Elderly man beaten to death while delivering donations to families in need

A 79-year-old California man known for his generosity was tragically beaten to death.

The victim was delivering donations to underprivileged families in Tijuana, Mexico, according to his family. Rudy Lazo’s brutal killing occurred during an apparent robbery in mid-April, shortly after the US State Department cautioned Americans against traveling to Mexico due to a rise in kidnappings and homicides, particularly in areas like Tijuana.

Rudy’s son, Juan Carlos Lazo, described his father as a very generous person who was always willing to help others. Rudy frequently made the three-hour journey from his San Bernardino home to Tijuana to deliver food, clothing, toys, and other essentials to those in need.

After emigrating from El Salvador in the 1980s, Rudy settled with his family in the US and worked as a truck driver, but never stopped seeking ways to assist those less fortunate.

Rudy’s family grew concerned when they couldn’t reach him by phone on April 18. The following day, Mexican authorities informed them that Rudy’s body had been found. Juan Carlos traveled to Tijuana to identify his father’s body, and said he believed Rudy was killed during a robbery. He lamented that his father didn’t deserve such a brutal fate, and that no human being should ever experience such violence.

Rudy’s personal belongings, including his truck, were never recovered. There haven’t been any arrests made yet in connection to his death, according to his family. His daughter, Claudia Hernandez, recalled her father often telling his children that he felt safe while distributing donations in Tijuana. She shared touching videos of her father providing aid, describing them as “beautiful.”

Rudy was so committed to helping Tijuana residents that he even had plans to build a community center there. His remains will be transported to El Salvador to be buried with his loved ones.

Rudy’s death comes amid the US issuing broad warnings against travel to Mexico, including Baja California, due to widespread and common violent crime.