Between the beginning of this year and the beginning of this month, 117 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were murdered in Brazil based on their sexual orientation, according to the Gay Group of Bahia (GGB). The group will be at the all-day events of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), May 17.
Genilson Coutinho, an LGBT activist and honorary member of the GGB, said the issue will be discussed at several locations in Salvador, including support centers, to raise awareness of anti-LGBT violence and press for legislative measures and public policies on local, state, and federal levels. He pointed out one LGBT person is murdered every 25 hours in Brazil.
This year, the international day will focus on a new campaign to raise awareness of the double exclusion of LGBT people who have any disabilities or special needs, who are exposed to discrimination on two levels.
According to Genilson Coutinho, there are several factors behind the growing violence against LGBT people, chief among them impunity.
“There are no laws in Brazil to make homophobia a crime and open people's eyes to it as something unacceptable. Impunity empowers daily violence. Criminals today can kill and get rid of jail with a habeas corpus. This makes it so widespread that one homosexual person is murdered in Brazil every 25 hours—every day a family will be bereaved of an LGBT child,” Coutinho says.
A report published by the GGB with 2016 data showed Bahia is the second Brazilian state with the largest number of LGBT people murdered on the basis of sexual orientation. The top-ranking state is São Paulo. In the capital of Bahia alone, Salvador, the Reference Center reported handling over 600 cases within just over a year it has been in operation.
Translated by Mayra Borges