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Gay prisoner in Mexico blinded following attack by cellmate who gouged his eyes

Victim's partner claims homophobia by prison officials led to neglect in responding to the emergency
Monday, January 13, 2014
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PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico — A gay prisoner in Mexico remains hospitalized and recovering from injuries after his cellmate gouged out his eyes.

In the Dec. 23 incident first reported over the weekend, 25 year-old Héctor Jonathan Franco Martínez was attacked while prison authorities were not monitoring the cells.

Héctor Jonathan Franco Martínez

Héctor Jonathan Franco Martínez

His accused assailant, José Francisco Aguilar Hernández, said he was under the influence of marijuana and got annoyed when Martínez started to masturbate in the cell. Hernández allegedly beat Martínez and plucked his eyes with his own hands.

Prison authorities reported that the jail’s video surveillance system is broken, filmed evidence of the attack is unavailable.

Martínez’s partner, José Guadalupe Castillón Barajas, is holding the prison authorities responsible for procedural irregularities and claims homophobia led to neglect in responding to the emergency.

Barajas said that he was only informed hours later that there had been a quarrel in which his boyfriend had been seriously injured.

He also said that as he arrived at the prison, authorities told him his partner’s eyes were plucked out but prevented him from immediately visiting him in his cell.

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He further alleged that Martínez was left lying on the floor of his cell for over an hour in his own blood with his eyeballs next to his head while the prison doctor was out for breakfast.

Medical officials had hope to save Martínez’ right eye but were unsuccessful, and indicate he will be blind for life.

The Regional Prosecutor of Justice has opened an investigation to determine responsibilities, including prison staff that were responsible for the facility’s security.

Barajas also claimed that authorities knew Hernández suffered from a serious mental health illness, which made him dangerous yet, still chose to put him in a cell with Martínez.

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