Mexican rockstar commits suicide after #MeToo accusations

Published: April 3, 2019
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PHOTO: THE INDEPENDENT

PHOTO: THE INDEPENDENT

MEXICO CITY: TRIGGER WARNING!

The founder and bassist of the Mexican rock band Botellita de Jerez, 64-year-old Armando Vega Gil, killed himself on Monday after posting a suicide letter on Twitter that said he was falsely and anonymously accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Vega Gil was found dead at his Mexico City home, authorities confirmed.

The musician said that he was anonymously accused via the #MeTooMusicosMexicanos (#MeTooMexicanMusicians) Twitter hashtag of abusing and harassing a woman when she was 13-years-old.

“I will say this categorically, this accusation is false,” Vega Gil’s letter said. “Let me make it clear that my death is not a confession of guilt, on the contrary it is a radical declaration of my innocence. I just want to clear the path my son will walk in the future.”

The representative for Botellita de Jerez, Paola Hernandez, said she spoke with Vega Gil at around 2.00 am, some two hours before his death.

“He was really sad and pissed off, he didn’t know how to clear his name. He said he wasn’t guilty … he was worried about how his son would take all this,” Hernandez said during a radio interview.

Vega Gil’s death sparked an acrimonious debate on Mexican social media. Some argued that if he was innocent he should have cleared his name in Mexico’s justice system, while others said the court of public opinion, especially online, had already found him guilty and permanently muddied his reputation.

The Me Too campaign in Mexico, #MeeToMusicosMexicanos, responded to the musician’s letter and wrote, “It is a mockery to use such a delicate subject to play the role of victim before the public rather than confront the facts. It wasn’t just a witness. We made a pertinent inquiry. What a lack of respect for the victims, their voice, the public and the 17 suicides a day in Mexico.”

Vega Gil ended his letter saying, “Don’t blame anyone for my death, this suicide is a conscious, voluntary, free and personal decision. Hasta pronto.”

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