Case of mother burned to death in Jalisco takes new twist

Mexico was outraged when a woman who had reported threats from her neighbors because of her autistic son’s loudness was set afire with alcohol and suffered fatal burns this month.

But on Tuesday, prosecutors in the western state of Jalisco suggested the woman had bought medicinal alcohol and a lighter, then set herself alight in a park.

The case of Luz Raquel Padilla comes after a string of brutal killings of women in Mexico that haven’t been solved by prosecutors.

Activists had charged that police failed to act on a restraining and protection order obtained by Padilla after the warning “I’m going to burn you alive” was scrawled outside her apartment. Neighbors were reportedly angry over the loud noises her son made.

After her death, police detained a neighbor apparently named in the protection order, but authorities said there was no evidence he was anywhere near where Padilla was burned.

On Tuesday, Luis Mendez Ruiz, head prosecutor in Jalisco, said video footage from security cameras showed Padilla had bought two bottles containing about a quart (liter) of alcohol and a lighter at shops near the park where she was found badly burned July 16. She died later at a hospital.

“The intention isn’t ever to re-victimize or criminalize anybody,” said Mendez Ruiz. “The person who has been detained has rights as well.”

On May 6, Padilla had requested a restraining order against a neighbor she characterized as likely being behind the threats. A judge granted the order, and the fact she died while under supposed protection fueled anger over her death. Activists said authorities hadn’t done enough.

“This feminicide could have been prevented if the authorities had taken stronger measures against the seriousness of the threats,” Maria de la Luz Estrada of the activist group National Feminicide Observatory, said after Padilla’s death. “They minimized it.”

But the prosecutor suggested Tuesday that the case was not straightforward, saying Padilla had had a long-running conflict with neighbors.

Mendez Ruiz said the mother of the detained man provided police with her own security footage showing Padilla apparently setting paper on fire outside her own door. Another video clip shows Padilla changing the angle of the neighbor’s camera to hide the stairway where the threat was scrawled, he said.

Mendez Ruiz said the mother of the detained man has now reported receiving threats.

On Sunday, another woman in the southern state of Morelos died after a relative doused her with gasoline and set her afire July 1, local prosecutors reported. They attributed the killing to a family dispute.

The cases came as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed progress in bringing down Mexico’s stubbornly high homicide rate.

Figures from the National Statistics Institute showed there were 35,625 homicides in 2021, down slightly from 36,773 in 2020. That translates to about 28 killings per 100,000 people last year, compated to 29 per 100,000 in 2020.

The homicide rate for men declined to 50 per 100,000 people from 52 per 100,000. But the rate for women remained unchanged, at about 6 per 100,000.

Subscribe here to receive our newsletters, Whatsapp emergency alerts, access exclusive content on PVDN, and enjoy this site with fewer ads for only $25 USD per year! (.06 cents per day)

  • What will the megastorm that threatens California be like, according to science California, located on the west coast of the United States, has been prone to earthquakes, droughts, and abundant wildfires every year for generations. But several scientists have warned in recent days that a big storm is coming that could unleash a devastating flood, as happened in 1862. 160 years ago, 30 consecutive days of rain…
  • Mexico moves a step closer to militarization with more than 2,000 new National Guards hitting the streets The shootings and arsons set by drug cartels in four states over the course of several days last week have left Mexicans wondering why they did it and what the criminal gangs want. While the federal government, in an attempt to calm the collective panic, has reinforced the military and National Guard presence in the…
  • Playa de Oro joins the list of Puerto Vallarta beaches with Blue Flag certification As of today, Playa de Oro joins the list of Puerto Vallarta beaches that have received the Blue Flag Certificate. The Crown Paradise hotel was the venue to receive the award, where municipal authorities and private initiatives were pleased to receive the distinction. At the event, Joaquin Díaz Ríos, executive director of the Foundation For…
  • United States and Canada issued travel alerts to 16 Mexican states The United States and Canada issued travel alerts to 16 Mexican states after organized crime groups have attacked civilians and burned vehicles in various cities in recent days. The United States government recommended its citizens not to travel to five states in the country, while for another 11 entities it advised them to reconsider travel…
  • How much more inflation can restaurants in Puerto Vallarta take? Inflation has hit Puerto Vallarta’s restaurant sector hard, because the constant increase in prices of supplies has forced restaurateurs to maintain their prices, without lowering the quality of their products, a fact that has affected the economy of the restaurant sector. “The impact is great because the whole issue of inflation directly affects the cost,”…

Puerto Vallarta News

Compare Listings

Title Price Status Type Area Purpose Bedrooms Bathrooms