/ Modified apr 20, 2020 5:59 p.m.

Sonora cracks down on harassment of health care workers

Health care workers in Sonora, like other places in the world, have faced harassment and attacks amid coronavirus panic.

Claudia Indira Contreras VIEW LARGER Sonora State Attorney Claudia Indira Contreras.
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ

From being refused service by transportation workers to being doused in water by strangers, health care workers in Sonora, like many parts of Mexico and the world, are facing increasing harassment and attacks amid panic over the spread of the coronavirus.

Now, Sonoran authorities say they are cracking down those crimes.

"Any conduct that affects the integrity or the dignity of health care workers won't be tolerated," State Attorney Claudia Indira Contreras said in a public video Friday.

Contreras said she has directed her personnel to prioritize investigations and prosecutions of crimes against medical professionals. Those convicted could face up to three years in prison or 300 days of community service in a health care setting.

"Today, the attention and the health and the life of Sonorans who could be victims of the pandemic is in their hands," she said. "And we should value that they're also sacrificing their health, and that of their children and their families. We can't discriminate against today's heroes."

Sonora has also taken a hard line on its strict stay-at-home orders during the pandemic. Those who leave home without an accepted reason also face fines and potential arrest.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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