Deadly homophobia and transphobia take victims in Peru and Brazil

In Iquitos, Peru a young 12-year-old boy took his life, victim of harassment from his stepfather and classmates, according to press and our friends at the Comunidad Homosexual de Esperanza para la Region Loreto (CHERL, the LGBT group there). CHERL is responding by redoubling their efforts to call for an end to homophobic and transphobic violence in the area through concrete steps.

The stepfather had shaved the young man's hair as a supposed punishment for his being gay, according to news reports. The young boy was also said to have been bullied in school. The mother, seen here, wailed in despair as he was taken to the hospital but he didn't survive.

In Brazil, Grupo Gay da Bahia released its annual report noting the increased rate of violence against the LGBT community in 2014.

According to the release, there were 326 deaths of LGBT persons reported in Brazil last year, including nine suicides. A murder occurred every 27 hours, the group estimates. This is an increase of 4.1% from the previous year of 2013 when 313 cases were reported, according to the release that accompanied the report.

The recent murder of a transgender woman in Brazil, Joyce Akira, demonstrates the reality behind these statistics. She was shot 4 times in the head, after "hateful words" were shouted at her. The murderers then sped away, according to news reports. Her friends are leaving heartfelt tributes on her social media page.

Professor and co-founder of GGB, Luiz Mott, also calls for government accountability in the face of these numbers. "In just four years of the Dilma Rousseff government these crimes reached 1243, an average of 310 murders annually - almost doubling the numbers of the two previous governments. Hence the extreme urgency that president Dilma Rousseff step up and fulfill her campaign promise to have homophobia criminalized!"

President Rousseff disappointed and upset advocates when she vetoed an anti-homophobia school kit which the group estimates would have helped more than 6 million young people understand homophobia. More recently, "Rousseff pressed senators not to approve the proposed bill of law PLLC 122 which would have added homophobia to Brazil's already existent crime of racism law," said Mott in a statement about the report.