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130 Gays Were Murdered
in Brazil Last Year

Group Accuses Guatemalan Police

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

130 Gays Were Murdered in Brazil Last Year

One hundred thirty gays, lesbians and transgendered people were murdered in Brazil last year because of their sexuality according to a new report from Grupo Gay da Bahia.

In the past 20 years, there have been 1,960 anti-gay murders, the report, "Cause of Death: Homophobia," said.

Sao Paulo (28 murders last year) and Pernambuco (18 murders) are the most dangerous states for gays.

"During Carnival, everyone applauds gay performers but for the rest of the year, all they get is humiliation, bashings and death," said Luiz Mott, co-author of the report. "Homosexuals are the most hated social minority in Brazil. Not even in Muslim or African countries where homosexuality is still a crime, are so many violent deaths recorded as in Brazil."

Co-author Marcelo Cerqueira said: "The profile of the murdered gays reveals that the majority of them were in their prime, between 18 and 30 years of age, middle and lower class. The majority of the victims is comprised of hairdressers, teachers, civil servants and transgender sex workers, as well as engineers, doctors, a Portuguese consul and a priest."

Forty-three percent of the victims were shot to death and 28 percent were stabbed to death. Many were tortured. Eighty percent of the transgendered sex workers were murdered in the street while 64 percent of the gay men were killed in their own homes.

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130 Murdered in Brazil Last Year

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Half of the killers were under age 21 and working class, manual laborers or unemployed. Many worked as call boys.

"Only 10 percent of the murderers go to prison," said Mott.

The report can be found on the Web at
Group Accuses Guatemalan Police

The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission May 3 accused Guatemala's National Civilian Police of aggressive and systematic abuse of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.

"In the last year, authorities in Guatemala have turned their appointed task to protect the people into a campaign of social cleansing which takes sexual diversity as its preferred target," IGLHRC said.

"Incidents of harassment by police officers, includ[e]: arbitrary arrests; unnecessary use of force; verbal, physical and sexual abuse; and intimidatory behavior and retaliatory threats against activists and victims who have denounced the abuses," the group said.

Detailed information and sample protest letters are available at:

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