“We were going to baptize him on Saturday, but now we will bury him.”
Those words were spoken by Carlos Velázquez, the father of eight-month-old Tadeo, who died Tuesday from first-degree burns after becoming trapped along with his mother in a bus set alight by criminal gang members – presumably the Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generacion – the previous day.
“My heart is broken,” Velázquez told a local radio station. His wife, Tadeo’s mother, remains in intensive care with burns on 90 percent of her body.
The tragedy of Tadeo’s demise has deeply moved crime-hardened Tapatios.
Some 80 people came together via social media at the Glorieta Niños Heroes – known unofficially these days as “La Glorieta de Las y Los Desaparecidos – to hold a candlelight vigil for Tadeo. “Justice for Tadeo,” many chanted.
Present at the meeting, convoked out of anger as well as sadness, was Gabriel Bolaños, president of the Federation of Civil Organizations.
“We’re demanding that something like this never happens again,” said Bolaños, who, along with other participants unfurled banners emblazoned with the deceased child’s name and lit candles around the traffic circle’s circumference.
The tragic death occurred at the corner of Mariano Otero and Las Torres after four gang members ordered the occupants of a 707 Tur bus to vacate the vehicle. Perhaps not realizing that a mother and her infant child remained aboard, the men torched the bus. Witnesses said the driver fled the vehicle before opening the rear door of the bus. The mother and baby were engulfed by flames as they struggled to open the door.
Jalisco Attorney General Raúl Sánchez Jiménez said surveillance cameras recorded the incident and vowed that the perpetrators would be identified and captured.
In total, taking into account both the Avenida Chapultepec attack and the bus burnings, 16 people were reported wounded during Monday’s mayhem, nine of whom suffered burns relating to the multiple vehicular arsons. Aside from Tadeo, the violence claimed two other victims: 59-year-old Javier Sanchez, who was caught in crossfire between the Chapultepec shooters and law enforcement, who had tracked the criminals to La Tijera in the far southwest of the metropolitan area, and one of the suspects, who died of a heart attack Tuesday morning.