Another fantastic blog I read made a great point. Remember when we watched balloon boy for like 24 hours straight? Yet a hate crime this severe surfaces and no one hears about it?
What was left of gay 19 year old Puerto Rican teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado’s body was found road side on Saturday in the town of Cayey. Jorge’s head, arms, and legs were removed from his torso, which was also found partially burned. Jorge was someone’s son, someone’s sibling, someone’s friend. The story horrifies me, makes me angry, makes me sick, and makes me livid that someone would be so brutally murdered in such a disgusting horrific way because of their “lifestyle”.
Yesterday, a 26 year old man was arrested as a suspect, along with two vehicles seized, one of which hopefully will help with DNA evidence. After interviewing people close to Mercado, the trail led to this man, who had allegedly offered Mercado money for sex. The man has since been interrogated and sources say will almost indefinitely be charged with first degree murder thanks to the cooperation of the local LGBT community. The monster in question, Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, has said that he thought Jorge was a female prostitute. Always surprises me how quickly people will come up with an excuse for action, even an action that requires methodic and brutal mutilation.
The worst part, and most shocking, of this whole story is not even the physical brutality, but the dishonor that Jorge faces because of the police investigator that was in charge of the case. Can you believe the man in charge of the law said:
“People who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen.”
That’s right. That asshole went on record as saying that to the press. I’m sure his grieving family, still in shock, is going to appreciate hearing that their son deserved being decapitated for being gay. I can’t think of anything this year that has made me more angry as when I read that. See, because of mindframes like that, not once has a murder in Puerto Rico ever been classified as a hatecrime. EVER.
Fortunately now though disciplinary action has been taken against that police officer and the FBI is monitoring this case closely so disgusting closet cases like him won’t have their filthy bigot mits in it.
Follow the link here if you live in NYC because a vigil will be held. Here’s also the facebook page. And my thoughts are with all of Jorge’s friends and family going through what I could never imagine a person should have to go through.