A gay man was violently injured in Madrid, Spain on Sunday evening, when a group of eight men attacked him; cutting his lower lip and carving the homophobic slur “maricón” into his buttocks.
The 20 year-old man described being followed by the eight men who proceeded to verbally and then physically threaten and attack him, at 5PM local time.
The attack comes only two months after Samuel Luiz, a 24 year-old gay man, was beaten to death in a violent, homophobia charged attack in A Coruña, Galicia.
According to Policía Municipal Madrid, the assailants slashed at the young man with a knife before proceeding to carve the homophobic slur into his flesh outside the man’s apartment complex.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has vehemently condemned the attack in a statement on Twitter, saying that:
“We won’t stand for it and we’ll keep working for an open and diverse country where no one is scared to be who they are, and in which we can all live safely and freely.”
En nuestra sociedad no tiene cabida el odio. Mi rotunda condena a este ataque homófobo. No vamos a permitirlo. Seguiremos trabajando por un país abierto y diverso, donde nadie tenga miedo a ser quien es, en el que todos/as vivamos libres y seguros.
Mi cariño al joven agredido. https://t.co/YDjWENyeVa
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) September 6, 2021
In a country where a recent poll showed that 91% of those polled described having no issue were a family member to come out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, the recent attacks come as a shock to the general population.
The Spanish National Police have said that the investigation is: “focusing on CCTV footage and on finding witnesses in order to identify the alleged attackers.”
The Mayor of Madrid and conservative party VOX member, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has condemned the attacks declaring that the assailants will “face the full weight of the law.”
Many LGBTQ+ activists in Spain have, however, condemned the Mayor’s words as performative citing the many instances of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and legislation that the Mayor has supported during his political career as a member of the conservative party.
While these violent attacks come as a shock to many people, the reality is that there have been at least 103 homophobic attacks in Madrid this year, with 41% of LGBTQ+ Spaniards claiming to have been harassed in the past 12 months, according to European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
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