A young gay man was tortured, burned, and killed in Cancún, Mexico, in early June due to having HIV, local media has reported.
The man had said at a party that he was living with HIV.
“This case has caused us a lot of anger because we are in the month that commemorates the pride of our community in which rights are requested and claimed,” said Edwin Reyes, a member of local LGBTQ+ rights group Resilientxs, news service Agencia EFE reports.
The local prosecutor’s office said a suspect in the murder had been identified. The outlet Presentes said the suspect had been living with the man before he found out about the man’s HIV status.
The man's death is being treated as a homicide case but not as a hate crime, Vallarta Daily reports. The outlet noted that Cancún's state, Quintana Roo, does not recognize hate crimes in its legal code.
Reyes said that authorities have yet to recognize hate crimes even though LGBTQ+ rights groups have urged the state to adopt them. He said that the killing “is not an isolated case and that discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is recurrent in the Mexican Caribbean.”
In a joint statement, Mexican rights groups Inspira, MPact, and Red Posithiva said the death of the man in Cancún is just the latest example of violence against those living with HIV.
“This hate crime in Cancún is not an isolated incident — just a week ago, a man in Mexico City was arrested by police after revealing his HIV-positive status to his girlfriend,” the statement said. “These HIV criminalization laws breed a culture of fear, stigma, and violence and swift action must be taken to end the laws and ensure the rights of people living with HIV are protected.”
The organizations added that action must be taken to bring the suspect in the killing to justice.
“We stand in solidarity with networks of people living with HIV and LGBTQ people in Mexico to continue to advance the radical notion that our communities’ human rights deserve to be protected,” the groups said.