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Courtesy photo

Victor Lee Segura

The family of Victor Segura has planned a candlelight vigil to celebrate his life after it was taken abruptly on May 13. Segura, 37, was stabbed by his partner of 20 years, Josie Ortega, in front of their two children during a domestic dispute.

Segura's family is hoping to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence against men in the Taos community and in general.

"We are asking that for this ceremony anyone and everyone wear purple as a symbol to represent domestic violence awareness," said a statement on a Facebook page for the event. "We want our community to spread this awareness that domestic violence against men is real and it needs to be recognized across the world."

In a letter sent to the Taos News by Segura's family, they made it clear that this was not the first time Victor had been in a domestic situation where he was the victim. The family stated that they were "very disappointed and feel like our judicial system failed us."

While the state filed a motion for pre-trial detention, the motion was denied, and Ortega, 34, was released without bail on the conditions that she not drink alcohol, not possess firearms, submit to drug and alcohol testing, and be on pretrial supervision. The family said they felt the decision had "little consideration for our family and more importantly [Segura's] children who are witness to what occurred."

Ortega was charged with similar crimes in July 2020 for aggravated assault against Segura with a deadly weapon, again in front of their children. She was let out on the pre-prosecution diversion program.

The family said the abuse is something they saw for years. "He would come to family gatherings with scratches on his face and neck, bruises, and even black eyes occasionally," said the family. "She would mentally abuse him, tell him he was nothing, that nobody cared about him, that nobody loved him and she used classic abuser tactics of separating him from his family and friends."

It is their hope that light can be brought to the issue of domestic violence against men, and the victims of the tragedy, Segura and his two children.

The candlelight vigil will take place Friday (June 11) at 7 p.m. in Taos Plaza. The family asks that attendees bring a candle or a lighter for the ceremony.

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