A distressing video capturing a tragic incident has been widely circulated on the internet via news outlets and social media platforms.
On February 7th, Jessy Paola Moreno Cruz, a 32-year-old woman, and her 10-year-old son, May Ceballos, were observed standing atop a bridge in Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia, situated 330 feet above solid ground.
The visibly distraught mother held her son tightly.
Footage shows emergency responders and onlookers making efforts to communicate with Cruz on the La Variante Bridge. However, despite pleas from those present, she remained inconsolable, even as her own son begged her not to jump.
After a few moments of pleading, the video shows her tragically leaping off the bridge while clutching her son tightly in her arms.
Audio from the scene captures responders exclaiming in shock and horror as the mother jumps.
Given the height of the fall, it is presumed that both the mother and son lost their lives in this tragic incident.
Rescue teams descended to the base of the area to recover the bodies but have not yet located them.
This incident is presently being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Reports indicate that Cruz was grappling with severe financial hardship and was burdened by substantial debt. Recent eviction due to unpaid rent had left them homeless, adding to her struggles as a single parent trying to make ends meet.
Cruz, faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, tragically concluded that there was only one option for her and her son – taking their own lives.
No information has emerged regarding the child’s father, and he has not issued a statement.
Investigations are ongoing, with some sources suggesting that Cruz may have been pursued and harassed by debt collectors.
Meanwhile, the news and video footage have been widely shared on the internet.
While some commentators have expressed negative opinions and condemned Cruz for her actions, most have offered sympathy and compassion.
Colombia has one of South America’s highest suicide rates, with a reported rate of 7.7 per 10,000 individuals as of 2016.
According to Ibagué’s mayor, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, Cruz’s tragic death may be attributed, in part, to the challenging political and economic climate affecting the country, particularly in the aftermath of Colombia’s civil war.
Recently, the US ambassador to Colombia urged Venezuela’s armed forces to provide humanitarian aid to Colombia, but Venezuela responded by suggesting that the US should do so instead.
While access to suicide prevention resources in Colombia may be less widespread compared to other countries, there are helplines available to offer assistance and respond to emergencies.
Many individuals have taken it upon themselves to focus on helping others facing similar struggles related to mental health and difficult living conditions, in the hope of preventing them from feeling that taking such drastic measures is their only remaining option.