Police charged a man with inciting riots against supermarkets. Photo: Courtesy

A man who encouraged looting and burned a tree at the Plaza Grande in the early days of the coronavirus lockdown pleaded guilty to inciting a revolt and was sentenced to three years in prison.

The man identified in local media only as Santiago Alejandro N., alias Tinieblas, had been held the State Social Reintegration Center since the end of April.

The case was initially handled by Judge Luis Mugarte Guerrero, who recently died after his battle with COVID-19. Judge Ileana Domínguez Zapata presided in his place.

Tensions began April 20 when Santiago Alejandro joined a protest at the Government Palace to demand unemployment insurance as businesses shut down and jobs disappeared. Dissatisfied with the government’s reaction, he crossed the street to the main square and set fire to an ornamental tree while encouraging onlookers to loot supermarkets and shops.

The detainee has a criminal record, including gang robbery, carrying weapons, breaking and entering, assault and trespassing, police said.

On land and from helicopters, state police are still on the watch for crowds and unrest while the public struggles with coronavirus contingencies.

Santiago Alejandro N. was the fourth subject in Yucatan arrested for inciting the public to loot businesses.

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