Cuban doctor murdered near Mexico City

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – A Cuban doctor was shot and killed at a hospital on the outskirts of Mexico City, police said.

The doctor, whose name was not released, died on Friday along with a nurse and another woman at a hospital in the suburb of Acatepec, they said Monday afternoon.

The offense comes amid criticism of President Andres Manuel López Obrador’s plan to bring Cuban doctors to areas where Mexican doctors are not available or where they do not want to work because they are too dangerous or remote.

The Cuban doctor killed in Acatepec had apparently been in the country for some time and was not part of the current program. His death, however, raised questions about whether some areas of Mexico are too dangerous for Cuban doctors.

A woman who identified herself as the doctor’s sister on Facebook identified her as Ernesto Oliva Legra.

The Mexican state’s attorney general’s office, bordering Mexico City, said two armed men entered the hospital early Friday morning and asked about a patient at the reception.

Unable to locate her, the individuals forced the receptionist to open the door to a medical area on the second floor, where they opened fire, killing the nurse and another woman and injuring the doctor.

The doctor died of injuries in another hospital. The local press reported that the second victim was a woman who was visiting a relative for treatment.

Earlier, gang members have stormed hospitals to kill injured rivals. Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence against medical workers.

In July, medical school graduates and other residents rallied across the country against the July 15 shooting death of a 24-year-old intern, Eric David Andrade, who was treating a patient in the state of Durango, in the north of the country.

Andrade was about to end the “social service” required of all medical students before entering residency or internship.

On July 11, an anesthesiologist was shot dead at his home in the neighboring state of Chihuahua.

In July 2021, a doctor was murdered on a highway near Jerez, Zacatecas, apparently because she didn’t stop at a drug lord’s roadblock. Two paramedics died in the same month while transferring a patient in the same condition.

Critics have filed legal appeals against the plan to hire more than 500 Cuban doctors, of whom more than 100 have already come to Mexico and are working in the states of Nayarit and Colima.

One of the lawsuits argues that the government has failed to demonstrate that Cuban doctors have the ability or training to work in Mexico, and that most doctors’ salaries will end up in the Cuban government’s coffers.

On Tuesday, López Obrador defended the program, insisting that Mexico does not have enough experts.

“It is absurd and irrational to question whether Cuban medical experts come to show solidarity with us,” the president declared.

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