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Everyone failed Norma Lizbeth, the 14-year-old girl who died after being assaulted by a schoolmate


The school did not respond to the bullying notices, the hospital did not detect the traumatic brain injury and her classmates never defended her

Norma Lizbeth failed her last math test.

Her classmates wouldn't stop insulting her and it was getting more and more difficult for her to concentrate in class.

Even so, she pretended nothing was wrong and every day, when she got home, she would sit on the concrete stairs that lead to the rooms upstairs, take out her notes and start studying.

"I'm going to make you want to pass this subject," she said enthusiastically to her brother, Omar Ramos, 19, who this Wednesday sadly pointed to those stairs.

When she grew up, her sister wanted to be a nurse, and she was already looking for a place to go to high school.

"But unfortunately, not anymore," says Omar in a small voice, as if he didn't quite believe what had happened.

Norma Lizbeth died on March 13 from the trauma she suffered after fighting with Azahara Aylin, her classmate.

In the room where her coffin was, there are still some remains of the wake: candles, offerings and a photo of Norma, the only one they have kept.

The rest of her things, books, notes, clothes, toys, were buried with her.

The night before the interview, the glass in the photo broke.

“It broke without anyone touching it,” says Omar.

"It's her way of telling us that she's still with us," says the young man.

His grandmother, a small and thin lady, hangs around the patio of the house.

She came here a week ago for her funeral and to help her family these days.

She now cleans the cutlery and plates in a jar while she watches the strangers who have entered to ask for Norma.

She speaks very little, and she breaks down in tears as soon as she asks about her granddaughter.

Everything began to go wrong on February 21, when Azahara challenged Norma to what would be her first and last fight.

“She just wanted to be left alone,” says Omar.

Her classmates messed with her skin color, they called her naca, ugly, Indian.

The fight took place before going to class, around half past one in the afternoon, on a property near his school, Los Jaguares secondary school, in San Juan Teotihuacán, in the north of the State of Mexico.

One of the students who surrounds them records with one hand, while with the other she holds a model of an atom.

Students walk outside Los Jaguares High School, on March 21. Rodrigo Oropeza

In front of her a very unequal fight takes place.

A source connected to the school assures that Azahara, in addition to the stone that he seems to be holding in his right hand, was wearing a


, a metal cuff that surrounds the fingers above the knuckles.

Norma, who was defending herself with only her hands, soon begins to lose.

Azahara hits her seven times on the head and leaves her on her knees on the ground.

She tries to get up from her, but Azahara pulls her hair down and continues to hit her.

He gives her at least 12 other blows, all to the head and face, viciously, without giving her opponent a break.

All around her, his teammates seem to be enjoying the beating.

They yell "Hit harder!"

and “In the face, in the face!”

while laughing with each new punch.

The video of the fight set fire to social networks many days later, on March 13, when Norma Lizbeth died of a head injury.

The authorities determined that she had allegedly been caused by the blows she received.

However, the only thing that Civil Protection detected moments after the fight was Norma's broken and bleeding nose.

She underwent a quick cure and they sent her to school, with her partner Azahara of hers.

The principal, as punishment, suspended the two girls for a month.

When she got home beaten, Norma's parents took her to the Axapusco General Hospital, so they could check her out.

There she was given paracetamol for pain and naproxen for inflammation.

The family reports that at no time was the possibility of doing a scan on Norma raised to see if she had any internal damage to her brain.

She was then sent home, where she would spend the next few days trying to recover.

“Wait for me a little bit,” says Omar, who stops his story, gets up from his chair, walks to the front door, opens the gate, and picks up a bag.

"It's from the people who come to support us," he explains.

Since his sister passed away, the expressions of affection have been constant.

Mexicans from the United States and Canada have called him to encourage him.

In addition, the residents of the town come from time to time to the house, on the outskirts of the municipality, to bring food, water and candles to light in the name of the deceased young woman.

Omar Ramos Pérez, brother of Norma Lizbeth Ramos. Rodrigo Oropeza

Norma's absence is perceived throughout the house.

She is in the hole left by her things and in the remains of the altar that they made in her name.

She is also in the long looks of her relatives or in the uncomfortable silences of her father, Braulio, who prefers not to speak to the press.

That silence that overshadows everything is in the distracted look of Jorgen (pronounced “yorguen”), three years old, the son of Norma's sister.

He is sitting on the stairs, distracted, watching videos on Omar's mobile, pretending that he is not listening to the interview.

