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Famed Lucha Libre Fighter La Parka Dies In Native Hermosillo

La Parka
Hector Verdugo
handout | agency
Former state Lucha Libre coordinator Hector Verdugo poses for a photo with La Parka.

The Mexican professional wrestling world is mourning the death of Lucha Libre fighter La Parka, who was injured in October and passed away in his native Hermosillo this weekend.

La Parka — or Jesús Alfonso Escoboza Huerta — died over the weekend from kidney and lung failure, according to a statement from Lucha Libre Triple A. The charismatic 54-year-old fighter, whose stage name means the Grim Reaper, was born in the Sonoran capital and started his wrestling career there.

His rise marked a watershed moment for the city “because there’s no other fighter from Hermosillo who stood out at that level,” said Hector Verdugo, who served for nearly a decade as the Lucha Libre coordinator for the state’s boxing and wrestling commission. 

But Lucha Libre is also a dangerous sport, Verdugo acknowledged. He said fighters have intense schedules and often have to perform gravity-defying moves in — and leaping out of — rings around the country that they haven’t had time to inspect.

Escoboza himself was seriously injured in October after diving head first into a wall during a fight in Monterrey, disturbing videoof which was shared widely on Twitter.

The sport is also extremely popular in Mexico, and in 2018 the government of Mexico City officially recognized it as a part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.