Things That Matter

Authorities Are Investigating The Tragic Death Of A Couple In Front Of Their Son While On Vacation In Guerrero

Twitter

New grisly details have emerged out about the murders of a Utah couple that left their 12-year-old son injured on the side of a road in Mexico. Paul Nielsen, 52, and his wife Janet Vázquez, 44, were traveling through the state of Guerrero early in the morning on July 18 on their way to a vacation they had planned in Zihuatanejo, a popular tourist spot. But some point on their way there, the couple was attacked, shot, and killed. Their son, Kevin, was in the car with them, but CNN says he was not shot. 

Many are looking for answers and wondering how this could have happened.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

According to a family statement, the couple was being followed by three vehicles and shortly after they were being chased after. When Vasquez realized they were in danger, she shouted and Nielsen accelerated the vehicle with the assailants opening fire on them. Nielsen would lose control of his car and crashed on the side of the road. The attackers would pulled him and his family out of the car, robbed them and placed them in another vehicle. 

“They were driving on the highway when three vehicles began chasing them and Kevin said that his mother shouted that they were going to assault them,” Nielsen’s daughter, Priscilla, said in a statement to the New York Post. “Our dad accelerated. Kevin heard shots fired, our dad lost control of the car and it went off the road.”

While it’s still unclear at what point Nielsen and Vazquez were killed, a statement explained that the couple was driven to another area where their bodies were dumped on the side of the road.

“Our family is absolutely devastated over the loss of our dad,” Nielsen’s family said in a statement, adding they received a call notifying them of his death back in July 18. “We were very close to him. His family was his world, and he wasn’t just our father, he was one of our best friends.” 

Now investigators hope that the couples son, Kevin, might have some answers that will lead to finding potential suspects.

Credit: @ksl.com / Twitter

Their 12-year-old son is still “very traumatized” by the events and is still trying to recount all of the events that happened that day. Kevin was reportedly left on the side of the road, injured, and tried to flag down passing motorists but didn’t receive help until state police arrived. 

The U.S. Department of State said in a statement on Tuesday that the agency was “aware of reports of the death of an American citizen in Guerrero, Mexico,” but have yet to identify Nielsen or Vasquez by name.

“The State Department has an active travel advisory for certain areas of Mexico, including the state our dad was planning on driving through,” the family said in a statement. “Though he was usually a careful person, he must not have seen that advisory and that ignorance had tragic results that will affect all of us for the rest of our lives.”

Nielsen split time between the U.S and Mexico as Vasquez was his second wife.

Credit: @ottawasun.com / Twitter

Vasquez and Kevin both lived in Mexico and Nielsen spent time traveling between Utah and Mexico to see his family. According to CNN, the couple had a faith-based marriage. Their marriage was not legally recognized so immigration rights weren’t an option. This led to Nielsen splitting his time between Utah and Mexico to see Vasquez and his son. 

“Immigration was not a reasonable option so our dad split his time between Mexico and Utah,” Nielsen’s family said in a statement. “Our dad was the only member of the family, either in Utah or Mexico, who was bilingual, but despite that Kevin always had a soft spot for my little sister, who’s 7.”

As more details come are revealed we can only hope for the best for the family. Nielsen’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday in South Jordan, Utah.

“He loved people and though he sometimes came across as shy in public, those who knew him well saw a warm, playful and intelligent man. He loved riddles, and we often discussed problems and ideas together over the dinner table. He touched so many lives and has many friends and loved ones that are struggling with his loss.”

READ: Puerto Rico Governor Tries To End His Government’s Crisis By Appointing New Secretary Of State But Will It Be Enough?

This Donkey Has Been Released From A Mexican Jail After Public Outcry

Things That Matter

This Donkey Has Been Released From A Mexican Jail After Public Outcry

@defensaanimal / Twitter

A burro walls free after spending more than 72 hours in a local Mexican jail. He was booked and thrown in there because his owners, a couple in their eighties, were unable to pay their property taxes. 

Together with the help of a local animal welfare group, the donkey is a free from the jail cell and is once again back with his owners. 

Animal lovers everywhere are celebrating the news of a burros release from jail.

A donkey has been freed from jail in San Sebastián Río Dulce, Oaxaca, after 72 hours behind bars through the efforts of an animal rights organizations.

The animal was arrested over the weekend for its owners’ inability to pay local taxes.

Pascual Cruz and Alejandra Mejía, both in their 80s, did not have the means to pay the taxes, which other residents have denounced as abusively high.

After hearing that the couple had been refused the right to take the donkey food and water during its detention, animal rights activists in the state united to file an animal cruelty case with the state Attorney General’s Office.

Oaxaca animal rights group president Hilda Toledo said that activists had planned on going to Río Dulce to protest but the town is considered dangerous and outsiders must solicit authorization to enter, so they chose the legal route.

It all started when a couple in their eighties allegedly didn’t pay taxes. 

A donkey was booked into the town jail in San Sebastián Río Dulce, Oaxaca, apparently for unpaid property taxes.

In a truly cruel move, the city’s tax agent ordered the animals arrest so that the elderly couple wouldn’t be able to transport the firewood they use for cooking. But  Pascual Cruz and Alejandra Mejía, 88 and 86-years-old respectively, say they’ve been caught up in a power struggle between groups trying to take control of local resources. 

Authorities in the Mexican state of Oaxaca came to seize the couple’s burro.

