September 19, 2017 08:30 PM

Brought to by the editors of People en Español.

A mother and stepfather have been arrested for alleged aggravated homicide and domestic violence in Medellín, Colombia following the death of their 2-year-old son Miguel Ángel Rivera Giraldo, CNN reported. The case has left the country in shock and galvanized protests against child abuse.

The toddler had allegedly been taken to the hospital by his biological mother to treat the flu. But his aunt Sara Giraldo claims that he had physical injuries, not the flu. “The head was covered in blows, a horrible blow to the back of his head as if he had hit his head on the edge of something, and he had a hole in the collarbone and another hole in the neck,” the aunt told local news channels in Colombia. She also said that neighbors claim that the child has a been a long-time victim of child abuse.

Both parents—Mateo Sepúlveda Jaramillo and Daniela Giraldo Sierra—pleaded not guilty, but the prosecution ordered that they remain in custody as the investigation continues.

Neighbors of the 2-year-old took to the streets of Cristo Rey to demonstrate against domestic violence and child abuse with candles and white balloons. A mass, attended by Secretary of Security of Medellin Andrés Tobón, was also held in the boy’s honor.

“Traces were found on the corpse of the minor that indicates that the boy experienced domestic violence,” said Colonel Juan Carlos Restrepo, the operative commander of the Metropolitan Police of Medellín to the media. “The saddest part of this case is that many people have come forward after what happened, to report that there was indeed violence against the child,” but didn’t report it in time, he said.

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