MEXICO CITY (AP) — The case of a wealthy Mexican man seen on video beating a doorman at his apartment building stirred anger Tuesday among Mexicans stung in recent months by a series of class-discrimination scandals.
The Mexico City prosecutors office did not confirm the authenticity of the surveillance camera footage posted Tuesday on YouTube. But the office issued a charge report that matched the location and actions seen on the video, and confirmed the incident involved in the allegation was indeed taped.
Prosecutors said Miguel Sacal is charged with causing injuries to a doorman July 8 in the lobby of an apartment building in the upscale neighborhood of Bosques de las Lomas.
The crime report states that Sacal asked the doorman, who also apparently served as a parking attendant, to get him a jack for his car, which apparently had a flat tire.
The report said Sacal is accused of beating the attendant when he refused to get the jack because he was on desk duty. It said considerable injuries were done to the doorman's teeth and mouth.
The video that appeared on YouTube depicts a sadistic attack in which a man identified as Sacal insults the attendant, calling him a "cat" — Mexican slang that means roughly "flunky." The man then repeatedly slaps and punches the doorman and slams his head around, as other employees make halfhearted attempts to separate the two or simply stand by.
Hugo Enrique Vega, who identified himself to local media as the victim of the beating, said he felt powerless and took the beating because he was afraid of losing his job. But he said he later filed a crime report against Sacal.
Prosecutors said Sacal had obtained a court injunction against arrest, a tactic frequently used by wealthy people in Mexico to avoid jail, but was still formally on trial though he was not in jail.
The office said Sacal was challenging Vega's description of the severity of his injuries.
The video was posted on the websites of Mexico's major newspapers, and one reader, Rocio Romero Barron, wrote in the comment section: "What arrogance and cowardice this man displayed. I am also amazed by the indifference of this man's fellow employees."
In December, the daughter of the leading contender for Mexico's presidency, Enrique Pena Nieto, retweeted a message calling her father's critics a "bunch of idiots who form part of the proletariat." That led many of Pena Nieto's opponents to don placards reading "I'm a proletarian, too."
And in August, two upper middle-class women drew widespread anger when they were caught on video snobbily insulting, shoving and slapping a Mexico City cop, insulting his mother and calling him a "crappy wage slave."
In a country where most municipal police are dark-skinned and earn an average of only about 4,000 pesos ($300) a month, the sight of a taller, light-skinned woman spewing some of the worst verbal insults in the Mexican lexicon caused anger.
The women were later charged with resisting officers, insulting authorities and discrimination.
Mexico has an extremely unequal distribution of income, with about 47 million of its 112.7 million people living in poverty while the country also boasts being home to the world's richest man, Carlos Slim.