Caribbean LGBT group reports: Two homophobic deaths a month in 2012

Published: March 3, 2013

A Caribbean-based gay watchdog group has reported 25 violent deaths of LGBT people in 2012, up from 21 reported in 2011.

Caribe Afirmativo, based in the Caribbean region of northern Colombia, reports that between 1 January and 31 December 2012 over two LGBT people died every month from violent or discriminatory causes.

According to Colombian newspaper El Universal, the group identified 21 homicides, two suicides and two deaths from surgical procedures that involved gay, bisexual or transgender individuals from the region.

Caribe Afirmativo reports that the 25 cases of homophobic violence include 13 trans women, 11 gay men and one bisexual woman.

In the same time span, the group also reports 16 cases of police-related abuse towards members of the LGBT community, including physical violence.

The group, which campaigns for LGBT equal rights in the cities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Sincelejo, is taking to combat these figures in 2013. Caribe Afirmativo has filed three complaints against different political entities including The Council of Barranquilla and municipal judge for their disregard of Colombia’s 1482 Law of 2011 that criminalizes discrimination against the LGBT community.

According to the group’s website, data was gathered from media reports and first-person interviews, but because of corruption and not all cases being reported as hate crimes, it is believed that the true number of LGBT-related deaths in the area for 2012 is actually higher.

Laws protecting the LGBT community, including marriage and anti-discrimination law, could undergo a marked change in 2013.

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