Things That Matter

Father Allegedly Kills 6-Year-Old Son By Performing ‘Exorcism’ In Bathtub

An Arizona father, Pablo Martinez, was arrested on first-degree murder when he and his wife admitted the father had conducted an “exorcism” on their 6-year-old son. The mother and child belonged to the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation in Arizona, although the father lived with them, he is not a part of the tribe. The FBI and Pascua Yaqui police are investigating together, while the father is in custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.  

Authorities say the father poured hot water down the boy’s throat and on his body to perform an exorcism. When the 6-year-old’s body was discovered, 15 percent of it was covered in burns. 

Father allegedly murders his 6-year-old son during “exorcism.” 

Pablo Martinez told police he poured hot water down the throat of his 6-year-old son because the boy “was demonic and had a demon inside of him.” The father described the act as an exorcism. The child’s adoptive mother, Romelia Martinez, said her son “had been acting demonic,” when her husband suggested giving the 6-year-old and their other child a bath. 

Romelia told detectives she heard gurgling coming from the bathroom, she was not in the room, and when she opened the door she saw Pablo holding the boy under the bathtub faucet. The mother claims she screamed for the father to stop, at which point he said: “he had to do it.” Romelia said she called a pastor, then the police when he did not pick up. 

The father insisted he “saw something evil,” in the child. Police say Pablo believed the hot water was “working” to exorcise the demons.

Pascua Yaqui authorities arrive.

On the 911 call, Romelia said her husband was performing CPR on the child and had poured cold water on his body. Pablo told investigators that the hot water he poured down the 6-year-old’s throat was to “cast out the demon” and that the boy had an “unnatural fit of rage.”

According to BuzzFeed News, tribal authorities arrived at the Martinez home after receiving the call. Both parents were standing outside when they asked the mother what had happened, Romelia said, “He can tell you.”  

The father told the Pascua Yaqui authorities they “were not in the right mindset or belief,” before surrendering with his hands in the air and allegedly saying, “I did it.” This comment is particularly interesting because the mother and child are a part of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, but the father is not. 

Pablo Martinez is charged with first-degree murder. 

Authorities say Pablo allegedly confessed to holding his son underwater for five to 10 minutes. Fortunately, the other child left the bathroom in tears, seemingly traumatized from what was happening, but physically unharmed. 

Pascua Yaqui police found the child naked and propped up against a pillow in a back room. He was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead. Court documents show the 6-year-old had burn marks on 15 percent of his body, on his head, elbows, and forearms. Pablo was taken into the custody of the US Marshal Service and arrested on first-degree murder. 

The FBI is conducting a joint investigation with the Pascua Yaqui Police Department. 

“The FBI has a strong, long-standing commitment to investigating violent crime in Indian Country. We are dedicated to working alongside our tribal and federal partners to protect all of our communities,” Jill McCabe, a spokesperson with the FBI’s Phoenix division, said in a statement.

Elementary school releases a statement.

Dear Lynn Urquides Families,It is with deep regret and sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students….

Posted by Lynn Urquides Elementary School on Saturday, September 28, 2019

The 6-year-old boy had special needs and attended Lynn Urquides Elementary School. Principal Marisa Salcido released a statement about the child’s death. 

“It is with deep regret and sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students,” Salcido wrote on Facebook. “I want to let you know that Lynn Urquides Elementary administrative team has been working with TUSD Leadership and the Coordinator of TUSD Counseling to ensure that we provide every means of support and assistance to all the students, along with our staff. Our counselors are available to help staff and any student who is struggling with death or other issues that may surface.”

The school will provide grief support and counseling to students. 

Exorcisms today. 

In 2018, demands for exorcisms increased threefold causing the Vatican to address the uptick during an Italian conference. However, the purpose was not to address increase, but rather the methods priests use to perform the exorcisms themselves. Friar Beningo Palila stated there are around 500,000 cases requiring exorcisms in Italy alone. He believes the increase of use in tarot cards and fortune tellers “open the door to the devil and to possession.” 

“A self-taught exorcist certainly meets errors,” Palila said. “I will say more: it would also take a period of apprenticeship, as happens for many professionals.”

The statement seems all the more ominous in the context of the 6-year-old boy’s tragic death. 

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Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina


Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina

Joe Raedle / Getty

Twenty-three-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar was preparing to welcome a new life into her life with her husband this year. Last week she was killed by an alleged drunk driver while the couple was walking down a sidewalk in Anaheim, California.

