Violent deaths of LGBTI people in Brazil are at an all-time high, according to an LGBTI watchdog in the country.
According to a report by Grupo Gay de Bahia, there were 387 murders of LGBTI people in 2017. A further 58 committed suicide.
The figure is a 30 percent increase on the reported 327 deaths in 2016. Additionally, it is triple the number of violent deaths of LGBTI people in the country in 2007.
Grupo Gay de Bahia’s president Luiz Mott said the growing popularity of ultra-conservative politicians contributed to the rising levels of violence.
Also, TV programs linked to evangelical churches often compared homosexuality to the devil.
The group said Brazil collected no official data on hate crimes. Therefore a reliance on news stories, online information and personal reports meant many LGBTI murders go unreported.
Other human rights groups have condemned the Brazilian government for failing to protect the country’s LGBTI community.
“In the last decade Brazil looked to produce policies that could protect vulnerable groups like gay and trans people but they mostly failed, due to lack of investment or change in vision of policy,” Amnesty International Brazil executive director Jurema Werneck told The Guardian.
Elsewhere, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) is concerned about a steep rise in anti-LGBTI murders in the US from 2016 to 2017.
At least fifty-two LGBTI people lost their lives in anti-LGBTI homicides in 2017, up 86 percent from the previous year.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ report, titled A Crisis of Hate, revealed LGBTI people of colour were most vulnerable, making up 70 percent of the reported homicides in 2017. A majority of the victims (67 percent) were under the age of 35.
Executive Director Beverly Tillery said anti-LGBTI violence has long been at crisis levels in the US.
However, the group “watched the escalation of violence this past year with great concern.”
“We must bring more attention and action to deal with this epidemic of violence and work across all of our diverse communities to protect those most vulnerable,” she said.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.