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Brazil’s Gay Advocates Say LGBT Murders Up 55%

Jim Burroway

April 23rd, 2009

The Brazilian advocacy organization Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB) has issued its Annual Report on Murders of Homosexuals for 2008. By combing through media reports, the GGB believes that 190 LGBT people were killed in Brazil in 2008.

Because the report relies in reports from the news media, it’s unclear how accurate these statistics really are. But if they are at all accurate, this would that one LGBT person is killed approximately every two days. It would also mean that LGBT murders were up 55% over 2007. While this report cannot be taken as definitive, it nevertheless gives a glimpse into the magnitude of the problem.

According to the report, 64% percent of the victims were gay men, 32 percent were transvestites, and four percent were lesbians. With this data, the GGB believes that “a transvestite is 259 times more likely to be murdered than a gay man.” The violence is concentrated in poorer areas, where economic conditions lure many victims into sex work, which makes them more vulnerable to violence. The state of Pernambuco in Brazil’s impoverished northeast was singled out as being the most violent. According to the report, “A gay ‘nordestino’ (northeasterner) faces an 84 percent greater risk of being killed than a gay man in the south or southeast.”

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