Sex-rights groups in Peru and Brazil announced the number of homosexual killings in 2011.
Brazil’s Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB) documented 266 murders of gays, lesbians and transvestites in Brazil last year, six more than in 2010.
According to Professoe Luiz Mott, an anthropologist at the Federal University of Bahia and founder of the GGB: ‘The underreporting of these crimes is striking, indicating that the number represents just the tip of an iceberg of cruelty and blood.
‘Since the federal government refuses to build a database on hate crimes against homosexuals, we based this report on newspaper and online news, which is certainly far from covering all of these claims.’
The report confirm’s Brazil’s position as the place with the most homophobic murders in the world.
In the US with a population 100 million greater than Brazil, there were nine transgender people murdered in 2011. In Brazil, 98 trans people are recorded as murdered.
The report also suggests that the risk of a gay man being murdered in Brazil is 800% higher than in the US.
The GGB announced that every 33 hours a Brazilian homosexual was brutally murdered in 2011 as a victim of a homophobic attack.
Activist groups in Peru also point to the lack of official records documenting violent crimes against the LGBT community as problematic.
Promsex, Peru’s Center for Promotion and Defense of Reproductive and Sexual Rights, compiled media reports and discovered that 14 homosexuals were tortured and killed last year.
Of the victims, 10 were gay and four were transexuals reportedly attacked by strangers or their partners. The murder rates of 2011 dropped by four people compared to 2010.
The Homosexual Movement of Lima (MHOL) also produced a report based on media news and interviews. The report found that one gay, bi or trans individual was murdered every week in Peru between 2006 and 2010.
MHOL’s report revealed that 249 gay-related murders occured over the past five years, and that for every case that was reported, there are two that weren’t.
Promsex director George Liendo said in a statement: ‘Despite efforts to want an official registry, it’s not been possible in the state. While this number of deaths does not attract much attention, what is alarming in these cases is the level of cruelty, the burning and the torture the victims endured’.
In spite of these laws, reports of homophobia continue to ensue, including reports of gay-bashing by military officers.
Marcelo Cerqueira, president of the GGB, said: ‘There are three solutions to homophobic crimes: to teach people to respect the human rights of homosexuals through pro-LGBT legislation; requiring the police and justice system to punish homophobia with the utmost severity; and advising gays and transvestites to avoid risky situations.
‘The stereotype of gays as weak and helpless stimulates the actions of assassins.’