Beating Up Gays Has Become Favorite Sport of Bullies in São Paulo, Brazil

Julio's broken leg Another incident involving an attack to homosexuals has occurred at the famous business district of Paulista Avenue, in São Paulo, Brazil, which is also one of the major tourist points of the city. According to Bandeirantes TV news, the couple was kicked and punched several times.

The aggression occurred around 4 am this past Sunday. The two gay men had just left a night club along with a female friend.
 
Two men attempted to flirt with the gay couple’s female friend, however as she did not show any interest towards them, they followed the three of to a local convenience store and,  upon making   homophobic remarks, initiated a series of brutal attacks. One of the victims, a gay man, had bruises and a broken foot.
 
“They said we were crazy faggots and that we should die before spreading diseases around,” said Marcos Paulo Villa, one of the victims.

It is not the first time that gays are attacked in this busy district  of São Paulo. Paulista avenue is well known for several attacks against blacks and gays in the past and very little has been done to prevent such violence.
 
Around Augusta Street, which crosses Paulista, Neo-Nazi groups usually are able to bully and attack minorities and walk around freely without police surveillance.

The attacked couple has been together for four years.  They have now filed a report at the 78th police district. According to them, local police made no attempt  to go after the criminals: “The police officers did not even care. According to them, this was probably a punk or skinhead related crime, and they just left it at that.”

Paulista Avenue has become a center of Neo-Nazi attacks. About 50% of the cases involving violence against homosexuals occur in that area.

According to the Secretariat of Human Rights, which works in tandem with the Federal Government, in 83% of the cases the victims are homosexuals, 10% bisexuals and 4.2% heterosexuals. In 22% of these cases the aggressors  are not identified and 10% are actually friends with the victims.
 
Last August the Architect Bruno Chiarioni Thomé, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 30, were  also attacked by a group of six men. The aggressors utilized stones and an iron lamp to attack the victims. 

These incidents seem far from being resolved, and security hasn’t improved in the area despite the fact that Paulista avenue is considered a major business and entertainment center in São Paulo city.
 
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 Sao Paulo and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics, history, politics and human rights articles.

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