Aguilar and her husband James Alvarez were walking in Anaheim last week when she was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

A Jeep SUV driven by Courtney Pandolfi, aged 40, jumped the curb of a sidewalk and drove along it before hitting Aguilar. The car narrowly missed James who said that when his wife was struck they were holding hands. At the time of her death worked as a cast member at Disneyland and was nearly 35 weeks pregnant.

Soon after the incident, Aguilar was rushed to the hospital at UCI Medical Center. There, doctors declared her dead and then delivered her baby via cesarean section. Currently, Aguilar’s newborn baby girl, Adalyn Rose, is in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. She is in critical condition.

Speaking about his wife’s tragic death, Alvarez told KTLA, “It’s like I’m living a nightmare and I’m hoping to wake up soon. But I’m accepting the reality is she’s gone. And my daughter is the only thing that I have left.”

Pandolfi has been detained on single counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license.

Pandolfi was also taken to the same hospital but for minor injuries.

Soon after her detainment, Pandolfi’s charges were upgraded to murder and felony driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury. According to People, police confirmed that this is not Pandolfi’s first DUI arrest. She has previously been convicted of DUIs in 2008, 2015, and 2016. She is currently being held in Anaheim on a $1 million bail.

Speaking about his wife, Alvarez shared that their newborn had very much been wanted by his wife.

“We’ve been trying for two years, and finally, we’re blessed to have a beautiful princess, and we’re a month away from her birth. And all of a sudden, out of a second, my life changed,” he said. “I’m just praying that she is healthy. She’s the last thing I have from her.”

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More Than 1,200 Women And Girls Have Gone Missing In Peru During The Pandemic And Officials Think They Know Why

Things That Matter

More Than 1,200 Women And Girls Have Gone Missing In Peru During The Pandemic And Officials Think They Know Why

Rodrigo Abd / Getty Images

Apart from combating the Coronavirus, Peru has suffered a heartbreaking increase in the number of missing women and girls. Just as hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets to demand an end to gender-based violence, the Coronavirus hit and those same marches have had to be put on hold.

Now, as millions of women are forced to stay at home under strict lockdown orders, they’re spending more time with potentially abusive partners or family members. Many experts believe this combination of circumstances is leading to an increase in domestic violence as hundreds of women in Peru have been reported missing since the start of the pandemic.

Hundreds of women and girls have gone missing since the start of the lockdown.

In Peru, hundreds of women and girls have gone missing and many are feared dead since lockdown orders were put into place to help contain the spread of Covid-19. According to authorities (including Peru’s women’s ministry), at least 1,2000 women and girls have been reported missing since the start of the pandemic – a much higher figure than during non-Coronavirus months.

“The figures are really quite alarming,” Isabel Ortiz, a top women’s rights official, told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday. “We know the numbers of women and girls who have disappeared, but we don’t have detailed information about how many have been found,” she said. “We don’t have proper and up-to-date records.”

Ortiz is pushing the government to start keeping records so that authorities can track those who go missing – whether they are found alive or dead and whether they are victims of sex trafficking, domestic violence or femicide.

The women’s ministry said the government was working to eradicate violence against women and had increased funding this year for gender-based violence prevention programs.

Like many Latin American countries, Peru has long suffered from reports of domestic violence.

Credit: Cecile Lafranco / Getty Images

The Andean nation home to 33 million people has long had a domestic violence problem, but the home confinement measures because of the pandemic has made the situation worse, said Eliana Revollar, who leads the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman’s office, an independent body that monitors Peru’s human rights.

Before COVID-19, five women were reported missing in Peru every single day, but since the lockdown, that number has surged to eight a day. Countries worldwide have reported increases in domestic violence under coronavirus lockdowns, prompting the United Nations to call for urgent government action.

According to the UN, Latin America has the world’s highest rates of femicide, defined as the gender-motivated killing of women. Almost 20 million women and girls a year are estimated to endure sexual and physical violence in the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean are known for high rates of femicide and violence against women, driven by a macho culture and social norms that dictate women’s roles, Ortiz said. She added, “Violence against women exists because of the many patriarchal patterns that exist in our society.”

“There are many stereotypes about the role of women that set how their behaviour should be, and when these are not adhered to, violence is used against women,” she said.

Before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of women throughout Latin America, including Peru, were staging mass street demonstrations demanding that their governments should act against gender-based violence.

Meanwhile, the country is also struggling to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Cecile Lafranco / Getty Images

Despite implementing one of the world’s longest running stay-at-home orders, Peru has become one of the hardest hit countries. As of August 11, Peru has confirmed more than 483,000 cases of Coronavirus and 21,276 people have died.

Hospitals are struggling to cope with the rising number of patients and healthcare workers have protested against a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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