A young gay man was tortured, burned and killed in Mexico after he revealed at a party that he was living with HIV, activists say.
The victim, who has not been named, was allegedly slain in a blacksmith shop in Cancún, a southeastern beach town in the state of Quintana Roo, in early June.
t was a night of revelry that slipped into mayhem when the victim informed party-goers that he was living with HIV, advocacy group Resilientxs told Presentes, a local queer news outlet.
He died from a “blow to the head with a blunt, short object”, the Attorney General’s Office said in a report.
“This case has caused us a lot of anger because we are in the month that commemorates the pride of our community in which rights are requested and claimed,” Resilientxs member Edwin Reyes told the press.
The authorities have since tracked down and arrested the alleged killer in Tabasco, some 900 kilometres from Cancún, who was a man believed to be the neighbour and tenant of the victim.
To Reyes, the tragedy touches off how Quintana Roo, with its sprawling beaches and blue skies, is thought of as a “paradise” to so many when the reality – for LGBT+ people especially – is anything but.
“This cruel case should not have happened,” Reyes said. “And it only tells us that the state has failed to legislate and create the necessary public policies to prevent, address and punish violence due to prejudice that exists in the state.
“That is why we raise our voices because Quintana Roo is not paradise, it is non-gay friendly.”
Seemingly compounding this, Vallarta Daily News reported that the State Attorney General’s Office has opened an investigation into the incident – but officials are treating it as a homicide, but not a hate crime. Hate crimes are not part of the state’s criminal code.