Three well-known LGBT+ activists in the Mexican state of Guerrero were found murdered in Taxco, a popular tourist destination. The bodies of Rubén Estrada, Robert Vega and Carlos Uriel López were discovered by authorities on June 17. The activists were kidnapped by a group of men from a nightclub before they were killed.
Gaby Soberanis, president of LGBT+ advocacy group, Diversidad Guerrero, said the trio was at a nightclub on Sunday morning when a group of men tried to extort money from them, in an interview with Washington Blade.
After the advocates refused to give the men money, they were involuntarily taken from the nightclub and forced into a van.
Authorities found the bodies of Estrada, Vega and López a few hours later on a dirt road near the main highway between Mexico City and Acapulco.
The local newspaper in Guerrero published a photo of the crime scene. One activist appears to have been murdered by a shot to the back of the head. Other local media reports that there are signs the trio were tortured before they were killed.
“We are sad, depressed,” Soberanis told the Blade. “They were young. They had a future ahead of them. The entire state’s LGBTI rights movement is sad, is in mourning.”
Lol Kin Castañeda, a lesbian activist who is a member of the Mexico City Constituent Assembly, tweeted, “The loss is for a society that demands equality, freedom and an end to violence.”
Violence based on sexual orientation and gender is not uncommon throughout Mexico.
FIFA recently launched an investigation after Mexico fans chanted homophobic slurs during the World Cup.
In May 2017, a report was issued that stated 202 members of the LGBT community in Mexico were murdered between 2014 and 2016. At that rate, nearly six homicides occurred every month.
Authorities identified just 64 suspects for the 202 murders. Only 17 cases were classified as a hate crime.
Gangs and cartels are formed by criminals who target gay men, seducing them only to attack and rob them, according to Mexican civil rights organisation Letra S SIDA.
Guerrero security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said that four people have been arrested for possession of weapons and drugs. One is suspected to be involved in the murders of Estrada, Vega and López.
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