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A doctor has been charged nearly two years after a Long Beach mother died during cosmetic surgery in Tijuana.

The doctor, identified as Jesús Manuel Báez López, who performed the cosmetic surgery procedure is accused in Baja California state court of manslaughter due to malpractice and negligence in the Jan 2021 death of 38-year-old Keuana Weaver, a mother of two. In addition to this, he was also charged with a crime related to performing a function he is not authorized to perform, Los Angeles Times reported.

Lopez appeared via video in a Tijuana courtroom for an initial hearing akin to an arraignment on Wednesday, Dec. 7. On Friday, Dec. 9, he testified via video during a day-long hearing at which prosecutors presented preliminary evidence to the judge. At the end of the hearing, the judge ruled that there was sufficient initial evidence to charge the doctor.

According to Weaver’s family, she died on Jan. 29, 2021, on the operating table at the cosmetic surgery clinic Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery while undergoing liposuction and a tummy tuck. Lopez was listed as the clinic’s director during the time of the surgery.

“I’m glad that something’s being done, I hope they follow through with it,” Renee Weaver, Keuana’s mother, said after she learned about the criminal charge.

“It was wrong. He should pay for it,” Renee Weaver said. “But I can’t really celebrate yet. When they say he’s going to jail — then I’ll celebrate.”

The doctor did not dispute that Weaver died at his clinic and added that he tried to revive her. He said he doesn’t “wish anyone to go through a time like this,” adding, “Ever since I trained as a doctor, I always wanted to help people, not cause them any harm.”

However, he said Weaver knew the risks associated with the procedures. An attorney representing Keuana Weaver’s interests argued that the document explaining the risks was in Spanish. The language was not Weaver’s primary language.

Prosecutors also argued Weaver’s signature was missing from some key documents. They blamed Weaver’s death on the doctor’s poor performance and also argued he was not certified to perform the procedures he was doing.

However, the doctor insisted he had the expertise and knowledge to perform the surgeries. Lopez had earned a two-year master’s degree in aesthetic surgery.

Clínica Santa Fe Medical Group, a cosmetic surgery clinic that Lopez previously operated in, was among 10 clinics in Tijuana that were shut down in April 2015 by Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks for “failing to meet the minimum requirements to operate legally.”

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