After Norma was expelled the days passed and she, instead of recovering, got worse and worse.

She began with dizziness and vomiting, spent all day in bed and could barely concentrate to do class work.

A few days later, she fainted while she was walking with her mother, and they decided to take her back to the General Hospital of Axapusco, a thirty-minute drive away.

There she had a scan, but the doctors did not detect anything abnormal in her brain.

They returned home, but the girl was not getting better.

On Monday, March 13, she passed out, but this time she did not wake up again.

The autopsy revealed that she had a head injury, caused "allegedly", says the Prosecutor's Office, by her blows.

Azahara Aylin, 14, was arrested on March 17 and linked to proceedings for the probable crime of “qualified” homicide —when it is committed with advantage, treason, treachery, viciousness.

She awaits trial at Quinta del Bosque, a prison for minors.

The young woman was detained at her house, in the municipality of Santa María Cozotlán, near the school where she studied.

The maximum sentence that a minor can serve for this crime is five years, as announced by the judiciary of the State of Mexico.

This newspaper has tried to contact the family to find out her version of the events, but has not received a response.

The altar dedicated to the 14-year-old Rodrigo Oropeza

Silence also surrounds the school, which until now was considered the most prestigious in the area.

There, the classes never stopped after the death of their student, and the management has not issued any statement.

The Teotihuacán city council assures that the director was replaced, and that they are waiting to appoint a new director to pay tribute to the young woman.

Attempts by this newspaper to contact the school have been in vain.

The family assures that the teachers knew about the harassment suffered by their daughter, but decided not to act.

Both Omar and his sister, Alma Delia, and people from the school who knew Norma, assure that the entire class had turned against her.

“The whole room annoyed her, and they supported Azahara, who was her boss.

My sister, who wasn't very sociable, was pushed aside,” says Omar.

Her mother talked to the director, but they told her “yes, we're going to see it”, and they didn't do anything.

“The spectator is the fuel”

The tragic end of Norma Lizbeth has forced Mexico to face a long-ignored problem: minor fights after school.

Antonio González Ochoa, director of the Stop Bullying Mexico organization, assures that bullying "happens every day in Mexico."

He attributes it to the "culture of violence" that permeates society and is reflected in the smallest, in those miniature societies that are schools.

The data is diffuse, but they all point in the same direction: the level of violence in schools in Mexico is not normal.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) points out that 20% of students suffer some type of bullying from their peers.

In addition, in Mexico, more than 18 million students endure bullying, which places the country in first place internationally.

Ochoa explains that for bullying to exist, three elements are needed: "Victim, bully, and bystander."

Without this last element, always forgotten, there is no bullying.

"The viewer is the most macabre part of this scenario," he says.

The bully seeks power and approval, but that cannot be achieved without an applauding audience.

"Whoever sets the tone is the spectator, he is the fuel in all this dynamic," he says.

"For me the most serious thing is the people who are recording, they are also executioners, because they do not stop the fight."

Tepatitla street, in the municipality of San Juan Teotihuacán de Arista, where the family of Norma Lizbeth lives. Rodrigo Oropeza

Juan Martín Pérez García, from Red de Infancia, a Latin American organization for the rights of minors, is even more critical in his division of responsibilities.

“We have a country bathed in blood, and this affects the school environment, which is reproducing the dynamics of violence that grips the country”, he assures, and sentences: “Children are not born violent”.

He also underpins the mistakes made after the fight: the two students are punished, the conflict is not reported to the authorities, the hospital does not do a CT scan to check that there was no brain damage.

"It's a reflection of the country we live in."

At Norma's house they don't understand tragedy as something collective.

They don't care that it reflects a social problem.

In her house, the presence of her sister, daughter, and granddaughter is still felt, like a stone that they have to drag with each movement, each time they get up.

The mother and sister, Alma Delia, leave home every so often to visit the lawyers and see what will happen to all those who failed them.

Omar says that everyone tries to make an effort, to keep going.

"Because my mother has two other children and you have to work hard," he says.

"But they are sad, we are very sad," he says with a tired note in his voice.

“I feel incomplete, I am no longer the same person,” says Omar.

Now he wants to join her army, for her, because Norma wanted to see him in there, earning his living from her.

"Yes it is difficult, but no way, I plan to do the impossible to get in there, for my sister."

Jorgen is still hooked on her cell phone while Maura, the grandmother, who has already finished washing up, sits shyly on the stairs, places her hands in her lap and looks at nothing.

"She's not coming back anymore," she whispers.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-26

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