Current Affairs

Updated: Gay teenager murdered in Puerto Rico

Jessica Geen November 17, 2009
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Updated 14.20: A 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder.

A gay teenager has been found burned and decapitated on the island of Puerto Rico.

The body of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was found on Saturday (November 14th) in Cayey, a city several miles away from his hometown of Caguas.

He had also been dismembered.

Police are reportedly looking into the possibility his murder was motivated by homophobia, although a local gay rights activist has accused them of suggesting he deserved his fate for the “lifestyle” he led.

Gay blog Towleroad translated campaigner Pedro Julio Serrano’s remarks as: “It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt.

“We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendent Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice.”

Gay groups are planning protests and acts of remembrance for the student, who was said to be studying fashion.

According to a CNN iReport by Christopher Pagan, Lopez Mercado was “well-known” and “very loved” in Puerto Rico’s gay community.

Prima Hora reports that a 28-year-old man has been taken into custody and two vehicles have been sezied by police.

The suspect was apparently arrested after police interviewed Lopez’s friends.

More: Americas

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