WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT: The girlfriend of a young man who was hacked to death with a machete in a random attack on a paradise island in Mexico has issued a moving message to him.
Victim Benjamin Gamond suffered a fractured skull and his friends were injured after a man attacked them with a machete for no apparent reason.
The horror unfolded as the Argentine tourists were leaving a beach restaurant on Chacahua Island in Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo, Mexico, on May 12.
Friends attacked from behind by machete-wielding 'madman'
The three friends had only been on the paradise island for one day when a "deranged" man came at them from behind with a machete in an apparently random attack.
Benjamin was taken to a nearby hospital and, from there, was transferred to a larger facility in Mexico City on May 14. Tragically, he died from his injuries the following day.
The other victims – couple Santiago Lastra and Macarena Gonzalez – were injured while trying to save Benjamin.
Santiago, 22, sustained cuts to his hands and a fracture, while Macarena, 29, suffered deep cuts to her back.
Both are now out of danger, according to reports.
Benjamin hailed from Cordoba and was a keen rugby player. He leaves behind seven older siblings. His family has described him as "a beautiful, kind, humble, and friendly guy".
He had travelled to Mexico to spend some time working as a waiter, as he had done once before.
He had finished his stint in Tulum before travelling to the other side of the country with his longtime pal, Santiago, and Santiago's girlfriend to explore with the money they had earned.
Tributes flow for traveller
Benjamin's heartbroken girlfriend Carmela Martinez posted a moving message to Benjamin on Instagram alongside a number of photos of him. "Hello Tarzan. Thank you for so much love. I love you, now and for a thousand more lives," she wrote.
The victim's brother Facundo said."We say goodbye to you as you deserve; that's how we say goodbye to you, little brother of the soul, like a hero."
Hundreds of netizens commented and offered their condolences with one saying: "I don't know you, but this was made public and I'm very sorry for what happened.
"Big hug. He will always be your angel. Unfortunate the way everything happened. RIP to him, and may you find comfort and peace."
Victim had met the suspect in the days before the attack
Police officers arrested the suspect, 21-year-old Irving Martinez Flores, following the attack.
According to Macarena's mother, Martinez had met the trio on the boat that took them to Chacahua Island on May 11.
Fernanda Carina Gonzalez told local media: "He was talking to them and said he was a surf instructor.
"When they arrived on the island, he told them he was from there and that whatever they needed, he would be around the coast."
The next day, after noticing Martinez, Benjamin approached him to ask if he knew where they could buy surfboards.
"The guy looked at him angrily, as if he didn't know him," Fernanda said.
Minutes later, the trio left the restaurant.
Then, according to Fernanda, the man came running "like a madman" and started attacking Benjamin with the machete, hitting him in the face and head.
"The only thing he said to him was, 'They sent you, they sent you'.
"The paramedics couldn't believe it; they couldn't understand how something like this could happen. In that place, people sleep with their doors open; it's incredibly idyllic and peaceful."
The authorities in Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo have since said that Martinez had arrived in the municipality "in search of employment and has no relation whatsoever to the community".
The case is now in the hands of the Oaxaca State Prosecutor's Office.
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