Peru doesn’t penalize homophobic crimes

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Homophobia caused the worst massacre in US history. On Sunday a gunman burst into a gay bar in Orlando, Florida and opened fire killing 49 people and injuring many more.

Unfortunately, in Peru homophobic crimes are not punished.

In this past year alone, at least nine people have been killed with gender discrimination as the motive.

The Zuleimy Case

At 12-years-old José Luis became a young girl called Zuleimy Aylen. Three years later that decision became her death sentence – she was killed by three gunshots.

That day Zuleimy attended a party at La Esperanza, one of the most dangerous districts of Trujillo.

At the party she met with and shared a few beers with a group of men. One of the men tried to grope her – upon realizing she was a transgender, he shot her point blank.

Hate Crimes

Between 2015 and 2016 there were eight murders reported against the LGBT community in Peru.

In that same period there have been 43 cases of violation of personal security, 23 cases of discrimination, and 8 cases of domestic violence all with LGBT community members as direct victims.

As reported by _El Comercio_, Otsuka Liurka, Promsex spokeswoman, says there was a common trend in most of the cases: the aggressors were usually state agents.

Just this year the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations approved a protocol to attend to the LGBT community in public services through 246 women’s emergency centers located in provincial capitals – they provide social and psychological assistance to victims of gender identity-based violence.

No Sanctions

The Criminal Code doesn’t identify crimes committed with prejudice toward the LGBT community.

As reported by _El Comercio_, in December of 2011, congressman Carlos Bruce presented a draft law against hate crimes. The Justice Commission approved the law, however its members withdrew parts protecting victims of violence based on sexual orientation.

In July of 2013, Bruce brought the law in front of congress again and asked for them to include the parts of the law that were withdrawn – it was overwhelmingly rejected.

Legally, citizens like Zuleimy are not protected.

Per El Comercio, “I will put this issue on the agenda of the next Congress. I requested that the penalties escalate to crimes with discriminatory causes [up to 35 years in prison]. There cannot be Peruvians that go unprotected because of an irrational hatred,” said Bruce.

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