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Brazil’s LGBT community holds vigil for murdered gay teen, hate crimes victims

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Massao Uehara, via  FacebookMembers Brazil’s LGBT community held a vigil on Friday to honor the victims of anti-LGBT violence, and call for new hate crimes legislation.

Massao Uehara, via Facebook
Members Brazil’s LGBT community held a vigil on Friday to honor the victims of anti-LGBT violence, and call for new hate crimes legislation.

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Members of Brazil’s LGBT community held vigil Friday in honor of a gay Brazilian teen who was tortured and brutally murdered, one of at least five reported murders targeting LGBT people in Brazil over the past week.

Kaique Augusto Batista dos Santos, 16, disappeared last week after leaving a gay club in the heart of Sao Paulo’s gay scene.

His disfigured body was first discovered Jan. 11, and appeared to have suffered severe head wounds and with an iron spike piercing one of his legs, yet police originally reported his death as an “apparent suicide.”

Kaique Augusto Batista dos Santos

Kaique Augusto Batista dos Santos

Officials later reported that dos Santos’ teeth had been pulled out, likely while he was still alive, that he was discovered with a iron spike piercing one of his legs, and that it appeared he had been kicked to death.

Family and friends believe dos Santos was targeted because of his sexual orientation, and because there was no evidence that robbery was a motive.

News of dos Santos’ murder, first reported on Thursday, has shocked Brazil, and comes as the Brazilian media reported four additional murders within the LGBT community — three gay men and a transgender women.

The body of Antonio Goncalves Pereira was found Wednesday on a dirt road outside the city of Uberlandia with his hands tied behind his back. His body reflected signs of torture, with lacerations in his hands, abdomen, and the back of his head and neck. Police speculate he was picked up on a “gay date” and then murdered.

The body of Sebastiao Fleuri, an adolescent, was found dumped on a dirt road near Itaberaí, also on Wednesday. Police said they are holding a suspect but not providing any additional details at this time.

Jullivan Pinheiro Castelo Branco, a baker from Manaus, was found in his home on Thursday with multiple stab wounds on his back; he was last seen alive two days earlier.

Local sources tell LGBTQ Nation that all three victims are gay, but were not aware if sexual orientation was a factor in their murders.

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, a 50-year-old transgender woman who identified as Toni Gretchen from the district of São Benedito in Uberaba, was shot in the head at close range; police said she appears to have known the assailant.

On Friday, members Brazil’s LGBT community held a vigil to honor dos Santos and other victims of anti-LGBT violence, marching from Largo do Arrouche – where the gay club is located — to the location where dos Santos’s body was found.

Participants lit hundreds of candles and demanded justice and immediate government action to legislate a law against anti-LGBT hate crimes, after recent attempt at legislation was defeated in Brazil’s Senate last month.

Professor Luiz Mott, of Grupo Gay do Bahia, stated there have been at least 18 documented cases of LGBT murders since the start of 2014, not including two of the most recently reported cases.

“How many dead does Brazil need for it to react against homophobia?” demanded openly gay lawmaker Jean Wyllys.

Sergio Viula, a Brazilian LGBT rights advocate and blogger, told LGBTQ Nation that “since many cases aren’t even recorded as murders, and the sexuality of the victims is not noted, the number cited is probably a conservative under estimate.”

“Brazil’s evangelical leaders are employing strategies used by the US right-wing evangelical lobby to fuel anti-gay hate and prevent any legislation against hate-crimes, with the silent support of our government,” Luiz Henrique Coletto, Vice President of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil (LiHS), told LGBTQ Nation.

“Brazil fails to protect its own LGBT citizens, let alone does not provide basic protections for visitors to the World Cup and Olympics games scheduled to take place here,” he said. “We need that international human rights organizations pressurize Brazil to legislate laws that punish hate crimes and protect LGBT people in our country.”

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44 more reader comments:

  1. Dylan Stillwood

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:20am
  2. Although marriage equality is legal, there remains HATE in Brazil!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:24am
  3. Like in some states of USA!

    Replied on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:25am
  4. A lot,it´s one of the "world champions" in homo and transphobic killings,the latter one specially,Islamic orthodox countries coming first,I guess (but from these no true statistics are available).

    Replied on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:29am
  5. RiP

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:28am
  6. This is heartbreaking. The violence has to stop.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:28am
  7. :( horrible.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:32am
  8. That is so heart breaking!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:33am
  9. may he rest in peace our beautiful brother today is a truly sad day between the news in Uganda and the injustice perpetrated on our youth my heart is heavy and my soul is weary I hope only to find a way to make a difference

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:35am
  10. “18 murders towards the LGBTQ community since the start of 2014.” That is 1 murder a day… how is that okay?!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:36am
  11. this is just so not right stop the hate

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:39am
  12. So sad

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:41am
  13. God Bless Him, May he Rest in Peace!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:48am
  14. Very so true and disturbing.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:57am
  15. I can’t understand why the Olympics are being held in this country.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:04am
  16. This is so awful how is this happening how can Brazil not even protect it’s own people against hate crimes like these

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:04am
  17. DOES the USA?

    Replied on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:24am
  18. As I have said in an earlier thread,this has been going on for decades here ,the difference is that now we have the web to show it the world over.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:06am
  19. Peace friend ....it still alive in USA also !

    Replied on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:25am
  20. We LGBTI´s have to unite all over the planet or flounder in this global shipwreck.

    Replied on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:27am
  21. I’m glad he is honored and remembered. This hate filled crime has to stop.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:38am
  22. Mathew Shepard R.I.P.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:41am
  23. How many more tears do I have to shed when reading about ignorance!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 6:22am
  24. May they rest in peace

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:11am
  25. My condolence…sad that hatred and intolerance exit against the LGBT Community worldwide……USA LGBT vigil!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:16am
  26. We’ll make you sorry whoever did this
    I’ll make you all SORRY!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:28am
  27. :(

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:59am
  28. RIP xx

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 9:11am
  29. it is worng to kill someone because of their lifestyle.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 12:29pm
  30. Heart breaking for sure.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 12:31pm
  31. God bless him and his family…!

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:45pm
  32. :(((

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:51pm
  33. SO OFL,…BIG SORY FOR THIS

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 6:31pm
  34. lucky u .in Iran if want have a something like this ,we will murdered in same way , anyway ,I am sorry for this crime

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:58pm
  35. Fuerza y abrazos para toda la comunidad LGBTI de Brasil desde Chile …solo esperar que se haga justicia ante los hechos acontecidos…les queremos.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 8:16pm
  36. R.I.P.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 8:28pm
  37. Ignorant and disgusting.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 9:34pm
  38. South American men are amongst the gayest men – bi and gay – in the entire world.

    Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 10:57pm
  39. :)

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 12:24am
  40. The violence has to stop too many people are dying for the wrong reasons. Hate is a terrible thing to hold in your heart life is too beautiful for it. People should love each other and get along no matter what their lifestyle is……….SMH

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 12:58am
  41. It is time the tables turn for those people. Instead of the minorities rounded up and killed they should round up the extreme bigots that support this and have a firing-squad for them!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 1:04am
  42. Oh the Hate Parade

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 3:03am
  43. What a horror !! I would never imagine something like this to happens in Sao Pablo Brasil !?
    But I guess is easy to feel hate and kill than tolerance and acceptance

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 3:26am
  44. violence must stop

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 2:39pm