At least 216 LGBTI people have been murdered this year in Brazil where homophobia is not a crime.
The data was collected by the Gay Group of Bahia from January to 29 September and is based on police records and news reports as there are no official statistics.
The region with the most cases was the Northeast (43%) and the city with more cases per capita was Cuiabá, with 0.03 homicides per 1,000 inhabitants.
Gay men are the most affected (59%), followed by transvestites (35%) and lesbians (4%).
Activist Carlos Tufvesson told O Globo newspaper that the criminalization of homophobia was a sensitive issue in the election campaign and one of the main demands of LGBTI rights groups.
He said, ‘It is important to note that there are gay right, left, black, white people. It will never be possible to please everyone. For homoaffective citizens, the most important cause has not been cited in debates: Our main demand is equalizing the crime of homophobia to racism.
‘Nowadays it is treated as a normal assault crime, while a hate crime has greater penalties.
According to the National Secretariat of Human Rights, there were 337 complaints relating to homophobia from January to April this year, the equivalent of more than two per day.
São Paulo had the most, with 97 records (28%), followed pro Mines, with 31 (9%).
Charlemagne Fonseca, president of the Brazilian Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals, said one of their main demands was that the government produces official data on violations against gays, which would be facilitated by the criminalization of homophobia.
She said, ‘The LGBT debate and the fight against homophobia can not be moral and religious matters, it has to be a political issue.’