Being Gay Is Enough to Get you Beaten Up in Brazil

Security camera show moment of aggression A new incident involving attacks to homosexuals in Brazil have once again made headlines in São Paulo - Brazil's wealthiest state. . The attacks occurred last November 14, in São Paulo City's main financial District, famous Paulista Avenue. The attackers were part of a gang specialized in bashing homosexuals.

During the first attack, the suspects attacked two friends close to number 459 of Paulista Avenue. One of the victims was able to flee, while the other passed out after  the attack.
 
Following this incident the gang members walked towards the number  700 of the same Avenue  and attacked another youngster, hitting him by surprise on the back of his head with a neon lamp. The young man who tried to react,  was afterwards kicked to his  face, and  brutally beaten up. A security guard who watched the aggression called the police, who arrested the suspects, but released them right after. 

The youngster who  was assaulted  with a neon ended up passing out  and was taken to the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital with severe injuries to the face. The images of the attack were broadcast by  São Paulo's major TV News. Check images of the attack at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg7KZBlpyi4
 
Initially the police  identified the attackers as part of the skinheads gang . The gang is composed of 5 members, including  3 minors.  Following  interviews with reporters, as one of the members did not appear as a stereotypical skinhead member with bald head, and since they were all formally dressed, the police discarded that theory and is now treating the case as a  plain homophobic act.

A third victim on the same day  identified the criminals, and reported  being referred to as fag, and queer during the attack. The attackers were part of São Paulo high middle-class.
 
According to José Matalo Neto,  local police chief, the violence is unfounded: "What we can see clearly here is a senseless aggression, as they are unable to accept someone else's condition, lifestyle and so forth, and I think this is something that needs to end. Everyone should take care of their own lives and let other people live their lives."

The declaration is posted here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzw5mqFBFMs&list=QL&playnext=1
 
The defense attorney for one of the minors abandoned the case after seeing the images. According to him, what the images show on the video, is different from the version presented by the minor. The minors informed the police that they had been harassed by the homosexuals and this is what prompted the attack.
 
According to Rafael Fernandes, one of the witness of the assault, the attack was homophobic: "I asked one of the attackers, why he was doing that, and he said because that guy was a fag, that's why".  The declaration is posted here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqRXCwd9z7k
 
Another gay bashing made news in Brazil recently. That one in Rio de Janeiro, when two military police officers shot another homosexual,  during the gay parade festivities. More images of the São Paulo attack can be seen on the links below:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjZgLwX6pTM 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEUGpEiUN44  

Edison Bernardo DeSouza is a journalist, having graduated in Social Communication Studies at Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, Brazil . He lived in the US and Canada for close to 12 years and participated in volunteering activities in social works agencies. DeSouza currently lives in São Paulo where he teaches English as a Second Language for both private English Language Institute and Private High-School. He is  currently  participating  as an actor in two  English Musicals  in São Paulo - Brazil and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics, history, politics and human rights articles.

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