BARCELONA – People took to the streets of Spain’s biggest cities on Monday evening to express their anger over the death of a man in an alleged homophobic attack over the weekend.
Crowds filled a central Madrid square and activists marched down a main street in Barcelona, chanting slogans and waving rainbow-colored placards and flags.
“The response to the wave of LGBT-phobe hatred that ended Samuel’s life in La Coruña is overwhelming,” the left-wing Podemos party, which rules in coalition with the ruling socialists, wrote on Twitter.
Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, was beaten near a nightclub in the early hours of the city of La Coruna in northern Spain on Saturday by several assailants including one who shouted a derogatory description common sense of a homosexual, broadcaster RTVE reported. He later died in hospital.
Jose Minones, a local government official in the area where La Coruna is located, tweeted that the police were working to find out what had happened and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Local media quoted him as saying the investigation would show whether or not the attack was motivated by homophobia.
Data from the Ministry of the Interior shows that 278 hate crimes related to sexual orientation or gender identity were reported in Spain in 2019, an 8.6% increase over the previous year. The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency warns that only a fraction of hate crimes are reported to the police.
In central Barcelona, Sergio Cuevas, 21, said: “I think this crime happened because homophobia kills.”
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