Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A former Mexican politician has been detained for allegedly hiring a man to pour acid on his saxophonist ex-girlfriend’s face causing her to lose one eye and mobility in half of her face.
The assault occurred on 9th September 2019 when Maria Elena Rios was managing her travelling agency in her hometown of Huajuapan located in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
Local media report a man organised a meeting with Rios on the false pretence that he needed help with his passport when he poured a reported two litres of acid onto her face.
The attack left half of her face immobilised and led to her losing an eye. She also suffered severe burns to her arms, hands, back and neck in the incident.
Rios is a known saxophonist in the region and it remains uncertain if she will ever be able to play her instrument again.
Doctors tried to use skin from Rios’ back to help repair the damage to her face. Her body rejected the operation as she and her family continue to spend thousands of Mexican pesos looking for a treatment they fear may come too late.
Rios had reportedly broken up with former Mexican Deputy Juan Vera in July 2019 and police suspect he was the cause of the attack.
Vera was able to avoid capture for several months until he was finally detained on Monday 6th April after a 1,000,000-MXN (33,390-GBP) reward was offered in February of this year.
Vera allegedly paid a bricklayer 20,000 MXN (667 GBP) to commit the act.
Two unnamed men were arrested in December of 2019 on suspicion of committing the act. They both remain in custody with one accused of pouring the acid while the other is suspected of being an accomplice.
It is unclear if Vera, who was a deputy in the Institutional Revolutionary Party political party, paid both of them or just one.
The attack caused such a stir in the southern Mexican state that Congress recently passed legislation saying acid attacks are punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
Governor Alejandro Murat confirmed Vera’s arrest saying the former deputy “would now face justice for the terrible act of violence he committed.”
The victim’s sister Silvia Rios told Spanish newspaper ‘El Pais’ the former deputy “was jealous and would hurt her a lot, he would insult her.
“He would even follow her, but not just her, he would follow me too to see where she was.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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