An 18-year-old, openly gay man has been found murdered in Brazil after what is believed to be a homophobic attack.
It’s been reported the body of João Antônio Donati was discovered yesterday (10 September) in a vacant lot in the Brazilian city of Inhumas, in the state of Goiás. His neck had been broken and his mouth stuffed with paper.
Eighteen-year-old João Antônio Donati was gay and working at a local bar. Police are investigating the possibility that he was murdered in a homophobic hate crime.
‘We will investigate the case to know if the crime is connected with negative feelings towards gay people,’ a police spokesperson told Option Journal.
Although Brazil has a range of legal protections for its LGBTI community, including same-sex marriage and pending anti-discrimination legislation, violence towards LGBTI people persists.
Grupo Gay da Bahia, Brazil’s oldest and best-known group for gay rights, estimates that a gay person is killed every 36 hours in the country, yet around 70% of these murders go unsolved.
Donati’s Facebook page has been flooded with message of condolence since news of his murder broke. Last month, he updated his profile image [above] and accompanied it with the following message: ‘Determination, courage and self-confidence are decisive factors for success.
‘No matter what obstacles and difficulties. If we are possessed of an unwavering determination, we will be able to overcome them.’