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Gay hairdresser gunned down in Colombia

Juan Francisco Fernández Cuello is reportedly the fifth homophobic murder for 2012 in the city of Barranquilla
The port city of Barranquilla is reported to have had five homophobic-related murders so far this year.

A gay 34-year-old hairdresser has been gunned down by a gang in the port city of Barranquilla, Colombia.

Colombian LGBT groups say the killing of  Juan Francisco Fernández Cuello on Sunday (3 June) is the fifth gay-related murder this year in Barranquilla.

The suspects on motorcycles shot at Fernández Cuello as he left an unidentified venue in the Villa San Pedro area with some friends.

The victim sustained injuries from three bullets and was pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital.

Mesa LGBT de Barranquilla has publicly denounced the homophobic attacks and implores authorities and legislators to act swiftly to ensure protection from discrimination for the LGBT community.

According to OrgulloLGBT, a Colombian gay-rights organization, this is the fifth homophobic or transphobic-related murder in Barranquilla this year.

Another LGBT group Caribe Afirmativo reports that this is the eighth gay-related murder in the Caribbean area.

Barranquilla is included in reports by Caribe Afirmativo because of the city's proximity to the Caribbean region.

The city is well-known for its cultural diversity and as the birthplace of international pop star and activist Shakira and actress Sofia Vergara.

In 2011, Colombia passed an anti-discrimination bill that established fines and prison sentences up to three years for violators.

According to a 2002 report by the Home Office of the United Kingdom, ‘it is not against Colombian law to be homosexual, but a considerable amount of public ill-will exists, as in most Latin American countries where a machismo attitude is widespread.’

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