CAYEY, PUERTO RICO — A nineteen-year-old’s body was found burned, dismembered and decapitated by the side of a road over the weekend. The body was identified as George Steven Lopez Mercado, a popular member of the Puerto Rican gay community. However, the heinous act isn’t the only thing that has kept gays, lesbians and allies up in arms.
According to Spanish reports, the lead police investigator said the ‘lifestyle’ Mercado lived, led to his murder.
“People who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen,” the investigator said in a public televised statement.
Puerto Rico’s gay community is now urging the police superintendente to replace the current investigator with someone who has less prejudice.
“It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt,” gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano told PrimeraHora.com.
Nothing has been confirmed but Mercado’s murder is illegible to be classified as a hate c rime, thanks to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act recently passed by the U.S. federal government.
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– Simon Husted