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Mon Apr 15, 2019, 10:18 PM

Red Cross volunteers in Mexico given armed escorts after thugs seize patient

Source: The Guardian

Red Cross volunteers in Mexico given armed escorts after thugs seize patient

Organization boosts security as drug cartels show disregard for the work of physicians and first responders in conflicts with rivals

David Agren in Mexico City
Mon 15 Apr 2019 19.05 BST Last modified on Mon 15 Apr 2019 19.27 BST

Police in an especially violent Mexican city have started providing armed escorts for Red Cross ambulances after gunmen pulled a wounded man from an emergency vehicle over the weekend.

The Red Cross suspended emergency services on Saturday in the city of Salamanca in Guanajuato state after a group of armed men threatened paramedics who were responding to a shootout. Service has since resumed, but police will escort paramedics in certain situations.

“We’re all volunteers in this noble institution. We believe in its mission … but at this time we must care for our physical integrity. We, too, are parents, children and brothers,” the Red Cross said in a statement. “Red Cross volunteers are not part of any conflict.”

Drug cartel thugs have long showed disregard for the work of physicians and first responders – going so far as to burst into operating rooms to rescue colleagues or finish off rivals. In the heroin-producing heartland of Guerrero state, thugs recently stopped an ambulance transporting an injured woman to the hospital and shot her dead.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/15/red-cross-volunteers-in-mexico-given-armed-escorts-following-recent-violence

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