Luz Raquel Padilla: la madre de un niño autista que fue quemada viva tras denunciar amenazas en México

Luz Raquel Padilla: the mother of an autistic child who was burned alive after denouncing threats in Mexico

July 22, 2022, 7:21 AM

July 22, 2022, 7:21 AM

Luz Raquel Padilla died this Tuesday after being doused with alcohol and set on fire last Saturday.

“She was completely dedicated to taking care of her son (…). It was her life to be by her son’s side.”

This is how Mily Cruz Díaz, coordinator in Jalisco of the collective Yo Cuido México, remembers Luz Raquel Padillabrutally murdered by a group of people who doused her with alcohol and set a fire in a park in Zapopan, Mexico.

The young woman belonged to this association -which brings together other caregivers of dependent people- as a mother of a child with autism that she focused on practically 24 hours a day.

His murder caused a great impact and outrage in Mexico not only because of his brutality, but also because he had previously reported it to the police and on his own social networks. numerous death threats and assaults by neighbors of your building.

But informing the authorities did not prevent the attack suffered on Saturday July 16 and that on Tuesday 19, after three days of agony with almost 90% of his body burned, he ended up dying.

Focused on her son

Padilla was 35 years old and lived in Zapopan, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, with his mother and son Bruno, 11 years old and diagnosed with severe autism and refractory epilepsy difficult to control.

The woman dedicated herself to taking care of her little one full time, so it was Bruno’s grandmother who went out to work to support the family.

The economic situation of the family was sometimes precarious, mainly due to the medical expenses required by the child’s condition.

“She struggled a lot and suffered a lot because many times he did not have the means to buy his monthly medicine, Cruz said in an interview with W Radio.

Funeral of Luz Raquel Padilla

This Thursday the funeral was held for Luz Raquel Padilla.

According to Cruz, Bruno was expelled from an autism center where “his aggressiveness” was alleged as a reason, so the family had to pay for all the necessary therapies and medications on their own.

In fact, Padilla sometimes dedicated himself to painting piggy banks and handicrafts with the little one to sell in bazaars and through the internet in order to get extra money.

The little time that he did not spend with his son, Padilla dedicated himself to collaborating with the organization Yo Cuido México and to receive meditation classes on Saturdays.

It was that day, on that journey, when Padilla suffered a brutal attack.

continuous threats

The woman had reported to the police and on her social networks continuous threats and physical and verbal attacks by neighbors, which were even visible in huge graffiti inside her building that read, for example, “I’m going to burn you alive”.

The reason, according to Cruz, is that the neighbors “bothered” the noises and blows that Bruno caused as a result of his autism and epileptic seizures.

Painted on the stairs of Padilla's apartment, in photos that the victim shared on her Twitter account.

Padilla had spent months denouncing threats for which he held his neighbors responsible.

Sometimes, the boy suffered severe crises that led him to attack himself, bang his hands against the wall, kick, make noises or scream and repeat things continuously.

In the past week, Padilla tweeted that a neighbor had sent a police patrol to her house due to one of Bruno’s crises. in which he had started kicking and hitting the walls.

“How is it possible?”, Padilla wondered.

But the threats leveled up whenlast May, the woman reported having been attacked with chlorine, which made it necessary to perform plastic surgery on her chest.

Although she reported what happened at the police station and requested to be included in the “Pulse of Life” program -to have a locator with a panic button to alert the police in emergencies-, Cruz assures that the authorities argued that their situation did not require this type of support and they refused it.

Protection measures

Yes, other protection measures were ordered, according to the Jalisco Prosecutor’s Office. However, the Zapopan police acknowledged in a statement that these were only in force from May 9 to July 9.

A week later, Padilla was murdered.

“The only thing he was given was a restraining order of 3 meters for two months, that ended a few days after this situation, that it is also illogical to put a restraining order when they lived door to door,” Cruz criticized in an interview with journalist Julio Astillero.

Protest for the murder of Padilla in CDMX

Various marches and rallies protested this Thursday in Mexico over the cruel murder of Padilla.

Only two days before losing her life, Padilla claimed to have again received death threats from her neighbors, who told her that they would kill her if they found her in the street.

“Luz already had normalized the aggressions against her person, so she did not give it importance (…). The violence towards her was already normalCruz lamented.

This Thursday, the State Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the arrest and preventive detention order for the neighbor denounced in May by Padilla – who was charged with crimes against the dignity of persons, threats and injuries – and who a day earlier had come to testify voluntarily as a witness for the murder of the young woman.

However, the authorities clarified that his arrest is due to the previous complaint that existed against him and not to the investigation opened now for femicide.

The first investigations indicate that he was not present at the scene of Padilla’s murder, according to witnesses.

Bruno’s future

After Padilla’s death, the Zapopan authorities offered a lifetime scholarship to Bruno and his grandmother, who received the “Pulse of Life” emergency device what had been denied in his day to his daughter when she asked for help.

The mayor also offered comprehensive medical care, rehabilitation and emotional support for the boy, who until now had not had the support of the authorities.

Funeral of Luz Raquel Padilla


The greatest concern now focuses on the minor, who will be in the care of his grandmother as the main guardian, who must take care of all his needs and attentions.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with all this. because it is an emotional lack of control that can cause more intense crises [al niño]“, recognized Cruz, who demanded results in the investigation of the authorities.

“It’s a hate crime that can’t stay like this,” he concluded.

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