A 23-year-old tourist died and his pals were injured after a man attacked them with a machete for no apparent reason.
The horror unfolded as the Argentine tourists were leaving a beach restaurant on Chacahua Island in Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo, Mexico, on 12th May.
They had only been on the paradise island for one day when a “deranged” man came at them from behind with a machete in an apparently motiveless attack.
Victim Benjamin Gamond suffered a fractured skull in the onslaught.
He was taken to a nearby hospital and, from there, was transferred to a larger facility in Mexico City on 14th May.
Tragically, he died from his injuries on 15th May.
The other victims – couple Santiago Lastra and Macarena Gonzalez – were injured while trying to save Benjamin.
Santiago, 22, sustained cuts to his hands and a fracture, while Macarena, 29, suffered deep cuts to her back.
Both are now out of danger, according to reports.
Benjamin hailed from Cordoba and was a keen rugby player. He leaves behind seven older siblings.
His family has described him as “a beautiful, kind, humble, and friendly guy”.
Benjamin had travelled to Mexico to spend some time working as a waiter, as he had done once before.
He had finished his stint in Tulum before travelling to the other side of the country with his longtime pal, Santiago, and Santiago’s girlfriend to explore with the money they had earned.
Police officers arrested the suspect – 21-year-old Irving Martinez Flores, originally from Ometepec – following the attack.
According to Macarena’s mother, Martinez had met the trio on the boat that took them to Chacahua Island on 11th May.
Fernanda Carina Gonzalez told local media: “He was talking to them and said he was a surf instructor.
“When they arrived on the island, he told them he was from there and that whatever they needed, he would be around the coast.”
The next day, after noticing Martinez, Benjamin approached him to ask if he knew where they could buy surfboards.
Fernanda explained: “The guy looked at him angrily, as if he didn’t know him.”
Minutes later, the trio left the restaurant.
Then, according to Fernanda: “The assailant came running out of nowhere, like a madman, and attacked Benjamin Gamond with the machete, hitting him in the face and head.
“The only thing he said to him was, ‘They sent you, they sent you.’
“Then Maca threw herself at him to prevent further attacks, and that’s when he also attacked her.
“My daughter managed to get up and run for help. He also attacked her boyfriend, causing cuts to his arms and a wrist fracture.”
Fernanda added: “The paramedics couldn’t believe it; they couldn’t understand how something like this could happen.
“In that place, people sleep with their doors open; it’s incredibly idyllic and peaceful.”
The authorities in Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo have since said that Martinez had arrived in the municipality “in search of employment and has no relation whatsoever to the community”.
The case is now in the hands of the Oaxaca State Prosecutor’s Office.