Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Another Brutal Murder in Puerto Rico

Ponce, Puerto Rico – Boy in Bushwick who runs a fine blog reports that an unidentified man was found horrifically stabbed and slashed to death in a Ponce motel on December 16.  The 40-45-year-old man, believed to be gay, was found nude in a Motel Las Colinas room with his throat slashed and 20 stab wounds in areas of his body consistent with injuries someone would sustain who tried to defend himself.  Investigators on the scene told local reporters that the unidentified victim checked into the motel the day before with another man.  This second man left the motel at about 1:30 pm on Wednesday.  Police are trying to find him for questioning.  The Dallas Voice, quick to pick up on the story, observes that this savage stabbing death occurred just a little over a month after the most notorious anti-gay hate crime in Puerto Rican history took place in Cayey.  Jorge Steven López Mercado, a gay 19-year-old who was well known in the Puerto Rican LGBT community, was decapitated, dismembered, and partially immolated on November 13.  Juan A. Martínez Matos, 26, has confessed to the murder and is copping to a form of the “gay panic defense” as an excuse for his actions. The López Mercado hate crime murder drew international attention, and uncovered the homophobic underside of society in the United States Territory.  Some attempts are being made to besmirch the character of the unidentified murder victim, using innuendo to suggest that since he checked into the motel with another man, something like this was more likely to happen.  Pedro Julio Serrano, the leading activist voice of the Puerto Rican LGBT community, is attempting to pre-empt this none-too-subtle homophobic/heterosexist tactic.  Boy in Bushwick quotes Serrano as saying to Spanish-speaking media, “[Despite] the particular circumstances of his arrival at the motel with another man, the brutality of his murder, the hate with which [the second man allegedly] committed it and through clear signs of cruelty, we ask the authorities to investigate the hate angle in this case.”

December 18, 2009 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Blame the victim, Decapitation and dismemberment, gay men, gay panic defense, gay teens, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, immolation, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Puerto Rico, Social Justice Advocacy, stabbings, Torture and Mutilation, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , ,

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