Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Puerto Rico: 3 LGBT Murders This Week, 18 In 18 Months [The New Civil Rights Movement]

At least three gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender Americans have been murdered in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico this week, bringing the tragic total to 18 in the past year and a half. While there are both local and federal hate crimes laws that would assist authorities in investigating and potentially stemming the rapid rise of these anti-​gay hate crimes, the Republican Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis G. Fortuño, has often refused to implement or access these statutes. 

 Luis G. Fortuño, whose term began in January, 2009, refused to classify as a hate crime the infamous decapitation murder of 19-​year old Jorge Steven López Mercado, perhaps the most-​publicized of the 18 murders. Only under threat from the federal government, was Mercado’s murder investigated as a possible hate crime. Last year, Fortuño attempted to ban same-​sex marriage in Puerto Rico permanently via a constitutional amendment. 

 In addition to the murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado on November 14, 2009, the following have also been classified as LGBT murders:
  • Michaell Galindo
  • Ashley Santiago
  • Angie González Oquendo
  • Fernando López de Victoria
  • Humberto Bonilla Rodríguez
  • Michelle González García
  • La Flaca Soto Fernández
  • Benjamín Acevedo Román
  • Charlotte Crespo
  • Frank Di Giovani
  • Ivan McDonald
  • Edwin Rodríguez Grajales
  • Ezequiel Crespo
  • Eugenio Alberto Rivera Ortiz
  • Karlota Brown
  • Alejandro Torres Torres
  • Ramón ‘Moncho’ Salgado
Tuesday, Edge On The Net National News Editor Michael K. Lavers was the first to recognize that in addition to the deaths this week of Karlota Gómez Sánchez and Alejandro Torres Torres, “Salgado is the 18th LGBT Puerto Rican who has been murdered on the island over the last year and a half.” Lavers added, “This is simply unacceptable. And people really need to begin to pay attention to this appalling situation in Puerto Rico that continues to grow worse by the day.”

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