Coronavirus: Old video from Mexico shared as Spanish police action on curfew violators

Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a 21-day lockdown on March 24, barring essential services. Since then, there have been reports of the police adopting harsh measures to keep the restriction of movement in place.

A 30-second video has now gone viral with the claim: “Indian police is just nothing. See Spanish police beating people who are violating curfew.” A Twitter user posted the viral video on March 25. (archived tweet)

Similarly, several other Facebook and Twitter users have shared the viral video. Alt News has received multiple requests to fact-check the viral video on WhatsApp (+91 76000 11160) and on our official Android application.

Fact-check

Alt News analysed the viral video using InVid video verification tool. A reverse-image search on Yandex led to a July 2019 article by n.com.do, a Spanish news website, which carried the viral video. According to the report, the incident shows three men dressed like the police beat up a man. It also explained how a trend has emerged in Mexico where civilians dress up as policemen and punish people allegedly involved in robberies and other crimes.

Investigative journalist Nuria Esperanza Piera Gainza also shared the article by n.com.do.

Another Spain-based news outlet La Opinión reported on this incident in July last year.

The video, therefore, predates the coronavirus pandemic. The first confirmed case in China, the origin of the virus, was reported months later in November 2019. However, it is noteworthy that the video has been shared at a time when questions are being raised on the harsh measures adopted by the Indian police on migrant workers attempting to get to their home states on foot. The lockdown has left thousands of them without food and a means of transportation. The police have also reportedly used excessive force on citizens stepping out to purchase essentials.

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