Festival cancels open-air inaugural ceremony but rest of event, running March 23 to April 1, remains intact.

The organisers of the Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse have announced the event will go ahead in spite of the recent killings of three school children and a teacher in a Jewish school in its home city earlier this week.

Francis Saint-Dizier, president of the festival devoted to Latin American cinema, said in a statement that an open-air inaugural ceremony scheduled for Friday would be cancelled but that the rest of the festival would go ahead as planned.

“Faced with the situation created by the recent racist and anti Semitic killings in and around Toulouse over the last few days, we have decided to cancel the open-air opening ceremony scheduled for Friday,” he said in a statement.

“The festival will go ahead because it supports through cinema the values of our Republic: respect for diversity and solidarity with those who are different from us,” he continued, adding extra security would be in place throughout the festival. 

France has been shaken this week by the brutal slaughter of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school on the outskirts of Toulouse. These killings have since been linked to the murder of three soldiers in the area over the past two weeks.

At the time of Cinelatino’s statement, French special forces hunting the killer were in a stand-off with a man, believed to be the killer, holed up in an apartment on the outskirts of Toulouse.