers,” he said. “Two of the vendors received minor head injuries and were taken to the hospital by ambulance,” Camacho said. They were later arrested.

Camacho said he regretted the incident and said there have more than 20 this year, most of them in the area near Parque Calderon, at the main bus terminal, and at Feria Libre. “We have a job to do enforcing the law,” he said. “The guard does not deserve this kind of treatment.”

Expat Bartley D’Alfonso witnessed the fight and said it drew a large crowd in the park. “A lot of the onlookers were excited and seemed to want to get in on the action,” he said. “At least there was no shooting.”

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