Mexican woman who had reported threats dies after being set on fire

Women hold crosses in a protest against femicide and violence against women outside National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, May 18, 2022

A woman who was doused with alcohol and set alight in a park in central Mexico has died of her injuries.

Luz Raquel Padilla, 35, had sustained burns on 90% of her body in the attack in Zapopan on Saturday.

Her killing has caused outrage in Mexico both for its brutality and the fact that she had alerted the authorities months before the attack.

The case is being investigated as a possible femicide, a murder in which a woman is killed because of her gender.

Mexico has seen a surge in the number of femicides in recent years, registering a record 1,004 in 2021.

Prosecutor Luis Joaquín Méndez said witnesses had described three men and a woman launching the attack against Ms Padilla in a park in Zapopan. The four fled the scene.

Ms Padilla, whose 11-year old son has autism, was a member of a group of people caring for relatives with disabilities called “Yo cuido México” (I care for Mexico).

The group said Ms Padilla had received multiple threats from a neighbour who had objected to the noise her son made.

In May, she had posted photos on Twitter of graffiti sprayed onto the walls of her building’s staircase which read: “I’m going to burn you alive”.

She tweeted: “How much longer will I have to live in fear, dreading that something will happen to me and my family, while my aggressor continues to roam the city with the possibility of doing more harm.”

Mr Méndez from the prosecutor’s office confirmed Ms Padilla had reported a neighbour accusing him of threatening her and causing bodily harm.

He added that said neighbour had come to the police station of his own accord but that there was currently no evidence to place him at the scene of the crime.

Mr Méndez said witnesses had not identified the neighbour as being among the four people they had seen attacking Ms Padilla.

Local media reported that Ms Padilla had also been the victim of domestic violence from a former partner.

Mr Méndez insisted that investigators were following all leads. He added that Ms Padilla’s son was being cared for by his grandmother and an aunt.

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