Post submitted by Limor Finkel, Former HRC Global Engagement Program Coordinator
In a horrifying report coming out of Sao Paulo, Brazil today, 16-year-old Kaique Batista dos Santos was brutally murdered by a group of skinheads after leaving a gay nightclub. His body was covered in bruises and all of his teeth were pulled out by pliers.
Police found his body a mile away from the stadium home to the 2014 World Cup opening ceremony. While the Department of Public Safety is not commenting on the heinous crime due to “confidentiality,” Kaique was likely the victim of a hate crime.
“These thugs enjoy beating and torturing with their bare hands and they are pleased to take the lives of homosexuals,” his sister Tanya said in response to the crimes. “He had bruises on his head and was probably kicked to death.”
Kaique is unfortunately one of too many young people worldwide who have been the target of homophobic and transphobic violence. In Russia, just weeks away from the 2014 Olympics, violence against LGBT people in Russia has continued to increase since President Putin signed into law a bill that prohibits any positive representation or discussion of LGBT rights or people.
And while violence against gender non-conforming and LGBT teenagers in Jamaica and Chile have made international news, there are thousands of young people who are bullied and brutalized every year as a result of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
While LGBT Brazilians enjoy much of the same legal protections as do their non-LGBT counterparts, including same-sex marriage (May 2013) and adoption rights (April 2010), there is no federal anti-discrimination law in place. Brazil currently surpasses, by a staggering amount, any other nation on Earth in its annual rate of murder of transgender individuals—a total of 539 from January 1, 2008 – October 31, 2013.