Mother of Autistic Child Burned Alive by Neighbors in Mexico

A Mexican mother of an autistic child and disability rights activist died on July 19 after being set on fire in a park in the central Mexican state of Jalisco.

Luz Raquel Padilla, a member of caregivers’ rights group “I take care of Mexico,” died from the “seriousness of the injuries” in a hospital in nearby Guadalajara, prosecutor Luis Joaquin Mendez said at a press conference on July 20.

Mendez said Padilla had burns on 90% of her body.

Citing witnesses, Mendez said that three men and a woman doused Padilla, 35, in alcohol, set her alight in a park in the town of Zapopan, then fled the scene on July 17.

Authorities are investigating the case as a possible femicide.

Authorities arrested Sergio Ismael “N,” one of Padilla’s neighbors, for causing injuries, making threats, and crimes against a person’s dignity in connection with previous incidents, Mendez said.

The neighbor has not been charged with femicide, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said that according to witnesses, the neighbor was not present at the time of the attack.

Padilla had accused her neighbor in May of threats and writing graffiti with threatening messages outside her home.

“You’re going to die” and “I’m going to burn you alive,” the messages read.

“Until when am I going to have to live in fear that something might happen to me and my family? And my aggressor is still wandering around the city with the danger of continuing to hurt,” Padilla had written on Twitter.

Protesters gathered in front of the Zapopan police station on July 21, accusing authorities of inaction and indifference.


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