A man who was left quadriplegic after being attacked by a neighbor in Quintana Roo now faces US $95,000 worth of surgery costs.
Roberto González was assaulted in January 2017, at his home in Playa del Carmen after a quarrel with a neighbor.
González and his son had been preparing for a trip to a hot air balloon show in Yucatán when a neighbor’s unruly dog entered their property, González said in an interview with the newspaper Milenio.
“We had an exchange of words. She [Fernanda Salcedo] went for her husband [Rodrigo Galán] and I don’t know what she told him. Her husband came to me … he stunned me with a taser and I went down … When I tried to get up he started beating me and kicking me until he left me quadriplegic,” he said from a wheelchair in an apartment in Mexico City, where he has moved temporarily for access to medical care.
Once a keen sportsman, the attack led to a downward spiral for González.
“My health is very delicate. My body does not work as it did before. I used to be a very involved in sports, I did triathlons, I did open water marathons, I liked to run. I ran almost daily and now I can’t do any of that … My family life was totally destroyed. I had to get a divorce … there isn’t enough money. We had to sell cars, we had to sell everything you can imagine. We almost had to sell our clothes to be able to cope with it,” he said.
An operation previously unavailable in Mexico is now being offered in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and González has requested help on social media to raise US $95,000, hoping to regain some mobility or even walk again.
“It’s not something 100% certain. They don’t guarantee that you’ll be able to move or walk again, but I’m willing to try everything in my power. I dream, I long to walk again. To hug someone again, to be like I was before, or at lease some part of who I was,” he said.
González’s search for justice has been no easier. He launched two legal cases but they have advanced at a sluggish pace and been delayed by 18 amparos — legal injunctions to protect individuals’ constitutional rights — placed by Galán.
“The civil and criminal systems are too slow and they move you from one date to another. Then there is the pandemic and it seems like everyone is on vacation … unfortunately the system is excessively slow. I’m asking the authorities, the justice system, to speed it up … five years, and nothing has been achieved,” he said.
With reports from Milenio