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Updated: Gay teenager murdered in Puerto Rico

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  1. My thoughts are with his family. Such a waste of life.

  2. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Nov 2009, 3:50pm

    This is infuriating, especially since the USA has just passed anti-hate legislation in honour of Mathieu Sheppard.

    This story deserves our attention, and Puerto RIco’s gay activist, Pedre Julian Surrano, needs to know that the LGBT world community, and that includes us, is listening and is supportive.


  3. What is so dreadful about this horrific story is not the fact that the chap had been murdered – although that’s dreadful enough, of course – but what happened to the poor lad’s body before and after his death. This is the work of an exceedingly sick man who needs immediate treatment and keeping away from ever becoming part of society again.

  4. Rafael.Shepard 17 Nov 2009, 5:23pm

    Shame ,and a lost off a young boy

  5. Pumpkin Pie 17 Nov 2009, 6:18pm

    [Oops, forgot the captcha code. Let’s see if I can post this without it being detected as a duplicate…]

    This is sickening. How could anyone does this to an innocent child? And if the police did make homophobic comments, that’s just disgusting. He wasn’t some sinister gay intelligentsia, he was just a 14 year old boy.

  6. Pumpkin Pie 17 Nov 2009, 6:19pm

    I meant 19 year old.

  7. It’s a shame that Pink News doesn’t report more on what happens in Latin America as the situation here is grave. I live in Mexico City and this year alone more that 20 gay men have been brutally murdered. The police dismiss these brutal hate crimes as “crimes of passion” [you know how emotionally unbalanced gays are right?] and just don’t bother to investigate..the situation is worse outside this city. Around about [I don”t have the exact figures]1000 gay men, women and transgender people have been murdered in the last 10 years and nobody does anything. The same happens in the rest of Latin America especially Brazil, hopefully this tragic case in Puerto Rico will draw attention to the terrible violence that all gay people have to live with in Latin America.

  8. BrazilBoysBlog 17 Nov 2009, 8:31pm

    I echo the previous comments regarding this tragic waste of a precious life. I do think comment 7 about the general homophobia in South America, including Brazil is perhaps somewhat of a generalisation.

    I am originally from the UK, lived for 4 years in the Czech Republic, then spent 4 months in Amsterdam before moving to Brazil. I have been here for 1 1/2 years. One of the things that struck me straight away was the very different way youth, gay and straight, interact here.

    I have never seen anything like it in Europe. I live in Recife, N/E Brazil and I still cannot get used to the way gay and straight youth here are totally at ease with each other. There seems to be a genuine affection between each other and straight youths can often be seen in squares and street corners hanging around with gay lads …

    Straight youth in the majority of Europe, and certainly the UK would not be seen dead socialising in the street with openly gay guys… My experience so far has actually been a more ‘live and let live…..whatever…’ attitude amongst young Brazilians. I have found it to be one of the best things about living here!

  9. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Nov 2009, 2:49pm


    Thanks for sheding so much light on this atrocious murder.

    Yesterday, Peurto Rican newspaper “El Nuevodia” reported that the killer’s name is Juan Antonio Martinez Matos, a 26-year old father of four who had previously served time in prison for domestic violence.

    Forensic evidence is being investigated by the FBI, and the DA has qualified this as a hate crime.

    “The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” suspects the killer will likely use a ‘homophobic panic’ defense, arguing for a plea of temporary insanity.

    Now for the important stuff, I hope the weather is quite agreable in Brazil today, and that the boys on the corner are getting along well.

  10. I think that maybe Mr. B/B/L should wait until he has lived in Latin America a little bit longer than a year and a half before he starts dismissing what I said the state of homophobia in Latin America as being generalizations.

  11. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Nov 2009, 7:39pm


    You got it. Personally, I think your comment was an understatement!!

  12. BrazilBoysBlog 19 Nov 2009, 2:56am

    Thanks Mark for the condescending reply to my post… How long would you suggest dear? 5 Years? 10 maybe? I think a year and a half in a place DOES give me an insight into it’s ways?

    For the record, I did not ‘start dismissing’ what you said as being ‘generalizations’.. I said that I felt it was ‘somewhat of a generalization’. (as indeed most comments are usually). Clearly, it does not apply to ALL places? Yes, it maybe that where I am living, and where I travel is safer than others, I can only comment on the place where I live and no more.. But maybe you know this place better than me, who knows? (and how long have YOU lived here in Recife exactly?)

