News (USA)

Gay teen found brutally murdered in Puerto Rico

Steven Jose Lopez MercadoThe body of a gay teenager was discovered this past weekend, found burned and decapitated on the island of Puerto Rico.

Jorge Steven López Mercado’s body was found decapitated, dismembered and partially burned in a wooded area near Cayey on Friday, Nov. 13. His friends became concerned after he failed to meet them at a popular gay club in the San Juan’s Santurce neighborhood.

Investigator Angel Rodriguez’s assertion López, 19, somehow caused his own death sparked widespread outrage and anger among Puerto Rican activists.

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“When these type of people get into this and go out into the streets like this, they know this can happen to them,” Rodriguez said a statement local media outlets broadcast and reported.

Gay groups are planning protests and acts of remembrance for the student, who was said to be studying fashion.

According to a CNN iReport by Christopher Pagan, Lopez Mercado was “well-known” and “very loved” in Puerto Rico’s gay community.

Members of the U.S. gay community are asking authorities to investigate whether the slaying was a hate crime because of the victim’s sexual orientation, said Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

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