An American teenager living in Colombia lost his life on Monday after being attacked for defending a dog which was being abused, local media reported.
Miguel Angel Palacio Montoya, aged 19, was attacked for intervening as a man attacked a dog with a machete, who then turned on the teenager and his younger brother, El Colombiano newspaper reported.
The attack took place in the town of Envigado in the municipality of Medellin — Colombia’s second largest city — where the victim’s family named Jesus Antonio Castaño as the killer of Montoya.
Lina Maria Montoya, the victim’s mother, spoke out about the attack and how she refuses to let the inefficient Colombian justice system stop her from getting justice for her son, El Tiempo newspaper reported.
“The Colombian justice system crawls along and always and gives way to impunity,” stated the teen’s mother before adding that, as the family are US citizens, a petition will be sent to the US embassy requesting that the alleged murderer be extradited and tried in the US law.
Ms Montoya poignantly added that, “today I will bury my son and yet whoever is responsible for his death is on the loose.”
According to El Colombiano, the teen was with his younger brother when they saw the abuse of the animal taking place. Montoya tried to intervene while protecting his younger brother but the perpetrator “turned on the pair with a machete and a knife.” The two boys attempted to protect themselves by throwing stones.
The three were taken to Manuel Uribe Angel Hospital in Envigado where the attacker was soon discharged but the teen passed away early on Monday morning.
In an interview with El Colombiano newspaper, the alleged attacker claims to have been acting in self-defense as the two brothers became angry about mistreatment of the dog.
“We always tie up the dog so that it doesn’t escape as there are cars…but the brothers became angry and started shouting at us not to mistreat the dog…we told them we do not mistreat him but the boys became angry and started hitting us with stones, we were only acting in self-defense,” the alleged attacker said.
However, this statement was not corroborated and Jesus Antonio Castaño appeared in the Envigado courthouse on Wednesday morning accused of the murder of the teen.
The funeral was held on Tuesday at San Marcos de Envigado church.