Even though the couple says they only use the burro for domestic uses around the house, not for economic gain, the tax agent seized the donkey and placed it in the town jail. 

The incarceration was denounced by the Network of United Animal Rights Activists of Oaxaca.

“It may not be of much interest or importance to others, but it is for the animal’s owners,” said the organization in a Facebook post, “given that it is one of their most valuable possessions, since they use it to transport firewood from the hills to their home.”

The burro was being held without food or water and many people around Mexico were upset by the animal cruelty.

The couple also claims to have been refused the right to take the animal food and water during several days of imprisonment.

Many people around the world were really concerned for the donkey – some even writing to PETA for help.

One Twitter user wrote to to PETA and. Arjona animal rights supporting celebrities including Ricky Gervais. It’s not clear if any of them were involved in the release of the burro. 

Strangely, this isn’t the first time a donkey has been placed under arrest and thrown behind bars.

Another Mexican donkey landed itself in jail after biting and kicking two men.

The animal was locked up in a holding pen normally used for keeping drunks off the streets after it lashed out at the pair at a ranch in Chiapas state. 

The owner of the angry burro, Mauro Gutierrez, was told that he‘d have to pay the injured men’s medical bills before the creature is released from custody.

Mexico And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

Entertainment

Mexico And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

wachamagazine / Instagram

If there’s one instrument that best describes Mexican music is has to be the accordion. While the musical key instrument known as a squeezebox has its origins in Europe, it indeed came alive in Mexico as the staple sound in rancheras and cumbias. There is only one musician who thrived through the accordion sound, though sadly that is now a thing of the past.

Celso Piña, known as the “The Accordion Rebel,” died yesterday at the age of 66.

Credit: Instagram/@danonewillrise297

The Mexican musician was in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, and was soon scheduled to g on tour, but had a heart attack and died at the hospital.

La Tuna Group, Piña’s record label, confirmed in a statement that he died yesterday at 12:38 p.m. after suffering a heart attack.

Credit: Instagram/@mexicoprimero_

“Today is a sad day for La Tuna Group,” they stated, “Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and followers. We are left with an intense emptiness, but he leaves us his great legacy forever. We appreciate respecting the privacy of the family.”

Piña seemed to have been in good spirits earlier in the day and tweeted for the final time. “No one can resist the cumbia,” he said.

The self-taught musician had been touring off and on for months. He also had upcoming shows in Georgia and Texas.

The Grammy-award winning musician had a musical career that spanned 40 decades, and aside from his musical stylings as an accordion player, he was also a composer, singer, and arranger.

Credit: Instagram/@patanegra_mx

Piña had collaborated with several contemporary artists including Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas, Cafe Tacvba, and Gloria Trevi, Variety reports. He was also more than a cumbia musician. His sound also fused into other musical genres, including norteña music, hip-hop, ska, reggae, and more.

Several celebrity fans and collaborators tweeted their heartfelt condolences.

According to the Grammy Academy, Piña got his hands on his first accordion in 1980. He taught himself how to play and performed with his brothers. “Together, they went on to play norteña and tropical music, eventually adding cumbia to their style,” the Academy states. “The brothers became known as ‘Celso Piña Y Su Ronda Bogotá,’ giving a nod to cumbia’s motherland.”

Fans on social media also expressed how much Piña meant to them.

One fan, @iphadra, tweeted, “his greatness of # CelsoPiña is not due to its successes or fame in the 5 continents. It is because it was he who came to claim the music of the marginalized.” @JJ4rmCh tweeted, Rest In Peace Celso Piña, no one fucked it up on an accordion like u did.” But this tweet we could totally relate to from @jennjenn1_  who tweeted, “It wasn’t a real quince or wedding until you played some #CelsoPiña ❤️🇲🇽 🎶🎶🎶 may his music live on for generations to come.”

Writer Melissa del Bosque had the honor of being able to interview him. She tweeted, “Hearing ‘Barrio Bravo’ for the first time was a life-changing experience. Celso Piña and Toy Hernández, of Control Machete, had created a whole new hybrid mixing Colombian cumbia with the anarchy of urban streets. I went directly to Monterrey to interview El Rebelde del Acordeón. Here we are at Cafe Brasil, one of his favorite haunts. As I wrote then, when ‘Cumbia Sobre el Rio hit the airwaves there wasn’t a car from Chicago to Chiapas that didn’t have the bass booming and the sonic onslaught layered with accordion rattling their windows.’ #RipCelsoPina.”

Last year, Piña visited one of his biggest fans, who is also an accordion player just like him. The two performed in the streets of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Herrera recalled what it was like hearing that his musical idol had died. The young musician told El Universal that he was with his daughter when he heard the news that Piña had died. He said he couldn’t believe it, and all the memories from his incredible visit with him last year rushed back to him. He said it was a dream to have been able to perform with him. 

Here’s a couple of his most beloved and hit songs.

Here’s “Cumbia Sobre el Rio Suena” live and with an orchestra! He had such a distinct voice and sound. There was no one else like him.

“No Sea Conmigo”

This was his collaboration with Cafe Tacvba. So lovely! We dare you not to dance to this one.

What’s your favorite Celso Piña track? Let us know in the comment section below. Rest in power, Celso!!

READ: This Isn’t Your Mama’s Cumbia: The Eclectic History Of Latin America’s Classic Music Genre

Paid Promoted Stories