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Classmates set Mexican boy on fire in racial attack

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 July 2022, 13:48 IST
Classmates set Mexican boy on fire.

A boy from Mexico sustained second and third degree burns after two of his classmates set him on fire pouring alcohol. The victim’s only crime was speaking an indigenous language in a country grappling to cease racial discrimination.

The two classmates are accused of pouring alcohol on the victim, identified as Juan Zamorano's seat at a high school in the central state of Queretaro.

When the 14-year-old noticed his pants were wet and stood up, one of them set Zamorano ablaze, according to the victim’s family.

The victim endured second and third-degree burn injuries and was only this week discharged from the hospital.

The boy had already experienced weeks of bullying due to his Indigenous Otomi origins, as maintained by his family's lawyers, who registered complaints against the alleged attackers and school officials.

With an approximate occupants of 350,000, the Otomi are one of dozens of Indigenous groups in the Latin American nation.

The Otomi language is victim's mother tongue "but he doesn't like to speak it much because it's a cause of ridicule, harassment and bullying," Ernesto Franco, one of the family's lawyers, told AFP.

The victim’s family has claimed to the media that even Zamorano's teacher harassed him because of his roots.

"She thinks that we're not her class, we're not her race," Zamorano's father, who described the attack as "attempted murder," told the local newspaper.

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First published: 13 July 2022, 13:48 IST