Saturday, May 14, 2011
A Pride organiser in Mexico was attacked and killed last week in what may have been a homophobic attack.
Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrer, the director of the Centre for Study and Projects on Integrated Human Development (CEPRODEHI), was killed while walking home from a night out in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero State, on May 4th.
The activist, who helped organise the city’s annual Pride festival, had apparently received death threats in previous years warning him not to hold the June event.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said: “The tragic death of Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera proves that the issue of homophobia still needs to be addressed in Mexico.
“So far the Guerrero state police have focused on questioning his friends within the gay community. One has been held for two days in custody before being released. The police are now looking to interview other members of the LGBT community including previous partners of Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera.
“It is a trend of investigating homophobic attacks that has sadly been repeated in similar cases in the past.
“While it is vital for the authorities to follow all leads, police and prosecutors must stop focusing solely on the personal relations of the victim and look into investigating possible homophobic motives for the attack.
“The Guerrero State authorities must hold a full impartial and prompt investigation into Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera’s murder and guarantee the safety of Gay Rights activists.
“Homophobia cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet.”