    I can, with respect, only post my own observations on what I have seen of the interactions of local youth HERE and that is what I did. I could not post what it’s like in Rio or Sao Paulo (which I didn’t) and I have heard my fair share of horror stories from those places..

    I’m sorry if you missunderstood the intention of my posting as being to ‘dismiss’ anything you said, that was not the case.

    Steve, (Mr B/B/B)

  13. Steve sorry if you thought I was being condescending, I just felt that you were dismissing something that is quite important. I have never been to Brazil, but I have lived in Mexico for nearly 20 years. The point I was trying to make was that gay men, women and trans-gender people are frequently the victims of what happened to that poor boy in Puerto Rico and the crimes are never investigated, unless of course the victim is famous or comes from a wealthy family. The crime are also seldom reported either locally or internationally. The Mexico City gay community is apparently being stalked by what could be a serial killer at the moment and no one here is doing anything about it. In the bars they are even warning guys not to go home with strangers at the moment as more than 20 gay men have been murdered so far this year. The point I was making about Brazil was that when it comes to violent hate crimes committed against gays, the two Latin American countries where this occurs most frequently and with almost total impunity is both Mexico and Brazil. Once again I am sorry if I came across as condescending; Mark.

  14. BrazilBoysBlog 19 Nov 2009, 1:33pm

    Apology accepted and again offered if I appeared to dismiss your point. I did not mean to. I started my original post by saying that this was a tragic waste of a young life. I agree that Brazil cartainly is not perfect, it’s a long way from that. Crime is very high here, gun-crime (especially drug-related) in the favelas is terrible. The justice system is useless. From what I have seen, if you have money there is a different system of ‘justice’ for you, but if you are some street-kid, don’t expect any!

    I had a friend called Paulo who was a streetkid.. He stayed some nights, but would often still hang out with his friends who were also homeless….He was executed one night (with a friend of the same age) whilst they slept behind a building. It was all over the news at the time because it was two boys (17 and 18) found slain.. The suspects were believed to be 2 security guards.. What happened? NOTHING.. NADA. His killers have never faced a courtroom and likely never will. No justice for a streetkid.

    He was not gay, nor was this ‘gay-related’, he was just a ‘nuisance’ to someone, simply a ‘problem’ to be got rid of… Life sure is cheap here if you are poor.

    However, from what I see (here), gay youth and straight youth DO get on and relate to each other much better than anything I ever saw or experienced in Europe… Still having somewhat of a British outlook, it still amazes (and pleases) me to see it. … The gay community is very large here and the local authority very supportive of gays and gay rights. The gay community is very vocal and visible here and the gay parades are packed with people from all over Recife…gay and straight.

    …and yes, it is just Recife and yes, it is local youths from the squares and street corners… but I think THAT is where real change starts..?

    Thanks again for your post.


  15. Jean-Paul Bentham 19 Nov 2009, 10:56pm

    Let’s not forget that the killer, Juan Antonio Martinez Matos, is a 26-year old father of four who spent time in prison for domestic violence, and that he must have been living alone because the murder took place at his home.

    Also, here’s a reminder that not too long ago, there was a serial killer in Puerto Rico who killed 27 gays before he was caught and he is still in prison.

    Here is the latest news:


    Oh, and Steve, I’m afraid I also thought your comment made light of the matter and I am glad that Mark has had the professionalism to expand on your experience and your point of view.

    As for me, these murders of young gay men just infuriate me so that I can be flippant sometimes. No offense.

  16. BrazilBoysBlog 20 Nov 2009, 6:50am

    JPB, None taken. This is something that shocks and sickens all of us.. Equal and fair justice for all is something we all want. I think there is still a long way to go before everyone in the straight world truly sees us as equal to them in every way.. But it’s a fight we must carry on and maybe one day…?

    For any Police officer to suggest that a victim was ‘asking for it’ because of his lifestyle ‘choice’ is dangerous, untrue and shows his own prehistoric mindset… He is certainly not someone who should be a police officer. This institutional homophobia just breeds the circumstances that allowed someone to kill 27 gays and remain at large for so long… I really do hope that changing attitudes to sexuality among a lot of young people will allow things to improve in the future. That the dinosaurs who think only heterosexuality is a valid lifestyle will go the way the real dinosaurs went…

    I’m hopeful, but yes it angers me to that a young lad was killed simply because of who he chooses to love.. and it angers me that (some) people out there still think thats okay.


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