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Puerto Rico Dealing with Rash of Hate-Motivated Murders, Gay Bar Raid

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The LGBT community in Puerto Rico has been facing serious challenges recently due to a wave of hate crimes involving gay or transgender people. Last week two more murders occurred, bringing the total number of victims to ten in a period of ten months. To add insult to injury, at approximately 2 a.m. on September 17, police raided El Circo Bar in Santurce, as part of a “routine permit inspection” that included other alcohol-serving establishments. Media coverage has, for the most part, focused on the arrests and the findings from the permit inspection.

Newspaper El Nuevo Día, however, stands out in highlighting the response from the LGBT community members who underwent a very negative and quite humiliating experience and also points out what locals are calling an excessive police response. GLAAD has created a tip sheet for media on how to accurately report on crimes involving gay or transgender victims and has been actively reaching out to reporters in Puerto Rico.