Friday, February 23, 2024

Death threats preceded attack in which Jalisco woman was burned alive

A 35-year-old woman has died three days after she was set on fire in a park near her home in Zapopan, Jalisco.

Luz Raquel Padilla passed away in a Guadalajara hospital on Tuesday. According to witnesses, four men and one woman doused Padilla with a flammable liquid before setting her alight in a park in the Arcos de Zapopan neighborhood on Saturday night. She sustained burns to 90% of her body.

Before the attack, Padilla denounced death threats allegedly made by one of her neighbors. In a May 17 Twitter post, she published photographs of graffiti messages scrawled on walls inside the building in which she lived. One said, “I’m going to burn you alive” while another said, “I’m going to kill you, Luz.”

Padilla tagged the Jalisco government in her post and asked how long she would have to live in fear that something could happen to her or her family.

Padilla’s Twitter post on May 17 showing graffiti death threats. ‘Machorra’ is a slur.


The Jalisco Attorney General’s Office (FE) said in a statement Tuesday that it was investigating the murder under the femicide protocol. It said its personnel had carried out a range of actions aimed at identifying the aggressors and noted that Padilla had filed a complaint against a neighbor due to threats he allegedly made. The FE acknowledged that there were “problems related to neighborhood coexistence” between the woman and man.

It said that it didn’t have evidence that the man who allegedly made the threats was at the park where the attack occurred. However, his possible involvement remains under investigation, officials said.

According to #YoCuidoMéxico, a caregivers’ advocacy organization, Padilla received constant death threats from neighbors because her young son, who is autistic, made noises during his “moments of crisis” that annoyed them.

It said that Padilla, who belonged to #YoCuidoMéxico, previously survived an attack in which her chest was doused with bleach. The organization said she reported the attack to authorities in Zapopan but her complaint wasn’t given “due attention.”

Guadalajara attack victim Luz Raquel Padilla
Padilla, far right, with members of the organization #YoCuido, of which she was a member. She posted this image on Twitter the day she was attacked.

It also said that Padilla asked to join a protection program “due to the constant threats and violence she received because of the behavior of her son with autism.”

However, authorities rejected her request as they determined that the threats didn’t warrant her inclusion, #YoCuidoMéxico said. The Mexico City-based organization described Padilla’s death as “a femicide that the Jalisco Attorney General’s Office could have avoided.”

It has called on citizens to demand justice for Padilla at a protest outside the Jalisco government’s Mexico City offices on Thursday.

“We call on communities and collectives of caregivers, people with autism, people with disabilities, mothers and women [in general] to take their stories on letter-sized sheets of paper that will be part of a clothesline that makes visible the violence we face on a daily basis,” #YoCuidoMéxico said in a Twitter post.

With reports from El Universal and Reporte Indigo

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