The dead body of gay teenager George Steven Lopez Mercado was discovered by the side of a road in Puerto Rico over the weekend. He had been burnt, decapitated and dismembered.
According to CNN’s iReport, the body of the 19 year old was discovered on November 14, a few miles away from the town of Caguas.
“He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved. He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso,” says iReport’s Christopher Pagan. “This has caused a huge reaction from the gay community here, but its a difficult situation. Never in the history of Puerto Rico has a murder been classified as a hate crime. Even though we have to follow federal mandates and laws, many of the laws in which are passed in the USA such as Obama’s new bill, do not always directly get practiced in Puerto Rico.”
Pagan alleges that the police agent handling the investigation into the case has publicly stated that people who lead “this type of lifestyle” need to be aware that this will happen.
American gay blog Towleroad have quoted gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano as saying, “It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt. We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendente Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice.”